Acid, Man

Once a friend said to me, “I love coffee but I can’t drink it. It plays hell with my stomach.”

I thought, “Snowflake.”

Coffee, of course, is WHY we exist. I know it. You know it. Even people who haven’t tried it suspect. Even those who dispute this fact have thought about it. I have a friend who doesn’t drink it, and sometimes I think she’s apologizing for the cold, Stevia driven, caffeinated beverage in her hand in the morning. She KNOWS.

In her soul she senses the existence of a vast network of morning-happy people whose hearts beat a little faster (literally, figuratively) after the first two sips of coffee. “I’m missing out.” She feels this on an instinctual level, “But I can’t stand the taste! Surely this aversion is temporary. I’ll grow up and WANT coffee, I know it will happen, but WHEN.” Her longing is like that of a 12 year old girl yearning for a bra, excluded from the mysterious world of mammary glands to which her friends belong.

As Dusty and I finish up our morning coffee, I have a little story to share. For years I’ve had to deal with excruciating gut pain. I’ll leave it at that. But truly, years. After visiting my cola drinking friend and her husband, who was raving and ranting about a coffee brand he’d found that DIDN’T upset his stomach, and dealing, once more, with wrenching gut pain, I thought, “Hmmmm,” and I got some low acid coffee.

I brew my coffee in a Moka Express, a stove-top espresso “machine” like most people I know in Italy use. I drink the equivalent of six tiny espresso cups every morning but in one big cup with cream. That’s it for the day, but it’s intense.

800px-Moka_crema1

Ambrosia

The grind isn’t right for my Bialetti (too coarse) so the brew was on the weak side, but you don’t grind beans twice. The roast was tasty. Dusty liked it and I had no wrenching gut pain.

I guess I’m a snowflake…

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/temporary/

Cranky Prevention Elixir

I’m not a cranky person. That is partly the result of my Magic Cranky Prevention Elixir which I take every morning. I’m pretty picky about it.

For most of my young life, I couldn’t understand why anyone drank coffee and I couldn’t understand adults’ fascination with the stuff. It was gross. Never mind that my first sentence ever was, “Cuppa cuppa coffee?”

As I matured, this opinion remained until, one day, my boyfriend at the time, Peter, bought some Medaglio d’Oro Italian Roast coffee. You need to understand that in the 70s there was not this boutique coffee stuff there is today. Drip coffeemakers were state of the art.

“I’m sick of the shit they call coffee here. This costs more, but I’m worth it.” He echoed an ad for hair color and we laughed.

WOW. 

I bought some. This was the beginning of my Famous Writer Period and Saturdays I spent with MY Medaglio d’Oro and my typewriter.

51dW2HuOkiL

Since those days I’ve had the chance to enjoy many kinds of coffee. In the early 80s, a friend went to Guatemala and brought me a pound of raw Guatemalan beans that I roasted in my oven. Everything about that was great — the coffee that came from them, the smell in my apartment when I roasted them, and that he (<3) thought of me when he was wandering around the jungles and mountains of Guatemala. In China, if I was lucky, I had the dark bitter coffee of Hainan Island to drink. I have drunk the green coffee brewed by Arab students and poured from a Dallah (Arab coffee pot) — a brew I liked so much that as a goodbye gift, one of my students gave me a tiny golden Dallah to wear on a chain around my neck.

I take my coffee pot and my coffee with me wherever I go — and I have two electric versions for staying in hotels. Why? All because of my worst coffee experience. I was  visiting my aunt and uncle in Montana and they didn’t tell me they’d switched to decaf. Their coffee was already awful — they were the old-school American coffee drinkers, brewing some watery brown substance that they drank all day — but decaf? I was disoriented and had horrible headaches for the first three days of my visit and didn’t know why…

I have now finished my Magic Cranky Prevention Elixir and shared the dregs with Dusty T. Dog. My blog post is finished (and an inspiring bit of prose it is, too!). That means (according to Bear who is acutely aware of the time and the proper sequence of events in this house) I must do morning chores.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/cranky/

Morning Coffee

Life brings many great moments that don’t last long enough, but every day I experience one. Morning coffee. I drink one cup. OK, it’s a large cup, but that’s it. I’d drink more but the second cup doesn’t taste as good as the first (and only).

Dusty T. Dog also likes this moment and he waits semi-patiently for me to finish my coffee.

IMG_1766

“Are you done yet? How about now? And now?”

I give him my cup when I’m finished so he can have the dregs. The word “dreg” is awfully negative for Dusty’s perception of the contents of that nearly empty cup. I’m sure in Dusty’s language it’s something like “ambrosia.”

