Day 655: How to freak less

I’ve written four previous posts with the word “freak” in them:

  1. Day 243: Freaked-out-nomics
  2. Day 370: Reasons why snail mail freaks me out
  3. Day 405: Freaking Out 
  4. Day 641: Lots of freakin ____

… so I think it’s about time I focused on something useful, like How to Freak Less.

Yesterday, I freaked less on my drive to work because I took my time getting there. Even when my GPS system, Waze, reported

Watch out. Heavy traffic ahead.

… I remained calm. As a matter of fact, I was glad for the traffic, because it allowed me to take these photos, through my rainy window:

IMG_0943 IMG_0944 IMG_0948 IMG_0954 IMG_0955 IMG_0956 IMG_0961 IMG_0960

After I parked my car, I took my time walking to work.

IMG_0969 IMG_0972

To recap: freak less by taking more time.

Then, when I was at work, I walked by a door that has, already, appeared in this blog four times before (here, here, here, and here):


This time, the door was open, so I introduced myself to the inhabitant of that office, Sandy.  I told Sandy that

  • her sign has appeared in this blog,
  • people had speculated whether the sign said, “hope” or “nope,” and
  • I was very pleased the sign said “hope.”

Sandy invited me into her office, and I saw many more things that pleased me, including:

IMG_0981 IMG_0982



Those three paintings were done by Sandy’s three daughters.

I liked this sign, too.


As I was leaving, Sandy changed the sign on her door.


To recap:  freak less by walking through doors, meeting new people, and seeing new things.

Last night, I facilitated a therapy group where people shared their experience of dealing with transitions.


To recap: freak less by sharing more.

Speaking of sharing, I’d like to share a tune I heard on my way home, after work.

Actually, before that, I’d like to share how I first encountered this song, when I was a kid:

Wow!  After all the living I’ve done since I first saw  “A Lot of Living to Do” (from the movie Bye Bye Birdie), I can see there’s


50’s and 60’s stuff there.

Eeeeek!  Hold on! I can’t find Pat Metheny’s amazing version of “A Lot of Living to Do” on YouTube, which I heard last night and wanted to share with you today! And I have to get to a 7:30 AM “retreat” soon, where there will be


doctors, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare providers, working together to come up with ideas about how to make patient care better, in the future.

Is it time for me to do


… here and now?????????????????

Instead, I shall heed my own advice and

  • take time,
  • walk through doors,
  • meet new people,
  •  see new things,
  • and share more

… by including this YouTube video of Mr. Louis Armstrong singing and playing “A Lot of Living to Do”:

And, speaking of meeting new people, I’ve never heard of Nick Ziobro before today, featured here performing at Birdland:


This post, today, has


  • talents,
  • sights,
  • sounds,
  • thoughts,
  • feelings,
  • moving,
  • nostalgia,
  • signs,
  • weather,
  • photos,
  • transitions, and
  • freakin other things.



there’ll be


comments, too.

Thanks to Sandy, to her daughters, to everybody who appeared in this post,  and to all those who have a lot of living to do, including (of course!) freakin you.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 645: Birdland (and other lands)

Yesterday, I wrote about Jaco Pastorius, the late, great, one-of-a-kind jazz bass player.

Magically, as I was walking to work yesterday, “Birdland” by Weather Report — with Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and Jaco Pastorius — appeared in my headphones.

According to Wikipedia, “Birdland” …

served as a tribute to the New York jazz club on 52nd street that housed a countless number of famous jazz musicians. However, not only was the song named in honor of the legendary jazz club, but also the man after whom the club was named, Charlie Parker, the ‘Bird’ himself. It was this club, that he frequented almost daily, that inspired Zawinul to write the song. Looking back, Zawinul claimed, “The old Birdland was the most important place in my life.”[1] And according to Pastorius in a 1978 interview, the studio version featured on Heavy Weather was recorded in just one take.

As the late, great Joe Zawinul expressed in the above quote, geographical place and location can be so important for people.

Here’s what I heard yesterday, from StudioLand:

(that video lives in YouTubeLand, here)

Here’s “Birdland”  by Weather Report, live from DeutchLand.

