Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Get out of here! Go here.

Because I'm not a barista anymore.

I'm on vacation.

But then I'll be a law student.

There are new posts just waiting for you, and a better blog design.... here.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I need a new name.

Tomorrow is my last day as a barista.

So Hobobarista, although I love it, rhythmically, doesn't really work, factually.

I need suggestions.

Hobolawstudent, though the name of my other blog, won't work for a display name.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tittycake: an essential recipe.

For my party this past weekend, I made a tittycake. You can make a tittycake, too! I used my Betty Crocker Bake 'N' Fill pan. You don't have to, but it helps.


Half Gallon, Chocolate Ice Cream
Pint, Vanilla Ice Cream
Mini m&ms.
Chocolate or Caramel Sauce
Oreo cookies, one half-box.
Chocolate chips, one half-bag.
Marshmellow Fluff, one jar.
Powdered Sugar, a lot.
Food coloring, red and yellow.

You'll need either a Bake N Fill pan, with the dome pan, or a large mixing bowl, smaller bowl, and a round cake pan, plenty of plastic wrap, and room in your freezer. I recommend having lots of your favorite dishwashing detergent around, because the whole marshmellow fluff process is a mess.

Move both cartons of ice cream (the cheap kind works best because it softens faster) into the refrigerator to soften. This takes about an hour. Drape the large mixing bowl with plastic wrap, so that when filled with ice cream, there is no ice cream-bowl contact. Make sure there is some overhang. Fill the bowl just about half-full with ice cream.

Cover the bottom of the second bowl in plastic wrap. Then put that second bowl on top of the ice cream in the bowl.

Pat ice cream down between the two bowls. Then, place plastic wrap over the second bowl, and fill entirely full with the other flavor of ice cream.

Put the whole shebang into the freezer. For at least three hours. Overnight is nice. The more expensive your ice cream, the longer you should refreeze it. Mine cost a dollar.

While freezing that magilla, you can do the other steps. Crush the fuck out of your cookies. I did that with a wooden spoon inside a heavy coffee cup. Melt the chocolate and mix with the crushed up oreos, and press all of that into the bottom of the cake pan. Put into the freezer.

When your ice cream sections are hard, very carefully remove them from the bowls, and take off all plastic wrap. Remove the crunchy chocolate cake pan from the fridge. Place the ice cream from the smaller bowl in the center of the crunchy chocolate layer. Cover with your chocolate or caramel sauce, and your mini m&ms. Place the larger ice cream dome over the small one. Replace in freezer.

Put about a cup or a cup and a half of marshmellow fluff into a greased mixing bowl. With a greased knife, spatula, or spoon, begin mixing powdered sugar into the fluff. Continue mixing powdered sugar into the fluff (it may take up to two cups) until it becomes doughy, possessing these characteristics:

1. Not sticky to the touch.
2. Powdery on the outside
3. Fairly solid.

It should be stiffer than play-dough. At this point, transfer your fluff-dough into a microwaveable bowl (greased!) if it wasn't in one before. Maybe I should put that above instead of having you do it now.

Anyway, pop that all in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. The powdered sugar will melt into the fluff, making it very warm, and shiny. Very shiny. Add two drops of red food coloring and one drop of yellow and begin mixing the colors in. It is useful to put gloves or plastic bags on your hands and kneed the dough. But the dough will be VERY warm. Separate a small amount, for the nipple, and add one more drop of red dye, and work in.

Place the flesh-colored fluff dough between sheets of waxed paper or greased plastic wrap. Roll into a thin, thin layer.

Mold the pink dough into your nipple. I use some little m&ms to help shape the nipple, and differentiate it from the aereola.

Open your freezer door. Drape the flesh colored part over the ice cream part. Smooth. Trim with a knife. Affix the nipple to the titty with a touch of the caramel or chocolate sauce.

When you have finished, this diagram indicates the composition of the finished titty cake.
a) layer of caramel and mini m&ms.
b) vanilla ice cream
c) chocolate crunchy layer
d) fluff dough layer (unfortunately, not tasty)
e)chocolate ice cream layer.

It is delightful.

It is best to let the whole thing chill for a few hours before serving.

A list of things that my boyfriend does not like about me.

By Hobo Barista
Age 23.

1. I leave knives around. Because I might need them again soon, and don't want to have to wash them again. But sometimes I forget. He doesn't like this.

2. I use the wrong knives for the wrong tasks. I will use any knife at hand to do anything. But last week I used a proper knife to cut onions, and then I cut my fingers. So no lesson was learnt.

