BRAIN DUMP – Work Weeks 13, 14, 15, and 16; UC Updates; Life in General…

Bother adrenaline =/ I should be sleeping.

~ 7 hours later ~

The instructions I received were to use the ice in the coolers in the freezer to fill the lexans in the walk-in at the end of the night after everything had been cryo-vac’d. Sure. So here I was, chipping away at the ice and filling the lexans. And then I reach a part of the ice that’s pretty much frozen into a solid block, and frozen to the bottom of the cooler. I move on to the next cooler and decide to take care of that later.

The other cooler was worse.

Ais runs upstairs to Chief to seek further direction. “Just break up the ice and get it out of there.”

Ok…

I sit down and continue to chip away at the ice. Jason comes down and asks me what I’m doing. Then he hands me a meat mallet and tells me to use my ninja skills. Great.

Fifteen-ish minutes later, I’m still nowhere near done, and Jason comes ’round the corner again. This time, he takes a few minutes to assess the situation, aka tries his hand at breaking a four-ish-inch thick solid block of ice. “Ok. Here’s my advice. It’s not going to make any sense, but here goes, ok?” “Ok…” “You ready for it?” “Sure.” “Do nothing. I know, makes no sense, right? Why don’t you just put it outside and let it melt?” “Because Chief said break up the ice and get it out of there.” “He probably didn’t realize it was a solid block of ice.” “But that’s exactly what I told him.” *pause* “Yeah, I’ll go talk to him.”

When Jason returned, it was with a second meat mallet. “What did Chief say?” “He left.” “Oh.” Bless him, he sat down with a look of defeat and started pounding at the ice in the second cooler. We considered salt, the blowtorch, a steel… no bueno. “This isn’t working.” “Well why do you think I’ve been at it for half an hour? You think I’m sitting here enjoying getting owned by ice?” At least that made him laugh. “Ais getting owned by ice, that’s great.” I guess I was starting to get miffed, which always lends some significant amount of extra strength, and I managed to clear most of the ice out of the first cooler. There was perhaps four square inches of ice left, which I left to melt, deciding that it didn’t seem unreasonable to do so. Jason, on the other hand, eventually decided to take responsibility for leaving the second cooler outside and letting the ice melt and the water drain over the weekend. Upstairs and out he goes with the second cooler, while I finish up icing the lexans.

I went upstairs and found Jason outside with Kayla and Matt. “Guess what?” “What?” “HOT SALTY WATER. Yeah. I poured it inside and then I closed the lid to keep the steam in. That was my great idea.” “… Is it working?” “Yeah! Well, sort of.” In the end, the cooler was still left outside. Boom.

And then Matt and I had a decent sparring match. I lost my hat, and ended up ditching the hat and the apron, and at some point my shoes just to be able to throw a spinning back hook kick, but it was fine. Actually, it had started earlier in the night, directly after I’d gone upstairs for advice on the ice. I came back down and used the back doors to stay out of sight of guests and I’d encountered Matt taking a smoke break. Hey, he started the sparring. Backhand when I guess he thought I wouldn’t notice quickly enough. To be entirely fair, Matt’s very good at blocking =) but I’m better at kicking.

ANYway. I mentioned in my previous post on day 55 that I had a draft going on the previous weeks. I shall incorporate it bit by bit into this post, and here’s the first part, written 10/22:

It felt so strange, being on the other side of the wall tonight, with plenty of light to work by, among other things. ‘Course my first night co-working middle had to be a Saturday (<– not exactly sarcasm; more like release-of-previously-pent-up-anxiety coupled with giggly relief). But we’ve had busier Saturdays since I started, and I daresay today was one of the lighter ones, so thank you, Jason, for asking off; I highly enjoyed my night of cross-training with Jared. There were sticky spots, but I think I got better as the night wore on; I got a goodbye fist-bump for the first time in a long time, and that was certainly enough to make this little girl all smiles driving home. And being on pastry excludes one from general BoH conversation most of the time, not because one can’t hear them but because they can’t hear you, and I enjoy the FoH, but of course they’re running around, as opposed to those two-to-five people on the other side of the wall who pivot and side-step within their two-ish/three-ish foot length of the line and manage to hold conversation both during the lulls  but also during what I think would be the most inconvenient times to be talking or even thinking about anything other than what’s on the stove. But they do, and they do it well, showoffs =) I say that most affectionately. I can’t really express it anywhere other than my blog, so here it is.

