Saturday, July 22, 2006

Countdown To Extinction

In less than 7 days I will be turning 30. I don't have many of the normal reactions that other people told me I would have. Or better yet-should have.

What I feel, mostly, is disbelief. 30 always seemed old to me. But I'm not old. I don't feel old. I don't look old, and I don't act old. I don't believe I am turning 30.

Where did the time go? How much time was wasted on silly wishes and unrealistic dreams? How much time have I spent wishing I could be "that" girl instead of going out and becoming who I wanted to be?

The best news, to me, is that I've learned a lot. I'm not one of those girls who wasted time and sulked about it. I'm not one of those girls who sits back and cries because my marriage didn't work, because I don't have children yet or that I pushed the only person who truly loved me with all of his heart away because I wanted to re-invent myself.

Instead of bashing my 30 year old turning point, I am celebrating it. I will not cry like many other have in the past. I will not wallow in self pity and self doubt.

Over the next week, I plan to share some of the things I have learned about myself, the world, and others. As of this moment, I do not have a pre-written list or even any specific ideas.

I'll post them as they come to me. Hopefully they'll be profound. ;)

Day 1

1. Laughter truly is one of the greatest things in the world. It can transport you from misery to bliss in moments, remind you of people you've lost, people you've touched and people you secretly admire. Laughter can bond people together or tear them apart (for lack of laughter). Being able to truly laugh at yourself means that you are okay with who you are.

2. "Going Left" will almost always bring you fun times and spontaneously wonderful road trips. Exploration is one of the keys to staying young. Sitting in a car with the windows down and the music playing is a favorite simple pleasure of mine, and remembering the days when my friends and I explored always makes me smile.

3. Monkeys throw poop. You should beware when walking by them. See #1 for anecdotete if said poop should hit you.

4. Having the most beautiful body does not mean you are the happiest, and vise versa.

5. That loving someone unconditionally does not mean that you have to put yourself in danger. Accepting someone for who they are only means something if they accept you for who you are back. And anyone who wants you to be someone you are not, never had good intentions.

6. Giving up does not mean failure-and even failure doesn't mean failure if you look at it in the right way.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Open Letter to: People Who Scoff at Culinary School

To whom it may concern:

Please do not scoff when I tell you how hard culinary school is. Please do not imply that people who are not intelligent opt to attend technical schools.

It is not true. There are many different levels of smart, and different areas in which people excel. Also, I have a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Criminal Justice and carried 2 minors, Elementary Education and Sociology. I've done student teaching. I am intelligent.

There is more to culinary school than cooking. In fact, the course work is more challenging than that of my bachelors degree because it is so specialized. Not only must we know the English terms for things, but also the classic French terms.

There is history, math and science. Techniques must be memorized, reiterated and practiced. Diseases of all kinds must be known, as well as what circumstances are ideal for them to occur, what you can do to prevent them and what course of action you must take if they spread.

And let's not even talk about the memorizing the minimal internal temperatures that each food must be cooked to according to ServSafe Sanitation vs. Fine Cuisine.

Who is at risk to what foodborne illnesses?

Do you know what cooling food from 135 to 70 degrees in 2 hours and from 70 to 41 degrees in an additional 4 hours for a total of 6 hours is?

And do you know how long you have to reheat something that isn't cooled in that way and at what temp?

And, Mr. Smarty pants...where does Cryptosporidium Parvum originate from, who is susceptible, what foods are associated with it and...how can you prevent it?

If you can answer all of those questions, as well as what temp is ideal for yeast production and when does it die, what are the 3 mixing methods for cookies, 3 for quick breads, 12 production stages of yeast, the French term for a straight sided saute pan AND a slanted side, who was the father of Grande Cuisine and who was his contemporary...

THEN you can scoff.

Until then, kindly shut your mouth and acknowledge that just because I'm not studying to become and engineer like you, doesn't mean I'm not smart.

I am, and I can kick your ass when it comes to bread making.

So there.

Sincerely,

Someone you will wish you were nicer to because I'm going to be famous.

;)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Gag


We have a little post office on the campus of my company and the mail lady is very cool. I don't see her very often because she's very efficient and knows her job well. She must be on vacation this week, because some clueless schmuck has been coming around asking where everyone sits etc...

Well, Mike the Mailer boy is gross. Mainly because this is what his finger looked like when he pointed to where I should sign today.

I know I'm a bit pickier than the average girl, BUT if you have a gross snaggle nail, please keep it away from me. And for God sakes man, point with a different finger!

18 Years and Counting...

All I knew was that I already had to share a room with a little girl 6 years my junior. And she, unlike myself, cared nothing for order.

I was 11 and needed privacy, she was 6 and didn't want to give it.

So when my mother came to me one night while I was sitting on our green sofa with orange flowers and said, "What do you think about having another sister?"

My reply was, "I don't."

Were would she sleep? We lived in the same house my parents reside in now, but at the time, only the first floor was ours. It consisted of my (already crowded) bedroom, my parents bedroom and a living room. Of course we had a kitchen and bathroom too, but really, was she going to sleep in there?

