Thursday, October 25, 2007

Song 2

At the risk of potentially turning this space into rantings about coffee instead of rantings about music (?), I'm dipping into the coffee story well for the 2nd week in a row. Because yesterday I had the best coffee in the world: Poop coffee.

Call me crazy, but coffee that's been through an animal, a cat-monkey animal called a Paradoxurus, is the best I've ever tasted. I almost always take cream & sugar in my coffee, but this poop coffee didn't need any. Smooth, nutty, silky. Good to the last drop.

The coffee is actually called Kopi Luwak. Calling it Kopi Luwak probably gets more first-time customers than calling it poop coffee. It's expensive as hell. 60 bucks a cup. A cup! Three dudes from work and I went to our new favorite coffee house, Funnel Mill, because occasionally Funnel Mill sells Kopi Luwak at half-price, and yesterday was our lucky day. It was a brothers-in-arms sorta effort because we figured nobody should drink poop coffee by themselves.

Here's what the Funnel Mill site says about Kopi Luwak:

Kopi Luwak coffee comes from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, an area well-known for its excellent coffee. Also native to the area is a small civet- like animal called a Paradoxurus. That's the scientific name, but the locals called them Luwaks. These little mammals live in the trees and one of their favorite foods is the red, ripe coffee cherry. They eat the cherries, bean and all. While the beans are in the Luwak's stomach, they undergo chemical treatments and fermentations. The beans finish the journey through the digestive system, exit. The still-intact beans are collected from the forest floor, and are cleaned, then roasted and ground just like any other coffee.

Our group was in agreement that Kopi Luwak is one of the best coffees we'd ever tasted. Was it worth 30 bucks? Probably not. But the fact that this coffee is rare because it's been through a cat-monkey made the experience worth every penny. The owner of Funnel Mill even brought a pad that has the names of the individuals who've dared to try Kopi Luwak, and he asked us to add our names to the list. After I was the last of us to sign, the owner told us he'd be sending us personalized Kopi Luwak mugs with our number on it. I'm lucky 13.

As we were settling the bill, the woman behind the register told us that because of global warming, it's getting harder and harder to find the Paradoxurus and their magical coffee-enhancing intestines, so Funnel Mill doesn't get very many Kopi Luwak beans anymore. So better run out to your local coffee shop and ask for some poop coffee! Pronto!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

War Stories

After a visit to the doctor and finding out that my peak flow rate was 10% lower than it was two weeks ago, I drove to get some coffee. I'd missed the 3 o'clock cup, and caffeine is supposed to be good medicine for asthma, so I pulled into the Starbucks in Brentwood.

There was hardly anybody in there. Nobody in line, one guy grabbing a cup from the pickup area, so I stepped right up to the register and ordered a grande iced coffee. $2.35. A silver platter displayed a bevy of mini coffee cakes. I asked the register guy, "Are these samples?" He said yeah, so I grabbed a chocolate one and took a bite.

By the time I strolled over to the pickup area, the barista yelled "GRANDE ICED COFFEE". After all, it merely took pouring the iced coffee into a plastic cup. The barista folded his arms and leaned back against the sink area. I asked "Do you guys have that liquid sweetener?" He begrudgingly grabbed my coffee, and as he added the sweetener he said "Next time ask for it at the register."

I took another bite of the chocolate coffee cake and then thought "Did I just get reprimanded by a barista who's not busy at all?" I replied mid-chew "They usually ask when I order." And I grabbed my coffee and walked over to get a straw.

As I walked away I could hear the barista giving it to the register guy, "BAD, BAD, BAD". Wild afternoon at the Starbucks in Brentwood.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Here Comes Sickness

I've been sick for working on two weeks now. My new and not-improved immune system has been doing a pretty lame job of keeping up. Symptoms are: congested as hell, occasional cough, runny nose. My co-workers are afraid of me.

I believe I've shared my germs with two people now. Oh yeah, and I got my kid sick too, so that makes three (or two and a half if you're counting restaurant style). This thing has gotten so old that I'm not resorting to taking a daily multivitamin and skipping the 3rd cup of coffee. The coffee's the really hard part.

One of these days I suppose I should see a doctor to give me some antibiotics or perhaps a bottle of pills to make me feel better. But for now, just make sure to get your daily vitamin C to keep this thing away. Cuz it's coming to a town near you soon.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Goodbye Cruel World

I'm a goner. They didn't tell me how long I've got to live. I hope it's not too painful. But when a doctor tells you it's trouble, then you're done. They didn't have to be so grim about it, but they did have to let me know the horrible news. I've got gum disease.

I know, I know. Thanks for all your sympathy. I appreciate it. It's probably one of the worst of all diseases, and the hygienists were certainly very very very concerned about it, but I know I must accept it and accept my fate.

The doctor told me I've got maybe, maybe another 20 years before a tooth falls out. I know. I know. It's horrific. I know. But at least knowing, well, that's half the battle. The dental team researched my case long and hard (possibly over 12 minutes at the very least) and they couldn't come up with any possible explanation for the state of my gums. I was quick to point out that I did all I could: Brushing often, flossing nightly, even using mouthwash. They were convinced my hard-livin ways were to blame, but I eventually told them I've got bad genes.

They've given me one final chance to make it through. Gave me a referral to see a periodontal specialist. It's my only hope. Keep me in your prayers, if you please.