Teaser Tuesday: Here’s The Story

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TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser for today is:

“Everything was taken away from me. Next, a doctor examined me, wrote down the drugs I said I’d abused (coke, diet pills, quaaludes), and then nodded blankly when I said that I hadn’t done anything for two days.”

from page 125 of Here’s The Story by Maureen McCormick

Putting My John Mayer Obsession To The Test

Jen @ Stuff Jen Says essentially challenged me to this musical meme by stating:

I wanted to use John Mayer as my artist but decided to let The Lovely Lori and Jen E fight over him.

How can I not fill this out now? So let’s see if I’m really the J.M. fanatic I claim to be (that sounds almost as creepy as obsession – can I just be a fan? You guys don’t really think I’m an obsessed fanatic, do you?)

OK music lovers, using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to some people you like and include me. Try not to repeat a song title.

Pick your artist: John Mayer

  • Describe yourself: Waiting On The World To Change
  • How do you feel about yourself: Bigger Than My Body
  • Describe where you currently live: Great Indoors
  • If you could go anywhere you wanted to go: Break Away (anywhere but here please?)
  • Your favorite form of transportation: Wheel (as in, as long as it has wheels I’m good)
  • Your best friend is: Not Myself
  • Your favorite color is: Another Kind Of Green
  • Favorite time of day: Come Back To Bed (any time I’m going to sleep is a good time to me)
  • If your life were a TV show, it would be called: My Stupid Mouth
  • What is life to you: Free Fallin’
  • What is the best advice you have to give: Wait Until Tomorrow
  • If you could change your name, it would be: Victoria
  • Your favorite food is: Sucker (you know, candy)
  • Thought for the day: Stop This Train
  • How you would like to die: Slow Dancing In a Burning Room
  • Your soul’s present condition: In Repair
  • The faults you can bear: No Such Thing
  • Your motto: This Will All Make Perfect Sense Someday

Your turn.

KMBFBAG: Week 8 (I think)

With all the changes going about in my life right now that I have no control over, it’s nice to have one area where I’m still the boss – my good ole’ diet (said with sarcasm). Actually, I am doing awesome, if I do say so myself. Still no weight gain or loss – my doctor is tickled pink with me and assures me that my stomach and baby are growing at just the right pace. My husband, friends and family are all telling me how great I look and (here’s the best part) way back when I bought two pairs of maternity pants – one fit me comfortably, the other a bit snugger but passable, unless I tried to wear them all day, then I’d be one suffering momma. Those pants? Fit way better now – no pain, all the benefits of a fabulous fitting pair of pants. And the slightly more comfortable pair, to be honest, are getting a bit too big. Oh to have my problems, right? :P

I still feel over weight sometimes, particularly when trying to get out of a chair or roll over in bed, but I mean, duh, I’m pregnant – and while the rest of me is shrinking, the belly gets bigger every day. All baby. I know, I’m gloating – but darn it, I’m doing awesome! Remembering all the weight I gained with my first pregnancy I’m just so proud and so thrilled to know that I won’t have all that awful weight to lose a second time. I can’t wait to see what size I am after this baby is born and seriously – I still get to eat dessert at night and have my indulgences – this whole thing is just miraculous. It’s all math with all benefits in my mind. Benefits being these super hot jeans that I’m wearing.

How are your diets going?

An Absence and Abudance Of Planning, All Rolled Into One

I’m not going to do a monthly menu plan this month, because, well frankly I have no idea what this month has in store and flexibility (and cheapness) is the name of the game right now. We’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants, getting together with friends and family when we can since we don’t know how much longer we’ll be staying in the state and trying to use the contents of our cupboards as much as possible in the meantime. One new recipe I’m meaning to try soon that contains mostly ingredients we already have on hand is this Honey Glazed Chicken Stir Fry on Simple Mom’s monthly menu plan that just looks delicious. We’re doing a lot of pasta, burgers and hot dogs these days because we already have a lot of those things (reviewing Omaha Steaks last month helped a ton in that).

It’s been kind of weird, doing my laundry and wondering if I’ll be able to use all the money on our prepaid laundry card if we move – or if I’ll need to buy another one and if so will we be able to finish that one? Looking at the contents of my cupboards and imagining them in boxes fills me equally with a sense of both excitement and dread. The long, long list of people we’ll need to call, addresses to change, bills to make sure get handled properly – and finding a new place to live – especially if that place is somewhere we’ve never been and can’t just go drive to and look around. It’s nerve wracking.

