challenge

365 Challenge: Day 70 – Happy Places

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A to Z Happy Place: A list of 26 places that make you happy — challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate. Maybe it’s the innocence of childhood or that favorite vacation spot…. somewhere that always brings a smile to your face

ATOZhappy

As a follow-up to last week’s foods from A to Z, this week we’re focusing on the places that have brought us love and excitement, continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) of sorts that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

Rules

  1. Pick something that starts with that letter and add it to your own list. Don’t think about it… just come up with a couple ideas in under five seconds and choose the best of the bunch.
  2. It can be a named place or a general place. But it has to be an actual physical location; not metaphorical!
  3. This is the final week of the AtoZ items… the next grouping will be revealed in a few days!
  4. It’s a fun game, but if you are nominated and DO NOT want to participate, you don’t have to. Just ignore it! Totally OK.
  5. You may not have been nominated, but you can totally participate by following these rules.
  6. Post it as a reply on the person’s blog where you found it. Also post it on your own blog as a new post.
  7. Should we use a tag so we can see all the responses? Suggestions… AtoZPlaces
  8. This may not go anywhere if there is no participation other than me. And that’s OK. The 365 Daily Challenge was about me to start, so I cannot expect or force anyone else.
  9. Have fun and get to know your online friends. Tell us when you post your 26 items.  Thanks!

A to Z Happy Places to Make Me Smile

A – Attics

B – Bookstores

C – Cotswolds

D – Dos Caminos (Mexican restaurant I eat at on Fridays)

E – Erga Bakery in Bethpage when I was growing up

F – Farms

G – Gardens

H – Home

I – Iceland (never been, but I do love the cold weather)

J – Jubilee (French restaurant I eat at once a week)

K – Kitchens

L – Libraries

M – Museums

N – New York City

O – Ocean

P – Parks

Q – Quality Meats (Steak restaurant in NYC)

R – Restaurants

S – Scotland

T – Trolleys

U – University campuses

V – Vineyards

W – Wishing Wells

X – X-Mas Tree Lots

Y – Yellowstone Park

Z – Zoo

People You Are Tagging

NO ONE! Anyone who wants to participate should… But someone has to or my friend below is gonna come after you!

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.

365 Challenge: Day 65 – Eager

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Eager: wanting to do or have something very much, keen expectancy or interest

Early on in the 365 Daily Challenge, I chose the word “curious” as a characteristic. “Eager” borders on the same meaning, but I am going to take it in a different path today. Shocking, I know… where is that consistency?

Although the 365 Challenge began as a way for me to bring interesting content to my blog, as well as explore different parts of “who I am,” the way I continue to choose the characteristic word could change with each arc of the challenge. A few examples with the last day of the week words:

  • In the first 5 weeks, it was one of my genealogical origins or ethnicity, which offered an opportunity to comb the internet for the stereotypical traits for that country.
  • In the second 5 weeks, we covered an A to Z list of various things I hate, love, fears, food, and as a hint, this Sunday’s final one will be: places that make me smile.

For the first 10 weeks, I’ve chosen all the words. I’m shocked that it’s 10 weeks on the weekend. It’s gone so quickly! But it’s also been really interactive and enjoyable.

And now… it’s time to turn the heat up a little… and I’m eager to hear some suggestions from all of you.  I’m completely open with where to go next, but the people-pleaser inside of me wants to bring content and topics that are relevant for everyone involved. You don’t have to read these posts, but for those of you who are, (1) Thank You and (2) What do you want to read about?

A few ideas mulling around in my head for choosing the characteristic word of the day:

  • Professions: choose professions I’ve had or want to have and discuss why or who I admire in those roles
  • Colors: choose colors that represent me and explore what it means or says about me
  • Quotes: Experiment with a word in a quote that means something and blog about the author, its meaning and how it applies to us
  • Cities: List the cities I’ve lived in, what was going on in my life around that time and what I loved or didn’t love about the place
  • Open to any other ideas… I just picked 4 that easily came to my mind in less than 30 seconds

I chose “eager” today because I’m keenly interested in not only meeting my own goals with the 365 Daily Challenge, but also taking the content in directions that engage in more conversation, commentary and fun. It may even become less about a “trait” and more a “noun” or “fact” that has some importance to me and to you. The goals are still the same, but the path to get there should never get static.

But most of all, I’m eager to see what brilliant topics we come up with. So put on your thinking caps as we’ve got 5 days to come up with the new twist for next week’s 365 Daily Challenge!

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 49 – A to Z Least Favorites

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A to Z Favorites: A list of 26 things that I hate, one for each letter, a challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate

ATOZfavorite

As a follow-up to last week’s favorite things from A to Z, this week we’re focusing on our LEAST favorite things, continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) of sorts that provides more in depth knowledge about me.

