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Recent Tasting Notes
So, my interview today was at two in the afternoon; which is definitely a reasonable time. However, as I’ve talked about earlier this week I’ve kind of botched my sleep schedule a little
more like a lot. When left to my own devices, my highly nocturnal internal clock kicks in.
To combat this, I set my alarm for 9:30 and then additional alarms for 10:00 and 10:30. I figured if I was out of bed by 10:30 I’d have plenty of time to shower and eat a good breakfast, run over some practice interview questions, make some tea in a travel thermos and then catch the bus. Keep in mind I’ve also been living in a different city the last two years, so I’m absolutely relearning the bus routes as well and wanted to give myself extra time in case I botched the transfer or something.
Here’s what happened: the first alarm went off at 9:30 and I hit snooze and went back to bed with the mentality of “I’ll just have a quick nap before the next alarm”. What felt like a long time later, I rolled over and mentally though “surely we’re coming up on half an hour any minute now” and turned on my phone. It was 12:30…
So, I rushed to shower and put together a suitable interview outfit. I didn’t have time for either breakfast, tea or practice interview questions. Thankfully, I nailed the transfer and made it to the store with ten minutes to spare. Then the interview took place. I think it went really well! Fingers crossed it did. I’ll know by the end of tomorrow, anyway. The whole thing was set up in a very casual way where I was asked a series of questions and then was asked to tell a story about a past experience which related to the question. In the past I’ve done well with that style interview (I get so tense with formal interviews) so that boosted my confidence. And as you all know based on my often lengthy tasting notes, I’m good at story telling.
On my way home, I stopped at 7-11 because I was absolutely starving at that point and I picked up a can of Brisk (better than Nestea, anyway), some pre-cut shady looking watermelon cubers, and a little square of carrot cake. I swear it was the best meal I’ve had all week. Probably just because I was so bloody hungry. In all honesty; I just want the can because of the cool llama thing – I quite like llamas. But for cheap quality canned Brisk I was impressed with the flavour though. It was smooth and fruity with a lovely sweet cherry quality and subtle lime taste. Of course, you certainly couldn’t taste the tea. But with Brisk do you ever really expect to?
It could have been much worse.
Hope everyone’s having a good Thanksgiving weekend!
It’s pretty miserable here in Regina right now: heavy winds and off and on rain all day, but now that I’m done work for the day it’s been kind of nice having a proper sit down meal with my family and just lounging in the living room watching TV together.
It feels… Proper.
- (Vegan) Fish Filet
- Cherry Jello
- Vegetarian Stuffing
- Mashed Potatoes w. Strawberry/Fig Balsamic
- Steamed Broccoli
- Cranberry Soda
- And of course Pumpkin Pie
Happy Thanksgiving ’Mericans!
I imagine it’s going to be a slow day here on Steepster while you all celebrate with your families and eat lots of turkey and that kind of thing, but that’s ok I guess. Gonna miss my morning conversation with the people in Steepster chat though.
Crazy things to write about: we’ll start with the negative stuff from today and end with the positive stuff from yesterday; even though that timeline is weird I think the order will be better…
So today; I showed up to work this morning (on time, thank God; usually I’m like 10 minutes late because I’m good at opening the store quicker than the time allotted for me to do so) and my boss, Doug, was there already. Super weird because I always open on weekdays, and it’s never busy enough in the mall to justify having two employees present. So right away I knew something was up.
Apparently last night the girl who closes the store was robbed. It sounds like the guy was a scam artist and had done it before (or at least definitely knew what he was doing), he waited until five minutes before close and bought the cheapest thing we sell – and paid with a hundred dollar bill. If the poor closing girl, Ellen, had cash handling experience that probably would have been a tip off but she didn’t. So she gave the guy his $96 in change and then he dropped it. While they were both bent down picking up all the money, he reached up and grabbed all the bills in the open register and bolted.
