Alternate spelling, alternate universe

You may recall from a post a while back that I use my secret agent 007 stealth first name when I order coffee and they ask for a name to write on the cup.

My secret agent name is Lucy. I use that name because it’s:

1) easy to pronounce

2) easy to spell

3) heard clearly over the whooosh whooosh sounds of an espresso machine

I copied this from a friend (who has my same real first name), even borrowing her own made up nom de bebida, because of the ease of use.

Until this past week at the Honolulu airport.

They asked my name. I said Lucy. They nodded and wrote the name. I got my beverage and it wasn’t until I was on the plane that I noticed.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Y-y-y-y-y-ou w-w-w-wanna k-k-k-know w-w-what’s e-e-e-vil?

This. This is what is evil:

That there is one each vanilla flavored iced coffee from McDonald’s.

So, you know, I’m really not a McD’s fan. I won’t eat their food. Blech!

But recently SOMEONE, who shall remain nameless (and has the initials TGM) got me hooked on McD’s sweet tea.

Damn, that stuff is good. Addictive too. Crack tea, we call it.

So this morning, in need of a “little something” to get the day started, I rolled through the drive through and decided to try an iced coffee.

I ordered a “large” thinking in Starbuck’s sizes, and was SHOCKED when they handed this bucket of liquid out the window to me. It takes two hands to keep it steady!

So as I drove to work, I began sipping away at this beast.

You can see how much I had. Less than a third of the cup and suddenly the jitters set in.

I’ll admit that I’m more sensitive than most to caffeine, but DAMN.

I had to put this into the fridge at work. If I drank the whole thing they’d have to hospitalize me!

It’s tasty, I’ll give ’em that, but not as addictive as the tea.

Fair enough, I tried the c-c-c-c-c-coffee. It should come with a prescription and a warning label!

: jitter :


satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.

Yup. American society, in general, seems to love them some schadenfreude.

Some coffee fans get grim delight in Starbucks woes

Really? Why?

I mean, if you say to me, “Well, I don’t really care for Starbucks coffee because it’s too strong/weak/bitter/strange for me”, then great. No one says you gotta like everything.

But if you say “feh! F–k ’em because they became so successful”…well that’s just mean. And elitist.

So while the coffee snoots are busy scribbling bad poetry in their local coffee shop, feeling superior that Starbucks seems to be faltering, they seem to forget it was the coffee snoots themselves who made Starbucks what they are.

Starbucks used to be the low-down cool thing. It used to quietly be the “in” thing, where the coffee snoots went for a cuppa and conversation. Starbucks was filling an unfilled need. Or they created a need.

That is capitalism at it’s finest!

So suddenly they go from being good to being dirt because they are worldwide? And making money? So neener neener now that you’ve come upon hard times?

As a Starbucks stockholder, I see this retrenching as a good thing, actually, for the long term health of the company.

It blows that people will be out of work and stores will pull out of neighborhoods, but I honestly believe “getting back to core competencies” is the right thing to do in this down economy.

Ah, that’s just me being rational again. I hate it when I get like that…

(note to my favorite New Mexico Barista: Hang in there friend!)

Forbidden love.

I have lust in my heart.

It’s a new lust, a fresh start.

This fascinating new thing caught my eye just less than two weeks ago when we moved into our new building. Ever since, I can’t stop thinking about our encounters.

They leave me giddy. Happy. Jittery.

I’m lovestruck baby, I must confess.

And the object of my adoration is this strong, powerful, steely beast.

What’s that, you ask?

Why, it’s a coffee machine. But not just ANY coffee machine. Not the typical office industrial device that pushes brown water out of tired dried up grounds. No.

Gaze toward the top of that lovely thing. You’ll see two plastic hoppers that contain WHOLE beans.

You select size, leaded or no, and push start and it takes beans, grinds them RIGHT THERE, and brews one delicious cup of coffee.

Now see, I’m not actually supposed to drink coffee.

For one, I can’t handle the caffeine. High blood pressure and tired adrenals and just, I can’t take the buzz.

So ok. Decaf.

I also have terrible reflux. And coffee, even decaf, is terribly acidy.
Problem is that I *love* coffee. And giving it up is difficult.

I usually limit it to on the weekends. Some decaf with breakfast or maybe an iced decaf from the local purveyor of deliciousness on a Saturday afternoon.

Last week we moved into the new office building and everyone was raving about this new coffee maker. I was like “feh!” Office coffee? No.

But when I arrived my new cubicle was not configured correctly and also my network didn’t work, so for the first hour of my day, I stood around while people fixed the problems in my workspace.

So while waiting, I toddled down the hall to try out this new thing.

When I sipped the fresh ground, fresh brewed concoction, even with the crappy dried up powder creamer they have, I was like “hey…that’s tasty!”

Tuesday, I brought in a real mug and a carton of half-n-half. Added a splash to my fresh ground love and siiiighed. So. Tasty.

I tried to keep it to a cup a day habit.

But this week slipped away from me. Suddenly I was having two in the morning. And another mid afternoon for a little “lift”. Then I was drinking a cup on my way out the door to go home.

The Good Man commented on my coffee breath, so unusual for me!

It’s probably time for rehab.

But I just…can’t. All day long I hear the distinctive clicking of my new crush. It calls to me. Beckons me to the sea of warm half-n-half sweetened love.

If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Did I mention my crush also brews hot chocolate?

A nod to my oldest niece for the imagery of forbidden caffeinated romance. Thanks! How you drink a chai with espresso is beyond me. I’m scared to try, I might further my addiction…..:)

Nom de Bebida

Or, what’s in a name?

I have a friend at work. She and I share the same first name. So imagine my surprise when one day sitting across the table from her, I noticed her Starbucks cup had the name “Lucy” scrawled across the side.

I asked why. She said that Lucy is easy to spell so it ensures quickness at the register. Plus, she isn’t always comfortable with her real name being shouted out across a busy work morning crowd. As a single gal, she’s safety minded, and I respect that.

I liked the idea and being all incognito appealed to me. And since she and I share “Karen Power” I decided to adopt Lucy as my Nom de Bebida as well. Every time I’m asked for my name, I feel like a super undercover agent giving my false name. I’m SO stealth.

I’ve used it so much, that when The Cute Boy™ and I go for coffee, he’ll tell them my name is Lucy. I’ve only been “busted” once when I didn’t have enough cash and handed over my credit card right as I was being asked for my name. I said Lucy just as he looked at my card, and then looked at me like I’d gong luh-luh in the head.

So this morning, I went into my favorite coffee establishment. I guess I’ve been hitting the coffee a bit hard lately, because the barista recognized me and said “Good morning, Lucy!”

I smiled and gave a hearty “Good Morning” in return. All these people think my name is Lucy. Why does that give me a secret thrill?

I wonder if a lot of people have a Nom de Bebida? I wonder if I know anyone who is a barista that I could ask?

Happy Friday to all my incognito friends…Long live the secret coffee schlurper!

Photo by Karen Fayeth