Caffeine and Christmas Cards

6 Dec

I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but couldn’t because of a monkey on my back. Not an actual monkey as they can be volatile and rip your face off without warning. Let me take you back in time so I can explain…

Caffeine and I have had a tempestuous relationship. Growing up, I thought coffee tasted like chalk. My mom and her relatives would sit around the table while the kids came around like waiters, bringing them their liquid crack. When I wasn’t acting like a slave, I was sneaking little tastes here and there. I vowed never to drink it.

Credit: Julius Schorzman

Photo by Julius Schorzman

Then college happened. It was the late 90’s. It was Seattle. It was cold. I was tired. Starbucks stores were on every single corner. I was like one of those vulnerable people who fell into a cult, only I was worshiping baristas.

Fast forward 13 years, and I’ve tried to kick the habit dozens of times. I stay away from it for a couple of weeks while doing a cleanse, or for a few days when I’m on a camping trip and don’t have access to my arsenal of addictive substances. Do you know how hard it is to get Ketamine in the woods?


Prior to NaNoWriNO, I had determined that caffeine was ruining my writing. It was hard for me to sleep, hard for me to concentrate, hard for me to sit still. I struggled to squeak out a few sentences, and there were times when I was in tears over my inability to focus and write.

So I kicked my bitch lover, caffeine.

I thought I was going to die during the initial detox. The first few days I had so little energy I slept nearly 16 hours a day. Once I came out of my comatose state, I had a headache so bad that the only way to alleviate it would have been decapitation. I was shaky and nauseous and cranky. I was a jerkasaurus rex.


Eventually I stabilized, and my ability to write became easier as I suspected it would. I completed NaNoWriNO, and took a short break to recuperate. I went to a coffee shop on Tuesday to write this post, and ordered a decaf coffee. They were out, but said a fresh batch would be done soon. Bueno.

No bueno. Somehow the barista had forgotten that I ordered decaf, and filled my cup with regular. I’m sure of it. I was anxious, sweaty and stayed up way past my bedtime. I tried to write my post, but the caffeine wordblocked me. I went into an ALL CAPS RAGE.


Luckily, I woke up the next day and wasn’t hungover from my accidental caffeine binge. Even now, 459 words later, I still haven’t written the post I originally intended.

Here’s what I had wanted to say: I want to send out Christmas cards to my Hooked on Tonics this year. I’m sure this will be some project I think is a good idea now, but will become a thorn in my side later on. Similar ideas include, but are not limited to:

  • NaNoWriNO
  • Being President of the Pauly Shore fan club
  • Pretending that a Lean Cuisine isn’t just an appetizer for my real lunch
  • Buying stock in Hostess, Inc.
  • Watching any movie Jennifer Lopez has been in

“But Jen, why would we want to get a stupid card from you?” Because 9 out of 10 doctors agree that receiving gifts from me will lower your cholesterol, and help you keep your erection three times longer. That last doctor is just mad because I haven’t paid him for the rabies shot he gave me after I got into pissing match with a raccoon that ended badly for me.

Still need an incentive? I’ll be including a creative picture of myself which may look something like these lovely shots:




Credit: Photo by Andre Csillag / Rex USA (238096ku)

Credit: Photo by Andre Csillag / Rex USA (238096ku)


This is the greatest collage to have ever been produced

Send your name and address to if you’d like to receive the gift that keeps on giving. Seasons greetings, bitches.

109 Responses to “Caffeine and Christmas Cards”

  1. Christopher De Voss 12/06/2012 at 5:16 am #

    I believe caffeine has to be detoxed slowly. I went from a 6-er of Diet Coke a day, to one Coke Zero in the morning.

    That stuff shouldn’t be legal!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:31 am #

      I’m surprised I didn’t die, not kidding. I used to drink up to a pot a day. I’ve been better in recent years, but still. My body gets happy with the ‘ffeine.

      Just tried coke zero not too long ago, and was actually impressed.

