There aren't many restaurant jobs I haven't worked - well, except for the most important one: cook (if only you didn't have to be a good cook to be a cook). But name almost anything else, and I've done it. Dishwasher, busboy, host, waiter, bartender. Some were terrible, some were a blast, and all were made cool in hindsight after reading Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. I first read Kitchen Confidential while in New Zealand on a working holiday visa. I'd gotten a job washing dishes at a spot were I was hoping to bartend, and his book made that decision feel romantic and exciting (rather than depressing). While I'd worked in restaurants before, I'd never worked in the kitchen. It was a different planet from the front of the room.. Bourdain captured it better than I ever could, and I highly recommend reading his account. I only stayed back there a few weeks, but it's a few weeks I'll never forget. Night after night, I hustled like
Raising a glass of Kool-Aid (non-electric, but thanks) to Tom Wolfe, who wrote the book that set me on a course of exploring too many books and bands to mention. I was fifteen or sixteen when I first picked up The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (from my high school library no less), and its wild tale wildly told opened up possibilities of writing that I hadn't considered until then. I started listening to The Dead, wearing terrible tie-dyes, and using ellipses and exclamation marks like crazy. (I stopped with the punctuation because only he could really pull it off). The tie-dyes took longer to shed. I'm going to put his other great reads on my list to check out soon. Here's to Tom Wolfe and his electric writing.