Friday, January 31, 2014

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday

Join Lisa Jo Baker for her Five Minute Fridays.  You're given a word and you dump your brain in a stream-of-consciousness for five minutes.

Today's word:  HERO


When I hear that word, instinctively I go to the album cataloged in my mind of image after image of service men and women... the red, white and blue flags waving as they pass.... battlefields... shields of the brave policemen and women -- like my parents -- who patrolled the streets day in and out... the firemen and women who risk harm's way to save the lives of everyday citizens.  Absolutely those images come to mind...

Though, when I think about it... it just depends on who you are, where you are and what your circumstances are for what truly defines a "hero" to you.

If you're a child with no hope, no dreams... your hero may be the teacher that advocates for you because s/he sees something inside you no one else took the time to see.

If you're broken within and held down by the chains of your past, the person who sees through those bindings and doesn't let your past define who you are today, could definitely be your hero. 

If you're someone fighting for their life and a doctor recommends a clinical trial which sends you into remission, he has most certainly entered hero status in my eyes.

If perhaps you're slipping into a diabetic coma and the last thing you can be aware of doing is calling 9-1-1, that operator on the other end of the line sending you assistance will definitely be your hero.

If you're hungry, and someone feeds you...

If you're lost, and someone finds you... 

But, I also think about those heroes who are the voice for those without one... those in animal rescue.  It's a silent crusade with the odds stacked against them every day.  They know, however, for the one or two they save, they HAVE made a difference.  

I wish everyone would be aware of their hero status.  I think when you do whatever you do with great passion, you are always a hero in someone's eyes.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday 13

Thirteen things on my to do list:

1) Make a Valentine's Day box for Drew.  We are leaning towards an R2D2 type Star Wars-ish theme.  Something like this
The Happenings Of An Absent Mind: {Star Wars Valentine Craft}
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2) Get my handman out to fix two light fixtures in my house.  It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again.  Well, I'm insane by definition then because the light fixture in the pantry is kaput and EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I walk into the pantry, I flip on the lightswitch even though I know it doesn't work!

3) Get Josh registered for his SCUBA classes.  He is going with his Scout group for a week-long trip to the Florida Keys this summer to do 11 dives.  SCUBA diving!?!?  How cool is that?!  But, because of his stringent baseball schedule, he will have to do the classes on his own rather than with the group of guys that's going.  
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4) Get my life insurance squared away.  Self explanatory.

5)  Plan February's book club for the Grapevine Colleyville Southlake Mom's League.  I lead a preschool children's book club.  We're studying Eric Carle this year.  It's fun.  
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6) Get my agenda finalized for Monday night's Committee meeting.

7) Order pictures of Benji for the wall.  My three-year-old has totally called me out on the fact that I have like ZERO photos of him up on the wall.  I suck.  

8) Make an appointment with the lab for more blood work and a UREA breath test to see if the h.pylori bacterial infection harboring in my gut is gone.  I sure hope it is.

9) Send a card to Timmy.  Timmy is a precious little pumpkin fighting brain cancer.  If you'd like to send him a card, too, please leave a comment and be sure you aren't a "no reply" blogger (or that I have your email address) or just e-mail me and I will send you his address.  We are trying to flood him with love from everywhere.

10) Purge the playroom.  It's a never-ending pain in the rumpus.  Benji told me yesterday on the way home from school that we needed to go "dare." 

"Where?" I asked.

"Daaa-uuuuuure" pointing to Target, "to da tore."

"Why do I need to go to the store?"

"You need buy me toy."

"You have enough toys."

"No, I not.  I need more toys."

"Well, you have a birthday in TWO months.  You'll just have to wait."

Audible sigh.  "Okay, Mommy."

11) Pull out size 12 clothes from attic for Drew.  He needs pants.  He's skinny enough for an 8 but needs the length for a 12.  OOOOh to have THAT problem!  

12) Give Lucy a bath.  Lucy HATES water.  The last time I tried, I wound up with bloody scratches.  You would have thought I was about to sever a limb.  I think something tragic must have happened to her to give her such a fear of water.... for it to cause such paralyzing fear... but it's very real and she's very afraid.  But lordy does she need a bath!

13)  Sleep.  Yes, I actually have this written on my to do list because I haven't been able to sleep well lately at all and I don't feel rested WHATSOEVER.  I feel like I have mono.  My body is NOT my friend.  Grrrr.

