A Fugly Cake

My mom is crazy. Just, like, totally nuts.

I don’t know if she’s always been crazy, or if I’m just noticing it more now. It’s possible that she was just as crazy as she is now when I was younger but I was too self-involved to notice. Either way, she’s fucking crazy, you can trust me when I say that. And she reads this blog, so please know that I mean that in the best possible way, Ma.

It’s always something. Every time we head back home for a family thing or a holiday there’s some new strain of craziness that’s making its way around. It’s usually harmless though. Just some run-of-the-mill everyday insanity that we can all have a good chuckle about. Like the time she thought her eyesight had drastically worsened overnight, but then realized that the dog had just chewed the lenses out of her glasses. Or the time she thought that “bobody” was a word. That time she punched the neighbour’s lights out, with an admittedly precise uppercut. And who could forget the slew of wildly inappropriate jokes she’s always got handy for the telling. Seriously, a couple of weeks ago she told me this joke about a woman who masturbated with a Chiquita banana and insisted that it was just a “cute little joke”.

It’s just part of the deal I guess. You go back home, you have some craziness, and then you have to leave so all the crazy can start regenerating again for your next visit.

We went home for a belated Thanksgiving dinner last weekend and the craziness was in full force, let me tell you. There was that mothering intensity over my fracture, mom wanting to dope me up with all kinds of old pills she had leftover from her accident a few years ago. Which is sweet, that she’s so concerned. But really, I’m not just going to start taking a bunch of dusty old pills because a) who the hell knows what will happen to me if I do and b) I’m not insane. Then she pulled out some weird plastic contraption, from who the hell knows where, that supposedly helps you make your own ribbons and bows. It’s a technological revolution, I tells ya! Inevitably, the insistence that she needed help figuring out how it works followed. But that turned out to be a reasonable enough request once I opened the instruction manual and immediately noticed no less than ten typos. Again, where did this ridiculous thing even come from? Doesn’t matter anyway does it? You know the end result will be the same. We did our best with it, but damn did that plastic piece of shit ever cause a world of unnecessary frustration. Then there was also the bartering of her crocheting skills in return for a 50 lb bag of potatoes from a relative. And there was family and neighbourhood gossip peppered in for good measure, because let’s be real here, everyone is crazy and it wouldn’t be the holidays if we didn’t make time to swap all of our respective stories on the continual craziness that colours our collective lives.

And then, of course, there was the Thanksgiving dessert.

Normal families would just have pumpkin or apple pie and call it a day. But not us, oh no. Mom decided to be creative this year and try something different…

fugly cake

It’s different alright.

I took one look at that lump of frosting and wondered if maybe my mom had started dropping acid on her days off. Probably not, but a cake like that does bring up a lot of questions.

It’s two pumpkin cakes that were made in bundt pans and then stacked and iced to look like a pumpkin. For decorative flair there’s also a black liquorice stump and some candied leaves on his head, and a delightfully retarded little face. But that’s not all! Inside the pumpkin cake awaited another strange surprise…

back of fugly cake's head

Might be a little tough to see, but the fugly pumpkin cake’s head was filled with little pumpkin candies. So when we sliced it open it felt like we were all working together to perform a risky and delicate brain surgery. Or, you know, committing a really fucked up murder.

The cake itself was actually really good. Moist, light, and sweet. Covered all the bases in terms of what you’d want from a cake. We always used to love helping my mom with her baking when we were little. It was fun. She made a lot of carrot cakes, which I always loved. But they’d usually just have a nice light dusting of icing sugar on top. And banana bread. Oh hells yes, my ma could make the best banana bread you ever had the pleasure of eating. But the homemade baked goods of my youth were much more modest in appearance than my mom’s current day creations.

I’m not sure which I prefer.

On the one hand, I see a cake like that fugly little pumpkin one and I worry that a couple more of mom’s screws have tumbled loose. On the other hand, I kind of enjoy the zany, if not slightly affected, manner her cakes have recently adopted. Not a lot of people can say that they got to eat a cake that had a lazy eye.

fugly cake too

And I suppose that’s kind of special. Like my Ma.

