The Icing on the (Cup)Cake

I’d like to give a special shout out to my friend L, who taught me a nifty cupcake-eating tip this weekend. We were attending a lovely bridal shower at PS 450, held in honor of our friend J, in whose June wedding we and the rest of our channel 13 posse will serve as b’maids. As J neared the end of the gift-opening process, the girls and I noticed an impressive tray of cupcakes approaching our table.  Cupcakes: dee-LICIOUS! [Yet again, insert Cookie Monster voice.]

DB, CO, A, L and I each selected one of the delicacies and commenced ingestion. I found it interesting that we all had very different techniques when it came to eating cupcakes. I’m sure the same is true among any group of adult cupcake eaters, but I’d never really noticed it before. In fact I think the last time I had cupcakes with my friends on a Sunday afternoon, it was 1979.  The renaissance that this perfect dessert is now enjoying has opened up a whole new can of social mores.  Can you lick off all the icing with your future mother-in-law nearby? How well do you have to know the people you’re with before you’re comfortable risking a frosting ‘stache? Is it cool to just pull off the bottom and eat that first, delaying the butter creamy gratification of the top?

Frankly, I don’t really care what does and does not appear lady-like while eating a cupcake. The only thing that matters to me when I have one in my hand is attaining the right ratio of cake to icing in every bite.  It’s always been a Seinfeldian struggle, and to overcome it, I must know the nature of the cupcake very well. 

But then L revealed something she’d learned recently at Magnolia, the famous Bleecker Street cupcakery that is now conveniently located on Columbus Avenue as well.  She advised us to pull off the bottom half of the cupcake and then place it on TOP of the frosting, creating a cupcake SANDWICH. It was neat, it was simple, it was proportioned, it was brilliant! Thanks, L!  

Note: In order to successfully pull off the cupcake sandwich technique, you must ensure that the cupcake in question features significant frosting. The cupcake pictured here exemplifies the correct frosting situation. Do not attempt this trick if you’re facing a thin layer of frosting or a delicate glaze of any kind — you’ll end up with a mouthful of cake and very little else. You’ll be sorry, and you’ll need milk.

The Icing on the (Cup)Cake

Freak Magnet, Part Deux

Dear Five or Six Loyal Readers:

“The Letter T” has NOT been cancelled! The hiatus you have just experienced is due to extreme fatigue, nightmarish conditions at work, the return of new ER episodes and creative paralysis. I shall respond to those of you who supported me through last week’s urban traumas, I promise!

In the meantime, another tale from the sidewalks.  Please note that I am not nor have I ever been the type of girl who attracts viable, unsolicited male attention on a regular basis.  So it’s somewhat odd that on Monday, I received the second peeper-related comment from a random freak in less than seven days. 

This time, it occurred at Rickshaw Dumpling Bar on 23rd Street. There, one can choose one’s noon-ish meal from among six or seven types of dumplings. The purchaser may also select one of six salads or extra tasty miso soup. I placed my order and a moment or two later, the “dumpling master” indicated that it was ready. I walked to the counter to fetch it. 

I could not have felt more dejected at the time. It was pouring out, my jeans were rolled up dorkily so the bottoms didn’t get wet, and my thick hair was in full Chia Pet mode from the humidity. Additionally, my runny mascara had enhanced the already dark circles under my eyes. Boy did I look purdy. 

As I approached, Dumpling Master slid the Rickshaw bag towards me but maintained his gloved grip on the handle and stared at me in a stalkerish  manner.

“Wow. You have really mystical eyes,” he said in the voice of a low-talker. “Do you need dipping sauce?”

Once again, ew! Creepy McCreeperstein!

His inquiry posed a tremendous dilemma. I most certainly DID need dipping sauce, but I most certainly did NOT want to accept it from anyone who used the word “mystical” to describe my eyes. Nor did I wish to have any contact at all with his hand, which remained on the bag. 

