Saturday, July 30, 2005

no starbucks for me

Phoebe jumps onto my bed and I start into semi-comatose awakeness for a few brief seconds. I have been dead to the world in undreaming sleep for only four hours and I need at least three more, but this is her daily ritual. She circles the bedcovers to give my face a quick slurp and is gone. I don't mind too much. Dogs need their schedules. My daily rituals are what keep the fabric of my own life from unraveling during the hectic summer months.

The first and most important ritual of the day is tea. Two cups of water zapped for two and a half minutes in the microwave and dumped unceremoniously into a small blue willow teapot along with a bag of black chai tea and left to brew while I boot up my mac and check my e-mail. I love seeing the hot golden liquid flow from the spout of the teapot into my mug. Some milk and a sachet of saccharine and I have my tea. The first cup is usually the best one; it's still too hot to gulp and so I can savor it. By the time I get to the second one, it's cool enough I swallow it greedily in just a few great swigs; for the caffeine, not for the flavor.

Tea in other forms follows my day and week. Upon arrival at work I fill my two empty plastic Ozarka bottles with tap water and stuff a bag of herbal raspberry tea into each to steep until I begin working. It helps me drink the slightly soapy-tasting water that comes from the tap. On weekends I've begun brewing rooibois, diluting it with ice cubes and squeezing a lemon into it. It tastes exactly like traditional ice tea except it is just sweet enough so it doesn't need sugar. I recently learned rooibois has become very popular because it appears in "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" series of books by Alexander McCall Smith. I've just received the first book of the series on CD so I can listen to it at work. We shall see about the rooibois!

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