Monday, July 06, 2009

Good News for a Sleepy Monday

Did you have trouble feeling alive this morning? Did you love the "java jive" as much as it loved you? Well, maybe you should; new research from Florida shows that coffee may help reverse memory loss from Alzheimer's:
The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.
Previous research has also suggested a protective effect from caffeine.
It might be amusing to see the caffeinated mice running around all hyper and everything. But this is something that would be good if it could be replicated in humans.

It's funny--I wasn't much of a coffee drinker until the end of undergrad school, when I did my student teaching under a couple of band directors who went through a large can of Maxwell House in less than a week (I know this, as I was sometimes the guy sent to get more if they ran out). The coffeepot was a popular gathering place for band directors and private teachers alike, and it was the first time I'd ever seen that type of camaraderie in a school situation. (I even had a designated much, which read "If At First You Don't Succeed, Change the Rules.") And the "kick" of the coffee really did help make it through a long teaching day.

But when I got done student teaching, it was still in the pre-Starbucks era in Texas by a few years, so I went back to the monstrous sports bottle of Dr Pepper to get me through my radio shows, though I would sometimes have a cup of coffee and a donut or two on my way to teaching (the quirk of my commute at the time was that I could leave an hour and a half before school started and be there 45 minutes early, or leave an hour before school started and, more often than not, be late). I may have even had a hand-me-down coffeemaker at home, but I didn't know how to use it and didn't realize it was as easy as it is.

So when did I become a Coffee Guy for good? While I had Starbucks every Saturday before work and every Sunday before church once they came to town, it would still be a little while before it would become a part of my morning ritual. That happened ten years ago this coming fall, when I played a wedding gig in Austin that lasted way longer than it was supposed to. Long story short, we didn't have a hotel room and had to drive back to Dallas at one in the morning. That prompted a stop at an Exxon Tigermarket, which introduced me to the first really good gas station coffee. I would stop at one of those stations every morning after that for the next five-and-a-half years, until I started making it at home. I always joke with the students that you wouldn't want to come in for a lesson until I'd had my morning coffee, and there's probably some truth to that.

And it's now been two weeks since I've been to Starbucks, two nights before my surgery. Not being able to drive has given me extreme cabin fever, and the usual cure for that--going to Starbucks to read for a while--requires, well, driving. I bet you can guess one of the first things I'll do once I'm mobile again...

No comments: