Saturday morning. I haven’t been awake this early on a Saturday morning since Jason Narvy and Paul Schrier stopped appearing on Power Rangers. Long live Bulk and Skull.

Then the phone rings. It’s my co-worker, Melissa, and I remember she’s offered me a ride to the Lompoc Chocolate Festival. I start thinking of excuses not to go. I could be playing video games. I could nap an additional twelve hours. Hell, I could even go visit my loving family that I haven’t seen in months, but then I realize how pathetic I would be for continuing to stick to the same boring routine I’ve followed ever since I started going here way back in 2002.

I find it ironic how I’m in charge of the Nexus’s 3300 Minutes weekend section, yet I personally don’t do any of the activities the staff writers end up reporting on for that week. I figure I have nothing better to do, so I accept the offer.

Melissa and her friend Jo arrive shortly and pick me up. As I get in the car, I think of how I barely know Melissa outside of the fact that she works as a copy reader several nights a week – her friend Jo from the University of Redlands I know even less.

During the drive to Lompoc, I sit silently in the back while the two girls sing along to their CDs. It really is uncomfortable being in the back of a Volkswagen.

The day starts to get interesting once we arrive at our destination. How can I exactly describe a chocolate festival? For six bucks you can get as much chocolate as you want from the various tables. Sure, samples were supposed to be limited per customer, but the old ladies handing them out couldn’t remember me from two minutes ago.

With sugar overloading our veins and nary any milk around, we decide to head out.

“What are you doing later?” Melissa asks.

“I try not to plan things that far ahead,” I respond.

“So then why not hang with us for a little bit,” she says back.

I agree, and a little bit ends up being hanging out at the beach, watching a season’s worth of “Wild Boyz,” grabbing some sushi in downtown Santa Barbara, drinking at my place and topping the late night/early morning off with a monster burrito with barbeque sauce from Freebirds.

All this was accomplished in the span of sixteen hours. On top of that it cost me less money than I would have spent buying another video game. I wouldn’t call Saturday a life changing experience, but it did get me thinking about how so many of us don’t realize exactly how little time we have left before heading out into the adult world.

I have quite a few friends who will be graduating this year. Some of them have made the most of their time here while others probably could have saved themselves thousands of dollars by going to college back in their hometown. I figure our ungodly high tuition fees and living expenses factor in the unique experience of living in the area.

So, whether you have a quarter or a year left, start thinking about how much you can pull off in a single day. I’m going to end up staying a fifth year at SB, so I take comfort knowing how much time I potentially have left to go on random excursions. From now on, I’m living life to its fullest and so should you – come join me and watch “Final Destination 3.”

It took Daily Nexus Art Director Mark Batalla less than 3300 minutes to devise the greatest device the Nexus has seen in generations: the ingenious pulley system, may it rest in peace.