Posts Tagged With: Arlington Massachusetts

Day 2505: What are they thinking?

When I look at the news these days, I’m often thinking, “What are they thinking?”

I don’t know what they are thinking and I don’t know what the audience was thinking, last night, about my latest performance of my original song, “What Are Other People Thinking About You?”  

What are they thinking?  Can you tell?

One person expressed his thinking to me immediately after my performance, “That was a very precocious song.”

I expressed my thinking with this reply: “How can somebody of my age be precocious?”

He didn’t answer that question, so I have no idea what he was thinking about that. Instead, he asked if I was a teacher and said, “That was very brave.”

As I say in my song, “What are other people thinking about you?  Face it, we can never know for sure. So why not think they’re thinking that you’re gorgeous, talented, smart, and secure?”

What are you thinking about that and about this photo from yesterday?

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I’m thinking that my little yellow car is okay, because it started up fine all day. I don’t know what it was thinking when it refused to start up the night before.

I don’t know what my laptop and my iPhone are thinking, as they selectively share the photos I’m taking. I’m thinking it takes more work to get all my photos here these days, but it’s worth it.  Here are more photos from yesterday:

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I don’t know what that dog is thinking but I’m thinking that I love that sticker.

What are you thinking about this blog post?

I’m thinking that it’s time to express my gratitude to everybody who helps me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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

Day 1545: We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be

We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be, which is

  • on earth,
  • at my blog,
  • accepting,
  • close enough to water,
  • breathing,
  • alive,
  • growing,
  • searching,
  • here,
  • now, and
  • looking at these pictures together.

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We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. We’re at that point in my daily post where I share some music.

Last night, when I was exactly where I was supposed to be, I heard a wonderful orchestral piece on Boston’s classical radio station.

That’s Debussy‘s La Mer (The Sea). The sea is exactly where I’m supposed to be today, looking at a home by the ocean.

We’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. We’re at the end of today’s post, where I express thanks to all who help me create this blog and to you — of course! — who are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

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

Day 1315: Unbored

Do you get bored?  If so, what unbores you?

Lots of things unbore me, including visits to local book stores, where I saw this yesterday:

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Do you see that book “Unbored” on the shelf of the Arlington bookstore The Book Rack?

I took many more photos yesterday, as I was unbored by:

  • Arlington, Massachusetts, USA,
  • my son appearing in the Arlington Children’s Theater’s  production of the musical Anything Goes, and
  • Louis C.K. and three other comics making me, my son, and thousands of other people laugh at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Are you particularly unbored by any of my other photos from yesterday (presented in unbored chronological order)?

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Here are more things I’ve been unbored by in the past 24 hours:

  • learning that my favorite restaurant in Arlington, Massachusetts — The Madrona Tree — has lost its lease because of rent increases,
  • finding my favorite Arlington boutique — The Artful Heart — in a different location because of rent increases by the same landlord,
  • torrential rain storms on our drive to Springfield Massachusetts, causing multiple accidents which turned the 100-minute drive into a 160-minute drive,
  • the saltiest popcorn I’ve ever tasted, when I’m on a low salt diet,
  • ants swarming all over a pizza,
  • my laptop, during an iTunes update, telling me my phone needed to be restored to factory settings (which would mean losing everything stored on my phone),
  • my homepage totally changing because of software I downloaded in an attempt to get my iPhone  unstuck from update mode without losing all my data,
  • recovering my home page, and
  • recovering my iPhone without losing any data.

Here’s another unboring moment from last week:  a representative of my health insurance company told me that my September 21 surgery to mend my heart at the Mayo Clinic would not be covered because of “lack of medical necessity.” This unboring statement turned out to be untrue.

Sometime, I wish I was less unbored.

I hope you are unbored by this song, inspired by one of my unbored photos above:

I hope you are also unbored by my sincere thanks to all those who helped me created this post and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

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

Day 1305: All you need

As I went back to work yesterday —  after being away for weeks because of pneumonia and heart failure — it was obvious what I needed.

Do my photos from yesterday reveal what I needed?

