No.110 The Coffee Connection…

The exact quote is : ” May I offer you a refreshment Mrs. Leaphorn? Coffee’s on…Help yourself.” The quote is from the movie series everyone should watch. “Skinwalkers- The Navaho Mysteries.” Season 1. Episode 1.

I love it when people greet me with the words…coffee’s on…help yourself…It just makes me feel so soft and cuddly. Those words help all the problems in that day disappear…the sun comes out …the gray clouds dissipate..butterflies start fluttering around…The simple act of adjusting someone else’s picture of the day by greeting and sharing goodness in a cup -I think can ultimately cure all the social ills in the world! One of us graciously pours out two cups of coffee and Whoosh…the something shifts …We sit down and chat…Maybe about mundane things …but soon my whole attitude shifts and afterwards I feel like the weight on my shoulders has lessened and anything that comes my way – I can handle. I suppose some folks feel this way about their churches and mosques. Fine with me. I figure, more people in the world -destressed …floating on clouds of happiness …Well maybe we will make better decisions when it comes to other folks.  The other day I had one of those experiences.  Thursday nights are reserved to meet a friend to chat in Chinese. Upon entering one of my favorite coffeeshop-  Dogwood on Lake Street. I encountered the lady that creates all the coffee -behind  the counters. She has a delightful laugh…and I’m kicking myself that I haven’t asked about her name -so please excuse my bad manners. Today lets call-the lady-  Charlemane?….Penelope??…Felicita?……no- none of these names fit her image. Ummm…O.k…. Hannah?…nooo…I’m going to settle on Clara today and then ask.. So I had told “Clara about  this print I was making for an exchange with the theme of gardens. That Thursday evening, I brought one of my prints- in for her. Of course, she was estatic. Moments later she said those magical words…” You’re Iced Cafe Miel is on me…”  We had words, a few laughs…I explained how I made the print to her inquiries. Before sitting down in my usual booth I thanked her for her coffee generosity and she thanked me for the print. What a perfect evening.  A perfect exchange of energies. Being me, I would have to describe it as a coffee connection. When I walked out the door at closing time I noticed all the mosquitos had disappeared….the sun was setting …I could smell flowers …there was cardinal singing in the background and the world was at peace.

No.109 One Universe…

Literally life goes on…

with all the mishaps….

and guffaws.

We need to bring back…

Stand behind your words..

Think before you speak…


Find a better solution.

Respect all.

All religions..

All races…

All gender decisions…

We start sharing again..

We fix what is broken.

We repair the roads and bridges.

We stop deregualations….

We strengthen the EPA .

We ask those who can’t …

to move to Timbuktu….

To build your kingdoms there.

Without roads and sewer systems…

A gold toilet seat…

gold curtains..golden rods on windows..

Golden bricks

to build

Your golden walls…

To those that have forgotten…

we are all in the same boat.

One Earth…

One Heaven…

One Universe…

No. 108 Thank-you Ma’am.

The exact quote is : ” Thank-you for the coffee ma’am.”  The quote is from the movie series extraordinaire- the “Skinwalkers-The Navaho Mysteries. Season 1. Episode 1.

It’s come to my attention the whole fiasco surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts and the Police in New York City.  A worker at the 1993 Atlantic Ave. Dunkin’ Donut and Baskin Robbin store refused service to two policemen who had come in to order ice cream cones. The worker also stupidly said outloud the words ” I don’t serve the cops.”  When confronted, the store management came up with the story that it was because of the layout of the store and the policemen had gone to the wrong register to pay. I know there are two parts to any story…but I think it’s strange how the word “Serve” is so different from the word ” Pay”. The management of the company jumped slowly into the fraccus …probably wondering how it  escualated into a boycott so quickly. I believe the best policy would of been to apologize to the two policemen. Another good business decision would of  been  to  tell this  worker to find another job. Instead, of an apology, the management ( Dunkin’ Brands) clamped it’s teeth into the story of  an unmanned register in one breath while enlisting new signage to be placed throughout the store so” this would never happen again.” Are the businesses so afraid of saying they screwed up that they can’t say they are sorry- this ever happened. Is it easier to  hide behind a preposterous story then -say the truth? I
believe the parent company above all these franchisees could have found a better  solution. One that wouldn’t  hurt -this specific store …as well as all the rest of the stores.  One article,  stated that there are 19,000 Dunkin’ Donut and Baskin Robbins stores in 60 countries. Who would risk hurting their image with such a guffaw as this? We all know that with our news cycle as it is …the company is problably hoping we will be inundated with other news that this will make the boycott fade from our memory… In my state of Minnesota, after a ten year absence , 24 Dunkin’ Donut stores have opened up, 6 more are in planning stages and this is only in the Twin Cities area. Everytime I googled  the question -How many Dunkin’ Donuts are in Minnesota?  I couldn’t come up with a concrete answer. Well I can only hope that all these franchises in Minnesota are paying all their workers $15 dollars an hour or more as well as giving them Healthcare benefits, including Dental. Plus, that they have an ongoing college enrichment  courses paid by the parent company program. To benefit their workers as well as to help support the universities and colleges in the area surrounding their stores. Oh and of course let’s not forget that each year they donate at least 58% of their sales to all the Police funds all around the world. With this comes a full apology of every newspaper in United States.

