quiz

Day 615: Voices

As I voiced in yesterday’s post, my son Aaron and I had tickets to see Steely Dan in concert last night.

Rather than just using Wikipedia’s voice to explain who Steely Dan is, for this post I’m choosing the voices at Steely Dan’s Facebook page.

Here’s what I just found, there:

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Here’s something else I found there, much to my surprise. Somebody voicing this, about the concert:

save your money and buy a cd or dvd. they show up over a half hour late in sweltering weather, don’t do all their hits, fagan off key, songs overpowered by horns and drums, no driving rhythm, walter becker not featured much at all. waste of time.and money, had to sit behind some 40ish losers that spent the whole concert dancing and clapping. i remember steely dan from college. shadow of their former selves. 5 thumbs down

I’m surprised by that person’s voice, because:

  1. I don’t usually read negative reactions to Steely Dan’s impeccably musical performances.
  2. That negative opinion was posted weeks before the concert we saw last night.
  3. I’m wondering who, in the world,  has 5 thumbs.

Now, I COULD have voiced some opinions like that about last night’s concert, because some “facts” of that review are correct, as follows:

#1. Steely Dan started late.  

My guesses about that last night, which I voiced to Aaron, included:

  • An opening act always delays the headliners. Because they were a jazz combo, Bobby Broom and the Organi-sation did not include any singing voices, but their instrumental voicings — playing standards like Superstition and The House of the Rising Son — were extremely enjoyable. Here’s a photo I snapped, while Bobby Broom, etc. were playing, before Steely Dan appeared:

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  • An amazing rainstorm — with loud, booming voices of thunder —  passed through the Boston area, just as Aaron and I prepared to leave for the concert, and I voiced my opinion that the storm might delay the start of the concert. It certainly delayed our leaving and freaked out several inhabitants of our home. I tried to capture the strength of the storm and the reactions of one of our cats, but I wasn’t very successful:

IMG_8787 IMG_8802

#2. The weather was sweltering.

It was pretty hot, at first, at the outdoor venue last night. However, the thunderstorm cooled things down, a little, inside the Bank of Blue Hills Pavillion (which has gone through several name changes, in my lifetime). So I was comfortable enough to sing along and otherwise voice how happy I was.

#3. They didn’t do all their hits.

Well, of course they didn’t!  If Steely Dan had played all their hits, I probably wouldn’t have been able to publish this post until tomorrow!  What I’m trying to give voice to, here, is this: Steely Dan have had so many hits and so many great songs over their long career, that last night’s concert would have been too long for me (instead of too short, for that five-thumbed reviewer on their Facebook page) if they had played them all.

Although, come to think of it, the musicianship — including the backup voices — were all so great last night, I might have been thrilled to hear everything, instead of just these songs:

  1. Aja
  2. Hey Nineteen
  3. Black Friday
  4. RIkki Don’t Lose That Number
  5. Show Biz Kids
  6. Time Out of Mind
  7. Green Earrings
  8. Razor Boy
  9. Bodhisattva
  10. Daddy Don’t Live in that New York City No More
  11. Babylon Sisters
  12. a non-Steely Dan blues number, which I had trouble recognizing (damn!) during  which Walter Becker voiced one of his incomparable monologues (which Aaron enjoyed, very much) as he described a dream involving jungle animals and cars, which led into an introduction of all the band members, including the back-up vocalists).
  13. Josie
  14. Peg
  15. My Old School
  16. Reeling in the Years
  17. Kid Charlemagne (encore)

4. I sat directly behind somebody who kept standing up and dancing.

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And while I wouldn’t have used the same judgmental language our anonymous reviewer from Facebook voiced, above, I did get annoyed by this, at points throughout the concert.

How did I let go of that annoyance last night, so I could enjoy myself?

