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Big Coffee

So the Onyx Plate posted an interesting article on Facebook earlier about coffee and its health benefits, especially for men. I had previously heard that coffee is good for the liver but had not heard that it also makes for a healthy prostate gland.

The article also mentioned, as we later discovered, something about coffee helping to reduce certain kinds of breast tumors.

Anyway, I drink a lot of coffee. My family drinks a lot of coffee. This is no accident and goes back through the generations. If I can blame anyone for my current addiction to caffeine, I would point to my grandparents on both sides of the family and then my own parents. Carboholism may be genetic, but coffee addiction is both genetic and conditioned. My great-grandparents may have drunk coffee often, too, I’m not sure.

My paternal grandmother always had coffee brewing in her house, 24/7, as I understand it, and I mentioned this before, as did some of my commenters, when I wrote about the Lazy Susan Table and its legacy in my family. My maternal grandmother always drank coffee in the morning and enjoyed having cake with it. Elsewhere, I’ve mentioned this, too- but it’s good to have a reminder, don’t you agree?

So the whole process of turning me into a coffee addict began with my being scared as a child. I was frightened often as a child and honestly still am by some of the oddest things that I won’t detail right now, so I would end up getting up and going to the den to sit with my father while he watched a local morning show that Red Holland, a local fishing celebrity, hosted. I would sit in Bapaw’s lap and drink his coffee, which featured milk and sugar in it.

This is where a huge contradiction occurs. Bapaw loves his coffee with cream and sugar. These days, to be healthier, he puts honey in it, but honey doesn’t really work for me. Gigi refuses to drink anything but a straight-up dark brew. No sweet coffee for her.

Personally, I like my coffee both ways, depending on my mood. Most often I seem to take coffee with cream but no sugar, and I especially prefer it black when I’m eating something sweet.

Anyway, the addiction to coffee never ceased in my childhood nor since, and now that I’m in my early late twenties, apparently the addiction is still blazing bright.

Coffee is also supposed to be beneficial to the liver. This makes sense- coffee has a sobering effect, making one more alert, more awake, and more efficient. Alcohol has the opposite effect, slowing one down and impairing various mental functions- and it can be damaging to the liver. Interesting how the opposite effects both correlate to either benefitting or afflicting the liver.

So, the point of this blog: Gigi bought me an enormous coffee cup two years ago for my birthday, the same time I got my fantastic MacBook that I still adore to this day. The coffee cup holds not one, not two, but three cups worth and has a fantastic artistic design on it that’s faded over the years. I still use this coffee cup to this day and absolutely love it; on the inside rim, it says, “Javalicious.”

True, true.

Also, coffee has other effects- it can help a mild headache, serve as a mild laxative, and be a mood booster.

Coffee’s definitely a mood booster for me. Not having coffee renders the lives of those around me in to great peril, and small woodland creatures as a whole may find themselves suddenly extinct if they come to close.

How do you like your coffee? Dark or sweet? And how much do you drink?

Beaux


 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in food, postaday, postaday2011

 

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Memoirs of a Coffee House, Bonus Round: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

Well, the “official series” of blogs on Wired and ReWired have finally come to their conclusion, and now I’m taking time to create an “extra” blog because of how much I love extras.

My love for “extras” came first when I started reading Japanese comic books (known as “manga”) years ago, and the authors of the stories would include in side panels small details about themselves and their thoughts while drawing their stories. Later on, the actual animation (known as “anime”) would include special features on the second DVD, not unlike many DVDs that released today.

The “extras” and “behind the scenes footage” and “the making of” are incredibly interesting to me, because half the mystery of how a story is put together in the first place comes from not seeing the process and the personal struggle that actors and artists endure. In the same way, I enjoy reading biographies of famous people because of the insight granted into a person. So this is my “extra” blog for Wired!

That being said, I recently contacted Haley to inquire about MT-TV’s location. She responded by telling me that they’ve returned to Europe but cannot divulge their exact location due to the number of fans they have that would look them up.

Also, Erin Bennett, formerly known as Patsy Random, actually attended and played at ReWired twice before meeting Haley, though the two eventually became close friends, so this is likely why I remembered it as Haley bringing her there. The character and image of “Patsy Random” has since been laid to rest, and Erin goes by Erin now, playing with Syren.

