The Trouble with Apostrophes and Nuts

About six weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a pistachio company. In not so many words, they asked if I would be interested in eating their nuts and then writing about it on my website.

“Fluid Pudding is not THAT kind of website,” I answered.

A few weeks later, I discovered a large white box on my front porch:

Clearly, my nuts had dropped.

(Wow. Two nut jokes, and I’m already tired of the nut jokes. I was eleven when I started writing this entry. Suddenly, I’m 86 again. Will you run me to the post office, Sweetie?)

I popped the box open, and found the following items:

Four boxes of pistachios, a pistachio shirt, a pistachio hat, a brochure all about pistachios, and a stuffed pistachio that Harper quickly claimed as her own. Because “it looks like a big sandwich with eyeballs.” And we all know that big sandwiches with eyeballs = Comedy Gold amongst the pre-school set.

Although I was sort of weirded out by the stuffed pistachio and the hat (okay. and the shirt.), I have to give the Everybody’s Nuts marketing team some credit. The back cover copy on the pistachio box is probably the funniest back cover copy I’ve seen. (Oh, and I’ve seen my share of back cover copy, Sparky. Someday we’ll kick back with a glass of milk and talk about it.)

On the back of the Roasted, No Salt box:

When Everybody’s Nuts first started, we gathered all the pistachios and said, “We want each of you to open up. Can you do that?” The response was overwhelming. “I like to wear cowboy boots to bed!” yelled one nut. Another piped in with, “I have an unnatural fear of kitty cats.” We heard, “I sing show tunes in the shower” and “My parents never supported my acting career.” Finally we said, “Hey, hey. We didn’t mean to open up like that. We meant for you to open up your shells 100% of the time, so people can easily enjoy your cholesterol-free, protein-packed delicious goodness.” Thankfully, they agreed. And they also agreed to stop talking about their distrust of nutcrackers.

I admit, it loses a bit of funny toward the end. But the part about the pistachios opening up? Yeah. That part made me ROFLMNOP.

Okay. Pistachios. There’s really not much to say, except: I never really considered these things to be a snack food. BUT, I ate every single stinkingly delicious pistachio. My favorite flavor? Salt and Pepper Pistachios. (Incidentally, I found three pistachios that were NOT opened. According to the box, I could mail those back in with a proof of purchase and they would send a free box of nuts to me. Because I didn’t pay for the pistachios, this is not an option for me. Perhaps I should look into selling the unopened pistachios on eBay.)

I know you’re wondering if I wear the shirt and the hat.

I do not wear the hat. However, I’m sure one of the kids will someday have a Wear a Goofy Hat Promoting Your Favorite Protein-Packed Treat Day during Homecoming Spirit Week, so it will eventually get some face time.

The shirt? Okay. The shirt says “Everybody’s Nuts.” As soon as I can convince myself that the apostrophe is filling in for an omitted letter and has absolutely nothing to do with possession, well, maybe then I’ll pull it over my head.

Wait. Wait! The apostrophe is clearly NOT filling in for an omitted letter. It IS denoting possession. These nuts belong to everybody! And by Nuts, I mean Pistachios!

I’m forever tripping over entendres… ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Down the basement, lock the cellar door!

Let’s get right down to business, shall we?

As you know, Saturday night was the big Class of 1988 Twentieth Reunion Bust-up Jamboree Wing-Ding Saturnalia. To prepare for the event, I indulged in some vegetable quesadillas and a Budweiser less than an hour before the party. (This is not an attempt to foreshadow. Surprisingly, those quesadillas did not put an early end to my evening. BUT, please know: If you’re ever about to attend an event that you’re not so sure about, stuff a bunch of beans and shiny grilled vegetables into a tortilla and swallow. You’re now at the 50% level of May or May Not Have to Make an Early Departure. If you top off those quesadillas with something containing tequila? Yeah. You may as well just stay home, Cinderella.)

