Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I just saw Rocky for the first time, and I'm left in awe.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It is what it is

I'm a pasta chef now. I don't think I've mentioned that on this blog before. I make fresh fettuccine and extrude it out of a pasta machine, I cook pasta, I serve customers, and I do it all in front of a giant oven. It's kind of terrible. It stresses me out and it's physically exhausting. I have blisters on my palms and on most all my fingers right where my top knuckle is, so when I wake up in the morning I can't bend my fingers all the way. All of me hurts.

A manager at work stopped by the pasta bar for his lunch a week or so ago. He's a bit older and is really very kind and he calls me kiddo. He asked me if I liked my new position, and I was honest for once and said that I didn't, because it was stressful and I wasn't very good at it yet. He told me he's been in this business for most of his life, and sometimes when he's working down in the bakery he still feels like he's mixing the cookie dough with his feet, which was a little reassuring. Last weekend I had a terrible time at work and was completely overwhelmed. Friday I cried standing there behind my pasta counter as I separated fettuccine ribbons. Saturday was a game day and incredibly busy. Every time I turned around we were out of plates or out of bread or some customer changed their mind about their rotini and penne combination, and I was coming completely unglued. So when I went home I couldn't do anything but lay on the floor for awhile clutching an otter pop to soothe the pain of my blistering hands as I counted down the weeks I had left until I could quit this job.

Then Optimistic. came over and rubbed my back and sat with me as I cried, and took my taquitos out of the oven for me, and sat with me some more as I tried to eat them, which was hard because when you cry the back of your throat doesn't let you swallow. And two days ago the same manager stopped by and told me that he'd watched me work on Saturday and said that as a casual observer he noted that I was much more confident behind the counter and that I was doing a good job. I didn't tell him I'd been close to losing my sanity on Saturday, or that I'd gone home and cried that day, or that I think about quitting my job every five minutes I'm at work.

And a week ago Ender said something about my custodial job that I have on campus. It was slightly demeaning and it truly upset me. He tried to backtrack by saying that lots of people have to work as a custodian at some point, but that was really what clinched it. I enjoy being a custodian. I wouldn't be one if I didn't. And because I'm not a student this semester I don't get to work at the Wilk nearly as much as I'd like to. Instead I have a title and a raise and a fancy chef's hat and I hate my life. Yesterday I got off of work in time to get over to the Wilk to do some custodial work, and it's the first time I've been happy in awhile. I got to see my coworkers and tell stories and joke around a bit with my boss. I wish I didn't have to explain that to people, that I'm not looking to be anything more prestigious, like a doctor or an engineer; I just want to be happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Power of

I may or may not have made a voodoo cucumber at work today.

I had to stay until 5 o'clock today despite the fact that the restaurant was mostly dead, so to occupy my time I helped out coring tomatoes and peeling cucumbers. For cucumbers you just peel off four strips, making it striped. Toward the end I got bored, and started peeling them in creative ways instead of just striped. There were some plaid cucumbers, and quite a few with wiggledy stripes, and one very special one with my name written on it. I very meticulously carved the letters of my name into one of the last cucumbers I had, and proudly showed it to my coworker. Then I went down to the bakery and chopped myself into little pieces.

I saved the cucumber that was me for last, and once I had run it through I tried to reassemble it to spell out my name again, but it was a lot more complicated than I ever could have imagined. I took my 30 pounds worth of cucumber slices upstairs and put them into metal pans, wondering as I did so who would end up eating me, and when. And would I feel it? I truly hope not, but then again, I'm curious.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Skin Is, My

This is a picture of my skin, cropped from one of my engagement pictures. I was curious to see just how white I actually am. Now I know.


I write books in my head a lot of the time. For some reason I think in written form and I don't know why that is. But my thoughts are usually about different subjects for the chapters of my non-existent book. I thought about titles the other day, and the one that stood out to me was One for the Slush Pile (the slush pile being of course that pile of submitted manuscripts that editors wade through) because that's what my non-existent book is - something nobody would really want to read. But there are little vignettes in it about my work, the people I know, vomit, eyebrows, vacuums, my dreams of owning a utility sink, and the proper way to rinse out paintbrushes and flatten cardboard boxes all mixed in with things from my childhood up to the present. Only, the thing is, I tend to write these things as though they happened a long time ago. A bit about my experience working at my current job is always recounted as though I'm already out of college and it's been years since my junior year when I was a pasta chef, and at that time I was engaged, but have since gotten married and so on and so on. I've never seen a book written in the present, so all my mental notes have been changed to at that time when really the time was last Thursday.

Really I just want to write like Nicholson Baker does. I wrote a very short story last year entitled This is not about the Polkersteins which was about an old couple with the last name of Polkerstein. I considered putting it in my book as a footnote, but the story itself has footnotes in it, and the idea of footnotes within footnotes seems complicated and possibly grammatically illegal. And really I just want for my writings to get from my head into written form already without me having to bother about typing it up.