Experiments in Caffeine

February 1, 2011

Yesterday I woke up determined to post something on the blog in order to fulfill my personal quota of at least four entries per month. Unfortunately, as I sat down to do just that I realized I quite simply couldn’t be fucked. I was in a passive, click-and-drool, state of internet usage and the few ideas I had seemed depressingly dull, the amount of work required to polish them turds just another Sisyphean task I could do without. Then I drank three cups of coffee.

I’ve fucked up with being over-caffeinated before. Years ago because I was chugging free shite vending machine coffee down my neck in an utterly crap job in an effort to stay awake but which only resulted in turning me into a maniac with sweaty, grubby palms who would eventually crash in a snarling, gnashing state and just the other night when, avoiding alcohol, I chose instead to drink three or four tall iced coffees in a bar with friends and found myself still wired off my tits at 3am. However, I think I have the formula right if I follow two basic rules: 1) Have my three cups of coffee early in the day and 2) Use them to help with something I actually enjoy doing.

Yesterday the coffee just flung me into high gear and I didn’t even notice. I rattled off a blog entry that was both longer than I expected and finished in half the time. The only freaky part was how the time kind of flew by and the next thing I knew my wife was home, her presence and the lack of stimulants in her system suddenly impressing upon me through contrast precisely how much I was tweaking on caffeine.



  1. I’m right there with you. Never been a coffee drinker by any stretch of the imagination, preferring tea nearly all the time.

    However, much like cigarettes, I’ve been a coffee drinker for about two total months of my life. While teaching in Japan, I would frequent the Mr. Donut (MisDo) with my friend and fellow English-teacher-in-Japan, Sara, and we’d eat doughnuts and drink coffee and while away the hours bullshitting about our jobs, students, co-workers and the like. This was great because A) they had free refills on their two most basic coffee offerings, and B) this being Japan, the employees didn’t feel the need to push us out the door.

    All of this led to one epic 4- or 5-hour chat session with Sara, during the course of which I imbibed eight (8) cafe au laits…

    Dear lord. I couldn’t just feel the blood rushing through my veins, I could damn well hear it. I’d swear I was time-traveling at one point (and additionally had gained the ability to see around corners without actually looking around those corners). Naturally, I didn’t even sniff sleep that evening, not just because I was wired but for fear that my heart might explode if I was lax in my vigilance.

    This isn’t the reason I don’t drink coffee, but it is a contributing factor to my current state of not drinking coffee. The larger picture is that I just can’t abide liquid stimulants for the SAKE of being stimulated. (I drink tea because I like it, not because of the caffeine involved.) If I’m tired, I figure, hey, my body’s trying to tell me something, and the last thing I want to do is tell it to fuck off and it can sleep when I tell it to. (This is why I never was able to pull an “all-nighter” at university.)

    What were we talking about again?

  2. Oh man, I used to pull many an all-nighter at Uni. Hell, I started them back in high school and that would mark my very earliest instances of experimenting with caffeine. I didn’t really know how much coffee you were meant to put in a cup, however, and I ended up just making this mug of instant bitter crud that caused my guts to burble diabolically throughout the night. By university I was on the Pro-Plus (caffeine tablets) and my flatmate/best friend would find me the next morning battering out an essay like a nervous, snickering rodent.

  3. I rarely take coffee at home, but if it increases productivity I may have to start.

    My wildest coffee experience has to have been the first business trip I took in America. I went into the cafeteria and took a cup of the strongest, blackest coffee they had. As I discovered, in America, strong means STRONG.

    For around the next 3-4 hours I was in a state of heightened awareness that I have only otherwise felt while using other, banned substances. Everything was brighter and I couldn’t stop talking to people. Such a shame that I had to waste that good time in work…

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