3. I slam the toilet seat down when I enter his bathroom. He says I should do it more gently.

4. I leave the bathroom door open after I leave it. He worries his parrot will get into the toilet and drown. His parrot has trouble making it into the hallway.

5. I am always late to be anywhere. Always. Which is not true. I am on time for work. He's just not at my work, so he doesn't notice.

6. I watch shows on discovery health, about super-obese people, birth defects, and abnormalities. He does not find these programmes enriching in the least.

7. I watch medical fictional shows, like "House" and "ER", obsessively. He does not support this.
8. If the New Jersey Nets were in the NBA finals against the LA Lakers, I would cheer for the lakers.

9. I put raw sliced tomatoes on everything. Apparently, this is not done. But this is something that Bolivians do. And he likes Bolivians fine.

10. I watch movies that are not good, movies that are good, and movies that are very bad. He likes films with either character development or subtitles and extreme violence. I like movies with sound, but I'll do without. I like nearly all movies.

11. Sometimes, I don't stick up for myself.

12. I do stick up for Ted Kennedy.

13. I make excuses to do nothing but play the Sims 2. Even when he would like to use his computer to play his video games.

14. I get stomach aches all the time, and then yell at his toilet. He finds this excessive, as he only needs to make a bowel movement quarterly, as do all republicans.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

In this blog: Viva Bolivia!

In my other blog: Post-graduation college commentary, on student loan indebtedness.

I went out for Bolivian food on saturday.
To "The Bolivian Restaurant" on Chalkstone avenue, in Providence. Just a stone's throw away from the Foxy Lady, one of Rhode Island's many strip clubs.

What is Bolivian food?, you might ask.

Imagine you're a 17 year old boy. Imagine your parents are away for the weekend. And, after checking whether they left the liquor cabinet unlocked, and spanking it industriously until the brink of carpal tunnel, you make yourself dinner.

What you make yourself is probably Bolivian food. Bolivian food appears to be about three things: Multiple meats, multiple starches, and a dearth of concern about societies normal culinary rules. It is beyond delicious. Filling. Savory. Mmm.

I ordered something called "Pique a lo Macho"

It should have been called "Pulled from Hobobarista's most secret meaty desires"

Pique a lo Macho is flank steak, cut into strips and sautee'd, with red peppers. Green peppers. Sausage. Onions. Bacon. Served over french fries, with vinegar. Garnished with boiled eggs and huge chunks of ripe, raw tomatoes. The steak was chewy. The onions were perfectly carmelized, and obviously cooked in beef or pork fat. The red and green peppers were at that miracle point between too crisp and too limp. I thought peppers like these existed only on pizza. But no. Bacon and sausage added the perfect seasoning. The french fries, drenched in juice from the other ingredients, were delicious.


And let me tell you about something else.

Empanadas. I like empanadas, usually. They're alright. But these empanadas were like nothing I'd ever tasted before. At the Cuban revolution, the cheese empanada is full of cheddar and unidentified white soft cheese. The crust is like pie crust, but a little bit more tender. The whole thing is heavy and about the size of the palm of my hand, and brought out with hot sauce.

At the Bolivian restaurant, the cheese empanada is about the size of a dessert plate. Brushed with powdered sugar, it is more dessert than appetizer. It is nearly weightless, and the cheese inside is chewy and mild, probably mozzerella. The crust is the flakiest, most tender puff pastry I've ever encountered. Apple turnovers would be jealous. Strudel would turn green with envy. Those grenouilles francoises de patisserie would shrivel in their inadequacy.

The boything ordered something I didn't catch the name of, but is another example of Bolivian cultural innovation. It was a steak, served over roasted rounds of potato, and under two fried eggs, sunny side up. With a sie of tasty, fluffy rice, soon stained brown from the steak.


I can't reccommend this restaurant enough.

Especially since it may close soon.

If you have it at all in your power, get thyself to the Bolivian Restaurant.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Further on that topic. featured a movie review today that touches upon something that I often talk about. The review, of a film about a teenage girl who turns out to be an abstract comic seducing and torturing an older man who turns out to be a murderous pedophile, turns out to be a feel-good romp through comforting inaccuracies about teen sexuality.

The reviewer is insightful and honest; she talks about being a teenage girl, even a preteen, with feelings for older men that went beyond the level of a crush. " It was clear that the hot substitute science teacher, or perhaps the dad I babysat for, would be able to see what no one else in my life seemed to have noticed: I was a sexy, mature, brilliant woman trapped in the body of an eighth grader. " she writes, admitting more than sympathy for the first scene of the film, which appears to show a teen girl deliberately pursuing sexual contact with a far older man. However, from there the film goes on to have that the girl was feigning interest in the man, and was only interested in vengeance. This is some kill bill shit right here.

