Not to go all product placement, but I think I mentioned the Starbucks I was in last week, didn't I? All the outside doors made it look like a bank, although I knew there was a Starbucks nearby, since there was a rooftop sign. I opened the door, thinking the bank might know where the coffee was, and this is what I found. The Wells Fargo part is off to the right, a full-sized bank. The coffee area is on the left, also larger than most. Incredibly weird. Someday I'll be able to pick up my dry-cleaning at the vet's office and buy an ice cream sundae at the steak/Chinese/Ethiopian restaurant on the corner.
I am, I admit, able to do way more than I'd ever have thought, right here, right now. I'm sitting at a small round table in a nice little coffee shop close to my new work. I'm online (seamlessly - god, I love my new Mac), and if I wanted to , I could download a new CD's worth of music, or I could pay any bill that I wanted to (I do all my banking online). I've got my iShuffle's earbuds stuck into the computer on one end, the other ends in my ears, playing an iTune party shuffle so that I don't have to listen to the nineteen year old at the end of the place blather on about what a brilliant lawyer she's going to be. My cell phone is to one side, and my knitting is next to me.
See, this is going to be my new routine. For the next few months of training, I'll be working 6pm-6am, and my new job is on the worst commute corridor in the Bay Area. Normally a thirty minute drive from my house, if I left at 5pm, it would take an hour and a half to get here. You do the math. So I've figured it out. I leave at 4pm, make it in the getting-heavy traffic in about forty-five minutes, and then I sit here at the coffee shop (locally owned, thank you) and do what I'd be doing at home, if I had the extra time: drinking coffee, and writing. And all the while I'm only ten minutes on surface streets from the job. Hooray for computer time!
It feels really good to be back on midnights, also. Last night was my first "real" shift, with the trainer I'll be with for a while, and I was on the radio all night, really dispatching. I hadn't realized how strange it had felt to be doing a month of theoretical training with no application until I started talking on the radio last night, sending rigs to where they needed to go (badly - the identifiers and new streets are so foreign to me). But I was working! Felt good.
Man, this is a hip place to hang out, if you're cool and seventeen. I'm neither. Huh. No wonder they're staring. Or maybe it's because I'm not wearing a costume, and they all are. Oh, Halloween. (I dressed all in orange to go my sister's party on the weekend, and when Lala came over I said, "I'm the Great Pumpkin!" She said, "You look great, pumpkin.")