Wednesday, July 30, 2008

He'll be 10 by the time his paperwork is done

As you can probably tell, this whole adoption crap is like climbing up a steep hill covered in honey while wearing weighted boots. I mean it's slow. Like me. I keed, I keed. Anyway, just to give you an idea of the glory behind the vast wasteland known as the US Immigration Department, here's what they require. We recently had to fill out a form, one of a billion we have already filled out mind you, and submit it to them along with a big fat check to cover the massive cost of someone hauling their ass off their chair to file said form. This form, however, is only a preliminary form that we had to get approved so that we could get yet ANOTHER set of fingerprints taken so that a second form could be filed and processed. The second form is a preliminary form for YET ANOTHER form that will be filed when we finally get little Kimchi home. WTF?! Honestly, I have no clue as to what any of these forms really do. I just fill them out and take them where they tell me to. I may have just bought a goldmine, I don't know. Anyway, the moral of this story is that they said it would take 7 days for us to get our fingerprint summons, which we finally got, 16 days after we filed. Clearly there is no difference between 7 and 16 days in the world of our government. We get our prints taken next week. They said it could take up to 90 days to get them processed. Seriously. I don't even want to know what they do with them that takes 90 days. THIS, people, is why this stuff takes so long.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Breaking News from Kimchi Headquarters

Whoa. I've got some majorly big news. I just got my first actual FULL TIME design job. Here's the thing. It's not graphic design, it's interior design. I began my schooling in interior design and two classes shy of graduation, I made the move to graphics. Weird how things work out, isn't it? Anyway, I'm going to be working in restaurant design, mostly overseas, and I'm really excited and scared shitless because it's a new division in an already established company and the people are really nice and the package is awesome and I really can't complain other than to say it isn't cakes but that'll come in due time.

Go me.

Donut 54

LM's birthday was a few weeks ago and unfortunately, she had to attend an out of town funeral on her birthday so we celebrated a bit late. I, of course, planned to make her a cake. I hemmed and hawed for days as to what kind of cake to make because I am a horrible gift giver and I suck at finding those perfect gifts for people and then I feel all guilty and then 6 months later I'll be like "DANGIT, I SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THAT FOR SO-AND-SO'S BIRTHDAY" but then the same thing happens again the next year and so on. Anyway, the light finally went off in my brain and I decided that LM was getting a giant donut cake. LM and I have a long history of loving donuts. We spent many a night sitting in the DelTaco parking lot after the bars closed, bemoaning the lack of late night donut options. We decided that there needed to be a bar that served not only beer but donuts as well. And to top that, they would be delivered to you by girls on roller skates. This all seemed like a really good idea after 8 martinis and a bean burrito. We were even going to name it Donut 54, in honor of our love of the disco (that name is OURS so hands off suckers). 11 years later and the donut is still our muse.
Here's how it looked as I was carving it out. Oh yeah, I carved it. No bundt pans here fo real.

It was a delicious vanilla butter cake with a mocha buttercream icing.

Coffee and a donut, GET IT?

This is a big week for cakes here. I've got two for Friday and one for Sunday. Pictures to come.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I don't want no remnants of nonsense*



You are on a journey. It will take you from here to September. Along the way, it will bring you much drama and much magic. It begins pretty much now with the decision that you are in the process of making. Inwardly, you already know what must be right. Trust what you feel and try not to be distracted by the various doubts and uncertainties which keep bubbling up in your mind. Most are cropping up to confuse you, not to enlighten you. Give them one quick chance to prove their validity and if they can't, dismiss them.

Um yeah, aren't these stupid things supposed to HELP you, not confuse you so you don't know what to do? Inwardly, I don't know what's right so why can't you just tell me. BLIMEY! Just so you don't think I'm totally crackers, I don't ACTUALLY live my life by this stuff but I'll be damned if it isn't SPOOKILY ACCURATE, which is what they say on their website. Truth in advertising, people.

