triple shot

I like Starbuck's coffee. After brewing up a pot at home in the French Press, I can often be found stopping during the day to add to my jittery buzz. It was on one of these weekday mornings that the barista handed me a coupon to return on the weekend. It was a "Buy a Coffee for Yourself and Get One for a Friend on Us" type of deal. Sweet. I love free stuff almost as much as I love coffee.

This past weekend as I was out and about I hopped into a 'Bucks to warm myself.  

I grabbed the Sunday Trib and stood at the counter wondering what to order on this sunny cold morning. I opened my wallet and saw the coupon that I had put in there a week back. Needing massive amount of caffeine to get through the day, I decided to order two triple espressos, both with whipped cream. I handed over the coupon with my order, and the woman ringing me up said, "Oh! You and your friend should be awake all day!" It was then that I did the mental calculations, and laughed. She asked me what was funny. I said that I wondered if this was the point where I just nod and smile or where I confess that they were really both for me. Her toned changed slightly when she yelled over to the kid at the espresso machine...

"You can just go ahead and put those in one cup. It's just her."

It wasn't until after I downed the six shots that I was awake enough for that to sting a bit. 


an iPrayer

Our father, who art in Apple, 
iPad be thy name. 
Thy Mac-dom come, 
Thy will be done, 
With apps as they will be delivered. 
Give us this day our daily tech 
And forgive us for Windows 
As we forgive Bill who wants to be us. 
Lead us not into smugness 
But deliver us from boring. 
For thine is the coolest, and hippest, and trendiest, 
Forever and ever. Amen.


brown line

The town where I grew up now has a single Starbucks. One lonely ‘bucks located inside of a Target store. You have to get in your car and drive there, and hope for the best.

This in contrast to my current city, that has so many Starbucks, you’d be safe to say you could pass one every minute if you were walking at a brisk pace.

This is one of the things that both overwhelmed and delighted me about the city that I have called home for over two years now. Yes, there were certainly some adjustments that came with moving from Cleveland/NE Ohio to one of the world’s largest cities, to be sure. There were the people, the taxes (highest sales tax in the nation until just recently at a whopping 10.25%), the sky-high rental prices...

But there were all of the upsides too...the museums, the restaurants, the bars, the theaters...the sheer volume of choices to, well, choose from. Want Ethiopian food at 3:00 a.m.? I know a place for that. Want to find the funniest shows on earth? We have a laugh for that.

It took a while for me to “get it”. The public transportation system, the neighborhoods that run one into another, the impossibly great shops, yarn stores (7 and counting of my favorites), and the people. So many talented, energetic, fabulous people who have stories to tell and friendship to share. I wondered for a while if I would ever be able to feel even slightly at home here, despite the fact that I instantly loved it.

About 3 months after I arrived, I was leaving work for the day and headed up the stairs to the EL. I heard the train coming and picked up my pace, swiping my Chicago Card that I pulled out of my pocket without stopping at the turn-style, and jumped on the train, just as the doors closed behind me in a movie-style-esque entrance. I stood there tall and proud in my requisite Chicago uniform (oversized sunglasses, summer scarf knotted around my neck, laptop bag casually slung across my body), thinking that yes, I had finally become a City Girl. I felt a pride and sense of self that only one who has reached an elusive goal can feel. Goodbye small town Coffee. You’ve made it. You are a part of this place now.

That elation lasted approximately 15 seconds...until I realized that I had jumped onto the Green Line, not the Brown Line that would take me home. I had to wait three stops before I could change trains and get myself moving in the right direction.

At least there was a Starbucks when I got where I was going.


where the fuck've you been?

In their last visit to Chicago, my Mom and Dad brought me up a box of old "stuff" ... papers from high school, playbills from various productions I had either acted or directed in, copies of the school newspaper I used to write for and eventually became editor of. Yesterday, I opened it up and was looking through some of it, surprised at how much writing there was in there. I had a letter from twenty years ago (almost to the day) from the superintendent of our school system, commending me for my "insightful and respectful" writing on some subject I had long forgotten about.

What struck me the most was nothing individual. But the whole of it overwhelmed me. It was a lot of writing, and it was probably only a smattering of what I had written since I was old enough to put pen to paper. I used to type up articles that I made up on this old Smith Corona, cut them out, and carefully glue them onto a larger piece of paper, so that my dad could take them to work and copy them for me. I passed them out to everyone I knew, which in my small world at that time consisted of a circle of maybe 15 people, most of them related to me.

Since as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to be A Writer. 

What I didn't realize until right this moment is that I have always been a writer. So, I will do as writers do, and I will write.

I'm back, baby.

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