So this post has espresso in it, but is mainly a huge, massive, I-love-you-my-darling! to my honey who did a series of ridiculously sweet things for me today:
1] HE got us tickets to see The Sound of Music musical at a local theater tonight.
I could stop right there, because that is just beyond.
Of his own accord, HE found and bought tickets to one of my favorite musicals and wanted to go with me. Are you all aware that I whisper-sing during musicals? Well, he was, and did it anyway [coincidentally, Row K is now aware, as well].
2] He wanted to dress up. After a whole weekend of suit-and-tie wearing for the wedding [along, of course, with all the "Don't touch my hair!" from me], he still wanted to get fancy with me again [that sounds kinda dirty:)] because I adore it so.
Ladies and gentlemen, drumroll please:
3] The man bought me a corsage for the night.
I about fainted with giddiness.
I don't think my prom dates got me corsages [maybe a six-pack and a "You ready to roll?" shout from the pick-up in lieu of the typical honk].
How this golden child fell in love with me, well - I have just one thing [lyric] to say:
"Somewhere in my youth, or childhood . . . I must have done something good . . ."
Today, unlike every other post on this blog, I'm actually using coffee beans instead of designated espresso beans for my espresso shot. For the most part, espresso vs. coffee is really a matter of brewing, anyway.
We brought these home from the trip, Coffee by Design's Ethipoia Sidamo Washed Guji Special [click the link for the full story on this coffee - pretty special] and will be using it over the next few days because it is, well, tasty-tasty-morning-goodness [for lack of a better term].
Back at Coffee By Design in Portland this afternoon, this time at their micro-roastery location on Washington Avenue.
The temp was in the 80's, and for a hot second I almost liked being in Maine on 'vacation,' sipping a fantastic macchiato and listening to the rustling, falling leaves.
Then we ate too much fried seafood with my mother, were delayed at the airport [twice!] and I am currently so, so happy to be back at my real home - on a humid porch at night with my cat and my palm trees.
In Portland, we discovered a new location for an old coffeehouse stomping ground of mine, Coffee By Design. CKP went for an Ethiopian Citrus Blend, I went for Midnight Jazz and we both fell for a double shot of espresso - house blend, for all I cared! Truly, it was 11am. I was merely in need:
I didn't even care that they served it and showed me how to get into the restroom at the same time.
In a nearby college town, we found a breakfast place that - lo and behold! - served espresso. Also, like 10 different flavors of fairly fabulous coffee and superb little pastry bites called "bennies" [I assume short for mini beignets].
Oh here, let me show you!
Yummers, right? This is CKP's side of the table. Mine involved a bowl of fruit and lots of "Can I get another bite of that?"
This past week and the one coming have all been crammed with preparations to attend CKP's brother's wedding on Saturday. Granted, our only responsibility is to show up, but in my book, a wedding is grounds for at least a month's worth of fretting, no matter if I'm truly a part of it or not.
I mean, just look at all the invitations:
That's three whole different outfits you're looking at! The dinner, the wedding, the brunch afterwards . . . In case you're unaware, while I am fashionable, I don't have to put it to use very often. I had to shop! And fret because I was shopping for weather about 20 degrees cooler than I've experienced in the last two years.
Now we're into the packing stages, which has become a cold war between CKP and I - he's thinking we're going to get away with one checked bag and one carry-on. For two of us. For six days. One of which is a wedding.
Wow, yesterday's espresso pic had some luminance issues, huh? I was too focused on the sunset, I suppose. And I was really really tired. So everything looked blurry anyway. Those are my excuses.
Maybe today's is better, but I'm still really really tired, so it comes with some wacky anthropomorphism:
This cup is now Glen - a hardworking, middle-aged, no-nonsense type of espresso-cup-guy, trudging home after a long day at the cafe with his trusty spoon. Glen's trudge is similar to that of the snowman narrator Sam in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, a sort of side-to-side swish that inches him forward at a rather deliberate pace. Glen's looking forward to his hot milk with cinnamon when he arrives at the humble abode, and maybe some 60 Minutes, which will undoubtedly put him to sleep right in his recliner.
Rest well, friend. And don't forget your spoon tomorrow! You know those flashy black ones at work just won't do the trick.
My nightstand got a dose of pretty when my Honey brought me two roses at work the other day.
My first reaction to the unexpected gift: "What's wrong? Seriously. Just tell me." His bewildered response: "N-n-nothing. Really! I just thought they would make you smile . . . really! Stop glaring like that."
In hindsight, I could have been more appreciative, especially since just one makes this little corner of the bedroom feel dollhouse-like to me.
