Monday, January 19, 2009

Coffee Shop and more

Growing up, I had the perspective that coffee shops are the place to be: You can go there for open-mic sessions, there is almost always a "house blend" of the much beloved java, coffee shop jams are playing whilst you work on something for personal, business or academic reasons, and the list goes on. They are places where you meet up with friends to "meet up for coffee" and they are places that provide the lush comfy couches and chairs that one needs while they journal about some stressful or blissful event in their life.

As of late, many coffee shops have been bridging that gap from just a place that sells coffee to a place that sells tea, herbal infusions, smoothies and food of all kinds, making that transition into a bistro rather than a coffee place.

My old favorite coffee shop, Saxby's Coffee, has undergone many of these similar changes. Not only does it continue to have a drive-through (something I feel more non-Starbuck's places must have if they wish to compete with the big green S-monster), but they have introduced beverages and food that both titillate and satisfy the body's needs. The drawbacks with this change seem to outweigh the benefits of it's new name, 52 Eighty Crepes & Bistro (which seems to lack the zing and distinctness of Saxby's). It has lost the intimate feel that no-name coffee shops tend to possess. With a new owner (who I still haven't met), the employees seem to be left in the dark about what goes on outside the boundaries of their little 10 foot kingdom from which they work. Everything has taken on an edge that seems to imitate the casual side of pottery barn while attempting to be both modern and relaxed. There are virtually no "lighter" options for meals and beverages, limiting the health-conscious consumer to herbal tea and water. And, to make matters worse, they have a TV that plays in the back of the shop, with captions. I always thought that an escape to my beloved coffee-shop of choice meant escaping my home and everything that goes with it. If I wanted to watch TV and eat junky food while smattering my beverages with every unhealthy additive imaginable, I would stay at home and eat processed lunchables!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snowy Mondays

Snow snow, go away, come again another day....

We woke up this morning to a lot of snow. Normally I would be thrilled with the prospect of going out to snowshoe or have a snowball fight. This morning I did not experience one of those thrilling moments of anticipation. Instead, I found my mood darkening and a general cloud settling above me.

There are many reasons for this but I suppose the main one is that I did not sleep well last night. I spent the night tossing and turning as I was hot then cold (repeat that cycle about 15 times), while my husband's snores resembled a ticking time-bomb. I half-expected a beeping alarm to commence at any moment as it announced our ill-fated doom! After we completed our morning activities and I sent Chad off to work like a good wife does, I crawled back into bed hoping to awake in a better mood- to no avail.

Normally I am not a "I hate Mondays" person, but today I will join the ranks and tip my half-full glass of (insert the name of your favorite stimulant-ridden beverage here) to those who share my sentiments and wish one and all a fantastic week filled with....better mornings than I experienced today.

Well, I can't complain that much though. I did wake up to my husband turning off my alarm light as he tiptoed out to let me sleep in a bit longer. He did give me many tender hugs and snuffly kisses on my cheek as I slowly woke up after he ate breakfast. I was able to get more sleep and shake off the general fogginess that clouded my mind for a time. And, the morning just finished and Monday is officially half-over. The sun has come out and shines brightly through the gray clouds, creating a blinding ethereal atmosphere that radiates silver in the sky. The snow is no longer falling but rather blowing around from rooftop to ground in clumps and translucent clouds. There is much to be grateful for.