Thursday, December 30, 2010


This is so not optimistic, but I'm so angry right now. I have five dozen cupcakes that need to go to Astoria tonight and my ride bails out on me, knowing the buses are still fucked up, I need to take three trains to get there, and walk 5 blocks to get to the address...with 5 dozen cupcakes!!!!!

I'm so fucked right now. =(  I'm gonna go finish off the last two dozen, box them up, and start my fucking trek out there. This is what sucks about depending on the wrong people. Dammit, I really need a car!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year; New Habits

I just booked my first cake for 2011! It's a Yo Gabba Gabba Foofa cake for a three-year-old's birthday party. It needs to feed about 50 kids. Wow!

The date? 1/1/11. Yup, I will be working when the ball drops. I know some people would feel sorry for me, but it was my choice and I really don't want to do anything this year. I don't want to get dressed and go out. I don't want to spend the money at some awesome party. I don't want to plaster on a smile on my face while I chug down champagne (something I really DON'T like) when the clock strikes twelve, pretending that I'm having a good time. Really, let's be honest. Nothing is more lonely than being single on New Years Eve, surrounded by many non-single folks.

I'd rather start the New Year with a piping bag in my hand, a ponytale in my hair, and some bad pop music blasting on my iPod.

Tis the season...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Bah Humbug!

Just a few more days till this miserable year is over! Who's ready for a fresh start? I am! I am!

Ok, so my year wasn't as horrible as the year some other people have had. I'll be realistic and look at it from that perspective. It sucked, no doubt about that, in certain areas. However, I have made more of a profit with my business than I had during the prior two years before that. I could go down a list of reasons why, but the bottom line is that I enjoyed that time outside my Dungeon thoroughly. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

When it came down to Business or Pleasure this year, I realized that with the absence of a "pleasure" source, I had no choice but to concentrate on my business. As a person trying to take it seriously, that's a sad state of mind to have when you say you want to grow your business. It can't be the logical choice by default, it needs to be the first choice always.

Knowing that my weaknesses are laziness, lack of concentration, and overall procrastination I guess common sense would dictate that I need to fight those demons when they are upon me as soon as they make their presence known. I haven't partied as much this year as I had in the past. Depression and lack of desire can take the trophy for that one. I had money in my pocket. Being single again, I realized what a HUGE hole I managed to tear at the bottom of my purses during my relationship. That's just another weakness of mine; unrealistic independence in situations where I don't have the money to spend but too proud to say anything about it; and an overly generous nature which drives me to do more than I actually can for other people. So, I guess breaking up tightened up the purse strings in more ways than one. Add the fact that I had more time to devote to cakes and pastries; that explains me not going broke this Christmas. Thank God. Last year nearly did me in!

Last year. Man, I can't believe how time flies. Things change so much in such a short amount of time. Sometimes I feel like I blink and the whole world has just turned upside down right in front of me. But, everyone keeps saying it all happens for a reason. Anyone care to clue me in on what that reason is supposed to be?

During the holiday party at my day job, I was  given an award for excellent work and a  $150 bonus. Words can't fully express my shock when I got it. First of all, there were those pesky rumors about my termination flying around. Then, there's the fact that I know I didn't do anything to deserve this award. Nothing. In fact, less than nothing. So, I did the only logical thing I could do. I took my one employee Cyrus out for our annual "Happy Hour Holiday Dinner". We went big this year and the bill came out to $75, which is not bad for Manhattan. I took the $75 I had left from that "award" and bought him an gift card. My card to him simply read; "You deserve this. Merry Chirstmas." He cried when he read it. Such a nice kid. =)

Yes, that money could have bought more boxes or more supplies or even gone into savings for a little car I can use for deliveries. To be quite frank, getting that award made my stomach hurt. The guilt of knowing I didn't earn it, and the fact that I know my employee worked a hell of a lot harder than I had all year behooved me to do the right thing. I hope what I ended up doing was the right thing. I guess my Karma will let me know sooner or later.

