Day 607: The Other Side

Two mornings ago, my GPS system, Waze, brought me to work in a different way.

For the first time in three years, I drove to work on the other side of the Charles River, so I saw this:

IMG_8389

When I took that photo, the title for today’s post suddenly appeared, from another side of my mind.  From then on, I’ve been noticing the theme of “The Other Side,” everywhere I go.

Something else, in a different side of my mind: on the other side of this weekend is September, which contains the beginning of autumn. On the other side of autumn?  Winter.

While I can fear the lowered temperatures of winter, I dread something else even more,  in New England — the lessening of color, all around.

However, I’m working on embracing all sides.

Here are some other sides I’ve been seeing:

IMG_8390 IMG_8394  IMG_8399  IMG_8402  IMG_8404  IMG_8418 IMG_8413 IMG_8424  IMG_8426 IMG_8429

IMG_8438 IMG_8439 IMG_8441 IMG_8442 IMG_8446  IMG_8447 IMG_8459  IMG_8460IMG_8472 IMG_8475 IMG_8477 IMG_8480 IMG_8490 IMG_8492 IMG_8493 IMG_8495  IMG_8496  IMG_8497 IMG_8502

I’ve taken a lot of photos, since that one from the other side of the Charles River. I could have shown you any — or all — of them, since everything has an other side.

Okay, you’ve gotten my side. Now it’s time for yours. What associations do you have with “The Other Side”?

I also want to invite another side to make an appearance. What images would Google choose, for “the other side”?

Here’s one:

chickenotherside (1)

(image found here)

And one other side:

images (44)

(image found here)

What’s missing for me, right now?  Music, which is playing in my head.  Here’s a Stephen Sondheim song from “Into The Woods” (which made a previous appearance, in Day 247: No one is alone, in another version).

(YouTube video found here)

This post started with an other side. What’s the other side of the start?  The end.

Thanks to Stephen Sondheim, Rosie O’Donnell (for the video), savage chickens (and other creatures), to those who are open to other sides, and to you — of course — for visiting this side, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 606: Threes

Yesterday, on my walk away from work, I heard a great, great, great song: Sing, Sing, Sing.

As usual, when I write a post for you, I learn something. Already, today, I’ve learned three new things about Sing, Sing, Sing:

  1. Sing, Sing, Sing was written by Louis Prima.
  2. The original title had three additional words:  Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing).
  3. The song has lyrics.

Here’s a YouTube video  of the 1993 GRP All-Star Big Band version I heard on my walk yesterday, which includes kick-ass performances by:

  1. Gary Burton on vibes,
  2. Eddie Daniels on clarinet, and
  3. Dave Weckl on drums.

(found here on YouTube)

Here’s a second — and the best-known — version of Sing, Sing, Sing, performed by Benny Goodman (and featuring the amazing Gene Krupa on drums).

(found here on YouTube)

Before I wrote this post, I assumed that Sing, Sing, Sing was written by Benny Goodman. Here’s the third version, performed by the composer (including the lyrics):

(found here on YouTube)

I really, really, really like the name Sing, Sing, Sing, especially since I’ve been writing (here, here, and here) about singing

  • more publicly,
  • with more confidence in my skills, and
  • letting go of fear.

My goals, to do that, have included:

  1. Joining a chorus.
  2. Joining a local production of a musical, and
  3. Finding an Open Microphone singing venue.

I’ve done the first two on that list before, but that third type of performance would be new to me.

I hereby resolve — with my readers as my witness — that, this three-day weekend, I shall take the following steps to meet Goal #3:

  1. Google “singing open mics near Boston”
  2. Call one of the venues.
  3. I can’t think of a third thing that would help me do this. Can you?

As usual,  I’d like to include some photos in this post. Since Gary Burton was my original inspiration for this post, I’ll show you three photos of him, in chronological order.

