Mar 22, 2010

Coffee Shops

click for full color, full size It's Sunday. It's almost 1 PM, and I'm out at Grounded Cafe, a coffee shop and internet cafe on Ventura Blvd. I found it with the Yelp application on my cell-a-ma-phone, and I decided to give it a try. There is another place with free wifi and pay coffee recommended by the program: it's called Crave. I drove past it. It looks very busy and bohemian, and there wasn't any street parking within five blocks. So, maybe next weekend. Maybe never.

I am trying to reduce the cost of these writing expeditions by making them coffee-only, or snack-only, instead of full-meal. Perhaps I could do that at Norm's, but it feels wrong. It feels like I'm taking up a profitable booth. This is likely ridiculous, since the booths are rarely even close to filled. But coffee shops are places where you are supposed to do this sort of work.

click for full color, full size I guess this is who I've become. My binary opposite. Someone who writes in public.

Necessity makes for strange bedfellows, even when we're sleeping alone.

The coffee-shop man just offered me the wifi password, which was very nice. That means, at least in my weird psychology, that he doesn't mind me using my own computer, rather than renting his by the hour.

I also really like my high seat and high desk, over by the window. Crave may have a hard time competing with that. Oh, and the coffee is good; intensely sweet mocha.

Sprinkled throughout this post are some pictures from my visit. Can you guess who the celebrity is, in the painting? I can't! But I know it's a celebrity! They said so!

groundcafe4Yesterday, writing-wise, I made an unusual sprint forward. Unexpected, and so out-of-the-subconscious, I honestly can't remember much of what I came up with. Good thing it's all written down.

There I was, doing my usual tinkering around the edges, when my mind turned around, made a dash - straight for the wall - and rather than smashing into it, it ran up it. Right up it, and then right off, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.

I don't know what that was all about, or how long that stuff had been brewing, waiting to come crashing, boiling-over. but there it was, and those are the moments I've been missing.

Clearly, they only happen when I'm running at that wall every stinking day.

Similarly, I was cooking dinner last night, and I'd just finished warming the cassarole dish to put the chicken in, as per the recipe. I took the dish out of the oven, and turned toward the counter-top. I could put it down on the countertop, you see, because it wasn't all that hot.
click for full color, full size I touched the dish to the countertop surface, and I remember a small hiss, and then an instantaneous crack, and then, the dish completely exploded. Shards of glass flew in every direction. all with surprising force, and several of those directions were precisely where I was standing.

The glass was cool enough for a countertop, but counters and people are made of considerably different materials. A short length of glass landed on the back of my hand, and I have a red shadow-image of it burned there now. I was fortunate that none of the glass found my face and eyes to be a welcoming destination.

There were invisible, tiny shavings and slivers of glass everywhere.

Luckily, no one was hurt. Alli didn't really bother to look up from her Facebook game. Barb remained completely asleep. And I was able to finish the meal by working around the mess. The food came out pretty well.

However, the suddenness of that explosion, and the power of it, really stays with me. It came to mind when I was reflecting on the sensation that I had yesterday, when story started creating itself, starting sorting points out, and all I had to do was hold on with my oven mitt. A hiss, a crack, and an explosion.

Now I'm going to go read it over.

Who wants to start a betting pool regarding how disappointed I'll be?