Day 632: Mixed up

My high school Chemistry teacher, Mrs. O’Keefe,  would often say to me, in class, “Ann, are you confused?” And I would reply, “No, this is my natural expression.”

Actually, no matter what the intention of my snappy answer to Mrs. O’Keefe, I think I often do look confused, befuddled, baffled, nonplussed, and otherwise mixed up.

I ASSUME I look that way.  As I’ve written here, we really don’t know what we look like, to the outside world.

However, I’m guessing that I can look quite confused, befuddled, baffled, nonplussed, and otherwise mixed up because … that’s how I’m feeling. I felt that way in Chemistry Class, for sure, and even now, I can look around me, and be mixed up by what I see.

Speaking of mixed up, I often notice anagrams — which mix up letters — when I look at words.

For example, I noticed some anagrams yesterday morning, while I was preparing breakfast.

IMG_9532 IMG_9531

See? “Chai” (the flavoring for my oatmeal) and “Chia” both use the same four letters, mixed up.

I mention this, not just to (1) brag about my ability to see anagrams and (2) brag about how healthy my breakfast was yesterday, but also as an excuse to share another Michael Brecker tune — Anagram —  which I was happy to hear yesterday, on one of my to and fro walks, near work.

Oh no!  I can’t find a video of Michael Brecker’s Anagram, anywhere!   Now, I’m befuddled and confused about how to proceed with this post. I mean, the whole premise of the last few paragraphs has fallen apart!  What to do?

Well, I COULD show you, instead, this “doctoral recital performance” of Anagram, found here at YouTube):

I am a little mixed up, now, by the concept of a “doctoral recital performance.” I guess that means that somebody involved in that YouTube performance was actually earning a doctorate! That sounds quite classy, to me.

I was going to say “PhD” instead of “doctorate” in that previous paragraph, but PhD would mean a doctorate in Philosophy, so I’m obviously … mixed up. What would a Musical Doctorate be called?  It must be …


No, wait. That’s another kind of doctor.

Anyway, here are more mixed up thoughts, from me, about a Musical Doctorate (however it’s abbreviated). Even though I went to school for jazz piano at Berklee for two summers (soon after Mrs. O’Keefe was telling me how confused I looked), it never occurred to me, before today, that somebody could earn a doctorate with a musical performance.

Maybe, if I ever get brave enough to do some open mic singing that’s at a doctoral level of excellence … you’ll have to start calling me Doctor Koplow! I would definitely be nonplussed, by that.

Actually, sometimes when people call my number at work to make psychotherapy appointments, they call me Dr. Koplow. I guess they get confused, befuddled, etc. because I work within the primary care practice, where most of the treaters are MD’s and called “Doctor” (of course).  (I always correct them as soon as I can, and invite them to call me “Ann.”)

Hmmm. Have I succeeded in confusing, baffling, nonplussing, or otherwise mixing up my readers, in this post?

If not, maybe I should try harder. It’s lonely to feel this confused, all by myself!

This might mix people up:  When I was googling the internet for Anagram, by Michael Brecker, I saw this entry:

Michael Brecker – Anagram Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Lyrics to ‘Anagram’ by Michael Brecker. … “Anagram” is track #3 on the album Pilgrimage.

“There are LYRICS to THAT song?” I thought. “I’m confused!”

However, I was also intrigued.

That’s the other side of confusion, isn’t it?  When something is new, different and/or unexpected, we might be baffled and bewildered, but we can be intrigued and interested, too.

Intrigued and interested, I just went to the MetroLyrics site (a place that sounds quite classy, to me), to discover what the Anagram lyrics might be.

Drat! That was a dead end.

These lyrics haven’t been entered yet. Please add them for us, if you know them.

I can’t add the lyrics, MetroLyrics! I DON’T KNOW THEM! I went to that site because  I thought YOU knew something I didn’t.

No wonder I’m so confused, with all this baiting and switching going on, everywhere.

If you are baffled or befuddled by the phrase “bait and switch,” let’s see if I can clear that up, now.

Ooops!  I’m so sorry, my dear readers. There’s been another mix up. I can’t find a good-enough definition of “bait and switch,” with the time I have today. The Urban Dictionary (does that sound classy, to you?) is the best I can do:

Bait and Switch
The policy used by Bell Mobility to get more money out of their customers. They will *bait* you in with offers of really good stuff, then switch the offers around behind your back, often with the excuse of “that was just a promotion” or “you must have changed it yourself”
Bell: We’ll give you this really good plan.
You: I’ll take it.
*bill arrives without the really good plan*

Yikes!  Is everybody confused?

Good! Now I don’t feel so alone.

I have to say, I do feel considerably better when others are having a similar experience to me.

That’s what I witness in group therapy (like I did, yesterday, and I will, today, too).

However, confusion can be uncomfortable. Therefore, I will try to compensate for any befuddlement, confusion, bafflement, and mixed-up-ed-ness I may have caused you, today, by showing you more mixed-up photos I took, yesterday.


That’s something I found in my recently retrieved stash of nostalgic treasures (letters, cards, and other gifts from people in my life when I was young). Somebody gave me that book while I was in the hospital around age 10, dealing with a congenitally mixed-up heart.

I absolutely intended to include the photo of that book in yesterday’s post, called  “The Dark.” However, I was too distracted, confused, and befuddled to do so.  Why?  Because while I was composing yesterday’s post, I was also getting myself and my son, Aaron, ready to go to his doctor’s office, because Aaron hasn’t been feeling well lately.

Here’s what I want to say, at this point: (1) It’s nothing serious (Aaron’s diagnosis was seasonal allergies) and (2) yesterday’s post was good enough without that photo.


