Wednesday, September 26, 2007

the cake the baby threw up on

o foul cake! hideous abomination! creature of deceit and destruction!
how could you do this to me? you were the apple of my eye, the dream of my heart! you were my one, pathetic attempt to deviate from a standard dunkin heins mix cake!
you were supposed to impress people!
o how bitterly my heart dost churn, knowing my former naivete for the foolishness it truly was. how darest i have thought that i, the Cake Burninator, could possibly design a creative cooking project that wouldst appear remotely appetizing?
it seemed a small enough risk. you were formed merely by combining a fudge cake and a vanilla cake recipe in the same bunt pan. chocolate on bottom, vanilla on top. i guarded you jealously whilst you baked in the oven, checking every two minutes to make sure you didst not boil up like the wrath of G-d and smoke on the oven floor (witness hershey's chocolate cake c, aka 'elana's birthday cake, z"l.)
once you had been forged in that murderous oven, i watched you cool, lovingly, on the kitchen counter, admiring your ingenous bands of vanilla and fudge which, admittedly, i had no idea were going to turn out that way, but could still claim credit for. how tasteful you looked! how martha-stewart-esque! how proud my mother would be of my innate cooking sensitivities!
but then - o wicked day - alas, for in my conceit i didst decide that my G-d granted success was a sign that i could then be trusted to create my own frosting. o ruinous idea! o stupid brother, who refused to be satisfied with the parve big jar o' choco-frosting we bought at the grocery store! no, he had to have vanilla frosting! listen bubkes, just because it's your birthday doesn't mean you get the right to encourage your mad sister with reckless baking suggestions.
but heedst my inner warning i did not, nor didst i wait for the return of my mother from the grocery store - thus be the fate of all the laughably inept who rally their courage in vain. flipping through the Huge Purple Book of Every Kind of Kosher Food Recipe Book, i didst discern the perfect white-frosting recipe for my brother's birthday cake. and - o woe! o senseless tragedy! - we had all the ingredients. then not knowing what was to befall to me didst i gather the confectionary sugar and soy milk and create the most hideous layer-cake frosting that has ever been glimpsed by the eyes of man.
for lo! - it was grainy and papier-mache colored and clung not to the sides of the cake, but slid off into a murky mushed-newspaper-tinged puddle at the bottom of the plate. and it didst obscure the beautiful grand-canyon innate striping of my marvelous creation, concealing it in glumps and glops of what the uninformed eye of my eldest brother observed to be 'baby vomit,' whilst i myself did think it looked more like spider barf.
o awesome day! o cataclysmic cake! what have i done to deserve this?

Friday, September 21, 2007

my sister is older than she used to be, yet remarkably, still insane

me (swinging open the door): guess what everybody? i'm BACK!

the pt, not getting up: plainly.

me: plainly?

the pt (sternly): you didn't perch on the street, did you?

me (at a loss for words)

the pt: you know. when you got off of the airplane? did you perch?

me: uh...not as such...

the pt: because you know there's a sign right out on the sidewalk that says you're not allowed to perch on the street.

me: a sign?

the pt (impatiently): you know, the sign with a big 'P' on it and a circle and a red line?

me: you mean the no PARKING sign?

the pt: no! if i meant the no parking sign, i would have SAID no parking! i mean the no PERCHING sign! the sign for airplanes! so they don't PERCH on people who are walking!

me: well, i see that as usual, i am not going to have any idea what you're talking about this yom tov.

the pt: well your airplane had to perch somewhere, or you wouldn't be here!

me: calm down, the pt.

the pt: oh...i hope nobody got hurt...

Monday, September 17, 2007

it's a good thing i have a newspaper subscription

i don't know about you, but in my building, they only deliver your papers to the front door. so every morning, when i wake up at 6:30 a.m. (shoot me now), i shuffle downstairs in my pajama skirt with a box of cereal under my arm to retrieve it.

i squint down at the table where the stack of wall street journals are kept, but this is really more of a token act than anything else, because i know my paper isn't there. in fact, i know exactly where my paper is: it is outside, being read by the doorman.

the first few times this happened, i did not know what to make of it. when i realized he was doing it everyday and clearly had no intention to stop just because i saw him doing it, i considered the facts and drew two important conclusions:

a) he returned all of the sections each morning folded and intact.

b) it is never a bad thing to be on a security guard's good side.

so i made a deal with him, which is that he gets the sports section out of hand every morning, and i get the rest at 6:30 when i wake up, and eeeeeeeeeverybody's happy.

this morning, however, when he handed me the paper, i found that no matter how hard i squinted and how many sections i flipped, i could not find the sports section to hand him. which annoyed me, because i usually proceed to stuff whatever i haven't read in my school bag/purse, and the sports section i do not read makes it that much thicker. still, i couldn't stand there all day, so at last i relented.

"i'm sorry," i said regretfully. "i know there's a sports section in here somewhere, but for the life of me i can't find it."

the doorman grinned sheepishly.

"you won't find it," he said. "the kitchen rabbi's reading it."

Monday, September 10, 2007

are you easily distracted?

well, i had my first real 9-5:30 workday today.

i don't know how it worked out like this, since in a strictly technical sense, i started two weeks ago. between national holidays and my weekly schedule, i just never managed to get the full day in until about a half hour ago.

so i have a question for all of you 9-5ers out there. (or longer- you know who you are). it goes something like this:


how do you sit up straight and not slouch? how do you stifle your yawns? what do you do when your butt falls asleep? how do you keep your eyelids from sliding shut?

do you get paranoid about blood clots in your legs?

i felt like i was back on an international flight, with the fortunate exception of decent bathrooms (although...the doors are made from the same kind of screen as they have in the women's balcony at shul, so while no one can see in, you can see out, which i must confess is a strange sensation.)

don't get me wrong, i am absolutely thrilled to have this job, and i try my darndest not to blow it. i feel like my supervisor gives me a lot of tasks which she knows will teach me valuable skills for my career field, for the express purpose of getting me acquainted with them, and i am grateful for that. it definitely beats barnes and noble (although i still kind of miss the cat herder.) and there is that little kick of adrenaline you get from working during the day in midtown manhattan - the jumbled-up mass of limbs and briefcases that is an 8:30 subway train, the pedestrian parking lot of 5th avenue at 6:00 (people literally inching their way home), all the accountants and suit-wearing personnel perched on the central park benches during their lunch break like pidgeons. if there is any place to have an entry-level job as a college student, it's right here. sometimes you have a creeping urge to throw yourself down on your knees and press your forehead to the gum-glued sidewalk. 'we are not worthy! we are not worthy!'

then again, sometimes it takes a significant amount of willpower not to hunt for the solitaire application on your hopeless, hopeless mac interface.