Personal Dictionary Part 1: Brain Snacks 

Stink it, I’ve created another one. 


Another what?


Well, I use these phrases that a friend once dubbed “Ryanneisms.” They are phrases that nobody else seems to use and earn me quite a few odd looks when I say them in everyday conversations. But I’m learning to just roll with it. 


“Stink it” is one of these phrases, by the way. It means essentially “darn it” or “snap.” 


I won’t delve into the rest of them for fear of being dismayed at my own weirdness. The main point of this random post is to share a new Ryanneism term that I quite like: “brain snacks.” These are basically the same as “food for thought” but, come on, “brain snack” has a much more quippy vibe to it! 


Brain snack (noun): a question or statement based on an observation that leads to mental stimulation for at least a brief period of time. 

Example: “Ryanne’s reading notes are mostly comprised of a long series of brain snacks.” 

Also note that the nutritional value of brain snacks is not definite; some might provide an entire day’s worth of mental munching, but some only 10%.  

“I Met the Fall”

November is my favorite month and not just because of Thanksgiving, pumpkin flavored everything, National Novel-Writing Month, the fact that eleven is my favorite number, or even my birthday. I love November because, living in Arizona and California, this is the month when Autumn finally arrives and, this morning, she arrived and met me with inspiration. I am aware that the seasons are probably the most common of poetic muses, but allow me to contribute my own little scribble to the myriad of autumn-inspired poetry already swirling about in the literary world like wind-swept leaves.

“I Met the Fall”

I met the Fall this morning

Though she was rather late.

Or perhaps she was just waiting

To show her fading face-

The face of golds and browns so rich,

Not like false blush of Spring;

Her colors more mature

And wisened head beseem.

And now she’s come,

But quietly,

Unlike capricious sister.

Not with song and dance and blooms,

But in arrival, leaves.

She did not knock upon my door

Or call to my window,

But when I stepped outside this morn,

Her bronze smile did show

And in her arms of cool clean air-

Crisp as the apple’s flesh-

She did enfold and welcome me

And did my soul refresh.

What’s your Coffee PersonaLatte?

In the midst of the craziness of the past few months, I have observed that college changes people. For some, they might challenge their former political ideologies or decide to go by their middle name or cut off their hair or switch majors a record number of times. However, the most common change seems to be that college converts many into coffee drinkers. For those who have not yet turned into regulars at campus coffee shops, give it time.


Now, you might think that a coffee drinker is a coffee drinker, but in the wise words of Mr. Dwight Schrute, “False.” Just as there are many different coffee creations, there are many different personalities that turn these creations into their regular orders. For instance……..

  1. Frappuccino: These frilly drinks are about as uncoffee as coffee can be. Those that drink them tend to like saying that they enjoy coffee, but really, they just like milkshakes. Frappuccino Fans are generally bubbly and extroverted; they enjoy trying new things and meeting new people just as they enjoy sampling new blends. Their fun drink reflects their fun personality, but the extra sugar on top of the caffeine might make this a bit overwhelming for the calmer cafe customers. 6-Fan-Flavor-Frappuccino-beverages_horizontal-hires
  2. Caffe Americano: Ironically, these are not the most patriotic coffee drinkers. They tend to be pretty hipster and probably liked this drink before Starbucks served it. Since it is a beverage composed of espresso and water only, these people prefer simple living and honesty without the foam of excess and shallow talk.  Their strong opinions match the strong bitterness of their
  3. Macchiato: These people are a diverse bunch. Not as hipster as the Americanos and not as mainstream as the frappuccinos, the macchiato drinkers tend to have more balance in their lives. They know how to satisfy their sweet tooth with layers of syrup and thus how to enjoy life, but they also know the importance of both strong shots of espresso and hard work. Those who go for the double shot of espresso tend to lean toward the more serious side of the macchiato spectrum. images
  4. Mocha: These people are often shy or at least introverted, as implied by the fact that they hide the taste of coffee behind a thick layer of chocolate flavor. They are also very warm individuals who make good listeners and know how to enjoy quiet relaxing times. They might not be very outgoing at first, but often have creative ideas that they will share when comfortable. images (1)
  5. Caffe Latte: These are similar to the macchiato drinkers, but less knowledgeable about the ways of the caffeinated world. They are generally hard-working individuals who need a boost of caffeine, but do not know their other coffee options and thus go for the most obvious choice. The number of espresso shots tends to correlate to their degree of work, but this is not always the case. Those who go for plain lattes favor more simple living and are prone to intense focus when working. Flavored latte lovers are more inclined to get distracted (I mean, look at all those syrup options!) but are redeemed in that they are able to sometimes set aside work and use their caffeine boost to go have fun. images (3)
  6. Cappuccino: This is a popular choice in Europe and thus those who order it regularly tend to be, or at least aspire to be, well-traveled. They also like to sound classy because, come on, “cappuccino” is a pretty fancy word and sounds amazing in a British accent. Cappuccino drinkers are driven people who know their goals just as they know their coffee order. Extra foam? They will answer yes or no without a hesitation. images (4)
  7. Espresso: These people are scary. They are so busy and focused that they literally cannot take time for a full cup of coffee, but squish all the caffeine into a tiny little shot. If they could put it in pill form they probably would. Don’t mess with a person who drinks straight espresso shots. On the other hand, maybe these individuals are not terribly intimidating…there is the chance that they just like the confidence boost of drinking from a tiny cup and pretending to be a giant. espresso
  8. Coffee: Plain, simple, unembellished, strong black coffee. This is how I drink mine every morning and I can affirm that those who lean toward plain coffee are focused and ambitious individuals; they know what they want and are willing to work hard to achieve it, even if it makes for a bitter brew. Still, with the magic of K-Cups, they can enjoy different flavors easily and therefore can be quite imaginative individuals who like to switch it up a bit now and then, although overall they are very habitual as a cup of joe accompanies their breakfast every morning.images (2)

(Seriously, where does the phrase “cup of joe” come from? What kind of coffee-drinker was Joe? I’m assuming he was a plain coffee kind of guy.) Anyway, what kind of PersonaLatte are you?