Archive for the ‘coffee’ Category

Razor’s Edge

July 9, 2007

Making coffee this morning and I was struck by the brutally sharp edge of the tin as the can opener peeled it off. This is supposedly the number one source of serious lacerations in the emergency room. It brought to mind the surgical incisiveness of the credit card, seemingly innocuous, but capable of relieving you of a lot of financial blood. Like the tool of some John Wayne Gacy.

I froze the offending card in a plastic cup. I was going to shred the sucker, but it pleaded for mercy. Now it sits, hanging in limbo like some tusked mastodon. Like a blood-sucking mosquito suspended in amber, a memento from the era of financial chaos. Before the light.


Cheap Thrills, Regressions: Psychiatry and Coffee

June 28, 2007

That’s close to the title of a famous psychoanalytic article. I’ll try to dig it up.

Today’s cheap thrill was mentioned in a New York Times article. Being a devoted coffee addict, I was surprised to hear about a different method of making iced coffee. It’s supposed to taste great and it is completely easy and inexpensive (though they don’t miss the opportunity to hawk a $30 product, no thanks).

Check it out. Cold brew iced coffee. Can’t wait to try it myself.

Since we’re at the Times, their most emailed article today, as of this writing, is about the iPhone. Save us all.

Veering wildly off-topic, another top story is about the money psychiatrists receive in gifts from drug companies and how this effects their prescribing habits. If memory serves, there was a great song by the Brains called “Money Changes Everything.” I think Cindi Lauper covered it. From the article:

Vermont officials disclosed Tuesday that drug company payments to psychiatrists in the state more than doubled last year, to an average of $45,692 each from $20,835 in 2005. Antipsychotic medicines are among the largest expenses for the state’s Medicaid program.

You can check out the article here.

10 Entertainments On the Cheap

June 8, 2007

A budget can be a bit of a constraint. It takes some time to wear one in. Here are some ideas to entertain yourself whether the money’s running thin or walking tall.

  1. Make a paper wallet. There are so many ways to go geeky with this. Wrapping paper. Graph paper. You could actually write and track your cash expenses on the actual wallet. If you love stationery you might already know about this nutty website. Lots of fun stuff. You could print some of it out and make a wallet out of that. Go wild.
  2. Feeling like your life is too cluttered up? Have a glance at this image, and take a deep breath. Perhaps meditate on it. This is a veritable visual symphony on consumerism.
  3. Another one from Stumble. Spot a lie! It’s fun, but I wouldn’t take the conclusions this person draws too seriously. Any time you make rules about human behavior you’re just asking for it.
  4. Meditate. Learn from a very credible meditation teacher. He’ll even has a format for keeping a meditation journal. And he’ll respond to your journal. So much of what is written about this practice is second-hand at best. This guy is the real deal.
  5. For goodness sake get away from the computer. Take a walk. Go for a swim. Ha.
  6. After your lungs have been stretched a little and you’ve rinsed the salt water out of your hair, settle down into a comfortable chair and read a great essay. Make a fresh cup of coffee.
  7. Take care of your brain. Part of what’s nice about meditation is that occasionally it can take you out of verbal thinking mode. Just for a moment. If you’re fretting about budgeting and how to squeeze a nickel and reading how-to lists, I think it’s fairly safe to say, both as an average joe and a pscyhotherapist that you have a tendency to get lost in verbal mode. You drive along and remember nothing about the scenery, swept away by cognition. This can have the effect of actually disconnecting you from reality. (Fixed, false belief equals delusional.) While distinctions about what is right-brain and what is left-brain are usually facile and oversimplified there are some general rules that tend to hold. You can use right-brain activities to interrupt the rabid click click clicking of the calculating left brain. So paint a picture. Scribble in a notebook. Listen to music. Open a jar of cloves, close your eyes and take a deep breath. The left brain gets a lot of press in our culture. It’s the bean counter. The planner. Give it a break.
  8. Go to a museum on free admission day. If you live in New York City check out the Frick. I love that place.
  9. Lost for words? Are you needing to kick that left brain into gear? Try this random word generator.
  10. Bury yourself in the delightful arcana of the rational scientific worldview. This is its own peculiar form of escapism.

Down With the Black Gold? Tea Anyone?

June 6, 2007

Okay, blogging from different rooms in the same house. Frugal or just silly? I found this one about coffee at wisebread.

Starbucks Envy

May 19, 2007

On Wednesday my two morning patients were each guzzling hot, store-bought coffee during our sessions. One of them had an attractive red thermal mug. These were hard moments. In my non-frugal, money-bleeding past I was often in the habit of having ‘first cup’ at home and grabbing some absurdly overpriced and hyped brand coffee, nonetheless very soothing.

But Friday is here and we met some friends at a newish gelato place on Sunset. Fantastic coffee. Perhaps the best in Los Angeles. The kids go ape shit on gelato. We are ecstatic about our afternoon espresso. $15-something. Then a jaunt to the Bright Spot for some so-so diner food. $59 (three adults, three kids).

As Bizarro Debt Reduction guy says, a DWL — A Day Well Lived — no shame in blowing some dough now and again. Actually, it was great.