Tuesday, November 19, 2013

All work and no play make Erratic a very happy girl

Wow. It has been over a month since I posted. You guys, my bad. That's all I've got. My bad. But if it makes anyone feel any better, it's because I have been busy living life and doing things and overall just positive shit.

So, new job. New job is mother fucking amazing. Not only do they love me, I love them. The restaurant has been opened for about 10 years and has literally never had a kitchen manager. So, I have my work cut out for me, but I love that. I love that I get to put all the policies and procedures in place and fix this shit. I really, really love this job. I feel needed and wanted. I am having a staff meeting a week from today that is going to be a turning point. A lot of people are going to quit and I am OK with that. I will make it work. 

One of my benefits is a free shift drink every shift I work. Unless my boss is there, then it is a free cab ride home because he gets me drunk as fuck. For free. Kind of counterproductive. But, whatever. So, last night I sat after work and drank with one of the servers and a bunch of kitchen staff from a steak house that is around the corner. She basically told me that nobody had any faith in me until they met me and now everyone loves me. And they have total faith that I can fix everything that is wrong. It felt really, really good. Because, I am good at what I do. I may not be the most confident person on earth, but dammit, I am good at what I do.

I am, however, working ALL. THE. TIME. I have been working all night tonight when I realized I needed to post something here. When I'm not there, I am still working on catching up a decade of paperwork and shit that has just been neglected. I am probably making $3 an hour at this point. Thankfully my gay neighbor family helps take care of the Short Dog. Speaking of...

The Short Dog has fleas. Again. I finally just bombed my apartment thinking that maybe I moved into a infestation of some kind. There is no other explanation. He has never had fleas. My neighbor has a very poorly taken care of dog, so I am thinking they are coming from his apartment? I don't know. I am over mother fucking fleas. This poor dog has been through hell these past few months. I just want him to be better!

So that is what's up with me. Work, work, more work and fleas. How are all of you? I miss being here. I promise to return soon.




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Liquor in glass bottles is for rich people.

I have said so many bad things, I want to tell you about all of the good. Because I am doing well and I feel like if you read this blog, you probably think that I am in a partially condemned building crying. That is only half true. I'm not crying.

Last night Earl called and asked if I wanted to hang out. So, we hit up happy hour at the local restaurant we can only afford to drink at during happy hour, then headed to the gay bar for Monday night Karaoke. I told no one where I was going. Just hanging out with Earl. By the end of the night, every single friend I have in the neighborhood, and a few from other neighborhoods, had wandered in and joined our table. What started as two of us, ended with about 12 friends laughing and hugging and having a good time. 

If I get stuck at work, I simply have to sound the alarm and there are 6 different people willing to let out the dog.

When I get home from work, or even on my day off and just need to see a friendly face, I simply sit on the stoop with a beer and wait. Someone will walk by and sit with me. 

One of the guys on the street is getting evicted for stupid reasons that you all don't care about. We rallied around him and he moved in with another friend, I rented a UHaul (I am the only one on the block with a drivers license) and helped him move.

I drive people to the laundromat and the grocery store. They make me dinner when I am too broke or too lazy to make it myself. 

All of these people have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years and are a big, mismatched family. And they adopted me. 

Last night at the bar, my next door neighbor looked at me and said, "I hope that when you get back on your feet and can afford a better apartment, you will stay in the neighborhood. Because you are one of us now." I almost cried. I can't tell you what that feels like. To just know someone is always there. Sure, I know my friends are there for me. Absolutely. But they all have lives. And work normal hours. And live far away. This is easy. We are all right here, supporting one another. 

Towards the end of my relationship with the boy, I got very lonely. It is hard to explain feeling lonely with someone in the next room, but it is the worst kind of lonely. And I was terrified to be alone again when I was already in kind of a bad place. But our little family is all single and all get lonely. They understand when I knock on the door and say I just need a hug. I usually get a hug and a drink and sometimes even dinner. And when they show up on my door step and just need a hug, I happily let them in, hand them a beer and give them a hug.

And now for the really, really great news. I got a new job. With FREE benefits. You read that correctly. I pay nothing for medical, dental and eye coverage. And it pays me more than I am making now. And it's salary. And it's my own kitchen. AND I GET TWO WEEKS PAID VACATION. It is sort of my dream job. Seriously. I have been wanting to work for this restaurant group since before culinary school. No, it's not a chain. Just a bunch of locally owned places under one umbrella.

So. Good things are happening. I have found myself a little family in the hood and a job that means I can afford to actually do this. I am burning all the Ramen and buying a bottle of bourbon that doesn't come in a plastic jug.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Positivity

I had some friends come over last night and they were the first to officially see my tiny shit hole apartment. I expected very poor reactions. I expected them to gasp in horror then run screaming back to their gorgeous houses in the suburbs. They didn't. They were supportive and awesome and said the sweetest kindest things that I didn't even know I needed to hear. Because here is the thing about being single at 32...it kind of sucks. And I know I am not the only person that has done this and I know that other people have found the one later in life. 

But I want to be single. I don't want to find anyone for a long time. I probably will not have children. At least of my own. The next person I do date will probably be divorced. Or have children of their own. Or be younger than me. I sit and think about these things with zero emotion because I have no emotion to give them. 

People say things, like, "I could never live somewhere without a washer and dryer." or "God, the second floor? All those stairs would kill me." or "You have to walk the dog EVERY TIME he has to go outside. Ugh. I could never do that." or "If I were you, I would have looked harder for an apartment that was nicer and allowed you to keep the dog."

Guess what...this is my reality. Mine. These are my choices. And dwelling on all the negative and all the bad puts me in a place I can't afford to be in. Because then I don't get out of bed and walk the dog. I don't go to the laundromat to clean my clothes. I don't hand wash my dishes. I lie on the couch and feel sorry for myself. 

I find myself saying this phrase all of the time. This is my reality. It's hard and messy and sometimes super shitty. But, it's how I live now. It's who I am now. I am safe. I am happy. But I am doing this. I am living this life and I can't dwell in a negative headspace and fall into a hole I'm not sure I could pull myself out of.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So many hipsters...

My life has been a whirlwind of "are you ok?" lately. And there is no easy answer to that question.

Yes, I am physically fine. Emotionally I am better than I thought I would be.

However, everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong and I am somehow still surviving.

Two days before I officially moved out (I was staying at a friends) I had to commit my friend to the psych ward at Ohio State. He was depressed, drunk and suicidal. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I spent 12 hours in the emergency room watching him sober up, try to escape (they immediately put him on a 72 hour hold, so he couldn't leave), get sedated, cry, laugh, cry some more. If you have never seen someone hit rock bottom, count yourself lucky. It is the hardest thing I have ever watched. And it changed me. It changed how I view alcohol and depression. He is going through a divorce, moving from a house to a tiny shit hole apartment. Our lives are mirroring each other right now and I will fully admit that I have drowned my sadness in alcohol quite a few times since this all happened. I am now hyper aware of how many beers I drank, how many shots I did at the bar, how many glasses of wine. It is not out of the realm of possibility that my life could have headed down a similar path.

Then I moved. And am still surrounded by boxes because I have a house amount of shit and a one bedroom apartment. That is a complete shit hole. I am basically renting from slum lords who can't even paint the place. The door at the top of the stairs was kicked in and the dead bolt doesn't work. Let's just say my father is less than thrilled with my new digs.

