This is a photo of me, and it looks like I’ve been drinking.
Remember when we all looked super cute while drinking Natural Light? Because we did. We were all droopy-eyed and mini-skirted and dangly-earringed and let ’em say we’re crazy, I don’t care about that. Put your hand in my hand, baby, don’t ever look back.
Let’s just hodge podge this, okay? You know I haven’t been around and I know I haven’t been around. Why sing songs about it? (Other than Starship songs, I guess, which I’ve already done. Twice!)
Pussy Riot. They are fearless and powerful, I saw them in November, and I wish I had a Fuck Putin t-shirt.
This’ll have to do, although the directive is much different.
Here’s a question. Would YOU fuck Putin if you had absolutely zero doubt that it would unfuck the world? There are so many things in the world that need to be unfucked—globally, but also way over here on my couch where it looks like my belly button (Billy Pancake for those who remember) appears to be puking bruises. (More on that later. Maybe even tomorrow, because I’ve been in the mood to write.) Here. I’ll go first. I would hate it, but I would do it. I would do it for you and I would do it for the world. (Mostly Unrelated Fact: Prince refused to be part of We Are The World. I get it.)
It’s just avocado and red onion and tomato and jalapeno with lime juice and some sour cream on top of a black bean quesadilla. Isn’t everything, really?
Christmas was good. Not many people got a card from us, and that’s my fault because I’m lazy. (Lazy is not a bad thing.)
Me: Who should we put on our Christmas card this year?
Meredith: John Oliver.
(passage of time)
Harper: Wait. I thought it was going to be John Oliver and us. Not just John Oliver.
Me: Oh. That makes sense.
It’s Migraine Week at Fluid Pudding, which means I’m taking pills and feeling a little hazy and preparing for the deluge! This is how it works. Three days before the headache REALLY hits, I feel electrical charges in my head. (I believe I’m speaking figuratively, although I’ve never held a light bulb to my ear when the charges are firing.) I started feeling the charges on Saturday evening. That’s when I started taking my customized cocktail pills!
Two days before the headache really hits, I start feeling nauseated. That’s when it’s time to bust out the Zofran! (I busted out the Zofran last night.)
One day prior to the slam, I get all sweaty and forgetful and tired and short-tempered. About an hour ago I drove to the post office to mail a letter to Meredith (I’ll explain later.), and about ten minutes ago I spent a disturbing amount of time searching for the very letter that I mailed an hour ago. (It wasn’t here. Because it’s at the post office. Because I mailed it. An hour ago.)
All of this to say: Business as Usual, although the timing sort of sucks because there’s a PTO meeting tomorrow evening and Meredith leaves for 5th Grade Camp on Wednesday. I’m boring you.
Here. This is better. I’m standing on the edge of a tiny tattoo. I had Georgia O’Keeffe’s hands tattooed onto my ankle when I was 23 and I could tell you why, but I’d almost rather not. (The things you stir up in your head are often much more interesting than my reality. Girl, you know it’s true.) Anyway, a few nights back I said something on Facebook about my current craving for a tiny ambigram tattoo on my arm and then the idea sort of blossomed a bit more and a wonderful woman/artist stepped up and said she would help me, and all of a sudden I have a jpg file and the possibility of a consultation with a tattoo artist sometime soon.
(Harper got a tattoo when she was four. She’s such a badass.)
So. Fifth grade camp. Meredith will be heading out with all of her fifth grade classmates on Wednesday, and they’ll be building fires and shooting arrows (at nothing that’s alive) and looking at stars and singing songs and catching (and kissing and releasing) fish and basically having the time of their lives until Friday at approximately 2:45 when they return to the outstretched arms of their weepy mothers. Meredith is Very Excited.
As you know, I turned 42 over the weekend. 42 has always been one of my very favorite numbers, so I have it in my head that it’s only a matter of minutes before my bucket starts filling up with more glitter, peach pie, and fancy (yet sensible) shoes.
