31 October 2009

I'm a Baller

BAKING SODA CAN GO BAD. Know this. It seems to go bad very quickly in humid climates. (Such as my pantry in Savannah)

Case in point: Thursday's vanilla cupcakes. I've made these cupcakes at least a dozen times. But this time they resembled the Great Plains. I feel like I'm going to see a prairie dog pop out of them at any moment. Dammit.
But I'm cheap, and I didn't want the cake to go to waste. It still tasted good; it just wasn't fluffy and beautiful.

And I remembered that I had seen this recipe for these cake ball things. Something about crumbled cake mixed with icing, rolled into balls and coated with chocolate. The first time I heard of them I thought they were pretty stupid, but I figured I'd give them a try. I already had some vanilla cake and some pumpkin cream cheese icing. Why the hell not?

When I told Cassie that I was making cake balls, she responded, "Ew, don't make those. They're so handled." But Cassie's judgmental, and I'd washed my hands. So I mushed that shit together. And it looked like, well, shit.

But I thought I should keep an open mind. I'm always so judgmental myself, and I should try out new things, even if I might think they're stupid.

So I balled them up.

And stuck them in the freezer.

And I whipped out my white chocolate chips.
And started to melt them using a double boiler.

But they weren't melting very well.

So I stuck the bowl of semi-melted white chocolate in the microwave.

Where it began to cook/burn from the inside out. Dammit.

I returned the chocolate to the double boiler, added some buttermilk, and began to stir. Looking better. . .

And I started to coat those balls!
And they looked decent enough. (Kind of like super decadent doughnut holes!)

And when I bit into them, they tasted like. . .

The verdict: if your first impression of something is that it is stupid, you should trust your instincts. (This applies to people as well.) Also, don't put white chocolate in the microwave, and replace your baking soda every three months.

Cake balls are stupid, and Cassie was right.

Halloween Recap

We had big plans for Halloween this year. By big plans I mean that we were actually going to dress up and go out.

Thursday night I baked and baked (some triumphs, some failures), and was sure to use my one of my favorite rubber spatulas. (Thanks, Tanya!)

And here is the other festive thing in our house. I don't do pumpkins here in Savannah, even though I am a champion pumpkin carver (see: pumpkin carved with a silhouette of Elvis dancing; see: pumpkin carved with the Family Ties logo). Pumpkins rot in Savannah. Stupid Savannah, ruining my life.

Anyway, here's the spider decoration that I stole from a small child. I wish I was lying.
But we both got sick. Not crazy sick or swine flu sick, but sick enough to dread parties and costumes. Looks like Werewolf Bar/Bas Mitzvah will have to wait until next year, and I've got a head start. I've already got a yard of fur.
I figured that I'd just sit around tonight, watch movies, grade papers, and hand out candy to all of the trick-or-treaters. Last year, I didn't expect trick-or-treaters, so when a bunch of them showed up (by the way, they either neglected to wear a costume at all, or wore their football uniforms--BOOOOO!), I had to break into Matt's stash of miniature Reese's cups. Needless to say, Matt was displeased.

Because my learning curve isn't completely flat, I decided that this year I would be prepared. I had a variety of kickass candy, and I was ready.
And wouldn't you know it, we didn't get a single one. Maybe they'd seen my Facebook status:

Children who are not in costume do not receive candy. "Not in costume" includes but is not limited to: student, pedestrian, kid. I will egg and/or attack those children arriving at my house who demand candy but are not in costume.

Heh. I guess I'll have to eat all of this candy. Damn.

29 October 2009

See Ya!

Wouldn't wanna be ya!

We were full of glee last night when douche bag Mike got the ax. Hip-hip--horray!

I know you're not the one who got Penny in trouble. . .

. . .When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong. (Oh, Dr. Houseman!)

So here it is.

Matt was right and I was wrong. (Such is a rare occurrence, but it can happen.)

Snickers DO get too hard when you keep them in the refrigerator. Miniature Reese's cups do not.

There's your wisdom for today, courtesy of Matt.

28 October 2009

The Haunted

Me: I'm pretty sure a ghost just touched me.

Matt: You're sure it wasn't Mitch?

Me: No, it wasn't Mitch! The ghost touched me on my back, and Mitch is on the floor. And it wasn't you; you're in the other room. If it's not you and it's not Mitch, must be a ghost.

Matt: Yes, that is the only reasonable explanation.

27 October 2009

Halloweens Past

Some of my fondest Halloween memories come from my college years. We had good parties, bobbing for apples, and great costumes.

Oh, and also, I was actually ALLOWED TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN.

