Archive | December, 2010

Changing My Name, Part II

31 Dec

The California Department of Motor Vehicles

This is the second part of my two part series about legally changing my name now that I am married. For the first part, see “Changing My Name, Part I” when I visited the Pasadena office of the Social Security Administration to request a new SSN card with my married name.

Over Thanksgiving break, I received my new SSN card. The next part of my journey entailed going to the Pasadena DMV to get a new driver’s license with my new name. Once that was complete, the state of Oregon, the federal government, and the state of California would be aware of my new name, and I would be legally “Larissa Church.” However, I had been told that the Glendale DMV was closed, and I should get an appointment at the Pasadena one. The earliest appointment I was able to get–remember, this is back in late November–was December 28 at 4 p.m. So I waited for my appointment, patiently, but anxiously.

I’m not sure if you have seen it, but for the past 10 years, I have had the worst driver’s license photo of anyone I know (with the exception of Steven Bowen, who had a full beard by 8th grade and looks like a terrorist in his driver’s license photo). As I mentioned in “Little Known Facts About Me” I had a hair-dyeing addiction in high school. My addiction eventually ended in mishap and for a time, I had hideous hair–orange-y red blonde at the bottom, and dark brown roots. I had vowed never to dye my hair again (which I have kept thus far), so my roots were bad, very bad. This meant I wore beanies often, which I unfortunately chose to do when I went in to the Napa DMV to take the test to get my permit. No one had warned me that they also take your photo for your driver’s license that day. To my horror, I was forced to take off my beanie, expose my tainted hair, and take my license photo. The result? I look like my hair is painted on my head like a Ken doll. It’s been truly wonderful to show the photo to airport personnel, merchants, bouncers at clubs, and the like. About 95% of the time I am asked if the photo is really me. Unfortunately, it is. So you can understand why I was anticipating my December 28 appointment. This time, I would not be caught unawares. This time, I would look incredible.

At my new job, if you need to leave early for an appointment, you are required to come in early. Since my appointment was at 4 p.m., and I wanted to leave at 3 p.m. to allow for traffic/accidents/natural disasters, I clocked in at 6:49 a.m. I spent my morning drinking several cups of coffee, as you can imagine I was tired. When 3 p.m. came, I was ready–I brought my makeup bag with me, and covered those dark circles! I made sure I looked fabulous. I brought a sparkly headband, and I was wearing a red cardigan so my photo would have some color. Per a few friends’ advice, I opted not to wear my new favorite scarf, because as one of them put it, I didn’t want to look like I didn’t have a neck for the next 10 years. (Very good point!) I was ready! After 10 years of waiting, the day had come for me to take a new driver’s license photo!

I encountered a bit of construction and traffic on my trip to the Pasadena DMV, but I wasn’t too worried–I had left myself plenty of time. However, when I arrived, I saw that I wasn’t in the slightest prepared.

The first thing I noticed was that there was a line of people out the door that wrapped around the parking lot. The line was at least 100 people long. I started to get nervous. I circled the parking lot several times, but there weren’t any spaces available. There was even a tow truck towing a car that had parked illegally. I realized I would need to park someplace else, so I went to the Staples lot next door. There were signs plastered everywhere that warned motorists their vehicle would be towed if they weren’t a customer–usually, this is an empty threat, but there was another tow truck towing a car. I started panicking. I eventually found parking half a mile away, on the street, and in 1 hour parking.

When I walked into the DMV, it was pandemonium. I noticed a sign on the wall that said the maximum capacity was 495–I guarantee you there were more than 495 people there. There were several security guards directing people into different lines. I felt like a refugee waiting to get food. I tried to ask a guard where I needed to go, but he just glared at me. I found a table full of papers and forms, found the one I needed, squeezed myself onto a deck, and began filling the form out as quickly as I could. I managed to find a line that had a sign noting it was for people who had an appointment. I waited at least 20 minutes before the lady at the desk handed me a number. I was F168, or something like that.

I looked in the waiting room, and it was overflowing with people. There were screaming children, children running around, crazy people, old people… too many people. I decided to stand outside of the waiting room and watch the television so I could see when they called my number–I could barely hear the computerized woman announcing numbers. At this point, I began to regret my intake of copious amounts of coffee, and my heart was racing. I overheard several conversations of people saying they had been waiting since noon or 1 p.m. It was hands down one of the most chaotic situations I have ever been in.

