Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bad Student Bad

Today I am too tired (hungover?) to dare write any big blog entries for fear that they would be unintelligent. I don't want to disappoint you guys. So what crazy nocturnal adventures put me in this condition? To find out you will need to check out my other blog:
Sorry, I don't mean to be sarcastic. That was just the exhaustion talking. See, this is why I shouldn't be allowed near a computer until I recover. Which begs the question, if I'm too tired to write snarky comments about procrastination, then how in the world can I write my thesis? The answer: not well. I've glued my butt to this chair all day long. I have suffered. And I have made little progress.

(This painting by Banksy illustrates how I feel today.)

Thesis Progress: Is it a bad sign that I've been too embarrassed to tell a bunch of strangers my stagnated progress?

Study Anthem O' the Day: "3 Sad Semesters"

Stay in School. Or don't. I don't know. With my chronic lack of productivity, I relate to this song a little too much. I wish it had only been "three sad semesters." At least with my TA position I will scrape by with paying a little less than 15 grand.

Ben Folds Five - Army

Saturday, March 29, 2008

VIEW FROM THE IVORY TOWER: Industrial Water Fountain

No witty banter around the water cooler for you, my friend. (Of course, ya can't chat about last night's American Idol gossip when you're too busy studying to watch TV. So think of it as sweet release from your social ineptitude.) Nope, you get the industrial water fountain; it's your share of Soviet-era plunder from when we won the Cold War. Congratulations. On the bright side, if you're drinking microscopic lead chippings, you can always sue the university. Sure, your $50 million settlement will deprive the next generation of research funding, but hey, you'll have finally found a way to strike it rich as an academic.

PS. Oh the sacrifices I make for you, my readers! ... I endured a string of weird looks from undergrads who simply could not fathom why one of their superiors would need to document the library's water fountain with a camera phone.

Friday, March 28, 2008

IN THE NEWS: If only my thesis research was this useful...

Gay Scientists Isolate Christian Gene

DIY: Fun with Procrastination!

1. Type "French military victories" into Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" search.
2. Have fun.

STUDY ANTHEM O' THE DAY: melancholy chill

The Sea and Cake produce a unique emotional combination in the listener that I like to call "melancholy chill." Take a gander and tell me if you don't feel a strangely calming squeeze of sadness in your chest. It's as if the band has captured the exact sound of a yoga instructor's reaction to the end of the world. And since graduate students often feel intimate with the coming apocalypse, this makes nice study music.

The Sea and Cake - Coconut

Playboy Supports Higher Education

Turns out I was wrong to be disparaged when the Playboy Editor told me that graduate degrees were a waste of time. He must have just been "testing me" because the highly distinguished publication clearly values all pursuits of the student body. The proof is in this video blog:

PROCRASTINATION: Craigslist Missed Connections #1

This isn't procrastination, it's a public service. If you think this may be you, let me know and I will forward you the lovely lady's contact info.

renaissance festival today, you were playing the digeriedo - w4m - 26

You had reddish hair, and you were in costume working at the bongo drum booth (store, whatever?). You overheard me telling my aunt something about Colorado, and you asked if I was from there. I said yes, and gave some smartass reply about living in Boulder, and now living in [state retracted]. The bongos were rad, but ultra expensive.

But anyway, you were super hot, and I'd totally do you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


You know that disgusting feeling you get at hour 12 of a cross-country road trip? It's the body's rebellion against confinement, lack of blood circulation and road snacks ... and the byproduct is a queasy, lethargic feeling where everything aches. That's how I feel now. Of course, I'm not in a car, but at my kitchen table studying. I can put up with pain, but the lethargy is hampering my productivity.

So how do I cure this? I don't feel like there is time to do a big yoga session; I should really just power through. But if I'm not going to be productive anyway, then no sense in forcing myself to suffer.

