Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

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Melting Pot

Whatever Wednesday

I’m sick and spending my day resting up in bed watching movies and snuggling with the girls. I am feeling better than I was yesterday at least – I had to leave work early because of it. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel even better.

Just relaxing in bed is giving me time to think about a variety of things. Depending on where my thoughts wind up that is either a good or bad thing. For the moment my thoughts are centered on the life I have right now, and the life I ultimately want to have. Regardless of what things change over the years for me, there is one absolute constant that has never ever changed: I really want to live out in the country. I hate living in the city. I mean it has perks – you’re close to stores and such. But that is not enough to outweigh the negatives of which I am not going to list or we would be here all day. While it is nice being close to stores, I would rather have some peace and quiet living in the country and have to drive a little bit to get to the store.

My house needs a boatload of work that I am not sure I want to bother with. On the one hand, if I get everything tackled then it’ll be worth more money once I am able to move. But on the other hand I don’t know if it would be worth enough extra to make it worthwhile to do everything that needs done. Much of what needs done I can not do myself so I would need to find a trustworthy person to pay to do the work for me. I might feel differently about it if I could actually do the work myself. I just have such a distrusting nature… time will tell how it all goes, I guess.

I have not been doing great lately, emotionally. Things have changed in some areas of my life and I never seem to do well with change. Even positive changes can be difficult for me to adapt to, so when the changes are maybe not so positive (though not necessarily negative either) I really struggle with it. I was just starting to feel like I have adjusted to all the changes from my big move last year and then things had to go and change on me again. I was not told about things changing till late in the game… not that my thoughts would or even should have made a lick of difference. But had I known earlier maybe I could have had more time to mentally prepare myself. But oh well. Not the first time in my life I’ve had the proverbial rug yanked out from under my feet. I’m sure it won’t be the last, either. The point is, things are different and now I just have to figure out how to deal with the new way things are. I’ve done something potentially very stupid as a coping mechanism but again I guess we just have to wait and see what time does to the whole mess to know exactly how stupid I was for it. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result when the result will always be the same… if you go with that definition then I guess it is time for me to move to a pretty room with padded walls. Shrug. Edit: turns out it was not as stupid as it could have been. I’m oddly disappointed…

I know that was all kind of vague and convoluted but I’m not big on sharing specifics here, as you know.

Moving on. I feel like I need to get some more sleep so I’m off for now. I hope y’all are doing well.

Until next time. xoxo

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

Aly and AJ’s music was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me back in the early 2000’s. (I was familiar with Aly thanks to watching Phil Of The Future, in which Aly played one of the main characters, with eldest niece when she was little. ) When they first broke away from their ties with Disney and became 78Violet I continued to enjoy their music though it was a very different sound than their Disney-directed stuff. Last year they released some new music, once again as “Aly & AJ”, that again had a new style… much to my delight it is very 80s inspired. They posted one new song earlier this year that also has the 80s vibe. Very curious to see if they will be releasing more songs in the coming months.

This week’s Tuesday Tunes is my favorite from the EP they released last year. The lyrics speak to my heart and the music sparks my 80s nostalgia… I just love it.

Melting Pot

Sigh

Don’t mind me. Just a venting session today…

I want to be over him. I need to be over him. I should be over him, after all this time. But I’m not. I’ve been telling myself for months years now that I am, as if simply saying it often enough could make it true. That’s how the law of attraction works basically, right? Say it and visualize it often enough, make yourself believe it, and it’ll be true. Well, it has not ever worked for me. It’s especially not working to heal my shattered heart. If there are doubts as to how over him I may be… this morning I realized I was actively avoiding making eye contact with/getting too close to someone who only vaguely resembles him, if he were a bit older, shorter, chubbier, and had a little less hair on his head. (I did say “vaguely”.) I am definitely far from over him. ☹ I always said the most important thing was for him to be happy, even if that meant not being with me. I meant it. I just never thought his happiness was not going to include me. Or that if it did exclude me, that it would hurt me so much. How can you be so sure of something and turn out to be so horribly wrong?

