synonyms for starbucks


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The Best Book on Writing I’ve Ever Read: The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen

The thing about The Productive Writer: Tips and Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less, and Create Success by Sage Cohen is that it’s not so much about how to write, or at least not about how to improve your craft.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how well you write if you never write. We all know those people, or are those people, or have been those people, who want to be writers but never really finish anything. I once spent roughly five years with a short story I was going to turn into a novel. I did lots of other things during that five years, of course. Creative, productive things. But I sure didn’t write. Or, I often wrote—I’d do those delightful writing exercises like “What if rain were sticky, and you were a duck?” that possibly helped me to be a better writer, but I never actually completed anything. Ever.

The Productive Writer is about finding the time to write, how to get yourself to sit down and start typing, how to figure out the small steps that lead to big goals, how to make little bad ideas become big good ones, and how to organize your writing career. It drastically changed my writing habits and how I thought about writing. It made me realize I had more time to write than I’d known, helped me figure out which habits worked for me (even if they never would for others) and showed me how to redesign my goals and plans in ways that made sense. It also made extremely clear the ways I was stopping myself from moving forward. I’d already been concentrating for quite some time on changing from being someone who wanted to be a writer to being someone who wrote… This book supercharged that process for me.

five splashes of soy milk (out of five splashes)

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Review: The Starbucks App

It makes no sense that I only just got the Starbucks app, but when it first came out my phone wasn’t smart enough, and then when I got my Android I just… forgot it existed. I don’t know. Anyway, I have it now. starbucksandroidapp

I think the iPhone version might be fancier, but there are three sections in the Android app: Rewards, Cards, and Stores.
The rewards section tells you how many more stars you need to stay a Gold member, which is kind of weird; you only need to buy one coffee a month to stay a member and I don’t really see anyone bothering to download the app if they don’t go to Starbucks at least once a month? It also tells you how many free drinks you have and when they expire, which is great for me because I always feel like I should save my free drinks for something fancier than brewed coffee, except that’s really all I drink (not being allowed caffeine OR sugar kind of limits one) so my free drinks tend to expire. Now I can keep an eye on it. So that’s nice. Not so much so that I’d pay money for the app, but it’s a free app.
In the Cards section you can see how much money is on your cards, but much more importantly, you can pay with your phone. When I heard about this, I really just didn’t get how INCREDIBLY awesome it would be. I always have my phone in my hand when I’m standing in line at Starbucks anyway, and digging out my wallet seems to be the hugest pain in the world somehow. Which it isn’t. I know it isn’t. But it feels like it is. I would pay as much as a dollar for this app, just for this convenience. Then I’d feel guilty for having spent a dollar on something so minor, so it’s good that it’s free. ****Important**** Immediately after typing all this I went to pay with my phone and the app crashed and I had to dig out my wallet for my card and everyone glared at me for not having my card out ahead of time only I totally would have if I’d known the app was about to crash god damn it.
The Stores section finds nearby stores, which I love, and most importantly, tells you all sorts of things about them, like if they’re the fake Starbucks inside grocery stores and when they’re open and whether they have fireplaces (around here, of course, the answer is no—never any fireplaces). Also you can search according to what amenities you want or have it only show you stores currently open. Obviously, the best thing in the world would be if they told you whether you were going to turn up at the Starbucks only to find that the line was out the door and every table was taken, but I do understand that sort of thing changes too quickly to be feasible. I would happily pay $50 for this feature, but only within twenty seconds of showing up at a Starbucks and finding it closed inside a grocery store. The rest of the time I wouldn’t pay any money for it because come on.

Four Splashes of Soy Milk (out of five splashes)

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Specific Reviews of Specific Places in Which I’ve Written: Starbucks, Alameda & San Fernando, Burbank

I’ve only recently started coming here to write; there are four Starbucks closer to my house and the place is TINY. Just seven tables. But, I don’t know, I really like it. It’s cozy and everyone seems sort of relaxed and happy. Besides, it seems to do mostly to-go business, so while it’s always kind of bustling I’ve never had any trouble getting a table (the one closest to me has 20+ tables and about half the time I go there every chair is full). There’s a little patio outside that has another four tables, but as we’re in a strip mall the only thing to look at is a parking lot. My only real complaint about this Starbucks is that it’s a very long, narrow store, and the condiment bar is at the opposite end from the pick-up counter, with the ordering counter in between, and the only napkin dispenser is at the condiment bar. I don’t understand how these things happen.

Four-and-a-half Splashes of Soy Milk (out of five splashes)

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Specific Reviews of Specific Places in Which I’ve Written: Starbucks, Walnut & San Fernando, Burbank

Starbucks, Walnut & San Fernando
This is one of the places I most often write.

  • It’s huge–20 or so tables, plus six easy chairs. Also a patio with another few tables (but nothing nice to look at to make sitting outside particularly desirable).
  • The people are friendly; I usually camp out there for four or five hours and they’re perfectly nice about it
  • There are some food places nearby if I want to break for lunch, including a Zankou Chicken and a great salad place called The Chop Shop
  • The parking is both plentiful and free
  • Two bathrooms, neither with locks (I hate having to get/remember the code lock)


  • Sometimes the music is played so loud I have to turn the iPod volume up way high.
  • Parking lot can be a huge pain to drive through because of the drive-thru line.
  • Since a lot of the tables are in the middle of the room, there aren’t always outlets… not a big issue for me but the biggest issue for some.
  • Fairly often it’s so crowded I can’t get a table. That’s the big one.

Three Splashes of Soy Milk (out of five splashes)