Monthly Archives: September 2014

Day 628: Where do you get your ideas?

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of wonderment, amazement, surprise, and disbelief — from people in the Blog-o-Sphere and in the Non-Blog-o-Sphere — about the fact that I blog every day.

I, in response, have a lot of wonderment, amazement, surprise and disbelief that this seems so incredible to people.

Honestly, though, if I had not started blogging on January, 2013 and kept that going daily, I would also find such once-a-day, long-sustained blogging … wonderful, amazing, surprising,  incredible, and — probably — beyond my capabilities.

We never know what we can accomplish until we do it, right?

While many people have told me they are impressed and surprised that I have maintained a streak of Six Hundred and Twenty-Seven posts in a row,  nobody has asked me this specific question, so far:

Where do you get your ideas?

If they did ask that, I would probably answer — in my usually digressive way — by telling this at-first-seemingly-unrelated story:

When my son, Aaron, was born 16 years ago, on February 23, 1998, almost everybody I knew expressed wonderment, amazement, surprise, and disbelief that Aaron had red hair. Why? Because both I and Aaron’s father had dark brown hair.

As Aaron was growing up, he (and we) heard this question, over and over again:

Where did that red hair come from?

I taught Aaron to reply to that question a certain way, which I shall reveal momentarily, in my usual digressive way.

Before I do reveal that, I want to let people know that I stole this answer from a social worker who went to graduate school with me and who just happened to be working in the hospital where Aaron was born.  This nice, red-headed social worker (whose name I cannot recall, in the moment) told me that her family taught her to answer the above question, as follows:

It came with my head.

Now, with just a little re-writing, I think I can use that same response — which Aaron said many times as he was growing up — to answer the title question of this post.

Hmmm.  But what IS the best way to rewrite that, now, to:

Should the answer to the question “Where do you get your ideas?” be:

  • they came with my head?
  • they come with my head?
  • or something else?

Geesh! Rewriting, to make something fit perfectly, can take a lot of time and effort.  It’s a good thing I’ve let go of any dream of perfection, here.

If I hadn’t, how could I possibly blog every day?

While I don’t include perfection here, I do include photos. Let’s see if I have any recent shots stored on my iPhone that might fit this topic — if not perfectly — well enough.

Aha!  Here’s a photo I took at the Teacher/Parent Open House at my son’s high school, a few evenings back (when I was looking for C words for this post):


That suggests — to my brunette head — another possible answer to the title question of today’s post:


One final question, today, before I publish this post: How might you answer today’s post question, for yourself? In other words, where do you get your ideas?

Hmmmm.   I’ve just looked at the time and realized I’m finishing this post earlier than I expected. Is it okay to publish this post on 7:17 on a Saturday morning?  Or, would that confound, confuse, or otherwise craze my regular readers, who might expect me to publish this at a later time today?*

Just in case, I shall stall the publishing of this post, one more time, by searching for a piece of music that fits this post — if not perfectly —  well enough.

I just went to YouTube and searched “where do you get your ideas song.”  This is what I found:

That’s American singer-pianist-songwriter Billy Joel explaining to school students, in 1983,  the answer to the question, “Where do you get your ideas?”

While that video IS interesting, it’s not meeting MY needs, for a music-related video. (And, believe me, I write these posts, daily, to meet my own needs.)

Here’s one that does meet my needs:

(Bee Gees performing “Idea” found here)

Okay!  It’s time to publish this Six Hundred and Twenty-Eighth (but who’s counting?) post!

Thanks to my son, to my son’s teachers, to nice social workers everywhere, to Billy Joel, to the Bee Gees, to ideas (and idea-generators), and to you — of course! — for doing your best to understand all these ideas, today.

* New readers might not recognize this, but I’m “mind reading” here.  For more about mind reading and other CBT cognitive distortions, see here.

Categories: blogging, friendship, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 627: Just Another Couple C words

Consecutive C word posts … in-coming!

C word #1: Cranky

I woke up cranky today. I cannot comprehend why, considering:

  1. my cardiologist confirmed, via email, encouraging cardiac conclusions, and
  2. complimentary C word comments yesterday included “clever,” “charming,” “comic,” “compelling,” “creative,” “captivating,” “courageous,” and “craic.”

My cat is chewing on me as I’m composing this, which could account for some crankiness, but not completely.