IMG_1768

“Aaaaahhh.”

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/linger/

Dealing with a Stupid, Recycled Prompt…

Daily Prompt Five a Day You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

“Espresso (made with Lavazza Crema di Gusto or Starbucks Verona), heavy cream, honeycrisp apples, good Italian bread and cheese.”

“Lamont, that isn’t even a complete sentence,”

“What’s the point, Dude? This is not only a stupid prompt, it’s a recycled prompt. I am sure WordPress has thousands of prompts to choose from. They could choose something interesting. If I were back in my paranoid state, I’d think they’re doing this on purpose to alienate the people who want to write the Daily Prompt, but that’s illogical. They have nothing to gain by alienating us. I’ve given up hoping for something better. If I complain, they’ll just say that prompts of this banal stupidity are good for new writers bloggers.”

“So is this finished?”

“I guess so. I guess now I have to go back to line edits in the Schneebelis.”

“How’s that going?”

“I don’t know. I’m not sure it’s really ready to send out to people, though.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It’s about 40 pages too short.”

“How do you KNOW that? That seems so arbitrary!”

“No, it isn’t. Readers of historical fiction have expectations; publishers have a bottom line, and I think there are parts of the book that are extremely tedious to read — lots of discussion about what’s going on in the world, maybe not enough about the world in which the people live.”

“You can fix that, right, Lamont?”

“Oh yeah. There are other places where I’ve done that so I just have to match them up, so to speak. It’s difficult to write about this period, to get the facts right and I think that’s important, but that doesn’t make a novel. A couple of characters need to be more three-dimensional and that will help them come out as humans.”

“There’s really no rush, is there, Lamont?”

“Not a rush. But I’d like a good clean draft by the end of June.”

“Is that possible?”

“I don’t honestly know. Possibly. It’s still just February and, anyway, it’s not like there’s a gun at my head.”

“I’ll try to keep you supplied with honeycrisp apples, coffee, cream, bread and cheese.”

“Thanks, Dude.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/five-a-day/

Space Waves from the Dog Star

Daily Prompt Final Trio For our final trio prompt of the year, write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.

The sun barely up but bright red behind the black branches of the bare trees, Augusta resigned herself to another no-sleep night. Dressing — the house was cold — she walked out to the kitchen, pressing the stereo’s “on” button as she passed by. Crack, crack, wop, zing, crack, quietly, in the background of the usual coffee making. Wooooo, crack, buzz, buzz, the tuner searched.

“You guys hungry?”

Mindy T. Dog, the big (and formerly VERY overweight) Australian shepherd began dancing around and jumping into the air, amazing feats even given her new, relatively svelte fluffy form.

“Hmm, guess so.” Augusta grinned at the dogs. No way in the world could she imagine living without a houseful of them. “OK. Me first, though, right? You guys are D-O-G-S.” She put her smoothie together, took her supplements and then, far, far away, as if broadcasting through time, radio waves from long ago, lost in space…

“I saw mommy kissing SANTA Claus…”

“Oh God, please no. What? HOW????”

The big Aussie jumped around some more, seeing the cup of dried kibble in Augusta’s hand. “…underneath the Christmas treeeeee…”

“That can’t be happening,” thought Augusta.

“Here baby,” she poured the food into the dog dish. “OK, you guys, your turn.” She fed the big black dog, Dusty, who had once been described as, “Eight different breeds in there.” Then the fractious yet sweet, blind, deaf and arthritic old Siberian husky, Lily T. Wolf. Behind everything, ever more insistently, “…SANTA CLAUS underneath the Christmas TREEEEE!” coming from the speakers on the bookcase.

She went out to the living room. Ahhh. So some dog had hit the buttons. The stereo was on “FM.” Augusta corrected her ambient electronics and breathed a sigh of relief. Dogs fed, coffee ready, smoothie prepared, she sat down to write the Daily Prompt while her stereo played one of her favorite songs.

“That’s more like it,” she said to Dusty. “You want some coffee?” She’d finished. It was always a race to drink it before it cooled off in the morning . “Here, sweet boy.” She set the all-but-empty cup on the floor.

(No Pingbacks, so far…)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/final-trio/

Getting a Cuppa-Joe at the Cop Shop

Daily Prompt Trio no. 4 Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must include a speeding car, a phone call, and a crisp, bright morning. (Wildcard: you can swap any of the above for a good joke.)

