Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Saturday, July 13, 2013

When questions are asked

There are times when I have questions and hope for a simple answer when I finally ask them. Normally I'm able to find the answer to them with my own research or by simply poking around the internet. Then there are times where I will have to contact a reliable source but there are times that backfires. One such incident happened a few years back when I was looking for native plants and flowers of India and which of their deities was associated with what. To me it was a relatively simple question but I just couldn't find the answer online. So what was my next step? I contacted the Smithsonian Institute by phone and asked. You would think that a collective of some of the most knowledgeable minds in the fields of religious iconography, art, and botany would know what in the world I was talking about. Nope! After almost an hour and a half of being bounced between 3 different departments, no one knew what I was trying to ask. Normally people would give up by this point but I went a different route and contacted the Central National Herbarium, Botanical Survey of India by email instead. Within 15 minutes I ended up with a response from one of the directors of the gardens with the exact information I was looking for, to which I was very thankful for since I wanted the information for some future projects (which sadly I haven't had a chance to get to as of yet but still am planning on getting them done).

This perhaps might give you some insight into the lengths I go to in order to do research on things I'm interested in. Where am I going with this, you might be asking yourselves. Back in November 2012, I was wondering if Disney was going to continue with a movie series that so far only had 2 installments as of yet. What would be I talking about? Fantasia (1940) and Fantasia 2000 (1999) which, to me, were an amazing collaboration between classical pieces of music and the talents of artists interpreting them into a visual form. Looking online, I couldn't find a thing so wrote a letter to the Disney Studios with the following question:

To whom it may concern,

I had attempted to find a way to send my inquiry by email through your website but unfortunately, I was directed towards the FAQ page where I did not find the answer to my question so I thought it best to contact you by mail. As an artist, I have always appreciated many of the films that the Walt Disney Studios has created since the 1940s to present. Perhaps my favorites is Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 due to the perfect marriage of musical masterpieces and the skillful storytelling of your animators. I have been waiting patiently for any word on if there would be a third installment to the Fantasia family but I have yet to find any news on such an endeavor. Maybe I missed the news but I was curious if there was on in the making or planned for the future? I do thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you on this subject matter.

I patiently waited but after several months of not having any response, I decided that I would write to them again with the thought that perhaps the first letter was lost in the mail or was lost in someone's office trash can. So in February I sent a second letter stating that I did send the first one last year, restated the question and thanked them again for taking the time to get back to me. Here it is 2 weeks into July and have yet to hear anything. Think that this will be one of those moments that I will not be finding the answer any time soon unless one of my readers is some how connected with the studio. Perhaps I'm being silly for contacting such a giant with such a small question. What is your opinion on the matter?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Coffee Review: CAcafe – Almond Coffee

As is how many of these happen, this installment is brought to you by my wanderings in one of the local grocery stores. While in the refrigerated section, my boyfriend spotted something and brings over a small 9.5 floz (281 ml) bottle of CAcafe brand Almond Coffee. We both agreed that it would be interesting to try out and honestly I had the thought of “Well Almond milk is usually not that bad. Perhaps it will add an interesting and refreshing flavor to the coffee”.

As stated on the side of the bottle, I shook that bottle like my life depended on it. Occasionally I looked at the clear bottom to see a couple of lumps that were refusing to get into the mix. Back to the shaking as I wonder what on earth this strange mixture was going to taste like. Finally after a good couple of minutes I popped the bottle open and took a sniff, finding that the beverage had a blend of a standard coffee aroma mixed with a strong nuttiness. Gingerly I took a sip, not sure what to expect and ended up discovering that my face could contort to a coffee drink. The sweetness of cane sugar and sultry notes of Columbian coffee was rudely interrupted by the nuttiness of almond. Keeping in mind that the company makes sure that there was no dairy, lactose, soy, or cholesterol in their product so that those with allergies or on special diets could drink it but I was finding the end result of their concoction too sweet and way too nutty for my liking.

Checking out the CAcafe website, it would seem that they are a California based company which is aiming to provide all-natural products made with either coconut or almond milk. They offer a variety of coffee and tea beverages and also allow customers to order online. For those out there who are unable to consume dairy, this line of products might be a possibility for you but for my personal tastes, I think that I will avoid having another try.