Sunday, September 30, 2007

Vintage

There was a very charming older man at our church. He was the "head" usher and organized everyone each week. He was always dressed to the nines, suit and tie. He would tool up to church in a snazzy little convertible, and tell you about what a great cook his wife is.

Recently he passed away rather suddenly after a very brief illness. His sweet wife decided to take his collection of silk ties and select one for each of the ushers. This is the one we got. It's green, because Mr. C is Irish.

I'm thinking we need to organize a day where all of the recipients wear their ties to mass, to celebrate him.

September is almost over

My fortune cookie today* said "A few hours grace before the madness begins again." SO true! It's one MORE kid birthday party today. Ooooh, and bowling, my favorite thing.

I did get up bright and early and get on the treadmill. Instead of the iPod I watched part of Office Space on my little TV/DVR. It distracted me from the shooting pains in my knee and.... just kidding. But the tv definitely helps.

*If you use iGoogle, gadgetate.com makes funny little widgets you can include on your iGoogle pages, and other places. Like a cuckoo clock, which I have NO idea why you would want it on your page, but whatever.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More sugar


Another weekend, another cake. One I'm happy with! This was made in my 'two mix' pan, with some frosting slapped on, some blue gel for the water hazard, and some "sugar in the raw" for a sand trap. Easy. Ten bucks says I drop it on the way to the party. ;-)
Incidentally, I emailed one of my best friends my recent Ugly Kitty cake and she called me, laughing so hard she was unable to speak. When she could catch her breath, she said "You're never happy with your cakes, but they're usually pretty good. But this one.... (more laughter)"
Ok.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Whatever I can

There are several areas of my life that don't seem to be going the way I want them to. (Understatement!!) I won't go into detail on most of them.

However, today I finalized a change that is huge and NOT huge, all at the same time. I'm changing my work schedule, increasing each day by 90 minutes. The overall effect is that I work 30% more a week. And get paid for it, which is the main factor that pushed me to make this change.

I have plenty of mixed feelings about what this will do for my family life. For one thing, my kids won't come home on the bus anymore; they will be at an afterschool program while I'm still at work. Not much more time at work, just an extra hour and a half a day. Time that was more or less spent spinning my wheels waiting for one kid to get home, before I go get the other kid. Now I can just go get them both at the same place. I'll pay for that, but hey, in general there will be nooooo more crying when I try to do the bills, - so there's a plus. There will be less time playing and more time trying to get the laundry and the cooking and cleaning done. But I have two great helpers, so I think we'll be OK.





LeAnn Rimes - What I Can Not Change

I know what makes me comfortable
And I know what makes me tick
And I when I need to get my way
I know how to pull an ole fake
Cream and sugar in my coffee
Right away when I wake I face a day, and pray to God
I won’t make the same mistakes
All the rest is out of my hands
I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forget what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, yeah I will change
Whatever I, whatever I can

Yeah I don’t know my father
Or my mother well enough
It seems like every time we talk
We can’t get passed the little stuff
The pain is self-inflicted
I know it’s not good for my health
Yeah but it’s easier to please the world
Then it is to please myself
All the rest is out of my hands
I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forget what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, yeah I will change
Whatever I, whatever I can

Well I know I can’t care about how everyone else really feels
I have enough hurt of my own to heal

I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forget what I cannot change
I will learn to let go what I cannot change
I will learn to forget what I cannot change
I will learn to love what I cannot change
But I will change, yeah I will change
Whatever I, whatever I can

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ledisi

This was the perfect song for me to hear after dealing with the confusing teacher meetings and the PTA headache du jour and the mess in my son's locker and the pile of work on my OWN desk at my office that lurks, waiting for me in the morning...

Alright

this life can make me so confused but it's alright
living day by day I feel so used that ain't right
I just wanna run and hide
I don't have the time to cry it's alright (it's alright)

alright

many thoughts are running through my head, it's alright
wishing to be somewhere else but here, it's alright
I can't wait to see your face
I need a smile and your embrace, and I'm alright


alright

life can bring us through many changes
just don't give up
it's gonna be alright
people come and they go
it's just the way that it goes


sometime the rain it makes me sad and it's alright
some things in the world make me mad and it's alright
in the morning when I see the sun I know I'm not the only one
its alright


alright

wish I had some money to pay my bills
I can't even buy that dress on sale but it's alright
having money don't mean a thing
loving you is everything
I'm alright


(life can bring us through many changes
just don't give up
it's gonna be alright
people come and they go
that's just the way that it goes)

everything is everything

it's alright

Only two at once?

