objects

365 Challenge: Day 324 – Memorabilia (LIST: Objects I adore)

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Memorabilia: objects kept or collected because of their historical interest, especially those associated with memorable people or events

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of five Sundays, I chose objects I adore or that have some huge importance to me. We’re in our fifth and final week and I’ve gone with memorabilia because it brings to the surface of my mind so many wonderful memories, moments and minutes of my past. I am not a pack-rat, hoarder, or saver of many things. I was when younger… for instance, I kept every issue of four weekly magazines I subscribed to for ten years. When I moved cross-country in 2007, I realized it was time to let go of things that really weren’t all that important. But I kept those that were, focusing intently on items that truly had memories or a connection to other people and events in my life. Let’s break it down into a few key areas:

A. Letters & Cards

  • Most everyone gives or gets cards for their birthday, holidays and/or other special reasons. Over the years, I saved some of the ones from people in my life who passed or moved on, or the ones that had a beautiful message inside. I have every card that W has given to me, even the little ones early on when we celebrated the small milestones or the “just because I care” notes we left in each other’s apartments before we moved in together. I have most of the Christmas and birthday cards from my parents, seeing how my mom still refers to me as her baby boy in each one.
  • I also have a group of ten letters written by important people in my life during my Confirmation. I grew up Catholic and when I completed my religious education in middle school, part of the ceremony ushering you into adulthood where you confirm your faith for the first time on your own accord is Confirmation. Grandparents, Godparents, parents and other friends and family write you letters that you get when you are on a two-day retreat away from normal life. They help you feel connected to your family as you embrace your journey forward. I saved them all, treasuring the words people thought and said about me when I was thirteen. My uncle lamented (in a fun way) how it was so odd I could listen to groups like Metallica. My godmother asked me to stop teasing my cousins but also make them act and behave more like me rather than get in trouble. My grandmother told me how much she loved spending time with me after school. Treasures!

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B. Photographs & Albums

  • Everyone saves photos. In my childhood, teenage and college years, they were actual printed photographs from cameras. Afterwards, they were digital photos stored on my computer, phone and then the cloud. I wasn’t a big photographer, but I did take some. When W and I began dating back in December 2011, I realized I’d found the complete opposite of me when it came to memorabilia. He saves everything, and his our storage facility would prove that! But I cannot complain, as every summer in the first five years when we rented a beach house with a group of friends for several weekends, he took photos. At the end of the season, he presented everyone with a photo album of all the summer memories.
  • As if that’s not enough, he does the same as one of my Christmas presents each year — an album of all the memories from our past year together. I now have six albums since we’ve been together and five from the summer beach house. They are in the hall closet and we flip through them several times a year. Unfortunately, some of the photos are highly embarrassing, so they will never see the light of day on the blog! While I wouldn’t mind the ones of me showing (a few hangovers, a few cooking mishaps, some where we’re in bathing suits or caught in semi-compromising positions), I can’t show other people, so they will stay hidden unless you happen to be visiting me in NYC.

 

 

C. ID Cards, Exams, Grades & Reports

  • I have all my ID cards, drivers licenses, and birth certificate documentation in a small box. I like seeing the numerical data and aging from year to year as things changed both in appearance and skill.

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  • I have every report card, standardized test result or major exam scores. Things like my SATs and GREs… all the kindergarten notes from the teachers… college transcripts. I even kept the three where I had a final grade less than a B. I was a nerd, but I had a few classes that didn’t go over very well in my book. I will not reveal when they occurred or what class they were in, but it would be a bit shocking to know.
  • I love seeing the results on some of them as they reveal a lot about me. For instance, I almost always scored perfect on math exams, even close to 800 on that portion of the SATs, yet my reading comprehension when I was younger had been a weaker area. How odd! My personal favorite was a comment from a middle school guidance counselor to my parents about how I should have been pushed forward two grades when I was younger given how far ahead I was compared to the rest of the grade. Before you think I’m just tooting my own horn… the very next quarter’s report said ‘Jay is incredibly shy and often refuses to talk to anyone else. I see now why pushing him up a grade would have hurt him.’ Whaaat???? LOL

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D. Books

  • It goes without saying, but any writer or reader will have treasured books on a shelf. I’ve shared those pictures before, but there is one special book I have not. During the six weeks when I pledged a fraternity in college, we had a spiral steno notebook to keep notes on all the brothers, learn information about the fraternity and write our tasks and plans. It’s of course confidential, and no one else has ever read it, but I can show the cover… it has been twenty years! When I re-read some of those things, I am scared and shocked at so much of the past. Nothing bad, just… really… I had totally forgotten I did that and didn’t get caught.

