Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Business as usual: part 2?

So its been what.....about 2 months since I posted last. And things have gotten better to an extent.

My room is clean, and I mean REALLY clean. Shortly after the last post my parents decided we should paint my room which meant pulling everything out and cleaning things in the process. It was a much needed task so I'm glad it got done. Now I just need to stay on point with straightening things up.

Being single again was kind of strange to get used to. I think one of the things I missed the most was just having someone I could randomly text during the day for no reason at all. Within the first couple weeks after the Ex broke up with me we had a dead lobster in the tank at work and other lobsters had eaten parts of him (yes, they do that). And my gut instinct was to send a smartass observation to the ex (which obviously I couldn't). So it was the small things like that that I really missed.

Getting back to business as usual became easier and easier. But like I said in the last post, it obviously wasn't the same as it was before the relationship. And that's a good thing. The relationship itselt taught me alot about myself and how to deal with life in general. I got over a few insecurities and became more self confident. I learned what qualities I like in a girl and what I don't want. And now that I'm dating another girl, its helping me put things in perspective (more on the other girl at another time).

I've been trying to get out more and more. There's only so long I can sit around and be mopey before going crazy. I've gotten a new (new) second job, I've tried to go hang out with John or Lindsay and Patrick or Dflo when possible (which isn't much), and I've just gone to browse bookstores for the heck of it. I went on another vacation, I've read more. I've just tried to do stuff that I've liked to do.

Life is hectic, but then again it always is. That's one of the things we don't realize until we're adults. But I would rather be making my own way in life as an adult than being totally clueless about life like I was when I was a kid.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Business as Usual

So I went on vacation last Iowa. AND IT WAS AWESOME! I'm not going to lie, there's jack shit to do in Iowa especially in Cantril where my relatives live. I just needed a break. Not so much due to the break up, but I literally haven't had a break from life since Fall of 2009.

Mostly We (my parents came too) just sat and hung out with my Aunt and Uncle. Saturday we did go see a few "sites." There was a park I always used to go to when I was younger right outside the nursing home where both my Great Grandparents ended up. And on the way there we stopped for wine tasting and then drove through camp grounds/state park. The was a ginormous slide that didn't seem as ginormous now that I'm almost 30 and but I got just as much of a thrill from it, and then I got motion sickness from going on the swing. Fun Times though.

Now I'm back to the real world and am realizing how much I need a change. I've gone on record many times saying that I do have good jobs for good companies, but I really want to cook in some capacity. So I think that's my goal for the moment.

Likewise, I feel like I'm in a rut and being single allows me to look into the possibility of moving to another city. I don't feel like I'm being held back. And believe me, despite what the Ex said I DID feel like I was being held back from ever considering moving. At the same time, I think I secretly do love Grand Rapids and want to end up back here if I were to move away (well unless I ended up in NYC, San Francisco or Chicago....but two out of three of those can't really happen).

So I don't know whats going to happen. I think I've done a pretty good job of pulling my emotions back together and to go back to "business as usual." Or as usual as I'm going to get. I'm never going to go back to what business as usual was before I was in a relationship. I've changed and learned so much since then that "normal" for me is different what it was. And frankly I like it.

I've come to quite a few affirming realizations about things lately and it totally changes my view points on life and myself. I have no place to go but up right now and if it's a journey I have to take by myself then hooray for me I suppose!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Processing stuff: Take 2

I don't know who. if anybody reads this.

If anybody does you may have noticed I deleted the post I wrote yesterday. Normally I'm a big advocate for standing behind what I write and I do stand behind some of the things I said. The thing is that one of my weakness' is that I tend to come out all guns blazing when I'm in an argument, and especially when I feel I've been wronged and have hurt feelings.

As much as it sucked and as bummed out as I was, the break up itself didn't hurt my feelings. For what it was worth I agree that we were kind of at a stand still. I would've loved to talk it out, but obviously that didn't happen. As the days progressed after the break up and I began to process things, it became apparent that it was something she had thought about for a while. And subsequently I retroactivly realised that she had been distancing herself the last few weeks of our relationship. Also she lied to me at least once that last week; twice if you count the last date night we had where for the most part she pretended like everything was alright. I don't care how its justified, I don't care how much she thought or prayed about it, it was kind of a low move. Lying is lying and for someone who I placed that much trust in and who I cared about that much, its a pretty big betrayal.