I highly regret not having my iPod on me these days; we just have too much fun on good nights. It’s little things, like me putting down a deli of bacon bits and Jared sliding it half an inch to the left and then glancing sideways. I suppose those spontaneous instances aren’t really documentable. But what I do very strongly lament not having been able to record was last week’s pumpkin gelato-making partay in the basement. (TANGENT – Jared: “You do realize they use sweet potato and not pumpkin in those pies at the store.” The general reaction from Jason/Sam/myself was that all of our childhood dreams had been shattered by this unexpected revelation.) So I’m downstairs heating up the base , and Jared comes down and adds spices and hands me a deli of sweet potato puree, instructing me to let the spices steep for five minutes, measure out 500g of the puree and add that, and then go get him so he can taste it. I start pre-measuring the puree and discover that I am short some 98 grams, so I go and report this and he says to get more from Ricky Bobby and then leaves for his meeting with the FoH. When I ask Ricky Bobby for more puree, he absolutely refuses to give me any, saying that what I had was enough and that I probably didn’t even need all of it, and then decided to come downstairs and mix it up himself. I was anxious about not following Jared’s instructions to the letter, and Ricky Bobby insisted that it would be fine and that he’d tell Jared himself. Sure, that worked for me. But then here we were in the basement, me looking on anxiously, while Ricky Bobby, Jason, Sam, and Steve all bickered and mixed and tasted  and corrected the pumpkin gelato together. Why the other three chose to get involved, I still have no idea, but it was great. Talk about collaborative effort. Too much fun.

I worked middle for the second time last night, because Jason was upstairs with Chief. It didn’t go quite as smoothly as the first time ’round, which obviously isn’t a good thing because one’s supposed to get better at it, not worse… but it didn’t end sourly, and there were fun spots here and there, so I suppose that’s enough to be incredibly grateful for. The oven doors were driving me NUTS; they were being very disagreeable last night and refused to stay shut at times. Sam had my back and was constantly leaning on the door handles to hold them shut whenever he wasn’t tied up with salads, but when he was occupied otherwise, I took to talking to the oven when I closed it and telling it to stay shut. Jared was shaking his head at me for talking to the oven, and so I was trying to apologize to Jared for not being able to make him laugh the way he makes me laugh, but he cut me off at ‘sorry’ and didn’t let me finish, so he’ll never know how sorry I really am that he makes me laugh all the time and I am apparently proving incapable of returning the favor. Or maybe he will, if he reads this – but he won’t. I saw a sheet labeled “Aisa’s sorry’s” or something like that, with tallies underneath. I think it actually made me laugh more than anyone else. FAIL, to put it mildly.

I’m sooooooo looking forward to the wine course in our curriculum. It’s two years away, unfortunately. Steve and Jason are making me envious with their short stories and exam updates. I can totally handle a midterm on France and fermentation! … lol.

Here’s the rest of my draft from 10/22:

Yesterday was THE best Advanced Asian Cookery lab EVER. Of course I’m biased =) but so far, we’ve covered Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Korea, Japan, aaaaaaand yesterday we covered the Philippines =D =D =D Best Friday lunch ever: Adobo, turon, kinilaw (WOW), pinakbet, sinigang, longganiza, sinangag, dilis, and eggs. I was a good girl and didn’t eat any eggs, though I was sorely tempted… but there were so many other good things that I didn’t really mind, praise God! Haha. It was funny, Chef Yek trying to convey to the class the nature of Pinoy flavors; she described them as bold and unapologetic, and I guess I’ve never really thought about it because it’s what I’ve been used to, but when she was evaluating the food at the end of the day, it was something that she had to state repeatedly, because a lot of people were being so careful about how much bagoong and garlic they used, etc. To their tastes, it was enough, but to Chef’s (and mine), it was mild. I didn’t follow our prep sheets for adobo, and I managed to get a hold of Andrew’s and Seth’s and Tim’s leftover pork to add to the chicken. Chef said she loved it =) WIN.

Mother got a tub of mozzarella di bufala and french batard and fresh tomatoes, and I’ve been having the most delicious lunches and snacks and breakfasts ever.

I got my first 70/70 on a lab analysis… I’ve been getting 60-somethings’s out of 70 up until this point, but I finally got a perfect score… on my analysis for the Filipino lab, of course. *rme* Oh well. At least I know now what I’m doing for my final. It’s more or less the same concept as one of my garnishes for my garde manger platter. A little tweaking for this final’s purposes, but it should be easy to execute and I’m not worried [about that part of the final]. I don’t know how I could’ve missed this before – Jason says he’s told me, but I guess it didn’t register – he was assigned the Philippines for his final for this course.

From 10/23:

Asian Mass was AWESOME. I will elaborate later.

