I’m smart and stuff.

I added a slide show! See it? Over there, on your right!

I know, I know, probably not a big deal for most of you. But you have to understand that I have mild technidartdation. I see html, rss feeds, and my head kind of locks up. Technology hates me too. Things that work fine for everyone else lock up as soon as I get near them! Probably because it’s learned of my dormant super power, which is now just beginning to manifest itself.
See, over the years, we’ve always joked about how automatic doors don’t work for me. I’ve run into so many of those damn things because I expect them to open… and they don’t. I’ve colided into them with shopping carts, and of course, my face. Over the years I’ve become more wary, and I hesitate until someone walks up behind me and the door lets both of us in.
That of course, should have been a sign of my super power. Little did I know, that mild mannered (hah) Joan of Dark, was really… Electornics Killer!!!! Nice ring to it right? It turns out, not only am I just horribly unlucky with computers and such, I also am learning how to KILL THEM!
Two days ago, we walked into the shop, and I reached up to shut off the alarm, like I always do. I went to key in the code, and *ZAP*! Static electricity! The keypad quit working. Or I should say, it worked, it just couldn’t be turned off. We had to take it out of the wall, and Dan had to pull wires to shut it off. In the mean time of course, it’s called our phones, and left Dan a 3 minute long voice mail of it’s death throws. All of this meant that we had to spend a ridiculous amount of money getting the darn thing replaced that same day. Grrr.
That of course, was bad enough, but then later that day, Dan asked me to look at something he was doing on the mac. Set my hand on the keyboard and *ZAP*! Locked the computer up! Luckily it didn’t fry, it just freaked out and had to be rebooted.
I’ve spent the last couple days killing little things. I zap everyone I touched, I locked up my computer, the calculator, my cell phone… which of course explains why all of this technology has hated me for so long. It’s not that I’m stupid with computers, or that I have bad luck. They could sense this super power laying dormant in me for years!
I do have to admit though, as far as super powers go… this one blows.

I also have a twitter account now. I’m JoanofDarkKnits on there. I know there is a way to upload that to my sidebar as well, but let’s just take it one thing at a time shall we? For now, just look at the pretty pictures.

EDIT- Okay, I am not as smart as I thought I was. That slideshow only shows the first couple pages of my photobucket account, and I can’t figure out how to change that. Grrr.

You win this round technology, but the war… the war is still on!

I’m smart and stuff.

I added a slide show! See it? Over there, on your right!

I know, I know, probably not a big deal for most of you. But you have to understand that I have mild technidartdation. I see html, rss feeds, and my head kind of locks up. Technology hates me too. Things that work fine for everyone else lock up as soon as I get near them! Probably because it’s learned of my dormant super power, which is now just beginning to manifest itself.
See, over the years, we’ve always joked about how automatic doors don’t work for me. I’ve run into so many of those damn things because I expect them to open… and they don’t. I’ve colided into them with shopping carts, and of course, my face. Over the years I’ve become more wary, and I hesitate until someone walks up behind me and the door lets both of us in.
That of course, should have been a sign of my super power. Little did I know, that mild mannered (hah) Joan of Dark, was really… Electornics Killer!!!! Nice ring to it right? It turns out, not only am I just horribly unlucky with computers and such, I also am learning how to KILL THEM!
Two days ago, we walked into the shop, and I reached up to shut off the alarm, like I always do. I went to key in the code, and *ZAP*! Static electricity! The keypad quit working. Or I should say, it worked, it just couldn’t be turned off. We had to take it out of the wall, and Dan had to pull wires to shut it off. In the mean time of course, it’s called our phones, and left Dan a 3 minute long voice mail of it’s death throws. All of this meant that we had to spend a ridiculous amount of money getting the darn thing replaced that same day. Grrr.
That of course, was bad enough, but then later that day, Dan asked me to look at something he was doing on the mac. Set my hand on the keyboard and *ZAP*! Locked the computer up! Luckily it didn’t fry, it just freaked out and had to be rebooted.
I’ve spent the last couple days killing little things. I zap everyone I touched, I locked up my computer, the calculator, my cell phone… which of course explains why all of this technology has hated me for so long. It’s not that I’m stupid with computers, or that I have bad luck. They could sense this super power laying dormant in me for years!
I do have to admit though, as far as super powers go… this one blows.

