Grinding to a halt (and other terrible puns)

I bought a new coffee pot. Finally.

I had been subsisting on this wee little four-cup Mr. Coffee machine for over a year. It had only one button, an on/off switch, that periodically would be flipped to the “on” position by Counter Objects being pushed into it and thus threatening our very continued survival in our home.

Fed up with our continued dance with damnation (or just a potential kitchen fire), I ordered the coffee pot that had been haunting my Amazon wishlist for two years.

So the new coffee pot arrived and I immediately set to work setting it up, buying it beans, and cleaning the drips off the sides with a clean cotton towel.

My new coffee pot, which I have named Gabby (the first time I’ve named an appliance), has a little built in grinder which takes whole beans, pulverizes them, dumps them into the brew basket, and then makes coffee with them. It houses the resulting brew in an insulated thermal carafe rather than using a hot plate (the better to keep the house from becoming engulfed in flames … and to keep my coffee from burning while sitting all day).

This is amazing. I can even program it to do all of this at a particular time. Fresh ground, fresh brewed, unburned coffee at my whim. Fantastic.

Except there is a problem. It has too many steps in the setup. And the one, so far, that keeps getting forgotten is the emptying of the grounds basket. Previously in my life with thermal carafes, the step that was missed was emptying the old coffee out of the carafe and thus causing a coffee flood of Biblical proportions on my countertops.

This is worse.

Where as the Biblical coffee floods resulted in some cursing and a very clean post-coffee apocalypse countertop, the new mistake creates the following issues:

  1. bad coffee as the water is filtered through any new grounds that could squish in over old grounds that have been just settled there since the morning before
  2. jammed up coffee grounds in the grinder portion
  3. me thinking I can catch it and save the day — this gets its own number in the list because this is always a bad way for me to feel
  4. No. 3 results in coffee ground all over the counter, every dishtowel in sight, and sludgy coffee drips all over the machine, the floor, the dogs, my face, and in the carafe.

Some days you should just go to Starbucks before attempting to make coffee.




Matthew McConaughey is My Power Animal

I have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to my emotional outbursts over injustice, contempt, and anger. I get this from my mother. We are both Sagittarius if you put any stock in that Zodiac business. We do — but only when it suits us.

Frequently my mom will call me, like today, simmering and just about ready to boil over about some perceived atrocity that has befallen her. I often call her in a similar state.

I’ve decided lately that this is no way to live and so I tried to talk her down. She kept saying her favorite saying, “I’m just going to be like water.” This of course is a total bastardization of the old proverb (or maybe Bruce Lee said it according to this website) that water doesn’t fight obstacles, it instead goes around them, over them, just wearing those obstacles to nothing and doesn’t let obstacles get it its way. This is great if you are a normal person or maybe Bruce Lee.

However, when we are “like water” my mom and I are really angry, indignant water. It’s not a calming motto or a way of being for my mom and I. Instead, it’s a passive way of dealing with something. Which really isn’t dealing with it at all.

So today I told her, “Don’t be like water. Don’t get all stone-faced and not say anything. This is not the way to be. You need to be like Matthew McConaughey.” And in that moment, I knew I was right.

What would Matthew McConaughey do? Maybe not the real MM, but the MM that lives in our perception. MM would just takes the news, shrug his shoulders, look out at the waves — gives his toes a little wiggle in the sand maybe, and then just say, “Cool. I’ll be over there,” and he’d point to a spot on the beach. “You let me know when you work that out.” And then he’d saunter off (I imagine MM saunters without attitude) to check out a Frisbee game.

This isn’t to say MM doesn’t know when to take a stand. He’s been embroiled in a few legal battles over paparazzi, he has been arrested for “resisting transportation” during the infamous nude-bongo-weed incident, and he’s involved in a lot of charity work, according to his official website.

In fact, he originally went to school to be a lawyer. So it isn’t that he isn’t into justice, a moron, or just wandering around in some catatonic state (well, maybe he is sometimes as he is known to enjoy a little weed here and there), but rather I imagine MM knows when to get cranked up and when to just shrug his shoulders, smile, and see how the waves are doing while everyone else sorts out their shit.

And that is why being like water is bullshit.

Be like McConaughey. Just. Keep. Living.

The Machine That Goes Ping

I am 10 weeks pregnant. Thus, I have to get up, get dressed, leave the house, drive in traffic (none of which are things I normally have to do as a pseudo shut-in remote employee) to go to a doctor’s office for monthly experiments.

Most would call these checkups, but since my Women’s Center is a part of a teaching hospital, the young, happy doctors they send in are residents with the program, we’ll call them experiments as nothing is particularly routine for these kids.
On the one hand, this is great, because they are my age and we have lots in common including a mutual admiration society for adorable boots and wardrobe items.
On the other hand, they must have marked my chart as “client is very knowledgeable about science, reproduction, and is very calm when you tell her the baby might be dead” because EVERY time I go in, they struggle to find life in my body.
Today, my first monthly checkup where I didn’t have to strip naked, they first sent in a nice young guy who told me he’d be shadowing the other resident as it was, like, his first week there. He wielded his stethoscope like a pro, listening to me breathe and stuff, but when it came to Attempting to Measure My Uterus, he sort of held the tape measure against me and then said, “I’m not sure if I’d doing this right, let’s wait for the other resident.”
The other resident came in, another early-30s chick with cute short hair, and she never attempted to measure the uterus. Shadow Boy sat in a chair quietly. Short Hair Chick asked me a bunch of questions and since I’m fine, don’t particularly feel sick and in general am having a really easy pregnancy, she quickly got bored and decided it was time to move on to the Doppler ultrasound to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
So with Shadow Boy finally paying attention, Short Hair Chick readied the device with some very cold lube and started working it around my lower belly. Nothing showing up on the screen. Then she wiped everything off, and tried again. Still nothing. She looked worried. She asked me again if I’d had cramping or bleeding. I said no. I also told her that both the other residents had trouble finding the pregnancy the last time I was in and since we’d had enough of a miscarriage scare then, it was OK, I understood that the pregnancy may have terminated and then soothed Short Hair Chick by saying that the body is good at handling malformed pregnancies and that we understood that at anytime it might jump ship.
She looked relieved. Shadow Boy looked relieved. Then they decided to get another opinion from a more senior resident. Leaving me there on the table with my possibly dead baby, they all left to find the more senior resident.
Then they all came back. Senior resident liked my suede slouch boots. I told her I liked her blouse with the ruffle detail.
She put some freezing cold lube on the device, swooshed it around a few times, looked at Shadow Boy and Short Hair Chick, said, “That’s the heartbeat!’ and they all went, “Oh there it is!”
There was much rejoicing.
I asked Short Hair Chick if she wanted another shot at it as I support feeling successful. She laughed, thought about it, and then said thank you, but that she’d get it next time.
Then we talked about horseback riding for a few minutes — she’s a barrel racer which is pretty bad ass — and then I went home.
Thank god they get to work on me. Can you imagine if you were a high-anxiety pregnant lady with history of miscarriage and it took the Three Stooges to find the heartbeat?
In other news, Shannon Doherty’s new book about How to Be a Baddass is HIGHLARIOUS good fun.

Serious Subjects

G. Smiley and I went to Salsa lessons last week. The lessons were mediocre. The company was not entertained by us. And apparently, you aren’t supposed to Salsa dance to Aretha Franklin. What did we learn?

Salsa student: When do we pause?
Instructor: Pause?
Salsa student: Do we stop on the turn?
Instructor: There is no pause. This is SALSA! *flourish*