Posts tagged ‘Mountain Dew’

What flavour is your caffeine?

So many choices…so many tastes.  But really, life divides us into so many camps.  Are you NASCAR or F1? Rugby Union or Rugby League? NFL or CFL? Paper or Plastic? Coke or Pepsi? Country or Western? Boxers or Briefs? Thong or Bikini? Superman or Batman? Cat or dog? And I eventually have to ask..

Darjeeling or Arabica?

Recently I viewed the photo-blog on tea at and got to thinking about what a person’s caffeinated beverage says about them.

I must admit that I am predominantly a tea-man myself. I suppose my taste is a bit of a conditioning thing – as a kid I grew up on steaming mugs of Indian Chai, heavily flavoured by tea masala – a heady mix of cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, cloves and other spices only known to Mom. (Youtube hosts vids of a thousand different ways to make chai…) Life was simple back then; a day without tea was like a day without sunshine…

But then, as I moved away from home, I weaned myself off slow-boiled “sweet taste of heaven in a cup” and I developed the coffee-bug.  Why? Because Tim Horton’s, or fru-fru Starbucks, were much easier options and “The Man” looked dimly upon boiling chai on a hot plate in The Rez. So I became a Juan Valdez Junkie.

But eventually I grew up and bought a stove and tea was back.  And now, I am bi….yes, I am at one with my bi-caffeinality. But for those of you who are not bi-caffeinal, I would guess you probably fall into one of the four basic camps – yes, four:

  • The Coffee Drinkers
  • The Tea Drinkers
  • The Deluded Drinkers, those who think they “don’t do caffeine” because there is “none” in their Mountain Dew or Cream Soda or Diet Doctor Pepper. (For this group, I have nothing to offer – but to tell you to read the labels…they might offer an explanation for your shakes…), and finally
  • The Cold-Caffeine Drinkers, those who don’t give a caffeine-induced “constitutional” about coffee or tea – preferring to get their buzz through Diet Coke, Red Bull or Monster. I suppose they would respond by saying there is nothing  like the carbonated “pop-ssssshhh” of a pull-tab at six-thirty in the morning! (To this last group, you can stop reading too, as this blog has nothing for you – save what I think are some personal witticisms that pertain to the remaining 99.7% of the Earth’s population)

Tea/Coffee – coffee/tea? Interesting dichotomy. Both warm, both tasty, both invigorating – but yet so different.  The choice of poison says a lot about styles and tastes.

“How?” you ask. Well… let me share my detailed research and insight gained through years of observation and offer my take on joe versus brew…

  Coffee   Tea
Grooming and Apparel Gordon Gekko greased comb-back with power suit and wing tips – or a Hillary Clinton pant-suit (unless in Canada, where it is a plaid shirt covered in powdered sugar) Krameresque-afro, yoga pants, Nehru Collar and leather sandals (unless in the UK, where it is a neon Premier League soccer jersey covered in fish and chip grease and brown sauce)
Probable Pre-Beverage Frame of Mind Lethargic and cranky…like a teenager on a winter school morning…or pockets laden with so much cash that you can   afford to invest in a grandé skinny soy latte with a hazelnut syrup shot and   chocolate sprinkles… Frazzled and frantic…like a techno-geek at Best Buy on Boxing Day…or a person in desperate need of a few tracks of Norah Jones or Enya coupled with a thyme-scented Yankee Candle…
Post-Beverage Frame of Mind Buzzed, wired, frenzied, frenetic, hectic…kind of like Iggy Pop on speed. Check him out… Composed, unruffled, unfazed, calm, serene, mellow…like Dos Equis`s Most Interesting Man in the World
Preferred Accompanying Snack The two ends of the spectrum …anything with the word cake or cinnamon in its name…or anything covered in a sugar-glaze Cookies…period. (But nothing made with cinnamon or heaven forbid – raisins…yuck!)
Optimum Drinking Vessel A bio-degradable paper cup with a pretentious latin name like grandé or grandissimo…or perhaps a supersized cup in the 24 oz/710ml range…with a name like “Barrel’o’Coffee” or “Big Jitters”… A dainty little china cup, containing a maximum of three sips of tea, adorned with a picture of butterflies or beagles or antique cars or teddy bears –or emblazoned with the portraits of any Royal Couple…Charles and Diana circa 1981, anyone?
Mandated Preparation Methods or Equipment “Military Long-Boil in a Cheese Cloth”,   French Press, Turkish, Vacuum, Cold Filter, Drip, Percolator, Espresso Machine, Instant, Neapolitan Flip…and a personal favourite…chewing on Nescafe   crystals. A Teapot or a simply a cup…maybe a strainer if   you do not like to pick loose tea leaves from your teeth. It’s simplicity can only be described as Steeped – right Mom?!
Options Excluding flavoured coffees and those specialty coffee beans harvested from piles of cat-monkey shit… it is binary. Just two species – arabica   or robusta Only one species…camellia sinensis…but with three varietals (Chinese, Indian and Hybrid) and five types (green,   yellow, white, black and oolong)…and some wickedly cool names like Lapsong Souchong or Gunpowder Tea. Excluding herbals, tisanes and favoured teas, you still have a whole hockey-sock of options…(okay, maybe a bit of my tea bias is showing through)
Nicknames Cup of Joe, Mud, Mojo, Tar, Black Lightning, Java, Wakey Juice…and my favorite – a nice steaming cup of “shut the f— up”. Oh wait, that is not coffee… Cuppa or Rosy Lee (if you are a Cockney)…and…hmmmm…aahhhh…Okay. I give up. I could only think of “Tea”.
Aficionados Bach (apparently, he wrote the Coffee Cantatas   because he was an addict), SNL’s Linda Richman (Mike Myers’s Coffee Clutch… “talk amongst yourselves”) All of Led Zeppelin, and all five Beatles… I guess they needed something to wash down all the “creative” goodies…
Famous Quotes “I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.” – Flash Rosenberg “There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.” – Bernard-Paul Heroux

When it comes down to it, just like everything else, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  So whether you are a Twinings fan or prefer your kick from Folgers, enjoy your hot beverage.  There really is nothing like a great Double-Double coffee…unless it is a nice cup of Darjeeling….

