HIT IT WITH THE ROCK

Jul. 27th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by john (the hubby of Jen)

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Steven C., Elizabeth E., and Jennifer S. for remembering that it could always be worse.

*****

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And from my other blog, Epbot:


The Bride And Groan

Jul. 26th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

Today's post is dedicated to all the engaged couples out there. That's right, lovebirds, I thought we might take this opportunity to consider the most important cake of your entire lives: your wedding cake.

Now, I know I feature a lot of wedding wrecks, and I know a lot of folks will point out that asking for a fondant design recreated in buttercream is asking for disaster, but don't you worry. I'm here to help. After all, this is what Leah D. ordered for HER wedding cake:

 

 

And look what she got!

It's the tinfoil-covered cookie sheet that really sells it.


Ok, yes, it's a wreck. BUT - did you notice how the inspiration cake was all buttercream, and the wreck itself is fondant? I'm just sayin'. It works both ways.

Now, don't you feel better?

No?

Ok, then how about what Susan A. ordered for her wedding? 

 

 Not a great picture (you don't see mimeographs much these days), but I think you get the general idea.

 And here's what Susan got:

Granted, I'm not sure how this is supposed to make you feel better, but trust me, guys: the REST of us are feeling grrrrr-REAT. (John! Go make some popcorn! These are gettin' GOOD.)

 

Sara M. wanted her wedding cake to be a hunk a' hunk a' burnin' love:

 

The cake! The cake! The cake is on FI-YUR!

 

But instead, her cake just suffered from a mild burning sensation and performance issues:

 

Wah-WAAAAH.

(That was my attempt at a slide-rule trombone effect. I know: I'm a veritable foley artist with words.)

 

And finally, Elizabeth P. dreamed a dream of ribbon-wrapped sweetness for her big day:

 

...but ended up with something only a mummy could love:

 Ouch. Uh...that's a wrap!

 

Thanks to all of today's brides and just remember, guys: wreck or Sweet, we're gonna need to see your wedding cake! (Oh, and we're all invited, right? RIGHT?!)

*****

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FedEx: A Dramatic Tale

Jul. 25th, 2017 06:38 pm
settiai: (Blue Beetle/Booster Gold -- dreadable)
[personal profile] settiai
As I've mentioned in the past, I tend to have trouble whenever I pay FedEx extra for an evening delivery (between 5-8pm). Unfortunately, if I order anything that needs a signature, that's my only option as I'm not home to sign for packages earlier than 5pm. So requesting evening delivery is the only way for me to actually get what I order, since they won't deliver after 5pm unless you pay extra.

Cut to the last week of June. I ordered two packages that were scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, and I paid for evening delivery. As has happened several times in the past, the packages never showed up as being on the truck to be delivered. So around 7pm or so I called customer service and started a paper trail, as well as started livetweeting the whole story on Twitter.

FedEx managed to get in touch with the local facility, who told them the package was out for delivery. The driver just hadn't scanned it when he left. ("Uh-huh," I told the poor customer service rep with more than a little skepticism.) This gets a bit long, but it's honestly a rather amusing story. In retrospect, at least. It wasn't so amusing at the time. )

... and that's why I will never again order from any company that only offers FedEx as a shipping option.

Dial-A-Wreck

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

Remember how we all loved the game "Telephone" in kindergarten? Well, add in a cake, and the fun never stops!

This order was for a "black high heel":

(It's a hill, people. Get it?)

 

Specifying punctuation is always tricky:

Although I suppose if Aunt flashed Mom that would liven up the party, and it's certainly preferable to Aunt slashing Mom.

(Ok, this one is tricky, I know: the order was for Aunt/Mom - a slash, in other words.)

 

Here we have a beautifully done blue horse. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be a blue house.

 

If your message is "Philip...Woohoo!", and you actually have to say the words "dot dot dot", be prepared for just about anything.

 

And of course these never get old:

Although interestingly enough, I think that icing IS light pink. I guess the decorator was covering all her bases.

 

Thanks to Danielle M., Stefanie D., Rachel S., Michael T., and Chandra.

*****

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A fannish update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:15 pm
settiai: (Liara -- bleeding_muse)
[personal profile] settiai
Now that I've talked about real life a bit, I guess it's time for a bit of a fandom-related update. I'm not watching a lot of television lately, and the handful of shows that I am watching tend to be webseries rather than more traditional series. We'll see if that changes in the coming months?