I would love to know who designed a DVR that can ONLY record two shows at once. You even have to be watching one of those two shows! (Or something that you already recorded.)

Keeping in mind that I know I'm complaining about nothing, because I had to Google* for an image of my dad's old Underwriter typewriter when my 10 year old couldn't fathom what I was talking about, here is what I tried to watch on tv last night:

  • Back to you - saw it, but couldn't focus, was doing dishes. Some running joke about killing goldfish. The guy who got tasered stole the show. When he was eating soup I was dying.
  • Till Death - saw it, but by then I was trying to finish laundry, and couldn't focus. Not sure I thought it was funny, a little too "King of Queens" for me, where the husband is a moron and his wife outsmarts him all of the time. AKA "How did that lunk marry such a babe?"
  • Dancing with the stars - on DVR, didn't really see it, but did run in to the other room at 9 pm to see who got the boot
  • Kitchen nightmare - on my dvr now, hopefully the approaching thunderstorm won't erase it. My son watched this - I was in the other room
  • Bionic woman - on my dvr - heard it was no good.
  • Private practice - watched in my bedroom on a 2nd tv - was VERY disappointed. See below...
  • Dinner impossible - on DVR - usually like this show, haven't seen last night's yet
  • Top chef - watched realtime, love them, kind of knew who would get the boot, have been expecting it for a while now. Still want Casey to win, or Dale, NOT HUNG. Egomaniac.

...there you have it, six and a half hours compressed into 3 hours of realtime. They're killing me.

Private practice: oh, so many flaws. It didn't help that the guy was in handcuffs on a bed in the first scenes and I had to explain THAT to my 13 year old. (I was tired, so it went pretty much like this: "Um, yeah. People sometimes like to do that when they're having sex. Don't do that. It's creepy and weird, you might regret it!" - - definitely not my best sex ed work. )

Why is Addison suddenly a flake, dancing in front of an open window naked, or a sheer curtain? Why wouldn't the girl's father have ever mentioned "by the way, her mother died _____ . The sperm fight? It's been done. And I just couldn't figure out at first what was going on with the counting lady, but I wasn't really interested in finding out. I have pretty much scratched this off my to-do list. Except for that one fabulous attribute.

Taye Diggs, ladies. What a physique -- Christmas AND your birthday alllll rolled up into one.

*What's with the pinyata on the google logo today??

MOM!!

This is awesome: Mom Overture - everything Mom says in 24 hours, in 2:55


thanks Beth!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What's more fun

... than a bag of maggots?


Suzy had a bag of candy melts (the kind you use to make cute shaped molded candies; you buy it at cake decorating stores)

It was still closed, but about a year old, and she came across it today. A closer look revealed it was moving. It was trying to get away. The little tiny wormy guys were munching on chocolate. Lots and lots of little tiny wormy things, undulating in the bag.

We just spent a few minutes trying to creep each other out about "what if the bag had burst?"

***


My kids were telling me that their school is LOADED with spiders. Apparently the spotlights illuminating it at night are drawing bugs, and that draws big spiders, and they're in the rollup maps and the overhead projector screens and just about everywhere else. Fun fun fun!

I don't want to



... learn about the Incas and the Mayas and the Mound builders. Really.

... mediate my coworker's power struggles. Really really.

...even PEEK at my checkbook balance today because it's only 3 digits...I'll leave you to wonder whether or not that includes a decimal point. R3.

...cook dinner for the four of us. R R R R.

...do the five loads of laundry awaiting me (are you feeling where I'm going with all of this? )

Why can't I be on that sailboat, that I just KNOW is somewhere on a calm sea, checking out a beautiful sunset? Somewhere in the world, someone is doing THAT right now. Waaaaa.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Olive You Too

My trip to the Olive Garden was surreal tonight. Not sure if it was the waitress with the 55 DD bustline which was disconcertingly 8" from my face while I ordered. (And her shirt was stained. Ugh.)

Maybe it was the mediocre food. Honestly, I swear to you I can make Italian food that's 100x better. It wouldn't even beat cafeteria food. It all kind of tasted like it sat under the heat lamp for a while and all the flavor leaked out.