She’s crazy, most assuredly crazy, but in a very special way. It’s okay though. I dig it, Ma. After a bit of consideration I think you should keep the weird little cakes coming. They’re fun, and they’re offbeat. Just like you.

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Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the universe just gets in your way. It doesn’t always play fair, and there’s no way of knowing when it’s going to whip a hardball at you. There’s nothing you can do to stop it, all you can do is roll with it. This is an account of how I had to roll with the giant shitball life chucked at me last week.

Some of you know that I write another blog, The Kingdom, and that I had some wicked plans for Halloween night. This old theatre in my city was going to be screening The Shining on Halloween night and I was not going to miss it for anything. I’ve never seen that movie all the way through before, and what better way to experience it for the first time than on the big screen, right?

Well, I’m still feeling intense disappointment because that didn’t happen. Thanks a lot universe.

Thanks for compelling Harvey to jump up onto the kitchen table, where he knows he isn’t allowed to be putting his furry cat ass. Thanks for making it cold enough in my apartment to necessitate the use of a space heater. Thanks for making me buy a space heater that’s only effective when it’s placed right in the middle of the fucking room. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to trip over it right after I’d picked Harvey’s chunky monkey butt up off the table where he’s not supposed to be. But I’d most especially like to thank you for causing me to fall directly onto my elbow so I could have the exquisite pleasure of fracturing it.

Thank you for gifting me this giant shitball of an injury on the Sunday before Halloween. An injury that prevented me from living my Halloween dream this year.

I get why you did it, universe. That fall must have been something truly spectacular to behold. When I stumbled, with a bundle of squirming cat in my arms mind you, and flailed around in a futile attempt at balancing while simultaneously scalding my bare feet on that goddamned heater, you probably had yourself a grand old chuckle at my expense. People falling can be hilarious, I get it. And I’ve given you many a laugh over the years with my clumsy antics, I know. I’m happy to do that for you from time to time, provided I don’t get too dinged up. But this time was too much, you were too rough with me. When I hit the ground and a thousand burning hot spears of pain shot through my arm I hope you felt like a total dick for doing that to me. Partly because you hurt me, but mostly because you took away my dream.

I can’t always get what I want, I know. But why, universe, why? Why did you have to take this from me?

When D asked if we were still going to go to the movie I heaved a heavy sigh of infinite sadness. I had to concede that sitting in an old ass movie theatre at the opposite end of the city for close to three hours was going to be too uncomfortable for me to bear. Defeated, I was ready to give up on the dream completely.

But D smartly reminded me about the video store down the street where I’d just recently become a member. Surely they’d have a few copies. And it’s an old movie, probably not as in demand. Plus, who the fuck still rents movies anyway, aside from us? He was right. I started to get excited again. We could rent it to watch at home, make an obscene amount of popcorn in the air popper we have, shut off all the lights and snuggle together on the couch. This Plan B of ours really started to grow on me. Sure, it wasn’t what I had planned, but we could make it great just the same.

We made our way over to the video store and eagerly scanned the racks for a DVD of The Shining. I was starting to think that maybe they didn’t have it, and as you’d expect that was the exact moment my eyes located it amidst the Kubrick Classics. I grasped the DVD with my good hand and slid it off the shelf. I turned the front of the case toward me, searching for the little velcro flap that indicates availability.

MOTHERFUCKER!!!!

It was rented. Halloween dream dashed for the second time that week. Fuck this, you guys, really. Fuck it.

At that point, there was no recovering from the disastrous tailspin I was in. I stomped home from the video store and fumed all night long about what a prick the universe can be sometimes.

