The God of Cake

It seems best to start this post out with the picture first. Once again, Julia Child's magic book has turned me into something more than I am. My cousin and I decided to tackle one of Julia's cake recipes this weekend. Despite being horrible at reading directions and (quite frankly) crap at execution this vision turned out better than we thought was possible! This cake blows every expectation you have of chocolate cake out of the water. It's dense and smooth and the almond and rum make for a chocolate experience like you've never had before. A word on rum: I'm not sure how pirates (or anybody) drink the stuff. It smells like paint thinner. Use in a well ventilated area. The icing is basically chocolate butter, and speaking as one who is normally not a fan of frosting it is a revelation. So far we are 2 for 2 with Julia's cook book. Chocolate Almond Cake is a winner for sure.


Moving, Remodeling, and Other Stuff

In case you hadn't heard, I QUIT! It's true. After giving it some thought back in the beginning of February (right about the time I was facing the ominous onset of my 30's) I decided that it really was time to stop working for the engineering company I was working for and who's house I was living in and find something else to do. The job offered me an AMAZING amount of flexibility schedule-wise and paid the bills, but it really had no prospects for advancement or promotion. Plus, living in a house owned by my employer really put me in a pretty much constantly close proximity to work. So hence, I QUIT! I'm still working for the railroad with some pretty big projects coming up this summer and of course there is the laundromat, but currently I'm still on the search for another job. I didn't time my exit from my position with engineering company really well so my house remodel was not quite done ( well let's be honest, nowhere near done really) when I moved out of the company house at the end of February so I set my office up in my unfinished basement, scattered my stuff around between family and storage and have been staying with my Grandparents (who conveniently live right across the street from my new house) until I can move in. Here are some before and current pics of the what's been done so far.

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen Currently:

Living Room Before:

Living Room Currently:

Anyway, you get the idea. All the wall board on the outside walls has been removed. I've removed all the old plumbing and one wall. As soon as my contractor gets back into town he's going to replace all the windows. I'll be starting on the new wiring and insulation (not looking forward to the insulation part). I've got a couple of things to clean up this week first though. I've been removing all the old carpeting tack strips and staples and I need to do a few yard work things this week while the weather is nice. Things are moving along though. 

In other news: I've been helping the missionaries out some with all the spare time I've had. Took a quick trip to LA to see my brother and his family last week. Registered as candidate for public office (TV District Board Seat E). Of course the aforementioned applying for jobs. I was even able to spend some time in the garage yesterday which I don't think I've been able to do for awhile. 
There really is nothing more satisfying than a clean and organized garage (I know this might not look like a clean and organized garage but I assure you it is).