Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Tuesday Rundown

It's Tuesday, which means that all hell breaks loose in Haley's World. For most, the fact that this happens once a week would be overwhelming. For me, well, it's just the norm. Here is neat little outline of how today has gone for your favorite blogger.

1. Got up. Had huge fight with daughter over appropriate footwear. Was accused of always "making her wear those same shoes!" even though she has only owned them for four days and they are her FAVORITE (her words, not mine) shoes. Mentioned that she has only worn them twice EVER and that I don't give a DAMN (I try not to say "fuck" directly TO the kids, only AROUND them) what kind of shoes she wears EVER AGAIN. OR CLOTHES. OR ANYTHING. She pouts. I pout. Kids go to school.

2. I race, late and with shower-wet hair, to yoga. Get there late. Find myself crammed into yoga class between an old Asian woman who needs Beano and overweight real estate agent who breathes louder than Darth Vader. Reconsider attending yoga for stress relief. Suffer through an hour of air pollution and Star Wars flashbacks. Do not find my Zen. Rush out to head to Wal-Mart.

3. Purchase Poster board at Wal-Mart (for Belly's school project). It is not lavender. She specifically demanded lavender. I think, "Suck it, you spoiled little heathen." Poster board catches wind in parking lot and blows away. While chasing it, I accidentally hit the fucking button on my keys and set off my car alarm. Catch poster board. It's dirty and bent. Fuck it. Locate car. Kill alarm.

4. Run to Pier One to pick up beads/glass leafs for my fall table centerpiece. Dash in. Dash out. Crash into "In" door while trying to get "out" and develop a mark on my forehead.

5. Get home only to realize that I didn't pick up glass leaves, but glass acorns. I DIDN'T KNOW THEY HAD TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF BEADS IN THE BOXES. FUCK. I hate acorns. Gather up library books to return on way home. Go back to Pier One.

6. Switch FUCKING ACORNS FOR FUCKING LEAVES, while babbling to sales clerk who also had not realized there were two different kinds. Dash out to get to library so that I can make it home in time for the bus.

7. Get to library. Set off car alarm again (accidentally-- note: this usually happens once a year, not twice in one day). Stop fucking alarm and start gathering books only to realize that I only brought half-- my half, leaving Belly's books-to-be-returned at home. Roll eyes, swear, return books.

8. Check with librarian regarding book that is supposed to be held for me. Am told that book was released to someone else (accidentally) and it will never happen again. Tell them "that's what I thought the FIRST damn time I set off my car alarm today." Leave. Tired.

9. Get home. Clean. Walk dogs. Drink vodka. Greet children. Help children with homework. Drink more vodka.

10. Decide to lie down as vodka has made me sleepy. Just as I lie down, Minion #1 comes in screaming, "There's a snake in the driveway!"

*Side note: For any new readers. I FUCKING HATE SNAKES. I'm not scared of spiders, I'm not scared of ghosts or murderers or hurricanes. The thought of a goddamn snake, however, can send me into Code Red Freakout Mode.

11. Go outside. See snake. Notice that snake is heading INTO MY FUCKING GARAGE. Have mental image of going into garage to take out recycling and being attacked by evil, hiding snake that curls its way around me and smothers me to death next to my deceased Father's airplane as I croak, "B, save me!" only to realize that B is at work or school, as usual. Momentarily black out. Pull my shit together. Grow some balls. Grab shovel. Charge at snake. Decapitate snake.

*Second side note: This is a HUGE FUCKING MILESTONE FOR HALEY.

12. Come inside. High-five self for killing evil (most likely garter) snake and disposing of its writhing, creepy dead body.

13. Open wine. Start drinking wine. Quickly.

And here we are.

In other news, today is my Grandma's birthday. She's 86.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Have My Cake And Eat It Too


This past Sunday was my Father-in-Law's 64th birthday. Per our yearly tradition, the family was invited over to the in-laws' house for lunch following church, and, like any good guest, I asked what I could bring. I expected my Mother-in-Law to say "a bottle of wine" (because, frankly, everybody knows that we drink a lot) or, at worst, "some kind of salad."

It turns out I underestimated the MIL.

Badly.Check Spelling

She asked me to bring the cake. The goddamned cake.

