friendship

Day 2268: What makes me smile

Yesterday, I got this in the mail from my friend, Janet, who makes me smile:

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It makes me smile to read what Fluffy and Spot are discussing and Janet’s thoughtful note at the end:

Hi Ann!  Thought you could use a pick me up after all the not-great news you’ve been getting. Hope this makes you smile.  ❤  Janet

Janet has made me smile MANY times over thirty-plus years, including the smiles in previous blog posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here, here,and here.

It makes me smile to think of all the great smiles Janet has given me.

Sharing these other recent photos makes me smile:

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Those last two photos were taken by our cat Oscar, which makes me smile:

 

It also makes me smile that one of the linked blog posts, above, including Janet (who, as has already been discussed,  makes me smile) involved Oscar posting on Facebook.

Oscar’s mastery of technology and social media makes me smile.

It makes me smile to realize I’m seeing my friend Megan for a birthday brunch today and then my friend Arnie for dinner.

It also makes me smile to realize that all the work I’ve been doing to silence my harsh inner critic, who does NOT make me smile, has been paying off!

It makes me smile to see Chicago‘s  Terry Kath, gone way too soon, rocking out on vocals and lead guitar  on “Make Me Smile”:

 

What makes you smile?

Gratitude makes me smile, every day.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 2205: Who gives a crap?

Who gives a crap about where today’s blog title came from?

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If you do give a crap, I saw that sign yesterday on the wall of a huge glass-blowing facility called Almost Perfect Glass  in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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There’s my  almost perfect friend, Deb, who was working the annual holiday glass sale at Almost Perfect Glass, which is the home of NOCA Glass School (where Deb has taken many courses, because she gives a crap about glass blowing). Deb and I give a crap about each other and have since we were in our teens. People say we look and act like sisters, and not just because we both wear the same t-shirt (which I gave her years ago because she gave a crap about what it says).

Who gives a crap about any of my other photos from yesterday?

 

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I give a crap about  talent, nature,  mindfulness, and all that’s in your head.

While we all give a crap about what’s important to us,  it also helps to let go of worry, shame, and other crap filling your brain by saying, “Who gives a crap!”

Who gives a crap about this“Who Gives a Crap” song on YouTube?

Who gives a crap about whether Who Gives a Crap is “toilet paper” or “bathroom tissue”?

Thanks to all who helped me create this who-gives-a-crap post and to you — of course! — for giving enough of a crap to read it.

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

Day 2185: Understanding how good people think

Yesterday, I saw this on a magazine cover:

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I don’t know about you, but I’m good and tired of trying to understand how bad people think.  How about understanding how good people think?

My good friend and good person Jeanette thinks this way: She wanted to celebrate — with other good people — turning 55 in November (even though her birthday is in April).  Other good people thought that was a great idea.  Here are some photos from that good celebration, yesterday:

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Good people like Jeanette think of dressing their good dog in a Princess outfit and calling it a “pink wave.”

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Good people like Jeanette think a black unicorn would be wonderful and good people like our good friend Carol  create one, just for Jeanette.

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Good people like our good friend Janet like to pose like this and good people like me post this photo with this caption: “You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Also, I think I there’s some good Vitamin K stuck in my teeth there.

Here’s Jack Johnson with “Good People.”

My good and understanding readers, please show how you think in a comment below.

Now it’s time for understanding  how grateful people think about people who help them create blog posts and also — of course! — about YOU:

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Categories: friendship, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1901: March Madness

While “March Madness” usually refers to the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, I’m going to write about different kinds of March Madness.

Yesterday, I spoke with people about how many losses and deaths we had experienced in the month of March. It seemed like madness when we listed the beloved relatives and friends who had passed away during this one month.

Is it madness that I had this conversation with my dear friend, Megan?

Me:  My father died in March,  but I can’t believe how many people you’ve lost in March.

Megan: It’s crazy!

Me:  It’s traumatizing! I’ll tell you what. In the future, if it looks like I’m going to die in the month of March, I’ll make sure they keep me on life support until I make it to April.

Megan (laughing):  Thank you!

Me: Then maybe I’ll die on April 1st.  I think that’s a good day to die.

Is it madness to talk about our own deaths and to laugh about loss? For me, it helps dispel the madness.

How are you dealing with this year’s madnesses in March?  Personally, I’m glad U.S. students and their families are marching for their lives in March. It’s madness that there’s so much gun violence in the United States.

