Sunday, September 30, 2012

Take on small talk

Been having this discussion with my BIL about small talk.  He says all small talk is a complete waste and he'd rather park himself on the couch staring at the wall than engage in mindless conversation about the weather.   He argues that this small talk is exhausting and not all that rewarding and that he searches out deep thought provoking conversation but feels like he misses that at most get-togethers
But I argue that the deep conversations you get lulled into at a dinner party are much more taxing to your soul.    I don't have the energy to get into a discussion about Nietzsche, influence of hip-hop on modern poetry or the differences in microbrews.  I'm a father of two who works too much and sleeps to little, people should be happy I have enough energy to show up and be glad I don't have enough energy to stab them in the throat with an ice-pick.   If you want to have a chance to keep me engaged then talk about my crappy commute, my kids or my fantasy football team which is all I ever think about 

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Take on Manish Mehta

I can appreciate the barriers Manish Mehta must have had to overcome to become the NY Jets beat writer for the Daily News (probably involved giving Tebow a handy). I also appreciate his insight on Jets news which is the reason I follow him on Twitter

What I don't appreciate is the fact that this jackass repeats himself about 10 times in a 30 minute span with his constant one-upping of his nemesis  -the equally idiotic Rich Cimini.   Yesterday after Fat Rex revealed that Darrell Revis wouldn't immediate b put on IR because Rex wanted to have him available if the Jets made the SuperBowl.  Obviously Rex is more than a bit delusional but Manish felt like he had to break the story, break it again and then stomp on it 

Looks at this

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
Rex says he'll wait for Revis to have ACL surgery before determining if he will be put on IR. #nyj

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
Rex on Revis: "If there's that 0.002 percent chance he could play in a Super Bowl, why take that option out?" #nyj

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
You can appreciate Rex's optimism, but there is no chance Darrelle Revis will be ready to play in February if the Jets made the Super Bowl.

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
At the latest, Jets will put Darrelle Revis on season-ending Injured Reserve shortly after his surgery in a couple weeks. #nyj

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
There is no way that Jets doctors would clear Darrelle Revis to play in a game in February. None. #nyj

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
Optimistic and unrealistic RT @SethWalderNYDN Rex Ryan hopes Revis has potential for Super Bowl return. #nyj | Story:

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
Rex Ryan handicapped Revis' chances of returning in time for the Super Bowl on Feb. 3 at 0.0002%. That's 0.0002% too much. #nyj

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
Mr. @greggrosenthal: "By all sane accounts, New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is done for the season." #nyj

Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN)
Rex Ryan's motivational ploy: Wait a couple weeks before placing Darrelle Revis on Injured Reserve. Story here: #nyj

This Jackass posted five tweets in the span of 10 minutes which were all exactly the same.   

I get that he's trying to distinguish himself but is doing it by beating people over the head with a two-by-gour really the only way?     He's probably trying to make sure people stop confusing him with Sweeny Murti

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Take on the GChat interruption

I appreciate all things google....all things except GChat. There
really is nothing more frustrating than working ok a project and all
of a sudden you get interrupted when a GChat window pops open. I
realize you aren't obligated to answer somebody when they start an
impromptu conversation with you but I feel like I have to at minimum
bow out gracefully -except if it's an invitation to group chat which I
X out immediately.
I know tons of people who feel like they have to be able to reach you
at all times but between email, text, cell phone and snail mail has to
be enough right?
Quite frankly I find GChat completely obnoxious, the thought that
somebody just interrupts whatever you are doing for no good reason is
beyond annoying and I for one would like gmail to add the ability to
appear offline even when I am online

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Take on the Open House

I don't know shit about real estate but I know something about
marketing something you hope to sell and what I don't quite get are
why people who are selling their houses can't be bothered to at
minimum pick up. I have been to two open houses in the last month
where the overwhelming thought i had a I walked thought I had was not
related to the center staircase, fine detail in the molding or the bay
windows but rather with how incredibly dirty the place was.
When you are looking at buying a house you look at the closets, the
junk drawers, the cabinets etc and if they are messy you live with it
but when there are piles of dirty clothes sprawled throughout you
wonder how little effort the owners have put into it

