Coffee Tasting Experiences: When is Coffee More Than a Morning Beverage

I recently subscribed to a monthly subscription service for coffee beans.

The company sends me a bag of coffee every month, and often times, a small card with a description of the coffee, any particular brewing instructions, or just a particularly artistic shot of coffee grounds.

But recently, the small card including a “digression .”

The card reads: “We find the experience of brewing Beta Blend – of taking that first, refreshing sip after the heavy intensity of our other blends- is a bit like exiting a tucked-away Tokyo sento’s hot tub, dousing oneself in cold water, and then snagging a candy on the way out.”

After googling “Tokyo sento hot tub,” it seems like I finally found a company that understands my coffee drinking experience! For you see, I don’t just drink a cup of coffee. That would be crazy talk! I brew it, make unbroken eye contact with it, find out everything about its thoughts on Picasso’s Blue period, and then I drink it. Here are some reactions to the the coffees I’ve had recently:

“This coffee tastes like taking a walk in the snow, listening to “Purple Rain” by Prince, accidentally ending up in Narnia, discussing Narnia-world history with Mr. Tumnus, and then splitting a candied orange while you wait for your Uber to come pick you up and take you home because you don’t know the way back from Narnia.”

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Evergleam: The History of Aluminum Trees

I live in a studio apartment, and I have a studio apartment sized tree. It’s 24 inches tall, and is made of gold tinsel. Like everything I own, I got it at Target.

I’ve had artificial trees for most of my life. For over a decade, my family had a tree that we assembled branch by branch, each row identified by the alphabet, each year remembering that in a strangely whimsical turn, the Christmas tree company left out the “L” row. There was no L.

As my aesthetic could best be described as “all the colors,” it only made sense that in college, I made the switch from a green fake tree, to a small, iridescent bubblegum pink tree. I also got it at Target.

In college, you could spot these tinsel-trees everywhere. Coming in countless colors, they were tailor-made for a college dorm room, perfectly complimenting your bright blue quilted duvet cover you got at Target, your yellow retro-styled table lamp you got at Target, and your reproductions of vintage French theater posters you got not at Target, but at the campus poster sale at the beginning of the year.

But their history started decades earlier. It’s predecessor was the Aluminum tree.

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Tinsel Tuesday: The Nutcracker

Periodically when researching I’ll stumble on something that’s just too good not to share. Bonus points if it’s festive! No advice, no pearls of wisdom- I’m definitely, pretty much, mostly very certain those are reasons you all decide to stop by- just something cool I thought was worth sharing. This week, let’s look at art created for The Nutcracker throughout history.

Opernhaus Zurich, 1993. Art by Mario Botta

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Totes My [Yule] Goats: The Almost Travel Gets Weird About a Goat

Sometimes life gets tiring.

Your job is getting you down. It’s cold outside. The bills are due. You have a hangnail. The president is a jackhammer to democracy, a danger to the nation, and sandpaper to the senses. Also your car needs new tires.

See? Tiring!

Everyday I’m reading about something in the news that makes me want to pull my hair out. And then I go on social media and read people’s responses that make me want to pull my hair out. (Lesson I can’t ever seem to learn: never ever read the comments!) I don’t have a ton of hair left, guys.

Scrolling through Instagram, the current social networking platform that doesn’t send me into a fit of rage as it’s mostly full of artistically filtered pictures of people’s Christmas trees and carefully plated food (my pictures included), I came across this picture courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

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When the World is Your Oyster: The Almost Travel Blogger Ends Up With Legroom

There’s something about the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Still feeling the lethargy that only eating 17 pounds of casserole can produce, but having to muster the energy to go to work tomorrow and make it look like you’re super into catching up on your work emails.

Is it ok to post a sign on my office door that just says, “Be cool, guys. Go away”? Or “you can only knock on this door if you brought me a casserole”?

While I’m doing a decent job catching up on my laundry, and I bought actual vegetables to make a not-casserole for dinner, I spent most of yesterday napping and have only worn pants that stretch since I flew back to Wisconsin from my home in North Carolina yesterday morning.


Getting back to life, back to reality, is a pretty rude awakening, but luckily, my attempt to save a couple dollars on plane tickets by flying back on a Saturday softened the blow. You see, I had a whole row to myself.




The traditional “I have the whole row to myself” stance.


Let’s be clear. That never happens. Ever. Never ever.

Will I get a seat next to a man who insists on storing his backpack in my foot space so he can put his legs where his bag would have been? Yes.

Will I get a seat next to a woman who repeatedly jabs me with her elbow as she excitedly plays her iPad games? Also, yes.

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You Made It Weird: History’s Thanksgivings (or at least the ones we can laugh about)

History isn’t always fun because humans are historically not great to each other. For five minutes, let’s remember that history is also full of weirdos who need some self-awareness. Good thing I won’t ever be one of those.

Reasons I Make This Face Part 1


Image: Public Domain

Reasons I make this face: a good high-five, a bag of cherry starbursts, a new podcast about politics, an easy to peel clementine, socks that match and don’t have holes, free cheese samples at the grocery store, respect for women, a George Michael song coming on the radio, sitcom Christmas specials, Michelle Obama, novelty sweaters

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Give Em the Old Razzle Dazzle: Turning Pumpkin Pie into Pumpkin Why….Didn’t We Do This Sooner?*

*It’s a Tuesday, guys. Not all titles can be gems.

The holidays are coming, guys! I mean, I think they’re coming. They’re supposed to be coming. They’re not coming fast enough. Not nearly fast enough. But really though, are calendars broken? How am I not already eating turkey? That seems impossible. Anyway…

The holidays! They’re coming!

And I know what you are probably trying to figure out: what is the most effective way to impress your family while also confusing them? Adding some flare to the table, while also making it a little harder to carry on a conversation? Giving ’em the old razzle dazzle while also giving them reason to wonder if you’re ok?

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

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