December 31, 2010

Coffee Will Not Make You Sober

Remember, as you salute the year, coffee will not make you sober.

Coffee: A sure way to sober up?
By Mayo Clinic staff
Coffee's about as helpful as a cold shower or a brisk walk in sobering you up. That is, it's not helpful at all! Your blood alcohol level starts to rise with just one alcoholic drink. The only way to lower your blood alcohol level is to stop drinking and wait. It'll simply take time for your body to metabolize the alcohol.

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December 25, 2010

A Beautiful Trio: Espresso, Croissant, Cappuccino

Espresso, croissant, cappuccino

Cold? Snowy? Every day is sunny in Brockeimia. If not, I go to where it is beautiful.

At a cafe on the east coast, sitting outside in an area cordoned in by short black painted fence on a sidewalk, I enjoyed a full meal. First, a shot of espresso, then the main entree, a nicely prepared cappuccino, with a croissant on the side.

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December 23, 2010

Coffee Cup Before Pouring

At a favorite cafe, I might order just one thing: coffee. I might add a bagel or slice of toast, but it is usually just a simple cup of coffee. Let's pretend nothing here: The coffee is not the same quality as in a finer coffee shop. The ambiance is what a diner's is... filled with everyman, from all walks of life. You get what you pay for, but this is the life of the average coffee drinker. They are not interested in syrups, whip cream, Kona, brown vs white sugar, pull technique, or any other factor in coffee or a coffee drink.

That's what you see. The average man's $1.50 mug, basic sugar and flavored creams. America drinks this everywhere. The brown cup is hazelnut, the blue is vanilla, and the white is plain half-n-half. The white envelopes are plain sugar. The blue envelope is some kind of non-sugar sweetener. I took the picture a week or two ago.

The job gets done. A basic coffee and a basic set of flavor options. Much of life happens at the table pictured above. I have met with friends, clients, vendors, old, new and potential.

It may lack the romance of a misty cafe in Vienna, but Vienna misses the romance of an intimate table in America's heartland. No Austrian accents or talk of Beethoven, but conversations about city politics, traffic and baseball teams fill the air.

What I See
A waitress who thought skipping college was the best choice so she could make quick money wistfully looks at the men in suits, wondering if they will notice her in her new sundress beneath her diner apron. The men in suits argue about the cost of real estate, only glancing at the girl who, at 19 is half their age not realizing she knows this, but is OK with it.

A few men in from a construction site working on the interstate rush in for a late morning early lunch, and eat too fast to notice any of this.

A retired man in a rich blue shirt with a golf logo reads a newspaper where he sits every day, and the waitress calls him Tom.

A young buck brings in a Bible and discusses its finer points with a friend, see the young waitress and tip her more than their meal was worth. That $20 will help her more than they know. An older waitress sneers at her, because she has given up hope. This coffee shop is her bitter life, and she is afraid the younger one will leave before her. When she was 19, she got those tips too, but did nothing with them.

All on a Monday. Tuesday will be much the same. The coffee is good enough.

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December 22, 2010

Tasty But Not Overpowering Coffee Candy, Fit for a Picnic

I unwrapped a piece of United Coffee Candy while Nancy and I sat for an afternoon in a park. Dulcet, yet strong flavors filled my imagination as we cleared the branches for our blanket. The candy's metallic maroon wrapper soon lay tossed in a pocket, or a bag, who knows where?

A mid-city stream during a quiet picnic can be as cacophonous as a mid-state river. Rapids, wind, gulls all called out to each other as autumn began its march through the wane of summer. Undeterred, Nancy and I read the poetry of the day: our own, and that found in an old professor's reading list. Many hums and other murmurs of agreement brought us through a dozen pages and an hour of reading.

We asked, "Is that a complex form or does it just organically resonate mellifluously?"

Not all questions can be answered while distracted by the pleasant confluence of her eyes, the falling leaves and the coffee candy. All blended into a gentle sweetness: to see, to smell, to taste.

Now, three months later, I find the wrapper in my satchel, and the stream rushes just as hard. The gulls are gone, but the poetry remains. May your bag of United Coffee Candy reach as deeply, taste as complex, and remind you of poems read on a bank.


December 10, 2010

Mandy Patinkin - Coffee in a Cardboard Cup

Mandy Patinkin - Coffee in a Cardboard Cup

Mandy Patinkin is the complete performer singing about the hurry of today's life. Coffee is the metaphor for life, that we pour it too quickly, drink it too quickly, and miss out on relationships in the process. Lyrics below.

I agree.

Mandy PatinkinMandy Patinkin CD including song Mandy Patinkin - Coffee in a Cardboard Cup from the musical 70, Girls, 70

The trouble with the world today, it seems to me,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble with the affluent society
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
No one's ever casual and nonchalant,
No one waits a minute in a restaurant,
No one wants a waitress passing pleasantries
Like "How're you, Miss?"
"How're you, Sir?"
70, Girls, 70 (1971 Original Broadway Cast)"May I take your order please?"
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
It's rush it through, and don't be slow,
And BLT on rye to go,
With coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup.

The trouble with the helter-skelter life we lead
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble, the psychologists have all agreed,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
Tell me, what could possibly be drearier
Than seafood from the Belnord cafeteria?
Seems to me a gentleman would much prefer
"How've you been?"
"Would you like the special, sir?"
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
There's ready-wear, and instant tea,
And minute rice, and my oh me,
There's coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup.

The trouble with the world today, beyond a doubt,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble is the way we like to take things out,
Like coffee in a cardboard cup.
No one knows the meaning of utopia
Is dining at the corner cornucopia,
Seems to me we wouldn't be such nervous wrecks
With "Hello, there!"
"Be right back!"
"Would you care for separate checks?"
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
It's all become looney tunes
With sugar packs and plastic spoons
And coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee (I'm sure she said)
Coffee (She must have said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup.

December 6, 2010

Excellent Christmas Gift for Teachers, Writers and Book Readers (Who Love Coffee)

Excellent Christmas Gift!

Books are good food. wash them down with coffee.

In your life, and in mine, are coffee lovers and book lovers. Librarians, teachers, students, editors, writers, and that friend you always see huddled with a book on the train or in the cubicle next to yours. It might even be a pastor, priest or rabbi you want to simple say thanks to.

Priced cheap for Christmas (the mug pictured is just $11.49), there are tons of mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and more.