Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creative Minds Are Rarely Tidy.

"If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself." ~ Carl Jung

I have had this unfailing urge to be creative lately.  Not necessarily with my writing...obviously, since I haven't blogged in 2 weeks.  I've been keeping myself really busy.  My life and my mind have seemed a whirlwind of activities lately and getting myself to sit and concentrate on ANYTHING, let alone a creative project, seems like it would be next to impossible.  I lack the focus I once had with such things. No...I'm not on drugs.  Maybe I have had a late onset of ADHD. (joking. sort of.)

My camera is dead (literally).  I am taking this as a sign that I need to go ahead and invest in a totally bitchin' camera that has many cool functions.  I've spent a lot of time researching possible options (not).  I will though.  Unless various friends and family members want to pitch in and get me a really snazzy one for my birthday? You have 4 months to save up.  Get on it.  If that is not your thing, then I will be completely self-absorbed and post a list of other acceptable gifts.  Actually, I probably won't.  I usually don't celebrate my birthday with a party (although Mike brought it up and I'm considering it) and I certainly don't expect presents.
Back on subject.  My camera is dead, so said whirlwind from above has not been photographically documented.  Sadness.

Cliff's Notes Version of the past 2 weeks:
St. Patrick's Day was a blast at best, a dramatic unpleasant experience at worst.  My cupcakes were amazing.  Even the burnt ones.  Saw some of my favorite guys, went to a party, saw lots of friends old and new, got tipsy, got chatty, and Mike and I ended up in a fight.  I didn't like it.  At all.  It is significant enough to mention, but not significant enough to detail.
Last weekend was the Mardi Gras birthday party.  Friday night I made red beans and rice and bedazzled some pasties. Saturday morning/afternoon Mike, my mom, Mini-Me, and I went to a Renaissance Faire in Boulder City.  It was good fun. We've decided to go to the large one in Las Vegas this October and dress up.  Mom is making me an outfit. Yay!  Mike and I almost got married (yeah, you heard me right). It would have been completely romantic, but not at all legal.  That night I went to the birthday party and Mike stayed at the house and watched Mini-Me.  I drank some, almost nobody saw my perfectly pretty pastied nipples, got some beads (not by "earning" them, except for one set), and went home to my man at a fairly decent time.  Am I getting boring?  No.  I'll prove it...but not by showing my boobs (unless I take a Burlesque class...which sounds fun!).
Mike and I have been spending amazingly domestic Sundays together with breakfast/brunch, newspapers, PJs until afternoon, and glorious day sex...with the occasional Farmer's Market and gym visit.  Like I said...amazing.  Until I have to take him home.  Which, I keep slipping up lately and calling my house his home (and being ok with it).  More on that later.
Mini-Me tried out for a school play on Monday.  Mike and I thought for sure she would get a part. Mini-Me IS drama. Lessons on rejection were learned that day.

So, Mike is off to Utah for several days and I am here.  Tomorrow night I'm attending First Friday by myself, to wander, take pictures, and bask in my aloneness.  Saturday will be spent at Zumba, the pool, and with beer/BBQ/Jacuzzi time with some friends.  Relaxation is the key word, because I've got a busy Spring ahead.
It's filled with a bellydancing class, charity walks, a course on summer wines at a local cheese and wine shop, Stripper 101 (seriously), outdoor concerts/festivals, out-of-town visitors, and
Oh yes. There will be kilts.
What can I say...I'm a sucker for something that combines two of my favorite things. Outdoor festivals and... know.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If You Don't Like Them, My Boyfriend Will Donkey Punch You.

Presenting: The Irish Car Bomb Cupcake
 I am not a butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker.  I tell you, though, after my baking excursions last night, I surely needed a tub after I was finished.
I don't bake from scratch and now I remember why.  I've been excited about baking these damn cupcakes since I found the recipe online a few weeks ago.  Like, jump up and down excited.  I ordered pizza to be delivered last night, so I didn't have to worry about dinner, opened up a Guinness, had the music going, and got to work.  "Woo hoo!!! Cupcakes!!!"
 4 fucking hours later, I was ready to scream, rip my hair out, then pass out in my clothes on my bed.   I did stop during points because I ended up not having enough butter, had to go find some, and had to vent and whine to Mike a little. Oh...and I had kids coming into the kitchen needing something every 5 fucking minutes.  Let's not forget that.  There was no yield on the recipe, so I...being the genius that I am...doubled it.  Holy batter, Batman!  I ended up making 52 of those suckers, which ended up being a good thing, because I burnt the bottoms of the first batch.  Here's what I learned during my escapade:

1.  Don't double the recipe.  Just make 24 god damn cupcakes.
2.  Sifting dry ingredients together sucks.  Especially when you don't own sifter.
3.  Don't worry about drinking too much while COULD make the situation a lot happier.  I, obviously, did not drink enough.
4.  It's best NOT to use margarine in your buttercream.  They don't call it BUTTERcream for nothin'.
5.  SugarFree vanilla flavoring for coffee works wonderfully when you run out of vanilla extract.
6.  If you don't own cooling racks, the bottom rack from the oven sitting on top of a roaster pan works like magic.
7.  Do not try to make buttercream with a cheap $6 hand mixer.  It will burn up the mechanics and it will no longer mix...ANYTHING.
8.  Trying to whisk your buttercream by hand to the right consistency sucks more than sifting.
9.  Getting a ganache to the right consistency is harder than the internet tells you.
10.  Buy the bigger bags for piping the icing.  Always buy the bigger bags.
11.  I am one hell of a messy baker.

Regardless of all of this, the cupcakes are delicious.  And they look pretty.  Everyone says they are awesome.  Which, they better...because Mike said, and I quote:
"I had no doubt about your baking ability and I hope that EVERYONE truly appreciates the sacrifice that you made so that they could have some of your alcoholic based baked goods. Or I will donkey punch them. I love you very much dear."  Booyah!
You better like those cupcakes.

So, here's to chocolate-Guiness-whiskey cupcakes, with Bailey's buttercream, and a whiskey ganache.  Now let's go enjoy ourselves and call ourselves Irish!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Stroking the Furry Wall

I was going to say you need to google the title if you don't know what it means, but you'll probably also come up with a whole slew of other nasty, tasteless images.  Let's google, shall we? :)
This is what I'm referring to.

Anyway, I feel busy.  I feel busy (according to Aldous Snow, stroking a soft furry wall will ease my tension...if you haven't seen "Get Him to the Greek", you must!). It's probably the jellybeans I just ate.  My head is racing, filling with all these things I've got going on, but in reality...I'm sitting at my desk bored out of my gourd.
I finally tried Zumba last week and it totally kicked ass.  The teacher was awesome and the class was filled with fun people, cool music, and great dance moves.  It was a titty rubbing/shaking, gyrating, ass-slapping good time.  I am not exaggerating on any of those points.  We did all three...several times.  The teacher slapped my ass a few times and we all know that if the class totally sucked, I'd probably go back just for some more of that.  I made a friend who was also just joining the class and I can't wait to go back.  I don't know when I will be back though...because I broke my toe...or jammed a few really bad...I don't know what the hell I did, but my foot hurts and my toes are all black and blue.  Pretty damn disgusting.  I can move my toes, but it hurts like hell to have my foot in a shoe and walk.
Here's what happened:  I wore flip flops and I'm clumsy.  The End.
Actually, I took Mike for his birthday to see the Cubs play this weekend.  I was walking down the cement steps to our seats, when all of a sudden, my foot flies underneath me and I'm landing on my ass trying not to spill my beer all over myself.  It was comical.  Embarrassing.  I wasn't even drinking yet!  What was even more comical was that I almost did it AGAIN after a bathroom/beer break.  Flip flops will be the death of me.  We had a great time, regardless.  We went downtown afterwards and walked around, until I just couldn't take it anymore and had to go home to put my foot up.  We spent Sunday having coffee, reading the paper, and watching movies.  It was gloriously lazy and I enjoyed having him around.

On the agenda of possible blog-worthy life moments:
Wednesday night I will be baking (yes. baking.) Irish Car Bomb cupcakes for some of my favorite people.  I'm not a baker, but a recipe with Guiness, whiskey, and Bailey's in it cannot be passed up.  Truly.
Thursday is St. Patrick's Day.  I'll deliver cupcakes and do a little drinking with some industry peeps (HOA industry...NOT entertainment industry) and Mike at a local event.
I should be getting a new hood for my truck this weekend. Woot!
There is a certain young and sassy person's Mardi Gras themed birthday party coming up in a few weeks as well.  Beads + Margaritas = Good times!

Luckily, I have a new battery on order for my camera.  I need to incorporate some photos, I think!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's So Quiet In Here!!

You know, it is amazing how my favorite jeans, my Chucks, a triple venti skinny vanilla latte, and a little Billie Holiday can make a morning practically perfect.

And a quiet, quiet office.

