365 – August Posts

365 Challenge: Day 156 – Published

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Published: to prepare and issue (a book, journal, piece of music, or other work) for public sale

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If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you probably know that I am a writer who has been working hard to find a publisher for the novel I wrote last fall. It is with extreme pride (and fear!) that I can announce today, “Watching a Glass Shatter” has taken a giant leap forward in the last few days. I have officially signed a contract with a publisher who is interested in helping me share my book with the world.

While it’s too early to provide any more details, I can safely say the novel should be published before the end of 2017. We are currently in discussions over various things such as book covers, formatting, editing, marketing and timelines. I spent 10 hours this weekend completing some final changes to a few open items with the novel, but it has been sent to the publishing company’s editing team for the first major step.

I would like to thank my friends who have helped make this possible, either through supporting me while I was in the writing process or helping provide feedback as readers and reviewers. Many people deserve some gratitude, and I will be sure to let everyone know about them over the coming months. For now, I want to put out a general note of appreciation to everyone who has provided the support through the book’s current website and the 365 Daily Challenge blog’s growth. We’re almost at 2500 followers.

I have no intention of ending the 365 Daily Challenge blog, but I might have to make some changes to the structure so that I can keep my priority focused on publishing “Watching a Glass Shatter” and finishing “Father Figure” before the end of 2017. I promise to keep focused on delivering high quality content with humor, inspiration, advice and reflections, as you’ve all come to know throughout the last few months. I’m always open to advice and feedback, so please feel free to share anything on your mind.

As we begin to create a marketing and publishing plan, I will start a weekly post on “Watching a Glass Shatter” just like I’m doing on “Father Figure.” If you’d like to get involved at any point, I’m absolutely open to help from friends and fans. Success is not built on one person’s back alone, but on the collaboration of a brilliant team of people dedicated to making a difference.

I will be thinking about all the different social media profiles and angles necessary to market the launch of the book. I am worrying about all the changes I might need to make to put the finishing touches on the words, imagery, perspective and tone within the story. And I’m suddenly finding myself afraid of actual book reviews. After writing 500 of my own, I know how tough a critic can be.

But that’s life… and either it will go well or it won’t. And if it doesn’t, or even if it does, I will learn from it and roll forward with the launch of a second book. It’s my passion and I want to put all of me into it — to give this opportunity the chance it deserves.

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • I am moving to a weekly recommended blogger which will accompany my Sunday “list” posts. Be on the lookout for the next one this coming Sunday.

 

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 155 – Dogmatic

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Dogmatic: inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true

dogmtaic

Woof! It’s Ryder and I’m back by popular demand. Out with the old (that’s Jay) and in with the new (that’s me). I thought since last week was my intro, and I’m gonna be doing this every Monday from now on, I better set down a few rules for you all to follow. I mean, so you know what to expect from me in the future, because I like to do things in fairly precise manner at the same day and time each day. I’m a bit dogmatic about it, and since I’m a dog, that’s probably a good thing, right? Today’s all about a few of the things I often do around this joint that seem to cause a little distress for my dads. But I feel it’s important for them to know that it’s just who I am and I can’t help it!

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This is me eating my SLOW CHURNED VANILLA BEAN ice cream. I will only eat it if it’s been slow churned, so don’t try to bring me anything else. I will know if it’s not.

I love food. I can eat all day long. I often take a nap in front of the oven. I like to wake up from a dream with the hope something delicious comes out of it. I usually get to taste every meal before anyone else. My favorite is brisket. But they only make it when it’s cold out. Is it cold out now? I don’t know much about the weather. I’ve got this fur coat on me and it’s always warm. I get that from Jay. He hates the heat, too. I pant most of the time. At least there’s plenty of water to drink. But sometimes they don’t like when I sit in front of the over. Especially when they are putting in the foods or taking out the foods. They say things like “Move it or lose it.” What am I gonna lose? I don’t quite understand it. Once, he kicked me out of the way. Just up and shoved me with his feet. He claims it was because he was gonna trip over me. And I wouldn’t move. And it is a tight space when the oven door is open and a few people are hanging out in the kitchen. But to kick me? That was just rude. His foot just pushed my backside straight across the floor like I was a mop. It didn’t hurt. And he wasn’t mean. He just sorta pushed me across as though I were in his way. Rude.

The other thing he doesn’t like me doing is throwing up. Sometimes after I eat too much food, or I get too many table scraps, and they are hot in my tummy, they come up a few minutes later. I run around screeching because I know I’m gonna get sick, but I am not sure where to do it. I worry as he gets upset when I puke on his rug. So I try to run around and hope it doesn’t happen, but I always seem to find the right spot on the carpet again. He gets this strange face, says a few words I shouldn’t repeat here, and then throws me outside. Not literally. He’s very gentle with me. But he isn’t always loving with me when I get sick like that. He says things like “You did it to yourself, Ryder. Stop eating so much.” But then I say back to him, “Who gave it to me, Dumb Ass?” He doesn’t like when I say things like that. Calls me potty mouth!

