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Searching for The Great Pumpkin

By conversations 6 Comments

I decided I was going to make another attempt at the two-point chocolate cake, only this time, instead of a can of Diet Vanilla Coke, I was going to use a 15 oz. can of pumpkin.  That’s what Louise, my Weight Watchers leader, suggested.  So, we stopped at the PathMark on the way home and headed for the baking aisle.  We picked up the Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake mix and began searching for the canned pumpkin.

We looked in near the canned fruits, the canned vegetables, in the produce section and near the health foods.  Finally, a gangly-looking individual in the near the meats section asked if he could help us find anything.

“We’re looking for canned pumpkin.”

“Yeah, but not pumpkin pie mix, just plain old canned pumpkin,” I added.

“Oh,” the guy said, “not sure if we have any of that now.”

“You’re out of pumpkin?”

“Let’s check.  It would most likely be over here in baking goods.”

So, he pointed us in the direction of the pumpkin pie mix.  I guess he hadn’t heard me correctly when I said we just wanted plain canned pumpkin.  We thanked him for his help and trekked over to the Customer Service counter.

“Excuse me,” I asked.  “Do you know where I could find some canned pumpkin?”

“Oh dear,” the woman replied.  “We really only carry that around the holidays.”

“Not pumpkin pie mix,” I said, “just plain old pumpkin.”

“Yeah, we really only carry that around the holidays.”

“Grocery, please contact Customer Service.  Grocery,” the second woman shouted into the intercom system.

I saw the same gangly-looking guy making his way over toward us.  “No, no,” I said.  “We already asked him.”

“Oh,” she said. “Cancel that, Grocery.  Cancel.” Gangly guy kept walking toward us. “CANCEL that, Grocery.”

I shook my head and stomped off in a huff, putting the cake mix down next to some bananas before I walked out.

On the way over to FoodTown, I pondered the fact that PathMark considers canned pumpkin a holiday food.  Do they put it in the seasonal aisle with the holiday M&Ms and the red and green Hershey’s Kisses?  Does it go on clearance on  January 2?  Does no one attempt to use canned pumpkin for anything between the months of January and October?

Once inside the next grocery store, I headed straight for the baking aisle, and there it was — canned 100% pure pumpkin.  Score.  There were at least ten cans.  I guess FoodTown considers canned pumpkin a staple.

After purchasing the canned pumpkin, the chocolate cake mix, and two magazines, we headed home and I began the stirring process.  If you’ve never tried to stir a box of cake mix into 15 ounces of pumpkin, then you won’t understand the difficulty of this task.  24 minutes, two spoons, and a spatula later, I finally managed to get my cake into the oven.

If you’re thinking I’m crazy for putting this concoction together and actually eating it, don’t worry.  It’s actually pretty good for 2 points per piece.  Well, it tasted pretty good when I had it all over my face post-spoon licking, so I’m assuming it’ll be okay baked, too.  If you’re a Weight Watchers fan, here’s the recipe:

                                    2-Point Chocolate Cake

Ingredients: 1 box Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake mix, 1 15 oz. can 100% pure pumpkin

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix pumpkin and cake mix in large bowl.  (If this stirring takes more than 30 minutes and you weight more than 175 pounds, you may earn 1 activity point depending on the intensity of your stirring.)  Spread into greased pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until done.  Makes 24 servings; 2 points per serving.

Anyway, after all that, I’m off to enjoy a piece of chocolate cake and a huge glass of milk.

An Update On Stephen Getting A Job

By conversations, employment, technological enigmas 3 Comments

Stephen ambles into my room pre-shower this morning, hair tousled, no shirt, and states, “I’m going out to get a job.”  I give him one of those raised-eyebrow, yeah-okay-why-are-you-telling-me kind of looks before returning to what I was doing on my computer.  “Don’t tell mommy,” he says.

“What?” I begin to wonder why he’s out of bed before noon.

“Don’t tell mommy.”

“Whatever, Stephen, I don’t care.  Get out.”

“No, really, don’t tell her.”

“Where are you going to get a job?”

“I’m going to go get the graveyard shift at FoodTown from midnight to 5 a.m.”

Another raised-eyebrow look — this time of the you’re-so-stupid-and-you-don’t-even-know-it sort.

“Chris Lee is gonna do it, too.  It’s gonna be freaking awesome.”


“I’m not gonna tell mommy.  When she asks you where I am, you just tell her I’m out with my friends.”

