The Best Kind Of Cupcake
Monday, August 2, 2010

My narcissism will be taking a break this week. 

Because even though I like to talk about myself if I'm being honest, pretty much all the time, I wanted to you all to meet some friends of mine, some really cool friends of mine. 

And before I introduce you to one of my friends today, there is one more bit of housework I forgot to mention. I know I've said it before, but this time I'm really sticking to my guns. I mean it when I say I won't be hanging out as much as I usually do in this blog universe. I'm going to pop my head in about twice a week to write and say hello, so keep an eye out for me. And even though I will miss you very much Internet and even though I'll be sorely tempted to wander over to your neighborhoods a lot more than a couple of times a week, I must stay steadfast. Things are happening around these parts. The locomotion is picking up steam and I must focus. It is that time of the process where my novel can no longer be the low man on the totem pole. But, I'll talk about that next week. 

Now, on to the cool.  

Today is about someone so fabulous, I just cannot contain myself. 

See, once upon a time I happened upon a blog called, Odd, Good, True—A Deeply Profound Kind Of Shallow. 

Before I started reading the post, I glanced over at the blogger's profile, a blogger named Cupcake Murphy, and instead of a few lines describing herself, I read, "Is it possible that someone told Nancy Grace that we can't hear her and that's why she's yelling at us?" 

And, in that instant, I fell in blog love. 

Her blog is brilliant and hilarious and I was immediately infatuated with her impossible way with words.

She is just a gorgeous mix of lovely, breathtaking prose and this innate sense of finding the sublime humor in the ordinary. 

I'll give you some examples. 

Cupcake has a running theme called, Things I Don't Understand, where she lists three bewildering things at a time. And every time I read them, I slap my hands down on my desk and shout, "Yes! Yes!" at the computer, as if Cupcake can hear me on the other side. 

But I know she cannot since the Blogger geeks who party all day and night in my computer and laugh drunkenly as they constantly jack up my blog, have their Nickelback tunes blasting and the chanting for "Shots, Shots, Shots!" is out of control in there  and so this drowns out my fist pump to Cupcake— which reminds me—Cupcake, can I put Nickelback as my number one thing I don't understand?

Here are Cupcake's latest 3 things she doesn't understand, which by the way, you need to head on over to her blog, toot sweet. She's already up to 207 mystifying things and someday, she will have run out of things that baffle her and then she will know all the secrets of the world, but sadly, we will have no more laughter. 

Cupcake's things she doesn't understand, 205-207:

205. People who reenact the Civil War every month
206. Susan Boyle
207: Bubble gum ice cream

So, you can clearly see how she has her finger on the pulse of fixations that just make no sense in this world. 

But it gets even better. 

Cupcake has this dog, Cooper, and her pup has a gift for imitation like no other. Dooce and her Chuck have nothing compared to Cooper's raw talent.

For instance, here he is giving his best Kate Gosselin, Dancing With The Stars, impersonation.




 And the narrative below this photo reads,

Here he is shaking his head so hard, his bangs fell off.

"I had to do something to distract the judges from the fact that I had the rhythm of a parking meter," he says with a very large disturbing smile plastered across his face. 

The talents in this family are undeniable. 

But just when I thought my love could go no deeper for Cupcake, I discovered her prose, this way she has of weaving her words into magical spells that just entrance me. 

For instance, there was the time she wrote this:

Today was the kind of sumer day that started off gloomy and then slowly revealed itself as a velvet-shiny kind of day . . . 

The kind of day that makes you curious about the way the light crosses the porch and what sort of dinner might do that light justice in the evening and how many good views you'll see on the road trip you have planned and what will happen if the hydrangeas continue their fancy show they've been putting on and you feel just perfectly FINE and then you realize that, soon before you know it, it will be Christmas and you think that in certain moments and on certain days you have the best life despite and because of all of it and you know down to your bones for several true hours just how lucky you are. 

Indeed. 

And if that wasn't enough, then I discovered her treasure, or as Cupcake refers to it as, "my best thing. my most cherished thing."







Cupcake Murphy is a poet with a book of poetry called Underway—Looking Aft .

Literary reviews call her work, "soft steps of grace" and "poetic words that applaud".


