Scenes from paradise

  • Hipster couple at Mediterranean restaurant at the table next to us gets their tea.  It is crushed fresh mint  leaves in hot water.  Man starts berating waiter.  “Where is the tea?  This is nothing but leaves!  There should be tea in here!  This is just leaves and hot water.”  The waiter apologizes and shows that the menu does describe the mint tea as being… fresh mint leaves in hot water.  But the waiter takes it back and the guy continues to grumble to his sympathetic companion about how he ordered mint tea but just got leaves in water and how can they charge $3 for that.  DH and I catch each other’s eyes and try really really hard not to bust out laughing.  We also fail to ask the guy just exactly what he thinks tea is made of, though we are both curious.  I bet this dude drives a bmw.
  • Yesterday DH heard banging while he was at work.  After it stopped he investigated and someone has put in a home-made wooden mailbox next to the park bench in the empty lot next to our house.  There’s also a bike with fruit in its basket and two cans of Campbell’s soup.
  • While DH is talking on the phone to his cousin, he looks out the front window and sees a police officer walking past carrying an orange rifle.  DH chooses not to investigate.
  • Outside the library three middle-aged women are discussing how there is now scientific evidence that consciousness is more than just biochemical reactions.
  • Update on the lot next door:  There is also now a lazyboy chair and a Christmas tree.  One of the oranges has moved to the top of the mailbox.
  • Update:  now apparently an entire living room/kitchen setup near the lazyboy and Christmas tree, including a tall lamp.  And a stone path to the brick pit he has set out as a firepit.
  • Update:  He spends the weekend removing ground cover with a spade.  He brushes his teeth.
  • Update:  It rained.
  • Update:  All the stuff from the empty lot is gone.  Including the mailbox.  All that is left is a burnt area where the firepit used to be.
  • Coda:  The parks and recreation department sent 5 people over to clean up the area and to cover all the bad bits with mulch.  It took several hours, though they did trim trees etc. too.


28 Responses to “Scenes from paradise”

  1. monsterzero Says:

    Don’t be silly; tea is made from tea grounds which, like everything else, are made in a factory in China.

    I have discovered a truly remarkable proof that consciousness is in fact *less* than just biochemical reactions which this comment is too small to contain.

  2. Linda Says:

    Last week at knitting group I was drinking from a small pot of herbal tea. The guy sitting next to me asked what kind of tea it was, so I told him (holy basil and some other herbs…I don’t remember all of them). Here’s what happened next.
    Guy: Oh, it’s an infusion.
    Guy: Do you know the difference between a tea and an infusion?
    Me: I guess not. Do you want to tell me?
    Guy: Tea always has tea leaves in it. If there are no tea leaves and just herbs than it’s an infusion.
    Me: OK.
    Me: Actually, this was listed as a “Botantical” on their menu and not a tea.
    Guy: *rolls eyes* Well, I guess they’re being hip.
    Me (silently in my head): HA, HA, HA, HA! Ya gotta love Paradise!

    [Actually, the people in my knitting group usually aren’t hipsters. They’re working people that support the hipsters in one way or another because they’re wait staff, clerks in winery offices, etc. But I guess that stuff rubs off on one over time…]

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ha! Yes, I’m sure this guy at the restaurant was thinking he hadn’t ordered an “infusion”. (Has nobody heard of “herbal tea”? Or maybe that’s too steeped in female history for guys to use. Or maybe that’s a big distinction at whatever food place your knitting guy works at.)

      • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

        A lot of people make the distinction between a “tea” (infusion of Camellia sinensis) and a “tisane” (infusion of other plants). Some even make the distinction between a “tea” (only Camellia sinensis) and “flavored tea” (mixture of Camellia sinensis and other herbs or flavoring agents—like Earl Grey, which also contains bergamot essence). “Herb tea” is ambiguous about whether or not it should contain Camellia sinensis, so some people avoid the term.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        You know, Santa Cruz is not all that far away from Napa…

    • monsterzero Says:

      When I’m someplace that offers herbal tea, I disambiguate by asking for “black tea”. I am seriously PO’d when a place that offers “tea” does not carry any kind of black tea. Which is not unheard of in the Bay Area.

