loser

365 Challenge: Day 240 – Vote

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Vote: formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice

vote

As with 100% of all my other posts, I don’t usually discuss politics on my blog. I’m not going to today either, but I will encourage everyone to vote today in the US. Our ancestors fought hard for it. It can make a difference down the line. You have some level of control and power. To keep this light and friendly, today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is vote but for three (3) different reasons:

  1. It’s Election Day in the USA, so please do your best to vote.
  2. Thank you to everyone who wrote in my book for the Goodreads 2017 Choice Awards. Round 2 kicked off today and unfortunately, I did not receive enough votes to get added to any of the 20 categories. It was truly an honor to hear from so many friendly bloggers who told me they nominated me or even pushed me to throw a post out there to notify everyone it was even an option. That said, please be sure to check out Round 2 on Goodreads and VOTE for your favorite books.
  3. About ten days ago in my post on ‘Tea’ we had a sort-of-vote on which types of tea I should try. I promised to compile the responses together, which I’ve done both in the original post as an update (click Tea to see it), but I’ve also listed them all below. I will try a few over the next couple of weeks and let you know what I thought. Thank you to everyone for such great responses. You are all awesome!

 

Types of Tea Suggested to Me

Brands: Yogi, Celestial Seasons, Lipton, Traditional Medicinals, Tazo, Harney & Sons, Grace Tea, Rishi, The Tea Spot, Teapigs, Piccadilly Circus, Jackson’s of Piccadilly (I might have confused a brand with a store here, sorry!)

  • Orange Pekoe
  • White
  • Winter Spice
  • Super Fruit
  • Tensions Tamer
  • Vanilla Almond Rooibos
  • Cranberry
  • Licorice Spice
  • Hot Cinnamon Spice
  • Gypsy Cold Care
  • Breakfast
  • Turkish
  • Russian Caravan
  • Darjeeling
  • Turmeric
  • Cardamom (Elaichi)
  • Kashmiri
  • Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin
  • Karak Chai
  • Chai
  • Organic Ginger
  • Chamomile and Lavender
  • Throat Coat
  • Breathe Easy
  • Black
  • Green
  • Bubble-Milk
  • Lady Grey
  • Pumpkin
  • Candy Cane
  • Mango
  • Blueberry
  • Detox
  • Vanilla Spice
  • Peppermint
  • Jasmine Green
  • Earl Grey

 

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.

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365 Challenge: Day 111 – Winner

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Winner: a person who gains victory

inner.jpg

We’re all winners! Even if you don’t know why. Today marks the beginning of the seventh month of 2017; some consider it the official second half of the year’s beginning. Technically, given the way the days break down each month, we truly don’t begin the second half of 2017 until Monday, July 3rd, which means that today’s post can’t be about beginnings. It can be about endings, though, right? Two things ended yesterday… the polls I launched last month… so let’s get to them:

Book Bucket List Choice

In the middle of June, I opened a poll to help me choose which book from my Book Bucket List I should read in July. Polls closed last night and the winner is:

bear.jpg

I will purchase the book in the next few days, and once it arrives, I’ll confirm the dates I plan to read it — tentatively set to the third week in July. Anyone want to buddy read with me?

Many thanks to everyone who participated. And when I begin the book, I’ll open a new poll for the book you’d like me to read from my Book Bucket List in August.

Next Book I Will Write

In early June, I opened a poll to help me choose what I should focus my attention on for a next novel — see post here. Based on everyone’s input, I closed the poll last night and verified the winner is: Father Figure. A description is listed below.

  • Amalia Graeme, sheltered and abused for most her life in Mississippi, longs to escape her difficult family and small hometown in 1984. When her older brother returns with his best friend by his side, Amalia is tempted to have her first experience with a boy that summer. As they head off to college for her first year and his senior year, she begins to learn about life and love, battling her loss of innocence with a new attraction she’s developed to an older professor. After she suffers a few personal tragedies, Amalia is forced to head back home, uncertain how to handle the permanent impacts on her life and future. No matter where she turns, someone or something always takes away the possibility of her hope to find happiness and to escape.
  • Brianna Porter is a typical angst-ridden teenager living in New York City in 2004, struggling to choose a college, build confidence in herself and interpret intimidating and growing feelings for her best friend. But for Brianna, these paralytic decisions all stem from desperately needing to meet the father whom her mother refuses to discuss, before she can accept her own identity and determine her life purpose. When her best friend suggests hiring a detective, and they stumble upon her mother’s old journal, Brianna learns a shocking secret about her father, rocked by a truth that could completely change both their futures. It may be too late to deal with the impacts of unleashing a history that was meant to stay buried for many reasons. When it leads to someone’s death, Brianna must come to terms with the choices she’s made and what is left of her own future.

writer.jpg

I am going to start putting together a detailed outline and timeline next week. I will keep everyone updated with a weekly post on how the plans are going.

