While you were sleeping…

W. A. Mozart (1756-1791) Any place named after a virtuoso like Mozart gets my stamp of approval!

…I was probably drinking coffee.

Therefore, we have the theme for my first official blog of the 2011-2012 school year.

It’s great to be back in this mode too! If you have read my blogs before, I profoundly apologize. If you haven’t, now you get a double shot from me as you read my thoughts about life and the Texas MPA Program.

Favorite Coffee Places
Those that know me know I love my coffee in the morning…and with lunch, in the late afternoon, with dinner, in the early evening, and in the late evening. I have my favorites—I’m not gonna lie. Here they are and why, in no particular order:

Mozart’s—especially after interning, I got into the glorious habit of studying outside. Whether it was on the roof of the SAC, at George’s Patio Café, or at Mozart’s.
Mozart’s is great because it is conducive to both studying and socializing, something I can’t say for all coffee places. Nevertheless, I’m always in favor of being able to soak in the sight of Lake Austin, drink some hot coffee, and either chat or read.

Bennu Coffee Shop—this is definitely in the hipster neighborhood, and they definitely have some hip coffee! In addition to having an entire menu named after literature, this place is open 24/7, which makes it a very convenient place to crash for a loooong time. Try the Raven or the Don Quixote! Oh, and yes, those are power strips coming out of the ceiling for your laptop!

 Epoch—this is the North campus version of Bennu; open 24/7. Come here and do some “epoch” studying! (Bad pun? That’s my  forte…)

Spiderhouse Coffee—this is one of my favorite places, but not for studying. This is undoubtedly the place to chill on old-school metal patio furniture and reminisce with an old friend. The lethargic pace of service makes this perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

 Prufrock’s—this is the coffee shop in the PCL. Conveniently located next to McCombs, it has better tasting coffee and better priced coffee than Starbucks—to me at least. Regardless, you have to try their Mayan Mocha, which, the first time I tried it, slapped me with fond memories of home in El Paso. Cinnamon and Nutmeg will do that to me, I suppose.

Red River Café—any realtor would probably advise against this location, but this place has been around for nearly 25 years now. This place is more of a café than a coffee shop, but their coffee is darned excellent! Have six refills along with their Bacon Quickie in the morning, and be prepared to focus for the next 18 hours without a problem!

JP Java—I walked in here one day, and they were playing the B-side of a Beatles album. For me, that’s a good thing. This place is conveniently located in North Campus.

Dominican Joe’s—the first time I tried this place was two years ago to hear an old friend of mine play her set. Then one day I tried this…flan latte or something like that….that pretty much sent me into a cherubic state of euphoria. Ergo, Dominican Joe’s makes this list.

Café Medici—this place opened on the drag just a couple years ago, and their coffee is just plain delicious. I’m not superstitious, but I have never gotten anything less than an A on an exam after studying here. Correlation may not imply causation, but why take a chance, right?

Others—other coffee places I frequent are Starbucks—there are four nearby campus (yes, FOUR); Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf—their dark chocolate mocha and hazelnut latte are legit; Kick Butt Coffeeappropriate appellation; Houndstooth Coffee–their espresso machine just looks awesome, but try their French pressed coffee too; Austin Java—this coffee shop is uber chill; and Kerbey Lanenot a coffee shop per se, but no one else gives both free refills on coffee and discounts their breakfast at 4am.

Closing Thoughts
I’ve always said that a big work load is nothing a cup of coffee couldn’t handle. As such, I’ve done a decent share of exploring my coffee options over the past five years, knowing that this list is nowhere near all-encompassing. Whether for work or for chat, I will usually choose this brew as my drink of choice.

(a combination of conversation and paraphernalia)
ie: Random thoughts

“Why an A is not Enough”
I’m weaksauce, and I know it. I haven’t lifted a dumbbell since high school, regrettably so. Even then, I wouldn’t exactly put me in the ‘hunk-of-man’ category.

To be able to compete in this business environment, I have to use what does give me a competitive advantage—my mind. As a result, I realize that I must go above what is statutorily required to be a CPA if I expect to win clientele away from my competition. After all, my competition will probably be CPAs as well.

I have had a lot of trouble communicating this idea in the past. One day I came across this video that much more clearly tells my side of the story. Of course, it would derive from my other forte, music:

Essentially, this is what makes the MPA Program at UT so priceless. I have to compete to get good grades, as opposed to a predetermined benchmark labeling my performance an “A.”

You want an A? Go for it! But you’re going to have to beat me first!

It’s great to be officially back. Thank you for reading. Your time is always appreciated. As usual, feel free to leave any comments or questions you have about the Texas MPA Program below!

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