Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Hello?" Click.

For the past several week days, I have received a phone call on my home phone every morning at 9:20 a.m. Each call has been from the same person (thank you, Caller I.D.). Each morning I answer the phone.

"Hello?"

(Crickets, crickets.)

Click.

The first two times I thought it was an automated phone service that maybe had a glitch. But then I started timing the amount of time in between the time I said hello and the inevitable click and I discovered the period of time varied. So, I figured, it had to be an actual human calling me because a computer would be more regular, more punctual, about rudely hanging up on me. (This is how my mind works. I know, it's scary. I blame it on wedding stress.)

This morning, right at 9:20 a.m., the phone rang. Before I even looked at the Caller I.D. I knew who it would be. Something inside me snapped, I suppose, because when I answered the phone this time, instead of saying "Hello?" in a pleasant, thank-you-for-calling-again voice, I said (loudly):

"ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER ME THIS TIME?"

(Crickets, crickets, crick--)

"Uh, hello?"

So you are a human, I thought. A human who doesn't understand the meaning of "Hello?"

"Yes, I am looking for Mr. So-and-So," said Mr. Rude Phone Caller.
I wanted to respond, "And you couldn't have asked for Mr. So-and-So the first six times you called?" But instead I firmly informed him that he had the wrong number.

(Crickets, crickets.)

"Oh."

(Crickets, crickets.)

"Um...yeah. Wrong number. Thanks for calling...again." CLICK.

Ha! How'd you like THAT Mr. Rude Phone Call Man?!

Clearly, I need a vacation if I find satisfaction in hanging up on a strange man who is clearly not playing with a full deck of cards.

Maybe I'll apologize when he calls back tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Just Call Me Martha

This past Sunday was Lobster's birthday. I had wanted to buy him a really nice, exciting present because he surprised me with a new laptop for my birthday this year. But Lobster really wanted to go on a boys' fishing trip for Labor Day weekend and we couldn't afford both, so his present was a fishing trip. So much for my nice, expensive gift idea...oh, well. He had fun and that's all that matters, right?

Anyhoo, when he came home on Monday night, I couldn't just do nothing for his birthday. So I decided it would be a brilliant idea to make him a birthday cake.

All by myself.

For the first time in my life.

From scratch.

A la Martha Stewart.

How hard could it be? I thought. Just mix a few ingredients, stick it all in an oven and PRESTO! Let there be cake! Right?

HA! I am such a fool sometimes. But a well-intentioned one.

After reading the instructions in my handy dandy Martha Stewart cookbook, I quickly determined that I probably needed a KitchenAid stand alone mixer. So I researched prices. Turns out those suckers are expensive (and we're already registered for one so I'd rather get it as a gift). On to Plan B.

Plan B included using a regular electric hand mixer. I knew we had one stashed somewhere in the kitchen. I eventually found it and got busy being domestic.

Using our shiny, brand-spanking-new mixing bowls, I started happily mixing the dry ingredients. When the recipe called for "cake flour" I grabbed my shiny, brand-spanking-new bag of...er, "bread flour"?

What the--? Who knew there were special flours for different baked goods?

Plan B was not off to a good start. Luckily, I am a professional googler (is that a word?) and I found a great website that taught me how to substitute all-purpose flour (seriously, how many flours does the world need?) and cornstarch. GENIUS! Plan B, back on track.

Next, I started to happily, but warily, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Quickly, I discovered that mixing all that stuff with a hand mixer is very hard work. I also quickly discovered that our hand mixer was a colossal P.O.S. Not only would the motor stop dead when it encountered a particularly firm piece of butter and sugar, but the metal mixer thingys (that is their technical term) kept FALLING OFF. And when I went to try to put the metal mixer thingy back in, I accidentally pressed the power button and splattered batter all over the place.

Plan B...making me rethink my domestic goddess ambitions.

Finally, I got everything mixed. It was not fun, or easy, and I had to constantly fight with the runaway metal mixer thingys. But I did it. Eventually, the cake went in the oven and I got to work on the buttercream frosting.

OMG. Do you know what buttercream frosting is made out of? It's pretty much butter and confectioner's sugar. LOTS. I gained 20 pounds just making it. But it's sooooo good!

Anyhoo, the cake was finally done, cooled and ready to be frosted. Martha instructs me to cut the top off of one of the cakes to make a flat surface for the other cake to set upon. Anticipating this step, I had gone out and got an electric knife to make for a faster and more even cake-top-removing experience. I was very excited to use it. I happily put it together and started slicing away. I felt like a man with a new power tool. It was exhilarating...

...until the knife decided to completely fall apart in the middle of the cake-top-cutting procedure.

Plan B... making me start to believe that Martha Stewart is, in fact, the devil.

It took three attempts to cut the top off the cake, but I finally did it. And then I frosted the cake. I may or may not have eaten some of the frosting right off the spatula.

Cake making is not for someone on a diet.

Just as I was putting my precious (frustrating) cake on the cake stand (which I bought just for this occasion, of course), Lobster walked in the door!

He was so impressed that I had baked a cake.

From scratch.

All by myself.

A la Martha.

And that it was actually good.

And that made the whole bloody mess worth it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Invitations Revealed and Other Random Things

Wow. Had someone warned me what an undertaking it would be to make 100 pocketfold invitations, I may have thought twice about it. Nevermind that I had to make the whole design complicated involving many different tiny parts that had to be individually measured, created on the computer, cut and assembled. Nevermind that I'm a consummate perfectionist. Why didn't I just choose a simple flat panel card, you ask? Because I'm crazy, clearly.

So, without further ado, here is the finished product:

 

Is it weird to anyone that I had a hard time letting them go at the post office?

Crazy, I tell you.

Oh, and I also decided to make my own cake stand because I refuse to pay $200 for one. It wasn't too hard, actually. I did, however, manage to give myself a 2nd degree burn with the glue gun.

Oh, and did I mention that a couple of weekends ago, my sister, Cupcake, got engaged too? Yay!!! We are both brides and maids of honor all at the same time! How awesome is that? We both got "Bride" hats because we are those girls. Haha! Don't judge...we're excited!

Things are moving quickly now. So so so busy but I'm going to try to start blogging more often. I miss it!

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