There were 26 windows that were rotating people out as fast as they could. My eyes were glued to the screen. I had brought a book, but I could see that had been a useless formality. When I was finally called to window 14 after waiting another 20 minutes or so, I practically had to punch my way through the crowds to get to it. Thankfully, in stark contrast to every other DMV employee I have encountered, the man was extremely nice. We chatted some, and I asked him if it was always this insane. He laughed, and said yes. Apparently it’s been like that for months, since the Glendale and the West Covina DMV offices are closed. I have never been more grateful not to work at a DMV than I was at that moment.

After I signed my form, and showed him a certified copy of my marriage license and my new SSN card, I was directed to another line to take my new  driver’s license photo. I nervously glanced at the clock and saw I had about 15 minutes until my parking meter ran out. I tapped my foot impatiently, the caffeine screaming in my veins. As I waited, I debated leaving, because I was terrified my car would be towed and I would be stranded. But no–I had come this far, I never wanted to come back. I waited.

I noticed a sign that warned people attacking a federal employee would result in heavy fines and possible jail times, and I wondered if the glass partition that separated the DMV employees from the rest of us was bulletproof. I could see someone losing it.

Finally, it was my turn, and after they scanned my thumb print (Is that new? I don’t remember doing that at Napa. Or is it an LA thing?) I took my new photo. The lady behind the counter exclaimed that it was a wonderful photo, and thought I would be very happy with it. I told her my previous photo was wretched, and she assured me the new one was great. However, I think she was on drugs, because she seemed a little too happy for someone working in such an insane work environment.

In 4-6 weeks I will receive my new driver’s license photo, and I can only hope the photo is an improvement over the last. If nothing else, I am happy that I am now in every legal sense Larissa Church, just in time for 2011!


Little Known Facts About Me

21 Dec


Now I'm weird, but not THAT weird!


These past few days I have been sick, very sick, which I don’t do very often. While it is true that my stomach has a particular aversion to garlic as well as certain amounts of cheese (I like to refer to my condition as “lactose uncomfortable”), it is a rare occasion that I am ever genuinely sick. I have a pretty amazing immune system, but perhaps the smog in LA has decreased its working ability.

I became ill on Saturday night, when I noticed I was sneezing quite often. I was also suffering from a runny nose. Sunday I was worse, with a very sore throat, the chills, the aches, a nose that alternated between runny and stuff, and a fever. Monday was much the same, but I still attempted to go to work. My supervisor promptly sent me home. I have somewhat improved, but I remain gross, so I am home bound yet again.

My sickness got me thinking about other weird and random facts of my life, and so I thought it would be appropriate to share them now. You may or may not already be aware of them.

As I have referenced in a previous blog post, I was raised without any pets (see “All I Want for Christmas Is…”), which I find completely un-American. What family in the U.S. doesn’t have a pet? Mine.

I am 26 and I have never broken a bone. It isn’t for lack of trying, either. When I was a kid I loved to ride my bike, climb trees, and generally run around like a chicken without a head. I was one of the only kids I knew who hadn’t had the luxury of breaking an appendage and then coming to school with a neon colored cast on their arm or leg, to be swarmed in the playground at recess like a celebrity and have everyone desperate to sign it. I was jealous, and don’t even get me started on crutches. I lusted after them like the Cookie Monster and cookies. It’s amazing I didn’t actually break my leg when I would try out my injured friends’ crutches.

I was raised vegetarian, and the first time I had meat was in the 5th grade. I can remember it very well: it was lunchtime, and some of my friends were teasing me for never having meat. I was popular, but this weird aspect of my eating habits definitely raised a red flag in my friends’ minds as to why. So when someone handed me a few round pieces of pepperoni, I obliged and ate them. I then spent the night heaving over the toilet, not to eat meat again until the 8th grade.

On the topic of food, I grew up on the east coast and in the south, and I never had an avocado until California. Avocadoes aren’t really a thing back there. In fact, when I visited the south in high school, I went to a Subway and asked to have avocado on my sandwich. The sandwich maker looked at me like I was on drugs, and informed me they didn’t have it, and questioned why I wanted avocado on my sandwich—that was weird. My parents love that story.