“What is the point of this?”&nbsp It crosses my mind that I don’t recall FoodTown becoming a 24-hour establishment.

“She won’t know I have a job, but I’ll be out all night until 5:00, and I’ll have money in my pocket.”

I look up at him and he’s got this satisfied expression on his face like this is the most intelligent scheme he’s ever thought up.  “Stephen,” I say.

“Just promise you won’t tell her I have a job.  Shake on it.”  He extends his hand.

I start to extend mine in return and hesitate.

“Come on.  Shake my hand.”


“Shake my hand, and promise you won’t tell her. Shake on it.”

“Fine, I won’t tell her, but I don’t want to shake your hand.”

“Just, would you just shake my hand?”

“Did you wash it?”


“I’m not shaking on this stupidity.”

He puts his hand out and I reluctantly shake it, wondering why my VT Webmail page still hasn’t popped up.  This whole wireless Internet thing baffles me.

Stephen laughs and mumbles something like, “Yesssss,” before exiting the room.

Stephen’s Views On Getting A Job

By conversations, employment 7 Comments

After watching two rather dramatic episodes of JAG (one from Season 1 and one from Season 3), Stephen made a snide remark about my checklist. (If you do not know about the checklist – you’ll have to ask. It’s somewhat embarassing.) He told me the checklist was pathetic. I told him I had no life and nothing to do and that I made the checklist out of boredom. He then said, “I can’t believe that I already signed up for the Coast Guard and I have a job lined up and you don’t and they’re making me either get a job or pay rent and you don’t have to.”

“Stephen,” I replied, “your job doesn’t start until July. I have no job because I’m moving to Las Vegas in 12 days.”

“Yeah, but even if you didn’t go, they wouldn’t make you get a job.”

“Stephen,” I said, “if I weren’t moving to Las Vegas, I’d be moving to Richmond, and if I weren’t moving to Richmond, I’d stay here, and either way, I’d need a job. I have no money, I have nothing productive to do. I need a job, and I plan on getting one. You should get a job.” To which he intelligently replied that he can’t get a job because no one will hire him to work only two days a week.

“Two days a week? Who the hell works two days a week?”

“Well, maybe three.”

“Well, just tell the managers that you have to work around school.” (Which he doesn’t since he gave up Brookdale after half a semester back in October.)

“They’ll make me show them my schedule.”

“So write up a damn schedule and give it to them.”

“Huh.” (A short pause.) “I want to work three nights a week from like 5:00 to 8:00.”

“Are you joking?”

“My social life doesn’t really start until eight. I guess I could work until nine.”

“So, find a restaurant that closes by 10:00 every night and get a job bussing tables.”

“I said NINE, not ten. That’s too late.”

“So, find a restaurant that’s only open for breakfast and lunch–”

“I can’t get up that early. I can’t really be ready for work until like four.”

“Stephen. Get a grip.”

“No. I still don’t understand why I need a job. They should just give me $10 a week. I could live on that.”

“$10? A week? Why should mommy and daddy give you $10 a week?”


“Because what?”


“You’re ridiculous.”

A few simple things

By conversations, not ruling at life No Comments

It’s Beat-the-Clock Night with Lifespeed at Bar A tonight.  Stacey and I had plans to go but, she called me this morning to tell me she was sick and couldn’t go.  I hung up the phone and promptly decided I was going to kill her.  I was a little pissed off, especially because I’d given up tickets to see Gypsy on Broadway to go to the bar tonight.

After a few episodes of JAG, I decided I was over it and decided to give Rob a call.  He had a stressful day, so fortunately, I was able to make him laugh with my story about today’s bursting into tears over chili with my brother just because Stacey cancelled our bar plans.  After realizing how ridiculous I sounded, I decided I was being a bitch.

“You’re not a bitch,” Rob said.  “You’re just complicated.”

Oh.  Is that supposed to be better?  Haha.

The thing is, I’m not complicated.  I’m not even that much of a bitch.  I require a few simple things — good friends who are honest with me, return my calls, and refrain from cancelling our plans as much as possible.  Granted, you have to be quick-witted to keep up with a damn word I’m saying, and I have a bad habit of interrupting and rapidly changing the subject without notice, but I wouldn’t say that’s “complicated.”  It might be somewhat confusing, but definitely interesting, and almost always funny — but complicated?

“Maybe,” I replied.  “But, either way, I still hate stupid people.  And I have too many clothes.”