Café Working

Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out of the house/“home office” with my shit and decided to try out that thing where people work in coffee shops in the sunlight. Upon taking my seat outside on the patio, it took all of two seconds for me to realize that I would probably not get much done.

First of all, I had mistakenly ordered a sticky pastry. I figured if I was going to be staying at this place, I should probably get something more than a $1.80 cup of coffee. And so I ordered an extra thing. Which meant I had to eat it.

That fucking blueberry white chocolate scone. It was like someone thought it would be a great idea to mix the stickiest shit with powdered sugar and melt some white chocolate into a piece of bread. With my hands full/sticky/jammy, I couldn’t pull out my laptop, much less type or do anything that had to do with my fingers, so I thought I might as well get that done with and move on.

Don’t get me wrong, though. That pasty was gloriously delicious. It was as if Rodney Dangerfield crashed your baptism. Awesome! But not the right time.

Secondly, the place was milling with people, all having coffee and shoving baked goods into their mouths, some while still talking. Outside, where I sat, it took all no time at all for their pet chihuahuas and wiener dogs to form some kind of puppy fort around my legs. Across from me, children were squirming and screaming, women were “catching up” and old people, well those guys never really do anything, so they were okay.

I expected a few retired couples, maybe a stay-at-home dad walking his child on one of those monkey leashes to tire the little bugger out. But this place was packed!

Guys, if everyone is here, who the hell is in the office?

(cut to an office scene, one lonely intern checking his Facebook in the dark)

I tried my best to work with the flow of things, but I felt like bringing out my laptop might make me look like an asshole. And yes, there are times where I do feel like that. I then tried to just work on my notebook, as my main task was to come up with sketches for some more Sportsbutter visuals.

It didn’t last very long, especially after a man with a toddler sat by the window directly beside my seat outside. It felt like we were awkwardly sharing a table, but with a glass divide between me and them.

Cafe Working

Granted, he was mostly focused on feeding his little boy some kind of puffed oat cereal as he had a panini, but part of me felt like I was intruding on his time. And he was probably wondering why I was drawing crazy-looking birds of prey with very dilated pupils.

Birds of Prey
A snippet of what I was drawing. The bottom left is supposed to be a hawk, not a pigeon holding in its throw-up.

I admire people who are able to work in public spaces like that. I’ve tried several times, and I always either end up looking like an idiot or feeling like one. How the hell do you guys do it? All those distractions, the glasses clanging, people laughing and having a good time. Ugh, it drove me nuts!

It’s fine when I meet up with people or have small meetings at coffee shops. Or even if I just hang out there on my own. But there is something impossible about me sitting and working by myself in a public place. I don’t think it’s just coffee shops. Working alone in libraries kind of annoys me too. I just don’t get anything done, and I become consumed by the thought and excitement of just leaving.

Get me back to my quiet, shady and not-so-bright-no-melanoma-skin-cancer desk please.

Maureen Wotherspoon

David Wotherspoon, friend to all, told us that he wanted us to make a special book for his lovely wife on her birthday. It was to be from him and their kids.

This was a very special book project that I did with my good friend Chloe Lan. One day I will regale you with a story of how we tried to start a bookbinding business in Downtown Vancouver, one of the most expensive places to live/rent/lease/eat/walk on. But that day is not today.

Chloe and I created a hand-bound embroidered book with their family photos, with secret fold-out pages for David and his kids to write messages for Maureen.

Trung’s Plumbing & Heating

Trung’s Plumbing & Heating does commercial installation and various residential work, like home renovations and repairs. Trung’s helped set up and worked on lots of local places here in Vancouver, such as Las Tortas on Cambie, nail salon Bling on Taylor, the now-gone Brave Bull on Clark, and over 15 Fresh Slice Pizza locations.

I thought about how friendly and fun he is, and how he’s just such a nice guy, there to help. A little silly at times, but always reliable!