What's on your to do list?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stealing Sunday

Sunday Stealing stole the Ask Me Meme from "Just keep swimming." -Dorthy, Finding Nemo

1:What was the last argument you had about?  
I don't argue.  
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2:How long is your longest relationship?  
Lifelong... Shannon, my first best friend, is still one of my closest friends.  I've known her for 36 years.  Hey, Shannon, I stole your picture off Facebook!  :)  Doesn't she have beautiful blue eyes?  

3:What is something not many people know about you?
I have Crohn's disease.  Silent trouble.
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4:Two truths and a lie. Go.
I drove through an automated, gated parking garage arm, breaking it off.  No, I didn't leave a note.
I would rather be in the company of people than be left alone.
I refused to pull over on a highway, forcing my friend to throw up in her new cowboy hat.
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5:Do you believe in fate/destiny?
I may say it, but it's just because it's something to say but do I actually believe that future events are just left to chance by some controlling power is the explanation for what happens in the world... yeah... no.

6:Where is somewhere you’ve always wanted to live?
I've always wanted to live in an urban area... in a high rise apartment in the downtown of a city.  I nearly did when I lived in Ohio before we chose a townhome because we just wanted some "yard" too badly.  I think it would have been worth it to do then, before having kids, but I never did.
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7:Has there ever been a song that made you cry?
Of course.  Music is a huge part of me.  Angels Among Us is one I still - to this day - cannot listen to because it reminds me of my grandmother.

8:Do you jump/scare easily?
Yes.  I also hit, slap and punch the offending parties.  You've been warned.
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9:Which birthday has been your favorite?
They all kind of equally suck.  The ones from when I were younger were much more fun and it seemed nice that people actually went out of their way to do something for ME ... You know... that I didn't have to plan myself to celebrate "me".  Now, if anything is to happen, I have to plan it.  That's totally f'd up and so I say f that and I don't want to do anything.  My grandmother ALWAYS made me a homemade birthday cake.  She took the time to wrap a present.  Little things like that -- they mean the WORLD to me.  Now I get zero effort.  Zero cake.  Zero nothing.  It's pretty sad so I would rather just not bother with anything.  Isn't that nice?  Frankly... since you asked, I think birthdays are pretty damn special.  Without them, you'd be DEAD!  You SHOULD be celebrated and effort SHOULD be put forth... 
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10:Have you ever been pulled over? Arrested?
Pulled over?  Absolutely.  Arrested.  Absolutely not.
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11:Have you ever been to a fortune teller?
Does my grandmother count?  My maternal grandmother thought she was psychic, had crystal balls all over the house, read tarot cards and did numerology.  She even did a radio show.  I don't believe any of that crap.  Never have.  Never will.
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12:What’s your favorite series of books?
I don't have one.  I am, however, rereading Harry Potter right now so it's ONE of my favorite series, but again, I don't play favorites.  It's not fair.
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13:Who is someone that you think knows the most about you outside of family?
I'll never tell because divulging that information means that someone would know who to waterboard should the shit ever hit the fan since... ya know... I'm Batman.  You mustn't divulge such secrets.

14:What is the weirdest thing you've eaten?
I don't eat weird things.  Fear Factor... I would NOT be a contestant.
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15:List one of your quirks.
I have many.  I can't walk barefoot on anything but sand.  I have to have on slippers, socks or flipflops.  
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16:State 1 bad habit of yours.
Being on my phone too much.
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17:Has a scary movie ever given you nightmares?
YES!  There are too many to list... why the hell I watch those stupid things is beyond me.  I did see Paranormal Activity and then would freak out wondering if I was the one that left the door open or wondered if something was set down in another place but was moved.  I guess I would't say they were "nightmares" but it did freak me out!!!
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18:When was the last time you got your hair done in a salon?
A long time ago... I am not real good on the maintenance thing.  I'm the anti-high-maintenance thing.  Seems like you need to find a way to live within how you're made rather than throwing away ridiculous amounts of money for vanity purposes.

19:What was the last thing you did with your friends?
Went to the movies

20:What’s something that you like to do that others might see as weird?
Camp.  I like to be unplugged and in the middle of nowhere... in the quiet... cooking over a campfire... sleeping in a tent.  No electricity.  No phones.  No running water.  
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21:What was the last trip you took?
Vegas.  October 2013
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Want to join in?  Visit Sunday Stealing

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Will Always Love You

It's time for my absolute most favorite meme of the week!  Saturday 9.