Or maybe it was the female couple at the next table feeding each other and reaming out the manager because the hostess had said "I can seat you guys now" to them after they felt they waited "seven minutes to even be acknowledged". OK, really. Seven minutes? In a busy restaurant. I call people of both genders "you guys" all the time, I'm sure the hostess didn't MEAN to offend your orientation. And hello, my kids are watching, could you please get your food to go if you're going to make out and stuff????? Because I would ask a slutty girl + cheesy guy couple to do the same.)

Wait! Maybe it was that I didn't have any wine with my food and the salad was kind of crummy. No wine, that's it.

PS. Cameron Mathieson is REALLY adorable. Edyta's one lucky little floozy dancer. Alton better watch out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

How's that again?

Or, how many parentheses can Carly use to tell a story?

It's just about the right time in the afternoon to think about where I was ten years ago today and share the "when my son was born" story. (Nothing gory guys, don't be scared.)

I begged to be induced because I *KNEW* that the second child was bigger than my first, and she had gone two weeks past my due date.

After an ultrasound I was patted on the hand and told "...your baby is only about 8 pounds, Mrs. Carly".

I somehow convinced them to induce me anyway (in part because of significant challenges during delivery of my previous one).

Sometimes being induced is pretty horrible, but I already was starting labor, so they started me with a lower dose of Pitocin, ramped it up gradually, and things just went pretty smoothly all day. He was delivered almost without incident -( they broke his collar bone because the cord... um, never mind guys!)

While I was crying because I misunderstood "they'll just pin it" (meaning his SHIRT, to immobilize his arm, not surgery on his collar bone), I heard a nurse over on the other side of the room say "Nine twelve." I knew it was only around four thirty, but I was on some funny meds.

"What, doctor?" I asked. He glared at me and seemed like I was yanking his chain. No reply. I repeated my question. Reluctantly, he answered me.

Yes, my "eight pounder" was 9 lbs, 12 oz. Needless to say, (a) I now have a different doctor, and (b) the factory is closed.

So, this is a very Un-Dooce-like birthday note, but there you go. My kids are absolutely the best thing I've ever done in my life. All of my decisions and plans focus on them. But if you know me, you probably know that already.

Phil Hansen

Is, um, well, you decide: Strokes-of-genius?

The parts of the video where he paints on his own stomach are, uh, well, I have to say those are sort of cool especially when he peels it off but some of the other stuff... just...

Wow. That's all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Why?

Last night I went to a relatively new hibachi style restaurant in C.Pk. We were all seated (nine family members) and had ordered drinks. In strolls a local meteorologist (SL from channel 6) and gets seated with a couple of friends. Their half of the square proceeds to get served before us all evening. (Weather guy, wrong 50% of the time trumps two birthday kids?)

They got the better chef too. We got the guy who COULDN'T do the utensil tricks (shot a spatula right at my baby) , couldn't flip the egg into his hat, dropped an eggshell all over the cooking surface.... etc. Oh, and tossed broccoli over my son's head, not in his mouth, and couldn't do the flaming onion trick right. At least it all tasted good. He's definitely not an iron chef.

***

Somehow the hour-long premiere of the Office is on opposite the hour-long premiere of Gray's Anatomy on Thursday night. Damn. Yes, I have a DVR, but still.

***


Went to see Sidney White today.... (following is spoilers, if you plan on seeing the movie...)


Now, I went to see it with a half dozen teenage girls. To be "cool" (and so I could potentially nap) I did not sit WITH them. Good thing, because this movie made me cry about four times. Yes, officially, I'm pathetic. The main character misses her dead mom and she goes to the college where her mom went and pledges her Mom's sirority but they're mean, and she's kicked out and sits sobbing on the curb in the rain because she let her mother down and oh, my god.

(The whole "Mom not there" angle inexplicably killed me. Either because I have my own mom issues or because I can't believe how big my kids are already and I never really read them bedtime stories and now they're practically in college. OK my son is 10 but whatever.)

But she's plucky and finds her own way and learns to Be Herself... ugh. Heavy on the schmaltz but contains funny parts too. Because I'm three TIMES thirteen it was not for me. .. but the girls DID hear me laugh from where they were sitting, when one of the seven guys said "Hi ho" to the sirority prez. If you're lost, it's loosely based on Snow White and the campus dorks are the seven dwarfs living in a run down cottage and, oh, I have a headache. Who OK'd this movie? Preeeeedictable. I hate Amanda Byne's delivery style too.

