31 December 2007
25 December 2007
06 December 2007
I have certain problems with doing things on command. I don't mean so much at work - one steels oneself to taking on tasks when bills need to be paid. But when I speak of doing something, it's not so much work on a manual level. I am rarely requested to help out with physical labor. It's the creative, thoughtful things that concern me. For instance, I was asked to help out with essay questions recently. All I did was look at the list and my head began to spin - along with the words on the page. How could I make myself concentrate on appropriate answers to these questions? I couldn't; not in the space of time I was given. The sad thing was that some of the questions were quite interesting, and possibly good subjects to use for posts here. At the moment when my answers were needed, though, I was found wanting.
Am I so horrible for coming up short this way? I obviously enjoy writing - I always have. I seem to recall, though, that I didn't do as well as I should have in my own school essays either. This is probably why I've never accepted a job path in journalism, or similar careers. I even had trouble as a travel agent. When asked about locations or hotels that I had no interest in, my poor clients hit a brick wall and had to go elsewhere. It's one of the reasons that particular job didn't last long.
Is this a personality flaw, laziness, or something else? I wish I knew. All I do know is that if I don't care enough about a topic I cannot summon enthusiasm or bring myself to focus on it in any way. This narrow mindedness is one of my greatest shortcomings.
28 November 2007
16 November 2007
It came out very well. The only problem is that it looks kind of bloopy One side of it is slightly dented looking. I don't feel bad about that - it's supposed to have a spongy pudding consistency. It's just not something I'd present on the table at afternoon tea. It has to be served separately. Never mind - I could eat it all myself! Don't expect any pictures of my latest production, though.
It was so hard to find the golden syrup to go with it - I ended up looking at the fancy grocery stores on the Upper East Side two weeks ago. It's pricey - $5 for a small can. It might be more worth it in future to simply visit Tea & Sympathy instead.
The house has that baking smell.
01 November 2007
21 October 2007
Holiday gripes aside, it was nice welcoming Victoria back into my home, after so many years of change and growing. There's an article about antique clothing, and one about a writer who prefers old-fashioned instruments of writing to the more technological methods of nowadays. This article especially appealed to me: even though I write often using my laptop (hence, this blog,) I always enjoy sitting down to a journal of fine paper and a fountain pen for my personal journaling. I sort of miss writing letters via post, too. The magazine's the same, down to the calling cards section and the complicated recipes.
I'm feeling cozy all of a sudden.
12 October 2007
Throughout the duration of the movie, I kept wanting to look around the audience and ask, "you do know that's not really what happened right? Where is Robert Dudley or the Cecils? Why all the focus on Raleigh?" (not that Clive Owen is difficult on the eyes, but my head throbbed with all the historical incorrectness.)
It's like someone took the Elizabethan timeline and mixed it up a bit. Well, a lot. I'm sure it made the story all the more interesting to the unknowing viewers, but anyone who's read at least one biography of the first Queen Elizabeth would have a really hard time getting past the loose ends. Not to mention the annoying astrologer scenes - they really could have done without that.
I would recommend this movie to those who are not perfectionists about facts while watching a "historical" movie, the way I'd recommend "Becoming Jane" to all the folks who think the newest "Pride and Prejudice" was faithful to Austen's most famous novel.
Can't help but love the costumes, though.
11 October 2007
Just in time for autumn, Panera Bread opened in LIC, a walking distance from my home (well, a bus ride for the next couple of weeks.) I got to have lunch there today, and it was quite cozy. The soup and sandwich were real nice. The iced green tea was just as I'd remembered it. Normally I wouldn't like sweetened green tea, but there's something about iced tea that suggests sweetening. They serve hot Republic of Tea also, which isn't too shabby either. Can't wait to try the souffles. Marie raves about them.
07 October 2007
22 September 2007
07 September 2007
01 September 2007
25 August 2007
17 August 2007
03 August 2007
Most people don't go to Peru to buy tea things. I didn't either, but when I did get a chance to go there, nine years back, I shopped till I dropped. Besides jewelry, sweaters, and other excellent bargains, I came across this teapot in Pisac Market.
Doesn't it scream Made In Peru? Though it doesn't look like tea drinking is a major pastime in Peru (with the exception of coca tea, which was offered to us everywhere yet was not allowed to be brought back to the US), they must have had people like me in mind when they made it. I rarely use it to actually make tea, but it's a nice reminder of a really cool trip, and less itchy than the sweaters.
27 July 2007
On Sunday I set out for Trader Joe's, but since it was such a nice day I decided to first walk around the area. I visited Sympathy for the Kettle, which I haven't done since December. There was an actual empty table right by the window! This is amazing, as the wait is usually long enough to give up. As I ended up staying for an hour and it's a small tea shop, I can see why the tables are so hard to come by. Well, it was worth the wait I didn't have to undergo this time. I had a tea called Love Rosemary, which is a flavored black tea with violet and rosemary (ya think?) Then there was the bergamot cupcake with lavender icing. I've said it before, but if you are ever in St. Marks Place and want a peaceful respite, this is the place to go.
