Friday, April 11, 2008

Open Letter to the People on the Green Line

To my fellow B-Liners:

I'm sorry I smell like chicken. Or beef. Or whatever else I cooked at work before I got on the T.

Before I lived in Boston, I was aware of the fact that my chef coat carried the smells from the kitchen home. But I lived alone. And I used a car to get to my house so it didn't matter if I smelled like Torte Rose or sausage because no one would smell it but me. But here-here it's different. Here I use public transportation...

Waiting for the T to arrive, I silently pray that by some miracle it won't be crowded and that I'll get to sit down instead of having to smoosh up against pretty people dressed for a night on the town. Alas, I never get my wish. Not only am I dead tired and my feet hurt, but I feel bad for you, my fellow riders, because I am aware of the odor that is seeping out of my clothes and into the tiny, hot space that we are sharing.

So please, if you see a girl in checkered pants on your way home one night, please know that she's sorry for stinkin' up the place and that when she's not at work, she's one of the best smelling people in the city. :)

Sincerely,

A girl who's trying to pursue her dream, one dish at a time...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Boys Club

It's usually a shake of the head or a look of disbelief with a "really?!?!" attached.  People can't wrap their heads around it because they've always associated cooking with women and also because they never truly thought about who typically runs the kitchen in their favorite restaurant.  But when I tell them that the culinary field is just a big boys club, they always exclaim, "Really!?!?!".
 
Yes, really.
 
It's not all that strange if you really think about it-you associate cooking with women because your mother and grandmother, probably, stayed at home and cooked for you and your family while your father or grandfather went out to make the money.  And if you think really far back to the days of castles and kings, you'd realize that women were not exactly given the right to choose where they wanted to work, if at all.  So really, having a male dominated kitchen isn't all that crazy from the historical way of thinking.  Thankfully, woman are getting their hands in the pot and we are slowly growing in numbers.
 
That being said, it's still a boys club.
 
We get flirted with, degraded, sexually harassed and helped when we don't need the help. This might be some woman's dream-being in a kitchen swarming with men cooking delightful food for those who are lucky enough to taste it.  But for a woman who's trying to break into a profession, it can be a nightmare.  It begins during training when the male chef speaks only to the other trainee-who also happens to be male.  This not only offends me as a woman, but also as a human because the only way to get him to look at you is to prove to him that you understand a kitchen and know what he is talking about.  This often comes across as being a know it all, and feels very much like trying too hard.
 
That's because we are. 
 
We have to try harder to earn the same respect that a male automatically is given the minute he steps foot in the door.  Even if the other guy has never cooked on a gas stove, and even though he is obviously in another world.  Don't get me wrong-I am NOT a feminist but more of a...humanist-I think that respect should be given to everyone if they earn it, not because they were born one way or the other.
 
So why am I thinking about this today?  Besides being slammed in the face with this every time I punch in, something very "male" happened to me last night:
 
I was offered the fist bump as a greeting from the executive chef.
 
This is funny to me, because it's very obviously a way that men greet each other.  In fact, if you were walking down the street and saw two women dressed in business attire greeting each this way, you'd probably laugh, or at least think it's odd.  If you saw two business men doing this, you probably wouldn't think twice about it.  So, you see, it felt funny to be greeted in this way because it's not often that a man offers a woman this greeting.
 
I've got to say that although it was a little weird to me, I liked it.  Not because I particularly think the fist bump is cool, but because I was not discriminated against.  I was offered the greeting just like the guy behind me was and the guy behind him was.  Even if it was just for a couple of seconds, I was part of the club.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Big Boy Box

Here a view from a different VIP box...

Pictures

As you can imagine, I was very busy when I was at the park these past few days, so I couldn't really take advantage of the many splendid picture opportunities I had.  I did manage to get a couple on my phone, but that's about it.  One of the security guards was taking pictures from the box and he posted them on Flikr, but I can't get there from here.  So I'll try to find them soon and post them for my friends in New England...for now, these are mine.  One is the park early in the morning on opening day-about 7:30 am I'd say-you can still see the steam rising because it was so cold.  The other is my "thinking inside the box" picture, and it's one view from the sky.  I really hope I can find his pictures because I'm sure they are fantastic...

Randomivity

I have 2 posts ready to go in Blogger yet in my dead tired state this morning I was unable to remember that.  Because I do not have access to Blogger from work, I can not retrieve them...so, in my still dead tired state, I will improvise.  Forgive any grammatical errors or long run on sentences that do not make sense.  Coffee will be coming soon, and then I shall perk up.  I hope.
 
One of the chefs at the park gave me a nickname: "Connecticut".  Even though it's lame and unimaginative and it's the name of the state I just ran away from, I still like it b/c it's a nickname.  I never get nicknames and when I do, it's the shortened version of my given name-and not the shortened version I like.  "Don't mess with Connecticut-she's got quick hands."
 
The "quick hands" reference came about because he threw something at me saying, "Think fast!" and I did.  I have this weird ability to catch things that are falling without even thinking about it. 
 
It really is a boys club.  More on this later.
 
Having a really bad day in the kitchen is incredibly heart breaking for me because I love it so much and take pride in my abilities.  I don't think anyone understands, which is why I miss my over the top classmate. 
 
A good day in the kitchen is a great pick me up and hearing someone tell you that your supervisor said that you can handle things (but that they other guy can't) feels good.
 
I don't know why they lied and said they got rid of the hawk.  Did they think people wouldn't see a big bird?  (Really big, actually)  I specifically love that she dropped a dead mouse on people yesterday, as if to say, "Who's park is it now, bitches!?!?!"
 
No matter how many years pass, I think that I will always think of my brown wrinkly dog when I meet people named "Lance".
 
