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Liam Learns to Live

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About Liam Learns to Live

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  1. What's funny is that when I was writing it, I didn't plan on having a third option at all, but when I was writing up the options I thought, what the heck. Add in the option for no one. That's mainly why I was going to pick it, because it was something I hadn't considered at all until I wrote the options and it made me curious.
  2. Yeah, I was wondering about the voting thing, turns out you can't edit it and reopen it. Bummer. So from here on out anyone who wants to vote will have to just post their vote in a comment rather than a nifty handy-dandy poll. And luck of all luck, you were the only one who voted, so you get your wish! (I was prepared to make the decision, and I was totally going to choose that one anyway, so well done.)
  3. Thanks! That's really my main unwritten goal for this challenge. Stay positive no matter what the numbers say. I also just realized that in terms of my hourly step goal, my fitbit buzzes me to let me know if I haven't made it at 10 to the hour to give me a chance to get up and move. Well, I charged it on Friday, and I think I turned off the notifications. So all weekend, I thought I was doing ok, or at least I wasn't aware of how little I was moving, because I got no notifications. Fast forward to this morning when I'm tallying everything up and realize that friday, saturday and sunday were 1, 1, 2 out of 11. Surprise!
  4. As far as the actual challenge goes: Workout 4/8 - 1 upper, 1 lower, 2 core - I've been trying to take things slow, because I have a tendency to over do it and then stop working out altogether - or I hurt myself and can't keep working out. So my goal for this week is to add in 1 more core exercise session and either an upper or lower body. Protein - Well.... I didn't exactly track protein from Thursday onward, so.... The heartburn is almost gone, and I think I ate a little more protein than normal? This week my goal is to track again. Writing - 5748/5000 - Nailed it. I had three solid sessions where I made great progress, and that felt really good. I'd like those good sessions to be more frequent, but I also needed the planning and thinking time in between, which means days where I only write 200 words, but set up for a more productive day down the line, so I'm still going to keep the goal at 5k for this week. Do something that improves my life - 6/7 - therapy, haircut, volunteering at the humane society, cooking a healthy meal, family brunch, date day w/Chris. Flossing - still only 2. Better than 0, but I want to improve this, because I could brush my teeth all day every day and I still get cavities if I don't floss frequently. Goal for this week? More flossing than not flossing. Goal steps per hour - 27/77 - ouch. I was doing so well on this Monday - Thursday, but I got 3 hours of sleep on Thursday night and so Friday, Saturday, and Sunday got all weird and all I wanted to do was veg and read and play video games. Goal for this week, get sleep back on track, but also just getting up and moving even on days when I feel like sludge. It's good for me.
  5. So I'm going to post the next chapter both here, in a post, post. But I'm also going to update the original message with chapter two. I'm also going to update the poll, but I don't know whether it will let you vote again? I don't know how the polls work. We'll see. So without further ado, here is Chapter Two - An Enemy Appears TELL HER TO TAKE THE SHOES. You don't want to be rude to this woman. She obviously has some sort of magical powers, and she also seems a little unbalanced. If you don't take the shoes, she might even be dangerous. It'd be better to just take them and make her happy. And they are pretty freaking fabulous shoes. “What do I do, Liam?” Dorothy whispered. Liam leaned close to Dorothy, keeping an eye on the sparkly woman before them, “Just take them.” He hissed. “Dorothy, she can fly. Who knows what else she can do, and she looks like she’s getting mad.” Slowly, Dorothy raised her hands and took the shoes. She looked at them for a long moment and then back at the woman in white who was smiling benevolently at Dorothy - as though she hadn’t just robbed a dead woman for her shoes. “This is so messed up.” Dorothy whispered to Liam. She bent down, placed the shoes on the ground and stepped into them. The woman clapped her hands in glee, “Oh, this is perfect!” She let out a small giggle. Just then Liam and Dorothy heard a voice from the distance shouting. “Nooooo!” The two of them turned to look for the source of the sound, and Liam spotted another woman descending from the sky. What was it with this place? This one was riding what appeared to be a broomstick. She came in fast. Where the woman in white had alighted from her bubble gracefully, this one - dressed all in black - came to a skidding halt to stand in front of Dorothy. Now that Liam could see her properly, he realized that her skin was green. She extended one long green finger towards Dorothy. “Take them