Tuesday, April 25, 2006

All of this and nothing

Been a strange couple of weeks. Suffice it to say I haven't wanted to write much. Spending a lot of time in my head. Had Sunday brunch with The Punch Line and a fantastic Thai dinner Saturday night with Liz and Bob.

Oh yeah, now I remember... the album came out finally. The moment I've waited for with baited breath and it's near perfect.

Phil Barker quit The Buzzcocks. Jesus. Just when I was getting used to Phil and Tony. Now what?

See what I mean? Completely disjointed. I'll have to regain my footing so I can write coherently.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

When you're related to a genius writer

Read on!

By Marc D. Allan

They opened a Starbucks in my house last month. I guess it was
inevitable, given the Gap store already located on my mini-van’s
oversized dashboard, the Blockbuster in the basement (no more late
fees for sure, thanks to the drop slot in our TV room floor) and the
spare bedroom.

“Suburban sprawl! Suburban sprawl!” squawks my neighbor Brad,
chomping a chocolate biscotti and waiting to order his house blend,
no sweetener, with room. Crumbs are everywhere.

The regular barista is a bored girl named Patty who says she’s
working her way through school. Whenever I ask what she’s
studying or where, she turns on a blender. In another era – or if
Damon Runyan had made her up – Patty would be a tough-talking
gal, maybe a gun moll, in a long, tight skirt. She’d have an
ever-present nail file and an attitude. With me, she just has
the attitude.

Patty shows up at 7 each morning, opens the front door and
turns on the music. Ella Fitzgerald usually. Nice. From near and
nearer, customers come, parking on what used to be my front lawn.
They traipse upstairs, tracking mud on the carpet. It’s so hard getting
dirt out of berber.

I complain to Patty, but she ignores me. When I mention how I
don’t like having a line outside my bathroom, she tells me to take it
up with corporate and goes back to reading the latest Cosmo Girl!
My Starbucks, if I may call it mine, apparently does a brisk
business. Almost every day, when I try to pull out of the garage, I’m
blocked in by a truck delivering more cups and those cardboard-like
holders that keep people from burning their hands. (Note to self:
What’s my liability if someone burns themselves because the coffee’s
too hot? Check with counsel.)

There isn’t enough display space in my Starbucks to sell those
stainless steel travel cups, which is a shame because my wife needs
a new one. She’s the real coffee drinker in the family. I just like
the iced drinks. Oh, and the Chantico sipping chocolate.

They could expand into my older daughter’s bedroom if they have
to. I suppose that would be OK – it’s not like they can be stopped –
as long as they don’t touch her closet. And if they’re willing to sell
salads and those black-and-white cookies I’ve seen in some of their
airport stores.

Now that I’ve had a chance to get used to the idea, having a
Starbucks at home is mostly convenient, except when the customers
linger around our dinner table and complain how we don’t offer
wireless. Also, they close at nine and there’s no drive-thru yet.

I don’t know what Patty will do for work when they finish
constructing the Wal-Mart next door. But I know where my wife can
get a new travel cup.

Marc D. Allan is a freelance writer based in suburban Indianapolis.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Reigning down

After a somewhat odd week (in places), having a night alone is always healthy and a weekend with friends is well-appreciated and savored. After getting the oncoming week's groceries out of the way (complete with strongly-needed stop at Starbucks), I await His Hunkiness to arrive. We'll see where how the afternoon unfolds and where the evening takes us to sup beverages and spiel.

If I'm up early enough tomorrow morning, I absolutely have to get to the gym. While I'm holding on with some firmness to the reins of my eating habits, I still haven't been as focused and disciplined as I'd been in the past. MUST keep the eyes forward and not veer off the road!

Y.M.'d w/ J.W. the other night; interesting tidbit he'd turned me on to, about that despicable company we used to work for. Hopefully, Elliot Spitzer will jail those bastards, pure and simple. Theirs was a nefarious operation and we just didn't know any better; we may as well have been working for drug pushers or arms dealers. Time and justice will tell.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Weekend rewind (scream if you wanna go faster)

Saw the Munch exhibit yesterday... just amazing. Beautiful and overwhelming. I still get the same powerful feeling from a great piece of art--in this case, X amount of great works. It's humbling to be in the room with the masters. Loved every minute of walking around the city, feeling alive and energetic with no jacket! Great lunch at this neat burger place--spinach salad for me, thank you very much; home by 5, laundry, a chat with Bob and off to bed.

Saturday was running errands; checking in on my father and Bob coming over in the evening. Aside from great conversation, good drinks and many laughs, the amazing thing is that we came up with 3 new songs in 30 minutes time--just playing to one another new material and getting it immediately. You could feel the excitement in the room, as simple as the setting was. Such a blast. I have to be honest; of the 3 songs, I like "Tell Me Why" the most, as it's Bob's first song for The Punch Line, I'm playing bass and it just flows. Infinite thrill.

Work was fine, but no parking and a massive headache prohibited me from going to the gym tonight (and not meeting with the nutritionist). Oh well. Came home and found our tax return from the Fed, which is always nice. Got some great e-mails and some awesome news which I'll keep schtum on until the time is ripe.

All this and the Mets win on Opening Day. It's a good life.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Only fools and horses

First pure spring weekend and tonight equals work for myself and the great bass-god. That and a chance to hang out and talk, work some kinks out of his iBook and evaluate the band situation. A good period begins here.

My mind's been (somewhat) all over the place as of lately; not in an unable-to-concentrate kind of way but just so much to think about. Between the scare of my father being in hospital to hearing a friend of mine having a cancer scare and being busy at work plus general daily life makes the juggling act even more daunting. The thing is, when I have too much on my plate, I get a bigger dish. The upcoming week is a good one to hit the gym hard, especially since I have an appointment on Monday with the nutritionist.

Looking forward to tomorrow; we're planning on going to MoMA to see the Munch exhibition. Say what you will; I think his art was brilliant and visionary. Aside from that, if weather permits, it'll be the first day in the city I've had in ages. It's still home.