Was it madness for me to take any of these March photos?

 

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Here‘s the March madness of Metallica playing “Hero of the Day” with the San Francisco Symphonic Orchestra:

Thanks to all the heroes of the day who helped me create this March Madness blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1860: Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is

  • the title of today’s blog post,
  • the name of the musical I’m seeing today with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah (whom I love), and
  • true, because even when we die, love lives on.

I have undying love for the people who made my 65th birthday so wonderful, including

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Megan.  I love Megan. Yesterday, Megan and I expressed an undying wish that, before we die, we let go of worry, anxiety, overthinking, harsh self-judgments, and fears about the future. I know that love never dies, but I hope that painful and unhelpful thoughts will die (or at least become less strong).

Photos on the internet never die, so here are more photos from yesterday:

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My love never dies for chocolate, my boyfriend Michael (who bought me that yummy dessert), my son Aaron, my family, my friends, my work, and my blogging community.

Here’s “Love Never Dies” from Love Never Dies:

If you make a comment on the internet, it never dies.

My gratitude never dies for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1644: What is the name of this post?

Hello, my name is Ann and I think the name of this post should be

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“Projects” (because I’m doing lots of projects as I prepare for the move to our new home),

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Magic” (because I see magic everywhere),

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“Fun to Know and Easy to Love” (because people in my life are fun to know and easy to love), or

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“1 in a Million” (because we’re all one in a million).

What do YOU think the name of this post should be?

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That’s the Halloween costume my son, whose name is Aaron, wore many years ago. Carrying a spray bottle, Aaron asked people to name what he was, spritzed them with water and said, “I’m partly cloudy with a chance of showers.”

I’m thinking that the title of this post should be “1 in a Million” because, on a 1 in a million chance, I reconnected with an old friend yesterday, who is a 1-in-a-million musician and a 1-in-a-million friend, David Smith, whom I first met at the Berklee summer program in 1969.

Here‘s my old friend Dave conducting the Clarksville Middle School Wind Ensemble:

Actually, perhaps the name of this post should be “Reverberations.”

No matter what your name is, what do you think the name of this post should be?

As always, the name of today’s post could be “Thanks,” because that’s what I’m feeling, here and now.

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

Day 1560: Look

Yesterday, I got together with my old friend Hillel. When Hillel and I looked quite a bit different, we attended our high school junior year prom together.

Hillel and I have dealt with some major medical issues recently, so when we got our first looks at each other yesterday, we both said:

You look GREAT!

We argued a bit about who looked better, but soon we decided to look at new and familiar places on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Now, you can look at those places, too.

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As I look at some of those photos now, the horizon looks tilted, but it didn’t look that way yesterday.

I let my friends on Facebook get a look at me and Hillel yesterday and several of them wrote that we both looked great. I also showed Hillel my current Facebook profile photo (from our Junior High School yearbook) …

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… and Hillel said, “I knew you then and you never looked like that.” Apparently, I looked like that just long enough for somebody to take a picture of it.

Later, I drove Hillel to my home so that my boyfriend Michael and Hillel could get a look at each other.  We also looked for our prom photo, but couldn’t find it. Then, when I was driving Hillel back to his hotel, I got a flat tire. Hillel, who always looks like a gentleman, waited with me until roadside service arrived and then looked up the nearest Uber driver to get a ride.

Later in the evening, Michael and I got a look at all these things:

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Look at that map made of U.S. license plates!

Look what I found when I searched for “North Shore Massachusetts” on YouTube:

I can’t wait to look at all the comments I’m going to get for this post.

As usual, I look for ways to express thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and to you — of course! — for taking a look, here and now.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1381: Sweet

Many things are sweet this morning, my sweet readers, including the following:

  1. I am recovering  sweetly from my open heart surgery of September 21,
  2. I  don’t have to worry about how many sweets I eat right now (although I am watching my salt and my vitamin K intake),
  3. sweet people including my friend Jeanette in Philadelphia are sending me chocolates and other sweets,
  4. there are still sweet cookies left over from the bunch we bought yesterday at the sweet Lakota Bakery in Arlington,
  5. my boyfriend, Michael, talked to my sweet 18-year-old son, Aaron, on the phone yesterday, helping Aaron to cook more sweet food in his dorm kitchen in Edinburgh, Scotland,
  6. I am not fasting for Yom Kippur this year but rather eating all the sweet and non-sweet food I want today,
  7. I am sweetly unworried about the U.S. presidential election next month,
  8. my sweet college roommate Maria and I bought some sweet jewelry and socks at two sweet boutiques in Arlington, Massachusetts yesterday,
  9. I also showed Maria some other sweet sites in Arlington, and
  10. the first sweet photo I took yesterday — at the Arlington coffee house where I have twice sung sweetly at  Open Mic nights — features many products that are sweet:

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Would you like to see all my other sweet photos from yesterday?

