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Unable to Connect

bad connection

There are few moments that stand out as pivotal when it comes to my developing self. Today I experienced a disconnect clearly, and it was extremely unsettling.

How many special people change?
How many lives are living strange?
Where were you while we were getting high?

My go-to for writing is usually a Starbucks. Not original, I know, but it has worked for me for a long time; the chill music at just the right volume, people sauntering in cooly giving orders for extra-hot-no-whip-soy-double-shot beverages, while trying to look like they’re not checking out who looks more saucv than them while dredging out their phones to connect to the free wifi and talk at a volume just loud enough to feel important, about their co-workers’ annoying habits to their pal with the great hair who just ran through the door, out of breath and ready to talk about just how damn busy their life is.

Slowly walking down the hall
Faster than a cannonball
Where were you while we were getting high?

So, today I walked into the Starbucks in Unionville, which offered all of the above.  A special beverage juste pour moi, and enough noise to give me something to work against.

I wasn’t aware of why, but I felt it. At the the counter, I suddenly felt dumb (as in gobsmacked). The atmosphere around me buzzed with an energy that made me totally uncomfortable.  I fumbled to figure out what I wanted (normally a latte or a tall, full-bodied brew in a grande cup with lots of room for cream, or maybe even an iced chai latte with very light ice and non-fat milk), so I just ordered English breakfast tea, my simple go-to-comfort drink.

I juggled my laptop and milky tea to the middle of the shop and looked for a seat. I chose the one next to the Spanish looking fellow who was plugged into his phone, singing Oasis at the top of his lungs and making everyone else feel more than slightly uncomfortable. It was either him, some guy in a button-down and tie trying to look like he was working, and an  Asian lady looking anxiously at the guy singing, like he might suddenly jump up and mug her right there in the middle of an upper-middle-class afternoon.

The crazy guy seemed like the only reasonable, and sane choice. Everyone else was wearing a mask – you know what I mean, looking but trying not to. Caring what everyone else thinks, but enjoying being on show. They hugged their paper cups like cocktails in a 1940’s thriller. The crazy guy was more my speed.

Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova in the sky
Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova
A champagne supernova in the sky

He turned his head and looked right at me. We were just inches apart. I looked right back and stared into his eyes, “Hello” I said. He turned away  and kept on singing.

Wake up the dawn and ask her why
A dreamer dreams she never dies
Wipe that tear away now from your eye

For some reason I could not connect. My laptop froze in the ether of this moment of self-discovery.  I’d connected at Starbucks a zillion times all over the world without a problem, but today it just wasn’t happening.

Realizing that I was just wasting my time trying to plug in to the rest of the world via my 12″ screen,  I decided to spread out at the bar if front of the floor to ceiling window that lines Main Street.  A plastic-enhanced woman in a white jacket swooned that she could not believe that I was leaving a corner seat as she slid over and let me know that she was expecting an important client (the crazy dude had already left).

Important clients deserve more than in indiscreet conversation in a public, brand-name coffee shop, but for some reason they settle for it. I moved and let her have the corner office.

Having just come back from a vacation where there is an overtly open relationship regarding the energy exchange of buying and selling, engaging or disengaging from those around you, I suddenly realized that this aloof, dare I say, apathetic environment no longer serves me.  It’s just more distilled in places like Starbucks where everyone thinks they’re special because they’re not at the Tim Horton’s Drive Thru.

I wrote, people came and went, and I missed  simple, authentic interaction with other human beings.

This was not the environment I wanted or needed. I packed up my kit, and strode back to my car, hair blowing in the wind, yellow jacket shining against the overcast skies of a colder than usual spring.

Zipping past the boutiques that line this picturesque little part of my community, I noticed another cafe – Chee Organic Cafe, and I made an note to drop in tomorrow. Maybe I can connect there.

How many special people change?
How many lives are living strange?

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Eggnog Lattelessness

eggnogAvoid Starbucks if you’re looking for a Christmasy Egg-Nog Latte. Go straight to Second Cup. This, from a die-hard Starbucks customer.

What I got as my ‘Birthday Reward’ from Starbucks was not an eggnog latte. Not the sweet, foamy cup of christmasy-feel-good-caffeine that I’ve become accustomed to, and look forward to every winter.

This afternoon I knew that  the young gentleman barista behind the counter was thinking that I was just another mouth-breathing-too-much-money-and-not-enough-sense customer.

In my mind’s eye, I could see my smartly-suited self staring, open-mouthed at the festive white and red menu that was missing the option of the annually, much-anticipated egg-nog-latte. Even as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I sounded like an irritating twit but I just couldn’t stop myself, ” Is there any egg-nog-latte this year? I don’t see it on the board.”

The very polite barista explained that it was his understanding that the eggnog latte is only available in the west this year, and last year, it was our year in ‘the east’.  It sounded like a load of bologna, and I want you to promise me that you’ll tell me if you find a Starbuck’s Egg-Nog Latte in the GTA, so I ended up settling for the new chestnut praline latte. I was promised that it was delicious, but it was, in fact, just meh. 

I shall be actively seeking another noggy caffeine replacement at the Second Cup and other fine coffee establishments that remain faithful to the crack-like caffeine-nog addiction Starbucks has caused me to have.

And so my holiday began, my sweet little sugarplums, with an annoyingly first-world problem – eggnoglattelessness. Thank you Starbucks for making me feel like an annoying, privileged moron. Bah-Humbug!

 

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Easy Like Sunday Mid-Morning

"Just because I'm awake at 6am, does not mean I'm ready to go and do things." ~ASL~
“Just because I’m awake at 6am, does not mean I’m ready to go and do things.”
~ASL~

“Not a morning person”, does not even begin to describe me.

Nope. My mornings start early, and as soon as my alarm goes off (not my eyes open, well, because they open about 20 minutes later), I run a sequence of my day through my head. After that, I think about what I’ll wear, and after that, I press the snooze button a couple more times. Just to make sure it works.

Don’t worry my lovelies, I get my gratituding in before I drift of to sleep.

My days are non-stop, and can run into the wee hours of the morning. Alas, my alarm clock is a cruel master, and I must, no matter how late I stayed up working on a presentation or meeting material, get my sorry petunia out of bed and carry on the next day.

A Twitter-Pal recently asked; What’s your favourite part about waking up early on the weekend?

First of all, early usually involves work or some ‘have to’ activity. So, waking up early for me (without alarm clock or agenda) means getting out of bed and staying out of bed before 10am or, getting out of bed and achieving one cup of coffee before my teenager wanders out of his room.

On this Sunday morning, I offer you a list of things that I love about waking up early on the weekend (using my definition of early)

1) Opening my window so I can feel the cool morning breeze, and listen to the rain (like this morning).

2) Not rushing my morning coffee… x2.

3) Catching up with the social media my friends post.

4) Reading in bed.

5) Listening  jazz music while I make breakfast.

6) Crawling back under the covers and being fully awake and aware of how cozy it is at home.

 

I hope you had a wonderful weekend to wake up at your leisure. Wishing you sweet daydreams…XO