The Circle of Life Should Always Begin With Coffee…

Last night I fell asleep on the couch after having watched the sci-fi thriller Prometheus.  I just hate when that happens because although it is attractive, exceptional comfort is not one of the finer qualities of said sofa.  Anyway, in my dream I piloted a colossal but heavily damaged space ship that was rapidly plummeting towards a crimson flaming orb.  Impact was clearly inevitable.  I was strangely calm in the face of utter annihilation as the yummy Michael Fassbender was seated next to me. Frankly, I was having trouble focusing on steering the ship as I was unable to stop myself from gazing into his magnificent sea-foam eyes.  A tremendous cacophony from what I assumed to be alien beings – clanging and screaming on the outside of the ship could be heard as we reached terminal velocity.  Just before our inescapable doom, I woke up. Oddly, the alien commotion did not stop – in fact it grew louder and it seemed to be emanate from the microwave oven in the kitchen. Apparently birds have nested in the exhaust fan vent and the babies were thrashing and screaming. Honestly it sounded like a bloody massacre. Cooper and I were forced outside to investigate.  Stumbling over to the side of the house and slipping on the wet grass in the process, we watched as two largish black birds with orange beaks emerged from the louvers which cover that vent, while two other smaller birds flew around hysterically, yelling bird obscenities (I can only assume as I do not speak bird). A suburban bird eat bird drama was unfolding and it was happening right there in the vent! I banged on the side of the house with the shovel that my son left laying across the lawn, (yes mom I did so pick up all the tools yesterday!) which I almost impaled myself on.  The orange beaked aggressors flew away but the dog and I felt obligated to stand watch for what seemed like hours (because I hadn’t had any coffee yet!) but was really only a few minutes.  Way too much ‘circle of life’ going on before I could even pour myself a cup.

Now the hubby (because I just don’t do insect abatement or bloody bird carcass removal) will have to get on a ladder and go see if those babies are still alive.  Where is one of those famous bird whisperers when you need one?  Oh yeah, he’s probably at home drinking his coffee.

To Catch A Thief…

Yesterday this happened:

I took my mom to our local Ikea here in Washington. Although local constitutes about a half hour drive for us, it’s worth it. She is looking to upgrade and organize her closet and me – well let’s face it. I like to just wander around like a kid in a candy store and look at all the cool stuff. You do too, I know. Everybody loves that impossibly warehouse-like flat box furniture store with the $1.00 ice cream cones and similarly priced cappuccino. Anyhoo, we got there and each grabbed a cart because you just never know what you will find.

We wandered, we browsed, we ate lunch (’cause those darn Swedish meatballs are pretty fabulous) and we took our time. In the marketplace section there are just so many pretty, shiny fun things to look at that often we parked the carts and cruised down the aisles (which are not really meant for carts by the way). And yes, in answer to your question my purse was perched in the front of the cart where you normally put a fussy child. You see where this is going, right?

A quick word here, my mom is in her seventies and although she can still kick it like a rock star, she has to pace herself. As we neared the coffee cup and miscellaneous accoutrement section I said “mom, watch the cart a second I just want to look down this aisle.” So I pulled up my cart next to hers and delved into the lovely coffee things. As I rounded the end of that section I looked over at mom and see that she looks a bit frantic and is minus one cart – mine! So I trek back over and she blurted “that man just took your cart – with your purse in it!” Geez, this is Ikea for goodness sakes! Is nowhere safe?  So I am squint in the general direction of her pointing finger and I can see a tall, nicely dressed man moving at clipper speed out of the marketplace section and off with my purse. My three year old purse, which had about $1.76 in cash and two Starbucks gift cards but also my drivers license and photos of my husband, my kids, his kids… Precious stuff! I took off after him of course!

