Coffee Shop Loiterer

University Trained me to love coffee, public spaces and procrastination
mug
It may be a strange thing for a young blind lady to admit but the first thing that I notice when I walk into a coffee shop where I am about to spend a significant amount of time writing/procrastinating and money on coffee/treaties is the lighting. To me the perfect shop is dimly lit with intimate lighting and wooden floors with people around, not too little light to not be able to get around but enough to be…private. Does that make sense? It does to me, and think about it the net time you enter a coffee shop, if it is too bright it honestly leaves me looking for ways to be unfocused instead of getting right to my work.

The next significant aspect of this coffee shop would be the people serving me coffee. I want someone who is decent at small talk and is kind. Quite simple. Oh and someone who can actually make good coffee. Sometimes they can be the nicest little people behind the counter but they cannot decipher the coffee machine and a kitchen sink MY writing juice is an art, so please take it seriously. It also doesn’t hurt to be cheeky or laugh a little. Stone-faced baristas who clearly hate what they do make me not want to be productive. Not saying that productivity is the sole purpose of coffee shops, sometimes I enjoy just chatting with friends and snuggling up with a latte, but even those times are ampened by a scrooge. So baristas: Pretend.

Mugs are essential to the experience. I have a hard time finding BAD mugs, but cute mugs like “#1 Grandma,” and “How to do the Robot,” make a difference compared to a plain pink or white mug. It doesn’t change the taste, but it’s a small distraction from the dull world outside the coffee shop walls. This to me is worth the staying-in-shop charge rather thana takeaway. Or does that not exist in Canada? I can never remember.

The final addition to a comfortable coffee shop is other people. The ambiance of the shop is broken by a lonely barista and the drilling shop-tunes, and can only be cured by a bustle of babbling people who want to be there. The proper in-and-outers of takeaway coffees, the old man flipping through a paper with a scone, the gaggle of girls with whipped drinks and the table-hoggers who, despite the annoyances that they bring, are preferred to complete silence. I would rather be in a coffee shop full of silent loners than a coffee shop alone with a barista. The babble of drinkers make the difference because you know it is a good place and space ifthere are people there, and that is what makes or breaks it. The background noise is either a good procrastinating tool for people watching or a motivating factor for writing or work. Either way, I cannot write while flying solo in a shop.

So I challenge you to go out, take a book or a notepad, or a friend I mean be social for all I care, and enjoy a hot chocolate, coffee, tea, scone, Panini whatever floats your boat in a kickass shop today. I can tell the amiability of the city that I am in by their coffee shops, they seem to talk more than anything else.

Until tomorrow,
ss JESS

ps How does this photo look? Terrible? Give a blind girl a break, I took it at the Princess Cafe today though!

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The Evolution of Nerd in My Lifetime

I don’t play Pokemon and other seemingly anti-nerd phrases

When I was a young lass I was immersed in Sailor Moon cartoons, Disney films, lego, Barbies, Dinosaurs, the Beatles, Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat and swimming.  I take these things to be normal activities of a young Canadian female growing up in the mid-nineties (I was born in 1992 if you’re wondering)  in a small town.  I had never heard of the name “Hannah” and going to the mall was a Day Trip to Hanover (another relatively small town).  When I moved to the bigger city I found myself swung into a whole new world, and there were things that I had never experienced before.  I had a Barbie box-lunchbox for pete’s sake, let alone knowing French or knowing the trends of a bigger school.  Needless to say, I only had a slinky, and a Spice Girls CD.

I never had friends who enjoyed playing video games or pokemon, no bayblades, just stickers, and I had a cute bag of Crazy Bones, but I’ve never even wttched the show.  I took to Dihimon for the Dinosaur aspect, but for the most part I was submerged in writing things about Egypt and ancient Medeival times instead of fantastical Catch-em-all lands.  Thus propelled me to have more friends who liked to read and re-enact our favourite stories rather than play with cards or a gameboy

I did have a few Gameboys whilst still in my childhood, “Its OK to play” phases, I took to Quidditch mostly, and beat the Quidditch World Cup many times.  I’ve always been more of a storyteller as opposed to a “gamer,” and if you’ve been anywhere on the internet recently its much cooler to be a gamer, especially if you are female.

Cosplay is so cool, Nintendo sits in the memorybanks of so many of my friends but I am void of those memories.  My “nerdgirl” memories consist of pretending I was Tarzan in large dirt piles behind my house when we moved to the bigger city, or pretending I was riding a horse on my scooter, or pretending I was an elf transporting hobbits over the marshes at school with my then-bestfriend (Sarah, if you ever read this, I miss us) and when I got to the point in life where it was “cool” to like” boys and have crushes the boys that I knew all liked sports (surprise, I did not like sports, I think I was destined to be uncool in a variety of fandoms from the start) and so the games of “Lets pretend that he’s David Beckham and I’m Posh Spice, his girlfriend” were less appealing to me than anything.  Back to Lord of the Rings in my snowsuit, thanks.

