1/06/2006 12:45:00 PM|||square|||

I've been writing this blog for quite some time now, and there's one thing that's always bugged me: look at your address bar - rather long url, innit?

So, over the next month, I shall painstakingly transfer this blog and it's archives to barsket.wordpress.com!

Oooh, how exciting this is!

Oh fuck. It's like 2am. Work starts at 7am.
|||113655213261341354|||barsket!1/06/2006 08:36:00 AM|||square|||
And I thought Engrish was a rather Malaysian trait... Guess not... Have a look:

|||113653729661796989|||Engrish, please!1/05/2006 05:39:00 AM|||square|||
The following is a self-reflection of an awkward incident at work.

The Players:
Me and my second chef. Let's call him R.

The Setting:
Cafe I'm working at, as Head Chef. Today, I'm working as a front-of-house staff, leaving R to run the kitchen. R is slated to take over from me in 2 weeks when I officially stop working at the cafe. It's a typical Thursday: quiet, but prep still has to be done.

Act I, Scene I:
I get to work at 9.30am (ahh the luxury!) The cafe's empty, so I make myself a herb and cheese omelette with hash browns on the side and plenty of HP sauce. Yum. I ask R to pop some frozen croissants into the oven for the front cabinet in replacement of gourmet sandwiches. It is 9.45am.

I ask R to make a green salad for the cabinet. It is 10.30am.

Act I, Scene II:
I've been working the front, clearing tables, washing dishes, serving customers, sending coffees, heating pies etc. The salads have sold out (egads! and wow! at the same time). I enter the kitchen and ask (perhaps not in the most polite of manner - but hey, we're in hospitality, where the 'hospitability' is so limited it's strictly reserved for customers) R to top up the salads. Half of the croissants are still on a tray, in the kitchen. The green salad is still halfway done. It is almost 12.

Now call me crazy, but 2-3 hours for 12 sorry croissants and a green salad platter is in my books, a little slow.

Act I, Scene III:
It is still noon and R is visibly getting irritated. He is doing service, there are two checks on order. He turns and says to me that he is busy with service and gets a little offended when I say that the salads and croissants need to go out ASAP. Well, maybe more than a little offended.

An argument ensues, R's getting more aggressive, citing a headache, busy service and accusing me of asking to do this and that and pushing him.

Now it's my turn to get offended. I feel that I have been disrespected. Words fly. I do something VERY uncharacteristic. I play the "I'm still your head chef for the next two weeks" trump card, with a little smattering of "you don't talk to me like that" and "why can't you just shut up and do what I ask you to do".

Cliffhanger ending:
R tells me to get the hell out of the kitchen and leave him alone. It's his shift, I'm working out front, and I shouldn't be telling him what to do.

I'll be the first to admit that I was crass, and did not seek a diplomatic resolution. I played cards that should never be dealt in any professional environment. For that alone, I confess I do not deserve the Head Chef designation, nor the respect thereof hereinafter, I suppose.

But what right, moral or professional does he have to tell his Head Chef to get out of his own kitchen? That is to me logically defying. Though I do not personally approve of authoritarian, egotistical, military-styled, disciplinarian methods of work, I have always practiced it to many a successful extent. You do it or get done. Simple. And yes. A chain of command IS neccessary. Want to stay friends? Don't work together.

Now I understand that most people are intolerant of my work style, but I just don't have faith in humankind to work efficiently and professionally otherwise. All those who actually do are demi-gods.

Sure, many will get burnt along the way, more will drop out and even greater numbers will despise, slander and disrepute you. But hey. At the end of it, if I have a task that needs to be done, it must be done. And the ones who do it, I keep. The rest can go fuck themselves with a spike-ended broomstick for all I care.

Simply put, I know and anticipate that conflicts will arise at work. However, I expect those I work with, especially those working under me, to accept the conflict, work together to disclose it's source and execute resolutionary or restitutionary measures. After that we'll go for drinks and understand that it did happen but we got on top of it.

Me, my manager and R had a sit down after the incident, to make things better. We talked. No one listened. I apologised. He shrugged it off. We disbanded. No resolution was consciously or evidently found.

I'm leaving in 2 weeks. R's supposed to be working with me so that I can train, instruct and mentor him in whatever capacity I can, with what little experience I have. In a way, he is my responsibility, even more so that now I'm leaving. There are many things I don't know that he may. But there are also many things I do know that he does not and with all due respect to him, I think the scale is tipping on my side quite a bit more. While I'm not saying he's incompetant, I am stating point blanc that he will not and be able to cope with the work unless he is prepared to listen more and learn. Sure he'll get by. But at what cost?

