photojournalism

Day 2521: Double takes

I did a double take, just now, when I realized this is my first post about double takes, defined as ….

noun
a rapid or surprised second look, either literal or figurative, at a person or situation whose significance had not been completely grasped at first:
His friends did a double take when they saw how much weight he had lost.

I’m doing a double take at that definition because

  1. I don’t know what a figurative double take would look like, literally or figuratively.
  2. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost recently because, as I discovered yesterday, our scale in the bathroom presents two very different weights, depending on where you move it on the floor.

In case you haven’t completely grasped the weight or significance of today’s title, here are some visual double takes:

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Did you do any double takes at any of those photos, literally or figuratively?

Yesterday, Michael & I were trying to remember supermarkets that were around when we were young.  We remembered Stop & Shop (still around today) and A & P (no longer with us).  I asked Michael, “Do you remember the old joke that Stop & Shop and A & P are merging and the new name is “Stop & P”?  I did a double take when Michael said he’d never heard that.

I also did a double take when I saw how few views “Double Take” by Blondie has on YouTube:

Here’s  double take of gratitude for (1) all those who helped me create today’s blog and (2) YOU.

 

Categories: celebrating, definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 2520: Girding and preparing for the day ahead

A few weeks ago, after girding and preparing myself for the day ahead,  I gave a speech at my 45th college reunion where I mentioned this daily  blog, as follows:

Also, seven years ago I expanded my network of friends by starting a daily blog. Every morning, including today, I’ve written about my heart, my son, my passion for the healing power of groups, my song-writing, my cats, my hopes, my fears, this speech — whatever helps gird me and prepare me for the day ahead.

Girding and preparing for the day ahead includes

  • getting in touch with my priorities,
  • observing what is,
  • relentlessly celebrating the small things,
  • awareness of loved ones who have passed,
  • connecting with humans and other creatures, and
  • sharing my photos from the day before.

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Here’s the obituary of Debora Carmichael, past President of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy, who was such an inspiration and support to me and so many others.

I am girding and preparing myself for a day without the earthly presence of Deb,  friends, family members, and other shining lights who have passed.

Girding and preparing myself includes listening to music I love. Yesterday, when I was walking amongst the creatures and environs around me, I was reminded of a musician I loved when I was young — Jacques Loussier, who played jazz versions of Bach pieces, like this one:

As always, girding and preparing includes sharing my gratitude to all, including YOU.

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Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2519: What we’re holding

Yesterday, one of my friends who works where I park my car on weekdays took my ukulele and posed while holding it, like so:

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That’s the topic of my next blog post, I thought — What we’re holding.  So I held my iPhone while I took photos of what others were holding, throughout the day.

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All day, I was holding  sadness and concern for a beloved group therapist and teacher with a serious illness.  What I didn’t know, while I was holding that card, was that she had already passed away.

What we’re holding — even if we don’t show it — includes loss, love, pain, and so much more.

Whatever you’re holding now,  dear reader, feel free to share it in a comment below.

As always, I’m holding so much gratitude for you.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2518: So easy

It’s so easy for me to take photos on my drive into work because it’s so easy to be stuck in traffic around Boston.

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It’s so easy for me to free associate about the phrase “so easy” …

  • When I tell people that my Coping and Healing groups focus on doing more of what helps and less what doesn’t help, we agree that sounds so easy but is actually so difficult to do.
  • As was pointed out by Ukrainian-American comedian, actor, and writer Yakov Smirnoff somewhere (it’s not so easy for me to remember where and when),  English has confusing idioms about pie and cake to describe something  that is so easy  (“easy as pie” and “piece of cake”),
  • It’s so easy to fall down and not so easy to get up again.
  • It’s so easy for me to fear the winter and not so easy for me to embrace it.
  • It’s so easy to focus on the negative but not so easy to focus on the positive.
  • It’s so easy to write the words “hope” and “love” but not so easy to hold on to them.
  • It’s so easy for me to share my words and photos with you.

