Monday, July 25, 2005

Teenagers: Did I Act That Way, Mom?

REVISED: A BIG and BELATED shout-out to Amy Darnall (a.k.a. DirtyBird)! She's a good friend that talks me down from youth staff suicide when students get to me. While I'm at it then, I'll add shout-outs to Larissa Reusch and David Ridings for doing the same.

I got back from youth camp last Friday.

High points: Seeing little Jeffrey Johnson laying on the floor all by hisself talking to Jesus and junior higher Blake Ridings biting senior Jarod Harper's arm on the bus ride home cuz he was so hungry...well, that and I dared him to do it. Naturally, Jarod bit him back, only harder. (I never promised Blake that there wouldn't be retribution.)

Low points: Having some of my kids sass back to me. They apologized and we made up but it made me wonder if I acted like that as a teenager. I know I used to sass back as a kid but Mom certainly washed my mouth out with enough Ivory Liquid dish detergent to teach me a lesson. I decided that I might not sass back's just turned to sarcasm.

So, camp was great. Hot, but fun! And there were plenty of Starbucks in the vicinity to keep us all going. I think quite a few kids became addicted to the Double Chocolate Chip Blended Creme Frappuccino...poor kids, no taste. The beach, even with all the seaweed washed up by Dennis, was good. The sun toasted my real sunburns here though. Overall, a good week...well worth the trip.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Anecdotes From Starbucks Are the Antidote to Working at Starbucks

It's true that some days serving coffee can be a drag...especially when you have to get up at 4 a.m. to open the store at 5:00. Try doing that three mornings in a row. Sad to say that no amount of coffee can relieve the effects of such scheduling.

I was recently reminded of a funny Starbucks story that happened this past winter, and this one always brings a smile to my face:

An older couple pulls up to the menu/drive-thru speaker. The lady is driving, the man is the passenger. It becomes apparent to the barista on drive-thru, as he watches them on the video screen, that they are new to Starbucks. The man leans over, both are looking over the menu, reading words aloud..."Venti, Caffe, Americano...." At this point, the barista hears the man say, "Are we in America anymore?"

A note for those of you in the Nashville area, especially the Hermitage area...the new Starbucks (#9805) will be opening at the end of September near the intersection of Lebanon Pike and Andrew Jackson Parkway. Yours truly will be transferring to that store as it's only six miles from my house instead of 12 like the Hendersonville store. The two sad parts about the transfer is that a) I'll be sleeping in my own bed on nights before I open rather than camping out on the Allisons' couch and b) I'll miss seeing all my church friends that pass through ordering bad drinks like Frappuccinos or white chocolate mochas. Although I know that I'll be seeing more of Sharon Caputo at the new Starbucks...

Thursday, July 7, 2005

The 4th of July in the South

After seven years in Nashville, I don't remember celebrating all that many 4th of July's here. Last year I was stepping off a plane into a blast of heat like nothing else in Khartoum, Sudan, visiting my family. Well, this year I was home in Nashville and I noticed some things....

The "big" fireworks are not sold in Michigan so moving to the South has been interesting. Shooting off such fireworks starts a couple days before the 4th...on a regular basis on my street...usually around midnight. "I'm glad that you're into celebrating Independence Day and all, but come on...sleep already!"

Because these fireworks are readily available, you can see multiple shows while waiting for the BIG show downtown. Sitting atop the parking ramp at Belmont University, my old roommate Jeannie and I enjoyed our Pizza Hut large one-topping pizza (for $6.99) while watching fireworks pop up all around us as we waited for 9 p.m. to roll around.

The main show on the river downtown was really good...especially with the radio feed of the symphony over the loud speaker that someone was blaring behind us. My favorite fireworks were the stars and smiley faces. *Grin* Apparently, Nashville has the third best fireworks show in the country, according to statistics that Jeannie quoted.

So, after the main show, I dropped Jeannie off at her house and headed home myself. But even then the fireworks display was not over...because I am in the South. All the way home, along Interstate 65 North between Trinity Lane and Old Hickory Boulevard, random, colorful fireworks shot up left and right.

My favorite ones were the ones being set off in Old Hickory Village, of course. All things are better in the Village. In the parking lot of the burned-down Old Hickory Shopping Center were three guys and their pick-up truck with fireworks. One after another, they shot "big" fireworks off for the Villagers. Ah, I was home!

And now, another year of falling asleep to firecrackers is behind me....