What I’d really love for this blog to be about is the restaurant
experience. I love eating out. I probably love eating out more than I
like cooking. To quote Alan Richman:
"I think I love restaurants more than I love food. Because restaurants have everything in them: They have the people, they have the food, they have the wine, they have the experience, they have the possibility of enjoying yourself with the person across the table from you. I’m not a food, but if there was such a thing as a restaurantie, I would be that."
But here is the reality. Now having lived in New York for almost 9
months, I’ve pretty much blown through my savings. I am now living
paycheck to paycheck. While it may not be a new reality for a lot of
people, and certainly not globally, It’s definitely for me, an
upper middle-class white kid. And, boy does it suck.
That’s not to say I haven’t been able to eat well since I’ve been
living in New york. While I was looking for another job, I ate especially well. But I also ate a lot of crap. And, I bought a lot of crap I probably didn’t need. Definitely didn’t need. Also, a lot of
books, but I’ll get to that in a second.
Also, I recently came across a short piece on European apprenticeships
system. Now, I’m a strong believer in the idea that there a multiple
types of intelligences and that we can and do learn in a variety of
ways. Some work better than others but the books that I spent so much
money on now sit lonely on my coffee table. For me, they represent a
dilemma. Structured vs unstructured learning.
Here I have all these all these books in front of me, but I’m afraid
to open them. I love reading and learning, so what’s my problem. I
don’t buy the excuse that I’m too busy. If it’s your passion then, you
make the time(hint cut out facebook). Also, there’s the excuse
that because I cook all day, I don’t want to cook or think about food
Delmond: Dam girl! Where do you put it all? You eat like you just got out of jail. They don’t feed you where you work?
Janette: Oh, we don’t eat food, we just cook it. There’s no time, and if there is time, you’re looking at it all day, you don’t want it till about an hour after work when you’d eat the box a big mac comes in.
D: I’d like to think you pick to do what you like.
J: You and me both. right, people like us, we just do a thing, we don’t have a choice really. Could you do anything else?
D: Probably not, you’re parents cool with it?
J: It’s not exactly what they wanted for me, put it that way.
D: I hear that.
J: Oh your father must be proud.
D: It’s hard to tell some time, actually he’s coming to town tomorrow.
J: Alright. Let me try a bit of this dame tripe.
D: C’mon, its good!
"Feels Like Rain", Ep. 6, Treme
The alternative is structured learning. I loved college because all you
do is go to class and write(oversimplification) I imagine the same
would be true for culinary school, which is exactly why I don’t want
to go. It isn’t a real kitchen and it takes place outside the real
world. It would be to easy. It wouldn’t test me. Or push me. Working
in a restaurant kitchen forces me to learn in the face of criticism,
or worse, unemployment. I don’t think there are a lot of Gordon
Ramey’s out there, but chef are definitely not mom either.
In the past few months, I realized that I’ve learned best by doing. By
bumbling, fumbling, stumbling my way through a task. I need to make
mistakes. I need to fail.
But those books sit there, and each month, more enticing ones appear.
They shame. They guilt. They embarrass. Like most unread books on
most overrstuffed bookshelfves. Why did I even buy them if I have an
What stops me from cracking them open? Fear, primarily. Fear of
success. Fear of failure. Two sides of the same coin. If I succeed I
forgo all my other interest, if I fail, I’ll have missed my chance to
pursue other interest. Fear that once I begin down that road, there
is no turning back. It is the inability to take it little by little or
rather, a delusion of time. It makes no sense that in the time it
takes to read 15 pages, my fate will be sealed, but I feel in my mind
that that is the risk I am taking.
So here is a solution. I set myself up for failure. With no money to
buy beer, to go to the movies, to eat out, I’m stuck at home with my
I’m poor. Financially, that is. I could be poorer, of course. But for
me at least, it’s a new experience. I’d like be positive about it, at
least now I can finally, out of necessity, get my spending under
control and follow a budget.
I still have quite a bit of savings just in case. And, my parents to
bail me out if necessary. Which is more than a lot of people can say.
And, to quote a former whole foods coworker of mine, at least I have