Print Story Don't Bruise the Feeling
By Christopher Robin was Murdered (Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 07:36:15 AM EST) (all tags)
A week in the Horse Capital of the World. Vacation plans. That big American song. I want a coffee, and I want a soda, but that's like at least two bottles and God only knows how many screw off caps – if only somebody could offer a reasonably priced, organic, free-trade friendly solution to my predicament. That old Russian trick. Miss no detail.

Office: Conversation

    Robin is going on vacation. Originally, her plan was to take a week off in Rio with a gang of similarly desperate females. Slowly this morphed in spending a week with her aunt and uncle in the Renaissance Estates Retirement Community near exotic Ocala, Florida, the "Horse Capital of the World," I'm told.
    When asked how she planned to spend her vacation, she mentioned watching the HBO series "Band of Brothers." Her uncle, she says, is a huge fan of "Band of Brothers."

    Pete tried to encourage her to cut loose. "You need to get some coke, and go to the beach, and do body shots off of naked teenagers, and then pass out in the sun. And then when you wake up, you need to get some more coke, and do body shots off of naked teenagers, and then pass out in the sun. Repeat as needed."
    "Right," she said. "The last thing I need to do is get drunk and streak past a bunch of old men while I sing the America song."
    "What's the American song?"
    "It's, you know, the song. The big American song."
    "The national anthem?"
    "Yeah, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, or whatever."
    "The Star-Spangled Banner?"
    "That too."

Lunch: Drink

    Picked up a bottle of Double Bean Elixir, the soda from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, purveyors of Fair Trade beans to the wholesale and retail markets. The local lunch counter offers Double Bean Elixir (DBE) four flavors: vanilla, mocha, almond, and hazelnut. I went for the vanilla.

    It comes in a standard colorless glass bottle. The label is green and brown, featuring the Green Mountain logo, the fair trade seal, and the certified organic seal on the front. I'm not blown away by the label. It is off-putting, but it doesn't exactly capture the consumer. If I wasn't digging around for the new product, I might have skipped right over it. I'm also a little confused by the "double bean" name. That works for the vanilla and mocha, but are almond and hazelnut considered beans for the purposes of this drink?

    Before we get into the taste of the drink, I feel that coffee sodas, like tongue sandwiches, auto-erotic asphyxiation, or the music of King Crimson, are of that class of things that one either digs or thinks is utter crap, and no amount of argument, experimentation, or hand-holding will make one change camps. I dig a nice coffee soda, but if you think coffee soda sounds like the cola idea since the Dr. Pepper Jello-mold with olives, then don't let the kind review sway you.

    The vanilla DBE is a sweet, crisp vanilla soda flavored with enough actual coffee that it leaves a sediment in the bottle. The carbonation is lightly done and the use of evaporated cane juice rather than corn syrup makes avoids any thick, sludgy feel. All the vanilla flavor is up front, with the coffee forming a lingering, pleasant aftertaste.

    Using my new "Famous Metaphysical Poets" rating scale, Green Mountain's DBE is two and one-half Henry Vaughan's. I would happily purchase it again and feel through all this fleshly dress, the DBE is a bright shoot of everlastingness.

Reading: Clippings

    I bought a used copy of B. S. Johnson's House Mother Normal last weekend. I finished it last night.

    Folded into the slim book was a newspaper article about a "teacher" out in the far reaches of Brooklyn, near Coney, that was teaching students to develop their mental powers to the point were they could perceive visual data – color, shape, even read to a limited extent – despite being blindfolded. The clip included a photo of one of his students: a young girl, t-shirt with a pattern of small ducks in rain gear, hair pulled into two pony tails, wearing a sleep mask. She was smiling.

    The voice of skepticism was provided by professional debunker James Randi. He dismissed the whole thing as an "old trick that's well known in Russia," where apparently pretending to read with a sleep mask on is considered the height of entertainment. Randi gave no further explanation of the trick, but extended his standard challenge to put this man and his students to the screws of scientific evaluation.

    Weirdly, somebody, possibly the person who clipped the article and stashed it in this old paperback, had underlined the entire article in pink ink. It is as if they started trying to underline the important parts of the article but decided every single word was well worth noting.

