Tag Archives: cake

let them eat cake.

you can have your cake and eat it, too.

:: this is most often used negatively, to connote the idea of consuming a thing whilst managing to preserve it. it may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve, or trying to have two incompatible things ::

(thanks, wikipedia.)

there was an incident recently, where in, a man with a pink cake box (half open with a plastic white fork piercing a sloppy mess of what appeared to be the remains of a third of a vanilla cake) approached and offered me said cake. the man himself was covered in frosting. and i mean covered. it was everywhere.

was he homeless? i think so, he certainly looked and acted the part. i was minding my own business on the Peter Macchiarini steps, also known as ‘the stairway to san francisco.’ i wouldn’t really call them that myself. it’s basically a really steep street with two sidewalks on either side that are, well, steps instead of flat ground because they are so steep. there’s nothing particularly stunning about them. they provide a nice-ish view of the city, but nothing you’d think the average tourist would wet his pants over (even though tourists tend to flock there with their cameras, but they always look a bit disappointed after they take their many pictures).

he was pretty f*cking serious about sharing that cake with me. i politely and then not so politely declined his offer(s) more than once before gathering my things to move along and find another place to kill the remaining forty minutes of my lunch break (which is more difficult than it sounds because have you ever noticed how hard it is to find ‘somewhere to sit’ when you are really looking for one?). upon my departure of these steps he very loudly demanded a cigarette from me. notice i used the word demanded, not asked. it was at this point that, for the first time in my life, i reprimanded a homeless person. i actually had the what-have-you to tell him to “use his manners” and “say please.” part of me was ready to bolt in the event he didn’t appreciate my ‘tude (attitude, that is) and another part of me was painfully curious to see how he’d react to such a reprimand and ‘good manners’ reminder. he looked a little bewildered by what i had said, but he was entirely submissive. i had, apparently, caught him off guard. he, quite simply, replied “may i please have a cigarette?” i was in such disbelief myself that i blindly handed him one from my pack and proceeded to bolt across broadway, knowing that there was no way he could chase me without dropping that cake box, and trust me, he was gripping that cake box like a mother might grip a lost child she’d just found, holding on for dear life.

(i have a confession :: although i did not eat that cake, it really did look delicious and i really was tempted.)

now i feel the need to explain my absence from this blog-world because i had gotten into the habit of writing every week (if not more). as we all know, that thing called life tends to get in the way, so let me summarize as best i can ::

i certainly can’t blame cake-man (not a far cry from caveman, eh?) for my blog neglect (er, blogect?). hot d*mn i’m feeling clever this afternoon (stay tuned for more wicked word combinations). my room became uncontrollably messy just as my life did. these two things always seem to coincide with each other and i do not think that it’s a coincidence. halloween happened, which was ok. my outfit was great, but the holiday itself lacked the usual gusto i have gotten so used to on the thirty first of october. the people of san francisco just don’t seem to pray to the halloween gods as much as the people of new york city seem to. it was so bad that i nearly didn’t dress up, which would have meant that for the first time in my life (twenty seven short years) i didn’t dress up. i decided that that was unacceptable, so i dressed up with a friend and had a rather tame evening walking around town in an effort to show off my costume. i dressed as Mrs. Mia Wallace, known better as ‘Uma Thurman’s character from Pulp Fiction.’ her character after she unknowingly snorts a line of heroine (oops). so i donned a white button up shirt, black slacks, and a bloody nose (and a syringe protruding from my chest). a great costume, but not my favorite halloween. sigh, these things happen.

and after the end of october? i don’t really know what happened. i was busy jogging, working, and painting. a friend came into town. my schedule at work changed for a week while my manager was out of town. and then my job title at work changed (and i received a raise)(both of which are terribly exciting!). and then i was invited to participate in not one, but three, group shows that are all set to open in the first week of december. you know, life stuff.

today i sit here at my desk this afternoon wearing a bright blue beanie (gifted to me by roommate, er rather he didn’t want it so i got it), a scarf (obtained from a thrift store in Stockholm), and paint covered sweatshirt and sweatpants with my best friend on my lap (my cat, Alaska). it’s been raining for the last day or two here in san francisco. a seattle sort of rain that makes you cold to the bone, but it feels good. it feels cozy to be inside surrounded by my favorite music and paints. i only realized this morning at 11:30am (after a thirty minute jog, coffee, and hot shower) that it was sunday not monday. which means that i didn’t have a meeting at 2:30, a haircut at 3:3o, another meeting at 5:00, and dinner at 7:00. it means that all i have to do for the rest of the day is paint. and i can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

next week i will tell you all about my plans to ignore this coming thursday the twenty fourth of november, Thanksgiving.

jessi

 

 

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the beaver cake, a story of stacked sugar

i never told you about the beaver cake.