No. 107 Arsenic in my …..

Exact quote is : ” He took the last cup from the tray on the bookcase…swallowed deeply and grimaced. “God… Vance! This tastes like one of your acid baths!  Page 20. Quote was taken from the book “One Coffee With” by Margaret Maron. Oconee Spirit Press. U.S.A. 2012.

I think every art student could write and publish their own murder mystery. There’s all kinds of things you learn in art school that could to tempting to “accidently ” kill off the one professor that is  limiting your movement toward graduation. I had a few of those. I had a drawing teacher who told me I came into her class with an “F’ aptitude in drawing and the highest grade she could give me was  a “C.” ( Mind you, I worked my tail off in that class. Hours I would spend slaving over one drawing…) There was this one student that would brag-that she had whipped  her assignment up 10 minutes before  class …and I will say it did look professional. Everyone in class knew she was going to get an “A”.  So, I could of knocked off both the professor from hell and the lack dazzle student …But I didn’t.  Or what about my sculpture teacher -He was a doozy. There actually was a support group in the school for this teacher. A friend brought me in with the words…”It’s going to happen soon…get ready..” And I went on in his classes  totally oblivious . Until one day, I made one comment . Eight words. “Oh —–, I can’t believe you said that.” From then on-he demanded that I   drop his class and I’d get an “A” or finish the class and I’d get an   “F” . What do you think I did? Fill his coffee thermos with arsenic? Nope! Set a mechanism that would blow up his office? Nope! Send my grievances to the national papers -wipe out his accreditation and tenure….Nope ! I finished the class. It was on the matter of principal. My college  councelor, said I should of said the same 8  words but changed one to a better one.….”Oh,—— what you just said was “inappropriate. Ummmmm .I don’t think that would of helped my situation any. But I didn’t kill him- he died of old age and a broken heart because he knew his ways had hurt  soo many  female artists.  I didn’t kill him …I swear. Let’s divert all this attention away from me O.K.? How about the weather?  That storm last night was just horrible. So much water! Blah…blah…blah… Today the sun is out ….I’m so glad . That gray weather was starting to bug me…… So, if you want a fun read on the beach or a quick pick me up on the train back home…then read this book- One Coffee With. I would highly recommend it as a good read. It very much reminded me of my school. The bickering behind closed doors, the envious looks, the spying , back-stabbing …catty …under-handed behaviors. Almost sounds like the West Wing. Amazing. I was always described by my sister as a goody-two -shoes. So you don’t have to worry about me… doing anything sinister. Just relax…have a cup of coffee.





No.106 I want some coffee.

Exact quote is : “I want some coffee.:  Alfred Hitchcock.  Season 1 Episode 16.

Well of course he wants coffee …He’s been in the slammer . He just escaped. So if I was writing my first screenplay for a Broadway hit…I would start with this description . Man wearing husband’s castoff clothing turns to the right facing the  woman-cutting her off from the door -her only escape route..Full lights glaring from above -brightening up her kitchen. The woman’s back is parallel to the oddly colored pink refrigerator. She is facing the man. While the man is standing oddly -his neck seems to be disjointed . It’s explained to the viewers in the handout that  he received the neck wound by climbing over an eight foot fence covered in barb wire. Being chased by bloodhounds only worsened his predicament, adding to his stress, tighting his neck and  shoulder muscles leaving him to carry his body leaning to the right. She seems terrified but really she’s watching his twitching face in awe.  Dialogue is slow. Man: ” I want some coffee.” Woman: ” Are you injured? ” Man: ” I want some coffee.” Woman startled from her reverie asks ” Do you want Ethiopian? or a Sumatran blend ? We also have- Love Buzz, Death Wish and Elephant Dung Coffee -which would you prefer? ” Man: Wavers understandably puzzled. Woman:Speaking quickly  ” In the freezer we also have Tanzania Arabica, Blue Mountain Arabica from Jamaica and a Java Robusta from Indonesia. My husband Oscar loves coffee…Do you know which you’d like to try?” Man; Now clearly irritated is feeling a slight headache coming on and tries to swivel his neck around so he can look  directly into the  face of the homeowner. Woman: Keeps up her insistant prattle …”Do you like your coffee with cream? With sugar? or just plain black? Sometimes I like to make Vietamese coffee… I found an excellent  recipe- it’s secret ingredient is canned Carnation condensed sweetened milk . I just love it!” Man: Groans. Woman: Growing bolder starts setting out breakfast …”I like bacon with my toast …would you like store bought jam or my homemade cherry jam? Man: Quiet. Woman: “Did you want your eggs over easy? or sunny side up? Oh, I also am really good at making scrambled eggs …Which would you like?”  Man: Now sitting down back towards the  door- facing the pink refrigerator. Woman: ” I have a french press if you want to try it…or I can make it with my aeropress…both are nice …Which would you prefer? ” Man: Groans…now holding head heavily between his two hands silently. Woman: ” Oh hello Officer…would you like some coffee ? Lighting suddenly shifts to man with twisted neck muscles groaning…grunting unintelligibly . Sweat glistens on his nose. Lighting fades out as we see the Officer grab his handcuffs . Last thing we hear is CLICK !!  Applause will be greatly appreciated. Celebratory cake and coffee will be served after  curtain  calls. 

