Emily M. DeArdo

writer

Jeopardy

Saturday Miscellany

books, behind the scenes, current projects, Jeopardy, knitting, writingEmily DeArdoComment

Normally, as you know, I don't do a blog post on Saturdays, but I had a stomach bug on Friday, which derailed my plans to do one then, so, here we are: Saturday! (Stomach's fine now.)

First, the winner of the Cultivate Book: Cristina! Yay! I'll get this book out to you in the next week!

Second: Next week marks a year since my appearance on Jeopardy!, which you can read all about here. The Tour de France, people! :-P (If you don't get that, read the posts....or try to find my episode online. I wish Jeopardy re-runs ran around here....)

Third: Take a look at this!

 

I'm kind of a fan. Do you like it? Let me know! I took the photo at the Franciscans of the Holy Land Monastery in D.C. a few years ago and I thought it was a good choice for the cover. 

And finally, in the knitting area: here's the second Christmas gift in progress. 

Yes, it's the same pattern as the first scarf. But man, I love this yarn too! This is called Sugar Cookie--same yarn as the last one, too. 

So, that's my miscellany for this Saturday! Hope you have a great weekend! 

Seven Quick Takes No. 127

7 Quick Takes, drawing, family, travel, Jeopardy, hearing lossEmily DeArdo3 Comments

I.

In case you missed it: Thirty Days of Beauty continued this week. It was really all I wrote this week, since I was in Houston visiting my sister, and didn't bring the laptop with me. So go enjoy those posts. :) 

I will be updating my Houston Postcard next week with the places I did this trip, so it will be more Comprehensive for all you Houston-bound people!

II.

When I was in Houston I did a lot of sketching, including making a point of taking my supplies to the beach at Galveston. I knew that the paint would dry faster in the heat, but I wasn't prepared for how much faster. Still, I'm pretty happy with what I managed to get. 

III. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you are aware that my sister has a cat. Bella is a pretty sweet kitty, who flicks her tail whenever you say her name, and likes to try to get extra kibble out of the automatic feeder. (My sister is a nurse who works night shift, so automatic feeding for Bella is a good thing!) She discovered that by moving her paw under the slot, she could get extra kibble to drop down. Sometimes. Never having lived with a cat, I was hugely amused by her behavior. 

IV. 

There were FOUR bookstores visited on this trip, guys. FOUR. One of them, yes, was a Barnes and Noble, and I wasn't there for very long, but still. FOUR! 

Brazos, of course. I introduced Melanie to its beautiful-ness. Small but mighty. 

We checked out Galveston Bookshop--didn't buy anything, though. It looked like it might be a decent place to prowl around and look for books. It's mostly used books, with some new, and they have an excellent collection of books about Galveston and Texas, if that's your thing. They also have a shop cat!

IMG_4074.JPG

The last shop we visited was Murder By the Book, which was excellent. It's a lot more than mystery novels (at first I was like, mystery novels are not my thing), but I had a lot of fun here. More about this guy later. 

V. 

This chocolate cake, people. THIS CHOCOLATE CAKE: 

Does it remind you of this scene in Matilda, or what?!

It reminded me of that. :) And Mel and I love Matilda. So extra bonus points. 

And no. I did not eat that entire piece. Do I look crazy? But it was magically delicious. 

VI.

One of the things that I'm terrible at vis-a-vis traveling is unpacking. My suitcase sits in the main room and is gradually unpacked over a series of days. The longer the trip, the longer it takes to sort everything out! 

VII. 

And finally....

 I wrote a piece for the Cochlear Website about my Jeopardy! experience. You can read it here

It went up on Tuesday when I was in Texas so I didn't have time to write about it. :) But here you go! 

Seven Quick Takes No. 118: Aftermath

7 Quick Takes, JeopardyEmily DeArdo1 Comment

I. 

OK, so if you missed the wrap up on Tuesday: 

here you go. 

If you want more Jeopardy things, then click the "Jeopardy " link under the title of this post, and you will see all the goodness!

II. 

I was at a party, graciously hosted by Tiff and Bill, on Monday, so I wasn't tending to my social media. However, that didn't mean that social media didn't have thoughts about me....

So, um, I don't know what that means. 

BUT it did give me a great title for my memoir: Absurdly Happy. What do you think? :) There is a subtitle coming. I just don't know what. 

