NaBloPoMo Day 1: Both share the possibility of projectile flight, I suppose.

Flying Fairy

Last night the fairies went flying.

First we bend down really low, and then we fly away!

(Their landings may lack grace, but they more than make up for it with cuteness and vivacity! Hello there! Welcome to my mommy blog where I sometimes post photos of my kids and then I go all verbal about how cute I think they are! I don’t normally choose this path!)

Today found the fairies camped out on the family room couch. According to Meredith’s teacher, there is a puking epidemic making its way through the kindergarten. Meredith is not a puker (do you hear me knocking on wood and setting herbs on fire over here?!), but, where am I going with this?! It’s flipping Day One of NaBloPoMo, and I’m sitting here with three hours left until midnight—drinking my eighth (and final) glass of water for the day (because I’m back on that kick again), watching sour-faced Zellweger in Bridget Jones, and searching for a ridiculous metaphor to splice fairies and vomit.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

And you can’t wait. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Don’t say booze and nudity.

Can you read with your eyes closed?

Okay, then. Close your eyes and picture yourself as a knitter who is trying to finish some knitted gifts before the holidays. Also, it’s snowing and you’re in your pajamas drinking coffee and watching Season Two of Gilmore Girls. Wait! What’s that noise? Oh! Because the mailman has a bit of a crush on you, he’s delivering the mail to your door instead of making you trudge to the box. Okay. Hidden in that stack of bills and holiday cards is an invitation to a late-night knitting party!

What would make that party The Perfect Party? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

My arm hurts at the injection site. And that is normal. And so am I.

Thanks so much for your laundry advice. (I have never typed that sentence before.) As I sit here at the computer, I can smell the vinegar slapping those towels around in the washer. The spores are screaming! And, I will NEVER be a fan of Marcia Cross. Marcia Cross, you may now enter My Room of Unloved Ladies. Please take a seat next to Ashley Judd. Enjoy the anise cookies. And the Jägermeister.

This week is sort of whirlwindy.

Tonight? Dinner with the friend who once decorated my rehearsal dinner space with gourds. She’s also the friend who introduced me to Dorothy Parker and Fran Lebowitz. In other words: Parker and Lebowitz, and creative with gourds. This is a friend I shall keep.

Tomorrow? I’m filling in for a co-worker’s knitalong! And we’ll be casting on a sweater using the Elizabeth Zimmerman Percentage System. (I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about my job next month during NaBloPoMo. Maybe I’ll do a Day in the Life of a Part-Time Employee thing complete with photos! Wait. Why did 17 of you just leave the room?)

Wednesday? Nothing on the calendar, and Harper wants a pair of Halloween socks to match Meredith’s. I might devote that day to speed knitting some ankle socks. Luckily, her feet are the length of HoHos.

Thursday is going to be good. I’m volunteering at the school to register the kindergarten kids for their mock election, I’m attending Harper’s Fall Pre-School Party, and I’m lunching with Harper’s best friend and her mom at Blueberry Hill. Thursday night? Knitting with the gang and then finishing the party prep for the kindergarten party on Friday.

Friday? Kindergarten party, where I will be playing the role of Head Room Parent! After the party, we’re taking the kids to St. Charles for trick or treating, since our subdivision has pretty much crapped out on Halloween participation.

Also on my To Do list for the week is “String 42.” I just made the list yesterday afternoon, and I have no idea what String 42 means. I recently learned that 42 is the angle of degrees for rainbows. Also, God once sent bears to eat the 42 kids who made fun of a bald guy.

I got my flu shot yesterday, and I am very much looking forward to voting. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Greetings from Putrid Pudding!

So, I just signed on for NaBloPoMo again, and I’m trying to figure out if or how to shake it up a bit this year. I do know that I’m going to be crying on November 4th. And if those tears aren’t of the happy flavor, well, I just might throw in my stinkin’ towel and post stink-eye photos for the remainder of the month.

Speaking of stinkin’ towels (sadly, my transitions lack imagination), I’m currently suffering from a case of the stinking towels. I’m not sure if this stems back to our Feces in the Basement (!) problem or the fact that I sometimes let things sit in the washer too long, but our towels smell like mildew. I dry my face with one, and then I spend the night smelling my soured fetid face. And I dry the kids’ hair with one, and then I send them to the car for the night so I don’t have to breathe in their rancid tresses. And when your friend sends you some incredible soap and then the smell of your supposedly clean towel completely chews up the good scent and spits foul yuck all over you, well, something has to give because it’s starting to affect my mood.

As I type this letter to you, I am using (for the first time ever!) fabric softener laced with Febreze to try to kill the stink on the towels. Think happy thoughts. Also, Dear Jeff: Your underpants (for the first time ever!) are going to be surprisingly soft (and lavender scented!) tomorrow. Let me know if you need me to knit suspenders to hold them up.

So, anyway, yeah. NaBloPoMo. Join me. (I don’t say it enough, but I love reading your words.) Let me know if you’re signing up, and I’ll be your stinky St. Louis friend. (As Wurocher once said, “Everybody needs a stinky St. Louis friend.”) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

He kissed my cheek before bucketing my noggin.

