Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?

Stale Cake: Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat

Guess Who’s Back!

That’s right after an obscene hiatus, Monette and I are back with a vengeance! I honestly can’t give a good reason for our long break. For me, it was giving into the season’s ability to release sloth-like tendencies. I think we both needed to recharge our batteries a bit and gain some focus. We have had plenty of time to do that so now were back at it. I hope you’ve missed us a little, we’ve missed you.

Veruca Goes First

Sometimes I think that Veruca Salt may just be the patron saint of bratty ass children. I know my point of reference for this comment should be that I have read the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but it isn’t. Like many of my seemingly illiterate American brethren I have only watched the films. [Monette: WHAT?! Roald Dahl was my favorite! And despite recently learning that he was an anti-semite, I think you should read them right now, Asha!] The 1971 classic starring Gene Wilder and the 2005 abomination with Johnny Depp. The 1971 film is the one that I remember watching as a child and so it is imprinted in my brain as the best one and references made hereafter will be referring to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory as the only source.

“When I make my first entrance,” he explained, “I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself; but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.” Asked why, Wilder said, “Because from that time on, no one will know if I’m lying or telling the truth.”

OK, that was really not related to our comic or to bratty kids, but we just had to put in a link to this letter from Gene Wilder about his portrayal of Willy Wonka because we thought it was cool.

I Want It Now!

In the film, the children were bad little monsters (with the exception of the almost saintly Charlie). In my opinion, I always thought that Veruca was the most spoiled apple of the bunch. She is clearly a child of privilege coming from an affluent family and has never been told “no” in her life. In the film, her father caves and bends to her every whim. That’s why it is so satisfying when she finally gets hers.

Here’s hoping the furnace was lit that day …

Pampered and spoiled like a siamese cat

In the film, the Oompa-loompas ponder the question of how to handle a bratty child. According to them, the only source to blame for kids’ brattiness is their parents. As a parent I know that kids can all have moments where they orbit the brat universe. A little bit of brattiness from a child is probably to be expected, but what happens if your child not only orbits Planet Brat but also happens to live there almost full time? This article can give you some advice on handling and counter acting bratty behavior

Veruca Salt makes a comeback!

Okay I will readily admit that I have a minor obsession with the 90’s, so it really warmed my heart when I heard about Veruca Salt reuniting and touring last year. I was surprised to hear that they had reunited and really want a group tour with Elastica, L7 and Hole.

For those who don’t know Veruca Salt, the band had a kick-ass breakthrough hit with their song “Seether” – of which Veruca, the character, would have approved. It was about a girl that oozed dissatisfaction so much that she would start foaming at the mouth.


Stale Cake: Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?

Football: searching for the beauty of the game

Stale Cake: Football - Searching for the beauty of the game

Football: searching for the beauty of the game

Football season is upon us! Fans have been planning their fantasy football leagues and packing their tailgating coolers. But the NFL has been dealing with several scandals, including domestic violence, child abuse, and reports of future brain damage for a third of its players.

Ravens and their love for players named Ray

The Ray Rice domestic violence incident definitely hits close to home for Monette and me because we are both native Baltimoreans or Baltimorons if you are a jerkoff. My daughter Adiyah was given a Ray Rice football jersey a couple of years ago by her fanatical football loving aunt, now the jersey will never be worn again. The Baltimore Sun reported that on September 19, “about 5,600 Rice jerseys were exchanged… When the supply ran out, about 2,400 fans got vouchers to buy jerseys at a later date.”

Still, Ravens fans are used to forgiving (or just overlooking) scandals associated with Ravens players (especially if the player’s first name is Ray.)

Paying lip service

Seeing the Ray Rice drama unfold and then explode when TMZ revealed the actual elevator footage put a big damper on our perceptions of the NFL and how poorly they handled the situation. For the casual football fan these types of antics are enough to make one turn their back on a sport that does not show a good faith effort to care at all about women. It has caused many women to rethink their relationship with the NFL.

In 2009, the CMO of the the NFL stated that the league was reaching out to women, “listening to their needs much more aggressively and really trying to get under the skin of what needs they have and what can we do better.”

In September 2013, he spoke at the inaugural “Game Changers Conference: The Intersection of Women and Sports.” The article states that the “group touched on topics ranging from media coverage to the roles the female athletes play. All were timely, but none hitting home more for women more than the NFL’s new stadium bag policy.”

We really hope the NFL goes beyond being able to bring purses into games and wearing pink gloves during October breast cancer awareness this year.

