Posts Tagged ‘ coffee ’

Notes from Das Boot 203

[upon rereading this before publishing. Jeez, what a bunch of mundane, insignificant trials & tribulations, but that's what long drives on tour are made up of]

9/12/14 on the autobahn en route to England
10am

Most festivals have internet connection (the exception this tour was the badly run Rock Hard Fest) and the speed of it depends on how many people are using it. It’s a real feast or famine type setup. Yesterday at Copenhell during Iron Maiden’s set it was smooth sailing as everyone was watching the concert and I finished up writing Notes 202 . I finished just as their show ended and by the time I was posting, everybody came and tried to get online. Everything internet was frozen. The upshot of this boring look at the fascinating world of backstage internet is that I think the last blog was posted but I’m not sure. On another more crucial note our coffee-bot coffee machine died. It’s stuck in cleaning mode like somebody with a severe case of OCD. We do have a french press but nothing to grind the coffee beans. We’re supposed to stop at a supermarket later hopefully we can get something then. Coffee is very important on the bus, it adds a thin sheen of civility that makes long travel bearable. I’m sitting in the upstairs front lounge (ie: 2 seats by the window), it’s the best place on the bus for a little solitude, unfortunately it’s right in front of all the bunks, so when everybody is sleeping (like now) it’s a symphony of different offensive smells and snoring.
2:30pm somewhere in Holland
Luckily, our tour bus company met us at a rest area and switched out coffee makers, so a catastrophe was averted. Danny and Fish ( sound man & guitar tech respectively) are in the back lounge watching some kind of crime drama that’s in French with Swedish subtitles. I don’t think either of them speak or read either language, I’m puzzled. I’m reading a bunch of old Creepy and Eerie magazines as the day slowly drips by.
9:30pm on a ferry heading to England
Well, the new coffee machine is acting squirrelly and only works about half of the time with an intricate process to nudge it along. It seems that the bus company doesn’t have much faith in it either as they gave us a back up coffee maker to the replacement coffee maker. At least the coffee machine problem takes my mind off of why Danny and a Fish would watch a movie that neither of them understand. It’s vexing to me.
9/13/14 9:30am, a truck stop in England
The wi-fi here at the truckstop isn’t terrible, the coffee is almost hot and it’s not raining. This is what rates as a trifecta these days. Stayed here over night as the driver had to get his 12 hours of rest (sanctioned by law, he’s not lazy). We leave here in an hour or two and head to a hotel in Derby. Tomorrow is the Download Festival.

I am also putting up a bunch of tour stuff on Instagram @feedtim

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Farewell broken coffee machine, may you never darken our doorstep again

I Hate Me, part 428,414

I snuck out from work for a quick cup of coffee. I was tired and the cup of coffee I just had didn’t take as well as I had hoped. The Starbucks in town is pretty narrow and as I got there two mothers with double wide strollers were doing impromptu dance moves trying to get out of each other’s way with little success. Such little success that I went out the front door and walked around the building to the back entrance as it was slightly quicker than waiting for the dance recital to end. When I got on the line it wasn’t too bad. The kid in front of me, a slack jaw with an attempted beard was on a coffee run and had a list. Not really a list but many tiny scribbled pieces of paper with orders on them.
Can I get a large americano.”
” is that all?”
“Uh no…(fumbling in his pocket and he pulls out a note) I need a vanilla latte, big”
“Is that all?”
“…oh. Uh….(fumbling again for another note) another vanilla latte, with a shot of expresso
This went on for two more additions to his order. His pockets were like a clown car of annoyance and I was frozen, both angry and amused. The coffee gods were not smiling on me. Finally the kid finished and it was my turn. I gave the barista a “what the fuck was that?” look and he gave me an “I know, right” look back. So I ordered my coffee and went to pay for it with the Starbucks app on my phone (it’s easier!) but I didn’t have enough money on it. So then I went to pay with cash and I didn’t have enough on me. I finally paid with a credit card but not before realizing I had become “that unprepared asshole” to the customer behind me, much like that kid had been to me. And a life lesson was wasted on me as I was just as peeved at the guy behind me for being what I assumed to be slightly irked. If he wasn’t he should have been, God Knows I would have.

another way to fail

another way to fail

I Hate Me, part 377,194

I haven’t written in a while. One of the other managers at work went on vacation the exact second that the air conditioner decided to completely take a shit. It’s an old AC unit, I think it involved blocks of ice and poisonous gas filtered thru bamboo fans. So the upshot is that there is no AC at work for the foreseeable future, and I’m cranky (er) than usual, boo fucking hoo.
A long time ago a bunch of friends and I would go to a local diner and a couple of times I ordered a vanilla coke. The waitress who was very nice thought that I would always want a vanilla coke, I didn’t. So every time we went there she would bring a vanilla coke and coffee’s for everyone else before we ordered. I started to hate vanilla coke but was too sheepish to ever correct her and we eventually started going to another diner. Yes, I have many problems with my social skills. Which leads me to a couple of days ago, I went to Starbucks to get my morning coffee. Since there wasn’t AC at work I wanted to get a large iced coffee. There was a barista who works mornings and for some reason she thinks that I always want a double espresso or “doppio” as it’s known in the rich parts of coffee town. I ordered it a few times before but not enough to have it as my regular drink. So I’m at the end of the line. Staring off into space, soaking in the AC and bitter that I wasn’t going to have any at work. The woman got my attention and said something I couldn’t hear, I nodded thinking it was a morning greeting.  It wasn’t, the nod meant I had agreed to a doppio and……..
You know, it’s impossible to tell but I rewrote this a a couple of times and it actually seemed like I had  story. It’s pretty thin but none the less it was a story but as I’m reading this out loud to my dog it sounds pretty disjointed and for something under 400 words overly long. Well, there you have it……….Drive carefully, tip your bartender.