Signs My Thesis Has Taken Too Long #29,585,494

I like to study in a little outdoor area on the side of my house. I'm there so often that birds and small woodland creatures (i.e., neighbors' cats) are no longer afraid of me. In fact I can't get them to go away. I'm like the graduate student version of St. Francis of Assisi, except that I offer no message of hope.

Thesis Progress: Working on the corrections I do have; hope to pull a miracle (since I'm apparently a saint) and finish them all by tonight. But it's doubtful, and my procrastination isn't helping.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


No, I am not justified in hating her. It is purely spite and jealousy. But as I sit here, forcing myself to do something I don't want to do (my thesis), so that I can get a degree in something that the Editorial Director of Playboy told me to my face will NOT forward my career, I can't help but think that there is a new law for aspiring intellectuals:

master's degree = bad career choice
stripper = good career choice

Oh why oh why did I pick the wrong one? Why did my dad push me towards higher education, when I could have sold my body to achieve my dreams?

Ms. Stripper Pen Name is doing what she loves, while my career lies fallow. And her success story really pisses me off -- it tells the world once again that in order for women to be recognized, they have to use their sexuality. Yes, Cody is smart, talented and hardworking in her own right. And Juno was a great movie. But does that not make her situation all the worse? If smart, talented, hardworking and funny women cannot have writing careers without showing skin, then what is left for the rest of us?

I found this photo on her myspace. Just look at her with that retro tattoo, milky cleavage and smug expression. What a bitch.

IN THE NEWS: Why none of us can get a job

Strangely enough, this article is the bridge between my former life (a cross between TV shows "The Office" and "Entourage") and my current one (too boring for television)...

And do you think it's depressing that this kind of entertainment is privileged in our society at the expense of good writing? I do.

Slate Magazine

A Unified Theory of The Hills

Pretending to be yourself isn't easy.

By Troy Patterson

The Hills (MTV) is about the lives—the square-one jobs, the rock-stupid romances, the pricey-looking highlights—of some young women living in greater Los Angeles. These are, principally, Lauren, Heidi, Whitney, and Audrina—though Audrina, being a brunette, might not really count. The Hills, one supposes, is the lives of these women in the most complete way that a television show could be. These are real people pretending to be themselves and making a virtue of banality. ... Read more>>

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

lost things or lost cause

Thanks to a kind fellow blogger, I discovered that Antony is the Saint of Lost Things. Unfortunately, when I finally reached his offices, his secretary referred me to St. Jude. As I walked down the block to Jude's office (all the saints' offices are lined up, kinda like embassy row), I assumed that St. Jude must be in charge of "success in education" or "extraordinary intellect and achievement" or at least "graduation gown fittings." But before I arrived, I saw the sign:

WELCOME to the offices of
St. Jude: The Patron Saint of Lost Causes
& Desperate SituationsPlease take a number.

I just walked away, dejected. No reason to bother a leader of a religion I don't even belong to. Back to studying I guess. ...

But wait ... a SIGN! In the middle of writing this very blog, my roommate's girlfriend found and delivered two of my long lost backpacks*! Maybe somebody is telling me to keep the faith.

*If you really must know, a year ago I lent the backpacks to her friends for a camping trip and the friends subsequently disappeared...


My thesis task for the week is to input my adviser's corrections. I have the first half. But where are the rest? The search begins...

3 am: Frantically tear through everything I own
3:30 am: Try to remember the Catholic saint of lost things.
3:31 am: Fail. Continue searching without the aide of a supernatural deity.
4 am: Give up for the night and refuse to set the alarm out of a sense of defeat.
Noon: Expand search to places the corrections can't possibly be.
12:15 pm: Verify that corrections are NOT in underwear drawer, sock drawer, car glove compartment, console, or trunk. Nor are they under bed (roommate lifted it for me).
2:30 pm: Am reduced to flipping through papers I've already searched. The corrections continue to not be in said papers.
Now: Heart attacking-inducing panic and dread combined with confusion as to next step.

