The Importance of Names

It took me a long time to decide what to rename my bike.  I finally got my dream bike, so it was a lot of pressure to find a name that I like and that is appropriate to the spirit of the bike.  I tend to keep things for a long time, so I know that this name will stay with me for years to come.  Not only is this the bike that I have always wanted and desired to be mine, I dreamt about the bike moments before it came into my life.  I dreamt that I found the bike in a thrift store for $35 dollars, and upon awakening I was very sad when I realized that the fortunate bike was just a mental muse. Not that I expected to get my dream machine for a price that was super fortunate, it was, after all, a dream.

The very next day, my coworker informs me that he has a bike, a split frame mixte Peugeot (no big deal, just the most coveted old school bike style in all of Chicagoaland), that he does not want (too small for him) and that I can have for my very own!  Imagine my excitement.  My dream came true, exactly true, beautifully true.  My dream bike is finally mine to have and to ride and to possess for decades to come.  A new and best companion to share my road time adventures, to be the reason for my trips, to fulfill the need of transportation and exercise.

The bike came with the name Reptar, which is a mighty fine name, but it is not the name that I would choose for my fabulous contraption of a bike.  I spend a lot of time on my bike, so the machine needs a name that embodies the spirit and energy we create together.  I spent a long time thinking about names.  Fillip, Sebastian, Cruella, Pierre, Cosmos, Galactica, Constellation, Alfredo (after my dad), Moonlight, Jupiter, Jack (after my grandpa), Parsnip, Fernet… the list was long.

I finally decided on a name the same day I decided that I was going to pursue a new career opportunity.  After having landed on a name for the bike, I felt confident that I could make a descision about my future.  I needed some sense of permanence, a constant theme, to help me commit to a new environment. I needed to feel secure in a choice, albeit not as important as a job, to feel a personal sense of security.  I felt more clear in the brain.  It gave me a sense of peace, closure, and serenity.

Turnip.  That’s the name.  Turnip Greenz.  The bike is old and the paint job does not have the clean sharp white that it must have worn 45 years ago when it was created.  It has a black seat post, black handle bar post, and black tape wrapped around the handle bars.  Together, this reminds me of a turnip pulled fresh from the ground, covered in thick, life giving dirt.

Turnip is also named after the constant companion in Howl’s Moving Castle.  Turnip is a scarecrow that skips on a stick, following the protagonist around, providing help, company, and joy.  Turnip does not speak, can only bounce to get around, but is my favorite character in the story.  He follows the character around wherever she may go, without asking, without hesitation or invitation, but is the hero of the story.  Turnip Greenz is my jolly, my bouncing and energetic companion, my constant for adventure, who does not speak but provides an irreplaceable role.  Turnip is the unspoken hero to the story. Turnip is the unspoken means to my end.

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Modern Love (un)Story

I have to tell you about this man that I met.  Seriously he is dreamy.  He’s perfect I swear.  He is tall, dark haired, cute enough to crush a teenage heart.  He is just the right size- large enough to make me feel secure, small enough to wrap my arms around so that I can hold on to him easily.  He’s the anchor to my floating spirit.  He’s a machine man and I am his fairy girl.

He has these soft brown eyes that sparkle with a deep intensity like peering down into the deepest part of the ocean.  Marianna’s Trench, his eyes have a deep magic to them, a charming flash that shows an enigmatic intelligence below.  There is nothing shallow about those eyes.  He has a killer smile, gravy style, a lightness to his personality that makes him seem carefree.  He is imaginative.  He has a streak of whimsical. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he is an overachiever.

He has a real job.  A good job.  He has a lot of friends, close family, and a good American life.  The chemistry between us is like Tesla’s flash.  It’s electric.  There is not any space between us and we just met.  I have never believed in love at first sight.  I have never experienced it.  Love comes with time and involvement.  But him.  Oh yes I feel it.  I know what people are talking about when they see someone and in that first instant they know that they are special.

I was not going to talk to him I swear.  I was there at the bar downtown to be alone and have a moment to myself.  I needed a cold brew to relax before heading home.  But that flash.  That glimpse.  That love at first sight.  One casual comment lead to hours of talking and connecting.  I got his name and number, and like every women in 2015 I immediately set to the internet to find out everything I can about Prince Charming.  What I found was completely and utterly shocking.  Not only is he was successful as he seemed to be, we happen to share a similar group of friends.  I am not fucking with you.  Seriously, he is friends with almost the entire group of people that I have very recently met.  Honestly have no idea how this is even possible.  Its a small, crazy, beautiful world that we live in.

I think about him and I look forward to seeing him, to hug him, to see that sparkle jump in his eye, to experience the magic in his smile.  I want to know how his day was, what he is going to have for dinner, if we can talk for hours again over a nightcap at the local bar where I found him.

Am I going to call him today?  Nope.  Tomorrow? Nope.  Ever? Nope.

Why not?

He’s not my type.

Lake Effect

I am seriously starting to feel the magic unravel and the real world is settling in very hard.  The lake effect is starting to wear off, the clouds are moving on, dissolving from the puffy cumulus to the wandering cirrus.  I am not going to even try to sugar coat it, life came rushing back in a deluge type fashion as soon as vacation ended.  That very second that you tap back into the work front, the damn’s crack has been exposed and the explosion of fierce water flaying your body, knocking you to the ground, dragging you down!!  Not that my job involves a whole lot of water, the metaphor still holds.

