reading the same newspaper for 20 years

As your resident Starbucks barista (barista trainer and store level champion to be more specific), I spend perhaps too much time wondering what PotO characters would drink and what kind of customers they’d be.  

Christine: Not much of a coffee gal.  Loves super sweet things.  In the summer, she loves Frappuccinos.  In the winter, a raspberry white mocha or a regular coffee that’s like, ¼ heavy cream and a sweet flavor.  She always asks what’s new on the menu and if the barista can suggest something really good “with maybe less of a coffee taste?” If you make something up for her, she’d probably enjoy it and give you a cheerful thumbs-up while she’s drinking it before saying, “Thank you!” Very pleasant customer. Forgets to tip at first but she’ll run back over before she leaves and drop a couple bucks in the jar.

Raoul: He’s a tea guy.  He almost always gets a London Fog.  Christine tries to convince him to get a mango black tea or passion tea lemonade when it’s hot, but that London Fog hits the spot every time.  He’s the guy that, in summer, makes lighthearted excuses for ordering a hot drink like, “I know, I know!  In this weather!  But you know, it just gets me going!” Pleasant customer that always jokes, “Someday I’ll change it up on you!” Always pays two dollars over and says, “The rest is for you!”

Erik: Definitely black coffee. He finds cream and sugar tamper with its taste.  He’s also that middle aged guy that tells the barista, “I don’t like Starbucks coffee because you burn the beans” but he still buys the darkest (and worst tasting imo) dark roast, French, and is the only customer at your store that gets it ground for a Turkish coffee pot. He also is quick to say, “Don’t put my name on the cup” and has a tendency to go to the same location because they’re used to him.  Kind of ornery but he always tips $5s, $10s, or even $20s if it’s around the holidays.

The Persian: Years spent babysitting a tantrum-prone genius haven’t done favors for the daroga’s heart and he is most certainly a decaf coffee drinker.  He alternates between a tall decaf Americano and a tall decaf cappuccino, each one with one Sugar in the Raw. He never gets either iced, and seems to prefer to sit down in the corner of the cafe to read his newspaper and enjoy his coffee. He never says much, has a tired smile and bags under his eyes. Has a tendency to call the female baristas “sweety” in his Iranian accent, which has an endearing paternal affect to it. Always tips a dollar.

Meg: Meg almost certainly spends her lunch money every day at Starbucks after school. Kids in Meg’s age group get one of three things: a caramel, vanilla bean, or green tea Frappuccino. She’s no exception, and she tends to get the caramel because it comes with coffee.  She’s rather tactless and when you say hello to her, she’ll just say, “I’d like a caramel frappe, extra caramel.” You’re so used to how tactless she is, that you don’t bother to tell her that frappes are offered at McDonalds and ours are called Frappuccinos. She says thanks, but at her age, definitely doesn’t tip.

Madame Giry: “You’re spending your money on Starbucks when we have coffee and milk at home?” On the rare occasion that she gets a gift card as a present, she stares at the menu for a long time and asks what the difference is between certain drinks.  She orders a caramel macchiato when she meant to get a caramel Frappuccino to share with Meg. She looks really apologetic though, so you offer the messed up drink for free.  She’s really appreciative and tips you at the hand-off counter. 

Grocery Store

Adamsville, AL

As a teen, Iwas working the express lane at a local grocery store when an older gentlemen came through my line with some bleach he wanted to purchase. He was short one dollar and there was a line forming behind him as he searched his pockets for the money. I told him not to worry about it and plucked a dollar from my pocket to put in the register for him. He seemed confused when I handed him his receipt and his bag and told him to have a nice day. He left the store and came back a few minutes later to give me a dollar from his car. He thanked me and I told him it was no problem at all.

A few days later he came through my line again. He didn’t have anything to buy, but he waited in line to see me because he wanted to give me a hand-carved jewelry holder that looked like a large chess piece. It was beautiful and I was shocked. I thanked him for the gift and he went on his way. On the bottom, it had his name and address.

A few years later, I was back home from college visiting my parents and reading the newspaper when I came across a familiar name in the obituaries. I went to look at my gift and it was the same person. I cried so hard, but I won’t ever forget him. It’s been nearly 20 years since that happened and I still have the jewelry holder on my dresser and the obituary clipping in my desk.

anonymous asked:

I saw this blog in which it expressed that Erik/The Phantom is real. I was wondering if you knew about the legend that inspired Leroux to write The Phantom of the Opera? In this blog it says that Erik/The Phantom was actually real but that legend was never translated to English so nobody ever knew about him.

Hi Anon! Thanks for your question. You may be thinking about the bogus Renata de Waele “account” of a deformed musical genius named “Eric” who fell in love with the opera singer “Christine Dahe.” This is, however, all a load of hooey. Sorry to break it to you, but Erik was never real. No matter how much Gaston Leroux may have claimed that Erik was a real person, he was a fictional character.

That said, Leroux used a literary technique called “faction” (fact + fiction) to write The Phantom of the Opera, and so there are some events in his novel that were inspired by actual occurrences, like the chandelier accident that happened on 20 May, 1896 (more than 15 years after Phantom is supposedly set), where a counterweight from the chandelier (though not the whole chandelier itself) fell into the audience, killing a woman and injuring several other people.

On 21 May, 1896, Le Matin, the Parisian daily newspaper where Leroux was then employed, ran the following headline (you can read the full article here). The victim’s name is listed as Mme Chaumet in Le Matin, though in Le Figaro, her name is listed as both Mme Chaumet and Mme Chaumeil — in the same edition! (Could it be that the French have as much difficulty spelling their language as I do?)

