Monthly Archives: June 2008

put us under glass

Lately, I have become absolutely convinced that somewhere far away, on another planet, in another galaxy, someone is writing a thesis about my family.

here, try my cake balls

One of the funniest things I’ve ever read on the internet is an excerpt from this post by the very funny Mimi Smartypants. Here it is:

I baked some muffins and brought them into work, and from the reaction I got you would have thought I had shown up wearing a puffy-paint sweatshirt and spreading the gospel of Jesus. There is a place where we put up-for-grabs food in this office, and the woman who sits near that place says that all day she heard constant incredulity, “Mimi made these? Mimi? Our Mimi? She bakes?” This irritated me. Fuck all y’all, I can bake. You want a piece of me? You want to make some motherfucking cookies? Let’s go, right now. Bring the Crisco. BRING IT.

I’m actually glad I finally used that in a post because I think about it a lot and want to look it up so then I start Googling the parts I remember, such as “our mimi she bakes” and, anyway, Ms. Smartypants surely thinks I am a nutso stalker. Now I can nutso stalk my own website instead of hers.

So anyway. Most of my coworkers have functioned for years under the mistaken impression that I don’t know how to cook or bake. This is totally untrue. I can cook and bake just fine, thank you. What it is, is that I’m lazy, and don’t feel like it. So I order takeout. I live by myself (usually). I can do that.

But then several months ago I found myself in a fit of boredom and I decided to try out baking and see how it felt. I made some chocolate chip cookies and some phenomenal almond sugar cookies, and I took most of them to work, and got a reaction much like Mimi’s up there. “Lorie made these? She bakes?” I think they expected the cookies to taste like socks and be frosted with cat hair, and in all honesty, I feared they would too, but they didn’t. They were awesome, and I finally got to understand the joy of making yummy things for other people. So then I went for the gold and decided to try a recipe I’d stumbled across on my lovely internet.

The recipe, which you can find here, is for “red velvet cake balls.” I made them, and they were freaking amazing. The recipe yielded dozens, so I split them up and took some to Family Headquarters and the rest to work. I felt weird about going around at work asking people to try my cake balls, so I decided to market them as cake bites instead.

And the cake bites were a phenomenal success. My coworkers were passing them out to random people walking by, and so people I didn’t even know were complimenting them. It was kind of fun. My family also loved the cake bites, and my Nanie asked for the recipe so she could make them for an Easter gathering.

Nanie reported back to me later that the bites were such a huge hit that one of the attendees asked her for the recipe, and that person made them and entered them in a dessert contest at the hospital where she works, and she won first prize. And I thought, “oh DUDE, faculty/staff picnic!”

So I decided I’d enter the cake bites in the dessert contest at our annual picnic. Since I’m pretty much a non-joiner and also a lazy baker, I’ve never even considered entering the contest before, but I thought I had a good chance of winning this year. I even did a bunch of advance marketing, telling everyone I knew that I was making them and they were awesome and blah blah blah. So the cake bites were highly anticipated. And then I was out late on Tuesday night and ended up getting started on them at about 9:30pm, which means I finished around 3 in the morning. I SLAVED over those bites, people, because I had talked them up so much I had to follow through. I even bought a pretty tray to serve them on.

I made a hundred cake bites and took them in yesterday to be judged. I was sure I’d win something – maybe not first prize, though that would rock, but at least third. So I told all my coworkers that if I didn’t win, I was going to quit my job.

Which means I should be packing up my office right about now.

All the signs seemed promising. They ran out within the first 30 minutes of the picnic, my spies on the ground said they heard people talking about them, and the people I saw raved about how great they were. So they began to announce the winners, and once they’d announced third and second places, I started to get a little excited. Maybe I really would win!

…and then I didn’t.

All the winners were stupid people who made stupid cakes, like big freaking whoop, and enter the same stupid cakes in the same stupid contest every stupid year. I thought for sure I’d have at least the third-best dessert. All the cake bite fans assured me that the contest was rigged, the judges were biased, and that I’d surely won the popular vote, though the popular vote matters exactly as much here as it does in presidential elections.

I decided I’d make the cake bites only for those who would truly appreciate them. Next year, instead of spending six hours slaving over cake bites for random ungrateful strangers, I’ll sit back and eat my lunch and watch the cake-bakers win, and be generally far too cool for lame dessert contests. Though this is not always true, in this case being far too cool for it all takes way less time and energy than going for it, and I may even get a full night’s sleep. Imagine that!

the wigs

My townhouse is at ground level and is in an area surrounded by trees and prone to dampness. This means that my patio is usually full of mosquitoes, which makes it less than fun to sit out there in the summer. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of a patio. The dampness on the patio attracts something far more insidious than a few measly mosquitoes, though.

The dampness on the patio attracts EARWIGS.

Sammi and I screamed for like ten minutes straight while I was trying to find an appropriately terrifying earwig picture to link there. We are traumatized, you see.

Earwigs are harmless, or so the internet says. They don’t live or colonize indoors, but they will come inside if a house is poorly sealed. My house is poorly sealed, and I always get a few earwigs indoors in damp weather. The cats usually take care of them for me. But for some reason, this year the earwigs have been coming inside way, way more than usual. They’re everywhere. I used to spray some pretty harsh chemicals around my back door every spring to keep spiders and earwigs outside where they belong, but I’ve been really sensitive to chemicals lately and am trying to lessen or eliminate their use when I can. So maybe that’s why we’re seeing more. But I may have to bust out the pesticides, because Sammi and I are living in fear.

