Monday, June 28, 2010

Employee Bathroom? Psh. Who needs one of those?

Work has, well, sucked. I had orientation prior to starting, which was essentially the training manager walking the servers and food runners through everything they needed to know, and telling me none of it applied to me. Awesome. I won't get those two hours back.

So, I am walking in my first day with a lump in my throat and my stomach gurgling. Nervous doesn't quite describe it, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I don't do well in those situations. I would love, love, love life to come with an itinerary and list of possible outcomes to each event. Sadly, it does not work this way, so in situations like this, I suck it up and tell my brain to shut the fuck up and deal.

So, I walk in my first day and find my boss, who shows me how to clock in, sort of, and then sends me in the kitchen. No discussion on policies, procedures, breaks, hours, schedule, employee bathroom, or even a hello. Nothing. Just, this is Eric, he will train you. Oh, and make these desserts, you are on this station by yourself. Which was fine, the desserts were nothing I couldn't handle, it was just startling that I was just thrown into it all.

So, Eric hands me a book of recipes and tells me to start reading. I will be tested on this, so, read. OK. There are about 10 recipes, I read through them, and expect the training to start. Nope, just read through the recipes while the person who is supposed to be training you tells you to stay out of their way. Then, halfway through the night, my boss tells me to go wash dishes. For four hours. Now, I am not above being a dishwasher nor do I discount their role in the kitchen. However, I am not paying $32k for an education to wash dishes. I was pissed. Plus, lifting tray after tray of glasses took it's toll on my back. I had no idea when I was leaving or when I was coming in next. About 10:45 pm I finally find the schedule and see that I am scheduled to leave at 11:00 pm. Except I have no idea who the supervisor is or who I need to talk to. Once I figure all of this out, I just asked to leave. He tells me that I am not a cook now, I am a dishwasher and he will tell me when I can leave. I got home about 12:30 pm.

So, day one sucked, but whatever. It was a fluke, it was Friday, they were busy, no big deal, I've got this. I can figure this out.

Day two was a million bazillion trillion times worse. I sat in my car after my shift ended and cried. Basically, half way through my shift, the person training me left and my boss said "hope you know this station, you're on your own." And the person who was supposed to be helping me spent the entire night lecturing me on why it is wrong to be gay. Even though I told him, repeatedly, that this conversation was offending me. Then he proceeded to pop in some chew and bail on me when it was time to close. I got yelled at all night for things I just didn't know. I honestly would have given anything for someone to tell me I didn't have to go back. Anything. I cried most of the day because I didn't want to go back on Sunday. I just couldn't see facing it all again, being screamed at and told I am holding up the whole kitchen. Having my coworkers say things in Spanish they didn't think I understood, but I totally did. I know the word bitch, I know the word stupid and slow and I sure as fuck can see the obscene gestures you are making at your station and laughing.

I knew all of this would happen, I did. I just wasn't prepared for how overwhelmed and frustrated I would get. I expected a little more support as I learned it, a little more training.

I went in last night and had the station to myself. I closed by myself. When I went to walk out, my supervisor, Lopez, told me I did a great job. I looked him right in the eye and said, "Fuck yeah I did" and left. Do I like working there? No. It is dirty (although their food safety is pretty impeccable, it is more the floors and walls and stuff.) Their policies are asinine and their management and quality control is all over the place, depending on who from management is there. It is by no stretch of the imagination my dream job. But? I feel okay about going there. I don't want to cry or walk out. I feel like I can do this.

But, Sunday? I was ready to walk away from this entire career and deem myself a failure. And that isn't like me. So, naturally, I am now determined to make this place my bitch.

My goal for tonight: find the employee bathroom.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sigh. A dream.

I want to preface this post with the fact that I am in full-on summer break (I ONLY GET TWO WEEKS!) mode and have been drinking and sunning and, well, drinking. So, you know, don't judge? Also...I have an overwhelming urge to hug my life. Oh, beer.

Top Chef. This is hands down, balls to the wall, my favorite show on television. Tom Colicchio is just, well, fucking amazing. And this season they added Eric Ripert. I squealed a culinarian squeal. I know that most of my readers do not stalk chefs like most people stalk Taylor Lautner. But, I want to know what they are doing. I want to know everything they are cooking and exactly what their days are like and how they balance this with the rest of the world. I am obsessed with it. I read everything I can find on chefs in the real world, chefs who manage to make a life with people who are not chefs.

