2019-06-08 - A Saturday at Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop


A conversation between strangers on a Saturday Night at Sacred Grounds Coffee shop.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Jun 8 23:46:38 2019
Location: Sacred Grounds Coffeeshop

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Things are busy but not packed tonight in Sacred Grounds, as some people are leaving to get real food while the late night post-theater crowd hasn't poured in yet. This means that Sharon isn't being rude when after collecting her coffee she snags one of the board games she hasn't played before and a table, then sits down to read the rules. She's an obvious mutant, the lavender hair could be a truly excellent dye job, but the lavender furred tail that twitches behind her? That moves too fluidly to be anything but real. She's very cautious about keeping it out of people's way however.

Barbara Gordon had been running some errands and making a drop off for the NYC Library system from one branch to another. It left her in Greenwich Village and it was time to caffeinate! She ducked into the coffee shop and slowly took a breath. A smile crossed her lips while her eyes closed. Freshly ground coffee of any type had an aroma like no other. Freshly brewed coffees combined to make a mingling of scents that were only second place in the redhead's heart (and nose) to that of antique books.

Adjusting her glasses, Barbara made her way to the counter, looking over the offered selections. She glances at the time. Late enough most would be going after light or blonde roast. But not her. She requests a large cup of their dark roast. Though she is then told it's only on pour-over because it is getting later. A nod and agreement that the slightly longer delay for her prize would be okay are offered, then she pays for her drink and a blueberry muffin to snack on while she's at it.

Glancing around, she does a double take toward the lavender haired woman but only because she caught the movement of that tail from the corner of her eye and wasn't sure what it was at first. Then she grins and smiles before moving down the coffee bar to wait on her drink, finding a spoke where she can stand while keeping one eye toward the doorway. It's a habit anymore. Better to know who's coming in - before they start trouble.

Oddly enough, the lavender haired girl also sits so she can watch the door, back to a wall. Corner table in fact. Or maybe it's not so odd, a few years ago someone like her would be taking a risk being out in public. Now, less so. Especially in a coffee shop with protest and rally fliers for various causes along with bumperstickers plastered to the walls. She lays out the board for the game, but doesn't bother putting the pieces down. Instead Sharon flips through the deck of cards that are used to randomize things, and then rests a few fingertips on the board, studies it for a moment, moves her fingers, studies it again and frowns faintly, the tip of her tail giving a sudden, annoyed flick behind her. Then she starts to pack the game back into its box as she takes a long pull of her coffee.

Barbara Gordon couldn't help but notice while waiting. She found the interest in the game, well, interesting herself. Then as the game is seemingly met with disfavor it makes her even more curious.

"Not really designed for one player to fudge their way through it?" comes the curious observation. Barbara smiles and shrugs, "I noticed when you were setting it up.. but I wasn't imaginging it'd get packed up again so quickly."

"Is a 'Eurogame'. Advantage is given to player in last place each round to prevent 'death spiral' yes? Like Monopoly, where first person to start winning keeps winning. This game, mechanism, math is off." Catseye's eyes are wide in the dim light, the pupils seem a bit odd, the purple color very much so. And her speech is definitely odd, as if English doesn't come naturally to her. "Too much advantage this game, best strategy to stay in second place, maybeso third or last if players all close in skill, then cash out in final one, two rounds." Her nose wrinkles cutely. "Don't like it."

Barbara Gordon listens curiously, but not so much to the grammar or possible accent, rather to the analysis of the math and odds involved in the game. She grins. "That's why my dad refuses to play board games, even cards, with me anymore.. he hates when I make it about math" she laughs. A pause, then, as she steps over to get her coffee with a thanks to the barista. Then a few steps back. "Some of those games from Europe do seem really different. I suppose it can be loosely linked to our different cultures and ways of doing things. Or maybe not. Could be someone's doctorate thesis. Gaming theorem." She shrugs and laughs again, "Also, hi? I'm Barbara" she offers.

Sharon gives honest laugh, "But games card, dice, board -are- math. Statistics. Strategy. Find best math, find best strategy. And Hi. Name is Sharon." She sips her coffee. "Still working on more school, doctorate longtime away, if ever. Needs better English first. Words are hard. Slippery." Another sip of coffee. "Eurogames different yes, difference in thought, culture. Math shaken up past couple few years." She widens her eyes in mock shock. "Surprise! Game theory studies done on whiteboy college student. Results NOT universal to allpeople, allplace, all time. Shocking." She may not speak very good English, but she is apparently fluent in sarcasm.

Barbara Gordon grins. "Agreed. And hello Sharon, it's nice to meet you." She seems honest. She's not behaving skittish or otherwise weirded out by the mutant in any tell-tale ways at lesat. She sips her coffee then and nods. "Oh yes. Because only guys can game." She rolls her eyes and smirks along with the sarcasm. "Honestly? I know a lot of people whose spoken English is much more difficult to understand. I don't know how long you've been learning, but I think you're doing pretty good!"

Sharon gives a shrug that includes her tail. "2 years, maybeso? Then gone close three, now back. Is easier to write, first get thoughts down, then claw it into shape. So many rules!" She gives a little groan that really does sound like an unhappy cat going 'rowr'. "If sit think of all RULES before talk, never say -anything-!" She sighs heavily. English is awful. The worst. "But makes Mo- MISS Frost happy. So try, study hard."

