Friday, August 19, 2011

Where I promise to blog more than bi-annually...

Six months, eh?

Yep, it's been exactly six freakin' months since my last entry here, and as I have constantly done, I again apologize for the lack of entries; I have no excuse, since my third shift schedule affords me the opportunity to do entries whilst everyone in the house is asleep, and before I get my 5-9 hours of snoozing...

So, you may (or may not) be asking yourself; what's been going on these last six months?

Well, for starters, the fam has done a lot of traveling; there is so much to see out these parts, and iconic landmarks top the list; from Lady Liberty to the Nation Mall and all its museums, we've gone as far north as Concord, New Hampshire, and as far south as Virginia, seeing as much as we can...

love Lady Liberty

Grand Central Station


Turned 46 this year, but, as the blog was started while I was 44, the name stays the same for now.

Our son graduated from pre-school, and we are now a couple of weeks away from the first day of Kindergarten - school is great, teachers and administration are awesome. Meanwhile, Z. continues to thrive, grow, and appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding areas...


Graduation

Summer play

Enjoying his first s'more

We made it back to the City By The Bay for a week in August, where, surprisingly, we froze our patooties off; of course I should have remembered those cold summer months from living there for almost 45 years, but living in an area where summer is summer, one can almost be excused for assuming it'd be like that all over the country...


Made it to the best ballpark in the majors...


where THIS guy roams center field

We did manage to see as many friends as we could, and we did spend a day with family, which always warms my heart, especially during a cool summer...it makes me miss being that close to everyone, and it further makes me feel more guilty that I don't blog more often. Facebook and Twitter, along with actual emails and phone calls can provide snippets, but I feel like I'm cheating both myself and all of you by not providing more insight through the written word.


Great to see family...

...and friends...


...including friends I haven't seen in two years...

or in this case, almost 30 years!

So, with that in mind, I will try to do more via this little blog. It is suppose to focus on sports, pop culture and food, so I really can take subjects that interest me (and, hopefully, you, dear reader) and put a Robert spin on it.

Let's see where this leads...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happiness is a job you love...

Hi there - I again humbly apologize for the dearth of posts on this blog; being at a job I dreaded took a lot of energy away from me, and what energy I did have on a daily basis was split between searching for another job, and taking care of our son, that, though fun, can be exhausting...

So, in October, I stopped working at the job I dreaded, for a lot of reasons (commute, a**hole insurance agents), and started to take a long look at what would be next for me...

The turning point? Coming to visit family and friends in the Bay Area in November. One visit in particular, to Goody Goodie Cream & Sugar, where I reconnected with my last pastry chef, Remi Hayashi-Girouard, and it was just like I was working at the dearly departed Splendido Restaurant over a decade ago. The banter, the gossip, but, most of all, the incredible bread and pastry being turned out from the kitchen, ignited my long dormant passion for being in the kitchen once again.

Upon my return to West Hartford, I turned my focus from desk jobs within the insurance and benefits industry, and redirected it to baking and pastry. In late December, I took a position with a chain, whose name translated from French means "The Good Bread"; I couldn't even complete a month with "The Good Bread" - something about retrieving pre-made, frozen, preservative-laced, high fructose corn syrup laden goods, then proofing, baking, said goods, did not sit well with me, and, goes against every fiber of my culinary training...

However, while I was there, I was contacted by the owner of the Hartford Baking Company, a small little bakery/coffee house less than 10 minutes from our home. Zach and I went there in December, and seeing bannetons, bakery racks, and, some awfully good looking bread convinced me to ask Scott, the owner, if they had all their bakers for the holidays; it wasn't until January when I came in for an interview and tryout, and soon thereafter, I was in the kitchen, mixing, shaping, proofing, slashing, and baking some of the best bread in the country!

You'll notice that I'm entering this post at 5:00 in the morning; bakers' hours, people, bakers' hours. I am on such a high right now, finally doing what I love to do, with a boss as passionate about baking and bread as I am, and with co-workers equally passionate, I can't help but feel very very lucky.

It took some time, but I think this East Coast thing just might work out...