I also have a twitter account now. I’m JoanofDarkKnits on there. I know there is a way to upload that to my sidebar as well, but let’s just take it one thing at a time shall we? For now, just look at the pretty pictures.

EDIT- Okay, I am not as smart as I thought I was. That slideshow only shows the first couple pages of my photobucket account, and I can’t figure out how to change that. Grrr.

You win this round technology, but the war… the war is still on!

I’m smart and stuff.

I added a slide show! See it? Over there, on your right!

I know, I know, probably not a big deal for most of you. But you have to understand that I have mild technidartdation. I see html, rss feeds, and my head kind of locks up. Technology hates me too. Things that work fine for everyone else lock up as soon as I get near them! Probably because it’s learned of my dormant super power, which is now just beginning to manifest itself.
See, over the years, we’ve always joked about how automatic doors don’t work for me. I’ve run into so many of those damn things because I expect them to open… and they don’t. I’ve colided into them with shopping carts, and of course, my face. Over the years I’ve become more wary, and I hesitate until someone walks up behind me and the door lets both of us in.
That of course, should have been a sign of my super power. Little did I know, that mild mannered (hah) Joan of Dark, was really… Electornics Killer!!!! Nice ring to it right? It turns out, not only am I just horribly unlucky with computers and such, I also am learning how to KILL THEM!
Two days ago, we walked into the shop, and I reached up to shut off the alarm, like I always do. I went to key in the code, and *ZAP*! Static electricity! The keypad quit working. Or I should say, it worked, it just couldn’t be turned off. We had to take it out of the wall, and Dan had to pull wires to shut it off. In the mean time of course, it’s called our phones, and left Dan a 3 minute long voice mail of it’s death throws. All of this meant that we had to spend a ridiculous amount of money getting the darn thing replaced that same day. Grrr.
That of course, was bad enough, but then later that day, Dan asked me to look at something he was doing on the mac. Set my hand on the keyboard and *ZAP*! Locked the computer up! Luckily it didn’t fry, it just freaked out and had to be rebooted.
I’ve spent the last couple days killing little things. I zap everyone I touched, I locked up my computer, the calculator, my cell phone… which of course explains why all of this technology has hated me for so long. It’s not that I’m stupid with computers, or that I have bad luck. They could sense this super power laying dormant in me for years!
I do have to admit though, as far as super powers go… this one blows.

I also have a twitter account now. I’m JoanofDarkKnits on there. I know there is a way to upload that to my sidebar as well, but let’s just take it one thing at a time shall we? For now, just look at the pretty pictures.

EDIT- Okay, I am not as smart as I thought I was. That slideshow only shows the first couple pages of my photobucket account, and I can’t figure out how to change that. Grrr.

You win this round technology, but the war… the war is still on!

My Bloody Valentine

Dill and I had a very long, very hard week last week. The shop was just slammed, which is great! Then Friday we had a charity event, where we served about 200 people, and stayed open until past 10am at night! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take that kind of night every night of the week! But dang, I was TIRED and SORE after!
We decided this weekend to treat ourselves to a movie. Now, I am not a fan of horror movies, but I love, love, love a good 3-D movie! So when I heard about My Bloody Valentine in 3-D… we had to go!
We got to the theater super early, to make sure we sat dead center, for the best experience. It started to get a little crowded, when I noticed this family come in with their kids, who looked to be about 12 and 6. Now, I’m not a parent yet, but I would hope, that while I plan on being a pretty cool, hip mom, I would not succumb to my child wanting to see a movie like, My Bloody Valentine, at the age of 6. The entire family were wearing matching leather Colts jackets, the mom had hair that was straight out of Washington Square Mall in 1989, and the Dad was about 2″ away from a mullet.
I saw them start eyeballing the rows, and walking up the stairs towards ours. Okay, I can deal with them sitting in front of us, though the Mom’s hair might get in the way of my gore. And I wondered briefly if the 6 year old would start puking or having a mental break down during the movie.
They passed the row in front of us, and kind of eyed our row. Once again, I could deal if they sat in our row, at least then the hair wouldn’t block me.
But no, they sat behind us, and within seconds the 6 year old began the seat kicking. I turned around and glared at him and the dad, and it stopped… until the movie began. Then it was a horrid pattern of kick, glare, stop, kick, glare, stop. Me muttering, “I will not hit a child, but I will put the smack down on the breeders if this kicking doesn’t knock it the eff off”. Finally stopped, for the most part.
I try not to blame the kid too much. I mean, hell, he was probably going through all sorts of mental issues during this movie! First off, the gore. Not normal gore. 3-D, in your face, crazy ass gore. It was super, super bloody and gross. Then the nudity. This 6 year old had to sit through no less than 15 minutes of full frontal, in your face, 3-D nudity. Some chick ran around totally naked except for her high heels, then got cut up and gutted. (I’m not ruining plot here. By now we all know the naked chick is gonna get it in these movies) So not only did Jr. get exposed to sex and violence at his tender young age, he got exposed to SEXUAL violence. Great. In 15 years we’re going to be reading about this kid on the “incidents” page of the paper.

