Monthly Archives: January 2018

Day 1857: You Can’t Fight City Hall

You can’t fight the proliferation of definitions on the internet for phrases like “You Can’t Fight City Hall.”

The Urban Dictionary:

you can’t fight city hall

it is useless to clash with a politician or establishment, it is foolish to fight a battle that you can’t win

“After getting no support for the destitute for 10 years, I have learned you can’t fight city hall.”

Dictionary.com:

can’t fight City Hall

Unable to overcome bureaucratic rules, as in Brad couldn’t get a permit without going through channels—you can’t fight City Hall! This term transfers the seat of city government to a more general sense of bureaucracy in any sphere. [Mid-1800s ]

TheFreeDictionary:

can’t fight City Hall

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(you) can’t fight city hall

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You cannot defeat or prevail over a bureaucratic system or its rules. You might as well 
pay those parking tickets now because you’ll never win in court. You can’t fight city hall, after all.
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See also:cityfighthall
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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(You) can’t fight city hall.

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There is no way to win in a battle against a bureaucracy. Bill: I guess I’ll go ahead and 
pay the tax bill. Bob: Might as well. You can’t fight city hall. Mary: How did things go at 
your meeting with the zoning board? Sally: I gave up. Can’t fight city hall.
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See also:cityfighthall
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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Even though you can’t fight city hall, I went to City Hall yesterday (fighting snow and traffic)  to fight an excessively high tax assessment of our new property on the South Shore of Boston.
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Maybe there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fight City Hall and those who don’t (like Bill, Bob,  and Sally, above).
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I can’t fight my urges to fight city hall and to take pictures everywhere, including City Hall:
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You can’t fight the freeze in New England, so you might as well eat ice cream.
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You can’t fight the thoughts and feelings you have about this post, so why bother?

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I can’t fight my gratitude for all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1856: Two Kinds of People

Because I’m the kind of person who listens to other people, I paid attention yesterday when Winston

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said to me, “There are two kinds of people in this world.”

Because I’m the kind of person I am who is living in this  kind of world, I immediately thought of  two possible follow ups to Winston’s statement:

  1. People who think there are two kinds of people in this world and people who don’t think that.
  2. Liberals and Conservatives.

However, this was Winston’s follow-up:

“Stupid people …”

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(pause)

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…. and foolish people.”

I’m the kind of person who laughs when surprised, so I laughed and thanked Winston for his observation. If Winston is correct, I’m definitely one of the foolish people (although I sometimes harshly judge myself as stupid when I make mistakes).

There are two kinds of people:

  • Those who get enough sleep and those who don’t.
  • Those who blog and those who don’t.
  • Those who cook their own meals and those who don’t.
  • Those who share photos and those who don’t.

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There are two kinds of videos I’m going to share today (here and here on YouTube):

Please leave any kind of comment, below.

There are two kinds of gratitude I’d like to express: (1) thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and (2) thanks to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1855: What Not to Do Today

I often make To Do Lists, especially for Mondays. However, I’ve never made a list of what not to do before.

Here’s my first ever list of What Not to Do Today:

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  • Ignore the cats.
  • Be a perfectionist.
  • Facilitate a group (because my therapy groups don’t meet on Mondays).

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  • Start collecting miniature chairs (since I already collect watches).
  • Regret the past.
  • Be anxious about the future.
  • Avoid.
  • Assume.
  • Beat myself up about what I’m not doing.
  • Ignore the beauty around me.

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  • Bake a cake like that.
  • Be late for work.
  • Specifically ask for comments about what would be on your “What Not To Do Today” list.
  • Forget to thank all who helped me create this “What Not To Do Today” post and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 1854: Judges

Yesterday, while I was waiting to be judged at  The Voice try-outs along with hundreds of other people …

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… somebody asked me if the judges from The Voice were somewhere in the building, judging us. Because I’ve tried out twice before, I knew that the judges from the show, including  Adam Levine and Blake Shelton (who seem to judge each other a lot), were nowhere near. I knew we would be judged by one person, sitting in a room with a laptop.

When I was waiting outside one of the audition rooms with nine other people, somebody said she hoped we would go into the room one at a time to be judged. I said, “No, we’ll go in as a group and each have 40 seconds to sing.”  She judged that idea and didn’t like it.

