original song

Day 2353: Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert!  Yesterday I saw Avengers: Endgame, the kind of movie that evokes the use of the words “Spoiler Alert!” when people write about it.

Spoiler Alert! I’m alert to the importance of not give away spoilers about a movie that

  • billions of people have not yet seen,
  • has lots of twists and turns,
  • has a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes,
  • makes people laugh and cry,  and
  • says, to me, that group therapy is a very effective way to deal with trauma and loss.

Spoiler Alert!  I am not doing my usual thing of linking to the Wikipedia entry about Avengers: Endgame,  because that has countless alert spoilers in it.

Spoiler Alert!   I wonder if I’m reducing my readership for this blog post by repeating the words “Spoiler Alert”?

Spoiler Alert!  Last night I couldn’t sleep and started writing a song called “Spoiler Alert.”

Spoiler Alert! Here are the lyrics I’ve written so far:

Spoiler alert!

Things in your life are going to hurt.

Even nice people will sometimes be curt.

Some foolish words you’ll be certain to blurt.

Spoiler alert!

You’ll eat too much of a fattening dessert.

   You’ll be afraid that you might lose your shirt.

Someone you love will treat you like dirt.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

My sleepless hours  are not going to spoil my day —  I’ll be alert at work today and also tonight at the sold-out John Mulaney and Pete Davidson comedy benefit for My Brother’s Table.

Spoiler Alert! I’m going to share all my photos from yesterday, right now!

fullsizeoutput_38ba

IMG_4649

IMG_4650

IMG_4651

IMG_4652

IMG_4653

IMG_4655

IMG_4656

IMG_4662.JPG

IMG_4663

IMG_4665

IMG_4666

IMG_4667

IMG_4668

IMG_4672

IMG_4669

IMG_4670

IMG_4671

IMG_4674

IMG_4673

IMG_4675

IMG_4677

IMG_4676

IMG_4678

IMG_4681

IMG_4682

IMG_4683

IMG_4680

IMG_4684

IMG_4686

IMG_4687

IMG_4688

IMG_4689

IMG_4690

IMG_4691

I spoiled that last shot, obviously,  by walking and talking while I was taking it.

Spoiler Alert!  They Might Be Giants have a song called “Spoiler Alert”!

Spoiler Alert!  I’m alert to gratitude all around me, so I can share it with you!

IMG_4609

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

Day 2351: Long story, short

Because I’m hosting a retreat for group therapists at our home today, I need to make a long story, short.

Yesterday, I had a long day in which I

  • visited the hospital’s gift shop,
  • facilitated a Coping and Healing therapy group,
  • did individual therapy,
  • responded on short notice to people in crisis,
  • said “au revoir” — feeling sad AND happy — to graduating social work intern (and my co-writer and co-performer of the song “Nobody’s Perfect”), wonderful Nat Shirley,
  • exchanged short horn-honks with another yellow Honda Fit like mine,
  • had a short conversation with the two lovely people riding in that Honda Fit, and
  • sang one short original song near the end of a long Open Mic night, all the while being my short self wearing a long skirt and long earrings.

Since pictures are worth a thousand words, sharing photos might be the best way to make a long story short.

IMG_4626

img_4625-3

Amelia and Percy, my new Honda-Fit friends, told me a short story about how she thinks our cars are yellow and he thinks they’re lime green.

Here‘s me telling the long story, short, about how I left the house before I felt ready:

 

Please leave your long or short comments, below.

Long gratitude, short:

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2333: Trust is …

Trust is  …

IMG_4251

Intelligence and integrity tell me that trust is many different things to many different people.

Trust is something I felt yesterday, when I walked near our home during the day and then performed two of my original songs at an Open Mic in Boston in front of a very noisy, post-Boston Marathon crowd.

IMG_4233

fullsizeoutput_3853

IMG_4235

IMG_4236

IMG_4237

IMG_4238

IMG_4239

fullsizeoutput_3851

fullsizeoutput_3852

IMG_4242

 

IMG_4245

fullsizeoutput_3850

IMG_4250

 

Trust is important  if you perform in front of people.

Trust is part of expressing gratitude, so I trust you will accept my thanks for visiting my blog, here and now.

IMG_4230

 

 

Categories: original song, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2323: Actions speak louder than words

My first loud action in today’s blog is to share this photo of five words:

IMG_4040

I’m just now noticing that “louder” is the quietest word in that sign.

My second loud action is to share many words about when to shut up!?

