Ah, Regret.

CakeSpy: Lump-Tested, Unicorn-Approved

S0 I was wandering through the streets of Capitol Hill one recent Saturday afternoon, trying to choose from one of the 18 coffee shops in my direct line of vision (a wannabe coffee snob: possibly the only thing worse than a real one), when a splash of bright pink in a store window caught my eye:

Fig. 1: Spotted.

A cupcake!  Which is… not exactly an uncommon sight in Seattle.  But this wasn’t just any cupcake–I knew this cupcake.  Where had I seen this guy before?  Wait, was it–yeah!  The blogosphere!  (Yes, this is what my inner monologue really sounds like.)  And in one of those disorienting moments in which teh internetz and reality collide (kind of like the first time I met Colin), I began to piece it all together as rapidly as my still un-caffeinated brain would allow (which is to say, slowly): this cupcake was none other than Cuppie–the mascot of CakeSpy–meaning that this store was the CakeSpy Shop, meaning that I was currently standing right smack in front of the physical manifestation of one of my favorite blogs.  Omgz!

Now you may well be wondering how I have room in my Google Reader–which, as you can imagine, is packed with feeds that help me track Lindsay Lohan’s every move–for a blog concerning baked goods in Seattle.  But as it turns out, dear readers, CakeSpy aligns more closely with my interests than you might think.

We all know how much I love rainbows, unicorns, and fattening treats, preferably at the same time–like this, this, or this.  Well so does Jessie Oleson, the writer/illustrator/baker extraordinaire (and fellow New Jersey native!) behind CakeSpy.  Her blog posts and artistic creations deftly incorporate all of the above (see Fig. 2) in a manner both whimsical and hilarious.  I mean, how many other food blogs do you know of that manage to throw in Kegel references?  Suddenly I DO find myself caring about the history of sweet noodle pudding (it paved the way for the Bundt pan, you guys!).

Fig. 2: The trifecta.

I first started reading CakeSpy (thanks to Wix, via Erin) while living in Boulder; soon Erin, Cambell and I were regularly emailing each other posts on topics that were almost frighteningly relevant to our own lives (moustache cupcakesNew Jersey bakeries, and cupcake gentrification, to name a few).  And CakeSpy definitely helped inspire the legendary Denver Cupcake Tour (followed by the Great Sugar Coma and Slight Weight Gain) of 2009.

I have to admit that I had gotten a bit behind on my blog-reading since moving to Seattle, so I was only vaguely aware that Jessie was in the process of purchasing the art gallery that would soon become CakeSpy’s Capitol Hill home.  CakeSpy was my f-ing neighbor and I didn’t even know it!  Whooops.  Therefore I was both dumbfounded and delighted as I stepped into the shop, blinking at the walls full of cupcake art and shelves lined with cupcake paraphernalia (I don’t even HAVE business cards, yet somehow I need this).

After picking up and examining every single item (by the way, one should never visit CakeSpy on an empty stomach–I think I almost ate a cupcake-printed oven mitt), I excitedly and awkwardly introduced myself to Jessie, and then proceeded to barf the above story all over the place (luckily the decor in there is already pretty rainbow-looking).  I can’t even imagine how ridiculous I must have sounded (“I’m from Jersey too!  But I started reading your blog in Boulder, and then I moved here…. and my friend Amy reads it too, and so does my other friend Campbell–oh man, one time he made these really good chocolate stout cupcakes… OH and I have this gay blog!  And…”), but Jessie managed to take it in stride (perhaps I wasn’t the only crazed CakeSpy reader to stumble in that day?).

As we were talking, Jessie picked up her paintbrush and continued to work on a mural–a historically accurate depiction of “The Battle of Baker’s Hill”, that epic showdown between Cake and Pie (see Fig. 3).  (If you squint, you can see “VAL” spelled out in the grass… JK.)  Now those are some SASSY baked goods.  At CakeSpy, cupcakes have brass knuckles and pie cuts YOU.  Cutely!  In conclusion, this was one of the most whimsical Saturday afternoons ever.

Fig. 3: Operation Dessert Storm.

It was awesome to get to meet Jessie and and learn about how CakeSpy evolved from a humble blog into the mini-empire of rainbows and cupcakery that it is today (aka… The Dream).  (I’m still working on my empire of regret, think I could open a gallery for that?  Oh wait… that’s my Facebook photos.)  And despite being such an accomplished blogger/artist/Capitol Hill Person of Note, Jessie was incredibly gracious and down-to-earth–personally, I would start acting like an asshole if I got profiled in The Stranger.  Or… linked to in CakeSpy.   JK you guys!  I’ll be tolerable!  (But not likeable!  Unless you like surly.  Which you do!)

This Saturday is CakeSpy’s grand opening gala, which will include cupcakes, live music, and me acting really cool again (“…and I met Campbell in Boulder, but he’s from Jersey too!  Oh and this one time we made peanut brittle…”).  Campbell, Amy, Shelley–I think you guys should fly in for this!  Or would that make the internet explode?  Or maybe just me?  Either way the night would end with rainbow explosions, cupcakes splattered everywhere, and everyone regretting knowing me.  It would be like an Ah, Regret installation at the CakeSpy gallery.  Hmm… I’m going to write a proposal for that.  On this!  You can catch me in The Stranger, yo !!


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Val, cupcakes are all the rage these days, even in the square city of Washington, D.C. Also, I think “business card holder” is just a euphemism to be used in polite company because I recently got a business card holder that I use exclusively to hold joints.

Comment by Colin

gah! i’d fly on a whim (much like vegas to see vegas 2ksomething) but i promised mama su i’d visit.

this is soooo awesome though!


Comment by originalmf

Poor Jessie. I did the same thing, and so did another that same day. She must get this all the time – but she’s a celebrity in our little world, why wouldn’t we show her loads of adoration?? Hope to see you at the grand opening of her store this weekend where we can all give a little Cuppie love!

Comment by Jenny

Val, this is awesome!!! I have only myself to blame for not getting to hear the whole story, barfed with precision, into the phone. How was the GALA? Can I/we get a recap???

Comment by wix

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