Tag Archives: coffee

More Vital Skill: Making Coffee vs. Using Excel

EMILY SAIDEL: A good night’s sleep can usually balance the need for coffee. But the ability to mail merge or to perform a regression. Priceless.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I take strong exception to the idea that Excel skills are more important than knowing how to make coffee. Continue reading

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Mishaps with Fire: Try This At Home

DAVE TOMAR: I’m not sure what it is about boyhood and fire. Perhaps it’s the promethean impulse toward creation. Perhaps it’s the sentiment of occasion and celebration first inspired by a birthday candle, a fireworks display or a citronella torch on Labor Day. Perhaps it’s the joy of holding a force of such sheer, unimaginable destruction in the palm of one’s hands. For me, it was that very special episode of Webster when he burnt his parents’ house down while playing with safety matches.

AKIE BERMISS: My trouble with fire is that I am practically always playing with it. Cigars — I love ‘em. I smoke ‘em. And there is no better solace after a long night’s gigging that drinking some stale gas-station coffee and smoking my cigar on the drives back to Brooklyn. Some of the drives, you see, are pretty late and pretty long and its rare that there’s anyone to talk to. I used to hook up my blue-tooth and just call anyone I thought might be awake and get them talking, but these days its not as cute as it used to be. People hang up. So its just me. And the road and the darkness. Usually, I light up and I turn on NPR (if I can get it) and I hit the road. But see the thing about cigars is: they’re big. A cigarette is easy to light. You almost don’t need a flame as a really strong spark will probably do the trick. Cigars, on the other hand, they take some real fire to get started. Really its just a barely-controlled micro-blaze.

And its alarming close to one’s mouth. Continue reading

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Bookstores: Independent, Used and Massive Chains

AKIE BERMISS: I love me some books. No I really do. When I walk into a bookstore, I expect to come back out significantly poorer than when I walked in. If there’s any one thing that I’m easily distracted by — its probably books. And, unlike many people, I’ll never enjoy buying them online. I don’t feel satisfaction when a graphic of a book goes into my “shopping-cart” and then a week later a box shows up in my mail. No joy.

I need to go to the store. I need to see them in their element. I need to pick them out. And I need to take them home with me.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Like Akie, I do acknowledge a love for the Big Box Bookstores. But to cast aside the many other ways to acquire books- yes, I share his obsession with all things bibliorific- is an astonishing limitation I simply do not share.

ZOË RICE: While I was away at college, Barnes & Noble opened its first Brooklyn store, four blocks from my parents’ house. Park Slope, Brooklyn, was decidedly not a chain store neighborhood–the Starbucks wouldn’t come until later, and no, I still haven’t recovered–and here was a massive store, two levels, popping up right in my backyard. We had independent stores: Community Bookstore (still living), Booklink (no longer with us) and Booklink II (the first to go). Park Slope was known for being quite literary, with loads of editors and artistic types. B&N would not do. But then I visited it. And I realized Park Slope needed a Barnes & Noble. Continue reading

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