It is heating up, here in Vallejo. Yesterday was warm enough for me to quit work early. I remember my parents telling me this story about when they were newlyweds. After my father returned from Korea, a battalion aid medic, he was transferred to an Army base in Texas. He and my mother lived off base in a small house with one bedroom and no insulation. Now here is where I think the laws of physics come in handy. On hot nights, too many to count in Texas, Continue reading “IT’S HEATING UP”
It was awkward. I was a young adult and definitely not experienced. It was not the first time that I “stayed over” at a friend’s house but on those other times I needed to run off to work early. This particularly lazy Sunday morning in Marina Del Rey, I had nowhere to be and to tell the truth, I was hungry. So when the idea of breakfast was suggested I said, Yes. Continue reading “WANT TO GO TO BREAKFAST?”
The first of May. Spring is in the air and I have noticed two things that take me back to my early years. The sensory memories, I find, are the strongest. Well, technically speaking, I guess that they are all sensory memories. What I am specifically referring to are those of sound and smell. This past weekend I caught the scent of charcoal and pine smoke in the air. One of my neighbors had a backyard fire going, presumably to barbecue, and it smelled like they used pine cones or needles to help start the charcoal along. The aroma gave me a sense of comfort and emotional warmth. It is a familiar smell that I associate with good times, happy times. As I walked a little farther the scent faded as did the emotion.
(Read to the tune of Wednesday Morning.)
Thursday morning at 5 o’clock
And the muse won’t set in.
Anxiously pacing the bedroom floor.
Writing, deleting, I hoped to say more.
I think that it has happened. I think that I have Continue reading “THURSDAY MORNING”
I remember when I first learned the word Kitsch. I was a young man, in my late twenties, and managing a restaurant for the first time. The local newspaper wanted to write a story about the restaurant and my boss asked me to give the interview. The restaurant was large, two story, and built of a framework of open beams. It was not laid out in a grid fashion rather more of a meander up stairs to different levels. It was called the Vintage House and there were Continue reading “KITSCH”
I like Vallejo . . . a lot. One of the things about Vallejo that has inspired me to engage more locally, including the writing of this blog and running for Planning Commission, is the current debate over the fate of the old Sperry Mill site. I believe more than any one topic, The Sperry Mill debate, even with its divisiveness, Continue reading “FRIENDS OF VALLEJO”
When I was ten or eleven, my parents took my little sister and me to the Front Room for dinner. Our front room. The family, in our house, in the East Bay front room. We, my little sister and I, were told to go upstairs, clean up and put on the nice clothes that my mother had laid out for us. Then we were told to come downstairs at exactly 5:30 for “Fancy Dinner.” Wow, fancy dinner? I really did not know Continue reading “THE FRONT ROOM”
“How much is there?”
“A mountain of it, maybe 50, 60 cases.”
Many, many years ago I did the Renaissance Faire. We say we did the faire, not went to the faire, or worked at the faire. No, we DID the faire. We packed our cars for camping, put on crazy, sometimes super expensive costumes, and went dancing around in a forest. Think of it as your parent’s Burning Man, but just Continue reading “A COLD ONE”
“Do you have a job yet?” The voice on the other end of the line asked.
The year was 1991, I had recently graduated from the California Culinary Academy and had just, two days prior, returned from a month long driving tour of Europe with my buddy Dale.
“No.” I said, with no apparent alacrity, anticipating the crush of credit card debt that was headed my way.
And so it all began, the call that changed the direction of my life. Within a week’s time I was cooking for none other than Continue reading “WHAT THE TRUCK?”