***

Why isn't it Friday?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another weekend, another cake


(two more to go~!)



Yes, it only bears a fleeting resemblance to the other one she said she wanted. But, my girl is cool and her face lit up when she saw it.

She had previously said she simply wanted some purple flowers on top, and the black ones piped on the sides (man, my piping is NOT what it used to be) and that's what she got. She didn't even seem to notice that Mama was tired from a long day yesterday and did not do a variety of flower shapes. (Damn, the original really was cute. Must Not Compare Self to Professional Chefs.)

Flowers by Suzy. (thank you thank you thank you)

Hush, little baby



(Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/olivestar/1414513431/ because I can't remember what part of the HTML to change...)

I've decided to quit my work in the NICU. Unfortunately it's primarily a victim of "No Time Carly". (Now I know, you're thinking, Girl, you have plenty of time to blog....)

The toughest part has always been getting to the hospital on time during rush hour on a school day. I have to get the kids home first, get them something for dinner (and, optionally, ME, although eating something that doesn't involve a fast food burger in my car was a lofty ideal that I never attained...) Add to that the fact that I never made it in for my annual "physical" this summer, which is nothing more than a TB test and a cursory once-over, but a rule for all volunteers nevertheless. Technically at this point I am no longer allowed to set foot in the NICU. (So I won't, just to be clear.)

I think another factor is that I did feel a little unprepared for what I was doing. Not the scrapbooking mechanics, but dealing with Moms who had a baby in NICU. There are so many little words that crop up that I never really understood all of, having no medical background. NEC, MRSA, ROP. I haven't been through the experience myself so I didn't have that common ground where I understood what it was that was wrong with their child (even to know whether it was a minor hurdle or a major setback) much less be able to relate to how it feels to hear the news. I don't have any counseling experience or training and so all I could do is listen to the conversations at the scrapbook table, and feel hopelessly unhelpful in the larger picture. I didn't feel like the results I was getting were matching what I was aiming for. It's hard to explain. Although everyone there was wonderful to me, I didn't really feel like I was helping enough to justify the headache it caused me on the flip side, at home.

I'm a little sad about this, because I made a friend who I now won't see as regularly... but we are going to go try to catch up to Duff, that Ace of Cakes guy, soon. But I'm not completely out of the picture, because there is this other project that fits more into my "whenever I can squeeze in a few minutes" dynamic.

My sister makes books... very delicate, ethereal books that are set aside for when a baby passes away. They are fairies and soft colors and flowers and natural elements. The baby's footprints and handprints and a lock of hair are added to the book, along with pictures of the infant and notes from the staff who have cared for the child, and the book is given to the family. Often it is unofficially claimed by an older sibling, as part of the healing process.

I'll be helping her to make those. Obviously it's not something I can slap together at the kitchen table while I keep an eye on the macaroni and cheese, it's something that requires a little bit of time set aside and it can be a bit heavy emotionally. But if I can even make a few over the course of the next year, I will still feel like I'm contributing to something I believe in.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blogger Play

So if you're bored with your usual websites, try this:

Blogger Play

it shows images that currently being uploaded to blogs, and you can click on a photo and jump to the blog page that it was put on. Random, and interesting.

for instance, I know Heroes returns September 24 now. I looked at some interesting Vegas pictures. I found Poll Daddy and a bunch of other widgets that make my blog look geriatric, but hey, whatever.

Enjoy

Can't wait


Abso-fucking-lutely can't wait to see the movie!!
Video (of nothing much, but STILL....)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brand it

Because I'm, well, ME, when I saw a shirt that read " 756* " I didn't get it. (The shirt was on BustedTees.com, where I got B's punchbuggy shirt. Which has arrived in the mail, and is awesome. Can't wait to give it to her next week.)

I googled " 756* " and one hit was on an error message that reads "this connection is already being dialed". That's an obscure way to announce your dating status to the world. Didn't seem right.

There was also something in Wiki about a battleship zzzzzzzzzzz whatever.

Feeling very uncool I was about to give up when I caught sight of a reference to Barry Bonds. Ahah! I consoled myself, that this is a reference Johnny V will probably never get without help. So I voted. Brand it!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This is what you can accomplish in 10 minutes

Could my web page layout skills BE worse? Oh well. It's a graphic, where there was none before.

Homework may kill me, and I'm not even the one in school anymore.

On the flip side, Salmon Run Pinot Noir is awesome.

