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.
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Friday, February 24, 2006

And I never saw him again

Sometimes in a coffee shop you find out the most intimate problems of someone sitting nearby. You ponder them for weeks, months or years, but never see him again. At Caribou one day, another customer and I were discussing a vocabulary building book to use with the SAT test. His son was taking the test that day and the man was helping with this part. (Looked like a really great book, but I've never seen it in a store.)

He commented to me that he hated his parents because they had ruined his life by trying to control his choices in college so he had dropped out and became a rock musician until he was 35. Never to be one shy about my opinions, I told him it was time to stop blaming his parents, forgive them and go back and finish college. But he insisted he couldn't--his job in the import/export business is really too good!

Anyway, it turns out he was adopted as an infant and is really bitter that his natural background has been kept from him and that he and his adoptive parents have nothing in common. So we talked a little, and because he was born in 1951, his records aren't sealed and he knows his birth mother's name and what county she was from. He'd still rather blame his parents because they didn't give him this information when he was younger--although he admits he wasn't interested until he was in his 40s. I told him to go ahead and do a search--so at least his children will have the benefit of knowing and won't blame him 30 years from now when the trail is really cold.

I'm sure he still hasn't forgiven his parents or searched for his birth mother. Some people just need others to blame for the choices and decisions they don't have the courage to make.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The ring

Squeals and ooo's and aaah's were heard from the near-by table at Panera's. The breakfast group were admiring one young lady's engagement ring. They all had lap-tops up and open and were typing, although meeting face to face. After the appropriate gushing, they all went back to work.

Friday, February 17, 2006


The assistant manager was talking to the counter clerk this morning.

"For the last three days I've watched curling, and I still don't understand it."

"Yeah? So why are you watching?"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Two pastries for breakfast

The woman across from me at Panera's this morning appeared to have a normal BMI. Fortyish and nice looking. She sat down in the easy chair with two breakfast pastries--a baked artichoke and spinach souffle ($2.99), and a cherry cream cheese pastry ($1.99) and a large iced green tea ($2.39). If she eats like that very often, she'll need new jeans.

I looked up from reading the latest research about low-fat dietary patterns in the Feb. 8 JAMA and its affect on women's health. 1) Breast cancer--low fat diets make little difference in post-menopausal women, but might make a difference on specific tumors, so more research is needed. 2) Colorectal cancer--no reduction by changing to a low-fat diet. 3) Cardiovascular disease--low fat intake didn't reduce the risk of CHD, stroke or CVD in post-menopausal women.

Oh well, enjoy the pastries.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

No dress code

I saw a guy at the coffee shop this morning who probably can't get into an arena bar in Columbus. He was wearing a sleeveless vest (it was about 15 degrees with a high wind) with no shirt; cowboy boots; wrist bands on both arms; bandana tied around his upper arm; a silver container(?) poking out of his back pocket (skin tight jeans); dangling key chain; some jewelry. As I left I saw him copying down phone numbers from his cell phone to a piece of paper.