Tag Archives: Coffee

The Bitter Gene

2 May

On Friday, we had a gathering of faculty and staff to celebrate the end of another academic year. As a few of us sat around a table, the conversation jumped from one topic to another. During this time, someone stated that they liked a tweet that I created about my distaste for coffee. He also does not like coffee and was happy to find someone who agrees with him.Coffee

As we bonded over this issue, the dialogue moved from the liquid and toward those who drink it. Basically, we hate it when coffee drinkers look at us like we are crazy. It usually goes like this:

Would you like a cup of coffee?

No thanks, I do not drink coffee?

They stand in stunned silence and act like they are looking at an alien.

Anyway, one of the biologists overheard our conversation and asked if I like beer, another liquid that I am not crazy about. I will drink it if there is nothing else around. I will also drink it if I am in a crowded bar, and it is the simplest thing to order. However, I have never craved a beer.

All of my life, I have heard people say, “A cold beer would be really good right now.” If I am thirsty I may desire water, a soft drink, an energy drink, chocolate milk. Heck, anything. However, I have never thought to myself, “I would love to have a beer.”

Getting to the point. I told the biologist that I am not a fan of beer, either.

He said that I have the Bitter Gene and that my chemical makeup means that I taste coffee and beer differently from others. I am getting one taste, and they are getting another one.

Now, I know what to say when someone asks how there is any way that I do not like coffee. It is simple. I am genetically superior.


A Confession is Brewing

18 Sep

I have a confession to make to the readers of this blog. It is something that many people who know me have a difficult time understanding. It places me in a minority of people who others may think of as strange, weird, un-American and totally out of the loop. What is my confession?

I do not drink coffee.

Understand that I know a lot of people who love coffee. My wife cannot start her day properly without a cup or two. Other members of my family are also coffee drinkers. One of my good friends at work always has a styrofoam cup in his hand, which led me to buy this for his office door.image-12

Heck, I was having a meeting with another coworker when he asked if I wanted some coffee. When I told him that I did not drink coffee, he looked at me like I had three heads.

I know that they, and millions of other people, love coffee. However, I never grasped that love. I am sure this is because my parents did not drink coffee, but, as I grew up, the urge never hit me.

When I was in high school, my summer job was working on the loading dock of a factory. Imagine working in a metal building during the hottest and most humid part of the year. It was a job where everyone looked forward to break time, where they could get into the air conditioning and get a cold drink.

At least, I looked forward to getting a cold drink. Several of my coworkers would pour a hot cup of coffee. I could never understand that. I needed to feel something cold, and they were taking in hot liquid. They explained it by saying that coffee actually cooled you off better than something cold. I think that was crap. There is nothing sensible about drinking something hot while working in a hot factory.

I will give them credit for drinking their coffee black. What is that old cowboy saying? Coffee is not strong enough unless a horseshoe can stand up in it. These days, people drink coffee with sugar, whipped cream, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, peppermint and other kinds of flavors. For this, I cannot blame them. If I was going to drink coffee, then I would want to cover up the taste, too.

When I was a kid, my mom used to get mad when I refused to eat something because it tasted bad. She would always ask if I had ever tried it. That argument does not fly with coffee. I have tried it, and it does not suit my palate. Those guys in the factory break room used to say that you had to acquire a taste for coffee. I was told the same thing about beer and have the same response about both. If I do not like something the first time I try it, then why would I want to drink it until I like it? You either like something, or you do not.

As someone who does not like coffee, I realize that I have missed out on the coffeehouse experience. I think it would be cool to hang out in a coffeehouse and be Bohemian for a while. Get away from the hustle and bustle of life; sit by a fire with a steaming cup; and listen to someone singing with an acoustic guitar. Or, go in with a laptop and scroll blogs while a poetry reading goes on in the background.

I am not kidding about that last paragraph. I really feel like I have missed out by not emersing myself in that atmosphere on occasion. To me, that would be the one plus of being a coffee lover. However, here is the thing. Most coffee drinkers do not take advantage of that break from real life. They pull up to the drive-thru window and take the coffee into the hustle and bustle with them.

Look, I have an issue with drive-thru windows, anyway. One of my early blog posts was about the uselessness of a drive-thru window at Sonic, and I will walk into a place a thousand times before pulling up to the window. There is something more personal about doing business inside a business. However, I think the drive-thru at a coffeehouse truly takes away from the whole reason coffeehouses exist in the first place.

This is not a knock at people who drink coffee. I think it is wonderful that they have something that gives them that much satisfaction and pleasure. However, I will take my caffeine cold and carbonated in a Coke Zero. If I could get those coffeehouses to turn themselves into Coke Zero houses, then the world would be a perfect place.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

18 Aug

Yes, I lifted the title from a classic song written by Kris Kristofferson. It’s a great song made popular by Johnny Cash, but no one sings it like Kristofferson himself. Anyway, this post is not about the song. It’s about a regular Sunday morning at our house.

Necole always wakes up first, and her internal clock makes it happen. I have never had an internal clock that works like that. Mine always tells me to keep on sleeping. Mornings are the usual time for her to get things done around the house while everyone else is out of her way. However, I get the feeling that this morning was different and involved coffee, a chair, a blanket and the television.

