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Monique and I are happy we splurged for cable. We initially just wanted Internet, but basic channels keep us company and informed on television pop culture (for the record, I’ve never owned a TV set. Several former Daily Caller interns said such isolation from the outside world makes me a prime candidate for mass murder, so thankfully this category no longer applies to me).

We just watched “2 Broke Girls,” which quite frankly underwhelmed me. The laughtrack should go, as it takes away from the sitcom experience. It worked for “Friends” but is downright distracting for this particular program, which survives on the multifaceted acting skills, brains, beauty, and comedic timing of Kat Dennings.

Most people will only tune in for “2 Broke Girls” because it stars the self-deprecating 25-year-old brunette, who has held memorable cameo roles in comedies like, “40 Year Old Virgin” and “The House Bunny.” A few years ago, she played the lead female in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” another example of her versatile performing abilities. She has potential to save “2 Broke Girls,” but unfortunately, her co-star Beth Behrs weakens the plot. Couldn’t the show writers have come up with a more original sidekick than the spoiled, dim-witted, screechy blonde? Nevertheless, she has a decent dynamic with Dennings’s character, who is recovering from a break-up in episode two.

“I heard you crying in your room the other night,” says the blonde.

“I was masturbating,” Dennings’s character says.

No matter what, I still adore Kat Dennings.

This evening, I revisited one of my favorite college dinners: cereal. I’d just finished up a 2.5 mile run (so proud of myself for getting back into the habit of jogging!) and wanted to avoid a heavy meal, so Special K (thanks Monique!) seemed like the best option. During my UA dorm days, I often had Kix, Rice Krispies, and Cheerios late at night, so I felt like a student again consuming a bowl of cereal in front of the boob tube.

Unfortunately, not everything from college transferred over to pseudo-adulthood. Last night, Monique and her grad school buddy made a 10:45 trip to IHOP, our new favorite eatery. I declined the invitation because shut eye was more important. Back in school, I stayed up as late as I desired all nights of the week regardless of my Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. classes. I just needed to coast through those hour-long early morning courses before rushing back to my apartment for my beloved coma naps, which energized me for evening outings with friends. Those days are long gone, and I can’t even venture to IHOP after dark without feeling guilty, stressed out, and sleep-deprived.

For one, when did an IHOP trip become a full-fledged adventure? Am I reasonable or pathetic to wish I could feast on the restaurant’s famous chocolate chip pancakes at midnight alongside intelligent, well-rounded folks like Monique and Kenneth? I always enjoy our religious debates, family story exchanges, work discussions, and conversations, but lack the stamina to keep such dialogue going past 11 p.m., at least on weeknights.

This isn’t really about IHOP, which I haven’t really frequented since living in L.A. in the early nineties. Back then, I nursed the diner’s incomparable hot chocolate, which to this day remains the best in the business IMO (Monique seconds that). All drinks aside, I’m still mourning the loss of late night conversations with good friends. Back at UA, I had the luxury of being exhausted on a school day. If you want to perform well at work, late night talks are nothing more than productivity killers for the following morning.

Rather than complain for another 300 words, I pose a question to readers: What do you most miss about youth (i.e. high school, college, flexible summers)? Did you engage in late night chats with university friends? If so, what sort of topics did you cover? What came up?

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