Tag Archives: coffee

Coffee foam stutter

I value eloquence, but there are times when the words stop arranging themselves.  Instead, they stay in syllable form, sitting like coffee foam on top of my breath, hanging out somewhere deep inside my lungs.  Naturally, you have to cough to get them out, and then it’s just not pretty.

I have tried so hard to get my thesis argument down to a bulleted outline form for months.  My efforts to whittle the ideas that wow my mind to explainable concepts that the rest of the world can understand include:

  • Word
  • Evernote
  • Drawing big pictures
  • Drawing small pictures and assembling them so they make big pictures
  • Color-coordinated notes
  • Writing on my windows*
  • writing on my mirrors*

*side note: for the official record I finally bought big white board, so I’ll probably ease up on the windows/mirrors writing.

I articulated a step-by-step argument for the first time at about 6:30am today–with pen and half sheet of paper I found in my purse (gotta write when the inspiration strikes).  It felt good, but the coffee foam stutter returned at 5pm as I sat in Prof. Elphick’s office trying to explain how much eschatology, a rejection of feminist theology, the garden of eden, secularization, and the millennial generation have in common and how I am going to be able to pull it all together in like 90 pages.

Other recent incarnations of the coffee foam stutter include:

  • use of 1,500 words to express a tweetable idea
  • loss of melodic conversational tone
  • over edit/under edit tidal waves (i.e. should have read that email one more time, could have sent that one right away)

For the record, I hope this illness passes like a head cold and gets out of me in a couple days, because, in the meantime, it’s really killing me.


Es como…umm, tar.

If a Spaniard came to the U.S. and scrunched one eyebrow at the functionality of the electoral college, a liberal arts education, or the fact that I usually eat dinner at 5pm, I’d smile and say yep.


I’m just doing the same in reverse.  Some things are weird (a term I give with the sincerest of affections and love, not of condemnation.)

This so-called coffee is a thick, black, tar-like substance.  Imagine something like 4 shots of expresso in a mug the size your five-year-old neighbor’s tea cup.  Small, but oh, it’s strong, so strong.

If I keep the coffee, sugar ratio at something like 2:1 and drown it in milk, I can chug it, but that’s it.

That said, coffee is a functional drink, and since I can’t do midday runs to Weshop for a Starbucks Double-Shot and Mountain Dew doesn’t exist here, I have to drink it on days like today.

Wednesday are typically long, but due to a few rescheduled classes, today was looooonger.  My first class began at 9am (meaning I leave my house by 8 ) and the last ended at 8:15pm.  In the middle, there were six classes, 2 thirty minute breaks, and one hour and half break before the last lecture.

I made it through though, and with a positive attitude no less.  Without going into too much detail, there was plenty of opportunity to let some trivial distraction put me in a bad mood, but it didn’t.  I’m really looking to continue that kind of success throughout the rest of the week.

I had a masterful study schedule put together for the weekend (which for me begins today, no Thursday or Friday classes), but it looks as though my plan will be disrupted.  My eye has hurt all day, at dinner my sights starting going, and I’m now lying in bed with a pulsating headache.  -Exactly the same symptoms my host mom just got over.

So, for tomorrow, a whole day in bed it is, without coffee, but probably with a few more episodes of my Spanish version of Friday Nigh Lights.

If your gonna dust, spray the floor and dig out the tube socks.

Tonight, I was walking back from small group and a thought hit me.  I’m actually going to miss this city.  We might have gotten off to a bad start.  I might have had one too many quiet nights, but still, I’m finally starting to figure this place out.  I was throughly lost tonight, and it didn’t even phase me.  I knew that if I walked far enough in a certain direction I’d find my way home.

By the way, despite messing up my java chip frappacino, my Starbucks at 53rd and Lexington remains my favorite location New York.  There are three Starbucks between the nearest subway stop and that one, but I wouldn’t trade my Starbucks for anything.  Yesterday, piles of young business interns filed in and out all afternoon.  The activity and continuous presence of people my age-ish helps me feel connected, and today I was chatting it up with a very endearing elderly gentleman.  We discussed everything from Broadway shows to Manhattan real-estate and the Koch Brothers.  It’s one of the few places I’ve been in the city where people actually make eye contact, let alone strike up friendly conversation with a stranger.

My Starbucks is right by the Chrysler Building (which is infinitely prettier than the Empire State Building)

I love how coffeehouses have been the places for conversation, work, and hanging out since coffee hit Europe in the early 16th century.

Due in large part to my ideal work location and delightful conversation, today was a model of productivity.   I love it.  Want proof?  (I did other stuff too)

A Successful Search for a Study-Proof Starbucks

Given the misery of the previous night, I did not set my alarm this morning.  Given how I was feeling (sick), I figured that the most productive use of my time would be sleeping.  I recall waking up at nine something, and the next time I looked up it was a few minutes past one.  My temperature was nearly normal and I had a reasonable bit of energy.  Having not left my apartment in more than two days, I really needed to get out (and get a meal that did not consist of cereal or one of my 12 ways of eating a taco).

I must say my afternoon adventure was rather successful.  I’ve been looking for a good place to work downtown, but up to today, my search had been to no avail.  Most parks are too crowded.  Crowded is chaotic like a messy room, and I can’t work in messy rooms.  I think that’s why I hate going to Times Square so much.

Anyways, I’ve been scoping out Starbucks’, because they have air conditioning, restrooms, and most importantly, free internet, but I hadn’t found a good one until today.  Granted, there are 174 Starbucks in Manhattan, so my search might not have been too thorough, but still.  It needed to be empty enough that I would not have to fight for a seat, and it had to have available outlets.

The one I went to today had everything I needed.  Starbucks at Lexington and 53rd.  The staff was so into it that they were dancing to the music.  Watching them love their jobs made me not mind at all that the barista in-training took awhile to make my grande java chip frappacino.

I sat with my drink, undisturbed, and read the news with enthusiasm.  It’s difficult to describe, but I do have to be in a certain setting to get into current events.  Recently, I have been lamenting my disinterest in closely following the news.  Today, I got back into the swing of it.

So dad, for all that, yes, I’ll pay $5 for a cup of coffee.