Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Toast to Rockstar

Dear Rockstar,

I am your aunt Erratic. Can I call myself that? Yes? Awesome. I have never met your mom in person because we became friends in the strangest of ways, through our blogs. My blog is about inappropriate things and I say the word fuck a lot. You shouldn't say that word. Or read my blog. Your mom's blog is about you. The long journey to find you, the ups and downs and struggle it was for you to be The Rockstar. There was a lot of sad, a lot of happy, and a fair amount of beer along the way. And now you are almost here and nobody deserves you more than your mom and dad. They say good things come to those who wait. I don't know who "they" is and your parents certainly didn't deserve to have to wait one second, but they did. And you are good. And they are so happy to have you and I am so happy for them.

I remember reading the blog post when your mom announced that she was finally pregnant with you. There were tears streaming down my face. Tears for a woman that I have never met, but who has become such a part of my life. Your mom is awesome and I am so excited to see what is next for your little family. And I can't wait to finally get the chance to see your little face. And hopefully meet all of you one day.

So, here is to Rockstar. The long awaited gift to a very deserving family.

In honor of you, I have purchased this:

Because, well, if it wasn't about food, it just wouldn't be from me.


Your Aunt Erratic who didn't know what else to call herself for the purpose of this post so just went with that and can totally just go by that crazy bitch who blogs about food and her pets.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today's Theme: Disappointment

Today we went to Universal Studios, not to be confused with Universal Island of Adventures where I lost my shit and almost hid in the shops in Hogsmeade and stayed there forever. Where Island of Adventures was a five star restaurant, Universal Studios was a cold cheeseburger from Applebees. That was overcooked. And used to wipe someone's ass.

I may be exaggerating a bit here, but it was just a huge let down. The first thing we did was Shrek 4D, which was a 3D movie and the chairs moved. Neat, you think. No. They just shook back and forth and it kind of hurt. Shrek was funny because, well, Shrek is funny. But, that was about it. Oh, and when Dragon sneezed, the seat in front of you sprayed you with water. Good times.

Then we did the Twister thing which was supposed to put you in the heart of a town being ripped apart by a Tornado. It was like standing in front of a fan and watching a tornado. Not good. Not good at all.

Then there was Jaws, which is like their signature dish. Except it sucked. It was a water ride and I literally had like two drops of water on my sunglasses. And the acting. OMG THE ACTING. It was awful. The boy and I looked at each other and were like, really? REALLY?

The Simpson's ride was pretty cool. Similar to what they did with Harry Potter and if it hadn't made us fall from the sky, I would have actually opened my eyes. Because holy balls I almost shit myself when it first started. Hence why I am not telling you about my rollercoaster experiences. Because I will shit myself.

The park was older and not as well kept up. Even the children's areas, which were my favorite shit in Island of Adventures, were mediocre. 

If you are going to spend the money, just go to Island of Adventures. Skip Universal. It is overrated and boring. Seriously.

I also got some pictures of City Walk, which is awesome. It is all the bars and restaurants and doesn't require park tickets to get in. If we hadn't spent every dime we have (over $300) on park tickets, we would have spent way more time there.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Filler Post

I decided to try to blog while I was on vacation because, well, I wanted to share the awesomeness with all of you. Also, as a memory to me. Today we went on an airboat ride, saw a 12 foot alligator, and I held a 2 foot alligator. Who was soft. We went to the pool, grilled dinner, and now I am watching Glee and drinking Jack and Cranberry Ginger Ale. Delicious.

See? Not a whole blog post. We need downtime too.

So...right before we left, Neil figured out how to climb between the screen door and the screen guard and pop out the screen. And got stuck. It was hilarious. Here's pictures. Enjoy.

10 Things You Should Know About Orlando

  1. The state motto is actually "Turn right, then make a u-turn"
  2. The shower is set to scalding or cold. You might think, hey, this is probably just unique to you. It's not. 
  3. There are bugs everywhere. And some of them look like two bugs, but they're not. Maybe. I can't bring myself to google it.
  4. The oranges are as delicious as you would think they are.
  5. All of the stoplights last approximately eternity. 
  6. Nobody actually lives here, it is just tourists. 
  7. There are gecko's everywhere. And they are fearless and dart out in front of you and scare the shit out of you, even though you love Lizards.
  8. You can accidentally not pay the toll. Then your rental company will charge you a bazillion dollars for not paying the toll. They will also give you dirty, judgy looks. Probably.
  9. The Supermarket is not, in fact, Super. Unless you are buying crack. Or forties.
  10. No matter what the weather forecast says, it will be sunny and hot. Rain in the forecast? Won't happen. Unless there is a hurricane. I hear those bring rain.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Skip this one if you are not a Harry Potter fan.