I have tried to meet someone new. More than I’ve discussed with anybody because honestly it makes me feel like such a pathetic loser to discuss it. It is always an inevitable disaster. Most of the guys I have met were meh… only one really made me feel good and hopeful again and I did discuss that one with people. But he turned out to be married. And he wasn’t really flirting, I just totally misread things. Which I do. I completely suck at relationships. I suck at flirting. I suck at dating. Taking all my awkwardness and the fact I’m completely socially inept into consideration, pairing it with the fact I’m hopelessly broken… no wonder I’m still single. I can’t even at least be considered a hot mess, one has to be attractive for that… I’m just a mess. No man on this planet is going to be crazy enough to want to put up with me.

I’ve got stuff to do.

Until next time. xoxo

Don’t know how I got lost, don’t know how to get back…

Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes

Rascal Flatts released a new single on Friday. Needless to say, I love it. Kind of sad it is not leading to another full length album. They’re testing a new business model of just releasing periodic singles instead. I get the reasons for doing things differently. But I love having all the previous CD’s and would love to continue adding to that collection. I’ll have to settle for just mp3s and no “hard copy” backup, now I suppose.

Melting Pot

Cake Decorator Life

Just some things to keep in mind the next time you are ordering a cake, be it from an independent bakery or a grocery store bakery.

1. Do NOT call to place an order at the last minute. (You KNOW when your child’s birthday is. If not, you suck as a parent.) There is no reason you should be calling at 9 AM wanting a cake by 9:30AM today. Also, do not call at 7PM wanting a cake by 7AM the following morning. Not cool. At all. While each business will have their own time frame on how much notice is required/preferred for a custom cake order, more time is always better.

2. The difference between layers and tiers is important. Nobody ever seems to know the difference. For all the Cake Boss and Ace Of Cakes etc. y’all are watching to think we are all freaking capable of making the sort of cakes those guys do, I would expect you to know the difference between layers and tiers but somehow you don’t. To keep it simple, here is a picture:

From sweetjazmines.com

3. We are NOT familiar with every cartoon, game, toy, tv show, movie, club etc. that your child is currently obsessed with. We are also NOT familiar with every sports team, or with every school’s colors. You’ve got to give us some leeway when you want a specific color used on your cake. When you ask for “Wolfpack red” we most likely have no clue what that color is. So we google it. The problem is every monitor/device is a bit different. (Also a problem: search for a color. Try “soft turquoise” or “golden yellow”. Go on, I’ll wait… What’s that? You got a ton of different shades in the results and they are all called the same thing, so you don’t know which one is the right one?! Welcome to my world!) So we are color matching a digital image as displayed on our device the best we can, but it may not match the “real life” color or be the same color you had in mind. Unless you can offer an actual color sample we can keep and use to color match (even then we can not always get it exact so please do not expect exact), do NOT be too picky about your color.

4. Please do not tell us to “just do whatever you want”. Whenever this happens and we decorate however we want, because that is what you told us to do, without fail when you pick up your cake you are going to suddenly realize you DID want certain colors/decorations and they’re nothing like what we did. You need not be hyper-specific (in fact we prefer you not be, the more specific you want things the less likely we can meet your demands) but we need something. If the extent of something is “It is for a 43 year old male’s birthday, he likes the color green.” believe me when I tell you that is far better than “Do whatever you want”.

5. Copyright issues are not up to us. Bitching at us when we say we can not do the cake you want due to copyright is not going to change anything. We are not risking our jobs for you to have a copyrighted image on your cake. PS your kid’s school picture is not yours to use on a cake. It sucks I know, but technically the photographer owns it. Same goes for any and all professional photos (weddings, high school sports teams etc). And no you can NOT get around it by taking a picture of the copyrighted picture you want to use. And no, drawing it with icing as opposed to printing a sugar sheet with the image is not a workaround, either.

6. Please do not treat us like we are morons when we ask you to spell the name going on the cake, when we repeat it back to you, and repeat the dance two or three times. Even if the name is “AJ”. We are asking, asking again, and verifying multiple times for a reason. That reason is we have seen even the simplest of names spelled about fifty different damn ways. We do not want to assume how the name is spelled and get it wrong because then you are going to be pissed off at us for spelling it wrong. For all we know “AJ” is spelled “Ai Jae”. (Made that up but if you want a real life example just one of many I can provide: it sounded like “Wendy”, but it was spelled “Wuendi”. This is why we ask you to spell names, people.)

