In Bloom

photographymusicEastern PennsylvaniaCOVID-19

Magnolia tree in all its glory

I cough into my shoulder.
I sneeze into my shoulder.
I watch as the dates marked on my calendar
for something exciting
pass me by.

I'm thankful that I celebrated my
birthday just before people started
taking COVID-19 seriously,
so I got to hear the sound of Miguel Zenon's sax,
taste a last frozen margherita,
and blast... R.E.M. one last time.

Magnolia tree in all its glory

What I've Learned In Six Years of Coffee Drinking

coffee

[Note: please forgive any kinks with the photo hosting here. I'm trying to switch to hosting images in git lfs instead of just having a bunch of binaries checked into git, and it was a bit of a snag for the initial setup. Subsequent posts shouldn't be affected.]

Latte with impressive cat art. Bogota, Sept. 2017
Latte with impressive cat art. Bogota, Sept. 2017

On one particular March morning I rolled out of bed in South Brooklyn, and I have to be honest, I think I had a slight headache.

What was the cause of this ailment? Was it COVID-19, or the glass of whiskey I had last night?

Actually, I think it was caffeine withdrawl. Definitely, caffeine withdrawl.

Luckily, the cure was at hand, despite self-quarantine. I only had three pounds of coffee and no one to drink it with. Things were gonna be fine.

A beautifully presented coffee alongside Greek pastries, somewhere on Gökçeada. April 2016.
A beautifully presented coffee alongside Greek pastries, somewhere on Gökçeada. April 2016.

So, Coffee

Sometimes, the distance between being a novice about something, and becoming something of a snob about it is a relatively short road. I believe I transitioned from stirring instant coffee granules in a cup of cold milk with a fork to doing fancy pour-over with a scale in... about a year's time. Is this an improvement? My palate seems to think so... Well, there's less weird chemicals at least.

My headache-addled state this morning is ironic, because I avoided drinking coffee for quite a long time.

In my childhood, I looked down on people who required their caffeine dose in order to start their day, becoming dependent on a substance that offered no escape from rote daily routine. However, I did really like the smell of coffee.

I avoided drinking coffee (whilst being quite partial to tea) until I was three-quarters of the way through undergrad.

I started with the most ritualistic gateway drug of all.