Swinging dead cats and wishing for the perfect naan.

I once made the statement that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a gifted kid. After saying it, I sort of regretted saying it, as I tend to regret many of the things I say out loud. (“Quarter Pounder with cheese, mustard, pickle, and onion” is an excellent example of this. Also, the fact that I’m constantly chewing on my foot (figuratively!) is one of the many reasons why you’ll probably never see me in person! I like to stay in my (mostly soundproof) house! I sing songs to my cats! Anyway!)

I wasn’t going to share this with you, but I suddenly feel like I should: Meredith was recently accepted into the gifted program at school. After consulting with us, her teacher recommended her, she tested surprisingly well, and Wham! Every Thursday morning she now reports to the middle school where she has her own locker and she changes classes along with an entire hallway of first and second graders who are also in the program. And I’m being intentionally vague, because it’s such a thin fence between bragging on your kid and not bragging and I suppose it’s not wrong to brag about your kid, and gheez. It’s just sort of new to me, but I will say this: Meredith LOVES her Thursdays, and I like to think of it as her song to sing—not mine.

This might seem like I’m changing the subject, but I’m not: Meredith gets car sick, and because of that, she can’t/won’t ride the bus. This morning I had to take her to the middle school at 9:00, pick her up at 11:00 (it was an early dismissal day), drive her to the elementary school, return home and feed Harper lunch, take Harper to the elementary at 12:30, go back to the middle school for the parent/teacher conference at 1:20, and then back home where I currently sit typingtypingtyping until 3:06 when I make my way back to the elementary to pick them both up. AND, because Jeff is in California and I slept like a horse last night (mostly on my feet, lots of fidgeting and swinging my tail at imaginary bugs), I’m feeling a bit raw.

And now I’m going to change into an even more opaque hat: Something was brought up at today’s conference that should have been brought up at last week’s conference with her elementary classroom teacher, and I’m currently stuck between a rock and a hard place (Ah! Clichés! Rattlesnakes!) because I feel the need to confront someone, but I secretly know I can’t because there’s a 17% chance that it might affect a friendship, and because I am who I am, this is going to bother me for days, and hey! I’m really liking that sick mom from American Idol, aren’t you?

After actually feeling tempted to taste goat meat last weekend, I am now 100% committed to learn how to cook authentic Indian food of the vegetarian variety. (Live long and prosper, Goats!) It seems that whenever Jeff and I get the chance to hit a restaurant, we always go for Indian. I’ve asked for cookbook recommendations on Twitter, and I’ve now added a few to my Amazon wish list. (Whee! A list of wishes!) I’m now wondering if you have any words of wisdom. What I really want is to figure out exactly how the place down the street makes their Delhi’s Chaat. From there? Saag paneer. And on and on until my house smells like an Indian Palace. (Don’t worry. I’m not going to go all Julie and Julia: The Indian Version on you. I’m not nearly that perky.)

Look. I knitted a hat and some washcloths for Meredith’s kindergarten teacher. There I go again, getting all twirly and knitting gifts for teachers!

Gifts for Boys, etc.

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Tomorrow is the final day!
I spent a week driving a Lincoln, and if you check out my review you could win a $500 Visa gift card! (And more!) This is a really great giveaway! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

It’s a new verb!

I’ve been Doobleh-Vayed!

(And it feels good!)

And if that’s not enough to make my day, this morning I took Harper to The Little Gym, and I met a knitter!

Last week I spent the entire Little Gym hour listening to a mom talk about her servants (Yep. She has live-in help, and she refers to them as her servants! Where do I begin?!), and this week I spent the hour chatting with a really pleasant woman who will soon be visiting the yarn store!

Good Day!

Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. I’m wearing the earrings. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

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’>

Brace yourselves. I’ve been purchasing études.