meh

meh

I Hate Me, part 297,881

While I’m at work I am the recipient of many pointless stories concerning items that customers are looking for. (example) “yeah, do you have the new Alice In Chains, my uncle Ed turned me onto them…he saw them…it was the tour with uh…uh…uh I think it was Galactic Cowboys ‘member them…yeah and Soundgarden was great too…ya know they’re still around…I almost went to see them…I heard the Alice in Chains…the new one is really heavy…is it?…” I usually don’t have anything to say and I don’t want to be rude so I’ll give a patient smile while not actually looking at them and try to find what they’re looking for, quickly. So last week I went for a coffee at Starbucks and one of the barista’s told me about a sale on their instant Via coffee. Which was cool because they know that I buy that for Carrie. They also had a sale on their Keurig K-Cup coffee. Now we used to have a Keurig coffee machine before they had Starbucks but we switched to a Tassimo coffee machine because they did. Until we got the Tassimo, then with Laurel & Hardy like timing Starbucks stopped making coffee for Tassimo and switched to Keurig. I boiled that info down to the last two sentences and they were boring, I don’t know what made me think that it would make an interesting story to tell the Barista but I did. Now in my head I thought that story sounded as interesting as this: “Well, you know when the Duke and Duchess come around for coffee we want it to be correct, I remember when we had the Kennedy clan over. All of them, if you can believe it. Of course this was years ago and all we had was a french press and it wasn’t even from France hahahaha. So Mick…Jagger, Mick said when we’re on tour we use a Keurig, we’re just too busy to measure coffee, and Michael Jordan blahblahblah..”, stupid and wildly inaccurate but interesting. In real life my fascinating coffee machine story was, “ We had a Keurig but… they didn’t make Starbucks for it…then we got a Tassimo ‘cause they did…and then they stopped making it..” As I was stammering out my pointless coffee machine story I saw the barista give me a patient smile. I stopped talking, grabbed my coffee, over tipped (for penance) and left.

they didn't make it, then they did make it

they didn’t make it, then they did make it

I Hate Me, part 311,910

My wife had stopped into work while she was walking the dog and she wanted to get an iced tea at Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t allow pets so it’s either I go and get her a drink or I watch the dog. Watching the dog consists of me holding the pup while helping customers, it’s not terrible but I’m pretty self conscious about it
Me-Hi, do you need help finding anything?
Customer-(looking at sad dog in my arms) …Kenny Chesney
Me-(noticing customer looking at large man with sad dog in his arms)…yeah…I’m watching my dog while..my wife…I don’t usually walk around the store with uh…dog..in..my……Kenny Chesney was it?
When Lucy does sad it takes on a Dickensian quality. So I chose to go to Starbucks and get Carrie her iced tea. I go to Starbucks a lot and every now and then, they will give me my coffee for free, like a bar buying back a drink for a good customer. It’s nice but I always feel a little weird and I tend to way overtip almost the amount of the coffee I’m getting for free. So I went in and ordered Carrie her iced tea and a tall red eye for myself (hot coffee with a shot of espresso). The guy repeated back my order and then only charged me for the iced tea. Great, thanks a lot. So I went down to the end of the counter to wait with everyone else for their orders. Eventually the iced tea shows up and I waited for the red eye, and waited. Nothing, now I not sure what my play is here. I haven’t yet received a coffee that I wasn’t charged for. It’s kind of like “If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” except substitute free coffee for fallen tree or a fallen tree made of coffee. Anyhow, I asked if there was a red eye for me in the line up of coffees not yet made, was told no. So I weighed the options of going back to the end of the line and re-ordering it or complaining about the lack of a free coffee. I ended up leaving with just Carrie’s iced tea, I didn’t really need that fifth cup of coffee.
StarbucksLogo4by3

