Peculiar palliative palettes
oct. 14, 2017
Jon Snow Blanket: My Jon Snow Blanket given to me by a thoughtful friend. I’m hoping one of those nice Royal Caribbean cruise ship stewards will come along and fold it into a nice West Highland White Terrier shape, complete with pointy ears. Can get along without the tip-tappy toenails, though.
- Oct 12, 2017:.
Eight is More than Enough
Sat. April 24, 1984
Today, in fact this weekend, I have declared myself a rest – home resident + am trying to give myself particularly good treatment. We had a ghastly week at work for one reason + another + I felt all week as though I were dealing with irresponsible + feeble-minded kindergarteners. (Also this job often feels as though you’re jumping into a washing machine + being pummeled about all day.) The life of a purchasing agent… you learn to hate the sound of your own name – it’s called so often + so beseechingly (AND SO NEEDLESSLY.)
Anyway, today the most stressful thing I did was go to a big vegetable market near here – I decided immediately it was too crowded + I had food at home anyway so I left to sit in the delightfully empty library. There was a man there with a rather disgusting cough (I know he couldn’t help it) but it was (sort of) peaceful anyway. “Why don’t you GET SOME WATER” I wanted to yell at the man…
Surely next week will be better. I feel I’m experiencing incipient burn-out. No breaks, constant deadlines, sole responsibility for seeing the food is all there – is getting to me. I don’t plan to quit, but I must find a way to deal with it better. Also, waking up at 4:30 every morning gets rather wearing…
Complain! Complain! This week at work I found myself particularly hostile to the men – excepting A___ — who tend to be less conscientious, sloppier, and generally more obnoxious than the women. They also seem to think they’re hot stuff, and use unnecessarily show-offy techniques in doing things like chopping parsley. Infuriating.
Somehow, someday, I’ll become serene as a Buddha… if not, I may pour a pot of hot stock over somebody’s head. You can’t imagine the indecision, the lack of foresight, the stupidity… well, I guess you can.
“Grant me the courage to accept…” blah, blah, blah.
Anyway today I’m in Berkeley – sort of wanted to go see B___ (actually, I hemmed + hawed about it all week, I was in such a snit – I told him I wasn’t coming on Wednesday, then called him at work Friday to say I’d changed my mind – but he was working Saturday so I didn’t go) And I didn’t care particularly – I daresay I would have been just as hostile to him + perhaps more so… so I’m quilting, reading, watching TV + eating beautiful salads composed of raddichio, Belgian endive, blood oranges, + kumquats (with blood orange vinaigrette.)
A___’s been going on lots of dates with people’s mothers lately – tomorrow he’s seeing a 93-year-old woman he says is “just delightful.” He’ll be spending a week with Julia soon, as her assistant in a program of Great Chefs in the Napa Valley. He’s thrilled…
Natasha + I picked lettuce again this week – I enjoy the time in the garden though I feel a bit resentful at restaurant tactics. What happens is that I am more or less told I’ll be picking lettuce that afternoon, then after my regular hours we go do it. The pay? You guessed it: ZERO. Prestige, plenty. “I’ve worked in the Chez Panisse gardens.” But I mean, really. Also my ordering responsibilities tend to be treated as something I do on my own time, after all kitchen prep is done. I must keep careful track of all extra time I donate (something I haven’t been doing) – perhaps I’m beginning to feel a bit used + underpayed – thus my unhappiness.
Also this week I learned that the most ignorant, uncaring pizza cook makes more (50¢/hour) than I do – in addition to receiving tips. He also insisted that we, the prep people, don’t do much downstairs. He’s someone I started out friendly with, but due to this + other gradual revelations of his character, I have all but stopped talking to ____ (not the Italian man you met, another ignorant, uncaring pizza cook.)
Ah but there’s still A___, + Natasha, and I like D___ though I think he’s a bit incompetent…
I’m now reading Vilette by Charlotte Bronte, long ago recommended to me by Liz Devito. Incidentally – I spoke with her a few weeks ago – she + Adrienne were talking about going to see you – why don’t you invite them?
It was hot here today, but my apartment stays about the same temp no matter what…
Did you ever get my letter in which I requested your rhubarb + fish soup techniques? I await the answers with baited breath…
Also I suppose I’m crabby because the filling done last Monday was truly a blockbuster + is still aching.
Your delightful daughter
A woman I like very much at work – Lisa – (sister of David Goines, the creator of all those Chez Panisse posters, the book design, etc.) (although Lisa comes from such royalty in the Chez Panisse hierarchy, she is irreverent to say the least. Recently she photographed me drying chickens with a hair dryer – we were inspired by a helpful hint in a newspaper article –)
Anyway, Lisa says she read in a restaurant management book that restaurant employees should take a week off every 2-3 months, the pressure is so intense – and we’re all piled on top of one another in that narrow kitchen…
I toyed with the idea of a Sierra Club hike this weekend but decided I was certainly not in the right frame of mind – just wanted to stay home… most likely I’ll go to Santa Cruz next weekend – though B___ says he’s very tired + irritable + he kept eating tortilla chips all the time we were on the phone last Wednesday…
Oh what a crabby letter! But I do feel considerably more rested today than I did yesterday – and thank heavens tomorrow I’m off again. Another calm, lazy day…
Just saw on TV the most delightful show “Antarctic Summer.” Maybe you saw it too. It showed the breeding cycle of the Adele Penguins – and how they travel along the ground on their stomachs as well as upright. Feet flapping – also the baby penguins quickly grow huge + fat almost like furry balls. It showed 2 babies, almost full grown, running after a parent, demanding food. The parent retreated…
Also in a sad sequence, a bird stole a penguin egg – one of the penguins went after the bird, trying to scare it, and in doing so, the penguin stepped on the egg + broke it
[INSERT CRYING FACE DRAWING] (but also it was funny)
Then they showed seals – and baby seals, which get trapped in rabbit holes because the movement of their flippers allows them to move forward but not back. The showed the sad little trapped seal faces. [INSERT SAD SEAL FACE DRAWING]
(I hope the camera people saved them afterwards – that’s how I choose to think about it) Oh you know
Really, these nature shows are much too emotional for a high-strung individual like me – I have to sit there with a box of Kleenex…
[INSERT DRAWING OF JENNY, KLEENEX, TV]
I wrote this crabby letter after an especially crabby week… this week (it’s already Tues) is much better so far…
Also have read that coast to coast airline fare wars are expected this summer – by the end of May lower fares should start being posted – the 99$ one way trip is predicted on at least one carrier – yay!
Oct 10, 2017
Dearest Mum, (cont’d)Also, after 2 months there’s a Health Insurance Plan. . All this hinges on how permanent I become there. The vacation schedule is decent — you get two weeks after a year, 3 weeks after two years, 4 weeks after four years, plus, they close for about5 days after Jan. 1and about the last 5 days the lst week in August. And as they say in their guidelines, if a “leave of absence” extends for more than two months, you lose your accumulated vacation time. I consider myself incredibly lucky.
But I do miss New England and New York and you. There’s no sense in trying to decide what to do yet. – although I expect I will try to extend this past January -we’ll see – it’s a wonderful experience.
Early January might be a good time for you to visit. I’lll tell you exact dates when I know them.
Did you get your cooking store job? I hope so, With that and your Nature Center thing life should be much more interesting than at boring old Mason Engineering. I’ll write again soon, Much love, Jenny.
i’ll write agains soon