Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Might Be Dead

 So, the last few weeks have been a total roller coaster-- the highs were really high and the lows were really low.  Which is fine, because really, what fun is a roller coaster that is just flat?  :-)  One of those highs included a really unexpected but really exciting opportunity to train in another kitchen--much less of a factory-style than many of the restaurants I've worked in; much more artisan style food, much more "Hell's Kitchen" rush times. I'm super excited about it. 

What that also means is, though, that the last few days I have been working from 1 am. o.o  On my feet the whole time-- I sat down for 6 minutes one morning at Brick Oven, I think. I don't even sit down to drive to work-- I walk. And my "lunch break" gives me just enough time to walk across the center of town, from one kitchen to the other.

So, basically that translates to 17 hours on my feet, come home, sleep sitting up (my innards are acting up again-- my roommate calls them my "injureds" haha) for a 5.5ish hours, then get up and start over again.

But not really, because I'm also in charge of the catering efforts for a 350 person wedding, next Thursday. Don't even get me started on the "unforseens" on THAT particular project--it's been a bit of an object lesson on the concept of Murphy's Law--but what that means is, I come home from work at 1am and then deal with (1)damage control, (2)putting schedules together, (3)doing math, (4)cooking, or other such things required back-stage for such an event.  [We'll just say that it's a LOT].  So the sleeping is not even close the 5.5 hours haha.

So, you'd best stake claim to any stuff's that I have because by the end of this I might be dead.

PS I would just like to note to the blogging world that my particular medical set-up prohibits me from ingesting both caffeine (which could help keep me awake) and alcohol (which might take the edge off the rest of my life). SO I get to stay awake and sane the non-artificially-augmented way:  willpower, protein and simple carbs, and (mostly) by the grace of God. Thank you, friends.  ilHamdulallah!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse

So, when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives, I believe the women in my apartment will have very different reactions.  

Jules, sensibly, will grab some sort of weapon and hide somewhere, then figure out how to sneak out and run to safety. 

Shaylee would be with her fiance and wouldn't know about the attack until months later, when she finally returns to Provo.

Margaret, not surprisingly, would grab multiple weapons and start a crazy counter attack, ripping aforementioned monsters to pieces between bouts of maniacal laughter while shouting crazed Arabic battlecries. 

Sabina, however, would probably invite the zombies in, seat them graciously, offer them brownies and milk, and inquire about the nuances of their day. 

And by "probably," I mean, that's actually what happened. 


Well, let me 'splain.  

No, it is too much. 
Let me sum up. 

Well, first, I heard weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, just outside my door.
"Crazy neighbors," says I. 

Then the first body slams against my window.
I was, naturally, in the kitchen, and was therefore, naturally, holding a very large knife. 

It took me a moment to get my bearings, but then pieces started falling together...  
 I realized that the body was actually a zombie, trying to get in to my house. 
And then I realized that there were quite a few of them.

Any normal person would have held on to the knife and blocked the door. 
But I'm . . . me I set the knife down, opened the door, and told them that there were brownies. 
MOST of them, seeming a bit surprised (it's difficult to tell the emotions on a zombie face sometimes) grunted and moaned and screeched as they pushed pass, relatively politely, and headed over to the brownies.

A particularly bold zombie-man was a bit rogue-ish and decided I was a good meal, before dessert. >.< 

Therefore, I was temporarily distracted as the zombies infected my other late-night dinner guests (fortunately, there were only 2 others...unfortunately, they have a limited sense of loyalty, and didn't resist the attack too much. They seemed pretty okay with it. :eyeroll: Men.)

As I mentioned, one of the zombies was a bit rogue-ish;
The others, after easily zombify-ing my guests, seemed temporarily placated by the gooey chocolate goodness

But then they decided to eat me anyway. 

After trying to attack Margaret....
You can imagine how well THAT worked.
(See above description)
(Now add in a bit more colorful language than you imagined a moment ago)
(And a random Michael Jackson Zombie in a fedora)
(And then add zombies bursting into song--singing Jasmine's part of "A Whole New World")
(...and then Latin dancing to Michael Buble's "Sway")
(And then coming back upstairs for brownies
and eating Sabina instead)
Seriously.  I think I got bitten 4 times. At least. 
They decide brownies weren't good enough...