So, I’m bookin’ it at top speed to close the now 40 yard gap between me and the purse snatcher. Yeah people are starting to stare. I’m like an accident by the side of the road. And, unfortunately I was not clothed for my now starring role in To Catch A Thief because running shoes and a sports bra would have been really helpful. I’m just a few yards away from the guy – not really sure what I was going to do when I caught up to him – when he suddenly dumps the cart and quickly moves down a side aisle, expressing a sudden and intent interest at the curtain rods. And get this, I now see my robber is a tall, nattily dressed and nicely coiffed (the dude was wearing a sweater vest) late sixties year old man (think Fred Astaire in The Towering Inferno) . This confused me for a moment. I grabbed the cart, looked inside my purse to make sure nothing was missing and while I was doing this a nice man in a hornet yellow polo comes over and introduces himself as a manager asking me if something is wrong. (Oh see the crazy lady sprinting through your store did ya?) I told him I think that man tried to steal my purse. The manager walked over to my purloiner to question him and the thief says “oh I thought it was my cart.” Oh? Have a long strapped leather purse with shiny gold buckles do you huh? Do you??

Anyhow as the interrogation continued, I went back to where my mom was wringing her hands, apologizing for letting Dapper Dan make a quick getaway with my purse. “I couldn’t stop him”. I assured her that it was not her fault and that probably her purse snatcher chasing days were over. A few other shoppers came over to us to discuss the episode. One lady offered the timely advice of “oh you should never leave your purse in the cart unattended.” Really? Thank you so much because that would never have occurred to me! It’s funny how the entire incident in no way prevented us from continuing our shopping which led to an interesting challenge to the laws of physics as we struggled to load several six foot long flat boxes into the back of my Subaru.

I still had my Starbucks gift cards. I mean at some point you have to move on, right?

Drink Your Coffee and Bee Happy!

Great news!  Apparently one of the many reasons bees are so industrious is that same stimulating opiate we find in our coffee.  In their own little version of Starbucks, it turns out that many flowers secrete nectar which have a pretty impressive amount of caffeine.  In fact, according to Science News honeybees are more likely to remember a flower that laces its nectar with a hit of caffeine.  Read on my friends:

For me, one more cup of coffee and I’ll be busy as a bee…

Exercising Makes Me Spill My Coffee…

I just want to state for the official record that the Harlem Shake phenomenon that has been sweeping YouTube, Facebook, Tumbler and just about every other possible internet media site, is  most definitely not new.  Geez I’ve been doing it for years.  I am Harlem Shaking every day after my third cup of coffee. Duh!

It’s just not as sexy as this:


Love Coffee – Any Which Way But This?

My husband and I spent a lovely weekend in Vancouver BC for Valentine’s Weekend.  Yes, did you hear?  It’s now a whole weekend instead of a paltry – get off the hook in one day – 24 hours type of holiday.  I feel a little badly for him because next year he will be faced with having to at least meet or exceed this years excursion. Anyway, while we were away we were unfortunate enough to taste some really awful coffee at an otherwise cozy and yummy breakfast establishment.  I refused to consume the acidic bilge but my adoring husband just drank it right up.  Full of incredulity, I asked him why in the world he would continue to drink the slop.  With an all knowing college professor air he proceeded to advise me that there are three purposes to coffee 1)Look cool. 2)Taste and aroma. 3) Getting caffeinated.  He was only interested in the third benefit at that particular moment. “I love great coffee but I can drink swill and it won’t kill me.”  Well it might kill me

Along that train of thought – and when I say train of thought of course I mean the train that has moved way, way, way down the track – some well meaning friend sent something to me that, as I sit here typing I realize I may never be able to fully erase from my brain.  The news item explored a couple who have an addiction to coffee.  Hmm, okay that’s fine and as you know I have what I like to call a friendly dependency on the stuff as well so who am I to judge.  And, I’m not judging – really I’m not. Um, okay I might be judging just a wee little bit here…

This normal seeming couple do not drink the coffee – instead they sort of um, insert it?  Daily coffee enemas, sometimes several in any one given day are self administered by these folks.  I’m totally serious! Now the only medicinal type purpose I have ever heard about a standard enema is that is quite helpful when dealing with constipation, and in fact so is coffee.  But these two coffee zealots describe numerous general health and holistic benefits gained by their daily coffee injection.  They indicate that since they both work at home, they are able to engage in this habit without any – how would I describe this – incidents. Even the great font of all knowledge Wikipedia describes it, although their entry is pretty short.  If you Google it there are a slew of articles and of course your helpful Google shopping options for coffee enema. (You gotta love Google.) One company even sells grind specifically prepared for this purpose. This particular blend can be purchased for a mere $70.00 for five pounds.  Now clearly, since I have not tried this particular activity, who is to say they aren’t garnering benefits that can only be obtained from this activity?  Truly, there is something out there for every person’s interest.  All I know is that for me, the taste is a major requirement in my consumption – along with the looking cool and getting caffeinated.