My life took a bit of a turn on Friday evening when my family gifted me with my very first smart phone. (I always upgrade my phone with whatever is free at Best Buy. As a result, my phones are always a bit simple-minded with a distinct lack of whistles and flares, and I’m okay with that. As long as I can call out when I need to call out, I’m good. Why have a zipper when hooks and eyes work just as well?!)
Anyway. (Cue the harpsichords and Baptist choirs!) I now own an iPhone. And it’s the kind that talks to you and helps you determine how many days are left until Christmas and how many miles you live from Jackson Hole and how to make hummus out of sweet potatoes. My only complaint is that I can’t quite figure out how to make it compliment and reassure me randomly throughout the day. (“You look especially fetching today, Angie Spanking Head.” “Your anger is justified, Angie Spanking Head.” “You don’t have to take this bullshit, Angie Spanking Head.” “If I wasn’t such a phone, I would invite you to a make-out party, Angie Spanking Head.”)
(My phone calls me Angie Spanking Head because Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith signed my copy of Squids Will Be Squids with an Angie Spanking Head shout-out from Aesop. This is one of Harper’s most favorite things EVER, so we decided to Make It Happen iPhonetically.)
This weekend was particularly good. It found us eating burritos and nachos and pie and making vegan chocolate chip cookies and taking naps and listening to episodes of Roderick on the Line, which is my new favorite non-knitting podcast.
I went to see my new orthopedic doctor on Tuesday, where it was determined that I have a mysterious medial meniscus malady. Because of this, I’m back in the boot for three weeks. If it’s not better in three weeks, we’ll discuss a steroid shot in the ankle. If that doesn’t do the trick, we’ll talk about a meniscal probe (which sounds a lot more cringe-worthy than it actually is) and/or surgery to clean up the demons (and scar tissue) in my ankle.
All of this to say: Yep. I’m hobbling around in the boot again. For three weeks. I’m supposed to be staying off of my foot as much as possible, but that’s tricky when one has tickets to see David Sedaris and the closest parking spot is a block away, and the Peabody Opera House is filled with stairs and beverages and a bear on the ceiling and David Sedaris on the stage! (I decided to pretend that my doctor appointment is actually TOMORROW. I’ll try to stay off of it starting tomorrow. Wait. Saturday might be better. Actually, Saturday the fifth of May at around 10:30 will be good, although I have plans that evening. Sunday the sixth. I’ll stay off of it starting Sunday the sixth.)
Our seats for David Sedaris were amazing, and although I’m a tough sell in the laughing out loud department, I did the shoulder bouncing laugh through his entire show. I would try to explain what took me down, but it would go a little something like this,
“. . . ha ha ha! And then the thing about the owl and the arm and the skeleton! And, and, and the one about living to 200 and the colonoscopy and Little Caesar’s and the joke about fellating Willie Nelson and the Tourette’s rally cry and Mr. and Mrs. Dunston at the coffee place that proudly serves Starbucks but isn’t actually a Starbucks! Oh! Oh! And the baby vampire! And having good time teeth! And Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls! . . .”
and that would probably bore you or, if you’re anything like me, irritate you beyond repair. I will say this: David Sedaris started writing in a diary when he was 20, and he has written in it every single day (except for maybe 40 days) for the past 35 years. And that inspires me so much that I am now in the market for a diary, but I believe I’ll settle for a college ruled five subject notebook from Walgreens, because I have a three dollar coupon that goes toward the purchase of absolutely anything, all because I bought a box of Prilosec to keep Meredith’s reflux under control! Magical.
Do you remember when we used to do morning pages together? Do you want to start that up again? We really should start that up again.
This afternoon I grabbed lunch at my favorite vegan deli, and while there I once again toyed with the idea of getting my nose pierced. Two days ago, a friend mentioned that she was also toying with the idea. I’ll be 42 in a few weeks. It seems like such a fun present for 42, does it not?