Full-on attack. Part of it, anyway.

Turns out the zombie apocalypse wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated. 
...I have the coolest friends. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mafiish fotos

So, I had some really funny things happen this last month, but I cant rightly give you the blog post about them until I have the pictures.  Unfortunately, the pictures are on someone else's camera. I've been bugging him for them, but I may have to sic a roommate on him to get them in a timely fashion. 

In any case...

I have been trying, through the course of my undergraduate degree, to maintain at least some semblance of language multiplicity in my brain. I am only fluent in English, however, I am quite skilled in *understanding* languages (at least the basic gist) thanks to my continued studies and training in linguistics. Let me be clear:  there is a difference between "the gift of tongues" and "the gift of the interpretation of tongues." (1 Cor. 12:10) I feel as the though the second comes much easier for me.  I do not actually SPEAK many languages yet.  But, I do have a passion for them, and I love learning new ways to communicate with people.

I only took a few "language" classes during my undergrad (at least, classes devoted to learning how to read/write/speak a language that was not English). However, I was given the tools to LEARN languages. And that's really what an undergrad is for--give you more information, and teach you how, when, and where to obtain MORE information.  So, now that I can control my OWN curriculum, I decided imma spend my time learning wha'e'er I WANT.  Which is...languages (and cookery and family psychology and chemistry and religion and business and physics and finance and literature and fashion and make-up and knitting and fitness...but we'll focus on the languages for now).

The problem is, I can't seem to focus on one. I've many friends who served Spanish-speaking missions, and I took a Spanish class in college and I want to learn it.  It's one of the easiest languages I've tried out.  I love it! I have a couple of web-learning accounts set up, and they are pretty helpful. I sound quite awkward when I speak it, because I am grossly out of practice, but I am at the point where I can understand most of what is being said to me, and usually can respond.

Unfortunately, I don't always respond in Spanish.
My first reaction is usually Arabic. 
Now, understand--I'm not fluent in Arabic, either.  Not by a long shot. I can hold basic conversation and can understand quite a bit, but my reading comprehension is awful and I am, again, grossly out of practice.  However, many times, as I study Spanish, I find myself responding in this strange, Spanish/Arabic/English blend I have chosen to call Spanglabish. I am quite fluent in Spanglabish. Unfortunately, the pool of Spanglabish speakers is not very large. :-) Luckily for me, a recent addition to my life, we'll call him "Habibi(حبيبي)"  IS a Spanglabish speaker!!  He went to a Spanish-speaking mission, so he is fluent in Spanish, and he is a MESA major, so he's learning Arabic. I am significantly better at Arabic than he is, and he is significantly better at Spanish than I am.  It works out really well. Our mutual friend, "hmahv shly(המאהב שלי)", is actually studying Spanish and Hebrew...and another girl we work with is studying Hebrew!  So, naturally, we had this "telephone style" conversation the other day--Ali says something to המאהב שלי in Hebrew, המאהב שלי says something to حبيبي in Spanish, حبيبي says something to me in Arabic. Reverse. It was awesome. Of course, it wasn't always that simple--there was a lot of default to Spanish--but when it worked, it was super cool. The other side of the kitchen kind of just left us alone that day, as I'm pretty sure none of them knew daheck was going on. 

I love Provo. Only there would you have that kind of a linguistic situation--from a bunch of white 20-somethings, at a pizza place. jajaja (Well, حبيبي is 1/4 black, so that helps.  But still). 

Then, later in the week, a friend of mine said something to me in Hebrew, and I responded (accurately, though in English) before I realized that it WAS Hebrew. And I read a new acquaintance's shirt aloud(which was written in German) and translated it, and I was able to hold a (SHORT) conversation in ASL with another (deaf) friend from work. 