Now, everybody knows you don't ask ME to bring the cake. The cake is the centerpiece of any birthday. Everyone looks at it and forward to it and gets excited about it. Hell, most people set it on fire and sing a damn SONG about it, for Christ's sake. It's THE CAKE. I can't be in charge of THE CAKE. My reputation for fucking up shit is known near and far, especially important shit. Especially SHIT LIKES CAKES. ESPECIALLY SHIT LIKE BIRTHDAY CAKES FOR MY FATHER-IN-LAW WHO IS WAAAAAAAAAY FANCIER THAN I AM AND WHO STILL HASSLES ME ABOUT A POT OF MEATBALLS I FUCKED UP SEVEN YEARS AGO BECAUSE MY BITCH-ASS MOTHER GAVE ME SHITTY MEATBALL-MAKING DIRECTIONS.

Motherfuck.

Now, I will mention two additional things: 1) My Mother-in-Law makes EVERY FUCKING THING INCLUDING ALL CAKES from scratch and they are always PERFECT and ungodly delicious and; 2) My Mother-in-Law suggested in the email she sent asking me to bring the cake that perhaps I should just order one from Farm Fresh and bring it, no big deal.

What EVER. Like that's ever going to happen.

You see, the one thing I have learned over the years, as I grew and became more wise and awesome is that your must treat parents like you treat small children. You can't just give them what they ask for whenever they ask for it and expect them to grow into what you want them to be. Oh, no. You must MOLD them into the kind of citizens this world really needs (i.e. more like me). Which means that you can't just run up to Farm Fresh and drop $20 on some generic, standard (but delicious) run-of-the-mill cake. Oh, no. My FIL is 64. Who knows how many more birthdays Philosaurus will have-- he deserves the very best. Particularly because my in-laws DO treat me really well, and have worked hard to acclimate to my crazy. I love them dearly. So there was no way in hell Phil was going to get a dull cake.

No, Phil was going to get a Haley Cake Extraordinaire.

I decided to start with some hand-me-down cake pans from my Grandma that I found in her basement about ten years ago and that she had had since the 1940s. I suspect they were supposed to be used for wedding cakes, as there were four of them and they were round and tiered. Not that Grandmama had ever baked a damn thing other than Breakfast Casserole once a year and Weight Watcher muffins, but, whatever. They were cool pans. Because Phil is so awesome, I knew that his cake needed to be layered, and a variety of flavors. Because I also knew that my ingredients were limited and that I was too lazy to go to the store, I knew I needed to tone that idea down a bit, so we ended up with two chocolate and two vanilla layers (alternated, of course). Once I had the cake baked, I used approximately 42 boxes of confectioner's sugar, half a bottle of vanilla, a gallon of milk, a pound of butter, and a bottle of Shiraz (to help inspire decorating ideas) to make homemade frosting. (Side note: I was going to make my friend EB's yummy cream cheese frosting, but I realized--luckily before I added the cream cheese to the batter--that the cream cheese had likely gone bad during the three days we had no power during the hurricane, but that I had neglected to throw it away. I was saving it for hard times. That's what happens when you grow up in Tennessee-- you hoard spoiled cream cheese.) I broke out the electric mixer, and mixed away.

By this time, I had powdered sugar in my hair and down the front of my clothes. It was also probably in my wine, but frankly, I wouldn't have been able to tell if it was. Now armed with four layers of cake and a ginormous bowl of vanilla frosting, I considered my options. And considered them. And thought some more. What I WANTED, was a Jesus. You know, one of those Jesus action figures you see in some stores. I could frost the layers in green, put Jesus up on top looking all holy and shit-- it would be AWESOME. My FIL LOVES Jesus-- and I wanted to make a cake that reflected something he loved. But I had no Jesus. And since I didn't know how to create an interior decorating cake (his other passion), and had no Jesus to park atop my baked goods mountain, I did the next best thing. I decorated by association.

The equation:

Sutt loves Star Wars. Pops loves Sutt. Therefore, logically, in an extended sense, Pops loves Star Wars. (Hey, it made sense after three glasses of wine. As a matter of fact, it not only made sense, but I felt like a FUCKING MATHEMATICAL GENIUS.)

A Star Wars Cake it would be.

