Tag Archive: tea


It’s a crazy world!

Thanks to Syfy for knowing that I really needed some Stargate today.  Much like Mick, I’m feeling some pretty high-level work-related stress, and for some reason it all just manifested and smacked me in the face around 2:00 this afternoon.  No reason, just POW!  But a little SG1 almost always makes me feel slightly better.  It’s a comfort thing. 

Or maybe an escape thing.  I was only a couple weeks out of rehab when my mom loaned me the first season on DVD.  6 months later I’d seen every episode of all ten seasons.  For me, all that time spent in front of the TV was time spent not thinking about how bad I wanted to pound shots until I was unconscious.  I also didn’t have a driver’s license and was living with my parents outside of Georgetown, so I didn’t have a lot going on at the time.  And as silly as it sounds, it gave me some hope of a world far more interesting and exciting than the one I was living in. 

Now, while I enjoy a little not-so-guilty pleasure, I’m burning a bit of Dragon’s Blood incense.  It’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.  It’s got great texture, melts down to a puddle quickly but burns off easily.  Unlike some I’ve tried, it doesn’t stay goo and burn to a crisp, leaving an unpleasant charred smell.  A little bit does go a long way, so you don’t have to hover over it, which is nice.

I’m also enjoying a cup of a new Oolong tea I picked up.  It’s a 2009 Four Seasons Oolong, from my favorite little tea shop The Steeping Room.  This tea is fabulous, I am a huge fan.  Compared to most of the teas I’ve been enjoying, it’s incredibly light in flavor and texture.  The taste is fresh and bright, and it feels like velvet rolling over your tongue.  A quick bio: Four Seasons Oolong was developed in the 1980s in the Nantou region of Taiwan.  The name Four Seasons comes from the practice of picking four to six flushes a year, considerably more than most teas.  The tea is only about 30% oxidized, and after drying and baking, it is rolled into tiny balls by hand.  The labor-intensive process and attention to detail give this tea an impressive first impression and a lasting appeal, especially when you’re looking for a lighter, airier tea. 

Is airier a word?  Spell-check likes it, so do I.     

Speaking of, I’m thinking of going and taking a spelling and typing test next Monday while I’m off work.  It seems to be something a lot of employers are looking for, and it’s a requirement to get any sort of clerical position at UT.  But of course they’re only open weekdays 8-4, so I’ve never had a chance to go before.  Assuming they’re open, since it’s President’s Day and all.  Wouldn’t that be just my luck?

Well, I should have Mick walking in the door any minute now, which means dinner will be needed in the near future.  I’m gonna hop to it.  Be good, kiddos!

Hey there kiddos, happy Saturday! Sorry for not posting yesterday, it was a hell of a day; leaving the house at 6:30am, working, going straight down to the Ritz after work, and by the time we got home I was just so worn out I went straight to bed. It’s not that I don’t love you, I do, but a girl’s gotta sleep sometime. And trust me, when I don’t get my sleep I get c-r-a-n-k-y. Just ask my husband.

But if ever anyone had a good excuse for being out all night, it’s us: we went and saw My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done.  Have you heard of this film?  Before I even saw it, I already knew it was a dream come true.  A-directed by Werner Herzog, B-produced by David Lynch.  If that doesn’t make you go all squirmy inside, well then…I don’t know but there’s something wrong.  And boy howdy, it was everything I wanted.  Plus ostriches.  To completely oversimplify things, it’s a police procedural quasi-mystery about a man suspected of murder and the detectives who are trying to talk him out of his house where he’s barricaded himself.  You’ve got the friends and family who provide clues to the detective, and the flashbacks of the events leading up to the murder, and the young overambitious cop who has “watched too much tv”.  But it’s Lynch and Herzog.  So it’s mad twisted in the most wonderful ways.  And Willem Dafoe, who is top notch in my book.  And I don’t know if he was intentionally doing a David Lynch impression the whole time, but I just couldn’t help feeling like there was some mad channeling going on.  He even had the hair!  I think Mick is working on a proper review, but in the meantime you can read his thoughs on his blog.  And, by god, go see the movie!  Doooo eeeeeet!