You see, when I was between the ages of 9 and 14, my parents were in their fundamentalist Christian phase, and decreed that my brother and I were not allowed to celebrate Halloween because it was SATAN'S HOLIDAY.

No joke.

One particular Halloween--I believe I was in the fifth grade, prime trick-or-treating age--Halloween fell on a Wednesday. Wednesday was, duh, a church night for us, so we were not out in costume trick-or-treating with our peers (and Satan). Instead, we were learning about church.


My mom and her friend Sue, feeling bad for all of the kids who were denied the fun of trick-or-treating, bought us a pinata to ease the pain.

(Our pinata was shaped like a donkey or something, but I thought this one was much funnier.)

We kids jumped up and down in excitement--the kind of excitement you experience before the age of 13, when you're somewhat innocent and happy and don't have to pay bills.

And we started clubbing away at that pinata.

Clubbing. . .

Clubbing. . .

Clubbing. . .

Broken. . .


More newspaper?

Yes, Susan and Susan didn't realize that one must fill the pinata with candy. Pinatas don't come filled with candy. In their infinite wisdom (the same kind of wisdom that tells you that kids can't trick-or-treat lest they be worshipping Satan), they bought a pinata believing that it would already contain candy. Yep. They sure did.

Talk about disappointment. Disillusionment. Resentment. (This happened almost twenty years ago, and I still get mad when I think about it.)

While my schoolmates (who, by the way, also attended Christian school, but somehow were allowed to celebrate Satan's holiday) enjoyed this--

--I just got more angry. But I did get to learn about Jesus!

I was denied the true joyful experience of Halloween, and I've attempted to compensate for it in adulthood. One way of compensation is to have kickass costumes.

Which brings me to this year's Halloween costume. I'm torn between Werewolf Bar/Bas Mitzvah and Edward Scissorhands.

What shall it be?

What are you being for Halloween?

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Spooky, scary.

You can listen to the song in its entirety here.

Matt has vetoed the idea of us being Werewolf Bar Mitzvah (or Bas Mitzvah) for Halloween. Looks like it's back to the drawing board.

26 October 2009

Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin

This is how I felt today from 7:20 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., when I got home and the Matt had dinner ready. It's like we're in the '50s. Well, kind of.

Instead of dragging you down with the details of my shitstorm suckfest of a day, I'll give you something happy: what we had for dinner last night. It was from my friend Martha. I give you [well, Martha gives you] Spice-Rubbed Pork Loin with Acorn Squash.

This is the picture from the website, but ours looked strikingly similar. Except I didn't tie mine. I don't own kitchen twine, I don't know where to find it, and I didn't feel that dental floss was an appropriate substitute.

We served ours with basmatti, because here at M Cubed we can't get enough carbs.

It was one of those meals where we were silent for several minutes whilst shoving food into our faces, and then when we did speak it was only to comment on how good the food was.

That's a lie, actually. We also debated whether the Amazing Race's Canaan and Mika would ever be able to have a healthy relationship, what with her blowing the chance at a million because she wouldn't go down a waterslide. We decided that they will break up soon. What do you think?

25 October 2009

Shalom Y'all

One reason that I was excited to marry Matt was because I would get to change my name to a name that sounded Jewish. I had this fantasy that I would pretend to be Jewish, and then take off work on all of the Jewish holidays (which is really just a reincarnation of a Saved by the Bell plot, I believe).

To celebrate my fake Jewish heritage, then, I began to embrace all things Jewish.

To nobody's surprise, I began with food. My former roommate Cris and I became big fans of Savannah's Jewish Food Festival, appropriately titled the Shalom Y'all festival. I'm not joking. That's really the name. They sell tshirts, even.

The festival was this weekend, so I joined Cris and friends to enjoy a beautiful afternoon in Forsyth Park, and to feast on Jewish delicacies. Adventurous eater that I am, I inhaled a footlong hot dog. It was. . .amazing.

And I picked up some kosher dog treats for the pup.

A few years ago, when Cris and I attended the festival, I picked up this literary masterpiece. Noshy Boy. It's Jewish didactic children's literature at its finest. I'm obsessed with this book, and if more people knew about Noshy Boy, I'd be him for Halloween.

Nosh: (verb) to snack

Noshy Boy has a very similar plot to one of my other favorites, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Noshy Boy loves to snack, and he snacks himself fat. He learns, through the course of the work, to enjoy healthier foods and snacks only in moderation. It's a coming of age piece, really. A real bildungsroman.

I think I had this happen to me once. . .

Well, today I picked up another in the series, Shluffy Girl.

