Monthly Archives: March 2014

Day 445: PCP (March 21, 2014)

Yesterday, I wrote about a very positive, encouraging visit to my Primary Care Physician/ Practitioner/ Professional.

Today, I would like to write about a few more PCP’s.

The first is yesterday’s lunch, at the hospital cafeteria:

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I might call that a Perfectly Composed Plate, or a Perfectly Composed Picture; however, some might disagree. I know I can label that picture, above, “Pancakes Created from Potatoes,” with no fear of undue discussion.

The second PCP I wanted to mention, in this post, is a Professional Compliment Paid to me, recently.  That is, I have been invited to be on the board of a group psychotherapy organization I respect highly.  This was a surprise, and it means a lot.

The last PCP I wanted to write about today is a personal, cherished parent —  my father — who passed away, on this date, 17 years ago.  Other words that describe him:

  • Private (First Class, in the U.S. Army)
  • Compassionate
  • Phunny.

Look,  I know that last “P” was forced, but funny just HAS to be in any list of adjectives used about my father,  whom I’ve written about several times before (including here, here, and here).

When people say I am like him (and they have), it’s another amazing compliment.

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What do you think?

Here’s a quote, from A. Koplow:

The pain of a loss reflects the importance of the connection.

So there’s a lot of gratitude, mixed with pain, today.

I’ll end this post with another acronym. RIP.  Rest In Peace, Dad. I miss you.

Wait! One more thing.

My father loved potato pancakes, too (although we never ate them in March).

Thanks to all my dear readers — past, present, and future — for witnessing me here, every day.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 23 Comments

Day 444: PCP

Today is the first day of spring, which is Pretty Cool, People!

Unfortunately, it  IS still pretty cool, temperature-wise, in these Painfully Cold Parts, where I live. Nevertheless, I am Parti-Cularly  Psyched because of the promise, chance & prospect of better weather, on the way.

Okay! It’s time for this procrastinating, crafty poster to tackle my Principally Contemplated Point, this morning.

Yesterday, I saw my PCP, Dr. Laura Snydman, for a check-up.

For those perplexed, confused, or puzzled by the acronym PCP in that particular context, people, PCP can mean (according to medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com)

primary care physician

primary care professional, or

primary care provider

If you are a particularly careful perceiver, you’ll notice that acronyms can having many different meanings, as I’ve Previously Chosen to Post about (in Day 419: LOL and Day 441: FINE).

Actually, Dr. Snydman, my PCP, has appeared in a prior, complimentary post, called “Day 285: How to choose a doctor.” If you’re interested in Proficient, Compassionate People and/or Prohibitively Cute Puppies, take a prolonged or cursory peek, (according to your personal choice or preference) at that previously composed piece.

Anyway, I’ve been having some Pre-Checkup Paranoia, lately, because of some unPredicted changes, physically, that I’ve been dealing with, since September 30 (see herehere, here, here, here, and here for past, complete posts about “atrial fibrillation” or “a-fib”).

But, as I told Michael, when I got home last night, the check-up went as well as it could possibly have gone. I mean, I am Perfectly Chipper, Physically.  In other words, considering my particularly complex, personal health issues, I am … Pretty Crikey* Perfect.

If you, dear readers, prefer some pointed, clarifying particulars about my PCP visit, here’s particularly charming proof, for me:

My perceptive, caring physician had a palpable, clear, and positive reaction when I said my age, yesterday.

Okay!  Time for some post-completing pictures, from my PCP visit:

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Pretty Cool Pad, huh?

Thanks to my PCP, Dr. Laura Snydman and to you — primarily! — for reading today.


* I couldn’t think of a better word than “Crikey”, for that particular, choice position in that acronym.  Other words I considered there: “cheesy” and  “chillin'”. Other potential choices, peeps?

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , | 27 Comments

Day 443: Fun with labels

Personally, I think the label for this post is strange.

“Fun with labels”?!?   Labeling is an unhelpful and pain-producing cognitive distortion:

Labeling or Name-calling.
We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” *

… and I’m suggesting that we have fun with it?  That seems

  • Foolish
  • Insensitive
  • Wrong-headed
  • Doomed to failure.

Of course, I’m labeling this post, aren’t I?  Plus, I’m indulging in another cognitive distortion — fortune-telling — predicting how this post is going to turn out. PLUS I’m mind-reading how YOU, the reader, might react to it.

Geesh.  The cognitive distortions are coming in, fast and furious today, aren’t they?

I can put words on why that might be happening.  Yesterday, at work, I caught myself in THREE obvious mistakes.

I sometimes liken my mistakes to mice. Or cockroaches.  That is, if I see three of them, I assume there are many, many more mistakes I’ve made, that I haven’t seen, observed, or caught.

So, I could label my mistakes

  • Bad
  • Dangerous
  • Unforgivable
  • Out of control

….or, I could label my mistakes, in a different way:

Human.

Are we having fun, yet? Probably not, because, as usual, dear readers, I have digressed from my intent, in writing this post.

Here was my intent: to show and tell you about a group exercise I did yesterday.

In a group, I gave everyone a bunch of sticky name tag labels, like these:

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(I found that image here)

Then, I told people to write down, on those labels, positive adjectives for themselves, which they could stick to themselves, if they chose. Based on my experience as a therapist, I knew that was a very difficult assignment, so I added another one: to write down familiar negative labels, also. And, not surprisingly, the latter assignment was much easier for people. But with some mutual support and help (e.g., “What are some positive things other people have said about you, even if you have trouble believing it?) … people were also able to come up with several positive labels for themselves.

Here’s a photo, from yesterday:

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Note that you don’t see any negative labels like “Stupid,” “Messy,” or “Selfish” in that photo.

Why?  Because we ripped up all the negative ones, into little pieces.

And that sure was fun, people.

Okay!  What else did I want to identify here, before I end this post?

How about this? Sometimes, we label our cats. For example, Michael, lately, has been calling Oscar “skinny”

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and our other cat, Harley, the opposite of that.  I really hope that’s not bothering Harley, because here’s where I caught him, last night:

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Although, I’ll name this: more exercise would be good, for all of us.

Thanks to people who label, those who aren’t perfectly anything, and to you — of course! — for reading this whatever-you-want-to-call-it post, today.


* See here for the complete definition of labeling and the other dozen not-fun cognitive distortions.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 442: Questions and Answers (again)

On Day 70 of Ann’s Daily Blogging, I wrote a post called “Questions and Answers (and The Liebster Blog Award)” wherein I responded to my first WordPress Award and covered many topics, including some personal favorites.

I think Questions and Answers, in some form, have been present in many of the posts I’ve written, over the last 441 days.

Here is a question on my mind, right now:

Why do the actions (or non-actions) of other people affect me, so much?

I believe I am making considerable progress in caring less about what other people think.  (See here for my first post about that.) That is, I am getting better at letting go of assumptions about other people’s thoughts, recognizing that I cannot know what other people are thinking. In other words, I can recognize the cognitive distortion called “mind reading” more quickly, and let it go.

But, I wish I could be less sensitive/reactive to/affected by/moody about what other people do or do not do.

I know I’m being general, at this point in the post, and some examples might help.

All the examples that are coming to mind, right now, are related to non-responsiveness. For example:

  • my clearly asking for something I need, and getting no response, or
  • my speaking up (in a meeting, say) and then feeling as if I might not have said anything, at all.

In general, feeling like I’m a  tree falling in a forest, with nobody there.

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Thanks to Wikipedia, for the image above and for having an entry for “If a tree falls in a forest.” (I have to say, I have no complaints about Wikipedia’s responsiveness.)

So how do I feel, in response to non-responsiveness?

Terrible.

And I know I’m not alone in that. I’ve witnessed many people express fears of asking for what they want or need, because of the risk of not getting it and, then, feeling worse.

Speaking of Questions and Answers, Michael just asked me, “Blogging, Ann?” And I said, “No.”  I am so clever and sarcastic, sometimes.