Based on a few conversations with some very smart people, I’m re-thinking how much content I will post each week from the actual book / novel / chapters. You’ll still have an opportunity to read about the plot and characters, but I may not post every chapter. I might ask for a few beta readers who’d be willing to read offline and provide feedback.

More to come with the first official post to occur the weekend of July 7th thru 9th. Thank you to everyone for voting, commenting and advising.

_____________________________________________________________________

So that’s why this is about winning! And moving on to the next half of the year beginning on Monday, Jul 3rd. How about you? Any winners or losers out there this weekend? Any plans for your upcoming second half of 2017?

 

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 54 – Nervous

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Nervous: easily agitated or alarmed; tending to be anxious; highly strung

If you are confident in every moment of your life, perhaps you are not challenging yourself enough to step out of your comfort zone. To be nervous is to express emotions that demonstrate you are uncertain, worried, fearful, concerned… and if kept at a proper level, it’s actually a good thing. It’s healthy to release total control sometimes… allowing your mind to cleanse, heal and prep for the next battle.

I’ve often thought that people who are totally comfortable in any situation are suspicious. Not because they’ve done something wrong, but I wonder what’s going on their head. Have they learned everything technique to keep calm? Do they have weak goals and objectives such that they will always meet or exceed them? Do they not push themselves to try new activities? Or are they just that good where they have no nerves to control?

On the scale of nerves, I fall somewhere in the middle, probably like most of us. I have several things I’m afraid of (that’s a post coming up soon!), but I’ve also a few where I’m completely comfortable and in my element, even though most others would be freaking out.

What makes me nervous?

  • Waiting for responses, answers, results
  • Delivering bad or disappointing news to someone else
  • People staring at me
  • Being in crowded places

What doesn’t make me nervous?

  • Confessing so much about myself in this 365 Daily Challenge
  • Public Speaking
  • Being completely cut off from any form of communication, e.g. deserted island
  • Being idle

We each have our own goals in mind, our purpose or objective for living (sometimes we actually haven’t yet figured it out). We generally know our comfort zones and stay within a small percentage of testing the waters just beyond. Some people’s boundaries feel limitless. Others feel constraining. It’s what makes us all different, able to survive and open to change.

Being nervous shows you are considering something different, something new. Sometimes we can be nervous about the exact same thing over-and-over again, but in most instances, the more you confront the issue, the less it will cause distress. Not always of course, but then again, I’m not focusing on the huge life-altering things… just the daily goings-on of life around us.

When I’m nervous, I tend to either hide or bark… not like a dog (wouldn’t that be amusing), but as in become a bit mean or aggressive. My responses will be short and it comes across like I’m snapping at someone — often the person who is trying to help me. It’s a natural reaction, I do realize it. Perhaps because we feel comfortable around that person, it’s easier to relax our mind over the things we are nervous about.

Rather than discuss the tools and techniques to calm us down, I’m more apt to question why we are nervous. I prefer getting to the root or source of the problem. And not necessarily by going to other people, but by thinking over the situation in my own head. There are absolutely times when you need someone else’s help, but there are also times when you just need some uninterrupted time for yourself to ponder.

Let’s take my nerves over delivering bad news… I believe it’s because I don’t want to hurt someone. I feel ill-equipped to fix his/her pain. I fear retaliation or losing the friendship. But when you push deeper… think about where you fit in with the overall issue that you need to cover. Consider what happens if you don’t confront / discuss it. Picture the end game when the situation is resolved. Focus on where you want to end up rather than what’s happened in the past to initiate the delivery of the bad news. It’s also important to outline the goals of the conversation. Don’t wing it. Have the beginning, middle and end worked out. Consider the paths the conversation could take. Have some positive things in your back pocket. Work through it enough on your own, or even with someone else, until you feel prepared to address the situation.

Your nerves won’t go away. And that’s a good thing. You want your nerves to be on a bit of an alert — not a high one — but enough so you retain your humanity when bringing up difficult topics. It’s worked for me on some occasions, but I don’t always practice it. Sometimes… I’m just scared shitless (yes, I said that aloud… but you know the rules… once I type it here, the only changes I can make are to grammar and spelling)… and I am a Nervous Nelly. Or is it Nellie? Let’s free-form away from this discussion… where did that saying come from? I need to go look it up. And I think that’s a wrap… or is it rap?  Another thing to look up. Yikes, I’m a little nervous I’ve made a fool of myself with this conclusion today. Ciao.

