Tuesday, January 15, 2002

No Sympathy for Corporate America

I fucking hate Starbucks.
I hate that I�m forced to go to the stupid corporate bullshit coffee place and purchase my coffee.

They infiltrate like, well, humans, and suck everything good out of things. Sucking the life out of everything.
I can�t believe I was once concerned that people might give me shit because I have a Starbucks cup, laden with multiple logos to ensure people know exactly where I purchased this beverage. People don�t care.

Problem is I do care.

Some might say . . .�Ok, go to another coffeehouse. There�s tons of them in San Francisco.�
And you are right; there are many places that sell coffee, including many locally owned businesses that I should be patronizing instead of a corporate monolith like Starbucks.

Problem is that most mom and pop coffeehouses generally SUCK ASS. I try the off brand places. And they�re rarely good. I�m still searching for a good locally owned coffeehouse that�s also within good walking distance of my work. Obviously that changes depending on where I�m working. But I can�t find anything that will suffice.

"It�s just coffee," one might say. Yeah, well, I worked at a coffeehouse for two years. I�m a coffee snob. It�s got to be more right than it is wrong. And usually, the small places get it wrong. Way wrong.

I�m not just buying a regular ol� coffee. If that were true, I�d hit the fucking gas station down the street or better yet, I�d make my own shitty coffee in the morning. No, I need a triple shot latte every morning, dammit!

If I could go to Peets I would. But fuck, I sure wish Peet's was on every single block like Starfuck's is. But it�s not.

How bad am I? This morning, after getting off the BART at 8:45 a.m., I decided that I would walk to Peets several blocks away rather than submit to the torture that is Starbucks right in front of the BART station at Powell.

My anger quickly subsided after walking all the way down to Montgomery and realizing that I had less than 10 minutes left to walk another three or four blocks, order my coffee, wait for my coffee, then walk back to Market and 4th Street, where I�m now working.

It wouldn�t have worked. So after walking all that way, I did a fast-walk back, passing by potential places like Specialty�s (the barrista was moving extra slow, otherwise I would have given this local pastry franchise a shot), Tully�s (as lame as Starbucks, but more snobby, if that�s possible), Caf� Venue (good sandwich place but I could make a better espresso out of my coffee maker at home) and Oh La La (Ola NO).

Instead, I run back into Starbuck�s, ordered my �venti triple shot� (yeah, fuck those faux names too - venti, grande, and the other one) and face the realization that around here, where the touristy places reign, I have to accept what I can get or get up earlier and go to Peets.
Something�s got to give.

Thankfully, if I�m still at this job in a month, we�re going to be moving to North Beach area, where locally owned coffeehouses are plentiful (with tons of Italian restaurants there, espresso is everywhere and it�s made correctly). I�ve already done some scouting and found this Czech place called Caf� Prague. I�m down. The coffee was blazingly strong, knocking me on my ass.

That�s more like it.

Instead, here at 4th street, I�m forced to look down at the street to make sure I avoid random urine puddles, human feces, and, this morning for example, a shattered jar of pig�s feet.

When I came across the first globby misshapen gray thing, I was thinking �what the fuck is that?� But then I found the broken jar. Nice. Yummy.

That�s especially hard when you�re wearing new shoes like I am today. They�re yet another pair of Fluevogs but hey! They were $49, marked down from $109!! That�s a substantial savings, yo! So shut up!

New shoes always make your feet feel funny. They take a while to break in. And I�m in super-early break-in mode. Plus much of the shoes are white, near the sole at least, and so I�m also attempting to keep them as clean as I can as long as possible. We�ll see how long that lasts.

But you know how it is..when you get new shoes, you try to keep them clean for at least a week or so. Then, when you get those first scuff marks, you�re bummed. I�m already preparing myself for the mental trauma.

So I noticed that while in the elevator this morning, by myself, you can sometimes smell the remains of others. This morning I smelled perfume, a scent that seemed familiar. Of course, much of Macy�s marketing, advertising and other corporate peeps are located in this building, so there are lots of women going in and out wearing a good amount of perfume, makeup and other gobbelygook.

Better to smell that than what I smelled the other day�this man�s breath. So bad, that when he simply opened his mouth and was talking to his pal, I could smell it. And I wasn�t standing super close to him. It was a familiar smell � the same smell when you floss your teeth after you�ve neglected to do it for about a week. Not that that happens very often, but it has. So push me off a cliff. This guy, I don�t think he had flossed since 1987 or some shit.

They call him yuckmouth, because he don�t brush.

Another company, Salon.com, is in this building. I�ve heard a few people talking about editorial related jargon and such, though I have yet to confront any of these peeps. I�m not ready to get into the reasons I�m working at an ad agency with these snobby folk.
Just the other day, I read an item about the best fibs ever told and then saw the one woman who consented to include her photo. I wanted to say something but didn�t.

And then, after complaining bitterly about shit this morning (see above:::), I just looked out from my 12th floor window and got a gorgeous glimpse of the sun glimmering off the glass-like San Francisco Bay and I realized�gee, things could be a lot worse.

Or I could be like our fake president, hanging tough with a big ass bruise on my face after choking on a fucking pretzel and passing out while watching a football game. How does one FALL off a couch and bruise their face? Strange, this guy. He�s a real gem, our fake president.

Well well, I must be going now. I�m glad I�m back, as I�m sure are my 2-4 faithful readers. Problem I have with this most of the time is that I feel like I should recount all my activities on this thing and when I get behind, it gets harder for me to actually come back and catch up. Better for me not to attempt to catch up and simply move forward, right?

Funny thing too�I�ve got a serious amount of tape that I still have to transcribe that will undoubtedly be funny shit for Paperspray. Or maybe that will go in my book.ha ha.
Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now�again.

Eat milk of magnesium and cough syrup.

Love and ankle sweat,

Georgina Brown

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