Please send me your suggestions. I am desperate. Do I fess up? Do I do the corrections without his advice? Do I flee the country? Continue searching? Do I tell my professor that if the White House cannot help but lose their most important papers, how should I, a mere graduate student with no political office, be expected to do any better?

Monday, March 24, 2008

STUDY ANTHEM O' THE DAY: Cibelle & Devendra Banhart

I describe this video as a piece of quiet happiness. Enjoy.

"London, London" video by Cibelle feat. Devendra Banhart

Thesis progress: I've wasted most of today away. : (

IN THE NEWS: $$$ for your academic expertise

No, it's not a pay-the-bills teaching gig...

I'm very curious to know if you guys think this is a positive or negative development. Will it help or harm people like us? I can't tell yet.

Writing for peanuts and loving it

In her spare time, away from her duties as a chemicals specialist in the Army, Angie Papple fires up her computer and writes an article about something close to her, like life in the military. Other times she'll analyze a piece of software. Or she'll churn out advice for travelers to Hawaii, where she lives, or Puerto Rico, where she's never been.

Some of these pieces bring her mere pocket change. The most lucrative ones earn about $40. Most of all, though, she's thrilled to be considered a writer. Read more>>

DIY Grad Student: Reuse old shotglasses

Has your undergraduate collection of shot glasses been rendered obsolete by long hours of studying and grad-school induced nerdiness? Has green tea replaced tequila as your drink of choice? Then DIY* Grad Student has what you need!

First I want to say congrats on the green habit. Way to get a few antioxidants with your caffeine! And unlike Red Bull, your liver won't explode on graduation day.

But where to stash those used tea bags until you want to brew a refill? It's not like people own matching china teacups with saucers anymore. "What ever shall I do with my tea bags, DIY Grad Student?" you ask.

Never fear loyal readers, DIY Grad Student has your answer! Use the shot glass! It's the perfect size to hold a tea bag, and the tacky, little Senor Frogs illustration will remind you of the good old days, you know spring break '97 in Cabo. It really works!

DIY Grad Student wants you! Tips? Testimonials? New DIY solutions? Send them in! And we just might print them. Or keep them secret and use them for ourselves.

DIY is hipster slang for "do it yourself"

Thesis Progress: I reached a giant milestone yesterday, and I don't want to lose my momentum. But I'm feeling a little burned out.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

View from the Ivory Tower: Wheels 1

Every academic needs an idealized photo of a one-speed, backpeddle-breaks bicycle in their lives. But if you were to look closely (which you can't cause the resolution on my camera phone is sadly limited), you'd realize that the cruiser (like most things in life) is not that ideal: the basket is breaking from overuse and the chain, hubs, etc. are rusty because they have been neglected by their owner.

Thesis Progress: In celebration of my Chpater 3 victory, I'm going to bed early!

Readers Speak: Best Thesis-Writing Food

Thanks to all 15 of you who shared your opinions! I judge this poll a success.

Personally, I prefer cookie dough, but I must weigh that love against my hypochondria. Is the joy of eating raw eggs worth the paralyzing fear that my salmonella-infested insides fall out? I say YES! For posterity, here are your results:

4 (26%)
cookie dough (contains raw eggs)
4 (26%)
broccoli & carrots (no ranch dip)
2 (13%)
whisky & cigarettes
5 (33%)

Chapter 3 = VANQUISHED!

This morning I turned in Chapter 3.
It was 64 pages long.
That equals 2 days late and 14 pages over limit.
A low score for me.
But done nonetheless.
As a reward I downloaded Guitar Hero III to my cell phone.
Now I sleep.
Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

View from the Ivory Tower: Caffeine as Art

My thesis, as seen through the "lens" of my cell-phone camera

PS. I'm starting a pic o' the day. Full explanation will be given in a couple days.

Thesis Progress: I hope to turn in Chapter 3 by tonight, so help me thesis-gods.

So where can I find my advisers blog?