I have to admit, I am surprised at how long the magic from vacation lasted despite being drenched.  I felt light and happy and content with myself for a long time.  The smirk of magic that I felt left a semi permanent stain on my perspective, giving everything a rosy glow.  That luster, unfortunately, has faded to a very dim and dreary sun washed peachy beige.  The filter is still there, but it lacks color.

I helped restore some of the pantone color last night through my favorite means of therapy: dancing.  I love to dance.  If you don’t know this about me, then this is obviously the first time that we have met.  I like to shake it out, dig it up, twist it

all

around

the block,

put it downtown and bring it up to the top of a jump.  I like to boogie.  Shake out my soul, that’s what I call dancing.  Last night I danced out every part of my body.  Nothing was left out of the complicated symmetry in expressing the sounds and feelings of the music.  When I dance I feel like I create a beautiful harmonizing energy that lifts up the heavy soul, spins it so that it can hang in the air, float around in the atmosphere.  Your soul should be like an iridescent bubble gracefully floating in the air, softly spinning and easily twirling.

Needless to extrapolate much further then to say I went to a party and it was fun times.  I had a great night connecting with people, feeling the energy of happiness, taking no less than 5 rides on the giant tire swing.  I love to swing.  Again, needless to say if you know me even a little bit.  I love to feel the centrifugal sway lull my weary body with its force.  I got some great compliments from people that I just met and that makes my ego smile brightly.  I was told that I was the best dancer there.  He said to me: I love the way you describe things.

A Change is Going to Come

Tomorrow I am going to say a few words that are going to change my life.  I know its going to happen because I am the one deciding to follow the opportunity for a new job.  So tomorrow I am going to tell my current kitchen adios, its been short and mostly fun.

I am afraid to do it because I know that it is very unexpected, and I don’t want to say goodbye to my friends.  I feel like I am sitting at a point where I am going to tip into a new direction, but nobody else around me knows that the mountain is going to roll with a different slope.  I have changed my life so many times that it’s daunting because I know what is in store.  I am not sure I want to do it again.  Start afresh and anew, undo everything just to redo it in another manner.  Close the shop, move everything, unpack, get resettled and acquainted with the surroundings, develop a bond with the people around.

Since attending pastry school 5 years ago, I have lived 4 different apartments and have worked in (kiki’s, custom house, girl and the goat, publican, farmhouse, province, cicchetti, deleece, now la sirena) 9 kitchens.  That is a lot of life change for one girl.  This constant shifting and continual movement is making me quite tired.  I am exhausted of starting over, of turning the page over again and seeing a white sheet.

Am I afraid to do it again?  Yeah, kinda.  Am I excited?  I am too tired to fully answer that question right now.  Truthfully I am not entirely sure how the situation is going to unravel, I cannot predict what the reaction will be.

Today was the last day to be simply today, par for the course, clear sailing, everything is just like it normally is for a Saturday.  Tomorrow we set sail for a new course, to chase a new star.

Daily tasks

Cooks notes for the day:

That day when you don’t quite get the seal on the ice cream spinner door to suck properly in place, so as you spin the ice cream, the loose base drips steadily cause a huge, huge sticky mess. The entire time you are debating weather to take it out and start over, or roll with the continual mess.  Either scenario ends in a fanciful mess.  If the ice cream turns out icy again I am going to loose my cookies.

The restaurant next door come over to ask to borrow 70 pounds of fryer oil.  You respond casually: “only if you beg and crawl.”

The entire bottle of yuzu spill on the floor because the bottom inexplicably detached as if an invisible alien snuck into the kitchen and sliced off the entire bottom in one quick pull of the trigger.  $100 bottle gone in a flash, it was a delicious smelling mess.

The server warns you that you probably should help the lunch guy because she just rang in 6 plates.  6. Total. Plates.  She wants it to be less than 45 minutes and I am sympathetic.

There is a young good looking man/boy applying for a food runner position, so you try to check him out behind the semi-sheer black curtain.  You dropped your work to see him, but do you say hello?  Nah, don’t feel like it.

A beverage delivery man tells you he just saw a rat run into the employee bathroom.  I obviously do not believe him, until I see the prep guy pulling the door shut as to trap Mr. Raton.  Until he gets a moment to deal with the situation, you kindly tell your co-workers not to use the bathroom.  After he kills Mr. Raton, he chase one of the line cooks around the alley with the corpse of the rat.

We know that when the toaster and the freezer are plugged into the same outlet, the fuse will eventually blow.  The situation still remains unchanged.

Finally get around to changing the menu into a format that I find slightly more satisfying.  Slowly, so slowly moving into the right direction.  I realized today how much I have given up on bettering the restaurant and myself.  I am glad that I found some small spark of motivation and integrity to continue to do what I think is best.  It gets very challenging when you have too much on your plate, covered with a thick sauce of negativity, sprinkled with hesitation, doubt, and fatigue.  Today was a step to the right beat somewhere in that kitchen dance.