Posted by: annabanana210 | September 2, 2018

Crazy Coffee Lady

I wish I could make an excuse for not writing for as long as I have but I don’t have one. I have been busy trying to live life but I haven’t been diligent about documenting it. I know I need to step my game up. I turned forty in February and so far being forty has been better than my thirties.  My thirties were an exercise in introspection and madness. I pray that my forties will be the calm I need them to be. I’m kind of excited to see what this year has in store and it’s already half over.

So what has been keeping me sane these days? Glad you asked.


I was never into Starbucks but I started visiting independent coffee houses to find where the real buzz was. While I worked in Georgetown, I loved to frequent Baked and Wired (1052 Thomas Jefferson St NW ).  I spent quite a few mornings at max caf level, living outside of my skin.  I did become Da Mayor of Starbucks Columbia Heights while I was working closer to that location, because I was often running late and did not take the time to find spots.  Nine times out of ten, my standard skim caramel macchiato did NOT juice me up. The staff though, at Columbia Heights Starbucks were the best.  They always chatted with me and remembered my order.

When I took a job closer to where I live, I started off at Starbucks (either at Eastern Market or Navy Yard), but I got frustrated with the frequency of my order being incorrect, so I turned to Yelp.  I tried two coffee spots within two minutes of Starbucks and quickly transitioned.

I have never taken pictures of my coffee from Bourbon (621 Pennsylvania Ave, SE) but it’s a come-up from Starbucks.  Sometimes they don’t listen to your order (which makes no sense since we’re standing face to face), but you have so many options with their custom espresso drinks and the sizes you can choose.  You can also add more shots, so a few times I have skirted over to Bourbon before a long meeting for a medium latte with an extra shot. I think that Bourbon drove home for me that I just like a simple skim latte with an extra shot.

This brings me to Peregrine Espresso (660 Pennsylvania Ave, SE),  The first time I went in for a latte, I had vanilla syrup added.  I was so ecstatic when I saw actual vanilla beans in the bottom of my cup.  The baristas there adopted me, learned my order and discussed nursing with me.  They welcomed my family with open arms and it quickly became apparent why that was my spot.  Even when I add extra shots, the richness and flavor are never lost or bitter.  I often wish I could venture out and try something new, but I love my old faithful; a nonfat vanilla latte with an extra shot.

Over the summer, I returned to Baked and Wired but I also ventured out to other spots.  I loved my lowfat latte at Grace Street Coffee, but the location and parking make it hard to want to go back.  It may be around the corner from Baked and Wired (3210 Grace St NW) but I don’t usually want to break a fresh sweat while I pursue my caffeine.  The day I went, I had just worked out and had to park all the way over on 28th St.  The latte was worth the walk.

The other place I had to try was The Wydown (1924 14th St NW), for obvious St. Louis reasons.  WUSTL and Fontbonne students know Wydown well.  Wydown is not only a major artery by the universities, it’s also a neighborhood in Clayton.  It came as no surprise when I learned in Peregrine, that The Wydown came to be by way of the McCracken brothers (Kaldi’s).  My only gripe was the lack of skim milk.  However, the coffee needs that 2% because it is strrrronnng.  Love it though, and they also have an H St NE location as well.

Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to travel to London and Paris and have coffee there.  The iced skim latte was from Caffe Forum in South Kensington (146 Gloucester Road, London SW7 4SZ UK) and it was straight forward and to the point.  The café crème was from La Campanella in Paris (18 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris, France).  The coffee in France is wonderfully smooth and sweet; the exact opposite of the demeanor of the people there.


It took a long time for me to realize that coffee was how I looked forward to starting my day.  Now that I know it, I may never be able to return to my decaf beginnings. I find that coffee is not unlike wine, where there are many subtle differences on the palate.  How do you caffeinate yourself throughout the day and what is your preferred drink? Black coffee, latte, cappuccino, macchiato, red-eye or flat white?  Let me know.


Posted by: annabanana210 | December 31, 2017

Just a Few Thoughts

In my head, I planned a super snarky post about “Decembering.”  Instead, I come today to you with what’s on my heart.

You should be afraid–but not really.

I don’t usually comment on the new year because my personal new year starts soon enough.  But 2017 was a stark contrast to 2016 so I don’t want the year to end without acknowledging a few things.

I love accomplishing goals. Being able to cross a goal off of my list gives me quite the high because I find it very easy to compete with myself.  I hope to remain as thoughtful as I am now, but will try to add mindful into the mix with a sprinkling of attentiveness.

