Monday, June 26, 2006

Chuggin' Along

on my own. I miss Don so much I've been listening to country music, and I don't like country. He should be calling pretty soon, funny how it's even worse after hanging up the phone. (I mean, clicking "end". It's not the same thing, really, is it.)

When I was cleaning the bathroom yesterday I realized that our sink was draining really slowly. So I went online and researched clogged sink-drains and how to fix them: went to Home Depot: took apart the drain stopper, unclogged and reassembled it. It made me feel very capable, and also feel that the cat should not sleep in the sink anymore.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The End of the Great Mystery

So at long last Chuck the Cake Hater has come out in the open and . . . it turns out that it's all a big misunderstanding. A case of mistaken identity. Nobody hates me after all, or if they do they're not messing with my blog, at least. Somebody with my name did something bad, but it wasn't me. Which was good because now I can stop running through my personal history, trying to figure out what'd I'd done to deserve such retribution. See, this came to my email (which had also been hacked):

"I'm so sorry for attacking your blog and e-mail. This appears to be a case of mistaken identity. My "boyfriend" cheated on me with a girl whose name is also Mara _____. I thought that was you, but now I know it's not and I am so incredibly sorry. Please know that I did not mean the things I said towards you. Looking back, I should have handled this in a more mature manner anyway."

I thought this was nice, seeing that she could have just ... gone away, and left me to wonder forever who the hell Chuck was. Boy would I hate to have this lady as my enemy! She got into my blog and into my email, too, which I thought would be impossible. Sent emails to everyone on my list. Hacker extraordinare, or maybe my passwords etc. were just too easy. It's nice knowing that it wasn't actually me that inspired such animosity-- I have to say that my self-esteem was starting to chip around the edges, as I was thinking, "Why does this person hate me SO MUCH? Why?" It's kind of a load off my mind, really. I just have to explain to everybody on my email list what happened... argh. At least it's over now.

I'm going to dinner and the movies with my family tonight... not exactly clubbin' but it should be fun. I went out last night to this Addison place and it felt like my friends were the youngest group in there-- it was mostly 40's, the yuppie crowd. Which I guess is ok. It's more fun sometimes to be 25 in an old place than 25 where everyone else is 18 and suddenly you feel old as the hills because your belly isn't perfectly flat and pierced.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blah. . .

Day off = migraine headache. Again and again and again. Why? Why do I always get headaches on my days off? It's so random and weird. Everything started off great, I had lunch with Ben - then got a massive headache and had to rest most of the afternoon. There must be something about my day-off routine that triggers it, but damned if I know what it is. Little brother is training up to do some crazy Boy-Scouts backpacking hike in the Colorado Rockies next month, so he came over to use the treadmill in our apartment complex gym. He walks up inclines wearing a heavy-loaded backpack: it's mad, I tell you, mad. When Don and I go camping we take the car and spend the time relaxing; cooking over the fire, fishing, (gentle) hiking, canoeing, doing fun things in the tent. Not trekking through mountains with half our body weight again on our backs. Blech.

I got my HP essay all finished up and turned in; it would be very nice if this website published it-- if nothing else I'd like all the feedback. I still need to book a hotel or BnB for our trip to Vermont this October, I need to get on that before they all fill up with crazy leaf-peepers. Which is what we'll be. But still. I'm going to bed super-early tonight to kill this headache, so no more now. Tomorrow I'll feel better and will write something more chipper and upbeat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's all good again

Well, I made my comments stupid members-only which was a pain in the neck what with all the email addresses and everything but it all seems to be fixed up now. I've come to the conclusion that "Chuck the Cake-Deprived" isn't anyone I know personally, because I don't know anyone like Chuck; unless he acts vastly different in person i.e. has IQ over 80 or something.

Work is boring, my supervisor compared me to an evil ex-coworker who we all hate but she then apologized for it, and I have tomorrow off. Yay! Who doesn't love a day off? I have to clean the apartment (having neat-freak friends over on friday, mustn't scare them!) but that's ok. It's really not too bad at the moment, anyways. Don is doing pretty well in New Orleans, he sounds upbeat; interested and motivated. He's always good for a change of scenery and I'll bet that this two weeks goes faster for him than for me.

