And now I want to tell you about my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
I don’t believe in marriage.
No, I really don’t. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it’s a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it’s a happy delusion – these two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they’re about to make each other. But, but, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don’t think it’s conservative or delusional. I think it’s radical and courageous and very romantic.
– Tina Modotti in Frida
I’m writing this post from 31,000 feet above the North Atlantic (according to the monitor on the back of the seat in front of me). It’s both laughable and mind-boggling that I have internet access from within a giant, metal vessel that’s carrying me (and a few hundred other people) halfway across the planet at a ground speed of exactly 693mph. It’s also laughable (and mind-boggling) that I actually thought $22 was an acceptable amount of money to pay for 14 hours of internet access when I scoff at the cell phone company for charging us about the same amount for an entire month of browsing-on-the-fly. It’s crazy, the things you’ll do when you find yourself trapped in the middle of a Boeing 777 – with your husband sitting next to you, hogging the armrest and playing what seems like a never-ending game of solitaire – questioning how many typos were in the scheduled version of that boozy, celebratory blog post and if it was even scheduled for the right day.
I never intended on doing something as crazy as making our wedding cake. But then one day, late March, I was so bored out of my mind that I decided to make a cake. A boozy number that was comprised of chocolate stout layers smothered with Irish cream frosting and doused in whiskey ganache. And upon taking my first bite I thought: OH MAN. This would make for a delicious wedding cake. And upon taking my second bite I thought: I SHOULD TOTALLY MAKE OUR WEDDING CAKE.