F*ck Yeah! Chocolate Cake

F*ck Yeah! Chocolate Cake


My Least Favorite Cookbook


Nothing against Jessica Seinfeld, and certainly not against the adorable cover of this book. Kudos, graphic designers: you got me to pick the thing up. The adorable retro look of the book and the enticing promise of being able to eat bad-for-you crap and somehow make it healthy was a too-good-be-true package that I wish I had recognized as such. (Of course, it helped that it was being sold by a now-defunct independent bookstore I was trying to support. It was called The Next Chapter and it was in the charming downtown of Woodland, California.)

Here is a review I wrote of the volume, and had posted on www.goodreads.com some time ago.  Consider yourself forewarned, but if you do find the need to buy the book, please please please buy it from your local independent bookstore.  Or if you love you some online shopping, try www.powells.com, where you can even get it used! http://www.powells.com/biblio/17-9780061251344-0

I don’t have kids and am not particularly interested (necessarily) in having them, so that might in part explain my bad attitude. Maybe if you’re doing something for someone else (like a kid) you’re more motivated.

Anyway, here’s the review:

I hate this book. Obviously, I’m not trying to be objective, and I’m kind of in a bad mood as I’m writing this 😦

I feel like this BOOK is deceptive!

The deal is, if you want to “sneak” healthy stuff into kids’ foods (or, into your own food, as I was hoping to do)you have to make an actual major lifestyle change: prepare to spend hours at a time to boiling up vegetables and and  liquefying them in a blender, then freezing them for a future date when you can trick your kids into eating them by saying, “Hey, kid, how about some banana cream pie, partly filled with liquid squash?”

Who would do all of this, unless they were actually, certifiably crazy? I don’t know how this book got published!  About 1% (or less) of the people who purchase this book are going to follow the strange plan of this loony lady…

Actually, to answer my own question as to how it got published, it’s because it has an appealing cover and title, and when you flip through the thing it’s filled with colorful photographs of delicious-looking recipes.  It’s only when you sit down and give it a good read that you see that this mom is insane.

I guess my biggest question is, are this lady’s cooking tactics really of nutritional value?  She (probably) can’t hurt the kids with her soupy concoctions, but isn’t it true that once you boil the heck out of vegetables and liquefy them, the vitamins and other good stuff go completely down the… well… toilet?

Speaking of which, maybe the sneaking-in-the-vegetables thing is purely for roughage purposes.  So why puree them?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

My alternative title would be, “How to Give Your Kids Diarrhea”.

I’m bitter because this book was kind of expensive and I felt duped. 

Therefore, I consider this review a sort of public service message: use it well.



The Worst Thing About Online Dating is Everything


Perhaps saying “everything” about online dating is bad is going a bit far. I mean, online dating has its virtues, right? Absolutely not.

In fact, I have a new theory. The reason that anyone ever tries online dating is that they know of heard of “someone” who has meet “someone” online.

I submit to you the following: WE ARE ALL TALKING ABOUT THE SAME COUPLE (who just happen to have a wide circle of friends).

If it sounds like I have just had a bad experience on lonely.people.are.suckers.com*, then you’re right. (*fictional website: so far. millions can no doubt be made.)

The sad truth is, it wasn’t even the worst experience I have ever had using my computer to find a future… whatever.
It’s just that when I recently gave online dating another try, enough time had passed that I forgotten what a stinking cesspool it can be.

But to be serious, I realized that the key problem that haunts all but the Kens and Barbies amongst us are the photos which accompany a person’s online profile.And it’s not even that most people are not photogenic, though that’s a given.

But if any guy happens to be reading this, I gotta tell you: I never, ever open a profile where the photo features a guy taking a picture of himself in the bathroom, and you can see his reflection in the mirror, holding the camera. So cheesy. Even worse: the webcam shot.

Please show me that you:
1) Have enough social skills and/or friends that you can convince someone to take your picture
2) You occasionally get up from your computer and leave the house.
And if you haven’t posted a profile photo? Oh, come on. At least wait until after I meet you to find out you’re a Neanderthal.

The real problem, however, with conducting an online search on these dating sites and receiving a list of profile photos is this: the worst possible way to judge someone that is by his or her appearance*, and that’s exactly what we’re doing by selecting someone through an online dating site. (*Unless, that is, a person’s appearance reveals a lack of attention to basic hygiene. In that case, judge away!)

Okay, I’m going to get specific here, and just trust that the benefit of having an obscure blog means that I can talk about people I know (except my boss: never a good idea) and they’ll be none the wiser.

Anyway, my most recent delve into the online dating universe was with christiancafe.com. It took me a while to find a legitimate Christian dating website. I hadn’t been impressed with christianmingle, although it has been some years since I’ve tried it. Ironically, the most disturbing dating sites I have encountered have been “Christian.” But perhaps I’ll post about that another time.

