I’m looking forward to the future

12 Jan

But I hope my eyesight isn’t going bad (because, really, it’s bad enough) Whatever happened to Fall Out Boy by the way? I don’t think I’ve heard much of them since pretty Pete Wentz became a daddy. It’s a rhetorical question. Kinda. If you know, spill it! If not, no worries, there is a little thing called Google I can check out.

Today was lame. It was my first day back at work and it felt more like a Monday than a Wednesday. Not that I am hating on having two days off, it just felt weird to be back and I really had to ease into it. But now that I think about it-I was there for eight hours and maybe did actual work for two hours.

Ever unhappy, I started to ponder more on what I want from my future. What do I want to do with my life? Do I want to sit in a cold, gray cube for the rest of my life and get a gold watch when I retire?

Actually, nix the gold watch part-I don’t think they do that anymore. But how depressing is my cube? With the exception of my Chick Fil A calendar of course.

Do I want something stable that doesn’t stimulate my brain? What exactly do I want?? So I started to think of things that I enjoy/love since you should do what you love, yes?



*Bargain Hunt


Let’s delve a little deeper……..

 *Laugh-Is there such thing as professional laugher? If so, do I have good enough of a laugh to be one? I quickly crossed this one off the list

*Travel-Damn you Samantha Brown, you have my dream job. Whenever you want to retire, holla atcha girl! Something that makes me love her even more—she has Pet Friendly Travel Tips on her Travel Channel page.

*Bargain Hunt-I could possible do the whole ebay thing again but that would be a lot of dedication to finding cheap things to resell as my main source of income. Too risky.

*Cook-hold on, this is actually a good thought. They do have schools for this and all. Hmmmm…..maybe I am on  to something.

 So thoughts of culinary schools came to my head and I started to research. There are a number of schools out there, all of the country not to mention the world! I love to cook, don’t want to be in a cube for the rest of my life, want to use some of my creative gene and need something different in my life.  Soon I bbmed my best friend Leila (which you should check out her blog, she is running her first half marathon this wknd—PF Chang’s Rock N Roll ½ in Phoenix!) and when I told her I was thinking about it she replied “IT’S ABOUT TIIIIIIMMMMMMME” and we had a mini conversation of that and of course, why she thinks I should move back to Phoenix. It was fun and soon I was consulting with my sister who was my support through my breakdown over Christmas and she concurred-she thinks it’s a great idea and that it is a good fit for me. I think this is a solid option for me and I will be looking into further as soon as possible. Ok I lie, I was on like white on rice as soon as I starting thinking of the idea and got results for a bunch of different schools and sites. I like how most of them have programs for not only culinary arts but for hospitality management as well….again, so many options and things to think about.

 Yet where to go? How does Le Cordon Bleu compare to Johnson & Wales and various Art Institutes? What city should I look into? How much research should I do into jobs and career placement? So many questions that I am hoping to get answers to. Maybe my future isn’t looking so bleak after all and I will find some direction in this little life of mine.

 Lunch was leftover white and bean enchiladas. I think this is the last of them-thank God. I have no problem eating leftovers but after eating it three times, I am over it and read to move onto something new.

 Dinner was simple: Homemade pizza topped with peppers, shroomies and tempeh  with a side of corn.

Sounds exciting, I know.

But pizza is perfect when I don’t feel like making anything, when I have no clue what to make or when I want to make something quick and single portioned. I can’t quit you pizza.

As always, I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. Only $.99! I like to portion it out and freeze for later use.

I cooked the shrooms and peppers in extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and oregano

Then added  tempeh (I just crumbled with my hands instead of slicing-broke right up!) I wasn’t sure what to marinate the tempeh in so I just added some more extra virgin olive oil.

13 minutes later-done!

Then I did something I have done in a while—I went to the gym! The YMCA is free from January 11-14th here in Charlotte to celebrate their Brand Opening.

From the Y:

 “For the first time in 43 years, the YMCA of the USA unveiled a refreshed brand to reinforce our cause and impact as one of the leading nonprofits in the nation. We will call ourselves by the name that most people already use: the Y. Individual locations will continue to refer to themselves as “the Y,” “the YMCA” or their branch name.”

Allison also gave me the 411 on what’s going on since she works at the branch that is closest to me so I was stoked to have the inside info (so to speak, well not really since she is telling me stuff everyone else probably knows already but still, it felt special coming from someone who works there). This particular branch seems to always be busy so I waited for awhile after dinner was digested to go. I was super comfy on my couch with Lincoln by my side but it’s been forever since I went and I was excited. What I didn’t miss about going to the gym was the feeling of not wanting to go because it’s so cold out. Oh well, no pain no gain right?

I hate going to gyms that are unknown to me. Too proud to take a tour, I acted like I knew the place but ended up getting all kinds of confused. I didn’t know where anything was, felt like I was walking against the crowd of people, didn’t know what the towel and wipe down situation was, etc. Madness. I played it cool and  finally found an open Precor AMT, my long-lost love.


I did a little over 30 minutes on it with resistance ranging from 7 to 15.  I wanted to go longer but made the rookie mistake of forgetting my water (D’oh) and didn’t want to overdo it or pull a DJ Tanner

Do you all remember that episode? I remember how dramatic they made her workout scene but now that I watch it, she is on each machine for seven to eight seconds and then gets light-headed. Huh? Also, check out the dude in the tight spandex daisy dukes when she gets on the stepper. I miss the early 90’s.

Turns out, I had a great workout!

 Something else I did today? I bit the bullet and confirmed my root canal appointment. Scared shitless doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about this since I’ve never had one but I gotta do what I gotta do. Since you know, I am want my insurance to cover it while I still have insurance.

Anyone been or know anything about culinary school?
Ever had a root canal?

69 Responses to “I’m looking forward to the future”

  1. TheSceneFromMe at 9:31 pm #

    That sounds like a fun plan my dear! Culinary school is actually school that sounds like a good time, not boring and full of potential. And Phoenix? I love it out there!
    No root canal for me, thankfully!

    • simplyshaka at 2:44 pm #

      I like phoenix (lived there two yrs) but waaaaay too hot for me!

  2. happytalesblog at 9:33 pm #

    Ahhhhh first off, I love the way you write.. you are freakin’ HILARIOUS and I can’t wait to have our play dates (um, I mean doggie play dates). Oh the fun we will have!

    Anywho, I’m so glad you made it to the Y!!!!!!!!!! I was there until 715ish lifting weights… were you there then?!!? Aw, I wish I had known or I would’ve stayed and looked for you! I can totally show you the ropes, and give you a played-down tour (if you want). The women’s health center is pretty ballin’ since there’s cardio AND weight machines in there… so you can pretty much get your entire workout in and never have to leave the lockeroom. Pretty sweet, eh?

    Anyway, I’m glad you did so much reflection at work today! Have you looked into the Johnson & Whales culinary school here in Charlotte?! You should check out Emily’s blog at dailygarnish.com… she acutally did just what you’re thinkig about doing. She quit her job, moved here to Charlotte and did that program! She has a whole portion of her blog dedicated to it. Check it out!

    Anywho, now that I wrote a novel… I think I should just hit submit. Glad you didn’t pull a DJ Tanner! (Yes I remember that episode and yes I laughed out loud for like 5 minutes when I read that. You are too funny for words!)

    • simplyshaka at 9:42 pm #

      Thanks for the tip, I will check out that site. I must have just missed you! I got there at 715 and was signing it and trying to figure my way through the entire thing. I need to check out the lockerroom though, that is pretty gangsta!

      Here’s to doggie play dates! Of course when it’s warmer, Linky is freezing his non existent balls off. I must find him a new sweater to prance around in!

  3. Neyal at 9:56 pm #

    GREAT idea on the culinary school! I’ve taken several cooking classes, some formal and some really informal like where people do it has a business out of their house, and they’ve all been fun, creative and enjoyable. (That’s where I got the blood orange salad recipe I mentioned that i still need to give you.) Go for it! But stay on the east coast. 🙂

    Did you watch Modern Family tonight? The end was hilarious and made me think of you.

