Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Loaded God Complex

So I used to be a huge Rescue Me fan. And last night was the premiere of Season 6. And, from what I hear, the beginning of the end for the show since it will end in 2011.

I've put up with a lot from Tommy Gavin. But I have to admit that last year pushed me too far. The scene where his wife and long time mistress went to confront his new obsession and ended up brawling in the street was too much for me. Surely women wouldn't act that stupid over a guy like Tommy (please don't argue me here cause it's what I prefer to believe).

I tuned in last night somewhat hesitantly. On one hand, I've seen every episode thus far so I'd like to finish out the series. On the other hand, I'm tired of watching women act like idiots over a cheat like Tommy. And, while he can't commit to anyone, his level of commitment to self-destruction is getting old. At the end of last season, when we left him on a bar floor bleeding out from a gunshot wound, I didn't really care what happened. Live, die, whatever.

As far as the new season, last night's episode was the same as always. Tommy refuses to stay in the hospital after a near-death experience reveals he's on his way to hell (shocking). He refuses to consider sobriety even as he watches his 21 year old daughter fix herself a glass of gin for breakfast. His wife, who once used to believe she had a chance at something different, has decided there's nothing in her future so she's dedicated to keeping a close eye on Tommy, which I'm sure would be a wonderful way to spend the day.

The one thing I do love about the show is the closing scenes. They have an amazing ability to say so much in one long, silent scene. This one closed with the image of Tommy drinking in a Catholic church and, not content with that level of sacrilege, had to go sit in the priest's seat. Can anyone say God Complex?

And, as if last season wasn't bad enough, they seem to be continuing on the Sheila as "Joe Pesci with tits" theme. Her role in this episode is just as disgusting as it was in the last. I just don't get her insistence on holding on to someone who shows so little concern for her. She's bound and determined to make him into her dead husband, even though she's aware that it's not possible. I've never seen a woman who needs to walk away more than Sheila.

Anyway, all I can hope is that it changes some before it ends. I really don't want to have spent year's watching a show that turns out to just be about one alcoholic guy with a God Complex and the two women who throw their lives away to chase him.

On a side note... Louie is awesome!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's all about the food...

So I completely changed my plan yesterday and started in on the basement instead of doing my baking. While it was good to get started on it, It was ultimately really exhausting and frustrating for the kids and me. We got one small area really cleaned and were pooped!

Today's gonna be busy, but not necessarily because of cleaning. My paycheck is in the bank, so I'll be hitting the store and planning a big dinner for the fam. I haven't cooked in a long time since Not-So-Ex is the chef of the family, but I'm looking forward to it.

I'm also working on planning the festivities for Hunt's birthday this weekend. He'll be nine. Hard to believe how quickly my baby boy is growing up!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gee, Brain, what do you want to do today?

So today is my first day of true freedom. Well, technically, there was Friday, but I was so busy finishing up cupcaking that I didn't even get to savor it. And then the weekend was mostly a blur, since I had actual plans and such. But today it all settles.

I do have to head to my mom's today and make one more batch of cupcakes. Just a small order for a friend. Over the weekend I sold 23 dozen, so pretty much anything would seem like a small batch. LOL 20 dozen were for a reception at my parents' church. When they called last night to tell me everything went perfectly and that the cupcakes were a huge hit, I felt a huge worry lift. It was a wonderful feeling.

So far today, all I've done is eat breakfast, water my beautiful urban garden, and try to keep my doggers under control. I'm trying to let the kids sleep in, since they haven't gotten to do that for quite a while. But, since I do have a teenager, they only get so long before I'm knocking on their door. Normally I'd have woken them up by now because, quite frankly, I get lonely when I'm up by myself.

But anyway, in the grander scheme of things, my goal is to get my house in truly tip-top shape. I'm not the cleaning type, plus we're in pretty close quarters around here, so we have quite a bit of clutter and mess. Plus the fact that our basement flooded last week during a big storm and I still have to get that all straightened out. By the end of the week, I'd really like to have the basement completely cleaned out, all the laundry done up, and the floor completely bleached. Then I'll move on to scour the second floor.

Anyway, I best get to doing some dishes since my heatherns clearly are in no hurry to get up!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Life is funny

You know, so often you go along in life thinking you know what is ahead. You chose a path and you just believe that you'll continue going in that direction. Then one day things change.

Today marks the end of my life as a state employee. Probably for good, since I was never all that successful at it anyway. It's not a role I was ever particularly comfortable with and I look forward to what is ahead.

So what is ahead?

For right now, I'm not sure. My roles as wife and mom will be my focus for a bit, plus growing my cupcake business. Eventually I may seek employment, but I will be looking for a different kind of work. I have found that I still have a little idealistic streak in me. It may be a bit smaller than it used to be, but they haven't beat it completely out of me yet.

