Monday, July 18, 2011

Say it, Baby, Say it!


I think there should be a drug for people who can't say no. Maybe something that you can't get OTC and that someone with a doctorate must prescribe you. Or better yet, they should just have it as an extra smoothie shot at those colorful juice bar places where you can get boosts of calcium, protein, wheatgrass, and confidence.

Yeah. That sounds easier.

I'm one of those people. And I've gotten myself into another sticky situation with the best of intentions. Didn't think about downtime and now I'm kind of stuck.

I need to start practicing, otherwise it's just going to be like this forever.

So let's do some "No-ga".

Sit crosslegged on the floor. Slowly raise your arms above your head and float them down into a comfortable cross, and chant with me;


Doesn't it feel good already? Channelling the inner toddler for a bit?


Now just breathe. Isn't it nice to have time to breathe because you said no?

Just as you have to learn to enjoy your failures as well as your successes, you have to be mindful of your limitations as well as your potential. Does that sound pessimistic in this blog of optimism? I don't think so. Perhaps just realistic. My birthday is coming up on Saturday, and I'm officially verging on the late twenties group of years. Is cynicism setting in early? I think not. I just want to make sure I have enough time to be happy and optimistic!

But until then, I'll just have to practice this no-ga everytime I feel too scattered. My boyfriend said to me this morning at 5:09 AM when I left the house "You're spread so thin. No butter left for me." Awwwwww. Just not enough hours in the day to keep everybody happy. Maybe someday.


Feels pretty good. All you high powered mid to late twenties and above women should try it sometime.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Portrait of the Divine in Chocolate

Feliz Dia de San Valentin!

My mother, sister, and I have a tradition where every year on this day we wish each other a Happy VD. Call us sophomoric, but I still think it's funny.

It's a grey day in Sunny Santa Rosa and I sit at the Flying Goat Coffee Shop off of Railroad Square. It's the loveliest pastel puse colored coffee shop that ever there was, and their hot chocolate truly is divine. And it's just enough! Drinking it took me back to another place in another life where my friend Tara and I would go to the nameless bistro on Pacific Avenue whenever we were down and sushi was just too expensive. We would sit there, drinking hot chocolate, surrounding ourselves with sparkly tablecloths, nice lighting, and dreams of other places. I eventually went to work at that place, learned of its name, and being on that side of the counter totally ruined the international dream for me, but tasting this chocolate brings me back to those evenings, finding joy and satisfaction at the bottom of a girly glass mug.

These chocolates are even better because they're served in a sturdy, androgynous white cafe mug with a teensy little spoon and a saucer to match. Also, there's no need for whipped cream, because the milk is foamed and incorporated seamlessly into the crema so you're left with a beautiful cappucino-esque finish on the top. And the talented baristas swirl the two colors together. The effect is almost enough to move you to not drink it, just because it's so beautiful, but the smell will compel you onward. Aztec Mochas at Flying Goat Coffee get the Boundless Optimism Chapter of the Food Cult's approval.

I wish I had the foresight to take a picture of this beautiful creation before I drank it all, but I couldn't hold back, so this is just coffee. But the coffee is pretty good too.

My friend Jay is a particular fan of Mochas and crepes as well. He's the only person I know who can make a great mocha at home, and it's mostly the hot chocolate he uses. It's ibarra, hand shaved, and lovingly prepared. Each christmas he sends out a package of Jay's Chocolate complete with instructions: "Pour the contents into a mug, add milk, and microwave for a minute, just like the Aztecs did".

I should go and wish Jay a happy VD too. He might even think it's funny.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back to School


Today was my first day of school at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Dakota said to me this morning as I was walking out "Have fun, and don't be a "lickspittle".

That was the word of the day yesterday. It's about the same meaning as a kiss-ass. Walking into class I definitely felt like a total lickspittle. In the student handbook it said that you were expected to wear a chef's uniform to every class, and could be kicked out if you weren't properly dressed. I guess that statement should have a proviso that at SRJC, every class doesn't actually mean what it means in the rest of the world. To my embarrassment, I was the only one in uniform. That's what you get for trying to make a good start. Oh well. Truth is I hate uniforms anyway, so at least I don't have to wear one next week!

It's weird being a "nontraditional" student, but fun to be back in the library!

Sanitation and Safety has taught me that you should never thaw anything at room temperature. Actually, it's pretty good advice. Thanks, Chef! I bet she loves teaching this class as much as the rest of us love taking it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Boundlessly Resolute

Happy New Year! It's 2011. Isn't that exciting?

This year brings a lot of hope I feel. Everyone I've been talking to is ready to say ADIOS and GOOD RIDDANCE to 2010. Mind you, 2010 was a pretty good year for me in a lot of ways. I found my love, my job, my house, my kitty, new friends, but there were some crappy elements too. My friend Tamara commented on New Years Eve that this was the first time in a while where she didn't feel the need to cleanse in the New Year. I felt that as well, and it was a nice feeling! No massive overhaul required, just an open outlook on the time to come.

Resolutions have never been my strong point. Quitting smoking, exercising every day, not buying cheap plastic crap from China, I strive to do all these things but have never been terribly satisfied with the results. So this year I just made a list, and what I get to is great, it'll make life better, and for those things I don't get to, they're just still on the list. I'm just trying to be a better person. My name is Charlotte.

Incidentally, blogging once a week is on that list.

My friend Elise came to visit from New York State over New Years and just left this morning. I didn't want her to go. We always have way too much fun and spend way too much money, but at least we're in Bodega and not Brooklyn. It's not as easy to spend hundreds of dollars in a day out in the sticks. Elise is a very talented aesthetician and she gave me a guerilla facial on my couch at my house, using stuff she found around the house. I was terribly impressed, and my face feels awesome. Turns out you don't need to spend tons at a spa for a good facial, you just need a very talented and improvisational aesthetician friend to come hang out with you for a few days.

Anyway, she made a masque and it was lovely. Here is the recipe.

Elise's Guerilla Masque

2 Tablespoons oatmeal
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 drop tea tree oi

Combine all ingredients.

Wash and dry your face.

Gently massage masque onto your face and leave for a few minutes.

Wipe off masque with a damp washcloth.


It's awesome! I guess yogurt and sugar are natural exfoliants, oatmeal soothes, and tea tree oil disinfects. And you can EAT the stuff, if you really wanted to. Because of Elise, taking better care of my skin is also on the list.

My friend Whitney recently posted her most recent film, which is viewable on Youtube!

She's a great inspiration and is always working on a new project. I can't wait for the next one. Another thing on my list is to be like Whitney, and never let the everyday get in the way of making art.

So Happy New Year to all. May your resolutions be attained, and may you be boundlessly optimistic.