During the five minute drive from my parents’ house to the Elks Lodge, I explored my feelings with Jeff.

Me: Jeff, I am unexpectedly scared about walking into the Elks Lodge. My flesh? It is crawling.
Jeff: Is that you talking or the quesadillas?
Me: I think the quesadillas are taking a well-deserved siesta for now. This is straight-on Me.
Jeff: I wouldn’t worry. Unless the Elk are there. They eat bones, you know.

(Jeff sometimes links to information during our conversations. He’s incredible, really.)

((Apparently, the plural of elk (the animal) is elk, and the plural of Elk (the benevolent man in the funny hat) is Elks!))

We entered the building, and before I took the time to grab my name tag I was approached by two people from my old gang. (I recognized them immediately. Brown and gold bandannas, teardrop tattoos, and dangerously low-hanging jeans. Obviously, I’m kidding. Also, no disrespect intended to actual gang members, yo.) From that point forward, I felt like a character in Einstein’s Dreams. Who knew that time could actually accelerate as you stand with beer in hand and talk about the past?

Anyway, here is proof that I actually attended. Surprisingly, my face was in this position for most of the night:
Ah, Bud Light.
(Is it weird that I was the only person in the room without cryptonymous eyewear?)

Although there was some dancing (not done by me, of course), most of the evening was spent wandering around and doing this:
Little Women (and some men)
(Thanks to Jeff for taking lots of photos that night as I wandered around saying things like, “Oh! I’m going to go say hi to Blashen Blashenfield!”)

Biggest surprise of the night: One of the guys in my class has six grandkids.

Not such a big surprise: There is only one person I know of who actively didn’t like me in high school. (Many people didn’t know me. Only one chose to be a hater. I suppose I’m lucky.) Anyway, I said hello to that girl in the bathroom, and although she looked right at me, she didn’t return the hello. And as I took care of business, I listened to her tell a story to someone, and it was one of the most boring stories I’ve ever heard in my life, and I kept thinking, “Really? You haven’t seen this person in twenty years and you’re telling THAT exasperating story? Please stop before I become the girl who fell asleep on the toilet at the reunion!” All of this to say: I’m sort of glad my water hasn’t gone under her bridge. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Oh! Oh! Later in the night, I saw her dancing to Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me”, and she was doing that thing where you act out the lyrics as you dance, and when I saw her go down the baseMENT and LOCK the CELLAR DOOR! (complete with acting out the motion of going down stairs and turning a key in a lock) I had to smile. Because who does that? I’m cool with her not liking me.

It was a good night. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Super Music Saturdays!

This video seems oddly appropriate today.

Twelve hours from now I’ll either be whooping it up at the Elks Lodge with two handfuls of mozzarella cheese sticks, two feet wobbling with mad crazy rhythm, and a tongue dripping with amicability (and cheese), or I’ll be back home. In my pajamas. With a wallet that’s fifty dollars skinnier and a heaping plastic tablespoon of No Ira Glass regret.

I’ll be in touch. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Winners and Whatnot

At around 7:00 this morning, I tallied up the votes on the Reunion Ensemble Conundrum. Out of 86 people who had definite opinions (some commented in other threads, some sent direct e-mails), 43 people chose Outfit One, and 43 people chose Outfit Two.

Me: Jeff, this is unbelievable! 86 people have voted, and we have a tie! Wait a second. What if this happens in November?!

Jeff: I believe The People will be a bit more stirred about the presidential election. I have a funny feeling more than 86 votes will be tallied.

Me: Thank God you’re never wrong.

So, anyway, I’m still torn. And because I’m still torn, I went out and bought a red pair of these this morning just in case I go with the dress. (After all of the discounts and coupons, I got them for twenty bucks!) (By the way, I think it’s a bit ridiculous that you can look at shoes in High Definition at the DSW site. I almost feel like that option is way too high-tech for me. Shoes. Now in High Def! Well worth the load time wait!)

