Saturday, December 31, 2005


Ok well we are going to a couple of parties tonight, and as of yet I have no sparkle.

Colleen is going to be all dressed with sparkly fun dress, which makes me think that I should probably do the same. At least some sparkly shoes and or a big sparkling hat, something fun.

We got some bagels, drank some coffee, and as of right now we are still sitting at the apartment. It is taking us a little bit of time to get ready, but I am not in much of a hurry, really what do I have to do of all that much importance today anyway right? So I will just take the day as it is dealt me and relax as much as I can.

I am seriously thinking about doing some sparkle shopping though, off to the East Village we are to go. Colleen also was talking about some crazy cheese shop, sounds right up my alley.

10:30 and the cat is hungry.

I am sitting in my friend shellbenna's room right now, which she was gracious enough to let me use while I am here. So while I get to sleep in the master bedroom of this 1850's Brooklyn brownstone, equipped with it's own private bathroom, she is sleeping on the futon. How did I get lucky enough to find friends like these? The cat slept up stairs with me, more like on top of me, which is ok. Now I just need to locate Yoshi's food somehow without waking everybody up. All of her roommates seem to be more of the late to bed, late to rise sort of people. The apartment is nice, although considering how much they spend for it, in my opinion a little overrpiced. The standards between what you can find here and the relative value for the money are quite different. They pay 2500 dollars a month for a three bedroom in Brooklyn, which to me seems crazy. I have been assured that it is a hell of a deal given the size and location, and listening to stories, it doesn't seem as though they are lying to me.

The city is crazy big, as I am sure anyone who has visited will agree, thought not quite as insane as Tokyo. We walked around and visited my favorite knife shop Korin which was better than I had envisioned. The knives they had were so freaking cool it just blew my mind. I only picked up one little petty, which ran me 120 dollars, as I have some knives coming to me from Osaka in the next few days. The petty I bought was one of the folded steel blades, so it has a cool stratified look on the blade surface.

Aside from that we visited Time Square which was over the top with people preparing for tonight's big ball drop. I think I might just stay as far away from that little area as possible, it was crazy enough last night. Both Shell and I were getting a little tired, she had to wake up at 3:45 and I at 4:30 so we just called it an early night and got pizza at the apartment. Colleen one of her roommates is watching her ex boyfriend's (long story) dog this week, so I went with her for a little stroll around the barrio. It was laid back and a lot more subdued than I would have guessed it to be, not really that many people out and about. We stopped to buy smokes (not for me), 6.50 a pack!! Madness I say.

I don't know when my flight is leaving on Tuesday, so I really should try and figure that one out. I was so hasty in getting ready to leave and everything, that I just picked up and left, not more normal prepared self.

(75% of the women out here are tucking their pant legs into their cowboy boots)

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Ok well I think I am finally ready, ready for what?

Heading to NY for the weekend of course.

I realized a couple of things, one I didn't have a decent winter jacket, at least one that doesn't look like I have ridden through 4+ Minnesota winters wiping snot on the sleeves each and every one, and I don't have a carry on bag. I am not going to be gone long enough to warrant checking a bag, so just packing a carry on with my clothes seems like the most prudent idea. So I had to buy a bag and a jacket, lucky for me there are clearance after x-mas sales literally EVERYWHERE, I mean it is just sick. I got a nice warm winter jacket, with all sorts of bells and whistles for 25 dollars. The best part about the jacket is the velcro on the sleeves, so you can get them nice and tight, and also the zippered pockets. I am a softy for zippered pockets, dunno why. I found a bag at target, over half off, simple but functional. I cannot say I am too fired up over the color, but I take what I can get.

I hope I have everything in hand at work for my trip, I tried to get all of my work done ahead of time, but there are some things that I just cannot do yet. I cannot do the sysco order yet, seeing as I will have a vague idea at best about what we are going to need this coming Monday. I implored upon my staff that they were to call me on Monday and go through every item before they enter the order in. I don't want to have some obscene amount of food on hand just because someone didn't know about this case here or that case there. I have a good understanding and idea of what we have on hand in the storeroom at all times, so even over the phone I should be able to help out a little.

Again with my low food cost, I don't remember if I mentioned it, but it is at the lowest level EVER in the history of the cafe. 10 years and no one has consistently kept the purchases at the level that I (supposedly) am keeping them at. That will go on ye ole resume for sure... I almost wish I could see the break down a little more on the micro level, just to scrutinize the data, make sure we aren't missing anything. Though when I think about how much money I am spending on food vs. how much the sales are, the numbers are about right. If it is true, lets just hope it stays that way right?

Now I should be getting to bed soon, the Cab is coming at 5:30 to take me to the Airport, I should be awake for that right?

Shitty thing is it is snowing right now, which I won't probably have enough time to do anything about, I just hope hereNT can help me if he gets the time. I am pretty opposed to the whole salting idea, and usually just keep things dry, in this case however I might just have to do some salting to loosen the ice when I get back.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

5 days.

Heck I think that is pretty much a record when it comes to time lapsed between my blog entries, go felipe.

So lots has been happening around here, well sort of.

First off there was the holiday, passed pretty much uneventful, which is for the best (trust me). It was nice, this year it wasn't near a focus upon the commercial giving of gifts and amassing of crap as in the years passed. This is mostly to do with the severing of the two families, so I didn't get any gifts from that side anymore. I would get something from all of her siblings, as well as parents and of course her. This year it was all family (and work), so that was nice. I have never been a big fan of x-mas, especially not to the degree that she was, call me a grinch or whatever.

I got some nice gifts, stainless track chain for my bike, teapot, pictures of myself as a silly youngster, it was nice. I shouldn't probably admit this to anyone, but one of the aforementioned pictures is in fact of Sr. Felipe around age 10 dressed up in Zoobas, with matching t-shirt. Now wonder I wasn't able to get many dates at that age, dressed like a neon zebra.

Work has been busy, crazy busy. Fun though, I like it when it is busy, so no worries.

