Confessions of a Jelly Donut Filler

Posted September 13, 2007 by spicetalk
Categories: Ultimate Things, Women's Stuff

Jelly Donut Filler. How’s that for a job title? And as a resume builder.

I bet you didn’t know a real live person puts the jelly in the jelly donuts. But it’s true. I know. I was one of them . . .

Not counting my enslavement to the family business I was born into, my first real job was working for a donut factory. While most of Detroit was cranking out automobiles of inferior quality, I was making America proud turning out the best artery clogging donuts money could buy: bavarian kreme, chocolate filled, strawberry delight, berry berry glazed, and lemon burst. You name it. I filled it.

Mrs. Knudson, a woman who wore her hair in a giant beehive and enough makeup to make Tammy Faye Baker look like a natural beauty, owned the factory. Her right hand man and head donut maker was Howard the pervert.

This is how things worked. Howard would finish making a tray of, let’s say donuts destined to be chocolate filled, and slide it assembly line fashion down to me. Now, you may have noticed, donuts come in different shapes and sizes. What you probably don’t know is that fillings come in different weights and thicknesses too. Using a machine with stationary tubes affixed to the front, it was my job to determine how much of a particular type of filling was appropriate for the size and shape donut under scrutiny. Then adjust the machine accordingly, hold one end of the donut on the proper tube, chocolate in this case, and push a lever with my foot.

If you screwed up the calculations, which I did often, you ended up with either too much pressure in the tube or too much filling. The jelly would ejaculate right through the opposite end of the donut and splatter all over your chest. Needless to say, I went home most nights looking like an impressionist painting. On some of my more artsy nights, Howard would tell me . . . well, let’s not get into that.

One night Howard got mad at me and told Mrs. Knudson about my many screw-ups. She fired me without batting even one of her many false eyelashes. That was the end of my donut-filling career. Thank God!

All of this happened a long time ago, of course. And I’m sure, donut filling by this point has gone high tech, or possibly it’s been outsourced to India. But just in case, could you give the little minimum wage donut-filler a break and just order a plain old-fashioned donut to go with your grande latte for once?



My Dream From The Other Day

Posted July 20, 2007 by spicetalk
Categories: Relationships, Uncategorized, Women's Stuff

The dream is in black and white with shades of gray. It has a mysterious, flowing feel to it, similar to those Calvin Klein Obsession commercials on TV. My state of mind throughout is one of mild concern or slight puzzlement, but I’m not afraid or anxious.

In the dream, I’ve just awakened. I’m trying to decide what errands need to be completed for the day and in what order. I’m living in my mother’s house, although it looks nothing like my childhood home. I’m the caretaker of the house, but not of my mother. My mother does not live there anymore.

The house has many windows covered with long, white, sheer drapes. There is a cool breeze blowing the drapes about in a serpentine manner throughout the rooms. My two sisters are sleeping on the living room floor in sleeping bags, although they look nothing like my real life sisters. We do not interact with each other, that is, until a car pulls up in front of the house.

A large older woman is driving and a smaller, younger woman is in the passenger seat. I can see them peering through the large bay window next to the front door. After a moment, they drive off down the street, taking a right around the corner. I fuss at my sisters to get up and staighten the messy room, because I suddenly remember the house is for sale. These women must be coming for a showing later in the day.

I look out one of the bedroom windows, and think I see the car driving along the side street, taking another right when it reaches the corner. Anticipating the direction the car is going in, I run to the back door. I realize the back door is open, unlocked, and in reality a front door. Puzzled, I come to the conclusion that the house in fact has two front doors. I lock this door and then run back to the first front door. I realize this is open and unlocked as well. I feel concerned that there may be intruders inside. They may have taken something from the house. Maybe my purse. That’s where I keep my drivers license and credit cards. But then without physically checking anything, I realize nothing is missing. I have been alarmed about nothing. All is well.

The dream ends.

If anyone has any ideas about what this dream means. I’m open to suggestions.


Organic is Expensive, but….

Posted June 24, 2007 by spicetalk
Categories: Ultimate Things, Uncategorized

I had a hankering for a juicy red delicious apple.

So down to the Kroger’s I went. Picked me out a beaut. Walked up to the self-serve checkout and Ka-ching, it rung up for $4.79. One apple.

Can’t be right I said to myself. So I pushed the cancel button and the screen started flashing, “Please wait for Assistance (You Idiot)”. Waiting, waiting, waiting, no assistance in sight. So I pushed the help button. This caused a light above my checkout to shine bright enough to land a plane, but still no assistance was forthcoming.

Feeling impatient, I walked over to the Customer Service desk and asked the grunge youth standing there if she could help me out. After the customary teenage eye rolling and sighing, she did so grudgingly.

“You must have put in the wrong code,” she said, smacking her gum. She punched in her associate’s number and then the code again. Another $4.79 rung up. That made the grand total $9.58. One apple.

