Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trying New Things (7/12/06)

Last night, Eric talked me into trying a new coffeehouse. It was all Eric's fault! I say this because Aaron told me if I went someplace other than Scooter's, he would ban me from Scooter's. In my defense, Scooter's closes at 6:00 or 6:30, and it was later than that. We told Eli if he went five days without wetting the bed, he could choose a prize. Ever since we drove by the new Dunn Bros Coffee, Eli has wanted to go in and get chocolate milk. So, I should really say it's Eli's fault. Anyway, he had gone six days with dry sheets, so it was time for us to pay up. For is prize, he wanted to go to the new coffee place and get chocolate milk or a steamer, he had not yet decided.

I think I've tried most every coffee chain in the city, and so far they rank as follows:

1. Scooter's
2. Latte Land
3. Beanology
4. Black Dog
5. Starbucks
6. Dunn Bros Coffee

I left off Mildred's because they're closing their location in downtown Overland Park, and I'm still bitter. Normally, they would rank near the top.

Anyway, we walked into Dunn Bros, and I liked the atmosphere - stone floors, fireplace, books for kids, and they had high chairs, something the sit-down Scooter's does not have. I ordered a white mocha, and Eric ordered a caramel macchiato - nothing too crazy since they had only been open a week. Eli decided on a mocha steamer, and I specifically told them I wanted it warm, not hot, because it was for my son. It took a manager and two boys who looked like they were about 15 to take the order, but it looked like they had a handle on it, so I went and sat down.

First up - the white mocha. I tasted it, and it tasted like a plain latte. I couldn't taste any white mocha in the thing. Strike 1. It was also so hot that I burned my mouth. This coming from a woman who usually orders her coffee extra hot, so getting it too hot is difficult to achieve. But, even though I like my coffee scalding, I don't like it boiling. Strike 2. Next up was Eric's coffee, and his was actually good. So, we waited for Eli's mocha steamer. By this time the manager, I like to call him Smoky, was outside pacing and enjoying a cigarette.

One of the boys brought me Eli's steamer, and I could tell by feeling the outside, it was as hot as my coffee, so I tasted it, and I honestly think it was hotter than mine. I went up to the counter, and told them I ordered it warm because it was for my son. The look the two boys gave me was a cross between apathy, confusion, and a deer in headlights. One of the boys said, "We could throw a couple of ice cubes in it." Oh no you didn't! Strike 3! I told him that wasn't going to work for me and began to explain how to make a proper "warm" steamer. Half steamed milk, half cold milk - it's really not that hard. Just then, here comes Smoky, who profusely apologized and said they would remake the drink and proceeded to severely chastise the boys. (I'm not kidding - he actually yelled at them.)

A few minutes later, Eli got his warm steamer, and we were off. On our way out, everyone apologized again, and Smoky said, "If they do it wrong, they will make it over. They need to learn how to do it right!" I am thoroughly convinced he took the boys outside to give them lashings after we left. As we got into the car to drive away, out came Smoky to light up and pace some more. I don't think I could work for someone that stressed.

My review in a nutshell is that I have no desire to go back. Eric gives them leeway because they're new (and his was the only good drink out of the three), so he will reserve judgment and go back in a month.

Today, I am continuing the trend of trying new things because I am wearing a tank top. For those of you who know how uncomfortable I am with my arms (see previous bridesmaid blogs), you know I NEVER wear tanks. When I found out about the strapless bridesmaid dress last month, I planned to go on a diet and do my workout video to tone my arms. I didn't think it would that difficult. After all, in high school, I lost 40 pounds in three months by eating 900 calories a day and doing my Jane Fonda workout video every night. I think a lot of hair fell out in the process since I was starving myself, but I looked damn good at prom, wearing my strapless dress. I've come to discover, however, that teenage girls have a lot more willpower than a 30-something mom with a chocolate craving.

But, I digress. One month after learning about the bridesmaid dress, we're only four weeks out from the wedding, and I've gained three pounds. We're now moving on to Plan B, which is to just get comfortable with the arms I have. I know I get to wear the bolero jacket for the wedding, but it's going to be August and hot, so I have a feeling that jacket will be coming off sometime during the evening - especially because I tend to get really hot when I drink wine.

Anyway, I bought three tank tops in an effort to get comfortable with my arms. Today, my goal is to leave the house wearing said tank top. This will be the true test. The plan is to go to Michael's because I need a paint pen and beads. We will see how long it takes me to work up my confidence to get there. Hopefully, I will be so busy trying to control the kids at Michael's that I won't notice whether or not everyone is looking at my arms.

Speaking of Michael's, I just hope we manage to get through the store without issue. Situations tend to disintegrate quickly when we walk into Michael's. Last year about this time, I was there looking at beads because I took a class with Amy on jewelry making. Eli was looking at beads, and I thought he was fairly harmless - until he tried to open a case of about 700 beads. He dropped it, the case broke open, and beads flew everywhere. We were out of there before you could say, "Clean up on aisle 4." I did tell someone on the way out that my son spilled some beads in aisle 4, but we were gone before they could see how bad the mess actually was.

Since then, I can usually keep Eli under control by blackmailing him with candle smelling. He loves to go to the candle aisle and smell all the candles. We do that last and he only gets to do it if he's good throughout the store. So far, so good.

I actually have a couple more stories about Michael's, but I will have to save those for another time. Eli is currently trying to open the party favors we plan to give out on Saturday, and Georgia found a pair of Eli's underwear and is sitting here eating it. I think I better go make breakfast!

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