In the Autumn of 2005, we held meditation classes at ReWired early on Saturday (around 11 AM, before it opened), led by one Linda Kay Utz. The first meditation, she personally led, guiding us through visualizations and relaxing us gradually. The second class used a CD by Wayne Dyer that focused on what he called “the gap.” We would visualize each word in the “Our Father” or “Lord’s Prayer,” then we would slide back to “the gap” between each word to have a clear mind. Then we would chant, “aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.” That was one of the deepest and most powerful meditations I ever experienced, especially in a group.

My cousin John E.’s band, BPM, formerly Bulletproof Marshmallows, played at ReWired once as well. Even his great-grandmother came to see the show, and my friend Amber remarked that there was a little old lady close to the stage, watching the show. I immediately jumped in with a matter-of-fact voice, “That’s Granny Schraeder, of course!” She laughed that I knew who the woman was!

BPM playing was one of the best nights at ReWired, as they were the only reggae band that ever played (to my recollection.) We all kind of rocked back and forth, chilled out, as with reggae music, one can’t do much more than sway back and forth with a chilled out attitude.

Sunday Nights were pot-luck nights, as I may have mentioned before. Those days didn’t revel in my culinary skills as the current days do. I still make a few mistakes here and there, mixed with some total failures, but honestly, not like I did in the days of Wired. I know for a fact that my macaroni and cheese failed, that my ramen topped with mushrooms failed, and that my fish soup also failed.

However, Dana, one of the women who visited often and was incidentally also Sufi, taught me one interesting thing: she said that presentation was everything, so we took some basic strawberry wafers once and arranged them in a lovely way on a plate. Suddenly the stacks and shapes of the cookies made them look all the more appetizing. Small tricks of the trade really help out, as I came to learn. Never forget that a small garnish to something otherwise mundane may be what is necessary to bring out its full potential. The same is true of adding spices to food; one small spice can bring out the full flavor and potential of a food, as I mentioned many blogs ago.

Another interesting thing about Wired: the Creation Box. The Creation Box had been built by a former patron, a simple glass box with a chair and desk in it. I believe the patron’s name was Arthur Jolly, an Englishman. The rules were simple: one entered the Creation Box and didn’t exit until one had created something. If one couldn’t create something, one did not enter, that simple.

Of course, this created a number of jokes about people creating babies in the box, if you catch my drift.

A bulletin board at Wired contained all the art and poetry created in the Creation Box.

After being moved to ReWired, the Creation Box eventually shattered during a storm, landing on its side and being a sad sight to see. Perhaps that was a sign of sorts, a synchronicity to us all.

Several people at Wired had identifiers attached to their names if there were more than one person by that name. Michael became known as “Hippy Michael” because he was into meditation and peace, love, and harmony. Joe became known as “Laptop Joe” because he always sat at the bar with his laptop.

So that’s the bonus round for Wired. If I think of anything else, I’ll go right ahead and post it with another “Bonus Round.”

Beaux

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in coffee house, food

 

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Memoirs of a Coffee House 14: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

In posting this blog, exactly two weeks worth of the total entries in my blog will deal with Wired, which is something to celebrate but also makes me think I should bring the entries to a close.

Lily continued having financial problems, and miracles continued happening. We thought many times over that Wired would be saved and endure throughout the ages. Once, when I was standing with Mary, I remember thinking of Wired closing and mentioning it to her, and she said she couldn’t handle thinking about it at that time. This was, of course, a projection into the future: not something that would happen in only a few months.

Then came another miracle: MT-TV.

MT-TV was an all-female rock band from Great Britain. Seriously. Their bus had broken down, and a few of them were sitting in Waffle House when Haley and Patsy Random ran into them and mentioned the coffee house to them.

Good grief, where can I began to start to explain MT-TV? Suddenly the coffee house crawled with fifteen women from Britain, speaking with their fantastic British accents, and they were all marvelous, intelligent, and gorgeous!

But the real happening took place when they finally readied themselves and performed. MT-TV was not a local band; they had professionally performed across Europe for years. They were the real deal.