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All I need in the near future is love, work, and seeing my son Aaron in that Arlington Children’s Theater production of Anything Goes!

All this post needs  is some great music (here and here on Youtube):

What’s all you need, here and now?

Thanks to all who give me all I need to blog every day, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1175: Life’s lifts

Yesterday, I saw this sign

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… and I thought it said “Lift.”  Today, I’m not sure if it says “Lift” or Life.”

Does it matter what the sign says?

In my therapy groups, sometimes we decide that what’s out there doesn’t matter.  What does matter is how you see it and what you do with it.

No matter what that sign says to you, I can still ask if you see it (lift and/or life) in any of my other photos today.

 

 

Speaking of life’s lifts, as I was lifting those photos into this post,  I  heard that the amazing  Jackie — who always put  a lift into my life (and whose leave-taking obviously affected this previous post)  —  is coming back to work after leaving a year ago.  That definitely gives me a  lively lift, here and now.

What gives your life a lift?

Here’s a post ending I lifted from my life yesterday:

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

Day 1007: That stinks!

When I met my dear friend Barbara yesterday for (1) brunch at Arlington’s Madrona Tree Restaurant, (2) a visit to the store next door, called The Artful Heart and  (3) a walk to Arlington’s Spy Pond, Barbara suggested that I title today’s post

That stinks!

Barbara didn’t suggest that because anything smelled bad at  Madrona Tree, The Artful Heart, or on our walk.  She didn’t say

That stinks!

in response to any of the many topics we discussed yesterday, including

  • work,
  • health,
  • friends, or
  • my son’s applying to college.

Barbara didn’t say

That stinks!

as I was taking any of these photos when I was with her, yesterday.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Barbara also didn’t say “That stinks!” when I said, “There’s two of my angels!”  when I was taking this photo:

Barbara said

That stinks!

when she sat inside my spankin’ new yellow car and agreed with me that the interior smelled slightly of skunk.

What do I think stinks, this morning, as I’m creating this post?

  1. It’s cold and rainy outside.
  2. I don’t know how long the smell of skunk will stay in my car.
  3. Fellow blogger Irene just commented on my previous post that my blog never appears in her reader any more.
  4. Photos are still not migrating from my iPhone to my laptop, so that creates extra steps whenever I create a post.

What does NOT stink, this morning?

  1. I bought a cool new scarf at the Artful Heart, to help keep me warm.
  2. I have wonderful friends like Barbara nearby and Irene on WordPress.
  3. My son is much further along in his college application process because of a meeting he, his father, and I had yesterday.
  4. I finished writing the Parent Brag Sheet yesterday, so my son can give that to his teachers who are writing his college recommendations.
  5. I’m going to see one of my favorite classical music radio shows, today,  From the Top.
  6. I don’t have the same level of shame I used to have, when something that “belongs” to me smells bad.

Do any of these pictures I took yesterday evening — when I was with my boyfriend Michael — stink, do you think?


  
  
  
  
  

Talk about three wicked sistahs!

It stinks that

  • you may have to scroll back up and then down from the top of this post to catch my stinky reference to “three wicked sistahs” and
  • I don’t know what music to include in this “That stinks!” post.

Okay! I found a stinky video on YouTube,  searching for “From the Top.”

Does it stink that I’m rushing through this ending paragraph of gratitude by simply saying “Thanks!” to all those who helped me create this post and “More thanks!” to all of you who are reading it?

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 867: Difficult

I try not to be difficult; honestly, I do.

However, it’s difficult for me to recover from cardiac surgery AND put in a full week at work  AND be a good-enough mother and girlfriend, all at the same time. As a result, I’ve been more difficult than usual lately.

So, I had this difficult thought:

Because of my recent surgery, I now have a terrific excuse to be difficult. So why not seize the moment and write a  difficult post?

Look,  I get a lot of praise at WordPress for my positive attitude. But, I can be as difficult and negative as anybody else, sometimes.