The judge with the laptop in our audition room asked me to sing first. I sang 40 seconds of “Mad World” because I judged these lyrics easy to remember:

All around me are familiar faces,

Worn out places, worn out faces.

Bright and early for the daily races,

Going nowhere, going nowhere.

And I find it kind of funny and I find it kind of sad

The dreams I have of dying are the best I’ve ever had,

I find it hard to tell you and I find it hard to take

When people run in circles it’s a very very mad world.

I think I’m a good judge of singing and I’d say my singing yesterday was fine, but not fabulous enough to get me on the show.  After I sang, I judged the other singers and thought they were fine, but not fabulous enough to get on the show.  Then the last hopeful in our room — a young girl accompanied by her mother — walked up to the “x” on the floor and KILLED her audition piece.  I judged that she was amazing and totally Voice– worthy. When the judge with the laptop said he was going to ask only one person in our group to stay, I wasn’t surprised.  However, he asked somebody else to stay, which made me doubt his judgment.  On my way out of the building, I saw the young girl and her mother and I told them that I judged her the best singer in our room, by far. Another singer from our room asked if I was going to try out for The Voice again in the future. I said, “I don’t think so,” and we told each other to keep singing, no matter how we’re judged.

I shall now ask the judges of this blog to judge which photos are their favorites.

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Here’s my final judgment of this post: I don’t need a $40 fidget spinner, because I get to blog every day for free.

If you sing along to “Mad World”, please don’t judge yourself.

Thanks to all who helped me create this “Judges” post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1853: Free

Welcome to another free blog post here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally!

Over the years, I’ve been working on becoming free to express myself and to take action, free from fear.

Here are some free quotes about “Free.”

Smile, it’s free therapy. — Douglas Horton

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. — Lewis B. Smedes

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the land of the brave. — Elmer Davis

Now I’ve been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave. — Harriet Tubman

The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion. — Albert Camus

Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains. — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

For to be free is not merely to cast off chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. — Nelson Mandela

I hope for nothing. I fear nothing.  I am free.  — Nikos Kazantzakis

Nobody’s free until everybody’s free. — Fannie Lou Hamer

The highest a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free. — Baruch Spinoza

I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty. — Woodrow Wilson

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power and, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.  You are free. — Jim Morrison

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. — James A. Garfield

Those who are free from resentful thoughts surely are free. — Buddha

I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally. — W.C. Fields

Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. — Albert Einstein

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. — Michelangelo

Fighting for one’s freedom, struggling towards being free is like struggling to be a poet or a good Christian or a good Jew or a good Muslim or a good Zen Buddhist. You work all day long and achieve some kind of level of success by nightfall, go to sleep and wake up the next morning with the job still to be done. So you start all over again. — Maya Angelou

Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain’t no free rides, baby. — Ursula K. Le Guin

“There ain’t no free rides, baby,” said the late, great author Ursula K. Le Guin, who died earlier this week.

Please feel free to share your favorite “free” quotes, below.

I am free to take photos and free to post  them here.IMG_6599

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I am also free to try out for The Voice again today and free not to care about the looks I see on faces while I’m singing.

I am free to choose “Mad World” for my audition song.

Here and now, thanks are also free for all who speak out about freedom and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 1852: Please pardon us

Please pardon me for starting yet another blog post with a sign I saw at a hospital.

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Please pardon me for wondering why people who are doing good (like building for the future of patient care)   ask for pardon while other people don’t apologize for anything.

“Please pardon us, ” say lots of women every day, including Aidy Bryant in this recent Saturday Night Live segment:

Please pardon us here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally for

  • strongly suggesting you watch that video and
  • sharing photos without any explanation.

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Please pardon us for not putting that “Time Flies” clock back on the wall after it fell down last week.

Please pardon me for requesting comments and for thanking Tufts Medical Center,  The New Yorker, George Booth, EMDR,  Aidy Bryant, brave voices everywhere, and YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1851: The Unexpected

I didn’t necessarily expect this, but yesterday’s therapy group wanted to focus on “The Unexpected.

I wrote some expected questions about  “The Unexpected” on the white board.

