original song

Day 3400: I’m Mad About You

During the Brett Kavanaugh U.S. Supreme Court nomination process in 2018, I dealt with how mad I was by writing and performing my original song “I’m Mad About You.”

Last night, when I couldn’t sleep because I was mad about the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s vote (including Kavanaugh’s) to overturn Roe v Wade, I thought, “well, it’s time for me to make a better recording of ‘I’m Mad About You’.”

Here’s my performance of “I’m Mad About You” at a remote open mic in 2020 when I was mad about the hearings to rapidly replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the Trump-nominated Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court before the 2020 election.

My manager and son, Aaron, just said to me, “that’s a good song” and I’m mad about him, in a good way.

Are you mad about “I’m Mad About You” or about my images for today?

I’m mad about many things, how about you?

I’m mad about you and about all those who visit this blog, so thanks for your support!

Categories: life in the USA, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 3392: Finding the joy

Because of all the pain and suffering in our world, finding the joy takes a recommitment to do so, every day.

This morning, I’m finding the joy in these images.

I’m going to be finding the joy on National Telephone Day, conducting therapy sessions by phone and in person at the hospital.

Before I try my best finding the joy in Boston traffic, I am joyful to share that I met my goal yesterday of recording a better version of my original song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready.”

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Thanks to all who help me in finding the joy every day, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 3392: Finding the joy

Because of all the pain and suffering in our world, finding the joy takes a recommitment to do so, every day.

This morning, I’m finding the joy in these images.

I’m going to be finding the joy on National Telephone Day, conducting therapy sessions by phone and in person at the hospital.

Before I try my best finding the joy in Boston traffic, I am joyful to share that I met my goal yesterday of recording a better version of my original song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready.”

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Thanks to all who help me in finding the joy every day, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 3391: The creative process

Here and now, I’m trying to overcome some self-consciousness about moving forward with the creative process regarding my original songs.

Before the pandemic, I unexpectedly and joyfully experienced months where my creative process produced many original songs, which I performed at Open Mics and featured in this daily blog.

My manager — a fabulous human being whom I helped create 24 years ago — thinks I should create recordings of my best songs with excellent sound quality and feature them prominently on my YouTube channel.

For some reason, which I can’t quite process, I’ve been avoiding following my son Aaron’s wise advice, focusing instead on the creative process in my therapy groups and on social media.

Part of the creative process, for me, is naming and (sometimes) sharing the obstacles, so I’m hoping that creating this blog post will help me move forward with my original songs. Today, I plan to record a great version of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready.”

Do you see the creative process in my images for today?

I did NOT create National Pigs in a Blanket Day nor National Pet Parents Day, but I am a proud pet parent to Joan …

… and Harley.

Here’s a video I created at the Sheep Shearing Festival yesterday, which my son Aaron is going to send to his girlfriend overseas:

I hope to create a video of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” with better sound quality than that, today.

What are your thoughts and feelings about the creative process?

Gratitude for what I have is part of my creative process, so thanks to all who help me create this blog every day, including YOU.

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

Day 3361: Stop thinking altogether

Thinking hasn’t really been helping me lately, so I’m identifying with today’s Daily Bitch Calendar.

I’m going to stop thinking altogether that

  • my worst fears are going to come true,
  • my fondest wishes are going to come true,
  • I have any way of accurately predicting the future,
  • I have any way of accurately knowing what anyone else is thinking, and
  • thinking will bring me peace.

I’ve stopped thinking altogether anxiously about the future by filling in the blanks of this:

Don’t go to _____ until you’re going to _____.

Examples: “Don’t go to work until you’re going to work.” “Don’t go to the vet until you’re going to the vet.” “Don’t go to the open mic until you’re going to the open mic.”

This altogether stops me from thinking about possible outcomes, which never match what actually happens.

Stop thinking altogether as you enjoy my images for today.

I’ve stopped thinking altogether about Lobster Newburg by remembering this song I wrote a few years ago — “What Are Other People Thinking About You?”

If you’re thinking I need to get my act all together and create better recordings of my songs, my son Aaron (who is now my manager) altogether agrees.

I’m stopping this post by expressing my gratitude to all who have stopped by my blog today, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 3309: How to express empathy

How do you express empathy? With spoken words? Written words? Facial expressions? Hugs? Other non-verbal communication?

Where do you express empathy? In person? On the phone? In ZOOM gatherings? On social media?

To whom do you express empathy? To family members? Friends? Acquaintances? Strangers?

Sometimes I’m not sure how to express empathy, but I know I feel it every day.

Do you see how to express empathy in any of my images for today?

If you comment, I will do my best to express empathy in my response.

Thanks for all who feel and express empathy, including YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 3079: Compliments

Many people I know — through therapy and elsewhere — are uncomfortable with compliments and often don’t believe or even recognize compliments when they receive them.

I hope wonderful blogger Mark Bialczak and his lovely wife Karen consider it a compliment that I always want to spend time with them when they are visiting Cape Cod. Yesterday, I drove many miles and minutes to spend a delightful few hours with them and their adorable, 10-year-old rescue dog Ellie B.

As we spent time together in beautiful Dennis Port, Mark and I gave each other compliments about our blogs — which both are experiencing dwindling readership. Also, Mark — who used to review music for many years at the big daily newspaper in Syracuse — gave me inspiring and almost- hard-for-me to-believe compliments about my original songs which, honestly, meant the world to me.

I hope everybody considers it a compliment that I wanted to capture all these images of a fabulous day and to share them with you, here and now:

If the noble and irresistible Ellie B read my blog, I assume she’d consider it a compliment that I took so many photos of her yesterday.

