Have you ever met someone and knew for sure you wouldn’t like them? The first time I came across a blog post by http://bottomlesscoffee007.com I was so sure the post was written by someone I could never like. His views didn’t align with mine at all and he was harsh in his criticism of “the other side”; and since I am here (on WordPress) for some lighthearted conversation and humor, I stopped myself from leaving a commentary with my opposing views and just moved along to someone else’s blog post.
It was only a couple of days later when BottomlessCoffee007 showed up again. This time he was in the comment section of my blog post. I rolled my eyes when I first got the notification that he had left a comment on one of my posts. What did he have to say about what I had written? As luck would have it he had left a humorous comment. I chuckled as I read it and then I replied. A few minutes later I got a notification that he was now “following” my Blog and since I am a big advocate of reciprocity I followed him back and that was how 007 and I started.
He would show up in my Inbox daily, sometimes twice or thrice with his controversial opinions, arguments, and rants. Admittedly, his pieces were thought-provoking and gave rise to discourse, even though they were views I didn’t readily share. I eventually started commenting on some of his posts and lo and behold he wasn’t miffed whenever I didn’t agree with him, which happens frequently.😃 We would oftentimes go back and forth several times on just one of his post and in the end, we would always agree to disagree.
I came to admire the manner in which he wrote his pieces and invited dialogue. He addresses every issue you put forth before him and he is never obnoxious in his response to your comments even when you have opposing views. It’s surprising to me that 007 has become one of my favorites on WordPress, despite his controversy, and I am learning to embrace our differences.
007’s blog has taken on a life of its own and now he even has his very own Podcast, which has risen in popularity in only a few months. I am honored to have been the first Blogger he interviewed on his Podcast back in December. You can listen to that interview here: The Art of Conversation. We recently switched seats and he allowed me to interview him, in an effort to have his readers learn more about him. It was truly an interesting and fun conversation that lasted over an hour and forty-five minutes. If you’re interested in listening the link appears below. I promise you won’t be bored.
What 007 has taught me in this extremely divisive climate that we live in is that we don’t have to see eye to eye to get along. If we would only pause and listen, I mean really listen, to others who do not share the same perspectives and views as us we could possibly learn something; and not because we are not on similar sides of the coin it doesn’t mean we can’t have a decent conversation punctuated with a few deep down, genuine, belly laughs.
I am seated in a crowded airport waiting to get on my flight to JFK. I am tired and I am miserable. My flight has already been delayed more hours than I can count because of snow on the ground at home in New York. We were originally scheduled to leave at 6:15 pm, well it’s now 10:45 pm and we still have no idea when we will actually be departing. Not the most ideal situation for creativity and or writing but since I am committed to fulfilling my promise to participate in Reader Request Fridays I just pulled my laptop out of my carry-on and we shall now begin.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to ask me fun, interesting, provocative questions, some of the answers came to me quickly and easily, while others gave me food for thought. I was asked way more questions than I had anticipated, some of the questions even came from my Facebook friends and one Twitter follower, while others came from real life friends.
In the interest of brevity, I’ll be doing my Reader Request Friday responses in 2 parts, that is in 2 separate posts, I don’t want to make it too long and I especially don’t want to bore anyone so please note if you don’t see your question posted here this week, rest assured I’ll be responding to it in my next installment of Reader Request Fridays.
Without further adieu let’s get to the questions and, of course, my answers:
Reader Request Fridays was created by my fellow blogger the controversial https://bottomlesscoffee007.com, who provided me with the first set of questions to respond to:
Q1. I would like to hear the story of you growing up in the Islands.
I was born and raised in Jamaica. We were a typical middle-class family. We didn’t want for anything because my father worked hard and was able to more than adequately provide for his family. I am the eldest of my parents’ three children and I am the only girl.
My father, a former military man, was all about discipline and raised us in a very strict, rigid household with a thousand rules. My mother, on the other hand, was quite liberal in her parenting style (thankfully) so this kind of created a tolerable balance.
I think I might have been the toughest of the 3 children to raise since I was quite the opposite of everyone in my family. I was an extrovert growing up in a household of introverts. I always wanted to go out partying, socialize with the other kids next door, listen to all kinds of loud music with somewhat raunchy lyrics, namely Rock and Jamaican Dancehall, talk loudly and generally just hang out. My father didn’t think any of that behavior was very ladylike at all, so I just kind of kept in line so I wouldn’t get in trouble with him. Growing up I was very scared of my father. Truth be told I was still kind of scared of him even in my adult years, he was a no-nonsense kind of guy, who expected the best from his children, and I never wanted to disappoint him.