Here’s a photo of Gary Burton, in 1973:

young gary burton

(photo NOT found here, even though Google tells me so)

Here’s a photo of Gary Burton (center), three years before the above performance with the GRP All-Star Big Band, when he was the Dean of Curriculum of Berklee College of Music, in Boston:

10348283_10203370272930827_1132851693120092884_n

And here’s Gary, these days, on the cover of his 2013 autobiography, Learning to Listen.

download (32)

(photo found here)

I haven’t read that book yet (because when I do have time to read, it’s blogs, blogs, blogs), but “Learning to Listen” is a great three-word title, isn’t it?

In researching this post, I also googled “quotes about three,” and here are three of my favorites:

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
— Buddha

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
— Confucius

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
— Robert Frost

Thanks to all!

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, pride, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 605: Poetry

In Day 589: One Thing, I posted four pictures of words I had encountered in my travels. Two of my generous readers saw the results as poetry, no less.

Ever since both Louise Gallagher and Hilary Custance Green saw a poem in that post, I’ve been considering that I might be poet (even if I don’t know it).

I might even be a good poet, like this impressive dog, whom I remember very clearly from a long-ago Late Night with David Letterman:

(“Summer”* found here on YouTube)

Actually, when I compare myself to that dog, I feel pretty daunted. I mean, that’s some damn fine poetry, don’t you think?

Comparing myself to other poets doesn’t help, though. Therefore, I am going to let go of the cognitive distortion of comparisons and doggedly try this poetry thing one more time, with some photos I took yesterday:

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IMG_8376

IMG_8373

IMG_8374

IMG_8375

IMG_8387

 

Geesh.  I don’t know about that poem. To me, it doesn’t seem right.

Two questions:  What’s wrong with it?  And can I fix it, before it’s time to publish this post?

Here’s what’s bugging me about that poem:

  • It doesn’t rhyme. And while lots of great poetry doesn’t rhyme, I HAVE written limericks (and a few other poems, too, now that I think of it) that rhyme fine. (And maybe I should show off that skill, here, to impress my readers.)
  • The “poem” implies that there is only one way to sustain yourself (which I don’t believe, by the way), and then it contradicts itself, by showing more than one way to do that.
  • One of the words I chose for that poem was “independently” and — while I value independence — I think we can be too independent, sometimes. It especially bothers me that I’m using the word “independently” within a post where (I hope) I’m showing how important the support of others can be, in helping me feel better about myself and take risks.
  • It doesn’t have a big finish. Even though I think the sentiment on that cup is helpful and important, I’m afraid it won’t leave a lasting impression.

So what to do, now, before I end this post? I really don’t want to rewrite that poem.

Well, I COULD show off one of my old limericks or other rhyming achievements from long ago. However, the past is the past, as another cup tried to tell me yesterday:

IMG_8387

And even though I might have some issues with my writing here , another cup has some helpful advice:

IMG_8387

Hmmm.  Showing that third cup allows me to end this post with a kind of rhyme, in time (see here, if you don’t believe me).

Nevertheless, something still feels missing to me.

Maybe I could write a new poem, right now! Am I up for the task? Let’s find out!

 

A Poetry Limerick

A blogger at WordPress named Ann

Writes everyday posts, without plan,

With her thoughts fundamental,

human, judgmental,

She’s doing the best that she can.

Big finish!

Thanks to you, for all you do.

____________________

* Written by Merrill Markoe.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, poetry | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 604: Direct communication

This morning, I would like to present some random thoughts I’m having about direct communication.

I need to warn you, before I begin, that there ARE obstacles to direct communication, here and elsewhere, including

  • the wish to avoid hurting somebody’s feelings,
  • confidentiality issues,
  • uncertainty about what is appropriate to reveal in different circumstances with different people,
  • realizing that people can be uncomfortable with direct communication, at times,
  • the fact that direct communication is not easy and takes practice, and
  • confusion about what direct communication actually IS, especially if it wasn’t practiced much by the people around you, when you were growing up.

I want to be direct, now, and share with you, if possible, a simple definition of direct communication.

Okay, I’m having trouble coming up with this, right now.

Maybe an example would help.

Nope, I’m having trouble with that, too. All my current examples have to do with issues at work and in my personal life, and I don’t feel comfortable revealing any of them, in the blogosphere, right now.

