Fluid Pudding Plans to Get Her Groove Back

I have totally sucked at checking in over the past few months. You know how everyone says that your cells change every seven years and it makes your hair change and your skin change and Oh! So Much Change!? After hitting the seven year mark with Fluid Pudding, I almost feel like my motivations are changing.

(I’m not quitting, nor am I having a Jeff Buckley moment. Bear with me.)

Let’s see. The past week was a good one.

I finished Delphine, and then I went outside and got all frowny faced!

Delphine! Fin!

And, to that person who never misses an opportunity to say “You have jowls!” or “Getting wide there, Pudding!”, please know that it’s still winter! Also, I’m (perpetually) working on it!

After finishing Delphine, I went all knitting crazy and finished a hat for the shop:

Chainmail Hat

(It’s the March project for our Yarn Over EZ program, which is an entire year devoted to working through Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac. I’m sort of taking charge of the March thing, which makes me feel the need to get my eyebrows done or something.)

Anyway. That’s it for knitting.

We had parent/teacher conferences this week, and as always, I stressed out entirely too much over what to wear and what to say and how to express my disenchanted state with that whole screening thing they did on Harper a few months back, and I ended up not approaching it at all, which is quite a shame, because I really enjoy using the word Disenchanted. (To me, it’s a glittery word. Specifically, blue glitter.) Long story short: The girls are doing Just Fine, and they’re well-respected amongst their peers, and I wore a long-sleeved gray t-shirt with a silky scarf thing plus jeans if you’re wondering, and I really love the girls’ school and their teachers and the fact that there are no Issues other than the fact that Harper will occasionally refuse to eat a vegetable snack. Things are good, and that is great.

The Girl Scout cookies are in. And because of that, I actually worked out today to try to avoid the “My butt looks like two giant Tagalongs” thing. Why do I suddenly feel that it’s okay to eat an entire box of cookies in one sitting? I’ve done this every day for the past three days. First up? Lemon Chalet Cremes. Second? Tagalongs. Today? Samoas. Am I depressed? Is it once again time to hit the Weight Watchers meetings? Am I depressed? Wait. Am I repeating myself?! (I must be depressed. Time to pull out the The Polyphonic Spree albums! Or not.)

Finally, the final paragraph! (I’m that friend you never see but it’s okay because when you DO see her she just rambles on and on about herself and it’s really more exhausting than interesting, isn’t it?) Anyway, onto God. (It seems logical, no?) As you know, we’ve been on a fairly hard core church search for the past few years. About six months ago, we found Our Place. And it’s a slightly different denomination than what I’m accustomed to (I was raised Southern Baptist) with a few different traditions and different ways of thinking and so forth. Anyway, the Lent thing came up, and I’ve never really done the Lent thing before. SO, last week I said, “Okay. I’m going to give up meat to the 100% level, and also give up buying yarn. If I fail on one, I’ll be sure to succeed on the other. Ready, set, go.” This morning, the minister didn’t stress the giving up of Things as much as he stressed the importance of taking Time over the next forty days. Time to reflect and time to enjoy the moment and time for silence and time for preparation and renewal and so forth. So anyway, I left church feeling refreshed that I don’t have to fret over silly things like bacon or not having enough time to knit that baby sweater if I can’t even purchase the yarn until April. Instead, I’m going to take Time! (And I’m going back and forth about trying to write here every day until Easter just to share my Time with you. And I know it sounds like I’m just about to break into some weird Cowboy Junkies-like version of Amazing Grace or Turn, Turn, Turn or something. Bear with me. I’m wearing eyeliner, and my lids might just be sparkling.)

I can’t get enough of the following song. And I’m not sure how that makes me feel. (Full disclosure: I do a really awkward (because there’s really no other way for me) dance every time I hear the song. The dance involves quite a bit of tip-toeing and head nodding. You will never see the dance.)

Six hours have passed since you came to visit, and I’m feeling sort of awkward about being such a time suck. Can I get you a drink or something? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

What Goes Down when a Migraine Hits at Church

“Ah. It’s sort of delightful to be sitting in front of someone who can actually sing. I need to see who she is and try to sit in front of her more often. O splendor of God’s glory bright la la la la la la la laaaaaaah… Oh. Wait. Who just poked me in the eyeball with a butter knife?”

