I've been trying for the last two days to write a different post--one about how much I love gym culture. I've always been able to perform exceptionally well under pressure, but this time I just might crack. How can I describe the euphoria that only the Reily Center can bring? As it would turn out, not very well. I might actually be at a loss for words--it makes me wildly uncomfortable. That's why I'm changing the subject.

This morning I went to the historic Jazz archive at Tulane with my music class. If you're a jazz fan and you're in town, you should check it out. If you're not, don't worry about it--there's a really great zoo across the street from campus, maybe you'll like that. I'm a jazz fan, but I had a hard time enjoying the lecture given by the curator. I wanted to like it, I really did. But I couldn't. And here's why. When we were filing into the presentation room the Curator, who had on a pair of inspiring hounds-tooth print slacks, told me I couldn't bring my coffee in. It took me at least 15 seconds to comprehend what he was telling me --and that's saying something, usually I'm lightening quick. I could only stare at him, mouth agape in horror, while my caffeine starved brain tried frantically to make sense of what this heartless hounds-tooth-clad man was demanding.

I think time slowed down as I dropped my full 16oz. cup into the garbage can. I saw it move in slow motion. It was straight out of a bad movie. Second only to gym culture comes my devotion to coffee. I used to be one of those sad people who didn't like coffee. Then Rachelle started working at a coffee shop. Then I found out that carrying around a coffee cup was a total status symbol--no morning outfit was complete without it. And now, I need it.

It's frightening how true this is--I have been on the verge of fistfights over the last cup of coffee at Einstein's. Tulane has two purveyor's of my liquid crack: P.J.'s, a company that sells over-priced gas station coffee (it is awful, awful stuff, it's the kind that makes you involuntarily cringe at every sip), and Einstein's Bros., a bagel company from the northeast that sells moderately better brew for way cheaper.

That's where I go. Sometimes I'll go to P.J.'s--it's open until 11 p.m. Don't judge, you would get desperate and go too. But I am primarily all about Einstein's. Here's the thing--it's self-serve. At peak hours in the mornings before class, the coffee stand is swarmed with throngs of hyena-like college students. I'm not the only addicted one here, trust me. It's a battle getting to the front of the line, but it's one I'll gladly undergo--God help the person who tries and stops me. I pretty much have getting my fix down to an art, I'm in and out in under 4 minutes, regardless of who is around me. Sometimes the coffee runs out and the disgruntled Einstein's employees have to refill them. They move infuriatingly slowly--I've been told it's a Southern thing, but frankly I think they're making a statement. They know that we won't leave without our coffee.

The only time I've ever stormed away from Einstein's without a cup in hand was when I was running late for Econ and the lady wasn't refilling fast enough--but that's the only class I won't be late for in the name of caffeine. So I didn't have that java jolt I needed, and that day in class I ate 15 jolly ranchers, nodded off twice, and tried to teach myself to be ambidextrous. I blame Einstein's for the day's worth of illegible notes.

There it is. My fourth great weakness and my second great love.

xoxo, Lauren

p.s. Great news, Emily is still in the running on the Bachelor--I was looking up predictions for how it would end the other day and she was listed as being in the top two. Thank God. Reality Steve better not be getting my hopes up for nothing.