Last night I did this little cooking thing for that girl I had talked about. She had a sit down dinner party, of which of course I did the majority of the cooking. I had the day planned at work to include nothing but prep work, so finding the time to prepare for a little dinner party for 13 people was tres facil. The hor's were great, although 22 year olds don't seem to fancy beets that much, their loss. The spicy pumpkin sweet potato soup with Cajun pepitas also again kicked ass. Then there was a salad with shaved fennel, blood oranges, pecorino romano, and toasted pinenuts. Then finally we had some of Felipe's fresh rolled paparadelli pasta, with either arugula, currant cashew pesto, artichoke hearts, SD tomatoes, and basil oil. For those meat lovers, we had some slow braised buffalo loin, cooked down with red wine, and your typical mirepoix, then served on that famous semolina pasta, with grano, basil oil, and some san marzano tomatoes.

I didn't make the dessert, but I just made it a little more refined. She made a cardamom cake which was pretty much a bundt cake a little spiced up. What I did, was quick saute some apples, with a little brown sugar (which got all caramelized naturally) then I took and made some maple vanilla crema. It was pretty simple, but it turned out freaking awesome.

I spend the majority of the night in the kitchen, which is how I like it. Staying in the kitchen alleviates my need to try and find something to talk about with people I hardly know. Gives me a purpose, passes the night quicker.

The girls friend was there, I ended up talking to her more than the girl I am supposed to be "seeing". Not that I have anything wrong with this new girl, but again she is younger than me. Her friend on the other hand, is my age almost exactly, and was married for almost the exact amount of time I was. So I have much more in common with her, but I don't think it would work out with her either. Really I don't know if I would want to see either of them, or anyone for that matter. Chilling con solo is how I envision my short term future. Then she called me (the young one) tonight to see if I wanted to come over and get some "present" she got me for doing all the cooking. I have too much going on right now, there is garbage to take out, laundry to fold, menus to work on, crap to do.

Tonight I took the little labrodoodle for a run, quick short but fun. The majority of the time, little Viggo was holding his leash in-between his teeth, pretty much fighting me the entire way. He wasn't into the whole running thing near as much as I was, but I think he will get better as he gets older. He has potential, and I think in time he is going to be a quick little devil. When he wasn't fighting me, there were fleeting moments of a speedy little viggo that shone through. In the moments of pursuit, where there was someone within eyesight in front of us, he would be tugging the leash and I would be doing my best just to keep up. He is just a few months old so I think when he is older, he will be quite the athlete. I tried my best to train him, stopping every 1/4 - 1/2 mile and give him a little treat, trying the positive reinforcement, encourage him to like the act of running.

Aside from that, I just have been bumming around the house, trying to keep stay relaxed. I am still trying to get ready for the NY trip, I haven't figured out exactly how I am getting to the airport, but it shouldn't be that difficult, being as I live just a couple of blocks from the lightrail station.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Food costing breaks from monotony.

I now am officially free from work for the first time in 21 days. Three weeks without a day off, sometimes working 14 hours in a day. Now I can rest, relax and just not work. I did tell them that if they get really busy, I am just a 7 minute bike ride away, I don't mind coming in and helping out if need be.

Also for some reason my food cost was has steadily dropped 3 percent in the past 3 weeks. That is a really big percentage, something must have not been entered into the spread sheet. I have been doing things just the same as always, so with it being a little slower than usual, my food cost should be higher not lower. Especially it should not be 3 whole percentage points lower, that is far too drastic. I won't complain that much about it, considering if it is an error, it makes me look better.


I didn't go bowling last night, BLB was just too dang busy. The night was instead spent over at the Herkimer, which isn't the most ideal place to be in my book, but whatever. It felt a little weird sitting at a table being the most senior one there, everyone else ranged in age from 21-23. I guess it doesn't matter that much, but it will take some getting used to.

The bike ride was nice, the superhighway was just a little icy, nothing crazy. Bit cold though.

I discovered something interesting about my iPod. I started the night with a full battery, which usually is more than enough to get me through at least the commute to and fro, given that the ride takes me usually 25 minutes each way. Tonight on the way back listening to The Hold Steady right at the part in "Multitude of Casualties" where he says "High as hell and shivering and smashed", my battery dies. I was only a couple of blocks away from my house at this time, so I didn't bother to figure out why, but I was a little baffled. After some searching, I learn that the Lithium Ion batteries that power those trendy little iPods just lose all their power under 32 degrees. But when those little molecules start to get moving again, the power is restored. So in order to keep this from happening again, I have to figure out where I can carry the iPod closer to my body, at least in the winter. Duck tape probably would work.

My chain is rusty, and getting worse every day. It sucks because I just put the new chain on a couple of weeks ago. There really isn't much you can do about it, winter in Minnesota tends to be harsh on components. Now I just need to decide if I should bother with constantly cleaning and lubing my chain as the season progresses, or just assume that it is a disposable item. I don't think I am in any danger of my chain strength getting compromised due to rust, and I ride enough that it should still move freely. So I might just let it get rusty and replace it come spring.

It was busy are work today, the money was as good as a normal Friday. Actually this whole week has been busier than normal, and more so than expected. The whole Christmas season comes to a head for us on Saturday, the orders are still coming in like crazy for cookies, pies, and all that crap. Sandy the baker who is on maternity leave came back for a couple of days, just to help out a little. Her shit is so fucking good, quite the talent there, you should see her Yule Logs, a thing of beauty. He sister (Sara) who also works there and who is equally talented told me something disturbing today. I guess Sara is going to take some of Sandy's breast milk and is going to make some soap from it. Breast milk soap? Sounded a little abnormal to me, but Sara spent the entire day trying to convince me that in fact it was quite normal. Deriving milk from animals she told me, is drastically more obscene. She might just have a point.

I spent my day helping the bakery make cookies and pies, that and cleaning/organizing the back room. No matter how much I try to keep things in order, if I don't keep up on it constantly, things just fall apart. Organizing all the mail and everything else in the office takes the most time, probably because I still don't know where everything goes.