The lows in 2017 were eerily low and the highs were also unmatched.  I’m grateful that I never found myself as low as I was in 2016.  I haven’t become the person I’d like to be, but I’m still climbing.  I learned a lot about myself  in 2017 by reaching out to new people.  As a practicing INFP, I find it hard to reach out to people even though I care very deeply about humanity as a whole.  I do not like feeling vulnerable but this is also something I’m working on as part of my growth. This year, I made friends with two amazing people and I hope that for us it’s just the beginning.  These two people are very different but are alike in one huge way. Neither one of them takes the time to take care of themselves. I empathize with them both on that topic because I know that if I don’t take care of myself, no one will. Plus we ALL know, I take care of myself best, when I finally get around to it.

One of these people is the kindest soul I’ve ever encountered.  She has made me feel so comfortable that I feel like I could try something new if she suggested it — maybe.  She is very intuitive and is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside.  She helps me answer my own questions.  Her unconditional encouragement and support have lifted me so high! She can also find something good about even the most miserly asshats, so that’s a quality I adore about her. The only fault I can find in her is her love of snow. She’s the only person I’d want on stage with me, singing backup on ‘My Favorite Mistake,’ and she’s the sister I never knew I wanted but always knew I needed.  I often wish I could be as radiant and hilarious as she makes me out to be.

The other person has been a friend for several years, but has become a closer one this year.  This person has proofread my blog posts that I’ve refused to publish (go figure) and will openly critique any and everything much to my chagrin.  I would probably vomit if I admit how long he has been encouraging to me to return to writing. He is like a living, breathing Encyclopedia with the wit of Data on STNG. I have often joked that I am friends with him because he knows waaaay more songs than I do and that is so true.  This person is also the preeminent authority on music lyrics and truly understands how it is that I think, dream and feel music and lyrics. This person has given me the permission to be myself, even though I don’t need it.  He makes me want to be a better friend but I know I could never be as good a friend to him as he has been to me. He at least makes me want to try.

With all of that being said, I think I’m ready for 2018.  I may bitch the entire time but I’m guessing you’ve already planned for that. I won’t waste your time making resolutions that I have no intention in keeping.

See you on the flip.


Posted by: annabanana210 | March 18, 2014

28 Days of Me (continued)

Day 16:   Feeling kind of “Velvet Rope”-ish tonight.

Day 17:   Amy, Amy, Amy. Adele, Adele, Adele….

Day 18:   “Music is my heart and soul, more precious than gold.”

Day 19:   If I had to have a soundtrack, the intro track would be David Bowie “Fame”. 

Day 20:   Ready for the next phase of pain and suffering.

Day 21:   Never a fan of Duke, Kansas or Kentucky. EVER!

Day 22:   It was almost a good day. Almost doesn’t count for much.

Day 23:   Brunch is the best meal of the day. 

Day 24:   I don’t even know how to sleep in. 

Day 25:   If I’m complaining about how much you complain, then you need to stop. 

Day 26:   So honestly over the snow. 

Day 27:   I woke up and realized that it’s such a YSL morning. 

Day 28:   This morning alone was an out-of-body experience.  And not a good one

I did 28 days of me to test myself to see if I could write a discrete thought each day for a month.  I actually enjoyed the project.  Some thoughts think for themselves and some thoughts open me up to more thoughts.  I just hope that this exercise serves as a reminder to exercise my brain and fingers.  I will be in touch soon!!

Posted by: annabanana210 | February 16, 2014

28 Days of Me

Many people use the new calendar year as a new beginning.  Others use the new year as a tool for evaluation.  I use my birthday as a tool for both.  For many years, I have gone into deep introspection as the beginning of a new organic year. This year I decided to make a list (yes a list) of 28 things.  28 thoughts and facts about me.  We’ve reached the halfway point so I’ve decided to post the first half of my list.

Day 1:  I love my family.

Day 2:  I come from two wonderful parents.

Day 3:  I can’t live without music.

Day 4:  The older I get, the less happy I am about Day 10. Womp womp womp.

Day 5:  I am multifaceted, just like a diamond.  So deal with it!

Day 6:  There is a song that reminds me of each important person in my life.  Really special people get more than one song.

Day 7:  Sisters, sisters, there were never more devoted sisters…

Day 8:  Missing and loving Gregory Roberts, my boo.

Day 9:  I don’t usually care for remakes, I like originals.

Day 10: I was born some years ago, at St. Mary’s Health Center on the evening shift.

