Sunday, May 31, 2009

I fed him lunch...

ok, so not really. Can you imagine how much he'd need to be satisfied?

But I do complete my second cooking assignment for my company, cooking lunch for the people that were in doing the refurb on him after 3 years on the road. It went quite well and I received all sorts of compliments. I do need to work on portion control, as I overcooked just a bit. But was happy with how everything turned out in the end.

In other weekend news, I got to see a lot of old friends at the Yanni tour. Which is a very visually spectacular show. It would be lost without the video content.

I also spent all day stuck in my nutrition paper. I have to do a final edit of it, but I'm mostly done. Thankfully. It was brutal trying to get it to come together at some points.

And now the weekend is over and its back the craziness of a week. Only two more with classes though. I can't wait for the slow down that will come with that. I think.

Sleep well... until later in the week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I heart Thursdays

I think Thursday has become my favorite day. Its the one day of the week that I am guaranteed to be home by 830. Its so nice to have a little quiet time to relax and not be rushing to bed or the work or to class. I can't say much for my Thursday night class though... but thankfully there are only two more weeks left. The teacher actually said today, can you repeat that question, I wasn't listening. REALLY? Isn't that your main job?

Its been a bit of a crazy week. Lots of stupidity to deal with at work. I practiced the art of smiling and nodding, know that any argument I put forth for the crazy tasks I was being asked to accomplish would fall on deaf ears. And in the grand scheme of things, they only wasted their own time, not mine. I did get added responsibility of pulling together gear for a show, which was cool. Its great to be in a position where I'm trusted and they want me to learn more. Now if only I can convince them to pay me more, and send me to Australia in August....

Dinner on Monday went really well. The key lime pie was fabulous (I think C ate half of it Monday night) and I was quite happy with my pan sauce for the steak. The conversation was good, for the most part. Its hard to want one thing, and not understand why the other person doesn't want it too. But, the more I think on things, the less I understand him. He's opening up more to me in the last weeks than ever before, but in the end, I'm finding that he is very confused about what he wants... or what he thinks he wants.

There was one interesting question that got brought up, not one that we discussed fully, but got me to thinking... the question being when was the last time you were completely happy? (he was telling me of someone else that asked him this question, I've yet to share my answer with him) For him, he figured it was three years ago, when he was living back in Indiana and didn't have a care in the world. For me, I don't think I have ever been completely happy for a period of time. For a week, or two, yes... but never for months at a time. I've definitely had periods where I am happy with areas of my life for longer stretches of time... but I can't say I've ever been completely happy with my job, my social life and my personal life all at the same time. I thought the move here would be the chance to change that... and perhaps it still is, but right now, I love my job, I'm enjoying school, but I'm not happy with where I am personally or socially. Its a bit deep... and oddly philosophical... but, I'd really like to get to a point where I love all aspects of my life.

On a lighter note, I get to see some of my diamond cohorts tomorrow, as well as a Yanni show... should be an interesting way to start the weekend off....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why do weekends go by so fast?

Another whirlwind weekend in Chicago down. I actually got out and was social this weekend. A friend from NYC was in town, and we hit up a club and a dive bar after an afternoon of sidewalk drinking. A bit too late of a night, but fun was had by all. And many, many, many drinks.

I also have gotten all but one of the boxes out of my apartment. So, we're almost there on the put away and settled in part. C is on his way for dinner to celebrate his birthday, so that was motivation to get the dining room table cleared off (updates on the Key Lime Pie and the Southern Comfort Pan sauce over filet mignon to come later... cross your fingers they go smoothly and I don't burn down the kitchen... )

Its back to work tomorrow, for what hopefully won't be as long of a week as last week. I worked until 12:30 am on Saturday morning... and left most people still there. Its definitely a good thing that so much is going ok, but it really hinders the sleep some nights.

I did manage to have a very productive day yesterday, and got the shopping done for all the June birthdays and father's day, as well as finding new pants and shoes for work. It seems like all those pesky errands get put off so much with the schedule I keep. I don't have the time to hit target or the mall on a weeknight, and have to jam it all into the weekends. This weekend its made me a bit anxious. I feel like I'm bordering on an anxiety attack for some reason today. Although not quite sure why.

Thats about all I have to report on the front of my backwards marathon running life. Things are hopefully going to calm down, and hopefully lead me off to a summer tour to make some more money and get out of the rat race of the back and forth between the city and work. I'm hoping for updates on that soon. I did get a few more rows of Sizzle done, but its slow going with the yarn I chose. Its a 100% cotton and I'm finding it very slippery and that tension is hard to maintain.

And now to finish up dinner, as hopefully C will be arriving shortly.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yet another long week

I was home before 8 pm tonight. YEY! It happens so rarely these days, I must celebrate is occurrence. So, I'm enjoying a glass of red wine. And sitting.

Its almost bed time, as the week has been long. Summer has arrived in Chicago. I feel like we skipped spring though. Or I was too busy and stressed to realize spring happened. Either way, it made it to 90 degrees today. If I'm going to be home for the summer, I desperately need to invest in an air conditioner. Hopefully just a fan though.

I almost fell asleep on the way to work yesterday. I feel so burned out some days. Other days, I'm fine. But those days when the long travel times, the long times on my feet at work, and the late nights/early morning combine are the worst. Especially when they usually entail staying late at work (I bailed at 9 pm last night, almost 2 hours before everyone else got to go home). Work has been good though. Mostly. I did explode a light today... not by fault of my own, but for lack of checking work I didn't know had been done by someone else. Unfortunately, it took out the two hours of work I had invested into the project, and several hundred, if not thousands of dollars worth of equipment. I'm hoping to find out if there is a tour for me soon. I do get to see a friend from the diamond days this week, as he'll be back in building The Fray's tour which heads out in a few weeks. That will be nice.

School is good. I'm enjoying making sauces, and I'm at a point where I would definitely say two of the girls are friends. One especially. We email/text outside of class and are trying to plan a night out. Its nice to have the start of a social life here, as I've not been able to get to the knitting night I want to attend, nor have I found any good quality meetup groups to join (which was my main way of meeting people in NYC).

I finally feel like I'm settling in and am home here. I still have lots of exploring to do and some unpacking. But that will come. I had a really good conversation with C over the weekend, and I think we are solidly on the path to friendship. He'll be back this weekend, and I'm roping him into helping to hang some pictures on my walls, and showing him what a real birthday celebration should be like (his is Friday and he didn't understand why I made such a big deal out of my birthday... so i thought I'd show him to right way to celebrate and am cooking dinner for him).

For now though, it feels nice to lounge here and not be rushing off to work, or rushing off to sleep or rushing off to school. Or waiting on a delivery or waiting on the internet. Hope you have great Friday's and have good plans for the long weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I'm back!

online that is, so perhaps that means I'll be back here more often and keeping up with you all and what's going on in my life.

Its been so long, I don't even remember what I've told you all and what I haven't. So, if I repeat myself, sorry. Bear with me while I get back into a rhythm. If that is possible at this point, that is.

So, anyways, it was a crazy week. I started in on the second culinary course of school. We made roux and cosumme and crepes. All quite tasty. Well, not the roux... I didn't taste that one.

But the highlight of my week came in the combining of work and cooking and my first paid job as a chef. I was asked to step up to the plate on Thursday night and cook for the executive meeting that was taking place. It was a bit like being thrown into the deep end and not having the option of sinking. I found out at 9 am that there was dinner for 22-24 at 6 pm. I was told there are pork chops, rib eyes and salmon filets in the fridge... there is a grill out there... and here's some money for the grocery store and N, who is in charge of the serving side of things and to help you out. And off you go. Have fun, don't stress, and don't use butter or cheese.

Hours later, and many chopped things, I put a meal of shrimp cocktail and bruschetta, pasta with marinara sauce, chopped mixed salad, grilled rib eyes, grilled pork chops with apple cranberry chutney, grilled salmon with mango black bean salsa, olive oil roasted potatoes, roasted cauliflower, and strawberry shortcake. I had a few glitches along the way (overly thick pork chops being the major one) but the night ended with the compliment from the owner of the company that it was the best salmon he had had. Followed by the remark that we want you to do this again. Score one for me, and my cooking! It is really a gratifying thing to hear that people like what you cooked and want to experience it again. I know I've always gotten compliments, but part of me always doubts when they are coming from your parents (don't they have to like it?) or the guy who would eat anything... Coming from a known picky eater, who has dined extensively, it was a great compliment and a check in the success column.

So, that's my big story of the week. And I just had to share. Now its time for sleep. More about my knitting (I've got a sock on one set of needles and cast on for Knit and Tonic's Sizzle tank this morning as well) and about other aspects of life soon, I hope. Happy Monday everyone! Hope your weeks start of well and continue smoothly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Must be something there...

Oddly enough, two of my three favorite radio stations here in Chicago-land are Christian ones.  The other is country.  I tend to flip between them a lot, especially on my morning drive into work.  This morning, I flipped to the first one as this song was starting.  After it was over, they started in on their pledge drive talk, which really bugs me.  (why pledge drives are a huge pet peeve of mine belongs in another post though).  So I flipped back to the other station, where I found the same song that had just finished was starting up.

The words of the song struck me...  as I feel like I'm in this huge state of choas (I'm still living out of boxes, have no internet at home, waiting on a couch, trying to find my way and a social life, etc and I'm still trying to deal with everything else that has gone on - mom, C, other past mistakes with the love and personal life, etc).  The first lines of it seemed to speak to me, that its time to move on and heal and fix.  

It was like God was telling me I really should listen to the song and just go with it.  So, here's to letting go, and letting God.  And working on that trusting that He knows what He's doing and even if I can't figure it out, I'm on my way to where I'm supposed to be going.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009


So, I still have no internet at my apartment.  The upside to that is a found a great little bread bakery to sit in this morning and enjoy my morning coffee and a lemon poppy seed scone.  

I got all of my stuff yesterday, and am mostly unpacked already.  I have a ton of organizing to do though.  I have so much stuff!  Most of it is baking or cooking related...  who'd have guessed, right?  I don't have much in terms of cabinet space - or counter space either - but I have this great walk in closet in my hall entry way that has become my storage spot.  I have pots and pans and plates all stowed in there.  Seems like it will work out pretty well for me.  It was heavenly to sleep in a real bed last night too.  So nice to have that level of comfort back.  

And I need another basket for yarn.  I thought two would be enough, but apparently it isn't.  

I got half of my couch order, so at least I have a place to sit now.  The couch should be delivered next Saturday...  so not too long to wait for that.  

The internet is the part thats annoying me though.  They apparently hooked it up on Friday like they were supposed to.  But it doesn't work in my apartment, unfortunately.  I've been trying to fix it because due to my schedule at AT&T's schedule, the soonest I can get a service appointment is next Saturday morning.  Bah!  I was sobbing when I got off the phone with technical service on Friday night.  I depend so much on the internet these days --- its my entertainment source, my connection to the outside word, my screen to vent on.  And I didn't have it, and won't have easy access to it for another week.  Looking back, it seems very unreasonable to be so upset at the lack of something like internet, but it truly crushed me to know that I have to wait another week to get back on line.  

In other news, I got an A in my first culinary school class.  I passed Intro to Cooking fairly easily, and had fun doing it.  Well, except for those pesky tournes (potatoes carved to look vaguely like a football).  I start soup, stocks and sauces tomorrow.  Which is exciting, as it will be more focused on the cooking, which is what I am looking forward to.  I have to start working on my papers for my nutrition class, as that is going to be the more difficult one.  The teacher used all book/publisher developed materials - power points and quizzes and I'm assuming the final too.  The part that is difficult is that the quizzes often include questions of things that aren't covered in class, which to me, just seems not quite right.  If you want me to know it, go over it during lecture.  

Ok, so I think I've babbled on through a ton of different topics and caught you all up on the last week of my life.  Or perhaps overwhelmed you completely.  I do so miss this outlet when I don't have my internet access.  That and reading all of your blog stories.  Maybe I'll be back later tonight with more updates...  I'm off to Home Goods and Target and my cheap produce store.  

And another note, never got to Costco on a Friday night...  the lines weren't too bad, but the people clogging the aisles drove me batty!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I'm never moving again!!!

Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration.  I'm never moving again without help.  I climbed way too many stairs yesterday.  With way too many boxes.  

And now I wait.  I wait for my internet to be connected (next Friday!  ARGH and no one has a non-password protected connection near me, so I'm at the library right now).  I wait for my furniture (next Saturday!) and I wait for my couch and love seat (bought today, but won't be delivered until the 14th...  but I won't be home the 14th, so I'll have to reschedule that unless they can rush things and get them delivered on Saturday --  cross your fingers for that option!).

So, I'll be back again when I have the internet, as I'm ready to move on from sitting here.  I need to get to the grocery store and then home to study for my first final, which is on Tuesday.  And I need to organize a bit, because there are half empty boxes strew around my apartment.