“Yeesh. Okay. It’s not so delightful when she starts hitting those notes above B-flat. Settle down there, Liza. Liza? SETTLE DOWN. You’re HURTING me.”

“I’ve never been this annoyed by the opening prayer before. Does the woman behind me think she’s the only person reading this thing out loud?! Pipe down there, Boasty!”

“Weave, weave, weave us together. Weave us together and temporarily numb her laaaaaar-ynx. Oh. Wait. I think I’m about to throw up. Yep.”

“Tracers! Tracers!”

“Jeff, I’m afraid it’s going to be Colonel Pudding in the Church of Christ with a Candlestick if she doesn’t stop screeching EVERY NOTE ABOVE B-FLAT. I think I need to go out to the car. No. I’ll wait. No. I need to go. I’ll wait. I’m out of here. No, I’ll wait.”

“That’s it. Don’t anyone look at me or talk to me or offer me a hand of friendship. You see, I believe Satan is chewing on the inside of my head. Right behind my right eye. And that birthday cake in the fellowship hall? Oh, man. I’m going to throw up. Why is this church spinning?!”

(I’m much better today. High five, Maxalt!) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Do you have five minutes?

I really hate when people use the word Whirlwind to describe how their week has gone. With that said, the past week has been mighty sprightful. Today is Meredith’s kindergarten Valentine’s Day party, and because I’m still suffering from that whole No One Will Call Me Back thing, Jeff is having to take time off of work to help me with the party. (Big sarcastic and passive-aggressive Thank You shout out to all of those moms who filled out the forms saying they would love to attend all parties and provide party favors and “Just call me! I’ll be there!” and whatnot.) I could go on and on about courtesy and whatever, but I’m afraid I would once again start puking tired phrases like “dying art” and yikes. I’m really trying to be better than that.

Because I’m feeling overly ambitious, today’s party will include a banana split bar. I used to work at Baskin-Robbins, you see, and one of my greatest talents is The Ability to Cut a Banana Without Actually Touching the Edible Part. Someday I’ll make a video for you, and I’ll even dress up for that video, because when I’m slicing and dividing bananas, I feel like one of those tuxedoed and amazing card dealers on Super Poker Blowout. (That’s not an actual show. But you get the idea.) I hope to stun and mesmerize-to-the-point-of-temporary-debilitation the kindergarteners with my banana-slicing talent. Keep your fingers crossed.

You would not believe how quickly I’m typing right now. It’s just that I feel like I haven’t talked to you in ages, and pretty soon I have to leave to pick up Harper, and how are you? I’ve missed you.

Speaking of Harper, yesterday she ate a heart-shaped sucker, and I melted all over her, and after I resolidified I took a photograph and then I did that annoying thing where I pretend to be an artist just because I shelled out the yearly Picnik fee on Flickr last summer.

Happy Valentine's Day

Let’s see. What else? Last week my family was presented with something that I would normally refer to as An Embarrassment of Riches, but man! I’m really trying to become original in 2009. Anyway, we are now the proud owners of Guitar Hero World Tour. In other words, this is my final blog entry, as I am now dropping everything to crystallize my dream of becoming the world’s greatest pretend drummer. Oh! What’s that? Pretend writer is more respectable than pretend drummer? I hear you, but I have no idea what you’re saying. Please know that when it comes to drumming along with 311 tunes, I’m completely insufferable. However, by the end of the tune, my face hurts from smiling so much. This is a good thing.

My knitting group is meeting for dinner before knitting tonight, and I can’t even tell you how excited I am.

Tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of Jeff’s proposal. And I know you don’t care, but it’s honestly one of my favorite days of the year. (My archives are out. Please know that the evening of the proposal included a dishonest death-defiance, me angrily hurling couscous down the sink, a down-on-the-knee thing over tiramisu, and a woman sending us a sort of crappy (but much appreciated) bottle of wine.)

I hope you’re doing well out there. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I’m also wearing my witty underpants.

In less than an hour I will be jumping into the old Nissan and driving thirty miles south to have dinner and drinks with some friends I haven’t seen in over twenty years.

Dear Facebook,
You are crazy.
Love, Angela Pudding

I always accept these invitations with a fist to the sky and a big bucket of “Hell, Yeah!”

THEN, as time goes by, I begin to waver and my brain kicks into Sniffling Excuse Mode.

