Sunday, January 07, 2007

It's Not the Wind

The soul scouring? It's going well. Too well maybe. Why do we not easily accept happiness when it's consistent? It's not just that. It's that I have made such a concerted effort to be happy and to Follow Bliss and shit that I now feel a little boring; like I have nothing interesting to say right now. I'm one big positive affirmation. Which, y'know, is great. . .

Has baking cooked all the dark, interesting bits outta me?

A few nights ago, the wind kept us up. It was a destructive wind threatening to rip hinges away and crack grown trees; it sounded like an uncontrollable destructiveness. And I was scared, actually, which is a first because I have always loved the wind. It has been a life-long favorite of the weather systems. Growing up, I would not have minded if the wind blew it all away, me included. Blew it all clean; I felt new when it swirled around me. And now I fear things getting blown away; I want it all to stay as it is. The wind makes me nervous now and I don't like that. That same night, my sleep was fitful and I half-dreamed of odd and true past details like when I was a kid I once walked barefoot on the sidewalk outside my apartment and I stepped on an empty peanut shell to see how it would sound and feel, but hidden under the shell was a dollop of dog shit that I hadn't seen. The shell crushed and shit squeezed out and smushed between my toes. Details of catholic elementary school also randomly came to me, like how my classmates would write JJM at the top of all their test papers which stands for Jesus, Joseph and Mary. I wanted to do that too -- I wanted a dose of divinity -- but I felt like I'd be totally faking that. Even in third grade I knew that would be poseurish of me.

The morning after the wind-ragey night, I walked the dogs. Fences and garbage bins were down. Abandoned, tan-green christmas trees that had been left in the alleys were blown around like large and misshapen tumbleweeds. But my life was still intact. My happiness and my family; my resolve and self-assuredness. I stepped over littered debris and I used my mind to settle myself; told myself it was all ok. I am not only interesting when I'm misfortunate and dark. I've given myself this pep talk every morning since though the windy nights are long gone.

Did you want a cupcake update? I baked some Coconut Lime ones. The recipe called for coconut oil and coconut milk and I think the cake came out heavy, almost greasy. Husband liked them a lot though he's the only one who did. I love coconut and decided to change the recipe to make a simple vanilla-coconut cake and frosting. They came out really, really good. I was trying to replicate the taste of the three-layer coconut cake that I love over at Real Food Daily. I put one dark chocolate chip atop of each. It was so good.

I've been doing reconnaissance missions to local bakeries and cupcake houses in Cali and checking out websites across the U.S. for prices and hours and flavors. I also looked into the rates of a local commercial kitchen and other costs of starting a small vegan baking business. I was going to call it Rivera's Vegan Cupcakería, but after some feedback and a big veto by Maya, I'm going with (My First Name's) Vegan Cupcakería. I just like the "cupcakería" part. I'm all proud of myself for that one.

I had to add this photo. Mina cut a hole in the crotch of some old pajama bottoms and made this awesome blouse.


girl least likely to said...

"cupcakeria" is like the greatest idea ever. i love that word!

and mina is a GENIUS!

SUEB0B said...

Yes, this wind! I have never experienced anything quite like it before. It feels...apocalyptic.

Just because you don't feel like you have anything interesting to say doesn't mean you aren't interesting. It means you are being quiet, which is quite fine.

The cupcakes look tres awesome. Cupcakeria makes me laugh because once I had a vivid dream where I had a deli with 100 items made of tofu and the neon sign in the window said "Suebob's Tofuteria."

Mina - what a genius little designer you have!! It says a lot about your creative household.

Anonymous said...

this is all deliciously wonderful.

the wind jolted me into wakefulness as well. even my dog was suspicious...and now we have a scorching hot day in its wake!

Anonymous said...

Mina's top is freaking adorable. Looks like you two are incredibly creative.

Jenn said...

I have to echo everything said above.

Cupcakeria. Mina. Happiness.

You have it goin' on.

(and I so want one of those dreamy coconut confections. They look wonderful!)

acumamakiki said...

That coconut cupcake has me drooling and it's only 7am here!
My husband teases me because I love the wind.....says it like some tree-hugging mama when he's teasing. (=

And Mina? Yo, that girl has it going on with her style and ability to whip something together.

And even in your positive-ness Madness, you are never boring. I'll take your 'boring' any day girl!

Smelly said...

Mina cracks me up - so clever! I just love that she's wearing pants as a top.
Your struggle with feeling uninteresting as a positive human being.... does it feel sometimes like folks want to hear misery, to validate their own? To make the choice of being unhappy a good one? Because it is a choice, and I have to remember that, too. Being content can be scary, I think. Aren't we constantly supposed to be improving, striving, working on some inadequecy or another?
The wind! I love the wind! I am a sailor, though I have not been on the water for over a year. My son (almost a year old!) has a thing for the wind, I know he gets it from me. He turns his little face into it, blinking his eyes, clucking his tongue and smilingsmilingsmiling.
You will have mail-order for the Cupcakería, no?

degan said...

that is absolutely FANTASTIC! congratulations and good luck.

Marigoldie said...

I have always thought that Mina had great body language. This photo further proves that. Not to mention the rockin' designs--my gosh.

Glad the cupcake jihad's taking shape.

Your tent is super staked down.

Melinda said...

Man, you're really doing this cupcakeria, huh? You rock. Once you get this thing up and running, let me know and I will get the word out to everyone I even halfway know in your area.

Anonymous said...

mmmmmm...what about mail order cupcakes? heh.

i am so excited for you. you will be doing something that makes your heart full (and others' bellies, too) and be doing something great for the community by putting healthy alternatives out there.

LOVE the name cupcakeria, too.
i have said it before. and i will say it over and RAWK.

jeez louise. you really do.

Anonymous said...

ij ust went back and realized that smelly (a dear friend of mine from way back) asked for mail order, too.
we both live in maryland (about 45 minutes apart) we could share a package! yes!

madness rivera said...

Thanks for all the great comments. Really, thank you.

I will seriously look into mail order though I get nervous when I drive the cupcakes in a car . . .but for real, I will look into it. My husband is tired of eating most of them.

And I love the name Smelly.

andrea said...

cupcakeria? yes, absolutely.

and um, the latest creation by mina? brilliant.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

ok, i've been all googoo over your cupcakes this whole time but mina is nothing short of aMAzing.