365 – August 2017 Posts

365 Challenge: Day 144 – Name

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Name: a word or set of words by which a person, animal, place, or thing is known, addressed, or referred to

name.png

Before I explain the 365 Daily Challenge word of the day, I need to set the stage with a little background ambiance. Over the last six months since I began actively blogging, I have been a bit reticent to share the site with any friends or family. I mentioned it to a few people when I first created it and provided the link. A few close friends followed it, which was really sweet of them, but for most people in my ‘real’ life, they were clueless as to what I had been doing with my day, besides searching for a job. About a month ago, I began sending out invites to my Facebook page for “ThisIsMyTruthNow,” letting former colleagues and some family and friends know, assuming it would slowly spread to the rest. I held back from a small group of people, not because I didn’t want them to know, but I didn’t want to seem like I was promoting it and asking for their help. At dinner last night, a friend asked me how the blogging was going, and I soon realized he knew about my blog through someone else, not because I had told him of it. Needless-to-say, I explained it all to him, and he was very supportive. But it made me realize that I haven’t been quite clear on why I chose this name for the blog. Let’s roll back the clock to my college days…

books

In 1997, I met someone new through a group of friends at a party. This person, who will always remain anonymous, conjured many new feelings and questions in the puzzle I call my mind. To this day, (s)he does not know how I felt. There was an immediate attraction, but not one I could act on due to me still being shy, hidden and closed off from others about the real me. We became good friends, socializing almost daily. During that semester, I’d been taking a creative writing course, tasked with writing poems for a few weeks. I was feeling a bit open-minded, ready to share what was going on in my head. I began writing poems about this person, in particular, what the relationship was doing to me on many different levels. I found myself struggling with a name or a concept that could consistently run through the series of poems, clearly showing a theme. One day, it dawned on me… I was writing about the truth in my head and heart. And suddenly, the theme became “Truth.” (S)he was subsequently referred to as “Truth” in all 12 of the poems.

Truth was dating someone else. I also went on a few dates during those few months. But every night, we’d all end up hanging out in the same dorm rooms until rather late. Often, Truth and I were the last two still awake, or the only two who hadn’t gone back home. We’d watch a movie, play video games, have another drink… normal college-type stuff. My crush was growing each day. But I couldn’t do anything about it. Truth looked exactly like what I was most attracted to in another person. Truth’s personality was absolutely intoxicating. Truth smelled wonderful. I’d feel such a wicked intensity if Truth passed a beer bottle to me that they’d just been drinking out of. “Oh, we’re connected,” I’d think. The silly immature things we do in our youth.

One night, Truth and I were the last two hanging out in Truth’s dorm room; the roommate was not home. Truth was fairly drunk. I was not that drunk. Truth couldn’t even climb into bed without help. I vividly recall having to help Truth to the bed, taking Truth’s shoes off, helping take off outer layers of clothing so Truth could easily sleep. As I grabbed my keys, Truth looked over at me and said, “Stay here tonight. Got the place to myself.”

What an invitation. I worried if Truth knew how I felt. I was curious if this was Truth’s way of saying there might be a chance. But mostly I was afraid for my secrets to be found out.

“No… I shouldn’t. Classes in the morning. Need some sleep,” I mumbled, sitting on the edge of the bed.

Truth grabbed my arm, pulled me closer. “Nah, it’s cool. I’ll set the alarm.”

I laid on the bed next to Truth, the ability to hide my feelings quickly receding from my body. Time stood still for at least ten minutes, as I willed myself to relax. I turned to my side, noticing Truth beginning to nod off, then grabbing my arm to wrap around their shoulder. When our fingers briefly touched, I felt the shock waves in my toes, little dances of a flirtatious happy beckoning me to trust in their guidance.

It was too much for me. I had to leave. I wasn’t ready to handle each of the emotions and situations that grew that night. We remained friends throughout college, but eventually lost touch.

When I tried to think of a name for my blog last year, shuffling through all the witty nods to books or clever personality traits, nothing fit. I knew my life was shifting in so many intense directions, having just left a promising management position, drafting a new novel, taking risks with a different career… the last time I’d felt that way, I recalled those moments in Truth’s room, where I was afraid to take a chance. I began re-reading the poems I had written nearly two decades before, finding the inspiration and strength to push myself through the fear of not having a job. And suddenly I realized… this is my truth. This is where I need to take a chance on me, trust in myself and find comfort in a different path to the future I’ve wanted ever since I was a little boy.

