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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Connection Comedy

I'm sitting in a Starbucks. (Is there an apostrophe anywhere in the name? I don't see one on any of the signage. But I've always thought of it as "the coffee shop that belongs to Starbuck", so it's strange for me to think of there being no apostrophe. It makes it look like they offer starbucks, some pluralization of "starbuck", for sale. "Gitchyor starbucks yere! Frish starbucks! Straight off the starbucks boat!")

I'm sitting in a Starbucks despite my aversion to coffee in general and Starbucks in particular because I felt like sitting somewhere that wasn't my office for a little while. I wanted to be able to open my laptop and finally use that T-Mobile pre-paid card I've had in my wallet since the BlogHer conference in July of last year (that should show you how uninterested I am in entering Starbucks'. Starbuckses?)

I entered the fine establishment on California Avenue in Palo Alto about 15 minutes ago to mingle with the moms from the running club, people writing in their spiral notebooks, other laptop folks, and the dilapidated old hooker who has been fascinating me for 10 minutes. She's really amazing to see.

I purchased a Vitamin Water, because I don't drink coffee. I paid $1.85 for it. I prefer to buy them by the case for less than a dollar each, but I suppose the other eighty-five cents is for atmosphere. See "dilapidated old hooker" above.

I sat down on one of the available cushy chairs. The only one. It's right by the front door. I think the dilapidated old hooker is coming over now and she's going to be able to see what I'm writing about her. Wait for it....

...

Nope. She went out the side door. She has places to go, trailing a small carry-on bag on wheels behind her. I think she had some boxes earlier. I don't know where they went. But wherever they are, the getting of them to that destination inspired in her a need for a coffee. I don't understand coffee.

Anyway, I sat down, pulled out my wallet with my T-Mobile card in it, removed the card, and opened my laptop. I looked for a T-Mobile network on the list of wireless servers and I didn't see one.

But there was AT&T, shining full at me in green bar glory. I looked around, at the decals on the door to the Starbucks, and I saw that there was no T-Mobile decal anywhere. Just AT&T. What the hell, Starbuck's? When did that happen? Not that I've been paying close attention, but my pre-paid T-Mobile card from July of 2008 clearly lists Starbuckses as locations where I might find wi-fi sustenance.

Well. I was here. I had an open laptop. I thought I might want to try to write a story about the shoe-mania affecting the little girls at Erin's daycare: Erin knows who belongs to every shoe in the place, and if someone abandons his or her shoes somewhere Erin announces "Erin turn!!" and slips them on her feet. This behavior got her ribs gnawed on by a "mine mine mine" girl yesterday, while I was standing two feet away. I'll call her "Tara." Erin's pathetic, betrayed sobs broke my heart and had me wondering, a little, what I'd have done if it were a dog, and not Tara, that had done that to her. I think this just proves that I really do think children are different from dogs, in many important and significant ways. Last night, as we were driving home from dinner at the Olive Garden (I love the Olive Garden), Erin offered, softly, from the backseat: "I no like it Tara." Word, kid. You have TBC ribs: Tara Been Chewed.

Wanting to tell a story I connected to the AT&T network, and opened up a browser to go through the connection/signup/pay money rigmarole. It was $3. Three dollars to write a story? Was it worth it? Ah, but look up in the top right corner of the webpage: "If you have a roaming account with another carrier, please select from the drop-down menu." T-Mobile was on the list. I didn't know if I had a roaming account. Actually, I was pretty sure I didn't have an account at all. So, I plotted, I'd set up an account with T-Mobile, then connect to AT&T here in this Starbucks using my new T-Mobile account.

I opened a new browser page to carry out my plan and went looking for T-Mobile's web page. I located it, navigated to the "new account" page, opened an account, entered my pre-paid card number, and then closed the window. I went back to the AT&T page, selected T-Mobile from the drop-down menu of roaming carriers, and entered my account information. Voila! Internet at Starbucks.I could now navigate to pages other than this silly AT&T page and explore the internet a little.

I'd like you to re-read that last paragraph again.

