Color Me Cranky

Sometimes a bizarre confluence of innocuous events can throw your day into a disarray and turn you into a grouchy wet blanket. LOL! This happens to me occasionally; usually it doesn’t last that long and I tend to just laugh it off when the moment passes.

The slight drizzle was fast turning into a strong downpour when I finally managed to reach Starbucks (in the southern reaches of the metro). The dead weight that comprised my laptop and a small paper bag containing a number of purchases was beginning to feel like a punishment, so I was grateful for the chance to be relieved of my burden, and to sip something hot.

Today, Starbucks was a bit crowded than usual, so it took me a while to find a vacant table — the only one that was available, in fact. The bad news was, it was right smack in the middle (the most crowded part) of the joint, with barely enough room to squeeze through and was far from a convenience outlet. To top it all, my laptop’s batteries were badly in need of a recharge.

After claiming my order at the bar, I went back to my table. I kept glancing in all directions in hopes that somebody soon would (pretty please!) vacate a table within the vicinity of any electrical outlet — but my feeble hopes soon dried up. Nobody was budging from their seat! And with the rain outside, I was basically stuck where I was.

I don’t know exactly what it is about not finding the right table (when I really need it most) that turns me into a downright unreasonable, cranky malcontent. Pretty soon, I was eyeing the whole room with barely concealed hostility.

Darn it, why doesn’t anyone leave? Surely most of these people have been here long enough? It looks like most of them are already done with their drinks anyway, so why do they have to stay? Don’t they have somewhere else to go? (I grumpily coursed through this inward conversation, conveniently forgetting the fact that I do the same thing regularly and probably behave even worse without being aware of it. *snicker*)

It didn’t take long for my ire to find a convenient target: a couple of tables away was a group of five middle-aged guys who had dragged two tables together, and were talking and laughing loudly. And just behind them was an electrical outlet that no one could get to because they were decidedly in the way! I balefully noted that for all the racket they were making, only ONE of them had actually bothered to order a drink! And they are carrying on like they owned the place, I grumbled to myself.

About 20 minutes later, they stood up (halleluiah!) and headed for the door — but wait. Aaarrgh! I rejoiced too soon. One of them (the guy who ordered a drink) elected to stay behind. Deflated at this turn of  events, I settled down again. So what do I do next? Mentally heaping curses on my rotten luck, I tried mental telepathy on the guy (I figured, it just might work, you know?)

You need to go home. You must go home. HOME, you hear? Right this instant…

Proving his utter disregard for, and imperviousness to, my monumental efforts at telepathy, the guy yawned and continued reading his newspaper.

*sigh* So much for that superpower.

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Movies Titles Containing the Word “Coffee”

Two of my main interests are coffee and movies. Although I haven’t been watching movies that much lately, my interest in them remains; and, of course, coffee is part of my daily routine, so there you go.

This is by no means a long list — I am basically focusing on those films whose titles contain the word “coffee” and have been released somewhat recently (and are listed and briefly described here in chronological order).

1. Chinese Coffee (2000)

Chinese Coffee is an indie film released during the 2000 Tribeca Film Festival, and then released officially in 2007. This was directed by Al Pacino, who also stars in the movie along with Jerry Orbach.

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Something Funny Happened at Seattle’s Best…

I needed a quiet place to finish a file (due in a few hours) so I dropped by at Seattle’s Best at MoA. It had a serene ambiance (far from the madding crowd), looked fairly quiet, and seemed like a nice spot to spend a few hours in.

After paying for my order, I settled at a table facing the walkway. Before long, I was deeply immersed in my work, and barely even looked up from my laptop screen. So, you can imagine my utter astonishment when this loud, jarring sound broke through.

It came from the direction of the main entrance, which faced the bay. Heads swiveled from all corners as startled patrons tried to focus on what caused the sound. After what seemed like a timeless pause, we saw — wait for it — that this sleepy-looking guy (in his 30s, I think) had walked (or rather, CRASHED) into Seattle’s Best glass door!

Apparently, the man did not realize that there was a glass wall separating Seattle’s Best from the outdoors and just walked in (or at least tried to) without breaking his stride. His momentum propelled him forward and the force of it made him bounce off the door and rattle the glass wall. For a moment there, he looked supremely alert and a look of utter astonishment settled on his face like a mask.

It was a scene right out of a comedy film or a cartoon feature. I could feel the laughter rippling through my throat, but I managed to gulp it back. Yes, it was pretty hilarious, but I also felt sympathy for the guy. If that had been me, I’d be probably hoping for the floor to swallow me up, and fervently wishing no one would remember my face while beating a hasty retreat from the scene.

Surprisingly, no one laughed. For a moment it seemed like we were all waiting for the first one to actually break the silence, but no one did! And despite the obvious pain he felt — as well as the slight damage to his dignity — the guy went on with his business. After claiming his coffee, he went out quietly.

Umm… it’s kind of crass for me to say this, but somebody did giggle uncontrollably the minute he was out of earshot. And before you start pointing fingers, nope it wasn’t me. By that time I had lost all my desire to laugh. (But I did laugh loudly when I got home and replayed the scene in my mind.)

Pictures from Starbucks Japan

I am a big fan of Starbucks Japan — specifically, its Twitter page (@Starbucks_J). Sometimes I go there just to look at the pictures and sigh over the strategically arranged food and wares. For some reason, this seems to make me feel better equipped to face the rest of my chaotic day.

Now, I know that Starbucks is generally good at selling/promoting its brand, as there is a plethora of Starbucks-related material (images, promos, links, etc.) littering the Web these days, enthusiastically proliferated by customers, bloggers, and coffee fans, but its Japanese arm is really taking things to a higher level. Those guys really know how to highlight their message with a deft mixture of colors, lighting, and props. They certainly know what it takes to achieve more with less fuss and clutter.

Below are a few examples:

So, when I see a nice picture that I particularly like, I can’t help but save a copy of it in my local directory — with some vague plans of writing a post about it later.

Well, I guess this is it. 🙂