Conclusions:  Crankiness can come, confusingly, with no consideration for circumstances. Consider being cranky until you complete your crankiness cycle; then, crank up contentment (or whatever emotion comes next). Cranky-ness won’t kill you. Comprende?

C word #2: Computer

My computer conked out at work, yesterday.


Machines conking out can confuse and create considerable complications for me.

Conclusion: Computers and other common technological components can conk out. Most won’t kill you. If you are ever concerned about a cardiac pacemaker (or other truly critical components) conking out, consider this: clever cardiologists can creatively keep you keeping on.

K words are creeping into this composition, aren’t they?

Time to conclude today’s commentary, with “Just Another Couple Broken Hearts” by Was (Not Was) (with cool accompaniment)…

(only couple YouTube videos to choose from; I chose this) (AND here’s a link to “Just Another Couple Broken Hearts” unaccompanied)

… and a couple more C words:



(from my son’s Biology class).


Coming attractions: College Reunion this weekend!


Considerable thanks to complimentary commentators, computers, cardiologists, Was (Not Was), Morrisman Smith and other courageous accompanists, cats, course-work givers (teachers, that is), Arthur C. Clarke,  and to you — of course! — for coming by here, today.

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

Day 626: The C word

My cardiologist called me the C word, at my check-up three months ago.

I  tried not to catastrophize about it.  But I was concerned,  ’cause criticism can stick. Conversely, I considered it comical, that my cardiologist could call me that!

I concocted a cunning counter-move.

My cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, is considered a completely caring and competent doctor, by everybody who comes into contact with him. But ever since he called me the C word, and I’ve clinically consulted his female co-workers — I’ve called him out, concerning that circumstance.

Care to conjecture these women’s countenances when I confronted them with my cardiologist’s comment?

They were completely confused and confounded, of course.

Yesterday morning,  as I contemplated my up-coming cardiology appointment with Dr. Salem at 3 o’clock that day, I considered comprehensive conversations about

  1. my congenitally corrected transposition,
  2. my other cardiac conditions and concerns,
  3. Dr. Salem calling me the C word,
  4. et cetera.

Concurrently, I considered this:

I know the title for my next blog post!

… a cognition I see is completely c-less, in the current moment.

I started seeing C-words, consecutively, on my walk to work, including




cop (and cars!)




and more crosswalks and crossers.

I considered what music to include in today’s post, and concluded:

Of course!  I’ll include a composition by keyboardist Chick Corea!  He was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where my father grew up!

Here’s Chelsea’s Chick Corea’s composition, Sidewalk:

(YouTube video of “Sidewalk” found here.)

Anyway, as I continued on the sidewalk, I noticed more cars and commuters.

IMG_9328  IMG_9336 IMG_9337 IMG_9338 IMG_9339 IMG_9340

You can’t completely see her, but that’s my co-worker Jan, across the crowded street. I wonder if that looked creepy to anyone — my taking that many consecutive shots of Jan.

Jan is definitely NOT the C word my cardiologist called me (although she may have used various c-words, out of my earshot, when she’s feeling cranky). I consider Jan to be other C-words: caring, compassionate, comical, and convivial.  I wonder if she considers herself those things?

Anyway, I called out to Jan and she crossed over, to see me.

IMG_9341 IMG_9342

After conducting individual and group therapy at work, I left for my cardiology appointment.  On the way, I encountered more C-words:

IMG_9344 IMG_9346 IMG_9347 IMG_9348 IMG_9349 IMG_9358 IMG_9359 IMG_9361 IMG_9362 IMG_9365 IMG_9371 IMG_9374 IMG_9385 IMG_9386 IMG_9388

… before encountering my cardiologist.

IMG_9395 IMG_9396

That’s Dr. Salem, in the corridor before my check-up, calling me a “pain in the ass” to his co-worker!!

I continued my cunning scheme of calling out Dr. Salem calling me the C word, as his medical assistant, Julie, cuffed me:


Julie said, “He called you WHAT?!? That’s completely uncalled for!!” (or words to that effect).

Anyway, everybody yesterday seemed very pleased with how I’m doing, cardiac-wise. And Dr. Salem and I cracked up, several times, during my cardiology appointment.

After the appointment, I casually encountered my other cardiologist, Dr. Mark Estes, in another corridor. Continuing my consistent cracking on Dr. Salem, I said to Dr. Estes:

Dr. Salem called me a pain in the ass, today!  I’m going to put that in my blog!

