Where The Fuck Is My Karma


The Universe is The Abyss
Vast and dark
Full of mysteries
What we call life
Some say it’s a miracle
Others say its Kismet
Or collective consciousness
Alpha and omega
Birth and death
All in the infinite chasm
The abyss has laws
And a truth
But laws are lies
Truth is honest
The one Universal truth?
Life isn’t fair
No good deed goes unpunished
All I really want to know of life is
Something that’s missing
Where is my fucking Karma
But maybe Karma is just memories
The memories that hide in darkness
Remembering is so much harder when we can’t see
Yet I put all my heart in the concept of karma
Hoping its real……




In the days of nights
I chased empty headlights
All the sights and frights
Plus a few fist fights
While reaching for the heights
I yearned and I learned
And what did I earn?
I just got burned
So I made a U-turn
To go home and make my amends
Was I successful
I guess that depends
Just don’t ask my friends
For they will defend my offenses
At least the real ones will
I chose to repent
Let others air vents
Let day shine in the night
Make the moon shake with fright
So what I really want to know
Where the fuck did my Karma go
Doing the right thing just didn’t bring
Redemption or forgiving or anything
Because Karma don’t give a spit
Bout who you are or what good you did
It’ll leave you stranded and buried in shit
A flame all alone in the wind of misfits
It aint revenge for bickering or snickering
Its just a word to ease the wilt
Of what we tell ourselves to ease our guilt
Karma’s a hoax we have built
Because that’s our ilk
A scarred and lonely crowd that’s far too loud
Clinging desperately to a fast moving cloud
Maybe if we promise to make God proud
Take cover beneath the religion shroud
But that’s not allowed
Not by The Abyss
So we turn our fragile minds and hide in our armor
Come on big Pharma
Give me some pills or give me some Karma



I subscribe to a positive vibe and apologize for this diatribe
But Goddam it how does one describe this feelings inside?
Mama told me I’d survive once Karma arrived but I was denied
Worse still I was alive and Karma was deprived…
I just cried
How long must I wait for my moment to thrive
Will I get my comeuppance while I’m still alive
Or will I die waiting to be revived
I was rehabilitated and humiliated while standing naked
Vulnerable and afraid of my own dehumanization
Praying creation would not bring my damnation
But making things legit became a fixation
Tried so hard to make things right
To make life tight
For so many years I did the good thing
Gave of my time offered my wings
But karma laughed and gave me the spurn
Got no return
Just got burned
Karma left me without having my turn
I believe in a spiritual transformer
I’m a tried and true performer
Righted my wrongs
Harmonized my songs
Still I never belonged
Destiny you owe me
I sowed the seeds that you sold me
Did good deeds like you told me
And what did I get in return?
Went from harmer to charmer
From reaper to farmer
But no matter how kind
What I need I could never find
And I don’t want to alarm her…..
But where the fuck is my Karma