A few nights ago Ben Folds gently placed a bright pink bucket hat on my head and crowned me Queen of the Shirtless Crab Walk.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

When Jeff and I were shopping for wedding rings, we ended up at a jewelry store in a mall in Nashville, Tennessee. After making our selections (Jeff’s ring is gold with black ridges that remind him of record albums, mine is platinum and has eleven tiny diamonds embedded into the band for no real reason at all), we were asked if we wanted anything engraved onto the rings.

Me: Yes. Put ‘My Only Friend, The End’ inside Jeff’s ring.

Jewelry Store Kid: Seriously?

Me: Yes. If engraving costs less than five dollars.

After our wedding ceremony, it occurred to me that Jeff never answered the question about engraving. I slid the ring off of my finger, expecting (and sort of hoping) to find a fabulous William Gass quote. Instead, I found one word. Ben.

ring

Me: Jeff? Why did you do this?

Jeff: Um, I didn’t do that. Actually, it sort of looks like the engraver screwed up someone else’s ring and then put it back into the case to be sold. Look at the messed up N.

Me (muttering a few expletives, some that begin with an F): I’ll be clearing this up when we get back to Nashville.

Get this. When I returned to the store to clear up the Ben issue, I found that all of the jewelry cases had been removed, and the store had closed down leaving no forwarding address. Interesting. (I immediately took the ring to have it appraised. I have no idea why, other than: What if those aren’t really diamonds?! What if it’s not really platinum?! It seems that everything is fine, except I still have Ben rubbing up against the finger that holds the vein that runs directly to my heart or something.)

Let’s fast forward seven years, shall we? (Seven years that involved purchasing every Ben Folds album and familiarizing the girls with his music to the extent that they can name Gracie in less than three notes.) ((If you follow that link, please know that I have no idea who the people are in that video, and I sort of wish they wouldn’t have interrupted the song with their baby’s first cry. Then again, I tend to be insensitive when the moon is full.))

On Thursday night, Jeff and I took to the streets to see Ben Folds play at The Pageant. And I won’t tell you that I was clearly the oldest person in attendance, because that fact tends to make my eyes well up a bit. So, let’s skip over my realization that several of the kids in line were born when I was already drinking beer. Legally. Wait. Can I just tell you that I heard a girl say “It’s on like Donkey Kong!” as we stood in line to enter the building? She was totally serious about It being On like Donkey Kong! (She had spent nearly two hours in the Big People line, and was slightly distressed about being asked to move to the back of the Under 21 line. When we heard her story and discovered that it was about to be On like Donkey Kong, we quickly surrendered our place in the Under 21 line and went in search of our fellow Big People. I do not regret that move.)

We found our seats, we made out a bit (I might be stretching the truth on that one), and we prepared for the opening act. (Prepared = Continued to sit. We were very lucky to have seats.) Opening act? Missy Higgins. And during her first song I developed one of those I Want to Buy All of Her Albums Right Now crushes. I also want to figure out how to knit the cabled tank she was wearing. But you don’t care about that, do you?

The Ben Folds performance? As expected, it was flawless. Had you been sitting next to me, you would have noticed me giving my cranial approval by cocking my head to the side in that “I’m really feeling this” way, and nodding to the rhythm as if to say “Yes! Uh huh! Uh huh!” over and over again. Let’s see. Do you mind if I simply run down the set list with you? (I know you’re really wanting to get to the part about the shirtless crab walk. I’m getting there. I promise.)

And right now you’re wondering what the Fake Leak thing is, right? I know! Before their latest album was released, Mr. Folds “leaked” songs onto the internet with the same titles as the album tracks. But they weren’t the album songs. SO, the folks who grabbed up the fakes thought they were getting actual album tracks. But they weren’t. And I would say something about getting pleasantly punked, but I’m 38, remember?! (You can find some of the leaks on this site if you fish around a bit.)

By the way, we left after the fake leak version of Frowne Song. If you were at the show, please don’t tell me that we missed a second encore. Please. And please don’t tell me that it contained Philosophy. Seriously. Because I don’t want to know that. (Philosophy was on the CD that Jeff and I gave out to everyone at our wedding reception. And that was Seven Years Ago tomorrow. October 20th. Seven Years. I’ve never held a job for seven years. I’ve never done Anything for seven years. (Except for the Fluid Pudding thing. Fluid Pudding and Jeff. There you go. Cheers.))

When we got home after the show that night, I sat up and watched The Office. And then I fell asleep and had a dream during which I was crab walking around The Pageant without my shirt on. (As I sometimes do. The employees are very patient.) I eventually found myself backstage balancing a bottle of beer in Billy Pancake, and Ben Folds walked up, bent down, kissed my cheek, and placed a bright pink bucket hat on my head. “You are Queen of the Shirtless Crab Walk!” he proclaimed as he tapped my head with his own bottle of beer, which is just as good as slipping an engraved ring containing eleven tiny diamonds onto the finger that holds the vein that runs directly to my heart or something. And it all seemed very Just Another Day in the Life.