The interview this morning with Dream Company went really well. He’s now had a phone interview with the Tech Guys and filled out a personality test thing (Rembrandt something or other) and the next step is a written exam to test his problem solving skills or something. I don’t know if that’s something he’ll be able to do here or if they are going to fly him to Dream Company to do it. The whole process reminds us of the beginning of the Mysterious Benedict Society – completing each step, acing each test, not knowing how many more tests stand between us and the job – or if he’ll pass all the tests and get the job – and because it’s so far away, the job itself is still a bit of a mystery in some ways – will we like it? Would we like our new home? Is this something worth coveting or something we may grow to regret in years to come? We have no way of knowing anything except that assuming he gets the job (the phone interview went really, really well) that means he’ll be employed and all this unemployment nonsense can go away. And that’s a good thing, change or no.

And of course even as we’re mentally preparing ourselves for what could be a new reality, we’re also still making back up plans, continuing the job hunt and looking for new listings, sending out his resume, waiting on our first unemployment check and wondering what other government aid we’ll be able to get while we wait, if we need it. I’d love for this all to be over soon but if over means moving somewhere new part of me also wants to hold onto every last moment we have here, to linger at each minute of the days passing – who can we visit today? What memory can we savor? How much longer is this going to last?

And if he doesn’t get the job, and we have to scrap that pipe dream – we’ll be back at the beginning, starting over again, looking for a new dream, making new plans and hoping for the next thing. It’s very strange living here on the edge, unable to plan but incapable of not planning. So no monthly menu plan this month, because clearly I have enough things to half plan right now.

Bloggy Award Extravaganza: And The Winners Are…

So I’ve been hoarding a bit of bloggy love, and then I got MORE bloggy love – and I thought I’d better pass some of this out before it gets ridiculous. Thanks to the wonderful bloggy ladies Scrappy Girl @ Serendipity and Meg @ Faith & Gasoline for the following bling. I’m going to post all three awards & their respective rules and then the handful of bloggers I’ve decided to award today. One award say to pass it on to 8 people, one to 10 people, one to 7 and one doesn’t appear to specify at all – I’m going to just completely toss that out the window and award 15 bloggy friends of mine the blogging award(s) of their choice – kind of a choose your own adventure. I probably stole this idea from someone far more clever than myself but my pregnant brain isn’t giving me any hints – if you’re the clever genius please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due and probably you should talk all four of these awards twice, mkay? Ready?

Here are the rules:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

The Lemons to Lemonade Award
The rules of the award are as follows:

  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
  3. Link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award.

With this award you need to pass it on to seven blogs, which you really enjoy reading. Easy peasy.
This award appears to have no rules so I’m thinking you can just make shit up – that could be fun, no?
Alright – and the winners of the loot of their choice are:

Why yes, this is in alphabetical order. No, I’m not capable of winging things and going all willy nilly. Congrats to the fabulous fifteen and happy blog blinging!

99 things I may or may not have done on the wall, 99 things…

Stolen from Jen @ Stuff Jen Says, of course. I mayyy have done this before but um I don’t care?

Of the following 99 things, the ones I’ve done are bold. When you leave your list in a comment or on your own blog, you can use asterisks if you’re HTML-impaired.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (I’ve given to charity plenty, but the concept of spending more than I can afford anywhere is just foreign to me)
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (assuming Wii Rockband counts)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (in a manner of speaking…)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (again, assuming Wii Sports counts)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (most of my ancestors were Mayflower descendants – are you talking further back than that? if so, then no, not yet)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (not one in theaters, just some things in college with the film kids)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (only once)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (more times than I can count)
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

And the verdict is? I have done some cool things and seen some cool stuff but the sheer quantity of things I haven’t done… tell me I need to get out more. Honestly – I don’t think I’ve ever watched a sunrise OR sunset. There are countless landmarks I’ve never seen, some not even that far away. I’ve never played in the mud, built a snow fort, broken a bone or been on a cruise. That just feels sad to me. There are other things that I’m happy for – I’ve never had food poisoning or been stung by a bee, I’m calling that a success – and to have done ALL of that traveling by age 26 would, I think, be pretty miraculous. But man I want to do SOME of it!

So what have you done? What haven’t you done?