No. 105 Personal Transjection….

My world

seems smaller.

My comfort zone

is tight.

Nightly stillness.

Knowing future

transjection .

In between two

this Summer.

And three… this Fall.

Foreign music

vibrating in my

home’s walls.

Chinese classes.

New words

and characters.


with Chung.

Iced coffee

with  laughter.

Expansion of

my thoughts…

Painting my kitchen floor


With  large

multicolored dots…



taking long walks…

Only I…can

cross canyons…

climb mountains…

dance till midnight

and beyond.

When my mind is open…

and my heart unstrung.

No.104 Black Coffee…

The exact quote is: ” Coffee …to go…right?”  The quote is from the movie everyone should see…Coffee in Berlin. This movie was written and directed by Jan-Ole Gerster. It was released in 2012.

So the main actor of this movie- Nik spends the whole movie moving around an exaggerated  day of  obstacles. From an almost breakup of a girlfriend to a father who has decided to maybe replace him with his assistant. I would call it an extremely bad day. What he really wants is a good cup of coffee…but for this day he’s like Indiana Jones in that he has to jump across canyons of space only to be backstabbed by one of his comrades all for a golden head. To Nik, coffee is but a symbol of the golden head. At one point his bank card is eaten in an ATM…In another moment- the machine is broken. Can the day get any worse?  Of course!  He missed the last call… The machine was just cleaned-no more orders …HIs ulitmate misfortune that day was …he doesn’t have enough money. In a posh coffee shop with an overly talkative barista he’s found himself in a version of cacophony of coffee hell in that there’s too many versions of coffee. To add to his torture there’s too many types of coffee beans with their added explanations.  He also notices with added trepidation that the prices have  escalated beyond his means. He whines at one point all he wants is plain black coffee. He  almost achieves his quest but is robbed from ecstasy… when faced with lack of funds. He can only watch in total disbelief as the barista pours it down the drain in front of him. I believe,  that this barista has  sadistic behaviors hidden underneath her chatty exterior. She probably should be a hedge fund person instead of a barista.  Just thinking about this barista makes me feel sweaty…I felt dizzy getting up from my chair…my footsteps were miscalculated and unsure. That someone can have such power over another is a daunting idea. It was probably a hellish experience to see his precious portion of black gold being tossed.  Another version of tourment for Nik were all the types of coffee concoctions this woman could create. I heard one description in the new movie called appropiately “Coffee Shop.” I found it on Netflix. A cute chick flick that has romantic overtones is how I would describe it.  In it, a coffee patron comes in and orders: ” A med triple caramel dream with half a pump of coconut and a third of the carmel. ”  These words would have tourmented Nik.  Max, a regular at this fictional coffee shop asked the question ” Did he order a coffee or a wedding cake?  Which was a perfect quip to the over exaggerated sweet concoction. All Nik wanted was a cup of black coffee…was that such a hard request to fill?

No.103 A Skinwalker is not a Zombie.

The exact quote is : ” Would you like some coffee? ” The quote is from the movie series Skinwalkers-The Navaho Mysteries.  “Shinwalker” Season 1. Episode 1. Written by James Redford.  Directed by Chris Eyre. All the books and stories were originally written by Tony Hillerman.

