It’s May. The azalea outside my window is in hot pink bloom. I’ve got a slice of fresh bread with butter and honey and a cup of (here the image gets shot to hell) tepid coffee. In the oven is a chocolate sour cream bundt cake. This morning I arose, consulted the internets, showered, went to the Four Seasons to acquire bittersweet chocolate (which I always imagine to have been moistened with someone’s bittersweet tears), and began baking. If you’ve ever seen me around chocolate and/or cake batter, you know what a mighty feat it was for me to sit down to bread & honey before licking the bowl clean. And what a bowl! (also at that link to Kate’s blog you can see her version of The Shoes, in green, and a link to a site for anyone who needs a good t-shirt, a good cause, or wants to show their love of coffee – okay, I made it easy, I gave you the link myself.)

This is the first time I’ve used a stand mixer since I was in 4-H in middle school (let that be my belated Sunday confession) and I still have mixed feelings about it. It’s great! Because you can wander around and clean up in 30 second intervals between each addition of egg! And the superior power, etc. etc. But! I find it damned obnoxious getting additional ingredients in and out – lots of spilling on the counter, brushing the other bowls (it being a 3 bowl recipe) against the raised beater, etc. The eggs did drop in nicely, though…

Anyway, the cake is for a coworker’s birthday (as Kate commented, I seem to bake for a hell of a lot of coworkers’ birthdays, but this is the last one for a good long time. Except, oops, I seem to recall telling someone at non-library job that he’d get cupcakes for his birthday…and I think it might be this week. Oh well. Between Kate’s stand mixer and my brand spanking new Kitchenaid 9-speed hand mixer, I’m in business. Anyone else? Better speak up now.

Do other people celebrate birthdays as obsessively at work as we do at the library? We’ve got this elaborate system where you sign up for a date (with no name attached, but those who’ve been there for ages know them all fairly well) and then get a name and a list of what that person likes – favorite treats, colors, flowers, gift ideas. We each do one a year. Then we select new people the next year. It works out well and gives us a regular sugar kick in the breakroom. At my other job, it’s very informal…one girl brought me a cake on my birthday last year, so I brought cupcakes for hers, but there’s no system. Partly because there’s about a hundred people who work there, and because most people leave the building in the line of duty each day, making parties tricky.

Is anyone else watching Texas Ranch House on PBS? I’ve caught bits and pieces…nothing beats a PBS reality show in entertainment value.