October 31, 2010

Challenge - Day 30!

Whatever tickles your fancy

Well, 28 out of 30 isn't bad is it?

Today is the Pagan holiday of Samhain.
Read my post from last year on what Samhain is about.

I was talking with some friends that were interested in knowing why I believe and celebrate these holidays. They asked; "what makes this day more special than another one? How do you celebrate it or any of the Pagan holidays?" I asked them the same about their Christian holiday. For many people in the world December 25th is just a regular day, what makes it special to them? I know there are meanings behind the holidays and why they are celebrated, there are traditions and rituals. A holiday is what you make it. This is what I do too, remember and celebrate the changing of the seasons and the ancestral history that is part of me. I know I had many ancestors who celebrated this holiday.

However you celebrate the day; be it Samhanin, Holloween, or All Saint's Eve, I hope you have a great day.

October 28, 2010

Challenge - Day 27

This month, in great detail

I don't know that I can go into great detail. It's been busy, stressful work Monday through Friday. Working out for about an hour after work, then some form of cardio, either the mountain bike or the treadmill at the gym. The weekends have been filled with chores around the house and then a couple of hours on the mountain bike on some great off road trails with friends.

It was also the opening of the Renaissance Festival near Houston. I have made two trips there but I am in a different place than I was last year and won't be going down there every weekend like I did before.

Then this last week I was very sick! I don't remember ever feeling that bad. But I'm finally feeling back to normal.

Then been blogging every day again.

October 27, 2010

Challenge - Day 26

Your week, in great detail

Been sick! Feeling puny with a URI (upper respiratory infection) so this week has been boring. I'm going back to bed.


October 26, 2010

Challenge - Day 25

Your day, in great detail
The first alarm goes off at 6:05am, I usually grab the remote on the night stand next to the bed and hit snooze. The next alarm on my phone goes off at 6:10am. I reach over and turn it off. The snooze sounds again at 6:15 and I finally get out of bed to turn it off.

I head to the bathroom, take my vitamins, brush my teeth, shave and then shower. You've seen me in the shower, but there isn't as much dancing in the mornings. I dry off, put some product in my hair, deodorant, face lotion and then regular lotion on the tattoos and dry parts.

Put on some cologne, then the boxers and t-shirt. I go to the closet and pick out a dress shirt, slacks, shoes and belt. I then head into the entry way, open the door to see the weather and this is usually where I tie my tie. I grab the keys, my book to read during lunch time and the gym bag that was packed the previous night.

The drive into work is down Ft. Worth Ave, which becomes Commerce Street. After a few turns I drive into the parking garage. A trip of only about 6 miles that takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Then just work. UGH!

I leave between 5:15pm and 6pm. Head to the 24 Hour Fitness that is a couple of blocks away. My workout routine in; chest on day 1, legs on day 2, arms on day 3 and back & shoulders on day 4. I do about a 100 crunches every day. Then about 30 to 35 minutes of cardio.

I drive home, turn on the laptop or read. Head to bed between 9:30pm and 10:30pm.

I'll do another "Jim's day in pictures" again. That was more fun!

October 25, 2010

Challenge - Day 24

Whatever tickles your fancy

Not feeling this so much.... Was in Houston over the weekend and was already fighting some chest congestion. Now I'm feeling really sick.

So this is all I have to make me make me laugh:

October 24, 2010

Challenge - Day 23

A YouTube video

This is my favorite act at the Renaissance Festivals:

October 23, 2010

Challenge - Day 22

A website

Of course my friend Donny's website: www.woofwax.com

There are 3 pictures of me on the site. See if you can find all 3.

And of course order some candles since you're there! They are great!!

October 22, 2010

Challenge - Day 21

A recipe

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 cans of Crescent rolls
2 packages of 8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick of butter, melted

Spread one can of the crescent rolls on the bottom of a 9"X13" pan (keep them in together as one). Mix cream cheese (both packages), 1 cup of sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread mixture on top of the crescent rolls in the pan. Spread the other can of crescent rolls on top of the cream cheese mixture. Pour the melted butter on top. Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy warm or cold.