Because...lets be honest...I have chosen a career that is not conducive to the rest of the world. I will work late nights, while the rest of the world sleeps. I will be surrounded by drug addicts and criminals and the dregs of society. I am not being prejudice here...not at all. Just honest. The restaurant industry is one where the fuck ups go to stay, where people who know nothing else find a home. I see this in culinary school and I see it in my limited experience in the real world. I fucking love food, I love to cook food, to eat food, to talk about food, everything food. I fit in, barely. At least not right now. Even my fellow classmates don't have that passion, don't have this love affair with food that will never die in me.

So, I watch Top Chef and I watch these people who are so much like me. These people who just fucking love food and appreciate the subtle nuttiness of an avocado and get that fatty pork is what makes the world go round. People who understand why I can't eat out anymore, because salt is not a substitute for flavor. Neither is lack there of.

I won't ever be those people. Not for lack of ambition, but because I have no desire for fame. I want a restaurant. Just one. Where people come, regularly, for amazing food and drinks. Where I walk out during dinner service and greet my regulars. I want a locally owned, locally grown, organic restaurant. I can see it in my mind, see everything I want just an arm's reach away.

I don't know that I will ever accomplish that. I have no idea what my future holds. I just want to figure out a way to surround myself with people who love food the way I love food, without becoming some TV chef. I want to be Anthony Bourdain, without the history of drugs. I just want to cook bad ass food for people who want to eat bad ass food. I know I need experience in order to accomplish this. I know being a line cook is a must, and I am so excited to be just that.

But, holy fuck, I can't wait for the day when I get to design a menu and a restaurant and a culinary voice. I can't fucking wait to make it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Break! Somebody get the tissues.

So....I have been sneezing with a runny nose and watery eyes for a few days now. I thought it was the storms, for some reason rain always equals allergies in my life. Snow too. Winter is fun. So, I have been taking my allergy pills and my nasal spray and doing all the things a good little girl should do when she is sneezing her head off. Then it occurred to me, I have never had allergies this many days in a row before when on medication.


I think I'm sick. Not fever sick or go to the doctor sick, just a little cold that is making my lungs burn when I cough and holy balls, the sneezing.

This pisses me off. Really pisses me off, in fact. Because I am on summer break for school. I get 18 days off, 18. Until Christmas. CHRISTMAS. I wanted to do things that were fun and lay out by the pool and visit with friends and clean the house and go through my old clothes and FINALLY FILE THE MAIL THAT IS PROCREATING IN MY BASEMENT AND MAKING BABY MAIL. So, today I slept until 11:00. Didn't wake up once, not even when the boy left for work. I came downstairs, made breakfast, and was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. So, I went back upstairs to take a little nap.

Four hours later, I am like, um, balls. There goes my day. I get up, go to the store to pick up a few things for Krackle and Krackle junior's arrival tomorrow and clean the downstairs bathroom. Guess who is exhausted again? This is crap. Just complete crap.

The last time I had a significant amount of time off was between my last job and culinary school. I had an ear infection that kept me in bed for the entire time.

Why? Why do I only get sick when I have time off? I mean, yes, it would suck more to be sick when I am in school full time and working 35 hours a week. But, BUT! It still sucks. And I am pissed because I had all these grand plans last time and got none of them done. And here I am again, facing the same exact thing and thinking I won't get shit done this time either. This better be the fastest cold ever to exist. Like, it better be gone tomorrow. Or I am going to overdose on vitamin C and red bull.

Monday, June 21, 2010

His collar has a little bow. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Having a kitten is nothing like having a puppy. They are much more self sufficient and don't need to be watched constantly. And the curiosity kills me. As I am typing this, Neil is watching my fingers and meowing. He sits on the books I am reading, on my keyboard when I am on my laptop and tries to eat everything that I am eating, often by flinging himself onto the plate or bowl. He gets the kitty crazies and runs around the house like a mad man, then jumps on my lap and curls up for a nap. I don't think the purring will ever get old. I haven't heard him hiss since the first few days he was home and was still getting used to the dogs. He cuddles with his canine brothers, when they allow it, and attaches himself to Kobi's tail, his favorite toy. At night, he sleeps in the closet in a fuzzy slipper boot. As soon as he hears someone moving, he meanders out, meowing and wanting up on the bed to see what is going on. When he falls asleep, his head is always in an inconvenient position, usually falling backwards, but he snoozes on.