My future is still pretty bleak. I don't have a plan. I don't have a direction. I just know I need to go up. Christmas night, I got a surprise visit from my friend. We ended up watching a Christmas Carol at his man cave and passing out. (Too much eggnog.) He offered me his apartment again. It's a great price, it's fully furnished, and it's close to transportation. The only drawback would be the lack of a stove & oven. This means I would have to pay my parents some money to keep my Dungeon intact in their basement, and I would have to actually trek back there whenever I have cake orders.

Financially, I can't afford to move out yet, but I don't really have a choice in the matter anymore. This apartment would be cheap enough for me to afford my own place, but small enough to keep my ass in line as far as behaving myself. The fact that my friend's dad would be my landlord and that he would be living right on top of me makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Part of me wonders if this isn't a blessing in disguise, though. Isn't that how those things work?

Personally, I'm still getting over the fact that my friend will be gone for good in 7 days. I'll miss him more than I can adequately describe in words. He helped me heal when I was so frigging broken. For that, I'll always be grateful. He also helped me realize that the course my business takes is entirely up to me. Living at home in this situation only facilitates my sense of despair and inadequacy. A little separation from my folks will do me a WORLD of good.

He's going to ask and work out the details as far as me taking over his place goes. If it's a figure I can work out, then it looks like I'm getting my own place again!! No roomie! No boyfriend! No husband! No parents! No friends! Just me. Yippee!!!!

I will be even MORE broke than ever, but I know I need to do this. And like I keep telling everyone else around me~ Everything is gonna be alright. I'll be fine. It's all gonna work out. You'll see.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Coquito? ¡Sí, por favor!

I haven't had authentic Coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog) since I lived with my Puerto Rican boyfriend. He was hardcore. He grated coconuts and made his own coconut milk. He steeped cinnamon sticks in the milk to impart the flavor. He let that concoction sit for days in the fridge, and only touched it to shake it up every now and again. Hardcore, I tell ya!

I found a recipe on the internet that leaves out the raw egg that authentic eggnog calls for. There's a way to pasteurize the whole mixture and make it safe, but who has time for that? I'm at work right now, and I shouldn't even be here.

I was turned away from the blood bank today. My blood sugar was too low, my blood pressure was way too low, and so were my iron levels. They told me to come back next week when I'm healthier. Dammit. =( So, I came to work. I know, I'm nuts but whatever.

Anyway, I'm making batches of this stuff and bottling it to give to my friends with some cookies. I'm heading to AC Moore to buy some empty bottles and I think this will be a very nice gift to give my lush-tastic comrades! If you like eggnog and coconut, you're gonna love coquito!! I'm making mine tonight. Let me know how all of yours come out if you try it.

Yield: About 8-10 bottles, depending on size.

1 quart store bought eggnog
1 cans of coconut cream (Coco Lopez)
1 can condensed milk (12 – 14 ounces)
1 can evaporated milk (12 – 14 ounces)
1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks (one for each bottle)
½ cup of Puerto Rican white rum
½ cup Coconut Rum
¼ cup Bacardi 151 proof rum
½ coconut grated or 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

Mix all the ingredients well (use a blender if you want, but it's not necessary), bottle with one cinnamon stick in each bottle and store in refrigerator.  Serve it with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top.  

I leave the grated coconut as "optional" because it can be a pain in the ass while you're drinking. I love the flavor of  coconut, but the texture can get annoying after a while. It's up to you.

Please note that as you are making this you will be tasting and adjusting for your own careful not to sip too much. The 151 can knock you out on your ass faster than you know it!

¡Feliz Navidad y Buen Provecho! 

Time Out for a Good Thing

Yes, people. It's that time again. I'm asking anyone who has the time and health to roll up their sleeves and please make a small contribution to your local blood bank. I had to cancel my appointment last week because of work, but there is another shortage on our hands, and if we are not willing to help each other out, what will happen when it's one of us sitting in that ER, with no available stock on hand?