But I'm on a busy street with restaurants and bars and constant traffic. I feel very safe. I know every single neighbor and we sit out on the front stoop at night and drink beers and laugh at the hipsters. Because, yes, I now live in that neighborhood that isn't cool yet. So, the hipsters are EVERYWHERE. ON UNICYCLES. WITH IRONIC BEARDS.

Last Friday, the general manager (the friend who asked me to come work down there) unexpectedly quit. And my nemesis took over. I expressed to the owner repeatedly that I would not work for him and he made me promise to give him time. My old job called today and offered me a job. Just a line cook position, but it is 3 blocks away. And the little cafe on the corner is hiring part time day help, so I may be making some more changes. Because, you know, fuck it. Change everything at once.

I have a very different attitude. I have done a lot of soul searching, got back into old habits of being single. Allowing myself to feel what I need to feel, do what I need to do. There is no longer guilt for lying in bed all day because I am just sad and need to lie in bed all day. I spend a lot of time outside walking Short Dog. Obviously, my second story shit hole doesn't have a yard. But I need to get out and see people. Just say hi to someone on the sidewalk. The last time I lived alone, I was in the suburbs and never left the house. It got dark there for a while and after seeing what my friend is going through, I know I can't let myself get there. I can't let myself wallow in my own misery. So, when I feel sad and overwhelmed, I leash him up and just wander around. The neighborhood is full of old, historic homes so there is never a lack of scenery. And it's fun to explore a new neighborhood.

I am listening to happy music, watching happy movies and concentrating on being happy. It is so easy for me to fall down that emo trap and to feel sorry for myself and I refuse to do it. This is my reality right now. I can choose to live it and love it or I can choose to be miserable. I choose love. I choose happy. Sitting and dwelling on what I lost and what everyone else has that I don't isn't going to help anyone. I am doing me now. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Post I Thought I Would Never Write

The boy and I broke up. It is part of why I have been absent. I give up on excuses of why I am absent. I'm not sleeping or eating or doing things normal people do. I don't know how he is because he is staying elsewhere...I don't know where that is. 

I am not going to taint what we had by blogging about why it ended. It just did. I just hung up the phone with my future landlord and I am moving into an apartment that consists of a tiny kitchen, a living room, a bathroom and a bedroom. A nice apartment that I love. I have to have my father cosign because of the foreclosure. I feel like a 19 year old.

I have no room for anything I own. I look at the few boxes the boy has already piled up for me and I think, there is no place for any of this in my life. My kitchen equipment, my dishes, my spices. None of it. 

I'm not sure when I am going to blog again. Right now, it's just not my priority. I love all of you, but I have to figure out me for a little while. I have to move and sell most of my belongings and reconcile what is happening. I have to figure out how to be alone again. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The moral of the story: just don't ever take me seriously. ever. well, maybe sometimes. this post is a mess.

Clarification: I secretly love that Robin Thicke song. I am not saying that people shouldn't listen to the song. I am just saying it is part of a very prevalent rape culture in this country and to suggest that it should be some sort of feminist anthem is what I have issue with. Do I like that songs like this are part of the mainstream media? Not really. But the song is catchy and I find myself bopping along to it in the car. 

Also that song is taking over my life. 

And I love Jimmy Fallon. And this was awesome. And he is hot. But also kind of douchey, right? Like, when I look at him I immediately know I wouldn't like him. 

Anywho...Here is my thing with rape culture. I am not worried about my peers all of a sudden thinking, well, I never thought it was cool to assume a girl wanted it when she didn't before, but now that Robin Thicke says it's ok, well, shit. Let's do it.

I am worried about our generation's sons and daughters. I am worried about the lessons we are teaching them about what the word no means. And how to treat women. I'm just scared we are trivializing women's rights to their own sexuality. 

Maybe that is a tad hypocritical? I don't mind the songs being out there as long as we don't listen to the lyrics? I don't know. I just know several people contacted me IRL life like "OMG HOW DO YOU NOT LIKE THAT SONG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU LIGHTEN UP." And I am all, chill. 

Robin Thicke is kind of a douche who thinks he's some kind of feminist. I simply want to point that fact out. 

And then listen to that stupid mother fucking song and laugh every time he says "what rhymes with hug me?" Because: nothing.

So, teach your sons to respect women and THEN let them listen to Robin Thicke. Can we all agree on that?

Also I dropped a 2 X 4 on my foot and it hurts to put weight on it, which makes my dad think it is broken. I have never broken a bone, but I am walking on it, so I assume it is not broken? Well, I have broken toes. And those don't hurt that bad. So...I don't know. Maybe I broke my foot. Maybe I will wake up tomorrow and it will all be fine. Except it is swollen and black and blue. So, maybe not fine? 

I need to make friends with a doctor. Any doctors out there? I need you on retainer. And by retainer I mean you can have some beers when you come over to diagnose whatever I have done to harm myself today. You're going to need to bring a tetanus shot, an x-ray machine and lots and lots of stitches.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Baby otters, feminism, and all of you filing a restraining order.


  1. I am addicted to Whisper. If you don't know what it is, it is a lot like the PostSecret iPhone app. If you don't know what PostSecret is, why are we friends? Just kidding. Sort of. I don't really post anything on it and get super annoyed at the 17 year old emo shit, but the voyeuristic quality of just reading people's deepest darkest secrets is something I can't resist. I have always said that if I had any superpower, it would be invisibility. I don't want to watch people have sex or anything. I am just kind of fascinated by the idea of watching people when they don't think anyone is watching. 
  2. That last bullet point was super creepy. Let's not all get restraining orders at once. I promise to leave your bushes now....
  3. The weather here has been so nice that we have had our windows open for about a week. No, I am not blogging about weather. But, when there is a light breeze and it is slightly cool and all the neighborhood noises float in the room, I am so at peace I can't even explain it. It is my favorite thing in the world to wake up this way. Maybe I would like camping...
  4. I have had this song in my head all day. Every time someone said hey, I immediately responded "hey hey hey." The reason is that on the way to work, the radio station said that in response to the controversy over his music video and lyrics, Robin Thicke responded that his song should be the new feminist anthem. Or something. I am not fact checking that quote. So I played the song on my phone before going into work and WHAT. Objectify women. Absolutely. Don't care. Women are hot. If a woman wants to strut around on stage naked, that is her choice. That is feminism. Women choosing. HOWEVER. You are calling the song "blurred lines" and saying "I know you want it" over and over while inferring that she does not, in fact, want it because she is a good girl. Ugh. Rape culture. Just stop. IF A WOMAN WANTS IT, SHE WILL ASK FOR IT. IF SHE DOESN'T, IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE THAT SHE DOES IN FACT WANT IT AND GIVE IT TO HER. Feminism my fucking ass.
  5. I am the only person at work that knows my coworkers girlfriend is pregnant and it is KILLING ME. I want to tell everyone. He is so adorable about it. A family came in the other day with a baby and next thing I know he is at the table (he is a server) holding the baby with this stupid grin on his face. There is NOTHING cuter than a man with a baby. Not even otters. Maybe otters. A MAN HOLDING A BABY OTTER. My brain just exploded.
  6. I just finished a 5 book series and feel lost. I know, Pocket Pen, I will start the next one you told me to STOP EVERYTHING AND READ RIGHT NOW. I really will. I just always feel like I lost a friend when I finish a series. Is that weird? Is this reason number 462 I need therapy? 
  7. It's official. I am a fan girl...what I swore I would never be. I now own a MacBook Pro, an iPad and an iPhone. And I sold my Kindle. WHAT HAS THE BOY TURNED ME INTO?
  8. I hate my job. I have avoided talking about it and I know I need to make a change soon. I am still not really ready to talk about it. 
  9. I think I have the name picked out for the catering company. I need input, if you all don't mind. It is between "Infused: A private chef experience" and "Infused private catering." Eh? 
  10. This post was super shouty. My bad.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

That one time I accidentally went to the bar by myself on a Saturday night.

