Thursday, August 27, 2009

How I Saved My Cup (Come Ho Salvato la Tazza Mia)

A few Saturdays ago, I was having a great cinnamon flavored morning coffee as I do sometimes while going over things I want to accomplish for the weekend. I was drawing up sketches of mosaics, designing and things like that which spirit away attention from the tedious and mundane. So I take a sip of the coffee, and *bleh*, it's not at least 5 degrees above my body temperature.

Being a pragmatist, I'm thinking that the microwave might be a good way to remedy the situation. So I 'top off' the cup with even more coffee to the very edge of the brim, full because I love morning cinnamon coffee and reason very soundly that more is better where coffee is concerned. Then strolled over to the microwave oven and popped it in for a minute.

The friendly little beep soon told me that my coffee was ready, so I opened the microwave door (but not right away). I know it's irrational, but does anyone else wait for the 'riccocheting electrons' to finish their magical brain-tumor inducing flight for a few seconds before opening the door? Even the legendary Jack Kilby (the inventor of the integrated circuit) wouldn't have one in his house.

So I grab the handle of my expensive porcelain coffee mug that's part of a set that can't be purchased anymore and take out the coffee. But, not too carefully. You see, as soon as my hand holding the coffee mug clears the microwave oven and is over kitchen tile, a little bit of it splashes out on my hand burning the crap out of it. Remember? I filled that sucker up to where only the surface tension of the coffee was keeping it in the cup.

This would be all well and good except, my hand at that point has involuntarily jerked just slightly because of the extreme pain from the hot coffee, causing little bits more of the steaming and nearly boiling coffee to flow over the edge of the mug, setting off a cruel chain reaction of burn, spill, burn, spill, burn... etc.

After what seemed like several minutes of this spill burn cycle (tm), I had plenty of time to think about dropping the cup, but decided against that because the set was irreplacable. I had time to think about setting it down, but would spill even more in the process maybe causing a more serious set of burns. I wondered about whether biodiesel is a better solution than hydrogen for alternative energy. Then finally, I mustered the will power to stop jerking my hand around.

Inspecting the damage, I saw there were only red marks and tender skin. No visible blisters!

Good times.

Also, as training to see like an artist, take a look at the picture below. Your brain will try really hard to only see two eyes even though there are physically four. If you can see like an artist, it won't disturb you. What do you guys think?


  1. The coffee thing (minus microwave) has happened to me so many times I might as well just pour that shit on my hand and save the suspense for something else.

    Also? You said all that like you're not used to "jerking your hand around".

    I made a vulgarity. Hee.

  2. You know that I love you to bits Eric, and I care very deeply about your flavored coffee tragedy, but I thought I would confess that the image of Daniel Craig from Dutch Donut Girl in your blogroll completely distracted me from reading your post. And then you had to follow it up with hand jerking.

    I cannot BELIEVE your adorable blog made me all horny at work.

  3. Oh wow. See, I didn't even notice Daniel Craig until I read the comment above. L-U-C-I-O-U-S.

    Dragging my attention back to you and your cinnamon (GAG) flavored coffee:

    I heard somewhere that if you lick coffee burns, they feel better. Go ahead... ;)

    As for that picture...I think it's neat.

  4. Did it harm your trumpet hand haha.

    I know that sounds dirty, but I really did mean if it was the hand you play the trumpet with, I think you should play us another piece.

    I see four eyes and two mouths. I'm on my bb though too so I think its easier on the senses.

  5. I am no artist. That picture physically hurts me.

  6. I just couldn't get over the fact that you actually contemplated not dropping the cup because of the irreplacable set. My mother would love this as she always tells me how you can't get this cup or that saucer any more since it's been in the family for generations and who ends up chipping it or killing the pass-it-along-tradition? I just can't help being such a klutz, but good on you for taking one for the team of irreplacable sets ;) And oh! Really cute pic, by the way. Good looking, a great cook AND an artist? A rare combination :)

  7. I do the microwave thing as well, and give the electrons a good couple of seconds to find their way out of the square foot or so of microwave innards.

    I remember an old biddy once telling me you shouldn't stand in front of a microwave in case it cooked your heart.

    sounds plausible to me.

  8. Damn! I wanted to write about a spill burn cycle today but now it's trademarked.

  9. Musings while in pain. I tried so very hard not to laugh but I... FAILED miserably.
    But don't worry, I got punished right away.
    I think I'm blind now, thanks.

  10. The only way I could've saved that cup would be if it was something in Lady Hem's family. I don't have much of a pain threshold so, if it was mine - no matter how irreplaceable - I would've not just dropped it, I would've thrown it across the room. And I'm no artist either. That photo annoys me.

  11. Microwaves are a-holes. Also, I don't think I own anything that's worth more to me than my hand.

    (Thanks to some of the above comments, that sounds dirty.)

  12. Oh yeah and I have no issue with Miss Four-Eyes up there. Sono un'artista (?)

  13. Now I'm craving cinnamon flavored coffee.

    Also, I was going to say something smart-alecky about the four eyed wonder girl, but then I noticed you posted a pic of yourself. Hubba hubba!

