A Description of a Grocery Store, or, a Rant about Hipsters

I come to Whole Foods every single day. It’s my new routine. I’d say I’m about two visits away from a, “Wait, don’t tell me…12 oz. yerba mate?”

The reason I like Whole Foods is it’s so anonymous. It’s a grocery store. People don’t come here to be seen on their MacBook Pros. People don’t come here to pay 10 dollars for an americano and then tip five because they’re afraid the hip Seattle barista with a tattoo of a manatee will think they’re lame if they don’t. People don’t come here for the atmosphere. Besides being comfortable, there is no atmosphere.

When you walk into most coffee shops in Seattle people size you up, (if they can look up from their MacBook Pros for more than 0.04 seconds) thinking, “Hmmm, who is this guy? Is he a graphic designer? A photographer? Does he seriously have no tattoos?”

I’m just waiting for a hipster to say it one day instead of just passively aggressively thinking it.

Hipster: “Yo, so I’m going to be honest with you,” he/she says after giving me a high five instead of shaking my hand, “You have no forearm tattoos, and it’s kinda weird. Also, you look like you might care about sports. You look like you might be com– compe– competit– (struggles to even pronounce word) compet — comp — comp — competitive.”

Me: “Do I know you?”

Hipster: “Look, just like get a wolf or a beating heart tattooed on your ribs or something. Also, just so you know, it’s cool to play sports like kickball, but not real sports. And it’s never cool to try or care about anything, unless it’s how many followers you have on Instagram. And even then, it’s — OK, how do I put this — oh my God, so awkward — it’s not cool to care how many Instagram followers you have, but it’s also not cool to NOT have very many followers. You get me?”

Me: “So I need to have a bunch. But I can’t want a bunch.”

Hipster: “Exactly. Also, you need to like go to more desert locations and take photos of you and your friends standing around next to huge rocks. But please — please please please — don’t exert yourself. Don’t, like, actually go hiking. Don’t, like, sweat. Gross. Just, like, take pictures using medium format cameras.”

Me: “OK. So I should get a tattoo. And take pictures next to rocks.”

Hipster: “Yes.”

Me: “A tattoo of a wolf?”

Hispter: “That’s one example. Just make sure you get something forest-themed or something to do with the rugged life. Get like an axe or something.”

Me: “Do hipsters like the outdoors?”

Hipster: “No, but we like to pretend we do. Look, you’re obviously not really understanding, so I’ll break it down for you. Cool: Taking a picture next to a huge-ass stump. Not cool: Enjoying the forest by yourself or with a friend but not documenting it. Cool: Trying to chop the stump into smaller pieces, but being so bad at it that you just end up doing a photoshoot with the axe. Not cool: Actually being competent at using the axe.

“Now do you get it?”

Me: “I think so. So, appearances are the only thing that matter?”

Hispter: “God. No. It’s more like, ‘Appearing as if appearances don’t matter even though they totally matter is the only thing that matters.'”

Me: “What?”

Hipster: “Really good to meet you, man.”

(Another high five. Hipster walks back to table and sits next to pale Caucasian girl with a tattoo of an Indian headdress on the underside of her bicep.)

Anyway, as I was saying, this doesn’t happen in Whole Foods, because even though it has a cafe, Whole Foods is primarily a grocery store. Granted, it’s a neo-hippie, “it doesn’t really matter if it’s organic; what matters is it costs more” kind of grocery store, but that’s the subject for a different rant. And I’m not here to rant. I’m here to sip my 12 oz. yerba mate and enjoy the conservative music coming from the speakers, blissfully unaware that life could be so much better if I just cared a little more but didn’t care, if I tromped around the desert next to huge rocks, and if my forearms had a little ink.

Review: Allegro Coffee, Whole Foods, Roosevelt Square

Allegro Cafe.

The cafe in Whole Foods is actually called “Allegro Coffee,” but no one calls it that. People call it, “The cafe in Whole Foods” or “The part in the front where they sell coffee.”