  • I voiced my annoyance to Aaron. This included pretending I was going to throw an empty cup of lemonade at that Babylon Sister (whose name might have been Rikki, Peg, or Josie, for all I know) after she stood up for the more than Nineteenth time.
  • I bonded with another sister, sitting directly in back of me, who voiced this quick, positive response to what I said to her: “They always sit directly in front of me!” (which, by the way, includes the cognitive distortions of all-or-nothing thinking and over-generalization). The happy-looking woman, in back of me, replied, “Better THAT than having to be with her!”
  • When Rikki/Peg/Josie/Whatever-her-name-was turned around and looked at the crowd, I demonstrated my displeasure, as best I could, by making faces at her.
  • I decided to embrace and accept what I could not control by taking photos of her, including the one shown above and these, too:

IMG_8826 IMG_8827 IMG_8828 IMG_8829 IMG_8830

As you can see, her male companion (whose name I can’t speculate about, since Steely Dan didn’t sing any songs with guy’s names, last night) (and who didn’t look old enough to be her Daddy From New York City) joined her, near the end of my photo-taking session.

I need to voice this, though:  I joined in with them, soon after that, as we all stood and danced, for the last few numbers.

Let’s see, are there any other points, from the Five-Thumbed Review, above, that I want to challenge?

I guess not.

To sum  up, Aaron, I, and many, many, many other people last night, in the Blue Hills Bank Pavillion, enjoyed a great Steely Dan concert, last night. Was it perfect? No. Is this review perfect?  No.

Is it all good enough?  What do you think?

So, is it time for me to end this post?

Not quite.

I decided yesterday that I would do something here, today, much scarier — to me — than a raging thunderstorm.

I started that process yesterday, soon after I returned home from meeting an old friend at the coffee house of a local library:

IMG_8777

 

… which reminded me of my trip, earlier this year, to Boquete, Panama (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

If you were to give voice to the suspicion, right now, that I’m stalling, you would be correct.

Here’s what I decided to do, yesterday. In order to move forward towards my goal of singing at an Open Mic, I posted a YouTube video of my playing and singing Pretzel Logicsoon after I returned home from the library.

Now, I could voice some excuses (managing expectations) for what you are about to hear (and I could also post more videos in this post, to make this more invisible on WordPress) … but WTF!!!

(you can find that video here, if you really want to)

I just hope no five-thumbed reviewers hear that voice of mine. (But if they do?  So What?!)

Thanks to Steely Dan and all the other excellent musicians and singers we saw and heard last night, to reviewers everywhere (no matter how many thumbs they have), to everybody else who had a voice in creating today’s post, and to you — of course! — for expressing your voice however you choose, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quiz, taking a risk | Tags: | 25 Comments

Day 609: Invisible

In order to start making some of my thoughts and feelings visible to you today, here’s an image from yesterday’s post:

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If my reason for including that photo in Day 608: Low hanging fruit is invisible to you now, it wouldn’t kill you to read that post, you know.

I’d like to make this visible, now: I had some thoughts and feelings, yesterday, about “The Invisible Man” — and the rest of those Classics Illustrated Comic Books — which I kept invisible.

That’s not unusual. I have lots of feelings and thoughts when I am writing anything — some of which I show and some of which I keep hidden.

Why do any of us keep certain thoughts and feelings hidden? Perhaps, because of:

  • fear of others’ reactions,
  • shame,
  • assuming we’re alone with these thoughts and feelings,
  • an old habit of keeping secrets, and/or
  • having so many thoughts and feelings, that we must pick and choose what we reveal.

Should I make visible some of my Invisibles from yesterday?

Sure. My sister might sell some or all of those comic books. I have mixed feelings about that. I have lots of memories, very visible to me, now, of reading them when I was a kid.

Actually, now that I think of it, those vivid memories might be enough.  I may not need the actual comic books visible in my life, at this point.

That was a helpful thought.

What’s next?

If I were visible to you now, you might see that I am

  • eager,
  • perplexed,
  • a little worried, and
  • hopeful

about transforming other thoughts and feeling about the topic “Invisible” into a blog post, good enough for you and me.

Here’s another thought I’m having about “Invisible.” It’s  a song by Clay Aiken.

Something I have kept invisible, until now, in this blog:  Starting in the year 2003, I saw many Clay Aiken concerts, along with several people who were very visible in my life, at that time.

