definition

Day 1917: Cathartic

Let’s start with a cathartic definition:

ca·thar·tic
kəˈTHärdik
adjective
1. providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.
“crying is a cathartic release”

As a psychotherapist who endorses providing psychological relief,  I agree that crying and the open expression of strong emotions is cathartic.

Here are other things I find cathartic:

  • Writing this daily blog,
  • Finishing my taxes.
  • Important relationships.
  • Laughter.
  • Owning my personal power.
  • Physical exercise.
  • Self care.
  • Nature.
  • Animals.
  • Holidays.
  • Spring.
  • Water.
  • Hope.
  • Life, in general.
  • Life, specifics (see all previous blog posts for specifics).
  • Letting go of fear and worry.
  • Memories.
  • Moving on.
  • Being in the moment.

What is cathartic for you?

Are any of my recent photos cathartic?

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Following your own path is cathartic and so is music (here and here).

Receiving and responding to feedback is cathartic, as is expressing thanks to all who helped me create this cathartic blog post and — of course! —  YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1915: Weaponize

Words can be weapons and so can a lot of other things.  Maybe that’s why I keep hearing  the word “weaponize,” which is defined at merriamwebster.com as follows:

 

Definition of weaponize
weaponized; weaponizing
transitive verb
: to adapt for use as a weapon of war

 

Recent Examples of weaponize from the Web:
Facebook, in particular, has come under fire for its partnership with Philippine President Rodrigue Duterte, who has weaponized the social media site to attack his critics.

Alex Shephard, The New Republic, “Facebook Has a Genocide Problem,” 15 Mar. 2018

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Sinclair explicitly weaponizes local TV news’ reputation for impartiality to amplify White House talking points.

Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, “Local News Anchors Are Being Forced to Deliver Pro-Trump Propaganda,” 8 Mar. 2018

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Hertzberg said in January that foes were attempting to weaponize the allegations against him to kill his effort to overhaul the money bail system in California.

Taryn Luna, sacbee, “Hugging banned for California lawmaker after harassment investigation | The Sacramento Bee,” 8 Mar. 2018

 

With all the real weapons in the word, I can’t imagine why so many other things need to be weaponized. Personally,  I was hoping that definition would include an antonym, but it doesn’t (and neither does any other definition of “weaponize”).

Is it weaponizing my blog to clearly state that I’m against weaponization and for the opposite?  For now, let’s call that”deweaponization” or  maybe just “peace.”

I heard the word “weaponize” on the news yesterday morning and for the rest of the day, I tried to deweaponize by taking these photos.

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YouTube has been weaponized with videos like “How to Weaponize Fidget Spinners,” “How to Weaponize IKEA pencils,”  “How to Weaponize Trash,” “How to Weaponize Duct Tape,”  “How to Weaponize a Beard,” and “How to Weaponize Business Cards.”  I’m deweaponizing with this:

I’m also deweaponizing with gratitude for all who helped me with today’s blog post and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 1907: A grain of salt

People I love keep telling me to take things with a grain of salt, even though I should be restricting my salt intake.

If you don’t know the meaning of the idiom “a grain of salt,” take this!

“(With) a grain of salt”, (or “a pinch of salt”) is an idiom of the English language, which means to view something with skepticism or not to interpret something literally.

In a pinch, here are more grains of wisdom from that Wikipedia page:

Hypotheses of the phrase’s origin include Pliny the Elder‘s Naturalis Historia, regarding the discovery of a recipe for an antidote to a poison.[2] In the antidote, one of the ingredients was a grain of salt. Threats involving the poison were thus to be taken “with a grain of salt”, and therefore less seriously.

The phrase cum grano salis (“with a grain of salt”) is not what Pliny wrote. It is constructed according to the grammar of modern European languages rather than Classical Latin. Pliny’s actual words were addito salis grano (“after having added a grain of salt”).

An alternative account says that the Roman general Pompey believed he could make himself immune to poison by ingesting small amounts of various poisons, and he took this treatment with a grain of salt to help him swallow the poison. In this version, the salt is not the antidote. It was taken merely to assist in swallowing the poison.

The Latin word salis means both “salt” and “wit”, so that the Latin phrase “cum grano salis” could be translated as both “with a grain of salt” and “with a grain (small amount) of wit”. The phrase is said “with a pinch of salt” in British English and said “with a grain of salt” in American English.

 

These days, we could all use grains of wit, salt, and other antidotes to poisons.

Lately, I’ve been encouraged to take gloomier forecasts about my rotator cuff injury with  grains of salt. Those grains of salt are more helpful than rubbing salt in that wound.

Also, I should have taken yesterday’s forecasts about a “four-easter” in Boston with a grain of salt. I woke up early to find very little snow on the ground, which means fewer grains of salt on the highways and byways today.

Michael, who sometimes tells me to take things with a BIG grain of salt, just said, “I don’t think there’s going to be anything to shovel, baby. If you need any help with your car, wake me up.”

What do you take with a grain (or a pinch)  of salt?  Any of these photos?