Barbara Gordon smiles and nods. "Well, I say you're doing a great job. And yes - American English? It's the worst. It is such an amalgam of so many other languages in little ways that it is difficult to learn. I'm not really sure how any children born here manage for that matter.." she laughs some. "But keep working at it and you'll get where you want to be, I have no doubt!" she cheerleads.

Sharon sighs, "Honest? Want to be -napping-. Find someone pay me to nap 15, 20 hours a day." Yeah, that would be a cat's dream job. But by Sharon's smile, she knows it isn't going to happen. "No? Life so unfair. So school, maybe figure out work involves less talk, some write, more math, more runs and do. How about BarbaraRedHair? School? Work? Both?" She tilts her head with friendly curiosity.

Barbara Gordon has yet to sit down and seems perfectly okay with it. She grins, "Maybe I was a cat in a past life. What you describe sounds almost perfect to me, too!" She shrugs, "Life can be hard. but I think we all have challenges and we just have to make the best of them and refuse to quit?" She shrugs a shoulder then laughs, "BarbaraRedHair? That's cute" she decides with a grin, "I finished school a few years ago. I'm a librarian, actually. And a programmer. The two most nerdy jobs packed into one career. It's the best!" she declares.

"Jealous! Libraries are goodplaces. Jobs very hard to get. Masters degree, many people, few jobs. Good for BarbaraRedHair!" She seems to have a problem with pronouns. "Trouble with name, just… sounds. Name Barbara is not shape, or color or scent. BarbaraRedHair, mind can hold, remember." She ponders, "Took one computer class. So bored. Wanted take book, read, do work! Make things! No, sit still. Listen boringteacher talktalktalk…" Sharon pantomimes falling asleep, even giving a tiny kitty snore. Ever heard a cat snore? Tiny sound, like a snoring bumblebee. Then one eye pops open to look at Barbara with an expression of pure mischief.

Barbara Gordon nods and laughs. "I agree. I love books and I love working for the library system. But yes. getting my Masters wasn't my favorite part." She then smiles at the explaination about how she is to be remembered, "Well my full name is Barbara Gordon. But I don't mind BarbaraRedHair at all, Sharon." She offers a smile and nod of affirmation.

She perks up at the notion of a programming class then frowns - but it soon turns into a snickerfit at the demonstration of dozing off in a boring class." Then she d'aws at the little snore and grins once more at the mischief in those cat's eyes. "Oh you're trouble. I can tell that right away." She sips her coffee.

"When I was in my programming clases I had a prof like that too. I'd completely tune him out and it really upset him. He'd storm over and demand my attention. Then ask me what I was doing that was so much more important than listening to him drone on and on about this or that. He didn't know how to respond when I'd give him the answers and explain I was finishing up the in-book assignments from four chapters ahead…" She shrugs and giggles impishly. "I got an A in his class. But he never did seem to like me.."

Sharon gives Barbara the innocent, big kitty eye treatment. "Trouble? Cat never trouble." Then the way she wrinkles her nose, yeah, if she had whiskers they'd be arching in a cat laugh. "Class was awful. New school seems betternice. What programing language BarbaraRedHair think best to take? If not get class, then maybe read book or three."

Barbara Gordon just grins. "Oh no. Cats are never trouble. Mm-mmm!" then she considers, "Well programming is really the same as learning a spoken language, you know? It's just learning how to talk with computer hardware or peripherals to have them do what you ask and get the desired information back from them." She smiles, "I really enjoyed working with Python. It's a very easy to understand language that doesn't use all of the old school jargon to make calls to other modules or hardware? You can find some really great books on it these days as well as a ton of online courses and tutorials."

Sharon giggles and smiles. "Bah, programming EASIER than English. Rules not change, English?" Then her rhythm and tone change completely, "I before E except when your feisty foreign neighbor Keith leisurely receives eight counterfeit beige sleighs from caffeinated atheist weightlifters. Weird." Then that look of mischief returns to her expression, and more, to the curl of her tail, as if she knows how the shift when she quotes things from memory either amuses or bugs people, depending on the person.

Barbara Gordon grins and nods. "I agree. But it's still learning a new language. It's… like learning Dutch if you already know German? They're close enough that once you know the first, the other that are related do tend to come along more quickly." Then she laughs merrily. "Oh yes. American English is totally screwed up, without question."

Sharon grins. "See! Is too much ask English make sense. PEOPLE not make sense. Computers easier is…" She gives up and quotes again, "The good news is, computers do exactly what you tell them to do. The bad news is… computers do EXACTLY what you tell them to do." It's easy to tell when she is quoting, the sideways fractured grammar and odd pauses vanish completely.

Barbara Gordon laughs. "Agreed. And yes. It is still true - garbage in, garbage out. It's surprising how often programmers forget that." She winks and sips at her coffee again. "If you ever would like some in person help understanding programming, feel free to send me an email. I'm happy to offer help to another aspiring programmer." She smiles and sets her coffee down long enough to take out a business card and offer it over to Sharon.

Sharon accepts the card, then pulls out a card of her own. It simply has the name 'Sharon Smith' engraved in purple, the cardstock extremely high quality. On the back she writes her email address. "Thank you. Was nice talking to you. Should go, have to been in before too late or worry."

Barbara Gordon nods and takes the exchanged card. "Perfect. If you feel like a game.. or just a coffee again sometime? I live on Staten Island but it isn't that hard to get over this way for me. Have a good night, Sharon!"

Sharon smiles, "You too!" And carries her cup up to the counter, so as not to make more work for the staff and drops a folded bill in the tip jar before leaving.

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