Friday, February 08, 2008

Of Bugs and Cake

Spelled the French way, with the "h"!

Not quite Of Mice and Men, but anyway...

First, the cake. It was my birthday last week. I turned 39 again. My husband brought me some absolutely fantastic sushi from Genji Japanese Restaurant in Ottawa, oh YUM! And my, what a great seaweed salad.

Gordie-goo (not his real pet name; his real pet name is a closely-guarded secret that I will reveal only in exchange for large quantities of chocolate-covered nuts) also picked up a divine birthday cake from my favourite bakery, Fidélice. If they have a website, I have yet to find it. But there are two locations in Gatineau, Québec. This will give you a clue. Then the Gordmeister took my birthday off work and we hung out, mostly at home because of a snowstorm. I killed him at Scrabble. Killed. Him. Scored almost 400. Cry like a girl, Gordon, cry like a girl.

Back to dessert. I LOVE this cake. I am not a big layer-cake kinda girl; in fact, I don't really have the world's biggest sweet tooth. Cheese and potatoes are my things (not necessarily together. But together can be good!) But this cake is too, too good: chocolate (!) puff pastry, a thin layer of chocolate, chocolate cream, glazed fruit-o-rama, and chocolate curls. I died and went to Heaven, or wherever it is girls who lie about their age on their blogs go to.

It didn't last long.

And now, to gross out all you squirmy girls (and the odd boy): for Christmas this year, I got a microscope from my husband (He's amazing and I love him even when he loads the dishwasher with three spoons stuck together with oatmeal and expects them to come clean. It's our 15th anniversary this spring! We've been an item for almost 19 years. I feel older than 39. Probably because I AM older than 39. Oops. Did I say that in my out-loud voice? )

As well as a microscope, I have a helluva lot of ladybugs. This is a rural/century home thing. We get cluster flies (disgusting) in the warmer months as well, but for some reason the ladybugs have hung on through the winter, although in smaller quantities than in summer. Now we have maybe a dozen ladybugs here and there, instead of hundreds dying on the windowsills, the floors... one even fell in my soup pot last fall! The cats think they are fun little toys (the ladybugs, not the soup pots.) I keep squashing them under my slippers by accident (the ladybugs, not the cats.) Now before you get totally disgusted, there aren't THAT many (ladybugs, not cats) around, and as my friends will tell you, I am a bit of a neat freak, so don't worry, my house is not carpeted with squashed bug carcasses. Okay? Okay.

But even though we don't have a lot of ladybugs right now, I continue to find them here and there, dying slow, lingering, upsidedown deaths on my windowsills. And no matter how many times I helpfully flip them onto their feet, they always end up on their backs again (sort of like some of the more notorious girls in my high school.) I used to think ladybugs were cute. Now I tend to vacuum them up to that Great Ladybug Paradise in the sky. Well, I still think they're cute, so long as they are outside eating aphids, not inside drowning in my soup. Or tea. Or toilet.

ANYHOO, I decided to look at one through my microscope. I found a ladybug corpse on my desk, which I thought was truly dead until I put it under the lamp and it began to move its legs. EEEEEYUW! Those who know me know I am not squeamish, but I make a lot of embarrassingly girlish noises when I look at bugs under a microscope. Gordon finds that highly amusing. He finds much about me highly amusing. I am his own personal comedy show.

You'll notice that despite my girlish squealing and squirming, I continue to look at bugs under the microscope, and even take photos (I won't disgust you with a photo of a magnified, dessicated cluster fly. That's how much I care about the sensibilities of you, my audience of 10, 574 fans, or my five fans who have visited 2114.98 times), mainly for the enjoyment of my viewing public. And Happy Wombat Boy, who has by far the best name of any of my commenters and to whom I present the Special Blog Commenter Award.

And so I give to you...

Ladybug in Throes of Death Under Really Hot Microscope Lamp, With Small Amount of Cat Hair Stuck to its Ladybug Butt:

I hope no one was eating cake when they looked at that. It sort of reminds me of when I was a horrible kid and used to bake bugs in my Easy Bake Oven (geez, now it has a real element and not just a stupid light bulb!) because my Mum was too cheap to buy me the cake mix after the ones that came with oven ran out! I didn't leave this ladybug under the light for too long, but rather swept it onto the floor for the cat to play with.

How sad. I am only marginally younger than the Easy Bake Oven. The things you learn on the web.

That's enough for today! Tomorrow: Carcass of the Day!


  1. Happy 39th birthday Pnatalie!! You have some yummy foods on your blog today.

    I'll be waiting with baited breath for tomorrow's carcus of the day. I too have a microscope and I'm not afraid to use it.

    Btw, ladybugs are special around here because they eat aphids on my citrus trees.

  2. Plagues of Lady Bugs (the likes of which I had never seen until I moved to my farm) can bring out the mad scientist in any of us.

    Now, I want you to slightly soften you vision. Blur your focus. That lady bug makes a rather lovely template for a border design, don't you think? A hooked rug, not romanticizing the silly spotted shell, but praising, evening lauding the real under belly!!

  3. Anonymous12:25 pm

    The cake AND the bug look "out-of-this-world" but in different directions. ;)

    man how sad about that guy in seattle. For a city that claims to be so artsy fartsy, they certainly don't take care of their artists.

    and happy anniversary .. a little in advance. You can the caber have an enviable and very rare relationship :)

  4. Happy belated birthday!!!

    That cake looked sooooo yummy.

    Ah! Don't you just love the free cat toys that just keep them entertained?

    ~ Wolf Lover Girl

  5. Anonymous1:05 am

    Do you have any sushi photo? I heard so much about Genji and wonder if I should pay a visit there for lunch or dinner.

  6. Alas, no photos of the sushi, but there are photos on the Genji website, I think.

    Robin, I am behind on the Carcass Report. Must get on that.

    Crowzma, my sister, you understand the ladybug thing. Bless you!

    I need to turn 39 again so I can have another cake.

  7. Wow. My first internet award ever! And here I thought it would look something more like this, given your penchant for kine.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!