Funny the World...


May 22, 2000

What a weird night. I went to sleep at 12:30, setting the alarm for 2:30 so I could watch EXTRA. Of course Steve’s segment wasn’t on until the end of the hour. By that time I was wide awake, so I ended up watching it again on another channel at 3:30 (now I have it recorded twice). I tried going to sleep, but found I was still awake, so logged on and at 5 a.m., found Steve on line too, so we chatted about the segment and what a wonderful job Kurt, the Cyberguy, had done.

In an ironic bit of timing, Steve had just received word that another friend of his, a woman from an IRC chat room, died yesterday of AIDS. His best friend Dickie died in January. Last year Steve was all the rage, and traveled all over the country speaking to colleges and high schools, bringing a face to AIDS, and showing people the reality of living with--and dying from--this disease. He’s still doing that this year, but the demand is not as great because funding for AIDS education has dropped. With the success of the new medications in prolonging life, it is seen as not the big crisis that it once was. Yet people are still dying, and new cases are showing up among young people who erroneously think that the disease is no longer a killer. Irv, the man I drove to the doctor last week, told me that another segment of the population which is starting to see an increase in AIDS is older men. With Viagra restoring a sex life to many of them, they apparently are throwing caution to the wind and paying for it.

The crisis is by no means over.

dickie forever

I managed to get some sleep after speaking with Steve and got up at 9 a.m. As I was making coffee, I received a telephone call from my friend Lynn, in Houston. We hadn’t spoken in a couple of months and it was good to get caught up with her. Lynn is a midwife and we became friends when we both worked for Sutter Medical Foundation (we have both since quit in disgust over what Sutter has done to what used to be wonderful, caring medical offices). When Lynn and her husband married three years ago, I made their wedding cake. I had worked as a cake decorator for many years, mostly out of my own home (though I was the town’s first bakery’s first cake decorator). I always lived in dire fear of a cake disaster and always took a picture of every cake I made before I attempted to transport it "just in case." I also brought a cake repair kit with me so that if there was some problem in transport, I could fix the cake at the site.

Lynn and Chris’s cake took forever to decorate, but I was so pleased with the result. There was a lot of intricate frosting design all over the outside. I managed to carry it to the car without a problem and drove it the 20 miles to the place where the wedding and reception were to take place. When I opened the car, I was devastated. I’d always feared something like the side of the cake bumping into the side of the trunk, but this was worse. Much worse. The cake hadn’t been "right" ever since it came out of the oven. The physics of it were all wrong and I still don’t know why, but there had been a crack in the cake when I went to decorate it, and as I usually did, I filled the crack with frosting to cement it back together. The decorated cake had sat on my kitchen counter all evening with no difficulty and I assumed that I’d solved any potential problem.

However, the vibration of the car apparently had churned up all those cake molecules and what happened was that the entire edge of the cake--all 360 degrees of it--had fallen off. It lay in pieces all over the trunk of the car. This was no simple little patch job. This would entail an entire new cake.

I was just sick. Other than our son’s wedding cake, this was the most special one I had ever made and there it was, in crumbs, in the back of my car. I broke the news to Lynn who, thankfully, was philosophical about it--she said that the most important thing was that she was marrying the man she loved and was surrounded by all her friends and the cake was just so much...well...icing on the cake.

We managed to bring the cake into the kitchen, from where the wait staff served it (it was perfectly good cake; it just LOOKED awful).

The edge fell off
all around the cake

Paul helped clean the mess

Today I made up for all the work I didn’t get done yesterday. I managed to plough through most of the back work and feel like I finally accomplished something. Walt called from Tahoe around noon and I suggested he stay up there, enjoying the 68 degree weather until it starts to cool down here, since we are in the high 90s this afternoon. I really hate summer weather. As a native San Franciscan, I much prefer fog and drizzle. Grey is a beautiful color for the sky.

<- previous | Journal home | bio | cast | archive | Bev's Home Page | next ->

created 5/22/00 by Bev Sykes