It doesn't take much time. It doesn't hurt...(much). They have awesome snacks afterwards! I'm going to my usual Port Authority spot. Won't you take an hour out of your day to do the same?

Thank you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Words Into Action

I just canceled two huge cake orders five minutes ago. One was for tomorrow. The second was for Friday. I would have had to haul ass into Manhattan to deliver these huge cakes, and since it's the holiday season and my busy time, I charged extra for the delivery and extra fondant work they requested; something I almost never do!

When they agreed to the prices two weeks ago, it was fine. Today, I got a text from one person and an email from the other, asking why my prices jumped. Well, they didn't have a problem with it when I confirmed the order two weeks ago!!! I explained it was peak season and the fondant work they are asking for takes more time and uses more materials. I'm charging what I'm supposed to, which is still cheaper than a Manhattan bakery.

They were both asking for a significant reduction on the prices I quoted. I was angry. I'm very tired. I have more orders on my plate than I can handle. These cakes threw a wrench in my gears because stopping the press to decorate cake takes a hell of a lot longer than popping cookies in and out of the oven. Even in my annoyance, I tried to compromise. I told them if I did just plain frosting with some piped decorations instead of fondant, I would lower the price a little. It was not good enough for either one of them.

So, to BOTH these women I said, "Well, I'm sorry we couldn't come to an agreement, but it is impossible for me to make these cakes for you at the price you're asking. No hard feelings, but you're going to have to find another baker."

Was that really just me who said that?! Me? Little Miss "Oh-OKAY"? Yup! I was proud of myself. This takes a big chunk of cash out of my revenue, but it means a big chunk of time back on my clock. I may actually get to the Natural History Museum afterall!!

I just have to deliver gifts at work in the morning tomorrow, and the rest of the day is mine!! Yippee!!!! =)

All Work

Being busier than I have been in recent years this holiday season, I have not partied at all this whole month. I'm happy my business is growing, my website is generating new customers, and my new logo and materials are looking more professional, but I have to admit that I was hitting a wall the last few days.

Even gearing myself up for that party in DC took every last ounce of effort to move my ass. Pile on a big old helping of the holiday blues, and you've got yourself one unmotivated little baker.

I'm tired. Dog tired. My eyelids can barely stay open. My little 45 minute train naps are not cutting it anymore, and my body is heavy. I've gone through 10 boxes of Thermacare heat patches in the last two weeks. That's 30 back patches just to keep my lower back in a state where I can stand or walk. I wear them under the back brace that I've been sporting every day.

I've also missed a slew of parties going on everywhere. Even when I drop off my cakes or pastries, I'm invited to stay for a drink and some food, but I have to get home to bake some more. I may spend a lot of geek time at home in front of my TV when I'm feeling antisocial, but I'd be a liar if I didn't admit how much I enjoy being out partying. I really do. The drinks, the food, the music...I'm in my element!

So, since I haven't been to one fun event this month, I'm feeling left out. I'm toiling away in my Dungeon in my batter-covered sweats, broken, un-manicured nails, un-dyed hair, and stone sober. This is like no December I have known in quite some time.

Thankfully, yesterday, I had a nice lunchtime surprise in the form of my ex. It was a welcome break from my monotony and it was just nice to laugh again about stupid things that no one else seems to get. It gave me a nice shot in the arm to get back in my Dungeon and crank out 300 cookies, 100 pecan tarts, and 30 cupcakes last night.

The adrenaline has worn off, and I'm pooped. I know these sacrifices are only going to help me with the business and will pay off in the future. Deep down inside, I know this to be true. But, all work and no play does make for a lonely, cranky Kat. =( 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Women in Business

Martha Stewart is a fantastic business woman, but she is hated by the general public for her reputation as a bitch. Nevermind that she built a huge empire out of the kitchen of her CT home. Nevermind that she's as crafty with a glue gun as she is with a rolling pin, a hammer, a virtual petting zoo in her back yard, and had a green thumb the Green Giant would be envious of. She's talented. She's smart. She's ruthless. And she's hated because of it.

