Yep, I’m having some coffee

Java in the Batdorf and Bronson mug the company sent when I emailed a question to them.

Dancing Goats. It’s a Batdorf and Bronson coffee blend. I used to serve it up when I worked in the Connect Cafe in Daytona Beach. The place was owned by an interesting couple who married late in life: Ron and Diane Griffin.

It was my spare job. I was also working at Publix in Port Orange on Nova Road. It was funny cause the cafe was in the same shopping center as my first Daytona area Publix. I had transferred there from Port Charlotte.

I was also slated to transfer to the Cracker Barrel that is literally in the parking lot of the Daytona International Speedway but, the manager ended up being an a-hole so, I told them I was not joining their team.

I was sick of waiting tables but, Cracker Barrel turned out to not be be my last waitressing gig. That honor I thought, just a moment ago, belonged to Olive Garden in Ormond Beach (I learned I loved Pinot grigio from my training there). As I was thinking up that previous sentence, I realized my last waitressing gig was as a banquet server at the Adam’s Mark Hotel on Daytona Beach.

That job was actually fun and interesting and lucrative. The hotel has changed ownership and I think it’s a Hilton now. I think it’s still the largest hotel in Volusia County. It’s housed Presidents: Bush (I forget if it was #1 or #2-either one of them I would have gladly taken over that orange monster we just legally dumped) and Clinton. I met Whoopi Goldberg and Ben Affleck working there.

The place was cavernous and full of secret tunnels and passages and elevators! There was a huge employee dining area were we got free food and locker rooms. It was like a maze under the immense glass hotel, which is a giant landmark on Atlantic Avenue or from the Atlantic Ocean.

What used to be the Adam’s Mark Hotel. The building on the right is the second towera later addition.

During training/orientation our trainer-who was also in the graduate creative writing program at UCF-told our group that the hotel’s average monthly electric bill was over $100,000. This was back in 2003. I was in my first semester of, “return to college,” at UCF.

How’d I get off on this tangent? Geeze, I remind myself of some of my professors. Tangents are fun. I remember Tram (Dr. Neill for part of my connection to him) going off on one about why yawning is contagious. Heh, just thinking and writing that word made be yawn-my only yawn in a couple of hours. Anyway, that was in Perception class. One of my few Summer semester classes. I usually used Summers to work my butt off and make money.

Or, was that Human Cognition? Shit, I can’t believe I can’t remember. Hells bells, I used to have every Zeppelin song memorized for time length and order on every album.

Human cognition introduced me to my undying interest in human creativity. For that class, which was also taught by Tram, instead of taking the final, I opted to write a research paper, which was to be at least 20 pages long in APA style. I wrote mine on the association between intelligence and creativity. My paper ended at 35 pages and about four of those were, “sources cited.”

This was before personal computers and Windows Word, which has now been around so long it’s just, “Word.” I was a horrible typist. I still am. Typing is boring. It still is. Windows Word was designed for people such as myself. On about the third consecutive night of writing and typing and ripping sheets from the carrier, wading them up and turning them into cat toys, I consulted the classifieds in The Oracle (student newspaper) and found a professional typist, who was also an English teacher. Two bucks a page.

Yep, I plunked down seventy bucks to pay her to make my paper pretty. When she handed over my finished paper she praised my writing and research skills (I’ve been getting that since 1979) and said I should get an A+. I’m pretty sure I got an A++. But, Tram forever teased me about the 35 pages. Mostly he did it to make me give him an eye roll. He’s one of those Cancer ascendant guys I may have mentioned. He hadn’t attained that status until I took all his classes. That took over three years.

He did a good job of wiping the drool off my chin when he took us to my first Robert Plant concert. A++, Dr. Neill.

🥸🥸🥸🥸Indecently, during that era I was also a research assistant in the psych lab. I helped administer experiments (mostly memory or cognition) to subjects who were usually psych students getting extra credit for being subjects. The computers we used were all, now ancient, Apple computers. No one ever called them, “Macs.” Whenever I see pictures of those old relics, I crack up.

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