Tag Archives: starbucks

Karl and a Documentary

17 Nov

It’s a chilly morning in Chicago and Starbucks has their Christmas decoration up. ūüôā ¬†They’re very pretty and festive. ¬†My favorite! ¬†I opted to wear my old winter coat today because it matched my outfit better and to my pleasant surprise, it was much needed on my way to class this morning.

I’m taking a quick break from my newest short story. ¬†Maybe I’ll see this one through to the end? ¬†I don’t even care if I send it out for publication, I just feel like I never get around to finishing my stories. ¬†This one is different though. ¬†I usually write from the point of view of a younger woman (who knew?) and this story centers around Karl Swanson who is an older man in his 50’s or so. ¬†It’s kind of fun being someone completely different.
Lukasik has us writing short fiction scenes right now and last week’s completely blew. ¬†It’s also up for critique today. ¬†The last thing I had critiqued was my creative nonfiction and it was very well received. ¬†But this one… I’m dreading class…
This week, however, I’m using her strict guidelines to expand Karl Swanson’s story. ¬†It should be interesting.

We’ve been watching a documentary in sociology about the United States, wars, defense spending, capitalism, and the like called Why We Fight. ¬†Google Video features the entire thing if you have 99 minutes. ¬†It really is interesting. ¬†The whole thing was a little heart-breaking as it really showed me that I can, quite obviously, no longer live in my positive and trusting world. ¬†How does someone handle this? ¬†It’s not a change necessarily as I have always opposed war and the¬†privatization¬†of war and government spending, but the fact that soon I’m slowly becoming more against the government I’ve grown up watching. ¬†Even more difficult is the fact that my sister and dad both served in the military and I in no way want to do them any disservice by my desire to protest all that is militant and government.
We debated in political science last week the U.S.’s refusal to join to International Criminal Court and whether that was a wise idea. ¬†I very much believe the U.S. puts enough into global affairs and global domination that they need to be held accountable for the acts they carry out.
As often as I feel like my school goes against the government to a fault, sometimes I appreciate their presentation of information that I probably wouldn’t get elsewhere.
But who am I, right? ¬†Just another liberal college student. ūüėČ

Meanwhile, Alice and Bella are celebrating their 2nd birthday today. =)  My babies are growing up.

Karl Swanson beckons. ¬†‚̧

Burning Out

15 Nov

It’s official. ¬†I’m completely burned out for the semester. ¬†How do I know? ¬†Monday’s Starbucks time feels like Thursday’s night class…
I got great sleep last night, but my brain is fried. ¬†Too much political talk, too much reading, too much (*gasp*) writing. ¬†I haven’t carried my journal with me in over a week…
Jeremy and I sat on the couch last night with a movie on (I have absolutely no idea what we watched) and instead of working on Christmas presents or Etsy stuff, Jeremy and I were working on Snuggles blankets for the Chicago Animal Shelter that we adopted Alice and Bella from… ¬†Why? ¬†Because they’re easy and I really need to destash. ¬†In an effort to avoid my homework yesterday afternoon, I tore my office apart to try and find a place for all that extra yarn that’s been piling up in anticipation of Christmas gifts. ¬†That didn’t happen. ¬†Now I just have piles of yarn that Bella is probably gleefully rolling in now that she’s home alone with it… ¬†ugh…

In other news, I finished my second sweater a couple weeks ago, but have yet to post pictures. ¬†The pattern is called “$5 in Paris” and was written by a fellow blogger. ¬† She’s pretty interesting. ¬†I’ve been following her blog since I found the pattern on Ravelry as she’s got all kinds of neat patterns and just had twin boys that are still in the hospital. ūüė¶
Anywho, here’s my $5 in Chicago….
I’ll make a size smaller next time and maybe add some waist decreases, but for only costing $5 in yarn, I’m happy with it. ūüėČ

My next sweater is a version of an American Eagle sweater that I don’t want to buy… ¬†It’s coming along. ¬†I’ve decided to name it my “Mochalone” and it will be the first sweater pattern I’ve written for myself. ¬†Exciting? ¬†You betcha.
I read somewhere that most sweater knitters knit about 8 sweaters a year. ¬†I’ve finished two adult sizes, 3 baby sizes and am currently working on 2 adults with 3 adults and 1 Calli size in the plans… Looks like I’m becoming an above average sweater knitter. ūüôā

I’m thinking about setting up another blog purely for our Etsy store. ¬†Just a little forewarning… ūüôā ¬†Extra promoting never hurts, especially now that collar sales have taken off and Becky has those super cute birds listed.

