June 24, 2005
Coffee Talk

I’ve been to a few coffee shops this week, blissfully alone while the girls attend Vacation Bible School in the morning. My visits included three different Starbucks and a local café where a sign reads: Friends don’t let friends go to Starbucks. I work on writing class assignments or read a book, or as happened this week, get stuck in long conversations with people who desperately want to talk.

Despite what financial experts say about wasting money on coffee drinks (another article about this just ran in the Washington Post), each time I’ve gladly handed over $3.15 for a well-made single/tall/small (pick your lingo) latte. To me, that’s not much to pay for table rent.We all deserve small luxuries, especially if we are otherwise fiscally responsible. So lighten up, Frances*.

Standing in line today at Starbucks #3, the barista took the orders of a few of us in line who hadn’t yet reached the cash register. I always feel strange ordering before I get to the counter. How the heck is she going to remember what I yell over three people? We all have multi-faceted requests (size of drink, flavors, kind of milk, special requests) and I can’t fathom how someone could process all this information. Is this part of coffee school training?

I would say that 75% of the time the employees who write customer names on the cups spell mine wrong. Can you believe that some people have never even heard of spelling Marcia my way, i.e. NOT Marsha? People, what about Marcia Brady? Marcia Clark? (Well, forget her, but her name was in the news for awhile there). I know of someone who gives fake names when she orders her drinks at Starbucks. It’s tempting but I can’t bring myself to go through with it. Also, does anyone else hide their name from view once seated? Sometimes a little privacy is in order.

My sister doesn’t do paper cups. She orders her coffee or tea served with a real cup and saucer. So civilized. My fear is that my drink would never stay warm for long enough in an open cup. When I visited her last month though, we went to Peet’s and chatted as we sipped our drinks from big white mugs. It does feel nicer. (The effect was probably heightened because I rarely get to talk to my sister in person and alone. Such circumstances were arranged through agreement with our husbands that they would get their turn the next day at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company while we watched the kids).

*Good for you if you recognize that quote. It wasn’t included on The American Film Institute top 100 movie quotes of all time, which just came out. Also, why is there nothing from Office Space on the list? Obviously the folks at AFI have never worked in a cubicle.

June 16, 2005
To Whom It May Concern

June 07, 2005
Summer Break, Day 2

School is out and so far, so good. How hard can it be when your house is being professionally cleaned while you’re out shopping at Toys R Us? Fun for everyone.

We left the house by 9:00a.m., key under the mat for the cleaners, then headed to one of the local coffee shops. The girls colored on their scribble pads while I sipped my vanilla soy latte. A man who is always there at the same table came over to us to admire the girls’ work. Turns out he’s the artist who made all of the paintings on the walls. He told the girls to keep up the good work.

Next we were off to shop for a bigger bike for J., so that S. can have her old one. I agreed that S. could also get a small toy for herself. After testing out the only 18" girl’s bike left, we bought it, along with a new helmet and pads and two Sponge Bob toys that they conned me into (more below on that). As we were leaving the store, we ran into two of J’s kindergarten friends and their families. I guess the rest of the class didn’t get the memo: Meeting at the toy store, 11:00am.

So now we’re back in my gloriously clean house with fresh sheets on all the beds. We had lunch and afterward, I didn’t even want some of the frosted brownies that we made yesterday. I’m floored by my lack of desire for them at the moment, I mean it’s really remarkable. Maybe by 4:00p.m. things will change.

The kids are playing downstairs with their new stuff that I pried from all of their wrappings and twist ties and and then added batteries to. I swear, the toys aren’t even bothering me. The Krusty Krab Cash Register with Sponge Bob’s excited voice calling, “One Barnacle Bar, coming up!” and “Don’t forget your change!” is actually kind of cute. The Krabby Patty Station, with its sizzling sounds and Sponge Bob’s voice singing, “La la la la la la laaaa-aaah!”as he cooks and “Ta-da! The perfect krabby patty!” and “Order up, Squidward!” are still funny and not yet annoying.

It’s only 1:30 p.m. but I’m cautiously optimistic.

June 01, 2005
Is it cake season or something?
A few of the magazines that I subscribe to have photos of amazing cakes on their covers and in their articles. This one I want to eat:

And this one is so cute, I can almost envision myself making it:

It’s not even my birthday, and I’d love a piece of this one:

I’m wondering though, why these magazines are displaying such things, when bathing suit season is starting momentarily. It’s cruel, magazine editors. What am I supposed to do, ignore the cakes? Yeah, right.