The name MT-TV means, “Empty TV,” which the lead singer explained referred to the lack of quality of program on TV and how the youth of the day were going mind dead because of it.

Not having formal training in music, I can’t categorize exactly what kind of music MT-TV played, except to say it was a dark kind of rock with interesting vocals.

And they rocked. They rocked ReWired in a way that we had never been rocked before.

I happen to have a great love for the “extras” in life. By “extras,” I mean the small things that we otherwise wouldn’t miss but do add a good bit of charm to a situation. In this case, the ladies from Britain did, in fact, take tea, and this is where I learned of taking tea with milk. I specifically remember one of the managers making tuna sandwiches for tea one day, and it was a difficult process, since there were 15 women in the band, in addition to the managers!

MT-TV performed at ReWired twice before getting a permanent gig at one of the local bars in town (which one, I can’t remember.) I was at both shows and totally lost myself in the music; the lot of us went crazy to the primal beats and songs.

MT-TV has, at this point, disbanded, but Patsy Random teamed up with two of the members of MT-TV and formed a new band called Syren, which also produces high quality music.

Then came the fall of ReWired. We knew it was over. We knew there was no more money, and that things could not keep going as they were. The time had come for Lily to close her doors, regretfully, but she was considering another place downtown that would not cost as much.

So came the Halloween Party of 2005, which was the best night that ever happened at ReWired. Lily shut the place down, there was a costume contest, everyone’s mood was elated, we all kinds of delicious food to eat, and everything seemed just so perfect. This was no different than if we had set fireworks on top of the building and shot them into outer space time and time again.

Then I saw ReWired as I had seen it before so long ago, with our moving furniture out, emptied of whatever glory it had, and a slow movement to the downtown café that would eventually become known as Lale.

Several of us visited Lale to help work on it; we were enthusiastic and hopeful about it, and then when it finally sorted out and opened, it was a restaurant, not a coffee house, and things simply weren’t the same. This was not by Lily’s doing; she wanted a coffee house, but she was not the one providing the money in this case, and her investors were the ones who determined that it would be a Mediterranean café.

So that’s the story of ReWired and my life. Much, much more happened that I can’t detail here because of simply how exhaustive I could be. ReWired definitely influenced me in a way that few other places did, mainly because the people were so different, so unique, and that we had to all try to get along and learn lessons in life from one another.

The Sufi says that while one is encouraged to have a Guru or a Sheikh, that is, one needs a teacher to guide one to God, that ultimately life is the greatest teacher, and I can say without a doubt that ReWired taught me more than I had bargained for.

Everyone still misses it. The coffee house has now been closed longer than its doors were ever open, yet we dream and hope and pray for it over and over.

I’ve had dreams many times over that I was back in Wired, inside its doors, that it was open once again and that we could all meet there again. Disheartening to wake up in the morning and discover that yes, that was all but a dream!

Once, on the way to my friend Courtney’s house, I stopped at the broken building of ReWired. I touched the door, I touched the wall, and I vehemently did not care if someone stopped to ask what I was doing; this was my agenda, this was what I was going to do, and nobody was going to stop me.

I wrote a small poem and slipped it under the door to the building, telling Wired that I still believed in it, that I still understood, and that it was not all in vain.

Since that era, Pat’s Diner has been bull-dozed. She went out of business not long after Wired closed, and Wired was bought by a car rental company. Now cars are parked all through the area, including through where Pat’s Diner used to sit. Karma, I tell you. Karma!

Lale, too, has closed, and Lily moved to a different state.

So the legacy of Wired lives on, beats in the veins of those who essentially lived there, driving us forward, teaching us something new again and again as we remember things and laugh and cry at the memories we have of each other and ourselves. But if nothing else, Wired went out with a bang, a blast, and if nothing else, Wired gave me the voice I need to speak up, to say what I want to say, beholden to no one, not caring what other people think when I provide my opinion about Wired and exactly what I think about the people in the area who didn’t like it and conspired against it.

