Thursday, August 10, 2006

horror movies, coffee master, and Maggie

Just got home from work and I can't decide whether I want to take a nap, sit by the pool and read, sit on the beach and read, or do something totally different. In the meantime, I'll blog a bit about the past couple days.

Ok, well, for starters I watched a couple cool horror flicks the other night: High Tension and Hostel. Hostel was definitely disturbing, and not just because of the amount of blood. It showed a pure hatred for Americans oversees, as it also mocked--in a horrific way--the hedonistic sex industry certain Americans look to patronize when they visit other countries. And yeah, of course there were gratuitous blood and slashing and torture tools, along with a somewhat weak ending (as if the writer got tired and didn't want to finish). But it was interesting and sufficiently frightening. I liked High Tension better, though. Lots of fascinating social implications and sub-plots, also with some predictable horror conventions, but the main character was super interesting. Would love to have a gender- and sexuality-based discussion about this movie.

Good stuff.

On a totally different note, yesterday I hosted a coffee tasting/seminar in the cafe at work, which was open to the public and any other employees (from my store or any others). It's one of the final steps in being a certified Coffee Master at Starbucks. Ok, yes, you may chuckle and say it's cheesy, but I am excited about it. Just as passing my barista certification when I first started took way more training than one might expect, becoming a Coffee Master isn't a token thing, nor is the training merely a formality. My task yesterday was to prepare on my own some sort of seminar to present--about pretty much whatever I wanted--with the objective of educating attendees about some aspect of coffee, coffee growing, roasting, brewing, anything like that. So I decided to talk about the language of coffee, since customers so frequently want to know about certain coffees, how they taste, what's bold, what's mild, etc. I always get the feeling that when we answer them, they still aren't sure what we've just said, because there's a certain vocabulary used to describe coffee and we aren't always very good at translating it. In my seminar, I talked about the four main aspects we evaluate in coffee: aroma, acidity, body, and flavor. First, I taught everyone how to do a real coffee tasting (much like wine tasting). Then, I went into detail about each of these four aspects and how they affect the different roasts (or rather, how the different roasts affect them). For each one, we sampled a different coffee that highlights each respective aspect. Then I also explained some of the adjectives that are often used for each of these aspects. For example, exotic, floral, bright, earthy, etc. Personally, I find it all fascinating as hell, and as it turns out, so did the customers who took part in the seminar. They loved learning how to sample coffee and how to identify different elements in the flavor. It lasted a little over an hour and went incredibly well. I was so happy. (Ok, so I have to brag and say that my manager said it was one of the best Coffee Master seminars she's ever seen!) Anyway, all I have to do is pass a quick oral test on Monday to check my knowledge on some other things relating to the growers themselves, their communities, and the Starbucks procedure from harvest to delivery. Once I pass that, I am officially a certified Coffee Master and will get to wear the special coffee master black apron.

Today, however, I am in major pain. I took the dogs out for a walk before bed last night, and they were both in playful moods so I ran around with them for a while. Tails were wagging, we were all running and jumping, and acting goofy. Good times. Until, while the dogs and I were running down the sidewalk, Maggie who was in front of me on her leash, decided to suddenly take a sharp left turn. Out of nowhere, going nowhere. Of course, I was still running straight ahead. When Maggie crossed my path so suddenly, I actually ran into her, flipped over her, hit the sidewalk (at a fast pace), rolled, and skidded several feet. My shoes flew off, the leashes went all over, and I was in pain. When I finally stopped skidding down the cement, both the dogs were just standing there staring down at me, smiling, wagging, and wondering what the hell I was doing. If I had witnessed this happen to someone else, I'd have been on my ass laughing. I'm certain it was hilarious to see, but fortunately no one did see. Maggie had no idea she had almost killed me. I scraped up my hands, knees, elbows, feet, and back, but what's really painful are my muscles today. I guess I tensed up during the fall, and apparently I'm really old. Because today it feels like I lifted weights for about 12 hours yesterday.

Thanks, Maggie! Good thing you are incredibly cute.


At August 10, 2006 9:11 PM, Anonymous Shelly said...

Hi, Heather! i'm laughing my ass off at you from St. Louis. I can just picture you doing that. I hope you're not in too much pain. I miss you!

At August 11, 2006 2:38 PM, Anonymous Ann said...

How funny.
Are you still planning on going to Europe?


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