I’m taking Anna Marie out to breakfast tomorrow! Sooooo excited =) I’m taking her to the Half Day Cafe for some sisssssster time =D

So this midterm project thingy for Jammin’ with Laptops is complete, and boy am I glad it’s out of the way. Now to stress about getting to know my teammates so that we can make music live for our final presentations. Yeeeek. I haven’t really checked Mixxx out aside from in class; it’s just one of those things where I don’t feel like I’m getting anything done… I can see the length of a paper or a stack of flash cards grow bigger, but I can’t measure the efficiency of a comfort level. *sigh*

My combat boots are truly one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I’ve not made many, but definitely no regrets there. Why I had to blog about that, I’m really not sure, but it was on my mind, so there we go.

I got an A on my Jammin’ midterm. Good. But my group is driving me nuts, and our final is a live performance for the class. One of our group likes to skip class, the other has absolutely no confidence whatsoever in what they are doing and says so constantly, still a third is entirely indifferent and is very clearly the sort of person who is all for winging it, which leaves myself, Collin, and Rachelle doing all the talking and planning and that’s fine, except that our only day where everyone can meet is Monday, and the three unnamed are not enthusiastic about that at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t show. And I’m going to be very angry. I didn’t take this course and get an A on my midterm to fail a group final because half of my group won’t pull their weight. BLAH.

The combat boots were probably on my mind because of the comments I’ve been getting on them. I was wearing… let me see… my combat boots, jean capris, a pink cami, a pink flowered long-sleeved collared button-up shirt, my xkcd tie, and earrings; I mention the earrings because they were commented on and that is how I remember that I was wearing them, only I don’t remember which earrings they were. The point is, it was a Tuesday, and I was paying my regular Tuesday visit (which hasn’t happened in three weeks) to Receiving, and Stevo commented on the earrings and Tony commented on what he has deemed my ‘punk rock look.’ Tony was especially making a fuss, highlighting the boots and the tie, and I went back to UC to join Josh [and John] for lunch after that and asked Josh if he thought that what I was wearing was anything out of the ordinary [for me]. His reply was nay. *sigh* I told Tony he hadn’t seen me with boots and a tie and arm warmers. Running with it was the only thing I had the presence of mind to do, frankly. Oh, I was wearing my usual t-shirt and black pants for work, and then I had a pink tie-dye shawl thingy on top, and when I walked into work, Jared asked if I’d had an interview or something that day because I was ‘all dressed up.’ I didn’t know tie-dye was considered formal…

Guys and their concepts of clothes which reveal themselves at the most unexpected times amuse me immensely. One of these days, I’m going to go back to my high school guys’ cargo convertible pants and XL Chicago Bulls Jersey look for a week and see what happens…

Unfortunately, it’ll have to wait until I’m off Raymond Walters campus, or I’ll be extremely recognizable to a certain someone that I don’t want to be recognizable to. From 10/23:

So here I was, so *smiley* over being back on the Raymond Walters campus, and then what happens? I run into… dun dun  dun… a certain stalker from three years back. NOT COOL, MAN. I’m being careful not to provoke a confrontation, either by my actions or my words, but I CANNOT do my homework when someone is sitting there STARING at me. Of course they’re flattering themselves that they’re being polite by not saying anything or even moving in any manner that might be distracting. Heaven grant me patience! At least I’m very clearly taller now. There was some debate three years ago. I am most definitely taller now. At least I can very pointedly look down at him.

Anna Marie laughed when I told her that part. We had a super fun time today =) Honestly, though, I have to be immune to caffeine. I had this huge mug of white chocolate raspberry mocha and I was yawning my head off. LOL. We started off with breakfast at the Half Day Cafe, followed by a nice walk at Spring Grove, and finished the morning off with some sister pictures at MSJ. It’s so nice to have such a close friend to split all food items with. We had our own coffees (I did insist that she try mine because it was absolutely scrumptious) but otherwise evenly split 2 blueberry pancakes, 3 pieces of french toast drenched in house-made mango butter rum syrup, and sides of broiled grapefruit and smoked applewood bacon.

I am pleased to report that I’ve successfully avoided the aforementioned stalker for two weeks now… !!! Yeah. I object to the gas I’m using up to drive elsewhere when there are plenty of nice seating arrangements around campus, and on top of all that, the weather’s been rather disagreeable of late and requires either nice thick sweaters or an umbrella, but it’s whatever. I took care to ensure that I have zero classes at Raymond Walters next term. Pity, because Michelle might be home…

Speaking of which… MICHELLE MIGHT BE HOME! for a semester. And I am beside myself with excitement.

And now I really must take a shower and have breakfast and learn this responsorial psalm for Mass today.

This post is to be continued…

Peace out.

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