I have done two other journal's, this will be the third. My first one was started the day I started trading full time again. It lasted for about a week or two and was focused on really getting my feet wet again(for those who may not know, I was a former MM who blew out twice). CSCO was the only stock I traded during that period and it ended up working out, culminating in their Feb earnings release. For that period, I was with OptionsXpress which was totally inadequate for that type of trading. I switched firms at the end of that journal, but it took a month to get everything set up to trade again. March, although I started out strong, and the beginning of April was blaugh for me, the option market sucked, vols were too high and I lost money trying to daytrade stocks. At that point, I took a few days off and went to Vegas for a refresher; I got my ass handed to me there too. It was so bad there that I just gave up on the last full day. No way in hell was I going to be able to win a hand. As I was being bitter about getting ass raped, I decided that was enough of that, gambling is pretty fuckin stupid. I leave Vegas without losing more money than I had allocated to lose there, which is pretty odd for me. The next morning back, I promptly fuck myself trading stock again. Of course, it wasn't trading really, but mearly gambling. I was down 5k at this point from my original 34k(8k from th account high). I immediately made the connection to the experience of the previous couple of days in Vegas. When many people lose money, they take time off to go relax and get away to come back refreshed. I picked the perfect place for me since it showed what an idiot I am. Why continously do things which cause yourself harm I asked myself? It was an epiphany for me, losing money is for jackass's. Why was I engaging in activities which I knew the risk/reward was definitely not in my favor. Everybody knows that Vegas odds are against you(there are ways to around that in blackjack but not when drinking), but why put myself in the same circumstance in trading I asked myself. It was at that point, I refocused on what I do best, trading options. It is a little more complex than this. One is that I can't trade the first hour and a half worth a shit, I lost money in this time frame or entered the trade here and let it go against me all day. Second, my strength with trading has always been in volatility. For whatever reason, I have always been able to recognize changes in this and relative levels of IV to actual. Another thing, I know the relationships and risks of these products up and down, backwards and foward. Basically, I can look at a chain and tell you the most expensive and cheapest option. Also, since I traded roughly the same stocks even as a MM, I have a memory of prices going back five years plus for prices. A couple of days later, with renewed focus and vigor, the second journal started. The main focus here was on a long vol, long gamma trade. I knew the stock was going up and put on a position to take advantage of this. It worked out well and ended up being the turning point, kind of like Midway. Over the next month or so, I posted some of my trade in a thread under the options category as some people were trading BPUR, DNA and OVER. I joined in and really made some nice trades here, doing some reversals for .20 to .35 of edge as the options went nuts in anticipation of news of their biotech product was expected. I will never forget as the puts which were trading for 1.10, 1.20 or so(I forget the exact price but it was over a buck) when the stock was at 6.00 one day, I bought the next for .10. DNA was cool except my position was only a 1 by 2 diagonal, literally consisting of three options total and I also sold out too soon but I was happy with the profit. I made some trades in OVER which didn't work out well. The first position ended poorly because I covered short calls rather than leave myself exposed. The second was a similar position to the first except that I sold out too quickly the week before the company was taken over. In a way my covering of short calls doesn't look too bad considering what eventually happened. I put on some positions in other stocks during this period. MSFT was mediocre. CSCO continued to work out awesome, although I made a few poor decisions that cost money. ORCL was profitable, but could have been better. IBM was awesome as well. There were a few othersin addition. What was great about this period is that the whole thing took little effort. I traded less, but was more profitable. I began to pick and choose my spots more carefully, there was virtually no gambling. It's not that every position made money nor was every decision good, but rather I limited any risk I had and kept exposure small. In fact, I didn't make more than couple trades since the July expiration till the end of August. The market was crap and I avoided it. I was so bored I ended up applying to graduate school for this fall, which is where I am now. Three and a half years after blowing out and moving back home with my mother, I finally moved out this weekend. I intended to start a journal when the move occured, but this has taken on renewed importance. I gambled the other night when I decided to trade a Dax future, in addition I gave some back today on the options front as well. I have given some back at times over the last five months(more than the last two days), but this is the first time in three and a half years I have taken any responsilbility. I have to pay rent and more importanly is that this year of graduate school is going to cost a shitload money. Performing poorly in trading means I won't be to sustain a certain lifestyle; performing poorly in school means I flushed money down the toilet. The two are related in that they both take a lot of discipline. So, while on the school front I have an awesome study group, Elite Trader is the equivelent in trading. I have gotten more out of this board than contributed. MINIME(or was it NOMOREOPTIONS) did freak me out this past summer when he was getting ready to go postal at an options exchange, which is why I avoided the board for a while. There seems to be a renewed vigor with the arrival of Vega and others in the options forum. So, even if I insulted you the other day in that thread by saying I think less of you(or by telling you to go fuck yourself), please post any thoughts or insults you may have about me, my trading, ideas for a trade or questions. I promise anything posted or questioned here will be answered eventually(assuming it isn't asked 2 months after I stopped). In addition, I need to do a better job of posting greeks and the position so people can follow along and understand what I'm doing; I will try harder.