That exchange reminds me of something I used to read, when I was a kid, in Mad Magazine: “Snappy Answers to Stupid1 Questions.”

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Those are:

  1. The first three responses, in Google Images, for “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,”
  2. from this page and
  3. all amazingly relevant, in some way, to my life right now.

Okay!

As often occurs in my posts, one of my main inspirations can be neither seen nor heard, as I’m winding down my writing today.

Q. What is the inspiration to which I am referring?

A. This song by Todd Rundgren:

(thanks to HarryRunt danu for uploading that to YouTube.)

Love is the Answer

by Todd Rundgren, Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton, John Wilcox

Name your price, a ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here any more
And I’ve looked high and low

I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a short cut, I’d have found it
But there’s no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why someday we all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard

It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Let it shine, shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer
I know the answer is love

Tell me, are we alive or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid
(Love one another)
When you’ve lost your way
(Love one another)

When you’re all alone
(Love one another)
When you’re far from home
(Love one another)

When you’re down and out
(Love one another)
All your hope’s run out
(Love one another)

When you need a friend
(Love one another)
When you’re near the end, love
We got to love, we got to love one another

Light of the world, you got to shine
Love will be a means, yeah, yeah, yeah
Shine on us all
Know that love can save the day

Just give it just one more chance
Love, love, love, love, ooh
Lord, you just can’t let it stop, Lord

Love is the answer
Love is the answer
Love is the answer
Love is the answer, yeah

Got to live free to let love into your life.

Thanks to metrolyrics.com, Mad Magazine, Todd Rundgren and Utopia, to people who ask questions and give answers (as best they can), and to you — of course! — for reading today.


1  Not that I thought Michael’s question “Blogging, Ann?” was stupid. As he said, I could have been shopping.

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

Day 441: FINE

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night and wrote an entire post in my head.

This is it.

Not to put too fine a point on it … this really isn’t it, but rather an attempt to recreate those middle-of-the-night musings. For example, this paragraph wasn’t there, at all, last night.

What I did want to do today was communicate some of my thoughts and feelings about this kind of fine:

Fine (penalty)

A fine is money paid usually to superior authority, usually governmental authority, as a punishment for a crime or other offence. The amount of a fine can be determined case by case, but it is often announced in advance.

The most usual use of the term, fine, relates to a financial punishment for the commission of crimes, especially minor crimes, or as the settlement of a claim. A synonym, typically used in civil law actions, is mulct.

I hope it’s fine with you that I riff, a little, about those opening lines from that Wikipedia entry.  First of all, I object to the words “superior authority.”  Superior to whom?  To me?  Oh, fine!  THAT’S really going to trigger my authority issues!  AS IF I’m going to want to pay a fine to somebody or something that acts SUPERIOR to me!

Also, what about that word “punishment”?  That’s going to help me pay any fine I might owe, too — feeling like a bad child that has to stand in the corner, just because I did something minor.  And that word “crime”?  That’s going to help my self-esteem a lot and help me feel safe and secure. Maybe, just maybe, whenever I get fined for some stupid little infraction, like my parking meter running out, I JUST WON’T PAY!  That’ll show them!

And don’t even get me started on the word “mulct.”

Based on that rant, people might be wondering how I am, this morning.

I’m fine.

Sometimes, I’ve heard it said, “I’m fine” might mean that you’re really

Freaked out

Insecure

Neurotic

Emotional

According to acronymfinder.com, here are some other definitions of the acronym FINE:

Frustrated Insecure Neurotic Emotional

Fickle Insecure Neurotic and Emotional

Foggy Insecure Neurotic Emotional

Fouled Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional (Aerosmith; polite form)

Fault Injection and Monitoring Environment

Feelings Inside Not Expressed

Feeling Inadequate, Needing Encouragement

Actually, I really AM fine this morning.

Although, this post is quite different from the one I imagined, last night. I hope that’s fine with everybody.

