Mugology: Easing Back into the Classroom

Returning higher education after an absence of over three decades – even when retirement allows me to focus on my studies – demands a  gradual approach. Collegiate study skills are muscles, and atrophy after too many years languishing in the workplace. Dive into a college classroom alongside students fresh from a dozen consecutive years of study, and you are going to be outclassed, and possibly overwhelmed.

I’ve decided to start easing back into the pool with lectures, enrichment style, courtesy of the wonderful folks at The Learning Company, who publish a series of university-level courses aimed at geezers like me under The Great Courses brand. I have now been through a good half-dozen of these, just listening, and I can feel the study-muscles starting to twitch. My next step: taking notes. The step after that: scheduling 3 per week. Finally, I’ll be taking notes, doing three per week, and completing the recommended reading.

By that point, I figure I should be ready to go back to the classroom. Hopefully, that will happen sometime this coming year.

But this post was about a coffee mug, one they sent to me recently, perhaps in recognition of the fact that I’ve purchased so many of their courses.

Mugology: Got Kicks?

Item #232 on my Bucket List is a trip on Route 66 from Michigan Drive in downtown Chicago to the pier in Santa Monica, sticking as closely as possible to the original routing.

Clearly, this is a drive I will not be taking in Winter.

I reckon it is still a year or two off. I am staying off the road until the nation has worked out its collective post-COVID cabin-fever. You don’t take a road trip to find yourself in traffic, and since I am now in a position to travel mid-week and off season, I am dodging all of that.

In the meantime, I have my mug.

Mugology: Three Great Tastes

Inspired by this huge cup, picked up at the Hershey store in Las Vegas, I am now officially hunting down Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup coffee.

Yeah, it will probably be gross, but I’m willing to risk it.

Mugology: Zona Dreams

I picked up this little fellow in a tiny shop in Williams, Arizona while waiting to go in for dinner at the Red Raven. It’s cheesy, but it reminds me that I’ll live there again one day, when the fires, mudslides, quakes, crowds, taxes, and cost of living all get to be too much.

Mugology – Travel Companion

 

My wife bought this insulated steel travel mug one day when we were standing in line at the Pinnacle Plaza Starbucks in Beijing back in about 2001. The motives were purely mercenary, as Starbucks in China was offering to take ¥1 RMB off of the price of a coffee each time you brought your own cup.

Given how often I was going to Starbucks in Beijing, I’d take this with me each day. I started traveling with it so that I could get similar deals elsewhere in China, and then found they were even offering such incentives in other countries as well.

This mug, my first, went everywhere with me. It has been dropped, kicked, and bounced by me, by the occasional bumbling barista, and by the reliably gentle baggage handlers it encountered, and it shows the dings and dents you would expect. But it still holds coffee, still stands mostly straight on the table, and still travels with me.

Happy Friday!

Mugology: The Pie Hole

There are few problems finding a great burrito, an excellent burger, or a decent pizza in LA: just ask a local and they’ll point you in the right direction. Good savory pies, though, are another matter.

I bought this mug to remind myself that the nearest veggie pie is just a few blocks from Vroman’s bookstore – or the DTLA Arts district.

The reverse says “Happiness: one cup at a time.”

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