Aside from that, we spent the afternoon today having some lunch with my brother and his friends Travis and Laura, who are cool cats, then taking the Naj for a haircut.  An afternoon in Georgetown not ill spent.  Tonight we have tickets to see Todd Snider at the UT Union Ballroom, which excites me greatly.  The last time we went to see Todd Snider, I ended up getting a migraine and sitting in the truck for the whole show.  Less than enjoyable.  So tonight should be infinitely better, I’m predicting a great show and will stand for nothing less!  You hear that, Todd?  Better bring your A-Game! 

And in the short time before we head off for that, I’m making tea cozies!  I have another craft fair coming up in March, so it’s time to start stocking up on merch.  This time I’m focusing more on household items, since knitted wearables are not so popular for the Texas spring and summer.  It’s tea cozies and dishcloths, maybe some pillows, lace berets, those sorts of things.  That means Big Green is temporarily on hold, but I’ll probably futz with it from time to time.  That’s also why I haven’t updated my Etsy page with some of my newest projects…don’t want to sell out and have nothing to take to the fair with me come March.  So maybe you’ll just have to come out to Hamilton to check out my new stuff!  Bwahaha.

Plus, while knitting my half-a-cozy this morning, I put on some more of the old Doctor Who I’ve been hoarding.  Today’s first selection was “The Sontaran Experiment”, a quick two-parter starring the great Tom Baker.  It surely wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen, watchable but not so much engaging.  Production values were…well, slim, even for an older show; the Sontaran looked extra rubbery, a few of the “scary” parts were just sort of laughable.  So not a great series, but it was alright.  It went quick, so I forged ahead to “Genesis of the Daleks”, which is much more interesting.  I haven’t finished it yet, but the first three episodes are fun.  There’s primitive Daleks and the introduction of Davros, Sarah Jane’s got a fabulous sweater and a knit hat I’m going to copy.  I’ll let you know how it turns out when I finish it tomorrow.  The episodes, probably not the hat.  Although…

Ok, enough of my blathering.  More knitting!  And here’s some links!

Tea and Pertwee

I told you I’d be back today!  Well it’s true, I decided I’d go ahead and do one more post, if only to give the report on new teas and the Doctor Who I just watched.  Old Doctor Who!  I gotta say, I like it even more than I thought I would.  I started, logically, at the beginning and watched the unaired pilot episode, The Unearthly Child.  It was a pretty rough cut, but interesting in a way.  Next in line was Serial 68: Planet of the Daleks.  Obviously much farther into the series, it was remarkable to me that it seemed so familiar.  I can’t help but laugh with glee at the end of every episode just hearing the sounds and the theme song, because it’s the same one they still use in the show today.  I don’t know why that makes me so unbelievably happy, but it does.  Jon Pertwee is a fantastic doctor too, with some fabulous velvet suits that I’m quite jealous of.  I’m also jealous of the sountrack record that you could get at the time.  I want that record! 

So that began about three hours ago, and here we are now.  Mick has gone down south to watch a movie or two with some friends, but should be back pretty soon.  In the meantime, I’m also enjoying a delicious cup of a new tea, Turkish Delight.  It’s green and black teas with sunflower, rose, and jasmine flower.  The dry tea itself smells incredible, almost painfully sweet; the taste, however, is smooth and still fragrant without being sugary.  It’s delicious hot, but would probably make a wonderful iced tea as well.  It’s a great afternoon tea, I can attest to that, and still has a decent amount of caffiene thanks to the black tea in the mix.  I’ve only had one steeping so far, so I’m not sure how it will hold up to more; I have a feeling that the delicate taste of the flowers won’t stand up, which would be a shame. 

Aside from the Turkish Delight, I have four other new teas to try out this week!  I did pick up a bag of my favorite Gyokuro Kin, but also picked out Eastside Earl (an organic Earl Grey) and a 2009 Four Seasons Oolong.  And since the tea man thought I had such good taste, he gave me a sample of another green Sencha, Fukamushi Sencha Maki.  I’ll let you know about all of these as soon as I try them out.  Let’s experiement together!  And as I mentioned this morning, you can find all of these teas here in Austin at The Steeping Room in the Domain.  Tell them I sent you and get…well…probably some funny looks, but that’s ok.  It’s all part of my secret diabolical plan for world domination and free tea. 