* This was from a quote from one of the contestants on Project Runway last night. It was freaking hilarious when he said it because he's super fabulously gay and said it about his model, who was in charge of buying his fabric. Imagine it being said with a combination of fabulousness and disdain. It has nothing to do with anything and it's probably a misquote anyway but there it is.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dream weaver

I had a dream last night that I was in college and my roommate was Will Smith. I spent most of the time trying to find a Coke machine, which seemed to be everywhere, but every time I put my money in, all these tokens from Worlds of Fun would come out. Then Mona from "Who's the Boss" was there and she was trying to get the school to extend it's hours to year round.

Then I woke up.

Then I fell back asleep and had a dream I was in a park and I was trying to get to my car. I had to run through these trees with all these low-hanging dead branches that kept scratching me and getting caught in my hair. When I got to my car, the driver's window was open and I was on the other side and two guys came up and took my purse and some other bag out of the front seat. I tried to get it back from them but they just laughed at me. I told one of the guys I was going to stab him in the nuts and he just rolled his eyes and threw it back at me.

Then I woke up again. Alarm. Hit snooze.

Fell back asleep again and this time I was in my childhood bedroom. I was terrified for some reason but no one was in the room with me but all of a sudden a pillow would appear like someone was trying to smother me. I would dodge it but no one was there holding it. Then I looked out the doorway and a big ugly cabinet thing went flying down the hallway and I was like "OH MY GOD, there's a ghost in here!"

Then I woke up.

I have the most messed up dreams and the worst part is that I REMEMBER THEM like I'm watching a movie. My brain is so weird. I can't remember math or birthdays but I remember hanging with the Fresh Prince trying to buy a Coke with amusement park tokens. Whatever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

He's just too funky for me

So last week I went to Chicago to see the ledendary George Michael in concert. I say legendary because HE IS. I went with LM and my friends Mike & Brian, although LM and I drove separately. We spent the majority of the 4 1/2 hr ride car dancing, which is second only to bed dancing, which Jeff will tell you I do when i leave the 80's station on while I'm falling asleep and it's not dirty so get your mind out of the gutter. Anyway, we stayed with some friends of the boys and while I had no expectations (okay I did but I only expected it to be fabulous) they outdid themselves as wonderful hosts. They have an amazing condo in Little Italy and it's totally charming like from a movie or something. We asked one of the guys if they had a nice view of downtown and he was all "meh, it's not too bad" but we decided to venture to the rooftop deck to see for ourselves. Not too bad, huh? Well, this was the freaking view:

Strike a pose ladies! Anyway, we had some cocktails and a delicious pre-show dinner at a little eye-talian place nearby. Imagine, Italian in Little Italy! Who knew? We were all really excited and our seats rocked (thanks Mike) because we had the first row of the balcony. OH YEAH! The stage was this big light thing that came down and projected all these videos and stuff and it was awesome. Georgie began by singing off stage and getting us all amped up and then he appeared looking trim and not bloated like I thought he would. The show was pretty much non-stop awesomeness. He played mostly everything I wanted to hear except for "I Want Your Sex" and "Killer," which is kind of a lesser known track but one of my favs nonetheless. There was A LOT of dancing ( I mean A LOT) and a lot of audience singing along and overall he did not disappoint. He played for 2 1/2 hours, included several Wham songs and gave two encores, closing with "Freedom." I felt good for him because he's out and proud of his life and it made me proud to be there with my friends. Sadly I deal with homophobia from people I know and to be in a place this packed and have everyone just happy to be whatever they want to be was a very touching experience. When we got home, we went back up to the roof to enjoy some cocktails and this was our view:

Ahhh...just lovely. Jeff and I threaten to move to Chicago on a regular basis and maybe one day we will. It's hard not to want to when you're enjoying this. Granted, we could only afford to sleep on the stoop of the building, not actually in it but let me have my moment.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


So I made a cake for an impromptu wedding this weekend. It was for a couple from Texas, so the cake was to be Texas-themed. It was also a bit short notice, so I went for simple instead of crazy. I think it was super cute and the lettering was nerve-wracking but I'm learning and that's how you improve. And much like the state itself, it was just too big to contain on one board.