So I took this, and something about it reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh:
NOT THE SUNFLOWER. Why y'all gotta be so literal? :)
Anyway, it's this painting that was tickling the back of my brain cells:
Irises in a Vase [Yellow Background], 1890
I cede that his art may be a bit more advanced than my own [guffaw!] but am I wrong with the colors being similar? Composition?
Does anyone else see this, or has my fetish reached new heights? That would be odd, since the fetish started in grade school, and has - over the years - resulted in the purchase of many [many] a textbook, framed print, themed umbrella, mug and cell phone case.
I'd hate to think said fetish was still in the development stages.
Thumbing [well, clicking] through photos I took at a recent beach outing, I found and discovered I loved this one, for no particular reason:
Probably something to do with the light on the grasses versus the sky, and that the direction of the light looked like it [and not the sea breeze] was bending the stalks. So I decided that I should attempt to duplicate this scene with espresso, a stovetop, oatmeal and a doily.
Hey, at least the espresso came out well! I think it looks more like the grasses than the oatmeal stand-in:)
I totally let someone else make my espresso this morning.
Not the first-of-the-day shot [because really, that happens while I'm still in pjs on days off and a'int no one else around to do it] but the crucial second one, the halfway-through-the-morning one.
The scenario: CKP and I are on St. Armand's Circle, speed-browsing the boutiques in search of a dress for me to wear to his brother's wedding in two weeks. [Note: This stresses me out beyond words, because the wedding is on a boat in Northeast Maine at the end of September - holy chilly, right? And who knows what one wears to a chilly wedding? And who thinks they can find it while shopping in Southern Florida?] I needed caffeinated sustenance, so we went in search of espresso, and mercifully found it rather easily. The problem is that this is what we were presented with:
I have never encountered such a serious lack of crema. Granted, I had taken a sip prior to this shoddy picture [much in the way of an addict, I imagine, what with the shaking and the bloodshot eyes:)] and truth be told it didn't taste awful at all.
But it was visually disappointing, and my pictures kept coming up bankrupt, and it was altogether not the encouragement I had hoped for to lift me through another few hours of shopping.
Which, I'm sad to say, followed the day's visual suit.
Sigh. Tomorrow, my friends - tomorrow is another day! It should be stunning.
So at work when they're baking all the deliciousness in the morning [tres leches, tiramisu, German chocolate cake . . .] there are typically several pans that get abandoned after cutting, each ringed with edge scraps of said yumminess.
Being frugal and never one to deny my sweet tooth, I've taken to boxing up and taking home these discarded pieces, much to the amused dismay of my bakers.
C'mon, now. Do those look like they taste bad to you? I do it with pie crust, too. It's crunchy, sweet pie crust! Just because it doesn't quite fit in the mold, doesn't mean it won't fit in my mouth:)
That old-school hi-tech radio/cassette/CD mammoth is tuned to the one and only WUSF, and it stays there. Morning Edition wakes me up, All Things Considered drives me home, and I take deep breaths of Fresh Air while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner [or while I slouch on the couch and let CKP literally do the dirty work].
The availability of quality information is a positive driving force in any society, and I feel that its unbiased delivery is crucial in creating a well-balanced population. [Whether or not you believe NPR offers such information is probably another post, but it's the best bet for my money:)]
I honestly believe the more I know about more things, the better I can develop, the better I can become a better person, the better I can be better.
There - now you know more things about me! Isn't that better?:)
Thing #6 of 7 Things About Me [an assignment for being given a Versatile Blogger Award by Sabrina of CoffeeRocketFairyTale] is simple and personal and very much a part of my non-blogging life:
I am madly in love with my boyfriend.
The original Coffee Nerd [we both know that's not what the cup says, but we play by it anyway, ie "Where's the Nerd cup?"], he has been so supportive of this weird thing where I take a shot of a shot everyday - when I make monstrous messes setting up photographs, brew ten cups of espresso and enlist him to hold a spotlight at eleven o'clock at night when he just wants to go to bed. He researches camera settings for me, takes me to sunny spots and dilapidated houses and railroad tracks and anywhere else I think a fabulous picture may be, he stands politely and shrugs at restaurant workers as I take twenty photos of our table before sitting at it. When he travels for work [which is often], he'll leave notes like these for me to find when I'm lonely.
He puts up with my horrible [yet constant!] singing and dancing, my inability to cut meat like a normal human, my irrational need to keep peanut butter out of the house at all costs, and my erratic hugging tendencies.