  2. Le Clown 12/06/2012 at 5:27 am #

    I still like you, albeit the caffeine nonsense.
    Our address, you will receive, again.
    After the XMAS card comes the visit, right?
    Le Clown

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:32 am #

      I wish I was delivering the card in person. I’ll send you a private message, but it looks like the job situation is gonna work itself out so a visit is on the horizon.

      • vyvacious 12/06/2012 at 1:41 pm #

        Ooh, is there going to be a party that I can creepily crash soon? Sounds fun :D

        • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 1:44 pm #


          • vyvacious 12/06/2012 at 1:46 pm #

            YESSS. I’ll bring my Batman snuggie and cupcakes!

          • jdanryan 12/06/2012 at 6:14 pm #

            Sounds good; ever have the local brews in Quebec? Tres manifique, frankly…

    • amywestdotco 12/09/2012 at 2:03 pm #

      I get to come, too!!!!

      Also, jerkasaurus rex=awesome.

  3. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher 12/06/2012 at 5:29 am #

    Like photo #1 done like a collage!

  4. jiltaroo 12/06/2012 at 5:58 am #

    Oh you poor dear. What an unfortunate slip for the sip. That’s just not fair when you’re trying to be “clean”. I hope it’s out of your system soon!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:34 am #

      Don’t worry, I went back the next day and made him look at naked pictures of me. Talk about suffering.

      • jiltaroo 12/06/2012 at 2:59 pm #

        Good on YOU…now you’ll be getting double shots!

  5. twindaddy 12/06/2012 at 6:10 am #

    I’ve quit coffee a few times. But then I start falling asleep on the drive to work and start drinking it again.

    Oh well…

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:34 am #

      I’m lucky because I work from home so I was able to crash into things without having to call Geico.

      • twindaddy 12/06/2012 at 11:47 am #

        You are indeed lucky. That little gecko creeps me out.

  6. Cathy Ulrich 12/06/2012 at 6:24 am #

    Yes, Jen. Sounds like you and coffee just don’t mix. But OMG, that first Santa shot burned a hole in my retinas! Sending my email address anyway. :-)

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:35 am #

      It’s the kind of thing you can’t unsee, I agree. Thank you for being so forgiving!

  7. El Guapo 12/06/2012 at 6:24 am #

    I had exactly the same experiences as you!
    Except with tequila.
    And I never tried to quit.

    (She’s a harsh mistress, but I love her so.)

    Oh, and I’ll thank you to stop posting that top santa picture and claiming it’s you. I spent too much time sculpting that body to lose credit for it!

    • Madame Weebles 12/06/2012 at 10:40 am #

      I’m doing a comment bomb here to say Happy birthday, Guap!

      • El Guapo 12/06/2012 at 11:48 am #

        Thanks Weebly!
        And thank you for your post this morning. I loved it!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:37 am #

      I apologize. You’ve worked hard to get that sexified body, and I’m trying to claim all the glory.

      Tequila and I have a BAD history together. I should write about it sometime.

  8. Fern DeVilliers 12/06/2012 at 6:42 am #

    I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life, and it’s mainly because I’m afraid to. I’m already hyper. My guess is I’d have a heart attack on the spot.

    You know how I love your cards.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:38 am #

      NEVER?! Wow, I feel like bowing.

      • Fern DeVilliers 12/06/2012 at 12:29 pm #

        Nope never, but it’s not that it was such a great feat. It’s fear, all fear.

  9. La La 12/06/2012 at 6:44 am #

    The saxophone picture is AMAZING and I hope you choose something like that. I was considering going to sit on Santa’s lap again this year and sending out cards and then I remembered I have no friends. So.

    Also, I love coffee and when I don’t have it, I feel like I am going to stab a bitch. I understand.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:42 am #

      I think it’d be totally okay to walk through the mall in short shorts and a Saxophone waiting to snuggle up to Santa. No, that’s not the stuff childhood nightmares are made of.

      Maybe I’ll get a shot of him slipping me the tongue.

