Monday, November 30, 2009

We now interrupt your regular scheduled programming for this brief service announcement.

If you are not a food TV addict like I am, feel free to just skip this post entirely. I could watch Top Chef every moment of everyday and learn something new each time. I want to learn. I want to absorb their talent through the TV. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched that show and concentrated so hard I could almost taste the food.

Chef Academy on Bravo is amazing. It is nothing like what I am going through, but still amazing. I wish I had that kind of one on one relationship with my Chef instructors. I don't so much wish that a French porn star was a part of that, but would jump at the chance regardless. You know what pisses me off? All they do is bitch about how hard he is on them. He can be a dick, yes. But he is right. He is talented. To learn from him? To have that experience? People would kill for it.

Shut the fuck up and learn everything you can. So you get yelled at. Swallow your pride and learn from it.

Also? A tailor? Really? I am pretending it didn't happen.

Rant over. Thank you for playing.


It was Thanksgiving, as you all know. And if you don't know, you should probably look into how you missed that. I had a full house and, honestly, it was a pretty good time. And how could you NOT have a good time when this was taking place on your couch:
That is my sister's dog, Gus, who is the cutest thing ever to live ever. However, he is into everything. He took a bite out of the cheese ball. He licked the pecan pies. He drank a large amount of my grandfather's rum and coke. His front paws spend more time on counters than on the floor.

Kobi, being the old man of the group, regulated the dogs. It was hilarious and I wish we would have gotten a video. When the dogs got too loud or started fighting, he would stand up, bark, and just look back and forth between the offending dogs until it stopped. Then he would look at me with a look that I can only assume meant, "Seriously, mom, you thought THIS was a good idea."

The only traumatic part of the weekend was caused by a bad batch of insulin. My sister has Type I diabetes and has since she was four. I had to take classes as a kid on how to handle a situation where she had diabetic seizures (caused by low blood sugar) or went into a diabetic coma (caused by high blood sugar.) Growing up, there were a shit load of the former, none of the latter. Especially when she was going through puberty and hormone levels were all over the place. So, I was very used to this and could handle just about any diabetic emergency you threw at me. A decade ago.

Now? Well, let's just say it came right back to me. Thanksgiving morning, her fiance knocked on my door and calmly stated that she was having a diabetic seizure and he couldn't find the glucagon. She was laying on her face and I managed to get her rolled on her back and get some of the sugar gel into her mouth while the boy called 911. She came to and stopped seizing before the paramedics got there, but you can't really just cancel them. So, they were there about a half hour, checking her blood sugar every five minutes or so until she was at an acceptable level. Nobody thought anything of it, these things happen.

Well, that night, she looked at me and said she was hungry and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was going low. I went into the kitchen and got everything out of the refrigerator to make her some quesadillas and before I got it all out, she was seizing again. We located the glucagon after the last episode, so no 911 call. We determined it was the insulin and the boy and my sister's fiance went to a 24 hour Walgreen's to refill it. Luckily that solved the problems and the rest of the weekend seemed boring and uneventful in comparison. However, I think her fiance was very relieved that I was there. He kind of followed her around with a look of terror in his eyes the rest of the weekend. I was right behind him.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I say fuck too much.

As soon as he said midterm grades, my palms started to sweat. We all nervously chattered around the prep tables as he called everyone one by one. My heart was in my throat when he called my name.

You have perfect attendance.

Your practicals have been impressive, 90 out of 100.

Your quizzes are kick ass, 48.5 out of 50.

This gives you a 92 in the class, the highest grade.

I love having you in class, you are quiet, but diligent and have some serious talent. You get shit done and do it well. Your food, if ever off, is just a fraction off. Please keep showing up everyday, because I will call your ass if you miss even a day. You belong here.

All I could muster was, "Thanks Chef," and I walked back to my prep table with shaking hands and a stupid fucking grin on my face. I could hardly talk. My classmates were all asking each other what their scores were. They finally asked me and I told them. They knew the highest grade because Chef told them. He would later announce it was me. I sat through the congratulations in a total state of awe.