They serve bulletproof coffee in Allegro Coffee. Not just grounds but the actual prepared beverage, complete with MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil. I like this coffee, but I do think Dave Asprey, the founder, is a bit of a weirdo. He’s obsessed with “mycotoxins” and the “evil” they reek upon the world, especially peanuts. He’s also huge on beef from grass-fed cows. I was listening to a podcast with him the other day and he said, “I know exactly where my beef comes from. I know exactly what they eat, because it’s the grass surrounding my house on Vancouver Island.” Cool, Dave. Must be nice to live on Vancouver Island and have your own farm and your own grass-fed cows. I live in a two-bedroom apartment in Seattle my roommate and I call “Rancho Relaxo” because when we’re there the only thing we do is sit on the couch and eat food and watch HBO. I wish I had my own cows. I wish I had a farm on Vancouver Island. Also, Dave, do you slaughter the cows? Something tells me don’t. You might, but something tells me you don’t. Something tells me you stare at your kids all day grimacing and wondering if one day they’ll discover the glories of peanut butter. Or something processed. God forbid.

Imagine being Dave Asprey’s kid:

“What’d you have for breakfast today, Tommy?”



“A pop tart?”

(Dave calmly points toward the cellar.)

“OK, Tommy, you know what to do.”

“But there are rats down there!”

“Tommy, do I have to chain you to the pole? You have two options: You can either mainline MCT oil or we can chain you to the pole.”

“But I always miss my veins.”

“Well, the pole it is, then.”

That said, I do like fresh coffee with a bit of coconut oil. Makes you feel invincible, or, some might say, bulletproof.

But I don’t come here for the coffee. I come here for the mate. Whole Foods is one of the few places in Seattle that serves freshly-prepared mate. Now GRANTED, this is not loose leaf mate. It’s mate cocido, aka mate from bags. But it’s still delicious. And energizing. After a 12 ouncer I’m ready to walk the Ravenna trail, think important thoughts, and seize the day.

Speaking of seizing the day my mate is gone now. I tried to walk the Ravenna trail to the Amazon bookstore but realized I don’t have my gift card so buying Tools of Titans by Tim Ferrrrrrrisssssss is going to have to wait. Time to go back to Rancho Relaxo and mainline MCT oil. Or eat a pop tart.

My Walk Yesterday

I flipped off a car that cut me off yesterday. This wasn’t just a regular flip off. This was a red-faced, thrusting, my itty bitty finger appendage screaming “F— you” with the fire of a thousand suns flip off.

Afterward I thought, What’s wrong with me? What kind of person does that?

Later that night I thought about the Viktor Frankl quote, about how the potentialities of man depend on decisions, NOT conditions. I was walking through the arboretum. The sun was setting. The light was glorious. I realized that in every situation we choose our fate. We choose how to react.

And so I started…(continue reading on Patreon)

Willing to Suffer

Well, friends, this is day two of my Patreon campaign. So far zero subscribers. However! I am not down in the dumps. On the contrary. I’m chipper. Why am I chipper? Because today I get my splint off and get a removable hard cast. As of today I should be able to do the following: bathe properly, ¬†go in water (probably not swim but at least submerge myself), run, and possibly, possibly! even play sports like soccer that don’t require explicit use of a wrist.

Yesterday I walked through the Lake Washington Arboretum muttering to myself the following: I am willing to suffer, I am willing to suffer, I am willing to suffer. At one point I might’ve exclaimed yes! or, that’s it! You see, it’s my thought that if you’re willing to suffer you can accomplish anything. And the reason this is so genius is because suffering encompasses everything bad or difficult: rejection, discipline, hunger, sleep deprivation, disappointment, ridicule, embarrassment, etc. It’s one thing to say you’re willing to put up with rejection, but rejection is just one facet of failure, and failure is just one facet of suffering. And suffering is necessary.

Goals for today: Walk my sister’s dog, get my splint off, work on the novel, write something beautiful, have a wonderful happy hour with my parents, read A Gentleman in Moscow, and take a long walk.

And drink the mate I just ordered.

UPDATE: There is a baby crying. I shall drink the mate elsewhere.