updates & upheavals…

Good bye social life, enter into workaholic mode instead.  After I left Gryphon I had some serious time to kill since I left there on a Friday and didn’t start my new job until the following Wed.  Major shift upheaval at its best.  I went from working my nice M-F 9-5 job to working Thursday-Saturday 6pm-4pm and Sunday’s 5pm-1am. Which is somewhat OK for the most part since I prefer to have a consistent schedule but not having any time off of on the weekend DOES suck just a little.  Oddly enough getting myself to stay up until at least 4am and not rolling out of bed til around 1pm, wasn’t that difficult.  Granted its going to suck when I have to be awake and alert for a dental appointment at 8am on Thursday.  I’m going to try & go to sleep a little earlier then the norm, get my dental work done and then go home and take a nap before work so I don’t screw myself up too badly sleep wise.

I also seem to have developed a new compulsion: working out.  I’ve never really been “anti-exercise” per say but it was never that high on my priority list either.  Now I work out every day, even if its only a quick 20 minute routine I still do it.  It has very little to do with my overall appearance with the exception of my biceps.  Mostly because I have bitching tattoo work and loss of definition has made me slightly anal about it.  I figure if I ain’t getting none, might as well blow off my frustration somehow right?  I save the heavier routines for my days off simply because once the adrenaline rush wears off, I tend to crash pretty hard right in the middle of my shift.  Not cool if its busy, which fluctuates quite a bit depending on the day.  Which is exactly what happened on Sunday.  I woke up @ 1:15 and had to be at work for 5pm which was the COC ass-rape-a-thon  starring none other then yours truly.  Having a full board usually isn’t a big deal for me alone but when the orders are all over the damn place that’s a whole other story.  The menu is limited, but so is space, equipment and tools required to make things happen like pans…  Which makes what would seem the simplest of tasks that much more tiresome.  Who would have thought that making mac & cheese & grilled cheese would piss me off so much.  Well it does, sounds simple which for the most part it is but there’s just SO much running around to make it happen.  That and our fridge has no shelves which just makes things that much more complicated.

Overall I like my job, less responsibility and bullshit then the last one.  FAR more respect since the boys who are running the place aren’t exactly qualified quite like I am so when I talk, they listen (woo hoo!) even the exec Chef is fresh out of culinary school (class of ’08).  But the demographic is a lot different.  I thought hoped that I would get away from whiny FOH staff but oh no, such was not the case!  So I got into it on Sunday with the girl answering the phones she’s like I need blah blah blah, to which I fired back I need 5mil and a pool boy but doesn’t mean I’m going to get it right away now am I.  Put her in her place pretty fucking quick.  Yeah I get it, I’m the new girl I expect *some* flack and/or criticism/corrections however BOH reins supreme over FOH and I ain’t going to take shit from a kid who isn’t anywhere near as qualified as I am.  Overall aside from almost cutting a piece of my index finger off, burning my right butt cheek on a sandwich press and my stomach on the fryer, I kinda like my job.  Wonder what D is going to say when I tell him I essentially need all my working days off for Christmas this year.  Ticket is bought, tattoo appointment booked.  There ain’t NO WAY, I’m NOT going home…  Especially if I get screwed with all the crappy shifts that no one wants…  He’s going to OWE me come the end of December.

So that’s about it, I’ve done nothing but work and exercise and I know that a thrill a minute for you all.  Oh and well Heddy has become an anorexic/bulimic since the arrival of Xavier, whom she hates quite a bit still.  So she’s super stressed out and refuses to eat & only occasionally drinks.  I’m screwed if she ends up with renal failure so I’ve had to force feed my poor baby with water and baby food.  I have to be careful because if I give her too much at one time, she just throws it back up again.  Yeah like you needed to know that…

In other news, Monday was a stunningly beautiful day here and there’s an abandoned building at the end of my street that I’ve been dying to investigate.  This odd fascination I have, I know.  I was prepared to walk down and around to the highway underpass (which I’ve done countless times to get up on the roof & watch the sunrise) since I didn’t feel like hopping the fence but to my surprise, the gate was wide open so I just walked right in SCORE!  It was late in the afternoon though and fairly muddy so I didn’t really venture too far into it since it was getting dark and I didn’t have on proper shoes.  I do however plan on going back tomorrow since I have Wed off before it gets too late in the day and doing some better “investigating” if you will 🙂

