Want to know what’s been irking me lately? Of course you do – why would you be clicking here if you didn’t? As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been writing a book – for no reason what so ever – and I’ve been making headway on it, one chapter at a time. Actually, since it’s more of an anthology than a novel, each chapter is its own short story, so I’m really working on one story at a time. I usually write at home and proofread on the train some mornings – I find that I can’t do the reverse because lately I find that I fall asleep while reading anything at home. Also, on the train rides, if I decide to write anything, it’s usually blog entries, because something that morning sets me off. Today is no exception to that rule, since I was planning on proofreading Chapter 16, but I realized something new was irking me this morning.
One of the only other places that I’ve successfully written book chapters has been at my local Starbucks. I’ve always been able to work on almost anything, regardless of the noise level in the environment around me. Don’t get me wrong – there are some times that I need quiet or some nice classical music playing in the background, but in most cases, I’ve always written my papers, programs, and even studied in a busy or noisy environment. It probably comes from my Italian upbringing – the only time that Italian families are even remotely quiet is when we’re at a wake or funeral, and that’s only because there’s one fewer people talking. If you were raised in an Italian family, you couldn’t just ignore the noise; you had to learn to thrive in it. I became so adept at ignoring background noise that I did most of my college programming theory homework in a Burger King dining room between shifts.
No, noise isn’t a problem, but things that are out of the ordinary are a problem. I guess I can get easily distracted if I start to people-watch, and for someone like me (nosey) it’s almost impossible not to people-watch. Given the crowds that seem to congregate at a coffee house, mermaid logo or otherwise, I’m a bit surprised that I’ve been able to write everything there. But I have, just the same. Except for most recently, that is, and that’s why I’m irked. The place has been packed! I went in last night to finish reading some stuff that I hacked together and there was not a seat to be found. Last week? Same thing, and I tried getting in there a couple of different days – I think the place is putting glue on the seats or something… if they were all granola-eating, tree huggers, I would think that they were planning an Anti-War sit-in or some nonsense, but it’s just as varied a mix as there usually is – the Bean reigns Supreme now, I guess.
On the lighter side of my Coffee Life, it seems that there’s a certain barista at my favorite Bean Brewery that hasn’t yet realized that it’s a compliment to be called “evil” – people that naturally have one of those “I just tied your shoes together but by the time you notice, I’ll already be doing something else to you” types of smirks need to learn that it’s their job to be evil. I know because I have the same thing going for me. When this look or smirk pops out at an unexpected time, people usually panic because they think that I’ve done something to them – I call it looking Impish. I think it eventually wears itself down to straight cynicism as we get older, but I’m determined to keep mine, and I’ve succeeded so far. To my barista with a heavy caramel hand – keep smirking because it makes the rest of your coworkers guessing! Of course, when you’re as short as we both are, you might have to stand on a box for them to see the smirk, but I learned to live with that years ago – you’ll get used to that too!
Lastly, Steve sent over a new web site for me to play with a couple of days ago, called the Starbucks Drink Oracle – I thought I’d share, even if I don’t get it… I mean I used to drink Zima, when it first came out! Even I don’t live on Bean alone.
After all, how could you not drink a Sprite-looking drink while on what was supposed to be a dry campus?