Easy as…Cake.

I’d like to start off this post with a simple disclaimer: I’m actually pretty good in the kitchen, maybe even better than you might think that I am. I just need to lead with that…

This story has been told to many people over the past 16 years or so and it has always been met with big laughs. I’m hoping that I can recreate the humor of the story in this post. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Let’s rewind to the early 2000’s; the exact year doesn’t matter. I was old enough to know better. I had decided to make my girlfriend (somehow, now my wife) a cake for her birthday. As much as I wanted to show up with a Dairy Queen cake (which she undoubtedly would have preferred), a sheet cake, or one of those big ones that I could pop out of; I decided to bake her a cake.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any cake mix laying around so I went to town to grab her favorite: vanilla cake with Rainbow Chip frosting. We only lived about a half mile outside of town, so no big deal! I was happy to do it! After I got the necessities: Betty Crocker cake mix, rainbow chip frosting, and a Mountain Dew to fuel my baking endeavor, I was ready to go!.

When I got home, I looked at the box and read the directions:
1.) Preheat the oven to 350ish
2.) Mix ingredients for about 2 minutes.
3.) Bake.
4.) Cool & frost.
5.) Enjoy.
That’s slightly paraphrasing, but you get it. I turned on the oven and started mixing ingredients: Pre-packaged flour mixture, check. Vegetable oil, check. Milk, check…..3 whole eggs.

This is where things hit a bit of a snag. The box said “3 whole eggs”, with a picture of 3 whole eggs. . .

Now, this didn’t seem quite right to me. I don’t remember ever seeing 3 whole eggs go into anything that my mom had baked before. Most of her stuff turned out pretty good and anything that didn’t, she blamed on the oven anyways! So I thought “Okie dokie!” and threw them in. 3 complete and shelled eggs. I continued to mix up my concoction; thinking “I might be in contention for ‘Best Boyfriend of the Year’, this is gonna be great!”. Once I got everything mixed up to my liking, I put it in the greased 9×13 pan and baked for 32-35 minutes.

About a half hour later, I took out the cake from the oven–it smelled AMAZING!
But… something looked odd. The nice golden brown cake had white ‘speckles’ everywhere, some speckles were bigger than others, but it was pretty noticeable. Now, I knew I probably did something wrong, but couldn’t put my finger on it. So I did what any teenager does when something goes wrong:

“Hello, Mom?…Yeah…umm… I don’t think the egg whites mixed in very good with Kate’s cake”

Yep, that’s right. I referred to the broken pieces of shell as “egg whites”. (We couldn’t afford the fancy brown ones—which in hindsight, would have probably cleared this whole mess up right away). What you will read below is a rough translation of a phone call that took place one October afternoon in the early 2000’s between one teenager and a very confused mother.
Mom: “Well they….what? Are you sure? They should have just dissolved into the mixture”
Me: “Yeah, well they didn’t, I can see them”
Mom: “You can see them? What do you mean you can see them?”
Me: “I don’t know, like….I can see them…with my eyes. They stand out pretty good against the golden brown cake”
Mom (at this point probably realizing that saving for my college education was a giant waste of time): “Maybe you didn’t mix it very well…you did 2 minutes, right?”
Me: “Yeah…I didn’t time it, but I think so”
Mom: “Well, maybe you have to try again”
Me: *Dumps entire cake into trash can*

Back to town I go, hi-ho, hi-ho-hi-ho-hi-ho…

Round 2.

This time, the oven is very well pre-heated. To this day, I’m pretty sure that I never turned it off. I grabbed the pre-packaged flour, the milk, the vegetable oil and started mixing these three things together first.

And then I grabbed the 3 little eggs….BUT, this time; they got their own special treatment. They got their own little bowl, with an immersion blender. This time, I took all 3 eggs (‘egg whites’ included) and ground the literal hell out of them with that immersion blender. After about 5 minutes of this, I had 3 mixed eggs with a very ‘pea-soup’ like consistency.

I dumped my egg mixture into the rest of the ingredients and shouted: “Alexa! set a timer for two minutes”.

Just kidding, this was ‘back in the day’, we didn’t have luxuries like Alexa. I used my phone, like a caveman.

I mixed it for 2 minutes and threw it into the oven. 32-35 minutes later, the most beautiful single layer cake you’ve ever seen came out of the oven! Cooled that thing off, and slapped on some frosting.

