Tag Archives: Happiness

Coffee Hack of the Century

Coffee Shops.

I like to think of them as a semi-private office with really low rent.

But sometimes, my “landlords” get in a little over their heads. You see, I’m a new convert to the wonderful Americano. Simple, light, and just the right amount of jolt. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with this wonderful coffee shop specialty, let me explain. The Americano consists of a double shot of espresso with water instead of milk, and optional milk and sugar (which I indulge in).

Based on my calculation, the Americano should cost no more than an Espresso – maybe a bit more for the “effort”, but definitely not the price of a cappuccino, which has the addition of being an entire cup of heated milk. However, lately, I’ve been ordering Americanos that cost just as much as their frothy counterparts. What’s more, if I ask for it cold, well that’s just a whole new pricing model that’s called “the customer will never realize the difference”.

Let me explain by example. The standard cappuccino costs 12 shekels, and an Americano about 10. Ask for a cold Americano and you should get charged no more than 11. However, my most recent coffee shop (which charges 12 shekels for the HOT variety – already thievery) thinks that asking for something COLD justifies a 16 shekel price tag! As if!

16 shekels for a shot of espresso and a glass of water!

And therein lies the hack. Today, I requested:

  1. 1 cup of cold water – free!
  2. 1 double shot of espresso – 10 shekels
  3. a bit of cold milk on the side – free

Add in the free sugar packets on the table, stir, and there you have it…my very own COLD Americano for no more than 10 shekels  (+ tip).

Bite me, Cafe Cafe.

Double Espresso
Milk
Cup of Water


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Filed under Experiments

Dawning of a New Day at Sunset

Our lives follow a natural ebb and flow that takes each and every one of us on an exciting and unpredictable journey. Each moment brings with it something new, despite the manifest shadow of monotony that life sometimes casts. With each experience come thoughts and emotions that reflect a spectrum of shades and colors. The more time we spend conscious on this planet, the more we are privileged to witness, to experience, and to create.

Unfortunately, unpredictability is the key word here. We are all on borrowed time, and this past month has been filled to the brim with death too close to home. Death happens everyday. I know. But when it happens to close for comfort, well, I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. Not when it’s close and not when it’s far. But when it’s close, you are privy to the pain of those left behind, and that makes the loss feel that much greater. Loss of a loved one. The loved one’s loss of time. Leaves us asking the universal existential question: Why?

I am in awe that no matter how many tears we shed, the well will never run dry for good. But I also marvel at the fact that tears know when to cease their flow. At a certain point, our hearts, minds, and tear ducts unfetter the shackles of mourning and let us open our eyes to a new day, one that is filled with gratitude for the past and the people who were a part of it, and hope for and anticipation of future adventures with new souls.

My challenge to you is to try to capture and hold onto those feelings of excitement and gratitude, hope and anticipation that are engendered by moments that remind us of the preciousness of every breath we take.

Do a little math

Just for fun, calculate how long you’ve been with your feet planted on this beautiful planet

I have been alive a quarter of a century. A whole quarter of a century. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a speck in time. But in the microcosmic history of  the universe that is my life, that’s an eternity.

25 years

305 months –>  Years x 12 = Months

1,326 weeks –>  Years x 52 = Weeks

9287 days –>  Years x 365 + 1 day for every leap year (every 4 years)

222,888 hours –>  Days x 24

13,373,280 minutes –> Hours x 60

802,396,800 Seconds –> Minutes x 60

…and counting.

How long have you been alive?


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Filed under Experience Your Life

Doing It All & Getting It All Done

I want to do it all.

Really. Everything. I’ve got a list of things I want to accomplish from here to the moon. My house is littered with new projects that find their way to vacant tabletops. My computer is on overload from new business ideas. My shelves are packed with books on random skills and other topics of personal interest that I want to become more well-versed in. My mind is floating in a sea of creativity and ambition. I really and truly want to do it all.

By the same token, and perhaps more importantly, I want to get it all done. Everything I want to do, I also want to complete. To check off accomplishments on that ever-growing list.

But that list only continues to grow (unless the moon is just getting closer…), while the check marks become fewer and farther between. And then there’ s the matter of prioritizing. I want to do everything, but which one should I do first?!??!?

Indeed, today’s post encapsulates all of the challenges of doing it all and getting it all done at the same time. Let’s contextualize: It’s been nine days since my previous post (which, incidentally, was about starting the year off on the right foot). What’s taken so long is a melange of indecision and procrastination: I was fickle about which topic I would write about, so I kept stalling the writing process. I devised some pretty trite excuses for the delay, most notably of which is the fact that I had more important things to do, that I had to focus on my top priorities. Next thing you know, 2011 is well underway and I’m finally picking up the proverbial pen. But not without a host of consequences: those top priorities are in dire need of my utmost attention and I’m now casting them aside (temporarily) as I compose an entry that’s fundamentally about casting things aside (temporarily). Not only that, but those same top priorities, which I considered such top priorities over the last nine days, were themselves cast to the back-burner in favor of other tasks on the list.

Basically, here I am procrastinating procrastination. Interesting.

So how can I not only do it all, but also get it all done?

  1. For starters, I am an advocate of lists. Umm… check. This should not be just a laundry list, but rather a list of goals. If you want to learn to play the piano, set a target: Is it to become the next Bach or, perhaps more realistically, to learn to play the Minuet in G major?
  2. Schedules are key. Let’s start with two. One is a general schedule – a calendar, I suppose – for mapping out your priorities (i.e. due dates, etc.). The other is a specific schedule – daily, weekly, take your pick – that transforms those top priorities, as well as those not-so-top priorities into tangible action items. The latter is a list that should scream check marks!
  3. My mom always says: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Read: keep your stuff in order and put things away when your done. It keeps your mental space just as clutter-free as physical space. (Also, if “organize room” was on your list, well, now it’s not.)
  4. Finally, periodically review your lists, schedules, and progress. Everything is flexible, so rewrite your lists as you see fit and alter those schedules if priorities shift.

My take-home message is this: I can do it all AND I can get it all done. But it won’t happen overnight. Things take time, but as long as I map out my objectives, I will reach my goals.

And so will you. Give it a shot.

What about you? How do you do it all and get it all done?


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Filed under Think About It

Of Hot Spots and Little Things

It’s the little things in life, or so they say. It’s probably because little things have huge impacts. Impacts on us, the people in our lives, people beyond our circles, the environment. Really, the universe itself.

So, in the spirit of huge impacts, I thought I’d share with you some of my little things:

  • A decadent piece of chocolate.
  • A warm embrace.
  • A subtle breeze.
  • A breath of fresh air.
  • A liberating sneeze.
  • A heartwarming chat.
  • A glance at the sky.
  • An encounter with a bug.
  • A sip of cool water.
  • A good back-scratch.
  • An unexpected recycling bin.
  • A contemplation on a single blade of grass swaying in the wind.
  • A good snuggle.
  • A hot spot on heated floors.

The list goes on and on. And I’m sure yours does to.

But this is a little post about little things.

So, tell me, what are some of your little things?

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Filed under Think About It