Well I guess that’s all I had to say for now.  I’m debating what shall be done for dinner, and I’m always taking suggestions!  I hear there’s a new Torchys up north that I’m dying to try out, so maybe that’s in the cards for the evening.  Trust me, if it’s anything exciting you’ll hear about it!  Stay classy, San Diego!

early.

And another good morning to you!  I’m quite proud of myself for sleeping all the way till 9:30 today.  I almost crawled out of bed at 7:30, but convinced myself to stay just a little longer.  Part of me wishes I would have got up, because the resulting dream was sort of unsettling in a way I don’t quite understand.  Based on my real life plans for today (tea shopping!), it involved

  • our kitchen sink exploding,
  • a friend from middle school stealing my car,
  • another friend’s GF leaving him on my account,
  • a tour of a museum and its secret heart research lab full of celebrities,
  • a puffy jacket given to me by Little Wayne,
  • on-campus horse races

I think there was more, but that’s all I remember.  All in two hours!  My brain is busy in the mornings.

But now I’m up, and back to burning Dr. Who DVDs.  Right now I happen to be doing the series that occured on my birthday!  I think that’s pretty neat.  Only like 8 more discs to go!

Well if you read Mick’s blog, you would have heard all about Stunt Rock.  If you didn’t read Mick’s blog, go do that now.  And then you’ll see why this might be the most perfect movie for me.  It has, in no particular order:

  • good looking stunt men
  • sweet classic cars
  • heavy metal
  • pyrotechnics
  • the most un-gay magic show ever
  • fluffy dogs

Yep, it’s pretty near perfect.  And Mick is right, there’s almost no plot whatsoever.  But what it does have is seamless inserts of dual-screen stunt feats (by leading man Grant and other famous stuntmen), a neat section of classic footage from “the zany 20’s”, a whole concert by Sorcery, and a wisecraking keyboardist who always wears a hood.  I said it was because he’s albino, but nobody else seemed to go for that idea.  I also made the claim that I’m going to own a Sorcery record, and soon.  While www.sorcerymusic.com has plenty of CDs and DVDs, it’s just not the same.  I need the vinyl.  I’m crazy like that.  Unfortunately the only thing I could find is the awesome-looking Stunt Rock soundtrack 2-disc LP…for $75 on ebay.  Sad panda.  And before you misunderstand me, it’s not that I wouldn’t pay that much for this record (I SO WOULD), but until we start getting a lot more sponsors or one of us sells a screenplay I just can’t afford it.  But you know, I do have a birthday coming up next month.  Just saying.

I also heard last night, as many of you may have, that Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are getting married.  This is about as far as my celebrity rumor concern goes, just so you know.  I saw it on Twitter, and my first reaction was “yay, it’s about time! What a sweet couple!” because I remember when they first started dating.  Well, sort of.  I remember reading his tweets and blogs, then following her tweets just to keep up.  I’ve listened to these people’s conversations for over a year, seen their photos, read about their daily adventures…and yet, they still remain people I don’t know and have never met.  Which makes me feel a little strange, as if modern technology is making me a voyeur.  Social networking, much like other non-online forms of communication, has always made me feel a bit awkward.  Hell, I am a bit awkward, no way around that.  And yet, here I am posting a blog about how the internet makes my insides feel weird.  I am an enigma even unto myself.  I’ll chalk it up to the half of me that craves a life off the grid, solitary and reflective, with a mountain of books and a mountain of yarn.  I could totally be happy there.  But then again, there’s something about having your words recognized… 

Cast in this unlikely role, ill-equipped to act with insufficient tact

Well, as I said before, tea shopping today!  Heading over to my preferred and most-convenient purveyor, The Steeping Room, to indulge in a smorgasborg of teas and tea accessories.  It’s partly a trip of necessity, as I’m out of my Gyokuro Kin and Mick desires some Earl Grey, but who knows what treasures I’ll return with!  Be sure that you’ll be hearing about it later. 

