Tag Archives: pie

V4L Challenge 12

Do Aminals Feel Love?

Match dot com strikes again!

We are talking about romantic love in this post, not love for friends or trains or apple pie with those yummy crumbs on top (mmm pie!). 💖

Humans are animals, and we have defined love as something that at least some humans feel (🚺), so technically the answer is yes. But Rory means “lower” animals, so let’s focus on them. I’m not going to nitpick over the definition of love either. Either it exists or it doesn’t. If you believe it’s only a sciencey thing, made up of chemical type reactions, we can stick with that across the board, from humans to spiders. If you believe it’s a woowoo thing, full of golden stardust and eternal flames and whatnot, we’ll shovel that in the mix. I don’t care. Just be consistent. Why would humans have soul mates and gorillas not? Oh right. God said. It’s in that book. 🙄

So. Back to logic. The higher animals (primates, dogs, cats, pigs, dolphins, yada) feel things, or react to them similarly to us in such ways that it’s fair to say they experience emotional states parallel to ours. We’re talking about fear, anger, and even some advanced concepts such as fair play. Look it up. But many hesitate when it comes to asserting that animals feel love. They’ll say a dog is “loyal” because he’s programmed to be, or a cat stays close only because you feed her. 🐱

But we could say the same about humans then and define away the concept of love altogether. Husband stays because he’s loyal, took vows, is concerned about his reputation, etc. Wife stays because she likes the nice big house and lifestyle. Where is the love? What is love? 💕

If we posit that love between humans (or among for you pervs) is something beyond these cold material things, beyond sexual attraction, then why hesitate when it comes to animals?

Idk! People weird things is my best guess. If you’re wondering whether I answered the question in this jabberish, that’s fair. I hedged. I say if there is a thing we’re defining as love for humans, then all higher animals should not be excluded from the circle. But I am an atheist and, despite my poetry (and even my latest fictional WIP) which can careen into the woo to better illustrate emotions, I don’t believe in souls, soul mates, eternal flames, fate, or anything of that nature.

Watch out for cranky tigers! 🐯

The Liars Club

Like Fandango, I’m already breaking my own rules and playing a game instead of writing, aka lying. Blame Rory and his Daily Fun Three.

Name Three…

Three of your childhood books?

– Arty The Smarty, The Velveteen Rabbit, Little House on the Prairie

Three of your best memories?

– the themed parties I did for my kids ~ forex… one Barbie/pink, one Halloween/pirates, and one backwards birthday (probably the most fun ever)

Things that are yellow and triangular?

– a slice of lemon meringue pie and a lemon square cut on the diagonal which is now two triangles if you know math which I do so that’s three right there boom 💥

Wishes you would like to be granted if you had a magic genie lamp?

– instant and complete elimination of all weapons that cause mass death and our ability to make more of same, eliminate pollution everywhere, fix my fucking heater since my landlord is ignoring my text 😡

Beautiful places you have ever visited?

– Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Monterey, CA

Things you fall back on to make you feel better when having a bad day?

– sugar, rage, resolve

Things that best describe your family?

– smart, successful, funny (daughters & sons-in-law)

Of your favourite blogs?

– Fandango, The Haunted Wordsmith, Msjadeli (also all others, bloggers or not, who comment here regularly… much ❤️)

Things you would choose if you had ten minutes in your favourite store if you didn’t have to pay for them?

– three fucking heaters

Dishes you can cook in less than 15 minutes and ready to eat direct from serve?

– I don’t understand this question

Pet peeves?

– passive aggression, vehicles with obnoxious blindingly bright headlights, BMWs in general

Bird species beginning with the name G?

– gnu, goose, green parrot 🦜

Of your most favourite letters from the alphabet?

– XYZ

Of the most boring things you have ever done?

– tried to read Ulysses, played Encore with geniuses, driven from Irvine to LA on a Friday night omg

Questions you would ask of your pet if you could?

– why are you so yowly, why don’t you bury your p00ps so our enemies won’t find us, why can’t you let me smoosh you when I’m cold???