Did you know Padma Lakshmi was married to Salman Rushdie?

(Can anyone make a further leap from that last sentence than I did with the one prior? The few brain cells I have left are dancing to a syncopated beat. But you love me. You wish you could leave post it notes for me all around our house. I know. It's cool. We're good.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Random links

Newseum is rather cool. If you poke around, you can view pages from around the world, not just US newspapers.

I'm also a fan of Bossip.com , and of course Perez.

And, well, this is gorgeous. Can we go now? Please?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bits

Wherefore art thou, my lovely title graphic? XS.TO has housed you for months. Now it seems to want to give me a hard time, when I am the busiest. I reloaded it. I tweaked my blogger template. Nada. Guess I'll make a new one (no time until at least Tuesday). Grrrrr.

It's school magazine drive time. (AKA Say goodbye to $100). I'm ordering magazines about kayaking, running, scrapbooking, and food & wine. So there. What? I didn't order the log cabin one. (As in, I'd loooooooove a little log cabin in the middle of nowhere right NOW. Except it would have to have Sirius. So I'd have to hook up a treadmill to run a small generator.)

The SAME teacher who gave way too much homework two years ago is at it again. Joy.

I love watching what people wear to the Emmy's but I completely lost interest in the show itself tonight. Zzzzzz. This could be because I spent last night tossing, turning, drifting off, waking up, rinse, repeat. (Joely Fisher and what's his name were damn funny though. )

I'm too tired to eat a bowl of cinnamon bun ice cream. Now THAT's tired.

Random change!

Not sure what is going on with Post Secret but it seems to be here: Frank Warren I really don't like the new format - having to click on each square to view it is a pain in the...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

hey look


I found something uglier than my cake.... Joan looks so freakishly overprocessed, it scares me. What is up with that mouth of hers? Gaaaaaaah. I practically expect someone to shove their hand up her [redacted] and do a ventriloquist act with her.
(Picture from Perez. Did you watch his show? I couldn't stop laughing when he sat on the bed with that crazy Elvis getup on and the girl shifted EVER so slightly away. Awesome. )

Lessons learned



I'm not ready to quit my day job. (Although running an art gallery sounds fun and completely different from the crap I put up with yesterday.)

This cake never made it past the "oh my gosh this is an ugly cake" stage that I usually manage to overcome. Mostly, because I was just plain exhausted after a long day, but also:

  • Someone who is making a cake should make sure she has the colors she wants. Plenty of confectioner's sugar would be helpful too. Dead right out of the starting gate here.
  • Cinnamon mixes nicely with canned creamcheese frosting to make an interesting sort of kitty color, but the consistency is not great for piping 10,000 bits of hair even WITH a tip 233. Gaaaaaaaaah. Don't pound your right hand on the table unless you're a lefty.
  • Swearing at a cat cake is fun because you can get very obscene. Try it, you'll see.
  • You can't make the lines the same color as the fur or they don't show, and that's the whole effing point of the lines. KittyBlob is hard to figure out without contrast.
  • Those stamps I spent $10 on would have been a good idea to use before I did the writing, and if I wasn't so tired and annoyed I would have dug them out. (The letters in the name, which I blurred here, were uneven and got progressively larger AND I almost spelled my niece's name wrong. Not frustrating at all.)
  • It's just a cake. They'll eat it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

no punchbacks

Yesterday I was driving my daughter somewhere and she was giving me the silent treatment.

SO with my left pinky I used the controls on my door to move her side view mirror left, right, left, right, left, right.. I was waiting for her to notice and she didn't, and after a minute or two it made me start to snicker. OK, I'm nuts. I get that.

But when I was actually laughing she looked around and realized what I was doing and DID start to laugh herself. Success!!

"Admit it," I said. "I'm the funniest person you know."

She started rattling off names Robin Williams, Adam Sandler, Billy Ray Cyrus --WTF? I almost smacked her for that one, then pointed out that he gets scripts. So his coworkers are much funnier than he is (just like in my case, yes)

Eventually I did get her to admit that yes, I am actually the funniest person she has ever met. She didn't even make it sound like "OH, FINE, ENOUGH ALREADY. YES, YOU ARE." That's my baby!

In honor of our ongoing game I got her THIS shirt (ok, I'm admitting defeat forever in this game, but that's ok...)



