Sunday, August 29, 2010

If you are easily grossed out by blood, skip this post.

I was chopping mushrooms at work and chopped a wee bit of my finger. I am always ridiculously calm in these situations, unlike my coworkers. One of them fainted and another screamed "WHERE'S THE FINGER?" Some people. So, my boss bandaged my finger by putting band aid after band aid on it until the blood stopped gushing. I drove myself to the emergency room where I sat, covered in blood, waiting for someone to take a look. I also documented the entire process in photos. Enjoy!

The hack job attempt at bandaging my finger.

The finger. Please don't faint. Sorry for the gore.

Getting stitched. He posed in an "action pose" for me. Bad ass doctor, that one.

They detached the fingernail because, and I quote, "nobody wants a fingernail just flopping around."

Yay! Stitched and bandaged!

Fuck. Still bleeding. Oh, nurse?

The short dog actually bit me. Fucker.

Broom Shoes

I have 1, 250 unread emails. My car looks like a homeless person is living in the backseat. Fuck, a homeless person could actually be living back there and I am not sure I would know. But, if there is a homeless person back there, I would appreciate if they would stop stealing my sharpies. I need them for work. My backseat homeless person is a dick.

I am watching my blog readership dwindle. Helplessly watching. I want to blog. I love this space, this little piece of me. I love all of you. I want to provide you guys with funny anecdotes of my culinary life.

Like this conversation with time change guy.

TCG: You know what the best idea ever is?

Erratic: I feel like this is a conversation I am going to regret, but what?

TCG: Broom shoes.

Erratic: And, here comes the regret.

TCG: No, seriously. So many people would buy broom shoes. Like moms.

Erratic: Why would moms buy broom shoes?

TCG: For their kids.

Erratic: The regret is actually becoming painful.

TCG: TONS of people would buy them.

Erratic: Like who? Other than the obvious answer of moms.

TCG: People who like brooms. AND PEOPLE WHO LIKE BROOM SHOES.

Erratic: So, your demographic for broom shoes are people who like brooms and broom shoes?

TCG: Don't forget moms.

Erratic: Ah, yes. Moms.

TCG: It's genius.

Erratic: Do you realize that drugs have made you this stupid?

TCG: You're just jealous of my broom shoes.

I love all of you that have hung in there. I promise to start blogging more. I promise to not be that person who promises to start blogging more and then stops blogging. I have SO MUCH I want to say. I will find the time to say it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jeff Lewis and shit.

I've had a day. Not a normal bad day or a normal good day. It is has been a frustrating mix of the two to the point where I just want to scream to the universe, MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MIND.

Good day, I get to be happy. Energetic. There is a little bounce in my step.

Bad day, I get to be bitter. Angry. I want to kick babies.

Instead I am happily bitter and kicking babies with a bounce in my step? This shit doesn't make sense.

School and finals went well. Small prep list at work, but one of my coworkers was being a dick. I ignored him because I was in a good mood. He worked my nerves until I called him a dick. I am professional.

We get out early. I get to come home and have a glass (or 100) of wine and watch some T.V.

My DVR won't work. I reboot it THREE MOTHER FUCKING TIMES. It works! Except for the show I want to watch. The one person who makes me feel better about being angry and bitter. Jeff fucking Lewis. Flipping Out is the ONLY show that will not play on my DVR.

This has been my day. I still have the wine, so, I can't be THAT mad. But, I still want to murder someone in the face because that is what Jeff Lewis would do.

I can't win.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sometimes I just really suck at words.

I never know what to say when someone is grieving. The default "you are in my prayers" is a lie coming out of my mouth. I don't lie, not in a time like that. I often say things like you are in my heart, or my thoughts. I offer sympathy and implore them to ask if they need anything at all. If it is in person, I give them a hug. If it is over the phone, I do my very best to make sure my voice is the appropriate tone. Over text/email/facebook or any other wholly inappropriate medium for sympathy, I am more lost than ever. Everything I write seems contrived and false.

I am capable of empathy and sympathy. I just don't understand. I mean, not really. I have never lost anyone that is so close to me it is devastating. I have lost people in my life, but they are all alive and well.

