Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sip and Stir

Okay, I'm all for people getting their coffee on, and I'm all for freedom. Coffee is my life. And if a man (or woman) is deprived of coffee, well, I can't think of anything more Stalinist and fucked up than that. So let's be clear: 1) Viva coffee. 2) Viva freedom.

So have you're coffee your way, the world is your Burger King, champ. I'll even stand in line behind you with a good-natured smile on my face while you order some liquid paradox like a double decaf nonfat latte.

But what pisses me off is this: The Sip and Stirs. I'm in Brainwash for lunch about ten minutes ago. The area for setting up your brew is big enough for one person. So I'm standing there with a cup of black coffee burning my hand, trying to dump some cream in it and get back to work, and the guy in front of me is playing Julia Child meets Juan Valdez with this pinch here, dash there bullshit. Sugar. Stir. Blow. Sip. Cream. Stir. Blow. Sip. Sugar…

This might be why I drink my coffee with cream and no sugar. I just fill the empty space with half and half, throw the lid on, and I'm on my way. I don't even stir--I don't need to. The coffee instantly becomes cool enough to drink, and the leche kills a little of the acid, making for a smooth cup. No sugar residue in the mouth, and no sugar crash.

If you're a coffee rookie, step aside and let the pros to the plate. Go warm the bench a little, T-ball, until you're ready for the big leagues. Watch and learn. Grown folks should have their motherfuckin' mixtures down by the time they're old enough to button their own britches and buy their own bean. If you have coffee at least once a day, you should be able to get it the way you like it in 15 to 30 seconds, tops. If you're sipping and stirring, you've clearly got deeper issues of sexual ambivalence, guilt, and separation anxiety that you need to work out with your therapist, who gets paid to wait on your ass.

And if you're not drinking at least a cup a day, you're not doing your part for the war effort, and you should just switch to chai full time, Commie. You're probably trying to “cut down” or you don't really dig that coffee taste. You're probably a fucking vegetarian. In the words of the great Rapeman song, “Steak and Black Onions”: “Why don't you snuff it, man? Plant-eating pussy.”

Friday, October 08, 2004


Fucked up dream last night. Started with me at the house I used to live in when I was a kid, but I was my current age. I have a lot of dreams like that--some kind of Freudian regression thing. My dad is sitting in his leather Lazy-Boy, as he was during much of my youth, and I'm asking him for legal advice. My dad is a judge (in real life, too--only he's retired), and I've got to go to court later that afternoon, because I've sued all of my ex-girlfriends. For emotional distress, I guess. But, as I talk strategy with pops, I can't remember why I brought the suit, so I decided to drop it.

My ex-girlfriend, [Name Withheld], shows up with her new boyfriend, who, like I was, is older than her and also named Duncan. We chit chat for a bit, then she tells me that they've adopted a baby. Well, more like they've found a baby. She produces a bundle (or, if you've read Edward Albee's “American Dream,” a bumble), that is completely swathed--not even a face showing. I'm taking her word that there's a baby inside there. Apparently, it's got some kind of birth defect and/or Down's Syndrome, and was unwanted, so she and Duncan II have taken it for their own, like a stray kitty. It's all very Eraserhead.

“Well, we're going clubbing,” she announces. I try to be the voice of reason, telling her that having a child is a huge responsibility, and you can't run to the nightclub every time the mood strikes you. She says, “quit judging me” and tells me she's plenty responsible and she loves her baby.

All this talk about the anonymous baby leads me to ask: “Just what is its name anyhow?”

“Monster,” she says.

So we get into an argument about the propriety of naming your kid--deformed, retarded, and over-swaddled--“Monster.”

The dream ends by transmogrifying into a classic dream of mine, wherein someone is coming to get me--in this case some kind of police SWAT team--and I've got plenty of guns to choose from to “defend myself,” but I can't seem to find the right bullets. I decide on the .45, and finally find seven rounds to put in the magazine. I'm nervous and shaky and have a hard time getting them in, but by the time I wake up, I'm standing behind a closed door, waiting to shoot through it at the first sound of footsteps

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Autopilot on:

We ride naked in climate-controlled
seclusion. The car: the family

The load-bearing stress of threaded titanium.

A man dreams of dropping bombs
on France. From Spain.
An errant pilot erases
the center span over the Missouri,
from KC, MO
to KC, KC.

What will become of our climate-controlled dreams?

A body in motion
stays in motion. Newton
is dead. Bombs
are rays in this nuclear
age. Post-nuclear
age. And men no longer fly
in the sky.

You can't tell
your cells when to divide.
You can't tell them
how. A body divided against itself
will not stand. Electron micro-
scopes are quaint,
even hokey. Eternity-
still subdivided into ghettos
of the Now.

We come bearing gifts
to find the Messiah
already dead.

Things just disappear.
A plane is a child's plaything.
What will become of our child's
What will become of our climate

I ask my daughter,
“Where is your toy?”

She says, “Nowhere.”
And laughs.

Autopilot off

If You Call It a Kid's Bike I'll Scoop Your Eyes Out with a Spoon

Just built my 20" race bike--got one of the Mongoose Pro Craig Reynolds CRX frames that are going around eBay--SM race bars, Profile stem like the Kappa, Flight cranks, Vuelta aero rims. So I cruise down to the bar with my roommate last night, and some wall-eyed hipster in a flannel shirt starts fucking with me about the "kid's bike."

"What is this?" he says. "Rad the Movie? Your bike should evolve with you," he says, "Or de-evolve as the case may be." This coming from a guy who looks like he's been doing the back stroke in the shallow end of the gene pool. I diligently ignore him, and he starts spouting about how he's got a 26" made by the guys in Austin who welded the original SE bikes.

"Oh, you mean a Fireman's Cruiser?" I ask.

He's all shocked that I know his super-secret, very evolved and adult ride. "Yeah," I say. "I've got a Kappa 26." (Even though it's in the mail...)

"I saw their 24...I didn't know they made a 26" blah blah. He starts telling me about how he always wanted to be sponsored by SE but couldn't cut the mustard. Now, who hasn't evolved in this picture? Cruisers are fine and they're a great way to get around San Francisco, but I just built a 20" so I can race along with my cruiser. Mr. Grunge Look circa 1988 has too much beer belly and not enough skills or balls to ride a "little bike" so he starts busting a stranger's nuts...

Whatever. It rubbed me the wrong way because I'd spent the last three hours building the bike--which kicks ass, by the way--I'll always have a soft spot for Mongooses, even if this one's made in Taiwan. I didn't want to hear some armchair Pabst Blue Ribbon sermon on "evolution."