(“BirdLand” live from Germany video found here, in YouTubeLand)

Personally, I like using the word “land” to indicate real and virtual territory. For example, I love going to MusicLand, which helps sustain and nourish my work in HospitalLand.

Here are some lands I’ve been visiting lately:

  • Needless-Worry-Land
  • Trouble-Sleeping-Land
  • Self-judgment-land
  • Trying-to-figure-it-all-out-land

I would rather not go there, actually.

That reminds me! When my son, Aaron, began talking, I kept track of Aaron Quotes,  in NotebookLand:


… so that wonderful Aaron stories wouldn’t go into AmnesiaLand.

I just visited NotebookLand, because I thought there was a Very-Young-Aaron-Land story that belonged in Today’s-Post-Land.

There were THREE of those stories!

Actually I’m going to go FIVE places in Aaron-Quote-Land, this morning, from when he was two and three years old (in order of appearance):

Aaron, Cousin Lani, and Mama were driving around the Tufts Medical Center parking garage looking for a space. “Do you know what we’re looking for, Aaron?” asked Mama. “Yes,” replied Aaron. “What?” asked Lani. “Doctors,” said Aaron.


Driving to Deborah‘s,  Aaron said, “We’re going to Deborah-land.” At Deborah‘s I said goodbye, and said, “I’m going to work-land.” He turned to Deborah and said, “Mama’s going to Lisa-and-Newell-Land.*”


Eating ice-cream with M&Ms,  Aaron said the M&Ms had returned to M&M-land. When asked where that was, he said, “In my stomach.”


Mama was paying bills, and Aaron was asking about the return address portion of the envelope. Mama explained, “That’s where I write our address, so they know where I’m sending this from.” Aaron said, “They’ll know you’re sending it from your chair.”


Aaron had spent time at Ellen’s, who had a shower curtain with the map of the world. Ellen was explaining to Aaron that Iceland really wasn’t that cold and Greenland was very cold. She pointed out that they had funny names. On the way home, Mama and Aaron were discussing this. Mama said a few names that would be more appropriate for Greenland, like “Wow, this place is cold-land” or “There are icicles hanging from my nose-land.”  Aaron immediately started coming up with more and more elaborate names, such as, “Hey! Where’s my yak? There he is, he’s buried under the snow. Those things I thought were just icicles sticking up are actually his horns (pause) — Land!”


Aaron, before he left HomeLand this morning for SchoolLand, approved all those stories. I shall now resist the urge to return, over and over again, to NoteBookLand, so I can send this post out into WordPressLand.

Before I do, here are some photos I took on the way to work yesterday, while I was listening to Birdland, thinking

I wonder what Birdland might look like?


IMG_0288 IMG_0293

IMG_0305 IMG_0310 IMG_0317

Finally, right before I got to WorkLand, I found Birdland:

IMG_0340 IMG_0342 IMG_0346

Then, after work, I walked through MoonLand:

IMG_0371 IMG_0378


Thanks for visiting Ann’s-Post-Land,** today!

* Lisa and Newell are two fine people from my WorkLand, when Aaron was two years old.

** Where, I hope, the photo-loading is easy (or, at least, bearable).

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 633: High and Low

This is the first day of the Jewish “High Holidays” for 2014/5775.  All my best, from the bottom of my heart, to those who are celebrating today.

All my best, from the bottom of my heart, to those who are not celebrating today.

Sometimes, I search high and low for the appropriate and most effective way to communicate. Other times, I express myself more spontaneously, without editing or thinking too much.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a video — created by a 10-year-old boy almost exactly six years ago — of a cat in a hat that goes high and low (as does the camera).

If I searched high and low for that cat and that boy, I could still find them today.  (I’m not so sure about the hat and the diploma).

Now, let’s see if I have any recent photos on my iPhone, that show Highs or Lows.

I do!  I do!

I’ll start with the lows, since there seem to be more of those.  (Also, starting with downward-aimed photos allows me to end this post looking up.)


IMG_9586 IMG_9587 IMG_9588 IMG_9589 IMG_9592 IMG_9572

I wonder why I’ve been looking down so much, lately?