I’ve had braces… twice, which is wildly un-cool, particularly when you pair it with the fact that I also had glasses and a perm. Additionally, I was obsessed with having the bands match the colors of the seasons; for example, I had orange and black bands in October. February saw red and pink bands on my mouth metal. The first time, I had braces in Boston, and when we moved, my dentist took them off. I think it was something to do with insurance. When we moved to California, my teeth had shifted, so surprise, I needed them again. Thankfully, my second time around, I realized having colors was extremely lame, and opted for gray bands every time (the clear ones show food more), to the disappointment of my dentist, who was hoping I would go for neon colors every time.

Since I was exposed to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” at a very young age, one of my greatest fears is robots. I don’t think I even saw that much of it, because I’m sure my mother shooed me out of the room when my dad was watching it. However, I was “lucky” enough to glimpse the scene where the terminator regenerates from a liquid, silver-y puddle and chases after Sarah Connor and John Connor. It still scares me. I also have a strong aversion against robot vacuums (they are evil) as well as pool cleaning robots. I was in a friend’s aunt’s pool a few summers back and the tail of one pool cleaning robot managed to wrap itself around me. I am convinced to this day it was trying to drown me. However, I love R2D2 and Wall-e, so I’m not sure what’s happening in the wiring of my brain.

When I was in high school, I was obsessed with dyeing my hair. I have what you might call “dirty blonde hair,” which means I’m not truly blonde, but not truly brunette either, which left me very confused as to whether I was Marilyn Monroe or Jackie Kennedy. I decided to be both. I tried dark brown hair, I tried super blonde hair, and then I wanted red hair. For a while I had beautiful red locks, (however my mother compared me to Ariel, so I’m not sure I was as glamorous as I thought I was) but then I was bored again and wanted to be a brunette, so I dyed it back. To my horror, my hair literally turned carrot orange. It turns out most peoples’ hair doesn’t take to red, and the color generally fades very fast. Mine? Loved the red and didn’t want to let it go. I dyed my hair the night before a big choir performance, so I rushed to Target to buy more brown dye, and made it worse. I suffered through the performance as Carrot Top, one of the most humiliating events of my high school career. A few days later I paid a visit to a salon, where they stripped my hair, bleached it, and then tried to dye it back to its normal color. My scalp felt like it was on fire, and I haven’t dyed my hair since.

If I haven’t already cemented the fact that I was a very odd child, I didn’t get my driver’s license until I graduated high school. I took a few hours of driving lessons, and I did have my permit, which I renewed several times but then let expire. Considering I lived in a small town where the majority of things were within walking distance, I was never too inspired to get my license. I was then graciously gifted my beautiful Honda Accord,  “Pierre,” by my grandparents as a graduation present, and suddenly I was very motivated to get my license.

I also don’t have any known allergies, and I haven’t tried in a while, but contrary to popular belief, I can lick my elbow. Also, my first kiss was in a library, which I find really weird. I’m sure when I explain that one to my grandkids, they won’t even know what a library is because everyone will have Kindles and probably be robots.

The State of Our Collected Affairs

16 Dec


Oh 2011, may you bring us things other than Justin Beiber!


While I was at work this afternoon, I received a text from my husband that said, “There is a major police chase going on in La Crescenta. I can hear choppers and sirens and the police on the bullhorn telling the guy to come out. It is scary.” If that doesn’t remind a person they aren’t in the Napa Valley anymore, I don’t know what will.

(Note: There is currently no update on the Glendale Police Department website regarding the incident. Their activity log hasn’t been updated since October, which is not comforting.) An excruciating two hours and twenty minutes later, my husband finally texted me, only saying that he had completed a drawing of the legendary Cole Panther for his website. When pressed for more information about his safety and well-being, an hour and thirty-three minutes later he texted back, “It’s been pretty quiet for an hour or so now. They must’ve got him.”

Besides terrifying me, this incident also placed me in a contemplative mood, causing me to reflect as though, as the cliché goes, my life passed before my eyes. Or at least my husband’s did. I began to mull over past events, particularly the past year. It was a biggie for me: quitting my job of 3 years, getting married (finally!) and not having to worry about wedding planning any longer, moving to LA, having my own house and decorating it, sharing a house with a boy, getting a new job that utilized my skill set, etc. But I started thinking. What was life like for the rest of the world this year? What were they interested in? (I realize this post is a tad premature for reflections on 2010, but what can I say? The spirit moved me.)

