Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wedding Cake: Mission Accomplished
She's done! I'm exhausted.

If you are into details, the bottom tier is 16" in diameter. The middle is 12" and the top is 8". The frosting is all buttercream. The top and bottom tiers are white cake with a strawberry rhubarb filling. The middle tier is lemon poppy seed with a lemon curd filling. I hope it tastes good.

Here's the pictures. Feel free to critique. (The flowers are silk).


posted by Phoenix | 12:55 PM | 0 comments

Recent Kitchen Projects

No doubt you've been holding your breath, waiting to hear the outcome on the big wedding cake project. I'll get to that soon. But, since I have your attention, I thought I'd post some pictures of other recent kitchen projects.

This is a peach pie with a crumb topping. It was quite yummy.

Another peach pie. For this one I did a cut-out topping. I saw it on a cherry pie and it was pretty, but the peach looks good too.

These are pictures of the great chocolate donut experiment.


posted by Phoenix | 12:25 PM | 0 comments

Friday, September 26, 2008
How much do I ask of you? Very little, right?

Do I have a tip jar? Do I ask you to buy me stuff? No.

Do me one favor. Please. Watch this video, then send it to as many people as you know.

h/t: Ace
posted by Phoenix | 2:48 PM | 0 comments

Baking Bandit
I've been in full wedding cake mode most of the week.

The baking is finally done now and all that remains is the decorating, assembly, and construction. Which, having typed it all out, sounds really bad.

I'll post pictures over the weekend when it is done.
posted by Phoenix | 12:10 PM | 0 comments

My Momma Said If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say...
To say nothing at all.

That's just fine for grade school and middle school. High school too, perhaps.

But here in the real world? That's for fucking losers.

Look, the economy is in trouble. It isn't my fault. It probably isn't your fault either. I'm going to assume that you are like me. That you are a responsible adult. That you pay your bills and your taxes. That you research a major purchase/investment. That you look into a horse's mouth before you climb on top of it.

There are some people...ignorant fools all, that signed mortgages and crap loans. They bought more house or car or lavish lifestyle than they could really afford. And now? Now we all get to pay for their inability to be responsible adults. Fanfuckingtastic. You are thrilled, right?

Me too. I'm fucking over the moon that the responsible Americans get to take it in the ass AGAIN for the dumbshits. That was sarcasm, in case you missed the verbal clues. Some sort of government intervention is likely needed. Not thrilled about that either, being the fan of free-market capitalism that I am. However...I am convinced that without some intervention, we are all going to share in the hangover of the assholes' big drunken binge.

Do you want to know what pisses me off more than the situation that we are in? Fucking goddamn fucking Barack goddamn fucking Obama. That's right. He's a fucking asshole.

He isn't concerned with this nation, it's financial health, my 401K, your child's college fund, nothin'. All this asshole wants is the title "President". I think the motherfucker wants this nation to fail so that he can proclaim himself el Presidente for Life. Did he put down his megaphone and go to DC to help broker a deal? Fuck no. Motherfucker wouldn't know real leadership if a community organizer introduced him to one.

Real leadership is about making tough decisions. Unpopular decisions. Real leadership is about the end game, not just your own personal agenda and ambition. Motherfucker wants the job, but not the hard work that goes with it.

Suppose, God forbid, this country is attacked again on our soil and thousands of Americans die again. Will the asshole come home from his Tahitian vacation or postpone a photo op in the Rose Garden to deal with the situation? I'm not fucking holding my breath that suddenly he will develop a love of this country greater than the love he has of hearing the sound of his own voice.


I swear to God, Ted Fucking Kennedy would have been a better nominee than Barack Hussein Obama.

And I am NO fan of Ted Kennedy.

In case you missed it, another of Obama's buddies is about to be indicted. That bus is getting pretty crowded. Yep. DEMOCRATIC Governor of Illinois and FRIEND OF OBAMA, Rod Blagojevich may soon find himself in a whole new frying pan. This article suggests that the Feds have enough evidence to get him on fraud and conspiracy charges. There may be a connection to another Obama pal, Tony Rezko.