So, if you're interested in seeing what happens now, stay tuned. The one thing you can be sure of is that there will always be cupcakes!

PS - Not-So-Ex... Thank you!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dad Cupcakes

My Kind of Coffee Cupcakes (front) and Mocha Cupcakes

So I was really pondering what cupcakes to make for my Dad on Father's Day. They needed to be just perfect. I was really running out of ideas when it hit me this morning.


I don't drink coffee, but it's a smell that I will always associate with my Dad. And I love the smell.

And I must say, the two versions of coffee based cupcakes were both divine (although I preferred the vanilla based).

Mocha Cupcakes
2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee
mini chocolate chips
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Put liners in cupcake pan.
2.In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
3.Bake 15-20 minutes.

My Kind of Coffee Cupcakes (lots of milk and a bit of coffee)

1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups of sugar

Beat well, then add:

Add 2 large eggs
2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla
½ teaspoon of salt
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
2 ½ cups of flour
1 ¼ cups of coffee/milk (mix the coffee and milk as strong as you like - I used 3/4 c coffee and 1/2 milk)

Beat well, fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I get 18, 'cause I'm doing something wrong.

The frosting I used is a recipe I've used before and, this time, it turned out absolutely perfect. I could seriously eat it by the spoonful. It tasted just like yummy, super milky, sweet coffee.

Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes enough to frost 16 cupcakes

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee

Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee into 1 tbsp hot water until dissolved, then put it in the refrigerator or freezer until it comes down to room temperature. Reduce mixer speed to low and add coffee mixture. Continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What to do...

So I started this morning off just right. I had been planning to get Not-So-Ex football tickets for Father's Day. He's always wanted to take Hunt to see their team but we never seemed to be looking for tickets at the right time. But, this year, I checked into it and found out that they were going on sale today, the day before Father's Day. Not-So-Ex took Jake the Wonder Mutt to the vet this morning, leaving me home alone just long enough to get the tickets. He walked in the door just as I finished the purchase. And he was thrilled.

But, now that the gift giving is done, Not-So-Ex and Hunt are on their way to the mountains for a weekend of camping. And I'm wondering what I can find to get into.

I already have some plans. There are tons of movies to watch. I've been planning a new cupcake experiment to try. And I have some lovely, fresh produce from our little garden that I'm going to fix for lunch. All in all it sounds like a pretty good, relaxing weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One more from the garden...

An awesome purple bell pepper from the garden!

Mary, Mary quite contrary...

So I have a ton of fresh lovely veggies available in pots in my front yard! We have carrots (which I'm sure will be all of 3-4 inches long cause of the potting), lots of banana peppers,
some quickly growing bell peppers,
cucumbers sprouting up everywhere, and zucchini.
Plus these will one day be little dwarf pomegranates.
I have to have strawberries (of course)
and there's a blueberry bush too.
And there's always Not-So-Ex's herbs, like dill.
And of course tomatoes everywhere. Big, little, green, red, we got em all.
I love my urban garden!!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Killer POM recipe #1

I waited to post this cause I was gonna take a pic. But it was gone before I even had the chance! LOL

So the folks at POM Wonderful sent me some pomegranate juice, which I LOVE to bake with. And, knowing that pomegranate juice is a veritable antioxidant treasure chest, it only made sense to pair it with another powerhouse fruit, blueberries (which also happen to be the ingredient for this month's Cupcake Hero). And the result was awesome.

If there's one recipe you get from this post, it should be this one.

Blueberry/Pomegranate Topping (based on this recipe)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 cup pomegranate juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, pomegranate juice, and sugar. Stir gently, and bring to a boil.
2.In a cup or small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as not to mash the berries. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the extract. Thin sauce with water if it is too thick for your liking.
I made a simple Cheesecake Pie to serve the Blueberry/Pomegranate Sauce over, and it was pretty good, especially considering how simple it was.

Cheesecake Pie

1 graham cracker pie crust
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs

Mix all the ingredients, pour into the crust, and bake 20-30 min at 350.

Aging sucks

So I live in an older townhouse that doesn't have air conditioning. We've put window air conditioners in the living room on the first floor and one in the kids' room on the second floor, but our bedroom only has a few fans and an open window. And this is the time of year when that begins to be a real issue.

Last night I couldn't take the room, so I snuggled in on the couch where it was so cool I even needed a blanket. But I woke up in severe back pain.

So I'm home for the day. Luckily, I called my mommy, who brought me some medicine so that I'm not in too much pain right this second. And I was able to get a bit of sleep post medication too. Hopefully the day will only get better from here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hi. I'm a filmmaker.