Last night I got a text from the gang at my old job asking if I wanted to meet them out late night for drinks. Restaurant week just ended for them and they lost THREE employees during that week. They needed a drink or 12. I asked them to text me when they were done and I would walk to the bar. 

This is where the story goes from an awesome night out with friends to one of the most awkward nights of my life.

I get the text and hit the pavement. I arrive at the bar to see a gaggle of hipsters outside smoking. I pull out my phone and send a text asking if they have arrived. All the hipsters go inside except one who immediately strikes up a conversation with me. I sort of cut her off, explaining I was meeting someone there. I wasn't trying to be rude, she was being a bitch and I didn't really want to deal with it. At one point she said "you can go inside, nobody will bite you." Bitch, please. This is my bar. 

I grab the LAST seat at the bar and order a beer from the bartender who is also my friend. I play on my phone for a minute, trying to kill time. 15 minutes goes by and I ask the bartender if she has seen the gang, maybe I missed them in the back room. She says she has not. 

I order another beer. 

The girl next to me proceeds to be the biggest cunt I have ever overheard. A bartender/servers nightmare. Extra this, extra that, this drink is too strong. (WHO SAYS THAT AT A DIVE BAR? THAT IS WHY YOU GO TO DIVE BARS!) She was a nightmare. So, I post something to facebook to this effect and tagged all the guys, saying you assholes better get here fast. They respond they will be right there. Awesome.

I start texting Big Jed.

The chicks frat boy boyfriends show up. They share one IQ point amongst the three of them.

I am frantically giving Big Jed a play by play.

"Frat boy just introduced himself to me and now pity small talk. SAVE ME FROM THIS."

"Leave now. Abort!!! Abort!!!"

"I just got the creepy 'are you alone?' look. "

"Uh oh. I hear the theme from jaws."

"Hear it? I am moments away from having to chainsaw out of a shark*."

"No. Serioulsy, I am gripping a bar stool for dear life."

"I want to scream I HAVE FRIENDS really loud but I feel like that would make it worse."

"I am in the circle of hell Dante forgot about...awkward."

Then they finally showed up. ONE HOUR LATER. Seriously, like four people tried to have pity conversations with me and two different guys tried to pick me up. And not in a good way. One of them was a regular who is always TRASHED and never remembers me and is old enough to be my grandfather. I see him everywhere and he always has no idea who I am. 

I forced them to buy me TWO rounds of shots before I would even speak to them. 

Frat boy walked up to me as I was leaving the bar at close and said, "I really thought you got stood up. I'm glad you really do have friends."

And I was just drunk enough to say, "Yeah, me too. I appreciate the awkward pity conversation, though. That totally helped the situation." I forgot to hold up my sarcasm sign because he smiled and said, "you're welcome." Apparently Saturday was not his day for the IQ point.

*This is a Sharknado reference. If you have not yet seen Sharknado, please stop everything you are doing right now and watch it. It is the worst movie I have ever seen in the best possible way.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

What horror movie would you choose to live in?

You are all about to get a sneak peak into my brain. Beware. (insert sinister music)

I am driving home from work tonight and it was pouring down rain. There is construction on the state route I take to work, so they had those giant night construction nights. I pass the construction, completely blind from the light, when I see a semi pulled over on the side of the road and what I believe to be the truck driver standing in the middle of the road. I started to slow way down, trying to figure out what was going on. I got closer, blinked a few times and realized nobody was there.

My immediate reaction was to say, out loud, "Well, fuck, now I'm going to die."

I proceeded to then figure out exactly which kind of horror movie I would like to die in. This is why leaving me alone for 30 minutes in the car is dangerous.

  1. Slasher. The problem with slasher movies is that the characters always die because they are doing something stupid. They run upstairs when the killer is chasing them, they answer the door, they run into a barn, they run into a basement. I would hopefully not be stupid. So, this one is a contender.
  2. Religious/Satanic. Nope, nope, nope. I do not want my head to spin around and vomit pea soup. A nemesis that you can't see is not how I want to go. I want to stand a chance and fight. This one is definitely out.
  3. Supernatural/ghost. Same thing as above. That movie "The Grudge" where that chick crawls around and makes that croaking noise. Holy terrifying. I would die of fear. Plus, you can't kill a ghost, right?
  4. Vampire. While I do love a lot of books about vampires, they are always good. The movies where they are bad are kind of terrifying because of the whole undead thing. Oh and the super human strength thing. Yeah, I'll pass.
  5. Zombies. Now this is an adversary I can get on board with. They are dumb and slow. In order to survive I have to simply stay away from them. And I have watched enough Walking Dead to know that just means taking over a prison, clearing it out, and boom. I live.
  6. Monster. I mean, it depends on the monster? If it were say a giant water monster, I could live without swimming. If it was like a million bug like things, I'm out. Godzilla like monster...again, it's just one monster and I feel like I would be smart enough to avoid it. You know, because it's huge. And very visible. And presumably easy to avoid. So...maybe on this category.
  7. Psychological. FUCK THIS NOISE. I have seen all the "Saw" movies. I have never once looked at one of those situations and seen a clear choice. Other than putting a gun to my head. No way. Nuh uh. None of that shit for me.
  8. Aliens. This is kind of like the monster one to me. I mean, is the government handling it like in Independence Day (which is not at all a horror film, I know) or am I like face to face with an alien that is sliming me? Or are they among us and I don't know who the enemy is? Ooh. No. I don't want that. I like a clear cut enemy.
The conclusion I came to is that if my life becomes a horror movie, I would like for it to be a zombie horror movie. I pretty much want it to be The Walking Dead, please. If you need me, I'll be chilling with Daryl.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baby or Meth? You decide.

I was in CVS picking up allergy medication, mouthwash, nail polish and wine. I was eyeing my mouthwash options when I saw someone approach. 

"I know you don't know me from anybody else, but I don't have enough money to buy my baby formula."

I continued looking at mouthwash, sort of wishing the situation away. 

"I don't want money, I, God, this is so embarrassing. I can't believe I am even asking you to do this. Can you buy this formula? I don't get paid until Thursday and I don't know what to do. I don't want to steal it."

Without looking up, "How much is formula?"

"About $16. The baby needs the iron in this particular brand. It is more expensive. I'm really sorry. I can get something else if I need to."

I look up, seeing him for the first time. Tears are in his eyes and he can't make eye contact with me. 

"Come on. I need something from the pharmacy."