I don't know how much his personality will change as he gets older, but man are we in love with the little guy now. We all knew it would happen, but I am calling it official. I am now a cat AND a dog person.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What if? Fuck what if. Just fuck it.

Two posts in one day, I know. Weird. And I am sorry I have been absent, but, dude, life is a tad crazy right now. And by a tad, I mean, HOLY FUCK BALLS. And it is about to get worse. Which is just not the reason for posting this second blog post.

I am scared. My back has been spasming and I have been in a perpetual state of non-bend for a few days. I am scared to bend over or pick anything up or do anything at all other than be scared. It's not bad, comparatively speaking, it is practically nothing. But, this is how it started. Bad days here and there. Until one day I trip over the dog and end up in the hospital.

What if I end up there again?

What if I have to quit school?

What if I really can't do this?

What if it was wishful thinking to hope that one day I could be a chef, knowing the problems I have with my back?

What if I uprooted my life only to fail?

It is very typical of me to give up in times like these. To just say, fuck it. I will fail, I will never make it, fuck it. But, not this time. I don't want to give up and fighting that instinct is getting harder. I put all my eggs in one basket, cryogenically sealed that basket, and then sent it to the moon. There is no going back.

What if one day I wake up and can't walk again? What if one day I end up in the hospital with a doctor telling me surgery is the only option? What if a doctor tells me that I physically can never be a chef?

I hope this passes. I hope with every ounce of my being that I wake up tomorrow and feel better. But, what if?

Fuck what if.

This whole situation makes me want to drink and swear.

I am not a parent, nor do I believe I am qualified to criticize how people parent their children. I am not dealing with the child here and do not know the circumstances that have caused this person to be the way that they are. I am writing this out of both frustration and pity.

I go to school with a girl, we'll call her cupcake, that is completely incapable of thinking for herself or taking care of herself in general. She will be 21 in October. I will give examples.
We were at a restaurant for lunch and she didn't leave a tip. When I confronted her about this, she simply stated that they only gave her a five dollar bill back. I pointed out to her that seconds later she had been complaining about all the change in her pocket. She was visibly irritated that I brought this up and repeatedly said she didn't understand why she needed to leave a tip. This was not someone who didn't believe that waitresses deserved being tipped. She literally did not know or understand that this was something done in our society.

We have to clean our kitchens after every class so that the next class does not have to cook in our filth. The ONLY thing she has ever done is dry and put away dishes. A fellow classmate confronted her about this and asked her to mop. She started crying and begged one of the other guys to do it because she was having a bad day and didn't know how to mop. MOP.

She pretty much develops a crush on anyone who will talk to her. Man or woman. I have asked her repeatedly (especially when she liked one of our female classmates) what attracts her to these people and she always states that they are nice to her. If we try to talk to her about sex, she blushes and whines until we stop. I don't know how much justice I am giving this. I truly do not believe that she understands what sex is, how people have it, what physical attraction is, etc. One of the crushes she got, she confessed to this person because he continued to flirt with her, even after we told him it was cruel to continue this way. He finally ended it by telling her that he didn't want to date her because if he fucked the shit out of her, it would be awkward the next day. She thought he was being mean and snapping at her. I was like, no, he is saying if you two had sex, it would be awkward and you have to see each other everyday. She was like, well, that is just mean. I stared at her, gaping, for, like, ever.

She gets visibly upset when you joke around with her, as if she doesn't understand. She flinches every time I say fuck. Which, you know, is a lot. I got her to say fuck once, and she blushed and ran away after she did it.

She is obsessed with Twilight and Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and ABC Family and throws end of term pool parties. POOL. PARTIES. With no alcohol. She has never touched alcohol.

She doesn't have her driver's license because she can't figure out how to pass the maneuverability part of the test.

She has a learning disability that she uses as a crutch to get sympathy from people.

She is incapable of making a single decision for herself. I mean, it cripples her.

