Satisfying the “Sweet Tooth”

library1

Now that I’ve finished tucking all of my academic books into the bookshelves, I’ve become somewhat superficial with my reading, “Brain Candy”, one friend coined – and of course due to my affinity towards sweets, the name stuck!

I’m in need for a good read. So, rather than innately waltzing toward my stash of journals or sticking my nose in the astute authors of academia, I’ve recently decided to favor this ever-growing “sweet tooth” of mine and have turned my gaze to the children’s section of our library…my fingers danced across the bindings in pure nostalgic gaze, recalling the times when my mom (aka “joj”) used to read these stories to me while I would lie across her bed and stare at her mouth as she’d enunciate each word with the most beautiful precision. I remember hours upon hours of reading through C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series and Hannah Hurnard’s Hind’s Feet series, as I pictured each creature in my mind with the voices she’d prescribe each of them.

So, the decision was clear… I’m currently reading through a compilation of short stories artfully composed in the series called Grandma’s Attic by Arletta Richardson, all about the musings of a girl and her friend, authored by her granddaughter, who recalls these tales with the greatest of detail and childlike humor…and I’m loving every stinkin minute of it!

“art for the sake of art. coffee for the sake of coffee.”

Speaking about coffee…

insomnia coffee

I actually went to undergrad with this guy. I feel inherently cool just for that mere association (confession: I actually was on a traveling singing team w/ him…seriously…ok. stop laughing). So, Tyler launched a coffee shop near Portland, Oregon. Insomnia Coffee Co. has the indispensable mission “Art for the sake of art. Coffee for the sake of coffee.” This mission’s backbone is founded on the history of The Craftsman Revolution, where the beauty, skill and handiwork of art was being threatened, rather cheapened, by mechanical hands and lackluster ambition for production rather than passion. This lead to an uprising of skilled artisans creating some of the most beautiful and unique pieces of art, unmatched to this day, which bear the latin inscription “Art for the sake of art”. Insomnia has taken that zeal and has tempered it to do the same with the art of coffee. Rock on.

With that said, check out Tyler’s Freepour Latte Art. This makes me want to grow wings, fly over, and use the caffeine jolt to change the world!

Mondays w/ Marjie {a fully-caffeinated journey}

Granted, it’s been a good 8 months since our last Monday with our beloved Marjie. We can use a million excuses to surround our lack of time spent with friends, but I will dismiss my desire to protect my vitals and just leave it at “green is my favorite color”.

Just in case you’ve never been introduced or need a moment to get reacquainted, as stated in an earlier post, “Marjie’s an internet genius…yeah, Gore, I believe she invented the internet. Marjie can find everything and anything pertinent to life, laughter and the world. I’ve begged her to start blogging, but my blogging evangelism has come up short. So, until she gives in and becomes a blogger herself, I will share her brilliance w/ you via me.com…so, what’s this week’s treasure?”

Well, since I share my affinity to coffee with many of the past and present heartbeats of the modern world, let’s rekindle this fond relationship with Marjie using one of my all-time favorite articles she has sent me…

(If you want to read the article, go here…otherwise, here are my idiosyncratic crowning moments of the caffeinated masterpiece…)

cafe_late_macchiato

Imagine two persons, two bikes, and one huge ambition: 10 cafés, 10 macchiatos, one morning, by bike…from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

The author, Elisha Cooper, logs the adventure, giving location, time, flavor and mood. Cooper is not alone in his odyssey; he sets on this passage with an accomplice named Toby “(accomplice, n.-someone who helps you forget why you decide to do something in the first place)”. While they are fully aware of the preposterous-lack-of-locgic condition of this plan, they downed their first glass, mounted their two-wheelers-tablet in hand.

(Again, as to not pilfer the splendor of the full article, I will merely list the location, a snid-bit of the log and the recorded state of the macchiato and mood.)

#1 Café Grumpy

193 Meserole Avenue

9:42 a.m.

Our macchiatos—espressos “marked” with milk—arrive in demitasse cups. We drink them down. As we walk out to our bikes, I take some notes in my notebook.

The macchiato: creamy & delicious

Our mood: expectant

#2 gimme! coffee

495 Lorimer Street

10:13 a.m.

We taste and try to note the differences between our first drinks and these.

“Less cloying,” Toby says. “With a hint of earth.”

We have no idea what we’re talking about.

The macchiato: less cloying, with a hint of earth

Our mood: enthusiastic

#3 Café Regular

318a 11th Street

11:02 a.m.

Our macchiatos come in elegant porcelain cups. Everything in Café Regular is elegant and small, from the stamped-tin walls to the wood seats. The biggest thing in the store may be the owner’s ears, which jut out from either side of his head like saucers.

The macchiato: robust with a touch of trepidation

Our mood: elegiac

#4 Southside Coffee

652 6th Avenue

11:17 a.m.

The weather switches. Gray clouds looming to the west, a few raindrops. My arms pucker with goosebumps. Are the goosebumps from the macchiatos or from the weather? No idea.

The macchiato: potent, with an aftertaste of fear

Our mood: Oh the Glory of It All

***

We bike over the Brooklyn Bridge…

I clang my bell.

Toby yells, “Hup, hup, hup, hup!”

