First and foremost, happy birthday to Jill where ever you may be. I received both your and Liza's packages on the SAME day and both contained scraps of fabric "to inspire". Inspiring indeed, thanks women! You know me too well.
Second, Le Poulet is fast asleep and I am worrrrrrrrking hard on the last details of my portfolio. Well not really, but I am thinking about them.
Third, here is the last portfolio list for those interested.
- concoct a title page for Swamphand
- sew book cover in muslin
- finish hand writing Letter of Intent for Print p.
- cut two address stencils for front
- spraypaint on stationary
- draw up table of content
And then it will be finished. That is not that much work! Leo's ma challenged me to finish by Monday at 5 (here I am, typing away, not working on anything as per). We shook on it. I will be close to done by the time five bells toll.
Yesterday I played host to Miss Ollie (who is such a dolly), her ma and pa Dayna and Gareth, as well as Jordan and JJ! An after work Sunday party in my home! How nice. They creeped behind me in a rental as I blasted home from another excellent EM kitchen shift with Simon. While walking, I was sure my name was being called but as I know absolutely no one in this town with a car, I didn't think to look. It was them, the whole lot, Olive in a peacoat. Dream face that girl. I took one million photos of her while she sipped out of a tiny glass bottle like a big girl (such a big girl!) and ate animal crackers from Auntie Kim (my ma) off the table. They live in New York now and I hadn't seen them in so long. It was a great evening.
JJ in all her womanly glory fed us crepes sweet and savory and afterwards, one cold winter walk with Lola and we were home in our home, culling closets and roosting on my bed like sisters. I miss my sister. It felt so right to sit at my desk in my lovely the Future is Now Now Now Now room drawing tiny rabbits on muslin, listening to Kurt Vile SO LOUD with headphones while Lo ripped through her half of our ADJOINED closet. I know! Amazing. Dream living at Casa Clark! I worked late into the night, sewing the Hare stamps (posted below) still wet with red and black ink onto the front of my giant stationary. This is a solid portfolio, even better than last year. I am proud of it.
Yesterday at EM, I fantasized for the entire day about becoming a planting cook. Next summer. Where? I am not sure. Jillian are you with me? We would KILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL it and be such good mamas to all those hungry bears. I daydreamed of big vats of soup (my specialty), porridge and cowboy coffee in the morning for the early birds, prepping with jazz and headphones at 330 in the morning beside Jill, both of us haggard and wearing funny aprons, the kitchen trailer doors thrown wide.
I think my planting days might be over. This chokes me to type, but it is true. My wrists ache after the weekend shift and this is from slamming a shovel into the earth 3000 times per day. It takes a toll and cooking is more important to me than planting. But damn! I love to plant (even the shit). It is bonkers how many times a day I get sucked into a private visual daydream depicting a specific piece of land. I can walk it in my mind, tossing flag, scooping up sphagnum with one hand, planting the best damn tree in a neat trench, wading through swamp with a black cloud of black flies (deadly bastards) above my head. It is there in my mind, all laid out in nature's splendor, plain as day. Goodbye hardest work I have ever done, hello a new challenge. A little woman cooking for 50 planters! I want that and it is definitely something I will do in my lifetime. Who knows when.
Working in this kitchen has taught me so much already about food management and longevity, waste reduction, proper knife skills, tricks for ultimate efficiency, and the importance of rotation. Food costing/ordering has always been something I struggle with, as I tend to cook to order (fancy one off meals rather than food planning for an entire week of meals), but it is imperative I learn. I am learning, slowly. Anyway, it is a really great job and about to get a lot more interesting now that the head chef has called it quits. Cooking breakfast to order is a gong show sometimes. I prefer to prep and keep the boys in a rhythm, it is a healthy challenge. I was only berated a few times yesterday (in french and english) for petty mistakes, things I should know but don't, little slips, unnecessary waste, being too slow (the WORST reason to be tisked), spilling potatoes burning hot (this was due to me being incredibly awkward while pulling a huge rack of hash and roasted vegetables from the massive convection oven and trying to fill the empty pan in the low grill oven. Very awkward. I don't mind being yelled at, it helps for information to sink in faster. I like the kitchen banter though, and even in the shit (and by this I mean during the peak of the brunch rush from 11-2) I am learning french (and english) How exciting! Life in the kitchen is bon.
Below is a found photo of my grandmother, Helen Helen Helen with "a Viet refugee in 1981" as it is written on the back of the photo. Grandma, you still got it! Super sass, those sunglasses are huge! Miss you like stenk.