Speaking about potty… we had a little incident this week. I probably shouldn’t tell you, but I feel like I have to explain myself. You see… when I go for walks, I like to pee on things. Fire hydrants. The poles that hold up scaffolding. Flower beds. So we went for a walk yesterday when I went to the groomer. Oh, I’ll tell you more about that later. So… then I came home and went onto the terrace. They put up this arbor thing for the wisteria plant, which I don’t like. Those vines are so long, they are trying to capture me. I know they’re gonna pick me up one day and eat me like that plant I saw in the Little Shop of Horrors. Oh, nightmares! Anyways, I decided to teach that arbor a little lesson of its own. I lifted my leg and was about to do my thing when all of a sudden, one of the daddy’s yelled at me. The nerve of him! “Don’t you do that, Ryder. NO! Bad Boy!” Seriously, that’s what they call being bad around here? How am I supposed to protect myself when they leave the house and that damn plant comes after me? Ridiculous, I tell you.

So anyway, I come home from the groomer and there’s lots of loose fur all around me. I tend to shed a lot. It’s the summer. I can’t help it. And here’s the weird part. They tell me how much they love me, how cute I am and how it would be fun if I could have little puppies one day, but I can’t. Someone pulled a really nasty trick on me when I was a little boy. They snipped me. And now I can’t make little puppies. Very upsetting. I can’t talk about it. What was my point? Oh yeah, so after I get home from the groomer, I like to shake a lot. And all the fur flies off me. It’s like hundreds of little baby Ryders are running around. But they get so upset about it. Jay follows me around with a brush and claws at me with this giant wire thing. W just laughs. Jay then collects the little Ryder babies and throws them out. How could he even think about doing something like that? It’s quite a routine. He’s the dogmatic one. Not me.

That’s not me, but that’s about what I try to do when the vacuum comes out!

And when he’s all done, then he takes out this giant sucking machine. Which I hate. It chases me around. And tries to suck me into it. He calls it a vacuum. But I think it’s some form of alien. So I bark at it. A lot. It still makes a giant whoosh sound and comes after me. He’s always cleaning that carpet, trying to get rid of every last trace of me. I thought he loved me, but I think he loves the carpet much more. So one day, I tried to understand what it was all about. I mean, he’s upset when I get sick on the carpet. He is upset when my fur gets on the carpet. What gives? So I decided to scratch at it. Like I was digging to Japan or something. My psychiatrist (one of those hedgehogs I told you about last week) thinks I’m trying to find my way back home. He’s a little cuckoo. I was born in Ohio, that’s my home. I just happen to originally come from Japan, or at least my ancestors do. Anyways, I scratch and scratch on the carpet and can’t seem to go anywhere. And every time Jay catches me, he tells me to stop. He’s got a thing for that carpet. Not sure why, but it doesn’t do anything for me.

Well, I’ve said enough for today. I hope you don’t think he’s a bad dad because of all this. Both he and W are very good to me. They give me everything I need or want. Except enough food. But let me tell you one thing… as much as they love me, if they even think about bringing another dog into my house, I’ll treat it just like I treat little children. I will tell you all about that next week. Water and children. My two enemies. It’ll be a fun post. Catch you again soon. Woof!

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Check back tomorrow… Ryder doesn’t know the other bloggers all that well, so he won’t be recommending anyone in the future. Jay will once he returns.

 

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 154 – College Jobs

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College Jobs: jobs I held during college years to pay for tuition and have some spending money

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, organized by groups of five (5) focused on interesting things about my life. I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

  • Weeks 1 – 5: Primary ethnicity groups and nationalities
  • Weeks 6 – 10: A to Z Favorites
  • Weeks 11 – 15: Colors with an important meaning
  • Weeks 16 – 20: Cities I’ve lived

The current set of 5 Sundays covers the major groups of roles / jobs / positions I’ve held over my career. Though I have had about fifteen titles over the years, when I broke it down into smaller groups, week two is all about the jobs I held during college.

  • Day Care Worker
  • Waiter
  • College Department Office Clerk

First semester students were not permitted to work in lieu of having time to adjust to being on your own, away at a college campus. It’s probably for the best, as it not only gives you the ability to sort out your friends, schedule and identity, but it also lets you focus on looking for the the right kind of job. When I enrolled at Moravian College, I knew I wanted to major in English and Education, so I talked to both departments. The Education Department had already hired someone for the spring semester, but the English Department wanted to see how I did in the first year writing course before I started in the Writing Center as a tutor. I needed a job! I had a phone bill to pay. And needed cash to go on dates. To buy books. Whaaattt??

By luck, I met and chatted with the Catholic Chaplain at mass each Sunday, as I went to church back then. Father Pete was a great man. We talked for hours about life, pursuing hopes and dreams and figuring out our connection to God and others. I worked in the on-campus seminary office for a few months, helping as a clerk with various responsibilities until he moved on in the beginning of my sophomore year to a different school. I chose not to return to that office as a student worker, as the only reason I had taken the role was the friendship with Father Pete. At that point, the English Department hired me as a tutor for 10 hours per week.     Thye sed i culd right wel!    I worked with first year students to offer advice on papers, help them understand basic grammar rules and provide guidance on research options for their course topics. I was also offered 10 hours in the Education Department, helping to coordinate the senior year student teaching program with all of the local schools. Both were fantastic jobs, but I had to quit the Writing Center position in my junior year because the Education Department’s office manager had become sick. She was taking a 3 month leave of absence and the Department Chair hadn’t wanted to hire anyone else. I ran the office with another student, taking on about 25 hours per week, which was the maximum for any student worker.

All of these experiences taught me essential and critical office and business skills, eventually preparing me for my future in post-college jobs — an upcoming post. I made several great contacts, learned the art of negotiation and developed ways to build relationships and trust, beyond that of a professor and a student. It also helped push me towards obtaining teaching certification, which I ultimately stopped just before the final stage. After a year of student teaching, I had realized that if I taught children all day long, I might not be such a great parent at night, needing a break from it and wanting the opportunity for adult conversation. Ultimately, though I love the concept of teaching, I would not handle the politics in grammar and secondary schools these days. I finished out college with a minor in Education, added in Spanish and Business courses, and obtained a degree in English with two concentrations in writing and literature.

While school was out for the summers, or had minimal classes, both departments cut hours for students, which was fine for me. I ended up searching for jobs and took one related to my field and one unrelated to my field. Let’s start with my job as a waiter, perhaps one of my favorites. My father’s cousin owned an upscale Italian restaurant and hired summer workers. I had been there a few times, helping her with setting up menus on the computer and the screens for the cashier registers. She gave me a chance working as a waiter on the lunch shifts, a sort of test run to see if I could hack it. Apparently, I could! She soon put me on the schedule for Friday and Saturday nights. Despite being shy, I had a different persona when I was a waiter, one in which I was super friendly, slightly flirty and extremely attentive. I never dropped any food or drinks, rarely got abused my rude customers and usually came home with a really good amount of tips. I learned a lot from the kitchen staff, how to order food from suppliers and how to make drinks. Another great set of skills to pick up when you are 19 / 20, as I did this for both the summers after freshman and sophomore year.

Additionally, during my sophomore year, and then again during my junior year summers, I worked for 35 hours per week at a day care nursery school. I was assigned the first year as the helper in a room for two-year-olds, and then I was given primary responsibility for a room of 3-year-olds. Knowing the kids were much younger than I planned to teach, it wasn’t a perfect fit; however, it was much better than working inside all day in a job that felt claustrophobic over the summer. I had two fifteen-minute breaks, plus 30 minutes for lunch. We took them to the gym for 30 minutes each day, plus 30 minutes outside for a walk around the property. We played games, read and tried to teach a few things around nap schedules. It was a really fun job, as I love children. I’m usually the one crawling on the floor, acting like a child myself.

It was a little awkward at first, as some of the two-year-olds needed their diapers changed, which although not something new for me (I had tons of younger cousins I often babysat), it felt weird to do that in public in a room with other kids and adults, knowing I was the only guy in the entire school. I think I might have been a ‘diversity’ hire — I mean no offense by that in terms of race or ethnicity, simply a little humor in that the owner was overly-thrilled I wanted to work there but also nervous what the parents would think. I wasn’t out to anyone during college, nor very obvious, but they must have known. Some of the girls flirted at first, but either I gave off signals or they realized their bark was climbing the wrong tree! I had to go through an extra interview process to meet all the parents at a drop-off and pick-up prior to being approved in the classroom. It was right at the height of all the laws changing to be more protective of children (rightfully so) and still at a time when it wasn’t quite normal for a guy to work in that field. It probably helped that at 20, I still looked 14 (just like at 40, I still look 18 21 27 33, and keep your mouth shut if you feel the need to say anything else), and although I was quite smart and adult-like in everything I did, I always came across as quote young and innocent.

I don’t think I could or would do that job again now. Not because I don’t love children, but because parents and schools are nightmares when it comes to all the do’s and don’ts in the classroom. I understand the policies and different teaching methods, but I have little tolerance for all the BS politics. I also probably wouldn’t want to be a waiter again, not because of the tasks or the duties, but because people are so rude on their cell phones to wait staff, it doesn’t feel worth it anymore. Whenever I’m a patron in a restaurant, I ensure I know the server’s name and find a connection point to keep dialogue moving throughout the time (s)he is serving us. That’s sorta the issue for me… they might be ‘serving’ us for that 90-minute period, but seriously, let’s all be friendly and open-minded about it. If the waiter is a jerk or difficult, then I just let them be cold and distant and won’t connect. Always their choice in the beginning…

How about you? What did you learn from your college or summer jobs after graduating from high school? Or what are your kids thinking about doing?

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Karen @ Run Wright. I don’t exactly recall how or when Karen and I connected, but it was a good thing it happened. She’s a published author, has a fantastic personality and a bit of a fun quirky humor in all our conversations. We’ve chatted about everything from TV shows to running to what to do if your date showed up wearing a romper or a jumper matching the one you’d chosen. Yikes! We both live in NYC and might meet up one day, which could just blow the whole blogging world up — as there are many of us here (I already met one lovely lady). We could all start a club. Karen is a delight to chat with, interacts frequently and always pushes you to think outside the box a little. I’m very curious to see if she’d take over a 365 post one day, simply to see what kind of angle she’d pursue. I’m also very curious about this accent she tells us about. When I read her comments, I try to think about her typing it out on a mobile phone while hopping on the subway three cars down from me — wouldn’t that be ironic! If you want to learn more about her, check out the below blurb from her About Me section and then go visit the site yourself:
    • “I’m Karen but people who know me through the blog now call me Run Wright. It’s always funny for me to hear that but I love the validation.I’m a published author and my collection of stories, It’s Complicated: Short Stories About Long Relationships is now available on Amazon. I’m Jamaican but I’ve lived in New York City almost long enough to have lost my accent (not really)… My accent is most distinct when I’m excited (at least once a day) and always when I talk to my mom. I love running even though I’m not very good at it. I am a Chemical Engineer by training but my true passion is writing – it’s how I express myself best and it’s how I share my dreams with others. I write fiction, poetry, articles, short stories and I have a several novels on my computer that are almost ready to be published. I blog about running, fitness, goals, lessons learned, books, food and balanced living. I’m passionate about being a Christian and live to reflect God’s character.”

 

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 153 – Routine

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Routine: a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program

hhj

A conversation recently held by someone I know:

  • Setting:
    • New York City, East Side, 12th Floor of Apartment Building, 8:30 AM
    • Living Room Couch
  • Characters:
    • Jay #1: Type A Personality, People-Pleaser
    • Jay #2: Old, Sleepy & In Need of a Vacation
    • W: Significant Other (either J1 or J2, still undetermined)
    • Ryder: almost 10-year old shiba, AKA the food whore

 

J1: OK, what’s on tap for this morning? Daily post. Check messages. Breakfast. Finish edits to Glass novel.

J2: Sleep. And shut up, I’m not ready to deal with you.

W: Did you want yogurt for breakfast?

J1: Yes, please.

J2: Grumble. Don’t speak to me. Not conscious yet.

Ryder: I’ll have some. <He jumps off the couch on W’s side, stretches on the carpet, jumps up the couch on J2’s side. J1 is in the middle trying to come up with a topic for the 365 Daily Post. >

J1: There is no yogurt for Ryder today. He needs to have a non-human food day.

J2: Shut up.

Ryder: I don’t speak with J1 anymore. Only J2.

<Yogurt arrives hand-delivered with more coffee, too.>

J1: Thank you!

J2: I need my bed.

W: Did I snore again?

Ryder: I’m waiting. <A paw reaches out and scratches J2’s leg.>

J1: I can’t decide what to write for today’s 365 Daily Challenge.

J2: Put a picture of me sleeping with a sign that says “out to bed.”

J1: I don’t need this from you.

J2: So write your post and leave me alone with my yogurt and my Ryder.

J1: What about W?

J2: He’s already done and getting ready for the gym.

J1: Don’t we have to go to the gym?

J2: Yes, you do. I don’t.

J1: How is that possible? We’re the same person.

J2: Nap time.

W: I’m going to the gym.

J1: Go for me, too?

Ryder: Um, you gonna eat that? <Paw pushes empty container across the end table to the floor.>

J1: Did you just take my yogurt?

J2: Zzzzzzzz.

Ryder: Lick, Lick, Lick. I prefer the honey flavor, not this strawberry one. Aftertaste.

W: Get your own next time. Wait, why does he have your yogurt cup?

J1: Zzzzzzzz.

J2: Zzzzzzzz.

Ryder: Zzzzzzz.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Yes, this is an example of a normal Saturday morning routine in my apartment. I like routines. They are comforting. They help me keep everything moving along in the right direction. Some routines are good. Like working out. Eating yogurt. Sleeping. Some routines are bad. Like letting Ryder eat dairy.

Another thing that’s become a routine is me talking to myself as if I really am two people. It used to be a silly joke or expression I’d say every so often. Now I’m beginning to believe it’s actually true. And so while I thought the word of today might have been “prolific,” or “congratulations,” or “sleepy,” I decided to type out this morning’s conversation as best I could remember it.