The thought of someone looking down on me from heaven is ludicrous. I know that it is comforting to some people, that their loved one is somewhere, happy and well. I understand that. But, it isn't really comforting to me. It freaks me out. My mom saying that to me when my grandfather died was when I first started doubting the existence of heaven. I was terrified to take off my clothes. Or shower. Or do anything wrong because my grandfather was watching. I realize that her intentions were innocent, but frankly, that scared the living shit out of me. Still kind of does. I seriously hope that if there is a heaven, they have better things to do.

Being an "atheist," or whatever it is you would call me, I sometimes struggle with the thought of afterlife, of what happens after death. Because, frankly, I don't know. And it makes me so uncomfortable to comfort people when all I want to do is talk about the deceased's life, when everyone else wants to talk about their death.

I usually just stick with an apology, a hug, and an offer to cook them a good meal. I can put my heart into the food, my grief, my sympathy, and my empathy. It's so much easier for me to love through actions than words. Sometimes, I just really suck at words.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My first almost gay threesome.

Tremont and I usually go out and get all crazy-like on Friday nights. Last Friday, we got out of work around midnight and hit up our Friday night bar. It is a seedy gay bar in a not so great neighborhood that has Jack and Coke's for $3. That is not a typo. These drinks are also three quarters jack and a quarter coke. My bar tab is usually $12. The bar itself is not that cool, the drink prices are.

We are sitting there enjoying our after work drink, too tired to even form conversation. There is a ridiculously drunk guy (DG) dancing around and his calm, Jim Gaffigan look-a-like partner. Jim asks us if we are servers, to which we reply no, we are...chefs? And then we both laugh and say we are line cooks. Jim immediately comes over and starts asking questions. Where do we work? How long have we been in culinary school? We are pleasantly talking and I decide to go inside and get another round. DG joins me and immediately tells me that I am hot and he wants to talk about my vagina.

In hindsight, this should have been a warning sign. But, Jim worked at a well-known restaurant and knew a lot of influential people. I wanted, if nothing else, to hear some stories and maybe one day, he would drop my name to someone important. Tremont must have had the same idea, because he took over the conversation and I ended up sitting there with DG. He was a nice enough guy, a prosecutor, and totally shit faced.

At last call, DG and Jim invited us over for some wine. I did not want to go, but Tremont convinced me. Plus, they had kittens, and really? I wanted to play with the kittens. So, we went over there and it immediately was obvious that I was the fourth wheel in what was developing into a threesome. I hid in the bathroom. I immersed myself in the kittens. DG was still kind of talking to me, but was obviously also concerned about the deep conversation that Tremont and Jim were involved in.

Then, in a drunken stupor, DG declares that they should just fuck and get it over with, which prompts an awkward fight and DG screams at Jim, "You stuck me talking to this fucking bitch all night." Tremont immediately came to my defense and we high-tailed it out of there.

Jim called later to make sure that we made it home and I could not even decipher words amongst the slurring.

It was by far the most awkward night of my life. It was also my first late night, industry "hook-up," which I have been told I will have many more of. Let's just hope there is less gay threesome action and more networking and meeting new friends.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

There are more where this came from...

My grandpa gives me things. He gives the boy things. Pictures. My grandmother's jewelry. Jamaican money. Weird things, things that he thinks will mean something to me. Often, they are just things he gets in the mail from organizations he sends money to. Like the American Indian Council. I mean, do not get me wrong, we are part American Indian, but probably not a large enough part to be giving money to a council. That sends you a bubble gum machine quality necklace.

But, tonight? Tonight, he gave me a gem to end all gems. First of all, this is "The TR-6." My father talks about this car with a longing, loving look in his eyes to this day. Mostly when he talks about flooring it down hill so he could make it up hill. Second of all, the hat. Just the hat. I want to remember my father always in this hat.

So, to those of you that know him and those of you that do not, feast your eyes on this genuine 1976 father of Erratic.
The whole family, my sister wasn't born yet. Check out my mom's shoes and socks! Oh, the hippies. The wonderful, wonderful orthopedic shoe wearing hippies.

