Monday, October 28, 2013

Love for all things Keurig

I have one vice in life—COFFEE. Pause . . . deep breath. OK, maybe chocolate . . . and . . . um . . . there’s also peanut butter. BUT COFFEE is my #1 vice. More times than not, a coffee mug is within reach, whether I’m driving or attending meetings at work, or relaxing at home during cold winter nights. During our fall vacation to the Canadian Maritime Provinces in October, I HAD to make my first pilgrimage to Tim Hortons. Hopeless? Yes, I’ll admit it.

When the kids bought Kathy and I a Keurig coffee maker for Christmas a couple of years ago, I entered coffee nirvana. Completely new vistas of aromas and tastes and brands opened to me. Not the frilly pumpkin or cinnamon or Hazelnut or wimpy spice coffees, mind you. I’m talking dark roast and Italian Roast. You know, manly brews.  I discovered Newman’s Own Extra Bold and Caribou Blend (Thank God there’s a store 30 minutes from home). I fell in love with Barista Prima Italian Roast and Tully’s Italian Roast Extra Bold.

To tell you how hopeless I am, I had to stop drinking ANYTHING that contained caffeine for a week to prepare for a medical test. One day after taking my last sip of coffee, the headaches started. Two days later, I noticed dull muscle aches spreading through my legs. Yep, I was going through caffeine withdraw. I was experiencing the coffee-equivalent of DTs.  

Well, the test results were fine and I’m pleased to announce I’m back partaking in my drug of choice. I’m equally pleased to announce the DTs are gone! Here’s a list of my favorite Keurig K Cups. What’s yours? If you have a favorite dark roast, pass it along!

·         Barista Prima Italian Roast
·         Newman’s Own Extra Bold
·         Starbucks French Roast
·         Tully’s Italian Roast Extra Bold
·         Caribou Blend

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dreamscapes -- Hindering or Following?

We all have recurring dreams--periodic images form our sleep that our mind may employ to help resolve tough or emotional situations in our lives. Rest assured I won’t blog about running down the middle of the highway in skivvies. I shudder just thinking about that. :-)

In my recurring dream, I’m back in college during finals and I’m facing a math test I need to pass in order to graduate. The only problem is I haven’t attended a single class all semester. From there the dream takes on two distinct flavors. I’m either sitting in the classroom staring at the test, knowing I’m going to fail, or I’m running across campus, totally lost and unable to find the classroom.  I know, I’m a sick puppy, huh?

I’m not a trained psychologist, but in my life, in my personal circumstances, the meaning is clear. I’ve dealt with insecurities and fear of failure my entire life. The insecurities recently mounted with the publication of my mid-grade fantasy novel, Whispers from Forbidden Earth, now available in eBook on Amazon (YEA!!!). Thoughts of “what am I doing here” and “I don’t belong” kept swirling around in my mind.

BUT! But, but, but . . .  CNN had a recent slideshow/article that offered me such a feeling of hope: 

I was intrigued and encouraged reading quotes like –

“Even though I had sold 70 million records, there was this feeling like, I'm not good at this.” -- Jennifer Lopez

"I get insecure about everything. I'm still bewildered when people know my name or my face. I can't figure out what they would possibly want to talk to me for." --Anna Kendrick

“I had an existential crisis at the Oscars, sitting next to Sean Penn and Meryl Streep and being like, 'What am I doing here? I don't belong here,'" --Amy Adams

Kind of silly, but what a relief. I’m not the only one! I’m not alone! Despite their insecurities, these stars reached the top of their profession. They followed their dream despite their anxieties. For me, Whispers from Forbidden Earth is finally out. I authored a novel, something many dream of but never accomplish. Then I found a publisher who believed in my story enough to send it out for the world to see. I did it and I’m moving forward. Now let’s see what the future holds.

Maybe I do belong after all. 

Here's the link to my book. Let me know what you think --Mark