Thursday, May 29, 2008

When two passions collide

Well, I've finally done what I'd been hoping to do over the past several months. I found a way to combine journalism and baking. OK, really what I should say is I've found a way to write a feature story having to do with cupcakes. I don't want to go into too much detail in writing yet. I'd rather wait until it's published. But I thought of this story idea yesterday and e-mailed AP's lifestyles editor. This morning, I got an e-mail from the food editor who is based in New Hampshire. He really went for my idea so I will be interviewing cupcakery owners over the next week. Yes! It's like meeting Obi-Wan. Hopefully, the story will come out at the end of June. More details TBA. I just hope I can get it all done off the clock as that will mean extra money cuz it would be like a freelance assignment.

Oh, on a sad note, I forgot to take my UCLA Alum license plate frame off my car. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I went back to the dealership yesterday. The first guy I asked about how to find out if I could get it back started laughing and said "You came back for the frame? That's hilarious!" And I said "No, it's not." And I must have had a pretty serious look as he became embarrassed. That's right, oh no you didn't! I found the fleet manager who said the old license plate and the frame are long gone pretty much the day after a used car is traded. :( I guess the next time I'm in LA, I'll have to buy another frame. Just sucks as I'd had that one since college. I can't remember if I bought it or it was a gift. If it was a gift and the person who gave it to me is reading this, I sincerely apologize for forgetting it!

Well, all in all, not too bad of a week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer reading

So, we've been having really strange weather in Phoenix this week. We did not hit 100 degrees all year until this past weekend. And then Monday and Tuesday, the temperatures shot up to 108. Gets weirder. Today, it tumbled down to 98. And tomorrow, because of some cold wind front, it will be like 84 and in the 70s on Friday. The mercury is more erratic than a car thief on a high-speed chase.

Well, since this Thursday is pretty much the end of May sweeps and the TV season and networks will be airing Must See-Crap TV i.e. Gladiators, almost all reality TV in general, I think it's a good time to start a summer reading list. I have a hefty stack of books that I've purchased, always meaning to crack them open. I feel like if I state my intention to read them here, then I can't flake. And I'd probably finish at least a book a week if I spent the same amount of time reading that I do watching my favorite programs and almost all crime shows. I've got "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles" and "Julie & Julia" first.

Oh, here's a link to my story on Rana Sodhi, whose brother was fatally shot four days after Sept. 11.
Filmmaker finds post-9/11 faith in unlikely place

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Goodbye Prizm...I shall not weep

I'm in a bit of a daze now. After nearly 10 years, more than a dozen trips back and forth from UCLA to Sunnyvale and side trips to San Diego, Tucson, Sedona, Bisbee...the Chevrolet Prizm has been retired--at least for me. In two days, I will be the owner of a new Honda Civic. I have had a love/hate relationship with my car as it has seemingly fallen apart over the last few years--nothing major but just enough to be annoying. Still, as I cleaned out my belongings in the dealership parking lot, I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic (sniff). So many memories but it is time to move on. It will be cool to have a new vehicle with a good record for endurance and maintenance. Hopefully, I can go six months to a year without having anything major happen (knock on something very wooden).

In other news, work is going relatively well. I just wrapped my feature on the brother of the Sikh who was killed four days after Sept. 11 by a crazed gunman who did it in the name of "patriotism." Very sad but very inspiring how the brother has such high regard for America and American values. The story will be out in circulation Sunday. Every so often, I get this great feeling from work. For me, there's just nothing cooler than working on a story dressed all professional in a skirt and heels/pumps and then printing out a fresh copy of my latest draft and dropping it on the news editor's desk. I guess it's moments like those that I really feel like a Lois-Lane type. I hope to have more moments like that. It would also help take my mind off the fact that I said goodbye to the Prizm. Aaawww, it's hitting me now (more sniffing).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mini cupcake endeavor

Yesterday, I went to a co-worker's party at his house. I was taken up on my offer to make cupcakes because I don't get many opportunities to without being stuck with a bunch leftover (boo). I didn't want to do the same old vanilla buttercream frosting. Lucky for me, my cousin Tina shared with me a super-secret, yummy recipe for peanut butter frosting. It was not only Reeces-tasty but had great consistency for piping. I tried a bigger tip and used these little flower-shaped cookie cutters on some fondant and the results were ... well...see for yourself below.

Originally, I only wanted to make mini cupcakes because I think people are more apt to take a sampling size. But I ran out of mini cupcake liners at the last minute so I had to do a mix, Papa and junior size. I have to say, it was really gratifying to have people come up to me and tell me how good they were. Thanks Tina! My co-worker's wife said people kept coming up and asking her where she bought them. Some people thought the hostess had bought them from Sprinkles Cupcakes, HA. Score for the home baker.