Now Playing: Ludwig van Beethoven--"Marcia Funebre" from Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica")
Well, I'm still at the job--it's still better-paying, more rewarding, and more interesting. Life at Chateau Fluffy actually took a bit of a dive in terms of incident after my favorite co-worker and friend was "droped from the schedule" (again, a weasel tactic of shithead bosses who want to avoid dismissal paperwork), to say nothing of Fluffy's own long hoped-for departure. Luckily, life in my present basement kitchen promises much--my pleasant co-workers have a cool, diverse taste in music and quite a line in filthy banter, the above-stairs staff, particularly the attractive female ones, seem to regard us (well, me) as troglodytes in every sense of the word (natrually allowing for my own habitual paranoia on that score), and our kitchen manager is a sort of priapic, cycling hippie autocrat given to sayings as "I'm not wrong, I'm the boss" and who espouses quite a vocal belief in the aphrodisiac powers of organic greens, no matter how wilted, an obsession that extends to a drink he invented for the deli widely perceived as unfit for consumption by several co-workers (I'd drink it if there wasn't anything else in the house). It's a slight exaggeration, of course--the last couple of days have been rather enjoyable from that quarter. I'd gotten a creepy feeling from some of the things I'd heard about the place that it was near perfect, and I'm utterly delighted to find the same crap there that spices up most other restaurant jobs (oh, and there's no escaping World of Warcraft aficionados, either--just as well since I've had a great time with the ones I've known), which I suppose is inevitable in a place with nearly two hundred workers, six different departments, and a spotless reputation among Ann Arbor rentiers.
Of course, most regular jobs don't follow an open-book finance policy or pay you to take classes. These can be food, service, business/personal finance, or computer classes. I've had to take several to get through "orientation," a procedure that's supposed to take about two months after which one qualifies for a pay raise, access to benefits, etc. The especially informative ones, of course, were on food--one comparing and contrasting our food with similar items from around town, and one on chocolate. I'm glad I took the latter as I didn't know chocolate could be so genuinely good. I like it, but I'm not crazy about it the way I'm crazy about cheese (can't wait for that class). Fortunately, our instructor took us through the different types of chocolate we carry (one fantastic example from Sao Tome e Principe), how it's made from cacao beans (never seen a cacao bean until that moment, I don't think), what to look for, and why Hershey's is basically chocolatized vanilla. One of the things I most want to do there is learn about food, and it looks like the place won't lack for opportunity on that score.
My dreams are improving, too. I found myself back at Chateau Fluffy working for my last boss (we'll call him "Biff"), moonlighting a couple of days a week in some cushy job I couldn't quite understand, as the whole place went to hell in a handbasket with Biff's wife behind the counter and an unwelcome surprise return visit from Fluffy with a bunch of friends who looked like they listed Live at PJ's as a "residence." The place actually looked really good, like a really tasteful Middle Eastern restaurant, with soft, pale stucco and a strong Moorish cast to the architecture. Unfortunately, Fluffy decided for whatever reason that I was being "rude" (with her inimitable screech when upset and I chose that moemnt to check out what happened to the kitchen. Wow! The rather cramped space morphed into a vast, cavernous structure of a medieval flavor, rather resembling the Bernadones' warehouse in Franco Zefferelli's 1973 St. Francis biopic Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Wandering around, I climbed further and further up until I found a gorgeous loggia overlooking a stunning Mediterranean harbor (hard not to associate with the vaguely Southern European city that keeps popping up in my dreams). Overlooking me? A sour-faced middle-aged duenna and her gorgeous, scantily-clad young ward (I got the impression that they were more than "just friends"), carving puppets and the latter with an enigmatic smile on her face. Hell, yeah.