Here is my thing. OK, her parents raised a good little catholic girl, I will give them that. But, they also raised someone who is completely incapable of making it on their own. She claims to want to be a baker, so I thought I would see a difference in bakeshop. Nothing. Nada. She decorated a cake that looked like a smurf vomited. She follows everyone around asking what she should do and was less competent as a baker than as a cook. Which, just, wow.

At what point does a parent look back and go, fuck. I have royally screwed this kid up. I mean, I cannot see a way that she will ever make it anywhere. I have worked a variety of jobs and I do not believe she is capable of any of them. And not because of the learning disability, which she refuses to define. Because, I don't see that ever, except maybe with math and spelling.

She reminds of a 12 year old forced into a 20 year old body. And we all are so nice to her and try so hard to help her, but it is frustrating. Beyond frustrating. How do you get here? I mean, how does cupcake get through her day to day life? She has never had a job. When she graduated high school, I have no idea what she did with those two years. She still goes to all the high school football games.

I just, I don't know. I know I am jaded and angry and inappropriate and many other things, but are there other adults out there like this? I mean, do any of you know anyone like this? How do they make it in life? Does someone just eventually sit them down and be like, look, here's some porn, let's talk in an hour? Or maybe just slap them silly?


Please send help. I am trapped in "The Baby-Sitter's Club." Except cleaner and with less adventure.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Maybe too much information about my English class. Also? Supreme ruler of the world.

Today I rolled out of bed ten minutes late, which, let's be honest, is 20 minutes later than I should have pried myself from bed. I walked into class the minute that it started. This is typical for me. I do not like being late, I like being ridiculously on time. I am notorious for running to class to make it there at exactly 9:40, half asleep and in need of massive amounts of caffeine.

We had to fill out some financial aid bullshit, which I finished remarkably fast because of some apparent ability to remember a 4-digit pin. Let's not even get into the fact that I was the only person who remembered it. Four. Digit. Pin. Anywho...I walked back into our English class first, by a landslide. I had an exam in Purchasing, so I got out my notes and started to read over them.

English Teacher (ET): "I really enjoy reading your papers. You have a very unique voice, you are funny without intentionally being so."

Erratic: "Oh, thanks. I really enjoy writing."

ET: "I read a lot of papers, and I really have to say, I think you have a lot of promise as a writer."

Erratic: (blushing) "Thanks. Most of the time I don't think people get my writing style. I write the way I think and it is lost on people who don't know me."

ET: "To the contrary, I think that it intrigues people who don't know you. I read your last paper first, because I couldn't wait to read it."

Erratic: "Uh. Um. Thanks? I mean, I have a blog. I write on that. I mean, not well, but I like to write. Stuff. Uh. Thanks."

And the conversation continued like this for about 10 minutes. It was ridiculously awkward and surprisingly flattering. I love to write, I really do. I don't think I do it well here. I think sometimes I do, but mostly I use this as my personal sounding board, which is, I don't know. Not the reason I started a blog.

This is the paper I wrote when asked to write a one page paper on being a super hero for a week.

In my mind, I soar through the sky, watching everyone below as they go about their day. I have dreams of fighting crime; foiling bank robberies, plucking murderers from the street; helping the elderly cross the road. I will stop trains from derailing and save babies from baths that are too hot. The world will be a perfect place with Superwoman watching out for all of humanity, even if it is just for a week.

As I soar towards the clouds, I feel my heart seize in my chest. Panic spreading like wild fire from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. My breath catches in my throat as I slowly descended towards the ground. Acrophobia. This will not do.

Super human speed is the power for me. I will fly through the streets using my heightened senses to know when crimes are being committed, to hear the screams of women being mugged, the angry threats of domestic violence, the squealing of impending car accidents. In fact, I hear something just a few blocks away. I take off, bravery in my heart, when my stomach lurches. Sweat beading on my brow as my lunch turns on me. Kinetosis. Being a super hero is hard.

If I can’t fly and I can’t run faster than a speeding bullet, I suppose that X-Ray vision is the only way to go. I will simply see the crimes and call the police, who can stop the criminals in their tracks. That’s the solution. And if any criminal gets away, I will simply use my eidetic memory to help the sketch artist draw their likeness. Crime doesn't stand a chance against me. As I start scanning the buildings around me, I feel my eyes getting wider and wider. Voyeurism, it seems, is not for me either.

