Monday, January 21, 2008

In praise of coffee

This is my coffee butler. Ha ha. At least, that is what I tell students when I do school visits and show them my silly slide show about the writer's life. And I tell them this quote:

"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee."
-Flash Rosenburg

Ah, coffee! I praise thee! I have in recent weeks cut out coffee. Cold turkey. Like a silly fool. But last week I gave in (that was when I turned into a zombie at the antique mall) and this morning, too. And miraculously my eyes peeled open and my brain started to function. I love coffee. I love the smell, the taste, the feel of my brain coming to life. So, I am unquitting. I am, however, not going to use the big white cup that the coffee butler above is holding. You need to understand, that cup is so big that, overturned, I could wear it as a hat. I shall indulge in the occasional wee cup of coffee magic instead.

(Jim tells me that it was not until now that he discovered that my personality is "90% coffee." ha ha!)

Some more quotes in praise of coffee:

"This Satan's drink is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall cheat Satan by baptizing it."**
- unknown, 16th century

"As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move. . . similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffiee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle."
-Honore de Balzac

"Coffee is a great power in my life."
-Balzac again (that dude was a coffee lover!)

"The voodoo priest and all his powders were nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions in the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself."
-Mark Helprin (the first half of this quote graces one of my favorite Laini's Ladies, incidentally. And that -- in her hands -- that is exactly the same coffee cup as the one on the coffee butler's tray!)

Off that subject, who has been having Jane Austen Sundays? I quite liked Northanger Abbey last night. It's a sweet, simple book. I had never realized that, though it was the first novel she wrote and sold, it was never published in her lifetime. Huh. I thought the end was rushed, but it overall was not as abridged-feeling as Persuasion, being a less complex and emotional story. I liked the earnestness of Catherine Moreland, and I really liked the actor who played Henry. Incidentally, I discovered by IMDB'ing him (another 21st century verb, that), that there has been a television adaptation of Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart novels -- The Ruby in the Smoke, and The Shadow in the North. Brit-pop star Billie Piper (who also plays Fanny Price in next week's Mansfield Park -- how incestuous is British television!?) stars as Sally. I have put them to the top of our Netflix queue, which is generally ruled by Jim with an iron fist -- actually, it is because I just cannot be bothered with it, Jim has become Supreme Commander of the Queue. I don't think he minds.

Also, two of my favorite people have recently joined the blogworld. My sister, "snakeymama," the herpetologist: HER BLOG is likely to concern itself with rattlesnakes and pink boa constrictors and such, and her first post tells more about being on a Honduran island for a whole week with only one pair of socks (And some rum. And a tarantula or two).

Also, my best friend from highschool, Lori, who long ago ran away and married a delightful Dutchman and wrangled herself some much coveted EU citizenship and a very lovely canalside life in Amsterdam, complete with an international gaggle of friends from South Africa and Italy and India and Finland (a Finnish rockstar, no less) and everywhere else -- she can now be found HERE.

Yay! Welcome, girls!

**Coffee is not the only culinary agent of Satan, apparently. A French cleric in 1620 called chocolate ". . . the damnable agent of necromancers and sorcerors." tee hee.


Enna Isilee said...

I don't drink coffee, but I am partial to the occasional irish-creme steamed milk. Mm.

Anonymous said...

I will never drink coffee again, it tastes bad. :P

Deirdre said...

Let's be bad and have coffee and chocolate at the same time. ;)

I used to be a tea drinker - all day long - until sometime last year when I found myself craving coffee. Can't say I can tell a good cup of coffee from one that's not so good, but I do like the stuff. I have a book tucked away at work about coffee. The title escapes me right now, but it looks like fun.

xegbp said...

I can not live without coffee!

I also have been watching the Jane Austin on Masterpiece Theater and have generally enjoyed both productions so far. There is though a wonderful version of Persuasion staring Ciaran Hinds who reminds me of Alan Rickman just a little bit, made in 1995 that I love and it is a fullbodied version.

Vivian Mahoney said...

I love a good cup of coffee! Who knew there were cool quotes for coffee!

I can't wait until I can watch Colin Firth in Pride & Prejudice tonight. Enjoy!

Amber Lough said...

I'm more of a tea drinker, mostly because coffee makes me twitch (hard to keep my fingers on the right keys that way), but coffee smells SO GOOD.

My favorite drinks are green tea lattes and earl grey with milk and honey...mmm!

Loved the comments by Balzac, by the way. I forget sometimes that coffee has been around for such a long time. I think I associate it with cool French cafe too much.

Amber said...

QUIT COFFEE???!!! What? I'm not following... What is this 'quit' you speak of? Huh??

Mmmmm, coffe AND chocolate... As good as baaaacon.

LOL at Jim. Heh!


Heather said...

Don't hurt me, but I have never actually drank regular coffee, except on the occasions where I was having an asthma attack and didn't have medicine (it works, really!)(And by way of an aside, I learned about that from Quantum Leap...really!) However, I DO engage in sugary, milky, slightly coffee tasting latte-ish things once in awhile. I am, 1000%, a tea drinker. So if we ever have a visit, all the coffee will be YOURS!

Q said...

Steamed milk...

Camille said...

Coffee is my favorite word. I never drank it until I lived in France. The joy of coffee has been with me ever since.