As I’m writing this, their faces are visible in my mind. I’m wondering if any of them are reading my blog, these days. If they are, maybe they’ll make their reactions visible to me, by making a comment! (That would be cool.)

Here’s a video of Clay singing “Invisible” on his JukeBox Tour in August 2005, with Spanish subtitles:

(YouTube video found here)

Whenever I decide to include a video here, YouTube usually gives me several choices. My decision process — which is visible to me and likely invisible to anybody else — includes these preferences:

  • Live performance.
  • Good enough audio.
  • Good enough video.
  • Something familiar to me.
  • Something unfamiliar to me (like a different locale or language).
  • People being given credit.
  • Applause!!

Now I’m wondering this:  Am  I giving enough visible structure to this post? If not, here’s a helpful question I ask myself when I am writing, every day.

Have I made my important reasons for writing this post visible enough — to my readers and to myself?

For this post, I’m not sure if I am totally in touch with what’s important about “Invisible.” When my intentions seem somewhat invisible to me, it helps to make a list, quickly, without thinking.  What else do I want to communicate, here and now, about “Invisible”?

  • Other people’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions are often invisible to us.
  • When I create anything (including a blog post), parts of my process are inevitably invisible to others.
  • It’s your choice what you make visible and invisible to others.
  • When I was a child and dealing with a congenital heart condition and many hospitalizations, I sometimes felt  invisible and — sometimes — too visible.
  • These days, feeling invisible can be a good thing, especially when I’m walking around in public, singing or dancing.
  • When I was recently talking to my managers at work about feeling invisible in a weekly meeting, one of them said, “Maybe you are more visible there, than you think.”

Okay!

Before I end this visible/invisible post, I shall now make visible some images I captured yesterday:

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IMG_8560 IMG_8561  IMG_8563 IMG_8567 IMG_8569 IMG_8572 IMG_8575   IMG_8576     IMG_8577 IMG_8578 IMG_8580 IMG_8583IMG_8584 IMG_8587  IMG_8588

IMG_8589 IMG_8591 IMG_8600

There are two things I want to make visible about those photos, above. For me, visibility often includes answers AND questions.

  1. I am trying to make visible, here, the tree in our backyard which, after tomorrow, will be visible no more.
  2. What the heck is that very visible squirrel — in the first photo — holding in its very visible mouth?

Thanks to Clay Aiken; to all the people I’ve met along the meanderings of my path (invisible and visible); to trees, dogs, and other living things; and to you — of course! — for both the visible and the invisible you bring here, today.

Categories: friendship, inspiration, mystery, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz, tribute, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 601: Out of time

If you’re like me — and you try to guess the ending of things based on whatever clues you have — you might be speculating, right now, what this post is going to be about, based on its title.

What could a post titled “Out of time” be about? What would be your guesses, at this point?

I’ll wait, while you think about that.

In the meantime, let’s see if I have any music to offer you, that fits in with “Out of time.”

I know! How about one of the late, great jazz pianist Dave Brubeck‘s compositions  challenging the conventional uses of time in music?

Which one, though? There are so many! I mean, there’s the very popular Take Five, Blue Rondo a la Turkand It’s a Raggy Waltz (which already got its own blog post, here).

I’m choosing Unsquare Dance, written with the odd time signature 7/4 — with seven beats per measure, instead of the usual 4 beats (or also conventional 6 or 8).

(that two-minute YouTube video found here)

Even if you’re somebody who — in usual times —  does not listen to music within a blog post, I recommend you listen to that. It’s quick and nourishing food, for the brain and the heart. I listened to Dave Brubeck a lot when I was growing up, and I think it made me smarter.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes!  Inviting you to speculate about what this post might be about. I think I’ve left enough time for you to think your own thoughts about this, so I shall now introduce what I might guess in response to my own question (assuming I did not know the answers, which I obviously do, but never mind).