    Sidenote: Between shoveling snow, zumba, treadmill and walking Riley tonight, my total calorie burn was 1277. Seriously…WTF! Oh and I know you don’t like curry, but i made a really yummy veggie curry dinner. Yummmm.

    • simplyshaka at 9:40 pm #

      LOVE the ending of Modern Family-it brought a huge smile to my face. Yay for little gingers!

      I need to get that recipe….I’ll let you know what develops otherwise 😉 Oh and the veggie curry–what color curry was it? I tried red this wknd and it wasn’t completely horrid.

      WTF indeed friend.

  4. bigcitybabycarrots at 12:35 am #

    I would just like to say that I totally sang the Fall Out Boy lyrics in my head when I read the title of your post. What a great life decision – how great it is to figure out what you’ll love to do.

  5. I’ve looked at culinary schools too (over the years), but I always change my mind… mostly because they aren’t vegetarian and the ones that are veggie, are in the New England states and I didn’t live there. But since you are looking into moving anywhere you please, sounds like a great adventure! 🙂 Good Luck!

    I had a root canal when I was in the 4th grade… fell on my face and broke my front teeth. 😦 Anyway, it wasn’t so bad… they numb the area, drill a bit, there was some smoke, as I recall… but I didn’t feel anything, cuz I was numbed. Of course, I was a sickly kid, so I was used to being at the doctor’s office getting procedures done. Today, not so much, I need to get those front teeth recapped, and am scared to find a new dentist… it would be just horrible if they mess them up… they are the teeth you see first! Eeek!

    • simplyshaka at 9:38 pm #

      OMG that is a horrible story 😦 The smoke freaks me out alone—ahhhh!!! Not a happy ahhhh but a scary ahhhh! I also need a root canal on one of my front teeth so I feel you pain-what happens if they mess it up??

  6. spabettie at 3:25 am #

    I have always wanted to attend the Bakery / Pastry Chef program here in Portland… we have a Cordon Bleu here, and an Art Institute culinary program, and another school… Portland also has AMAZING restaurants… 😉 hint hint!

    good for you, where ever you go, I’m excited for you!!

    • simplyshaka at 9:36 pm #

      I heart Portland!! I only went once but it was such a fantastic city, I definitely didn’t have enough time there.

  7. Whitney at 6:45 am #

    I love the AMT! Such a neat workout!

    • simplyshaka at 9:35 pm #

      It’s fabulous isn’t it? I would love to buy one…..if only they werent $7K-ugh!!

  8. dianacheung at 7:47 am #

    first of all you have to remember that if you decide to be a chef/sou chef or whatever that the hours suck. They work when WE “play”…but I guess you can always do catering. My friend Luke went to culinary school and he loved it. Working vacations and till 2 am and all. He got a job right out of school cause new restaurants go to the school to look for employees to hire. I got anxiety and cried at work yesterday…can’t wait to move and start afresh too. 😦

  9. I’m going to the dentist tomorrow and am scared enough of that… ugh! I hate the f-ing dentist.

    And congrats for being able to start narrowing down what you *really* want to do. Still working on that one myself. 😉

    I miss Full House. Does Nick at Night have reruns of it? May have to look into this…

    • simplyshaka at 2:47 pm #

      I think Nick at Nite or ABC family does! I haven’t watched either in awhile but should check it out soon!

      Hope all went well with the dentist….I dread going 😦

  10. Try not to worry too much about the root canal…I just had my first one over Christmas break and was scared to death. I didn’t feel a darn thing. It was tender afterwards for a few days, but other than that, it was easy peasy!

    Yay for starting to figure out what you really want to do! That’s so exciting! I hope your information from different places comes soon and you are able to figure everything out!

    • simplyshaka at 9:33 pm #

      Yay for reassurance, I hope it’s not that bad! I keep hearing horror stories and lets be honest, root canal doesn’t sound like the most pleasant of things…

  11. Meesh at 8:56 am #

    Wow, good luck in finding a school! I don’t know much about them, but I love that you are going after something that makes you happy!
    Just wanted to let you know you got an award on my blog today! http://positivelymeesh.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/snow-day/

  12. I had a bunch of friends at Johnson and Wales when I was in college, and they all LOVED it! Very exciting for you!

    Ummmm, that is possibly the BEST episode of Full House EVER. So freakin’ amazing.

