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Thursday, January 28, 2016

In Search of Coffee and Art

Okay, so where am I?

I'm at the LA Art Show rubbing elbows with Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway and Natasha Henstridge, the alien goddess from Species. Getting here was another story. The traffic from Hollywood to the
dilapidated convention center in Downtown Los Angeles was nothing short of terrifying frustration. I mean, really? 58 minutes to go 5.5 miles? Sheesh! And that's not counting the 22 minutes I spent at one of our new Dunkin' Donuts with a winding line of coffee hipsters.

Once upon a time strolling into your local cafe or McDonald's or food truck to get a cup of inspirational joe to jump start your creative process was simple. You ordered it black or cream and sugar slapped a George Washington on the counter and sauntered out with contented smile to greet your mountain of work. Since when did getting coffee become such an ordeal?

Like many of America's problems, this one is rooted in a common theme: too much variety. Of course, you can get any of these varieties:

...and this doesn't include the Frappuccinos and the food...yet I digress.

I finally make it to the front of the line and I ask for a large coffee and the I'm asked, "Iced or Hot?" Now I'm as open-minded as the next guy, but I recoiled. "Allow me to give you a quick tutorial..." I whispered. "The day 'hot' is not the default assumption for a cup of coffee is the day I drive over a cliff Thelma & Louise style. I would no sooner ask you for an iced coffee than I would sit down at Ruth's Chris and ask the waiter for a frozen steak and point." At that point the young lady behind the counter was near tears as she suggested I leave.

So I drove to a Starbucks where their drink menu is even more absurdly huge and I'm forced to change my vocabulary to Italian. Small is tall, medium is grande and large is venti. The twentysomething couple in front of me ordered a caramel praline Frappuccino with three pumps of mocha, a pumpkin spice loaf slice and two straws. They probably could have heard me roll my eyes but they were too busy talking about buying a new outfit for their beagle.

A rendering of Shaq's sweet bronze statue to be.
Not a soul in that Starbucks was ordering a regular coffee but me. I felt as if I walked into a Nordstrom and asked where I could buy a pair of dungarees and a straw hat. The barista asked me my name to write on the cup and I told it was "Exasperated."

I did strike up an interesting conversation while waiting for my coffee that required a pour-over since they were out of regular coffee. The lady in front of me noted that only in LA could people come together after parting so acrimoniously. Under the heading of "reunited and it feels so good," the master media manipulator of NBA past, Shaquille O'Neal, and the Los Angeles Lakers has reconciled. Thanks to the Lakers and AEG, the Diesel is getting a bad-ass stature at Staples Center some time during the 2016-2017 season. At least there's free wi-fi, right?

What happened to the regular cup of coffee? Let's invest in a red can of Folgers or a blue can of Maxwell House and not worry if the beans were picked by a kid making ten cents a day. Pour that black gold into a ceramic glazed 22-ounce mug and celebrate the simplicity of inspirational caffeine.

How foolish of me to have wasted all that time shopping for some java. The convention had a Starbucks one escalator ride down from the main entrance at the art show. It justs goes to show you, inspiration is everywhere!

The LA Art Show Red Carpet

A pregnant Anne Hathaway rocked the red carpet seventies style...
...with a mini Marc Jacobs dress and Miu Miu sandals.
Natasha Henstridge still among the finest Species at any event.
Ever find that diamond Billy Zane?
Ever catch Odette Annable in Banshee? You should.
Kathleen Robertson is a hidden treasure.
Perrey Reeves sparkled.
Oh Donna...Sarah Rafferty aka Donna Paulsen from Suits has the best walk in Hollywood.
And there was art too...lots of it: