“Coffee Crucifix” (a sonnet for National Coffee Day)


Coffee Crucifix

Crescent ring under porcelain smooth
___stain the wood-stained finish.
______(It is finished.)
___Marked with muddy water;
___mark the merry day; to
___marry the murdered man.

Floral notes in blackened waves
___crash the shore of trembled lips.
Choral bright, in darkest night,
___wake the tone of trebled kiss.

Younger tastes left open-wide; older eyes made
satisfied.

Mark the wood: complex simplicity.
Pierce my heart: storied infinity.

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

National Coffee Day: an homage from Pope Clement VIII [QUOTE]


philly-coffee-reflection-building

“Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall fool Satan by baptizing it and making it a truly Christian beverage.”

–Pope Clement VIII upon tasting coffee for the first time. I’m happy to say the Church has heeded his call.

Bad News: I live across the street from the best coffee shop in America [casual fri]


ultimo-coffee-cortadoBad news for my wallet, that is.

Yesterday Philly.com reported that food website The Daily Meal announced that they had found Ultimo Coffee to be the best coffee shop in the country.

(Annoyingly, you have to sit through their slideshow of the 32 runners-up before getting to  the Ultimo feature. So, in my opinion, you’re better off clicking the Philly.com article.)

Anyway, people that know me know that I’m kind of a coffee snob, and I can honestly say that I really do love Ultimo Coffee. I even giddily posted on this blog when I knew their second location, conveniently located across the street from my house, was about to open.

It’s an amazing shop with amazing people, atmosphere, and of course, coffee. I’m proud to be on a first name basis with most of the baristas and the owner (as well as secretly being the Foursquare mayor of that location). It’s certainly my favorite shop in the country. It’s great to see them rightfully being recognized.

If you live in Philly, I can’t encourage you enough to go to one of their two locations. If you’ve never had it before, I’d be more than happy to buy you your first cup. I’ve had the honor of doing so for many friends.

Go Philly coffee scene!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy (multi-header!) [casual fri]


This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Happy“. The prompt they have offered us is to make a collage of those things that make us happy. So…here’s mine. Click on any of the pictures to bring up the full-size gallery.

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Ultimo Coffee Graduate Hospital

Quote


Paul Burkhart:

I live across the street from this. I. Can. Not. Wait.

Originally posted on UltimoCoffee:

Over four years ago Elizabeth and Aaron Ultimo were laying plans to move from their beloved community in Arlington VA/Washington DC back to Philadelphia PA where Aaron had gone to college years before.  It was a move that was inspired by the idea of helping lead the coffee revival in that city.  As they poured over the different neighborhoods that inspired their curiosity  they settled on a few that sounded like they would be perfect for their plans.  One was the quickly growing neighborhood of Fishtown.  The other was equally rapidly developing Graduate Hospital.  After weighing the two very different neighborhoods and visiting both they fell in love with the charm and beauty of the latter.  However, upon moving to Philadelphia opportunity took them to a different neighborhood to which they became very attached.  Ultimo Coffee Newbold was born.  It was their baby, their firstborn and it flourished beyond expectations…

View original 280 more words

Awash | {story10}


This is an original fiction piece written for StoryADay September. Read more & follow here.
________________________________

The plates shift in the sink, startling her out of her daydream. Her thoughts had lingered away into thoughts of autumns gone by. She resumes her circular repetition, her hands enjoying the warmth of the water as a cold body enjoys the comfort of bed. The suds feel like velvet across her skin, and as she scratches an itch on her face, it leaves a little tuft of bubbles on her cheek. She feels the pops and tingles, causing her to leave them there for a moment longer than she normally would.

The tomato sauce wipes cleanly from the plate, making this an act of leisure and not a chore. The morning stresses of dressing kids follow the tomato sauce down the drain, leaving only a porcelain plate in porcelain hands. She imagines her heart as porcelain as well.

Porcelain? Yes. Broken? No.
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my coffee brewing is about to get real… [casual fri]


Friends know that I’m a coffee snob. Real coffee snobs know I’m only a wanna-be coffee snob. I myself know that the latter group is probably more right, but nevertheless, this doesn’t prevent from trying to edge ever closer to my dream of being a real coffee connoisseur.

To that end, I recently invested in the above materials, and I wanted to share them with you on this Casual Friday.

I love hand grinding the coffee beans each morning, and this particular cold brew method creates some of my favorite iced coffee around. Being able to weigh the beans has made a big difference as well. The only things missing? Well, a proper kettle like this one. Currently, I’m using our regular ol’ tea pot, which isn’t able to offer as much control as I’d like.

