Monday, January 28, 2013

I have absolutely no title for this

I start the new job tomorrow. I spent about an hour on the phone with the executive chef tonight going over a menu for a baby shower we are catering on Saturday. It just confirmed this decision was the right one to make. There is nothing more rewarding than someone coming to you with an idea, like pulled chicken sandwich, and you spit ball ideas back and forth and end at a curried pulled chicken sandwich with apple and jicama slaw. This is what it is all about. 

I have spent the past two days, mostly today, fine tuning this crock pot meal business idea. I have 17 crock pot meals that I am going to be testing over the next few months. Beware, if you live locally, I may show up at your door with a frozen bag of food and a comment card. Seriously. It may happen.

Mostly I have been reconciling with leaving the old job. I admit I cried in the parking lot after I left. Just a little, but still. Those people became my family. Everyone took me out for drinks and it was a good time. 

I am very excited for something new. 

I need to keep telling myself that. I found myself texting work today to see how it went. Old work. It's rare for me to leave a job when I am not absolutely 100% ready. And I was ready in a sense, but I don't know. I am kind of sad. 

And then excited.

Then sad.

My head is kind of a terrible place to be right now. So, tomorrow. It all begins tomorrow.

Sorry I have been so absent. I promise to try to do better. I seem to be saying that a lot lately. Blah. Is it Spring yet?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bitching about bitching.

I am having a day. And I am going to rant about it because I have done nothing but listen to people rant all day and now I have no one to rant to.

I am very set in my ways. I want to come home, have dinner and relax. I have my shows (yes, I am an old woman knitting on the couch watching my stories) that I like to watch and just unwind. I play on the internet, play cell phone games, read, whatever. The point is that I unwind. 

I have no issue making plans with people. No issue at all.

Do not stop by my house unannounced. Then trap me in my own living room bitching about your problems for two hours. Then three more phone calls from three different people bitching about their problems. 

MY PROBLEM IS ALL OF YOU BITCHING ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS. Nobody even said, hey, Erratic, how was your day? Nope. Not once. 

So my phone is off and my beer is open and god dammit I am going to hide from the world the rest of the night. 

Also note that any one of these situations by itself wouldn't have even bothered me. It was just too much for one day. 

Aaaaand work just called bitching about how busy they were. I quit earth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I need a bumper sticker that says "would rather be pillaging"

I was raised with very little religion. I was baptized. I went through confirmation when I was 13. I went to church on Christmas Eve and Easter and that is about it. I still go on Christmas Eve with my father. 

I do not believe in God. I do not believe that he or she exists. That is my own personal belief and I do not expect a single one of you to share in my beliefs. I do believe respecting them would be nice. I believe that organized religion does a lot of good and a lot of bad. I feed the homeless through my father's church. I cook and do events for the church because I believe in what they are doing and why they are doing it. I don't have to agree with their religious views to do good things in my community.

I get asked this all the time...why do you participate in charitable events through something you don't believe in? Because I believe in helping people and being a good person. I believe in paying it forward. I don't think I have to share anyone's beliefs on God or religion to do good, to be good. 

When I first started exploring my beliefs and trying to understand what I felt, rather than what I was raised to feel, I found a blog from an atheist father. The blog hasn't been updated in years and I am almost positive that it is no longer even up. It was the first blog that I ever read, my gateway drug if you will. He started the blog to talk about something nobody was talking about, to give a voice to parenting without God. 

He was well spoken and intelligent and level headed. The comments did not always reflect the same amount of respect he gave, but what is the internet without the trolls?

Today I read this article. On CNN. We have come a long way from the days of me sitting in my living room drinking in this man's blog like it was my life force. As I read this article, I found myself longing for his words because he was much more intelligent and articulate. He did not make the same tired statements about God being absent because there is war and famine and crime and so on. I am upset that this blog post even made mainstream media. 