Oh, But I love both!

Rules

  1. Pick something that starts with that letter and add it to your own list. Don’t think about it… just come up with a couple ideas in under five seconds and choose the best of the bunch.
  2. It can be a thing or place, but not a named person. We don’t want anyone to feel left out!
  3. This week it’s your LEAST favorite things… but next week will be something else. Add in any extra comments if you need to explain.
  4. Nominate 5 people at the bottom of your post that you want to re-post with their 26 items. Pick at random – no favorites!
  5. It’s a fun game, but if you are nominated and DO NOT want to participate, you don’t have to. Just ignore it! Totally OK.
  6. You may not have been nominated, but you can totally participate by following these rules.
  7. Post it as a reply on the person’s blog where you found it. Also post it on your own blog as a new post.
  8. Should we use a tag so we can see all the responses? Suggestions…
  9. This may not go anywhere if there is no participation other than me. And that’s OK. The 365 Daily Challenge was about me to start, so I cannot expect or force anyone else.
  10. Have fun and get to know your online friends. Tell us when you post your 26 items.  Thanks!

My A to Z LEAST Favorite Things

A – Arguments

B – Bedbugs (never had them, but friends have… not pretty!)

C – Cancer (too many loved ones have died)

D – Death

E – Eggplant (tastes like dirt)

F – Fake plants (I abhor them… won’t let them into my home… only real ones)

G – Grinding my teeth (can’t seem to stop myself lately)

H – Heat (just when it’s too hot in the summer)

I – Illness (who likes being sick?)

J – Jellyfish (they sting)

K – Killers

L – Loudness

M – Mushrooms (taste worse than dirt)

N – Nonsense (when people do stupid things on purpose, I get annoyed!)

O – Octopus (tastes like rubber)

P – Pretenders (just be real people)

Q – Quid Pro Quo (that saying annoys me, just a fancy way of saying “can you do me a favor?”)

R – Reality TV show (those people drive me crazy)

S – Stealing (it’s not very nice, is it?)

T – Tickled (I absolutely can’t stand being tickled… feel so unprotected)

U – U-Turns (I much prefer using a traffic circle… easier)

V – Vandalism

W – Wasps

X – Xerox (this was a hard one… I like the company, but I hate when people say “I’ll make a xerox.”  Just say “I’ll make a copy.”)

Y – Yelling

Z – Zilch (ugh… the word sounds awful. Just say “zero.”)

People You Are Tagging

  1. cindy knoke
  2. susandyer1962
  3. BrizzleLass
  4. Patricia
  5. alwaystrustinbooks

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.

365 Challenge: Day 48 – Generous

Posted on Updated on

Generous: showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected; showing kindness toward others; larger or more plentiful than is usual

Everyone is generous at some point in his or her life; however, we are also stingy from time to time. It’s often a matter of what’s being asked of us, our level of available resources and our mind-set. I’m no exception, but I will say outright that I am not as generous as I should be and want to be. And it’s something I need to work on.

For the purpose of today’s post, rather the cover examples of how I’ve been or not been generous, I’d like to discuss why it is people often struggle with being generous. It comes down to a few key things — in my opinion:

  1. Fear: It is easy to be afraid to do something. Perhaps you feel you don’t have enough money or time to share, so you hold back rather than lend or donate. Or maybe when you’ve been too generous with someone in the past, they’ve taken advantage of the situation. (No judgment here; each person should determine what is best for for him or herself, or how to handle relationships with others).
  2. Laziness: Often, we want to be more generous, but don’t make this a priority because we forget to think about it. (Again, no judgment; we are all aware of our own selfless level of thinking about things outside our own realm).
  3. Unknowing: I’ve found people are unsure of how to be more generous or knowledgeable about the ways they can actually follow through on it. (Double again, no judgment; we’re not always shown or taught the way to find these options on our own).
  4. Exhaustion: At the end of the day, we’re so busy focusing on the things we NEED to do, we forget the things that we SHOULD do. That said, there is an argument for saying being generous is a NEED and not just a SHOULD. (Yup, you guessed it about judgment… sometimes we just have no energy left, I get it).

I’m sure there are other reasons, and perhaps they don’t fall into 1 of these 4 categories in the most appropriate way, but that’s where I’ve gotten to in my head on this topic. Let’s look at ways to improve how we are doing in these areas:

  • Fear
    • Determine why you are afraid and either confront it, remove the roadblock or ignore it and move forward. Don’t stall or freeze by doing nothing.
    • If it’s fear of being taken advantage, find ways to limit the impact back on you. Or choose to be generous with others and not with that person if for some reason (s)he always takes advantage of it.
    • If it’s fear of doing something on your own, i.e. volunteering somewhere, find a buddy and go with someone else the first time.