“Well, that must be the right price,” she said, gritting her teeth. ”It wouldn’t be ringing up at that amount if it weren’t.”

“One apple?” I said, placing one hand on my hip.

She picked up the red orb, turned it over, pointed to the PLU code. “It’s organic,” she stated with the smugness of a Miss America contestant giving her explanation on why peace in the Middle East has not been achieved.

“You can buy an entire organic apple orchard for that price.” I countered. “It can’t be the right price for just one apple.”

With this, the associate gave me a disgusted look and punched in some more numbers. She took the apple and placed it on the shelf above the checkout stand, the way a cautious mother would have placed something dangerous out of the reach of her toddler. The screen started flashing “Voided Transaction.” Then the youth sauntered away without another word.

Now, I’m short, but even I can reach that shelf. And I’m not taking that from someone half my age. Okay, maybe a third of my age. The point is I’m getting that apple at a fair price if it’s the last thing I do on this Earth.

This time I pressed the picture of the apple on the checkout screen instead of punching in the code. The screen flashed “Bartlett pear, 69 cents.” So I paid the machine it’s asking price and enjoyed eating my red delicious apple bartlett pear tonight.


Unforgetable-That’s What You Are

Posted June 7, 2007 by spicetalk
Categories: Books & Writing, Relationships, Uncategorized

According to Gail Blanke, a personal coach and author of “Between Trapezes”, there are 4 steps to making yourself unforgetable in any encounter with others:

1. Be Fun: Walk into any room or meeting with energy & optimism. Expect something positive to come from the encounter.

2. Remember-it’s not about you. Shift your attention from yourself to those you are conversing with. Don’t ask yourself, Do they like me? How do I look? but rather, What do they need? What can I give them?

3. Love Your audience- Let them know you will do whatever it takes to get your message across to them or to give them exactly what they need.

4. Show your passion. Charisma is passion demonstrated. People need your convictions.

Gail is entitled to her opinions. Now, here are my 4 steps to being unforgetable:

1. Be an Engineer: In any social conversation or discussion, make sure everything everyone says is 100% crystal clear and accurate. Be especially vigilent about someone saying phrases like “They say”. When this happens, demand a complete list of first and last names. Expect something negative to come from the encounter.

2. Remember- it is all about you. Always insist on constant attention and praise from all. Keep demanding far more than your fair share of the spotlight in any social situation, especially if it’s someone else’s special day i.e. wedding, graduation party, promotion, etc. Ask yourself, how can I use this situation or the people here for my own personal gain?

3. Love yourself exclusively: only your opinions and lifestyle are valid. Be sure and let all the other mere mortals on Earth know that they aren’t as productive, make far less money, aren’t as attractive and by golly, are just plain stupid for not agreeing with you. That’s all they need to know.

4. Show your stubbornness. You are always right after all. Deny, Deny, Deny: even if someone has a video of you doing something unflattering or you are caught red handed in a lie, never admit you are wrong. Better yet, blame someone else or make up outrageous mitigating circumstances.

My steps will get you remembered a lot faster than Gail’s.


Bryce Canyon National Park

Posted May 27, 2007 by spicetalk
Categories: Books & Writing, natural health, Nature, Travel

Okay, Okay. Since so many of you are begging me to post pictures from my vacation, here are three. Click on each picture for a full view. Afterwards, please take the short quiz below.




1. Do you think the National Parks are worth saving?
2. Do you think the National Parks add to our quality of life?
3. Would you be willing to write your Congress persons and insist on increased measures to aid the Parks?
4. Will you read the book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder”?

Grading: 4 Yeses = A


Even Fictional Characters Need An Outlet

Posted December 1, 2006 by spicetalk
Categories: Books & Writing, Dallas, Texas, gardening, herbs, Reading and Writing

If you like mysteries that include the natural world as a feature, the China Bayles Mysteries written by Susan Wittig Albert are just your cup of herbal tea. In these novels, China is a combination amateur sleuth and herb shop owner, a multi-faceted woman not unlike myself. The setting is an imaginary small town in Texas called Pecan Springs, which I swear is really Denton (TX) in disguise. Dentonites if the shoe fits, don’t blame me.

These are fun to read because you can learn a lot about herbs and gardening within the context of a mystery. Adding to the fun, China has started her own blog, which can be accessed at I guess even fictional characters can’t help but blog. It’s just too compelling of an outlet.

If you know someone who does not like to go online (and who doesn’t know at least one peson like that), China has compiled some of her blog entries into a book called “China Bayles’ Book of Days: 365 Celebrations of the Magic of Herbs from the World of Pecan Springs”. I ordered mine from as a holiday present for an elderly friend. She just loved it. So if you know an herb lover who has everything, this is just the gift.

Thanks for blogging, China.