Saturday, May 30, 2015

The struggle is real


Today I've learned that I'm way too stubborn to return to the working class of corporate America. You know, the kind of work that demands I show up early, leave late, work through lunch hour (which is really only 30 minutes to begin with), smile through bullshit as to not hurt anyone's precious feelings... yea- I'm most definitely not cut out for that kind of job anymore.

After a long internal debate and for reasons beyond my control, I've decided to take the month of June and use it as an experimental period in my life. What this means is that I've accepted a position as a medical administrator for a private practice office in my neighborhood.

Yea, I used to do a very similar job just under 5 years ago when I lived in Phoenix. And the funny thing is that I promised myself I would never look back once I quit that job. I did really well and lived up to my promise. Shit, I moved to Italy, travelled, did all kinds of things in all kinds of places. I got into college for culinary arts, started my own small business, and landed the sweetest contract of all time with Eat Seattle Tours. Life has been grand!

So, why the bullshit occupational experiment? Well, I'm doing it because initially I was bored. Initially, I sent out over 50 applications to all kinds of places around Seattle just to see if anything would stick. The reason why this position is the one I settled on (and trust me, settle is the absolute most appropriate word to use in this instance, I just know it) is because I really am smitten with the negotiating I was able to pull off.

Did I ever tell you that I was being primed to be an awesome international criminal defense attorney? Yea, I was going to do that... Turns out speech and debate was a piece of cake, and 10 years after high school, I still have my sweet negotiating skills on point. Boooooyah!

Anyway, I accepted this position because I love to wear fancy shoes and eat all the food. I know that it's just a temporary gig and the bigger picture is to ease myself back into the "being and employee" mindset without committing to a job that'll hold me down for another x amount of years (ahem Luke... circa 2006) If you don't get that reference, don't worry about it.

Because I know myself very well, I'm giving myself one month to get on board with this experiment. If I happen to like this job I'm going to run with it simultaneously while knocking out classes for my degree. If I happen to hate it, well, I'll just have to log into my bank account- that'll be a real quick reminder to suck it up.

My goal with this blog post is to document the detour and see if I'll learn anything new about myself, my tolerance to bullshit, and whether or not I even possess the ability to change. So wish me luck, and here we go!
#day1workflowselfie

Monday, May 4, 2015

I did this for me.

I spent all day going back and forth debating with myself whether or not to post this. As you can see, it's live and out there...

What I think my struggle was about is the fact that this is a very intimate photo. It's a side of me that is reserved for someone I'm in love with, someone who has earned the right to this primal image of my body. But that's just the initial perception of what this faceless self portrait represents.

It has been a really challenging battle to have any confidence about my body. I still fluctuate between content, mild shame, and pure disgust. I was very unhealthy, overweight, and utterly unhappy with how my body was. Four years ago, I wouldn't undress in front of my husband because I didn't want him to fall out of love with me for having a body covered in stretch marks. Let alone even think about buying undergarments like this. Trust me, I tried but being told that I should go shop at a specialty store for larger women kind of knocks the wind out of you and makes it very hard to try again.

My thighs rubbed together when I walked, my bat wings were stuffed into shirts with sleeves, my tummy rolled over my stretchy pants... It was the lowest point of my life. I felt like garbage because I ate garbage and instead of making changes to fix the problem, I drowned my sorrows in gravy and covered it with rainbow sprinkles.

After my workout this morning, I showered and started to get dressed. I was walking around my place with a cup of java pro coffee protein.  I caught a glimpse of myself in my full length mirror and I literally stopped dead in my tracks. I didn't recognize that body... THIS body... the thigh gap, the bubble butt, abs, mild horseshoe definition in my triceps... my jaw literally dropped and then my eyes welled up.

I EARNED this body. I have spent hours in the gym, pushing myself to lift heavy, to only count the reps with proper form, forcing myself to do the worst thing on the planet- cardio... I earned THIS body. I'm still pushing and fighting to get as lean as I physically can. I'm still turning to grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies instead of indulging in pizza and rib eye steaks.

I'm no where near where what I envision my body to look like but I sure as hell am proud of what I see today. This post is not about attention or validation, it's about stopping for just a second to revel in how far I've come. To take pride and credit for the hard work I've already put in. This photo captures the woman who said "No more!" and got off her flabby ass to change what she could about the physical appearance of HER body.

I did this for me. And I am so proud of myself.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My identity as a culinary artist

My name is CrisM and I'm a culinary artist.

I am also a young professional, a best friend, a sister, a daughter, a pet parent, a confidant, a music lover, a fast driver, a shooter, a part time boozer, and a rock star snoozer.

What does any of that actually mean? Probably nothing- as they are just titles describing pieces of who I am as a whole. Parts of myself that, together in various ratios depending on my moods, project how I- Crystal Miller, am seen by the world.

I always tend to downplay my role in "the bigger picture" because although I am passionate beyond belief about what it is I do for a living, I understand my place in this world. I understand that yes, with any job, big or small, high speed or low stress, there are always going to be those ups and downs... the good days and bad.

