YourMom (L) asked StinkyLulu (R)...
1. Rumor has it you sorta like cake. What kind is your favorite and why? (Please describe in enough detail that I will feel as if I've just eaten some.)
While I do have a few favorites "flavors" (red velvet; carrot w/ cream cheese frosting; german chocolate), my devotion to cake is non-partisan and mostly about the delight of consuming a really good really big piece of it. As a general rule, cake's all about, first, the texture and, next, the balance between cake and frosting. Whether layered, sheet or cup, the cake itself must be dry enough to crumble but moist enough so that the crumbs squish easily together in a tasty glob. The frosting must be fluffy, smooth, flavorful -- with neither too much fat (too slimy) nor too much sugar (too crusty). Frosting should adorn the cake generously. Giant swirling glops for cupcakes are ideal. For layer and sheet cakes, frosting should swath at a depth of no less than 3/8" with 1/2" being about perfect (unless the frosting has a whipped cream base, in which case 3/4" or more is appropriate). Garnishes must be entirely edible (ie. marshmallows, soft candies, fresh fruit, toasted coconut, nuts -- no plastic objects!) and used only in moderation. Jellies/jams between the layers are generally just wrong. Fondant and hard candies, too, are unfortunate.
The true test of good cake is ice cream. The two must meld. Some cakes that seem great fail the ice cream test. Sometimes the cake just succumbs to the ice cream, disintegrating into so many gritty crumbs. Sometimes the frosting fights back, congealing into gummy sugar globules. But with the best cakes, sublime delights will manifest when ice cream is added. (One of StinkyLulu's only "signature" dishes is premised on the meld of cake & icecream -- a layering of cake & ice cream into a concoction alternately known as "smoosh" and "swill." Indeed, the joys of cake-icecream have even inspired a "no-freeze" pudding variation -- Fudgepacker's Delight -- which was awarded a first place ribbon at last year's queer bake off.)
Cake should be eaten at every meal. All would be better with the world.
2: As the end-of-semester madness approaches, what methods of procrastination do you employ with the most glee?
Composing answers to delightful questions posed by good friends. Blithe denial. Looking at pictures of cake on the interwebs. My myriad Realities are especially effective diversions... Who can focus on grading those 600+ pages of student writing when Tyra's on?
3: If you magically had 3 weeks off and a plane ticket to the destination of your choice, where might that be? And why? Where's the last place you'd want to go? Why?
I've always wanted to take an extended trip in Israel or Spain. But at this very moment, if given my druthers, I think I'd jet off to NYC. That is, IF the plane ticket envelope came stuffed with a couple thousand in cash so it could be a few weeks of shows, restaurants, shopping and generalized mingling. But if no such cash was in the envelope, NYC would be one of the last places I'd wanna go. (The big apple's not pretty when you're counting pennies.) That said, a "tour" in the Persian Gulf or Darfur would likely suck pretty bad...
4: What new thing would you like to learn how to do?
To exercise. Willingly, happily, routinely.
Alternately, to be able to flip that discipline switch in my brain -- the one that compels me to do things I really don't want to do...like exercise. And grade final projects.
Where's my f'n cake?!?
5. You have been asked to write the screenplay for a mockumentary about academia, specifically centering on one medium-sized we-put-the-fun-in-dysfunctional department (field of your choice). How would you cast the constellation of faculty members and problem-child grad students contained therein?Whewf. These questions. Love this shit.
A mockumentary about academia? Wow. So much to mock, so little time. And I worry that no one outside the vortex of academentia would actually believe the depth of academic absurdity. I'm inclined, then, to add a layer of genre to ratchet the stakes a little. Perhaps a silly, big cast murder mystery, ala Agatha Christie or Jessica Fletcher... Maybe it could go something like this...
Dolly Parton arrives to the campus of East Armpit State at the invitation Dr. Alexa Sheen (Parker Posey), a popular but controversial professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Culture Studies (DICS). Dolly's scheduled lecture/performance in Sheen's "Pickin' and a Grinnin': Country Music and Radical Feminism" course is interrupted when Professor Sheen's lifeless body is found slumped over the departmental copy machine. In the havoc that ensues, Dolly Parton -- country music superstar by day, intrepid crime sleuth by night -- finds herself following the footnotes of an on-campus killer in...MURDER BY FOOTNOTEHow to Cite a Killer...
Featuring Dolly Parton, Catherine O'Hara, Rosie O'Donnell, Amy Sedaris, Parker Posey, Margaret Cho, Harry Shearer, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Edward James Olmos, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, Kerry Kenny & many many more...[It's very funny, if I do say. I've got about half the character bios written...
Now f I can dither it together to post the whole thing,
maybe while I'm s'posed to be grading...]
Thanks, Your Mom! 'Twas a hoot.
Whose next? Send your 5 Questions right along! StinkyLulu's gotta have as many distractions as possible as grading season kicks in...