Friday, December 28, 2007

Not a resolution. More of a guideline....

Some people would tell you that the idea of me wielding a sword gives them the willies. After all, I have a bit of a temper, and am renowned for being the first (and so far only) pastry student in the history of CSR to be taken to the er with a knife wound.

I wouldn't be starting with the sword; any respectable teacher would put me first in the short form, i would gradually progress through the long form, and then, only then, would a practice sword be put in my hands. I'm pretty sure the starter sword is made of wood, anyway.

My brain will challenged with French. Body and mind with chocolate and pastry. Body, mind and spirit with Tai Chi. I think that's good start for 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

baby steps

remember the days before digital cameras, when we'd shoot tons of pictures, get them back, often as twin prints, and wind up with tons of out-of-focus, what on earth is this bits of paper? i went through many years worth of those today, sorted through my box of collage supplies, cleaned my room, sorted some other papers in preparation for taxes. baby steps in preparation for moving, at some point.

i don't want to do it all in a rush. i want to take my time, get things like taxes and chocolate season over with. i need to work out a rational budget, see where i stand with withholding, what my cash flow looks like without the second job. which i quit today - to my very core i could not bear the idea of continuing that drive up to boulder and back every thursday night after being at wen all day.

i feel guilty about taking puppy away from her yard; but she'll adapt. i'll adapt back to the routine of having to take her for walks; she loves going for walks, she doesn't care where or for how long.

it's not that they're horrible people, there are some things i like about the current arrangement. but i think we're all stifling each other in some ways. i need a living space without other humans, who either take my stuff without asking or are ostentasious about asking my permission. i need puppy with me to keep from hibernating.

i also took a good long nap this afternoon, under the quilt with puppy curled up behind me. i was dreaming about making truffles. i don't know what puppy dreamed. probably something about bunnies bringing cookies.

so i'll take my time, address the issue gradually. try to do the thing with grace. try to avoid the 'make it bad so it will be easier to go' scenario. it's just time to move on. it is what it is. no need for drama.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


In flux
neither here nor there
unable to act or decide

caught in a limbo
a mild-mannered maelstrom of confusion
wanting to be on the other side
of the conversation
of the decision

wanting to go from here to there
in an instant
not even sure where there is
when there is

if there is........

or even really what 'there' is
wanting to click my ruby heels three times and be there
with no fuss, no muss, no messy scenes or emotions

she said to her
would you mind if, as an act of service, i cleaned your room while you're at work
i thought - eeeeeeeeewwww, i would mind very much, it's presumptuous, and judgemental
and what business of hers is it what someone else's room looks like. she doesn't have to see it.
i would be offended. but the offer was accepted. i don't understand. their relationship is strange, and offputting, and sometimes i'm uncomfortable around them. they aren't so thrilled with me either; they love me, they tolerate me, but they find me wanting.

Monday, December 24, 2007

one more day.....

7am to 9:30 pm. managed not to bite anyone's head off when i got home, unlike the night before. they don't get it. the culinary world is like this.

after the blowup, i was ready to move out. the pressure of living with other people is too much sometimes. this morning, i'm calmer. still uncertain, but not in flight or fight mode so much. closer to fight than flight i'm afraid. the dark side is taking over this week. the side that would rise up and burn my enemies ( or innocent bystanders) and smote their ruin upon the mountainside just to relieve some tension. nothing personal.

today i go in, load up for the store, finish garnishing and cupping truffles, pack a massive order, do an even more massive amount of dishes. that's all. then two days off. yay. two days to rest, clean my room, spend some time with people i love, and get back in touch with the peaceful warrior, and let the pillaging warlord go back into the depths.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

where am i

this was my second 13 hour plus day in a row - am i going to bed? no. it seem to be more important to write/type , read what friends have written, put off the start of another day. this was my meltdown day; hopefully tomorrow will be calmer. i need to have a zen place in my head, especially when i touch chocolate. some quiet center. i miss my routine - i miss time with puppy. we need to go to the park. that's what we'll do for christmas. go to the park. bounce bunnies. wander aimlessly. just be. that's what i really miss this week - time to just be.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

no no a thousand times no

i keep thinking of all the reasons against it, keep reminding myself why it's not a good idea, but still the possibility is there. i have no intention of acting on it. it's probably just proximity. maybe it's just a reminder that i'm not as much of a vestal as i thought. maybe it's just that i'm tired, my defenses are down, i'm not thinking clearly. maybe i'm just lonely. it's not a good idea. it's not. really not good. i'm tired, he's there, that' s all. it comes to nothing. the fact that i am so analytical about it, so coldblooded, that' s a tip-off that i'm not that into it. a long laundry list of why not against the simple fact that he's growing on me. i don't need this. i don't want this. work is work. other stuff is other stuff. it's best to keep them separate.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

tired, cranky & wanting a ballgown

what day is this, the 16th? which i think makes 16 days in a row, on my way to 24. getting a bit weary and cranky, the crankiness focusing on small irritations such as 'why can't b or l get off their butts and shovel the damn snow off the front walk? it's been there for days, they don't work 12 hours a day, they were off yesterday, why doesn't it occur to either of them to shovel the damn walk. a lot of energy goes into this, energy that could be better used elsewhere, so i will work on that today as i pack truffles into boxes, make new truffles and temper chocolate. ho ho ho.

took a break last night and went to the symphony with Bev - it was one of their xmas concerts, and was broadcast on channel 7 or 4. it was good, our seats overlooked the stage, the soprano's voice was lovely and her gown was fantastic. why don't we all have ballgowns? i learned that the nose bleed section runs 10-12 dollars, which makes it comparable with going to the movies, unless you get popcorn, which would make the symphony cheaper. maybe i'll start getting the culture once in a while. it's kind of fun to dress up. aside from the i-have-nothing-to-wear meltdown that happened friday night, during which b tried to tell me that flats would go with a cocktail dress. she backed off of that when i pointed out that even i am not that fashion-impaired. i'd like to blame the meltdown on being so tired, but fashion meltdown happens anytime i try to put together something that isn't jeans or chefpants.

spending time with bev was fun; we spent a lot of time checking out outfits and shoes. There were some very hot shoes - the red plaid heels were dynamite. i also enjoyed all the little girls in their velvet and taffeta; my favorite was the poufy red chiffon with glittery snowflakes. one little girl looked as if she had just come from the chorus of the Nutcracker - long filmy gold skirt, gold ballet flats, wreath of tiny golden flowers on her head. I felt a bit jealous; she looked charming. If I went out like that, it would just be sad. Grownups need more opportunities to wear gowns and tiaras, filmy chiffons, and sparkly red shoes.

Years ago, I went to a performance of the ballet Dracula. A young woman in the audience was wearing a vintage satin ballgown and a tiara; she's what i remember most about that evening. Not Dracula, not the performance, but a vision of loveliness a few seats away.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


sometimes i wish i lived by myself. no roommates, just puppy and the fish. the kitchen sink has been dripping for a while. b's solution has been to turn the hot water off unless it's being used. she gets all weepy and scared when told she needs to deal with it; it's her house. i said i'd help her with it, but she needs to take the initiative. last night i came home after yet another 11 hour day to find that someone had put a dish bucket in the kitchen sink and left it to catch the drips. it was overflowing into the sink. a couple more hours it would have overflowed onto the counter. i got soaking wet trying to empty it enough to lift. i left it on the counter with a note - the faucet is fixed, whoever left this in the sink can deal with it. i haven't seen either of them today; i left for work before they got up. tonight b is at a party, and l hasn't come out of her room. whether it's l trying to make a point to b, or one or both of them being passive-aggressive, i'm the one who got stuck with the mess. again. i didn't want to go to the hardware store and fix the damn faucet after working all day. deal with water everywhere while the culprits were off at a party.
they have their good points. i love them. but today i wanted to just stay at work rather than come home. i was calculating how much it would cost to live on my own. whether or not to take puppy. i learned while housesitting for chef that i can't leave puppy for a long time anymore, so she'd have to come with me. or i stay here until she dies. which could be years, happily she's a very healthy girl. i don't think i want to stay here for years. i don't like feeling obligated to stay here. i don't like that l doesn't pay rent. it's b's business, but it affects me. if l was paying her share, mine (and b's )would go down. i'm tired of l getting to impose her standards of cleanliness on the whole household - wtf. i'm sorry her mom's a crazy filthy packrat whose house is infested with vermin, but that doesn't mean everyone has to cater to l's compulsions. i really don't care if a dish or two is left in the sink overnight; it won' t keep me up.
i don't like living here right now. i don't feel like putting up with b's need for physical affection. sometimes i just don't want to be touched.
sometimes i just want to find my stuff in the same place i left it. i want my stuff where i want it. sometimes i just want my own space. my own physical space, not just a page in cyberspace.
sometimes, i just want to be left the hell alone.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

the accidental sous-chef

sous chef: from the french, meaning 'under'. second in command, answers to the chef, runs the kitchen in the chef's absence, assists station chefs /line cooks as necessary. hopefully knows more about what's going on than the people she's responsible for.

we're working toward a new way of managing errands, one that will enable Chef to spend more time in the kitchen with us, training us, being a chef. in the sense of 'boss cook'. He runs most errands himself, he said that i'm more valuable in the kitchen. i said that his presence is needed, that i don't know everything, i just know less of nothing than the people i'm directing. and Chef said "yes, and I've been depending on you for everything". i'm glad he recognizes that. and that he recognizes part of his job is to train us. because i'm a bit overwhelmed right now. this is my first holiday season with both a store and a website. some major orders are in process. 3360 truffles for one order alone. 1000 for another. we're on the verge of becoming the official chocolatier of the Slovenian Ambassador . it's a lot.

and i feel slow, and inefficient, and overwhelmed. completely left out of all the baking. and somehow, without ever wanting to, i'm largely responsible for running the show. we don't have titles, but Ron said it. "Chef's gone, you're telling people what to do and how to do it - you're the sous-chef." a position people work years to achieve, and i'm in it one year after graduation. supervising people with more education and experience. it's uncomfortable. and unavoidable. i'm having the uneasy feeling that astrology and numerology may be right, and leadership is my destiny. i'll have to develop a better style of management than i had at ddfl - you suck, stop it- really is not an effective strategy.

i wanted to be a pastry cook. maybe some far-off day a pastry chef. yet here i am combining entry level skill with a supervisory position. suddenly, it seems rather familiar. i think i've done this before.