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Espresso vortex

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Our Chalet Bix espresso machine just celebrated its third birthday.

It’s been three years since I worked in an actual corporate office, which is kind of awesome in itself. When I made the jump to working 100% from my home office, we realized that it was just silly going out and driving to Starbucks to get our preferred espresso drinks, then driving back home to drink them. Plus, it was expensive. And it also made us feel like super assholes.

But the problem is that I don’t actually like regular coffee. I like espresso drinks. I like mochas. I like lattes. Basically, if it has a bunch of steamed milk and syrup, I’m your girl.

We bit the bullet and had the grand Home Espresso Machine Experiment, and $800 gamble on trying to save money and time and — let’s face it — actual fossil fuels wasted driving back and forth to Starbucks for no good reason.

As it turns out, the DeLonghi Magnifica was a good gamble. Our old habit of two Sbux espresso drinks per day was about $10 per day, or approximately $300 per month (more really, because we tip the baristas). We don’t shun Starbucks even a little, but about 80% of the coffee we drink now comes from our own house. The Bix DeLonghi paid for itself in well under four months (even when you consider the cost of coffee, milk, syrups, and the stuff to clean it). That means that we’ve saved about $7000 in three years by making our own lattes. Plus, that’s not considering the fact that I now usually have a second latte mid-morning, which I never did before (because it’s one thing to have a five dollar a day personal coffee habit, but it’s another when it becomes a $10 a day habit — Christ, what an asshole!) and also requires you to get up off your arse and go to Starbucks to face Laura the barista who will say “AGAIN!?” and I’d have to make up a lie about spilling my first latte.

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But one of the biggest things about having our own espresso bar is that we haven’t had to go outside, except for quick two minute bursts to let the dogs make yellow snow. You might not have heard, but it’s been cold in the Midwest. Ridiculously, science-fictiony, cold. It’s the kind of cold that gives you an ice cream headache after two minutes exposure — and you’re not even eating ice cream. In fact, you don’t even have your mouth open. The ice cream headache is just drilling into your skull from your exposed forehead. It’s so cold that when it was negative 20 with the negative 45 windchill, I’d walk outside and my hair actually turned white instantly (it goes away as soon as you get back inside).

It’s so cold that Zuzu sometimes forgets what she’s doing outside and just runs around, worried that she’s freezing to death. Avi just cowers and gives me looks like I’m beating her with invisible ice fists.

The other notable milestone passed this week is that it’s Avi’s fifth birthday! It’s also Zuzu’s one year anniversary of coming to live with us. For an entire year, we’ve been medicating this dog twice daily, holding her through seizures and trying to get her to connect with people. She now looks at us and craves attention, which is just the sweetest thing ever. Mission Bulldog has been deemed a success. Now if only she’d stop pooping in the house. Baby steps, I guess. At least she’s gotten the idea of using piddle pads down.

As for me, I’m still working from home, although in a different manner than what I assumed when we bought the espresso machine. We decided that until I find just the right full time position, it makes sense for me to pursue my own consultancy. Now I have clients and have to manage my own time and also, send out invoices. It’s weird, this being responsible thing, but it’s been super fun. Also, I get to play with making charts again.

It turns out that my super powers involve Excel pivot tables and writing a search engine-optimized headline that feels natural. Lamest superhero ever.

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3 Comments

  1. dorrie wrote:

    You are so adorable.

    Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  2. Macon wrote:

    Another power, albeit not ‘super’, is your ability to look like a Russian Matryoshka doll. And to keep many people returning to your blog, time and again. So, thanks!! We all appreciate how far you’ve come and how invested you are in what you do. It shows.

    Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Kelley wrote:

    Yeah, but Excel pivot tables are the BEST THING EVAR~!!!! I would marry them if I could. So powerful and flexible, like a hunky gymnast weightlifter type person. *Swoon*

    Friday, January 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

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