Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I wrote this letter to my mom last week and it turned into what might be a manifesto. A couple of months ago I took a three Tuesdays a month gig tending bar. I did it to keep up my skills and stay connected to the front line of service. I was looking for something to help me stay current but I got something else, too.


I've been watching Breaking Bad a lot recently, along with a bunch of Mad Men and it seems at least for men all that matters in the world sometimes is being happy doing what you love.

So tired yesterday when I finally got out of work, plus just overworked around the retirement home; all the residents get grumpy during Passover...then again actually everyone kind of laments Passover, I'm sorry and don't mean to offend but anyone who knows about it will agree: its a monumental pain in the ass.

We build tents for Sukkot, which is in the Fall. You're catching on! :) Anyway, got home from work at the retirement home at 645pm, and walked next door to work the bar before 7pm, straight up punchy tired. The bar got busy with friends and neighbors at 8pm, and then a post concert crowd came in around 10pm, good cool people.

 I could not have been happier, laughing, joking and making drinks for everyone. I like to entertain, I like knowing what people need before they do. And I'm really fucking good at it.

 I'm successful and happy these days because I absolutely love the HR, the scheduling and managing my big crazy staff of waiters at the Summit. Because I make (mostly) a lot of otherwise cranky old farts happy, run a smooth floor and because a few times a month after I'm done there I rock a party at the bar next door. So many friends show up that if there's someone at the bar who isn't part of the our circle, they leave that way.

 It took a long time to be OK with being so into Hospitality, all the vaguely negative letters from grandparents, "you don't really want to be just a waiter, now do you?"

Yep, I do.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stir Fry Soup

I admit it. I over-indulge at Pike Place rather often. I buy a lot of great vegetables. I use Franks Produce. No one else.  So I always have lots of veggies on hand.
I awoke yesterday morning to the feeling that perhaps I had swallowed an extraordinarily large oyster shell and so instead of going down to the Sculpture park for Fuel Theory I called a cab and went up to Grouphealth’s Capitol Hill urgent care. I was thinking since it was 5am I could probably get in and out quick. Unfortunately there was a man (I know all the following because clearly he left his hearing aid at home, requiring the doctors to speak to him loud enough for me to hear several rooms away) who was having a heart attack who came in a few minutes before me. I hope he’s doing OK.
After I escaped the labyrinth halls of GH I headed home.  I should mention there is a game I play with myself: Fritter lotto. Here’s how you play. Walk past Top Pot on 4th, the monorail rattle-whooshing overhead. If there are more than three people in line, keep going. If not you get to go in and get one of the most delicious apple fritters ever. Today I won.  I doubled down with a raspberry old-fashioned so I wouldn’t be empty-sticky-handed when I came home to my girlfriend. By mid-day the fritter had worn off and I was thinking of what to make to sooth my throat that would also be flavorful enough to satisfy.

Belltown is severely lacking in the budget Pho department. 

Here’s the recipe for what I made yesterday: Stir Fry Soup
Large fry pan or the wok if you feel  up to it
Stock pot with 3 cups of water set to boil.

One breast of chicken.   Slice it thin then slice those slices into large tiles of chicken. Set aside.
Three cloves of garlic chopped
Thumb sized knot of ginger peeled and chopped
About a ¼ cup of course chopped onion
Chinese five spice 1Tsp
Red Pepper Flake 1TSp
Thyme ½ TSP
Chicken Stock 1 cup
Soy Sauce
Package of ramen noodles
Water chestnuts from back of the pantry –bonus!

Saute the garlic, ginger, and onion in 3 Tb of olive oil and 1 Tb of sesame oil
Add the chicken, red pepper flake, Thyme and Chinese five spice when the onion and garlic are translucent

Add chopped vegetables. I used typical soup stuff, but feel free to experiment.

Sauté until vegetables are soft. Hit it with a dash of soy sauce. At this point you are looking at a decent stir-fry.  Pour in the chicken stock and let it simmer.
Meanwhile over here at your boiling pot of water:
Add the ramen. I had a package and an half of noodles, one had a seasoning packet and I added that to the water at the same time as the noodles. Boil three minutes. Remove pot from heat, do not drain.
Add stir fry to the stock pot and serve, season with Siracha or Sambal, sit on the living room floor and watch Bravo until you feel better.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dream Fragment 3

The coin tumbles in the ether black of the water. Heads. Tails. Heads. Twisting past strings of black pearls and bio-luminescence, the unflinching face of the coin flickers like so many mackerel caught in the half light of the night moon’s occasional penetrating gloom. Landing at last on the jagged reef; An astronaut stranded in a cratered lost place. Now a member forever of the unclaimed, the missing and the drown. Countless coins, thousands of beautiful women and millions of torn and rotting ships named for women now call him home. He calls them home too, nestled in the fetid breast of this angry oceanic garbage slough.  Will he pass from the colon of this black sea some day? Spat back into a place of light? Or is there a place more dark than this? 