Of your favourite cartoons from now or when younger?

– the Pink Panther, Rocky, Bullwinkle

Of the emoticons you use the most when writing or in social media or comments?

❤️😀😂

Mmmpie [flash 259]

Every year, the folks at the soup kitchen lined up for their Thanksgiving meal. They were very grateful for a warm place to spend the afternoon, along with wholesome food to fill their bellies. Most of them were used to cold and hunger, especially at this time of year.

“Does anyone know who donates these pies?” Darlene asked. “They’re so delicious. This light, flaky homemade crust is simply divine. I love the pumpkin.”

“The apple is my favorite,” Pete said. “Full of cinnamon and raisins. My guess is that it’s the church lady who brings the mashed potatoes. She’s very generous.”

Doc shook his head. “I saw her come in. She didn’t have any pies. I think it’s the nice gal from the party supply store who gives us the paper plates and stuff. She’s very sentimental, a real pie type.”

Darlene laughed. “What’s a pie type, Doc?”

“She’s just sweet. Always asks how I’m doing. She gave me an old coat last year her husband didn’t like anymore.”

“I could use a coat,” Pete said. “The guy who brings the turkeys is swell too. He usually gives me a couple bucks when he gets gas, but I don’t think he brought the pies.”

The three friends ate and talked and kept debating which of the pleasant folks at the soup kitchen brought the pies, but none of them had noticed the unsmiling man standing discreetly outside the door, providing security.

Yes, it was none other than retired police lieutenant and pastry baker extraordinaire, Stan the Pie Man!

Mmmpie!

~*~

Photo and word prompts via The Haunted Wordsmith

Halloween Quiz 🎃

M.M.H.B Challenge – Halloween Quiz

Do you celebrate Halloween?

– Mildly.

If so when do you start decorating for Halloween?

– I don’t decorate at home, but I do make my workspace a bit festive with some shrunken heads n stuff.

What types of candy/sweets do you buy for the Trick and Treaters who may come calling?

– Sadly, no kids come around. Their moms must have heard the rumors about me.

Do you dress up for Halloween?

– If I’m going to an event, definitely. I love costumes.

Fake blood or not into that kind of thing?

– Nahhh. Not into gore. More into funny or clever type costumes.

Do you wear a costume to work, or is that frowned upon?

– They wouldn’t care, but I wouldn’t be comfy in one for the whole day in an office.

If so, what did you go as last year?

– Just a kitty shirt/black pants.

Have you already bought some halloween decorations?

– Only for work.

What was the original name for Halloween?

– Easter.

What do people typically carve at Halloween?

– Pie!

Why were people suspicious of black cats during the Middle Ages?

– Ignorance. Black cats rock!

What fruit is used to play a traditional “bobbing” game at Halloween?

– Eggplant! 🍆 😉

Why did people traditionally dress up in costumes on Halloween?

– To escape from the Czar, probably.

Who first celebrated what we’ve come to know as Halloween?

– Cleopatra.

The most famous witch trials in US history are known as what?

– Senate hearings.

Name the TV series in which Samantha could perform magic by twitching her nose?

– I Dream of Jeannie.

Which ‘witch’ had a hit song in 1970 with ‘That same old feeling’?

– Rhiannon.

Okay! What did I win???

Creepy Questions 😱

From the Blokey Guy… if you want to play, visit his link, but the basic rule is C&P and do not delete any of the questions marked with a P… or else! 🙀☠️👿

Daily Topic Subject – Just Creepy

Q1] Favourite all time creepy monster or villain?

– Rather partial to Johnny Depp’s Barnabas Collins.

Q2] Pumpkin Pie or what is your favorite pie at Halloween?

– I didn’t know we were supposed to eat pie at Halloween ~ I’ll get right on that! Pumpkin sounds good to me, iff it has a graham cracker crust.

Q3] What is something you most assuredly wouldn’t want to bump into in a darkened alleyway?

– Stephen Miller.