Tailgating will go on

Despite the incompetence of the higher-ups in the NFL, football fandom isn’t going away. People will adjust their fantasy football drafts. They will hang out with friends, eat fatty delicious food and cheering for their favorite team.

Did you know that tailgating had its roots in war? According to the American Tailgaters Association (they have associations for everything) this is how the one of the first tailgating event went down:

“One of the first tailgating events was first documented during the Civil War, although participants, in all likelihood, were not sharing recipes or playing a friendly game of horseshoes. The event took place in 1861 at the Battle of Bull Run. At the battle’s start, civilians from the Union side arrived with baskets of food and shouting, “Go Big Blue!” their efforts were a form of support and were to help encourage their side to win the commencing battle.”

Actually the connection kind of makes since sports are often a battle of sorts, usually the murder and mayhem happen off the field.


The Neverending Story of Ennui

Stale Cake: The Neverending Story of Ennui

The Neverending Story of Ennui

Can you believe that is has been 30 years since one of Asha’s favorite movies The Neverending Story was released in theaters? If you have ever wondered what happened to the actors that played the lead characters, this article gives you the scoop (let’s just say Bastian Balthazar Bux is currently a little rough around the edges.)

It’s hard not to look at the tale of brave Atreyu, slightly whiny Bastian, doomed Artax (Asha still cries like a baby at this scene ) , the child-like Empress, G’mork, the Nothing’s Champion, and not get a warm and fuzzy feeling (get your mind out of the gutter). For Asha, this film symbolizes some of the best things about the 80’s; a chance to look at everything with fresh possibilities and that a child-like curiosity can be a cure for the world’s ills.

In the movie, Falcor, the luck dragon, is a pivotal character. Spoiler* (but really this movie is 30 mother-freaking years old if you haven’t seen it yet get with the program!) He saves Atreyu when he is a the brink of potentially dying and not fulfilling his quest and helps Bastian get some righteous retribution on a bunch of bullies.

Falcor Origins

Did you know that Falcor was not the character’s original name? The original name “Fuchur” is derived from Japanese “Fukuryuu” (?? or ??, “lucky dragon”). It was changed in the English translation because it would have been pronounced very similar to “future”. This really resonates with us StaleCake-ians because our own origins are Japanese in nature. The scene of Bastian riding on a Luck Dragon is pretty cool and iconic, we thought nothing could top it.

Until we saw this…

Screw that Goonies sequel, this is a re-imagining we could get behind!

This Tops Those Two Lame Ass Sequels

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the cast from the Neverending story threw a raging kegger? You can see what that party would look courtesy of the mad people over at Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken.

Two Shy Shy, Hush, Hush

The Title Track from the Neverending Story has always been one of Asha’s favorites. It so cheesy and wonderful and the woman who sings it has a nice voice. Well Asha did not find out until recently that that woman was actually a man. Limihal, was the singer of the song, you may not know the name but you may know him from this awesome 80’s one-hit-wonder from his band Kajagoogoo. If you knew this was a guy originally, please don’t blame Asha, she didn’t get MTV until 1988 and finally saw the video just a few months ago.

This brings us to today’s poll. Let us know which 80’s theme song is your favorite! If your favorite is not listed in the poll scroll down and leave us a comment and tell us which 80’s movie theme song is the most awesome.

Narcissism: a song in the key of me

Stale Cake: Narcissism, a song in the key of me

Narcissism: a song in the key of me

Have you ever encountered a narcissist? Would you know the person was a narcissist if you encountered them? Apparently it has become easier than ever to spot a narcissist, all you have to do is ask them. The recent Stale.com article “Are you a Narcissist” examines this recent development in the never-ending debate on narcissism and how it should be classified.

Narcissus is so in love with himself that he has totally missed out on boobs.
Echo and Narcissus.jpg
Echo and Narcissus” by John William Waterhouse Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The nature versus nurture debate with narcissists will rage on but it seems that you no longer need a huge psychological battery of questions to identify them. According to the article, narcissists find themselves to be so awesome and superior to their fellow human beings that they have no problem admitting their narcissism to others. Yup, that sounds about right. This issues strikes a real emotional chord with Asha, who has often thought that she might be a beacon for narcissists and sociopaths alike. Asha is still smarting from her recent break up with a narcissist who wined and dined her initially to get his manipulative mitts on her. Then the manipulation intensified to soaring heights culminating in him blaming her for his drunk driving and all of his life problems and then breaking up with her via text message.