Here are some recent shots, where I’ve been looking up:

IMG_9565 IMG_9580 IMG_9606IMG_9575

That last photo is my first sighting of fall foliage, ’14. (It also reminds me of mixed feelings I have about this time of the year.)

Highs and lows are everywhere, aren’t they? You just need to know where to look.

Many hopes for healthy and happy days ahead to everyone everywhere, no matter how you look at things.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 632: Mixed up

My high school Chemistry teacher, Mrs. O’Keefe,  would often say to me, in class, “Ann, are you confused?” And I would reply, “No, this is my natural expression.”

Actually, no matter what the intention of my snappy answer to Mrs. O’Keefe, I think I often do look confused, befuddled, baffled, nonplussed, and otherwise mixed up.

I ASSUME I look that way.  As I’ve written here, we really don’t know what we look like, to the outside world.

However, I’m guessing that I can look quite confused, befuddled, baffled, nonplussed, and otherwise mixed up because … that’s how I’m feeling. I felt that way in Chemistry Class, for sure, and even now, I can look around me, and be mixed up by what I see.

Speaking of mixed up, I often notice anagrams — which mix up letters — when I look at words.

For example, I noticed some anagrams yesterday morning, while I was preparing breakfast.

IMG_9532 IMG_9531

See? “Chai” (the flavoring for my oatmeal) and “Chia” both use the same four letters, mixed up.

I mention this, not just to (1) brag about my ability to see anagrams and (2) brag about how healthy my breakfast was yesterday, but also as an excuse to share another Michael Brecker tune — Anagram —  which I was happy to hear yesterday, on one of my to and fro walks, near work.

Oh no!  I can’t find a video of Michael Brecker’s Anagram, anywhere!   Now, I’m befuddled and confused about how to proceed with this post. I mean, the whole premise of the last few paragraphs has fallen apart!  What to do?

Well, I COULD show you, instead, this “doctoral recital performance” of Anagram, found here at YouTube):

I am a little mixed up, now, by the concept of a “doctoral recital performance.” I guess that means that somebody involved in that YouTube performance was actually earning a doctorate! That sounds quite classy, to me.

I was going to say “PhD” instead of “doctorate” in that previous paragraph, but PhD would mean a doctorate in Philosophy, so I’m obviously … mixed up. What would a Musical Doctorate be called?  It must be …


No, wait. That’s another kind of doctor.

Anyway, here are more mixed up thoughts, from me, about a Musical Doctorate (however it’s abbreviated). Even though I went to school for jazz piano at Berklee for two summers (soon after Mrs. O’Keefe was telling me how confused I looked), it never occurred to me, before today, that somebody could earn a doctorate with a musical performance.

Maybe, if I ever get brave enough to do some open mic singing that’s at a doctoral level of excellence … you’ll have to start calling me Doctor Koplow! I would definitely be nonplussed, by that.

Actually, sometimes when people call my number at work to make psychotherapy appointments, they call me Dr. Koplow. I guess they get confused, befuddled, etc. because I work within the primary care practice, where most of the treaters are MD’s and called “Doctor” (of course).  (I always correct them as soon as I can, and invite them to call me “Ann.”)

Hmmm. Have I succeeded in confusing, baffling, nonplussing, or otherwise mixing up my readers, in this post?

If not, maybe I should try harder. It’s lonely to feel this confused, all by myself!

This might mix people up:  When I was googling the internet for Anagram, by Michael Brecker, I saw this entry:

Michael Brecker – Anagram Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Lyrics to ‘Anagram’ by Michael Brecker. … “Anagram” is track #3 on the album Pilgrimage.

“There are LYRICS to THAT song?” I thought. “I’m confused!”

However, I was also intrigued.

That’s the other side of confusion, isn’t it?  When something is new, different and/or unexpected, we might be baffled and bewildered, but we can be intrigued and interested, too.

Intrigued and interested, I just went to the MetroLyrics site (a place that sounds quite classy, to me), to discover what the Anagram lyrics might be.

Drat! That was a dead end.

These lyrics haven’t been entered yet. Please add them for us, if you know them.