I wanted to hug Chef and tell him that he has inspired me more than any other culinarian in my entire life.

I wanted to cry, because fucking shit, validation feels good.

I wanted to do cart wheels I was so happy, even knowing that it would likely end in a head injury of some sort.

I still can't believe it. I still can't believe that I am doing this, that I am here. That somehow I have been allowed to live my dream, when so many people can't.

Fuck, I am happy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fear not

The boy and Krackle have both expressed fear when cooking for me since I started culinary school. I have tried to explain that it has been 4 weeks and that I still like food. If it tasted good before, it is still going to taste good now. Yet, the fear remains.

I am in the process of reading Kitchen Confidential because every single chef at school has told me that every young chef should read it. One of the first things Bourdain talks about is this fear. I am not going to quote him, but he goes on to say something along the lines of loving to eat out and eat exotic foods he doesn't want to prepare at home, but nothing beats a home cooked meal with friends and family.

Today in class, Chef expressed the same sentiment when someone was asking for Thanksgiving recipes. They wanted out of this world, off the wall, blow your socks off stuff. Chef asked if they liked stuffing, cranberries, green bean casserole, etc. The guy was like, yeah, I love that stuff. Chef's response is why change something you love? Thanksgiving was about the classics and that is exactly what he will be cooking.

Am I discovering better ways to cook food? Yes. But, that doesn't mean I don't still want to eat taco's on a Wednesday night with friends.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Six People. Four Dogs. Five Days.

Tomorrow my aunt and uncle arrive. Wednesday, my sister, her fiance, my cousin, her husband, and my other uncle arrive. I will have six people and four dogs for five days.

This bears repeating.

Six People.

Four Dogs.

Five Days.

The condo is 1090 square feet without the finished basement, which is about the size of a bedroom. It is a tradition with my father's side of the family that the "kids" always stay with me and the adults stay with them. This plan is flawed. The kids are getting married, they have animals, and my condo is not getting any larger.

And the news just said it may snow this week. I am in my own personal hell. Now, do not get me wrong...I am glad everyone is coming. I love that we all still make this huge effort to get together. I love that we are closer now than we have ever been. It is important to me. I am happy to have them.

The next week? It is going to be rough. The boy has never met my sister. He has met my mom and my grandmother...who are like two extremes of the crazy spectrum of my family. My mother is the most mild mannered, tame one of all of us. My grandmother the craziest. We have already discussed our total elation at the fact that this house has Xanax to get through the weekend.

I am excited to cook for everyone, to play the roll of the hostess. It is one of my favorite things. I have not seen my sister in a year, so I am excited to see her. I am excited for her to meet the boy. Frankly, I am thrilled to have the whole family (with the exception of my cousin who lives in London and who will be GREATLY missed) together for a reason that is not a wedding or a funeral. To spend time together and talk and laugh and just be a family. We are spread all over the world, so it is hard to get together with any frequency.

I have a list as tall as I am for the store. A cleaning list posted to the refrigerator that the boy and I will chip away at for the next three days.

Six people.

Four dogs.

Five days.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope that yours is filled with love and laughter and family, just as I know mine will be. Oh, and plenty of Xanax.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Long, hard day.

Today was utter insanity. We had to prepare two dishes with a partner and one dish solo. In 3 hours. Now...before you scoff at my ineffectiveness, let me explain the kitchens at school. Better yet, let me draw it for you. At each prep table, there are four people stationed there. We have about three square feet of prep space each, if that helps with scale. Because, let's be honest, I can't even draw similarly shaped rectangles.
On the long burner table, there are 24 burners across the front and they are 2 deep. The front is 12 by 2. There are 29 people in our class. You now have the boring logistics.

We have to prep everything perfectly, because it is part of our grade. Every piece of collard green had to be identical. Every dice of onion exactly 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch. Every carrot cut the exact same size as the last and the next. Ever flavor spot on. Every ingredient measured with precision. Then we have to compete with 29 other people for space. And run back and forth across this room bringing our ingredients at the exact moment we need them. People steal your saute pan, your dish of salt, your hand ground pepper. They push you out of the way and they light towels on fire (totally happened today) and they have flare ups and they season the wrong dish and some of them are so stupid they can't even follow directions. OK, just one of them. You all know him well.

You walk away from it feeling like you blacked out and came to with three somewhat perfect dishes in front of you, presenting them to Chef. And you have a stupid, stupid grin on your face because you survived it. Fuck that. You conquered it. And you can't help but smile even bigger because you get to do it all again tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

El Diablo Strikes Again

I came home from work yesterday to find wrappers and remnants of a 1 lb bag of Twizzler individually wrapped Halloween candy. On the floor. Eaten. By a dog of short stature.

I really didn't think anything of it. Dogs get into stuff, it wasn't chocolate or bleach, so I figured I would be in for a night of motor boat farts and maybe some vomiting. That all changed when we tried to feed him dinner. When Short Dog is fed, he dances around your feet, runs up and down the basement stairs, sometimes whines, and LEAPS on his bowl as if we have not fed him in a month. He will inhale his food and then circle Kobi, hoping that he leaves a crumb behind. I took a dog obedience course and they say dogs are either motivated by food or praise. We have one of each. Kobi doesn't really care about food at all. He eats to survive, period. He nibbles at treats, rarely finishes his entire dinner, and has never been much of a beggar.

Short Dog didn't just not finish his dinner. He didn't even touch it. The boy and I looked at each other with terror in our eyes. This either meant he was finally going to eat us in our sleep for putting him on a diet, or holy crap, he is full of Twizzler. We then looked at Short Dog.He looked like he swallowed a basketball whole. I tried to draw it for you in Paint, but due to my amazing drawing skills, the portrait was bought by the Art Institute of Chicago and is in their newest digital art exhibit. So, you can see it there.

I digress. So, the boy and I start freaking out. What do you do when a dog is bloated and it is freaking you out? You poke him. Look at each other, then poke him again. It was like poking a monument to my digital art abilities. I immediately call the vet, who is used to me. I tend to have a "we're all going to die" mentality when it comes to my dogs. I fear the day that I procreate. So, does the entire American Medical Association. I will ruin health care in this country, single handedly.

(Man, I cannot stay on subject tonight. This new B12 supplement the doctors have me taking is making me spazzy.)

The vet tech asked me a lot of questions, like, how long ago was it, how much did he ingest, was there chocolate, etc. It happened while I was at class, so I had no idea how long ago and you can only induce vomiting in dogs if it was within 2 hours. After gathering all of my information, they said they would call me back.

TWO HOURS later and the phone finally rings. The boy talked to her, and he is a man, so of course I got like 2% of the details I would have wanted. Nothing against men, but come on guys, even you can admit we would win a question war any day of the week.

Basically, he will be fine. It may take a few days for him to eat (ha! He ate about 11:30 that night after gnawing on my leg.) He would have sugar highs and crashes, which were moderately funny, in a sad sort of way. He would be lethargic and have that glazed look in his eyes that dogs get when they are sick. But, he will be fine. The weird unexpected thing? He wheezed all night. He was so full, his little Short Dog body couldn't breathe. (heart=breaking)

Tonight I made a bowl of popcorn and set it on the coffee table to go to the bathroom. I returned to find a certain dog's nose in it, gnawing away. He didn't get that much, but a part of me just wants to resign and feed him a diet of lard and Twizzler.

Do they accept dogs on The Biggest Loser? Because if they do...he will blame his weight gain on not getting enough belly rubs from his mother. I just know it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Uncle Jack, you will be missed.

