Saturday, July 29, 2006

Poll, Knitting News, and My Starbux Adventure


I assume that most people who read this blog are knitters, but I think I have a fair amount of non-knitting readers too. Today, I have a question for the non-knitters. Do my knitting-related posts cause your eyes to glaze over and your jaw to reflexively slack open? Hell, my knitting posts probably bore the knitters.

I want to see what draws the non-knitters to my bloggiepoo. Do you skim over the kntting stuff to the non-knitting stuff? What's your favorite non-knitting related recurring topic? OR is there something I haven't talked about that maybe I should? Are you a fan of the Aldi Files? Ryanisms? I'm just curious. What brings you back to Behold My Brilliance? Or did you land here by accident when you did a search for Yakov Smirnoff?

So chime in! Knitters, you can chime in too.
Like I could stop you.

Knitting news:

Knock a WIP off my list. Before you go thinkin I finished something - The Cascade Fixation Tank now resides in the Frog Pond. I have replaced it with the Moebius Capelet (minus the Squiggle), which is almost done. I'm beginning to see that Instant Gratification is a big thing for me. I also began and completed two of Poops' coffee cozies last week, which were well-received by the coffee drinkers in my life.

Tangent that leads to a funny story:

I will now admit publicly for the first time that I am absolutely petrified of ordering coffee in a coffee shop. Petrified. Terrified.

Coffeeshops scare the crap out of me. I'm so out of my element, I'm completely intimidated. I've never drank a cup of coffee in my life. Really, never. It's not even so much that I don't like the taste (how would I know?), I just try to stay away from as many potential addictions as possible. And my mom is as big a coffee addict as you'll ever find.

Since she knew I was going to be passing a Starbux on my way to pick Mom up, she asked me to bring her some coffee. If the fact that there's one on every streetcorner didn't already render it a safe bet that you'll pass one anytime you get into a car, I'd swear Starbux luvahs must have some sort of internal Starbux-seeking GPS system. I ignored my sweaty palms and the sound of my own heart pounding in terror, and I asked her what she wanted.

A Large Cup of House Blend.

Simple enough, no? I repeated it back to her no fewer than four times. I just wanted to make sure I got it right. Don't coffee people get really pissy when their coffee is wrong?

It seemed, to a coffee-ordering rookie, fairly straightforward. No triple double shot espresso moco-caramel latte, no foam, no half caf/half decaf, twist o' lemon, nothing fancy at all. I was confident that I could handle it.

Now, if only I could get through the door.

Would they shine a light in my face and make me show a Coffeedrinkers Membership Card (and if so, how quickly could I whip up a fake one)? Would they ask me for a password? Should I avoid eye contact?

Would alarms go off? INTRUDER! INTRUDER!

Can coffee-people spot non-coffee people? I'm sure I must exude coffee ignorance. I imagined that walking into a Starbux as a non-coffee person would be like Captain Kirk and Crew landing on a strange new planet. Should I immediately raise my arms over my head and assure them that I come in peace?

I walked in the door, and let me just say that if there had been a jukebox in the room, it would have gone rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I totally sensed that I was interrupting a secret club meeting where this small faction of Starbux devotees was plotting its next move toward Total Global Domination.

Yes, yes, we'll bulldoze the elementary school and the fire station and the homeless shelter and build a giant solid gold 24-hr Java Temple there! Brilliant! Yes, otherwise people would have to drive two-tenths of a mile to the next Starbux. Oh, the horror!
(sniff sniff) What the...? Who let the tea-drinking INFIDEL in here!! ABORT!! ABORT!!

I took a deep breath and cautiously tiptoed toward the counter, so as not to trip the High-Tech Mission Impossible Infra-Red Laser Beam Security System that, although invisible to the naked eye, was fully operational. I'm totally sure of it.

Problem #1. I'm reading the menu. There is no LARGE. There's Tall, Grande, and Venti or something like that. Huh??? Tall is the smallest? Grande is Medium? What the hell does Venti mean? Why do they gotta jack with me? Seriously. How hard is SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE? How f*ckin pretentious. Whatever. I'm just gonna ask for the biggest and see what happens.