So, last weekend got completely crazy and we ended up NOT getting Scruffy. We DID, however, get runny noses, a fever, and a cough that still isn’t completely gone, so we have that going for us. (Scruffy is still there. I still check on her every day. The only problem is that she is classified as Medium-Haired, which means I would either have to go back on the Zyrtec (or the booze) if we welcomed her into our home. Believe me, we’re weighing options and making pro/con lists and I actually got my Xanax prescription refilled today for the first time in 18 months, and that’s sort of a monkey of a different color, but I’m coming completely clean with you right now. And I don’t think I necessarily need Xanax, because going through 24 pills in 18 months doesn’t really classify me as needy, but it’s nice to have them around. Like a funny cousin you get to see only once or twice a year. Or a special cake you eat only at funerals or something.)

I’ve been really REEEEEEEALLY irritable over the past week or so, too. And for the first time in a LONG time, I’m going to sort of censor myself, because the folks with whom I’m irritated actually know about Fluid Pudding. (Have I ever told you that no one in my extended family knows about this site? Why is that? Why do I feel like Fluid Pudding has to be a private thing? It’s not like I really get all puhrivate over here, do I? No. I really don’t. I don’t think my secrets would interest you in the least.) Anyway, I’m in one of those moods where I sort of want to jump in the car and drive east or west (or north or south) for a few hours, check into a cute (or not so cute, really) place with a blanketed bed and knit, read, jot silly things into a big fat notebook, and sleep my weekend away. I will leave my dwellings for yarn stores and pecan pie hunts. I might even wear sneakers. I will definitely wear a hat in lieu of hygiene. Sounds dreamy, no?

Good News: Next week I’ll have a finished sweater for you. It’s my Delphine! AND, I actually know enough about knitting now that I was able to spot an error in the pattern. And this excited me in the same way that I get excited when I find a misspelling in a novel. (And, yes. I submitted the error and the author is sending it on to a tech editor, and I’m now only three degrees of separation away from H.L. Mencken.)

When I was in high school, I set a goal of learning to play all 27 Chopin études. To date, I can (just barely) play two of them. Last night I broke down and purchased the études on iTunes. It felt like I was closing a chapter, and as a result I’m feeling a bit mopish.

Who’s up for a retreat? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Ooh la la! Delphine!

I think you all know me pretty well by now. So, you know that I sort of wish I was a dainty French girl, right? I love Amélie, I eat at least one biscotti per week, one of my favorite meals is champagne and French toast (I just made that up, although I did have it once and really enjoyed it), and I’m very happy to report that Gérard Depardieu is still alive. (Gérard Depardieu, Eddie Rabbitt, Kenny Loggins, Louie Anderson. All of these people are dead to me for some reason. In fact, I couldn’t point out the actual dead ones if I tried.)

Anyway, I’m going to approach knitting a bit differently in 2009. In an attempt to stomp out my capricious knitterly ways, I’m making myself finish something before I can start something else. A few days back, I purchased French Girl Knits, and holy crap how I fell in love with Delphine. In fact, I fell So Hard for Delphine that I stayed up late on Monday night to finish my Versatility—a project that has been going on and on (and on) for nearly three months. Here I am, smelling like French Vogue in my Versatility:
Spaghetti and Meatballs

Here I am, showing you how much I look like a Wii character in my Versatility:
My Brain is on the Outside of My Head

Meredith has told me that I’m not allowed to wear my Versatility to school. Apparently, she hates bobbles and cannot appreciate the fact that I am sometimes Juliette Binoche.

Tonight I shall choose my yarn for Delphine. It’s a stinking CORSET, people. And because it’s a corset, I have once again kicked off the Weight Watchers Core Plan. (I’m down three pounds in three days, and I’m the crabbiest girl this side of the Mississippi. I’m snacking on apples, and that is NOT how I like to live.)

It’s all for you, my sweet Delphine. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

It’s beginning to look a lot like a bucket hat giveaway!

One of my knitting goals for 2009 is to become comfortable with stranded knitting. To kick off that goal one week early, I sat down on Friday and started my version of this hat. Yesterday afternoon? I finished it. I am not yet done with Christmas shopping, nor have I sent out all of my Christmas cards. I have baked no cookies. I haven’t made out a grocery list. However, unto us this day in the city of St. Louis, a hat which is way too big was born.

