gift

Book Review: Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

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Earlier this summer, I decided to host a children’s book readathon in August 2018. All month long, we’re reading about a dozen books, then sharing reviews, interviews and feedback. This first week is ‘picture books’ and we voted on our top three books to read. Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss is one of the winners. I read the book as a kid and wrote a review a few years ago, but I re-read this week and am sharing a second review.

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Dr. Seuss has always been a favorite. This is the first time I’ve re-read one of his books since I’ve written and published a few of my own. I caught myself analyzing the book way too much while I was reading thinking some of the rhymes were stilted or forced. I would have changed a few words around and used a different rhyme choice. Then I slapped myself. This is such a fun book and I should sit back to enjoy it, not pick it apart! I rarely do that, so I’m not sure why it happened here… other than it’s such an amazing approach for helping kids (or adults!) deal with change in their life. I must have wanted to take it even further (farther? see, that’s why I shouldn’t judge!)… that’s when I got my head on straight and fell in love all over again with the book.

Life is hard. Bad things happen. You have to push past them or you’ll be unhappy and miss out. That’s the key message we need to understand from here. At graduation, or major life changes, kids worry that things might not work out. This is an opportunity to show how you learn from those fears and moments. I would love to listen to this one on audio just to hear all the noises and sounds of how the narrator thinks. The illustrations were fun and immersive. I definitely recommend this as a gift for those graduating from middle school or high school. It can also be read to younger kids to help them prepare.

This readathon is so much fun! I hope more folks will join. Thanks.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read 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 find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also 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. Thanks for stopping by. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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365 Challenge: Day 301 – Blanket (LIST: Objects I adore)

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Blanket: an object I treasure that has always been important to me (I’m basically Linus)

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I chose objects I adore or that have some huge importance to me. We’re in our first week and I’ve gone with Blanket because it may be my most favorite possession. Before I jump into it, let’s start with a story we are all familiar with.

When I was born, my mother received a baby blanket that her mother had crocheted for me. It was red, white and blue, about 2 by 4 feet, and quite soft. As a newborn, I arrived home in the quintessential blue hospital baby blanket, but once I was a few months old, my grandmother’s gift was what I slept under each night. Like my father, and Linus from Peanuts, I was known for always carrying my blanket around with me. (No, I did not also suck my thumb!). I didn’t just carry it with me around the house. I took it with me everywhere. I was obsessed. By the time I was 5 or 6 years old, I’d outgrown it. It wouldn’t cover me up at night, and so, sadly, I needed a new one. I still have this blanket, safely stored in a box in my closet. I take it out from time to time to reminisce, but I couldn’t get to it today to photograph, so no… that’s not the blanket in the photo.

My mom did not inherit her mother’s ability to crochet, however, her good friend, Millie, offered to build a new one. I vividly recall being asked what colors I wanted it to be. I asked for blue. A few week’s later, for a birthday, I received a wonderful gift. It was made for a full-size bed, had white trim and two different shades of blue, and was also quite soft. I traded in my baby blanket, probably crying just a little bit, and used the new one… I carried it everywhere with me for years, including on vacation to the Catskill mountains each summer. When I was 12, we were heading home from the trip after breakfast. I’d eaten something that had ultimately given me food poisoning. In the rush to leave and get home, somehow… I left the blanket in the hotel room. We didn’t realize it until that night when we got home and I had no blanket. Unfortunately, the hotel never found it, so I lost my treasure. I remember crying a few times, struggling to sleep for a few nights. No, that’s not the blanket in the above picture. I don’t have one of it, but my mom does in her photo albums. I used a different blanket for the subsequent months, but then something wonderful happened.

After we returned home, I started dating a girl, Lisa, in middle-school that year (yes, it’s true!). A few weeks later, our families met for dinner to get to know one another. My mom told the story of my blanket having gone missing that summer. Lisa’s grandmother, a big knitter and crocheter, was present. I grew close to her family that summer and fall, and when I went to their place for Hanukkah (they were Jewish), her grandmother surprised me with a new blanket. It was perhaps one of my top 5 favorite gifts ever — that is the blanket in the post’s featured image. I’ve carried that blanket with me wherever I go… college, vacations, weekend trips… all the time. I’ve even wrapped myself up in it to go down and get the mail from the mail room in my apartment building, not caring what anyone thought of me! It’s now about 27 years old and starting to show its age. The small holes are growing larger and weaker. The ends are beginning to untangle just a little. I’ve probably got a few more years out of it, but at some point, I will need to get a new one. Until then…

I treasure my blankets. I curl up on them in the couch. I share them with Ryder. I sleep with it every night. It makes me feel warm and cozy. It has memories of the past. If I were ever forced to leave in a rush and only take a couple of items with me (other than people and pets), this blanket would be on the top of the list. Sometimes there’s a connection we share with inanimate objects that cannot be explained. For me, it’s my blanket… whether it was the one my grandmother made, Millie created or Lisa’s grandmother gifted me, I will always cherish and adore them. Thank you for these special memories and presents throughout my life!