She must have been incredibly shaken up, but she called Mall Security (who lectured her, of all things) and our boss Doug which is why he was here this morning – to talk to mall security, see if there was security footage (there wasn’t, turns out we’re in a blind spot) and prepare all of the stuff to file a police report. I’m thankful it wasn’t me working last night; if I had the same availability as last year it certainly would have been me – and I’m sympathetic to Ellen. I can’t imagine how paranoid she’’s going to be feeling closing up tonight.
So that’s the bad thing. Now the good thing right?
Well, yesterday I wrote about how one of the seniors in this mall had given me a Christmas card – what I almost wrote about it this guy who works in the grocery store in the mall who stops by every morning to say hi, and ask how my day’s going. Well, right before the end of my shift he spent like 20 minutes browsing the store, and when Doug showed up to take over for the day and I started grabbing my stuff to leave he approached me and basically gave me his number and asked me out for coffee. I feel all flattered and blushy, especially since I looked like shit yesterday. Since I didn’t have a shift at Sobeys I didn’t bother showering or putting on any make up, and I basically wore sweats and a baggy hoodie…
So, now I’m not sure what to do? I’m flattered and he’s not bad looking but between two jobs I don’t know if I really have time to do the dating thing? And I wasn’t totally looking to do the dating thing either…
Plus, how does one go about “being the guy” and calling the dude? I mean, he gave me his number but obviously he’d like to go out since he asked me out? So do I wait three days or? Is texting cool? And, he works in the same mall as me anyway, so I see him every day? Which is a little weird, right? I don’t know. My head is all fumbly.
Well, Halloween was fun!
We got about 50 trick or treaters and pretty much all the candy is gone now. Then we ordered pizza, I made some tea for everyone except my brother since he wasn’t interested and for a few hours we all played Spore online and it was SO FUN. Now they’re sleeping in the living room which, unfortunately, means I’m sleeping in my bedroom…
On my bed. Which I hate. And can NEVER sleep on. It’s terrible. On top of that, I can hear my Dad snoring through TWO sets of closed doors and it’s TERRIBLE. Reminds me of miserable times living at home. Ugh. Not sure how I’ll be able to fall asleep with that going on ON TOP of the crappy bed (I WANT MY COUCH BACK!!!). But, it’s gonna have to happen since I have work tomorrow. Smeh.
Anyway; I drank this one the day of my
first dentist appointment. Other than Sunrise from Cornelia Bean, this was the ONLY other “tea” I fit into the day. It was a good thirst quencher for while I read my new book!
After my appointment, despite spending a lot of money on fancy medical X-Rays, I felt like good news was in order; so I splurged and picked up NPH’s Choose Your Own Autobiography. IT’S FANTASTIC. Like him, it’s amusing and comical and very over dramatic – but in the best way possible. I’ve really, really enjoyed reading it at night the last few days! If you like NPH even a little you should really consider picking it up – it’s an unconventional autobiography in the best possible way!
Thinking about tattoos again; my list is growing so much – and I’ve yet to get any of them done. I just need to set the time aside to get started; I have the money set up, and a friend familiar with tattoo shops in the area willing to help me find the right one, and come with me.
If anyone is interested this is the list of what I want done:
1. “Luke Jeremy Hohner” tattooed on my left wrist, under this image:
It’s really important to me that this one is my first tattoo; it’s a memorial tattoo to my late cousin using an image from one of my favourite poem’s by and illustrated by my favourite poet. Luke means “Light” so I think the candle is the perfect symbolic representation for that, as well as the poem itself (Invitation by Shel Silverstein).
2. I’d like to get the words “Camellia Sinensis” tattooed on an arm, not sure about the placement. I’ve been sure about getting a tea themed tattoo (for obvious reasons?) for awhile but have never been able to get around the idea of getting a teacup or teapot, or a teabag like I’ve seen some people do. I do love teaware, but teapots aren’t even something I use on a daily basis preparing my tea. And I love words. So I think, personally, the most fitting tattoo for me is the words by themselves.
