Monday, March 26, 2012

Lone Wolf


I finished this book the other day, I read it pretty quickly. I think I finished it in a day and a half. Like Grisham, I'll always read any new Picoult book that comes out and unlike Grisham, I still enjoy all the Picoult books. One thing I like is that she does a lot of research about the topic of her book so the nerd in me likes to learn about new and random things. Before this book I knew almost nothing about wolves and except for meeting one person who had a wolf as a pet (why?!?!?!) I'd never even seen a wolf anywhere other than on tv. I like that it touches on organ donation, I didn't know some of the details about who can give permission and the different types of death and how that figures into organ donation.

Here is a description from Jodi Picoult's site:

Edward Warren, 23, has been living in Thailand for five years, a prodigal son who left his family after an irreparable fight with his father, Luke. But he gets a frantic phone call: His dad lies comatose in a NH hospital, gravely injured in the same accident that has also injured his younger sister Cara.
Cara, 17, still holds a grudge against her brother, since his departure led to her parents’ divorce. In the aftermath, she’s lived with her father – an animal conservationist who became famous after living with a wild wolf pack in the Canadian wild. It is impossible for her to reconcile the still, broken man in the hospital bed with her vibrant, dynamic father.
With Luke’s chances for recovery dwindling, Cara wants to wait for a miracle. But Edward wants to terminate life support and donate his father’s organs. Is he motivated by altruism, or revenge? And to what lengths will his sister go to stop him from making an irrevocable decision?
LONE WOLF looks at the intersection between medical science and moral choices. If we can keep people who have no hope for recovery alive artificially, should they also be allowed to die artificially? Does the potential to save someone else’s life with a donated organ balance the act of hastening another’s death? And finally, when a father’s life hangs in the balance, which sibling should get to decide his fate?
Purchase here!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Place of Yes




Bethenny Frankel has been one of my favorite reality tv stars for quite some time and I'm glad I've finally been able to read her book, A Place of Yes. I first saw Bethenny on The Apprentice, the season with Martha Stewart and then when I realized that my favorite Real Housewife of NYC was that same person I was happy to see her again. I've always sorta related to her, I like her spunkiness and the fact that she does not take crap from anyone. Plus, I always have to root for the person who goes for funny, even if its a tiny bit inappropriate or mean. I swear, I try not to do that sometimes but damn, if I've got a zinger and its funny, you can count on me saying it. Like Bethenny, I also have a strained relationship with my mom and did a fair amount of my own upbringing (as well as my brother's!) and I admire all that she has done for herself. 

A Place of Yes is about getting what you want out of life, whether its relationships or career and the ways to do this. I really enjoyed hearing some of the background stories behind some of the stuff mentioned on RHONYC or on her spin off shows and I was AMAZED to find out how much Bethenny struggled financially during the time of The Apprentice and during RHONYC. I really never would have guessed she wasn't as financially well off as some of the other women on that show. I know some of that is due to editing but overall, Bethenny always seemed to have her act together.

Chapter one of this book really spoke to me because it was all about breaking the chain. When I found out I was pregnant with a girl I had a hard time believing it or accepting it. I wanted it to be a girl so badly because I wanted the chance to be a better mother to my little girl than I had. I wanted to be a different type of mom and stop the cycle of the way mothers and daughters interact in my family. Even though I'm only 11 years into this journey of motherhood, it feels SO good to know that this chain has been broken and that history has not repeated itself. I've never really met anyone who *got* how I felt, this almost primal urge to be SO different until I read Bethenny's story. Its nice to know that there are other mothers out there in my position and to know that I'm not the only one with such a strong, strong desire to break the chain.

In Bethenny's spin of shows, Bethenny Getting Married and Bethenny Ever After, I've seen some similarities of her relationship with her husband Jason to my own marriage and again, its nice to know I'm not alone. My dh and I tend to fight a lot, like way more than we should and we've always sorta been like this. I know part of it is me, I have a hard time letting people love me or even like me and this is something that really bothers Mike. I KNOW I should be different but its hard sometimes, especially when your entire life up to that point shows a history of being unloved and unaccepted. Its hard to believe that this time is different and that it takes work to get used to that.

In a recent episode of Bethenny Ever After, they showed some struggles between Jason and Bethenny about him coming across as a perfect husband on the show but that wasn't the "inside Jason" that they see at home. When you are the one going into a relationship as the "damaged" one who is a tough person to love its easy for your spouse to always come across as "right" but that only ends up making the "damaged" one beat them self up even more. I can see why Bethenny and Jason fight about that, he's had such a history of being loved and I don't think he always realizes how those little comments about her inadequacies or things she struggles with can embed in her mind and really cut her down. I doubt he's doing that on purpose but if you are the other person, its hard to not let those comments really eat at you. I'm still hurt my ex mother in law told my ex that she was concerned he was marrying someone who was damaged goods because my parents got divorced! But he got divorced too a few years after that so I guess we are both damaged goods now LOL

If you are a fan of the RHONYC or Bethenny or even someone with a screwed up family history, you should check out this book. She has a good outlook on life and I think she's done a great job getting to where she is today, both in her personal relationships and professionally. I haven't read her other books because our library doesn't have them but I might just take a trip to Barnes and Noble next week and pick them up. I haven't tried any of her Skinny Girl drinks yet either but after reading this book, I want to, even if its just as a way of supporting her since I admire all she's done for herself.

