The coffee conformist

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Despite being a) an inhabitant of the Pacific Northwest, b) a college student / generally sleep-deprived person, and c) the daughter of a triple tall americano addict, I never really got into the whole coffee thing. Up until I graduated high school, I would order lemonade at Starbucks, and for another two years after I never strayed from iced, unsweetened green tea. I had not consumed a drink with coffee in it until roughly six months ago. Tall, iced, non-fat mocha. I was annoyed with the sheer number of words I had to rattle off in order to get said drink, but I remember enjoying the unfamiliar rush of caffeine, describing it as “fun” to anyone who would listen to my chatter.

The next day, I repeated the process. This time, however, I felt like I was experiencing the physical symptoms of a panic attack, having so much energy coursing through my body with practically no outlet (sitting in lecture doesn’t require much exertion). I decided, at this point, that I was not going to pay five dollars a day for something that made me feel like my brain was out-growing my head. And then a week later multiple passersby witnessed me exiting Starbucks with a tall, iced, non-fat, decaf mocha in hand.

Due to the suburban lack of cozy, indie coffeehouses and my own laziness in the area of drink-making, the coffee thing did not present much of a problem while I was living at home over the summer. Upon my return to the city, though, it became quite the opposite – a coffee shop about a block away from campus lured me in with the free wifi and enormous peanut butter cookies, and who was I to ignore my forgotten flame, the mocha? In an effort to seem more chill and less high-maintenance, I dropped the “iced” and “decaf,” even though I have never been a hot drink person and I know quite well by now what caffeine does to my… wellness. The power of conformity, guys, I’m telling you.

And – I say this quite mournfully – now the non-fat mocha has pretty much become a part of my daily life. It seems as if each one I get has less chocolate and more coffee (particularly the one I’m drinking right now, which I accidentally ordered as a double-shot… when the barista asks, just say yes to avoid any potential awkwardness), and by this time next week I very well may be drinking my coffee black. The funny thing is that I feel like this has just happened to me. Like it has been out of my control. It’s, like, 8:30 in the morning, and I’m in this coffee shop full of books, Ella Fitzgerald’s voice reverberating off the walls, and I don’t want to be that pansy who orders an iced tea. You know? Chunky cardigan, hipster glasses, laptop open to WordPress, steaming mug of coffee; it just makes sense.

I didn’t want this to happen. But I suppose I just have to live with it now. Sorry, body. Sorry, wallet. Sorry, baristas who have to deal with me on a daily basis. Actually though.


On a separate note, my recommended songs of the week:

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On the subject of lazy rivers…

Don't you feel like you're here drinking tea with me? Isn't it nice?

Don’t you feel like you’re here drinking tea with me? Isn’t it nice?

I decided to ditch the comfort of my bed today, instead electing to sit at Starbucks with a venti iced green tea and a chocolate croissant just waiting to be voraciously consumed. Yes, this is a really half-assed attempt to get the creative part of my brain to come out of hiding. But honestly I think it’s afraid of the overly garrulous women’s book club gabbing in the corner. So we will see how this goes.

Long story short, I just got back from a very fun and very humid trip to the one and only Orlando, Florida. I am jet-lagged. I am tired. I am recovering from an unfortunate sunburn. But I also have many a tale to tell.

First off, let’s have a chat about lazy rivers. Before this trip, my feelings in regards to lazy rivers were, you know, normal… neutral. I mean, they’re cool if you’re lazy and you have an innertube and there aren’t too many punks splashing around. But within the first day of floating along the river’s gentle currents, I was smacked in the sunburned face with a very telling epiphany: lazy rivers were created to aid stalker-type people. Really. Let that sink in. I don’t mean the dangerous, illegal type of stalking, but rather stalking of a flirtatious nature. Lazy rivers make it so incredibly easy to follow people around – in a normal pool, it is more justifiable to accuse people. Like, hey, you are purposely following me around this unmoving water. In a lazy river, however, you can’t say that. Literally everyone is going in the same direction at the same speed, at least generally speaking. Also, it is possible to touch people and be like, oops, sorry, I flail when I swim. Somebody’s (my) butt is bound to be swatted in a lazy river.

Here she is, the famous/infamous lazy river.

Here she is, the famous/infamous lazy river.

As you would probably expect, my family did the whole Disney World thing again. The first day, we went to the Magic Kingdom, which is as crowded as a theme park can possibly get. For some reason, my first thought that morning was “I’m just gonna be chill today, I’m not going to get pissed off at anybody.” Maybe I thought that because I know I’m a pretty irritable, albeit outwardly tolerant, person… but I’m willing to consider alternate reasons. Anyway, despite having many many happy moments involving castles, Peter Pan, and outer space, my brain was in rage mode that day. Does anyone else internally flip out at the people around them in line for no apparent reason? Like, a lady will be taking a picture of Scuttle from the Little Mermaid with her iPad, and I just silent-scream oh my god you look ridiculous GET OUT. I don’t know. I probably need to start meditating eight times a day or something.

We stayed at a very nice hotel, the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, which is sort of a mouthful so I nicknamed it the JDubs. My sister chose it because a) she is unhealthily obsessed with lazy rivers, and b) the hotel’s silhouette vaguely resembles that of Atlantis, which is her dream vacation destination (thanks a lot, Mary-Kate and Ashley). The lobby is grand and beautiful and it smells very nice, and our room was unexpectedly huge, with two balconies looking out over the expansive grounds of the resort. It was sort of ridiculous, but in the best way. There was much to be explored, and rest assured, we explored it all. Including the Ritz-Carlton next door. “Unnecessarily lavish” is the only descriptor I have for that establishment.