My identity as a culinary artist is constantly challenged because of the kind of work I do versus the kind of life I choose to live. Unfortunately, at this juncture in my life, I'm unable to find a way to harmoniously combine the two.

About 4 years ago I decided that I didn't want to live an unhealthy lifestyle anymore. That meant more to me in the kitchen than it did regarding the physical aspects of daily life. Truly active people tend to say that "abs are made in the kitchen" which I've learned is an undeniably true statement. Yes, you still have to put in hard work at the gym but it wasn't until after I started eating properly when I discovered how true that statement is.

I'm a chef by trade and many of my clients choose to use me in a way that brings quality, lavish, high end dining to the comfort of their own homes. So, I'm constantly playing with cream, and cheese, and fatty proteins. All awesome in their own right, but I personally, have such a hard time when it comes to tasting the products I produce.

I can't quite remember which celebrity chef said "Never trust a skinny chef..." (please don't be a Julia Child quote) but I think that is complete garbage! I can (and do) cook really insanely delicious food, that are decadent and really can be the guiltiest of all the pleasures. But, I CAN'T eat any of it... More importantly, I don't WANT to eat any of it.

The struggle for me to find my voice as a culinary artist is constant and I am more comfortable in the kitchen when there are amazing fresh produce and lean proteins scattered all over the place. I enjoy the process of taking these raw items and making something come together in a delicious AND nutritious way. As I continue on my journey, I hope to find the balance I've been seeking. I hope to find like minded thinkers, believers, go-getters, and down right culinary savages to join me so that I can learn and explore all the wonders of this world through the incredible food we have at our fingertips.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The adventures of NOW

Moving to Seattle to go to college was a huge deal. I primarily moved here to earn my bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts Management in hopes to secure jobs around the world while I lived out my passion for travel. The idea was not to open my own restaurant, ever, but to be able to run a kitchen no matter where I moved to.

Just recently, an opportunity has arisen which will change the course of my life as I know it. The scary thing is that I don't know whether this will be a good change or a not so good one. I'm terrified of feeling "trapped" because this new adventure puts me in the spot light as far as the success of the business. I'm afraid that because it has the potential to do very well within a short period of time, I will be blinded by the success and feel the need to stay put here in Seattle.

On the flip side, truly the side I'm most attracted to, is that this is a wonderful learning opportunity for me. To gain the kind of experience associated with running my very own kitchen so early on in my culinary career is something I must take advantage of. I'm afraid that I might be in over my head as far as running this operation practically solo. I'm put under a lot of pressure to make sure this business sails smoothly and without many hiccups.

I know that I can tackle obstacles with grace and I'm not worried about the extensive work load. I'm just concerned that this might be too good to be true. I mean, who gets her very own cafe just handed to her on a silver platter? I know my skills are above average as far as cooking and managing, but I'm just shaken to my core. Both with excitement and also the tiny little tinge of fear that I might not do so well.

I'll be meeting with the owner in two day's time. Hopefully he'll be able to answer all my questions and help ease the nerves. My investor is putting all his eggs in this basket and is willing to give me free reign over the operation because he believes in me. That's an amazing feeling- to have that kind of support. But by golly... it's also a lot of pressure. If I do this on my own, and fail- I can live with that. But to have my investor lose because of me, well- that's a real gut wrenching, stomach twisting, high stress, type of feeling that I've already lost tons of sleep over. I don't want to be a disappointment.

As a perfectionist, I know I will throw myself into this adventure with nothing less than 110% but I'm still so very scared. I hope this turns out to be something amazing and I hope you all send me tons of positive love vibes that this becomes real sooner rather than later.

Until next time,
Much Love.
CrisM


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Some people...


Let me just begin by saying that I've officially started dating. *Gasp* I know right?!?! It's been hell. Last year, I was in total denial. I met a few guys that I actually enjoyed spending time with but truly the lack of down time took away any and all opportunity for me to actually date them.

Anyway, this past month I threw myself into it with a vengeance to make up for lost time. And it's been absolutely terrible. Haha... go figure.

Did you know that no matter how cool he is in his own right, you will still compare him to your ex? I didn't think that was a real thing, but apparently it is. And I do it- all the fucken time. It's so unfair to these guys and it's completely devastating to me and my fantasy at another solid relationship.

The thing is, my marriage was fucken awesome. And my (ex) husband is still a huge part of my life. He's my best friend and that's the problem. Sure, I've learned how to handle the emotional up roars by myself, something that I always turned to him for. But now my mind can't seem to stop tallying up all the things these new guys lack, in comparison to Him.

I have realized that although I have (perhaps more accurately now, "had") a preference in terms of the type of man I am most attracted to- I have yet to find one that gives me butterflies. Have I become so damaged and delusional that I just can't see these new guys' potential? Ugh... dating sucks.

