The Wet Begins

Last night, I was going to go to bed early (a side-effect of starting work at 5:30 in the morning every day.)

There was a little bit of wind. I walked outside, and saw lightning.

I figured the storm wouldn’t hit the Roadhouse though. It was a long way off.

I was beautifully, fantastically wrong.

The wind picked up, and I could feel the thunder rattle through my bed.

I grabbed my guitar and went out onto our back porch, sat on the couch, and played the storm in.

The staff quarters are underneath one giant, tin roof. The rain came, and it sounded like it was pounding. It sounded like the kind of onslaught that soaks you in moments. It wasn’t, but it was still enough to dance in. (It felt like Louisiana.)


We had a rain party. No one could sleep, so we played darts by torchlight and had to yell to be heard over the rain on the roof.


(Someone had popcorn. I haven’t had popcorn in ages.  Popcorn in the rain is one of those things that reminds me of growing up. On grey afternoons, my dad would look outside and say that it looks like a popcorn day, and we’d watch a movie at four o’clock in the afternoon and eat giant bowls of popcorn.)


Distinctly *Not* French

The Roadhouse is a crazy echoing cavern of gossip. (As, I suppose, is extremely likely in a tiny, remote place with a static population of approximately *ten*.)

Whenever something new happens, pretty much everybody knows about it *immediately*. (This probably isn’t helped by the fact that the walls between the rooms of the staff quarters may as well be paper for all the good they do to block sound.)y

So, when we were going to get two new ladies to join the staff, we all knew about it: Two French girls, one’s a cook, one’s a housekeeper.

Then, these two women arrive, and *everyone* thinks they’re going to be French (they were booked into our computer as “Mr. French Gal 1″ and “Mr. French Gal 2″.) and they  are both very confused, as one of them is from England and the other is Scottish.


Gossip: Seriously bad at conveying *real* information.

Conflicts of Personality

An observation about certain tactics used by those who abuse power:

In conversation, they start with a show of dominance, reminding you that *they* are in the position of power.

Then, they establish a completely arbitrary scale of improvement.

The trap is when they say that you weren’t doing very well *before*, (usually this comes as a not-so-subtle threat) and that *now* you’re doing *better*. This is the part that’s supposed to draw you in. If you invest in this arbitrary scale…you’re lost. Because it will never be something that can actually be measured in any way. It’s not about performance, it’s about creating a sense of loyalty.

It’s implied that the person in power…sees some sort of *potential* in you, and wants to push you to develop it.

It’s a trick. It’s enticing you to go to lengths to emotionally invest in pleasing the other person. Then, all they have to do to get you to bend over backwards is just, gently comment. “Hey. You seem back…to how you were before.” and then you’re stuck trying to figure out what ephemeral *whatever* they want to see. You spend all of your energy trying to figure out which actions make you seem “good” on this scale and which ones cause “backslide”.

Even though it’s all bullshit.

It’s all just power games.

It’s trying to trap you, because the only person who can ever say you’re doing “better” at this totally made-up thing, is the person who made it up.

If you don’t play the game – they get nasty.



On a completely related note: I really do not get along well with my new boss.


Mass Exodus

Today, more people walked out.

In particular…the last two people who really knew what they were doing.

It’s shaping up to be absolutely mad week.

The current chef put in his two weeks notice.

We’ve gotten a few new people in, but most of them aren’t really sure if they’re going to stay, and…walking out without giving notice is…really not a good precedent.

It doesn’t look like any free time will be appearing in the upcoming future.


In other news; we’ve turned off the fireball-ing fryer, because the fireballs were getting big enough to start making the chef uncomfortable.


I almost feel bad, but the place is running on duct tape and chewing gum…and I feel right at home. It’s the kind of “JUST MAKE IT WORK” that I’m used to.

What is “Free Time”?

The new chef who showed up…never actually showed up.

He was here for two days, and the day that he was scheduled to start…he decided to run away instead.

It was…really unexpected. He stopped in, early in the morning, and we figured he was saying hi or something before starting.

Instead, he got a coffee, told everyone he was going to “walk his dog”, then never came back.

So, now there are only two people and we have to keep the kitchen open from 5:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night.

It’s just going to be some long days for the two of us until someone else is found to come join the crew.

I’m tired just thinking about it.


Bigger Fireballs To Fry

This morning I made one of those mistakes that could have turned out to be so much worse than they actually ended up being.

The evening before, the grill hadn’t been switched to the “off” position, when the gas main was turned off.

So…when I turned on the gas main, and went to light the stove…

there was…a rather *large* fireball.

That was extraordinarily close to my face.

My *eyelashes* got singed.

I smell like burnt hair.

It also set me back several weeks on my attempt to grow out my *awesome* hairstyle.


(On the other hand, I’m not actually complaining *at all*, because I managed to not get my fucking face *burnt off*, so. Y’know. It’s not that bad, but still!)