  3. moom Says:

    Mint tea as drunken in North Africa and the Middle East is both tea and mint leaves…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Sure, but it is still *leaves and water*. And this guy didn’t seem to be from North Africa or the Middle East, but from Paradise itself, where there is a lot of opportunity to learn about herbal tea. (Also, the menu was pretty clear that it’s fresh mint leaves in hot water.)

  4. chacha1 Says:

    The vacant lot story fascinates me. Any idea wtf was actually going on?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have two theories:
      1. Hipster doing “art” (and saving on massively expensive rents)
      2. Crazy guy squatting

      But no, we don’t know what was actually going on. I kind of wonder if I asked on MMM’s forum if someone would be like, oh yeah, that’s totally me. But really, not cool. This area is heavily trafficked by little kids (there’s a playground across the street and it’s a school route for at least 4 different K-12 schools) and it’s just creepy having a guy *there* who doesn’t own the property but is acting like he does.

      • chacha1 Says:

        Maybe it was a civil disobedience project aimed at getting the city to clean up the lot. :-) If so: mischief managed.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        The lot was lovely with ground cover until he started destroying it with fire and a spade in order to put his crap in.

      • fizzchick Says:

        Fascinating. When you first said homemade wooden mailbox, I was thinking someone was going to put in a sneaky Little Free Library. But the rest of it is beyond odd.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        There’s an adorable little free library around the corner already on someone’s front lawn on a corner lot. It is usually full of recent best-sellers.

        But yeah, that would have been a first thought here as well. But no, it was a fake mailbox (since there was no way to actually open it). With the “street number” painted on the side.

      • chacha1 Says:

        Okay so he was definitely a creep/squatter. I’m sure the city will be keeping an eye on it now though.

  5. jjiraffe Says:

    The empty lot stuff sounds like something that would happen on Parks and Rec.

  6. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Waiting for CPP to visit and say something pedantic about tea (as our only other occasional male commenter). This *must* be a gender thing.

  7. crazy grad mama Says:

    Are orange rifles a normal police accouterment in Paradise?

  8. Revanche Says:

    “I bet this dude drives a bmw.”

    This is the sort of assumption contamination I want to avoid by NOT driving a BMW or similar. PiC was looking at old ones because a friend specializes in them and so would provide us with great advice and discounted maintenance but we can’t shake the feeling that we’d get lumped in with the obnoxious drivers of shiny BMWs. We have so many of them hereabouts.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t know what it is about bmw drivers. I don’t have the same experiences with lexus or mercedes or tesla etc. It is specifically bmw.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      (but really, you drive what you want! maybe you can counteract that stereotype by owning a bmw and *not* being a douche!)

      • AccountantByDay Says:

        Heh, I have a friend who owned a BMW and was not a douche, but she realized she didn’t want to pay $100 for an oil change and other expensive maintenance (the BMW was a college graduation gift from grandma or something) so she sold it and got a Kia which she loves. Which probably just proves the tale.

        Then again, my aunt also has one I think, and I wouldn’t call her a douche. She did used to own Mercedes (“Mercs”) for forever, and was surprised to find herself liking a BMW at age 65 or whenever she switched.

  9. AccountantByDay Says:

    But boy, the ones who are douches outweigh the good ones. I had a client once who explained when he wants to get women, he just goes into the bar and throws his car keys down for them all to see (with the BMW logo.) I went to that client with a horrible first-year staff who was also into BMW’s, so had bought the cheapest, oldest one he could find, since he didn’t have the funds for it. And that client was like “I bet you have [insert model] right?” (he was right) “That’s the GIRL model.” The younger guy was crushed. But still a douche.

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