Weekend Diversions: math that isn’t math, the telephone game minus the telephone & a fake apology

This weekend’s diversions are all about things that aren’t exactly what the seem, because they are actually better. Last things first, Jen posted this awesome video on her blog and I just had to share it here. Watch as Portia De Rossi apologizes for marrying Ellen…

So next I thought we’d have some fun with math, or rather the New Math. Basically it’s like the best kind of math ever because it’s funny AND you’ll understand it. Don’t believe me? Check out some of these equations and tell me if it doesn’t all add up to you…

Alright. I saved the best for last – this diversion comes courtesy of Jean and has been probably the best part of my entire week – and my husband’s week, too, because after I got sufficiently addicted, I got him hooked, too. It’s called Broken Picture Telephone and it’s awesome. I’m guessing you guys have played that Telephone game in school or something where someone says something to someone else, etc. etc. and by the time you get to the end the message is completely changed? Yeah this is like that except with pictures and it’s hysterical. I’ll show you a quick example and then you have to go try it for yourself, kay?

Prosperity, the Economy, Lincoln and Me

Karen posted this today on her blog and I loved it so much I had to throw it over here and share it with all of you, too. In only slightly related news my husband has a phone interview next week with Dream Company. We are trying not to be giddy, but also secretly dreaming about moving trucks while slightly dreading the big move that would relocate us awfully far away from our support system (i.e. friends and family). This week he had a phone interview with Would Be Nice job that was only one hour away – but we knew it was kind of a long shot because one of their main criteria (java) he has no professional experience with. Kind of a deal breaker – but apart from that, the woman who interviewed him LOVED him and she’s looking into the company to see if there are any other jobs opening up that he’d be a fit for. The interview with Dream Company is for a job he’s perfectly qualified for but the job is SO freaking good that we’re trying not to get our hopes up because um it’s amazing and perfect, apart from being a 13 17 hour drive away. So far these are the only two jobs that have contacted him for an interview but his lovely wife searches for new jobs daily so if neither of these jobs end up biting, eventually somebody has to.

Dan’s only been out of college for 2 years – meaning he’s only had 2 years of real world work experience – which means that no matter how brilliant he is, and no matter how quickly he picks up new programming languages and can literally do anything (I’m not exaggerating, honestly, I think he might be a genius) – he still only has two years experience and hasn’t had time to become a seasoned expert in everything yet. And in this economy – you know there are other people who have. In a normal economy, this wouldn’t hold him back – heck in a normal economy, he’d still have his old job. But regardless, right now I’m just crossing my fingers that either Dream Company or Would Be Nice job offer him something – or that the other perfect job we don’t know about shows up soon. Thank god we’re really good at living cheaply now that we have to, in the meantime.

Anyway yeah – economy – Abraham Lincoln – stuff. I’m off to put the toddler to bed and watch Jeapordy. Good night guys!

Bump Report: 23 Weeks

With her sense of movement well developed by now, BB (Baby Blueberry) could potentially feel me dance – if I were ever so inclined. That probably means that she feels me grunt, huff puff and struggle to get off the couch or roll over in bed at night, too, huh? She’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), and apparently I may be able to see her squirm underneath my clothes (I’ll have to look out for that – I’m feeling loads of back flips but I haven’t actually seen any movement yet). Loud noises that become familiar now — such as a dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner (not that she’ll either of those things often) — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb. What this means for me, is that coming out of delivery she’ll be well accustomed to playing Wii Rockband at night and will have heard me say, “No don’t jump off from that!” many times over.

BB is now roughly the size of a large mango - babycenter.com

BB is now roughly the size of a large mango - babycenter.com

Monday I had my monthly check up with the doctor which for the most part was completely uneventful. I’m now at that point in my pregnancy where rather than just weigh me, they are measuring my stomach to check with how the development is going so she was able to confirm that despite the fact that I have not gained or lost any weight since the beginning of my pregnancy, the baby’s overall development is right on target. I know many people have confirmed this to me already, but you know it’s nice to hear it from a doctor, too! Another thing we talked about was cord blood banking. One thing they encourage these days is publicly donating your cord blood even if you aren’t planning to privately bank the  cord blood yourself. Donating it to the public banks is free if you didn’t already know – whereas privately banking it can cost as much as $2,000 initially and then about $125 in annual storage fees. If you don’t know much about cord blood banking and what that’s all about you can read more about it here.

Did you bank your baby’s cord blood? Privately or publicly? Would you bank it for future children?

