Sacramento, California is not a bad place. It just isn’t mine. I lived here for over six years. And it never did feel like home. Santa Cruz wasn’t home, West Los Angeles wasn’t home, the DC Metro Area wasn’t home, Brooklyn wasn’t home. I had different reasons for not being wholly, roundly happy in any of them. But wonderful things and magnificent people abound in all of them.
So I’m in my mom’s house and I need coffee. She’s a tea drinker. (Incidentally, she gets her imported Welsh tea from the Tea Cozy, a little independent, local shop near her house. Strongest bagged tea I’ve had.) I was driving around picking up take out Mexican and I drove past Insight Roasters and stopped.
I usually ask the people who work at a place to recommend to me what I should try first, especially if they aren’t busy at the time. It was evening, and chill. Nice space, airy and light. Sacramento has cheaper rents than the Bay Area, so rooms are bigger here. It feels less claustrophobic than any other place I’ve lived. (I told Shadow Fairy I thought my apartment was 300 square feet and she was appalled. I didn’t tell her she’d be appalled with the rents in Southern California should she get down there.)
I was recommended the Guatemalan by the very nice man pulling shots behind the counter (barista still feels like a stupid thing to call a coffeeshop gentleman or lady), but they were out, so I got twelve ounces of the Brazil. Fifteen dollars, which isn’t cheap, but that’s probably what an independent roaster has to charge to make a profit. Beans aren’t cheap, equipment, et cetera. And it’s not like Peet’s charges that much less. Plus you get a free shot of espresso with every bag of beans. Nice.
The coffee itself was one of the smoothest brews I have tasted in memory. It is chocolaty, sweet and complex–without any sugar or milk in it. These are the beans talking. They aren’t greasy or very dark, which is usually what I reach for, but that’s fine; they’re mellow, full, rich, and deep.
I went back and am on the Guatemalan now. I prefer the Brazil, but the Guatemalan is nice, too. It’s heartier, with more of an acrid finish. My next bag is the Sumantra. Haven’t opened it yet.
I grew up on Peet’s coffee, so I’m used to a really dark cup, and Insight satisfies that. It’s really full coffee–don’t let the sweetness in the description or the review throw you off. I’m sure they have a coffee that hits a more bitter note if that’s how you roll. (I don’t care for Starbucks, myself. Tastes acrid-bitter-burnt and bites on the top of the back of the throat.)
They also sell unroasted beans. I have wanted for years to roast my own coffee beans at home. I haven’t, but I want to. You can do it using a popcorn popper, or a heat gun, or a skillet, or a wok, or a cookie sheet in the oven. Anyways. I don’t need another expensive, time-consuming hobby. I probably won’t make better coffee, and it really isn’t that much cheaper when you consider how much time I’m spending cooking it and storing it and shipping beans to my house. But a girl can dream.
Anyways: this is damn good coffee. Highly recommended. When you’re here and I’m here we’ll go here and get a cup.
I’d like to buy the world some coke. But that’s not legal or practical, so instead, I’ll write another mailbag that will hopefully clean out your mind a little from the last one. Say, that’s an idea for killing nose goblins! Start doing powder cocaine. It’s almost too easy! Unless you don’t like the Champagne of Drugs®, which some of us don’t. It just makes me twitchy and paranoid and want more in two minutes. Really not a good time. I don’t recommend it, but I don’t like uppers at all. Except caffeine, and only in small doses. Anyone who’s eaten a box of No-Doz will tell you that is one of the worst ideas in the world. Sick as a motherfucking dog. You will vomit, I promise you, and when you aren’t vomiting, you will have the dry heaves. Don’t fucking do it. Shadow Fairy will back me on this–she chased hers with two pots of coffee. Oh, the things you’ll do when the town is dry.
What the…oh yeah! Mail call!
Dear Occipital Hazard,
I like my meat wild! Got any ideas for freaky bacon?
Dear Carny Fetish,
Well, there’s been quite a lot of viral buzz lately for this stuff that will make you smell of bacon. So if you’re looking to attract people with high cholesterol to get down with, maybe this is the product for you. There is much talk of the bacon personal lubricant. I cannot find this product for sale. I can find a video of the people who make Bacon Salt, bacon lip balm, bacon flavored envelopes, and Baconnaise (among other fascinating products), and who proposed the production of this product, taste testing the sample of it in their warehouse two years ago. I can’t find where to buy this product online. You might want to contact the company and ask. (I actually just did! We’ll see what happens. I’ll get back to you. Oh, the service I do for you all.)
