Entries from September 2004 ↓

Sticking my head in the door

Hey ev’body. I had a (rare) moment and thought I’d post something.

I’ve been home from school about an hour now, need to take a nap before getting up to study for Monday night’s class. Also trying to catch up on some football. Go figure the year I’m too busy to see either my alma mater or my favorite pro team, they’re not playing half bad (which also means they’re only half good).

Well, I am tired beyond belief and I’ve got another 9 months of school to go. Weekend culinary arts classes are an information dump. You show up at 9:00 on Saturday morning (really 8-ish; class starts precisely at 9 and you are marked late if you aren’t dressed and ready to go) and for the next 8 hours get your head filled with information to the point of migraine. Then you go home to do reading, answer study questions, before doing it all again Sunday. Then work Monday-Friday.

I used to think I knew something about food, but I know nothing. Nothing at all. These first few weeks have been about the basics: culinary history, kitchen equipment, health and sanitation (trust me, your home kitchen is a breading ground for microorganisms), fruit, vegetable, cheese and herb identification (can you tell chervil by sight), knife skills (we take potatoes home to cut up and bring back), and most recently meat and fish fabrication. (You know how meat is wrapped in plastic at your supermarket? It comes in half cow size at restaurants and you have to learn how to cut it into those dinner size portions.)

I’m not complaining at all, because this is what I want to do. But I feel like a first grader all over again. It is disorienting being a beginner at anything at this point in my life. My classmates (there are 15 of us) all get along well and support one another in this effort. We’re all working adult career changers in the same boat.

Last week, my culinary management classes started. That’ll be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, 6-9 pm. It already looks to be an interesting one. The instructor has worked in every aspect of the food industry, and is also a regular contributor on the local CBS tv station. Probably because management thinking is already a part of my day-to-day life, I’m less intimidated by it. But time management and fatigue are serious issues. HR on my job sent me a memo last week telling me to use my personal days or lose them at the end of the year. I’ll happily comply.

Hello, I must be going

It’s hiatus time, ladies and gentlemen.

My life is getting crazy right now. Work Monday through Friday, school Saturday and Sunday, and in two weeks, also three nights a week. I seriously need to cut back on the amount of time I spend online and watching mindless hours of television.

Textbooks must become my new best friend. Unfortunately, my real-life friends–and family–may not see much of me as a result. Just know I’m thinking of you all during the few hours a week I’ll spend sleeping.

I’ll be back…someday.

Damn

I cant say I knew him, because I never actually met him. I just read his blog, and in that strange way that people think they know you on the Internet when in fact they dont know you at all, I guess I knew him.

And in that same vain search for connection to one another in a disconnected world, I liked his writing. I didnt always get it, because he had a very off beat way of putting things. But you sensed he was looking at the universe through his own special prism and it all made sense to him. Or maybe not.

Hearing the news of his passing, and the circumstances surrounding it, saddens me in ways I cant fully comprehend. Apparently, I didnt know him at all.

That Inner Voice

Once again, I’ve read one of my fellow bloggers’ sites and seen someone else capture my own thoughts succinctly.

Not that I have my shit together–not by any stretch of the imagination–but I posted a comment there, that was as much for her as it was for me. I share the same affliction.

Years ago in my acting days, whenever someone would ask me “what’s your type” meaning what roles are you best suited for, my pat reply was “I am a short, stocky, slightly balding, middle-aged character actor.” I played Dads, or office workers, or cops. I played lots of cops. Patrolmen, detectives, undercover, cops, because I looked like an average schmo. Nondescript, indistinguishable, Joe Everyman. But never the lead.

Maybe I carried my show business persona over into my personal life, because I’ve never managed to see myself as anyone special. I walk into a room full of people and no heads turn, no one dying to strike up a conversation with me. Just another face in the crowd.

All of which makes the search for companionship one filled with trepidation. My inner voice whispers negative thoughts in my ear. When I see someone taller, with a better physique, better looks, better dressed, a more exciting job, “A” list credentials–an obvious leading man–that voice says, “Don’t waste your time. He’d never be interested. What have you got to offer him?” Film set etiquette dictates background actors don’t talk to principals. The moment passes and the inner voice only gets louder with the years.

Is it a poor self-image? Setting my sights too high to begin with? Fear of a successful relationship? Lack of affirmation for my own qualities? Being too susceptible to society’s standards of beauty and desireability? Some combination of all of them?

Knowing your problem is the first step towards dealing with it.

Doh!

Geez, I almost forgot. Today is my anniversary.

One year ago, this blog went online. Kevin got me started and did my first design (thanks, nephew). Karsh posted the first comment to the first entry, which was just a “Hello, I’m here” message. He also did the redesign you see now. EJ has been my technical guru and domain registrar throughout my entire blog life (luv ya!).

In addition to them, reading these guys gave me inspiration to start it.

It’s been a fun year. An interesting way to think out loud. Challenging at times to come up with something and keep all these spaces filled. The next redesign may do away with the side blogs. Life is getting too busy these days to have something to say in so many areas.

I’m away from home base this week so posting isn’t as easy, thus I’ll keep this brief. Thanks to all of you who have sent words of encouragement and support, either publicly or privately, those who’ve commented here or just passed by to read.

And since this is my anniversary…if you wanna…you know…click on that Wishlist link up in the navigation bar….well, you know…