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In some groups, it would be unexpected for the group facilitator to answer any of  her own questions (like “What is your personal experience of the unexpected?” “What makes the unexpected more difficult?” “What helps you deal with the unexpected?”)   In my groups, that’s expected.

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It might be unexpected that I would change the famous saying “Man Plans, God Laughs” to “Ann Plans, God Laughs,” but, as several people said in the group yesterday,

Expect the unexpected.

I expect the unexpected whenever I check the news. Today, the unexpected news includes the following:

There’s also news today about sexual harassment and abuse of power, but that was not unexpected.

I have one more unexpected photo to show you.

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And here‘s Elton John, singing after the unexpected death of Princess Diana in 1997.

 

I expect you might have some thoughts and feelings about the unexpected.

Is it unexpected that I would thank all who helped me create today’s post and you, too?

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1850: What fresh hell is this?

“What fresh hell is this?” is

  • a book about the writer, wit, and self-proclaimed “wisecracker” Dorothy Parker,
  • a variation of a phrase Dorothy Parker would say when her doorbell rang (“What fresh hell can this be?”),
  • something I’ve considered using for a voicemail greeting, and
  • a thought I often have when I check the news.

Because I was dealing with so many fresh hells yesterday, I have only two fresh photos today.

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Some people consider their birthdays a fresh hell, or at least a fresh realization that they’re growing old. I don’t see my birthday — February 2 — as a fresh hell. I see each birthday as a fresh start.

Here are some fresh ideas about how to cope with fresh hells:

  • Share your fresh hells with people you trust.
  • Try on a fresh perspective.
  • Raise hell by taking one fresh step.
  • Eat some fresh food.
  • Get some re-fresh-ing sleep.
  • Make a fresh comment on somebody’s fresh blog.

How do you deal with fresh hells?

There are a lot of hellish fresh hells on YouTube, but I’m choosing “What Fresh Hell is This?” by Gilbert Neal.

Fresh thanks to all who helped me create today’s fresh hell of a post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1849: Complications

Even though we all encounter complications every day, I’ve never written a “Complications” post before.

When I was dealing with complications at work yesterday, I drank some tea and saw this simple advice about complications:

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I’ve been working on simplicity in my life, but complications haven’t totally left. Indeed, since we gave away many of our possessions and moved to the South Shore of Boston, I’ve been encountering complications finding things I think I need. It dawns on me that this might be a complication of simplicity.

Too complicated?  Let’s move to the simplicity of the other two photos I took yesterday, and see if there are any complications.

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I see several complications there, my fellow humans.  Do you?

More complications:  When I was complicating my life last weekend going down internet rabbit holes, I found and took a personality disorder inventory test.   There can be complications when you take personality tests without a professional to interpret the results, so use those tests with caution.  I know I don’t have a personality disorder, but my highest score on that test was on the schizotypal scale, which is a measurement of “social anxiety, thought disorder, paranoid ideation,  derealization, transient psychosis, and other unconventional beliefs.” With the complications in the world today,  I do have some social anxiety, disordered thoughts, paranoid ideation, derealization, and transient psychosis, usually after I listen to the news.  However, I believe those reactions are not that unconventional, these days.

Here‘s “Complications” by Killing Joke:

I’m looking forward to complications in comments, below.

Uncomplicated thanks to all who helped me create this “Complications” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1848: Every day is a gift.

Yesterday (which was a gift), I saw this reminder that every day is a gift.

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That cat seems surprised and/or skeptical that every day is a gift. How can we convince those who don’t believe it  (including ourselves, sometimes)  that every day is a gift?

I shall attempt to prove that yesterday was a gift with the gift of these photos (one of which was taken by Anna Reed for The Statesman-Journal of Salem, Oregon).

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I must ask you a question: Did you notice the sign from the Women’s March in Oregon that said, “IM NOT USUALLY A SIGN PERSON BUT GEEZ!”? I think that’s a gift and a good sign, every day.

Yesterday was also a gift because we heard music performed by the Arneis Quartet.

This gifted string quartet played pieces by Beethoven and Hayden. I asked Michael if we should take our cat Harley to the concert because “Harley likes hidin.”  I hope you like the gift of that pun.

Every comment from you, every day, is a gift.

Every day is a gift, so I express my gratitude to all, including YOU!

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

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