No sooner do I finally get used to writing “2013” in the blog title instead of “2o12” than I have to start writing “2014”.  2014!  It just feels like yesterday the world was supposed to end – back in 2012.  Or at the end of 1999.  I’ve got to stop selling off my worldly possessions and accept the fact that armageddon is NOT around the corner.  Of course, I say that now and, two months down the line when the world ends, I’ll be the guy with egg all over my face.  And all of my worldly possessions.

While the apocalypse may not be upon us – yet – I’ve noticed a definite speeding up of my sense of time.  It seems the older I get, the quicker the days, weeks, months, even years pass by.  My friend Alexander claims this is because when we’re younger, we’re constantly experiencing new things – as opposed to the mundane routine of our later years.  New experiences apparently influence our perception of time differently than habitual activity.  Trying new things and mixing things up may not, technically, give you a longer life – but it’ll certainly feel that way.

Now I’m a guy who likes his routine, so this is going to be a bit of a challenge, but I’m going to try anyway.  I’m going to start injecting a little “different” in every one of my days.  I’m not sure how or what, but it’ll be new and interesting and, no doubt, blog-worthy.

Maybe I’ll start a new hobby (for about a month before switching to another so that I don’t want to fall into a routine), or travel somewhere new in completely new ways (backpacking through Yemen?), or a second, third, maybe even a fourth career (hat designer, glassblower, goji juice salesman, ayurveda healer).   Have any suggestions for me?  Let’s hear ’em!

Speaking of “the effects of re-experience”, Mike A. posted the following question today: “When you watch a finished episode(as it was aired) of a show you’ve worked on, does being the writer/director/showrunner/EP(or whatever your role on a particular episode might have been) “taint’ your viewing experience somehow? Are you able to watch your show with the same kind of objectivity we do? Logic would dictate no because you already know what’s going to happen. But you’re a smart guy and a definite fan of not only the craft, but the story as well who truly appreciates others’ work when it’s well done. So, that tells me yes. I just think it’d be challenging to watch something you were there for the making of and enjoy it to the same level as a regular viewer. Or, is the finished product(after VFX, sound, editing) far enough removed from what was shot(the first hand/personal experience) that making that psychological distinction is a little easier?”

Answer: It really depends on the episode.  Any shortcomings are always magnified, any bad memories certain to taint my enjoyment when I sit down to re-watch something I wrote.  It’s very rare I actually sit through one of my episodes and think: “That was great!”.  More often than not, it’s “That could have been better!”. There are, however, instances in an episode which will elicit an occasional: “That was great!”.  Most recently, the last 15 minutes of Insurrection II.


And, speaking of trying something new like, say, a new business – I met up with my old buddy, Phil, the other day and he informed me that his young daughter had started her very own cupcake company!  Out of a desire: 1) to help out my friend’s daughter and 2) for cupcakes, I ordered a half dozen of each, six Coconut Courtneys and six Red Velvet Vickys.  I picked them up on my way home from shopping and discovered Phil had surprised me with two extra flavors: a Vanilla Vanessa and a Cookie Dough Carly.  Cookie dough!  In a cupcake!  I couldn’t wait to get back home and try it…

Proud Poppa
The Proud Poppa
The Enterprising Entrepreneur
The Enterprising Entrepreneur

I arrived home to discover my mother entertaining two of her neighbors.  “Offer them some cupcakes!”said my mother in Italian.  I opened up the box and set them down on the table offering the first neighbor a choice between: “Coconut or red velvet?”.  She chose the red velvet.  I then gave the other (more, er, colorful) neighbor the same choice: “Coconut or red velvet?”.

“What’s that?”she asked, pointing to my single cookie dough cupcake (Yes, mine.  I’d laid claim the second Phil had told me there was one in the box).

“Cookie dough,”I informed her.

“Cookie dough?”she asked, clearly perplexed.  And then: “Okay, I’ll take that.”