Just fork over my fucking dumplings, I wanted to say, but didn’t have the psychic energy. Plus, how could anyone take seriously the combination of the words “fucking” and “dumplings?”

My love of condiments got the best of me and I muttered, “Sweet miso soy.”  I was weak, I know.  But I just couldn’t face the dumplings with plain old soy sauce packets from my sad desk cache.

When I returned to the office with my dumplings and dipping sauce, I searched my portable mirror for signs of the alleged mysticism. Perhaps, in my sleep, Rasputin had possessed me. Or wait! Maybe I was actually a long-lost Kabbalah princess, heiress to Madonna’s fortune!

Alas, I didn’t notice any signs of mysticism whatsoever — just my standard, haggard face and perhaps the early stages of a stie. 

Freak Magnet, Part Deux

Freak Magnet

That, apparently, describes me.

This morning, a bright and unseasonably warm Thursday in New York, I was walking down 24th Street on my way to work when I was accosted by a man I’ll call “Freak 1.” From the looks of Freak 1’s very natural orange skin tone, I surmised that he’d spent the better part of the week in a spray tan booth.  He was sporting a snazzola purple polyester button-down, open to his bellybutton. How generous of him to share his chest with all of Chelsea! Freak 1 had paired the purple polyester button-down with shiny black pants and of course, a ginormous medallion on a heavy chain.  His well-groomed and not at all dyed jet black hair resembled that of one Silvio Dante, official consigliare of the Soprano crime family.  

Freak 1 appeared to be gainfully employed as a perfume salesman.  He was toting a cardboard box packed with such coveted designer fragrances as Channel No. 5, Ralph Lauren Rolo and Mallomar by Guerlain.  

As he jumped in front of me and shoved the box in my face, he instructed me to try some perfume today.  Having already sprayed some lovely, aromatic and AUTHENTIC Pink Jasmine by Fresh just 45 minutes earlier, I really didn’t feel it was necessary, so I declined politely.

Freak 1 was insistent. “Come on! Try a spritz. You’ll love it!”

I looked straight ahead and ignored him as I continued down the block.  As I neared my office building, I heard him yelling, “Fine! Keep stinking, bitch! It’d kill ya to smell good for a change?!”

Naturally, this prompted me to sniff my pits just to make sure he was an irrational nut job. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was being watched by Freak 2, who was waiting for the elevator. Freak 2 was wearing carpenter jeans that sat on his knees instead of his waist, a quintuple XL Giants t-shirt, work boots, and, it was clear to see, navy blue boxer briefs. 

“Nice day tuh-day, huh?”

I nodded, not wanting to engage him and still worrying that perhaps I reeked a smidge.

“Ya gotta love dis weath-uh,” he said as he stepped into the elevator and pressed the Floor 3 button.

“Oh silly me. I woik on duh fiff floo-uh. Guess ya gotta spend suh moo-uh time wit me.”

I hit the 7 button and tried to appear pleasant but not at all interested in conversing. 

He moved closer to me, invading my personal space.

“Ya know wuh? You got boo-tee-ful eyes.”

I thanked him.

“Can I touch ’em?”

Um, EW!

Naturally my first thought was not, “What a sick fuck” but rather “THAT IS SO GERMY! WHO KNOWS WHAT KIND OF RHINOVIRUS HE’S CARRYING ON HIS GRIMY, PERVY PAWS?”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to a question like that, so I simply said, “I’d reeeeally rather you didn’t.”

Safely at my desk, feeling violated and smelly, I wrung my hands with Purell and tried to kill the freak molecules.  Now, I feel violated, smelly, sticky and 62 percent ethyl alcohol.

Freak Magnet

Mc T

It has just come to my attention that sweet tea is now available at McDonald’s. Not since they started putting actual chicken in their McNuggets have I been so excited about news from the fast food industry.  This drinkable southern delicacy is virtually impossible to find north of the Mason-Dixon line, and as anyone who’s had it knows, you cannot simply recreate the bliss by adding sugar to regular iced tea.  McDonald’s has given me a gift.   