Fait Acompli



Destiny denies and deep inside
Lets out a moan and a pleading sigh
I’m surrounded by the constant sight
Of the decaying visions I try to hide
The ugly remains of days gone by
So I get high trying to hide my pride
That was my life with me as guide
But I tried
It feels like my fate is just a dream
Karma isn’t real just another scheme
Mental stream of an extreme bad theme
An existentialist’s surreal daydream
Kismet can be mean
Fate a concept in my inside pocket
Stale memories trapped in someone’s locket
But don’t knock it cause you cant stop it
Goes way to fast for us to clock it
Too absurd for us to shock it
Destiny is an aura rocket
Fate leads you down the path of no return
You can change direction or crash and burn
Its your decision and you’ll get what you earn
Living through failure is how we all learn
We all go through it when its our turn
Its acceptance we yearn
What is shall be and what shall be is fait
You can choose to love or choose to hate
No time to ponder no time to wait
Like the Rabbit said I’m late I’m late
You need only look to the side in order to see straight
A date with fate is on the slate
And that’s great
For many footprints litter my path
Some I followed in earnest
Some I followed in wrath
Perhaps I’m a Guru or a sick sociopath
I can’t figure out which
You do the math
But destiny called me and showed me the light
A world full of seekers searching for right
Seekers of faith, seekers of truth
Seekers and preachers of forbidden fruit
Seekers of self and seekers of reason
Seekers of greed caught up in their treason
Seekers of knowledge real or inspired
If you ain’t found it yet guess what, times expired
You’re fired!
Carriers of doom pushing the cart
Lock pickers solving affairs of the heart
Out of work actors seeking a part
Unqualified teachers who aren’t so smart
Lessons to learn are so far off the chart
The teachings of age shoulda known from the start
One simple answer it all falls apart
Some solutions stay naked thrown in the wind
I asked the same question again and again
That’s when Fate called out but I wasn’t ready
Wanted to follow but my movements unsteady
Seems all of my travels have brought me to naught
Midnight comes fast with darkness it brought
The sun bows down in defeat of day
Standing in awe I have nothing to say
A lifetime of pains
Soaked from sorrowful rains
My question remains:
“Why is it easier to say I’m sorry to the ones that have died
During moments of quiet reflection
Than to offer up sincere apologies to those who can hear
Instead of doling out quiet rejection?”

In its solitude evening hung its head and sighed
As darkness broke down in tears as I cried
Sometime wish I’d never been born
But more often I wish I had died

So You Want Your Just Desserts?

