Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fail Train

I've given up making any pretense of not being obsessive about my coffee. Now I write everything down after every pot. What worked, what didn't work. How I poured, how long I brewed, whether or not I was wearing pants at the time. You know, all the usual factors. Soon I will split the java atom and the entire world will be hyper and delicious.

I think this damn Chemex encourages that behavior. It's the Hellraiser Cube of caffeine. Or, if you are nerdy enough, the Lament Configuration of caffeine. Whatever. Someday I will hit on the right combination of brewing conditions, a delightful aroma will fill the air of my kitchen, and then chains will shoot out of the darkness and rip me asunder while Doug Bradley ponderously lectures me on the ethics of pleasure-seeking and sourcing the right free trade coffee beans. Then I'll come back as a coffee-themed cenobite, possibly with a teapot permanently wedged into the side of my skull. Either way it's pasty white makeup and bondage gear for me, which I'm a-okay with.

Really, this whole process is life in a nutshell. Well, not the bondage gear and Doug Bradley parts. Except if you actually do know Doug Bradley and you're into the S&M scene, in which case I envy you a bit. He seems like a cool guy and S&M communities are famously full of well-adjusted and friendly people. And I write that without the least bit of sarcasm or irony--every person I've ever met who's into that sort of thing tends to be completely awesome. Must be something about getting all that stuff out of your system, I guess.

No, I mean the bits about using a very fiddly and temperamental device to get results.

The best parts of life are kind of fiddly and complicated. I think it scares people off, which is why so many people just do the same thing day in and day out. They get up, go to a job without much challenge, go straight home, fire up the television, watch the same TV shows, which are likely to be either reality television, a procedural of some sort or a sitcom...and then they go to bed only to do it all over again, wash, rinse, repeat.

Safe and predictable leads to stagnation and boredom. The more you're sure of exactly what's going to happen, the worse for you it'll be in the long run. I am the king of boring and predictable, so I know whereof I speak here. I've had entire years where I've just chained day after day of the same old shit together and the end result? Nothing much at all.

But the days where I put my foot through my comfort zone and burst through the other side Kool-Aid Man style? Fuck, yeah. It pays to blow shit up in your life every once in a while even if your experiment might not work out very well.

It's nice to fail at something every once in a while. It means you're trying something new and unpredictable. Something different. Sure, you might wind up with a pot of craptacular coffee you might have to suffer through that morning but eventually dark toasty goodness and the caffeine buzz to rival the Golden Apples Of Olympus could be yours.

If you looked into the life of happy/successful people, really dug deep, you'd probably find a lot of fucking up in the background details. I suspect if you weighed it all, life is about 90% fucking things up and then a small amount of big wins. Or, if you want to paraphrase John Lennon, a good life is what happens when you're fucking up constantly.

Fail more. Wallow in it. Then learn. Doesn't mean you have to like it, though.

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