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Take on the drive up ATM

Maybe it's just me but is there anything less convenient than those
drive up ATM's which are meant to make your life more convenient?
Every time I drive up to one if them I find myself either so far away
I have to open the door anyway or so close I can't get comfortable
because I feel like I am almost inside the machine. I'm not site what
is wrong with them because unlike standard drive up fast food windows
the ATM ones seem not to have any kind of standard height whatsoever

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Take on the Thursday Night Football advantage

I have been thinking long and hard about the NFL schedule and really believe these Thursday Night games offer a real scheduling advantage for the teams playing in them.  The advantage isn't really in the game itself but rather for an advantage teams realize the next week. 

Obviously as there are two teams playing on Thursday so neither has a real advantage although the away team will have even less time than usual to prepare and must deal with a compacted travel schedule in addition to a compacted practice schedule

But even this is not much different than any road team on any given week, the real unfair advantage is the one both participants gain the next week
Take the last two weeks for example.  Two weeks ago both the Giants and Panthers played on Sunday in week 2 and then turned around and played four days later on Thursday in week 3.   But now we're up against week 4 and both the Panthers and Giants are coming of a pseudo bye-week with 10 days since their last game but both their opponents (The Eagles and the Falcons) are coming off 7 day weeks.  So although neither the Giants or the Panthers had a disadvantage over the other based on the schedule in week 3 they both have an advantage in week 4 by being more rested than their opponent something both teams can desperately use already with both having an outsized share of injuries already

I bet that when all is set and done, Vegas will show that teams coming off a Thursday night game (win or lose) win a disproportionate amount of games the next week.   

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Take on construction schedules

Contractors staying on schedule is a well known problem which people
has been dealing with for as long as people have paid others to build
their dwellings but contractors in NYC take it to another level. We
had a building next to my office run over schedule by over two years
and it always annoyed me that the people this had the most direct
effect on (the neighbors) were neither notified or compensated for our
inconvenience. We lived through four years of construction with a
closed sidewalk, tons of deliveries, ridiculous noise and a list of
other annoyances

Well now there is a new construction site nearby with a very
optimistic completion date of "October 2012" which means they have to
get the entire thing built in 5 weeks to make it one schedule and as
you can tell by the picture, chances of that are slim

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Take on suffering for your art

The Righetti Bon Jovi routine has come out of retirement more times
than Brett Favre and Roger Clemens combined. For those who have not
seen it, it's a (sometimes) drunken fully choreographed 3:30 routine
to Living on a Prayer complete with push-ups, dancing, ripped shirts
and the prerequisite full double knee slide across the dance floor.
We've done it at 10 weddings including one in Egypt and it is usually
well received.
The issue is that my body doesn't quite do everything my mind wants it
to do. I can't jump as high, can't do quite as many push-ups and
definitely can't worm around less I fear pulling a nut.
But the slide is what now scares me the most because I know how much
it will hurt the next day. I'm not quite sure how David Lee Roth does
night after night because when you slid across a stage your needs take
all the abuse.
But there I am at about the 2 minute mark as my audience awaits and I
clear the floor and prepare for the most electrifying (and painful)
part of it
But as I peek down I notice that this face floor is pure poured
concrete but I am pot committed and i can't turn back so there I go.
I run from one side, drop to my knees as i tear off the undershirt in
one motion. Within a minute it is over and I look down and see my
tuxedo pants ripped and my knees totally bloodied and I promise to
never do this to myself again

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Take on the IPhone case

Last week while waiting for lunch I caught an exchange of an IPhone by
a couple sitting at the next table over. Now this seems like a normal
occurrence except these guys had an iPhone cover designed like a
bunker. This thing must have been 4 inches fat with so much protection
it probably would protect it from a fall out of a 10 story building.
But then again I have a $5 cover which is ultra thin and although I
have dropped it 100 times and it's only shattered once