So I snuck into Sutt's room and rounded up all the Star Wars men I could find. There was some monkey dude with a couple of guns, a frog-headed looking guy with guns, Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber, a storm trooper, AND the piece de resistance............an over sized Chewbacca holding what appeared to be a bowstaff.

Now, I have carried these little men around in my purse. I have watched Sutt play with them in the bathtub, on the toilet, in the front yard, and at various nasty, germ-laden establishments all over Hampton Roads. They have dated and married a variety of Barbies and Strawberry Shortcakes, and they occasionally have gone on cross-country roadtrips in the Barbie RV and towing the Batmobile. These men have been around the block. They are carrying all KINDS of the crud. Did that deter me? Nope. I soaped those little bitches up, scrubbed them down a bit, rinsed and started parking them all around the cake.

But wait. Rewind.

Remember that white frosting I made? You can't have a WHITE STAR WARS CAKE. That's insane. I dug around in my spice cabinet looking for coloring options but the only food colorings I could find were red, green, and black. (Side note: No, I do not know why I have black food coloring. Mind your own business.) I threw back some wine, threw in some black, and BAM! Frosting magic.

Back to the Wookie.

I had Chewbacca left once the other men were settled, because I had special plans for that big, hairy fella. Using a steak knife and a lot of drunken determination, I pried the bowstaff from his furry wookie hands and made my own little flag to him to hold, bidding my FIL a happy birthday. I stuck the flag in Chewy's hand, shoved the beast knee-deep in the frosting, threw on some sprinkles and was good to go.

I had made cake magic: a four tiered, slightly tilted, grayish-blackish-frosted, silver-metallic sprinkled cake peppered slightly used Star Wars figures and sporting a giant Wookie brandishing a day-glo yellow Post-It Happy Birthday sign on top, just like an Eastern European color guard girl.

As I said, CAKE FUCKING MAGIC.

When I presented it to my in-laws, I could see the love and joy in their eyes. The respect. The admiration. The gratitude. And the knowledge that I should never, ever be put in charge of the cake.

Next year, they would like me to bring wine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I'm Bringing Awesome Back

Tonight I was sitting in bed sorting through some books when I realized that I needed some sugar because my blood sugar was getting low. I had had a salad and a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, and did not really feel like eating anything. On top of not being hungry but needing sugar, I was already feeling grumpy because it was JUST ONE OF THOSE FUCKING DAYS. You know-- the ones where you feel all itchy and uncomfortable in your skin for no damn reason at all. (Yeah, even in my extreme awesomeness, I still have those days too. Makes you feel better about yourself, doesn't it?) SO, I said to B, "Hey, B. I need some sugar and I'm not hungry. Got any ideas?" His response? "You need a cocktail."

And that is why I am still married after all these years.

But that is not the point of this blog.

What IS the point, you ask?

Well, for starters. after several months of mulling things over, I have decided to reestablish the blog. Although it technically never went anywhere, I stopped writing because I had no intention of picking it up again. It was not a break-- I fucking retired. But, as often happens, I have come out of retirement and for the first time in my life, actually have time to write something.

Hooray for you. Now you have something to read.

Secondly, last weekend I reached a monumental milestone in my life: I met an Asian girl that I actually liked. Yes, you heard me. Take a moment to consider that and its impact, then recover. BAM. No, there is not more to this story (except that I was also watching SESAME STREET-- alone, mind you--and watched an Asian girl hip hop dancing to a rap song by Elmo and Oscar and realized that Asians are stereotyped as scientists and computer nerds for a reason, because they sure as hell can't fucking hip hop dance....but, whatever). It's just that everyone knows I have an extreme distaste for Asians, and now I met one I like. Her name is Natsuko, just in case you don't believe me, and she's quite lovely.

Lastly, I've decided to run for office. (Um, no, I'm kidding. I think politicians are idiots, I can't stand big election years, and everyone knows that I would be assassinated within about five minutes of being elected to anything from the HOA Board to Comptroller. Seriously, would you want me running ANY of your shit? No, I didn't think so.

There is no lastly. I just wanted to have a lastly.

I will leave you now, as I am exhausted and have a LOOOONG day ahead of me tomorrow (aka: Mom arrives in Virginia). But fear not, I shall return, promptly....bitches.