The reviewer rightly mourns that the film could have said something very interesting and controversial; that many teenage girls go through a stage where they long to be the object of affection of a much older man.

I did.

There is something surreal about being a young american teen girl. You feel complex, adult, confused. You're supremely vulnerable to anything that smacks of romance. You consume books and movies featuring highly romantic and highly sexual themes. And you want in.

And you don't want this piddly, high-risk, low-yeild teen fucking puppy love bullshit. Groping in cars. Freshman/sophomore semi-formals, with breathalyzer tests at the door and greasy boys with unwashed hands. Any action judged and reported on to catty, leering peers. Almost criminal sexual incompetance. Parental judgement. It isn't what you want, but it's what's available to you.

It's not what I wanted. It's never been what I wanted. I've always pursued, almost exclusively, men who are far too old for me. The first one to respond in any significant way was sixteen years older than me. I'd been eighteen for less than six months. It was intense. Exciting. Scary. Important. And I pushed things. Not as much as he did, but he would have never started anything without my not at all guileless invitations to impropriety. Nothing in my life had ever been so ...breathless...

And nothing in my romantic life had ever been so deliberate. At that point, my experiences with guys my own age had been sparse, bizarre and haphazard. I didn't know how to date. I didn't know how to date a boy from school. I didn't know what the rules were. How much to be interested. How much to be interested in him. Where to go. How far to (let him) let myself go. And that's been the pattern of my romantic life so far. I am dense, confused, blind to guys I work with, go to class with, sit on the train next to, make friends with. My boyfriend is ten years older than I am, and we've been together for almost for years. It's real, it's sure, it's profoundly nice.

And if I had been able to pursue older men from a younger age than I began to, I would have.


Just because something is easy and feels good doesn't mean that it is a good idea. That's why people wear pants. Not wearing pants is easier than wearing pants, and being pantsless, in general, is better than wearing pants, when weather permits. And yet, it is a bad idea to go out, even to go through the drive through, sans pants.

But just because something isn't a good idea, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Teenage girls will continue to desire attention from adult men. Teenage girls will continue to look enough like the atavistic archetype of ripe fecund potential to tempt even some adult men who know better than to become involved with them. And predatory men, who deliberately choose adolescent girls as partners, due to some mental pathology, will exist. These circumstances combine to form a situation wherein at some times teenage girls must be protected from themselves, at some times adult men must be protected from teenage girls, and at other times, teenage girls must be protected from adult men.

But at this moment, in this Law and Order: SVU world that we live in, the third situation is most comfortable to focus on. The idea is that any adult man who becomes sexually involved with a teenage girl was not just the aggressor, but the predator, is very comfortable and clear cut for parents and media alike. Teenage girls are thought to be blind to the effect their bodies and brassy experimenations may have on these 'predators among us', and accidentally blunder into victimhood when their innocent play becomes masturbatory fodder for the leering perverts who live on the internet. This situation exists, sure. And no girl who is truly victimized did ask for it. However, that does not preclude situations where other dynamics exist.

Adult men should know better than to become involved with teenage girls. Adult people should know better than to get involved with teenagers. Society has evolved many safeguards against this. Primarily, we have statutory rape laws. These provide an incentive to adults not to have sexual contact with minors, even in the absence of immediate evidence of contraindications. Secondarily, we have culture. When I was about thirteen or fourteen, I was watching 'Friends'. (Forgive the network TV reference. At the time, I had neither cable, nor friends) It suddenly occurred to me that even though I was funny enough, and smart enough, to picture myself sitting on that couch, and flirting with a pre-bloated Matthew Perry, it wouldn't work. Because there should be no room in the life of a healthy twenty-five year old for a sexual relationship with a fourteen year old. His friends would shun him. Picking up a girlfriend from junior high, post college, should be humiliating. It just doesn't work. If a co-worker of mine (we are all around 23) began to date a girl of even 19, the social repercusions might prematurely doom the relationship.

So what?

That means two things:
1. Most adult men will avoid sexual contact with teenage girls, for a variety of reasons.
2. Most adult men who do not avoid sexual contact with teenage girls will not be normal, as they will have decided to risk social standing and a criminal record to do so.

That simulteneously makes the situation both better and worse. If teenage girls can be successfully convinced that there are almost no exceptions to the second principle, then they will not seek to fulfill their fantasies of romance with an older man. That would leave the only sexual contact between older men and young girls in the strictly predatory realm. However, teenage girls do not believe that any older man that would consider breaking stringent social codes in order to associate with them must be deeply flawed. Because that is terribly depressing. Teenage girls want to beleive that older men, as the author above fantasized, have the ability and insight to see their worth, beyond their age.