We barrel down the other side of bridge, scattering tourists like pigeons.

***

#5 Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee

222 Front Street

11:58 a.m.

My handwriting is shaky—like that of someone trying to write on the deck of a boat in a storm.

The macchiato: bitter, followed by bitterness
Our mood:
glurg

#6 gimme! coffee

228 Mott Street

12:16 p.m.

WE’RE SHOUTING! People in this standing-only café can’t help overhearing us, like the guy with the dragon tattoo behind his ear.

The macchiato: full-bodied and !@%#*

Our mood: Diego Maradona

#7 Ballarò Caffè Prosciutteria

77 Second Avenue

12:41 p.m.

I try ordering the macchiatos in Italian but say something in French. I don’t speak either language.

Do you know what the saddest thing in the world is?

No?

I don’t either.

The macchiato: forlorn, with a spot of irony
Our mood: East Rutherford, N.J.

#8 Ninth Street Espresso

700 East 9th Street

1:03 p.m.

We stare at the macchiato in front of us with no fondness. With a little animosity, in fact.

The macchiato: hello, enemy

Our mood: Poland, 1953

#9 Café Grumpy

224 West 20th Street

1:26 p.m.

We stumble inside…We share a brownie. We drink our macchiatos.

The macchiato: creamy & delicious

Our mood: expectant

***

Is it the free drinks? The fact that someone else made a decision they came to regret? The accumulation of elements? Whatever it is, our world improves. We have caught our second wind, if wind were caffeinated.

One stop to go.

We speed down 7th Avenue, peddling fast. Toby is in front, spinning with no hands, arms spread upward in victory.

He’s shouting, “I AM INVINCIBLE!”

Yes, Toby, you are invincible. But, that crosstown bus does not know you are invincible. Toby!

***

#10 Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee

138 West 10th Street

1:41 p.m.

We burst through the door. Our bikes, which we forget to lock, stay outside. We order quick, drink our last macchiato, take no notes.

“We’re fine. We’re fine,” Toby says. “We are still. It’s the rest of the world that’s shaking.”

Tah-DAAAH! I get a jolted caffeine high just reading this! I like coffee…College was fun…Is that John Mayer…what would it be like to fly in a motorized hot air balloon…

imo: flamin clarity!

Is clarity subjective?

As a firefighter can see through smoke and flames, can a trained eye see through the haze & chaos of life to find solace, purpose and direction?

smokey-only-you

IMO (i.e., in my opinion), I say Yes.

Sometimes it’s a different set of eyes that lend a new or even contrasting perspective. (Thanks momma joj)

Sometimes it’s a step away that provides freshness or renewed zeal. (Thanks priceline)

And sometimes it’s the smell of the smoke that induces or restores the ability to work well under pressure. (holy crow, is that smell of singed hair my cat?!? Special note: don’t let your cat smell lit candles.)

This post is not meant to encourage unattended use of matches. Watch your children…like my cats, i’m guessing they’re not fire retarded.

lessons learned on the job search journey: order, order

While we’re gallivanting through the dandelion fields of the job search – sometimes it’s winsome and aesthetically arresting and other times it is just a composition of atrocious allergens – we need to maintain some kind of order, discipline and routine in this paradox.

I have two suggestions (maybe three…when I get going, it’s hard to stop):

First, you should consider keeping track of the applications you submit, so you don’t end up sending 3 applications to the same spot for each of your personalities. This may not be the steps to success you initially intended to accomplish – It would just give me a little job security in the mental health field…on second thought… 😉 Nevertheless, I ended up creating a spreadsheet that includes the position, location, contact information and date applied, which I also color code according to when I annoy contact the HR associates for updates.

Second, you may consider creating a file of templates on your computer. Although each resume and cover letter should be catered to the specific position you want, if you have templates to use, you don’t have to start from scratch every time…kind of like using a play dough form: use it for the basics, but the creativity comes after you pop it out of its shell!

And the third (you knew it was coming)…to alleviate the associational anxiety of the folder ominously titled “JOB SEARCH”, consider renaming it something you like. My (job search) folder is named “cotton candy”. Who doesn’t love cotton candy?!?!

p.s…you know you want to hire me (my not so subliminal message)

the vulnerable valiant {revisited}

“Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is…”
C.S. Lewis/Mere Christianity

…thus, the importance of vulnerability. There seems to be a marriage between integrity and vulnerability that is both beautiful and terrifying.

I’m falling in love with my slice more and more each day by seeing the Valiant, who chooses to show his weaknesses to the one he loves, neither to correct them nor create small moments of pity but to show his humanity and the beauty of his Redeemer.

mark skyline

And the {emphasis} goes to….

{FINDING} your way

i.e., One discovers and/or recovers the guide intended for a pilgrimage or voyage. Antonym: one has lost or misplaced his/her path or direction

finding {YOUR} way

i.e., one begins to attribute a course of life to his/her personal journey. An acceptance or reception, an affirmation of choices made

finding your {WAY}

i.e., rather than treading water or retreating, one finds awareness and passion in the portage trail of life. Indicative of positive direction and accurate orientation that leads to discernment and joyous fulfillment

{video ht: http://blog.roomservicecleveland.com/}