Hence why today’s post is a non-routine one… instead of something witty and informative about me, you’re getting a glimpse into a guy who’s written so much fiction this week, he had little energy to dream up a routine post. Don’t yell at him too much. J1 can only handle so much stress. And J2 (that’s me, closing this one up) is not in the routine habit of cleaning up his mess.

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Mama Cass @ Aspen Trees Book Review. We met online a few months ago over a few different book reviews but it quickly turned into frequent discussions on each other’s posts. For some reason, she calls me Superman and throws quiz questions at me about things I probably should know but do not. In turn, I do my best to confuse her on tricks in the WordPress world of blogging. But the honesty and depth of thought in her reviews is quite good, which is reason enough to check out her book reviews. And then peruse the entire site. Between our shared love of 80s music, the Stephanie Plum series and several TV shows, we always have fun chatting. If you have any of those in common with us, you’ll love her, too. If you’d like to learn more about her but not from me, check out what is on the site’s About Me section:
    • “I have been reading since the time I could walk.  50 years later and I read approximately 150 books a year.  I want each author to take me to a land, a time, a place of their choosing.  I am merely along for the ride.I read many different genres of books, because I love diversity, sociology and culture. So, that being said, you might find books about African American literature, books about Buddhism or Muslim, or a gay or lesbian love story.  I don’t believe in just reading what is familiar, that’s a good way to miss out. I recently started reviewing books and am happy to start blogging them. I live with my family in Colorado and we all enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  I love nature and all animals.  I believe in spirituality and diversity in all things. Enjoy cooking, hiking, bicycling and healthy living.  Learning Tajifit.  Thank you for being here.”

 

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 152 – Matchmaker

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Matchmaker: a person who arranges relationships and marriages between others, either informally or, in certain cultural communities, as a formal occupation

dolly

Ever since I saw Hello, Dolly earlier this week, I cannot get some of the songs out of my head, nor the other famous one: “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match…” All these tunes prompted me to make today’s 365 Daily Challenge word ‘matchmaker.’ At some point in our lives, we’ve all met or been exposed to some form of this meddler, the (wo)man who takes it upon himself or herself to set up other people, trying to bring joy and happiness into a new couple’s life as they meet for the first time. It’s a divisive topic. Some say “bring it on,” while others scream “mind your own business.”

Looking back throughout my days, I’ve been setup on a date with someone else a few times; it never worked out. I luckily have no horror stories to tell, as the worst that ever happened to me was that the guy was quite fickle. A friend from high school thought we’d be perfect together, so we all up met up for drinks. The match brought one of his friends (a girl), I brought one of mine (a girl), and then we had the matchmaker (a girl) who brought us together. Date seemed to be going fine, but the girl he brought kept sitting on his lap, crossing the line between very friendly and ‘did you two need a room?’ Though I would usually just ignore it, the entire situation puzzled me, as we were kind of on a date, yet tried to make it a casual group thing. I felt forced to ask the question… explain my point of view… but my words fell into a deep hole, and I’m not sure an “ah-ha moment” ever actually came out on the other side either. Nonetheless, I doubt you care to hear the end of that story. The point being… matchmakers… always trying to meddle in other people’s lives assist their friends.

Dolly is a matchmaker in the 1880s in New York City and Yonkers. She’s a widow who holds hundreds of jobs, always with a business card and a new title for whatever you need. She brings together couples all across the bustling city, ignoring her own needs until she’s simply grown too tired of it all. Enter a somewhat charming and rich older man who is searching for a wife… oodles of antics occur and in the end, many couples are united despite all the chaos that ensues. It’s an overly simple summary of a truly remarkable show, but since these posts won’t be as endless as they’ve been in the past (I hear you cheering — NOW STOP THAT!), it shall suffice. I’d heard of the show before the revival came to Broadway, but had never seen it. My friends were absolute crazed when it came back to life with Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce in the lead roles. They insisted on tickets, I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, sounds fun, do what you will…” I said. They shot me furtive glances, I heard the whispers… “Has he lost his mind, it’s Bette.” Then I watched a performance on the Tony’s and thought, ‘oh, this could be good.’

And yes, the show was amazing, despite the concerns that grew inside my head over the course of the following weeks. You see, some ladies in my apartment building had been gossiping about it weeks ago when we were all at the gym. They sat on a weight bench for about thirty minutes admiring the lovely equipment. I was doing some weird form a squats and lunges, listening in as one does in the gym when seventy-ish women are talking about the show you’re soon to see. “Her voice wasn’t as good as I expected.” “She called out a couple of days and might not finish the run.” I tried to complete my routine, but it just wasn’t working anymore. Not because my life would be over if I missed seeing Bette. But W’s life might be… he had his heart set on seeing her in the show. And I don’t like seeing his heart in a bad place.