Q2. When and why did you move to New York and what was the transition like?
In the Summer of 1998, I was visiting New York and met a very, cool, confident guy that swept me off of my feet. We spent the entire summer hanging out and by the time I was ready to go back home to Law School I was in love. We did the long distance thing for a few years and every opportunity I got to come back to New York, during school breaks, he would send me an airline ticket. When I graduated Law School he encouraged me to move to New York to be with him so I did, much to my father’s displeasure. We later got married, had a child, then divorced.
Despite the divorce and circumstances that caused the divorce, I have no regrets about giving up my solid life in Jamaica and moving to NYC. I love living in New York and I enjoy being a mother, which I don’t think I would have been if not for my Ex, so zero regrets here.
The transition from Jamaica to New York was fairly easy, the only thing I had to get used to was the Winters; but I am so in love with Winter fashion; coats, knee-high boots, gloves, scarves etc., that not even the Winters bothered me much.
Q3. What do you miss about the Islands and how often do you go back there?
I miss my Mom, who still lives there. My Dad passed away a few years ago so in some strange way I miss him too.
I miss the food, the freshness of the food. The way everything tastes light and organic, as opposed to being heavily chemicalized or fertilized.
I miss the greenery, the lushness of the backdrop of the Blue Mountains as I drive through certain parts of the island.
I miss listening to our dialect every day. I also miss the very special way in which we (Jamaicans) create and invent new words all the time to perfectly fit any given situation and circumstance. Gosh, I love my people. 😂
I go home at least once a year. A trip I always look forward to.
Q4. Also, have you taught your children about the culture and traditions of the Islands?
Child – not children – just one. Yes, I most certainly have. My son has been going to Jamaica every year, sometimes twice a year, since he was only six months old. He will be 15, in a matter of weeks, and you can’t tell him he isn’t Jamaican himself. He understands the dialect and speaks it better than most American children born to Jamaican parents. He loves the food, the music and the dances, which he surprisingly does very well. My son has claimed Jamaica as his own and doesn’t like it when I refer to him as a “fareign pickney”. 😂
Q5. Do you spread spaghetti sauce all on top of your noodle or mix it all together?
Mix it all together.
Q6. What was your favorite snack as a kid? When did you last have it?
Chippies Banana Chips, which, of course, is from Jamaica. However, I find it in New York from time to time. I recently had some.
Q7. Do you have a monthly subscription box? If so, which?
Q8. What’s your favorite perfume?
Good ole classic Chanel No. 5.
Q9. Top pet peeves.
i) People who spit in public.
ii) People who act like they know everything.
iii) Unsolicited advice.
iv) People who talk during a movie.
v) Long recorded messages that ask you to press a thousand different numbers before you can actually talk to a real live person.
Q10. Do you own a dishwasher?
Yes. Believe it or not, I hardly use it though, I like doing my dishes the old fashion way.
Q11. What would the warning label to your life say?
Combustible! She goes from 0 to 100 in under 60 seconds.
Q12. If you could meet anyone who would it be?
Q13. What food can you absolutely not eat?
Frogs. I hear it’s a delicacy in some countries but I’ll pass.
Q14. If you weren’t in the profession you are in right now what would you choose to do for work?
A Writer, of course. It’s my dream to get paid for my writing.
Q15. If you could use one superpower for a day, which would it be?
Ha! I’d want to be invisible. Imagine the things you could find out if you were invisible. 👀
Q16. What allergies do you have?
Q17. Do you read magazines?
I use to but in this day and age of the World Wide Web, I don’t really read print magazines anymore. I use to have subscriptions to O (The Oprah Magazine), Essence, Cosmopolitan, and Parenting Magazine.
Q18. What has been your hardest challenge this month?
A particular case I have. Well, it’s not even the case, it’s really the client that has been challenging.
Q19. Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition? If so, what?
Not really. We usually eat Thanksgiving Dinner with another family at their house. I rarely ever host Thanksgiving, I did it once and I don’t think I want to do it again.
Q20. What’s something you do without realizing it?
Raise my voice. I do it out of excitement, annoyance or anger and don’t even realize it until I’m asked, “Why are you yelling?”
Q21. What would be in your self-care kit? Lip-gloss, mint-flavored gum, movie tickets, a pair of dumbbells, a great book and my debit card.
Red!!! I adore everything red. Red cars, red dresses, red sofas, red walls, red lipstick, red cell phone covers; I always go with red. All kinds of red; fire-engine red, apple red, brick red, wine red…Red! Red! Red!
Q23. If you could go to any play or musical what would it be?