What a Post Titled “Out of Time” Could Be About

  • Death. (Eeeek!)
  • Jet lag (after returning home from a trip, say).
  • Bad medical news.
  • A decision to stop doing something (like blogging or work).
  • Dissociation, or another psychological state of disorientation.
  • A discussion about how anxiety (about death or unanticipated losses, for example) can screw up one’s sense of time.
  • Unusual musical compositions, that play with time signatures.
  • Speculations about human experiences of time, in general.
  • Not having enough time to do things you would really love to do, like reading other people’s wonderful blogs, here on WordPress.
  • An invitation to live life to the fullest, since we never know when we are out of time.
  • A way to re-introduce a cool picture somebody took, even though she’s already shown it in a previous post:

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  • A way to introduce a rant about holiday merchandising showing up earlier and earlier, all the time. For example, I observed this, yesterday evening, at my local pet supply store:

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Halloween in AUGUST ?!?!?!?!?

And don’t get me started about dressing pets up in costumes, because I’m almost out of time, for this post.

Before I stop, however, I would like to reassure my readers about the following: There is nothing bad (e.g., scary medical news) going on in my life right now. It’s all good.

One more thing: Feel free to comment about anything at all, no matter how out of time you are when reading this post.

Thanks to Dave Brubeck, to those who think a lot about time (including blogger extraordinaire Swarn Gill), to creatures everywhere (costumed and uncostumed), and to you — of course! — for being in time with me, here and now.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 577: Dopey

Dopey is one of Disney’s Seven Dwarfs.

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 (image found here)

I begin there because I have fond memories of asking people to name all seven Disney dwarfs, from memory.

Can you do that? Or would that seem like a dopey use of your time?

Dopey is also the word I tend to use, about behaviors that are not smart.  I vastly prefer that word to “stupid.”

Dopey is also how I felt after I had my first night’s sleep using a CPAP machine, last month.  (CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure.) (That is not the dopiest acronym I’ve ever heard, I suppose.) I don’t mean to imply I felt stupid after that night’s sleep, back in June at my second sleep study. Rather, having that deep and good a sleep made me feel… weird.  Like I was drugged. (I hear that reaction is not uncommon.)

Yesterday, a very nice guy named Jimmy came to our home, and demonstrated everything I need to know about how to use my very own CPAP machine.  Unlike other times when people have talked to me about medical devices, I did NOT feel dopey (or bad in any way).

I didn’t take a photo of Jimmy, because I was:

  • distracted,
  • a little nervous, and
  • not wanting to bother him, because I assumed he had lots of other people to visit on his work day.

Is that dopey?

Here’s my CPAP machine’s  new home:

IMG_7592

How do I feel this morning, after sleeping with my very own CPAP machine? A little strange, but not as dopey as before.

I do think I’d like to call my machine something else, though. “CPAP” does sound a little dopey, to me, right now. Any suggestions?

To end this post, before I leave for work (after a non-dopey night’s sleep), here are some photos I snapped yesterday:

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IMG_7553 IMG_7557 IMG_7566 IMG_7568 IMG_7569

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IMG_7573 IMG_7576 IMG_7579 IMG_7582 IMG_7586 IMG_7588 IMG_7585 IMG_7589 IMG_7591

How might you rate those, on the smart-to-dopey scale?

Many thanks to Jimmy, to medical machines that help improve people’s quality of life, to smart and dopey creatures everywhere, to the Alewife Brook Reservation, to Summer Shack, to PetSmart, to Whole Foods and to you — of course!  — wherever you are, today.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | 55 Comments

Day 573: Why? Because I thought it was _____.

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the death of a woman I work with. Why?  Because I thought it was appropriate, the right thing to do, and healing.

Actually, I could probably use the same answers to the Why? about any post I’ve written here.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep Friday night, so my mind was working strangely, yesterday, when I went for my Saturday morning walk.

I took lots of photos on yesterday’s walk.  Why?  Because I thought it was appropriate, the right thing to do, healing, and fun.

Now, I have a quiz for you, this morning.

Why do I have a quiz for you? What do you think?

Here’s the first part of the quiz:

Immediately after I took one of the following thirty-two pictures, somebody asked me, “Why did you take that photo?”

Which photo do you think that was?

(1)  IMG_7380  (2) IMG_7381

(3)IMG_7382(4) IMG_7384  (5) IMG_7390

(6)IMG_7392

(7)IMG_7396

(8) IMG_7398  (9)  IMG_7404

(10)

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(11) IMG_7412  (12) IMG_7415

(13)

IMG_7418

(14)  IMG_7420 (15) IMG_7421

(16)IMG_7423

(17)IMG_7424

(18)  IMG_7425  (19) IMG_7427

(20) IMG_7428  (21) IMG_7429

(22)

IMG_7430

(23) IMG_7431  (24) IMG_7434

(25)IMG_7437

(26)  IMG_7438  (27) IMG_7440

(28)

IMG_7441

(29)

IMG_7442(30)  IMG_7443  (31)  IMG_7444

(32)IMG_7446

Wow!  I sure took a lot of photos, yesterday. And yet, only once did somebody ask, “Why did you take that photo?”

So …. do you have any guesses about which photo that was?

Okay!  Here’s the second part of the quiz. In response to that question yesterday, I said, “Because I think it’s  _____.”

Granted, that was a very short reply, from me. I hope that didn’t seem rude, to the person who asked. What she didn’t know was this: I was in a rush, to meet my son at the end of his piano lesson.

I’m leaving the last word in my reply blank, so you can guess that, too.

Any questions? Any answers?

Before I end this post, I want to tell you these things:

  • I am curious about any responses you want to share.
  • I’m wondering if anybody is going to guess, correctly, what happened to me, yesterday.
  • That would be difficult to do.
  • Your answers are as good as mine, at this point (I believe).
  • This song came on, while I was walking and taking photos, yesterday.

        (found on YouTube here)

  • “Hearing “Michael from Mountains” reminded me I had committed (in this post) to rewrite the words to “Michael from Boston.”
  • I rewrote the words when I got home, tried to find the guitar part online, and found this, instead.

(found on YouTube here)

Why did I rewrite the words to that song and look for the guitar part online?

Because I thought those were the next steps towards a personal goal: To record myself singing “Michael from Boston.”

Why?

Don’t you think you have enough questions to answer, at this point?

Thanks to all my readers, to the person who asked me that question yesterday, to Joni Mitchell, to my boyfriend Michael, to laotsu77 (for posting such a great instrumental back-up for the song and making my life much easier), and  — of course! — to you. Why? Because I thought it was wonderful for you to stop by, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 570: What’s New?

What’s New?” is a jazz standard I first encountered in the 1960’s.

Here are two versions of it, from YouTube.  Linda Rondstadt:

(found here)

and Frank Sinatra:

(found here)

“What’s New?” is another post title I haven’t used yet, although I have written these posts:

Day 162:  What’s in a name?

Day 218: What’s the problem?

Day 268: What’s $ got to do with it?

Day 401: What’s wrong?

Day 495:  What’s underneath? and

Day 557:  What’s missing?

What’s new?  I’ll tell you, first, what’s NOT new: My starting out a blog post post with a choice of songs AND a review of the past.

So what IS new? Yesterday, eight people came to my Wednesday group.  In my therapy groups, people can participate when and how often they choose, so that many people (new and old) showing up is …. wonderful.

Something we discussed, in group yesterday, is how trying something new can raise anxiety and fear, but also excitement and hope.

So what else is new?  Well, I took some photos yesterday and, for whatever reasons, I was focusing on the new:

IMG_7308 IMG_7309 IMG_7311 IMG_7312 IMG_7317 IMG_7318 IMG_7319 IMG_7322

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IMG_7325 IMG_7328 IMG_7329  IMG_7334IMG_7331 IMG_7333

Here’s something else that’s NOT new, this morning:  I’ve included too many photos to adequately explain now, before I leave for work.  I do want to tell you this, though: the gentleman showing off his new camera, above, is my co-worker Mark,  whom bf Michael and I ran into last night, unexpectedly. Also, what do  you think those berry-looking things are, in the last two photos?  They looked new to Michael and me, so we asked somebody about them, who was kind enough to answer, peel one, and give it to us.

