“barely do I sense that faint tug” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday February 7, 2018
7:13am
5 minutes
Hiking With My Shadow
Don McKay

Mimi makes the chocolate birthday cake for Don’s birthday. She mixes wet and dry. Stirs in eggs and oil. She meticulously follows her mother’s recipe. It’s Don’s favourite cake. She’ll make the frosting and ice the cake tomorrow, right before the party.

“Mimi?” Don’s home early.

“I’m in the kitchen.” Of course she is. He knows that’s where to find her. She whisper calls, because Jonah’s napping.

“Mimi, it’s Dad. He’s in the hospital in Calgary and I have to go right away.”

“We’ll come with you…” She’s already taking off her apron.

“No, no… There’s no point. He’ll probably be dead by the time I get there.”

“street cake!” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday August 25, 2017
9:12pm
5 minutes
From a text

I preheat the oven while you select a record. I’m not sure what exactly you choose, we’ve been hitting up garage sales, but it’s sexy and it’s got vocals and some horns, so it’s all good. You asked for cake this morning, and all day at work I dreamed about what wouldn’t require softened butter. I dreamed about caramel and vanilla, or, chocolate, yes! Chocolate. I use coconut oil because it’s so very good for you and I sift the ingredients and you watch me and sometimes grab at me and I push you away but only for now.

“street cake!” By Julia on her bed


Friday August 25, 2017
9:01pm
5 minutes
from a text

I asked your what you wanted and you said street cake. I walked around the city knocking on doors, begging bakeries. Nobody made what you were looking for. I didn’t want your birthday to be memorable in the wrong way so I decided to try making one from scratch. I didn’t know what to do so I asked all the good people of the Internet. They didn’t know either. Finally, I deduced I had the choice of a few things: stick some toy cars on the cake and sprinkle Oreo crumbs for the drive way, or vanilla cream frosting with the word “street” written in icing. I was running out of ideas. Then you called and it all made sense. “Sheet cake!” you said, “I said sheet cake!”

“Can you take that out of the oven?” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore


Thursday December 15, 2016
6:25pm
5 minutes
Overheard in my mother’s kitchen

“Can you take that out of the oven?”

Betty calls from upstairs. June is sitting at the kitchen table, the new one from Sears. She wonders how Betty and Earl afford new things every year, what with Earl getting laid off last summer.

“Of course!” June puts on oven mitts and takes the cake out. It’s Earl’s fortieth birthday and Betty is throwing him a surprise party tonight. June offered to help. It’s what neighbours do. She curses herself for not having arranged to have a conflict.

Betty comes downstairs and she’s wearing a lavender dress.

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

“Elevated stress response” by Sasha at Prado Cafe


Friday October 2, 2015 at Prado Cafe on Commercial
12:37pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


My mother makes the bed with tucked in corners. That generation’s dying, right? No one does that anymore. No one teaches their children how to do that… Maybe nurses, or hotel workers, or… I don’t know. When she comes to visit she brings cake from scratch and flowers from Costco. She calls the week before to ask Lindy what kind of cake she wants. Lindy takes her time deciding – chocolate, or lemon, or pound cake, or strawberry shortbread. I let Lindy decide, without interrupting, or adding in my preference. The doctor says that it’s good for her to make choices without interference. I get on the phone after and ask my mother what time she’ll arrive. “I’ll leave Ottawa first thing so I should be at yours by afternoon?” “Yours”. Who says that anymore? “Sounds good, Mum.” I say. “Sounds good, Mum.” Lindy parrots.

“cake and frozen yogurt” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, June 7, 2015
7:32pm
5 minutes
From a sign on Queen’s Quay

“I’m glad you’re here,” you said.
“I’m sorry for grabbing your arm that hard,” you said.
“Let’s go to the airport and buy tickets to wherever the next flight’s going,” you said.

Me, in my mother’s old lavender sundress, braless, six days of stubble laughing in my armpits. You, a denim shirt and black cut-offs, On The Road in your back pocket, the pages a promise of your wanderlust.

“Let’s have cake for dinner,” you said.
“Can you make me salad with exactly 15 green peas in it?” you said.
“I would impregnate you right now if we had the money and the bananas in the fruit basket,” you said.

“I made this cake” by Julia on her bed


Sunday May 17, 2015
9:44pm
5 minutes
http://www.epicurious.com

I uhh…I made this cake for you. I’ve never made a cake before but I made this. Or like, I tried to, I guess? I mean. Yeah. A cake! For your birthday. And I know your birthday was like, a month ago. But I wasn’t confident enough to try making a cake then so, I didn’t give you anything and I wanted to, but I was embarrassed so I just pretended that you didn’t have a birthday at all so that you wouldn’t..uhh.. not get a cake from me. I also pretended that not even wishing you a happy birthday alongside not making you a cake was an okay thing to do. It wasn’t. It’s weird, it was just what I decided to do. Uhh…You don’t have to eat this even. The cake, obviously. It might not be edible, actually, because I didn’t taste it and I didn’t know how to taste it without wrecking it so I just took a chance and thought, maybe I’ll taste it first when we’re together so in case it’s bad there will be someone there to warn you. So if you want we can do it that way, or I can just stop talking now so you can stop wishing this was a different moment in your life and not the one you have to be in.