My great uncle died today. I wasn't close to him, but there are a lot of people suffering because of his death. From what I know, he had a brain aneurysm Saturday afternoon. They rushed him to the hospital and gave him a prognosis that he would not live 24 hours. He died about 7:30 pm EST Sunday.

I have a very small family and the family I am close to is immediate family only. Uncle Jack was my grandmother's brother-in-law. She does not even plan on attending the funeral. As much as it pains me, nor do I. You don't attend a funeral entirely to mourn the people who are lost, but also to support the people who are mourning. My grandmother refuses to attend because nobody attended the funeral of my grandfather. I barely knew him and cannot afford it...although I wish more than anything I could.

Pettiness has it's place. That place is not death. That place is not family. I wish, more than anything, that my family will one day realize this. Everyone gets hurt, everyone has baggage. There are very few people in this world who love you because they just fucking love you, despite all of your bullshit.

My sister distances herself from me everyday. She rarely returns my calls or emails and when she does, it is because she needs something. This breaks my heart every single day.

Right here, right now...I swear I will always attend her husband's funeral. I swear I will always be there for her, believe in her, and love her. I will never let our family become as distant as the generations before.

It may be a losing battle, but it's fucking important. They are important. And, sometimes, family is all you have.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Validation, for now.

Today was our first day of cooking - applesauce and candied orange zest. It was stressful. I cook food every single day, far more complicated than applesauce and candied orange zest. I was a wreck, we all were. Running around the kitchen like maniacs and in a complete state of panic. Someone, who we have all grown to respect and admire, was going to be judging our food. It was nerve racking.

I thought my applesauce was too thin in the pan and freaked out. I put it through the food mill and voila, texture was good. Flavor was good. I wasn't entirely sure how it happened, but it did. I added a little cinnamon and thought, holy crap, I put in too much cinnamon. I was embarrassed as I walked to the front of the room and handed Chef my bowl of applesauce, which I tirelessly polished and wiped to make sure that presentation was perfect. He tasted it and said it was rocking, dead on, and gave me 100% on my very first professional cooking experience. I just stood and stared at him until my voice finally came back to me and I croaked, "really?" Chef laughed and told me to stop underestimating myself, that I did well.

The candied orange zest didn't go quite as well. I have never candied anything before and when Chef was doing the latter part of the demo, I was right in the middle of putting my apples on the stove and missed it. I am not saying that I didn't screw it up, I did. I second guessed myself and pulled the orange zest off the stove too soon. I was afraid of it overcooking and didn't trust my instincts. I still got an 8/10 because it was perfect, except for the zest being under-candied.

I know that all sounds a tad arrogant, but I needed that boost to my ego. After 3 weeks of knife cuts that I was mediocre at, I will admit, I was starting to second guess myself. Until we got in the kitchen and, even though I was in a total state of panic, I was at home. I can't quite explain the feeling that I had, other than to say that it all just felt right.

All of my classmates were so excited to start cooking from day one. I was terrified. I willed it never to happen. I hoped that I would somehow graduate culinary school without ever cooking a thing, because if it turns out I sucked at this? Then what?

It was just applesauce. So, maybe I do suck. But, for now, I am going to choose to believe that applesauce is the first of many, many "rocking, spot on" dishes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Liver? Yes, please.

I have the most exciting news ever. OK. The most exciting news ever, to me. Friday, as in two days from now, I get to start cooking. Yes, there will be more knife cuts and lectures and eating Chef's food, but I GET TO START COOKING. Applesauce and candied citrus. I know that it is not all that exciting, but to me, it is pretty fucking exciting. This is why I am here. I want to cook.

This week has been kind of huge for me. I made a promise to myself when I started this journey that I would not refuse the chance to taste anything. The people cooking this food are amazing chefs and rather than pay $18 for an appetizer of sauteed duck liver, I can try it for free at school. So here are the results of this week's tasting things I was either scared of or previously did not like:

-Salmon Carpaccio: It was seasoned with chives, lemon, salt, and pepper. It was fatty, in a really good way and amazingly delicate. It tasted like the ocean.