Here's my problem: For one, I like tall, blond haired, blue eyed men. The guys on the roster right now? 5'9- 5'11, dark hair, dark eyes... Like wtf? Wearing heels (my greatest obsession since I was in the 2nd grade) has become so tricky because I am practically eye to eye with these guys and that freaks me out for some inexplicable reason. Some drink, some don't. Some go to church on the reg, some refuse to acknowledge the possibility of there being a higher power. Some go to the gym as though it were church (amen and hallelujah), others eat complete garbage which drives me infuckensane. Some have adorable relationships with their family, but others have so much dysfunction that it makes my brow furrow to the point where I'm terrified of permanent wrinkle damage.

They are all over the place and the only thing that they all have in common, is me. Which leads me to believe that I'm a crazy person. How can one person attract such a wide range of personalities? One is super athletic, he plays sports, climbs, and goes for runs on the beach for fun (like, um, really?!) One shoots guns, is into cars, but has the craziest ex wife on the planet. Some are musicians, both actual studio artists and starving artist types. A bartender, a real estate agent, a barber, an analyst, a car salesman, and a private contractor. Again... HOW can one person attract so many different personalities?

I've been 100% upfront with every single one of them. Meaning, they all know that I'm not exclusive. It bothers only a couple of them but so far, they both have held their tongues well. One of them went as far as to tell me that he's not seeing anyone other than me and that totally freaked me out. Like why would you tell me that? It's not going to alter my behavior. It just makes me feel like an asshole. This other guy, likes to talk mad shit about all the "other" chicks in his life... like I'm supposed to be jealous??? I'm not. I'm actually glad that he has other people to occupy his time- he's a fucken handful, haha. But, majority of them are what I consider seasoned daters. They've been single for a while and they know how to play the game. They keep their extracurricular activities to themselves and have the common courtesy to never question mine.

Which leads me to my next issue. Omission and just flat out lying. I'm super guilty of leaving out details to practically everything about anything serious in my life. Only 37% of the guys I'm dating know that I was married. Which was 100% an accident, on all accounts. I don't have a problem omitting details, especially since they're all practically new to me and trust should be earned. But, the lying part... I just don't get it. And lying about insignificant things nonetheless. Like, I'm not your gd mother- I won't scold you for anything. Honesty and trust go hand in hand, in my book. Being honest with me, even if it's simply stating the fact that you choose to not disclose something right now, earns my trust in you as a person.

I don't ask loaded questions, I don't require explanations. I simply appreciate honesty through and through. When I'm asked "What are you doing tonight?" and I have plans to see someone, the response is "I'm going out with a friend." None of this "oh, I'm staying home... or I feel sick" bullshit. I'm going out with a motherfucken friend. It's ok for YOU to respond with honesty. Don't tell me you've got to stay home with your kid and then fabricate this ginormous story when I run into you at the bar... with another girl. IDGAF- that's what dating is about. We are not in an actual relationship- you are allowed to go out with other people during the same time frame that we are seeing each other.  There is absolutely no reason to lie about it. Like, does nobody get that?

But my biggest headache has to have been this one which we will call Auggie. He's a solid 9.8 on just about everything you can put a score on. He's fit, eats well, has a great career, put together, charming, handsome, tall, great relationship with his family, drinks like a fish and is so functional in spite of it... But he's so hot and cold with me and it drives me totally ape shit bananas. I didn't realize it at first but then shit between us got really intense really quickly, which surprised me given his distaste for exclusive relationships. We talked every day, spent weekends together, did things that couples do and then he just bounced. Like *poof* disappeared. I wasn't too butt hurt about it- I just kind of went with it. But since then he's done that same move about half a dozen times. The more time we spent together, the more my curiosity about his disappearance grows. Because, if we were having such a good time, what the hell spooks him?

Last week was the final straw for him though. I had to cut that crazy man loose. Trying to decipher his behavior is like trying to smell the color 9. Hahahaha, seriously though. It's impossible to understand what he's doing. So, to keep myself from sustaining any further whiplash- I've just pressed the eject button. Which is kind of a shame, because he was in fact my favorite. But oh well, you live and learn. And I've learned that I can't stand highly emotional and erratic behavior from men.

As far as how dating other men has changed me: I'm a really hard person to please, as it turns out. This dating thing is not just a thing to pass the time. I think it started off that way but understanding how valuable timing is- I've started to actually assess whether any of these men will enhance who I am as an individual. I like how I have developed little connections with certain ones, but I also like how I can be so general with others. They all make me laugh, they all make me feel wanted, they all still are chivalrous with the opening of doors, bringing me coffee at home, sending sweet "just because" flowers and "thinking of you" texts. It's nice... But like I said, I have yet to come across the one that gives me butterflies... And we all know, it's those damn butterflies that make all the difference.

Going to bed. Goodnight.
CrisM

Daily nugget: I like oriental lilies because they smell wonderful and are absolutely beautiful. I don't enjoy tulips, daisies, or carnations. Also, I dislike chocolate. Bring hummus and pita chips instead. And no, you can't stay the night. Don't even ask.

Oh, goodbye January.

Hello my lovely readers (i.e. Mom and Clarissa, haha)!

I apologize for once again dropping off the face of the planet in regards to this blog. I think about writing all the time, it just always seems impractical to stop doing all the nine hundred billion other things going on in day to day life to sit down and do this.