Pretty good odds for not having to carry a bible in my pocket

Friday, September 21, 2012

Take on Starbucks' coffee temperature

Whenever I walk into Starbucks I feel like I am playing with fire. I
don't know exactly what it is but for some reason they serve their
coffee at like 200 degrees and just putting my lips is taking a major
risk. I don't quite understand the need to have coffee so hot it can
burn your esophagus but in their backwards, hippy Pacific Northwest
mentality it must seem sensible. It is so hot that I have to dump
half of it in the garbage can and dump a ton of water

I am predicting a McDonalds type lawsuit on their hands any day when
some poor schlep burns his nut sack when he spills a Pike Place Roast
in his lap and torches his pubes

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Take on skid marks

When I had an undercooked meatball the other day I knew I was in trouble..the problem was that what I thought would be a bad night actually was a bad morning.   I'm on the bus and all of a sudden it feels like a tsunami building in my stomach..  I rush over to the closest bathroom at the terrible Port Authority, drop down and plant my ass on a piss covered seat.   Considering everything I actually felt like I came out mostly unscathed.. well that is to say I was unscathed.. my poor boxers looked like they came right out of Alien. 
threw them in a corner and kept on walking..  I'm sure that the Port Authority cleaning crew will just blame some homeless guy..
serves them right for all leeching he and his 47% brethren do

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Take on the French Satiricalists

CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk)
9/19/12 6:01 AM
French satirical magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling Mohammed in issue on newsstands today.

I read the above on CNN this morning which described some French Satirical magazine's decision to publish a cartoon of Muhammad and I don't quite get the point.   If they are trying to prove water is wet then I guess they'll succeed but I don't understand why they must do it.   I fully support the freedom of speech so I see no issue in doing it per se, my issue is that doing it is the equivalent of kicking a rabid dog and then getting annoyed that he bites you. 
We have seen mass riots over the Danish cartoons and some d-movie nobody ever heard of and now these idiots feel like it's their turn to provoke.   Obviously the reaction of the Arab Fall is despicable on a hundred levels but mostly because the rioters are taking their anger over the equivalent of MAD magazine out by killing an ambassador and storming embassies.   If nothing else these are the same people who rightfully complain that we paint terrorists with too broad a brush but a some point this has got to end

I know these are a bunch of teenagers and 20 somethings who otherwise are lost making very irrational decisions that have very real outcomes but I will never quite understand why killing an Ambassador over the equivalent of an SNL skit or boycotting an IKEA even-though those are Swedes not Danes is ever sensible regardless how 'insulted' you are by the actions of some jackass drawing cartoons in his parent's basement.

Sent from my iPhone

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

take on the inconsistency of how the state values religious holidays

one thing has always confused me is why the board of education in NYC treats certain religious holidays as more important than others.  Just think about the month of September when there are usually four off days for kids.. the first is labor day which is observed throughout the country and the other three are two days for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and one for Yom Kippur (day of atonement), in addition to this there are one or two days off in the spring for Passover although that coincides with the spring/Easter break.    
I have nothing against the Jewish faith or the Jewish people but it seems they are disproportionally represented when it comes to these NYC holidays.    There are no holidays for Orthodox Christians which usually falls a week after the Western Christian holidays, there are no holidays that close the entire school system in observance for Muslims although their EID is much more important to their religion than Rosh Hashana, I know nothing about Buddhists or Taoist but don't see any holidays for them.   Even when you get away from the religious thing and you don't see schools closing for Diwali or Chinese New Year which are both also 'new years' celebration.   Days like St Patrick's Day or Cinco de Mayo are ignored (except in the bars).. .  Even when compared to Christian holidays there are only 2 official school closings for that (Christmas and Good Friday) although they tend to be bunched into vacation, Ash Wednesday isn't a holiday for example
The crazy thing is that even in Israel they only celebrate one day for New Year.. New Years is one day everywhere in the world including American New Year which is on January 1st but not on January 2nd also..  but for some reason the entire city shuts down for two days in the middle of September every year