I can’t add the lyrics, MetroLyrics! I DON’T KNOW THEM! I went to that site because  I thought YOU knew something I didn’t.

No wonder I’m so confused, with all this baiting and switching going on, everywhere.

If you are baffled or befuddled by the phrase “bait and switch,” let’s see if I can clear that up, now.

Ooops!  I’m so sorry, my dear readers. There’s been another mix up. I can’t find a good-enough definition of “bait and switch,” with the time I have today. The Urban Dictionary (does that sound classy, to you?) is the best I can do:

Bait and Switch
The policy used by Bell Mobility to get more money out of their customers. They will *bait* you in with offers of really good stuff, then switch the offers around behind your back, often with the excuse of “that was just a promotion” or “you must have changed it yourself”
Bell: We’ll give you this really good plan.
You: I’ll take it.
*bill arrives without the really good plan*

Yikes!  Is everybody confused?

Good! Now I don’t feel so alone.

I have to say, I do feel considerably better when others are having a similar experience to me.

That’s what I witness in group therapy (like I did, yesterday, and I will, today, too).

However, confusion can be uncomfortable. Therefore, I will try to compensate for any befuddlement, confusion, bafflement, and mixed-up-ed-ness I may have caused you, today, by showing you more mixed-up photos I took, yesterday.


That’s something I found in my recently retrieved stash of nostalgic treasures (letters, cards, and other gifts from people in my life when I was young). Somebody gave me that book while I was in the hospital around age 10, dealing with a congenitally mixed-up heart.

I absolutely intended to include the photo of that book in yesterday’s post, called  “The Dark.” However, I was too distracted, confused, and befuddled to do so.  Why?  Because while I was composing yesterday’s post, I was also getting myself and my son, Aaron, ready to go to his doctor’s office, because Aaron hasn’t been feeling well lately.

Here’s what I want to say, at this point: (1) It’s nothing serious (Aaron’s diagnosis was seasonal allergies) and (2) yesterday’s post was good enough without that photo.


I found this misplaced piece of greenery, yesterday, as Aaron and I were getting ready to leave for his doctor’s appointment. Obviously, somebody was confused, befuddled, and mixed up at that point. Would you care to guess who that was?

I drove Aaron to his doctor’s office, in nearby Somerville.


That’s Frank, who was also in the doctor’s waiting room, yesterday morning. I was — for just a moment — confused when Frank suddenly started talking to us, showing us YouTube videos of bulldogs, including one where a bulldog was jumping on a trampoline!  Perhaps Frank had us mixed up with dog people. I definitely appreciated the distraction and Frank’s friendliness.

More photos from the doctor’s waiting room:

IMG_9538  IMG_9540

As I confessed to Aaron yesterday, sometimes I take photos to relieve anxiety.  That helps center me, when I’m feeling mixed up. And not to mix things up here, with too many details (too late!),  Aaron preferred to go into his appointment alone, so I had some time on my hands, in the waiting room.

After Aaron’s appointment, when I was feeling considerably relieved, I stopped to take this photo:


I told Aaron (who sometimes gets impatient when I take pictures for this blog), “I’m taking this photo because I really like it.  I think that mixed-up combination of a tax accounting place and an astrologer is funny!”

After I took Aaron back home, I proceeded to work, and saw this:


I don’t know about you, but I found that confusing.  Then, I saw this:


I was mixed up by that, also.  Does that sign mean a Fenway Park tour is starting in 15 minutes or that the tour lasts 15 minutes?  It’s probably the former meaning, but who knows? Maybe because the Red Sox are out of the pennant race this year, people aren’t that interested in hearing details about them, right now.

A few minutes later, I saw this:

IMG_9557 I’m always interested in people, working or otherwise, so I stopped to look up.  This is all I could see:


Again, I was confused and befuddled. Where were those working people?

Well, it’s time for me to end this post. My son, who still feels lousy — but well enough to go to school — just left for the day, and I’ve got to get ready for work.

Not to further confuse things, but I do need to ask myself this: what feels left unsaid for me, here and now?

Just this.  You may have noticed that — despite my elaborate set-up regarding “Anagrams” —  there were no more (conscious) anagrams in this post.  Or, you may NOT have noticed that. However, I noticed it, and I was thinking

To make this post complete, I need to end with an anagram.

But I guess anagrams are not that easy for me to see. Darn it!

Then, I remembered a card, from my nostalgic stash that I may — or may not — have already included in this blog. (I’m still mixed up, aren’t I?)


While that isn’t a typical anagram, it works for me.

Thanks to my son, to my father, to mixed up people everywhere, and to you — of course! — for mixing it up with me here, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 622: What we keep

As I mentioned in Day 616: Nostalgia, I recently recovered some old papers from the basement of a home I occupied with my ex-husband, Leon, for many years. Since then, I’ve been going through cards, letters, photos, and other memories, deciding what to keep from now on.

How do we ever make decisions, like those?

Today, I’ll show you some things I’ve kept so far.

A card that a very kind doctor — whom I’ll never forget — sent me, soon after I got my first cardiac pacemaker at age 10.


A letter that a dear friend (and her dear mother) wrote me, during one of my many return trips to the hospital after that.IMG_9198

A letter that several of my classmates worked on, while I was spending time in Children’s Hospital.IMG_9200

A letter from somebody I met during one of my early hospital stays:


More Get Well wishes from people I knew way-back-when (and some I know here-and-now).


IMG_9208 IMG_9107 IMG_9174  IMG_9204

Stuff from my late parents and their friends:

IMG_9095 IMG_9148 IMG_9211 IMG_9098

Stuff I received from nice guys (including a forgotten gift from a musician appearing in many of my blog posts):IMG_9158

IMG_9167IMG_9151 IMG_9186 IMG_9170IMG_9143 IMG_9184  IMG_9140 IMG_9183IMG_9218 IMG_9171IMG_9212 IMG_9188 IMG_9097



Stuff I received from nice gals:

IMG_9169 IMG_9099 IMG_9101 IMG_9138 IMG_9219 IMG_9182 IMG_9132 IMG_9090IMG_9131 IMG_9130  IMG_9086  IMG_9233 IMG_9234IMG_9235

Things from people I met at various work places:

IMG_9114 IMG_9156 IMG_9229 IMG_9220IMG_9179 IMG_9139

Things I created that came back to me:


IMG_9180  IMG_9226 IMG_9228 IMG_9168IMG_9230



What do I keep?  What do I share?  Does it matter?

And if these things matter, whom might they matter to, besides me?

What should we preserve, from the scribblings of one life?

No matter what I decide about these buried treasures,  all of them are preserved, for now, in one heart.

Thanks to everyone reading these scribblings and ramblings, today.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Day 620: Shots in the dark

I’m going to take a shot in the dark, to start off this post.


That’s one of our cats, Oscar. I wasn’t sure whether I had him in frame, as I was taking that shot.

Last night, my boyfriend Michael told me that my son, Aaron, had shot this at him, darkly: “I’m not feeling that great. I think I might be getting sick.”

I’m going to take a shot in the dark, right now, and guess that Aaron is going to ask to stay home from school, after he wakes up, soon, in the less-dark morning.

Yesterday,  it was dark during the afternoon. I took a shot at one of these, in the cafeteria in the hospital where I work:


I’ve never seen that kind of shot before, have you?

Way back when, in ’67,  I had a conversation with one of my parents’ friends about A Shot in the Darkthe second Pink Panther movie.


(image found here)

That’s a funny shot of Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer there, in the dark.

Actually, when I was talking to my parents’ friend, Abe, in 1967, I thought I was having a conversation with him about a different movie, which I had just seen.


(image found here)

Wait Until Dark — starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin (whom I had never seen before that film) — scared the bejeesus out of me.  Soon after I saw it, when I was talking to Abe, I asked him what he thought of that movie.

Or, I THOUGHT I was asking Abe what he thought of that movie.

Abe’s response really surprised me. I expected him to say, “That movie scared the bejeesus out of me!” (or words to that effect). Instead, Abe, got a big smile on his face and said,

That movie was hilarious!  What a FUNNY movie! I couldn’t stop laughing.

