Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2017

Archive for the category “Starbucks”

Happy Hour!

LITTLE BY LITTLE, STEP BY STEP. The universe is starting to listen to me and take my suggestions to create a better world.

Example: 

This morning I pulled the Toyota into the parking lot at St. Arbucks and I noticed a large sign tied to a steel barrier by the front door.

Happy Hour at St. Arbucks? Two weeks when their “Frappe-whatevers” will be half price. Well, Yippee-ki- yo – I guess.

Leave your day behind. Forget the stress and strain of the job and drown it all in a pancreas shattering blast of sugar.

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Sunrise Monday Morning

IT’S 6:45 AM AND I AM IN MY USUAL WRITING POSITION – a corner table at Starbucks – with coffee and a pen. Like most other mornings I start off by checking the online news to see what mischief the world has been up to overnight, and then I look at my mail and lastly, Facebook.

What I see on Facebook is usually enough to launch my day and give me something to write about – but not today. All of my friends and acquaintances are either still asleep or busy monitoring their blood pressure.

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Fiction Saturday – “And Pull The Hole… Chapter 36 Continued

Fiction Saturday

Chapter 36 Continued

pull-tijuanaOutside, the sun was beginning to go down and an offshore breeze was finally cutting through the hot and hectic city. The shopping-mad tourists were heading home and the drinking-mad tourists were arriving. The mood in Tijuana was changing, like it did everyday at this time, from commercial cordiality to alcoholic depravity. The zebra-painted donkeys that pulled small carts along the avenidas so tourists could have some unusual pictures to take home to Iowa, were being replaced by other donkeys for another kind of entertainment that Tijuana was famous for.  

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How Was Your Morning?

HUMAN BEINGS ARE THE CRAZIEST PEOPLE – and I think I know the zaniest of the bunch. They follow me.

I lived in California for 25 years – the world’s largest open-air asylum, and to put the frosting on that, I resided in San Francisco – Ground Zero for weird.

After all those years in California I moved to Indiana. Terre Haute (That’s French for “We’re gentle people aside from the Meth.”) is the Peoria of the Midwest with good, solid, hard working people who don’t wallow around in being nutty. If this is so why am I sitting next to a guy who would make San Francisco move to another table?

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Let’s All Go To Electric Avenue

tesla7IT IS ONE DEGREE BELOW ZERO, BUT I NEED MY COFFEE. I allow nothing to get in the way. At least that’s what I tell myself.

When I arrived at St. Arbucks at about 7:30 AM several of the Usual Suspects were already there, sick fools that they are. Didn’t they know it was freezing out there?

Even in the middle of an Arctic Blast Cold Front I order iced coffee. I just can’t take my meds with hot coffee. Its Science meets Coffee.

This particular morning it was Coffee meets Exotic Cars.

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The Panic in Plastic Cup Park

newbies“I HOPE YOU CAN GET SOME COFFEE MADE BY SOMEONE YOU KNOW.”

It sounds like I want to be served by a Groupie, doesn’t it? Not so.

That quote came from the lips of my wonderful wife, the lovely and tea sipping, Dawn, as I headed off to St. Arbucks this morning.

Her words came in response to my mild grumbling about having to deal with Baristas-in-training for the last few days.

Now, before you start to jump up and down on my allegedly elitist throat, let me explain the circumstances behind my curmudgeonosity.

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I’m Glad I’m Not Dave.

star1THIS MORNING I WENT TO ST. ARBUCKS EARLIER THAN USUAL. I figured I could get some time to write and calmly sneak up on the day.

It didn’t work out that way.

I should have known that things weren’t going to work out for me.

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Throwback Thursday from October 2015

Throwback Thursday 2Throwback Thursday from October 2015

Love Among The Lattes

Barista weddingIT’S NOT OFTEN that you can have an, “Awwwww,” moment at St. Arbucks. Most of the time I have “Oh, for crying out loud,” moments there.

But not yesterday.  It was, “Awwwww,” all around.