I wasn’t going to tell you this because I’ve become a bit self-conscious about beating my drum, BUT: As we were slowly making our way through the building toward the exit last night (the place was so crowded, and most of the crowd seemed to be headed to the lobby for the book signing), I heard a familiar voice to my right. I turned, and there was David Sedaris being escorted to the signing table by a bunch of Peabody thugs. I smiled the smile of a wild-eyed tongueless girl with a literary crush. He smiled and said, “Hello.” I nodded and returned it.
(All I could think about for the next hour is that David Sedaris used the same mouth to say hello to me that he uses to say hello to Ira Glass, and Bonus: I was able to say hello to him without falling down or puking out something ridiculous like “You, Ira Glass, Ben Folds, Anderson Cooper, Keith Olbermann, Mumford and Sons, Kale Chips!”)
Despite the fact that I felt all self-conscious about my lack of dress-up clothes, Jeff and I left the house early yesterday evening to see Ben Folds play with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. In case you’re wondering what I wore, I dressed pretty much like this:
(Three differences: I was with Jeff—not the stiff umbrella man. Also, I wore boots. Finally, there was no need for umbrellas.) ((Have I mentioned lately how much I love Julie at Sungazing Photography?))
We left the house at 6:00 and decided to grab dinner before the show. We were a bit short on time, so we decided all we really needed was something quick and filling that wouldn’t make us feel gross afterward: Fast Food Sushi. (I know!) As we walked into the restaurant, I mentioned to Jeff that it feels like my jacket is a little too yellow for November.
Me: I feel like I’m trying to be that guy who hangs out with Curious George.
We ordered our food and I chose a table near the television so Jeff could watch the Rams game. The table next to ours held two girls crocheting scarves. Ahhhh. All is well. AND, then the radio started playing Upside Down by Jack Johnson. And it’s not a bad song, but it IS on the Curious George soundtrack. Sign from God to take off the jacket? I think so.
Fast forward. Dinner? It was okay. (Since when is a tempura roll not the least bit crunchy? Since last night, I suppose! BUT, I still ate the entire thing, so I can’t complain!) Parking at Powell Hall? Five bucks. How was the crowd? They were stunning. Seriously. The place was filled to the brim with Lovely. Evidence: The first person we saw after finding our seats was Kelli, who is SO smart and witty and lovely and with child! On the other side of my hump (architectural term for the barrier between our dress box and the adjoining dress box) was Carrie! (She’s a knitter and a writer and I’ve never actually met her before, but I’ve admired her for quite some time!) Also at the show? Lisa M., who you might recognize from her comments here. Because of Facebook, we’ve become fast friends, and she’s lovely and kind and is also a writer!
Before the show, I took my camera out of my bag and set it up so I could capture a few shots of Ben Folds. Almost immediately, a little maroon tuxedo-wearing man ran up and said, “I’m going to have to cut you off. There are no photos allowed of the orchestra.” SO, I sat there and bitched to Jeff for several minutes, because the place was FILLED with people taking photos with their smart phones. I almost felt like I was being discriminated against because my phone is below average. (Ah! But I learned my lesson. Surprisingly, very few people were taking photos after the show started. I need to keep reminding myself that seeing a show at Powell Hall is a lot different than chilling out at Lilith Fair. Sorry for my nasty thoughts, Tuxedo Man.)
Hhhhhh. We’re already at 520 words, and I haven’t even started talking about the show. I’ll just say this: It was amazing. Incredible. I’ve seen Ben Folds five or six times over the years, and this was by far my favorite performance. (Close second? Seeing Ben Folds Five at Mississippi Nights in 1997.)
Here’s my thing: I love going to the symphony. I don’t go very often. In fact, I haven’t been since I saw Jon Nakamatsu play with the Nashville Symphony back in late 1999. And that’s ridiculous. I don’t like watching sports on television. The only thing that helps me understand the excitement that so many people feel when they watch a football game is the excitement *I* feel when I watch an orchestra. Swelling dynamics, hidden sparks, musical conversations between strings and brass… I know you’re probably rolling your eyes right now. I get that. Anyway, it stirs me.