But, right now it's almost 2am on SUPER BOWL SUNDAY and although, I was in bed... I just could not fall asleep. So, I went to Safeway to procure the necessary supplies for my contribution to the game day shenanigans this afternoon.

What's been new with me? Well, a lot actually.

First and foremost Happy 2015! Yay! We made it through the first year of flying solo in Seattle. What a trip! From exploring my new city, finally (somewhat) settling into my flat, making new friends, the trials of dating, school, random ass odd jobs, the lack of my dear sweet puppy (she's still in Italy with her Dadz), to making the decision to take a quarter off from college... Life has been INSANE!

The last quarter of school completely wrecked my mojo. It was just so intense and demanding that by the time it came to finals week, I basically checked out. Since this is the career path I've chosen for myself, I definitely did not like feeling so blasé about all things culinary.

After much consideration and a rock solid game plan to not get so wound up in the future, taking a quarter off to recharge was the only logical solution. After my last class, I jumped on a plane and flew across the country to Virginia.

My brother and sister in law live there now and so it was wonderful getting to hang out with them for three and a half weeks. My (ex) husband also happened to be in town during my vacation so we hung out as well. It was the first time we've seen each other in over a year, minus the FaceTime dates.

While I was on the east coast, I also visited with a good friend of mine, Espi. He's working out there now... well not now since he is definitely moving to San Fran as I type.

Three and a half weeks of sleeping in, gymming, shopping, and being merry was the perfect way to finish out 2014.

When the new year came around, I felt recharged and super excited for what these next 12 months will be about.

The most important resolution I've set for myself this year is to be more aware of how I interact with people in my life now. I mean, my friends and family- they know me and so it's not necessarily geared towards those people. I'm talking about the people I've met here. As it turns out, I've been very closed off and stand offish to practically everyone I've met. My peers made it known that for the past year that they've been around me, working and studying with me- they actually don't know anything about me other than my name and the fact that I moved here from Italy.

I'm working on opening up to people. At least the ones I find myself spending the most time with outside of school. And not only opening up about myself, but opening up to learning about who they are. I don't ask questions... It's not in my nature to want to "get to know" people. I just observe and experiment and if you're not a total douchetard (technical term) I listen if you want to tell me things. But rarely do I ever ask about family, friends, relationships, or what they do outside of school. I think because I just don't really care- and that is what I'm working on. Caring for others who are in my life now.

What else is going on... um I finally painted my flat. The main theme is black and white throughout the space but there are bold pops of girly ass colors. My bathroom is pink and princess inspired with tassels and jewels. The bedroom is royal purple, gold accessories, and luxurious fabrics (as it should be). The kitchen is a warm golden yellow and the living room is tiffany blue with tons of sparkle! None of my actual furniture from Italy has made it here yet. The husband totally dropped the ball on that one. I'm trying to be as patient as I can but holy hell, it's been over a year... ugh.

I have deep red hair now. It's growing out nicely. Since I'm not in school right now I've been going to the gym twice a day and my eating has become very strict minus the one cheat meal a week I've allowed myself for gymming twice a day. I've only taken advantage of that twice so far, and mildly at that. Something about pushing really hard makes it ten times more difficult to mentally derail my diet for some kind of "reward" type psychology. I think the reason why I haven't really gone bananas with the whole cheat meal situation is because the one thing I crave with the passion of the christ, is this pizza I get from back home. It's got hot Italian sausage, salami, grilled eggplant, onions, and a medley of mushrooms. OH MY YUM! I just haven't found any legit pizzeria that can emulate that pizza. So, why bother?

Anywho... I'm done for this post. Something totally random just popped into my brain and so I'm going to write about that now.

Have a great day! Byeeeee!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Um, yea- being single is fucken awesome

I'm single and I love it. 
Here's my list of reasons why I'm grateful for the opportunity
after being in a committed relationship for almost my entire adult life:

1. Not freezing to death because of a 180 pound slab of steel hogging all the fucken blankets.  
2. All the coffee in the coffee pot is mine. 
3. Katy Perry. Whenever I want, as loud as I want. And not being embarrassed about it.
4. Never running out of soy milk or veggie chips or ice cubes.
5. Using both my driver's seat settings. One set for when I wear heels, and the other for flats. 
6. Taking advantage of the valet option instead of parking 900 miles away from the building. Which also means I get to wear heels all the time.
7. Getting free shit. Like, All. The. Time.
8. Brunch.
9. I can do whatever I want with my hair without subconsciously worrying if he'll like it. 
10. Never falling into the toilet because the seat is always down.
11. Coming home to an all white princess palace covered in glitter and smelling like a bakery at Christmas time.
12. Impromptu vacations to silly places like Pie Camp. Yes, it's a camp for baking pies. 
13. Dirty socks on the floor is non existent.
14. Everything is exactly where I last put it.
15. Always having left overs.
16. I can leave my laundry in the dryer for weeks on end.
17. Dishes are done in less than a minute.
18. Never running out of toilet paper.
19. Boozy bubble baths at 10am on a Tuesday and not feeling guilty about it.
20. Motherfucken FOOTBALL!!!
21. Watching trash tv at 3am in bed with a pint of froyo because I can't sleep.
22. Pulling an all nighter dance party without waking anyone up.
23. Not having to nurse someone else's hangover.
24. The walk in closet is all mine!
25. Being an asshole when I feel like shit without hurting anyone's feelings.
26. Late night drives to nowhere with the windows down and the music bumping.
27. Never having to justify my Ulta purchases.
28. My gigantic stash of scented candles is a thing of beauty instead of shame.
29. Make up free days. All day zero makeup, jacked up hair, and fat girl clothes. 
30. Razor sharp razors. All the time. 


