Days 25 – 30

“There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I’ll be through with them. That’s a very comforting thought.”

Oh, Anne. That line has come to mind so many times in the past nine(!) weeks (is it really almost the tenth week??), and more times in the past five work days than in all the previous seven weeks combined.

Last Wednesday was a Jonah day. Absolutely no laughs, and little mistakes and miscommunications that just piled up and… blah.

I confess to having been incredibly pessimistic heading in on Thursday. In retrospect there was absolutely nothing to worry about, but extra prayers never hurt anyone, right? =) I finished my prep much earlier than usual (“What’s with you today?? It’s only 3.” “I didn’t have a whole lot on my prep list…” “No, no, you’re supposed to say, ‘I’m being very efficient today,’ and take the compliment.”) and was subsequently free for other tasks and lessons. Yay knife skillz!! and I made the white chocolate mousse on my own for the first time and Chief said I got it.

When Jason and Chief are downstairs singing, it’s just the best thing ever. Chief quizzes us (mostly Jason, Sam, and occasionally Ricky Bobby) on bands. It’s always like this on Thursdays, so I really don’t know why I was so down.

Zach stopped in for a few minutes. When he said hi from behind me, I honestly thought it was Chief, and even when I turned around to look, it wasn’t until after I turned back to the croutons that it really registered. So now, on top of Jared’s and Yards’ voices occasionally sounding the same to the point of causing me to mix them up, I’ve mentally established that I can expect the same sort of mix-up whenever Zach makes his random, brief, unexpected appearances.

Zach: *says something about the gray in Jared’s beard*
Jared: It means I’m distinguished.
Zach: Or just old.
Jared: Nahh, I like ‘distinguished’ better. And so does Ais; she’s over there smirking.
me: I am not smirking!
Jared: You’re smirking.
me: Am not! Am I not allowed to be amused?
Jared: Nope, don’t think so.
me: It’s not ok for me to be amused?
Jared: Not in my book, it’s not.
me: Fine, then can I be bemused?
Jared: What?
me: Can I be bemused? As opposed to amused?
Jared: … Yeah, sure, whatever.

Zach must’ve found the argument boring, because by the time we got to the bemused part, he was over in the kitchen talking to Ricky Bobby. Of course later I went to sumbong to Jason (about not being allowed to be amused). *shrug* Standard procedure on my part now. Then it becomes a joke, and Jason tells me not to laugh now; “Aren’t you not allowed to laugh?”

It was an unexpectedly short Thursday (this post is full of unexpected things, you will notice as we go along), and when I texted the fam to say that I was coming home early, I asked if we could go to Adoration after dinner. We did so accordingly, but apparently, Benediction is an hour earlier during the school year, so we missed it by something like fifteen minutes; you could still smell the incense quite strongly. We ended up praying the Divine Mercy chaplet instead. Oh well, we tried! The intent was there.

Then came Friday… and I was so optimistic about Friday after Thursday’s general niceness. I might as well make a clean breast of it, because I’m never going to hear the end of it – I picked up what I thought was a deli container of a cup of vanilla sugar [because it was next to a deli container of what was very clearly kosher salt], added three more cups of actual sugar from the bin, and proceeded to spoil an otherwise perfectly good making-a-super-huge-batch-of-lemon-curd lesson with Jared. My time dairy says I wasted two hours on that fiasco.

It was that sort of thing that you could either sulk about for the rest of the week and have a perfectly terrible time, or laugh it off, right? I cannot begin to express how grateful I am that the unanimous reaction was the latter. Granted it has now become a standing joke – Jared to Yards-eating-bread-ends: “Is there salt on that? She didn’t put sugar?” or picking up the container I’ve labeled “sugar” on my station and checking to see if it’s actually salt, or when telling me to get ingredients together, following 1 1/4 cups of sugar with, “That’s sugar. Not salt.” – but… oh my goodness. It could have been so much worse. And to be perfectly honest, since we’re at it, I was deathly afraid that it was going to be. I was instructed to go make a smaller batch on my own, and I opted to make it downstairs instead of upstairs just to give Jared some space. It couldn’t have been more than ten minutes before he was downstairs saying, “Sh*t happens; I make mistakes all the time.” What could you possibly do but thank a person for that?

As I stated at the beginning of this post, I did make more mistakes in these five days than all the previous weeks combined, but I also laughed more this week than I’ve ever laughed in any week since I started here, and over much graver matters, which is well worth noting. In these situations, it’s got to be everyone or no one laughing, middle ground isn’t really possible without things becoming awkward – you know, like a joke where half the people are laughing harder than the joke calls for to make up for the people who aren’t laughing and are just getting more annoyed by the millisecond at there being any laughter at all.

Saturday was fairly mild on the whole. Still, it was another one of those nights when the vacation station was not vacation station because my prep list was a tiny bit longer than I had thought it was going to be, and I didn’t finish the chocolate tarts before service started, so between amuse and bread and dessert tickets and plate-lining and finishing tarts, blah blah blah… At any rate, I think I managed to prove to myself that I’ve gotten a little better at prioritizing; I chose the right time to heat cream for ganache – in between waves – as opposed to poached peaches the week before and unhappily eliciting some degree of exasperation [from those who had every right to be].

I thought it wasn’t a terrible end to the week; it was quite a good one, considering the Jonah day + curd fiasco.

Unfortunately, I was to discover that I clearly do not hang out downtown enough. Ramp closures rendered me lost for a full sixteen minutes with none of my immediate family members answering the phone. I’m still not entirely sure who I would’ve called next; the next person on my speed dial was Nate, and, c’mon, everyone knows I love Nate to death, but a fat lot of help it would’ve been to call anyone 858 miles away at 12 in the morning. I mean, I’m sure Nate would’ve been entirely accommodating, google maps and all that, something like the time I forgot to call home to say I’d gotten to school safely, but in light of the fact that there had to have been a more logical option in terms of calling people… So, yeah, I really dunno. Martha or Bradley, probably.

At any rate, it didn’t come to that, and I found my way home, slightly disgruntled at a rather ridiculous ending to an otherwise acceptable Saturday.

We were open on Tuesday this week because of Restaurant Week. Tuesday and Wednesday were both more or less completely devoid of any stress in spite of working two stations both nights; on Tuesday, both Sam and Jason left, and on Wednesday, neither were there. Biggest mess-up was not looking when returning the croutons to their shelf… not sure what happened, but they took half a minute to actually fall and spill, and I had five salads that needed them in the hole. Sulk or laugh? Laugh. Then run downstairs to grab croutons-to-be-seasoned-and-fired. And run back upstairs and attempt to thank Jared profusely [without making things worse] for melting butter.

OH, can I say deja vu? I was grabbing a trash bag to put croutons in to be frozen. Matt was coming down the stairs, spotted me and accused me of stealing trash bags. Jared came along a few seconds later and caught the latter half of the conversation. Something didn’t go over correctly, and after Matt had gone outside, Jared and I continued a conversation that only sadly resulted in –

Jared: You make my head hurt.
me: I’m sorry! I don’t mean to!
Jared: That’s the worst part.
me: … What is?
Jared: You’re not doing it on purpose, so I can’t be mad at you.

I swear I’ve had the exact same conversation with someone else; whether it was Bradley or Steve or some other guy from some other circle in some other life that is not coming to mind, no idea – but I have heard those exact words, “You’re not doing it on purpose, so I can’t be mad at you.”

On the same day, I was at the stove, Jared and Ricky Bobby at their stations, Chief on the other side of the window. We were talking about Mom and Dad coming in for dinner the next day, and the reservation under being my name.

Jared: I didn’t see it.
me: Wait, what? I made that reservation…
Jared: I saw a reservation for Aurora, not Ais.
me: … Thank you, Jared.
Chief: It’s so nice to see you guys getting along so well.

Ah, ah, we’ve gotten past the sorry-thankyou ritual; we’ve got a new one. Most of the passage-ways really aren’t wide enough for two people to just walk right past each other; rather, it’s necessary for one person to stop and flatten themselves against the wall to allow the other person to go through. Jared’s taken to humoring me in this little 30 second you-go-first-no-you-go-first thing, then pretending to change his mind at the last split second and stomping once in my direction as I pass. At least he’s laughing and letting me laugh, so no complaints whatsoever.

I learned how to make those killer lemon goat cheesecakes on Saturday. Needless to say, I am thrilled. White chocolate mousse and lemon goat cheesecakes? Oh. My. Gosh. No doubt if I could actually eat the chocolate tart, I’d be more than slightly overwhelmed, so it’s probably a good thing that I can’t…

Ah, best tip of the week – When Yards is around, there needs to be an abridged version of the amuse description just for him.

Soooooo, I meant to include tonight’s excellent dinner with Mom and Dad in this blog post (Jared gave me the night off and suggested that I alter the reservation to include myself), buttt I’m getting up early to go discover MSJ and take Anna Marie downtown for brunch and a much-needed catch-up time before heading to work. Restaurant Week continues!

To Kayla and Alice, if you happen to read this, *hugz* and love and miss you tons =)


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