Driving up to the park, I had butterflies in my stomach. It felt like a first date. With an amusement park. I was giddy with excitement. When I saw the back of the Hogwarts Castle from the road, I almost crashed into the median.

Walking up, it was all anticipation. I just wanted to BE. THERE. I didn't want to see all of the other shit. Then I walked into the park. 

I felt like a little girl. I can't explain it. My body tingled from head to toe. It is not just a bunch of rides, like other amusement parks I have been to. It transports you to another world. Dr. Seuss was probably my favorite. Don't tell Harry Potter. It was just so amazing. I admit it, I skipped a little. And there may have been a twirl or two.

Then came Harry Potter. And I am going to apologize a little bit here, because I am about to GUSH. School girl with the biggest crush in the history of ever and he held her hand and said he like, liked her GUSH.

Hogsmeade was everything I expected. It was just like an alley filled with shops and restaurants and bars. A waitress told me to expect it to be small, which in turn led me to being blown away by how big it was. 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was single handedly the coolest experience of my life. Even the boy, who is NOT a Harry Potter fan thought it was pretty bad ass. Essentially, you fly behind Harry on a broom through the castle and the grounds. I had a STUPID grin on my face the entire time. This is not something I do...I do not grin stupidly. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but it may be the single happiest moment of my life. Yes, I realize what this means. Let me have my moment.

There was Toon Land.

And some super heroes.

And some bad ass rides.

All in all, a damn good 30th birthday. I got exactly what I planned on, exactly what I feel like a kid again.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

They are everywhere!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

We arrived

Our condo. I have arrived in heaven.

"I need to take a picture of the condo for the blog. I have to poop will you take the picture?"

"of you pooping?"

"yes, I want a picture of me pooping for the blog."

"oh, of the condo...."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day one of vacation

'twas the night before Orlando
All through the house
Every creature was stirring
Except for a mouse
Neil was sniffing the bags
Looking for a place to hide
While short dog lay panting
And dreaming of rawhide
The boy was all packed
While erratic drank wine
Saying I'll pack tomorrow
Everything will be just fine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Insecurity Sucks

I am good at learning things, especially if they are repetitive. This makes me really good on a line. I get into habits and I repeat the same thing over and over and eventually I am consistent and fast. I do not think this is a unique quality. I think that most people, well, a lot of people can do this. I do not think this makes me special.

The sous chef at new job wants me to be more involved in creating the menu. This means soups, new menu items, daily features, and so on. The menu is a bistro style menu and it is constantly changing depending on what is in season.

Creating food isn't repetition. It is talent. It is being able to take 5 ingredients and turn them into something remarkable. It is not following a recipe. It is cooking from your heart, tasting, changing, until it is perfect. I do this at home all the time, sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail. I don't get to fail in a professional kitchen, not without it really hitting me hard. 

I'm a little scared. I am a little excited. This is the next step. This is the beginning. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

King Earl of the Moles

There are two things you need to know.
  1. Iceburg Jones and I constantly take on the persona of Earl and Brandine, a couple who drives around town on rascals. We speak in country accents and new people at work often think those are actually our names.
  2. I often call Iceburg Jones moley because when he first wakes up he is all squinty eyed and confused. He often comes to work in this state.
I got this text from Iceburg Jones last night when I got to work. I couldn't stop laughing.

Ohhhh fuck I am lost in a park right now. I'm moleying around the trails and I don't remember how to get back from where I came. Oh god. Where am I, Brandine? Come rascal me outta here my legs are tahrd! I think I'm going to just burrow a little mole hole and wait for help to arrive...and if help never comes, well, this is will be my life. I'll run with my mole brethren in tunnels underground, and they will crown me their king. King Earl of the Blendon Woods Mole Colony. Cower at our moley stance of confusion! Tremble at the sight of our squinty little eyes and our inability to find things in a kitchen. Perished will be all those foolish enough to cross us, for our claws are strong and our little gnawing teeth are kind of sharp. Probably. I, King Earl of the Moles, shall lead my brethren bravely with eyes half open to the underground world of victory! ......Seriously Erratic where the fuck am I? I am literally standing in a box of butterflies now...I have no better way of describing this. All I know is I did not walk through a box of butterflies on the way here...kind of neat though.
I always check my phone when I am peeing, so I was sitting on the toilet with a line outside the door laughing so hard I was choking. Tears running down my face, I walked out of the bathroom stall to a small group of people staring at me in complete awe and bewilderment. Which, of course, just made me laugh harder.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Agent's Office

Sometimes I wonder how actors get certain roles. I just saw a preview for Taylor Lautner's new movie, Abduction. And I pictured the scenario like this...