Besides the lesson in bad parenting behind me, it was a great movie. By great movie, I of course mean that it had awesome 3-D. The movie, plot, and acting were all horrible, but I knew they would be going in. I totally went for the 3-D experience.

Speaking of 3-D… the Coraline trailer also played in 3-D. It looked so awesome! The 3-D was amazing, I can’t wait!

My Bloody Valentine

Dill and I had a very long, very hard week last week. The shop was just slammed, which is great! Then Friday we had a charity event, where we served about 200 people, and stayed open until past 10am at night! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take that kind of night every night of the week! But dang, I was TIRED and SORE after!
We decided this weekend to treat ourselves to a movie. Now, I am not a fan of horror movies, but I love, love, love a good 3-D movie! So when I heard about My Bloody Valentine in 3-D… we had to go!
We got to the theater super early, to make sure we sat dead center, for the best experience. It started to get a little crowded, when I noticed this family come in with their kids, who looked to be about 12 and 6. Now, I’m not a parent yet, but I would hope, that while I plan on being a pretty cool, hip mom, I would not succumb to my child wanting to see a movie like, My Bloody Valentine, at the age of 6. The entire family were wearing matching leather Colts jackets, the mom had hair that was straight out of Washington Square Mall in 1989, and the Dad was about 2″ away from a mullet.
I saw them start eyeballing the rows, and walking up the stairs towards ours. Okay, I can deal with them sitting in front of us, though the Mom’s hair might get in the way of my gore. And I wondered briefly if the 6 year old would start puking or having a mental break down during the movie.
They passed the row in front of us, and kind of eyed our row. Once again, I could deal if they sat in our row, at least then the hair wouldn’t block me.
But no, they sat behind us, and within seconds the 6 year old began the seat kicking. I turned around and glared at him and the dad, and it stopped… until the movie began. Then it was a horrid pattern of kick, glare, stop, kick, glare, stop. Me muttering, “I will not hit a child, but I will put the smack down on the breeders if this kicking doesn’t knock it the eff off”. Finally stopped, for the most part.
I try not to blame the kid too much. I mean, hell, he was probably going through all sorts of mental issues during this movie! First off, the gore. Not normal gore. 3-D, in your face, crazy ass gore. It was super, super bloody and gross. Then the nudity. This 6 year old had to sit through no less than 15 minutes of full frontal, in your face, 3-D nudity. Some chick ran around totally naked except for her high heels, then got cut up and gutted. (I’m not ruining plot here. By now we all know the naked chick is gonna get it in these movies) So not only did Jr. get exposed to sex and violence at his tender young age, he got exposed to SEXUAL violence. Great. In 15 years we’re going to be reading about this kid on the “incidents” page of the paper.

Besides the lesson in bad parenting behind me, it was a great movie. By great movie, I of course mean that it had awesome 3-D. The movie, plot, and acting were all horrible, but I knew they would be going in. I totally went for the 3-D experience.

Speaking of 3-D… the Coraline trailer also played in 3-D. It looked so awesome! The 3-D was amazing, I can’t wait!