“It’s cookie dough,”I attempted to enlighten her.  “RAW cookie dough.”

“Yeah, that’s okay.”

So one neighbor ate the red velvet cupcake, and the other ate my cookie dough cupcake.  I consoled myself with a coconut cupcake.  And, later, a red velvet cupcake.  And the vanilla cupcake.  And another coconut cupcake.  They were delicious with a perfect cake to frosting ratio!  The one neighbor found the red velvet especially good because it wasn’t too sweet.  “Mine was a little sweet,”said the other neighbor.

“Of course it was a little sweet!”I wanted to say.  “It’s filled with cookie dough!!!!”

And, for the record, I love SWEET cookie dough!

Ah, well.  Maybe next trip!

Jazzy Cakes – Wix

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Deni’s grandson, Michael/Anakin in honor of his first birthday!

53 thoughts on “January 2, 2014: The Change-up! Jazzycakes Cupcakes!

  1. Damn – it man! How could you let her get away with eating your cupcake? I would have wrestled her to the floor for it! There is such a thing as being too polite, you know. Next time, I expect a good solid fight. No hitting below the belt, but a strong right cross was and is in order. And…pictures, or it didn’t happen.

  2. Do what my little niece does; she’ll take her time choosing a chocolate, then bite into it, and make the cutest face when she puts it back in the box. She left tiny bite marks in the scones and the dinner rolls. She happily offers to share her half nibbled leftovers, but she rarely gets any takers.

    Next time be sure to pre-nibble your fave, no one will want to trouble it later.

  3. Joe – Another theory as to why time seems to happen more quickly as you get older is because as your life gets longer, the same time frames take up a smaller fraction of your experience.

    So, for instance, when you are 20, 1 year of your life is 1/20th. When you are 50, 1 year of your life is 1/50th.

    It’s a proportional perception thing…..

    aka Bloomgate

  4. Yeah….pre-nibble. OR…because it is a “very odd and strange” type of cupcake, cut it in half or even quarters, so she won’t be stuck with the whole terrible thing. sigh…

    Hey when are you leaving for Van?

    Re: 2014…already got caught in several things I’m doing with the wrong year. Oh well.

  5. I looked on the website for the cupcakes and they all look delish, especially the Lemon Lola ones. 🙂

    Thanks so much for the dedication, Joecito, very much appreciated. 🙂

    Hey, how are your pups doing? Mine are bored to tears with this rain and are fighting over a Nylabone. They have 6 of them. Oy.

  6. It does seem like the year has gone by quite quickly, next thing you know it’ll be 2015, another year older too lol. Oh and the cupcake subject, I would limit myself to just 1 if I had the choice, mostly because anymore would seem a bit much.

  7. I suppose there are advantages to having a diabetic mother. My mom might have eaten a bite of cupcake but she physically couldn’t have eaten the whole thing without going into a coma! Since you didn’t get the cookie dough cupcake, you’ll have to order that one again. Pretty cupcakes!

    We splurged on cupcakes Monday. You can’t tell from the picture but they have glitter on them.
    Our flavors were: 1 pecan pie, 1 coconut cream, 3 triple chocolates and a cookie filled with icing (hubby’s idea). The pecan pie and the chocolate ones were the best! They each had cream fillings too. I love cupcakes!

    It just feels like yesterday the world was supposed to end – back in 2012. Or at the end of 1999. Do you remember all the craziness of 1999? One of my hubby’s friends went survivalist. He started stockpiling guns, food and supplies. Later they found he had a brain tumor.

    I wrote my first 2014 check today and didn’t I flub the date. I flubbed the amount on the check but not the date! Progress.

    G’day all!

  8. Oh and I don’t think age reflects the passage of time, I just think when you’ve had a good year and things have gone by quickly, things just seem like they’ve you know, gone fast?

    I think as long as you can look back on the year and are happy with how things have went, that’s enough.