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What I really really want is to share two version of “It’s So Easy” (so easy to find here and here on YouTube):

 

It’s so easy to be grateful to Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt, Yakov Smirnoff, people who learn and grow in groups, Boston, and YOU!

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

Day 2517: Information for healthy living

Just now, when I searched my thousands of blogs for a previous post about “information for healthy living,” this is what WordPress told me:

Nothing Found

Sorry, but nothing matched your search criteria. Please try again with some different keywords.

 

And here I thought I’ve been giving you, my readers, information for healthy living for approximately two thousand, five hundred and seventeen days!

Well, as I like to tell people, there’s no time like the present, so let’s begin:

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That photo helps explain and corroborate today’s title, but there’s no information for healthy living there!

Let’s see if there’s any information for healthy living in the rest of my photos from yesterday:

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When I search YouTube for “information for heathy living,” lots of videos show up, including this one:

 

Yesterday, I told my wonderful Primary Care Physician —  Dr. Laura Snydman at Tufts Medical Center —  that I hoped  my dancing was as good for healthy living as medicine is.

Here‘s Bailey and Gino from So You Think You Can Dance (which I think is great medicine):

 

Feel free to add more information for healthy living in the comments section, below.

Here’s some healthy thanks from your grateful blogger:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2516: Expectations

As I am well into my seventh year creating and sharing this daily blog, my expectations are that I would have blogged about this important topic of expectations before (which I did, here, here, and here).

have no expectations about whether you will read those previous blog posts.

Yesterday, in a Coping and Healing group, the chosen topic was expectations.

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I wrote about how my expectations for the So You Think You Can Dance live tour on Sunday night affected my experience of the performance.

My expectation is that my drawing, above, needs some explanation:  There were big black boxes (which contained stage lights) blocking our view of the dancers’ feet, which was not what I expected.  At first I was disappointed (“So you thought you could see!”) , but then I let go of that expectation (“Okay.  It is what it is.”) and thoroughly enjoyed the performances.

I wonder if people have any expectations about my other photos from yesterday?

 

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If you attend your high school reunion wearing your old prom outfit, that will probably go against people’s expectations.

My expectations, here and now, include the following:

  • People will express thoughts and/or feelings in comments, below.
  • The United States of America will have a new President by 2021.
  • There are certain things I can control and other things I cannot control.
  • Letting go of expectations helps me be more committed to the present moment.
  • On Day 2525 of this blog I will include the song “In The Year 2525.”
  • I will be able to find a good enough song for today’s post.

 

My expectation is that some people will be able to view that Official Music Video of “Expectations” by MAGIC! and others will not.

If you had expectations that I would end this post with thanks to all who help me create these daily posts (including YOU), you were right!

 

 

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

Day 2515: What I’m letting in

I’ve been letting in my readers on my process of writing a new original song with the title What’s Keeping Me Up Is What’s Going Down.”

I’m letting in additions to that song, like this:

What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.
I see no good reason to be wearing a grin.
Noises begin and reach a painful din.
What’s freaking me out is what I’m letting in.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

What I’m letting in, here and now, includes all these images from yesterday:

I’m letting in

  • the good news that my INR is a perfect 3.0,
  • the unusual structures of some hearts,
  • more love,
  • the challenges of being an adult,
  • hope,
  • pickleball paddles,
  • global warming,
  • my poor penmanship,
  • animals,
  • dirt cake, and
  • the reality that Michael mistakenly set the alarm for 8 PM, so I need to run to get to work on time.

I’m letting in “I’m Letting in the Sunshine” by Piney Gir:

What are you letting in?  I hope you have room to let in my gratitude to you and to  all who help me create these posts.

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

Day 2514: What’s the title of this post?

As I look through my photos from yesterday, I find many possible titles for today’s post.

Is the title “More Reasons to Smile”?