Which gives actual predatory older men a ready-made expressway into the Junior's Lingerie section. They know what girls want to hear, and they know the argument that will be made against that argument. And they know that their argument puts the girl in the better light. So she may be convinced.

So what is to be done?

First, parents need to make sure that just because it is terribly uncomfortable to think that little Cindy's crush on her soccer coach may be more serious than her crush on Scott Baio in the second grade, they need to address those feelings. They need to explain to her that while it's fine and natural for her to be attracted to older men, it's best that she never act on those feelings, at least until she's older herself, because any older man that would be involved with her is not one that she should be involved with. Like old Groucho said "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member."

Second, society needs to back up off teenage girls for a minute. They've got fifty million messages coming at them about who they need to be. (And feminists, shut up for a minute - "Be Thin!" isn't the most toxic message out there) They've got no messages coming at them telling them how quickly they're going to be adults, and how normal it is to feel sexual, to feel deeper than everyone else seems to be, to want to be friends with older adults of both genders. Sometimes teenage friendships are so toxic that it seems like there is no respite. Forging equal friendships with older adults who are not parents and are not romantic partners may provide much-needed perspective. Maybe the reason I've always pursued older men and ignored contemporaries is because otherwise, I'd be alone with all these dangerous peers.

I wonder, sometimes, whether my experience with that much older man has had any long-term effect, positive or deleterious, on me. He was my first experience of acceptance on an intellectual level, first experience of direct expression of sexual desire, first experience of rejection. He was the first man to say certain words to me that I can now barely manage even when I'm desperately hammered. I can't ignore that he should have known better than to get involved with me, even as shallowly and tangentially as he did. But I can't ignore that he wouldn't have if I'd even once told him to stay away.

I wonder if, without him, I would have ended up with someone my own age. Or even able to be with someone my own age. If I hadn't used him as my crutch, would I have fallen into a lasting relationship with a college boy, that fall and winter? Would I have learned to treat peers as potential partners?

Who fucking knows. Who cares. Behavior is a mystery, yet all we know is that all non-reflex actions are in some way willful. That means that no person can take responsibility for the actions of another. Anything I do to myself, I have only myself to blame for. I knew what I was doing. No amount of revisionist history can change that. But does that mean that other girls should be just as free to choose so poorly?

"I cling to her innocence"

That's a quote. From a story in today's Boston Globe. A mother is talking about how she'd give her daughter the new h.p.v./cervical cancer vaccine, but not tell her what it's for. This h.p.v vaccine has the potential to prevent thousands of early deaths from a sneaky cancer, that strikes mostly young women.

If there were a breast cancer vaccine, there would be no controversy. Everyone wants to cure breast cancer. Everyone wants to wear a pink ribbon and think about saving people's mommies. And saving people's titties, too. Saving the very essence of femininity. Fertility. Maternity. Mature sexual appeal. That's why breast cancer is so marketable. It's the madonna.

Cervical cancer is the whore. Because cervical cancer, despite striking women at their most marketable age, is a little bit dirty. A little bit bad. Because, unlike breast cancer, mostly, you have to do something to get it. You have to fuck. And not only do you have to fuck, you have to fuck someone who has fucked someone before. Absolute monogamy prevents cervical cancer, but only if the h.p.v naive fuck only the h.p.v naive. Which doesn't happen. Because most people don't lose their virginity to a virgin. That's why no one goes to the hospital seeking treatment for pathologically dilated urethras anymore. So in each pair of fuckers, at least one has been broken in. Or been around the block.

So sex is a risk factor for cancer. But only significantly so for women. It's a perfect threat.

"Darling, your mother and I love you very much, and we want you to listen to us. Sex is a very important part of life, but it's best when saved until marriage. Because if you don't wait, you could DIE OF CANCER. SOON."

"Hey, Tiger. Your mom and I want you to know you probably shouldn't have sex until you get married. Because maybe you'll have sex with some girl, and then another girl, and if the first one had something, the second one might die, while you still know her, and that might be a pain. Maybe. Or you could stop calling her. Whatever. Wrap that shit, I guess."

It reinforces our society's absured purity fetish. Bad things happen to girls who like it, but a man's best protection is still a fake name.

So what happens if condom use and frequent testing remove the threat of aids, hepatitis vaccines prevent that jaundicy drag, anti-outbreak medications attenuate the embarassment of herpes, contraceptives continue to prevent pregnancy, and a h.p.v. vaccine prevents cervical cancer?