Meanwhile, I’m going to continue on my quest to not lose my mind before Thursday as I have a week without classes coming up. ¬†I’ll be baking, sewing, knitting, cleaning, reading, and writing and I’m looking forward to it more than I’ve ever looked forward to a break before…. ¬†Just keep sane, just keep sane…

The Bohemian

1 Nov

Every Monday around noon, a little old lady cuts through the Starbucks from the DePaul University lobby to the street. ¬†She crosses Wabash confidently and shuffles southward. ¬†Once or twice she has ordered a coffee and sat down and tried to engage those around her in a conversation. ¬†She always manages to sit near business men and women who are reading their papers or in a meeting and therefore receives very little response from them. ¬†That’s probably why she doesn’t do it very often. ¬†She seems lonely.

She looks like the kind of person who was petite in her youth. ¬†She couldn’t have been more than 5 feet, 5 inches tall. ¬†She was probably considerably shorter than that. ¬†Her shoulders are hunched in a way that suggests advanced osteoporosis. She walks with a determined shuffle, no limping, no cane. ¬†She always wears a patterned skirt that reminds me of older immigrant ladies from an Eastern European nation. ¬†Her headscarf is colorful in a bohemian kind of way. ¬†Blues, reds, purples, and a little yellow wrap themselves around her very wispy, thin, grey hair. ¬†Her eyes are dark and hard, her nose long and pointed. ¬†Age- and sun-spots cover much of her pale, wrinkled face. ¬†She always carries a small shopping bag and a tan, nondescript purse.

I bet she’s lived in Chicago her whole life. ¬†Or maybe she immigrated here at a young age. ¬†She raised her family who all went on to become lawyers and doctors and moved to other states. ¬†She’s outlived her husband. ¬†She’s seen the city rise and change. ¬†She’s probably someone who isn’t phased by today’s culture. ¬†She carries on and does as she has always done. ¬†I bet she’s a strong lady. ¬†She would have to be, right? ¬†What does she do every Monday morning that brings her to this Starbucks? ¬†Where does she go when she leaves here? ¬†Maybe she goes to the park to read and feed the pigeons? ¬†Maybe she’s having breakfast with her only son who decided stayed close to home. ¬†Maybe she’s coming from her home in Ukrainian Village and going to China town. ¬†Maybe the different culture intrigues her and she has more time to spend now that she’s grown older.

Where ever she’s coming from and where ever she’s going, I’m sure she has a lifetime of stories to tell. ¬†Stories of heartbreak, of new life, of hope, of prosperity. ¬†She could probably write a book about her life. ¬†Will anyone ever care to hear it?

Overseen in Starbucks…

27 Oct

The Starbucks on the corner of Jackson and Wabash in Chicago has become my favorite place to disappear during my breaks from class. ¬†There are so many different kinds of people going in and out, that I’m rarely disturbed or given a second look. ¬†I actually get a lot of homework done, but my favorite thing to do here is people watch and, of course, eavesdrop.

I’ve become very good at inconspicuously checking people out. ¬†Today, for example, I sat down next to Carl Swanson. ¬†He works at the CNA (or so his¬†prominently¬†displayed badge said ūüėČ ). ¬†He wore perfectly shined black shoes, a crisp white shirt, and ironed black pants. ¬†His salt and pepper hair indicated his hair had, at one point, been jet black. ¬†He pretended to read his paper for a while and sipped his tall black coffee. ¬†While he pretended to read, he was really observing everyone around him. ¬†He checked everyone out. He kept¬†rearranging¬†his legs and his arms; he couldn’t seem to get comfortable. ¬†After about 10 minutes of fake reading, Carl jumped up and threw out the coffee he couldn’t possibly have finished, looked around a few more times, and bolted out of the shop. ¬†I googled the CNA, hoping it would be some kind of government spy organization, but alas, it was only the headquarters for a major insurance things… or something. ¬†Although, I’m pretty sure that that is a cover and that Carl Swanson is, in fact, a spy. ¬†Or he had a blind date. ¬†No… I’m going with spy.

I’m currently sitting next to three Indian business ¬†men who politely asked to borrow my extra chair. ¬†They are all sporting some very impressive black mustaches. ¬†ūüėČ

I really do love Starbucks. ūüôā