His patience and generosity are out-sized only by his heart, because I truly believe that he not only tolerates my oddities, but also loves them.
In turn, I love him like my next breath, and just thought you all should know. Plus, the man deserves a shout-out now and then. He is not just a human tripod:)
Here on the 5th day of yapping on regarding one thing after another about me that my readers probably don't know [due to being awarded a Versatile Blogger by Sabrina at CoffeeRocketFairyTale] I'm discovering that I like all this talking. You see, over the last few months, I had become a photoblog, and no guarantees that I won't go back to that - with little captions, small paragraph explanations - but it's refreshing to babble for a bit, to ramble.
Possibly because this is one of my 45-hour vs 55-hour weeks.
Whatever happens, here's thing five:
I'm fashionable. As in, I possess the ability to assess, procure, and project fashion. I understand fashion concepts, I am educated in fashion history, designers and brands, my taste level is high but forgiving [as in, it allows for age and cultural influence, for the adoption of 'a look'], and - most importantly - I can predict with 96% accuracy who the judges will pick as the winner of each runway challenge on Project Runway [is it obvious I just caught up on this season this week? It is]. As far as an awful lot of fashion is concerned, I'm above average.
You would never know this by the way I dress. Which is why it's a thing, even though most people in the blogosphere have no idea how I dress [or care, but that's another matter].
See, it's not that I don't care about fashion [obviously], or am not willing to strive for it or suffer for it [I have over-extended bank accounts and callouses to prove this], that it's unattainable due to my body type [I really can't get away with that excuse - but I will say it's harder to fit a 'model' body in real clothes than people realize. Boutiques and department stores don't sell for 5'11 size 2s, even if their designers make runway clothes for that type. In my experience, of course] or that it's unavailable [hello, Etsy vintage stores! Hello, Bluefly! Okay, I'll just shout out the whole internet ].
It's that no one will see it.
It's out there, I feel better. But now I really do have to go clean the bathrooms. And go to the gym.
Three things converged this week to make me come to this realization: 1] I received a new Anthro catalog 2] I went a-thrifting and scored big-time and 3] I discovered Kendi Everyday, a blog that I think everyone else already knows about, but is great anyway. Her problem was living in a small town where no one really appreciated her fabulosity-filled outfits, so she started a daily blog.
My problem is not the town part [Sarasota even has it's own fashion week! Actually, here's a bonus thing - I'm modeling in it next month. Oy.] but that we don't go anywhere in said town. I was doing Saturday in Sarasota for awhile, but now I work Saturdays. I have to be in bed by 9pm on my days off to get up at 4am the next day. We go to Walmart for groceries. We go to the gym. We're down to dinner once a month [which, lemme tell ya, I gear up for]. So if you were to spy my on the street on a typical day, it would be in the clothes I was cleaning the bathrooms in earlier, or my work uniform.
One would never know, from this blog or from a peek at daily me, that I am able to 'do fashion'.
"I, world, am fashionable."
But now I really do have to clean the bathrooms. And go to the gym. After which, we're making a quick stop at the Publix for groceries. I'll just wear this post's URL as a sign around my neck.
Today's fourth thing of seven about me [a requirement of receiving a Versatile Blogger Award via Sabrina from CoffeeRocketFairyTale - have I said thank you lately? Thank you!] is not exactly earth-shattering, surprising, or little-known. But I did get to capture its essence today, which was kind of sa-weet.
#4] I love Florida. I love it. Pretty much unequivocally. I love it partly for the palm trees, because since I was old enough to name them, palm trees meant vacation and freedom and Disney World to me; meant success [hello, Hollywood!] and sunshine and no school and popularity because those kids at Bayside High were all more popular than me and were always posing and playing near palm trees [yes, I know, a lot of those things reference CA vs FL palms, but I didn't distinguish until I was about 25, so there you go].
I love it for the rainstorms, the thunderstorms, the lightning storms and especially for the fact that they can all occur separately. I never knew there could be lightning with no rain, or rumbles of thunder without lightning for hours on end. And I love that it can pour down buckets for 20 minutes in the middle of an afternoon, then bounce right back to full, then twinkling sunshine for the rest of the day. I love that I see birds lined up along every lawn and pond after that happens, drying their wings [usually I can be seen as well, shaking out my dampened hair and camera, because really I can't resist a storm].
I could go on [at some point, I will] but being able to lie sideways on my increasingly soaked concrete porch this evening, taking pictures of a palm frond, pool, rainstorm, dusky sun and [diluted!] espresso brought me joy like you don't even know, and that's something for you to know about me.