He hesitates and looks at me as I walk away, clearly not walking towards the checkout lanes.

"Are you coming? I need something from the pharmacy."

He scurries along behind me, rambling nervously about how he doesn't get paid until Thursday and the government assistance only gives him 8 things of formula a month and it is never enough, but normally he has enough money.

I put up my hand to stop him. "I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this for your baby." I hand him the formula and tell him to have a good night. He thanks me profusely and I give him a tight smile. 

I was annoyed. I was annoyed that he didn't budget his money better. I was annoyed that I quite possibly just bought someone something they were going to use to cut their meth. I was annoyed that I was the person he walked up to in the pharmacy, although I am sure my clearly frivolous purchases encouraged his approach. 

I did it because the thought of there being a baby sitting in some shit hole apartment with no food broke my heart. Which, I am sure, is part of the scam if it was a scam. 

As he drove off, he honked and thanked me again. With a baby in the backseat of the car and a woman in the passenger seat. My heart swelled. I did the right thing. 

I unlocked my car and a gentleman approached and asked me for money for food. I smiled at him and said, "I will drive down to subway and get you a sandwich if you would like."

To which he replied, "No thanks, I don't like Subway." So be it.

I posted about my first encounter and subsequent purchase on Facebook and how the boy gave me endless shit about it when I got home, saying "You always fall for this shit." 

Most of the comments were positive. One person in particular made some comment asking if the gentleman smoked and agreeing with the boy that I shouldn't have done it. 

The same person posted about a woman who was in the gym trying to lose weight and was bragging to this person how proud she was of herself that she went for a month straight and her husband took her out for pizza as a reward. This person basically called this woman fat and lazy and chided her for eating pizza as a reward. 

I am pretty OK with where I fell tonight. I am pretty OK with the side I was on. Because, you know what, I don't want to go through life not trusting people. Hating people. I'm not stupid, clearly based on the second encounter. I am not irresponsible about giving money to people who beg. I am going to spend my evening thinking that I helped a desperate father. And anybody who wants to can spend their evening thinking I helped some guy cook meth. I don't really care. 

Because in the end, I believe in helping people and giving back. You never know someone else's circumstances, you have never lived in their shoes. 

I left work one day and my gas light was on. I pulled up to the pump and realized I did not have my wallet. I only had enough gas to get back to work. I went back and was lucky enough that I could borrow $10 from petty cash and pay it back the next day. 

What would have happened if I didn't have those circumstances? What would have happened if I worked in an office building, everyone had left and I had no access to money? I would have had to beg people at the gas station to give me money so I could get home. 

Yes, sometimes they are meth heads. But, sometimes they are real people in really bad circumstances that just need that $17 can of formula to get them through. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Garden

The garden is in full bloom! Well, sort of. Mostly, we're just eating a lot of lettuce. The seedlings didn't do so hot due to it being too cold in the cellar. Lesson learned. So, most of the garden was planted from seed. And once planted, it definitely grew fast! Here are a few of the pictures I have been promising forever, including the first things picked from the garden on the BAD ASS HANDMADE cutting board I got for $45 at the arts festival. In love. Enjoy. 








Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Parenting. I know, this post sounds ridiculous coming from me. Hear me out.

My mother is a graphic designer, my grandmother is a professional artist. My father is a chemist. You can imagine the difference in parenting styles. I was raised mostly by my mother and grandmother. I'm kind of a hippie. I do not like "the man" and what that whole concept stands for. I don't like large corporations. 

When I graduated high school, I immediately enrolled in college. That is what you do. You go to college. You don't spend a year trying to find yourself (although I really think everyone should.) You don't get a job and work until you figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Nope. You go to college. You start a career. You get married, you start a family. This is the "American Dream" to most Americans. 

Unfortunately I didn't listen when everyone told me that. Sure, I went to college. And skipped classes and racked up a whole lot of unnecessary debt. My mother told me to do what makes me happy. My grandmother was secretly satisfied that I didn't fit into the mold that everyone else did. My dad, not so much. My dad wanted me to go to college. He wanted me to be happy, sure, but this is a man who works out EVERY SINGLE DAY. He is puking his guts out? He sure as fuck still did his sit ups and push ups and stretches. Maybe he skipped the elliptical. He eats at the same two restaurants. He gets up at the same time everyday and goes to bed at the same time and is just a structured, disciplined person. 

I am not. So, when I finally said, enough, I am not going to go back to college AGAIN and do something I think maybe I might like. I am done, I am going to work this job until I figure it all out. And I did. And he was thrilled when I finally graduated from college. The speech he made at my graduation had me in tears. He was so proud of me and I think he learned a lesson from that...I just didn't fit in the same mold as the rest of the family, who all had their college degrees and are working steadily at their white picket fence and 2.5 kids. And, yes, often I am jealous of that. But it just isn't me.

One thing my parents never said to me was that they were disappointed in me. That they didn't love me. They were never anything other than supportive with my choices, even though I think a few times my dad wanted to shake me until I snapped out of it.

Then one day I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I pursued it and I am happy. Did I choose the lowest paying profession? Probably. Is it back breaking, exhausting work? It sure is. And I love it. And my parents are proud of me for doing what I love. 

Someone said to me, on Fathers Day, that they were grateful they were working. They were happy they didn't have to see their father. That his father hated him because he was a loser with no ambition. That he should have just gone to college like everyone else. Made something of his life. I just stood jaw dropped because, what? He does what I do, he's a cook. A chef. Maybe an untrained one, but a good one. He is one of the kindest people I know. I am proud of him. And I told him so. He just laughed. He didn't believe me. Suddenly his personality clicked and I understood all of those times I didn't understand his responses to things I said. And I felt sorry for him. 

I'm not a parent. I get that. Having a dog and a cat is not the same, no matter how many times someone posts a picture of a pitbull on Facebook with the caption "my dogs are my kids." They're not. It's not the same. So, maybe I am saying something untrue here, but I don't understand a parent of a kid who is good and kind and working full time doing something he loves, not being supportive of that. Actually being mean to him, calling him names. I don't understand.

Is it my upbringing? Is it because I had that support? I don't know. I know that when I walk into a coffee shop and see a 45 year old barista, I don't look down on them. I don't know their story. For all I know they are working three jobs to make ends meet. Does that  make a CEO better than them? When did we all become such snobs? When did success start being measured by wealth rather than quality of life? And when did parents stop loving their kids for being good people because they weren't making enough money? 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Frustration.

UGH! That is all I have left in me. Sometimes I feel like I work in a high school full of prepubescent bullshit. I can't deal. I miss the days of my all male staff where there was zero drama. I miss going into work and fighting with people when we disagreed. There was no shit talking, we just duked it out and moved on. I miss it so much. 

I am dealing with passive aggressive. I am dealing with back stabbing. I am dealing with someone who treats the employees like dogs. 

I am making a weeks pay check with ONE private chef event. If I can figure out a way to be doing a couple every weekend, I won't need to work. I will make enough money doing just that. 

