Monthly Archives: July 2015

Day 932: What do you need?

I was just looking at the five photos I took yesterday, trying to identify a unifying theme.

Do I really need a unifying theme for those photos or for today’s post?

What DO I  need?

I need:

  • Water to drink.

  • Good and reliable transportation.

  • An awareness of the challenges and obstacles ahead.


  • An openness to change.

I also need to breathe and let go of

What do you need, right now?

I need to take my car in to my mechanic this morning, so I need to end this post.

Before I do, here‘s “Agua De Beber,” to go along with that very first need I mentioned above.

And here‘s another song about a different need, not previously mentioned in this needfully short post.

Obviously, I need YouTube.

Do I need a comment from you? I don’t want to seem too needy, but that would be nice.

Finally , I need to thank all the statues, healers, musicians, composers, evolvers,  and  humans  who helped me write this post. I also need to thank you — of course! — for reading it (whether you needed to or not).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 931: Dedication

Because of my dedication to my high school class of 1970 — and to planning a 45th reunion for September — I found this junior high school program from 1967:


And that got me thinking about dedication. For me,  “dedication” evokes

  • My 17-year-old son, Aaron
  • My boyfriend Michael
  • My sister Ellen
  • My work, as a psychotherapist
  • My friends
  • My daily blog
  • My doctors
  • Machines

Machines? Doesn’t that seem like a strange dedication, compared to the others in that list?

Perhaps not, because for most of my life, I’ve relied on dedicated machines (especially cardiac pacemakers) to keep me happy and healthy.

Also, my mind is more dedicated to machines, in the moment, because our dedicated central air conditioning on the top floor of our apartment stopped working yesterday, during 90+ degree weather.

As dedicated as I am to my readers who use the metric system, I think all my dedicated readers know that 90+ degree weather could really use a dedicated air conditioner, on every floor.

If this post seems more rambling than other ones you’ve dedicated your precious time to reading, remember that today I have an excellent, dedicated excuse.

As I promised my dedicated readers yesterday, here’s another machine that kept me happy on Saturday:

IMG_0261 IMG_0263

Those two pictures were taken by my dedicated boyfriend, Michael.

Speaking of dedication, my friend Deb — whom I met in Junior High School — spent dedicated time with me yesterday, in a part of Boston dedicating space during summer Sundays to a big outdoor market.

Here are some images  I showed dedication in capturing, yesterday, during my time with my dedicated friend Deb:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

The last seven shots are dedicated to showing Deb’s backyard, including her dedicated garden, plus a beautiful glass piece she made in a dedicated kiln AND the metal holder she created during a “welding weekend.”

If that isn’t dedication, what is?

I have lots more I could write about dedication, but I need to update this dedication post, pronto. Why? Because this dedication post was prematurely published due to the dedication and the paws of this dedicated, omnipresent creature:


But first, here‘s a dedication song for you all:

Dedicated thanks to everyone who helped me publish this post (including Oscar) and dedicated thanks to you, for your dedication in reading it.

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

Day 930: A Super Fun Day

I had a super fun day yesterday.

What would make a day super fun, for you?

Here are two reasons why yesterday was super fun, for me:

  1. I saw my favorite hair artiste ever, Mia (who is super fun to talk to) , at her Watertown, Massachusetts, USA hair salon, where she trimmed my hair and  my  three super-fun, colorful hair extensions.
  2. My boyfriend Michael and I stumbled upon a super fun festival/carnival, where I saw this:


That was actually the final super fun photo I took yesterday, moments before my super fun iPhone died.

Who wants to see more super fun photos?

I’m going to take that as a “Yes,” super fun readers!



  
  
  
  
  
  


  
  
  
  

As I told Michael yesterday, it doesn’t take much for me to have a super fun day. Indeed, after eating the super fun home made gnocchi (made at somebody’s super fun home, I assume), I engaged in only one super fun carnival activity (pictured above, in a super fun shot). It was, truly, super fun for me.

If any one of you super fun readers guesses that super fun activity, I’ll include a super fun photo that Michael took, in tomorrow’s post.

Is that a super fun deal?

Oh, and here’s a super fun fact about me: I’m afraid of heights.

Here’s some super fun music, which a fun band was playing at that super fun festival/carnival yesterday:

I think that 1950s video of the super fun song “Rockin’ Robin” with Bobby Day is super fun. Do you agree?

Now, I’m off to have another super fun day, including brunch with my super fun friend, Deb.

Super thanks to Mia, to Michael, to MiAlisa Salon, to the St. Mary of Carmen Society, to all those I saw having super fun yesterday, to Bobby Day,  to robins and others who are rockin’, and to you — of course! — for making my day super fun, every time you visit.

Categories: fun, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 929: Special

I wonder if I’ll be able to make this post special.

I wonder if that’s especially necessary.

Yesterday morning, after I parked my special car directly across the street from special Fenway Park in Boston, I saw a woman with this bag:


I thought that bag was so special, I asked her if I could take a picture of it for my blog. She agreed especially quickly, saying: “This bag is so old!”  (Deflecting compliments is a not-particularly-special thing that many special  people do, around here.)

Then she said, “I’m special!” And I replied, “Of course.”

Here are some other special things I saw, after that special encounter:




  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
Which ones seem especially special to you?

Here are three of my special associations with the word special, on this specially rainy Saturday morning:

  • I am especially ambivalent about being treated like I’m special.
  • We are all special.
  • The ways we are not special can help us connect to others, in very special ways.

I am going to end this special post with a special song, before I get ready to see my special hair specialist, Mia, who is very special to me.

That’s the special Chrissie Hynde, singing “Brass in Pocket” (which I always thought had some title with the word “Special” in it, before this special day).

Do you think a comment from you needs to be special? No matter what you express here, I can specially and authentically say it’ll be special.

Special thanks to Chrissie Hynde, to the Pretenders, to all those who do not pretend, to the special stranger with the special bag, to all the special creatures I saw yesterday, and — of course! — especially special thanks to special you, for reading this  “special” post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 928: Self

Yesterday, when I was driving my self into work, this was the first photo I self-ishly took:

I said to my self, “I can see myself driving that very car. AND I can imagine myself using that ‘shady’ license plate to inspire myself in creating tomorrow’s blog post.”

From then on, my observing self looked for things that were “shady.” As a result, I took these photos, by my self, for my self:
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Do you see anything shady there, for yourself?

I, myself,  would like to share this with your self: moments after I snapped that last image by myself, a police-escorted Mercedes drove by, and Fanon, at my work parking garage, self-lessly told me, “Look! It’s Billy Joel! He’s about to go on and rock it!”

And I heard myself reply, “You are rocking it, too.”

Then, after I drove myself home after a very long workday,  I was pumping gas by myself and I saw this for my self:


And I thought to my self, “I might like that — even better — for a post title.”

I then allowed myself to think back on my day at work, where I, my self,  had witnessed all of this:

  • Somebody declaring himself cured because he felt cared for.
  • Another self worrying about being too selfish.
  • Somebody selflessly welcoming another self into a therapy group for the first time.
  • Two adult selves — who had just met — selflessly and selfishly sharing that they both felt like small, vulnerable and childlike versions of themselves, and that it helped to ground themselves by looking at themselves in the mirror — thus reassuring themselves they were grown and safe,  in the moment.
  • Many selves focusing on self-worth, self-esteem, and self-awareness.

And I said to myself (still standing at the self-serve island of the gas station):

“Self” is the title for my 928th consecutive, daily post!

Later, I took one more photo for my self.


There’s Harley, all by him self.

What music would you choose now, by and for your self?

Eric Carmen is singing “All By Myself,”  accompanying him self on the piano.

Selfish AND shady thanks to Eric Carmen, Billy Joel, Harley, Fanon, and all those I witnessed working on themselves yesterday. Also, special thanks to you — of course! — for bringing yourself here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 927: Greens

What are your associations with the color green?

Mine include:

  • Plants and trees
  • Healthy food
  • Lack of experience
  • New growth
  • Envy
  • Feeling sick
  • A color I miss during the winters in Boston
  • A color I don’t usually wear
  • The trim color for the outside of my current home
  • Money

Yesterday was the day of my first appointment with my very experienced and non-green chief cardiologist — Dr. Deeb Salem — since getting my new cardiac device in the green month of May. My doctors and I have been hoping that my greenly new pacemaker/defibrillator might provide new and healing therapy for my 62-year-old — and extremely unusual — red, blue and not-green  heart. While you might be green with envy about my having such a special heart, there have been many times in my life when I’ve been greenly sick, dealing with my heart condition since the green days of my birth.

When I woke up yesterday,  I was feeling a little green around the gills with nervousness, because I have continued to feel greenly depleted whenever I climb stairs.  My green fear was that might be a bad sign, especially since one of the green doctors I consulted with — during the non-green months of November 2014 through April 2015 — had said to me:

“Ann, the only important sign of whether you’re going into heart failure is how you feel when you’re climbing stairs.”

