Friday, August 29, 2008

Pears: My Mortal Enemy

I am so pumped because I’m at work, where I’m a “Student Assistant” (which translates to glorified receptionist and slave to the wicked printers that are always broken) and a nursing student just walked in and asked me if the computer lab was open. I told her it was and she said, “Oh, good… hey, you want some pears?” To which I said, “UM, YES” because I have a complicated love affair with pears. I love them, I pine for them but they scorn my affections. Basically, I stalk pears.

I guess the girl’s dad has a pear tree, lucky bastard, and is trying to get rid of the abundance of pears he has. So she was walking around with a huge basket filled with paper bags stuffed with pears. Seeing my enthusiasm for pears, she gave me all she had and I now have about 6 lbs of pears sitting prettily on my desk. I’m all jelloid just thinking about them.

I love fruit. I would marry it and have fruit children if possible. Grape children? Cute, and far less painful than conventional childbirth… as long as it wasn’t the whole bunch. Why am I imagining this? Anyway, I suppose my love affair with fruit came about partly because I grew up in Alaska, where all fruit has to be shipped in and thus good fruit is a rare treat. I love apple, peaches, nectarines, oranges, grapefruits, everything really but especially pears. But I also hate them.

I am convinced there is some sort of pear conspiracy because I can almost never get a ripe pear. It is either rock hard or dissolving into pear mush. I will buy pears and lovingly wait for them to ripen, smelling them and gently squeezing them every other seconds to check for ripeness. Then I will turn my back for 30 seconds, in which the pears will have a meeting and whisper, “Pssst, let’s all get way too ripe right now, mwa ha ha ha. The Untied Pear Association Against Sophie wins again!” And I’ll race back to the fruit bowl and sob as I see all the pears turned instantly from rock hard to mush, the pears silently cackling. Sometimes, in a glorious moment of triumph, I’ll be able to gobble down a pear mid pear-conspiracy meeting and that makes it all worthwhile.

I’m staring suspiciously at my bags-o-pears right now and determined that they in fact get properly ripe for once, even if it means guarding them day and night to prevent pear plotting.I have big plans for them that I hope to show case on the blog. The pear gingerbread recipe my sister gave me. Poached pears. Pear almond tart. Mrrrmmmmmph… *Homer Simpson-esque drooling noises*

Oh yes, pears, you will be mine.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Welcome! Setting: The Bus - Cast of Characters: Me, Assorted Creepy Men

Hey, that's me!

Hi, I’m Sophie! Welcome to my brand spankin’ new blog, The Cupcake Life: the random musings of a 20-something student who is easily distracted by shiny objects and who has an insatiable sweet tooth. So expect sugared up, nonsensical stories about whatever interests me at that fleeting moment, plus some pictures and recipes of baked goods that I will be inevitably cooking up.

Unfortunately, I am not sugar addled (though a bag of Swedish fish nearby call to me) but unable to sleep. My sleep-deprived brain says that writing about my bus adventures right now would be a good idea and I concur, brain. Though may I suggest another swell idea, sleep? No? Alright, fine.

This summer, I often took the city bus to my summer job because it was free and convenient, with a bus stop literally outside my family’s front door. This was all mighty fine except that riding the bus exponentially increased the number of times I got hit on by creepy men. Somehow the equation of Sophie + public transportation inevitably equals me apparently giving off pheromones that are interpreted as, “I would really, really like you to hit on me no matter what I’m doing. All ages, level of sanity and degree of hygiene are accepted! Act now!”

To combat this, I armor myself with headphones, an iPod and reading material. In any other social setting, nobody would talk to me because of my clear please-t0-fuck-off vibe. However, social conventions are not followed by most of the fine fellows I met this summer so I was pestered regardless. I swear I am otherwise harmless.

The best example of this came one day while I was waiting for the bus, as usual blasting music and reading to ward off boredom and weirdos. No such luck on the former. A man who looked old enough to be my grandpa and who was missing more than a handful of teeth approached me and yelled, “MISS? MISS?!?” I ignored him for a moment, pulling my, “Lalalala, I can’t hear anything for my music is so very loud and my book oh so engrossing. Nope, can’t hear anything at all, lalalalala” routine. But he was persistent so I eventually made some clipped conversation with him as he hit on me until he said this, something no person has ever said to me before:

‘Has anybody told you that you have real pretty toes?”

I was stunned into silence. No, nobody has and for good reason. While on good days I consider myself, say, cuter than a gargoyle, my feet are definitely the least cute. The are small and fat (shoemakers politely call them ‘wide’) and sometimes painted but on that particular day the polish was weeks old and clinging to the random nail in desperate, patchy spots. Is it possible to have a fetish for ugly feet? I didn’t wait to find out.

Because I’m sure you’d like to read even more about my feet, and because I am so baffled that this man would say they are in any way attractive, here’s some more info: my left pinky toe is in particular rather creepy. The Creepy Toe is not straight but kind of curled up on itself, the Hunchback of Notre Toe, if you will. Somehow or another the nail on The Creepy Toe fell off years ago and now doesn’t anchor to the nail bed. The cherry on the creepy cake is that I don’t have normal sensation in it; one my friends in middle school once stuck a tack in it without me noticing. I’m not condoning using my feet as pincushions, I would just like to emphasize how not pretty they are.

I managed to run into another guy on a number of occasions who, to be fair, was definitely in the top 5 least creepy men (almost all his teeth! Within a decade of my age! Bathed recently!) but was still clueless and unshakable. One day, he asked if a ring I was wearing was a wedding ring. I was wearing it on the middle finger of my right hand. Another day I made the mistake of wearing a white trench coat, which he thought was a lab coat, and had to endure 50 questions of places I possibly worked (surely a doctor’s office? An EYE doctor’s office, then?). My personal favorite is when he told I was, “….real pretty. You could be a JC Penny Model.”

Guffah, guffah. A JC Penny Model? Oh, the honor! It was very much like that Flight of the Conchords song, “You’re so beautiful/you could be a waitress. You’re so beautiful/you could be a part time model.”

Luckily I have a boyfriend who is very much non-creepy/attractive/follows social norms (although he is studying opera.) Now that I think about it though, he is actually missing a tooth but with a stand in tooth glued in. I wonder if I attract these guys because I had an extra tooth that had to be surgically removed? I can’t single handedly fix the missing-tooth gene pool, people.

Welcome to my life.

Sidenote: Can I take a moment to comment on how especially awesome my blog design is? I wish I could take credit for it but I can’t, that credit goes to the lovely Rachel. Please go immediately to and give her lots of money because she is a super talented web designer and cool to boot.