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Notes from the coffee shop.

City Dock has awesome coffee, but there are only like a half dozen seats in the whole place.  Panera has a million places to sit, but it’s a lot farther away.  I don’t even know where the nearest Borders or B&N are.  And, while I share walls with four other apartments (and am in the vicinity of dozens more), I can’t find one single unsecured network to… um… borrow.  Doesn’t anyone have poor networking skills anymore?  Gosh, when I lived in AZ I got through an entire summer without the internet because there was always an unsecured network available from a technologically-incompetent neighbor.  Sadly, those days are over.  Now, Verizon apparently secures your network as a part of your free Fios installation.  I’m sure they do this so people like me have to pay for service rather than stealing from the neighbors.  Oops, I mean borrowing.

So I spent three weeks mostly offline, which, I must admit, was quite peaceful.  I have always been rather anti-social, but usually fight off this tendency because it is so… anti-social.  I fancy myself a vibrant, outgoing woman who loves the company of others, when the truth is that I love the company of only a select few others.  People in general usually just irritate me.

City Dock in Arnold is charming and the coffee is unbeatable (except for the coffee I make in my own kitchen, of course), but I was uncomfortable spending time there.  When I was lucky enough to actually find a seat, I had to contend with obnoxious toddlers or pretentious teenagers.  Or both.  Meanwhile, I was trying to pay bills and other grown-up things, and fighting the urge to trip the unruly children as they ran past me.  The worst part was that the parents were acting as if these demon seeds were behaving like angels.  A child of mine would have been scolded and dragged out of the coffee shop, pronto.  Maybe this is why I don’t have children.

Panera in Annapolis was a much better experience.  Not only is it much bigger, but it is much less crowded.  I always had good luck finding a quiet spot to spread out and do some work (i.e. social networking).  The problem there was the slow Wi-Fi.  I couldn’t pay two of my three nearly-due bills because I couldn’t get the websites to function.  I suppose it’s a small price to pay for an excellent cup of coffee, a righteous bowl of soup, a sandwich so incredible in its simplicity, and a loaf of sourdough that becomes the basis of every meal I eat until it’s gone.  Bruchetta for dinner, anyone?

As you can imagine, I was more than thrilled when Julie showed up on Saturday morning.  Julie, for those of you who don’t know her, is the Verizon technician who installs Fios.  I waited three weeks for her!  And there she was!  I resisted the urge to hug her, and I let her go about her work.  Two hours later, she went to retrieve her car from the impound (long story), and I had my own internet.  AND television, which was super exciting because I’ve had rabbit ears on my TV for the last decade.  Now I can write blogs with wine instead of coffee, and watch Tosh.O in high-def and bask in the fact that I am WAY more witty than he is.

No?  Fine, I didn’t really think so either.


  1. Now that you have a job, apartment, TV and internet I guess I have to accept that you're not going to move to NJ. Maybe I'll even leave you alone about it.

    I LOVE the select few people comment. Love. It.

    Welcome back to cyberspace. Looking forward to keeping in touch again. : )

  2. Thanks Michelle. :) And yes, I'm sorry to say that a move to NJ is highly unlikely at this point. You can still harass me, but it won't get you the results you want. I may start harassing you to move here!

  3. As far as tripping the kids in the coffee shop, please keep in mind that a mom, especially one who is very tired and needs coffee, must pick her battles. She was probably not acting as if her kids were perfect angels, she was probably ignoring them and hoping the coffee helps her get through the day. Such is life with little ones. You must choose your battles wisely. FIOS! We don't have cool technology like that here in SOUTHERN Maryland...but our Panera Wi-Fi isn't that slow. :) Welcome to my state woman!!

  4. Lisa, I am sympathetic to the mom who is exhausted and needs to ignore her kids for a moment to get some coffee. I am not as sympathetic to the mom who is sitting in the coffeshop for an entire hour, kicked back at the table reading the paper and relaxing, and fawning all over her kids as they run to and fro. Oh how precious! That's fun, isn't it my perfect child?! Let me buy you another sugary pastry of some sort because you're so sweet!! She was clearly not stressed. Just completely oblivious and inconsiderate! And don't get too excited about the Fios. I don't notice a difference, except for the fact that my free cinemax doesn't have sound. Now I know why it was free.

  5. P.S. The father of these children looked as though he wanted to kill himself... and his wife. I felt a little sympathy for him.


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