Friday, February 27, 2009

Your mom would be disappointed in you.

I found these abandoned items last night while closing at Starschmucks.

Really, people? You can't clean up after yourselves a little bit? You didn't even take your study papers. Did Abuela call and say she broke her hip, causing you to flee in desperation, forgetting everything else in your life? Or did you just meander away, thinking, "Oh, the supercool Starbucks peeps will clean up after me. That's their job, to give me over-priced, over-sugared, under-caffeinated hot milk and then pick up my crap. Like mom."

You know what?


It is not overtly in our job description to pick up your trash (and other materials such as school hand-outs that are not Starbucks-related.) Sure, we are supposed to go around and wipe the tables, sweep the floor, straighten things out. Yeah, if a handicapped customer can't really make it to the trash can, we'll throw out their cups and do whatever else they need. That doesn't make it okay to leave your mess behind so carelessly. At least consolidate your garbage and put the wrappers and napkins in your cups. Do
something. We're not bussers. This isn't Denny's. We don't come around with the big dish tray and pick up the remains of your consumption. There's a reason Starbucks kills thousands of trees to make paper cups-- so you can conveniently throw them away wherever there is a trash can, because you're big kid now. And I know there are... [doing mental count], two, three, four, five... at least five trash cans available to customers at my Starbucks, and more outside around campus. Use them, dingbats!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I know you're homeless, but you're not talentless.

Sitting in traffic, when suddenly:

Aaaw. (invisible tears stream down)

Two days later, sitting in traffic. Same time, same place:

Hey, man. Now you're just being repetitive.

How about a little creative begging? Do you realize that pretty much all the other bums are holding the same sign? What makes yours any more convincing? Do you expect me to really believe that your situation is more dire here on 117th and 40th than, say, the lady on 127th and 88th? I've seen one bum whose sign read: "Why lie? I need a beer!" And if I had been at a red light, I totally would have given him a couple of bucks. Because a) it's believable, and b) it made me giggle inside. And you know, a lot of bums in the past would actually perform some kind of small service or entertainment for money. It's hobo law #5: "When no employment is available, make your own work by using your added talents at crafts". It's not like I want you to clean my windshield (you can't compete with the street kids in Mexico anyway). Just add a little flare, charm me into giving you my money. Make begging lucrative! Write a limerick on your sign! Play the spoons! Or something.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Some people make it too easy.

High ponytail. Hot pink clip-on hair bow. Jeweled peace sign necklace. Pink Victoria's Secret track suit (from the Pink line, of course). Coach handbag. Sidekick with heart and star stickers. Hello Kitty credit card.

A customer came into Starschmucks sporting the ensemble described above. None of these fashions on their own are particularly ridiculous. They're mostly very "in" right now, from what I've seen (though I don't know about that hair bow). But when you pile them into one one outfit, and wear it when you're in college, it kinda screams, "I'm not ready!" (That, and, "I have a poor sense of fashion".)

I was really just in awe of her existence. It would have been perfect if she talked like one of the sorority girls, but she was so absorbed in her Sidekick she barely said a word beyond "Tall caramel macchiato". I wanted to ask her what grade she was in, and if she had seen the latest Hannah Montana episode. There's a point, like around adulthood, where you should start considering the image you project with your clothes and accessories. Hair bows and pink overload do not help. Sorry.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Your god let my kitten die.

I'm accustomed to evangelicals. Evangelicals as in, "Have you heard the good word, my friend?" My mom is one. She likes to buy me little books (like The Da Vinci Deception) and stuffed bears from the LifeWay Christian Store. And after a few months, I like to give them to Goodwill. (Don't worry, Mum will never read this.) It's not just because I've been resigned from Christianity for nearly ten years. I don't want a whole bunch of stuff lying around if I'm not going to use it.
Anywho, evangelicals. They're not only in my family, but all over Miami, because in case you didn't know, Hispanics are so Christian it hurts. Kidding, please don't douse me in holy water. But it's pretty common to have some kind of "missionary" experience in this city. A teenage girl at Barnes & Noble was very persistent with me one evening, returning even after I declined her mini-sermon. Twice. That was fun. Like being flogged. (Obviously not everyone is like that girl. I think most would get the message when one is interested or not.) And of course, it's always a Christian sect. Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Lutheran, etc. In Broward County, where there's a bagel shop on every street, no Jew has ever tried to convert me.