Q4] Have you ever dabbled with the dark side .. l don’t mean Bloody Mary either l mean Ouija?

– Not really, but I’m not opposed to it.

PQ5] What’s your most favorite Halloween movie that you just have to watch over, and over and over again every Halloween? [Link Please]

Young Frankenstein

Q6] Are you superstitious? [How so?]

– Not seriously, but you have to make decisions somehow in a world full of chaos, so having “lucky numbers” and that kind of nonsense isn’t the worst thing unless you do actual harm. Forex, I like to buy 8 things at a time, not 7 or 9. If I have 9 things, I’ll add Tictacs to make 10.

PQ7] If you found yourself trapped in a horror movie which one would it be?

– The one where I keep joining dating sites and meeting crazy men at Starbucks. Oh wait…

Q8] On the subject whilst we are here, have you ever played Bloody Mary?

– I don’t know what that is, so no.

Q9] Oh golly jeepers, you have awoken in the night to hear footsteps in the house .. who you gonna call?

– It’s just my cat, RIGHT? 🐱

Q10] So it’s dark and creepy, and you have just been dared to visit the local Cemetery would you do it?

– No, but not because I’m afraid of ghosts ~ because I’m afraid of humans who might be hanging out there doing drug deals or whatever.

Q11] After watching a scary flick, can you just go to bed, or do you have to do something cheery first?

– I have to leave the lights on!

PQ12] It’s Halloween, you are music master at the party, what are your first five songs going to be played to kick start the night?

– Monster Mash, Spooky, Rhiannon, Witchy Woman, Bad Moon Rising.

Q13]  Favorite all time scary creepy spooky book?

– Stephen King’s The Shining.

Q14] You have been invited to the ultimate Monster Mash party and it’s fancy costume – who are you going as?

– Little Red Writing Hood.

PQ15] Are you doing anything for Halloween this year? If so what?

– Probably the Saturday before but not on the actual day.

Q16] You are a junior witch going onto ‘sleep away camp’, you have to take a familiar with you and your choices are:

Black Cat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Toad

Owl

Bat

Rat

Critter

What are you going to pick and why?

– Cat because cat.

Q17] You have been chosen to make the tea cakes for the party and they have to look spooky what are you going to make?

– White cakes with red jello drippings all topped with swirls of fleshy pink frosting!

Q18] How old were you when you saw your first horror movie – what was it – provide link?

– My mom and I watched Creature Features in our basement while doing jigsaw puzzles. Saw all sorts of horrible things: monsters ripping off heads in ski lodges, reptiles taking over Florida, beasts eating sailors on submarines, etc. Movies (and books) were never censored for me, which is probably not the best way. BECAUSE NOW LOOK.

Q19] Are you easily scared?

– I can talk myself down from fictional scenes. People are another matter entirely. Anyone who isn’t terrified of the current U.S. gov’t right now is not paying attention.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

– Nopers.

Q21] It’s Halloween, you have three choices which do you pick? Party, Trick or Treating or staying at home curtain closed watching spooky stuff?

– Dismantling the patriarchy. I mean party. Damn autocorrect.

Hotel California Mixup

On a dark dessert highway,
Cool wind in my hair,
Ubiquitous robots
Searched the cars for eclairs.

Up ahead in the distance,
Someone was cooking with spice.
My mouth watered and my eyes grew big;
I had found my snack for tonight.

There she stood in the doorway…
I heard the oven bell.
She said how about some noodles?
I spied a hidden chocolate pie shell.

Then she lit up a candle
And said Happy Birthday!
The robots danced in the courtyard,
All in honor of PJ!

(Bet ya didn’t see that coming.)

❤️🌹❤️🌹❤️🌹❤️🌹❤️🌹

Fleeting Freedom Flashes [RDP]

Much of my stress/anxiety has always come from the struggle to carve more freedom for myself. This is a bit ironic, since I like structure and routine, don’t mind rules as much as some people, and have desires that require funds, which necessitates an income/job. Having a job, no matter how good it may be, takes a big bite from the freedom pie. Mmmpie!

