Saturday, October 25, 2003

I can't really type

A box cutter mishap

I know--it's lame to say that a box cutter mishap is the most exciting thing to happen to me
recently. It's been a while since I've posted here; it's been three or four weeks since our weekend in Stratford. October was a brilliant autumn month. My conception of what an autumn should be (patriculalry in the context of academic and musical activities, coffee drinking and day traveling, whatnot) has been brilliant.

Since I'm coming back to this blog a few weeks after I started, all I can say is that I cut my finger with a box cutter. Only
last week did my nail fall off.

Chanson du installation: Outkast, Church

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

In Stratford, breaking from coffee

This past weekend, I traveled with a group of friends to Stratford, Ontario to see some Shakespeare and get
away from the University of Michigan ("mid-terms" have started, although a.) midterms are actually semester-
long streaks of papers, exams, etc. with 2-3 week buffers at the beginning and end; and b.) in architecture,
something's always, always--always--due) and into the autumnal countryside to stroll in the rains only to retire
into some lush, warm room by the front window sipping coffee. So this is what I planned to do between plays,
and for the most part, my romanticism was permissible and realized. Now...though I didn't plan it, I underwent
a major life change this past weekend. Many of you may be aware that my coffee-drinking goes way back to
age nine when I prepared myself the Paramount brew in the men's lounge of the MAC after tennis lessons
(Oh! *shudder;* how the sucrosed be-creamered ooze would chill my nerves these days). In high school, it
became a regular and valued Thursday afternoon tradition, and many hours of productive studying were
passed in the warmth of the kitchen with my books and coffee overlooking the yard and the sparrow flocks,
the tusslebrush in winter and the bugs and buds of the spring. I even cited this tradition in my application
essay to Cornell in an attempt to describe the phenomenological coneption of my self-awareness and its
relationship to why I want to be a space-wielder. But I digress. I'm trying to say that coffee has been a
central component of my life since my formative years [and it continues to be so in these formative years and
I hope it will always be so in all formative years]. Yet since coming to Michigan, I have had coffee at a frequency
that is disturbing and alarming. Coffee is requisitely a context drink. Thus, if ideal or compelling conditions
exist (for instance, a last afternoon walk home in early winter after a long day as the sun begins to fade)
despite the lack of 'appetite' for coffee, it is necessary, according to these conditions, to indulge in brew. This
is troublesome in a town like the Deuce, for ideal and compelling conditions occur all the time. They
are inherent in the urban fabric of the city--unavoidable. And since my academic pursuits have shifted to the
sterility of refigerator compartments on North Campus (although the Arch building butts up against the woods,
which is relieving) where there is no suggestion whatsoever of well-operative and synthetic communal space
nor services, my only option for sustenance (sp?) in my long, 14-hr. days is Espresso Royale Caffee, the
problem of coffee-context submission has not been deterred. So what I mean is, I've been drinking far, far too
much coffee as of late, and it has nearly lost any 'specialness;' and this, my friends, is utterly tragic. Not only
that but I began feeling sick every time I drank the stuff. So when the opportunity came in Stratford for make
a switch, I seized it passively and unknowingly, and made the conversion--for the time being--to tea. Now,
I am a tea man. I mean, I've always drunk and liked tea, but now it's often and consistent. Instead of coffee
and breve lattes, I now sip tea. One immediate benefit: I no longer have to go to Starbucks! Before my
switch, coffee took precedence over every other consideration of coffeeshop patronage. The quality of the
coffee was more important than atmosphere, lighting, music, clientele (Starbucks is all Easterners *more
shuddering*), location, temperature, etc. And while Espresso Royale on State Street wins out in every single
one of those categories, it fails very, very deeply in the category of coffee quality; the ultimate, decisive
category that determines where my time is spent. For that reason, I have been a Starbucks tool for the past
year. In one sense, it's great because their coffee is superb. In the other, I feel like I'm in perdition. ERC
beckones but I ignore her, and refuse to trust her (I mean, she has let me down in the past
in ways that truly hurt), etc. But since I've become a tea man, I can return to ERC becuase they excel in tea
like Republicans in apathy and Democrats in hypocrisy. Starbucks shouldn't even try. They should just get rid
of tea because even their most simple black tea, Earl Grey, is laced with flavoring *even more suddering,*
which is thoroughly depressing. And it all happened in the pseudo-Anglicism of Stratford. Bless it!

Chanson du jour: Outkast, Rosa Parks