Octopus' Garden

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Around 4:00 a.m. in the morning last night I found myself dusting my paperweight collection, washing the dishes, cleaning the countertops, and making Greek Barley Salad.

(On a side note, yes, I'm still all about the Barley Salad these days, and yes, I think this kind is particularly fine what with the feta cheese and the plump shiny glossy olives that look like Jube Jubes.)

But why, you might wonder, was I indulging in compulsive cleaning and taking pictures of Barley Salad to post on the internet at 4:00 in the morning?

Everyone else was sound asleep.

It was all due to a Coffee Mishap. You see, while it's very important that I have my requisite coffee in the morning, it's also equally important that I do not, under any circumstances, exceed my Two Large Mugs of Coffee Quota. Because if I do, I all of a sudden turn into Crazy Tweaked Out Caffeine Whore. It's sort of an Incredible Hulk-ish kind of transformation. Only with caffeine.

The two-mug rule has been a house rule for some time now. I made the mistake of breaking it a few times last fall semester when I had obscenely early committee meetings on too-few hours of sleep, and let's just say it was regrettable. I ended up showing up for my afternoon classes sweaty, shaky, talking a mile a minute, all decked out in some horrifying alternate personality who would just randomly blurt things out like, "Oh my God, oh my God, I am SO aggressively and overcompensatorily overcaffeinated today because I had this really early meeting and YOWZA, I think my freaking head's going to explode!" Only it came out more like this:

"OhmyGodohmyGodIamSOaggressivelyandovercompensatorilyover caffeinatedtodaybecauseIhadthisreallyearlymeetingandYOWZA Ithinkmyfreakinghead'sgoingtoexplode!"

It was scaring the students, I think.

So the rule is that I switch to decaf if I want more coffee, say, in the afternoon. Which I did late yesterday afternoon. Only the writing was going very well, and so I absentmindedly wandered into the kitchen, made myself some decaf, only I didn't actually use decaf I used the regular coffee out of rote habit, went back to writing, obliviously drank two large mugs of the decaf that wasn't even remotely decaf at all, and then felt perturbed and baffled when it seemed as if my head was going to explode.

Although it was actually kind of nice to get up today to discover that some Crazy Tweaked Out Caffeine Whore had made me barley salad.
posted by Artichoke Heart at 11:59 PM


This is (sort of) why I kicked the caffeine habit several years ago. But if you happen to be looking for something to do in the middle of the night tonight, I wouldn't mind if you wanted to make me some cookies and ship them. ('Cause, you know, I'm not sure Greek Barley Salad will travel that well.)
Blogger Shelley, at 9:05 AM  
After a health scare earlier this summer, and high blood pressure, yada yada yada, I gave up coffee. I do chocolate milk, which is so dorky it's embarassing. But I'm surviving nonetheless. Anyway, enough about that. I can see you will never switch to chocolate milk. I'll just say that I'm glad that for the yang of the Crazy Tweaked Out Caffeine Whore you at least found the yin of your subsequent, early morning barley salad.
Blogger Camicao, at 7:37 PM  
I read I found myself dusting my paperweight collection as I found myself distrusting my paperweight collection and I immediately became worried about you, your well being, even though we've never met before.

A distrustful paperweight collection is fraught with uncertainty and danger.

Be careful.
Blogger Radish King, at 10:38 PM  
I've had days like that! Stimulants & depressants = bad juju for the Rana. Just what I need -- to be even more hyper than I already am!

(btw, I'm tickled pink to be listed in the Spider Roll. I love sashimi, especially unagi and Caterpillar Roll, and I've been wanting to try a Spider Roll.)
Blogger Rana, at 12:45 AM  
Shelly and Camicao, I'm sure that I probably ought to give up caffeine, but my mental motility is so sluggish upon first waking that I feel convinced I would be humiliatingly mistaken for Cletis the Slack-Jawed Yokel until 1:00 p.m. otherwise.

Rebecca, I think that a 4:00 a.m. bout of distrusting one's paperweights is not altogether out of the question. They could turn on one: too many, too heavy, too dusty, too swirly. And yes, it would be fraught.

Hi Rana! So glad that you're glad that you're on the Spider Roll and by the way, a spider roll is so definitely worth trying!
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 2:42 PM  
It goes without saying that I distrust all paperweights. Guilt by association, say I.
Blogger Shelley, at 3:57 PM  

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