Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gingerbread Magic: it is a little known fact that I am painfully shy. Social situations make me soooo nervous, but I get over them with my humor, and if I am lucky there will be a punch bowl I can hover around.  I usually tag along with a friend, but sometimes, you have to do it all on your own.  Over Christmas I got to decorate the gingerbread houses over in the Sundance Resort General Store.  At first I was a titch mortified, all those rich skiers watching me! What if I messed up, what if the designs in my head didn't transfer to the houses, what if, what if, what if. But there was no time, so up from the bowels of the Sundance kitchens I went, armed with 2 blank houses, bags of royal icing, and a few cake tins of the bits and pieces of colorful splendor I could find in the bakery. It started out rocky, my hands were shaky, heart was pounding, then I saw him....a beautiful face. It was a saving grace, not because it was handsome {but that helped} but because I knew I could get his attention.  I said, "get over here and help me" and I winked at his bystander friends. Wouldn't you know it, this total stranger came over and stuck on a candy cane. Then a little boy, maybe 6, who couldn't keep his eyes off it, he stepped up on my bended knee and placed the yellow gumdrops, then 3 sisters who placed the pretzels, a grandfather, a couple on a date, a skier, a group of friends out for lunch....and so on. Whoever gazed for more than a moment was caught in the wonder and helped with the creation. Before I knew it the houses were done and they had been touched by almost 100 unexpecting hands.  The houses were better than I had anticipated, and what had began as my worry, had turned into splendor. They may have been more crisp and exact had I done them in the quiet of the kitchen at 5am, but they would have been void of life.  My own life would be so crisp and exact if I were alone, but oh the joy, personality, and wonder that comes when it is touched by others.  Merci mes amis. 
{the 2 on the left were the houses I did with the help of the Sundance guest'}

Friday, December 28, 2012

DBD #5 Supple Feast:  he came to the door and the only thing I thought was, "another LDSsingles deception! He looks nothing like his pictures". His pictures had promised a 34 year old stud, I got the underbaked, doughy version that was actually 26. He mentioned he had put a lot of thought into the artistic date. He liked to do something "artsy" on the first date.  I love artsy. Bring it on. Let's sculpt, let's paint, let's go to galleries. YAY! Moments later we were in the hospital parking lot, far far away from the traditional "artsy" ideas I had in my head.  He hands me a pack of post-it notes. We are going to leave inspirational messages on peoples cars. Kill me now. I was so uncomfortable! And it kept going. Wal-Mart parking lot, yogurt place parking lot, grocery store parking lot. Note after sticky note. I didn't want to make him feel dumb so I complied, but it was hard. An awkward hour and 47 min passed and we were back to my house.  As we walked to the door I noticed he was applying chapstick like it was his job. I knew for him there was only one direction, direct contact.  We got to the door.....there was a quick hug......he tried to linger longer in the hug but I broke away.....he said something, you know the usual, "well I had a great time" and then his eyes did that thing. You know what I am talking about, it is when the look switches from looking at your eyes to glazed over, focusing all  energy on the other person, it is the look that screams, "I am going to kiss you!" Well luckily I knew the look so I was prepared. He went in for the kill and I turned my head. Then, thanks to Sundance, I had the glorious excuse of getting to say that I had to go, because I worked at 4am that next day.  I went to walk in.....AHHHHHH the front door is locked! I knew he would want to walk me to the back and try again. Instead I just said, "Oh this one is locked I will go around. Thank you, goodnight." and I was off like a flash tripping, almost falling over the uneven ground in my boots, trying as I might and succeeding but looking like a fool, while quickly escaping a well moisturized kiss.

Monday, December 24, 2012

There were a few last gifts that needed to be taken to neighbors and I volunteered. Teresa gave me the remaining 3 gifts for her dear friends -who I had grown up with- and I was off.

House #1, her son was my good friend, he took his life 3 years ago this Christmas. We sat and talked and I couldn't believe how happy and lovely she remained. I wondered how I was so lucky myself to still be alive after wanting to seriously end my life several times a few years ago.

House #2, her daughter and I went to school together, her husband was our bishop, he had died of cancer this year at the age of 55. This was there first Christmas without him. I wished them happy holidays then hugged my friend and over her shoulder saw the last family picture they took together, I had to hold back tears, I wondered how I was so lucky to have a father to hug that night.  A father that should have been dead over 20 years ago.