And a funny thing about W and me, at least in as far as how he and I met; it was through a matchmaker of our own. I know, crazy how things come together despite what I said earlier. But I promise, there’s no trickery at hand here. This particular matchmaker was quite pushy. Every day I had a message, a reminder, ‘You two should really meet. You’d be good together.” There’d be side-by-side pictures displayed on a phone screen with a few comments dropped to convince me. “You’ve got so much in common. And you live so close to one another.” I believe there were even percentages and blocks being discussed. And then on a weekly basis, a reminder would show up. “You haven’t checked anyone else out this week. Aren’t you forgetting about someone?” You see… our particular meddler was none other than “Match.Com.” Yes, we met through the Internet. And each day, it would tell me he lived a few blocks away from where I worked. Our profiles had 95% in common. And that I still hadn’t exchanged a message with anyone else on the site. But I digress… online dating… perhaps a topic for another day.

Hello, Dolly was all that you’d expect it to be. It’s one of those shows that is unafraid to truly connect with the audience. Certain lines in the show that related to problems in today’s political dramas garnered funny facial expressions from the actors, tons of laughs from the audience. Bette and David took the art of repetition and doing nothing to extremes. In at least 4 or 5 moments, they did zilch on stage for at least two minutes, but it was captivating. Sometimes she was trying to feed him, others she ate food herself while nothing else happened. How many marshmallows can one woman stuff in her mouth? I think they were marshmallows. And every night? Poor Bette, that’s not good for the body. I should know. It’s how I eat my cookies. When I get them. Someone told me I couldn’t have them anymore.

The voices were good, not stellar, but when combined with everything else, it transported you to the setting and you felt absolutely enamored with it all. I knew none of the music, yet it enthralled me. I knew none of the actors other than the two leads, yet I have a few selected to follow to other shows. Though the story took place nearly 150 years ago, it was timeless. The staging was marvelous. The entrances and exits were unexpected yet what we’d all predict if we had a moment to stop being entertained so we could actually process what was happening. It was non-stop shenanigans with a fresh breath of comedic timing and the humor we absolutely all needed. If you’re going to be in NYC, pre-plan as it’s hard to acquire the tickets. But if you have the chance to see the show wherever you are, it’s definitely worth it.

Have you ever seen Hello, Dolly? Been to a matchmaker? Suffered through online dating? Think of the stories we could share…

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • In honor of this lovely show, I am not including a Recommended Blogger to know today. It deserves the spotlight all on its own. We’ll return with regularly scheduled programming over the weekend.

 

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 151 – Vocal

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Vocal: expressing opinions or feelings freely or loudly

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Yesterday was quite a day, leaving me little time to draft the 365 Daily Challenge post for today. Though I previously preferred drafting the posts early each morning, after consuming at least two cups of coffee, I’ve now become more comfortable writing them late afternoon in preparation for release the upcoming day. Yesterday I was not able to accomplish my goal. I had a prolific writing day for Father Figure, pushing me to a few extreme moments of hair-pulling crazies and watery eyes that refused to listen. Suddenly, fear permeated throughout my weakened body, when I looked up to see it was 4:30 pm. I’ve not written the post. I’ve not read anyone else’s blog. I’ve ignored social media. And I had to leave my apartment by 5:45 for pre-scheduled plans. I had 75 minutes to accomplish everything, which was no small feat. Curious how I did? Oh… you’re not gonna like the answer.

First, I changed into gym clothes. I can’t go to the gym without those, now can I? OK, task one complete. Then Ryder looked at me with the “I need to go outside” expression. Fine… handled that. Distracted by trying to start the draft of this post. Couldn’t focus. Picked out my clothes for the event. Ugh, @#@$@$ it’s hot out. I have to wear pants and a shirt. I don’t like shirts. I hate pants even more. “Why must I be punished by wearing clothes?” I ask myself. Someone answered me via text, reminding me they were a necessary evil so that I am not locked up in prison for streaking the neighborhood. So, I looked at the clock… needless to say, 30 minutes had passed before I was actually able to leave for the gym (given the tantrum I threw over pants in my closet choosing the lightest possible fabric and loosest-fitting yet smallest shirt possible), but that wasn’t enough time. So nothing got done. Just a lot of back and forth trying to juggle way too many balls in the air, lacking clear priorities. Definite new number one task for later today: Prioritize everything you need to do.

So… shower, change, head off to dinner. It’s #@$#@$@# hot in the city in August. I was a sweaty mess by the time I arrived in midtown, across from Times Square, at the restaurant we all agreed to have dinner at. Ah, tourists… have you ever wondered what goes through people’s minds when they look down at their phones, stare up at digital signs, point at everything that means nothing because they can and they’re there, but it’s something they could do anywhere, yet in NYC, it seems cool, and you’ll never see it again, but in truth… it’s just another human in a weird costume having a good day because that’s what you do when you live in NYC so that you can get the attention of tourists and hopefully make a few bucks? (I haven’t done that – @#$@@##@$).