My Bloody Valentine

Dill and I had a very long, very hard week last week. The shop was just slammed, which is great! Then Friday we had a charity event, where we served about 200 people, and stayed open until past 10am at night! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take that kind of night every night of the week! But dang, I was TIRED and SORE after!
We decided this weekend to treat ourselves to a movie. Now, I am not a fan of horror movies, but I love, love, love a good 3-D movie! So when I heard about My Bloody Valentine in 3-D… we had to go!
We got to the theater super early, to make sure we sat dead center, for the best experience. It started to get a little crowded, when I noticed this family come in with their kids, who looked to be about 12 and 6. Now, I’m not a parent yet, but I would hope, that while I plan on being a pretty cool, hip mom, I would not succumb to my child wanting to see a movie like, My Bloody Valentine, at the age of 6. The entire family were wearing matching leather Colts jackets, the mom had hair that was straight out of Washington Square Mall in 1989, and the Dad was about 2″ away from a mullet.
I saw them start eyeballing the rows, and walking up the stairs towards ours. Okay, I can deal with them sitting in front of us, though the Mom’s hair might get in the way of my gore. And I wondered briefly if the 6 year old would start puking or having a mental break down during the movie.
They passed the row in front of us, and kind of eyed our row. Once again, I could deal if they sat in our row, at least then the hair wouldn’t block me.
But no, they sat behind us, and within seconds the 6 year old began the seat kicking. I turned around and glared at him and the dad, and it stopped… until the movie began. Then it was a horrid pattern of kick, glare, stop, kick, glare, stop. Me muttering, “I will not hit a child, but I will put the smack down on the breeders if this kicking doesn’t knock it the eff off”. Finally stopped, for the most part.
I try not to blame the kid too much. I mean, hell, he was probably going through all sorts of mental issues during this movie! First off, the gore. Not normal gore. 3-D, in your face, crazy ass gore. It was super, super bloody and gross. Then the nudity. This 6 year old had to sit through no less than 15 minutes of full frontal, in your face, 3-D nudity. Some chick ran around totally naked except for her high heels, then got cut up and gutted. (I’m not ruining plot here. By now we all know the naked chick is gonna get it in these movies) So not only did Jr. get exposed to sex and violence at his tender young age, he got exposed to SEXUAL violence. Great. In 15 years we’re going to be reading about this kid on the “incidents” page of the paper.

Besides the lesson in bad parenting behind me, it was a great movie. By great movie, I of course mean that it had awesome 3-D. The movie, plot, and acting were all horrible, but I knew they would be going in. I totally went for the 3-D experience.

Speaking of 3-D… the Coraline trailer also played in 3-D. It looked so awesome! The 3-D was amazing, I can’t wait!

Since it seems to be my mission in life…

To talk about Neil Gaiman every day… here is the new Coraline trailer.
I’m seriously bouncing out of my seat to see this movie!!!!

I am so excited by this one! It looks as dark and creepy as I remember the book being!

Since it seems to be my mission in life…

To talk about Neil Gaiman every day… here is the new Coraline trailer.
I’m seriously bouncing out of my seat to see this movie!!!!

I am so excited by this one! It looks as dark and creepy as I remember the book being!

Since it seems to be my mission in life…

To talk about Neil Gaiman every day… here is the new Coraline trailer.
I’m seriously bouncing out of my seat to see this movie!!!!

I am so excited by this one! It looks as dark and creepy as I remember the book being!

Neil Gaiman needs a coffee.

So, as you all have heard over, and over, and over, I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. I’d say Mr. Gaiman and Mr. Paul Auster are my two favorite writers ever. I can’t place one in front of the other, because it really depends on what mood I’m in. Sulky introspective too smart for her own good college student with an amazing lack of social skills? Paul Auster. Happy, chipper, dye my hair pink and wear lime green rain boots even when there is no rain? Neil Gaiman.
I obsessively follow his blog and saw a post where he mentioned that there was a coffee named after him. Then began the discussion on his blog and twitter page about what Neil Gaiman coffee should be. I wrote him and said I would love for Strange Brew to make a Neil Gaiman coffee. Heck, we have Rage Against the Bean, Frank Sumatra, and I’ve done my Paul Auster Macchiato. I even used to make a Delirium late based on something K. said when she worked here. Mr. Gaiman, being awesome, wrote me back right away and said to whip something up and send him the pictures!
Here is the journey towards the Neil Gaiman Latte.
First, I thought a lot about it. With his books, I always seem to get totally lost in the story. When I first read Neverwhere there were times that I would look up and have to remember that I was not Richard, lost in a strange world in London with a girl named Door, but I was at home with a cat demanding my attention and a dog that had to go outside and pee. He has the ability to make you completely lose yourself in a story, which can be a little scary. What if you forget how to come back? Will you just wander the pages forever while your body just sits there with a little smile on its face staring at the pages? Have their been cases of people slipping into what were thought to be comas, but are really people who were in Neil Gaimans world and didn’t want to leave?
Or would you disapear, leaving only a copy of Fragile Things on a park bench somewhere?