According to the Yahoo! 2010 Year In Review, the top ten searches on their search engine were: the BP oil spill, the World Cup, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, the iPhone, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, American Idol, and Britney Spears.

If you are wondering why I did not use Google Zeitgeist 2010 as my source, I don’t like their categorization of “Fastest Rising” searches. And if you are wondering who the @#$% uses Yahoo, consider this: Bing recently announced it has 90 million users, so perhaps the armor of the almighty Google has been dented.

In a quick sweep of my mind, my Facebook, and my Twitter, I have determined I have only commented (online) to 1 of these 10 top search topics. On June 29, I tweeted: “1,000+ birds & 400+ sea turtles have died from the BP oil spill. as the turtles from finding nemo would say, DUDE.” I suppose I should take pride in the fact that of the 10 topics, I commented on the only one that has any sort of relevance. However, it does make me question whether I am alternative to the social norm, or if I am merely out of touch.

As 2010 comes to a close, here are the rest of my thoughts on the other 9 top searches for the year.

The World Cup

During the summer of 2006, when Italy beat France to win the World Cup, I was there. However, that has nothing to do with this past World Cup, and I had to Google “who won World Cup 2010” to learn that it was Spain. My sports-loving family will no doubt be ashamed of me when they read this.

Miley Cyrus

I am not embarrassed to say (OK, I’m a little embarrassed) that I have a few Miley Cyrus songs on my iPod. Like many pop stars before her, and many after I am sure, Miley does not have much of a singing voice, but her producers sure are clever. Regardless of your age or sex, I think it is hard to deny that “Party in the U.S.A.” is catchy. I should say I know of a 33-year-old man (he will remain anonymous for his protection) who is obsessed with the song, so I don’t feel so guilty for my sometimes poor musical selections.

Kim Kardashian


Lady Gaga

I am ambivalent about Lady Gaga. The songs I know I like, but I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. Her voice isn’t particularly enthralling, but I suppose that isn’t the point. My favorite 2010 Lady Gaga moment involves my dad. One morning when I was getting ready to head to work, I had a familiar sound coming from an unfamiliar place. “Ra ra ra ra ra!” rang out across the house. I followed the sounds to my dad, who was watching the music video for “Bad Romance.” In utter disbelief, I silently watched my dad watch Gaga. He informed me he was watching the video because “They’re saying Lady Gaga has revived the music video industry.” Dumbfounded, I nodded. At the video’s conclusion, my dad simply stated, “Lady Gaga is an alien.”

The iPhone

Don’t have one and doubt I want to pay a ridiculous price for one. I am the only person I know without a smartphone (besides my parents, but my dad can’t check voicemail, so I feel I am still more technologically advanced), and I do want one, but I don’t want to pay for one. Bah!

Megan Fox

She is pretty but she is also scary. Since she’s been kicked off “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, I am sure she will fade into oblivion soon enough. Yawn.

Justin Bieber

I suppose it does reveal something about my age when I say if I was asked, I couldn’t name a single Justin Bieber song. All I know is that he has hair that everyone likes, which is confusing because I thought the surfer look was totally over. When I saw the “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” trailer, I thought he sounded like a little girl. When that guy hits puberty, something tells me his career is over, which is discomforting to think that millions of little girls are obsessed with a boy who sounds like… a little girl.

American Idol

Do people still watch this? Really? I’ve only ever tuned in to watch the show once, and that was the finale of the first season, when it was Justin vs. Kelly. It was blindly apparent that Justin did not possess even one iota of talent, and when Kelly won, it restored my faith in humanity, if only temporarily.

Britney Spears

I loved her during her “Toxic” days (that song is still one of the greatest songs ever) and it was sad watching her shave her head and go insane. Maybe because I loved her in high school I have a soft spot for Ms. Spears, and I wish her the best. Or perhaps because I can relate to an over-the-hill popstar whose glory days are behind her (that was a bit dramatic, I admit. I do not actually feel that washed up).

This rant reminds me that I am getting even more curmudgeon-y, cynical, and old. (See “Happy Birthday to Me” if you need to be reminded of this fact.) I suppose it is an inevitable part of aging, but I’m going to stick with the belief that I hold alternative views than those of society’s. (Further proof of my delusion in my old age?)