Agent: So, I have a list of scripts sitting here, what sounds good?
Lautner: This is all chick flick shit. Not again. I cannot be another werewolf with abs.
Agent: But in this one you get to be the understanding straight friend who is there for the girl he loves and then gets her in the end.
Lautner: Seriously? Isn't that the EXACT same role I just played. In Twilight, the douchiest chick flick of all time?
Agent: Well, here is one where you get to play the ass hole love interest who doesn't get the girl, but breaks the girls heart.
Lautner: I want to kick some ass! Be in a man's movie! I want to work with like Jackie Chan or some shit!
Agent: Well, there is this one script...
Lautner: I'll do it!

...a year later...

Lautner: WHY DID YOU LET ME DO THIS? This movie is terrible. TERRIBLE. I look like a total fucking ass hat.
Agent: Well, you wanted to be all macho and shit.
Lautner: Nobody is going to see this movie except for prepubescence girls who are swooning over me and actually hate the entire movie.
Agent: I tried to warn you, dude.
Lautner: Isn't there a new Twilight movie coming out soon? I need to get my reputation back.
Agent: And your abs....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's good to be home.

The wedding was beautiful.

I am exhausted.

My sister managed to make me feel like complete shit for being the last cousin to get married, which is not that crazy because there are only four of us. I come from a small family. Clearly.

I watched my cousins twins all weekend because she was in the wedding. It seemed like there were easily 14 babies. I am not even kidding. Trying to keep them fed, sleeping, changed, and entertained a midst everything else was like trying to wrangle four hundred cats. Really, really cute cats. I don't know how they do it. Every inch of my body is sore, partially because they are at the age where they flail and generally just beat the shit out of me all weekend. But, I also kind of want to drive to see them every weekend because, dear lord, these babies have my heart. 

There were a lot of hours in the car, a lot of shitty nights of sleep due to terrible beds, a ton of alcohol, more food than I care to admit, and a lot of love and family.

All in all a good weekend. Now, if you will excuse me, I would like to go sleep for a week. Or, you know, work. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Sometimes I am an idiot. No, that is an understatement. Sometimes I am a downright, full fledged fucking stupid ass hole. This week, today, all fall into that category.

My cousin is getting married this weekend, which in and of itself does not make me stupid. But, my new schedule is still at the "I am going to fucking die from exhaustion" point. I have not quite gotten used to the hours, to say the least. Once everything gets back to normal, I will be working Monday through Friday 9 am to 3 pm at New Job and Sunday through Thursday 4 pm to close at Old Job. These past two weeks have been a mixture of fading out the old, already posted schedule and working into this new schedule. There has been a lot of running around and I do not honestly remember the last day I had off. Other than the labor day work picnic, which I don't count. I was supposed to work 11 days straight, which turned into 15. I am a little spent.

So, back to me being a giant fucktard. I leave for Indianapolis tomorrow immediately following my shift at New Job. Like, my father will be waiting at my house tapping his foot, checking his watch, and possibly honking the horn. I am not kidding. He is not so happy that we are leaving at 3 pm. If he could time my shower and change of clothes with a stop watch screaming "get it together, solider, we leave at 1500 hours, not a minute later" he would. The man has never been in the military. He is just a wee bit anal. So...this means that tonight, when I got home from work, I had to pack and get completely ready so that I can jump in/out of the shower and run, full speed ahead to the car tomorrow after work. 

This was not a good plan. The days are taking their toll. I am getting crabby. And tired. And crabby.

THEN my shoes didn't come in the mail. The shoes that were supposed to be here yesterday. The shoes that went with the dress and the necklace and the earrings and THE WHOLE OUTFIT. I don't do this except for weddings, people. I have no shoes.

