Coffee Evolution

In my youth the coffee pot was passed around among the adults. This is why I always viewed the beverage as hands-off to me. Grown-up stuff. It never occurred to me to help myself to a cup.

When I was 32 I joined my husband on an overnight trip while he attended a conference. The boys and I traveled together. Since I had not discovered the value of coffee up till that time, imagine my surprise as I took my very early morning constitutional through the hotel hallway during the wee hours.

Situated there in the main hall was a coffee cart with all the accoutrements. Smelled wonderful. Clock indicated it was 2:30 a.m. Since I couldn’t get back to sleep, the coffee cup, creamer, sugar, and coffee itself, spoke to me. Lots of sugar and creamer because I was a newbie after all.

Well, that was thirty years ago. Coffee has evolved and so have I. Currently, because it is still summer, I indulge in three servings of ice coffee daily. My doctor will certainly ask me how much caffeine I am taking in…I will answer truthfully and wait for his stern expression.

I so enjoy my coffee laced with Safeway’s house brand, Lucerne Vanilla AlmondMilk. Aside from adding hazelnut ground coffee to the regular, I don’t mess around. No Starbucks for me. No Peet’s.

I will say that an amazing 26 year-old Japanese woman, on homestay with me,     proved to be the navigational/coffee wizard of all time. She and I took to the streets of San Francisco. She had researched two generic coffee houses there in the city. Her goal was for us to stop by these two locations and take pictures. We followed her magical phone directions and arrived at the two caffeine venues. When I asked her why these coffee houses, she simply responded, “The ambience.” And, neither of us ordered coffee.

So, I come full circle. I was introduced at 32. I have gone through different evolutions. Hotel blend. Instant coffee. Folgers. Cappuccino. Espresso (too strong).

Neither of my adult sons, 32 & 36 years of age, drinks coffee. I suppose they are waiting for their hotel cue.

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

Last night no joy.

A big rig on the bridge in Rio Vista, CA, was managed by a driver (otherwise known as moron) with poor ability to steer the monster truck. The bridge spans the river that Rio Vista is known for. The river possesses natural beauty, the big rig does not.

Haven’t heard what the probable cause was for the driver’s lack of judgment. Cell phone in his hand? Eating? Looked away from the road for too long? I am sure the highway patrol have the timeline down. I was visited by more than one official at the site on the bridge where the calamity took place. A fireman and a highway patrolman, no, make that two highway patrol. One was a female officer and she offered the most questions and received the most feedback from me.

The “snafu” tied up traffic for more than three hours. Somebody pointed out that the driver directly behind me — who hit my car, may have been a fatality. A total of five cars were involved in the melee. My husband, whom I reached at his workplace and who arrived on the scene an hour after impact made it clear that the particular car behind me was so smashed in such a way as to take on the appearance of an accordion.

I am aware of the fact that car accidents take place every day. Always distressing. Some fatalities. The truck driver will now face the loss of his job, his license, and perhaps his wife, his house and his dog…one can only hope. Truck drivers are plentiful and they need to drive on another planet. They are building roads on Neptune.

Last night no beauty…no joy…no joy.



And let’s get this out of the way. White chocolate is a misnomer. It is not chocolate at all. It tastes just like the imposter it is. Nasty.

Okay, so we have milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Baking cocoa to do with what the name implies. Chocolate syrup of various consistencies and quality. And, now the nitty gritty. See’s outranks every other confectionary. Godiva? Too pretentious and expensive. Ghirardelli? Despite the tie to San Francisco, ordinary. We can dismiss Hershey bars as being waxy and tasteless. Those cute little Hershey’s bars that are trotted out at Halloween? I will pass. I used to eat M&Ms because it felt as though I wasn’t indulging — they are so small, what possible harm could come? I will concede there are two chocolate bars I can endorse. Toblerone. It’s Swiss. The best bar next to Cadbury milk. These bars are creamy, and for whatever reason, they do not come off as sickeningly sweet.

Gas station mini marts are laden with sweets of all types. I have yielded to temptation on a couple occasions. Unfortunately, the variety offered at these stop-overs is not the quality I am searching for. No See’s.

But, a sweet coincidence has been discovered. A consignment store that I have located in the city of Davis, CA offers a dual motivation to shop there. Among their vast selection of housewares, games/toys and clothing items* is a welcome surprise. A  variety of boxed and wrapped See’s is available for purchase and proceeds go to mental health organizations.

Mental health and chocolates. Maybe chocolates insure mental health.

*I walked away with a gorgeous, winter-white Calvin Klein sweater dress that will serve as my party outfit for my husband’s birthday in November, a coral skirt and a pair of cute shoes from Spain.


The name of a song that has been circulating among my young Spanish students since the Summer. We were in the middle of the Summer school session. A nine-year old among the group was singing the words, well, actually the single, solitary title word that framed this song. He asked, “Sra. Wright, do you know “Despacito?”

Completely oblivious to the subject of his query I answered with a question. “What are you talking about?” By this time there were more students chiming in with the few lyrics the first boy could offer. They all seemed to take great delight in this piece of music.

It was not until I was on one of my extended jogs to work that I listened to a very short piece of a song (I almost never listen to the radio) with the recognizable lyrics including the word “despacito”. I had it. I knew what the students were interested in. Because the song is sung primarily in Spanish I now rest assured that the students would never fully understand the message in the song. Their mastery of the Spanish language is not sufficient enough. Good thing it’s not.

The song is about sex, slow sex, hence the word despacito. Translation: slowly. I asked one of the other teachers whether she had heard the song. She said she hadn’t. Since she is not well-versed in Spanish she registered complete surprise at the meaning behind the lyrics.

Nine-year old children were singing along. Without a lot of fanfare I explained that the song wasn’t for them. I don’t know if that piqued their curiosity even more. I don’t seem to hear the song coming from them with any frequency. It has been four months. The song is old hat by now. Their short attention span is on to something else.


Never The Twain Shall Meet

Twain. Two.

I recall having told the entire group of students in a high school ESL classroom that, “You people…” and I do not remember the entirety of my statement. At least one student, known for being quite vocal, objected to my message. He fired back with,”You people?!?” Complaint duly noted.

“Yeah.” And I continued to educate this student, after all we were in an academic setting. I said, “You are you people, and I am me people, and never the twain shall meet.” We are too different to coexist.

I have to say that it thrilled me to no end to use this phrase in this particular group of students. Honing their speaking, reading and writing skills in English was embedded in the curriculum. But, this bit of archaic English stumped them. Anytime one can stump a group of teenagers, seize the moment.

I haven’t gone on to regale too many others with my mastery of archaic English. Maybe we could reinvent and revive the usage of twain.

One, twain, three… comes to mind.

The animals entered the ark twain by twain.

Making dinner reservations for twain.

The doctor advised, “Take twain aspirin and call me in the morning.”

She had lost twain pounds and wanted to lose twain more.

It sold originally for $15 but was marked down twain dollars.

This old man he played twain he played knick-knack on his ??

I read twain books last week.

My grandson is twain years old.

Twain of the tires need replacing.

Their address is: 1010twain Jefferson.

I eat twain pieces of See’s each week.

He ordered twain pepperoni pizzas.

I found twenty-twain cents in my pocket.

Twain heads are better than one.

That’s the twain o’clock train.

Egyptian King Twaintankhamun