Friday, February 26, 2010

There is a Reason They are Made by a Machine.

I grew up with homemade sweets. No Little Debbie, no excess packaging or preservatives and plenty to share with my friends at lunch. I was raised in the School of Scratch and am not intimidated by complicated recipes. My mother is a deft baker and I can remember helping (or should I say 'helping') her measure and mix since I was a kid. So, when my sister emailed me a recipe for homemade Girl Scout cookies last week I accepted the challenge and got started right away.

Forgive me while I go on a bit about the way this recipe is organized. Perhaps I am too used to things being in the proper sequential order but while I was baking these cookies I was baffled that no one has bothered to amend it. I could probably shave a solid 30-40 minutes off of the prep time just by using a bit of foresight and my superhero power of multitasking.

Amendment #1. 300 degrees comes quicker than 350. 20 minutes is longer than 10-12 minutes. Toast that coconut first. You can stir it every five minutes while you are painstakingly cutting the little circle centers out of your dough, re-rolling it and repeating. Trust me, there will still be time to get those extra 50 degrees of heat before you are done with this job.

Amendment #2. Unwrap the caramels while your cookies are baking and your toasted coconut is cooling. I mean, really.

Amendment #3. Dip the base of your cookie in melted chocolate and transfer to parchment paper BEFORE you put the caramel/coconut topping on. Duh. Then you don't have to move your cookies around so freaking much. This is important because you are attempting to get one buttery substance (caramel) to stick to another buttery substance (shortbread). Your only hope is gluing that shit together with chocolate and not touching it until you get it in your mouth.

Next time I will be baking the bars instead because it occurred to me a bit late in the game that I do not own any kind of cookie cutter. So I used a cup. Oh well, big cookies are better -even though I did make tiny bitesized ones out of the center holes (adorable).




Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One year anniversary

It occurred to me earlier today that it has been one year since I quit my job working for the biggest and most manipulative lunatic I have ever come across. To celebrate this dear readers, I give you my resignation email:

"L*^%@,

I appreciate your concerns and respect the fact that you feel them. However, I do feel that they are incredible-for lack of a better word.

Firstly, I apologize if my bluntness offended you, but you do know me well enough to know that I cannot be any other way. By telling you I live out of the way, please believe that I meant no disrespect. I live in Greenpoint, which is directly below Queens. I take the Midtown Tunnel to get to Penn Station. It takes me 15 minutes from door to door and costs $17-including the surcharge on the Tunnel. When I take a car to the studio it takes me 25 minutes and costs me $25 and an additional 10 minutes and $10-$12 to get to Penn Station from there. We are all trying to save money and with a wake-up call at 5:30 in the morning I am also trying to save time. In all the past times that we have taken this trip, you have never asked me to come pick you up because it is, bluntly, out of the way.

Secondly, to suggest that I am not taking responsibility-above and beyond my job description- is strictly untrue. I am amazed that you would even think that, as every time I set foot in the studio, I am fielding questions, directing interns, fixing the computers, ordering office supplies and organizing. I will admit that lately I have not been as involved as I am usually. This is attributed to the fact that I am only there 10-12 hours a week. Honestly, I am more concerned with keeping the UO line running as smoothly as I can in the allotted time frame than what internet provider we have. My job comes first. If you are finding the the ball is being dropped, so to speak, I suggest it is merely because I am no longer there to catch it.

Thirdly, the shopping issue. If you look back at my work you will find that at least 90% of all my imagery comes from my own research. If you are basing this false assumption on a lack of blackberry photos in my presentations, it is because I find better photos of the same garments on-line and use them. You know this.

And finally. L*^%@, I am only going to be as effective, original, and technical as you allow me to be. I understand that you need to have control right now, but it is not something you have to take back from me. To suggest that I even had it in the first place is silly.

I honestly think that you and I are at an in-pass and it seems best for (both of us) to end this. I have no doubts that you can find a designer to fill my shoes that you have more confidence in and I have no doubts that I can find a job where I will be more valued. It goes without saying that I will, of course, help if you have any questions about where I have put things or how I have organized the documentation of the Coincidence & Chance line and I would appreciate it if you would be timely with my last invoice- which I submitted to Pat on Monday 2/23. I sincerely thank you for every opportunity that working for you has given me. I have learned so much- about the industry and about myself- a million times more than I would have if I had worked for someone else.

Best,
Lauren"

I still marvel at my self control and subtle use of sarcasm. You have no idea the circumstances that lead up to this. Everything from imaginary conversations, mental and emotional abuse, sexual harassment, general harassment-oh this list can go on forever (it probably will because one of her other ex employees is writing a book for all posterity) the important part is: without it I would not have gone out on my own and that should be recognized even a year later. If it had not have been such a ridiculous experience perhaps I would have just gotten another job in the industry instead of being so turned off that I decided to forgo all other possibilities. Anyway, it has been a banner year and I have a feeling that it is not the last time I celebrate my departure. I hereby declare February "Amour-Propre Month". Celebrate what's left of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The World VS. My Head



This is what I saw....



And this is what I saw.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

VD in the City



Usually I am quite the anti-celebrator. I blame the excessive amount of unrequited crushes (crush nothing, it was REAL love) I had in grade school for my lack of enthusiasm I have for this holiday. However, yesterday I accidentally found myself in SoHo (on a Saturday of all days) and stumbled upon the above improvements. Some street team had sponge-stamped the hearts for like, 15 blocks and then covered the usually black painted metal bells with foil and the tag said, "Kiss your wife". Warmed even my black heart.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Storm 3pm



We have since received 10 more inches and it is still going strong. I have placed walnuts out on our back porch for 'Tailman' the squirrel that lives in our attic and runs all around our back porch driving my cats insane- so he does not have to venture far on the snow covered railings and wires to forage for food, poor little guy. He can guard his nuts while I nervously guard our new bed from the impending roof leakage over the next few days....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hello Toilet, My Old Friend

Nothing like the stomach flu to make you wish you had spent $12,000 on your toilet. It would soooo be worth it right now.