This post is not fine enough for me, though, until I include some visuals. Let’s see what Google Images has for “fine,” this fine morning:

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(I found this image here)

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(I found this image here)

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(I found that image here)

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(I found this image here)

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(I found this image here)

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(I found this image here)

And fine-ally, let’s see if I have anything on my iPhone that’s a fine-enough fit for this post.

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I sure felt fine, when I saw the moon, two nights ago.

Thanks to The Free Dictionary, Wikipedia, Acronym Finder,  Google Images, and all those other fine resources I depend upon for my posts; thanks to all those who helped with the creation of this post in any way; to fine people everywhere (in every sense of the word); and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 440: Random Observations

Another day, another post, another title that I CANNOT BELIEVE I am using for the very first time, especially since “Random Observations” could easily be the name of this blog.

Shall we begin, observing randomly?

I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot about red squirrels lately, including this lovely blog post (with several wonderful red squirrel photos) by Nick’s Nature Pics. Also, I just stumbled across 20 fascinating facts about the red squirrel, thanks to robin-hill.com:

  1. The estimated population of Reds in the UK is thought to be 120,000 with 75% of these living in
    Scotland.
  2. Red Squirrels have four fingers and two toes on each paw.
  3. Red Squirrels can locate their buried food supplies in over 1 foot of snow!
  4. It is thought that the Red Squirrel made their way to the British Isles from mainland Europe at
    the end of the last Ice Age, approximately 10,000 years ago!
  5. Red Squirrels shed their coats twice a year, switching between a thinner coat in summer and a
    darker, thicker winter coat.
  6. Males may live in an area of up to 17 hectares of woodland… that’s about the same size as 34
    football pitches!
  7. Squirrels do not hibernate, but bury plentiful supplies of seeds and nuts in the ground to eat in
    the winter.
  8. Red and Grey Squirrels cannot breed together.
  9. Grey Squirrels transmit the deadly squirrel pox virus to the Reds. Greys are immune and are
    only carriers.
  10. Young squirrels are called kittens. They are blind for the first 3 to 4 weeks of life and are born
    without hair and teeth!
  11. Females can have 2 litters of 3-4 kittens per year
  12. Only 1 in 6 Red Squirrels sees its first birthday due to premature death after birth, disease,
    starvation in winter or through being eaten by large carnivores or birds of prey.
  13. Adult Reds weigh 250-300gms. They put on about 12 per cent of their body weight in the
    autumn (in fat) in readiness for the cold winter ahead.
  14. The body length of a fully grown male is 20-22cm and its tail length is 17-18cm.
  15. The life span of a Red Squirrel is on average 3 years although in captivity they have been known
    to live for up to 10 years!
  16. Squirrels live in twiggy nests called dreys, situated mainly in the trees. This prevents attacks
    from ground predators like foxes.
  17. Red Squirrels are good swimmers!
  18. Red Squirrels often build more than one drey per year, they move out when fleas become
    intolerable!
  19. The Latin name is Sciurus Vulgaris.
  20. Red Squirrels and their dreys are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

So why am I starting out, in such great detail, with red squirrels, today?

  1. For some reason, Michael has been giving me updates about red squirrels lately.
  2. I’ve never seen a red squirrel, in person (or “in squirrel”), so they are inherently more fascinating to me than grey squirrels, which I see all the time.
  3. I have readers in the UK, so I am shamelessly pandering to them, this morning.
  4. Look at the title of the post, people!
  5. I spotted a white squirrel, yesterday.

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That’s not a great photo of the rare white squirrel, so you might not be able to observe its habits, including food choices. This is what I noticed yesterday:  The white squirrel likes cupcakes, especially with green trimmings.

Here’s the next thing I randomly observed:

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Bunnies are starting to pop up, which is a sure sign of spring.

I am now going to show you photos I took yesterday in a pet supply store, which Michael and I stumbled upon in our Saturday ramblings. But here’s a warning: Beware the ideas of Ann, which can take flight AND get stuck on very odd things, including …

Cat Toys.

Yesterday, I was wondering: What ARE the manufacturers of cat toys thinking, when they choose the items they assume cats are going to want to play with? (Notice how convoluted and confusing that last sentence is, probably due to the cognitive distortion of mind reading, involving both human AND feline brains.)

Let me explain, with photos:

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This makes some sense, because it’s a mouse. But is a cat likely to play with a blue mouse, which does not occur in nature?  Again, it’s difficult to know what a cat is thinking, but if I were a feline, I would avoid a mouse that (1) has turned blue and (2) has cheerleading pompoms instead of paws. Who knows? Maybe cats would love to chase that. Perhaps I’m projecting, because of some unresolved feelings about (1) death and (2) high school.

Nevertheless, I still suggest you beware the ideas of cat toy manufacturers, because — compared to other cat toys I saw yesterday — that pom-pom-yielding blue mouse was particularly non-random:

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A pig?  Do cats ever chase pigs?  And is “glittering” a market advantage, for this cat toy?

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Okay. I know that cats chase other cats. I observe that myself, almost every day.  But is a cat likely to chase this toy, especially when it looks so …. sad? And look at this offering from the same cat toy company:

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Dogs?  Do cats chase dogs? Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?  Although, I’ve never owned a dog, so maybe this occurs more often than I’ve observed.

I don’t think anybody is going to argue with me, though, about these dubious subjects for the following cat toys. That is, I’m pretty sure that domestic cats NEVER chase these animals:

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I don’t even know what that last creature is, but I think cats might resist that toy, too. Somehow, I think cats aren’t interested in anything trying so hard, to play with them.

It was around this point in my cat-toy exploration, that Michael interrupted me, saying, “Did you see that enormous bird, in the back?” Again, this was a pet supply store, so — not expecting  real animals — I immediately envisioned another cat toy, but of unusual size.

But, no.

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And there was Baby, in person (or “in macaw”):

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As I did with the parrots I met in Panama (see here and here), I had some complicated reactions to seeing Baby encaged. And, by the way, Baby was definitely larger than those Panamanian Parrots; like Michael said, this bird was enormous.  But, we spoke with the woman who was working at the pet supply shop, that day, who told us reassuring things about Baby’s birth, history, and freedom to roam around the store on many days.

It’s still tough, for me, to see a magnificent creature encaged. And for Michael, too.

Maybe that’s why we turned, later, to the topic of red squirrels.

I see that this post has come full circle. And I’ve run out of photos from yesterday, too.

So what feels left unsaid for me, now?

Yesterday was the Ides of March.  And I am happy to report a Personal Record.  That is, on 3/15 of this year of 2014, ANN KOPLOW FINISHED HER INCOME TAXES, a full month ahead of the deadline!

Yay!!!!!

Hmmmmm.

Is it appropriate for me to be celebrating this, right now, when:

  1. Many other people complete their taxes way ahead of time, every year?
  2. Yesterday, I failed, again, in finding a cat toy my cats might be interested in pursuing?
  3. I don’t know if Baby — or the red squirrels, for that matter — are really doing okay, out there?

Should I be joyful?

Well, considering:

  1. That my questions included cognitive distortions (including comparisons to others),
  2. I used the very unhelpful word “failed,”
  3. There are no “shoulds” regarding feelings and emotions, and
  4. The very helpful Serenity Prayer

serenity-prayer-subway-style-leslie-fuqua

(image found here)

… I choose to be joyful, today.

Thanks to Nick Hunter, Robin Hill,  creatures of all colors and sizes, manufacturers of cat toys, people who get things done in March (and any other month of the year), and to you — of course! — for observing today.


Regular readers may notice the lack of footnotes in this blog, lately. For anybody who misses those, here’s a different kind of footnote:

photo (85)

As you can see, one sock keeps coming off at night (as I’ve written about before: here AND here, believe it or not). Maybe, in two weeks, I’ll ask professional observers about that, during my sleep study at the hospital.

Is that too random?

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

Day 439: Bonds

Yesterday’s post ended with a bond.  James Bond.

There are many different types of Bonds, aren’t there?

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(I found that image here.)

