Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some Times I Feel Like a (Hazel) Nut

It's been another busy day for me, although I got enough sleep and nobody woke me up by knocking on my front door or making my phone ring. The first order of business, once I got up, was to head on down to the bank and make another deposit. No problemo, but there was further evidence on display that I'm quite the misanthrope, especially when I first wake up.

In my job, I'm required to be nice and friendly to everyone I come in contact with, and although I don't have to initiate conversation when I'm dealing a poker game late at night, I can't be a stoic, either. My income is about 90% dependent on my personality, while job skill makes up the difference. But when I'm off taking care of personal business, I don't want to mess with people. Get in, get done, get out. It's not that I'm rude, I just don't want to talk to strangers in the bank, or in the grocery store, or at the gas station. Part of that comes with living in Vegas, where about 95% of the time when a stranger walks up to you and starts talking, they either want to 1) bum some money 2) sell or buy some drugs, or 3) offer up their body for rental purposes. So I've grown wary. Back down South, strangers say hello and offer up conversation all the time and it's perfectly normal--out here, it *is* different.

So today, I put on a Captain Morgan t-shirt before I left the house. And while I'm standing in line at the bank, I hear a voice behind me say I could sure use a drink, did you bring any with you? I'm used to hearing one-sided cellphone conversations all the time, so I thought nothing of it and just kept staring straight ahead. A few seconds pass, and then I felt a tug on my arm (Another no-no. Don't touch me, people!), and I turned to see a 70-year old lady asking me if I had any rum available.

It kind of caught me off-guard, because I didn't realize that I was in fact wearing a Captain Morgan t-shirt, so I thought it was a strange question to ask, aside from the fact that 1) I don't want to talk to strangers on my free time, especially when I'm holding a hand full of hundred-dollar bills, 2) I don't like people touching me.

It took me a second to 'get' what she was asking, but luckily the next teller became available and all I could manage was a mumbled No ma'am as I shuffled off. I don't know why, but that encounter kinda threw me off my game for the next couple of hours. It just struck me as odd. I guess the bottom line is that most people are more friendly and less cynical than I am, but working in a casino certainly has it's ill side-effects.

After the bank, it was off to the Wally World SuperCenter to get some grocery shopping done. Normally, I prefer to do my shopping in the middle of the night, when there is plenty of parking, very few other customers about, and the checkout area is blessedly free of morons who still don't know how to use an debit card. And even though I got out of work kind of early this morning, I was too lazy to do it then. Besides, I knew I'd be out and about anyways, having to go to the bank.

So I headed over to fight the masses. I ended up spending a small fortune, but I got a new clock for my dining room, a reading lamp for the living room, and a supply of more canned goods for when the zombie apocalypse happens. I also picked up some hazelnut creamer and a bottle of Frangelico, which for those of you who don't know, is hazelnut-flavored liqueur.

I love me some hazelnuts, which in my world is right up there with the cashew at the pinnacle of nutty goodness. But they don't make cashew-flavored coffee--yet--but when they do, I'll be the first in line to buy it (along with the bacon-flavored variety, too!). In the meantime, I'll do with the hazelnut.

While I was shopping a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to the checkout clerk and she told me that she loves to use that Don Francisco Hawaiian Hazelnut coffee to make iced coffee. I'd never thought of that before, but having tried the iced-coffee at Jack in the Box, Starbucks, and a few other places, I had decided that it wasn't for me. But her idea sounded like it was worth trying.

Since I make a full pot every time I'm in the mood for coffee, but seldom drink it all, the leftover usually goes down the drain the next morning. Not anymore. In fact, yesterday, I brewed a full pot, let it cool, and put it in a pitcher in the fridge.

When I got home from the store today, I put some cold coffee, ice, flavored creamer, and a splash of Frangelico in my cocktail shaker, gave it a little cha-cha-cha, and let me tell you, it was soooooo good. Nectar of the gods and all that... Very refreshing on a hot day like today.

Of course, since we've already established that my math skills suck, once I sat down to balance the days purchases in the checkbook, I realized that I'd overspent my allotment. So back down to the bank I went, making another deposit. That was quite irritating.

I was still wearing my Captain Morgan t-shirt, but I figured I was safe--there was no way that friendly old lady would be there again, and at the exact same time I was, so I felt no need to change clothes.

The second time around was ideal--got in, got done, got out--and nobody stopped to talk. I'm home for the duration, now, about to spend the balance of my afternoon reading how Captain Aubrey is going to escape being a prisoner in the War of 1812. Oh, and I may fix myself another glass of iced coffee while I'm at it.

Y'all be cool.


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