The Professor as Open Book
The New York Times, March 20, 2008

IT is not necessary for a student studying multivariable calculus, medieval literature or Roman archaeology to know that the professor on the podium shoots pool, has donned a bunny costume or can’t get enough of Chaka Khan.

Yet professors of all ranks and disciplines are revealing such information on public, national platforms: blogs, Web pages, social networking sites, even campus television.

When scholars were recently given the chance to refute student criticism posted on the Web site, a cult-hit television series, “Professors Strike Back,” was born. The show, which has professors responding on camera to undergraduate gripes such as “boring beyond belief,” made its debut in October on mtvU, a 24-hour network broadcast to more than 7.5 million students on American college campuses. Read more, you lush>>

Thesis Progress: These song lyrics best describe the state of chapter 3: "She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes, yee-haw."

Study Anthem O' the Day: "Burn My Shadow"

It's nearly 2 a.m. and my ability to string words together needs to be conserved for the thesis all-nighter. In lieu of writing, I'll let this music video speak for me. It pretty accurately describes my inner turmoil and back pain. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. This video is pretty dark, and my life isn't so horrible in comparison. Now that I think about it, I don't know how conducive the music is to studying. You tell me.

UNKLE - Burn My Shadow
The actor is Goran Visnjic and the vocalist is Ian Astbury (from The Cult)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yet Another All-Nighter

The spirit is (more or less) willing, but the body is weak. Last night, I wimped out. Five hours of sleep does not even count as sacrifice in today's 24-hour society. But tonight, I REFUSE TO SLEEP UNTIL I E-MAIL THE COMPLETED CHAPTER 3 TO MY THESIS ADVISOR!

The only kink in the plan is that I have to go to Traffic Safety School tomorrow at 7:30 am (Fie on you, photo radar!). Now, I'm prepared to go to the stupid class on no sleep (a gangky, unshowered look will probably help me fit in), but it does give me a solid 7:30 a.m. deadline. Will I make it? Heck if I know. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of ... Chapter 3 thesis deadline!

PS. This painting is the perfect visual representation of how all-nighters feel. And I'm a horrible person because I forgot the artist, though I'm pretty sure it's Van Gogh. Anybody know?

After the clock has stopped

No, it's not finished yet.

I managed to stay productive until 5 a.m., after which point I was just sleeping sitting up. So I allowed myself to go to bed a couple hours. I set three alarms, slept for three hours and pushed snooze for two hours more (to the certain chagrin of my roommates). I've been working all day, but to no avail. On the bright side, the 10-minute thing has been a lifesaver.

I apologize if this blog is not up to my normal level of witty banter, but I actually am more concerned about my thesis than blogging today.

Study Tips: The 10-Minute Rule

I have technology-induced ADD. Before the Internet was invited by Al Gore, I had laser focus. Now, ... I have a blog.

Since I can't even get Aderol on the black market at this hour, I came up with a little study tip for myself:
When all attempts to focus fail -- when you pace the house, annoy your roommates and run up the electricity bill by opening and closing the fridge so many times -- there is only one solution. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Anybody can focus for the length of an extended commercial break. And when the 10 minutes is up, give yourself a well-earned blog break, such as this one.

Thesis Progress: I just focused for 10 full minutes, and was only distracted once

All-night update

It's 1 a.m. I'm sipping vanilla vodka & Diet Coke to both rev me up and calm me down. I'm also listening to RJD2 (a strong candidate for future Study Anthem status) to get me in a pounding yet chill rhythm. I don't know if this means I am on or off track. The fact that I'm writing this and not the other thing might (or might not*) be a bad sign.

*In my pre-blog era, whenever I got stuck writing I would look at pictures of my exes on MySpace. It was quite depressing. So sharing my feelings through blog, though not productive, can't be any worse than retroactive stalking.

Is Corporate Coffee Evil?

Starbucks Ordered to Pay Back Tips

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered Starbucks Corp. to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips and interest that the coffee chain paid to shift supervisors.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also issued an injunction that prevents Starbucks' shift supervisors from sharing in future tips, saying state law prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee gratuities.