Daisy Dog was the next one to wake up. I could feel her start to shift around on the bed. Then, the scratching began. That’s always the sign that she is awake. At some point, she will jump from the bed, and I get up to open the door for her. The rest of her morning has been filled with more lying around and looking out the window for rabbits.

I am the next person to arise, and this morning I arose earlier than usual. It was a combination of Daisy Dog and my knowing that tomorrow I will have to wake up early for real. Inservice begins. That means a day full of listening to people talk and a spirited game of Inservice Bingo.Bingo

Like I said, this morning came earlier than usual. With Necole all the way across the house, I texted her about the plans for the day. We had discussed trying a new church this morning, but that plan changed. Due to her mom’s birthday luncheon, the early service was the only one we could attend. We just didn’t see that one happening. Why?

Isabella is still asleep. She spent yesterday at the county fair and is probably to pooped to pop. Our county fair is the largest fair in the state. It’s really something to see.Wilson County Fair

Anyway, this has been a slow-moving morning. After getting out of bed, I got into the shower. I’m not someone who can be comfortable while feeling dirty. Once I am up, I need to get clean and get dressed. I usually don’t listen to the radio while in the shower, but, this morning, I was up early enough to catch “Big Orange Sunday” on 104.5 The Zone. It’s a show all about the University of Tennessee. It’s getting close to football season, so I need to get all of the information that’s out there.

After getting ready for the day, I wasn’t sure what to do. Usually, I head out, but there’s nowhere to go. Necole was watching country music videos. Daisy was looking out the window. Isabella was sleeping. I got on the computer. I hit all of the usual sites, but there’s not much to read.

That’s when I delved into the world of WordPress to see what was happening. That’s also when I decided to write this post. Now, I am in my office with crap piled on the desk. It is hard to understand how so much stuff can be accumulated in a short period of time.

Necole brought her bowl of cereal to the office and hung out for a few minutes. She’s big on breakfast. I’m not hungry when I first get up. Most times, I get a chocolate milk when I first get to work. At least, I used to. I think they have moved the snack bar from my building and put it somewhere else. That means that the only liquid available in my building is coffee. Wait, there is Coke. If there is one thing about caffeine, then it’s the fact that it’s better cold and carbonated than it is hot and in a cup.

That’s the morning so far. Now, let’s go out and see what the rest of the day will bring.

Class, Convocation and County Government

28 Aug

This day turned into the typical first day of class, but there were a few twists involved. I walked into my 8 o’clock class and, shock of shocks, everyone was there. This never happens on the first day. Heck, it never happens on any day, so I was pleasantly surprised. I went over the syllabus; laid down the law; and talked about the stupidity of Titanic, the movie version I mean.

That’s when I asked if anyone had questions about the class. A guy wearing shorts and a t-shirt raised his hand:

“Do we need to dress up for convocation?”

“If I was you I would wear long pants.”

“Is this shirt ok?”

“I think it will be. It’s not too wrinkled.”

As I stood there wondering what this had to do with class, a woman raised her hand:

“Where can I get a cup of coffee around here?”

Honestly, I don’t understand why people drink this stuff.

By now, I am figuring that my message got lost somewhere along the way, but I answered anyway.

“There is a coffee kiosk downstairs. It claims to be Starbucks, but I wouldn’t expect that. But, I don’t know. I only get the chocolate milk.”

With that, I dismissed class and went downstairs to get said chocolate milk.

This is me before I drink the milk.

Between classes, a student came by to drop a class. That’s a problem since I am not her advisor. Apparently, her advisor wasn’t around, and she came to me because she was in my class once. I had to explain that I couldn’t help her and asked if she could wait for her advisor to arrive.

“I don’t want to. They teach the class that I want to drop.”

Eventually, it became time for the afternoon class. It’s the same course as the earlier one, and that causes problems now and again. I always try to say the exact same things, and I never fail to realize that I forgot to say something to the first one. In this schedule, the second class always gets my best stuff.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, this class did not have any questions. I guess they already found the coffee place.

Next, the entire school went to the gym for convocation. I was correct in the last post. Speeches were made. The Alma Mater was sung. However, they didn’t break out the gowns. I was disappointed because it’s fun to see people in regalia. If you squint your eyes, then it looks almost like Hogwarts.

Harry must be making a speech or singing the Alma Mater.

That was pretty much it for the academic world, but the day was not over. I ran some errands before dinner and checked out Twitter to see what was happening in the world. In the local world of my county, our esteemed elected officials were voting on a property tax increase. This is not something I am in favor of because, well, I own a lot of property. And, that property has lost a great deal of value in recent years.

The county commission decided that it would be a good idea to raise taxes without lowering property values to the corrected level. I could go on and on about this, but, hell, government is government. It will not give up until it gets everything. My rant is going to be about a certain aspect of the meeting.

The vote to increase the tax ended in a tie, and the procedures dictate that the County Mayor break the tie. He says that one person should not make the decision for the entire county and refuses to go along. To me, this is ridiculous. He was elected to this position and should have realized that this might happen. He took the job but didn’t take the responsibility. That, my friends, is not what an elected official should do. Make a decision, whether popular or not, and stick with it. Don’t straddle the fence.

Udder Destruction

I’m not sure how we went from school to government, but I wonder if this cow produces chocolate milk.