My manager tells me that I still need to supervise him and tell him what to and not to do. But I doubt R will listen to me. Evidently he does not take orders well.

Maybe I'm just trying to save my own ass. I don't want my tutee to be a numbnut after I go. I'm only human. That will look bad on me, a'ight?

This is such a difficult topic for me to moot on my own, simply because I am fighting for and against values that I professionally embody, more out of neccessity than need, but which I morally reject and renounce.

Epilogue to Play:
Me: (At cafe closing) How many orders did R have today?
Manager: 22.

Busy service. My fucking ass. And oh yeah. Before I forget. R was in the military.
|||113644385601491578|||The Overbearing Chef (a One-act Play)1/01/2006 08:16:00 AM|||square|||
Here's a bit of trivia for you.

Q: What do you do if you have high uric acid, resulting in slight inflammation in your fingers, which the doctors have repeatedly assured you that it's not serious, but saw it fit to prescribe you on anti-inflammatory drugs anyway, effectively turning you into a 22 year old semi-hypochondriact?

A: You take the darned pills as prescribed, till you get the well-documented side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs, wake up on New Years day with an insanely upset stomach which feels like its won the gastric lotto jackpot, pop more pills (Losec) and slurp 10ml of tasty Antacid every couple of hours.

Argh. I am in serious discomfort. Would be nice if I could take a painkiller, but HELLO! That causes stomach problems too!

Can you say Catch 22?
|||113610414603567833|||Losec, Antacid and Anti-Inflammatory Drugs1/01/2006 08:04:00 AM|||square|||

Like my new ride? It's the new VW.

The VW Cooch.
|||113610264681697083|||The New VW.1/01/2006 07:28:00 AM|||square|||
Well, it's been a good four months since my last blog... Seem to have transcended blogaholism to cigaholism and workaholism for a bit there. But that is all about to change...

So. What better way to start the new year than to state my New Year's Resolution, which I reverentially mooted for a grand total of 3.2 miliseconds, and am resolved to uphold and live up to for as long as humanly possible - 6 days would be the record, if memory serves me right (just had to have that goddamned marlboro, you know...)

Anyhoo... My Resolution for 2006 is to...

Become a Lawyer!

*stunned silence*

What. What? What?!

Yah, you read me right. I've applied to Auckland University for an LL.M. and am looking to get admitted to the New Zealand Courts as a Barrister and Solicitor. Oh wipe that smirk of your face... You look as witty as Dubya ("It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it.").

I don't know... I'm really getting tired of being a compound butter spread all so thinly upon the many loafs of careers I've dabbled in. Maybe it's time. Maybe it's time to get set on some semblance of a career...

Oh listen to me. I sound like Avinash circa 13 years old. Hehe.

Seriously though. Don't misunderestimate me, a'ight? Happy New Year y'all.

"They misunderestimated me." - George W. Bush, Nov. 2000
|||113610217257136334|||ReBlog | Resolution1/06/2006 05:26:28 AM|||Sums|||There is no way anyone would misunderstand a plant...1/01/2006 07:13:00 AM|||square|||
Here's a different take on Happy New Year Wishing...

Hey ya...! I just wanna wish u a great year ahead. Thanks for the friendship n may the year ahead be filled with good experiences. lotsa chocolate consumption n excellent times... Happy 2006!

happy new year to you too love.

may the lord of cacao bless you with infinite beans, post-produced into little chocolatey parcels and truffles of delights, be it chunky, nutty, praline, milky or dark.

but lord forbid the nefarious imposter known to mankind as 'white' chocolate. may the great lord of C smite it with his mighty cocoa bean-bombs, with its impregnable husks and bitter fruits.

most of all may the great sages of hersheys, toblerone, lindt, and perhaps the duke of mars bars as well as the chocolate nobilities of belgium gift you with lifetime supplies of handmade, airflown and sublime chocolate ambrosias.

i need coffee. and more marlboros. and no, i am actually sober, scarily.

Aww...I miss u. U actually remembered that i hate white chocolate. Grin. Have a good year babe... Here's to getting over the boredom!
|||113610040641861038|||Happy New Year, O' Chocolate Lover...1/06/2006 05:25:22 AM|||Sums|||Nut... let me know when the mail arrives. I wanna know just how long snail mail takes these days.8/06/2005 03:40:00 PM|||square|||
Got this today:

As if reality TV weren't bad enough ! Now we have to get the "blow by blow" of people's exceedingly boring and uninteresting lives. Really, put your creative juices to work and make something INTERESTING up for God's sake. Why would you post this crap , it's crap ! Isn't there enough crap in the world. I think you should print out all your entries and use them to fertilize a garden.