I Hate Me, part 293,341

How long is the half life on embarrassment? I went in to Starbucks and ordered a tall red eye (translation: a small coffee with a shot of espresso added). I go in there a lot so they know my name which is fine but lately all the baristas have name tags and not printed out name tags, they look like tiny chalk boards with their names scrawled on them. They are pretty hard to read and I am terrible at names. And it’s creepy to stare at a name tag on someones chest, a person whose name I probably should know by now. So I’m a little uncomfortable with that. Anyhow, I make non-specific small talk and move to the end of the line and wait. I got a couple of what I thought were strange looks from the baristas which I chalked up to me being paranoid or my hair which has taken on decidedly mad scientist look when not properly combed (which is often). I got my coffee and was headed back to work. There’s a guy who sits out in front of Starbucks and solicits money for various causes, he’s a nice enough guy and when I have a little extra cash I’ll give a donation and we’ll exchange pleasantries.
Guy- Hey..uh you got something…your..uh your nose, man..take care of it.
Me- (aaugh!) hehheh… thanks…yeah a bat in the batcave…uuhhhhh….
I pulled out a tissue and went over to a nearby abandoned storefront to see what kind of horror was sticking out of my nose…and Oh My God, it looked like a nose version of the chestburster from the movie Alien. I had this fucking monstrosity sticking out of my nose the entire time I was in Starbucks, I’m figuring at least a week before I can go back.

Think of this slightly smaller and coming out of my nose

Think of this slightly smaller and coming out of my nose

I Hate Me, part 106,551

I was late for work and ran into Starbucks for a coffee, it was a short but terrible line:
“What kind of vanilla syrup do you use?”, “How large is the tall, REALLY?”, “Do you know how many Starbucks are in Howell? I’m from there.” And one of the registers was out of commission, there was a person crouched on the floor behind the counter working on it. When it was my turn at bat the barista apologized for the delay, I cracked “You guys must be really short handed today, you have children working” indicating the guy behind the counter working on the register. It was an innocuous comment, just light small talk. There was nervous laughter from the barista and then the guy working on the register got up, glaring, and he was really short, not midget (or “little person”) sized but well under five feet tall. I’m sure he must have heard “child sized” all his adult life and now from a giant goon like myself. I stared at the ground, muttered some unintelligible bullshit, grabbed my coffee and over tipped.
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I Hate Me, Part 264,002

I went into Starbucks a couple of days ago. It was cold, I was creaky and miserable*. As I was slouching towards the counter a woman jumped in front of me and brandished her smart phone towards the barista
Woman: Scan this, I get a free drink, I want a Trenta green tea…iced.
She was holding her phone rather shakily and the barista had problems scanning her phone coupon. It was like they were doing a secret handshake.
Barista: I’m sorry, it’s not coming up for a free drink.
Woman: Hmmm…Try it again…I don’t care, I’ll pay but scan it again.
And again there was the shaky hand jive while the phone coupon was scanned. I was dying, I really needed a coffee (tall dark roast, red eye). I just stared off into space while slowly losing the will to live
Barista: No, I’m sorry a free coffee didn’t come up.
Woman: (heavy sigh) Oh well…I’ll take the tea anyway…and these bananas, do you have any others…these are kind of …googy
As she said the last part, she looked over to me with an eye roll, trying to get some customer solidarity. I wanted no part of it, what I wanted was a goddamned coffee.The bananas looked fine, if they’re not visibly rotting and covered in fruit flies then there’s no reason to complain. And what the fuck does “googy”** mean? The barista brought out another two bananas that looked just like the four that where already there.
Woman: Oh yes, these are much better…those were terrible.
I finally got my coffee, and it was the best coffee ever. (Note: I know that ending was kind of weak but that’s how it happened)

* “Creaky and Miserable” is also the name of my Black Flag cover band

**She might have meant “Arthur Googy” ex Misfits drummer, who actually looked more like a plantain than a banana

also selling "googy" bananas

also selling “googy” bananas

 

I Hate Me, part 247,109

I went to Starbucks last week to get a coffee, I ended up ordering a double espresso or “Doppio” as they are called. I’m kind of torn on that word. On the one hand it sounds kind of pretentious and highfalutin, on the other hand it’s kind of fun to say. I feel like a minor character in an opera and that’s my only line, it feels like it could be sung “Doppiooooooo!” Of course I’m not the type of person who could pull that off in a place I go to often. If I did sing the order I would have to tip heavily. I placed my order (non-singing), there was only one other person in the store and when their order came up, something along the lines of “Iced grande vanilla latte, half caf, with a shot of caramel and extra ice”, the woman asked the barrister, “Is that my order?” and then repeated back was was just said. Of course this annoyed me, I’m thinking “Do you really think that the only other person in the store order the exact same extremely personalized drink as you, Christ.” She left, I’m staring off into space still amazed/annoyed and I notice the small espresso cup placed in front of me. Now, I’m the only goddamned customer in the store and yet I heard myself instinctively ask,“Is this my doppio?”. Aauuughhh!

try singing it

I Hate Me, Part 105,531

I went to Starbucks and while I was waiting in line minding my own business and staring off into space I noticed the woman in front of me. She had low cut jeans and a short jacket so a strip of her skin was showing. The skin was so oddly tanned, kind of an orange color that I had to look twice to figure out belt or skin. Of course the very moment I looked closer she turned around and gave me a dirty look. What could I say, “I wasn’t looking at your ass, I was looking at your oddly tanned skin”? Of course not, I just stood there and turned beet red and hoped that either the line would speed up or a car would drive through the window. Neither happened.

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