So have your say, “What’s your preference?”



PS…There’s a fun graphic of complete UFI of the benefits of tea versus coffee …it looks authoritative, but who knows.  There’s all sorts of crap on the internet….  🙂  And here’s the link if your eyes are as old as mine –

Old and proud…so back off junior

Dads are the Original Hipsters.

I will use the entertaining website above as the launching pad for a diatribe against anyone younger than me (and in their twenties) who thinks they are the “shizzle” (whatever, that is…) – especially if they think that “old people” suck.  As this is a rant, it is doubtful I will offer any constructive criticism – this will just make me feel better!

Shockingly, the other day one of my kids indirectly called me “old”.  It was  a tragic by-product of being the same age as Gerard Butler. Even though I am younger – on the much greener side of 50 – I believe that I am now officially labelled as a “grumpy old f*ck”.  I am now batting for the other team. No, I have note emerged from the closet sexually (and before you have at me,  I am not knocking that orientation either. As a comedian once said, “It’s not to my taste…but who knows? Once upon a time, I did not enjoy broccoli either.” Broccoli-curiosity is not the subject of this blog…)

What I mean is that somewhere in the past 20+ years I went from “Challenging the Man” to “Joining the Man” to “Being the Man”. No longer am I the hormone-addled youth playing My Generation on my Sony Walkman cassette player, singing “F-f-f-f-f-f-fade away!”  No longer am I trying hard to ignore the death-ray looks of the Depends crowd who winced at the high-pitched noise escaping from my 1980s foam-covered headphones. I am now the scornful old git looking at the unshaven, toque-topped, flannel-shirted, skinny jean wearing hipster and the ball-capped, hoodie-wearing, “pants-to-the-ground” gangsta. I stare, transfixed, as they gyrate to the music of Liddle Fiddy, Em-En-Oh-Pee, the Antarctic Narwhals or whatever artist that has captured their fleeting attention spans.   (Note: Any youth similarly grooving or head-banging to Sabbath, Zeppelin, Tull, or Mötorhead is spared the death stare and admonishing cluck.)

I don’t know when this metamorphosis happened. The change is sort of like the rapid onset of my short-sightedness  or my inability to remember things as I leave the house (I know you know…we can no longer read the instructions on the box of Quaker Oats without using the self-zooming arm, or must check three times if we locked the front door.)  One day I was tolerant and understanding; the next day I was permanently irritated by anyone between 15 and 24.

Evidently I have whitewashed over my youth’s peccadilloes and joined the Old Bastards’ Club. Evidence? Rather than just accept it, I will return my steak if it is not to my liking (if I am paying $29.99 for a slab of meat, I want it exactly medium-rare, not rare, not medium – medium rare, lord t’undering!); I will tell the telephone-solicitor, usually passive-aggressively, that he has called me at a very bad time and that he  is on the verge of ruining my nearly perfect day.

I have paid my dues.  I want things exactly how I want them, and dammit, I have earned the right to expect and receive that! And, I am warning you young pups…do not try to piss higher than me on the tree, or I will come at you like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!

Also, regardless of my relatively middle class upbringing (with the necessary paper route, part-time job and continuous summer employment), I now find that I am an ardent disciple of the School of Hard Knocks. If you are over 30 and you haven’t seen  Charlie Sykes’ 11 rules of life ( evidently incorrectly attributed to Bill Gates ), you will probably react like I did. After each rule I found I was nodding my head vigorously crying, “You tell them Gatesy…the little bastards have it easy. There are no handouts for you here, punks!”

I back that up with the fact that everything I have, I got on my own – so the youngsters should do the same.  Don’t ask me for a ride to school;  man, when I was your age, I used to walk barefoot…uphill…and, in the snow!  Every hardship and disappointment built character – character needed to be an upstanding, contributing citizen like me, kid. Sound familiar? If you are as old as Gerard Butler, I am sure you have heard it before.

And then, the remaining vestiges of the young fellow I used to be offers that maybe I am being too grumpy, too hard, on the future generation. Maybe the grumpiness isn’t about them – it is about me.  My generation is full of Breakfast Club clones, now wearing the figurative checkered pants of principal Dick Vernon, who struggle to find a way to communicate with the next wave of humanity. Maybe the disapproving looks and comments are inevitable. As the wrinkles in our brains smooth out, as our vision fails, as our generation begins to become extinct, maybe being a prick is simply a Darwinian reaction.

It’s true, I can’t devolve into a youngster –  I look like shit in skinny jeans or gangsta clothes. The only option left is to bitch – “I gripe, therefore I am”. Perhaps being a curmudgeon is the only way to be noticed, to stay relevant, or as Bon Jovi puts it, our only way of going out in a Blaze of Glory.

So in the end, I can’t fight evolution, so I will accept my curmudgeon-ness. But, for you sprogs out there, watch out!  There are still a lot of us old buggers hanging on, with our huge reservoir of middle-aged bitching to school you on the way it used to be. And if that doesn’t intimidate you, take a peek at the web site at the top and be impressed – we were pretty young and hip once.  And rest assured, one day you will be old and grumpy just like us! That should scare you.