Total Eclipse of the Moon: Take 2

I feel so out of touch with the world living here at the roadhouse sometimes. I’m not really keeping up with the things that I had the opportunity to pay attention to when I had more access to the internet and…people.

I was told there was an eclipse tonight, and my response was “I don’t think we’ll see it here” because I hadn’t seen anything about it.

I was wrong, and, luckily for me, a new chef came in today, and he had written down when the eclipse was going to happen. So, we all walked up onto the hill, played music, and watched the eclipse.

It was a bit cloudy, so we didn’t stay for the entire thing, but I’m really glad that I managed to catch any of it.

It was gorgeous.

Head Up, Eyes Open




A lot.

Not even plans like “What am I going to do tomorrow?” but like “Where will I be in three months, depending on endless variables? How many versions of the plan do I need to have? How many contingencies are in place?” and then I stress out about them, and it’s dumb.

Sometimes, I have beautiful moments when I remember that I don’t need to stress out about endless plans, because in my planning, I forget *huge* things, mostly things that I don’t need.

I have really intense rules in my life sometimes; really rigid structures that I live within. (I’m really not sure where that came from or how I feel about it, but I read/heard somewhere recently “never replace a coping mechanism unless there is one ready to replace it”, so I’m just going to leave that for now.)

Sometimes I get so caught up in what I have and where I am that I don’t think of where I could be going. I drop in all of these false limitations into the equations subconsciously. I will drive myself mad thinking “How do I make this work?” when the answer is “It is working, but in a different city. Just go somewhere else.” and I’m…shocked, because the answer is so easy, and it never even occurred to me until virtually all other options had been exhausted.

I spend hours thinking “What will I do next?”

and I should really stop that, because whenever I start thinking “What will I do next” my head seems to always go straight to “where have you already been?” instead of “where do you want to go next?”

I get stuck circling the familiar.

This is a huge part of why I write bucket lists.

I see them and I remember all of the things that I want to do that I haven’t done yet.

Seeing lists of things I want to do helps get my head out of the safety of the past. I know what I’ve done. It’s all inherently turned out alright, because I’m a reasonably functional human being.

I think maybe it has to do with how I process things. I like to build off of knowledge. In my experience, there is a reason why everything is done the way it is. Once I know the reason behind the action, I can apply that knowledge to further action.

This means that I actively hoard trivia, because it’s all why‘s. (Well. Some of it is. Some of it is just weird shit that I like knowing about.)

This does mean, though, that whenever I’m looking at a situation, I start with what I already know. More than that, I start with what I know I know. The things that I am extremely confident about.

I’m not particularly confident in things that I haven’t done a thousand times, so starting from a place of confidence doesn’t lead to anything new. Starting from a place of confidence doesn’t really leave room for the building of new confidence.

So, I think that I’m going to try working on taking more steps back in planning. Because, I zoom in on things. I like small things; I like details. I like the things I already know.

But the things that I know are nothing when compared to all of the stuff that’s out there to still learn.

I need to step back from where I’ve been; step back from what I know, and get back to saying yes to things that I’m not so good at.

I like saying yes to things I’m not so good at.

That’s where stories live.



Chef Swap

We have a new chef in the kitchen, and he’s *awesome*.

(I have to admit that I was really kind of nervous, because he’s a kind of middle-aged guy, and the last two of those that we’ve had come here are…not really the type of people that I want to spend time with.

Any time with.

Pretty much at all.



This guy is super cool. It’s just…a super chill kitchen – which is a rare and beautiful thing – and it’s really wonderful to work in.

Also, we get along musically, which is…bizarre, honestly, because usually I come in with the line of “Hey, I’m going to put music on, if you hate something let me know and I’ll skip it”, and then I can kind of tailor the kitchen soundtrack to the people working (because *I* like everything I’ll put on. So I just make sure *they* like it too and then everyone is happy!)
So, I started my line, and he was like “No, I really don’t hate music. In fact, I was staying in a hostel the other day, and I put on classical to drown out the noise, so I could fall asleep”.
He sings along to everything too.
Best. Kitchen. Ever.

Grease Drop

I think that I have discovered the cause of the fireballs in the kitchen.


There is a vent over the grill, and it is…kind of totally gross. It doesn’t seem to matter how often or how thoroughly it is cleaned.

All of the grease that evaporates off the grill gets caught on the vent and condenses.

Then, it drips on you.

It brings a whole new meaning to “greasy hair”. Because grease is dripping onto your head.

(I think the worst that I’ve seen was when we had this French girl in the kitchen, and she was helping us to make properly awesome crepes. She was at just the right height that the grease would drip down her shirt.



The grease used to be centered mainly around the grill. However, (I think with the increase in humidity) the grease now drips from every corner of the vent.

Including over the deep-fryer.

I think what’s happening is that grease is dripping into the exhaust ports of the deep fryers and igniting, causing a tiny fireball.


At least, I’m going with that, because it makes me feel a whole lot better than “EXPLOSIONS IN THE KITCHEN!!!!”