January 31, 2011

Reclusively Drinking Starbucks in a Basement Hidden from Hundreds

Starbucks Cup
"Stuck inside these four walls," sang Paul McCartney and Wings in Band on the Run. At the moment, those four walls hid me in quiet solitude.

Starbucks supplied the coffee where I would be meeting hundreds of people, as well as the cups. I was thankful.

No one here. Not here, not in the lowest floor, in farthest corner of a large building. Above me was an auditorium unaware that I sat a long table catching my breath and energy. Cacophony there, but silence here.

Peace is good. Give it a chance.

Paul McCartney and Wings - Band on the Run

January 24, 2011

Lamentations of a Future Truck Driver

When old friends fly in from the country up north, from the farthest direction possible, sharing with them unfettered, friendly time is the only course possible.

I knew him years before when I was his teacher, hired to help him struggle through books he likely never read. Biology too. He passed unimpressively, but my recommendation to a small college convinced them he could survive. He didn't, leaving after a year. Instead, he found a bride on 2,200 miles away, and took work in a factory which fired him. It was probably his fault. It usually is. 

He sought an ear, and this I offered, and coffee. We met a Caribou Coffee a chain coffeehouse and drank for hours. Finjal, Ethiopian, organic. A not quite medium roast, unremarkable, but expensive. It offered nothing the non-organic did, It was mid-day, and people came and went, but we remained. There was much to say.

He lamented, yet hoped truck driver would be the answer. So we talked about truck driving.We might have talked about the books he never reads, but the truth stepped in the way, as it always does.

It is a hard life to live, but perseverance and hope define him more than failures. 


January 12, 2011

Will you buy coffee from the mermaid? Does it matter what logo you drink from?

Starbucks Ceramic Travel TumblerA new, simpler logo from Starbucks has generated some buzz, but why? They are losing the words, leaving the half-naked mermaid. 

Am I obsessed with the logo, or the contents of the cup?

I've seen this before here. Chicago is strange how they like to be marketed to. Even though Sears had long sold their building, some were upset the branding of the building was changing. Even though Marshall Fields sold themselves to Target's mother company long before, they, though shoppers frequented to store less often, went into a tizzy when Macy's put their logo on the door. Didn't matter that Macy's sold the same things.

RedEye: Will you buy coffee from the mermaid?