And then because I was really feeling sorry for myself, I laid on the couch in my $10 Wal-Mart sweatpants and watched fucking Richie Rich on Teletoon Retro from beginning to end. Yeah, that super corny family friendly movie about a billionaire kid played by Macaulay Culkin at the absolute pinnacle of his fifteen minutes of fame. It was a new low for me.

richie rich

I was upset about missing my chance to see The Shining for the first time on the big screen, but after I calmed down I was able to make peace with it. I’m going to wait. I’m going to bury the tiniest little hope in my heart that another old theatre in the city will screen that movie at some point next October. It’s a classic, and October is a month for endless viewings of the scary classics that we all love. I’m going to cultivate my hope over the course of this year. I’m going to make it flourish, because despite what an asshole the universe has been to me lately, I still believe that it can be every bit as great as it can be cruel. My arm will heal, I’ll maintain a sensible wariness of the space heater, and the universe will take care of me in the end like it always has before.

No matter how many bones of mine the universe intends to shatter, I’ll just roll with it. Because I know that it’ll never be able to shatter my hopeful spirit.

Smash’s Fall Favourites

The air is crisp and cool in the morning, livening up throughout the day, bringing mild and refreshing afternoons. Should you wear a big fluffy sweater or a lighter shirt/jacket combo? Heavy duty boots or happy-go-lucky sneakers? What about sunglasses? You’ll probably need them for that precious two-minute window between the sun waking up and the final steps taken towards your office building where you’ll spend the next 8 hours languishing under the ghastly fluorescent lighting. But then those shades will be irrelevant by quitting time when you slink home in the dark like some kind of mole-person.

Sometimes you’ll dress too heavily and wind up sweating like a goddamned animal in the afternoon as you trudge home. Sometimes you won’t dress heavily enough and will catch yourself a nice bout of walking pneumonia because you didn’t fully dry your hair before rushing out of the house in the morning. Sometimes it’s perfectly sunny and charming. Others, it pours cold bullshit like a motherfucker. You never know what kind of weather you’re going to get from the God of Fall, but you roll with it like a champ. It’s oddly invigorating, and you like being kept on your toes.

Oh, Fall, you adorable little trickster, you! I may not be able to count on you for the most reliable weather, but I can still count on you for a bunch of awesome shit every year nonetheless. Stuff so awesome that it makes handling your bi-polarishly insane weather ups and downs well worth it. For instance…

1) Delicious Holiday Foods

Fall signals to us the readiness of apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and major corporations to churn out fucking delicious seasonal foods. Hearty pies, spiced up lattes, caramel drizzled confections, fun-sized chocolatey treats, and turkeys big enough for a ride in the car sans booster seat. Fall gives us bounty. Delicious, plentiful, bounties of food. And because Fall is as generous as it’s weather is fickle, it also gives us holidays that don’t shame us for indulging our most gluttonous and depraved food desires. You’re supposed to get drunk on Ma’s special Thanksgiving punch and make a messy emotional scene. Hell, it’d be impolite not to.

I bought this apple pie at the grocery store for $2.99! What a scrumptious steal. And it’s going fast by the look of it…

cheap pie

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be gorging myself stupid on a big juicy bird just like the one we had last year.

big juicy bird

I’ll probably also eat a shit-ton of fun-sized Halloween candies. Way more than a person with actual dignity would ever feel comfortable admitting. Ones that I bought for myself at the store because that’s how I roll now. I’m an adult, and I don’t walk around the neighbourhood, undercover of the night, begging for candy anymore. I just go out and buy it like the lazy couch-grazing asshole that I am because legging it for candy is for the kiddies.

2) Doing Weird Decorative Things To Pumpkins

I don’t know how this tradition came to be, and I don’t really care. Pumpkin carving and/or decorating is an essential part of Fall. If you don’t roll up your sleeves and plunge your bare hands deep into some slick and slimy pumpkin guts at some point throughout the Fall, then you’re not doing Fall right. Pumpkins want to be carved, or mutilated, depending on how handy you actually are with a knife.

Last year, I offered up my humble Batman carving to the God of Fall. He wasn’t impressed, but he accepted it. Joss is the one who actually pleased the God of Fall with her delightful feline rendering.

pumpkins

And don’t forget, even the tiny pumpkins want to be included. My little sister Jess gave this tiny pumpkin a handsome Dracula face to wear for the holidays last year. He wasn’t left out, and we all felt the better for it. Warms the cockles of your heart that does.

dracula pumpkin

And if you really can’t stomach the pumpkins, at least get some gourds for chrissakes! Pumpkin’s little ugly cousin Gourd might be more your speed.

