Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thoughts of the evening

I'm sitting in my apartment, hoping I'm not getting sick for the second time this month, listening to the non-stop bass of the girl above me and wondering about... well just wondering. And of course Friends is on in the back ground.

I have developed a small personality for the girl who lives above me. Our first and only encounter was only vocal. I was awoken by her LOUD music, so loud I swore it was in my apartment. No joke, I sat up thinking "Who turned on my radio and how do I shut it off?" So I wasted no time in getting my butt upstairs, knocking on her door and asking her to turn it down. Very bluntly, but I did say please. I think I scared the shit out of her, because she sounded like well, like I sacred the shit out of her. But now I hear her music on average once every other day, it's now just a low rumble. I have heard True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, Every Day by Dave Matthews, but I turn on my radio to drown it out when I hear Enya over and over again. Enya grates on my nerves. OK, so her small personality that I have invented is that I think she is a stripper. The only time I hear her walking around is when she has heels on. And her music comes on at the most random times, 4 or 5 in the evening, 10:30 or 11 at night, or something like 3:30 or 5 in the morning. I put the shoes and the music playing times together and came up with stripper. I'm almost positive that I'm wrong, but still. I like making up things about people, especially when all I know about them is through my ears.

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. I have a party that I'm going to with my friends Kerstin and Sommer. It's semi-formal and I'm wearing a strapless red dress and am planning on looking FIERCE! I'm very excited, and am hoping hoping hoping I feel all right tomorrow enough to go out. A pretty necklace, some cute black heels and a cute purse and I'm ready to dance the night away. And hopefully have some cutie buy me a drink or two and possibly kiss me at midnight! Everyone wants to be kissed at midnight, you know!

I got my latest writing assignment back and I got a much better response from my instructor than I expected. When I wrote it my mind and heart were on other things. But I guess I did better than I thought. And now for the next one, I get to revise and rework this last assignment into a full article. Wish me luck.

I'm reading The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and it is wonderful! In the beginning it was a very quiet story, a family and their dogs. But now things have taken a turn for the dramatic side, and it pulls on my heart strings. And it's even turning a but fantasy-esque. I'm so intrigued by this story, when things happen it's written so well that you don't quite realize what has happened. A bit like House of Sand and Fog. When the the climax hit in that story I had to go back re-read it because it was written so beautifully I couldn't believe that it had happened. And the story of Edgar is written in the same manner. Beautiful and dramatic and so smooth, it all flows so well.

One more day and it's 2009. Resolutions? I'm not sure. Goals, I think so, not sure yet. Big promises like that intimidate me. I don't want to set myself up to be disappointed. Oh maybe that is my resolution, not to let things get me down. Sounds good, huh?

Monday, December 29, 2008

You've got to be kidding me!

I forgot about this guy until I found the note in my pocket. On Christmas eve day I had a customer at work who asked to have his small soy latte returned because we put a lid on it and that was environmentally sound. Yep, it happened.


1. It's a law for us to give them their drink with a lid on it so we don't spill and burn the customer or ourselves. But he said "That's bull shit. It's not a damn law, it's corporate shit. I'm a lawyer." Fine.
2. It's more environmentally sound to bring your own mug, you Jackass! The lid he didn't want is only half the garbage, there is still the cup. The cup that he didn't want to take his delicious drink in because it wasn't environmentally sound.
3. It's ridiculous!
4. And this is my job. Lucky me.

I did have a lady who clearly talks to herself day in and day out call me crazy and stupid today. Thanks. But aren't you the crazy one?! Miss-I-talk-to-no-one-ALL-THE-TIME!!!

I've had an off day and will blog more positive stuff within the next day or so. Once I get past the fact that sometimes I can't believe I get treated the way I do when I serve people coffee at work.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm going to age myself here...

