30 Mar 2009

Vive le Cassette Tapes.

Written by sally @ 9:48 am — Section: Uncategorized

I’ve been on a lot of overnight trips for work lately (the last one is today: hooray) and I have to say that there is one good thing about driving the company car. That thing is that it has a cassette player. I don’t have anywhere to play a cassette tape anymore, so each time I take a trip I open the plastic tub full of tapes in the guest room closet, blindly grab a few, and head off to some rural location to impart my wisdom there, where those in attendance will eye me with suspicion and then fall asleep during my presentation.

For the trip at the beginning of the month, I enjoyed a mix tape from May 1994 (labelled “May 1994”) that had the Posies, Mary Wilson, and Kermit the Frog on it. My trip last week was Ella Fitzgerald Sings Gershwin and They Might Be Giants’ Flood. Today it’s Velvet Crush’s Teenage Symphonies to God and John Wesley Harding’s Here Comes the Groom. What’s serendipitous about those two tapes is that I bought them in Columbus at the Wall’s there — y’all remember how they had all those burned up tapes? my Velvet Crush case barely opens because it’s all melty, though the tape itself is ok — and today I’m headed for Columbus.

In unrelated news, last night I finished reading Tobias Wolff’s Old School, and here is my review: Did you like Dead Poets Society? Then read Old School. I’m also reading Anne Fadiman’s At Large and At Small, which is not as good as Ex Libris, but is still excellent.

And speaking of wordy things, guess what Wednesday starts? National Poetry Month! You know you’ve been missing it. Last year the birth of that baby sort of screwed up NPM, but unless I am soon to be featured on an episode of Discovery Health’s I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant (they had a marathon of this last night, y’all!), I intend to post a poem every day. Whether you like it or not.

Also, did I tell you I was in the Cringe book? I’m telling you this now because I finally emailed the boy I wrote about and he emailed me back and that is funny so ok that’s all I wanted to say.

23 Mar 2009

Larry’s Unbeautiful Birthday Cake.

Written by sally @ 8:09 am — Section: sally

Two years ago I made Larry this cake for his birthday. Last year, I made this cake (description only; I dumbly did not take a photo, but if I recall correctly my ankles were the size of my thighs this time last year and if you ask me, that is a great excuse for pretty much anything). This year I decided to make him a real cake for his birthday, but instead of a standard, uncomplicated cake, I aimed higher.

I used to say that I loved to bake. Now I understand that what I mean is this: I love to eat baked goods. While I am relatively neat in other aspects of my life, I am a messy baker. Flour is all over the counter, often there are globs of batter on the cabinets, and this time, I managed to drip egg whites ON MY FOOT. I also tend to lose my place when following a recipe and usually end up screwing something up; usually I dump a bunch of stuff in a bowl and then realize I was supposed to blend two of those ingredients first, separately.

Anyway.

I have been eyeing Deb’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake for months. Here is what the cake should look like:

deb's cake

Shiny ganache! Two icings! Perfect, magazine-styled drips cascading down the sides! I realized mine wouldn’t look like that, but this did not deter me.

The first problem was that the cake was very, very soft and two of the three layers broke completely in half coming out of the pan. The second problem was that I am not good at doing things with any sort of precision or care and even though I put the layers in the freezer for awhile (as Deb instructed!) big hunks of cake still came off while I was sort of haphazardly slapping icing on, which I then glued back on the cake with more icing.

Because I had two broken layers, I filled in the cracks with icing. And because of the not good with precision thing (see above), I didn’t line up my one intact layer very well and it was totally crooked. More icing!

Then there was the ganache part of the whole thing, which did not cascade down the sides lovingly as angels and bluebirds sang and floated around my head.

Anyway, here is the result:

peanut butter cake that doesn't look like deb's

It kind of looks like Pete made it, but it was delicious. I will probably never make this exact cake again — those stupid soft layers are still pissing me off — but I’ll definitely ice a chocolate cake with the insanely good peanut butter cream cheese icing. In fact, I may ice some Ritz crackers or a steak or my stapler with the insanely good peanut butter cream cheese icing.

So happy birthday, Larry! Sorry your dad ate five pieces of your cake this weekend and that there is only one left. It’s all yours.

17 Mar 2009

Paging Dr. Google.

Written by sally @ 7:56 am — Section: Uncategorized

Spike had ear tubes put in last December, and yesterday had icky stuff draining out of his ear. I turned to my friend Dr. Google for advice, and apparently there is more than one mother who believes that these are valid solutions for ear infections:

1. Squirt breast milk in there.
2. Take the baby to a chiropractor.

I find both of these to be the same flavor of crazy. In related news, why is it that people who write about kooky, non-trad remedies cannot spell? My babies ear ache was AWEFUL!!!!!!!!

16 Mar 2009

Oh, Facebook.

Written by sally @ 9:41 am — Section: sally

1. This girl I barely knew in high school filled out one of those “Firsts” notes (first car, first job, etc.)
2. One of the questions is “first prom date.” She responded with Fred, my husband.
3. I went to her pictures to see if I knew Fred.
4. She has lots of photos from various dances.
5. I knew some of her dates for said dances.
6. Several months ago, when we first became fb friends, I was looking through her pictures and commented on one of her photos.
7. In it, her dance date has the biggest, shaggiest mullet EVER.
8. I wrote “Oh my god. The dude’s hair.”
9. The dude was not tagged.
10. No one else commented on the photo.
11. A moment ago, when I was re-looking at those, I got a bad feeling when I noticed that out of alllllll of those dance pictures, there is only one prom picture. The one I made fun of the guy’s hair on.
12. I compared it to a photo of her husband now.
13. Same guy.