Does Obama have any friends that aren't crooks?

How the fuck can 1/2 the nation be even mildly toying with the idea of electing this guy?

My God! Why not, let's usher in a whole new era of change and let actual crooks run the country for a while. That's "change we can believe in".

Obama is not even remotely qualified for the job. He's not a leader. He's not a statesman. He's not even much of a legislator.

As far as I can tell, he's just an empty (but loud mouthed) suit.

Rant over, for now.

h/t: Gateway Pundit
posted by Phoenix | 11:39 AM | 0 comments

Monday, September 22, 2008
Concert on Tryptophan
Prince Charming and I went to see a concert on Friday night. We went to see Clint Black. We like country music, what can I say? But the entire experience was just...bizarre.

There was nothing wrong with the performance. Black is an amazing musician and his band is supremely talented. And, as soon as the tech guys got the sound figured out (the first song was a garbled mess), there were no issues at all.

But, as I said, it was really bizarre. The concert was held at the Crystal Grand in The Dells. This is a terrific venue in that there are no bad seats in the house. What was bizarre was the crowd. It was like they all had a turkey dinner then came to hear lullabies. I'm not kidding when I say the crowd was somnolent.

I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, but if I don't mention it I would do a disservice to the truth. My husband and I were some of the youngest people present. By that I mean, I would estimate that 75% of the crowd was over the age of 65. Four to 5% were under 30, leaving just 20% between the ages of 30 and 65. I know, I know.

Country music pulls fans from a broad spectrum of demographics. I get it. The problem is, in this case, the crowd seemed to be a real downer on the festivities. It was painful! I felt like apologizing to the band at the end of the show. They were great, but the crowd seemed...unmoved. We were sitting in the middle of a row. In front of me was this little old lady who, I kid you not, moved not one centimeter during the entire performance. Were it not for the fact that her son kept leaning over and talking to her, I would have sworn there was some Weekend at Bernie's action going on. She seemed so frail, in fact, that I felt bad clapping! I was afraid I'd give her a heartattack or make her deaf, or something.

It was an odd experience. I was torn between wanting to clap and stomp and generally have a good time and the notion that everyone around me was so...fatigued. I didn't want to be that asshole who doesn't know when to quit. I didn't want to be the jerk who is ruining it for everyone else, but on the other hand, I'm not sure they were actually awake.

By the end of the show, I was really tired and frustrated with the crowd's response. It seemed so rude.

So, to Mr. Black and the and I say "amazing show! and Thank you" and to the people who couldn't be bothered to act interested in what was going on, I say "SHAME!"
posted by Phoenix | 11:44 AM | 0 comments

Friday, September 19, 2008
More later
posted by Phoenix | 9:45 AM | 0 comments

Things that I know
1. Much better to be an American mother today than a Chinese mother. Fuckohdear, but that shit isn't funny.

2. If you are watching the markets, you are going to need either Pepto or Maalox, depending on your particular stomach.

3. Barack Obama has gone from bad for this country to a fucking disaster. Seriously. His advisors are some of the schmucks responsible for the Fannie Mae AIG debacle. Didja know that? Didja know his good buddy and Finance Chair Penny Pritzker is partly responsible for the whole subprime mess? The good news is that they have been extremely generous to his campaign coffers, so I'm sure they won't be thrown under the bus too soon.

4. The Obama campaign has been doing it's damnedest to renew race wars in the US. If you are so bold to challenge Obama, by God YOU ARE A RACIST. So much for "new politics". This is just old school Chicago Machine shit, folks. If you think that's new, I have some ocean front property for sale on the farm. In Kansas. Some people clearly smell shit and think it smells purty, I don't have any other explanation. If you are still under the misconception that Obama would be good for the country, ask yourself if you ever want to have an opinion that is your own again. 'Cause that's just about what it is coming to. Obama is advocating that his people get all militant and shout in their friends and neighbors faces in their support of him. Note to friends and family: this girl is NOT going to like that. Sell your bullshit to somebody who needs fertilizer, I'm good.