So, in other exploits, today was the company picnic. During office hours, on a Thursday in mid September, with no family guests and no beer. Hmmm. Suzy used to work here and more or less said that her job was so monotonous, having her hair burst into flames spontaneously might have been a welcome break in the day.

It was not great at first but it took a turn for the better when I wandered over into a poker game (chips only, no cash put up at all, dammit). I have never played poker before. There's this guy I work with who plays ALLLLLLL the time. Goes to various casinos on the weekends, etc. (there are at least 3 or 4 in easy driving distance from this area. )

I kicked his ass. He was busting me the entire time, because he literally had to tell me whenever it was my turn whether or not I had to put chips down. But I was getting dealt things like a pair of jacks, I had a straight, I had all sorts of decked goodness come my way. SO every time I won a hand he would say in a high pitched voice "Oh, I've never played before, I don't even know how to bet.... suuuuuuuuure." In the end I had 115 chips and he had about 10. He was a good sport about it and I absolutely know it was complete beginner's luck, and I will never win another hand in my life. But, still.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

this takes


...the cake

this would be the cake my daughter wants for her birthday party (six guests... not 94).
At least it's not HARD or anything. Yes, Johnny, there is fondant there. But I might do the cake in buttercream. If I smooth out the sides and chill them good... I dunno.

It's from the Wilton yearbook for 2008. (I have quite a few, going back to 1978. Oh yes, I do.)
On other fronts, I am planning a road trip to abuse Duff in December. Actually I'm just going to ask him WHY SO MUCH FONDANT???

Musak

I have Sirius, as I've mentioned, and I skip around between the various old, new, and country channels.

(Every now and then I try Howard out, but I swear I tuned in Monday and he was having a Queef contest. WTF. Click.)

As far as music, I admit like Shut up and Drive and I was disappointed that Rihanna didn't sing that the other night. It might have salvaged the sinking ship(she did look damn good in the 20 seconds she performed Umbrella though)

And as for 50 cent's fake fight with Kanye, I think it's FUNNY that Kenny "I Screw Any Skirt" Chesney's new album sales might beat 50's this week. How sad, to not be #1 but #3...

It's kind of cool that Duran and Duran and the Eagles both have new music out. It's VERY cool that both are GOOD songs. But do I have to start wearing my silver satin jacket again? Because hell, I can't find my Aigner purse anywhere.

Also the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has a new song I like but none of those boys are old enough to be MY guardian angel. Damn. (As far as I know I'm actually old enough to have babysat their... nevermind. )

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

By the way

I don't know where my header graphic is. Well, I know where it is (can I say ANYTHING in five words or less????) but I don't know what's up (down) with the web site.

There, I'm done now. Scroll down to the cool cupcake pictures. Please?

Life and cupcakes

Tiffany Granath quoted someone today, a numerology expert. She (the n.e. had said that people often ask her about noticing "9:11" on the clock. I know someone "in my real life" that this happens to ALL THE TIME. It bothers her. It seems somehow scary and foreboding because of what we associate those numbers with now. She wonders if it's a sign, an omen.)

The passage Tiffany read had to do with reframing how you see those numbers. I'm paraphrasing quite a bit, but what I took away is to try to see those numbers as a reminder. To never forget the innocent victims, the heroes in New York and Washington and Pennsylvania.

But also, when you see or hear "9/11" take it as an opportunity to remember that life is precious and short and fleeting and that you just never know when you'll be gone. None of the people we lost that day would have ever imagined how that day would collapse around us. Do the things you'd like to do in life, every chance you get. It is not often that we truly CAN choose how to spend a significant amount of time or money (unless you won the lottery recently, and if so, CALL ME. Seriously. Suzy and I could paint so many towns red, given the resources.)

I've been accused of being a daredevil of late. The kayaking (pfft... on a lake with no waves) and the parasailing are examples, and I grant that the average person might not do those things, but they were pretty damn fun. I've enjoyed the hell out of them. The race was a blast, even though it was So. Unbelieveably. Humid.

Oh, and I started running again. I ran an entire minute yesterday, with no pain, during a 30 minute walk on the treadmill. So at the very least I will go to the Komen run, collect my t-shirt, (since I paid for it) and who knows - maybe if I inch forward between now & then, I'll be able to run about half of it and walk the rest.

At any rate. I've gotten way off the track. Suzy has been trying a "new thing" to stave off "oh no winter is coming and it sucks around here" and art has traditionally been an area she excels at, but she has never really tried her hand at cake decorating before. Until now. And oh, wow.