I think I might bake another cake, if for no other reason than to annoy certain cake-hating blog-lurkers. I must check my pantry for ingredients. Pecans, anyone?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Chuck the Cake-deprived

Wow, I just had another really weird blog experience, remants of which remain below. Some bizzare person decided to write anonymous comments on like every blog entry that I'd written so far this far. Strange rude comments, mostly about cake, my ass, and how boring and un-readable the blog is. Which is really ironic, because whoever this was made 60 comments covering 6 months worth of posts! Even if you assume that this character is a speed-reader and got through every post in, say, 30 seconds and then spent another 30 seconds commenting, that's like one hour's worth of reading and writing for blog that is supposedly really boring. If he's not a speed reader, then maybe 1 1/2 hours to 2. That's a lot of time to invest in someone else's blog! I know some people (Ben) will assume it's the same co-worker that I was having blog-issues with before (the one that read my blog and took its contents to our manager behind my back) but I can't believe that that's true for several reasons:

1. It's fairly obvious that it's someone who's never met me as he refered constantly to my fat ass, lard ass, etc. I'm actually not overweight at all, although I could see how one would think that from reading the blog, esp. as there aren't any photos-- baking, not so much eating, is what I talk about but it would take an intelligent mind to notice that. Also, my co-worker and I have a similar build, so it would be very pot-kettle-black if it were her making those "lardass" comments.

2. The tone is very masculine and very dumb. She isn't either of those. If she were going to trash my blog she'd do it in a funnier, sharper way, with very witty, cutting comments.

3. Some really sad things have happened where we work this year; the death of one of our coworkers, and of another one's grandbaby. There's no way she would write disrespectful and mean things about those deaths as they affected her probably as much as me; same goes for my own grandmother's death. I just don't think she could write uncaring things about that, it's just not like her.

4. Almost every comment was a rude, negative remarks about my cake-baking skills, and I know for a fact that my co-worker likes my food! She once even organized a raid on some cookies that I'd been saving for a later meeting, on the grounds that if everybody had one nobody would get yelled at. (she was wrong, but it proves that she likes my cookies and that it would therefore be wrong to dis my cakes all over my blog.) Likewise, whoever it was has clearly never eaten anything I've made before.

So while she can sometimes be petty and immature, she's not mean-spirited like this fella is. Actually she's OK most of the time, and while we rub each other the wrong way sometimes I don't get the feeling that she's very put out with me or anything. So. Clearly this dude has some major dessert-related issues, probably stemming from never getting any cake as a child: it makes him resentful and bitter. I shall call him "Chuck the Cake-deprived" from now on, or until we discover who Chuck really is.
SO, we have a mystery blog-attacker! How mundanely exiting! I had to spend half and hour dredging up these comments and deleting them-- I left the last couple just for amusement's sake, and had to change my comment options to 'users only', which sucks because I liked never knowing who was going to drop in and say hi. It's just mysterious because if it's someone I know, who could it be? And if it's not, who the hell would spend over an hour messing with a stranger's blog that's supposedly too boring to read? What a conundrum! Chuck, what is going on in that little brain of yours?

Don's only been gone one day and I miss him. The apartment is too quiet without him and the autonomy is weird.

My sister blew off Father's Day entirely-- no phone call, no card, nada. Our dad is so hurt, although of course being a dad he tries not to show it. The whole time yesterday evening there was this question hanging in the air-- where was she? She's also pretty much ignoring me for the time being as she doesn't need our dog-sitting, and if she doens't need something than why would she bother?


So Chuck, go eat some cake (German Chocolate would be good) and then get laid. God knows you need something to do.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cakes and alone-ness

Gaaah. Don is going on task force again so he is in New Orleans for two weeks. Please take pity and hang out with me, all those who read this, because I'm sadly unused to being on my own for any length of time. We seem to have become one of those couples who merge into one organism, like ameobas or something and I hate it when he's out of town. He left this morning and doesn't get back until the last of the month. Uuuurgh. So to take up my time I've decided to reallycleantheapartment - finishmyHarryPotteressay andstartanotherone - maybestartaquilttop - getlotsofsleepandexercise - spendmoretimewithotherfriends - cleanthegarage-etc-etc-etc.