If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star as dreamers do. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

He’s crotchety, too.

Harper: Does Ella have a sister?

Meredith: No. But she has a brother. A mean brother.

Me: She does? How old is her brother?

Meredith: He’s 68. Namasté.

(It’s Cultural Awareness Week at Meredith’s school. She’s particularly fond of India.)

((I love the thought of Ella, who is five, having a 68-year-old brother who is still sponging off of their parents. In my mind, he looks a bit like David Crosby. And he spends a lot of time sitting around in his underpants. Eating applesauce straight from the jar.)) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I think Nick is the cutest. And I’m more than twice his age.

Dear iTunes,

One night last week I was doing that whole I Can’t Sleep thing, so I jumped on the computer at something like 2:17 in the morning and started browsing through the recently released items in the iTunes store. You know how it goes. You listen to thirty seconds of one song, and then iTunes does the “Hey! You like THAT?! Then you’ll DEFINITELY like THIS!!!” thing, and the next thing you know you’re bobbing your head around to the tune of Kanye West’s Love Lockdown. (I particularly like the percussion bit between 1:00 and 1:16. Um, onward.)

Anyway, I was doing the hopping, skipping, and jumping around thing, and I slipped and fell into a very syrupy Jonas Brothers pit. And it was late and my mind was starting to fail me, and all of a sudden I had a big goofy smile on my face and I was purchasing Love Bug. And iTunes raised its eyebrow and asked, “Really? You REALLY want to put that song on your iPod?” And I said, “Confirm! Purchase! And let’s keep this between you and me, iTunes!”

Last night I looked at my husband and said, “Come into the kitchen if you want to see one of my most embarrassing purchases.” Obviously, he was expecting something a bit more scandalous than a ninety nine cent song. (I’m full of semi-disappointing surprises, iTunes.) Anyway, I looked everywhere for that stinkin’ Jonas Brothers song, and I couldn’t find it. It had been removed from iTunes, and it was no longer on the iPod.

My question to you, iTunes: Do you think my iPod is trying to tell me something? Do you think that Jon Nakamatsu and Joni Mitchell weren’t really digging how the Jonas Brothers landed between them? (I’m assuming Joni whispered something like, “Man, now I TOTALLY wish I had a river I could skate away on!”)

I didn’t want to revisit this Jonas Brothers thing, iTunes. However, if I purchase the new Ryan Adams next week (or the soundtrack to High School Musical 3! La la la laaaah!), I sure as heck don’t want the tracks to show up and then disappear with no explanation.

Oh, iTunes. Help me to help myself.

Tail between my legs,
Angela Pudding ‘ ‘ ‘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’>

The Dreaded Phone Call

Jeff (working hard in his office, and trying not to sound annoyed at the fact that I’m interrupting his day at 9:00 in the morning): Editorial, this is Jeff.

Me: Jeff?

Jeff: You got me!

Me: Listen. Please know that this is one of the hardest phone calls I’ve ever had to make. I’m about to ask you something, and it’s embarrassing. Humiliating. And know that I know that you’re working really hard over there.

Jeff: What’s up?

Me: I need you to tell me where the remote control is for the television.

Jeff (giving me the gift of Long Awkward Pause): Really?

Me: Yep. IJustPutSupperInTheCrockPot!!! So, I’ve got THAT going on!

Jeff: What?

Me: Um, yeah. I just don’t want you to think that I’m not doing anything over here. But, listen. Gilmore Girls starts in an hour, and I really can’t picture myself hitting that Channel Up button 36 times in order to get to ABC Family.

Jeff: Wow.

Me: Yeah, so. What’s up? How’s your day? Whoosh! It’s sort of busy over here what with the sour cream and the soup and all the stuff I just put in the pot. And now I’m going to maybe clean up the family room. And maybe I’ll fold some towels or something? After you tell me where the remote control is? I just keep on talking and talking, don’t I? La la la la la!

Jeff: I bet you find the remote control while you’re cleaning the family room.

Me: Jeff, if I have to hit that Channel Up button 36 times, I can’t promise that the repetitive motion won’t cause my crazy jerky hand to jump into the kitchen and unplug your dinner.

Jeff: I’ll take my chances.

Love is patient. Love is kind. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Proudly keep the colors flying skyward!

You know that Jeff is a fairly reserved guy, right?

You also know that the Mizzou Tigers played Nebraska in Nebraska yesterday, right?

Did you know that the Mizzou Tigers haven’t scored a victory in Nebraska in thirty years?

Yesterday evening, less than fifteen minutes before the start of the game, Jeff jumped up from the couch and ran outside. A few minutes later, I glanced up and found him doing this:
Flying the Flag

And because Jeff gazelled around the yard flying the Mizzou flag for nearly ten minutes, the Tigers took Nebraska down with a final score of 52-17. It just goes to show that sometimes you have to shake it up in order to come out on top, Cliché Wizard.

(The girls haven’t made eye contact with him in nearly eighteen hours.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>