Sunday, February 8, 2009

Notes from a Sunday morning

Crack and beans

Do me a favor. (Please.) Even if you don't read the rest of this, leave me a comment letting me know what kind of coffee you drink. Specifically, I'm interested in the kind of brew you make in your home coffee pot. Thank you.

I'm asking because we are having coffee trouble at my house. Last year, before Graci and I were sharing an apartment, we both bought our coffee every morning, often in the hospital. This year, we decided that we would buy a coffee pot and make our own. Saving money, waking up to caffeine. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

The first coffee that Graci bought was called Ugly Mug. It was on sale. We tried it. We liked it. We have tried several other kinds of coffee since. We haven't really liked them. So, last night, we were at the store picking up chips and salsa for a Saturday night margaritas and a movie get together when we wandered into the coffee aisle to pick up some more Ugly Mug. No longer on sale, it was TWELVE DOLLARS for a single bag. TWELVE DOLLARS.

It reminds me of the way dealers get you to buy crack. They give you the first hit for free, and then...wham, you're hooked. And you have to start paying TWELVE DOLLARS a bag for the stuff. Nice try, Ugly Mug pushers, but my roommate and I aren't falling for this shit.

So...if you have a minute, tell me a bit about your morning brew.

Massive transfusion protocol (courtesy of not yet a doctor, not quite an economist)

Watching the national news coverage this week and Meet the Press this morning, I have decided that our Congress men and women need to spend a Saturday night in a trauma bay. Not as the trauma... although, I must admit, I have occasionally been tempted to swing blunt objects in their general direction.

No, I'm actually suggesting that we build them some kind of observation booth (heaven forbid they should get bodily fluids on their shoes) so that they can watch a trauma team deal with massive blood loss. Because right now, while our economy hemorrhages, our elected officials are fighting about fighting. And, they are saying things like "we need to slow down here" and "let's have a series of procedural votes."

Tell you what, people, next time you find yourself in that trauma bay as a patient, we'll have a series of procedural votes. Literally. We'll vote about each and every procedure before we do it--everything from the rectal exam to the chest compressions. We'll slow down and put it to a vote.

Because, as you said, that's what the American people would want us to do.

On the policy end, let me just say, giving working families more of their dollars sounds great. But, fewer families are working right now. Those people don't need an income tax cut, they need an INCOME. Spending on infrastructure not only shores up our shitty, shitty infrastructure (if you'd like a tour of said shittyness, spend a few months traveling around the country, using only public transportation), but it also creates jobs.

Loosely returning to the above trauma analogy: If you lose blood, we can temporarily restore your blood pressure with IV fluids; but, in order to save your life, we have to give you blood. Tax cuts are like IV fluids. Spending on infrastructure is blood.

And, fighting about fighting is a good way to lose the patient.

All the weird love that's fit to print

On Sunday mornings, I flip through The New York Times online. I pretend that I'm interested in the national news. Honestly, I am there for the wedding announcements. I know, I know. It doesn't get much more stereotypically desperate, single woman than that. But, although I am certainly not looking to get married again, I have not sworn off relationships forever.

I'm cynical, but I'm not bitter.

There is always one couple in The Times that reinforces my optimistic suspicion that there may, in fact, be someone for everyone. This week, that couple is Rachel and Seth. They are the first people featured in a video about half way down the page--a video that starts and ends with a small dog obsessively licking a bald man's cranium. They fell for each other in an anti-Oprah succession book club. (And really, who hasn't met the love of their life at one of those?) But, my favorite part is when they show you the picture of the two of them trying to reenact the famous lift from Dirty Dancing.

Something about it makes me laugh. With them, not at them. Like I said, I may be cynical, but I'm not bitter.


☆Susan☆ said...

I don't drink coffee, so I can't help you out there, but I went to the NYT website and watched all those videos, so thanks for a fun morning!

.j.william. said...

this is our favorite: Brewing Hope. It's proof positive that fair trade coffee can taste the best, too.

Howevs, on the site it's a bit pricey (we get it for $9). I don't know how many stores carry it; I think it's a michigan thing.

Is there a food co-op or similar in town? That's where we've had the best luck. We also get Equal Exchange coffee at our co-op. It seems more widely available and is quite good, too.

☆Susan☆ said...

M and S drink Trader Joe's smooth and mellow blend, and they drink lots of coffee, so I'd assume it's good. Probably pretty cheap too.

gitz said...

I honestly can't stand the taste of coffee. Don't even like it in desserts where they mix the taste of coffee with chocolate. Ruin a perfectly good chocolate dessert in my opinion.