Another One Rides the Bus

14 Dec
Where exactly is this guy driving?


This past weekend, I deepened my newly formed LA roots and took another step in becoming a true Angeleno: I rode an LA Metro bus.

I had already ridden an LA Metro train a few weeks earlier when my husband and I went to see the Clippers game at the Staples Center (see “I Am Not Ashamed to Say I Like the Clippers”), but this was my first adventure on an LA Metro bus.

Actually, I haven’t had many bus or train exploits. I vaguely recall riding the T in Boston when I was very young, and I have ridden BART and Muni in SF a few times to go to concerts and such. I always found myself very disoriented at busy train stops, with what looks like thousands of people bustling about. Everyone always seems like they are on a mission, and a top secret one at that. There are no smiles. If you aren’t careful, someone will run you over with their briefcase or bicycle. It’s dangerous. Anytime I attempted to decipher bus stops and train routes to figure out how to get where I wanted while in the city, I was acutely conscious of what I was: a country bumpkin. I am aware that there was a bus system in Napa–the Vine–but I have never ridden it. Come to think of it, I don’t know anyone who has. I suppose I am very American in that I have (unintentionally) avoided public transportation in my life, preferring to take my own vehicle instead of squishing into a smelly bus with my fellow citizens when the opportunities (in my defense, they were few) presented themselves.

Update: My husband reminded me when he read this post moments ago that I have ridden the Max in Portland many times, and I will say that Portland’s public transportation system is excellent. However, whenever I have been on Max I have encountered many hobos, so they do get a few demerits for that.

Back to my LA Metro bus experience. My husband and I were going to spend the weekend out in Santa Barbara with a friend but were reluctant to take our car, a beautiful, but very ancient Honda. We decided we would take Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner by way of the Glendale Amtrak station to glorious Santa Barbara. However, we were also hesitant to leave the car at the Amtrak station for the weekend, which is why we decided to take the bus. We awoke bright and early at 5 a.m. (on a Saturday!) to walk up our excessively vertical hill to the bus stop for the 90 91 LA Metro bus. We were going to catch the 6:20 bus, and as we walked, we watched the sunrise. (Note: if you are ever up early enough to see sunrise, you are up too early. Go back to bed.)

To my pleasant surprise, the bus arrived exactly on time. Even more surprising was that there were people actually on the bus. I believe when we got on there were 9 other individuals making use of Los Angeles’ public transportation system, and more joined along the route. Sadly, the majority of them were elderly, and I assumed they were taking the bus to their job, since our country’s crap economy has prevented many people from retiring. I sincerely hope when I am of retirement age I am not stuck riding the bus to a weekend job, but we’ll see if things change. Thankfully I have a few years yet before I am genuinely “old” so the government has plenty of time to fix things.

I was also impressed with the cleanliness of the bus. Perhaps because the LA area seems permanently dirty because of the smog, I assume everything is filthy, but the bus shockingly wasn’t. The seats were nicely cushioned and none had their padding ripped out or torn. I also didn’t notice any graffiti, which means the LA Metro may deserve a medal.

According to my husband, whenever he’s ridden an LA Metro bus, the TV at the front has a trivia game, and you have an opportunity to text in your answers to win prizes. I was really disappointed that the TV was off during our trip and I didn’t have a chance to gain useless knowledge that would be embedded in my brain forever (unlike anything I learned in school).

The bus ride was very uneventful, unlike the times I’ve ridden BART or Muni. I one time literally watched a crack deal go down when on Muni, and nobody on the bus was fazed by it. I, on the other hand, was freaking out.

Anyway, before I knew it, the bus dropped my husband and I off at our stop, directly in front of Forest Lawn Cemetary at 7 a.m. on the dot. We briefly considered swinging through to see the grave of Michael Jackson, but decided that would be too tourist-y of us and continued on. We had a train to catch.

By the way, that’s another very Angeleno thing to do–escape LA. Seeing as I hope to do this often, perhaps I am more Angeleno than I thought.

The Beginning of the Culinary Adventures of Larissa Church

7 Dec

"Honey, I'll get the rib-eye steak for you next!"