The boy, Cupcake and Pocket Pen are helping me to figure out a company name and branding and shit. I got an email with a series of questions today, one of which was adjectives that describe yourself. I responded "I hate this question so much." I am pretty sure that I am the worst client ever. Who pays in food and alcohol. And frustrating indecision. Sometimes I wonder why I have friends.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like this is what I am meant to do. Even though it is WAY harder than restaurant cooking. Especially in random kitchens. It is more fulfilling to me. I enjoy the interaction with the people (who knew?!?!) and I enjoy the aspect of it that is making somebodies night. 

I am in a shitty mood dealing with shitty people and just kind of over it. I hate the feeling of dreading going to work. I don't hate it. I despise it. That feeling is why I got into this industry...because I didn't want to feel it ever again. And here I am. Dreading going to work. Dreading dealing with the ass hole. Dreading it all. 

I hate this feeling. I love what I do. I love food. I love cooking food. I love everything about it. I just wish that love allowed me to surround myself with people who felt the same.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Insomnia

I should know the signs by now. Something major in my life happens. My nerves get the better of me. My mood is angry for no reason at all. I should know it is coming, but yet I never do. I walk through my day feeling as if I am the dumbest person in the world. I make poor decisions. Bad jokes. I feel like I am outside of myself. 

As the day goes on, I wander. Lost. I accomplish the tasks that I need to accomplish. I lack efficiency. I lack focus. I lack the ability to organize my thoughts.

I have been doing this for twenty years. I should know the signs by now.

The day continues and I find myself making excuses for why I am so unfocused. Why my brain refuses to cooperate. I didn't sleep well last night. My B-12 is dangerously low. I take vitamins. I drink smoothies. I stretch, thinking maybe I am just stiff. I read, thinking the anticipation of the end of the series has me side tracked. I put on music that makes me happy. I do everything I can. Everything I can think of to get myself out of the funk that is hovering over me. 

I still don't see it coming.

I had my first catering gig this evening and didn't really do that well. At least not by my standards. I was unhappy with what I served them. I struggled to find it in myself to care. I just wanted to get out of there, to escape to...what? I didn't know. My entire being just wants to escape. I need to be somewhere else. That will help. If I can just be somewhere else.

How did I not see it coming?

Sleeping pills make my skin crawl, like a thousand ants are tickling every inch of me. Pain killers do the same as do all of the various "PM" over the counter solutions. Supplements don't work. Exercise doesn't work. Meditation doesn't work. Twenty years of trying to figure it out. Nothing works.

So, here I sit. Yawning and exhausted. Incapable of sleep. I feel crazy, unhinged. Please let it be just one day. Except I know it won't be. I know it will last for days. By the end, I will want to scream. I will want to claw my own skin off. I will feel like a person outside of my body looking in. 

I wish it didn't make the skin under my eyes burn. I wish my muscles didn't ache. I wish I didn't feel stupid. And crazy. 

I wish, I wish, I wish. 

I wish I could go to sleep.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Published

I know I have been MIA and I know that you all are sick of me promising it will stop and then it not stopping. I am learning an important lesson...it is hard to be a chef and a blogger.

But, I wanted to share some pretty awesome news here. I am being published in a local magazine! The article is on chefs who cook with cast iron at home. And yours truly is going to be featured along with two other chefs in the article. This means several things...one of them being that my picture is going to be in a magazine and we all know that is making me ridiculously uncomfortable. 


It also means my name being out there. In a magazine that has showcased some of the best chefs in our city. The new restaurant will be listed in my credentials. I got the in because C's wife, who we will call K because that just makes sense, is the one writing the article. BUT she legitimately interviewed me and legitimately let me google things on my phone during the interview because I wasn't sure if there were things you COULDN'T cook in cast iron. Are there? The internet failed me. 


Tomorrow a photographer is showing up at my house (!!) and taking my picture (!!) in street clothes (!!) to publish in the magazine. (!!!!) I will probably throw up tomorrow. OK, maybe not. But, maybe.

I am wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans and flip flops. Because that is what I would wear any other day of the week and that just seems right and makes me comfortable. 

I will think I look fat in the photo no matter what I wear, so I might as well feel comfortable, right?  And, yes, I know that is ridiculous, but it is true. 

I will also have to put on make up? and do my hair? on my day off? 

I seriously want to do a line up sometime of me and 4 homeless people and see if complete strangers can tell the difference. 

And I just started thinking about this photo and all the things it means and feel my brain trying to have a panic attack and then feeling the other part of my brain saying "NOBODY IS GOING TO DIE BECAUSE THIS PICTURE ISN'T PERFECT." 

No doubt I am already on the list for the line up of neurotic people who would rather be hiding in a closet.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day...A Day in the Life

Is it weird that when thinking of blog posts, I often start them with "hey, y'all" in my mind? Which is weird mostly because I have never said the phrase y'all in my life..

Hey, y'all. 

We are going to play a game. It is called a day in the life of the small town I work in. Let's go with, oh, you know, today.

I wake up at 8 am (YES I REALIZE THIS IS NOT EARLY TO PEOPLE WITH REAL JOBS, STOP JUDGING ME.)

I drive to a restaurant wholesale store. I realize I forget a case of heavy cream at home. The boy must meet me.

I drive into work. 

The first thing said to me is, "As far as the apocalypse goes, what comes after fire and flood?"

I immediately respond, "locusts," because, duh.

Then my brain catches up and says, wait, WHAT? 

The oven caught on fire. Then they flooded the kitchen. 

We start working. I make 30 manicotti (have I mentioned how much I hate Italian food?)

We get an order for 24 manicotti.

I make 30 more manicotti.

We get an order for 18 manicotti.

I try to stab myself with manicotti. Too limp. They won't let me near the knives.

I make approximately 7 BILLION stuffed mushrooms. 

I eat a sliced cucumber. One slice. We will call this lunch.

The church crowd shows up, sans reservations. We are booked. Very non-church like sentiments are expressed.

We run out of chicken parms. We frantically prep chicken parms.

The oven stops working.

I start cutting the prime rib and eat every scrap. We will call this dinner. 

I become delirious and am banished to salads. For 30 seconds until they all realize delirious me is better than everyone else. 

I am secretly told that my sous chef (!!!) is dating a front of the house supervisor (!!!) and that her ex boyfriend has just entered the building with a loaded gun. 

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And he is pissed.

Authorities called. Situation managed. 

I drive home, having worked 25 hours in 2 days. 

Thursday. I get a day off on Thursday.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers....by all definition of the word. Past, present, future, hopeful. 

Oh, and tip your servers. They are so much nicer to the kitchen when they are tipped well.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Can somebody please email me a brief description of what it is like to not live at work? I forget.