Just a disclosure, when I was married my life was extremely charming. I had a rockstar husband and this list makes it seem like he was terrible. But this list isn't about him specifically. Truly this list is a random compilation of the things that I really appreciate about being solo. Even just dating, there are compromises that I have made just to spare the other dude's feelings or whatever. I'm glad at the end of the day I get to go home to my own place and I have no body to answer to, clean up after, or attempt to impress. Being single has been kind to me and I hope it continues to serve me well. 

Hugs my Loves,
CrisM

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

When your entire life is a string of "wtf" moments...

These past 11 months have been quite interesting for me to say the least. New city, new home, new people. Different car, no dog, and the single life. I've been waiting for the moment when the dust finally starts to settle and I see precisely what my life is forecasted to be like. I've been prolonging this forced epiphany because I wasn't ready for my reality. But, like any good ole life lesson- shit just happens whether you're ready for it or not.






It's tough to see the changes when you're going through it and it's easy for me to fight it because I want to hold on to the past. To my past. It's been an amazing adventure and to me, it seemed like there is no way to top that going forward. And truthfully, as dramatic and morose as that may sound- I'm ok with it, now. 

I know that the past 11 years of my life was a fairytale. I was married to the most incredible man on the planet, for me. He still is my best friend but the reality is that he is no longer mine. He is no longer the rock to keep me grounded, the support to hold me up when I feel down. Without him, I've become less structured and less centered. It has taken me almost a year to get my shit together.

The bottom line is that when your life is a constant baseline of "what the fuck" moments all strung together, it's time to make a change.

I've been in school for a year now and I've come to realize that I need more. The fucking around, the weird jobs, and the "one foot out the door" attitude about living in America again just hasn't been doing anything for me. It's my fault completely and I own that. 2014 has been quite the adventure, a slow, anti-climatic adventure but an adventure nonetheless.

My upcoming year should be better. I haven't quite figured out what I'm doing with my life but I know that how I've been operating just isn't optimal. Nurturing new relationships is one of my biggest  priorities. I've been too nonchalant about making friends here and it's starting to take a serious toll on my morale. I have an unhealthy habit of over romanticizing the relationships I have with my friends and I'm putting a stop to that. The loyalty, love, and respect will never go away but truth be told- we've all changed and to expect the same level of attention and selflessness from them is just unrealistic. I acknowledge what they've done for me and I appreciate all of it immensely, but I can't hold on to that false sense of security any longer. It just hinders me from creating ties with other people because the exaggerated bond pales in comparison to any new relationship. And that is just unfair as fuck.


2015 is going to be spent reevaluating what THIS girl needs in her life instead of running amuck and rebelling against what she knows and believes is true. I spent the last year going with the flow so much that I sort of forgot what my values are. I realized this about a month ago and I've been working on getting a grip on it all. I have confidence that I'll find my way soon enough.

This year, as I'm sitting around a few good friends feeling fat and guilty as all hell from eating your typical Thanksgiving foods, I've come to peace that it has all changed and it's ok. It's such a dramatic difference from last year's Thanksgiving but I'm determined to embrace the changes and allow myself to change along with it.

Sure, I'll miss the drunken debauchery and the insane vulgarity but who's to say that I won't be able to fill that void in the future? Who's to say that I won't be able to find a whole other gang of misfits just as broken and just as awesome? Each one of my pretty little birdies have found their way without me and it's time that I find my way without them.




To be thankful for everything and everyone thus far, is an understatement. I am blown away at the experiences I've lived through and I'm excited to see what else may come. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your friends and family. Enjoy the rest of this beautiful season and until next time, much love!

CrisM

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's like pulling teeth

My days are so ridiculously chaotic that I really don't know how I remember to feed myself half the time. I've been trying to update this blog for weeks and every single time I sit down to write, something else requires my immediate attention. It's almost like I shouldn't be writing anymore at all.

So to ease back into the #bloggerlife, I've decided that as I'm lying here in bed- I'm just going to write. I'm not going to try to put any significant content in this post because for fuck's sake, I just need to post something.

