"They" say that you learn something every day.
Today's knowledge should certainly win me a round at some point at the infamous "Geeks Who Drink" trivia nights.
Who is this young man jumping on this album cover?
I remember seeing this single at the local record store when I was a young deviant skipping school to purchase music and smoke cigarettes. I know why I opted not to buy this single? Probably because I decided I needed smokes and I already had the album "The Queen is Dead". Or my best friend April had it and I was bugging her for a taped copy. My memory is foggy. I do know that I acquired my very own copy of "The Queen is Dead" while on a teenage road trip to Douglass Wyoming. That trip is a whole other blog post.
Many people credit that as the Smiths best album. I disagree. My personal favorite is Louder Than Bombs. I can credit that little love affair with an old high school flame. I still love that album. It is not possible to listen to it and not think of Greg (RIP) Again, that is a whole other blog post.
Back on track...
Who is this?
Do you know?
None Other than Truman Capote.
Yes, the Author of In Cold Blood, also made an appearance on The Smiths album cover.
Don't you feel smarter now?
If you win a beer for this knowledge you can thank me later.
Last weekend at the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, Aan Evening of award Winning Shorts, there was one film in particular that struck me. It was a short (8 minute) film, it was spoken word. The Film was titled: "A Finger, Two Dots and Me" It was based off the following poem...
Lying together in the park on Seventh, our backs smoosh grass and I say I will love you till I become a child again, when feeding me and bathing me is no longer romantic, but rather necessary.
I will love you till there is no till. Till I die. And when that electroencephalogram shuts down, baby that’s when the real lovin’ kicks in.
Forgive me for sounding selfish but I won’t be able to wait under the earth for you (albeit a romantic thought for groundhogs, gophers and the gooey worms). I will not be able to wait for you…
but I will meet up with you and here’s where you will find me: get a pen–
Hold your finger up (two fingers if your hands are frail by now) and count two stars directly to the left of the North American moon. You will find me there. You will find me darting behind amazing quasars Behind flirtatious winks of bright and blasting boom stars!
Sometimes charging so far into space the darkness goes blue. I will be there chasing sound waves riding them like two-dollar pony ride horses that have finally broken free and wild. I will be facing backwards, lying sideways, no hands, sidesaddle, sometimes standing sometimes screaming zip zang zowie! My God, it’s good to be back in space… Where is everybody?
You will recognize my voice. You will see the flash of a fire trail burning off the back of me burning like a gasoline comet kerosene sapphire. This is my voice. Don’t look for my body or a ghost. I’ll resemble more a pilot light than a man now.
I’m sure some will see this cobalt star white light from earth and cast me a wish like a wonder bomb. And I’ll think “Hmmph. people still do that?”
I’m sure I’ll take the light wonder bombs to the point in the universe where sound does end. The back porch of God’s summer home.
It’s so quiet here, you float. It feels the way cotton candy tastes.
I say to him… why do I call you God? He says ‘Because Grand Poobah sounds ridiculous.’ (Who knew he was so witty?) I ask him ‘Lord, so many poets have tried to nail it and missed, what is holy?’
At that moment, the planets begin to spin and awaken and large movie screens appear on Mars, Saturn and Venus each bearing images I have witnessed and over each and every clip flashes the word holy.
armadillos–holy magic tricks–holy cows’ tongues–holy snowballs upside the head–holy clumsy first kisses–holy sneaking into movies–holy your mother teaching you to slow dance the fear returning the fear overcome–holy eating top ramen on upside-down frisbees cause it was either plates or more beer–holy drunk beach cruiser nights–holy the $5.00 you made in vegas and the $450.00 you lost–holy the last time you were nervous holding hands–holy feeling God at a pool hall but not church–holy sleeping during your uncle’s memorized dinner prayer–holy losing your watch in the waves and all that signifies–holy the day you got to really speak to your father cause the television broke–holy the day your grandmother told you something meaningful cause she was dying–holy the medicine the hope the blood the fear the trust the crush the work the loss the love the test the birth the end the finale the design in the stars is the same in our hearts the design in the stars is the same in our hearts in the rebuilt machinery of our hearts
So love, you should know what to look for and exactly where to go…
Take your time and don’t worry about getting lost. You’ll find me. Up there, a finger and two dots away. If you’re wondering if I’ll still be able to hold you …I honestly don’t know
But I do know that I could still fall for a swish of light that comes barreling and cascading towards me.
It will resemble your sweet definite hands. The universe will bend. The planets will bow. And I will say “Oh, there you are. I been waitin’ for ya. Now we can go.”
And the two pilot lights go zoooooooom into the black construction paper night
as somewhere else two other lovers lie down on their backs and say “What the hell was that?”