www.stuffedcupcakes.comCulinary Karma

I started out my culinary adventures busting suds for a restaurant in my hometown, and from there the homicidal chef taught me to make salads and finally hot foods. An odd assortment of strange characters assured me this was the world for me. No running off to join the circus for this young lad, my destiny was to be found in the freakish family which would be come to be known to me as “Restaurant People.” Maniacal chefs, egotistic managers, sexy waitresses, drug dealing bus boys, and the legion of pot washing, shrimp peeling, meatball rolling minions of the back of the house. The rest as they say is history. Once I realized I had taken it a far as I could on my own I needed to up my game. A friend suggested I go to the CIA. When I told them I had no interest in become a kitchen spy they informed my naïve ass that I should enroll at the Culinary Institute of America. So I trotted off to cooking school for two years of studying under even more maniacal chefs who probably should never be allowed to use knives outside of the school. But what an education! I was at the top culinary university in the nation, learning the dynamics, science, and art of cooking and culinary management. After years of working for chefs with vein bulging foreheads that seemed in a constant state of sublime irritation, and two years of continuing that line of abuse at school I was ready for the real world of foodservice.
The time had come for me to fine tune the skills and knowledge I had acquired and I wanted to go straight to the top. That’s how I ended up with my first position as a line cook at Windows on the World way up on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center in NYC. Look Ma, I’m on top of the world! The work was incredibly hard and the kitchen reached temperatures approaching the sunny side of hell. I worked my proverbial ass off and could be seen ordering a new one from the ass store at least once a week.
But it wasn’t all bad, not by a long shot. Maybe it was because of the high level of the ass busting and the pressure of getting over a thousand meals served in 4 hours or maybe just experiencing the same culinary drudgery as all the other cooks but a camaraderie developed that rivals the most prestigious of fraternities. The other cooks have you covered and would give the chef coat off their backs if it wasn’t so sweat soaked. And I would do the same for them. It was a tight nit family of sweaty hard working aspiring chefs. The line, the area of cooks stations with stove tops, topped out at about 800 degrees with eight ranges blasting constant heat. It was so hot that a cold beer clause was written into the union contract. True story. We each got two cold beers at the end of service. If you did screw up there was a punishment that was above and beyond the realm of mere cruel and unusual. You got sent to “The Cold Kitchen.” The cold kitchen sucked because it was a constant, repetitive everlasting list of tedious tasks designed to send one on an asylum train. Perhaps three and a half hours of placing small pieces of chicken and scallions on skewers followed by the slicing and breading 5 cases of zucchini. It was the icy version of hell and just as feared. None of us enjoyed being sent there. We loved the high pressure of sauté or grilling and despised time in the cold kitchen.
Either way during the two years working at Windows I learned more than I would ever learn anywhere and it set me on a course which would eventually find me as an executive chef, complete with high stress level and mandatory vein popping forehead. I was certain I was headed for one of the top chef positions in the city, or at least a real good ‘B‘ level chef job. I was an excellent saucier and that was my specialty. Back then like everyone else I knew everything. Now I am older, not much wiser, and instead of the top of the world cheffing on a hot line I have become a baker. Making cupcakes day after day, specializing in cold food. I am not complaining, jut pointing out the irony. Not quite as tedious as the dreaded cold kitchen but still a kind of Karmic revenge. Yes Karmic revenge served to me as it should be, COLD!. That’s right, revenge is a dish absolutely best served cold, after you’ve had time to make your plans. But I did misspeak when I said karmic revenge because there is no such thing as revenge in Karma and I have come to love baking cupcakes.
Revenge is a human emotion. But I did want to somehow incorporate Karma in my cupcakes so I took a closer look at just what Karma is. Its something many people say they believe in. I believe in Karma but I feel it has gotten a bad rap these days. Many people believe Karma to be the universe exacting revenge, but revenge in and of itself is a negative. Karma focuses on the positive. I hear people say things like “ There can’t be any true karma because bad people get away with shit and good people get shit on.” That has nothing to do with Karma guys, that’s life. Karma isn’t payback for doing wrong or reward for doing right. Doing the right thing is its own reward and Karma is just the positive energy that goes along for the ride. The universe isn’t sitting there waiting to avenge people. That would go against everything that’s good about Karma. If you choose to do the right thing because you want good Karma to reward you don’t hold your breath because Karma doesn’t work on demand. When something bad happens don’t wish bad Karma on the person that screwed you because your just festering negative energy. Let the universe take care of things. You may not see it but lack of Karma will surround negative acts with negative energy. Concentrate on keeping your life positive. Distance yourself from negative people and embrace positive people. Walk away from negative energy and walk head first into the positive. No one should need a religion to tell them how to live the best life, the “Golden Rule” is just common sense. I’m not saying abandon your religion and stop the rituals, by all means if that’s a positive action for you embrace it. Take all the positive vibrations your religion grants you. But don’t rely only on your religion to tell you how to treat others, that’s your responsibility. When my 9 month old daughter was very sick and so very helpless a quote I heard has always resonated with me. “A person is never so tall as when he bends to help a child.” That’s Karma!
I have a deep love of rock and roll and that is reflected in many of the cupcakes I have engineered at Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes. (stuffedcupcakes.com if you want to take a peek) . When I saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show way too many years ago it changed my life. I evolved politically and philosophically along with them and other rock stars and that’s where I got my interest in Eastern religions and concepts like Karma. To this day I embrace the many lessons I learned from “Eastern Philosophies” I live a positive life and surround myself with positive people. I don’t fight negative people I avoid them. They bring nothing to the table. I truly believe the positive I put into my baking remains there until consumed, at which time its absorbed by the one enjoying it. One of my best selling cupcakes is inspired by both Karma and my favorite Beatle, John Lennon. We call it “Instant Carma” the “C” intentional as a play on words. it’s a vanilla cupcake with an intense caramel mousse, topped of with vanilla and praline icing. I know, I know, shameless plug, but hey….Instant Carma’s gonna get you, gonna knock you off your feet.
Plug aside, embrace Karma, don’t expect it to exact revenge for you. Stay positive, lend a hand, pay it forward, live your best life, and spread the love……PEACE

The Kitchen Existential (an existentilal chef explains)

Culinary Existentialism

My daughter, like most children has a propensity to be actively inquisitive despite being somewhat apathetic as to my responses. Its something that comes natural to kids starting from the finger pointing “What is this” to “are we there yet” to “can I have some more money”. Now that she is a young adult her questions are more simplistically complex. The simple question she posed to me was “what is an existentialist and why are you the Existential Baker? A simple question perhaps, but it entails a complex explanation. Existentialism is often confused with Nihilism or Atheism as it shares many of the same philosophical concepts, but they are from being clones.
For starters while many existentialist do not believe in God, or any gods, existentialism is not Atheism. Actual Existentialism is a philosophy that embraces some of the aspects of Buddhism, some aspects of the Karmic Wheel associated with both Buddhism and Hinduism, and the faith in Kismet associated with some Turkish and Persian philosophies. Many existentialist will put forth a strong scientific argument that God as it has been taught to us does not in fact exist, but its not as simple as God vs. Science. It’s not a matter of whether an existentialist does or doesn’t believe God exists, its more that by the nature of the philosophy any organized religion or faith and its profound belief in an omnipresent master or masters is of no consequence to the living of ones life. A true existentialist views both the big bang and the creationist version of the essence of everything to be competing hypothesis‘. The existence or non existence of God is an argument for faith and science, neither of which can prove their point. I do good deeds, I treat people right, I accept people for who they are, and I try to never judge anyone. I do this without the assistance of any religious nudging because I choose to be this way. On the other hand I recognize that many people need constant reminders of how to behave in order to co-exist and for them religion, at least in theory, works well. To an existentialist bliss is achieved through love and companionship and we choose to either live a good and prosperous life or an evil and consequential life. We understand that consequences do accompany our choices and we accept both the good and bad that are attached to them. We chooe how we live our lives and we deal with issues as they arise.
Many people view existentialism as a philosophy of despair but its the exact opposite. It’s a philosophy that has you grab life by the hand and take it out for a romantic walk every day. To run barefoot with it while singing an laughing or allow it to transport us into all the magnificence it offers.
Take words for instance. I type words out but what are they really but symbols of how I feel or what I want you to know. I use these symbols to express my emotions to you. Your eyes pull these symbols from the screen and transfer them into words that your brain is charged with deciphering. In your brain they are analyzed and arranged into thoughts that make sense to you. If done correctly my words will coax an emotional response or two from you and have you fully understand what I am thinking in my own warped mind. This shit happens so fast that it’s impossible for us to even take the time to appreciate the profound exchange of thoughts that has transpired. Yet the messages are received thousands of times a day and ironically we give it nary a thought to the process.
The core belief of existentialism is that existence or the self precedes the essence of life. In other symbols it means that the me inside, the who that I am and how I integrate an react in the world around me is far more significant than how we came to be a a species. Not that I don’t care or don’t wonder where we came from and if there is a reason we are what we are, but being me, a good person who cares about other peoples dreams and desires is far more relevant to living. An existentialist does not need to be privy to the secrets or the meaning of life in order to live it. The meaning of life in a religious belief system on the other hand is determined by some form of deity or deities. A specific set of rules designed I suppose to explain to followers how they should live their lives and how the should express their gratitude. They make laws not telling people how to live, but telling people what not to do. They create consequences for any violation of those laws. Existentialists worship only life and the beauty it radiates as opposed to a specific entity who may or may not have created life. A nihilist believes life has no meaning or purpose at all. Nihilism embrace doctrines of hopelessness, despair, and eminent death. I have a hard time drawing any similarities between this and existentialism but many people for some reason seem to think they are alike. The existentialist is in contrast to other philosophies believe that there is no meaning necessary and reality is determined by the inner self, or individual. As in Buddhism one should accept that we are here, appreciate it, love life, and move on. Perhaps because they are so often confused with nihilists and challenged by Christians existentialists are sometimes misconstrued as religious combatants with disregard or even distain for life, faith, destiny, and even hope. It has become “hip” to be an existentialist and many use it as a way to gain coolness or appear intelligent. Many people envision existentialists as snooty intellects sitting in cafes in Europe discussing the important issues of the day. Personally I find those who are conveniently existential to be boring and chronically mediocre.