  14. Enjoyed your percolated tale of woe. Also saw 4 eyes, but it made my own want to pack up and take residence in someone else's head.

  15. I probably would have done the same thing, since I have strong feelings about coffee cups and coffee. Especially obsolete cups! That is too bad about the skin damage though, though glad it was not worse. I have burned myself making toast, literally. And making pasta. (No wonder I prefer reading cookbooks to acting upon them)

    The picture bothers me because it just seems wrong, so: not an artist. Knew this anyway. Did not notice that scowling scalawag Daniel Craig at all, I fear.

    Hope that your weekend is full to the metaphorical brim with burn-free cinnamon coffee! :)

  16. I'm sorry, but I did laugh out loud at that story. I don't usually like to laugh at other peoples pain, but I too have done this to myself.

  17. Vegetable Assassin,
    What do you mean I jerk the hand a lot? *looks around nervously*

    : ) Well I guess we can all let your distraction slide this time.
    ps - glad I could facilitate.

    Haha, next time I'll lick my hand until it feels really better.
    You have the artist vision then if the picture doesn't mentally confuse you...

    Mr. C,
    No permanent damage.
    If you see it correctly, you should paint more!

    Some people react that way...

    : ) Thanks, and glad there is at least one other person out there that would not have dropped the cup.

    The Jules,
    Microwaves are probably safe, but I wonder if they were really tested to the level of today's safety standards?
    What are the long term effects (if any) of small exposures?

    That's right, trademarked, signmarked, and copyrighted... ;)

    Dutch Donut Girl,
    I was laughing about it too because it was so ridiculous.
    It was especially funny because each time, just enough would spill to make my hand move more.

    Yeah, but there are different kinds of pain. I don't mind burning so much, but pain from needles or puncture wounds bug me.
    The good thing is that pain can only hurt so much before your body blocks it out.
    Ok, now I'll probably get hate email from CIA torture/interrogation experts out there.

    Soda and Candy,
    I'll take your comment in the dirtiest possible way, thanks.

    Peach Tart,
    That picture of the lady with four eyes is creepy... luckily most people only have two.

    Thanks, your pictures are easy on the eyes too. Way better to look at than any dude picture. Maybe I'll go to your blog right this very instant.

    Glad the story was good for a laugh, I think it was funny. I've heard that picture can give some people headaches.

    Thanks! The damage wasn't bad. It is funny how when something painful or bad happens, time seems to slow down and you have forever to think about things.

    It was kind of funny, I think it would make a memorable movie scene.

    All, I hope everyone's weekend is uber fantastic. I'll be putting the finishing touches on the pool prior to the contractor finishing. : )

  18. Now that you've trademarked the burn cycle, my blog is screwed.

    And the woman's face? I very much want to "fix" it -- or get new glasses.


  19. I have something for you over at my blog ;)

  20. I'm not an artists... I see a photshop guy who dragged the image and messed it way up.

  21. It upsets me. I'm still trying to see only two eyes. I will only see two eyes. I WILL.

    You microwave your coffee? That's appalling. Coffee should be freshly ground and brewed to perfection. Four minutes, for example, in a cafetiere. Then you should make sure you drink it when it is just right...

    But yeah, I fear cancer every time I use a microwave. so I wait a good few seconds.

  22. E' stato sicuramente un caffè difficile da mandar giù! :)) Un abbraccio, come vedi sono ritornata dalle mie vacanze! kiss kiss

  23. Pearl,
    Well, I just now sent in the paperwork on the trademark, so depending on when you mailed yours...
    The woman's face is a bit shocking to some people, I wonder if I should get a tshirt with her on it?

    Thanks, you are wonderful!

    Photoshop is fun, I wonder if an animal with doubled features would look as weird to most people as a this picture?

    I don't microwave the coffee to brew it, just to warm it up. But, I think I need to reconsider my approach if I'm going to burn my hand so often.

    :) Bisogna stare attenti di caffè molto caldo, ho avuto qualche problema...
    Benvenuto a indietro! Io sperano che la vacanza sia stata meravigliosa.
    Vedo che ho bisogno di leggere tutte le storie belle dopo il ritorno.

  24. Be careful you need your hands! And woot- the 2 sets of eyes didn't bother me, though I didn't see the 2 mouths right away

  25. Answer this question: Who has been tagged for a meme on the Gravel Farm?

    Answer - You!

  26. The picture looks pretty normal to me... but then, again, I did just get a note from my opthamologist, reminding me to get my annual vision exam.

  27. Valerie,
    You be careful too, with your kiln and hot glass and such.
    I'm not surprised, you are an artist.

    The Jules,
    I've been so busy with the day job, mosaics for the new pool and getting ready for vacation.
    I'll do the memes tonight and catch up generally.

    You have the reverse of double vision? Fractional? : )

  28. Is it already vacation time? What is going on around here?

  29. Otherworldlyone,
    No sorry, it's just been crazy busy with work and construction and such.

  30. I always knew that I had not one artistic bone in my body...your four eye test has confirmed it.

  31. Lopez,
    Well, we'd better work on that since one of your bucket list items I seem to remember might involve a certain artistic element.