It's like they don't want you to know...


It's like Starbucks doesn't really want you to know they have an 8oz (short) sized cup.

Chicago oatmeal? Not so much.


For the record, Chicagoland Starbucks do not know how to make oatmeal properly.

Not at all.

The oatmeal at Starbucks has recently replaced my previous breakfast favorites of chocolate croissants and pumpkin loaf. The croissants make my stomach hurt, and the pumpkin loaf, though very tasty, isn't available enough. Few things are worse in the morning than being disappointed at the lack of pumpkin loaf availability.

Okay, that's not true, there are hundreds of thousands of things worse, if not millions of things worse than a pumpkin loaf disappointment, but that's really beside the point of the oatmeal, isn't it?

Every time I'm outside of a Starbucks with a Starbucks oatmeal, I'm asked, "I've always wondered about the Starbucks oatmeal. Is it any good?" EVERY. TIME.

To which I will say this: IF you also receive the brown sugar, the nuts and the dried fruit (which is to say, ALL of the oatmeal add-ons), then the Starbucks oatmeal is FABULOUS. I love it. It's great. I recommend it whole-heartedly with gusto.

Except maybe in Chicago. Then I recommend it, just not whole-heartedly, nor with gusto, as I'm not convinced they understand the concept of oatmeal at these Starsbuck.

Instead of filling the oatmeal with enough hot water to thicken the oatmeal and soften it, they added just barely enough water to cover the oatmeal. Which meant that both the oatmeal cooled very quickly since it didn't have enough thermal mass to battle the cold weather back to the hotel effectively, and that the oatmeal lacked any moisture to soften the dried fruit.

My only consolation was the glass of milk I nearly always get with my oatmeal. Now THAT at least was done right.

Vivanno? More like VivanNO.


Okay, so, do you go to Starbucks? Have you been there recently?

The local stores have this marketing push for the new Vivanno drinks, which are cold, blended drinks that, eh, could be competing with Jamba Juice.

Except that the Starbucks drinks flat out suck. I wasn't able to finish the drink, it sucked so bad.

Now, I'm a fan of the ice blended chocolate drinks. Kris is a fan of the coffee, sure, but I don't like coffee. Sure, I prefer the Coffee Bean's chocolate drink, but the Coffee Bean's seem to stick with Southern California, so I don't manage to have them very often. Eh, and Starbucks suffices.

These Vivanno drinks? Really? No.

Fly on the window

Daily Photo



"You won't get any dates."

A dad in the Starbucks used this line on his daughter today. I was standing in line in front of the girl, and didn't hear exactly all of the conversation. That line, however, I heard.

I wanted to turn around and tell ask, "So what? So what if you won't get any dates. Better to be true to yourself and find someone who appreciates that, than to reduce yourself to the lowest common denominator for a date, because society doesn't believe you're whole without a man. Reject the notion you need a date."

I didn't turn around though, because I realized, that, sadly, the lesson wouldn't have meant much. I mean, that dad's line? It would have worked with me, too, when I was that young.

Barista jinx


Tuesday mornings, Kris is usually up and out the door by 7:30 am, taking Annie for her happy, happy, joy, joy, all-day hike. Since that isn't happening, I seized on the free morning with Kris and suggested breakfast together.

Imagine - breakfast together on a weekday morning. Together. Breakfast.

Uh, yeah.

Sleep holds a much stronger draw, unfortunately.

We woke up late, snuggled under the comforters for a long while, then finally crept out of bed when we realized the squeaking noise we kept hearing wasn't construction noise from across the street, but rather Annie's stomach growling. "I guess I better feed the dogs," muttered Kris as he rolled out of bed.

We went to Starbucks for a quick pastry for me, pastry and coffee for Kris. We've been ordering much the same items each time we go, that Kris has started handing me cash and standing to the side to see if I can get the "grande drip, room for milk, morning bun and chocolate croissant" order correct. Apparently, coffee drinkers use the term "room for cream" not "room for milk," so I deliberately use milk to annoy them all.

The cashier was very friendly to me. "How are you doing?" "What do you have planned for today?" "Oh, what fun!" and "I hope everything works well for you today!" I usually don't have conversations with the Starbucks people, though I'm sure they recognize me by now as the woman who never buys coffee. "There she is, the milk lady again."

So, I handed Kris his coffee, and walked with him to the milk table. As I was reaching for the napkins, I saw a flash of white to my left, followed by a, "Sorry, babe."

I looked over to see Kris covered in milk from his stomach down, a puddle of milk at his feet. I looked up to his coffee, to see the lid of the half and half floating in his coffee cup, the half and half thermos still tipped in his hand.

I looked up at him. "I blame the barista and her 'hope everything works well for you today.'"

"Yeah, she jinxed us."