Balzac on “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee”

This is a wonderful little read. For the full text, go here: The New Partisan.

Finally, I have discovered a horrible, rather brutal method that I recommend only to men of excessive vigor, men with thick black hair and skin covered with liver spots, men with big square hands and legs shaped like bowling pins. It is a question of using finely pulverized, dense coffee, cold and anhydrous, consumed on an empty stomach. This coffee falls into your stomach, a sack whose velvety interior is lined with tapestries of suckers and papillae. The coffee finds nothing else in the sack, and so it attacks these delicate and voluptuous linings; it acts like a food and demands digestive juices; it wrings and twists the stomach for these juices, appealing as a pythoness appeals to her god; it brutalizes these beautiful stomach linings as a wagon master abuses ponies; the plexus becomes inflamed; sparks shoot all the way up to the brain. From that moment on, everything becomes agitated. Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to its legendary fighting ground, and the battle rages. Memories charge in, bright flags on high; the cavalry of metaphor deploys with a magnificent gallop; the artillery of logic rushes up with clattering wagons and cartridges; on imagination’s orders, sharpshooters sight and fire; forms and shapes and characters rear up; the paper is spread with ink – for the nightly labor begins and ends with torrents of this black water, as a battle opens and concludes with black powder.

Ahhh, I think I’ll brew a cup now and start a war by feeding my tapestries of papillae!

(And you thought I was kidding about the “humor” tag cloud thing!)


Must… Have… Coffee…

It’s 9:30am, on a normal day, and I am just now having my first cuppa joe. There’s something wrong with this picture.

Kindergarten, part 2… Today, when I left off Sophie at school, as we got out of the van, I put out my hand and… no reciprocal hand holding… from my 5-year-old daughter… who calls me “Daddy.” (If you listen closely you can hear my silent internal whimpering.)

A Case for Pastors Hanging Out in Coffee Shops

Great little article about making “Coffeeshop Connections.” Here’s a particularly good thought:

Where else do soccer moms mingle with Goth kids dressed for the Friday night show? Or young, upwardly mobile commuters interact with a homeless man? Or a local pastor (me) interact regularly with anyone outside the church?

“Hmm… I wonder why you like this article, Scott?” OK, fine, so I’m just trying to bolster my own case. But, even in my case, at Cafe Mojoe, I’ve invited more people to church and had more substantive conversations with people I don’t know than I otherwise would. Just about a week-and-a-half ago I had a good 45-minute conversation with someone and I got a great chance to respond by showing how the gospel answers the questions we were discussing.

And yes, I know I need to balance this kind of community relationship building with pastoral care of the current flock, but, as the article states, our buildings are efficiently built to do relatively few things, one of which is to, on Sunday mornings, bring people in, sit them down, participate (hopefully) in worship, and send them out.

Whatever the case, these are good questions… Where would the church regularly go to interact with not-yet-Christians? I’m guessing outside the church is a good place to start. And, if you’re anything like me, a cup of coffee and a connected laptop are also of vital importance! :o)