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. 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 😀 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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”?

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

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


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