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Ok people,

I know we can do better than this.  Is there no one who wants to add to the story?  Or does it end with our friend Charlie walking down the hill to feed his dozen sheep? (thanks Mark!).  As glad as I am that Mark humored me by playing the game, I was hoping this would start a great thread.  If I can only get my husband to read the blog that we both (mostly) own, well then maybe I should just give it up.

But hmm… maybe this story DOES end with Charlie feeding his sheep.

Perhaps, then, we should begin anew. Yes?

Play? Play with me?

Anyone?

Again, the premise– I’ve started us off with a few sentences.  You read the story and add to it with a few words, sentences, paragraphs,  thoughts, whatever you have time/interest for (oooh–perhaps an illustration? You can email it to me and I will post it).  I will pull all comments up to the main blog body.

Let us begin:

The wind was hot, not at all refreshing.   She sat on the bench with her head towards the sky, watching two crows bounce on the cable line.  Moments passed, and then she was brought to sharp attention by a loud noise somewhere behind her.  The sound of the loud crash rang in her ears. She turned to see what it was, and to her surprise, saw a large man carrying an unreasonable number of cymbals in large bags.  One had fallen to the ground, and he was wrestling with his fat white cat on a leash while trying to collect his dropped cymbals.  Being a percussionist herself, she was immediately drawn to the varying sizes and weights of the cymbals.  She had always preferred the large, marching band staples which effortlessly created a sense of excitement.  She wondered whether she might filch a set while the large man was focused on his cat.  Then suddenly, in the distance, she began to hear the emergency alarms.  It was time.  The war had begun.

The sudden sounding of alarms frightened the fat cat, who managed to escape as his flustered owner dropped the rest of his cymbals to the ground, causing further emotional scarring to the cat who already suffered from anxiety.  The large man stared at the mess of his cymbals on the ground as he watched the cat run away, red leash trailing.  Should he collect his cymbals, or run after the cat?  He couldn’t run very quickly.  What if he couldn’t catch the cat? Who would feed it its Xanax?

Shrugging, he left the cymbals and went after the cat who dashed down the pathway into the thick of the park. “New cymbals will have to wait,” thought the girl as she reluctantly got up from the quiet of her bench to aid the man in his cat saving quest. The sounds of the sirens continued to swirl around the scene, the mix of heat and fumes rising up from cars and trucks stuck in a mass on the street as emergency squads forced their way through the traffic.  The man weaved his way way through the trees and bushes where he thought he had seen the cat go, the woman following quietly behind him.  He was unsteady on his feet, panting and out of shape. As he made his way up a hill, the sound of the sirens from the street continued to grow in number and volume.  “What the heck is going on over there?” the man wondered for a second, before stopping short at the top of the hill. He was absolutely stunned that he saw…

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I’m bored. I’m waiting for images to upload into the yearbook.  Amongst other things, I make the yearbook for HLS.  Fun!  Silly.  High school all over again.  ANYHOW.  Whilst waiting, let’s play a game.  I’ll start us off with a character in a few sentences.  Everyone who wants to play should read the last comment made and add to the story line with a few sentences, paragraphs, words, thoughts, whatever you have time/interest for.  I will pull all comments up to the main blog body… maybe not explaining correctly but hopefully people will play along and you’ll get the idea.

Let us begin:

(APBR) Charlie Goode was a charming old soul who lived on the top of a hill.  He liked striped socks and crumpets and eating boxes of Snowcaps.  Every day he would walk down the hill to… (MWR)…feed his dozen sheep. As a boy, Charlie had always dreamed of owning a sheep farm. When he had the chance to buy the property at the top of the hill a few years earlier, he jumped at it, knowing the fields below and the meandering stream that encircled the land would be perfect for a flock. What Charlie wanted more than anything was to…

I love Starbucks.  Sorry.  I do.  Ok. Coffee houses generally.

But Starbucks particularly because it’s near and frankly, I haven’t found a coffee house in town (Belmont or Cambridge) that is 5 minutes away from my home or workplace AND isn’t full of jerk-face judgmental hipsters or super-yuppies (ok… I’m definitely being too judgmental myself and I know that any Starbucks at any point in time can also be full of, or run by, jerk-face hipsters and/or super-yuppies, but whatever. It’s my blog I can say what I want, believe what I believe, and like what I like. And come on. You know what I mean, right?)

