Thursday, November 01, 2007

odds and ends

last night's word count: 363.
first sentence:I’d met Will at Pride the year before, when our tiny friend groups collided at an after-party in a house off 18th Street, and he’d been a curiosity to me then with his red-tipped ears, wash of freckles, and odd accent.

oh how I've *missed* Grey's Anatomy. Sometimes I feel like being a pastry assistant is like being one of the characters on that show. Sometimes you get to do something you are really familiar with. Sometimes you do something you've never done and it brings up questions. Sometimes you don't have the things you need, sometimes some crisis comes up at the last minute, sometimes you get a very tedious assignment. Every day is different.

Tomorrow should be routine: FH pie baking. Lots of pear poaching. Pies and pears....

word count: 1867.
first sentence:I excused myself from the Gay Mafia and made my way, tripping slightly from all the booze, to Chef.

I took the day off from cooking but I'm trying to get the energy to work up some crepe batter so I can have crepes with apple butter on Sunday morning. Mmmh. Worth the effort but only if I do it tonight because I'm working all day tomorrow. I'm thinking about a lot of things for Sunday...the library, lazy reading in Dolores Park, perhaps the Bi Rite though I swore off them, the crepes, sleeping in, sending my new piece out to journals...

Work is more crazy and more intense, but in good and challenging ways. Except for when my FH manager tries to schedule me for the week before Thanksgiving and my only response is, Oh You Can't Really *Do* That. I Have My Responsibilities To My Other Job And I Don't Know What My Hours There Will Be Yet. I'll Get It Done Somehow...Just Don't Schedule Me. Because things come up so last minute at the restaurant, at least this week. The party is booked the afternoon before, which throws off the prep list. The intriguing items from other countries linger improbably in customs until the very end of the day they are needed. The freezer breaks. I alternate between trying to think about this month and trying not to think about it. I worked for six and a half hours today and went home early but every other day this week it's been nine or ten hours, dropping in and out of kitchens.

This Thanksgiving thing seems like a rite of passage almost. Stay up all night and bake even though you already work seven shifts a week. Test the limits of your batter in the freezer and the refrigerator, see if it languishes or thrives, build your immunity to the intoxicating aroma of the whiskey pie. Test, measure, find the blanks, the variables you don't know. Today we got our first pie shells from the farm in and I groaned. Eight inch disposable shells with a border of leaves where you might expect crimped or fluted edges. These leaves are going to fall off and they're going to break and it isn't going to be my fault because that's what the dough *does*, but it's going to look bad and it's going to bother me.

On a side note I'm reading more Steve Almond stories (The Evil BB Chow collection) and I adore how he maintains such compassion toward his characters even as he's dragging them through the gutter. It's gritty and tender. Unpretentious. His landscape makes me homesick for the slush and snow, the bristled reserve, the geeky intellectual vibe of my home city. It's been a while since I've gotten out of town and I think it's about that time again, time to go somewhere and not on a bicycle.

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