Do I care about your outfit NO
Do I care about your lack of a girlfriend NO
Do I care you probably won't be getting laid by any of your fantasy ladies soon NO
Do I think you need to get off your computer and start living in UV light YES !!!!!
Dude , you're in college you're 21? Do SOMETHING !!!!
Seems to me life is passing you by one keystroke at a time.

By bitchyamerican, at 11:38 AM

What the fuck?

Alright, alright. I'll respect your First Amendment right to free speech. You obviously don't recognise my right to it, but then again, you're American, so it's to be expected, I reckon. But still. What the fuck?

First of all, your countrymen came up with the fucking fascinating concept of reality TV, which has now culminated into Big Brother - a peepshow for those interested in watching people snore.

Accepting the fact that this blog is indeed unINTERESTING, I'll like to know what the fuck were you reading it, and worse still, what the fuck were you doing reading the fucking ARCHIVES of this blog.

You're right about another thing: my garden does need the fertilizer. Why do I post this crap? Umm... I didn't really know before, but now, I have a new purpose: to bore the shit out of you and the rest of the world.

I don't even want to bother commenting on the rest of your rather intriguing post. Except for this:

I'm now 22, graduated from Cardiff University (not college) with Honours in Law. I own and run Victorian Theatre Company, having trained as a Producer at age 15, with 7 productions in Malaysia under my belt, as well as one in Cardiff. I do webdesigning on the side, and have a year's worth of experience as a Chef in a 5* hotel. Amongst other things.

Seems to me that I've been under the UV rays a bit excessively - perhaps its time to slow down a little. I respectfully disagree that life has been passing me by a keystroke at a time (thought I think it's a nice phrase).

Doesn't the phrase go: "America, land of the Free"? You've just made me decide that I like "America, land of the Freely Hypocritical". Although I do know a really good mate who's from Maryland, and he's not like that... At all.

Dude, as for getting laid. I noticed you chose certain specific words and phrases such as "blow (by) blow", "(creative) juices", "crap" (that's a bit weird, but whatever gets you off, mate) and "fertilize (a) garden". Could this be the subconcious manifestation of your lack of sexual satisfaction? Now, I'm no Freud. But perhaps your psych 101 lessons could shed a little more light on your silent plea for whatever it is that you need.

I actually feel somewhat disgusted sitting here to write a reply to you. I am wasting my life away keystroke by keystroke. But what the hell, ey? This blog could do with a bit of spicing up.

Keep writing to me, bitchyamerican. Teach me the things I don't know. Make me and my blog more INTERESTING. Who cares what I think about MY blog. That's the American way, innit?

For fuck's sake, dude. You don't like my blog? Don't fucking read it. Piss the fuck off, you self-righteous egotistical knob.

Tosser. Wanker. Cunt.
|||112334169000342108|||the bitchyamerican8/09/2005 11:26:00 AM|||despiteme|||Dear Square,

...and bitchyamerican....hehehe ...we are on for dinner tomorrow nite right?

I was thinking we could have drinks with the gang at Karma...then dinner at...not sure...there are so many options...i thought perhaps we could try some tai chau...at new paris?1/05/2006 06:02:35 AM|||square|||tai lok mean please!6/17/2005 12:37:00 AM|||square|||

Here's the Fondant I made - or rather, here's how it SHOULD have turned out.

Double Sigh.
|||111896503557582272|||Chocolate Banana Fondant with Tonka Bean Icecream7/22/2005 11:35:38 PM|||weedflower|||Finally you are back posting and what better way to celebrate than to have some of that sinful looking dessert. Ahh if only it wasn’t 2 dimensional. *SIGH*1/05/2006 06:02:17 AM|||square|||oh it's sinful alright. i'm telling ya... it's da bomb! fucking tasty.6/17/2005 12:19:00 AM|||square|||
Today, I went bananas. Literally. Well, maybe not quite so literally. I learnt how to make bananas out of marzipan. That was the high point of my day at work.

A few days ago, I had this short conversation with Erica about how sometimes when people (read: me) try to do special things for her, she always manages to make things go to shit. Her conclusion (which I concur) is that I try too hard and that I should know better - I don't need to go out of my way, break my back and a leg plus my cranium to show her a good time.

It's her birthday today. And for the past 3 hours (whilst I was patiently moulding and painting bananas) I have been scheming how to wish her happy 21st.

First I stole some desserts and garnishes from the hotel. Then I made sure I got back by half eleven so I can make her a birthday cake. Well, not exactly a cake, but a chocolate banana fondant (which is bloody heavenly). Got home on time, and went straight to the kitchen. Made a piping bag out of baking paper, melted some chocolate and wrote "Happy Birthday, Kid" on a plate with milk chocolate buttons arranged to say 21.