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Is the title “Just Ducky”?

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Is the title “The Art of Civilization”?

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Is the title “Natural Healing”?

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Is the title something else you would choose after looking at all my other photos from yesterday?

Is the title of this post “… love it!” or is it “Click on Any Image to Enlarge It”?

What’s the title of this YouTube video?

Last night, Alice  — whom I would title my co-worker and friend — and I saw a show titled So You Think You Can Dance Live with the 10 finalists of Season 16 including the incredible b-boy dancer  Bailey Muñoz, who won the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.”

The title of any of my daily posts could be “Gratitude,” so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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

Day 2513: Looks can be deceiving.

Let’s look at the meaning of today’s title: “Looks can be deceiving.”

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idiom

—used to say that something can be very different from how it seems or appears to be
The restaurant doesn’t look very appealing, but looks can be deceiving/deceptive.

I think many things and people can be deceiving, especially these days.  I wish that those who are commenting on the deceiving people would focus less on their looks and more on their deeds. For example, I’m tired of hearing how

  • Rudy Giuliani looks like a ghoul or a vampire (even if these observations are appropriate to the season) and
  • Donald Trump looks like a cheeto or something else orange.

After all, looks can be deceiving.  I’m sure there are people out there looking like ghouls, vampires,  cheetos, or other odd-looking things who are honest, kind, and effective leaders.  Likewise, there are people out there who look great and are deceiving, manipulative, and scary.

So why do we focus so much on looks?

I looked online and found this 2009  New York Times article Yes, Looks Do Matter, which includes these words:

… many social scientists and others who study the science of stereotyping say there are reasons we quickly size people up based on how they look. Snap judgments about people are crucial to the way we function, they say — even when those judgments are very wrong.

On a very basic level, judging people by appearance means putting them quickly into impersonal categories, much like deciding whether an animal is a dog or a cat. “Stereotypes are seen as a necessary mechanism for making sense of information,” said David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University. “If we look at a chair, we can categorize it quickly even though there are many different kinds of chairs out there.”

Eons ago, this capability was of life-and-death importance, and humans developed the ability to gauge other people within seconds.

Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton, said that traditionally, most stereotypes break down into two broad dimensions: whether a person appears to have malignant or benign intent and whether a person appears dangerous. “In ancestral times, it was important to stay away from people who looked angry and dominant,” she said.

Women are also subdivided into “traditionally attractive” women, who “don’t look dominant, have baby-faced features,” Professor Fiske said. “They’re not threatening.”

Indeed, attractiveness is one thing that can make stereotypes self-fulfilling and reinforcing. Attractive people are “credited with being socially skilled,” Professor Fiske said, and maybe they are, because “if you’re beautiful or handsome, people laugh at your jokes and interact with you in such a way that it’s easy to be socially skilled.”

“If you’re unattractive, it’s harder to get all that stuff because people don’t seek you out,” she said.

AGE plays a role in forging stereotypes, too, with older people traditionally seen as “harmless and useless,” Professor Fiske said. In fact, she said, research has shown that racial and ethnic stereotypes are easier to change over time than gender and age stereotypes, which are “particularly sticky.”

Since I’m an older woman, I have to work extra hard to prove that I am neither useless nor any other “particularly sticky” stereotype. I’m sure I’m not alone in needing to show that looks can be deceiving.

Let’s see if looks can be deceiving in any of my photos from yesterday.

Did you know that “Looks Can Be Deceiving” is on YouTube?

I’m not deceiving when I express my thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

 

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

Day 2512: What’s your least favorite word?

One of the photos I took yesterday contains people’s least favorite word, according to several studies.

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What is your least favorite word in those photos?  And, just to balance the negative with the positive, what is your favourite word?

Here‘s a favorite comedy routine that a friend recently recommended and which came up when I searched YouTube for “least favorite words.”

 

One of my favorite words is “thanks,” so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

 

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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