    • simplyshaka at 9:31 pm #

      Thanks! That’s definitely one of the ones I am checking out, especially since they are here in my city 🙂

  13. This Italian Family at 9:17 am #

    That is so cool that you and Allison live in the same place and are able to work out at the same gym! So jealous!

    Also, Culinary School would be super cool! One of my workout buddy girlfriends has been working a job that she originally really enjoyed, but then became super stressful. She talked to her supervisor, but they just kept piling on the work. And one day she had an epiphany and realized that she was never going to get out of her cube if she didn’t do something. So she quit. She’s working a job now that pays just enough to cover the bills, but gives her TONS of more free time so she can study to be a personal trainer (her real passion!). It has been so cool to see the difference in her since she quit her job. Now, I’m not saying that everyone should just up and quit their jobs, but I am saying that there is a LOT to be said about doing something you are passionate about!

    • simplyshaka at 9:29 pm #

      I know, how awesome is that??!! I need to run into her one of these days 🙂

      LOVE your friends story!

  14. teneightsixfour at 9:49 am #

    OMG. You becoming a chef…I don’t know what i’d do first…move to where you’re a chef or die of happiness!!! I think that’s the most brilliant idea you’ve ever had in your life (well I haven’t known you that long…but this is a brill idea!). Good freakin’ luck! 🙂

    • simplyshaka at 9:28 pm #

      I haven’t had too many brilliant ideas in my life so thanks 🙂 You make me laugh silly girl!

  15. Carly at 10:07 am #

    I too am super-duper jealous of Samantha Brown and anyone else with a travel show. Ohhh that would be the most amazing thing to get paid to see all of those awesome places. Heck, I wouldn’t care about being paid – just handle my living expenses!

    • simplyshaka at 9:27 pm #

      Exactly! How fun would that be just to check out all of those places?? I don’t need money, I could just pack my stuff up in storage and go. Of course only if I could bring my pup 🙂

  16. Ashleigh at 10:14 am #

    I think that sounds like so much fun!! It sounds like something you are really interested in too. I am sure you will find all the answers and make the right decisions!

  17. Ha, I remember that episode of Full House! It definitely taught me a valuable lesson about crash dieting.

    Good luck if you decide to go with culinary school! That same thought crossed my mind as well, but I think reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential pretty much killed that idea for me, haha. Despite the crazy-hard work, I still think it would be rewarding though.

    Your pizzas always make me so pissed that we don’t have a Trader Joe’s here and I’m missing out on that whole wheat pizza dough! Yeah, I could make my own, but… Meh.

    • simplyshaka at 9:26 pm #

      I am sad you don’t have TJ’s. Do you have Whole Foods, they may have it? My local supermarket has started to carry pizza dough in the deli section and it’s only $1.99. Like you, I could make my own but meh is the exact thought that comes to mind. I don’t have enough kitchen counterspace to make it without knocking everything on my counter over!

      • Actually, I found some at a place called Sunflower Farmer’s Market yesterday- and it was $1.99 as well! Woo! Totally making pizza tonight.

      • simplyshaka at 10:13 pm #

        You have Sunflower??!! Jealous! We had those in Phoenix and it was my favorite place to go for their bulk bin selecion.

  18. Monique at 10:42 am #

    i love that episode of full house! and i know the feeling all too well of being thirsty during a workout! hahaha!

    i love the idea of you going ot culinary school! its sooo much fun (ive only done rec classes) and culinary school kiddos have dirty minds- you will fit right in xoxox just kidding – partially.

  19. leashieloo at 11:34 am #

    I love TJ’s pizza dough, I should divvy mine up next time like you do! Do you know if they freeze well?

    • simplyshaka at 9:24 pm #

      Yep–it freezes wonderfully! I split it up then freeze it in separate containers. If I want to have pizza one night, I will just put it back in the fridge the morning or night before and then it’s good to go about 12 hours later!