But on campus at FIU, I have observed, and been approached by what I like to call "yoga thumpers". They walk around with Hindu scripture, asking if you're familiar with yoga and reincarnation. They're exceedingly soft-spoken. I'm pretty sure they ask for donations (donation to what, I don't know/remember). The best part is they're white. I have been approached a total of three times. The first time (which was last year) I thought, "Hey, this scenario is familiar. But wait, that's not a bible!" The second time (earlier this semester) I assured the guy that I had already talked to one of them in the past. The third time, before he even said anything, I just told him, "You guys got me yesterday." Before I met the yoga thumpers, I was already into karma and learning about reincarnation. I already own a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which sits on my bookshelf like the family bible that never gets read. I had even named one of my kittens Shiva but then he freakin died a week later. Because I'm white like that. Yet these guys are still annoying to me. Frankly, I like learning about all that dharma schmarma and krishna krunch on my own. The more they hunt me down, the less attractive it is. Besides, why would the culture that spawned the Kama Sutra and Tantric sex need its own evangelists?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I can't believe I ate the WHOLE thing.

Mmm, Whole Foods Market. The patron saint of grocery stores. They're environmentally friendly; they have a ridiculous nutrition section; there's not a smidge of hydrogenated fat in their products; they're super vegetarian-friendly; they host cooking demonstrations; they rank as 22nd in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For; and hell, the Obamas like to shop there. What more motivation do you need to go there RIGHT NOW?

Not convinced? What's wrong? The prices? Well, yeah, I know... the only people who can really afford to go there regularly are wealthy, New-Age white people. But here's a secret. There's another reason people go to Whole Foods. The
real reason...


(Left: Fig & olive crackers, Right: Feta cheese with sundried tomatoes)

Yes, indeed, 95% of the time you visit Whole Foods, you're going to find at least one tray of organic fruit, vegetables, cookies, gourmet chips, cheese, bread, chocolate, etc. You could go there on a Sunday afternoon and sample your way into a free lunch.

And you don't even have to be a neurotic health-food freak. Lardy junk-food addicts will find their share of delights. Look! Potato chips! Krinkle-cut!

Moral of the story? Everyone at Whole Foods may seem like good, pious people. But we're all just here for the organic/fair-trade/environmentally-friendly gluttony.

"Yeah, honey, I'm gonna pick up the wheat-grass, flax-flakes, and, oooh, granola bread!"


Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Walking iPod Ad

Man. This guy's cool. No, really. I mean, I admit I am being a wee bit sarcastic, and I don't know him, but I seriously think he at least looks pretty hip. Let's make a list. Afro. Check. Sunglasses. Check. Well-fitted dress shirt. Check. Wide-band wrist watch. Check. Pants not obnoxiously baggy or skin-tight. Check. Pointy shoes. Check. Apple-product placement: an ipod and what appears to be a Macbook. Check. Yeah, he's got it goin' on. He needs to have the Scissor Sisters playing in the background wherever he goes. And his shadow could be the dancing silhouette in this walking ipod commercial.

Strange. You see the people in advertisements, and wish you could be like them, but know it won't ever happen because God hates you or whatever reason. Then you buy the product, because you want it, and/or you still want to try to be like those people, which of course never happens. Some people think they pull it off. (Like these guys.) But this stud, who I'm officially renaming Cool-Beans McMan, actually did it. Whether he intended to or not, he has become one of those people from the magazine and billboard ads; a 3-D GQ guy. Congratulations, McMan. Can I have your autograph? Or rather, your awesomegraph?

The Dentist is Awesome.

This kid is ready for shrooms.

My good friend Shawn sent me this. Now I don't care how much it costs, I can't wait to watch my own child have an existential breakdown after the dentist.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Move Over, Jesus Fish.


Honestly, I don't understand. Did I miss something? Can someone tell me why these damn family stickers on car windows are so popular? Am I the only one who wants to sneak around a parking lot and place an ominous X over random sticker-family members?

I know this little fad has been going on for a while now, maybe a couple of years or more. But I have to talk about it. My main question is, Why would you advertise your family like that? For one, it's just annoying, like the parents who send album-loads of baby pictures to their family and friends (your kid can shit on the toilet now, congrats). Secondly, it sometimes feels like the beholder of the stickers is boasting some kind of social perfection- "Check it out, 2.5 kids and a dog! Quintessential suburbanite, bitches!" And on that note, how does one not feel like a sickening sugar-coated cliche? Beaver Cleaver could kick your ass. Then what about the people who have but one or two stickers? They're just asking for pity, especially if that one sticker is of their dog.

But more than anything, I question the logic behind this fad. The first time I saw these stickers, however long ago that was, the first thought that came to my head was, "Now if I were a predator..." Call me cynical, evil, disturbed, whatever. If I were a predator out on the road, these stickers are all I'd keep my eye out for, because then I'd know which cars lead to households with plenty of possessions, and if there are any kids or teens for the taking. With any luck, the school at which the children are "Honor Students" will be on the bumper too. Stalkerlicious. Some stickers even have the names of the family members! Really, people, come on. That's like holding your baby over a balcony. Okay, not quite, but it's dangerous. Keeping-It-Real-Mom knows what I'm talking about! (Now, I don't know exactly how real she keeps it, but at least she would agree with me).