Donald trump is a pretty big asshole. I know this as a fact because various cooking friends of mine have been at the receiving end of his rage because his meat wasn't incinerated enough to his liking. He's rude, aggressive, cut-throat, and makes no apologies for it. He gets a tv show with some ridiculous catch phrase that America LOVES.

Why the double-standard? Why is okay for Donald to be a complete dick, but Martha has to kiss ass and smile sweetly because she lacks a Y-chromosome? This pisses me off to no end.

I admit that sometimes I take a smaller fee for my services because someone hands me a sob story, and I feel like I'm expected to be compassionate. Most of the time, I am! However, I don't think people would pull this shit if I had some balls. No one ever haggled with prices when Joel negotiated. I think people expect a certain degree of softness from me because I'm a female; nurturing, kind, and understanding.

What if I pulled a Martha and sent them packing while hurling a copper mixing bowl at them? Would I be considered cut-throat and sharp, or just a crazy bitch on the rag, going on a rampage?

I'm frustrated. Not so much at the people around me or my customers. I'm frustrated at myself for not being more aggressive and firm on my fee's. I'm angry for overloading myself with too many orders to make money because I'm not charging enough to begin with. I feel guilty for taking money from people for baked goods because I know the ingredients don't cost that much. My time does, though. That's the issues. I'm not paying myself enough, and I can't bring myself to charge more.

I know people are hurting. My friends and family have been unemployed for months (some of them years), and I know it hurts their pockets to part with a few extra bucks. That's the status quo of many people out there. How can I justify charging them more money. I have my full time job. I have my baking. I live almost rent-free. How can I take money out of their tight pockets in order to line mine?

This is when I hate being a girl. Men don't worry about it. They see it as black and white. They have a product or a service. If you want said product or service, then you will pay for it. If you can't pay the price, you don't get the product or service. The end.

But, no. I get all up in people's lives. I hear about their families, their inability to find work, their sick relatives...And I feel terrible for charging $20 for a box of carrot cake cookies that I love to make anyway.

Maybe this is why there are so few successful women in business. If someone could drill into my frontal lobe and install a switch for my empathy, perhaps I would be able to run my business better. Martha may be known as a bitch, but that bitch isn't worrying about paying her cable bill this month. What I wouldn't give for that peace of mind.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Back to Reality

For one night...I was a rock star! Well, sorta.

After a week of bickering at home with my parents about this trip they already committed to taking with me, my mom finally got my dad to make good on his promise to drive down to VA. My uncle, who lives 10 minutes away from the party site agreed to let me use his kitchen.

We were supposed to leave at 3am. We left at 4:45. My mom's truck is doing the death rattle, so we borrowed my aunt's Lexus. And my father proceeded to drive 5 hours to VA with the AC on the entire way. I was pissed. I was trying to sleep in the back. Guess what? The back seat of a Lexus is NOT the most comfortable place in the world. Combine that with a bad back, the fucking AC running in the middle of winter, and both my parents arguing over the music...No sleep for me.

If I had worked straight through once I got to VA, I may have had a chance to finish on time. However, my cousin Ryan insisted on taking us out to lunch at this awesome restaurant, and I lost an hour and a half to that and a quick grocery run. If I was left alone to just do my thing, I may have finished on time, as well. But, once my other cousins found out I was in town, they all came over and wanted to "help".

Here's the deal. I'm a control freak. I toss together recipes that I carry around in my head. I improvise when I don't have ingredients or the right tools. I taste as I go, I wash my hands a million times, and I DO NOT like other people peering over my shoulder while I'm doing this crazy dance in the kitchen. I'm all over the place. I go from here to there with no rhyme or reason except for the fact that I just remembered something and I'm rushing to get it done before it slips my mind. In that chaos, I lose time and I make myself nuts.

