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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coffee Club

I've got some anxiety issues. It's kind of a relatively new thing (or a relatively new thing for me to discuss), but something that I've been dealing with for awhile (let's round it up to an even 2 years). And something that I've recently started to work on (let's say, like, in a seeking-professional-help sense).

People who know me, know that it's insanely easy to scare me. I find it uncomfortable, to the point of being stressful, when people appear out of (seemingly) nowhere from beyond my peripheral vision, or unexpectedly around corners, or make sudden movements, etc and so forth and much much more. It got to the point of having straight up panic attacks and overall unpleasantness.

If you've ever had a real panic attack, then you know what I'm talking about. If you've never had a real panic attack, then congratulations, because they suck.

I'm a simplest solution is the best solution kinda gal...and I happen to live in a country now where the health care system is comparatively better than the one than the one in the place where I used to live. So, I've decided to get that shit fixed as best as I can. No biggie. It's one of those "the alternative is unthinkable" kind of things. And yes, that's a quote from Highlander: The Series.

Coffee is still a weak spot though.

I really really reeeheeeheeeaaaaalllly enjoy coffee, but if you're someone with anxiety issues, then it's maybe not the best beverage choice. At my two previous places of employment -- I consumed massive amounts during the course of a workday. At one job, everyone was fairly responsible for making their own either via the single cup coffee filter thingy or via French Press

Both of which look silly if you're like me and from Oklahoma (unless you're my brother-in-law Dave) or maybe if you're just the average person from the US. I'm pretty sure of that at least.

I remember an exercise in one of my German language classes while I was staying in Cologne, where we had the task of describing the procedure for making a cup of coffee. Everyone in the class (all US-Americans) were chatting about how easy the assignment would be, until the instructor pulled out this funny looking contraption and asked, "No, how do you make coffee like this?"


For the curious, it goes like this:

Filter + coffee beans are inserted into the funnel on top, then you just pour hot water over the coffee until your cup is full.

At any rate, I had never seen anything like this before August 2004.

But you can make a decent cup of coffee. It can be a little wasteful on the coffee filter side, but decent.

At the other job, airplane engineers fucked up my caffeine rush on a daily basis until the company came up with an alternative plan. After that, the coffee was splendid.

(Note: Yes, Schmiddy is an airplane engineer, but as I mentioned in my last post) he makes a damn fine cup of coffee.)

For over a year, I've worked in a significantly larger office building (500+ people in our company and growing). Dispersed throughout the building are automated coffee machines. My panic attacks started near the end my last job and escalated around the beginning of my most current job and were probably not minimized by my high coffee consumption.

Luckily, the coffee in most of the automated machines around the office is so terrible that I can't really stand to drink it, so that aided with self-limitation. Coffee replacement (i.e. "wheat coffee" (Dinkelkaffee) or decaf) just doesn't feel right. If I can't go for the good stuff, then I'll go without.

Almost a year to the day when I started at my current job, I discovered the one coffee machine in the building where they keep the really good coffee. Yes it's automated, but so far in my life, it's one of the few machines that can produce something that's close to real love (iloveyoucoffeemachinemarryme). Real coffee beans, freshly ground. The only drawback being that the standard-size office coffee cup is this weird middle size. There are 3 size settings, small is like an espresso shot size. Large is like about half a liter. But medium only fills the cup about halfway. Still, that together with the distance it takes to get to this machine from the part of the office where I work helps me keep things in check.

For the past month, however, my office neighbors (a British guy and a Swedish guy) have formed a little "Coffee Club" (ok, I'm the only one that calls it a "Coffee Club"). But occasionally, one of them will say "Hey, you guys wanna get some coffee?" And the three of us trek clear across the building, past all of the shitty coffee machines, to the one good coffee machine in the whole building.

These guys are hilarious and the trips are always the highlight of my day.
The British Guy is from London and has a super-posh London accent that makes everything sound so high class even though he has such a filthy mouth (I actually want to follow him around with a tape recorder). The Swedish Guy is just a little bit crazy. He puts about two and a half scoops of instant coffee in his glass... before he fills it up with coffee, because in his words, "You know what this coffee needs? More coffee." Which sounds a lot funnier when said with a Swedish accent.

All of this has led to my personal theory that maybe I don't like drinking coffee for the drink itself, maybe I've just always liked the company.

Which is also probably bullshit, because sipping a nice hot cup of good coffee is still pretty irreplaceable... and I wouldn't just voluntarily hike to the other part of the building for no reason.



Pickles said...

I need that coffee mug brewing top hat thingy.

mofo from do said...

What the fuck does that have to do with coffee? I need my caffein!