Here are the "round two" cupcakes Suzy made. The flash made the colors shift a tiny bit when it bounced around the foil pan.. but the royal icing butterflies look pretty damn good! You have to click on this one for a closer look...






This is a little detail of the ribbon around the center cake. Just go ahead and go throw away any cake pans you have in your cupboards ;-)








Just to make me, uh, you, feel better - these are the alien life form cupcakes from attempt number one:








This is one of the piped butterflies that melted in the oven. (It was ALMOST cold and Suzy threw them in to dry.) They were royal icing:





So, there's all of that. Do with it what you will. And leave my girl Britney alone! (What? Oh, I'm KIDDING.)

Never Forget


Monday, September 10, 2007

It's just too easy


...to join in, I can't help myself. So without further ado...

Here is why I feel I am qualified open up next year's VMA's, based on my church choir experience:


  • no lipsynching EVER takes place in my loft

  • verses... our songs have verses and actual lyrics beyond one phrase, repeated ad infinitum (which reminds me, we have latin too... heh.)

  • I always make sure my "post-baby belly" is covered when I'm upstairs

  • I never show up to church sedated OR still wasted from last night

See what I mean? I'm waiting for the phone to ring, MTV.


Hey, anything I can offer would be better than what I saw last night. Which is truly the most horrible condemnation of all, that a 42 year old woman* looked at one of our most well-known 25 year old "celebrities" and sincerly felt that I could look and perform ten times better if I even tried just a little bit.


My favorite line - "Somewhere, K-Fed is laughing."


Illustration by Pretty On the Outside


*(almost 42, Amelia)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Annoyingly perfect and cute all at the same time





Suzy's second attempt (I thought she was using MY pan, but she was actually making royal icing butterflies. They don't like to be "dried" in a faintly warm oven, by the way (heh), which would be the demise of round 1. )

The middle is a 5" round layer cake covered in fondant. If you've seen the precolored Wilton fondant pack that comes with pink, yellow, blue, & green, the green piece covered that cake nicely. The rest are flat top cupcakes (the wicked part of me says "what, no piped grass on the cupcakes?" but that's just because my eyes are green with envy). It's awesome, isn't it?

I have some old-school cake decorating books. Hardcover, hardcore (one book goes through every one of the 50 states and shows the state flower a la royal icing.) She's working through them. Oh yes, those butterflies ARE 3-D.

Rock on! She's going to help me with Child1's birthday cake (for "friends party"),

If I can ever win the damn lottery, we're opening a custom bakery called Sweet Charlotte. I'll do concepts and take orders, she'll execute flawlessly.

Just in case

...you were wondering, no fire on the fireworks boat tonight

But fireworks + thunderstorm = awesome

...especially when lightning goes sideways to hit one of the firework shells as it's rising up into the air.

First time I ever saw fireworks in a thunderstorm! I love a good thunderstorm.

Ain't your ho no mo'

Michael & Dwight Bringing Sexy Back

and also

Best scenes

are funny YouTube office compilations.

Yeah, it's a slow day here. No fun.

Google hat trick

Top three (well, my favorite 3) searches that lead people to me this week:

  • Truth behind Silpada - woah. what's this about? I mean, I just found out that the Iron chef America chefs already KNOW the secret ingredient... what could be the big secret behind some big clunky jewelry? I mean, most of the jewelry is HUGE (I have really skinny tiny fingers, size 5 1/2) but I really can't handle two crushing disillusionments in one week.
  • Tiffany Granath's wedding - I think she was drunk; she's said so on her show. I don't think there are photos out on the internet. Well maybe not drunk WHILE she was getting married, but RIGHT AFTER, for the rest of the day. I imagine it would be how Sarah will do it someday (hopefully soon!)
  • Tim McGraw and Faith Hill buy a house in upstate NY. - I wish! we could be neighbors. I could send Suzy over to borrow her husband. Um, a cup of sugar. Yeah.

Friday, September 07, 2007

What are the odds?

... that I would be watching my boyfriend* make cinnamon buns at the same EXACT moment I was trying Ben and Jerry's new flavor of ice cream, CINNAMON BUNS ? It's awesome by the way. Damn.

... that I would be at WORK when I realized that Google reader shows you the individual page of each entry ? (and not the "main page" of a blog, which is only a problem if you are scrolling down through Perez Hilton's recent entries and you see Vanessa's .....OOOPS .... can't look at that at work! D'oh! Ahem. I never read blogs at work. Busy, busy. It was a rhetorical question. A trick question! Oh, leave me alone.)