Mc T

New at the Viennese Table!

I should be adding this to my “Annoyances” page, but it may even be too irksome for that forum. Have you seen the latest in a series of commercials featuring interracial female friends and the foodgasms they experience while eating Yoplait yogurt? 

“This is cute check-out boy good,” says one.  

“This is thank god my cramps are gone good,” says the other.

“This is I got the big promotion you wanted good,” says the first one, a little smugly.

“Oh yeah? Well screw you! This is I bashed your funny-looking face in good.”

In this particular installment, the girls are sporting heinous lilac bridesmaid frocks as they kick back on a pair of folding chairs that were obviously used during their friend’s very recent outdoor wedding ceremony. We can safely assume that the bridesmaids have access to a plethora of hors d’oeuvres, but yet they’re eating Yoplait.  And I just want to know: how often are individual containers of Yoplait actually SERVED at wedding receptions these days? I got married three years ago, and yogurt was not one of our butlered options. Nor was there talk of a yogurt station, a yogurt fountain or a yogurt bar.  Have times changed that much?

New at the Viennese Table!

In the Closet

When I returned to New York 18 months ago and moved alone into a perfectly reasonable alcove studio, I really wanted to view the experience as positive — as a time I’d grow, and get to know myself again.  I wanted to think of myself as a strong, professional, self-sufficient woman of the ’00s, with a hint of Carrie Bradshaw and a fierce need for breathing room.  But the reality is, I’ve never even touched a pair of Manolo Blahniks and as politically incorrect as it may be to say, I just like the comfort of coming home to someone. Not someone who’s throwing furniture at me, of course, but someone who actually makes my life better, and who lets me make his better.  I actually am a fairly independent person and I like personal space as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day, I tend to find an empty apartment sad.

Furthermore, I had left the safety, comfort, taupe overtones and Slatkin candles of Rob and Dave’s gorgeous apartment in Philly, where someone was always home and/or right next door at Kelly and Josh’s, and come back to a place that looked nothing like it did when I’d left a few years earlier.  It was traumatic, and it took a lot of getting used to. 

But eventually I settled into a new routine — which often involved television and ice cream.  I can’t say I’ve grown — other than in the thigh-al region — and the only thing I learned about myself is that I really do prefer vanilla-based Haagen Dazs. But fine, I’ve done it. I’ve lived alone. Props to me!  

Except that all this time, I’ve had a secret roommate, and last night, he decided to introduce himself. 

I was putting my turquoise, collapsible hamper back in my closet when one of my brown suede Steve Madden boots fell on its side.  Upon bending down to pick it up, I saw the most ginormous, 2,000-legged roach-like bug in the history of mankind. I mean this thing was at least the size of an Easter Peep.  And brown. And antenna’ed. And GUH-ROSS! I shivered (or maybe even convulsed) and instantly grabbed a wedge boot to use as a weapon against him.

How long had he been there? What was he doing in my SHOE CLOSET? Had he been watching me live, by myself, ALL THIS TIME? Had he been laying his eggs (or having his ladyfriend lay eggs) in my Michael Kors?! Did he have parties with BUG JUICE when I wasn’t here? ICK ICK ICK ICK. DOUBLE ICK. ICK!

With all my might, I smashed the boot onto his pervy little body, waiting for the tell-tale crunch that would indicate a success kill. None came, and as I lifted up the shoe, I saw the bastard scurry away into the corner.  I swear, I could hear him laughing at me.

It was hard to sleep after that. Everytime a hair fell onto my face, I imagined it was the bug headed for my mouth, where he’d take a bug crap and cause some kind of rare but deadly bug-borne disease.  Everytime I had an itch, I imagined it was him.  Everytime I heard the faintest sound, it was him, bringing in the rest of his friends to torture me.  