It is my sincere hope that this post will be the first of many such posts.

In a previous post, (see “Ants and Vodka”) I firmly established my lack of culinary skills. For those of you that aren’t aware, I may not have been female as a child. I only had one true “doll”–and it was Cabbage Patch–and my childhood playtime memories consist of riding my bicycle and playing copious amounts of kickball and four square (not Foursquare). A lot. I was not at all interested in dolls, playing dress up, or cooking. I was a tomboy.

As a result, I am essentially useless in the kitchen. In the past, anytime my husband and I discussed our imminent marriage, I always told him that he would cook, and I could clean. Cleaning is one “housewife” responsibility that I do enjoy. Now, I’m not Monica Geller or anything, but at times I can be a bit neurotic about being neat. Thankfully, my husband is very blessed with culinary talents, which he no doubt learned from his mother, who is also gifted (I know I sound like a suck-up, but it’s true! One of Craig’s brother’s is a professional chef, so I feel this proves my point.) or else we would starve. My husband has truly been a dear and has spoiled me relentlessly with his cooking, and in other ways too, of course! I have enjoyed homemade biscuits and gravy from scratch many times (my favorite Sunday morning meal), I have stuffed my face with potatoes gratin with a cream sauce from scratch, along with chipotle corn and various amazing veggie dishes.

One night last week, I had a dream that I was fortunate enough to spend an evening with none other than Johnny Depp. I was anxious to make sure he was well taken care of, and offered to cook for him (I’m not really sure why I thought this would be a good idea, given all of what I just said…). In that slow drawl of his that is incredibly attractive, Johnny (we’re on a first name basis now) said, “Love, I’ve seen your blog. I know you can’t cook.” Then he handed me a bag of popcorn kernels and said, “Here. I think this is something you can handle.” When I awoke with a start at 6:14 a.m., I knew what I had to do: I had to cook. In the event that I do manage to spend time with Johnny in the future, I don’t want my cooking skills questioned.

My brother and his wife recently gifted me with The Williams-Sonoma “Bride & Groom Cookbook.” My brother was very distraught to discover that the recipes were not choreographed in a “While the bride sautés the onions, the groom kneads the bread” manner. (It’s just a normal cookbook, albeit a good one.) At the start of my endeavor, I eagerly decided I would cook an entire meal from scratch, from appetizer to entrée to dessert. However, I think my husband was a tad worried he might end up having to make an In-n-Out run if he didn’t intervene so he told me he would be happy to make the entrée.

I decided to cook Gougères (pg. 61). The recipe on the Williams-Sonoma website differs slightly from the version in the cookbook but is essentially the same. It should be noted that I chose a starter with a level three spoon difficulty level, which indicated that it was a “relatively complex dish.” However, I am happy to report that I managed to make the Gougères without a hitch (sorry to disappoint you if you thought I would screw up royally), though there was a time period of a few minutes where I was frantically running back and forth between the cookbook while I beat the eggs into the mixture and on the verge of hyperventilating because I was worried I was going to burn the dough. They were absolutely delicious, and I even took a few to work the next day to share with a co-worker, the first time I have ever taken food I’ve cooked to work.

I also decided that I would make caramelized brussels sprouts (pg. 164, recipe by Williams-Sonoma not available online), level one spoon difficulty. The recipe requires that you sauté the sprouts vigorously after coating the sprouts in olive oil. I honestly feel that a small child is capable of making this dish (hey, I did!). I don’t think I had ever sautéd anything before, so that was cool. I felt like I was working at Benihana. They turned out well, but I did notice that my pee absolutely reeked the next day, which is weird cause I’ve always heard that’s more of an asparagus thing. Just FYI.

My husband, the magical genius that he is, was cooking a potato broccoli cheese soup. He decided to deviate from the recipe and added all sorts of things, like carrots and tons of spices, and it was pure heaven. Someday I hope to attain the culinary heights of Craig Church where I can just decide that I know how to make soup better than the internet and do it, and be right.

I realize that a 26-year-old making cheese bread balls and caramelized brussels sprouts isn’t exactly newsworthy material, but in my world, it is. I’ve definitely caught the cooking bug, and before you know it, I’ll be cooking up a rib-eye steak (and feeding it to Nick Lampke because my husband and I don’t eat beef) and be a culinary master.