I don’t think I can say there’s only any one specific thing that can be counted on to get me out of the doldrums when I’ve been having a hard time. Coffee and tea, I’ve noticed, are most certainly top contenders for the best way to cheer me up. I’ve always drunk tea, both hot and iced, ever since I was a kid. I never got started on coffee, though, until I was in my late teens around the time I got out of high school. Often people say that alcoholic beverages are traditionally referred to as spirits because they appear to have a virtually Satanic ability to take control over people’s lives. While that may be true I’ve seen lots of proof that that’s quite a major characteristic of coffee and tea too. We who are fans of theirs are truly devoted. In my younger days I liked black coffee with no sugar. Soon, I found out the hard way that it had quite a nightmarishly evil effect upon my stomach so I started putting milk into it. It used always to give me nightmarishly bad migraines if I drank more than two cups each day. I couldn’t handle a significant amount of caffeine. After a while, though, I noticed that the headaches started going away. People often complain that the caffeine begrudges them sleep but I don’t seem to be able to sleep well anyway. Over the course of the past quite a few years I’ve been drinking coffee with flavoring in it. Those General Foods and Bailey’s creamers, among others, taste really nice. A lot of people only like coffee without flavoring. My parents always liked it plain. Steve occasionally reminds me that it loses the very property that qualifies it as coffee in the first place when it has flavors in it. I really enjoy the flavors though. I make sure I make my daily trip to the Coffee Nut Cafe here in Long Beach unless I’m absolutely incapable of getting there. Tea has also been quite a favorite of mine and I follow exactly the same rule. I enjoy it straight. Unlike coffee, though, it doesn’t bother me if I don’t put anything into it. I also really like a wide variety of flavors in it besides the traditional honey, sugar and lemon. One of the advantages to coffee and tea is that each works just as well as an accompaniment to some other activity as it does alone. I can have some along with something else as easily as I can indulge in it instead of an activity. Conveniently this is an interest of mine which I share with quite a significant number of others. There are a lot of books, periodicals and websites that cover the exceptionally large variety of coffees and teas that are currently available as well as a history of them. If I really wanted to I could get involved with all sorts of fan clubs where I should be able to compare and contrast the different varieties of teas and coffees. Like sports, music and several other things, they have outlets for mere voyeurism as well as for the times when people are determined actively to participate.