i blame society.

Be yourself;

but not so much as to make others uncomfortable.

Drink less;

but still go to brunch for bottomless mimosas.

Stop smoking. 

Eat more vegetables.

Drink more water. 

Be an artist;

but not as your career.

Stop sleeping past noon. 

Go to bed earlier. 

Don’t do drugs.

Find someone to date to be happy;

but don’t date someone just to be happy.

Be confident;

but not too confident.

Spend less money. 

Create a budget. 

Work out;

but don’t be the person who tells everyone about it.

Have lots of friends to be happy.

Be smart;

but not too smart.

Clean your room.

Do the laundry;

fold it and put it away.

A glass of wine alone on the couch is okay;

a bottle of wine alone on the couch is not.

Read more. 

Water the plants.



Don’t sleep with random people;

but make sure you’re having sex.

Be vegetarian.

Don’t be vegetarian.

Stop dwelling on the past.

Don’t be anxious about the future.

Have health insurance;

never use it.

Don’t work too much;

but make a lot of money.

Listen to podcasts. 

Pay attention to the news.

Meet someone;

but don’t tell anyone you met on tinder.

Cook dinner. Meal prep.

Make smoothies for breakfast.

Drink more water. 

Oreos are not acceptable for dinner. 

Neither is ice cream.

Write more.


Plan for the future. 

Have a political opinion;
but don’t talk about it too loudly.

Don’t wear clothing too revealing. 

Use a reusable straw. 

Don’t wear white pants after Labor Day. 

Be pissed about the man saying how beautiful you are on the street;

but pretend you didn’t hear him. 

Love what you do;

but make sure it’s practical.

We are human.

We have our own battles;

our own pleasures.

Making do in the only way we know how.

Let’s cut each other some slack.

Welcome to the ‘Fall of Hate’ 2019. 

(fall the season, not the verb).

my day.

I arrive at work 15 minutes before I’m scheduled, or I’m late. 

The L train struggles sometimes, so if its a weekend, I usually spend $35 on a Lyft.
I can take the M, but it takes an hour. This means less sleep.

Grab a paper toque on the way upstairs, and hope to find an XS chef jacket with the sleeve pockets still intact. I change in the locker room.  

Clock in, and start running. Running mentally, sometimes physically. 

I stand at my station and weigh 60 portions each of buttermilk, salt and white vinegar on a drug scale into 2oz portion cups. 

My mind starts to wander. 

I could be laying on the beach or at the pool with a book and a cold beer. 

Sitting in a plastic Adirondack chair in the creek at the cabin.

Laying in bed, asleep.

Enjoying brunch with friends.

The timer goes off. 

Rotate the bread in the oven. Don’t let the other trays overproof. 

Don’t make any noise. No talking, only whispering.

My mind wanders again. 

What if I could start cooking rooftop dinners at my place?

I think about a menu. This is my only outlet for creativity.

I want to make sourdough. I can start culturing my own butter.

I wonder if I’ll have the energy. 


Stop everything.

Scrub down the entire station. 

Family meal.

Don’t be late for tasting. One of each dish for Chef. It has to be the most perfect.

Service starts. It should go by quickly now.

People get yelled at a lot. I haven’t yet. It's bound to happen. 

Be fast, but perfect. 

Push, push. 

Oui, Chef.

11-12 hours later I head upstairs to the locker room. 

Throw away the paper toque. Jacket into the laundry bag.

Shoes back into my locker. 

Headphones in, angry music playing loudly.

Light a cigarette.

Walk ten short blocks to Union Sq.

Sometimes the train is empty. Sometimes it's so crowded I can’t move.

How many more flights of stairs do I have to walk up today?


A beer and another cigarette on the roof. Decompress.

Shower. Brush my teeth. 

Lay out my clothes for tomorrow. 

Set my alarm.

Collapse into my pillow. 

I hope tonight I’ll fall asleep easily.