While some of you are saying, “Asha, it sounds like he was just an asshole, how can you be so sure he was a narcissist?” Rest assured, dear reader, he was in fact a narcissist. He fits all of the defining characteristics, which are highlighted here: http://www.businessinsider.com/20-traits-of-a-narcissist-2013-2?op=1.

So what can you do to combat and minimize encounters with narcissists, especially if you find yourself, like Asha, to be a beacon for them? You can find ways to use your past exposure to narcissists to your advantage. If someone is exhibiting the characteristics that are highlighted in the link above then run for the hills. I think that is the easy part; the hard part comes if you are dealing with a narcissist that is deeply entrenched in your life like a parent, spouse, or maybe even child. What can you do if the narcissist is not someone that you can easily escape from? This article outlines some techniques for dealing with a narcissist. Unfortunately, our suggestion of sending them all to Narcissist island, where they can see if they can out manipulate each other was not on the list, but it should be.


Marie Antoinette – Let Me Eat Cake!

Stale Cake: Gray hair, Do care

Marie Antoinette – Let Me Eat Cake!

Apparently Marie Antoinette never uttered her most famous words “Let them eat cake.” It is a supposedly false attribution. Asha wonders how it is known that she in fact did not utter these words since all those who are claiming to know this clearly were not alive during that period of history. Marie may or may not have said the words but she surely must have done something that set off a revolution that ended with her losing her head.

What is it about history and key historical figures that make us want to keep on finding ways to stay connected with them. Marie Antoinette’s story is one that has captured collective imagination while she was living and in the centuries since her death. There have been film adaptations of her life seeking to capture the essence of her story. The most recent is the 2006 Sofia Coppola directed adaptation that featured Kirsten Dunst. Asha’s favorite Marie Antoinette film is the 1938 adaptation that stars Norma Shearer.

What is it about Marie Antoinette? Why does her story captivate us so? Maybe it is the tale of riches to rags that strikes a deep chord. In these current times I think it is intriguing to see a story that captures what happens when the aristocracy loses sight of the plight of the common man leading to its detriment. Are there shades of Marie’s time in history being duplicated today?

Apparently when we want to criticize someone (mostly women) for decadence and being out of touch, it is not uncommon to call that person a modern day Marie Antoinette. There have been several women recently that have been called out in the media as modern day Maries. Former French first lady Carla Bruni, Kate Moss, and current US first lady Michelle Obama have all been the recipients of this title. However, they pale in comparison with a women that seems to embody Marie Antoinette so well one might think that she is Marie reincarnated. That woman is Gwyneth Paltrow.

Gwyneth may not be actual royalty but she is Hollywood royalty so that is pretty darn close. With her annoying lifestyle blog goop.com, her unconscious coupling or whatever she is up to these days, she is the embodiment of the aristocracy. She wants us to eat gluten free, macrobiotic cake and spend a mere $900 on her favorite new Dior sneakers. We have actually lampooned Gwyneth once before in this comic gem, but she is the gift that keeps giving so we delight in bringing her up as long as she continues to be utterly ridiculous and pompous.


Gray hair, Do care

Stale Cake: Gray hair, Do care

Gray hair, Do care

Finding your first gray hair on your head can be traumatic. Asha fondly remembers finding her first silvery hair on the right upper quadrant of her head, at the tender age of 15. She remembers wondering in horror how she could have a gray hair so young. Then she remembered she was in the midst of high-school hell at an all-girls school. Single-sex education with some bitch-tastic girls can definitely turn your hair prematurely white (except Monette, she has always been wonderful and never bitch-tastic).

Asha didn’t see any other grays start to sprout until about 15 years later. Now she dyes them so she doesn’t have the daily reminders of her descent into agedness. She has always been curious about what causes our hair to gray in the first place. This article sheds some light on why we go gray.

Wait, where?!?

What could possibly be worse than finding grays in you hair on your head? Well, finding some in your crotch of course. Asha won’t go into the details of how she discovered this was starting to happen to her because it is too embarrassing. If you are curious you can send an email and she will tell you.

What do you do when you find yourself going gray down there? A classic Sex and The City episode answered this question when Samantha’s character reached for the dye. The results were disastrous and she ended up with a circus themed vag naming it “Bozo the Bush.” Some people probably go for the full Brazilian leaving behind no signs of any hair giving you the appearance of a pre-pubescent bush. How would you tackle this issue or is it really an issue at all?