Tracy bought us all sweet track jackets with the logo "B!rchwood Crew" on the back. If you saw it you too would want one, they are really that cool. Along with the new jacket I now have quite the plethora of branded merchandise Turtle Fur hat, sockguy socks, short and long sleeve t-shirts in various colors, bike hat, yoyo, ceramic mug, coffee mug, pint glass and last but not least thong.

Yes we have b!rchwood thongs, but they aren't available to the general public, I probably should not be saying anything about that though. We got a killer deal on them, like a buck a piece or something like that, how could you pass that up right? Too bad they don't have men's underwear, I still feel a little wired wearing a thong.

Just last week I was talking to Steven about Sous Vide, and here he is talking to the City Pages. Personally I think the more you sterile food becomes the further we get from what makes food great. Sure if you wanted to, you could dissect and disconstruct what we eat until it is almost impossible to discern what you started with. Hell there are people in Chicago who use their laser printer as much as their knives Moto. I can appreciated what they are doing, and it is true that there is quite the creative bug flying around in those circles. I just ask myself where is it all going? After the novelty of eating a glowing lightbulb spun from sugar or a piece of paper that tastes like veal, what is the allure? Perhaps I am just too much of a simpleton to appreciate such thing, but I just feel that at best this molecular gastronomy movement sweeping the world over right now is fleeting at best. There is no mass appeal, it only caters to the upper echelon of our society. We eat to subside and to live, I think we should be more concerned about how and where our food comes from than just how it is prepared. All this tinkering just seems like an exercise in futility, or just bored kids with little else to do, trying to prove something.

I still need to figure out what to get people for x-mas, so I should got off the computer now.

Monday, December 19, 2005


One thing I have always said I would like doing, is baking. When doing bakery work, you are basically working against the clock, there are no customers waiting, no waitresses bitching about orders, just you and the dough. So basically it is like doing prep work, of which I am exceedingly good at. Give me an insurmountable prep list and half the time required to get it done, and chances are I will fit something else in. Given that, it wasn't that big of a deal for me to have to spend a couple of hours this afternoon making cookies. See one of our wine reps decided that they would order 20 2 dozen pastry trays for delivery in 48 hours. So that means I don't have quite the amount of labor required to get everything done on time. The bakery has been stretched pretty thin since one of the bakers had a baby just 3 weeks ago. So with everyone in the bakery working overtime, there still isn't enough workers to get everything done. So that meant Sr. Felipe had to spend a couple of hours making fun bakery goods.

Now, that was how I ended my day, how it began was just silly.

The FOH manager who does all the scheduling is usually the one who works Monday mornings, helping out so we don't have to put a hourly person on the clock. Involved in his duties, is to get the register ready, so people can buy things, you know how we make money. He is in Madison for a couple of days, and neglected to schedule anyone except poor Laura to work all by herself. So we open at 7, and the next person on the schedule was at 8, so there was an hour that she was all by herself. That meant I had to figure out how to pull the reg. and help her get the restaurant ready for business. Poor planning eh?

Today I was trying to keep everything under control, which I did a good job of. All the little things that I have to do on a regular basis were done, and promptly. There was little or nothing left for me to do, then we got that order for all the cookies. The brought on a crying fit from the other baker (she is pregnant as well), so my day didn't end until later.

I got a call from that girl I went out with last night, I guess we are all (her friends and I) going to the BLB for her B-day on WED, so that should be fun. I am still anxiously waiting for a day off, this is getting tiresome just doing nothing but working.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Just saw that link on craigslist in the bikes section.

Hmm, will I order?

Fuck Yeah

First Date Part Deux.

Had that first date I have been talking about.

Now the thing about first dates in my experience, is that usually it is a time to get to know the other person, it isn't until later in which you delve deep into the depth of the craziness which that "new friend" really encompasses. Now the best locations to do things like this? Coffee shops are nice, perhaps over a meal at some average restaurant, or even just a drink. You should try and make sure that the scene isn't distracting from the getting to know that other person, or else the mind does wander. So choose a location where there will not be the many outside distractions.

Dating tips from the soon to be divorced guy eh? Take good notes people.

I would also like to take this moment to say that I did indeed have a good time tonight, but it wasn't what I would call a typical first date. See I went to her company Christmas (Holiday) party. So instead of being able to focus on the person who really I hardly know (still), I was stretched all around that well decorated suburban banquet facility. I met all of her bosses, friends, favorite waitresses, and enemies, all while getting to know this girl myself. In one such instance I learned that she was planning on moving to Denmark within the next 6 months or so. I discovered this little morsel of information when someone asked me what I was planning on doing when she left. Ok been there before, so I know how to field such a question, but what was I supposed to say in this situation? I just said I didn't quite know yet, not to divulge that we weren't yet "dating", I am sure everyone assumed we were a couple. Granted on the same token she learned about my impending divorce when another girl started talking about being in the same situation. I hate to say it, but really I think I would feel more comfortable with the girl who is soon to be legally single than the girl who already is. Something about mutual shared trauma that just allows people to bond on a different level. And I would say that divorce is quite traumatic, almost like a limb being severed, or dealing with a death of a love one. The thing about dealing with someone dying is that you get some support from the community around you, with divorce you sometime get that, but most of the time you have to deal with it yourself.

I think that is what some of the allure with the Edina girl was, although we knew the inevitable was bound to happen. Just we had both been there, having to explain what "it" feels like just wasn't needed. Getting past that hump can be harder than one would expect, unless you have been through something like a divorce, I don't see how you can get people to understand fully what it is like. Like your whole world is spiraling down the toilet and despite your efforts to save that shitty, puke strewn toilet water, it still goes down the tube. You still feel like you have enough of an attachment to that stinky water, that you really care that it goes down the drain, even if it will do nothing but get you sick and stink up your house.

So I am probably going to go out with this girl again, although I don't know quite where it will lead. Another problem is the age difference, she turns 23 here in 3 days. So I am almost 5 years older than she is, the is out of my normal age range. It seems more socially acceptable for men to date women younger than themselves, so I shouldn't really consider that a hindrance.

