As we age, our tastes mature and change. Some things stay constant (my desire for Big Macs) while others (my desire for Whoppers) fade away. However, even more interesting is the desire for things that we once would never be caught dead desiring. I have two examples of how my life has changed for the better over the last 5-10 years.

My first newfound love is coffee.

I still remember hating the taste and smell of coffee growing up – seeing my parents order it in a restaurant meant an extra 15 minutes of sitting and ‘being mature’. To this day an extra 15 minutes of being mature just about sends me over the edge, to the point of my wife yelling at me in restaurants to sit down until she finishes signing the check. Seriously, you’re signing the stupid thing – that means the meal is over.coffee

Anyway, against all logic coffee has become my vice. In the past few months, it’s a laundry list of coffee products that I have sampled, purchased and otherwise devoured. From coffee ice cream to coffee yogurt (disgusting by the way) to cookies with coffee in them and dark-chocolate flavored cocoa beans, my palate desires the bitterness of a good bean like a panda craves bamboo. We now have a Keurig machine and that thing is busier than a two-bit hood in a city of glass. It can’t be the same flavor either – from blueberry-donut flavored coffee to cinnamon spice flavored coffee – all bets are off when it comes to cup flavor and strength.

By the way, the aforementioned coffee yogurt deserves a special paragraph here. I’m declaring it to be officially known as reverse vomit. From the first creamy spoonful placed in your mouth to that special time when it hits the bottom of your stomach, I can only compare it to the REVERSE of what happens when you actually throw up. It tastes that bad and makes you feel the exact same afterwards. Just horrendously disgusting and I’m glad you were able to climb aboard the mental picture train and journey down the railroad tracks of your gullet with me.

My second newfound love is Irish & Celtic Rock.

Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s, all of them. Love it. Why? I don’t know. I don’t have any close Irish relatives and don’t have any particular ties to Ireland. All I know is that when I start to hear the Irish soundings of a band it’s an immediate stop and listen. Perhaps it’s an awakening of my inner soul responding to the callings of a land far away. Perhaps it’s a desire for adventure in the British Isles. More likely it’s I just got tired of the Biebers and Swifts of the world singing the same song over and over.

irelandRegardless, the Celtic lilts come to me like waves on a beach in Rosslare. They wash into my soul like grains of sand in the wind at Drogheda. I now look for these Irish melodies in all songs – Vampire Weekend’s “Unbelievers” for one example or Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” for another. The other morning I was listening to the radio when Shania Twain’s “Don’t Be Stupid” came on and suddenly I was transported to the green fields and windy cliffs of the mainland.

Actually, as soon as that song came on I was transported to a Super Bowl party that I attended with a bunch of other guys several years ago. Instead of watching the Super Bowl we actually put in a DVD that he had and watched every Shania Twain video ever made. Several times. In the “Don’t Be Stupid” video she sexily does an Irish jig (who am I kidding, Shania Twain can wash the dishes in a sexy manner) in the pouring rain.

I can’t say that I was drinking coffee while  I was watching this Irish jig take place that night – but that would have made for a wonderful closing sentence to this blog. Instead, I’ll just have to leave you with this one picture.

twain