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The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability  whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” – Joe Fox, You’ve Got Mail

Aside from writing, I teach.  I am currently teaching computer classes for an IT program for a small local college. I love my students, like that there are only a few of them and thoroughly enjoy lectures and watching the light bulb go on over their heads when they get something.  I have had the good fortune of teaching these same boys for the last three quarters and hope that I get to continue with them through next quarter and their graduation.

That said, 6:45 on school days still comes hella early and the one thing that gets me through the morning is my chai tea latte from Starbucks.  If it were just plain coffee, I’d probably drink the stuff and work and find ways to make it tolerable, but I’ve become fond of my chai and so part of my routine is to stop for it.

But I am one of those people at Starbucks that makes others roll their eyes. Because I can’t just order a basic large chai and be done with it.  No, I have to specify no less than four different things that I want special about my chai.  Starbucks, a few years ago, started adding water to their chais so that the syrup and milk stretched further.  Well, that, to me, just makes it weak. So, of course, I must tell them “no water.”  On top of that, I like mine stronger than most, anyway, so I ask them to add extra pumps of syrup to it.  I am also one of those odd ducks who doesn’t like the foam that the put on top of the drinks, so I ask that to be left off. And the concession I make to my diet is to go for nonfat milk instead of the whole milk (since there isn’t a “low” alternative).

And every single time I order my drink, I am reminded of the speech that Tom Hanks gives in Starbucks about ordering a drink. I can be horribly indecisive about a lot of things in my life – just ask my husband – so it is always rather amusing to me that I can be so particular about my morning tea.

My tea has come in extra handy over the last week as I am getting back into my daily routine after Yaoi-con.  I returned just over a week ago and it has been very tough to get going again. I had so much fun at Y-con and it has been tough to just get back to the same grind.  Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching and writing as I’ve said above, but the five days I had to sleep in and be a sloth were wonderful. I sometimes wonder if vacations were invented by Satan just to make working that much harder…

That said, I did have a blast at Yaoi-con.  I had the opportunity to meet a number of wonderful other Dreamspinner authors, including Shira Anthony, EM Linley, Lori Hawkins, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes and Rhys Ford.  I am quite sure I forgot someone, so I apologize! It’s not deliberate! They are amazing, wonderful people and I was very glad for the chance to meet them!  Many of them then attended GayRomLit conference in Albuquerque, which I wasn’t able to attend, but I hope to join them next year!

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I put together a cosplay for my best friend and myself of Kotetsu Hagane and Izumo Kamizuki from the Naruto anime.  Below, you can see us in our cosplay and a screenshot of the anime of who we were supposed to be.

I am Kotetsu on the left, she was Izumo on the right.

I was very proud of what I put together.  I made the vests, bandages, pouches and swirl patches and I think they all came out very nicely.  If you’d like to see more, head over to my photobucket album and take a look around.  We had so much fun and I can’t wait until next year! I plan to have more money for the bingo (nothing like getting hot young men to take off their clothes if you win) and I hope to be able to participate in the auction and have an adorable bishounen boy all to myself for the evening!  We shall see. The auction was fun, but the last boy – a lovely bendy one cosplaying as Reno from the Final Fantasy series, went for $800! I don’t think I’d have that kind of money if I saved all year!

It was great, great fun and I can’t wait until next year.

Also, I want to remind everyone that the ever-wonderful A.F. Henley released his book Înflori last week. Be sure to get your copy, it is wonderful!

Lastly, another author friend of mine – Kiterie Aine released her own book Coffee Cake! Be sure to check it out, as well!

Thanks so much for reading!

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