I practiced my speech for the “Boyfriend of the Year” award ceremony on the entire drive to her house.

I showed up to her house, puffed out my chest, and presented her with her favorite type of cake. She was really excited! I could barely decide on how I was going to spend all of these “brownie points”! Since her mom was home as well, we all chatted for awhile and then it was the time that I’ve all been waiting for: cake time. We cut the cake and were ready to eat when at the very last second…

Like, literally the last possible second–cake was on the fork, centimetres from our mouths-just like a dramatic movie scene.

My mom calls, basically in tears. She was now at home and had pieced this mess together. I most likely didn’t clean up anything from making the two cakes (#teenager), so she had a pretty hot trail to follow.
Mom: “Did you put the….Did you put the….*uncontrollable laughter*…Did you put WHOLE eggs into the cake?”
Mom (now browsing convertibles with my college savings): “Yes, the egg WHITES would dissolve…the SHELLS would not!! *more uncontrollable laughter* I can’t believe you put the whole egg in!….wait….*now laughing at near-fatal levels*…did you make TWO cakes THE SAME WAY???!”
Me: “…..But….the picture on the back……(now immediately realizing the magnitude of my stupidity)..umm”


I yelled out to Kate and her mom: “Don’t eat the cake!! IT’S POISON!”. I then had to explain why we couldn’t eat this particular cake. I also told her that if she wanted to be with someone who knew the difference between an ‘egg shell’ and an ‘egg white’ that I would understand and could show myself out.

Now, Kate and her mom; being the nice, ‘never hurt anyone’s feelings’ types of people they are said “we can still eat it!”. Ah yes, the pity was in full force that afternoon, but I took it anyways. We all ate one piece, and then I ate about 4 more just to prove a point. In all honesty, it probably wasn’t as bad as many of you are thinking. The flavor was very good; but the texture…. Man, that texture was a bit ‘gritty’.

To this day, anyone who knows this story will bring it up in some capacity whenever a baked good or eggs are being prepared in my presence.

I hope this story got you to laugh, or at least smile and blow air out of your nose a little harder at times. 2020 sucks, but we’ll make it through! Mental health has taken a hit recently for a lot of people and they say that laughter is the best medicine, so I hope this helped. If you liked the story, please share it with your friends and family that you think could use a good laugh at my expense.

Take care everyone,


If you liked this one, please check out some other stories!

“Clever and Witty Title”

Hi….I couldn’t think of anything good for a title for this post…I’m open to suggestions.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. Actually, I haven’t posted anything since Memorial Day. I’ve been….whats the term??…busy?


…Lazy? Yeah, that’s it!

I’ve been lazy!.

Kudos to people who do daily blogs or social media posts. Even weekly is tough! Apparently I’m on the Dane Cook plan. A ton of stuff right away, and then not so much. I ran into some old co-workers/friends yesterday and they all told me that they thought that the blog was funny! Obviously this renewed a fire in me to post something again. So, if you really like my blogs, tell me every single day and I’ll put one up every single day.

No I wont….Good God, can you imagine? I would alienate all of my Facebook friends and lose a bunch of Twitter followers in a matter of months. And we all know, that’s all that matters in life, right?

Anyways, I’ve had a Google Drive document with a long list of topics that I thought would be interesting to talk about. Obviously, my stories are probably my best work–but stuff just doesn’t happen to me very often. So, instead of trying to put a bunch of thoughts together for one topic. I’m going to touch on a few of the topics that I have written down. I have no idea where this post is going to go from this point forward, but one of my favorite radio personalities on KFAN, Dan “The Common Man” Cole’s ‘bit’ is that he never does any prep-work before a show and just flies by the seat of his pants. He’s got a daytime job on a major market radio, he’s doing OK. I can probably do the same thing-as I’ve said before, I’ve been winging it for awhile- how hard can it be?