“Stop! Stop! What are you doing? Have you lost it completely? This is a 25 mph zone and it’s RAINING hard! Can you even see anything?!”
He put is foot down even harder on the gas pedal. “Why do you do this to me? You make me do these things. If you want out, get out.” He reached around her, fumbling for the door handle. She was sure he’d push her out. She slammed down the lock and blocked the handle with her arm.
“What did I do?” she sobbed.
“Looking at that guy the way you did. I saw you. You think I didn’t see you.”
“You’re completely crazy. There’s a red light! Rico!!!!! OH MY GOD!” she closed her eyes, tight together. If they were doomed, they were doomed. Rico slammed his foot on the brake just in time to avoid colliding with a red pickup.
This is it,” she thought, and opened her door. Before he could reach across the seat to grab her arm she was out and running across the street to the fast-food noodle joint that had opened a week before where the taco shop had been. The light turned green. Horns honked at Rico. He had to go. Megan knew it was five blocks before Rico would have a chance to turn around. “Good,” she thought. “I’m going to do what I should’ve done a long time ago.” She went to the payphone in front of the noodle shop and called the police, gave them Rico’s license plate number and told them he was harassing her, threatening her with physical harm.
“Not much we can do, lady, unless we’re there when it happens. Do you have somewhere to go? Do you live with this guy?”
“No, no, I have a place of my own, but I’m afraid to go there.”
“Any friends you can stay with? A motel?”
She looked around. All there was in the area was La Petit Rouge and everyone knew what THAT was. “I don’t want to stay around here. He’ll be back. He’ll be back any minute and I’m scared.”
“Tell you what, I’m sending a squad car over to your location. They’ll take you somewhere. Will that work?”
“Oh thank you, thank you.”
“They should be there now.”
“I see them.”
“Stay safe. If you’re afraid of that guy, stay away from him. Don’t go back to him like most women do. Make tomorrow a new day, OK?”
“OK,” she had started to cry. Kindness at this moment was so sweet it hurt.
“Ma’am?” said the young, Hispanic policeman. “Are you all right?”
“I am. I’m OK.”
“Get in. He’ll be back, you said?”
“If I know him. Any minute.” She looked up and saw his black Honda coming slowly down the street. He was looking for her. “That’s him,” she said, pointing up the street, half a block away.
“All right. Hurry.”
She got in back of the squad car. The policeman drove a circuitous route ending up behind the Honda. He was checking to see if the driver had seen the girl. “He didn’t see you,” said the cop. “Good. C’mon. I’m taking you to the station. You can spend the night there. You’ll be safe, but it isn’t plush.”
“That’s OK. I don’t know where to go and I only have $3.00.”
“Tomorrow you go to family court — it’s in the same building — and you get a restraining order, OK? Then someone will drive you home.”
All the things she had known she should do but had not wanted to do she was on the verge of. “All he had to do was trust me,” she said, under her breath.
“Some guys can’t do that, miss.”
“I guess not.”

Megan spent the night on a bench in the police station. The sun was just up when she was awakened by a female police officer saying, “You want some coffee, honey?” Megan shook sleep from her mind and nodded.
“It’s a beautiful day,” said the police officer. “The rain is gone. It’s a little chilly, one of those crisp bright mornings that makes you glad to be alive. You want sugar in that?”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trio-4/

Gli Pensieri del Mattino di Dusty

“I hope she gives me her coffee again. I love that cream in the bottom of the cup. YUUUUUMMMMY! I can smell it up there where I’m NOT supposed to go. Yup, yup, I smell it. It must be almost ready for me. I’ve seen her pick it up a few times. She always picks it up a few times and sets it down before she gives it to me. Maybe she’s making sure it’s safe for me to drink? I bet that’s why. I bet that’s why she doesn’t just GIVE it to me. Uh-oh. She did something different. She got out that little black box she sometimes points at me.  I’ll just forget about that. Ooooooh, she picked it up again and set it down again. I bet she’s going to give it to me really soon, what do you bet? Huh?”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mind-reader/

Minds I do not have to read:
The Wandering Poet Daily prompt – Mind reader – Gym troll
Fictions in Flashes Unexpected Cup (Daily Prompt)
RANDOM!!! Mind Reader
Perspectives on life, universe and everything And…
Perspectives on life, universe and everything Diligence
charlottesville winter Produce
All Things Cute and Beautiful Being Thoughtful!
The WordPress C(h)ronicle Mind Reader
Mama Bear Musings The Mind Reader
The Jittery Goat Look At Me, The Skeptic
The Silver Leaf Journal Wishful Thinking