I want to talk directly to the people involved, before sharing details with you.

It might be helpful — and it might give this post some more direct value —  if I check my past blog posts, to see if I’ve written about this before.

Aha!  I have! Approximately 225 days ago (but who’s counting?), I published Day 375: Direct Communication.

I’m skimming that post now (with one eye on the time) and wondering this: “How direct was I being in THAT post?”

OMG!  I just realized — as I was linking to THAT post — that we have an unprecedented three-fer or three-peat, ladies and gentlemen, here in the Land of Living Non-Judgmentally. To be more direct, I  wrote ANOTHER post with the same title, over a hundred days before that one:  Day 172: Direct communication.

I just skimmed that earliest of my Direct Communication posts  and I directly want to say this:  I recommend that you read that one. It’s short, to the point, and helpful, in my opinion.

But of course, I wrote all of them, so how credible is my opinion, in this case?

What else would I like to directly communicate to you, right now?

Just this: I’ve learned something, this morning. Direct Communication is an ongoing issue for me. That is, I  still have much to learn about this, before I am done.

How do I know?  Well, to communicate as directly as I can:

I keep writing about it here, don’t I?

I’m not sure what I’ll be able to directly communicate, now, with recent photos from my iPhone, but here goes:

IMG_8365 IMG_8366

Love,

Ann

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 603: What I missed

Last night, I missed a segment of the Emmy awards on TV. After I turned off the TV to spend some time with my son, Aaron, and my boyfriend, Michael,  a comedian I admire, Louis C.K., won an Emmy for best comedy writing.

images (43)

I found the photo, above, through Google images (which tells me it resides here) and chose it because I think it relates to my post, yesterday.

I found out, after the awards show was over, that Louis C.K., in his acceptance speech, had thanked another comedian I admire, Ron Lynch …

IMG_8147

… who has made multiple recent appearances in this here blog ( here, here, here, here, and here).

I was very glad to find out, through Ron’s Facebook Page,  that he had gotten that recognition last night. At the same time, I had this familiar and uncomfortable thought:

I missed out.

I had missed out on the chance to experience, with my son,  Louis C.K. giving credit to Ron.

Last night, as I tried to find out what exactly Louis C.K. had said about Ron, I kept thinking about What Might Have Been. I kept imagining what fun Aaron and I might have had, if we had heard that speech as it was happening.

Those thoughts didn’t feel great, I must say.  And these days, whenever I’m feeling that kind of psychological discomfort, I check out some usual suspects: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s line-up of cognitive distortions.

I shall now consult my handy-dandy list of cognitive distortions, to see who the culprits might have been.

Hmmm. It looks like I was experiencing more than one cognitive distortion last night, including:

Negative filtering (also known as “Disqualifying the positive”).
This is when we focus on the negative, and filter out all positive aspects of a situation.

Comparisons. We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.”   Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. (Or, in this case, we compare reality to what we think would have been better.)

Shoulds. We have ironclad rules about the behaviors of ourselves and other people.  For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” (In this case, “I shouldn’t have turned off the TV.”)

Yep.  Those kinds of thoughts didn’t help, at all.

As I’m writing this, I’m still wondering what Louis C.K. said about Ron. There was no video of that missed moment available last night, but I wonder if that’s changed, this morning.

Aha! Here it is, on YouTube:

Wow!  In case you can’t watch that, Louis gave Ron credit for giving him his first shot as a comedian.

My association with that, in the moment, is a kind of cognitive distortion, too, namely …

Personalization

… because I can now imagine my son making a similar speech in the future (if he pursues comedy as a career).

IMG_8321

(this photo first appeared here, last week) 

Minds are funny things, aren’t they?  They wander everywhere: into the future, into the past, into What Might Have Been, etc.

Last night, when I was thinking about  “What I missed,”  I had some trouble sleeping, so I wrote the following, in preparation for today’s blog post:

The reality is that no matter what we’re doing, experiencing, paying attention to, focusing on … we have to be missing something. There’s just too much going on, out there, to take it all in.

Yes, it’s a given that we will miss things, even if we try our best not to.