Sorry if I ruined your breakfast.

Wanna a Whole Latte Love (and maybe just a few other things)…

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Because I enjoy being helpful, I have some tips for you fellas (and yes it’s mostly fellas – sorry but you are a little stuck with the job of making Valentine’s a spectacularly remarkable and unforgettable event each and every year) that would really be something special for the women in your life.  Yes, chocolate is nice and flowers of course are always a classic.  Lingerie (you know this is true) is really more a gift for you than us.  Romantic dinner, jewelry, weekend getaway etc… fine, fine, fine.  But if you really want to score big, (pun intended) here are a few items every single woman wants and, with a little bit of effort, you can  make happen:

  • We want you to call your Representative in Washington and ask them why in the heck they allowed House Republican leaders to kill the 2012 re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act that had already been passed by the Senate.  Demand the bill be passed when it is re-introduced this year.  
  • We want a world where we, our girlfriends,  mothers, sisters and daughters don’t have to fear being raped because of our clothes, our hair, our job or the fact we just stepped out the friggin’ front door. In 2010 one study estimated that 1.27 million American women were raped-equivalent to one woman every 29 seconds.  WTF?
  • We want you to make your voice heard for our country (you know, we who like to claim moral superiority over everyone else on the planet) to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – a watershed international agreement that protects women and girls from unfair treatment and abuse. Do we really want to stand with the only other states -Iran, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia etc – in the United Nations who have failed to approve it?  As my mother always said, “you are judged by the company you keep”. The President once said “America cannot insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves.”  Talk is cheap my friends – get ‘er done.
  • We would really like equal pay for the same work.  Seriously?  Who is against this?
  • We want men to stay out of our private parts regarding decisions on our medical care. Unless you have MD after your name or you were implicitly invited, our legs our crossed where that is concerned.

There you go.  Call this my political Valentine’s Day rant.  Hey it beats sobbing into your coffee because you didn’t get the right gift.

Oh and speaking of coffee, a steaming vanilla spiced latte would also be nice…

There Is More To Love Than Coffee (although I’m not sure what that is)…

I was in line at Starbucks the other day and I overheard a conversation (it’s hard not to eavesdrop when you are listening so intently) between two young women discussing what they were expecting to get for Valentine’s Day from their perspective sweethearts.  One of them (Vanilla Non Fat Latte) complained to her friend (Passion Tea Lemonade) that her boyfriend “didn’t get her” because he never managed to supply a gift that she wanted.  Passion Tea Lemonade  advised her that she should stop complaining and reminded her friend that the beleaguered beau was helping to support her while she finished her masters degree.  Vanilla Non Fat Latte exclaimed “I guess I’m just a hopeless romantic, I want the mushy love!”  Although I was standing behind them, I could visualize Passion Tea Lemonade rolling her eyes. Later, I consulted the font of all wisdom for a definition of hopeless romantic. “This person is in love with love. They believe in fairy tales and love. They’re not to be confused as stalkers or creepy because that’s not what a hopeless romantic is. All hopeless romantics are idealists,the sentimental dreamers,the imaginative and the fanciful when you get to know them. They often live with rose colored glasses on. They make love look like an art form with all the romantic things they do for their special someone – especially bringing them lots and lots of coffee.”

Okay, I added that last bit in. But is being a hopeless romantic a bad thing?  I gotta say yes! Inevitably the object of your affection – being human with failings – will disappoint your idealized version of who he is or who you are. I mean the term hopeless doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence for the prospect of eternal happiness.  And therein lies the problem.  Love is not all flowers and unicorns and rainbows and daily flower deliveries (although I could get behind hourly coffee service).  It’s bringing someone a blanket when their feet are cold. It’s installing a usb outlet because your phone charger is never where you left it last. It’s pumping your gas on a cold night for you because you let it get down to butt-empty yet again.  My friend Kay once told me that she always lets her husband know if there is some special item she wants for Christmas because she said “I listened for years to my mother complaining and unhappy about how my dad never got her anything she liked and I didn’t want to spend years with my husband doing the same thing.”  Why set up an impossible expectation that a person who you love might not be able to achieve?  A-ha!  You must not love me because this card isn’t romantic enough, this gift not special enough, you don’t know my size etc…