October 21, 2010

Challenge - Day 20

A hobby of yours

My newest hobby that I've taken up again is mountain biking. It's perfect for the great weather we have in the fall and spring in Texas. Well, really... if you dress right and the trails are dry, one could bike year round here!

I love to read, I like blogging and I also have collected all the state quarters!

October 20, 2010

Challenge - Day 19

A talent of yours

This one is difficult for me. I think it's because I have been so used to being hard on myself and very unforgiving. I think I have a few talents but I haven't developed them like I feel I should.

Singing is one of those talents. I love to sing but haven't in a very long time. Years ago I was dating a guy who sang in a men's chorus and I would go join in the rehearsals when I could and I have often thought about auditioning for the Turtle Creek Chorale. But I doubt myself, I have an OK voice, I know I can sing either baritone or base. I know my voice would get better with practice so why not just go do it? I ask myself that often.

Another talent I think I have is my photography. I've posted many pictures here, but I've just lost interest in the last several years.

People tell me that I'm a great dancer too, I am bi-directional (I can lead or follow). But I haven't been out dancing in months!!

Maybe my talent is that I make friends easily! While at the Renaissance Faires I am the one my friends know will go up and talk to anyone. They also tell me that I am the one bringing them all together, the common thread, the one they all know.

October 19, 2010

Challenge - Day 18

Whatever tickles your fancy

Well... I know I usually do the Random Question on Wednesday, but with this 30 day challenge I thought I'd do it today on my "Whatever" day. So, here is the random question:

What are you apt to do when you feel lonely?

I usually pick up my phone when I'm feeling lonely and start dialing or texting. At those times I want to connect with someone and just talk.

There are a lot of great people in my life that I don't always see or that don't live close and I use the times when I'm feeling lonely to reconnect with someone. It usually brightens their day because they hadn't heard from me in a while and it lifts my mood too.

I already am prone to worry too much and obsess on things, but I have learned that I need to reach out to people and not just wait for something great to happen to me. I make it happen. I've even had friends tell me that I called at the right time, that they were feel down too. We spend time catching up on what is going on in our lives, we share some laughs or we cry on each other's shoulders.

Even if I leave several people a voice mail or don't get a response to a text I feel better! I have looked up people and it has brought back great memories and even that lifts my spirits.

And to be honest... if it's too late to call friends and I'm lonely, porn helps! LOL!

October 18, 2010

Challenge - Day 17

An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

There is a very cool place in Dallas called The Nasher Sculpture Center. I have been often and I love the place. This is a picture of the grounds, very peaceful for being in the heart of a major city:

One of my favorite pieces is Quantum Cloud XX (tornado) by Antony Gormley.

It is a beautiful sculpture, it makes me think of people in today's society; there seems to be a whirlwind of things to distract us. It also makes me think that sometimes we have to look past all the defenses; their spikes and thorns, of someone to see the real person inside.

October 17, 2010

Challenge - Day 16

A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

This makes me think of all the people close to me who have passed away. My first partner Ken in 1986. He was my first real love! And of course my parents who I miss.

October 16, 2010

Challenge - Day 15

A fanpic

This is probably not what y'all had in mind, but I love this guy's photography. He goes to all the Renaissance festivals and takes pictures of people in costume. He even made me look good! I am in this photo album. Let me know if you found my picture!

One of the fun things about going to a Renaissance Festival is people watching. You can tell by looking at his photos that there are all kinds of people there! And they usually all are warm, friendly and welcoming. We all have this family feel; we all love this and understand that some people think it's weird, but we still love it.

I guess you can call this a "fan" pic.... but also that I am a "fan" of this man's photography!

October 15, 2010

Challenge - Day 14

A non-fictional book

I love to read historical fiction where a fictional character is written into a story from history. It makes the historical event seem more real to know that there were common people involved that you will never know about. It makes me wonder, what were those people like?

But there is one historical book that I loved: Nicholas and Alexandria by Robert Massie. I have always been fascinated by this last Tsar of Russia and his family. Of course part of that is I think he was a very handsome man, but he was also devoted to his family. The Russian aristocracy has always intrigued me and one day I would love to visit St. Petersberg, Russia.

