Free Wi-Fi, yummy food, and gallons of coffee...

Last week, on my way to a meeting at one of the 6 Paneras at which both Dena and I do an awful lot of our freelance work, I called her on my mobile phone. "You don't happen to be at the Panera on Wendover, do you?" I asked as soon as I heard her voice. "No!" she replied, " But this morning at the one on Lawndale, I walked around and looked for you!"

For good reason, too. More than once we've run into each other without scheduling time together. Good thing, too. We're both so busy, sometimes these are the only in-person visits we get, one of us coming, the other going.

Just now, sitting at one of these handy cafes where you can have soup or salad or sandwiches or any number of yummy treats and tons and tons of hot coffee, we're exchanging little emails without a real purpose, just gabbing. (And if you know Dena, you know that's not an everyday occurrence. Dena stays on track, my hero!)

Dena turned me on to which of the Paneras don't play the perky jazz she so loathes. Today she'd be sawing off her own ears with that plastic knive over's particularly perky right now.

From the last note I sent to her:

I'm at Panera with jazz music and too much AC and this dude right across from me, trying not to make eye contact 'cause sometimes it's just awkward the 13th time you look up and see a stranger. And he keeps kinda' dancing in his seat to the jazz.

Yea, you're jealous.

Then I had guilt when he came over and asked me a simple question and struck up a harmless enough conversation and turned himself into a real person, kinda' nice, instead of the bouncing dude over there at the next table.  

Aah, the life. Time for coffee; I'm sitting Right Under The AC Vent and my fingers are perilously close to turning into blocks of ice... (It's already happened to my brain, otherwise I could find a more original way to tell you how cold I am, sitting here in my corner I now have blissfully to myself, since my dancing neighbor just left. But OH the jazz. It's getting louder... yet generating no heat whatsoever...