Lastly, I will try to bring some element of conciseness to this post with some “miscellaneous things I just can’t not talk about, also sorry for the double negative”:

  • I love squirrels and little lizards, both of which are abundant in Florida.
  • To Hugo from the French crepe stand: vous avez les yeux gorgeuous, and you can make me crepes ANYTIME.
  • I’m sorry to say it, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter really wasn’t built for effective crowd flow.
  • The Beast’s castle in New Fantasyland is disappointingly dinky.
  • … But Prince Eric’s castle is superb and I’d like to live there. Preferably with Prince Eric, and also can I have Ariel’s hair?
  • If you want to irreversibly mess your hair up, riding in a convertible on the freeway is certainly the way to do it.
  • 80’s music is appropriate for every occasion.
  • Lots of Scottish people vacation in Orlando. Who would have guessed? Not me, obviously.
  • Sometimes religious chanting parades take place in lazy rivers. I also would not have guessed this.
  • There was a boy in the pool who kept throwing a ball at my sister every time she floated by. Really takes me back to the second grade, when flirting involved tossing rocks in your crush’s general direction. How suave of you, pool boy.
  • I go into a total depressed slump when I have to leave Epcot.
  • The only way to survive six-hour plane rides is to watch Friends and stare out the window with wonder in your eyes.

Alright, gang. I’m running low on tea and I have nothing left to ramble about. Sounds like this blog post is over.

That sentimental Thanksgiving post.

I think we’re all thankful for this.

It’s mid-November. Know what that means? Thousands of young men are sporting pathetically wispy “beards,” pretty much all novelists (published and otherwise) are now perpetually irritable and scatterbrained, and it’s time for me to stop my compulsive complaining about everything.

Really, I should be considered a terrible person. I complain about the most trivial things- retainers, water pressure, salad dressing, my empty mailbox. I’m pretty sure my incessant whining makes people want to throw up sometimes. So, seeing as tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I am going to be one of those people and list off the many things I am thankful for.

I’m thankful for thick socks and down comforters, and books that make me feel like they were written about my life. I’m thankful for trains, because they’re cool, and airplanes and speedboats. I am thankful for chocolate chip cookies, iced green tea, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s face, and I am very thankful for coats with hoods.

I’m thankful for friends: friends I see almost everyday, and friends I see every five years. I’m thankful for friends with infectious laughs and friends who can simply sit and chat for hours; friends who hate the same things I do, and friends who send me funny memes every once in awhile. Mostly, I’m thankful for the friends I can turn to even when we haven’t talked in what seems like forever.

I’m thankful for my family, aka the most wonderfully genuine and kindhearted people in the entire world. I’m thankful for my parents, who clearly did a fabulous job of raising me, and I’m thankful for my grandma, who was always willing to play with my cousins and me (and is the sole reason I am addicted to junk food). I’m thankful for my sister and all of her weirdness- my life would be so painfully boring without her. I’m thankful for my aunts and uncles and cousins, all of whom are hilarious and lovely, all at the same time.

I am thankful for Netflix and Gossip Girl, for finally providing me with a guilty pleasure. I’m extremely thankful for words and the people who have taught them to me, and for banjos, guitars, and pianos. I’m thankful for daisies, old pictures, accents, Christmas lights, Doc Martens, and sweet romantic comedies like Love Actually. I’m thankful for JK Rowling and an incredible boyfriend, and he should really be honored that I put him in the same sentence as JK Rowling.

Most of all, I am thankful for opportunities like this to take a break from my complaining- I’d encourage you to do the same.

And now I know everything.

I have officially survived a week of college, guys. You can applaud me if you want.

But seriously, never has my life changed so drastically in a matter of nine days. In fact, I have so many things to talk about that I might have to split this subject into multiple posts. Just so, you know, I don’t seem annoying or something… maybe it’s too late for that.

Anyway, I moved into my dorm last Thursday. My roommate and I pretty much have the greatest dorm room the world has ever seen, complete with a bathroom and a pretty nice view into the neighbors’ windows across the courtyard (be mindful of your blinds). Also, we have a Parisian Corner. Observe:

Tres adorable, non?

Outside of my lovely dorm room, I have learned many valuable things about college life. Since I’m bored and have an affinity for lists, I will share with you some of the discoveries I have made:

  • It is socially acceptable to shave your head on the third floor terrace.
  • Peanut butter in excess is just… no bueno.
  • Books are expensive. Especially books you don’t really care to read.
  • Guilty because of your caloric intake? No problem, said the seven flights of stairs to your dorm room.
  • When every single floor TV lounge is full of guys, there is, without a question, a football game on.
  • Blueberry hibiscus tea looks like blood and tastes like Splenda.
  • College is full of people who want to take your picture for a fashion blog. (personal victory #131)
  • Contrary to common belief, college isn’t about learning. It’s about doing icebreakers.
  • Quiet hours? What quiet hours?
  • People who sing in the hallway generally aren’t the people you want to be singing in the hallway.
  • Granola bars have some rare magical property in them, and that’s why they’re TWO DOLLARS each. Well, that’s sort of just a theory.
  • Literally everyone likes Harry Potter.
  • Literally everyone likes Apples to Apples.
  • Following a big group when you don’t know where you’re going doesn’t always work in your favor.

As you can tell, I pretty much know everything there is to know now. I don’t even know why I’m still here… Just kidding. I am enjoying this experience immensely.

Do you know what else I am enjoying immensely? Babel, Mumford and Sons’ new album. My ears think it’s delicious.