Everyone has a favorite coffee mug. I'm sure one's choice says something about a person, or at least about the day they're having. When I was in college, my favorite mug during a semester with a particularly nasty 8am math class (Modern Abstract Algebra--shudder!) had a lovely pastoral Christmas scene. A gift from a friend. Nothing remarkable about the way it looked, as it was winter. But when you lifted it up, it jangled out a Christmas tune. Loudly.

Professor: "There is an element e such that for all a in R--"

Liz's coffee mug: "Oh! The weather outside is frightful..."

Liz: (Muffled)"Crap."

Professor: "A times e equals e times a--"

What Liz Hears: "Blah blah blah blah"

Liz: (internal) "Must...have...caffeine"

Liz's coffee mug: "But the fire is so delightful--"

Liz: (Muffled) "Crap!"

Professor turns from board and sweeps baleful glance over classroom. Liz has yet to have a sip of coffee...

Professor: (writing on board) "Equals a, then the--"

Liz's coffee mug: "And since we've no place to goooo"

Professor: "Mizz Jasper, would you please turn off your coffee mug? Some of us are trying to learn."

Liz: "Sorry, professor."

Liz's brain: "Caffeine! Caffeine! Now! Now! NOW!"

Liz's mug: "Let it snooooowwww."

Liz: "Crap! I mean...Whoops! Sorry, professor. I thought if I covered the bottom it wouldn't--Sorry. Won't happen again."

Liz: (internal) sigh!

Professor: "Blah, blah, blah, Q.E.D."

Thankfully, for all concerned, as my coffee always went cold in that mug, it was only a matter of time that I drowsily stuck it in the microwave to reheat and fried the music chip.

So what's on my desk now? Well, we have roofers overhead. From the sound of it, a hundred 400 lb linebackers with oversized power tools, nails the size of baseball bats and cement boots. It is a morning for my Shakespearean slurs mug. Lots to choose from, but my eye keeps going to " Canker-blossom" and "Roast meat for worms."

A writer must always keep herself surrounded by things that inspire.

Liz Jasper writes murder mysteries, even when there are no roofers overhead. (Good gad what are they using now? The hammer of Thor?) Her EPPIE award nominated paranormal mystery, UNDERDEAD is available at http://www.cerridwenpress.com/productpage.asp?ISBN=9781419909344. Or, you can visit her website at http://www.lizjasper.com/. Or friend her at myspace www.myspace.com/underdeadauthor, where she blogs as character Jo Gartner. Now, stop reading this and go do something useful like vote for Helen at the romantic times website. (Link below, with her post yesterday.)


  1. Beth Trissel // January 23, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

    Liz, you are hilarious, as ever. I'm downwind or upwind, all depending, from our oft times mooing herd of cows. And then there are the bawling calves housed not far beyond my back garden/house. The barnyard geese fuss ever more as spring nears...so much for the tranquility of the country, even without added workmen. They are due here next week. :)

  2. Liz Jasper // January 23, 2008 at 5:06 PM  

    Downwind of cows? I rather like the bawling of cows, but I definitely prefer to be upwind. Better than chickens, though. There's a big commercial poultry farm in east LA where it gets very hot in the summer and the smell about whipes you out when you drive by it.
    : )

  3. Mona Risk // January 23, 2008 at 6:00 PM  

    Liz this is so funny. I can imagine your professor's scowl. I have a big collection of mugs, over fifty. Each from a different U.S. states and from the many countries I visited. Each mug reminds me of a special time.

  4. Liz Jasper // January 23, 2008 at 6:44 PM  


    What a great way to remember places. It's amazing how clearly just picking up one of those mug will bring you back to a place you visited. : ) And over fifty! I want your travel history!

    I do remember that professor's (very put upon) scowl very clearly after all this time.

  5. Sandra Cox // January 23, 2008 at 9:07 PM  

    Too funny, Liz!

  6. Nightingale // January 24, 2008 at 11:55 AM  

    I laughed aloud and my son had to come read it! You are a hoot, Liz.

  7. Nightingale // January 24, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

    I laughed aloud and my son had to come read it! You are a hoot, Liz.

    Simon loved the Hammer of Thor. I want to know if the linebackers are still dancing on your roof.

  8. Liz Jasper // January 24, 2008 at 12:32 PM  

    Thanks Sandra!

    And Linda, I can't believe you and your son laughed through my pain. (J/K)The roofers are gone, chased off by a rainstorm. Or Thor. Hard to tell. : )

  9. Nightingale // January 25, 2008 at 10:36 AM  

    Do I repeat myself? As I said to Mona, yesterday not the universe but the internet was against me. I see that I posted twice but only thought I posted once.

    I have this wonderful vision of Thor hurling his hammer at the roofers!

  10. Liz Jasper // January 25, 2008 at 3:54 PM  

    Snif! I love Thor!