Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The last gasp of the twenties...

As the last moments of my twenties passes through my fingers like sand, I decided that perhaps it was appropriate to blog. Why? I guess it's because it's one of those moments I didn't see coming and I thought it might serve as a warning to others coming down the pike. I remember when I was a teen thinking that thirty was going to be this amazing right of passage...and maybe it is, but I'm currently failing to see it. It's nothing like I expected (late twenties going into the acceptance of my adult life), but at the same time it's better than I knew to imagine, so I guess there's always that. I'm in no way unhappy with my life, so don't be misled by what I'm about to say.
It's sad to see the twenties go. To know that they are truly over. The coming of age part of life is terrible and wonderful, filled with trials and tests of self. I could see how I could be glad that I have a much better idea of who I am than when I headed into the hot mess that is twenty.

And at this moment I am 30 (7:20am is official to the sticklers).

I don't know why 30 is so hard. It's the first time I have been inclined to not throw myself a party. I still don't know if it will happen to be honest. I know I am not alone. I've watched some of my closest friends turn 30 and most have seemed to approach it with reverence and a certain amount of dread. What is it about our culture that this age that is so scary? My status on facebook today was "Today is the last day of my twenties...ever". I got a fair bit of jeering from the younger crowd, but it was the older crowd that got me. Almost every one of them said something about that day for them. It was a sobering moment for the majority of them. But what is it?
I'm still unsure and I've been thinking about it all day. Is it that as long as there's a '2' in the front end of your age you still feel like you can get away with certain things? Is it that the '3' magically means that you are supposed to have something figured out by now? Jury's out.

All I know is that me and the twenties had the best of times and the worst of times and I will miss you. I raise my lighter to you....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Living Alone- A week's perspective

I don't know exactly who reads this anymore (since it has been months since my last post), but in case you are not aware, my roommate, Hope, moved out last week. She's starting this new and exciting phase of life (also a little scary) and I opted to stay behind in the house. I've only been alone for about a week, and I know I am barely used to it. In fact, I would venture to guess that I don't even know what exactly I have chosen for myself...not that it's a bad thing. Just that I'm still in the honeymoon/'lack of reality' phase. It still kinda feel like Hope just went out of town for a while. and took all her stuff. and her cat. At the same time, I'm doing things that contradict that line of thought, like painting her room and moving into it. Slowly moving things around to where I think they might work...making it my own. I thought I would be totally done with this by 3 days later. Turns out that when you don't actually move it seems like an even more daunting task. I still have to clean my old room, a project that I meant to start 3 days ago and needs to be done by tomorrow night...I wanted to rearrange the kitchen wares a little bit and see if I found an even more efficient set up but I've barely managed to keep up with the dishes (but I have!). I have managed to watch 2.5 seasons of Gilmore Girls and 2 movies, go out for a bit and fix my internet. To some that might appear as a pathetic week, but to others it would be quite the accomplishment. It would be pathetic if I didn't carry a 45-50 hour work week and still maintain some semblance of a social life :)
Overall it's interesting, shifting things around without regard for the tastes and feelings of another person. I never really thought it would really bother the people I've lived with if I were, say, to move a poster or change the silver ware drawer. I just figured that they liked things a different way and would try to understand their systems and reasoning. Fascinating people study...strange, I know. I just like to figure out what makes people tick...see their perspectives and understand motivations. The thing is, it's been kinda hard moving stuff to where I want it. I've spent a lot of time paying closer attention to the wants of others and my little game of understanding that I look at all the walls and can't figure out where the Pisarro print should go. I still haven't moved anything in 3 of the rooms because I can't make sense of it all yet. The thing I felt I organized most of anything is the stack of dvds that I got from the library...because they will only be here for a week or two. I'm not sure where to put my clothes, as I am attempting for the 32nd time to actually use a dresser and closet like a grown up.
The happier part is that it's making me think of new leaves I can turn over, like the closet thing or what not so healthy groceries am I going to refrain from purchasing. I want to make this a warm, cozy and clean home that people love staying a retreat from all the craziness. I really do love this place...broken air conditioner and all. It's fairly open but still cozy. The colors are great and help me to see how much like my dad I am even though I fought against becoming one of those people that painted their house all sorts of 'crazy' colors. I rebelled in my late teens by telling my dad I wanted to paint my bedroom white. The starkest whitest white I could find. Matte finish and all. Wow, I was a lame kid.
So, to sum it all up, this week has been good. Pretty peaceful and introspective. I need the introspection or I start to behave differently and my thoughts get all screwy. I start to lose my perspective since I enjoy the perspectives of others so often. I know this is more of a question of balance rather than having one over the other. I really do like trying to catch of glimpse of someone else's view on the world. It makes me appreciate some things in a whole new way that I would never have thought of. It helps me see the cause and effect for so many situations and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. When I can connect on an empathetic level with someone I am happier than any when I do anything actual joy. It seems an important part of who I am, and something pretty unique to me. I rarely get the opportunity to connect with another person who does this sort of thing. It's something I think I will always be doing. I just need to keep my own perspective in mind a bit more.
Living alone is do be a little weird for a while, but I think in the end it will be very good for me. I don't know how long I will get to live this way, but I'm going to ride it out :) More perspective another day....