It’s just such a calm moment when Emma Leaphorn asks Jim Chee her husband’s new sidekick in solving crime to have coffee with her. As I said before -I thought there might of been a bet going on in the background on how many times she could ask him specifically if he wanted to have coffee during each episode. At times I also thought that it might be ritual like thing done when a guest comes to the door. Emma Leaphorn had talked her stoic husband to returning to the Navaho Reservation to heal from cancer . I also thought with these coffee  breaks she was able to find friendship while reconnecting . Jim Chee was from the reservation and had just returned as an FBI  Academy grad, in his off hours he was also training to be a Traditional Medicine Man. I’m not sure why I shied away from this series but when I started to watch it I found myself attatched and wondrous to the scenery. I also thought all the actors where amazing .In the background and throughout the stories there are stories of skinwalkers which to most folks they would say reminds them of Zombies. But they are very different. They are connected  to  Native American Lore and still to this day they speak of them as real people. Skinwalkers are basically human that are alive but are using rituals to change into something else.  Like humans they can be aggressive or even kill another. They can haunt or hassle people by scary screams and circling homes…tapping on windows. Which usually terrifies the inhabitants. In many stories they body change into dogs that can chase cars…or humans that can climb into pickups and tap on windows. They can change into wolves or coyotes. People say if you see a dog running with a sideways gait it’s really a skin walker. A lot of the stories came from folks out on a walk and they were accosted with a being with red orange eyes that chased them. One writer told a story where he went home to the reservation and asked stupidly if skin walkers even existed? That night one appeared with a unearthly scream . Most folks believe that if you are disrespectable to the skinwalkers you become a focus….to scare. In most of the stories the only way people felt they may be saved was to recite Navaho prayers or to shoot guns in the vincity to scare them away. There have been also sightings of  bear shaped body with a human head that was painted white. Sometimes people say they also smelled a strong smell of rotting flesh. Usually alot of these stories take place on tribal lands.  Somehow stories have criss-crossed the world and in Australia there have been sightings as well. I believe  this may be because there are Aboriginal Indians in Australia and they have many stories as well.  If you want to learn more see if you can get your hands on these four books. 1) Legends of the Wolfman by Betty Smith.  2) Hunt for the Skinwalker by George Knap and Colm  Kelleher. 3) Werewolf to Hogan: The Navaho Experience by Daniel Steele. and 4) Yenaalglooshii: Mormon Accounts of Werewolfism on the Navaho Indian Reservation.

No.102 The Hunky Bald Guy…

The exact quote is : ” This morning I was drinking coffee by the window.”  The quote is from Detective Montalbano. Series 1. Episode 10 ” The Goldfinch and the Cat.” This Episode was directed be Alberto Sironi.  The stories are created and written by an impressive Italian writer called Andrea Camilleri.

So a while back, I signed up for a evening language class …I asked the head guy ..” Will it be a beginning Italian class? ” He said “Yes” then I asked do you have Korean? He said “No, but what about Chinese ? ” I thought…why not? that was I think 4 or 5 years ago and still I wade through my characters …But the other night I was literally stuck. I could not find this one character for” Bald”  And then the next day it was right in front of me doing the wiggle wiggle dance sticking it’s tongue out at me.  So today I thought I wonder if I can translate my title ” The Hunky Bald Guy” in Chinese. I can get adventurous when it comes to languages…Let’s start with the word:  Hunky (Which is slang I think for really cute.) H-U-N-K-Y…nope !  O.k.  H-A-N-D-S-O-M-E….nope ! o.k. What about C-U-T-E ( I know this is a woman’s word for a cute guy) …nope again!  This is hard work. So in the end of an hour of searching -I’m stuck with Ta shi yi ge tu nanren.( It’s in Pingin without the tones…it means basically : He is a bald man.) … It’s much easier to say and find in Italian being he’s my imaginary heart throb I just have to say Bello Bello! I have no idea what “Bald” is in Italian but  it doesn’t matter- I’ve decided this man without much hair is so handsome. I can just imagine him standing by the window sipping  his morning espresso. Salvo ! When will we meet again ?  Ooola…la.  So try to get your hands on these movies. This one I’ve watched a couple of times . It starts with a reoccurring theme of muggings of older women near the church which puts the police administration above Salvo in an uproar. Strangely enough the women are shot at with blanks and their purses are grabbed by a motorcyclist. The fourth time something goes wrong and a woman dies so Commissario Salvo Montablano  with his crew has to figure it out quick. Throughout the movie Mimi his side kick is stressed to the max trying to decide if he really should get married.  If you want to learn how to swear in Scilian than this is a good movie to learn from. I can’t remember if the subtitles really tell us the words he’s saying -so don’t be worried. I tried to find out why a goldfinch is used in the title …I guess goldfinches are like finding a penny and making a wish. The symbolism linked to Goldfinches is inner knowledge or prophecies. I’m sure the writer Andrea Camerelli had a reason for the title. For me, I always like to see them chowing out on the sunflower plant in my garden. They are tiny in size, bright yellow and full of energy. Always fun to watch as I sip my espresso dreamily thinking of Salvo – as I stare out my window.

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