Sucks that the flash on my camera is being pissy, I’m thinking its time to buy a new one.  Otherwise I would have gotten far better images then I did.  I’m buying a new computer first, that’s my up-most priority since I need a better model for school and well I just want to replace my laptop that I miss so dearly.  Then I’m buying a new camera, I already know which one I want, its just a matter of obtaining it.  Since I’ll be working my ass off, this shouldn’t be mission impossible  come the new year.  Got to pay off my visa bill first and I have school to think about as well.  But CC bill takes priority overall of course.  So Wed, I’m going to take care of things around here and enjoy the day off that I have and then Thursday morning at 8am, I have to have a filling replaced.  Which I’m oddly happy about because every time I floss my teeth it gets stuck because its starting to come up and its not hardcore painful yet, but letting it go is NOT an option.  Besides, silver fillings are gross in spite of the fact that amalgam fillings (the tooth colored ones) aren’t as strong.

Had a lovely leisurely day with my friend Jen this afternoon.  She texted me on Monday saying “hey girly, I miss you, how are you?”  meanwhile I had un-read text’s from two other people and I replied back to who I thought was Jen ” miss you too!  We need to get together soon, I should get my schedule today”  So then Mat (my “neighbor”) texts me and he’s like huh?  Turns out my phone likes to text random people a little too often!  Which only happens when I have un-read text messages waiting from others.    A mutual friend of ours was supposed to join us, but I have to admit I wasn’t the least bit dissapointed when she bailed out.  She’s nice enough of course, but I wanted Jen all to myself so we could talk, catch up and gossip 😉  So we had lunch, did some shopping which I shouldn’t have done but you know…  We had a ton of fun just the two of us!  I’m getting too girly, its kind of crazy!  I’m slowly changing some aspects of my appearance or at the very least stepping out of my comfort zone.  Having more liquid assets comes in handy too, can’t wait to my pay is more regulated!   In the meantime, I take comfort in knowing that I’m helping to keep visa in business.

So it begins…

Started my new job yesterday which was interesting to say the least…  Mostly because the guy who was supposed to be training me wasn’t in due to the flu.  I however have become a little too accustomed to be being “fed to the sharks” and adapt pretty damn fast to these situations.  So I was working on the line with the owner last night which wasn’t all that bad.  Except at first, I had no clue that he was one of the owners oops!  We got on well and rocked it out but the place was a freaking zoo at one point.  Rush from hell kicks in, were SO not prepared for it since we were short people who work during the day to make this whole prep thing happen.  All in all it was OK, it had its moments of total and utter fail but at least we got on well.

Funny enough another one of the owners (I think there’s 5 of them) used to attend the university I work at and on the occasions that I was working in the actual cafeteria itself as opposed to the kitchen, I’ve served him before.  So we both thought it was pretty funny that I went from serving HIM coffee, to having him sign MY cheques.  Everyone there is really cool, though.  Were all in the same relative age bracket, everyone is English which is awesome since my French is terrible at best.  So those two things alone make work suck a little bit less.

Of course there are always a few downfalls, as one would find in any kitchen.  The hours, OMFG there goes my life…  Sunday they’re open from 2pm-1am, Monday-Wed 5pm-1am, Thursday-Sat. 5pm til 4am, yes that would be four o’clock in the freaking morning!  Guess what shift I’m working tonight and Saturday…  There’s a few “problem area’s” that need to be addressed but not so many to the point that I wouldn’t want to be there unlike one place that I worked at.  So I’ll be doing my damnedest to make that happen.  John himself said if anyone can whip that place into shape it you lol.  He is right though, years of experience do help and I have reached a point in my career that you know what’s going to work and what isn’t.

I have to admit though that the times that I have upstaged them thus far, they’re pretty good about it.  Yesterday being a prime example: you work in any kitchen that has a grill and you’ll know what I mean.  Each one has a drip pan underneath it that generally slides in and out.  Most places cover this with tinfoil because when your grilling chicken, the oil in the marinade tends to catch on fire.  However I was told that it was broken, I was like broken?  Dude its a drip tray, how on earth can you break that?  He said that its been jammed in there all day and no one could get it out.  That was until *I* came along and yanked that sucker out in all of 2 minutes.  I’ve never seen a  bunch of boys so excited over such a  thing!