And some Tweeters did do a nice job sticking up for me: 

Matt wins the prize! :) 

Should I change my ringtone to Hello, Dolly? :) 

III. 

What Alex said to me after the show: He was impressed that I wrote down my answer for Final Jeopardy so quickly. "That was the fastest writing I've ever seen!" So, that can be my claim to fame, beyond all other things. 

He also explained why that was the Final Jeopardy question--the Tour is going on right about now. So, it's pertinent. 

(I mean, somewhere. Maybe not here--in Columbus it's All Convention, All The Time....)

IV. 

Someone did recognize me in the grocery store yesterday....

I had a craving for cereal, so I made a quick run to the store. In the cereal aisle, a woman stopped, looked at me, looked at the cereal, looked at me....

Her: Can I ask you a weird question?

Me: Yes.

Her: Were you just on Jeopardy? 

Me: Yes. 

Her: (Squeal--no, I didn't make that up) We watch that every night! We were so happy someone from here was on! 

She was very nice. But it was very surreal, being recognized in the cereal aisle. 

V. 

After my episode wrapped, Mary and I went to the Santa Monica Pier and had lunch. I could've stayed to watch the rest of the day's episodes, but I thought it was time to get out of there....and I really didn't want to see another show that would've had "better" questions air. I didn't need that sort of thing. So we decided to leave right after I signed all the forms. One of the lovely producers called me a taxi, and we headed off to explore.

VI. 

I don't know if I get a tape of the episode. I sort of hope I do? It's currently on my parents' DVR. :) 

VII. 

It was definitely an excellent experience--one I'm glad I got to do, and I'm so glad that you all got to watch it (or at least, most of you.) It was also nice to bring some positive coverage to the CF community! 

 

 

The Jeopardy! experience

JeopardyEmily DeArdo1 Comment

So, assuming you all watched last night, you know what happened. :) 

I was actually really freaked out all day yesterday. Even though, obviously, I knew what was going to happen, no on else did--and I felt like I was going to let people down. Is that weird? It might be weird. 

I think everyone expects you to go out there and just smoke the competition. And that would've been nice....but, you know, that doesn't always happen. 

But I got money, and I had a great time. And I'm really glad I got the Final Jeopardy question right. At the end of the episode, when we were "chatting", Alex said he'd never seen anyone write so quickly. EVER! So that's my claim to fame. I knew what the answer was before he was done reading the question, so I was ready with my writing device! 

The website from Monday morning. 

The website from Monday morning. 

Both the people I played with were great people. Ellen and I had been in the Monday group together and we'd gotten to talk a bit, so I was glad that, if anyone was going to beat me, it was someone nice. Hans was a real gentleman, although, at over six feet, it was hard to get him, Ellen, and I in the same frame on the camera! There are squares you stand on that will go up to make you taller--but nothing to make you shorter! 

Alex was nice to us, which surprised some people. I mean, I've seen him be sort of snarky to people on TV, but he was nice to all the contestants I saw tape. And he was very patient when answering the audience questions, which he must have answered five bazillion times . 

In terms of questions-I'm mad I missed Franz Liszt. I'm pretty sure my grandma groaned when I missed that. But I was thinking of Hans, and.....yeah. I also new all the Dickens questions, but I only got in for one. And I knew that last one, but I didn't want to be wrong at that point in the game. I had to read Hard Times in college, and it's super didactic and very much not my favorite Dickens. Alas! 

It's easy to beat yourself up for the questions you missed. I'm trying too hard not to do that. :) Overall, it was a great experience and I had a lot of fun. Out of 100,000 people who take the online test annually (it's only offered once a year!), only about 400 make it on the show. So that, in and of itself, is something to be proud of, no matter how I did.

I will have more tidbits to share in the coming days! 

 

Seven Quick Takes No. 118: Transplant Celebration and Jeopardy reminder!!

7 Quick Takes, JeopardyEmily DeArdoComment

I. 

OK , first of all--

Jeopardy on Monday. 

Check your local listings and all that. :-p 

II. 

Second: 

I'll be on Jen Fulwiler's radio show on the Sirius XM Catholic Channel on Monday! 

If you have Sirius, tune in. If you don't, there might be an iTunes link. I will try to post. 

III. 

