Coffee

Coffee: (n) a drink made from the roasted and ground beanlike seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced.

An ambiguous lover.

That’s what coffee has been to me.

It always reminds me of that one girl I knew, who was a good friend and occasionally made me think that I wanted to make out with her–and I think she probably felt the same way about me–but we never, ever felt it at the same moment. So awkward attempts to be romantic always led us back to long conversations about how we didn’t want to ruin it because our friendship was so special.

That’s the way I feel about coffee.

I have really tried to get into coffee. It seems like something that should work for me. I hang around with people who enjoy it immensely. Part of me would love to love coffee–just to fit in.

But the numerous times I have tried to have relations with the coffee cup have ended up very unsatisfying.

Maybe it’s because I snuck up on it.

A couple of times it seems like it snuck up on me.

Perhaps it revolves around the fact that our love affair is decaffeinated.

I tried it iced, but it just left me cold.

I tried it with cream, without sugar; with both; and even with something they told me to put into it which I could not identify–and did not help.

Officially…I am not a coffee drinker.

I sometimes hold a warm cup of the fluid in my hands in the midst of strangers and adults so as to take my place in the tribe.

But always, by the time they’re ready to have a second cup or top off their first, I have barely taken three uncomfortable sips.

 

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon: (n) an aromatic spice

Neil Young, in a burst of creative brilliance, wrote a song entitled “Cinnamon Girl.”

Many of you will not know who Neil Young is, but you certainly know what “cinnamon” and “girl” are. Let’s deal with that.

When he wrote this song, I was so impressed, because envisioning a woman as food is just divinely inspired.

Matter of fact, every time I hear the tune I imagine a lovely lass who looks and tastes like cinnamon toast–and if I lick her, I will get the sensation of great pleasure and oodles of flavor.

Genius.

Not in the sense that Neil is a genius–but anytime we can connect human appetites with human feelings, to create human understanding, we are on the Road to Glory.

I’ve never had the courage to ask a woman if I could smear her with butter, cinnamon and sugar, to fulfill Neil Young’s recipe.

But believe you me, if I ever do run across a cinnamon girl, and it’s obvious that the tastiness awaits, I may not be responsible for my actions.

 

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Cider

Cider: (n) an unfermented drink made by crushing fruit, typically apples.

It was less than two miles outside of our town.

There was a family with a farm who had apple trees and a press.

A cider press.

It was delicious.

Looking back, the climate that surrounded apple cider during my upbringing was transcendent of anything that I later or even now experience.

The trees were filled with colorful leaves, the air was brisk and made you want to leap a little when you walked, and the cider was glob-in-your-throat sweet.

Every once in a while my mother accidentally left some in the refrigerator too long and it would get zippy. Some zing.

I did not realize that it had slightly fermented (I’m not sure how anything can slightly ferment) but I desperately enjoyed it.

I remember going to Halloween parties. The menu was so simple: cider, caramel apples, doughnuts and candy corn. (One kid in our class said it was well-balanced because the candy corn was a vegetable.)

Sugar, sugar, sugar.

I don’t know how we ever worked it off–and maybe we didn’t. It would literally kill me today if I had a doughnut with cider and a side of candy corn. I would be rushed to the hospital.

But hopefully the Emergency Room would be nearby, on a brisk day, with the leaves about to fall.

 

 

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Cake

Cake: (n) an item of soft, sweet food, baked and often decorated.

I don’t like cake, I like frosting.

There are times I was willing to eat a little cake to get the last portion of frosting. I have gone to weddings and parties and observed people
who eat the cake and leave the frosting. They feel very pious about this. They will even crinkle their nose and say, “The frosting is too sweet.”

Yes.

It is so sweet that you can taste the granules of sugar in your mouth.

Because of this yearning for frosting, I have learned not to eat cake. People offer it to me all the time at receptions and I turn it down, even when they tell me it’s sugar free.

The frosting is never sugar free. The frosting is delicious. The frosting is like devouring the living organs of the body of sweetness.

It is magnificent.

They even make frostings that have different flavors, textures and of course, coloration.

I cannot think about cake without musing over frosting.

When I was a boy, I once encouraged my mother to put less frosting on a birthday cake so that she would have half-a-can left, to place in the refrigerator, so I could sneak in later and slurp it up.

This required a rehab.

So let me say, part of my twelve-step program is to never eat cake because it’s tenderly caressed by irresistible frosting.

 

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Aalto, Alvar

by  J. R Practix

dictionary with letter A

Definition of Aalto, Alvar (1898–1976), Finnish architect and designer; full name  Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto. He often used materials such as brick, copper, and timber in his building designs to blend with the landscape. As a designer he is known as the inventor of bent plywood furniture.
Come on. The dude has four names. Let me give you a scale on numbers of names:
People who go by one name are divas. Beyoncé. Kermit. God.
Two names: Hard-working folk. John Deere. Jack Daniels. Martha Stewart.
Three names: Serial killers, authors and mascots. John Wayne Gaycee, Henry David Thoreau, Smoky the Bear.
But four names or more?  Really?? Fruitcake. And I don’t mean any disrespect.
Also, what’s the big deal about blending into the landscape? Isn’t that what cavemen did? “Hey, look, Buck! There’s a hole in this rock. We can live inside there without changing the landscape or ambience!”
And by the way…bent plywood furniture?? I have done that many times–just by sitting on it suddenly.
I’m sure Mr. Aalto is a nice guy, and probably came up with his own idea on how to blend things together…ala Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups and army intelligence. But if you ask my opinion, making furniture out of plywood is what causes many young married couples to end up purchasing living room suites that wear out long before the payment stops.

Aardvark

by  J. R Practix

dictionary with letter Aaardvark: a large, nocturnal, burrowing mammal, Orycteropus afer, of central and southern Africa, feeding on ants and termites and having a long extensile tongue, strong claws and long ears.aardvark

Let me get this straight. Aardvark is just a really fancy, British way of saying “anteater.”

I once thought about eating my aunt. Actually, it was an assignment in my sociology class. Our teacher posed the question: if you were stuck on a desert island with your family and you were starving to death, which member would you eat first?

I decided it couldn’t be my mother. Let me not get into the reasons.

My father would be tough and taste like cigarettes.

My little brother would be an option, but it would take days to wash him off.

I thought about my uncle, but I didn’t want to eat him because he’s humorous. At least that’s what my parents said–he was a “funny uncle.” I was nineteen years old before I realized he did not own a comedy club.

I decided the best option was my Aunt Mary, even though I feared she would be a bit sour. You could always sweeten her with sugar, add a dash of cayenne pepper and the flavor would be tolerable.

I also noticed that aardvarks have long noses, but they do keep them to the grindstone instead of poking them into the air. Of course, it would be hard to be superior if you had really big ears and a really long tongue.

No, I guess if I had to, I could be an aunt eater–not the little black bugs, though. Wouldn’t they try to sting you on the way down as their last protest to being consumed? I’ll have to go over to England and ask an aardvark sometime.

Now I know what an aardvark is. It’s a funny looking creature with its head hung low, embarrassed over its appearance which likes to eat ants with its long tongue.

Good information. Just be careful discussing it too much, or it conjures a very unpleasant vision … of family dinner.