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Which of those many sweet photos seem particularly sweet to you, my sweet reader?

As I am creating this sweet post,  I am listening to this sweet fairy tale ballet:

 

Finally, here’s a sweet way to thank all those who helped me create this sweet post and those who have been sweet enough to read it here and now:

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

Day 1344: Reckless Abandon

With reckless abandon, I here and now decide what the title of today’s post will be, based on this sign I saw yesterday:

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With reckless abandon, I shall now reveal that:

  1. I hope to embrace the stressful events of the next few weeks with reckless abandon.
  2. These stressful events include waiting for the delivery of a student visa (which I hope hasn’t been recklessly abandoned in some government building in NYC), my son starting a five-year program at the University of Edinburgh, and my having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  3. Yesterday I recklessly abandoned all attempts to prepare myself for the upcoming events and instead spent the day with my fabulous Philadelphia-based friend Jeanette (who abandoned Boston to move to Washington D.C. sixteen years ago, but I I still miss her every day).
  4. Jeanette, who courageously abandons any fear of speaking her mind, recklessly told my boyfriend Michael yesterday that he has to teach my son Aaron how to cook two easy meals this week.
  5. Michael recklessly promised Jeanette that he would.
  6. I am recklessly going to include photos of Jeanette and other people I’ve recklessly mentioned  in this post, so don’t abandon me yet!

Are you ready for the reckless abandon of my other photos from yesterday, as I recklessly abandon any intention of further explaining them?

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Which of those photos say “reckless abandon” to you?

With reckless abandon, this Frightsome Fleshlumpeater will now share the reckless abandon of Roald Dahl, Gene Wilder, and pure imagination:

 

I hope you show some reckless abandon by leaving a comment, below.

Before I recklessly abandon you all until tomorrow morning’s blog post, I’d like to express gratitude to those who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — with reckless abandon.

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

Day 1219: Tone

Try to imagine my tone of voice as I say any of the following statements:

Every year, I wait for the arrival of spring.

Spring is my favorite time of year.

I LOVE walking outside in sunny weather, feasting my eyes on the flowering trees and all the other brilliant colors of spring.

For years, I’ve done all I can do to take a week off from work in spring to enjoy the blossoming colors after the long Boston winter.

Last year, the local weather in May was predictably beautiful, but I had heart-related surgery during my week off, so I couldn’t really enjoy it.

Two years ago, I had pneumonia during April and May.

This year, I need to travel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the end of May to consult with a cardiologist.

I was afraid that trip to the Mayo Clinic might prevent my taking off a week earlier in May to enjoy Boston’s spring weather.

However,  I was able to take two weeks off from work in May this year.

It was gloriously sunny on the first day of my May-stay-cation

Since then, it has been rainy and cold.

I just looked at the forecast for the rest of the week AND THERE IS NO SUN OR WARMTH IN THE FORECAST.

What is the tone of this post, so far?

Yesterday, while it was rainy and cold, I met up with my friend Tony, whom I often  affectionally call “Tone.”

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Tony and have known each other for forty years!!!!!!! We’ve experienced many tones of life, along the way.

I say this with no tone of irony, sarcasm, or fear of being contradicted by him: Tone and I are BFFs (Best Friends Forever, Tony, in case you don’t know what that means).

I remember writing something to Tony, years ago, that began like so:

Tony! Toni! Tone!

Here‘s the band Tony! Toni! Toné! performing a relevant song:

It never rains in Southern California, but I’m here in rainy Boston, now, which gives me the opportunity to practice all the beautiful tones of forgiveness, patience, acceptance, and appreciation of what is, in every moment.

What tones do you see in the other photos I took yesterday?

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Here’s the tone of my current thinking: What will be the tone of the comments I receive for today’s blog?

Many thanks to all the Tones that contributed to this post and to you — of course! — no matter what tones surround you.

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

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