5. This whole hacking of Sarah Palin's email...some asshole is going to jail. Do not pass "go", do not collect $200.

6. And, because I'm missing my daddy this morning I'm going to quote him "Jesus Jumpin' Christ on a pogo stick!"
posted by Phoenix | 9:45 AM | 0 comments

Friday, September 12, 2008
Meme Time
Got this one from CalTech Girl.

1. My uncle once: laughed when I got him with my SuperSoaker.

2. Never in my life: have I bungee jumped.

3. When I was five: I had three boyfriends - J.D., J.T., and Kit. And they all loved me.

4. High school was: a lot of work, but a lot of fun.

5. I will never forget: the color of the sky on 9/11/01. To this day, I call that color "September Eleven Blue."

6. Once I met: yeah, I got nuthin.

7. There's this girl I know: who pretends to be an "actuary", but I'm convinced she's really a spy.

8. Once, at a bar: my grandmother got this guy to buy me a bunch of drinks. Weird story.

9. By noon, I'm usually: exhausted.

10. Last night: I fell asleep watching The Mighty B

11. If only I had: an unlimited supply of money, I would make my family's dreams come true.

12. Next time I go to church: yeah...don't hold your breath on that one.

13. What worries me most: that I'm not a good mother.

14. When I turn my head left I see: my boss

15. When I turn my head right I see: more shit to do.

16. You know I'm lying when: you'll never know. I rarely lie, so people don't notice when I slip one past them.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: leg warmers.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I'd be: aw, come on! Pass.

19. By this time next year: I'd like to be pregnant.

20. A better name for me would be: Opinionated Bitch on Wheels

21. I have a hard time understanding: how people can be pro-choice and still want a universal healthcare system where YOU have no choice, it is all up to some petty tyrant of a bureaucrat.

22. If I ever go back to school: I will get an MBA. Or, go to culinary school. It's a toss up.

23. You know I like you if: I invite you to my home.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: My husband, for putting up with me, then my parents for making sure I could think for myself.

25. Take my advice: don't repeat the talking points - REASON IT OUT ON YOUR OWN.

26. My ideal breakfast is: cheese danish

27. A song I love but do not have is: Troubadour by George Strait.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: get gas before leaving the highway, don't travel without water, and don't speed.

29. Why won't people: quit labeling me? I'm not a Republican. I'm not. I'm a Conservative. If anybody is going to label me, can it please be ME?

30. If you spend a night at my house: be prepared to eat breakfast. We feed our guests. A lot.

31. I'd stop my wedding so: I could tell people to stop whispering in the back.

32. The world could do without: hypocritical greenies

33. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: vote for Obama

34. My favourite blonde(s) : would have to be Theresa

35. Paper clips are more useful than: staples. They are just a better investment since they are reusable.

36. If I do anything well it's: organize shit, manage stuff, and crunch data

37. I can't help but: be a knowitall, it was how I was raised.

38. I usually cry: when I'm supremely frustrated. And when I'm feeling unloved.

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: Never be afraid to say "I don't know" or admit to making a mistake. There are always things we don't know, the challenge is in finding the answers. And, you don't show weakness by admitting to making a mistake, you show intelligence by finding a way to correct the problem.

40. And by the way: despite all rumors to the contrary, I am not the real life embodiment of Cruella de Ville (but I do think she has a snappy theme song).


posted by Phoenix | 9:00 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Remembering Francis J. Skidmore
The following is from my participation in the 2,996 Project. I am reposting it in honor of the anniversary of 9/11.

This is Francis J. Skidmore. I honestly wish that I had known him.

In researching this memorial, I cried many times, and I didn't even know the man. From everything that I have learned about Frank, I feel certain that I would have enjoyed his company. Nobody speaks of him with anything but admiration.

He knew the real meaning of charity. He was a Eucharistic Minister and brought Communion to a homebound parishioner for 20 years. 20 years. That takes real dedication. Some people claim to be charitable, but Frank was the definition of charity. He gave of himself and his time. He worked tirelessly to raise money for his church's school and to bring comfort and aid to underprivileged families in Central Appalachia.