  9. It is interesting that you bring up new experiences. I, too, have been wanting to try something different. Maybe it is my mid-life crisis (just turned 50) talking. But, ever since I did the Half Dome hike this year, I’ve really been wanting to experience new things.

    I find this odd because I’m really a “rut” person. I like my routine.

    Now to go find something new to do… like take out the trash without being asked.

  10. …I ordered a half dozen, six Coconut Courtneys and six Red Velvlet Vickys.

    Math isn’t your strong point, is it? 😉


  11. Not sure about cookie dough… it’s got a sticky texture that sticks to the roof of my mouth… The others sound good though – except maybe the coconut. For some reason, I can’t stand the taste of anything with dessicated coconut, but I’ll eat fresh young coconut meat no probs.

    I don’t think new experiences make time seem longer, but then the more I thought about it, the more plausible it seemed, that is until I started thinking about meetings. If you want time to slow down, you need to sit in more boring meetings. That way each minute will seem like an hour or a whole day and by the time the meeting is over (usually at lunch time or by the end of the day), you might have aged a decade. Also, you feel as if you did heaps, whereas you hardly did anything besides try not to fall asleep.

    Anyway, when I was little, I found that new experiences seemed to fill up my day and make time faster, rather than slower, but then again, as the years went by, it began to seem more like I was on a train going through life in a blur. So perhaps the new experiences stamp a ‘stand still’ in time – like a photograph for your memory. That way it seems like time was slower.

    Time goes fastest when you’re having fun or have a deadline to meet though.

  12. @Joe:

    On second or third jobs, I’m surprised you didn’t come up with:

    1. Open a French/Italian/Japanese Fusion Bakery (so you have the nights off). Akemi would be a great creative asset!

    2. Pitch a food network show where you take accomplished genre cooks (French, Italian, Japanese, BBQ, Mexican, etc.) and force them to create a meal around an unfamiliar cuisine (e.g. the French chef makes Tex Mex, the Italian chef makes BBQ, et cetera). Then have the meals graded by judges from the target cuisine.

    Hmmm. Now that I wrote all that out, I think I saw a show where something like this was done, so maybe not a good idea. How about a Japanese Italian Bakery Show featuring you and Akemi?

    And on the cupcake maybe you could have said, “I really wanted to try the cough-dough flavor. How about I get a knife and we split it?”

    @Deni (Anakin):

    Happy Birthday! 🙂

  13. Love your post today. Real writer-ish. 🙂 Oh Joe, too bad about your cookie dough cupcake. You’ve got to be quicker on your feet when it comes to claiming your dessert. And the names she had chosen for her cupcakes were so cute. I wonder if they were named after her friends.

    You know what they say. “Time flies when you’re having fun”. Maybe as you get older you learn how to enjoy life more. I’m older tomorrow. The big double nickle.

  14. I often think about how my 95 year old grandmother perceives time. The years must come and go in a blink of an eye!

    Change is definitely good for the brain. I’ve changed countries 3 times in the last 20 years (Australia -> New Zealand -> Australia -> England) and it certainly stops me getting into a rut!

    Those cupcakes look good! The cookie dough one wouldn’t have even made it out of the car let alone inside to be offered to someone else.

    Re: Mike A’s question. For me, working on movies definitely taints my experience when I finally see the finished product. After seeing the same thing over and over again through many iterations it’s impossible to forget all that and watch it with fresh eyes. You see things that you wanted to do better but just didn’t have the time or the money. Watching rough cuts of the film or storyboard animatics with temporary actors doing the voice who you think did a better job than the actors in the final film. Certain shots remind you of late nights or arguments over rendering priorities (I’m looking at you, Balrog!). That’s why I like the third Lord Of The Rings movie so much . . . I didn’t work on it! 🙂

  15. Hey Joe
    Just wait until you’re as old as me. Time flies and not just when you’re having fun.


  16. I would have spit on the cookie dough cupcake, or at least told her that you did. “Um, I should just tell you, I had that one out looking at it, and accidentally sneezed on it. It’s yours if you want it, though!”, spoken through a wet, croaking cough.