[Editor’s Note: I was going to have a bunch of topics lined up and comment briefly on each one, but I couldn’t stop typing during my second topic…so now it’s only two topics and, shockingly, a long post]

First topic on my list: “Digital Parenting”. So, my 3 year old can navigate her way around an iPad (Amazon Kindle–but iPad is shorter) better than I can drive in the city-so that’s great….. My 1 year old is now getting the hang of it as well. Now, I want to start by saying that my kids are not on the iPad all day long; in fact–my 1 year old threatens to burn the house down anytime she is inside it and my 3 year old is getting into riding her bike–which is awesome. They would just rather be outside-and they should! They are 3 and 1 and it’s summer-I want them outside! I just find it fascinating that kids that can’t tie their $7 shoes can operate a $1000 smartphone. However, I will say that parenting is “easier” with these devices in certain situations-such as car rides. If we don’t pack the iPads for a drive longer than 20 minutes; I will turn around and get them. I would rather listen to the “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” or “PJ Masks” than a crying child. Man….typing this out makes me sound like a bad parent! Let’s be clear–argue with this statement all you want, but this is the way the world is going: Kids are growing up in a digital age and they know how to use technology at an age that was unheard of even 20 years ago. But, 20 years from now (2038–yeah its a real year) if they DON’T know how to use and adapt to technology–they’re going to be in trouble. Go ahead, prove me wrong-I’ll wait 20 years.

I don’t believe this makes you a bad parent if you give your kid some sort of screen time-but for Christ’s sake…set a time limit. Truthfully, our iPads are out on road trips and maybe 10% of the time at the house. Seriously. My wife and I are very aware of how much time they are on it. Obviously childhood obesity is increasing by the year, so kids definitely have to get outside and do things, but the digital age isn’t going anywhere and they are growing up right in the middle of it. Speaking of screen time (and I’m a giant offender of this), try to put your phone away when the kids are around. I know that I’m not good at it, but I’m trying to get better. It bugs my wife and it even bugs me-and I’m doing it! I read something on one of my friend’s Facebook posts the other day that hit home: “You only get to spend 18 summers with your kids”. Let that sink in.

We’re off to a good start, right? Nice controversial topic right out of the gate.

Let’s lighten up a bit with Topic #2: “My Emotional Attachment to Sports”: My wife is either going to skip right over this or go through it with a fine-toothed comb and call me out on every little thing that I say that she might have a different view on. Love you, honey.

I don’t remember the exact day and time that I became a big sports fan, but I can remember certain things growing up that definitely contributed to the addiction. The first thing I remember is going to Twins’ games in the old Metrodome when my favorite MN player ever was manning center field, the late Kiiiiiirrrrbbbbyyyyy Puck-Ett. The first game that I ever went to was right around the time of the ’91 World Series team. I don’t think it was that year however. Kirby was forced to retire in ’96, so it was definitely before then. My first game was against the Seattle Mariners; Kirby Puckett and Ken Griffey, Jr.—baseball immortality! There was even a home run hit to the lady DIRECTLY behind me. Seriously, had I been 6″ taller and not deathly afraid of a ball hurling towards me at what felt like 900 miles an hour…I’da had it. I remember walking into the “field area” of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for the first time and just being in awe. It was the biggest building that I had ever been in–the lights and sounds were almost overwhelming to a kid from a town that would have fit under the Teflon roof. This was probably my gateway drug.

The next step into the emotional sports attachment abyss was the Randy Moss and Kevin Garnett era. KG in ’95 and Moss in ’98 (like you didn’t know that one) took Minnesota sports to a media fame level that hadn’t been seen for quite some time, if ever. I was never a giant Timberwolves fan, but I remember watching a skinny high school kid play with NBA players, whose cards I had in a shoe box. It was surreal–the skills and attitude that he brought to the team at 18 years old was awesome. That patented KG double shoulder-shake, turnaround fade away jumper was something everyone tried to replicate. Speaking of attitude, Randy Moss: He had a negative attitude, famously took plays off, nudged people with his car, paid fines with “straight cash homie”, walked off the field, mock-mooned Green Bay fans, and squirted an official with a water bottle. Still, he was the reason that every kid in Minnesota wanted to play wide receiver. Everyone wanted to catch that 45 yard bomb and score 20 touchdowns. Unfortunately-99.9998% of MN kids probably weren’t 6’4″ and running 4.25 40’s. I was a bit under that…5’10” and like a 5.0 40 yard time (any high school teammates reading this are wholeheartedly disagreeing with that number). I played Tight End anyways-we’re supposed to be slow and sit on the bench, which is what I told myself. Anyways, if you forgot how good Moss actually was, click here; I bet you watch the whole thing. Moss is the greatest receiver to every play the game. KG and Moss were stepping stone #2 into the addiction; the ball really was rolling now. Also-kinda off-topic, Michael Jordan is better than LeBron James, don’t @ me. It’s the truth…you’re forgetting how good MJ was, OR you’re too young to fully appreciate how good he was.