Five people standing too far apart yet too close together to pass by them, their arms linked across the entire sidewalk with a full crowd in front of stores containing people entering and exiting, no one paying attention. Are people just truly not aware of their surroundings? I gave a few looks of death, as I’m pretty good at mastering that in-between look of ‘I will shoot daggers at you in the hopes I’m letting you know that you are completely screwing up my timing and if you don’t get out of my way way…’ until they realize it and I can then dial it down to a ‘Oh, thanks so much for letting me pass by, have a wonderful day,’ unless they don’t get it and then I elevate said look to ‘You’ve got 3 seconds to get your #$@$# out of my path and use your #$#@$#@ brain to realize that you are so rude and unaware of the traffic problems you are causing right now so move the #$#@$#@$@ away right now.’

At that point, one of two things generally happens: (1) they move or (2) I move. Because I’m the kinda guy who may think all those things, yet I also know tourists make or break a town, and while NYC is in no shortage, I don’t want to impede someone else’s happiness the way they’ve chosen to momentarily impede mine. Ah… arrive at dinner. I was the third of five of us — even two minutes early! The bartender asks me what I want to drink. I search the menu about ready to pick a lovely cocktail to tone down my little mental tantrum when someone give me that look, surreptitiously and silently reminding me: ‘You committed to not drinking for 21 days until the beach weekend, right?’ #$#@$#@$#@ (Yes, I’m doing a lot of that today). On a different note, seltzer has such amazing qualities, between the flavors and the bubbles, it’s just…

Dinner was great. We rushed out at 7:30 and made it to the the theatre. As we turn the corner, one friend says “These people are just standing everywhere blocking my path. Get the @#$#$# out of the way. Oh, I hope that’s not the line to Hello, Dolly.”

  • Point 1: I wasn’t the only person thinking that! Someone else relieved my shift and handled the tantrum business.
  • Point 2: It was the line to get tickets which we had to pick up at Will Call. I counted about half way down it as we walked to the door. 289 people wrapped around the block.
  • Point 3: I was going to Hello Dolly with Bette Midler!
  • Point 4: W somehow got a nice, friendly security guard to let us go thru the side entrance and we suddenly were at our row within 5 minutes. The others had drinks. I did not. #@$@#$@#
  • Point 5: Please do not be angry with us… Bette called and needed us in our seats. Couldn’t help it.

So, I’m sitting in my seat, and it’s about five rows back, so amazing… and… well, now that I think about it, this post has already gotten quite along. And the word of the day is vocal. I can’t remember if I meant vocal as in not sharing the thoughts in my head, or vocal as in screaming about them to anyone who will listen. And if I keep them in my head, does that mean I am not vocal? Or was the point to talk about the vocals at Hello, Dolly. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of time today with this post, as my priorities dictate it’s time to move on to writing the next Father Figure chapter. I’ll be back again tomorrow where it might be time to dish about the show last night. Dolly will have to wait 24 hours.

YES, YES I AM

 

Love,

#$@$#@$%@# JERK @#$@@#$@# RUDE  #$@@$#@$@# (AKA Insensitive Me)

 

Aside: While all this was true, I hope you know I’m just being humorous today… and I promise to talk about the Broadway show in tomorrow’s post… I just have to be vocal about that!

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Linda @ Maine Paper Pusher. Linda and I met online about two months ago through another fun blogger, and I feel like everyone already knows this wonderful woman, so why would I need to include her in my Recommended Bloggers… right? But on the off chance you don’t know her, you should be clicking the link above to peruse her site and then click the follow button on hers. Start with the post from earlier this week where she tells us how she is like a porcupine. Yes, a porcupine. So on point! Linda is always an extremely funny poster and comment writer — I never know what to expect but it always provides an undeniably interesting and funny perspective that will make you tilt your head and say “what is she talking about… oh, wait… that’s totally true!” We’ve had some good banter going back and forth, all starting when I tagged her on an award or some other post. It was a doozy of a tag that would cause her hours to decide on what content, so she let me have it — in a totally hysterical way. It was the start of a great online friendship which makes me smile each day. I read all her posts and try to keep up with the wit, though I usually fail miserably. If you’d like to learn more about her but not from me (maybe you don’t even like me!), check out what is on the site’s About Me (AKA Life is Good in Cornville) section:
    • “I wear many hats: dog mom, silly auntie, baffling wife.  I’ve been “retired” for 3 years following a diagnosis of epilepsy that continues to stump the docs.  Mostly, I just hang out in our old farmhouse in Cornville, Maine.   Our house is in the country so I get to watch deer and wild turkeys in my back yard.  Bald eagles fly overhead and the view from my living room is a horse pasture.  Life is good in Cornville, Maine. On the inside, the house is a circus.  I have two Great Danes, two cats, a collection of fish, and my ever-suffering husband Bill.  Yup, life is good in Cornville.”

