-The "our friend is coming" excuse does not give you and your friend who really is there access to another whole two-person table at a coffee shop during prime coffee-shop hours. Not when you're clearly using it as a stand for fashion mags and a small camera. After an hour or so, it's clear that you're less concerned with your friend having a place to sit than with annexing an acre around you for your outerwear, and just generally with not having to sit near strangers. I was genuinely shocked when their friend eventually showed up.
-I always want to tell people who complain about coffee shops as imperfect workstations that there's such a thing as a library. And yet, above, what am I doing? My local library is not only mostly a baby play-area, but now seems to host a social hour for middle-schoolers, specifically eighth-grade boys. Eating fake-butter popcorn. Options are limited.
-Blah blah blah "Chicago" blah blah blah "Stuyvesant." I should probably have something meaningful to say about this epic, but what can I add? I got into Chicago back when you just needed to prove you were odd, with an essay about llamas. I guess it's a good thing that later in life, when people can't exactly place my age, they might think I went to a super-selective college for the socially-adept, because that's what Chicago has become as of 2006. On a more general note, the more I read about how college students are selected, the more I wish all high school seniors could just be given a test, with a lower cut-off for the unequivocally disadvantaged, and with not another peep about sports prowess, family connections, or holistically-assessed well-roundedness. Or that random 18-year-olds would be picked out of a hat - a jaunty fedora? - and those would be the one's who'd get liberal-arts degrees.
-If my life plans don't work out, I have a new list of potential alternative jobs:
Pumpkin-muffin baker: Recipe, loosely adapted from a recipe book, to follow. This is, I think, my greatest strength. My mother's now obsessed with these muffins, so it must be true.
Heritage-trend-boutique owner: I seem to have a knack for finding the so-called "heritage" items at costs far below the prices fashion-types think they have to pay. I've seen the boots I got in Arizona for about $20 for about $200 and $150, respectively. The L.L. Bean sweater I can't stop talking about was something like $40; the men's version, which looks identical, is $129! (I can't take credit for the idea of buying this sweater in Kids', but the idea of marketing the L and XL sizes to men, that's all mine.) I could put up a corrugated steel shack somewhere in Nolita to give the store quaint authenticity while saving on rent, and earn enough to buy an apartment in the dome.
Restaurant health inspector: With my perfect vision and squeamishness, I can spot pests a mile away. Or, as was the case at an "A"-graded East Village ramen shop a couple nights ago, on the condiment bottle next to my unfortunately sesame-seed-garnished soup. The waitress caught the creature in a napkin, then for some reason opened the napkin (almost directly over my food) to show me she'd caught it, thus allowing me to confirm my entomological classification.