Now I will leave you with the last few pictures of Wired I have. The pictures consist of some bands: Mortu-Fairy, Patsy Random and the Random Family, a couple of bands I couldn’t identify, and Christopher working on building the extended stage

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I forgot to upload the pictures. Look for them in the near future.

Beaux

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in coffee house, food, postaday2011

 

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Memoirs of a Coffee House 12: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

The Summer of 2005 held great fun. I had reconnected with several of my friends, and my daily routine consisted of going to work, going to ReWired, going to the grocery store that didn’t like us and buying a few Totino’s pizzas, going back to my friend’s apartment, and eating and hanging out. This was a blissful time to be sure. My friends also persuaded me to go swimming for the first time I could remember in years.

At one point during the summer, my friend Mary had come back to town from college and her parents were out of town. She and Heather had another friend that came to stay with them, and the lot of us stayed at Mary’s house and, well, partied.

Mary and I journeyed to Wal-Mart to buy snacks, and a storm appeared: rough, terrible, hateful, and this is the only time in my life I ever remember the power going out in Wal-Mart.

Later that night, my friend Ashley and I took advantage of getting pizza from Little Caesar’s, which had Hot-N-Ready’s. $5 large pizza? Yes, please!

The next day, those of us who were still there sat around discussing all kinds of things. This was the first time I had been in a room full of intellectuals who had all read 1984 and agreed without hesitation how terrifying the book was.

I stayed at Mary’s for that weekend and finally went home that Sunday, but Saturday night, we totally dressed me up as a scene kid. Mary lent me some of her pants, which were plaid if I remember correctly, and Heather took my hair, put gel in it, and made it look choppy and messy. No one at ReWired would’ve known I wasn’t 15 if they hadn’t already know I wasn’t 15.

Now, everyone, get ready for entry 13!

Beaux

 


 
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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in coffee house, food, postaday2011

 

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Memoirs of a Coffee House 10: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

2005 was a dark and mysterious year, both for me and for Wired. My class schedule consisted of three art classes stacked on top of each other at school: Drawing 2, Art History, and Humanities, back to back, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a Psychology class at night on Mondays and Wednesdays.

I also moved into a new apartment with friends, a seemingly bountiful situation that turned ugly when drugs became involved. Yikes! But don’t worry, I wasn’t the one involved with the drugs; it was the boyfriend of one of the roommates, and my friend is no longer with him.

ReWired upgraded itself this year. The dance floor was remodeled- the old linoleum floor was ripped up, the floor underneath it painted and sealed, and the stage was remodeled.

Now, as this is the 10th blog in this series that I’ve posted, I thought I should make a point and actually post photos from ReWired. If any of my readers have other photos they would like to contribute, I’ll be glad to post them on here and give you all due credit, of course!

Beaux

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Posted by on April 10, 2011 in coffee house, food, wired

 

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Memoirs of a Coffee House 9: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

Thus the days at Wired continued. They were, overall, some of the happiest days of my life.

The adjustment to ReWired wasn’t as difficult as I sometimes perceived it to be; it had a central location in Dothan and made for the perfect middle ground where everyone could hang out.

ReWired was a place to never be bored. If you went to the coffee house, you would, within the period of time that you were there, inevitably run into someone you knew; this functioned not unlike clockwork. This is the way that many of the patrons came to know each other better.

My maternal grandmother passed away in the autumn of 2004. The same day that my cousin called to inform me, I had been staying in Ozark and drove on to Dothan to go to Wired so I could tell Lily.

I walked into the coffee house, and it was virtually destroyed. A heavy storm had come through, the rain seeping in through the roof and pouring down in torrents; it was a repeat of the broken and smashed tiles from when we first moved into ReWired. The coincidence of my grandmother passing away and the coffee house’s temporary closing has always stuck in my mind.

At then end of Ramadan in 2004, many of the local Turkish families came to ReWired to celebrate. Ramadan is a holy month in the Muslim religion in which one fasts from sunrise to sunset. Children under the age of 13 and pregnant women are exempt from the fast.

The celebration saw a huge amount of food and a huge number of people coming to the coffee house, and we enjoyed ourselves. One particularly Turkish man with a booming voice explained to everyone what the holiday was and said a prayer over the food, and then we chowed down like it was nobody’s business.

