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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!)

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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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