October 14, 2010

Challenge - Day 13

A fictional book

I found some interesting podcasts on iTunes and one was a NPR book review! I am always interested in hearing about and reading a new author. One particular podcast was about a new Sci-Fi book called The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway. I am usually not a fan of Sci-Fi but it sounded interesting enough, especially the ending! The NPR host said she had to go back and reread the book once she found out the ending, just to see the subtle clues all through the book. I did like it. I loved the ending but didn't need to go back and read it from the beginning again. I won't give away anything about the book in case someone wants to read it.

October 13, 2010

Challenge - Day 12

Whatever tickles your fancy

No one has told me what my "fancy" is yet.... nor how it get's tickled!!

Well, I could tell about my recent bike tales on the bike trails.

A few weekends ago I went with a friend of mine out to Lake Grapevine, just north and west of Dallas. They have some great trails! Lots of small creeks to go through, some washed out gullies to maneuver through with some steep climbs and descents. There was just enough calm patches to give you a breather and many hills to walk up!

I had a blast! Even when I had a few wipe-outs. The first one was when I went barely 6 inches off the beaten path and my front tire went into a hole. Of course my body was still going forward and I went over the handle bars and into some stickers! Ouch! A while later I was beginning to go down a steep rocky hill when my front tire hit some loose dirt and decided to go the other direction than my body's momentum. I heard and felt my helmet hit rock and I knew my right knee and arm would be sore! Thank goodness I was wearing a helmet!

I jumped up, checked out the bike to make sure it was OK. It was, so we kept on riding. Needless to say I was sore the next day! And by the weekend I was covered in bruises. Here is what is left of the huge bruise on my right knee:

I still had a great time and can't wait to get out on the trails again!

October 12, 2010

Challenge - Day 11

A photo of you taken recently

This was taken on 10/11/10 at about 3:45pm. This is about as recent as you can get. I got off work a little early, was at home on the patio. This is just before I changed clothes to get out on the bike. I rode it to the gym, worked out and took a longer "scenic" route home. It was a great day! I love the cooler weather.

October 11, 2010

Challenge - Day 10

A photo of you taken over ten years ago

This photo was taken a little over 10 years ago. In 2000 I decided I was going to start working out again and get into shape. I started the diet and workouts in June. By Thanksgiving I was buying new smaller pants sizes.

People who see this picture in my cube at work can't believe it's me. Sometimes I can't believe it's me too! I was a whole other person. Besides losing the weight I really worked on coming back out (ask me about that later sometime) and I got my spiritual side back too. Not in an organized religion sort of way, but in a "this makes sense" sort of way.

October 10, 2010

Challenge - Day 09

A photo you took

This is one of my favorite pictures I have taken.

I was riding my bike around the neighborhood I lived in, in east Dallas when I decided to go home and grab my camera because there were so many beautiful flowers in bloom.

This was one moment when everything seemed just perfect.

Oh! And happy 10/10/10 to everyone!

October 9, 2010

Challenge - Day 08

A photo that makes you angry/sad

Read this article and you'll know why this photo makes me angry and sad!

Sorry about the blank post all day... I thought I had set this to post automatically and was out of town.

October 8, 2010

Challenge - Day 07

A photo that makes you happy

This photo was taken by a good friend of mine, Donald Key, on May 1, 2010 at Scarborough Faire, the Renaissance Festival near Dallas. This makes be happy because these are all great friends! People who love and accept me for who I am.

Here's the story behind this picture: We were waiting for all the guys wives who were shopping. We were headed to the next pub when someone got the idea for this picture since we were all wanting a refill.

I love how everyone is showing their personality in the photo. I was having a bad week (and month) and my friends just loved me and made sure I had a full mug.

Our group was so large that we kept joking that to get everyone going in the same direction, it was like herding cats. Someone started meowing and that became our signal to "move along" (usually to the next pub). Yes, the rest of the day we were meowing... loudly! LOL!!

It was a great day and just seeing this picture makes me happy!