Saturday 9: I Will Always Love You

1) The Bodyguard is the best-selling movie soundtrack ever and this is the song most often associated with Whitney Houston. Is it on your iPod/mp3 player?  Nope, I can't say that it is.  I did Google the songlist.  Here it is:  

  1. I Will Always Love You
  2. I Have Nothing
  3. I'm Every Woman
  4. Run To You
  5. Queen of the Night
  6. Jesus Loves Me
  7. Even If My Heart Would Break
  8. Someday (I'm Coming Back)
  9. It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day
  10. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
  11. Waiting For You
  12. Trust In Me
  13. Theme from "The Bodyguard"
For the record, I really liked THIS Whitney:
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And, not THIS Whitney:

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So, yeah I have to say again.  No.  And ... yeah... never.

2) In the movie, Rachel (Whitney) sings "I Will Always Love You" after she realizes she can never see Frank (Kevin Costner) again. What song reminds you of a past love? 

3) Despite the movie's and the song's overwhelming popularity, Whitney Houston was awarded a Razzie Award as the worst actress of 1992. What's the most recent criticism you received?  You'll probably laugh.. it's that I'm too hard on myself and that I need to cut myself some slack because I hold myself to a ridiculous standard that can't be maintained.  Yeah.... bleh.  

It's kind of like Mr. Incredible saying, "What could happen to us?  We're Superheroes!"  And... then he gets sued.  

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4) On the bright side, share the last compliment you received.  Well, as much as I'd love to tell you, I honestly can't remember receiving one anytime soon.  I'm okay with that.  I'd rather receive none than my life to be filled with asshats filling my head full of fluff that wasn't true.  Besides, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.  Right?  

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5) In the 1980s, when Whitney first burst onto the scene, a trendy woman wore big hair, big bows and big shoulder pads. Can you think of anything you wore that was fashionable at the time, but looking back, makes you cringe? (An embarrassing photo to accompany your answer would be nice!)  I love you, but not enough to wade through boxes of photos!  LOL  I would probably have to say acid washed jeans were a nightmare... I had big 80s hair (who didn't).  Haha... I did a Google search for "big 80s hair" and I would just encourage you to do the same.  It's a great laugh! 

6) When this song was popular, cell phones were uncommon and Facebook was unheard of. Which has had a bigger impact on your life -- smart phones or social networking?  You know me, I refuse to choose. Social networking has kept me in touch (the easy way) with friends I've had since elementary school and beyond.  However, smart phones have kept me productive when I would usually just have ridiculous amounts of downtime.  I do see the need, however, to be intentional and completely unplug on a more frequent basis.  However, one USES a smartphone to ENGAGE in social media ergo, the to are not mutually exclusive entities but also one in the same!  Yay me!  I don't HAVE to choose.
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7) Whitney's marriage to Bobby Brown left many people shaking their heads. Whitney and Bobby's daughter recently married the young man who was raised as her brother. Have you ever been in a relationship your friends/family didn't approve of?  WHAT THE HELL DID YOU SAY?  She married the man who was raised as HER BROTHER???? OH GOOD LORD where do they live??? KENTUCKY?  Okay, I looked it up... that's just gross....but whatever... I will never even attempt to understand those Hollywood types.

Wait, what were you asking?  Of course...hasn't everyone dated someone whom your parents considered (even just a teensie bit) unsavory?  That's part of being a stupid teenager.  

8) Whitney Houston's grave marker reads, "I Will Always Love You," so obviously her family is very proud of the success of this recording. How would you like to be remembered?  A mother that loved her children with every fiber of her being but didn't do everything for them... who equipped them to be successful, humble, peaceful men... and who loves Boston Terriers... and scrapbooking... and can type REALLY fast... and is... RIPPED...not SHREDDED like Dana Linn Bailey, but... bikini model quality!  HA!

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9) Whitney was born in Newark, the largest city in New Jersey. It's a major air, rail and shipping hub, and it's in the Eastern Time zone. Have you ever been to Newark ... or any town in New Jersey?  I have.  It smelled.  

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Friday, January 24, 2014


Five Minute FridayFive Minute Friday

One word. Five minutes. Five minutes to spill everything without edits, concerns, contemplations.... just get it out.

Friday's word:  VISIT

Visit is a noun.  It's a verb.  It's a passive act.  It's a passing conversation.

You go VISIT grandma.  It's not for any extended period of time.  Just a brief respite in your daily life to take time to do something.  But... a visit in this sense of the word is very intentional.

You may pass someone in the hallway at school and stop for a brief visit.  However, it's typically chit chat about how busy you are and gosh, can you believe I'm still in sweats without a shower at 3pm?  Where does the time go.  Meaningless audible verbal diarrhea.  This is passive... you're engaged in this visit, because you have to be.

