Category Archives: coffee

how to exist when a giant is sitting on your chest

  1. wake up weary and coughing
  2. fan biscuit flames away from the smoke detector
  3. inexplicably cause Keurig to explode all over the kitchen
  4. drink mediocre coffee remnants
  5. chain-smoke How I Met Your Mother
  6. don hoodie and purchase supplies for nachos
  7. eat said nachos
  8. try to comprehend scholarly journal articles
  9. give up
  10. eat more nachos
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because obviously they put cream and sugar in their coffee in hell.

I’ve learned I like to consume things that aren’t always pleasurable from the get-go.

Black coffee.


Habanero salsa.


And strangely it’s the bitterness, the acrid pain that endear these things to me. Which (naturally) got me to thinking about heaven.

Spicy foods induce pain, and bitterness connotes unpleasantness, so in heaven when every wrong is made right will coffee be bitter, will whiskey still be pungent, will salsa be spicy, will onions be biting? Are the sharpness and slightly disagreeable natures of these foods results of the fall? Or perhaps were our palates ruined by the fall and so our appreciation of such things is an illicit desire?

Oh, now I don’t like that conclusion one bit. I very much want to drink my coffee black in heaven and know that it’s been redeemed.

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“Well, that was terrifying,” she cried.

On the night of March 30, two hours after I fell asleep, I woke up and suddenly realized Several Key Facts about my circumstances.

  1. I was at work at Payne’s.
  2. My name was Arthur Conan Doyle.
  3. Mark Gatiss and Mycroft Holmes were sitting in booth number 13, and I need to bring them their coffee immediately.

I set out from my bed to do so.

And then I stepped on Jessie’s neck.

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I will now offer the soundest advice for deciding between two brownie recipes: Make both.

That’s what I did this weekend.

Recipe 1: Moosewood Fudge Brownies, from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook

Recipe 2: Amazing Black Bean Brownies

And the adventure begins!


Cast of characters for Recipe 1. Please note the strong coffee on the right.

yep. them be beans.

Decidedly more disheveled cast of characters for Recipe 2.

(brownie batter. stay tuned for the baked details.)

Recipe 1 has come out of the oven!

kitchen explosion

Recipe 2 comes out of the oven and compounds the mess that has already exploded all over the kitchen.

in which Hannah washes the dishes like a boss

Behold! A cleaned kitchen!

secretly I baked a batch of marble in the oven.

Marbley Recipe 2 brownies ready to cut.

I made dem dere brownies.

Proof that these brownies were crafted by myself.

brownies on vacation, basking in the sunlight

Brownie Recipes 1 (front) and 2 (back), in all their supremely edible glory. A unbiased panel of five taste-testers was selected precisely because of the convenience of their availability. Their judgments are as follows:

Corinne eats the brownies with a side of gleefulness

Corinne: Recipe 1 was not typical; a fluffy texture but a dense flavor. Although the flavor was amazing, this recipe makes a better cake than a brownie. When Recipe 2 was warm (and not cooked long enough), the beans were too noticeable. Overall, however, the dark chocolate meshed well with the coffee flavor, and as far as brownies go, this one was the best. “I like that a lot. They really are quite marvelous.”

Becca eats the brownies with a side of amazement

Becca: Recipe 1 is not quite like a brownie, and a bit dry. However, the cinnamon gives the dessert a rounded, full-bodied flavor. The smooth coffee flavor of Recipe 2 is excellent; the chocolatey goodness went down smoothly and, although intense, was not overwhelming. Recipe 2 improves much after baking a bit longer and refrigerating.

Hannah eats the brownies with a side of skepticism

Hannah: Recipe 1 has amazing flavor, but an odd texture; somehow fluffy and dense at the same time. Before baking, the batter was the most heavenly substance. Recipe 2 is intense and decadent, rather amazing after baking longer.

Jaime eats brownies with a side of haircut

Jaime: Both brownies tasted excellent, but Recipe 2 won out because of its fudginess and the intensity of the chocolate and coffee.