As an existentialist my time is never wasted to focus on circular or unanswerable questions, I just accept that some things simply exist. I have the freedom to choose what is important or meaningful to me and without restraints placed by any doctrines. I can freely use my time to appreciate that which I find beautiful. For instance when I see a waterfall I am free to contemplate it’s beauty. My not knowing why it is there or how it got there has no effect for me in its beauty. I accept an appreciate, the rest is insignificant. All of us witness millions of things daily that have deep rich histories and we barely even notice. How many tree’s did you see today? I can’t remember either, and I didn’t take the time to ponder the life of those tree’s or the trials and tribulations of their long existence, but it is wondrous none the less. The generations of birds that may have nested and raised families in the tree, the various squirrels and chipmunks that resied in it, the massive storms it endured, an the constant attacks from insects and bacteria. An old tree had a long arduous existence to become what it is today. There are so many amazing things with amazing histories and stories around us and as an existentialist it is not my responsibility to discover the value but rather the option to. I don’t lose sleep wondering who or what put them there or why they are there. What matters for me is that I take every opportunity to enjoy them. Free to choose what to place value on as it pertains to me as an individual. To this existentialist there is only one reason we are here. To enjoy and appreciate life during our existence and to interact with the things that come through my path. My responsibility is make as much of my life as possible be a positive experience. This philosophy focuses on inner search to discover how the self and the world can interact. Self actualization through meditation and an understanding of the complexities of life. It’s about how I integrate myself into the big picture. How I exist with the spinning orb of life we call Earth. Nothing organic ever leaves the earth because it’s a circle of life. We are recombinant beings made of matter that has been around longer than we could ever imagine. When something has reached the end of its life cycle it decomposes and feeds millions of tiny and some microscopic organisms which in turn contribute back to earth. These compost diners become food for larger beings and the circle goes on. So how does any of this relate to cooking and food? Let’s have a look.
Most people give little to no thought about what they are eating. Oh sure, we like what we like and we choose to eat what we like, and many people contemplate the nutritive or caloric value of their food, but they don’t really make an attempt to understand the food outside of what wine may or may not go well with it. An existentialist sees much more in the foods we eat. Food has history, is deeply embraced by cultures, is effected by weather and natural disasters, and has life cycles. Food was once a living organism. Very often foods are trained for our benefit to live its cycle for consumption. Whether farmed fruits and vegetables or farm raised animals these foods enter our body to be transformed into energy. Beyond that, as an existentialist baker (and formerly chef) we use our understanding of food and its interactions with human emotions to create foods that not only tantalize our taste buds, but bring out emotions in us. Joy, comfort, ecstasy. Words often used to describe how we feel after eating something especially delicious. It’s not just flavor, its preparation. As a chef or baker we understand that the emotion we put into our preparations will come through in the finished product.
Food has always been a major faction of world history. Famines and droughts have had major impacts on societies and countries, wars have been fought over food, and food was the very first form of monetary exchange. Whoever controlled the food had the power. Why the so called cradle of civilization only evolved us to a higher level of existence because humans learned how to control our environment and maximize the growth of food. The agricultural revolution. But these things are always taken for granted when we eat, even by me. That’s not where I take an existential approach, its more in the understanding of how foods interact with other foods, spices, beverages, and process of denaturization that occurs be it the cooking, agitation, cutting, or freezing to change the nature of the food.
For the sake of discussion I have chosen to deconstruct this meal. Sautéed chicken breast with crimini mushroom sauce, roasted asparagus spears, and mashed potatoes. Sounds delicious and relatively simple but lets see how much of a deeper appreciation we could have of this dish.
