Quick sketch of a coffee plant, made while waiting for closing time in a coffee shop.
Ink on paper, ca 10x6cm
Reblog: Caffeine: A User’s Guide to Getting Optimally Wired
My reblog this week isn’t as much of a reblog as it is sharing an old article, but still – it’s something, and it’s about one of my favorite things: caffeine.
Click the link below to read the full article.
Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world, but few use it to maximal advantage. Get optimally wired with these tips.
1) Consume in small, frequent amounts.
Between 20-200mg per hour may be an optimal dose for cognitive function. Caffeine crosses the blood-brain barrier quickly (owing to its lipid solubility) although it can…
Sketch of the Week
“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.”
…I haven’t had any coffee – therefore, there will be no blog post.
- Read – Black Coffee; Charles Osborn, from Agatha Christie’s play
- Watch – A New Man; Hughes William Thompson
- Listen – Coffee Time; Natalie Cole
“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”
It’s way too late to sit here, writing my blog – but if I don’t do it now I will miss another week. So here goes…
The past week and a half – two weeks really – have been full of everything but what I should have been doing. I have several things on my To Do-list that are way overdue (that’s the problem with projects that have no deadlines, they are easy to postpone in favor of more pressing things), but need and circumstance have left me uncreative. What I have been doing is spend time with friends and family, rushing from one to the other on my spare time and catching up with far away friends through the phone and computer.
Also, I have been completely exhausted. I don’t know why, really – maybe it’s cutting back on the coffee, maybe it’s returning to my work out schedule, maybe both. Maybe it’s something else. Fact remains, I’m feeling more tired, more often. It’s been great, though – sort of a mini-vacation from parts of my life – just hanging out, laughing and then sleeping – which is why I there was a hiatus here last week. The other day I did manage to pen down a piece of flash fiction, though – once that is edited I will see what I shall do with it.
Dear Reader, do you ever feel stretched thin over your life?
As if you can’t quite cover everything you need to be and do without effort, like a blanket that is just barely enough to cover your body at night? There’s no stress, really, and you’re not failing at anything – it just takes constant effort to balance everything and make sure you manage. That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling the past few weeks, and I’m not sure why. Part of it may be saying good bye to my previous haunt, as I’ve mentioned before.
On October 1st I took my leave of the little coffee shop, individually explaining why to all of the old staff and thanking them for their service, conversation and friendship – all that remains now is explaining my absence to the new manager. I think I know how to phrase it, so now I just have to find a good time when she’s there. I pass there almost daily, so I have stopped in to say hi, resisting the urge to get my usual order. It’s a bit tough, leaving a place you’ve practically called home for eight years. But hey, at least I’ll save a bit of money, eh?
It was the right thing to do.
Forgive me if I’m not making complete sense – I really should be headed to bed. But first, this week’s recommendations! There’s no theme to them today, except that all three are things I only recently read/saw/listened to.
So, until next time – have a good weekend!
- Read – Voice of Our Shadow; Jonathan Carroll
- Watch – The Equalizer; Antoine Fuqua
- Listen – Friend Like You; Emily Kopp
Coffee and Heartbreak
“Believe me when I tell you: Life will not break your heart, it’ll crush it.”
Things end, and there is preciously little we can do to prevent it.
Once again I find myself at the end of something; in a place of transition. Changes are happening at the coffee shop I’ve frequented for the past 8-9 years. The new manager is making stupid decisions, relocating and firing some of the best, most hard working people on such tenuous grounds that it seems impossible to not see it as a personal vendetta.
One of the people who has to go happens to be one of my best friends, and her case in particular has been handled with such sloppiness that I simply cannot ignore it. Now, I have a choice to make. Do I continue to give the coffee shop my – not insignificant – business, or do I find another way to get my caffeine fix? I’m leaning toward the latter.
For one, having already lost four of my favorite baristas and now losing two more, frequenting the establishment won’t be as joyful as it once was. Also, keeping up a happy face to the manager is not going to happen – my sense of loyalty forbids me – and as a regular it really helps if you get along with the proprietor. But it’s not an easy choice to make.
Coffee shops hold a very special place in modern life.
For the creative of us, they have become nearly religion – I know many people who work out of them, balancing privacy and social life, income and expense, familiarity and change of scenery. They are so much more than a place to go buy coffee – they are a place for dates, pit stops during busy days, breaks and relaxations, study and work. They are life and romance and friendship.
Back when coffee first reached Europe, men would go to coffee shops to discuss politics and business and philosophy. In the 19th century, they increasingly became the gathering place for local artists and writers – along with pubs and cafés that served absinth, of course. Many artists and thinkers have turned to coffee as their drug of choice over the centuries – Voltaire and Balzac are reported to have imbibed over 50 cups a day, at their worst (or their best, maybe), and both Bach and Beethoven were big coffee drinkers.
This particular coffee shop has really been my home away from home for the past seven years. I’ve seen seven managers and scores of baristas come and go; I’ve made several friends and many more acquaintances; I’m known by staff and regulars alike and I have never once been mistreated. Even though the recent rebuilding took away part of it’s charm, and even though stricter policy from the main office and the new management has further dampened the atmosphere, it is still part of me. I was there first.
At a modest count, I’ve spent over 4,000 hours at that café – talking, writing, drawing, laughing, crying, meeting new people and old friends. I’ve given it more business than I care to admit, but it and its staff have given me so much in return. I know its workings in and out and I’ve even helped out with things on occasion. This current turn of events make me angry, sad, upset and even hurt.
Regardless of where I go now, it will be with a heavy heart.
I do not particularly like change – at least not when it is forced upon me. However, I do realize that it is a necessary part of life – without change there will be no growth, no progress. And we need progress, all of us. And come to think of it…
How much progress in this world has not been fueled by coffee?
- Read- The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee; Honoré de Balzac
- Watch – Coffee and Cigarettes; Jim Jarmusch
- Listen – Have a Nice Day; Mindy McCready