I finally was able to start playing Mass Effect: Andromeda and have fallen back in love with the whole ME universe. I know a lot of people didn't like ME:A, but I really loved it. It's not my favorite game (that's still ME2), but I do think it might have moved to the #2 spot on my list. Could it have been better? Sure. But that doesn't mean I don't love it (and the characters) any less.

On a somewhat related note, I still love Dragon Age. I haven't been playing it as much lately, since ME has been taking up so much of my time, but I've gone back to working on fic. Which is a good thing, because DA is one of those rare fandoms that makes me want to write longfic. Even though I kind of suck at writing longfic and take forever to finish stories that are more than 5000 words.

I've also continued with my Critical Role obsession, to the surprise of nobody. The current storyline is slowly drawing to a close, and I'm expecting Vox Machina's tale to come to a close by the end of the year. Which makes me sad, since I love the characters. But on the other hand, a new story! With new characters! My chances of convincing people to start watching will greatly increase when they don't have 400+ hours to watch in order to get caught up.

Speaking of which, Dungeons & Dragons continues to eat a lot of my free time. I have two weekly games that I play in online via Roll20, one on Friday nights and one on Sunday nights. Then I have another Roll20 game on Saturday nights where I'm the DM. And then, because I have no sense of self-preservation, every other Sunday afternoon I walk over to the gaming store near my apartment to play in another campaign.

So, basically, every other week? I play four D&D games in a little over 48 hours. And even when I'm not cramming four games in, I'm still playing three. Which isn't much better.

Oops?

Um, let's see. What other fannish things should I talk about?

Geek and Sundry and Alpha are behind most of the webseries that I'm watching nowadays. There's Critical Role, of course, which I've already mentioned. Then there's Eric's TBD RPG, an awesome Doctor Who RPG that just recently came to an end and was replaced with Shield of Tomorrow, a Star Trek RPG. Oh, and Sagas of Sundry which is just... gods, it's hard to describe. It's creepy and amazing and I highly recommend it.

I'm not watching Vast yet (another one of their RPGs), but I've heard good things about it. It's definitely on my list, whenever I have free time again. (I also watch The Wednesday Club, but it's a bunch of geeks sitting around and talking about comics for two hours each week rather someone I'm particularly fannish about. It's a lot of fun if you like comics, though.)

Based on the recent Doctor Who casting news, I'm cautiously optimistic that I might be able to start watching regularly again. I managed to watch some of the episodes from this most recent series but not all of them. Still, the ones that I was able to watch reminded me just how much I miss this show. I really hope that, once Moffat is gone, it will feel more like Doctor Who to me again.

The upcoming fourth and final season of Star Wars: Rebels has me both excited and terrified. I want to see what happens, but at the same time... well, it's Star Wars. I know going in that there was a good chance a lot of the characters wouldn't actually live through the show. The question is this: who and how?

I really need to start thinking about Yuletide and what fandoms I want to nominate this year, since it's coming up fast. This might be the first time in years that I haven't even started thinking about it yet, though. That will deserve its own post in a few weeks, when I try to start brainstorming.

A long overdue RL update...

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 pm
settiai: (Cass -- shoemoney2night)
[personal profile] settiai
So, yes, I'm still alive. Life in general has been busy lately, and the little bit of spare time I've had has been taken up by D&D and Mass Effect: Andromeda. Oops?

Work has been ridiculous lately. It's not really something that I can talk about in detail, but there's definitely quite a bit of tension between the higher ups and, well, a large percentage of the employees who aren't being paid six figures annually. Let's just say that the amount of work expected of most employees has gone up while salaries haven't (except for the higher ups, who magically were able to get raises when people making significantly less than them weren't), and I'm very worried the directors are going to find out first-hand just how screwed they are if a large number of people all turn in their notice and walk.

Mainly because I'm not in a position where I can afford to do that, no matter how much I might want to sometimes. Which means I'll also be somewhat screwed if anyone turns in their notice.

Add in the aforementioned extra work and the fact that several people have been out for health-related reasons, meaning our workload is even heavier, and... well, needless to say, it's not been fun.

Let's see... I should probably talk about the cats, huh?

Garrus and Percy are getting along surprisingly well. The first few weeks were a bit rocky, but once they got used to each other (and realized just how similar they are), things became a lot smoother. They're at the point where they're regularly grooming each other and sleeping just a few inches apart, which is a lot better than I was hoping for after less than two months.