  1. Do not, under any circumstances put the wine bottle (or box on my current budget) next to your glass and then plop down on the couch. Forcing yourself to get up for a refill is the only thing between you and the bottom of that bottle before you realize what happened.
  2. In business, trust actions only. Nothing is true until it happens. Talk is cheap. Various other "life lesson" esque phrases. No this is not about my last post. Yes this is about my last post. Needless to say some of the staffing changes I required in order to take this position are not being met. And I am NOT sharing this role and I am NOT staffing people I don't trust. Erratic backed in a corner becomes bitchy, in case you were wondering. And I am so fucking sick of everyone in this small town being on drugs.
  3. My future sous chef makes my day every single time that he works. He walks into the  building with a huge smile on his face, a great attitude and wants nothing more than to sit and talk food with me. It in turn makes me have a huge smile on my face and a great attitude. I miss the people I used to work with so much, but being surrounded by people who are genuinely happy to be there and have a great attitude is amazing.
  4. Can we just cancel the voice and have two hours twice a week of Adam Levine talking shit with Blake Shelton? Thanks.
  5. We are members of our neighborhood association and the area cyber block watch. We live in the city. There is crime. We hear gunshots from time to time. There is a guy, who the boy claimed shit his pants, walking around the neighborhood asking someone to cash a check for him. Homeless people take all of the metal and aluminum out of our trash and recycling. WE LIVE IN THE CITY. So, when people post to the cyber block watch "window smashed in and laptop stolen" I want to be a troll so bad and just say, "obviously." I don't like leaving beer in my trunk while unloading groceries. However, a very, very famous blogger spent an afternoon in my neighborhood! And I almost posted all of the links to the articles here, but...that seemed like a really dumb idea. So I didn't. Needless to say, the blogger absolutely loved our historic little neighborhood. And they didn't leave their laptop in the car.
  6. Pocket Pen and Cupcake got married last weekend! I did all of the desserts and let me just tell you something...if a friend asks you to do the desserts for their wedding, say yes because you are not an asshole. Then call me and listen to the horror stories that go along with making 250 desserts. They were perfect and the wedding was perfect. I can't even begin to explain how it was just amazing down to every single detail. The event coordinator at the venue said she had never in her life seen a more organized couple. If the boy and I ever tie the knot, they will be grilled endlessly. The cake the venue made for them to cut...the only thing that was not amazing. I almost took it and ran into the kitchen to fix it. It was AWFUL. She said it was the first cake they have ever done. And that was obvious.
  7. Jess and Nick are the new Ross and Rachel. 
  8. I make my own laundry detergent and everyone at work calls me Flower Yoder. A combination of hippie (Flower) and Amish (Yoder.) If you can name ONE laundry detergent that gets kitchen smell out for $15 every six months (or any price...none of them do) I will buy it. If you want the recipe, email me. Your clothes have NEVER been this clean. Trust me.
  9. A friend of mine just got a diagnosis of cancer. And HIV. On the same day. Shit. I think even I am praying at this point.
  10. I miss you guys. I want to be here more. I can only promise to try. Shit be crazy.

Friday, April 26, 2013

HFS!

Every single post I have ever sat and talked about how much self doubt I have and how scared I am of everything ever.

Every single time that all of you have lifted me up and made me realize that my own stupid fucking insecurity is holding me back.

Every time I have read your comments and cried because it was exactly what I needed to hear. 

THIS is what this all lead up to. I can't say this to the everyday people who need me to be strong and powerful and have my shit together. You all are the people that get to hear the thoughts I can't have in order to be good at what I do.

I am going to be the named, publicized executive chef of the new restaurant. I am 100% in control of the food. Up until now, my general manager wanted to kind of share the role with me and it was all very sketchy. It all came to a head today and I now have my own restaurant. 

You guys, I am doing this. I am living my dream. I will have a restaurant with MY food. MY vision. It will be mine. 

My instinct is to go to terrified and curl up in a ball and cry. 

I am elated. I am over the top happy. I am a little scared, but on a scale of 1 to spider, I am like a 3. 

Opening week? I will probably just post pictures of me rocking back and forth in various corners crying. 

But, right now, this feels right. This feels good. I CAN FUCKING DO THIS. I WILL FUCKING DO THIS. 

You guys...I am about to have my own restaurant. I am 31 years old and I am about to run my own kitchen. I know some people do this at 24, but they are not the norm. 

This is everything. Just. Everything. 

I have a catering business. I am opening a restaurant. I am pretty sure this is what it feels like to make it. This is what it feels like to have finally found your calling and not only loving what you do, but being good at it.

Maybe more like a 5...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fuck. This. (a laptop malfunction delayed post)

I. Ugh. I don't how to address this. I don't know what to say. I am numb and angry and sad and really fucking pissed off. I want to scream the injustice of it all to someone and nobody is fucking listening. I want to change it. I want to fix it. I want to take it all back. I want my friend to hold one of her fucking babies in her arms forever. I want my friend to stop feeling loss and pain and sorrow. I want happiness for her. Not because she is my person. Not because we talk almost every single day. Because she deserves this happiness, this gift. She deserves to have her every dream come true. 

She is my family and our family is devastated again. Nobody deserves this. 

I want to fix this. I want to comfort her. But there is no comfort in this kind of loss.

So....this is happening.

The laptop is back! Kind of...sort of...for now. 

I have some kind of exciting news that I am breaking to pretty much everyone in my life except for the boy and my dad and step mom...I am starting my own business.

I had a really awesome opportunity sort of fall in my lap. I have become the official caterer, or more accurately, private chef for a charity. I have also acquired a private chef gig twice a month cooking for around 8 - 10 people. The profit on these two clients, if you will, could pay my current salary. 

So. I am starting my own company. This may go nowhere. It may be everything. I have no idea. But I want to do it right. So I have started to investigate how to start a small business and what this all means. So far I have figured out it means OMG YOU ARE STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS. I assume at some point panic will subside and logic will set in. If not, I know a lot of accountants. I also actually know my shit here. I am a lot of things, but I was professionally trained to run my own business. It is part of culinary school. 

This feels SO RIGHT. I can't explain it. My dream was always to open my own restaurant, but I could never reconcile cooking the food I wanted to cook, working the hours I would be required to work, and having the life I wanted to live. It never matched until someone literally handed me this opportunity with a big shiny bow.  It feels like everything just started to make sense. 

I am literally knocking on every piece of wood I find and spray painting my cat white. I really want this to work. I can make this work. This is what I was meant to do.

I obviously still have to work. But...a private chef? Cooking your dinner parties so you can just sit back and enjoy it? Working for myself...

I am giddy with excitement. But..but! I need a name. I am toying with the word culinarian...somebody suggested "spice is nice" which I don't hate...I am not catering. I don't want to cater. Anybody have a brilliant business name for a private chef?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sorry!

I am going to be MIA for awhile. My laptop died and I tried typing a post from my iPad and that just isn't happening. Sorry!! Will try my best to post when I can,

Monday, April 8, 2013

This conversation just happened

Between my next door neighbor and myself.

N: Crazy cat lady just chased me down outside to give me the latest on tranny meth head.
E: We live in a loony bin.
N: Hahaha. Oh, and she was bra-less as usual.
E: Ew! I can't handle the saggy boobs.
N: They were swinging independently because she was rather animated.

I am oh so grateful for awesome neighbors.

10 restaurant tips

I have recently fallen in love with Bitchy Waiter, a blog about the service industry. He wrote an article today for CNN's Eatocracy that got me thinking...

