We've been mixing decaf and regular coffee at home in the hopes of lowering my husband's blood pressure without meds. It was time to take action today, though, when I found myself drooping in the library. It could have been that I was reading Shakespeare, or it could have been that I was just in a fog. At any rate, coffee cures what ails ya. It's no wonder the Starbucks symbol is a siren. That smell calls to me. And, unlike Odysseus, I gave in and untied myself from the mast today-- to my detriment. Or, rather, my financial ruin. $7 for a cup of coffee?!? When the great American depression recession of the early 2000's became apparent, didn't we all believe luxury brands like Starbucks would go out of business? (And, it would be their own fault, charging inordinate amounts of money for coffee.) Surely they would lose business because McDonalds and Burger King now had "fancy" coffees. Let me put your mind at ease. The brands that are supposedly taking over the coffee market are a far cry from Starbucks. We fell victim to this when we entered multiple McDonald's on the way to and from Central Florida for Thanksgiving. "Can I have a large decaf iced coffee?" "Uuuuuhhhhhhh....." "Just use your decaf with the milk and syrup." "We don't do that here." (Apparently, special orders upset them.) These experiences stand in stark contrast to my experience this morning. "Can I have a venti decaf soy caramel brulee latte with extra whip?" "Sure." "Can I have a venti iced coffee chai with an extra shot of espresso?" "Sure." I didn't know some of these things existed! But, as I sat waiting for my name to be called, "venti triple soy for Kati?" I saw that the line I just exited from was not any more diminished: not to mention, in the library (just one of the many Starbucks on campus) there is a line snaking outside the library and one trailing through the library. The call of the Starbucks Siren is alive and well and I am enjoying every sip of my gold-plated coffee.