The Latte of Heaven

In Praise of That Moment
That Only a Coffee Breaks

Most of us know a thing or two about why so many absolutely love to drink and even smell coffee so much. Not only love; they’re downright addicted to the stuff. In fact, we’re way past the old excuse, that one needs to wake up and remain awaken longer hours these days.
But it’s certainly not because it contains tiny amounts of three chemicals that wouldn’t be misplaced if they were brewed in the bowels of hell: a component of cockroach pheromones, a compound that gives human feces its odor, and another that makes rotten meat poisonous.
With that out of the way, and with a little wink to how kopi luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, is produced, we shall move on. For despite all those million reasons, lets not skim over the main one that drives us to savor it daily: we do it because it’s quicker than to sleep.
Even though coffee is being enjoyed since BCE, and until it got to be known as kahveh, it had a rather serendipitous relationship with the evolution of the human society, we bet that it became an essential staple once light bulbs extended daylight deep into night territory.
When we’ve stopped calling it a day along with the farm animals, we were destined to find ways to keep us up through the wee hours. Sex and conversation helped, but a cup of brew had its own allure.
From dusk to dawn, it was a short leap for it to become part of the first meal of the day. But for those who come from cultures where breakfast was a mere cup of milk with coffee and sugar, and sliced bread with butter and home made preserves, though, boy, how far have we come.
It doesn’t change a thing that even a simple cup of coffee then could Continue reading

Spring Quickens

Colors Are Bright But
Critters Are Crawling

We’re deep in the age of freaking out about nothing, while getting numb about what screws us up. If that sounds hyperbolic, take Spring’s arrival in the Northern Hemisphere, and its annual rites of wonder and obsession with sights, smells, colors, and specially, crawlers.
Yes, along with flowers and the birds, the music in the air, and the light afternoon breeze, there’s no end to the sheer terror of being touched not by an angel but by a bug. And there are plenty of them. We give you three of the most distinctive: cicadas, snails and cockroaches.
It may be hard to grasp why city folk is so terrified about the prospect of being covered by these minute aliens, utterly different from us, and yet, way more necessary to the natural world than our stinking behinds, but what’s really over the top is the language with which they’ve been greeted in the media.
‘Billions of Cicades to Swarm the East Coast.’ ‘Giant African Snails Invade Miami.’ Or ‘Roach Infestation Disables Greyhound Bus.’ Note the use of superlatives, of ‘enhanced,’ albeit cliche-ridden, imagery, all documented with detailed pictures of the little monsters in all their otherness and difference.
It’s all true, of course, even though that we are the ones who’re invading them, or at least causing them to multiply and seek refuge in our dwellings. Pollution, climate change, pesticides, it’s all our own doing, really. And the inclusion of roaches here is because, let’s face it, there are simply very few places on earth they won’t show up.
As for those who blame the media for all the alarm, let’s keep in mind that both language and imagery come from or are based upon the greatest compendium of advertising horrors we’ve ever known: the bible. That’s where such fears can be tracked to, plus the gory flair that pious writers, such as Dante Alighieri, have added throughout the years.

So when locusts showed up in city-size dark clouds over the Middle East, last month, that creaky mother of all qualifying cliches of news coverage trudged right along with it: ‘biblical proportions.’ Followed, of course, by words such as ‘plague’ and ‘apocalyptic.’ Never mind that the phenomenon, however its disturbing look and destructive power, has been happening since, well, biblical times.
It doesn’t matter. We’ll freak out about it all the same. War, poverty, hunger, slavery, exploitation, disease, all of which also playing leading roles in the gospels, seem to have somehow lost Continue reading

Sorry, Not a Winner

Congrats, Jackpot Losers. Now
It’s Time to Become an Astronaut

The Powerball beat all records, but in the end, two people who apparently deserved it beat us all out for the $550 million. Good for them. Seriously, we’re glad they got it and all that, sure.
We had a better shot at something else all along, anyway. Like, becoming a movie star. Or giving birth to quadruples. What about finding a four leaf clover? Come on, don’t be such a sore loser.
You knew you couldn’t possibly have a shot. And your Uncle Bob had already told you to never play these big drawings. After all, he’s always winning a few bucks on those scratch games.
He then crosses the street and loses them all on the races, you may say. But hey, you’ve just lost a few of your own, but are already thinking that today just may be your day to take them all to the cleaners.
If you think of it. all the money you’ve already spent in games throughout your life, would amount to a small fortune by now. Which, of course, you’ve have spent on charity, of course, sure.
The truth is, they keep wiping us clean, and we keep on getting back for more. What can you do? You haven’t come up with a counter-argument to what they say: someone must win it, so why not you, right?
You’re too old to apply for International Space Station Commander Sunita Williams‘s position and, let’s face it, you were never good at math, so that should be out. The odds beat are 12,100,000 to 1, by the way.
Movie star? We know it’s your dream, or one of them, but has anyone ever told you that you’ve got the looks? Those who beat the 1,505,000 to 1 odds to become one usually have some kind of looks to boot too.
Ah, so you think that being the U.S. President is easy? Well, besides the 10,000,000 odds of not becoming one, which a poor single-mother Continue reading