3. On my right wrist I’d like to get a Semi Colon (yes this ; thing). It’s a metaphor for depression and life – something I’ve definitely gone through in my life. Basically the idea is “A semi colon is where a writer could have ended a sentence, but chose not to”.
4. And lastly (for the time being) I want the word “Scuba” somewhere on my body. I was thinking maybe on a foot, but not totally sure yet. I have to confess, the idea for this comes from a Tumblr post – but it’s one I immediately fell in love with, and haven’t been able to get over since. But here’s the meaning: “To keep breathing even though the water rises all around you”. Isn’t that beautiful?
I have a hunch that I’ve been a really shitty vegetarian lately because a few nights ago I had this very, very intense craving for peanut butter smothered Tofu chicken nuggets – which I then of course made, and I had no regrets. It was a funny food combo; but a good one.
And that is my quirky, weird little story to go along with the fact I drank this but it’s one of those teas that just isn’t so worth writing about.
Just a short little story to end the night on!
A couple days ago at the store this father and son came in looking for Play’doh or clay. Just guessing, I’d say the son was about four or five years old. He had a harmonica with him; a really nice Hohner one. I recognized it since my Grandpa used to have a whole bunch of them; my Mom’s maiden name is Hohner and so “Grandpa Hohner” liked to collect Hohner harmonicas – I’d never heard him play, but apparently he was very good at it when he was younger.
When they came in the store the kid was just puffing on it making the same kind of “squeal” over and over. They went into one of the far aisles and after a while I noticed that the harmonica music had stopped. Except, then a few minutes later someone started playing this amazing, and seemingly pretty complicated, tune on it. I just assumed that the kid had given it to his father and it was the Dad playing. But when they came up to till to buy their Play’doh it was the little boy!
I was shocked; it was a really beautiful little song he was playing and he was doing it so well, smoothly, and confidently. I think the father noticed I was surprised because he just quipped “We started him young, but mostly he just has a natural gift for it”. They sat in the chairs outside our store for a couple minutes and I just got to enjoy the little kid playing really pretty, soft harmonica songs.
So yeah; I had a cleaning shift earlier in the week: 5:30PM until 11:00PM – or at least that’s what it was supposed to be. Instead the cleaners decided that in addition to a scrub they would wax our floors too, and of course that meant that I had to stay until that was done because I definitely can’t leave ’em alone in the store…
So my shift was extended until 1:30AM – and it’s not so much that I mind staying late because I really don’t; I’m a night person anyway and would have been awake anyway, plus more money for me! The downside was that the other person in the store with me was my assistant manager Val who I sorta hate (at the minimum, we don’t get along well) so I had to spend extra time in the store with just him (and the cleaners) and he was highly pissed about having to stay late. Except, it’s more his job to stay late and “role with the punches” than it is mine…
There was lots of awkward silence as we sat in the back not doing anything, for hours. We just had nothing to talk about…
So, I may have mentioned it before but Saskatoon recently changed its bus routes, and given I can’t drive and I definitely can’t afford to cab everywhere, the bus is my primary mode of transportation when walking isn’t a reasonable option.
I have not made a smooth transition between the old routes and the new routes.
So, I had to bus home from Downtown (where DAVIDsTEA is located) to my house – and trying to be smart I looked up the route I’d need to take back at home before I left earlier in the day: I needed to get on the 17 to make it home! And, that’s exactly what I did. So what’s the problem? Well S’Toon has multiples of some route numbers. There are two #1s, two #5s, three #6s, and two #17s. I got on the wrong 17.
So I ended up going in the exact opposite direction of where I wanted to be going and I ended up having to wait for the route go full circle and come back around. Saskatoon is a fairly big city, and it takes a while for the bus to complete a rotation. In fact, this particular route takes an hour and a half to complete a circuit. So I had a long ass, miserable bus ride of shittyness. Thankfully I managed to get in a decently sized nap, and I had a bottle of this to sorta keep me company (in addition to the last of the Caramel Corn latte I got), plus my candy haul.
But fuck the bus.
