Get me another cup of coffee, will ya?

In ten days it will be nine months since my hospitalisation. It’s 34 of an year. It also will mean nine months since my last sip of coke.

I’m sure most people would think that the last sip of coke shouldn’t be such a critical issue, but anybody who has the experience of drinking more than a litre of coke a day for more than ten years probably knows how hard it is to actually give up on coke. It’s a real addictive, actually two of them: sugar and caffeine. Both alone can be addictive, together, it’s a tremendous combination.

Even though I give up coke, I recently picked up a new habit. After my visit to the ER for a migraine earlier this year, I’ve bought an Espresso machine, and I’m now drinking at least two cups of coffee a day. Very strong and thus very good coffee; some milk, no sugar. I could get black coffee but I like caffelatte better (it’s the Italian for “coffee and milk”, now you should be able to tell why you call it “latte”).

It’s interesting to note that, while typical Italian coffee is brewed in a moka, at least at home, I prefer the Espresso, not only for its taste, but also because it takes very little effort. Using the moka requires to wash it, fill it, put the coffee in, put it on the stove, and then wait till it’s ready. Most of the times when I needed a coffee on the moka – that is while my Espresso machine was away being repaired – I asked my mother, who’s always in the kitchen or at least downstairs. With the machine, I can just walk downstairs, put some powder on the filter, and then push one button.

This reminds me tremendously of Jim Qwilleran in The Cat Who series, whose only “advanced” device is an automatic coffee brewer. Although I doubt it’s the kind of machine I’d use. I admit I don’t remember the details but I suppose it would be one of the obnoxious American drip machines… that doesn’t even taste like coffee. And yes I tried it.

I’m no scientist, but I can tell you, caffeine is addictive for sure, I stopped assuming caffeine for a few months after the hospital, and migraine started. I asked my doctor, and he confirmed that caffeine withdrawal could have caused it. I started drinking coffee, I had just one other case of migraine, then nothing.

One thing I’m quite relieved of is that caffeine has no particular negative effect on me, at least for what concerns my Pancreas. Which probably makes it the only addictive drug I can take. Not that bad, it makes me productive, it solves my migraine problems, and it tastes good.

The only problem is that since I started taking coffee again, my tentatives of getting some normal sleep schedule went haywire as they always did before. I suppose that’s entirely caffeine’s fault, from a chemical point of view. On a different point of view, though, it’s probably related to my environment. To me going to sleep early it’s – anyway – midnight. Even if I go to sleep at midnight, I can easily wake up at 6 AM. As I have no reason not to, I usually sleep between 23 AM and 1011 AM. This means that between 4 and 5 AM, I’m in that phase of sleeping when a single noise can wake me up and get me in a very bad mood. Of course that’s the hour my father wakes up, even on Saturday. And that’s why I’m still awake (not already awake) at 7:32 in the morning.

If anybody knows decent solutions to this, it would be much appreciated. And no earplugs don’t work with me, I have a lot, both wax and sponge kinds.

On the other hand, I might just decide to hack a bit more on the Apple Aluminium keyboard support in Linux 2.6.25. I’ve sent a patch to fix the NumLock emulation, but I think it would be nice to actually get this type of keyboard not to report a NumLock at all, as the hardware doesn’t have it.