Drinking an energy drink is the closet I will ever come to getting high. I can proudly say that I've never tried any sort of illegal drug and have absolutely no desire to do so (after I got my wisdom teeth removed I flushed all my dentist-prescribed Vicodin down the toilet because I was "worried"). Being hopped up on ungodly amounts of caffeine and sugar is the perfect way for me to generate a buzz, short of downing an entire bottle of champagne (which I have shamelessly done on more than one occasion). So, when I was struggling to stay awake during Day 2 of intensive software training today, Monster Energy was the drug of choice to keep me alert and attentive.
I haven't had an energy drink for at least two years. I used to drink them all the time until I mysteriously gained 10 pounds and got a cavity. It was easy to go cold turkey and stop consuming them because $2.99 is far too expensive for any drink that doesn't come from Starbucks or have a cubic zirconium ring floating in it. Being away from them for so long made the first sip impossibly sweet and I felt my stomach recoil in disgust, but being the brave solider I am, I pushed onward and downed the 20 ounce can in record time. Even though I was dangerously close to upchucking all over the training modules, I could feel the caffeine making its way through my system. In less than 5 minutes I felt so jittery I started tapping my shoe and flicking my pen simultaneously in an attempt to drown out the sound of my heart pounding against my rib cage.
The Monster Energy drink epically failed at keeping me focused on the training session. Instead of channeling all my nervous energy into what I was learning, I found myself day dreaming about all of other things I'd rather be doing with this new found intensity. I remember listening to our trainer's demonstration on running reports in the new system, but all I could think about was how I suddenly really, really wanted to do math. I jotted a note in my steno pad that said, "check online library catalog for math books". Then I sat back happily in my chair thinking about how fun it would be to do algebra.
*Note: After middle school, the highest grade I ever got in math was a C+ and that includes all of high school and the two different times I had to take Calculus in college (why two times? Because I FAILED the first time). Excessive amounts of sugar do strange things to people.
Before the afternoon's session was over, I made up my mind that after work I was going to clean the entire bathroom, do 5 loads of laundry, and carve a wooden chess set by hand.
Then came the crash.
When I got back to my desk to finish out the work day, I could hardly keep my eyes open. I sat down to compose an email and completely forgot how to spell my own name. So I ended up staring at my bulletin board for ten minutes and wishing my desk chair was more like a recliner. Not to mention I had to get up and go to the bathroom about a bajillion times because apparently energy drinks go shooting through my body like a BP oil spill ...
That was a terrible segway into my next topic, and I apologize ...
There is absolutely nothing funny about the BP oil spill. As a journalist, I believe that BP will go down in history for not only causing the world's largest oil disaster, but for having the worst PR people as well. BP has tried to sugarcoat much of the damages as well as down-play the negative impact this disaster will have on the ocean and its surrounding areas, including grossly underestimating exactly how much oil has been spilled into the sea. Additionally, BP fought to remove the live feed video of the gushing deepwater well, attempting to hide the devastation from public view.
There's absolutely no way to sugarcoat this situation. It is what it is. It is a disaster that will have negative consequences for years to come. BP needs to publicly apologize (profusely) for its damage to the environment and, in my opinion, adopt a live feed of them not resting until a solution is reached.