I know that we are on our way to making the cottage waste free but its a lot of work! Must celebrate the small achievements:
*Last weekend we visited the Pasta Shop and bought a pound of provolone sans the extra packaging. They wrapped it in paper for us because we didn’t bring a container but hey its not plastic.
*Planning on hitting up farmers markets but for the time being are enjoying the Monterey Market which offers the same perks of bulk produce with zero packaging.
*Have been filling containers since we’ve lived in Berkeley at the Berkeley Bowl and I rave about their big refill bottles of Giovanni shampoo & conditioner, Kiss My Face soap, and Dr. Bronner magic soap. It feels great to not go through all those plastic bottles.
*Buying more and more bulk foods now from all over Berkeley. Great for nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, grains, pasta, cereal, teas, and chocolate. Next I want to try filling spice jars, sugar and flour as they run out.
I aim for my kitchen pantry to some day resemble this pantry from a Tasha Tudor illustration.
I have been so busy lately getting accustomed to my new school and work schedule. Plus it’s the beginning of the semester so I feel extra frantic to pick up supplies and be prepared for the class that I am going to. It has been interesting and at first a bit stressful, but once I admitted that I was stressed out and that was okay I got over it. The trouble is that I care more about how I perform now that I am so focused on Graphic Design. I want to be so good and have to admit that this is just the beginning. I am happy though because I am starting to get the fundamentals down. This semester is all about the materials and producing my designs by hand. It can be overwhelming because my hand skills are not yet up to par but I am taking it slow. My work is improving and so is my confidence that I can master the tricks of the trade.
The wonderful thing about taking classes at the Academy of Art is that my instructors have shared a lot of real world information pertaining to the work that we are doing. They explain the industry standards and what is expected from design professionals. One of my instructors has worked with non-profits and smaller companys and another in design firms with big name clients. I feel that their input is so valuable and its neat that I am recieving a well-rounded view. Also it is great how all of my professors teach similar concepts and programs but each offer new insight to the material. I am getting excited for what is to come. There is logo work, print design, and some package design.
I am going to continue to work at the Pasta Shop on the weekends. It pays the bills and I get free food so that makes it worth my time. The funny thing is that it doesn’t leave me much time to do my homework and then there’s the laundry and grocery shopping, etc. that I have defintiely been neglecting. I guess I will just have to live on fresh pasta and raviolis until I get the hang of my new schedule. And I surely will not run out of clothes. *_*
I love to visit the Pasta Shop on 4th Street here in Berkeley. It is the closest market to buy fresh bread and produce. I also love their bulk olive oil that is just so rich and buttery. One day when I was in there I thought, I might like to work here. I filled out an application, brought it back the next day and received a phone call right away. They said that they were interested and would call me back to schedule an interview. I thought well that was easy. I had not worked in a year and was excited to get a summer job to keep busy. I was hired last week and began training Monday at their big store in Rockridge called Market Hall. Everyone I met was super friendly even though I was only working at that location for the day. They went out of there way to help me out and made sure that I knew to eat everything I could for the first two weeks. That part was a bit strange but I found out that newbies get to try everything no matter the price (later we are restricted to a seven dollar meal). I was trained to use the pasta cutter and how to weigh and price the fresh pasta. Then I learned to use the big meat slicer. I was relieved to use gloves and not have to touch the meat. I did pretty well and spent the afternoon slicing meat for customers. It seemed every person that came in wanted to buy meat. I was a little grossed out but knew it was just the first day and everything seems overwhelming at first.
Last Tuesday thru Thursday I worked in Berkeley at my new store and was happy to discover that most people did not buy anything from the meat dept. Most of our customers come in for lunch and get ready made salads, pasta and bakery items. I spend my time filling orders for half pints of orzo or lima beans and not prosciutto. I have been trying to sample everything but am limited by the fact that I am allergic to cow’s milk and most of our high priced items like lasagna consist of lots of cheese. I do eat grilled salmon for lunch everyday now, which is so wonderful. I also bring home lots of food at the end of the day that we cannot save like salad, fruit, scones, etc. It is fun for me to work with the customers and it makes me extra smiley when they are also genuine and friendly. The people that I work with are all really cool as well. I am on my feet for a really long time but to me that is better than sitting behind a desk all day. Another unexpected perk for me was that I really enjoy my days off. I feel like they are worth more now that I am working. Before I was spoiled by too much free time. I would love to keep working in the fall as well. I have registered for three classes and my bosses have said that I could go down to three days to fit with school. I want to try to make that work for me.
I have had kind of a tough time lately. I lost my bike and had to quit my job due to health problems but I realize that I have so much to be thankful for that there is no reason to dwell on that. The last few days have been fun and friends nearby and online have reached out to cheer me up and wish me well. I am happy because I feel loved and hopeful for the future.
Yesterday Neko and Jason and I went to the laundromat together and played Mario Party on the DS. It must have been cute because we were all squished together on one bench giggling and cheering at our hand held gaming toys. Afterwards we adventured through Berkeley by car and saw some really neat areas. We stopped for lunch at a taqueria in the Epicurious Garden and ate outside in the sun. Next I took them to the Rose Garden and Codornices park. It is located on the hill and the view from up there is great for looking out over the Bay. We took so many photos and walked around the area. Later I spent lots of quality time with maiki and he shared Beard Papa eclairs that he had brought from the city. They are so delicious!
Today has already been wonderful for me. I slept great. Woke up and went for a walk down to 4th street. I bought some compfy green pajama pants on sale from Anthropologie (so I can stop borrowing from my roommate!) and found an amazing collection of design books at the Builders Booksource. I didn’t buy any books today but sat down in a chair to study a stack of them. They were all so inspiring, especially the Japaneses produced ones about icons and signage. They are beautiful to me! I picked up some fresh vegetables from the Pasta Shop and came back to C9th to make lunch for maiki and I. We had tofutti covered everything bagels with lox, tomatoes and red onion. Now I am enjoying a nice cup of earl gray lavender tea. Lunch was better than anything I could get in a restaurant—seriously I never know why I waste my money eating out with such a restricted diet. I have some paperwork to deal with today but I know that I can relax because I have done lots of cleaning and organizing as of late and can now enjoy the fruits of my labor. Yahoo!