It also got me thinking...the boy and I disagree on a lot of things when it comes to our lifestyle. Differences make people interesting, right? (MORE GUN CONTROL. Don't tell the boy.) We adamantly agree on this issue. And her blog post made me would I handle the questions about heaven and hell. I pictured myself with my adorable imaginary child and them asking me where people go when they die and would I lie to them? Would I tell them heaven and hope they didn't later bust me on my lie? 

I wasn't forced to believe something I didn't want to. I went through many phases. I was a devout Christian for a while. I dabbled in Buddhism. I have a basic understanding of almost all major religions in the world and none of them seem to fit what I feel. Taoism is somewhat close, I suppose. I would want my children to have the same freedom of choice. 

So...I would probably explain all the beliefs and let them choose, much like the education I gave myself in my early twenties that lead me to my beliefs today. Because whether this woman is writing an article on raising her kids Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or Wiccan, the point is education and choices. Preferably well written ones, but choices none the less. That is the entire platform for this country, right? And yet we spend so much time trying to shove our own beliefs down everyone else's throat instead of respecting that we have a right to agree to disagree and we are extremely lucky to have that right.

Yes, I will feed the homeless standing next to a devout Christian and when asked whether I attend church, I will politely say that I do not believe in God. And she will politely clear her throat and look away. At which point I will then add on that I don't need to believe in God to help. I will say that I want to do what is right and my beliefs don't really affect that. And she will smile and apologize for her reaction. In a perfect world.

In the real world I simply say that I work a lot of Sundays and immediately change the subject. Because regardless of this poor written letter, the word atheist is still immediately associated with evil. Bad. Heathen. Sinner. It means I have no morals or standards. That I run around murdering and raping and pillaging and coveting my neighbor. When in reality, I am standing right next to you with a fundamental need to help people and to make this world a better place.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Next Chapter

I have some big news. I have been very hush hush about all of this because I honestly don't know who reads this blog anymore. I don't think anyone here reads that would spread the news, but I wanted to be careful. And I wasn't sure how things were going to suffice it to say there are only a handful of people who know what has been going on. This also explains my lack of blogging a little better because all I was thinking about was the job opportunities and I couldn't talk about them here. But NOW I CAN. So, here is the story...

I went into one of my favorite local restaurants for brunch with C and got offered a job. A few days later, I was called by another chef at another local restaurant in the city and offered a job. A few days after that a friend I graduated culinary school with called and offered me a job.

I am going to note here that I applied for nothing. Simply put it out into the universe (and the very small restaurant industry) that I was ready for something new and different.

Job #1: They ended up not being able to offer me enough hours and this was the place I truly wanted to end up at. I think it was the opportunity that would let me grow the most and learn under a well established chef.

Job #2: I turned down because the owners notoriously put all their profits up their nose and I don't want to get involved in all of that. Yes, drugs are super common in this industry. No, I do not want to work for people like that.

Job #3: I accepted today. It is a 45 minute drive from my house. I KNOW. This is utter bullshit. But, there are a lot of positives. The biggest one being the $10,000 a year raise. I will be making adult amounts of money, not college kids living in their parent's basement amounts of money. I am going to be developing a menu for a new restaurant. My official title is sous chef (working with the chef on developing the menu) and my primary responsibility will be recipe testing and development. I will be putting out a feature menu every week (once I learn the ropes of this particular restaurant) and testing the waters of this very small town and trying to figure out a way to have very modern food be appealing to a burger and fries palate. 

They want molecular gastronomy and clean, upscale food. Shit I don't really do. Which is part of the reason that I accepted the job...putting myself out there and out of my comfort zone is important in growing my career and my talent.

I am putting in my two weeks at my current job in the morning. I am sad to leave, I really am. I am going to miss the people I worked with there, but I am going to make a point to stop in and visit. Often. It is important to me to keep those relationships.

But I think that this is a good step for me. It gives me the opportunity to have my name on something up and coming. And it is a good way for me to learn new food and to expand my creativity. 

Also...ADULT MONEY. I just can't even believe that part at all.

