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.




I have a cut on my finger

This provides a look into my shallow little soul. No, the cut isn’t that deep (neither is my soul). It is just a paper cut.

My first thoughts when I cut my finger, after I yelled, “SHIT!” was, “Fuck me, now it’s going to suck shampooing my hair.”

Despite the irritation, the way the tiniest flap of skin rubs against my pinkie nail (the cut is on the outside edge of the ring finger on my left hand), the constantly little ache as I type, or the fact that it could get become infected with staph and the result could ultimately result in my skin falling off like a gruesome nightmare like my not-my-aunt-Dottie … it’s the shampooing my hair that really concerned me.

Left uncovered, the cut will snag every piece of fine, long hair on my head and cause me to wince.

If I cover it with a Band-Aid, then I’m in even worse shape as not only will the covering catch even more hair, but it will impede my finger mobility for ultimate head-massaging action to achieve suds.


This morning I took a shower and shampooed my hair.

And it was as bad as I thought.

Paper cuts. Major. Suck.

Regarding Vomit

Here’s the thing. I’ve been puzzled for years by the volume of men vomiting. No, not the number of men who’ve developed eating disorders and are subsequently rushing to the public restrooms at malls immediately following lunch–but the actual decibel measurable sound they expel when throwing up.

As a recovering anxious person, I am practiced in the art of vomit. I used to do so every day before school. I’d wake up and the nervous wave would hit. I would reluctantly choke down breakfast as I tried to convince my mother that I was actually sick enough to stay home from school.

It should be noted that my mother is not a masochist.

But she is also not a fan of whining or repetition or repetitious whining. So, I’d eat and she would send me to “walk the plank.” This meant pacing up and down the long narrow hallway between the kitchen and the bathroom until I vomited and could then be taken to school. I’m not really sure why I didn’t want to go to school. Maybe it was a fear of stretch pants and Chinese jump ropes. It was, after all, the 80s. Maybe I was just a weird kid. This frequent vomiting continued until my mother figured out that one could not simultaneously ride a bike and vomit. Well, one can, but it’s really hard when you are concentrating on breathing and pedaling to also concentrate on not spewing on yourself before you arrive on school grounds. More importantly, at least I wasn’t in the house begging her to save me from the evils of school.

But I digress.

My point is, as a practiced vomiter, I know that no extraneous sound is required to vomit. Sure it sucks, but making noise while you vomit actually exposes your vocal chords to burning bile that actually scorches the surface of those speaking implements and leaves you sounding like a chain-smoking prostitute. In my case, a chain-smoking child prostitute, which is just nasty on a number of levels better left unexplored.

But men yell. I was first aware of this several years ago on New Year’s Eve. My dear friend was turning 30, and we made the ill-advised decision to let my 22-year-old brother take us out drinking. So, my friend drinks, and drinks some more. Then he pees in a bush and drinks some more.

We stumble back to my brother’s apartment, where poor drunk friend proceeds to puke his guts out…so loudly we can hear him in the living room: “BLAAAAARRRGGHHH!!!!” heave, heave “GRAAAAAWWWWWGH!!” Horrible, yelling noises. I swear he is murdering another man in there. I ask him, “are you murdering another man in there?” And I hear “MMGLAAAAAWGH!” Standing next to the bathroom door, my ears are now ringing from the volume of the noise.

He comes out, looking terrible, hoarse from the effort of vomiting and yelling. And he is not alone.

Several weeks ago on Mad Men, Don Draper, over come by a panic attack, vomits into a sink, yelling as he does so. Rewatching Catch Me If You Can last night, I watched as Leonardo DiCaprio vomits into a janitorial closet while practically screaming. And I think any explanation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is totally unneeded here.

I asked my brother about this. Why the noise? Why the extra effort? His response?

I groan the way people groan when they have really violent diarrhea. Going up or down it all sounds the same.”

Words of wisdom.