So I get up to the counter, feeling pretty good about my Plan B, and supercute blonde curly-haired hippie surfer pooka-shell necklace wearing coffee order-taker dude Josh says, "Yes ma'am, what can I get for you?"

Hey! I understood that! They speak English here!!! Wait a minute, what's my line? A loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stickah buttah? No, that's not it...

"A Large House Blend." Yes! I did it!!

And then, Problem #2.

"I'm sorry, we don't have the House Blend today."

Oh SHIT. I didn't have a backup alternative.

Total panic. I felt the room spinning. I stood there with my mouth open long enough for Josh to realize I needed rescuing.

"We have the Verona today, is that all right?"

I must have nodded, but I seriously don't remember. It was like I was standing in the middle of an Impressionist painting where everything around me was all swirly and out-of-focus and blurry and I just wanted to get the hell out of there before I fainted from the pressure.

And then Problem #3, the question I didn't anticipate.

"Room for cream?"

I'd never heard that combination of words before. I asked him to repeat them so as to slyly buy myself time to process the question.

Room for cream? What is that about? Are you basically asking me if I want you to give me less coffee than I just paid you for? Do you want my permission to short-change me? No way, mister supercute blonde curly-haired hippie surfer pooka-shell necklace wearing coffee order-taker dude. I'm onto you.

"Um, no, thanks."

He handed me my full-to-the-top Venti Verona (NOT the Large House Blend I was supposed to get) and I left, pondering how I was going to break it to Mom that I, through no fault of my own, was unable to get what she'd asked me to get. Keep in mind, I'm dealing with a woman who hasn't had her caffeine yet. If I give her The Wrong Coffee, she may just throw the Scalding Hot Sacrilege at my head.

I reverently presented my mother with the fruit of my labor, the hard-earned cup of Starbux coffee, as though I were presenting Salome with the head of John the Baptist. I am compelled to confess to her, however, that it is NOT the coffee she sent me for. It's the head of some other saint. It's the best I could do.

"They didn't have the House Blend, so I got something that starts with V." I instinctively took a step backward, toward the door.

"Verona? Oh, okay, that's good. That's fine."

Thank GOD. Relief. Victory. Sigh.

"Oh, and didja leave room for cream?"


Lissa said...

I'm a knitter, but shall comment - It's your stories, the ones like this coffee one right here. I love theses stories. I eat them up. That you're a knitter just proves to be the icing on the cake!

Stacie said...

I found you through I think Nessie Noodle, so as a knitter, that was the original draw... now I always look forward to the Aldi Files, and notice that you haven't talked about Terry in awhile. I am a moderate sports fan, so those posts are amuzing.

turtlegirl76 said...

You knit?

Penny Karma said...

No. Not really.

Dan said...

Not a knitter, found this just by clicking next blog at the top of the page and eventually stumble over. Now as to why? You know how they say when you think you have it bad, look at someone else and you wouldn't be willing to trade your trouble for theirs? Just a feeble attempt at humor. What I like just what your description says. I like the witty humor. I like the way you needle the Aldis and knit pick at FIL.(more feeble attempts at humor) I think I like the stories on the kids the best. There is just something about that midwest point of view, that I like and miss since I moved west. Like the Starbux story, I remeber the 1st time I went in and wanted just a regular cup and had to get a translator to help me. You have moved up on the list of things I check on. Still news first, but you have replaced ESPN & FOX Sports as number 2.

Bezzie said...

C'mon now, you know you can shut ME up. I too enjoy the PK view on life in general. The fact you knit is an added bonus.

And thank god you have the coffeehouse phobia too! Everytime I go in there with the husband I order a hot chocolate (can't stand coffee. And after scanning the menu board for 15 minutes only to find their non-coffee offerings in 10 point font at the bottom of the list, I feel like the chump that goes to the Chinese restaurant and asks them if they can make me a hamburger when I order.