Jessie eats brownies with a side of snarkJessie: Recipe 1 had a sub-excellent texture. Recipe 2 was quite good, and similar to an Italian espresso chocolate. It was “better than one would have expected from a brownie,” more like a bar of chocolate.

brownies of glory and hallelujah choirs

Recipe 1 Verdict: Good flavor, but lacking in browniness. I’d like to play around with the recipe to either make an excellent chocolate mousse or a more fudgy brownie.

winner brownies (all you other brownies, get out the way)

Recipe 2 Verdict: Pretty amazing (and gluten free!). The only con to this recipe was the effort involved; for a brownie it’s a pretty complicated recipe. But for a result of over 40 excellent brownies? I’d say it’s worth it.

Some overall comments:

“I like how they are both decadent, but not cloyingly so.” – Corinne

“One is quite small and the other is rather large.” – Jessie

“It’s like no cheese I’ve ever tasted!” – Wallace

On a Contrary Note

I really don’t want to be doing this.

I don’t want to be studying for two more years so I can get a higher paying job.

It’s one of these moments again where I remember that all I want to do is open a haven of good coffee, used books, and local art, and/or start it all over again and become a potter or a linguist.

I don’t care about those high-power jobs lurking in the future. I don’t mind being broke. I just want to revel in the simple things.

And right now, I am, honestly, perfectly, happy.

I like living in my tiny apartment with three other women, with light switches and outlets and thermostats all hung at crooked angles, cranking the heat down in the winter to save electricity and walking around wrapped in my blanket toga.

I’ve got a kettle for my tea, a press for my coffee, and loads of British TV on youtube. I’m unsure what else I could need.

I’m worried that my aspirations for the future will be far below my pay grade, and I’m worried that I’ll mind.

It might just be one of those cold days where drinking tea seems like the world’s best occupation, and the 2×4 of reality will hit me upside the head tomorrow.

In other news, I have just burned a second batch of rice.


I began reading Radical by David Platt this morning, and although I’m only five and a half chapters through, I’m about ready to recommend it as required reading for every Christian. This message is needed and gives me courage. More thoughts later, when I’m more fully informed.

Also, I have been woefully remiss in my gratitudinal posts. I’ve decided I need to keep a gratitudinal journal and keep myself committed to this. Recently, however:

#32 – Provision of part-time job opportunities.

#33 – Opportunities for trust (also known less thankfully as “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON IN MY LIFE?”)

#34 – Espresso. More specifically, Americanos. However, as I found out just this morning, not particularly from Starbucks. In this regard, I prefer the Lone Star Coffee Bar.

#35 – Unspeakable, unrealistic peace.

#36 – Friends who were given me by an all-merciful God.

A Day in the Life of the Caffeine-Intoxicated

Yesterday I stayed up until 3 in the morning writing a midterm, and then proceeded to wake up at 7 to go to class. I came back after my 8:00 class, kept working on the midterm, and made myself a pot of coffee. Yes, an entire pot. According to the American Psychological Association, I was intoxicated.

As you can imagine, the lack of sleep plus the hyperconsumption of coffee made for strange brain activity throughout the day. I jotted down notes about what I was thinking … and it makes me now say, “Oh dear.” Here we go…

9:30 a.m.: I looked outside my window and I thought to myself, “Oh man, it’s really windy today!” (it was) “It’s so windy the wind is going horizontal!” (I’d like to see a vertical wind day…)

8:00 and 11:00 a.m.: Yesterday in Abnormal Psych we talked about drugs. What they do to your body, what they look like, what they’re called on the streets, how one uses them. And then in Research in Psych we were talking about experimental designs, and somehow the example experiment to help us remember had to do with Mr. Stevenson’s pussy gonorrhea slides. Sex, drugs … now all we needed was rock & roll. However, the next two classes did not deliver.

11:00 a.m.: All my inhibitions about not being able to draw melted away, and I drew this in Research:Drawing1Scott walked by and was like, “Um, Chupp? You like coffee, eh? … love of my life? Really?” By the way, the Solomon Four-Group Design is the creme-de-la-creme of true experimental designs.