Monday, April 27, 2009

a different type of survey

The computer is back in action and I thought I would kick stuff off with my favorite passtime- ye olde survey type thing...
Here are the requirements- With as much creativity as you can muster, show your heart in: 1 picture, 1 poem, 1 song/piece of music, 1 phrase or quote, 1 piece of clothing, 1 place, and (just for fun) 1 Disney princess.

1 picture 

1 poem-

"O Fearless Squirrel ofTwilight"
by- Nekropher O'Mans

As the Ashes of the Autumn's Moon blow over, I am given to contemplate a squirrel. He does not fear the eagle of the night, nor Is he driven to madness by the thought of mutinous acorns. Ah! How simple life should be, were we Driven to contemplate the glory of nature as this Simple squirrel does. A sudden ray of thought enters my cavernous mind. The Squirrel does not fear the eagle of the night because Eagles are not nocturnal.

(taken from

1 song/piece of music-

That was really hard. I finally settled in on-

1 phrase or quote-

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.  ~Samuel Johnson

1 piece of clothing-

1 place- 

1 Disney Princess-

I've always loved her best....

So there you go!

I'm outtie :)


Saturday, April 25, 2009


So, I am still awaiting the phone call from my precious neighborhood Best Buy to tell me that my computer is ready and waiting for me. That really is the hold up. I'm sure that I would have posted at least 15 times by now. Nadine even tagged me in some survey (and God knows I am a total sucker for those). Nadine- I promise I will do it.

I have nothing more to report for the moment, but I think anyone who is actually reading this should check out Pete's blog....two words- SPAM Jam.

It's real


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Breaking the Silence

So, I haven't written anything in a very very long while. The computer I had been using had some issues, which are being resolved and I have managed to find a way to blog anyway. I don't really have a lot to say at the moment other than I am still alive.


Yeah. I got nothin.

Here's a picture of my current pass time of sorts-


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An uncomplicated life...