… or words to that effect.

I’m going to take a shot in the dark here: I assume I’m not the only one who has been communicating with somebody and then has this thought:

WHAT?!? That’s not the reaction I expected!  WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???? Is one of us crazy?  Is it me??!??

I didn’t know what to say to Abe. I took a shot in the dark, back then, with this response:

Well … I guess the plot was … sort of far-fetched … I suppose.

And I got out of that conversation as soon as possible.

Would anybody like to take a shot in the dark about why I’m writing about this, now?

In case you don’t want to take a shot at that question,  I’ll tell you. After I had that conversation with Abe, and as I tried to make meaning of that encounter in my mind, I realized what had happened.

Instead of asking Abe this question, “Did you see Wait Until Dark?” I realized that I had asked my parents’ old friend, “Did you see A Shot In The Dark?”

I was horrified.  And that feeling lasted a lot longer than my scared reaction to Wait Until Dark.

For YEARS I felt bad about that encounter. Every time I thought about it, I’d cringe.

Personally, I find that a lot scarier than any scary movie. Why, oh why, did I spend so much time worrying about that simple mistake?  A mistake I made when I WAS ONLY THIRTEEN* YEARS OLD?!!!?

I’m going to take some shots in the dark, now, about why I felt shot, so painfully and frequently, by that memory.

  1. I don’t like to make mistakes.
  2. I really, really, really, really don’t like miscommunication.


I just checked in with my son, who is waking up. He didn’t say anything about feeling bad or about staying home from school today. Another mistake on my part! I’m so glad I’ve learned to forgive myself, so much better, these days.

What other shots did i want to take in this post today?

I ran a therapy group at work, yesterday evening, where people talked about worry. IMG_8951

Afterwards, I took these shots in the dark:




I’ve read lots of great quotes by Audrey Hepburn, who was terrorized (and almost shot?) by Alan Arkin in “Wait Until Dark.” Let’s give Audrey Hepburn this parting shot:

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.

And, before I publish these shots in the dark, how about some music?

(Theme song from “A Shot in the Dark,” by Henry Mancini, found here on YouTube)

Hmmmm. While it was fun hearing and seeing the opening shots from A Shot in the Dark, here’s the musical shot (also by Henry Mancini) I really want here and now.

(Youtube video of Pink Panther Theme found here)

Thanks to Abe, Peter Sellers, Elke Sommer, Audrey Hepburn, Alan Alda (oooops! Alan Arkin!), Henry Mancini, my son, people who work in groups,  and to you — of course! — for taking a shot at this post, today.

* I was actually 14 years old in ’67, but who’s counting?

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 618: Holes

The title of this post was inspired by this comment, yesterday, by Sitting on My Own Sofa:

The tree must be down by now. It’s probably left a hole in the sky. How are you feeling about that?

I am not sure how I am feeling, but this is what I am seeing out back, where the tree used to be:

IMG_8906 IMG_8908 IMG_8909

When I am not sure how I am feeling, it sometimes helps to free-associate. Here are some of my thoughts — without self-editing, judgment, or other barriers to flow –about the word “holes”:

  • When I was born, the doctors speculated I had a hole in my heart that had closed, leaving not a trace of the heart’s natural pacemaker.
  • There are no other posts I’ve written, so far, with the word “hole” in the title.
  • When I searched my old posts for word “hole,” it showed me Day 361: That whole bad day/good day thing, again, which implies that WordPress, like me, enjoys playing with words.
  • I think I’ve heard the word “hole” used, derogatively, about women.
  • “Holes” is a book people seem to like, which I haven’t read:



(Image found here)

… which was made into a movie


(image found here)y

… which, according to Rotten Tomatoes, 77% of people surveyed like, and which I also have not seen.

  • There are holes, in this post today, regarding formatting and many missed opportunities to re-use the word “holes.”
  • Swiss cheese has lots of holes in it. I wonder why?


(image found here)

  • Strangely enough, my Google Image search for “holes” did not return a photo of swiss cheese. However, there was a whole category for “Fear [of Holes]” which included this image:


(image found here)

  • Now I’m wondering if I should be afraid of lotus flowers.

