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Showing posts from January, 2012

Starbucks and the Inner Id

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All day long, I am responsible. I see the world through the prism of someone who has been a mom for almost a decade and basically done pretty   much the same work with the same people for more than   15 years. What that means is that I am boring in certain respects. I eat my greens, work out quite a bit, keep a clean house, and go on date nights with my husband. I am boring---except I’m not. I too have an inner id---an id that I don’t let out very much. Not sure why. It won’t hurt anybody. I feel the safest place to observe my inner id is the safe sanctum of a nice café in a large city. But when I walk out those doors---oh well, I once again become the me that I’ve been all these years. Nice, responsible, disciplined, happy, kind of boring me. How about you? Can you tell me about your inner id??? From January 26, 2011 I have had a pretty tough day. I’ve been working hard, copy writing on demand all day. Trying to basically write a 12-page custom publication in a couple of day

Coffee & Politics 2012

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Coffee’s universal popularity is indisputable. Most people love it. According to information collected and reported in a recent issue of National Geographic (see graphic inset), coffee is the 2 nd most recognized smell in the world. It is widely loved for its utility, ability to enhance functional capacity, and its taste. When we’re down it picks us up and it even makes us healthier. Today is a big day politically. It’s unclear where the Republican primaries will net out as both Romney and Gingrich consolidate their popularity among voters. Add to that, the excitement of Obama’s State of the Union address, which is expected to address economic concerns and the need for more jobs, and it’s clear that the United States is geared up for lots of café talk. Coffee has always been part of the American political landscape. During the Boston Tea Party in 1773, drinking coffee was patriotic. As the nation was being formed, the founding fathers got together in coffeehouses and strateg

Our Annual MLK Party: Coffee, Justice, and Lip Gloss

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Every year, we have a party called “Drinking Coffee (and Hot Chocolate) in Honor of MLK, Jr.” We get together on what is almost always a cold night and drink hot drinks, listen to music, talk, and let the kids play. It’s a nice way to acknowledge the holiday. Though one year some of the kids read parts of King’s most famous speech (“I Have a Dream”--- the one that he delivered in Washington, D.C. in 1963) out loud, we don’t generally recite quotes or watch youtube videos of Dr. King or anything like that. Basically, it’s just another party in Montclair. A typical multiracial groupfest with dogs and cats wandering about and lots of kids running around---some with parents of different races, others with parents of the same gender, some with parents from similar ethnic backgrounds, but radically different backgrounds in other ways. Many married people and some single people. People with children and without children. People from every part of the United States and the world.

A Shout out to a Coffee House in Bahrain: Where Lattes and Tear Gas Mix

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Although the Kingdom of Bahrain is renowned for its pearls and oil, as well as its World Trade Center and Financial Harbor, it is also getting attention for how the ongoing Arab Spring Revolution has been playing out here. One of the hotspots of the uprising it turns out is Costa Coffee , a café in the capital city of Manama. In an article published in the New York Times on December 29, 2001 with the title “A Haven for Dissent in Bahrain, Where Lattes and Tear Gas Mix,” Adam Ellick writes about Bahrainis who get together at Costa Coffee not only to drink coffee and eat sweet treats with their friends and families—even bringing their children—but also to protest the lack of democracy in their tiny island nation of 1.23 million people. What’s the issue? According to Ellick, “The island is governed by a Sunni family, the Khalifas, with ties not only to Washington, but to Riyadh. The country is majority Shiite.” The Bahraini Shiites complain of systematic discrimination, exclusio