THIS post, however, is about Interpersonal Bonds, which I observed, last night, forming in a room.

While regular readers of this blog might imagine those bonds forming among people in a  group therapy room, they were actually created …

… at a restaurant.

Here’s what happened.

Last night, Michael and I went out to dinner, at a restaurant I like very much. We had to wait, a little while, for a table.

Once they seated us, our relief quickly turned to other feelings, because the people sitting next to us were loud. REALLY loud.

To use two words from yesterday’s post — Double O — one person, especially, seemed obstreperous and obnoxious.

And I noticed many people bonding, because of this.  Michael and I immediately bonded with our waiter, joking about how quickly he might give that table the check.

Every time I looked around the room, I saw people reacting to the outbursts and connecting with each other, in different ways.  A woman, seated in a corner on the other side of the room, caught my eye several times and communicated, non-verbally, her feelings.

Because I’m sensitive to sound, I reacted involuntarily when the Loud Guy spoke.  “Spoke” doesn’t describe it, actually.  Every time he expressed a thought, he bellowed, blared, blustered, and brayed.

Many feelings were there in the room: fear, anger, and yearnings that the Loud Guy would go away, as soon as possible. So, when he put on his coat and left the restaurant, somebody actually applauded, even though some of his companions had remained behind.

The woman from the corner came over to our table, to bond with Michael and me about our feelings. I saw several strangers communicating across tables, joking about their relief.

Then, the Loud Guy returned.  And, all those old feelings came back into the room with him, including disappointment.

Soon after the Return of The Brayer, Michael needed to excuse himself. He said,  “I hate to leave you with this, baby,” because I — out of everybody else in the restaurant — was closest to the noise.

But, at that point,  I wasn’t afraid to be left alone. Why? Because I had realized, by then, that it wasn’t so much what the Loud Guy was saying. It was  the VOLUME, which was upsetting us all.

Then, the Loud Guy yelled something  that amazed me.

Don’t you LOVE Dorothy Parker?

And I DO love Dorothy Parker, so I turned toward him.  He repeated, this time directly to me:

Don’t you LOVE Dorothy Parker?

I nodded and answered, “Yes.” He said:

Didn’t Dorothy Parker say THE BEST THINGS?

And again, I simply told the truth. “She did.”  Because, dear readers, here are some of the things Dorothy Parker said (from listverse.com’s Top 20 Quotes of Dorothy Parker):

1. I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.

2. Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.

3. You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.

4. I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more.

5. I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound — if I can remember any of the damn things.

6. Four be the things I’d have been better without: Love, curiosity, freckles and doubt.

7. I require only three things of a man. He must be handsome, ruthless and stupid.

8. Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

9. Money cannot buy health, but I’d settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair.

10. The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.’

11. The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

12. It serves me right for keeping all my eggs in one bastard. (Said when leaving hospital after an abortion).

13. All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends.

14. I like to have a martini, Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table,after four I’m under my host.

15. Ducking for apples — change one letter and it’s the story of my life

16. I’ve never been a millionaire but I just know I’d be darling at it.

17. If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

18. When asked to use the word horticulture during a game of Can-You-Give-Me-A-Sentence, Parker replied: You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

19. Of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Parker said: “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

20. I’ve been too fucking busy – or vice versa. (in response to a letter from her editor asking for more stories during her honeymoon)

Here’s something I want to point out: While Dorothy Parker used the “F-word” above (as I did, recently, in this post) … the Loud Guy never did, last night.

When Michael returned to our table, I said, “Guess who I had a bonding moment with?”  And Michael — who is an excellent guesser — got it right, first shot.

One more thought, before I end this post. Earlier in the evening, I said to Michael, “I hope this guy can inspire me to speak louder, with less fear about making too much noise.”

Thanks to Dorothy Parker, to loud people everywhere, and to you — of course! — for bonding here, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 24 Comments

Day 438: Double O

In yesterday’s post, I included this sign, which involved a double 0.