7. If you come to pick up your order and we can not find it right away do not immediately get angry with us. You have no idea how many cakes we have made today that need to be looked through to find yours. Also, when we ask you “What name was the order under?” we mean exactly that. We are not asking what name was written on the cake. Unless the name on the cake is the same as the name on the order of course. In which case by all means, give us the name that is on the cake!

8. For the love of all that is good in this world when you pick up your cake, know the name on the order. This contributes to us not being able to find it as in number 7 above more often than not. Speak clearly when you tell us your name so that we can understand what the hell you are saying, know the name on the order, and also know what size cake and how it was decorated just in case for some reason the order form is not with the cake anymore as it is meant to be. If you send someone else to pick up for you make sure they know these details. Sad this needs said but every day people pick up cakes not knowing what name it is under or any details about it, and they get pissed off at us when we can’t find it. 😒🙄

9. There is no such thing as “regular size” cake or “regular” icing, or “regular cake” in general.

10. Be patient. If you approach the counter and can see we are very clearly in the middle of something, especially something messy or that probably can not be interrupted (like pouring melted chocolate over a tray of cakes) please just give us a minute or two to finish up. Especially if we have indeed made eye contact with you (even if we have not verbally greeted you yet – we are concentrating dammit!). We know you’re there. We just can not always immediately assist you. Especially important if you can see we are all alone with no coworkers to help us out, and the thing we are busy with is another customer.

11. Do not complain about the prices. For one, we have no control over the prices (particularly true at grocery store bakeries). More importantly, if you think the time, effort, and skill going into your cake is worth so little… do it yourself. I mean it. If you sincerely believe you can do as well as we do or even better and for less cost, and in the amount of time we do it, then go buy all your necessary supplies and make your cake yourself. Please take pictures and come back to share because we are all super eager to see your talent and how it matches or even far exceeds our own.

12. Yes the majority of the “ready” cakes in the grocery store bakery are decorated in very simple ways. Do not insult our work on those cakes as being “basic”. You have NO idea of the volume of cakes we sell each day. If we had the time to devote to more detailed cakes we would. But time is not a luxury we have when we have to produce dozens of custom orders which do get a bit more time but still need to be completed quickly (*a “normal” weekday often sees 10-20 orders, weekends see 30-50, holidays or other special event seasons such as graduation can easily see 80+ orders IN ONE DAY), ~60-100 “ready” cakes, dozens upon dozens of cupcakes, answer phone calls, assist customers who approach the counter to place orders or ask questions or get items from the display case or have a ready cake written on, we have to have a lunch break at some point, sometimes we need to use the restroom, keep an eye on and constantly refill display cases and any self service cases the customers can get items from themselves, we have to wash and sanitize all our dishes at the end of our shift, and we are still expected to also clock out on time when our shift is over. Yes those ready cakes are simple. Because simple is fast and with what we have to do in 8 hours, fast is necessary. If you don’t like it, make your own cake. * Numbers based on where I work. This will obviously be different for different businesses.

13. We are human. We make mistakes. Same as you. Please do not flip out if there is a problem with your cake. If you calmly, politely communicate this to us immediately upon seeing your cake (aka do not say it looks good and walk away then come back two minutes later complaining and acting like the world is ending because your cake is not quite right) we will be a lot more interested in finding a solution than if you act like a raving lunatic about it. Also do not ask for unreasonable “fixes”. Remember this is cake and icing we are working with. An airbrushed design will need redone from the beginning to be fixed. Sometimes just scraping off what is wrong and replacing it is not possible. Believe it or not we did not intentionally mess up your cake, and if we can we will gladly fix it up for you the best we can but you being polite about it goes a long way in determining our level of desire to fix it for you.

14. Men like flowers on their cakes too. Do not be afraid of asking for flowers on a cake for a man. Or even pink or purple which are “girly” colors. They are just colors for crying out loud, they mean absolutely nothing. Want to know a secret? Most men don’t give a crap what the cake looks like, they just want it to taste good.

15. Don’t ask for a highly detailed smash cake for your kid’s first birthday. I get that you want it to match the party theme and all but… it’s a smash cake. It can be plain. Seriously. And no, tiny cakes are not easier to ice and decorate. They are actually harder to ice, if you wanted to know. You probably didn’t but I am putting that fact out there regardless.