Oh man, I’ve fucked up my sleep schedule so badly.
So, uhh, “yesterday” I decided that I HAD to finish the latest season of Drop Dead Diva so I mass streamed/marathoned the whole season and I was up until 8 AM watching the finale. Like, I was up from 12:30PM the day before until 8AM, which is kinda crazy right? Tre even left for work at 7AM and was all “OMG, why are you up so early” and I had to answer back, ashamed, “No, I haven’t gone to bed yet.”.
And when I finally did go back to bed I didn’t get up until 4:30PM which is BAD because now it’s 2AM and I’m wide awake, and yes I do have tomorrow off BUT I don’t want to sleep until 4PM again and then throw myself off for when I need be back at work. And also, I just finished packing up swap stuff for VariaTEA and Cameron B. that I want to send out tomorrow so it would be nice to be leaving the house for the post office (and maybe DAVIDsTEA since I’ve been putting off that shopping trip for weeks now) at a reasonable time tomorrow.
Ick. Ew. Yuck.
Why sleep!? Why…
And that is my whiny rant for the evening.
Man, so much backlog. And my timeline of when I drank this is so fuzzy right now; like, I probably had a witty story in mind for this one since this is usually my tea ‘scapegoat’ for story telling – but now I’m not sure what. So I guess I’m just going to plunk this link here:
This is part of why I haven’t been logging super regularly. I’ve decided to kind of experiment with doing a side blog on Steepster that’s all just tea themed/related stuff. I don’t know how exactly it’ll evolve or what it’ll become but I’m enjoying messing around with it, and feeling like I have an excuse to look through a whole bunch of tea related tags.
Oh, and here’s my main blog for any other Steepster people on tumblr:
It’s much more fandom-y and has pretty much no structure. Just kind of whatever I want to blog whenever I want to. I also don’t tag anything, so I don’t know if anyone here on Steepster has major triggers – but just something to keep in mind I guess. I don’t think I post a lot of triggering stuff, but I suppose you never know.
So I had Wednesday/Thursday off but spent both days curled up in bed (my couch) highly drugged up, coughing up phlegm and finishing season two of GOT in between long, extended naps. I drank a lot of this; my “justification” being that it was great for staying hydrated. That was probably true…
Tre also got back from Regina on Wednesday (well technically late Tuesday night), sadly with no tea! Wah wah wah. I don’t blame him though; Regina was super flooded while he was down there, and I don’t think Cuppa’T was easily accessible to him, especially with the flooding. Definitely disappointing though.
What did he bring back? Three huge Plexiglas light sabers that he forgot to bring up when we initially moved over half a year ago. What has he been doing with those light sabers? Having light saber duels late at night in the living room, with just himself. Yeah, he’s fighting imaginary opponents…
My roommate is a dork.
So we have a new store special/promo now so we’re selling 1L bottles of this for $.77 (like $1.05 with tax) which is pretty awesome because the regular sized bottles we keep in the pop cooler are still $1.20 with the tax, which is more than these bigger ones…
I finished one off today that I’ve been working on for like three days now? I just kinda keep it in the office to sip on while we’re doing our closing paperwork/balancing the tills.
I had a fun time running around the mall today while on break though; I had a half hour break and somehow managed to cram grocery shopping and a trip to the liquor store within that amount of time. I had a pretty good haul of stuff to grab too; not just like milk and bread. I did miss a few things though in the rush to get it done quickly; canned pears, cereal, oatmeal, popcorn (and seasoning), and peanut butter.
Oops. I wont have another chance to go shopping until Canada Day though, unless I want to try cramming it into my break again – which was not fun. But hey, at least there’s food in the house again! Hooray!
So yesterday I got to experience life on “normal people time” since my shift started at such an early time for me (8:30AM as opposed to the regular 2:30 PM), and while I really struggled to get through the first hours of the morning I was feeling much better later in the afternoon around 1PMish when I was on break. So I messaged Tyrell and, since our work schedules meshed for once (his regular shifts are 6AM to 2PM as opposed to my 2:30PM to 10PM) we arranged a spontaneous date!