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often 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. Past weeks included:

  • 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
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres
  • Week 38 – 42: Holidays
  • Week 43 – 47: Objects I adore
  • Week 48 – 52: TBD

 

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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 288 – Squeaky (RYDER RANT)

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Squeaky: short, shrilly cry or noise; squeal

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I was tempted to share a wonderful version of my friends singing Jingle Bells, but I wasn’t sure how you’d feel about an all-dog choir. We might sound a bit squeaky, so I skipped it. Instead, I wish to each of you, via my words, many happy holidays this week, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or anything else I’m not familiar with (tell me, so I know in the future, please). We had our celebration last night, where I received two gifts, plus a bunch of treats. I also received three special gifts in the mail this week. They all have a different squeak to them, and that’s why today’s word is squeaky — but it’s driving me nuts. Can’t anyone be quiet on the holidays? Meet my new friends who may not last very long if they keep this racket up:

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  • Foxy: Grandma gave me Foxy because I look a lot like him! We played a lot when she was visiting last weekend.
  • Squirrel: She doesn’t have a name yet, but soon… I like to chase them, so maybe Chase!
  • Bunny: I received Bunny from my friends Murphy and Ophe in Michigan. He’s very heavy and I can’t throw him all that far, which is good… the tree is safe for now!
  • Santa: This one makes so much noise, and it sneak attacks me with its twisty head. Santa beat me up yesterday and I was so angry I sat on him for an hour.
  • Hammy: I had fun unwrapping hammy because it squeaked the whole time I tore at the paper. If only it were real.

I had a wonderful dinner last night before I left with Ella this morning. I stay with her at Christmas since the Dads leave on their trip this afternoon. They made me beef wellington, honey & thyme carrots, and Pommes Anna. Julia Child is always visiting this house! They even had a wonderful Christmas pudding from a very special English friend. I’m pretty certain they also had a few holiday drinks and a bottle of red wine; I personally don’t touch that liquor stuff, I’m a Prohibitionist — yet they drink like the fishes. In the immortal words of my favorite new friend, Patty Hogg, from the Amy Sedaris show: I’VE SAID TOO MUCH, I’VE SAID TOO MUCH. Click the link if you want to see what Dads have been watching all week long.  They exchanged presents, too. This is what I bought them for the terrace:

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It’s time for me to unpack my bags for this 5 day stay… happy holidays! See you all for New Year’s Day next week!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 287 – Christmas (LIST: Holiday)

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Christmas: A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts, celebrating all that Santa Claus brings each year

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of 5 Sundays, I chose holidays and now we’re in our fourth week: I’ve gone with Christmas because that’s the holiday happening tomorrow, it’s one of my favorite ones and there’s so much to say about it. Let’s explore why I love this holiday:

  • M – Making cookies
  • E – Eggnog
  • R – Ripping open presents
  • R – Random acts of kindness
  • Y – Yuletide fun
  • C – Celebrate with friends and family
  • H – Happiness
  • R – Religious components and traditions
  • I – I can decorate the house and not look weird
  • S – Smells of evergreen and peppermint
  • T – Trimming the Tree
  • M – Many children learning to love the holiday and about blessings
  • A – A time to be thankful for all we have in our lives
  • S – Santa Claus

Those were just a few small examples of why I love the holiday, in a fun little list using the first letter in the message today: MERRY CHRISTMAS — Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so tomorrow’s post will be something about the holidays from Ryder. There are so many different ways to celebrate this time of year. How do you feel about Christmas? Do you celebrate in any special way?

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Last Year’s Tree

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Sunday posts, the end of each week, have become a theme on This-Is-My-Truth-Now, often 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. Past weeks included:

  • 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
  • Weeks 21 – 25: Jobs I’ve held
  • Weeks 26 – 30: Top 10 entertainment options
  • Week 31: How to follow or contact me across all social media platforms
  • Week 32: How to help an artist with promotion
  • Week 33 – 37: Favorite Book Genres
  • Week 38 – 42: Holidays
  • Week 43 – 47: TBD
  • Week 48 – 52: TBD

 

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.

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 249 – Shop

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Shop: what I’m doing with my mother today in preparation for the holidays

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Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is ‘shop’ because I need a quick word as I will be busy later. I’m heading out to Long Island on a train shortly to grocery shop with my mom in preparation for Thanksgiving. My parents, cousins and friends will be coming to my place in the city for Thanksgiving next week, so we need to pickup all the trimmings in advance. Since the price for all the food we need is probably less than 50% of the cost of what I’d pay in the city, my mother insisted I go shopping in the suburbs with her. {AsideYou can imagine our ‘discussions’ over the prices of things she sees in my kitchen cabinets or refrigerator!} So… I’m commuting 3-hours back and forth to get everything we need, then bring back in just the items I need to start the turkey and the stuffing early Thanksgiving morning. If you see anyone in NYC tomorrow, on a train or subway, carrying large bags with a turkey and other food, many miles and blocks, it’s me!

I also need to start thinking about shopping for holiday presents. I no longer like doing it because everyone buys what they want when they want it. I’d rather just spend quality time together, but that’s me. I do like gifts, but they’re hard these days. Mom and I will probably go to the book store so I can pick out some books I want, which will be good gifts my parents can get for me. No complaints there! I know three things for my parents, but I need to confirm my dad isn’t also trying to buy them. I also need to start shopping for a wireless repeater for my bedroom as I have no WiFi service on that side of the apartment. I spend too much time in bed early in the morning or late at night trying to get my phone to connect to the internet, struggling against the cellular waves… ugh, silly problems…

But that’s my day today. Oh and mom finished reading my book. I’m likely to hear all about it today. Please say a prayer for that conversation!!! Otherwise, it’s all about the need to shop. Then it will be time to shop for a Christmas tree and a short holiday getaway for New Year’s. Where’s everyone going this year? Let’s share some ideas!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin