Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
Brisk. Fresh. Well-balanced. Occasional nutty and bittersweet overtones.
If you got here from my profile, you probably need to visit my main blog, Collecting My Thoughts which is updated every day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Please! Dress at home!

At the coffee shop this morning I looked up to see a man "dressing" in the next room (there are 3 rooms in this establishment, all open to the others). He had unbuckled his belt, unzipped his pants and was tucking in his shirt (his back was to me). Then he reassembled everything into impeccable order, put on his necktie, attached two cell phones to his belt, and walked over to the counter to order his breakfast. If I find out I have my panty hose on backwards, I go to the rest room to tidy up; I don't correct the problem in public.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Serial snacker strikes stealthily

The serial snacker was back again yesterday. Bolder and hungrier. He walks in the north door, ambles up to the free sample table, picks up a napkin and takes about 3-4 slices of bagel. Then he walks over to the coffee bar, takes another napkin and wraps the bagel slices and puts them in his coat pocket. A new move. He then picks up stir sticks and sugar packets. From there he slowly walks to the back of the store where I think he picks up lemon slices for the iced tea (can't see what he is doing, but it makes sense--if he plans to make some lemon-aid when he gets to work). Then he slowly strolls to the front again, stops at the sample table and casually picks up another 3-4 slices of bagel. He pauses, walks over to an easy chair and reads the morning paper for 5 minutes. As he walks out, he stops again at the sample table. Exits the south door to the parking lot. I've never seen him purchase anything, but he is a regular.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Advice Column

In today's paper the advice column was about people who rudely eavesdrop in restaurants. I read back through my "Coffee Spills" entries to see if I was abusing the privilege, however, I think my entries only refer to 3 or 4 conversations. If you can hear over the latte machines, the clerks' conversations and the ice cubes dropping into the cups, then the people aren't saying anything confidential.

There are times when people stand next to my table and converse so loudly I can't concentrate on my reading, so I figure they are fair game. Right? Like Saturday. Two people greeted right beside my table. I could have picked the lint and cat hair off their slacks, they were so close.

"How are the kids?"
"Great! Susie graduates June 15."
"Fantastic. What does she want to do?"
"She doesn't know. She may come home. Go to OSU. Get a master's."
"In what?"
"She doesn't know, but not music."
"Wow. That's hard to believe."
"Well, to be safe, she's got a bachelor's in education."
They walk toward the door.

And I'm left alone to ponder the life of the 20-something about to graduate. I wonder how much that education (not at our state university 5 miles from the coffee shop) cost those parents. $100,000? More? I wonder if the parents are empty nesters accustomed to having the house to themselves who might wish that after such an investment their daughter could at least have learned enough to support a small one bedroom apartment. How often does that mother put on her "happy face" when talking about Susie?

I think about the friend's shock that Susie is giving up on music. Voice? Piano? Tuba? He must have been aware of her talent--she probably walked away with all the awards and got all the good parts in the school functions. Wonder how much the parents paid for private lessons?

A fall back degree in education. How many have been down that road? Doesn't sound like she'll go that direction for the master's. Not many jobs around here in education--too many highly qualified people for every opening.

A lot to think about when folks stop at my table.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Coffee Togs

A man in a long, mid-calf black windbreaker with a shoulder cape, plaid shirt, huge cowboy hat, cowboy boots carrying his car keys with a large neon orange plastic card attached, blows through the door of the coffee shop this morning. I watched as he left with his coffee, but he got into an older four door Buick, not a Mustang, Bronco or Charger.

A 40-ish woman drives up in a 2005 Lexus wearing a skirt made of light green and brown camouflage khaki type fabric, with a bright pink embroidered design on the seat, thong sandals on her manicured feet with painted toenails, a faded jeans jacket over a pink t-shirt, and a huge blinging rock on her left ring finger. The skirt had a string tie waist, and a string tie hemline, with cargo pockets so that in an emergency, she could bundle up her other designer clothes into a makeshift knapsack just by pulling tight the strings, and make her way undetected through the jungles of central Ohio. Practical folks, these rich people.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Another coffee shop, another observer

I'm not the only one listening and watching in coffee shops. Badaunt listens in Japan.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Two fisted drinker

When I went up for my refill at Panera's, I saw a man put one cup under the decaf and one cug under the dark regular. He filled both half way at the same time. Then he stopped, switched the cups, and continued filling. Each cup was 1/2 decaf and 1/2 regular in 1/2 the time. I was very impressed.

Friday, March 04, 2005

An ocean view from the coffee shop

Jim at the coffee shop, a photographer, gazes out the window and tells me he is looking at the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. He can't always see it, but some days the light is just right. I get up and look. All I see are the tree tops of Clintonville. He must have a better eye.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Coffee pot restaurants

There's a new pot at this site.