I searched WordPress for site domains, but “ThisIsMyTruth” was taken. At first I was disappointed, but within moments, I noticed the suggestions it provided. Among them, was “ThisIsMyTruthNow.” It all connected together within those first few moments. Now. ThisIsMyTruth NOW. And I made the commitment to myself at that moment… it’s time to take a chance on what Jay wants. I purchased the domain name, chose a style and created my first blog. That was a few days shy of one year ago. I focused on book reviews and writing “Watching a Glass Shatter” during those first six months, accomplishing my initial goal; however, it wasn’t enough. And shortly after the new year, I began the 365 Daily Challenge and pushed myself to make it or break in this new world of Truth. I learned to believe in myself and accept the truth of who I am on the inside. Now it’s who I need to show everyone on the outside through my blog and my novels.

Never give up on a dream. Never hold yourself back in fear. Take a risk as often as you can.

Take a chance on yourself. Find your Truth now.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Kim @ CadburyPom AKA By Hook or By Book. Kim and I met about three to four months ago over a few children’s books that I had been reviewing. We quickly connected over Beauty and the Beast, as I had then reviewed the new movie. Now we chat back and forth each week on all different topics, mainly books, but other stuff sneaks in… like Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock! What I love about Kim’s site is the sheer variety and beautiful layout of all the content. She’s funny, smart, detail-oriented in her reviews and great to exchange a short barb back and forth with on each other’s posts. I also think it’s fitting that today I’m talking about how my blog name came to be, given the name of hers is so clever and inviting. Who wouldn’t want to learn more when the name says “By Hook or By Book” — so many meanings to lure followers into her fantastic world. And if you don’t believe me, check out her very detailed About Me section, which I’ve included below:
    • “Hello Wonderful Reader! Thank you for stopping by! My name is Kim and I live in Massachusetts. I used to be a children’s librarian until I had to go on disability five years ago. I miss it dreadfully, but where one door closes, another one opens right? I love blogging and most of my posts are book related. My favorite genres are: Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Horror, Suspense,  Romantic Suspense and YA Fiction in just about any form. Phew! In essence, I guess you could call me a Bookaholic! I also have a weakness for superheroes, and I’m enjoying (for the most part) the resurgence of them in popular culture. Don’t ask me who my favorite is because I can never make up my mind. Right now I’m just loving: The Flash, Gotham, Marvel’s Agents of Steel, the Thor and the Avengers movies, and the Iron Man movies. I also love the Batman movies with Christian Bale. I’m a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, and I love his current incarnation brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch. although I also enjoy the older ones with Basil Rathbone, and the movies with Robert Downey Jr.Finally, I’m truly terrible at all the technical things that go along with blogging. I battle with linking, and I’ve yet to figure out how to add badges. If you choose to follow me I hope you don’t mind putting up with my travails. I’m working on it!”

 

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.

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365 Challenge: Day 143 – Jumper

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Jumper: (a) a collarless sleeveless dress, typically worn over a blouse, (b) sweater, (c) person who moves suddenly and quickly in a specified way, or (d) to push oneself off a surface and into the air by using the muscles in one’s legs and feet.

jumper

As I put on my jumper to head out to dinner, a jumper dashed in front of me calling out to the jumper on the other side of the street wearing a jumper — and a romper. OK great, now it’s your job to figure out what the devil I’m talking about, ’cause I certainly don’t know. It’s 12:30 and I am wiped out from writing all day… now I need to write a 365 Daily Challenge post? Who made those rules up? Oh wait… I did… what a convef… wait that excuse has been used before… and I’m no plagiarist. But I am a procrastinator again.

What do I really mean by jumper, other than those very eccentric definitions above that I found on a few popular dictionary sites this evening. By the way, many thanks to Joanna from one of her earlier post’s today seen here, where Google gave her one of the worst definitions possible, which in turn gave me the idea for this post. And since I just told you in a recent award/tag that I’m always saying ‘Google That Sh*t’ — I now need a new catch phrase because that’s not gonna work anymore. Back to the word jumper…

I went to the gym this afternoon after six hours of writing. I was mentally drained more than usual for some reason. It was a weight day. I usually complete 2 exercises with 4 sets and 12 reps. Then I do 5 calisthenic-like exercises to get my heart rate higher before the next set of exercises. Repeat 4 times. Today included jumping jacks. I began adding them into the routine because I found it helped with stretching out my muscles and limbering up my body. {Keep your mind out of the gutter, please — another nod to Joanna!} I normally have the gym to myself around 5:00, as most of the building residents are eating dinner at that time. {Aside: does anyone know why they call in the blue plate special? I have my ideas, but I could be completely wrong}

Today, a woman about my age was also in the gym with her trainer. They kept switching back and forth in the same two general areas I was floating between. At one point, they were doing weights while I was on the other side doing my jumping jacks. 50 each session. I’m usually a tad out of breath when finished. As I come back to the weight area, they look at me and say, “we’re gonna call you Jumper from now on.”