Click here to purchase!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tebow Going to the Big City

This article is sorta funny to me, the Jets want Tebow to live in Jersey so he does not fall prey to the evils of NYC. Like the jokes that can be made about Tebow and the Jersey Shore would be any better than whatever he'd see in NYC? This season should be interesting, all the die hard Tebow fans at work who are now were Broncos fans have said things along the lines of "I'll root for him wherever he goes, as long as its not a New York team". Funny how things work out. It was almost like a time of mourning here in FL. I'm ok with him going to the Jets, they are not my favorite team!


Move to Jersey, not NYC!

Sore!

I am so sore today, not from working out but from painting. Yes, painting. I couldn't figure out why I was so sore until I continued painting today and realized that with all the up-down-up-down I was essentially doing nothing but squats and steps for hours and hours. Its funny when things hit you like that and you just have a "D'oh!" sorta moment. My thighs feel good though!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tebow--Getting Bucked by the Broncos



If you follow NFL news at all you'll know that Peyton Manning will be the new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow will be traded. In the last few weeks I'd heard that Denver had a meeting with Manning and the way Tebow found out about that meeting was the same way we did, by social media and the news.

Tebow is not my favorite person, (well, its mostly the Tebow fans that annoy me) but holy cow, can you imagine how much that would suck to find out basically that your boss is thinking of replacing you? I cannot imagine how thick my skin would have to be to deal with all the trading of players back and forth, left and right in professional sports. I once found out in an "all-hands" meeting that I had a new boss and my entire former department was fired via the new org chart but it would be hard to deal with getting replaced by a new player.

A few Florida teams are considering Tebow which would be good for ticket sales since he's from the area so he should do ok. I'm definitely crossing my fingers and saying a prayer for Manning. There is no way I'd play a contact sport with that type of injury but to each his own I guess! I'm thinking that with Manning and Elway in the same organization that Denver is going to have a good year. Of course I'd always prefer my Patriots to win anything and everything but I wouldn't count Denver out with this new direction they'll be heading.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Bachelor

I haven't watched any episodes of The Bachelor this season but when I saw a clip of the finale and saw that they were in Switzerland I decided to tape it just to see the scenery. I watched it earlier tonight and I can't imagine putting myself out there like these people do. Thats just crazy to "date" someone who is also "dating" so many other people. Not for me! But, a couple of observations from the finale show.

    • Zermatt, Switzerland is beautiful. Its the exact town I went to when I visited there 12 years ago. It was so cool seeing the river that ran through the town, I'd forgotten how fast the water moved. I also finally got a good view of the Matterhorn. It was very cloudy/snowy when I was there so the most I saw was the tiniest bit of the top of the mountain one day. Well, we did take a gondola to the top but I never got to see a view like this. Isn't that beautiful?
    • Although I'm not a huge Tim Tebow fan, I'd be curious to see what kind of women they'd pair him up with if he were The Bachelor. Seems like most of these couples sleep together at their earliest opportunity but we all know Tebow wouldn't be hooking up with girls just to "get to know them". But, then you wonder too how a show like that would do in the ratings? Or do they pre-screen all the contestants to make sure they are Christians? Do they throw a skank or two in the mix just to see if they can corrupt Tebow to get good ratings?

    • The "winner" of the show Courteney looks A LOT like Jessica Simpson in some shots. Do you see the similarities? 

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Finished 2 Books in One Day



    I finished the Grisham book on the way to work this morning and started this book on my lunch break. It was just the thing to get me out of a reading slump. Its a great story, heartbreaking of course but also happy. The strength of these two families is unreal, imagine taking care of your"daughter" for weeks and weeks and not even know that it wasn't hers. One family had given up hope immediately after the accident when they were told their daughter hadn't made it. The other family felt lucky to have their daughter still alive, even if it wasn't the way they were normally saw her. Then their world came crashing down weeks later. What a blow that would be. I'm not overly mushy but reading the two sides of what happened really brought tears to my eyes and its something I won't ever forget

    More REAL Bodies

    I love this stuff, seeing real pictures of real bodies and comparing them to my own. Admittedly, I do a lousy job guessing how much other people weigh and in looking at my own body, I have no idea how I compare to other women my same age/height/weight. On an online forum I've belonged to for a long time the two links below were posted and I thought I'd share them with you. I find it very helpful to see a similar sized woman and realize that she does not look bad or fat. We all have little bulges here and there and some of the women have chunky thighs or muffin tops and they don't look fat to me.

    I know when I am seeing those bulges and my own muffin top in the reflection in the mirror I am starting to realize I'm much harder on myself than I should be. I'm doing much better about this lately, I'm taking time to do some sort of exercising every day and working better on eating right.

    Ok, here are the links.

    Excellent chart showing multiple pictures from real readers. You can really see a wide range of bodies and their problem areas.
    Real Body Examples

    Here is another one that I liked.