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At the hospital cafeteria yesterday, the cashier pointed out that my lunch, made up of soup, salad (priced by weight), and water (pictured here)

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.. totaled to a double 0 number:

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She remarked that people sometimes swoon when they see Double 0’s like that, on their bill.

A quick aside to Observant Ones, like Mark Bialczak .. Look how my hometown is spelled on that same receipt:

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Oops! There should be two O’s in Boston, but no “i.”

Oh-oh. This post may be too goofy, even for me.

Look how loosely I’m using Double O’s: as numbers, as letters, as initials, AND in the middle of words.

Stoopid.

I’m stooping to misspelling words, too!

Mood: Gloom. Sense of worth? 00 cents.

Hey, people! Not ALL of these posts are going to be good. Or original. Obviously. OBVIOUSLY!  I WRITE A POST EVERY FRIGGIN’ DAY!

Did I doom things, there, with my attitood?   Am I being too obnoxious? Or Obstreperous?

Or too too …. snooty, using such big words?

Oh, poop.  This is exhausting.

Oh! That reminds me. Yesterday, two observant ones asked me if I was okay.  I was, but I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, the night before. That happens to me, sometimes.

Yes, dear readers, I’ve given up on the premise of this post, okay? OKAY? It’s too difficult to sustain.  I want to end this post, too, and I can’t think of any double-o words that allow me to do that smoothly.

I need some food..

..

..

Good.

Oo!  How about some moovie music, that I loooove?

Cool!

Thanks to ThemeTunez for posting the James Bond theme on YooToob, to observant ones everywhere, and to YOO, no matter what your attitood or mood.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 437: Look down and look back (in anger)

Warning:  Because of the topic of this post, some language is for “adult” audiences.

The title of yesterday’s post was “Looking Up.”  Doesn’t it figure that today’s post would involve the opposite, and more?

I, personally, prefer looking up to looking down or looking back.  But it’s important to look everywhere, don’t you agree?  Otherwise, you might miss something.

Here are some things I’ve seen lately, looking down:

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It’s more clocks, in the 10:10 position! See yesterday’s post for more about that particularly pleasing point in time.

Now, let’s look down at another theme of mine: confusion.  Today’s ball of confusion* is …. What does the word “macaroon” mean?

Are macaroons these kind of cookies?

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Or these kinds of cookies?

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I am familiar with the first kind of macaroon, which my mother used to give me when I was a kid. However, those new-fangled, fancy-schmancy cookies in the subsequent photos have been showing up, everywhere.

I can imagine that those perfectly formed, pricier, newer (to me) cookies probably look down on those messier, cheaper, old-fashioned cookies.

And, actually, when I encountered those two types of macaroons last night, at Whole Foods, those uppity, prettier cookies WERE higher up, location-wise, than the other ones.

I ranted to my bf Michael, last night in Whole Foods, about my cookie confusion:

What is the deal with macaroons these days, Michael?   What ARE the differences between these different types?  Do the new ones EVEN HAVE COCONUT in them?  Why are they so expensive? Why are they showing up, on all the cooking shows? Should I even try them?  Are they really that much BETTER than those old, familiar macaroons?

As I was taking the cookie shots, above, somebody who works at Whole Foods kept coming up and asking me if I needed help.

My initial thought was “I’m in trouble, for taking photos.”  I was able to identify THAT thought as a cognitive distortion immediately, though, and let it go.

But I still felt a little twinge of guilt, whenever the Whole Foods Lady asked me if I needed help. That guilt twinge could have been related to my expectation, in the moment, that I was unlikely to buy anything.

Finally, though, I unloaded my confusion and my questions about those cookies, in response to “Can I help you with anything?”

What was that nice woman’s reply?  She told me:

  1. She couldn’t really explain the difference between the cookies to me.
  2. She could assure me that the prettier cookies were worth the additional price.
  3. She suggested I bring home one of those new cookies, and see for myself.
  4. She recommended I try the one new-fangled cookie that shared something important with the old, familiar ones: coconut.

Here’s that cookie:

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Last night, I looked down at it, I ate it, and it was good.