a well known illustrator and artist in the area, by the name of Jeremy Fish, frequents our art store for all of his supplies. unlike most well known illustrators and artists, he’s actually not an asshole. he doesn’t have an inflated ego (even though, technically, his work could back him up if he did because he’s amazingly talented). on the contrary, he’s one of the nicest customers that we have and also happens to be completely hilarious. he’s a good egg, if you ask me.

so, when his birthday came ’round (about a month ago), we wanted to do something special for him. we, as an art store, wanted to give him a great gift. so, we collectively decided to give him a sort of ‘super market sweep’ of our store. we even locked the top gate of the store to ensure that no other customers would interfere with what turned out to be a rather epic event. the ground rules were simple ::

1. chug a Tecate – to ensure a certain level of inebriation

2. put your head on a bat (rested on the floor) and spin around three times – to ensure disorientation, dizziness, and loss of balance

3. take two full minutes to run around the store (without the aid of a basket or staff) and collect all the items that you desire (in his case, it was mainly brush packs and pencils)

4. at the two minute mark (which we not only counted down out loud, but also counted down by playing Iron Maiden’s ‘Run for the Hills‘ as he sprinted throughout the store), make it back to the main counter and hit the bell

5. please, don’t bankrupt us by taking hugely expensive items

this birthday extravaganza was a great success. he was surprisingly coordinated and thoughtful. i say ‘surprisingly’ only because my manager did a test run (we were trying to figure out just how many minutes we should allow Jeremy to have to raid our store) and during this test run (minus the Tecate), she managed to knock down several displays and drop a handful of items. it’s actually kind of a miracle she didn’t crash head first into one of our brick walls.

now you have to understand, if you are a friend of mine and it is your birthday, i will bake you a cake. sure, the cake will be baked from a box mix, but it will be a very special cake. i ask for only three things :: 1. flavor 2. color & 3. animal.

Jeremy’s requests were as follows :: 1. vanilla 2. brown & 3. beaver.

a lot of people ask me how i construct these cakes because they aren’t just 9 x 12 ” cakes with a drawing of an animal on top. i actually make the animal. it is an entirely three dimensional cake. i’ll bake two 8 ” circles and carve out what i need to stack the layers accordingly to make the animal. i’m actually quite proud of the birthday cakes i’ve made even though most of the time they look like the result of cake making amateur hour. it really is more about the thought and planning and love i put into the cake than it is about the cake itself. regardless, i’ve made some great cakes over the years (yes, that was the sound of my ego inflating). 

with the help of a box of vanilla cake mix, frosting, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, and oreos, the beaver cake was born. it’s just as ugly and awkward as it is cute and endearing. it was a labor of love and i am still very proud of it.

so, Jeremy came into the store last week and the first thing he said, er asked, was, “you want to hear something heart warming ?” our answer was, obviously, “yes.” he then told us that on the day of his birthday, when he received the cake, he had had a party at his apartment that night. he had planned on consuming the cake with his friends, but because he got so plastered he decided against the idea of cake in an effort to avoid throwing up cake on his walls. so the cake remained, untouched, in his refrigerator. one day passed. then another. and another. the cake remained untouched since it was not only an adorable little critter of a cake, but also the birthday had passed. how could he eat his own birthday cake several days after his actual birthday and party ? so he left the cake in his fridge, unsure as to what to do with it.

at this point he alerted us to his ‘bachelor status.’ saying that at any given time his fridge really only holds beer and a small selection of condiments. he said he might have a friend over from time to time, ask for them to a retrieve a beer from the fridge, and the friend would – without fail – make a remark at this strange cake in the fridge. “what THE HELL is this ?” he’d explain the circumstances and that was that. until a friend claimed that this cake was going to ‘go bad.’ now, the cake may be incredibly stale by this point, but as Jeremy said, there aren’t “maggots crawling out of it.” it’s just sitting there, in his fridge, preserved as a stack of sugar in the form of a brown vanilla flavored beaver. he went so far as to call his mom to ask her if this cake could go bad. should he throw it away even though it doesn’t seem to pose a risk to his health or the cleanliness of his fridge ? she said it was most likely just fine staying there until, of course, it showed serious signs of deterioration, mold, or otherwise. 

so, with all of that said, Jeremy came to the conclusion that my cake is proudly on display in his fridge, well preserved in it’s perfectly chilled environment. it was only then that it hit me, i have a cake on display in Jeremy Fish’s apartment. of all the cakes i have constructed over the years (this birthday cake endeavor began in 2004), i am most proud of this one which remains untouched, uneaten, and on display in the fridge of an illustrator and artist that i admire not just a little bit, but a lot. and that’s pretty f*cking awesome if you ask me.

jessi

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Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)