travel

Day 3056: The places that scare you

What are the places that scare you?

New places can be scary, so when I travelled to Nashville earlier this week, I took along this book:

On the plane, which is one of the places that scares people, I read that wise and wonderful book. I didn’t go to any of the places that scare me, including the news and the catastrophizing part of my mind.

Do you see places that scare you in any of my images for today?

Despite that message I recently got on my phone, freethinkers anonymous.com — the fabulous blogging place of Chris Waldrop, my brother from another mother — is not a place that scares me.

Here are some places I find on YouTube when I search for “the places that scare you”:

I hope the comments section of this blog is not a place that scares you.

No matter what places I go to these days, I go there with less fear and more gratitude, so thanks for joining me in this place today.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3055: Highest standards

Yesterday, I saw this sign …

… when I was in the midst of activities that met my highest standards, including a highest standards walking tour of Nashville conducted by the very entertaining and insightful Ryan.

I told Ryan that he met my highest standards for tour guides, and that I thought he would make a highest standards stand-up comic or group therapist, because he is so funny, really knows how to read people, and remains true to his values.

Speaking of group therapists, when Ryan pointed out that Chet Atkins was a c.g.p….

… I considered that Chet might have been a Certified Group Psychotherapist like me, but, of course, he was a Certified Guitar Player of the highest standards.

Ryan’s highest standards recommendation for Chet Atkins was “Yankee Doodle Dixie,” which sounds like two guitarists playing at the same time instead of a single highest standard one.

Ryan also meets my highest standards for thoughtful responsiveness, because when I texted him last night when I couldn’t remember the Chet Atkins tune he mentioned during the tour, he sent me the link above.

I hope these other photos from Ryan’s highest standards walking tour meet your highest standards.

There were many other important sites and sights on this highest standards walking tour, like the starting point of the horrific Trail of Tears, the tipping point for women finally getting the right to vote in the USA, plus major developments in the American Civil Rights movement. If you are ever in Nashville, I highly recommend you contact Ryan for a highest standards tour.

After the walking tour with Ryan, I finally met fellow blogger Chris Waldrop, who meets my highest standards for writing and communications of all kind.

There’s Chris, enjoying a highest standards milkshake at the famous Elliston Place Soda Shop, which re-opened on Tuesday after months and months of the COVID pandemic, which met nobody’s highest standards. Chris and I had highest standards conversations yesterday about topics including how we met our spouses, cats, dogs, Nashville, work, priorities, decisions, losses, challenges, health, catastrophizing, conflict, compliments, unfairness, our childhoods, people’s reactions to us, story-telling, the strangeness of in-person meetings, and, of course, blogging. Because we meet each other’s highest standards for human beings, Chris and I agreed to be friends for life.

I hope these other photos I took during my precious time spent with Chris meet your highest standards.

Chris meets my highest standards in so many ways, and I hope he, his wife Holly (who is camera-shy like my highest standards husband Michael) and their adorable Dalmatians visit Boston some day.

For my last night in Nashville, I found a restaurant that meets my highest standards — Margot Cafe and Bar.

My Lyft driver to Margo Cafe and Bar …

..: Anthony a/k/a Majikmanheru, told me I met his highest standards this particular way: I was his first passenger ever who looked like their photo.

Here’s Ian at Margot Cafe and Bar …

… who met my highest standards as a server by recommending the two most delicious items on the menu: the endive beet salad and the duck.

I hope you can tell by my clean plates that both met my highest standards for fresh ingredients prepared superbly.

While I couldn’t finish the banana and chocolate cake …

… it still met my highest standards.

I’ve been so busy enjoying my days in Nashville that I forgot to include the highest standards Daily Bitch calendar, so here’s what you missed:

I’m flying back today to my highest standards home by the bay near Boston to rejoin Michael and our highest standards cat Harley (who definitely does not have rabies, because he always stays indoors).

In case you couldn’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed all my experiences of highest standard American hospitality in Nashville.

In conclusion, please accept my highest standards thanks to all who helped me create today‘s blog and — of course — to my highest standards readers, including YOU!

Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 3054: Distinctly Nashville

Yesterday, while I was spending many hours exploring Nashville, I heard myself distinctly say out loud “That’s my title for tomorrow’s blog!” when I distinctly saw this:

Nashville seems to be distinctly in its own category. I am having trouble distinctly comparing it to any other place I’ve been.

If you have any assumptions about Nashville, I would distinctly recommend that you let go of them. During a bus tour I took yesterday, the guide distinctly corrected common misconceptions about Nashville:

  • Country music is not the top selling music in Nashville — gospel is.
  • The person who first called Nashville “Music City USA” was Queen Victoria, because she was so impressed by the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1873.
  • The biggest industry in Nashville is not music but rather health care.