Two members of the St. Arbucks Corp of Baristas were on the scene to make an announcement – they were going to be getting married!

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Dalai Lama – Yes. Pauly Shore – No.

coffee1IT’S AN UNUSUAL DAY AT ST. ARBUCKS. It is a little before 8 AM and I am the only worshipper present. The Drive-Thru chapel is doing a booming business, but inside – I’m it.

On most mornings this place is hopping and quite noisy. This morning it is a good place for contemplative thought. Maybe they should put up a new sign out renaming this place as: “The Dalai Lama Coffee House.” Ommmmmmm.

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The Job Interview

job1I FOUND MYSELF INVOLVED IN SOMETHING YESTERDAY. Something I rarely do anymore. I had an adult conversation with one of the Usual Suspects at St. Arbucks. The “Usual Suspects” (I’ve written about them before) are a group of folks who tend to congregate for coffee at the nearby Starbucks.

On many mornings there might be 6 or 7  of us huddled in the corner chatting about…well, you see, that’s the problem. The Topic du Jour might be Sports, Grandchildren, What’s on TV, What’s no longer on TV, or the general state of the world in contrast to the way it all was when we still had hair and no artificial knees or hips. Straight out Politics is rarely discussed – it tends to raise blood pressure and some of these people are already wearing Pacemakers.

Yesterday morning was different – at least I thought it was for awhile.

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Throwback Thursday from July 2015

Throwback Thursday1

Decaf Day Care

daycareONE OF THE THINGS I LIKE about going into St. Arbucks for coffee in the morning is that I never know what I’m going to see.

“St. Arbucks is like a box of Forrest Gumps.”

One day it’s filled with tourists just passing through. The next it is an invasion of college athletes in town for a game. Then yet another day and the place is converted into a Daycare Center for stir-crazy, caffeine deficient Mommies and their little children of Beelzebub.

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Meatballs, Mocha, And Mr. Dillon

St. ArbucksTHIS MORNING DOWN AT ST. ARBUCKS the Usual Suspects were deep in conversation. The Heavily Caffeinated Philosophers were arguing about which fast-food chain had the most stores. One said it was McDonalds, another suggested KFC. At least they weren’t discussing something trivial.

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100 Years Of Turning Left

Indy 1946

Indy 500 – 1946

AUTO RACING IS BIG, VERY BIG IN INDIANA. This year it is even bigger.

“Why, Oh, why?” I hear someone ask.

The reason is that this year is the 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 race. This year, as in every other year, 33 cars will tear around the 2.5 mile track for 500 miles – turning left the entire time.

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Throwback Thursday – May, 4 2015

Throwback Thursday 2

Scream, No Sugar

Scream Waldo

 5/4/2015

THE USUAL SUSPECTS WERE DEEP in meditative thought on Friday morning in the Chapel at St. Arbucks when the High Priest (Manager) dropped a bombshell on us. It seems that, following corporate policy, our Chapel will be closing for about two weeks in November. The Bigwigs in Seattle like to remodel every ten years.

I have no problem with the idea of remodeling – it’s just that…

Whatever will we do?

Wherever shall we go for those two weeks?

I now know how Scarlett O’Hara felt when she had to leave Tara

When the Manager told us about it the world fell silent. Birds stopped chirping in the trees. Babies everywhere stopped crying. My Facebook crashed. Someone finally spoke up saying, “It’s the End of Days.” Maybe that’s just what I heard. I think he actually said, “Cool, the joint’s been lookin’ kind of frumpy.”

 What he said really is kind of true. I just hope that it is not looking “kind of frumpy” because of our presence on an almost daily basis. To a large degree this store is a college hangout/study hall and the youngest of the Usual Suspects is 53 years old. Of course, head to head, I think we could take ‘em. We are older and know all the dirty tricks. In Differential Calculus though I’d give them a slight edge – they wouldn’t need Spell Check to get that right.

