This past Saturday morning, I had my first coffee in, uh . . . I’m pretty sure I had my first coffee ever, past a sip and a grimace.
I don’t like the stuff. To quote Dave Kellett, I don’t drink coffee for the taste any more than I’d chew aspirin for the flavor. In a pinch, it’s strictly medicinal and then only measured in spoonfuls as needed.
Saturday, I was pinched. It had snowed overnight and the roads were just dicey enough that I didn’t stop to pick up my usual carbonated caffeine supply before driving to work. I figured I’d get a diet Pepsi from the vending machine in the staff room, forgetting that I’d given Jane the last of my change for a school fundraiser so she could wear her pink fedora, or buy a cookie, or play the ponies, or whatever.
I was just beginning to feel that pounding on the left side of my forehead, the drumming that means the withdrawal gnomes are about to appear over the hill, and I’d better do something before they fire up the bagpipes. And I remembered that this branch of the library has a café.
I dragged myself over there, squinted at the kid behind the counter and said, “What’s the biggest blast of caffeine you can do for a coffee hater?”
He blinked at me, glanced at the tea rack, and decided that Earl Grey wasn’t going to make a dent. “Maybe a mocha?” he said. “They’re sweet enough that you might not notice the aftertaste.”
So he made me a venti-plus, doubleshot* white chocolate mocha.
You guys . . .
You guys . . .
It was amazing.
There was a hint of bitterness, but not enough to bother me, the withdrawal gnomes accepted their tribute and vanished back into the recesses of Metaphorland, and clarity settled upon me like a Mentat taking his first spice hit of the morning.** My hands were warm, which is not normal, believe me.
The morning went by very, very quickly until lunch, when the drums started in again, along with the fifes of the Sugar Crash Brigade.
So I went out into the wilderness on a Diet Pepsi hunt and returned with a brace of 24-ouncers to tide me over.*** And also a sandwich.
Which was a good thing, as I had a looong afternoon, caffeine notwithstanding, followed by the first meeting of the Hollywood Hype Book and Movie Club, for which my friends and I read a book, see the movie (or television adaption), and compare/contrast/complain over desserts.^
This month, it was One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. Because some of you may want to see it, I will say only three non-spoilery things:
The individuals who designed and signed off on the cheesy, franchise-promoting, chick-flicky opening title sequence should be spanked and told sternly never to do it again. No, the Stephanie Plum books aren’t War and Peace, but this movie isn’t With Six You Get Eggroll, either. Sheesh.
Even if Snooki had a cameo in this movie—which one would be forgiven for anticipating from the “this is what middle America is expecting from a movie set in Jersey” opening sequence—seeing Jason O’Mara with his shirt off was well worth the admission price.
I liked the movie better than the book. This isn’t a slur on Janet Evanovich’s writing talent at all—the woman writes the witty, clever, sassy equivalent of crack—but I’ve got my reasons, which I’d be glad to debate once everyone has seen it.
I’m not sure how much of this opinion stems from being perhaps the tiniest bit over-caffeinated at the time—though I wasn’t to the point where the screen looked like I was trying to watch a 3D showing without my specs. Mr. O’Mara looked just fine . . .
But it is possible that I might have been speaking like the squirrel in Hoodwinked during the discussion afterward, though no one mentioned it. If so, I wasn’t the only one talking—the group didn’t leave the restaurant until past closing time, when every waiter in the place came by one at a time to ask us if we wanted anything else.
It was well past midnight before I settled down enough to sleep.
I’m gonna blame the mocha, delicious gateway drug that it is.
So, so worth it though.
What gets y’all through a long day? And should it disturb me that I already have a tag for “Caffeine”?
*I don’t drink the stuff, but the rock I live under ain’t big enough to keep out Starbuckian terminology. Few rocks are.
**Name that novel! Brownie point to the first! No Googling!
***I would have had another mocha, but the one tenacious constant in a lifelong pattern of disordered eating is my mild discomfort with drinking calories, unless I’ve put soup in a mug or made a conscious decision to let it go already. This does tend to keep me sober, though, mostly, which isn’t a bad side effect.
^Eating calories is only an intermittent problem for me. I like a good sugar rush, which I can get just from descriptions:
Me: What’s on the dessert menu?
Cha Cha: Okay, first there’s the Chocolate Divine—rich chocolate fudge syrup smothering chocolate ice cream, chocolate brownies, bananas and whipped cream and then—
Me: Wait—say it again . . . slower . . .