Happy, Happy, Peace Love Tie-Dye....
Notice that I did not say “The way you tell there is a depression in Cachagua.”
Cachagua is an Esselen Indian word meaning “Land of the Clinically Depressed Whack-Jobs.” Clinical depression spreads out from Cachagua like swine flu spreads from the pig farms on the Mexican Highlands.
Anyway….my buddy Jeremy came in to visit tonight. I was in the middle of turning two weeks’ (a metric tonne) of compost.
I needed to do this, but I started the project at tonight to rid my parking lot of redneck drunks hanging out by their pick-up….and not spending money. How to get rid of redneck drunks? Smoke salmon….and turn a metric tonne of compost.
It is a wretched, stinking process. My compost is actually in good shape….not anaerobic, burning hot and steady….but there are the smells of Mother Nature in her most private moments. Filling the air, clinging to my body, my clothes, my shoes, my hair.
In the midst of this….Jeremy arrived and gave me a giant hug. A kiss on the cheek, even. The drunken rednecks were long gone.
Jeremy has lived at Tassajara for seven years. On one of his breaks from there…..Jeremy worked for us as a caterer.
Jeremy is a classic. Born in
Still….the man is a serious Buddhist…..Seven years on the program. And he still loves us enough to give us hugs and kisses when covered in maggots and stench.
Jeremy is now the kitchen manager at Tassajara. Not the Tenzo….which is technically “the Chef” in Tassajara talk. In my twenty year association with the Tassajara kitchen….I have only known one actual food person who has been a Tenzo at Tassajara.
Tassajara is a Zen monastery. And a busy hotel five months of the year. The Zennies still assign jobs not based on skill or aptitude, but based on the possibility for growth in the individual assigned to a specific job. Kind of like the US Army.
Tassajara will assign some random, horrible person the job of Tenzo….for their own personal growth. And accept the collateral damage to the community that results as something karmic or whatever who knows.
But…not being dummies…they usually have a dynamite, hard-core kitchen manager below the Tenzo who can actually produce the 150 meals, three times a day on a strict schendule. So….Jeremy is a baller. Giant balls….however that fits into the whole Buddha thing. Buddha had giant balls…it’s fine.
Some of my most transcendent moments as a chef have been in the Tassajara kitchen. I used to drive out the 16 miles of 4wd road in the middle of my 96 hour work week at my restaurant (Silver Jones) to do an extra couple of 18 hour shifts with the Zennies just to ground out.
Tia was the Tenzo….and she insisted in 1989 on eggs from chickens with beaks (egg farmers cut the beaks off chickens so they won’t peck each other to death in the
One day…after a two day charge through the gardens…feeding 140 people, guests and monks….three meals a day…we kitchen folk all came to a screeching halt.
Tenzo Tia: “My God….all of the herbs we have been using for the last six meals have been square-stemmed salvias! We are in a horrible rut! We have to fix this!”
Of course, all the herbs were grown in the Tassajara gardens by other monks…and we would pick them as needed fresh….and bitch at the garden monks for the lack of non-square stemmed salvia herbs.
Square stemmed salvias are all the herbs with square stems. It turns out that these are basically all the herbs: lavender, basil, marjoram, fennel, oregano, sage, borage, etc. We then got into a philosophical argument about the definition of herbs vs. spices.
The mere fact that we were having this discussion tells you all you need to know about the Tassajara kitchen.
Oh…and Jeremy worked for us as a caterer for a year in the middle of his monkdom. Jeremy was there to catch The Mormon when she dropped from heat stroke when the kitchen temps hit 130 degrees. Jeremy sat with her in the walk-in until she came back around and could go back to work.
So……tonight we were thrilled to see Jeremy. He was on a break from the Monastery…doing laundry, doing mail, shopping…getting away. Going to see his foodie friends.
After the compost hug and kiss…I brought the lad into The Store for at least a beer. I offered him a fat red steak….but he passed.
Also sharing the room were some Christian Evangelical folk who had come for the Cachagua Fire spaghetti feed and hung around drinking wine.
The guy is a developer and a lawyer. We sparred about Bush v Obama in years past…and they are the kind of folk who walked up
Fine. We won. Suck a dick.
But….while I was trying to talk to Jeremy….in the middle of prep for a $1000 a head party at the Packard Ranch in Big Sur tomorrow….the Christians settled in on either side of my guy.
They discovered that Jeremy lived at Tassajara.
And the yuppie evangelical Christian started making speaking in a racist Chinesesy sing song: “Oh, you likey my country. No tickee no shirtee."
Jeremy was cool.
“You guys are the ones who jump around and wear orange, right?"...
To my friend Jeremy...the manager of the Tassajara kitchen…..a retired redneck, retired gang guy from
I wanted to hit the guy with a bottle.
Jeremy is an actual Buddhist…and was amused. Well, kind of. You could see the old gang, redneck currents running under the skin……
Christian Dickface continued in Chinky-chinky sing-song: You peepy gotty greeny cardies? I used to worky with Iranians who escaped the Shah….and they were actually very smarty and got jobsy as waiters when they were engineersy in Iransy.”
I walked back into the kitchen and looked for weapons. Knife….quick and skillful. Kill this fuck and put him in the dumpster…or the compost.
Or…..Full bottle of wine crushing the skull…..sends a message….leave him in the middle of
Then, I realized. Christian Fuck actually thought in his dimly evolved lizard brain......that Buddhists need green cards to be in America. Even Buddhists from North Carolina by way of Queens.
Organic poisons….problematic. Lots of drama and bodily fluids everywhere.
Gasoline…..just....flames of hell and all that.... but probably controversial….QAnd really a pain in the ass for the Cachagua Volunteers. And…I don’t think I have my own fire insurance.
Meanwhile….Jeremy just sat there, trying to enjoy his first beer in six months…with his friends….and was completely fine with the whole aggressively ignorant, insulting racist, horrible thing. Jeremy is a Buddhist.
Jeremy had a nice Buddhist time with his friends….us…….and drove back to Tassajara.
Jeremy was fine….I am the one trembling with rage. And gratitude in the realization that for the last eight years….rich, ignorant, obtuse, stupid, self-important, racist fucks like this douche bag were actually in control of
And worse…the whole world thinks that Americans are just like this fucking wretched excuse of a humanoid.
Oh….I almost forgot: How you tell the recession has hit Cachagua......
I did not actually bury a full bottle of wine into Christian Yuppie Fucks ignorant head.
He will be here for a while…..and is good for a few bottles of wine on a Friday in the bar.
We need the money.
When the recovery comes…….
I am really good at compost. The long bones do take some time burn up, though.