Meg Ryan’s character in ‘Addicted to Love’ describes it perfectly (in response to Matthew Broderick waxing stupidly on about being a hollow shell): “When I was a kid, my father had this dog that started to get all weak and sickly. He takes it to the vet, he examines it and says a maggot must have laid eggs in the dog’s butt. The baby maggots have crawled up, now they’ve started to grow, and eventually they’re gonna eat the dog alive from the inside. He says it should be put to sleep, because it’s an old dog anyway. But father won’t do it. He takes the dog home, he puts it on the bed, he reaches up into the dog, picking out the maggots with his finger, one by one. It takes him all night, but he gets every last one. That dog outlived my father. That’s love, Sam.”


Nepalese food and the dreams that this way come…

I am an early riser on most days – yes, even weekends.  Of  course I would rather sleep in, luxuriate in the soft embrace of my new 500 thread count sheets but sadly, it just doesn’t happen that often.  This morning, being no exception I was roused a little after 4:30. I lay there for a moment but decided to take some action.  I mean 4:30 is just a little too early right? I said to myself “Self!”  (Yes I spoke rather sternly, I thought it might be more effective) “You go back to sleep this instant!”  Oddly my snoozing husband’s snoring didn’t so much as pause during this self contained conversation, but incredibly I fell back asleep.

Unfortunately there would be a price to pay for exerting such bossy behavior to myself.  Bits and pieces of my day started formulating in my brain and all at once I was standing in what would best be described as a mountain lodge with my kids and step-kids watching a dog that looked like a dalmatian, but was really the size of a small cow as he attempted to break through a glass shelf to reach a biscuit that just happened to be sitting there. The odd thing was that we just sat there watching the dog-cow as if it were the family pet. “Oh look at that rascally dog, trying use his head to break this lovely glass shelf – isn’t he just adorable?” Once he finally broke through the glass, the biscuit had turned into a laptop computer which he grabbed with his front paws (and don’t ask me how he did this) trotted out of the room.  George Clooney came by to advise us that the dog had been trained on Windows 8  so he should be just fine.  We all had a great laugh over this and apparently didn’t notice when the walls of the lodge disappeared and we were strolling along a beach.  The waves pounded a far off shore that was not visible despite the fact that we had salt water spraying our faces.  As we looked up at the suddenly appearing Northern Lights we could hear the dog-cow barking furiously.  Two people who I haven’t seen since high school were there on the beach too, discussing the finer points of why Miss Quiano doesn’t allow Valentines distributed during lunch and didn’t that suck.  I remember commenting on how I had never, ever seen the Northern Lights (which is not true by the way) when abruptly (and because obviously the Northern Lights are just not spectacular enough of a night time vista) a massive explosion of fireworks erupted behind the green-bluish celestial illumination.  Nobody seemed to wonder why there were tiny white fluorescent unicorns with cupids arrow for horns leaping across the sky.

And then I woke up.  Sheesh…

All you need is love – and lots of coffee…

Everyone over the age of five who cried because they didn’t get a greeting with a lollipop taped on it from the cute kid in class knows that Valentine’s Day can be pretty tricky.  It’s either a love-fest or a fricking sob-fest depending I suppose on your Facebook status. Heck even for folks in the throes of love or lust or anything in between it can prove to be daunting. What spectacular gesture or gift can you procure for that special someone that will knock them off their feet? The expectations are set impossibly high for the day so you better start thinking now my friends. The pressure is on!  You don’t want to come up empty handed on that most romantic of all department store and greeting card manufactured holidays.  Well do you? Do you??

For the next seven days leading up to Valentine’s Day this will be all about love and coffee (in some houses they mean virtually the same thing). I invite you to espresso yourself with your very favorite love/coffee quote or tribute to the one you love. The most amorous, enchanting, passionate poetic ridiculous or humorous quote will win (drum roll please) a QueenOfCoffee coffee mug! Now wouldn’t that be a great gift? I make no guarantees that said cup will put your beloved in the mood for amorous congress but hey it’s worth a shot. Leave your quotes in the comments below or on my Facebook page (there’s a link somewhere on this page).

Love, love, love – so sayeth The Beatles