Friday, May 14, 2010

It's An Acquired Taste

I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee. ~Flash Rosenberg

The other day, I was gabbing with one of the wonderful ladies who helps me with the LASR/WC/Aurora site and said something about her getting another cup of coffee. She mentioned that she didn't drink it, had never gotten to where she liked the taste. She'd tried to learn in college (need that caffeine for exam cram, right?) but hated the taste.

I agreed and said, "It's definitely an acquired taste."

DD has mentioned similar thoughts about beer and wine. My DH has a friend who makes his own beer, and it's usually VERY dark. We don't drink much here at our casa, but once in a while, DH will crack a bottle. I'm not a huge beer drinker, and always the lighter stuff (though there was a pub in Downtown Sacramento that served an amazing apple beer... mmmm...), so even to me this stuff smells rank. DD agreed and asked how Daddy could stand drinking it.

I said, "It's an acquired taste."

And it got me to thinking about how we force ourselves to do something at least somewhat distasteful in order to get used to it.

I learned to drink coffee in high school. I was born in the dark ages, before they gave free refills on soda pop (calling it both so folks from around the country will understand... though I suppose I should add "coke" in there for those of you south of the Mason Dixon line -- I'm told "coke" is soda/pop and "co-cola" is Coke. Yes?), so when my friends and I hung out at the local Denny's (yep... that was the hang out for the drama crowd), we'd order one BIG batch of cheese fries with water and coffee -- because coffee had free refills.

I'd dump cream and sugar in there 'til it was all but a milkshake, but I learned to really like the flavor of it. Even today, I'll frequently drink decaf just because of the taste. But it took a lot of getting used to.

I think this holds true to all sorts of things in life: exercise, chores, work and, yes, even writing.

For me, writing isn't the tough part. It's editing. I hate editing with an all-consuming passion. I know there are some out there who LOVE it (*cough-Charity-cough*), but I despise it. So, I do my best to get the first draft pretty close to right the first time.

I have the habit of going back over everything I've written before I start the new stuff -- which can be a problem when writing time is at a premium -- but often there are changes I need to make because of something that's been added, or just general additions or subtractions that I decided on. Adding more color, taking out a dull scene, finding typos. It all happens as I go back through. And because I haven't finished the first draft, it feels less like "editing" and more like "writing" to me.

Hey, it works. And it's how I acquired a taste for editing. Maybe, like my beer preferences, it's editing-light?

What are somethings you do that you had a acquire a taste for?


Yesterday I moved crushed rock. A lot of crushed rock. We ordered two yards, and when it came I thought, "Heck, that's not so much." Boy was I wrong! About thirty wheelbarrows full later, I'd finished covering the ground under the deck about 2" deep and still hadn't gotten but about half of the rock gone. I was exhausted, had a headache from whacking my head on the deck a half dozen times, and couldn't face the rest. It's in a pile for me to tackle today (it's going behind all the gardens next to the house that have a little rock in them, but need another 4" or so). Whee.

Then, we helped out at beginning agility last night. It's so funny -- the little dogs in there are pretty much fearless. There's a Papillon and a Dachshund who are Superdogs, flying up and down the obstacles, over the see-saw, through the chute... just incredible.

Then there's the biggest dog in class: the pit bull. And he's afraid of everything. He'll do the jumps, but do NOT ask him to do any of the contact obstacles. Not even the easy ones. The problem is, he's being rehabbed so, although he's 95% people friendly, it IS possible to push him too far, so we haven't been able to, well ... PUSH him. Normally, the way you get a dog to learn that the frame or walk won't hurt him is to push him right over a few times.

But... ha. Last night his owner came in with the dog and a muzzle. So, poor pooch was manhandled to death. I'm telling you what -- pushing him over the frame was almost as much work as moving 30 wheelbarrows full of rock. He'd plant those feet and he is STRONG. I'll give him this, though: he never even ONCE got snippy at all, never tried to nip us or complain in any way that was a negative reaction. He's really amazingly good-natured for a dog that has a rep for not being good-natured.

And he went over that frame twice under duress, with three of us pushing him over. And then, I swear you could hear it click in his head: "Hey, not only does this NOT hurt, but when I'm done they pat me and tell me I'm good and give me treats!" and over he went a couple more times on his own.

Next week: The walk-it.

I really enjoy helping out in class. So does DD. I think she's considering a future in, too, actually! LOL...


You Have an Extremely Active Imagination

Your mind is vivid, lively, and colorful. There is a lot going on in your head.

You have the ability to make pictures and movies in your mind. You are extremely visual.

Your creativity knows no bounds. You don't put restrictions or limits on your thoughts.

You have a gift that other people wish they had. So exercise that imagination as much as you want!

Well... yeah. Duh.



Maria Zannini said...

I never could get used to the taste of coffee or beer.

I think I acquired a taste for plum wine which is just sweet enough to offset any alcohol taste.

Ref: dogs
That's great that both of you enjoy dog handling so much. And what a good experience for DD.

J.A. Saare said...

I suppose I'm weird -- I like both coffee and beer. ;-) One thing I've had to get used to though is the taste of Red Bull. I love the energy it gives me but hate the taste!

Michelle Scott said...

Candied ginger. I uses to hate it, but when I found out that it relieves stomach maladies, I started eating it as a medicine. Now, however, I love it. And I'm one of those weirdos who loves editing my work more than writing it ; )

Marianne Arkins said...

Maria, I'm still not a huge fan of beer. I bartended for a couple years, so prefer mixed drinks or wine. But coffee? Oh yeah.

Jaime, you're not weird. I like them both okay, I just wasn't BORN liking them! LOL...

Michelle, I can NOT eat ginger. Ick. When I was pregnant, I was nauseous all the time, and everyone said to eat ginger. ICK. And, re: editing ... you ARE weird!!!

Brandy said...

I never did like coffee much. I prefer my caffeine from my soda. *G* I don't drink, I can't because I'm allergic to something in alcoholic beverages.

I hope you have a wonderful day!