Someday, I will be better at this than Catherine Tate. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Job Security

So, the other day, I was feeling kind of down.
Happens to the best of us.
 I had a lot on my mind, as often happens to people who think. 
I've come to a major, major crossroads in my life. I was considering all the options laid out before me, and was trying to solidify in my own mind the decisions I have made and the unexpected timeline in which I had fit them. 

One of the many issues I was pondering was my life course.  Could I even make it in the food industry?  Did I even know what I was doing?  Would I be able to make enough money to fulfill my responsibilities to myself and to my near-future family? Is now the right time?  Do I even know enough to make it work?  The reality is, I am completely beyond "stepping outside the box."  I basically blasted "the box" to smithereens. Was it even worth it??

The answer came, as answers often do, from the most unexpected of places. My cousin and my roommate and I had gone to the store to pick up some bananas.  As I looked around at all of the ingredients and other foodstuffs, pondering my ponderings, my thoughts were feeling really weighted down.  I could feel myself getting discouraged, and I said a little prayer in my heart. 

Right then, my eyes landed upon...this.  In the midst of the delicious baked goods and cutsie buttercream-ed pastries--an ugly duckling amongst the swans--sat this monstrosity of a cupcake. 

I stared at it for a moment, and then realized that my initial reaction (that some bitter decorator had chosen to give a visual artistic representation of the hemorrhoidal feces of a cellulitic cat) was actually incorrect, and in fact  the cupcake was attempting to be a

After my initial gag reflex, I started to laugh. All of my worries seemed to dissolve, and I felt a little ridiculous for being so down just minutes before. 

Now, don't get me wrong--I'm sure the decorator is an extremely talented individual. All of the other cupcakes were absolutely adorable. All of the "hamburger/cat feces" cupcakes, however, were beyond my definition of "awful."  (This was not the only one--we found a chocolate one!)
So, lest I come off as haughty, proud, and mocking, let me clarify:  the moral of the story is not "I'm better than this decorator, so there!" Not even close.  
The moral of this story is: "Everyone is going to have bad days. Don't make a habit of them, and you won't get fired. You have the talent to succeed at what you do. Work hard, and you'll be fine."

The secondary moral of the story, of course, is never make cupcakes that look like disease-ridden cat poop.

Thank you, random cake decorator, for totally messing up those cupcakes. It kicked my attitude back on to the right track. 

My cousin whipped out a video camera to catch the end of my reaction. (I love modern technology. And Jake.  Well played, sir.)

PS--I bought the cupcake. 

Poem That I Wrote

It is going to take longer than I have time for to write down all of the AWESOMENESS that was today. So, I will spend what time I do have basking in said awesomeness, and will leave you to ponder this poem that I wrote. (Yes, this is a re-posting from about this time last year.  But it's still good). I will fill you in on more, later. I have two posts drafted; I suppose I have been too wrapped up in living life an have been slacking on reporting it.


Isaiah’s Christ: Shepherd, Warrior, Judge, and King
A Sestina
Jehovah comes from Edom in his might 
One by one, with outstretched arms, He gathers
Those who, with humble hearts, would call him LORD.
He, who earth and hearts hath mulled and weighted,
Assessed the earth’s great waters in his Hand
And tells the cov’nant people to behold--

To lift their eyes on high, and first behold
Then follow Him with heart and mind and might.
Oh, Israel, hath God yet shortened his hand?
Hath He grown tired? Nay, but still He gathers
Sinners’ hearts. The hills Jehovah weighted
With a scale; “The winepress,” saith Christ your LORD,

“I hath trodden alone. I am the LORD;
My crimson robes a victory to behold,
For I looked and, being alone, I weighted
Down the winepress in my fury and might.
Now with tender mercy will I gather
And cover thee in shadow of my hand.”

Yahweh shall hold thee up in His right hand,
That all the nations know I AM your LORD.
The dumb idols burn, Jehovah gathers
Those who would His covenanted be. Hold
fast to Him by whose power and might
is thy salvation, thy judgment weighted.