My first hour as a super hero hasn't gone that well, but certainly I will get the hang of it over the next week. Maybe I can find a moving company that is hiring.

So, here is my I pushing it to write my persuasion paper (sarcastically of course) on why I should be the supreme ruler of the world?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stab. Stab. STAB. STAB. STAB.

So, I don't understand people. Two things have happened today that have just pissed me off to the point where I, well, want to stab them.

First, there is this guy at work who is looking for another job. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and my dad is the VP of Operations at a company that hires people with such degrees. So, I did him a favor and made "the call" and got him an interview. I am fairly certain that my recommendation will get him the job. I am not trying to sound like a conceited ass hole here, but my dad has worked there since I was 4. There are pictures of me hanging in the hallway from company picnics that chronicle my childhood. In fact, one of the people he met with when filling out the application asked about culinary school and what sweets I had brought them. (I drop off my creations alternately at my dad's work, Big Jed and Krackle's work, and the boy's work.)

So, today he comes in and starts telling me about how excited he is about the interview. No thank you, which I found completely rude. THEN he proceeds to be a dick to me because of stupid work shit that really had nothing to do with me. I was done early, he was not. He was pissed I didn't stay to help him and ate dinner with someone he hates. I said goodbye to him and he ignored me and walked right past me.

Second incident. My sister sends me a message on Facebook bitching about how I haven't sent her the pictures the boy took at her wedding. Pictures we were not asked to take, but did. Pictures that, for all intents and purposes, were for our own personal use. But her photographer sucked, so we said we would send her what we had. I get that the wedding was 3 weeks ago,but I have barely had any time to function. I have been so busy with school and work and finding a new job and just life in general. There are 600 pictures to go through. I get that she is excited and it was her wedding, but she didn't ask nicely. Her exact words, "So, anytime you can get around to that would be great."

Maybe I am just being sensitive today. I don't know. But, is it so hard to say please and thank you? Is it so hard to say, hey, you did a nice thing for me and I appreciate it? Or am I just being whiny and bitchy and need to just shut the fuck up?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You should probably just not read this.

Secret confession: I watch all the Real Housewives shows on Bravo. Start judging me, immediately. I deserve it. In fact, you should point and laugh. Possibly throw some virtual fruit. Or real fruit. But? BUT!

Why do they let these women make music? AND WHY THE FUCK DID ONE OF THE OTHER HOUSEWIVES CALL IT EARLY MADONNA? I can't deal. Granted, I am, for all intents and purposes, a metal head, so maybe I don't understand pop music. Like Lady Gaga. That shit makes me cringe. My grandmother loves her. My Grandfuckingmother. Mother fucker, fuck. That is all I really have to say about that. I tried to explain to her what the songs meant, but she wasn't having it. Then she called her creative and original and MOTHER FUCKER, FUCK. My grandmother is not allowed to like Lady Gaga. She is also not allowed to have paintings of penises hanging on her walls, but, she does. So, I guess, mother fucker, fuck.

I lost all sense of this post. Oh, yeah. Reality TV stars are no longer allowed to make music. If I had an Erratictopia, this would be law. In fact, based on all the bullshit laws we have passed recently, I wouldn't be surprised if it actually became law.

Also, my cat hates me. The boy is sick of hearing this, but for reals. Change of attitude today, to hate. Cats make no sense. Sort of like this post.


So, even though I hate baking, I thought I would share some of my creations with you. I only have two weeks left and AM SO STOKED TO BE ALMOST DONE. There aren't words. I haven't held a chef's knife more than once a week for 6 weeks and I feel naked. Hold me.

Fruit Tart
Fruit Tart
Coffee Cheesecake with Crushed Pecans
Vanilla Cake with Coffee Frosting
Banana Cream

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Holy. Balls.

Erratic: "I know who I want to marry us if we ever get married."

The Boy: "Carrot Top?"

Erratic: "Here is where you say you are kidding. You are about to say why you are kidding, right?"

The Boy: "I was about to explain why I would want Carrot Top to marry us."

Erratic: "Remember how you were supposed to say you were kidding?"

The Boy: "Oh, yeah, I was....OH! GALLAGHER! Then the front row would be a splash zone. Wait, are you blogging this. I see you typing. Are you typing this on your blog? I am going downstairs now."