First the roast asparagus. Asparagus is a plant native to Europe and Northern Africa and is known to have existed as a food with medicinal value as far back as 20,000BC. That’s some old veggie spears there. Very nutritious and has a nice crisp green chlorophyll enriched fern head. Roasting this marvelous vegetable at very high temperature for 5 minutes with a splatter of oil and a sprinkle of sea salt leaves the bright color and full nutritive value in tact, while keeping it crisp and tasty. Now its ready to play a part in the overall look, taste, and balance of our dish. On to the potatoes.
What can you say about potatoes? The average person eats approximately 7 pounds of potato a year. This starchy tuberous delight can be prepared a zillion ways. Okay, not a zillion, but they are roasted, baked, re-baked, stuffed, boiled, scalloped, creamed, gratined, fried, and any combination thereof. The regal potato first came into existence in Peru and was brought back by the Conquistadores and spread rapidly throughout Europe. It nearly decimated Ireland which became dependant on this versatile veggie. So lets not take this common dining addition for granted, it’s a lot more than just a tasty and filling starch. It has a lot more power than we realize. So the potato adds two things to our dinner, a level of comfort and a feeling of strength. In our dish we have diced and boiled the potato and mashed it up with some butter, milk, and gruyere cheese for nutrition, and some salt and pepper and minced shallots for flavor. This will not only taste marvelous but assist in lending a sense of satiety in the meal so we will not be hungry 20 minutes later.
On to the star of the dish, the chicken. Along with our totalitarian form of farming we presently and for a long time have been raising “livestock” for our eating pleasure. We love our steaks and fried chickens and we don’t really want to know about the farms and slaughterhouses that regularly bring meats to out table. When you think about it its actually a cruel practice, imprisoning another living thing only to execute it when deemed ready for slaughter. But lets face it, who has the time or the wherewithal to hunt for the family food everyday? We need to eat after all, but again, we shouldn’t just take these domesticated fowls for granted. We sneak away the unhatched eggs (ew when ya think about it) for breakfast or other preparations and raise them for our eating pleasure. The chicken gives us much needed protein in order for us to grow strong and help develop us physically. The chicken has a rather neutral taste in an of itself which has lifted it to legendary status when used to describe just about any other food from alligator, to swordfish, to bear meat. Tastes just like chicken! That’s why we prepare it in different ways and add sauces or other enhancements to it. To sauté something is to panfry it on very high heat very rapidly. Sauté is French for jump, and the pan is so hot the food actually jumps up off the pan. This technique gives the outside a nice crisp texture and brings the natural sugars to the surface. We call this carmelization and it will add not only nutrition but texture and taste.
Our reconstructed dish is nearly complete. As it is the balance is beautiful. An array of tastes, aroma’s, textures, and nutrients are mingling and creating a powerful and emotion educing meal that has history vast and important. All it needs now is the finishing touch, the piece de resistance. A wonderful sauce made by deglazing the sauté pan (once the chicken breast has been removed and pan is still hot) with some Chablis wine. This will add some flavor and it will extract the flavors in the pan from the sautéed chicken. Once reduced we add some broth made from the chicken, and some heavy cream which will add richness and a coating texture. Add to that some cremini mushrooms. The cremini mushroom is a cousin of the typical white mushroom but a darker brown and firmer variety. If left to fully mature it will one day grow up to be a Portobello mushroom and take on an entirely different culinary presence. Now that truly balances all the flavors to create a perfect compliment to the dish. An existential delight. You need only accept that it is what it is and enjoy every last morsel.
A Mono-theist cooks because it’s a gift from their god, an Atheist cooks because he can, a Buddhist cooks because he needs to eat, a nihilist cooks but doesn’t know or care why, and an existentialist cooks because he knows he can bring life to food and food to life. That is the existential approach to cooking. An understanding of the importance of each and every component to the completion of the whole experience. It’s history, emotion, flavors, textures, and any other attributes work together as a team to be a treat especially created for your enjoyment. If something we have prepared with love and positive emotion brings out a feeling in the consumer then we have completed our task. Not merely just cooks or bakers, the existential culinary scientist brings much more than just food to the table. We bring a sensation of joy and happiness via the taste buds that hopefully find you smiling and maybe reminiscing of wonderful times in your past that foods prepared with love gave you a feeling of comfort. PEACE