Oh, and the pooka shell necklaces are part of their dress code. Standard Starbux issue.

Skye said...

I found your blog because the title came up in "recently published" once while I was on the main Blogger page, and it sounded interesting, so I clicked. I keep coming back because I like the way you come across as REAL... not fake or pretentious, and you don't rant on for hours about current events, politics, or other such yawn-inspiring topics that seem to contaminate so many people's blogs out there. You talk about your life, your kids, things you think and wonder about, your insecurities, your struggles... human-experience type stuff, and that interests me. You give me a good laugh sometimes, or you make me think or see something in a different way, and I can relate to a lot of what you say. (Fear of coffee shops being just one example!) I like that you're not afraid to say what you really feel (like, for example, that you thought the lady who befriended your daughter at the museum was creepy).

As for the knitting... yes, I do tend to skim over the knitting parts. It's not because I'm not interested, but more because they are full of Knitty-Lingo type words and are therefore mostly unintelligible to me. Sort of like the coffee shop menu. For example: fug. What does this mean?? And I feel stupid asking, as everyone else appears to know what you're talking about, and I'm just an anonymous visitor floating out in cyberspace anyway. So I just skip those parts. I've always kinda wished you had a little knitting terminology link in your sidebar, so I could look up the unfamiliar terms. But...not to worry, as I still find it worth coming here on a daily basis!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a knitter, and yes, I do glaze over when you talk about it. Because I too don't understand the knitting terms.
I found your blog because I was looking for a St. Louis mom blog, because I'm a St. Louis mom, too. I love your Aldi stories, and of course your St. Louis stories, your snarky people-watching stories, and the parenting stories. You describe things in such a funny, real way...You're a great writer!

Poops said...

You are bookmarked in my Favorites because you crack me up. You had me at hello on the Knittyboard.

I'm a knitter and my eyes glaze over at my own knitting posts.

I love the Aldifiles. What I wouldn't give to actually attend a party at your house. I also love your opinions of things. All your opinions--about anything at all.

If you wrote a book, I would buy it. If you created a TV show, I would watch it. I would get TIVO so I wouldn't miss it.

I'm a coffee drinker (coughaddictcough) and avoid Starbucks like the plague. I don't trust a coffeeshop where you can't just order a "small black coffee."

Did you take pics of your Coffee Cozees? The narcissist in me wants to know...

techygeekgirlknits said...

I started reading you because you recognized my boyfriend on my blog. I still read your blog because you are so fun to read! I love the stories of your kids and life in general (in laws, out laws, adventures in houses & cars, etc) - I don't have kids, but still love to read it just the same. As for the knitting - eh, it's something we do when we have time. I've been knitting for a year and I think I have maybe 15 FO's and about that many UFO''s more than a hobby, it's a culture! Something good to put on that "resume".

amylovie said...

I read it cover to cover. Love every word.


wonky said...

I read your blog because I love the way you write about the people in your life. And I like to see how many ways you can use the word "shit".

And I am secretly in love with you, even if you don't drink coffee.

Ali said...

I like that you're a smartass. I mean that in the most complimentary way. Your writing makes me feel like I'm right there in your kitchen listening to you go on about the family.

Oh, I don't come here for the knitting

Bob said...

I was doing a search for "Oprah's pronunciation of Kleenex", and somehow stumbled here. Really I was just clicking away on the "next blog" button and found this really wonderful and humorous blog that keeps me laughing day after day! I'm disappointed on days when there is no Brilliant Blog post, but (sighs), I understand, you have a life and the little peons who depend on your wit and humor just have to suffer. ;)

Thank you for sharing your humor about simple daily life. Those of us with families relate and sympathize with you. We feel your pain when you struggle with FIL and are elated when you defeat the evil property management empire!

As for the knitting, well, my wife knits. I glaze over when she starts counting stiches & perles & loops (oh my). Sorry. But I like to see the end products. You always emerge victorious things like Harry Potter wands! Way to go!

Kevin said...

The Starbux story is a big part of why I come here, although that's just the entertainment part. I also come here because it's all so you.