Here’s another thing: I’m totally into Ben Folds. Sure, he’s quirked it up over the years and I can barely listen to his latest stuff with my kids in the room, but nevertheless: I think he’s WISE. And ridiculously clever. He sings, I smile. It’s that simple.
One more thing: I’m a sucker for piano-driven bands, and I’m a sucker for classical musicians. When you put these two things together, there I’ll be—beating my hands on my legs and displaying my big goofy grin. That’s a promise.
Instead of trying to explain how wonderful each and every song was, I’ll list what he played (In order! AND, I’ll embed a few because I’m awesome like that!) and link the others up to YouTube as best as I can. If you don’t know Ben Folds, let this act as a primer. If you’re a fan, just sit back and enjoy. If you don’t have time for this, please at least tune in for Narcolepsy. It was my very favorite arrangement of the evening, and I’ve found a video with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra that captures just how mind-blowing (to me) it was.
Here we go.
Zak and Sara (What a wonderful way to start the show. My eyes may or may not have welled up. (They welled up.))
Narcolepsy (Seriously. Watch this one. Tenor alert at 3:24! This one gave me chills.)
(Now it’s time for the orchestra to walk out so Ben Folds can play a few tunes on his own.)
Army Rock it, St. Louis (an impromptu (poor-quality video) response to the jackass who kept yelling “Rock This Bitch!”)
Johnny B. Goode (a little shout out to Chuck Berry, who was seen wearing sweat pants at the airport several years ago) Annie Waits
My only regret? I went to the show with a plan to buy a t-shirt. On the way out, I was so jazzed that I forgot the t-shirt. And now I can’t find them online. Is anyone out there going to a Ben Folds show anytime soon? Do you want to get a t-shirt for me? Adult! Medium or Large! I’ll either PayPal you or I’ll trade you something knitted!
Something to add to the life list: Coffee and doughnuts with Ben Folds. Can someone coach me on how to make this happen? If your advice is magical and I someday find myself with vanilla long john icing on my chin while sitting across a table from Mr. Folds, I’ll knit socks for you! Two pairs, even! Four pairs! (Two pairs.)
Go watch Narcolepsy again, and tomorrow I’ll tell you all about this morning’s mammogram.
At about 5:30ish this evening, we will have been married for exactly ten years. (We will BE married? We Will Have Been seems incorrect. However, it’s much better than we WOULD have been, yes?) Anyway, ten years is nuts. I’ve never done ANYTHING consistently for ten years, and now this! We’ve reached a decade!
When I think back to our first ten years of marriage, I immediately land on our London trip. Although I used to be able to recite the day-by-day timeline, my memories have now sort of jumbled into a big stew (mulligatawny?) with tiny hints of watching Aimee Mann singing Fourth of July on the Fourth of July and lots of tomato mozzarella sandwiches and Mr. Kipling Cherry Bakewells and the little boy who thought the manhole covers in Bristol were made of chocolate. And then I skip forward a bit and think about OUR kids.
When you marry someone who doesn’t have kids and you don’t have kids, it’s really sort of a gamble when you start throwing around the idea of babies. After giving birth to Meredith, I quickly learned that I am not a good baby person. Although I think they’re mostly cute, I don’t understand babies. I can’t make them stop crying. My patience runs thin when they fill their diapers too much (or worse, not enough). You, however, were a gem. You would come home from work, drop your briefcase onto the floor, swoop up Meredith, and suddenly All Was Well. And then Harper came into the picture (how did THAT happen?!) and I became even MORE frazzled (can you imagine?!), and you became even MORE of a great dad. (Seriously. You’re clever and witty. You have great taste in music. You’re a good cook. All of those things should be good enough. BUT, then you had to throw in Baby Pro and so much more. Smitten, I am.)