Monday, September 17, 2012

Take on Reply All pictures

I have been one of the biggest culprits of it but I have finally seen the light.  For three years I have forwarded pictures of my kids to a large list of friends and family.  This list got dwindled down over the years from 40 people to about 8 regulars.  Mostly we decreased the list because I realize three pictures per week of my kid is a bit much for most people  but mostly because friends and family  was getting annoyed about the mass reply-alls they were getting.  So for every picture of my kid with chocolate sauce on her face there were 39 "ooooh sooo cuuuuute" comments that people had to wade through

So I now send pictures using BCC and then only to a very select group

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Take on the balloon return

When I walked into Party City to get balloons yesterday I was met with
a rather awkward experience. As I checked out they asked me for my
phone number which was weird because it's not a if I have a frequent
shopper account. After offering up 947-7332, I asked for the reason
and was told that they ask for it to keep a record in case you want to
return them...please note I was buying helium balloons. Please tell
me the rules of returning a helium balloon and I'll happily oblige
because after 3 hours they have no purpose for me at all.

I did see they offers $0.15/balloon premium to add some gunk to them
so they wouldn't deflate after 10 minutes

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Take on sockless shoes on a man

There are a lot of bad looks out there but maybe none worse than this
preppy one which has made a comeback. It's not so much the ugly
plaid shorts that bother me and if you feel like you need to shave
your legs more power to you but what I cannot accept is a grown man
walking around wearing sockless sneaker-shoes. It is fine for a
prepubescent boy but once you grow hair on your sack a man's feet are
always supposed to be in socks when he is wearing shoes. A guy's
feet aren't pampered and I know those shoes don't breath do the amount
of sweat which must accumulate in the bottom of them must be enough to
fill a small lake and the smell has to be toxic

At some point a man has to man up and stop dressing like a 13 year old
boy and take pride in hairy legs, stinky feet and ketchup stained

Friday, September 14, 2012

Take on the apple screw job

The entire world seemed to stop earlier this week when Tim Cook got up on that stage to make the most anticipated announcement (and worst kept secret) in the two years, the launch of the IPhone5.   There were a bunch of new features including a new iOS, hardware improvements including a faster processor and a much anticipated larger screen plus some kind of panoramic camera which seems like something you will use once. 
The one thing that struck me the most was not the software or hardware improvements on the phone but rather the new charging dock.  Apple ditched their old 40 prong thing for the new lightning technology which is supposedly faster and better which is all great except for the fact we own 20 of the old cords, we have car chargers, a BOSE system and a closet full of portable chargers which will all become obsolete the second I get the new phone.   I know that Apple will sell a $30 converter which is only going to add bulk to the old ones an irony since one of the features of the 5 was to become lighter and thinner 

So I am looking at dropping $399 for the phone plus another $500 for accessories.  No wonder analysts  were predicting a 0.5% bump in GDP from this new release

China must be thrilled 

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Take on the Chinese Amazon supplier

When I went onto Amazon to buy a replacement lens cover for my Nikon
camera, I had two choices: a $20 authentic one from Nikon or a
knock-off for $1. Obviously being that this is a lens cover and not an
actual vital piece I opted for the cheaper option. Shipping was $2 and
delivery would happened in a week they told me

When the package arrived I noticed it came from China. Now I had no
doubt that these pieces of plastic were made in China but what shocked
me was that they were delivered directly from there This isn't some
$699 TV where there might be some margin but apparently some factory
or factory rep in China can make money selling $1 lens-covers .
You have to generate shippers, invoices, tracking logs and you have to
give Amazon a cut. Even if they are buying/making them for $0.05 you
can't make real money selling these as onsie twosies

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Take on the tweet twit

When I saw the above tweet from Chris Mortenson it showed again that
the speed of life has passed him by. Mort used to be the ultimate NFL
insider when there was one channel covering sports. Now with 8 ESPN
channels, the NFL Network, a bunch of CBS and NBC sports channels,
twitter, NFL based websites all trying to placate a rabid football
fanbase it is obvious his time is up but it has nothing to do with his
NFL coverage or the fact Adam Schefter has made him expendable

The reason his time is up is because he tweets "@chargers Gene
Simmons of KISS to perform National Anthem. For a Raiders game,

