Another Cup

I grew up drinking Yerba mate and black tea with milk in the afternoons. I hated the taste of coffee. It tasted bitter, but I trained myself to like it. Maybe because I smoked cigarettes and that lead to coffee drinking. You can’t smoke without a cup of coffee, just like you can’t eat a bagel without lox and cream cheese. Coffee became my smoking companion, and when I quit one day I didn’t know what to do about my coffee habit. It’s partner had died. I left it alone to get cold in the cup.
Then one day I realized tea wasn’t strong enough so I went back to coffee. Solo. Black. That’s when I discovered the depth of flavor. It wasn’t a black drink. It had the complexity of wine. Now I needed to find cigarettes that were worthy of it. Or maybe not. I’d try the single life for a while. I would experiment with different beans and discover their complex personalities.  cropped-photo143.jpg
The light roasts were too bland, unfocused, I lost interest quickly. The medium roasts were intriguing, and they promised an experience, but didn’t deliver. The dark roasts made my head turn and my heart pump. Viennese coffee made me swoon. Chandeliers, ballrooms and waltzes. Rich and dark and elegant. Could I be paired with such an elixir? Would it be possible?
 
the fragrance of stars
after the storm
a sudden longing
Calvin says, “Oh my gosh, you’re turning literary on me. Now I’ll find literature in my bed.”
beagle

Christmas Craziness

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This is what I saw on my way to the office this morning. A beautifully decorated tree on the street, curbside. No lights. Was it waiting for a taxi, I mean Uber? Maybe since it was standing there in front of the building where Uber has its offices. If it was a gimmick, it worked on me. I asked a security guard and he said, “It was leaking so they brought it out.” Wait till the dog walkers and their pups notice this. A Christmas tree just for them!

The things one sees during the holidays.

I had coffee last weekend with a friend. I ran into a woman and her beagle at the entrance of the shop and bolted inside before she captured me. She will talk to anyone for ages about her dog and how much it’s costing her to keep him alive.  FullSizeRender (11)Something in the vicinity of $20,000. He pooch has two bionic knees otherwise he wouldn’t have made it. He’s now on expensive drugs for skin allergies. And the list goes on. Every time I’m at the coffee shop she’s there, so I suspect she goes every weekend in search of an audience. The man in the picture? That’s her husband. Notice the delighted expression on his face.

I thought this planter decoration was great. Different. Colorful. Something to use all winter long. It was lobby decor in a building that used to be home to the local post office. Now we have to hunt for where it moved to. No forwarding address.

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Calvin says, “I’m signing a DNR. Do not reconstruct. Me.” beagle

Fashionable

In a conversation I had with a friend about being raised with money.

“In my mother’s day, the maids who cleaned our houses in the neighborhood arrived in a Cadillac they had bought together,” she said.

Intrigued, I asked, “Did they also dress the part?”

“Yes. They wore wonderful hats, dresses and high heels,” she said. “They changed clothes inside the house, did their work, then changed back out of their uniforms and into their street clothes, got into their Cadillac and drove home.”

A class act, I thought.   Image result for cadillac

“But my mother never left her maid out of her sight. In fact she followed her everywhere pointing out areas that needed attention.”

I wondered how she must have felt about that. Someone who owned a Cadillac must have known how to clean well, I thought.

“That was my mother, never trusting anyone to do the job right. Cadillac or no Cadillac.”

Calvin says, “Mistrust goes deep. Like my breeder who never left me out of her sight in case I barfed on her new carpet.”  beagle

 

 

 

Christmas is a Spirit

I was out on the streets of San Francisco on Black Friday.

I know. I know. I must have been crazy.

But I wanted an experience.

I’ve never seen so many hordes in one place, except maybe at a ballgame, but then that’s expected.

This wasn’t normal.

I was in the center of town where all the department stores were.

Wave upon wave of humanity came up the streets, speaking different languages, all with one intent – to pounce on the deals.

I noticed many policemen, too. Most were on foot, a few were in patrol cars, and then two showed up on horseback.

The horses were enormous, well groomed and kept.

They walked up the hill where I stood and stopped at a red light.  photo (9)photo (11)

The tourists leaned over the curb and snapped a million pictures.

Not to be outdone, I stepped into the street and took some close-ups.

The horses posed for me.

One even smiled.

How did those cops manage that?

Calvin says, “They’d get special treats for showing their teeth. Works every time.” beagle

The Perfect Halloween Dessert

There’s a new ice cream shop down the block from where I work.

It’s one of those pop-up stores, the kind that appear overnight out of nowhere.

The store used to be a shipping container. It’s been recycled to house a counter, some odd-looking machinery, a menu board, and a couple of servers.

Four unique flavors of ice cream are posted every day.

For example,  Apple-Quince Streusel,  Strawberry with White Balsamic, Earl Grey with Milk Chocolate Chips. 

Making a choice takes time because all the flavors beckon you and they all sound luscious.

However, you’re forced to choose at least one and stick with it because there’s no sampling of the other flavors. That’s because the ice cream is made on the spot in front of you in less than 60 seconds.

It a ghoulish affair with special effects. Perfect for Halloween.

The recipe of your flavor is poured into a metal receptacle, which is then attached to a mixer with fierce-looking handles.

Then the fun starts. The server puts a lid on the container, turns on the mixer, and in an instant it’s swallowed in swirling fog.

Very apt for San Francisco.

What it is is liquid nitrogen. It’s used to churn the mixture into ice cream.

Hmm.

That’s my ice cream in there.

Sixty seconds later, you’re presented with two scoops in a cup.

You’ve never tasted anything like it.

The flavors are a taste sensation in your mouth and an adventure your palate won’t soon forget.

And you’ll be back the next day for more.

Liquid nitrogen and all.

Calvin says, “What would churned kibble in liquid nitrogen taste like? Forget I asked. My taste buds don’t want to know.”