Here is a super quick recap of what's been going on since the last post. I am six weeks in for this fall quarter and it's truly been a blur. I think my Purchasing class is a crock of shit, my Food and Bev class is interesting but the most captivating aspect is my instructor. He's a wine importer and a proper man. I enjoy his lecture style and his plethora of information that he so willingly shares. He's also a scientist so the viticulture lectures draw me in like hypnosis. My third management class is held on the main campus which is irritating because of the gaggle of weirdos that I have to be around. The content of the class is redundant but thankfully my instructor is entertaining. Finally, my kitchen class- it's World Cuisine this quarter and I'm still unsure of how I feel about it. I feel challenged when it comes to the academic portion but as far as lab (the actual cooking) I'm once again left unsatisfied.

Speaking of unsatisfied... haha
My poor ass excuse of a social life has taken a major plummet. As if it could get any worse?!? It sure as shit did. During the summer. I made a few friends and it was awesome getting to hang out with people on the rare occasion that I had an hour or two to spare in between classes and homework. The casual dating scene was cool for a minute, but I'm just not really into it. I think the random hook up situation is best left for the birds.

I met a guy- he's quite charming. And that's all I'm going to say on that.

Seattle has gone full force into the epitome of fall. Cold, dark, and rainy for days on end. It's been lovely. I've been able to dance in the rain just a handful of times. One of those nights, I think I almost fell in love. I ran out into the pouring rain and couldn't stop giggling because I was just so happy. When I realized that he was still standing there on the porch, watching me with a little amused smile on his face, the look of acceptance he gave me sent shivers down my spine. He's never seen me like that, carefree and playful. He said he loved the sound of my laugh that night- he said he's never heard a more genuine laugh ever before in his life. And it was sweet because in that moment I was actually genuinely happy. I haven't been able to "let my hair down" with anyone for quite some time now and it felt wonderful to do that with someone who actually noticed and appreciated it.

And now it is time to post this so I can go hit the hay.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday. If you get bored of all the words, hop on over to my IG page and check out some pics.

Until next time, much love,
CrisM

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When you know, you just KNOW

Good Morning,

It's almost 8am on this wonderfully foggy Tuesday morning in Seattle. I've been awake since 4am and it's not exactly my ideal situation. I've just started my fall quarter in culinary school and I should be standing in a hot kitchen preparing seven different sides to accompany three very different main dishes. But I'm not... I'm sitting in my living room, listening to a little bit of Highway Evangelism, and steeping some coffee in my French Press.

The disappointment from my team mates was a little bit of a sting when I made the announcement that I would be dropping the class as soon as the Chef finished his lecture. But, they're good people- they'll get over my decision to drop out of the class. You know, once they wake up or their caffeine kicks in, standing in the dish pit like zombies, or on the walk to south campus for our 1230 management class this afternoon.

I think one of the most important things about the college experience is not only to challenge yourself, but to understand what kind of student you are and to exercise the discipline necessary to be successful. This situation is not permanent, that's kind of brilliant. The long days, hours of homework, drama of clashing team members, burns, bruises, and balancing work and school- it's all a lot of stuff to deal with.

For me, I'm the kind of student who strives for as close to perfection as possible. This is MY education, my learning experience, my passion. There are things that I have to do to get this degree and a few of these requirements are not exactly my cup of tea. For those scenarios that I cannot directly control (sitting through college Algebra, or writing a thesis for English Composition), I am capable of sucking it up and just doing it.

However, I am a stickler for the parts of my education that I can control. I can control my schedule and the lab classes I enroll in. Cooking is my passion and if I were to follow the masses and put myself in a situation where I'm unhappy in the kitchen, then what is the point? I want every quarter to be as enjoyable as possible. This quarter the main focus is on knocking out the management (lecture) classes that will help me set a good foundation for running the business side of a kitchen. But because this is CULINARY school, it is ideal to also be in a kitchen setting to coincide with the literature that I'm studying.

My Mondays this quarter are all about sustainable purchasing and cost control. Breaking down menus into sub recipes and crunching numbers to figure out how much revenue is needed to sustain a business. I mean, this is important stuff! This is taking investor's money and being responsible for employees' salaries all while making sure the customers are receiving high quality food that is properly acquired and safely produced. I'm sitting in lecture classes for 9 hours, just working with numbers, and importing, exporting, wholesale, retail, food, beverage operations, etc. I don't know if that sounds like fun to you guys, but it's satisfying to be accurate (down to the penny) in regards to knowing the ins and outs of operating a business in the food industry.

With all that being said, to start my Tuesday morning at 4am means that I am taking away from my ability to successfully operate as a human. Haha. After I got home at 5pm yesterday evening, I prepared dinner and started on my homework assignments. There is a lot of research that goes into cost control, sustainability, purchasing, and basic accounting (thank you Excel). So much so, that I didn't finish my homework until almost 10pm. Then I had to prep for Tuesday classes. Lab then lecture- I already knew as I was going over all my recipes last night (that I have already researched and studied over the weekend) that this wasn't going to be optimal for my education.

I made the decision last night to drop this class but to be sure, I went to class this morning anyway. I wanted to validate my decision by showing up and taking in the experience of standing there, with my low energy level (I went to the gym at 4:30am this morning) and to see how much I could actually pay attention. I zoned out about 30 times in the 20 minutes the chef was going over how this course was going to play out. The responsibilities as a student chef during this particular course at 0630 in the morning, are more than I'm able to commit to.