3) Awesome Blogging Festivities

There’s a lot of fun to be had during Fall in the blogging community. And you don’t have to be a blogger to enjoy it, either. Just grab a comp and bookmark your favourites. People do fun weird things in this world of ours, and all of that spectacle is within your reach. One blogger chum of mine over at The IPC just wrapped up a great little contest known as Shitfest Fall: 2013. You may or may not have enjoyed my distasteful entry back in September. And just today the hilarious dudes over at Hard Ticket To Home Video launched the first entry of their Third Annual Schlocktoberfest. It’s going to be an absolute mecca for cheesy horror movie lovers out there, and you won’t want to miss it. One of the best surprises for me this fall was when The Surfing Pizza started his annual Halloween Countdown early. I read his posts with religious devotion throughout the entire month of October. Often at my desk during lunch. I’m that person, laughing like a lunatic at my monitor for no apparent reason. Like we’re having the funniest conversation ever, in total silence. I’m starting to get a reputation, and not the good kind.

A few clickety clacks on the keyboard and you’re having the time of your life. It’s way more fun than reading the shitty old news or poorly edited Yahoo articles.

4) Costume Parties

I’m a creative little weirdo and I love to get hammered, you guys know that. Halloween fucking rules because it’s the perfect outlet for all of my binge drinking and strangeness. And this year is no exception. We’re going to party, and we’re going to have hilarious Halloween costumes that we crafted ourselves. I personally prefer funny costumes to skanky, and the drunks at the bars eat that shit up! The pilgrimage to Value Village to rummage up secondhand clothing suitable for costume crafting is something I look forward to every year.

We’re going to put our heads together to come up with something even better than last year’s colourful iteration of Archie and Jughead.

Archie and Jughead

It’s okay to admit that you find Archie remarkably sexy. I got that a lot last year. Archie loves the ladies and the ladies love Archie right back. Even if it is only a Tootsie Roll in my pocket.

5) Fall Back

When you drink and party as much as I do during the fall holidays, that extra hour we’re given because of Daylight Savings Time is nothing short of miraculous. If I’m gonna keep carrying on this way, then I’m gonna need my goddamned beauty sleep. Two years ago, I had to go to Abu Dhabi for work in November. It was a life changing experience, I’m glad it happened, and blah blah blah all that wonderful positive shit. But I missed out on Daylight Savings Time. I didn’t get to Fall Back like I always do at that time of year, and my heart ached for it. Instead, I was all imbalanced from Springing Ahead without the corrective Fall Back to even me out. It makes a difference. I was one mean motherfucker when I got back from the Middle East and I don’t blame that on jet lag. I worship Fall Back and can’t wait to get up at 2:00am on Sunday November 3rd for the divine pleasure of turning the clocks back. And once that deed is done, I’ll be going back to bed for more quality shuteye.

We’ve only just begun, but I’m already feeling this season. To the God of Fall: you rock, bro.

Fun-Sized Halloween Snack

Well here we are again people, another Halloween. And since we’ve been on the fringe of Sandy all week, it’s basically a huge pile of crap outside. Not so great for all those trick-or-treaters and their hapless parents. So I’ve decided to provide you with a little Halloween treat! Just a very small something to make you smile…

Yeah, I got a Harvey a costume this year. I know they usually make these things with dogs in mind. But I don’t have a dog. I have an adorable little cat who will pose for all of my demented photo shoots.

He didn’t seem impressed at first, I’ll admit. But then I think he started to like it.

I think he almost preferred wearing the costume in reverse!

I know this doesn’t nearly make up for the shitty weather you’ll have to endure going door to door tonight, but I do hope this at least makes you smile. It’s certainly brightened my day!

De-Slutifying Halloween!

