Birthdays and ice storms and such . . .

Well, hmph.

I have been waiting all week for today, the release of Timothy Schaffert’s Swan Gondola, which I was going to pick up at my local independent bookstore, Curious Iguana. The ice storm Tuesday night knocked out the power at Iguana and they did not re-open today and after all that anticipation, I STILL DON’T HAVE THE DAMN BOOK!

Schaffert, Swan Gondola

Probably okay. Today was my dear K’s birthday. I’m the go-to guy around here for birthday dinners. I am a really good cook. However, there is one thing I cannot seem to get right and it is red velvet layer cakes. I have tried and tried and tried and they all fail. Today was no exception. Look at this:

feb 6 1

I know, right? I mean, you have NO idea how ODD it is that something I make would turn out this way. Luckily, much as I disguise and pretty myself up on social media sites, I managed to camouflage this disaster.

feb 6 2

And then added candles.

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And K was  – as K is – a darling about it. She claimed it was delicious. It was not. It was heavy. Very heavy. But, the icing was pretty good. I ate two bites but then stopped in disgust. My nephew C, he finished off my piece. And tried for a third, but was nixed. So, it was edible if disgusting to look at and a huge FAIL.

Luckily, K’s other requested dishes – all made from scratch, mind you – spiral cut ham, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese with bacon crust, and endive and watercress salad, all turned out to be pretty delicious. But damn . . . I was cooking all day . . .


So, is it any wonder that at 7:30-8-ish, I had to head over to Cody’s for some wine and mutual Olympic boycotting. I will write about it soon, but tonight, I can’t. Good thing Cody is heading back to college Saturday because we bring out the substance abuser in one another. Last night we went bar-hopping in downtown Frederick and ONCE AGAIN – the hot guy I wanted ended up hitting on Cody, and the hot woman he wanted hit on me. We are NOT a good wing-man pairing. And the two bottles of wine and six packs we consumed at various bars ended up leading me to fall on Market Street at evening’s end. I’m damaged. Look!


It really REALLY hurt. Well, this morning it did. Last night, not so much. And, I must add, Cody just stood there and laughed at me as I was splayed, a damaged, near senior-citizen on the sidewalk. Whatever happened to respect for one’s elders? Nice.

Anyway, tonight, he remarked, “We go through at least two bottles a night when we’re together.” Yeah. We do. He was reduced to climbing up on the counter to search for the Zin with which we finished off the evening.

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Although, I have to say, by the time we got to Zin – which was bottle number 2 and a half – it looked more like this to me:

feb 6 5

But, at least I didn’t fall down tonight. Now, if I can just get my damn book tomorrow!

And please, I beg you, stay away from the Olympics.

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