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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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Still in love

A couple was sitting next to me in the coffee shop, deep in conversation, and he held one of her hands in his two. "Well, isn't this a romantic scene," I said while putting on my coat to leave. He laughed and said they would be married 30 years next week. "Really?" she said.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Two orphans

I was getting a refill, ready to leave. She rushed up to the urn and dropped the paper cup on the floor, picked it up and started to fill it. "Oh honey, get a clean cup," I advised. She laughed and turned around and got a clean cup. We both laughed, and I apologized for sounding like her mother (she was perhaps 15 years younger than me). "That's OK," she said, "I lost my mom when I was in my 30s and I miss her." I told her mine had died at 88, 9 years ago. She said her mother was 45 when she was born--a tag-end baby, so although she'd lived to be 81, her youngest was still rather young. Now she's also lost her oldest sister, who was sort of a mother substitute.

Two orphans, brought together by a dropped cup, missing our moms.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Now that's cabin fever

It's been really cold in Columbus--below zero. Warming a bit now. But I saw a couple pushing two double strollers through the snow and cold to Panera's yesterday. They had a 7 year old, a 3 year old, and twins under one. That puts a whole new slant on going out for breakfast.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have another cup

"Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of Late-Life Dementia: A Population-based CAIDE Study." Marjo H. Eskelinen, Tiia Ngandu, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Hilkka Soininen, Miia Kivipelto. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Vol 16, No 1, January 2009 (in press). Link.

Abstract: Caffeine stimulates central nervous system on a short term. However, the long-term impact of caffeine on cognition remains unclear. We aimed to study the association between coffee and/or tea consumption at midlife and dementia/Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk in late-life. Participants of the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study were randomly selected from the survivors of a population-based cohorts previously surveyed within the North Karelia Project and the FINMONICA study in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987 (midlife visit). After an average follow-up of 21 years, 1409 individuals (71%) aged 65 to 79 completed the re-examination in 1998. A total of 61 cases were identified as demented (48 with AD). Coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk of dementia and AD later in life compared with those drinking no or only little coffee adjusted for demographic, lifestyle and vascular factors, apolipoprotein E ε4 allele and depressive symptoms. The lowest risk (65% decreased) was found in people who drank 3-5 cups per day. Tea drinking was relatively uncommon and was not associated with dementia/AD. Coffee drinking at midlife is associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD later in life. This finding might open possibilities for prevention of dementia/AD.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

He works 80 hours a week

He's not poor. When you chat with him you have the feeling one of you isn't there. He says it's because of the staff reductions in the home office, but I don't believe him. I nod and make sympathetic noises through my coffee. People who work that many housrs (I'm not referring to low income people who are working 3 jobs to pay the rent and car payment) want to be indispensable, or they have nothing else in life that excites them as much as work.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

They used to jog to the coffee shop

Now I see them walking, carefully. I think possibly he had a stroke, or maybe it was a virus. But a few months ago his step was unsteady--now it seems firm. Now, however, he holds the coffee cup with two hands.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ponytail Pete

One of the regulars has cut off his pony tail. I asked him about it today. He said he grew it after he retired, causing his adult children much cause for concern. He said he was able to remind them how much grief they'd given him over hair a few decades ago.

Fifty years ago, I had a pony tail, too.

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