Yes, Outside

I couldn’t see the ground from my comfy easy chair, but the sky looked threatening. I asked a lady who just came in, sitting down opposite me, “Is it raining?”

Her reply: “Outside? No.”

Gawd, I just couldn’t resist… “Well yes, outside.  I’m pretty sure it’s not raining in here.”

Give me some credit – I said it with a wink and a smile.

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Hard to Get Eye-to-Eye

Just saw the cutest thing.

A young mother with her young daughter – maybe three or four years old. The girl asks her mom, “What’s that?” looking at the massive mural on the wall — a painting of a coffee being plantation where coffee beans being harvested.

The thoughtful mom crouches down low so she can be at eye-level with her daughter to explains what it is.

The daughter, imitating her mother, crouches down too.


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Invisible. Please.

Starbucks working patron close-upSometimes, I go to a Starbucks to chill, maybe even to be social.

More often, I’m there to get work done while under the influence of caffeine.

Next time a stranger talks to me when I’m alone and clearly working, I’m going to look up at them, shocked, and quietly whisper, “You can see me?”

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How Dare They!

A customer – in his 60s, maybe even 70s – at the coffee shop counter just got hot under the collar, raising his voice. 

Why? Because the drink he always orders had gone up 45 cents since the last time he ordered it.  

In the entirety of 1940, my grandfather made $960 as a full-time fireman. And he paid $17 a month for rent.

That’s all I’m saying about it.

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The Ninja Man

I saw a man standing in line for coffee today who was wearing a shirt that said, “Yes, I am a ninja.”

You see the problem with that?ninja

If I saw him, then it obviously isn’t true.

Just sayin’.

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Such disappointment.

I asked for a tall Blonde, and they brought me a coffee.

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Starbucking it Idyllwild Style

I recently left behind the big city, moving to a small mountain community in Southern California.

That has no Starbucks.


As a freelance writer, Starbucks is my alter-office.  So, now what was I going to do?

The answer: make a run for Higher Grounds.

Yes, yet another independent coffee shop with a pun for a title.  But this one is forgivable, since the town of Idyllwild – population 3,500 – is indeed quite high – about 5,300’ elevation.

And “grounds” – well, that part of the pun is self-explanatory.  Leastways, I’m not going to explain it.

Frankly, this mile-high coffee shop has Starbucks beat cold.  For starters, it’s got a cozy, eclectic feel to the place, beginning with it’s artsy exterior and its high-mountain backdrop…

2013-01-28 Idyllwild HigherGrnds ext

…and continuing that theme to its lofty (that’s art-speak for high, open-timbered ceiling) interior…

2013-01-28 Idyllwild HigherGrnds int. a

…and lots of comfortable seating:

2013-01-28 Idyllwild HigherGrnds int. b

Also nice: the flavor of the place is consistent with the rustic, woodsy atmosphere of the entire town.

The clientele is a fascinating mix of tourists – especially on weekends – and locals, who are a bizarre mix unto themselves.   Idyllwild is home (or second home) to many of Southern California’s rich and famous, but it’s also an artists’ community and a magnet for hippies and hikers.  Not to mention a few homeless and crazies, which will no doubt provide excellent fodder for future posts.

Most important – the coffee rocks.  Even the drip coffees, since they roast their own.  And the barista’s do it up right, giving the frothy espresso drinks the right strength and the right kind of artistry in the frothing and pouring.

Not much to eat here though.  And no shades for the big picture windows, which makes the easy chairs hard to enjoy with a laptop from noon on, if it’s a sunny day.

But considering how small a town this is, I’m pleased as punch to find good coffee and good atmosphere.

To quote Annie from the musical of the same name, “I think I’m gonna like it here.”

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