If someone doesn't know this about me, and they try to help, all that happens is that I get even more flustered and it makes me lose my focus even more. Maybe only two people have been able to work with me in the kitchen. Joel & sometimes my mom. Joel would assign himself a task and stick to it until he was done. He wouldn't poke into what I was doing or disrupt my flow when I was moving. If he saw I was in the weeds (running behind), he would jump in and take care of something. He never asked, he would just assess the situation and take something off my hands; probably the one thing I'm forgetting at the moment. Once he learned not to yell at me for running late, working unorganized, or getting anxious- we managed to gel pretty well together.

In the beginning it was hell. He was very robotic and structured when he worked. I sort of just made it up as I went along. He would finish early, and I was always running late. His station was spotless, and I had food all over the place. We were the epitome of Ying & Yang. In his frustration with my inability to manage my time right, he would start berating me in the middle of the task. Big mistake! The last thing you do in a forest fire is douse it with gasoline. He just made things worse. We raged at one another at 5 or 6 gigs before he realized how to handle the situation better.

I learned to be a little more organized and to write things down so I don't forget them. He learned how NOT to approach me when I start getting flustered. He knew how to recognize when I was starting to fall behind or get agitated, and he would react accordingly. I learned to let go a little of the control and let him take over certain tasks. Once I convinced myself that he was just as capable as doing as good a job as I would do, it was easier to relax and just let him do his thing.

I think this is why I haven't taken on a new partner since Joel. My control issues and anxiety about letting go of the reins prevents me from letting someone prove to me that they can do the job right. So, it's  hard working with other people in my kitchen. Sometimes, my mom will just come in to do the dishes for me while I'm working. It free's up space and put equipment back at my fingertips all cleaned up. However, she always manages to take the stuff I'm still working with, and then I'm walking around in circles looking for bowls, tools, or equipment that I "just had in my hand a minute ago."

So, that very long tangent was just to explain that more help in the kitchen is not always "help" to me. Two hours from my deadline, I realized that I was going to be late. I start going into Freak-Out mode. My hands are shaking, I'm rushing from one task to another without really finishing anything. I'm starting to unravel, and my mom see's that the fine thread holding my patience together is about to snap. Out of no where, my cousin Ryan comes into the kitchen and pulls me down into his basement apartment to talk "business". I'm trying to explain to him that this is the worst possible time to do this, but he wasn't hearing it.

After making me relax with some deep breaths (filled with mood-altering relaxation enhancers), he tells me his business plan. I really do relax this time. His idea is fantastic! It's easy! It's new! And I am very excited that he wants me to head it up. So, come this new year, I may be moving. Not as far as I would have hoped, but it's a start. Finally, I can break away from my miserable past. A couple more deep breathes, a freshly popped can of Coke, and a fully replenished stash of relaxation herbs; and he send me back up to finish up.

I've never moved so fast. I managed to get all my dishes done. The last thing to do was the cake. It was not the best cake I have ever decorated, but it was the fastest! Fifteen minutes to frost and flower a half sheet cake! That's record breaking for me! I just managed to shower and change before we were whisked out the door and to the party. I was only an hour late this time, instead of the two hours I was late the last time. My time management is SOO in need to improvement.

This was the first time I was bartending by myself. Let me make it perfectly clear; I am by no means a professional bartender. I can barely pour my own drinks right, let alone someone elses. However, I know I have a great smile, a friendly personality, and a fantastic way of handling certain situations. So, I wing it. And I do well. My tip jar was overflowing, and it was a successful night. I'm hoping for a couple more gigs with these people in the coming months.

Another thing that happened this weekend- I left my phone at home. I almost never go anywhere without my phone. I have two lines. One line is my Droid Incredible; my new smartphone. That's my business line. It's the number on my business cards, it's the number I give out to new customers. My old line is my personal line. I've had it forever and it's still running on an older phone; the Alias 2 (not as awesome as the original Alias). That's my old reliable. Three day battery life, never misses a text or a call, service in the subway even! It's great! And I left it on my bed. I didn't panic because I had my client's info on my Droid. However, I felt a little naked without my Alias.

When I got back home, I realized it was a good thing I left it home. My inbox that I had just emptied before I left was chock FULL of texts from friends, acquaintances, and old customers asking to party, for advice, and for last minute cake orders. If I had the added stress of people calling and texting me while I was working this gig, I would have gone postal. I suppose it was a blessing in disguise to let things be. I love that my friends always try to get me to come out and have a good time. I like that new people I meet find me interesting enough to talk to me (instead of just cyber-knowing me). I'm also greatly appreciative of the people who want my cakes on their tables for those special events. However, it all comes at once at the wrong moments. And that's where I have to put business before pleasure. I'm sure it will all pay off sooner or later.
With personal issues plaguing my every day, I will fully admit that I let my business take a few hits because I was too depressed to chase after a costumer, too tired to work on a cake, or just too miserable to try out new recipes. This catering gig alone took every ounce of strength I had within me to go out and shop, prep, and head out to DC to get it done. I knew I needed the money, I knew the menu was simple, and I knew I could do it by myself. The problem was that I didn't want to do it alone, and the more I realized that I'm going to be alone for a long time to come, I only tossed myself further down that Funky Town Gorge.

I hope my cousin can make his business plan come into fruition. I hope I can quit my day job. I hope I can start over somewhere fresh where I don't have a past and I won't run into anyone I know. I know it means that "Queenie Cakes" may have to be placed on hold while I work with him.

This is a big risk to me. One thought occurred to me earlier today, and I hope I'm wrong. Someone who was showing some interest in my company last year kept saying how great my name was. It was perfect. I'm thinking my name may not be available to copyright, and I don't have to think twice about the jerk who would do that to me right under my nose. I'm bracing myself for the worse. I know what this world and the horrible people in it are capable of for the sake of money, and it shouldn't surprise me anymore.

If that happens, the only thing I can do is move on. But, it's like saving up a lifetime for your dream home only to have some asshole millionaire come along and buy it right from under you for double anything you could ever afford just because they can. When it comes to my business, and even my un-love life, I must say the Karma gods have been good to me. I've seen people who have done me dirty get their comeuppance. And a lot of the time, I feel terrible for what has befallen them, but you reap what you sow. I know I have.

Man, that was a long, boring post today. I think I'm losing my touch. Taking the advice of a couple of people, I think I'm going back to my old blog for my personal nonsense. It's easier for me to keep thing separated that way.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cooking With My Heart

There was a time when my food sucked. I couldn't boil water without burning the tea kettle. Toast was incinerated! My family actually asked me to NOT cook dinner and just let my mom broil the frozen steak in the oven with a slathering of A1 over it.

I had just ended my 6 year live-in couplehood with Joel and was forced to move back home. I was heartbroken. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I could barely bring myself to cook, but I still had baking orders that needed to be filled and a few catering gigs that I had committed to.

Later on when my little thumper was all stitched back up and I was smiling more, I got my groove back. I could turn freezer-burned ground beef into the juiciest, tastiest five-cheese stuffed burger this side of the Old Homestead. People would wrap up whatever THEY already made for dinner if they got a last minute invite to come over and eat whatever it was I just prepared. Life was good again.

After a new relationship and a slew of breakups, my mom finally took me aside and laid it out for me.

"No offense." This means to prepare myself. She's about to be very blunt and say something hurtful with the intention of being helpful. "You can't cook when you're not in a good mood. You know I love your food, but when you force yourself to bake or cook when you're hurt- it's just not good. So, don't cook when you're sad. We can taste it in your food."

Ouch, Mom! 

