John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Noise Annoys

In my year of unemployment, I developed a habit which I have greatly come to miss, which was in the morning to head over to Barnes & Noble, grab a little something from the adjacent Starbucks, and sit at a table to work up Suburban Jungle scripts. It was, in a word, wonderful, and I miss it, as the song says, like the deserts miss the rain. I was away from the myriad distractions and obligations of home, I had a little something to munch/sip on (verboten at the public library), and if I felt the need for inspiration I could browse the shelves for art books, comics, manga, or whatever -- without fear that somebody would shove my stuff to the floor and claim the table for themselves when I wasn't there to defend it.

Now that I'm doing the salaryman M-F routine, I have to do my scripting nights and weekends. For a while, I was still able to pop over to B&N, or failing that, the adjacent Starbucks, and get a bit of work done. But I'm afraid it's just no longer viable. Over the last Christmas season, B&N converted several of their tables to book displays, and once Christmas was over they didn't convert them back. And, even as the usable space declined, the number of people wanting to use the place as a study hall/home office jumped dramatically. On those rare occasions that you could claim a table, all you could hear was crying children anyway.

As for the Starbucks, forget it. This particular one is already the busiest one in the district, and they've suddenly developed the habit of cranking the music (no longer CDs, but now the Starbucks XM radio channel, including COMMERCIALS) to ear-stabbing levels so that you're forced to hear the commercials over the hissing espresso machines and the hordes of people jabbering at the tops of their lungs to be heard over both the machines and the radio.

So, it has become time to start looking for another venue. My choices seem to be more-or-less mutally exclusive ... I can go around the corner to have a Starbucks sans bookstore, or I can go to the library to have books to peruse and relative quiet but without the required "little something." The next nearest Barnes & Noble is at Fair Lakes, 20-40 minutes away depending on if it's rush hour or not, and the closest Borders is another 10 minutes beyond that. There is also a Panera in the neighborhood, which is no doubt quiet in the evening and has plenty of little somethings, but again, no bookstore.

Bah! No wonder so many writers are neurotic. ;P

-The Gneech
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