Jonathan's Coffeeblog: Homepage Share headlines from your file with other sites Sun, 20 Mar 2005 21:44:21 -0700 en-us Johanniskraut [A Midsummer Night's Dream] What do St. John's Wort (the herb), and July 4 Fireworks have in common? Lot's more than you think. If fact, lots more than I thought just a few hours ago. Preparing for the next installment of Jonathan's Coffeeblog, I decided to do something in the Gods and Myths We've got a theme song! [The real sugar is at the bottom] That's right, Jonathan's Coffeeblog now has a theme song, which you can play by clicking on the link above, or the smaller version in the "Go" section of the sidebar to the right. You will be sent to a web page in Italy, where a MIDI version of the The Other Giotto [Since when is "Schmaltz" Italian?] Sunday afternoon, around five PM, when Midsummer is a week away and the sun is golden as it gets in the Golden State, is a strange time of transition. The weekend is not quite over, some stores are still open, there's time for a movie or a dinner out, Cold Start [Frankly, Scarlett, I DO give a damn] It's been six days since I posted the last article to the Coffeblog, and I don't have a clue about what I'm going to write about. This time, I decided, I'm going to start with a blank slate (a blank brain?) and see what comes out. I suppose that Ca Phe Sua Da [Sippers of the Crimson Sage] The first time I tasted a Vietnamese iced coffee was in (duh…) Vietnam. It was in the early 1970's. No, I wasn't there to kill people, but, yes, I was the recipient of an all-expense-paid US government grant which included a spiffy olive-green uniform with matching baseball cap and Synchronicity Rocks [Jung, Schmung] No sooner had I posted a Coffeeblog thing about synchronicity, that self-same Jungian phenomenon began to burst all over the place like popcorn. The focus in this case seems to be Japan. Having previously posted a Coffeeblog item about Keisuke, my Japanese college friend, I introduced a Zen element Go Figure [What is the capital of Rhode Island?] One of the fascinating thing about writing a weblog is the unpredictability of the results. When I started writing the Coffeeblog last December it was a way of combining my love for hanging out in cafes with a wish to be able to communicate regularly with a widening circle Sith Happens [Long Ago and Far Away?] Let's get something straight right off the bat: George Lucas is a US national treasure. He may be the only one we've got left. If I should indulge in some mild carping or nitpicking about the final film in the six-part Star Wars epic cycle, I want it kept A Tale of Two Artists [Colorful, Whimsical Ceramic Figures] I recently became interested in comparing the work of two Northern California women artists whose careers were dedicated to whimsical, colorful ceramic sculptures of human figures, usually female. One of these artists, now deceased, is the internationally known Viola Frey. Many examples of her works can be seen in Yuck! [It's the ceremonial ritual qualities] Q: At a typical Northern California espresso coffeehouse, what menu item is most likely to be unsatisfactory? A: The espresso. After having been served two abominably bad espressos this week, I decided I had to write about it. First of all, why would I even want to order an McBlogger [La Nouvelle Cuisine Nuque-Rouge] After dropping a friend off at the airport, I wanted to stop somewhere with a big table to write my weblog and have a little breakfast. I suddenly had a hankering for a Sausage Biscuit, the signature dish of Nouvelle Cuisine Nuque-Rouge. There is only one place to get Robert Bechtle's Religious Art, Part Two [The Great Thunderbird's Big Medicine] In Part One I described Robert Bechtle's art, still on view at SFMOMA, as awe-inspiring, and ventured the opinion that the sun, perhaps the oldest object of worship in human history, plays a part in most of Bechtle's paintings and prints that makes his work specifically Northern Californian, and The Substance of Affogato Style [The shot heard 'round the world] In another remarkable coincidence of fate, just around the time that I wrote my post on the Italian dessert affogato, a serving of gelato drowned with espresso (that's drowned, not shot), Starbucks came out with a new drink called an "Affogato Style", which has already attracted the scrutiny of A Thousand Hits [Andy Warhol was right!] At 12:44 PM Pacific Time today, according to my Site Meter, the Coffeeblog has racked up its thousandth site visit. That means that on one thousand separate occasions, someone other than me has visited the site over the Internet. And they're not only visiting, they're actually looking at the different Think of a Squid [Then think of another squid] Back in the mists of the Twentieth Century I registered the domain name The dot-com boom had not yet hit its peak, and I wanted to get in on it, at least symbolically. A teuthophile (squid-freak) since childhood, I thought the domain name evoked joy and intrigue, suckers An Affogato at Caffe Trieste. [The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly] Sunday nights my beloved Espresso Roma is closed after seven or eight. I had to get out of the house and decided to drive all the way to the Berkeley Caffe Trieste, not too close to home, even though gas is almost three bucks a gallon here in Northern California. Robert Bechtle's Religious Art [Part 1: You are my sunshine] Title: 58 Rambler [1967] Artist: Robert Bechtle [American, b. 1932] Size: 30"x32" / oil on canvas [The above image is Copyright (© 1996-1998) Brauer Museum of Art, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified.] Robert Bechtle, a Bay Area artist who taught for many years at San Francisco State University, Everything you wanted to know about coffee… [And much, much, more!] It's time to activate the Coffee page link in the navigation bar and the "Go" sidebar. (After all, this is the Coffeeblog). My grand plan is to add a lot more items about coffee and its history, characteristics, producers, consumers, and their ilk to the new Coffee Page, as well Sex, Starbucks, and Rock and Roll [Ray Charles and a Rainy Night in Seattle] When was the last time you were at Starbucks and either 1) had sex or 2) heard rock and roll? Never, right? So what is the common thread that links these three phenomena of contemporary culture? More than you might think. But first we have to settle the question if The Third or Fourth Day of Spring [What's so good about Good Friday?] "Today is the third or fourth day of spring and I am sitting at the Place Clichy in full sunshine." So wrote Henry Miller at the Cafe Wepler in his mysterious 1930's Paris book Black Spring. Here in Berkeley, today is the fifth day of spring and I am Cyberschmoozing [A kiss is just a kiss?] In February, 2005, a self-styled summit on online social networking was held in cyberspace, with no identifiable geographical locus. Blogosphere old-timers as well as newcomers like me have become familiar with Flickr,, Technorati, and other Internet entities (internentitites?) for establishing connections between people, at the core of which, are Full Circle [Layers of Meaning] I met Berkeley printmaker Elizabeth Addison at one of her open studios almost a decade ago. I was impressed by her use of photographic and drawn images in her monoprints, and I asked how she does it. Soon I was taking her beginner's workshop, and I have been making So Much to Procrastinate, So Little Time [When is putzing around not putzing around?] The Italians call it dolce far niente, sweetly doing nothing. In the Ashkenazi Jewish diaspora it's called putzing around. Today is a good day for it. It's a preview of spring, the Espresso Roma terrace is replete with gay chatter (not that kind of gay, the other kind of gay), Big Sur and the Oranges of Henry Miller [January 7, 2005: A Memoir] In early January I like to visit Big Sur and stay at Deetjen's Big Sur Lodge, which has a restaurant in a former barn serving breakfast and dinner. This is a serious coffee place, especially in the rainy winter. This year was especially rainy, with a big storm having