House #3 didn't answer, but a tiny tree was decorated by the front door, with pictures of their son who was killed in a 4-wheeling accident just a few months earlier.  I wondered how I was so lucky to still have my wild biking little brother who sent me funny cat texts earlier that day. Any one of his many accidents should have killed him. 

It is a magical time of year as they say. But it me hit a little harder than it usually does. I am not sure if it is the snow or the lights or the gifts or the closeness of family or the fact that I am still waiting to exhale from my change of almost 6 years in DC, but I feel blessed, and loved, and watched over, and oh so grateful for the incredible people in my life. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wisdom: here is some kitchen wisdom I will sprinkle on you after a week @ my new job:
  • don't drink only Dr. Pepper from 5a-3p, you will have a headache when you stop will stop moving, but it will feel like the world is spinning
  • don't give the reject cookies to the male ski instructor who is going to meet up with the female instructor and say, "you are getting these because I like Lisa" they will thing you are a lesbian, and you will be unsure how to prove them wrong. 
  • don't smile and say, "good morning" to the prep staff, they will think you are flirting with them and individually quietly tell you, "thank you, I am flattered, but I am also married." 
  • don't run across the icey parking lot no matter how bad you need to use the bathroom, you will fall, hard, and you will come back looking like you didn't make it to the bathroom because the ice you forgot to brush off, turned to water and now it looks like you wet yourself.
that's enough for now. More will come I am sure.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kitchens: the world of kitchens is a wonderful thing. I once had a man tell me he wanted to someday be able to give me the kitchen of my dreams, as time goes on, that dream kitchen is evolving. Professional kitchens are different than most expect. You would expect prim and proper chef, stainless steel, mixers silently whirring, and timers on ovens going off. Well here is a look into the kitchen I get to call home every day from 5a-1p {but I usually stay until 3} the drain in the floor sometimes smells like the sewers in France, some tattoos are cute cupcakes, others are so frightening you want to bleach  your eyes!, a thin layer of flour coats everything no matter how hard you clean, a hobart mixer is jerry-rigged with a bobbypin and the end of a fork, one mixer is broken but no one ever fixes it or throws it away. We take turns with the music, and when pastry cook 2 gets a turn I die a little inside...techno at 5am just seems so unholy. Every other word is usually a swear word, if not from the pastry kitchen then from one of the adjoining kitchens, there is yelling, and slamming, and stressful moments. The bathroom is across the iced parking lot, they only ever stock 2 small chef coats so unless you get there early you are rocking an XL, one walk-in fridge always smells like truffles, and oven mitts have a hole on one side so you really have to make sure you put them on the right hands. The dishwashers howl when anything female regardless of age or size walks by, and you quickly learn when they say, "put more salsa on it" you just say, "no". That salsa is nuclear.  The waiters think they rule the world, the line cooks look like they are 12, the floor mats sometimes fold up without warning and trip you, and while everyone else takes smoke breaks, I take mountain breaks. I slip on my down jacket, come up from the pastry basement and walk out over by the bridge where I can breath, and hear the stream, while gazing at arguably the most beautiful snow capped mountains in the world. I stay for just a moment, a breath or two, and then slowly walk back to the pastry madness I am so in love with even after 3 days here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Kitchen Conversation:-I am green, he is blue,  pastry ladies are purple-

it's day 2 for me at Sundance, a curly haired, 45ish year old chef walks by, points at me, and says

"New girl"
"Oh you probably don't know how to properly introduce yourself to new stafff! Let me help you, -I walk around the counter and hold out my hand- Hi, I am Monica"
"I am Carl*, but you can call me Sir"
"That's not happening, I will call you Carl*."
I turn to walk back to my task, then turn back around and say,
"On second thought you can call ME Sir!"
then I return to my station and ask the others who that was..
"The assistant executive chef!"
"Is he going to hate me forever?"
"Can I fix it?"

nice work MK.