Leroux borrowed this wording when he wrote the headline for the concierge’s death in Le Fantôme de l’Opéra (in italics below):

Though, being Leroux, he significantly exaggerated the weight of the chandelier debris, increasing its weight from five hundred kilos, to two hundred thousand kilos!

Another instance of faction in Leroux’s narrative is his character, the Persian. The Persian was based on a real man, Mohammed Ismaël Khan (who went by Ismaël), who was famous in Paris for frequenting the Opera House and wearing his signature astrakhan hat. He even lived on the Rue de Rivoli (#204, to be exact), facing the Tuileries, just as Leroux described. You can read about Ismaël (in French) in this piece extracted from the book, Les célébrités de la rue, and you can read more about him in the Revue encyclopédique. The researcher extraordinaire, Scorp, has also written about the Persian in his recent article on Phantom, which you can purchase here.

However, this Persian never visited the Opéra Garnier, as Leroux wrote, because he died in 1868 at the age of 82, seven years before the Opéra Garnier was inaugurated. Instead, Ismaël frequented the previous Opera House, the Salle Le Peletier.

As for Erik, however, there is no evidence that Leroux was basing him on a real person (like he did the Persian).

Furthermore, Leroux’s original readership would have recognized immediately that Leroux’s novel was a work of fiction. Le Fantôme de l’Opéra was first published as a feuilleton (serialized novel) in the Parisian daily newspaper, Le Gaulois. As a feuilleton, it was understood to be a work of fiction; factual accounts were not printed in the feuilleton section. It was actually rather avant-garde for Leroux, a former journalist, to be presenting a faux-factual “dear reader” narrative, presented as an extended journalistic account, in the feuilleton section of an actual journal. It was ingenious for a literary work, and was yet another way in which Leroux stretched, subverted, and played with the accepted tropes of his media.

However, once Le Fantôme de l’Opéra was published as a book, it lost this additional layer of meaning, and the story became more “real” than Leroux had initially intended. However, Leroux was more than willing to capitalize on this misconception, like in a promotional piece that he wrote for the upcoming Lon Chaney movie, where he reiterated the “truth” of his story. You can read an English translation of this piece here. There is nothing to suggest, however, that this piece was anything but tongue in cheek; Leroux was simply playing along with the popular notions that had begun to surround his book, as Erik transitioned from the world of clear fiction to the world of ambiguous, potential reality. The fact that some people still believe that Erik actually lived is proof of the power of Leroux’s narrative. It is the ultimate illusion; Leroux’s final magic trick. And I think that Leroux would get a good chuckle if he knew that even today people were still debating the veracity of his novel.

This is Radish, he’s been my dog for as long as I can remember. We rescued him from abusive owners that used to physically attack him(he cries whenever you roll up a newspaper or pick up the TV remote).

I’m an only child and I didn’t have many friends growing up, so i spent my childhood going on adventures with this smelly mutt. We’ve been pirates, dragons, explorers- everything.

He’s now 20 years old (at least) making him roughly 96 in dog years. Every Christmas Eve, without fail, we have snuggled up together like this and read “twas the night before Christmas”.

The last few years have been extremely difficult for us because he now suffers from dementia. You’re probably wondering how on earth can a dog get dementia? Its the same as a human, first he started to get lost on familiar walks, he began whining all night every night because he didn’t know where he was. Despite his medication, there are times when I call him and he doesn’t even know who I am.

It hurts beyond belief to see someone you love, no matter what species, slowly forget you. And yet…

Every Christmas Eve he comes onto my bed, lays next to me and pricks up his ears as we read. This year was no exception, in fact he’s snoring by my ear as I write this.

I don’t know how many more Christmas Eves we’ll spend together. Perhaps this will be our last one. But even though loosing him breaks my heart, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because this scruffy, smelly, noisy, little dog is my world.

anonymous asked:

hold up you were an actual child prodigy? Can you tell us more?? That's like really cool ok adkjhfalsdk;kl

It wasn’t cool.

…It was kind of cool.

I was a big reader as a kid, liked science, and had a good memory for facts.  Plus I was very socially isolated and eager to please authority figures, so I directed a lot more energy towards school than most kids.  I took the SATs at age 12 and got a perfect 800 on the verbal section.  I took them again at age 14 and got another perfect verbal, plus a 780 in the math section.  (This was before the writing section.  But I took an SAT II in writing and got a perfect score.  I got a 780 on the Biology SAT II, too.)

I skipped three grades in total–4th, 8th, and 11th–and graduated high school at 15.  I started college immediately, and graduated at 19.

The uncool side of this is that all the grade-skipping was not my idea (THANKS MOM), and was not good for me.  I probably would have been socially awkward no matter what, but it didn’t help to be separated from my classmates every couple years and to miss out on three years’ worth of badly needed emotional and social development.  I was 11 when I started high school, and not “11 going on 20, so mature.”  I was Chuck-E-Cheese 11.  And weird.  It didn’t go well.

And in the end I graduated college and ended up learning basic life and employment skills at the same halting pace as most new grads, because none of my newspaper clippings reads “AMAZING MIRACLE CHILD can write a cover letter that doesn’t sound like an arrogant robot.”

It was cool that I was doing college-level statistics before my age ended in “teen,” and I did enjoy getting lots of special attention for my talents.  And I did (and do!) enjoy reading and learning for its own sake.  But overall the experience wasn’t pleasant, and it definitely didn’t set me up for life.  Being a child prodigy: 4/10 not recommended.