On Sunday, my parents took me out to celebrate The Anniversary. We wanted to go to Fado, the place where we had eaten dinner right before I got my call, but it's an Irish pub that shows European Soccer, and there was a huge game on. So we went to PF Chang's instead, which is just as delightful.  

After that, my parents surprised me with a super-duper treat. 

Chocolate fondue, people. 

Sadly, I have no pictures of the Gloriousness that was Chocolate Caramel Toffee fondue, with magical pieces of fruit, a blondie, rice krispy treats, pound cake, and a brownie. Yes, all of that, per person. You got a lovely little tray of items to dip in the bubbling, magical chocolate. 

Guys, I would've married that fondue. Or at least licked the bowl if it wasn't so crazy hot. I didn't feel like burning my tongue. 

But it was so delightful. Right now, writing about it, I'm salivating. I want more! MOREEEE! 

IV. 

And if you're not an organ donor, and you have an iPhone, you can sign up RIGHT FROM THE PHONE, people! RIGHT FROM YOUR PHONE! You don't even have to go to a pesky website!

Do it. Really. Sign up. 

Oh, you want to know why? 

Well, if not knowing me isn't cool enough.....here's a list of some of the things I've done post transplant. 

V. 

Gone to California; gone to Boston; gone to NYC and Chicago; discovered the epic-ness that is the Outer Banks; been in a ton of theater; tried tofu; been on Jeopardy!; been to Disneyland; eaten in Beverly Hills; started pin collecting; gotten my own apartment; had several jobs; left the job to be a freelancer; written a few novels and a memoir (that eventually someone will want to publish....) 

VI. 

Seen my godson graduate from high school; seen my sister graduate from high school and college; seen my brother graduate from college and become a Steeler sportswriter; Penguin Stanley Cups!; been my cousin Paige's confirmation sponsor; pinned my sister at her graduation from nursing school; seen multiple small children be born that I never would've seen other wise (and that would have made the guy below SAD)

No transplant, no meeting Justin. He's only seven. 

No transplant, no meeting Justin. He's only seven. 

Been in my other cousin Justin's wedding, and met his adorable kids....

 

Been in a million OTHER weddings, including this couple's....

These people rock my world. A lot. 

These people rock my world. A lot. 

Met hundreds of people I wouldn't have met otherwise; been to Edel with awesome, awesome people; become a Lay Dominican; read the Outlander books (this would've made my life so sad, people....to not know Jamie and Claire!).....and about a thousand others....seen the resurgence of the Pirates into a good baseball team!....

VII. 

Organ donation doesn't just save one person. It saves families. It saves friends. It saves entire networks of people. I mean, not that I'm all that or anything, but I do have friends and family that would miss me (I hope!). I would've missed so much without these 11 extra years

Guys. Be an organ donor. Save lives. Give people joy and grace. 

Seven Quick Takes No. 115--Not to go all Boromir on you....

7 Quick Takes, health, JeopardyEmily DeArdo1 Comment

 

linking up with Kelly and the gang. 

I. 
There is logic in that title. Really. :) 

So last week I was watching Army Wives on Netflix (Yes, sometimes I watch soap-ish TV. DO NOT JUDGE.) There was a kid with CF who was brought into the ER with a collapsed lung.

Now, to treat a collapsed lung, an interventional radiologist (so no, not just anyone) has to insert a chest tube, in order to reinflate the lung. It requires cutting. It requires stitches. It requires boxes. It basically sucks. It's my second-least favorite thing to have done, medically. 

(What's first? A pH probe. Seriously. Don't ask. 

Oh, you asked?  OK. 

A pH probe involves sticking a tube up your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach. And the tube sticks to your face and dangles outside of your body because it's attached to a stupid meter. It sucks. A lot. And it hurts. A lot. Basically, it's a tool left over from the Inquisition.)

So anyway, while watching the show--the kid had no tube left in. It was basically, we stick in a tube! The lung reinflates! Let's go home tomorrow! 

Um, no. 

Hence, the below photo, which I created to express my displeasure. 

 

One does not simply not keep a chest tube in. Sorry. And to remove it also requires an interventional radiologist. Yeah. Stitches, remember.

II.

So, please make the above meme a thing. I think it's awesome and the Internet needs it! 

III.

I have a clinic appointment on Monday, so I'll report back with the results when I get them. Oh what joy, oh what rapture. :) The nice thing about clinic visits in the summer is that the rush hour traffic is significantly better. 