“Hmm. My eye sure has been twitching lately. Perhaps this whole dinner/drink thing isn’t the best idea!”

“Wait. Was that a cramp? Is it a good idea to drink a margarita while ovulating? I better put my robe back on! Pass the lentil soup.”

And so on.

Thirty minutes ago I stepped out of my mind and into my cocksure shoes.
Confidence Shoes

I know. Your cocksure shoes probably have a spikier heel. Please remember that my Stumble and Fall Incident List is a bit longer than yours.

Wish me luck and salty guacamole. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

The pumpkin head is for the feast of Stephen, Sire!

If you know me at all, you know that the inside of my car is a disaster. I believe our entire CD collection is on the floor of the car, along with every gas station receipt and candy bar wrapper we’ve accumulated over the past two years. There are many tissues. Some are unused. Others are not. (I know!) I think there’s a wrench set in there somewhere. Also, several barrettes. (Just in case.) I’m missing a can of Lentil soup. I’m sure it’s in the car.

A few weeks back, I found myself driving to the grocery store in desperate need of the ingredients for punch. (When you’re attending a late night yarn store party, it’s sort of silly to NOT fill a gigantic punch bowl with pineapple juice and frozen fruit and whatnot, right? You know it!) Anyway, I scored a front row spot, made my way into the store, grabbed my punch stuff, and carried my bags out to the car.

Please know that it was a windy day. Super windy. Blustery, even. (And I don’t throw “blustery” around very often, my friends.) When I opened up the back of the car, a (mostly empty) pumpkin head from Halloween got caught in the wind and flew out. And because my reflexes are spot on (seriously—throw a basketball at my head sometime and see how fast I duck!), I quickly brought my leg up with the lofty intention of kicking the head back into the car. (Because I’m doing it all for Slobo Ilijevski these days. And in my mind, I’m a lot more athletic than I am in your real world.)

As you probably guessed, the pumpkin head did not make its way back into the car. In fact, I kicked the goofy (now empty) thing UNDER the car, where it slowly rolled to a stop dead center—out of my reach from all angles. As I finished packing groceries into the car (and picking up the stale boxes of Milk Duds from the parking lot), I hoped that the wind would somehow catch the head and blow it out. No luck.

It was then that a really perfect thing happened. The Salvation Army Red Can Christmas Man showed up for his bell ringing shift. And as he set up his station and started singing (Yep. He’s one of THOSE Salvation Army Red Can Christmas Men.), I slowly closed down the back of the car and put my keys and iPod in the front seat.

“Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen! When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even!”

(This is where I dropped to my knees on the driver side of my car.)

“Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel, when a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fyoo-oo-el.”

(This is where I dropped my head down to the ground and began slithering snakelike under the car—slowly inching toward the pumpkin head and trying my hardest to not get my coat all dirty. Hey wait. You do remember that I’m parked in the front row, right? Yep. Right in front of the Salvation Army Red Can Christmas Man. As I’m typing this for you, he’s probably sitting around with his family telling his side of the story. “And all I could see were too legs sticking out from under that car! Woo hoo! Gold!”)

“Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know’st it, telling, Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”

(Yeah. I’m still over here squirming around under the car in the style of the yonder peasant. I’m still five inches away from this damned pumpkin head! My cheek is rubbing against the parking lot, which is just as good as microderm abrasion, right? I’m crabby, yet I know that this entire scene is my own fault!)

“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain; Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

(Got it!!! I got the pumpkin head! And now I’m doing the backward army crawl on my elbows with my arms tightly wrapped around it! I will NEVER let my car get this cluttered again! Do you hear that, 2009?!)

“‘Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither: Thou and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.’ Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together; Through the rude wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.”

(And, victory! I bounced up and lifted the pumpkin head over my head Stanley Cup style for the Salvation Army Red Can Christmas Man to see! And he looked a bit relieved, because he really HAD been watching my feet jerking around from under the car. And he kept singing, because when you know all of the stinkin’ words to Good King Wenceslas, you really DO keep on singing them, because that’s quite a thing, don’t you think? (Personally, I’m Wikipedia-ing the heck out of those lyrics right now!) Before jumping into my car and driving away, I yelled something ridiculous like, “I got it! This pumpkin head! Mine! A-HA!” (I don’t remember my exact words, because they were so cringe-worthy that my brain is helping me block them. Lingering humiliation and whatnot, you know…)

And I know you want to know if the pumpkin head is still in my car.