One of our group was a touch irate, suggesting that they just might want to get rid of us squatting in the corner most mornings. I told him that if that was the case all they’d have to do is drop a few Ex-Lax into his Venti Mocha for a couple of days and he’d be back to visiting with Ronald the Clown who lives down the block.

I guess fate is fate. They are going to remodel. It will be closed for a while and then there will be a glorious Grand Reopening with balloons, music and baristas fresh from Caffeine Rehab. I just get iced coffee, but those people behind the counter down shots of espresso like they were M&Ms. By mid afternoon some of them are so wired you could send Morse Code on them.

Let’s be honest though. Closing this St. Arbucks, for even two weeks is going to be a bit of an upheaval. There are solutions.

There are two other St. Arbucks here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “You can’t get decaf at 2 in the afternoon.). Both of those Chapels are on the other side of town. In LA that would mean a three hour drive, but here that is no more than 15 minutes away – but it’s the principle of the thing – sort of.

I suggested that, for the duration of the remodeling, we adjourn to a locally owned coffee place that is about two blocks away. They make good coffee, they are open early and they have enough room in there so that if someone felt the urge to do some interpretive dancing it wouldn’t be disruptive. That last factor might be a big selling point with the Usual Suspects – Artistic bunch that they are.

This November will be one of those times that try men’s souls. It will be tough. It will call upon us to gird our loins (metaphorically) and to carry on.

This will not be easy for a group of guys who, if this place served alcohol, would be called “Barflies.”

I’m Just Guessing Here

Saint ArbucksI LOVE GOING INTO ST. ARBUCKS. It is a veritable showcase for displaying the skills of the Marketing and Advertising people who are sitting in Seattle drinking way too much coffee and not getting enough Vitamin D.

There is no way I can verify this, but – I suspect that the corporate Marketing and Ad folks working at the Espresso Vatican are all in their 20s with MFA degrees from East Coast schools. Moving to Seattle was the first time that they have not had their parent’s home listed as their legal address.

While still on campus they attended a “Job Fair” where the Head Hunters from the Puget Sound passed out coupons and seriously flirted with anyone who could correctly spell “Frappuccino.”

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Looking For Logic In All The Wrong Places

EARLIER THIS MONTH OUR CAR WAS STOLEN. Pack Rats 1ANot by Bonnie and Clyde or Don Corleone, or even Bernie Madoff, but by a couple of ##$@&^’s with the inability to decide what they actually wanted to steal.

When our car was found, about thirty minutes after I reported it to the Police, a bunch of stuff was taken from the car – and a bunch of somebody else’s stuff was left behind. It’s like our car was taken by pack rats.

Fast Forward to yesterday evening.

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Coffee With The Morlocks

TIMESBlue Hair Gif HAVE CHANGED. THE WORLD HAS MOVED ON. I have been left behind. But, really now!

I was up early today. It just happened. So, naturally I crawled down to St. Arbucks earlier than usual. It’s a different place at 7:30 in the morning. It’s like a scene from “The Time Machine.” At 7:30 the Morlocks are out and the Eloi arrive later.

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Whatever Will We Do? Wherever Will We Go?

Starbucks party

IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME since I’ve written about St. Arbucks.

St. Arbucks, the Chapel of the Patron Saint of Jittery People is where I officially start my day about nine days a week.

When I arrive I pull into a parking space and stumble into the Chapel and beg a coffee from one of the Barista/Acolytes who run the joint. With my coffee in hand I take my place in the pew next to the other regular worshippers – AKA “The Usual Suspects.”

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My Barista, My Hero

YESTERDAY AS I WAS GETTING SOME TEA at St. Arbucks I was told an interesting and true story.elder abuse

Don’t expect a lot of laughs today.

My Barista said that something upsetting had happened to her the evening before.

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Grumble, Grumble, Mutiny, Mutiny, Mumble, Mumble

Angry gifMY OFFICE IS CROWDED TODAY. Of course, “my office,” also doubles as a corner table in the Starbucks a few blocks from home. I can usually shut out the hubbub and foot traffic around me, but today, for some reason, it is all getting on my nerves.

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