Quoth Cassandra’s hair, ‘Nevermore!’

I didn’t want to overwhelm you with my Poe love yesterday, so I am doing this post today. Okay, honestly, I was a little under the weather last night when I got home from work and spent the entire evening on the couch watching an obscene amount of, How I Met Your Mother, but no matter better late than never. Yesterday marked the 164th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death and I had the supreme honor of doing a blog at work on ways to celebrate the brilliance that is Poe.

Of course I’ve been besotted with EAP since my days of youth, when as a wee lass I went on field trips to see the play, the Tell Tale Heart and every year was transfixed. Then as an adult I became obsessed with doing readings of Poe’s poetry, especially The Raven and I would ask my family if they would like to hear a reading to which they would respond by pretending not to hear, not responding at all, or a simple no thank-you. They don’t get it. So yesterday in my scouring of the internet for all things Poe, I of course came across his picture and it hit me how I, myself could honor Poe in my own way. Unbelievably lucky for me, I kind of look like Poe right now and I could dress like him and do my own reading to the world!

Okay, to explain. I am growing out my hair which was a pixie cut. If I am not on top of trims to shape my hair as I grow it out (which I have not been due to a lack of fundage. Much like the federal government, my hair is on shutdown until further notice) it looks markedly similar to Billy Ray Cyrus circa 1994, as in mullet-esque. But upon seeing pictures of Poe I realized Cyrus was out. My hair (recently dyed black-ish for a fun fall change) was an identical replica of EAP’s hair! What a happy coincidence! I could make use of my bad hair in honoring my idol (as much as I love beards I will not grow one for Hemingway, I have my boyfriend to do that for me).

The only problem I encountered in the plan (as my hair was already perfect) was the reading, if you are anything like my family, which I suspect you might be, I have a feeling I will lose you during my reading of The Raven as it is quite long. So I am going to suggest kindly, that you check out the amazing reading of The Raven that I featured on the other blog I wrote for Northern Virginia Magazine. It is awesome; James Earl Jones does it and I can’t really compete with that. But I will give you what you really want, which is the Poe makeover:



casssAaaaaaand spot on! Nailed it. I love Poe and I don’t care who knows it! P.S. I did not do my hair for the shoot. My routine, you ask? Simple. I took a shower last night, went to bed with wet hair, woke up and ta-da! Pure Poe-look-alike Perfection! Don’t know if you could possibly love him as much as I do unless you are willing to draw on a moustache with eye pencil and wrap one of your silk slips around your neck as a makeshift cravat. In case you aren’t a nerd and didn’t read romance novels all through high school, this is a cravat. Also I could probably now get a job as a Civil War re-enactor. Gosh the possibilities truly are endless. Now go read some Poe-try!

You are my pumpkin

It is 8:30 at night, I am drinking tepid coffee and I want to go to bed. My coffee was hot fifteen minutes ago, but I kind of forgot about it. I didn’t make it to keep me up. I am too desensitized to coffee now for that nonsense. I made it to go with the decadent pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that I made (my take on my mom’s sheet-cake recipe)

in celebration of it being fall and my constant need to have every form of pumpkin in my mouth or in my home until the clock strikes twelve on Thanksgiving night. Then I will retire my pumpkin obsession, replacing it with the much less fattening and considerably more annoying Christmas music obsession. Ah, but I love the holidays.
I am writing for three reasons. One: because I got this awesome new blog site, ahem, notice the .com. That’s as tantalizing as that pumpkin is. Two: I am so exhausted lately from the two jobs, the hours-long commutes every day in DC traffic, that I barely make it to 9 o’clock or my bed before sleep overwhelms me, and Three: because I write all day at work (more on the new internship at the posh magazine later) where I am fueled with creativity and swell ideas for my blog and then I come home, make dinner, maybe do the dishes, watch some DVR’d Sabrina the Teenage Witch because it brings me back to childhood even though watching it now makes me wonder why I liked it so much as a child and fall asleep on the couch. It’s entirely lame and unacceptable. So as I felt my eyes getting heavy before 9 even rolled around and I pondered getting one step ahead of the game and moseying on into bed instead of passing out on the couch, I said no. No, you are not going to bed at 8:30. You are not in the fourth grade. Get a grip woman.
So that’s all I have for you: my attempts to stay awake and write, wowing you with my new blogosphere and prompt you to go on a pumpkin-spree perhaps, starting with sharing my recipe, which if you know me, is something I always find hard to do as I view most of my recipes as coveted gems to hoard over people who don’t have a history of family baking.

Happy fall!

Pumpkin Cupcakes:

16 oz. can of pumpkin
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour (or white, I have been experimenting with whole wheat and I don’t taste a difference at all in cakes)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Temp: 350 for 18-20 minutes
Mix pumpkin, sugar, oil and eggs first, then add dry ingredients. Add two heaping spoonfuls to muffin tip, but don’t overflow.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. softened Greek yogurt cream cheese (or regular, just what I used and like to buy)
3 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla (I sometimes, and by sometimes I mean always over-pour here and like it)
2.5 cups powdered sugar