I’ll leave you with that for now, pretties.  I’ll be back!

Brr.

Thursday?  More like TWOsday!

Ok, that was lame.  I’m sorry.  I blame the cold.  That’s right, it’s freezing as fuck in Austin right now, although 90% of the town is inside right now so it’s not a big deal.  Apparently there’s some big football game going on now or something.  Whatever, all I know is that the grocery store was virtually empty, and that’s good news for me.  And after all my shopping and procuring of fine edibles, I’m having garlic bread for dinner.  I like to think I’m just adding on an extra layer of blubber to last me through winter.   Like a narwhal might do.  When in Rome!

But back to the two thing…I got a call from my grandpa yesterday telling me that apparently I have a twin in Austin.  Not a real one, of course, (come on, two Taras?  the world would implode under the weight of the awesome) but someone who looks and sounds just like me, enough that MY OWN GRANDFATHER thought it was me for a minute.  She’s a bartender at Joe’s Crab Shack, which, A-I vowed never to work behind a bar ever again, and B-in all my years of service industry hellholes, I never EVER would have stooped to the level of Joe’s Crab Shack.  Hawaiian shirts?  Kiss my ass.  Loud obnoxious birthday songs?  Fire me, please.  So just in case anyone else is confused, no that’s not me working at the Joe’s on Riverside.  Hell, for all I know this girl and I could just share a passing resemblance, and Poppa was just looking for an excuse to call and chat.  Which is cool, I guess.

Speaking of cool, my cheeks are still partially frozen.  Even a close parking spot feels like miles away when it’s 19 degrees outside.  In my haste/warmth-lust I almost ran a dude down with my cart.  Looking back on it now, I think it might have been someone I used to know years ago.  But then again, I see this person’s look-alikes all the time, all over town.  It’s never actually him, I guess the mustachioed junky musician look is pretty common around Austin. (fyi – I just ran the spell-checker, mustachioed was totally correct, but it doesn’t like the word “junky”.)  I didn’t get a good look at him so I guess I’ll never really know.  And so what if it was?  The right side of my brain says “you should have talked to him!  You guys used to be such good friends!  Wouldn’t it be great to catch up?”  The left side, on the other hand, gives the right side a swift backhand and says “what the hell do you have to say to him?  What would you talk about?”  And when I think about it, I guess I have a lot to say. 

“What have I been up to?  Oh, you know, split with that douchebag I was with, got sober, graduated, got married, wrote some screenplays, just stuff, you know.”

That’s the short version, I guess.  The version I would give to someone in the HEB parking lot in sub-freezing weather.  And were we to sit down over coffee, I would brag my ass off about the awesome guy I’m doing and the stuff I’m married to.  (Ok, that wasn’t so PG, my bad.  Is it wrong to brag about an awesome, stereotype-crushing sex life?  I don’t think so.  Sorry mom.)  And then left brain chimes in again and says “no, there are parts of life that you need to just close the door on.  That is one of them.”  And it’s right.  Some things, some people, don’t need to be revisited.  That little chunk of memory is all tied up in Elliot Smith albums and will never really go away, and it is in happy pristine condition.  Better not to tarnish it with visions of the present. 

And also on the “things that look like people” train, I started a new knitting project tonight.  No, I didn’t finish the mock-designer scarf I was telling you about, almost but not yet.  This idea just came to me this afternoon (thanks to the magic of the twitterverse) and I had to get on it right away.  I hope it is as amazing as I think it will be.  So far it doesn’t look like much of anything.  But when it does, there will be a grand unveiling and you will ooh and aah and request one of your very own.  And I will consider it.

Remember when I said I was eating garlic bread for dinner?  I meant I was eating half a loaf of garlic bread for dinner.  I don’t know, it just kind of happened.  I can already feel retribution gurgling inside me.  Time for Tums and ginger tea.  By the way (this will be my free sponsor for the evening), if you can find somewhere that sells Mighty Leaf Ginger Twist tea, buy it!  It’s awesome.  I have many fond memories of being so very hung over and huddling over a big mug of Ginger Twist tea at Flipnotics, usually surrounded by books on ancient Egyptian history.  Those were good times. 