  • Laziness
    • Make a note, send yourself an email or leave a reminder on your calendar to find 15 minutes a week where you do something for someone else — not just yourself.
    • Associate something you love to do with a method for being generous. If you have a secret ice cream fetish and go every Tuesday night, tack on 15 minutes to (1) buy a cone for someone else (if you can afford it), (2) clean up some garbage in a park on the way to the ice cream store, (3) donate books to a shelter for someone to have the ability to read.
    • Find something you love to do and figure out how to share it with someone else who doesn’t have access to it as easily as you do.

  • Unknowing
    • Ask your friends, colleagues or acquaintances.
    • Look it up on the internet.  You obviously have access if you’re reading this post (not meant sarcastically!). Find something local that would work for you.
    • Drive or walk around your neighborhood and see what is already there — or what’s missing. See how you can be of help.
    • Think about your relationships… is someone is need of a friend a little more often? Could you buy someone lunch once a week if you know they are struggling financially to support him or herself?

  • Exhaustion
    • Schedule it. Block out 30 minutes a week, an hour a month, whatever works for you. Make it part of the routine, not something you do if you have free time.
    • Start small. Increase as you can. Don’t take on too much at first.
    • Save coins you don’t use until it adds up enough to buy a cup of coffee, a meal or a coat for someone else.
    • Take a break from the things you don’t need to do every minute… don’t clean for 3 hours one day, only use 2 hours and save that last 1 hour for someone else who needs your help. Your house won’t fall apart. Another person can pitch in that last hour.

Here’s the deal (yikes, I’m sounding direct in this post when I really mean to just think aloud)… I have done maybe 10% of the things I just suggested. I’m not as generous as I should be. And just sitting here typing this kinda cements it for me. It’s time I became a bit of a better person. So my commitment to YOU — I will take on 2 new things (from what I’ve listed here) in the month of May. And I’ll report back to you (hold me accountable please) to review it. The good, the bad and the ugly.

With all that said, do you know of any other reasons besides these four (4) items that contribute to our lack of generosity with others?  I’m flat out ignoring the fact that some people just don’t care to help others or be considerate. So reject that one!

Whether it’s giving more time, spending more money or being more open-minded, what stops you from being more generous? Or… tells us how you are a generous person and offer some suggestions on how we can be even better. Thanks!

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.

 

Blog: Upcoming Site Changes

Aside Posted on Updated on

It’s been another successful month of blogging, and as we come to a close on April, a few key things to share:

  1. I’ve changed some of the colors and the fonts on the blog. If it doesn’t look appealing, let me know.
  2. I’ve added a new menu item called “Genre, Author & Series,” where you can see a list of all the reviews I have completed. Note: Since this is in progress as of 4/28/17, you can look at Cozy Mystery Fiction / Braun, Lilian Jackson as a future example of what this will have available.
    1. It will be sorted by genre, then author.
    2. When you click on the genre, it will provide a brief description of the genre and key authors and information about it.
    3. When you click on the author page, it will list any of the author’s book I’ve read or am planning to read in the near future — organized by series, as well as noting books (s)he’s written in other genres.
    4. You can click on the name of the book if it has a link. If it doesn’t, it means I haven’t yet read the book or written the review. I’ll include target dates whenever possible for you to check back.
  3. I’ve changed the Blog menu item to include Tags. On a weekly basis, I will add a book tag and highlight books I have read or want to read, as well as tag my online friends to participate in the challenges.
  4. The 365 Daily Challenge is getting exciting and more fun. I’m almost done with 2 months and learning a lot about me and about you! I’m open to suggestions, but posts are now linked back and forth so you can check all the history if you’re new to the site.

My target to have all the content updated and all ~500 book reviews updated from Goodreads on “ThisIsMyTruth” is June, 2017; however, there will be a lot of progress each week. I hope you’ll check it out and provide any feedback you think is helpful. I’m very open to hearing the good and the bad!

changes

Thank you to everyone who has participated by commenting, liking, taking the poll or providing ratings. I’m having a tremendous amount of fun, trying to create a fun world for all of us.

