Lunchtime at Snoopy Cafe

IMG_3943

A new cafe is opened in Avonlea. “Snoopy Cafe” is the name of the venue selected by Ms. Katherine Cookson, the propriteriotess of great culinary skills and business acumen originally from Dublin, Ireland. Before opening up Snoopy Cafe, Ms. Cookson used to work as a head manageress at a popular pub called, “Irish Spring” in New York City for thirty good years. With her lifetime saving and investment from stocks she has sagaciously sold when the market trend was very favorable to her, Ms. Cookson was able to start her own business in her own accord. And voila! Since the opening of the cafe two weeks ago, it has been bustling with virtually all the residents of the town as well as customers from the neighboring cities who have become her regular customers hooked on her savory food made on premises on a daily basis served at affordable prices ranging from $6.50 to $20.00 for lunch and dinner menus.

IMG_3954

The cafe is needless to say what a cafe should be like in terms of the quality of food it serves to customers at prices that do not break their banks and its atmosphere; i.e., whether it has a pleasant, comfy ambience that attracts both  sensitive souls who delve into reading and writing with coffee or tea and gregarious spirits who like to confabulate with their ilks or friends on things interesting to them.  That is to say, Snoopy Cafe can become your elbow room during lunchtime out of the stuffy offices to refresh your minds or at dinnertime when you want to stop by to compose your stress-overwhelmed spirits, or to meet with your select few to get together.

IMG_3946

Sally has become one of the regular customers of Snoopy Cafe since the last Monday lunchtime when she accidently found out the existence of this new cafe; actually she had heard about it through the grapevine at the office, but never bothered to try it on her own because being painfully shy and a habit of creature, she had no auspicious audacity to go there by herself and check it out. Then – maybe it’s because of the beautiful weather or her acquisition of a new ipad her aunt Mary had bought for her that emboldened her caged spirit- at one Monday lunchtime, Sally finally recognized the store sign of the cafe while waiting for a green light to cross the street. “So there is that popular cafe… Maybe I can try it today.” So the history of her elbow room has begun.

IMG_3956Aura Magoo whose husband owns and operates a seven-eleven type of convenient store nearby stops by at the cafe with her new friend Bonnie Poodle, who is opening a new French bistro at the end of the month with the trust fund bequeathed to her by her deceased paternal grandmother in France.So Bonnie wants to share her excitement for her impending new entrepreneurship for the first time. Aura, the prettiest lady in the town, is in fact secretly jealousy of Bonnie’s financial and social independence as a single woman because she has to rely on her husband’s (named Zeus) monthly allowances to her for tending household and other expenses.  Of course, she would not manifest her true feelings on the outside because she accepts it as a fact of life which she has to bear  with smile, now that she has married with three children named “Apollo, Artemis “Mina”, and Hercules “Herk.” All this complex of emotions and feelings while having a bowl of veggie salad and listening to Bonni’s rhapsodizing about her imminent business enterprise is on the brink of manifestation on Aura’s pretty face, but she manages to quell it by forcing herself to turn to the delicacy of the salad with a cup of red tea, her favorite cup of tea.

IMG_3957Mary is taking a repose from her popcorn operation, opting for a Lunchtime Pick-Me-Up Sundae at the prices of $3.00 as a lunch special, instead of a meal set. Mary has a sweet teeth and loves to appreciate quality sweets regardless of calories, for calculation of calories at every eating time is thought ridiculously fastidious to her. After all, every edible element has calories, and just because you live on greens or proteins, it does not guarantee you optimal health, let alone svelte body. As one of the ancient epithets inscribed on the wall of the Oracle of Delphi, “Nothing in Excess” should be Rosetta Key to healthy body, beautiful body, and sound mind. In other words, if you do everything you do in moderation, you will never be led astray.

IMG_3958While having her afternoon pick-me-up, Mary is joined by Brenda Beaver, wife of Randy Beaver, who has just lost a job as a head mechanic at “Troika Auto Body Shop” in the city as the shop went bankrupt three months ago. Thanks to his long years with the shop over ten years, Randy has been receiving his unemployment benefits that go straight to this household which has also been supported by Brenda’s income earned from her cleaning service on request. Randy has been thinking about his and his family’s future seriously but doesn’t let it shown lest he should lose confidence and hope. But his wife Brenda knows it all and understands his pathos, so she acts like she does not know any trouble in the world to keep up with Randy’s confidence as well as hers, for they have Betty and Billy, their apples of the eyes. Since Mary knows Brenda’s present family circumstances, she treats her with a swell luch of homemade-style spaghetti, one of many Mrs. Cook’s signature dishes.

IMG_3962

Snoopy Cafe  latently serves as an agit in which you can read and write however long you may like without ordering any more than what you want – say, a cup of black coffee or tea only – amid Baroque or Classical music or Pop-Classic music, such as any piano pieces of much written and played by Richard  Clayderman. Viewed in this light, Snoopy Cafe is meant to be a niche for any timid soul wandering desperately to rest the weary soul with good lite food just to refresh the soul for the other half of the day to make it a grand finale. Moreover, there are no vagrants importuning to patrons of the cafe, menacing money  with offish attitudes in uncivilized manners, for even though tramps are not to be despised, neither are their present abject conditions, such depravity does not/should not confer on them right of rudeness, incivility, and solicitation without a sense of civil obedience and societal codes of conducts that are essential to be citizens with money or not, all of which is overlooked for the sake of liberal/libertine ideology that gives no regard for societal values so crucial to the communal life. And all of the customers of the cafe want to keep their new elbow rooms untainted by such political ideology that does not care for the importance of civility in the name of equality.

img-thing

 

저장

Episode VII – Saturday Morning Serendipity at Bonjour Cake Shop

IMG_3843One Saturday morning, Mathilda Bear, who currently works at Bauer Daycare run by Hannah Bauer, stops by at Bonjour Cake Shop to reward herself with a cup of freshly brewed hot French Vanilla coffee with cream and two cubes of sugar and a piece of Ispahan cake that captivates her dormant testing bud and elevates her withered spirit with wonderful rose cream. It’s her weekly treat as a sweet reward for her hard work as a daycare teacher.

IMG_3895

Since it’s Saturday, the proprietress of the cake shop, Laura Collie, is at home with her family, attending to keeping the household neat and tidy, doing laundry,  preparing for special Saturday menu for her family, and probably taking a promenade with her friends late in the afternoon. So Laura has hired Bonnie Poodle, originally from Paris with her two baby twins, named Nena and Neno, both of whom are one-year old with Nena being five minutes older than her brother. The Poodles lost their parents two years ago by a tragic car accident in Paris. Since the death of their parents, the Collies being distant relatives by their mother’s side have invited the Poodles to live in Avonlea to help start new life in a different land under their aegis.

IMG_3845

“Good morning,” greets Mathilda first when she comes into the cake shop. “Bonjour!” is the French reply from Bonnie, who despite the fact that she’s a good English/French bilingual, oftentimes tends to reply in French because her brain’s language facility has already been cemented in her first language. It is said that you can have native-level fluency in acquisition of a foreign language if you learn it before the age of fourteen. Anyhow, Bonnie is getting well adjusted to her new life in Avonlea and likes her new job as a cashier/attendant at her aunt’s cake shop. She likes to talk with her customers with a pretty smile on her face, and always works hard even during a period of lull in the store hours because the word procrastination does not exist in her disposition as it is a hereditary trait in her family.

IMG_3844

“May I have a medium hot French Vanilla coffee with milk and two cubes of sugar?” Mathilda orders with her eyes gravitated toward the delicious-looking donuts by the counter. ‘”Anything else, miss?” Bonnie asks with a sweet smile. “Hmm, I can’t decide which one I should have because all looks so very scrumptious. I am wrestling with temptation of getting both donuts and cakes. But I can only take one because I have to watch out my figure. What do you recommend, miss?” “Then I’d like to recommend you our Ispahan, a rose-cream filled cake made by our fine patissier Laura, who is also my aunt.” “Oh, is Laura your aunt? Well, nice to meet you! What’s your name?” “I am Bonnie Poodle, and Laura is a distant cousin of my mother from France.” “Oh, I see. Bonnie is a pretty name for a pretty girl! I am Mathilda Bear. I work at Bauer Daycare. I am a regular customer of your establishment. I love coming here after hard days of a working week. I will have an Ispahan, which is actually one of  my favorite delicacies in the world.”

IMG_3823Bonnie thinks Mathilda a bit loquacious but pleasant and affable. Besides, the fact that Mathilda works at a daycare school provides her with a sense of relief that she can take her two baby twins  in the care of Matilda when she’s at work without having to take Nena and Neno to her Laura, whom Bonnie wants to alleviate from loads of responsibilities, so that she can enjoy her own private time with her own friends. So she writes down the address of Bauer Daycare School to check it out on Monday morning when she’s off from work. If all goes well, Bonnie wants to learn a new trade that can help her start a new business of her own in future. What trade it will be, Bonnie will do it just fine.

0682e26f337825b366e8e3e3e0003ad1--folk-disc-golf

The Avonlea Story – Fruits, Cakes, and Popcorn

IMG_3913

Uncle Willie has recently started his private enterprise of selling organic fruits from his at affordable prices in the town of Avonlea. A proud proprietor of his new business venture, Willie’s business prospect is full of auspicious anticipations of making high profit; his business motto is “Honesty makes best policy,” which is a quotation from Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. Also, Uncle Willie has adopted a business principle of Sam Walton, the founder of “Walmart” who became a business tycoon by means of a mass sale at everyday low prices. But above all this business blueprint for his new enterprise of fruit wagon, Wille’s goodness of heart and simplicity of character, not to speak of his freshy organic fruits picked up from his farm in Green Gable, is the mainstay of his economic and social activities. With his innate diligence, the fruit wagon opens from 8:00 am to 7:00 PM, Mondays to Saturdays at 113 Kingsbridge Street nearby Elysian Park. The fruits are so fresh and scrumptious that you will always come back for more.

IMG_3875

The news that his fruits being tested like Ambrosia of Mount Olympus traveled fast all over the town. It’s the case of great power of the grape vine, especially when it is stirred up by women. Brenda Beaver took her daughter Betty last Monday to Uncle Willie’s fruit wagon to to see if she could be a regular customer of his establishment because Betty’s priority was to take utmost care of the health of her family. And Voila! It’s no surprise to see Betty enthralled by the pretty sight of her favorite fruits that looked all lovely to her beady eyes: Grapes, Bananas, Apples, Melons, and so forth… Betty wanted all, but in accordance with her family motto of “Moderation is a Virtue,” she ended up choosing a melon, a bundle of bananas, and an orange.  Her mother Brenda encountered Laura Collie, the co-owner of the “Bonjour Cake Shop” with her husband Paul Collie in the town, who also came to check the new wagon establishment. Of course, the housewives of Avonlea raved about the freshness and affordability of Uncle Willie’s organic fruits, which meant that his business success was a foregone conclusion.

IMG_3892The “Bonjour Cake Shop”is also a new enterprise in Avonlea; Operated by Paul and Laura Collie originally from Scotland, the cake shop has also been busy with newly acquainted customers in the town who come back to taste the homemade cakes for all occasions. The cakes are all made by Laura, who is no only a fine seamstress but also a lovely patissier who learned the art of cakes by working at the famed Patisserie Valerie in London in her maidenhood. In fact, making cakes and cookies has been Laura’s true passion because that’s what she really likes; however, she first had to deprecate her love of making cakes to support her family along with her husband Paul in a new land by working as a highly skilled seamstress. So when she and Paul (who was employed as an assistant manager at a supermarket) saved enough funds to start their own private business, they chose to open a cake shop without hesitation. Surely, Laura’s spirit was elevated when she and Paul signed the contract for the shop at a real estate agent’s office a month ago.

IMG_3904Laura’s cakes are of supreme quality, second to none in comparison with the cakes of  Patisserie Valerie or Laduree or Pierre Herme because first of all, the cakes are all made fresh by Laura herself whose culinary skills are divine. Besides, she makes all her cakes with utmost care for authentic pleasure that can make her customers truly happy when they taste her cakes. In fact, it’s not merely a kind of eatery but a creation of art that provides people with genuine pleasure of life. Viktor E. Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy attests to this principle by telling us that a moment of pleasure, such as from listening to our favorite piece of music, doing things we enjoy, or appreciating a pleasurable sensation therefrom, can equal to a meaning of happiness, which is not at all a grand abstract idea. In like manner, Laura’s homemade cakes can be a good source of happiness to her customers regardless of who they are.

 

Sally’s sundry wagon is also newly launched; it has popcorn cooked on premise according to her aunt Mary’s family recipes from England passed down from generations. Topped with butter and salt per request, Sally’s Popcorn cups are sold like hot cakes at $1.50 for each. In addition, she also sells candies and cold beverages, all less than $2.00 per each. She likes to talk with her customers when her spirits feels jovial and delightful. Judging her as a moody person is injustice to her true character, however. Sally is something of an artist who wants to dabble many things that she has in mind to express herself against self-doubt and obscurity. She’s well-read, compassionate, and creative. But she does not suffer the fool, the uncouth, and the uncivil gladly. After all, she is just very honest about her feelings and acts upon her principles, for how can one always smile and be pleasant like a robot? Hasn’t anybody heard that a psychopath can be extremely pleasant?

So the new enterprises by enterprising spirits are well established now. They might look a bit anachronistic for the modern time and incongruent to today’s business trend as regards to the business principles set by the owners as aforesaid. But nothing is insignificant or less meaningful in the sense of size or value than any of their contemporary competitors in other places. However simplistic their business ventures may seem, what’s important is their dedication to their work and care for the people they serve, which has become a rarity in our today’s society.

0682e26f337825b366e8e3e3e0003ad1--folk-disc-golf

저장

저장

Episode VI – Welcoming Uncle Willie in Avonlea

IMG_3774
Sally Lamb of The Calico Times

When Sally Lamb, a resident reporter of the town’s one and only newspaper “The Calico Times” heard the news from Mr. Randy Beaver, an able-bodied mechanic who also functions as a town’s great plumber, that his distant maternal uncle named Mr. William Rustis had arrived in the town a week ago, her journalistic instinct prompted her to meet him in person. Besides, there had been no newcomer to this small town where urbanity meets rurality, teeming with a peculiar charm of fairy-tale like atmosphere created by the affably plumb and flurry appearances of the residents.

IMG_3849
Sally gives a ride

So she drove to Dryad Park, where Mr. Rustis was reported to be seen with his camping belonging days and nights. When Sally got to the entrance of the park, she could see who Mr. Rustis was without a ray of doubt; a big sombrero, an orange-colored scarf tied in the fashion of a boy scout, a large and hefty frame, most of which was dominated by his wide waist circumference, and most of all, a striking grinning that was instantly recognizable of him even in a far distance. There he was, her Interviewee Of The Day.

 

IMG_3837
Mr. William “Willie” Rustis

“H~~~~i, There ! I’m here!” was the exultant voice of Mr. Rustis with a Great Grinning. Sally, being always shy in public but bold in pen, was embarrassed by such an exuberant welcoming, when she would be the one who would welcome her interviewee to make him feel comfortable to have a good, productive interview result. ‘Thank God’, Sally thought to herself while scurrying toward the Man with Great Grinning by the fountain, the interview site. “There are just a few people in the park now. Is he a sane man as Mr. Beaver said of his uncle?… What if he dos not talk sense?… What if he bursts out a sudden fit of tantrum?… A man with such a seemingly perpetual grinning on his face will never be a sane man after all. I’d better finish this interview as quickly as possible.” So much mental ado was straining Sally’s sophisticated inner world as she was approaching closer to her subject.

IMG_3836
Always Affable Uncle Willie

“You must be Ms. Sally Lamb! I am Willie Rustis, Randy Weaver’s old uncle. He told me many good things about you! Boy, aren’t you a lovely darling? You must have may boys and men who orbit around you. Don’t you? Ha! Ha! Ha! I’m darn glad to be interviewed by a lovely lass today! Randy didn’t tell me that you were! He just told me that you’re a good writer of a newspaper. By the way, what’s the name of your newspaper?” Sally was both stunned by his extravagant greeting, which was actually quite pleasing and flattering because she was renowned for her somewhat austere tendency toward strangers and people whom she regarded mentally benighted, especially men. Besides, she did not think herself as the “It” girl. “How do you do, Mr. Rustis. I work for “The Calico Times, the one and only newspaper of Sylvania.” Shall we begin?” “Oh, well! Sure! But please call me Willie. Being called Mr. Rustis makes me feel like I am senile! I am and always will be Willie! Ha! Ha! Ha!,” was the beginning of the day’s interview. And lo, it was a productive, intriguing interview as set forth in the following narrative of Mr. Rustis:

IMG_3839
Willie reading the newspaper

Well, it’s been— I don’t know the exact numbers of days I have been spending so far in this new place, but it almost feels like a week or so. I could have gone to Randy’s as he himself and his lovely wife Brenda insisted – and they still insist! – and stay there until now, but I opted out for living here in the nature because I want to know more about this new place and feel the atmosphere myself in the most natural way, uninhibited by any superficial ways that creature comforts usually afford. Not that it’s bad, but that’s not my way of knowing a certain new thing. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a soldier too long, but I guess it’s in my nature. And in terms of the residents of this town, it’s hard for me to appraise their characters, tendencies, personalities, and so forth at this time. And people are people. As long as humanity exists, as it did thousands years ago, and it has been in existent thus far, there’s on one either extremely evil or angelically good.

