I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Ironically, I think the culprit is my anti-depressant. The medicine that is supposed to make me less depressed is keeping me from sleeping which is making me more depressed.
I decided that I needed to cut back on my caffeine. I like my Diet Coke, though. So, I started chugging Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. The problem is that most restaurants don’t carry that. So, I was thrilled to see that several of my favorite restaurants carry Coke Zero.
Now, I’m not sure what possessed me to think that Coke Zero would be helpful. For some reason, I got the insane idea that the “Zero” meant there would be zero calories, zero caffeine, and zero aspartame. Healthy, right?
I did not connect the fact that I was completely wired at 2:00 AM every night to the fact that I was ingesting Coke Zero like it was water.
One day, I was getting a can from the machine at school, and someone passing said, “Need a caffeine hit for the afternoon?”
“No. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to avoid caffeine,” I said.
“Oh, that doesn’t have caffeine?”
“Of course not. That’s why it’s called Coke Zero.”
That got me thinking…
So, I consulted my friend Google later that afternoon. Here is what I found regarding the comparative caffeine levels:
O.K. Then why the heck is it called “Coke ZERO”?!!!!!!
Because there is zero sugar in it.
Of course, there is zero sugar in Diet Coke as well. Apparently, the difference between the two is that the Coke Zero is supposed to taste more like Regular Coke due to a “different flavor base” from Diet Coke. Hence, the “Zero”. That makes sense, right?
From now on, just call me “Beyonce Zero”. We’re practically the same except for every part of us that’s not the same.
Works for me.
Well, folks, the worst has happened. I can’t believe that it’s happened to me, but it snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying attention.
I have become a BACKER-INNER!
In my defense, I haven’t exactly been at the top of my game this week for the following reasons:
A. I got my butt out of bed early for two successive mornings during my summer vacation to participate in a “voluntary” teacher in-service.
2. I did not stop for Starbucks coffee on my way to the in-service. And I had time. A LOT of time, dangit. In fact, I shouldn’t have gotten up that early. What the heck was I thinking?
III. Wonderbutt spent 2 hours last night acting like he had swallowed a tiny lizard who was crawling around in his throat. I could not find any evidence of what foreign object he had recently ingested. Probably because he had recently ingested it.
H. I spent the first of my in-service mornings worrying that Cap’n Firepants would be murdered by a stranger from Craig’s List who offered to buy our mother-in-law’s washer and dryer.
7. I spent that same morning worrying that Cap’n Firepants would forget he was supposed to meet the guy from Craig’s List, and that the Cap’n might fall for one of those Craig’s List scams that you read about. “No Cashier’s Checks,” I told him (the Cap’n) “Cash Only.” But then I realized that I did not tell the Cap’n it should be American money. And that we don’t have one of those special lights to check if it’s counterfeit . And, why is it that flight attendants don’t accept cash for drinks? Should I text the Cap’n and tell him he should only take a credit card? But we don’t have one of those machines…
10. I came to the sad realization that I must have caffeine if I am going to be required to think clearly before 11 AM. Also, I should get that app for drunk people that keeps you from texting when you are somewhat confused. But, then I would never be able to text, I guess.
So, this all came about because I participated in a Robotics in-service for a day and a half. As part of my role at my new school I volunteered (cough, cough) to be one of the sponsors of the Robotics Club. I figured, hey, I learned BASIC when I was in high school – how hard can it be to program a LEGO robot to roll around on the floor?
Hmm. A bit harder than I thought. First, our team had to sort all of the pieces. Then, we had to assemble the robots. Two of us had no prior knowledge of Legos. Sad, right? Fortunately, our third member grew up eating, breathing, and uh, excreting the things, apparently, so she totally rocked in that department, thank goodness.
Then, we had to make it do stuff. By programming it – not by yelling at it. Caffeine deprivation is not helpful with this, either.
Our final challenge was today – we had to start 4 robots at the same time, and get them all to back into different “parking spaces” without sparking any Road Rage incidents.
My competitive compulsions overwhelmed my anti-backer-innering stance, and the GAME WAS ON!
As you can see from the video below, all 4 robots did fairly well. My team programmed the 2nd robot from the left – the one that ended up in the third parking space (last one to backer-in). The robot destined for the 4th parking space made it every single trial time – until I videotaped the experience. Then it suddenly went rogue and acted like it was being driven under the influence. Hope he wasn’t texting at the same time…