One thing I will probably do though, is help her throw a "dinner party". There is one planned for the 26th of December, of which I was just invited. Now, you know that there is no way in hell that Sr. Felipe will go to such an event without planning the entire thing and doing the majority of the cooking. If nothing else it will be an ego boost, cooking for 6 women in their early 20's is like shooting fish in a barrel right? I already have started planning the menu out in my head, she told me there was a buffalo roast in her freezer that was earmarked for such and occasion. I am thinking red wine and garlic braised buffalo with oven roasted thyme gnocchi, and chevre. Not really that haute by today's standards, but really simple and impressive nonetheless. I can taste that buffalo meat falling apart in my mouth as I speak (write). The more I do this cooking thing, the more I can taste the dishes before I even cook thing, weird huh?

I didn't bike at all today, I feel bad about that.

Black and Blue or Pink and Reddish/Orange

My toe looks freaking nasty, I mean like gross. If I had a camera I would take a picture (as well as of my phantom bikes), it might just disturb some of the more squeamish of my readership though. The whole thing is covered by this dark purple bluish bruise, it looks like an infected birthmark or something. On a more positive spin though, it doesn't really hurt much anymore, unless I press on it. I don't know for sure if that is a good thing though, it might just be that my toe is getting ready to fall off, and my nervous system just preemptively severed all ties with the largest digit on my left foot. Most likely it is that despite appearances, it is in fact getting better.

I am still not ready for that "Date" I have tonight, I don't even know what I am going to wear. At one time I had a suit jacket, lets hope it isn't infested with water bugs and smelling like moth balls. I really hate dressing up, why can't I just wear my tattered "One Less Car" t-shirt and my rolled up Saver's jeans? The party is for some upscale furniture designer company, so despite my best efforts, I am almost certain I will be underdressed. It isn't like I had that much time to plan ahead either, then again even if I did, chances are best I wouldn't have been that proactive about it. I have a bit over two hours left to figure things out, really I should be fine right?

In Christmas news, I finished my shopping for those Montana folk in less than an hour. All I did was buy B'rchwood merchandise such as T-Shirts, Turtle Fur Hats, Ceramic Coffee Mugs, and such. The cutest crap I bought was for the newest addition to the "Werst" family, our little niece. Tracy ordered all these onesies and cute little baby hats with our logo on them. So hopefully our little niece will be sporting some "B!rchwood Pride" here within the next week or so. If you could see how freaking adorable the pink baby clothes are you would fucking die, shit I am getting sappy here. I also snagged the last of the bright reddish orange t-shirts for myself, because you know my narcissistic self can never go shopping without at least a little self indulgence.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I just was forwarded the itinerary for my little trip to NYC, so the tickets have been bought. I am going to be there for four nights, one of them being the 1st. Not the longest trip in imaginable, but probably will be nice to just get out of town for a while. Any longer and I am sure I will end up grating upon ShellBenna's nerves. Having people who aren't familiar with a place is probably a bit like baby sitting, although I will do my best to be self sufficient. A least in a city like New York, there have to be ample opportunities to get oneself blissfully lost. If she gets fed up with me, I am sure she could just drop me off in a museum for a day or two. The MOMA is supposed to be chuck full of modern art, as well they are supposed to have a decent new restaurant.

12 Monkeys, Bruce Willis just got reprimanded for engaging in Anti-Social sex, would that be Masturbation?

It was a slow night tonight, at least we had a busy Breakfast/Lunch, that helps the money out a little bit. I cannot help but feel personally responsible for when we aren't super busy, even though I know it isn't all related to what I do. I make sure all things flow nice and smooth and that we aren't going broke buying the food, but I am not always the only one who is to blame when we aren't slammed. December tends to be a little on the slower side anyway, and really the net sales aren't in a dire state. It just means I need to be more careful with my food purchases and labor. Sending people home, and trying to not over order, takes some getting used to. For the last 3 months, we have consistently been selling a certain level of whatever product, now I just need to adjust and take into account what we are going to sell.

But enough about my job.

That's why they chose me, I remember things

But I should finish my movie, finish my laundry, sleep, etc.


Work was slow last night, the ride home was easy. Things got helluva lot colder in a short period of time, so the slush and water that we on the roads quickly turned to ice. In some places even, glare ice, black ice, however you care to call it. Coming to a stop at the intersection of 26th st and 36th ave the ice was slippery enough to scoot my wheels 8 inches left while the bulk of my weight stayed firmly put in the center. It was very close to a fall, but somehow I worked my way out of it, chalk it up to luck I guess.

I got home around 1:30-2:00 after hitting up the Hex with Jer and Ro. Faux Jean was playing, I had heard their music about a bazillion times on Radio K but that was the first time in concert. Also it was the first time I had ever been to the Hexagon, it started becoming hipster central within the time I quit drinking, lots of concerts and the like. Nice place to hang out, cheap beer, free music, nice "scenery", and only 1.5 miles from where I live. Chances are pretty good that the Hex will become one of my after work haunts, heck everyone else already hits the place up after getting off work.

After I got home, I was cooking up a little bite to eat (quesdillas). I got a call and had to run upstairs to grab the phone. In the process of sprinting up the stairs, I jammed my big toe pretty dang hard into the top step. Now my toe is all black and blue and hurts like a bitch. I am considering driving to work, but it might be just as hard on my food to operate the clutch as it would be to pedal. Either way I am going to have to wear my stiff soled boots, which aren't nearly as warm as my gigantic softer soled boots. Wish me luck that I didn't break my toe, my insurance doesn't start until the first of next month.

Friday, December 16, 2005


So that date where I was supposed to go bowling or something low key like that has changed a little.

Now instead if going somewhere I would be able to ride my bike to, I get to accompany this girl I hardly know to her company x-mas party. This means dressing up in a suit, and being nice and presentable, fuck.

I won't really even be able to take full advantage of the free happy hour, not with having to worry about driving home and all that. It will be interesting I think, lets just hope I have a good time.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Winter Biking.

