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Russell's Journal

May. 29th, 2007

10:29 pm - Flank steak

I need to write and keep a record of what I am doing everyday so that I have something to look through later on, also to organize and collect my thoughts and reflect on my actions.

I cooked a flank steak today, London Broil style. I got a flank steak that looked the best at the store and put it in a marinade in the morning.

Vegetable Oil
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Chipotle Seasoning

I made a vinaigrette, with the oil and vinegar, crushed the garlic to get its flavor in the oil, crushed the dried thyme and rosemary, added the chipotle seasoning. I let the marinade rest for a while so all the flavors had a chance to marry and homogenize before I added it to the beef. I pulled the crushed cloves of garlic out before I put the marinade on the meat, so the garlic taste would not overwhelm. The meat sat in the marinade for about 8 hours, and I grilled it over coals. I was a little surprised that it turned out a sort of mild, I expected it to be a little salty and spicy, however it was not really either of the two. I believe this to be because I used slightly less marinade than I normally do in the attempts to eliminate waste. The final product turned out fine, it was just a little too subtle for my tastes and I think next time I will use a little more marinade, but not so much that I am being wasteful.

Feb. 5th, 2007

11:12 am

These last few weeks have not been a whole lot of fun.

First of all, my streak of doing really well in school has come to a halt. I am in a new module with some cranky sous chef who treats me more like a liability than a student. There is so much shit talking in the kitchen, it's like middle school. I am really struggling to get all my work done on time and I am really frustrated because I need help but I don't feel like I am getting it. I can honestly say that I have learned more from past sous chefs that have patience to clearly give me specific instructions than I have from the head chef. I really do not like his teaching style, not one bit.

I am also sick, which normally would be a bad thing. But it says a lot when I feel miserable, have a constant running nose, fever, and cough and feel faint and dizzy when at least it beats going through the gauntlet of the constant berating of the stock room manager for messing up a piece of paper work, or from some cranky custumer that can't get their lasagna in time because it hasn't cooked all the way yet, or from everyone else for being a overall nub, which I admit I am (which is the entire reason I goto school in the first place!)

I really don't like being the person that doesn't know anything, I don't like being the person that makes everyone behind schedule, I don't like not knowing what I am doing.

This weekend, I talked to some of my old friends from work, and I hate to say it but I almost miss that job to where I am now. Right now, I feel like I made a decision too hastily to goto culinary school, that I didn't think about it clearly enough before I enrolled. In every job I have had, I've gotten along great with people, my last 3 jobs have given me an opportunity to meet friends that I am still great friends with, and I really don't care for most of the people I goto school with at all, it just doesn't seem like I am doing anything right, and it is the opposite of what my experiences in the workplace have been. I can hardly sleep at night on school days because I dread waking up everyday and just going through it all everyday.

Something needs to change, that is for sure.

Dec. 16th, 2006

09:38 am

It's been a long time since I last wrote in this thing, and I think that reflects my gradually changing attitude since I start culinary school.

For one, I really like school now, I just study things that I enjoy and learn a trade skill, not just theory. That is important to me, and I feel good about it.

I also feel like I don't care so much about things as I did just 6 months ago, in the good way though, I don't seem to have to the same stress or anxiety or stupid little problmes I liked whining about when I was working in a warehouse all day.

I feel really good right now, happy to be doing what I am doing. I want to start watching more movies, I really haven't seen any in the past 9 months. The last movie I saw in the Theater was Click with Nekita, a movie I rate 1/10 it was so bad. The last movie I rented was An Inconvenient Truth. I used to watch 2 movies a day, especially when I was working at Blockbuster video.

I need to see are Borat, Clerks 2, Casino Royale, Rocky Balboa, Talledega Nights, Crank, Crash, Black Christmas. Maybe the next time I post I will have seen at least 2 or 3 of these.

Oct. 13th, 2006

12:28 am

things are slowly coming together at school. It is taking up a lot of my time these days.

I took my efforts to purchase a case of Steven Seagal's energy drinks to ebay. I did not find any, but I found this wonderful gem:

Steven Seagal Pendulum Wall clock

Sep. 20th, 2006

07:39 pm

I'm really pretty slow at picking up things, and I think the instructor I was assigned probably wouldn't think I was competent enough to light a match, but I like to think that once I get the hand of somehting I can do an ok job.