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If you look closely, you might see my Pledge Name — I told that story in a past post!

As you can see, they are the typical paper and print memorabilia we all keep, but the ones I store all fit within one large box. I take them out from time to time when I need to connect with the past. It’s always fun to take that trip down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed the last five Sundays where you learned about all the important objects in my life. I look forward to sharing the final five weeks of my lists with you before the 365 Daily Challenge comes to an end soon…

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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

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365 Challenge: Day 317 – Journal (LIST: Objects I adore)

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Journal: books I’ve been writing in for 30 years

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Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. For this group of five Sundays, I chose objects I adore or that have some huge importance to me. We’re in our fourth week, and I’ve gone with journal because of how many I’ve collected and used over the years. Ever since I was about 6 or 7 years old, I’ve written in journals. I have over 40 at this point, mostly stored in boxes or bottoms of cabinets. I pulled out a few that were easy to access, to share some of the covers or initial pages. You’ll see various dates, mostly from the 1990s in this batch.

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A few are focused on poetry…

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Some you can actually see the beginnings of Watching Glass Shatter last year.

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Below is one of the first adult ones when I graduated from high school.

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Each person who gave me the journal (as I don’t ever buy my own — I want them to be special and attributed to someone who supported me over the years) has a short note on the cover page, thanking them. I cherish these, often flipping through them to see what I was thinking at any given moment in time. Some days it was revealing a secret crush. Other days it was a line I thought too beautiful to forget.

I have moved more towards electronic in the last few years, but I still keep journals to write in script or cursive — whatever my hand and mind choose at that point in time. Someday… perhaps I can combine them together as the ‘best of’ and publish a new book of ‘early thoughts!’

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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 310 – Ryder (LIST: Objects I adore)

Posted on Updated on

Ryder: my 10-year old shiba inu dog who unexpectedly passed away this week

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When I took this photo 3 months ago, I never realized its meaning…

Sundays are LIST days and today is no different. While I never expected to include Ryder as an object I love, it feels appropriate given his unexpected death this week. If you are new to my blog, you should first read this message, which explains what happened to him earlier this week. This post will be about celebrating his life and my love for him.

***

Ryder was born September 3, 2007. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend that year, while visiting my parents in Pennsylvania, we took a trip to a pet store with the only intent being to visit with a few puppies. By the next day, I adopted Ryder, a red sesame shiba, who was about 13-weeks old. He was such a tiny little puppy, the runt of his litter, and looked more like a little bear.

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Ryder first lived in Brooklyn, NY with me, as I had just moved back from California that month. We had a temporary garden apartment on the first floor of an old brownstone. It had lots of nooks and crannies, and he loved to play hide and seek. I think it was being in that apartment which caused him to be a bit of a little devil. He never liked to listen to commands, even when he went to doggie training, but he passed the weekend course and learned to sit, lay down and give someone his paw. After a few weeks, we enrolled him in a doggie daycare, so he would be socialized with other dogs, but also because there were times I had to stay late for events for my job. I didn’t want him home alone for 12 to 14 hours a day.

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One of those days, the owner called me at work to tell me Ryder had an aggression problem. He would play with other dogs, but after a minute or two, he would intentionally start a fight. Seriously. He was being a little ass, and I went to watch him for an hour one day through the window. They were telling the truth. If another dog got too close, even after they happily played for ten minutes, he would growl and jump at the other dog. He would never harm or bite, just be aggressive. He’d thrown his ten-pound body against a thirty-pound dog and expect to knock it over. I vividly remember thinking…. Why me? I’m so quiet and non-confrontational, how did this happen! Needless to say, we were told Ryder couldn’t come to doggie daycare anymore. I found another reputable place and tried again. A week later, he was asked not to return. I was so ashamed! I tried a third one, and clearly told them upfront that Ryder needed training. They understood and were willing to try it by putting him in with the big dogs to let him get tossed around a few times, in the hopes it would control his behavior. They would watch him, and only do it for short periods of time… but even the big dogs didn’t scare him. He had the ever-famous Napoleon complex. So… Ryder was never enrolled in doggie day care again.