Day 11:  Day 1 all over again.

Day 12:  Can’t stand a faker.

Day 13:  Even though I was born in a blizzard, I detest snow and the winter.

Day 14:  Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds. 

Day 15:  “And the point of it all, is I love you.”

Posted by: annabanana210 | June 23, 2013

Girl of 100 Lists

Who doesn’t love a good list?

American Vagabond

il_570xN.369364163_qrgdWhen I started writing this blog (over 7 years ago!) I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t know that complete strangers would be interested in what I have to say, nor did I have any idea that I would one day develop a small but fierce following. I also had no idea how popular my “lists” would be. I thought I was alone in this, but it seems everybody likes to read a good list.

Lists are more than just a cool way of putting information together. Umberto Eco once said, “The list is the origin of culture”. I agree. I find making lists cathartic and useful in gauging the pulse of the average human. Lists are very much a part of today’s cultural currency, and a way for people like me to participate in the world around me. Lists are the great equalizer –…

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Posted by: annabanana210 | January 6, 2013

I don’t like Sunday nights

It’s Sunday night.  My least favorite time of the week.

I’m listening to Ben Folds Five sing “Selfless, Cold and Composed.”  It’s a beautiful song, real and tangible. The piano provides a foundation that’s lyrical and percussive and the melody has always drawn me in.  The chord structure inspires me and whether I want to sing along I always find myself doing so.

I don’t like Sunday nights.

That feeling of not wanting to go to work mixed with thinking of all of the things that need to be done….I can’t stand.  I’m working on being able to see Sunday for what it is; a day of opportunity just like the other six.

My favorite day of the week? Friday, hands down.  Maybe it’s a tie with Saturday morning.  I am in love with Saturday mornings. Especially when the sun is out and the whole weekend is open with possibilities. Brunch with friends, long walks with the boy, coffee and conversations or just catching up on what’s going down in my cybersphere.

Honestly, everyday is open with possibilities.  Any day that we wake up is a chance for a new opportunity, a new possibility.

My “new year” starts on February 10th, the day that the Lord descended my spirit onto the earth.  I find myself evaluating things as I get closer to that date.  In 35 days, I’ll be 35.  And for that, I love Sunday nights.

Good night.

Posted by: annabanana210 | December 15, 2012

Back for just a spell…

The Bitch is back.  Where have I been? Where have you been?  My computer is dying a slow painful death so I don’t write or blog like I should.  I think about it often and miss it but I hate sounding like a hypocrite promising I’ll write more when I’m not sure I can commit to it.

Someone I know asked me about me and my writing. I kept a journal from 1989 to 2005. Writing was for me and continues to be a form of catharsis.  I would purge all of the emotions of the day; love, hate, lust, anger, joy, sorrow and grief.  Journal entries were like literary snapshots.  At times I was able to go back and reread entries and be instantly transported to that time and those emotions. One fateful day, someone read my journal. They gathered their evidence and let the tension mount until they spilled what they’d read as well as how it made them feel.  What that did for me was make me horribly self-conscious of everything I wrote after that.

When that someone asked me about writing, he assumed that I was afraid of how other people judged what I wrote.  I wish it were that easy.  I had to get to a point where I could accept and trust what I wrote so people could even read it.  People aren’t always going to agree with what I have to say.  That’s a part of writing, a part of the process. Slowly but surely I’m making my way back.

Posted by: annabanana210 | January 23, 2012

Foggy Day Thoughts, Part 1

Today I have no title for these thoughts. I just have to purge them.

It’s cold and precipitating here in the District. Sounds like a perfect day to sleep late (check), catch up on Grey’s Anatomy (check) and meander about the quadrants in a lackadaisical fashion (BUZZ!). The last thing on the list, yeah…not so much.

I get on the train and I see great mobs of people with signs about abortion. The people who don’t have signs to end Abortion have signs to “De-fund Planned Parenthood”.

It dawned on me that it must be the March for Life day. My stomach hurt and my skin began to crawl all at the same time.

**This would be the time to stop reading. Especially if you can’t deal with opinions, namely mine.**

When I was in Nursing school, I had the pleasure of turning 23 and being kicked off my parents’ insurance while finishing up. For those of you that don’t know St. Louis Missouri well, you need to know that while we’re in the geographic middle of the country, we always rank in the top five for Syphilis and Gonorrhea. Something to be proud of. Straight up Missourah pride here, laced with Penrose sensibility. My friends from school and I started going to Planned Parenthood for routine female care. When I was 23, you could get free Gonorrhea and Chlamydia swabs and access to Plan B and from what I understand, oral contraceptives were also easy to come by and inexpensive.