He was such a giving soul, in fact, that his work was recognized by his local Rotary Club. What we had in Francis J. Skidmore was a man dedicated to his fellow man. But there is more to his nature than that. Frank played Santa many times, bringing joy to the lives of children. It isn't hard to imagine him bringing that character to life, right down to the twinkle in the eye.

I imagine that his jovial good nature would have made him a wonderful grandfather. I have no doubt whatsoever that he was an amazing father. A "teddy bear", and I'm sure a great "Daddy." He must have had a terrific sense of humor, too. He urged his pastor to give break-dancing a try. What a guy! He had a joyful spirit and a charitable nature.

He was a loving husband to his wife, Katie, and a devoted father to his three children, F.J., Patrick, and Melissa. He treasured time with his family and didn't miss the moments in his children's lives. He grew from doting and guiding parent to friend as his children matured into adulthood. No doubt, for him, this was the best reward for a job well-done. There was real love there, you can tell from the faces.

Frank seems to be a man who lived his life to the fullest. A life of good times and family vacations at the beach. A man who defined charity and gladly did the work of God. I can imagine the pain his family felt at the loss of such a wonderful man. No doubt they struggle to live up to his legacy when, in fact, all he would probably wish for them is a lifetime of happiness free of want and hurt. A man so loving, so generous, would want the rest of us to live on. Live on, but never forget.
Never forget. Frank, I hope you are enjoying Cheeseburgers in Paradise.
Francis J. Skidmore was a victim of the September 11th attacks. He died on the 85th floor of Two World Trade Center when terrorists piloted United Airlines Flight 175 into the building between floors 78 and 84. These men may have thought they were on a mission from God. Francis J. Skidmore really was.
I remember Francis J. Skidmore. If you remember him too, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
posted by Phoenix | 8:06 AM | 2 comments

Friday, September 05, 2008
On Burning the Candle at Both Ends
As I have posted recently, things have been hoppin' for me professionally. Things have been in transition for some time and I've just been hangin' on.

In the last month in particular, things have become particularly...heavy. I've been hard at work, with my nose to the grindstone, burning the candle at both ends, insert your own tired metaphor here.

Well, today made it all worthwhile.

And not in a small way.

In a HUGE way.

On the one hand, I am supremely aware of how fortunate I am, of the great opportunity I am being given and the trust being placed in me. It is humbling, in a way. On the other hand, I deserve this.

Hey, I'm no Sarah Palin, but I am a rockstar too, in my own little world.

If you have my personal email and want all the glorious details, drop me a line. I won't promise not to gloat though. I've been pretty pleased with myself all day in a mildly insufferable way.

YeeHaw! Phoenix is all about the self-esteem right now. Phoenix loves the positive strokes. (a lot of us Type A, detail-oriented perfectionists do).

Can I get one more in there?

posted by Phoenix | 8:34 PM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Sarah Palin
Boy do I have a red ass over the Left's reaction to the choice of Sarah Palin as McCain's VP.

Instead of appreciating the fact that she is a woman executive who has been running a state, they decry her lack of mothering to her five children. Instead of recognizing her obvious assets to the ticket, they suggest she must have slept her way into the #2 spot. Instead of pointing to her record of fighting corruption, they point out that her teenage daughter is pregnant.

Now, let me ask this, to all of those people who've been spreading this crap:

If it was "racism" for people to point out the ugly remarks of Obama's spiritual mentor, Rev. Wright, "racism" for people to point out that Obama's resume basically says "community organizer" (whatever the hell that is), "racism" for anyone to point to Obama's connections to Tony Rezko the crook and Father Pfleger and let's not forget his terrorist pal Bill Ayers,

HOW THE F*CK is pointing to a woman in power not staying home to raise her babies NOT F*CKING SEXIST?

Does anybody ever ask why a man isn't staying home to raise his kids? NO.

Does anybody ever ask a man when is daughter started having sex? NO.

