Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Cake

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ETA: WOW! You guys are great! Because of all the attention this cake has gotten, I’ll just say that its a basic white cake recipe with food coloring. The frosting is buttercream with Wilton’s gel coloring. I built and frosted the cake and then drew the design. It’s not a special recipe, so go wild when you make your own! I’ll bet lemon would work well too!

So, for a friend’s birthday,  his wife asked if I could recreate a cake he had seen online.  I said sure.  Thus, we have another tribute to Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon.

 

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Generosity. #reverb14

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Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?

My mother was generous. She laughed a lot, gave what she could and when we needed help, help was given to our family. I made it to the age of 13 knowing that people were warm and kind. That when you suffered, that was the best time to help others.

We were one of those families that have their names, ages and a small wish list put upon some random office or school Christmas tree. People fulfilled those wishes for us. It was nice. I remember sitting on the twin size bed that shared a room with my brother’s at my dad’s apartment, playing with the slime lab that I was given. We got some clothes, some toys. People always gave us food.

After my mom died, I learned that not everyone was generous. I remember being 15 and asking my dad for lunch money, $20. Enough for $1 a day, which was the bare minimum to have a lunch, a cup of noodle soup. He gave me $5. My friends fed me and then I got a job when I was 16. This is not new information. I’ve mentioned this many times.  But I learned from him that sometimes when you ask for what you need, the bare minimum, you don’t even get that. I learned the feeling of shame and guilt in asking for anything.

My goal is that whoever comes to me for help, I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed. So, I give. Love, joy, time, concern, sometimes I can even afford gifts. I want Josh to always feel cozy and loved at home. Home should be a safe space. I give big hugs, because people forget how wonderful they can be. I’ve had someone cry in my arms because of how loving my hug was. FOR REALZ. She just burst into tears. She was, incidentally, a big crier. But still. My hug made someone cry in joy.  I want to be that safe space for people.

I’ve been lucky in that my life is full of generous people. I always feel like I take more than I give. It is a perpetual guilt that I feel. My car, my home, even my bed are mine because of my friends’ generosity. There are beautiful things in my life because people have given them to me. I’ve gone to wonderful places and had great times because of my friends’ generosity. I feel grateful to them but also awkward,  because I’ll never be able to give them the things they give me. How can I ever match the joy and love they provide me with?

I try to make the world better in little ways that mean so much to other people. I don’t like talking about it because it’s not about getting a pat on the back. It’s about making a conscious choice to make a difference. When I’m having a hard time in life, I try to give, because making someone else happy makes my day better too.

With all that said, I’m still a dick. I’m still judgmental and abrupt. Making people uncomfortable with my honesty will always be an unfortunate side effect of being me. Awkwardness is embraced and accepted. I just know that I can do small things to make others happy, so I do those things.  Cultivating my generosity is something that I try to do daily. Sometimes I fail, but most days, I can get one or two things done to make someone’s day brighter.

So, thank you. Thank you for helping me through my life.

Down into the darkness #reverb14

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Despite our usually sunny dispositions and dedication to the practice of “assuming positive intent,” we all occasionally find ourselves having to deal with an incredibly unpleasant individual.
While I’m sure you always handle it with the tact and finesse for which you’ve become so well known, I’m going to ask you to step outside yourself for just a moment.
Think back to such a situation: if the gloves were off, how you really would have liked to have dealt with them?

I would have liked to let him suffer his actions. I would not have come to the rescue.

I would not have cleaned up his messes and instead left him to his own.

Because fuck him. And everything he’s done. And fuck my sense of obligation.

If I was a bad person, I would have allowed him what he wanted and was working on achieving and I would not feel ashamed of this darkness that nurtures that feeling.

Lift your voice. #reverb14

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what is the sound of your own voice?

Strong.

My voice is strong.