Tonight pending the exec Chef comes in, it should be interesting.  I like him, he’s nice enough BUT he’s also a recent graduate (class of 2008) and I also happen to be a few years older then him and he’s a little cocky, but too much so.  Needless to say, we’re going to be having a discussion today if he comes in.  No its not *my* kitchen, and I am OK with not being anywhere near in charge for a change but certain things just don’t sit well with me for justifiable reasons.  Mostly I get into “anal retentive Nazi” mode when it comes to organization, cleanliness, food safety and efficiency.  Those are the 3 key areas that I always find need to be addressed to some degree or another.  Not that I’m saying that my new job has a profound amount of those issues thankfully, it just needs “the Steph touch” 😉

Its a HUGE change from the life I have grown somewhat accustomed to and my schedule and its time constraints tend to turn people off more often then not.  Not that I can say I blame anyone for that because it takes a pretty tolerant person to date someone in this business.  The hours are insane, its stressful, becoming an alcoholic is always an issue (thankfully not for me, that’s why I don’t drink that much), its very demanding overall and you tend to become exceptionally bitter and jaded at best.  In any case I consign myself to the fact that I’m getting out sooner as opposed to later.  I signed up for this life, it was my choice and like several other things I choose to do, you can either take it or leave it.  Not like it matters, since the last few dates I have been on haven’t been all that remarkable.  I have a few ideas as to why, but mostly people automatically assume that because I work as much as I do, with the most random schedule ever that I won’t have time for them.

WRONG…  I ALWAYS make time for those that matter.  Granted I can’t bet here for everyone 24/7 but I sure as hell don’t expect them to be there for me that much either.  Which makes the time you do have with them that much more precious.  It also makes dating someone who’s in the same industry as you a hellish nightmare at best…  But its been done and if I was destined to, I’d do it again.  Not that it matters because the last few have totally lacked the whole wow factor for lack of a better term.  I don’t know if its one situation that I can’t seem to let go or if I’m just dead inside.  At this point its anyone’s guess and there’s only one way for me to narrow it done, but I have to nail down that one opportunity first to see.  Which very well might never present itself at this rate.

In other non work related news: I booked my ticket to go home and my annual Christmas tattoo appointment as well 🙂  Now I just need to take the time off of work.  I’m hoping that won’t be an issue…  I’ll only be gone for a few days, I leave the morning of the 24th @7:30am and I have to leave Cambridge on Dec 28th @ 9:30pm to make my connection in Toronto for 12:30am the following day.  But it’ll be nice to go home & see everyone and get my memorial tattoo for Jason as well (which in case you were wondering is booked for 3pm on the 28th YAY!).  If  your wondering what I’m getting,  I’m keeping a closely guarded secret.  Only one/perhaps 2 people know what I’m getting and even Tim doesn’t know yet.  I just said that I’m getting a memorial piece and nothing more.  I’m excited though!  I was going to get Gil to do it a few months ago but I thought better of it and decided to wait until I went home instead.  I need a little more time to heal and the tattoo usually helps, but in the end there’s no point it rushing it either.

Dear God…

I’m doing laundry earlier today and my cell phone starts ringing with an un-familiar Quebec number…  Didn’t know who the hell it was but I answered it anyway, turns out it was this woman who’s opening a travel agency a few doors down from my old job who’s in LOVE with my cooking.

I guess in a way I should be flattered but she’s crazy!  I swear to God she has to be on something!  So she tells me to get “settled in” at my new job/school and to give her a call.  Why?  Because she still wants me to cook for her a few times a week.  She says to me well of course I’ll pay you (well yeah I don’t volunteer my time quite like that).  So I’m a  little on the fence about that because well she’s just plain strange.  But she also wants me to help boost her travel sales and promised me a commission which might not be bad…

I don’t know why she adores me so and my former boss started spreading this ugly rumor about how reliable I was and all these nice things, how dare she 😉  I am compelled to wonder if she’s just doing this because either A: She’s trying to help me out because its no secret that I’m a tad broke temporarily since I’m putting my dentist’s kids through Harvard  & my hours were reduced drastically for four months *or* B: She has an ulterior motive because she knows that I don’t really care for her all that much.  In any case I’m perplexed just a little bit…

The one thing that really irritates me the most was that someone from there gave out MY PHONE NUMBER to her without asking me first.  I mean really, that’s FAR from being OK.  No matter how beneficial anyone thinks it might be for me, its common courtesy to call someone first and ASK if its OK to give out a former employee’s personal information like that!  I would have said OK for other reasons totally un-related to her request due to a former agreement we had but its the lack of respect that really irritates me the most.  But you never know, I could make a lot of money out of this deal!  Depends on my workload at the new place first and my days off and what not…

