It’s the Capital Confectioners’ 9th Annual Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition!




With all the medical issues this past year, I had planned on only entering the tasting competition this time around. That actually worked out well since I also have a Root Beer Schnapps cake recipe I’ve been working on for a while, and one of the categories this year is cakes made with or flavored with alcohol.

And then BOOM!

I ended up getting sick last Saturday (it’s always a bad sign when a hockey rink starts to feel too warm for long sleeves). After a week, I’m finally well enough to attend the show, but now there’s not enough time to slam out a non-contagious tasting entry. Oh well, at least I get to check out all the other entries.

Steve was worried that I’d be depressed about not being able to compete this year, but I thought I was fine with it until I saw Nicolas Lodge judging my usual division and category today. Now I’m a little depressed.

My camera and I had some disagreements while photographing cakes, so many of them didn’t turn out. I’m going through them now to see what I can post tonight. Tomorrow I’ll spend most of the day retaking pictures since there’s less of a crowd on the second day (most people are too busy with the vendors or classes). I’d be further along with getting photos up tonight, but Steve decided to start watching the entire run of Cheers on Netflix and it’s turning out to be funnier than I remembered (I didn’t have a TV when the show came out, so I’ve only seen a little of it).

Maybe it’s a good thing that Steve’s now playing his new PS3 game so I no longer have an excuse not to rummage through my photos. If I can stop grousing about my camera and how crappy a photographer I am, I may get something out in the next hour.

My New Craigslist Obsession

My newest obsession is the furniture section on Craigslist. This is also the first time my husband has heard about this (hello Steve!).

So far, this obsession has been limited to lurking and wishing I could buy some of the more gorgeous pieces, but it’s slowly creeping towards caving in and attempting to purchase something. The only thing stopping me so far is that either the furniture I want is too expensive, I have no room for it, or it won’t work with anything else I have or am trying to do with my cluttered and ugly home. A good example was a huge buffet that was absolutely beautiful, ornate, and expensive. The beautiful part was very nice, but the ornate wouldn’t work in my living room or kitchen, and expensive wouldn’t have worked very well with my husband.

But it doesn’t stop me from looking and dreaming.

Here are a few of my favorites from yesterday:

The most amazing workspace ever stashed into a cabinet. If I had the $200, I’d be borrowing my parents’ trailer to pick it up immediately.

Warning, this ottoman is filthy/ugly. It’s also made of solid wood and would be very nice once it was reupholstered. And it looks like it would be a fairly simple upholstery job too. I’m hoping to see it on Before/After soon.

I have the perfect place for this in my living room. Even better yet, it means I can toss my big ugly chair instead of attempting an upholstery job that I’m very much not prepared for. We knew a guy with one of these when I was a kid, and my sister and I would fight over who got to sit in it while visiting. This one is much nicer too.

This would be nice in the library we’re going to eventually have. The only reason we don’t have it yet is because I still haven’t cleared out all my crap from my old office so we can pull out the carpet and install the wood floors and wall to wall bookshelves. I bet I could have talked Steve into this one if we were further along.

This is another one that looks sort of iffy. But I bet it would be perfect for our bedroom after some cleaning and polishing. Too bad it’s too expensive for me, but I’d be willing to put in the effort for it otherwise. 

I’m actually thinking about this one. The chairs are the light pine, which matches my kitchen table. Right now I’m using wooden folding chairs because nice chairs are expensive. But these are nice, and getting four of them would save me $40 over purchasing them brand new (and some of these haven’t even been unboxed and assembled yet, so they are still brand new).

I have absolutely no use or place for them, but I’m crushing on these red bar stools anyway.

The photo is dark, but these are rather nice and expensive Ikea kitchen pantries. I have a perfect place for them, but the color is wrong and I’ve already worked out what I’m going to do in that space instead. Part of me still wants them anyway.

I really, really want the Eames Molded Plywood Chair by Herman Miller. I tried to win one of these before Christmas and was very sad that I lost (as were probably quite a few other people). I have no idea what the chair’s value is, but if I had the $475, I’d be doing some quick research.

There are actually two other things that I may check on if they’re still available tomorrow. If not, I’ll continue to peruse Craigslist looking for that one (or more) perfect piece for my home.

UPDATED 11/06/13: What the hell was I thinking? I know I realized that the posts wouldn’t be there for long, which is why I wasted my lunch break that day grabbing screenshots of all of them – so why didn’t I include them? It’s probably time to go back through a gut this mess….