You’ll hear from me tomorrow if I last the night.

Have tea, will travel

Hello lovelies!

I’ve decided that writing in the morning bodes much better for me, as last night’s nonsense post was just, well, nonsense.  I’m not a night person, I don’t function well after about 9:00.  Maybe it has something to do with waking up at 5:00 every morning for the last three years.  Truth be told, I’m not so sure I would be a functioning human being at all without the help of large doses of caffeine. 

Speaking of, I’m trying out a new tea this week!  It’s one I’ve had in my collection for quite a while now but I just never got up the nerve to open it up and try it out until now.  It’s called Pu-erh, pronounced Poo-Air.  Go ahead, giggle, everyone else does.  Apparently it’s a rare tea, only grown in certian regions of China and not exported very much.  You can drink a “green” unaged pu-erh (but probably shouldn’t, they say it’s “not always palatable”), but the more common variety is pressed into cakes and aged or fermented, giving it a brownish-black color.  The caking was useful in the way old days when the tea was traveling by horse/donkey/camel across vast distances.  Wikipedia can give you a ton of history, cultivation information, and other useful tidbits if you’re curious about all that.  I’ll tell ya, it’s pretty interesting.   

Isn't that pretty? Aged Pu-erh.

 As far as drinkability goes, I think it’s damn tasty stuff, especially if you’re a fan of earthy black teas.  If it were a wine, it would be a shiraz.  This particular tea I’m drinking, 2003 Chen-Guang Lan Yin Puerh, has a lovely amber color and aromas of tobacco and dirt.  In a good way!  The taste is smooth and leathery, heavy-tasting but somewhat lighter on the tannins; it has a very sticky feel afterwards.  I imagine it’s what you might get if you steeped an italian leather sofa.  It’s refined and smooth, but still rugged and bold.  It is the Richard Boone of teas.  If you want some, The Steeping Room here in Austin has a handful, or I’m sure the interwebs has reputable dealers as well.  The one I purchased was around $10/oz, but you can find lower or higher priced ones, of course.  And it withstands multiple steepings quite well.

Well dears, it’s time for me to go to lunch, so I’ll leave you for now.  Maybe you’ll hear from me later, who knows!

Ok, before I get into this, I have to show you what I made last night:

it's a cthulu cosy!

 

Probably the most awesome tea cosy you’ll ever see.  And a really easy pattern too, I have a feeling I’ll be crafting quite a few cthulu-themed projects in the future.  Thanks to Arcana Vitae for the adorable chart! 

Right.  So.  I was going to talk about Dune today, because it’s been a part of my life for about two weeks now and I’ve yet to have a good sit-down about it.  Dune is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read for, oh, like a decade or so, and just never got around to actually picking it up.  So a few weekends ago, Mick and I were looking for a movie to watch, and he graciously left the choice up to me.  After perusing our gigantic collection for a little while, I was thumbing through the David Lynch section and came across the Dune movie.  It seemed exactly what I was in the mood for, and Mick was more than happy to oblige.  And I must say, after the first 10 minutes or so I was already in love with it.  By the end, I adored it.  And in my brain I kept thinking “if you love this, imagine how good the book is!”  Or was that Mick telling me that, I don’t remember.  Anywho, I was spurred.  I waited till the next evening before actually picking the book up and diving in. 

I’m not very far in just yet, but I am having an incredible time with it.  Herbert is a magnificent crafter of characters, and I adore every one of them.  Of course there’s a little disconnect between book and movie that throws me off at times; the brilliant Kyle McLaughlin doesn’t really pass for a 15-year-old, and no matter how many times I read Gurney Halleck described as a fat lump of a man, I can’t help but think of Patrick Stewart.  But tiny deviations aside, I am constantly being blown away by Jessica.  She’s badass!  And I think that’s something that didn’t get as much emphasis in the film as it should have, I’m sure due to time and content constraints.  It happens.  But damn!  She’s just flippin brilliant, and wise beyond that.  And I love the way that all of her savvy, all of her influence and understanding, essentially comes from her ability to read and understand people.  Rather than seeing faceless bureaucracies and swarming populations, she can look at the individuals that make them up and understand the system by its creators and inhabitants.  Which I think is a brilliant way to look at the world.