Ok, so it wasn't that bad. She was right. When I'm all torn up inside, the last thing I want to do is cook. Decorating? Forget it! I always say food is love. To my most closest loved ones, I say: "Food is love, and if I could, I would feed you forever!" I adore that quote because it comes from my heart of hearts and it sums me up as a person perfectly.

I express my adoration for people with what I make for them. Yes, I am paid to make pretty cakes and burn up some grub for people who can afford my services. However, the BEST meals I've ever made have always been for free for someone I love. I take my time buying the best ingredients, prepping everything precisely, and cooking each element to perfection just so every bite is filled with as much love and emotion as I can fit in there. (Imagine an overstuffed ravioli.)

I don't even cook for someone I'm dating until I'm absolutely sure that I'm digging them on levels that go beyond superficial coupling. I just find the first meal I ever cook for someone to be extremely important, special, intimate, and something I want them to remember forever. It almost trumps the first time we lay down together as a couple! Imagine that...But we chefs do think on different wavelengths than the rest of the world.

There's this fantastic movie in Spanish called "Like Water for Chocolate". It's got Martyrdom elements and a little over the top with drama so of course I would love it, but isn't that what's fantastic about Latin cultures; the drama? It's about this woman who was born into the unfortunate position of being the youngest daughter, which dictates that she never marry and most stay at home and take care of her mother till she dies. Her love ends up marrying her older sister just to stay close to her. She is a fantastic cook and all her emotions are expressed in the love or hurt or pain she puts into her food. For example, she was forced to make the wedding cake her for her sister's wedding to her love. She cried while she did it, and everyone who ate at the wedding got the shits. hehehe...Really, my description does not do this movie justice. Just watch it. And, yes, it's a chick flick! So deal with it!

A friend of mine was fixing my Droid recently because I tried to root it in order to install an App that Verizon's OS wasn't letting me install properly. I ended up screwing up the entire OS, and I had no clue how to fix it. My friend, being a Linux genius, took it under his wing and started going at it. He was hacking away at the mess I made without even breaking a sweat.

I murmured something like, "I wish I knew how to break the code of this techie language you Code Monkey's speak. I'm so clueless when it comes to this stuff. I feel like I'm outside of the clubhouse because I don't know the password to get in."

He stopped what he was doing to look up at me. (He almost never does that. Usually when he's got his nose dug into some technical thing he's tinkering with, he talks to me absentmindedly, answering my questions, but keeping his focus on whatever it is that he's working on. It used to drive me mad because it felt like he wasn't paying any attention to our conversation, but he was. He can partition his attention like some people partition their computers to run more than one operating system. Damn, techies are sexy!) Shoot, tangent...and I forgot to yell out "Squirrel!" 

So, as I was saying, he looked up at me and said, "Are you kidding me? You take flour and sugar and fruit and chocolate and you do this thing with your hands and you give it to people and they smile. Have you EVER handed someone one of your cake boxes and NOT gotten a smile out of them? You make people happy. Not just ANYONE can do that. Do you know how powerful a gift like that is?"

Well, hell...I guess I never really looked at it that way.

I cook with my heart. You can taste how much I love you through my food. Money comes and goes. I do not measure the success of my craft by the size of my bank account. I measure it by the smiles on your faces.

Love, Katherine =)

Boss Update: I got to work 20 minutes late AGAIN this morning. My boss still hasn't had that meeting with me. I have no clue if I'm going to get chewed out, written up, or just told to pack up and go. I don't know. Someone said getting canned may be the best thing for me since my day job holds me back from going full force with Queenie Cakes. Of course, this person just lost his job, and I think his opinion may be a little biased. =P Seriously, he has a point, and I know I won't learn to swim of I don't let go of the edge of the pool. Unfortunately, the edge of the pool is keeping me from drowning in debt, so I really CAN'T let go of the edge until my 7 grand of debt mysteriously disappears. As of right now, I still have a day job. There's still tomorrow, though...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2010 Holiday Season

I shut down this blog along with all my other personal blogs to try and get away from living in my own head. I've distanced myself from friends, family, and most other forms of social interaction because I preferred expressing my uninhibited thoughts to a faceless audience rather than live people who have a propensity to piss me off. A faceless audience can piss you off, too, though. The pitfalls of blogging, I'm told.