But feeling how I do about celibacy before marriage, sites like match.com, where you can select something meaningless such as “Spiritual, But Not Religious,” as your “religion” had become out of the question.

The only problem with christiancafe – and it’s a big one – is that those folks must have an advertising budget of zero. Thus, few have heard of it, and therefore there simply aren’t enough users.

However, despite the user shortage, I actually had better luck finding potential matches that lived, say, 50 miles or so away from me than I ever did with eharm_your_ego_ny_dot_com, which sent me mostly matches from Arizona and Oregon. I’m in San Francisco, and I rarely even received matches from within California!

EDIT: I just deleted an anecdote from my experience at christiancafe that would no doubt hurt the feelings of the guy who is the subject of the tale. However unlikely it is that he would find and read my blog, it was uncool of me to be so specific.

I can complain all I want about the male fixation on good lucks — for instance, why one earth would an overweight guy in his 50s admit that he is “looking” for a woman in her 20s with a hot bod? And yet. I have certainly selected people to write based on their profile photos.

If this makes me sound like the most shallow person in the world, well, I’m aware of that. And maybe until I look like (insert name of current hot female celebrity in her late thirties: hopefully, that’s not a paradox!) — well, who am I to criticize?

But if you simply aren’t attracted to someone, well, there’s not much you can do right?

And therein lies the real problem: when you meet someone in real life, you may find them initially unattractive. But we all have known someone, surely, who objectively speaking is not at all pleasing to the eye, but his or her personality is such where they are actually really sexy.
And that dude that looks like Daniel Craig? Start talking to him, and you may begin to long for the attention of one of the creepier Bond villains, as their company would be preferable.

To be honest, I don’t think anything would induce me to long for the company of “Fat Bastard” of Austin Powers fame, but honestly, that mostly had to do with his vulgur behavior.


Ryan Gosling: Sexiest Man Alive


Before you adopt a pet, have your child practice with a stuffed toy

Start with a plush toy; if your child can attend properly to the toy for a week, he or she might be ready for a pet.

Start with a plush toy; if your child can attend properly to the toy for a week, he or she might be ready for a pet.

Your child keeps pestering you to get a puppy or a kitten. But will they take care of it? And for 10 to 15 years? Excellent and vital question, Mom and Dad.

Children’s enthusiasm tends to be impulsive and fleeting. If this is going to be a family pet, that’s one thing. But if you are not interested in taking care of the animal, and your child will be its primary caretaker, it’s important that the child prove he or she is responsible and devoted enough to be a good animal guardian.

Why not buy a plush animal and have the child tend to it for a week?
See if your local animal control/humane society/spca has a foster animal program (if they do, they’re usually desperate for foster homes).

If the child can attend to the “needs” of a plush animal for a week, try out the foster program.

Set out empty “food” bowls for the pet. Fill one with water, one with pretend pet food (like Cheerios or better yet, a non-food item, like paper clips or buttons, assuming your house doesn’t need to be baby-proof).

Have the kiddo set out something every day and night. Take the “dog” on walks and/or play with the “cat.” All with the understanding that if he or she can keep this up for a week, you can become a temporary foster home for a real pet. From there, you can decide whether your family is ready to embrace the responsibility of animal guardianship.

Sounds like a long process? Cats can live for 15 to 20 years. Depending on the size of the dog, he or she will live at least 10 years. A week of pretend is a drop in the pan.

Important: also factor in if you will be able to afford vet bills and pet food.

Ryan Gosling on Animal Control

Ryan Gosling's Inner Bob Barker

not actually related to celibacy: just adorable.

What Makes a Gentleman?

https://mizzkate.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/mr-darcy2.jpg?w=300I think we can all agree with having the door be opened for us or having a guy help us put our coat on is very nice indeed, but it doesn’t constitute truly gentlemanly behavior.

But what is a modern gentleman? What does he do? How does he act? Especially on a date? Truthfully, it had been so long – if ever – that I had encountered one, that I really didn’t know until after the fact. I will get to that in a moment.

The most recent example of a date (about a year ago — it’s been a dating desert lately) when I felt like I was treated like a “lady” was when I was kissing a guy and he asked permission to put his hand up my skirt. “No,” I responded. Permission denied. Later, I thanked him for asking without simply doing it — and he responded, “Well, you’re a lady.”

But I’ve let my standards slide pretty low when I ooh and ahh over someone pulling the chair away from the table for me and doing the courtesy of asking before he went from first base, skipped second base entirely, and slid right into third.

