coffee talk

Coffee is one of my favorite things about life. Things don't seem like they can ever be all-bad when I have a steaming cup in my hands because, hey, at least I have coffee. There is a catalog I order from occasionally called Michael Olaf. They carry Montessori materials, and they have a coffee bean grinder you can use to teach two- and three-year-olds how to grind and brew coffee for guests. I'm thinking of training Amelia to make my morning cup o' joe. I just haven't figured out the boiling water part yet.

On afternoons like this I either like to go to the coffee shop or create my own coffee shop experience here in my office. I take all the crap off my desk and set it on the floor, brew my french press and heat up some sugar-free apple crisp. Yum. (Have I mentioned that I'm feeling notably better since steering clear of sugar?) I even have these special mugs that are the perfect shape, size, and whose handles pass my four-finger-test. Bliss.

Justin turned me on to the Starbucks Oracle. Simply enter your drink of choice and have your personality analyzed. I entered three different beverages I order, and I always came out a "Hippie". Justin entered his previous and current favorites and came out "Clueless" both times. Brilliant.

It's amazing what things like your drink at Starbucks can reveal about you. I heard the other day about researchers who analyze data like your grocery purchase history from that discount card you swipe to predict voting patterns. Apparently women in Northern California who own three or more brands of mustard almost always vote Democratic, or something like that. Phyllis loaned me this book called Urban Tribes by Ethan Watters, and he raises a question about what comes first: our preferences that advertisers target, or the advertising that creates our preferences. He shares this great story about finding the perfect cafe in San Francisco that he fell in love with--Circadia. He loved the service, the music--ideal from top to bottom. One day his illusions were shattered when he found out that his favorite coffee shop was owned by Starbucks, that it was like a prototype for new versions of their stores. At first he was angry, but over time he started frequenting the place again. He said he finally had to hand it to them. They knew exactly what he wanted.