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1000 Black Lines

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Celebrating the Patron Saint of Ireland

Happy St. Patrick's Day! March 17th is the feast day in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland. I'm more than a quarter Irish.

I do find it odd that it falls in the middle of Lent. The first three or for days of Lent was rough (I gave up coffee and beer for Lent). Beer was fairly easy because I don't consume it as much as coffee. However, my morning routine includes rituals of coffee grinding and brewing and sipping and all the other activities, which make a coffeehouse junkie, a... junkie. For over two weeks I've been without my favorite bean beverage and it's not as bad as I thought.

Earlier this week I was talking with some people in class (I've been taking a financial class on how to live on a spending plan -- i.e. debt free living) and an older gentleman observed that coffee seems to be today what cigarettes were when he was young. This has given me pause for many thoughts.

First, anyone purchasing a tall Starbucks coffee is paying way too much. Especially when there is a display of Starbucks bags of coffee beans for $12 next to the purchase counter and a customer purchase a $4 tall coffee. Doesn't the practical math tell a consumer to buy a bag of coffee and save roughly $270 (a pound of coffee provides roughly 72 cups)? I understand that people, for the most part, buy tall coffees at Starbucks purely as a lifestyle choice.

Second, when I am frequenting a coffeehouse it is usually with family, friends, artists, poets and writers. So, it's a social setting -- a community event. I recall my great grandfather would congregate with fellow immigrants at the local seed and feed store in the same manner -- smoking dollar cigars. Maybe coffee has replaced cigarettes for the most part.

Lastly, it appears that like cigars or cigarettes a century ago, coffee has become a social adhesive. My morning ritual aside, a lot of the social events I frequent provide coffee as a preferred beverage.

So, how have I survived the last two weeks without coffee? Simple. "Ba mhaith liom cupan tae?" That's correct -- "tae" if your Irish (pronounced "tay"), "tea" if your English. No sugar. No milk. Just tea. Earl Grey and Genmaicha mostly.

But how am I going to survive St. Patrick's Day without a swill of the bitter? Gypsy Bandwagon is playing at Jack of the Wood tonight. I think the show starts around 9:30 PM and 10 PM. Here's a MP3 sample from Gypsy Bandwagon: Walking Back to Dublin. And another one: Moosetafa. Maybe I'll let the music be my drink and the fellowship be my supper.

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! And Siochan leat.

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  1. Blogger zhoen | 3:10 PM, March 19, 2006 |  

    Some good strong Keemun or Assam will do you.

    But then, I can't even stand the smell of coffee, genetic mutant that I am. I'm merely a beer and chocolate freak.

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