IMG_4026.JPG

Are the actions in my remaining photos louder than the words?

IMG_4021

IMG_4039

IMG_4038

IMG_4023

IMG_4027

IMG_4030

IMG_4032

IMG_4031

IMG_4029

IMG_4028

IMG_4020

IMG_4036

IMG_4034

IMG_4035

IMG_4041

This might take several minutes to listen to the words and music in “Nobody’s Perfect” co-written by almost perfect social work intern Nat Shirley and me. Last night, Nat and I took the action of loudly performing our act at an Open Mic.

I look forward to your words and actions about today’s post.

Now, it’s time to take the action of loudly expressing words of gratitude to YOU.

IMG_3993

 

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2310: It’s never what you expect

“Ir’s never what you expect” is what I expect my boyfriend Michael to say, along with these other expected sayings from Michael:

“It’s all coming together.”

“Everybody loves you.”

“But do you love …… OSCAR?” (whenever I tell Michael I love him).

“Has he shaved off his filthy beard?” (when I tell Michael that I’ve FaceTimed with my son, Aaron).

It’s never what I expect whenever I do my taxes, including yesterday, when I discovered that all that time and effort I had spent keeping track of  the usual job-related education expenses was for nought, because of changes to the U.S. tax laws.  After my tax software had prompted me to calculate and enter these expenses (like conferences, air travel, hotels,  meals) yesterday morning, it unexpectedly flashed a screen that said,

Because of tax reform, job-related expenses are no longer deductible, unless you are

  • A qualified performing artist .
  • A fee-basis state or local government official
  • A member of the National Guard or Military Reserve who had unreimbursed travel expenses for guard or reserve duties more than 100 miles from home
  • Disabled and claiming expenses related to the impairment
  • Provided with a minister housing allowance

I would have expected my tax software to tell me that BEFORE it prompted me, for about two hours, to enter all those expenses, but it’s never what you expect, is it?

I wonder if I’m a qualified performing artist because of the songs I’ve been writing, like this one:

I expect not.

My son Aaron told me yesterday not to expect to perform at the Edinburgh  Festival Fringe this August, because neither of us have received notice of an assigned show venue yet. Aaron expects that if you lower your expectations, you won’t be disappointed. I still expect to perform, somehow.

You probably expect me to post photos from yesterday, but these photos might not be what you expect.

fullsizeoutput_37f9

fullsizeoutput_37fa

IMG_3863

IMG_3868

fullsizeoutput_37fb

IMG_3867

You might expect to see photos of other cats here (namely Oscar and Harley), but it’s never what you expect.

You might expect me to express gratitude at the end of my daily blog posts. but did you expect all this?

 

 

 

 

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

Day 2300: Up for anything

Now that I’m up for the day, I can tell you that lately I’ve been up for anything, including

  • doing my taxes,
  • getting tasks off my plate more quickly,
  • writing lyrics and music,
  • figuring out harmonies for “Nobody’s Perfect”, which I co-wrote and will be co-singing with Social Work intern Nat Shirley,
  • performing music in front of people,
  • doing presentations at work,
  • facilitating five therapy groups a week,
  • serving as President of a group therapy professional organization,
  • reaching out to new people,
  • blogging daily,
  • saying “yes” to things I want to say “yes” to,
  • saying “no” to things I want to say “no” to,
  • quieting my harsh inner critic,
  • taking classes,
  • binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race,
  • dancing,
  • accepting and giving compliments,
  • asking for what I want, and
  • Michael’s home-cooked meals,

I’m up for sharing the lyrics of “Nobody’s Perfect” if you’re up for reading them.

Nobody’s Perfect

Nobody’s perfect, even us two.

We try to be perfect,

But that doesn’t do.

We both make mistakes.

In that, we’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

Nothing is more true.

Nobody’s perfect, even your friends.

If you’re expecting perfection

Those friendships may end.

Friends make mistakes.

In that they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

Nothing is more true.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

It makes your thoughts and feelings uncomfortably sludgy,

With mean self-flagellation even if you’re slightly pudgy.

(if an instrumentalist joins us)

Nobody’s perfect.

Even us three.

Letting go of perfection

Helps us to be free.

Ann: She and he aren’t perfect,

In that, they’re like me.

Together: Nobody’s perfect,

You, them, or we.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

Expectations turn unrealistic and sludgy,

It’s a crime and a sin even if you’re just pudgy.

Nobody’s perfect.

Even a star.

