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Posts Tagged ‘birthday cake’

 

 

 

 

 

I had a very nice birthday today. I arrived at work to find a signed card from my editorial teammates and a Busken donut, a great way to start the day. The drive to work was gorgeous; the rain had let up but the wetness gave everything a watercolor effect in the soft morning light (misty green, lavender against a royal blue sky — heavenly). I had several e-cards and wishes in my e-mail in box from friends and co-workers. Mom had carry-out Phad Thai waiting in the warming oven when I arrived for my weekend at her house. There were two gifts to mark my official birthday: one of those wand-like mini craft/sewing irons from Mom; and from Diamondqueen, a certain book to remain unnamed here that we keep re-gifting to each other just to be annoying, plus a CD Diamondqueen burned from a playlist I posted through her account at Rhapsody. (Of course, Mom says there’s no printed copy of the songs on the CD because Diamondqueen likely threw in some ringers that she knows will set me screaming. If I know her, that enormously annoying “keep on, keep on, keep on…” travesty from The Brady Bunch is probably among them.)

I say these gifts were for my official birthday because I’ve already been celebrating all week, and my real celebration (if you count cake and gifts as the real celebration) will be on Sunday.

However, I’ve even had a birthday cake already this week. Rather, I shared one with J.Hooligan. We always get together with my father at Diamondqueen’s house for birthdays and Christmas. Since Dad insists on paying for dinner, even when he’s the guest of honor, we try sly ways of cutting down on expenses, like combining birthdays whenever we can. Since J.Hooligan’s birthday is on May 6, Diamondqueen simply grafted our birthdays together for our celebration on Tuesday night.

The problem is, the choice of the cake got commandeered by J.Hooligan. Dad likes us to get the cakes for our dinners from Meier’s. They lean a little heavily on the food coloring in their frosting, but the cakes are pretty tasty, so I can manage. However, J. took it totally over the top.

J.Hooligan is going through an intense Star Wars obsession right now. His birthday, as I mentioned in this post, is going to have a Star Wars theme. Why that had to carry over into our combined celebration, I do not know. What I do know is that I got stuck with a Star Wars cake for the Tuesday night festivities.

Not just any Star Wars cake. This was an unbelievable creation featuring Darth Vader and what seemed like pints and pints of frosting in black, blue, and orange. Oh, dear Lord. I’m not sure how the blue entered into it, but the orange was supposed to represent flames or something. The black was more of a spray-on effect (to match Darth Vader’s plastic head on top of the cake, or to represent the galaxy far, far away, or come up with your own explanation).

I don’t object to this highly colored frosting because it tastes bad. It’s okay. But I really get bothered by the blue frosting because it turns everyone’s teeth and lips and tongue blue. It’s thoroughly disgusting. There’s a vague corpse-like effect that I find appalling, plus there are certain people that tend to talk with their mouths open and don’t wipe the frosting off their lips (and I’m not referring only to the two Hooligans).

If I found the effect of blue frosting nauseating, it was nothing compared to the freakish marbleized patina created by black, blue, and orange frosting after mastication. To really 86 the whole thing for me, the black frosting had a faint licorice flavor. I don’t like licorice. I especially don’t like it mixed on my palate with fluorescent blue and orange frosting. (AND J.Hooligan insisted on chocolate cake. I’m not that crazy about chocolate cake any time; it’s especially unappealing when spackled with black, blue, and orange frosting.)

So OUR cake was one I preferred not to touch with a ten-foot light sabre. I ate a piece to be polite (believe me, Dad would have noticed otherwise), but it was literally hard to swallow (and it tasted like chocolate cake and licorice combined — next time just shoot me, okay?). At least S.Hooligan and I had fun with the Darth Vader head, which was also a voice converter. Granted, I sound more like Darth Vader when I have a frog in my throat, but it was fun to play with. J.Hooligan was indifferent. I guess he wanted something more authentic, maybe with labored breathing as part of the conversion. You can’t have everything, bub. You got a Star Wars cake. I got stuck with black, blue, and orange frosting.

That’s okay. MY cake on Sunday will be from a premiere local bakery, yellow cake with white frosting and decorated with spring flowers. Any blue will be lighter than that pristine sky this morning. And without so much as a hint of licorice.

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 spring-flowers.jpg

Geez, what a month March has been! First, I’m going to be whiney about how many hours I’ve been putting in at work. And the sorry part of it is, I felt as if I wasn’t seeing any results all those nights I stayed until 7 o’clock or later, or those weekends I brought work home. I have to start cutting back because it really is all having a counterproductive effect on me. I’m worn out, in a state that’s comparable to being drunk (without the booze or the fun).

Not that it’s been great for others in the family. My mother had surgery last week. Thankfully, she’s doing okay now, although she’s still cautious about what she does and how long she does it. Tonight I took a Dewey’s pizza to her house for dinner — she ate half an 11″ pie, the most she’s eaten at one time in over a week — and we took a short ride. She doesn’t think she’ll be up to lunch out this Saturday, but we’re hoping she’ll feel like going for our weekly soda at the Loveland creamy whip.

Poor Diamondqueen. The big blizzard of 2008 struck the day before her birthday and wiped out most of our celebration plans. She and S.Hooligan and Mom did make it out for brunch that Friday, getting home just as the first snowflakes were falling. Mom had to cancel the Servatti’s cake she’d ordered — how sad is that? — but Diamondqueen had the good sense to go pick up a cake over the counter before the snow hit. She and the family weathered the storm with a chocolate sheet cake decorated for St. Patrick’s Day with walloping dollops of frosting. Diamondqueen was able to make it to Mom’s for lunch and gifts the day after her birthday, on Sunday, and we took her out for her big lunch the following weekend. But there’s just something about getting snowed in on your birthday, and by an actual blizzard at that…

Last week, the same night Mom spent in the hospital, with Diamondqueen doing all the waiting room duty plus running to Mom’s to let Rusty out and feed him, the mammoth rainstorm was moving through. I worked until 9:30 that night (Mom doesn’t like visitors when she isn’t feeling well, but I still resented not getting to stop by to see her) and drove home in the deluge, nearly turning my car over when I cut too close to a traffic island. It felt as if I was doing a Dukes of Hazzard two-wheel stunt, although I probably just bumped hard. Diamondqueen drove home from the hospital in that rain as well — and faced having to cope with a flooded basement. She and That Poor Man got up and down all night when the water alarm went off, running the dry vac and soaking up water with towels which Diamondqueen would then toss in the dryer to get them ready for the next skirmish.

When Diamondqueen first arrived home from the hospital, exhausted from the medical ordeals with our mother and confronted with the watery disaster in the basement, she sat down on the futon in the family room and sobbed. J.Hooligan approached her with huge eyes and asked, “What’s the matter? Did Grandma die?” It’s been hard for everyone.

And yet, amidst blizzards and floods and medical procedures and ruined birthdays, spring arrived. I’m sure something nasty and surprising still lies ahead weather-wise, but for now it’s warm out and the daffodils are starting to bloom. We didn’t even have crocuses popping up through the snow this year, so the sight of life and color erupting here and here and here is very hopeful. Especially after the kind of winter we’ve had this year.

And Opening Day for the Reds is Monday! Signs of spring indeed…

Note: The flowers above are a detail from an Easter embroidery I did a year ago. Oh, yeah — we had Easter, didn’t we…

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