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Don't Bruise the Feeling | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden)
Theory: 'Double Bean' refers to just the coffee by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 07:59:19 AM EST
Kind of like "double jeapordy". In researching this I found two things:

  1. Green Mountain disavows any knowledge of so-called "sodas".
  2. You would probably enjoy this website.

Randi's Flim Flam! contains a story about a girl who claimed to be able to read while wearing a mask. He (or someone in his entourage) eventually showed she was just peering through a crack. FYI.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline

Somebody is Fibbing by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:19:43 AM EST
From BevNET (which is already on the faves list, but thanks for the heads up):

"Patty Vincent, Coffee Product Manager at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has described the Double-Bean Elixirs as 'delicious and innovative new coffee products. These sodas have a very distinctive coffee taste and are well paired with other flavors to produce wonderfully intriguing beverages. The Double-Bean Elixirs are perfect anytime refreshers.'"

From what I can tell, the sodas are made for Green Mountain by a unit named JavaPop. It isn't that unusual a set up. Often, when a company wants to branch off into sodas, they essentially brand a product made by somebody else.

Where did you find the official denial?

[ Parent ]
A denial would be a knowledge avowal by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:23:09 AM EST
There is no reference to "double bean" or "elixir" anything on GMCR's website.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
You Have to Go to Release Archives by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:38:14 AM EST
After a year or so, GMCR dumps all its releases, leaving behind the Business Wire archives. A search of their own site won't get you the release discussing the DBE line, but kick on over to Business Wire and you can find it.

[ Parent ]
Press Release--Pfff by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:42:38 AM EST
I want to know where I can buy the novelty hat.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
Green mountain by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:25:10 AM EST
good coffee.. Not too pricey, but it ain't folgers cheap neither.

Did Robin find out the surgery center in Rio couldn't help her ? Or was the purported trip to Rio a Robin madeup fantasy from the getgo ? Anyway, should tell Pete it looks a good 30-40 miles from the Gulf coast anyway..

What Do They Do On a Rainy Night in Rio? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 08:46:14 AM EST
Sorry, Looney Tunes reference.

As far as I can tell, she wanted to go to Rio but just never got her shit together. Her coven of the lonely is still going. They'll have to carry the title of "least sexy thing to happen on a Brazilian beach since the Petrobras spill of 2000" without her help. She just couldn't get the money or remember how to spell "Rio" for the e-ticket search or something.

[ Parent ]
Tell her it's R-E-O. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:42:09 PM EST
Y'know, just like the speedwagon

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Ocala by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:21:30 AM EST
There's not a lot of nightlife there, but if you're a nature lover, it's a fun place. It's on the edge of spring country, and there are lots and lots spring fed rivers to go kayaking and tubing. Silver River is the closest to Ocala.

For any nightlife, you have to head an hour or so north to Gainesville where UF is, or two hours east to Daytona.
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

Can You Speak to the Legitimacy . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:55:48 AM EST
Of the "Horse Capital of the World" claim?

[ Parent ]
Erm, no. by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:01:55 AM EST
Never heard that. I would think (where "world" == "US") that would be Blue Grass country or something. But then, I only vacationed there, I lived in Cape Canaveral.

But apparently, someone thinks so.
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
I Love That Picture . . . by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:26:03 AM EST
Of the sculpture of the peacefully grazing horse - the one with the caption that reads "Horse Fever!"

[ Parent ]
No, by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #14 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 10:28:00 AM EST
but I feel compelled to point out, that I live in the Saddle Capital of the World.

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Hrm. by blixco (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:25:51 AM EST
Reminds me, I need to download this again right now.

Also, I just recently picked up a 1974 copy of the Codex Rosicrucea D.O.M.A., and folded in it was....a receipt for a bag of popcorn!  I don't know what it all means.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

That Song is Entirely True by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 09:54:59 AM EST
From the allusion to the famous "Drinking Watergate" scandal of '82 to the fact that they put coffee in the coffee in Brazil.

How was the Codex Rosicrucea?

[ Parent ]
It's interesting. by blixco (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:02:55 AM EST
I bought it mainly for the pictures.  And the english translation of the DOMA itself...the rest of it is very much on the web these days.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
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The Whole Esoteric Thing by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:16:11 AM EST
Somehow, despite my D&D besotted youth, my early-teenage obsessive interest in all things Lovecraftian and eldrich, and my late teen interest in fantastic horror fiction and its trappings; I missed out completely on the whole world of esoterica. No Templars, no Illuminati conspiracy, no Rosicrucians. My college roommate was thoroughly versed in all that sort of thing, and he was always interesting to listen to - but I myself remained almost completely ignorant of the whole field.

How'd a level-headed and sober (when one absolutely has to be) fellow like yourself end up poking about in esoterica?