My Thanksgiving 2010 season was fantastic. I hit my quota and made a nice chunk of change. Of course, I didn't sleep for nights, lived off energy drinks, and wrecked my back in ways that will leave me in crippling pain for most of this winter. I was excited. I was debuting my new box labels with my logo. I also had my awesome new business cards to attach. The pie boxes were decorated beautifully with ribbons and scarecrows, along with the new labels I was jonesing to show off. They were received fantastically.

My new Wordpress site has increased in traffic since I put out my Thanksgiving Menu link and I get hits from all over the world. Very exciting stuff! I'm still not totally happy with the layout, the background, and a few other minor things, but I guess I just need to be grateful it's getting the job done and making my customers happy. I don't exactly have the extra capital to hire a pro. Who does these days?

Since my Thanksgiving success, I've been booked solid almost every night with dessert gigs and small catering gigs. It's exciting and I enjoy the reactions of the people when they bite into my food, but it's hard doing this by myself. I have not slept since 4:30am Saturday morning! My body is feeling abused and destroyed. My gray matter is turning into mush within my skull. My speech is slurred, and sometimes I'll zone out with my eyes wide open while people talk to me.

To be quite frank, as satisfied as I am doing a job well and making people happy with what I make; I still find myself looking for more. I'm not truly happy and I can't decide if it's my personal life, my business life, or just my entire life in general. In the middle of the night while rolling out my 8th pie crust, I find myself muttering that I just don't think I want to do this anymore. Is that wrong?

I feel like I'm betraying my business by entertaining these thoughts. I have wonderful customers who come back time and time again, with heartwarming compliments and encouragement. I have a mother who bends over backwards to help me when I can't help myself. Still, in all this positive energy, I still feel all alone when it's time to get things done and it's starting to break me.

Mentally, emotionally, and physically my business is growing faster than I can keep up with it. I feel like a mother who had a child too old, and is now too feeble to keep up with him in the park. I feel guilty, but most of all I feel lonely. I miss the partner I had in Joel who could skillfully take the reins when I started to stumble. Put Joel aside, I just miss having someone to back me up when I falter. Maybe I just miss another voice next to my ear reminding me I can do this when the voice in my head is screaming that I can't.

I'm hitting an all-time low at a time when my orders are coming in at an all-time high. I don't know what to do. I want to run, but I know I can't.

I got a solid favor this morning from someone who gave me a ride into work with my 5 bags of baked goods and massive cake. (He was paid for his services, but it's hard finding people like that in the middle of a work week.) With the lack of sleep, the pain in my back, I nearly started bawling like a baby because the last thing I wanted to do today was come into work, sneak off into an empty conference room to finish decorating the cake, and then set up for a party I could care less about. Mentally, I had hit a wall. Emotionally, I felt completely alone in my despair. Physically, my body was ready to die.

He rubbed my back for a minute, not really saying anything. What could he say? Doubled over, with my face buried in my hands, my head towards my knees, I swallowed back my tears, terrified of letting myself breakdown in front of this person. I tried my best to plaster on a cheery disposition. I failed. But I didn't cry. (There is no crying in the kitchen!...or on the car ride from the kitchen!)

I'm trying hard to find the enthusiasm I had a few months ago. Really hard. It's a fading target though, and my sight isn't getting any the dark.

On top of that, my boss called me into a meeting that we never got to have today. No reason. Just an email that says- "See me ASAP". Why do they send notes like that? I guess this means I get to start worrying all over again tomorrow. Excuse me, I'm gonna go throw up again.