Thursday, September 28, 2017

Duncan Hines can kiss my spatula

Everyone who knows me knows that I don't cook. It's not that I CAN'T cook; it's that I don't WANT to cook. And I don't WANT to cook because I don't LIKE to cook...and I primarily don't LIKE to cook because cooking involves doing dishes later. #DoingDishesSucks

(Well, damn. I just used a hashtag in a non-Facebook/non-Twitter/non-Instagram setting -  without even thinking anything about it until I reviewed this in the editing process. I also regularly use the word "adult" as a verb now, as in "I can't adult today." Clearly the time I spend around college kids has affected my brain.)

Anyhoo, on a recent trip to Hell the grocery store, I came across a Duncan Hines Perfect Size chocolate cake kit. Of course, now you're thinking, "Shelley must have gotten lost to ever end up on the baking aisle." And you're not entirely wrong. I forgot my grocery list for the 217th time in a row, so I was just going up and down every aisle in an effort to not forget anything - and it worked. I didn't forget anything because I bought practically everything. Including the Duncan Hines Perfect Size cake kit, which I will refer to as the DHPSPITACK (Duncan Hines Perfect Size Pain In The Ass Cake Kit) from this point. 

The next day at work I was telling Olivia (a sassy coworker) about the DHPSPITACK:

Me: "It's great! This kit comes with a small cake mix, a small icing pouch, and a 6-inch baking 'pan' so that I can bake a cake without having a full 9x13 cake to pig out on!" 

Olivia: "So you bought an Easy Bake Cake for grown ups?"

Olivia is a little shit sometimes. 

But again, I digress. 

After a week or so of being too busy or too tired after work to bake the DHPSPITACK, I finally had a free evening. I opened the box and started following directions. 

Combine the cake mix and dry goods by stirring manually = 1 bowl + 1 spoon

Blend the batter with mixer for 2 minutes = mixer

Pour into pan and put in the oven to bake for 39 minutes.

Then I grabbed the icing packet...which I had assumed would be a packet of actual icing that I would just squeeze out onto the cake. OH NO. It was the packet of chocolate powder to which I would add fluffy butter to make my own buttercream icing. (I'm #TeamButtercream, by the way, but that's a story for another day.)

So I washed the mixer and then softened and fluffed the butter with the clean mixer = 1 bowl

Added the chocolate power and blended/fluffed some more. This was actually harder than you think, because it doesn't take much butter to make icing for a 6-inch cake, and butter likes to stick to mixer blades, so mostly I had chocolate powder that was stuck to butter that was stuck to mixer blades that were just spinning for no good reason. There was a lot of starting and stopping and...

Lots of scraping butter off blades happened = spatula

I finally got the icing finished right as the oven timer went off. For those of you not paying attention, that was 39 minutes. It took THIRTY-NINE MINUTES to make the icing for a 6-inch cake! Easy Bake cake, my butt, Olivia!

By the time the cake cooled and I had the icing on it, I was so sick of the whole process that I didn't even want to try my petite pastry. I still had dishes to do anyway. The mixer (again), two bowls, a spoon and a spatula. That's not much, I know, but #DoingDishesSucks

Twenty-four hours later, after a long day of work and shenanigans, the DHPSPITACK looked more like a cake and less like a nuisance. I cut a small piece, aka half the cake, and gave it a try. It tasted like...every other chocolate cake I'd ever made. I was underwhelmed. 

The icing sure was good though.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I speak Texan, y'all.

Three weeks ago i dropped my phone and broke its spirit. Or its screen. Po-tay-to/po-tah-to. Whatever. I waited awhile to get a new phone because I technically could do everything on my tablet. And because I didn't want to pay then $150 due EVEN THOUGH I HAD INSURANCE . But that's a rant for another day. 

Anyway, I FINALLY got my new phone today and had to call Verizon to get it activated. The Verizon rep was walking me through set up and got a little tickled listening to me talk to myself as I completed the steps. "Oh man. I'm going to have to retrain a phone to my personal vocabulary." With a chuckle, he asked, "Oh?" And I said, "yeah, I'm from Texas where 'queso' and 'Aggies' are everyday words."

He tried to hide it, but I heard him snort. Made my day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

May the oranges be ever in your favor...

Every time the Simply Orange commercial with Donald Southerland's voice comes on, I think, "I CAN'T BUY ORANGE JUICE FROM PRESIDENT SNOW!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cussing at the holy rollers

Last night I unintentionally cussed at a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses. They were going door-to-door in my complex ringing doorbells and sharing the good news. In the process, they riled up every dog in the neighborhood, particularly the two that live on either side of me. By the time they got to me, the dog in unit G was practically banging the door down trying to get to them (to lick and snuggle them to death, he's a big sweet puppy). When I opened my door, they said "it must be really noisy living here with all those dogs" and my automatic, no-filter response was "They just go ape shit when they hear the doorbells." Oops. Now that evangelists know that I'm a foul-mouthed heathen, they'll probably be back every week to save me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Post-birthday reflection

Yesterday was my birthday. As far as birthdays go, it was a pretty good one, at least for me...but others seemed to be put off by it. 
I don't understand why some people are so uncomfortable with age. Yesterday at the campus event I attended, I was asked "how does it feel to be 25?" I responded that "I don't remember because I celebrated a lot harder in those days, but 44 feels pretty awesome." In the same conversation someone else said "You can just be 29 again." WHY? I'm 44. More than a couple of people seemed to honestly recoil at me saying 44, like it's a dirty word. (And yet, they don't recoil when I say actual dirty words. And I do that. More than I should.)
I'M 44 Y'ALL. I have survived broken hearts and broken bones, car loans and car crashes. I have killed approximately two dozen goldfish and three dozen hair dryers. I have family and friends that keep me sane, despite the fact that I am an absolutely crazy (but generally-happy) person. All because I've lived 44 years. Not just 25. Not just 29. 44, y'all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Random Thoughts Movie Review: The Secret Life of Pets

Sunday's Movie Church flick was The Secret Life of Pets. It was a pretty close vote this week: the ladies all voted for Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, but in a surprise twist, EVERY guy voted for the family-friendly choice. I'm sure there are women in the world whose ovaries would practically explode over guys who choose family fare over adult comedy. My tens of readers know that I am NOT one of those women. Give me dirty jokes and Zac Efron's 24-pack, dammit!

Begrudgingly, I will admit that, while not my first choice, The Secret Life of Pets was actually pretty good. At one hour and 46 minutes, it hits that sweet spot of not being so short that I felt cheated, and not so long that I lost interest or had to test my bladder's elasticity. And, it's 1:46 was good enough to keep the gaggles of children engaged the whole time. Well-played, Illumination Entertainment. Well-played indeed. 

Pets gets an A. Even without Zac Efron's abs, it gets an A. 

And now, my random thoughts during the movie...

  • Minions animated short?!? Yes, please! I love Minions! 
  • That was so good! Bet the movie doesn't live up to the Minions.
  • I recognize that dog's voice, but just can't place it. *
  • I recognize that dog's owner's voice, but just can't place it. **
  • I recognize that dog's voice, but just can't place it. Although it sounds remarkably like the sheep from Zootopia. ***
  • I recognize that cat's voice, but just can't place it. ****
  • I love this dog Gidget. She's feisty.
  • And Gidget watches telenovelas. We're soul sisters!
  • That's Jaime Camil's voice in the animated telenovela!
  • Of course I can't recognize the (most-likely) American voices, but immediately pick out the guy from Univision.
  • Kevin Hart! That bunny is definitely Kevin Hart.
  • RIP, Ricky!
  • I concede that this movie isn't sucking.
  • I recognize that bird's voice, but just can't place it.*****
  • I recognize that dog's voice, but just can't place it. ******
  • I love this Pops dog. No quit in him.
  • Okay, I'll admit this movie is actually pretty good. 
  • Action, action, save the day, yada yada.
  • I loved this movie. There, I said it. It's an A. 
  • Dang, slow those credits down! Some people actually watch/read them!
  • I still wanna see Mike & Dave.

*Louis CK
**Ellie Kemper
*** Jenny Slate
**** Steve Coogan
*****Albert Brooks
******Dana Carvey

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I'm going to survive the Zombie Apocalypse if it kills me

There are three very well-documented facts that today's blog will be based on:

  1. I LOVE the zombie genre.
  2. I abso-freaking-lutely HATE to run. 
  3. Rule NUMBER ONE of Zombieland is CARDIO. Sigh.

The less-documented fact of today's blog is that I have recently-ish joined Weight Watchers and lost 30 pounds. I have also started trying to get in more exercise. Sigh.

I hate exercise. Every part of it, but especially running. Seriously, if God had wanted us to constantly run, he wouldn't have made us smart enough to invent the car. But I digress.

I belong to a gym. Technically, I have belonged to a gym for almost two years now. I wish that counted for something, anything....but I haven't been going regularly except for the last couple of months, which miraculously coincide with my healthy eating and weight loss. Anyway, I've been walking on the treadmill and doing the stationary bike...and Googling the best exercise for fat burning. You wanna know the best way to burn fat? The "experts" say to alternate speeds between walking and running. Well, damn. 

So I started running. Not much, mind you, because I'm still an overweight, middle-aged woman with big boobs. But I have mastered* alternating running for one minute and walking for three minutes. There's a method to the 1 minute run/3 minute walk madness. See, I can only run for about 45 seconds before I feel like I'm going to die, but I can manage to push myself to make it a full 60 seconds. (Sad, I know.) And then, it takes about three minutes until my breathing is back into "no, I promise I'm not having a heart attack in your gym" range.

So what does this have to do with my love of zombies, you ask, as if you actually cared. Well, I've found the one thing that actually helps me make it through each 60 seconds of agony. My mantra to give my torture purpose.



I still hate to run, but I'm imagining Rick Grimes waiting for me at the finish line (wherever that may be, hopefully not in Georgia.)

*mastered = managed to not die while
** I wonder how many other gym members run with this in mind?