pot, kettle

I wish I could remember who started me on the path to tea, but I know that it has been a quiet presence in my life's background since college, as I believe Sperry drank tea regularly. I have no doubt that in the passing years I have been offered many a cup and turned them down due to lack of familiarity.I believe it may have been Gareth, when he stayed with us a few years ago, bringing a box of tea with him and having a cup during even the hottest days of summer.


There is silence, scented with bergamot, and a cup of tea that more than one friend has told me whose leaves smell "more like a big sweaty guy named Earl than some proper English tea called Earl Grey."

In the past month, the angle of the sun has changed enough that the guest bedroom now sees bright slats of midafternoon light. For the sixth autumn straight, the cats have made it a point to sunbathe and drowse amidst the motes. They doze in tangles of brotherly paws and tails, kitty-snoring into each others' ears amidst the fresh-folded laundry.

teaslut, catslut, stupificence

Edmund, most of the time, is too lazy to work up the effort to squeeze out a full-fledged meow, instead settling for a meaningful glance, occasionally laced with a whiskertwitch or two. Only when he is annoyed (defined as "my brother kitty will not play with me when I bite him on the ass") does he really feel the need to actually audibly voice his opinion. Today was no exception, but even without the vocalization, I got the point.

millionth cup of midnight tea

Yes, it is Harry Potter Release Day, which means you and yours are probably slathering at the bit to get your grimy little midnight hands on Harry Potter V. On behalf of my friend Jessica and all of the other hapless dreading bookstore salesclerks in the world, I'd like to wrest this day back from Mr. Potter and Ms. Rowling and declare it the Official Be Nice To Salesclerk Day.

I slipped by the local Books-A-Dozen on Jessica's tip to pay for the little piece of paper that means I won't have to stand in line to buy the latest of Mr. Potter's escapades. Instead, all I will have to do is park the car (possibly a challenge), walk to the door (only a challenge if I forget my contact lenses) and toddle up to the line that says "Exchange Slips For Books Here."

Barring unforeseen forgettings of contact lenses or unfortunate and accidental poking-out of eyes after parking, I suspect this shall not be difficult.

A box of tea

Do you drink coffee? I've tried, and I've come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this world: coffee drinkers, and those who wish that coffee tasted even a little bit as good as the promise of its smell.

I fall squarely into the latter category.

It's a wonderful smell, coffee, rich and thick, smelling like an olfactory cross between velvet, chocolate, and good shoe leather. A mug of coffee is possibly the only single object in the world capable of warming a pair of cold hands faster than a snuggling, purring cat; there's something comforting about the warm haze of steam rising from the cup to your face as you prepare to drink.

Its aficionados tell me that the experience of drinking the coffee is just as good is the ritual of preparation that comes before it. I cannot vouch for that. My perfect cup of coffee sits in my hands, perpetually radiating warmth from mug to skin, sending trails of scent to my nose, and never once touches my lips.

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In the past two weeks I've migrated from "having a cup of tea in the evening when Gareth makes it" to "time for my evening cup of tea."

"The house is quiet," I said when Jeff called this afternoon."Well, it wasn't as if it wasn't quiet before. Gareth probably wasn't making a lot of noise while he was here. But I know what you mean." Over the line, I could hear the smile. Stay married long enough and you start to automatically translate what your partner said into what they actually meant to say.

By my watch, Gareth is probably home now, or close to it. The typical mammalian brain, even when saddled with a working understanding of the vagaries of air travel, sometimes has trouble grasping that the damp towel left in the bathroom this morning was left by someone who went halfway across the world today.

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