Earwigs are sneaky little bastards, because they are flat and like to hide out in small weird spaces like the folds of a dishcloth or in between sheets of paper. And they hang out there and then BAM! the next thing you know there’s an earwig, and those little fuckers are FAST. They might run across your hand before you even realize they’re there.

Sammi and I have been seeing so many of them this year that we can’t be bothered to use two syllables when discussing them. Now we just call them wigs. So now when I encounter my nightly wig and start screaming and flailing, Sammi can just go, “Wig?” instead of having to say, “What is the problem? Is an earwig sighting making you scream and flail?” So like when I was doing the image search and we were greeted with a page full of larger than life pictures of them, it sounded kind of like this: “WIGS! WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGS I HATE THEM I HATE THEM AUGH!!!!!! WIGS! MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT GO AWAY I HATE THE WIGS!!!”

Sometimes we see a wig and we think it’s dead and then it starts moving. And I think the cats are getting used to them. They used to be really good about chasing them down and killing them, but the other morning I came downstairs for breakfast and the cats and the wigs were all playing Guitar Hero together in my living room. The wigs are very dexterous and seem to be pretty good at the expert levels. Sometimes I’m hanging out watching TV and I go to the bathroom and I have to wait because a wig is in there using my toilet. I think they’re drinking my Scotch when I’m at work, too. The level in the bottle keeps mysteriously dropping.

If Sam and I are ever lacking for something to talk about in the evenings, we can always talk about the wigs. Sammi saw a wig in the sink this morning. I saw a wig playing dead by my phone when I went to take it off the charger. Sammi spent half a night in bed convinced a wig was crawling on her foot. I saw one on my covers before I got in one night, though I think it rode upstairs on something else. Wigs seem to prefer to stay low. We saw a wig above the back door the other night and effectively dealt with it by screaming for a while. The internet might claim they’re harmless, but I think they are emotional terrorists.

We haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the wigs. Hate them. But we’re not sure how to make them go away.

time may change me

It’s been a weird year, or year and some months, or something.

I’ve been working on the site tonight, in the hopes that it’ll spur me to make my writing a bigger part of my life, like it used to be. And as a part of tweaking and upgrades and accidentally breaking the entire site and so on, I realized that my last several posts are sporadic and mostly about death and disaster and sad things. And when I add it all up I realize that death and disaster and sad things aren’t all I’ve been experiencing lately, but sometimes it feels that way – especially when death, disaster, and sad things are the only things that spur me to write anymore, it seems. The post I wrote in January still has a lot of relevance to what’s going on with me these days.

I don’t know what’s up with me lately. I am not entirely sure I know who I am. I am having trouble grabbing on to the things that I might use to define myself, and the ones that end up in my hands always seem to be work-related. That’s not so great. Not long ago one of my coworkers made a comment about me being a workaholic, and I don’t think she was being critical, but I am alternately ashamed and proud of the label. Yep, I work a lot. I work my ass off. I work to the point where I feel guilty taking time off that I scheduled, where I hope people will call in sick so I don’t have to deal with them, where not one single person can accuse me of not working hard, and yet I feel like I get nothing done. The days and weeks slip away from me and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. But hey, I get a 2% raise this year – 1% less than I got last year – so it’s obvious that my employer values the fact that I’m giving them what should be the most vibrant years of my life at a very deep discount.

Originally, when I sat down to write this I was going to tell you a story about a decision I made last summer that meant the almost certain loss of a friendship that sustained me for nearly ten years. Did you follow all that? It was something I agonized over for months, and something that hurt a lot at the time, but was still the right decision. It is still the right decision now. But making that decision, and summoning the courage to deliver it, and living through some challenging months without that friend – all of these have changed me in subtle ways, ways I’m still figuring out. I think that’s all I can say about this now.

In news of the positive, I think I am actually taking a vacation this summer, and when I say vacation I do not mean “grueling trip to stay with and visit friends/family,” which I’ve learned is usually less of a vacation than sitting in my office 12 hours a day. I think my sisters and I are going to go to the beach for about a week, though I am stressing about various weird aspects of the planning process. I think once I get all the plans nailed down I’ll really look forward to it, though. Jamie just graduated from high school, and Ginny just graduated from college, and we’re kind of embarking on a bit of a change in our relationship as sisters, of which this trip will be a part. When we’d fight when we were younger (and we fought all the damn time), my parents would frequently tell us that we should be kind to one another, that no matter what happened, we would always have each other. And you know, my parents have kind of been right. Imagine that.

In a spark of the Lorie you used to know, I would like to share that Sammi calls this new site design the “cartoon vag.” I think “vag” is pretty much a horrible word that I can’t stand to hear or say, but the imagery is enough to make me feel like passing it along to you, to lessen the burning in my own eyes and ears. Before she fixated on the potential nudity in the header, I felt like maybe the woman was relaxing in her bathing suit, or maybe a tank top and shorts. But now I can’t help thinking maybe she’s bare-assed naked except for that hat. Either way, it seems like that’d be a nice place to hang out.

sad

For years, if you had asked me which famous people I would like to have lunch with, my answers would be Tim Russert and Marilyn Milian.

But now I’ll never get to have lunch with Tim Russert. I know it probably seems silly, but I’m pretty sad.