And I don’t want to miss expressing this:  the things we miss aren’t actually more important than the things we catch (even though they can feel that way).

Does it help to acknowledge important things you’ve missed out on?

I actually don’t know if this is going to help, but I would like to list some things I’ve missed out on, in my life.

Here we go …

  1. A “normal” childhood.
  2. A magna cum laude, which I deserved, from my undergraduate university (a story which I will tell, in some future post).

Hmmm. That’s a pretty short list I just put together, there.

That actually surprises me, because I’m sure there are lots of misses missing from that list. For example,  I didn’t include “a boyfriend during junior high and/or high school” in that list of misses.

Actually, I could even remove #1 from that list because, really … WHO has a normal childhood?  What the hell IS a normal childhood? Coming up with a definition for THAT would be hit-or-miss. And pretty meaningless.

So I’m going to rewrite that list, like so:

Things I’ve Missed

  1. Louis C.K.’s acceptance speech at the 2014 Emmys, which included a shout-out to Ron Lynch and
  2. a Magna Cum Laude, which I deserved, from my undergraduate college.

Actually, now that I think of it … what good would that Magna Cum Laude have done me?  It probably would NOT have changed a thing.  Who cares? It’s not like that’s something I would carry around in my wallet or put on my mantle piece. And even if I did, who would want to see it?

Okay, so now the list is …

Things I’ve MIssed

  1. Louis C.K.’s acceptance speech at the 2014 Emmy’s which included a shout-out to Ron Lynch.

And I can probably watch that speech on YouTube, within the next couple of days.

Looks like at least one of my thoughts, last night, was correct.

Anything else I’ve missed, in this post?  Well, if I were paying attention to what I wrote here, the answer might be:

Of course I missed something, but that’s okay.

And I still have time, before I publish this, to include something that feels “missing” to me: a new photo I’ve taken recently. Let’s see if I have anything on my iPhone that applies to today’s topic.

Hmmm. I’m not sure. But here are some new photos I’ve taken since I’ve returned home to Boston, after five fun-filled days at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe:

IMG_8332 IMG_8340  IMG_8345 IMG_8347  IMG_8350 IMG_8351

Does it seem like I’m missing anything?

Thanks to Aaron, Michael, Louis C.K., Ron Lynch, and you — of course! — for everything you missed AND everything you got here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 602: Absolution

In this blog, I often write about letting go of guilt, shame, and fear.

I am not an expert on absolution, but I’m pretty sure that absolution is one way people let go of such things.

Here’s one thing  I do know:  “Absolution” is part of the title of one of my favorite Pat Metheny tunes:

(If you can’t play that YouTube video of Half Life of Absolution, try clicking here. If you don’t want to play it, consider yourself absolved.)

Let’s check Google for a definition of “absolution,” okay?

ab·so·lu·tion
absəˈlo͞oSHən
(noun)

formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.
synonyms: forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, clemency,
antonyms: punishment, condemnation

an ecclesiastical declaration of forgiveness of sins.
“the priest administered absolution”

Wow.  That sounds great, doesn’t it?  A formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment. That is EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking I need, as I prepare to return to work after a 10-day vacation.

Why do I need that? Are there sins I need to confess here?

Well, I do have one sin I committed last night before I went to bed. And as I was committing this sin, I was wondering (1) if I could forgive myself and (2) if so, how much time would it take for me to exonerate myself?

Perhaps we can all learn something, if I share this sin here.

Yesterday, our local supermarket had an unusual sale on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

buy 2 get 2 free!

As a result, I got one of these.

HT_ABC_ben_and_jerrys_hazed_confused_sk_140228_16x9_608

(image found here)

Even though I knew better, my jet-lagged brain, body, and soul chose to bring the entire pint of ice cream, with a spoon, into the living room, as I watched TV shows I had recorded during my trip to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Here is the result:

IMG_8354

(sigh)

As I was committing this sin last night, I was thinking, “Okay. Okay.  You can stop now. The more you keep going, the more you’re going to have to pay, in the future.”

I did manage to stop — as you can see — but  later than I should have.