The worst thing in the world.

Parents have to stop seeing their daughters as perpetual children, with innocence to be protected, even by threat of death, and begin seeing them as potential adults, who must be communicated honestly with about the role sexuality has in adult life. The woman in the globe article says "I cling to her innocence." I cling. I cling. The parent needs her daughter to remain innocent. As long as possible. For her sake, not her daughter's. Because we've got this fucked up system in this country that makes a daughter's virginity her parent's possession.

From virginity balls, where little girls dance with their fathers who pledge to help them save that blessed cherry for their husbands, to my own graduation dinner on friday, where a freudian slip nearly ruined the evening for everyone. (I'm 24, goddamnit. Mild accidental innuendo should be ignored, not a reason for my father to threaten to snap my boyfriend's neck), the idea that daughters must remain virginal in perpetuity for the sake of the family remains, though it should have gone out with arranged marriages and dowrys.

Do we really want to kill young women because they didn't stay little girls long enough?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Irrational Rage.


Yesterday and today were hot.

Yesterday and today were quite hot, and open campus days for a local boarding school.

Between yesterday and today I made more frozen blended beverages than I have ever cared to make in my life.

(What's a frozen blended beverage? I thought you were a barista.)
(I am a barista. But as I've discussed before, most people don't like coffee. They like fucking ridiculous ass things that are not coffee. Like frozen blended beverages.)

Banana. Strawberry. Fucking tea. Fucking mocha fucking chip. Fucking dingleberry macha surprise. Anything but fucking coffee.

And even the coffee kind bears little resemblence to actual coffee. It's cold. It's milky. It's icy. It's sweet enough to hurt your teeth. It's like a coffee milk shake. Without ice cream. Being from Boston, I almost said a coffee frappe. But that is meaningless to those outside my little enclave. Because, you see, order a milkshake in Boston, you get sweetened, shaken milk. If you want milk and ice cream, it's a frappe.

But it's all people want.

And people don't realize that they don't come from a machine. They mill around, in front of the espresso bar. They huff. They sigh. They make over-loud conversation to friends about how long it takes.

We have two blenders. Each beverage must be blended, poured, and finished. Then the blender must be rinsed. Then the next beverage may be started. And I'm not so bad. I can do two drinks at once, and have the rest almost ready to go. But I can't reach my bare hands into the ice bin, stuff my mouth with ice, milk, sugar and coffee, make a whirring noise while I chew and regurgitate an icy cool refreshing beverage into a glass. And even if I could, that would only increase my efficiency by one-third.

There was a moment yesterday when I had eleven of these beverages in front of me. There were no other drinks to be made. There was nothing to be done. My supervisor just told the other girl to stay out of my way. Not because I could do it faster, or because I'm better than anyone with these goddamned things. But because there's nothing else you can do.

Rage. There's no other reaction. First, annoyance. Then, resentment. Then, rage. Because people don't think. And you can't ask. You can't say "Hey, motherfucker, everyone else can have this kind of drink, but you can't, because five is too many. It's going to make everyone else behind you wait forever", or "Hey, asshole. You're thirty-five. Try an iced coffee."

If you have a job, imagine a day at work. Imagine there is something that is a small part of your job, but not something you do a lot, and not something you're expert at. Something you're barely set up for, but certainly qualified to do. And it's all anyone wants. And they can't see that everyone wanting this one thing is a problem.

And they just keep fucking coming.

And they think it's such a small thing.

But it's not. We have about fifteen different flavors of these goddamned blender drinks. And no one wants the same one. People will come in and order four different.

You don't understand. You can't understand.

But if today had been my last day, this is what I would have done:

(Picture me, behind the bar, six blended beverages in front of me, waiting to be finished. A gentleman comes up and orders three more, each one different and fucking retarded)

Me: Excuse me, sir, would you like a waffle cone with that?
Him: A waffle cone? Do you have that?
Me: No, we don't. How about some jimmies?
Him: Jimmies? You have those?
Me: No, we have no jimmies, either.
Him: Well, why did you...
Me: Because, motherfucker, we have no fucking waffle cones, and no motherfucking jimmies, because we're not a fucking ice cream store.
Him: I know, this is -my coffee shop-, and frankly, I'm offended-
Me: What do we sell at -my coffee shop-?
Him: I don't have to be spoken with this-
Him: Coffee?
Me: You're fucking right we sell coffee here. Get out of my sight.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I will soon not be a hobobarista.

So, soon enough, I will switch over to a new blog.