Yet another overdue entry. Life has a way of being busy even when it’s not. Or rather, we don’t have a ton of unstructured time.

Last week, our path takes us a little out of our way to a place called Philz Coffee. It’s a chain, I’m pretty sure. Anyway, we’ve driven by the place dozens of times. It’s in a mall we call the “hippy mall” because all the signs are tie-dyed. The dry cleaner is all eco and stuff.

Anyway, Carrie goes into Philz for a latte. First, she gets a spiel about how the “don’t use any machines” from a guy who is standing in front of a giant grinder. Then, when we pay, the woman at the cash register says “is this your first time? When welcome to your new addiction!” Which is hilarious if you think about it. She’s clearly not paid enough to say that sort of thing unless she actually believes in it.

American (or at least Californian/Peninsular) customer service is so much more earnest and enthusiastic. When I first moved to Quebec, a friend said “just remember, the customer is always wrong,” and I’d gotten used to that. Here, we’re just swept away in the ecstasy of consumption.

Anyway, the coffee is indeed handmade (sort of steeped like tea) and the thing-that-was-not-a-latte didn’t work all that well for Carrie. But on a friend’s recommendation she returned to purchase a mint mojito iced coffee a few days later and was suitably impressed.

As for me, Philz offers nothing of interest that I can see, though I do share Carrie’s new bubble tea addiction, which is more at the “can’t stop it so we might as well manage it” stage. It’s not that you can’t get bubble tea in Montreal. The awesome Vietnamese sub place in our metro station has it. It’s just that it’s somehow of this place, even though it’s not.

In other news, the second yoga class went better, and we’ve got a bit of a swimming routine down at this point. I’ve inverted my mornings and afternoons, so that mornings (which are shorter) are more for others and afternoons are for me. This works well because the email chatter from the east coast dies down in the afternoon.

Saturday we spent in Oakland and Berkeley. Berkeley seems to me a bit of a shadow of its former self, and not only because Cody’s bookstore is closed (Moe’s is still amazing–I walked in not knowing I needed to read Cassirer’s philosophy of the humanities but I walked out convinced of the necessity). You still have weird outfits, random erratic behavior and various hippy trappings on Telegraph Ave, but I perceive it as much more of a generic “campustown” than I felt it was when I last visited in 1997. Dinner with Steven, Robin, Jillian and Doug, however, was classic and timeless.

Also, would it be too much to ask for both the NFL teams for which I root to not have quarterback sexual harassment/douchebaggery scandals at the same time? Thanks. Although I bet old NFL greats like Joe Nameth and Michael Irvin are really happy that sexing was not possible during their careers.