To distract my green thoughts until my appointment with Dr. Salem yesterday, I made the green decision to notice the color green, all around me:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

  
That’s Nancy, who used to be the harpist playing soothing music for the big green Boston hospital where I work. I haven’t seen Nancy since soon after I sang a song about a green jungle with the greenly new harpist, Allie, at a work party held during the non-green winter months.  Nancy, who was wearing such a lovely color green yesterday, told me she is half green, with her Irish-Jewish roots. She also said she listened to Allie and my performance of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on YouTube and found it greenly new and delightful, which made me go pink with pleasure and pride.


That’s the hallway of Tufts Medical Center, where I’m on my way to see Dr. Salem. To the left of that red exit sign is the Mother/Infant Unit,  where I greenly gave birth and new life to my only child, Aaron,  seventeen years ago.

That’s another green painting, close to that same spot. Every time I notice it I wonder, greenly, who chose it for that corridor wall and why.


There’s the portion of the check-in station in Cardiology where people stamp their tickets for the validated and reduced rate, so they don’t have to pay as much green in the hospital parking lot.  At that point, I was  just a few green minutes away from seeing Dr. Salem.

It’s Dr. Salem! Dr. Salem, who was wearing no green at all yesterday, told me that how I feel on stairs is NOT the only measurement of how I’m doing.  He also used his non-green experience to state that even if I don’t feel better,  as long as my heart doesn’t  get greenly worse, I should stay around through many more green months and years. He also told me some stories about when he was a green medical student fresh out of only two years of undergraduate college, but he made me promise not to tell any of those tales  in today’s green blog post.

Any green questions or comments from my readers around that great, big, beautiful green-and-blue globe we all inhabit?

Here’s my pick for some green music, today:

You can find many performances of “Greensleeves” on YouTube, including that one.

Many fresh thanks to Dr. Salem, to Nancy (and other harpists who soothe our green souls), to my son Aaron, to our newer cat Harley (who sometimes looks to me like he’s turning anxiously green under his fur), to my downstairs neighbor Karen and her dog Faxy, to the green monster at Fenway Park, to all the other greens I saw yesterday, and — of course! — to you, for reading this green post, here and now.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 926: My Friends

My friends!

Yesterday morning I heard my son’s favorite  song from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sweeney Todd — My Friends.”

My friends, a month from now I’ll be seeing Sweeney Todd at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with my son and my ex-sister-in-law (who’s been my friend since the early 80s). I’ve seen Sweeney Todd so many times (I appeared in a local production of it, too),  that musical is like an old friend.

My office whiteboard  — which I use in my work as a psychotherapist — also seems like an old friend to me (and I hope it seems that way to others).




Yesterday, after I decided on today’s title, I  asked who would like to be included in today’s post.

Here are those who said “yes” to being my friends.
  

    
  

  
  
  
  
  

My friends! Because the friends in “My Friends” are the razors of a Victorian barber, I think the following song might be more fitting for my friends in this post:

My friend Bette Midler knows that we’ve got to have friends, and so do I.

Today I get to see several of those friends pictured above, plus my friendly cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem.

What do my friends at WordPress think about all this?

My friends,  it’s time I thank all my friends, including you!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 925: Yahoo!

As I was snapping my first photo yesterday …


… I was thinking:

  • That’s an exclamation of joy and excitement!
  • That’s an advertisement of a famous company, with just one word!
  • Somebody has placed a sticker in the first “O” there, advertising something else!
  • That’s a bus stop!
  • There’s another perfectly done reflection of me!
  • That word also means “a rude, noisy, or violent person”!
  • Didn’t Jonathan Swift make up that word in Gulliver’s Travels?!!
  • I’m early for work today, so I have time to take this picture!!

What are your thoughts about “Yahoo!” ?

For the purposes of this post, I am going to go with my first thought and definition:


… as an exclamation of joy and excitement.

I saw and heard many things yesterday that made me think or say


For example, I exclaimed joy and excitement when my excellente ex-sister-in-law Deborah texted me that she will be accompanying me and my son Aaron to Edinburgh Scotland’s Festival Fringe next month!!


Here are some other things, from yesterday, that might elicit a “Yahoo!” of joy and excitement:

   
  

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

  

  
My son, Aaron (playing the keyboard, above) causes me considerable joy and excitement. There, he’s practicing the joyful and exciting Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin.

Here is that Chopin piece, being played joyfully and excitedly by Yundi Li:

I am joyful and excited to pass on to you what Aaron told me last night:  the left hand of that Chopin Fantasie Impromptu plays 3/4 waltz time while the right hand is simultaneously playing 4/4 time!!!


What might make you say “Yahoo!” here and now?