off!” She shrieked. “Take them off! Those shoes are mine.” Then she stopped, blinked several times and shook her head. “No.” She said firmly. “They’re cursed. They’re cursed, and it might not be too late if you take them off right now.” The woman in white approached, “I’m afraid you’ve arrived too late.” She spun in a circle around the newcomer twirling and waving her wand leaving a stream of bubbles in its wake. “Better luck next time!” She sang out. “How did you get here before me?” “Oops, got the news a bit late, did we? It’s possible that I saw some of your little flying rats on the way over.” The woman ground her teeth, “They’re monkeys. What did you do?” “Those… abominations were never meant to fly. I just fixed the problem.” She swept the wand over head creating a rainbow of multi-colored bubbles over the other woman’s head and nodded with satisfaction as the multicolored bubbles began to descend and pop on the other woman’s pointy blank hat. “It’s unfortunate that they were in mid-air when I got rid of their wings for them, but you have to admit, it worked out really well for me.” The woman’s green face twisted, “You horrible… evil…” “Ah. Ah. Ah.” Sang the woman in white, “You’re the wicked witch, remember? I’m the good witch. Oz voted. I won. You lost. I’m the Grand Sorceress of Oz, and you are an unemployed crackpot who lives in a dank castle experimenting on animals.” She laughed again - a sweet light sound made utterly creepy by her admission that she had murdered some sort of creatures on the way over here just so she could get here first. “By the way, did you see my new tiara?” She pointed at her head with her wand. “Isn’t it just the best? Aren’t you just green with envy?” Then the strangest thing happened. The woman stepped away from Dorothy and stepped toward the woman in white with her hand outstretched toward the tiara as though she wanted to take it off the other woman’s head. The woman in white smiled triumphantly, “Just stop fighting it. Honestly, you’ll be so much happier if you just give in.” The woman in black seemed to come back to herself and pulled her hand back down to her side in a fist, “Never. I will fight the curse until my last breath.” “I’m sure that can be arranged, dear. Well, I believe my work here is done. I hope you like your new shoes, little girl, they’re quite well made. They lasted their previous owner’s entire lifetime.” She turned around and nearly tripped over one of the little people that had been edging closer to the drama unfolding. He wore a top hat and a sash across his chest, “Oh!” She squeaked. “Oh dear. I am sorry. I didn’t see you, there.” The man glared at her, “Glinda.” He said in greeting. His tone was sharp. “Is this an official visit?” She thought for a moment, “In a manner of speaking, Yes, I suppose it was.” The smaller man’s lips pressed together in a thin line, “Then in my official capacity as Mayor of Munchkinland, I greet you to our humble town, Madame Sorceress - although in the future, some prior notice would be nice. Will you be leaving soon?” The last sentence was ground out, leaving little doubt that the man did not want her to stay. “Oh yes, yes. I’ve quite accomplished what I set out to do.” With one more wave of her wand, the woman in white conjured another adult-sized bubble around herself and began a graceful ascent into the sky. The green woman moved to stand in front of Dorothy again. “You have to believe me. Those shoes are trouble, and you need to get rid of them right now. It might already be too late. Liam looked at Dorothy, “The other one’s gone, now. Maybe you should take them off.” Liam suggested. Dorothy looked at Liam in surprise, “But you’re the one that said to put them on in the first place! Now you’re saying take them off? Make up your mind!” “I just said that because there was a scary magic woman insisting you put them on, but now she’s gone and there’s a different scary magic woman telling you they’re cursed and to take them off, so take off the dead woman’s cursed shoes!” Dorothy rolled her eyes at Liam, “Oh please. You heard the first thing she said. She’s just jealous. She wishes she had the shoes. Besides…” She cocked her head to the side as she lifted one leg to look at the shoes on her feet. “I like them. They’re sparkly. And they look amazing on me.” Liam stared at his best friend in disbelief. This was a woman who owned precisely four pairs of shoes, because according to Dorothy, sneakers, flip flops, boots, and one pair of dress shoes are all anyone ever needs. “Oh Gods.” Said the woman in black. “It’s already too late.” “What?” Liam asked. “The curse.” The woman rounded on the Mayor, “Ojo, how could you just stand there and let her do this? Those shoes could have been mine! I mean… I could have studied them to figure out how to break the curses once and for all. Or at the very least, I could have found a way to destroy them - one less cursed object for that bubble blowing bimbo to use against us.” “What was I going to do, El? She’s the Grand Sorceress! She has magic! I’m Mayor, not The Wizard! Maybe if you hadn’t blown the election, we wouldn’t all be in this mess, but no. Gods forbid that