  10. saradraws 12/06/2012 at 7:31 am #

    I’m torn between dick in a box and MGG.
    You are a good and kind soul to think of us devotees at this time. Love you forever.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:44 am #


  11. SocietyRed 12/06/2012 at 7:51 am #

    Jen, Glad you made it back from getting slipped a mickey. A card! Wow! I now have a legitimate reason to celebrate winter solstice! Yay!
    I have to ask, where did you go to school in this fair but wet city? Cornish? SPU? Please don’t say UW…
    Email on the way! Thanks!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:45 am #

      Seattle U – no husky here. Unless you count these love handles…

      And yes! I made it back from the abyss, and I’m ready to terrorize you guys again.

  12. kayjai 12/06/2012 at 8:15 am #

    The Matthew Gray Gubler collage is EPIC! I love it so….

  13. Emily @ The Waiting 12/06/2012 at 8:30 am #

    Is that a pic of Justin Timberlake?! He went to high school a couple towns over from me.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:46 am #

      It is! Did he really? Your brush with fame.

      • Emily @ The Waiting 12/06/2012 at 12:01 pm #

        I have so many high school stories about him and Britney. A guy in my class is distantly related to her.

  14. The Bumble Files 12/06/2012 at 8:52 am #

    Personally, I love the best collage ever. What the hell is that?! Hahahah. What a sweet idea. I’ll be sending my address. I can’t live without caffeine. I’m not even going to try to stop!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:46 am #

      The best collage ever is a crowd favorite. How could it not be? And I fully support your love of caffeine.

  15. UndercoverL 12/06/2012 at 9:30 am #

    Hey, Colonic Tonic (my new name for you)! I love this post. You are my writing hero!

  16. Carrie Rubin 12/06/2012 at 9:50 am #

    I don’t drink coffee, but I get my caffeine from tea or diet soda (bad, I know). I’m impressed you gave it up. Not sure if I could go there. Not sure if I want to. ;)

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:47 am #

      I think you should just let me test out all these crazy theories. Don’t mess with the recipe for your success!

  17. Soul Walker 12/06/2012 at 10:33 am #

    My favourite in this post is the bear. The bear is awesome. Supply and demand baby, supply and demand. He’s just being real with you.

  18. Madame Weebles 12/06/2012 at 10:44 am #

    As someone who has been privileged enough to receive a beautiful and poignant card from you, I can attest to its healing powers. The boils on my face all went away, I suddenly look 10 years younger, I can walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, and my total cholesterol did indeed drop by 50 points. You’re a fucking miracle worker.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:49 am #

      You should see what I can do with my hands! No, seriously, I want to give you a full body rubdown.

  19. Janene 12/06/2012 at 10:50 am #

    Oh, man! Love EVERY SINGLE PHOTO! I guess you get pix happy when raging with caffeine. I hope you didn’t crash too hard. I was a junkie back in the day then quit cold turkey. Talk about hard!

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:50 am #

      I stared at Pinterest for about four hours before even writing a word. MORE PICTURES.

  20. mabukach 12/06/2012 at 11:24 am #

    I had to move to tea because of the same problem. I miss coffee so much it gives me rage boners.

    Do your cards come with mushrooms? Nothing says xmas like tripping balls.
    “Deck the halls with (balls) for tripping” Falalalala lala la la.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:51 am #

      A rage boner kind of sounds like a good time.

      I should include some shrooms. My drug dealer is going to be so happy.

  21. Ashley Austrew 12/06/2012 at 11:40 am #

    I have gone through the same thing with Diet Coke. It’s a bitch. You’re definitely a blogging overachiever with this Christmas card thing. You should be proud.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 11:52 am #

      When my friend gave up Diet Coke I thought I was going to have to kill her because she was such a psycho. Now I sympathize.

  22. iRuniBreathe 12/06/2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Coffee can be evil. I only drink decaf now and am seriously thinking it’s being spiked. Maybe the hamster does it when I’m not looking.
    Would love a greeting card, emailing shortly.

