Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In The Beginning There Was...

So I’m in Seattle for a couple of days and I just left the first Starbucks ever! It’s like seeing the first roach or adding the first band ever to join myspace. Can you imagine only 1 Starbucks?! I can’t even picture only 1 Starbucks per New York City square block. We forget that even some of the biggest corporate behemoths were once Mom and Pop shops. Should we glorify their rise or denounce it? Job well done or job done too well? Are they stifling competition or just real good at it. The answer to those questions is beyond the scope of this blog. You know there are some Seattleites who remember when…

Seattleite: … Starbucks was cool before it got all lame and everybody started going...

Probably the same folks who curse the day Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the airwaves and they had to then share their hometown heroes. And maybe these same people remember when Microsoft was cool, before it got all Lame and every PC came with Windows preinstalled on it. Okay, maybe I went far. It was interesting to be in this tiny store that basically took over the world of coffee.

Starbucks dominance is odd when you consider they're not even Seattle’s Best coffee. **

The store was packed, which is probably why they opened more. The 1st Starbucks was actually sans seats so I had to find another Starbucks to work in. Good thing there’s one up the street.

** Sorry for the lame joke but I couldn’t resist.

Shout out to New Years nation at www.newyearsnation.com .Come party with us in Seattle

Monday, December 29, 2008

That’s Entertainment

So I was on a downtown F train in Manhattan. A group of young lads hopped into the subway car and started chanting:

LADS: What time is it?
LADS: Showtime!

Oddly, they all knew the answer to the question they were asking and yet they all still asked.

Like most New Yorkers, I hardly look up at the never ending parade of attention-grabbing panhandlers. And I give money even less often. A person could be on fire and I might look up and maybe give a quarter.

My take on it is, why do I have to pay for an unsolicited display of talent?

ME: I appreciate you juggling kittens…no it’s pretty amazing but I don’t remember commissioning you to come here on the train and toss felines. Do you have an invoice…and RFP*?

Back to my train ride…

These lads proceeded to break dance, flip, do head stands, hand stands and windmills…on a moving train! They had all of 3 feet in any direction and did all this without hitting anyone. They continued even as the train pulled into the station and came to a stop. I can barely stay in my seat when that 20 ton chunk of moving steel jolts, breaking in 1 block from 40 mph to zero. In fact, most New Yorkers don’t even get mad when the person standing next to them slams into them during a particularly abrupt stop. It’s par the course. These kids maintained hand stands.

I gave a dollar.

Why children have to be expert gymnasts and flip on dirty subway floors to make spare money is another question all together.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Behind Mind Exercise

They say one of the keys to staying youthful is keeping your mind active. Part of keeping your mind active is learning new things and mixing up your routines so your daily activities take some thought and thus keeps your brain active and involved. Basically you have to avoid a life that’s set on auto-pilot.

To that end, people are encouraged to do things like brush their teeth with their non-dominant hand. All of a sudden something that’s usually second nature has newness to it. Only downside is your teeth may not get as clean but you just started your day more aware and mentally active than normal.

I suggest you take this approach and bump it up a bit. Try "cleaning up" "aisle 2" with your non-dominant hand. I tried it and it’s like learning to walk again. The ramifications of not doing a good job are obviously grave and scary for you and your loved ones. However, you will be exercising muscles, neurons and synapses that have long been dormant. Try it for a few days…at home, of course. You don’t want to be the person holding up the Starbucks bathroom line because you’re “going left.”

Give it a whirl and report back to me. Imagine the possibilities. First switching hands and maybe down the road writing that novel you’ve always wanted to write.

One more thing…save this technique switch for a tame “movement.” If you’re purging from a White Castle run, you might want to stick with what you know.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hope Floats

I have another entry to add to the list of things that I have done and you have not. :-) If you’re keeping score at home, you can go ahead and add: Snorkeling with Sister Sledge in Turks and Caicos to your score card. Is your face broke? Because, you definitely need to fix it…hehe

I doubled up on flotation devices and wore a body suit and a life vest. I couldn’t go 3 feet under water even if I wanted to. I basically turned myself into a bar of ivory soap. Sinking was not an option. I'm all about floating. Even on airplanes, if the middle seat is open, I always look at the other person and with my eyes tell them "The middle cushion is MY flotation device". I can barely swim and I never seemed to get the floating thing down. I blame bone density and low body fat percentage (holla!). So I had to play it safe. I also think of my mom when I’m in those situations. How distraught would she be if something happened to me while off in a place she can’t pronounce…

MY MOM: You’re going where?! Please be safe down there in Kinkos.
ME: Okay Ma, I will be. You want me to make you some color copies or bind a presentation while I’m there?
MY MOM: What?
ME: Nevermind.

On another note, our guides were all black. Caribbean blokes, who all swam like fish. Another excuse struck from the books. So if you’re keeping score. Blacks can swim and we can be President.

Shout out to Sister Sledge for being so cool and for officially dubbing me the “Greatest Dancer”

And a massive thanks and respect to Baron Vaughn for giving me the gig. I hope to pay it forward one day.