-Poached Salmon: It was poached in fish stock, lemon, tarragon and salt. We cut it with a spoon. Tender, flavorful, amazing. Slightly more fishy than the raw version, which surprised me. But, still really good.

-Poeler of duck: I always found duck greasy and texturally undesirable. This was...not. It was moist and had a gamey flavor that was surprisingly good.

-Caramelized turnips: Never eaten a turnip in my life and they kind of taste like broccoli? Unexpected and yummy.

-Sauteed duck liver and onions: surprise of the century. AMAZING. If you hate liver, like I did, you have never had it cooked right. It has that same rich, savory mouth feel of beef with a slightly more bitter taste. But, ridiculously amazing.

So, a lesson to all of you out there, if it sounds gross, try it anyway. What is the worst thing that happens? You have one bite of food you dislike and never eat it again? You could be missing out on some amazing food. Every single time I taste something new...I remember exactly why I am doing this. Holy fuck, I love food.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is that an elbow or are you just happy to see me?

Tonight the boy had his first sleep study. See, we have a bit of a problem in the Erratic house. Mainly that I am pretty sure he is going to die in his sleep of snoring. Like, maybe scaring himself to death? Mostly that he stops breathing. It has caused a tad bit of tension in the Erratic household. An average night in our house goes something like this:

The boy goes to bed.

I go to bed 2 - 3 hours later, because I am a night kind of gal. The boy is snoring. I try to listen and see if he stops breathing. I can't tell because the sound of the snoring drowns it all out.

I lightly shake him awake and ask him to roll on his side, where the volume goes from deafening to irritating.

I start to fall asleep. The boy rolls on his back and begins sawing logs.

I roll over and somewhat less gently suggest that he roll over and stop snoring.

I fall asleep. The boy rolls on his back and Pearl Harbor is reenacted next to me on the bed.

I use my elbows (the sharpest elbows in the Midwest, I might add. Challenge me sometime. I will win. They are like daggers.) to gently suggest that he roll the fuck over.

I start to fall asleep. He starts snoring.

I begin kicking him and raising my voice slightly while kindly suggesting that if he doesn't roll the fuck over I will kill him in his sleep.

I am angry and wide awake. Every time he makes a noise, I say something like "shut up or die" until one of us gives up and goes somewhere else to sleep.

The next day I am all pissy because I have not slept and he is all pissy because for some strange reason his body is covered in bruises the shape of my elbow. Huh. Must be a coincidence.

All evening I have been getting text messages of pictures of his room and then pictures of him covered in probe things that I assume mean he got abducted by aliens and will return with knowledge that will one day save the world. I am just hoping the aliens have some kind of miracle anti-snore drug. And maybe some elbow pads.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Word

I was texting with Big Jed tonight and I was describing the drunken stupor I managed to get myself into by the end of Saturday night. The hangover was legendary, in an I might die kind of way.

A new word was born. Stupidal: When you do something so stupid it has medical consequences.

This is either all kinds of awesome, or ridiculously lame.

Let's use it in a sentence.

Saturday night was so stupidal, I almost died!


That (fill in with cool skateboard term) was totally rad and stupidal. Let's do it again!


She is always doing stuff that is just stupidal. We should get her a bubble.

2/3 could be said about me. I will let you guess which ones.

10 fingers, people, 10 fingers.

Week Three begins. The main focus lately is for Chef to demonstrate how to do certain cooking techniques, like saute, braise, poach, etc. Of course, we are only allowed to call them by their French terms, but that is a whole other post. I will be fluent by the time I graduate.