Remember my acne-dairy research? So I’ve been mostly off the dairy for the better part of two months. I guess a month and a half. I have lapses. And it took awhile to give up ghee. Delicious ghee. I’ve been using coconut milk and coconut fat instead of milk and butter in my cooking, and not only does it work really well, it tastes incredible. My butternut squash soup, which I still haven’t given you the recipe for, and I’m sorry for that, but that’s just how it’s gonna be for now, was vegan and fucking off the hook.
It is so hard to turn down the girls at work when they go to the frozen yogurt place down the street, though. (Shit so delicious. Not feces, froyo. Froyo is so delicious. Or do you call it frogurt? How do you choose to sound like an asshole today?) I still so crave the dairy. I still want it to be a part of my world.
But I’ve also been using better products for my skin, and the esthetician cleaned me out (both my pores and my pocketbook), and I’ve been drinking more water, and I’ve been trying not to touch my face, and I’ve been not picking as much. So I wasn’t convinced that my skin wasn’t just clearer because of all the other changes that were happening.
I’m pretty sure the dairy does make a difference, after what I ate yesterday and what I woke up to on my face today. Like Christmas morning, if by “Christmas” you mean “the day you got pooed on by a seagull, but at least no one saw and you were on your way to the car anyways to go home.”
Don’t look at the bottom of this post if you don’t want to see it. I’ll try to make it long enough so you can jump out of the RSS reader now if you don’t want to see something kind of ill. I’ll put enough text so it’ll be below the fold on your screen. I’ll put it under a jump now in the regular post, with the story, so you are completely free of gnarls.
The other day I went to the dermatologist. The fancy one, where they offer you tea and cocoa and shit (figuratively, I mean–they don’t offer you a turd) when you come in, and where they do have, no lying, a Botox and Restylane rewards program. I sat and I talked with a very nice esthetician who had very nice skin. A couple of leftover pitted acne scars, but that only let me know that she had felt my pain. She didn’t have any active blemishes that I could see, not even well-camouflaged with makeup. Not like my fucking face, which has looked awful lately. Children turn away into their mothers’ arms as I walk by. I am not an animal, I am a human being!
We talked about my options and set up a treatment plan. I got a file started. And I learned that there is a lot of hope for me with minimally invasive procedures. Chemical peels can do a lot to take out the scarring. “To change the texture and hyperpigmentation of your skin,” she said. I thought they’d have to sand the shit down so I won’t look like the love child of a pizza pie and the moon. I bought new products. We’re set to start sloughing the nastiness off my face in January, including pulling the blackheads out, and using chemicals to kill off the bacteria and burn off more skin in February. I saw pictures of people who’d had series of peels. They looked so much better. I got hope.
I’ve been eating kitchari all week. Kitchari and sweets. See, it’s the week after Halloween, and I did end up going to someone’s house for a Halloween party. As I was leaving, they ended up dumping all their leftover candy on me. It was heavy on these nasty, white-chocolate-dyed-orange KitKats. I should bring these to work, I thought. I’ll never eat these nasty pieces of shit. Look at them! See how disgusting they are?
It looks gross. It tastes grody. I don’t care for white chocolate at all. Orange chocolate, even less. I think it tastes like candle wax, and not in a good way. And I think they’re highly addictive. I eat one and then eat another. I ate five in a row, and didn’t enjoy them at all.
Eating candy at the same time has meant the kitchari hasn’t really been cleansing me that efficiently. I haven’t been making big poos at all. Well, no, that’s not true. They’re clean and big, but they’re not the kitchari poos I expected. I’m not pooing from the top of my head, as it were.
So many of my restaurant review posts start the same way. After yoga, Sparrow turns to me and says, “X,” and I say, “Let’s go.” This time, it was just before class, and she said something about pizza. I was down. It was a place called Rotten City, in Emeryville, which used to be called the Rotten City. After class Kea (Sparrow’s dutiful and also hungry husband) called the place and ordered two pies: one for them and one for me. The pie was the Salumi, which is a daily special. It’s a basic pie with a salumi (salami) that changes daily. I can’t remember what this one was, but it was fucking delicious. It also had lumps of Gorgonzola on it–tasty.