To those not currently living in Minneapolis, it is snowing right now. Not just right now, but it has been snowing for almost the past 48 hours with little respite. At first the temperature was sitting just around the freezing point, so the snow the fell was heavy and slushy. Slushy bike riding can be fun, but also a little messy at times. Like I mentioned yesterday, I got sprayed on more than one occasion as I was passed on the road yesterday.

Now something that was fun about riding around on those slippery slushy roads last night? Skidding was quite a bit mas facil como regular, to the point where I literally could pull off a good 25 footer while still seated. It really was quite perfect for skidding, the roads were just wet enough and icy enough that you didn’t have to worry that much about falling over, but still had that nice layer of lubricant between the rubber and the asphalt.

I did my riding downtown to see the 35th First Avenue anniversary party. It was really a hell of a show, crowded and full of craziness. I am realizing that the longer I stay in this town, the more people I see randomly out and about. It was a little strange, one of my cooks was there, and he was all excited about introducing me to his roommates and buying me a beer. On the same token, I saw one of my old bosses, and remembered times I was just as excited to introduce him to my friends at the Triple Rock once upon a time. Have things really gone full circle like that? To a certain extent it still feels awkward being the “boss” but I am getting more and more accustomed to it as the time passes.

The music was good, The Hold Steady really kicked ass, and there was some good hip-hop in the Entry. I have come to the realization that I don’t care much for the Jayhawks though, just not my scene. They just aren’t really my style of music; they seem just like annoying whinny music snobs. There were some other good bands, but I don’t recall any names. Oh, Curtis A was doing some illegal substance abuse up on stage in the entry right in front of everyone. He followed that smoking with slamming a Jameson on the rocks. This guy was older than my dad, but still he was partying it up like a Cub Scout.

I had a few beers, watched some good music, and had a good time. I left a little earlier than I would have liked, but I was getting a little sleepy from waking up at 5 to install the new range. It was 12:30 when I changed back into my boots and started to head on home. Even with my minor stupor, and with the roads how they were, I still got home in one piece. I had expected to crash at least once, but luckily I was able to get back without so much as a close call. I had toyed with the idea of just spending another half hour or so just riding around and playing in the snow, but sleep got the best of me.

Today I had to do some driving, and compared to last night on the bike I was frightened. It just felt more out of control being behind the wheel of a car compared to being soundly in the pedals. When riding a bike, there is just such a stronger and more subtle connection to the road, every slip, every bump, every little nuance in the road. Driving I just felt such a disconnection to everything going on, I didn’t like it.

Also I got stuck in traffic bringing my fake Christmas tree to my little sis. It took literally 25 minutes to get from 26th and Lyndale to 24th and Lyndale, 2 blocks, 25 minutes. I almost parked the car and carried it the rest of the way.

Quick note, I finally can try the wine I made a little over 2 years ago. It was my first (and only) attempt at making wine, and I did so with the plums from the tree in my backyard. I must say it tastes better than I remembered, but last time I tried it

Aside from that things are good, I already have the new menu ready and all my prep lists menu guides ready in anticipation.

Also I finally am going to get a day off next week. My last day off was the first of December, and I pretty much have been working at least 8 hours each day. With the exception of today where I only worked 4 hours, felt like a day off at least. I have 23-26th off, so three whole days. Granted that will be after working a spell of 22 days straight, it will be nice. Then I come back for 4 days and get another 3 or 4 days off to spend in NYC. Things do seem to be looking up, at least for right now. Who really knows how I my opinion will change next week, volatile should be the word of the year.

(Oh and my bike weighs at least 10 pounds extra with built up ice and snow.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

New Oven Again

So to those not in the know, my new oven kicks serious booty.

Like big time, jiggly, sometimes smelly booty.

First things first the commute.

This morning it wasn't so bad, after I remembered that virgin powder is much easier to traverse than packed down wet snow. Even so my upper body got a better workout than my legs did today, just trying to keep myself stable was a chore.

The way home was easy as well, some routes were plowed at least enough to make it easier. What was difficult about the way home had more to do with passing cars and slush flying up into my face. By the time I made it home, my left side was feeling a little wet and chilly. I still had on the back of my mind the fact that I had not yet shoveled my walkway, always an arduous task. See if I haven't mentioned before, I live on a corner lot, so I have about three times the normal city shoveling area. Add to this the fact that I am too cheap to buy a snow-blower, shoveling just sucks. I made some calls (more about that later) and started to think about heaving the wet, heavy snow. I walk out the door, Ipod in pocket, shovel in hand and mentally prepared for the task at hand. What do I see? Two teenagers with shovels in their hands, asking me if I need my walk done.

The price you ask?


Um, hell yeah.

So now I am here typing this, while those little ones (although bigger than myself) are busy shoveling.

I have to say that it is 20 dollars well spent in my book.

So who was I calling? My friend Shell out in NYC of course. Seems that Tracy is very keen on the idea of me getting out of the city for a couple of days, to the degree that she is willing to buy me a ticket. So it looks like I might be NY bound for the new year. I have never been there before, so it should be fun.

I am guessing that NYC is quite the happening place to be as we throw out the old and usher in the new year.

In other news, I started drinking again.

37,670,400 seconds
627,840 minutes
10,464 hours
436 days
62 weeks (rounded down)

I don't really know how long this stint of drinking will last, but it is at least noteworthy. I just miss going out and having fun with people, and despite my best efforts, it just isn't the same without at least a drink or two. Call it a personal flaw if you will, but I don't think I am the only one afflicted by such.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Drunken Vulcan


Click that above to see my new range. It is the endurance model which is the newest line of ranges released by Vulcan. I ordered it about 2 months ago, and finally today it arrived. Unfortunately when I took the specs as a guideline to see if the range would fit through the door, I was just about 1/2 an inch off. Well to my credit it wasn't that I was that far off, it is just that the spec sheet didn't say anything about the 1 inch protruding gas line coming out of the rear. So I had to spend about an hour outside taking apart the front of the range in order to remove the little ledge so I would be able to pass through the door. This also meant that I had to spend another 1/2 hour of so putting it back together after I was finally successful. Not the biggest deal, but I had to get it done before I left work.

