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What a chef REALLY hears when you ask him what he made.

My fiancee used to be the Volunteer co-ordinator for a moderate sized Science Museum in Central Ohio. In addition to this springboard position, she was also born to a human family, and as such, has human-like relatives with whom she must associate and converse. Unfortunately, the most common way for Ohioans to converse with one another is the occasion known simply as a “pot luck”

For the uninitiated, a pot luck involves a large number of people convening in one location; it is also “highly suggested” that all the aforementioned people bring some type of food for others to eat. The thinking behind this being that if everyone brings a dish to share, everyone will have enough to eat.  The reality, however, is that the assembly will consist of no fewer than 70% old people who will bring one of 2 things:

1.) A dessert that will give you diabetes upon biting into it (they’re gonna die soon anyway, what the fuck do they care about disease?)
2.) ___________ – salad. Common examples include, but are not limited to: Pasta Salad, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Broccoli Salad, and Salad Salad.

Being a fledgling chef who doesn’t really WANT to be a chef, I am a big deal at these potlucks. And, thanks to the ubiquity of Food Network and an interminable amount of time Old People have to watch it, almost every person in attendance (read: those w/o food industry experience) has an overromanticized idea about what it means to be a culinary professional. Such delusions inevitably lead to one…singular…question:”Oooh, what did you make?” What I hear when people utter such bullshit is this:

1.) What did you bring that’s not a tooth-rotting dessert?
2.) What did you bring that can make us feel like we’re fancy and high class instead of lower-middle class rednecks?

Most of the time, I respond with a emotionless “nothing.” I don’t want to make anything for you unappreciative bastards. For one, I hate the culinary industry. I hate that I spent damn near 45 thousand dollars to graduate with honors and subsequently have an “honorable” job “honorably” washing dishes or “honorably” working a drive-thru because some illegal immigrant will work for sub-minimum wage doing the same GD thing. I hate making the same dish over… and over… and over again. And I especially hate the fact that the profit-driven  industry is more interested with pushing out an imperfect product just to make some $ than building a customer base with quality product plated elegantly… but I digress.

For two: I don’t really feel like catering (pun fully intended) to the whims of fake assholes who want me to spend more money than I have and time than I want to just so they can feel more important than they really are. If you don’t want to each 11 different types of pie or 47 different types of salads… either DON”T COME to the potluck or BRING SOMETHING DIFFERENT. I don’t understand what’s so hard about these solutions. Furthermore, I don’t make anything fancy because, for as much as people WANT to think that they have advanced palates, they don’t. The majority of people who attend potlucks don’t want to be subjected to anything new, or avant-garde, or anything that isn’t some bastardization of a menu item from one of the Americana restaurants. You know the ones: jerseys of local sports stars adorn the walls, stock family photos are ejaculated onto the remaining spaces. Specials vary from establishment to establishment… but face it, they’re all the same.

Sure, I COULD make something fancy: I could spend a few hours making soda crackers from scratch. I could cook a Roast to a perfect medium rare (the doneness to which meat SHOULD be cooked). I could slice the roast to 1/16″ pieces, shape them onto the soda crackers, top the crackers with a dainty dollop of horseradish infused whipped cream and some scallions. I could serve those hor’s d’oeuvres to you on a silver plateBut you wouldn’t eat them. You’d comment on them to be polite, but ultimately I’d end up going home with 40-45 of those little canapes. My inner fat kid would then eat a large number of them out of sadness and a feeling of failure when I got home, and the rest would get thrown out a week later after I unsuccessfully tried to store the leftovers in my refrigerator.

So what SHOULD you do? That’s easy. Make something different and then encourage the chef to eat it. He may not like it, but he’s going to think of you at least a little more highly than all the rest of the wrinkled pre-zombies at the pot luck. And, chances are, if he ever DOES make something fanciful… he’ll offer you first crack at it. And, if you get in REALLY good with him, it might actually HAVE crack in it… which will make the old people that much more tolerable.

 
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Posted by on 09/16/2011 in Uncategorized

 

Why Galinda is kind of a Bitch

…aside from all the things she did to Ephelba in Wicked. (Which was a horrible book, btw)

1. She’s rude.

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Glinda: Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?
Dorothy: …I’m not a witch at all. Witches are old and ugly…
Glinda: ONLY BAD WITCHES ARE UGLY.

O rly? Yet you ask Dorothy which one she is. That’s some passive aggressive shit right there, lady.

2. She’s a liar.

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Dorothy: Oh I’d give anything to get out of Oz altogether. But which is the way back to Kansas? I can’t go the way I came!
Glinda: No, that’s true. THE ONLY PERSON WHO MIGHT KNOW would be the great and wonderful Wizard of Oz himself.

Bitch, you know how to send her home.

3. She’s dismissive.

Dorothy: But what happens if I –
Glinda: Just follow the yellow brick road [basically: lol bye bitch]

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Thanks. For nothing. This is just after putting the shoes on Dorothy’s feet and making her a target for the Wicked Witch, mind you.

4. She’s shady and manipulative.

So Glinda comes waltzing back after all the hard work’s been done, like she wasn’t the catalyst for all this bullshit to begin with.

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And she goes:

Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD THE POWER TO GO BACK TO KANSAS.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

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No she goddamn didn’t. She already wanted to go home the whole time, which was the entire ~lesson of the film, and you had the power to send her back. You just wanted this little twelve-year-old girl to commit your political assassination for you.

In conclusion: Your childhood has been a lie.

 
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Posted by on 05/13/2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Library is actually making me Stupid

Every once in a while, on my days off, I like to pack up my laptop and a few notebooks of paper and head off to the local Library. Sure, I could probably do the same thing at home that I do at the library (i.e. dick around on social media sites and look up recipes for clients & personal consumption). But our library has two distinct advantages over our quaint and cozy abode. Namely:

1.) The tables upstairs are RIGHT in front of section 642. Which, if you’re not a giant nerd who has memorized the Dewey Decimal System, is the food and culinary section.

2.) It’s in Newark, which means you get an awesome mixture of middle aged job-hunters, rednecks doubling as technical neophytes, and ethnic diversity you could only see elsewhere if you visited a welfare office or unemployment line.

My most recent experience at the library didn’t disappoint. Initially I was going to sit at one of the open tables NOT in the study room. I have an excess or shrimp and scallops in the fridge and was looking for a quick and easy ceviche recipe. A seat at the open table, would, for all intents and purposes make running back and forth to section 642 that much easier. Sadly, I’m not a fan of people; and, more specifically I’m not a fan of people who look like Rikki Lake’s poor sister-in-law, nor am I a fan of Division 3 athletes who think they’re professionals because they have a pleather varsity jacket from 2003. Alas, those were my choices on the outside. So I opted for a seat in the study lounge, relegating myself to the corner, trying to be as faux-invisible as possible.

Taking my seat, I take notice of the two other individuals in the room. An elderly (early to mid 60s) gentleman doing god knows what on his laptop, and a failed-bodybuilder looking African American male (whom we will heretofore refer to as SNORLAX) who is snoring LOUDLY.. to the point that you can hear him through the thick glass of the study room. Admittedly, it took a few minutes of internal debate to convince myself NOT to go over and draw a giant dick on his forehead in Sharpie.

Minutes pass, and I am saved (or so I think) by a man of equal mass who I presume to be Snorlax’s study partner. Said “gentlman” comes into the study room, razzes Snorlax a bit about his sawing logs, and then leaves. Frankly, I am a little miffed at this interaction. Snorlax seems to be completely devoid of empathy for people who have to occupy this room and endure his virtual ear rape. Look, poke-douche, I’m cool with you sleeping. Lord knows the storms recently have given everyone more than their fair share of shitty nights’ sleeps, but c’mon man… have some common fucking sense. Sleep at home, in a dorm, or at a friend’s house.

Startled by his slumber, and evidently unaware of his surroundings, Snorlax wobbles out of the study room only to return less than 10 minutes later with a Power Bar (obtained from God Knows Where) and a strange Latina woman (whom, I am assuming, he didn’t pick up in the same place as the Power Bar). Latina (who we will refer to as Frida Kahlo–sans mustache)


comes into the room and boots up her laptop. Using his finely honed powers of testosteronic reasoning, Snorlax approaches Frida with the worst pick-up line ever: “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” Turns out, because it’s Newark and OF COURSE they know each other, that they go to the same Chuch (Evangelical Union of Minorities? Is that even a denomination?)

And then…no more than 10 minutes after his awkward recon mission had ended…Snorlax is back in dreamland. This time with his head propped up against the ledge of the window. Drawing upon every stereotype I know about Latino Women (hey, they wouldn’t persist if they weren’t at least A LITTLE bit true, amirite?) I figured she would lay the verbal smackdown like a obese version of Manny Pacquiao, but no. Frida just kept type-type-typerooing away until Snorlax–at LAST–woke up and vacated the premises.

And that was it I thought, a little light entertainment on my day off. But Newark had other plans, because in walked an ancestor of Cro-Magnon Man. Shirt replete with small holes and stained with pit sweat, Bag full of prescription(?) drugs and the Dr. Thunder with which he would wash them down. Cro-Mag then proceeds to audition for Deathwish Movers smack dab in the middle of the study room: moving no less than 6 chairs and a table, shutting 5 of the 6 blinds in the room, and then opening the door to the room (which is supposed to be closed at all times) and following that peculiar behaviour by going Sheldon Cooper on his seating arrangement, looking increasingly despondent with every seat he would try and the resultant glare it would give on his 8″ netbook screen.

And with that, I started packing up my things to head home. Not because I’d had more than my fair share of frivolity and absurdity for the day, but moreso because it’s people like this who usually end up murdering people en masse.

 
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Posted by on 04/22/2011 in Life, Miscellany

 

“Urine” for a real surprise

I got a new job! Okay, fine, that’s not nearly as exciting as I’m making it out to be. It’s still in the culinary field, (which, along with Agrarian bullshit, Factory Work, and Banking seems to be the only thing available in this area of Ohio) but it’s more responsibility (read: more stress) and a 37.5% pay raise once I go through the rigors of Orientation and Manager Training.  But that’s not why I’m writing this story today…

The reason, dear friends, is the dreadful pee test I was subjected to today. (and even THAT isn’t why I’m writing today, but it’s a nice segue…so just go with it).

Now, most places in the culinary field don’t subject you to this emotional scarring because A) most of their staff are students or dropouts who do copious amounts of pot, heroine, and crack in order to keep up with the 10-12 hour days and ridiculous hours the culinary field demands, or B) are Illegal Mexicans who don’t have the documentation to go into a doctor’s office AND are probably supplying the drugs to the aforementioned pot/cokeheads.No friends, today’s story is about the LAST time I had to pee in a cup: for my Culinary Internship. And lemme tell you, THAT was an adventure.

To begin, the very act of peeing in a cup is a little awkward from the start. Going in, you drink a metric shit ton of water so you’ll actually have the ability to pee in the lowball glass provided to you. But, by that time, you have SO MUCH pee filling your bladder, you either vacate yourself before entering the testing facility OR you pee the requisite amount into the specimen container, Kegel-ate yourself to stop the stream, and then when you let it out again, it comes out far more powerfully than you would have intended and gets all over the seat instead of the toilet (which you can’t flush lest they think you’re cheating and subsequently make you take the test again with an empty bladder and a nurse waiting outside the stall to make sure you haven’t slipped a Whizzinator* into the facility. And all the while, you can’t go-even if you had a full bladder-because you’re too preoccupied thinking “Don’t Listen, I can’t go when you listen,” or “I wonder what sound a Giant Wang makes when it’s urinating as opposed to a Smaller Wang. Does the Nurse know the difference, will she silent judge me accordingly if she DOES know?” or “She’s looking at my ass through the crack in the stall. Eh, at least I have a nice ass.”)

…at least, I’ve heard that these kinds of things go through peoples’ minds during that kind of thing. Not that I have any personal experience with this.

But that’s not even the kicker! The previous time I had a pee test, (to get a job cooking for the Cincinnati Reds, a job I’m still kicking myself over), I called to see how things were going and was told that they hadn’t received my specimen at the lab. A weird occurrence I thought, considering how much of a sample I gave them. I would thus need to drive down to Cincinnati to take another immediate pee test so I could have my results in time to start orientation.

What the nurses and I deduced from telling them about my predicament was that the large African-American nurse (think John Coffey from Green Mile  meets Greg Focker from Meet The Parents) who handled my urine pocketed the sample (I know, right?!) and sold it on the black market (no, the literal black market, not being racist here) to someone looking to dishonestly pass his/her drug test.

*sigh* Someone has stolen my pee for their own personal gain. I guess I can check that one off the bucket list. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again.

 
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Posted by on 04/19/2011 in Food, Life

 

Gas has officially gotten ridiculous

Mother Earth just gave me a giant middle finger for driving an SUV. I should go for something more eviro-friendly, but SmartCars are for douchebags and hybrids don’t have any horsepower. Plus, I kinda LIKE being able to run over stupid Ohio Drivers who freak out at the sight of snowflakes

 
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Posted by on 04/18/2011 in Life, Miscellany

 

Hope I get the job…

 
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Posted by on 04/16/2011 in Life, Miscellany

 

The Things People Share on FaceBook


Apparently, my friends have nothing better to do on Facebook than post about mutilating their newborn child’s genitalia.

And apparently, their friends have nothing better to do than lurk their profile(s) and offer tips about how to care for said genitalia. In this case, slather that bitch with some vaseline for 7 days and the lil’ guy will be good to go!

I can’t help but think that one day, this kid will be on his way to prom; and, instead of showing horrible naked baby pictures, his mom will just be like. “Oh, hey, you wanna see all the posts I used to write about Brody’s weiner?! Of course you do!”

 
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Posted by on 04/09/2011 in Uncategorized