During those days when I was home alone with an infant and a two year old, I often found myself wishing (against the pastel-colored advice of others) that I could somehow speed up time to the point where the girls could actually TALK to me instead of pointing and crying and throwing themselves onto the floor where they stomped and spat and frothed. The universe listened.
Here we are. Ten years in. I have you, who I consider to be my best friend and perfect match. I have the girls, who are bright and funny and curious and wonderful. (I have the dogs and the cats, who really deserve much more than a parenthetical aside, but right now they’re being jerks so I’ve demoted them from Paragraph to Sentence.) Essentially, because of what happened ten years ago today, I have the perfect life.
This morning I realized that we’ll be celebrating our twentieth anniversary when Meredith is a freshman in college. And then I started thinking about how she might actually go AWAY to college, and then two years later, Harper will probably do the same, and okay. That pastel-c0lored advice doesn’t seem quite so AM radio anymore. My tenth anniversary gift to you? I’m going to try to figure out how to Slow Time Down. (I’ll begin by limiting my caffeine intake.)
Thank you for the past 3,652 days.
We’ve survived the life expectancy of a platypus.
Here’s hoping we see many more generations of playtpuses/platypi living just as happily as we do.
(Did you know that there is no universally agreed plural form of Platypus?)
I’ll always believe that this song was written for us.
Ten years ago today, I got together with my cousins, my aunt, my sister, my mom, and my mother-in-law.
We went to Olympia, where cheese was set on fire and I did a bit of this:
And a bit of this:
And a lot of this:
When it occurred to my aunt that I hadn’t had a shower that involved underpants, she threw one together two days before our wedding. Jeff and I had just driven in from Nashville a few hours before, and suddenly it was time to sit in front of my mother-in-law and open strappy fuzzy things. Afterwards, we went to Kaldi’s for chai and cookies.
Ten years later, I still love flaming cheese and chai and cookies and Jeff.
But not in that order, obviously.
You guys, today is my ten year anniversary at Fluid Pudding. Ten years. (This is where we started.) I wanted to do something really meaningful to celebrate a decade with you. Artistic nude photo? Yes! (No.) Video blog? My awkwardness is contagious! You didn’t come here to squirm! At the last minute, I decided to celebrate by creating something that I love.
I love burritos.
I took two slices of Muenster cheese and placed them (lovingly) on a Flatout. (When I SEE Flatout, I think “PHLAT out”. When I SAY Flatout, I say, “phlah TOOT.”)
I then sliced a SweeTango and placed the slices (passionately) on top of the cheese.
Finally, I rolled it up (as you do) and ate it.
Ten years. Some of you have been with me since before I was married.
You stuck with me during both pregnancies.
And both births.
You listened to me sing.
You dealt with my headaches and my eczema.
You don’t laugh when I fall down. You humor me when I knit stuff and when I sing songs about cake balls and when I make my dogs lick your face and when I stuff my own face with marshmallows.
You always make me feel like I’m exactly where I should be.
You know about Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies, right? Get this. I just learned that you can make oatmeal pie balls by smooshing up Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies, rolling them into balls, and dipping them.
They look just like cake balls on the outside, but when you bite into them, you are right back in elementary school and it’s snowing outside and your mom has a roast in the oven and Christmas is right around the corner.
They’re magical. And they take less than an hour to put together. And you don’t have to bake a cake. You don’t have to bake anything!
Instead of doing a giveaway for my ten year Fluid Pudding anniversary, I’d like to ask you to do something for me. Would you please leave a comment below so I know you’re still with me? I wouldn’t be here without you, you know.
The traditional ten year anniversary gift is tin. For that reason, I dedicate this song to you.