I just went to dinner/grab a beer with some old friends from my camp counseling days. Which was fabulous! But that is not the aging part. Sitting at the table (yet not old enough to drink, I haven't decided if that was a good or bad thing yet) was one of my old campers. Yep, I'm old enough now where the campers I used to counsel are now going out for food, and at this time, non-alcoholic drinks with people I guess, whom we are both friends with.

This was a wonderful evening, don't get me wrong. It was great to see my friends who I haven't seen in several years, at least 5, if not more. But it was a very surreal moment for me when one of the young ones at the end of the table says, "Yeah, I remember you. You were my counselor, when I was like 10 or 11." And here she is at a bar with me. WEIRD. Just plain weird. And I'm almost positive that I was the only one who felt that way.

Keep in mind I was the oldest one at the table by at least 4 years. When I first met my two friends that were there tonight one of them was 16, and I was a month shy of 21. And when I first went to camp it was in the late 80's, the others at the table tonight (besides my 2 friends) were just being born.

I realize to those older than me, this may seem a bit silly. But you've been there, you've done that, and I guess now so have I. The talk was good and light hearted for a while. But later it just turned to talk of hooking up with people I had never met, parties with people I had never partied with, and I quickly lost interest. I bowed out not long after, saying I had to work in the morning (which I do) and was reading a really good book (which I am). But it wasn't until after I walked out the door that I realized that last statement may have been the one that aged me the most in their eyes.

Oh well. Laughter was had, memories were relived, old contacts were connected again, beer was drank. And now I'm going to go read my really good book.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Food for thought

It is a very humbling experience to walk the streets of downtown while carrying a large 12 pack of toilet paper. That was me today, along with a big bag of stocking stuffers and some uber cheap jeans I found. All in the slush and dodging cars in rush hour. Ahhh it's good to be home.

On another good-to-be-home-note, I just ate one of the best sandwiches ever. A Philly cheese steak from Galooney's. Delicious! I love their pizza and then some guys I work with raved about this sandwich so I tried it and yummy yummy-ness! It's all cheesy and spicy and the 6 inch is just the perfect size to fill you up and not over stuff you. Oh my god it was good! And to top it off it's a 2 block walk from my apartment. Awesome! I love finding the good local greasy spoon places!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold weather yet a warm body and soul

You can tell it's cold out when you get inside, take off all your layers, and realize that the spot on your scarf where your breath has been hitting it has little icicles on it. I walked to yoga today and therefore walked home when it was over and I was frigid. Plus walking there I didn't realize that the I was walking downhill the whole way. And therefore walking home was a constant uphill. So I am tired. Tired tired tired.

But yoga was fantastic! We did a half mala. Which is 54 sun salutations, constant movement, constant up and down, I really felt my blood flow. About half way through I really felt like I had gone through a barrier, and found a good zone to sit in. I seemed to stop thinking and instead was just being. It was nice. I don't remember individual moments of the class. I just seemed to let my other senses take control for a while and gave my brain a rest. In the end it felt amazing to know that my body could go as far as it did tonight. I was unsure about this yoga class but in the end felt like I had surpassed my own expectations. Yea me!

A book review, people watching, & my day off

I have picked up the book Sex and the City and am so tremendously bored. I hate that. This is one of the few cases where the movie/TV show is better than the book. It's written in a very elementary fashion, "Bla bla bla" he said. "Bla bla bla" she said and so on. No depth, no conclusion, the reader doesn't get to know the heart of the characters at all. And I think that is simply because there are too many of them. The TV show focused on these 4 women and we got to know and love and understand them. The book doesn't have a focus. It's focus is Manhattan, which is fine. But doesn't much of a city's personality come from the personality of it's inhabitants? And all these characters, no matter how small, are one-dimensional.

As an avid reader I quite often feel bad when I decide not to finish a book. But I've come to realize that there are too many good books out there to waste time on one that doesn't strike my fancy. So, see you later page-turning Sex and the City. I'll just stick to the DVDs. Those I love so much!