When I left the house, I seriously considered going barefoot to avoid seeing him again. But did I really want to brave the subway with no protective footwear? I did some recon.  He wasn’t there. He’s probably moved into the kitchen, where he’s infiltrating my sugar cannister, or my top drawer, where I keep my super-nice Hanky Panky undies. He’s like a terrorist — impossible to catch, keeping me in the dark about when he’ll strike next …

So the moral of the story is … you may think you’re too-cool-for-school, and you may think you’re building character living on your own … but are you???

In the Closet

What a Gas!

I was just re-reading my post about the soon-to-launch product “Farty Pants.” I clicked on the tag “gas” to see what some of the other morally upstanding citizens on WordPress had to say about this favorite topic of mine.  Surely in an online community full  of funny, literate individuals, there would be a wealth of entertaining stories about man-made gas. Imagine my surprise when the posts that came up in my search were all about GASOLINE prices, fuel, oil, energy and the like.  Am I the only one here who obsesses about gastrointestinal woes?! Am I the only one here who cracks up when Peter Griffin lets one rip?!

What a Gas!

The Pink, The Brown, The White and The Ugly

Behold, another quick tale that links thematically to Monday’s poetically titled “It Stinks” post.  But first, some background.

For most of my life, I have shied away from Neapolitan ice cream.  While I did find its delicate pink, white and brown color scheme quite pretty,  I associated the flavor with Homer Simpson, trailer park denizens and assorted ne’er-do-wells.  I have no idea why, but I did.  Sorry.

But then last week, I partook of the evening meal chez my friend Elissa and for dessert, she served Neapolitan Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream.  Enhanced with Reddi-Whip and chocolate syrup, the triumvirate was surprisingly tasty — and reasonably low-fat.  Why not recreate the experience in my own home?

As I needed to replenish my supply of Diet Dr. Pepper anyway, I made a 9 p.m. trip to the supermarket a block up from my apartment.  Unfortunately, Food Emporium stocked only the full-fat version of Edy’s Neapolitan, so I was forced to go with Breyers’ take on the product.  I wasn’t really disappointed, because I’ve never been a big fan of polysorbate 80 and everyone knows that Breyers is devoid of this substance. (Please refer to the 1980s Breyers commercial featuring a cloying little boy who struggled to read the chemical ingredients of a rival ice cream brand, but could easily pronounce Breyers’ wholesome components like “vanilla,” “milk” and “sugar.” )

With quart in tow, I headed to the slow-as-molasses check-out line and waited my turn.  I didn’t want to pick up the latest copy of US while the manager was within eye range, as I feared he would chide me for RWP (Reading Without Purchasing).  The only diversion, therefore, was to take note of what my fellow shoppers had in their carts. 

A peek in the basket of the lawyerly young woman in front of me revealed nothing remarkable: a few sad apples, plain yogurt, two (2) Lean Cuisines, generic paper towel, Vitamin Water, frozen spinach, and a copy of Anorexic Monthly.

Disappointed, I turned subtly to see who was behind me.  It was a well-groomed man in his late 40s who bore a slight resemblance to Andrea Bocelli.  JACKPOT! Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but once I saw what he was about to buy, I couldn’t WAIT to get out of the store and share it with someone.

In one arm, Andrea had FOUR (4) BOXES of Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal.  In the other, he had A 12-PACK of Charmin Ultra Soft “bathroom tissue.”  

The Pink, The Brown, The White and The Ugly

It Stinks!

Or does it????

I couldn’t resist a quick post to share something I just read online — it is horrifying, yet at the same time weirdly brilliant.  It has come to my attention that a company called Farty Pants (the web site is still under construction) will soon begin selling special unmentionables that absorb the smell of gaseous emissions.  Dogs everywhere — who too often take the blame for farts they didn’t release — are breathing a little easier.  (Literally.) Well, I hope these Farty Pants end up being available in low-rise thongs …

It Stinks!