Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cupcakes!!! Yay!!

Hey, all. I just thought that after that really uplifting previous blog, I should probably give you something a little more entertaining. So, here it is! Some really yummy cupcakes I decorated at work the other day. The furthest ones were pumpkin with cream cheese frosting and topped with pecans. The others were yellow cupcakes topped with vanilla or chocolate buttercream and then decorated with various items. It was way fun. One of the most fun things I get to do at work, even though it doesn't happen very often. This time, I used chocolate sprinkles, colored sprinkles, coconut, raspberry sauce, kiwi-lime sauce, caramel sauce, and the aforementioned pecans. In the past, I've done rocky road (choc frosting with marshmallows and almonds), Almond Joy (almonds and coconut), choc and caramel sauce swirled on top, and lots of others. I love it.

I enjoy the other aspects of my job, but some can get a little monotonous. Like now, for instance. Now is the time for Oktoberfest (and yes, I know it's not yet October. The whole snow thing causes us to move it up.). So, here in the bakery, it means hundreds of both German Chocolate Cakes and Apple Streudels. Oh, yes, indeed. Three layers of cake, two of german filling and ganache, buttercreamed (yes, I just made that a verb. yay!), and then frozen for later use. To finish, they get ganached (yes, another non-existent verb. yay!), covered with more german filling on the top and then cut. We do at least 35 of these each weekend. Now, the streudels are not really my department, for which I'm grateful for. The Sherpas handle most of that. The process starts with tons of sheets of puff pastry (which is used for making danishes and other desserts and even savory stuff) and these sheets are cut into 4 inch strips on each long side. The apple filling is made and added to the middle and then the side strips are folded over the filling, made to look sort of like a braid. They are brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and then baked for about 1 1/2 hours. Yup. That's how the magic happens. The drunks down at Octoberfest just love it. Apparently.

Speaking of drunks, every time we have to take either of these items down the hill to the huge tent, we pass dozens of these sort of people. And they all think it is hilarious to stumble up to us and slur something like, "Oh, gimme some!" or "Cool, you brought me some dessert!" or "Wow, for me? Thanks." Yeah. Almost funny the first few times, but the last few hundred start to wear a little thin.

But hey, only 2 more weeks of Octoberfest left! Yay!

But, besides that, I really do enjoy my job. The occasional cupcake decorating, experimenting with new desserts, working with fun people, listening to music, learning new things, it's all good.

*sigh* Well, I'm getting a bit sleepy, so goodnight.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Migraine, anyone? No? Hmm.

So, in case not everyone knows this about me, I suffer from severe migraines on occasion.
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it? Yeah. It's kinda like someone trying to over inflate
a balloon inside my skull while having thousands of photographers all firing their flashes
simultaneously. Oh, yeah. It's quite the party, alright.

I remember the first time I had a migraine. I was about 9 or 10 and it was one of my first sleepovers with my best friend at the time, Chasidy. She only lived about 6 houses down and across the street, but it was super psyched about it! I don't remember much about the whole evening, but I just remember looking at one of her books and not being able to see the whole title. I just thought, "Hm, that doesn't seem right." My parents have both had migraines since they were young. My dad told me that the first time he ever had one was when he was playing peewee football. In the middle of the game, his vision started to go wierd. And then this amazingly horrific headache came. After the game, he said he just layed down on the livingroom floor, still in his full football gear, and stayed still for hours. He honestly thought he had a tumor or something. He later described this to his mom, my grandma, and she explained.

So as I was at this sleepover, I was thinking about my dad and what his experience was and I just knew what this was. It scared me, so I reluctantly said good-bye to Chasidy and had my mom pick me up.

After that night, every once-in-a-while I would get migraine. It always started the same. I would be looking at something or somone, and it just didn't look right. I always tried to suppress the thought, trying to think positive, but it came anyway. Every time it happened, a weird, flashing, crescent shape would appear in my vision. The look of it is hard to describe, but the closest thing I can compare it to is sort of like snow on a tv screen. But so, so, so, much more distracting and annoying. If this happened while I was at home, I would just lie down in a dark, silent room and wait for my vision to return. Sleeping was always the best thing, but not always possible. Anyhoo, after the crescent-shape disappeared, then came the horrible, horrible headache. The balloon analogy still applies, but it's also like my brain is too big for my skull and any movement of my head made the dull, pounding ache increase exponentially. And to make it so much better, the dull ache remains for at least 48 hours following. Awesome, right?

Another way to describe it is having what I would imagine to be the most incredible hangover after a long night of tequila shots or something. Which is exactly why I will never, ever drink. Ever. I mean, why would I want to have that experience if it could be avoided? I wouldn't. Because that would be incredibly stupid.

And on top of the vision thing and the headache, migraines make it so I'm super, super sensitive to light and smells and sounds and everything. I normally have a sensitive nose anyway, but even smells I like or don't notice can almost make me puke. Oh, wait. I haven't mentioned the nausea yet, have I? Well, lets add that to the mix. When I was younger, I pretty much always ended up getting sick after a migraine. But luckily I usually felt better after losing my lunch, or whatever meal it is that applies. Now that I'm older, that doesn't happen so much anymore. To make the nausea at bay, I usually just have to avoid strong smells and breathe evenly and keep my head mostly level. Yeah, that doesn't work so well when I'm at work or something. I actually had one my first day of work when I was working at Provo Canyon School the Summer of '06. I normally try not to show what an invalid I become when this happens until I have at least worked there a few weeks, but alas. It happened on my first day. Now I think that maybe that was a bad omen because that job was terrible. Really, really sucked. Really.

The reason I bring up this whole subject is because I somehow developed one of these said migraines this past Thursday at work. It started at lunch time and I can still feel some of the headache even now. But luckily, I like this job and my boss and co-workers are very understanding, so it's not all bad. I somehow live through it. *sigh*

Well, I guess I should share the good news. I have been taking this medication for a while now that seems to prevent my migraines. That wasn't the prescription's original, purpose, but I'm not complaining. Nowadays, if I ever accidentally miss a day of taking my drugs, I most likely get a migraine, which i obviously try not to let happen because of the aforementioned reasons.

So, that's my goal. NO MORE MIGRAINES!!!

Ahem, so thanks for reading this, if you actually made it all the way through.

p.s. I hope no one else ever finds himself or herself in this situation, but if it ever should happen, at least now you'll know . Right? Right.

Well, it's late. Bon nuit, mon ami.