Of course it’s not.

(Yes. It is. I know.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I just can’t wipe that “I’m helpless and not so bright” wrinkle from my forehead.

After picking Harper up from preschool this morning, I drove over to the Hallmark store to purchase candles. I’m sure you can relate to this statement: When I’m all out of creativity and energy and I’ve just been to the doctor for what I believe is lymphangioleiomyomatosis, I sometimes throw my hands in the air, cough a bit, and purchase enough candles to heat our entire house for ten days.

As I coughed and sputtered into my elbow with an armload of candles and a three year old who really just wanted to run around touching and smelling things, the Hallmark lady asked if I wanted to stack my stuff on the counter until I was ready to bail.

Me: HACCKKKK! Thanks! Actually, I think we’re ready to check out. HACCKKKK! Excuse me! HACCKKKK!!!

Hallmark lady: Oh! Hello, little one! Is SANTA CLAUS coming to visit you this year?

Harper (still sort of unimpressed by strangers who speak to her with sing song voices): Yes.

Hallmark lady (very much into changing tone with each spoken syllable): What did YOU ask SANta to BRING you this YEAR?

Harper: A white kitty cat.

Me: Yeah. Santa and I have been going around in circles about it for quite some time. Apparently, it’s against the law HACCKKKK!!! in the North Pole to deliver live animals on Christmas, and he’s not so sure he wants to risk it. I keep telling him HACCKKKK!!! that I’m the boss, and I don’t really care about the HACCKKKK!!! laws in his country. He keeps snarling and throwing big shiny boots at me, HACCKKKK!!! which I believe is an insult.

Hallmark lady (singing. she’s actually singing at this point.): PerHAPS he could BRING a STUFFED kitty CAAAAAAAAAT, MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!! HHHhhhhhhhMMMMMMMMM??????

Me: HHAAAAACCCCKKKK! Whoa there. Hey! I would have NEVER thought of THAT ONE on my OWN!!! God bless us, Everyone.

So, Harper and I left the Hallmark lady thinking that she saved our Christmas. And, whatever. I’ll let her sing that story to her friends if she wants. Because I’m cool like that. Merry Christmas. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

These are my final complaints of the year. Probably. (Maybe.)

1. I don’t mind Christmas shopping. However, when everyone in the family suddenly pretends to have never met my kids and I end up having to do Everyone’s Christmas Shopping, well, I get tired. And then I lose my bubbling Christmas spirit. And suddenly, when Amy Grant’s Christmas CD comes on, I find myself thinking, “Suck it, Amy. I’m trying to make 42 To Do lists over here.” This happens Every Single Year, and I hate it because I Am Known For My Holiday Spirit. (Not really. But I *could* be if I didn’t have all of these damned lists to make for everyone!)

2. If I had time to construct a pie chart to show you The Things I Hate, screenings and assessments would fill roughly 63% of that chart. Two weeks ago, Jeff and I participated in a social and emotional screening to try to get a grip on Harper’s tantrums. The outcome? “She scored a 65, and the Ideal Child scores below a 59.”

Me: Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. How do we move forward?

Screener: Oh. Well, I’ll have to get back with you sometime on that, won’t I? See you in January!

(65 Crickets are chirping. Only 59 are supposed to be chirping.)

I suppose I now need to make Harper a shirt that says 65 and just assume that Everyone Will Get It. Except I don’t get it. So, on to the next Thing, yet back to where we started and on and on. (Are you smelling something that sort of stinks like an unclever blend of patchouli and horseradish? That’s my discouragement with assessments and screenings!)

3. I’m having a hard time finding parents who are able to attend the kindergarten holiday party next week. (I know. Life is good when I have time to complain about these ridiculous things, right? I know!) And I’m fine with that because I know that everyone is busy and everyone works and so on. However, I hate that I take every single No (not to mention every unreturned phone call) personally. Because that’s silly. People aren’t saying No because I’m sort of socially inept, are they? No. (Are they?) But, anyway. I just need to find someone who is willing to pour rice into 16 tube socks and then tie them off with yarn. Tube Sock Snowman! Anybody?! I promise not to make awkward eye contact with you! Actually, no promises. Suck it, Amy.

Wait. Let’s end this with something good. Kara recently listed her Christmas stockings at Etsy, and I love them. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I totally wanted to go out with a bang. Take that as you will.