The tour guide distinctly shared many other interesting facts about Nashville, but I was distinctly distracted by my mask blowing away under the seats in front of me as we drove over the distinctly windy Cumberland River. I kept trying to find it (“where the hell did it go?!?” I distinctly said to myself over and over again) while also remaining seated and trying to pay attention to what the driver was distinctly saying. I do distinctly remember him saying that in Nashville, macaroni and cheese was considered a vegetable, and he distinctly made fun of the public art we saw from the bus and especially how much it cost. I distinctly didn’t take any photos of the art or anything else I saw on that bus tour because my phone was distinctly running out of power.

At the end of the tour, I was distinctly relieved when a big family sitting near the front located my mask for me. I distinctly remember them telling me how much they liked it, probably because of the distinct smile of the Mona Lisa, which you can distinctly see in this photo from yesterday’s blog.

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Which of these following photos seem distinctly Nashville?

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I distinctly remember telling Bridget …

and Randall …

… that I was going to mention them in today’s blog, and now I have distinctly done so.

Here’s a brief documentary about the Fisk Jubilee singers, who inspired Queen Victoria to assign Nashville its distinct title of “Music City, USA.”

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I am distinctly grateful to all the distinct aspects of Nashville and to you!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 3027: Therapy

This daily blog is therapy for me and, I hope, therapy for you.

Lately, in therapy, I’ve been asking some patients if a letter from a therapist would be helpful. For example, yesterday I wrote somebody this one:

To whom it may concern:

Please get your act together or leave ______ alone.

Signed,

Her therapist

My patient plans to put that on a t-shirt before we meet again in person for therapy.

Are any of today’s images therapy for you?

The Daily Bitch has her own ideas about therapy.

Travel used to be therapy for me but I’m really out of practice, like all of us. Therefore, I’m thinking of traveling to Nashville in May for a few days, which leads me to this:

To whom it may concern:

Any ideas about fun things to do and great places to eat in Nashville? Also, is the Fairlane a good place to stay?

Signed,

Your blogger

Singing along to music is great therapy, so try singing along to this as loudly as possible no matter who is listening:

Gratitude is therapy, so thanks to all who help me do therapy every day, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2427: Incredible

Honestly, my incredible readers, it’s incredible to me that I have never before published a post titled “Incredible”  in all the two thousand, four hundred, and thirty-six incredible days I’ve been blogging.

Yesterday, on my travel day back from incredible Edinburgh to incredible Boston, I saw these two incredible signs:

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I had an incredible time at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (described in incredible detail here, herehere, here, here, here, and here).  Here are some of the incredible highlights:

“Lovely group experience! Great to feel included during the Fringe, and to feel heard.”

“Enjoyed feeling comfortable with a group of strangers.  Thank you.”

“Great, very interesting, and unique.”

“The show should be longer.  Also be my therapist please.”

“You need some more time for your show, but I really liked your idea of making a show of this. It was like a calm moment in the middle of the Fringe chaos.  Fringe = outside.  Ann show = inside.”

“Created a safe and relaxed space to feel open to express myself.”

“More shows like this.”

“A welcome sharing space well interspersed with activities and songs to make everyone feel included. Thanks.”

“I would 1000% recommend this since it is truly something different from anything else on offer at the Fringe. I feel a lot happier after the show and had some big revelations.”

Here are my latest photos, which I took when I was feeling incredible:

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It’s always incredible to be home.

It’s incredible to me,  here and now, that I can’t share the incredible Tom Joyce’s portion of The Mail Room which I recorded on my iPhone during my incredible Wednesday at the incredible 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.  I think it’s credible that I’ll be able to add that recording to this post after I publish it.

Here is the incredibly kind and talented Tom Joyce in The Mail Room:

I look forward to your incredible comments, below.

Incredible thanks to all  who help me create these posts and also to my incredible readers, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2426: Expanding the View

On my way to Edinburgh Airport to catch my fight back to Boston, I expanded my view to notice this:

After attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for seven years with my son (who is now a student at University of Edinburgh and a well-established local comedian), I would say that the Edinburgh Fringe is all about expanding the view.

This year, my view was expanded by doing my own Fringe Show — Group “Therapy” with Ann — and also attending The Mail Room, the Fringe show my son shared with one of our long-time favorite comedians, Tom Joyce. Tom expanded my already favorable view of him by showing up yesterday, unasked, to help me expand the audience for my two shows yesterday by passing out flyers outside the venue.

Which ones of the many other photos in this post are expanding the view?

Expanding your time spent with this post, I will tell you that ONE of those views is NOT from Edinburgh, but rather from back home in Boston. If you can guess which one, that will expand my view of you.

Soon I’ll be expanding my view on a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. As usual, my gratitude for all who help me create and who read my posts is expanding. Here’s today’s final view:

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2425: Here we go again!!

Yesterday morning, after publishing Day 2424: Missing, I heard that I am going to get another go at performing my Fringe show Group “Therapy” with Ann.

Here I go again, doing two groups on a Thursday, which is how it goes for me back home at work in Boston.

It may seem like a risk to do two shows in one day with very little time to convince people to attend my show — among the thousands of shows and performances at Scotland’s Festival Fringe — but here we go again!!

