Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green Movement

The only con to working so early is that your day becomes so long. I was up at 3:40 am today. Yesterday at around 8:30 pm I realized that tomorrow was a shower day. 8:30 I know does not sound late. To some, and on the weekends, its just the right time to start cranking up “I Gotta Feelin’” by Black Eyed Peas and drink the night away. But on this Monday night it meant bedtime was soon and the shower another thing in my way from sleep.

Sleep is a precious commodity these days. Unfortunately I spoiled myself in the past several weeks sleeping in late and staying up late. The café was still under construction and training only a few days in between so I basically got a accidental vacation out of it. Now I’m paying the price and trying to keep my eyes open and nap-free in order to be ready to beat by 8:30.

It’s kinda of working.

I lay on my bed for what seems to be one minute of just decompressing and then DONE. Two hours later I curse myself. I don’t even want to know what will happen when I get a real bed vs. my endearing futon. My guess: another hour.

Business at Paper or Plastik is rising slowly but surely. Today I got off earlier than schedule and I found myself at home and lying on my bed at 10:07 am.


During accidental vacation that was when the day began and I peaked out of my covers.


I proceeded to intentionally fall asleep for 3o minutes and accidentally fell for 120 minutes. By then I felt more normal that it was noon.

But I have to say that it’s a bit thrilling that truly a whole day is ready to be seized still after a normal opening shift (5 am – 1 pm). There’s so much I want to explore and do while being in a new city. (Fencing classes will most likely begin in October after I purchase and change to an iphone and then things will really get fun. En grade!)

Today I left the comfort of my apartment and finally got the chance to check out Aroma Café. After this blog I’m checking out their neighbor, Portrait of a Bookstore. Tomorrow I’m checking out the Studio City public library branch.

I’m currently working on my untitled atwood/the hurt locker inspired short story. But I’m itching to get my hands dirtier-in research. I’m in a very learning addictive phase in my life now. Leaving the classroom after decades, my brain, like any good addict, is having frantic withdrawals.

I want to learn and right now I need to learn something that costs no money.

Hence the hold on fencing.

So tomorrow I’m hitting back to the drugs: books-and shelves of it. I’m signing up for a library card and I’m making Aroma Café my temporary desk till my actual one is finished up. I cannot allow myself to waste.

Knowledge is my green movement.

*Next blog: show and tell.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

VG2: Reflections

Considering I haven't gotten a new paycheck since I left San Diego 3 1/2 weeks ago, "Food for Thought" had to be put on hold. However, I have a lengthy mental list that I keep adding to every day and so as soon as next Friday and that first new job paycheck gets deposited there will be a chain of delicious new thoughts. In the meanwhile, I decided to revert you back to another feature I am now officially adding to my ice cream space: my viral gallery.

Every day I find it an exciting quest to add another collection. I enjoy the fact that I can direct my photographic passion in a certain direction until I and a dark room finally have time and, most especially, money to meet.

What follows is the second installment: "Reflections."

"Ol' Blue Shades"

"Through the Looking Glass"




Tomorrow more words will be up. Pinky promise. I'm sure your life is not the same without my rants and stories. Right?


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

LA Artist

Ok. I'm up and running again. My internet is alive and well.

As most of you know, I moved to LA over a week ago. Studio City to be precise. So far, I haven't got lost as many times as I thought I would (thank you photographic memory) and once I even found my way home from being lost. No iphone, no calling alex in a panic, not even a tear. I literally deduced from location that such main street was a main street near my apartment and taking it till I hit another familiar street would at least get me in the right direction. And it did. And I didn't cry.

Small victory of the day.

Being in LA is completely strange. I lived close to it for most of my adolescent life in Covina, 45 minutes away, off the 210. 5 years later spent in San Diego, 2 and half hours away, the 5 to the 8, I'm here: in the thick of it.

To give you all a large landmark of where I am: Universal Studios. And the Hollywood Bowl. Both are very close. And for all you savvy bar hoppers, I'm a 2 second walk from Fox and Hounds.

But what's really been exciting nowadays is my new level of coffee-making. Now, I'll be honest and tell you that I applied for 20+ jobs as an assistant, personal assistant, and office manager. It wasn't until I had about 2 weeks left before the big move that I succumbed and applied for a barista listing on craigslist.

"Artistic Baristas."

A new cafe was opening up in Los Angeles and they were looking for more than just a barista. They wanted an artist who happen to know how to pull a good espresso shot. And yes, I fancy myself an artist. Telling a story, even more so a good one, is an art. (By the end of any story I've written, I got hair pulled, teeth grinded, and an exasperated last breath in the form of a final period. Writing is a cruel, rewarding art)

So I applied. I applied because I thought to myself how cool it would be to work with all new equipment. I love Peabody's but our tools are constantly showing their wear and tear. Thinking of a shiny new tamper (what you smush the espresso grinds with before you pull the shot) was enticing.

An hour after submitting my resume and small paragraph of "this is me," I had an interview.

Well, ok!

2 interviews later, and hours of traffic, I was hired.

Paper or Plastik (the k is style, I know, but I swear to you we're not cool-pretentious, we're cool-hey why not a k?)

The place is a work of art. I kid you not. You can tell immediately that artists designed and constructed this small, beautiful cafe. No detail has been left behind. I knew from the moment I walked in during my first interview, even in the mist of construction, that I wanted to be a part of this space.