When I saw Dr. Estes’s concerned countenance, I reconsidered.  Then we exchanged these comments:

Me: Okay, I may not write that. But I’m definitely including in my blog something else he called me, three months ago. He called me   … CHUBBY!!

Dr. Estes: That’s worse.

Before I conclude this “C word” post, I have to choose a category for it. How would you categorize it?  Also, are there C words I could have included here, to make it more complete?

Thanks to my cardiologists, to Chick Corea, to people from Chelsea, to c-words everywhere, and to you — of course! — for coming by, today.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 37 Comments

Day 625: Where am I?


Where am I?


Right here.


Where is here?


  1. In my kitchen.
  2. On my laptop.
  3. At WordPress.
  4. In Massachusetts, USA.
  5. In the midst of my life.
  6. On my path.
  7. At a specific longitude and latitude, which I don’t know.
  8. Wait, there’s an app for that!
  9. I can’t remember my password.
  10. Where is the password?
  11. I found my password.
  12. I actually knew my password. I just typed it in wrong, the first time.
  13. I typed it in wrong, again.
  14. Got it, that time!
  15. “Cannot connect to iTunes store.”
  16. Who needs longitude and latitude, anyway?  It’s not like I’m friggin’ lost at sea.
  17. Exactly where I’m supposed to be.


Where else am I?


Happy that the list, above, had 17 items, since

  • today is the 17th and
  • 17 is my lucky number.


Where else am I?


At the beginning of a day where I expect to:

  1. Publish a good-enough blog post.
  2. Help my son (if he needs any help) leave for school.
  3. Be as present in the moment, as possible, for him and for myself.
  4. Go to work.
  5. Orient and register somebody for the therapy groups I do.
  6. Facilitate a therapy group of people who have chosen to be wherever we are and wherever we go together.
  7. Drink enough water.
  8. Eat something.
  9. See my cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem.
  10. Meet all my son’s new teachers, at his high school, which is such a friggin’ labyrinth with so many stairs and confusing room numbers that I’ll probably wonder, “Where am I??” several times.
  11. Ask directions, at my son’s school, from people who will help me get to all the right classrooms, on time.
  12. Find my car, in the school parking lot.
  13. Drive to a house in Arlington, Massachusetts, for the remainder of a Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy board meeting.
  14. Drive home.
  15. See my boyfriend Michael.
  16. Find out about my son’s day. (Where will Aaron be? With his father, at that point on this Wednesday.)
  17. Be in the moment as much as possible.


Where else am I?


Wanting to give myself and my readers some gifts.

First, some photos of where I’ve been recently:

IMG_9291 IMG_9292 IMG_9294

Finally, some music.  Where shall I find something

  1. appropriate to today’s post,
  2. that I love,
  3. that you might enjoy, also?

Here’s the best I can do, where I am:

(Question: Where is that YouTube video of Buffalo Springfield‘s “Questions”?  Answer: Here)


Thanks to everybody reading this, no matter where you are.

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

Day 624: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about how I was looking at things. While that could describe every blog post I’ve ever written, I also had a specific intent and investment in an outcome yesterday: I hoped to generate more comments from my readers.

Here’s some interesting data: that post got fewer comments than any other blog post I’ve written for several weeks, if not months. (I’m not giving you exact data here, because I just gave up going deeper into my past posts, to retrieve that number.)

What went “wrong” yesterday?  Why did I get fewer comments, when I was trying to get more?

I really can’t answer that.

However, I shall now do what I often do, when something unexpected happens. I shall try to make meaning of it.

Does my getting such a low number of comments yesterday mean any of the following?

  1. Yesterday’s post (or other recent posts) sucked, and I’ve lost readers as a result.
  2. Yesterday’s post (or other recent posts) did not suck, and I’ve lost readers anyway.
  3. I’ve peaked in terms of reader satisfaction, and it’s all downhill from now on.
  4. People were too busy to comment yesterday, for lots of reasons.
  5. People saw through my scheming attempts to get more comments and rebelled, as a result.
  6. Some things people communicate just inexplicably get considerably more or fewer reactions, as others may have experienced.

Some of my guesses, above, might be off-base, especially since they involve mind-reading, catastrophizing, and other unhelpful, distorted thoughts.

So I may never know why I got so few comments, yesterday.

Does that matter?