Afterwards, Michael asked me, “What it worth $49?” (Because that was one of the numbers I was throwing around last night, in my rant.) I replied, “No.  But it was DEFINITELY worth $1.89.”

As usual, there were many more things I wanted to show and tell about, today. Do I have time?  We shall see.

Here are some more photos I’ve taken recently, looking down:

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That’s an image that was seen but not shown, during my walk this weekend (see here for more about that).

Here’s another image you haven’t seen yet, when I was looking down at a different location:

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Why did I take THAT shot? Well, I thought that was kind of ridiculous, to have a stuffed animal that smelled like chocolate. Wouldn’t somebody try to eat THAT?

Here’s another shot I took, within moments of that last photo, when I was looking down:

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Why did I take THAT photo?  What do YOU think, dear reader?

.

.

.

Okay, I’ll tell you. I noticed the absurdity of a sign that said “Something Special” AND “Save 00 cents.”

So what’s left to do, before I complete and publish this post?

I suppose I could try to clear up any possible ball of confusion*, here. But I doubt I have time for that.

I suppose I should explain, a little more, about the post title “Look down and look back (in anger).” For example, what the heck is anger doing there? I mean, the anger is contained, in parentheses, but is this post REALLY about anger, too?

Perhaps.

I’ll tell you this: When I was composing that title, last night, I had remembered this play, from the 1950s:

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And while sitting in an electric chair doesn’t sound exactly comfortable or conducive to paying attention, “Look Back in Anger” has been considered, for many years by many critics, to be an important piece of work.

But why is that in the title of my post?  I haven’t even seen “Look Back in Anger” — as a play or as a movie.

I’ll confess this, now: I have been working on anger — my own and others — in many different places, these days. That’s why it showed up in the title.

For example, in a group I was in last week — as a member, not a leader** — I yelled “FUCK YOU!” Which, I must say, is very uncharacteristic of me.

And while it felt good to let that anger out, I — almost immediately — felt guilty about it. When I expressed my fear and guilt about what I had done, the group leader said, “Your anger is very welcome, here.”

Wow.  That’s really something worth looking back at.

Okay!  Time to end this post.

Thanks to cookies of all kinds, Temptations,  Whole Foods and Shaw’s Markets, people who are working on anger in any way, those who look every which way, and to you — of course!! — for being here, today.


* You know, if you don’t look at my links, you really might miss something special.

** I would never say such a thing as a facilitator or leader. I feel the need to repeat that — up there and down here — to be absolutely clear.

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

Day 436: Looking Up

These days, things are looking up, including me.

Yesterday, as I was walking around the hospital where I work, I looked up and noticed that this clock was ready for its close-up:

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Have you ever noticed that almost all clocks and watches in advertisements are set to ten minutes past 10 (or ten minutes before 2)? That’s because marketing people have ascertained those are the most visually and esthetically pleasing positions.

Just to demonstrate this, I am going to google images for “clocks”

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(I found that image here, a page that further proves my point)

…. and “watches.”

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(I found those here.)

Anyway, I was looking up a lot, yesterday. On my walk back to my car, after work, I saw this:

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“Wow!” I thought, for several reasons.

Then,  over to my left, I looked up again:

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I repeat, “Wow!”

Then, I looked up some more,  as I walked by friendly Fenway Park:

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I thought I saw buds on trees in this recent post. Now, I’m sure of it.

There are lots of numbers on this side of Fenway Park. This is my favorite one:

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In this statue memorializing Ted Williams …

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… somebody is really looking up to him. You can see #8‘s statue in that photo, too.

There was one more moment, yesterday, before I reached my car, where I paused, took a breath, and mindfully looked up:

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Yes, things are definitely looking up, around here:

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There are good reasons to look up at home, too:

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Okay!  The clocks — in a less-than-optimally-esthetically-pleasing position — are telling me it’s time to end this post.

Thanks to time-keepers everywhere, the moon (which made several sneak appearances, above), people who stop and look,  everyone I look up to,  and to you — of course! — for looking this way, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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