‘A blobby flame’


blobby flame!

I made a heart for a Japanese student yesterday and she giggled and said, ‘Ooh! Pretty!’


‘A blobby flame’

They’re playing the most obnoxious music at the café that I’m at right now that may or may not be Bjork.

Just thought I’d share.

Thank god for headphones and iTunes. Otherwise I’d have slit my wrists open twenty minutes ago.

I had a pretty good day in the office today. I did my usual Monday paperwork and then rewrote half of the espresso training manual. Also got to have a brief though informative talk with our roaster about our espresso blend as well as our espresso machines (we use fully manual lever machines: I didn’t realise that all of the pressure was created by the rather large, spring-loaded piston. I had thought that the water from the boiler was also under some kind of pressure. But, no, just that large, spring-loaded piston is what creates the 9 bars of pressure necessary to make yummy ‘spro.)

On our blend, he clarified some of the beans in it and what they contributed to the flavour profile. I mentioned to him that although I enjoyed our blend, I found it quite heavy in nut flavours. Nut, yes, but almond in particular he pointed out. And he suggested I try to look past the nut, too, because there ought to be some citrus notes in there. I didn’t get the chance to pull myself any shots when I was at the shop later on because I’d already over-caffeneited myself for the day (as I tend to do when at the office) and I was more content to sip on some Yemen Mocca Sanani than hit the espresso. There’s always tomorrow, though…

The art school shindig yesterday wasn’t all that exciting. However, I made a sort of latte art yesterday when I made myself a cap before heading down to the event. I took a picture of it on my phone but I haven’t yet transferred it to my computer so I can’t post it here yet.

For the record, this is what I’m going for (and this is done only with free-pouring the milk, mind you…): click me…

And, other than that, nothing too new or exciting.

I’ll try to post my attempt at latte art tomorrow. It’s not a full rosetta. More like a blobby flame. But it’s something. And I’m proud of it! 😀

My Mind: An odd, odd place

I woke up this morning with Frank Sinatra’s ‘Almost Like Being In Love’ stuck in my head. God only knows why. Trust me, I have no reason for it to be there.

I get to sit at a table this morning and hand out free travel mugs and coffee (as well as employment applications…hehe) to incoming art school students. I’m sure it’ll be amusing if anything. I’m crossing my fingers for a hot grad student or two. You never know…

In other news, the weather has turned just to where I love it most: the late August cool down before September’s Indian Summer. I really rather love fall. Winter I’m iffy on. I enjoy spring and, again, summer I’m iffy on. I don’t do well with extreme heat–I don’t think I could ever live in the South (I’m also not a big fan of conditioned air). Fall usually puts me in a good mood. It’s always been back to school time, new beginnings, new things on the horizon. Last fall was a bit odd–my first fall that I wasn’t going back to school–and I ended up doing a fair bit of soul searching. Not necessarily a bad thing.

This fall, though, comes after a summer of a lot of soul searching. I’m not sure I have many more depths to plumb right now so hopefully I can go into this fall with a fairly clearly head. We’ll see.

I was at the bar last night enjoying a glass of wine and the ex showed up with some friends, only one of whom I knew. I ended up sitting down with them at a table for dessert. And it was okay. I was over-tired and not super social but it was still okay. I didn’t freak out, I didn’t want to run away, I didn’t sit there and try to arrange in my head what it would be like if we were still together (okay, maybe I did a little, but that’s okay, right? It was only a little…). Overall, it was quite a successful social interaction. I think I’ve finally gotten there. It only took six months. Incidentally, I’ve always noticed that it takes me about twice as long as I was in a relationship to get over the relationship, so this is about right. Anyone else have that same ratio or is it just me?

I’m off to caffeinate some art kids!


Yes, I’m still alive.

Yes, I’ve been slacking on updating the blog recently.

I haven’t had much to say.

Things aren’t really new or exciting here in old, boring Portland.

Well, I guess that’s not totally right. New, maybe not exciting.

I’m mixing up my schedule a bit starting next month: 3 days in the office, 2 days in the shop. I’ve recently had a love/hate thing going on with being in the shop, so probably it’ll be good. I love just being there, being behind the bar but I’ve had little motivation to really keep on top of other things, to really do everything else that I’m expected to do. No one has called me on it, but if they did, I would fully own up to just barely doing what needs to get done when I’m there–according to my own standards for myself anyway.

The office thing will be good, I think. I’ll be working on writing some training stuff and updating a lot of things. There’s a bit of an on-going joke now: they don’t want me to leave and I don’t want to leave them, I just want them to move the company to another city.

As it stands, I’ve re-signed my lease through the end of May, so I’ll be here at least that long. Maybe a touch longer. I have a wedding to go to in Colorado the end of next June and maybe I’ll just combine a move out west–if that’s what ends up happening–with a trek to the wedding. We’ll see. It’s an idea.

For the most part, things are just in a holding pattern here, I guess. It’s about all I feel I can do right now. Professionally, I guess, I’m sort of moving forward, taking on more office responsibilities, but also still doing my best to learn all I can about coffee and espresso. As I’m writing this, I’m also half watching videos on YouTube about different ideas for various coffee drinks and the ever-ellusive latte art. I think I’ve not been able to master the latte art because we don’t use whole milk at our shop–the fat content makes a big difference, I think. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just do a YouTube or Flickr search on latte art. It’s hott. That’s right. Two t’s.)

I just finished reading ‘A Passage to India’. E. M. Forster’s novels (among other authors’, but his in particular) make me think that I was maybe born a hundred years too late. Maybe. Now I’m off to the library to return it and see if, in fact, Heat by Bill Buford is waiting for me. I just checked my record online and it didn’t exactly say if it was or wasn’t but I noticed that they have my street address wrong so I never would have gotten the hold notification. I hope it is waiting, because it looks like a lot of fun!

Deep thoughts

I’ve come to the conclusion that your mid-twenties are a lot like your teenager years. Only worse.

There’s a lot of the same trying to figure things out, who you are, where you’re headed. Except that you don’t have someone cooking your meals, doing your laundry or keeping a roof over your head.

Just a thought.