The Bipartisan Appeal of Cupcakes

Courtesy of the talented Tahira Lubrano. Click the picture for more of her illustrations!

“Mommy, in the morning when I wake up, what will be different?”

It’s tempting to make up some wild story, that if you choose the winning candidate, you wake up and find a vintage Bentley, a real-life dinosaur, and a ten-tiered chocolate cake in your living room, but I’m not going to lie to my six-year-old.  Again.  Sometimes he actually believes me.

“I don’t know, honey.  Mostly it’s perceptions that change.  The actual changes take a really long time, kind of like when we’re trying to clean up the basement.”  (Yeah, our basement is that bad.)

I vow to go to bed early, but instead stay up until 2 a.m. watching speeches, eating Halloween candy, and feeling vaguely depressed.  I set the alarm for 4:30, and settle in for a nice nap.  The morning is a blur, with me literally running out the door to catch a 5:41 train.  As I’m rushing to the station, I can hear the train.  I glance at my watch which says 5:40, and start running.  If I miss the train, it will be almost an hour before the next one comes.  Finally I get close enough to see…  And it’s going in the wrong direction.

I buy a ticket.  Over the speakers I hear that my train is running on time… which means my watch is probably five minutes fast.  And I can’t seem to stop coughing from running in the cold.  Since everyone thinks I have Tuberculosis, people keep their distance.

The train pulls in, with every single seat already full.  People are standing in the aisles and the doorway.  I get on and the guy behind me is yelling.  “Move further down the aisles.  Keep it moving, people!  Keep it moving!”  He’s easily able to push me forward, and I’m happy to keep walking, mostly to move further away from him.  Another guy tells him to relax, and somehow this turns into an argument about neither of them having power.  Naturally.

I cannot believe people manage to have fights on the train before they’ve even had their morning coffee.  I continue to cough, and people glance at me nervously throughout the train ride.

I ask the guy next to me if the 5:40 train is normally this crazy.  He says no, that the LIRR is still running modified services.  The train rolls into Penn Station at 6:30 a.m.  I buy a coffee, and head outside for a cab.  (It’s not even worth it to figure out which subway lines are working.)  I arrive at the building where Anderson Cooper Live is taped, and manage to leave my gloves behind in the taxi.  I show the doorman my ticket, and I’m directed to the line on the right, where every single person is a blogger… and holding a cup of coffee in their gloved hands.

I meet Julie DeNeen, who helped find most of the “mom” bloggers for the show, and I quickly find out you are considered a mommy blogger even if your kid is in their twenties…  Oh, well.  I meet the bloggers behind One Funny Motha, MelBel, RealHousewife, BethelBuzz, Adorable Chaos, Just A Busy Mom, and Forever 51.  There’s about two hours before the show, part of which is spent signing various legal disclaimers.  Some people take pictures, but I don’t think to take any.  Oops.

Photo Credit: Anderson Cooper Live

Finally, we are led into the studio, which is freezing.  Since the cameras are constantly scanning the audience, they give us some helpful warnings about things not to do on camera.  Apparently scratching your head and picking your nose are ill-advised.

I’m extremely nervous since it’s their post-election show, and it’s fairly obvious that (as someone who voted Republican) I’m in the minority.  The show moves quickly; each segment is 2-4 minutes.  Meghan McCain is the guest-co-host, and that segment of the show is being taped in DC.  We are cued on when to clap, and I sneak glances at Deborah Norville’s shoes throughout.  (I later find out I’m not the only one entirely jealous of her Louboutins.)  The studio continues to be freezing, which though bad for personal comfort, ends up being quite good for posture.

Despite almost every minute of the show being planned, the studio atmosphere is fairly relaxed, and all of the show assistants are friendly and upbeat.  There is a segment on food as it relates to the election.  Apparently, the last couple of elections can be predicted by which political party’s cookies and cupcakes sell better.  We watch Anderson scarf down a cupcake during a segment that’s not aired, and there’s clearly one thing we can all agree on.  Cupcakes are tasty.

After the show, five of us bloggers grab food, and gab some more.  With a Noreaster on the way, most of us are rushing out of town, and others are stuck for an extra day or two.  Getting to meet a bunch of other bloggers was, as usual, pretty damn awesome!  So glad I actually noticed Julie’s tweet asking for bloggers…  Thanks Julie!  And it was great meeting all of you!

