Coffee Rhetoric: Coffee Rhetoric
Showing posts with label Coffee Rhetoric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coffee Rhetoric. Show all posts

December 31, 2012

Coffee Rhetoric's 20 Most Read Posts of 2012

Just like that, a new year will be upon us in mere hours and save for some massive bumps and bruises, we got here relatively unscathed, not having to endure a zombie apocalypse. 2012 has been a year replete with a lot of interesting news-bites, dumb-dumb social gaffes from politicians, some notable highs, and extremely tragic lows. It's also been an interesting year for Coffee Rhetoric. I've had the opportunity to participate in some interesting discussions, serve on a couple of panels and offer insight on being a writer, blogger, and navigator of social media, as well as seeing this humble blog introduced to a wider breadth of readers via mainstream media, many of who I've been able to engage with on here, via Twitter, and on Facebook.

December 22, 2012

These and Those: Holiday Update

It has been a spell since I've logged a proper blog post. I know, I know. I was (and am still) hoping to make some vanity changes to the blog, to ring in this New Year, once I figure out the logistics. I've also been on somewhat of a mini-break from blogging.

(Very valid) excuses: I was sans a laptop for a minute because my old, crotchety one finally sputtered and died on me. It had literally been hanging on by a proverbial thread... wires would be a more apt description. Duct taping the screen to its keyboard simply wasn't passing muster anymore. It was a slow moving, perpetually freezing, memory waning piece of junk. I cringed at having to take it out in public to work on. Needless to say, in its final act of defiance it declared, "F*ck yo' couch!" and went bye-bye for good. It took some maneuvering to transfer my work off of it, but my (very necessary and relevant) files were saved and re-loaded onto the newer laptop... thank goodness. 
I've also been trying to work through a massive writer's block. A lot is going on in the world, most recently the tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT. Honestly, there are no words I could have written to sum up my thoughts on the tragedy, so I've opted not to publicly share them via social media. I will say that local (Connecticut) media, for the most part, has been respectful and protective of the victims' loved ones, and I think that it's definitely warranted and needed, to enable them to grieve and make sense of it in peace... especially since it's so close to the holidays.

That people have been making it a habit of using these sorts of tragedies to spew vitriol, make racist comments, peddle religious and political propaganda, or make it about themselves, on social media and other public platforms, is vile. Awareness, recognition of others' humanity, and courtesy seem to be disintegrating and I'm not here for devolution and ignoramus behavior... at all. I don't write things or engage others in discourse with an expectation that they need to agree with me; but people will rant (often on my social media platforms) about "Free Speech!" and say something particularly inflammatory, unfounded, and trollish, then scoff at others for being "too politically-correct" when they're called out because they think that will somehow insulate them from being critiqued, challenged, or from accountability when they spew nonsense. Not here for it. I'm old and have officially run out of patience for people who display off-the-chart levels of ignorance and who have a propensity for public stunts-and-shows or histrionics.

In short, my thoughts are running cyclical like a Mobius strip and filtering them into a cohesive blog post has proved to be a bit challenging. I'm also working on a few other writing projects (while drinking copious amounts of coffee of course) that have been usurping some of that creative-thought energy, psyching myself up so I can work towards meeting some personal goals, and have been surely and vehemently trying to steer the conversation away from that topic that shall not be mentioned again, since that is not the crux of what Coffee Rhetoric is about (but has suddenly become synonymous with). 

I'll be returning to my regularly scheduled blogging program after the holidays, and am looking forward to spilling open once again. 

In the meantime, here's wishing a safe, productive, fun, and reflective holiday this season to you and yours. 

May 06, 2012

Coffee Rhetoric... Literally

Last week, I was (surprisingly) asked to weigh-in on the Colin McEnroe show about the Keurig (aka K-Cup) machine. Colin McEnroe sought to deconstruct the growing popularity of the machine and any social and/or financial impact it may (or may not?) have the cult of personality... specifically, those of us who are coffee fanatics and/or purists. Surprisingly enough, the topic of the show generated a lot of callers and there were several other guests who were champing at the bit, to chime in about the coffee pods and how they soil the wonderfulness of coffee... not to mention the impact the tiny plastic pod-cups have on the environment.

