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When I hear about a random pig sighting, I have no idea how to feel.

February 20th, 2018 · 10 Comments · Daily

I know I’m sort of a bad American. I’m not sure I’ve EVER been a GOOD American, really. I mean, I’ve done the research and voted in every single presidential election since 1988, but I don’t sing the National Anthem just like I don’t sing the theme song from Happy Days. (I will and do sing Air Supply songs. Air Supply. Australian?) I didn’t call the police when someone left a bag of dog poop in our front yard, but I DID call the police when someone stabbed John Green. I feed my dogs fish-based food because of Henry’s allergies, but I don’t personally eat fish. (Or chicken or cow or kangaroo. (Remind me to tell you the story of the kangaroo.) No buffalo. No on goat and lamb. I’m all over cauliflower.) I think I just veered into the wrong lane.

I’m not a fan of the man who was elected president, but I’m also not really a fan of fast food pasta. I’ve eaten goopy nachos at baseball games, but I prefer to eat the Lebanese nachos by the tattoo shop in the city. When someone says “God bless the USA” I tend to end it in my head with “…but not JUST the USA.” When I watch figure skating during the Olympics, I cheer for the people whose outfits I like the most—even if they need a translator to get through an interview with Lester Holt.

When I hear people saying the pledge of allegiance, I try not to roll my eyes at the part about “indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” (I know. Read the first sentence of the first paragraph. I’m not keeping any secrets over here.)

Tempe mentioned that she would like to write out the Constitution by hand, and I think that’s such a fine idea because What a Great Way to Visit It Again.

Meredith wore this shirt to school last week, and some guy called her on it and then spent the entire class period making snide remarks to his friends.

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I made this shirt yesterday morning, and I know it’s not designed well and I also know a shirt doesn’t really change the fact that sometimes kids go to school worrying about a math test when they should probably be worried about being shot in the face.

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I’m reading three books right now, and tomorrow I’m going to return them all (unfinished) to the library and pick up Lincoln in the Bardo in hardback and CD. I’m not reading/listening to it because of the American president reference. I’m reading/listening to it because it has ghosts and David Sedaris is one of the narrators and he’s no Ari Fliakos, but I still love him.

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Jeff proposed 17 years ago today.

February 13th, 2018 · 3 Comments · Daily

I went to Comic Con with Tempe a few weeks back, and I honestly had no idea what to expect. Ah, but I DO expect to go back next year, and I suspect I’ll be dressed like Amélie.

I wishlisted a gnome. (I’ve had a surprising number of gnomes in my life lately. Story gnomes. Conversational gnomes. Gnomes on posters in bars. It has to mean something, unless it doesn’t.) I have plans for a red dress and clunky shoes or boots with socks.

This morning I jumped over to Amazon to do a little army green jacket searching, and I found one for ten bucks that will work perfectly.

When I ordered the jacket, I was “presented” with a coupon that said something like, “Buy two more things from our store, and we’ll give you such and such percentage off of your purchase!” I clicked over to the store, where I was greeted by these pants.

Okay. This woman has pulled her pants down to display the fact that they are lined with fleece. Isn’t there a better way to showcase that feature? Because you know what? She is defecating.

Finally, and perhaps the point of this entire post: If the Amélie thing doesn’t work out I might put some effort into Tootsie Pop Nose Spooky Clown. (The character is currently in development, but I’m thinking her tragic flaw is spending a little too much time in the middle school parent pick-up line.)

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Yentl is a 1983 film that questions the appropriateness of sexist gender roles. Starring Barbra Streisand!

January 31st, 2018 · 13 Comments · Daily

The last time we talked, I mentioned that I was tossing pickles and crackers into a bowl of lentils and calling it comfort food. More than one person has asked for a recipe, so let’s talk lentils! (I was trying to come up with a word that rhymed with lentil for the title of today’s post, and the first thing that came to mind was Yentl. Now that I’m sitting here with a dog on my lap, I’m realizing we have dental, gentle, mental, rental, and fentanyl, which doesn’t really rhyme at all, but what good am I if I’m not current on the opioid epidemic in America?)

