Friday, November 18, 2005

Finale (hopefully) of the recurring dream

I was at the desk, and the desktop still had the name "Adrian Rodeo" carved into it, and I knew it was time to open the closed classroom door and see who this was. I walked slowly over, turned the handle, and then I was in the back scullery room of Clown Alley, a hamburger restaurant in my old home town that had shut down years ago. A mentally retarded Chicano boy was washing tall piles of greasy, discolored, oversized woks, and the floor was dirt. An Indian man in a thin, cheap business shirt looked at me and disappeared into an office. Then, loud and clear in my head, I heard it said, "That is Adrian. He needs you." The boy was wearing large white low-top generic sneakers, baggy jeans, and a heavily-weathered sweatshirt with the word "RODEO" barely visible across the chest. I knew that it was time to accept responsibility for Adrian, or I could just run away. I saw that the back door was open, and I felt terrible for doing it, but as I escaped I felt a future of misery disappear. I knew I would always feel guilty for leaving, but I knew I'd done the right thing.

So, I guess the dreams had nothing to do with my future success as a packaged food entrepreneur.

I spent most of tonight just tooling around in the kitchen, working on various risottos. People wandered in and out and ate and were all effusive but I don't think any of the recipes were really hitting. I just didn't have the focus to nail them.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Revisit of the recurring dream

I had that "Dorian Dareo, CEO" dream again. As usual, I was alone in the classroom, and the big heavy beech-colored door was shut, and I *knew* Dorian Dareo was standing behind it. I had no visual or auditory cues, but my soul was buzzing with the awareness that he was there. The silence was thick, and the fluorescent light rested on my hair with the weight of a napkin. I went through several emotional states while waiting for the handle to turn: fear, anxiety, extreme self-confidence, a drastic reduction in self-confidence, a "jokey" phase where a lot of jokey introductions came to mind, and finally a steady, passive anger. Then, as I stared at the door, I heard the click of the knob being turned, then the protracted squeak of the hinges as it swung open, and the soft bump as the rubber door-guard thing butted against the dark gray wainscoting.

The odd thing was, the door remained firmly shut the entire time.

Then I felt a horrific buzz around my ears, that signal you get when you realize someone's standing behind you. I bit the bullet and swung around: nobody there.

After examining the corners of the small room I looked down at the desktop, only to see that the carved name of "Dorian Dareo" had morphed into "Adrian Rodeo." Just then a rubber chicken-shaped eraser started whining, and I woke up, and Philippe's stray bird pet had waddled into the hallway and was whining outside my door. I put him back in his towel next to the mechanical alarm clock and hot water bottle and after a little while he was asleep again.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Recurring dream.

I'm my age, but I'm sitting at an old elementary school flip-lidded wooden desk, with a heavily scratched wooden top. Clearly carved in neat letters near the bottom-right hand side is the name "Dorian Dareo, CEO." The letterforms are a tiny bit shaky, as though they had been carved by a child, but consistent enough to imply that they are based on a particular font.

What does this mean? I've been playing around with the idea of selling a "just add water" brine mix recently — a dry mix of salt, sugar and spices that you'd just stir into boiling water and use to soak pork or poultry. Maybe the dream means that it's going to be really successful, and this "Dorian Dareo" will be the Howard Lester to my Chuck Williams. As far as I know, those two have a decent working relationship, and Williams-Sonoma is a highly profitable company, so this is all right.

On that note, I'm going to go work on my brine mix. Recent tests proved that boiling the ingredients in the water first really does help them enter the meat more thoroughly. Picture a handful of dry sugar granules sitting on a favorite sweater — now picture two ounces of sugar syrup being squirted onto the same sweater. The syrup is obviously going to get further into the sweater than the granules.