Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Battling the Universe

Guys, I can't believe I made it. This past week was a constant battle with the Universe, which seemed hell-bent on dragging me down. I put up a pretty good fight, but at last check it was Colleen: 15, Universe: 20.  Let's talk about the highlights. 

I tried to go to the beach for a 2 day mini-vacation. I got a flat tire on the way. On the Garden State Parkway, you can't use your own road-side assistance (which is free), you have to call the state police, wait for them to send someone out, and then pay them. Are you kidding me? 

This also happens to be the month my license and inspection expire. Between the new tire, renewing my license, inspection and repairs for inspection, my car is costing me an obscene amount of money this month. Enough to make me want to trade it in for a bike and a Septa pass. 
I eventually made it to Sea Isle City, and got to chill out on the beach with sand between my toes. Also, in case you were wondering, 9 AM at the Jersey Shore is much more peaceful than 2:30 PM.
My birthday came on Friday, and I spent the whole day baking and shopping for display materials for my friend's wedding. The Universe really pulled out all the stops that day. The biggest challange was losing 3 dozen cupcakes and 3 hours of my day to wonky oven heat and batter gone awry, amongst other annoyances.

What the Universe didn't know is that I have awesome friends and a wonderful boyfriend. Ken had taken a couple of days off and was sweet and helpful and determined to make my birthday special. My closest and dearest friend Jackie came to visit, and didn't complain once while zesting, glazing or washing dishes. Without these two loves of my life, I don't know how I would have done it all. My heroes! I also got lots of love and birthday wishes by call, text, tweet and facebook. Thanks to everyone who sent their love, it was so very needed and appreciated!

Know what else helped me get through? Old episodes of Soul Train and Afro-Sheen commercials from the 70's. After hitting the 18-hour working mark, Ken, Jackie and I took a break and found some old episodes On Demand that worked like magic to ease my weary soul.
Saturday morning saw more baking, glazing and decorating, and finally the wedding was Saturday night. And let me tell you, it was THE GREATEST WEDDING EVER. I'll tell you all about it soon, but here's a quick preview of the cupcakes.

A Low-sugar option. Vanilla agave cupcakes with fresh strawberries.
Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. Lemon cupcake with fresh strawberry frosting.
And a Mango-lime Cupcake. Mango cupcake with mango jam filling and lime buttercream.
On Sunday we woke at a ridiculously late hour, and finally got around to celebrating my birthday. I wanted to keep it simple, and we went to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens on South Street to putz around and look at the beautiful chaos. 
If you've never been, it's a cool way to waste an hour or so. Also a cheap date idea!
We grabbed some delicious (but expensive) microbrews at the Foodery, met with some friends for all-you-can-eat dim sum at New Harmony Vegetarian, and finished the night with a coconut flavored soda from the Franklin Fountain. Overall, a pretty swell day. 

So, in the battle of Colleen vs. the Universe last week, the Universe totally had the upperhand: flat tires, ridiculous mechanic bills, ruined cupcakes and and other baking disasters. The good news is that my life usually balances out in the end, so I'm hoping it's only uphill from here for the rest of this week. A girl can dream!

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