Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring First

Yesterday I went for a walk in the park. The hills were covered in tiny daisies. People were riding bikes. Children were swinging.

I walked and swung my arms and rejoiced in the fact that I was wearing short sleeves for the first time in six plus months.

Spring tends to be an awkward season. It is the season that is going through puberty. It has its moments, but most of the time you're just like, "Whatcha doin', Spring?! Get with the program and stop being such a freak!"

Above all else, I dread spring in Spokane. It is disgusting. It makes me want to throw myself off the edge of a tall building sans parachute. Grey, lumpy, half-melted snow. Drizzly, spitting rain storms. Tamped down, dead yellow grass that has not seen the light of day since mid-November.


However, this year the Spokane has decided to age gracefully. Sunny days. No snow. Even (!) flowers.

For the first time in my college life, the thought of going back to school after Spring Break doesn't fill me with dread. It's a nice change. Really, really nice.

So thanks Spring. I owe you one.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Animal Cake

I like to bake things. Pretty thing. And, if you want to get really specific, I like to bake cakes in funny shapes. Like elephant cakes. And bunny cakes. And cakes that are supposed to look like my brother's face. Cake baking makes me happy. It's soothing. It gives me an excuse to melt several thousand calories worth of chocolate with several hundred calories of butter. It's a sensual experience.

Speaking of Josh (a.k.a. my brother), he was the first person that I ever baked an animal cake for. (He was the origin! WTG, Josh! You are neat.) It happened like this: he had moved out of the parent's basement, and I missed him. So, I decided to bake him a cake and leave it on his front porch (because it's way more fun to do it secretively.)

I baked a cake. I looked at it. It wasn't very interesting to look at. But then, I had an amazing realization, "Hey," I thought, "I'm going to make this cake in the shape of a bunny head! A bunny cake is approximately 1000 times funnier than a non-bunny cake."

You see, my mom has these little cards that show you how to cut layer cakes in special ways, so that when you put them together, they make animal shapes.

I found the bunny card. I cut the cake. I iced it in luscious, hand-made chocolate icing. And then I got really creative, and by the time I was done, it looked like a bunny. Like a real, live, living, breathing, hopping, reproducing bunny. It was a miracle.

After that, I've never gone back to normal cakes. Why would I? It was a life-changing experience.

Since that first bunny cake, I've made all sorts of shapes. Really, if anyone gives me any reason, however obscure (or if they don't give me a reason), I will make them a cake in the shape of their choice (but preferably an animal. For some reason, animal cakes are the funniest.)

Hmmm... I'm quite proud of this one.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Men on Bikes

Do you ever get waved at by people that you don't know? This has been happening to me lately... Like today, I was walking back to my house, and a boy on a bike waved at me from across the road and said something that sounded like "Hey, Jorge!" Yep, that's what it sounded like. Maybe that's what he actually said, but I guess I'll never know.

In response, I gave him a weird, eyebrow-raise smile.

I looked awkward.

Also today, I was sitting at my desk (which is right in front of the windows) watching a man peddle his bike down our impossibly pot-holed street.

"Where on earth is that man going?" thought I, "this is road doesn't go anywhere except to our house."

That's where he was going. Our house (it's strange to be sitting right in front of my bedroom window and watch people walk up the stairs to come and knock on the door. I mean, they can obviously see me sitting there. I can see them. I feel like we should wave at each other or smile or something.)

So this crazy-looking biker man reached our front door to ask me if "Katie Wendell (Walker? Wilson?) lived there. I said no (because she doesn't), and then he left, and I locked the dead bolt.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Walt the Bus Man

Thinking about riding in cars makes me nervous. I don't get nervous while actually in the car, but contemplating car trips makes me feel unpleasant. Especially long trips made in small cars. Buses, on the other hand, make me feel quite safe. They're big. If a bus and a car get into a fistfight, the bus will win every time! I find this thought comforting (at least when I am on the bus. Perhaps not so much when I'm in the car.)

My belief in bus safety has been pretty unshakable until last weekend. And boy oh boy, did it shake.

Here's the thing: I had a three day weekend. Sweet! So, I decided to bus it to Seattle to visit my lovely and highly entertaining Work Friends. Good plan.

It was the first time that I had ever taken Greyhound (actually, it wasn't even Greyhound. It was a knock-off bus company), so I was excited. Partly because I love public transport (it's full of crazies! In a fun way!) and partly because I love not having to drive places myself. But THEN, I found out that the crazies are not the passengers on the bus. Oh no. Oh no, no, no. They are the drivers on the bus. Example:

The first thing that the Spokane to Seattle bus driver (let's call him "Walt") said when he entered the vehicle was, "welcome to my piece of crap," and then he got off and went to harass an innocent looking passenger who was trying to find his way Pasco.

The boy reading "Dune" and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

Walt had some issues. Perhaps Terettes Syndrome? It came out often on the drive. And he did not believe in heat, even when we were driving through the ice-covered mountain on a road surrounded by four-foot high snow walls.

When we got to Everett, he spent a full fifteen minutes digging through his bag and shouting "damn!" after every fourth word. Then he went outside and did it some more.