Warning: Contains Whining

OK, I’m gonna gripe now. Ready? Here we go. Griping now. Griping about the Folsom St. Coffee Co. now.

Not really griping about the coffee shop. They serve really, really good coffee. Their staff are excellent and sweet. Wi-fi from the get-go, they have power outlets and network cable jacks at frequent intervals around the walls and under the bar. They’re open until eleven at night. They’re an independent Boulder establishment with awesome slogans on magnets all over their espresso machine (“Drink coffee! Do stupid things faster and with more energy!”), a bookshelf full of donated paperbacks, and a little pad of paper indicated for poetic use (need a poem? take a poem. got a poem? leave a poem). They’ve even got a compost recepticle for the napkins and paper cups. No, no, I have no problem with the coffee shop itself. Well, not at first anyway.

My problems are mostly with…

… the patrons. And, well, people in general. People suck. People like whoever were driving left turns at Canyon and Folsom while I was walking across the street–with the light, mind you, I had the light–and nearly ran me over in the crosswalk. Twice, this happened. So I’m in a bad mood walking into the cafe to begin with.

And I get in there, and the music on the PA is within that family of trance-mix that sorta puts my hair on end. No problem. I’ve got headphones. I can deal. But first I gotta find a place to sit. The place is packed. Every table, every square inch of couch that can hold a butt, most of the floor near the couches. There’s nothing left but bar stools, and precious few of those. Three. I count three. And one of them is taken up with books belonging to the guy sitting next-stool-over. He’s got headphones firmly in place, a fancy-looking calculator and his sweater on the countertop beside him, and a determinedly oblivious expression on his face. “You need a seat? My stuff needs a seat! Eff off! Don’t ask me to move my stuff; I’m busy day-trading Japanese stocks or something!” Not a battle I want to fight. I choose one of the two remaining seats.

I’m short. Like, 5’2″ short. To get onto one of these bar stools, I have to either swivel the seat around and use the foot-rest as a step, or I have to do this five-year-old leap-frog manoeuver that’s so effin’ cute that the guy next-stool-over (different guy, not the stool-hogger) is likely to pat me on the head and buy me a chocolate milk. I do the foot-rest thing.

So I’m setting up my computer, plugging it into the outlet under the counter-top, looking for the coffee-shop’s wi-fi–the wi-fi is WEPped. Gods-love-it, it’s encrypted. Not that I begrudge ’em this, one way to ensure people don’t just sit on the porch and leech your internet is with a password they have to come up and talk to the barista for. But now I gotta get down from the stool, go get the password from the barista, come back, and climb back up on the stool. Gahhh.

All right, here we go. Pulling up the internet. Getting some work done. Drinking yummy coffee.

Someone approaches to take the last stool, the one just to my right. Nice lady, very tolerant of my power cord plugged in right in front of her belly-button. “No, you’re fine. It’s fine.” And it is, everything’s fine, until suddenly Oasis is singing in my right ear clear as a bell and tinny as a bad bootleg. What the hell is that, someone’s using “Wonderwall” as their ring tone? But no one’s grabbing for their cell phones. My new next-seat neighbor looks serene as can be in her big noise-cancelling headphones. The song continues, and I finally figure it out. Those noise-cancelling headphones? They only cancel noise in one direction.

Why the hell couldn’t she be listening to, oh, Tori Amos? Rush? If I gotta hear it, why can’t it be something I like?

Whine, whine, whine. OK, I put my headphones on. I cue up some Tori Amos. But my headphones are not noise-cancelling, and Tori’s duetting with Noel Gallagher. I suppose, at least, that “Parasol” and “Wonderwall” sorta rhyme.

I go back to what I’m doing. And I get “Error loading page.” Error loading page? “Timed out attempting to connect.” You what? I pull up network properties, I plug in an alternate DNS address, I still get nothing. How am I suppose to get any work done without my Internets? And my thighs hurt. These damn bar stools! There is something wrong with the proportions of the bar stools, and they’re making my legs hurt!

…So that’s why I’m at the IHOP right now. I feel like such a bad Boulderite. I want to keep Boulder weird, but the weird side of Boulder did not apparently want to keep me.

At least I’ve still got my to-go cup from Folsom St. Coffee Co., ’cause IHOP’s wi-fi might be stable and its booth benches might offer superior comfort, but its coffee is teh SUXX0R.

5 Comments so far

  1. hubs (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

    i think if you want to keep boulder wierd you should at least be tolerant of peoples headphone noise! dang, next time i’ll bring my boombox, you know, just tryin’ to keep it wierd. :(

  2. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    Tell ya what. You do that, and I’ll bring my Barry Manilow mp3s and pipe them right in your ear. With the treble on max. Enjoy!

  3. John (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 9:01 pm

    You could go to starbucks…………………………………

    I Kid!! I Kid!!

  4. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 9:19 pm

    Ack! Ptui! Burnt coffee smell! Wi-fi you have to pay for!

    (Or has Starbucks changed that yet?)

    I just need to go to Folsom St. Coffee Co. when it’s not packed to the gills, is all. If only I could figure out when that was…

  5. John (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 8:12 am

    nope it’s still not free. The only up side is that TMobile is getting into more places… not really an upside but at least the 30 buckaroos is usefull in more places…. like the Hyatt at Maui, where I was… that was a plus :)

    as soon as there’s an expresscard for wireless broadband from Sprint… So long Tmo/Starbucks

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