-jjciv

365 Challenge: Day 42 – A to Z Favorites

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A to Z Favorites: A list of 26 things that I adore, one for each letter, a challenge posed to any readers who would like to participate

ATOZ

Yes, you are correct — this is not exactly a characteristic; however, in my defense, for the last 5 Sundays, I’ve provided an ethnicity as the trait for the end of each week, covering my genealogy as well as the Top 10 stereotypes for that country or origin. And so… I’m continuing the trend of the seventh day, ending the week on Sunday, as a list (we know I love them) of sorts that provides more in depth knowledge about me. Only this time, I’m turning it into a fun game and perhaps a challenge down the road. For at least the next 5 Sundays, matching the first five weeks, I will have an A to Z List. As a warning, next Sunday’s will be “Least Favorites,” so be prepared.

Rules

  1. Pick something that starts with that letter and add it to your own list. Don’t think about it… just come up with a couple ideas in under five seconds and choose the best of the bunch.
  2. It can be a thing or place, but not a named person. We don’t want anyone to feel left out!
  3. This week it’s your favorite things… but next week will be something else. Add in any extra comments if you need to explain.
  4. Nominate 5 people at the bottom of your post that you want to re-post with their 26 items. Pick at random – no favorites!
  5. It’s a fun game, but if you are nominated and DO NOT want to participate, you don’t have to. Just ignore it! Totally OK.
  6. You may not have been nominated, but you can totally participate by following these rules.
  7. Post it as a reply on the person’s blog where you found it. Also post it on your own blog as a new post.
  8. Should we use a tag so we can see all the responses? Suggestions…
  9. This may not go anywhere if there is no participation other than me. And that’s OK. The 365 Daily Challenge was about me to start, so I cannot expect or force anyone else.
  10. Have fun and get to know your online friends. Tell us when you post your 26 items.  Thanks!

My A to Z Favorite Things

A – Avocado

B – Books

C – Cooking

D – Dogs

E – Estates (love to visit them on tours)

F – Friends

G – Genealogy

H – Hyacinths (favorite smell in the world)

I – INC. (clothing brand I think produces cool items)

J – Jubilee (French restaurant on my corner I eat at a lot)

K – Kitchens (to cook or to think about re-modeling)

L – Lily (the flower is so pretty, especially the Calla)

M – Money

N – Netflix

O – October (favorite month, Halloween and cool weather)

P – Prosciutto (charcuterie and cheese platters, yum)

Q – Quiche (another hard one to come up with options… but I enjoy making quiche)

R – Reading

S – Sushi

T – TV

U – Undo (my favorite key on the keyboard as I’m always re-thinking what I just wrote)

V – Vino (wine and Spain… combined it together)

W – Writing

X – X-Rays (I know very little words… but I think it’s fun to look at our bones)

Y – Younger (a TV show I really like to watch and think could have been me!)

Z – Zoos

People You Are Tagging

  1. lghiggins
  2. Bentley ★ BookBastion.net
  3. Books, Vertigo and Tea
  4. Rae Longest
  5. readrantrockandroll

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and 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.

Review: Catching Fire

Posted on Updated on

Catching Fire
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins   My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every so often, I select a Young Adult book to read. After I read the Hunger Games, I had to finish the trilogy… I mean, how could you not, right?

Let’s back up a bit… I love challenges. I am totally in my element watching serial killers on TV shows. (Umm… I didn’t mean that in a sociopath-kinda way… I just mean the thrill of trying to guess who the killer is and who’s gonna go next is the fun part… make believe… not real… I’m honestly not a serial killer… wait wouldn’t a serial killer say that… oh, I’m screwed here.)

And my favorite book of all time is “And Then There Were None.” But the first thing I saw was “Battle Royale” years ago… what an amazing movie. It’s total cheesy fun, but I could watch it anytime… ok, I’m off topic. The point is… there is something about knocking people off one by one until you’re left with only 1 possible person… and the winner is… THAT is a fun book.

So I had to read The Hunger Games. But OMG, when book 2 came out and Peeta and Katniss where back in the contest, I think I died and went to… not exactly heaven, as that would be WEIRD.

She’d already been through so much. And I couldn’t take the stress of guessing which character would go and in what horrific way. My reaction was like:

OK… now that the hysterics and humor are done… I really, really liked this book. And if it wasn’t already done in the first edition, I would have given this a 5… but I wasn’t keen on the ending and so I had to go with a 4 for this one.

I am normally a fan of the bad boy/girl winning the hero’s or heroine’s heart, and as much as the movies may have tried to change my mind… Peeta seemed destined to be with Katniss in the books. And I was good with that. We all need someone to bake for us, right?

Losing Mags and Rue was awful. But the imagination in these books is incredible. And the push/pull in every direction… so good. This is is how I felt:

I recommend reading the series. It may totally be commercial young adult fiction, but if it gets you to read, it’s a good thing. And it’s full of moral lessons and a challenge to think critically about life.

All around… I think it’s a must read!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews