Friday, August 31, 2012
So lets rewind a bit to last Saturday and bring this week up to speed, shall we? Last weekend started out with a bang and that morning found me at work around 4 am starting the day cooking for the hotel. We were packed to maximum capacity from the two weddings the night before and the day was uber full of cooking for the three weddings yet to come that evening. The morning went off without a hitch and then the work began in earnest. We had an afternoon reception for roughly 300 guests that slowly swelled to around 450 as more and more arrived without an RSVP, some as much as 2 hours late for the meal. The serving staff was scrambling to set up more tables and all of us in the kitchen were cooking up a storm with an eye on the clock as well. This group needed to vacate the Grand Ballroom by no later than 3 pm in order for us to have time to break down the entire room and split it into two rooms for the evening weddings. It was a Samoan wedding which meant a lot of large families and incredibly large proportioned people. They could eat! The party kept going on and on until finally my General Manager explained to the father of the bride what our time constraints were and what their contract stipulated. They were still in full swing at 2:45 pm when her dad simply walked up to the microphone in front of the band, grabbed it and shouted, "That's it! Party is over. Go home!" It was awesome! The entire staff and group of well wishers cracked up laughing and obliged and then the mad scurrying began. I have never met a more joyous and happy group of people. It was a pleasure to serve them.
The house staff broke down the room and split it up into two ballrooms and started installing the dance floors, setting tables and helping the decorators with their work of remaking each space for the nights events. Things went into full tilt in the kitchen as we kicked the tires and lit the fires for the two evening dinners to come. That pace and amount of work as a team is something that I truly enjoy. It is great to work with and train under Chef Kyle (not THAT kind of under, you pervs, though he IS cute) each day and learn hands on the many things that are never covered in culinary school. We reached a short pausing point when the catering manager breezed through and casually mentioned that one of the evening weddings was also a Samoan wedding. Oh, crap! We started doubling the amount of food needed. That afternoon had schooled us hard and well at the volume of food needed for such a cultural event. Thank goodness the other wedding was just for simple, normally sized and eating white folk. :P
Needless to say, both evening events went off without too much of a hitch! I was working the beef carving station for the Samoan wedding and I have to say, never in my life have I seen a group of people work so hard at eating every single scrap of food we had in the house! The amount of bread and meat served was staggering! I had a great time that night interacting with the wedding guests and watching the party unfold. Many of the toasts and speeches were presented in their native language with most of the guests in traditional costume and accessories. Interesting to see men in suit and ties from the waist up and sarongs and sandals from the waist down. Their emphasis on family and community was amazing and it was neat to see them interact and celebrate in such different ways than what I have observed in my own circles of society. They truly love one another and are not afraid to show it. From the smallest (not so small really) of children to the oldest of their clans, the concern, care and respect shown to each and everyone was palpable and heart felt. This grace and charm also extended to each and everyone of us serving them. They are so appreciative, so thankful and overflowing with good to everyone they encountered and you could tell this was a way of life, a culture, and not some contrived act only reserved for celebrations or public occasions. I learned a lot from them that evening (one being the importance of mountains of fresh hot rolls needed to celebrate) and finally escaped to home and bed after 18 hours of work. It was a very good and successful day. I truly love my job.
The rest of the week was smooth and simple. No massive parties, just simple corporate events, luncheons and breakfast each day at the hotel. I yanked the wheels off the Miata and took them to be restored, so it was on jack stands for my most of the week. Took some getting used to driving the Camaro again. I have missed the tuned port V-8 power, but man! That thing is a MUCH larger car than the go-kart I am used to. The first morning I kept honking and yelling at people who seemed to be pulling into and crowding my lane, until I realized I was in a normal sized car and had less room between vehicles. They prolly thought I was crazy, but it was 3 am in the morning, so we all were in some ways. :)
Life is good. The summer is winding down with Labor Day this weekend. I have been musing about a lot of different things this last week. Been thinking about how other people fill their life and years with children, marriage and all the other conventional, traditional life paths. The thought that keeps returning to me, or question really, is what am I going to fill my life with? I don't see myself getting married anytime soon. (having come close twice, I know I am still not ready)I can't say I have ever had more than a passing (quickly) desire to have kids and the years do seem to stretch out before me. I am in a great place, near family, working a job that I love, saving for retirement, living well, but certainly within my means. I finally feel like a stable adult who is successful by my own reckoning and standards and now what?
That is a good place to end this. That question of, "Now what?" I am not stressed out about it and know that the multiple answers I seek will not come overnight. I have my eyes, mind and heart open and am excited to see what each day and year brings me.
Have a happy Friday. I know that I will. I am going to scrub down, get dressed and head into the city. A full day of relaxing and friends await me. I want to hit my coffee shop, see some new exhibits at the art museum, have lunch with Bruce, maybe catch that new film "Lawless" and pack in as much fun as I can on my day off. Ciao!