Detailing the Pudding

How is it that I’ve spent 39 years thinking that “detailing a car” had something to do with painting thin swirly stripes down the side of it? A few days back I mentioned that no one really details their car anymore. Jeff mentioned that just because our car isn’t detailed is no indication that it doesn’t happen. (I also have a hard time imagining how the world existed before I was born and how it will survive without me. I’ll save that (not quite narcissistic, more like unable to engage in abstract thought) conversation for another time.) Anyway, from there we went into a side-splitting Who’s on First sort of routine.

Jeff: Wait. Before we go any further, please tell me what it means to detail a car.

Me: It’s when you take your car, which is probably an old van, to the place where the guy paints swirly stripes down the sides of it. And then maybe you get tinted windows as a bonus. And Keep on Truckin’ mud flaps.

Jeff: You’re not from around here, are you?

A few nights back I spent an hour or so of solo time with Mocha Momma. And I stepped away feeling terribly enlightened. And I’ve been lazily meditating on much of our conversation since I drove out of that parking lot. For whatever odd reason, I believe many people start questioning their writing and their website purpose and goals during this time of year, and this year I’m amongst the many. (I know! 83% of you just walked away! It really IS boring, no? Here’s an incentive to get you through. I will use some form of the word Tipple before signing off for the night.) I started Fluid Pudding back in 2001 when I was a single girl with an editing gig in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a pointless journal (the archives aren’t available at this time, but you believe me, right?) written by featherbrained me. (WAIT! I just found a bit of evidence!) I had absolutely no intention of ever turning it into something Bigger, and I finally realized on Saturday night that I STILL have no intention of turning it into something Bigger, because I sort of lack the talent and drive to DO that. (Is anyone else feeling a surge of pressure to do that? So much talk of branding and sponsors! I love it. I hate it. I’m sleepy.) ((One of my new favorite words is Lentitudinousness!)) And although I’m not at the 100% level of contentment with What Fluid Pudding Is, I AM 100% content with What Fluid Pudding Was. So I’m considering stepping back a bit. (Not quitting. In my mind, it’s actually more of an evolution than that.) And isn’t this paragraph just about the silliest thing you’ve ever read? My goodness. So much stuff going on in the world, and I’m all type type type me me me (Ben Folds) me me me (Ira Glass) me me. So anyway. I just bought an herb garden thingy, and I’m really digging the idea of Organic. (Basil! Oregano! Parsley! All living together in perfect harmony!)

Keith Olbermann is on my television right now, and if he were a drink I believe he would be a steaming salted caramel hot chocolate with a fat stirrer that held the words “Get tippled.”

Off to sleep I go! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

31 thoughts on “Detailing the Pudding”

  1. Hooray for the herb garden!! (you knew I would say that, didn’t you?)

    Do whatever makes you happy.

    Just please stay in touch with me. (pretty please)

  2. I also thought detailing a car meant having pin stripes painted on it but apparently it means having it professionally cleaned, inside and out. Anyway, I think that’s what it means.

  3. I disagree – you certainly do not lack the talent. When I began this boring job I would copy/paste your archives into a Word Document and read them throughout the day. I pasted them into Word so they wouldn’t know I was reading blogs. But my hysterical laughter probably gave me away. It’s okay that you don’t have the drive. This is yours. But again, your talent cup runneth over.

  4. You are TOTALLY not alone on the “detailing” confusion. The only reason I found out what it really means is that my mom’s best friend mentioned that they got their car “detailed” in preparation for a big trip, and I expressed surprise that they were into the swirly stripes.

  5. I’m not sure stream-of-consciousness writing is your cup of tea.

    The organic herb thing is a great idea if only because pesto is awesome and requires mass quantities of basil.

  6. I planted an herb garden for the first time this year. SOOOOOO excited.

    So you know, I have a blog crisis once every few days or so. Sigh.

  7. I thought that’s what detailing a car was for the longest time too!!! I don’t know how/when I found out what it really was but I remember being disappointed in the truth…

  8. We started our blogs at about the same time (you probably don’t remember, but I used to write, and one day someone sent me an IM that said “I just wanted to let you know I love your blog!” and I was sitting on my bed in my college apartment watching King of the Hill, so I said “Thanks!” and she said “Oh my god! You answered!” and I got all weird and stopped blogging there. But I kept reading everyone I was reading way back then!)

    Wait, what?

    Oh right, so we started blogging at about the same time, and I took a big break right in the middle when all this branding! advertisements! blogher! etc! stuff happened. Now I’ve been back with for two years and have only LAST WEEK been able to bring myself to put an ad on my site. The whole world of blogging zoomed past me and now I’m all “Wait, what, ads? We’re doing that now? And who are all these make money from blogging bloggers? Where did this all come from? GET OFF MY LAWN!”

    So, at least, in a way, you are better off, as you have gotten to move along with the times as they have happened, whereas I made all kinds of cool friends and then vanished for 4 or 5 years, and now no one remembers who I am and everyone hangs out in a big group and drinks martinis and wine and wine kind of makes me gag.

    And… hey, how’ve you been for the last 5 years! Right.

  9. We have experienced “stepping back a bit” from you before, and thankfully I think we all survived (I think). Although I am hoping “stepping back a bit” is not equal to “oh, who am I kidding I don’t have time for this anymore.”

    You’re getting busy with the yarn store and the freelancing and the kids home for the summer stuff, aren’t you? I understand.

    Also, the ad stuff… I get trying to make a living off of something you enjoy doing, but it does seem to be getting a bit overwhelming out there. I am starting to feel like the Flag Corps Captain all over again (think — all the pretty girls standing over there, me on the other side next to the tuba players), and I don’t really like it, quite honestly. Everyone is cliquing up (is that a word?)