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You may take this with a grain of salt, but I think New England ducks have fun in the salt water.

There are at least three “Grain of Salt” songs on YouTube (here,  here, and here).

I look forward to the grains of comments about today’s post.

Grainy thanks to all who helped me write today’s salty post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1905: Can’t Wait

Yesterday, when I told  somebody at work that I might be singing a song about my therapy groups at a meeting today, she said,  “Can’t wait to hear it.”

Can’t wait to tell you the meaning of the idiom “can’t wait”:

Be very eager, anxious, or impatient, as in We can’t wait for the baseball season to begin or I can’t wait to see Dad—it’s been a year. While the literal sense of being unable to wait (for lack of time) is much older, this figurative usage dates only from about 1930. The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary.

When people say “can’t wait,” my brain sometimes can’t wait to have these thoughts:

What do you mean you can’t wait?  Of course, you can wait. And you will wait, because what you can’t wait for is NOT happening immediately.

I’ve waited a long time to express those thoughts about “can’t wait.”  I can’t wait to tell you how pleased I am that the wait is over.

I can’t wait to show you my four photos from yesterday.

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I can’t wait to tell you that

  • I work in Boston,
  • I wrote about the group exercise What I Know/What I Don’t Know here,
  • the second-to-last entry on my “What I Know” list, above, is “That I have a lot to learn,” and
  • Michael made a delicious cod dish last night.

I can’t wait to share this music with you.

I can’t wait to read comments about this post.  Wait! I will need to wait (but I know the comments will be worth the wait).

As always, I can’t wait to express my gratitude to all who helped me create this “Can’t Wait” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1893: Up the wall

Yesterday, I was told to meet my physical therapist by following some feet on the floor. I followed those feet out of the waiting room, through a door, and past small and large treatment rooms, but  I wasn’t sure what to do when the feet went up the wall.

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Not knowing where to go can send me up the wall and so can

  • cell phones,
  • injuries,
  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • injustice,
  • meanness,
  • thoughtlessness, and
  • people consistently misspelling my name.

 

What sends you up the wall? Does it send you up the wall that I haven’t defined my terms?

send someone up the wall

Fig. to annoy and irritate someone; to drive someone crazy. Don’t scratch your 
fingers on the  blackboard. It sends me up the wall! 
That noise sends me up the wall!

Do any of my photos from yesterday send you up the wall?

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Personally, love and acceptance don’t send me up the wall. They  send me over the moon.

When working in high tech sent me up the wall in the 1980’s,  I would sometimes dance to this:

Please don’t write your comments up on the wall; instead, write them down below.

Over-the-moon thanks to all who helped me create this up-the-wall post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1883: Affiliate

Because I affiliate myself with a blog that often defines terms, here are some definitions of “affiliate”:

af·fil·i·ate
verb
əˈfilēˌāt
1. officially attach or connect (a subsidiary group or a person) to an organization.
“the college is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin”
synonyms: associate with, unite with, combine with, join (up) with, link up with, team up with, ally with, align with, band together with, federate with, amalgamate with, merge with; More
noun
əˈfilēət
1. a person or organization officially attached to a larger body.
“the company established links with British affiliates”
synonyms: partner, branch, offshoot, subsidiary

 

affiliated; affiliating
transitive verb
1 a : to bring or receive into close connection as a member or branch. “The medical school is affiliated with a hospital.”
b : to associate as a member. ” She affiliates herself with the local club.”
2 : to trace the origin of. “They affiliated Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to earlier plays.”
intransitive verb
: to connect or associate oneself : combine.  “She refused to affiliate with any political party.”

 

I am officially attached and connected to a national organization of group psychotherapists which has multiple local affiliates. Therefore, today I am associating, uniting, combining, joining, up, linking up, teaming up, allying, aligning, banding together, federating, amalgamating, and merging with representatives of other local affiliates for many hours in Houston, Texas,  a state affiliated with the United States of America.

Are any of today’s blog-affiliated photos good representations of  “affiliate”?

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There are many children’s book characters affiliated with Massachusetts.

 

 

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That skating rink is affiliated with the Galleria Mall in Houston — an unexpected affiliation to me.

“I L-O-V-E U” by Take 6 uses the word “affiliate” (at 2:01 in this affiliated video):

Since you are affiliating yourself with this blog today, how might you use “affiliate” in a sentence?

Thanks to all who helped me create this post now affiliated with The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally and — of course! — thanks to YOU, no matter how you affiliate yourself.

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

Day 1875: Tipping Point

At this point in my posts, I often define my terms.

tip·ping point

noun
the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

We might argue that the history of gun violence in the United States is not a series of small changes or incidents. Nevertheless, I still believe we may be at a tipping point of a large, important change because of people like Emma Gonzalez, a  senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who survived the mass shooting on Wednesday.

I hope Emma Gonzalez — who makes many passionate points — and the United States will heal together.  And I hope we’re finally at a tipping point of saner gun laws.

I think about other tipping points in the United States, including Joseph Welch confronting Senator Joseph McCarthy on June 9, 1954:

Here’s the introductory description from that YouTube video.

Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy rocketed to public attention in 1950 with his allegations that hundreds of Communists had infiltrated the State Department and other federal agencies. These charges struck a particularly responsive note at a time of deepening national anxiety about the spread of world communism.

McCarthy relentlessly continued his anticommunist campaign into 1953, when he gained a new platform as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He quickly put his imprint on that subcommittee, shifting its focus from investigating fraud and waste in the executive branch to hunting for Communists. He conducted scores of hearings, calling hundreds of witnesses in both public and closed sessions.

A dispute over his hiring of staff without consulting other committee members prompted the panel’s three Democrats to resign in mid 1953. Republican senators also stopped attending, in part because so many of the hearings were called on short notice or held away from the nation’s capital. As a result, McCarthy and his chief counsel Roy Cohn largely ran the show by themselves, relentlessly grilling and insulting witnesses. Harvard law dean Ervin Griswold described McCarthy’s role as “judge, jury, prosecutor, castigator, and press agent, all in one.”

In the spring of 1954, McCarthy picked a fight with the U.S. Army, charging lax security at a top-secret army facility. The army responded that the senator had sought preferential treatment for a recently drafted subcommittee aide. Amidst this controversy, McCarthy temporarily stepped down as chairman for the duration of the three-month nationally televised spectacle known to history as the Army-McCarthy hearings.

The army hired Boston lawyer Joseph Welch to make its case. At a session on June 9, 1954, McCarthy charged that one of Welch’s attorneys had ties to a Communist organization. As an amazed television audience looked on, Welch responded with the immortal lines that ultimately ended McCarthy’s career: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” When McCarthy tried to continue his attack, Welch angrily interrupted, “Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

Overnight, McCarthy’s immense national popularity evaporated. Censured by his Senate colleagues, ostracized by his party, and ignored by the press, McCarthy died three years later, 48 years old and a broken man.

Sometimes, one person giving voice to shared outrage can tip a nation towards progress.

Let’s see if my one photo from yesterday supports tipping points.

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The United States has needed Joseph Welch and Emma Gonzalez, whom I love.

Thanks to all who have contributed to history’s positive tipping points and — of course! —  to you (especially if you make points in the comments section, below).

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

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 1819: Buzzwords

During any busy and buzzy times of the year (like now), I notice buzzwords.

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Do I hear a buzz in the audience about the meaning of buzzwords?

buzz·word
ˈbəzˌwərd/
noun informal
plural noun: buzzwords
a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context.

I have a  simpler definition of “buzzwords.”

Words creating a buzz.

I think it’s important to pay attention to the words buzzing around us.

Do you see any buzzwords in my other photos from yesterday?

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Sweets give me a sugar buzz, especially this time of the year. Which buzzwords are buzzing around you, right now?

Here‘s a  “buzzwords” video buzzing on YouTube:

Here‘s another one:

Here‘s one with music:

Feel free to create a buzz in the comments section, below, with your buzzwords.

Finally, the best buzzwords for all who helped me create this post and for you (of course!) are ….

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(a buzz of anticipation)

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 1811: Throw Aways

Let’s start this throw-away post with a  definition of “throw away.”

throw·a·way

ˈTHrōəˌwā
adjective
adjective: throw-away
1. denoting or relating to products that are intended to be discarded after being used once or a few times.
“a throwaway camera”
synonyms: disposable, single-use, nonreturnable, unrecyclable
“throwaway packaging”
2. (of a remark) expressed in a casual or understated way.
“some people overreacted to a few throwaway lines”
synonyms: casual, passing, careless, unthinking, unstudied, unconsidered, offhand; underemphasized
“throwaway remarks”
noun
noun: throw-away
1. a thing intended or destined to be discarded after brief use or appeal.

Here are a few throwaway lines from me:

  • Some years ago I asked Michael, “Did you throw away the cards and letters I received from clients when I left my previous job?”
  • Michael said he would not throw away anything valuable and he was sure they’d show up some day.
  • The cards and letters have never shown up, so I assume they were accidentally thrown away.
  • My memories of my previous clients remain in my heart and mind, never to be thrown away.
  • It looks like Michael did throw away my favorite boots.

 

  • I don’t think Michael meant to throw away my boots. I think he temporarily threw them in the wastebasket while he was cleaning.
  • I fear that the new U.S. tax bill is going to throw away a lot of valuable things.
  • If my fears are true, I’m hoping the “careless, unthinking, unstudied, unconsidered”  parts of the tax bill that Congress is almost certainly “passing” will be “discarded after a brief use.”
  • Yesterday,  I won a box of chocolates that I will not throw away.

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Here are some more throw-away photos  from my non-throwaway camera.

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If everything I’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear, I guess it’s time to throw away fear.

The FCC has thrown away Net Neutrality and I wonder how that’s going to affect my throwing in YouTube videos like this one (which came up when I searched on “throw away”):

 

Let’s not throw away our shots.

Please leave any throwaway remarks below.

As always, thanks for reading my throwaway lines, here and now.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

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