It is in literal terms, odd. It can be light and feminine. It can be a bit nasally, and in singing, off key and awkward. When I am unsure, it tends to get vulnerable and childlike. My laugh is a cackle. My sneeze is a tiny achoo.

But in a metaphorical sense, it is strong. It does not waver from me. I speak up, for me and others. Since I was young, I’ve had a driving sense of fairness and equality about life.

Life isn’t fair. But we should do our BEST to tilt the axis in that direction. Our lives are for each other as much as our selves. Its our duty to make the world better for each other. That’s what our voices are for.

In writing this, I did not take time to think over my answer, so I’m not sure what else to say that won’t lead into a feminist rant or one that fights for the rights of this nations black citizens. Our world needs help. Needs love. Life is feeling bleak and hopeless and its time to lift our voices to speak up for each other.

Energy? #reverb14

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We are all lightning rods, conduits for that which the Universe wants born into this world. What energies did you channel this year?

Alright. I’ll admit it. This had me stumped. Mainly because I didn’t want to own my answer.

My energies have been chaotic. Healing. Panicking. Loving. Excited. Content. Unhappy. Searching.

I’ve been awash in the chaos of life. I had my head injury. I healed from it then I got worse, and I got better. I started seeing a therapist. Mainly I started crying in front of a therapist instead of in my shower.  I pay $30 for that luxury.

Riding the ebb and flow of my energies has been difficult. I want so much. I’m firmly in the middle of my journey and I HATE it.

I’m different. Blaming my head injury, I am more negative, less together. More scattered.

That is difficult.

My energies are full of panic and hope and I am along for the ride.

To revel in love. #reverb14

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It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect. What can you love about where you are now?

My typical day is nothing special to most people. I wake far too early, go to work, come home, go to the gym, do laundry, etc.

I wake next to a man who is my partner. Sometimes partners make mistakes and then we work through them as a team. I wake surrounded by warmth and love, a pile made of blankets, a dog, a couple kitties and Josh. Sometimes the cats throw up and we step in it. Sometimes the dog wakes us by dropping her toy on our faces.

Getting ready for work, I get to have quiet moments to myself. Doing my makeup makes me think of the people I love as most of my really awesome stuff was given to me by friends and family. Because of them, I have more eye shadow in my life than I know what to do with and I adore it. I can attribute my use of my skincare line to my friends who work in salons. A picture of my mother hangs so that I can see her over my shoulder as I get ready. I get dressed and then go back to turn on the light and kiss Josh goodbye. He rolls over and smiles at me in his sleep, then wakes and smiles more.

When I come out of my house, I say good morning to the three chickens outside our door and then head to work. I drive a beautiful 40 minutes to work, passing water and mountains and the glorious views that the Pacific Northwest offers. My work is a lovely place, full of its problems, sure, but all in all wonderful. It’s hard, but challenging work and I’m lucky to do what I do.

When I drive home, I’m tired. I come home and my dog greets me as if I’ve been gone for years. My cats come running to the door. I change into my gym clothes and pull out whatever I need to make dinner. Sometimes I’m too tired, or forget. I gather Josh’s clothes and meet him at work. We grumble and go to the gym. Our experience at the gym is one of work, laughter, and people watching. Sometimes we fight when he demands lunges and I don’t want to do them. Most times we grumble and then are happy with our workout afterward. We part ways and meet at home.

Josh winds down with video games and I cook dinner. We laugh about our days. We watch the Daily show together as we eat. He holds me to put me to sleep some nights. Some nights we fall apart in a tangle of limbs and sweat and high five our approval of each other.

I see my friends, I laugh with them, I commiserate. They know I love them. I love my family, though I am not as good at being a family member as I am a friend. But I love them, and will fight tooth and nail for the best for them. I am loved. I am rich in the joy of life. I am warm of heart. It is not a grand life, full of money and fame, but it is mine and I love it, for better or worse.

My life is good.

My life is love.

I cannot find fault in the joy of it, in the humanity of it.