The worst part of going to Planned Parenthood near school was that it was close to the New Cathedral (walking distance even); there were always Nuns, Priests and other Protesters heckling you as you went in, telling you not to kill your baby, that God loved you and so on.  The last time I went there and that happened, I told the Nun that she should come in and get checked out and stop messing around with those priests (that messed around with little boys anyway).

You might be surprised to know that I don’t think I could ever have an abortion. But that’s how I feel about me, my body, my love and my responsibility. The thing of it is, however, what I do with my body, my uterus, my ovaries, my ears, my nose and my throat have never been and should never be any of your concern or anyone else’s.

I have to admit that I think it’s disgusting to use abortion as a form of birth control. But it’s not my responsibility to pass judgment on those that use it such. It’s my responsibility to make sure that this remains an option and that we all continue to make our own choices.I won’t be sitting on God’s right or left side come Judgment Day. My biggest hope is that everyone that was out protesting today knows exactly why they’re protesting and what they’re protesting for.

Next year is the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

I’ll make sure that if I’m not on vacation, I won’t ride the trains.

Posted by: annabanana210 | December 31, 2011

Face the music and dance


I could be more optimistic, but let’s face it–I’m me.

As the last little bit of 2011 circles the drain, I could be reticent and listen to everyone go on and on about how much better 2012 is going to be. But it isn’t. I’ll take the beating for my opinion. I’ve already been told that I’m “letting my hatefulness get the best of me”.

**Rolls eyes, musses hair**

Every morning that you wake up and draw breath, you have the opportunity to change any and everything about yourself. Whatever it is that you’re yearning and burning to change, you can. You can reflect on this any day of the year, not just in December or January. The most reflective and introspective time for me is my birthday. The anniversary of my arrival into this space in time. That 41st day of the year haunts me and is the focal point of my psychosis regarding goals and aspirations and lack thereof.

I’m not judging anyone for buying into the hype of kicking one year to the curb and welcoming the next with open arms. It’s just not how I roll.

By all means–Please don’t stop the music.

Posted by: annabanana210 | October 3, 2011

No one asked me…

As usual, people think they have me all figured out. A couple of weeks ago, I said I liked a t-shirt (can’t find the link on, and the two stank-ass people at the table looked at me perplexed saying that I couldn’t possibly like this shirt because it had a four-letter word on it : LOVE.

I had to sigh and roll my eyes at this.  I don’t have a problem with love.  It’s just something I’ve yet to figure out, especially how it fits in my stratosphere.

How can I begin to understand a concept that is both a noun and a verb? You fall into it and you fall out of it.  You need it, you want it, you’re denied it, you can’t live without it.  It’s a many-splendored thing, it makes the world go ’round, it changes everything…it’s definitely one of the top (if not the top) reasons that people write songs. It’s so complicated that I think that it’s easy to solve quadratic equations than figure it out; there are too many variables where love is concerned.  Too many conditions, too many clauses.

Love to me is just like anything else I have in my life; I have to wonder why others are so opinionated on how it fits into my life.  Sure love for me hasn’t worked out for me the way that I would have hoped, but I haven’t given up on it–at least not totally.

I guess they’re only assuming how I feel about love.  No one asked me how I feel about love. Don’t worry, like most things, my opinion of it changes constantly.  Though sometimes I feel I should, I haven’t given up on the possibility of love in my life.  I still appreciate that people can forge a relationship with another person and be partners, lovers and friends.  I just feel that I have to be cautious (as everyone should be), with who I decide to share myself with.

Once, I asked my mother if she was more afraid when she had me or my younger sister. Without blinking she easily answered that she was more afraid having my sister.  With me, I was the first and she had no idea of what to expect.  After my arrival, she had an idea of how it could go, what could go wrong and that frightened her.

I’ve already had the ultimate in failed relationships, I remember it well, and knowing that another relationship could fail intimidates me.  Cliche I know, but it’s true.

Not too long ago, I came across this wonderful quote on love:

“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.” Rick Warren said this months ago on Twitter.  I’m totally baffled by that statement. I can’t complain about it, can’t question it, and I actually agree with it.  Although I may change ‘love’ and ‘time’, it still stands to reason that ‘the best time to love is now’. Even if it’s for a short time, it’s better than not loving at all.

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