Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween-Themed Stuff

I know this is kind of late (I have been unusually busy and somewhat lethargic this past week  for some reason), but here are a few Halloween themed things that I have been looking at lately.

If you're like me, and you think of Halloween as a perfect opportunity to read a scary book or watch a scary film or two, there's just no better way to calm your jangling nerves than sipping a hot cup of coffee (especially when it happens to be cold outside). And maybe you can throw in some leaf-shaped biscuits or cookies, too?

Or if you're the type to hold Halloween parties for kids, serving a tray of cute and colorful cupcakes will do the trick nicely.

Or how about using some Halloween-themed cutlery? If you're having young kids for guests, though, it's best not to use too realistic-looking or gruesome ones -- you want to entertain those kids, not terrify them into going home and having nightmares later

Avoid using too much black (unless you're going for that Goth look). If done right, black can be elegant and dramatic, but there are times when it can be downright funereal and depressing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movies with the Word "Coffee" in Their Titles

Today, I am going to combine coffee with films -- I am referring to those films whose titles contain the word "coffee". This short list will focus on movies that have been released somewhat recently (in chronological order).

1. Chinese Coffee (2000)

Chinese Coffee is an indie film released during the 2000 Tribeca Film Festival, and then released officially in 2007. This was directed by Al Pacino, who also stars in the movie along with Jerry Orbach.

2. Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

Coffee and Cigarettes is actually composed of three short films, containing 11 short stories whose common themes are -- you guessed it -- coffee and cigarettes. The film is directed by Jim Jarmusch.

3. A Coffee in Berlin (2012), also known as Oh Boy!

Originally called Oh Boy!, this is a black-and-white German comedy film directed by Jan-Ole Gerster has won several awards in Germany and in other parts of Europe. This film was later released in the United States under the title A Coffee in Berlin (hence its inclusion in this list).

4. Coffee Town (2013)

Coffee Town is a comedy film featuring a cast of little-known actors, and what do you know, Josh Groban (one of my favorite warblers) also stars in it! Well! How about that. He plays Sam, a disgruntled barista who yearns to become a rock star.

5. Black Coffee (2014)

Black Coffee, a romantic comedy directed by Mark Harris, was released early this year (January 2014) and features an all-black cast.

As you may have noticed, none of these films can ever be described as box office hits or even considered household names -- hardly surprising considering that some of these are independently made (read: small-budget projects) and have been released only on a limited basis. However, it should not also escape your notice that some of these films include well-known names and talents.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Top 10 (U.S.) Cities for Coffee Snobs

According to Redfin and Foursquare, the top 10 U.S. cities for "coffee snobs" are as follows:
  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Portland, OR
  3. Boulder, CO
  4. San Franscisco, CO
  5. Denver, CO
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. Madison, WI
  8. Austin, TX
  9. Minneapolis, MN
  10. Sacramento, CA
So, what are the qualities of a coffee snob? According to Redfin and Foursquare, these individuals are those coffee patrons who would only deign to satisfy their caffeine cravings in independently owned (indie), high-end coffeehouses. Based on the survey definition, indie cafes are coffee chains with less than 10 retail branches.

Almost Had Another Starbucks Freebie

I almost snagged my 7th Starbucks freebie the other day, just a few days after landing my 6th. I missed that free drink by a few seconds -- I decided to look for a good place to plonk my stuff first (they were heavy!) before going to the bar to place my order. And in that few seconds, someone else got there first. Oh well.

It's no biggie. But still. It would have given me a great excuse to write a new blog entry (and of course, eventually it did -- because here I am griping about that missed chance LOL!).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

First Crush

 “Who is the first human you ever had a crush on?” (Film/TV/pop stars included)

I saw this question on Jessica Zafra’s blog last night, and for a brief moment I was transported back to my teenage days, specifically on the day I first saw Christopher Reeve smiling from a Superman movie poster.

I stopped on my tracks, and I could feel this fatuous grin slowly breaking on my face. Frankly, I did not even know what hit me. For sure, that was not the first time I had seen a good-looking (alright, gorgeous) face -- Hollywood has been churning out drool-worthy faces and characters for decades -- and I know how studio shots (read: retouched) shots can be miles away from real life, but when I saw Christopher Reeve it was like I had stepped into a different world.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Coffee and Anime

I love coffee and anime with the same fervor. In fact, I can't imagine going through a single day without having a small dose of both. The only difference is that I have been appreciating coffee long before I ever became interested in anime.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the prospect of combining two of my favorite things will always have my undivided attention. So in this post, I am giving in to my fondness for both by focusing on scenes -- real or imagined -- featuring anime characters (a few of them look familiar, some not so much) drinking/serving coffee inside or outside a coffeehouse.