What else is new, for you?

Thanks to Linda Rondstadt, Frank Sinatra, Bob Haggart and Johnny Burke (the creators of “What’s New?”), Michael, Mark, and the nice guy at Whole Foods last night; to people in my therapy groups; to those who try new things; and to you — of course! — whether this is all new to you, or not.

Categories: friendship, humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 566: Must Haves

Today, I’m starting  with something that used to be a Must Have, for my blog posts: a search, on Google Images, for the title.

Here’s what came up, just now, for “Must Haves”:

January-Shopping-Must-Haves

(image found here)

20MustHavesForTheModernPhotographer

(image found here)

HANA-MAY-must-haves-hellz-bellz

(image found here)

Breastfeeding Must Haves

(image found here)

pregnancy must-haves

(image found here)

jan-must-haves-final1-451x500

(image found here)

holiday-season-must-haves

(image found here)

Monday Must Haves May 11

(image found here)

I must have something wrong with me, dear readers. I mean, I’ve had one (or maybe two) of all those Must Haves. So what does that make me?  A Have Not?

What do you think?

Now I’m wondering why I must have stopped visiting Google Images for photos.  Perhaps, because I …

  1. lost track of doing that,
  2. had fears of consequences, for using images that weren’t mine,
  3. felt like I had “been there/done that,”
  4. had better things to do.

I have not one, single, perfect explanation for this notable change in my blog posts.

I will tell you this, though.  While I must have had good reasons for excluding Google Images in my blog posts lately, I have not any regrets for including them here, today.

I must have something else i can show you before I end this post. How about some photos  from yesterday’s walk?

Must-have confession: I forgot to take my must-have photography equipment with me, but boyfriend Michael was there, and generously offered his iPhone instead.

photofrommichael photo 1 (8) photo 2 (8) photo 1 (7)

Ooops! I must have lost track of one of those must-have shots from yesterday. Hold on …

Found it!

photo 2 (9)

Thanks to Michael, my other Must Haves, and to you — of course! — for whatever Must Haves you must have, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 564: What is the name of …

… this drink?

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… these animals?

IMG_7032 photo 1 (6)

 

…. these flowers?

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IMG_7043 IMG_7044

 

… these places?

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… this person?

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…. this song?

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… and this day?

SprinklerFest_Image1

Memphis-Tennessee-Celebration-of-the-Arts-July-18-2014 Moksha-Roots-Live-Presents-A-Taste-of-Peruvian-Culture-July-18-2014- Black_Friday

(images found herehere, here, and here)

 

One last question: what is the name of this post?

Many thanks to Starbucks (for making a drink for me that’s not on the menu), to my boyfriend (for the photo of the two felines), to the city of Boston, to Atlanta Rhythm Section (for the song), to people everywhere who celebrate Friday (and other days), to those who shall remain nameless, and to you — of course! — for visiting here today, no matter what your name.

Categories: photojournalism, quiz, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 545: Embracing the shadows

This past week, I’ve been dealing with some shadows.

Of course, we all deal with shadows, like these:

Image

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If the sun — or another source of light — is shining, shadows are going to be part of the picture, somehow.

This past week, I’ve been dealing with lots of different shadows, including:

  • the shadows of envy,
  • the shadows of disappointment,
  • the shadows of annoyance/anger, and (most especially)
  • the shadows of fear.

These shadows have been within me and, I think, within others, too. However, I only know my own experience.

So, keeping the focus on what I DO know, I know it helps me to recognize and embrace the shadows that are there.

I could give you several examples of that, from this past week. For instance, as the week went on, I became more aware that I’m afraid to go to the dentist, this Wednesday.