Probably not.  As I’ve often heard and do believe:  quality, not quantity, is more important. And the comments I got yesterday were very high quality, indeed.

So why am I writing this post, today?

Because, honestly, I had moments, yesterday, of feeling

  • disappointment,
  • rejection, and
  • confusion

… about the low number of comments.

There were also many moments, yesterday, when I did NOT feel

  • disappointment,
  • rejection, and
  • confusion.

There were many moments I felt:

  • grateful
  • connected, and
  • clear.

In those moments, I was appreciating what I WAS getting, here in the blogging world and in my other worlds, too. I was present and mindful — at work, home, and elsewhere — amid many challenges.

Also, when I was feeling grateful, connected and clear yesterday, I spent some time thinking about what blog posts I might write, in the future.

For example, I thought I might write a blog post, at some point, called “Tomorrow’s Girls.” I considered including, in that post of tomorrow:

  •  my thoughts about the realities of being female in a hierarchical system like, say, a major city hospital (or other environments and cultures),
  • some photos I took yesterday of young women near the campuses of Simmons and Emmanuel Colleges:

IMG_9273 IMG_9274 IMG_9275

But here’s a dilemma for me:

How do I write — authentically and empathically — about sexism that I experience for myself and witness others experiencing, without losing  people I care about in the process?

That’s something else I can’t answer today.

Before I end yet another imperfect post here — where I struggle to balance hopes and fears about connecting with others — I want to say more about my yesterday.

I wrote a draft of today’s post last night, very similar to what you are reading now.  And, I did something else unusual, too.

I asked my 16-year-old son to read it. I didn’t request that he tell me, honestly, what he thought, because I figured he would do that, no matter how I introduced it.

I was, I admit, a little anxious about how he might react.

That turned out much better than I feared (as things often do).  He and I had an interesting and long-ranging discussion about sexism, where I learned a lot.

Today, I still don’t know how to write about that topic here.

Perhaps this girl might be figuring that out,  tomorrow.

Thanks to my son, to my boyfriend, to my male cats, to girls and boys and men and women whom I encounter at work and in all my other worlds too, and to you — of course! — for being here today (and, perhaps, yesterday and tomorrow).

Categories: personal growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 28 Comments

Day 623: Data

“Data” is a word I use a lot, which has not appeared in any of my post titles, until today.

If we looked at the data of these daily blog posts, I believe we would find many posts that start out in a similar way: surprise/acknowledgement that a certain word is making it to the title round here for the first time ever.

Why do I start blog posts that way, so often?

I don’t have any data for that. But I will try to answer that question, anyway.

Hmmm. It’s difficult to answer questions, when you don’t have any hard data.

Here’s my best attempt, for now, in answering that question: I often need some link to my past writings in order to feel grounded, as I start writing each morning. I’m also curious and concerned about whether I’m being repetitive.  And I’ve written so many posts here that, on some level, I believe I must have written about every topic that is important to me, by now.

But, apparently not.

So, what do I want to say about data, this morning?

  1. I work at a teaching hospital that values data.
  2. In order for me to publish an article about — or otherwise get wider recognition for — the therapy groups I’ve doing, I need to show data about how these groups are helping people.
  3. While I value data, I can get very caught up in what researchers call “anecdotal evidence” — people showing and talking about how much something is helping them.

There is more I could say about collecting data about my groups, this morning, but I don’t feel like it.

Aha!  That last sentence is some anecdotal data supporting the speculation that I might keep avoiding using approved and standardized data collection methods, about my therapy groups.

However, I do want to say some more things, now, about “data.”

Some people think that photos provide irrefutable data. Actually, with all the possibilities of photo-shopping (or what older people might call “doctoring”) images these days, photographs are not as credible data-providers, as they used to be.

Nevertheless, I hope you believe me when I tell you that I have not doctored some photos I’m about to show you, taken yesterday, in any way.

Wait!  I guess  it depends on how you would define “doctoring photos.”  I definitely have NOT photo-shopped them.  However, I have cropped one — and only one — of them, zooming in on what I thought was the most important data contained in the photo.

Data indicates that blog readers feel more engaged and are more likely to comment if the writer asks them a question.  Here’s a question: which one of these photos do you think I zoomed in on, hours after I took it?  If you answer that question, I think I could gather some numerical data.  Here’s another question, which might produce data of a softer kind: Why do you think I cropped that photo, particularly?