The Adulthood Horizon


The Adulthood Horizon

Some notes for all the smarty-pants

The mathematical formula in this comic:

    1) is for the apparent horizon
    2) assumes the earth is a perfect sphere
    3) means “height” to be how far our eyes are above sea level
    4) does not consider refraction
    5) makes use of the pythagorean theorem – which may be the most complicated math that we carried over into adulthood

Searching for the Lost Boys (and Girls)

It’s amazing how time works when it comes to the human experience and continuum. When you are young, you long to be older. You see adults around you and it looks like fun to be able to do what adults are doing. Asha fondly remembers not being able to wait for the prospect of getting away from her parents when she was a teen only to find herself back with them again as an adult (this is temporary but still frustrating). Little do you know that while you are longing to be older and want to speed up your journey to adulthood that the adults in your life are enviously looking at your youth and want to be young again.

“Youth is wasted on the young”
– George Bernard Shaw

Getting older seems cool when you are young but that’s because you don’t know what you are in for. Here is a list of some of the annoying things that come with adulthood:

  • Paying taxes
  • Working with assholes you don’t really like
  • Only having two weeks vacation
  • Paying for everything (i.e. Gas, food, lodging and everything in between)
  • Gray hair, crow’s feet and other visible signs of aging
  • Unexpected and unexplained aches and pains
  • Time crunches where you feel like you never have time to do what you want
  • Brain drain where you have been lobotomized by your daily routine and spend your spare time in front of a television or fiddling with other mind numbing devices

This list is not exhaustive but it is exhausting to read. There are so many things that show the inconvenience of getting older. For those that like to think that 30/40/50 is the new whatever here is some news for you, its not, this acclaimed Ted talks tells you why.

Same as it ever was?

As we sit in our cubicles/offices/ designated work areas of despair we wonder as David Byrne and The Talking Heads did with their 80’s classic Once in a Lifetime “how did I get here?” This song is deep as hell and perfectly reflects the weird genesis of aging and how life can lead you on a twisted unexpected journey.

Asha frequently contemplates how she got to this point in her life and why it’s so far away from the vision board version of her life that she created. Okay, so Asha just looked at her vision board and noticed it was half-empty (she doesn’t even have enough vision to create a vision board). In any case her current life is far from the one that she envisioned.

Life’s a Bastard and then you die?

One of the weird phenomena of living is that you can go through the years and not even really realize how much time is passing and how quickly. Sometimes it feels like 30 was just yesterday and 25 ( our official induction into Stalecake-itude) was only a few weeks ago. The events, people of past, present and future can seem to blend and merge making it hard to really see and experience what is happening in the now.

In the book “Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers”, Peg Lynch, pioneer creator of the radio and television program Ethel and Albert had this poignant example of how aging works:

“Years ago, my father-in-law was celebrating his ninetieth birthday. For a surprise, I decided to make ninety cupcakes and have candles all over them. I thought it was so cute. It took me and four other people to get all the damn things lit before the first ones started to go out. So I said to my father-in-law, ‘When you’re ninety years old, do you still feel sixteen?’ And he said, ‘Yes, you do.’ But he looked at me kind of sad and said, ‘But all your friends are dead.’ “

If that doesn’t sum up what its like to get older we Stalecake-ians aren’t sure what does.




Bloody Beavers

Stale Cake: Bloody Beavers

Bloody Beavers

This week’s comic commemorates the premiere of Sharknado 2: The Second One. Tara Reid, Sharknado star, once played “a young genius anthropologist with an incredible memory” in the film Alone in the Dark. Tara recently drew upon her vast experience playing a scientist in a craptastic movie to let everyone know that she thinks that the premise of Sharknado could totally happen in real life:

“You know, it actually can happen. I mean, the chances of it happening are very rare, but it can happen actually. Which is crazy. Not that it—the chances of it are, like, you know, it’s like probably ‘pigs could fly.’ Like, I don’t think pigs could fly, but actually sharks could be stuck in tornados. There could be a sharknado.”

Wait, could Tara Reid be right?

If fish and baby alligators have been pulled up into the air, could other sea animals? Well, maybe but don’t worry, Harold Brooks, a scientist at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory told Mother Jones “if a twister were strong enough to scoop up a bunch of large sharks, the debris present in tornadoes—wood, metal—would essentially filet the animals.”

The animal killer subgenre

The Sharknado series comes in along line of films in the animal killer horror subgenre (there are at least 300 of them!) People are very freaked out that nature will provide some sort of cosmic payback. Some of these films are pretty damn good. Highlights include Cujo, Jaws (the first one not the rest of the shitty sequels) and The Birds.