I call her poetry, the very thing that makes me proud to call myself a writer, the kind of words I would give anything to find within myself. I call it so stunning, I could only sit there and breathe in her lyrical, sweet charms of poetry and just shake my head at their splendor. 

If you love the written word, when it is at its finest, you must go buy this book. The link is up there on her title. Unfortunately I couldn't get the Amazon link to work, but this site will lead you straight to Amazon where you can snatch up her beautiful book. 

Be careful, though, if you're anything like me, you get on that wicked Amazon and it's like going to Target. You go in for the direct purpose of just that one item and before you know it, a fortune and a half later and an overflowing cart, you're thinking, "Wha? I just needed hair conditioner."

And it always happens at Amazon, because the little box pops up asking you if you want free shipping and of COURSE you want free shipping. Doesn't everybody? That's like asking if you want fries with that burger. Duh. No one's going to turn down the fries. In order to get the free shipping, I only need to purchase 12 more dollars worth of stuff. And so I scour the virtual shelves, forgetting about the fact that shipping is what? 5 bucks, because I HAVE to get the free shipping. And then, I find the book that I've been wanting to read and it's 11 bucks and so I only need 1 more dollar to qualify for free shipping! And since Amazon sells nothing worth having for a dollar, by the time I am ready to check out, I have spent about as much as if I were buying a used Hyundai, but by all that is Holy, I have FREE SHIPPING!

And after all that, it takes a year to get your purchases since they use turtles for their free shipping delivery. And I'm realizing with the money I spent I could have had it overnighted to me in a private jet hand delivered to me by the head honcho over at Amazon, whoever that is. Probably someone at Google, since those blog-uncaring villains own everything.

And yes, I realize I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and a few trees if I had just downloaded it. But, I could never do that to poetry. Poetry needs to be held in your hand and carried around with you and given to others as gifts. Poetry deserves the bindings of a book. 

As you may have suspected, Cupcake's name is not really Cupcake, but Amy Shouse. 

Man, I would have loved to have been named Cupcake. Cupcake or Ruby. Both of those names lend themselves to really big lives. Those names speak of swilling champagne in the wee morning hours and wearing red lipstick every second of the day and dancing underneath the golden lights of Paris and never spending a single second on housework or Math. I would have loved to have filled the shoes of a Cupcake. I think I would have been very good at it. 

But we were talking about Amy Shouse, aka the extraordinary Cupcake Murphy. 

I have had the incredible pleasure of striking up a friendship with this amazing writer via email. And she is as splendid as her words. We talk about our insatiable love for books, for words and our constant pursuit of the right ones. And we talk about the people who have shaped us and wounded hearts and how they can sometimes be a beautiful thing. 

And in our conversations, (which by the way, there have not been enough of them. Amy forgive me. You signed off with your last letter with the words, "Keep in close touch" and I have been remiss in that very thing. I am sorry. This life of mine, well, it just whirls away from me constantly. But I promise to be better. I promise.)  but in our letters to each other there was this one exquisite thing, Amy said and it just cut to the heart of a writer's soul, I think. Amy wrote, 

"Writing is just the most, beloved holy endeavor." 

Amen. Amen, Miss Amy Shouse Cupcake Murphy. 

Check out Amy's blog and her poetry. And if you would, all you lovely, lovely commenters, leave Amy and I, the number one thing you don't understand. We'd love to hear it. 

Today's Definite Download: I have been waiting for the perfect moment for this song. And this is exactly that. 

"Hoppipolla" by Sigur Ros. Sigur Ros is an Icelandic rock band whose lyrics are known for their nonsensical language, but with them, words wouldn't even make a difference. Their music is just so beautiful and ethereal that everything else just falls away. This is on my top 10 of favorite songs. It is just  beauty and its best. 

And because I really want to share this splendid song with you, I have included a link to their video, right here.  The video, a tale of elderly folks embroiled in mayhem and mischief more befitting a younger generation, is so perfect for today for reasons I will keep in my heart— reasons Amy and I have in common. 

Hoppipolla, for Amy and for those who came before us— those who didn't listen to the rules of age or reason and for the gifts their eccentricities gave to our writer souls. 


Photobucket




42 comments:

Dee said...

I've never bought from Amazon. Now, I know that I never will, because you make it sound so traumatic. And we all know I need more trauma like a hole in the head.

Going to check out her site.

The Drama Mama said...

I've got something for you!

http://therealpoopsie.blogspot.com/2010/08/ending-is-near-awards.html

Noelle said...

I'm so *hiccup* going to miss you. *hiccup* but I understand you must go and become famous. *hiccup*

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Yes, Amazon is very dangerous for me. I have one click check out set up. One click. That's it. Sold!

You know what I don't understand?? Plumbers who are supposed to be at your house at 9am and here it is 1pm and still no one is here. Also, boiled peanuts. The smell alone make me want to retch.

Cecelia Winesap said...

Ok my number one thing I don't understand was Nickleback soooo... second thing is unsafe sex. I just do not understand how that still happens in this day and age. I would love an explanation if someone has one.

Going to check out Amy's site. :)

The Empress said...

off to do the video and cupcake murphy. cuz, youz and I like da same stuff like dat..

thanks for the awesome find...xoxoxoxo

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

#1 thing: That lunch meat with all the stuff stuck in it. Cupcake sounds Wonderful, On my way to visit.

Pat said...

Amazon and me = the kid in the candy store.

I envy ANYONE who can write poetry. I'm more along the lines of "rose are red, violets are blue" school of thought. I know. sucks.

That photo of her dog and her interpretation was hysterical.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I hear you on the Amazon thing. What drives me nuts is this:

When we watch SNL and they do those digital shorts, the title always reads "AN SNL DIGITAL SHORT" Shouldn't it be "A" instead? Drives me nuts!!

Sabrina said...

Love that post - and I like Cupcake's blog, too. And I also like your ramblings about amazon (remember how you wrote that with every word Cupcake writes, you want to yell "Yes yes yes" at the computer? - Same here, with your amazon-explanation). Oh, and one of my friends is called Ruby. And I'm preeeeetty sure she doesn't care about Math or housework. She doesn't wear red lippie, but she has red hair (at least sometimes). ^^Anyways, what I was going to say: this was a highly entertaining post, again!

Bossy Betty said...

All you had to say is Cupcake i pay attention.

Don;t go crazy, but I am Prime on Amazon. Yeah, that's right--Prime.

Kit Courteney said...

1. Went to her blog.

2. Read loads of her stuff.

3. Now hate her with a passion.

4. Think she is too funny for words.

5. Hate her even more.

6. Thank you (grrrr...) for sharing!

JoAnn said...

You slay me.
I love bubble gum ice cream. I had it once, when I was six and it was the best thing ever.
I wont eat it again, for fear of ruining the memory. When you are a kid, everything makes sense. I bet even Nickelback makes sense when you are six.
There's a moral in that somewhere...
YES TARGET IS THE DEVIL. I don't even touch Amazon. Anthro had a sale this week. I'm in deep doo doo. dooooooo dooooooooo.
the end.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Okay, I added her to my blog list, because apparently I will do anything anyone tells me to do. She'd better be worth it!

Heather H said...

I don't understand how someone can take three weeks of vacation at the end of the fiscal year and not leave her duties to someone in her absence.

Also don't understand eating crawfish. The smell of them boiling makes me sick & the idea of sucking on their heads makes me sicker...and I married into a cajun family so I have to deal with this often.

Aging Mommy said...

I'm glad to hear you will be seen less in the blogosphere, not because I won't miss you as I will, but because if it means your book is getting top priority then that is as it should be. Good luck Joann.

Cheryl said...

Yes! The book! Get going on it, sister! SO excited and you are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing Ms. Cupcake. I'm hungry just thinking about going over to that blog. Altho, that sounds kind of weird. So never mind.

Tracie said...

I don't understand why we say 'Good Morning' when that is clearly an oxymoron.

Great find. Off to check her out.

Good luck with the book!

jayayceeblog said...

Odd, Good, True has some funny stuff going on. The number one thing I don't understand is why so many people who actually go out in public think they look good in hip hugger pants with a muffin top bulging out. Also, Bubble Gum Flavored Toothpaste!