Recipe for Comfort Lentils:

  1. Make a cup or so of brown lentils. (I normally dump a little more than a cup of dry lentils into my Instant Pot and then cover them with about two cups of vegetable broth. Cook for 16 minutes, and then let the pot sit (unreleased) for about 10 more minutes. Release the pressure. You now have perfect lentils.)
  2. Cut up a few pickles. (I go with Claussen whole dills because they’re firm, and floppy pickles are bullshit.) Throw those cut up pickles into your lentils.
  3. Grab some crackers. I use saltines, but I can see where Ritz might be better because Ritz are always better. Crush them in your right hand and let the crumbs fall into the lentils. You are a superhero.
  4. Stir and eat. Try not to think about the government. See if you can remember all of the lyrics to Miss Saigon. (You can’t, but it’s fun to try.)

If you have a little more time to prepare something even better, then make the lentils my brother-in-law makes every week. He made them at Christmas and I couldn’t get enough, so now *I* make them every week. It’s like that hair commercial where you tell a friend and they tell a friend and so on, and eventually everyone in the world has great hair. Ah, but instead of great hair, we all have great lentils.

Okay.

Recipe for Bob’s Lentils:

  1. In a small bowl, mix 2T of Dijon mustard, 2T of olive oil, 2T of apple cider vinegar, 1T of maple syrup, and 1t of salt. (T = Tablespoon. t = teaspoon.) Whip and whip and whip until it’s all mixed together. Go ahead and add pepper and garlic if you want. I never do.
  2. Cook up about a cup and a half of green lentils. (They’re a bit firmer than brown.) See my Instant Pot instructions above if you need a reminder.
  3. While the lentils are cooking, cut up about 1/4 cup (or more. I do more.) of carrots, pickles, celery, and cauliflower. I always forget the cauliflower.
  4. When the lentils are done, throw them into a big bowl with the vegetables. THEN, dump the dressing on top and mix it up. Dear Lord. Maybe put it over rice if you want. I don’t. I’m also thinking cutting up an apple and throwing it in might be fun. If you do that, let me know how it goes.

Here is a photo of today’s cut up vegetables. Once again, I forgot the cauliflower.

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Here is a photo of the completed lentil salad. The salad is so much better than this photo makes it out to be. Trust me.

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Try not to think about the government.

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Woe is me! But also? Whoa is me!

January 28th, 2018 · 6 Comments · Daily

Let’s see.

I fell face first into the bushes while trying to adjust the outdoor lighting.

But also? I went to a party that didn’t end until a woman was tied up and blindfolded! (She volunteered.)

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I migrained the past three days away and was unable to attend a concert with my sister—a concert I’ve been looking forward to for months.

But also? This evening I went to a guided meditation session with a new friend and it was exactly what I wanted and needed.

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I discovered that my new favorite comfort food is lentils with pickles and crackers.

But also? I discovered that my new favorite comfort food is lentils with pickles and crackers!

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The past week has been a bit of a jerk. This week will be better because it will include a waffle and a haircut.

I will never sing like Patti Lupone. I will never sing like Lil Uzi Vert. I will never be an Olympian. (Have I ever told you about the time I competed in the Beer Olympics? My event involved lapping beer from a frisbee like a dog. I did not earn medals or respect that night.)

I’ve been writing a short story about a girl who may have had a little too much gin while hanging out in a stable on Christmas night. (It is not autobiographical.)

I’ll try to be back soon.

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I’m coming out of my cage, and I’ve been doing just fine, Brandon Flowers.

January 19th, 2018 · 8 Comments · Daily

I never look forward to meetings, and I never expect meetings to be enjoyable and wahoo-inducing. Last night’s band booster meeting did NOT pleasantly surprise me, but as I sat and listened to people speaking in volumes higher than 6 (I rarely go above a 4.), I came up with an idea for a new way to lace my sneakers AND an amazingly genius idea about the potential rights of meeting participation. The idea? If you have volunteered at four events (or have attended four previous meetings), you are handed five tickets at the beginning of the meeting. Each ticket allows you to speak out one time. If you have not volunteered or attended any previous meetings, you may speak up only one time and then you must sit quietly (head nods and shakes are allowed) and rest assured knowing that you will get TWO tickets at the next meeting. Use your tickets wisely.

