It's been a while since I've posted - excuse me for stating the obvious. A lot of stuff has happened since my last post and I guess I haven't written for a number of reasons. There is a lot to write about and it's a very daunting task to weed through the detritus in my brain and decide what should be kept. One of the other reasons is fear. Fear of criticism. Fear of telling people of my failure. Fear of what people will think. I've been trying to write for the last couple of weeks but the fear has been hindering my efforts. But tonight, I stood up and shouted, "Fuck it!", and with a bottle of Ketel One as a muse I'm going to put to paper the last couple of months.
I'm no longer in Las Vegas.
Currently, I'm living in San Diego with my mother. I've been here since the 3rd of September and I've been filling my time by cooking meals for my mother and starting my own business as a computer consultant. Why did I move to San Diego? Why am I living with my mother? Why didn't I go back to my superfantastic job I had previously? Read on and see.
Vegas is a terrible place. I'll be more specific; Vegas is a great place to visit but a horrible place to live. First of all; the heat. People aren't supposed to live in that kind of climate. That's not the only thing though. The gaming industry breeds such a level of mediocrity that it infects the ....Note: I had a whole paragraph written about what I thought of Las Vegas and its inhabitants, but after reading it, I came off sounding like an elitist asshole so I decided to leave my feelings for another post when I'm less inhibited by my muse. Let's just say that I dislike Las Vegas with extreme prejudice. I am an elitist asshole though. I'm just trying to be less up front about it.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. I met some really good people at Como's (some real shitheads as well) and made some really good friends that I'll keep in touch with in the future. It's just that I didn't feel at home in Vegas. Something about it made me feel like a stranger in a strange land and I was waiting for the opportunity, or excuse to get the fuck out of dodge. That and I couldn't find a decent deli.
I loved working at Como's. The camaraderie, the competition and the constant taking the piss out of each other. Also there's nothing funnier than an El Salvadoran dancing around the kitchen in his whites singing at the top of his lungs, "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and their life is better than yours". Especially because his grasp of the English language was slight and he couldn't pronounce all the words correctly. I laughed so hard that I cut myself.
I learned a lot at Como's. How to truly love and respect food. How to be passionate about what I'm doing. How to really work on a team, to be able to criticize and take criticism myself. Most importantly, I learned how to cook....a little bit anyway. I'm by no means a Robuchon or Ducasse but if Rachael Ray is the indication of the level of "Chef" that the Food Network is willing to hire then ostensibly, I could have my own show. Someone needs to euthanise that goblin of a woman.
One of the things that I didn't like there was the pay. $10/hour. It sucked. I could barely make my monthly expenses and I was busting my ass. It's not that I felt that I deserved more money. I didn't. I was at the beginning of my culinary career and I knew next to nothing. It's just hard when your previous job paid substantially more and you still have the trappings of a previous lifestyle to pay for. You can tell yourself that you're "doing it for the love" for a while, but it usually ends right about the time that your finance company calls you to let you know that your car is about to be repossessed.
The end of August was looming and the more I looked at my situation, the more I realized that I was in a world of shit. Broke, unhappy with where I lived (my housing situation is a whole post in itself), depressed by the sham that is Le Cordon Bleu (yet another post) and with the imminent threat of being rogered by the IRS (I'll explain later) I decided that it was time to retreat to familiar territory and regroup. I rented a Uhaul, packed up my stuff and made my way to the sunny beaches of southern California.
I could've gone back to the Bay Area and taken my old job but that's not what I wanted. It's a great company and a fantastic place to work but I was frustrated there before and now that I'm no longer drinking the Kool Aid I can no longer overlook the things that bothered me in the past. Besides, the team I worked with deserves someone that wants to work there, not someone whose only motivation is direct deposit.
My new life
So now I'm running my own computer consulting business. I do Macintosh support for small design firms and agencies (a few house calls here and there) in the San Diego area. It's not my favorite thing in the world to do but it's relatively easy and the money's good. I can work on my own terms and time frame which gives me plenty of opportunity to do something that I really enjoy: cooking.
I've been cooking a lot over the last month and I'm really enjoying myself. I'm not under any pressure and I can cook at my own pace. I've hosted a couple of dinner parties and all of them have been a success and currently I'm talking to an old friend about doing some catering in the near future. I may even look for a part time job cooking on the line at a restaurant down here.
So that's the readers digest version of the last few months. I've skipped over a bunch of stuff which I will include in later posts. I just wanted to get something down to get the writing process started. Many apologies for not updating sooner.