I’m realizing I need to wrap up this post, holes and all, because there are no holes in my schedule at work this morning. AND, I don’t have my usual room for my therapy group at 10 AM, so I there’s some extra work for me to do.

As far as I’m concerned, are there any holes in this post I need to fix, right now?

Well, I did want to show you these images, of two more treasures I found in my recently retrieved box of memories:



I’m afraid I’m going to leave holes where explanations should be, in this post, rather than be late for work.

However, I want to show you JUST ONE MORE image:


That’s the plate my son just left behind, when he left for school. What’s missing from there?  One thing: Avocado slices.

How about some music?  I’d like to fill a hole about that, right now. Some Beatles music, for the first time in this blog. Let’s see if I can.

(YouTube video found here)


Thanks, everybody!

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

Day 617: Scans

My car radio has a scan button.  When I listen to the radio in the car, I use that button, which presents short samplings of all the stations it can find. Once I start the scan, it keeps going and going,  until I press “scan” again to stop it.

Yesterday morning, driving in to work, I realized I wanted something more nourishing than those scan-generated, quickly rotating sound-bites.  So when the scan found some jazz on WHRB-FM (95.3), I pressed the scan button again, to stay with that station.

Then, the scan button in my mind got pressed. That is,  my brain flitted from thought to thought to many more. My mind scan went all over (as it usually does), to different times and locations, including:

  • anticipation about seeing my friend, Krystal,  whom I met at my previous job and who now lives in California,
  • hopes about the future,
  • worries about the future,
  • nostalgia about the past

… and many other places.

I can tune out the external world when my mind is wondering and wandering within, so I became deaf to all the sounds from the radio, despite my resolve to be more connected to the music there.

Then, my attention was firmly captured by a nostalgic and familiar tune: Pat Metheny’s “Song for Bilbao.” performed by the late Michael Brecker and by Pat Metheny (among other fine musicians).

Here’s the version I know by heart, which was playing on my then-non-scanning radio, yesterday:

(YouTube video found here)

Here’s a live version, from YouTube:

After hearing that old, familiar song, I thought about the meanings of “scan.”

I considered how I scan my environment, whenever I’m awake, searching for:

  • beauty,
  • safety,
  • danger,
  • memories,
  • familiarity,
  • what’s missing,
  • surprises, and
  • joy

… among other things.

My automatic, mindful, and unconscious scans of the external world can produce the photos I show you in this blog, like these from yesterday:

IMG_8845  IMG_8861 IMG_8857 IMG_8880 IMG_8883

IMG_8885 IMG_8888 IMG_8891 IMG_8894 IMG_8895 IMG_8897 IMG_8899

That last photo, above, is my last scan ever of the tree out back, which is coming down today.  As a matter of fact, I need to move my car — with its radio and its scan button (among other controls)  — very soon, to leave room for the tree-removal experts.

Before I end this post, though, I wanted to say that today, September 9, is my late father’s birthday.

After 17 years of his being gone, I believe I’ve stopped scanning the environment for his familiar presence. However, I still miss him. So, to honor the day of his birth, here’s a Gershwin song he sang to my late mother at a milestone anniversary celebration. I remember scanning the many people there that day, with my eyes and my heart.

(YouTube video of Sinatra singing “Love is Here to Stay” found here)


Many thanks to my father and my mother; to Krystal (for lunch yesterday and other gifts); to Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker, Frank Sinatra, and other musicians gracing my blog today;  to those I’ve loved who are and are not still here in my world; to trees and other things that give shelter; to the various controls in my car; and to you — of course! — for  scanning this post, today.

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

Day 616: Nostalgia

What does the word “nostalgia” mean to you?

Here’s what it means to various dictionaries (according to

1. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
2. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.


1. a yearning for the return of past circumstances, events, etc
2. the evocation of this emotion, as in a book, film, etc
3. longing for home or family; homesickness


1. a wistful or sentimental longing for places, things, acquaintances, or conditions belonging to the past.
2. a longing for home; homesickness.
3. something that elicits nostalgia.