I've been baking and etc a lot in the last few days; Don's birthday was Friday and I made his usual German Chocolate cake but with a few modifications. Usually there's this super-sweet pecan-coconut filling and frosting that goes all over the cake and makes it almost sickeningly sweet; this time I used it only as a filling between layers and used a semi-sweet ganache as the frosting--very thinly, like a glaze. It was a definite improvement and cut the sweetness with a more sophisticated, rich bitter-sweet taste. I also replaced the cake-layers with a better recipe--darker, moister, and more chocolatey. Easier, too; the original recipe calls for beaten egg whites and all the jazz which as far as I can tell is only because there are 4 yolks in the filling and they don't want to waste the whites. The one I use is practically a one-bowl. I took a lot of the cake to work with me where it received rave reviews, including several suggestions that I go pro and one offer of a business partnership. Much jealousy of Don was expressed (I can see why he fell in love with you; if I were him I'd be as big as a house, etc) which is really funny because I bake for my coworkers a lot more than I do for him!

Right now I'm making our traditional Father's Day Maple Fudge (Also used as Dad's Birthay Fudge and Dad's Chanukah-present Fudge--what can I say, he loves the stuff!) When you make it with the real syrup it smells just amazing during the boiling stage, where it is right now, to the point where it's making me light-headed. The whole apartment is just drenched in maple-smells. I'm also making tuxedo-strawberries just for fun, because the berries were on sale and I have the white and the dark chocolate laying around.

Food Network has been running all of these cake-decorating shows that have crazy cakes wrapped in fondant and stacked really high; shaped like suitcases, wrapped presents, etc; I'd love to try something like that someday but I think you can only get good with practice, and I can hardly afford to practice something like marzipan or fondant-decorating just for fun. I've always gone for taste alone, before, and tried for the "not-finished-by-small-children-or-special-needs-adults" look as far as finishing went. And that goal usually proves hard for me.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


First, many apologies to my many loyal readers (hahahahhahha) for my long absence--things have been busy lately and for some reason I just haven't felt like going online much. First off, Don and I have settled on next May for our wedding, in Vermont. So if you want to go, there's time to make it happen, and then some! Late May should be do-able for an out-doors wedding up there, if it's not pouring down rain. Meanwhile we're taking a trip there in October, for a vacation and for wedding-reconnaissance. He and I haven't had a vacation since we moved back to Dallas 2 1/2 years ago... that's a long time to go without leaving town, without traveling at all. One little weekend camping trip is all we've done in that time. So we're going back to our town for a week at what should be the peak of leaf season (wow, we've gone from proper residents to leaf-peepers in less than three years, but if you're going to New England, might as well be there when it's at it's nicest. . .) Expect many brightly-colored photos of trees and us wearing sweaters being cute, and such. In December we're going to Big Bend with my family, which should be really fun.

It's finally occurred to me that we each get paid vacation time from our jobs-- why not take vacations? I'm going to try to make it a regular feature in our lives, plan ahead, pick destinations, save money ahead of time. It will be fun. I've never had paid vacation from a job before this one, so it's a new experience. Don prefers being spontaneous, but where does that get you? We're both scheduled in at work weeks or months ahead of time, so "spontaneous" means weekends at the most, driving-distance only: camping. Which is nice but not a real vacation, all that cooking and peeing in the woods.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Harry Potter and writing

I just finished writing a 10-page paper on Harry Potter. No, I'm not in school. Yes, it was just for fun. Is that weird? I like writing (even though now I'm at that icky part where you have to list all your sources and go back and notate, so that it doesn't look like you're copying) and I love good ol' Harry. I was only aiming for 1,000 words or so but they just came pouring out, and now it's 4700. I'm hoping to get it published online at my favorite HP site, even if I have to divide it into two sections or something. I just hope nobody beats me to this paticular topic.


