365 Challenge: Day 132 – Casual

Casual: relaxed and unconcerned


Every once in a while, you wake up on the other side of the bed. Literally. Not physically. I have a dog that prevents me from moving at night, so waking up in a different part of the bed is not usually an issue. On the floor is a possibility, as with every hour that goes by, his little paws push me an inch closer to the edge. One day, I will be knocked off. And that’s the only day it will ever happen. I push back. I’ll tie up all his stuffed animal toys just above where he can reach them on the wall and see what he does about it. Evil. That’s me sometimes. Unpredictable. Relaxed. Casual.

Most people on this blog probably know me as a bit too organized and formal when it comes to my posts. I never just wing it… for the last week, I’ve been drafting the posts at night and scheduling them for the next morning. It gave me an opportunity to spend more time writing “Father Figure” with less distractions and worry over “oh, yeah, gotta get to that 365 post.” But last night, I was in a good mood and we went out to dinner, then watched some TV and I had a book to finish (review to come later), so no 365 post was drafted last night. This morning… I went to check that the post was released and went “Aaack… I still have to write something.”

Casual. Sometimes just writing what’s on your mind and combining a few things together is OK. It’s still putting in effort, but it’s also allowing our bodies some time to re-group. Writing the 365 posts isn’t difficult, but when you want them to have substance, it does require a good chunk of uninterrupted time. So today’s post is going to be about letting go and just doing whatever feels natural and normal at that moment. Nothing pre-planned. Nothing forced. Nothing formal. I’m not even going to discuss what being casual means or why it’s important. From this point forward in today’s post, I’m just gonna tell you what’s going on in my life this weekend. “I can grow. I can change,” said the boy as his nose doubled in size.

I have an arbor to build and install on the NYC Terrace Garden. It might need a hashtag. Although, Ryder (9-year old shiba inu) calls it the Enchanted Garden. He has his own Facebook page… “Ryder the Cat-Like Dog” {Aside: Yes, he can talk… it’s a strange little voice my friend Paul invented, but W has taken it over and now Ryder chats all day long, asking for food, demanding more flowers in the garden, wanting his allowance to go out with friends to the local bar. We like to keep it fun around here.} This arbor is going to be quite a little project, as it’s for a new wisteria tree. It never ends around here. Our friend Matt is very concerned as wisteria is invasive; he fears one day, he won’t hear from us and when he stops by to check on us… the wisteria will have grown through the always open bathroom window… into the apartment… trapping us against the walls and taking over like a jungle. Poor Ryder will be trying to bite his way out. He’d just as soon leave us here to die, taking any cash and starting a new life, I’m sure. That dog while adorable is the most independent codependent dependent unusual creature next to… well… me. #EnchantedGarden #NYCTerraceGarden

And then there’s Game Night tonight, where a bunch of friends of ours are getting together for drinks, pizza, cards and games. It’s an amazing night of fun where someone brings a new game we all learn and play… it’s often very adult in its childishness… a very dirty cartoon version of Cards Against Humanity was once played. I’m still recovering from those pictures and what people made a few stick figures do. And the last time we played, it was the Voting Game where you vote for which person is most like the phrase on the card. I got a few really bad ones. And a few good ones. I think they voted me most likely to be a serial killer. Not Good! Tonight though… I think it will be more card games. And I’ve settled on wine as my beverage of choice — no hangovers needed while trying to finish that arbor tomorrow. And I’m writing Sunday’s post this afternoon, as it’s time for either Pennsylvania or San Francisco, the last two other places I’ve lived.

My stream-of-conscious knows no bounds today. It was a productive week. I let myself accept being casual and relaxed over a few things. I accomplished a lot. And I’m giving myself a break this weekend from constantly being on the computer… at least tomorrow… as today will be catching up on anything outstanding: 3 award, 3 tags, book review, 365 post, author spotlight, reading plans, etc. Hitting the gym soon. Reading Hidden Bodies, the sequel to You. And preparing my list of questions for the agent and publisher I’m meeting with next week. I’ve got some good things brewing on that front… very exciting. But I won’t go into any details until I know if something is working out or not. And other than that, I’m going to relax. It’s time to just have a day where whatever gets done, gets done. Last thing on my mind, I owe you a response from last week’s post…

Unpredictable Reminder

  • In last week’s 365 Daily Challenge Unpredictable post, I noted I’d confirm what I selected for my list of things to put in the hat. After discussion with the significant other, we settled on NYC Things To Do. We’re always finding we have blocks of hours available on the weekend in between errands, house or garden maintenance and hanging out with friends. Rather than toss the ball back and forth, never settling on anything, we’re going to list 26 items in NYC with all the key info: location, directions, open days/times, categories, website links and who is responsible for planning it. We will put them together in the next few weeks to start in September. I estimate we will pull from that hat every other weekend, but we will have pre-planned things to do for about a year. We still need to decide if it’s a physical hat or an electronic program (he hates technology, so it might be a good punishment for him to be in charge of this… and if you’re reading this part, W, you did agree to this while you were half asleep the other night) to make the choice during each selection. What did you all decide to do with your unpredictable challenge?