Gigi said...

I am headed right over, because I've found the best blogs ever through you, and one other person.

What I don't understand? Well, I blogged about it 2 weeks ago, but I'll repeat it. I don't understand why kids fight incessantly over who gets to push the elevator button.

Cheeseboy said...

I went and visited this woman you call "Cupcake". She seems very funny and cool, but I worry about her because Cupcake is a borderline stripper name.

Cupcake Murphy said...

This post reminded me that I have low self-esteem. I read it out loud to my husband and he was sceaming and I was all agog. Thank you so much Joanne. My heart is burst open and beamy happy from your praise and appreciation.

Lula Lola said...

Monthly, civil war reenactments, why?
After that review, I know I'll love her!

Jen said...

I've read Cupcake and loved it but in my busy life I have forgotten to visit in a very long time so thank you for sharing this wonderful poet with the internet.

Mrsblogalot said...

Heading over...You keep that steam rolling Joann!

Stay on that fast track to success!!!

Katie said...

Two things I don't understand:

Pajama pants in public and reality shows on t.v. : )

Natalie said...

Off to check out Cupcake because if you like her, I'm sure I will too!

Good luck with the book...that is so exciting!

I've been reading your posts via email and haven't been here forever - I love your new look! Grabbing your new button to replace the old one :)

Liz said...

that's so great that things are a happenin'!! and you've sold me on Cupcake Murphy. going there now.

Sabrina said...

Thank you so much, that was the sweetest response I ever got to a comment. Really made my day (because a couple of minutes earlier my mood was pretty low, but you certainly brightened it!). Thank you.

granny1947 said...

Once again...a delightful post...thank you...I am on my way to check cupcake out right now!

Baby Sister said...

I'm excited to visit your friend...but I am going to miss your posts.
I'm with you on the whole Amazon thing. It's so evil!!!! I spend too much money on there...
I'm jealous that Ms. B. Betty is prime...
The number one thing I don't understand...are women who wear the super tight clothes and DON'T FIT INTO THEM!!

Deidra said...

I don't understand people who like lots of alone time. O_O

Deidra said...

I don't understand people who like lots of alone time. O_O

Megan said...

I'm kind of a 'lurker' on your blog, but you never cease to entertain me :) I hope your book gets published, and SOON!

Thanks for suggesting Cupcake's blog; I'll have to check it out. I will also have to go to the cupcake shop down the road this weekend. Thanks a lot.

Something that I don't understand is Dr. Phil's head/hair. Why not just cut off the rest of it and be bald? And, do you think the makeup artists also touch up his big ol' melon when prepping for the show?

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Joann, you are a joy for turning other's on to the beauty of the beloved Cupcake. Someone wrote me on Facebook thanking me for linking her brilliant blog! Let me just give it up for both of you incredible and insightful ladies.

Will look forward to your future posts with bells on!

abkeuser said...

Just remember, the blog avoidance is a "Good" thing. When you want to come back here think about the fame that you'll be postponing (though I guess that would be tricep workouts you're post poning too).

Good Luck ;)

Dawn in Austin said...

I have been reading Cupcake for a while now. I love to stroll over, hoping to catch a look at Cooper and shake my head in bafflement at things I too, do not understand.

I don't understand Rugby. At all.

Joann Mannix said...

Katie, I wish we could wear pajamas in public. I might not understand that kind of fashion, but I would like to wear my pajamas all the ding dong day. The world will be a better place if we all were able to wear our jammies more. Of this I am convinced.

The Zadge said...

Amen Sista!! Cupcake is The Bomb!! And I, too, bought her book of poetry off of Amazon and am just mesmerized!!

Kelley said...

How kind of you to give her so much recognition! I joined her blog today because I love her humor! Thanks for sharing. :)

Erin said...

Amazon is extremely dangerous for me. oy!

I am sorry I haven't been around much. I've been swamped and then I come over here and read that you won't be around much either and I don't feel as badly.

But I miss you! And glad that exciting things are happening for you!

Amanda said...

Writing IS just the most...the most of the most! Loved this post, and I thank you kindly for the recommendation. Best of luck with the novel~

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