I still miss Tali a lot, obviously, but the fact that Garrus and Percy are getting along so well is definitely helping. Percy is a doll, and I'm already at the point where I can't imagine him not being here. I just, you know, sometimes wish that I could have had all three of them, even though the realistic side of my brain knows that I never would have met him if I hadn't lost her.

VividCon is next week, which... I have complicated feelings about. Brain weasels! Aren't they fun? )

Anyway, I'm hoping that my brain weasels will go away once I'm actually in Chicago. At the moment, though, I'm not nearly as excited about the con being next week as I usually am by this point. Which makes me sad. Hopefully that will change somewhat over the next week-and-a-half?

... oh, I just realized that I never posted about my week of hell with FedEx here on Dreamwidth. I should rectify that. I want to make a separate fandom-related post first, and then I'll post the whole terrifying tale.

Pool Wars

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

"If you only knew the POWER [squeak] of the Dark Side. JOIN ME [squeak] and we can [squeeeeak] RULE the... [squeaksqueaksqueakSPLASH!]

 

"I find your lack of balance...disturbing.

"Towel?"

 

Thanks to Angel K. for the splishin' and the splashin'.

*****

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Superhero Sweets For SDCC

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

This weekend many of My People, aka geeks, have converged on San Diego Comic-Con - and I'm not there. [sob]

BUT!

The rest of us can still look at awesome comic book cakes and dream, right?

(By Bella Cakes)

Look at this gorgeous Wonder Woman cake! LOOK AT IT.

***

Ok, you can stop now.

Because na na na na na na... BATMAN!

(By Nayrunia)

LOVE this design; so much impact for a (relatively) simple silhouette.

 

But maybe you prefer the Dark Knight a little less... dark?

(By Lindsay Colasurdo)

Pretty piles of punchy pink, Batman!

You know, this color combo is really starting to grow on me.

 

Here's a fun Hulk cake with some priceless reactions:

(By Cheri Ross Sarner for Icing Smiles)

I admire your restraint, Elijah; I'd be gnawing on Hulk's elbow by now.

 

Anyone else love Supergirl?

'Cuz you could totally use this cake for Supergirls OR Supermans (er... men):

(By &Sweets)

 

Oh! And did you know Groot has his own comic book now? It looks fantastic, just like this cake:

(By Aroma de Azucar)

And I love that Rocket!

 

If you're after more classic comic books, though, check this out:

(By 21 Cake Lane)

Awwwwesome. The colors, the ascending dot pattern, the perfect overlapping covers - it's ALL good.

 

And another classic: Wonder Woman!

(Baker unknown)

So wonderful.

(See what I did there?)

 

Not exactly a superhero, but you have to see this fun comic book/pop art cake, made entirely with buttercream!

(By fredbutt)

C'mon. How fun is this??

 

Yet another reason why geek weddings rock:

(By Exquisite Wedding Cakes)

Joker & Harley wedding cake.

 

And finally, a dreamy color combo for some of our fav superheroes:

(By Cake Me To Your Party)

...plus maybe a favorite villain? 'Cuz I like to think that's one of Harley Quinn's bombs on top. :)

Happy Sunday, guys! Hope those of you at SDCC are having fun!

 

*****

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CAKETASTROPHE!! (By Special Request)

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

I was perusing the Cake Wrecks Facebook page the other day (where every follower gets a free invisible puppy!!) when I came across a rather unusual request:

Ahh, so you want to pop open the hood and take a gander inside the wrecks, is that it, Jennifer?

Well, I'm glad you asked.

BEHOLD!!

 

And BEHOLD!!

 

KEEP BE-HOLDING!

 

Hey, Jennifer, you ever wonder how cupcake cakes (ptooie!) keep their icing from falling through all those big gaps?

NOW YOU KNOW.

 

We just saw last week how a gender reveal cake failed to actually reveal anything - other than plain yellow cake - but here's the opposite problem:

The cake was blue inside with pink icing.

Oy.

 

Now I'm going to show you my absolute favorite cake cake wreck of all time, Jennifer, and which I've been hanging onto for just this moment.

First, though, let me explain what (we think) happened:

A bakery was unable to sell a Halloween cake in time, but they didn't want to throw it away or reduce the price. So instead, they simply flipped the entire cake over, icing side down, and re-decorated the other side to make it into a generic birthday design.

CW reader Shannon had no idea of the skullduggery at work until she cut the cake, and found this:

That's a whoooole lotta icing, right there.

(And think how fresh!!)

 

And finally, I know I posted the video of this over on FB a week or two back, but here's a quick .gif reminder of the importance of proper wedding cake support:

OUCH.

