Tag Archives: empresso

Coffeehouse observation No. 115: Hey, it’s Joey Casanova – what an oaf

There’s this fella I see at empresso every so often and also at the library branch I frequent. Let’s call him Joey Casanova. The reasons will become clear in a bit.

By the way, if you’ve forgotten, empresso is the coffeehouse I patronize most frequently. It’s located in the Empire Theater on the Miracle Mile in Stockton. Students from the University of the Pacific, CSU-Stanislaus satellite campus, San Joaquin Delta College, and the nearby adult school keep the place pretty busy, which is great for the owners what with this economy the way it is.

Anyway, in the two or so years that I’ve been going to empresso, Joey Casanova has had at least three or four different girlfriends. He swaggers in with the woman on his arm, they grab a beverage, and then they usually sit in the patio area at the front of the theater. He sometimes lights up a really cheap cigar or pulls a book from a cheap canvas book bag and begins to thumb through the book.

Whether he’s with a woman or not, he carries himself with a swagger and air of self-assuredness that is somehow, well, revolting. He carries himself as if he believes he is God’s gift to women.

But the thing is he’s not that much to look at. He’s about 6-2 or so, 275 to 300 pounds – soft pounds, too, not much muscle bulk – dark hair that’s always nicely trimmed, but nothing special to look at. He usually wears a T-shirt and black jeans or black shorts, which contrasts with his somewhat pasty white skin. He often wears sandals and sometimes he wears a fedora.

I’ve heard the guy speak; nothing special there either. He doesn’t come across nearly as intelligent as he seems to believe he is and I’ve even heard him make a couple of borderline inappropriate comments.

I think it is the swagger that grates at me most. And the way he seems to view women. If a woman is sitting alone in the coffeehouse, Joey Casanova frequently goes up to them and strikes up a conversation as if it is expected that they respond to him positively. And they often do just that. The thing is, the very next day he might show up with the girlfriend du jour. And his swagger.

Yeah, I suppose it could be just coffeehouse confidence, but I don’t think so. I mean, sometimes he simply ogles women. I suppose it might be a touch of jealousy since I haven’t had much luck dating lately. Besides, I’d rather think of Joey Casanova as an oaf, lout and a boor.

Here’s another thing that contributes to my distaste of Joey Casanova. As people are gathering at the front door of the library branch, he’ll swagger up, move directly to the front of the pack, and very typically attempt to strike up a conversation with the most attractive woman there. It doesn’t matter if she’s in her teens or her 70s, he’ll attempt to win them over with a cliché or two and what I suspect he believes is a charming grin that comes across as smarmy.

Once the doors open, however, Joey Casanova bolts for the computers provided by the library for internet access. He pecks in his library card number and does whatever it is Joey Casanova does online, which is a scary thought.

Here is a typical Joey Casanova move: The other day I was sitting in the library where there are tables set aside for WiFi users and a pretty black woman sat down across from me. Her top revealed a bit of cleavage.

As soon as Joey Casanova’s hour was up on the computer – you get an hour each day on the library computers – he swaggered by and I’m pretty sure he did so simply to look down the woman’s shirt. See, an oaf, lout, and boor.

And women don’t seem to see that. How do the Joey Casanova’s of the world do it? Ah, well, at least he’s not in the coffeehouse today.

 Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 81

The coffeehouse I patronized the most – empresso – sure does hire beautiful young women.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 73

I’m not sure why they were playing disco music earlier in the empresso, but I’m sooo very happy they’ve changed to something else.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 70

I’m back in more familiar territory today – empresso on Pacific Avenue in Stockton, CA, USA. It was quiet earlier, then bustling, now quiet again, but it may be building to bustling again. The coffee is good and strong, and beautiful women of all ages frequent the establishment. I’m guessing that has something to do with the draw of the businesses on the Miracle Mile, the adult school down the street, and the proximity to the University of the Pacific and San Joaquin Delta College. Whatever the reason, I don’t mind. In rainy weather lately, I’ve been patronizing Exotic Java because it is next door to the Margaret Troke Branch Library on West Benjamin Holt Drive. (I typically walk to empresso in order to avoid a parking ticket and I don’t like walking in the rain that much. There is free parking at this particular library branch.) Nice baristas at Exotic Java and coffee that hits the spot, but it is a bit less active than empresso, probably because it is a block or two from Pacific Avenue. Oh, but it has a drive-through window, which makes it convenient for motorists. I can recommend both establishments.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

Sometimes you just have to whack it

This is not adult  entertainment, so get you heads out of the gutter. This isn’t about whacking that “it.”

Readers – from Maine to California and back again – know I’ve been out of work for the past year. So, cable and satellite TV both have been well out of reach financially.

And, frankly, the cost of both even before I was laid off on March 5, 2009, from a newspaper job after 22 years of experience in the industry kept me from paying for either just on principle alone. The cost was and is unreasonable.

So I went with a digital TV converter and rabbit ears antenna. Rabbit ears were good enough for generations of TV-watchers, it was good enough – sort of – for me. It was not nearly acceptable for someone who loves to watch sports, movies and the assorted nature programming, but I had to make due.

When “broadcast” TV went digital, I requested and received a government coupon and then purchased an APEX DT250A TV Converter.

As such electronics go, it was inexpensive and cheaply made. Cheaply. And when I use “cheaply,” I mean the box the size of a hardcover book was a truckload of yak dung.

It worked well enough – as long as the rabbit ears were just so – for a couple months.

But Thursday night the box failed right in the middle of the “NCIS” rerun I was watching. Know this: No one comes between me and “NCIS,” not even NCIS Special Agent Jethro Leroy Gibbs. OK, maybe Gibbs might do it, especially after one of his trademark slaps to the back of the cranium, but you get the point.

But on Thursday evening the TV screen went snowy. Not just a flurry, but a storm the likes of those that have hit the East Coast this winter.

I did not have a remote in my hand – no, really, I didn’t have a remote in my hands – so I figured I had not mistakenly hit a button that might have caused the snowstorm. I checked the cable connections, the antenna connection, the power source, and then rechecked them twice. I was resigned to give up for the evening – it was late enough that going to sleep was a better option than obsessing over it any longer.

The next morning I took off early enough that I did not watch TV. I was off to the Empresso coffeehouse on Pacific Avenue in Stockton to continue the job search and blogging efforts. I have two versions of “Letters From Away,” one on WordPress and one on Blogger, and another about what I see at various coffeehouses I patronize, especially Empresso and Exotic Java, that I named “Coffeehouse Observer.”

After going through job and news websites, blogging a bit, and getting a few other online tasks done, I returned to the apartment in the early evening. I was in the middle of some mundane tasks – as if watching TV isn’t mundane enough – when I remembered that I would not be able to unwind watching TV.

I also remembered that there was one thing that I had not done the previous evening – whack it.

I turned on the TV and the APEX box, picked up the box, and gave it a couple of good whacks.

It worked.

I am watching an episode of “Criminal Minds” on the ION network as I’m writing this blog.

There you have it. Sometimes it simply pays to whack it.

Coffeehouse observation No. 64

There is a rather thin woman – I’m guessing she’s a college student – sitting at a nearby table. She very probably does not weigh 100 pounds. But her voice has a certain raspy quality that makes her sound much larger and older and a career smoker. She has on a hat similar to a Greek fisherman’s cap and ass-kickin’ boots. Oh, and a dark top and blue jeans, but the hat and boots very much go with the voice.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.