This chef is right up my alley though. He's firm, clear about his expectations, and means business. At 0630 after my Monday schedule- I know that I'm not ready to tackle this monster just yet. So, when you know..... you just know. And I know without a doubt that postponing this class is the right move for me. It's not a cop out or a lack of motivation, it's simply knowing what kind of student I am and exercising my discipline to ensure my overall success.

Now, coffee is ready- there are mad amounts of dishes that need my attention and contracts that must be drawn up for work. All of which would have been done into the wee hours of Wednesday morning had I made the poor decision to stay in my lab class this morning.

I hope everyone's start of fall is as wonderful as a giant soy pumpkin spice latte. Until next time, hugs and kisses.

-CrisM

Thursday, September 4, 2014

To my Best Friend, on our would-have-been 10th anniversary

My Dearest L, 

It’s September 4th, quarter past midnight. Ten years ago on this day, we were two eager and in love teenagers dealing with the gross humidity of San Antonio. You were at Medina, and I was sleeping on a very worn in bed at Papa’s house. My heart was racing because I knew that when the morning came, I would be able to hold your hand as we promised each other to spend the rest of our days together. I wasn’t afraid though. I had zero doubts about us. I was utterly certain you were the person I wanted to grow old with. Do you remember how I fell in love with the smell of yellow roses that morning? I remember how uncomfortable you felt in your blues, but my goodness you looked so handsome. I remember sitting in the passenger’s seat of the Alero, and thinking to myself how lucky I am to have earned your love. And how excited I was to start our crazy adventures. Ha! Little did we know our life would be one hell of a wild ride. Even at 18, I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world because you picked me. 

You have grown into the most incredible man I have ever known. From your tech school graduation through all your promotions; your countless TDYs and handful of life changing deployments, you have conquered every obstacle thrown your way with humility. As busy as you’ve been with work, taking time to maintain your individuality, family drama, friend drama, cars, cats, all my career changes, and moving six times between three counties and four states, I never once felt out of place because you were my home. My rock. You have always made sure I was properly taken care of. You have kept every single promise since we were 16, and I have always admired that about you. Words cannot express my appreciation and gratitude for everything you’ve done for me and for us. 

This last year has been interesting to say the least. You and I have gone through some serious shit since we decided to split. But because of the man you are, I still have zero doubts about us. We were best friends for so many years and I believe we will remain close until the day we die. Growing old with you is still a reality- we’re just accomplishing that a little differently than we originally planned. Which is ok.

My wish for you on this day, and every year that follows, is that you are filled with the kind of happy memories from our beautiful story to propel you to give love another chance. The way you’ve loved me for so many years brings tears to my eyes because it would be a shame if you don’t ever share that side of you with somebody else. The sparkle in your baby blues when you’re in love is pure bliss and I’ll never forget what that looks like. And I’ll always remain grateful that you gave me the chance to be your wife. 

With all my love, today and always,

C

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

50 Shades of CrisM

I love sunglasses. I count on them.
I don't feel complete without a pair of shades regardless of whether the sun is actually out or not.
But that's not technically what this post is about. 
Let's talk about sex, Baby.
I'm not making any excuses or playing that double standard card. 
I make no apologies for handling my business this way
and any other single lady who has had her heart ripped to bits shouldn't apologize either.
Here are 50 random thoughts, revelations, and down right ridiculous beliefs
 when it comes to being a single lady running amuck in Sunny Seattle. 

About me:
  1. Unless we are in an exclusive relationship, which I assure you- we're not, stick to your designated day. Do not call me on Sunday, when you know that you are Thursday night's entertainment.
  2. I mean business when I say, "you're off the hook" so don't read into it- just count your wins, cut your losses, and move on.
  3. PDA- gross. I'm not into it so if that's your thing- move on.
  4. Fresh flowers, yea, I like them. But if you bring them to me with preconceived notions about what that can get you- you are dead wrong. Alls it gets you is a super grateful thank you and possibly a hug. But no promises on the hug. PDA. Gross.
  5. I have never been more honest about my intentions ever before in my life. Please listen carefully when I say shit. It's for your own good.
  6. Don't linger after the fact. It's so annoying. If I want you to stay, I'll state it. Otherwise, get your shit and go!
  7. If you manage to stay for breakfast, let me cook. I'm a gd chef for crying out loud. Just stay in bed and let me do my thing. I promise, you won't impress me or melt my heart for trying. 
  8. After breakfast, don't linger. It's so annoying. If I want you to stay, I'll state it. Otherwise, get your shit and go! 
  9. Seriously, take points 6, 7, and 8 to heart. It's insane that I have to say that more than once.
  10. In case I wasn't clear the first 3 times, DO NOT LINGER AT MY PLACE. It's annoying. I have a schedule that I stick to. Please don't make it awkward. Just get your shit and go!
  11. I'm like a ninja. I will never leave anything of mine at your place. Ever. 
  12. Return the favor, and don't leave any of your stuff at mine.
  13. Drive. Whether it's your car or mine, just be nice and drive us places.
  14. Don't get upset when I have to go. Whining will make me not ever want to see you again.
  15. My closest friends are dudes. Don't ask to meet them. They won't like you. 
  16. I don't ask questions about your past. It doesn't concern me.
  17. On that note, if you have real questions for me about my past, I reserve the right to answer. You are allowed to ask them, but 9 times out of 10, my answer will not satisfy your curiosity.
  18. When we're together doing stuff you'll have my full attention. I promise.
  19. If we're not together and I say "I'm busy"- do not blow up my phone. 
  20. Pet names are as enduring as nails to a chalk board. If you have to call me something other than my name, do it when I'm not around.