I just want to point out some data about that previous paragraph, before I proceed with presenting the photos. I started out that paragraph with the words “Data indicates”…  but I didn’t provide any hard data — research studies, articles, numbers, and so on.  So what do I mean by “data indicates” there?

Just this: I’ve read a lot of blog posts, and that’s what I’ve noticed, people.

Is that good enough for you?  Can I continue now and show you some friggin’ photos?

I shall now mind-read everybody who might be reading this post …

(YouTube video of “magic sound effect” found here) (which, by the way, was the only video I liked well enough to use in a previous blog post for similar effect) (although while I like the sound, I’m really not loving that visual, particularly)*

… and come up with the answers I want, to those two questions I just posed.  Which would be “yes” and “yes.”

Wow. I really DO have to work on my data collection skills. But before I do that, here are those photos, taken yesterday. And just to review those data-collection questions I asked you:

  1. Which one of these fifteen photos did I crop, after I took it?
  2. What’s your supporting data for making that choice, today?

Photo #1:


Photo #2:


(Note: At first, when my boyfriend Michael and I saw that cat yesterday, we thought it might be the same one we’ve seen on other walks, which has appeared, several times, in this blog before. However, when we examined the evidence more closely — the cat’s face and the tag around its neck — we realized otherwise. We decided to investigate for difference, because the cat was in a different location. Otherwise, we might have assumed it was the other cat, named “Espresso.” What is the name of that cat, above?  We don’t know.  The tag didn’t say. Now, I could try to check old posts to link to those that include photos of Espresso, the Very Friendly Outdoor Cat, but who has the time? Not I. And why should I assume that anybody reading these posts wants me to make that extra effort? The data I’m considering is resulting in this result: I shall not link to previous posts with Espresso.)

Photo #3:


Photo #4:


Photo #5:


Photo #6:


Photo #7:


Photo #8:


Photo #9:


Photo #10:


Photo #11:


Photo #12:


Photo #13:


Photo #14:


Photo #15:



Data indicates that many readers will NOT answer the two questions I asked about those photos.  Of those readers who do comment in response to this post, my best-guess, based on past observation, is that approximately 50% will answer those questions. Others responding will make some other kind of comment (equally valued by me, by the way).

However, by presenting this blog post the way I have — that is, focusing on how people might respond — I might affect the results. That is, MORE people might answer those questions, than in a blog post that just asks the questions, rather than making such a big deal about the process.

Is anybody still reading this post?  Or have I lost people, with the way I’m writing here?

Let’s see what the data tells us.

Thanks to all those who use data in any way and to you — of course! — for reading this blog post today (I assume).

* If you looked at the data from my recent blog posts and compared it to the posts I was writing about a year ago, I believe you would find that, in the present, I am writing far fewer footnotes. Instead, I am incorporating as much information as possible into the body of the post itself. Why?  I have no hard data to answer that question.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 622: What we keep

As I mentioned in Day 616: Nostalgia, I recently recovered some old papers from the basement of a home I occupied with my ex-husband, Leon, for many years. Since then, I’ve been going through cards, letters, photos, and other memories, deciding what to keep from now on.

How do we ever make decisions, like those?

Today, I’ll show you some things I’ve kept so far.

A card that a very kind doctor — whom I’ll never forget — sent me, soon after I got my first cardiac pacemaker at age 10.


A letter that a dear friend (and her dear mother) wrote me, during one of my many return trips to the hospital after that.IMG_9198

A letter that several of my classmates worked on, while I was spending time in Children’s Hospital.IMG_9200

A letter from somebody I met during one of my early hospital stays:


More Get Well wishes from people I knew way-back-when (and some I know here-and-now).


IMG_9208 IMG_9107 IMG_9174  IMG_9204

Stuff from my late parents and their friends:

IMG_9095 IMG_9148 IMG_9211 IMG_9098

Stuff I received from nice guys (including a forgotten gift from a musician appearing in many of my blog posts):IMG_9158

IMG_9167IMG_9151 IMG_9186 IMG_9170IMG_9143 IMG_9184  IMG_9140 IMG_9183IMG_9218 IMG_9171IMG_9212 IMG_9188 IMG_9097



Stuff I received from nice gals:

IMG_9169 IMG_9099 IMG_9101 IMG_9138 IMG_9219 IMG_9182 IMG_9132 IMG_9090IMG_9131 IMG_9130  IMG_9086  IMG_9233 IMG_9234IMG_9235

Things from people I met at various work places:

IMG_9114 IMG_9156 IMG_9229 IMG_9220IMG_9179 IMG_9139

Things I created that came back to me:


IMG_9180  IMG_9226 IMG_9228 IMG_9168IMG_9230



What do I keep?  What do I share?  Does it matter?