Yahoo!  for Aaron, Deborah, bf Michael (who cooked that delicious meal), Chopin, Yundi Li,  the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, my favorite TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” the Fenway Park and Longwood Medical territories of Boston USA, the t-shirts I’ve made for myself, the baby bunny in one of those photos, that particular pinkish purple color I kept seeing yesterday (and was also wearing in my hair), and an especially loud Yahoo! for you, my excellente reader.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 41 Comments

Day 924: Territory

When I just looked at the dozen pictures I snapped yesterday — searching  for a common theme — the word “territory” came to mind.


Harley’s territory — and sense of comfort and safety — includes that blanket, which came home with him from the territory of the adoption center where we found him.


Oscar’s territory seems to be inches away from wherever I am.


Harley is in Oscar’s territory there, standing by his water and food dishes (but Oscar didn’t seem to mind that invasion of his territory).


That, my dear readers,  is the territory of Doug Clark, who sold me my most recent car several years ago.



As you can see, two more images from the territory of Doug’s office are now the territory of this blog.


I took that photo very near the territory of Doug’s office, because the first sentence — There’s no substitute for honesty”  — sounded like my territory.


There’s Doug, still thriving  and happy in his territory. While I was at Mazda Gallery yesterday (in the territory of the  Automile, Massachusetts, USA),  Doug’s  co-workers (not pictured) told me that Doug (1) graduated college as a chemical engineer before he found his career territory, (2) has sold cars to generations within territorial families, and (3) is the most awesome of salespeople (which agreed with the territory of my past experiences with Doug).

I didn’t recognize Doug  when I first saw him, yesterday, because

  1. He used to have more hair in the territory of his head and upper lip and
  2. I didn’t assume he would still be in the same territory,  so many years after he sold me my current car.

After I drove the 40-or-so miles back to my home territory, four more photos became my territory:


  
Any thoughts, feelings,  or questions about the territories  covered in this post?

Before I leave for the territory of my work as a group and individual therapist, I need to choose some music that fits the territory of “Territory.”

When I test-drove a  Mazda yesterday in Doug’s territory, the radio was tuned to the territory of country music, which I changed  to the territory of classical music.

That’s a performance of a concerto J. S. Bach wrote about the territory of Brandenburg (which you can find here, in YouTube territory).

Territorial thanks to Bach, Harley, Oscar, Doug, my beloved 2007 Mazda (which might eventually become the territory of my 17-year-old son Aaron), Michael (for cooking us omelets in the territory of our kitchen), all the territories I visited yesterday and you — of course! — no matter what territory you’re inhabiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

Day 923: Beeeooootiful

Sometimes, I find it beautiful to deliberately misspell the word beautiful, as Lewis Carroll did in the mock turtle’s beau-ootiful song from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Beautiful Soup.”

Here’s beeeeootifulll Gene Wilder, as the mock turtle,  singing beau-ootifullly in one of the beeootiful Alice in Wonderland movies.

Yesterday, I spent some beeootiful  time with my beeeooooootiful son Aaron and my beau-ootiful beau Michael in beautiful Brookline, Massachusetts, USA, which has a beeoootiful book store, many beeeooteeful restaurants,  AND a beeoooteefulllll art deco movie theater.

At the beeooooteefull Booksmith, I spotted this beautifully signed poster:


The beeoootifulll author, George Saunders, has byootifully written

Thanks, Booksmith

You are more byootifull

Then this phlower

Luv.

George Saunders

… which I find beeoootiful, in many ways.

What do you find beeooootiful, in this moment, where you are?

Here are 57 varieties of additional beeeooootiful photos I snapped last night:


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
WordPress uploaded all of those quickly and  smoothly.  Beautiful !

Are there any of those images you find particularly beeoootiful? It would be so beautiful if you’d let us know why! And if you wish, I’ll let you know, as best I can, why I took that beeooootiful shot.

Which reminds me of an exchange I had with somebody who asked me a question, many beeootiful moons ago, while I was taking lots of photos in his neighborhood:

Unknown neighbor: I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to ask you this, but why do you take so many pictures around here?

Me: Of course! I’m glad you asked. I write a daily blog and I take pictures of things  I find interesting and beautiful.

Neighbor: That’s okay, then.

Many beeeoootiful thanks to neighbors, Aaron, Michael, beau-ootiful Lewis Carroll, Alices in Wonderlands, Gene Wilder, turtles (mock and otherwise), Brookline Booksmith, George Saunders, the Regal Beagle restaurant (although none of us had the Beau-ootiful Soo-oop), the Coolidge Corner Theater, gangs of Harleys,  The Wolfpack,  and all the other beeeooootiful things I saw yesterday. And special thanks to beeeeeeeooooooooteeefullll you, for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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