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 25 – Obsessed

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Obsessed: preoccupied with or constantly worrying about something

There are varying degrees to which someone can be obsessed with something or someone, ranging from healthy to serial killer. [No, I’m not one]

I’m in that range somewhere. After 24 days, I suppose you think you know me well enough to pinpoint roughly whereabouts I’d fall in that scale. I’ll make it easy for you… it all depends on what I’m obsessing over. I have been known on occasion to be so obsessive, it is scary. Not scary in “he’s gonna go pyscho,” but scary in “did he seriously just do/say/eat that AGAIN?”

Since this post could go on forever about different types of obsession, I’ll share a few things where I find myself obsessed, but ultimately, I’m going to blog about my obsession with food and drink. Things I’ve noticed obsessions over:

  • Test Results: whether it was in school waiting for a grade, getting blood work or updates from a doctor, or DNA results from Ancestry.com, I would check every hour to see if something was new (if it was online, that is… I’d never actually call and ask someone the same question every hour — I do have some level of self-control).

  • Updates: Checking to see if the dial has changed on something (anything… temperature, stocks, points, votes, etc.), I check way too frequently to see if the number has increased or decreased since the last time I saw it. And if the WiFi or screen freezes for any moment, hell hath no fury like an obsessed Jay!

  • Email: At my last job, I looked at my mobile phone every few seconds to see if a new email came in as I was freakishly paranoid about missing it and not getting back to someone timely. I carried it in my hand (not in my pocket) — with the volume off of course (see post on quiet) — just so I could feel the vibration and know I was needed. It rested under my pillow while I slept too.

But… today I am choosing to focus on foods and drinks. So here is the problem… I’m very self-conscious about looking good and being healthy, so I am often balancing my diet, working out and generally trying to maintain a stress-free life. (Note, for another day I’ll cover stress: my opinion is stress causes all the disease and physical pain to manifest in our bodies. You may already have the gene markers in your DNA for it to happen, but cutting out the stress could help prevent it from developing or getting worse) — not a doctor — just my opinion from research and observation!

What foods and drinks am I obsessed with? And by obsessed, I don’t mean I eat them all the time and can’t stop thinking about them. What I mean is… if it’s on the counter or in the closet, I will eat it ALL. I therefore try really hard not to buy these things… and when my mother brings them over on Sundays, I just hate myself. 😛

  • Desserts (cakes, cookies, anything sweet)
  • Chocolate
  • Champagne
  • Cheese
  • Bread

If I open the bag of cookies, I will eat the entire box in one sitting. But I won’t go to the store to buy it every day. If I open a bottle of champagne for dinner, I have to buy at least two: one for me, and one for the other person. And I hope that (s)he does not finish all of theirs so that I can have more. And if I buy cheese and crackers as a pre-dinner snack, I do not believe in wrapping up the remaining cheese for another day. If it’s been opened, it is meant to be consumed. I’ll shove 3 or 4 pieces in my mouth at once. I’m a freakin’ monster when it comes to foods that I love.

And while it’s happening, I’ll reason with myself while sitting on said couch. Typical conversation with myself:

ME: “You had ten, that’s enough.”

ME AGAIN: “One more won’t hurt.”

ME: “OK, just one.”

… [scramble from the couch… into the kitchen… gone longer than should be… back on the couch]…

ME AGAIN: “You had just one, right?”

ME: [can’t speak because mouth is full]

ME AGAIN: “You didn’t, you pig!”

ME: [head hangs in pseudo fake-shame]

ME AGAIN: “How many did you eat?”

ME: “The better question is how many are left!”

That is obsessed. And it leads to a few moments of “got to go work out NOW” and “I feel sick,” but I still do it every time in the future when the opportunity presents itself. Gluttonous is most appropriate word to use. That said, a few interesting  sidebars I’ve noticed:

  1. It doesn’t show because I am probably almost as obsessed with working out, taking vitamins and eating healthy otherwise. I need to balance it out somewhere.
  2. Alcoholism and diabetes run in my family, which means I’m keenly aware of the effects over indulgent behaviors. As a result, I have always been cautious and aware of the risks… and I’d like to say I would never become dependent on these things. Yes, I obsess over some of them, but I also know enough to stop when I need to. (I only do that crazy cookie eating thing once a month!!!!!!)
  3. It makes me human. Perhaps I’m not so peculiar after all… though we all have some crazy in us.

I’m curious why I do these things… why I allow myself to become obsessed? Since it happens beyond just eating and drinking, it’s not some missing vitamin or mineral or chemical in my internal biology! 😛

Am I needy? Am I bored? Am I wanton of things I don’t have? Nah… I think everyone does things like this from time to time. We let our minds control us for so long on certain topics until we decide to just accept or forget the supposed importance. Obsessions just show how much you love something, right? Assuming you keep it healthy and non-impacting to anyone else, then it’s all cool, right? The other people are wrong.

365 Challenge: Day 19 – Competitive

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Competitive: as good as or better than others of a comparable nature

When I searched for the definition to add to the post, I was surprised. Yes, I agree with it, but I’ve always had a much darker meaning in mind when I thought of the word competitive, or at least how I interpreted it. Then I saw the synonyms listed were ruthless, aggressive or fierce. NOW WE’RE TALKING!!!

Well, I’m not that bad! But I am very competitive about certain things. And when I compete, I want to win with such passion. You’re probably thinking this sounds like the opposite of what I was saying yesterday about being cool with being average. But, competition is healthy when kept under control and infrequent. That said, I’m not even considering talking about sporting events where that’s entirely what the game’s about – who will win. I suppose it’s partially about who plays well and what new feats of strength are pulled off, but then again, who watches the sport to see their favorite team lose???

When I was younger, I was a little bit snarky when I’d lose. (Mom, if you’re ever reading this, I know you are laughing right now, thinking… “a little bit… you can’t stand to lose when you set your mind to winning.”

She could always tell when I wasn’t happy because I had a hard time containing it. I’d hint at why I didn’t win and what may have been unfair (embarrassing now that I think of it).

I never got that angry, but I was displeased. As I’ve gotten older, I’m much better about losing, but there are a few things that I expect myself to be top of game at — and never lose!

Playing cards is one of them. I grew up in a card-playing family; as a child, I would ask to watch my grandparents and great aunts and uncles playing various card games such as Follow the Queen, Criss Cross, Poker, Sevens, Rummy, Black Jack and others. I didn’t want to play with my cousins, go outside or even sit on the couch and watch TV or read a book — that is, when cards were being played! Of course I read all the time, but when those 52 pieces of perfection slid across the table, matched or had a wild card, it was as if I’d won the lottery.

But I kept it cool unlike my friend Christina… no one could know — and trust me when I tell you I have a poker face. I know how to look sullen and disinterested. I knew when to fake “I’ve got good cards and can’t hold it in look,” forcing my competition to fold and then I’d win the pot even tho I had a horrible hand.  Ooh, getting excited just thinking about it! :0

But it’s finally become fun competition for me – not frustrated competition. When it’s done, I let it go and move on. But during the game, it’s part of the environment, the ambiance, the action. It helps you get excited or hopeful — all healthy feelings when kept within the right parameters of friendly competition.

Luckily, I’ve never really crossed the line and gotten competitive to the point where you hurt someone else’s feelings or look like a complete and utter jerk. I may have come up close to it when I was younger, but it was always in trying to be humorous. Never any intention to be mean.

Sometimes there’s competition in the weirdest of places for me. When I would go out drinking with friends, in my mind, it was a competition who could drink the most and not get sick. Not that I ever really drank that much, but on a few occasions, it would be amusing. I’d think to myself, “oh, I had a few of this, half of that, 3 or 4 of those…” and I’d round up so it sounded like I drank more. What was wrong with me??? I needed to be the one who drank more and would exaggerate a little bit to win that competition? And the prize was, you guessed it,

That was the nicest way of showing you “vomiting” when you drink too much! I could have showed you a far worse picture I found on the GIF site, but that would make me a horrible person!

Another weird competition… who could finish painting a room the quickest. Two equal size rooms, same color paint, same start time. Who would finish first?  Now think about it… if there’s something you don’t want to rush to win, it’s painting a room. Because you’ll get sloppy. And then you have to live with it. Or paint it all over again. And you can’t just fix the places you messed up because the paint dries differently and you see shine in some areas. And then you live in an ugly room, all so you could say “I finished painting first.”

Maybe I did have a problem when I was younger. I suppose that’s what these 365 challenges are about. Discovering something I didn’t know. Woah!!! I bet I discovered something before you!  Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah!!!!  Ha. I win!

What’s my prize!??????