Monday, August 9, 2010

About Me

I have struggled for most of my life with my own identity, fighting the battle of who I want to be and who I really am, wishing to be something I am not and sometimes changing a little bit about myself to come closer to this ideal. Sometimes I try to be who other people want me to be. I was crippled by shyness as a child, which will shock some of you because I am far from shy now. I started to force myself into situations that made me uncomfortable and eventually, I started to come out of my shell. My breath still catches in my throat when I walk into a room full of people I don't know. My first instinct is to look at the ground and stand in the corner. I have to force myself out of that shell every single time I walk into a new situation. It has gotten significantly easier over the years, but that shyness still nags at the back of my mind.

I am proud of this change, of forcing myself to work through my shyness. But, there are other battles in my mind. Other battles of who I am versus who I want to be.

I want to be someone who gets up at 7:00 am and works out and eats breakfast. I am someone who sleeps until the last possible second and is out the door and showered in 15 minutes with a Dr. Pepper for breakfast. If I have nowhere to go, I often sleep until noon.

I want to be someone who is a size 4 and always chooses the salad over the french fries. I am a size 10 and I will choose the french fries every single time.

I want to be someone who aspires to be a great chef. I am someone who just wants to find a well paying job that I love, cooking good food. I don't have the ambition to be great. And I am not willing to make the sacrifices it will take to get there.

I want to be understanding. I am critical. I am hard on people, I expect a lot of them.

I want to be someone who reads great literature and poetry. I just finished this book. And laughed my ass off through the whole thing. I am hoping all of you choose to believe that link takes you to Chaucer and do not actually click on it. Fuck, at least I know who Chaucer is.

I want to be active in politics and animal rights. I sign petitions and donate money and never actually do anything to help.

I want to have cute hair and cute clothes and perfect make up. I can't remember the last time anything other than moisturizer was on my skin. I dress like Simon Cowell and I don't remember the last time I got a hair cut. I have a closet full of shoes, but live in flip flops and non-slip kitchen shoes.

I want to love the outdoors. I hate nature and bugs. I like to look at it from the safety of my temperature controlled living room. The urge will come to be outside and get fresh air, but it is typically ruined by a dive-bombing bug and the urge quickly fades.

I want to not care that everyone in my life is in such a different place than me. Married, having kids, and I am working until 1:00 am and going out drinking. But, I do care. I wish I had figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up 10 years ago.

I am a lot of good things. I am funny, though often in a self deprecating way. I am accepting and open minded. I truly love people and animals, even though I often threaten to kill both in the face. I will stand up for other people and myself. I can laugh at myself. I am honest. I am brave.

When I started this blog, I knew I needed an About Me page. I like reading them on other people's blogs and I think that it is important to tell people who you are. I just never know what to write. On job applications when asked for words to describe myself, I usually put "really bad at thinking of words to describe myself." Seriously. The people at my current job still talk about it.

I have at least 10 drafts of an About Me page written, not one saying what I wanted to say about myself. I have had this blog for two years this month, although my anniversary of it going public is still a few months away. In those two years, my life has been turned upside down and changed so much. I have become a person I did not think I was capable of being. I have added brave to the list of things to describe myself only recently.

I would like to say that I am ever-changing and that is why it is so hard to write an About Me, but that would just be another thing added to the list of things I want to be but am not.

I have always been superstitious when it comes to saying something out loud. It's not true if you don't say it, it can still change if nobody knows. So, maybe there are some things I don't want to put in words yet, some things I still want to be able to change. Or maybe I am still working on accepting that some things cannot change.

Update: By great chef, I mean famous. World renowned. I want to be a great fucking chef, I just don't necessarily want to have a celebrity status or to win awards for it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You can't take me anywhere.

Tonight, the boy and I had a date night. We began the evening with reservations at an Italian restaurant which was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I ate all of mine and then finished the boys (we split an entrée and salad.) The waiter tried to hide his surprise, but failed. I found it quite humorous. It was very nice having someone else do the cooking for a change. Someone, notably, who is much better at it than I am!! I said to the boy during dinner that all I wanted out of life was to give people reactions to food the way that I reacted to that pork chop. I didn't care where I worked or who for.