About you:
  1. I'm all for just doing "whatever" but if I have to make all the gd decisions about our activities more than twice in a row, I'll probably never want to hang out with you again.
  2. If you order white wine without it accompanying some gnarly seafood dish, I will make fun of your #basic behavior.
  3. Your jeans should not be tighter than mine.
  4. I like strong men who like strong women. I'm not a damsel in destress, I'm not helpless, nor do I need you to puff out your chest when another dude hits on me. 
  5. When girls hit on you in my presence- I take it as a compliment. When you hit on girls in my presence, it better be because you're trying to get us free drinks.
  6. Don't suggest watching a horror movie with me. It's a bad idea for both of us. I'll think you're an asshole for trying to force me to do something I don't want to do. And you'll think I'm a bitch for calling you an asshole.
  7. Don't call me a bitch. Don't call me crazy. Don't call me high maintenance or a princess. I'm not a bitch, I just don't take shit from anyone. I'm not crazy, I just don't take shit from anyone. You don't maintain me or my lifestyle, so you have no right to judge. Keep your observations to yourself.
  8. Smile when you send me a selfie. It's weird to get a pissed off mug with the caption "just thinking about you..." like what the hell?! 
  9. If you send me a dick pic, I will forward them to all my friends. And they will forward it to all their friends. Lesson being: Don't send me a dick pic.
  10. I really do like getting pictures, especially if you're out doing fun stuff. Keep that in mind when you're out doing fun stuff. Then remember it the next time we're hanging out and take me to do those things.
  11. Don't you ever talk shit about your family. I don't care how screwed up it is- I'm not interested in hearing about your family drama. Chances are, we're not close enough to get that deep so if you feel comfortable enough to unload all this shit on my ears, you'll never hear from me ever again.
  12. Don't talk shit about your ex girlfriends. That shit is in the past and it doesn't concern me. Be a man, suck that shit up, and don't punish me for her behavior.
  13. If you're super close with your family, I'll know. And I'll think it's adorable. 
  14. Please do me favor, don't order my food when we go out to dinner. 
  15. Giving me any kind of gift is sweet and I really do appreciate it. But please, for the love of Christ- if you're going to buy me jewelry, please take note of the kind of jewelry I'm into. 
  16. You need to have your own set of friends that you do stuff with. Without me.
  17. Have a real job. Own a reliable vehicle. Pay your rent on time. Do your laundry. Eat off of real plates. And keep your grooming standards high. Nothing is more attractive to me than a man who has his shit on lock.
  18. Taylor made suits. Have those. At least one really good quality three piece. 
  19. If you are a terrible dancer, that's ok by me. But when we party and I want to dance don't freak out when I'm getting jiggy wit it on the dance floor with some jabbawockee. 
  20. If you do dance, let's fucken dance!

About "us": 
  1. I try to keep things as simple as possible. My only request is that you recognize that and reciprocate. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. 
  2. I live in a really nice neighborhood and I'm rather friendly. If we are kicking it at my place, be nice to my neighbors. I promise, when we're at your place- I'll do the same.
  3. The thing with me is that I'm crystal clear about my level of interest. You will never have to guess how I feel about you. That being said, when I say "I'm done." Please for the love of Jesus- do not try to win me back. It will not work.
  4. When you feel like you're done, there will be no hard feelings. Just be clear about your decision, state it, and stick with it. If you "break up" with me and then text me two weeks later, I will most likely make fun of you with my friends.
  5. The thing is, when you see me out and about with someone else you have two options: a.) casually say hello and quickly carry on, or b.) ignore me completely. Both are acceptable. You do not have the option to mean mug me and whomever I'm with, text me bullshit messages about playing you, or try to conduct a dick measuring contest about who I like more. 
  6. On that note, if you're that person that I'm out and about with and we run into a friend, your options are a.) politely say hello and excuse yourself, or b.) politely say hello and introduce yourself. You do not have the option to show off, be rude, or bow up. 
  7. When we see your friends out and about, I will always politely say hello and excuse myself. Do not introduce me to your friends. 
  8. Do not introduce me to your family.
  9. Do not ask me to watch your dog, feed your cat, or check your mail. I'm not your girlfriend.
  10. Discretion. Be classy and a gentleman about things. What we do is between us, and us alone. Unless, of course you send me a dick pic. Then that shit is going all over the internets. Freak.