That's when the shit hit the microwave. I burnt some of the chocolate, my piping bag was wonky, my hands were trembly and my cigarette was of no help whatsoever. But still I soldiered on. Plate ready, garnished and decorated, I patiently waited the full 14 minutes for the fondant to bake in the oven. Then more shit. The fucking fondant died on me. It literally went *plooop* and turned into a right mess. It actually LOOKED like shit. But still I persevered, feeling now mightly incompetant.

Upwards I went into my room - she's asleep, no doubt because she's not feeling very celebratory at all (Oh god. Why can't I ever take a fucking hint.) I woke her up gently and wished her Happy Birthday - she smiled a half smile, eyes sleepy and aura grumpy.

Oh well. At least she had half a teaspoon full of my fucked up fondant. Doubt she even looked at the plate properly.

I told her I wanted to take her out to dinner and catch a movie - but she's all negative about the whole idea. Cold water slapped right smack on my face. I try not to show my dissapointment, consciously battling the uncomfortable feelings stirring in my being.


Happy Birthday, Kid - from your dear Hah Big.
|||111896480835658614|||Backfiring Gestures and Marzipan Bananas.6/29/2005 03:23:51 PM|||despiteme|||sigggh YOU are back together with her...she doesnt know shes back with you hehehehe6/16/2005 03:04:00 AM|||square|||

It works! Flickr, I mean. Oooohh, I'm going to be up all night now doing this...

Anyway... This phallic looking sculpture was actually on display doing a flower show (fuck knows why I was at one). It's actually of a mother and child. Turn your head 90 degrees clockwise.
|||111888748250788273|||Art?6/16/2005 02:52:00 AM|||square|||
me in auckland

I can't sleep, so I'm trying out flickr.

I hate how I'm so horribly unphotogenic. And that's understating it. Fucking hell. I'm sounding awfully self-absorbed and vain.

Oh what the fuck. This is a picture of me walking in Auckland. Not that you could actually make out the location, nor my face clearly for that matter.
|||111888675377705143|||Flickr Test6/15/2005 10:27:00 PM|||square|||
Yet another truffle day. Ginger and Drambuie in dark chocolate coated with chocolate flakes. 350, 2.5 hours. One very grumpy Square.

Fast forward two hours and I'm kinda craving for some potato rosti and croquettes. Hungrily I opened the freezer and whaddaya know - some fucker housemate has stolen ALL of it. Plus half a pack of croquant truffles (not that I was in the mood for any) and a caramel chocolate square. One very very grumpy and pissed off Square.

Looking around the kitchen, I realise that my pots and pans, some crockery and utensils are still missing-in-action - only one place it can be. Room 1. By now, my temper was far from being good.

In storms me into Room 1 and fucking hell, the place is like a dumpster turned inside out, food, cups, pans, pots, utensils, cutlery, crockery all strewn over the floor. Half of it mine.

The chap who is squatting in Room 1 (which belongs to Sachin, a quite alright friend) is half asleep and wondering why I am cursing like a madhatter. I pick up my kitchenware, grumbling that he should have fucking washed my shit and return it where he took it (it's been taken for quite a few days). There's leftover food still in my stuff. The clincher: my 12" deep saucepan has mold growing on the rotten leftovers in it.

I snapped. I looked at him and said what the fuck is this, there's fucking mold in my fucking pan and unceremoniously threw it on the floor, collected the rest of my things and stormed out wondering how the fuck he can live in a fucking dump like that - very very loudly.

Erica's already aware that I'm in a bad bad mood and is quiet as a mouse, knowing full well that I can and will snap at any breathing thing that is in my face. The kitchen is once more in a dirty mess - unwashed crockery, dirty sinks. I collect whatever that's mine and set it aside and then got rid of everything else - including spoons, forks, a pot, glasses and lots more - in the fucking backyard. I've never seen a pot fly so far and high quicker.

I'm upset and I can see visibly that Erica is too. She doesn't like people venting anger the way I do, nor does she like seeing me upset. I take a deep breath and try calming down.

Sigh. Shouldn't have gone off like that. But then again, it's nice to know that the fury is still somewhere within me, ready to manifest anytime. It's been a while since I lost my temper. Hopefully, it'll be a long time till I erupt again, if ever again.

Hehe. Who am I kidding ey?

I'm a walking pressure cooker with a faulty lid.
|||111887195030243638|||Angry Square6/29/2005 03:20:20 PM|||despiteme|||errr...erica is there? ur still an item??