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’>

China Green Tips? Oh, the intrigue!

Wouldn’t it be funny if every time you visited I just started spitting ugly at you? I’m mad! I can’t do anything! Woe? Me! Technologically inept!

I’m in a much better place today. Sure, I still can’t figure out what’s happening at Fluid Pudding, BUT I’m sort of working on a Doris Day mindset. Did you just feel that breeze? That was me flipping my hair and putting non-skid sole stickers on my pumps!

I’m back in the tea game, people. This morning I purchased a sampler pack of Tazo that contains Awake, Calm, China Green Tips, Earl Grey, Chai, Passion, Decaf Chai, Wild Sweet Orange, and Lotus & Zen. I believe today is a Lotus & Zen day, as I’m sitting cross-legged and will not be flapped.

As you read this, please know that I’m either building or devouring a green bean casserole. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Just call me Featherbrain.

So, yeah. Have you ever been fairly unwillingly dropped into a city where you don’t speak the language? That’s where I am right now.

If you care: Liquidweb is now my host. BUT, they apparently won’t let me use one of the later versions of WordPress? Maybe? And although I was able to drag some of my old stuff over here, it looks like crap. Also, my e-mail isn’t working. No incoming. No outgoing. And my M&M thing? Yeah. It’s screwed up again, too. Seething! Me! Right now! Do you smell it?!

I’ve currently got the towel wrapped around me. But I’m about to take it off and throw it in.

Go celebrate the fact that you’re not around me right now! Because I’m shooting fire out of Every Hole.

Do you think it’s time for our Monday morning meeting?

Okay. These are the things I need to tell you.

1. David Foster Wallace is dead. And oh, how that just sucks. Sucks! Agh! Jeff is now reading Girl with Curious Hair, and I’m spending a lot of time thinking about the night we saw Mr. Wallace at a reading many years ago. He was terribly sweaty and he couldn’t drink enough water and he read from a book he was working on titled Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. And he was so funny and so smart—one of those guys you just sort of want to be around. (If you’re not familiar with David Foster Wallace and you can spare six minutes, go here.)

2. Last night I experienced a really bizarre sort of sensitivity in my fingertips. Shut up. I know! When it came time to change the sheets, I could barely stomach the thought of touching them. As I lounged in bed reading, I could barely turn the pages of my book without wincing. I’m one of those odd people who hates touching food unless it’s covered in some sort of crust, so I’m sort of used to a bit of weirdness. (I’ll make the occasional exception for Doritos, but don’t ever ask me to eat hot wings without the assistance of a fork and knife. By the way, I’m closing in on the Vegetarian for Two Months mark. Release the doves!) Anyway, this morning I’m able to touch things without wanting to vomit, so back to business.

3. As of today, I’m once again a freelancer. My latest (and possibly greatest) assignment is to mimic nurse and doctor handwriting on medical forms that will eventually become part of a hospital simulation for medical students. This morning I went out and purchased pens for the project. And the purchasing of pens is pretty high on my list of Things I Love to Do. Adding to the excitement is the fact that this morning handed me a little touch of cardigan weather. It doesn’t get much better than this.

4. On Friday, I’ll be participating on a panel (Hey! Where can I purchase some P stock? Purchasing of pens! Participating on a panel!) that’s part of the St. Louis Interactive Festival. (I’ll give you more details later this week if you’re interested.) Also, next weekend is my 20th high school reunion. Anyway. Last night I had a dream during which someone from my graduating class handed me a beer bottle full of spit right before my panel was set to begin. And I drank the spit before I realized it was spit, and everyone was laughing, and as I made my way to the stage, I realized that my dress was all ripped out on the sides, and I muttered something into the microphone that I thought was sort of clever, but it ended up stirring up major conflict between Black Hockey Jesus and Laid Off Dad.

5. On Saturday night, I had a telephone conversation with Mr. Jon Deal regarding web site switcharoo business. And during our talk, I realized that I am completely incapable of learning anything new that doesn’t involve icy cold vampires falling in love with truck driving high school girls. This whole discouraging “My brain is no longer sharp” thing reminds me of a meeting I once attended during which my boss confessed to “needing some ginkgo balboa” to improve his brain function. At the time, I suggested he sign up for a few matches with Rocky Biloba instead and Ha Ha Ha! That’s not so funny anymore. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Wait a second. This is not my house.

On Wednesday, September 19 in the year 2001, I started writing at Fluid Pudding. To celebrate that anniversary, I’m moving all of my stuff over to WordPress. And you know how moving really sort of sucks because of suitcases and things getting lost and I forgot toilet paper and all of that? Yeah. Please be patient with me. Please. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I’m about to break a Girl Scout law.

Last week Meredith came home from school with a note that said something like “Scouting Registration Night! Wednesday! 6:00!”

I talked to Meredith for a bit, and she expressed an interest in scouting. So, I called the school.

Apparently, Scouting Registration Night is for Boy Scouts only. The administrative assistant at the school told me that registration night doesn’t exist for the Girl Scouts and that she doesn’t have any additional information about Girl Scouts.
I should have let it die right there. BUT, because I’m nothing if not tenacious, I called the Girl Scouts of America to try to track down a local leader.
The Girl Scouts of America told me to call the Girl Scouts of Greater St. Louis (GS-GSL) for leader contact information. Okay! Now we’re sort of getting somewhere maybe.

I eventually reached Cindy from GS-GSL. After babbling on about how old Meredith is and what school she attends, Cindy said the following.

Cindy: Okay. Your troop coordinator is Bonnie. I will call her and give her your information. If she doesn’t call you within two days, call her and leave a message. If she doesn’t return your call, call me back.

Me: Well, that’s sort of weird, but okay.

I waited two days. No call from Bonnie. I then called Bonnie, left a message, and waited two days. She never called back.

Cindy: Okay. Since Bonnie didn’t call you, I’d like you to call Victoria. If she doesn’t call you back, I’ll ask you to call Sheila, who is here at the GS-GSL.

I called Victoria. She didn’t answer the phone. Within two minutes of me hanging up, my phone rang.

Victoria: This is Victoria. You called me?

I told her the whole story, and she told me that she would call me back. And she did. Five minutes later.

Victoria: I’m going to ask you to call Bonnie.

Me: I called Bonnie. Cindy at the GS-GSL called Bonnie. Bonnie doesn’t return calls.

Victoria: Well, Bonnie is definitely the person you need to contact. Do me a favor and leave Bonnie another message. Dawn and I will see Bonnie on Thursday, and I’ll let her know that she should return your call. Then, Dawn will call you on Friday.

(I have no idea who Dawn is.)
Hhhhhhh. Onmyhonor,IwilltrytoserveGod,mycountry,andmankindandtolivebytheGirlScoutLaw.
I *do* know that I’m no longer excited about Meredith being a Girl Scout.
And I’m wondering why everyone seems to walk on eggshells around Bonnie.
Why should Victoria have to tell Bonnie that it’s okay to return my call about Girl Scouts when Bonnie’s job is to return calls about Girl Scouts?!

I know you hate me for saying this: I’m done with these women. And if they were men, I would say that I’m done with these men.

Do you want to know who else I’m done with? (I recently read that it’s okay to end a sentence with a preposition, especially if moving the preposition would introduce awkwardness.) I’m done with the Tuesday night ballet/tap moms. (I’ll talk about them some other time. Or maybe I won’t. Are you bored by stories of moms who sit around bashing other moms because of their socioeconomic status? Yeah, me too. And although life is too short to sit in a room full o’ ugly, Meredith really loves to dance. So, tonight I shall wear my Don’t Talk to Me clothes and try to look as invisible as possible while the Mean Moms torch another friend who lives on the outskirts of Easy Street.)

And this is what I really wanted to tell you: Harper’s been throwing really amazing tantrums lately. They’re completely unpredictable, and they involve kicking, hitting, throwing things, and screaming. Oh! The screaming! This morning’s tantrum hit right after I turned off the shower water. Apparently, she wanted to watch me take a shower and “I WANTED TO WATCH YOU TAKE A SHOWER!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!” And she threw her cereal and Jeff carried her (kicking and screaming) to sit in The Thinking Chair, which is sort of our clever version of Time Out, and gheez. The tantrum never ended. They never end! They’ve been going on for over six months and are getting worse instead of better and the doctor thought it was reflux, but it ended up not being reflux, and gheez.

I’m tired.
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Let me sail, let me sail, let the Orinoco flow.

Sometimes when you’re really not in the mood to witness a man and a woman asking God’s blessing upon their holy union, you find yourself sitting in a pew in a chesty black dress holding a wedding program and praying for time to pass quickly. Last Saturday afternoon, Jeff and I attended a wedding. And because I was feeling sort of sad and Jeff was feeling punchy, we turned down the class and turned up the smart assidity.

Jeff (pointing to the line in the program that said Communion): So, I suppose *that’s* going to happen.

Me: In these shoes? I don’t think so.

Officiant (who I suspect had been drinking a wee bit): I hope we can all get together to celebrate the bride and groom’s fiftieth anniversary on October 30th, 2059.

Jeff: I thought this was August 30th. 2008. Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.

Me: It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right. Actually, he’s talking about their 51st and 2 Months anniversary. I think that’s a big celebratory wedding anniversary day for the Catholics. They call it The Big 51-2. I’ll Google it when we get home.

Officiant: I’d like to read to you from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13.

Jeff: I’m going to pretend I’ve never heard this before.

Me: First Corwhathians?! Wait. What is that smell? Could it be an overdone Bible verse?

(Sometimes Jeff and I are real jerks. You heard it here first, folks!)

Officiant: This time around, I’m going to shake it up a bit.

Jeff: ???
Me: ?!?!

Okay. He then inserted the bride and groom names into the verses.
And when he was done, I mentally inserted OUR names into the verses.
And it went a little something like this:

Angela is patient, Jeff is kind. (Well, one out of two isn’t bad, right? Jeff really is sort of kind. You should meet him someday.)

Angela is not jealous, Jeff is not pompous, Angela is not inflated. (Okay. Yeah. Jeff is not pompous. Also, stop looking at my butt.)

Jeff is not rude, Angela does not seek her own interests, Jeff is not quick-tempered, Angela does not brood over injury. (I don’t brood over actual injury, but I *DO* tend to overreact to things I don’t understand. Like the cyst thing above my right ear. In my mind, my swollen brain has busted through a crack in my skull and is planning some sort of gushing escape with the permission of my semicircular canals.)

Jeff does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (Gheez. I really *did* score a gem.)

Angela bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. (I suck.)

And because we weren’t good citizens during the wedding ceremony (Don’t worry. No one heard our utterances. We are not unlike mice! Muffled mice!), the DJ at the reception paid us back by playing nothing but Enya.

Me: When I was in college, I once invited a boy over so we could make out to Enya. When that got old, we made out to The Lawnmower Man.

Jeff: I’m just hoping we’re able to Cabbage Patch to an extended mix of Brahms’ Lullaby before the night is over.
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