“chocolate, almond chili cake” by Julia at Little Collins


Friday November 14, 2014 at Little Collins
3:45pm
5 minutes
The specials board at Little Collins

My mother’s secret recipe
She kept the special plate in the high cupboard
Only made it for special occasions
It was my favourite
And hers
She let me taste the batter once or twice
I often think of the combination
Spicy and sweet
Never angry
But fair
As if you could catch a perfect character blend
Like a cold
Or a bought of chicken pox
I wanted some of her for me
I wanted to be spicy and sweet
Never angry
But fair
I got close to her and stayed
As still as I could
It was her favourite
And it was mine

“Then we’d better be jolly, jolly sure” by Julia in Piazza del Francia


Thursday October 30, 2014
4:18pm
5 minutes
On Directing Film
David Mamet


Oh it had better be the best damn cake this side of the Atlantic has ever freaking seen! I don’t care if you have to call in that favour from your aunt Vanda that you said you never wanted to do. I get it. I don’t want you to either. But if you don’t find some way to make sure our son has the best damn cake in 1 year old birthday party history, I will make sure you never see the end of aunt Vanda and her favours! Am I making myself clear?! It needs the secret layer with the prize inside and it needs to be a surprise so we all can have a magical photo moment. Do not ruin this for me. I mean for him. You think he won’t even remember this but you’re dead wrong. Haven’t you ever heard of post traumatic stress??? He’ll get that if you fuck this up!

“And I like to surprise him with something sweet” by Sasha on her bed


Sunday February 9, 2014
11:31pm
5 minutes
http://www.brooklynsupper.net

Build me an igloo
And I’ll make you a cake
Make me a bookshelf
And I’ll bring you a lake
Weave me a dream
And I’ll give you my heart
Shake out the spiders
And I’ll get a head start
Catch me a star
And I’ll stomp you a path
Listen to my songs
And I’ll run you a bath

“The Psychology of Colour” by Sasha at her desk


Monday December 30, 2013
10:06pm
5 minutes
www.stumbleupon.com

Red wants me to bake him a chocolate cake for his birthday but I’m trying to cut down. On chocolate. Not on cake. “Let them (me) eat cake!” I say. “What about lemon? Citrus is so fresh…” I try to entice him. He rolls his eyes. “Citrus is so nice this time of year!” Red stands up and makes for the fridge. This guy can eat an entire frozen lasagne. He can eat a whole crate of those clementines. “I want a chocolate cake, okay?!” “Fine!” I say, “I just won’t be able to have any!” “Oh Jesus, Ramona,” he says, “it’s a special occasion every Thursday night when the girls come over but you won’t celebrate with me on my damn birthday?” I think he’s upset because he’s turning twenty. He isn’t ready to have the responsibility of no longer being a teenager. “I’ll make you a chocolate cake,” I say. “I’ll make it, I’ll eat it, and then I will be very upset. And you know who is going to have to deal with me like that?! YOU.” After standing there, door open, gazing in like he might find the secret to life, Red takes a jar of pickles from the fridge and goes upstairs to his room.

“we find out the heart” by Sasha on the porch at Knowlton Lake


Saturday, September 14, 2013
8:04am
5 minutes
Tear it Down (Poem)
Jack Gilbert


We find out the heart is inextricably connected to the shapes painted on the ground
The ones that we etch with pointed toes and dreamscapes of cake batter and mud
We find out the left atrium is filled with salt-water
and the right is bubbly champagne
They balance eachother out
Effervescent illumination of a bit of ache and a chunk of love
The aorta smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and is velvet to the touch
We find out
over time
It happens somewhere around nineteen or twenty
Maybe on a road-trip or while lying naked with a new friend
The pulmonary artery connects directly to the hysterical laughter we can only find when we feel truly safe
We learn
eventually
When we’ve loved and grieved and died and been reborn
The right ventricle holds our heavy secrets
The ones that feel like they are in our toes
Hidden
Locked
Loaded

“So let’s wipe the slate clean.” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, January 5, 2013
3:04pm
5 minutes
Bossy Pants
Tina Fey


Happy birthday papa. I say this to myself as I double loop my new shoelaces. The other ones broke and you got angry. not because I broke the shoelaces, but because I pull too hard all the time and this is my third pair already this year. I told you I would pull gentler. I would be gentle for everything else too. You shook your head and used the new rag hanging off the stove to wipe your glasses. It’s your birthday today, Papa. I wanted to bake you a cake but you won’t be here to eat it. You said you had business to attend to and you left before I could finish buttoning up my big coat with the fur that you made Mama buy me. The door is left open just a crack because you know I’ll lock it behind me when I leave, but you don’t want to wait for me. You don’t want to watch me tie my new laces, let me follow you to your car, and give you the present I made you. Mama told me to use gold, not green for the wrapping, but your favourite colour is green and I know this. It’s something silly. Maybe I’ll just leave it on your pillow for when you come back from business today. Maybe you’ll open it in silence, Papa, and look down at the little tie clip that sits so elegantly in it’s little box, and you’ll know that I was thinking of you today.