Up until now we had to use a little 4 burner stove, which got full so fast it wasn't even funny. Now at least I have 6 burners to work with, which is better than we had it before.

So that makes me happy, which I think I needed. Things have been getting more and more dire in my perception of my life, so I take the good when I can.

Another good thing that happened today, actually while I was being all manly taking apart commercial ranges. This girl who frequents the bi-rch-woo asked me out, so that is cool right? Who doesn't like being asked out anyway? She seems really cool, although I don't know her that well yet. She just today gave her speech for her final project, so I think technically she is a college graduate now. Yeah, she is a little younger than me, just about 5 years or so.

Oh I am about this close to starting drinking again, not because I miss the booze or anything like that. Really what I miss more is socializing with people, and most everyone I know does so with alcohol. Maybe this is just some way of justifying drinking again, when really I should just focus on staying sober. But I don't really see the harm in starting again, when I quit I never really felt like I had that big of a problem with it, but it was a big part of my life.

I can always quit again if I feel like I am getting out of control, one thing I am good at is quitting.

OH!! I almost forgot, I was quite proud of myself this morning. When I picked up the Coastal order, I did so on my bike. I had just a tad over 10 pounds of cod wrapped tight in my messenger bag as I rode back to the Cafe. Lucky for me, I didn't have any leakage or spills, so my bag still smells like bike grease.

Yesterday I drove to work, knowing I would have to pick up the fish. Then come time when I went over to pick the order up, and they didn't yet have my Organic Shetland Farms Salmon in yet. So they ended up just driving it over themselves later on in the day. It wasn't an entire loss though, I brought them a bunch of breakfast pastries as a little gift.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Something has always bugged me. Always might be a little of an exaggeration, but at least for as long as I have lived here in Minneapolis. Heck, even that isn't true, really just only as long as I have lived here in this house. Just a block from my nice "cozy" So-mini bungalow is a middle school. Probably grades 5-8 or something in that range. It is easy to judge their ages based upon one their size (the girls are tall) and secondly how their mouths freely spit obscenities. From my childhood, I remember it was about that age when I started feeling more "grown up" with using such language.

Tom Waits' "I don't wanna grown up" just randomly shuffled on my iPod right when I typed "grown up" creepy.

What bugs me really doesn't have anything to do with children and their cussing, even though as I get older that does bug me. I don't really feel like I am in much of a position to do anything about it, even if I could do I care that much? Shit, it isn't like I am a nun myself or anything, with the exception of when I am around children I am just as bad as those kids. My philosophy has always been that they are going to learn it eventually, why do they need to learn it from me.

On now, to what really bugs me. As I think a little harder about it, perhaps bug is a little strong of a word, or at least not exactly indicative of my emotions. Saddened is probably a little better of a term to describe it. That school a block away, doesn't have a playground at all. Instead, where you would normally have the grass, jungle gym, shit like that, has all been paved over. During the day time, you see children out there, playing the best they can. Tossing footballs, playing tag, etc. all on blacktop. I cannot profess to having the fondest memories looking back upon my time growing up, and I never really looked forward to recess. At least back then, where I went to school we at least had grass to sit on, not fucking cement.

My real question that I would like answered is whose idea was it in the first place to pave over the grass. At one point in time, I am fairly certain that the little plot of land wasn't always paved over. At one time there was grass and probably dandelions proliferating damn near everywhere. So someone had to decide that it would be a good idea to just cover the entire area with asphalt and call it good. My guess is a disgruntled maintenance worker, got sick of mowing.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

4 Bikers, or 5%

So sorry about not really wanting to post anything for a while, I just have been feeling a little off.

Things going on..

Well my bike kicks ass, although I still haven't been able to grab a camera in order to take any photos. As well I also still have not had the chance to ride my super cool Trek 720, although I do sit on it and daydream. Imagining I am cruising around, no responsibility, nothing to do but sit and ride. Really could it get much better than that?

I missed my buddy Shawn's B-Day last night, I passed out and wasn't able to revive myself quick enough to answer the phone. I guess when he went out to the CC club he got himself in a little brawl. He was just sitting at a booth, hitting on some women or perhaps the other way around. Some guy sucker punched him while he was sitting down and was looking away, fist hard right above the eyeball. According to him, he just started laughing which pissed of whoever hit him, then his friend Jackie who is tiny intervened and this guy tried to hit her. At this Shawn jumped up and put this asshole in a headlock and started running him into shit. Then they almost all got kicked out, but luckily one of the bouncers saw the whole thing and let Shawn and his friends stay. No black eye for Shawn, but a inch long gash above his eye, which is probably worse.

Feel the love right?

Work news,

I kicked Roots to the curb...

I am really happy about that.

The new company is nice, I do all of my ordering online, so I know what all the prices are when I am ordering. Roots wasn't really forthcoming about giving up to date price lists, so sometimes I wouldn't have a clue that some price had drastically increased until I received the product. On more than one occasion I would send some product back after I saw the price. That did become more and more difficult as they had started a practice of having the first sheet of the invoice written as so that you couldn't actually see the price until you looked at the subsequent pages.

That is all water under the bridge now, roots is no more. What is worse, as I have mentioned before Roots was bought out by some company out of New Jersey, so they aren't even local. At least the new company is local, and our rep has visited 3 times in the last week, even eating breakfast this morning. Compare that to our rep at Roots, who no one has ever met.

So we are happier now.

We had the bike team party tonight, seemed to go well. Tracy was getting a little sauced, which probably was good for her. She is pretty stressed out all of the time, so letting go is a good thing right? The food seemed to go well, they were eating quite a bit, and I didn't hear any complaints.

As for how many of the 78+ RSVPs we had rode their bikes? Well look at the title of the post, 4 only 4. It wasn't even that cold today, at least not comparatively. So only 5% of our bicycle team are year round commuters?