I’m afraid to go to the dentist, this Wednesday, because

  • I am prone to a heart infection called endocarditis (and have gotten it several times before),
  • In order to prevent that, I have been receiving intravenous (also called “drip”) antibiotics, right before a dental appointment, for several years,
  • My team of doctors recommended that I switch, for this next cleaning, to oral antibiotics, because that would probably do as good a job and, in ways, would be better for me,
  • Nobody knows, for sure, why I get (or don’t get) endocarditis, and
  • While I trust my doctors very much, they are not psychics, and if somebody gets endocarditis … it’s going to be me.

Last week, as the dental appointment got closer, I found myself experiencing shadow-y reactions and feelings, in response to different people and situations. And I kept losing track of why that was.

When I was at work last week, I kept the door to my office closed, all the time. Since my usual style is to keep my door open when I’m not seeing patients, that felt weird. Unbalanced. Like I was hiding.

Each time I took a breath and looked more closely at my inner shadows, I was able recognize the biggest one: the fear of going to the dentist and, as a result, perhaps putting my life in danger.

That, my friends, felt very dark.

This all may sound overly dramatic. This may be an example of the very human cognitive distortion of catastrophizing.  But there were reasons I was having these thoughts (as there always are).

When shadows are all around, I know what helps. It helps me to

  1. shine a light on the problem and
  2. share it with other people.

So, on Friday, I wrote an email to my team of doctors, which included this:

Hi, fabulous team,

So, Dr. Kogelman and I, at our last meeting, decided to shift from 3 to 4 months between teeth cleanings and also from IV to oral antibiotics.

Now that the time is approaching for my teeth cleaning, at Dr. Del Castillo’s practice next week, I’m feeling a tad … anxious. Perhaps because of the two changes in the protocol. Perhaps because I still don’t completely understand why I’ve come down with endocarditis all the times I have before.

So this is just an anxiety-reduction email to my team, to get some reassurance.

As soon as I sent it, I immediately got an automated message that my chief cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, was away from the hospital, and not returning for another week. Knowing Dr. Salem, I wasn’t surprised when I soon got this email, from him:

Ann
There is nothing wrong with being anxious–keeps all of us rightly alert
Deeb

I wrote back, to Dr. Salem:

It keeps you alert, even when you’re away from the hospital!

Are YOU anxious, at all, about this plan?

If the answer is no, no need to answer this email. I will see you soon (as a matter of fact, I’ll schedule something today).

Ann

 I didn’t hear back from Dr. Salem (which is a good sign). Also, I got too busy at work to follow through on my promise about scheduling a cardiology appointment with him.  We might call that procrastination, or avoidance, on my part. Or we might just say, “Hey!  Give me a friggin’ break!  I’ll make the appointment next week!”

Later, I got an email from Dr. Kogelman, who is my medical team’s endocarditis expert, which included this:

Ann If you would feel more comfortable only changing one thing at a time, I have no problem with continuing the pre-procedure IV antibiotics.  I was trying to switch to the PO just to make things a little easier for you.  I do think either the PO or the IV would work fine, but if you want to just switch the schedule for cleanings first, try that for say a year, and if all goes well, then switch to PO, that is totally reasonable. Just let me know so I can work with Kerri to set this up.

Kerri is my IV nurse, who has appeared before in this blog:

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When Dr. Kogelman and I agreed, a couple of months ago, about switching from IV antibiotics to oral ones, I said, “Here’s my one regret. I’m really going to miss Kerri.” Dr. Kogelman replied, “I’m sure you can figure out a way to still see her.”

When I got Dr. Kogelman’s email, I realized that the decision was up to me. I like being an adult, being treated like one, and making my own decisions, but …. there are shadows to all that, too.

What would you do, in this situation, if you were me? How would you assess the risks, balance the familiar with the new, embrace all the shadows,  and make a choice?

.

.

.

Time’s up!  I’ll tell you what I decided, by showing you what I sent back to Dr. Kogelman this morning:

Hi Dr. Kogelman,

Thanks for this great email.

This is what I’ve decided:

(1) If you can book me for an IV at 12 noon this Wednesday, July 2, let’s do that.  (My dental appointment is at 1:15). That would be my preference, at this point.