  23. vyvacious 12/06/2012 at 1:43 pm #

    There was one time in college when I stayed awake for 3 days straight solely surviving on vanilla lattes and blueberry muffins. I finished two finals and then STARTED AND COMPLETED a 10-page history paper about Germany. Every time my eyes would start to clamp shut, I would fervently chug lattes until I could barely blink open my eyes. Slapping myself helped too. It took me weeks to recover from my caffeine binge.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:42 pm #

      Holy crap, I bet you were so messed up from that! A friend of mine once drank 12 shots of espresso in a short period of time (can’t remember now how long it was) and he literally became a psychopath.

  24. melissasuewho 12/06/2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I was a dealer. And a pusher. I managed a “we’re not actually a Starbucks but we serve Starbucks beverages” for five loooooong years. I still start my day with 5 shots of espresso. Doesn’t even phase me anymore. If caffeine consumption was an Olympic sport, I’d have a gold medal.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:43 pm #

      I am both turned on and terrified by you. Like a moth to a flame…

  25. GiggsMcGill Jill 12/06/2012 at 3:23 pm #

    How can I resist being called a bitch? I can’t. So email sent. ^.^

    • GiggsMcGill Jill 12/06/2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Oh, and I also remember kicking the caffeine addiction. I didn’t like coffee, only drank sodas, so had like WAY less of the caffeine and it was awful. So I can definitely imagine how much worse it is for coffee drinkers!

      • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:44 pm #

        Was it Diet Soda? I’ve heard it’s really hard to kick that one over most other kinds.

        • GiggsMcGill Jill 12/06/2012 at 11:38 pm #

          No, actually regular. Didn’t get into weight consciousness until recently lol (Oh bygone college days, how I miss having to walk a ridiculous amount everyday)

        • melissasuewho 12/07/2012 at 7:57 am #

          Yes! Now THAT was my addiction. I used to drink so much Diet Pepsi. Like, a 2-liter a day. It was ridiculous. I gave that up a few years ago when I first started to take on a healthier lifestyle. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think it was the caffeine I was addicted to in the soda, since I would drink iced tea of other beverages with caffeine. I think it was the aspartame (it’s the artificial sweetener used, for those who haven’t heard of it).

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:42 pm #

      YOU BITCH! (I love you)

      • GiggsMcGill Jill 12/06/2012 at 11:37 pm #

        That’s generally what I translate “you bitch” to mean ^.^

  26. Lyssapants 12/06/2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Yessss! Now my erection will last for 3 whole minutes.

  27. speaker7 12/06/2012 at 5:56 pm #

    True story. I have a picture of myself sitting on Santa’s knee that is very similar to the saxophone one except I did not have a sax. Instead I had a reporter’s notebook because I was assigned to do a story on a creeper who dressed up as Santa Claus to “delight” the children. His wife insisted I take a photo on his lap. This is why I drink.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:45 pm #

      That sounds like the beginning to an erotic novel that be much better than “50 Shades of Grey”. Maybe “50 Shades of Grey Goose”?

  28. jdanryan 12/06/2012 at 6:19 pm #

    If you really have a caffeine problem, three words: Rum. And. Coke. Best way to deal with at least *one* of those issues, if not more than one…

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:46 pm #

      I like your advice much more than my parole officer’s.

  29. timmer 12/06/2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Ahhh, stupid stupid barista. How are you doing now with the whole caffeine free lifestyle? Better?

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:46 pm #

      I’m a whole person again. I think the day I commented on your blog post I was bitter and crazy and maybe on my period.

      • timmer 12/07/2012 at 6:21 am #

        I know where you’re coming from. I would have punted the cutest bunny in the world if it meant I didn’t have to go through the first week or so after quitting coffee.

  30. davidhardingblogs 12/06/2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Those photos are amazing. Just like Starbucks (in moderation, of course.)