Starbucks spokeswoman Valerie O'Neil said the company planned an immediate appeal of the ruling, calling it "fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason." Read more, you procrastinator, you

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Study Anthem O' the Day: All Night Music

OK, ok, I know I must to get back to work. But first I need to tell you what to listen to when pulling an all-nighter. You need something without distracting lyrics. And you need a fast, hypnotic beat that slowly speeds up until you are zombiefied. You need an organ donor. DJ Shadow will make your donation. Thank him by putting that new liver to good use with a couple "study shots" (Bonus: this song is quite cool musically.)

DJ Shadow's "The Organ Donor"

For a jazzier zombie music option try: Medeski, Martin & Wood

THESIS PROGRESS: 29 of 40 pages. But to be honest, I'm only about halfway done, and it's going to hit over word count. Thesis gods, I call unto you. Caffeine gods, I beseech you. Self-discipline, please return to me. I need all the help I can get.


Yep, that's the only way i can get through this chapter, which is due TOMORROW. Oh dear. Wish me luck, friends. I'll let you know how it all turns out sometime tomorrow.

An Open Letter to Cell Phone Guy

Congratulations on your baby boy, your upcoming golf tournament and the growth of your small business in spite of the slowing economy. But you are an inconsiderate, self-important jerk who talks too loud. You just mentioned how the weather is beautiful today, so please enjoy the sunshine and take your call outside. Defying physics, your voice carries over my headphones, which are turned to ear-damage loud. You tell your friend goodbye, I sigh a relief, but then you find 10 more minutes worth of things to talk about. I would like to ask you to keep it down, but I cannot do so politely. To set a good example, when my cell phone rings, I take the call outside. You do not pick up on this hint. Finally, I take my computer, my books, my papers and my tea and move to the other side of the room. And now, you decide it’s time to start pacing the Starbuck’s as you talk.



Miserable Graduate Student

THESIS PROGRESS: 28.45 of 40 pages written*
*That's only for chapter 3, the full thesis is much longer.

Study Anthem O' the Day: "I Am a Scientist"

Apparently, I was wrong when I said, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the only indie rock music video you will ever find that celebrates academic research." Here's another one! I'm on a roll, baby!

Musical Note: This is not the best music from these endearingly too-hip-for-school Oregonians, just the most relevant to this blog. Nonetheless, the song has a good, fast beat that will help fuel those all-nighters. It also makes ya feel cool for being a nerd.
Adult Swim: Their most famous song (explicit content):

The Dandy Warhols - "I am a Scientist" from Welcome to the Monkey House
If video doesn't work:

Thesis Progress: Please, stop asking me this. It's getting too depressing.

Let Me Count the Ways

I just realized that I have yet to follow through on the title of this blog. I have written around my thesis but I have not yet written about it. Don't worry, I will spare you the gory details (and avoid yet again compromising my anonymity). But it's only fair I share a few reasons why I hate the thing that I have (temporarily, I hope) devoted my life to. I am oh so tired (and still have to study more), so you only get one tonight. But more will follow ... sooner or later.

Reason I Hate My Thesis #1
I got to choose the topic (naturally), so the research is actually pretty interesting ... or it was two odd years ago when I first laid eyes on the beast. Now my brain registers "thesis" in the same category as these lyrics, "There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold..." That's with a cringe, if you had to ask. Yes, my thesis is like Led Zeppelin. It was so amazing the first 10 million times I heard it. And now, I can only sigh.

Thesis Progress: That's another cringe and a sigh. I'm royally in big big trouble. I do not know how I will produce magic between now and Friday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Study Anthem O' the Day

It's very important to listen to the correct music when studying. Of course, the "right" music changes according to person, topic studied, time of day, mood, energy level, etc. But forget all that. I'll give a few recommendations now and again, and they will pretty much be based on whatever comest to mind at the time.

