Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"I Never Want to Drink Anything That's Not Lemon Juice."

Have you ever heard of flavor-tripping? I've been wanting to do it for a loooong time. And yes, I recognize that it sounds illegal. The New York Times assures you it's not.

My friend Joey bought "miracle fruit" tablets online, & though it sort of felt like we should be taking them at a rave while wearing glow-in-the-dark necklaces, we set up shop on my mom's back porch & prepared to trip. Our spread of foods came from the 24-hour Midwestern Mecca that is Sheetz & entailed, in part:

The instructions told us to let the tablets dissolve on our tongues. "THIS IS PROBABLY X," the Paranoid Future Jewish Mother section of my brain screamed. Needless to say, there was much skepticism:

I don't know what sort of packaging X comes in, but I suspect it's more like plastic baggies & less like cute Asian flowers:

And so we began, though not without trepidation:
This is my Trepidation Face.
And then... we ate! In truth, we were a bit disappointed in the strength of the miracle fruit tablets - which is to say that they weren't particularly strong. But the effects were still noticeable. Let's do a line-item analysis, shall we?
  • Glazed chocolate donut: Tasted just like a glazed chocolate donut
  • Guinness: Less beery, but certainly not the chocolate shake the New York Times promised me
  • Gummy bears: WAY TOO SWEET
  • Pineapple: Pineapple
  • Warheads: Shockingly unsour. Gimme another!
  • Limeade: Very sweet. No hint of sour. No hint of the gross way limeade typically tastes.
  • Lemon juice: Even sweeter. Please refer to title of post. I want, I want, I want. All of the times.
  • BBQ chips: My favorite chips tasted like cardboard. Do not want.
  • Salt & vinegar chips: Freaking amazing. I usually hate this flavor, but I had to refrain from my urge to nom the entire bag.
  • Tabasco sauce: Lingering spiciness, but by no means unbearable
  • Peanut butter fudge Oreos: Peanut butter fudge Oreos. No complaints here.
  • Blue cheese: Blue cheese. Complaints here.

The verdict: Worth a try, but I'd like to flavor trip again with the "right" foods on hand or the actual berries instead of just tablets - or maybe in a professional setting, like at the flavor-tripping parties hosted in big-city bars (D.C., I miss you).

Additional verdict: When I do it again, I will bring a vat of lemon juice. And also a pound of Tums. Those are for later, though I do wonder how they'd taste while trippin'...

Journalism Is a Terminal Condition (Plus, a Pretty Cool Giveaway)

This post is generously sponsored by ValueMags.com, but, as always, all content, wit & wisdom is my own.

I'm a counter. I'm forever look back & counting how long it's been since X, how many years since Y: almost 16 years since my father died, almost 10 years since I graduated from high school, almost one year since I began dating Nathan, just over one year since I left my first (awesome) post-collegiate job. Sometimes I look back through my old Xanga sites just to see what I was doing on this day five or six years ago.

Graduation day! (Please ignore my facial fatness.)
This summer marks four years since I graduated college. It seems impossible that I've been gone for that long, that I've only seen one of my best friends a handful of times in that period. Sometimes, it seems impossible to believe that I'm not a journalist as planned, that I don't write professionally, that I'm not a reporter or an author or a grantwriter or a blogger (the "real" kind, you know...). Instead, my life took a path I never expected, sending me into the worlds of religion, communications, politics & all sort of other things I never planned or trained for.

My degree is in Magazine Journalism, & if there's one thing I miss from college (aside from the friends & the youth-granted permission to drink like a fish), it's working for student media. In college, I wrote for the student newspaper, a respected & award-winning campus daily, & eventually held the position of assistant news editor, which I actually preferred to reporting. I also copyedited for a campus magazine called The Burr & was the managing editor of Fusion, yet another award-winning campus publication, this time a glossy quarterly focused on sexual minority issues. I spent most of my time in the newsroom or on my laptop, doing what I liked best: writing, writing, writing.

It was 9/11 that cemented my decision to major in journalism. Cliche, I know. But watching the second tower fall as a chipper blonde newscaster reporter looked on in horror but never lost her composure, I knew what I wanted to do. What's sort of ironic about this is that my real goal was to work for one of two publications, Family Circle or People - neither of which, of course, was likely to report on anything quite as emotionally heavy as 9/11. I was sometimes embarrassed of this ambition, like when I took a summer class in DC with political wannabes & intellectual types who wanted to change the world. When I announced my career aspirations to the class, I consoled myself by telling myself that even head honchos need relaxing reading material.

Obviously, I do not work for a magazine. Or a newspaper. Or any other sort of legitimate, professional media. Instead, this blog is my primary outlet, along with a few side projects I contribute to with some regularity. I could be more proactive than I am about seeking out writing opportunities - and I could really stand to reconnect with my old magazine habit instead of just day-in, day-out blog reading. Don't get me wrong, I like you guys, but my life is a better place when Glamour is involved.

It's fitting, then, that a representative from discount magazine site ValueMags.com recently asked if I'd like to host a giveaway to my readers. As someone who used to subscribe to upwards of 10 magazines (sorry, Mother Nature), my answer was a hearty "yes." So in commemoration of my almost-four-year graduation anniversary & in recognition of my deep & abiding love of magazines both trashy & heady, I present to you a simple but rewarding giveaway: Comment on this post to be entered to win a magazine subscription of your choice. And yes, that includes everything from the usually-a-billion-dollars People to specialty publications like Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

Go forth & indulge in casual reading material, friends!
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