(Jeff has voted for the dress.)

Also, and most importantly, earlier this afternoon, I did this:

Because the lucky number is 19, Larissa has won the Build a Bear gift card. Thanks to all who left comments. I hope to give more things away in the future. Wait. Does anyone want the can of creamed corn from my cupboard? It’s a bit past the expiration date, and although it seemed like a great idea when I bought it, I can’t really seem to stir up the necessary motivation to really go for it. (My grandpa used to eat creamed corn sandwiches. Also, spaghetti sandwiches. And onion sandwiches. He would probably love to know that I sometimes eat apple sandwiches. Anyway. Can it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time rewritten every line?)

It’s now time to pack up your stuff and go home. Let’s get this weekend started. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Pour some sugar on me, 1988.

Okay, guys. I need some help.

It seems that my 20 Year High School Reunion is in three days.

I knew it was coming up. It is. In three days.

This leaves me no time to lose those last few pounds, grow out my hair, or become a surgeon. If nothing else, I’m hoping (with your help, of course) that I can choose The Perfect Ensemble.

The reunion invitation states that dress is casual. However, I think I know better than that. These women (of which I am one! A Woman! I know!) haven’t seen each other in two decades. (Unless, unlike me, they attended the ten year reunion. Or, unlike me, perhaps they have the ability to maintain friendships from their teenage years. I’ve been in touch with no one. NO ONE. In other words, I’m walking into a room of strangers, and the only thing they might remember about me is that I tend to wear fake glasses and I fall down quite a bit.) Where was I? Oh, yeah. These women haven’t seen each other in two decades. You can’t tell me they’re going to be all, “Casual! Great! Honey, where are my cut-off shorts and my INXS t-shirt?”

This is where you come in. I’m about to give you three options. Please tell me which is most appropriate.


Here we have a knee-length denim skirt, a black t-shirt, and a short sleeved jacket thing that originally sold for $116, but I managed to score it for $11. Also, red patent Danskos. Because if I’m going to drink wine and fall down, I want everyone to notice my shiny feet. Not my Hanes Her Way underpants. (Note: Why, yes. I often stand like a flamingo when I’m sipping wine (or Pomegranate juice, in this case). Thanks for noticing!)

Next up? The dress that shows a bit of cleavage.


I purchased this dress for BlogHer, and it’s the most comfortable dress I’ve ever owned. Also, it requires absolutely no ironing! Polyester! With dots! And although I’m sporting black shoes, I think this might look a bit more dangerous with red shoes. Maybe. What do you think? (My grandma gave that stein to Jeff for Christmas many years ago. He keeps it in the freezer, and when he drinks from it, he speaks nothing but German. Obviously, I’m lying. BUT, cool stein. Cold stein, even. Klirrend!)

The final choice is a literal one. If you’re telling me that this event is truly casual, well, this is what you’re going to get.


Ratty jeans that may or may not be too tight, a black tank top that never really makes its way out of my drawer, my Ben Folds Five bucket hat, and my scratched up sunglasses. Also, a big stupid bag of frozen fish sticks, because I have to be holding something or else my hands will constantly be nervously shooting up to my face. (We’ll talk about that next week.)

So, anyway. Help.

Oh, yeah. Get this. Ira Glass is coming to town the night of my reunion. This is a huge conflict for me. If you know me at all, you know that I would drop just about anything to see Ira Glass. Let me just say this: If I have to wait 20 years to see Ira Glass again, I’m going to be So Angry with these people who waited 20 years to see me again. (I realize no one has really been waiting. If this thing wasn’t being held at an Elks Lodge, I’m positive I could do the Fly on the Wall game and no one would even recognize me!) If you live in St. Louis, please go see Ira Glass Saturday night. And while you’re there, pour a little of your drink to the floor and whisper something like, “For my misplaced homey, Fluid Pudding.”