In a moment of unintentional self discovery I came to understand how I deal with stress. My personal life very rarely stresses me out. It's generally work that gets under my skin, especially when it comes to this time of year- competition season. For those of you who are oblivious to exactly how nerdy the coffee world is, let me fill you in. 
So, on an annual basis there are a myriad of barista competitions ('s real) that go on around the world. In the United States, these events are broken down into regions (10 in all) and one national (the SCAA's United States Barista Championship). The person who wins the USBC gets to advance to being the only US representative in the World Barista Championship, which is the highest least until we discover alien races, for they will inevitably love coffee. 
As far the rules and format, I could go on and on so I will simply direct the interested parties to do their own research here. These events have been around since 2001 if my memory serves me correctly. My company has been involved pretty much since it's inception as one of the owners was involved in getting it off the ground. This will make my 8th year of being involved in some capacity (3 years competing and on my 5th year of judging). 
So, the Midwest Regional is this weekend and my boys have been practicing heavily for a few months now. Our company is actually growing and in a very exciting period of its history, but we are still a little on the smaller side staff wise. Everyone we have right now is stellar which makes it easier to handle growth, but there is plenty for everyone to do :) This has little to do with competition, except that my competitors are both key players outside of putting in their own time. No one is making anyone do anything...we are all there of our volition and love of the barista craft and a drive to perfect it. We are very fortunate to have bosses that are supportive and create opportunities such as this to further our personal education and goals (and I really DO feel that way). Expectations from the outside have started to be of less and less importance to me, which leads to the whole stress part. I want everyone to do well, I was to be of help to them through my experience and lending my own hands (to polish innumerable dishes). I also want to make sure that through out the time I am doing this that I'm not slacking off on my actual job duties. Even though it can be rough, exhausting, obnoxious, crazy ( I could keep going with the adjectives here) I still feel like it's manageable. That is, as long as my personal life isn't complicated. 
So, that was actually the realization. That last sentence there. I'm not saying that my personal life is super challenging...not by any stretch. What I realized is that it has to be entirely uncomplicated. The most minor of complications gets me in a bit of a tizzy because I have unreasonable expectations of those who play more of a fun/relaxed role in my life. I forget that friends and family can't always be my 'chill zone' as I have come to see them as. They are just as human as me and some of them have way more stressful situations going on than I could even conjure up. Or, they have a different threshold or outlet for their own stress that may or may not be compatible with mine. Stress makes most people selfish. It makes me a martyr, which may be just as selfish, if not more so, when it manifests in a totally unnecessary way...
So yeah, just something I am mulling over right now. I need to relax and decompress in a way that I don't know that I have time for, but the only thing that is certain is that this won't kill me. So....there's that :) 
Next- Is Holly manifesting signs and symptoms of a workaholic. Tune in next time...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bacon Cookies and Goodbyes

So, Pete left a couple of days ago for Hawaii...and for those of you who don't know, it's not a vacation. He's living there for a minimum of 6 months (as per the lease that he secured today) and gets to make coffee with an ocean breeze on his face. Not that I'm bitter. If you want to know more about his new and awesome hijinks check out the link for his blog on my sidebar (UnLandLocked). In honor of the departure of my oldest friend, I will finally post about the bacon cookies experiment, the most successful of the savory/sweet concoctions. 
So, the recipe was given to Pete and I by some of the people at Kaldi's (a coffee company out of St. Louis) when we were there for a jam early in November. We started talking about the bacon+chocolate candy bar and we found out there were plenty of people who were just as interested in this unorthodox mix as we were. 

So, the cookies themselves were actually bacon, oatmeal and butterscotch chip. The baking portion went well, as chronicled in these pictures...

So first things first- bake off the bacon. We purchased 3 different types of bacon for this experiement- Thick cut hickory smoked, thick cut smoked, and regular hickory smoked. All were basted with a mixture of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. mmm...

In the inevitable nibbling that went on as we took it off the baking sheets we decided that thinner cut was really the way to go, and the fattier the better. We then went about following the recipe and making the dough. Here it is after the first helping of bacon-

Stir it in!

After a taste, we quickly decide that it needs something...

More bacon!

We then let them bake for about 10 minutes-

and while we wait, Pete can't help himself-

And the finished product-

So that's bacon cookies in a nut shell. They were actually quite fabulous. Pete can put in his two cents via comments. If anyone wants the recipe, leave a comment and I will email it to you to try out. There are some things I have learned about baking with bacon-

1-NEVER use bacon grease in place of oil or butter. It's not that it tastes bad, but it makes you feel funny later. 
2-Don't think you need to balance out the bacon with darker chocolate or more butterscotch chips than the recipe calls for. Bacon honestly can't hold its own as well as you might think. Milk chocolate is a better vehicle than dark chocolate.
3-Tiny chunks of bacon are not as effective as medium sized chunks. It really doesn't take much sugar to drown it out (see #2)
4-Thinner cut/fatty bacon is better for baking than what you would normally choose to consume on its own. 
5-Bacon has its limits. It's sometimes better as a pairing of sorts, rather than being integrated into something else.

So, there you have it. That's bacon baking. I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone in particular, but if you are interested just let me know and I will provide you with a few ideas to get you started.