I didn’t even know what a gentleman was until a few weeks after a date I didn’t particularly enjoy and after which – to my chagrin – I gently mocked the guy afterwards when I recounted the dating experience to my sister the next day.

It was a match.com thing — or eharmony. Who the heck knows anymore? The guy was studying to be a paralegal, I believe it was, and was flat broke. So we had to go dutch on a first date, which was pretty depressing, but was definitely fair.

After dinner, we went to go see the Joan Rivers documentary that came out (I think this was about two years ago) and was playing at the Rafael theater. He had the most amazingly weird laugh. For instance, in contrast to whatever laugh-sound people normal make, he actually just said, “Ha, ha, ha!” As in those exact words: as written. So as I was cracking my dumb little jokes during dinner, I thought he was reacting with polite, if slightly sarcastic laughter. I admit, combined with having to pay for my own dinner, we weren’t off to a good start.

But Joan Rivers was genuinely funny — and so when I heard him laugh at her jokes in the same, “Ha, ha, ha!” style, I realized that this was simply the way he laughed. And it was pretty annoying, though if it was some sort of deal-breaker, I would be petty indeed.

The actual deal breaker was that we didn’t really have any chemistry or much in common — and, as I have recently come to appreciate as super-important — our religious beliefs did not match up.

Still, he was cute and not to my credit, I probably would have kissed him afterwards if he was game for it. But instead, after walking me to my car – truly gentlemanly behavior – we made our goodbyes and instead of even trying to hug me, he simply extended his hand.

It was so quaint, and so formal, I am almost positive that due to my surprise, I suppressed a giggle, and thank goodness! Because he didn’t merit that reaction.

I saved my giggles for later when I attended the Sonoma-Marin fair with my sister — that was my birthday, June 28th. Thus, the handshake date must have been June 27th… the year, I guess, was 2010? I snickered at the handshake, now that he was nowhere in sight.

Meanwhile, I kept looking around hopefully for a certain guy who lived in the Sonoma area and could have hypothetically been at the fair, but who had tried to make some unwanted advances on me during a date. Why wasn’t I snickering at THAT loser?

It wasn’t until later that I realized that a handshake after a first date wasn’t something to be mocked: it was to be appreciated. I had been so used to a tongue being shoved in my mouth, that truly courteous, gentlemanly behavior had become unrecognizable to me.

I will close by saying I don’t know if anyone is really reading this at all — but if any guys are, at the end of the date, if you want to make a good impression and set a good precedent, I would go with the handshake. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if during this handshake, you invite her for a future date, perhaps coyly suggesting that next time maybe you’d get to peck her on the cheek. 🙂

Even Barbie Has Bad Dates

Even Barbie Has Bad Dates

I saw this Barbie recently at the store, and it just cracked me up: with it’s drawing (!) of Ken in the background, and Barbie sitting there alone, as if she’s fantasizing she’s on a real date. Too real-life-to-be-funny (sort of).

At Home, Changing the Kitty Litter

…Instead of browsing City Lights delights, I am sitting in my pajamas, enjoying fudge cake  and he (Quintessential Single Guy Safeway Shopper) is home masturbating, and not about me. Guaranteed.

I am 36, and am At That Age where men on the street are done gawking and have taken to ignoring… except for a 7-foot homeless Black guy I passed earlier on the way home from Mara’s Italian Pastry, clutching my 3-layer dark chocolate fudge cake as if it was my first-born: in fact, I was hugging it tighter than I would a child — how hard is it to get knocked up compared with finding orgasm-inducing  chocolate cake?

“Hello, Gorgeous,” said Homeless Guy… which were the same words I had uttered to the cake, when I eyed it behind the glass of the bakery. I shook my head no, and murmured, “Farewell, my Love… Endeavour to think well of me, as I will of you… Always” to the Black Forest Cake, with its dark chocolate shavings, the  crispy chocolate custard eclairs, and airy – nay! – buxom cream puffs. Having departed with them on good terms, I could not begrudge them the company of others. Or could I? They had better be there tomorrow, waiting for me, I thought jealously. Or better yet, not: for pastry, unlike men, is best when fresh, is it not?

Emerging from Safeway…

Emerging from Safeway on a Saturday night cradling 20-pound box of scoopable kitty litter, 9 Heath bars and a take-and-bake pizza, I realized I was the most Single Woman on Earth. Of course, the guy in line behind me was the Most Single Man on Earth, with his 3 frozen pizzas, loaf of white bread, and frozen hash browns.

If life was a romantic comedy, I would have dropped my keys on the way out, he would have picked them up for me, and we’d be window shopping in North Beach together — eyes awkwardly averted from the strip clubs on Broadway, and me thinking he would Pass the Test  if he wouldn’t let us walk past City Lights Books without going in.