He picked me up at four when I was done. The plan was originally to go mini golfing at the course in my mall, but there was a Father’s Day mini golf tournament and the place was more packed than I have EVER seen it so we changed our minds last minute and went to Ruckers instead. For those not familiar, Ruckers is like a cross between carnival games and an arcade. I hadn’t been to Ruckers since I was maybe 10 or 11? We used to have one in my old city but it shut done. Saskatoon, where I live now, has two!
It was very fun; we played a whole bunch of games but the highlight for me was the Wheel of Fortune game. I love Wheel of Fortune, and apparently I’m pretty good at it too. Tyrell kept joking that working around all the elderly people in my mall has “aged me” and that before I know it I’ll be taking up knitting or bird watching. I also have a major thing for Rubber Ducks, and they had a crane machine game there with different rubber ducks as prizes, so I won myself a “Rock ’N Roll” rubber duck who is now sitting on my window sill!
And then, up next was Glow Bowling; something else that I haven’t done in AGES. I can’t even remember the last time I went bowling – but I think it had to have been after starting highschool and before graduating? We played two rounds: I won the first by about 60 points, and then I threw the second game and let him win (by about 20 points). But shhh, don’t tell him I deliberately lost. It’ll be our secret, right Steepster? It’s funny because I thought he would crush me because I’m terrible at bowling/haven’t been in ages – but apparently he’s worse than I am.
It was a VERY fun date and I loved the spontaneity of it. Of course I got home and just totally crashed and shut down because fuck getting up that early in the morning. I stretched out on my couch and before I knew it I was out like a rock, so no tea logging yesterday…
And now, tomorrow, I have another weird shift! We’re getting the store floors waxed so I get to hang out at night with the group they’re bring in to do it (something about a security risk and needing someone to babysit the store) so my shift tomorrow is 4:30PM to 1AM – but I’m totally on board with that. I’m ABSOLUTELY a night person so this shift really caters to my preferred schedule anyway. And I get to sleep in tomorrow!
I laugh though because Tyrell is on such a different schedule than I am. Like tonight, he went to bed at 9:30PM and I wasn’t even off work yet at that point…
Man; I had two really good work stories to share today but it’s late and I definitely don’t want to type them both up after it taking like an hour to verbally tell Tre one of them (I guess mostly because I was laughing so hard). Maybe I’ll just type up one of them; which is more just a really irritating customer story. Bleck.
So, today there were two people working this evening; me and the other keyholder Bobbi. She happened to be on break at this point and was out of the store getting food from the food court so I was the only person in the store. Of course I was on till because someone has to always be on till; and it was busy. I had a line up of like eight people and was going as fast as I could, but they all had pretty full carts and I obviously had no till support.
Well I’m in the middle of ringing someone in when I hear someone shout at me from the other side of the till (where there’s currently no cashier): “Excuse me, I hate to interrupt and I’m so sorry to be a pain but can you give me a small bag to put my coffee in? I’m going to go on the bus and don’t want to spill it.” Umm, fucking excuse me!? I’m very obviously busy and you want a bag for your coffee!?How about, if you ‘hate interrupting and don’t want to be a bother’ you just don’t interrupt? I don’t have time to help you right now; I’m short handed and the people in line who are paying me have been waiting much longer that you. And if you’re gonna go on the bus and don’t want to spill coffee then why did you just buy a coffee!?
But because I try to be a decent person I very quickly grabbed a small bag for her, whipped around and set it on the counter for her. I could tell the people in line were frustrated too. And then she had the gall to say “I’m sorry; I want it double bagged”. REALLY!? Well why didn’t you fucking say it initially? I don’t have time for this! So, back away from her while ringing people’s stuff in, I (probably very “snappily”) said: “I’m sorry Ma’am but the people in line here have been waiting a while and I don’t have time to help you more while I’m so short handed. If you’d like another bag you can come wait in line.”
