Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hey! What'sThat Sucking Sound?


Never Mind. It's Just My Brain.

Picked littler e. up from Tap Dance the other day.

And because I was late I gave in.


We stopped at the Temple of Green Goddess Lesserness next door to get a tall dark for me and a small hot chocolate-with-whipped-up-gunk-on-top for her.

And then, as we were walking back towards the VW(notso)Microbus, me with the couple of coins I got back from the tenner I used to have jingling in my pocket, her with a brand new milk moustache, she told me something that stopped me in my tracks.


It turns out our good friend K., who had taken littler e. to Tap that day because C. was home sick with a wicked flu/strep throat double-whammy, had stopped at an even schmancier place somewhere back in CremeVille to get them both Chai Lattes.

I tried my best not to react.

Really, I did.

But in the end I just couldn't help myself.


After we crossed Hastings at Slocan and I blurted out something about slippery slopes, littler e. gave me that 'Here we go again' eyebrow lift thing that both my kids (quite rightly) use at least 25 times a day.

Then, because littler e. is so good at shrugging off just about anything, we actually had some fun with math figuring out how much the average grad student in my lab spends at Starbucks annually.

The number we came up with, conservatively, was $2,500.



In my own defense, I actually make my own coffee, in my office, twice every weekday.

I used to have a pot on all the time.

Then, for a while, I went with a french press.

But I had to stop all that when I realized that my adenosine A2 receptors were so jammed with caffeine-crack-traffic that they were turning my autonomic nervous system CSheenCrazy by 3 o'clock every afternoon.

So these days I use the drip, because the volume and the caffeine dose are both relatively finite.

As is the expense.


I would be lying to you if I did not explain that I often fall off the wagon on weekends.

The rationalization I use in my brain is that I want to go faster so that I can get out of the lab as soon as possible, while the sun is still up. That way I can head off to do stuff like this.

And yesterday morning, Saturday, I found myself standing in the Temple nearest the lab right behind a guy with one of those novella-length orders that leads to 10 minutes of sharpie-scribbling on the side of the cups by the kid behind the till.

All of which caused my eyes to wander.


To the counter....

And what did I see?


An album...

By my new favourite.....

And that's when I realized....

The Bastards....

The ones running The Temple...

They've got me.


To be very clear, this thing with Starbucks's music label is something that Bigger E. and I have 'discussed' (with her eyebrow raised) before....It started with the Dylan Gaslight thing and then went to a higher plane of forehead wrinkling when I saw Josh Ritter on that bloody counter...Clearly, I am mighty conflicted with my own bad buying behaviour...Her point was that good music is just that...And, those that are good have to make a living at it somehow....Damn...I hate it when my kids prove me wrong (but not really)...
By the way....Bigger E and me do pretty damned fine version of this back-to-back with this in the very same key, most often at Trout Lake North on Sunday afternoons.
Finally, there is a place up the street from our house (that is right across the street from a GreenTemple) that I go to every time I'm in that area for the Americanos and, even better, for the Fritters... And, here's the best part....I get a bill AND coins back from my tenner when I get one of each....



Anonymous said...

British Columbians pay about $3000.00 a year per capita for health care.

$2500.00 or more?.... for Starbucks, which really is crappy coffee, speaks volumes on our priorities.??

Next time you hear somebody whine about our heath care system tell them we probably spend more on bad coffee.

RossK said...

Excellent point Anon.

And it's not that I didn't have my vices back when I was a gradual student.

It's just that they ran more towards Revellos and all the sudsy stuff that Stu Kehoe's Get-In-Free Carnival had on offer from guys like this.


West End Bob said...

Loved this post, RossK, even though I confess to not being a bean drinker in any way shape or form - I know: "Heresy" in LotusLand!

This line is particularly enjoyable:

then went to a higher plane of forehead wrinkling

The visual is no doubt more impressive than the virtual, but I've got the picture, nonetheless . . . . ;-)

RossK said...


There's no forehead wrinkling like higher plane forehead wrinkling.

Unless it's hidden under, say, Willie Shatner's toupee.

Or some such thing.


Ian said...

The son caught the Decemberists in Montreal last month. Now, they're his favourite new band. Or at least that's what he said in his rave on Facebook.

RossK said...


The latest album is really good, indeed - less wordy, more oomph. It is a very good combination.


Anonymous said...

Honestly - this is not music, it is a loud noise where no one hears any lyrics - sorry, but i do not call this MUSIC - Art

RossK said...

Fair enough Art.

After all, music is in the cochlea of the beholder.

And maybe, at least for me, both the auditory cortex AND the limbic system.