THEN the earring/necklace combo didn't match. They were the same brand and sold as a matching pair and did not match. And they came in the mail today. No time to fix it. Thank Jesus I have alternate earrings I can roll with in a pinch.

So. Let's summarize. I have no time, no shoes, no patience, and my eyebrows look like two caterpillars having some sort of bug war on my forehead. I NEED TO PLUCK. And my toenails are hideous. Fuck, I forgot about the toenails.

I am having a nervous breakdown people. Sound the alarms. I'll get the beer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reality always trumps dreams.

Often youthful ignorance gets in the way of reality. I frequently talk about the food system in this country and what I believe to be wrong with it. I love the idea of eating from the community that I live in, eating animals and vegetables I can literally reach out and touch. 

This simply doesn't happen. I am learning a lot about our food system at new job. Being a kitchen team of 6, I am a lot more in touch with where our food comes from. Friday, I shelled soy beans grown just 4 miles from Big Jed's house. I joked that she probably knew the farmer or, at the very least, knew of his farm. I spend a lot of time slicing tomatoes grown on the owner's farm. I made guacamole today using jalapeno's grown in our city. This is easy during the summer. Corn, peppers, tomatoes, soy beans, and squash are abundant in Ohio from June to August. Then fall hits and it is squash and squash and squash. And some cauliflower and broccoli thrown in for good measure. There are only so many squash dishes one can put on their menu. 

So, food starts to come from Mexico and South America. If we are lucky, California. The fight to eat locally is valiant and a fight that needs to be fought, do not get me wrong. But, running a restaurant on food grown solely in the state of Ohio is next to impossible. Unless you know someone with a very large greenhouse and your money tree is growing Benjamins. 

Most crops grown in Ohio are used for animal feed. Driving through the rural counties you see a speckling of soy beans and corn, very rarely anything else. The soy that is used for human consumption is mostly sent overseas. The edamame you buy at Trader Joe's....not as local as they would like you to think.

I read a blog that talks about canning tomatoes and corn and beans. Freezing produce grown in the summer to eat all winter long. Essentially, to do what our ancestors did. To spend all summer growing food to feed your family all winter. Would I love for this to be my reality? Oh, hell yes I would. But, it's not. It's not even close. I am lucky if I cook a meal once a week. Our freezer is full of TV dinners that can be heated on the run, between jobs, or after a long ass day. 

It feels hypocritical to not practice what I preach. It makes me feel like no matter how much I care, I will never be able to lead by example. I will never work for a chain restaurant. I will never work someplace that fills their menu with high fructose corn syrup. It will never happen. But, I will work places that buy avocado's from California and peppers from Mexico. I will work places that try their hardest to source their ingredients locally, that do their best to live by the ideals I feel are important. I can promise you that.

I just wish that more people would demand our food system change so that it is easier for all of us to change.  I wish I had even the tiniest bit of influence in this world. I will continue to do my best, within my means, to live by these ideals. But, sometimes, it just feels like a lost cause.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Imperfect Perfection

Here is the thing about working in two different worlds...they bleed into each other, creating this muddled mess of rules and food and habits.

Old job is regimented. It is strict and clean. The food is uninspiring. It is monotony and routine. It is unpredictable and predictable at the same time. It is sweat running down my back. It is rip your hair out stress. The language is muted, tongues are bitten. Political correctness runs rampant. Dick jokes are told in the corners of the walk-in. Cell phones are checked in secret. Camera's watch all the rules that are broken. It is customers paying high prices because they think organic means healthy. It is 100 chickens a day, 100's of quarts of rice, 150 quarts of fries. Eight hour shifts last an hour. It is the rush, the sweat, the camaraderie. It is family.

New job is relaxed. It is laid back and often dirty. The food is original, created daily. It is local ingredients, brought in buckets from farms. It is making mayonnaise from scratch daily. Fuck this, fuck that. Do your fucking job. It is laughter and jokes and inappropriateness. It is about the food. Not the rules. It is easy, barely breaking a sweat. It is finding stuff to do to keep busy so the shift goes faster. 

I clean too much at new job, they look at me like I am crazy. I find myself forgetting to put on gloves in the open kitchen windows at old job. I hesitate to say fuck this at new job, and say fuck that too much at old job. The lines are blurred. Between two imperfect places, two imperfect points in my life. Two places I know I will not be in 5, 10, 15 years. Because all of this is finding my perfection, my perfect place. Where I run the kitchen my way, I make the food my way, and I say fuck all I want.