[ Parent ]
Aesthetics. by blixco (4.00 / 2) #17 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:32:27 AM EST
I'm really into alchemical manuscripts and their systems and logos.  The signs and symbols used in alchemy show up in a heck of a lot of places.

A number of them resonate with me, as do a number of religious logos.

I guess mainly I'm a big fan of the aesthetic of information presented by that type of art.  That and  the information density it can carry...a sort of viral load of emotion, history, context, and myth.
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
underlining by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 11:54:06 AM EST
Reminds me of when, in college, some people (not me) would try to buy the used textbooks that someone had already highlighted, figuring that they wouldn't have to identify the important parts for themselves. Not everyone was a skilled practitioner of the highlighting art, though. Some people seemed only to highlight the headings and words that were already in bold for emphasis (figuring, I guess, that someone else already thought they were important, and perhaps not wanting to go out on a limb as to which other words might be significant). Others would do the global highlighting thing (figuring, I can only surmise, that if a word made it into the book after a rigorous editorial and peer review process, it must be important).

It used to make me sad to think that so many of my fellow students didn't understand how to use books.

There are proofreaders who'll do something sort of similar. They run the point of their pencil just under the line they are proofing, leaving a trail of small dots as they go. Helps them keep their place, I think. Usually they move so quickly that they don't lift the pencil completely off the paper between dots, making very light, little bow-shaped lines between the dots.

For some reason, that drives me up the wall. I'd sooner lose my place and read something ten times than leave a trail of dots between the lines I read.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

Books by hulver (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:03:14 PM EST
I have a pathological hatred of "hurting" books. I can't mark them in any way. Books I'm reading I'll rarely open more than 1/4 of the way to avoid damaging the spine. When I've finished reading a book you can't tell it's ever been opened.

I'd never take a pen to a book, even a text book. Might as well just burn it and be done.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
man after my own heart by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 02:13:11 PM EST
My first boss was neurotic in the same way, too. I still think that's part of how I got the job. They gave me a bound galley as part of the interview process -- it's basically a cheaply bound copy of the preliminary layout of a book, looks like a paperback but it's not the real thing by a long shot. (They've gotten fancier over the years but back then they were pretty basic and very disposable.) Anyway, I was supposed to read it and write a jacket blurb. After a suitable book was selected, the editor summoned her assistant to slice off the back cover (which had an already-written synopsis on it) before giving it to me. She insisted he take the galley out of her office to do the deed -- she couldn't bear to watch.

After the assistant walked out the door I made a comment to the editor about how I could understand her horror, since I couldn't even stand to crack the spines on books. She admitted that people who crack book spines drive her up the wall.

She (and by extension I) took this to such an extreme that we wouldn't even write on the loose pages that would eventually become a book. Well, doing exactly that was part of the job, but neither of us would set a pencil to the page until we'd made a photocopy of the entire thing. It was ok to write on it, barely, as long as there was a pristine copy on the shelf. I had this terrible anxiety every time I had to write a correction in the margin.

I had a lot of extra copies of manuscripts and page layouts I didn't need, because one of them had to remain untouched.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
Anne Fadiman by ana (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 02:52:06 PM EST
in her essay Never do that to a Book, which is collected in Ex Libris, talks about two ways to love a book:
The chambermaid believed in courtly love. To her, the book's physical self was sacrosanct to her, its form inseparable from its content; her duty as a lover was Platonic adoration, a noble but doomed attempt to conserve the state of perfect chastity in which it had left the bookseller. The Fadiman family believed in carnal love. To us, a book's words were holy, but the paper, cloth, cardboard, glue, thread, and ink that contained them were a mere vessel, and it was no sacrilege to treat them as wantonly as desire and pragmatism dictated. Hard use was a sign not of disrespect but of intimacy.
Yeah, zackly.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

[ Parent ]
Yes! Love Like a Fadiman! by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #28 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 03:36:20 PM EST
I love good books. And if it doesn't end with body parties looking a little disheveled, then it wasn't worth the name "love."

[ Parent ]
yep by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #30 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 04:06:26 PM EST
I see it both ways, though. Book as artifact, and book as idea. I mean, it's the everything. The spark in the head, the words arranged in just that order, and -- if the next parts are done well -- the print and the paper and the binding and all. For any hardcover four-color book, someone went through a Pantone book and picked the color for the endpapers. Someone chose the cloth to cover it, under the dust jacket; the foil to stamp on it. The head and tail bands on the binding. It's not nothing.