    Anyway, I’ve heard that theory about being in a rut making time go faster and I’m inclined to agree. When I’m traveling somewhere totally new, the trip seems much longer and has more “depth” than when I go somewhere I’ve been before and can kind of sleepwalk through most of it. I also think that as we live longer, each year actually IS a smaller percentage of our total lifespan (and therefore total life experience), and thus seems to go faster. I also find that looking too far forward tends to make time go faster too, as in “I can’t wait until Spring so I can finally not freeze to death in five minutes like today”. I’m trying to live more in the moment.

    “or travel somewhere new in completely new ways…” You guys should visit the Maritimes this year! I still owe you that lobster supper!

    Did I mention it’s $%#$ cold out here? Oh, and we’re supposed to have a blizzard tomorrow. Yay!

  17. i would’ve taken the cupcake i claimed out or said that one was spoken for. but here’s your chance to support the business & buy one.

    Have any suggestions for me? Let’s hear ‘em!
    for a new career it would be cool if you could find something tied in to what you like. something to do with food, maybe travel, & japan should be involved too. if you could get a job as a food critic for a travel magazine in japan, you’d have it made.

  18. Lick your cupcake! No one will want it. Unfortunately, this is also a sad and creepy lesson given to young Mormon teens. They gather for their Young Adult Mutual class (religious meeting on a weeknight). The teacher brings cupcakes, just enough for one each. The teacher then licks the frosting off one of the cupcakes and passes around the tray, someone is left without a treat, because no one wants the licked cupcake. Frosting = virtue. They also teach it with chewed gum. Yeah.

    New experience? There’s always Burning Man. We have a lot of BC burners, you could carpool.

  19. “Different” suggestions”:
    1. Attempt a visual art. I can barely draw a straight line, so I play with color, using pencils, markers, even crayons with abstract coloring books or hard copies of online abstract images.…….0…
    2. Play with textiles–sewing, knitting, crochet, macramé. There are plenty of free tutorials on the Web for knitting & crocheting, and I’d be glad to give you a crochet lesson this summer in exchange for a few Vancouver restaurant recommendations.
    3. Instead of your usual treadmill workout, try a recumbent or three-wheeled bike, indoors or outdoors.
    4. Volunteer at a meal kitchen, food bank, thrift store, or shelter.
    5. Prepare for emergencies: Take a first aid /CPR class

  20. “…I ordered a half dozen, six Coconut Courtneys and six Red Velvlet Vickys.”

    @Das (and Joe): Apparently, spelling is also a problem. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  21. @ Deni – LOL! I missed that!!! 😆 I supposed I’ve grown used to Joey’s creative way with words. 😉


  22. I’ve heard time seems to speed up because each new day becomes more and more dwarfed by the sum of all our memories. I don’t think you can affect that without memory loss.

    New Experiences for Joe sounds like an awesome brainstorming session. Double points if it induces memory loss.

  23. Also, I learned a new term a few days ago, “gas lighting”, after a movie called “Gaslight”. Interesting!

  24. As long as we’re all playing… I found another typo 🙂
    “No sooner do I finally get used to writing “2013″ in the blog title instead of “2o12″ than I have to start writing “2014″.

    For a new hobby, how about gardening? Be your own local source for veggies!

  25. Now, this is cool. I’m the first poster. Yay, me!

    @Das: I’m also the first and second curser as you pointed out. Thanks for that. Maybe I should keep up my batting average and go for a third day in a row!!

    Joe, who makes the best poutine in Montreal?


  26. Oh, one more comment: Joe, if you are taking up new hobbies, why not learn to fly? Since you have the time, a pilot’s license might be the perfect answer to all your doggie transporter woes. It’s ether that, or invent an actual transporter. But since neither Dr. McCoy or Dr. Becket really like them, the concept has to be awesome.