I didn’t turn around but I’m pretty sure she just walked away. But really? I swear to God one woman in line clapped though…
But damn; just because I’m on till does not mean I’m your bitch. And really; you’re not even a customer! Bleck.
And now a brief interlude on my mass stream of backlog to slip in a funny “work” story because that’s what I do whenever I’d had this one…
First a little history: on my Mom’s side of the family I have three Aunts and one Uncle all of which I’m fairly close with. I grew up seeing them all during the holidays and we got birthday cards from them and things like that too. One of them, my Aunt Nancy, lives in Saskatoon – the same city I’m in now. As far as I’m concerned, she’s my only family in the city. We’re not terribly close (I’m closer to other Aunts/Uncles) but close enough she had me over for Christmas.
Conversely my Dad has TEN living siblings (and two that are deceased) whom I am not close with AT ALL. I can’t even name more than four of them, and I’ve only met one of them (and definitely not recently). Yet, my Dad likes to go on about them as if I have any semblance of who these people are. I don’t.
So to the story: I was at work on till for the day, and this older woman who I have NO visual recollection of what so ever comes through my till and buys about $50 in fake yellow flower garlands. I work at a Dollar Store; that’s a lot of garlands so regardless this would be a memorable encounter. But the whole fucking time she’s just locked eyes on my while I scan stuff in; and she’s not blinking or breaking eye contact which is very disconcerting. I’m thinking she’s gonna be one of those crotchety older folk who make you triple count all of their bulk orders in case you’re like a dollar off.
Instead she asks my name as I’m finishing the transaction. I meekly tell her, thinking she’s gonna go complain about something stupid to my manager but not wanting to get in shit for lying to this woman. But what she did totally through me off; she very loudly boomed “I KNEW IT! I’M YOUR AUNT HELEN!”. My face must have been priceless or just very very vacant because until yesterday I didn’t even know I had an Aunt Helen or that she lived in the same city as me.
But weirder; how did she recognize me? We’ve never met before! And then further more she had all these weird details about me that she felt like sharing, and only like half were accurate. So thought I’d share that story with you all. I figured it was worth sharing with someone.
But yeah; Aunt Helen. Who’d have known. It was certainly weird.
Tragedy has struck, Tea Frens’!
So the guy I’m kinda sorta dating is apparently close friends with Lucas, AKA “Hot DT Employee” whom I sometimes refer to in tasting notes when I’ve made DT trips recently and who is my favourite DT barista for many reasons. Lucas is the best; he’s a prime example of DT’s awesome employees who are tea knowledgeable and really friendly and welcoming and who get to know the regular customers. He made me feel really at ease when I first moved here, and when my brother was visiting me around Easter he went out of his way to make my brother feel comfortable in the shop while I geeked out. Plus he really goes the distance with his customer service (this is the guy who replaced my timolino when I bought one with a broken basket – and he’s given me free tins on multiple occasions). He has MANY good traits other than being nice to look at.
So the tragedy is NOT that he’s good friends with the guy I’m kinda dating, it’s that whilst planning a “Tea Date” (because I’m doing Starcraft with him later this month, we decided to do a date revolving around my interests too) I found out that DT let Lucas go! He was in a relationship with another DT employee who I adore named Gwyn – and DT frowned on the workplace relationship and because they didn’t break it off they let go of Lucas. I’m so pissed at DT on his behalf! SO FUCKING PISSED. Like what a bullshit reason. It’s not an “office romance”; it’s fucking retail!
I think it may be a while before I visit DT again…
So we’ve started selling this at the store instead of Nestea so expect a surge in tasting notes on this one instead of the Nestea…
I think I actually like this one better, despite it being crazy sweet. I think I read they use something like 10 tsp. of sugar per bottle? Really? That’s nuts. But sometimes I need that sugar rush at work, so no complaints on my end really…
Also, I’m shocked this wasn’t already in the Steepster database considering Nestea is!
Flavors: Lemon, Sugar, Sweet