Oh, I know. Democracy and freedom of speech and God gave us a larynx for a reason, but still. Last night’s meeting went on for two hours and my anxiety reached the “dripping from my ears” level as we discussed the prevention of potential non-conformity and maybe I should just stay home from these things, but I never will. Why? Because I care, and because I want to be the first in line if there is a bread pudding tasting. (So far? No bread pudding. Yet, I will continue to dream because the dream of bread pudding is better than no chance of bread pudding. The dream of bread pudding is what gets me off of the couch.)

It has been a high-anxiety week at the House of Pudding. I’m blaming it on a few things that are definitely not blame-worthy (no cauliflower for my lentils, dog hair on my pants), and I’m slowly doing a fairly good job of crawling out of my overly-charged funk.

The reason for no cauliflower for my lentils: I forgot to buy cauliflower when I was at the store.

The reason for dog hair on my pants:
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This is the thing that is currently giving me joy:
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I’m at the bakery again, and I know the thing in the circle has something to do with making bread, but to me it is a duck who is feeling a little out of place. (I am someone who has fed lots of bread to lots of ducks. I’m positive that like me, this duck will come around.)

Last week I cleaned out my craft closet and I bagged up all my wool. (Insert Baa, Baa, Black Sheep reference. Be reminded once again that Baa, Baa, Black Sheep has the same melody as The Alphabet Song and also Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.)

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This evening I’ll be knitting at the house while Meredith does the pep band thing at the high school. Jeff and Harper are going to see The Killers and I have glitter on my clavicle.

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To me, the plural of bus will always be busses.

January 11th, 2018 · 11 Comments · Daily

The high school released a dress code reminder that included information regarding the prohibition of pillows and blankets in the classroom. A student in Meredith’s health class, when asked for a sore throat remedy, answered “Put a little bit of Fireball in your coffee.” Well, the names have all changed since you hung around, but those dreams have remained and they’ve turned around…

I replaced the handle and flapper in our downstairs toilet last week, and our flush is now 82% more efficient. At least 82%, actually. Immediate feedback on the handle with no toilet running throughout the night. I’m building my skillset.

Because Meredith is now a vegetarian, I have become an even better vegetarian. Also, I’ve practiced yoga for the past ten days. I had signed up for a guided meditation practice last night, but my stomach wouldn’t allow me to go. Ah, but go I will.

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Jeff and I went to a party last weekend and I didn’t freak out and stare into a pan of noodles for most of the night. Anti-Anxiety Pills + White Russian(s) + Sparklepants = Even Steven. I believe my only regrettable moment was the false confession that I occasionally wear my sparklepants when I’m prostituting. These folks don’t know me very well, and sometimes my nervous jokes are more damaging than funny. (This is my truth: I have never prostituted, I am not currently prostituting, and although none of us know what the future might hold, I think it’s safe to say that I will not prostitute in the years to come.)

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My ear is all gross and I’ve been pouring Hot Chocolate honey into my coffee every morning. These two items are not related, but I stuck them together because neither needs elaboration.

My 30th high school reunion is taking place sometime in April. Do you remember when you helped me choose my outfit for the 20th reunion? That was super fun until Gloria (comment #49) told me that my outfits are boring and I look older than I probably am. (I do hope that Gloria is having a nice day today. We’re all doing our best, aren’t we?)

I just want to say #NOprah. Yes, I think she’s great at getting us all stirred and HellYeah’ed, but I would rather see Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker in the White House. This is just my opinion.

The Artist’s Way. I’m in. (I haven’t read it since 2003 when I was pregnant with Meredith and eating enough friend bologna to make my appendix explode.) Fifteen years have passed and I need a refresher.Untitled

I’m listening to this in the car. My favorite two quotes so far?

  1. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are.
  2. There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah.

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Welcome to my garden of earthly delights.

January 3rd, 2018 · 8 Comments · Daily

Jeff gave me an Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker for Christmas and it scares the crap out of me so I’ve been doing all kinds of research because I need to be armed with information before I take the thing out of the box.

Due to the legalization of recreational marijuana in California, my television is blowing up with pot news. This morning I watched a segment about a team in San Francisco who is incorporating cannabis into meals, like a vegetable. The woman uses A PRECISION COOKER to simmer crushed cannabis. (They work under the name Sous Weed, and that’s both convenient and brilliant.) I had never seen a precision cooker before last week, and I’m now on high precision cooker alert, so they’re popping up everywhere—even in cannabis kitchens. Cosmic rhymes.