Call this talking crap, call this venting after I said I wouldn't, call this going behind her back to tell the wonderful world of the internet, you can even call it me whipping up a sob story for people to feel bad for me; but it is what it is. The other day someone asked me what would I do if she contacted me wanting to talk. And the honest answer is that I don't know.

I truely am sorry for hurting her feelings. And in hindsight I do respect what our relationship was and I do love all the memories (despite purging every reference from her from my facebook). But right now I don't know if I'm ready to even think about wanting to talk to her at this point.

Obviously I haven't let go of everything yet. Maybe I'll be able to, maybe I never will.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Moving on

My room is a mess right now. Actually that's not much of a surprise because as my former roomate can attest to, my room is ALWAYS a mess. This mess is different though, the current mess was created one of the last times I talked to the (now ex) girlfriend. It was the monday before she broke up to me and we were chatting on IM. She had claimed to have a migraine and alot on her mind and was cleaning her room to help her think. I knew that the two of those combined often made her mopey so I expressed concern at which point she said not to worry and to not be bummed.

Yeah look how that turned out. bleh. At this point there's zero chance of us getting back together let alone even talking to each other. Feelings were hurt, things were said and now neither of us like each other. It sucks and I wish it didn't end like that. But it is what it is I suppose. I'd like to say that I feel bad that it went from simply adoring each other to disdaining each other in about 2 weeks. But then I remember that it was something she had been thinking about for a while. i think thats the one thing I can't get over. And I can't let myself get consumed by that because I don't want to sit her questioning the last month or so of our relationship

Another kick in the gut is the diassembly of Steam Pig. Steam Pig was an exhibit for Art Prize that was right out side the B.O.B in Grand Rapids. Last year for Artprize the Ex, her friend and I went exploring and her friend and I fell in love with it and Steam Pig came a reocurring subject the rest of our relationship. At first I thought I would be sad everytime I past it, but at the same time its a good memory of our relationship. I have gifts from her that are good memories. I don't just want to throw them all away. I wanted it to stay there because it would be a reminder to both of us of the good parts of our relationship; and to be frank I also was slightly glad that when/if she walked past it would be a glaring reminder of me. But alas, the BOB has expansion plans and The Steam Pig won't fit where it is. Much like our relationship I guess its the end of an era.

The past two or so weeks I've come to learn a bunch of things about myself. I've come to accept some of my insecurities and fears. I still stand by the fact that they contributed to some of my failings in the relationship. I've discovered just how much my friends and family love me. I mean I guess I knew that before, but EVERYBODY has been going out of their way to see how I'm doing and in light of losing that type of emotional support after the breakup, its nice to have people to talk to. I've rediscovered the joy of guys night (especially now that Zigs and I are back to being the bachelors). If the relationship and the resulting breakup was a roundabout way of learning these lessons then I suppose I have to accept that. I HATE that we had to break up but it is what it is.

Letting go really sucks. I have to let go of everything, the hurt feelings, any hope of being in a relationship, wanting to see her smile.....everything, before I can totally be over her. I don't know if I can ever do that. But I just have to keep moving forward and try my best.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On hold!

So I guess what I have jokingly called "Operation: Less talk, more doing" is on hold for a bit. A few of the things I was trying to get around to doing involved certain things I wanted to do with my girlfriend. Only she's not my girlfriend anymore.
I owe it to her not to rant or vent at all on the internet. There's some sadness and disappointment I have to deal with first before I can fully process what happend. I don't know what I'm going to do about any of it. I want to try to work things out if possible, BUT I don't want to get hopes up too much.
So yeah, I know most the people who read this probably got an idea of what happened on facebook-land. I know she knows about this blog so thats also why I'm not going to vent or anything.
Oh well

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sometimes you gotta "do"!

Close to the beginning of June I went to the Saugatuck Film Festival. It was interesting and I'd love to go again but under circumstances. My experience as a whole kind of blew for various reasons. I only got to see one of the movies I wanted to see due to a "group decison" that was dictated by practically one indivdual. I spent more time trying to track down my girlfriend and her friends due to that same individual deciding that one person's feelings weren't as important as the "groups" and I had to leave early to go to work. I could vent about that, but thats not the point.

The point is that I've been wanting to go to the Film Festival for at least 6 years but kept putting it off for some reason. I've always made an excuse for what apparently was my laziness in trying to go. There are many things I keep saying I want to do and keep "putting off": Homebrewing beer, cooking mussels, making pasta from scratch (okay, so I've done those two), going to Cedar Point, going on vacation, and many others. I'm at a point where I want to stop putting stuff off that I want to do.