The winter came, bringing with it one of my favorite foods ever- bread bowls. A bread bowl is a exactly what it sounds like, a large roll of bread that has been somewhat hollowed out and filled with soup. The two kinds of soup I can remember eating were cream of potato and one was perhaps cream of celery. I think there was also a cheese soup I tried. After eating the soup, one then eats the bowl as well, as it’s a now deliciously soup-soaked bread!

Christmas Eve came along, a delightful even when only a few patrons showed up, mostly adults, and we had a mini-wine-and-cheese party. Mostly I just ate the cheese and crackers, with some of the adults explaining to me the variation in the taste of wine. I’ve had wine and other alcohol before but can’t imagine one drinking it for the taste, much less paying a high dollar for that taste.

Later that same evening, I watched the Matrix on the TV, and then I finally came home.

The day after Christmas was equally as wonderful. Now more of the youth had returned, and I had a Santa’s-sleigh-amount of art supplies at my disposal. I sat, talking to Scottie and doing watercolors. Sephy came over to the table at one point and painted using the watercolors as well.

New Year’s rolled around, and I stayed at my apartment instead of going out to the show. It was cold outside, it was dark, and I had friends over. There was no need for me to leave my warm, happy, coziness for the sake of the cold weather.

In our next installment, we’ll discuss what exactly happened in the New Year, 2005!

Beaux

 

 

 

 


 

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Memoirs of a Coffee House 7: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

Raymond kept on top of what we needed to do; he and Jim, the computer wizard who ran the internet portion of Wired, were the main players in the reconstruction. They really knew what they were doing.

Raymond gave me a list of items to acquire that were all hardware, so knowing that my father could give us a discount and knowing even better that going to him instead of walking into Lowe’s looking for items in a huge store by myself, I ventured back home and picked up the required materials, dutifully playing my part as always.

As the days went by, Lily ran into her next major problem: the bureaucracy of the Dothan Health Inspectors and Safety Departments and whatever other departments that turned out to be problematic for her at that time.

The Safety Inspectors had told Lily to go ahead and take care of the building, after which they would come in and explain what needed to be changed and upgraded and so on after that.

But the Health Inspector’s first words upon her entrance to Lily was, “You all should have had the Building Inspectors come in to check things out first before you did any work on this building.”

Lily immediately countered with, “The Building Inspectors told us to go ahead and work on the building first.”

The Health Inspector turned out to be a rude, inconsistent, and flaky sort of woman; it was only with great difficulty and persistence that Lily would be able to get in touch with her, and even then the woman would often not show up at the appointed times.

This continued for some time, with various complaints about what Lily was or wasn’t doing correctly, and even though we had everything cleaned, set up, and ready for business, the business license department’s emissary would refuse to show up.

Several days I left college excitedly thinking I would step into the newly functioning, freshly opened ReWired, only to arrive disappointedly at the beautiful coffee house that was not officially open for business.

Finally, the day arrived; we knew for a fact that the licensing department would arrive, and we frantically ran around fluffing pillows, straightening up any final touches that were necessary, sweeping behind the counter, and then…

…in a very anti-climactic, non-explosive moment, ReWired went from being the little business that could potentially be to the little coffee house that WAS. This moment, in external reality, was undetectable at best, but internally, we were all just thrilled that our hard work had finally paid off!

All it took was a month and a half of non-stop team work to accomplish it! Of course, I mostly just got in the way, but that’s not unusual. Later Lily would praise my dedication for having been there every single day. I lived right down the road at the time, so it wasn’t problematic at all!

There’s nothing more disheartening than saying, “We have to be open in two weeks because the rent is due,” and not being able to open when that time comes. Lily’s method of coming up with the money must have been nothing short of God’s own providence, and I’ll never know how she did it.

So that’s how Wired transitioned, cocooned, and blossomed into ReWired: a long, tiring process of memories and experiences that I would not trade for the world. It’s a strange thing for someone like me who believes that cleanliness is second only to godliness to remember enjoying being covered in plaster, dirt, and sweat, but the fruits of our labor made the price worth it, and plus I always kept in mind that a hot shower would fix the problem.

Beaux

 

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