I didn't get to say too much or even everything I intended to, but received an email from a friend who'd listened in and opined that us coffee lot were "scary". One commenter on the show's website went further and wrote...
I have often suspected that certain members of the Colin McEnroe show are members of the Socialist party which is alive and well in this country. Today my suspicions were proven true through the coded content of your K-Cup show. Much like Spencer Bachus who at any moment can out certain Democrats in congress for their ties to communism, I could go public with my suspicions and demand that birth certificate be produced. I mean come on, what kind of liberal Pinko world we live in where we all have to share from the same pot like we are living in a sunshine [sic] day dream yippie hippie Grateful Dead world. America is about freedom and choices and forcing me to drink the same kind of coffee as my neighbor brings me back to the Cold War 80's. I remember hearing the horror stories from Russia-toilet paper lines out the door for one kind of government issued, scratchy inferior roll. I saw the movie 'Red Dawn' enough to know where this Socialist rhetoric will take us.
I refuse to be taken in by your entertaining and seemingly innocent show about K-Cups. What's next- a war on Quilted Northern and call for deposits on soda cans, incentive at grocery stores for bringing in canvas bags? No sir I'm not drinking your Socialist red Kool-Aid because I believe in a system of freedom, liberty and the rights to make choices (as long as my choices are limited to coffee and toilet paper-reproductive and marital rights are best left to government mandates). 
Umm, okay (weirdo have several seats blank stare). In any event, I wanted to convey that these days, I alternate between using a Keurig machine and my French Press… and I have an affinity for the latter. I’m not keen on artificially flavored coffee nor do I begrudge anyone’s right to drink it (I may chide you a bit though). My coffee preferences usually fall within the realm of: dark roasts (Italian and French), Sumatra blend, medium roast, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Ethiopian and coffee ground blends of the like. I take my coffee with just a splash of cream, thank you very much. Needless to say I straddle the fence. I enjoy the ritual coffee brewing and pressing allows. I do realize that Keurig machines afford people who don’t have a lot of time to waste using an espresso machine or waiting for their coffee to brew, an opportunity to literally fly out the door as they grab their travel mug on the way. I also get that corporations probably favor the Keurig machine and are investing in them, because they’ve probably surmised that it’d cut down on outside coffee breaks and chatter around the coffee pot, as employees wait for a fresh pot to brew. Either way, I’m not the only one who’s passionate about her coffee.  I’m not a member of the Socialist party as the one commenter (with an apparent axe to grind against Colin McEnroe) suggested. I just prefer a perfect (or damn near perfect), robust, no-frills cup of coffee minus the sweet, syrupy bells and whistles; while welcoming the pomp and circumstance that goes into making a cup.

If you’d like to hear me fumble my way through this great, First-World debate… check out the podcast of the show: “Keurig Coffee: Revolutionary Invention or Environmental Scourge?

September 13, 2011

These and Those: Au revoir à l'Eté

Summer... I laughed, I cried, I scowled, I scratched my head... this summer wasn't too bad but it wasn't without a few bumps and snags either. I've learned a great deal about navigating the landscape known as freelance writing. Important lessons such as; how to be discerning with people who employ the services of freelancers and adapting to ever changing personalities in this current economic/job climate. Oh, I've learned some great lessons, even if I had to experience more inconveniences. There's a whole chapter of my adult life titled UNFORESEEN INCONVENIENCES, in fact. That's where I archive them all. Instead of bullet points, I sub-categorize them under expletives. 
Anyway, stumbling is always frustrating once you start gaining momentum. I always liken it to the damsel in distress in those formulaic slasher films, who trips over a tree stump while running wildly away from the murderous psychopath, while he creeps calmly and patiently towards his prey.  As I always do, I endure as best as I can- (like the last heroine standing... battered and bruised by her stalker) - and just catapult myself forward towards, flailing towards stability. 
Like the leaves change color during the fall, I've determined, I too need to change colors with the season and tweak the knobs on my personality to suit the situation. Never in a disingenuous way, of course... but in a more guarded way. I want to play the shamelessly selfish jerk sometimes and not dial it down just because some other selfish jerk scoffs. I get too excited when I've stumbled on some collaborative thing that seems as if it's too good to be true. More often than not, it is. I had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, with some extremely driven and passionate people, so in many instances, I remained steady on my feet and carved a niche for myself and my portfolio. But others have proved to be certainly uncertain in the end. You win some, you loose some. I'm sick of singing that particular hook and song, so I'll end with c'est la vie so forth and so on. The world is a vast place with so many undiscovered nooks and corners. I won't put my personal endeavors on the back-burner to help peddle someone else's agenda, only to end up with the short end of the stick... not anymore. Some things are no longer negotiable when it comes to my own personal growth and desires. I may be an insomniac, but I dream just like everybody else. I resolve to continue at my own pace and no one else's, unless it's lucrative and a good fit. 
While I'm not exactly thrilled over what the winter weather will bring (especially after what last year's snow storms wracked) or its starkness, I'm actually glad that summer is coming to an end. Fall is my favorite season and I tend to more introspective, more creative, and thirstier for robust Spanish wines. I also enjoy dressing for the fall. Fall's color palate suit me and I love indulging my love of opaque tights and boots. 
As always... To Be Continued...