When I go again today, I may sing different songs, like “I Left The House Before I Felt Ready” or “Hidden Thoughts.” Here I go again, having trouble making decisions. If necessary, I can always go again to the “coin flip” app on my phone.

Here we go again — with the rest of my photos from yesterday.

Here at the Bar Bados Fringe venue last night, my son, Aaron Fairbanks (a/k/a as “The Jail Mailman”) and one of our long-time favorite comedians, Tom Joyce, did their show — The Mail Room — again.

Here we go again with a video that Aaron’s proud mother recorded at last night’s performance of “The Mail Room.”

Here I go again, apologizing for the mistakes I made recording that. Here I go again, letting go of worry, perfectionism, fear, and self-judgment before my two performances today.

Here we go again with yet another request for comments, below.

Here we go again with gratitude, for all who help me go again, every day!!!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2365: You are here

I’m so glad you are here!

Yesterday, when I was here in Chicago, I saw this here mural during a wonderful architecture boat tour on  the amazing Chicago River.

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Yes, that’s a map of the Chicago River  on the side of a riverside high-rise, with the red marker indicating: “You are here” ! (If you want to hear more about that building and that map, click here.)

When we were here at this building

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I was definitely hearing some boo’s. If you want more information about that building, click here.

I hope the rest of my photos make you feel like you are here, in the mostly beautiful city of Chicago.

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Yesterday, when I was here …

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… I gained another, useful perspective on the building I had photographed the day before (here).

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When you are here at my blog,  there will be different perspectives and the occasional pun.

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Who’s here in my last photo from yesterday?

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Here‘s “Here to Stay” by the Pat Metheny Group, from the album We Live Here.

Since you are here, why not let me know where you are in a comment below?

As always, I’m grateful that you are here!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2204: What you’re not good at

Even good people seem to focus on what they’re not good at. I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

I’m not good at

  • getting enough sleep,
  • asking for help,
  • saying “no,”
  • remembering details,
  • making a fuss,
  • taking up space,
  • goodbyes, and
  • keeping to myself what I’m not good at.

Do you have a list of what you’re not good at?  If you do, does that do you any good?

If you make lists of what you’re not good at, try to get that list out of your head and down on paper (or a screen) so you can consider challenging the items on the list. For example, when I made that list above, I thought better of adding “planning parties,” even though

  • I’m anxious about planning a party right now,
  • it’s that anxiety which is inspiring this post, and
  • I often say, “I’m not good at planning parties.”

The reason I didn’t add “planning parties” to the list was that when I thought it through, I realized that I don’t have a lot of practice planning parties and also every party I’ve ever planned has turned out fine.   Therefore, it doesn’t belong on the list of “What I’m Not Good At.”  It does belong on the list of “What Makes Me Anxious.”

Also, it’s good to balance out any list of what you’re not good at with a list of what you ARE good at.

I’m good at taking photos to distract myself during stressful times,  like traveling and goodbyes.

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I’m not good at dealing with the cold, and I took that last shot as I was waiting, alone, for my luggage back in Boston. After I had said “Goodbye” (which I’m not good at)  to my ex-in-laws and my son (who remained in Orlando for a little more warmth), I texted them “I miss everyone already!” and my good ex-sister-in-law Deborah sent me this:

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It’ll be good to see my son Aaron again when he returns home from University of Edinburgh in May.

I’m not good at keeping things to myself, so here‘s Disney World’s “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” (which I saw yesterday).  If you’re not good at tolerating bugs, people screaming, or 3-D without glasses, you may not want to watch it.

Let’s assume that you’re good at making comments and that I’m good at responding back to them.

I’m also good at expressing thanks at the end of each blog post to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2203: Nature does not hurry

Nature does not hurry, so why should I?    Therefore, I am going to take my time, here and now, during my last day at Disney World.

I am in no hurry to share the inspiration for today’s post title, but here it is:

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As my son and I were unhurriedly strolling around Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday, I noticed that sign:

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

 Lao Tzu

Usually, my nature is to believe that I need to hurry, hurry, hurry to accomplish and to be accomplished. I like balancing that out with Lao Tzu’s wise words (especially when we’re recovering from food poisoning).

Yet, I fear that if we don’t hurry and change our ways, we will lose much of the precious nature of our planet.

What else do I want to accomplish in this post? I will not hurry to share my other photos from yesterday.

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Nature does not hurry, yet climate change is NOT a concept only (and is hurrying faster than expected).  I’m hoping that my worst fears are not final and are subject to change, because of future and concerted human accomplishments.

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I guess the ball’s in our court.

I am in no hurry to share one more photo, which my son said was his favorite of all the ones I showed him yesterday.

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I am in no hurry to know how, when, where, or why I took that photo, but I do know that orange has always been Aaron’s favorite color.

Nature does not hurry, so no need to hurry to make a comment. Likewise, I will not hurry to express my gratitude to all who helped me create today’s non-hurried post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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