One of my dreams (dreams? goals? plans?) is to see Niagara Falls iced up. This morning Today was covering the weather from Niagara Falls, and would you just look at the face on the magnifier? Apparently, I was not the only person to notice it, but notice it I did and it delighted me for probably seven entire minutes.

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Would you like to know the other two things that delighted me today? (It was a triple delight day, which is Bald Eagle Eating a Tomato Sandwich While Perched on My Arm rare.)

This morning we took the girls out to Companion to celebrate the final day of winter break. This guy was tubbing up dough and I couldn’t get enough. I also couldn’t get enough of the bread pudding muffins. You know how I am.

 

Delight Number Three is coming up right now!

Jeff and I have been invited to an ugly sweater party this weekend, and I scoured (scoured!) the internet for the perfect sweater before deciding to make my own using some felt and an iPad (and a pre-made sweater, obviously). Ah, but I soon realized my limited skills so I ended up saying Screw It before ordering a dress sort of thing and some silver tights. Silver tights. SILVER TIGHTS.

This afternoon I received a text that my tights had been delivered. I ran out to the mailbox (mainly because the temperatures are below freezing), grabbed the package, ripped it open, and take a look at these.

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These are not silver tights. These are sparklepants in the front and fake black leather in the back. I initially felt disappointment (this is NOT what I ORDERED), but then it occurred to me that perhaps the universe knows me better than I know myself because: HELL YES, SPARKLEPANTS. They are a bit too small, but you know what? I’m willing to drop a few pounds for my sparklepants. (They’ve lived with us for less than five hours, and do you see how they’re already putting thoughts into my head? Bossy sparklepants.)

The power they’re supplying is electrifying.

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Happy New Year to you. (And even to you.)

December 31st, 2017 · 7 Comments · Daily

I just spent about seven minutes reading through the past year of Fluid Pudding so I could put together a “hey Hey HEY! Look at how I’m changing the world over here!” post. Turns out, not so much world changing was accomplished by me in the past twelve months.

It looks like I maybe wore shorts once. I ate a lot of food. I sat in a piercing chair three times and a tattoo chair once. I took a writing class. I gave ten bucks to a homeless violin player even though he was playing Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.” I cleaned up animal vomit. I started selling honey. I read some books.

Here are some of the books I read in 2017:

  1. Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
  2. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
  3. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  4. Hunger by Roxane Gay
  5. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  6. The Idiot by Elif Batuman
  7. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  8. The Nix by Nathan Hill
  9. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  10. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

We met my parents for Chinese buffet today.Untitled

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Normally my fortune says something like “Virtue is a journey and companions will lift your spirits higher than mountains before love will tear us apart.” This was better.

What I hope to accomplish in 2018:

  1. More church, fewer canned foods.
  2. More beans, less eye rolling.
  3. More yoga, less falling asleep in bad places.
  4. More glitter eyeliner, fewer migraines.
  5. More hygge, less Mariah Carey.

More listening. More kindness. More reaching out to help. More connections. More knitting and sewing and writing and reading and creating and enjoying. More spark than fizzle.

My 2017 was very much okay, and I have everything I need to whoosh into 2018. Let’s make this year a good one.Untitled

(More water. More deep breaths. More benefit of the doubt.)

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Onesies aren’t just for babies.

December 29th, 2017 · 5 Comments · Daily

Christmas. I’m never quite ready for it (I still haven’t finished shopping. Oh, what’s that? Christmas is over, you say? NOT IN MY WORLD!), yet it always happens and it’s always just fine.

Even when one of the dogs is emptying his stomach all over the floor? Just fine. (Picking up the pile was not pleasant, especially when I reached the clump that I thought was a bird. But, you know what? It wasn’t a bird, and within 12 hours Henry was mostly back to normal.)

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I’ve messed up quite a bit over the past few days. I tried to make a Texas sheet cake in a regular cake pan and then halfway through baking time it occurred to me that it’s called a sheet cake because it’s supposed to be made on a sheet. SO, Jeff and I spatula’d (spatulaed? what is happening right now?) the half-baked (we’ve all been there) cake onto a sheet and smashed it down and fast forward 30 minutes to when Jeff called it a Texas Bullsheet Cake. The name stuck, and the “cake” was surprisingly delicious.

