Cupcake interview: Sage Vivant

Name: Sage Vivant
Age: 47
Location: San Francisco
Occupation: writer, lover of baked goods

How often do you eat cupcakes?

Not nearly as often as I'd like, primarily due to their astounding lack of availability. If pressed for an answer to this question, I would have to say four times a year, which is truly shameful. I don't even know how you can interview me with a record like mine.

What's the best thing about eating cupcakes?

They are simultaneously reckless (look how they threaten to spill over the top!) and restrained (they stay in their little paper holders). And they allow me to feel decadent (because they're delicious and fattening) and self-righteous (they're smaller than a cake).

What's your favorite type of cupcake?

Whatever's been baked that day and sitting in front of me. I'm serious. I've never met a cupcake I didn't like. If somebody offered me a pickle-flavored cupcake with soy sauce frosting, I think I'd give it a shot. But if I ruled the world and could have anything I wanted at any time, I would choose strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

How do cupcakes compare/contrast to other baked goods for you?

Well, I must admit that they battle with cookies for my top slot. Cookies can be consumed more easily and in a wider variety of public places than cupcakes can. Cupcakes, bless their crumbly little souls, tend to be inappropriate for places where decorum is important. There's the problem of paper, how wide to open your mouth to get all the frosting, and of course, the tendency toward crumblage.

Is there any innovation you'd like to see made to the cupcake that would improve it for you?

Yes. I would like to see edible paper. If this has been invented already, somebody needs to tell me about it right away.

Do you bake your own cupcakes? Or (even better) have someone who bakes them for you?

Someone who bakes them for me??? What is that, a joke? Are there people out there willing to do that? What a concept. Anyway, no I do not bake my own. I'm lucky to make dinner, let alone a treat. I desperately need someone to make me cupcakes—I hope I've made that perfectly clear.

What's your first cupcake-related memory?

One of my aunts always brought over vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing when she came over. I and my brother were probably 5 and 3 years old, respectively, and she did this well into our teen years. She may have even introduced me to cupcakes—I don't remember for sure. The kids in my family all have fond memories of her but I wonder whether it was her warm and gracious heart that we loved or just the site of that little pink box with the string wrapped around it.

What's the most fun you've ever had with a cupcake?

Taking my brother's nose print with the icing of one. I thought that was pretty damn funny.

Do you have anything else to add?

I love this trend that's started for those of us of a certain age—when you get too old for it to be polite to add candles to a cake, people give you cupcakes instead and stick in that one lone candle that says "You're so old, we've stopped counting."