In other words, I'm a worthless piece of unhelpful crap when it comes to coffee suggestions. Sorry :)

And I'm feeling like a bad person because I'm not bitter at all about being single, but from the way you described that couple in the Times, I'm pretty sure I would have been laughing AT them, not WITH them. Just being honest :)

Shan said...

Guten afternoon T. Well, I don't manage to be the coffee snob that my husband is. But if you have a Sam's in your area, their brand of Columbian coffee is REALLY good and snob approved. I don't know if Cosco has such a thing as we only have Wal-Mart related company's here in Arkansas. ;) I've also heard good things about 8 O'clock coffee brand which is also quite affordable. I mostly just buy Columbian Folgers for our everyday use. I'm pretty easy to please if it's strong enough and doesn't have too much acid.

Shan said...

Oh my goodness Rachel and Seth are awesome. I love people like that. Such understated humor. They could be on "This American Life" talking to Ira. She totally reminds me of the fan on the Flight of the Conchords and if you haven't seen that show, you must immediately!! Find it on youtube right now and then watch the series on DVD. DO IT!!!

Back to my mom likes to say....Every jar has a lid. Rachel and Seth are proof of that.

Maria said...

I am a coffee snob. At my office, we are supposed to take turns to buy coffee and someone recently bought Maxwell House and it is so not good to the last drop. It tastes like coffee mixed with an ashtray's contents.

I like Cafe du Monde, French Market or Cafe Bustelo.

At home, we buy Dunkin' Donuts brand because Bing refuses to spend more than 8 bucks on coffee. It is not bad, but it can't touch Cafe Bustelo.

Anonymous said...

My only criteria is that it be fair trade. I have few options where I love in that category and usually buy Paul Newman's Columbian or Breakfast Blend. My son (12) is a coffee hound and gave it the thumbs up.

deboo said...

Hey T! If I could wake up with a caffeine drip I'd be in heaven - taste wouldn't matter. But since it does we get our coffee at a mom & pop coffee & tea store called "Has Beans" in San Ramon. Been going there since 1988. I've watched their kids grow up, to to college, and have kids of their own.

But, that's not what you want to know.

We buy a pound of French Roast mixed with vanilla flavored beans. Yummo! Doesn't really taste like flavored coffee; it's a subtle vanilla flavor. $8 or $9. $12 seems a bit high even out here in the Bay Area.

Terroni said...

Thank you for all of the suggestions, friends!

Eric said...

I love coffee and drink it pretty much all morning and then a couple of cups in the evening. At home I have a pound of Lavazza that I got on sale, but I rarely make coffee at home anymore.
I usually get my first cup of the day at one of our local coffee shops, Sacred Grounds. They use coffee from a roaster of the same name (they're not the same company though) and all of their coffees are organic, very good, and several are fair trade. You can find them online at
At work we use Farmer Bros., it's a good, inexpensive coffee and I think it's better than most coffee shops' brewed coffee.
Having said all that I think that the water is as important if not more so than the brand of coffee. If the water tastes like shit out of the tap so will the coffee.
I think that the technique is important also. My grandpa, dad and I used to make what grandpa called cowboy coffee using an old blue and white enamel covered percolator perched on a rock next to a camp fire. We'd add lots of grounds and cold well water and boil the hell out of it until it was coffee ever.
The video was great, by the way. There is hope. Funny how the dog looked like him though.

nina said...

whatever is on sale... lately though i am so lazy in the morning that i heat water and lemon juice because i don't want to bother making coffee. soon i will just squirt lemon juice in my mouth and go.

dive said...

Cynical is good, T. Bitter is bad, especially in love and coffee.

My home coffee is Cuban, from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign shop (under "Marxist shopping" in my sidebar). Delicious, and so satisfying to stick it to the US embargo.
At the office I am temporarily (the little Brazilian deli is being refurbished) reduced to drinking "major chain" coffee from Neros, but it's still good as they give me an extra shot for free.

Sassy Sundry said...

My coffee of the moment is Equal Exchange Organic Bolivian. It's not my absolute favorite coffee, but it is reasonable and it's good.

I really love that wedding announcement. Awesome.

joshua said...

I buy something at the grocery that sounds like it doesn't have flavor. Like "Colombian" or something like that. My favorite coffee is from the cart on the corner, which I can't duplicate really.

MmeBenaut said...

Ah, for a medical person Terroni, you're doing quite well in the economics and politics departments! :)