Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas morning "studying"

  

I spent my Christmas morning curling up with my new stuffed giraffe named Genevieve, and reading Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide, 75th anniversary edition.

A giraffe because I love giraffes, and a guide to bartending because I plan to go to a bartending school when I turn eighteen this spring. Y'know, college tuition. 

In my mom's words, since she's the one who kindly gave me this guide, I'm reading this for "professional purposes." That's mostly true, but it's also just fascinating. Relax, I'll only be practicing the non-alcoholic chapter for now. Can't forget about them Shirley Temples, Peach Melbas and Flamingos.

It's amazing, really, how the details makes a world of a difference with serving drinks. This guide really does get down to every last detail imaginable. Every here and there, one sentence stood out as snobbish. I never really appreciated how much of an art form serving drinks is. I'm sure I'll be just as snobby some day, much like how becoming a barista is slowly turning me into a coffee snob. The people who contributed to the guide certainly are particular in the way they like things done.

Glassware: 
"Clean, polished glasses show off good drinks to great advantage. The best glasses should be thin-lipped, transparent, and sound off in high registers when 'pinged.'"

Garnishes: 
"A good number of cocktails are finished with some kind of fruit or savory garnish. (Well not discuss nonedible doodads like paper umbrellas, but really, they might be appropriate for some retro drinks. Stock them according to your aesthetics.)" 

What if I waste a bunch of fruit because I can't slice it properly? I imagine myself behind a bar frantically trying to slice fruit and failing. File that under stupid fears I need to get over.

Rimming a glass: 
"Rimming separates the pros from the amateurs. The crust must only cling to the outside of the glass. If it is inside the glass, the inner crust will fall into the drink and overseason it."

The precision of it all is honestly quite intimidating. I wouldn't want to accidentally overseason someone's margarita. Goodness. 

SWH



Sunday, December 27, 2015

"Tell your story."

A couple months ago, Kevin Breel came to my high school to promote his new book, Boy Meets Depression: Or Life Sucks and Then You Live. I haven't finished the book yet, but so far so good.


Kevin encourages audiences to recognize the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and to stop that stigma by starting a dialogue in the community. I'm extremely appreciative of how straightforward he is about this.

Kevin said to the audience, "tell your story. You aren't alone. You can either share your story or be ashamed of it, and I didn't want to be ashamed anymore."

I am most definitely not ashamed of my story, but that doesn't make the stigma surrounding these issues disappear. Now we've come full circle. See? I'm hesitant to tell my story, especially on the internet, because of the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding mental health. Yet, in order to chip away at the stigma, one must start a conversation and share their story. 

I want to tell my story. I want to write about what really happened. Honest, raw, real, no guessing. I don't mean to sound full of myself, but I have quite a lot of things to write about. I know I will someday; not necessarily on this blog, but somewhere open to the public.

SWH