the great and powerful El compromise her precious principles and pander to the people of Oz!” She pointed one long finger at the man, “I’m going to let that go, because I know it’s the sash talking, but you watch yourself or someday someone is going to turn you into a frog.” “Uh… excuse me?” Liam said. Both of their heads snapped to him, and he wished that he’d kept his mouth shut. “Can you tell us what’s going on?” “Are you an idiot?” The Ojo asked. El rolled her eyes, “Stuff it Mister Mayor. If we need someone insulted, you’ll be the first person we call.” She turned to Liam and sighed, “There are a handful of items here in Oz that have been cursed. Somehow, Glinda came across one after she was elected Grand Sorceress five years ago. I suspect that the item was the wand that she uses. I’ve done a lot of reading and it seems that each item takes away a specific virtue. Glinda’s wand has taken away her integrity, and ever since she lost that, she’s been collecting the others and using them against anyone who threatens her position. She’s the most powerful person in Oz right now other than The Wizard, but no one’s seen him for ages. Some say he’s gone into hiding. Some say she’s gotten rid of him.” “So her wand made her lose her integrity. What are the others?” “Ojo’s sash took away his kindness. You might have noticed he’s a bit…” “Mean?” Liam offered. “Exactly. This God-awful hat is trying to make me envious of everyone and everything, but so far I’m… managing it. There are a few others that were used to take away courage, intelligence, and love from some citizens that spoke up against her a bit too loudly.” “What is the shoes’ curse?” “They take away the owner’s humility. They used to belong to my sister." "That's your sister?" Liam asked. "Oh my God, I'm so sorry." El waved him off, "I lost my sister the moment she put on those shoes. Overnight she went from being a sweet, level-headed woman to a vain, self-obsessed narcissist.” Liam looked at Dorothy, who had pulled out her phone and was using it as a mirror and was fussing with her hair. “How do we reverse it? Dorothy can’t stay like this.” “I don’t know what to tell you, kid. I’ve been trying for the last couple years, but I haven’t gotten anywhere. The election was… rough. People in Oz don’t exactly like me. The whole reason I haven’t had my place burned down with torches and pitchforks is that I’m a very powerful witch. Even Glinda won’t fight me directly. She just ruined my reputation, so that I can’t do anything against her.” “But you said there’s someone that’s more powerful than her?” “The Wizard, but no one’s seen him in years.” “So what? If that’s all we’ve got, then that’s what we have to do. We have to go find this wizard person and get him to help change Dorothy back.” “Well, you can’t go alone.” Ojo stepped in front of Liam. “You seem like you’re a complete ding dong, and without a guide, you’ll probably kill some other citizen of Oz and cause a national incident.” “He’s right.” El said. “Hey!” Liam shouted. “About not going alone. I don’t know you well enough to know whether you’re a ding dong or not. One of the two of us should probably go with you.” WHAT SHOULD LIAM DO? TAKE EL - sure, at any moment she might lose her battle with the curse and turn into a spiteful, envious - very powerful - crazy person, but she is very powerful. She could protect you if you encounter Glinda again. TAKE OJO - He’s mean, and he’ll probably insult you the entire way there, and he has no way to protect himself, but despite his utter lack of kindness, people don’t actually seem to dislike him. He’s apparently quite popular with the Emerald City crowd. He might be able to make connections and introductions you couldn’t get without him - if you can get there safely. YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE - It’s you and Dorothy against the world. Sure, you can’t protect yourself against witches and you don’t have the in with the ‘it’ crowd, but you don’t need a witch on the edge of losing her grip on sanity, and you don’t need a puffed up Mayor picking on you the entire time. You and Dorothy got into this mess on your own, and you’ll get out of it on your own, thank you very much.
  6. I used frozen blueberries, and those seemed to work pretty well.
  7. Wow, so it's both a workout challenge and a challenge in reading the fine print
  8. Instead of working on something completely different, I just set the part aside that was giving me problems and wrote the ending. Now I know what I'm aiming for, and things are going a lot more smoothly. Yay! I definitely needed to take a step back and stop banging my head over the same spot, though.
  9. So I just want to make sure I'm doing this right? 3 sets of 8 reps is a total of 24 and we can count them all even though it's doing the same exercise for multiple sets? See also seconds? Like plank for 47 seconds and then a second round for 54 seconds and then a third for 52 seconds would be 153 total seconds and that's what I would log? Because I logged what I did for yesterday's workout and the numbers seem crazy high compared to other people's. I just want to make sure I'm not cheating.