Clearing something up…

OK first of all, I forgot to mention this a while ago so I’m saying something about it now.  When you like someone (doesn’t matter the gender) and  you are so socially in-adequate for a number of reasons that your not getting any…  Interrogating the person that you like by asking “what went wrong in the last relationship(s) that you had?” is NOT. OK. EVER.  First of all I at least happen to be smart enough to know that your just making a lame really bad attempt at trying not to be “that guy” as in the guy(s) I’ve broken up with…  Everyone has a past, that’s just the way it is.  So yes its bound to come up in conversation once in a while for whatever the reason.  Doesn’t mean that we/they’re not over it (because chances are we are) its just a part of our life.   That’s just the way that it is…  However sometimes those subjects are touchy for whatever the reason and can on occasion induce fits of rage and are best left un-said.  Its one thing to be curious about the person your interested in but making them feel like they should be in an interrogation room is not.

So let’s talk about my ex “husband” just to clear this up.  Not that I really feel that this is anyone’s business per say, its not exactly a secret either.  The situation as a whole is a tad complicated and I get tired of explaining it, so from here on out if you don’t read my blog, then I ain’t telling you.  When I met him I still lived in Ontario and he lived here.  My past isn’t all that “pure and innocent” as some people would like to believe (sorry but it is what it is and made me the person I am today).   Yes I did have one very UGLY abusive relationship among other ones that just didn’t work out for whatever the reason.  Anyway we became fast friends & he had partially jokingly said you should move to Montreal and start over.  Little did he know I actually thought that was an amazing idea!  Cambridge has its charms but I was getting sick of the same old, same old and needed a change.  I figured it wouldn’t have been so bad because I had a friend.

That was until we started dating, then it came down to who’s going to live where.  He of course preferred that I moved to Mtl (who can blame him) and I wanted to get away anyway.  So in October of 2003 I came to visit him and fell in love with Montreal.  His parents were super religious (his father is a minister) and they don’t believe in the whole sex/living together before marriage thing (this will be come relevant in a minute).  During said visit to Montreal that fall I seen the apartment that I would soon make my home and we got engaged.  So then we set the date, started making plans for my move and the wedding.  His parents posed a problem so we had to lie and say that I was staying with a friend in Lasalle (which at the time, I didn’t even know where Lasalle was) until we got married.

I moved here on February 21st 2004 and even though I was living with him we had to maintain that ruse that  I was living with my imaginary friend and leaving all my furniture and what not with him at the apt. we had.  Got settled in, got a job and a car blah blah blah.  So in June that same year I had to go back to Ontario to tie up some loose ends and we told everyone that we “eloped” at city hall in Ontario.  Because we were originally planning on getting legally married in Ontario because then I could assume his last name (because I HATE mine) except we never did at that point because we couldn’t afford it ($300.00 with the license/getting married at city hall) at that time so we figured we would a day before the actual wedding.   This way I could live with him freely (read without his parents hassling us, who didn’t even live ON the island).

So my car needed a ton of repairs.  Caught on fire once, replaced the entire exhaust system, brakes, leaf spring blah blah blah.  Before we were due to leave to go to Ontario where we were getting married something got replaced on the car and the mechanic at Midas pointed out the ball joints on my front axle were due to go at any time and they needed to be replaced along with a few other minor things before it would be safe to make that long of a trip.  There went the $300.00 we had saved for the license and the actual “wedding” at city hall to make it legal.  Turns out we didn’t have enough time anyway due to a million delays here in Montreal.

We asked his dad to preform the ceremony but he couldn’t legally marry us in Ontario without someone from a religious order from Ontario in attendance which is why we were planning on going that route but his whole family thought we were already married (we even had the rings) and we were just “going through the motions” of the ceremony and having a reception.  So yes I had the dress, we had the rings and the whole nine yards, it was just never made legal.  The only “legal” marriage we had was strictly common law and nothing more.  So technically I was married, we just never bother making that happen on paper.  Sounds confusing?  I know, try telling/explain that a 100 times!  So in the end, we split up but I did consider him to be my husband in every sense of the word.  Why we broke up isn’t relevant, it got ugly for a while be we have since sorted that out and even though were not best friends I no longer wish that he would get hit by a bus. We have both moved on with our lives and I’ve been over it for a very long time.  The memories are bittersweet, just another chapter in my life story.

Since I’ve been asked on numerous occasions for pictures since I don’t have any posted (well duh were not together anymore)  here’s a few to satisfy the curious:

In any case, it was one hell of a night!  Even though its said and done, people are still talking about it lol.