    • Jen and Tonic 12/06/2012 at 10:47 pm #

      Too much fapping to those pictures of Matthew Gray Gubler is hazardous. Remember that.

  31. Enchanted Seashells 12/07/2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I went from nonstop coffee to only 2 cups in the morning. the rest of the day is Dong Suh tea (not what you think it is) or Yogi Ginger Tea or green tea. It took a while to get over the no caffeine headache tho. I’m supporting you! And I love the bears, where does he get his shrooms?

  32. benzeknees 12/07/2012 at 10:44 pm #

    It’s my favorite – Dr. Spencer Reed from Criminal Minds! I lived on coffee during my modelling years because to eat meant I might gain an ounce – 20 cups of coffee a day & 2 packs of cigarettes. I had to give it all up due to panic attacks & didn’t have a coffee or a caffeinated drink until this year again! Now I have 1 cup of coffee a day & 1 caffeinated pop a day. But I remember it was the worst experience I ever went through, so I can commisserate with you.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/09/2012 at 9:01 pm #

      I don’t know how models survive! I’ve heard this is a pretty typical diet for them. No wonder most of them look so damn sullen all the time. It’s amazing what a decaf coffee and sandwich will do for a person.

  33. Bill Friday 12/08/2012 at 12:57 am #

    “Mmmmm… chalk!”

    I too was once a lover (read: bitch) of the ‘feine. I drank a pot of coffee… black… every single day. I kicked it once, for three weeks, and came back even more addicted than ever. One of the more impressive things about the human body is that, if you listen closely enough, every now and then you can hear what it’s saying to you. About a year ago, I took my recurrently racing heart, increased blood pressure, and tick-manifesting anxiety, and cut back… severely. Now I run on about 12 or so ounces of coffee a day, and most days I feel like an actual human being.

    And as for the writing, it now takes other things to make those juices flow. Like bitchin’ comment threads during NaNoWriNo.

    And maybe one other thing, to be disclosed… eventually… in another comment thread or two.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/09/2012 at 9:02 pm #

      I actually think I could hear your heartbeat all the way up here in Oregon. It kept saying, “Mmmmm… chalk!”

      NaNoWriNO really did bring the commenting genius out of you. I think you wrote nearly as much as I did during that challenge.

  34. Love and Lunchmeat 12/08/2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I would pay you to send me a photo of you sitting on Santa’s lap wearing questionable clothing and holding an instrument… but the flute would be so much dirtier than a saxophone. Okay, never mind. That’s probably Little League for a big old pervert like Santa.

  35. becca3416 12/09/2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Can you make one for me with a photoshop of me and Paula Shore circa 1993 making out? That would be great! Thanks! BENNIFER FO LIFE.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/09/2012 at 9:06 pm #

      BENNIFER!!! (we need t-shirts for that)

      I’m going to learn Photoshop just so I can make that for you.

      • becca3416 12/10/2012 at 6:09 am #

        I would put a ring on it so fast…

  36. workspousestory 12/09/2012 at 6:10 pm #

    AHA! I gave up caffeine a month or so ago, too… I’m ALIVE! I’M GOOD YOU MOTHE…

    Erm, I’m good.

    I’d still want a monkey, though.

    • Jen and Tonic 12/09/2012 at 9:07 pm #

      You did! Wow, I wish I had known. We could have been totally hostile towards each other. Solidarity and understanding.

      • workspousestory 12/10/2012 at 4:32 am #

        I know right? Such a missed opportunity. Oh, well, let me know what else you’re giving up any time soon!

  37. kelsgonebush 12/10/2012 at 2:29 am #

    Too much coffee makes me feel like I’m on crystal meth ! Even though I assume it will help me get motivated , unless I’m going to the gym it is a major hindrance – especially to my brain ! I think I may be so hyperactive anyway that coffee takes me over the edge ;) On another note that bottom pic was a classic :D Xx Kel

    • Jen and Tonic 12/11/2012 at 12:54 am #

      It certainly felt like I was detoxing from crystal meth when I was going through withdrawals!


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