So yeah, I’d consider myself a Nerd Girl.  My favourite book (behind HP and LotR) in elementary school was called Heir Apparent, and it was about a girl who got stuck in a Virtual Reality video game in the middle ages and the only way she could get out was to beat the game which was to become a Princess.  It sounds…like a stupid “Game For Girls,” but it honestly wasn’t.  It introduced me to the troll who had the hundred-league-boots (which was later introduced to me more indepth in a FairyTales class in…wait for it….my second year of University…) and the compassion of people, the realities of dying, lust.  Lust, wow, being introduced in a fantasy realm by a feminist heroine, guys, this book was ridic, I’d love to reread it again, its on my shelf right now in paperback if you’d like to borrow it.

So post-elementary school I was sent to a highschool that coddled its athletics and gave some money to their arts programs enough to have fantastic leaders and no equipment, so I spent upwards of ten hours a week in various choir, drama, and what we called the “music corridors” where I could literally, finally, and energetically BE MYSELF>  My own Nerd self, who loved to sing loudly and play spoons at lunch and so many things in that drama portable that will not be shared here for reasons that, well, its history now.  I was able to be a nerd and was surrounded by FRIENDS.  Real people, who breathed and nerded right beside me in their own ways  I think Highschool taught me a fun thing about being a Nerd:  not that it was cool (because we were by no means cool in any context) but that NERD does not have one definition.

Great!  Its kind of like the realisation when you accept the fact that your brother is going to do a different path in university than you and you will both be successful in different ways, or that someone who works at Wal Mart is getting a work experience jjust like someone in a fast-paced business environment.  There is not a single definition for happiness, love, intelligence, power, strength, horror, tragedy, passion.  All of these things are relative.

Which is super for us Nerds, because there are a ton of us.

And throughout this process Nerdfighteria and the Nerdfighters came into my life, which was great, but I won’t talk about it much here, because…well, I have my qualms.

But the thing was after leaving highschool when I was out on my own in my own nutshell of nerd-dom, I found myself dropped into the Science cluster in my university residence building.  A whole block of dorms that were just students in biology (and me, theatre and English, good…good.).  I remember thinking WOW SO FUN WE ARE GOING TO WATCH STAR WARS AND MAKE FUN JOKES ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

Well, first of all, “science nerds” (and I can make this kind of assumption, I know enough of them) only have around ten percent of stereotypical, tumblr Nerd in them, and thatis gaming.  Super, back into an environment where I can hardly relate to them on an academic or social level but now our favourite activities are completely different.  Starcraft?  No thanks, but we could listen to the Smiths and talk about…life…no?  Okay.

And then the partying and social drama of university overtook it all, and I was drowning in my own nerd life.

I started a blog, I wrote, I hung with other friends, I wished for a space of my own.

And you know what?  It’s been four years since I’ve started blogging, that I’ve been out of highschool, and I find myself kind of missing the highschool environment, the nerd community, because we never put eachother down when it came to cool new things or left anyone out.  People could talk about video games and then we could switch to Quinton Terrantino movies in a flash because we were all experiencing things together.

But now I’m entering my early twenties (lets be real I’ve been here for a few years now) and everyone Is set in their ways.  They’ve finished living the adventure, and they have set out complicated, udgemental pre-assumptions about various Nerd-doms and it is….intimidating.

I do not “game” in the sense where I enjoy watching or playing video games in any capacity, except for maybe the Sims.  I do enjoy watching sports now, which is nice, and I don’t mind hearing about it, especially if someone is passionate about it.  I will not judge thee for being a Nerd Gamer Girl, I’ve got very close friends who are just that and they are genuine people who can talk about soething else.  But I do not want someone looing at me funny because when I type in “Marauding, writing, travelling, fashion, blogging” in my Nerdfighteria bio.

What am I getting at?

Just accept everyone, and when you aren’t completely interested in something or are around someone who isn’t completely comfortable with the topic, be courteous, and be smart, and brave and strong, and live the adventure.  I’m going to find a game that I enjoy someday, and you should go read Heir Apparent and see if it’s a YA that could inspire the ages, just suggestin….

 

Xo

 

JESS

 

Ps. I’m kicking off a week of Lifestyle blogging today!!  For the next seven days I pledge to write about something that is affecting my life or that I think falls into the LIFESTYLE category.  You’re welcome?  Or good luck to me? xx