The Starbucks closing list is now public, and I’m pleased to see our local isn’t on it. I’m generally pleased with Starbucks, except when I am not. I won’t rehash all the standard bitching about the mermaid, because it doesn’t matter; Starbucks introduced dark roasts to much of America, and give them that at the very least. If it’s much more difficult to palm off a watery brown tincture as something worth your $1.25, then they’ve done the world a service.
Of course there’s a downside. I saw it last week in the Las Vegas airport, on a short layover when all I wanted was a great big cuppa strong black coffee, and got stuck in line behind the eight pickiest people in the world. When one opened with, “I’d like two tall skinny soy lattes, one just a tad cooler than the other,” I threw up my hands and sought out a fast-food place down the row.
Once upon a time America drank coffee. And America was strong. An America that drinks tall skinny soy lattes — one just a tad cooler than the other — is an America that is, dare I say, French.
Ah, well. I have bigger fish to fry today. Picked up the dog yesterday, and could feel his bones poking through his coat. He’d been off his feed most of the week, the vet said. OK, can’t blame him — abandonment in one’s dotage is probably grounds for a hunger strike. Since he’s gotten home, he’s done nothing but eat. And then sometime last night, he got up and pooped on the dining room floor. Which is either the beginning of the end, or just evidence of a senior citizen’s discombobulated constitution. I’m going with the latter. Poor old man. In seven weeks, he’ll be 17. Deaf, mostly blind, but still swingin’.
Speaking of dogs, let’s swing into some tasty bloggage today with one I’ve been carrying around a while. I don’t know how many of you read the NYT’s magazine cover story weekend before last, the one on psychotropic pharmaceuticals for pets, but it made me laugh so hard I nearly had my own dining-room accident:
Aggression is a feline problem too. A few weeks after visiting Dodman, I went to the home of a man in West Los Angeles whose pet was on Prozac. The owner, Doug, asked me not to use his last name because he didn’t want business associates to know about what he called his “cougar psycho little miniature stalker” — Booboo the cat.
Booboo was apparently poisoned by an unfortunate dried-flower-eating incident, which led to the onset of, I dunno, catzophrenia:
From then on Booboo was different. He would periodically ambush Doug. Over time, Doug noticed that attacks were more likely if he smelled at all abnormal — for instance, if he had been near a woman wearing perfume — so he would take a shower after coming home and then change into his designated cat-wrangling outfit.
…Doug led me up the stairs in his house to the second floor. He donned a pair of khakis that he had lined with heavy-gauge ballistic nylon and washed up because he had shaken hands with me. He crept toward the master bedroom, where Booboo was permanently quarantined behind a door that had been remounted to swing outward to facilitate quick escapes by Doug. “Just behind this door lurks the Tasmanian devil,” Doug said before slipping inside. I squatted at ground level and watched through a transparent doggy door. The 400-square-foot room had a walk-in closet, a four-poster bed and a floor-to-ceiling view of Beverly Hills mansions dotting a scenic canyon. The suite belonged entirely to Booboo, though Doug said he was now able to sleep over a few nights a week. Booboo slinked past the window and gave me a steady gaze. He had a tuxedo coat, mostly black but with patches of white on his feet, underbelly and forehead. Doug scooped him up and they nuzzled face to face. “He’s just warm, soft and fuzzy, and he purrs, and he’s cuddly,” he murmured.
The theme of the story: These critters wouldn’t need all these drugs if we, their owners, weren’t quite so crazy ourselves. Good reading.
Those who can get back to the land, do. Those who can’t, delegate. Another reason to hate California foodies:
Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden? That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves. Call them the lazy locavores — city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs.
Here’s a story that’s been getting some play here of late, about a Michigan woman who escaped from prison in 1976 (drug charges), went straight, assumed a new identity and was found 30 years later living the good life in the suburbs of San Diego. The question is, of course, how do you treat a self-rehabilitated soccer mom whose original crime was non-violent but whose escape from custody remains unpunished? As one, the howl goes up in Michigan: Send her back to prison, for a very very very long time!
I am not among those howling. Of course she deserves punishment; the state has to do something. But jailing her again seems pointless, and what’s more, I know of a punishment that will a) hurt; b) hit her where she lives; and c) help the state of Michigan. Among many other things. And it is? Ahem. Fine her.
Fine her big. If her family wants her on the outside so bad, make them pay a hearty sum. Half a million, say. Or more. Why is this so hard? You’re welcome. Just call me Solomon.
Off to the gym, which I am dreading.