Stars need to look perfect,

But they never are.

Stars make mistakes,

In that they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect

And that’s perfectly true.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Are you up for my photos from yesterday?

IMG_3703

IMG_3713.JPG

IMG_3701

IMG_3700

IMG_3704

IMG_3707

IMG_3705

IMG_3706

IMG_3708

IMG_3709

IMG_3712

IMG_3710

IMG_3716

I’m up for anything, including sharing this first attempt by Nat and me to create harmonies for “Nobody’s Perfect.”

 

 

I’m up for telling you that Nat wrote the melody for “Nobody’s Perfect.” I may not be up for singing that high when we perform it, so we may have to lower it.

Now I’m up for your comments, which you can make below.

I’m definitely up for thanking those who helped me create this up-for-anything post (especially Nat), and — of course! — YOU, for being up for anything in this blog.

IMG_3702

 

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2290: Love Letters

Today’s blogging love letter is inspired by a lovely conversation with loving WordPress blogger Debra, whom I loved meeting in Los Angeles on Friday. I told Debra that my son, Aaron, whom I love, does not read my blog and how he has told me that he will read all the letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs in my blog after I die.

I told Debra that I love that, because after I’m gone Aaron will discover that this blog is “a love letter to him, as well as to many others.”

In this daily blog, over the past six years, I have written love letters to

  • my son Aaron,
  • my boyfriend Michael,
  • my sister Ellen,
  • my parents,
  • my therapy groups,
  • group therapy,
  • my readers,
  • my ex-sister-in-law Deborah,
  • my ex-sister-in-law Diane,
  • my other ex-in-laws (including my nieces Laura, Julie, and Victoria)
  • my sister-in-law Linda,
  • my cousin Lani,
  • my friend Barbara,
  • my friend Deb,
  • my friend Carol,
  • my friend Jeanette,
  • friends and ex-college-roommates Marcia and Maria,
  • my friends Janet and Ray,
  • my friend Megan,
  • my friend Janis,
  • my friend Dave,
  • my friend Lawry,
  • my friend Eleanor,
  • my friend Arnie,
  • my friend Peggy,
  • My friend Kathy,
  • My friend Jenn and her family,
  • My Scottish heart sisters Vicki and Andrena,
  • my son Aaron’s friends,
  • my co-worker Alice,
  • other co-workers (past and present),
  • my ex-neighbor Karen,
  • my dentist,
  • healers,
  • school friends,
  • childhood friends,
  • children of all ages,
  • fellow bloggers I’ve met including Mark Bialczak, Lisa from Daily Musings,  Val Boyko from Find Your Middle Ground,  and the aforementioned Debra from breathelighter,
  • fellow bloggers I haven’t met (yet),
  • blogging,
  • my high school classmates including Jean and Beth,
  • my old schools,
  • my old business partner Jonathan,
  • Ron Lynch,
  • Dr. Neil Portenza/Josh Ladgrove,
  • Irv Yalom,
  • Pat Metheny,
  • Lyle Mays,
  • Michael Brecker,
  • Jean-Luc Ponty,
  • Jaco Pastorius,
  • Miles Davis,
  • Stephen Sondheim,
  • Gene Kelly and other dancers,
  • Todd Rundgren, Steely Dan, and other singer-songwriters,
  • Mel Brooks and other film-makers,
  • Jackie Chan,
  • Walt Disney,
  • Jane Austen and other writers,
  • other celebrities,
  • people with unusual hearts,
  • musicals,
  • movies,
  • television shows,
  • jazz,
  • strangers I’ve met who have immediately become less strange,
  • Boston, Massachusetts,
  • the North Shore of Boston,
  • the South Shore of Boston,
  • South Carolina,
  • Panama,
  • Iceland,
  • Edinburgh,
  • the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
  • the ocean,
  • my hair artiste MiAlisa,
  • my car mechanics,
  • my car,
  • my medical doctors and other treaters,
  • group therapy professional organizations,
  • comedy,
  • comedians,
  • music,
  • musicians,
  • writers,
  • other creative types,
  • our cats,
  • dogs,
  • animals,
  • nature,
  • happy people,
  • people in pain,
  • all the different human emotions,
  • languages,
  • words and definitions,
  • signs,
  • certain letters of the alphabet, and
  • many other inspiring and/or ordinary subjects and objects.

I sometimes love linking to past blog posts and sometimes I don’t, especially when my love letter list is so long! I also don’t love leaving people off of loving lists, so I may be adding more love letters to this post, later.