Went to Borders today, saw Ben and some other nice people. He's amazed by our friend Amanda's pregnancy--apparently she's just beginning to show at it's hit him like a ton of bricks that she's actually making a baby. He said something to the effect that if he climbed Mount Everest, found a cure for cancer, or landed on the moon it wouldn't be as miraculous as what she's doing right now...

He's hit upon the reason that men do all of these things, for better or for worse; why they throw themselves equally into creation and destruction; buildings, monuments, pyramids, great feats, wars, crusades. . . at 40 he's just realized that he can't make a baby. Every guy realizes at some point that we can do this miraculous, life-creating, baby-building thing, and they just can't. It really makes it kind of obvious why all ancient cultures worshipped the feminine, and why our current patriarchial society does its best to diminish and degrade this act of creation, medicalizing it to the point of making pregnancy a disease that needs constant (male) medical intervention. Interestingly, most of this degradation has come about in the last century and aligns with the rise in status that women have made on other fronts--education, careers, personal relationships. 'They' have to rob pregnancy, birth, and infant-care (especially nursing) of it's incredible power, that power of creation, because it's a power that men don't have, and now women have an almost equal footing in every other field... imagine if we also embraced the power of our bodies to create new life instead of viewing it as something of an inconvenience?
Everybody rants on about how society worships the thin female body, but that isn't exactly it--society's "ideal image" of the female body is that of a very young woman, a teenager. Most women don't realize that by striving to keep off those 5 pounds what they are really doing is trying to stay in a pre-mature state, as dictated by the patriarchy. Really, the teenage female body-- thin, narrow, athletic and colt-like--is very non-threatening and immature. What if instead of striving to keep our bodies in an adolescent state, we took pride in a full, womanly appearance, complete with physical maturity? There's a constant message aimed at women--be young, be thin-- and underlying that message is the one that robs pregnancy of so much: "Your body (which is of course flawed being female) couldn't possibly handle pregnancy and childbirth on its own! You can't take the pain, you'll do it wrong, you need us, the male medical world, to tell you what to do."
What if instead of doubting our bodies and swallowing everything the man in the white coat tells us-- you need an epidural, you need an epistiotomy, you need a C-section-- we trusted our bodies to do what they do best? What if, instead of trying to placate a male-driven society that wants our bodies to themselves, we nursed freely, using various body parts as they were intended by nature rather than by man? We would rule the world, I tell you!

Hmmmm. I seem to have rambled on a bit. Oh well.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Butt was on TV!

So, yeah, our bank branch got robbed on Tuesday. It was all very scary and dramatic, almost cliche really; man with panty-hose on face takes the money and runs. Police arrive. FBI arrives. Etc. Unfortunately the robber chose just about the worst two people to deal with (for them), one being this poor girl who's pretty new to the bank and is very high-strung to begin with. I wasn't going to mention it but it's been in the news since then so ok. I haven't told my parents yet because they get all freaked out about my working in a bank to begin with and I don't feel like adding fuel to their worries. It'll make a nice anecdote someday, when I'm at a better, safer job.

The funny bit is that the news showed the clip from the security video and because I'm standing right next the teller who was robbed, my rearview was on tv. At 4, 5, 6, and 10 oclock yesterday. Hehehe. I feel like Mike from Monsters Inc. "I.... I was on TV!" This is their story, but no, I'm not in the picture.

The bank sends councellors out to the bank to deal with the stress and trauma that the tellers go through with something like this. It was too bad that she didn't get there until everyone had left except for me and Jennifer; of everyone that was there we're probably the least in need of psychological aid, being reasonably easy-going and down-to-earth, non-panicky type women. "well, no one was hurt, let's get on with it then!"

Still it has its effects; if nothing else I'm being very careful with my working cash and trying to get a good stare at everyone who comes in the door. I didn't even notice that the poor girl beside me was getting held up until it was half over; I never did get a good look at him either-- that self-preserving instinct to be non-confrontational in dangerous situations had me looking aside, trying to focus on my customer-- the poor guy was standing right next to a robber, after all.

Not a Bad Assessment for 9 Questions

You Are a Seeker Soul

You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges.
You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions.
Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist.
Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!).

Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others.
And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you.
You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically.
Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.

Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!

... and I only took it once!