Archive for September, 2011

Published by PaintingChef on 26 Sep 2011

Drama. Fully Baked.

For all my talk and dreaming about wanting to someday do this baking thing for real, I have to tell you… when the opportunity actually arose it was total shitballs insanely stressful. Granted that probably had something to do with my agreeing to sell my first cake on the same weekend that I was hosting a dinner party for my mom’s 60th birthday at my house for 15 people but details… right? I made a cake. And I SOLD it. For cash money. And it was a hit and it was glorious and everyone was thrilled and they all lived happily ever after, the end.

Ha. HA! HAHAHA! Not so much, right?

Let’s talk about just how many cakes I ACTUALLY made, shall we? I should back up. My mom is turning 60, technically today (although there has recently been some question as to the actual date of her birthday when she went to get a new social security card and suddenly she has two different birthdates on all her official government-y forms. Still. We say it’s the 26th because that’s the date we’ve always gone with in the past. My secret opinion is that she has no birthday and hasn’t had one since 1994 because the woman DOES. NOT. AGE. Hey universe! You jackhole! Why didn’t I get that gene?

60. That’s big. So I wanted to do something big and in all my thinking and ideas and brainstorming while in the shower (because when deciding between shaving my legs and brainstorming, I’m generally going with brainstorming unless I’m wearing a short skirt that day) I came up with several ideas all of which were immediately rejected until I finally landed on DINNER PARTY! With people! And wine! And cake! And dinner!

Immediately after planning this party and inviting people and confirming people (not in a Catholic Jesus-y way, just hey! You comin’ to mah house? Word. kind of way) I get another phone call (from someone I’ve just invited to said party) and she’s all Hey! Make another cake! I’ll totally pay you! And I’m all… more cake! Let’s do it! Then I hung up the phone and proceeded to FREAK THE FUCK OUT. The cake baking was the easy part. I love me some Friday afternoon baking while the Sirius Lithium channel wails the angsty anthems of my misspent youth and I’m mixing up a zillion cakes and cooking them and brushing them with Frangelico and just loving the whole zen experience of it all. That shit is better therapy than all the hours I’ve ever spent on the smelly couches of various doctor’s offices. Better couches and more cake. That’s the key to therapy. Look into that all ye doctors.

Anyway. The baking, that’s the easy part. My issues generally appear when we get into the structural integrity of the whole mess. I love a big tall cake. Nothing prettier. And I learned from my grandmother that those big tall cakes need a little help. Much like an underwire bra. But with drinking straws. Which would make a really terrible bra but for cakes, they work quite nicely for helping everyone stay in line and where you want them to be. Discipline straws. That’s what they are. HOWEVER. My second big weakness is time management/patience. I want to see my big tall cake NOW! Not after the layers have firmed up in the fridge for a few hours and are nice and easy to deal with. Who wants COLD cake?

So. Um.. All that said, what I should probably tell you at this point is that the FIRST three layer vanilla bean buttermilk cake with hazelnut syrup, black cherry filling and cream cheese frosting cracked into a zillion pieces and was thrown away at about 11:00 at night. Fine. That’s not entirely true. All but one piece of it was thrown away. I ate that piece while crying into my plate and it was GLORIOUS with the salt of my tears of self-pity and failure. And then I. Started. Over. (With the cake that was intended to be my mother’s birthday cake therefore I spent another 3 hours on Saturday morning baking MORE cake layers when I should have been cleaning the house and by that time shit was just rolling down hill but the wine! The wine saved the day!) By about three o’clock in the morning it was time to actually write “Happy Birthday” on the cake and can I just tell you something? Up until this point, I thought that when my very experienced cake decorator of a grandmother wrote on the cakes she sold to people and it looked like serial killer scrawl that you would find on the wall of a really freaky murder scene that it was because she just… wrote like a serial killer. NOT SO MY FRIENDS. I like to think that I am capable of having very nice handwriting. See? Look…

Yet an innocuous phrase such as “Happy Birthday” suddenly looks quite menacing when rendered in festive pink icing (and no, there is no picture, I love you far too much for that, internet). It’s the truth. And no matter how many times I scraped it off and started over, it still looked the same! I was HORRIFIED and at 3:00 on the morning of September 24th, 2011, I established my first rule of my as-yet-non-existent cake business. WRITE YOUR OWN SHIT ON YOUR CAKES. I will decorate them with lovely swirls and flowers and edible deliciousness but I refuse to be the reason your guest of honor looks at their cake, screams and has nightmares for a year while curled in the fetal position, shaking, drooling and mumbling about the hand of death until the men in white coats show up with the happy juice and make everything all better. Not gonna do it.

I’m not sure I have a second rule yet but I’m certain it will involve being paid in valium or xanax. I can’t lie. I threw more than one spatula in Patrick’s general direction and there were multiple incidences of dramatic sighing and flopping on the bed while declaring myself a complete and utter failure at life. It wasn’t my finest hour(s). I’m not proud. Lucky for everyone, my aim is REALLY bad.