Shluffy (adjective) sleepy, tired

Shluffy Girl has her own vice: sleeping too much. "Nap time is Shluffy Girl's favorite time of the day. But for Shluffy Girl, nap time is almost all the time." Shluffy Girl sleeps all the time, and it begins to cause problems. . .
She falls asleep on the bus and misses her stop.

[Hot damn, if this didn't happen to me when I was in the tenth grade! I fell asleep lying down in the seat, missed my stop, and woke up going down the highway. It was a debacle, a horribly embarrassing experience. As we learned a few weeks ago on 60 Minutes, this also happened to Andy Rooney. You know something's seriously wrong with you when you start having stuff in common with Andy Rooney.]

Eventually, Shluffy Girl learns to find a balance between life and her true love, sleep.
I feel like I've met her somewhere.

Oh dammit.

Lion Lobotomy: A Post from Mitch

Hey guys, it's me Mitch. So, I've been reading a lot lately. I'm a lot more like my dad in that than I am like my mom. I mean, I'm like my mom when it comes to sleeping and snugglin', but I'm like my dad when it comes to being smart and reading literature. I'm not even sure that my mom can read.

Anyway, this week I was reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. Wow, what a powerful work!

And the book got me to thinking. . .my friend Leonard the Lion (I get such a kick out of alliteration!) is so much like the main character. He's irreverent and rebellious, he's fun-loving, he's charismatic. I mean, Leonard the Lion is basically exactly like McMurphy.

And as I got farther along in the book, I decided that I would be Nurse Ratched. It's time for surgery, Leonard McMurphy the Lion.

Not only did I perform a lobotomy on Leonard McMurphy, but I also removed his eyes. They were delicious!

Uh, oh. I better clean up those brains.

I guess you could say that this is a case of life imitating art.

Or just cruelty by a dog. I think I should've been Chief Bromden.

Does anyone have a pillow I can borrow real quick?

24 October 2009

Does Facebook Know Something I Don't?

Tonight I logged into Facebook (imagine how productive I would be if I didn't have Facebook!), and I saw this.

I know it's kind of hard for you to see, so here's the offensive part a little closer.
What is Facebook trying to say? I mean, has Matt been saying stuff to Facebook? Is Facebook trying to bring my husband and me back together? Were we apart? Is he estranged and I didn't even know it?

Hey, Facebook. I live with him. I don't need to reconnect through you! We're plenty connected. Get off my back!

Matt's Movie Review

Those of you who follow my weekly movie review on the blog know that perhaps my greatest skill is procrastination. Here's how I just wasted the last 45 minutes of my life: http://www.flickchart.com/. It's a site where they give you two movies and you pick which you like better. As you pick the movies they keep a running list of your favorite movies of all time. When they made me pick between A Clockwork Orange and No Country For Old Men I almost had a nervous breakdown. Eventually I had to go with Alex and the ultraviolence. At the moment my number one is Jaws, but we'll have to see how it fares against The Big Lebowski or The Godfather.



23 October 2009

Pledge Drive off a Cliff

I love the Jeopardy before and after category.

Dear NPR:

I love you. You keep me informed and make me feel smart. But lately, the last week or so, I can't enjoy more than a minute of news without someone begging me for money.

Your fall and spring pledge drives are necessary. I get it. But can you invent a device that, once I've donated money to you, allows me to return to regularly scheduled programming? Think of how many donations you'd get! I donate money to Comcast every month.

I can't take another second of the begging. My head is about to explode.

Yours truly,


22 October 2009

Budding Electrician

This is the pencil sharpener in my classroom.

This is the pencil sharpener I bought with my own twenty dollars, partly because my students needed one, but mostly because it looked cool.

This is the pencil sharpener that made me so happy the day I sat in my classroom with the lights off and the windows open, listening to whiny boys with guitars, and sharpening about 75 pencils to perfect, gorgeous points.

This is the pencil sharpener that has now become the bane of my existence. This is the pencil sharpener that frequently goes on strike. (Design flaw--shavings get stuck up in the top, and we have to unplug the thing and then, in an almost obscene way, empty the shavings.)

This is the pencil sharpener that a student broke last Thursday when I had a substitute.

This is the pencil sharpener that I FIXED yesterday. Like, cut wires, and then twisted them together kind of fixed. Look at that pretty pretty pencil point!
So, if this teaching thing doesn't work out, I'll pursue a career as an electrician. I did install a dimmer switch in the bathroom this summer. It is, of course, upside down. (Thanks for pointing that out, Matt. M Cubed is on the way toward becoming M Squared if you know what I mean.)

Electricians get the summer off, right?

(Oh, and I'm just joshin' about that M Squared thing. I adore the Matt, and who else would turn the light off when I fall asleep with it on? Mitch is terrible about that kind of stuff.)


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