Day 1096: Trying hard to keep things real

If you try hard to keep things real by trying hard to read some lyrics I wrote down during 2015 (as I was trying hard to memorize them) …


… you might see  the title of today’s post — “Trying hard to keep things real.”

Trying hard to keep things real when I try out for the TV show “The Voice” in February, I’ll be singing those lyrics, written by trying-hard-to-keep-things-real Todd Rundgren.

After trying hard to keep things real throughout 2015, I’ll be trying hard to keep things real in this new year of 2016.  Yes, I’m trying hard to keep things real  with that sole new year’s resolution.

How will you be trying hard to keep things real in 2016?

Last night, my son Aaron and I tried hard to keep things real by seeing a comedy show starring Mike Donovan, my favorite local Boston stand-up comic during the 1980s. I’m trying hard to keep things real now when I tell you that

  1. I haven’t seen Mike Donovan for about 30 years,
  2. Aaron — who tries hard to keep things real in his own stand-up comedy  —  and I resolved that we would see Mike Donovan perform live in 2015,
  3. Aaron and I made that resolution real at the very last minute, on New Year’s Eve,
  4. Mike Donovan was trying hard to keep things real last night in his stand-up routine and succeeded brilliantly, as always, and
  5. Mike told us, after his performance, that he was eager to talk to Aaron about stand-up comedy any time and that HE READS MY BLOG.

I am trying hard to believe, here and now, that Mike Donovan was keeping things real when he said that about my blog. In the meantime, here are all the other photos I took yesterday at work and afterwards, trying hard to keep things real:













After seeing Mike Donovan, Aaron and I were trying hard to keep things real as we drove from Dedham, Massachusetts, USA, to nearby Roslindale, where my boyfriend Michael was helping  his brother trying hard to keep things real by catering  a wedding party of over 300 people. On our way there, I was trying hard to keep things real by taking two more pictures:



Who do you think, in all those photos, is trying hardest to keep things real?

I don’t have to try hard to keep things real with gratitude, right now, for Aaron, Michael, Mike Donovan, Todd Rundgren, the Community Theater in Dedham, the Dedham Square Artist Guild, and every other person, place, and thing that helped me keep things real in today’s post. I am keeping things real when I especially thank you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

Keeping things real, here’s a YouTube video of Mike Donovan:

After trying hard to keep things real by searching YouTube clips of Mike Donovan, I found this one of Mike trying hard to keep it real (with Marc Maron) with a story about him, Tom Hanks, and the TV show “Bosom Buddies.”


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

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44 thoughts on “Day 1096: Trying hard to keep things real

  1. It is not easy to keep things real 🙂 Wishing you a happy New Year!

  2. Knock ’em real dead in February!

    • I’m trying hard to keep things calm because YOU COMMENTED TODAY, Jeff! I’m really glad to see you, as always.

    • Hi, Jeff! Nice to see you here. That reminds me, I must pop by your blog to read your recent poems. “Drop Everything” is still hanging in my dining room, meeting with new readers all the time.

  3. Sounds very good… keeping thing real is a good goal!!

  4. Sometimes your real life seems bigger than other people’s real lives, Ann. Mike Donovan reads your blog!!!!!!! How cool is that?

    A very happy, health and enriching new year to you, Michael, Aaron, Mike Donovan and his sports cards with fart bubbles….

  5. Thanks Ann, I had never heard of Mike Donovan. What a treat to start the new year off with laughter!

  6. I love that phrase “keep it real”. It means simply “be truthful” but there are more layers to it than that: it tells us to stay grounded, to be true to ourselves as well as others.
    I’m really glad you’ve made me think about it in that way, as well as sharing Mark Donovan and your own lyrics. I hope when you appear on “The Voice” you sing a song of your own. There’s no better way to keep it real.

    • I’ve never kept things so real that I’ve written my own song or lyrics, Chris, but maybe your comment will inspire me to do that. As always, I love all the phrases you choose to share here.

  7. Great post to kick off a new year…. I do have to add, though, there really is no need to worry about keeping things real… When we lose the necessary mindfulness, Reality steps up to give us a slap to the head, flat-palmed and sudden….

    It kinda insists on being present in everything…. The lesson we need to learn is how to ACCEPT what is real, instead of trying to make it fit what we desire…. Once we can do that, no worries…

    ‘Course, easier said than done… but, constant practice makes for constant improvement, as old baseball players will tell you…. over and over and over….



    PS Loved the comedy… “The best cure for anything is a long sleep, and a good laugh.” — Ancient Irish Proverb

    nrm, aka g, t d

  8. May 2016 be a wonderful year for us all!

  9. Hi Ann, you seem very calm about these auditions in February. I am nervous about them, and I am not the one auditioning. How do you practice for something like this, other than sing the songs over and over? Do you video yourself to see how you sound? Do you sing in front of a group of people to practice. How does one really prepare themselves for such an occasion?
    Have a wonderfully pleasant New Year’s Day!!!!!!

    • As you guessed in your keeping-things-real-comment, SD, I am singing the songs over and over. I’ve sung “Soothe” by Todd Rundgren in front of some people at work and will probably keep on doing that this month. Thanks for your wonderfully pleasant comment and Happy New Year’s Day to you!

  10. I’d say you’re trying the hardest to keep things real–going by the photos you posted! I can’t imagine getting more real than writing down something you’re trying to memorize–over and over and over. And practicing it in front of people. And telling us all about it! A close second for the trying hardest person would be the little kid coloring all outside the lines of the big bear. I don’t think bears understand anything about staying in the lines–so this little kid is just putting out the word: Beward! Bear on the Loose! Don’t try to hem it in! Just like I think you can’t be hemmed in because that wouldn’t be you! I really like the lyrics to “Soothe,” and hope we get to hear the music some day (hint, hint)! Now I need to keep it real and sign off for now. 🙂 Happy New year, Ann!

  11. Oops: Very important word to read correctly: Beware! Not Beward…. Just keeping it real….

    • Elouise! I think you try hard to keep it real, going by what you write. Here’s wishing you a real happy New Year with a present, which I hope you find soothing.

      • That was just wonderful. Visuals, music and voice–all of it together. Thank you, Ann!

  12. What an interesting post, I liked your pictures of the photo exhibit because I also take photos myself. I have a very difficult time keeping things real, so I don’t know if art helps me with that or whether it makes it worst . One thing for sure is that this post’s tile is food for thought, for a person like me, and I thank you for it Ann.

  13. Happy New Year, Ann! And good luck with the Voice audition. Hope you wow them and make it big!

  14. But keeping things fake, is such a good thing, just saying

  15. Reblogged this on Ancien Hippie.

  16. Meeting someone who reads your blog must make it real

  17. Thank you Ann for always keeping it real here! Gingerbread liquid soap is pushing it a bit though 💛
    Happy New Year Ann xo

  18. I am a bit bemused as to what this saying means: Keeping it real?

    • According to the online Urban Dictionary: “Staying true to yourself, your faith, your life and constantly seeking the truth.” I am more than a bit pleased that you visited and commented here.

  19. Ashle

    Do you have the sheet music for soothe by any chance ???? On piano?

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