Thursday, November 1, 2012

a home of one's own

I'm a homebody.

I mean, yeah, I love to get dressed up and go out or strike out on adventures, but once I get really settled into a place and make it my home, there's typically no place I'd rather be to hang out. And I've spent a lot of time, money and effort into building my little area in the house into all that I need it to be for a good place to hang and write and decompress.

That being said, I will occasionally get cabin fever. Unfortunately though, for me, cabin fever doesn't build gradually, like, "hm... I think I need to go take a walk or run some annoying errands." It's always a SNAP moment when I'm like, re-arranging my closet for the 5th time in a row, or as I'm starting the eleventh episode of a Degrassi marathon, or realizing my hand is permanently cramped around my mouse during an MS Paint drawing, or 2 pages deep in a story when my brain suddenly screams I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE. And then it's a race against time and the Feelings Monster to get out of the house. 

This happened on Tuesday. And in an effort to be constructive/prepare for National Novel Writing Month (HOLY CRAP THAT STARTS TODAY), I decided to go out and find a new, easier place to write. So I grabbed up my lap top and headed out for coffee.

I know where this going. A coffee shop? To write? I know. I'm a big ol' tool bag. I bet it's Starbucks, too. Yeah, you're right. It was Starbucks.

However, consider this while you're judging me: one of the less appealing aspects of Northern Virginia living is the lack of independent coffee places. We are a region ruled by Starbucks and to a much lesser extent, Caribou. There is one place I know of called Deja-brew, but it's 20 minutes away and closes at 6 everyday, so by the time I get there after work, I have half an hour before I need to leave. And all the 'Bucks are open til 10 or 11 PM. So, considering how much I don't like Starbucks coffee, having it as my primary option for coffee and hangouts just needles me. (Yes, the simple solution would be to learn to live without coffee shop hangouts. But sometimes you just need a latte and a place to hang out that's not 20 miles away and where you don't have to tip the wait staff.)

Anyway, I get to Starbucks, settle in with my too expensive cup of foam, syrups and espresso, and flip open my computer and start working when it suddenly dawns on me.. oh my god. I'm at Starbucks. On my Mac. Working on my novel. 

oh man, then I took a picture of it.
I have become everything I hate. 

Try as I might, I just couldn't get comfortable. So I downed the rest of my coffee and beat feet right across the street to the Bungalow Ale House, where the bar was delightfully near-empty. There, after a $4 glass of happy hour wine and some friendly chit chat with my new favorite bartender, I felt right at home.

But closer to the end of happy hour, the bar started to crowd up and it became apparent that sitting at a bar trying to work on an expensive computer was bad idea jeans. That, and as always at bars, I got way too chatty with the bartender and other lonely early evening drinkers and lost focus on my work.

(I just thought of this, but I consider a $4 glass of wine to be amazingly priced, while a $4 latte is still like, out of this world expensive. I mean, it'd probably cost me considerably more to replicate the latte at home (espresso machines are expensive), whereas the $4 glass of wine probably came from a $8 bottle. I think I have just officially changed my mind on what's the better deal, here.)

So, the quest for a writing nest for the next month didn't pan out as well as expected. The search continues.

On the other hand, Audrey: 1. Cabin Fever: 0.

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