Monday, August 20, 2012

Coffee and Chocolate

"Coffe, chocolate, men - some things are better rich."

Coffee is the both the blessed relief and bane of my existence. I love it, the different flavors of hazelnut, vanilla creamer, amaretto, sugar and nothing else, sometimes cinnamon and nutmeg. It's a great pick-me-up and I know quite a few college students swear by it to stay awake after an all-nighter. But there are days when caffeine fuels my anxiety, makes me a shrew and turns all good-will into something out of a creature feature film. Those are the days I turn to chocolate.

The Mayans believed it was a gift from the gods, that it was an aphrodisiac, that it had mystical powers. Early Europeans believed in it as a luxury item, something that people still believe in today. America, for all of its desire to customize its society, sometimes relies on the simplest of chocolates: a Hershey's bar.

Personally, I love Ferro Rocher, Belgian chocolates, Godiva-covered cookies, anything that's rich and so mouth-wateringly smooth. Sometimes, fresh fruit provides that extra tang, acid from strawberries tasting like cheap wine, but with chocolate that dark, who cares? Orange hints inside of milk chocolate, sweet and mellowed out. Mint leaves dipped in white chocolate, smooth, strong and sensible.

Ah, but I could never enjoy a mocha. The epic combination of coffee and chocolate has failed me many times before. If I want caffeine, I sacrifice the sweetness of hot chocolate. If I crave the foamy sugar, I must relinquish all claims to staying awake. Still, I think it'd be awfully mean of me to deny that there is something precious about a hint of coffee inside of chocolate.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Steampunk Convention

I love the idea of steampunk: classic Victorian gentry and traditions, but with modern day science and techniques. Anyone can be part of it, can create things from it, can change how they look at their world.

I went to a steampunk convention and I realized something: a person made each piece of their costume, creating a different dimension to this world, and that person was the most unique one in their own dimension.

While there are those who would argue that steampunk is simply wishful thinking and a romanticization of the past, I feel that they miss the point.  The point is that we create this realm of fantasy, because we can, and because we wish to expand on the glorious things that we previously took for granted.

"To some, ‘steampunk’ is a catchall term, a concept in search of a visual identity. To me, it’s essentially the intersection of technology and romance. – Jake von Slatt