Let me gush for a while about the movie Wreck-It Ralph.
I really love Wreck-It Ralph. I really really really fucking love Wreck-It Ralph.
Matt and I were excited about this movie since details about it first began to emerge. To avoid almost certain disappointment I tried my best to temper my expectations, and to avoid any reviews or spoilers. I am not a movie person; I see maybe two or three films in the theatre per year. Getting me to watch a movie at home is like forcing a cat into the bath. But I watched Wreck-It Ralph an unprecedented twice on the big screen, and then again immediately when the Blu-ray hit store shelves. Never in my life has a movie made me feel like I might burst from combined happiness, heartache, and pure visual delight.
Maybe I empathize with Ralph a little too much. I could not tell you how many nights I have sat silently, staring at my knobby, callused hands and trying to understand why I seem only capable of destroying everything that I create. I know too well the soul-grinding dichotomy between accepting what you are, and trying to be what other people want. How many times have I had to play the bad guy because someone needed a villain? I have known the frightened expression on another’s face when they looked at me and saw a monster.
“It’s game over for both of you!” “No, just for me.”
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My birthday party was over a month belated, but I had been collecting things for it since November: decorated plates, toys, and candy. So much candy. In the end, I still ran out of time to complete everything. One day set aside for preparation was spent on our back yard, and the following morning we drove across town to adopt two serendipitous baby rats. Carpe rattus, y’know?
The candy frame was designed and assembled by me: an unfinished wooden frame, paint, hard candies, hot glue, and two cans of Rust-Oleum high-lustre lacquer were used. The chalkboard was painted on masonite-like board, and I planned to draw King Candy on it. The centerpieces were made from gummi candies, bamboo skewers, and cello bags tied with yellow curling ribbon.
Lollipops, chocolate coins, and candy necklaces finished the table.
I was reasonably pleased with the Vanellope von Schweetz cake, which was two chocolate layers with chocolate frosting. (I did not have any. Like Ralph, I also do not like chocolate very much.) The trim was homemade buttercream. My cake frosting skills need improvement, but the sprinkles were great.
The Ralph and Felix cake was more disappointing. It was the very last thing I did, and my hands were beginning to ache and crack from repeated washing. This was made from a yellow half-sheet cake, with two smaller yellow cakes layered, trimmed down, and placed on top. The frosting is all buttercream. I had big plans. There were going to be windows, a door, a path, little bushes around the building… the brick outlines were pretty bad. It tasted good.
I came away from this party with a renewed desire to expand my kitchen and photography abilities. I have no grand delusions of becoming a master chef or attending culinary school, but I would like to produce professional-looking meals and desserts of consistently-good quality. My mediocre photography is also holding me back from sharing what I can do in the most appealing way. I think it is time to start saving for a Serious Camera, and looking for formal, affordable classes that are compatible with my insomniac schedule.