Emotions are contagious. We've all known it experientially. You know after you have a really fun coffee with a friend, you feel good. When you have a rude clerk in a store, you walk away feeling bad.
I wake up some mornings and sit and have my coffee and look out at my beautiful garden, and I go, 'Remember how good this is. Because you can lose it.'
It seems to me that trying to live without friends is like milking a bear to get cream for your morning coffee. It is a whole lot of trouble, and then not worth much after you get it.
On the broad spectrum of solitude, I lean toward the extreme end: I work alone, as well as live alone, so I can pass an entire day without uttering so much as a hello to another human being. Sometimes a day's conversation consists of only five words, uttered at the local Starbucks: 'Large coffee with milk, please.'
I never let politics get personal. You can have the most intense, heated debate on issues, and so long as you keep it on issues, you can go out and have coffee afterwards and you're good friends.
Happiness is actually found in simple things, such as taking my nephew around the island by bicycle or seeing the stars at night. We go to coffee shops or see airplanes land at the airport.
I force people to have coffee with me, just because I don't trust that a friendship can be maintained without any other senses besides a computer or cellphone screen.
When I first discovered in the early 1980s the Italian espresso bars in my trip to Italy, the vision was to re-create that for America - a third place that had not existed before. Starbucks re-created that in America in our own image; a place to go other than home or work. We also created an industry that did not exist: specialty coffee.
I had a 2-week courtship with a fellow student in the fiction workshop in Iowa and a 5-minute wedding in a lawyer's office above the coffee shop where we'd been having lunch that day. And so I sent a cable to my father saying, 'By the time you get this, Daddy, I'll already be Mrs. Blaise!'
I learned that the hardest party to pull off successfully is Saturday night dinner. This meal is expected to be elaborate: appetizers, first course, dinner, dessert, and coffee. People arrive at 7:30 or 8 p.m. and stay for hours - definitely past my bedtime - and they all go home exhausted.
I like to sit down, relax, have a cup of coffee on the terrace and read a book. I like to travel the world - and I'm lucky to see so much through cycling.
I get up at sunrise. I'm a Buddhist, so I chant in the morning. My wife and I sit and have coffee together, but then it's list-making time. I have carpentry projects. We have roads we keep in repair. It's not back-breaking, but it's certainly aerobic and mildly strenuous.
Doing 20 minutes of stretching, light weights and floor exercises three times a week takes the same amount of time as a long coffee break - and eating a tuna fish salad, sardines on toast or scrambled eggs is surely preferable to a Big Mac or KFC.