I saw a guy today that had on leather pants. Not a leather coat like so many people, but a very shiny pair of leather pants. And to top it off he had on an almost-orange pair of leather cowboy boots and this long, flowing dark brown hair. It was so long he actually tossed his head, the way a flirty girl in a bar does, when the wind took his hair and whipped it around his face. I wonder if those leather pants were a winter-only wear. You'd think that in the warmer months he'd have on something a little lighter, more breathable. But then again maybe not. Not many people can pull of leather pants (in fact I don't think this guy did) but the ones who do put them on, I'm guessing wear them more often than not. Leather=cool, pants=warmth therefore leather pants=must wear as often as possible.

I have spent the day today outside walking around the Uptown area, window-shopping and enjoying the sun. It is mighty cold here but I don't mind the cold as much when the sun is out. And today the sky is a lovely blue with not a cloud to be seen, the wind is minimal, and the snow is unmelting. It was a perfect day to wander from shop to shop, with my new imitation Ugg boots and my hat on, and of course my sun glasses. I did some Christmas shopping, bought myself a used copy of Eat, Pray, Love in hardcover no less, had lunch and sat and read in the booth of Bruegger's. And I have yoga tonight. I haven't been a few weeks and am looking forward to it.

This weekend is the last Holidazzle parade of the year. Thank god! And then it's back to the normal coffee-selling tactics, and no more mass ordering of mocha powder. Whew.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A fellow at the bus station

So I was sitting at the Uptown bus station today and a middle-aged handsome black man came up and stood near me to wait for the bus. He had on a fedora, a ankle-length black fur coat, these shiny brown leather shoes that might have been alligator or snake skin, he had on very nice, very expensive pair of glasses and had on two rings. One on his ring finger and one on his pinky. It takes a very unique man to wear and pull of a pinky ring. I complemented him on his coat and was slightly envious because he looked so wonderfully warm. He was so put together. Dapper. That is a good word for this fellow. (And it's not used nearly enough. Perhaps because not enough people are around for it to be used.) Anyway, this man was dapper and he pulled it off well. After he got on the bus I became curious about his life. He was dressed the way many people would dress if they went to a "Pimp and Hoes" party, only the stuff he was wearing was a little less flashy and definitely not from Spencer's Gifts. Was he a pimp? Was he a smooth, exceptionally dressed business man? Is this is only fancy outfit? Was he headed somewhere special or does he dress like this all the time? I wish I could know. I'm so curious.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cabin fever

Being sick/confining oneself to her apartment slowly has the ability to send oneself to the nut-house. I have had myself lay low since yesterday and I'm starting to go a little coo-coo. And to add to it all I have an ice-cream shop across the street which makes it far too easy to get a tasty frozen treat every night. I do have to commend myself though, I've only gotten ice cream 3 times since I moved in and yes I'm counting. Don't judge.

I have spent a good chunk of the day on line, looking for writing inspiration. Also on facebook, that stupid site is like crack. I've napped, and of course watched some Friends. I've written some things, mostly ramblings, just a stream of consciousness sort of thing.

And I'm off tomorrow. Hopefully I'll kick this dumb cold in day 3 and I will have written a piece that is pure brilliance. Once again, heres hoping...

Using time to my advantage

I have a cold. I've spent yesterday in my jammies, going in and out of naps, and today involves the same. Although I am freshly showered now and a bit more aware of my day. I have confined myself to my apartment and I think it's a blessing in disguise. I haven't stopped moving since I moved back to Minnesota. I got a new job and dove into that right away. I moved and have been getting settled into my new place. Plus my mind hasn't stopped running around and around in the thoughts of my heart. All his busyness may be why I'm now sick. So now for the last 2 days I've been forced to sit and just be. Getting myself to stop and breathe has been a challenge. I find when I actually sit still I can't clear my head enough to figuratively sit still.

However I'm getting better at it. I have for the next 24 hours, time on my side (I'm off tomorrow and am hoping by then my cold will have been cured). The sun is shinning and is making the world a bright and beautiful place outside my window. I have been waiting for my thoughts to slow down enough for me to grab a hold of one and use it as inspiration to write something. But maybe I should just start writing and see what comes out. That is what all the books say to do.