As time progressed, and my mom's belly grew, details as to where the baby would sleep didn't bother me. Seeing my mom's "California Raisins" maternity shirt brought a smile to my face, knowing that there would soon be another little baby to play with; another person who might want to love me.

The day she was born (18 years ago today!) we waited in the car for the call. My Nana ran out of the house exclaiming "It's a girl! It's a girl!" and off we sped.

A girl she was, and a splendid one at that. Her eyes were big and alert and I swear, even though they say babies don't really smile, I think she gave me one.

"I'm your older sister" I wanted to whisper. "I promise to always try my best to protect your dreams and feed your imagination, to push you to push yourself, and most of all, to love you no matter what..."

I should have also included "torture you to say "Please Maggie Darling" before asking me something. (C'mon-that's funny now!)

Before I knew it, my little LaFlipper (hee hee hee) was growing, her inquisitive eyes and creative mind always surprising me...

And 18 years later, she makes me proud of what she's overcome, especially in the last few years, and she excites me to see who she will be.

And I know I speak for my other wonderfully quirky and silly lovable crazy sister, we couldn't have prayed for a better little sister.

Happy Birthday my little LaFlipper! I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Memory of Breaking In

Plain and simple, being afraid sucks. Especially when it’s based on a memory of another time you were afraid.

And especially when it prevents you from sleeping.

Due to last night’s drama with Scabs, I went home tired and shaken up. I wasn’t afraid of walking into my house, and wasn’t even afraid to go to lay down and sleep.

Because I don’t have central air, I had to leave my bedroom door open to allow the cold air from my window ac to permeate into my room. Doing that, though, meant I had to sleep without my alarm on, because me laying in bed would trigger my motion detector and set off the alarms.

It always makes me sleep a littler lighter when I can’t sleep with my alarm on. Maybe I’ll get over it someday, but for now, it’s a fact of life.

Add this on top of the mega thunder booming, hail throwing, the tree might actually crash into your roof, lightening storm, and you’ve got one tired Mags today.

I heard noises. They sounded close to my house. I’d get up to check. I’d lay back down and hear it again. Then thunder. Then music from a car that sounded like it was in my driveway. Then lightening and hail. Then noises.

Finally, I got up and turned off the ac, shut my door and sweated through the night just so my alarm could be on. At least someone would be alerted if I was murdered.

That was my thinking. But then again, who breaks into a house at 5am?


I’m totally going to sleep in my car during lunch.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gluten

When is it right to "tell" on someone and when should you shut your mouth?

What sways your decision? Is confrontation worth it?

And mostly, what does it say about you?

I've had a run in. And it's made me sad and, I'm not gonna lie, a little nervous as well...

Scabs, the boy from school who everyone dislikes, was not given a lot of gray space by some of my school friends. I even jumped on the bandwagon and fought with him about white pepper.

But a couple of weeks ago, my initial gut of "prove me wrong" came out and I spoke with the director of the school to see if he could talk to some of the kids in my class about cutting Scabs some slack.

And it made me look like a fool. Though no one knows, except for me. But I feel like a fool.

Yesterday, 3 of us were left alone in the classroom while the others started their cooking final. The chef instructor was out of the room, and Scabs was the only one still taking his test.

He got to a question he didn't know (I know this because he scoffed and said, "Are you KIDDING me?!") and proceeded to take out his notebook and rummage through it.

I happened to be sitting next to him and said, "Um...what are you doing?"

His reply, "I'm looking for something in my notebook."

After inquiring why he was doing that while he was taking his test, and suggesting he wait until he's done, he proclaimed he was not cheating but still kept looking.

At this point, the other girl in the room looked back and I asked her if she saw what I did. She acknowleged, to which I told Scabs that I would have to say something to the instructor, because I had trouble with knowing how hard I studied and seeing him get his answers out of the book.

He got angry and said he wasn't cheating and he'd just look it up afterwards (duh). But the kicker is, when he started up again, he had to skip that set of questions because HE DIDN'T KNOW THE ANSWER.

I'm angry that I stuck up for him.

I'm angry that he doesn't' care enough about himself to know that people laugh at him and think he's an idiot and a screw up.

I'm pissed because he had meetings today with the director, the hr people and my professor and was given yet another chance.

I hope word doesn't get out about where we go to school. Because if I were an executive chef, I wouldn't hire anyone from my school because attendance doesn't matter and you can cheat.

He'd better stay back next mod. That's all I'm saying.

I'm scared because after he talked to everyone, he came into the kitchen where I was taking my finals (96 written, 92 baking-still 1 unknown) and started yelling at me. He was close to me and he's kind of scary. We have knives. He has ghetto friends.

I should have kept my mouth shut. I started shaking pretty bad. I think it's because I know what it's like to be hit, and it brought back some memories. It took me a good 15 minutes to recoup. That makes me mad too.

In any case, the good news is that my culinary friends all say I am their hero, and that they've "got my back".