IV.

The recap from this week, in case you missed it: 

Summer scribbles: A taste of summer (My strawberry salad recipe) 

Postcard: Chicago

Catholic 101: Apostolic Succession

V.

Also, I got a picture with this guy:

You know, some random Canadian. ;-) 

The dress is from Shabby Apple. It looks a bit better on TV. I think. Since the photos are taken during one of the commercial breaks, you don't really have time to primp. 

VI. 

The show airs on July 18th! 

I will also be on Jen Fulwiler's Radio Show that day, to tease the episode. :) If you have Sirius, be sure to tune in! I'll have more info as we get closer.

VII. 

Another thing about that photo? The microphone pack is attached to my bra strap. Really. They have a guy who attaches all the microphones. He asks before he attaches it. And he's very professional about it. But that's where the microphone pack is. They remove it before they shoot the "let's all talk at the end of the show" thing, so you won't see it. :) 

 

Seven Quick Takes No. 113

7 Quick Takes, Jeopardy, life issuesEmily DeArdo2 Comments

I. 

First up--this week's post roundup: 

SITS girls Summer Scribbles No. 1

Catholic 101: Those "Screwball Apostles"

II. 

I'm going to Pittsburgh this weekend for my godson/cousin's high school graduation. He actually graduated last week, but the party is this weekend. I can't believe he's that old, first off. I was fifteen when he was born! He'll be going to Pitt to study computer science. He's a good kid, and I'm so lucky to be his godmother.  

III. 

Just a reminder: my Jeopardy! appearance is July 18th!!!

IV. 

(Yes, that merited the cool font. You know it did.)

I'm actually sort of nervous about people watching it. I can see the whole slew of tweets and Facebook postings of "YOU IDIOT! How did you not know THAT?" And honestly, there's at least one question I'm still beating myself up about. :-P 

I did manage to impress Alex T., though. I did. But that is a story for the day the show airs. :) 

V. 

I did manage to whip the sketchbook out this week, not once, but TWICE! Oh yeah! 

Lunchtime sketching--lamp and a wonky pitcher. :-P (I was trying to do single line contour on that guy, so....)

Lunchtime sketching--lamp and a wonky pitcher. :-P (I was trying to do single line contour on that guy, so....)

Plant at Dawes Arboretum. 

Plant at Dawes Arboretum. 

VI. 

California legalized assisted suicide this week. Why that's a bad idea. 

VII. 

And my hockey team is continuing to hate me--game 6 in San Jose.....

Back from the West Coast

travel, JeopardyEmily DeArdoComment
The Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Beach

The Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Beach

So, I'm back--and with a computer that has a period key that doesn't work!

So no, I'm not experimenting with new fun forms of punctuation--I'm going to get it fixed soon--but I wanted to pop in here and say that I'm back and I can't wait to share my adventures and California thoughts with all of you!

Obviously, I can't say what happened during my Jeopardy adventure, but I can tell you that the episode will air July 18 (That's a Monday)--so write it down now! :) 

As I've done in previous travelogues, I'll take you through each day, and I'll have a final post with everything we did and my recommendations, if you're traveling to the LA/SoCal area and want to know what I thought was a good bet for food/fun/etc

One thing that was definitely a good bet, though? 

Oh, I was dazzled, Olaf--totally!

 

This person is taking a trip to California in January to be on TV!

JeopardyEmily DeArdoComment

Answer: WHO IS ME!!!!!!!!!

Yes, guys, I am SO excited to tell you that after my Boston audition, I am going to be a real live Jeopardy contestant!!!

I got the call last night. After I got out of Mass, I saw I had messages on my phone, and one of them was labeled "Culver City." I knew then what it was about. (Jeopardy! is filmed in Culver City, California.) 

So I flew over to my parents so that Dad could help me with phone translation, and, after I told the lady on the phone that no, I'm not running for political office; no, I haven't committed a felony in the last two months (since they last asked me that), and no, I haven't done anything else nefarious--I got the news , officially!

All I know right now is that the taping is January 26/27. California in January sounds nice. I will, of course, share more news as I get it! But right now I'm just basically TOTALLY EXCITED. I've also never been to California so this is a "nice little holiday treat!" (as they say on The Family Man.)