  20. genesis at 11:45 am #

    congrats on your new adventure 🙂 i highly considered cooking school specifically becoming a pastry chef but there wasnt a single location near me so I put that on the back burner.

  21. Culinary school sounds great! You are a creative cook, so I bet it would be perfect for you. I was going to recommend checking out The Daily Garnish too as someone else said.

    I still think I want to go back to school to become a registered dietitian someday.

    I wrote a post using the same picture of that Precor machine a while back. It’s pretty tough when you really put effort into it!

    Didn’t know that Trader Joe’s had whole wheat pizza dough like that–sweet, I’ll have to get some next time I go.

    Oh and your desk looks exactly like mine. Grey and depressing. 😦

    • simplyshaka at 9:22 pm #

      Thanks 🙂 Have you thought about going back to be a RD? I saw definitely check it out if it’s something you’re truly interested. For me, the hardest part will naturally be the money and having to stomach taking on more student loans. I love that Precor so much! It’s great to have such range of different motions all on one machine. I definitely recommend the TJ’s dough–it’s my go to when I want a quick and tasty meal!

  22. Kace at 12:32 pm #

    Good for you for trying to figure out your life. I love to travel to, which is why I went into education (summers off!) unfortunately, I have no one to travel with. sad face.

    Also there’s some GREAT schools in Philly, and the culinary scene around here is amazing. Great restaurants!

    Never had a root canal (yet) but my dentist was just explaining to me that it’s really a relatively easy procedure these days. I told him that, if I ever need one, I still want to be knocked out cold.

    • simplyshaka at 9:20 pm #

      Amen sister. Thats what my dentist was trying to tell me but I still don’t want to feel, hear or see anything. If I hear my tooth crunching, I will seriously flip!!

      Who cares if you have no one to travel with? I saw go on your own adventure 🙂

  23. alex at 12:56 pm #

    Ohhhh DJ. I would have appreciated her more had I known she would be forever doomed to make Lifetime movies after Full House.
    Two things: Your cubicle is f’n depressing. And I am only looking at a picture of it. I have my own office, but no windows. =/
    Lastly, keep us informed regarding the root canal. Never had one…but actually going to the dentist today for the first time in…awhile.

    • simplyshaka at 2:53 pm #

      Um yeah I haven’t had any major work done in eight yrs. So saying I have a fear of the dentist is an understatement.

      At least you have an office and can close the door. Here its just gray and depressing. The worst is when there’s a street festival going on. I get to watch people drinking and having a good time. Yay.

      DJ was in Lifetime movies? Must imdb!

  24. Jen at 2:45 pm #

    I had to have a root canal in July, I was petrified, but the pain needed to go away. I ended up having this crazy infection and had to be on pain killers and antibiotics for 2.5 weeks before they could even do the damn root canal. The relief was almost instant. I cried I was so happy!!!!


    • simplyshaka at 2:49 pm #

      Eek! Glad to hear you got everything resolved….they gave me antibiotics so I have to start on them this wknd. Luckily I’m not in a lot of pain though, just want to get it out of the way!

  25. I want to go to culinary school SO bad. I really only looked into Le Cordon Bleu, because they have one here, but it is a little too pricey for me right now…. 😦 I’m still hoping someday though!
    Very exciting for you! I hope you go and tell us all about it!

    • simplyshaka at 9:19 pm #

      Thanks 🙂 I’m looking around at different Le Cordon Bleu locations and the prices all vary by location so I will have to delve into that further and look at other schools, locations as well!

  26. HAHAHAH! I remember that one where DJ passes out in her sweaty 80’s workout gear! I like Samantha from travel channel, but Anthony Bourdain has stolen my heart. Din looks yum! What does tempeh taste like? I’ve always wanted to try it.

    • simplyshaka at 9:15 pm #

      I have one of his books sitting around here and I keep asking myself why I havent started it yet-must read soon!

      Tempeh pretty much takes on the taste of what you marinate it in. It wasn’t too chewy and reminded me of Morningstar Veggie Crumbles but kind of grainy at the same time–if that makes sense?! I can’t see myself eating it all the time but it’s a nice, different alternative to the meat.

