May 19th, 2011


D Day

After an initial cold and cloudy morning, the wind died down enough and the temperature rose enough to go to my favorite outdoor pool (which is heated starting in May) and did my best Moby Dick imitation in the water and on a deck chair for the 45 minutes or so that conditions stayed amenable. I left when the men with the harpoons arrived.

The plan was to lounge around there till 6 or so (which I did) and then go to a lovely coffee shop called Crema Coffee, which has yummy ham and cheese croissants, various cakes and excellent mint tea. It took 10 minutes to find parking, two blocks away, and when I got there every seat in the house, and on the patio, was taken. Harumph. So I drove a few blocks the other direction and found free parking at Starbucks, where I chai-ed myself and did some things on the computer, sitting by the window looking out on The Alameda. There were only three other people in the place.  And noticed something new. Across the street is a brand new Peet's. With hilarious window  writing which proclaims they are celebrating their 40th year from March till May. As if. I could have bought a "grand opening" sign.  But looking through their window, they were doing much more business.

After a few minutes I found out why. This Starbucks chooses their music for maximum customer repulsion. And plays it too loudly. One of the staff was participating in the Olympic explosive sneezing trials, and I bet she makes team captain. I am not sure if this is the same staffer who dropped a tray of something which shattered on the floor behind the counter. Other than the noise (I have earphones, so I can mostly block it out) it is one of the more intelligently laid out Starbucks branches.

When I was done playing on the netbook, it was about 8:30, and still light outside, so I picked myself up and drove home after a quick pit stop. This is one of several branches which has installed keypad locks on the restroom doors. 4545. I can see why for this one, because someone can come in through the back door, use the restroom, and go out the back door without ever being seen by an employee. And it is in downtown, near a couple of prep schools and a college and there is a lot of non-customer traffic. The one at the late-night Mountain View branch is ridiculous - you have to go past the barista to get to the restrooms, and it's in an out of the way small shopping center which does not have much non-customer traffic.

Home, made Ukranian pirogies for dinner, dumped them into chicken broth when they were done. Yummy. Lunch had been Penaeng meatballs with roti, which was also yummy.

At Starbucks the netbook scooped up email, and there was the NorCal RPCV newsletter which I shouldn't be getting because I dropped out of the group more than a year ago, so I nuked it. I was editor of the newsletter for 5 years back in the late 80s-early 90s, and when I left the group it was transitioned to D.B., a lovely woman from Sonoma whose husband had been president of the board for some of the time I was there. Both had served in the Peace Corps, the husband was also a veteran and his career was with the VA hospital up there. It was always a joy to see them at events.  At home I get all the email on the main PC, so I took a quick peek at the newsletter, and the top story is D.B. passed away May 8. That is so sad.

Plans for tomorrow:
Find a condolence card to send to Alan
Ye Olde Towne Band rehearsal
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed
Weird Dream

Weird Dream Channel

I am about 12 years old, walking over a hill in the city, one of those areas which is still undeveloped, and I am searching for a small bush which can be used as a spice, something like sage, but the dream doesn't say exactly which spice. The hill is mostly barren, some weeds and dried up plants, but nothing green.  I find several different possibles during a couple of hours of walking and searching, which I put into my day pack, but I can't be sure because there are no leaves or buds.
New dream
Me and my brush-filled day pack are in the livingroom of S, a theater friend (in the dream and IRL) of 25 years with whom I am still in touch. She also is a regular at Dickens Faire. Two or three other children are there too, and I am showing them the bushes. S looks at each one, names it, describes what it is good for (chamomile, good for making tea for curing your parakeet's diarrhea). She pulls one bush from the pack, shakes it at me and says "fennel".  Her tone tells me this is not the spice I am looking for, but it's a rare find nonetheless. She will use it at Dickens Faire.
I am back on the hill, with a better idea of what I am looking for, and that I won't find it here.