Winter Refresher

Ground control to Major Tom. Less than two weeks until departure. Commence with packing, race is on. If you haven’t checked out Toothsome lately, you’d better do so.

I’ve been working a lot the last couple of weeks–reworking the dessert menu at the Rio. Getting home late and going for short jogs with the dog. It’s very cool outside in LeRoy right now. We have sooo much snow, and between the plows and people shoveling, the snow’s in drifts of six feet in some places! Hotness. I love it, and don’t even mind having to clean the driveway and front steps every morning. It’s so brisk and refreshing outside. When Minnie and I cruise the town around midnight, there’s nobody awake. I feel this is the optimal time to enjoy a new snowfall–before everyone else messes it up with footprints. The snow silences everything–even the traffic on Main Street! (And at twelve o’clock on weeknights, let me tell you, LeRoy is bustling with traffic). The thing I love the best aobut this winter is that if you walk for a while your cheeks get so cold that snowflakes landing on your nose don’t even melt! It’s sparkly and magical. Minnie and I feel like snow princesses.

But that snow princess glow is gone in the morning when it’s time to get in the shower. Oh Lord, that’s the worst (okay, okay I can think of several things that are eight million times worse than standing naked on an ice-cold tile floor waiting for the water to heat up, but I think you’ll agree that early morning frigidity is not a great feeling).

I’m going to make a big fat snow angel tomorrow.

During the midnight walk, not the morning shower…

Mittens: Not Just For Hand-Warming Anymore

The best thing about Upstate NY in the wintertime is dancing with mittens on. Cold weather gear and hip hop music are meant to be together. And I, for one, am doing my part to unite them.

I can’t help myself! The opportunities for excitement are not exactly breaking my door down here in LeRoy, so when a good song comes on during the commute to/from work, you better bet I’m car-dancing to that tune!! Besides, you’d have to be insane not to wear hand and head gear in this FOUR DEGREE weather, so I’m positive that people all over Western New York are doing exactly the same thing.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind when you try it out:

HipHop car-dancing mittens should be as large as possible–humungous and have at least four layers of insulation– you should feel like you’re wearing really warm scuba diving flippers…on your hands. My winter hat was knitted by Nonnie a really long time ago, and isn’t actually mine, but I’ve confiscated it on such a permanent basis now that no one remembers it’s not mine. Ding! Like many hand-knitted garments, it doesn’t exactly fit the way it’s supposed to but if your winter hat slips down over your eyes a little, so much the better: incognito is good. Really, any winter hat will do because they’re all pretty dorky. Coupled with The Cloak Of Darkness (a floor-length black down comforter with a Dracula collar) or other winter cloak of choice, you’ve got yourself a hip hopping car jiving winter dance ensemble (pron. ahhhn-sawwwm-BLEUGH).

I’ve discovered that the mittens are great for rappy sort of songs like “We In The Red Light District” by Ludacris. The more syncopation the better. Three cheers for s-to-the-nyck-izzo-pation. Classic dance moves like “DJ Spins the Tables” (awickka whikka whikka whik) and “Pretend to Be a Rap Artist” are really dramatic and – I feel – much more effective with mittens on. And the head bob! Newsflash: Winter hats do more than just conserve body heat. All those creative juices that usually fly out through the tips of your hair are now capped and reflected back down through your body. It’s a special energy that flows between hat and mittens– the rhythm nurtured and warmed by the tea cozy on your head. Your mittens transformed into divining rods for The Beat.

Just remember to use caution when doing The Figure Eight with your hips (one of my favorite dance moves), because when your right hip bone goes forward, the car tends to accelerate quite a bit…

Where’s MotorMouth when we need them?!

Overnight Transformation


I’m trying to stay positive about my bi-weekly overnight shifts. I love the production I get to do during those late night/early morning hours–rolling croissants, mixing, proofing, shaping, & baking all kinds of breads, finishing pastries, and other various and asundry tasks…I’m learning so much and getting some great experience.

The only problem is that I feel like a complete ZOMBIE Monday through Wednesday. If my circadian rhythm could just catch up with this new schedule, everything would be dandy. Anyone have helpful hints about how to deal with working when you’re supposed to be sleeping and vice versa?

New Life

clock.jpgMy new random schedule is great!! I love having my life turned upside down. I think I was getting into a bit of a rut with the early morning thing every single day (and I’d only been doing that for two months!). Routine gets old so fast. This week I’m working all kinds of random shifts, the overnight, plating desserts at dinner service, and tomorrow we have a buyout. A.K.A. Someone (with lots and lots of moolah) bought out the entire restaurant for the whole day! So I’ll be working 2pm-10pm. I’m sure you’re all extremely fascinated by my work schedule, huh? Hmm. Not so much. But it’s the major excitement in my life right now (besides daydreams of my only-two-weeks-away vacation home), so it would be dishonest of me to not write about it here.

This morning was inspiring! I’ve been on a real workout kick lately, and trying to squeeze in random hours to do pilates, kickbox, or swim is a new challenge I’ve embraced with open arms. Working out is so much more fun when you’re doing it at 1 in the morning or some other random time. (How come when you actually have normal hours to do things, you don’t do them, and when you have no time, you manage to fit everything you never thought was possible into one day!?) But back to this A.M.’s inspiration. Got home around 5AM and went swimming while the sun came up!!! It was so gorgeous–the palm trees, there were actually a few clouds (I was doing the backstroke), and the pink and orange sky. Absolutely refreshing for mind, body and spirit.

And you should have seen the city from the 10th floor of our parking garage tonight (around midnight). The lights were awesome! It really was beautiful. In the daylight Vegas looks pretty desertish and tacky if you ask me, and it feels just heinous–hot and miserable. But at night, and in the early morning it’s a somewhat normal temperature (high eighties) and the darkness hides the ugly parts, so the city is quite lovely actually.

My body has no concept of what day or what time it is anymore, but it’s not even a problem. I like life better this way because you sleep when you need to sleep and go the rest of the time. I think this is how life should be–living for survival not for routine. I feel more awake and alive than I have in a long time.

Oh! P.S. Another great thing about working the overnight shift: you get real dinner!!! Lamb tenderloin, steak, mashed potatoes and haricot verts, you name it! REAL FOOD!!


I sense a pet fish in my future. But after doing some research today, am not convinced I can aptly provide for a live aquarian creature! Building a mini ecosystem complex enough to support a life –in one little tank (or rather, one not so little tank)– is quite intimidating. But I found my dream fish Belthezar Jr. today and he’s on sale for only $6.99!! Oh the Temptation.

goldfish.jpgI’m so conflicted because I’m not sure I want to acquire a whole aquarium ecosystem and then have to move it when I leave. But the enjoyment and companionship Belthezar would surely bring would improve the quality of my life greatly. On the other hand, if I’m going to buy a fish, I want to improve the quality of his life too, you know? I don’t want him to be stuck swimming around in circles day after day, bored out of his mind. Unfortunately, this involves purchasing a 10 gallon fish tank, which certainly would not fit in my bathroom (where Belthy was planning on living).

Perhaps the bathtub could be a good resolution. Afterall, it’s already installed in the apartment! But then, taking a shower and whatnot could be a problem. Passion flower shampoo might be a little too girly for Belthy.

So then I found this portable, build-it-yourself pond with a fountain, which would be just fabulous! We could put it in the living room and swim/wade together while chatting about the day’s events. An added bonus: a refreshing dip within the comfort of our own home! But I’m not sure we’d still have room for a couch (if we ever buy one) with the large fountain in the middle of the room.

This is quite the dilemna! I’ll have to ponder the pros and cons some more…

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