(Watch the original video here to see them both continue to laugh hysterically, which is just adorable. Cutest couple ever!)

 

Welp, I hope that satisfies some of your blood lust for caketastrophe, Jennifer!

And hey, for the rest of you, the request line... IS OPEN.

 

Thanks to Cherie O., Leann S., Jaunna, Fribby, Sarah, & Shannon G. for reminding me of those times bakeries accidentally left scissors, a paring knife, and other various cutlery in their cakes - because that was a HOOT. (And also because "TRAUMATIC BIEBER" *still* makes me snort-laugh.)

*****

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Maybe he's not your friend?

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:43 am
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Posted by iczer6

Dear Auntie Sparknotes,
Last week I drove to the beach without my parents permission. The car battery ended up dying and I had to tell my parents what happened, knowing they would be angry at me. My close friend was the one driving the car and in a fit of stress/rage, knowing I would be in trouble, I blamed him for the battery dying (he had left the headlights on with the car off).

After I cooled down I apologized and told him that I didn't blame him, I was just in a stressful position and didn't often get in trouble. I didn't yell at him or anything like that, and didn't think it was really a big deal. We continued to chat and laugh in our normal way on the drive back home after our car was fixed. The only odd thing was, although we often fight (in a playful/teasing not actually fighting way) he accused me of making fun of him for being gay, something I certainly did not ever do and would never do. I obviously denied it and was confused but assumed he was joking or something, and we just moved on to a different conversation. I dropped him off at his house and I didn't detect any anger from him.

The next day I texted him about something ...he didn't text back. I called him...he didn't pick up. 5 days went by and I heard nothing from him, which was confusing to me, I didn't realize he was mad at me at all. I texted a mutual friend who was there at the beach to ask if she thought he was mad at me. She said no, he didn't seem angry on the ride home and he's not the type to hold grudges. The next day I sent him a long text, I apologized if my blaming him for the car hurt his feelings and told him how much I appreciated his friendship and that I wouldn't want it to end over something stupid that I did. A day later he replied, with just "I appreciate your apology." Nothing else. After a few days I invited him through text/ voicemail to a party at my house with some mutual friends....no response. I have been friends with this person for a good 4-5 years and I have never seen him this angry or cold towards someone. He is universally adored for being nice and hilarious. I really enjoy being friends with him and have never seen him act this way, but I have apologized profusely and he is still not responding to me. I feel like a horrible person for making such a nice person so mad at me, but I'm also confused how my mistake could lead to so much anger from him, especially when he didn't act like it was a big deal at the time.

Should I just give it up and not contact him anymore? I would feel horrible if this was how our friendship ended but I don't see what else to do.

**** ****

Oh, balls.

Because I hate to say this, Sparkler, but neither do I, which means that what you're about to read is probably going to be the least useful response in the entire human history of advice columns. Assuming your description of events is accurate, Auntie SparkNotes is as mystified as you are as to the source of your friend's bizarre behavior—especially when, not to put too fine a point on it, he should have been apologizing at least as much for the mistake he made that cost you the price of a new battery plus a chewing-out from your folks for the trouble. (You may not blame him for the battery dying in an angry/emotional sense, but as the one who left the headlights on, he's certainly responsible for that happening, no?)

But at the same time, maybe the mystery offers an answer in and of itself. Because the more I read over your letter, the more I wonder: what is the actual deal with the dynamic in this relationship? Why did you feel so compelled to apologize to this guy for getting frustrated by his carelessness—while he apparently said nothing by way of apologizing for the inconvenience he caused? When he accused you of making fun of him for being gay, why did you not push back against that incredibly ugly slam against your character? When he didn't return your text, why was your next step to prostrate yourself and beg for forgiveness, rather than questioning his incredibly disproportionate response to a single moment of minor conflict? Why are you so quick to conclude that whatever is happening here, it must be all your stupid fault?

All of which is to say, looking through the narrow window your letter offers into your relationship, it seems that there is a certain lack of balance involved—an issue which is not lessened by your description of this guy as "universally adored." That's an interesting word, adored; it evokes a person sitting at the center of a circle of fawning admirers, enjoying all of the attention while doing none of the work. Is that by any chance an accurate description of how your friend operates? You say you've never seen him behave this way before, but is that because he lacks the very capacity to be nasty? Or is it because anyone who criticizes him has a strange way of vanishing from his social circle—just as you probably seem to have vanished, as far as anyone not aware of your private text interactions is concerned? Have you ever actually known this guy to work through a conflict with someone he cares about? If not, does that seem strange to you?