*the chefs name has been changed from his real name, Jeff, to Carl, for privacy reasons.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Leg 3 Diesel Death Trap: Thank you continental breakfast for being so lovely after a a long hot shower and a wonderful night's sleep. Back into the jetta, Teresa and I went. Have you ever tried to shove an alley cat {yep I just said alley cat and now I feel like I am about 73} into a shoe box and shut the lid? well if not just picture it, that was how we felt getting back into the jetta. We were wanting to claw and scratch some eyes out! Luckily the roads were plowed, the ice had melted, and we were cruising at 80.  We were cruising @ 80 mph, until up ahead we saw a semi-truck fishtail then jackknife off the road. Almost simultaneously every car between it and us started to slide, fishtail, 360, we too slid with little or no control everything seemed in slow motion. I remember looking over at the car next to me, which was sliding towards me, and the driving looking at me and mouthing, "sorry!" as a preemptive response to what she was expecting to be a collision.  I remember screaming-which if you know me, doesn't happen-, wanting to slam on the breaks and turn the wheel really fast just to miss the chaos. But somehow I managed to keep a little control of the car. Slight wheel movements and a pump or two from the breaks and we were safe on the shoulder, our eyes now glued to the rear-vie, watching the same horror happen behind us and praying someone wouldn't collide into us. The next 3 hours were like driving through an eery graveyard. Cars overturned, semi-trucks that had rolled and their contents confettied the medians and roads, we stopped counting @ 27 wrecked semis and 24 cars. We didn't talk much through WY, I am not even sure I breathed. Both hands were glued to the steering wheel.  Poor Teresa had come out for a run roadtrip and was met with this! All she could do was stare at the GPS just to ensure we were in deed making progress. Good news, we made it home unscathed. Do I want to get back into my car and go to work tomorrow! Do I want to drive through WY in the winter for! Do I feel like I was the only one who got us home safe.....NO! Was praying for gratitude for our safety the first thing I did when I got.....YES! {well actually no, I went to the bathroom first, but it was the second  :) } So I am glad to be home safe, I have no idea what Utah has in store for me but I am excited to find out.
Leg2 Crunchy and Caffeinated:I am calling Leg 2 this because I have had more caffeine and chips today than I thought possible. They were the only things that sounded good during our 14 hr. second leg in the diesel death trap. I wish I could take a picture right now of my face, but for fear of my phone cracking I will not! We started out bright and early today @ 6:30. We decided to stop in Laramie, WY for the evening so as Leg 3 would be a simple 8 hours. Bad mistake. 60 miles out of Laramie the roads turned to sheets of ice. Our dry, peaceful drive, cruising at 80 mph, quickly became a snowy, icy, stressful drive, cruising at 25 mph. 18 wheelers sped around us causing colorful profanity combinations to flow freely {don't judge you weren't there!}, and without fail almost everyone that passed us would start to slide and in kind, slow down.  I don't think I have ever prayed so hard and driven so carefully in my little 3 decades of life. And the highlight, I had to pee and there were still 26 slow icy miles ahead and no rest areas. So what did I do? Yep just pulled to the shoulder, dropped my drawers, and let her rip right there on the drivers side in plain sight, because it was too cold to run to the bushes, and to tell you the truth I wasn't sure I would make it :). But the good news is, we made it to Laramie without wetting ourselves, granted we were 2 hours later than expected due to a weather snafoo, but we got there none the less. I got into the hotel, and it happened, all systems shut down, the chills, the teeth chattering, and crazy shakes! Not sure if it was coming down off of that much caffeine or that much stress. Don't really care, because all Teresa and I can do, is laugh about it all. This is one for the ages. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

POD: so Thursday the POD was coming. I opted for a pod because the thought of someone stealing my uhaul, having to drive a 24 ft uhaul plus tow my car, was nerve racking. Now I just have to worry about not loosing the key to the POD. So Thursday it gets dropped off early, I head up with Teresa and check it out. Then like phantom from the jaws of hell itself, the manager of the storage unit {my home away from home} came at us and proceeds to freak at the fact that a competitors pod is on Extra Space property, mind you I have approval already. My mother and I looked at the storage shed, looked at the clock, and we realized we could have it loaded before I have to pick up the littles from school. So we started carting from point A to B like a pair of crazies! And we did it! and the POD was gone before night fell. I only broke 10 nails, smashed 3 fingers, hit my mom in the head with a box twice, and bruised 34% of my body. Friday morning came, neither of us could move, so we just laughed through the last day in the city, hobbling along. I cannot even put to words how excited I am to unpack the bits {an 8x8x16 ft bit} of my life that have been in storage for almost 2 years!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