And if these things matter, whom might they matter to, besides me?

What should we preserve, from the scribblings of one life?

No matter what I decide about these buried treasures,  all of them are preserved, for now, in one heart.

Thanks to everyone reading these scribblings and ramblings, today.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Day 621: Back to the garden

During the last couple of days, this song has come up on my iPhone, through Spotify, THREE times. Okay, I can take a hint.

(YouTube video found here of Crosby, Stills, and Nash performing “Woodstock” at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert at NYC’s Madison Square Garden.)

As I’ve often blogged/posted/written/said, when we are mindful of one thing, we can see it everywhere.  In this case, when I knew, yesterday, I was going to blog, post, or write about one phrase from that song …

we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden

… I started seeing gardens everywhere.

IMG_8979 IMG_8980 IMG_8981 IMG_8982

IMG_8987 IMG_8989 IMG_8995IMG_9001 IMG_9003 IMG_9008 IMG_9007 IMG_9015 IMG_9017 IMG_9019 IMG_9020 IMG_9021 IMG_9025 IMG_9026 IMG_9027 IMG_9028 IMG_9029 IMG_9031 IMG_9034 IMG_9035 IMG_9037 IMG_9039 IMG_9040 IMG_9043 IMG_9046 IMG_9048 IMG_9053 IMG_9055 IMG_9056  IMG_9059 IMG_9063 IMG_9065 IMG_9066 IMG_9068 IMG_9070  IMG_9084 IMG_9075IMG_9085There are probably other lines I could use, from that song, to riff on the photos I’ve included here. If you know the lyrics of Woodstock by heart, you might be able to do that, too.

For now, though, I’ll just tell you this: those last few photos were taken in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA last night, where we encountered some unexpected fireworks.

I love unexpected fireworks.

Here’s something else I love. This line from Woodstock:

Life is for learning.

Okay!  I’ve gotta stop blogging, posting, writing, whatever, and go out and enjoy the gardens I can find, on this beautiful Saturday.

As usual, once I say “I’m leaving,” I think of something else I want to say. In the therapy biz, we call this “the doorknob statement.” Here’s a doorknob video, for you all:

(YouTube video of Joni Mitchell performing her composition “Woodstock” found here.)

Thanks to Crosby, Still, Nash (and Young, also), to Joni Mitchell, to all the gardens and gardeners I saw yesterday, and to you — of course! — for bringing your stardust here, today.

Categories: inspiration, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 620: Shots in the dark

I’m going to take a shot in the dark, to start off this post.


That’s one of our cats, Oscar. I wasn’t sure whether I had him in frame, as I was taking that shot.

Last night, my boyfriend Michael told me that my son, Aaron, had shot this at him, darkly: “I’m not feeling that great. I think I might be getting sick.”

I’m going to take a shot in the dark, right now, and guess that Aaron is going to ask to stay home from school, after he wakes up, soon, in the less-dark morning.

Yesterday,  it was dark during the afternoon. I took a shot at one of these, in the cafeteria in the hospital where I work:


I’ve never seen that kind of shot before, have you?

Way back when, in ’67,  I had a conversation with one of my parents’ friends about A Shot in the Darkthe second Pink Panther movie.


(image found here)

That’s a funny shot of Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer there, in the dark.

Actually, when I was talking to my parents’ friend, Abe, in 1967, I thought I was having a conversation with him about a different movie, which I had just seen.


(image found here)

Wait Until Dark — starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin (whom I had never seen before that film) — scared the bejeesus out of me.  Soon after I saw it, when I was talking to Abe, I asked him what he thought of that movie.

Or, I THOUGHT I was asking Abe what he thought of that movie.

Abe’s response really surprised me. I expected him to say, “That movie scared the bejeesus out of me!” (or words to that effect). Instead, Abe, got a big smile on his face and said,

That movie was hilarious!  What a FUNNY movie! I couldn’t stop laughing.

… or words to that effect.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here: I assume I’m not the only one who has been communicating with somebody and then has this thought:

WHAT?!? That’s not the reaction I expected!  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???? Is one of us crazy?  Is it me??!??