Some people probably don't know how to get good service in a restaurant. Here are my 10 tips to getting great service:

  1. Be happy and upbeat. Nothing makes a server dread going to a table more than when you walk in with a shitty attitude. They know they aren't getting a good tip and they sure as hell aren't going to enjoy waiting on you.
  2. Order off the fucking menu. For the love of God, people. If you are at Applebees, fine. If you are a restaurant that has a chef, those dishes were thought out and created a certain way. And trust me when I tell you that special ordering throws EVERYTHING off on a line and pretty much guarantees bringing that kitchen to a screeching halt. If it is slow, it is one thing. If they are getting their asses kicked, order off the fucking menu.
  3. If you do have special requests or allergies, be extremely clear to the server. Don't lie. If you say you are allergic to red onion, we are going to have a level 9 flip out in the kitchen because EVERYTHING has onion in it. Everything will stop while we make sure to not make you sick. No cook, chef, or server wants to kill someone. Respect us, we respect you. (I am looking at you, gluten allergy)
  4. This is something I am TERRIBLE at: order at the same time. If you have 1/4 glass of wine and your dining companion orders a drink, order one too if you know you are going to drink it. The server has other tables and doesn't want to wait on just you.
  5. Understand that shit happens. And trust me, the kitchen is typically full of a bunch of dumb asses with ADD. We screw up. Don't take it out on your server. They will come back and rip us a new one, no need to do the same to them.
  6. Spend money. Servers calculate tips based on what you order. If everyone gets water and orders the cheapest pasta on the menu and they have another table who ordered two bottles of wine and steak...well, do the math.
  7. Ask questions. Every server would MUCH rather answer your questions about a dish than send food back to the kitchen. We don't make it easy on them, trust me. We want to know why that food came back. If it is because they ordered the chicken dish over cous cous and the customer doesn't like cous cous, that server is going to have a very unpleasant talk with the kitchen. Every server is happy to make recommendations. If they say, "I have never had that, but it smells good," or some variation, get up and leave. If the servers aren't eating the food, you don't want to eat it either.
  8. If there is something wrong with the food, TELL YOUR SERVER. I never do this and just suck it up. The difference is, I still tip the same. Do not take bad food out on the server, they have no control. If you tip well, that server is going to remember you. They will also remember you if you tip poorly.
  9. Respect closing times. If you walk in at 9:45 and the restaurant closes at 10:00, you have pissed off your server and the kitchen, who probably already cleaned everything. Sometimes these people have been there for 12 hours and adding another hour to that is frustrating.
  10. Be nice, respectful, honest. Just don't be an ass hole.
I completely respect that the customer has rights too...I really do. If you have terrible service, the best way to deal with it is to smile and leave an appropriate tip for the service you received. It's never worth getting mad. But, being understanding and laid back is huge. You wouldn't want people coming to your job and yelling at your for every little mistake that you may (or may not) make.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Basic Human Rights

So there is this thing on Facebook with red equal signs and blue crosses. I am sure you all have noticed. 

I am not so good at practicing what I preach. I really truly believe that everyone is entitled to their own political viewpoint and that this country was built on that belief. I don't hate people who disagree with me. I don't just not hate them, I respect them. Everyone gets to believe what they want to believe.

But. Shit. I am a hypocrite. I unfriended someone for their blue cross message today. 

Marriage. There is the church's view of marriage and the legal definition of marriage. They are two totally separate things. 

The church, by separation of church and state, gets to believe whatever they want. I have the choice to subscribe or not subscribe to those beliefs. That is what makes this country great...freedom of religion. Among other things. They can choose to recognize or not recognize unions under their religion.

Marriage itself...that is a legal contract in the eyes of the government. Nothing else. 

If a religion chooses to exclude same sex marriage from their church, that's OK. That is just fine. They have no obligation to include anyone. 

Our government is a different story. They are obligated to accept EVERYONE. It is our government. We have done this already. Women, african americans, EVERYONE. This is what I don't get. I live in the country of the free, the melting pot. Yet we are still discriminating. We are still choosing to exclude people's basic rights.

I am a straight person living, unmarried, with a man. I am not allowed health insurance coverage because we are not married. If he were to end up in the hospital tomorrow, I would have zero say in his medical care. If we had children and he chose to leave me, based on our current situation, I would walk away with my car and our kids. And we have the choice to get married. We are willingly making these choices.

There are people who are not. 

I choose to unfriend people not because they disagree with me on religious beliefs. I choose to unfriend people not because they don't agree with the gay lifestyle, being gay, whatever. I choose to unfriend people because they are supporting legislature that dehumanizes people. They are choosing to not make every man and woman in this country equal citizens, equal human beings. 

We have fought this fight already. Every single human being is equal in the eyes of the law. Their rights are equal. 

This entire post makes me wonder, why are we even having this conversation? Nobody wants to change anyone's religion. They just want to be able to legally care for the people they love. 

And maybe have an extravagant wedding that I totally want to be invited to. But, mostly the other stuff.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Confidence. And doubt. Mostly Confidence. Maybe.

The cockroaches are officially gone. 

The menu is fixed. 

The staff is going to be trained on the new menu in a week.

Construction on the new restaurant has started. 

A friend is coming down to train the servers on how to actually be a server and not be an ass hat.

And I am still not OK with it all. And I think I know why.

The other night, I met my minion out for drinks and to catch up on restaurant gossip. He was promoted to my old position at former job. We now, technically, hold the same title. 

When he started, I had to show him how to cut an onion. I had to show him basic culinary skills. I trained him and mentored him and dubbed him my minion and for all intents and purposes, he has a better job than me. 

I am opening a restaurant in a shit town that I don't fucking care about. Not the restaurant. The town. I am working for someone I have ZERO respect for. 

So, we are sitting and having drinks and a chef from another local restaurant walks up and starts talking to us. The bartender proclaims that he has TWO chefs in the bar. Minion barely corrected him to say we had three. They had their entire conversation with their backs to me and I just gave up and watched March Madness until they were done talking. 

Nobody respected me as a chef. As a colleague. Including someone who I brought up in the industry. Nobody respects what I am doing. Everyone thinks I made a mistake. 

I think I made a mistake.

People come up to me and ask if I think I killed my career. People say some really, really shitty things to me about my career move. 

And I let it get to me. Because I am nothing if nobody wants to eat my food. 

It hurts my feelings to see somebody that I mentored, that I spent a lot of time working with and training and helping now looks down their nose at me. It hurts my feelings that I am no longer someone a local chef wants to shoot the shit with. It really hurts my feelings that neither of them respected me enough to even include me in the conversation. 

I took a HUGE risk when I chose to leave a restaurant that is rated in the top 10 in the city. I turned down the executive chef positions more times than I can count because my instincts told me it wasn't what I was meant to do.

That is really what this is about. My instincts.

My instincts told me to go to culinary school. To leave a lucrative job to make $10/ hr. 

My instincts told me to give the boy my number all those years ago, when I knew he would never ask for it.

My instincts told me to take my last job when I had interviewed for so many and turned them all down.

My instincts told me this house was where I was meant to live.

My instincts told me to quit that job and start working a half an hour away in a small town. 

I have enough contacts to get this at least a little bit on the map. I have the talent to make the food to make people keep coming back. The money is there. There is no reason for this not to be awesome.

In 3 years, I want to look back on all of this doubt and insecurity and disrespect and fucking laugh in the face of the people who think I am irrelevant now. 

I don't know if it will happen. And I know that it will all continue to get to me until it does or doesn't. 

I know I can do this. I do. I just really hope my instincts are right on this one.

And I really wish that everyone around me would have faith in me too. Despite my moments of weakness when I have none. I just really want someone else to be as excited as I am for the possibilities this restaurant could bring.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On vegan/ vegetarianism.