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Several gifts for the girls haven’t yet arrived because I ordered them too late. (A few haven’t even shipped because I *really* ordered them too late.) I’ve misplaced a gift that I purchased for Harper. (It’s a bath bomb called The F Bomb, and maybe it’s all for the best.) Earlier this week I was going to visit with a friend at around 800 in the morning and do you know what time I woke up? 829. I’ve been making crappy food choices and sleeping too much and hugging on the dogs when I should be wiping down the counters. Ah, but the fan continues to spin and as soon as the temperatures rise above freezing, I’ll be installing outdoor lighting in front of the house. (To me, outdoor lighting is EVERYTHING, which I originally typed as EVERYTHONG.)

Let’s see. What else? I learned how to use the buttflap of a onesie because desperate times call for desperate measures and our main floor bathroom doesn’t have a vent so it’s COLD in there! I’ve been practicing my eyebrow application and it doesn’t seem to be going very well, so I have decided to distract the viewer with glittery face powder and an armadillo necklace that hangs right at the line of cleavage. (I have no clothing that displays any sort of cleavage. Sorry, armadillo.) ((Why an armadillo? Because of my grandpa. That’s why.))

Evidence of the onesie along with a mantel gnome and a facial expression of buttflap-conquering pride:
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And another thing: A friend sent this to me and I love it so much because I believe I could be the happiest resident of Doreenia.

Doreenia

Last night a friend asked if I was going to do the new 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene that starts on January 1. I have been so far removed from yoga that I didn’t even realize a new program was starting. BUT, I just signed up. Care to join?

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Merry Christmas…

December 20th, 2017 · 13 Comments · Daily

…to the employee at Moe’s who talked me into putting rice on my burrito…to my daughter’s history teacher who was shot while running in the woods, yet managed to make it back to the high school to help protect the kids…to all people who dedicate themselves to making the world a better place…to the woman at the coffee dump who bought hot chocolate for a young homeless man…to the makeup guy at Sephora who patiently answered 493 questions about my vanishing eyebrows…to my friends who forgive my forgetfulness as well as my shameless use of alliteration…to Judge Derrick Watson and Judge Theodore D. Chuang…to the band parents who are just as “Hell Yeah!” as I am…to my family for seeing past my weirditude about crowds and seating arrangements and notebooks and sleepiness…to Maxine Waters and to John McCain…to the writers and the poets and the artists and the misfits and the activists…to you.

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Oh, 2017. Last night Harper said something like, “2016 really sucked, but it feels like 2017 was even worse.” Sure, this comes from a kid who has her own bedroom and the house is warm when it’s cold outside and we always have Cool Ranch Doritos. BUT, it’s also the kid who knows that not everyone from Mexico, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, or Yemen is itching to kill Americans.

We’ve had many talks about how the world shouldn’t be so Us and Them. Reminder: Just because I’m anti-NRA doesn’t mean I’m against responsible gun ownership. Just because I’m a (bleeding heart) liberal doesn’t mean I’m not a Christian or that I’m pro-abortion. (Pro-abortion. I know. What a horrible label that is.) Just because I support the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t mean that I don’t support the police. I have friends and family members on both sides of all fences and although we may disagree on so many things, I wouldn’t hesitate to take them soup or tea if they needed or wanted it.

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I just finished reading Braving the Wilderness and I *never* read books like Braving the Wilderness, but maybe I should because YES ON BRAVING THE WILDERNESS. Brené Brown has poked me in the eyes and given me some really important things to incorporate.

Because of Braving the Wilderness along with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and also because I stumbled and low self-esteemrolled my way through 2017, my word for 2018 is Connect. My goals for 2018? Keep writing and stop dehumanizing. Work on my stomach, my head, and my falling asleep in weird places. Listen. Love. Connect.

“We’re all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by life’s trivialities; we are eaten up by nothing.” -Bukowski

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These three people (a man and two of his daughters, along with one other daughter whose headstone has been removed) are buried in a subdivision near the middle school. I love that even though their farm is now a subdivision, they are still there.

And I’m still here and you’re still here and I hope your holidays sparkle and fizz.

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(The girls and I visited my sister for her 50th birthday last weekend. This photo was taken shortly after I jumped out of the car and ran into a stranger’s front yard to hug their gigantic snowmen. Never send away the weasel.)

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