Shortly afterwards, Ryder had his first seizure around 6-months old. It was small, but I had another dog with horrendous seizures. I wanted him on the same medicine, a lower dosage, as it had worked for the other dog. The medicine controlled his seizures, and for the rest of his life, he would only have maybe 2 or 3 per year, if even that. We went for a year once without any. It breaks your heart to see it happen, but you can’t touch them during it, as you don’t want them to associate you with the feelings they get from the seizure.

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But that fear is quickly ingrained in you… and every night, if he got out of bed, and I heard the tapping of his toe nails against the wooden floors, I got up to check on him. He was a good sleeper and rarely wandered. If he was out of bed, it meant something was wrong. A few weeks later, the weather started getting warmer and spring arrived. I’d let Ryder out on the enclosed patio we had on the apartment in Brooklyn. One day, I see him chasing something… assuming it’s a fly. When I go outside to check, I notice it was a bumble bee. Ryder is barking and screeching at it, almost to the point someone thought I was killing a cat. He runs through the screen door opening and into the living room… I follow him only to see him bite down on the bee. It didn’t end there. His screeching suddenly intensified and he fell back on the floor. The bee went flying out of his mouth and he yelped as if he was hit by a car. I grabbed hold, checked his mouth and saw the huge black mark on his tongue. He’d been stung by the bee, which he of course deserved. So… an hour back and forth with the vet, as I don’t know if he’s allergic to bees, or if that could trigger a seizure… needless to say, he went unharmed, but he had that black scar on his tongue for the rest of his life. He also still chased bees whenever he saw one. He didn’t get his intelligence from me, I’ll say that for sure!

Right after he turned one, I moved out of Brooklyn and bought a house with a large backyard. He had a doggie door and could go in/out all day long while I was at work. He screamed at birds, chased squirrels and ate everything he could. At least twice a week, he woke me up tapping on the bedroom floor, not because of a seizure, but because he was yakking up whatever he’d eaten that day. If I could tell you how much lack of sleep or worry this dog has caused me in ten-years, you wouldn’t believe me. But that’s where our bond began – as much as he drove me nuts, it made us closer. He ran to me for everything. He developed a need to be near me 24/7, and although I would force him to go play by himself from time to time, I missed not having him sitting on my feet or laying against my thigh.

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In time, my job became too intense and I was away from home too much. Commuting by train took an additional 3+ hours each day, which was time away from him. I had also just met W and wanted to live in the city to be closer to him and my job, so I sold my house and moved into Manhattan. Ryder was not happy. He was going to lose his outdoor space. And he did… my first apartment was a small box, even for someone his size. He whined and yelped all day. I could hear him from the elevators which were a good 40 feet from my apartment door. Speaking of elevators, Ryder’s first interaction with one was with W. I had pulled my car up in front of the building, unloading boxes. W took Ryder to the apartment and rode the elevator. He had no idea what to do with it. He was a very young puppy when we lived in the city last time, on the first floor, so he never used an elevator before. It’s one of W’s first memories with him, and I know it’s a happy one.

It was in that first Manhattan apartment that Ryder exacted his revenge on us. He wouldn’t adapt to walking for his bathroom breaks. Instead, my living room rug was his personal wee wee pad. I tried to cage him to avoid it, but that little rascal would purposely pee in the cage, roll in it and then expect me to clean him when I got home from work. After a week, I gave up and papered the floor with wee wee pads. Eventually, he learned to use them, but he’d have accidents in the wrong place 10% of the time. I call them accidents, but they were on purpose. He could be spiteful in a fun way, and we all knew it. But that was part of his charm. You played by his rules or you didn’t play at all. W and I moved in together for a short time in his apartment where the same things happened until Ryder adjusted. A friend referred to W’s rug as a bio-hazard for a few weeks. Neighbors asked if we had a cat living there, as they heard strange whines all day. They weren’t supposed to have dogs, so we said yes, it’s a cat… and that’s how Ryder came to have his own Facebook page: Ryder the Cat-Like Dog.

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Summertime meant the beach. We rented a house off the cost of Long Island with some friends every summer and would travel there at least 10 weekends. Ryder loved it. He had outdoor space again. He could chase wildlife, even had his first encounter with a deer! He was afraid and in love all at the same time. We let him off-leash one day, to see how he’d do – big mistake. He ran everywhere, and it took almost thirty minutes to catch him. W aged a few years that day, as it was his idea to test Ryder and was so afraid to lose him. We lured Ryder back with treats and various calls, but then he never went off leash again. He loved the place so much, prancing around, except when he realized there was water at the beach. We took photos of him surfing on a board one day, getting knocked around by waves. He hated it. He refused to speak with us for days. We kept torturing him on walks by walking close enough for the waves to get him. We tried to get him to adjust, but he never would. There needed to be 20 feet between him and water at all times! But hey, after what he put us through with the bio-hazard rugs, what’s a little water torture as revenge?

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When it came time for W and I to buy our own apartment together, Ryder made the decision. We knew it had to have outdoor space. We wanted something big enough for Ryder to get in a few runs, but not ground level as it would be too easy for someone to break in. We got lucky when we found our current place… Ryder came over to test it out, and he went berserk running all throughout the apartment, in and out of the two different doors to get outside. We have a video of him seeing his new home for the first time, and he was absolutely in love. We called the outdoor terrace ‘Ryder’s Enchanted Garden,’ and W spent much of his free time cultivating a beautiful space for Ryder to have trees, bushes, flowers, play areas, and lounging area (he loved to lay in the sun). Finally, Ryder learned how to do his business outside again, as well as use pads if he was ever inside for too long while we were out.

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There is so much more I could say about this lovable little creature, but I will keep it brief with a few fun memories before I say goodbye to him. This is only 1% of 1% of the memories we have had together as a family…

  • Ryder loved beef brisket so much. The first time he had it, he wolfed down his plate, then had to immediately go to the bathroom. He couldn’t get out quick enough and while we were eating, just a few feet away, did his business on the floor. We called it the ‘brisket shits’ ever since that day, but luckily, he controlled it on a go-forward basis. As soon as he ate, he’d run to the glass door, tap on it furiously, we’d let him out while we were eating and within 5 minutes, he’d be back for more, furiously tapping on the door to be let inside. We got no rest or time to eat with his antics. His needs always came first. W and I would swap turns, so whomever let him out didn’t have to get up to let him back in. The last meal Ryder actually ate before he grew too sick last weekend was brisket — made by W that day to try to cheer Ryder up and get him to eat something. He actually enjoyed the meal and had a smile on his face for a few minutes.
  • Ryder caught his first bird on the terrace. I had already gone to work. W was in the shower and heard Ryder screeching. When he came out to check, Ryder had dropped a dead bird on the dining room floor, prancing all about – proud of his work. W was unable to process it (he can’t be near things like that) but had to. I was at work and he couldn’t leave with the bird on the floor. Poor Ryder, he never understood how scary his gift to W was!
  • Ryder was not fond of small children; whether it was height or age, anything under 10-years-old unnerved him. When W’s nephew and niece visited, Ryder barked incessantly. He tried to play, but he was just not sure how to interpret them, and they were well-behaved. He actually ran off to the guest bathroom and literally pushed the door closed so no one could get in. When they left, he wandered out, nervously, and then hid under the table for a day. He also dressed up for a few Halloweens to help give out candy for trick-o-treaters, but quite unwillingly. He’d answer the door, stare at the children in costume, lean towards them to smell them, and as soon as someone squealed ‘doggie,’ he barked and ran to the bedroom. W forced it on the poor pup, but I suspect Ryder secretly enjoyed it.
  • There was only one time when he ever willingly played with a child: Grace. She was a friend’s daughter, about 2-years-old, and chased him all over the apartment. He hated it at first, but then she sat down on the carpet with her bowl of cereal. Slowly, she won Ryder over… handing him cheerio by cheerio, until she stopped eating them and he ate the whole bowl. Grace became his new heroine that day, and he actually let her pet him, if she’d hand him a cheerio. He had intelligence that day, so I know he just liked to play W and I against one another to get what he wanted. He was quite astute when he wanted to be.
  • Ryder’s favorite thing to do besides eat, was to take your spot. Whether it was on the couch, or where you stood trying to cook dinner or unpack bags, the moment you left the spot, he went to it. He needed to be attached to one of us while sleeping. He would alternate nights staying up a bit later with W who watched a TV show while I went to bed to read for a bit. As soon as he was ready, Ryder would tap into the bedroom, paw at the bed, and I’d lean down to lift him into it. When we left the apartment, he would sleep in the front hall by the door until we came home. We left music playing for him and lights on so he didn’t feel too alone. And when we left the terrace door open, he’d stay outside the entire time keeping watch over all of nature.

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Ryder had a wonderful life. He was adored and loved by countless friends and family, everyone on the blog and all the people who took care of him over the years. Ryder passed away at 10-years old on January 18, 2018 at 12:43pm EST, in my arms with W sitting with us. Ryder will be missed more than any words this man can conjure or imagine. I don’t know how to move forward with his Monday Ryder Rants, but I probably will discontinue them tomorrow. I will always be grateful for the time we had together; you were part of my soul, Ryder… and someday, W and I will see you again. xoxo

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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 308 – Bottle (LIST: Objects I adore)

Posted on

Bottle: Bailey’s Irish Cream two friends drank during college, where life started to get easier, and I will always remember the fun times

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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 second week and I’ve gone with bottle because of the treasure you see in these pictures. It’s an empty Bailey’s Irish Cream bottle from 1996, the last week of college during my freshmen year. I’ll explain more later, but of course, as I was only 19 at the time, I didn’t drink anything that evening. I participated only in the conversations and not the imbibing! 😛

I’ve mentioned two things in the past: I’m an only child and I am very shy. I was even more shy 20 years ago. After a decent freshmen first fall semester adjusting to a new life, I found myself considering changing colleges to stay at home, rather than live on campus two states away. My family convinced me to return for the spring semester and give a full year a chance. So… I did. And it worked out. I met a fantastic group of guys, and joined a fraternity. I also met a fantastic group of girls in a sister sorority. Friendships bloomed and everything was feeling great. I finally became a full brother after the pledging period ended, completed my final exams and had a few day before my father could pick me up on the weekend to head back to Long Island for the summer. I had met two girls (they were graduating seniors) and grew quite attached as friends. Everyone else left for home for the summer, but I had the extra few days… luckily, the senior class was around for another week until their graduation. I was staying to say goodbye.

One night, we sat on the front porch of their sorority house for several hours, just talking about life and our goals for the future. It continued for 4 or 5 days in a row, sometimes til 5am. Anette was going back to Finland. Gina was returning to New Jersey. I was going to miss all my new friends, but these two were quite special — especially since they were graduating and I knew it would be hard to keep in touch once they started teaching and working in the business world, while I was still in college for three more years. Our bond would be tough to maintain given the distance… but they did something a few days later which made it all the more special and long-lasting. They gifted me the first bottle from the first hour of the night we hung out, as there were many more bottles of other things after that — not that I had any, of course!

There are phrases on the bottles that are obvious, and there are some that were just the ramblings of a few drunk people. But it will always be in my memory as the beginning of when I pushed myself to be comfortable with new people, to take chances on friendships and to trust others. While we will still send an occasional message on Facebook, we’ve all moved on in our lives, but if I could ever transport back to a time in my life for a few hours, I’d pick one of those nights to discuss our hamburger theory, to listen to someone telling me to grow a backbone or to dance the macarena together. Life was simple. Grades and classes. Nothing else mattered besides our time together.

I’ve had this bottle for over 20 years. It’s moved with me to California and back. It’s been on my bookshelves and locked away in a closet for safe-keeping. I often pick it up to remember the days of my past. Sometimes to laugh at us them for going from tequila to wine to beer to Bailey’s Irish Cream all in the same night. Other times to just feel that connection. Thank you, Gina and Anette, for being one of my first amazing college friendships, and giving me this permanent reminder. xoxo


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 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)

blanket

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!

DBF167E2-5398-4BCF-A792-8EB354CD0E9E.jpeg

 

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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

TAG: Listicle Books – Top 5 Objects That Make a Book Character Stronger

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I’ve been tagged by Nel at Reactionary Tales for the Listicle Tag, and she’s chosen a whopper of a subject for me: Top 5 objects that make the main character stronger in books. I had two thoughts on this topic: (a) normal every day objects which make a person stronger, either physically or emotionally, or (b) objects with some sort of power that end up being a benefit for the person who finds it, making them a stronger person. I went with option B, as I believe given Nel’s love of fantasy and science fiction, this might be what she meant… (fingers crossed!)

Nel and I have known (online) each other for a few months… and she loves pushing me to try new genres for both TV shows and books. Fantasy is my weak area, so she is introducing me to new books and characters. In return, I torture her with posts about cat books all the time. Just kidding! Her blog and website are fantastic. She has thought-provoking content, great conversational pieces and lots of strong perspectives. You definitely want to poke around by clicking the “Reactionary Tales” link above, which will show you her answers to the Listicle Tag that she had to answer: Top 5 non-human creatures! I also have to do that one because I was tagged there too…  you can see my responses here.

listicle

Rules:

  • Create your own listicle tag, using the prompt from the person who tagged you.
  • Tag the creator of the post (not-so-modern-girl!) so that she can read all your brilliant posts and see how the joy of listicles is being spread.-
  • Nominate as many people as you want!
  • Set those 5 people the subject/prompt of their listicle post!

 

Top 5 Objects That Make a Character Stronger in Books:

  • #1 – Board Game – Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
    • When the kids are forced to play the board game in this wonderful children’s book, it helps them learn how to grow up. It also helps them bring a former game player back to life when he was locked within the game a generation beforehand. For that alone, it’s a powerful object that can put life on pause at it’s whim, but also help someone grow stronger.

jumaji

  • #2 – Cloning Machine – The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James Morrow
    • Mason stumbles upon a beautiful woman who seems to have everything he ever wanted, but she’s also secretive. Then he finds a younger version of her. And another younger version of her. It appears she has a cloning machine and has been on a mission that he needs to uncover. The cloning machine can wreak havoc on people’s lives or it can make you stronger. It all becomes clear in the ending of this novel.

apprentice

  • #3 – Standing Stone – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    • When Claire steps on to a mysterious stone, she’s transported back many centuries and falls in love with Jamie. But what about her husband, back in modern times? She was a little bored with him and their life, so could it be this stone is the strength she needed to go after all that she yearned for in life? I’ve only read the first book in this series, so I don’t know how it will end up. But this stone is pretty strong and helps her make a lot of decisions in the first book alone.

outlander

  • #4 – Alethiometer – The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
    • When a young girl overhears a conversation about “dust,” and realizes her father and his friends are involved in some sort of potentially dangerous scheme, she must hunt down whether he’s doing good or bad, what happened to her mother, and what is this mysterious alethiometer left in her capable hands… When she finally figures out what it can do, it saves her life and helps ensure all that she needed to accomplish can be achieved.  I don’t want to say what the object does, in case you haven’t read the book yet, but it is powerful and helps Lyra grow stronger — both physically and emotionally.

compass

  • #5 – Secret Garden Realm – The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
    • I wasn’t sure if this fit the theme as well as it could have, but ultimately, when a young boy enters the secret garden in the backyard of his new home, he knows it has some magical powers. And when he reaches it, in just the right light at the proper time, he’s transported into a wonderland just like his book. Which of the objects has control?  Either case, both are quite strong and change his life for the future… one in which he learns how to be a better boy and to protect his younger sibling.

lostthings

My Nominations:

The following 5 people are nominated to participate in this tag, but don’t have to if they want to skip it. I also nominate anyone else that wants to participate in it to join the fun

Topic: Top 5 Book Series You Wish Had Just 1 More Book In Them! And what would the plot entail……

Special Nomination:   Reactionary Tales (just for the fun of it!)

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” 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… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All 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.