(2) If that is not possible, please call in an Rx for Avelox to my pharmacy.

All the best,

Ann

Here’s what I’m noticing about that: I expressed a preference, accepted both possibilities, and left some room for luck, too.

Thanks to shadow-makers everywhere, Dr. Salem, Dr. Kogelman, Kerri (who I may or may not see on Wednesday), everybody on my team, and to you — of course! — for the shadows and light you bring today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 517: What is the theme of this post?

I have lots to show & tell you, dear readers — of events, images, thoughts, and feelings of the last several days.

I’m not sure how to characterize these or link them.  However, from my experience of doing therapy groups with very different people gathering together, I know that common themes always emerge.

So let’s see what emerges today, shall we?

After recovering from a month-long bout of pneumonia, I worked many hours last week. During that time, I took some nourishing and rejuvenating breaks from work that I love, and saw the following (in order of appearance):

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(Our best guess, as Michael and I puzzled about the use of the above gear for the on-the-go pet: Maybe that’s for dogs getting off of planes.)

 

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That’s a free banana-flavored marshmallow, at Strip-T’s Restaurant in Watertown.

So one possible theme for this post could be … The Best Things in Life Are Free.

And brunch was free, yesterday, with my long-time friend Lawry, his wife Patty, his daughters Leah, Cory and Sarah (who just graduated college and was moving to New York right after brunch), Lawry’s sister Beverly, my ex-sister-in-law Deborah, and my son Aaron.

One theme of the brunch was music. Lawry invited Deborah to brunch because, having heard her wonderful voice, in the 1970’s, on a locally-popular-in-Boston, novelty-radio hit song (written by Howard Letovsky) …

…. Lawry sang this song to his daughters, as they were growing up, in California. At brunch yesterday, Lawry and his daughters sang “Dead Frogs”  the way they remembered it.

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That’s Sarah, Cory, and Lawry, right before they  (and Leah) sang “Dead Frogs.” (I didn’t take any photos of the actual performance, in order not to distract.)

After hearing them sing, Deborah said their devotion to the novelty song she had sung, so many years ago, reminded her of the movie Galaxy Quest  — where an entire planet based their civilization on a Star-Trek-type TV show.

Then, Sarah and Lawry gave a brief, pre-Sarah-leaving performance of another beloved song:

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As you can see, I took a quick, surreptitious shot of that.

Next, Lawry got his wish to hear Deborah sing all the actual words* of “Dead Frogs,” which my son and I were lucky enough to witness, as the rest of the family said goodbyes to each other.

Here are some photos of her family, as Sarah leaves for her excellent adventure in New York:

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(left to right: Patty, Sarah, Lawry, Cory, Leah)

 

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After all the free stuff,  dead frogs, and goodbyes in this post, are people up for a few more images, from yesterday afternoon?

I hope so, because here they are:

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So, what do YOU think is the theme of this post?

Whatever it is, thanks to Lawry and his family, to my family (including Deborah, Michael, and my son), to Howard Letovsky, to frogs dead and alive, to those who share music anywhere, to marshmallows, to local teams and radio stations, to Robert Morse (who is singing and dancing in one of the links above), to nature reservations, to people who make connections and meaning as best they can, and to you — of course! — for your visit today.


* The YouTube clip  of “Dead Frogs” in this post doesn’t have all the actual words, either. If you want to hear the full rendition, here‘s a video Mr. Letovsky created of the complete 13-minute opera, with “Dead Frogs” at the very end. If you watch it, that’s Deborah’s voice (but not Deborah).

Want more history for that song?  In the 1970’s, the very popular Boston-based radio station WBCN played that song, a lot. I was a fan.  When I first met Aaron’s father/Deborah’s brother, where we both worked at a local environmental research company, he and I interacted about “Dead Frogs.”  Deborah tells the story this way:

My brother told me that a woman** at work was singing “Dead Frogs” and he said to her, “My sister sings that song.” The woman** replied, “Everybody sings that song.” And my brother said, “No. My sister really sings that song.”

** Which would be me.

 

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , | 36 Comments

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