Yet I’m reminded of The Matrix, where at first people were given everything they desired ~ this supposedly bored them to the point where their brains quit producing enough energy. I realize this is fiction, but even so. A little stress and conflict may be good for us? Personally, I prefer the stress of a particularly difficult logic puzzle rather than an argument with another person, but YMMV. I guess I like the kind of anxiety I can control myself ~ I set my own pace in a pencil puzzle, but other people are too hard to predict.

Back to freedom. I like anticipating a long weekend and a nice chunk of time to spend on myself or visiting my daughters, but if every weekend was “long” or there were no weekends because I wasn’t working, then what would I have to look forward to? Just nothing piled on top of nothingness. 😛

It’s fun though to fantasize about more freedom, flashes of what it might be like to have gobs of time to write and do anything I pleased. I’d like to believe I’d fill at least some of those hours doing good works, however defined, and not only focusing on myself. But of course that’s a slippery slope too, since I would naturally feel good about myself for doing good things, unlike now when I have neither time nor energy…

Two Reviews

I read a couple romance novels recently and liked them both a lot.

The first was As Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye. There were many good things about this book, including great chemistry between the protags, something different in that the hero was a skilled tattoo artist (even though of course being a supertough ex-military dude), and fun side characters. I loved the hero’s brother ~ great sibling banter between them. There was also a bunch of funny banter among the military buddies.

I did have a couple minor issues with this book. The first was the meaningless addition of a stray three-legged dog ~ we already know the heroine is a caring, warm-hearted nurse. There was no reason to toss in the dog to bring this out. It felt completely arbitrary. And what’s with these missing-limb pets lately? They even thought of naming it Tripod! Gah.

I also had an issue with the plot. While using the abduction of the heroine’s brother to bring the protags together was fine, the massive depth and breadth of the secret involving her father/the hero’s commander was ridic. I’m sure the entire Baltimore police dept would really be in on that. The reason I’m calling this a “minor issue” is because we all know the plot is secondary in a romance novel. The character development and love story between the protags here were rock solid. But I’d rather not get distracted from that by stoopid conspiracy theories. Overall, ’twas a good book. (I bought the sequel apparently via the very clever one-click thingie at the end of the Kindle novel. Doh.)

I also read Irresistible by Susan Mallery. This was a perfect romance novel; everything was exactly right. The main characters were good peeps with trust issues, and the slow untangling of those made for a great read. The side chars were interesting in their own right, and some also have their own novels, yay. I will probably be buying one or more of those, and possibly other books by Ms. Mallery. Irresistible had a very simple plot structure and no glaring over-complications thrown in at random. It skirted the edge of believability at times, such as with the meanness of the hero’s grandmother, but never crossed over.

OK, one thing. Irresistible had a gorgeous pink cover with a pic of a cupcake on it ~ gosh, I wonder if this influenced me to buy the book at CVS in the first place? But there are no cupcakes in the book, not one. The heroine baked a pie for the hero after he fixed her car and there were lots of other food incidents, but no frosting. I still gave the book 4 stars on Goodreads because I loved it, but really is it so hard to have covers that go with books? The worst are the covers of old where the hair color is wrong. Nothing worse than buying a novel with a pic of a swooning redhead in a pirate’s arms… only to find out she’s really a blonde.

More reviews coming soon!

Bubba Sweets

Bubba1

As promised, I have tried a new cupcakery ~ and it’s right in my town of Huntington Beach. Not only that, but it’s almost next door to the place where we have our writers’ meetings every other week. Bubba Sweets has kind of an over the top feel, both online and on-site, but that’s okay. They all can’t be Sprinkles. And the price is cool ~ $3 per cupcake or a great deal on 6 for $18. Hey, do the math.

First I tried a vanilla/vanilla, pictured above. See what I mean? Too much pink, even for me. And there was no need for the cinnamon candy deco. The cake was super-tasty though and not oily at all, just moist and delish. The frosting was buttercream (yay!) and a perfect texture/taste combo with that little snap. The sprinkles were a nice touch. Great cupcake.