I’m a friendly guy. I tend to be fairly curious. So I do the appropriate thing. Hit them both and leave. No! Just kidding. I asked what they meant. And I learned something today… the trainer says to me “You are awesome at jumping jacks. I’ve been training people all year and no one does them the right way and that speed. You’re a machine.” I nod. Of course I am. No. I’m not. What??? I smiled, laughed, thanked them, said I’d be so tired by the time I was done, my form would be awful. They laughed. I finished and left. Jumper. That was a new one for me. I’ve had a lot of nicknames in the past, but not that one.

Fast-forward to me getting out of the shower 20 minutes later. Mind you, I have done nothing all day but write and work-out. I pickup my phone to look at all the social media and blogging stuff I’d missed during the day. I met my promise and no one had to use a taser on me (see yesterday’s post if you are unsure what I’m talking about). 937 red notification dots all over the phone, basically flashing ‘read me’ signs. I’m throwing my clothes on, putting out food for Ryder, getting ready to meet friends for drinks and dinner — just dinner for me since I stopped drinking until I head to Fire Island for a long weekend in mid-August — basically jumping all around the apartment, trying to get everything done before I have to leave. I felt like one of those Olympic jumpers… all over the place, hopping over sleeping dogs, towels, shoes — WHY ARE THERE SHOES IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FLOOR (hint, I did not leave them there) — narrowly missed slipping onto my ass. Jumper. I am literally jumping around because I have too much to do and I can’t even slow down to walk.

And even right now, I’m jumping around from topic to topic. By the way, I am finally going bathing suit shopping tomorrow in between the eye doctor and getting my hair cut. It will not be the Matt Damon trunks I displayed a few weeks ago. Just forewarning you. I also refuse to spend more than 30 minute in the store searching for, trying on and purchasing said bathing suit. Maybe if there is an attractive salesman who insists on properly fitting me and assisting in the ‘try-things-on’ room (wink, wink). I’m TOTALLY joking! I will wear it for maybe 2 hours when I go to the beach in a couple of weeks. And I won’t go in the water, splashing and jumping around like a little kid. Not for me. I will read a book under an umbrella and ogle everyone walking by me — as one should do on a beach. Seriously? OK, enough jumping around in this post. Let’s get down to business…

What’s with these weird clothing names called jumpers and rompers. I read a few news articles in the last week indicating more men are wearing them. What is going on? You couldn’t pay me enough to wear something like this.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/health/male-romper-romphim-trend-trnd/index.html

 

Men's Grand Stand Short Sleeve JumpsuitRompers like this understated number have been available for years, but the trend is hitting the mainstream hard.  shjh.png

 

And yes, those are all called jumpers per the sites I looked up. Which is the real one? And once again, Google failed by directing me to pornographic sites of what a jumper meant in that world. Feel free to look it up in that sick Urban dictionary again. This time you can find the link. I’m afraid to copy/paste it in fear it will keep sending me these tawdry definitions. Seriously? Why is this word so peculiar AND why has it popped up so much today. There had to be a reason… maybe it was meant to be the 365 Daily Challenge word. And that’s why, my dear online friends, your word today is ‘jumper.’ Pick any of those definitions, as none worked for me. Maybe you’ll have better luck next time.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Pirate Patty @ Books, Books & More Books. She’s been blogging for about two years from and her site is organized quite well — with over a 100 categories to choose from, including book reviews, author discussions, sports, life musings, eye-sight, humor, gardening and politics. We’ve shared several conversations on flowers, kidney stones and other semi-humorous topics, always finding something in common in each other’s posts. Down-to-earth. Interactive. Open-Minded. Friendly. Witty. Sarcastic (in the good way). All the attributes I enjoy seeing in fellow bloggers. Plus the books she reads are always entertaining, including unusual titles and crazy covers. I enjoy reading posts from her site each week, and so might you… go take a short trip over there by clicking the link in her name above and meet a new friend.

 

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.

365 Challenge: Day 142 – Yield

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Yield: give way to arguments, demands, or pressure

yeidl

It’s Monday evening. I’ve just completed every open tag and award sitting in my draft folder. Please don’t hate me. I am not bragging. I am just documenting it so my head can acknowledge it. Between the weekend and today, it added up to over twenty (20) posts. I thought I’d space them out over the week, but after I finish writing them all up, I’m too excited to release them. I also want to see zero items in my draft folder. I need to know that I’m all caught up. If you read any of the “Who am I” tag responses, you’ve probably already figured out that little tidbit about me. And that’s why the 365 Daily Challenge word of the day will be ‘yield.’ I officially yield to the WordPress Gods and Goddesses… no more posts today… except this one, which should be done in about 30 minutes. I HOPE!

As a brief aside… if you tagged me or nominated me in the last few months, and you don’t see a reply post, please let me know. I think I caught them all, but sometimes if I don’t get the ping-back, I might have missed it even when reading your post. Sometimes I don’t look at who a person nominates, assuming I’ll get a ping-back. It’s not 100% effective, but it helps save a bit of time to focus on the real content when trying to stay on top of it all. I had to yield to something… finding mini short-cuts is critical to survival.

