Monthly Archives: February 2008

Coffee With a “Wow” Factor?



At least that’s what Starbucks founder/CEO Howard Schultz told the eleventy million Starbucks employees that they needed at a video training session. I guess the message was important enough to shut down every Starbucks store for 3 hours last night. If nothing else, it was a gutsy move.

“We’ve lost our way,” he began. *sniff*

As I slurp my own version of a Starbucks drink (regular coffee with sugar-free vanilla syrup and whipped cream out of the can), I ponder: can coffee have a “wow” factor? Will watching a barista take her time with the espresso drip and pour the foam onto my latte instead of spoon it, and make eye contact with me and smile make me go, Wow, man…?

Right now, the only thing that makes me go wow is the price. $3 for a cuppa. That ain’t wow…that’s more like shock and awe.

But hey. The ambience and experience of the tragically hip coffee bar figure into it as well, right?


They just better by-golly be open when I get there this morning.

50 Trivial Things About Me.

Yeah, I know. This is the blog post that screams, “I felt like doing absolutely no research for links this morning.” And it’s even a snow day. How lazy is that?

But in the interest of keeping my half-hearted promise to myself to write every day (it really does help one’s self-discipline and general creative function; you ought to try it), this is the 50 Trivial Things About Me post.

Coming up with 50 marginally interesting things about oneself is difficult. You should try that, too.

  1. My eyes are gray, but when I cry, they turn bright green.
  2. When I eat mashed potatoes, I have to have corn on top of them. (Shout out to Seamus – we rule)
  3. My first car was a 1971 Ford Pinto – yep, the model that had a nasty habit of blowing up on impact.
  4. I have never met my biological father. I do know he was a country & western guitar player and a good singer, back in the 1950s and 60s.
  5. In between Seamus (born 1980) and Lars (born 1983), I lost a baby via miscarriage.
  6. I have been all over Europe. I’ve traveled to Canada & Mexico. But I’ve never been to California.
  7. My best friend of 16 years lives in Slovenia.
  8. I have one sibling: an older sister. (She is fab, funny, and a great writer.)
  9. When Vice President Dan Quayle came to my town to speak at a huge fundraising dinner in 1988, I was asked to sing the National Anthem. He approached me on the dais afterwards, and shook my hand. He has gorgeous blue eyes.
  10. I hate broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, leeks, turnips, asparagus, squash, and anything soy. But I adore pickled beets.
  11. I don’t particularly care about who wins the US presidency. I care more about who is elected to Congress.
  12. I could play video poker at a casino all day long (and have).
  13. I have 32 33 pairs of shoes.
  14. My mother played piano quite well, and by ear. She played almost exclusively on the black keys.
  15. My first real boyfriend was Mike F. Wonder where he is now…
  16. I was born in Zion, Illinois, where many of the streets have biblical names.
  17. I have lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida.
  18. One of my favorite TV shows of all time was the new version of the 60s Gothic horror soap opera, Dark Shadows. It ran for awhile in 1991, but was smashed underfoot by continuous coverage of the Gulf War.
  19. I’ve read everything Stephen King and Anne Rice ever wrote.
  20. I can’t remember the last time I exercised.
  21. I had to seriously think about whether to major in music ed. or English ed.
  22. Pork rinds are disgusting.
  23. I hate certain words in the English language. Just general words. Some of them have a horrible mouth-feel to me, and I can’t say them or abide hearing them. I won’t say what they are, because you will respond and say them just to make me crazy. I know you people.
  24. I have hundreds of photographs that need to be sorted and put in albums.
  25. My current favorite TV show is The 4400.
  26. I have an obsession with dangly earrings.
  27. I have seen the movie Sweeney Todd 3 times.
  28. The only thing I like on my pizza is cheese. Lots of it.
  29. I say “pop” instead of “soda.”
  30. I cannot eat powdered sugar donuts without first putting grape jam on each bite.
  31. I love almost all kinds of fruit. I love bananas, but can’t eat them (I will end up in the fetal position on the floor, hugging my poor tummy).
  32. When I was pregnant with Seamus, I ate a can of cherry pie filling every day. With Lars, it was a can of green beans. Guess which pregnancy ended in a 52-lb. weight gain.
  33. My nephew Jason has one of the most beautiful baritone voices I’ve ever heard. And I ain’t biased.
  34. I have worn patchouli oil since the 9th grade.
  35. I am one mean ocean fisher – I once caught a shark. No joke.
  36. Underneath my fake blond hair, I am almost completely gray. Been that way since my 30s.
  37. I have had 12 surgeries since the age of 21.
  38. This summer, I am driving to Milwaukee to meet up with old friends from junior high.
  39. In 2006, I wrote a book.
  40. I tap dance pretty well.
  41. I adore coffee, hot tea, diet Sprite, and hot cocoa.
  42. I am terrified of heights and falling.
  43. I am terrified of stepping in a hole and snapping my ankle – again.
  44. I can’t touch anything made out of wood if it’s wet. Sets my teeth on edge.
  45. I have to have a fan on when I go to bed. The silence makes me want to jump out a window.
  46. I can’t sleep without reading first.
  47. My husband and I have had our own separate computers since the day we were married in 1996.
  48. My parents died within 7 months of one another.

Whoa – that was difficult. And only 48. Ok, now you try it. I’ll wait here.


If I were honest with myself, I would have known that Johnny – who, by the way, is on the cover of January 2008’s Rolling Stone – wouldn’t win the Oscar for Best Actor. He’s gone on record repeatedly over the years, saying he couldn’t care less about winning a statue that would sit in his den and get dusty.

But I’m still depressed.

Time to go to school. And I gotta git me some of them dynomite purple glasses…