I didn’t know what to say to Abe. I took a shot in the dark, back then, with this response:

Well … I guess the plot was … sort of far-fetched … I suppose.

And I got out of that conversation as soon as possible.

Would anybody like to take a shot in the dark about why I’m writing about this, now?

In case you don’t want to take a shot at that question,  I’ll tell you. After I had that conversation with Abe, and as I tried to make meaning of that encounter in my mind, I realized what had happened.

Instead of asking Abe this question, “Did you see Wait Until Dark?” I realized that I had asked my parents’ old friend, “Did you see A Shot In The Dark?”

I was horrified.  And that feeling lasted a lot longer than my scared reaction to Wait Until Dark.

For YEARS I felt bad about that encounter. Every time I thought about it, I’d cringe.

Personally, I find that a lot scarier than any scary movie. Why, oh why, did I spend so much time worrying about that simple mistake?  A mistake I made when I WAS ONLY THIRTEEN* YEARS OLD?!!!?

I’m going to take some shots in the dark, now, about why I felt shot, so painfully and frequently, by that memory.

  1. I don’t like to make mistakes.
  2. I really, really, really, really don’t like miscommunication.


I just checked in with my son, who is waking up. He didn’t say anything about feeling bad or about staying home from school today. Another mistake on my part! I’m so glad I’ve learned to forgive myself, so much better, these days.

What other shots did i want to take in this post today?

I ran a therapy group at work, yesterday evening, where people talked about worry. IMG_8951

Afterwards, I took these shots in the dark:




I’ve read lots of great quotes by Audrey Hepburn, who was terrorized (and almost shot?) by Alan Arkin in “Wait Until Dark.” Let’s give Audrey Hepburn this parting shot:

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.

And, before I publish these shots in the dark, how about some music?

(Theme song from “A Shot in the Dark,” by Henry Mancini, found here on YouTube)

Hmmmm. While it was fun hearing and seeing the opening shots from A Shot in the Dark, here’s the musical shot (also by Henry Mancini) I really want here and now.

(Youtube video of Pink Panther Theme found here)

Thanks to Abe, Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, Audrey Hepburn, Alan Alda (oooops! Alan Arkin!), Henry Mancini, my son, people who work in groups,  and to you — of course! — for taking a shot at this post, today.

* I was actually 14 years old in ’67, but who’s counting?

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 619: Something to remind you

If you’ve read this blog before, you probably don’t need something to remind you that I love the music of Pat Metheny, the jazz composer and guitarist.

Yesterday, while I was walking to work,  I heard this song of Pat’s:

(YouTube video of “Something To Remind You” found here)

While I was listening, I saw some things to remind me of issues I think about a lot. For example, I noticed barriers and obstacles:



IMG_8919 IMG_8920 IMG_8921







As the song “Something to Remind You” came to an end, I noticed this, which reminded me of something else:


As can happen, there were some barriers and obstacles, there, to making sense and meaning. There was also a lot, in that image, that I could take in and understand.


In this post, I could continue to show somethings to remind myself of healing work and other experiences I witnessed, yesterday.

IMG_8930 IMG_8931






Yesterday, before I left my office, I noticed something was gone — something to remind people that tears (and any other feelings) are always welcomed where I work.


Yes, all my tissues had been used up, yesterday. Now, that picture is something to remind me to bring more in, today.


I’m not sure, exactly, how else to mark this Day of Remembrance,September 11, in today’s post.

Perhaps, just this: A thank you to all my readers for all the memories you bring here today. Then, perhaps, silence.


Or, if you choose, I’ll offer another Pat Metheny song that showed up in my earphones yesterday, for the first time ever.  It was only just now, as I was creating this post, that I discovered this song was from his album “One Quiet Night,” when 9/11/01 was right there, to remind him.

… on his new album One Quiet Night, the New York based guitarist takes a turn towards quiet ruminations on solo acoustic guitar, largely inspired by post 9-11 moods.

(quote found here)

Recorded by Metheny in his New York City home, half of the material on the CD was captured on a single night in November 2001 ….the November 2001 session was not originally intended for public consumption and was entirely improvisational in nature … In the liner notes, Metheny hopes this album will offer his listeners “some peace and enjoyment.”

(quote found here)


(YouTube video of “Song for The Boys” found here)


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

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