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This is a two part blog. Well, ok, it's probably more like a three-part blog, but that would just be way too many titles!
In regards to the first part of the title: Next door to my pharmacy, the Starbucks closed down. Apparently they did not have enough business. As this was my soy latte fix establishment I was a tad bit melancholy about this. Plus, the employees were so awesome. I looked forward to seeing their friendly faces steaming up my soy milk or pouring me part of their ready-made gallon of Tazo Passion Iced Tea. Danielle (manager) et al were my girls. I guess this is what Kowalski's management/Starbucks management gets for building a Starbucks coffee stand only two blocks from another Starbucks. They should have put up a Dunn Bros. stand instead. Better coffee, too. Or perhaps even Peace coffee. Oh well.
Luckily the employees are actually part of Kowaski's and not Starbucks so they won't lose their jobs, but instead have been redistributed throughout the building. So yes, part of me is snickering at the demise of a highly successful chain coffee product not selling well enough...but most of me will miss the convenient ambience of coffee. I had my final Passion Tea on Saturday morning before work and my final cup of soy latte on Saturday evening after work, toasting a good year with the gang all the way....(and subsequently not being able to sleep well on Saturday night due to all that freakin' caffeine!)
Well, Sunday came around and Mr. Jim Garland (aka Jim the juice man/blogger) was once again in town, this time with dad and brother. I convinced him to get up at the butt crack of dawn on Sunday morning so that I could pick him up at 8:30 am in suburbia (where he was staying) and drive him to Bikram Yoga with me. I wasn't sure how he'd like the class. Why was I not sure? He loved it! Too bad there aren't any classes where he lives. Bummer. Another reason he needs to just move here so that Jennifer and I can hang out with him, haha!
After the class, we went to the Wedge for a build-your-own sandwich extravaganza. Doesn't that sound exciting? Oh yes, barrels of Sunday morning fun! Haha! It was a nice time to go to the Wedge because it was so quiet. Unlike French Meadow where I tried to take him for breakfast. It looked like about a 45 minute wait....the line was almost out the door!
We took our sandwiches to Loring Park and for the first time, Jim saw a black squirrel. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there exist black squirrels. And Jim Garland witnessed one. The other squirrels were very friendly. You can tell they are fed a lot by park patrons. They wanted to help us eat our sandwiches. After lunch I dropped Jim off at the Vik's game to meet up with his dad and brother. Not sure if we'd meet up again later that night, Jim had his wet yoga clothes in a plastic baggie with an apple that came with the sandwich at the Wedge. I insisted he could get them back after the game since he couldn't bring them into the stadium, but he insisted that he'll just leave the bag in a hiding place somewhere near the Metrodome and pick it up after the game. I about laughed because, c'mon Jim, leaving an unattended bag near a stadium full of people? That might look a little terroristy, dontcha think? Needless to say, his bag of stuff was not where he left it once he got out of the game! The FBI is probably inspecting it as we speak! (Is there a bomb in the apple? How about some biological mold weapon within the sweat of those boxers?) Oh, the jokes, the jokes, I can't stop myself! Jim's theory is that a homeless person saw the apple and stole the bag. I gues we'll never know the final outcome.
Well, later that night we met up again at Good Earth. His little brother is a riot. He has this middle-child aura which I found just hilarious. He kept wondering why I was laughing at him. As a firstborn, I have always found this enigma attached to middle children. And I'm dating one, too. Anyway, back to da food! I ate some sort of strange Halibut dish with rice and a coconut curry sauce. I mean, hey, why not? It was just for the halibut! It was way too spicy for me, but that's all right.
Monday was an interesting day. I was awakened with a phone call by the store manager at 8:30 am with, "do you know who is supposed to be working today?" There was no one to open the pharmacy! Major scheduling mishap. Computer/communication error. You see, the girl who took my full-time place was still in the computer as a float. She had requested a vacation day early on. Then the scheduler didn't think there was anything to be done because without a permanent store, the float just takes the vacation has no shift to be covered. The morning schedule still had me working that morning.....and every day this week because it still showed me as the salaried pharmacist!
Anyway, I rushed to work to open the place since there was no one else. The rx manager was already there because he, too, thought my replacement was supposed to be there that morning and he was going to teach her how to adjust the order. So he opened it up, then left as I took his place, and then he came back later. The day turned out to be OK even though thirty minutes were lost. This could have been a major disaster but we all worked together to keep the place running!
Tuesday and today were also very interesting. I ate lunch at Zelo downtown. Chicken and funghi risotto with green tea. Yum! Then I reached into my wallet for the credit card. Uh oh. Left it in my lab coat the day before (bought the rx staff cheesecake factory pumpkin cheesecake!). Luckily I was next door to my longtime pharmacy friends in the Medical Arts bldg! I left my coat at my seat, ran next door, grabbed the tech's credit card (thanks Diane!), and paid for lunch! How silly of me!
Today I went to my long-time favorite breakfast joint, Hell's Kitchen. Salmon and mozarella omelet with multi-grain toast and assorted fruit on the side (blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, grape, etc.) The server brought out the most prized possession in the restaurant for me to spread on the bread: homemade peanut butter and homemade berry jam! Oh, I love that yummy runny stuff! Heaven! Topped off the meal with green tea and my absolute favorite free mag: The Rake.
Went back to the medical arts bldg and paid the tech back. (I hate it when I owe people money...I have to pay it back or I go crazy!) Then I got restless and walked and walked and walked thru downtown. I was looking for the office for the new condominium complex called 6 Quebec. I coudn't find it. But I did find all sorts of shops I've never seen before within the skyway system. One of my favorite downtown pastimes is getting lost in the skyway system. I found a heavily Americanized Japanese "bento box" restaurant on the skyway level of some building. Most menu items were basically fast food Japanese, but they also offered Miso soup for a buck fifty-three! Wow! That was some good soup!
For those of you who don't know why the hell people live in Minneapolis when it's so cold in the winter, the answer lies in the extensive skyway plan. There is nothing quite like it. If not for the shops and commerce, you have to come for the people-watching. Bums, corporate wankers, tourists, and sometimes even street musicians frequent this futuristic "city within a city". If ever in MPLS, come downtown to explore the skywalks on a weekday. You won't regret it! You'll think you're in some Star Trek movie....these skywalks seem to never end! I still have yet to walk them all!
For a good article on the history of the skwalk concept visit The Rake online. We even have our own downtown free press newspaper called, "Skyway News". Is that nuts or what?
Another reason to love the Minneapple.
Have a delightful day, folks! Enjoy the lunar eclipse tonight if weather permits!