And lest you think that little Keebler elves come out and make these cakes for me, I've also decided to show the cake in it's various states of development. Here it is after carving but pre-iced:

Here it is with the under coat of strawberry buttercream, which I thought was mucho delicioso:

Right now we are really focused on recipe development. We've found a few recipes we really like, but each one comes with its own issues. For instance, this particular cake tastes great (my opinion, of course) but it's very dense, which since most people are accustomed to the spongy crap they get from the Betty Crocker box, isn't always as well liked. I love dense cakes so I'm trying to fiddle with this recipe to make it taste good and be just slightly lighter without making it too light to do anything fun with.

Anyway, I hope to hear some feedback (please let it be good) later today so I'll update the carnage as it comes.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I WILL be your father figure

Pisces, July 9, 2008:

Shortly after a plane takes off, there comes a scary moment. The ground is failing away, but the sky is not near enough. There's no turning back, but there's no proof yet that you're airborne. We find you now in a similarly tense frame of mind. You hope you're doing the right thing, you know you have passed a point of no return, but you still await a sign of success. Soon you will get all the reassurance and inspiration you need and deserve. Meanwhile, keep trusting and moving.

Okay, now that's better.

Okay kiddies, I'm off to Chicago with LM, Mike & Brian to see George Michael. I'm super excited since I've been waiting to see him since 1988. Please don't bring me down or leave me hanging on like a yo-yo. Not that any of you will miss me since no one reads or comments anymore. "sniff" That's okay, I know you're busy. I'll post all about our adventure when we get back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Going to Australia

So I have an adoption update. Well, not really any kind of update but we are scheduled to go to the immigration office on Wednesday to get our future child's immigration forms started. It's a preliminary thing that really doesn't mean much other than when we get our referral, the wait will be shorter to get him processed. And by shorter, I mean it's still a bloody long wait. You know, this whole adoption process and struggle to have a family is such a weird experience and while I appreciate the support and encouragement that I have gotten from everyone, it's still a very isolating and lonely experience to go through and no one REALLY understands how it feels unless you've done it yourself. That being said, when we were in parent class, there was an anonymous essay in our book that really hit me like a ton of bricks and I think it helps to express my pissy mood as of late regarding the excruciating wait we have endured to have a baby, adopted or otherwise. I have friends that are pregnant that will have their children and be moms and dads for a while before we even get a referral, not to mention all of the friends that have already been prego and had babies who are freaking walking by now. Anyway, this process has been going on forever and I'm starting to crack. So in honor of my piss mood, here's the essay:

Different Trips to the Same Place

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place. You've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip.

So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait, and wait, and wait.

Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like "Relax, You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair."

After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat."

"By Boat!" you say, "Going by boat will take a very long time and costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." SO you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than by air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat.

It's a long trip, many months over rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth two or three more times, marveling about each trip. Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage and you find yourself comparing stories with others who have traveled by sea rather than by air.

People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "oh be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible, traveling by sea is so easy." You will always wonder what would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know you are blessed with a special appreciation of Australia and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there but rather in the place itself.

So there it is. Infertility sucks and adopting a kid is the hardest thing I've ever gone through and this whole traveling to Australia bit helps me handle the ride.

Pisces, July 7, 2008

Here's my horoscope for today:

"Some plans come to fruition. Others don't. We can take a simplistic view and decide to celebrate when there's a clear connection between intention and accomplishment, and to feel miserable when there is not. But if we were truly wise and blessed with the ability to see life from a more cosmic perspective, we might not be so sure of this. Often our greatest gifts stem directly from moments of sudden chaos. Here comes something crazy. It will yet turn out to make perfect sense. "

What the hell does this mean horoscope man?? So if I accomplish something, I shouldn't really be all happy that I didn't suck but when the shit hits the fan, I should be wise enough to think something good will come of it and not freak out?? I'm confused. My whole freaking life is chaos so where are my presents. Oh and the whole "here comes something crazy" part?! Jesus dude, I'm already super-paranoid and now I have this?! Really? REALLY?!
Thanks a lot.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's pink and DUCKY!

Well, I finally delivered my first official cake that was actually commissioned by someone not related to me nor is the cake for anyone I know except for the aforementioned person (Sara). It's a big moment for me and I know this because of the incessant worrying and fretting I have done over the last 72 hours and will continue to do until I hear from her later today. It's a baby shower cake and I went pretty traditional as far as having it look baby-ish but not too cutesy and I'm happy with the outcome, especially the duck I made out of fondant.