So, this weekend I went to the Flyover Film Festival in Louisville, KY. And it was awesome.

Our film, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, showed Friday evening. We were after a film called High School, which was a super funny drug comedy. The audience for that film was a little small and we expected pretty much the same for ours. But when we went out for a brief intermission, we noticed a lot of people lined up outside. And sure enough, they were there for us.
Folks waiting for our film!

After the film, the producer and director always do a question and answer segment and, this time, they asked me to join them. In fact, they gave me an actual introduction which included the director talking about how I was brought on as an intern and then "made myself so completely invaluable that they had to make me associate producer."
The question and answer time

I'll admit that the experience was a bit overwhelming. On one hand, I felt lucky to be respected and recognized by the guys I had worked with. On the other hand, I felt completely out of place. I know that this is it for me. While it's great to meet all the other editors and directors and producers, I know that the contacts don't really matter. No matter who I met, I'd still be leaving the next day to return to life as a state employee.

But the part I enjoyed most was the response from the audience. As we were finishing up, a woman who was working as an usher in the theater came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed the film. When we were making our way to the after-party area, a few people who had seen the film stopped me to discuss it. And it was wonderful. I love when people actually are thinking about it well after the credits have rolled. And this film definitely is one that tends to make people think.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

I'll be hitting Louisville tomorrow! Woot!

In what I am sure is shocking news, while in Louisville, I plan to visit:
Gigi's and

Ok... so I might not hit them all, but I'm gonna do my best!

I'm also looking forward to lounging by the pool, eating some cheesecake, and seeing my old filmmaker friends! Should be a blast!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today will be hilarious one of these days...

I always say that the combination of my oft-occurring bad luck mixed with my complete lack of coordination and added to my complete lack of common sense puts me in situations that would embarras most people. However I find them hilarious.

Today was one of those days. But, I have to admit that I only found it annoying today. Now tomorrow it will be funny. Today, not so much.

So, first off, I wore these shoes today.

They are awesome shoes and, considering the fact that I got them from Old Navy pretty cheap, they're pretty decent. However, these shoes and the weather conspired against me today.

It turns out that, when the material on the top of the foot gets wet it stretches more easily. So, after getting caught in the rain and thoroughly soaked this morning, then walking home at lunch, the shoes stretched a bit, which allowed my foot to slide further in. And then, since I already have really short feet, it became even harder to keep the piece of fabric around the back of my foot in place. Once that fabric slips off the heel, you're basically stuck with flip flops with 4 1/2 in heels.

So here's the mental image for you. Chicklet with bright red hair and tatts, dressed in pinstripe pants so long that they almost reach the ground despite her 4 1/2 inch heels, trying to walk without lifting her feet. Yeah. It was real cute. Plus it took me 15 minutes to get to my office. *sigh*

But you know what, I'll always go with fierce heels over common sense. I'm just hoping it works out for me one of these days.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jesco on Squidbillies

Back in August, Not-So-Ex and I loaded up a car and headed to Atlanta. With Jesco and Mamie. And we actually had a ball with them too.

But back to the point, we were taking Jesco to do a voiceover for Squidbillies. They got him in the studio, he knocked it out, and it's finally airing.

Once Jesco was done, they asked Mamie if she'd be interested in doing one too. And I tell you what, she was right on it! She was a one-take wonder. And her episode is up too - in which you'll hear her say "No threeway. No way, no how."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Soooooooo psyched

So this time next week I'll hopefully be lounging around in Kentucky! Next week I'll be attending the Flyover Film Festival where the film I worked on will be shown. I'll start the day off with a doctor's appt but, once I get that out of the way, I'll be heading to Louisville.

One of the best things is that I'm dragging one of my friends with me! While filming, it was easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of testosterone in the air cause it was normally an all male crew, except for me of course. But for our little reunion (I actually haven't seen my director since we wrapped well over a year ago), I needed a little extra girl power. LOL

We have a hotel room a little ways from where all the activity is, that way, if we wanna hang with the guys we can and, if we need to get away, we have a room to run to. Plus it gives us somewhere to get relax and such until the film shows, which is late Fri night.

When I was going over plans with my director via email, he suggested I check out some of the incredibly culturally significant sites in the area such as Colonel Sander's grave. Sadly, he lost the pictures from his last visit, which was when he took Hasil Adkins to visit the grave. I'd pay to see those pics myself!

Anyway, while the film has shown at all kinds of well respected festivals, I'm glad I'll get to this one at least. But next time I have a film that shows at Tribecca and the LA Film Festival (next time! HA!), I think I'll head to either NYC or LA (or both) and get the full Tinseltown film experience. But for now, I'm just thrilled with the Bluegrass State.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Things that make me happy today...

I'm in a pretty good mood right this second so here are some of the things running through my mind that make me happy.

1. The end of school - My son finished up 2nd grade today and I'm so happy! My daughter finished up last week, so she's been chilling at the house already, but I'm glad he can join her now. Growing up there was just always something special about summer. Once I became an adult, the fun faded cause there were child care issues and money shortages. But now they're older and we're doing decent on money so we're able to actually do stuff together! And I have to admit the whole not having to get up early to get them to school and being able to just walk home after work instead of having to head out to their school to pick them up is awesome too!

2. Emails from Johnny Knoxville - I'm a standard, small town mom, but I get emails from Johnny Knoxville. Now, given, I only get them because my awesome director always includes me on emails about the film, but it still makes me feel less like a boring soccer mom and more like a kick ass filmmaker mom. Now if only they'd add Spike Jonze to the email list, but then I might melt into a little puddle by my desk.

3. Film Festivals - While on the White movie subject, I'm so excited to head to Louisville for a film fest next week. I've never gotten to see the film on a big screen. And I've never had the whole "I have a film showing at a film fest" experience. So I'm really, really psyched!

4. Cupcakes (shocker) - I have an order tomorrow for cupcakes so I've got some baking to do tonight. I'm excited because the cupcaking is becoming more and more like a side job, which is awesome! Plus I'm saving my cupcake earnings for a beach fund. And I really want to get money in the beach fund. Oh and, while I'm talking cupcakes, I gotta say a huge thank you to Not-So-Ex for helping me keep it going! A girl can only wash so many dishes and put together so many boxes on her own.

5. Gardens - My little urban garden is all bloomy now. I love this time of year. The flowering plants are pretty for one, but it's also nature's way of letting you know you're doing it right. I don't know how many berries and veggies we'll actually get this year, but I know the ones we get will be the tastiest ever.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


So we enjoyed the beach so much last weekend that we're all ready to go again! And it looks like we'll get a chance next month!

Now I get to start pouring over all the choices. Which beach? Rent a house or get a hotel room? Just four days or can we figure out a way to squeeze a little more time? I have to say that, other than the actual time spent on vacation, the planning is my favorite part. This time the frontrunner is a beach that is new to me, so that's always exciting too.

On a side - but related - note, if you have any birthdays or anything coming up, let me know! Any profits from cupcakes will go straight to the beach fund.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Four days, 262 cupcakes, 8 hours, a beach, an Old Navy outlet, and some sunshine.

So the past four days have been insane, in the best possible way of course.

Last Thursday was my daughter's 6th grade graduation. I sat in a room with lots of other parents and felt proud. She did her part in their skit perfectly, and she even won the award for best drama student (and they presented it without ever calling her a drama queen)! She looked gorgeous (except when she ran and then she looked like her mama) and she chose to sit with her friends instead of with us (although there was lots of waving and swinging by our table to say hi). And, to my own credit, I didn't cry.

Her principal is leaving this year and as I hugged him at the end of the ceremony, all I could say was "Thank you for not kicking her out." And all he said is "I'm so proud of her. And you."
And more cupcakes!

For the Graduation Celebration, I was asked to make cupcakes for the entire crowd. So I made 22 dozen of multiple flavors. And, while I'm not normally one for decoration, I really tried to make these special. The result was wonderful! Even the simple cupcakes looked stunning. It was also an incredible learning experience. I now know what frosting freeze and thaw well... which ones bead up... which ones will fall. And not to put sprinkles on early. LOL In the process of doing something special for my daughter and her friends, I also got the attention of others in attendance. Some people asked for my information to do receptions at the church (and I gave them the quote of $15/dozen, which adds up to a nice profit when you consider 10-20 dozen) and even weddings. Will anything come of it? I don't know. But it was nice to be appreciated.
The beach!!!

After graduation, we jumped in the car and headed to the beach. We didn't get far before we stopped for the night, but it still made the next day's drive a bit easier. We rolled into the beach on Friday, got into our room, and hit the beach for a bit before heading out for a little shopping and supper.
If I could take a pic of my inner child, this is what it might look like. LOL

Now anyone who knows me knows how obsessively I shop at Old Navy, normally online. I mean, for this trip alone, half the clothes were still in their little plastic bags where I had ordered them online. So imagine my excitement when we found an Old Navy outlet where everything was 40% off. Everything! So I got all this stuff I had been looking at online but either thought was just a bit high or wasn't sure if it would fit. It was heaven!
Views from our balcony

As far as the rest of the trip, it was wonderful. I was afraid it would be hurried, since we only had a few days, and, to an extent, it was. But we enjoyed every minute. And pasty me even got a tiny bit of sun. And no sunburn! Who thought that could happen?