The boy struggles to wake. He knows or hopes he is sleeping, and wants not to be here any longer than he has already been. Too far to return would he just die? Fear comes over him again and wrestles greedy fingers into the meat of his soul. He is hemorrhaging and strength is leaving him, seeping into the dark sand near the reef. He looks up at the stars and wonders which of them is his home. The wasted copper capsule of his spacecraft nearby has already begun to decompose. The Milky Way is made up of tiny fish that flash quickly as they turn and disappear leaving the absolute darkness felt only when the zeppelin of a nightmare passes blotting out all thought of light. 

The pain is stunning and rips a hole in the nightmare. Some bird is tearing a hunk of his head, its chunky beak and head thrashing back and forth to dislodge his ear from the tattered remains of his cheek. He screams and hears the bird speak in a language he cannot understand, “Fucking thief in my shop, yer skinny little fuck you’ll wish ye had died in the plagues when I’m done with you, wake up!”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Does honey go bad?

'ello! I am zee 'oney bear, yeaz! Perhapz yoo 'ave heard of zee Paula Dean? I deed that! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dear Seattle

Dear Seattle, 

It’s getting out of hand. The hand out crowd. I appreciate that everyone has his right to freedom of speech and all that. I get it that the sidewalk is a public place but I'm a nice person and should not be made to feel like a bastard each and every time I step out into your streets. 

Here's the thing. I am sorry that life has dealt you a shitty hand. I really am. Money is important for survival. So what sort of person would willingly pour out his life savings? With all certainty of a sample from last week’s commute I could give out -at just one dollar a person- close to $15 dollars every morning on my walk to work. And another $10 on my walk home at night. $25 dollars a day. 

$25 dollars is about what it costs to sponsor a non-profit or a child in Latin America for a month, while I’m on a roll. Maybe I should stop dodging the clip board wranglers too.

Seattle, you scare my mom. And friends from New York. The menace of being verbally assaulted has been known to be followed up by the actual threat of physical assault. I could go on about how many of these panhandlers spend the money handed to them on drugs, or talk about teaching a man to fish, but I know you’re not listening. 

I just want a little change downtown, is all. Can’t you help me? Fine, keep walking, ignore me.
Feels good, doesn’t it? 


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pike Place Lights

Pike Place has always had a lot of art, next time you're taking the stairs down to Western on the back side of the market keep your eyes out for the light fixtures. They're walking around above you.

Dream Fragment part two

This is a continuation please read Dream Fragment (Saturday May 7, 2011) first.

Can he smell the smoke from here or is it only that he can feel the grimy blanket the stacks belch? Like the spindled legs of a table draped in cloth the stacks dominate the landscape. From here the city reveals its ordinariness. From here it does not look sinister and vindictive.
The boy walks along the seawall. Shop windows display towering figures made grotesque in the puddles that swirl with rainbows of petroleum spit from the sky or the sea, one cannot know. This window has cookies. Wild colors stacked high like precarious plates in a cartoon, each one the same shape. He turns into the alley made no more illicit by his boots. Finding the darkened door to the bakery, a window above. The bottle shards spinning and sparkling down the alley to distract anyone who might care.
Dropping into the shop is like sliding into moisture itself. The air yeasty and suffocating. He waits for his eyes to find corners. He listens for shoes, for violence and escape. He hears the ticking of wood, the rush of his own bloodstream. His stomach.
There is a long uneven line of light drawn diagonal through the shop, like God’s light in paintings he has seen in the doorways of the cold dark churches, the light always leads to God’s head.
Pastel macaroon coats dirty fingers, hands. Jaws, feverish eating without thinking seated in the warm darkness just outside of the band of light. Staring at the flour that he has stirred cartwheeling in and out of the river of light. He slumps sideways into a sack of flour.

Seattle Center desktop 1

Seattle Center desktop 1
Seattle Center 1