I can feel the grin spread across my face as I sit here mentally categorizing all of the things I love about Halloween. I know it’s become a heavily commercialized holiday, and all of the ways in which we celebrate are perversions of its true meaning. But blah blah blah I don’t care. I like it this way! I like that it’s an excuse for kids to run around the neighbourhood hyped up on sugar and begging for candy from strangers like starving mongrels. I like that my need to binge on cheesy old horror movies is enabled by almost all of the channels on t.v. for two weeks of the year. I love that I can get belligerently drunk while wearing a hilarious costume. I love the decorations, the ghouls, the pranks, the candy, and all the mischief that’s afoot.

Most importantly though, I love that this holiday has absolutely nothing to do with love, peace on earth, romance, gift exchanges, or gratitude of any kind. This isn’t some bitch ass little holiday where we’re supposed to tell each other how we feel and play nice with one another for the sake of the holidays. This isn’t the kind of holiday that forces you to take a long hard look at yourself and overanalyze the nature of your relationships and personal goals, or think too hard about what you’re doing with your life. You’re too busy handing out candy and trying to scare people to be bothered with all that garbage.

Halloween is hedonism in its most pure form, and that is something I can really get down with. It’s a time to let your imagination soar! To come up with the most creative costume, to have the most intense and riveting display of decorations, to eat gluttonous amounts of candy unabashedly! What other holiday simultaneously encourages you to stay out all night terrorizing the neighbourhood, or pass out early with candy wrappers littering your chest in front of the television? You can have your fun-size Mars bar and eat it too!

The only aspect of Halloween that I have disdainful feelings towards is the part where girls dress like sluts. Costumes are about being creative, funny, charming, spooky, and/or clever. They’re not about putting on a thong and a pair of wings and calling yourself a frickin’ butterfly or something equally stupid. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have a problem with people showing off their bodies. More power to you if you’ve been lucky enough to get a hot one. But why does it have to be on Halloween? Why can’t you be brave enough to dress like a slut on any other normal day of the year?

I realize a lot of people are out to get some on Halloween, which is probably a huge factor when deciding to put on that slut-bag costume. But do you think you’re not as likely to score in a slightly more modest costume? Maybe if you aim to look glamorous, beautiful, or cute as opposed to cheap you’ll wind up in a costume that is still flattering to your figure, but doesn’t garner negative attention from your peers. Added bonus: you get to go home with your dignity intact!

Less is not always more with costumes. Physical attractiveness fades in time, and an awesome personality is for life. The earlier you start cultivating that winning personality, the better off you’ll be.

On the flip side of that, all the unintelligible sluts flooding the parties and bars make the rest of us who possess remarkable craftsmanship, personality, wit, and imagination really stand out. Which is why every year I use Halloween as an opportunity to be myself while bucking the norms. I come up with costumes that are fun, that people get a laugh out of, and that tell the world I’m a one-of-a-kind chick. Who, with only a kick-ass personality and flair for drag can captivate her peers on Halloween without a slutty gimmick.

I get out there every year, to the parties and bars, clad in my hilarious non-sexualized costume to combat the bullshit. When you’re trying to endure some tedious conversation with a slutty twerp at a party, or you feel like you might have a stroke because of all the body glitter and overexposure, you can take comfort in the thought that Smash is out there. I’m out there looking a fool for you. I’m out there to inspire others, because you can have a great costume without sacrificing your self-respect.

See for yourself!

Snoochies boochies! Halloween 2009

Hocus Pocus! Halloween 2008

That rug really tied the room together, man! Halloween 2011

And this year’s costume was no exception!

Welcome to Riverdale! Halloween 2012

Archie’s working that charm…

The people we talked to at the party and ran into while cruising through the city really dug our costumes. We got a lot of compliments and laughs because people love to see something they don’t expect. It’s refreshing to see a girl go silly instead of skanky.

It also didn’t hurt that we were hanging out with these jokers all night:

beep beep, coming through bitches!

By the end of the night the scoreboard read:

Awesome Costumes—1

Sluts—0

We put forth another solid effort of thumbing our noses to the slutty costume trend this year. There will always be sluts lurking around on Halloween, we’ll never be able to quash vanity entirely. But hopefully we gained a few more Awesome Costume allies!