12:10 p.m.: I was sitting on a couch in the library with my computer on my lap, and I had the strange feeling that I needed to put on a seat belt.

12:30 p.m.: I really don’t know how I can be so eloquent (at least, use such big words) in such a state of mind … check out this sentence. “In addition, his subordination to the preeminence of science cuts deeply at the foundations of Christian belief. ” Wha…huh??

This is my current desktop background (yes, I’m such a girl, I know):

Paul BettanyIt was just so that my midterm sat on the left side, and the internet browser was in the bottom right, so Paul Bettany’s eyes stared at me while I was writing about the integration of psychology and Christianity. It was kind of distracting at times.

1:00 p.m.: I drew a lot of pictures in Persuasion & Influence. A lot. For example:

Drawing2Exhibit A: A razor blade and some heroin. Obviously influenced by Abnormal Psych.

Drawing3Exhibit B: A lovely rendition of the overhead projector, with a small monster emerging. Also some extra credit.

Drawing4Exhibit C: Some lady sits among random swirls and notes about metaphor.

Drawing5Exhibit D: An awesome guitar. Inspired by Laura Vela.

Drawing6Exhibit E: I am not sure what this is. But I drew it nonetheless.

2:15 p.m.: I don’t remember why I said this… we were talking about candy for some reason in Hebrew class. And we mentioned how candy is much more fun than Hebrew. So then my next logical thought (and subsequent exclamation) was “Exegesis of candy!”

3:00 p.m.: I return from Hebrew and open up my computer to madly finish my midterm in two hours. …and it’s frozen. The brightness won’t turn up, the mouse won’t click, the dashboard won’t come up. Dang. So I close my computer, pray a tiny prayer, and open it up again. Nothing. Black. No screen. So I did what seemed most reasonable – freaking out. Then I called Jesse and Colgan, who were almost stumped. They were about to install Linux or something when Charles Wallace decided he wanted to live again. It was very exciting and I typed in my password and then my desktop background popped up. I said, “uhh….well, I’m a girl!” and thanked them for their help turning on my computer, and ran upstairs.

3:45 p.m.: Almost done with paper. 2-second mental break to view desktop background. Tempted to go look at my folder of nice pictures. Reprimand to self: “What is more important, Joe Anderson, or your midterm??”Joe Anderson 4*sigh* … my midterm.

You know something’s wrong when you stop typing and your hands keep shaking. And when you’ve listened to the same playlist of undistractable, semi-lyricless songs 5 times in a row.

Menu for the day – 2 strawberry pop tarts. 1 pot of coffee. 1 chicken wrap. Barbecue chicken sandwich, mac & cheese, french fries. So healthy.

(oh what a day)

Last Night, in the Words of Derek O’Brien, Green Beret

“You guys mind if I sit down? Anyone sitting here?”

“I’ve got six hours before I ship out to Afghanistan, and I thought it’d be nice to talk to some civilians.”

“No, I don’t need coffee, I’m shaking enough as it is.”

“I came over here because my buddy, my roommate, well, his girlfriend is there, and they started while I was in the room! Talk about awkward.”

“Who knew that nerds were so fun? You guys are great. I was actually a closet nerd in high school, a band geek. My family never knew that I was in choir.”

“I’m past the front line. The Green Berets, we’re the first to go in. If there’s any Al Qaeda or Taliban around, we get to take care of ’em.”

“Why’d I join the army? Cause I’m good at it. I’m good at yelling at people.”

“My girlfriend broke up with me two days ago. That I night I grabbed the nearest waitress and … See, all the girls in Pendleton are crazy for army guys. Except for my girlfriend of two years.”

“Why aren’t I sleeping? You try it. You try sleeping the night before you’re gonna go shoot people.”

“My goal is to make it through life without getting shot or stabbed. If I do that, I win.”

“I’m gonna try and take classes while I’m over there. Going into music, actually.”

“Well… it was real fun talking to you guys. I’ll never see you again. I never will!”