... that the guy I saw on the highway, trying to stand on his motorcycle, actually made it to where-ever he was going tonight? Eff you buddy, by the way. Yes, trying to stand. Keeping his hands on the handlebar thingie and somehow jumping so his knees were on the seat. Was I hoping he'd wipe out? Well, uh. No. Nope. Uh uh.

... that the black Corvette I saw yesterday was driven by someone older than me? (Pretty high, and 1985 wants its car back now buddy, and your toupee is bad)

... that Suzy is now making MUCH prettier cupcakes than me? (High again, at last report. Wench.)

... that tomorrow night's fireworks (at a town "festival") will be a repeat of the 4th of July ones, where the barge upon which the fireworks originated actually caught fire a wee bit? Double d'oh!


*Alton Brown, if you forgot. Pay attention, willya?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Almost time to clock in

Enjoy this Office promo video from NBC

Summer Vacation

"Another" ? I missed any others...


But THIS is pretty funny.

(" One night we walled off 11 senior offices at work for a prank...people didn't know wtf to do the next day. ") It's something someone I know of might do.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sweet Revenge

Suzy informed me earlier this evening that she made cupcakes even UGLIER than mine. I will get a photo; we'll have a poll. Apparently there is a green that looks like Martian funk involved.

Guess I should have washed that pan with holy water after the first batch went so horribly off key.

It reminds me of a new set of knives I bought a while back. I was chopping an onion or something in a hurry and someone said to me "careful..." and I said "I won't cut myself", so then of course I immediately did. I decided I didn't like the knives and was going to throw them away but my brother laughed at me and asked if he could have them. Sure enough, the first time he used them he cut himself.

What does this tell us? (Not that my family is uncoordinated. After all, Suzy can start an IV line for a preemie. Hmm. Maybe she was the only one who stood in the "coordination" line before birth.)

whether I want to or not

I've learned to listen when people tell me something that apparently doesn't pertain to me. Because sure enough, otherwise it bites me in the "but".

example: Friend says "Store X has a great price on school uniforms! I didn't think they would have my son's size, but they did. It's right downtown." This did not mean anything to me since I asked the boys in my house in July AND August "Does Kid need new uniforms?" and got told "nope" both times.

Yesterday I was feeling contrary, and said "uh, go put your uniform on and show me." When I stopped being annoyed at how badly it fit him, and the phrase "But I thought these were okay"... I remembered Friend's glowing review. Guess where I was today? Yes, little Miss "I make lists to stay super organized" had to trot downtown after work to buy... uniforms. The day before school starts. Can't even tell you how annoying that was.

Got anything random to tell me that I need to know?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

wake me up when september ends

In addition to the birthdays of BOTH of my children later this month, (requiring family party - check, and TWO "friends" parties, no invitations or anything done yet, and peanut-free classroom treats...for two days back-to back....) I have the back to school chaos and the "why did I agree to volunteer for this school thing AGAIN?" insanity.

I know now more about loading a vending machine than I care to bore you with. But, just for a free sample, it won't take dollar bills if there isn't about $3.50 of change (from the bottom of my purse and my friend's ) loaded first, to prime the "change maker".

In "completely" unrelated events, (hah!!!!!) later this month I'm taking a day off from work that most people I know just won't know about.

Kayaking, anyone?

Monday, September 03, 2007

I come back, fire

...is what my unbearably cute 2 yr old neice started saying, when we brought her inside after a small backyard fire in my fire pit. Repeated, fifty times before she left, and then immediately upon seeing me at church the next day.

I went for a run today!!!

Well, about 5 minutes of running and 25 of walking. The running is not good, my leg still feels really tight (it doesn't help that I semi-reinjured it Wednesday dragging my garbage can out to the street - it tipped and I braced myself wrong and felt a burning in my upper quad. Damn damn damn.)

I will see how it goes but this is not looking good for the Komen run on October 6. I may have to hang up my running shoes with only ONE! race under my belt.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Suzy saves the day




...by bringing cookies that DON'T look like a Martha Stewart reject crafts project.

Fug-Cakes



Here they are, in all of their Fugly glory. Seriously, I can not stop laughing every time I look at them. Mostly because I hate fondant and once swore I'd never cover cakes with it. Bon Appetit!