***I will give you 6 posts....2 for each leg of the journey. What happened, and then what really happened :), this is Leg 1****
Leg 1: Oh what a day. Out the door and in the car long before the sun had risen. 725 miles lay ahead. Gas tank full, caffeine assortment assembled. Car packed tight, and in the twilight (those vampire books have ruined that word), I filled my photographic memory with the last sights of the monuments, the memorials, the Capitol, the streets, the homes. Almost on autopilot as I left my home of 5 1/2 years. 395 to Gw then 495 to 270 to 76 to I-80 and then a few minutes in the rat maze of Chicago before parking for the night, devouring the best italian food I have ever had, and drifting off into a snoring, drooling, exhausted slumber. Leg 1 of 3 was done. 

Leg 1 WRH (what really happened): I didn't like leg one. Well I did, roadtrips and laughter with my mom are always amazing, but...I was leaving my life of almost 6 years. The night before I was expecting a proper send off from the people who's 3 children I had raised. A lovely Christmas gift, maybe a thank you bonus, a teary goodbye. That didn't happen. I need to stop watching rom-coms :) So I left my life in the nations Capitol with a lack luster goodbye, I drove through the city where I most recently fell in love and subsequently had my heart hurt badly {and by a doctor, aren't they suppose to heal people? It just seems ironic}, I found out my first house was ruined because my ex was as irresponsible with the property as he was us, and I finished it all off by spending the night being blinded by my new aunt's bling {that wasn't actually bad, I really liked that part} and hearing the details of their love and the proposal  {I love, love! and it really was a wonderful story, and she really is his Juliet....only they will live happily ever after}.

We laughed till we cried, we let our cruel streak flow freely.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

So I think I should rethink having a cooking show...I figure if he can do it, so can I. Start-up cost is relatively low, just a microwave and a can opener.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chemistry: a good friend- that I have know for years- and I were talking last weekend and his relationship had just ended because the girl said there was "no chemistry". .....Okay that's a lie! This happened to me a few months ago with a guy, Todd, we had only been on 2 dates when he said this. Then again yesterday, after a quick weekend over Thanksgiving then a week of almost silence another guy told me it wasn't worth it because there was no chemistry. To that I say, billogna oh I mean bologna! you scared little lambs with no understanding of chemistry.  I am not going to make this about me and give you specifics and dirty details, but I am going to tell you what I understand about chemistry.

A chemical reaction comes in many forms. Single displacement, double displacement, synthesis, combustion, decomposition, and acid-base. Depending on the elements combined, different reaction will occur. Different outcomes will occur. Sometimes there is an explosion, sometimes a release of gas, or a change in color. Other times there is a precipitate, a slow bubble, a temperature change, and sometimes the change is so subtle the naked eye doesn't see it. So it is with life and love. If you are expecting fireworks and explosions, you may be disappointed and alone for a very long time. Chemistry is never just one element. There is a whole periodic table. It is never just one reaction. It is an almost infinite series of actions and reactions that are all different. Some are cool, other release heat, some turn purple, and some smell like rotten eggs.  Too many people are focused on perfection and the big bang that they miss out on the simply beautiful, and delicate chemical reactions that can only be caused by letting go, letting someone in, and allowing yourself to love uninhibited (this does not mean throw your moral standards to the wind!).  This is not easy and there is no guarantee love will pan out, no guarantee you will find happiness.  But, if you adjust your chemical expectations (not standards, keep those) and are open to something other than a giant explosion, your chances increase exponentially, and at the end of the day you will at least be able to say, "I genuinely tried". Which is more than most I have encountered can say.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Before I die, I think I will research a facility that does extensive, ground breaking, advanced cardiac surgeries. And then when I do die, I will give them my heart to study. It is only 29 years old, but I am amazed that it keeps beating after all the beating that has happened to it.  One can only imagine how it will look if this keeps up for another 70 years.

My poor little heart is broken again today. I think this is the emotion I will assign to this year.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Changing: So incase you haven't heard, and incase this wasn't cryptic enough for you, as of December 14th, I am leaving this:
(one twin is missing, Roxanne is taking the picture)
For this:

a new job
and last but not least, at almost 30, who doesn't want to live with their parents :) 
(but just till I find my own place)
Kenza is still mad at me, she loved DC