I would love for people to be more engaged and intentional... If you're going to take the time to ask someone about their day, really ASK and wait for a response.  Don't just visit, have a conversation.  Why?  Because you may just be what they need at that very moment.  Someone who wants to connect on a deeper level than just a visit.

I think, I guess, that this has more to do with being INTENTIONAL with your visits.  I'm not saying that every time you encounter someone, you need to come away with enough material to write your next novel.  I'm merely stating that people seem to be so passive... when do people enter the stage where you give a damn about someone else?

I do.

I want others to as well.

I have friends that send me random text message just to tell me hi... that they are thinking of me... asking how I'm doing.  I'm not sure they know but this -- even THIS kind of visit -- it's a blessing because they're ENGAGED.  Chelsea, Valerie, John, Elizabeth, Amy, Sharon, Michelle, Tamara, Kim, Misty, Angela, Travis, Manny, Kristin, Brooks, Bernadette, Laura, Teresa, Ali, Kym.... there are many others.... but these directed, intentional visits are precisely what it means to visit to me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Words are powerful

I posted a photo on Instagram and also shared it on Facebook that has prompted several friends to write me.  I think I may be more flattered, however, at the idea that I've inspired someone to help leave their children a legacy moreso than thinking that I deserve any kind of accolades for my idea.  My idea is nothing new.  

Photo: Something I do for my boys... I encourage all moms to do. I keep a little journal by my bed and write in it every few nights ... A little snapshot of their lives through my eyes... Sometimes silly. Sometimes trying times. Sometimes challenges they've faced. Sometimes just a stream-of-consciousness. Writing is very important to me as it helps me give to them a piece of my very soul. #writetoyourkids #journal #memories #doitnow #youwontregretthis

It all stemmed from back-to-school sales that started popping up last summer.  You see, I always love to walk down the aisles when school supplies start appearing on the shelves.  I love the colors.  I love new the smell of a new box of Crayolas.  I love crisp, white paper.  I love the rows of sharpened No. 2 pencils.  But one thing I've always had a soft spot for is journals.  I ***love*** journals.  I always have.  As the years go by it seems they get fancier and fancier.  It was then that an idea just hit me.  So, I purchased three similar journals (one for each kiddo) and started using it as a way to write to them... on a personal level... about their lives... about their challenges... about their interests... about their day.  There is nothing digital... if there's a picture, it's because I drew it.  If there's a compliment, it's because I wrote it.  It's paper, ink, heart and soul.  It's just a conversation between my boys and me.  I'm thinking it will be a gift at some point in their lives.... leaving for college maybe.  I'm not even sure it will ever be a significant thing to them... but it's a little something I can do to let them know just how much they mean to me... through my words.

Words, you see, are very powerful.  Once you say them... you can never take them back.  Words can make you shine like a dime... or they can break the very spirit that guides you.

And another way words speak to me is through music... I absolutely adore this song -- its message -- its words.  Take a listen.  I've included the lyrics below.  

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you.

That's some pretty powerful stuff there, huh?  I love people that aren't afraid to stand out... to be the change that they want to see in the world... to be brave enough to say the words that need to be spoken... for whatever reason.  Don't keep them in.  Be brave!  Share your words!

I've seen my eldest face this demon head on... and I saw how victorious he was when I wouldn't let him quit and made him face it... to be brave through encouragement.  He has learned words have power... 

Drew hasn't had to face this dragon yet... but the time will come and I hope he, too, is ready to be brave!

Benji... yeah, he's a WHOLE other can of worms... he will throw words at you... just be prepared to catch them.  They usually involve a body part, a bodily function and are followed by maniacal laughter.  

And, you know I have to deal with him on a daily basis.  Thus, I am brave.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stolen from Facebook

Some Facebook status updates are too good to not live in infamy on my blog. So here is today's morning dose.

My morning was ... Waking up to the fact that I overslept (never happens), coming home to a Drew who had overslept and so I had to make his lunch. And a grumpy Benji who wouldn't eat a banana because I cut a bruised spot out of it...

Luckily he had preschool. Walked out of the house with a loaded backpack, two blankets, milk, my water, keys, Kindle, two stuffed animals he picked out and a partridge in a freakin' pear tree only to have him pitch a screaming, drooling, kicking, whining tantrum...


Because the stuffed animal he WANTED was at home and I wouldn't turn around to get it.

"I am not your Sherpa" is apparently not what he wanted to hear.

However, upon closer proximity to the school we entered a conversation as to what all entailed the building of a McMansion in Colleyville...

Foundation. Walls. Windows. Doors. Toilets. He was enthralled in the very idea of compiling a list of STUFF that handy manny would need to build a house of that magnitude.