So, here we are.

November 30th. 9:30 at night. I planned on making another video for you. It was going to maybe feature a bit of French horn. Perhaps piano. Most likely a bit of spoken word. (As opposed to the unspoken word that you’re mucking through right now.) I had such good intentions.

Anyway, as you know, I spent today going to church (I was a mess in church today, by the way. I chewed at all of the wrong times, and I actually watched a fly buzzing around on his back until he eventually died and for some reason, that struck me as being the funniest thing I’ve seen in my life so I ended up doing that ridiculous thing where my face is all contorted and I’m silently laughing so hard that my eyes are filled with tears, and I simply Could Not Stop, so onward with the facial gymnastics and tears for nearly two minutes which is a really long time when the pastor is trying to tell us who is sick and who is well and yikes. What a disaster I was.) and buying cookies and choosing a calendar and meeting a friend and driving to book club and socializing with friends and strangers and eating a chicken buffalito without the chicken and hunkering down for Twilight. And now I’m home. And I need to finish my current book so I can start reading our book club book. And I need to knit two more sock ornaments and plan Meredith’s holiday party and get to work on the yarn store’s holiday party and do a bit of holiday shopping and knitting and kick off the new tradition of cookie baking with the girls and something about salsa dancing and I tried my first pomegranate raspberry beer last night and did I mention that I bought my 2009 calendar/planner today? Last year I was all about the suicidal rabbits. This year, sadly, I went bland. I honestly could not find anything better, which makes me want to make my own stinkin’ calendar, but we all know that I won’t do it.

All of this (and much more than you needed or wanted) to say, thanks for sticking with me during NaBloPoMo. I know I was not at my best this month. But with the imminent arrival of Santa and Leonardo DiCaprio coupled with the possibility of potato chips, it looks like December is going to be good. There will be a French horn. Possibly some piano.

As always, I wish you well. Even you, believe it or not. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I was not attacked by the statue, but I did get a new comforter.

Last night I found myself sitting on a couch next to The Bloggess. We were guests on Oprah (obviously), and our mind-blowing creations were being celebrated. After a coin toss, Jenny revealed that she had invented a statue of Frida Kahlo that appears to be a normal twenty foot high stationary installment until someone in the room is being dishonest. Upon detecting a lie, the statue lights up from within, humanizes, and storms upon He or She Who Has Delivered an Untruth. Oprah then opened a curtain and revealed the amazing statue, who immediately began glowing and humanizing and chasing down audience members. It was terrifying.

When it was my turn to reveal a creation, I said, “Well, I really didn’t come up with anything, but I can work a Hooey Stick.” With that, Oprah shook her head and muttered, “I like your skirt.”

With that said, if you want to see my bedroom and how I was able to improve it with the help of BlogHer and JCPenney, join me over here. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

5 Reasons Why I Might Be On Day 10 of a Migraine

1. Coming soon to a public place near you? Harper and The Tantrums!

2. Meredith’s eyes were dilated today. She’s been crying about The Potential for Dilation (my next book title) for nearly a week now. And when I say “crying” I mean that Meredith may or may not be performing with Harper and The Tantrums in a public place near you.

3. I have started 483 more knitting projects, including a mystery shawl (the first clue comes out next week!) named Mystic Ice. Starting Projects coupled with Never Finishing Projects seems to be a seasonal trend for me. I swore I wouldn’t do it this year. But there I went. Oh, 2009. I am sorry.

4. Someone just told me that Christmas is less than six weeks away. And six weeks is too soon! With six weeks to go until Christmas, it almost feels like Christmas is over. Oh, Steve Miller.

5. I’ve eaten too much cheese. It’s just that simple. Specifically, Swiss cheese and mustard sandwiches, often followed by a snack of more Swiss cheese.

I have an appointment at the headache clinic on Monday morning, where the following conversation will surely take place.

Headache Doctor: Have you been doing your exercises?
Me: No.
Headache Doctor: Did you sign up for the yoga class I was telling you about?
Me: No.
Headache Doctor: I hate you for never listening to me. Is this how you treat everyone?!
Me: Wow. I think it is. Will you drill a tiny hole into my head?

Wait. Estonian Lace! Also, Tyrolean Stockings!! Sei Shonagon Pillow!!! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>