I can now breathe a sigh of relief before I begin this evening’s top priority activity: planning the North Carolina trip for mid-September. I’m excited to go on the trip, but not excited to plan the trip. I’ve never been a trip planner, mostly because I plan everything else in my life… this is an area I want someone else to do all the work. Last year, I planned a two week trip to Italy — like a professional — I honestly put at least 100 hours into the planning aspects. I should sell this itinerary. I think it wiped me out from ever wanting to do it again. I fully need to yield to the travel Gods and Goddesses to not force me to plan this trip. Please. No. Not right. Whine Whine Whine.

But I need to be fair, which means W and I need to split the responsibilities. He booked two hotels and sent me some links to other hotels for the rest of the trip. I will work on those tonight, as well as finalize all the flights and car rental. I can compromise. I don’t have to yield to the travel-planning paralyzing fear of getting sucked into the vortex vacuum of too much research. Thinking about planning trips makes me wonder how everyone else goes about planning vacations? Are you focused on getting everything organized or do you like to wing it? Just curious… that’s not really the point of today’s purpose. Maybe I’m procrastinating so I don’t have to open a new browser tab and Google shit…  by the way, I started telling my friends and family when they ask me questions… “I don’t know. Google that shit.” People tend to think I’m a walking encyclopedia. I’m not. I’m losing more data in my brain day by day as I grow more and more old crazy busy relaxed. I hope I don’t lose anything important, like how to pour my wine in a glass before I drink it. Or to buy very cheap wine. That would be bad.

 

When I think about the word ‘yield,’ I often associate it within giving up. I am wrong. It’s not giving up. It’s choosing to do things a better way. For instance… I wanted to write all day, but I had too many items in my draft folder and on my to-do list. So I took the sign literally and let myself yield to someone who knew better — Me! This enabled me to get everything else done today, giving myself a full 8-hour day tomorrow where I can focus on writing chapters 4 and 5 for Father Figure.

I promise to stay off social media and the Internet, so if you don’t see me for most of the day, don’t worry. If you do see me, yell at me — I fully condone any and all efforts to stop me (taser gun included if you can find me or a gun… and if you find both, please don’t aim somewhere that either hurts or causes me to involuntarily pee… that wouldn’t be fun for me. maybe you. NOT me!) — until I get off the Internet and focus on the novel. It’s important to give myself parameters in order to accomplish everything. And sometimes I yield to how my brain feels or what energy level I have, rather than do something because I planned it that way. Today was one of those decisions.

So whether you’re walking through your day, or you’re walking through an intersection, this might be the most important sign you ever follow. You know yourself better than anyone else knows you — no matter what anyone else says. Sure, sometimes you miss a few clues. Often you’re too stubborn to listen to what your body is saying. But deep down, the truth is there and you can find it. Listen a little more closely and yield when it feels appropriate. It might make you feel a whole lot better to re-plan rather than be frustrated the original idea didn’t work. I know it’s helped me the last few days, especially with clearing my plate and my mind enough that I can meet all my goals for the week. How about you? What are you going to yield to this week?

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Vanessa @ Food in Books. Vanessa and I met about two months ago when I stumbled upon a post she had written where she combines a book she’s read with cooking an elaborate meal that has a strong connection to the story. We started talking about different books, and she kept pointing me to prior posts she’d written already that had a recipe and a review. I was so amazed at the great variety and wonderful photos in all her book reviews. Recipes are included. Pictures of the book. Pictures along the cooking process — step by step. We’re even considering doing a joint / buddy book read and recipe post. How fun would that be? Vanessa is very friendly, has so many great ideas and interacts frequently with her followers. I really think you’d love to read her reviews and recipes, as it’s definitely not something I’ve seen a lot of… and her site makes you want to read and cook immediately. If you don’t believe me, you can read more in the About Me section I copied below and then go visit her site.
    • “I’m Vanessa, and welcome to my blog. If you’re a fellow bookworm and foodie, you’ve come to the right place. I really feel that cooking is an act of love, and as I have progressed with this blog, I’ve come to know myself in a way I hadn’t previously. I’ve opened my home, and heart, to many people in the process of cooking and writing, and it’s made me a better person for it.As well, reading is something that is in my blood. I can’t imagine a world without books. Books have saved me so many times, have helped me travel, have expanded my worldview, and have often been a source of therapy and comfort. Combining my two great loves of cooking and reading has inspired me to expand my own horizons, in both the books I read and the food I cook. I’m happy you’ve stopped by, and please check back each week to see the latest book and food combination. And feel free to send me your suggestions about books and the food described in them, and I’ll try them out!”

 

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.