Bubba2

Next I tried this complicated mango concoction. First let me state that this cupcake had maximum curb appeal, possibly the prettiest cupcake I’ve ever seen. The thing is a freaking work of art! And the cake was simply heaven. HEAVEN! There was a graham crust to die for. The cake itself was dense and rich and nom. Then there was a blob of (NO LIE) cheesecake filling. Omg yummy! But then idk what happened ~ some doofus decided to use whipped frosting. It had no texture, no snap, was just total soft mush. Yucky. The flavor was full of tangy mango goodness, but even so. The (lack of) texture ruined the frosting experience. Plus those seashells? Adorable but they tasted like plastic. This is one case where you’re gonna hear me say: give me the cake and hold the frosting.

Bubba3

Red velvet is up next. I ate this one the next day and sad to say that even though I sealed them away, the last two cupcakes went stale. Unacceptable! (Sam’s cake was excellent for several days.) The cake was tasty despite being slightly dried out, and the cream cheese frosting was totally noms. Yet, I was majorly disappointed that I couldn’t fully enjoy a Bubba’s cupcake 24 hours after purchase. This cupcake was super-pretty as well, despite its ridiculous name of “Rush Limbaugh.” (The shop has an obvious right-leaning slant, nttawwt.)

Bubba4

I saved “Coconut Bliss” for last. It had chocolate cake that went stale, as noted above (36 hours after purchase) and a choccy filling that was tasty. The frosting however ~ omg WOW! Wonderful buttercream with a super-rich flavor and loads of sweet coconut. I would have loved this frosting on the vanilla cupcake OR OR OR !!!

THE MANGO CUPCAKE WITH THE COCONUT FROSTING.

Enough said. I think the idea is “out there” now.

Well, anyway. You can’t tell me that some silly old triangle of pie could be this interesting. No, not even with ice cream. Just not going there with you. I may return to Bubba’s to try a couple other flavors, but I’ll need to go on a different day because like many cupcakeries, they do same flavors/same days.

I have to say though that places like Sam’s Club are giving bakeries a lot of competition because it’s tough to want to shell out $3 for a cupcake when you can get 4 for $5 and they are many times just as good.

Addressing The Crazy

I know, I know. But it’s out there, so it needs to be dealt with. While in some cases we should let these things slide away without shining a light upon their unmitigated lunacy, there are other times it does behoove us to make a definitive statement. And since this week was a veritable kaleidoscope of misinformation, I don’t think it’s a good idea to let even another sliver of kookery pass unremarked upon. So, without further preamble:

CUPCAKES ARE NOT DEAD.

Now why do I even have to trouble myself to say this? Apparently Crumbs stock has fallen. OH NOES!! NOT CRUMBS STOCK!!! SAY IT ISN’T SO OMG OMG!!!!! Could it all be true then? Maybe people aren’t eating any cupcakes. Maybe this is the end and everyone is turning to pie. Or bologna and pickle sandwiches. Halp halp!!

Ms. Lutz of Biz Insider links to the WSJ in an article where she hints darkly that cupcakes are over. In the WSJ they do the same ~ babble on about Crumbs, admit that Magnolia is still doing well, give zero data of other failing cupcakeries, and that’s the end of “dead cupcakes.” WTF? This is journalism? No wonder we’re all in disarray here.

Could we please get some professionals reporting on the state of our nation’s pastries? First-hand sources, boots on the ground, STAT! I don’t want to see any regurgitated armchair linkage. Thank you.

It’s my unprofessional opinion that people still lurve cupcakes. Why do I say this? Simple. Cuz cupcakes are yummy! And they’re pretty! I still love them ~ and I’m a representative sample of something or other. I’ll tell you what. This week I’m going to try a new cupcakery and do a couple reviews right here on this blog [self-linkage lulz] in order to do my part to keep cupcakes alive, just in case.

It’s the least I can do. No really.