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The past two weeks have been emotionally draining for me. I'm convinced that if were not for the benefits of caffeine, I would have collapsed. Caffeine keeps me going. I don't just like it, I love it. I don't just want it, I need it. If it sounds like I'm an addict, I will point out to you that I also feel this way about the food I eat and clean air I breath. It's a fact of life that there are certain things a person needs to live.

I get my caffeine from 3 sources in any given day: coffee caffeine, tea caffeine, and soft drink caffeine. Just as I think it's important to eat a varied diet, I think a wide variety in your source of caffeine must also be a good thing.

W. C. Fields was right about water )
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Today, somebody brought cupcakes to the office and left them in the kitchen. White cupcakes with chocolate frosting. There they sat as I fixed my morning coffee, tempting all who walked by them. I'm a voyeur when it comes to sweets; I get off to looking at them, but I don't seriously consider indulging in the act of consumption. I imagine them touching my lips, imagine their sweetness, their texture, their decadence, and as I do this, my pulse and my breathing both quicken a bit.

Deserts are culinary pornography to me. Icing may as well be pasties and a g-string.

Get a little something that you can't get at home... )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about how I've become the sort of person who buys organic junk food, and wondering what exactly that says about me as a person. I never intended to become this sort of – I'll admit – weirdo. It happened on accident.*

The truth was, I was trying to incorporate more refined sugar in my son's diet, and organic junk food just turned out to be the easiest way to do that.

If my mother were alive, she'd either be very ashamed or very amused right now. )
ninanevermore: (Duckies)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking that stubbornness is a genetic trait handed down from parent to child in much the same way that eye color is. My son has my husband's blue eyes, and his stubbornness to go with them. After my son finished his dinner last night, I called Jeff on the phone to discuss this.

"I think that our son would eat sugar on top of his mashed potatoes and claim that he likes it, just like you like sugar on your mashed potatoes," I said.

I like it no matter how bad it tastes! )
ninanevermore: (Default)
I have just come back from visiting one of the two coffee shops at the edge of the universe. Ever since I started this job, I've been meaning to visit one or both of them, since they happen to be just a couple miles from where I work. I'm not just saying that the end of the universe sits within a short drive of my office because I want to be strange or metaphysical. I'm not speaking metaphorically, either. Today, I really did have lunch in the spot where the universe ends. I know, because comedian Lewis Black said so in one of his standup shows on Comedy Central, and if you can't trust a standup comedian about this sort of thing, then who can you trust?

Louis Black did not give the location of the place where the universe ends, saying only that he had discovered it and that it is in Houston, Texas. He said he was surprised that it was here, but no one who has lived in Houston would even raise an eyebrow to learn such a thing. Houston is a quirky place, a sprawling city of over 4 million people that most of the world forgets even exists. It's exactly the sort of low-key area that would be home to such an important find. As a public service, I will tell you exact location, in case you ever want to seek it out. The end of the universe is in an upscale and artsy part of the city, where sophisticated, beautiful people rub elbows with their own ilk. It is in zip code 77019, at the intersection of Shepherd Drive and West Gray Street. Now you know. While you are in the area, you may as well stop by the River Oaks Theater, which is the last place in Houston where you can still catch the Rocky Horror Picture Show, with a full-costumed cast acting out the movie infront of the screen, and an audience that tosses toast in the air and gets up to dance The Time Warp.

What Mr. Black found so profound about this intersection, and what convinced him that this is truly the end of the universe, is that on the south side of West Gray at Shepherd, there is a Starbucks coffee shop, that at first glance looks like any other Starbucks coffee shop. But immediately across the street from it, the first thing you see when you step out of this Starbucks is...get this...yet another Starbucks. I can verify that this is true, for I was in the southernmost Starbucks this afternoon, gazing northward at the other Starbucks. One Starbucks is mostly white, with black trim. The other Starbucks is mostly black, with white trim. There they sit, within a stone's throw of each other. You could walk from one to the other in a few short steps, if you were brave or foolhardy enough to cross West Gray on foot (I don't advise it, though).