This is also the first cake I've done in a long while that wasn't covered in fondant and let's just say it's probably going to be my last for a while. You see, a 90 degree July afternoon and a cake covered in buttercream actually made with BUTTER and not sick-ass Crisco are not exactly a match made in heaven and while fondant isn't immune to melting or anything, it's just WAY more stable and doesn't shift and plop around as much. The car ride went okay, I held it while Jeff drove but like I said, it's WARM out and I was anxious to get it inside and into the AC. We made it to Sara's house in one piece and she seemed really happy with the outcome so I felt big sigh of relief. That relief was short lived because as we stood in her kitchen, which was a bit warm, I noticed the cake began to bulge out a bit and I was soon in crisis mode because the warm temp was softening all the icing and it was starting to sink. I don't like to refrigerate fondant because it can get sticky and gooey and I had made some fondant decorations, but we were at a crisis level orange and I didn't want the cake to collapse so in to the fridge it went. I told her to keep an eye on it and I am crossing every finger and toe that it holds up okay. I read a LOT about the difficulty that cake decorators face regarding warm weather but so far this was my first experience with it and now I know what they mean. NOT FUN. The cake was tiered and it was pretty good sized, so I also had my first experience in doweling a cake, which was easier than I thought so do but still nerve wracking in delivery. The only thing making me feel better is remembering the Food Network cake challenge we watched last night (is that all they show anymore?) and watching veteran professional cake decorators with a bajillion years experience having their cakes fall apart or melt like mine did. One dude was left with only a head. BUT, I had to start somewhere right, and while it probably won't be remembered as my finest hour, it was my first professional cake and I did my best. I'll update any carnage or **fingers crossed** happiness that will undoubtedly come later today.

Sara just called and HALLE-frickin-LUJAH! Well, sorta. Apparently there was an issue on the ride over and the bottom layer shifted a bit in transport but Sara was able to make the save and it seemed that it all worked out. She said they all liked the cake and she got many questions as to where she got it (yay!), in fact, I got a pseudo-wedding cake order for THIS SATURDAY out of the deal, which I'm going to squeeze in between work and the George Michael concert in Chicago on Wednesday. This cake will be Texas-themed so get out yer spurs pardner! Thanks Sara!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh Dear Abby, where art thou when thy needs you, eh?

Sorry no posty since Friday but I've been a bit busy. As you know I've gone cake-loco and I have yet another cake to make this week so things aren't slowing down anytime soon. It's for Sunday so no pics til the weekend but I plan on it being very cute so it'll be worth your time. Aside from all the baking shenanigans going on here, I've also been juggling two part time gigs. I'm not getting into detail lest this be read by someone in the know, but lets just say I've been majorly struggling as to which direction to head in. I've had some interesting opportunities arise and I'm really torn as to how to approach things. If I had my druthers, and boy oh boy would I like some goddamn druthers right now, I'd be a cake designer full time but since this ain't Disney and dreams don't always come true here, so it looks like it'll be a part-time venture for now. The funny part is that this is the one time in my life I've been confident about something. SHOCKING. I am the first person to point out my NUMEROUS flaws both personally and in my various types of work, but there's something about this cake business that just seemed to have grabbed me and made me think I could do it just like the Ace of Cakes fellow did, although I doubt I have missed any calls from the Food Network and I'm not bald but I digress. This grabbing business, however, completely disregards the fact that I suck as a business-ey type and don't even have the balls to charge people for things because I'm afraid they'll run away or tell me to go suck it or whatever (this has kind of happened.) Overall this makes things quite difficult and makes me very stabby.

Whatever. Bottom line is that I don't have any answers but I know I have to make some sort of decision very soon otherwise someone will make it for me and then I'll be all pissypants and that's not good for anyone. Jeff will attest.

On another note, Jeff and I did fun things with my friend Gwen over the weekend so if you head to her blog at, you can read all about our Sunday together. I would recap it here but she already did with pictures and I'm just that lazy.