Published by PaintingChef on 16 Sep 2011

College? FAIL.

Oh honey. No. College? Really? You didn’t want to start with something a little less… grammar-intensive? Well… at least you left out the “U” instead of the “O”. That’s something, right? Bless your sweet little heart.

Published by PaintingChef on 12 Sep 2011


Today I am thirty-four.

I am a woman. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Granddaughter. Mother of animals. Friend and probably foe. Artist. Baker. Reader. Writer. Collector of mermaids. Shoe enthusiast. Avoider of housework. Lover of wine. Planner of parties.

I am a recovered drug addict. Rape survivor. Infertile woman.

I am a fighter and a lover and strong as hell.

I am loved by many people. But above all I am loved by me. Not in spite of who I am but because of it. This is my birthday gift to myself today.

Who are you?

Published by PaintingChef on 09 Sep 2011

My caps lock key and I mean every, single word of this.

Dear Sir in Section XX2 of Neyland Stadium on Saturday, September 3rd…

Hi there. You don’t know me because you never actually turned around and looked me in the eye during the game. And man… what a game, right? That rain! Didn’t you just want to cry every time there was another lightening strike and the game was delayed yet again? I swear… the way everyone was crammed into the concourse was giving me flashbacks to Club La Vila from 1994. And let’s be honest… I barely remembered that shit the next morning, let alone 17 (OH GOD I JUST DIED A LITTLE INSIDE) years later.

But I digress sir. Do you remember how we all shuffled back to our seats? Kind of like cattle and we were all doing the side step down the rows of bleachers with our butts all in each other’s faces? At any point as you passed in front of me sitting there, (no, actually I was STANDING there as I had kindly gotten up out of my seat to make way for you and your NEON YELLOW FANNY PACK as that is what nice people do) did you notice an odd little bump or crunch or earth shattering crack as you passed my me? No? Okay. No biggie.


Dude. Asshole. Douchcanoe. Seriously. I immediately crumpled to the ground like I’d been whacked in the head with a frying pan. Then? THEN? I made the mistake of looking down. Let’s go back to your generation for a minute, shall we? Do you recall that football game where Joe Theisman broke his leg? And it was laying there all unholy and twisted like and the entire world grimaced and threw up in their mouths a little all at once and it was a huge feeling of unity and love for poor Joe who is now doing radio commercials for some investment guy? Well, granted, a toenail isn’t quite the same but I looked down and my nice, pretty red toenail was pointing straight back up at me. STICKING UP IN THE AIR! All “straight up now tell me do you want to love me forever” and I was like NO, Paula Abdul; I do NOT want to love you forever because I AM IN TOO MUCH PAIN AT THE MOMENT.

And then the bleeding started. How did you not notice the blood? The big pool of blood gushing from my toe and ruining my shoes and mixing with the rain and running down the aisles? That drunken guy next to me? He TOTALLY noticed the blood as he turned green and ran away and I never saw him again. There was much, much blood. So my sweet husband goes off to find something to help me and comes back with a band-aid. Oh yes. A single band-aid. I was unaware that band-aids magically gave blood transfusions these days but apparently they’ve stepped up their game a bit. He then helped me hobble to the first aid station after I told him just where he could stick his sad, single little band-aid. And yes… I did “accidentally” kick you on the way out. If “accidentally” now means TOTALLY ON PURPOSE.

So let’s be fair. I was already in a bad mood what with the super-long rain delay and the asshole security guard that confiscated my rum at the gate. I HAD NO RUM! I would advise you, kind sir, to never injure yourself at a football game as the first aid room is a bit of a joke. They did indeed have band-aids. There was even some Tylenol! Which I had to sign my first born child away to receive! The good news, however, was that I did find all the cops. They were in the first aid room. Eating Petro’s. Yummy, yummy Petro’s.

I also blame you, sir, for the near-death experience suffered by my sweet husband later that evening when he decided to take a look at my injury and try and remove the offending toe nail. I’m not entirely sure how that went but I do know that when I came to after blacking out from the pain he appeared to have been kicked in the head. It was most unfortunate and had I known what happened I would have felt extremely guilty were I not still upset about the band-aid incident. I thought for sure such a mortal injury would warrant, at the very least, some paper towels and a hot fudge sundae.

So now here I sit. With a jacked up big toe that has NO toenail as I had to find a podiatrist who would see me on short notice and perform a little surgery. (Dear doctor… thanks for the drugs) You suck, kind sir. And we will meet again in the future. And I WILL unapologetically stick my knees into your back repeatedly and make your general football watching experience less than stellar. And if you ask me why? I will UNWRAP MY TOE NUB AND MAKE YOU LOOK AT IT AND YOU WILL FEEL GUILTY!!