I wanted to exist in it. And to work in it.

Now this is surprising because I was going to retire. Years of the same thing everyday had me ready for something different.

And well, life gave me just that.

Yes, I essentially do the same thing: make you damn good coffee. But with Paper or Plastik and Intellgentsia, I'm making you damn fuckin' good coffee.

When you come in, you'll get it. The standards are higher, the quality unnerving, and the mere experience of it will be unique. That's what getting me: the uniqueness. I am a part of this new movement of the coffee industry, known to the coffee connoisseurs as the "3rd wave." (now if only feminism could follow as swiftly... come on Black Widows!)

I am a part of a beginning. And it feels right for who I am now, and what I want now.

It is a surreal thing to understand the forces of what you want and who you are. We constantly phase in and out of chapters in our life. But most times, it's hard to remember or even recognize when the beginning actually starts.

This beginning is so clear I have nothing left to do but chuckle at it because it seems so familiar. Like I was here before. A deja vu you feel instead of see.

I know I sound a bit off

but hey,

I'm an artist.

Monday, August 2, 2010

An Appreciator

I've been gone for awhile. I'm sorry. Really the only excuse is the increasingly "adult" life I am living. However, writing is a part of my adult life and therefore, I am being a bad, neglectful adult. (I worry for my future children)

Though it's been two weeks since the great "Con" of San Diego, it still must have a moment of time in my blog because half the reason I went was to write about it. I don't say no to a lot of things anymore for one sole reason/question: why-not?

As a writer, I take this approach: live. And live like you mean it.

Living for me entails a lot of yes's and only a no when it involves strippers or illegal activities. My logic is even though I might be a bit weary of whatever I signed myself up for, if anything, there's a story waiting for me.

Comic Con had more than one story. Naturally. I'm sure you've heard of it. And if you've haven't you're probably so cool no one likes you.

Held every year on the third weekend of July, San Diego Convention Center and the adjacent Gaslamp District are taken over. I mean-TOTAL DOMINATION. I ran to a number of zombies just trying to get back onto the trolley-hello Comic Con.

I went with three fellows: Evan (longtime friend), Alex (longtime boyfriend), and Orion (short-time friend). Orion, unaware that I voluntarily chose to come along, asked " Sooo are you like into this?"

I laughed. And said "yes, I came on my own equally-excited accord."

Orion smiled and didn't question my intentions for the rest of the day.

Again, I honestly wanted to go. I loved movies before I met Alex, and after being with Alex for 2 years, I love movies and its industry. I am appreciator for the arts and, as Alex told me once, so I am for the nerdy.

Therefore, as an appreciator for all that is epic and nerdy, I went to Comic Con.

I had a ball.

As soon as we hit the exhibit hall and I saw the banner for Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. station, I bee-lined it. I had gone faster than Alex could say my name. Faster than Evan could even realize I wasn't there in front of him two seconds before.

If someday Harry Potter had a convention, I would lose it. Lose the very few
"cool" strands I possess on my head. The day I finally visit the Wizarding World at Universal Studios, Orlando, it will be similar.

I saw all the Horcuxes, which in the Harry Potter universe, is pretty damn cool. I wanted to oogle longer but the pushy line behind me was not going to let me.

Which leads me to my only compliant about Comic Con: the extreme tight spaces that everyone is trying to get through and I mean EVERYone and the sprinkle of the smelly Coners. Smelly really doesn't cover exactly what I smelled. No deodorant-that much was clear-no shower-I know for sure-and no basic idea of personal hygiene was my problem with these few Coners. Also, I felt bad, because I knew I was witnessing a Comic Con cliche.

In its lifetime, San Diego's Comic Con International has quickly evolved to more than just the comic book nerd paradise. Movie studios took notice of its potential and ran with it. Nowadays, Comic Con is the haven for all that is awesome in comic books, movies, AND television.

I got the lucky chance to attend the Adult Swim Panel by Cartnoon Network. In attendance was Robot Chicken, Venture Bros., and Metalocalypse creators. To condense the discussion for the sake of the novel-blog I'm writing you: Seth Green was hilarious, Doc Hammer (Venture Bros.) was hilarious, and the future of Venture Bros. is bright and ridiculous.

My single purchase that day was a zombie oral history: "World War Z." I've been wanting to read the book for some time, always hearing great things about it, and as I told Evan such, a woman next time to me informed me that the author, Max Brooks, was sitting right in front of me.

Why wouldn't he be? It's Con.

Evan and I composed ourselves and began a friendly chat with Max asking what his process was for "Z." Max started out with his passion for history and basically made himself a research project and "just added zombies." So far, I'm totally into it. Its format is a collection of interviews, but the creepiness of the world slowly becoming aware of what they are exactly dealing with is the most haunting element of the book that makes it worth the read.

Side note: zombies are very in.

Overall, Friday was a good day. Alex and I made time to eat, and sit, which was absolutely vital. I spent an hour waiting to shake hands with Scooby-Douche and the gang (Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures Bros) and get an autographed picture for my new L.A. pad. Bumped shoulders with storm troopers, a very tall Darth Vader, fell in love with a Dean and Hank (Venture Bros.) look-alikes, freaked out when I snagged a Fringe XL Comic Con bag, and passed out three times on the trolley ride back.

My name is Andrea Galvez, and I go to Con.