Okay. People always say things to me like, “With that short hair of yours, I bet you look good in hats!” And, up until yesterday, I sort of (reluctantly) agreed. However, this “I Really Should Have Been Christmas Shopping Instead” hat definitely does not look good on me.

Evidence:
Florahead

So, anyway. I want to give you the hat. It really is fairly lovely for a First Time at Colorwork attempt. It’s 30% silk and 70% Extrafine Merino Wool, which means it’s definitely a handwash only sort of thing. It would look especially nice on someone who has a large noggin or lots of hair adorning their normal-sized noggin.

Flora

Leave a Happy Holidays Christmas Hatty sort of comment (or something similar, or not so similar at all), and on Christmas Day I’ll pull out the old randomizer and: Free Fluid Pudding Knitted Silk/Wool Hat to Someone Out There! Because it’s Christmas! And happy holidays to you! ‘ ‘ ‘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’>

I know you’ve been wondering about it.

As you know, back in July I auctioned off a shawl to help fund my trip to San Francisco for BlogHer ’08. When the high bidder became the winner, I told her I was going to throw in a pair of handknit socks as a bonus. I then decided to add to the trip fund by selling more socks. (I know. You already know all of this. Sadly, I’ve become that person who tells you the same story 43 times. Outboard motor! Get it?! Out Bored Motor! It’s a joke about a worm! Hey! Do you want to hear a joke about a worm?) The specifics: I sold four adult-sized pairs of socks and seven sock ornaments in a 24 hour period. Those sales along with a freelance writing project purchased my plane ticket to San Francisco. And I still get all smiley with gratitude whenever I think about it.

The sock-knitting frenzy began in July, and I set the goal of knitting one sock per week until the adult-sized socks were completed. As of last week, they have all been finished off and mailed away.

V's Spring Forward
This is the very first pair of BlogHer socks. They went to the (very fun and super nice) woman who won the shawl auction. I was able to deliver them to her at BlogHer, which was a huge deal for me, since she was sort of the reason I was able to attend in the first place! (I would link to her, but I haven’t asked permission. Just know that right now I’m thinking her name really hard. If you are at all psychic, you’ll pick up on it.)

K's Waving Lace
This is a pair of socks I started almost a year ago as a Pay it Forward gift. When I found out that the recipient was going to be at BlogHer and that her birthday was coming up, I finished them and delivered them to her in San Francisco.

Paraphernalia
This is half of a gift pair for the woman who expressed disappointment that I wouldn’t be attending BlogHer. She even volunteered to donate money toward the cause, which sort of set my pants on fire in the I Should Really Try to Make This Happen department. When she found out that I was trying to raise the money, she offered a place for me to sleep at BlogHer. Seriously? Some people are So Unbelievably Kind. (These socks were delivered at BlogHer, too!)

Teri's Teosinte
The very first paid pair of socks were for a friend and former co-worker of mine. They were delivered at the end of August. The yarn? It’s Woolly Boully “Moonflowers” yarn, and it’s SO pretty.

Oreo Monkeys!
The Oreo Monkeys went out at the very end of August, too. Done in Koigu, they’re possibly the softest socks I’ve ever made. And, Bonus: They look like smashed up Oreos.

Boysenberry Monkeys
The Boysenberry Monkeys (also done in Woolly Boully) are on their way to Japan as I type this entry. How fun is that?! Believe me, it’s very fun.

Antique Monkeys
The Antique Monkeys were finished up last week and mailed off to one of my favorite internet friends. They should arrive in her mailbox today.

Sock One!
This afternoon I finished the first of the seven sock ornaments. (They are scheduled for mailing in late November or early December.) After that, I have two more pairs of gift socks, and then I can close the book on The BlogHer Sock Project.

Thanks again to all of my sock people.

And thanks to you for dropping by. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>