We arrive and upon further examination of his backpack, he spied Monsters university Cheeze Its for a class snack.

All is well in the world again.

If it were only so easy in the real world.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Best Song Ever

Link up here for your Saturday 9 fix!

Saturday 9: Best Song Ever

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here. (This is their official video and it begins with a skit; music starts at 2:25.)

1) Dancing all night to the best song ever would be good for the cardiovascular system. When is the last time you exercised?  A true full weight lifting session was in October.  That's sad.  I hate being sick.  I'm starting back in February -- sick or not!  

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2) The girl in this song is the daughter of a dentist. "Dentophobia" is fear of dentists. How do you feel about going to the dentist?  I absolutely dread going to the dentist.  I just went in December.  Crown.  Root canal.  Fillings.  It was enough to send me into a full-blown panic attack.  However, I was sedated.  Because of that -- and ONLY because of that -- was it an okay experience for me.  I hate the dentist.  Have I mentioned that?  I have to go back, too.  I have this thing with people sticking their hands in my mouth.  It's worse than fingernails on a chalkboard for me.  I can't explain it but even TALKING about it here.... makes every muscle in my body completely tense up.  It's RIDICULOUS....but I can't help it!  KARMA -- I talk about them...and they called me JUST NOW!  I need to schedule the rest of the crap.  Is it bad if I just ignore them?  :(  

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3) One Direction performed this on Good Morning, America. Do you watch morning TV? If so, which show?  I don't watch any TV. If it's on, it's on for my boys.  I know 250 and 260 are the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.  That's about the extent of my knowledge.  I think people spend far too much time engaged with this idiot box than having an actual dialogue about something that truly matters.  People know more about fictional characters on a series than they do about who is running our country.  They can name how many people the Bachelor slept with in a weekend, but not one person who represents them in Congress.  It's shameful...
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4) Listening to upbeat pop songs like this one makes Sam feel young. When is the last time you participated in an activity commonly connected to children (like swinging on a swing, drinking chocolate milk, playing a board game, etc.)?  I have three children so this is probably an every day occurrence for me.  Yesterday I danced something akin to the chicken dance with my 3 year old.  Why? Because we can...and he thought it was funny.  Day before I tried to limbo with Drew (he won).  Josh (14) is too cool to do anything fun.... teenagers suck.  I, however, will never grow up.  It's highly overrated. 

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5) One of the boys, Louis Tomlinson, was an actor before joining the band. How many different professions have you tried? What were they?  I've worked in the fast food industry before (first job was at Colters BBQ.  I've worked for AMR which is a telemarketing business affiliated with American Airlines.  I've worked for a non-profit association affiliated with the meat industry and Texas A&M.  I've worked at a grocery store as a clerk.  I've been an assistant bookkeeper.  I've been in the emergency services field at the sheriff's office in Colorado.  I've been a paralegal liaison for the welfare office and the child support enforcement unit of the District Attorney's office.  I've run a law firm.  I've been a family law paralegal.  I've been a corporate paralegal.  I've tried my hand at several things... law is my preference, however.  
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6) The fans that have made One Direction millionaires are also the target audience for series like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and Wimpy Kid. Do you read Young Adult literature?  I have read The Hunger Games trilogy in six days.  It was an easy read but the writing was good.  I see why it was bought by Hollywood.  I also ADORE Harry Potter.  I have yet to read the Wimpy Kid series as I'm not a big comic fan.  I like words to paint pictures, not comic strips to do that for me.  While I have and do and likely WILL read young adult literature, I won't tie myself to any particular genre.  I just love to read.
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7) If this is the "best song ever," what song do you consider the worst? Tell us which song just sets your teeth on edge.  Truth be known, there are far too many to list.  And that song... that song is FAR from the "best song ever."   And why are you talking about teeth again?  Are you trying to send me into a dental-induced freak out!  However, I'm not above giving you one of the many on the list....

8) One Direction performed at the Royal Variety Show for Queen Elizabeth. If you found yourself presented to Her Majesty, what would you say?  First off, I wouldn't be "presented" to her.  I wouldn't be "presented" to anyone.  What would I say?  Nothing.  I wouldn't ever be in the presence of royalty and I'm totally okay with that.  I have no desire TO be in the presence of royalty.  The entire royal clan does nothing for me.  Plus, I would not take any sort of etiquette lessons so as not to offend her shan't I curtsy or bow properly.  Cause... ya know... I bow to NO one.  She's just an old lady in a hat and I'm unimpressed. 
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9) Right now, is your life moving in the right direction or are you feeling a bit aimless?  Yes.