Tuesday, October 11, 2011

choosing tired

i'm tired.

methinks that being tired is the status quo these days.

yet, this is my choice. i fully realize my tiredness is a result of the choices i have made with my life.

my everyday job requires 12-14 hour days, then you add hanging out with loved ones, blogging, taking pics, and randomly helping out with friends' ventures here and there....it makes complete logical sense why i am tired.

the other day, after four hours of meetings for my "day" job, i showed up at market to help out during the busiest part of a service shift. i was talking to a young cook i know about how i'd be doing a few hours of service to help out and then would go back to my "day job". you know, to work another 8 hours at the day job. the young cook said he doesn't understand my job. he's not the only one. most of the loved ones in the food industry think my "day" job is some odd abstract thing....but realize that if i have enough advance notice....i can schedule in a block of time to help out before going back to my regular job.

then, i was speaking to my deliciously wicked godfather....who has a corporate executive history at various technology companies....and he was asking me some questions about what i'm doing with this "food stuff". he understands why i'll have work meetings at midnight, 2am, or 6am...because that is what you do when you work for a corporate office of a global technology company. his hours at his current company are usually 7am-9pm.but he doesn't read the blog or really follow the food industry at all. it was difficult to explain how my passion for cooking and food is manifesting itself these days....and i had a feeling that i wasn't explaining it very well. sometimes it is difficult for me to articulate things that are important to me....especially when i'm not able to put words to the feelings and their importance. i just ended up saying, that "i'm happy" before the probing began regarding my sex life and marital status. sigh. families. gotta love them in their predictability sometimes.

then the other night, i was talking to the heart sister...who has very good grasp on my job (hello, former youngest public affairs director for a food-oriented government agency...ever...and makes my sense of drive look like i'm an amateur while she has gone pro a hella long time ago)....and who also has a very excellent grasp on my pursuit of passions for food, writing, and photography. she indicated quite bluntly that the combo of the blog and the helping out with hapa occasionally, it is like i've taken on another job.

ummm, yeah.

i was thinking more about this last night, after i took a break from work to grab some dinner at the hapa ramen popup at bar tartine.

i stopped into the mission and took a sneak peek of what folks were going to plate for service.....which included sardines....

richie's latest foie dish....

susanna's charcuterie board.....

and then returned later to eat dinner. while i was starting to eat my dinner of yummy charred pork rib and brussels sprouts with a slow cooked egg and bacon (it is pretty much guaranteed that i'm going to order the slow cooked egg dish when they put it on the menu), mrs. hapa ramen came by and mentioned that she thought i looked frazzled.

this is true. this seems to be my state these days. trying to balance everything....i was also thinking about the hours of work i would have to return to after dinner was over. as i was eating by myself, folks working that night came by to visit with me when they had spare moments. it also gave me some time to observe the buzz of service and think about the folks that have been involved in hapa....about how many people have contributed to and believe in what the chef, richie, is working to achieve.

there was also the moment when i was in the kitchen, watching....i enjoy watching richie cook....and richie ended up making me a bite of foie ...almost like a mini sandwich bite with the main ingredients of his plated dish....and sus handing me a dash of chopped almonds so that i could taste what his dish was about. i had to laugh while this was going on. my being in the kitchen area reminded me of when my goddaughter hangs out in the kitchen while i'm cooking....seeing if she'll score a bite here and there. my being able to taste the latest yummy version of richie's foie was a definite score. unsurprisingly, my feeling frazzled had disappeared at this point....between the food, quick moments of connections with folks that i admire, and thinking about why monday, october 10th was a such a big deal.....the stress i was feeling melted away for a moment. this was a gift in itself.

yesterday was a very big deal.

richie formally announced to the press that the lease was signed on the new spot on fillmore.....which will be the restaurant space for hapa. "hapa ramen" will continue to be at the market on tuesdays and thursdays....yet, "hapa" the restaurant will be on fillmore.

this is a significant milestone.

from a selfish perspective, i look forward to when i'll be able to leave my place and just walk to the restaurant.

after the meal was over, i was thinking about the culmination of the various conversations i've been having over the past week or so....and how my tiredness is a result of choices i've been making. a sort of taking stock of why i am doing what i am doing....or why i've decided to do certain things.

i work hard at my day job because i love working within technology. i love the ever changing nature of it. i love being able to delve into what is going on and how it has the potential to impact life on a macro and micro level. i know that sometimes (well, a lot of times) i'll be bitching about politics and whatnot at work....but at the core....i work hard at my job because i enjoy it. i'm also good at it. then, with the blog.....where i can combine my passions for cooking, food, writing, and photography.....i love this as well. i do it for me and only for me. i don't do it with the expectation of being read.

then there is the rather unexpected aspect of helping out with hapa on occasion. having a teeny tiny little toe in the industry but not really. if someone told me over a year ago that this would be a part of my life....and not an unusual part of my life...i would have told them that they were doing too much LSD or something. yet, looking back...i shouldn't have really been surprised. when i believe in something....or believe in what someone is trying to achieve....i will participate or find ways to be supportive. i'll find the time. i'll make the time.

it should surprise no one that i believe in what richie is doing with hapa....his vision for it....his passion for providing good food, with good ingredients, and with good intentions....food that doesn't fit into any traditional box or pre-defined category...because why should it? it is pretty transparent how he pushes himself and his food...as well as arguably......for better or worse....provokes others....into thinking about their own food. as an outsider whose day job is to be aware of trends within markets....i've been able to keenly identify how certain folks have taken "inspiration" from the offerings that hapa has produced over the past year or so.

this is what it means to innovate rather than follow.

it should also surprise no one that i adore what susanna is doing with food as well. i remember thinking (and telling friends...and probably.....now that i think about it... readers of this blog as well) the first time i tasted her food that i thought this is someone i could be friends with. it was like falling in love with someone's food. it was rather added bonus to find out how charming and smart she is in addition to being such a talented cook. she is also rather mind boggling modest about a lot of things as well. i don't think folks are really aware of what her background is or what she has accomplished before she started at hapa. this is all i'm going to say about this because i don't want her to get pissed off at me.
i am fortunate that we are friends and want to keep it that way. sigh. plus, her food....like richie's... really does stand on its own. proof of talent is on the plate. what sus has done with the charcuterie program at hapa is pretty great and has definitely contributed to the uniqueness that is hapa.

i suppose what i've taken such a long time to say is......... i'd rather be tired because i'm trying to pursue a life filled with my passions, support those that i believe in, and spending time with those that i love....than living a energy filled life without passions and belief in others. i'm assuming that i'd always....no matter what...spend time with those that i love. i can't even imagine a life without that.

for some people.... i suppose there could be a different sort of balance....not an either/or sort of life....a middle position....but that is not the case for me.

for better or worse....i'm an all or nothing sort of person. always have been. always will be.

so i chose tired.


Kevin said...

Honest, revealing and straight from the heart. Well said.

foodie hunter said...

thanks kevin.