    By the way, did you hear that some crazy fans are trying to actually build a working Stargate? Abydos anyone?

  27. I would have been really rude and taken the cupcake out of the box, and when asked about the empty place, explained it was a special cupcake made for you. If she really wanted it, I would have given it to her.

    Happy Birthday to Michael/Anakin. A few years down the line it would be interesting to know if he likes his birthday so close to Christmas. :p

  28. G”day

    Talking about time flying, hard to believe Michael is now one. Incredible.

    Was my no.2 daughter’s birthday the other day and yes she hates her birthday so close to Christmas.

  29. I will not be very evil and give ideas. 😆

    But married and have children count as new and intense moments than a new hobby. :mrgreen:

  30. @articgoddess on Joe getting a pilot’s license:

    I did this myself back in my late 30’s. It cost about $6,000 and 4-hours on Saturdays for about two years (including a number of evenings studying for my written exam). I’ve heard that the CAA has similar training rules, so the study-time should be about the same, but I would expect the training cost to be higher in Vancouver due to the congested airspace and the limited access to small public airports for flight training. So maybe $10K to 15K?

    If YVR is class C (mixed Commercial/Transport with General Aviation), there might be some flight training there; I’ll have to go check.

  31. @gforce: “gaslighting” is a wonderful word! But so few people know what it means. 🙁 If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should! I’ll bet das has seen it.

    @Joe: new business choices…. Hmmmm… For you and Akemi, I think a small scale catering service would be just the thing. You could help people plan the menu, provide the food and subcontract a set-up and cleanup crew! That sort of business (if you are not counting on it for primary income) would let set your own hours and fit in your writing and traveling!

  32. I have a proposal:

    I think we need to establish a write-in campaign to get Joe on Iron Chef as a guest judge! He does have a highly placed contact there, he is knowledgeable about food and cooking, and he is absolutely charming on camera!

  33. Joey, don’t you know it’s against the law to tamper with the evidence? You may be able to go back and cover your tracks, but there were witnesses, ya know, and our silence isn’t easily bought. I see you as having a choice now…either erase our $10 mil debt to you, or we’ll squeal!! 😀

    News of Note: The forecasted 1-3″ of snow for us turned out to be 8″. 😛 Time to shovel the snow, which is a bit different from what I shovel around here… 😉


  34. @JeffW, Alexis and Janet: Thanks, guys, this kid’s the love of my life!

    We’re freezing our butts off here, too. Right this very minute, I can’t wait till we move to Tampa (yikes, that’s this month), but I’ll be complaining about the heat in no time, no worries. 🙂 I AM SO OUT OF THIS TWO-HORSE TOWN!

  35. @ Sparrowhawk – I’ve seen BOTH versions of Gaslight, in fact. The famous 1944 version, and the lesser-known 1940 British version (also called Angel Street). Not sure which I like best. There’s something less Hollywood about the 1940 version that I enjoy, but I love the cast of the ’44 version. Mebbe it’s a tie. 🙂

    @ Deni – While your little grandbaby is testing your Cuteness Tolerance Levels, my Boo! is doing the same with me. Here he is watching birdies at the feeders (it’s a tad dark – blame the cheapy ancient flip phone camera):


  36. Deni: You’re moving to Tampa? Have you found a house yet? Good luck and I hope Anakin is feeling better today.

    I’m glad we didn’t get the snow Das got but it sure is cold today. I did my laps in the YMCA pool and have a big pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. What is everyone else up to today?

  37. @Tam Dixon: Yep, we’re OUTTA HERE! House hunting is ongoing, much discussion about where, pool/no pool, blah blah. Just get me outta here and I’ll figure it out later. 🙂

  38. @ Tam D – Today I have:

    1. Made breakfast (oatmeal cooked with milk, with maple syrup, a dash of apple pie spice, and fresh blueberries. along with porkroll and oj and coffee).