What love letters are you writing these days?

I should write love letters to Ron Lynch for inviting me to warm up the crowd last night at his Tomorrow! show in L.A. and also to Don for sending me the video, as promised.

I look forward to all the letters in the comments section, below.

Love letters to all  who helped me create today’s blogging love letter and — of course! — to YOU, my lovely and loving readers.

img_2949

Categories: blogging, love, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2269: Life is like a camera

Yesterday, when I was having the time of my life visiting my friend Megan’s office, I captured this still life with my camera:

IMG_3106

Life is like a camera.  Focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.

Yesterday, I did focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and take another shot at recording my first original song, “I Don’t Like You,” because my life-long friend Arnie suggested I change the camera from vertical to horizontal.

 

I don’t like negative people (even though they help me develop) but I do love both Arnie and Megan, and I captured the good times yesterday.

fullsizeoutput_372f

IMG_3086

IMG_3088

IMG_3089

IMG_3090

IMG_3091

IMG_3092

IMG_3112

IMG_3113

 

fullsizeoutput_3730

IMG_3096

IMG_3102

IMG_3100

IMG_3101

IMG_3093

IMG_3111

IMG_3103

IMG_3108

IMG_3109

IMG_3115

IMG_3097

IMG_3107

IMG_3105

IMG_3114

IMG_3116

IMG_3117

IMG_3120

IMG_3122

IMG_3123

IMG_3125

IMG_3129

fullsizeoutput_372e

Do you think life is like a camera? Take a shot at a comment, below.

Thanks to Megan, Arnie, my son, my camera, and — of course! — YOU.

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

Day 2264: Choices

Exactly three hundred and seven days/posts ago (but whose choice is it to count?), I published a post titled “Choices” in which I chose to share an exercise about the topic of “Choices” from a therapy group the day before.   Today, my repetitive choice is to mention yesterday’s therapy group, wherein people made choices to focus on the topic “Choices” from all the topics discussed and to share (1) important choices from the past, (2) choices coming up for them, and (3) what makes choices more difficult or easier.

My photographic choices yesterday included these choice images:

 

IMG_2979

IMG_2982

IMG_2981

IMG_2983

IMG_2985

IMG_2986

IMG_2987

IMG_2988

IMG_2989

IMG_2990

IMG_2991.JPG

Note that a patient made the choice of “anticipation” over “hopelessness” from the feeling chart on my office door:

IMG_2985

Also, I didn’t make the choice to photograph my list of important life choices, which included:

  • Going back to social work school to become a therapist in the 1990s,
  • Deciding to specialize in group therapy, and
  • Developing my Coping and Healing groups.

What important life choices have you made?

Earlier this week, I made the choice to ask Nat —  a social work intern and fellow musician —  to write a song with me, which we will choose to perform together, singing close and choice harmonies, at a future open mic..  Together Nat and I have already made some choices including this one:  I write the lyrics and Nat writes the music.

My choice is to share these lyrics with you:

Nobody’s Perfect

lyrics by Ann Koplow

Nobody’s perfect

Even us two.

We try to be perfect

But that doesn’t do.

We both make mistakes,

In that, we’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

That’s perfectly true.

Nobody’s perfect,

Including your friends.

If you’re looking for perfection

Those friendships might end.

Your friends make mistakes,

In that, they’re like you.

Nobody’s perfect.

That’s perfectly true.

Perfectionism makes us imperfectly judgy,

Rigid, unhappy, refusing to budge-y,

It makes thoughts and feelings uncomfortably sludgey

With harsh self-flagellation even if you’re just pudgy.

Nobody’s perfect,

Even a star.

Stars may need to look perfect

But they seldom are.

They all make mistakes,

In that they’re  like you.

Nobody’s perfect

And that’s perfectly true.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

Nat chose to tell me he’s glad we’re writing a song together with the choice words “self-flagellation.”

Nat made the choice yesterday to send me some choice music he’s already composed for “Nobody’s Perfect.” Soon, we’ll be making  more musical choices together, including featuring the choice fiddle stylings of our talented co-worker, Alice Malone.

Other people have made the choice to write songs titled “Nobody’s Perfect” including this one:

I wonder what choices my readers will make in the comments section, below.

As always, I make the choice to end my posts with gratitude for all those who helped me create this post and — of course! — YOU, for making the choice to visit this blog, here and now.

IMG_2976

 

 

Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.