Thursday, June 21, 2007

Adventures in coffee

When I worked downtown, it was hard to walk a block without seeing some kind of coffee shop. It was even harder not to go into said coffee shop for a drink. If it was warm out, I would convince myself that nothing could be finer than an iced coffee and sweet syrupy beverage; if it was cold, I would justify that the thing I really needed was a piping hot espresso or chocolate concoction. I should do commercials for Starbucks.

But since I got my new job, I haven't had that same luxury. Along my drive and near my office there's not a single conveniently located Starbucks, Peaberry's, or little independently owned coffee shop. I can't just drop in, I have to go well out of my way and leave for work at least 15 minutes earlier than usual.

The other day I decided not to take the highway and saw, to my great delight, a Peaberry's. I said to myself, "Myself, a small iced americano is just exactly what you need to start your day off right." So I went in and ordered my usual a small(taking care to designate it as a small, not a tall) iced americano with room. Any coffee elitist knows that just the perfect amount of heavy whipping cream elevates this beverage from an iced espresso drink to a little piece of heaven on earth.

Thus, when the barista delivered my drink onto the table and called out it's name (as they do) despite the fact that I'm the only one in the store and I'm standing right there, I requested heavy whipping cream and was met with an incredulous "What?".

"Heavy whipping cream," I repeated. She looked at me like I had a green face. "You know, to put in the drink..." I offered, now unsure of myself. She reached for the whipped cream, and I waved it away with my hands. "You don't have heavy whipping cream?" I asked, in disbelief.

"We have half-and-half," she suggested, indicating the serve-yourself table full of sugar packets and stir-straws.

"But... no heavy whipping cream?" I waved my hands around uncertainly hoping to convey exactly what I meant by heavy whipping cream, in case the words hadn't quite communicated my desire clearly. She shrugged. I suited myself to a few packets of raw sugar and some milk, and it was the worst Americano I've ever had. I ended up throwing most of it out and my mouth tasted like ass all morning.

The moral of my story is this: don't try to order anything at Peaberry's if you're cherishing any hopes of adding heavy whipping cream to it, because they just don't have any.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Father's Day

These are the two most important men in my life. Stephen and my dad (it should be obvious which one is which).

Sunday is father's day. According to the commericals I start to see around father's day every year, what my dad wants is
a) a tie
b) an electric razor
c) a phone
d) golf stuff
e) tasteless ugly clothing from Sears or something

But my father
a) doesn't wear ties and doesn't really know how to tie one very well anyway
b) has a razor, and giving a guy a razor as a present make you the biggest douchebag ever
c) has a phone and always leaves it in the car and can't remember his voicemail password
d) doesn't play golf
e) is tall and thin and hard to shop for, and a pair of fugly ass jean shorts just doesn't say "I love you and appreciate all the sacrifices you've made so I could have the opportunities I've had", despite what the commercials say.

My dad is a rocket scientist (seriously) and a drummer- he's brilliant but forgetful, practical and systematic, and he has a dark sense of humor. He doesn't like organized sports, hence my superbowl post, but I got my passion for hiking and skiing and being in the mountains from him.

He can always depend on a bar or two of dark chocolate for birthdays, christmas, etc. He eats this chocolate bar piece by tiny piece over a period of a few weeks and if you take even a secret nibble of his precious chocolate he'll notice. But chocolate doesn't seem like quite enough this year.

I suppose I'm reaching an age where I can be friends with my dad. I'm finding out about all the things he did for our family that went unnoticed in my childhood ignorance. I'm enjoying his company even more. He's an honorable, faithful man who's always provided for me, loved me, and encouraged me. He and I are very close and we have a great relationship, but we didn't used to. The healing and restoration God had done between us is beyond words. How can a chocolate bar convey that?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Crazy Maxine

I don't even know where to start with Maxine. She walked into my office this morning and I had a terrible sense of foreboding the minute I saw her.

(I work at a computer learning center now and we do classes for all kinds of programs and certifications.)

I was already aggravated because my keyboard won't connect to my computer, and my company cancelled a class without contacting the students to tell them. People keep coming in for the class- I'm standing awkwardly next to the desk while one of the instructors crawls UNDER the desk, messing with wiring, and there's only so much apologizing I can do for the incompetency of other people and still sound genuine.