Today, I made croutons, salads, replished the salad bar, sliced deli meat. Sounds more like a job than school doesn't it?

Ideally I don't even want to give a shit about school, it's a place to learn for me, and I want to get in and out of there as fast as possible.

The kitchen really seems like a throwback to simpler times, the amount of work you put into making the food hardly seems equal to what comes out, even if the result is of very good quality. There is a "Master" Chef implying that the other 25 people in the kitchen are the "Slave" or "bitch" subhuman neanderthal servants.

In the end, this is the field I want to go into. The techiniques they teach me are what I want, not the lifestyle they promote that goes along with it. I have my own plans for the future, and it won't be working at a Hilton hotel restraunt for 25 years if I can help it.

Sep. 2nd, 2006

01:26 am

I bought my chef's uniform yesterday; pants, apron, hat, vest, the eternal souls of my children's chidren's children's children was all it cost me. It was pretty pricey, but at least I will get to use them.

I am quiting world of warcraft, an evil fucking game. The rewards are so few and far betwen in that game it's ridiculous. It's like paying for a lamboughini when you work at McDonalds.

The last three days have treated me well, getting ready for school, putting up some gutters for my parents, having my apartment to myself.

My roommate is gone for the weekend, thank god. She's like a old bag lady who stopped giving a shit 40 years ago. She's only 20 though.
She dog sat for 2 dogs 9 months ago and they destroyed her bedroom blinds. And she doesn't even give a shit, when she changes everyone in the entire fucking apartment complex can see her change. I come home sometimes to see her living out her lifelong fantasy of being on MTV's The Grind dancing to Lou Vega's "Mamba Number 5." I took a shower the other day, and found the bottom of the goddamn tub filled with her fucking pubes because she didn't rinse the shower out after she shaved. I want to poke my eyes out and vomit at the same time. I can't wait untill I can get my own place without having to deal with a roommate, I'm too old for this shit, to quote the great Danny Glover.

Aug. 21st, 2006

03:00 pm

School starts on the 18th of September and I really wish it started sooner.

I've always been sort of opposed to thinking that I'll do better because this time since I'm in for something I want to go in for, as opposed to UW where it all just seemed like a waste of time. That's not because I want to fail, to me it seems to validate this All-American work to the grave attitude that you have to find something you love doing and work hard at it for 40 years so you have enough money for the last 20 to throw away on all your medical bills. Life is bullshit if you ask me, I'll get into a field I want to sure, but I still have obligations, debts, complications.

But hey, I am very optimistic still. I am learning a trade, something fun to learn, something in demand, and something that seems to fascinate other people.

I'm 26 and my parents are still yelling at me to grow up, I'm pretty sure I'll never do that. I'm old enough where if it was going to happen it would have started already. I don't want to live my life the way they have, I don't want to care so much about money for retirement that every day up to that point is miserable.

Aug. 9th, 2006

10:22 am


Worst website ever? I say yes

Jul. 10th, 2006

01:28 am

Yesterday I recieved my official letter of acceptance in the mail for school, I was pretty excited about that. Still hammering out the details on paying for this, but it looks like it will happen.

I quit my job on Saturday as well. Jesus, that felt good. Months of dealing with shit like fighting for a raise, getting "promoted" to a job with more responsibiility and 10x the stress but still getting paid the same, having my life micromanaged by a militant lesbian. It's all over and thank god. I feel used by that place, like a street hooker getting turned out. The gap in pay between the people I made money for and the money I actually made was immense. The final straw was when I was promised my holiday bonus and then was declared ineligible for it last month. Best Buy has a good reputation for treating their employees well, however I have found is that shareholders come first, the people who do the work come last. Why pay an actual empleyee their promised bonus when you can increase every share of stock $0.000001 by fucking them?

Oh well! At least George Bush is president and will fight corporate corruption!! oh wait, nevermind...

Jul. 2nd, 2006

03:56 am

I finally completed all my admissions stuff for school, now I am doing all my financial aid applications, hoping to come up with every FAFSA grant and loan & scholarship I can get. I need to come up with a lot of money to actually goto school. Basically, I have learned that no one ever does any work anymore, people just fill out paperwork about how fulfilling work used to be for people 100 years ago without the soul crushing beuracracy.

Speaking of people who really don't do any work... You know what really pisses me off? Dentists, Lawyers, and Doctors. Include any person that charges 3x my monthly salary for 30 minutes of their time.

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