The words can live anywhere, it doesn't matter: they're incorporeal. The book, the vessel, just has this one existence.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
IAWTP by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 02:19:07 PM EST
Last Weekend, Walking on 5th Ave. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 03:26:57 PM EST
I passed a young woman who was wearing a t-shirt that read "I Hate Books" and, underneath the copy, feature the cartoony image of a book with a knife through it. The book was bleeding.

I couldn't help but think, who would wear that shirt?

While I'm hardly that brutal to books, I must admit I don't handle them quite as gently as you.

I'm more gnositc about it, I think the abstract idea/content within the book is the thing and showing too much reverance for the object itself it a bit like a making a fetish out of the physical prison of the book's abstract soul. Metaphorically speaking.

I must also admit to having a bit of a soft spot for the beat-up book. Given the choice between two copies of a book, one a flawless, pristeen new printing and the other a well-used, slightly shabby paperback (even better, if it has a slightly pulpy old school cover or is being held together by Scotch tape), I'll most likely take the abused one.

[ Parent ]
I Had To Avoid Used Textbooks by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #20 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:07:30 PM EST
Because I found I'd be spending my time trying to figure out why somebody had made a certain mark - highlighted a specific word or underlined a passage - rather than just paying attention to the text.

I'd develop elaborate theories about the personal obsessions of the previous owner of, say, "Guillaume de Machaut in the Chanson Tradition," while at the same time forgetting to learn what the Chanson Tradition was.

[ Parent ]
my friend C by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 02:22:29 PM EST
used to do this thing in textbooks, I think more so in high school when you don't have a choice about using textbooks that others have used before you. She'd write in the margin somewhere, "See page 19." On page nineteen, she'd write, "See page 47," and so on, sending future readers on a meaningless scavenger hunt. When she got to college, she met someone who did the exact same thing, and they became the best of friends.

I have to admit that I've underlined passages in some of my best-loved books. (One of them, my paperback of Hamlet from high school, is maybe the most abused volume in my library. I scrawled all over it in pen; it got rained on; my friend took a bite out of one of the pages in the back.) I don't know if anyone'll ever be able to analyze them though, because I'm not giving them away for anything.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
Marginalia. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #25 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 02:37:41 PM EST
I have to admit that I'm pretty hard on books I love. There are some that I intend to keep in pristine condition (as much as is possible), and I rarely underline. I do, however, make not of passages that resonate, with a brief note describing what I was thinking at the time. My college anthologies are thoroughly marked in this manner, and it's kind of fun to go back and read what 19-year-old me thought of William Carlos Williams and Lord Byron and Emily Dickinson.

On a similar note, I only very rarely "loan" books that I expect to get back, even if I say "loan" when I hand someone something. If it's something I want to read again, I'll buy another copy. There are two exceptions to this rule. One is a book I loaned iGrrrl (after explaining all of this) - my signed Lulu copy of Simon of Space. The other is a book called The Noonday Demon, which I read during a particularly bad point in my life and in which I had made extensive annotations. I loaned it to a girl I was dating who had no experience with depression or with those who are depressed in the clinical sense. After we broke up, she didn't return it, and I was seriously bummed. Finally, right before I moved to Boston, she called and said she had some things of mine to return. Thankfully, that was one of them. Had it not been for my notes - during an emotional state I hope never to repeat - I would not have worried about it.
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
notes by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #29 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 03:52:22 PM EST
I'm not much for writing notes. I guess I want my intrusion into the book to be as minimal as possible. It's worth noting that the books I've marked up the most are the ones where it was the experience of studying them that made me so attached to them. It was like for a while I almost lived in the book. The underlines are like landmarks I picked out along the way, scratches to blaze a trail or something, whether it was for a paper that I was going to write or just a feeling of "damn."

I have the same policy when it comes to loaning books. It's just a faster way to buy a book for someone, giving them the one I already have. Then I go out and buy another one, for myself. If I'm attached to that very copy, it's not going anywhere.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

[ Parent ]
Meaningless scavenger hunts by stark (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 03:40:46 AM EST
I love this idea. If I were the sort of person who wrote stories, it would be an excellent quirk which would make my character realistic and interesting.

Sadly, I don't write stories, but I hope someone who does has a similar thought...
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
The America Song by debacle (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:38:23 PM EST
I have this strange picture in my mind of Robin running down a beach naked singing the theme from "Team America: World Police."

American, fuck yeah!


Bean soda by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Apr 19, 2006 at 01:12:27 AM EST
I thought you meant like butter beans or something. I was intrigued.

Keep the Robin stories coming.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Don't Bruise the Feeling | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden)