Wondering why I’m listening to Cotton Eyed-joe in a cafe in Galway…it’s a pretty strange experience! I remember dancing to this song when I was young, people being raucous and rowdy and lots of movement all round. Here, there’s none o’ that. Lots of chatter in Irish voices except the one beside me who’s also on his phone, reading news or about his favorite sports teams. This is not a new experience for me. Except that everyone has a different accent to mine. D is never talkative off the clock unless we’re at the bar with other people. And I’m always wishing he were. But it’s ok here, his silent way is helpful for my observing nature.
I see so many people who look just like they could be at home in San Francisco too. But they’re here, at home or visiting, in Galway, Ireland.
There’s a lady with a big, fluffy black coat, beanie and sunglasses across the room from us, sipping her drink, some espresso no doubt; I can’t tell if she’s old or young she’s so covered by her trappings.
There are students on their laptops, studying or playing around. And ladies yapping over their coffees. And I’m just an American in Galway…haven’t seen anything but this cafe and the train station. The few pubs surrounding it are of course, as you’d expect, plentiful. But they serve food, people don’t drink like you’d think here in Ireland. I think it’s only the young people who party much and usually in foreign places like America, when they’re visiting on J1 visas.
We’ve come to see the town and yet we’re sitting in this quaint cafe, listening to the full version of The Prince Of Bell Air…
Relationships are notoriously difficult, especially the living together with someone for the first time kind. When you’re both kinda lazy and messy, it’s even more difficult to keep your home clean. It’s hard to see your apartment and not want to have guests over. Especially if it’s because of a butt to seating ratio. It makes you a little crazy thinking there’s nothing you can do to fix the problem because nagging your cohabitant will just end up with major push-back and probably more messes.
BUT, the tip I have for anyone worried about this type of situation is: choose your battles wisely, my dear. Do you love this person more than you hate the mess? Even clean-freak Monica Gellar from Friends was able to make it work. Of course, her favorite thing in life was cleaning, while her worst nightmare was someone messing up the work she’d just done. If you can just suck it up and clean up after your person, do so; if not, have a conversation about it.
Hiring a cleaning service is probably a favorable choice for us. I’m getting to the point where it might just be the ticket. It’s so expensive to live in San Francisco that I see no reason why I shouldn’t enjoy being in my apartment and if you don’t think an extra $100 a month isn’t worth that, you’re sadly mistaken. I’m not a very busy person, but I think that having someone else do a thorough cleaning once or twice a month might be beneficial for people like us. Just so that we get used to living in a clean spot. Then it’s all about maintenance, right?
A few other things that may be beneficial for us are some extra storage in certain places. A coat rack in the hallway and maybe a storage bench to throw my blankets in, since draping them on the couch seems to invite us to throw our clothes on the couch at the end of the day.
Some cute options I found on Amazon, with my affiliate link:
I am desperate for more to do at work, a way to stay motivated. I can’t figure out why I didn’t get the one thing I asked my previous manager for: more tasks. A way to make it worthwhile to him to have me at the restaurant, being paid. I’m bored out of my mind, so bored I’m writing at work. There’s nobody to seat at a table, there are three managers and nothing to do. So I’m writing and looking for things to clean. I want to stay motivated while I’m working here.
I’m thankful for both of my jobs, I’ve learned so much from working as a host at the front door of an extremely popular supper club and jazz bar. I have become more organized and thoughtful about planning the evening. On a busy night, I’m always super motivated and I can keep moving the whole time. I’m in charge of a lot of people’s experience: both our guests’ and my coworkers’ nights are determined by how well I do my part.
I love that feeling of being necessary to the overall flow of the night. I’ve found something I’m good at and want to continue furthering my career in this path. I want to be a server and then a manager in a restaurant. I also still want to work in a restaurant’s marketing/ public relations function. I’m motivated to find a job where I fit in with the team like I do at my current two jobs, with management that is similar to my newer job.
I did the thing. I asked to be trained as a server. I said, “You know how I’ve been taking care of tables upstairs when all the other servers move downstairs or go home? Is it a possibility for me to be officially trained as a server?” I was caught off guard when my manager looked surprised at my proposition and said he didn’t realize I wanted to serve, but that we could definitely talk about it. So…Yay me? At least I asked… So, I’m studying with this book to keep motivated:
This is a big step, for me, for him, for us. It’s extremely cliché; I know it. We signed a lease together and I’m going to write this post even though he’ll probably be embarrassed. However, since many of you out there don’t know who HE is, he can relax, knowing that the ones who do know won’t make fun of him for too long.
My man and I lived together for a few months out of necessity and, I’d have to wager, a bit of laziness on his part. Or, maybe it was his sneaky way of a test drive. Whatever it was, living together at my last place of abode led to us signing our first lease together about one month prior to this post.
We’ve been officially moved-in together for about three weeks; I think it’s going well! We even had our first houseguests over, including one of our favorite couples ever over for a hilarious evening of food and wine. I made boeuf bourguignon a la Julia Child (because I can’t resist making a mention of her wonderful legacy) and he made the most wonderful salad. Of course, the walnuts were raw, yet still scrumptious because, as we discovered in media res, our oven wouldn’t heat up…
In other news, I’ve gotten what one can only call a promotion of sorts. It’s funny how getting a raise and promotion only means new (and more) work. At least that’s what I’ve observed in the movies! Ha! I’ve just gotten my first one of either sort. Although, I’m not sure if I can really say promotion, but my hours of work and play have dramatically changed and, as of this payday, so will the number of dollars in my direct deposit.
It’s amazing to think that it was three years ago to the day, I was fired from my first job in the city, for being trained improperly. I still believe there were more motives than that at play, but who cares at this point? The only reason I even know that it happened is that I wrote a draft labeled March 22, 2014: “Being fired and moving on…Yes, I was just fired from my job yesterday.”
I’m not sure I even want to open the draft to read the rest–I can’t believe how different my life is now. I can’t believe that back then I could even begin to fathom that I was happy–I was not nearly as happy as I am now……
Took the time to read that draft and I’m amazed at how positive I was about being fired from a job I loved so much…Of course, that’s how my momma raised me!
As I sit here, completely uninspired and desiring to be, I watch other people. I always have watched other people; I watch them, wondering if they’re inspired or even happy. I’m not happy. I’m sitting here writing what feels like prose poetry, forgetting the definition I learned in school, catching every spelling mistake and getting frustrated because I hate prose poetry. Why can’t we keep the two separate?
And I realize that I need to cut my fingernails because it is no longer satisfying, but annoying to have them hit the keys on my keyboard. Maybe if my nails were stronger, but they don’t feel strong. I don’t feel strong. I’ve been sick for the last week, and I still feel exhausted. The coffee and bagel aren’t helping my energy levels…
I am still sitting here writing whatever this is. Whatever this is that is completely inspired by my utter lack of inspiration. My desperation nags at me. I don’t want to be writing right now. I want to read, reread The Hobbit, Pride and Prejudice (no zombies please). I want to do something where it’s considered acceptable to do nothing but read all day, the same books I’ve read a thousand times, if I so choose. I always talked about going to culinary school while I was a cook. Well, maybe I am still a cook, but not right now, right now I’m funemployed, as I’ve called it… My little joke, euphemism for not having a job because my old employer lost interest in us.
And I remember how fun it is to have my hair “weird” colors. I miss pink and purple and I long to try “opal” and I can’t because I worry that I may actually get an in-person interview with a company who doesn’t want to hire people with “weird” hair. At least I grew out my faux hawk. Not to mention, this is San Francisco, the mecca of weird hair, weird people. WEIRDNESS. I long to be more weird, but it’s expensive to be weird. Tattoos, hair dye, piercings, unless you have awesome weird friends with talents they’re willing to freely give away. The services required to look “weird” are not cheap. Unless you wanted to look cheap as part of your weird. I don’t know. I want my hair to look artistic and cared for, not just weird.
I am still sitting here and I’m glad, knowing that my goal of forcing myself to write something down would make me write anything and would also literally make me feel better. I do. With my “normal” blonde hair, or maybe it’s bland, I don’t think so, yet. My shirt that says “but first, coffee.” Another attempt at normal I guess. If I stopped being so normal, I would be more brave. I miss being weird. When I first moved here, to San Francisco, I was more weird. I had more “muchness” to me. But I’ve been scared and become lazy too; I think that’s the problem.
I don’t know where to go to become inspired. I want people to call me to hang out and they don’t. I don’t know where to go. I want someone to guide me a little. Help me become weird again. Instead I sit in the cafe, drinking coffee. Pretending to be normal. Wishing I could play guitar. Maybe in an alternate life I learned to play and became a busker. Maybe that’s in the future.
I’ve been struggling lately, trying to figure out what to do with myself now that the closure is official and I’m unemployed (by choice). I had no desire to work in our sister restaurant, a restaurant that does more than 100 covers on a nightly basis and is open for lunch. It is just too much for me. I have loved my restaurant coworkers more than any other aspect, which is crazy thinking about the fact that the actual cooking is what originally pulled me into the career. If I were a great cook, I would stay because I would love every aspect, but I just do not have the skills or drive anymore.
I decided to take a few days to myself, no boyfriend, no friends from work and visit my family. I got to go to the river and camp two nights, I shopped with my mom (not my most responsible part of this episode) and just relaxed. I needed a bit of perspective and I enjoyed the crap out of it!
My recent soul-searching has led me to take many career and personality quizzes. Apparently, I am a tribe member, a high-octane collaborator and an ENFP. I never saw myself as an extrovert as a child, but I know now that I just did not learn to be one until more recently. Working in the kitchen–and not being near my old friends, or my overly supportive family, who I relied on too much—has led me to become a more active extrovert who is willing to get shit done. However, I have not done much of anything constructive outside of my last job, too tired to write, too preoccupied to think about anything other than paying rent really. Now that I have this opportunity to take a deep breath—inhale relaxation, and exhale stress—I cannot let it pass without learning about who I am. Therefore, I took the quizzes as a basis for my soul-searching.
In summation of the quizzes, this is what I have gotten:
Energizer bunny that you are, your dream career is probably heavy on action and involves lots of hard starts and stops: a journalist, a project manager, a chef, a doctor, a firefighter, or anything fast-paced that relies on quick response time. And as an extrovert, you’d be great working in customer service, HR, or any role that involves reading and interacting with others (Bornforthis.com).
I also “love to interact with all kinds of people” and have an “expressive and warm manner that ideally sees lots of affirmation flowing both ways” (http://www.celebritytypes.com/test.php). According to my results clarityonfire.com, “To you, there’s nothing more rewarding than working toward a big vision with a team of people you love.”
I am clearly very motivated by working on a team and collaborating with my coworkers. I will shy away from solo projects because I find the interaction more motivating than just working by myself. As a tribe member, it is beneficial to me to eschew the ”responsibilities of business ownership, … use your leadership prowess to manage a team, take the reins on a project, and get to spend your valuable time doing what you’re good at” (clarityonfire.com). I want to be the one coming up with cool ideas and having other people work with me to reach unique, exciting, team-engaging goals. Most of all, I just want to feel like I belong to a group and am a necessary, contributing member of the team.
Since my last post was a long time ago, I know that there is a lot I have not written about… I have been working at a Michelin-starred restaurant since early January. I am proud of where my journey has taken me in such a short time! I feel I haven’t entirely earned working in a Michelin-starred restaurant by any merit, since I am currently doing a job (for essentially the first time) which I would not ever have expected myself to be doing; I have been a food runner at Aziza! It is a wholly different experience to not be cooking or baking but still working in a restaurant. It has been a relief not to have to worry as much about the plating or getting in trouble for not being an experienced enough cook. All that I have had to do is be nice, eloquent and have the menu and all its ingredients memorized.
The only bad thing about working in a restaurant as a food runner is that I still want to go to culinary school. I am learning a lot about ingredients and sourcing and guest relations, but it is not hands on cooking. However, I still have too much debt even to consider attending culinary school. With some credit card bills from when I was in a transitional period called college, to the student loan I took out for two semesters of graduate school, I am afraid to take on more debt right now to get schooling for a career that just is not very lucrative. Consequently, I simply have to continue working as hard as I can and I am going to continue to work two jobs if that is what it takes. Of course, I do not want to entirely give up working in the back of house anyway. so, even if I’m at One Market Restaurant only a few days a month, continuing with two jobs makes more sense, unless I could work for a restaurant like Lazy Bear where the cooks are the servers.
Regardless of culinary school pipe dreams, I have been to some lovely restaurants lately, including Spruce, Trestle and Nopa; all three of which I was very impressed with. I think Trestle, being that it is so inexpensive and has just as good food as the other two, and therefore is a great value, takes the proverbial cake. All three were wonderful experiences, however, and entirely different anyway. I don’t have time before work to go into detail about them, but comment below if you’d like to see a follow-up blog about these restaurants.
I’m not going to talk about anything I don’t know about because then I’d just be letting gas escape and I’m better at doing that through my ass, than through my mouth. And it’s funnier when I do it that way.
I do plan to cook my way through Julia Child’s cookbooks one of these days; I just need to deal with the multitude of things that are on my figurative plate right now, first. I realized today that I had not even renewed my car registration. I was almost a month late doing it, and the DMV sure penalized me for that mistake. Although, of course, had the lateness been on their part, they wouldn’t have given me a discount or anything like that.
I keep seeing all of these food-themed movies coming out in theaters lately and I’m so happy that people are getting into the slow food movement. And they all have romance tied in somehow because food is love, as most cultures will tell you. For example, my boyfriend’s mother is greek-american and she is always trying to feed everyone, including me. She taught her children that food is love too, so my boyfriend is also always trying to feed me. Food is love because it gives us the nutrients necessary for living but also it gives us mental sustenance, which comes from the flavors of our food. So when a food reminds you of your grandmother or your first love because of a spice or something, it’s echoing the love you feel and it becomes comfort food. Food that makes you feel really good even though those people may not be with you at the time.
Cooking itself is romantic, though, don’t you think? The act of preparing food for your loved ones is special because you know you’re treating them to really great food to show them that you care about them and about what they put into their bodies. Foods can literally be made with love.
Even when you are cooking for hundreds of strangers every day and being paid to do it, it still feels romantic, even though there may be a paradigm shift where the romance is with the food itself since you don’t know who is going to consume it. You really have to love slicing up hundreds of onions and julienning carrots to do this for your living.
I feel like I could write entire essays on the different topics I touched on in this entry, so if you want more on anything specific, please comment below. Be sure to subscribe!
So it’s been quite a while since my last blog. Haven’t actually written anything except a few recipes and a two-weeks notice. Yep. I have already found another new job, so now instead of working at Seaglass and Inner Fog, I’ll be at Inner Fog and One Market! I’m extremely excited for this new job. I’m going to learn a lot and be back in a fine dining establishment. Although I will definitely miss my Seaglass coworkers, I’m excited for this new step.
I’m still thinking about culinary school though…I think it will always be in my mind. Whenever I’m ready I guess I’ll just go.
Sorry for the shortness of this blurb, but I’m ready to go sleep off the vertigo I’ve been suffering for a week.
I wish you good food and sweet dreams.