Archive for coffee

Now, that’s gansta!

Posted in just for the bull of it, relationships, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

98_buick_skylarkWarning:  I’m not angry, today.  So, it’s time for some old crazy sh*t.  It starts with my brother and I.  My little brother, who’s bigger than me.  My younger brother, who’s wiser than me.  He and I like to check out the cafes, sip on a cup, and contemplate the solutions to the world’s problems.  We do it with class, we do it with style, and we do as often as is possible.  Today being no different, he says that he’s coming by to pick me up to check out this new cafe in my neighborhood and – to show off his new ride.  He gets here and when I come to the door, all I can ask is “WTF??!!”.  My little brother, my younger brother, my partner in crime done gone gansta on me!  He bought a Buick Skylark.  This car doesn’t have any tinted windows, nor rims (which he says he needs), but what makes it gansta on one level is that it has a 1000 watt amp in the trunk.  It’s pumpin’ out beats like crazy.  What makes it gansta on a whole ‘nother level is that the music that I hear is LIL WAYNE.  By itself, that’s nowhere near gansta.  But, my little brother, my younger brother in his fiddies, “married with children”, one credit away from his PHD, blastin’ some LIL WAYNEnow, that’s gansta!

Rap has been lost on me for quite some time.  I still chill with my Jay-Z, Tupac, and Biggie, but, for the most part, Rap has been dead to me for a long time.  I like my music “homegrown”, and as a result, make my own mixes on my MP3 player and kick it like that.  Before today, you could have offered me a thousand dollars to name one Lil Wayne song, and you’d still have that money in your pockets.  That’s how out of touch I’ve been with “over-the-airwaves” music.  I like to hear what I want to hear when I want to hear it.  That was before my “gangsta” brother showed up at my door, today.

lil-wayne-01For those of you not from Philly, I live in the heart of a ghetto neighborhood known as West Oak Lane.  It’s West Oak Lane because there is an East Oak Lane.  I like to think of East Oak Lane as ghetto suburban.  It’s an almost up-and-coming neighborhood, smack in the middle if the ‘hood.  We stop in at this quaint little cafe and it’s all that we had expected.  The coffee was great, and the atmosphere was superb.  There was also an added treat, one of life’s little unexpected treasures – they served Spinach Quiche.  I haven’t have any kind of quiche in many a year.  I know that some say “real men don’t eat quiche”, but to that I say “whatever”.  Made MY day!  After contemplating the world’s troubles and their respective solutions, we decided to take a leisurely drive to extend the get-together a bit longer.  Besides, this family man of a brother  of mine was free as the breeze for a while longer, today.

Back in the Buick Skylark, he turns on the CD player and LIL WAYNE starts up again.  Now, believe it or not, up to that point,  – wait for it: I had no idea who it was that was winding his way through the sound system!  So, my little brother played song after song, amazed that I was so clueless.  I was , indeed, clueless, yet, amazed myself at how much I liked what I was hearing.  As he dropped me off at home, he gave me the CD  (“THA CARTER III”) so that I could check it out fully, and save it to my PC.  I haven’t done that, as yet, but, before the day is out, I certainly plan to do just that.

I looked back on my brother’s life and the times that he’s endured.  Like everyone else, he’s had his share of ups and downs, smiles and frowns, and setbacks difficult enough to make a grown man cry.  But, through it all, he’s managed to always find a way to let a smile come through.  I could think of many ways to describe the way that I see his life thus far, but, someone else came up with another way to describe it, a better way, as it were: that’s the way you let the beat build . . . b*tch! Now, THAT’S gangsta!!  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

“Let The Beat Build” by Lil Wayne

Photos from and, respectively.

Wake up, and smell the coffee.

Posted in humor, just for the bull of it, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2008 by joelle blackstarr

Grumpiness.  Grumpiness.  Grumpiness.  Those are the three main side effects of not consuming one’s daily dose of caffeine.  Fortunately for me, I have experienced that feeling on only a few occasions in my life. – and it’s been a long life so far.  EVERY  morning starts with my first of many cups of coffee, the java bean, the cup-a-joe.  I’ll have it no other way.  That’s a serious addiction – one that I do not strive to kick any time soon.  I just came back from a short walk to the Dunkin’s that sits a few blocks from here.  I am late.  Very late.  I’m not grumpy, though, because I knew that my fix was sidetracked for but a moment in time.  I knew that the aroma that I love so much was only seconds away.

There are “people who drink coffee” and there are “coffee drinkers”People who drink coffee have little concern that they are desecrating the very sanctity of all that coffee is.  They poison it with different flavors that the coffee bean’s commercialization has deemed “hip”.  They stifle it by asking for it by it’s various insipid names:  frappachino, iced coffee, and the like.  Coffee drinkers will not be having any of that nonesense.  For us, coffee comes only one way: regular.  That can come in the form of decaf, as some of us can get a bit high-strung, as it were, but anything that is more of a deviation than that is pure sacrilege.

Dunkin’s is not one of my favorites, but, it is, at least, walkable from home.  There is no better coffee than that which comes from a diner.  That is what most would consider some strong coffee.  My buds and I would tap our cigarette ashes into our cup-a-joe, continue our conversation, and continue to drink that same cup-a-joe until the cup had been drained.  That’s how good diner coffee is.  I should say “there was no better” and “how good diner coffee was.  Back in the day, real coffee was served in a real ceramic cup, or, if you desired take-out, it was served in a paper cup.  Even in a diner, these days, coffee is served in a styrofoam cup – pure and simple desecration, once again.

For the life of me, I cannot see what millions of Americans see in Starbucks‘ “coffee”.  Coffee?  Try “the Devil’s libation”, “mud juice”, or perhaps “H*ll in a cup”.  To me, that is some of the nastiest liquids ever designed to be consumed.  Blech!!!  Not only is the mess nasty, but, it’s as expensive as H*ll.  My brother swears by it, and from time to time, I will find myself seated at one of Starbucks‘ tables along with my brother consuming this so-called coffee.  In Manhattan, there is nearly a Starbucks on every other corner.  Millions of Americans consuming that abberation on a daily – nay – hourly basis.  How sad.  I have been, for the last ten or so years, into the habit of making my own coffee, faithfully each morning when I arise.  Actually the making would be done the night before.  Only pressing the “brew” button was done upon wake-up.  I decided that I would save some coffee, as I would find myself drinking one cup, and never returning for a second or third cup.  This was merely due to my recent surge in taking care of urgencies, as opposed to not wanting my follow-up cups.  So, I started taking that walk to Dunkin’s for my morning cup.  That actually saves on the amount of coffee that I use.  However, I also find myself taking that second and third walk back to Dunkins before too long.

The blogsphere is kinda like an early morning cup of java – it gets one started in the A.M.  I start my “online experience” by visiting a few of my favorite blogs to see what is being posted for the day.    Grumpiness.  Grumpiness.  Grumpiness.  Those are the three main side effects of not having my daily dose of my favorite blogs.  I am slowly, but, surely coming back around to posting just about every day.  When I do, I trust that others will find that they need a dose of my blog to get them going.  I’ll let you in a little secret – my real name is “joelle”.  That is usually shortened to “joe”, as it were.  Therefore, liken reading my blog each day to “consuming a cup-a-joe”.  Peace.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

Coffee cup photo found at