And how does the coffee taste at the end of the universe? I am sad to say that it tastes about the same as it does anywhere else, and because the coffee at the end of the universe is served in a Starbucks, it is more than a little overpriced.


* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * # * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about how wimpy I am compared to my parents. I think of this every time I pour myself a cup of coffee. The coffee I drink is a sweet khaki-colored beverage in a cup holding enough cream to fatten up the Olsen twins and give them Marilyn Monroe-type curves. When I was growing up, I thought I hated coffee because I assumed that all coffee everywhere tasted like the coffee my parents drank: an unsweetened black brew that kicked you in the teeth and dragged you into wakefulness screaming and crying. They didn't use sugar. They didn't use cream (or even milk). They were children of the Great Depression, and expected their morning coffee to remind them of what the world was really like – bitter and dark, yet invigorating enough that they could say that they enjoyed every drop of it and couldn't wait for a second cup.

What does your java brew say about you? )
ninanevermore: (Duckies)
Today on my drive into work I was thinking about how I am much less self-righteous about how other people raise their kids now that I am a parent. When I was raising dream children in my head, they were perfect darlings who never pitched a fit in the supermarket (because I loved them too much for them ever to be that unhappy) and who never crawled around on the dirty floor under a booth at a pizza parlor while I sat nibbling on a salad thinking, "Screw it, at least no one is tripping over him and I know exactly what he is up to. He is up to finding the things that the people here before us dropped on the floor." Reality has a way of humbling a person.

Dream on )
ninanevermore: (Default)
I have plans for the evening, and they are not pleasant ones. My husband has requested that I make a meatloaf. I am not Suzy Homemaker by any means, but as far as certain picky eaters are concerned I make an awesome meatloaf thanks to the process handed down to me by my mother. She found a way to make a kid-friendly version of the dish using a secret ingredient best described as "Ruby's Disgusting Green Sludge."

Sludge – not just primordial, but also delicious! )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about the fact that New Year's Day is over, and I don't have to eat either blackeyed peas or cornbread for another whole year if I don't want to. It's a Texas tradition, and I was obliged to eat them yesterday if I wanted to be wealthier in 2007 than I was in 2006, and to have any semblance of good luck. I've followed this tradition all of my life, and every year so far I've been a little better off than I was the year before. I could tempt fait by not eating them, but I'm not that brave.

Some good luck tastes better than others )
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking that I have never uttered the words, "I can't eat this because it has too much cheese on it."

I don't think that I ever will, either.
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on the drive into work, I was thinking about homemade soup. If you have never made soup from scratch and have only eaten it from a can, my advice to you is to keep eating it from a can. Making soup from scratch is easy and only takes about half an hour, but it will mess up your life. Canned soup will no longer taste any good to you.

There will be days that you think soup would be nice, but you will feel too lazy to make it. You will take a can of soup out of the pantry and look at the label but remember how it doesn't taste anything like fresh soup does. You will discover that in spite of this, you still don't feel like making real soup. You will think about getting dressed and going some place that sells fresh soup, but realize that if you are too lazy to make soup, you are probably too lazy to leave the house.

You will end up just eating a sandwich, and not enjoying it very much.
ninanevermore: (Default)
Today on my drive into work, I was thinking about my collection of dessert recipes. I have a large photo album filled with them, clipped from magazines and newspapers. They are categorized by type (cakes, pies, cookies, candy, etc.) and there must be a several thousand of them all together. I have the instructions to make every kind of dessert and confection imaginable, with full-color photos and mouthwatering testimonials to go along with them, if the publication provided them. I started saving them when I was in college, and haven't stopped.

This collection drives Jeff crazy, because I almost never make any of them. I don't eat dessert. They were forbidden to me for so long that I don't even crave them any more.

Nina's Book of Forbidden Delights )

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