  27. Sana at 3:21 pm #

    Go for your goals!!! Seriously. I am so proud of you for putting them out there, not everyone can do that!

    P.s I hear rool canals are not THAT bad!

  28. I’ve heard great things about the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) from Anthony Bourdain. He raves about it!

    Arizona is so hot. Move here.

    • simplyshaka at 9:12 pm #

      Awesome-thanks for the tip! AZ is too hot, meh!! If California would get more jobs I would be on it like white on rice!

  29. Monique at 6:33 pm #

    Comeeeee to Phoenix!! 🙂 I get really sad about the rock n roll half, ha, I was going to sign up for it before I hurt myself 😦 oh well, there’ll be others.

    • simplyshaka at 9:11 pm #

      If I can get over the heat, I will totally be there! Bummer about the race though, maybe another one in a different location? You could make a trip of it!

  30. thefitacademic at 8:18 pm #

    I Love the chick-fil-a calendar 🙂
    Sorry, don’t know anything about culinary school & I’ve never had a root canal, so can’t help ya there!

    • simplyshaka at 9:10 pm #

      Chick Fil A calendar is bomb, it’s the one thing I always ask for for Christmas!

  31. Laury @thefitnessdish at 10:32 pm #

    I think there are many exciting things coming for you in the future!! the world is your oyster (is that how that saying goes?)

    So many things…

    Love that precor. Have them at my gym

    Want to go to Raw foods culinary school. But it’s in OK, or somewhere else far I think.

    I’ve had 2 root canals. But nothing compares to the dental implant I had. Worst ever!!!

    Have a great night!!

    Thanks for the comment on the Healthy Eating Post! I went through all those phases too! Every diet, you name it. I think that’s why I talk so passionately about it all!


  32. Ouch root canals suck, I’ve had one, It’s nice to get some time off work though isn’t it? :)… that Pizza looks awesome, Whats the brand of tempeh you used? Also the Culinary school I know of that is great is called Kendell College. Looked into it myself they’re pretty awesome, Just located in Chicago!

  33. Congrats on looking into culinary school! I am kind of unhappy in my job and still don’t know for sure what I want to do. It’s so great that you know what you are passionate about.

  34. 40daykedge at 1:29 pm #

    I have so many things to say about this post. I’ve been wanting to send you a personal note ever since I heard about your breakdown over Christmas. I was going to suggest working with a career coach. I have used one in the past and it brought me so much clarity. I went from crying before I had to go to work and wanting to quit my job immediately to staying, finding the positives and working behind the scenes on my dream career all while having an expert partner on my team. I am a big fan of hiring expert people as a sounding board.

    It sounds to me like you know what you want! Congrats!

    On another note, I started my root canal last weekend, it’s the second time in the same tooth. It’s not a fun process, I’m not going to lie, but you’ll get through it, they’ll numb you up so you won’t feel anything. Just don’t do what I did and take a 3 year break from going to the dentist.

    • simplyshaka at 10:16 pm #

      Thanks for the words. I’ve been thinking about a career/life coach I just need to find one who knows what they are doing. I just always thought by the time I was my age, I would have some inkling of what I wanted to do with my life you know?

      Eek on the root canal, that doesn’t sound like fun. Unfortunately, I took a longer than three year break from the dentist so I’m probably in your situation 😦

  35. LeilaQ at 4:34 pm #

    Your future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades, girl!

    We have ALL of those culinary schools in Phoenix. I’M. JUST. SAYIN’.

  36. BikiniBy30 at 1:52 pm #

    DJ made “water pops” in that epsiode. “Mmmm, they’re cold and wet and that’s about it.”


  1. Frugal Friday-reduce your grocery bill! « Simply Shaka -

    […] into that I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone’s kind words, comments, thoughts on my last post about culinary school. I am psyched to look into something new that actually excites me. Even if I […]

  2. One down, 11 to go « Simply Shaka -

    […] success! I’ve been toying with tofu, tempeh, even ordering veggie meals when I get Chinese take out and making meatless Monday a regular […]

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