My Favorite Tea

One of my favorite teas is Earl Grey tea. Actually it is quite a popular tea with people from many cultures; it is sold in more than ninety countries. This tea is apparently named after Charles Grey (also known as Baron Grey and Viscount Howick) who served as the British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834. Likely through his tea namesake he enjoys his greatest notoriety. There are many stories of how Earl Grey came to be associated with the tea…most of them indicate that the Earl sent an envoy to a Chinese mandarin, and this envoy happened to save the life of the mandarin. Eternally grateful, the mandarin sent to the Earl a wonderful tea and its recipe. The Earl’s tea merchants, Twinings, would be ultimately become responsible for mastering the recipe and continuing production through the years.

The unique flavoring of the tea is derived from the oil of Bergamot orange peels (Citrus bergamia). There is evidence that this orange species represents a crossing between the sweet lemon (Citrus limetta) and the sour orange (Citrus aurantium), which is native to southern Vietnam.

The Man Behind the Mistique

“Ralph Lauren: The Man Behind the Mistique”, by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

I’m in the middle of reading this one; honestly, it is pretty fascinating. I’m hoping this first read is a good one…I’m looking forward to reading about some of the other fashion designers. Apparently a lot of people really like Ralph Lauren, especially his Polo line of clothing. Of course, a lot of people despise him and his lines of high-priced products. You can’t please everybody all the time. There are some interesting facts in the book, such as the ties between his family and the (Penny) Marshall family. One fact remains, though….Ralph Lauren is considered to be the most successful self-made American designer. And that’s worth reading about.

American Fertility Idol

What the hell is it with all these babies being born? Seriously, I’ve been thinking about what the books and magazines are saying, that now we are nearing the end of the time of the original baby boomers…they are waning in their political power and cultural influence as these years wear on. But it seems like everyone I know is having (or just had) a baby. Katia’s pregnant. Sue’s pregnant. Youan had one last year. Tracy M had one and is having another. Brian(‘s wife) is now pregnant. Nick is a new father. My real estate agent girl, Erica, is pregnant. Who else? It’s like I’m in the middle of a great big X-Files experiment. I keep telling everybody, I’m like the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! fertility idols. If you see me, beware. I’m warning you now. Back off, or you’ll be pregnant.

Tree Quote

I found this quote in one of the magazines I was browsing while I was at Barnes & Noble this afternoon. One of my virtues is carrying a pen and small notebook with me wherever I go…because of this, I can bring to you the quote in its entirety.

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of Imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.”

– William Blake; The Letters (1799)

Amateur Yankers

Today I was painting my stupid paint chips for class when the phone rang. My caller ID said “blocked” so I was immediately suspicious. The phone rings about once a month for me (yeah, so what)…usually a telemarketer. I answered it anyway.

It was some little punk who told me that he knew an illegal copy of “Girls Gone Wild” that was in my possession. Very funny. The boy…probably of college age, maybe younger…was having trouble stringing words together. Often he could use six or seven words consecutively before pausing to think about his next clever sentence. The call went something like this:

Boy: “Sir, we have been uh, informed that you have an illegal copy of uh, Girls Gone Wild in your uh possession.”

Me: “Really, is that true.”

Boy: “Yeah uh, that’s right. We uh, um, we…we’re gonna have to call the police.”

Me: “I see, so tell me then…what are you going to do about it?”

Boy: “Uh…”

Me, not giving him a chance to answer: “Really, that’s very clever of you.”

Boy: “Yeah, that’s right…we’re going to have to call the police right away…and uh, send them over there.”

Me: “Are you sure they haven’t already seen it? If not, me and the police can sit here and watch it together…I’m sure they’d like it.”

Boy has apparently walked off in disgust…laughter in the background. He tells his buddy, “I was on the phone, but this dude’s trying to mess with ME.” End of call. I didn’t even get a chance to tell the little punk that he needs to go and watch Crank Yankers and take a few notes. Kids these days…no dedication, no passion for the arts. This country’s going to hell.