13 Mar 2009

Socks. Babies. Tags. TV.

Written by sally @ 1:31 pm — Section: sally

Yesterday I was wearing a pair of black socks but a few hours into the workday decided they looked stupid, so I took them off and tossed them aside, where they looked as if an elderly gentleman had evaporated under my desk. Today it is raining and my sockless feet got soaked coming in from lunch and now I am wearing yesterday’s abandoned socks and I am a slovenly GENIUS.

So much of a genius, in fact, that on my watch, Spike managed to fall out of his crib this week. I could say he climbed out, but I suspect falling is more along the lines of what happened. I might have forgotten to raise the crib rail, and even though the mattress is as low as it can go, if you are a small, wily person whose crib rail only even comes up to the top of your chest, I am sure there is a way to topple out. I heard a thump over the monitor while I was making dinner, then a pause, then wild banshee shrieking. But he was fine! And approximately 8 minutes later, even though I could’ve SWORN he was giving me eat shit looks, he was jumping up and down in my lap and crawling and attempting to murder himself in various other ways, as the pre-toddling-yet-omg-so-mobile baby likes to do.

So many vanity tags to report:
DVASTYL
CJSWIFE (no doubt CJ got this tag for her)
FOTOS4U
YOU GOD
ILVMIKE (Mike + CJ = bffs)
U L IT
SZMTRS (on giant truck, naturally)

I fear it’s happened: I am officially old, as Top Model is boring. Oh, I’m still watching it and all, but I tend to fast forward through the parts where the models are actually, like, talking to each other or pouring beer on each other’s weaves. I just want to see the photo shoots and the results. On the other hand, Make Me a Supermodel is just so much better. Their shoots are better, their judges are better, and the contestants’ names are better (I present to you: Sandhurst and Mountaha [prounounced moon-ta-ha]).

I mentioned my deep and abiding love for American Idol this season, and said I wasn’t going to talk about it, but I cannot resist. I will be forever fascinated by the fact that a gorgeous, yet solidly untalented bird-call enthusiast like Megan Joy Corkrey can make it through. Same goes for the meathead country/Nickelback hybrid Michael Sarver. America: what is wrong with your ears? Lend them to me, as Mark Antony* once requested, and I will clean them out with a q-tip.

*Not to be confused with Mark Anthony, who wants you to lend him YOUR BLOOD.

8 Mar 2009

Note.

Written by sally @ 3:18 am — Section: Uncategorized

Am I the only one who misreads barfly as an adverb instead of a noun?

I also consistently misread moped, as in the scooter, as moped, as in the past tense of what sullen people do, no matter the context.

That is all.

6 Mar 2009

On Brooding Beach; FB Etiquette.

Written by sally @ 9:05 am — Section: sally

Should I even tell you, internet, how into American Idol I am this season? No? Ok, then.

Note to those who value every precious minute of sleep due to tiny baby in other room who likes to wake up and scream (but not so much so recently! thank god): do not read On Chesil Beach before bed. It’s a quick read, but if you’re approaching the end, save it for the next day, when you can brood about it in the light of day and will not have broody British dreams about it. Damn that Ian McEwan. He gets me every time!

I have recently — if by “recently” you mean “at work, pretending to be productive” — read this little self-helpyesque book called Seven Sins for a Life Worth Living. It’s sort of a touchy feely book about how you should eat chocolate and take naps and make mistakes and fall down a lot and stuff. There are some treacherous passages involving romance that I skipped, but overall it was sort of comforting. It would look cute on a shelf, if one were to buy it (I did not; I got it from the public library).

Here is a Facebook etiquette question: if you are friends with people with whom, 20 years ago, you shared some insanely embarrassing moments, are you supposed to ignore said moments or bring them up to clear the air? Sometimes I want to bring them up, but then I think that maybe they were not insanely embarrassing for the other person. Maybe they don’t even remember. But then I sort of feel like we are dancing around a turd on the floor and trying not to step on it.

Case in point: I had this friend in high school who used to like to pick me up and throw me onto soft, cushy surfaces, like his couch or bed or trampoline. It was fun. However, occasionally he would miss when he was tossing me around and I would get bruised up. My mother noticed these bruises one day and when she asked, I did not lie like I should have and instead told her about the fun times where JP would toss me around onto his parents’ furniture. This did not go over well. In fact, I seem to recall my stepfather calling JP and telling him he was going to stomp his ass into the ground. This effectively damaged our friendship — as it should have! — but now I am friends with JP on Facebook and we are sending emails back and forth and everything is super fun and much like it was in 1990 but without the trampoline. And yet, I feel as though the ass-stomping threat is looming over us and my fingers keep typing lame ass-stomping jokey references in my emails like HEY JP WRITE ME BACK OR I WILL STOMP YOUR ASS INTO THE GROUND and then deleting them. Am I supposed to reference the ass stomping? Help!

I am also Facebook friends with the tragic, puffy haired nerd who, my senior year of high school, arrived on my doorstep out of the blue on Valentine’s Day with a single red rose. However, that is a turd I will gladly dance around forever.