The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

Maybe It’s Just Me

Contrary to what one might believe, I do actually have small windows of time when my mind begins to wander…usually when I’m taking a shower or driving home from work. It is during these times, that a vapor lock occurs inside my cranium that refuses to let rational thought inside. Topics that manage to invade my gray matter include, but are not limited to, conspiracy theories, invention ideas, recipes, craft ideas and fantasies. Don’t get excited, not THAT kind of fantasy! They often involve mundane tasks such as painting the walls or mowing the lawn. But maybe it’s just me…

For example, this morning, in the shower (one which I actually got to take by without the presence of my daughter) it occurred to me that Anthony Sullivan – the British guy who pitches products like the Super Snake and was on the show “Pitchmen” with the late Billy Mays – could theoretically be responsible for Mays’ untimely death. Ok here’s what happened: my alarm went off to the radio blaring one of Sullivan’s latest commercials and as I stumbled to the shower, I kept thinking how his voice was just as annoying as Billy Mays’. Then I remembered that Mays was dead and how it seemed that Sullivan was snatching up all the ad time for the “incredible new products” to hit the market. Even that Sham-Wow guy is in jail (icing on the cake for Sullivan), so the market is now saturated with guy! What if he orchestrated something to take out his biggest rival? Autopsy reports state that there was cocaine in Mays’ system, but his family adamantly denies any drug use. Knowing his nemesis had a heart problem, Sullivan could have mixed a little Bolivian marching powder in with the Oxy-Clean and “accidentally” blown a cloud of it into the air, which Billy inhaled and, after a bump on the head from a suitcase in an airplane, he buys the farm. I am NOT saying that anything like this actually happened. I sympathize with the Mays family and couldn’t care less about Sullivan – I have a MUTE button. Maybe it’s just me…

And here’s one…as I was getting dressed, I wondered what feat of German engineering had occurred to keep Mariah Carey in her dress at the Golden Globes. That joke is just TOO easy, so I won’t even go there! Some of the clothing that stars wear is so beyond the ridiculous that I wonder what they are thinking when they don a fluffy confection of sheer lace, blinding sequins and high and/or low cut cloth swatches? Do we really need to see the breasts of these women? And why don’t the men do something similar? I wouldn’t mind if Hugh Jackman (my close, personal friend) showed up shirtless in a pair of tighty-whities and flip-flops!! Come on, what these women wear is tantamount to that, so why the double standard? Maybe it’s just me…

On another note… don’t you think it would be FANTASTIC to have a 24 hour drive-thru convenience store kind of establishment? Here’s the scenario: You need diapers, smokes, pop and juice in the middle of the night and you’re in the middle of a downpour of epic proportions. You also have a baby (or toddler) in the car with you. Do YOU want to get out of the car, run around to the other side to get the baby, cover the baby in a blanket, run into the store – already soaking wet – get the needed items, run back out into the rain, put the baby in the seat (getting further soaked from the waist down while buckling the straps), open the trunk and put said items in, run to the driver’s side and hop back in? Yeah, me neither. Which is why we need a place where you can drive up to a covered menu board, you can poke buttons for what you need, then pull up to a window where you pay for your order. Then once payment is received, you proceed to another window or door where the items you ordered only moments before are delivered to your warm, dry vehicle. Beauty, right? Maybe it’s just me…

Does anyone else have these strange moments where your brain takes flight and the craziest thoughts enter in? Care to share? Oh, maybe it’s just me…

January 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tricycle Triumph

Shortly before the Christmas holiday, during a stroll through a superstore, I glimpsed what I thought would make the perfect gift for the Pie: A Barbie Kid-Tough Tricycle. The two shades of pink and purple hypnotized me into believing that my daughter simply could not exist without it. And it was on sale – so I bought it and hid it in the laundry room closet.

On Christmas Eve, while my daughter slept snuggled with her dolly and stuffed Curious George dolls, I snuck into the laundry room to assemble the glorious trike. As the pieces emerged from the box, I began to worry that I had undertaken a strictly masculine task and that my lack of a penis would surely inhibit my completion of said task. Before me lay the following: a straight axle, wheel hubs, pedal axle, nut caps (which sound to me like something men need in the winter), bushings (I’ll leave that one alone), fork arms, a seat unit and handlebar assembly. I recognized each of these words, but not how they were applied to the detritus that scattered my laundry room floor. So rather than freeze to death or end up throwing a nut cap through the window, I replaced all the items into the box and returned it to its hiding place in the closet. I was beaten and I knew it. It would have to wait until her birthday…or maybe next Christmas.

Fast forward to New Year’s Day. The Pie enjoys helping me with laundry – she pushes the hampers to the laundry room and hands me the clothes to place in the washer. So it was during one of our laundry trips that she got curious and opened up the closet door. At her eye level, there gleamed an open box of pink and purple plastic thingies that in her estimation were created exclusively for her immediate enjoyment. “Mama, make this,” she cried as I looked to the Heavens and questioned why I ever bought the thing in the first place. The Pie likes to help, at least what she thinks is helping, and she promised she would help me make the tricycle. “Okay,” I thought. “This might be a good mother-daughter bonding moment where she can understand that girls can do anything.”

Yeah, right. What she learned was that Mama knows a lot of dirty words and she’s not afraid to use them! While the directions for assembly were fairly straightforward, the application of them became inhibited with the presence of my “helper”. The instant I snapped the seat into place, she wanted to sit on it. The moment I installed the back wheels, she wanted to ride it. I temporarily placed the fork arms and was about to screw in the covers, when she hopped on and the whole thing blew apart underneath her. To an onlooker, the scene probably would have incited laughter of the gut-busting variety, but I was not amused. At some point in the assembly process, the Pie located the handlebars, hoisted them above her head like a WWE Champion and marched around the house screaming, “HANDLEBARS! HANDLEBARS!” Yeah, yeah … it sounds cute – but believe me, it was not. Nor was it easy talking her into handing them over when it was time to attach them to the trike. Just the threat of not riding the toy was enough to do trick, however, so we neared completion of the Barbie Kid-Tough Tricycle.

As I tightened the final screw in the beast, I felt awash with pride and accomplishment. I did something I thought I would never be able to do – all through the encouragement from and love for my daughter. Seeing her pedal around the house on her new trike is reward I never imagined. I triumphed over fear and apathy for the sake of my child and learned a lesson in the process: don’t buy anything that comes in a box with the words “Some Assembly Required.”

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments