Kidneys. Gallbladder. Colon.

Sometimes you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while and you ask them what’s new and they say something like, “Not a whole lot, except I had a hysterectomy a few months back, and oh wait! Someone gave me a kidney!”

On the outside, they don’t look much different. But their innards? Things have gone and things have shown up in there and you just have to take your friend’s word for it because you’ll probably never gain entry to check things out for yourself.

Last week my website was hosted by one company, and now it’s hosted by someone else and the uterus and tubes and ovaries might be gone, but oh, this bright and shiny kidney is filtering my blood like a blood filterer should filter!

Good stuff. BUT, please know that complications are to be expected. Like, unwelcome comments about porn and more porn. (As opposed to the WELCOME comments about porn and more porn.) ((I don’t really welcome ANY comments about porn. Or more porn.))

This is what I’ve been eating lately (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios!), and if I don’t stop soon I’m going to need a better gallbladder.

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Ten years ago I showed you my colon, which pretty much negates what I said up there about never gaining entry to your friend’s insides. I would add a link to that post in a way that doesn’t seem harsh and burpy, but right now I can’t! So I’ll just do this instead.

Colon Firth—The Final Innard Entry

Big Things Are Happening

My site may go down for a bit, and I know you may be asking yourself, “What about the Michael Cohen testimony?” To you I say this: I should not be your source of information for such things.

This is the sort of information I provide:
I may be the only person you know who put a battery-operated razor up her nose yesterday.

As the site may or may not be in or out or on or not, I just want you to remember me like this:

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I eat toast in the car sometimes.

Saturday Morning Coffee with Cookie Creamer

I went to the district jazz concert a few nights back, and I once again feel like I’m cool with the kids being in charge. I really love going out and watching kids doing their thing, which sounds a lot creepier than it really is. (I watched Abducted in Plain Sight this week and Holy Jesus, people.) I’ve been feeling myself age out lately, and it’s nice to sit in a big room and nod my head at the youngers.

As you probably know, when I’m in an auditorium full of people, I tend to freak out a little—especially if my back is to the door. (I have medication, and I believe I give out a Mostly Sane vibe, so we’re all good. Don’t look at me.) To soften all the everything, I pull out a tiny notebook and my Ira Glass pen.

I tend to write things in my tiny notebook and then forget to revisit the tiny notebook, so sometimes reading it is sort of like finding five bucks in your coat pocket. (Or in MY coat pocket. I don’t like sticking my hands into your coat pocket. Harper grew a bunch of bacteria for a science fair project last month and I don’t want to stick my hands into anyone else’s anything anymore.) One of my tiny notebook pages says, “…the sight of an older woman licking an ice cream cone in a nail salon” and “How easy it is to hear patio party as polio party, but I imagine those are two horribly dissimilar events.” (No idea on context.)

The final page before my jazz concert page says, “Tarp tape. I blocked props for a guy on crutches and I stopped a guy from taking a video.” (Last week I volunteered to do crowd control at a winter drum line competition. I busted through 7 energy drinks before my job started so I was RAGED UP FOR KICKING PERCUSSIVE ASSES.) ((Really though, I’ve had one energy drink in my life. That was back on July 4th, 2002 during an Aimee Mann show. No asses were kicked that night, but I *did* bump into Jack Black. He was sweaty.))

Jazz concert notes?

-Alto sax timbre makes me think someone behind me is singing.

-AM radio jazz, Love Boat jazz, Bob Newhart jazz

-I Hope in Time a Change Will Come. Important piece written during a tumultuous time of racial injustice. Sounds familiar.

-Snarky Puppy

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, because we all know that blog entries are not successful unless they contain an image or two.

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I believe I’m very much susceptible to Kummerspeck.
Evidence: My Lose It! app sent this message to me last week.

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Andy Warhol would have loved Studio 154.

This is on my mind right now:
I wanted to start this entry by singing a little song about adults being hateful to kids when those adults have no idea what’s happening in those kids’ hearts and homes, but when I started writing the song, the only line I could come up with was: If you’re going to shake up a kid’s existence, do it in a beautiful way. Don’t be a shitty role model. Don’t be a shitty anything.

This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me:
I pick Meredith up from the high school every afternoon, and from there we drive to the middle school to wait thirty minutes for Harper to come out. When we arrived to the middle school pick-up line yesterday, the car in front of us was sitting with a perpetual right blinker. (I immediately started counting the flashes because that’s what my brain tells me to do.)

Me: That is going to annoy me. I’m not going to be able to do anything but look at it.

Meredith: I’m just wondering how fast it’s going. It’s more than 60 beats per minute.

At this point, Meredith pulled out her phone and turned on the metronome.

Meredith: It’s a little faster than 75. Slower than 80. Okay, wait. Listen. It’s 77 bpm.

So then we both started finding songs that clock in at 154 bpm, and the next half hour fell into my top five favorite half hours. Magic.

Wednesday was ridiculous and wonderful. Oye, ¿cómo va?

My alarm went off at around 2:30 in the morning on Wednesday. The Lyft driver pulled up at 3:30, and his car smelled like Willie Nelson.

Driver: Do you think my car smells like pot?

Me: The first thing I noticed when I opened the door was how the car smelled like pot.

Driver: The guy who rode with me a few hours ago asked if he could vape in the car. I had no idea he was going to vape marijuana. Are you cool?

Me: I’m cool.

During the 25 minute drive from my house to the airport, the driver and I talked about Warped Tour, his dream of buying an old church and turning it into a creative community and homeless outreach center, BROCKHAMPTON, Chuck E. Cheese, sobriety, Korn, parenthood, and Latino culture.

Watching people move in slow motion through the airport at 4:00 in the morning is something I could do all day—if the entire day could hold that 4:00am vibe. And it can’t. Don’t listen to what they tell you. Some dreams really can’t come true.

Tempe and I landed in Denver at 7:00 in the morning THEIR TIME and about an hour later we were sitting in our shitty rental Chevy Malibu. (I won’t bore you with details about wiper fluid, alignment, or the peeing sound that happened every time we slowed to a stop.) Eventually, we met up with one of my favorite people in this ridiculous and wonderful world, and together the three of us broke bread and listened to Tito Puente.

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And then Tempe and I were off to Kansas City to see Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Confession: When we purchased our flight tickets, I was under the impression that the drive from Denver to Kansas City is five hours. $50 for a flight to Denver to have breakfast with a friend before a quick drive to Kansas City to hear NBW discussing her brand new book? Perfect!

Sadly, time doesn’t work the way I wish it would. (See the above paragraph that begins with “Watching people move in slow motion through the airport…”) The drive is actually NINE hours long, and the NBW event was to begin at 7:00pm. There was no way to extend biscuits and Oye Cómo Va while shortening Highway 70, so off we went—driving reasonably fast through Kansas.

During the long drive we listened to stories of murder. We stopped for salty subs at a gas station Quiznos. I ate too many peanut M&Ms. We drove and drove and drove. Because: KANSAS.

Tempe and I arrived at the church for the Nadia Bolz-Weber event less than fifteen minutes before it was over. You would think I would be full of damnits and shits about our timing, BUT what I wanted most of all was for NBW to sign my book, and for THAT we arrived right on time. In fact: I WAS FIRST IN LINE FOR THE SIGNING. Sometimes time is on my side. (Yes, it is.)

This is what happened next.

Nadia Bolz-Weber entered the room and sat at the signing table and I was all star struck and “Wheee!”

I handed her my book for the signing.

Me: Do you mind if I get a photo with you?

NBW: You can, but I don’t smile or pose.

I stepped behind the table, and with my salt-retaining, up-for-18-hours big puffy face that had been driving (reasonably fast) for a LONG time in a shitty Chevy Malibu, I smiled my exhausted but EXCITED smile. And keeping to her word, NBW didn’t smile or pose. And here we are.

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This photo makes me laugh every time I look at it because it is just so perfect. (Most importantly: I still love Nadia Bolz-Weber. Yet another gem for this ridiculously wonderful world.)

Worth all the minutes. Every one of them.

I got a castle in Brooklyn. That’s where I dwell.

So THIS is boring: I couldn’t get into Fluid Pudding AGAIN this morning because someone went in and changed my password. Again. It keeps happening and happening. Just like everything else, really. Sun up. Sun down. Chili making sock knitting son of a gun. (I’ve been listening to the Beastie Boys Book. It’s possibly the most entertaining audio book I’ve heard. I’m cruising, I’m bruising, I’m never ever losing. I’m in my car I’m going far and dust is what I’m using.)

This guy has been an only child for years.
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Today I started birthing his brother.
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Also, I’ve been watching Friends from College on Netflix and working on this guy. (It’s double knit, which is a new skill for me. I’ll keep you updated as it grows and changes color.)
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SPEAKING of FRIENDS from COLLEGE, Tempe and I will be boarding a plane in the wee hours of the morning and flying to Denver where we will breakfast (as a verb) with one of my favorite friends from college before driving to Kansas City for the night. (How can anyone pass up a $49 flight to Denver?) I have three protein bars and glitter eyeliner. I’ll be back home in about 30 hours.

Finally, I have a friend who owns a Comfy, so now I own a Comfy, too. Any time the temperature drops below 32, I go a little something like this:

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I got this dance that’s more than real.
I wear my Comfy, here’s how I feel.
Put your left leg down. Your right leg up.
Tilt your head back. Let’s finish the cup.

I saw the Asawa.

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I went to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation with a friend yesterday morning to see the Ruth Asawa exhibit. I’m 48 years old and I’m certain that seeing this exhibit falls into my top five art outings. (Also on the list: I saw Matisse and Picasso exhibits at Tate Modern in the summer of 2002 (AMAZING), and I live in the same town as Keith by Chuck Close (ONE OF MY FAVORITES). Wait. Suddenly, the boundaries are fuzzing because: Does seeing Jon Nakamatsu (1997 Van Cliburn winner) playing Rachmaninoff count as an art outing? I went by myself when I was living in Nashville. After the concert, I drove to Tower Records to buy Nakamatsu CDs, and then I treated myself to a cheeseburger at Rotier’s because I knew what was up in Nashville in 1999. My best friend and I went to a support group for Wiccans when we were in college. Is that an art outing? I have so much to think about.)

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Back to the Pulitzer. When we arrived, a few university students and their instructor had gathered for a pre-arranged curator tour. They were kind enough to let us join the group, and it felt like a cosmic handshake.

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The sculptures are made of looped wire.  Asawa wrapped the wire around a dowel rod to form the loops and then connected the loops in order to shape the sculptures—concentrating on the shapes as well as the space around the shapes. The curator told us that when the sculptures arrived at the Pulitzer, she was told which ones should be grouped together. All other decisions (where the art was placed, how high or low to hang the sculptures, how the exhibit should be lit) was up to her.

She put together a beautiful presentation.

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With a single strand of wire, Asawa created the inner shapes first, and then worked outward to create the larger shapes. None of the sculptures were given names, so you’re allowed to bring your own experiences to the shapes without any suggested influences.

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And I did bring my own experiences. In Ruth Asawa’s sculptures I saw knitting and calligraphy and droplets suspended in time and the manifestation of toxic diffuse goiter and a possum who dreams of becoming a flapper:

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Stick with me for this one. Look at this sculpture.

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If it could sing, don’t you think it would sound like this?

Also, knitters? Check out what appears to be a single centered decrease done with wire.

Centered Single Decrease

If you live in St. Louis, you have until February 16th to enjoy the exhibit. Bonus: While you’re at the Pulitzer, you should also check out the Lola Álvarez Bravo photographs. If you’re anything like me (and you ARE), you might be inspired to become one with Carlos Pellicer Cámara. (Helpful hint: Try to match up the ears!)

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Better yet, let a photo split your skull and blow your mind because you thought the woman on the right was Frida Kahlo, but ISN’T Frida Kahlo.

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I guess everyone dressed like Frida Kahlo in the time of Frida Kahlo.

I know I would have.

I once bumped into Jack Black at an Aimee Mann concert.

Dear Lord, you guys. You would probably laugh if you could see just how frustrated and pouty I’ve been today because of this website. (Please know that our friendship would probably take a hit if you actually laughed. Give me a few days and maybe we’ll laugh together.) It’s all so boring, so just know this: In the past few months, Fluid Pudding has been taken over by people in Russia and China, and these people are NOT on my approved admin list. (I can’t even TYPE Russia and China without pronouncing them in a very Trumpian way, and that makes me hate myself.) Resolving the issues with my host? It’s awful. I walk away feeling old and embarrassed about not knowing what I don’t know. I’m three inches away from saying, “I wrote at Fluid Pudding for over 17 years. The End.”

(I started Fluid Pudding a little less than a year before I made out with Harry S. Truman.)

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Let’s change the subject.

I went to the gynecologist yesterday, and as I sat on the table with a paper blanket covering my privates, I studied a chart that eventually revealed that I weigh too much to have a baby. I can’t have a baby for many reasons—mainly because I no longer have a uterus—but I never really thought my weight would blackball me.

I rode in an elevator with Carol Channing once and she was really hateful.

I’m thinking of growing my hair out again.

See? These are the things I write about at Fluid Pudding. If I stopped writing, you would never know that I’m thinking of growing my hair out again.

Like this.

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Also, Carol Channing.

Do it on purpose.

A few days back I grabbed my knitting and sat on the couch to watch Dumplin’. I went in knowing nothing, and I left feeling a little “Praise Be to Those Who Challenge.” One of my favorite parts of the movie was a simple quote by Dolly Parton: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” Right now I am an unenthused retainer-wearing lady with a weird eczema thing happening on her neck. Go get ’em.

I’m also “Cowl Knitter with Amazing Project Bag”. (Don’t get me started on the quotation mark that pulled ahead of the period. It knows exactly what it’s doing.)

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Look closely.

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(Sonia Harris is an amazing artist. Follow this link to understand why she does what she does. Beautifully.)

I’m “Nervous Dog Mom Who Is Looking Forward to Following Along”. (Both dog and mom are nervous, so that modifier isn’t misplaced. It’s pulling a double shift.)

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We have so much to look forward to. So much of which to look forward. So much. Look forward.

Not Really a Year in Review

Oh, 2018. Honestly. I’m not sure anyone would call it the best year ever, but I know quite a few who would say it was the worst. For me, 2018 was pretty hollow. No defining moment that will add to my list of befores and afters. A year is just a tiny bit more than 2% of my life. Two percent.

Let’s see. In 2018 I got my cosmic poetry tattoo. It’s pretty bossy and I love it.

I went to quite a few meetings in 2018, and despite the time or place or subject matter, most of these people were there with me.

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In 2018 I was delighted to see a grasshopper crystallizing her dream of being an earring.

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In 2018 I bottled something like 72 jars of local honey, and I’m now selling it. And by “selling it” I mean it’s all sitting in a temperature-controlled room waiting for me to gain the courage and motivation to actually try selling it.

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I wore shoes every day in 2018. These are my current favorites, because they are a throwback to my reminiscence bump.

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In 2018 I did NOT buy this coat. (The price didn’t match the quality.)

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In 2018 I saw Hamilton and The Wiz and Twenty One Pilots. I devoted a weekend to John Pavlovitz events at my church. I gained 20 pounds, and because I’m currently knitting two sweaters that will not fit my current shape, I will lose those 20 pounds. (It’s so easy to make it sound so easy.) I went to several marching band practices and competitions and DCI events. I drank moonshine for the first time. I went to my high school reunion to celebrate 30 years of NOT being in high school.

In 2018 I finished my ears.

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Best of all, I kicked 2018 off with the Sparklepants that were sent to me in error, but ended up being exactly what I needed.

2019. Here we go.