    More Real Bodies 

    I Just Can't Quit You Grisham

    You know in Brokeback Mountain the line where one man says "I wish I knew how to quit you"? Well, thats how I feel about John Grisham books. I used to LOVE when a new Grisham book would come out, it always seemed to be around Valentines' Day or Easter and I'd beg my dad to give me a copy so I could read it first and then give to him. Now, when I go to the store and see a new Grisham book is out I go through a whole conversation about the merits of reading it or not, all in my head and I usually end up deciding that yes, I will read it but I might not purchase that $24 hard cover. Things are getting more predictable and although I love the topic of the law, its getting to the point where I kind of know what the struggle will be and how its going to be resolved. Still, I read this new one and I'll probably read the next one too.

    So, reading the last Grisham book, The Litigators got me into a sort of reading rut. I felt like it started a little slow but once I got to more interesting parts of the story it picked up. In this story they focus on a low level attorney at a ginormous firm making a ton of money but decided that the stress from the workload was too much and he ended up walking away from it all and ended up on the steps of a law firm well known for their ambulance chasing. I think we all have fantasies of walking away from the ho hum, menial tasks from every day life.

    I say go ahead and read this story if you have liked Grisham for a long time.


    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Like a Million Tiny Hands Working on You

    I've been suffering from some knee pain that I've had for 20 years now and had some success using a borrowed electrode muscle imassager over the weekend. My stepmom had me try it out since she just bought one and once I get a little more cashola at Amazon (thanks to Swagbucks!!) I'm going to purchase one for myself. Thats how much better my knee has felt since I used it. I'm not sure why I never thought of it before, I remember when I was in physical therapy they used a TENS unit and it helped a lot and this thing is similar. They are available on Amazon.com but I'm having a little trouble locating the specific one. I know the one I tried was about $119. Here is a link to their direct site and an shot of what it looked like. Its very small, like smaller than the old mini iPods.


    • 1 TCM iMassager II control unit with metal back cover (wear resistance) is based on TCM iMassager, featured with 6 therapeutic modes, built-in lithium battery,  dual outputs to treat two people or two targeted areas at One Time;
    • 2 Sets of Lead Wires and 2 Pairs of Reusable Large Massage Pads
    • 1 USB cable to connect with PC at Work;
    • 1 Adaptor (Travel Charger:110V-240V)
    • 1 Massage Placement Points Chart
    • 1 Complete Instruction Booklet and Education Manual;
    • 1 Manufacturer's Warranty Card for Two Year Warranty or Lifetime Warranty;
    • 1 Convenient pads and wire rewinding holder
    • 1 storage box and handbag

    Sunday, March 4, 2012

    Wasting Food

    One bad habit I have that I've noticed more and more lately, is that I waste a ton of food. I know most of us probably do this in one way or another but I've been more aware of the ways that I do it and I'm starting to feel bad about it. Some are bad habits I need to break and the other times its because I'm not sure how to save things and keep them fresh

    I'm not much for leftovers and if anything looks less than fresh I am much more likely to throw it away than to rescue it or give it a shot. Lettuce and meat seem to be the biggest things that fall in this category. I don't really know how I should store lettuce properly and if it looks at all wilty, slimy or looks too wet then it goes OUT. The idea of icy or wet lettuce grosses me out and I won't eat it at all. In restaurants the salads usually come out with cold or room temperature lettuce and the lettuce does not feel wet to the touch. I've tried storing it in containers, washed and cut, or uncut and unwashed, and either way ends up making it not so great. I like salads when I'm out to eat but at home I'm not fond of the way they've turned out.

    Most other produce doesn't really creep me out, mostly just any sort of leafy green vegetables. Meat, that my friend is a different story. I'll eat beef, chicken, pork, turkey and some types of seafood but if I have to prepare it there is a good chance I won't eat that part of my dinner. It all started when I was pregnant with my daughter Julie, raw chicken and the grease from ground beef really set me off and its never been the same. Oh and, any animal that retains its natural "animal" shape, like any type of poultry or seafood (except shrimp) that is in its natural state--think chicken drumsticks or rotisserie chickens. I don't remember having problems with this before I had Julie, I remember helping with holiday turkeys or hams and would willingly help mush together by hand all the meatloaf ingredients. Now? Not so much. I use tongs and disposable food gloves for almost every meat and most of the time after I cook it, I end up skipping that part of dinner. I figure we are lucky we made it that far in the process. Most of the time I don't notice the expiration dates and end up pitching it into the trash---OR I'll toss it in the freezer if the date is coming up too soon.

    Anyone else do that sort of stuff? Or am I alone on the freak bench again? I have been getting better about using what I buy but sometimes its difficult. I do know I need to invest more time into figuring out how to store things like lettuce so I don't have to keep throwing things away but sometimes it is hard to manage all that stuff properly when I'm out of the house for 40+ hours every week. I guess I need to structure more of that time during the weekend.

    **Disclaimer** I live in FL so there are a lot of things I can't do for storage or that makes things a little more susceptible to going bad. No basement in which to hide certain root vegetables and the heat tends to accelerate the decaying process a bit

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