Of No Coffee Mornings

Today a nightmare happened – I didn’t have time to make coffee before work. Gasp, shudder, tears! all the tears!

Basically like this, but with less dancing:

Without a little personality-in-a-cup to supply some joy, the morning stretched on and on. No coffee morning’s are the worst, and the free tea in the office is not a satisfactory substitute. It’s not awful just because I’m a caffeine junkie. Or because I did not go to bed at a decent time, so the fact that I woke up at all is a miraculous achievement.

Coffee equals sanity. It allows for brief moments of me time before diving back into the detail focused office atmosphere.

But on my lunch break, I made some coffee, and now my insides feel like this:

My jumping off a haystack.

Me jumping off a haystack.

 

 

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Of Coffee With a Side of Coffee

Girl holding two coffees

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The joy of being a Washingtonian falls into two main categories: coffee and scenery. The scenery is constantly beautiful. In the summer everything is still green, and it’s still breathtaking even when the winter brings clouds of gray. But the coffee, oye, you gotta be careful about that.

There’s several reasons to drink coffee: morning cup, pick-me-up, mid-day, pulling an all-nighter, before dinner, after dinner, romantic date, platonic get together, tough day, long drive, entertaining guests, the list goes on. The typical Washingtonian drinks coffee on a daily basis for any number of reasons, and many of us rely on that morning cup for sanity. Or my personality in a cup as I often say.

But nothing is worse than undoing caffeine’s hard work.

This happens on occasion. I drink my morning cup and the day is going swell. I’m awake, chipper, and feeling extra witty. But during either a break between plans or at work I accidentally fall asleep for 10-20 minutes. This puts me right back to where I started. I’m groggy, cranky, my personality is gone, and all I want to do is to fall back asleep. It feels like I only got an hour of sleep the night before instead of eight. Like I never had coffee. Like I just rolled out of bed. I cannot stress enough how much it sucks starting the day twice.

Day’s like that turn into a constant flow of coffee if taking a long nap is not an option. The normal one cup turns into two, then three, all because I fell asleep for a few minutes mid-day.

Of Tiredness Taking Over

Me asleep

Me asleep

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV).

This verse has been in my head lately, I first heard it on a mission trip. I then heard roughly seven sermons on the subject.

It inspired me in the following way.

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When I am tired, I look tired – the bags under my eyes gain a third grove and the soft skin darkens in color. Without makeup I look like a sickly patient just a few moments from death.

I conquer my exhaustion through fountains of caffeine. Coffee flows through my veins, pushing the blood aside as it pumps me full of energy. I take my makeup kit and begin to cover my flaws. First foundation, followed by spot covering blemishes with concealer, yellow goop to lighten the circles, flesh toned goop to even the tone, powder, mascara – I’m finished. But I still look tired. I’ll spend half the day checking the mirror trying to fix the bags under my eyes as makeup collects in the creases.

When I go to bed, I get distracted, despite how tired I’ve been throughout the day I watch Netflix, Hulu, On Demand. I listen to music, start cleaning, read a book. I start homework, procrastinate homework, and begin homework again.I fall asleep to Jimmy Fallon, Modern Family, or SNL. Silence makes my brain think, silence might let the nightmares return – let me dwell on the demons that have taunted my dreams for years.

When I wake up I’m still tired. I talk like a moody child, whine, and try to lift my head. I hit the alarm thirty times, roll out of bed and rush about to get ready to get ready for the day. If I had gotten up after the first ring I could have been on time. As it is – I’m late.

When I became a woman I got a little better, started to prioritize sleep, began to take naps. But my nightly routine was still a constant game of chicken against slumber. Regardless of who wins I end up the looser.

When I sleep I feel wonderful. But I still look tired. It doesn’t matter how much I sleep, or how bright and perky I feel. If it’s eight hours a night, daily nap, waking up naturally – I’ll always look tired. The bags under my eyes a constant physical mark of my years of abuse to my body, not letting myself sleep since birth.

I am a woman, but I’ve yet to put all of my childish ways behind me.

Of Coffee and Rainy Winter Days

Starbucks Rainy Day

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As Winter quarter began at Western Washington University, a thick gray cloud decided to grace us with its presence. For those of you that came to visit Washington (or the campus) between April and August and thought, I have to live here because it’s so damn pretty, my apologizes. You were surely swayed by the 150 different shades of green, stunning ocean and mountain views, and a beacon of sunlight that only exists consistently for five months of the year. For the other seven months, shiny happy weather disappears into a great big wet cloud of muck – with the occasional tease of a day or two, when it’s suddenly sunny again, only to resort back to wetness literally the second you make outdoor plans. I swear sometimes that the weather is out to get me and enjoys ruining my festivities.

That being said, it’s no wonder that we drink so much coffee around here.

Today I was standing in the Atrium, a place on campus with a few food options and the world’s longest Starbucks line outside of Pikes Place Market. After about ten minutes of standing, inching forward, then standing again, I ordered a tall chai soy latte, only to learn that they were out of chai! I took it is a sign that I should probably not be spending $3-something on a beverage today and instead just got a panini to tie me over through my next class. I’ll do the economically savvy thing when I get home – meaning brew my own coffee and choose from amongst three different creamer options – the poor woman’s latte. (In hindsight – I should have gotten a normal latte – two lecture classes in a row nearly knocked me out).

When waiting for my panini I was watching the door. People were rushing to get inside away from the wind and rain. Some had faces of pure annoyance, others were trying to shield their hair/makeup from getting ruined, and a select few were completely indifferent, walking in the rain as if it was 75′ outside – those are true Washingtonians. When you live where it’s dreary – unless you’re one of the weirdos who avoid coffee just to try to rock the status quo – a Cup of Joe is more than just a means to wake up, it’s a culture.

Coffee culture is hard to explain to those who aren’t surrounded by it, but trust me, I notice when I am no longer in it. Or in your case, when there is now a coffee shop literally every two blocks and a drive through shop in 90% of parking lots, and nearly everyone says, “You wanna meet for coffee sometime/later?” – you’ll know when you’re standing in coffee culture. Coffee is a way to be social outside of the cold weather, it warms your body, and brings a sense of normalcy to your day. In short, it makes you happy even during the most annoying or frustrating of times.

The true testament to the beauty of coffee was when I was watching people as they were walking out of the Atrium today, clutching their steaming drink for warmth and comfort. Almost every person paused for a moment at the door, got their hood or jacket situated, sipped their coffee, took a deep breath, and braved the outdoors – you might even say they had slight pep to their step.

Of the Curse of the French Press

I am cursed! Yet again I’ve somehow knocked my French Press over and it cracked into little bitty pieces.

This is my third one since Christmas 2010.

Tale of the red press:

Red French Press

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It was Valentine’s Day, I was at my ex-boyfriends house and he was cooking me dinner. A beautiful fancy dinner, by the way. I went to go make coffee and I knocked my beautiful Ceramic Red French Press on the ground. It broke into three clean pieces, but unless I wanted to drink adhesives it was not fixable. It almost ruined the holiday.

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