Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Naming Moment

Today I took a big step in exploring Russian Caravan-type teas. It begins with Samovar from American Tea Room. (If for no other reason, I encourage you to click on that link and at least read the description, which is rather humorous and spot-on!) When I opened the package, I was hit with a wall of campfire smoke. Memories of snuggling down into my sleeping bag on a camping trip and smelling the lingering campfire smoke embedded in my sweatshirt came flying from the farthest corners of my mind. I was a bit nervous to take the next step of actually brewing it, but I reminded myself this was how it was with my green tea exploration. There were obstacles and prejudices to overcome, and I am up for the challenge.

The steeped tea didn't lose any of the camp fire-y-ness, so it took a bit of will to try that first sip...  Strong, woodsy, SMOKY. American Tea Room touts this tea as one of its boldest and even calls it "polarizing." Either you love it or hate it. I agree, there is not any room in between.

I took my cup into my office to begin my work day, and when Gene stopped in to say goodbye for the morning, he said my office smelled like camp fire smoke. Indeed.

While I initially struggled to finish my first cup, I found that part of me was actually ready for more. And so, round two. We spent the morning getting to know each other, not having really started off on the right foot. But by the end of the day, I felt I appreciated it. I also recognize that those who love smokiness of any kind will thoroughly enjoy this bold blend.

And it did spark some revelations in the development of characters. There are some here who may be polarizing as well. In fact, it is necessary they be so. And with those thoughts came some names. And some departures. So, here the characters seem to be -

The names have emerged. Interesting turn of events:
Caitlin  O’Neil - Oscar-winning actress, though most critics believe it to be a fluke. A one-hit wonder. Believes herself to be next in line to the Marilyn Monroe - Pamela Anderson sex kitten legacy. Her recent negotiations with PETA have helped stoke those fantasies.
Cody  O’Neil - Her brother. Also, her whipping boy. At her beck and call, and is consistently mortified by his sister's remarks.
Bob Jarrett - Old money Orange County. Helped develop the infrastructure of many of the newer cities in the county. Semi-retired and now indulging in pet interests.
Mary Ellen Jarrett - His devoted wife. Enthralled with tea. Enthralled with everything. Uber fan of the actress and can hardly believe her luck to be on the tea tour with her.

Dr. Ricardo Valenzuela - Hollywood plastic surgeon whose obsession with youth and fitness is near mania. Researching teas for his practice. Believes in Lake Baikal's youth restoring properties.
Angela Valenzuela - His high-strung wife. Desperately loves her high profile lifestyle, and fights to mask the fact she is thoroughly irritated by her husband. Uber fan of Caitlin