Life Update: Painting Progress, Evil Internet, and Other Foibles of Life

As you know I have been waiting for home internet to make my life a little easier, and it was scheduled to go on-line on September 13th. But NO . . . that would simply be too easy. We are not 100% sure what the problem is, but I still have to wander from coffee shop to book store to library to different coffee shop in search of the perfect internet connection.

With the complications, I struggle even more with the highs and lows, because I cannot get into a regular routine. Yesterday I felt like I couldn’t even get words on the page, so instead I forced my brother (Taochild to many of you) who had spent the night after babysitting for me to help me paint Sarah’s bedroom. In fact, I’ve held him hostage so he can help me finish the room today.

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Meanwhile, I have made strides toward something. I’ve written a few Hubs, and allowed advertising. Even if you aren’t interested, if you could click on those ads for me if you read my Hub posts that would be nice (and I am happy to do the same for you someday too). I also actually have an interview coming up for that Saturday morning teaching gig, so keep your fingers crossed.

That’s the update! I’m sorry I am so behind on reading other’s blogs and commenting, but one of these days I will return.

The Pros and Cons of a Coffee Shop Office

Starbucks logo

Image via Wikipedia

I am currently sitting in my local Starbucks. Now, of course, I would prefer some other coffee shop, but since I seem to have the innate ability of always choosing the wrong direction lately, I figured I should not take the chance of getting completely lost and stuck with the coffee shop nearest Staples, where I just spent lots of money on office supplies.

Did I ever mention that I LOVE office supplies?


But, I digress. Sitting here, and making my office a coffee shop got me thinking about the pros and cons of using a coffee shop as an office. Actually the demeaning and judgmental glance of the perfectly coiffed businesswoman that said with a screaming silence “You are so unimportant!” made me think about this.

Now before you go telling me I shouldn’t worry about what other people think, especially since they don’t know my story, I know that. The look just made me think about the role of coffee shops in our society, and my  purpose of using one.

My purpose is simple, I needed access to the internet. I could have gone to the library, but I keep forgetting to bring proof of residency to get my library card. So here I am, chai latte by my side, curled into a comfy chair and watching the world of the coffee shop.

Why would that woman give me that particular look? There are plenty of other people sitting here working on computers. I am not alone in turning this into an office.

I think it is because of my appearance. No, I’m not horrendous, but today is a rather gray and rainy day. Since I knew that my day would consist predominately of more unpacking, some painting, lots of organizing, and work on the computer (as well as perhaps some editing), I dressed for comfort. Sweat pants, old t-shirt, even the comfy bra that lends little support (sorry guys). Then I realized that I was out of black ink for my printer. I had to make an office supply run! I just had to! 😉

I didn’t bother to change, so I sit in my comfy clothes working on my little mini Dell.  So basically I look like a woman who has nothing better to do all day than sit in coffee shops and pretend to work.

But the thing is, I’m not pretending. I had over 100 e-mails to sort through because of my lack of access to internet. I am so behind on reading blogs and responding to comments that I don’t think I can catch up. My apologies to anyone who feels ignored, I think I am just going to have to move forward and not try to visit the past. I especially want to apologize to those of you who have recently (and surprisingly) subscribed to my blog, as I just have been too overwhelmed to deal with anything. I promise I will be better once I can use the internet regularly.

Again I digress. I am supposed to be exploring the pros and cons of a coffee shop office, so here I go:


  • Access to free internet
  • Warm drinks and edible goodies (which I am avoiding for the time being)
  • A variety of music
  • Great people watching
  • Comfy seats when you can snag one.
  • Views of the outdoors.


  • Can be noisy, and other people’s conversations can be distracting.
  • If you forget something (like today I forgot my mouse) you are stuck.
  • Rude business women with judgmental looks.
  • In Starbucks, the coffee always smells to acrid, so I prefer a yummy smelling shop.
  • The temptations of the above mentioned goodies.

What are some of your additions to this list? Pros? Cons? Discussion?

Sometimes You Have to Sit in a Coffee Shop

I like the song playing softly in the background and makes me feel grounded. Yes, the lyrics distract me a little as I sing in my head, but I love sitting in a coffee shop that plays music that I like. I only wish I had a cushy chair to sit in, but at least I have a coffee shop to go to.

I have been struggling with accomplishing anything today. It is partially the remnants of the evil crud that took over my life last week, partially the fact that suddenly my life has become busier than I planned in an overwhelming way, and partially the feeling that I have no ideas right now.

I was hoping to hang out in one of my new places of inspiration, a small art studio owned by a friend of mine, but she wasn’t there. I didn’t want to go home, because I would have to leave again in less than an hour to pick up Sarah. Sometimes home feels like a cage, especially this home that does not feel like home.

So I headed to the lone coffee shop in town.

I’m not going to lie and say and say that ideas poured into me as I sipped my hot chai latte and stared at my computer. That would be the dream. But the reality is interesting too, at least to me.

In typical fashion, because of my addiction to WordPress and e-mail (Hello, my name is Lisa and I am a blogging addict), the first thing I did was plug in my computer and checked my e-mail. Much to my surprise I found an e-mail from our realtor with an actually pretty decent offer on the property that has been hanging around our necks like a brick. I don’t want to jinx it and we still need to discuss, but compared to the crap offer we got last week, things are looking up.

Then I thought about where I write best. Sometimes I write best at home at my desk. But that was when my computer wasn’t portable. Now I have my cute purple mini Dell which travels everywhere with me, so that is no excuse. Sometimes I write best in a journal, but I haven’t done that for a long time. Sometimes I write best in the middle of the night, when I should be sleeping. Sometimes I write best in total silence, sometimes with noise. There is no regularity to when I write best–except one.

Coffee shops.

When I was working on my dissertation (for those of you who many not remember, I actually am Dr. Lisa or Lisa Kramer , Ph.D.) I followed this pattern. I didn’t have the portable computer then, so I would sometimes write at school on yellow pads and then transfer over, but usually I typed directly into the computer. Sometimes I would write in silence, sometimes I put reruns of MASH on because they wouldn’t distract me but made me feel less alone.

After facing the torture of the screen, I printed out the chapters and headed to a local coffee shop. I took over a table and edited, revised, scribbled, ripped apart only to return again to the computer. Why a coffee shop instead of a library? I needed to feel like I was connected with humanity. I needed to feel that there was a world out there, beyond theory and words, beyond analysis and interpretation. I needed music in the background and murmured conversations that only distracted if they were truly juicy, and then I would take a little break.

So today, I headed to the coffee shop in the hopes of finding inspiration. I don’t know if I’ve found it. But now I’m writing this rambling post.

Sometimes you just have to sit in a coffee shop.

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