Before and after of the pork chop:

I was tempted to lick the plate. That prosciutto sauce was AMAZING.

Next on the agenda was Wicked, which I have been wanting to see forever. It was pretty amazing. I didn't know how much they altered the story (from Gregory Maguire's books) so I was surprised how different it was. It was still amazing, though. I would totally see it again. I just wish the seats were a little less pricey so we could have been a little closer to the action.

All in all it was a great night and much needed break from our usual routine. We figured out at dinner it had been TWO MONTHS since we had a date night. Unacceptable, I say.

On an unrelated note, Prop 8 was ruled unconstitutional. Awesome doesn't even describe how I feel about that. I actually squealed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sometimes, it really is my fucking nightmare.

Our class is divided up into groups every week and each group is given a time to present their entrée. The groups are then divided into cleaning assignments. This is often the most frustrating part of my day because only about half the class actually cleans.

Today, being exhausted, I cleaned out the refrigerators and dry storage for our group, while they assisted with dishes and stoves. As I was doing this, I found myself getting lost in my thoughts and looking around the room. One of the non-cleaners was staring at our assignment list for the day for at least five minutes and I found myself wondering what was going through her head. Does she choose to be lazy? Was she thinking people were fooled by her attempt to look busy while doing absolutely nothing? Did she consciously make a decision to walk over there in lieu of cleaning? Or is her head just full of crickets chirping and bad grammar?

My eyes wandered to another girl, furiously doing dishes. I knew she didn't want to be here, that she wanted to get out of class so she could go home and smoke pot with her roommate. I again found myself wondering what she was thinking and what made her so different from the non-cleaner.

I then watched another girl, a girl I know to be crippled by insecurity, hide at the end of the dish tank like she does everyday, putting away dishes, careful not to draw attention to herself. She never does anything hard or tries to better herself in anyway. I wonder too if she consciously chooses the easy thing to do because she knows she can do it or if she is just too lazy or scared of embarrassing herself to do something else?

I find myself wondering often if other people's inner monologues are similar to my own. The first day of kitchen when we had to clean, I went straight for something I knew how to do. I was terrified of the dish machine, not knowing how it operated. My inner monologue was along the lines of, "not today. Try it another day. Not today." And I did. I watched people to figure it out and then asked when I was more comfortable.

I always think my mind is way different than everyone else's mind. That my thoughts are crazier, critical, darker. When I watch people, I like to imagine what they are thinking. To imagine that they are as crazy as I am.

Today as I watched that first girl, reading the list far longer than necessary I imagined she was thinking that if she squinted her eyes while reading it, people would think that she is concentrating. That she didn't want to do anything, but was sick of people saying that, so she was going to try really hard today to do absolutely nothing without getting yelled at. Step 1: awkwardly stare at list.

The girl furiously doing dishes wanted to go home, but she also wanted the girl she had a crush on to see how hard she worked. That she could do more than fuck around, that she was mature enough. She stole glances, hoping she was watching, but she never was.

The insecure girl, well, I imagined her head full of crickets and Justin Bieber songs.

The whole time I am watching them, Avenge Sevenfold's "Nightmare" was in my head.

"You should have known
the price of evil.
And it hurts to know you belong here.
It's your fucking nightmare."

All of this unconscious, just cleaning along, oblivious to the crazy in my head. Until it all dawned on me and I laughed out loud.

Way to go, subconscious me, way to go.

I am tiredly failing. Tiredly is not a word.

I know I have been absent and I am sorry. I get up, go to school, go straight to work, come home, go right to bed, and repeat. I am exhausted and exhilarated.

I love and miss you all and I hope to return soon. In the meantime, I will leave you with my burn, one week later. I am fairly certain I should have gone to the doctor right when it happened, but have chosen to believe that all will be fine. Plus, I'll have a bad ass scar!

My phone failed. I promise gruesome burn photos tomorrow. And maybe some ridiculously cute Neil photos. And a blog post. Or 12.

I fail at life.