I am excited but I have never been so scared in my life. My food is going to make or break a restaurant. My ideas, my menu, my heart and soul. 100%. This makes me want to throw up and rock back and forth in the corner until it all goes away. 

I can do this. I KNOW I can do this. The anticipation is always the worst part.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Who are you turning into?

My family history is kind of weird. My great aunt on my mom's side traced our heritage back to when my ancestors came over on the boat from Holland and Germany, respectively. In this history we learned that I was named after an ancestor who was burned in the Salem witch trials. And that I am very closely related to Joseph Cornell.

My dad's side is a crap shoot. I know I have a lot of German and American Indian on both sides, but I am pretty much just a great big giant mutt. I am OK with this. While it would be cool to have some sort of nationality, I guess being the definition of an American is OK by me too. 

My mom has dark hair and olive-ish skin. 

My dad is fair haired and pale. 

My sister takes after my dad's side of the family 100%. She has an actual ass and hips. She has very pale skin and pin straight hair. She had acne as a kid. 

I am like a piece of plywood with boobs and a beer belly. Finding jeans that do not make it look like I just shit my pants is nearly impossible. Stretch jeans are my friend. Which then cause muffin top. My body type is stupid. I have fair skin on my face and somewhat darker skin everywhere else, although it is getting fairer as I get older. There was a time when I did not know what sunblock or sunburns were. I could be in the sun for 8 hours and never get anything but more tan. My hair is a curly/wavy/god damn fucking mess. I have it super short now because it is much more manageable this way. One might say I have a bob. I have never had more than one pimple at a time in my life. 

I just recently started noticing all of the mannerisms the boy shares with his mom. When they tell stories, they have the exact same hand gestures and this weird head nod thing that they do. They don't really look all that much alike, but they have similar tendencies. 

I can't look at my hands without thinking of my mom. You could take a picture of both and I am not even sure the two of us could tell them apart. 

At what point do you just resign yourself to turning into your parents? At some point you just give up and give in and embrace the crazy, embrace the genes that inevitably will make you compulsively buy wooden snow men at Christmas and Longaberger baskets.

My sister and I are two totally different people. Or maybe we are two people who just don't understand each other, because when you put us in the same room, fuck if we aren't just shorter, paler, younger versions of our mom. 

Thoughts like this make me want to have kids. It's the curiosity of what they would be like, who they would take after, what they would do with their lives. It is interesting to see my sister, the chemist, struggle to relate with my dad, also a chemist. I consider my dad to be one of my best friends despite our minds working so very differently. 

The point is that I am turning into my mother. I even find myself dressing like her...the mom outfit I had on the other day was shameful. And I don't want to turn into my mother.

But, I am one terrible cardigan away from wearing track suits and tennis shoes all day while complaining about how much my foot hurts.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Catching Up

I haven't blogged since December 17th. Wow. I am an ass hat. I haven't meant to be absent. That is about the time that my holiday travels began and it has been a whirlwind of weather, work, deaths, new neighbors, and holiday joy. Or something. Holiday existence may be more appropriate. 

I did draft a few blogs and went back to peruse them, thinking I could have an easy out and post one of those and write an actual post later in the week, but they were all crap. Utter crap. 

About the way this post is going to be. I have literally NOTHING on my brain to share with you that isn't, hey, guys, I cooked some food. I smell like food all the time. FOOD. Did you know I cook food? Or perhaps that I love our new fireplace. Or the animals are up to their usual shenanigans. It's cold. Snow is a thing. 

So, here are some things that have brought me a little joy while hovering inside trying to pretend that I live in Hawaii. 

The cutest cat in the world. BUB! I know, I know, cat pictures. But, the fact that his cat is alive and well is a miracle. And those stupid little curled up legs and tongue hanging out are ridiculous.

The best video in the world. 

This game which is like crack. Start playing at your own risk. Then friend me on facebook so you can give me lives. Then join me in my Candy Crush Anonymous weekly meeting.

What have you all been up to while I have been hiding out?