Good evenings, friends and neighbors.
You may have noticed, but reality can suck. Quite often, really.
It feels like the world wants something from you every moment. Things go wrong, or they go right in the wrong way, and sometimes you don’t even know what the hell the point of everything IS.
I read somewhere that humans are the only intelligent creatures for whom our own existence poses a problem. Other creatures live in the moment, learning as the go, with the sole aim of “survive another day.” For us, at the pinnacle of the food chain as we are, existential threats to our lives aren’t nearly so frequent. We still have all those frustrating survival mechanisms- transformed into stress, anxiety, depression and all that- but mostly we have the time and leisure to say “Why am I here?”
Reality can be heavy… and fortunately, our intelligence has given us a whole bunch of ways to lighten the load, even for a moment. We came up with movies, video games, all sorts of activities- but it all started with stories.
Good evening, friends and neighbors!
In case you haven’t guessed, I love telling a good story. It’s the way we tend to look at our lives and experiences.
The good guys win (most of the time.) We love stories of redemption, of overcoming adversity, and underdogs. From our earliest mythmakers, we have seen the “plot lines” in our lives.
Of course, those include plots where we aren’t exactly as perfect and noble as we dream of being.
I felt called out here.
Around 8 years or so ago, I was staying in my girlfriend’s apartment for the weekend. We have just finished making some chocolate cookies for after dinner. At the time, I was still working as an EMT- my work weeks were pretty grueling, and I found relaxation in cooking and baking at home. Often, I would bring in the results of my work to the Rescue Squad- they were usually very thankful. The EMT diet tended to be odd things at odd hours, washed down with way too much caffeine, and getting something home-cooked and half-decent just delivered to you was a rarity.
While the cookies were cooling, Amanda said, “You know, there’s this great show I’ve been watching recently on Travel Channel I think you’d like. This guy used to be a chef, and he just goes all over the world and talks about the food and culture and stuff. He just did a really funny episode about Prague. Hang on, I’ll pull it up.”
I shrugged and crashed out next to her on the couch. It had a been a long day- a busy shift, and then driving the hour to get to her, I was eager to get as much sleep as possible on my days off.
She pulled up the episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”- and my world tilted.
In the weeks to come, I would start cooking and baking at home even more, trying out different recipes with Tony joking and laughing in the background from whatever corner of the world he was in. I would pick up “Kitchen Confidential,” and a number of his other books, devouring ALL of them. All the while, I’d bring in stuff for the squad- and I’d hear them say, “Matt, this is REALLY good. Why are you running on an ambulance? You should be doing this!”
8 years and a few days ago, I was informed that I’d been accepted to culinary school.
Good afternoon, friends and neighbors.
The words that have been used to describe my soul include “kind,” “warm,” “simple,”… and “old as f***.””Fluffy” as well, but this blog is about why old things are really cool.
Kind, Warm, Simple, Fluffy, and Old. I want some honey now.