I wanted to specifically compliment Karen on her “diamond painting” ..

… which Mark called “my wife’s beading.”

Mark also complimented me yesterday on my Twitter interactions, so I feel more confident sharing these with you today:

It’s more difficult being nice when you’re uncomfortable and our central air conditioning is not working, just in time for a heat wave here. I have to compliment my husband, Michael, who still cooked for me last night …

… and who is going to try to fix our air conditioning system today by locating and replacing the air filter, which is probably somewhere here:

I’m sure our air conditioning system …

… doesn’t consider it a compliment that we’ve never replaced the filter in the FOUR years we’ve been here.

Here’s one of my original songs that I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, which Mark complimented me on yesterday:

I’ll consider it a great compliment if you comment on this blog post, below.

I’m grateful for all compliments, for great friendships, and, of course, for YOU!

Categories: friendship, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3053: Best strangers

While I was waiting for my driver yesterday morning to take me to Boston’s Logan Airport, I got these notifications about best strangers from Lyft:

The concept of “best strangers” is no stranger than anything else that is happening during these stranger times. Also, it felt stranger to me to be traveling to Nashville on my own, but so far I have met many best strangers here.

That’s my Lyft driver in Nashville, John, who was a best stranger in so many ways. He thought my song “Everybody’s Somebody’s Asshole,” was great, and he didn’t seem to think that it was stranger of me to sing it for him before my Open Mic last night. He also predicted that I wouldn’t want to leave Nashville on Thursday and, believe me, I’ve heard stranger predictions.

Here are two best strangers at the Graduate Hotel in Nashville — Alyssa and Luke.

Best stranger Luke showed me a photo of best dog Skippy.

At the Open Mic at the Tennessee Brew Works last night, I met best strangers Tio and Laura.

Tio and Laura also performed at the Open Mic and they were the best! Note that they both worked on creating Tio’s best jacket.

Tio and I were best strangers for each other when we recorded each other’s performances. Here’s mine, with lots of background noise from many best strangers.

Gracie, who was the best M.C. of the best Open Mic I’ve ever seen, told me she spent four years in Boston as a student at Berklee, which I didn’t find strange at all.

Do you see other best strangers in my other best photos from yesterday?

It’s crazy how many best strangers there are out here.

Don’t be a stranger; please leave best and/or stranger comments, below.

Gratitude makes any best stranger into a good friend, so thanks to all who read my best AND stranger blog posts, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3051: Comfort zones

In all the time zones of the USA, today is Mother’s Day, and I am comforted by good memories of my late mother. My mother tried her best to give comfort to others and created many comfort zones during her long life.

Here’s my mother creating a comfort zone for my late father when they were young…

and for my father and their two best friends many years later:

Memories of my mother are comfort zones for me. And as you can see, we both experienced zones near the ocean as comfort zones.

Trying to make Twitter more of a comfort zone, I posted this tweet a few minutes ago:

Today, I’m getting ready to travel for the first time since the pandemic created so many discomfort zones. I’m expecting some discomfort flying tomorrow to an unfamiliar place in a different time zone — Nashville.

Last night, I had discomforting dreams about singing my original songs in Nashville. One of them — “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” — is about comfort and discomfort zones. Strangely, I woke up comforted after that dream, thinking, “Well, I doubt things will go THAT badly.”

Tweeting used to be out of my comfort zone, but no longer.

Do you see comfort zones in my photos from yesterday?

Here’s where my thoughts are going — to my debut performance of “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” when I FORGOT my own words, which always throws me out of my comfort zone:

Sharing vulnerabilities can create comfort zones for yourself and others.

I just increased my comfort zone by booking my 6:30 AM Lyft to the airport for tomorrow.

Also, the person who created Mother’s Day for me just contacted me from Scotland, which really expanded my comfort zone.

Please make this blog more of a comfort zone by expressing your thoughts and feelings in the comments zone below.

Gratitude always increases my comfort zones, so thanks to all who help me get into the blogging zone every day, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3046: What the hell?

What the hell are these things that showed up overnight in our shower?

In the morning, I texted my excellent ex-sister-in-law Deborah, who knows what the hell is going on in architecture, construction, and remodeling, and here’s part of our conversation:

Me: I found these in the shower this morning and they’re not mushrooms and should we move out immediately?

Deborah: that is pretty interesting! can’t say I have ever seen that happen before.

Me: Didn’t “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” start out like this?

Deborah: if it didn’t it should have. was there an occasion of extreme heat in that space?

Me: Nope

Deborah: are the bubbles hard? or sticky?

Me: Michael has been power washing the decks.

Deborah: is there a deck behind that wall?

Me: No. Weird.

Deborah: is the adhesive water soluble? if you break a bubble off will it get soft in water?

Me:

Me: Doesn’t seem to. Maybe there’s a portal to hell there.

Deborah couldn’t explain what the hell those are, but she thinks there is probably water getting in where the shower wall meets the seat, which could easily be solved with some clear caulking.

Later in the day, I took it to Twitter:

I showed the photos last night to people at Home Depot and they all said, “What the hell?” and asked why I didn’t bring a sample with me and my only response was “What the hell was I thinking?”

What the hell is happening in the rest of my images today?

What the hell are people thinking on Twitter?

What the hell am I going to sing at an Open Mic in Nashville next week, if I actually get a slot?

What the hell am I thinking, presenting all my original songs in a playlist here?

What the hell kinds of comments am I going to get about this post?

What the hell are we doing if we don’t express gratitude for each other?

Categories: home repair, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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