Monday started out as an extremely rainy day, and ended as a drizzly day. Thankfully it was calm enough out when I went to Partners & Crime, a bookshop in the West Village that happened to be hosting a Jasper Fforde signing. Though I arrived in time for standing room only (I actually came in right behind JF, but I swear I'm not a stalker!), it was fun enough to hear him give his description of the book and answer questions. He's really funny, and positively in love with reading. Though he worked in the film industry for a good portion of his life, he does not want the Thursday Next novels to become a movie. I'm glad - I think it would ruin the spirit of the books.
After I got yet another book autographed (though this time I looked like ten miles of bad migraine so I didn't take pics), and asked him a question about Swindon (the travel agent of Gata Past bubbling to the surface yet again), I walked along Greenwich Avenue. I stopped in Carry on Tea and Sympathy and was mind blown when I found out there were products from WHITTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My goodness. This is besides being surrounded by all kinds of things you can usually only get in England, along with some things you can find in Irish import sections in Astoria. Then I bought some chips at A Salt and Battery to end my completely Anglophile evening.
15 July 2007
So everyone who knows me knows I'm a cheap drunk. Well, actually, I don't get drunk. I get tipsy really fast so I stop before I get even close to risking a hangover. I limit myself to stuff I can handle, like Smirnoff Ice. Even that gives me that sleepy feeling earlier than I'd like. So I was interested in trying their Raw Tea. It's got caffeine, which keeps me awake just a little longer. I guess it's the poor man's Red Bull with Vodka. You guys do know that Long Island Iced Tea does not have actual tea in it, right?
Even this drink, however, is something I need to be careful with. It tastes basically like iced flavored green tea. Its slight liquor content doesn't kick in until later. So I have to make sure not to drink it quickly. Like tea, it must sipped.
06 July 2007
Here's the thing: I used to hate Earl Grey tea in any form. I drank it daily during an early internship where everyone in the office smoked, so when the internship was over it was a dreadful association for me. It's kind of the negative Madeleine, I guess (see the Lushing comments) - but for the life of me I couldn't go near Earl Grey. My Dad took a liking to it and starting drinking it every morning, and since I didn't loathe it the way I do tomatoes I put up with it. I drank Twining's Lady Grey tea here and there, and liked it for its lightness. Gradually I was curious to try the Earl one more time, and I realized it was to my liking once again. So I really don't mind Snapple's efforts.
02 July 2007
Here are a few examples of tea gifts I've received over the years. Actually, most of these are recent gifts. The white teapot with flowers, though, came almost ten years ago to me from a coworker of my brother-in-law. I'd only had one conversation with her at the time, and I must have been enthusiastic about my love of all things tea. These are certainly not all the tea related gifts in my collection. I'm certainly thankful for all of them. Perhaps I'll make a Part Two of this feature.
22 June 2007
15 June 2007
This kind of expresses how I've felt the past couple of days.
Thanks for your response on my last post. I think I'll keep it up for a while, just not when I'm feeling like the above pic.
Love you all! (Except when I'm cranky, sorry about that in advance and in retrospect.)
11 June 2007
It's not like it used to be. I still love writing, but to post online I prefer to feel like people are actually reading what I put out there. I don't need a Pulitzer for goodness' sake. Nowadays, though, when I publish a post, I seem to hear crickets, like in the cartoons. I don't want to make this a sob story, but I don't want to waste my time online when there is little or no reaction.
This does not mean I don't write anymore. I've simply resurrected my old habit of using pen and paper. I purchased some pretty blank books, and I got some wonderful pens. Have you ever tried Pilot Varsity pens? They're a combination of ballpoint and fountain pens - it's my style, it combines the best of old-fashioned and modern. It's pleasing and smooth, and I get much less writer's cramp than I used to.
I'll never stop writing; it's my thing. I won't stop blogging, either, but it's going to be far less frequent. Okay, this is a call for validation. I don't get paid for blogging, so I need a reason to go on. If any of you among the crickets think I should should write more on this blog, let me know.
03 June 2007
...but if I went there every day I'd be filing Chapter 11.
Ok, the table wait was long, just like every Alice's Tea Cup, but Chapter 3 was certainly worth the visit. The tea I had, Serenitea (I know, the name), was unbelievably delicious. It was green tea with chamomile and lemon, which sounds boring. It wasn't. Plus, my caffeine high was the mildest ever.
It seems this Alice's is the least child-oriented; just an impression I got. Still, I wouldn't mind taking a well-mannered child here. I would really like to learn how to make the Lapsang Souchong Smoked Chicken Sandwich. They have a salad version of it, too.
The best thing about this location is the proximity to The Museum. I love the Met. I'll have to post about that later. It's been a week, but I don't mind procrastinating.
27 May 2007
25 May 2007
There's a new shopping area in Glendale called Atlas Park Mall. When Pam took me there today, for a moment I was kind of disoriented. It reminded me so much of West Palm Beach, what's it called, something-center, and with the heat we might as well have been in Florida. The Amish Market kind of brought me home as we have one of them near my job.
22 May 2007
Sunday evening was lovely, enjoying spring rolls and masaman curry at Sea in Brooklyn, then meeting an Isabelle wannabe in a gelato shop. (Marie's cat for the uninitiated.) Wandering around Williamsburg is always a fun way to pass the time, especially in good weather. Sunday was decent enough, with patches of rain here and there.