ANYWAY.

This post is not about hate.  This post is about love.  The love of coffee.  The love of getting EXACTLY what you want and experiencing pure happiness for just five minutes of your day.

Really.  Can you think of any other place where you can, for $5 (more or less), get happiness in a cup?  A pick-me-up.  A sugar fix.  A cool treat.  A warm ……. hmmmm 🙂  And you can get ANYTHING you desire, come to find.  There’s nothing they can’t/won’t make, and they aim to please.  Step inside your local Starbucks (or awesome local non-hipsterfied coffee stop–try Tunnel City Coffee in Williamstown, MA or The Metro Coffee Company in Casper, Wyoming) and just listen to the requests, all served up quickly and with a smile (mostly):

“Tall non-fat caramel macchiato frappucino, EXTRA caramel.”

“Grande soy vanilla latte with two shots of espresso.”

“Three shots of espresso in a large cup with ice.”

“Medium iced coffee with two pumps of peppermint, leave room for cream.”

“Venti sweetened green tea.” (Yes, not coffee, but you can have tea too!)

The combinations are seemingly endless.  And it’s such a simple business plan:

Give the people what they want.

For me, in the absence of a Tunnel City or Metro Coffee, I’ll take a good friendly Starbucks any day.  Like today.  And believe me, I’m not against the local coffee spot and I fully understand the impact Starbucks has had on the world.  I DO.  I get it.  I love the community feel of local coffee places–how you can run into people you know, or how if you go enough your barrista/o will know your drink.  They might play music from area bands and serve local bread or desserts.  And I would go to one if I could find one I liked.  And Yes, I’ve tried Darwins in Cambridge and it just doesn’t do it for me (although they do have good sandwiches and Iggy’s Bread of the World there… MMM… the bagels are especially fine and they toast ’em up right and give you a nice schmear of your favorite cream cheese–but I digress, this is not about bagels, it’s about coffee etc.).

If you live/work in Belmont or Cambridge (Harvard Square area) and have suggestions for coffee places to try, let me know.  I’m open so  long as they give the people what they want.  Happiness in a cup. Their way.  With a smile.  (And maybe some free internet too!)

I am sweating. Glowing. Dripping.

It’s too hot. And it’s not even hotter than yesterday I don’t think.

Weather.com says it’s 85, feels like 89.  “Warm.”  Yeah. No sh.t.

Even my fish are looking at me like, “Uhm… the water is WARM, Momma! Yeah, we’re cold-blooded but this is ridic!”

I don’t feel like eating. I don’t feel like cooking.  I don’t even feel like watching TV.  I don’t feel like doing much of anything but laying on the floor with Gordon, sprawled out, limbs not touching anything, cold washcloth on my forehead, wishing the heat away.  Poor Gordon doesn’t feel like doing much of anything either… not even a bone will tempt him.  Ice will though, he loves ice.  We are lucky to have window-units to keep the place a bit cooler, but it still gets warm.  I worry for those with no cool air or ventilation, or who are working in jobs that keep them outdoors or in hot areas.  We saw a worker get pulled out of a construction site today with what appeared to be heat stroke–the paramedics came quickly but I hope he’s ok.

Today I read a terribly sad and beautifully written article from March 2009’s Washington Post about children being accidentally left in cars by absent-minded but deeply loving parents.  On days like today I worry about children and pets and the elderly being transported in cars at all or even being left in their homes with no air conditioning or fans, and hope that their caregivers remember to check on them, to take them (babies/pets/elderly) out of their cars even for a quick errand, or to provide cool water and air when possible.

We haven’t had a good rain in weeks… maybe a month! In sharp contrast to last spring when we had record rains all of June and much of July.  Now, where only last month the grass was green and lush, today everywhere it is brown and dry.  The leaves on trees and plants hang sad and parched.  The pavement stays warm long into the night and the water runs tepid out of the faucet.

Ok, enough for now.  I’m going to give Gordo another round of ice cubes and maybe spray him down a bit with some water.  Maybe spray me down a bit too.  Mark is playing softball and I hope he is drinking enough water!!  It will start to cool off and it’s always a few degrees cooler in Cambridge than it is in Belmont, though only a few miles away.

What are you doing to stay cool?  Please be careful everyone!

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