Then I'd like you wonder, along with me, why I am so stupid. The old, dilapidated hooker with her boxes and her carry-on has it all figured out: deliver boxes, get coffee, go do something else that isn't completely, utterly, and totally redundant.

25 comments:

Redneck Mommy said...

All I got out of that very wordy story was an old dilapidated hooker with her box.

Thank you for that mental image.

Now I am wondering what an old dilapidated hooker's box looks like and we both know I don't really WANT or NEED to know this information.

Gah.

Heather said...

I got lost somewhere in the middle.

Single Parent Dad said...

Did you, by being able to get to the T-Mobile homepage, already have an internet connection perchance?

Otherwise you have me beat too.

heather said...

Hey, I was amused. But then I'd probably do the same thing.

for a different kind of girl said...

I'm just going to assume this means you have a few bucks more for the next time you go get your unlimited salad and breadsticks on at the Olive Garden. That salad is like crack. Delicious, healthy, oil-laden crack.

april said...

It took me a while ... but I gets it! Very funny. I wish you took a picture of the hooker though.

Peggy said...

Um what? Erin got dissed?

I'm sending shoes.

amelia said...

Discrete cell phone camera my friend...we need old dilapidated hooker in all her glory.

Elisa said...

You had me at Starbucks.

(Because I may prefer tea to coffee, but there are days where I'd turn tricks for a soy Caramel Macchiato. Not unlike the hooker there, I think.)

Elisa said...

Oh, and no offense, but I still have no idea how to connect to a wi-fi network in Stabucks. I thought of re-reading that paragraph but it gave me a headache the first time around so I decided against it.

Jill said...

You are one step ahead of my husband in that he doesn't see any difference between dogs and kids because he never asks if the kids have been fed, but he's always bothering me about feeding the dog. And if we have leftovers to give her. What? The leftovers aren't good enough for the kids? You don't think the 15 month old would like to gnaw on that lamb chop? Bastard!

VDog said...

It's all about the workaround, isn't it?

Mandy said...

I think I'm glad you got to post that story.

I'd like you to go back and reread that last paragraph.

:)

WkSocMom said...

hilarious, did have to reread it :) I still have my card too, which I finally moved from my
"pile o' blogher not quite worthless crap" to my wallet. so thanks for that tip.

ZenMom said...

D'oh!

Tracy said...

I feel like the stupid kid at the sleepover because I am so lost but I can't go back and re-read because it gave me a migraine the first time through. ;)

Samurai Beetle said...

Internet is free at Panera Bread and they has a lovely selection of breads, sandwiches and juices.

kittenpie said...

You lost me at the part about not liking coffee. I could live on the smell alone.

Kristy - Where's My Damn Answer said...

Obviously I am not a coffee drinker or much of a wifi user (except in my home) because I thought that the wifi at Starbucks was free if you were buying their stuff. Do you mean to tell me all those folks are paying to surf the web there? No wonder I don't do coffee - they get you coming and going.

MereCat said...

Oooooh, sneaky dad! And the old hooker you saw was Hootie Mae. She's been around here too.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

What, exactly, does an old dilapidated hooker look like? Are we talking 50 and balding with an itty bitty miniskirt or something?

Also, I kind of think the shoe thing is cute. I mean, Tara obviously doesn't, but I do.

Warren said...

Man, for some reason when you say dilapidated old hooker, I think of Leslie the tranny in Austin.
God, that's a scary image.

sendchocolate said...

The whole shoe-mine-TBC paragraph was hysterical. I'm with you on the Olive Garden not on the Starbucks, though, I need a fix weekly. I have not figured out the wi-fi/PC connection outside my house. I haven't figured out most everything PC, I'm a Mac-bug with a PC laptop. I would've given up before taking the PC out of the case.

Loralee Choate said...

Unlike Tanis, I am way less hung up with the old hooker than the fact that you don't drink coffee.

(This explains a lot about me, I know.)

Whit said...

Starbucks' wi-fi is weird. There's your damn apostrophe.