  10. I thought that’s what detailing was too, until my inlaws went to get their van detailed before my BIL’s wedding a few years ago. I had to ask my husband why they were getting car graphics for his brother’s wedding. Hilarity ensued.

  11. Step back, move forward…do whatever you want just give us a snippet here and there. You make us (me and my alter ego) laugh.

  12. I often worry some of the same things. I actually had a logo made recently for my blog so I could have business cards! Fancy! But then I remembered I’m not going anywhere to need those cards so now it’s just silly.

    So – please share any wisdom you gather with us! I’m wandering around in the dark over here…

    Also, detailing? I just learned that recently when someone told me my van needed detailing and I laughed and they didn’t understand why I was laughing because what’s funny about fixing small scratches? I thought they wanted me to get mudflaps.

  13. Ditto on the detailing confusion until I started getting my car cleaned really good a few years ago.

    Why hasn’t the word detailing crossed over to other areas?

    “I’m having my body detailed today. It’s a mess.”

    “I need to have the house detailed before the open house.”

  14. Sometimes I read blogs that seem to have it all going on – a book deal, sponsorship, job offers, etc. I wonder how they do it…

    …but then I remember that I keep a blog only for me. It’s like a journal that I let others read, but I wouldn’t want sponsorship for it, nor a book deal. I just want to post pictures, and occasionally writing, and post every day for a week if I feel like it, or not post for 3 weeks if I don’t feel like it.

    I still think you’re funny.

  15. Pudding, my friend, do what makes you happy. I love to read your blog because you have such a refreshing sense of humor (erudite and yet, approachable), you open your heart to your readers in such an honest and effortless way (I’m sure it actually takes considerable work but it comes across that way… to me at least) and you are of a kindly, considerate character.

    As you know, writing has never been a passion or joy but cathartic in nature for me (hence the name) and the process is not unlike passing a very large kidney stone. I feel like every time I write (I mean really write), I am assume the role of some demonic sump-pump, expelling the black vitriol of fear, doubt and pain onto the page for all to see. It is embarrassing and painful every time (when I actually have the courage to go through with it) but I need that release.

    In contrast, you are winsome and blithe. You make me smile, cry and cheer as I read of your ‘every-woman’s’ exploits. You will be missed if you step back…but I understand.

    So, I close with a gift from Mr. Shakespeare:

    “Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;
    Men were deceivers ever;
    One foot in sea and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never;
    Then sigh not so,
    But let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny;
    Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into. Hey nonny, nonny.

    Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
    Or dumps so dull and heavy;
    The fraud of men was ever so,
    Since summer first was leavy.
    Then sigh not so,
    But let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
    Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.”

  16. isn’t it just like us Americans to feel like everything has to get BIGGER!! and BETTER!!!? Seems to me that not everyone needs to aspire to more. You’re just fine how you are.

    Now if you want to try to make millions blogging, I’ll keep reading. But I don’t read blogs for the ads (and have never once clicked on an ad).

    Actually, I love your voice and I’ll keep reading anyway.

  17. Susan C…”Detailing the house”…a most excellent concept! You’re definitely onto something. I’m thinking twice a year or so would be about right.

    And FP, WHAT?

    OK, fine. Step back (yet again ;-) if you must. You know we’ll still hang around here in the shadows, checking often for any hints and allegations you might care to toss our way.

    But really…I mean unless you’ve got some sort of side-project going on that we don’t know about…you know, like a nightly family journal kind of thing…wouldn’t you be doing a long-term service to your family to record their daily doings for a summer?

    Hey, I know! How about having MC and Harper do the blog for a few months? You could interview them every evening — sort of a running “highlights of the day” kind of thing.

    I bet they would love it. And the memories? Priceless!

    Just last week I came across a slip of paper in older brother’s grade-school handwriting: “If you won’t play with me on the driveway today you will never be allowed to ride my bike ever ever again no matter what!”

    Had I been a blogger 30 years ago, that one would already have been committed to posterity!

    Step back if you must, but save those scraps of paper, people!

  18. Ah, yes. The lovely time on Saturday. You are fondly in my brain (but not my tummy – that cupcake didn’t make it back to Springfield with me but I’m sure there are crumbs in the back of my friend’s car) and I walked away feeling so relieved that you are in the same boat. This THING we get to do…we get to do it because we started doing it. Simple as that.

    I’ve been planning a long, thank-you-ish email about our encounter if I can get through it without the sappy part. You should just expect the sappy anyway.

    You’re one of my favorite writers. You have been for a long time.

  19. I am with you on the detailing confusion! I totally thought (up until a year ago) it was a process of pimping out your car with painting stripes! I wonder why so many of us were confused!?

  20. Oh, I hope you don’t step away completely. I got all panicky the last time you took a leave of absence. So much so I emailed you and invited you to stay in my home if you were ever in the area. A complete internet stranger. Umm yeh, sorry about freakin’ your shiznit there.

    Write when you get the hankerin’. You’ll always have blog fans (who want you to sleep in their bed). ;-)

  21. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Oops. Sorry ’bout that. No, please don’t go. I’ve just found you & I love the jelly wobbly creamy custardy nature of your puddingness. Please don’t go……………

  22. What is it about this time of year and bloggerly angst? I’ve been suffering from it, too, despite the fact I’m pretty happy with how things have been going. I just about up and quit a few days ago. For reals!

  23. Haha, I am a swirly-striper too! I just found out what it meant two months ago…too bad, I wanted swirls but I got orange-scented air freshener.

  24. Angie, I just wanted you to know I am adevoted follower since…I can’t remember when but Meridith was just a little baby. I have always loved your sense of humor and stories. I hope you don’t drop off. I think when you went to that group of people posting is when you lost a lot of followers. I didn’t particular like that format. Anyhow, keep it up!

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