  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Danielle @ Books, Vertigo @ Tea. Danielle and I met about 4 months ago over a few books we were both reading around the same time. Our favorite reading genres tend to cross paths a lot, as we’re often recommending books to one another. But we also have different reading tastes, so it always becomes interesting to see what we’re chatting about! Danielle is a really cool person to chat with, especially when you get on topics that you both have in common. She’s recommended a few teas to me, though I’m a coffee drinker. She suffers from vertigo, which is awful, but she has a good approach about it all, which makes reading her entries about what’s going on in her life quite interesting. I enjoy chatting and commenting back and forth, and I believe you will, too. Stop by her site, check out the extremely varied books she reads. Danielle’s on several social media apps too, which makes connecting quite easy. She has tons of recommendations by genre and a fantastic game / poll called “You Choose, I Read” where you can pick the book she reads in the future. Go check it out now!
    • “I am Danielle, a 30 “ish” yr old mother of two. I have an insatiable appetite for all things books. I adore bookstores, libraries, and falling asleep while surrounded by my current reads. I prefer to do the latter with tea in hand. I also happen to be a fan of my kids, anime, food, and life in general when I can partake! I am also 100% anti-adulting when possible, so if you are easily offended, I apologize in advance 😉But only a little, because life is seriously too short to be serious all of the time. You will probably see a little bit of everything that is me here at Books, Vertigo and Tea. Enjoy!”


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.



  1. Omg, I wonder how many posts you write up per day on average… you are simply amazing!!😳

    By the way, does Ryder always sleep on your bed? Awwww, cute 💕✨

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You know how we always talk about how great dogs are and how they always love us yada yada yada. I think it’s truly a ploy to get into our beds with the full understanding that they will be taking up three quarters of the space therein and pushing us off the rest. I believe that the dogs of the world have planned this in a unified passive aggressive response to the whole “same food every day and only when provided by humans” situation. Alas, we are in the same boat, too.

    Loved your casual post. Can’t wait to see pics of the arbor!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay for Danielle I love her so much! 🤹

    You nailed this, such a great post! Ryder sounds like the most awesome dog really I’m quite jealous, I only get to share my bed with the grumpy Hubs! 😂

    I seriously don’t know where you find all the hours in the day to do everything even when you are really organised with everything! You do so much and your posts are epic! And now we find out you’re a hand man come gardener aswell! Is there nothing you can’t do?!

    Recommendation for game night Exploding Kittens. Hilarious game, we play it all the time just so we can be mean to each other and throw cards around, there’s a NSFW version which is particularly funny! 😂😹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ryder is kinda cool. I swear, he’s a homophobe, too. I say this slightly in jest, as he’s often only surrounded by my peeps. And he loves all my friends. But when certain shows come on, he runs and hides. He can’t stand Golden Girls. He howls whenever Maude comes on. It’s hilarious.

      I have many talents… but sometimes, I royally screw up. The arbor and I had words today. I am awful at anything mechanical. And plumbing. At least the post went over well. I thought it was gonna be too dull.

      We tried Exploding Kittens… loved it. That was one of the nights where it was so NSFW, it ain’t funny. I can only imagine playing this would you and a few others from WP. We’d probably die from laughing.


  4. I liked this “easy-breezy” side of you demonstrated in this post. I had no idea you were FUN too (just kidding…I knew from your comments you have a great sense of humor and are a witty guy). I was told after two weeks at the “new” teaching job that I needed to do something fun today (by my “grandson” a former student from 2006, whom I picked up and kept along the route of my 50 years of teaching). We did a senior citizen version. We went to our default cafe and had a light breakfast then were at the opening of an estate sale by 9:00 in a town about twenty minutes drive from our home. We did not buy furniture or large purchases THIS TIME, but instead bought just under twenty dollars of things we could “use.” (i.e. gift bags that are ready to recycle for $1, but since this was the next-to-the-last day, they were 50%off, 50 cents, and there were about eight bags of various designs and sizes…and not all Birthday, either) I bought an old milk bottle to put my sweet potato vine rootings in after transferring them this a.m. and a few other things I “needed”. It was a mini-adventure and I came home energized enough to make us a lovely noon meal. Good day! Fun day!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Easy breezy, casual is pretty much my way of life now. I have been retired for the last 6 years, widowed for 8 months and I just take each day as it comes. Sure I plan some stuff, but more often than not, I just go with the flow. All you youngsters out there might have a while to go before you retire, but all my years of work made me appreciate it all the more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is very fun. I came in last place yesterday, but I had a great time. We ordered pizza, drank lemon vodka cocktails and played Mexican Train. It was almost like a combination of tiles and Uno.

      Maybe you could gradually work up to 2 people… lots of fun card and board games for 3 to play!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. what a fun read! You are a prolific writer, you should teach time management to the lot of us 🙂 we have quite the eye opening experience playing game night with our college aged kids (nieces included) always a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

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