I spent last Friday with Sailor Girl.  We began the evening at a very crowded First Friday, hanging out drinking with the people from Red Handed Tattoo at Cornerstone Gallery.  We left early (at the urging of Sailor Girl) and headed back over to her side of town to two different bars.  Many beers, several Buttery Nipples, thinking we were locked out of the truck, and lots of laughs later...we made it back to her place.  Saturday was spent in what I was convinced was going to be my death bed.  Then, my Knight in Shining Armor showed up to take care of me.  It was very sweet.  I recovered, not so gracefully, and we spent Sunday together...snuggling on the couch with coffee and Hall&Oats (Don't ask. Yacht Rock is awesome, ok?), eating a nice breakfast outside, walking around the Farmers Market, and just generally enjoying each other. 
Mike and I have been doing wonderful.  Something has changed with us in a good way (or maybe something has changed with me?).  We went out for Cuban food/mojitos last week (Havana Grill. You must go there.), spent some time together this weekend, and he came over last night to make me and the kids a Mardi Gras dinner.  Shrimp po boys and red beans and dirty rice with sausage. Yum! And he brought wine.  Our food fest was followed by "a nasty ass, hot, steamy pre-marital boink-fest" (those are his words). 
I am finally going to a Zumba class tomorrow night, which should be great fun.  I'm going to start going Thursday nights and Saturday mornings.  I kind of wish I had a friend to go with, though.
This weekend, I am helping Mike to celebrate his birthday by taking him to see the Cubs play.  It's one of his life-long dreams and I tried to keep it a secret, but he knows me too well.  All I had to do was say we were going to be outside and he guessed what we were doing.  One day, I will actually surprise him with something.  It's a new goal of mine.
The kids?  They're the same.  Little Man consistently wears his hair in a mohawk and is stylin' the skinny jeans.  How I hated to buy those.  He was doing his hair in my bathroom this morning, and all I could say was, "Those jeans are so...tight!".  His response: "So?".  I'm giving up on that.  It makes him look older and I think it freaks me out a little.  Mini-Me still refuses to clean her room.  It is a shit-hole.  I keep saying that I am not going to go in there and do it myself, but it is inevitable that I probably will.  She has also been hanging out with Sugar Free again. Can you say "Drama Waiting to Happen"?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Breathing Might Be Overrated, but Being Loved Is Not.

Mike and I are working on it.  The Sunday after our breakup, I had to go drop off some things to him and found myself not wanting to leave and thinking possibly that we were making a huge mistake.  That night I texted him that I wanted him to come over Monday night.  I think it was all part of a (somewhat) evil plan of his:
1. Make sure she's really sad and crying...A LOT. - check.
2. Tell her to come over. - check.
3. Tell her you don't want her to leave. - check.
4. Offer her your sleeve to blow her nose on and touch her face gently when you kiss her. - check.
5. Text her incessantly afterwards and tell her how much you love her. - check!
She's yours, dude. You got this. Go get her back!

Really, it wasn't like that (much)...the important thing is that we love each other and two people shouldn't be so miserable apart when they could work on it and stay together.  So, we're trying.
It's amazing the amount of unsolicited advice one gets when they are having troubles in the relationship department (not to be confused with the "Children's Department", which shuts down for brief periods every month...because my body is like a mall or something to my boyfriend, but we'll discuss that another time).  I got advice from friends, coworkers, my children, and a boy or two....including, but not limited to...
"But why, Mom??  You had happiness..."
"You know how you tell me that sometimes when friends spend too much time together, they start to get cranky and fight a lot? Maybe it's like that."
"If you think it's a mistake, go back to him."
"I don't know if I could deal with that. I plan on getting married, but when I do, I'm going to have my own residence."
"Honey, all men are needy."
"You can't change a person.  Love everything that is good about them, accept the things you don't necessarily like, and realize they are who they are.  If you are changing to try to suit a person or you are wanting to change THEM, something is wrong."

It came down to the fact that I was devastated and regardless of everything, I knew that I needed his love. It is quite possible that I would never again find someone that loves me like he does. For some reason, the Facts of Life theme song is running through my head.  "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have..."
Mike got advice of his own, of which I am unaware...except for the anonymous person who commented on his blog that there would be another fried chicken stand to eat at.  Hmmmm.  Seems as though Mike's blog isn't the only one this person reads? (Hi there anonymous person! Thanks for reading my blog, too!)
Mike sent me a dozen long-stemmed roses today at work and we have a date tonight. Why? Because he loves me.  And I am his heart. And he doesn't want to eat at any other fried chicken stand.  This chicken is TASTY. Ask him...
I can also provide references, if necessary.