You don't need to tell us who Gene Simmons is Mort!!! If your
followers don't know who he is then you also won't get why it's
perfect especially for a Raiders game.
Stop hitting us across the head with a 2x4 and go find out if Revis
will be covering Antonio Brown so I can decide between Brown and Miles

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Take on vigilance

I keep seeing signs asking people who 'see something' to 'say
something' so when I walked down some side stairs in the bus station
this morning and came across three suitcases laying scattered on the
floor I had some serious questions. Not only was it random but with
this being the 11th anniversary of 9/11, I felt like it was my civic
duty to say something.
As I walk through the bus station it is shocking how few cops are
around anywhere and being NYC calling 911 on a cell-phone is worthless
because my crappy IPhone would never fid a tower to connect to. But
finally I see a glimmer of light when I are an MTA worker coming down
the hallway, I pull him over to show him what I discovered and we both
go into hunker down mode. Glad he didn't have a gun cause 30 seconds
later some tourist comes down the stairs with another one of those
ridiculous suitcases and asking what the fastest way to JFK is

Crisis averted

Monday, September 10, 2012

Take on the IPhone connectivity

I know this is not an original thought but with the new Iphone 5's about
the hit the market it's worth noting again. For a phone which allows you
to pay your bills, order lunch, change your fantasy football lineup, read
the newspaper and listen to Appetite for Destruction while on the treadmill
the phone has one major NYC you just cannot make a phone call on
the first try on the AT&T network.
I spend hours of my life waiting for a call to connect but it's nearly
impossible most of the time because the cell-towers around here just cannot
meet the demands of all the idiot tourists sending pictures and calling
their friends while standing 5 deep outside of Good Morning America..
So I can't even imagine how crappy it will get by the time two weeks from
now when there are 1000's of new phones out there taking up more cell-space

kill me

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Take on Sportsline

There are two thing you can count on the first NFL sunday of the year:
excitement from every fan as no team has manage to disappoint yet and
Sportsline crashing.
Like every Sunday between September through December I sit in front of
the TV, a beer in my left hand, the clicker in my right and my laptop
in front of me and like clockwork right as the 1pm games get good and
they mention Ryan Fitzpatrick's college for the tenth time the
Sportsline website crashes.
So I am forced to rely on the CBS ticket which totally sucks to find
out how many TD's Arian Foster rushed for

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Take on the digital LIE signs

As if Long Island didn't suck enough (Islanders, terrible accents,
hamptons) they also make it dangerous to drive on their highways.
There are thousands of studies about the dangers of distracted driving
but apparently nobody told the politicians out on Nassau and that
other county. They have these digital signs all over the LIE updating
drivers about travel times. The problem is that they don't spell out
the highway names instead using initials which is great if you live
out in that hellhole but sucks if you travel there once or twice per

I see a sign yesterday which reads
GCP 8 minutes
CVE 22 minutes
SAG 10 minutes
NSP. 5 minutes

And honestly I think I am reading a different language because I have
no idea what 50% of that sign means.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Take on the IMac mouse

With great enthusiasm we welcomed the newest member of our electronic
home recently. I have read for years about the usability of the Apple
products and after switching from my BlackBerry to my IPhone I started
to see what it meant when a company focused on layout, ease and
aesthetics instead of windows and it's litany of ctrl-alt-delete type
commands. Well the screen is gorgeous, the layout is nice but I
cannot for the life figure out the mouse. Only one button is already
hard enough to try to conquer but what really gets me is that the
mouse movements when you only touch it and don't roll it are opposite.
This mouse doesn't need a wheel in the center for quick scrolling but
instead utilizes some kind of sensor which allows you to glide you
finger over the mouse to have it react on the screen which is an
elegant concept Problem is that when you move your finger up the
little arrow on the screen goes up and when you move your finger down
the icon goes up. For a company whose whole motto is usability this
seems completely counterintuitive

I wonder if my IPhone will even allow me to post this blog or if it
will get thrown in the moat around the walled castle of Jobs

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Take on Nite Moves day in Night Court