Of course, there are plenty of plenty of bad films in the subgenre as well. Asha’s favorite baddies include Frogs and Ants.


When we were creating this week’s comic we wanted to poke some fun at the horror genre and its love of sequels (why is going to the hood somehow scarier than going to space?) We wanted to also spoof the animal killer subgenre by using an animal that we thought had not been used yet only to find that that there is indeed a killer beaver movie coming soon called Zombeavers.

The other kind of beaver

There is nothing more frightening than a bloody beaver and having one’s once a month can be a bit of a burden. This week’s comic plays on the double meaning of beavers. We wondered how did beavers come to be associated with the almighty vag? According to this etymology site,

In colonial times it was thought that prostitutes spread venereal diseases through contact with their pubic area, so the women were made “bald” in that area for health reasons. However, their clients did not like that look and business began to suffer. Therefore, pubic wigs, called merkins, were manufactured for the prostitutes. These merkins were made out of beaver pelts. Hence the term beaver.




A Selfie of Dorian Gray

Stale Cake: A Selfie of Dorian Gray

A Selfie of Dorian Gray

As a melancholoy, morose child with few real live friends but plenty of imaginary ones (unfortunately, not much has changed over the years) Asha was drawn to horror and classic films. One of her favorite films that combines elements of the two is the 1945 film version of Oscar Wilde’s classic, The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

There is something very enticing about the story of a morally bankrupt fop who is able to maintain his timeless outer beauty while inwardly decaying from festering rot. The story of Dorian Gray struck a deep chord with Asha and has always reminded her of the perfect literary manifestation of the famous biblical quote:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

– King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

While the film version of Dorian Gray is tame by today’s horror standards, Asha has always been struck by the unveiling of Dorian’s portrait.

Dorian Gray Portrait

The depths of Dorian’s decay manifest on canvas is the stuff of childhood nightmares.Hurd Hatfield played the title character in the film, but it was his co-star and life-long friend Angela Lansbury who became well-known. Hurd was so good in the role of Dorian Gray that it essentially ruined his career.

“The film didn’t make me popular in Hollywood. It was too odd, too avant-garde, too ahead of its time. The decadence, the hints of bisexuality and so on, made me a leper! Nobody knew I had a sense of humour, and people wouldn’t even have lunch with me.”

He is the original Anthony Perkins, so good in a role that people can’t digest you as anything else. There have been subsequent remakes of the Wilde classic but Hurd’s performance is haunting and stands the test of time.

Okay enough fangirl ranting! If you need a current Dorian Gray fix you might enjoy Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. The show, set in Victorian times, mixes Dorian, Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, werewolves and other famous ghouls and beasts made popular in that era. While Hurd’s Dorian Gray may have hinted at bisexuality, Penny Dreadful’s Dorian, portrayed by Reeve Carney, leaves little to the imagination. It’s a visual feast for the eyes, solid storytelling and has Asha’s 90’s crush Josh Harnett.


Happy Birthday to ME!

Stale Cake: Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Happy Birthday to me!

OMG! Stale Cake turns one this week! Luckily for you we’re almost out of diapers. It has been a cool year for us Stalecake-ians. We have experienced the elation that comes from creating and pumping our ideas into the world. We have also experienced uncertainty and doubt as we have struggled to figure out what content would work best to build our audience. Those struggles had us doubting our own voice and straying from why we decided to embark on our Stale Cake journey in the first place.

After a little soul searching and heart to heart chats we decided to listen to our own inner voices and create comics that we enjoy. We hope you enjoy them too and continue with us on our journey.

We’re just getting started. We expect our second year to be filled with more irreverent comics and other related projects. There will probably be more soul searching as well and we welcome all parts of our adventure.

In honor of our first birthday we are pulling out one of the comics from our Cake vs. Pie series (we only had one last year, but this dessert battle is epic and never ending, so it WILL be a series.) Every day is somebody’s birthday, and pie doesn’t get the same kind of spotlight.

Somehow, our conversation turned to Elvis (as you can see he is part of this week’s comic, a continuation of our Cake vs. Pie series). Monette kept the conversation light by bringing up Elvis’s obsession with peanut butter and banana sandwiches. While Asha’s mind went a little darker fixating on this


Tywin Lannister like expiration via the toilet.

Speaking of Elvis, check out this adorable baby singing Elvis. She really gets into it. Asha was cracking up and smiling watching this one and it takes a lot for her to smile these days.