16. When you order a stacked cake, yes there will be supports of some sort inserted in the cake. If this is going to make you flip out for some reason, order a sheet cake. Stacked cakes need dowels for support so they do not topple over. If you’re going to get pissed about dowels in your cake… you seriously should not be ordering a stacked cake.

17. The number of servings in any size cake is up to you, based on how you cut it. There are industry standards based on a certain size serving, which is how we are able to tell you this size cake will be this many servings. But if you cut differently you will not get the same number we told you. I personally make sure to mention this to every person I take an order from, so they understand just because I said 24 servings does not mean you will get 24 servings. You may only get 16 or you could get 30, depends how big you cut the pieces.

18. Wedding cake is always priced per serving. Using the industry standards mentioned above. Don’t get pissy with me about this. That’s just how it is done. I do not have to be at your wedding cutting the cake to tell you how many servings your cake will be. I am telling you how many servings you will get based on the industry standard, Bridezilla. Every other bakery you talk to is going to tell you the same thing.

19. Every bakery charges for the edible images or cake kits if you are choosing one of those options for your decoration, or for more detailed decorating such as hand drawn icing images. You trying to tell me “nobody else” charges for them is laughable, because I know 100% they do. They would be losing money if they were not charging for those things. They might not show you the itemized cost like I just did but I guarantee you’re paying for it.

20. The person taking your order may not be the person making your order. They may not even be a cake decorator at all. The person giving you your cake when you pick it up may not be the person who made it. They may not even be a cake decorator at all. It takes a variety of people to keep things going – miscommunications can happen. This is why we “annoy” you by asking for more details than to may have anticipated when you order, and why we repeat things several times. Even so things still sometimes go awry.

21. Do not order a cupcake cake then ask for it to have “very little icing”. Do you understand what happens when round objects are used to make square/rectangular (or other) shapes? Gaps. Gaps happen. Gaps that need to be filled in with a ridiculous amount of icing if you want the surface of your cupcake cake reasonably level and smooth. If you do not want a lot of icing do not order a cupcake cake. Just order a cake. Or cupcakes. But not a cupcake cake.

22. Don’t get angry with us because we don’t have the item you came in for without ordering it in advance. We are not psychic. Even if we were, we can’t tell another customer “Sorry you can’t buy that, someone else is coming in six minutes and forty-two seconds to get it and they are more important than you.”

23. Some items are only available through a custom order and are never available as a “ready” item. Again, do not get pissed at the cake decorator when you just come in without planning in advance and you find out the item you want is not available immediately and can not be made instantly just for you. I’ll be sure to ask Doc to make me a Delorean to enable me to have your desired item ready for you at the time you needed it, but till then you are going to have to accept that some things just are not available unless you plan ahead and place an order.

24. If a ready cake has been decorated in such a way that: there is no room for writing to be added or: the cake is entirely covered with an uneven texture (such as the currently popular rosettes all over design) for the love of God do not ask us to write on it. It is not going to look good. It is akin to trying to write on a piece of paper while in a car traveling on a bumpy, windy road full of pot holes alternating with speed bumps. (Yes that was redundant. Intentionally.)

25. When you ask us to write on a ready cake please do not ask us to also add additional decoration to it. It has already been decorated. If you are not happy with it choose a different one, or place an order for what you actually want. If you need it now and can not order in advance, then take what is there for you to choose from, as it is. Asking us to further decorate an already decorated cake, or to scrape off existing decorations/borders to replace them with something else, is an assholey thing to do. Beggars can’t be choosers, as mama always taught me.

