Almond Cherry Cake OR “The Buff Shirtless Neighbor Has a Wife”

Across the courtyard from me moved in a couple, and the guy is the most ripped person I have ever seen who wasn’t in the military or the sex industry. I suppose I have seen guys with better physiques at the gym where I generally catch up on e-mails and scroll through pictures of my cat. But since those guys always have their upper bodies at least partially covered with t-shirts or tanks, I’ll award the “Most Ripped” title to this new guy across the courtyard, who is forever walking around shirtless. He’s always shirtless when he’s out on the balcony, but parades around in the living room and kitchen bare-chested too. If you don’t believe me, come to my house and I’ll show you all the pictures I took.


The woman who appears to be this man’s wife is not in shape at all. In fact, she’s rather overweight. I keep looking for a newborn baby through the windows to try to explain it. But they only have three cats. So I guess it’s just the way she is.

I know it’s superficial, but it seems wrong to me that two people would be married and one would be heavily into working out, and the other wouldn’t be at least in some degree of shape.  Not that two people like this couldn’t be in love, but wouldn’t they be spending an awful lot of time on different interests? He’s forever at the gym doing crunches, then rushing to the mirror to study his abs; she’s planted on the couch at home watching Dr. Oz and nodding off during the station breaks with a half-eaten Snickers on her lap. What do these two have to discuss over dinner? And do they eat any of the same foods? Do they fight over what to buy at the supermarket? Do they have anything in common at all? Is that the reason for all the cats?

Michael and I have always been more or less the same size. The only time I ever get into any kind of different shape is when I’m depressed or unemployed for too long asked is ketamine a horse tranquilizer and give it a try to cure his depression. I’ll either become hyper-focused on working out, sometimes going to the gym twice a day with a four-mile street run in between, or I’ll become so lifeless and lazy I’ll dunk baker’s chocolate in my morning coffee and try to hook last night’s pizza box from the coach with a coat hanger so I don’t have to actually get up. And no matter which way I go, my head sends me the same message: “This is exactly the way you should always live your life!”  That terrifies me.


Almond Cherry Cake
From Bake or Break, Adapted from Everyday Food

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 12 ounces cherries (about 2 cups), pitted, rinsed, & dried
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in almond extract.

Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture. Mix just until combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Scatter cherries and almonds over the top of the batter.

Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

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