Mirror, Mirror on the Web . . . How Old Am I?

Overnight my Facebook has blown up with people's selfies, which wouldn't be anything new, except now they're labeled with how old the person looks. Thanks to the #HowOldRobot, a website can now tell you how youthful/aged/non-human you look.

For kicks over breakfast, I decided to see how old I look since my birthday was this past week.

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Brunch Review: The Flat White

Ordinarily, one consumes food for brunch. However, on this day, Sara and Cazey decided to try Starbuck's new addition to their menu, the Flat White. Because sometimes you have so much caffeine, you just forget about the food - or is that just me?

Now if you're like our one friend, you may be asking, "What is a flat white?"

Cazey: Are you even American? Do you go to Starbucks?

Sara rationally explains: The flat white is the Australian drink of choice, which Starbucks now brought to America. It's an espresso with a ton of frothy milk.

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Unrequited, but Rational (I Swear)

By Cazey Williams Today in Starbucks I thought I saw you. Of course it couldn’t be you, because you’re on another continent, and I’m here pursuing the practical path of PhD student. But let’s not pretend I forgot about you.

The synopsis is short. I liked your best friend, but then I met you. (Your friend foretold we would get along, not that that matters.) You invited me to your hometown and entranced me. I should’ve kissed you, but I didn’t. I tried to hang out with you again, but you always said, “Rain chk plz”…unless your best friend was around.

You (the reader this time) would think this is an open-and-shut case; she didn’t like me, and maybe this is true, but I offer up the defense.

The Monday after I should have kissed you, I saw your best friend. She had no idea we had been together, though I knew you two had been texting.

You edited a literary magazine. I submitted this story. I called it “The Hardest Glass” – because your friend told me, in a Gchat, that you’re the hardest glass to break. I had to pull an Ian McEwan (Atonement, anyone?) and fabricate a “happier” ending where the boy and girl reunite, though not for good. Never for good. You’re not someone I see ever being somewhere, with someone, for good. And you probably take that as a compliment. You should.

Maybe you read my story, because you invited me to your party. I came, we chatted, but I never want anyone to know I have affection, so I left. I did that to you several times. I want to say we’re both cowards, but in hindsight, it’s one-sided.

I resent myself for remembering these trivial details. I am a rational person. I haven’t seen you in over a calendar year. Yet here I am taken aback to see your ghost in Starbucks. It’s not a frequent longing; I only comb your Facebook photos every six months, less often than I judge my high school peers I haven’t seen in over half a decade. But I resent myself (I backspaced over the word hate) because it is every six months. You should be forgotten by then, like every other lust/crush I’ve ever had.

And I hate myself because when I post things on social media, I wonder if you’ll see it, and what you’ll think, and if you’ll like it, though I know you won’t, even though I like your things methodically, only things that I can objectively justify for liking. I wonder if you’ll see this.

I worry I’m creepy. Okay, I know I am “creepy” from the removed standpoint of observer. But because I recognize this, am I less creepy? And why can’t I get over you? Why are you in all the songs on my Spotify? “Stubborn Love,” “Riptide,” “I Already Forgot Everything You Said.” And “Stay With Me.” And “Coeur D’Alene.”

And because I can’t get rid of you, I wonder (read: wish) do you have the same thoughts? And because I’m a rational person, I know you don’t. But because I over think things, because I’m a rational person, if I can so irrationally hold onto a crush (and no one here is mistaking this for love/romance/butterflies and strawberries), then you could, too. But you don’t. And neither should I.

Yet I continue to over think you. I rationalize you. I don’t like you; I like your ideal: The bonafide bohemian, the wanderlust millennial. You travel by moon’s phases and morning’s impulses, and I, I live by Google Calendars and emails. I want that, not you.

That makes me feel more rational.

Sweet Starbucks Hack

By Cazey Williams I’m a Starbucks aficionado in the most non-basic sense, which means I don’t order mocha chais or – God forbid – PSLs. The only time I get more exciting than a “Trenta iced coffee, light soy, light ice, unsweetened” is when I have a reward drink, and then I might – might – order some sort of frappucino with double espresso shots.

I don’t do this more often because of the two C’s that dictate most of my dietary habits: Cost and calories. However, once upon a time, my friend introduced me to the Tazo (insert trademark symbol) Green Tea Frappucino Blended Crème (apparently that’s the proper name). I had a sore throat at that encounter, which added to my adoration.

That frappucino happens to cost $4.75 if you order a venti (and why wouldn’t you?). If your heart palpitated at that, wait until you hear about the nutrition. It’s so bad that Starbucks is very sorry, but “the nutritional data for this product is not available online.” Thankfully, nutrition sleuths exist online, and they estimate calories for that venti at 420, which primarily comes 88 grams of carbohydrates. Carbs in themselves are not bad – but 86 of those grams are sugar. Yes, sugar. I just got diabetes.

The iced green tea latte is loaded with similar sins.

Therefore, I present to you my sweet Starbucks hack that is both cheaper and healthier. Order a Trenta shaken green iced tea (Teavana with the trademark symbol if you care – and a trenta because I always do) and ask for no water. When you order a shaken iced tea usually, Starbucks already has the tea made, but they then add water. Yup, they water it down. Right? What the heck is that? So when you say “no water,” they give you all tea.

So then the barista asks, “Sweetened or unsweetened?” This is your choice. And I know aspartame comes out of the devil’s pores, but gosh, I love my Sweet’N Low and always ask for just one packet. Of course, this might kill me down the road, but not as fast as the 86g sugar overdose.

Finally, you ask for a splash of soy, which means like a fourth of a cup in generous barista language. If they’re stingy, you need two splashes. (We’re trying not to get charged here.) Starbucks carries vanilla soy milk, and this is what gives the creamy, sweet addition you need to emulate a latte. (Sorry, this isn’t exactly a frappucino, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.)

Altogether, $3.28 on my gold card. Ka-ching.


Here I am modeling with this heavenly creature we’ve created. Look at those chapped knuckles. Taylor Swift should cast me in a music video.

Note how the color goes with the yellow foliage. Yeah, I know it’s November; who wants an iced beverage? Well, I hope you burn your tongue on your steamed milk.

Anyway, get to Starbucks fast, and let me know what you think!