It has been pretty awesome because he knows his shit. I always thought that I was a good cook, never a chef, but a good cook. I was curious what the distinction would be and how fast I would see the difference start to emerge. Day one. Hands down, day one. I have a good pallate. But, a good cook? I would say I was a mediocre cook with promise. Watching Chef prepare the simplest of things is so fascinating and humbling I can't even explain it. The first thing he prepared for us was a sauteed chicken breast, one prepared American (finished in the oven) and one prepared French (basted on the stove.) All he did was season it with salt and pepper. It was hands down one of the best pieces of chicken I have ever eaten. He fried us chicken breasts with a panko crust. He called them chicken nuggets. I would have gone with breaded perfection. Again, only salt and pepper.

I realize that I will not be at his level, even at graduation, but the thought of coming close to it? I kind of want to run around flailing my arms and screaming. Waving would not suffice, I must flail.

Kid from day one came in with the entire side of his face messed up. It looks like he had a fight with a meat grinder. When asked, he told everyone he was mauled by a tiger. I am pretty sure this guy either needs to bring enough for the class or abstain.

I also finally got my knife cut model. Woot! We start knife cuts again tomorrow, so everyone think positive thoughts about my fingers. Only thoughts where they are still attached please...this is not a good time to imagine me fingerless. BAD. PLAN.

In case any of you are wondering, behold a knife cut model:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Technology Addiction

I got the Droid today. I have never been a "jump on the new thing for the sake of owning the new thing" kind of person. However, being away from a computer all day has started to take it's toll. I may be an aspiring chef, but I am still a geek at heart. The geek in me comes home everyday and practically flings myself at my laptop. It really is quite terrifying to watch. Thankfully only the dogs are witness to my withdrawal and inappropriate attachment. The thought of a smart phone started to take root as soon as I knew that I would spend most of my time away from any kind of technology.

The conversation of the iPhone came up. I would rather throw myself in front of a train. There is just something about the iPhone fanboy mentality that makes me stabby (love you baby!) Plus, AT&T. Um, no thanks. I know it is a great phone, I do. I don't really hate it. I just want to stab it.

I thought about a Blackberry, but it didn't really have what I wanted. Plus, the newest versions were getting shit on by everyone and I am sure I would have been moderately satisfied, but it still just wasn't quite right. The boy insisted that I should wait for an android (should that be capitalized?) phone. I was all set to go with the LG Touch. He started emailing me article after article after article about the Android (eh??) phones Verizon was about to release. Finally, I was convinced.

I went to Best Buy and pre-ordered. You know what makes me more stabby than iPhone fanboys? Best Buy. I am sorry if you work there or know someone who works there or want to work there or have any affiliation with them in anyway, but that place makes me want to punch babies. I cannot, cannot, cannot handle it. It is so easy to order technology on the Internet and have it show up at your door step. No blue shirt wearing Nazi over the top IT wanna-be salesmen. Ugh.

I am getting side tracked on some kind of violent rant here. The point is I have a Droid! I like it, for the most part. There are about 1000 things I never knew I needed. Like Sudoku. And the ability to program my phone to go into different modes depending on my location. Like, school. It will automatically go into total silent mode as soon as my car arrives on campus. HOW FUCKING COOL IS THAT? I would have bought the phone for that alone...had I even known it was possible. Oh, technology, how I love thee.

So, when I pre-ordered the phone (stab, stab, stab) I told Big Jed that she could have my old phone until her new every two kicked in. She wanted a QWERTY keyboard and I had a phone that I was no longer using. About 17 conversations followed, the boy volunteered some Blackberry's, Mr. Big Jed decided he wanted in on the used/new phone deal, and this happened. This does not include my new phone or the iPhone in our house. It is worse than the day of the laptops. This house is where technology goes to die...and ultimately be reborn. We are the Dr. Frankenstein of mobile phones over here. I am not afraid to whip out the Zack Morris phone. Not afraid at all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Brain = Old

My mind won't stop lately. It is full of worry and elation and the names of food borne illnesses that I should know and only kind of do. I forgot how hard school was. How hard it is to study and to memorize and to read for the sake of remembering, not just for enjoyment. I watch these 18 year olds absorbing information like a sponge and I feel old because my mind doesn't absorb information like that anymore. This is work. Hard work. And while up for the challenge, I wish I had discovered my dream when I was 18. That I could be standing with these kids, naive and hopeful and arrogant and just so fucking sure of themselves and the paths their lives will take. I laugh when they talk about their parents riding them about going to class. I sigh when they complain because their roommate left their dishes in the sink again. I am envious when they talk about late night study sessions in the dorm rooms. And also kind of curious that culinary school has dorm rooms?