Editor Note: This was supposed to be published two days ago on 3/30/11 Alas, I suck and it didn't happen. Enjoy...
Today is my friend Shannon’s 30th birthday!!!
Not just ANY “dirty 30” mind you… SHANNON’S 30th B-day.
In order to respect Shannon’s privacy and because she does not define herself with her illness I will spare the details there, but give all the good news.
Four weeks ago Shannon was readmitted to University Hospital in Denver, this time was only 5 weeks after the last time she checked out. These frequent visits were very unnerving. As a friend you want to keep an upbeat and positive attitude, but we were all concerned. This was not good news. About a week before her re-admittance she decided to put herself on the Lung transplant list. She had been eligible for this list for quite some time but I suspect she stalled going on the list because she wasn’t going to let the disease “win”.
Through texts messages we agreed I would come to see her on Sunday and cheer her up, bring in some food (probably Thai) and we would do whatever we do when we hang out in a hospital room and pretend we are anywhere else and the nurses are really just there for entertainment.
The next day, Wednesday March 2, I got the text from Shannon. “Sunday won’t work for us to hang out, I am getting lungs tonight!”
Yes, less than a week on the list and only hours after the doctors said her chances for lungs any time soon was bleak. She was second on the list and lower priority. So here we are 4 weeks later. On her 30th Birthday! A birthday doctors said she may not see, and on top of it all, no needed oxygen. She can breathe.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends in ‘good’ places. I think breathing is the best gifts Shannon could have gotten for her B-DAY! Although the running shoes I am buying for her are going to be a close second best. Get up and at ‘em girl! You’ve got some training to do!
Sorry I have neglected you. I have a valid reason. It’s not a good excuse, but it is true.
See, this spring I got a hair brained idea to purchase a business. A flower shop to be exact.
Why? Well many reasons.
To name a few: I was getting way too much free time, I was enjoying sleeping in, or only setting my alarm to go on 5 am swims, or for fun events. My friends were tired of reading my facebook status updates of my travels to Puerto Rico, volunteer work at various beer, music and film festivals. It was kind of freaking me out how many ‘famous’ people I was meeting this year. It was getting a little frightening. My dog and cat were getting sick of me being around the house so much. Ski season was over. Oh yeah, and I can’t forget, I needed one of those job things, since I was less than enthusiastic about going back into IT I figured I would create my dream job.
So what better way to solve these issues? Buy a business! It will take up all your free time and teach you many lessons in the process. Since I love learning lessons hands on. I had my work cut out for me.
The process of purchasing a business I think is the closest I will ever come to having a baby. Not that I have had a baby to compare this too, but after seeing what many of my friends went through with childbirth, I feel like I can relate.
In the beginning of the process, random people would immediately ask you if you are married and if this was planned (I am NOT kidding). The first to ask me this question was my first bank I went to in order discuss financing, yes, even though this is highly illegal, I was asked “How do you expect to do this without a husband?” Hello 1954, please go away and come back to 2010. Needless to say I did not get my loan from that bank and I am in process of closing my accounts there.
Everywhere I turned it seemed like everyone had unsolicited advice to give. Some good, some not so good, and much from people with no credibility to give advice.
My workout regime along with my diet pretty much went to hell.
I would wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares of “what if I screw this up?”
I dreaded and anticipated the delivery date.
Since the delivery date(June 1) I have not slept or ate much. Again grabbing food and short naps when I can. Not even going to talk about my workout schedule. Or I should say, what workouts? I have participated in one triathlon and the MS150 bike ride this summer, but both of those performances showed my lack of commitment to ‘training’. I do however still plan to go to SF for the Nike half marathon in October. Note the ‘half’. I will not be training for the full marathon.
My social life has suffered horribly. If you want to find me, I’ll be at the shop.
In the end, I will drive a mini-van. Heck, even my ‘mom’ friends, I can only think of a couple that have mini-van’s. I am not afraid, It will have a lot of flowers on it. It’ll be cool!
Even though this list looks like a whining list. Believe me it is not.
I could not be happier! I am working ridiculous hours, but I am for the first time in my professional career, feel like I have found my ‘fit’. Playing with flowers and making people happy every day. Who wouldn’t love that? Oh yeah, plus I get the bonus of reading all those cards people send with flowers. That alone is a whole other blog.
(Editor note: I wrote ths blog a couple of months ago after returning from my trip to Culebra. I have withheld posting it until I had photos to match. By a little proding from an old friend across the pond, I am posting this without photos so Val can make some rumcake)
A few years ago, I found a rumcake recipe online that I tried, loved, shared and accepted all rave of all my friends saying it was the best Rumcake they EVER had. This includes my ex semi-expat parents that spend a better part of a decade as Antiguan residents. Let’s just say, my family knows good Rumcake when they have it. And I make a MEAN Rumcake.