Hands down Springsteen on Broadway; mezzanine tickets are going for at least $1,200 a piece. Of course, I can’t afford to go at those prices but oh how I wish I could.
I also have an interest in seeing Hamilton, another ridiculously priced Broadway play.
Q24. Who would you invite to a dinner party? Ahh, let’s see…
Serena Williams, and
Q25. Where would you like to vacation? I’d like to go to Egypt to see the pyramids.
Q26. Can you recommend any good books?
Of course! Here are some favorites:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Defending Jacob by William Landay
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Stand by Stephen King
11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseinei
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
Q25. What pets do you have or would you like? I wasn’t blessed with a love for animals.
Q26. What types of music do you like?
I listen to just about anything but I do have an affinity for Rock, Reggae and Jamaican Dancehall. I even enjoy some of the rap music my son likes to listen to.
Q27. Did you enjoy school? If yes what subjects?
For the most part, I did. Favorite subject, hands down anything to do with English Langauge Arts; both English and English Literature were favorites of mine.
Q28. Were you ever a girl guide? Nope.
Q29. Do you like fun fairs? Yes, I like fairs. b) Favorite fair food? Cotton Candy.
Q30. Do you prefer wine or cocktails or soft drinks? I like red wine but I prefer a tangy tasting cocktail and if I opt for soda, it’s usually the diet version, like Coke Zero. My favorite drink is water though.
Q31. What would your favorite dinner be if you could pick anything?
Well, since I’m a carnivore I’d have to go with a porterhouse. Next up would be a nice roast chicken complete with stuffing.
Q32. Kiss, Kill, Marry; who gets what?
Kiss – Bruno Mars/ Kill – (I can’t think of anyone I want to see dead)/ Marry – Chris Hemsworth.
Q33. Is there anywhere in the US you’d like to live more than where you are now?
Nope! I love living in New York. I might opt to move around in different parts of New York but I really like it here. My favorite thing about New York is its diversity and inclusivity, all are welcome, everyone has a home here.
Q34. What TV shows do you like?
I like laugh out loud comedies. I’m a big fan of The Big Bang Theory, Black-ish, Modern Family and I always watch The Jeffersons re-runs.
I can also sit and watch endless hours of Law and Order.
Q35. What are your favorite clothes shops?
Lord and Taylor
Q36. Who is your favorite historical man and woman?
Bob Marley and Rosa Parks.
Q37. Do you prefer to fly or drive?
Flying gets you there quicker but considering that I am still waiting around in this damn airport after 7 hours of checking-in for my flight, I am not feeling flying right now. 😟
Q38. Baking is important to me. If I was to bake for you, what cake would you like me to make most?
I’d probably go with anything chocolate, with chocolate fudge and chocolate chips.
Me, right now, in the airport trying to get this Blog done.
I’ll just keep going until they call my flight – Up next we have questions from the illustrious Claudette over at https://writerofwordsetc.com
Q39. Favorite Bon Jovi song
The irony here is that my favorite Bon Jovi song wasn’t even done by Bon Jovi, the band, but by Jon Bon Jovi, as a soloist, when he recorded Blaze of Glory for the movie, Young Guns II.
My favorites from the band would be Bad Medicine and I’ll Be There for You.
Q41. Do you have a phobia or aversion to something?
I freak out around creepy, crawly, slithery things. The give me the heebie-jeebies.
Like you, Claudette, I went down the rabbit hole called the Internet and found out that my phobias have names – Ready for this? Entomophobia is the fear of one or more classes of insect while Ophidiophobia describes the abnormal fear of snakes, and herpetophobia relates to the fear of reptiles in general.
I suffer from all three.😒
Q40. Did you ever watch the Walking Dead and if yes do you have a favorite season or character? If no, why not?
So I got hip to the Walking Dead when it was already well on the way to becoming one of the most popular shows on television. Me being me tried to get in on the excitement and watched the first couple of episodes of Season One but I wasn’t feeling it. I thought the zombies looked fake and they weren’t scary, not that I like scary, but it just looked like a B-rated 90s Horror film to me. I couldn’t get into it.
It must be awards season since this past week I was nominated for not 1, not 2 but 3 different Blogger Awards. I am so psyched. I think it is an honor to be recognized by your peers; especially as a new Blogger, the recognition means a lot to me and, as such, I intend to respond to each and every one of the nominations. Therefore, I am apologizing in advance for inundating your WordPress Reader feed with my self-indulgent award posts responses.
First up is the Sunshine Blogger Award – I would like to thank the amazing and very spiritually aware https://mynamaste365online.blog (i.e. MoonChild Nova) for this nomination.
Here are the rules for this award:
Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them (see above).
Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.
