Friday, March 14, 2014

Gotta Have pi

I work part-time at a school. Therefore I am surrounded by nerdy math teachers and science geeks, all of whom spent the week reminding the rest of the staff that today is pi day. You know – March 14, or the number 3.14, which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. (Why is this important? I don't know.) My children also reminded me, more than once, that today is pi day. That's because they are nerds, too.

However the idea got planted, I couldn't get it out of my brain that I needed to eat some pie. It doesn't take much to convince me to eat pie. Pie is my favorite dessert in the entire universe. The crust is the best part. If you put me on a deserted island and gave me lifetime supply of pie crust and water coffee, I would definitely survive.

My other mission today was to acquire some much needed groceries for the family. They can be so demanding, this brood of mine. They insist on having some “new” food in the house every week or so. “Good food,” they say.  By this they mean food that has the maximum amount of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fat, and the minimal amount of fiber or nutrients. They also regularly request food that food that hasn't expired. (I'm a bargain shopper, what can I say?) There is just no pleasing them.

That being said, I knew I could easily combine the day's two missions into one: get food and get pie. Well, pie is food, but you know what I mean. I'm happy to give in to my children's sweet tooth once in a while, especially if it involves pie.

First, I went to Horrocks. I love Horrocks, and I normally wouldn't pick on one of my favorite stores, but today they had a total of three pies. Apparently they didn't get the memo that today is pi day. None of the available flavors promised to satisfy my family.

Next, I went to Aldi, which has a little bit of everything. Except pie.

On the way home, I stopped at Quality Dairy, home of donuts, muffins, scones, coffee cake, and a wide variety of other addictive, yet legal, sugary baked goods (and, oh yeah, dairy products; hence the name Quality Dairy). But guess what? No pie.

The helpful QD staff suggested that I try Roma Bakery just down the street. Nope, no pie.

I came home and unloaded the groceries. I was tired. I took a nap. But I still wanted some damn pie!

I had to take my daughter to a babysitting gig at 2:00, so I decided I would continue my quest for pie. And then it hit me, “Why not go to the Grand Traverse Pie Company?” Really? It took at least eight hours for my brain to dig deep into its fatigued memory stores and come up with that? It has the word pie in its name, for heaven's sake!

After dropping my daughter off, I drove downtown. If you haven't been here, Lansing has a nice little downtown area:  neat shops and restaurants, brick streets, and....parking meters. Shoot. I forgot about the meters. Did I have one stinking quarter on my person or anywhere in my van? No. But instead of doing the sane thing and going inside to ask for change, I decided that I would drive a few blocks south and hit my favorite thrift store. I needed to look for some household items anyway.

I bought three pairs of shoes. And of course, I got a few quarters for the meters.

I headed back north on Washington Avenue and, just as I came up to Kalamazoo Street, I realized, “Oh, yeah, the library is just a block away.” I had been meaning to go to the downtown library to do a bit of research on a book I want to write. I parked, sloshed through the melting snow in order to feed the meter, and entered the library.

I wandered around aimlessly, looking for inspiration. I finally decided to check out Lost in Yonkers, which has absolutely nothing to do with the book I want to write.

The library is now so high-tech that I just had to scan my library key tag, then scan the book and I was on my way. However, when I passed through the security sensors, the alarm went off and I returned to the customer service desk, feeling sheepish that I had ignored the reminder on the screen that I owed $.80 in library fines. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry,” I gushed. “I can pay the fine.”

The library ladies had a hearty laugh and assured me that the alarm hadn't gone off because of my unpaid fines. The scan just hadn't registered yet. I got my book, and they had a good chuckle at my expense.

Finally, finally, FINALLY, I arrived at GT Pie. Another meter, another quarter, and another pile of slush to wade through. All in the name of freaking pie! (Oh, my gosh, did I just say that out loud? I'm sorry, pie, I'm so sorry. I love you. I would do anything for you.)

In the end, I bought one chocolate cream pie. The bonus was that GT Pie was not only aware of pi day, but they were also promoting it shamelessly by offering a free slice of pie with every purchase. I promptly ate my free slice of strawberry rhubarb with crumbly topping, so that I wouldn't have to share it with the rest of the family. 

I told you I love pie. Don't judge me.

And so, here I sit, enjoying my slice of chocolate cream, relaxing after my lengthy pursuit of pie and other things. The only thing left in my mind is: why is pi so important?


  1. ha ha, i organized pi day at work today. i made a peanut butter pie and others brought in apple, pecan, and banana cream pies. good stuff.

    oh, and we ate on 3/14 at 1:59PM.

  2. Well, you know, pi is fundamental to the Universe in all sorts of meaningful ways. Why, as an engineer (and life-long math nerd), hardly a day goes by without pi making an appearance in my life. . .

    One time Jenn (my wife, not you; notice she's taken to using the double 'n', just so's I can tell the two of you apart, which I'm sure Al also appreciates) made a cheesecake for our son's birthday (which, as it happens, comes just nine days ahead of Pi Day), and, as cheesecakes will, it cracked. Only this cheesecake cracked in an utterly cool way, with two parallel cracks, and a third that ran perpendicular across the ends of the other two - a perfect letter 'pi'. We photographed it - 'The Pi Pie' and gave a copy to his math teacher, which I'm sure she still has. (Yes, I know it was a cheeseCAKE, but you make it in a pie shell, so I'm goin' with it. . .) If I could find that photo, I'd have long since posted it on my blog. . .

    And, in my office of engineers, we had no less than three pies brought in to the office yesterday, all partaken of at 1:59

    (And yeesh, Meijer's always has pies. . . an' I bet they're cheaper than GTPC's. . . but not half as good. . .)

    1. I think about pie far more often than pi! Cheesecake qualifies as a close second to pie, so I will allow that analogy.

      Now, being a task-driven person, I didn't even consider Meijer because I knew I would have to run my Meijer errands today. I guess I wanted to be efficient and not have to go there twice in two days. However, my desire for efficiency went out the window with all my little downtown stops. :)

  3. I don't care about "pi" WHATSOEVER! But, like you, I think PIE is the BEST dessert EVER. I am actually very good at making pie, and especially good at making pie crust....but would you believe that none of my children like pie at all? (Well, actually, the Russians do not care for sweets...crazy, eh?) Anyway, it is a sad situation. I have to overcome the knowledge that if I make a pie, I will undoubtedly eat just about all of it.

    1. Well, Annie, you can make me a pie any time! :D


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