October 7, 2010

Challenge - Day 06

Whatever tickles your fancy

What is a fancy anyway? And how does one tickle it? That's what I want to know!!

Oh, here's something funny that happened to me last week....

I was meeting a friend for a movie, it's in a trendy area in Dallas called The West Village. I stopped into the Borders Books to use the restroom before I met up with my friend. As I walked in there was a handsome young guy taking his shirt off! I then noticed his pile of clothes on the baby-changing station. "Hhhmmmm" I thought... "surely he isn't changing his clothes right in the open in the middle of the restroom"?

I peeked over my shoulder once as I was standing at the urinal and saw him drop trou! O. M. G. I'm seeing a guy in his boxers in a Borders Books!!

As I flushed and turned around, there it was... he slipped out of the boxers and into a pair of running shorts!

If y'all have read my blog before, y'all know that the gluteus maximus is one of my favorite things, I am an ass man! And there I was seeing a nice hairy one... right there in the open!

I love unexpected treats!

October 6, 2010

Challenge - Day 05

Your favorite quote

The probability that someone is watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action!

October 5, 2010

Challenge - Day 04

Your favorite book

Here are my top three:

I love historical fiction so a favorite of mine is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Another one I really like because it combines a bit of sci-fi with history is Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card.

And the last is The Charm School by Nelson deMille.

October 4, 2010

Challenge - Day 03

Your favorite television program

I don't watch a lot of TV. There are some really bad, mind numbing stuff out there it seems. Here are the ones I do like:

Dancing With The Stars (I used to ballroom dance while in college)
The History Detectives (PBS station)
American Idol (MAYBE... usually only the last couple of weeks)

My favorite is:

October 3, 2010

Challenge - Day 02

Your favorite movie

Do I have to narrow it down to one?

There are lots of movies I like and for different reasons. I mostly like the "indy" films better than mainstream Hollywood. Most of those are too predictable, I know what is going to happen about half way through the movie.

If it is a Hollywood movie that I like, it will be about something that makes me think and ponder it after. Also, if I like a movie I'll buy it when it comes out on video.

Here are some of my favorites:
The Hangover (probably because of Bradley Coooper)
Kung Fu Hustle
Latter Days
Little Miss Sunshine
The Laramie Project

But I think think the one I always love and might be my favorite is:

October 2, 2010

Challenge - Day 01

My Favorite Song:

I have a lot of favorite songs, it all depends on my mood or what I'm doing.

When I'm out dancing the two-step my favorite is a song by Jamie O'Neal: To Be With You

When I'm in a reflective then it's Josh Groban: To Where You Are

If I'm in a singing mood I love Better Middler: The Rose

If I'm feeling romantic I love Vittorio: You Are My Miracle

But I always love to hear this song, no matter what mood I'm in:

October 1, 2010

30 Day Challenge

I am going to do the 30 day challenge. Tomorrow will be Day 01.
(Thanks Eric for the inspiration to do this)

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanpic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Come on along... enjoy this ride with me through my likes and dislikes!

Tarot Card

Following the lead of my blogger buddy Spo-Reflections, I thought I would draw a card for the new month.

Just the looks of it, it doesn't look all that great! Hhhhmmm...

It seems that I'll be feeling defeated and battling my own demons this month. Nothing physical, all emotional and in my head.

This isn't exactly a happy card to see, because it often shows deeply rooted emotional pain that simply refuses to go away. Usually this is either guilt or regret, and in either case you feel the pain because you wish you could go back and change what happened - but you cannot.

This is right on the mark as I am single once again. It was no one's fault; it just went too serious too fast. At least we are still friends!

Well, all my Tarot card readings I have done have been right on the money! So with such an ominous card I thought I might draw another one that would give me some advice:

It looks like I need to follow the lead of The High Priestess who guides the subconscious. She can be a guide; help me as I venture deep within my mind to discover the true powers hidden deep inside. I need to be patient and open to the whispers from within. I have to wait and be receptive to inner messages. Her lesson is that everything I need to know already exists within me. I have the strength!

Hhhhhmmmm.... Why can't I have a fun reading like the Good Doctor's?