just the right amount of crazy.

•November 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

as a rule, people generally shy away from craziness. if you’re a normal (read: boring) person, being crazy is pretty much the death knell for your ability to fit into neat little boxes and be a productive member of society.

ironically, normal people idolize people who are in effect, crazy. artists, musicians, scientists, etc. all brilliant people have something in them that sets them apart from the 99% (sorry, OWS, i’m taking your stupid slogan for my own).

i love and hate dating crazy people.

i’ve had many conversations about how i appreciate the right amount of crazy. enough so it’s interesting and special. enough so you know that the other person has a bit of the brilliant in them as well, but not so much that you hate your life and them as well.

i think it’s a very fine line.

as george r.r. martin said, “madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin”.

i’m on the line, constantly.

no one knows usually, since i can’t express myself, and anyway i don’t know how to describe the duality of personality i feel on a daily basis. on one side, an overwhelming sense of frustration and isolation. on the other, ironclad belief in myself, my resolve, and what i can accomplish.

i’ve written many, many, many entries on my angst and bullshit anxiety about cooking (and life, blah blah). i just still can’t figure anything out.

“to work here, you have to be crazy” – alinea cook

how do you balance the two sides? mine fight over a desire for a stable, normal, happy life, and a hunger for success and excitement.

maybe i’ll never figure it out. probably not. but i’ll keep trying to.

life is a constant balancing act. you need the sane, boring parts to keep your stress in check. but you need the excitement to activate your enthusiasm and passion, whatever that may be.

fine lines within fine lines within fine lines within fine lines within fine lines.

razor’s edge.

listening: Forest Swords – Dagger Paths



•October 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

you can feel the season changing, a bright summer smile about to unexpectedly walk into a industrial flash freezer. a million people sit watching at home, waiting for summer to finally fail, “I told you so.”

one week til vacation.

thank god.

my body is about to fall apart, and my head feels like someone planted a million chinese firecrackers inside and are setting them off one by one.

i may have contracted a mild case of the melodrama along the way.

it’s like i need someone to tell me that i’m doing good, to believe it. i guess things are all good, mostly. kurt vonnegut called them the “bad brain chemicals”, and mine try to lie to me constantly.

despair, doom, depression, desperation. inevitability.

fear is the mind-killer.

it’s my constant companion. dragging me down. it takes all my energy to maintain. i have nothing left when i hit the end of the week. so much so that i can barely get it together to write this.

vacation is in one week. like a mantra in my head. keeping me focused after a week/month/season of insanity. vacation… and THEN we’ll decide what to do.

listening: modeselektor – boogy bytes vol 3

on the importance of never saying never.

•September 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

after an afternoon of reading eggbeater (an excellent blog btw), i feel a bit better about my life. almost everything she says is true.

i have some serious problems every time someone asks me what i do besides work. I usually say “oh, i don’t know, hang out with friends, drink beer, whatever”, which is essentially true. but the truth of it is that anyone who works in a kitchen has a really hard time leading anything close to what could be considered a “normal” lifestyle. here’s a list of things that make it so:

i never go to bed before 2:30am, ever.
i haven’t been on a date in over 4 months
because how can you when you finish work at close to 1am?
girls who are willing to accept a cook’s schedule are rare
i feel too tired to do anything on at least one of my days off.
i literally live paycheque to paycheque.
and there’s not much i can do about it
cooks are broke as fuck.
what, exactly are labour standards? i’d like to know
what’s this “overtime” you’re talking about?
i like it when people come to eat at my restaurant
because likely its the only time i’ll get to see them
same goes for meeting me for beers at 130am.

the only meal i’ve cooked at home in the past 3 months is pasta.
sometimes with sauce, usually just cheese.
guess why.
because any food that is fresh, doesn’t come from a can or box
goes bad.
because i’m not home to eat it.

i’m too wired to go to bed.
every day.
people say “teg, relax. you need to do yoga. or sports.”
i’m secretly afraid that if i relax too much i’ll lose my edge
which i desperately need.

if i don’t have the edge, i’ll have nothing left. a lazy, relaxed nonentity.

relaxing is failing.

but you know, maybe i don’t know how. and if i learned to relax, it’s possible that i’d come out of it
more accurate
mind like a razor
and easier to deal with

but, i guess you never say no to possiblities. relaxing, maybe i’ll see you one day.
until then
i remain

listening: Talking Heads – The Name of This Band is Talking Heads

slow blur.