Why am I writing about nostalgia today? Lots of reasons, including these:

  1. I am having a college reunion this month.
  2. My late father’s birthday is tomorrow.
  3. Fall reminds me of going back to school, and I’m not in school any more.
  4. Yesterday, I was talking to my son about somebody who went to school with me from 7th grade through my college years, who died two years ago.
  5. Yesterday, I started going through some old papers, which I recently  retrieved from their storage in a place I lived two homes ago. I found many letters, including some from people I’m still in contact with (in person, through Facebook, or through this blog).
  6. I found a kind and thoughtful letter from the person I was talking to my son about earlier in the day, even though I didn’t remember our communicating by mail.
  7. Last night, I dreamt about somebody else whose letter I read, when going through those old papers, whom I haven’t connected with in many years.

I found a lot of surprising and not-so-surprising things, when I went through old papers — which have not seen the light of day for about twenty-five years — including:

  • A copy of the abstract my cardiologists wrote about me, when I first started working with them in the early 80’s (which Dr. Mark Estes referred to in a previous blog post, here, when he said about me to a roomful of people, “My first meeting with her got me into this specialty.”)


  •  A copy of the memo my office-mate sent, in the mid -1970’s, about the going-away party sending me off to the company where I met the father of my son.



  • A drawing I made of my son’s father, in the 1980’s, which might surprise anybody who has seen other evidence of my drawing skills, such as here:



I have many more papers to go through. Who knows what else will show up here?

Personally, I’d like some music to show up here, now. I’m choosing two versions of a tune I heard at the Steely Dan concert I attended with my son this weekend, even though the lyrics don’t fit.

(YouTube video found here)

(YouTube video found here)

After all, I AM going back to My Old School.

Thanks to friends and family members (here and gone); to schools and other learning opportunities (old and new); to all the  cardiologists I’ve worked with in my long life; and to you — of course! — for any past, current, or future nostalgia you may experience today.

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

Day 614: Pretzel Logic

Tonight, my son Aaron and I are going to see Steely Dan in concert.

(YouTube video found here)


That image — which I found (thanks to a Google Image search) here and which is part of the documentation of a logical, painstaking, and amazing quest by Bob Egan of PopSpots to find the NYC location for the Steely Dan “Pretzel Logic” album cover —  reminds me of things I try to capture with the pictures I show you in my blog, like these I took yesterday (as I thought about the words “Pretzel Logic”):

IMG_8684 IMG_8704 IMG_8706 IMG_8707 IMG_8712 IMG_8713 IMG_8715  IMG_8721 IMG_8727   IMG_8731 IMG_8733  IMG_8742   IMG_8760 IMG_8764 IMG_8765 IMG_8767 IMG_8771 IMG_8773

Was my connection between Bob Egan’s photo and my photos logical or illogical?

Was it twisted like a pretzel?


(found here)

Was it untwisted like a pretzel?


(found here)

I just found out that April 26 is National Pretzel Day.

Aaron and I have been hearing Steely Dan music — through the pretzel-y shapes of our outer and inner ears — for many years. (43* for me, 16 for him). The first concert Aaron went to was Steely Dan, when he was about three years old (if my twist-and-turn-y memory serves me correctly).

Was it logical or illogical for me to write that last sentence, considering I went to a Pat Metheny concert when I was pregnant with Aaron?

Sometimes, when I make plans to attend a concert, I lose track of the time. For example, I scheduled Aaron getting all four twisty wisdom teeth removed today, before I realized, last weekend, that the Steely Dan concert was on the same date.

I wonder how logical/illogical Donald Fagen and Walter Becker — the founding and enduring members of Steely Dan — will be tonight?

Maybe they’ll serve pretzels at the concert!!**

Thanks to Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Bob Egan,  Phil David Fine, Wen-Ti Tisen, and Aaron;  to Wild Willy’s in Watertown Massachusetts USA (for the frappe and the cowboy mural); to people who try to capture the logical and the illogical; and to you — of course! — for making your pretzel-y way here, today.

* Actually, 42 years of listening to Steely Dan for me, but who’s counting?

** My enthusiasm there wasn’t exactly logical. I never buy pretzels.

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

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