 

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 150 – Surprised

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Surprised: feeling or showing an unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing

surprised.png

When I thought about today’s 365 Daily Challenge word, the first thing that came to mind was the fact that I’d created 150 posts already, which was a bit of a surprise. But then when I checked to verify I hadn’t used any word similar to ‘surprised,’ I received another shock. WordPress never emailed me to tell me I hit my one year blog anniversary over the weekend. Seriously, what’s that all about?

Technically, I created this blog in August 2016, but I only posted a few things about Watching a Glass Shatter. Hey, that’s another surprise… it’s one year this week since I started the outline for that novel. And if everything lines up, I might have a major step to announce for the book later this month. SURPRISE again.

Wow… this is an appropriate word for today. While the blog went live in August 2016, I didn’t post anything or even connect with anyone else until early 2017. It was just for me in the beginning as a place to include book reviews and details on my own book. Maybe WordPress is waiting until February 2018 to inform me of my blog anniversary. Fickle little thing… oh well… it’s still a surprise I discovered this week. Not unlike the way a child can immediately got from sheer happiness to sh*tting its pants in fear of a monster.

So yeah, 150 distinct posts about me. Now that’s some arrogance, eh? Some might say I don’t know how to shut up about myself, constantly bragging and tooting my own horn. That’s not a guy I’d want to be friendly with… so why on earth would you be? Better run while you can, as before we all know it, it’ll be 182.5 posts in this 365 Daily Challenge which means 50% has zoomed by. (What’s a half a post anyway?) And if you made it that far, why would you ever stop? Once you pass this midway mark, you’re locked in — you must deal with me. And I feel for ya, that’s gonna be a bumpy ride. Dude’s got a wickedly dangerous mind these days…

In general, I don’t like surprises. I’ve never had a surprise birthday party thrown for me. Well, that’s not exactly true. A few years ago, my assistant did have a surprise office birthday cake event for me. I had expected her to do something, so I was prepared for any unusual meetings popping on my calendar. But she was sneaky and re-purposed an existing meeting that I had to attend with the CFO. What I didn’t know was that she secretly worked with his assistant to carve out another time for the real meeting, as he needed to re-schedule.

There I am… heading to what I expect to be a budget meeting with 4 or 5 people… and I walk into a conference room with 150 people waiting for me — my entire team, part of our larger department and a bunch of colleagues from other divisions had been invited. They caught me that time, even though I figured out something was up. Just not that big of an event. She made me give a speech, which I absolutely hated. I can lead a room of 150 people through a presentation without batting an eyelash (do men do that, btw? If not, I need a new expression), but thanking people for showing up to wish me a happy birthday and I’m a shell-shocked introvert who can barely mumble anything. From that day forward, I called out sick on my birthday. Fixed her.

Surprises are always met with really happy or really unhappy expressions. It’s rare someone says “oh, that’s nice.” It’s usually “I hate them” or “I love them.” How do you feel about surprises?

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is Joanna @ Momentum of Jo. Joanna and I met about two months ago through a mutual blogging friend who shall rename nameless. We quickly began exchanging friendly banter and jabs, all in the name of good fun and the occasional corny humor we all love. Some days she accuses me of breaking her blog, others she tells me she might steal Ryder. The only thing I know to expect from her is that she’s one of the most funny and thought-provoking bloggers I’ve met since joining the WordPress family. Joanna ( I don’t use nicknames tho at last count, she has 6 for me) has a sharp wit, brilliant sense of humor and amazing / alarming comedic timing. Among reflections on her family and pets and other people’s posts, you get a real sense of who she is and the strength she brings to any conversation. It’s really quite amazing. If I see a new post, I tend to look fairly quickly, as it’s gonna make me smile even if I’m particularly busy at that moment. You kinda wanna hear what she has to say about all the topics she discusses. The point of view she brings is often unlike any other you might predict. Joanna tells you when she’s done something wrong, she looks for the positive side of all situations, and she brings more sass than I have seen in my lifetime. I’ve been on the floor laughing to the point I thought she had tased me, which has come up between several times before. Today we “argued” over the appropriate definition of whether she could be called a ‘hot mess’ and why she didn’t have an “About Me” section to reference here. If you don’t believe me, check out the site yourself thru that link above. I’d share the About Me content, but as she said “it’s under construction” right before I was told to be more patient (in not so many words). I gotta love it when she just tells it like it is. So might you.
    • I’m about to post this, and of course, lovely Joanna posts her About Me section. So go see it, it’s as great as you’d expect.

 

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.