(Incidentally, THEY said it's funny I caught him because I was the only one in class to stick up for him...see, so it IS true!)

So, not only am I now 5 tests down, and am stressed out, but now I might get beat up.

Nice.

Toosdae ?'s

Hey everyone! I haven't been getting as much response on my Toosdae's as I used to, so help a sister out and answer these questions...Especially because you know how hard I'm working this week, and seeing your answers would simply be devine. ;)

1. Would you rather be blind or have one leg?

2. Who taught you to drive? Was it a positive or a negative experience? Please share.

3. If you had enough money to collect something valuable, would you and what would it be? (Also-do you collect something now?)

1. I would rather have one leg. There are so many beautiful sights and people and expressions and colors and variances that I'd miss out on by not being able to see. When my eyes were infected this winter, it was awful. At least with a leg, I could get a fake one, and I'd be able to do most everything I do now.

2. My mother and father taught me to drive. Mostly my dad. The worst is that when he was teaching me to parallel park he made me so nervous that I drove a shopping cart across the parking lot. To this day, I still can't parallel park.

3. I used to collect a lot of things, but now I'm not so much into the knick nacks. I think perhaps I'd buy art, because I love it, wine because I love it, and travel. If I were rich, I'd pay for my friends to come with me so I could share the experience. Memories are better than stuff to me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Test Update

For those of you keeping track, and those of you who care...

2 tests under my belt.

96 on written final
92.5 (gag) on my pork practical
I didn't know if undercooked or plating late would be worse, I went with undercooked...I know it was the wrong choice, but my rice and sauce kicked butt, so I won....

Just so you know, the kid who keeps me going in class, he got the same freaking grade. Damn...

3 tomorrow. Should be interesting...

Things I've Learned Over the Last 4 Days...

1. Some people are just too young or too naïve to take advise or to step back and honestly take a look at what they are doing.
2. Birds are really unsafe in South Windsor
3. That “Rah-rah” means spirit (and apparently
Ardently enthusiastic)
4. That letting someone figure out on their own that using certain words that mean ardently enthusiastic isn’t the best course of action-isn’t the best course of action.
5. I can’t shut off the ringer on the phone in my bedroom
6. Studying in a pool is very effective
7. People like to take pictures of their feet and have no idea or care that they are nasty.
8. Refrigerating too soft gummy candy does indeed help the consistency problem.
9. Certain people lie on a regular basis, and even though you’ve known it to be true, it still stings when you are given black and white proof.
10. Prednisone really makes me sad and I’m happy I am only on it for 2 more days.
11. The president of my company really seems interested in what I have to say for some reason. And I seem to be the only one not afraid to talk to him. Maybe that’s why3 ½ floppy disks are still used at my company regularly. Even though we are the sole source for the high speed trains and transport in Eurpoe and Asia and create technologically advanced power plants all over the world. I also use a typewriter.

12. People do wonder what happened to me. It's nice.

MySpace Revelations

So, I'm on MySpace, as I said, and I have to say that:

1. Anything internet related is WAY too addicting. This blog and the ones I read are bad enough. This is a big mistake.

2. I think I made a big mistake in high school. It appears as though the people I shut out were actually pretty cool, and they seem to be doing well.

3. I am a loser. There are some people who have like, 150 friends. I don't even know 150 people.

4. At some point I missed the "Must find girlfriends who will pose with you like the Charlie's Angels girls" memo. Seriously. I gots ta get me some bitches.

5. Having a birthday in July is great because most of the people I graduated high school with are already 30. Granted, I've only got 2 more weeks, but it's something!!

6. Choosing the right background is annoying. I actually love mine, but it makes the words hard to read. I think I'm gonna keep it anyway, because it makes me giggle. (Eggs, with google eyes with feet and beaks. One has a whisk on top of it's head. It looks to me like the ones w/o the whisk are angry that the other one might stir things up.)

7. Seeing old faces in a new light makes me smile. Especially when the person I see had a reputation, and a nickname "Donut Girl' (because of a sexual act) and she now seems happy. And less donuty girl.

8. I have a conflict of interest, because although you know lots about me, there is still a certain level of anonymity on this blog, but I want to share both.

9. It makes me a little sad to see these old faces too. Especially the ones that I fell out of touch with, for whatever reason. Some were friends, others just people I wanted to be like or know. Will we reconnect?

10. MySpace took up a lot of MyStudying

Do you have a MySpace account? When did you join? How do you like it? How often do you update?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Who's Space?

I've been hounded by a few of my friends in the past to create a "My Space" account. I've had a log in for a while now, I think to search someone last year.

But after a much needed study break, I've created one. Specifically for my friend Ms. A, who on my recent trip to Orlando scoffed, "I tried to be your friend and you never responded!"

The trouble is, I can only find myself when I'm logged in as myself. Otherwise, I'm missing.

So I don't know. If you know me in real life and are interested in searching me up. Go for it.

Otherwise, good luck.

Ms. A and others who have asked me to create one....You're welcome.

;)