When I read that a local strip club had gone all the way to the State Supreme Court to fight sales taxes they owed I felt a motivation to go into the law profession myself    This is what defending freedom against federal and state overreach is all about
The owner of Nite Moves made the case that pole dancing is similar to gymnastics and synchronized swimming as olympic events that would draw a much larger audience than  a Usain Bolt vs Michael Phelps thumb-wresting match ever could
Personally I like his defense because it would be very awkward to have to skip $.08875 into a chicks g-string everytime you give her a dollar

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Take on conventions

I read all the pundits after these conventions and all the talk is about who scored the most political points and whether Obama or Romney will see the biggest boost in the polls.  The funny thing is that although both candidates will get a small bump in the polls there is just no way that those numbers hold up until November.   I cannot imagine anybody walking to the polls and voting for Romney because of Gingrich's speech or because they are afraid to be dressed down by Clint Eastwood and also see nobody deciding on Obama in three months because of something some major of San Antonio said
This is just all showmanship and the race is less about that 1/2 percent of Americans truly undecided and more about getting the not likely to vote fraction to come out

 I am just annoyed the moved the opening of the NFL season because of it

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Take on reduplicate names

Having named two girls in the last three years, I can attest to the difficulty in naming somebody as you are potentially saddling them with it for the rest of their lives.  I don't quite understand the new urban names (la-dash-na spelled la-na or Mo√ęt), I hate the tradition of Hispanics to name their boys the same name as the father and I hate how white-folks often go super boring.   But the thing that really irritates me is when people get lazy and give their kid a first name which is just a variation of their last name

Chris Christie
Kris Kristofferson
Phillip Phillips from American Idol 'fame'

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Take on the IPhone forcefield

I love my IPhone and would never go back to a blackberry (although I have peeked over the shoulders of people who have the Samsung Galaxy and thought I may consider that in place of my tablet) 
The one thing I never quite figured out is this pseudo force-field on the screen. I can't quite describe it but there are days when just touching the screen gives me a little buzz in my thumb.  It's not particularly painful but kind of makes your thumb feel like it ate shark-fin soup at Chinese New Years with the area going sort of numb   
It's probably Steve Jobbs' last good laugh, I will build this beautiful machine bit ever time you touch it  there is a haze over the screen preventing you from making proper contact
I wonder how long it'll be before we start to see cases of thumb cancer?

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Take on the suburban recovery room

When I had my first daughter in a city so had an option to get a private room which came on a first come first served basis.  We lucked out with availability and  were allowed to shell out $1200 for the privilege.   I say lucked because i know tons of couples who would have happily spent $600 per night but were shut out because there were just no private rooms left by the time they hot our the labor room   When we were touring hospitals for our second in the burbs the recovery room was the first thing I asked about.  The conversation went like this

Righetti:  so after the delivery where do we go?
Tourguide:  to these rooms 
R:  can we see the normal rooms
T. These are the normal rooms
R:  where is the second bed?
T:  you can sleep on that chair that fold out to a bed?
R: yes but where is the other mother sleep?
T: what do you mean? Your mother in law??
R. NO not her, the other mother coming out of labor
T:  is this a BigLove scenario??
R:  no
T:  each family gets their own room.
R:  and how much are these?
T: what do you mean?
R:  are they like $500 for each night? 
T: I am confused, it's included
R:  so we get our own room and it's huge and I don't have to pay $1200
T: yes
R: and there is nobody sharing our room?
T: no
R: we'll take it

Mrs R:  shouldn't we tour the nursery or the NICU?
R:  nope I already signed us up, check in at 2pm

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Take on Starbucks sizing

It's not the outrageous pricing or the dirty bathrooms that annoys me about Starbucks, it's the attitude   I realize that I am probably of average intelligence but one thing I still have yet to figure out are the sizes of the coffee at Starbucks.  I walk into the store a few times per week and struggle with my order which is supposed to be a medium vanilla no water chai and a large pike place roast but am always made to feel like an idiot and corrected l by the server with their foreign coffee language.  How in god's name am I supposed to keep Venti's and Grande's and tall's straight in my mind when they themselves make no sense at all

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