Wednesday, September 11 2019

coffee, ideas, and music

Dear Journal,

Good morning everyone! And happy Wednesday. I'm pleased to report that the coffee situation here at home has returned to normal. We un-boxed our fancy Hamilton Beach coffee maker last night. As I was opening it up, I started to question why I went with the exact same \$20 model as before - if you're getting something on Amazon you may as well shop around, read the reviews, and see what's out there, right? Apparently I don't. I think I even searched for the exact machine by make and model. But maybe that's a good thing. There's a notch cut out at the end of our coffee bar that fits one of these exactly, and what a scandal it would be if I got a different machine that didn't fit there! But I played it safe, I got the same model, it fits snugly in the notch, the french press can go back to being a contemporary hipster decoration and I can go back to just complaining about the beans. This week I went against my better judgment and picked up some random "fair trade" coffee from the Jenny Street market. I'm all for fair trade, but I'm suspicious of any coffee in which that is the only thing they have to brag about. Really? You're putting that front and center on the bag? No "premium quality" or "established in 1985"? Not even one of those "J.D. Power & Associates awards"?

This fair trade coffee was not even sold by the actual coffee. I bought it by the keurigs and hot chocolate and other tangentially cafe-related nonsense. In the back of the grocery store by the checkout, there's a wall of real coffee beans, a bean grinder, and a lot of blends that I recognize from local coffee shops, but I'm just a bit too shy to figure out how it works. It looks like a big todo, asking the cashier to grind it for you, telling them which blend you want and how much. I'm just waiting until I hit my personal tipping point, where my discomfort outweighs my shyness - my activation energy, if you want.

So I'm all out of journaling ideas. We're scraping the bottom of the barrel, if you hadn't noticed. To add some content to these morning journaling sessions, I jot down things I can talk about as they pop in my head at work or while doing chores, and the list is almost empty. Almost. I've been sitting on one bullet point for about a month now and I just haven't worked it into our conversation, so instead of doing this organically I'm just going to drop it in.

Some days, I feel like if somebody put a gun to my head, I might admit that the only album I ever really need to survive is Beyonce's Homecoming Live album.

I took this down while I was doing the dishes, when I blast the more energetic selections in my music library. Beyonce's Homecoming: Live album is a frequent guest in the rotation. There's some dull spots, but the first leg is really energetic and gets me really pumped up to clean the kitchen. Sometimes I ask myself which album I'd take on a desert island with me, and on any day of the week I'd answer Blonde by Frank Ocean - with a secret copy of Endless burned on the opposite side of the CD, but this random thought in my notes proves that for a few seconds when the sink water gets hot and the Queen B starts bumping that I briefly live in a universe where Beyonce is all I need. But I would only admit this in dire circumstances. In the words of a good friend of mine, Frank Ocean is my music collection's youngest child. Frank is the baby of the family, and no matter what he does (or in his case, how infrequently he makes music), he'll always be my favorite. Beyonce might be my middle child. I don't have a lot in common with her, but I need her around for balance. Kanye is my wayward eldest son. He embarrasses me a lot, and I don't want to talk about what he's up to and what he's saying, but at the end of the day I love his music and he'll always have a place in my collection.

So there we go. That wasn't so hard, was it? It's equally daunting and inspiring staring at an empty "ideas" section in my notes now that I just let the last one fly. I'll try to be extra attentive to my thoughts today so we can repopulate it. Otherwise I'll just end up using our time together in the mornings to talk about all the intricacies of my morning coffee routine.

I'm working from home today. Marissa's dog class was cancelled, so the whole family is hanging around the house with me. We're thinking about eating lunch at home, then going for a quick walk in the middle of the day. Normally we eat out on Wednesday afternoon, but we've got some good leftovers in the fridge, and we had better eat those before I add to the chaos tonight. For dinner, we're going to attempt Korean BBQ beef, some white rice, and if I'm feeling really crazy I'm going to make some rangoons to go along with them. I can feel my fingers swelling from the sodium already.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you tomorrow. Happy Wednesday!