American Idol: Motown Week

This week the Top 10 Idol finalists performed classic motown songs after being coached by Motown legend Smokey Robinson. It was a good time had by all in my opinion, I thought most of the music was just stellar, but some artists rose above in my mind – the front runners are becoming obvious at this point. Here’s a breakdown of my opinions of each performance:

Matt Giraud, Let’s Get It On: I think was the first performance by Matt where I actually loved him. I’m not sure if I love him as much as some of my other long-standing favorites but for once he came across to me as more than just a J Timberlake pretty boy wanna be and he impressed me with his vocal skills – I think this genre for him works wonders – his voice really stood out for me. I loved how he started at the piano and then got up and worked the audience. It was a stellar performance.

Kris Allen, How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: I’m just going to accept that I’m not into him. He’s clearly talented because other people seem to like him but for me there is just always something missing (usually my interest). I feel like there is this whole other second world in performing that he has no access to – but I don’t really know how to explain it. The judges loved him – dh and I were both really, really bored.

Scott MacIntyre, You Can’t Hurry Love: I think Scott can probably record an album at this point, but I don’t think he can win the competition. It’s obvious there are better performers and I just really don’t think his talent is seasoned enough to go much further here. His song was fine but it was not a stand out performance.

Megan Joy, For Once In My Life: My husband and I are big Megan fans and he was completely wowed by this performance. I loved her voice and love her but I also kind of agreed with the judges – I feel like a song where she can linger on the words more and make use of her voice would have been better – my husband, who knows the original song, said she’d already slowed down the tempo a lot, but for me it wasn’t enough. I liked the judges advice and I hope she continues on because I just love hearing her sing. If she makes an album, I’m buying it.

Anoop Desai, Ooh Baby Baby: This wasn’t my favorite Anoop performance but it certainly wasn’t his worst. According to the judges this was a very difficult song to sing – so I give him props for performing it perfectly, but I’d love to hear something with some more energy. I’m not sure Anoop can win this competition, but I do hope he stays around a bit longer – there are other people doing much worse than him.

Michael Sarver, Ain’t To Proud To Beg: Speaking of much worse than Anoop – I’m over Oil Rig Guy – he’s fun, he has a good voice – but I think he’s gone as far here as he’s going to. The judges are asking for an improvement that I’m not sure he even knows how to deliver. All the boy really wants to do is “sang” at the end of the day.

Lil’ Rounds, Heat Wave: I love me some Lil’ but this performance, like the last, was just kind of okay. The hair was just awful. The bottom line is she’s better than this. I think she’s too concerned with honoring her musical predecessors and it’s taking away from a truly Lil’ Rounds performance. I respect her wanting to respect them, but if she wants to win this thing she’s going to need to step it back up a notch (like she was doing in Hollywood week) and bring back her natural swagger. And I’d love it if she did.

Adam Lambert, Tracks Of My Tears: I just love him. He’s forgiven for last week. The thing about Adam is that he has that other special thing that people like Kris Allen (aka I can never actually remember his name) and Michael Sarver just don’t – he has access to that other level of artistry. He’ll sing a word and you think you know how he’ll sing it, but then he’ll change it in this small subtle way and it just takes my breath away. I think his theatre background is helping him a lot because he not only sings the heck out of his songs, but he’s always putting on a performance and owning the stage, even in a song as mild as this, the surprise of him doing something so low key was enough to captivate us. I think we all are anxious to see what he can do next. I loved the first line of this song for him, “People say I’m the life of the party…” in that soft, melancholy voice – this song became his for this night, I think even Smokey Robinson would agree. Love him.

Danny Gokey, Get Ready: I couldn’t believe it when he didn’t take Smokey’s advice and was even more annoyed that nobody even mentioned it. I’m guessing that he knew he wasn’t capable of doing both his lyrics and the “background” lyrics and he knew it. I guess it’s better to ignore good advice and not bomb on the song, but it still annoyed me and the performance for me was just okay. I couldn’t wait for it to be over and I’m just annoyed that he’s still here. I think he stands a good chance of making it to the Top 3 but I’m not happy about it.

Allison Iraheta, Papa Was A Rolling Stone: Where does she come from? I agree with the judges – when I remember this girl is just 16 years old it just blows my mind because she can SING. Her talent is just on another level. My husband commented that he couldn’t understand her a lot of the time and I’ll agree with that, but man this girl is going places – she could easily find herself in the top 2 of this thing.

So for me: Scott MacIntyre and Michael Sarver should pack their bags – and I wouldn’t mind if Kris Allen and Danny Gokey disappeared either. The two front runners for me are Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta – with Anoop, Lil’ and Megan making up the bottom of my Top 5 and Matt Giraurd being my “I don’t know where he’ll end up” other guy. And if I missed anyone, it’s probably because I’ve forgotten they’re still here.

Who did you love? Who did you hate?