Thanks to each and every one of you for your words of advice and/or encouragement yesterday. Last night Meredith took me aside and said, “You know how the TSG club stood for The Shady Girls? Today Regina decided to change the S. The club is now The Sex Girls.” Jeff and I agreed that a line had been crossed. I’m meeting with the principal tomorrow morning to have the most awkward conversation I hope to EVER have with an elementary school principal. Thank God he’s nice. And sane. And doesn’t seem like one who would support a third grade club for sex girls. (Tonight, as I wander in the Land of Nod, Fluid Pudding will receive 35,493 hits from people who were definitely not looking for photos of yarn. However, buckle up. I’m about to tell you about last week’s trip to Illinois.)
On Friday morning, my mom and I picked Tempe up at 5:00 and the three of us made our annual trip to Schaumburg, Illinois for Stitches Midwest. This was our fifth year, and it did not disappoint. When we first attended Stitches back in 2007, I came back with nothing but sock yarn.
In 2008, I purchased the supplies to make this sweater:
In 2009, I fell in love with this sweater:
Yeah. It’s not really finished, is it? I’m hoping to change that sometime in 2012.
Last year we decided to skip Stitches and go to Memphis. Graceland was very good. The yarn stores? Not so much.
This year, my only plan was to get some fiber. And I did.
This Jimmy Durante lookalike is actually a pound of BFL/Tussah Silk fiber. It’s the first purchase I made at Stitches, and if all goes according to plan, it will eventually be spun and knit into a sweater. After I achieve this goal, I will surely feel invincible.
All of these were purchased from Lisa Souza, who is sort of a rock star. She was one of the nicest and most interesting people we met at Stitches, which is definitely a thing because I now want to devote a shelf in our office to Lisa Souza fiber.
When we went back to the market to kill a bit of time before the drive home on Saturday, I accidentally bought two sweater kits.
This one will be my everyday cardigan (brown! with pockets!) for this winter.
This one will be my snazzified artsy meets swanky sweater.
This is the stuff that happens at Stitches, and this is why I love going there. Sadly, only 17% of you really understand how jazzed I am right now about my loot.
May I say something that just might jazz an additional 38% of you?
A few months ago, I found myself standing in line with a woman whose daughter is currently a first year kindergarten teacher in Texas. About a week into the school year, the daughter called home to talk about a boy in her class who always claimed to have forgotten his backpack. Every afternoon, the teacher would ask the kids to put their papers into their backpacks, and every afternoon the boy would say, “I forgot my backpack!” When the teacher finally asked how she could help him to remember his backpack, the boy looked at his feet and admitted that he didn’t have a backpack at all, because his mom didn’t have the money.
The teacher went out that night and bought the boy a backpack. (The woman standing behind me in line said that the teacher should NOT have done this, which I thought was interesting. I would have bought the backpack.)
Anyway. It recently came to my attention that there are some kids in the girls’ school who are without backpacks for the same reason. AND, a few of us want to fix that.
I’ve been searching the internet for inexpensive backpacks (not the drawstring kind) that can be purchased in bulk, and although there are quite a few sites that offer such a thing, I hesitate before ordering because of bad site reviews posted elsewhere on the internet. My sister told me to go to a place like WalMart, tell them the situation and how I want to keep the purchase local, and see what they could offer.
Before I do that, I want to throw it out to you, because you tend to have the exact information that I need. Do you know where I could get something like twenty backpacks for a decent price? Any advice would be appreciated.
AND, now I’m going to take your hand and drag you to the other side of the room to show you the bracelet I received in the mail today. When I turned 30, Jeff sent flowers to me at work. Inside the card, he had written, “I’m in love with the world through the eyes of a girl.” (It’s the opening line from my very favorite Elliott Smith tune.) Now that we have two daughters, that line carries even more meaning than it did when Jeff and I were dating. Anyway, I found an Etsy store that sells customized bracelets. A little more than a week later, here I sit with the greatest bracelet I’ve ever owned—a bracelet so great that it prompted me to make an eighteen second video to celebrate its existence.
From here to there to here: We’re currently two birthday parties down, with only one to go. May Day.