We all took our paths. Mine may be different than theirs, but no less valid. I may not have the arrogance of youth (oh, wow, I just sounded 100) but damn it, I am good at this. I love this. I love going to class and chopping up fruit and vegetables for 3 hours. I love that Chef is making us mole tomorrow because he had some extra roasted poblanos. I love that these people speak my language, no matter how little else we have in common. I absolutely love being a part of this world. What I lack in youth, I make up for in passion. And note cards. Son of a bitch, I have made a lot of note cards.

Update: I am not sure anyone cares, but my exams last week? I got a "a little big, but tight for the first week" on the practical (which was pass/fail) and a 19/20 on the written.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Karate Kid and Dr. Kevorkian

Guess who found Halloween costumes on sale at Target? I will give you one hint, it wasn't me. Short Dog was a much more patient subject.

The part where uniforms suck.

I have recently become obsessed with Ace of Cakes. I mean, I have always been obsessed with the show, but suddenly it has been on Food Network ALL THE TIME and I can't stop watching. I even get pissed off when my DVR makes me watch something else. Is there a pastry chef in me after all? (shiver)

That is totally not what this post is about, though. It is about the uniforms.

I would be the guy on the left. Except my pants are totally black. And I always have a thermometer and pen in my coat pocket. And a little memo pad. No I do not need a pocket protector. Also, I am not a guy. And there is a neckerchief involved that I just can't even talk about.

When class is over, everyone immediately pulls off the hat and neckerchief and unbuttons at the very least the top button of the chef's coat. The kitchens top at well over 100 degrees and let me tell you, walking out into the cold fall air is the best part of my day.

A lot of my classmates change at the school both before and after class, because they are coming to/from work. Since I am still J-O-B-less, I don't bother. However, I am not comfortable going in public in my uniform. I fear people will ask me questions that I don't know how to answer and then I will feel stupid. I realize this is ridiculous, but I am kind of ridiculous, so it works with my whole theme. On Friday, my lunch buddy and I had 40 minutes, so we decided to go sit and eat at Wendy's instead of doing a drive-thru or going to his catering company down the street for free grub. Yes, I said grub.

Big, huge, gigantic, life size, holy fucking shit, mistake. Here is just a sample of the comments we received:

"This would be the PERFECT commercial for Wendy's. 'Even Chef's eat at Wendy's' Ha ha ha ha ha."

"Are you going to be on Hell's Kitchen/ Top Chef/ Any other highly commercialized TV food show?"

"What you are too lazy to cook your lunch? Ha ha ha ha ha ha"

"The other day I was making (insert dish) and it turned out (insert problem.) Do you know why?"

"Do you know (insert name of celebrity chef)?"

I would not walk up to someone in scrubs and ask them medical questions. Or if they knew some famous doctor. Or show them a rash and have them diagnose it. I mean, really? Did that happen? Ugh. We were very good humored about the whole situation and laughed along with them. In reality, it wasn't THAT big of a deal. We laughed about it the whole way back to school.

But, can you even IMAGINE what would happen if I went to the grocery store in uniform? The thought of it makes me want to hide under the couch.

Since I know that it is in the back of all your minds, yes that is the only picture I could find of someone in full uniform and yes I realize that it is ridiculously lame and possibly evidence of murder via rolling pin.

Also, I don't have a rash I need diagnosed.