During and after the sinning,  I knew I would be dealing with guilt — and other consequences — for some time.

I could not predict the half-life —  nor the full-life — of my absolution process, but I knew it would take some time.

Why wait, though?

I hereby formally release myself from guilt, obligation, and punishment for this sin —  granting forgiveness, pardon, exoneration, remission, dispensation, indulgence, and clemency.

I could keep feeling guilty about it, but … it’s done. Nothing is bringing that ice cream back, at this point.

I also wanted to tell you this: I was thinking about absolution yesterday, even before I committed the Sin of Ice Cream.  On the day before my return to work, I was thinking about my manager Steve’s words:

Ann, you really have a harsh superego, don’t you?

… which means I tend to blame punish, and condemn myself for mistakes and imperfection, especially regarding things that matter to me.

So, as I head back to the hospital where I work, I wish to make the following resolution:

To absolve, forgive, pardon, and otherwise treat myself gently, for inevitable mistakes and imperfection.

Hey!  That felt better than a half-pint of ice cream!

Thanks to Pat, Ben, Jerry, & Steve,  to people who absolve themselves or others as best they can, and to you — of course! — for the full time you spent here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 34 Comments

Day 601: Out of time

If you’re like me — and you try to guess the ending of things based on whatever clues you have — you might be speculating, right now, what this post is going to be about, based on its title.

What could a post titled “Out of time” be about? What would be your guesses, at this point?

I’ll wait, while you think about that.

In the meantime, let’s see if I have any music to offer you, that fits in with “Out of time.”

I know! How about one of the late, great jazz pianist Dave Brubeck‘s compositions  challenging the conventional uses of time in music?

Which one, though? There are so many! I mean, there’s the very popular Take Five, Blue Rondo a la Turkand It’s a Raggy Waltz (which already got its own blog post, here).

I’m choosing Unsquare Dance, written with the odd time signature 7/4 — with seven beats per measure, instead of the usual 4 beats (or also conventional 6 or 8).

(that two-minute YouTube video found here)

Even if you’re somebody who — in usual times —  does not listen to music within a blog post, I recommend you listen to that. It’s quick and nourishing food, for the brain and the heart. I listened to Dave Brubeck a lot when I was growing up, and I think it made me smarter.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes!  Inviting you to speculate about what this post might be about. I think I’ve left enough time for you to think your own thoughts about this, so I shall now introduce what I might guess in response to my own question (assuming I did not know the answers, which I obviously do, but never mind).

What a Post Titled “Out of Time” Could Be About

  • Death. (Eeeek!)
  • Jet lag (after returning home from a trip, say).
  • Bad medical news.
  • A decision to stop doing something (like blogging or work).
  • Dissociation, or another psychological state of disorientation.
  • A discussion about how anxiety (about death or unanticipated losses, for example) can screw up one’s sense of time.
  • Unusual musical compositions, that play with time signatures.
  • Speculations about human experiences of time, in general.
  • Not having enough time to do things you would really love to do, like reading other people’s wonderful blogs, here on WordPress.
  • An invitation to live life to the fullest, since we never know when we are out of time.
  • A way to re-introduce a cool picture somebody took, even though she’s already shown it in a previous post:

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  • A way to introduce a rant about holiday merchandising showing up earlier and earlier, all the time. For example, I observed this, yesterday evening, at my local pet supply store:

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Halloween in AUGUST ?!?!?!?!?

And don’t get me started about dressing pets up in costumes, because I’m almost out of time, for this post.

Before I stop, however, I would like to reassure my readers about the following: There is nothing bad (e.g., scary medical news) going on in my life right now. It’s all good.

One more thing: Feel free to comment about anything at all, no matter how out of time you are when reading this post.

Thanks to Dave Brubeck, to those who think a lot about time (including blogger extraordinaire Swarn Gill), to creatures everywhere (costumed and uncostumed), and to you — of course! — for being in time with me, here and now.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 600: Scary things

Hey!  I see by my post title that I am blogging for the 600th consecutive day!

Round numbers can seem important, and important things can seem scary, don’t you think?