Without further ado, here is the perfect inaugural Study Anthem. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is the only indie rock music video you will ever find that celebrates academic research:

Andrew Bird - "Imitosis".
From the 2007 release "Armchair Apocrypha"
In case video doesn't work, here's the link:

THESIS PROGRESS: I'm still awake, which isn't saying much

It's Kinda Like the Pickles and Ice Cream Craving

But it's not pregnancy, it's thesis-ancy. Same symptoms, different source. (Bright side: Alcohol is encouraged instead of forbidden.)

I'm really really REALLY stressed. I have about 24 hours to write about 25 pages (or 48 hours if I don't proofread). I'm also exhausted. It's 1 am and I've been up since 6:30 am. That means it's time for thesis food. Obviously, I don't have time to grocery shop. But being a graduate student, I have the intellectual capability to make a few strategic culinary substitutions. Here is the recipe for the snack I just ate (You decide how many gold stars it's worth):

Grad. Student's Mock Chips & Dip

1 pkge ramen noodles (or any other carb/starch will do)
1 container of sauce (I used Valentina Salsa Picante, but any kind will do)

1. Without opening package, crush dry noodles until they are broken up into bite-sized bits
2. Open package
3. Set flavor packet aside for future use in other recipes
4. Pour sauce on noodles
5. Consume

Dry ramen noodles are actually quite good. And I attribute my sour stomach to the hot sauce (ingred: water, chili peppers, vinegar, salt; imported from Guadalajara, Mex.), not the noodles. But at least I have enough carb power to fuel a couple more hours of studying!

THESIS PROGRESS: I'm still awake
*That's only for chapter 3, the full thesis is much longer.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You Earn a Gold Star

As a way to motivate myself to work on my thesis, I created this start system (a la kindergarten). Unfortunately, I never had the time to buy gold star stickers, so nothing ever came of it. But I'm posting it here, cause you may be more diligent than me. Let me know if it helps you out...

To earn a star:

- one hour undistracted work or 2 hours distracted work
- waking up without snooze
- waking up at 8 am (2 stars)
- waking up at 8:45 am (1 star)
- saying no to an invitation in order to work
- at least 5 hours of work in one day
- reach a milestone on project
- in bed by 1:30 am
- say no to unhealthy food temptation/eat a healthy meal
- going for a walk instead of snaking when stuck
- riding bike instead of driving
- ordering plain tea/coffee instead of sugary drink

Star rewards:

Five Stars
- one hour reading a fun book
- one hour nap
- buy a magazine

10 stars
- meal at restaurant
- rent a movie
-write a blog

15 stars
- go hiking
- buy a CD
- go to bookstore

20 stars
- buy a book
-rock climbing gym
- hang out with a friend

THESIS PROGRESS: 23.99 of 40 pages written*
*That's only for chapter 3, the full thesis is much longer.

The Intrepid Journey to an Exotic, New Starbucks

As I promised yesterday, here is the true account of my coffee shop adventure:

There’s a Starbucks on the campus drag that gives 180 degree views of the hippies, hipsters and tourists. I normally never go to this one cause there's no parking. But in the name of anonymity, I hopped on my beach cruiser and placed my laptop in the basket.

The day was glorious, the sky was [insert your weather pattern here], and the students were back from spring break, clogging up the campus. The Veterans Against Iraq were setting up a table, but had to compete for attention with both the annual photo display of aborted fetuses and a counter-protesting wall of Planned Parenthood-ers. Presenting a united front against 10-foot tall dead babies, they chanted something that sounded like, “wieners for choice!” and handed out free rainbow condoms. I’m not writing this blog to make a political stance, but free is free and I’m unemployed (errr full-time student). I was able to take two condoms and toss them in my basket without getting off my bike or even slowing down.

Soon the campus proper gave way to the campus drag, and green-clad students gave way to green-clad revelers doing a 1pm St. Paddy's bar crawl.

