February 14, 2018
“TELL THEM I LOVE THEM SO MUCH”
I got home from work on Valentine’s Day at around 11:30pm. Maybe it was almost midnight. I was exhausted from making a million heart shaped cookies, waiting tables all night and just general adult life. I walked Buck around the block, changed into my coziest sweats and hit the sheets. Before saying goodnight to my beloved pup, I made a huge mistake…. I checked twitter.
My entire twitter feed was flooded with news about the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I sat there, reading through screenshots of students desperately trying to reach their parents and siblings. A girl named Hannah texted her sister Kaitlyn to tell her what was happening during the attack and to ask her to call 911. She couldn’t get through on the phone to the authorities or their parents and so she plead with her sister, repeatedly saying “tell them I love them so much”. That was the first thing I read about the Parkland shooting and I sat in my bed sobbing for an hour.
Reading those messages made me so sad, and so angry.
Feeling helpless and hopeless but wanting to do something, to say something; I turned to my kitchen. I baked a cake… and another… and another. And I put my feelings into them, and onto them. I will continue to have these conversations in any and every space that I can while also contacting my local representatives and demanding action be taken.
I am so sad and so outraged that children have to live in this fear of attending school, that hundreds if not thousands of students texted their moms and dads to say goodbye that day. That a place that should be safe, that should be about learning and community becomes a nightmare for so many. That parents are worried if their kid’s schools are safe, and if they should pull them out. I heard one woman on the radio the other talking about how she was thinking of pulling her child out of kindergarten because the classrooms walls are made of drywall and wouldn’t protect her child in the event of a mass shooting.
FUCK YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
That day members of Congress bowed their heads in a moment of silence. They tweeted their thoughts and prayers as they have with every shooting before this one. It’s always the same. “Thoughts and Prayers” and in a few short weeks they move on, as if none of this ever happened. As if 50 people weren’t murdered in Orlando during the Pulse Nightclub shooting. As if 59 people weren’t murdered at a concert in Las Vegas last October. As if 20 six and seven year old children and 6 adults weren’t murdered in Sandy Hook . As if the shootings in Littleton, Colorado (December 31, 2017) or Corning, California (November 14, 2017 – 6 killed, 12 injured) and so many others never happened because they didn’t pick up enough steam in the media for people to really care.
17 people lost their lives in Parkland, Florida last week.
We cannot allow them to be forgotten this time. The politicians who’ve spent the last week offering their thoughts and prayers aren’t doing their jobs.
Immediately following the attack, in an address to the nation, President Trump announced he would visit Parkland and work with the nation’s governors “to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” He made no mention of guns.
We do need to talk about mental health. About physical health. About the lack of care that’s afforded to the average American. But that conversation is for another day. We will not stand by and allow the politicians in this country to obfuscate and distract from the need for gun control. Right now, we need to stop pointing fingers at the FBI, the communities which have been shattered, as sad as it is to say, the victims, who are being brutally attacked in the media. We need to stand together and demand action from our legislators.
GUN CONTROL NOW!
In Florida, you don’t need a license to own a firearm.
You don’t have to register firearms.
You can buy as many firearms as you want at a time.
Firearms dealers don’t need state licenses.
Assault weapons, .50 caliber rifles and large capacity magazines aren’t regulated.
Thoughts and prayers. Talk of mental illness. The NRA pretending this isn’t a conversation about guns while they quietly pay off our congressmen and congresswomen and the president of the United States.
FUCK YOUR NRA BLOOD MONEY.
CHILDREN ARE DYING.
THIS IS ABOUT GUNS!
THIS IS ABOUT A NEED FOR GUN CONTROL AND GUN REGULATION.
This is about a culture of violence.
One asshole tries to blow up his shoe and we have to take our shoes off in airports for the rest of all time but hundreds of school shootings have occurred and no gun legislation reform.
The students that survived the shooting in Parkland last week are more than survivors, they are heroes. They have selflessly put their grief aside to help others. They are marching, they are protesting, they are giving speeches more eloquent than the man who currently resides in the oval office. They are demanding change for a better future and we all need to stand beside them. We all must say NEVER AGAIN.
We must remember the lives that have been stolen by guns.
Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
Martin Duque Anguiano, 14
Scott Beigel, 35
Nicholas Dworet, 17
Aaron Feis, 37
Jamie Guttenberg, 14
Chris Hixon, 49
Luke Hoyer, 15
Cara Loughran, 14
Gina Montalto, 14
Joaquin Oliver, 17
Alaina Petty, 14
Meadow Pollack, 18
Helena Ramsay, 17
Alex Schachter, 14
Carmen Schentrup, 16
Peter Wang, 15
A HUGE THANK TOU to Alfonso Calderon, Sarah Chadwick, Jaclyn Corin, Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Delaney Tarr, Sofie Whitney, Alex Wind and every student who has been so brave so stand up and speak out for what is right. I was not nearly as badass as y’all in high school.
What can the rest of us do to keep up with these amazing kids who are gonna take over the world and make it a better place?
USA.gov’s “How to Contact Elected Officials” page allows individuals to get in touch with federal, state, and other local leaders in order to address this hot button issue.
To make your voice heard, contact the Capitol switchboard at (202)-224-3121. Once you’re on the line, ask to be connected with your local representative in the House or Senate, and then you’ll be transferred to their office to likely speak with their legislative assistant. Make sure your message is clear to them that you want to see real action taken on gun control to prevent tragedies like this one from happening again. Remember to only contact representatives from within your state in order to be the most effective in your pursuit of stronger gun control measures.
Join groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, and The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. These organizations works to end gun violence and make communities safer by focusing on issues like background checks and gun trafficking.
You can get involved with the organization in your very own community by going to the website to find Everytown events near you. You can also donate to the Everytown cause, and you can educate yourself on some of the most important issues pertaining to gun control.
Join the MARCH FOR OUR LIVES on March 24, 2018
And if you’re having a bad day, if you’re real sad and feeling hopeless and lost, maybe you wanna bake a cake about it. It works for me.
Old fashioned Chocolate Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups cold water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
In large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Add sugar, cinnamon, and espresso powder and mix well to combine. Add water, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir to combine, fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased parchment lined pans. Tap pans on counter to release any air bubbles. Cook at 325* for 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
170g egg whites, from 5 to 6 large eggs
310g granulated sugar
3g Diamond Crystal kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
565g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla, almond or other extract.
Fill a wide pot with a few inches of water over high heat until steaming-hot, then adjust temperature to maintain a gentle simmer. Combine egg whites, sugar, salt, cream of tartar, in the heatproof bowl. Set over steaming water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, stirring and scraping constantly until egg whites hold steady at 185°F. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip at high speed about 10 minutes, until meringue is glossy, stiff, and cool to the touch.
With mixer running on low, add butter, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time. Initially, the volume of the meringue will decrease dramatically; it may even seem broken (don’t freak out), but as the cool butter is added, the mixture will begin to thicken and come together. In the end, buttercream should be thick, creamy, and soft. Mix in vanilla extract and almond extract (if using) on low speed until well combined.
Use buttercream right away, or transfer to a large zipper-lock bag, press out the air, and seal. Buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks and frozen for up to several months. Rewarm to 72°F and re-whip before using.
Decorate with all of your feels and anger and joy and confusion and just express your damn self.
The Bakery Lady