Sunday, July 31, 2005

That's... Really good coffee.

Pretension has reached new heights. Two weeks ago, I bought a stick of deodorant for $16. Sixteen dollars. For deodorant. Look, I've been struggling with deodorant decisions for months. I simply could not find one I'm happy with. No matter what I tried, everything would leave behind a white, flaky trail. And where would it leave it? Predominantly around the shifter and on the center console of my beloved Bimmer. I don't like it, when there's white flaky shit all over my shifter. So I tried various different brands to no avail. Yes, the car was influencing personal hygiene purchasing decisions. But still, personal hygiene standards had to be maintained. I was not only unhappy with the flaking situation, but I wasn't real thrilled with any of the deodorant scents out there, so I said fuck it; let's just get some Polo deodorant. I, of course, like rolling with The Power of the Horse™. I figured even if it makes a mess, at least I'll smell good. Because I'm going to get laid with green shit that comes out of a bottle.

You know what, though? Even if it's costly, it doesn't even flake off. The Horse is that good. I still don't understand why there are two separate products -- one a deodorant, the other an anti-perspirant. This is confusing since every commercial product has been both deodorant and anti-perspirant; I've never seen it as an either/or proposition. The bottom line is this: if you're willing to shell out good money for stuff, you're going to get fucked on top of it. Ha ha, you dumb fuck! You paid way too much for half a product! This is what the big time is all about.

However, this misadventure in not stinking doesn't compare to today's acquisition. As I said a few weeks back, I've been meaning to get a coffee maker for a long time. I have this friend who has been working at Starbucks since 1927, and I'm always telling her "Let me know when the really good coffee makers you guys sell go on sale." And every time they do go on sale, I'm like "Ehhhh... I really shouldn't be spending the money right now." I still shouldn't be spending the money, especially right now, but like with the deodorant I just said fuck it. And here's why.

Starbucks is phasing out their current top-of-the-line espresso maker, the Digital Italia, and coming out with something new. So the outgoing model is heavily discounted. On top of that, my friend gets a decent discount. So the DI, which sold for $1000, was available to me for less than $300. At that heavy of a discount, it's almost free. How could I pass that up? Especially since I'm not a big coffee drinker?

Well, I'd better be a big coffee drinker now, because I have the goddamn hardware to back up that title. Yes, I have a one-thousand dollar coffee robot sitting in my kitchen. And it is a robot. It grinds its own beans. It clicks and whirrs. It can be programmed. The top of it can be set to heat up in order to keep cups warm. It has a built-in milk steamer.

On top of that, my friend guided me to all sorts of accessories, like a milk thermometer and a milk steaming pitcher, along with all kinds of things like syrups and shit to add to the coffee. I have virtually no food in the house, but I have all kinds of crap for making coffee. Damn, do I ever have my priorities straight. But at least it does make good coffee. Once I got it hooked up, I immediately started testing it. I downed like four espresso shots as I was getting the settings right. A few hours later, I'd had the equivalent of eight espresso shots. One would think that I'd be bouncing off the walls by now, but I'm pretty immune to the effects of caffeine at this point, except under extreme circumstances. If I drink coffee that's too acidic or just too strong, it will upset my stomach. So yeah, I blew $300 for a machine that will make me nauseous. Like I said: priorities.

Back when I was in school, I worked for an optics group. No, we weren't a LensCrafters, I mean optics as in holography and lasers and shit. Anyway, the professor who led our group was a big coffee fanatic. Such a big coffee fanatic that we had a $500 espresso maker in our lab. Some mornings I would go in there, on an empty stomach, and down a double-shot to try and keep myself awake through my operating systems class. The end result being, of course, that I not only still fell asleep in class, but I got mad shakes by late morning and my stomach started eating itself.

The worst, though, was one night when I had put off doing a bunch of assignments, so I had five assignments -- including two papers -- due in the next 24 hours. So I stayed up all night in the Engineering Center in my office, downing espresso after espresso after quadruple espresso to keep awake. I got everything finished, but it wasn't pretty. Sometime around 2 or 3 AM, I was a fucking wreck. I was going out of my mind. Fidgety, unable to think straight, and just generally losing my shit. There have been times where I was blitzed out of my mind on alcohol but still more composed than I was that night on the bean.

The best product of this madness was one of the papers, which was for my bullshit psych class. I didn't care too much about it since it was extra credit, so I treated it as a sort of experiment. Kinda like a crime novel with no punctuation. But really, it was just a bunch of rambling nonsense. For some reason, I was writing about the Columbine massacre. I was ranting and raving, going through my enemies list... To this very day, I'm afraid to find the file and read what I wrote that night. No, I didn't actually lay out a manifesto to kill like Klebold and Harris did (seriously). I mean, I don't think I did, at least. It wasn't intentional if I did; no matter how fucked up I am, I'm not that fucked up, but holy hell did I drink a lot of coffee that night.

Alright, tangent over. But that's it. I'm a fucking moron, but I can make myself my own vanilla bullshit now. Except that I hate vanilla.

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