I can clearly remember stop #3 along my journey. The 2003 NHL Western Conference Playoffs… Quarterfinals: Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche. This was the Wild’s first playoff appearance since becoming a team 3 years earlier. I started watching during game 5. Wild were down 3-1 in the series. I had NEVER been a big hockey fan at all; never played hockey-can’t skate to save my life. I turned on the game in the 2nd period basically for background noise. The Wild were winning 3-0 in Colorado and they ended up winning the game 3-2. I was really intrigued with the pace of the game and how intense every single shift was. If you’ve never watched hockey or don’t think you like it–watch playoff hockey; it’s different. The next game was Monday and the series was back in St. Paul. The Wild were still down 3-2 in the series, but I figured I’d turn it on anyways. The game was relatively boring until the 3rd period. It ended up going into overtime tied 2-2, when Richard Park scored to force a game 7! I was almost hooked. Wednesday night in Colorado (9pm start time on a school night) I turned the game on and watched the Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche, again in overtime on a Andrew Brunette goal, scoring on goalie Patrick Roy (pronounced “Wah”, for some reason), who retired the next day. The Wild then faced the Vancouver Canucks and DID THE EXACT SAME THING!! They came back from being down 3-1 in the series only to force and win in game 7. We won’t talk about the Anaheim series in the Conference Finals, bit of a hiccup there…But at that point, I was completely hooked.

#4 was my wife (awww): I am not athletic. At 32, I’m still coming to grips with it, but I’m just not. I have some attributes that are better than average, but overall–I’m just not athletic; I get it. I’ve fully embraced the dad-bod, insurance agent lifestyle. I was on the football team in high school and played Kickoff, Kick Return, Field Goals, and Tight End/Defensive End if we were up by 5 touchdowns with 7 seconds to go. Kate, on the other hand, has enough athletic talent in her pinky toe to make up for my shortcomings. I used to play Pep Band while she was lighting up scoreboards at Yellow Medicine East basketball games. During the early years of our courtship, I used to drive 4 hours to watch her play college basketball at St. Catherine’s University each weekend; eventually I only had to walk about 10 minutes to watch her after we both transferred to Bemidji State University #BestDecisionEver. Kate’s dad was an extremely good basketball coach and she learned a lot from him, but she also put in the time to get very good. She used to tell me how, if she made 1,000 baskets, her dad would buy her a CD. Kate has amassed quite the CD collection. You’re probably wondering–“OK, Romeo; how did this affect YOU?” Well, I watched Kate play most every single basketball game since high school and there was an emotional attachment to watching her succeed and the competitive spirit that she had. Although she never showed it… whenever Kate played basketball, she always looked like she would rather be taking a nap. But I got into those games, I got to know the teammates and the dynamic of the team chemistry and the friendships that they formed. I never really had much of that sitting on the bench.

Also, I hope my kids have her athletic ability.

Sports has always been an emotional outlet for me-whether I was playing or not (most likely not). There’s just something about it that I can’t describe. I know there are a ton of people that think I’m crazy–but I know there are a ton of people who know exactly what I’m talking about. Since the birth of my daughters, I can say that I’ve eased up on watching every single game (especially the Wild–82 games plus playoffs is a bit much). But I follow the social media accounts of the media writers, players, coaches, national outlets, etc. This might sound crazy, but when the Vikings win on Sunday; I’m in a better mood on Monday. The outcome of 22 millionaires on a grass field has literally no bearing on my life at all; but I care and it affects my emotions for a day or so. I wear the purple colored glasses, I think the Vikings are winning the Super Bowl every year or the Wild are hoisting the Stanley Cup; but then I remember that…you know…Minnesota.

Remember the ’98 missed field goal by Gary Anderson against the Atlanta Falcons; I had to ride a bus to Sharing and Caring Hands with my church group immediately after (most of us were late)–and I don’t think anyone said anything the entire 3 hour bus ride. So, I know I’m not the only one that gets affected by the outcomes of games. If you’re a glutton for punishment, feel free to relive it here.

I wish I had a better way to end this; I really do… I honestly didn’t think that I would get to be such a long post-but I can’t seem to stop typing. I hope you enjoyed this post! I’ll try to keep posting a bit more often than I have been. I’m still trying to grasp onto the fact that people actually enjoy these.

Thanks for reading!

-ML #83