Well bed time now.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bike Team.

Quick little note, I am supposed to be working on Menus right now, instead I am blogging.

To all of you ladies on our bike team, just wanted to say that a couple of us were disappointed in you all this last weekend. You had a meeting to help with winter conditioning, so that come spring you would be in tip-top form. You had a meeting, and I know it was cold out, but not a single one of you rode your bike to attend.

I can understand if you live far out, but at least a couple of you are situated well within cycling distance of the cafe. Furthermore, I am certain that some of you do in fact bike year round. I found out last night talking to one of my cooks who was doing prep that night. Once he heard that there was a meeting going on with the Women's bike team, he was eager to see what kind of bikes they ride. On his smoke break, he went out to take a quick gander and to his dismay he say nothing but cars with bike racks on them.

Not a single bicycle.

Doesn't matter that much, just saying.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bowling Scores.

Quick Recap.


Really did any of you know I was even decent at bowling? I sure didn't.

Just call my "The Dude" from now on and I will be happy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cold Fingers.

I didn't realize quite how cold it was tonight until I was out in it. I don't have a TV, hadn't really listened to the radio, or even checked the net. Also my normal commute is so short that by the time I am starting to feel cold, I am there. Tonight I headed into uptown to check with one of my friends who's job might be closing down here soon. I cannot go into too many details, even to who it is, but needless to say it was pretty shattering news for this particular person. Not everyone who works there knows what is going on yet, so I don't want to start spreading rumors. If you think you know enough of my friends to narrow it down, you are probably wrong. Don't forget I do know quite a few people given I have lived here for the last seven and a half years.

Down to it, I rode into uptown, about 4-5 miles to where I was going, and it was cold the entire way. I wasn't as prepared for it as I guess I could or should have been. I was just wearing one large pair of gloves, with nothing underneath. My torso was well insulated, underarmor turtleneck base layer, shirt, sweater, and large jacket made it so my arms and body was warm. I did wear two pairs of socks, one being cold weather specific wicking, the other being regular coolmax. I didn't wear my biggest pair of boots, and really I should have. My toes got a little chilly in my Northface pseudo boots. I don't really know why I haven't broken into my large rated to -25 boots I bought at Kaplan Bros a few years back. When I wore those, even on the coldest days I never had a problem.

Head gear was all ok, face mask, wicking birchwood hat, helmet etc. I didn't bring my goggles, but was fine without them.

Once in uptown, I stopped by Ragstock and bought myself 2 pairs of cheap cotton gloves to go under my own. Though even with 3 layers of gloves my fingers were a bit frigid on the ride home.

I just need to better accustom myself to riding distances longer than a mile on my bike. I have been spoiled living, working and shopping all within a few mile radius of my house, I am getting soft.

Bought a new KitchenAid today. 475 watt motor, bad ass red color. We have decided upon naming her Stella, although I don't know why, the name just seems to fit. Bought her from Costco, I took Tracy there to check the place out, and put her on my membership. It was a little odd, Tracy didn't want to drive even though my car was still at home. So I drove her car with her in the passenger seat, which I guess isn't the biggest deal, just a little strange.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Just so you know, my back is still sore from shoveling outside my house as well as in front of the cafe. When taking in account of how nice having a corner lot is, at least in comparison to the enclosed house on either side alternative. Just think about the extra side walk required come winter time.

So this morning wasn't that busy, turns out brunch is pretty damn easy. The hardest part was just getting ready, and waking up after working that double shift yesterday.
I made a pretty good savory bread pudding with Calabrese sausage, roasted red peppers and junk like that, it sold pretty well. There were only a few orders left by the time I went home, (I left when there was just about an hour of service to go).

I rode around causing trouble on my new winter bike, I am hesitant to refer to it as a beater, I think really it deserves a better moniker than that. I think a more apt description would be winter utility bike, as I cannot think of a situation in which I wouldn't be able to ride it. Don't worry I will have pictures of my WUB here soon, I have to take pictures of the bike I am trying to sell anyway. I stopped by the hub and got myself some new fenders and a new chain. I must have been out of the loop for a while, they were selling all variety of fancy colored anodized chains. Too bad the new bike is of gray/black in color scheme, I wouldn't mind rocking some bling-bling on my drive train. As is I just opted for the simple standard blackish chain, and it looks nice.

I was going to head over to this Thanksgiving party (late I know), but wasn't able to find the damn thing. After about 20 minutes riding around, I decided to just call it a night and get home before my fingers got too incredibly frigid. I really need to get a thin pair of gloves to go under my current gloves, I think that might help.

I was trying not to eat too much, given that thanksgiving parties usually are of impressive gastronomic proportions. When it came to pass that I didn't get dinner, I ordered a sub from a local shop, next to a liquor store, you know the one. They said it would be about 45 minutes, as the driver had just left. I get a call about 50 minutes later, the driver was having some problems, and still wasn't back at the store. My order would take at least another 45 minutes, so I say fuck it all and just cancel the thing. Now I am drinking green juice and scouring my house looking for something edible. My fridge is empty, I might have some chips and salsa though.

Things just haven't been going my way lately, it is getting decidedly more difficult to keep my bountiful optimism I always try to maintain.

Yeah I still want that beer too.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Two New Bikes.

So I bought a couple of new bikes.

Pictures will hopefully be to follow, but this is dependent upon buying or borrowing a camera from someone.

The first is for my impending tour around the globe, 1986 Trek 720. The bike is as pristine as any I have ever seen, I feel lucky to own it. Long wheel base, braze-ons for near anything you could want, including THREE water bottle cages. Even the paint is in great condition, considering the age. The only thing that shows any wear were the gum hoods on the brake levers, they were cracking just plain old. I just took them off and wrapped the new bar tape around to create a little hand-hold so I will not have to be holding cold metal. I put fenders and a rear rack on, so I am a few steps closer to being ready for my trip.