    2. Shoveled snow.

    3. Made beds, did dishes, and the other basic morning chores.

    4. Shoveled snow.

    5. Enjoyed watching the cats watching the birds.

    6. Shoveled snow.

    7. Helped Mr. Das fix our mailbox that was knocked over and busted up by the snowplow. 😡 Fortunately the box itself is okay – it’s the post that got splinted up. We made a temp fix, hoping it will hold til spring.

    8. Made lunch (tomato soup and grilled cheese sammich for hubby, just soup for me).

    9. Watched an episode of Jail (the next best thing to Cops – the only ‘reality’ type thing I watch – I like law enforcement stuff).

    10. Seriously considered going to a PCAA meeting (Peanut Chew Addicts Anonymous). I swear, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are pure crack! I’m gonna blame every pound I gain this winter on them.

    And now? Hubby’s going to shovel snow down at our house of worship, so I’m taking a NAP…with a big, fat CAT! A real CATNAP! WOOOOOO!!!! I’m taping a live rugby match (can’t sleep to that), so I think I’ll pop in a Charlie Chan flick – I love my politically incorrect Chinese detective! 😀


  39. hmm. how about mini cupcakes? then you can at least get a bite of a flavor without having to give away the only one… maybe your friend’s chef daughter could create them? Just think, 3 or 4 times the cupcakes, everyone gets to sample the different ones?

  40. Have you ever tried the cupcake sandwich? You take your cupcake brake it in half horizontally, usually just under the cupcake top; then take the cupcake bottom and place it on top of the cupcake You get cupcake top, frosting, and then cupcake bottom, thus making a sandwich. My best friend’s mother did this all the time in high school. I still do it every now and again; especially when the cupcake has an overabundance of frosting. It is something new to try :O)

  41. Ah, see, what you should have done was set the box down, take the lid off, casually grab your cupcake, and then offer the others. If you really don’t want to give something away, you shouldn’t give it away just for the sake of being polite. You should give things away with a generosity of spirit, otherwise there’s no point.

  42. Thanks for answering my question Joe(and Line Noise!). It’s a suspicion I’ve thought about for a while. I’d imagine it’s tough finding that balance of critiquing one’s work versus watching objectively as a “fresh” viewer(i.e. starting with no preconceived notions, like with a fresh slate).

    I’m sure for someone in your position, Joe, it made it nice when you had a show that had multiple contributing writers where you got to enjoy the great episodes written by Brad Wright, Rob Cooper, or Carl Binder. I’m sure those episodes are MUCH easier to watch give the separation from the “source material”. I wonder if one can ever achieve that same level of disassociation when they’re the writer of the show they’re watching. Probably not. 😉

    The double edged sword of the review of someone’s work should always be to improve one’s craft, but it can also be a stinging reminder of how we fell short. We all have our shining, glorious moments, but sometimes, our turds shine just as bright! (I’m drawing on my own personal experiences on that one. I know the feeling quite well. Twenty years later, I still get ribbed by my friends about it!)

    As for the correct way to eat a cupcake vid….I’m actually pretty close! If the frosting and decor are too high for my mouth to engulf(I have a small mouth as it is), I usually rip off the bottom portion to eat first, then two bites or more for the remaining piece. I started doing this years ago for other reasons as well:

    1) For the fancy ones, I wanted to get the boring bit out of the way. There’s no frosting down there, it’s just filler, an opening act, if you will, for the main attraction.

    2) Since I’ve had facial hair in one form or another for the last 15 years, I didn’t necessarily want to be wearing the top portion of the cupcake in my mustache. They’re a lot less fun to eat that way.

    3) I’ve always been kind of an etiquette aficionado and while I’m sure there’s nothing specific for cupcakes, I’d rather be seen taking five or more small bites than two massive ones while eating a cupcake.

    4) Even if there’s nothing fancy on top of the cupcake, my time as a child taught me that the frosting is the best part. So, I save it for last to enjoy the most!

    -Mike A.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.