Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
Brisk. Fresh. Well-balanced. Occasional nutty and bittersweet overtones.
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Monday, June 20, 2005

Coffee Shop Serendipity

Saturday morning I took a book to Caribou and settled in an easy chair next to the fireplace. A woman I didn't know sat down on the nearby couch about 30 minutes later. She was carrying a book, so of course I said, "What are you reading?" She told me the title--a murder mystery. I jumped right in as if on cue, and said, "I'm reading a fascinating crime story, only it is non-fiction, The Devil in the White City; murder magic and madness at the Fair that changed America. It's about how the Columbian Exposition of 1893 was planned and built and about a serial murderer who lived in Chicago during that time." "Oh, I read that," she said, "I'm from Chicago, and I'm a researcher of old buildings, so I really loved that book."

So we began a discussion of the book, of Chicago, of Columbus, of architecture and Ohio State. A very satisfying coffee break.

Columbian Exposition 1893

Friday, June 17, 2005

It was 6:30 in the morning

"Are you worried about something?" the friendly clerk inquired when the woman picking up coffee while her husband waited outside in the car mentioned that she hadn't slept well last night. "No, nothing," she shook her head with a puzzled expression. Then she added, "Well, I do have one daughter having a baby and the other is getting married."

Gracious, lady, I'd be tossing and turning too, and you don't know why you're lying awake staring at the shadows on the ceiling counting all the what ifs . . .?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Just a boy and his dad on a summer morn

A toddler and his dad in matching shirts were gathered around one of the patio tables outside the coffee shop. I could see them from my table window. But, oh, my heart was in my throat. As dad chatted with the other men solving the world's problems and reporting their golf scores, the unsteady toddler, new to walking and balance, played with a long stir stick near the curb where the cars come barreling through and drivers try to park in the narrow space. First he dabbled the stick in the dog water dish that the staff keeps outside. Then he'd taste it. Then he'd try to poke the large mixed-breed dog secured next to the bowl in the face. Then he'd go back to splashing in the water with his stick, and licking the stick. While dad chatted, I chafed.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

On and on and on

I don't intentionally eavesdrop, but sometimes people are so close in a coffee shop you'd have to wear ear plugs to not listen. She went on and on and on. Two women, possibly her mother and an aunt--older by a generation plus some--listened patiently as the proud mommy blathered every detail of her high school son's graduation week, his girl friend, his sports, and search for a college. Finally one of the older ladies got up for a refill; then the other. Proud Mommy didn't miss a beat. "Well, anyway," she said as they returned. "On Thursday. . . " and "then on Friday. . . " "Well, then I told him. . ."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Caffeine and Diabetes

"Caffeine is associated with a reduction in nocturnal hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetes, according to the results of a double-blinded, randomized study published in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

"Hypoglycemia and the fear of low blood glucose levels remain rate limiting factors in achieving normoglycemia for patients with type 1 diabetes," write Tristan Richardson, MRCP, from Royal Bournemouth Hospital, U.K, and colleagues. "Previously, we have shown that ingestion of moderate amounts of caffeine also may be useful by augmenting the symptomatic and hormonal responses to mild hypoglycemia, allowing appropriate action to be taken before neuroglycopenia ensues. The benefits of regular caffeine ingestion in patients with type 1 diabetes may extend beyond its influence on hypoglycemia warning symptoms." "

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