Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I am BACK!

Well, readers, I made it almost three whole days.  I gave up caffeine altogether for health purposes, and now that those issues seem to have been resolved, I am back on the hard stuff. 

Actually, I fully intended to keep caffeine-free for the entire week, but today was just too miserable.  My sleep patterns have been much deeper lately, which is possibly good.  The flip side of this is that waking up has become torture.  Honestly, if I didn't have work or any other interruptions, I could have slept soundly until at least noon.

Unfortunately, another side effect of this abstinence has been constant splitting headaches.  I have taken Tylenol, Advil, you name it, but to no effect. 

If I was in a position to sit at home and stare at the walls or nap, this would not really bother me much.  Unfortunately, my vacation does not start until Friday, so I have work to do. 

After a period in which I pretty much just stared blankly at the computer screen and willed myself to stay alert and awake followed by a weak attempt to supplement my coffee habit with herbal tea, I caved.

This is not a total catastrophe.  I actually need to do this.  You see, my canine friends have given me a beautiful Nespresso Pixie for graduating with my MLIS degree, and I cannot disappoint them by letting it go unused. 

If you do not know what a Nespresso Pixie is, go ahead and Google it.  But to summarize, it is a little espresso maker that utilizes little "pods" of coffee that one orders online.  Sort of like a Keurig, but it only makes espresso.  Really excellent espresso. 

I must admit, I initially scoffed at such a contraption.  As a former barista who has worked hard to perfect the art of a perfect shot of espresso, I had serious doubts that such a simple process could yield good results.  When my mother, herself a barista, announced that she was going to buy herself a Nespresso machine with her saved up tip money, I was again skeptical.

Keep in mind, this is the same mother who went out and bought a lovely high end espresso machine back in the 90's with the intention of making her own espresso drinks and therefore saving money on daily coffee shop visits.  Said machine is presently residing in my kitchen cupboards and may eventually make its way out to the farmhouse someday.

The problem with the original espresso machine was not that it failed to work properly.  It turned out a fairly consistent product and was fun to use.  But when it came to maintenance and clean-up, it was found to be somewhat problematic.  It is one thing to maintain and clean the big machines at work; it is quite another to take this on in one's own kitchen.  Long story short:  it is messy.

So when my dear mother told me of her plan to acquire a new espresso brewing device, I urged caution.  I knew full well that my words were meaningless to her, judging by the gleeful glint that appeared in her eyes when she spoke of the new machine. 

In one last bid at preserving sanity, I accompanied her to the store.  Apparently, my mother had already been through to scout the product, because the sales lady knew her.  They went through all the bells and whistles, concluding with a sample.  We came home with the machine along with an electronic milk frother.

For our inaugural run, I let my mother make me a drink.  Although I was loathe to admit it, it was very good.

Since that time, I have let go of my prejudice against the Nespresso.  I have even become the primary user of the machine in my parents' home, oddly enough.  So much so that my mother is constantly reminding me that I should contribute to the purchase of new coffee.

When I was asked what kind of gift I would like for graduation, I was momentarily at a loss.  Then it hit me:  I could get my OWN Nespresso!  So I asked, and I have received.  For comparison purposes, it should be noted that my brother asked for and received a very nice digital camera for his DVM graduation last spring.  This should give you a good idea of our respective priorities, although I am pretty sure that his girlfriend would not turn away her own Nespresso machine... which gives me an interesting idea.

If anyone is curious, I now have a very impressive array of coffee-making paraphernalia in my home, should anyone ever care to come and visit.  I have:  a small Mr. Coffee brewer, a good quality red espresso machine, a stove-top Bialetti coffee/espresso maker and a Nespresso Pixie.  So if you're ever in my neighborhood and are in search of a good cup of coffee, come on by.  There is a very good chance that I will be able to help you out.

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