  10. Tried the unflavored protein powder in my morning coffee drink. SO gross. Not doing that again. It took my lovely coffee aftertaste and turned it... weird. Do. Not. Want. However, I did a blueberry/greek yogurt/protein powder smoothie after my workout today and that was pretty good. It juuuuust went over my sugary item rule (more than 20g of sugar not from actual fruit 21.5g.... so close. I might be able to tinker with it to get it under 20 not counting the blueberries). BUT it had 25g of protein, so not too shabby. I also added it to my orange juice last night, and that worked out well, too, so there are options. I'll just have to experiment. I still think I'm going to try to dial back the protein goal a bit to start just to keep the heartburn under control. Maybe 65 instead of 85 for starters? Zero week results 5/8 workouts - 1 upper, 1 lower, 2 core, and one day of yardwork that left me quite sore the following day. Counting it. I'm pretty happy with that. Protein - I averaged 75 the first 4 days and then the heartburn started, so I'm changing the goal to 65/day and see how that feels. Improve my life one per day - 6/7 - budgeted, therapy, bunch of housework, visited a friend and played video games, went for a walk to look at the cherry blossoms, improved the look of the yard - super happy with this goal. It's a nice way to think about things as to whether they improve my life or not. Work - 2785/10000 - ouch. It's possible my goal setting was a bit... optimistic on this one. Gonna aim for 5k this week. Flossing - twice - don't judge me. Meet hourly step goal - 43/77 - not too shabby. Some of those, I did get up when my fitbit buzzed me, but then I forgot to get all the way to the goal before the hour ended. I am apparently easily distracted. Whoops. Some I was driving or busy doing something so I couldn't get up and walk around. Some I got the buzz and was like... nope. Looking forward to starting the next chapter on Thursday after voting closes on Wednesday!
  11. Oh yeah, I don't have a problem with the awkwardness, and it was really fun, but it was like $100/month and I just couldn't swing it.
  12. Parkour always looks so fun. I went to a class once and it was me and two 12-year-olds. And then to make things super awkward, I saw a former co-worker who was like, "Hey! I'm here to watch my kids take gymnastics class. Which kids are yours??????" uh... don't have kids... I'm actually taking a class because I'm an overgrown child. *awkward silence*
  13. Yeah, I think I'm going to knock back the protein goal a bit - at least at first. I did find some unflavored protein powder with no sugar and no fake sugar in it, so I'm going to try to mix it in with my morning coffee drink. I know protein powder doesn't work well with hot liquids, but I do iced coffee with cream and a little peppermint syrup, so it should be ok? We'll see. I think it might help to not get so much protein from meat and dairy... I mean, it's whey, so it's kind of dairy, but it's not as rich of a food so I'm hoping that might not trigger the heartburn? My word count can be on anything I write, so I could totally do something else. We'll see if the hateyness continues. I might just need a bit more planning and outlining. Sometimes I get panicky if I don't know where the story is going and try to toss the baby out with the bathwater. So I'll try that first.
  14. I just found a new recipe app called mealime and I LOVE it. It lets you be picky about ingredients you don't want or don't like, and then it doesn't show you recipes with those ingredients. I love it because when you google for recipes I swear to all that is good and holy every single one has quinoa and I hate quinoa. There. I said it. I hate quinoa. Even if I rinse it/soak it/wash it/pray over it/any other nonsense that Big Quinoa says you should do if you don't like the taste because clearly the problem lies with you, oh quinoa-naysayer, not the nasty tasting, weird-textured grain itself. And seriously. All the recipes. All of them. All quinoa. All the time. Smoothie? Put in some quinoa! Breakfast? Quinoa? Salad, throw some quinoa in there. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, but... it totally is. There's a premium thing you can get if you really want that offers more recipes, but if you're just looking for a source for a couple recipes here and there, you don't have to pay to get good ones. It's only for dinners, but the recipes I've made so far have been really good. There was a black bean, sweet potato chili that didn't have meat and it was quite tasty. Also if you like Indian, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/60598/vegetarian-korma/ Here's a recipe for vegetarian korma. SO good. I use a can of coconut milk instead of the tomato sauce and heavy cream. And for spices, instead of 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder, I do 1 Tbsp curry powder, 1 Tbsp garam masala. It needs the extra spices - it's kind of bland otherwise. Good luck
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