I think I'm going to push myself to do more of those "I want to do but...." things. I need a hobby or 10 that involve more than reading. I can reading about things, especially food related things, till I'm blue in the face but sometimes you just have to "do".

What am I going to do first....I'm not sure. I saw a homebrewing kit a Williams Sonoma so I may start with that. It would be a great way for me to get the stuff I need to intially homebrew on a semi-regular basis, then I could get better and bigger supplies for it if its something I want to do more of.

More on that when I get off my lazy bum and do it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When it rains, it pours??

My luck seems to have continued since the last blog post. Shortly after that blog post I had three more interviews; one which offered me a job and another which as of last Sunday (May 1) MIGHT be offering me a job per one of my friends who works there.

Job number 1 is at a catering company in Grand Rapids called Applause Events and Catering. When offered the job, Chef told me that it would start off more part time but then eventually start getting more hours. So far it’s gone pretty well. My first day on the job I cut up and julienned around 40 lbs. of orange peppers, then wrapped asparagus in smoked salmon. Day two I got to go on a trip to the Frederick Meijer Gardens for an event that was originally quoted for 400 (but eventually ended up being closer to 350ish). It was a blast! I showed up to work that day to a scene of chaos as everything was being figured out. Once we got to the event we got around to setting up and plating first the salads and then the desserts. At one point we were all ushered out due to a fire alarm going off which put us behind schedule. Pretty much anyone standing around, whether it was Applause servers, the freelancers, or The Garden staff, got recruited into helping us plate everything. We made it without much of a hitch though.

Then we got ready for the assembly line. For the uneducated, let me explain how it goes. Most times for big events like this (especially with a catering or banquet service) the food isn’t cooked ala minute, it’s cooked (or at the very least par-cooked) before and then gets reheated (and/or finished cooking) at the event. From there we line everything up, plates get passed down, the individual elements get put on, the plate gets wiped and then it gets covered and put into the hot box. It may not sound like it, but it’s a pretty epic process. Shortly after that I was sent back to the home base to help out with dish duty so I’m not 100% sure how the rest of the evening went.

So far I’m loving the job, the people are nice and its work I could see myself wanting to do for a while. It’s not enough hours to make it affordable enough to quit the grocery store but that’s alright because I do still like working there.

Still not sure about any details on the second interview though. A friend from school who works there commented on my Facebook asking if I was starting work there. Upon replying that if I was then it was news to me she said that she saw my name on the schedule under “trial run.” So who knows, maybe I’ll get a call from there too. That’s the point that I’ll really have to weigh two unknowns against each other. I still have no clue how much either job may be able to give me in the long run and for once money is the issue with gas as high as it is. Well money, and the fact that the job situation is to the point where its essentially a career. I’m to a point where I have to make decisions based on how it could affect me in the long run. Essentially I’m to the point where the childhood illusion of thinking you know everything when you’re an adult has been shattered.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Adventures in job hunting!!

My how things change in a little over a month. In the course of about a week after writing my last blog posting I experienced the begining of a slew of interviews, job leads, and a couple of job offers.

  • Target did end up offering me a job.

  • The grocery store offered me a job.

  • I had an interview at a country club (that I thought I did well at)

  • I got offered a job at a restaurant that was in the process of opening.

  • I had an interview with what is probably THE most respected hotel group in Grand Rapids (if not all Michigan)

  • I got a lead and a contact with one of the bigger restaurant groups in Grand Rapids.

  • Oh and then my email got hacked by a spambot, sent emails to all my contacts which included my boss from The Club. Apparently he thought it was me and sent an email back informing me that they were "going another direction." (He didn't elaborate so I don't know if it was something I did or didn't do or if another former employee asked for a job before I did. who knows, who cares).

So yeah, its pretty safe to say that my luck turned around (well except for the whole spam bot thing).

Ultimately I ended up accepting the jobs from the grocery store and from the restaurant. I'm going to cut straight to the chase and say I've already been let go from the restaurant. haha. I laugh because after The Grille, and my experience at Graydon's I was kind of expecting it. Lesson to all of you people looking for jobs out there. When restaurants open, they overhire which lets them be picky. All that aside, I don't think I would've lasted there. After my wonderful experience at Salt working with local and seasonal and fresh products, the idea of working at a restaurant with crappy pre-packaged mixed greens and salsas out of a can kind of depressed me. So no big surprise there.