Here are the 11 questions I was asked:
What’s your biggest accomplishment of 2018 thus far?
Apart from amicably settling a nightmare case that has been going on since 2016 in the earlier part of this year, my greatest accomplishment would be starting and maintaining this Blog. It’s something I have wanted to do for a very long time but since I am such a procrastinator coupled with my very demanding career in addition to being crippled by my fears, BLOGGING FEARS, I just couldn’t get it going. The fact that I got this Blog going at all and have been able to stay committed to posting weekly is a very big deal for me and I am actually pretty darn proud of myself for doing it. I even took a Blog Writing course to help me get things going Racquel Writes!
It’s my dream to maintain my Blog, to keep it going and I’m hoping to find topics and stories worthy of my readers’ time to keep them coming back week after week.
2. When you have free time, what is your favorite thing to do?
Free time??!!! What is that?! 😁
If we are talking about my hobbies – I would say I always enjoy sitting in the quiet of my bedroom on my comfy little chair by the window and enjoying a good book. One of my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions was to read at least one book per month and I was doing very well with it, I even read 2 books in the month of March alone, but that entire commitment kind of went left when I started this Blog and I haven’t completed a book since July; but I vow to get back to it for the month of November and beyond. 😃
I also enjoy the movies, I try to get to the cinema at least once every other week (there is always something out that I want to see; yesterday alone I did a double feature with my son – so much fun) and of course I enjoy blogging/writing.
So yeah, that’s my “free time” go tos – Books, Movies and Writing – not necessarily in that order.
3. Who is one of your role models and why?
Here is a cliché – My parents are my role models.
My father was a self-made man, who came from nothing and was able to start and build a successful company. The admiration for my mother comes from her unwavering devotion to her husband and her children. She was not fortunate enough to be a housewife and worked outside of the house for 40 plus years until her retirement, but would always come home and cook a meal for her family. She kept a clean house, helped us with our homework (until we were old enough to get it done ourselves) and was always there to listen.
My parents were married for 45 years until the day my father took his last breath; another reason they’re my role models; because any adult in a relationship, marriage, or otherwise, knows that is no easy feat.
4. Do you know your personality type?
If by this you mean the Myers/Briggs personality type – Nope, never done the test.
5. When did you realize you really enjoy writing?
Might have been in elementary school when the teacher would tell us to write 3 paragraphs on a certain topic and I would take pleasure in writing an entire page or more.
6. Has anything you’ve written been published in a book or newspaper?
Yes, actually! While in high school I sent several pieces to the Gleaner, which was the local newspaper in Jamaica, where I was born and raised, and I was lucky enough to have a few pieces published. The first time I saw my name in print I was ecstatic. I was in the 9th grade.
7. Tell us three other talents you have.
Wow! “Talent” – I dunno. I’m good with people. Is that a talent?
I don’t have any talents. I’m not particularly great at anything. I can’t sing to save my life and I’m an average dancer. I’m not really good at any sports and I don’t play any instruments; so no talents here. That’s kinda sad, isn’t it?! 🤔
8. What’s your biggest inspiration?
Hmmm, let’s see…I have several sources of inspiration, whether it is people or things. However, I would say my “biggest” inspiration would come from love; love for my family. I am inspired to do more, be more and be the best version of me because of the love I have for my husband and my son. I just want to be great for them.
I am also inspired by great writing, music, wonderful friends and the random beauty I sometimes encounter out of the blue.
9. Have you recently made a choice you regret, if so, what was it?
I took a case I knew I shouldn’t. During the initial consultation with the prospective client, my intuition told me I would have a hard time with this client. His personality was a bit too “intense” for my liking. I took the case anyway because I felt I was up for the challenge but boy oh boy did I live to regret it.
10. If you could give one piece of advice to the teenage population, what would it be?
Be a kid! Enjoy it! Wallow in it. Sit back and chill and let your parents take care of you because the responsibilities of adulthood are coming and once it gets here there is no turning back.
One more thing – Wait to have sex! No need to chase it. It will always be there. You’ll have so much of it as an adult you’ll eventually get tired of it, even when it’s really good.
11. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who spit in public. I. Cannot. Stand. That!!!
Now, I’m supposed to nominate 11 other bloggers to participate, for the Sunshine Blogger Award. However, in the past, I have nominated other bloggers for other awards and have been met with the “I don’t do awards” sentiment, which is totally cool, to each his own. I have also nominated other bloggers who said they would participate but they just didn’t get to it. So how about this? If it is in your pleasure to participate in the Sunshine Blogger Awards; then go right ahead; please feel free to answer the questions above and tag me in your response post.