Yes, this post is going to focus on “scary things.”  However, since I like balance, I’m assuming there will be “unscary things” here,  too.

Shall we get started?

Wait! Something’s missing.  For me, when something is missing, it’s often music.

Friends, bloggers, and country-people, lend me your ears* … for some scary background music.

My first scary-music choice is from The Blair Witch Project, a film that scared the bejeesus out of me. Warning:  this clip from YouTube starts with an image from the end of the film (if my frightened memory serves me correctly).

If The Blair Witch Project isn’t your taste, how about music from The Shining?

(found here on YouTube)

Choices can be scary things, but I’m giving you one more option for horror film music: Mike Oldfield‘s “Tubular Bells,” from The Exorcist:

(found here on YouTube)

One final warning: Some of those music choices will probably start with advertisements.**

Okay!  Without further ado, choices, or other types of stalling,** I hereby present:

Things That Have Scared Me

(in alphabetical order)

  1. Anger
  2. Babies
  3. Cruelty
  4. Doctors
  5. Expletives
  6. Films
  7. Germs
  8. Hospitals
  9. Injustice
  10. Justice systems
  11. Know-it-alls
  12. Loud noises
  13. Mistakes
  14. Neglect
  15. Onions
  16. Planes
  17. Quitting
  18. Rage
  19. Shame
  20. Technology
  21. Underestimating
  22. Violence
  23. Witches
  24. Xerox machines
  25. Youth-obsessed cultures
  26. Zoos

Things That Have Not Scared Me

(in alphabetical order)

  1. Aging
  2. Babies
  3. Cats
  4. Doctors
  5. Expletives
  6. Foreigners
  7. Giants
  8. Humans
  9. Insecurity
  10. Justice
  11. Knowledge
  12. Love
  13. Movies
  14. Needs
  15. Onions
  16. Public speaking
  17. Quiet
  18. Risk-taking
  19. Spiders
  20. Therapy
  21. Underworlds
  22. Violent weather
  23. Wicked (the musical)
  24. X-rays
  25. Youth
  26. Zoos

What do you think of these scary and unscary things? Don’t be scared of disagreement,** please.

Geesh!  That was scary!  I almost pressed the WordPress** “publish” button without including the image that inspired this whole post, to begin with.

Yesterday, when my bf Michael and I were on our first walk since my return home from Edinburgh, I saw this:

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WTF IS THAT?

Thanks to Wikipedia**; to those who are scared or unscared by all the things mentioned in this post; to the creative people who score movies (scary and otherwise);  to lists** of scary things on the internet** (including this list); and to you, especially, because you don’t scare me!


*  Spending a week immersed in comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (see here, here, here, here, and here) has definitely had an effect on me. My thought, as I wrote “lend me your ears,” was this: “I’m glad Vincent Van Gogh is not alive to read this.”  Minds can be scary things, can’t they?

**  Another scary thing (that didn’t make the lists).

Categories: humor, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 599: Signs, again

As I’m writing this — back home in Boston after a whirlwind 5-night visit to Edinburgh, Scotland with my 16-year-old son, Aaron — the room is very cool, with the windows open, at 6 AM.

Signs of the impending autumn in super-seasoned New England, USA?

We shall see.

 

Usually, before I publish a post, I check to see if I’ve used my title before. Yesterday, I didn’t bother to do that because

Because I didn’t check, yesterday, to see if I had used the title “Surprises” before …

…of course there WAS a post with that title: Day 463: Surprises. Coincidentally, that post was written at the end of my most recent trip/adventure (to NYC, with my friend Jeanette, right before I came down with a month-long bout with pneumonia).

Are there signs, there, of anything important?

We shall see. In the meantime, I’m reframing that whole I-Have-to-Title-Each-Post-Differently Rule, right now, as follows:

It doesn’t matter if I use the same title for a post, since my including the post number in each title automatically makes each one unique.

Phew!  One less thing to worry about, in my life.