Making a turkey sandwich in the middle of crunch time production might be a minor inconvenience, but to me, it's just pretty cool if that someone is a famous guy.  A "daddy" needs his strength, after all.
 
Rats.
 
Even though I've been to the park as a guest lots of times and I've been in the same spot as the players, it's somehow different being behind the scenes.  Especially when they are arriving for the day.  It gave me goosebumps and I had to suppress the urge to say something like my first culinary school outburst of, "I LOVE CULINARY SCHOOL!"
 
Baseball can bring tears of joy and happiness to many people, including myself.  Yesterday was a great day in Boston.  And it's my city.
 
**I KNOW THAT I'VE SAID THIS BEFORE, BUT PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF I DON'T GET TO YOUR BLOGS THIS WEEK.  I AM WORKING STRAIGHT THROUGH UNTIL THE 14TH AND WON'T HAVE MUCH ACCESS TO READ BLOGS UNTIL THEN.  I PROMISE TO CATCH UP WITH YOU VIA GOOGLE READER AND COMMENT IF I CAN.  THANKS!!**
 

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Toosdae ?'s


Today is the home opener so I'm not going to be around at all-I'll be working from 7am until...well, I don't know. But it would be ever so lovely and uplifting to me if I came home to see LOTS of lovin' in my comments. :)


1. What is your favorite kind of pie?

2. Name something that has happened in your life that you would consider a miracle.

3. If you could live one day as any historical figure, who would it be, and what would you do

1. My favorite pie is peach pie made from fresh peaches, served warm with vanilla ice cream. My second favorite is blueberry, also with vanilla ice cream. Can you guess what flavor ice cream I like? :)
2. Though I've been blessed by many, many things in my life, I do not feel as though I've had a miracle happen to me yet. There's (hopefully) a lot more time for that...
3. Julia Child. I would just cook as much as possible and soak up any knowledge and technique that she had.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Manic Monday: Thousand

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Monday's are MoMoLicious-click it...

(It's good for your health!)



*Feeling entirely beat last night, I looked into my archives to see if I could pull something old out for today's Manic Monday post. To my surprise I found this poem in the drafts (dated 8/23/06)-I'm not sure why I never published it, but reading it last night brought a smile to my face. Though it has specific references to my childhood, I hope that it makes you think of the thousands of memories that you carry from yours and that it brings a smile to your face as well...



Never Wonder Why


Footie pajamas and a mule in the back,
I'm a little tea pot and a baton that went
"Whack!"

Days of playing barbies
and cutting their hair
or hiding in the woods give our parents a
scare.

Pollywogs in jelly
and sledding on death hill
or picking the tree berries, we couldn't get our
fill.

Camping in the living room
or in the back yard
Days of endless rehearsals so I could be the
star.

Long hot drives to nowhere new
but everywhere worth going
What would our lives bring us next? There was no way of
knowing.

Two by Two's the way we're taught
and three is just a crowd.
But when your life changes course
you wonder what's
allowed.

Take the the curves on your hot wheels bike
and lift your legs up high.
And titter with the wind in your hair
and never wonder
why.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Series of Wows


Wow.

That pretty much sums up my first day, which began at 8:30am today.

The first Wow was clocking in. Why? B/c I was clocking at mother effing FP! I've had the pleasure of clocking in at Walt Disney World and now this. Really, I am very blessed to have been given the opportunity to work in such magical places. It's a good thing I was the first to arrive, because when I clocked in, I kind of giggled to myself and had a huge grin on my face.

Yeah, I'm a dork-but who would have thought that a girl from a small town in CT would end up working here? Sure as heck not me!

My second Wow had to do with the fact that I waited 1/2 hour for anyone to show up. I thought for sure I was in the wrong kitchen so I walked around a bit and finally just waited until someone showed up.

Aside: In orientation yesterday there were 2 people who asked dumb questions. Like, really dumb questions which make you think, "Are these people for real?" Well, one of them happens to be on my team. I can't tell if I like him or not yet-he's a nice guy, but there's something not right...I'll let you know when I figure it out.

When they finally showed up, I was pleased to know that I am on a team of 4-2 men and 2 women. We're the only ones allowed in the pretty boxes where the people who bought the team sit. (Can you tell I'm trying really hard to throw google off?) They are super nice and seem to really want to make a big impression this year-I'm psyched. I'm also happy that the other woman is not a skinny super model. I don't know why

Ready for another Wow? I got to see those pretty boxes in the sky today. And let me tell you-they are BEAUTIFUL. They really are amazing and the view-holy shiznit. Gorgeous!!! This is going to be fun. This really deserves 2 Wows-1 for the fact that I was in them and not many people have seen them, and 2 because they are gorgeous.

This next Wow could be an ouch. You know how I was having trouble with my back and neck? Well, working in a kitchen sort of aggravates that. Mainly b/c you're hunched over (think Julia Child) all day and you are lifting heavy things. My neck is so sore right now-I need a massage big time. I also forgot how grueling it is to work straight through a shift without food, water, or bathroom breaks. Yes, I can take all of these things but you often forget and the time flies by without you even realizing that you haven't peed in 14 hours.

Really.

So my feet are sore (actually, they feel like they are going to fall off) and my neck is kinked and I smell like chicken. I'm too tired to actually shower right now, which is ok because I live alone. :) Tomorrow starts my new (early) hours at my day job and a LONG week of doubles. I'll get used to it again, but this first week is sure to kick my ass. It's totally worth it though!

On the T ride home I was thinking how people have a "calling" into professions and how most of the time you love what you do and are thankful that you are doing it. But sometimes, you think, "Why couldn't my calling have been easier?" Sure, I'm a chef. But man, it's tiring!

At least I'm not a priest or a nun. That would suck.