I found this misplaced piece of greenery, yesterday, as Aaron and I were getting ready to leave for his doctor’s appointment. Obviously, somebody was confused, befuddled, and mixed up at that point. Would you care to guess who that was?

I drove Aaron to his doctor’s office, in nearby Somerville.


That’s Frank, who was also in the doctor’s waiting room, yesterday morning. I was — for just a moment — confused when Frank suddenly started talking to us, showing us YouTube videos of bulldogs, including one where a bulldog was jumping on a trampoline!  Perhaps Frank had us mixed up with dog people. I definitely appreciated the distraction and Frank’s friendliness.

More photos from the doctor’s waiting room:

IMG_9538  IMG_9540

As I confessed to Aaron yesterday, sometimes I take photos to relieve anxiety.  That helps center me, when I’m feeling mixed up. And not to mix things up here, with too many details (too late!),  Aaron preferred to go into his appointment alone, so I had some time on my hands, in the waiting room.

After Aaron’s appointment, when I was feeling considerably relieved, I stopped to take this photo:


I told Aaron (who sometimes gets impatient when I take pictures for this blog), “I’m taking this photo because I really like it.  I think that mixed-up combination of a tax accounting place and an astrologer is funny!”

After I took Aaron back home, I proceeded to work, and saw this:


I don’t know about you, but I found that confusing.  Then, I saw this:


I was mixed up by that, also.  Does that sign mean a Fenway Park tour is starting in 15 minutes or that the tour lasts 15 minutes?  It’s probably the former meaning, but who knows? Maybe because the Red Sox are out of the pennant race this year, people aren’t that interested in hearing details about them, right now.

A few minutes later, I saw this:

IMG_9557 I’m always interested in people, working or otherwise, so I stopped to look up.  This is all I could see:


Again, I was confused and befuddled. Where were those working people?

Well, it’s time for me to end this post. My son, who still feels lousy — but well enough to go to school — just left for the day, and I’ve got to get ready for work.

Not to further confuse things, but I do need to ask myself this: what feels left unsaid for me, here and now?

Just this.  You may have noticed that — despite my elaborate set-up regarding “Anagrams” —  there were no more (conscious) anagrams in this post.  Or, you may NOT have noticed that. However, I noticed it, and I was thinking

To make this post complete, I need to end with an anagram.

But I guess anagrams are not that easy for me to see. Darn it!

Then, I remembered a card, from my nostalgic stash that I may — or may not — have already included in this blog. (I’m still mixed up, aren’t I?)


While that isn’t a typical anagram, it works for me.

Thanks to my son, to my father, to mixed up people everywhere, and to you — of course! — for mixing it up with me here, today.

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

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11 thoughts on “Day 632: Mixed up

  1. Glad it was just allergies for your son – even though I hate to say “just” allergies, because they can cause some issues! Hope he’s got some good meds to help him deal with them!

    • They gave him a prescription for meds, which he’s taking. We shall see how he does. Thanks for this thoughtful comment, Kate!

  2. Since I started following you blog, I tend to look a bit more carefully at people, places or things. Slowly, I am learning to go beyond the “quick glimpse.”

  3. I have a friend that I worked with at the big daily almost 30 years ago, Ann, we both just started calling each other Doc back then and still do now when we correspond (he moved away to Oho 25 years ago but we stay in touch). Why, you ask (since you started it with your post)? Because we liked and respected each other, and still do. Even as a nickname, it’s a term that’s not bestowed lightly. So, you see, it’s OK that patients call you Dr. Koplow when they call to schedule.

    Onward, I’ve encountered this MetroLyrics site and also Set List sites in search of nuggets and come up with similar requests for information instead. I’d say they’re part of a growing wiki trend where the body of readership does the work for itself, wouldn’t you? Great when somebody smart has been there before you, but not so much if you’re the stumped first one searching.

    The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw your Fenway sign was, hey, I thought it would take longer than that to see everything I wanted to see in Fenway Park. So, that’s how my brain works. It didn’t occured to me they’d possibly put a sign out that big to denote how long it would be until the next tour because, well, one minute from the time you walked by, it would be 14 minutes until the next tour. Did somebody run out and flip over the second number, or was it written in erasable Sharpie on whiteboard?

    Urban Dictionary does a lousy job with bait-and-switch, I’d say. Let’s try:

    The process of a company or employer or seller offering sweet terms to lure a customer or job seeker or buyer to agree to purchase an item, take a job or sign a contract, but altering, diminishing or eliminating the conditions afterward.

    Finally, Ann, as I wish Aaron to KTSAB (Kick Those Seasonal Allergies’ Butt), I’ll add that I don’t know most of your card’s anagram, but I’ll guess that AF is Ann’s Father.

    • Mark, thank you for this comprehensive,cohesive, cogent, and complimentary comment. And, yes, Rehtaf is a backwards anagram for my father. (He liked signing things in a backwards way.)

      Now, thanks to you, I feel the opposite of mixed up. A wiki-trendy place might ask you to supply the term for the the opposite of mixed up, but I’ll save you the trouble and state that it’s either (1) un-mixed or (2) mixed down. Or we could just say that I’m yppah.

      • I cannot believe I totally missed the backward father signature. Wait. Yes, I can. That’s awesome! Thanks, Ann, for making my day twice, forward and backward.

      • Mark, if you’re ever mixed up enough to miss how helpful I find your comments, please remember that they matter and make a difference, every day.

  4. Pingback: Day 633: High and Low | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  5. I’m just adjusting my head. I think Dr Koplow sounds very classy.

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