Okay!  Time for some signs from the last week, during our round trip from Boston to Philadelphia to Edinburgh to Philadelphia to Boston. And, for this parade of pictures, I’m keeping some personal blogging rules/preferences in place, showing images you’ve not seen before, in order of appearance:

IMG_8057 IMG_8074 IMG_8077 IMG_8078IMG_8088 IMG_8089 IMG_8092 IMG_8095 IMG_8096 IMG_8098 IMG_8099 IMG_8100 IMG_8101 IMG_8103 IMG_8113 IMG_8123 IMG_8141 IMG_8153 IMG_8157 IMG_8174 IMG_8178 IMG_8185 IMG_8239 IMG_8240 IMG_8244 IMG_8245 IMG_8253 IMG_8256 IMG_8257 IMG_8263 IMG_8266 IMG_8275 IMG_8277 IMG_8279 IMG_8281 IMG_8288 IMG_8292 IMG_8294 IMG_8298 IMG_8301 IMG_8299 IMG_8303 IMG_8306

I would like to explain some of those photos, at this point. That last shot shows the lovely Cynthia Levin a/k/a the scathing Linda Lovin, performing at Fingers Piano Bar with Ron Lynch (as described in yesterday’s post, here). The four pictures preceding that show my son, Aaron, performing on yet another Fringe stage, as he was invited to exchange places with the star of that extraordinarily inventive show — the incredible Dr Professor Neal Portenza.

Well, I have many things to do, now that I’m back home in the USA.  I will leave you with my last photo of the trip, taken yesterday in the Philadelphia airport:

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Thanks to all those who create and read signs, to every single person who contributed to making this post possible,  and to you — of course! — for making the trip here, today.

Categories: friendship, humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, pride | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 598: Surprises

Today, my son Aaron and I are leaving Edinburgh, Scotland, flying on a couple of airplanes, and returning to our home near Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.

It’s been a wonderful trip. Which was not surprising, considering the wonderful times I had in Edinburgh, the two times I’ve visited before.

I don’t have a lot of time to blog this morning,  so I thought I would leave you with just a photo or two from yesterday’s adventures at the Fringe Festival in this fair city.

That number of photos may not be surprising, since the commitment I made to my readers was to post one photo a day while on my vacation.

I took a lot of photos yesterday, which was one of the best — and surprising — days my son or I have ever experienced, in our 16 and 61 years on this earth, respectively.

What was so great and surprising about yesterday?

For one thing, in an incredible coincidence, we ran into our favorite local comedian from our visit  last year to the Edinburgh Fringe — Tom Joyce — who just happened to be one of only four other people attending a fabulously funny performance of Cynthia Levin a/k/a Linda Lovin.

One of our quests, this year in Edinburgh, was to find Tom again. After searching for him on the internet and in person, we had decided this was an impossible dream. So, yesterday, when I heard Aaron gasp “Oh my gawd!” during Ms. Lovin’s performance yesterday, I realized whom he had spotted, in the first row.

Also appearing at Ms. Lovin’s performance yesterday was my comedy teacher from the 1980s and current Los Angeles comedy star — Ron Lynch.  THAT was not so surprising, since we met the lovely and hilarious Linda when she performed a couple of night’s ago at Ron’s nightly midnight show, here in Edinburgh.

It was also NOT surprising to see Ron there yesterday, since Aaron and I had planned to have dinner with him on our last night Edinburgh.

So, to review, it was no surprise to see Ron.  But it was a huge surprise to see Tom Joyce on our last full day, after Aaron and I had given up hope of finding Tom again (at least this year).

Then, Aaron and I experienced, in rapid succession, more surprises:

  • Tom remembered us from last year, including (1) my blog post about him and (2) the fact that Aaron had red hair then.
  • Ron offered Tom a spot on The Tomorrow Show this week because, Ron said, “I trust their recommendation.”
  • Ron offered my son Aaron, who has been doing open mic comedy in Boston for the past six months, a spot on last night’s Tomorrow show.

 

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Surprise!

Thanks to Aaron, Ron, Linda, Cynthia, Tom, and everybody else currently enjoying the extremely excellent city of Edinburgh. And — of course! — thanks to you, for any surprises you might bring or experience, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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