The whole thing is absolutely disgusting.

And I'm not alone. Just you wait. This whole brouhaha is going to backlash on Obama like a pimp backhanding a mouthy ho.

Yeah. That's right. I said it.
posted by Phoenix | 7:54 PM | 1 comments

Liberals and Conservatives
I have this theory regarding Liberals and Conservatives and how they differ. It plays into why I call myself a Conservative too.

Here's my theory.

Liberals are idealists while Conservatives are pragmatists.

Liberals are all about universal healthcare and a universal living wage, free education for all, and universal equality, etc ad nauseum. These are good ideas, certainly, if you live in some sort of fantasy bubble where the laws of economics, physics, and the other immutable laws cease to be.

For example, universal healthcare is a fabulous idea, but it falls apart when you begin to take a serious look. For example, who the fuck is going to pay for it? When you start looking at ways to pay for this pie in the sky, you realize it is a quick route to bankrupting an economy. And then, there's the whole quality issue. The truth that Michael Moore won't tell you is in places like England and Canada and Cuba, universal health care really means universally poor health care.

Conservatives, on the other hand, are more pragmatic. They realize that the world isn't some sort of nirvana where the laws of economics, physics, and simple human nature can be changed by fiat. Universal health care, while a good idea, isn't feasible. Can we work toward more affordable healthcare? Yes. Will it be free? No. Will everyone be covered? No. But, it will be better.

Liberals always strike me as four-year-olds, incessantly asking "why?". Sometimes, the solutions aren't easy. A lot of the time, when you get out of the sandbox and start paying your own bills, you realize that you do what you can and make the best of the rest. Liberals, in my experience, for the most part, don't think things through to the logical conclusions. They don't even have enough curiosity to come up with a plan to make their pie in the sky feed the masses. They just want it, and by God, that ought to be enough.

Maybe that works for Hello Kitty, but not so much for Adults in the real world.

Hey, look. Gripe about the lack of posts and this is what you get.
posted by Phoenix | 7:40 PM | 1 comments

I have next to know idea what day it is. Well, that's not exactly true. Kids started school today, the summer is officially over, the markets reopened, so it must be Tuesday.

All in all, things have been very busy in Phoenixland. Mostly this means work, but that really is a good thing. Moneymoneymoney, as the theme song from The Apprentice goes.

Bunny Boop is becoming quite a little chatterbox. Just the other day she said, "Mom, look at me." Which, to be honest, kind of freaked me out a bit. Full sentences. Now that's a development! Of course, there are still mystery phrases we can't figure out. Two nights in a row, at bedtime, she kept saying "Buck in a bucket, buck in a bucket" or something like it. She hasn't said it again, but we don't know what it means. Feel free to put your guesses in the comments.

Prince Charming just moved to second shift, so we're trying to figure out how that's going to work. He gets Bunny in the mornings, I get her in the afternoons. We're on Day 1. So far, so good.

Of course, my little princess is rapidly becoming a teenager. From 2 to 12 in the blink of an eye. For example, she is discovering the power of the phone. She'll bring us the handset and say "Call Papa", meaning she wants to call Grandpa. But, if you actually dial him, she doesn't want to talk to him. Sort of like a teenage girl dialing a crush and hanging up when he answers. Of course, teenage girls probably don't do that anymore what with caller id and *69. You get the gist. And then, in full on teenage mode, she rolled her eyes at me tonight.

I was giving her a bath and I asked her to turn around so I could wash her backside. She gave me a look like "what.Ever" and totally rolled her eyes.

I almost laughed! I'm doing better at not laughing at her when she does stuff like this.

Work has been...amazing. I feel like I'm finally back on a career path. That is huge for my self-esteem and self-worth, hard on the other aspects of my life, real and virtual. If you are one of my friends and are feeling neglected, I'm sorry. A normal pattern to my life should return soon. I'll still be busy, but I'll hopefully be dealing with less initial-type stuff.

In the meantime, I'll post as I can.


posted by Phoenix | 7:25 PM | 1 comments


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