The grocery store has been going VERY well. I've always had a thing against dealing with the public. I hate smal talk, I hate talking with people when I really don't want to, and I tend to get flustered and start stuttering a times. But I've been doing real well there. My boss is nice, the meat guys (the meat dept is right next to seafood) are nice and its pretty cool to be working with seafood. I'm trying to learn what I can about seafood and meat and in general, its just nice to work again till I figure out what the hell I'm going to do.

Oh and things are coming full circle since craigslist told me that apparently Salt is hiring. It looks like I may have to go pay my old boss a visit. More on that as things pan out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My monthly update

I've now been unemployed for two months. Its slowly starting to be at the point where I'm going to beat my record for the longest I've been unemployed. Not counting my first year in college. the longest I've been with about a job is about 2 and a half months in 2008. It was my first attempt at "re-introducing" myself back into the restaurant world. I ended up getting a job at a restaurant that was in the process of opening and the chef had pretty much gone the route of over-hiring and seemingly just randomly grabbing the first resume/application off the pile and hiring the person. Then without really giving much direction he kind of just threw people into the fire. My duration there lasted about a month. Looking back I totally admit I was probably in over my head and as such it was a learning experience for me.

One thing I've noticed about being unemployed is how boring it is. Everyone and their brother always seems to bitch and complain about work and how they wish they didn't have to work so much but I don't seem to be like that at all. Don't get me wrong I'm FAR from being a work-aholic but I can't do the whole note working thing. The first month or so I could still afford to go out and do stuff regularly with the girlfriend and then with my cousins when they were around (which in restrospect is probably why I'm so tight on cash now...oops) but even then I was bored without working. I need something to keep my mind more occupied than it is right now.

The bright side to the whole job searching thing is that I've had a few interviews lately (and have another one on Monday). Its gotten to the point where I'm having to apply at a few non-restaurant places. I applied for the Seafood clerk position at a grocery store and then I applied for the stocking postion at Target. I actually wouldn't be too opposed to working at Target because it means a discount for me when buying clothes, movies/cd/video games and/or cooking stuff. haha

Speaking of which I have been keeping myself busy cooking at home. Most days I seem to pull something out of my ass with what my parents have at the house but I have also been making stuff from the slew of cookbooks I have. The highlight of the "meals from cookbooks" for me was making fried chicken for my parents and the girlfriend. I LOVE fried chicken and the thought of possibly being able to eat alot of it this summer is kind of a draw to go back to LHC. Also I made a pretty good Guinness and Cheddar soup (with bacon of course). So at least I'm able to inspire myself a bit that way.

So yeah, I suppose thats life in a nutshell. Nothing else exciting to say really. haha

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Start of a New Year

So my prediction that I'd have a new job in a month was wrong. Here we are a month and 4 days later and I'm still looking. Obviously the job at the Brewery didn't happen. Since then I've sent out numerous resumes and have had an interview at a bakery/cafe owned by someone my dad knows. Beyond that I suppose following up on resumes is in order.

I shamelessly admit I haven't been working on job hunting as hard as I could be. Frankly after not having a "day off" the last semester of school, then working like crazy all summer it was nice to have a bit of a break. I had relatives in town for Christmas so it was nice getting to hang out with them without having to balance a work schedule. Also with the girlfriend being on Christmas break for school it was nice being able to hang out with her pretty frequently. I got to meet the rest of her extended family (her parents are divorced and remarried so she has four families) and I survived my first Christmas having to figure out presents and did pretty good. In return I got a pretty badass gift from her. AN ICE CREAM MAKER!! Only its not in stock yet so I still have to wait an undetermined amount of time. haha.

In return I of course have to make her ice cream once I do get it. Maybe I'll use it as a chance to try out bacon or prosciutto ice cream.....oh wait she reads this. Never mind. Beyond that I've just been trying to cook more and more just for the fun of it. I suppose the joy of cooking is what its all about. I seemed to have amassed quite a collection of cookbooks and its nice to make things here and there. And who knows it may inspire me to improve on/create recipes of my own. Job or no job I think it would be cool to do a "pop-up" or underground dinner sometime. And failing that just getting a bunch of friends together for a dinner would be pretty awesome.

So life goes on. I'm still alive and ticking. A new year has started and I think I'm going to have a hell of a time enjoying it