And none too soon, because frankly I am a little frustrated at work. I just cannot remember the last time I had a "good" day at work. Everyday without fail there is some damn issue or problem that I have to deal with. Since I am in charge, that means that without fail I am the one who has to figure out and correct every damn problem that arises.

BTW Roots and Fruits is the most pathetic poorly run piece of shit company that I have EVER ordered from throughout my entire career. Furthermore they can fuck off and die, I have little respect for them right now, and as soon as I can I am going to completely 86 all ordering from them.

Get this, so there wasn't an order put in Thursday for Friday, which really isn't a big deal, you have a couple of hours in the morning to get an afternoon delivery lined up. So I called, at 8:30 shortly after they phone lines open, and tried to talk to a representative about getting a delivery. The kind lady on the phone informed me that every one of the reps was in a meeting.

Ok think about this, they took every last rep away from the phones and made them unavailable at the same time.

Smart planning eh?

Then I finally got a return call at about 10:10 where "Rob" (ext 62144 btw) informed me that it wouldn't be a problem getting an afternoon delivery. So I placed the order.

He called back a few moments later to tell me they didn't have a couple of items, nothing important or critical so I just let it slide.

I go home (afternoon), start working on bikes.

5:30 I get a call from work, the roots order never showed. We were out of all sorts of crap, I had to go to the Co-Op and buy mixed greens, the eight I ordered never showed. The lines were of course closed by that time so we couldn't get anyone to tell us why the order never came. I buy some more "groceries" from costco and call it good for the night.


(Oh I went to an Art opening that was cool)

Wake up, go to work and wait patiently watching the clock to call that Rob bastard to figure what the fuck happened. I was a little pissed by that point, still am really. Before the lines open, Roots shows up. I was hoping a little bit that this would be the case, that for some reason the order was entered in the wrong day, or didn't get processed in time. So I check the invoice and start to get ready to put everything away.

Something is really off.

Instead of organic produce and a few bakery goods, this order is full of milk, cheese, cream and mostly dairy goods.


Somehow, my order was 100% wrong, although it was correctly entered under our account. Not even close, one day late, and over priced.

I was fuming, about as angry as I had ever been towards a company.

They did end up getting my crap out to me, just not until 3 o'clock. A tad late I would say, but better than never. JP offered to loan me a couple of cases of greens if it would have gotten to that point.

I ran around this afternoon to buy parts for my other new bike (winter bike). I gathered all the parts I needed and started getting greasy in my bike room. Right after I got the BB, stem, seatpost, brake caliper, lever, stem, and wheels on the bike, my phone starts ringing. Hmm, work calling... Should I answer? I do of course, although I wish I wouldn't have, though it wouldn't have helped me any. The supervisor who's last day would be tomorrow had to leave work, his girlfriend's water broke.

Yeah good for them and all, and not to be selfish, but it pissed me off. Not that I am bitter towards happy couples (I am) or anything like that. It is just that I had already put in a 8 hour shift, and getting that call meant that not only would I have to work tonight, but that I would have to work tomorrow morning as well. My hands were still greasy and the bike was only half finished, I still had to put the cranks on, switch to platform pedals, and deal with the chain. Oh, cannot forget about bartape, and installing lights. I was able to finish all the tasks within about 20 minutes, and the bike was ready to go.

The ride over to work was nice, snowy, slick, cold, perilous, but nice. I didn't crash, which in the winter is my litmus test for a good ride.

Work sucked, I didn't leave till 9:30, and I had to figure out what I was going to do for the brunch menu. So far I have been lucky enough to not have had to work any brunch shifts, and that is I how like it. Brunch is about the most pain in the ass weekly event for I would guess every restaurant on the planet.

I should shower now, I smell like food, grease, sweat, with a touch of stinky labrodoodle. I took Viggo for a walk this afternoon.

And I want a beer...

BTW the new winter bike is a Takara, which funnily enough I think is made by Kuwahara, due to the drop-outs and headset being marked as such. Kuwahara was the brand of my first SS bike I built up a couple of years back. I ended up selling the frame to Stacey (see left) and I have been missing it ever since. Great for winter, slightly longer wheelbase and indestructible.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Slight Headache

The weaning myself off of coffee thing is going ok, I am down to about a cup each morning and tea and/or decafe the rest of the day. The constant steam of caffeine I have become accustomed to have running through my veins isn't near to where I would like it, but I can deal.

Hasn't really done much for my stress level though, I still am all stressed out and I don't really know why.

Ok well I know why right now, so I have this supervisor who is quitting right, not a big deal I can find someone else. Not only can I find someone else, I already have found someone else, and I basically had him waiting in the wings from before I even knew anyone was leaving. The problem comes in that the guy who is leaving has convinced one of the line cooks that he was in line to get promoted to the supervisor position. The cook is question is a really nice guy, don't get me wrong, but he isn't really the quickest on his feet when it comes to prep. So I had to either do the nice thing and promote someone who I knew I would have to babysit, or just bring in someone I know will already by self-sufficient. Now I feel like a bit of a jerk, knowing that this guy is expecting to be promoted, and knowing that it isn't going to happen.

Then again the cook in question never even expressed to me that he was interested in the position. Correct me if I am wrong, but one should take a little initiative when trying to get a promotion, if even at a small little place.

So I get to be the bad guy, again.

And lately EVERYONE has been yelling at me about scheduling, no one seems to be happy with how I have things. Shitty as it may be, I really cannot accommodate everyone, time to develop a thick skin and just be a jerk.

Back to bikes,

HereNT, I actually am going to be talking to Tom about a bike this afternoon, some Trek 720 touring bike in near perfect condition, from the 80's but built like a tank. I am a little worried that it might be a size or two too big for me, I think it is a 61 cm. He has been posting some ads on craigslist in the last few months, and as luck would have it, he posted on yesterday.

I would rather have the bike situation firm in hand before I even think about leaving the states, at least that way I can ride away from the airport.

Another possibility instead of taking months and months off, is to take just 2-3 weeks off and bum around Amsterdam, would be fun in the springtime, check out the tulips.

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