Your Jeshua with patience hath waited, and
borne all thy sins with the nails in His hands,
That in his latter coming, all earth might
Know that salvation cometh through the LORD.
For when the mighty angel cries “Behold,
A white horse, and He who rides shall gather

His people,” the heaven’s armies gather
Behind Him who with rightness hath weighted
And made war. Look up, oh Israel! Behold
His vesture dipped in blood, His outstretched hands.
He is called King of Kings, and LORD of Lords,
Who comes to thee in power and in might.

Raise your eyes, lift your voice, behold His might,
And blessed be those who wait on the LORD.
The shepherd gathers Israel in His hand.

Friday, June 1, 2012


My goodness. It's been almost 3 months since I've written anything that counts as a decent post.

Life has been moving forward. Sometimes much to slowly, in other ways much, much too quickly. Trying to finish some classes this summer, working as close to full-time as I can, moving, working on a couple weddings, getting my family ready to move, ignoring a couple other weddings, wishing I didn't have to move AGAIN (too many movings!!!), loving my roommates, planning parties, attending parties, meeting new people at parties, cooking for parties (lots of parties), drumming, watching DCI videos, reading books I don't want to read, reading books I love to read, riding with my roommate to the store in the middle of the night blasting really loud music and dancing...pretty typical semester "break."

My brother is graduating this weekend, so I get to visit them. I love, love, love, love the Northwest. I love my trees and my grapes and my berries and my garden the size of a college apartment and the little rabbits and squirrels and quail and bunnies and the hawks and the eagles and the mountain cats. I love how the mountains are purple, like mountains are supposed to be, and the yellows and browns and light greens and reds of the plants and trees. I love the old barn and the shed and the chicken coop, and the wood fences and the tree stumps and the forest garden down the side of the house.

I love being with my family and should-be-family-- eating chicken nuggets and watching NCIS, swapping "built it/burned it/blew it up" stories (man, my Papa has some good ones!), service projects, yard work, planning business endeavors and craft projects and weddings, telling flirting&dating stories (again, Papa is hard to beat. Robert and I give him a run for his money, though.  Mom tries to tell us that particular Gerber trait skipped a generation....:-) ), and helping each other out.  While I will miss the trees and the yard and the orchard terribly--I am SO STOKED for Robert to come down to school.  We'll all be within a few hours of each other (with the international airport, even SV isn't that far)!  I'm hoping for and planning on some really good times. As my mom fondly explained to me-- my problem when I moved away was that I grew up thinking I was normal. But, in that family, I am normal. And I love having a place where I belong.

So, the closing pages of this chapter of our lives--here's to the next one. :-)


I decided to do my 5th-grade "expert" project on cooking. I made a simple recipe book, learned some new techniques, and have dabbled in it ever since.
12 years since I started the project, with the help of my mom, I'm starting to think it's high time I finished it.

It's been a long time since I've put the full force of my brain-power behind one project.  I've been spread out very thin for the last few years, what with school, a variety of jobs (usually 2 at a time), medical shenanigans, family realignment, drumline, and a budding business or two. Not to mention various church callings, social and romantic interests, and learning new skills such as theatre makeup, guitar, dance, languages, and other such things. 

As I am not quite finished with my Bachelors, I don't know that it is possible yet to put full-force brain-power behind Epic Foodi-ness. I've been cooking for a long time, and I enjoy it. I've had pet-projects along the way, including spice exploration, cheese research, artisan breads, the Great Cake Project, and candy-bar inspired desserts. I've also had more one-time type projects, like the Bacon Cake, or the pie-inside-a-cake "Cherpumple," (that one is still in the works), Baked Alaska, Butterbeer, various Pi Day celebrations, and other  concoctions.

It's nice, though, to have a focus. And the food industry seems like a place where it will be hard to get bored.  And, I can move around a lot, if I feel so inclined  (at least to begin with).  I've had a couple opportunities to put down more permanent roots in Provo, but I'm really not sure if I want to do that...not just in Provo--I don't really want permanent roots anywhere, yet.

But it's cool to know I'm on the road to being really, really, ridiculously good at something. I'm pretty okay at a lot of things, but I'd love to see what I could accomplish with a little bit of focus.