Cuppa Joe

Starbuck's Verona coffee

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/just-another-day/

These people might have more to say…

http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/05/09/daily-prompt-just-another-day-in-the-world-of-wordpress-will-we-be-found/sincerelyherz.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/dear-ex/
blueycat.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/cuddle-time/
psychologistmimi.com/2014/04/27/legacy-is-my-reason-and-my-daily-ritual/
jigokucho.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/the-art-of-repetition/
thebohemianrockstarpresents.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/just-another-day/
teepee12.com/2014/05/09/just-another-day-really/#comment-45439
knowledgeaddiction.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/exit-light-enter-night/
thatgirlryan.com/2014/04/25/vlog-the-little-decisions/

tnkerr.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/daily-prompt-just-another-day/
bobbeck1600.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/daily-prompt-just-another-day/
theverbalhedge.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/getting-on-with-it/
agent909.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/just-another-day-routine-and-the-representation-of-long-term-goal/
jitterygt.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/11538/
cxianliu.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/building-a-big-data/
blissfulpages.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/my-daily-ritual/
flowersandbreezes.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/the-morning-prayer/
gawoman45.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/another-day-in-paradise/
lettheballoonssailmeaway.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/daily-post-just-another-day/
kansamuse.me/2014/05/09/breakfast-and-coffee-light-on-the-cream/
annelfwind.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/just-another-day/

Bialetti! Gotta’ have it/Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Ingredients: What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?

6 Cup Moka

I would have no interest at all in my kitchen if there were no Bialetti “Moka Java” express. Along with that I need Lavazza Crema e Gusto and cream because I like hot, strong coffee in the morning.

crema_e_gusto

That’s simple enough but not much of a story. It could be, but…

Milan near the Duomo. I am standing, waiting, at an espresso counter for my turn. A young Asian girl is in front of me. The barista is frustrated. He sees me standing there (“Oooooooo!”) and says, “Signora, per favore, dille che costa dieci mille lire.” Something like that. (Now you know how long ago.) I am a dark phantom on the streets of Milan, and this guy has seen me many times. I tap the girl on the shoulder and ask if she speaks English. She does. I say, “The coffee is 10,000 lire.” She bows several times thanking me and pays the barista. My turn arrives.
Tanti touristi,” he says, then blushes, suddenly remembering I am one, too.
Fa niente.”
Cosa lei piacerebbe?”
Un espresso, anque acqua minerale, con gassa.”
Fa caldo oggi, no?”
Si, troppo. Grazie!” I open my wallet.
Ma, no, no. É gratis. Buona giornatta!”

My last day in Milan that bizarre, infuriating, humiliating and heartbroken summer. I was sad to leave. I could have stayed much longer, wandering the streets, each day revealing to me more of the labyrinthine mystery of time.

“Could you tell her the coffee is 10,000 lire?” then “So many tourists.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“What would you like?”
“An espresso. And carbonated mineral water.”
“It’s hot, no?”
“Very! Thanks!”
“No, no, no. It’s ‘on the house’. Have a nice day!”

Random song allusion:  

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/daily-prompt-ingredients/

Essential tools and ingredients:

  1. Simple Dublin Coddle | Exploratorius
  2. The perfect mixture | A Teacher’s Blog
  3. Keep Me Out of the Kitchen | Under the Monkey Tree
  4. Lazy Mom’s Stuffed Peppers – It’s All About the Soy Sauce | The Pinterested Parent
  5. Painting Beaks on Marzipan Chickens! Aberystwyth Blogs… | alienorajt
  6. The Kitchen Witches Creed | My Little Avalon
  7. Can’t Cook Without It: A Haiku; Sunday, February 9, 2014 | LisaRosier.com
  8. DP Daily Prompt: Ingredients | Sabethville
  9. Ingredient? | Hope* the happy hugger
  10. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | A Room of One’s Own
  11. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | The Wandering Poet
  12. Nuking 500* | thoughtsofrkh
  13. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/daily-prompt-ingredients/ | preethikarthik06
  14. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | Basically Beyond Basic
  15. Hunter | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  16. Hunger games (in colour) | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  17. Oh sugar! | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  18. Vampires worst nightmare… | My Weigh To Lose
  19. What is cooking?? | Phelio a Random Post a Day
  20. Jumpstart Your Creative Mojo | Pairings :: Art + What Goes With It
  21. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | A Day In The Life
  22. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | thoughts and entanglements
  23. SPICY Sunday
  24. If You Don’t Have Bacon Grease, Then You Ain’t Cooking! | meanderedwanderings
  25. Kitchen | Purple Rosemary
  26. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  27. Daily Prompt: Ingredients | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  28. My Must Have | Flowers and Breezes