The ghosts of the hippie movement still haunt the drag, but exist nowhere else in town. It's as if they were to leave the street they’d evaporate into the fine mist of history. Seeing my approach two such ghosts dug a box out of their belongings and set it out just for my (OK their) benefit. Now, I’m not writing this blog to make a political commentary on begging (these particular drag rats could easily have been two freshman on a break between classes), but I was feeling generous. So without getting off my bike or even slowing down, I reached into my basket and tossed them a Planned Parenthood rainbow condom. If this was a movie, it would have landed in their begging box, but they yelled, “thanks” anyway. Come to think of it, they looked like two straight dudes, so they probably won’t be able to share. I was a jerk not to give both away.

Once at my destination, I watched the whole green-tinted tableau from inside the safety of glass. Among other wonders, I saw one leprechaun, several kilted men, girls dangling green boas, and a plain clothes cop in wearing a muted green dress suit. He bought a small coffee. Other than that, one Starbucks is identical to any other, so my adventure ended once I walked inside.

Signs My Thesis Has Taken Too Long #2

The freshman I taught when I started my thesis are now old enough to drink ... and sometimes they chase me down in local bars and say, "I'd never thought you'd still be here."

Thesis Progress: Page count has not changed; I'm actually doing a lot of "pre-writing."

Caramel Macchiwhato?

Since I've been spending so much time in no-internet land (Starbucks), I thought it was worth it to take a little trip to its Web site and find out exactly why my jeans no longer fit. I found my answer in an easy-to-read table format.

My favorite drink is surprisingly not too bad, ... actually, yes it is. 300 calories is a lot for a liquid (even for a "venti"). But on the bright side, 13 grams of protein is about as much as you get in some meats (don't ask me which ones, I'm not a food scientist). And one can always hope that 150 mg of caffeine will speed up the metabolism enough to ward off weight gain (though in my case I have found that to be a vain hope).

PS. The image is the official picture of a caramel macchiato from its Web site, but I've never once seen it served in a real mug like this. Do you have to request that?

Caramel Macchiato

A signature Starbucks® beverage. A creamy mix of vanilla and freshly steamed milk marked with intense Starbucks® espresso, topped with velvety foam and our own proprietary buttery caramel sauce.

Serving Size 20 fl. oz.

Amt Per Serving
Calories 300
Fat Calories 70
Saturated Fat (g) 5
Trans Fat (g) 0
Cholesterol (mg) 35
Sodium (mg) 160
Total Carbohydrates (g) 43
Fiber (g) 0
Sugars (g) 39
Protein (g) 13
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 45%
Caffeine (mg)

THESIS PROGRESS: 21.90 of 40 pages written*

*That's only for chapter 3, the full thesis is much longer.

St. Paddy's Distraction

I fielded off three invitations to celebrate the green-beer holiday via text message from my study post at no-internet Starbucks. I forced my self to study until the barista forced me to leave and then went home to study more. Except that I couldn't get a parking space in front of my own house. I finally parked in front of the neighbor two houses down and then heard music blaring before I reached my door. After all my diligence, a St. Paddy's Day BBQ stood in my way. Now it's nearly 1 am, I have two days to write 20 pages, and I'm hopped up on coffee and vodka. Disaster. Even worse, my roommates' girlfriend and my neighbor discovered my blog and now they are making fun of me:
"So you're writing a blog about writing your thesis instead of actually writing your thesis?" they ask.
"Yes," I say.

THESIS PROGRESS: 19.85 of 40 pages written*
*That's only for chapter 3, the full thesis is much longer.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Incognito Part II

I’m no longer anonymous at the local Starbucks. Nobody likes the weird guy who spends hours at “his” table, and if I keep a regular schedule, I risk "blowing my cover" as the top-secret writer of this blog. So today I embarked upon a journey to one of the seven other Starbucks that are in a 5-mile radius of my house.

**Update on the adventure of an exotic, new Starbucks coming soon.**

THESIS PROGRESS: 17.5 of 40 pages written*
*That's only for chapter 3, the full thesis is much longer.