But maybe, someday, I can earn my coffee snob badge.

on Good Friday: “Coffee Crucifix” [a poem]


Coffee Crucifix

Crescent ring under porcelain smooth
___stain the wood-stained finish.
______(It is finished.)
___Marked with muddy water;
___mark the merry day; to
___marry the murdered man.

Floral notes in blackened waves
___crash the shore of trembled lips.
Choral bright, in darkest night,
___wake the tone of trebled kiss.

Younger tastes left open-wide; older eyes made
satisfied.

Mark the wood: complex simplicity.
Pierce my heart: storied infinity.

[read my other Holy Week poetry here]

all writings licensed: Creative Commons License

some gospel encouragement sitting in a coffee shop…


I’m sitting in this coffee shop, and across the room there’s this college-aged girl walking one of her friends (apparently from another country) through the story of the Bible and the gospel.

She seems like a pro. She’s teaching her friend the structure of the Bible, answering her questions, and having her read the Scripture. She’s talking about who wrote the different books and each of their stories. They’re even hanging out in the Old Testament a bunch.

She’s not over-anxious or pushy; she’s just hanging out. The friend seems engaged and they keep laughing, sharing stories, and engaging the Scriptures.

I can’t help but feel I’m watching the Kingdom of God breaking all the more into this world–the future flooding the present.
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This is why coffee-shops hate college students…


image I’m sitting in this coffee-shop, Lovers & Madmen (pictured above, on a previous day), doing paperwork. Here’s the scene:

There are these five college-aged girls that have walked in separately, all of whom know each other. They have come to study/write a paper for the same class, it seems. Their faces are currently buried in their respective laptops.

They have each taken up a table by themselves (one has taken residence at a four-person table). Two have have purchased nothing, one has brought in their own lunch (the shop tries to be very strict about their no outside food policy).

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Weekly Must-Reads {05.17.11} | politics & writing edition


This week’s weekly must-reads are focused on the pressing political matters of the day: Obama, Osama, the budget “crisis”, etc. I’ve thrown in some fun articles on writing at the end. And for my more “theologically-inclined” friends: don’t worry, I’ll throw you some stuff next week. But in the meantime, check these things out and let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

Running in the red: How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt | The Washington Post

As we hit the federal debt-ceiling this week, I wanted to send this article everyone’s way. It is such an enlightening read on how our economic surplus became our deficit–and it’s a reasoned, insightful, factual, calm, and immensely helpful article. (SPOILER ALERT: it was BOTH Bush and Obama’s faults, but mostly Bush’s).

News Desk: Don’t Release the Photos | The New Yorker

This article convinced me that Obama’s decision to not release the photos of dead bin Laden was the right call.

Jon Stewart wants release of bin Laden photos | Salon.com

This video changed my mind back to its opinion that Obama should release the photos of dead bin Laden.

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My February: Resolutions, Justice, Health, & Lent


This year has been an interesting year for my personal convictions.  Over winter break I read the amazingly helpful book Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices by Julie Clawson.  It goes through seven major and “mundane” parts of our lives and shows how there are major global inequities, amoralities, and injustices being perpetrated behind the scenes of all these spheres of living.  She explains, with both nuance and care, these issues and then offers super-practical, nitty-gritty suggestions for living life more justly in light of these things.

My New Year’s Resolution was to take one of her seven issues each month and try to incorporate a more just way of living into that.  The issues (in chapter order): Coffee, Chocolate, Cars/Oil consumption, Food, Clothing, Waste/Pollution, Global Debt.

January for me was officially Just Coffee Month.  Other than an Irish coffee I picked up at an Irish pub (which I couldn’t confirm its trade method),  I have not spent one cent on coffee that has not been ethically traded and certified as such.  Special thanks to my friends at Elixr Coffee (on Yelp), the new best coffee-shop in Philly, for offering amazing Direct Trade coffee choices (which is far more ethical than “Fair” Trade Coffee). Continue reading

A Coffee Gospel & the Beauty of Christ


mosaicThis is a snippet from an Easter Service by Erwin McManus of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles.  His coffee story pretty much sums up my life.  I love it.  The rest is a freebie.  Enjoy!

Let me know if the audio doesn’t work.  It’s about 9 minutes long, so if you have a few minutes to spare, take full advantage of it.

“Beauty: Easter Service” by Erwin McManus (click here for download)