The recipe I used and pretty much still follow came from Pioneer Woman. I change some of the technique’s some. But I don’t want to completely plagiarize her recipe.
Recently I traveled to a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico to lay to rest my dear Aunt Judy that passed away rather un-expectantly. Aunt Judy was known for a lot of things, speaking her mind, causing a social ruckus and baking a mean Rumcake. In fact her cakes were famous, if you ate a Rumcake on Culebra, more than likely you were eating my Aunt Judy’s Rumcake. She supplied them to all the restaurants on the island. Her Rumcakes had been written up multiple times in travel magazines.
I regret I never got down to Culebra to visit my Aunt and have her Rumcake. In fact I was supposed to go for my first visit this month. That’s Aunt Judy for you, Leave the party early and forget to say good-bye.
When I arrived in Culbra, after settling down for the evening, my cousin Tracy (who I secretly think is really an older sister since we are so similar in soo many ways) asked me “Want to make one of Mom’s Rumcakes?”
Oh hell yes!!! (I really wanted to spy the recipe)
Imagine my shock when I saw the recipe and discovered it is the same as mine?
I could be selfish and keep it as my own, but that is not my family’s way. I will continue the family tradition and sell the Rumcakes whenever I can, but I won’t hesitate to share the recipe either.
By the way if you’re too lazy to bake this yourself, I will do it for you and sell it for $25. I am still trying to figure out shipping so unfortunately you need to be local at this time for me to deliver it.
Okay, so enough of the bibble babble, let’s get to the RUMCAKE!
First you will need GOOD rum, I personally like Cruzan Coconut Rum. Aunt Judy Swears you need Bacardi Dark Rum. Who am I to argue with Aunt Judy? Use the Bacardi for this recipe, okay?
As for the cake mix, but a yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix. This saves you from having to add a box of pudding, plus again it is one of the few discrepancies between AJ and I. I am going for her rules, so do it!
RumCake: 1 Box Yellow cake Mix (pudding in the mix)—If you can’t find this kind, buy a box of instant vanilla pudding to add. 4 eggs ½ cup cold water ½ cup canola oil ½ cup rum 1 cup chopped pecans
Glaze: 1 ½ cups REAL butter ¼ cup water 1 ½ cups sugar ¾ cups Rum
Preheat Oven to 325 degrees
Grease a Bundt pan with either flour and butter (if you still do that)—or cheat with cooking spray. I use the non-stick cooking spray.
Place the chopped pecans around the bottom of the greased pan and set aside
In a big mixing bowl (I use my Kitchenaid, AJ used a bowl and a hand mixer—either is fine. Mix all the cake ingredients and mix on low speed until blended, then turn up the speed to medium and mix it all up for 2 minutes.
Pour the batter in the Bundt pan, pop in preheated oven, and cook for 1 hour. Until cake is done.
You all know how to test when a cake is done, right? (Stick a toothpick in it and see if it comes out clean. In this case, use a bamboo skewer. You’ll use that skewer later so don’t trash it.
Are you sipping rum right now? You should be, but slow it down partner, we have some serious cooking yet to do!
After you remove the cake from the oven. Set it on a cooling rack to cook, come back and using a rubber spatula gently release it from the edges of the pan as it cools. When you feel daring, put a plate on top of cake and flip upside down to take it out of the pan and let cool on a plate. Don’t be afraid, but don’t be too daring either.
Now we stab the cake, take that skewer and poke, poke poke the cake all over. This will allow the delicious glaze we are about to make places to go in the cake. Go ahead…keep skewering the cake…
Okay once the cake has been perfectly perforated, place the pan back over the cake and reverse the flip method so it is back in its pan. Skewer the ‘top’ of the cake some more. Set aside.
Now for the fun part…THE GLAZE!
Measure out Rum, place to the side.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter, sugar and water.
Heat over medium heat, constantly stirring. Bring it to a boil. Still stirring constantly, boil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and add rum. Watch out when you add the rum and stir, it will cause a commotion in the pan and it may startle you.
Now is the process to slooooowly pour the glaze over our (upside down, still in the pan) cake.
Pour a cup of the glaze into a measuring cup you are able to pour form, easily.
Slooooowly drizzle the glaze over the top, around the sides, towards the center of the cake. You may need to take small breaks to make sure it all absorbs. Pour pour pour. Once all poured, walk away for a little bit (30 minutes to an hour)
Come back, once again, place serving plate on top of cake, and flip it. It should pop out beautifully.
RUMCAKE! If your not too drunk from sampling the glaze and sipping rum, cut yourself a piece and enjoy. Even if you are drunk, you probably need some food by now. So eat up!
Served with coffee this makes a wonderful breakfast (in my opinion)