I wonder if I should videotape the reunion so you can see how awkward I am in uncomfortable situations. Do you want me to? Because at this point, I’ll do just about anything for you. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

It’s the Autumnal Equinox Giveaway!

I don’t have anything against Miley Cyrus. Anything she does, naked or not naked, is none of my business. (Although the media is dying for me to know that Miley took a 20-year-old tank top sporting boy to church last weekend, I really couldn’t care less. However, for some unknown reason, I’m retaining that information.)

A few weeks back I received an e-mail from the kind folks at Build-A-Bear asking if they could send a Hannah Montana bear to the girls, along with a $25 gift card to be given away at Fluid Pudding. Knowing that my kids would either fight over or just not get into the Hannah Montana bear, I went ahead and took it (with the card) and set the plan to give it all away.

Less than 24 hours after signing on to take the bear, the biggest Hannah Montana fan I know fell and broke her arm at a friend’s house. And what sucks is that this girl loves gymnastics, but can no longer participate with a huge cast on her arm. And when kids get their feelings hurt along with their bones, my heart bleeds. Immediately, I knew who would get the bear. (Closed door! Open window! Not really. But sort of!)

Look at this bear:

Adorable. Fuzzy. Soft. Wearing a glittery shirt that says Ready to Rock. And although it lacks the ability to mend bones, it did bring a smile to the recipient’s face. And that’s never a bad thing.

All of this to say: If you’re interested in the $25 gift card to Build-a-Bear, I can hook you up. $25 would get you a naked Hannah Montana Bear (you can stage your own Vanity Fair photo shoot!), or just about any other Build-A-Bear friend. Best of all, Build-A-Bear sells donation animals. When you purchase a donation animal, a percentage of the proceeds is donated to charity. I hereby encourage you to use the card toward the purchase of a donation animal.

Anyway, leave a comment below and I’ll enter you in the drawing. On Friday at noon (CST), I’ll draw a name and notify the winner! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

How to Jump Start a Perfect Day

I’m about to tell you about my Yesterday Morning.

But before I do, go click on this for background music, because it sums up the feel of the morning pretty perfectly. (Incidentally, this is one of two pieces of music that I practiced and practiced (and practiced!) but never seemed to get quite right. The other is this one. By the way, I’m starting to get the itch to pick up the piano again. Here’s hoping I don’t give myself a hernia! HA HA HA!!! Those things are heavy! Oh. GET IT?! Anyway.)

Do we have our accompaniment going? Okay then. Onward.

Yesterday morning my mom came over and the two of us (plus Harper, of course) went to one of my favorite yarn stores. (My mom is itching to start a Hemlock Ring Blanket, and she needed the right yarn for the job. You know how it is.)

Anyway, we grabbed some coffee, drove about ten miles, parked the car, and entered the store. When we walked in, the owner told me that she and another employee had just been talking about me. Long story short? She offered me a job. Working in a yarn store. And I know it’s totally hokey to be all “Pinch me! Am I dreaming?!”, but there you go. Also, I would scream out that thing about “Do what you love and the money will follow!”, but that’s sort of wilted, too. Rattlesnakes! Beat them with a baseball bat!

So, yeah. Tomorrow I’m going in to talk details, and then fairly soon I’ll be working in a yarn store for a few nights each week. And, I’m excited. AND, I’m choosing to spend the next few weeks immersed in information. Because if someone comes in and says something like “Which right leaning decrease do you prefer?”, I don’t want to have to run and find a book.

Next up? Figuring out The Perfect Wardrobe for a less than ten hours per week job. (I tend to freelance in my pajama pants. The frog ones. Just in case you wondered.)

One more thing. You are now talking to the Head Room Mother for Meredith’s class. What does this mean? It means that I am The Boss of All Parents. (Not really. But it DOES mean that I get to plan parties. And we all know how great I am at planning parties! The Puddings are constantly welcoming guests into their home for crazy-time parties! Right?!) (I can’t remember the last time someone not blood-related walked into our house. Unless you count last week’s plumber who fixed our little Feces in the Basement problem. Wait. Feces in the Basement. Now THAT’S a smart party theme!) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Rattlesnake Bit the Baby

It was seven years ago today that I wore Capri pants to Starbucks and tried to impress a gaggle of high school boys by blasting The Weakerthans at them with my car stereo. And then I decided to sign up and document the experience at Fluid Pudding Dot Blogspot Dot Com, because I knew The World would give a crap.

Because today marks seven years of Fluid Pudding, I’ve decided to share the video that some of you have asked for in the past few months. (For which some of you have asked. For. With. Around the house. Beside the house. Between the house. I’ve really been haunted by prepositions lately.)

Also, because I’ll be wearing my Mommy Blogger bandanna tonight, let’s make this thing look as mommyblogesque as possible, shall we? Here’s a video of my kid! Cha cha cha!

Thanks for making the past seven years so interesting.
Shall we embark on seven more? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive!

Let’s clear a few things up. Yesterday I received an e-mail asking if this WordPress site really belongs to Angela Pudding. (You know my last name’s not really Pudding, right?) Anyway, yeah! It’s really me! And I don’t have any way of proving that to you other than showing you the spot on my left arm where a doctor cut a blue nevus out when I was sixteen. You might be eating breakfast. I won’t do that to you. (Just know that I had to scoop ice cream at my job a few hours after the extraction, and my left arm was the scooping arm and whoosh! Rivers of fluid! Blegh.)

I know the banner here is weird (it’s a template thing) and I’m not getting e-mail notification with comments, which is something I was totally looking forward to, and I’m stressing on whether I really should update to WordPress 2.6.2, and how many times have I actually cried about this whole thing in the past week? 3.5. Seriously. And I realize that’s really sort of wacky and there are better things to cry about, but well, welcome to my kitchen. (Note: I was able to figure out how to stick my ads back in there. Full disclosure: the ad revenue will now pay for my hosting. It’s like the circle of life!)

Oh! You also asked where the archives went. Believe it or not, the archives are in a box in Salt Lake City, which is really sort of fun because I’ve never been to Utah, but all of my little words from the past seven years are there right now—kicking it around like little words do, I suppose. I’ll most likely be hitting all of these “issues” in the next month. Right now, most of my free time is spent freelancing and knitting the last of the BlogHer socks. (Less than two socks to go! But then I have four more gift socks and a bunch of sock ornaments to make. Do you care? I’m pretending that you care.)

(And the thing about Google Reader not picking up my RSS? I, well, huh. Are Ess What? I’ll see what I can do, but the only promise I can make is that I’ll be drinking a big silly beer early tomorrow evening. Because I need a drinkable solution to my scaredy cat-edness for the gig at InterPLAY. At 5:00, I’ll be on a panel at COCA, if you want to come on out. (I’ll have a Sharpie, if you want me to sign your arm or draw a blue nevus on it or something.) Most importantly, I’m thrilled to be sharing the space with some really wonderful writers. Come on out. And don’t look at my teenage-angst forehead. I realize that breakouts aren’t really supposed to happen at 38, but fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you’re young at heart. Wait. Am I still in my parenthetical aside?! Why, yes. It appears that I am.)

Oh! Wait! I shall now expand my skills by attempting to display a poster for the InterPLAY event! (Shoot an e-mail my way if you want more details.)

Wait! Here’s something! Meredith’s teacher has asked for a parent volunteer in the classroom for 45 minutes once each week. And if my Yes! gets to her first, well, I’m in. I’ve also signed on for Field Trip Duty. I’m currently thinking the kids would really love a visit to a winery. Or perhaps the Dansko factory. Sushi and an afternoon of knitting? Ben Folds concert? Popcorn and an early afternoon viewing of the Twilight movie? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>