who's the ECL?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm not BAD evil, more like devil's food cake evil.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Zetta Asks, I Talk

Zetta tagged me.

1. Why cake?

I almost don't understand this question, because it is CAKE, people, CAKE! Cake is awesome.

When I was a kid, we had cookies and Cadbury chocolate lying around on a regular basis. My grandma (the Canadian one) would come stay with us every winter and she'd bake pies like there was no tomorrow. But cake, cake would only be served for birthdays. Cake meant something fun and celebratory was going on, cake meant parties and presents, cake meant that for a day, it was all about you. Nobody baked cakes in my family--so we would go to the local bakery, or when that closed, the local Safeway, and the birthday person got to pick out their cake. I would always deliberate carefully about my birthday cake. I didn't want a cake I would regret, but I also didn't want to get stuck in a cake rut.

I loved everything about cake, from the sweet piped frosting made from shortening, to the pretty layers of cake-filling-cake-frosting on the inside, to the contrasting textures of soft, creamy, crunchy. Even as a kid I was a cake connoisseur and knew the difference between a good cake from a real bakery and a shitty one with rubbery layers and terrible cheap tasteless whipped cream frosting with airbrushed pictures. Even as a kid I would be pissed off when I would go to a birthday and the shitty kind of cake would be served.

People don't know anymore what real cake is. That shit from a box isn't real cake. That is shit. That rubbery ass stuff you can get at big box "bakery" sections is ass. Since the decline of the neighborhood bakery the grocery stores have picked up the slack--or maybe the grocery stores ran the bakeries out of business. Their cakes are mediocre to fairly decent at best. But there are even some bakeries in town that make a crappy product. The people want their cake to taste like that shit from a box, and so the bakeries that are still in business have to accommodate that taste. Which is fucked up, people. Bakeries should be educating the unwashed masses: "you want cake people? I said, you want cake? I'll BRING IT, and YOU'LL EAT IT, and YOU'LL LIKE IT."

I bake cakes because I love cake. I love what cake stands for--a celebration, a special occasion, a milestone. I give birthday cakes as the birthday presents because the people I love deserve a real cake for their day. I use the best ingredients that I can get--and that adds up to the best tasting cake. I bake cakes because I have an awesome cake book and I can make an awesome, REAL cake really easy. I don't have magic baking hands. I have a great cookbook and a strong desire to follow directions.

So in a nutshell, I love cake like a fat kid loves cake.

2. Who is your favorite Southpark character, and why?
Please cite examples.

Cartman, hands down. I mean, duh, who else on television can kill a kid's parents, cook them up in a chili, and feed this chili to the kid? And only to get revenge for being duped by a pubic hair joke? Cartman is life's jester; he is the rule breaker that keeps us all free.

Plus, his mom was on the cover of Crack Whore Magazine.

3. What animals do you identify with most?

Bears. My favorite part of Borat was when they were traveling with the bear. I want to travel with a bear! And go swimming with him in the pool!

I have a secret dream of cuddling up with a big ol grizzly bear, all sleepy and bloated from eating huckleberries and moths all day (the bear, not me), and me being able to slide in and be enveloped in the thick, coarse, probably stinky, warm bear fur and the two of us would nap in the afternoon sun.

Besides, I have an ass that resembles a grizzly bear. We must be related.

Dolphins. Squeaky and fast. And they always seem like they are laughing at us hairless monkeys. I like that in an animal. And they live in large community groups and know how to get along, and they are social and fun loving and have sex for the enjoyment of it, not just to procreate, and they are smart and adaptive and some groups have learned to cooperate with tuna to get food and they all feed together. Watching wild dolphins race around in the ocean always makes me cry. Even through a television set their overwhelming joy and exuberance is a palpable force that fills my heart and overwhelms me to tears. It's as if their echolocation can reach me through the tv and I feel it as wild, pure, fiery joy.

There are other animals, of course, but that is a good place to start.

I generally have an easier time identifying with mammals over other life forms, although sometimes a tree and me can get into a pretty heavy conversation. Trees like to laugh at us hairless monkeys too. I like that in a plant.

4. Do you think there is a such thing as impossible?

Only if you believe impossible is possible.

5. Is natural childbirth for everyone, or are there some people who just need drugs and surgery?

Yes and no.

There was a time, before hospitals and pharmaceuticals, where natural childbirth was for everyone because we had no choice. Women had to figure out how to do it. The only other option was death.

And death happened, a lot.

I have a lot of theories about how life might have been like back then, how pain and hardship might have been accepted as a normal part of everyday, and that we might have had a better understanding of how to roll with life's punches.

But also, a lot of women and babies died.

Now we have choices. Almost too many choices. And sometimes it seems as though all of our choices end up saving us from ourselves. Sometimes it seems like we can opt out by choosing modern medicine instead of muddling through the trials of fire and ice and learning about our own deepest strengths.

But all of that is just my judgment call, you know?

A woman gets a stack of cards at the beginning of her child's labor. Sometimes her deck includes a gentle birth, or a textbook birth, or fetal distress, a fourth degree tear, a precipitous birth, or prodromal labor. She doesn't get to control what goes into her deck; she can only control how she works with and responds to her circumstances.

Sometimes a woman gets the four day birth and stalls out at 8 cm dilated in the early morning of the 4th day. Sometimes she needs some help to finish. Before modern medicine, what could she have done? If she hemorrhaged really seriously or tore really deeply or the baby had trouble thriving in the first hours of life, chances are she or the baby might die.

Death, maternal or fetal, is not an option in modern medicine. Death has become unacceptable in our culture as an outcome of a situation.

So modern medicine does everything it can to control the uncontrollable, and in 99.9% of the time, it can guarantee freedom from the possibility of death.

What laboring mother wouldn't ask for those odds when her child is at stake?

So natural childbirth is for everyone, because childbirth is a natural process.

However, sometimes a woman needs to opt out of the journey to the underworld (where she goes to get her baby) because she doesn't have the right support, or she wasn't prepared, or she doesn't believe in her own depths of strength.

And sometimes a woman gets handed a deck stacked against a natural birth such that if there will be two lives at the end of the process, modern medicine must intervene and control the process.