UPDATED even later: I located all the image files for these links – I had sent them to myself knowing the craigslist link would expire, but then I linked to to craigslist anyway. That’s what I get for trying to update my site during what was left of my lunch break.  I promise I’ll fix this once I start writing again… one day.

Alamo’s First Annual Kurt Russell Marathon



A friend who had attended an Avengers movie marathon at the Alama Drafthouse told me that while he had a fantastic time–he’d never do it again.

After experiencing it for myself, I have absolutely no idea why he felt that way. But then, I used to get together with a buddy back in the 80’s and 90’s and do 24 hour movie marathons several times a year, so a wimpy 12 hour movie-fest was a piece of cake. A larger-than-life, tasty, testostorone-filled slice of cake. And I’m lucky enough to have a husband who wanted to share it with me!

Alamo’s decision that it was time to celebrate 50 years of Kurt Russell movies was a great idea because HE’S NOT DEAD YET! Which means there will be new movies to add to the list for the second annual Russellmania. Not that there aren’t already over 90 of his movies to choose from. (Heh… Steve and I were ‘politely disagreeing’ all week about which movies we wanted to see, even though we agreed that there were a few that they couldn’t NOT show during the marathon.)

The day began with eye-patches and candy cigarettes for everyone, moved to a special Russellmania menu designed just for this event, and then really got started with the announcement that the super secret special guest star that was not Kurt Russell, even though they tried very hard to get a hold of him.


Between each of the movies, there were trailers for Russell movies that we wouldn’t be seeing. This helped to rule out what we were going to see fairly early in the day (each title was a secret until it was time to start the movie). Steve was disappointed that Tombstone wasn’t included, and I was hoping for Miracle (not that I don’t already watch this one at home on an annual basis prior to the start of the hockey season).

The hosts, who all dressed up as various Kurt Russell characters, started each movie with an explanation of why that particular movie was selected for this marathon. And I have to admit that I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by a few of the movies they chose (in order of viewing):

Captain Ron – Eye-patch Comedy! (With a lead-in that made it sound like it was going to be Escape from New York.) I’ve never seen this one because the trailers made it look like a slap-stick comedy with way too much Martin Short in it. And right now I’m willing to publicly admit that Martin Short was much less annoying in it than I had expected. In fact, I kinda liked his character. And… we’re going to leave that at that.

Escape from New York – Eye-patch Action! Everyone expected to see this movie, so I think that’s why they decided to get it out of the way. I enjoy this movie, but it’s not one of my favorites.

Dreamer – Drama! (Two of the hosts even admitted to shedding a manly tear when they first saw this movie.) I had never heard of Dreamer. I have no idea how I missed hearing about Dreamer… I mean, come on! It had Kurt Russell and lots of horses! Obviously I really liked this one.

Breakdown – Thriller! The hosts said they were very surprised with how many people requested to see this one during the marathon. They decided to go with it because it was one of the few movies where Russell portrayed a man who was pissing-his-pants-scared throughout the entire movie. This was another one I hadn’t heard of before.

Big Trouble in Little China – Action Comedy! This was one of the movies that we actually expected to see during the marathon. It’s also one of my three favorite Kurt Russell movies (the other two being Miracle and ahem….*cough*Overboard*cough*). And after seeing it again, I have to say that Big Trouble just keeps getting better and better every time I see it.

Throughout the event, everyone was repeatedly reminded to stay all the way through the credits of the final movie, which meant that there was a good chance that the secret guest star was somehow linked to Big Trouble in Little China. While I was kinda hoping that it would be John Carpenter (squeeeee!), I was thrilled to see that the super secret guest star was James Hong (Lo Pan)!

James Hong as a Super Secret Special Guest

Mr. Hong’s in town to host another Alamo movie event on Wednesday for a movie he directed in 1979. I have no idea if they tacked that on to the schedule to convince him to come to Austin for Russellmania, but it doesn’t matter because he’s a perfect fit for an Alamo event either way (he’s got both movie AND geek cred these days).

We stayed afterwards to have Mr. Hong sign a photo and a shoe (I’ll explain about Steve’s shoe collection some other time), as well as have a picture taken (we had to quickly switch shirts so Steve could wear the Lo Pan shirt in the photo with him).

Overall, we had a great time, we were introduced to some great Kurt Russell movies that we had never seen before, and we got to meet James Hong.

I can’t wait to see what happens at the second annual Russellmania marathon.