Fall Back?

It suddenly dropped below 60 degrees in Texas for the first time in months, and eveyone's flipping out in excitement about it. For me, the change in temperature heralds the return of many things I am NOT excited about (i.e. waking up 15 minutes earlier every day to put on five million different layers of clothing, finals, snow, flu season [which I often fall prey to more than once a season], holiday stress, Christmas guilt, extremely busy days at work with some of the rudest customers you can imagine... and I could go on).

But in an attempt to be less stressed, and to sound like less of a Scrooge, I'm going to find the positive things about this time of year. If some of them feel like a stretch, I apologize.

That extra hour of sleep we gain sometime in October?

Smelling my boyfriend's jacket after he's been wearing it for a while.

Apple cider.

Fires in the fireplace.

Knitting. Hot, sweaty wool in the summer just isn't so fun.

Wearing the things I knit, and seeing people I love wear the things I knit for them.

Hot coffee in the morning that warms up my insides.

Being able to actually use all the blankets I love to collect.

Shopping for Christmas presents.

Warm kisses that warm up your cold ears for a moment or two.

Fewer frappuccinos.

Finally less of a temperature change between inside school buildings and the outdoors. Wearing a jacket in 100 degree weather wasn't so fun.

That's all I got. But it was more than I had when I started. Yayy positivity?



what do you like most about being a barista? :)

The free coffee is definitely one of the major benefits. After that, access to a decent espresso machine is probably the biggest draw for me. I could live with regular brewed coffee, but I'm also addicted to delicious milk foam that I haven't been able to recreate without a well-pressurized steam wand.

I'd be lying if I said I pursued the job because I'm a people person, but it's definitely interesting to meet all the different types of people who become more like your friends than just customers. Also, it's fun to see all the crazies who order ridiculous OCD drinks, like people who want you to add 3 and a half sweet and lows to their lattes...

Another thing - there's a lot more to being a good barista than throwing together the ingredients to a frappuccio and pressing a button on the blender. At my first coffee job, my boss made me spend a month practicing shot tamping (using a metal tamper with exactly the right pressure and motion to compact espresso grounds of a very specific coarseness) before I could make espresso drinks. We had to time our shots at the beginning of every shift to make sure they weren't pulling too long or too short (a few seconds drastically affects the taste of the espresso). The job I'm at now uses completely automatic espresso machines, but the grind still has to be manually adjusted from time to time. I think one thing I really like about working with coffee is making really high-quality drinks for people who really appreciate them. For a simple drink like a latte or cappuccino, there's a pretty big margin for error. The shots could be timed wrong, the shots could have "died" (if they sit for more than 10 seconds without adding milk to them), the milk could be scalded (at 180 degrees), the foam could have bubbles that are too big, there foam : milk ratio could be off...

But even with all my coffee snobbery, I get a kick out of memorizing drinks of regulars and making them exactly how they like them, even if I wouldn't drink it if you paid me. It doesn't take much to make frappuccino-lovers happy - if there's just enough extra whip cream to pop out the top of the lid, they'll just about pee their pants with excitement.

Also, during morning rushes, there's definitely a huge sense of accomplishment after a few hours of working with a steady line of drinks waiting for you. It takes a lot of multitasking, planning ahead, and efficiency to stay on top of things. It's not for the faint of heart.

Oh, and least favorite thing about being a barista? VIA. Employees being forced to accost every customer with a sales pitch just so corporate can try to earn back a little of the money they gambled away on what they hoped would be the next frappuccio in an attempt to drag their stock prices out of the shit hole they're in now. /soapbox.

fries with that?


Save Point

Any twitterers/gamers remember hearing about the Mario Marathon for charity a little while back? A group of hardcore geeks spent days playing through Mario, all the while accepting donations for a charity called Child's Play, an organization that donates toys, books, games and cash to children's hospitals around the world. They ended up raising over $29,000 - geeks are awesome.

Well, a friend of mine (Lord David of Houck) was inspired by these geeks and decided to have a marathon of his own. And it just happens to start today. And being a bit of a closet geek myself, I'm going to be participating. Not for the full four days, mind you (work and social obligations prevent it - also, don't know if spending four days with a bunch of guys playing video games wouldn't be hazardous to my health), but I'm going to play through at least tonight.

We're called Save Point, and our first marathon will be a play-thru of Final Fantasy VII. I highly reccommend you watch us - with the group we have, there are bound to be some pretty entertaining moments. Also, I've never played FFVII, so you'll get to laugh at me and my n00bness. Our goal is to raise $2000, so if you can chip in a buck or two (and tell your friends about us), we'd be very grateful.



oh, Life, with your colorful surprises.

so, the whole philosophy of going where life takes you doesn't always work.

you have to make decisions every now and then.

and if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice (wisdom from Rush).

I don't want to, though. I want someone else to decide for me, and for the choice they make to be the right one.

at the very least, I don't seriously regret any of the choices I've made so far.
...but I'm young.


walk along the open road of love and life - surviving if we can.

mmm. I am feeling very at peace with the universe.

feeling so forgiving, I even changed my ex-ex-ex boyfriend's name in my phone book from "Ignorant Slut" to "Loserface." :)

more and more things are falling into place. new job finally came through for me (free coffee is mine once more), I THINK I figured out what I still need to transfer to UTD (just need to get admissions on the phone and apply for scholarships), and post-break-up complications are fading fast.

there was a brief interim of uncertainty on all those points, but just when I was getting worried nothing was going to work out like I wanted, it all turned around. this is why I love life :)

I've been lucky enough to meet some very interesting and inspiring new people lately, and I'm back to teaching artsy kids with the Purple Crayon, so I'm thinking a creative revival is in store for this summer. I threw a few pots on the wheel yesterday (the heat dries them so much faster and makes my lack of bats much less of a problem), and am going to start cranking them out to sell for supplementary income (shoe moneys).

I know I say this every other post, but I really am going to take some pictures of all my crap to shamelessly promote myself in the near future. look forward.

side note: this just solidifies my total geek status, and I'm almost a little embarassed to mention it, but I almost have 50 followers on Blip.fm, and it makes me freaking excited. 48 people appreciate my taste in music. geeeeeeeekgasm.


so long to devotion - you taught me everything I know.

wave goodbye, wish me well.

you've gotta let me go.


every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.


thanks, marmie.

"you should marry _____ - you two would have really cute kids."

- my mother, a woman who knows what really matters in a relationship.