I’m too exhausted to write about topical politics, so let’s talk about writing instead.  Is coffee essential to your writing process?  What is essential for you?  A quiet place?  Music?  I actually can write with distractions, but it depends on the the nature of the piece… How about for those of you participating in NaNoWriMo?  

I really wish I had been there for this episode!
Photo Credit: Anderson Cooper Live

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for appearing on the show or for writing this post.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

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33 Responses to The Bipartisan Appeal of Cupcakes

  1. Julie DeNeen says:

    It was so much fun to meet you!! Great title for this blog post by the way :)

  2. Amy says:

    I really love the title of this post! I wanted that cupcake so bad! :) It was great meeting you. I wish I could have stayed for lunch and gotten to know everyone a little better (darn storm).

    And to answer your question, I cannot write without coffee. I have constant distractions (3 girls, two cats and a pup) and noise (lots of it) and it doesn’t bother me. I probably couldn’t write in silence. It’s been so long since that has occurred…not sure what it’s like anymore.

    • Yeah, I know. The trains actually stopped running a few hours later, but it was still great to meet you!

      I don’t really know very many people who write and aren’t completely addicted to caffeine. I hadn’t thought about the silence, but in truth if it’s not my kids, it’s my husband watching television fifteen feet away…

  3. rebecca2000 says:

    How very cool. I follow most of you all. What an honor. :) Do you know when it airs?

  4. How exciting! I agree: cupcakes are pretty good. I like Diet Coke when I write. It’s a bad habit, but I just crave it when I’m trying to work on something.

    • I have a friend who drank like a gallon of regular Coke every day during law school. Meanwhile if I drank coffee in front of her, she’d give me the stink eye, and tell me how bad it was for me… In regular amounts, I don’t think any of it is that big a deal. I’d probably throw in alcohol too, but then my writing would probably suffer.

  5. I think it’s so cool you got to do the live tweeting! And I am sorry that post-election malaise affected you, but as you say, not much is going to change in any reasonable amount of time, and cupcakes do exist.
    As for writing.. writing does not happen for me lately, so I prefer to just litter everyone else’s blogs with useless comments. The end.

    • Ha! I love reading your comments. I love reading your blog too, but it’s impossible to keep up with people who blog 17 times a week. Go lazy blogging! Also, cupcakes! And cookies! And candy! Sheesh, I’m hormonal sometimes…

  6. El Guapo says:

    Most essential thing for me to write is an idea.
    Once I have that, where I write it is less important.
    (Once told myself a story about the moon on the walk from the subway to a bar, and wrote the whole thing out on bar napkins.)

    Glad you were able to get in and out of the city, and it sounds like going to the show then hanging out a bit was an excellent de-stressor!

    • Although I was a little nervous going in, it ended up being a lot of fun! I think blogger hangouts should probably be mandatory!

      For me, it’s all about the project in front of me. A short and funny post I can write anywhere. If I’m writing something really heavy, I need a little more space. Sometimes that does mean just jotting down the ideas on scrap paper, and actually writing it three days later.

  7. The Waiting says:

    I know you prompted us to comment about writing, but I just have to say that this was a wonderful piece.

    • Oh, thank you! I was just nervous about (more political) comments, because I’m still not caught up with comments from Tuesday’s post… And politics quickly gets exhausting. It’s no wonder political pundits are always crabby.

  8. What an adventure! As for your questions, I can usually write anywhere in any company, but if I have something super pressing demanding to be written, then I need silence. I’m better with coffee but trying to ween myself given how it devastates my stomach. (Noooo!)

    • Although I don’t love living here during hurricanes or tax season, it really is great to live an hour outside of NYC most of the time! I’d have a lot of trouble if I had to give up coffee. I’d probably just start mixing it with milk of magnesia, and hope for the best.

  9. Wow, that is amazing you had the chance to do this show. And to meet other bloggers. I’d love to read more about it.

    As for when I write, I need absolute silence and loads of coffee. If the kids are home, I can’t write.

    • You know, I’m not even sure what we’re allowed to write about… but it’s too late now! Getting to meet new people is definitely one of the best parts about living close to the city.

      I’m the same way with the coffee. I don’t need absolute silence, but it really helps if no one is trying to talk directly to me. There’s nothing worse than trying to finish a couple paragraphs while three kids whine for snacks! Aagh!