Right. Coffee. Sorry, distractions and sleep deprevation abound today. My point is, I wanted a coffee that made you forget your worries for a couple of minutes. Something warm and smoky, that would give you the urge to curl up with a good book.

Based on my Auster Macchiato, I decided to use Cacao Beans (raw chocolate). Not only is it a bit of an extra caffeine boost for the nocturnal writer, when ground and mixed with espresso, it adds a rich depth that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I poured that shot, and decided to mix it with chocolate, honey, and soy milk. Honey, because I believe I’ve seen mention on his blog about keeping bees. I used local honey, from the comb. Which for some reason, looked a bit cloudy in real life, compared to how clear it looks here.
My first attempt, was the cacao bean with espresso, poured with a really nice creama, in soy milk, honey, and chocolate.
It was really good, but almost too sweet. The chocolate, even though it was a very little bit, overpowered the other flavors. The soy milk took away from what I wanted as well. Once again, it was too much flavor, and took away from the honey, which, while I didn’t want it to be a dominant flavor, I wanted to be aware that it was there while drinking.
Attempt number 2 was much closer to what I was going for. Again with the cacao and espresso, and I also tried a pinch of raw sugar in the grind as well. Whole milk this time, and honey of course, with a little hint of cinnamon.
Very, very close. The honey and cinnamon went very well together, but the raw sugar in the espresso didn’t do what I wanted it to. After Dan took a couple of sips, he agreed with me, and suggested to use the raw sugar on the edge of the latte. He also suggested that I drizzle the honey on top, along with the raw sugar, instead of mixing it in with the actual milk.

Attempt number 3 was perfect! Cacao bean, espresso, cinnamon sprinkled on the inside of the cup, espresso poured on the bottom, then whole milk, honey and raw sugar on top!


With the first sip, you immediately get the hints of sweet. The honey mixes with the milk, sugar, and cinnamon. The espresso follows immediately after, giving a nice, rich smoky taste to balance out the sweet honey and sugar.


You can see the edges of the glass here, where the honey and raw sugar mixed and almost caramelized. Almost like cracking into a creme brule when you drink it!


The cinnamon sprinkled inside the glass ensures that it mixes, and doesn’t just clump up on top of your drink.


I was very excited to sample! I think this may be my new daily drink!


Sergio, one of our regulars, gave it a try. He’s from Italy, and he liked it. So if the Italian guy likes your coffee, you know it’s good! In fact, Sergio liked it so much that he got a second one!


Dan of course got to drink it too!


One of our customers Amanda, gives it a try!


After all the caffeine, we were a bit hyper, and Dan attempted to make a Dream Helm latte. It didn’t work out for him 😉

Everyone who tried it loved it, and we’re going to put one on the menu. If you’re not going to be near Greenwood, IN, anytime soon, let me recap how to make one at home. (for those of you who didn’t keep up, and are just looking at the pretty pictures)

The Neil Gaiman Latte

Take 1 Cacao Bean per shot, grind with your espresso
Pull shot, should take between 18-22 seconds to pull.
While your shot is pulling, steam some whole milk to 140. Your milk should spin, leaving you with a nice, glassy sheen on top.
Sprinkle cinnamon into your cup, then pour your shot into cup.
Add milk, attempting a little leaf art if you’re so inclined.
Drizzle about 1 tsp of honey around the edge of your latte, followed by a half packet of Raw Sugar.

Enjoy while curled up on the couch with a copy of The Graveyard Book, Sandman, or Anansi Boys. Once the caffeine kicks in, stay up all night writing or painting your house. Whichever.