Wish me luck. I have nothing on my schedule and that is a perfect opportunity to get the creative juices flowing. Here goes..

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Note to self

When you utilize public transportation never go to Target and then leave with more than you can carry. It is a bad news bears situation. That was me today. I needed a coffee maker, which took up on reusable bag, and then some food and toothpaste, and such which then took up another bag. Plus it was snowing, had a bitter cold blowing down the buildings, and my tosies were cold in their thin socks. But I made it home in one piece, be it a over-loaded and slightly winded piece.

I need to invest in thicker socks and some sort of mid-thigh to ankle leg-warmer because that is the only part of me that is cold while I wait for the bus. I've got my whole body covered but my legs get mighty chilly.

I finished the best book last night! The author of Marley and Me, John Grogan, wrote a new book called The Longest Trip Home and it is so so so good! I read about the last half of it last night. I just couldn't put it down. It's a memoir divided into 3 parts, his childhood, his travels to separate from his parents and their beliefs, and then his travel back home both figuratively and literally speaking to his aging parents and accepting where he came from. It's written so well, a bit of comical relief at just the right points, and he really pulls at your heart strings with his bare feelings coming right from the heart. I found myself crying several times last night. He was talking about death and the ability to accept the fact that the end is coming. And I found myself sobbing, my tears falling back on to my pillow. I started to think about when my Grandma was dying. It was so hard to understand that her life was coming to an end, but once that fact sat in my heart without stinging, the actual death was easy. And that was exactly what the author was saying while he watched someone he loved dearly slip away. Death is a very peaceful moment. And that is all it is, a moment. It's the big wind-up to it with all the decisions, and the hard fact that this happens to everyone that brings the tears.
Thank you Mr. Grogan for writing your story and allowing others to read it. It was a lovely reminder of my loved ones and how much they mean to me.

I'm going to call my Grandpa now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Coffee + Holidazzle = chicken w/ head cut off

Is it possible to sell $1000 of coffee drinks in 3 hours, you may ask? Tonight I have your answer and that is a definite YES. We sold that much coffee, hot chocolate, and cookies all before, during and after the Holidazzle parade. Good grief! That is insane! (If you don't know what the Holidazzle is, google it. Right now I have a love/hate relationship with it and don't want to describe it.) I am amazed that people will 1) wait that long to order 2) wait a little bit longer to pay and 3) wait even longer to get the drink and it's all for a SMALL HOT CHOCOLATE!!!
I have small hot chocolates at home and they are free. I understand, as a customer, it's all part of the Holidazzle experience, but my goodness.

We as Barnes and Noble cafe workers have it down to a science. Everyone has their job and things move pretty smoothly, it just never stops. Seriously. It was 3 hours of non-stop ordering of hot chocolates and ciders and coffees. I have lost my voice because I had to holler over the sound of the steamer. And I think I'm getting sick but I'm trying to kick that with lots and lots of water.

I kind of wish I had a great crazy customer story to go with this. But mostly it was just a constant line that slowly moved. It was a bit like herding cattle. Order with me, pay him, pick your drink up down there. "Could everyone who has ordered move down a bit so we can keep the line going? Thanks." was a common thing that was shouted out tonight.

A bottle was broken and we ran out of cider and chocolate chip cookies but mostly it was a smooth, but be it an insanely busy night. I am now having a beer, I feel like it is close to midnight and it's only 9:30.

And I have two more weekends of this. Lucky me. Lucky us. I do have to say that everyone I have working in the cafe is fantastic. They all pull together when needed, they all love to laugh, and mostly they all are good at their job. I think the cafe should get to close for a week after the Holidazzle parade is done for the year. To give us hard workers a day off. Alas, we still have to serve small coffees on a daily basis to the business people in the mornings. Sigh and smile.