26. It’s fondant, not fondue.

Be kind. Cake decorators are human too and behind the job-required smile and friendly demeanor, you have no clue what we are going through. Even if your cake is “totally wrong” – be kind. Mistakes happen. Orders get misplaced (though we try hard not to let this happen) or put up on the wrong peg (ie it is on the peg for Thursday’s orders instead of Wednesday’s). Things are miscommunicated, misread, misheard, written incorrectly, and what have you. Be kind. You see the apron covered in smears and smudges of a dozen or more colors of icing. The shirt under the apron even has icing all over it. The cake decorator before you may even have icing on their arms and face. They may be red faced and sweaty. They have been working harder than you realize on those cakes you think are “basic” and/or not worth the price tags, that may or may not have imperfections or mistakes on them. Be kind. They have been on their feet all day. Lifting and moving 50+ pound buckets of icing, similarly heavy boxes of cakes and cupcakes and other items. They have been making big batches of icing, and cleaning a commercial size mixing bowl that is both huge and heavy, and quite difficult to maneuver in the sink. They have spent considerable time in a freezer so cold it makes their fingers numb within minutes, hunting for the boxes of frozen goods they need for all those cakes. Be kind. They probably have not eaten for several hours, even though they are starving. They have walked several miles just running around the bakery/store trying to get things done. Be kind. They’ve had their eyes on the clock, stressing over getting orders done in time, sometimes finishing orders as the customer approaches to pick it up and on really bad days having to ask the customer to wait a few minutes because the cake is not done on time. They are exhausted. Their hands are cramped, tired, and sore. Their back, shoulders, and feet are all aching. They have a headache. Their nose is dry and itchy (and colorful) from the airbrush particles they have been inhaling while airbrushing cakes. They may not be feeling well. Be kind. They may have recently lost a loved one. Gone through a tough breakup/divorce. Had a miscarriage. Lost their home. Just had one of those crappy days where everything goes wrong. Be kind. You have no idea what is behind their smile – so please be kind.

Melting Pot

Randomosity

It’s been a while, I know. I just never really have time for a proper post anymore. Working extra hours which is good because I need the money, but it leaves me with little free time. What free time I do have I need to study and run errands and clean the house etc. And try to sleep. Blogging is just the last thing on my mind these days.

Work sucked today. Not getting into specifics but we will leave it at entitled, rude, impatient, inconsiderate customers outnumbered the “normal” customers today. My arms are sore from some muscle strain from a previous work day. I hurt my hand getting some cakes from the back freezer. My shoe was rubbing my ankle the wrong way for some reason, leaving me with a raw, sore spot that is very painful. Yep. Today sucked.

I hate when people try to be helpful and tell me that I should “get out more” if I want to meet someone special. I know the advice is coming from a good place but… I’m an introvert. Who works retail. I work more often than I don’t. Thus my days are filled with being around people. On the days I do not work the LAST thing I want is to go out and voluntarily be around people. I want to just stay home and rest and relax as much as possible, given my to do list of things that need tackled on those days. I NEED to have alone time to recharge so I can face the next work day. Unless you are also an introvert you just can’t understand how exhausting it is to have to be around people all day. Yes I would like a special friend but I just do not have the time or energy to try to meet someone, or to spend with someone if I did meet someone nice.

I got most of the branches and twigs picked up from the yard that the hurricane knocked down. I tried but can’t move the big limb that broke off one of the trees. I can get it to pivot around a bit but can’t actually move it. I’ve a hunch it is too big to set by the curb for collection anyway. Since I don’t have help to move it or necessary power tools to cut it down to manageable sized pieces it will just stay there forever I guess, as a playground for the squirrels.

I finally fished a book I had been trying to get through for the past year. Yes. A year. I chose the book because one of my favorite authors had recommended it, and it seemed quite interesting based on the synopsis. The book in question is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. Sadly it was a huge disappointment. It was ridiculously slow paced, nothing ever really happened. The story followed multiple characters and storylines which if done well can work out nicely but not in this case. Most of the individual plots were completely unnecessary to the main story. It was filled to the brim with prattle that did nothing to move the story along. There was no true conflict, no climax to the story, no real resolution. Nothing unexpected ever happened – you could see every “twist” coming from the beginning. The reactions of the characters to the ultimate revelation the main story is built around are so completely unrealistic and passive, it’s as if nothing even happened. I tried so hard to get into the story but could never manage to. I wound up skimming, speed reading, and even flat out skipping pages as I went just to get through it. If all the unnecessary fluff were removed it could easily have been a short story told in two or three brief chapters, not the 59 chapters long 400+page novel it is. I had never read anything from this author before… and I am not at all inclined to ever read any of her works again. Her style of writing just isn’t my cup of tea at all, based on this book (and the three-chapter preview of another book in the back of it).

Anywho, it is nearly bed time already. I’m off.

Until next time. xoxo