So Maxine announces the class she's here for. I tell her the class has been cancelled. Maxine freaks out. I look at the roster. Her name is not on it, which I inform her. "ExCUSE me." she says as she shoves a piece of paper toward me with a bunch of course titles on it. This paper neither proves nor disproves her enrollment. She calls her sales rep. I'm finally able to get on the computer and I pull up the system for student enrollments. I call her over.

Me: Your paper here shows 15 different courses. Our system only shows you enrolled for 3, as you can see...
Crazy Maxine: I'm enrolled for this class :::points at paper:::
Me: Well, I'm not sure why it says that... You're NOT enrolled, see? You're name isn't in the class roster and the class isn't on your account.
Crazy Maxine: Well, who's going to reimburse me for the gas I spent getting here? I drove half an hour.
Me: Well, the problem is that you're not actually enrolled in the class-
Crazy Maxine: Nobody called to tell me it was cancelled. I want to be reimbursed.
Me: Nobody called you because our system doesn't show your name in the class- you're not signed up for this course.

This goes on for a good 10 minutes and concludes with Maxine declaring "I'm not leaving till' I get reimbursed." She calls her rep again, who puts her through to her manager, who puts her through to their manager. They tell her they can't reimburse her for the gas, as she's not enrolled in the class. She puts it on speaker phone. She says, "I'm here for a class. What am I supposed to do now?" The manager says, "Well, what you do now is really up to you... the class is cancelled..." Long story short, she stays in my lobby for an hour and 45 minutes throwing a series of fits, like a 4 year old that hasn't gotten her way. She switches between calling the manager and hassling me.

Then another student shows up for the class, REALLY late. Maxine says, "It's ridiculous. I'm fighting them on this. I'm getting my gas reimbursed. You should do the same thing!", like we're communists and she's a noble capitalist, alone on her quest for justice. The other student heartily agrees. I think about throwing the candy bowl at Maxine's head. She and the other student exchange numbers and even hug each other in the hallway. They trade horror stories about the drive (detours, traffic, gas prices! Oh, the humanity!). The other student leaves, having joined the revolution, with high and lofty hopes of gas reimbursement.

Maxine returns to my desk to re-issue her request for gas reimbursement for the 20th time. I tell her I can't help her. Maxine repeats "Well, I'm here for class. What should I do?" I repress suggesting she take a walk on the interstate. Maxine calls the manager again and finally leaves, walking (hopefully) out of my life forever.

Maybe I'll write a song about her. Insolent, self-entitled, crazy Maxine.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stayin Alive

Holy Crap. I've been gone for a while- not actually gone, just mentally gone.

I started a new job a few weeks ago- I'm an actual employee (not a contractor like before), and it's great. I only work till' 1 but I'm always really busy, so my blogging-at-work freedom is no more. I thought having my afternoons off would give me time to blog, but I'm always doing chores or being outside. After spending my morning on a computer, I'm not especially drawn to get back on my laptop at home.

However, this week I am working full-time hours filling in at one of our company's other offices, and I'm bored bored bored. BORED, I tell you! So I decided to blog. I tried to sign on and I got an error message about cookies. Seeing as how my cookies usually burn, I decided not to pursue the issue but rather to try and sneak into blogger without the cookies finding out by signing in on a comments page instead of a main page, which worked somehow, but is entirely beside the point. So, here I am. Alive, and doing OK.

I've been in sort of a dark place lately. After much prayer and discussion (and crying, all by me), Stephen and I have decided to move away from Denver. He's going to join his dad's business, so by the end of the year, we'll be living 1500 miles away from everything I know and love.

I'm torn about it. I know in my heart of hearts that this is the right decision for us and that God is definately leading us to take this course. But I grew up in Denver and I always thought I would raise my kids there. I like just getting in my car and being in the mountains in under an hour. I like living 10 minutes away from my parents. This is my home- I'm heartbroken about leaving. I lost sleep for 2 or 3 nights after we first talked about it, but now I have a peace. But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. It's been pretty heavy on my mind, and that's mostly why I haven't posted lately.

Anyway, now that I know how to trick my computer into letting me blog at work, I'll probably post more today and tomorrow. I'm so BORED!