Where do I begin on this subject. 

I eat meat. I love meat. I have 12 pictures of Kobe beef I ate at work the other day that almost brought me to tears by how delicious it was. )If you get the chance, REALLY get the chance, just take a bite. Make sure it is REAL Kobe beef. As a jumping off point, it sells wholesale at about $97/ lb. Those $12 Kobe beef sliders are not the real thing.)

I am slowly starting to have morality issues with the consumption of meat. It is not about killing animals because I believe that if done humanely, that is something the human race has done for a long, long time. 

I have no problem with anyone going out and killing their own food. I have no problem with people going to a butcher (preferably with the animals out back) and purchasing food. I have a problem going to the grocery store and purchasing ground beef that is possibly full of pink slime and is most definitely full of water. 

As an experiment, find good quality meat. Whatever you like. Chicken, beef, pork, whatever. And by good quality I mean, look the person in the eye who killed the meat. Or at the very least know they looked that person in the eye. Farmers markets are you best hope. Put that piece of meat in a pan with oil, salt and pepper. Do the same with the stuff from the grocery store. The following will happen; the good meat will probably run out of oil. It will have a gamey flavor that will be off putting to you. It will probably not be as tender. The grocery store meat will lose a lot of water, leaving the bottom of the pan quite moist. It will have a very mild flavor, one that is quite familiar to you. It will more tender. Tender might not be the word I am looking for...animals that are allowed to truly free range will have a completely different flavor and texture than what you are used to eating. What I am used to eating. 

Chicken tastes like something. So does beef and pork. If you take a bite of chicken and a bite of pork and can't tell the difference, either you smoke two packs a day and suck on acid or you are buying really shitty meat. 

Let me clarify something here: I am not stating this from a high horse. I have a freezer full of really shitty meat. I am struggling to find a butcher I can conveniently get to AND afford. One that I can form a relationship with and trust. Because that is how it is supposed to be. 

I just wrote a two page essay on becoming a vegan where all I talked about is meat. It's not just about that. It's about the economic repercussions of eating meat. What it does to our environment. What it does to our food system. 

I have been trying to eat less meat, focusing on meat only one meal a day. I would like to eat more fish, but the boy is anti fish and frankly I am not sure that it is much better. 

I suppose that the conclusion I am coming to here is that I think about it a lot and I don't know what to think. 

Vegans spend a lot of time recreating "protein" from chemicals and I do not necessarily agree with that.

I could get on board with being vegetarian for the most part, making exceptions for proteins that I know are responsibly raised. 

I would then have to spend money on protein for the boy who would absolutely not be on board with this plan, so wouldn't I end up wanting a bite of his steak he is eating 2 feet away? We all know self control is not my strong point. 

Then there is the whole how do I do my job aspect of this decision. The easy conclusion is to just shut up and take a bite out of a cow, but I am not sure that is the decision my heard is leaning towards. 

I will never call myself a vegetarian. Or a vegan. Or any trendy food consumption title. And maybe that is where my struggle is. Maybe I just make the boy that grilled chicken and make myself something else. And see how that works for a while. Eat meat when it suits me but let the pressure go to eat it because everybody else is eating it around me. Or just eat it when the mood strikes me. 

Ugh. What are all of your views on meat consumption and humanely raised meat? I need some insight here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Good Days Ahead

Today was a good day. It has been a while since I could say that without wanting to immediately follow it with "but.." and then complain about 12 things that are going wrong. 

Reading this blog has probably been much like reading angsty teen Eyore's blog after his girlfriend dumped him a week before prom. 

Sorry about that.

Today started out as any day in Ohio might. Snow storm. Cloudy. Rainy. Never ending train of semi trucks spraying sludge all over my windshield. 

Then we started playing with food at work. THIS IS WHAT I WAS MISSING. I have done almost zero of this. I have been mostly talking about playing with food. And fixing food that I don't give two shits about. Today I PLAYED WITH FOOD. And I made this, which I need a cool name for. It is a deconstructed Wellington, but the word deconstructed makes me stabby, so it can't be named that. Suggestions? It was delicious. 


Pretty food. It will have a micro green salad when it is for realsies. I would expect more pictures in the future. And yes that is the wall in the current restaurant; reason number 7568 I want the new restaurant to open.

Then this happened. I call it the hillbilly sous vide.


In other words  a bunch of plates and mugs holding down meat in a make shift sous vide that I built out of a steam well and immersion circulator. Because, DAMMIT, I was sous vide (ing?) some shit today.

And then this happened.


And it was the best march madness bracket in history. Yes, I did take Brat Pack and The Rachel to the end. And yes it was awesome.

Maybe today was a fluke, but I hope not. I am going to see it as a sign of things heading in the right direction. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Today.

I had this feeling it would end today. I can't really explain it, except to say that there was just a black cloud over me today. I just felt off. And I couldn't stop thinking about Sarah and her family. Everything reminded me of them. 

I was high on this news and getting my ass kicked at work. 

My favorite server ever walked in and immediately asked me about Sarah. I told her all the updates that I had and let her read the caringbridge update. 

I don't know how, but I knew it was going to be today. I just knew. 

Her suffering is finally over. As her mother put it, she is with the angels now. What their family is going through is beyond devastating. What that poor little girl went through is heart breaking. I am not going to go into details. 

I spent tonight planning my garden and watching The Walking Dead. I avoided. I admit it. I know I am going to breakdown. I know that at some point I am going to sob uncontrollably. I guess I am just really happy it is over. This poor little girl was in excruciating pain. She and her family have finally found peace. I can't imagine the grief.

I hugged the boy a little tighter. I didn't try to kill the cat with my mind. I snuggled the short dog. 

Hold those you love close. Life is short. And there is never too much love.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Loss

Today has been rough. I woke up this morning to a text from Big Jed telling me to check the Caring Bridge blog for my friend's daughter. They woke up this morning to her being unresponsive with seizure like activity. There is a DNR in place and I believe it is a matter of days. 

I never expected to watch people I love experience so much loss. I never expected to have to hug two friends and tell them I am so sorry they lost their children. 

I am not handling this well. Which feels so selfish. I want to be strong and doing things and fixing things and not sitting on my couch crying my eyes out texting Big Jed and feeling terrible because I know that this is probably hitting her harder than it is me. 

I feel shallow and stupid and selfish. I feel like I don't have a right to feel the way that I do because I have absolutely no idea what it is like to go through this. 

I spent all day paralyzed. I just sat on the couch and stared at the TV. I don't think I even realized what was wrong until I got up to get ready. I am grateful I had the day off work. 

Today is also the boys birthday. We attempted to go out to dinner and to a hockey game, but couldn't get in anywhere. So, we ended up eating at the arena to the tune of $40 (!!!) We are beyond broke right now and really could not afford it, especially since I threw most of mine out. It was disgusting. The boy didn't feel well and thinks he is coming down with something, so we left after the second period. 

I feel terrible that his birthday was such a bummer, but I just didn't have it in me today to go above and beyond to fix it. I am just so sad.

I am sitting here sobbing as the updates keep rolling in. I want nothing more than for her to be at peace, but I cannot bring myself to wish the end of a beautiful, strong, eight year old little girl. 

Nobody should have to face the loss of their children. Nobody should have to experience that kind of pain.