Weekend Reading – No, You Are Not That Hip

locust_street_2013Okay, this list of top twenty hipster cities… first of all, West Des Moines is a somewhat tony suburb of Des Moines and no, it is not hipster. That ratio of cafes to residents must include Starbucks located inside grocery stores. Oddly, the East Des Moines Village, a neighborhood inside Des Moines proper, is actually pretty hipsterific.

Here, check out the East Des Miones Village.

Remember when Starbucks was a place to hang out? When it aspired to be a neighborhood coffee place? Now they’re building infrastructure to not just get you out of the door more quickly, but to even keep you out of the store altogether.

‘Kant is a moron,’ says graffiti on Kant’s old home. I think that’s a little extreme. Maybe ‘Kant is unnecessarily obscure.’

I always thought I was sort at the a– end of Generation X, but maybe I’m wrong. But really, I shouldn’t take the word of any blog managed by Chris Cillizza. Anyone else think he’s kind of the love child of David Broder and Thomas Friedman?

Big Tomato

Big Tomato is a pizza place in Des Moines. They sell whole pies, but I know them primarily as a ‘by the slice’ kind o’ place. Rather like an Iowa version of Pizza Mart.

They had a sheet of paper by the window where you ordered with a list of numbers and after each number, the toppings. Random things like an Irish themed peas and potatoes pizza or alfredo sauce, olives, pimentos and gorgonzola. You ordered by number and if you did not or attempted to get off the menu, you were publicly shamed.

And you didn’t want to be shamed, because if it was 2 am and you were slightly tipsy and under thirty (which I was, barely, in those days), the punk rock girl on the other side of that window was the beautiful thing you had ever seen and you did not want to be on her bad side because, hey, you know, maybe you had a shot, you know? I mean, not really, but you didn’t want to rule it out by not ordering properly, did you? I thought not.

I’m Back

I suppose that I’ll have more to say about Thailand. Later. Right now, mostly, all I can say is that it is in a radically different time zone, being twelve hours different from Washington, DC, which is pretty much the best possible difference if your goal is to cause crippling jet lag.

There was some new family to meet. Beautiful scenery. Elephants. Street noodles. Drinking soda out of plastic bag.

As I said before I left, I got a lot of reading done (four books and half a dozen short stories, plus I re-read a lot of Wordsworth).

Now, I’m just not at all excited about going back to work.


By which I mean, “Be Right Back.”

Which isn’t exactly true. Be back in something close to three weeks.

I won’t be adding much to the coffee philosopher for several weeks, not that I’ve been all that consistent in adding stuff lately. Life has been stressful. Let’s just leave it at that.

But, to speak more specifically about the upcoming couple of weeks, I will be flying to Thailand where mrs coffee philosopher (not that she has changed her last name, nor that, if she did, she would literally change it to ‘coffee philosopher’) has been living it up with family and friends while I have suffered through countless bouts of polar vortex induced depression. Actually, that’s not fair. A lot of things have been making me depressed lately. I’ve got a litany of stuff to rival the traditional Latin mass.

The good lord willing, Thailand will cheer me up. I hope to do a lot of reading and writing while I’m there. Yes, that’s right. I intend to spend my first time visiting a new country reading and writing in English. I am an ugly American.

But I am sure that I will have some things to add while I’m away and may even add a picture to this blog whilst overseas. Depends on the availability of wi fi, really.

Saw wat dee krap, b—–s!