To be clear, only you know the answers to these questions, and it's certainly possible that I'm missing something which would explain why this whole scenario is actually normal and fine. But as it stands, what you describe doesn't sound like an especially healthy friendship, despite the guy's winning qualities — which might make him fun to be around, but do not necessarily mean he's a good friend. Nice and hilarious are… well, nice (and hilarious), but these are surface characteristics. Nice is not the same thing as kind, or considerate, or generous when it comes to assuming the best of one's friends (and not cold-shouldering them with extreme prejudice over a perceived slight.)

And of course, none of this makes it any less painful to be frozen out with no explanation. But on that front, you're right; if your friend has unilaterally decided that this is how it ends, then there's nothing you can do to stop him. Your only recourse on that front—and you shouldn't expect much—is to zing the ball into his court in a way that might provoke a response. E.g.: "If you want to end our friendship, I can respect that, but I wish you would at least do me the courtesy of telling me why. I cannot imagine what I did to prompt you to treat me this way, and it is incredibly cruel."

Just realize, if you do this, that you're probably not going to learn anything from your friend's response which you don't already know—namely, that he did not care enough about your relationship to either a) give you the benefit of the doubt for whatever minor, ambiguous thing you did to upset him, or b) discuss what happened, or even alert you to the fact that something had happened, before summarily cutting you out of his life. Whatever his stated reasons for freezing you out, they are just window dressing; what really matters is that he did it. And while you can feel sad about that, I hope you'll draw the line at feeling guilty and horrible over an outcome that was entirely his decision. If this is how your friendship ends, it's not because of something you did; it's because he chose to respond to it in this incredibly crappy way.

Personally, this is where I'd also reconsider my description of the guy as "nice," but you are your own master.

LW I have to ask, what are you apologizing for? Your friend was the one in the wrong. He did leave the lights on leading to the battery dying and yet HE hasn't apologized, or taken responsibility, or offered to chip in. This is not an unforgivable crime but I find it worrying that when dealing with his screw up his response was to imply that you're a bigot and then not talk to you for days. Auntie brings up a good point, has your friend ever apologized for anything? Has he ever been wrong? Or do people who would have reason to be annoyed with him vanish from your circle? You can't force him to talk to you but you want to think about the line from 'Into the Woods' 'nice is different than good.' Something to think about.

Dirty-Minded Decorators

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

Aw, look at the sweet cake for Sarah-Maude's second birthday:

[squinting]

 

Although, those balloons look a little odd, don't they? Let's take a closer look...

[eyes bulging] Great Scott! Hide the children!!

And I KNOW you see what I see, people, so don't even try to accuse me of having my mind in the gutter. It's the Fireman cake all over again.

Eric N., thank goodness this was for a safely oblivious 2-year-old. Still, given how obvious those balloons are, I'm pretty sure I'd steer clear of this bakery in the future. Unless it was for a bachelorette party, of course.

*****

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Initial Discomfort

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

Monograms can add that perfect crowning touch of elegance to your wedding cake.

 

Or, they can look like this:

Proof that sometimes it's better to quit before letting your five-year-old write on the cake.

 

Still, it could be worse.

The monogram could match the rest of the cake:

Hey, it's not easy to make tinfoil look this good.

 

If you do find a mistake in your cake's monogram, don't panic. There are plenty of seamless ways for your baker to fix the error.

This isn't one of them.

 

Now, I'm all for sharing new words, broadening folks' horizons, furthering education, etc, but if you have to explain to the baker of your wedding cake what a monogram is - a "T, J, and H" put together, for example - then maybe, just maybe, a few alarm bells should go off.

Or I suppose you could just take your chances.

After all, what could go wrong?

Heh.

Aheh.

Heh.

At least the quotes add a little something "extra."

 

Thanks to today's wedding wreckporters Anony M., Hilary R., Cyndi P., & Cyndee M., who think all bakers should be required to ask, "Can I quote you on that?"

*****

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As You Wish

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Jen

"Okey dokey, let's just double check that order form."

Flavor: Chocolate

"Check!"

Decoration: Chocolate dipped strawberry, ganache swirl and chocolate shavings over buttercream.

"Check, check, and check!"

Inscription: Leave blank

"Check!"

 

Thanks to Ross E., the bakery manager who managed to catch this before the customer arrived. Great work, Ross!

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