17 March 2006


Oh, friends, you know me better. A daily visit to The People's Court and an occasional foray into American Idol (and secret untold, unwitnessed by most people, visits to soap operas) are my only glimpses of shlock TV.

I'm speaking of myself. I am lost.

Yesterday, my hard drive crashed, leaving me without manuscripts, without pictures, without anything, including the two e-mails from famous authors and nine pages of already-daunting craft paper about the writing of the cake manuscript.

I have nothing left except for a real daughter, a real husband, and two real dogs, none of whom will do anything I tell them, and a wheel of frozen cake.

Alas, I am still woe, as I have sworn off the eating of white stuff for the entire month of March and, perhaps, April.

All that I have to comfort me are the memories of last night's episode of Seinfeld, in which Elaine complained, loudly, at her co-workers' constant cakedness. She's so sick of it that she takes a sick day, but when she returns, she's greeted by a handful of coworkers with a get-well cake.

ELAINE: Stop it! That's not even a song! I mean, now we're celebrating a sick day?

MALE WORKER: I think it's nice.

ELAINE: What? What is nice? Trying to fill the void in your life with flour and sugar and egg and vanilla? I mean, we are all unhappy. Do we have to be fat, too? ...I don't want one more piece of cake in my office!

Of course, it's an absolute lie. No sooner do they leave than Elaine realizes she's jonesing for cake. She goes into Mr. Peterman's office where she has the stupidity (because who would do this in real life) to start eating a gorgeously frosted piece of (obviously) wedding cake. She then learns that Peterman procured this slice from some auction house, where he paid oodles for it. After all, it's "[a] slice of cake from the wedding of King Edward VIII to Wallis Simpson, circa 1937, price—$29,000."

But even that is little comfort right now. Cake: It can't restore your hard drive.

04 March 2006

Wheel of Cake

Spin the wheel. Take a bite. Spin the wheel. Take a bite.

The cake wheel was given to me by the lovely and talented Jamie Williams of SugarBakers. "It's what I give my brides," she said to me, as if I should expect no less, even though I'm there to do what's already been done to death, her Today show story. She was not, as some would believe, a loser of the "Hometown Wedding" cake competition. She wasn't selected by America, perhaps, but the couple liked her cake the best. They said so on national television.

About the cake wheel: I don't know what's what just yet, but I'm guessing I have some Amaretto Raspberry cake, some Red Velvet Fudge cake, some carrot, some lemon. Who cares? It's all going to taste like sweet heaven in my mouth (and hell on my hips).

If you're following my diet travails (more agony and torment, less effort) this week, you'll know that I am "off cake." Hell, I'm off sugar, bread, potatoes—anything white except cauliflower and paper. I'm trying to look good in last year's bathing suit (made by Omar the Tentmaker, as my sister always says) because I'm too broke for a new one. So this lovely cake wheel is cooling its heels in the freezer.

Here's the last paragraph of my interview. You will know now the true extent of my love.

I thank the folks at SugarBakers for their hospitality, and leave with my front-seat passenger, the hulking catering tray. I wonder whether I have the fortitude to lock it in the freezer the moment I get home. There's a quiet humming. I turn off the radio and listen. For twenty slow, rainy miles, the cake slices serenade me with Bach's "Ode to Joy," each inch square by four layer piece imitating a different instrument. I remember my own wedding on a beautiful sunny day, a day with all my friends, really good beer, and lots of cake. I miss two exits.