  10. I’m with Waiting on this–beautifully written piece. It beats the heck out of me how people can manage to argue pre-coffee (which is essential to the writing process). I also got your feeling of vague depression the day after the election (I’m okay with Obama even though I didn’t vote for him, but the nasty partisanship exhibited by so-called friends really got to me). It’s really neat that you got on TV! And I hope you’re feeling better!

    • Thanks! I usually avoid politics because when I do start paying attention, I get WAY to into it. I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or a good thing. (I do think if healthcare weren’t on the table, I probably would have gotten over it a lot more quickly.) I don’t mind when people disagree, but it is nice when people can disagree without turning it into an attack. The show was so much fun… even though all of us were sitting there desperately waiting for the taping to end so we could go use the bathroom! The downside of coffee…

  11. speaker7 says:

    I would have had trouble not itching my nose and face after being told not to. My face would suddenly become the itchest thing ever and I would look like the “coke addict” in the audience.

  12. jimmydevious says:

    Ye are so funny!! HA! See? You made me virtually laugh…that’s how funny you are…about this Election Stuff.

    But yeah, everybody down here in Tejas est MUCHO crazy about it, one way or the other. They’re either mega-gloating at me (my liberal artiste’ “flamboyant” friends) or the Right-wingers are going apeshitters with conspiracy theories ALREADY. (Psst..didja here the one about Bond Villain-wannabe George Soros and how he secretly funded a Spanish company TO RIG THE ELECTION MACHINES!! *Da-da-DUUUN * okay, whatever, Moooom!! :P )

    And don’t EVEN get me started on my “Redneck Deluxe” macho buddies who are seriously considering signing up with one of the many Texas Secession movements.that are poppin’ up all over the place down here. I think theirs is called the “Texans Liberations Front”…or is it…the Liberations Front of Texas…and Judea?? I forget. I’ll have to check the minutes. :

    It’s all super hilarious.

    But yeah White Sista, always look on the bright sidddde of life * as he’s whistlin’ from the cross *

    All this too shall pass! :)

    PS- to actually answer any of your questions, I am so a coffee vampire, I need to fee on Java, any time of day, writing or not! Hard to guess, isn’t it? :P

    • I love virtual laughter. Ha!

      Now, if it was Texas LIBATIONS Front, you could totally get on board, right? Will admit that universal healthcare freaks me out, mostly because I have a black thumb, and my money tree isn’t growing terribly well.

      I actually do believe in things like civil rights, but we are currently in a financial pit. Also, we had public health insurance for a few years (HIP, which is state of NY public health insurance), and it was terrible. So, I really hope we’re not in the process of trashing our health care system irreparably.

  13. TJLubrano says:

    Ah that was fun to read!! I always wondered how “planned” a live recording was for a show. Must have been pretty cool to attend one! I’ve so many friends on my list that I want to meet soon. Need to fly to the States asap!

    As for your question, I always have music on when I draw or write. What kind of music depends on what I have to draw or paint or…my mood haha. I can’t live without my music. As for coffee, I only drink one cup of coffee or cappuccino per day and this is in the morning when I go through my e-mails etc. If I’m very tired I drink a second cup later on, but usually I switch to tea or hot chocolate. When I work I usually have bottles of water or juice on my desk.

    Thanks so much for using my drawing too! I’m honored that you wanted to use one my drawings. You gotta LOVE cupcakes *dances*

    *waves* Xx

    • Thanks so much for letting me use your picture. I saw that one, and was like, “That’s it! No other cupcake will do now!”

      It is great to be able to meet other bloggers, definitely an advantage to living near NYC. Hot chocolate while writing is SUCH a good idea. I may end the winter fat, but at least I’ll be warm and happy!

  14. Pingback: My Trip to NYC for Anderson Cooper | Write Aloud

  15. You’d be surprised at what people can argue with so early in the morning! I used to take the bus to work years ago, and there was at least one “tiff” each morning. Ridiculous.

    I like listening to music, specifically rap or oldies. Not sure what it is about those genres that make it easier for me to write, but they really do help my creative process.

    • I usually do downbeat music, but it helps if it’s so familiar that I don’t even hear it. Otherwise, I do get distracted.

      People are crazy. Sometimes it’s hysterical, but there’s also something about people fighting on a moving vehicle that makes me nervous…

  16. I can’t write without loud music on my headphones, preferably some of my favorite bands of the 60s (think Beatles, Monkees, Mamas & The Papas), and a steady glass of lemon juice mixed with water and a pinch of salt!

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