So to prevent burnout, after the crazy LCNV/Artie’s combo Monday, I took Tuesday morning off to hang out with Cocoa Bean, Dad and my kitchen. We had a great time. End result: The Grumpy Grizzly, Ginger Bread, and Thai Tea Cupcakes. They were very well recieved when I shared at the office and the restaurant. Here are some pictures
Archive for January, 2010
Sometimes, or maybe all the time, I like to take a big ole gnarly bite outta life and just see how far I get. Today was not an exception. With the wear of winter making me ache to be out in the uncharacteristically warm 60 degree weather we had here in VA, I spent all day in the office or on my way to a workplace. The office and then a little pinch hitting for registrations before I had to somehow make it to Artie’s for our quarterly top-to-bottom-clean-til-you-can-eat-off-the-toilets-inspection… gah.
Who am I to complain? My coworker and managers at Artie’s were nice enough to work with me through the office emergency and I made it to registration. Of course as I settle in to speak to the students, I had the socks knocked off me. When we register students we get them to fill out some paperwork and then we take them aside for a one on one conversation test in English. We have students ranging from no comprehension (nodding their heads with vacant expressions) on up to quite literate but with poor speaking skills. Being in the admin side of things, I’ve missed student contact, so when I get to test, I frequently get a window on the tireless but driven adults who immigrate here to kick ass and make a life for themselves. Even when they can’t speak fully, it’s just a moment to people watch. One of the questions I read frquently was “What do you like about living in ___?” Frequently there is an expression of confusion mixed with awe. One woman said “It’s beautiful” with that amazing Central American accent where it sounds like “bee-you-dee-full.” Well crap, IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE. Those little moments stir the crankiness right outta me. It was the same as I got to Artie’s. I wasn’t there for the money, but to repay the debt and get to work with my generous coworkers. I was greeted by my favorite dishwasher, a giant El Salvadorean guy who looks like he could have been a short WWF wrestler. He throws his big tough cracked hands up for a high five and hug while I greet him saying “Hola, Papa Oso!” That’s the stuff of life, seriously. We could find reason for resentment and irritation so easily, but there are all these small and relatively insignificant moments that tie us to purpose nd people.
So this evening’s cupcake meandering is dedicated to the grumpy grizzly moments; when you’ve got so much to do and things pull you in all directions. Maybe that grizzly bear has a really soft center and nice crumb, a little graham topped by a nice vegan caramel, maybe a spiced pecan to top. We’ll see what we can get for results in the morning. Flickr pics coming soon.
I really wanted to pull together something beautiful and reflective summarizing 2009 and ringing in 2010 with a big messy kiss. There was some of the kiss the night of, but for you, my cupcake lovers, the words couldn’t come until Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
My cupcakes are all about connecting. I’m a hub, you’re a hub, and between us are the myriad of beautious faces and families creating all the nooks and crannies of the wonderful lives we share.
This week, I observed the tragedy and beauty of Haiti, resenting and treasuring my place in the world, far from terror and so able to give. My 18 year old sister asked me, “Why should we care?” with absolute clarity and venom. I briefly described to her the the Carribean slave trade and the revolving corruption that affects so manny developing nations. Haiti is not an extradordinary disaster compared to the history it’s suffered nor the history of other developing countries stymied by the clash of western and indigenous, other and self; a struggle that we all come to know in our dealings witht he world and people around us. Then she cared. And I hope she cares tomorrow, too. I hope that the immediate shock of the earthquake, paired with the grace of Haiti’s own people pulling it’s communities together let’s a new sense of nation and pride shake the rubble and shackles of the past. And I hope we and the world around them pay attention for as long as it takes, because everything takes time.
So, I know at this point giving to charity may seem like pouring salt over a clusterf*&! of bacteria in Haiti’s festering wounds, but tonight I dedicated my tip wages to Partners In Health. I know, I waited a week, but it’s a small island and it seems PIH is having success actually accessing thse who need their aid and supplies. That said, I am also very proud of the Fairfax County Search and Rescue who are volunteering in Haiti now. I hope the skills and compassion you share help Haitians for many generations. I also hope the media and monetary attention placed on Haiti’s disaster relief translates to eduactional programs and resource sharing that helps Haitians help themselves.
So I’m trying to help myself as well, this year and in those to come, so that I can share my health and happiness with my own hub, MLK day or not. So, being in the cupcake biz, I’m into the gooey crumbly manifestations of joy that people share and make friends with. A very intimate human experience that says a little “I love you” in every bite. I want to share love with everyone in the world… at least a little bit. So how can one sustain copious cupcake production? What managable but still challenging goals can I set for myself?
Last year was an explosion of creativity and disovery, and I hope to bring a little order and sense to it in the new year. This year’s resolution is a simple effort to improve the quality of my life: sleep at least 8 hours a day at least once a week. I think it’ll be an important ingredient to managing my interests and responsibilities. I’m also opening a bank account exclusively for GimmeDemCupcakes to keep things tidy. While I try to keep things, I always try to give, so I’ve decided to start a new part of this webpage called Cupcakes Serve, where I’ll post community events and charitable giving that interests me in the moment (hopefully a nutrition workshop at JLCC featuring GimmeDem…). Then, I’m also trying to really launch this year starting with an Etsy account to manage orders online and then hopefully gaining a following of new friends through farmers markets or some other more public avenue. And then there are the experimetnts… Lots to see and love. I hope you’l chime in. I’d love to hear from you.
I wish you a happy blessed New Year, loved ones.