•September 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

so that’s pretty much it for that season that we all love. as i predicted, a very bittersweet season – pushing myself to the mental and physical limit. full of unique wonderful experiences, desolation, and improvement.

it should come as no surprise that i have a lot on my mind. after a perfect weekend in toronto i have a bit of restlessness. i’ve been contemplating a lot regarding my work situation and future travel plans.

i really envy people who can just get up and travel. it seems that there are two types of people: those that are hard to move, and those that are already moving. some people are just able to move city to city and fit in naturally, as if they had been there forever. i guess i’ll forever be a west coast kid, no matter how hard i try.

but i endeavor to take my west coast mind to new places. montreal is really great but i don’t know if it’s our combined stubbornness that’s making it hard to fit in. maybe it’s just me.

either way, i need to figure out how to be comfortable, at least until i get my affairs in order.

london, france, japan, nyc. 2012.


•May 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

spring fever ain’t shit. summer fever is where it’s at.

crowds swarm. lazy park days. bbqs. so much beer. pretty girls. sweaty kitchens. loft parties. couch surfing. leases. dreams of my very own garden. dreams of my rooftop patio. 3 day weekends until further notice.

put down your dream journal.

•May 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

hard faced new yorkers rush past like single minded army ants. i stand in the shadows of skyscrapers, and feel the energy of the city wash over me. it is almost too much to bear.

by comparison, the peaceful ambling of brooklynites seems like a colony of sloths, idly passing their time in the branches of trees.

vacations are supposed to recharge you and give you a new perspective. but i definitely see how traveling is a great way to avoid all the problems you have back home. returning to montreal, and instantly falling back into my old habits and idle pastimes, really worry me. and it shows that a vacation, while great, does not change anything – your life was just put on hold for a week.

i went to new york to improve myself, ultimately. but improvement doesn’t happen overnight.

the mind-body connection creates a cascading wave of electricity, paralyzing me. i take it lying down. i feel like one of those plasma balls. all that energy and power but nowhere to direct it. and if it does eventually reach the surface, it’s ultimately neutral.

dear diary, how do you like being read by everyone?

listening: king tubby – in loving memory


•April 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

You don’t even realize it’s happening. You can’t do anything about it. Inexorable, inevitable, and it’s gonna drag its grimy claw across your face.

it’s something you can control though. synchronization is more important than any of us possibly imagine, and an integral part of life.

it’s not something everyone is born with.

you wanna go meet your friend sally at the coffee shop? at 3pm? that’s what i’m talkin’ about. you both leave your house at the time you know will get you to the shop by 3pm.

you want that salad on the pass in 2 minutes? you better start putting that shit in the bowl and dressing it in at least 30 seconds because maybe you misplaced your block of cheese or you didn’t put the salad dressing bottle back where you did the time before.

cooking is time.

i’m not always good at time.

put the bowl back. put the pepper back. be aware of what 2 minutes feels like. be aware of what 20 minutes feels like.

can you feel your life passing by? or is it just a muted noise in the back of your head that you’ve ignored all your life?

cooks need to feel time, and feel everything. i have a radar around my body. to know that someone’s behind you without them making a noise.

make plans. make connections. live in the moment, but remember that right after this wonderful, amazing moment is another moment that maybe you’ll miss because you were caught up in the last one.

can you move from one side of the kitchen to the other, 200 times a night, without wasting 3 seconds EACH TIME by running into people? that’s ten minutes of my life i’ll never get back because i didn’t have spatial awareness.

time is like love, it’s gonna happen without your knowledge or participation or acquiescence. and just like love, you can either let it pass you by or grab it by the fucking horns and dive in.

i love mixing metaphors.

listening: Blockhead – Uncle Tony’s Coloring Book