And of course I have to love the poor tragic Duke.  I can’t help it, I have a terrible weakness for proud, vulnerable, flawed heroes.  I’ve always been fascinated by the character of Theoden mainly because he wasn’t perfect and he did fuck up some, but he was able to overcome in the end and he did the best he could.  He was real, he was human.  The Duke strikes me in much the same way.  He’s not perfect, he gets fatigued and upset, he’s proud, but his fallibility is all the more endearing.  Especially since I know he’s about to be murdered by a close friend.

Which brings up one more thing that I’ve been thinking about…why the hell will no one suspect Yueh??  How is he the one person that Jessica can’t truly see through?  And why would Duke Leo suspect his lover over this guy?  It’s like he’s a jedi or something!  Or maybe because he just sort of blends into the background…he’s reliable, dependent, doesn’t cause trouble or draw attention to himself.  Makes me wonder if I would suspect him if I didn’t already know he was the traitor…those are the questions that keep me up at night. Confound you, Frank Herbert! 

Anyway, I read right up until the scene of the betrayal last night, and then stopped because I wouldn’t have time to finish the whole thing before my nighttime shows came on.  I’m a creature of habit, what can I say. 

I’m also proud to report that I’ve gotten a ton of complements on the cthulu cosy!  Yay!

That’s all for now, I’m off for a delicious Kim Phung lunch with the wonderful Mick.  Toodles!

Hello Tuesday!  Getting a late start today, but I’ve been surprisingly busy.  Among the many daily duties I’ve been checking off the list, there’s been a few little upgrades made to the blogs, not to mention an obscene amount of twittering.  A few things, though, that I should tell you about:

First off, the ingenuiTEA that I got for Christmas is AWESOME.  Right now I’m enjoying my third cup of Gyokuro Kin and am very happy about it.  Yeah, so I’m a tea snob, what of it?  Not that I have anything personally against…more affordable…teas, but there’s just something about a hand-crafted Japanese green tea that is actually green!  And tastes green!  The Gyokuro Kin is a personal favorite of mine; (here comes the science) it’s grown in much the same way as Sencha teas, except it’s shaded for the last three months before harvesting.  The shade causes it to pull more nutrients from the soil, which in turn leads to a higher caffeine content.  And you know how I love my caffeine!  It’s really smooth and light with a spinachy flavor.  I highly recommend it! (If you’re in Austin, you can find it at The Steeping Room for sure.)  But I digress, the ingenuiTEA is fabulous and you should totally get one.  And get it from Think Geek, because they are fabulous too.  I promised their twitterer that I’d be knitting up a Cthulu-themed cosy for the teapot tonight, cuz by god that would be the most awesome thing ever.  And it will!  Oh yes!

Speaking of knitting, you’ll be happy to know that I totally busted ass on The Pink Death last night and am over halfway finished with the front side! (only two rows over halfway, but hey, it counts.)  So I’m ahead of schedule, and that’s always good.  It’s coming together nicely, better than I expected, but keep up those encouraging thoughts!  If this turns out half as awesome as I want it to, I will be pleased.

Also in the news, we got our first sponsor today!  I say “we” because they bought spots from both Mick and myself, so you get to hear about them twice!  We’re kicking the year off in style with sponsorship from Jimily Farms, purveyors of fine handmade goat-milk cheeses, soaps, and more.  They rock, and you need to know about them.  But not just yet.  Wait till Friday! 

And yes, there are still plenty of spots open for sponsorship!  You can purchase Saturday for only $2!  There’s not a day over $31 this whole month!  Hell, you could buy the whole month of January for under $500!   That’s a steal, my friend! (Let me just say that if you do buy the whole month, you get a special prize and my undying adoration.  And also, you better have a lot for me to talk about.)

Short post for today, as I have a few more things to catch up on before heading back home for more work.  Remind me to tell you about Dune tomorrow…

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes
   © 2018 yourgeekforaday.com all rights reserved. visit mick's geekblog | yourgeekforaday.com homepage