IMG_3856
Willie’s books and map

I must say, it’s a life of pioneer in the West at this juncture. Thanks to the generosity of the park administration, I can stay here as long as I don’t cause fire and keep the place clean. Although I don’t have a tent, I have a good old army sleeping bag that I still keep from the Glory Days of The Cavalry, some food provided by good Randy and his lovely wife Brenda on a weekly basis, a radio, and books! I am a librophile, a term I coined to mean a book lover. I love reading nonfiction on the subjects of ancient history, mythology, and the Classics. Right now, I am reading Plutarch’s Lives, which is just wonderful to read! You know that Plutarch himself was Greek, but could understand the Latin language, although not to the apotheosis of lingual perfection, and could write about all those great ancient figures of the time immemorial!

IMG_3858
Uncle Willie talking

In fact, I am talking in terms of Logotheraphy, the third Viennese School of Psychoanalysis found by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl. Yes, I read his book Man’s Search for Meaning. I know it inside and outside. Well, do I? But once in a while, you need to keep yourself detached from the crowd to ponder about what you have seen in Reality that shapes your mind in the way you perceive the swing of things in the world in your own way, all in order to establish your own Reality. Well, right now I am having the moment, a moment of laughing about my anxieties and anguish about myself and future. And this won’t last long, for in fact, next week Randy will help me set up some small business to start. And going from there, I will see if I can move onto the next big thing, another new step to climb up my Alpine Path, so steep but so worthwhile.

phoo
Sally writing at the end of the day

It was indeed a stellar Interview of The Day. What began with Sally’s uneasiness with her unknown subject ended on a high note -with a kindred spirit. Willie was an embodiment of living Logotheraphy, a human endeavor to live in quest for meaning of life. Also, Willie was something of an intellectual, a man who practiced what he preached like George Orwell, one of the favorite writers Sally admires all the time. With her Traveler’s Notebook full of wonderful accounts of the interview, Sally drove back to her home to type them, to publish urbi and orbi about a man extraordinary in thinking but ordinary in acting, that is, Willie and his Weltanschaung – the view of the world.

 

 

On Keeping a Diary and My Midori Traveler’s Notebook

cropped-img_3705.jpg
My Beloved Midori Traveler’s Notebook

Keeping a diary is, I believe, a vehicle for creating myself, my sense of selfhood. Every page of my dairy is to be breathed with my heart that does not have to entertain anybody but myself.  It’s also proof that I have lived situations which today would seem uncertain and fretful, that I have climbed up the paths of my life thus far to reach the peaks so ambitious, so adventurous. Above all, I want to bring out every treasure that is buried deep in my heart. So writing day in and day out in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook is my daily ritual to remember what it is to be me, which is always the whole point of doing it.

IMG_3757
My Doodling Notebook

I carry my Midori around with me everywhere I go to write my journal, excerpts and reading pointers from books I read, ideas about my Weblog, and some occasionally attempted drawings for practice. There are three notebooks: One is used categorically for my freedom of thoughts, feelings, and just about anything that is to be kept only for myself. It’s not to be shared by anyone, so my soul can rest herself there. Another one is for notes I take from reading that I need to refer to when I write book reviews. And the last one is reserved for jotting down anything out of brainstorm, from devising storyboards for my short stories, to scratching some images of my poems, to making bullet lists to do, and to practicing my newly inspired drawings for more balanced nourishment of my soul. Most of the times – that is 5 days a week – before heading into my job, I usually go to a coffee shop and write in my beloved Midori. It is during this writing time when I feel creative and special out of the melee, out of the existential horrors of every day, and out of the humdrum of daily life.

IMG_3753
My Reading Notebook

I love combining drawings and a variety of crafting to my writing to heighten the expressions of feelings and deepen the depths of thoughts in the way I want them to. The only obstacle I have to huddle is drawing. As someone whose aesthetic standard is as high as that of Pope Julius II, who commissioned Michelangelo to fresco the Sistine Chapel,  I only wish I could draw things I see to its exactness with fine details. But then I always remind myself of the adage: “A flower does not compare itself to other flowers. It just blooms.”

IMG_3759
My storyboard for the Avonlea Story

Therefore, keeping a diary is a veritable record of myself, a personal treaties on the breadth and depth of being who I really am. It sounds grandiose, but writing in my Midori gives rise to the elevation of my weltanschauung in reflection of contextualizing concepts and beliefs kept in me and also helps me unearth hidden treasure in the realm of unconscious mind. And by creating a kind of work relating to the crafts of the arts, I like to think that I am fulfilling my purpose of life to live a meaningful life, for the sake of ego qua meaningfulness. That said, I like to cherish Kurt Vonnegut’s advice that the arts are what makes the human life bearable and livable in dealing with existential matters of daily lives, for practicing any form of the arts – however clumsily or amateurishly done –  is a noble means to make my soul grow.

 

Some of the pictures I took for drafting episodes of The Avonlea Story