Here’s the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me:

When I was 10 years old, medical treaters of my congenital heart condition suddenly decided that — in order to save my life — they needed to implant a cardiac pacemaker. To make this more difficult, nobody prepared me for how difficult the surgery was going to be or for how much the pacemaker was going to stick out of my body. To make this more difficult, the first person to change my surgical dressing lied to me about the pacemaker sticking out when I asked her about it (she said, “That’s just your hip, swollen from the surgery.”)  To make things more difficult, nobody dealt with that lie, for several days. To make things more difficult, my family and friends could not visit me in the hospital — outside of the difficultly limited visiting hours — during the many long days I stayed in the hospital after the surgery. To make things even more difficult, that surgery took place on November 22 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was killed, and nobody told me about that, either.

One reason I am so focused on this most difficult memory from my past, right now: as I am healing from the surgery where I got a pacemaker/defibrillator 13 days ago, I am finally realizing how BIG this device is. At this point, I’m thinking it might be even larger than that first pacemaker I got, more than 50 years ago. 

Here’s what makes it MUCH less difficult for me to deal  with getting a large medical device today (compared to when I was a child of 10):

  • I was warned it would be large.
  • Because of my access to the Internet, I can find out, after I post this, the exact dimensions of my new device.
  • If the actual size of the device is smaller than it seems to be in my body, I  can let my doctors know about the amount of post-operative swelling I’m experiencing, and
  • I am an adult now, with adult coping strategies, not a small, vulnerable, scared, and hurting 10 year old, dealing with all of this alone.

Not to be too difficult, but my writing about those most difficult memories from my past was not  my original difficult intention for today’s Difficult post.

Instead, my difficult plan was to share with you difficult things people have said directly to my face — without too much apparent difficulty — over the years.

Yes, at some point in my long and sometimes difficult life, some actual human being has said to me, “Ann, you are:

  • messy
  • clumsy
  • stinky
  • not smart enough
  • too smart
  • too skinny
  • not skinny enough
  • selfish
  • clumsy
  • disrespectful
  • too shy
  • too much of a bother
  • foolish
  • disappointing
  • too much of a show-off
  • not funny enough to be a stand-up comic
  • disorganized
  • too quiet
  • too loud
  • too outspoken
  • too sensitive
  • not humble enough
  • not athletic enough
  • too competitive
  • not a good hugger
  • too indiscriminately loving
  • not loving enough
  • too sexy
  • not sexy enough
  • inappropriate
  • too much to handle
  • not good looking enough to reject ME
  • too spontaneous
  • provincial
  • not supportive enough
  • too fucking supportive
  • crazy
  • thoughtless
  • too concerned about other people’s feelings
  • unsophisticated
  • impatient
  • too warm
  • too cold
  • insecure
  • pushy
  • too cautious
  • not cautious enough
  • not worth my time
  • spacey
  • not a good enough singer
  • not a good enough writer
  • not a good enough photographer
  • too focused on yourself
  • too focused on others, and
  • weird.”*

Hmmmmm.  That wasn’t difficult, at all,  for me to create that difficult  list today, probably because I carry those negative words around with me.

As I’ve often written in this difficult daily blog, the negative can stick with people, drowning out the positive.

Imagine how less difficult all our lives could be, if we let go of difficult and unhelpful messages from others!

To promote that in myself, I will now present all the difficult and non-difficult photographs I took yesterday, as I spent some time with my amazingly non-difficult 17-year-old son:

                 
 





          




        

I took those last three photos, above, because that was a particularly difficult parking meter, for everybody.

After my second difficult encounter with that difficult Arlington Massachusetts parking meter yesterday, I did the difficult thing of striking up a conversation with a total stranger, simply because I liked his t-shirt and his cap:

That’s Mike, who told me he saw the band Cake in Chicago, even though he doesn’t live there. When Mike asked me, “Did you want to take my picture because you like cake or the band Cake?” it wasn’t difficult for me to admit the truth.

Would it be difficult for you to guess what my truth was, about that?

Speaking of difficult guessing, the next photo shows the movie I have found the most difficult to watch, of all the difficult movies I’ve ever seen:

Any difficult guesses about that?

I hope I’m not being too difficult if I ask one more difficult question: What difficult music did I choose for this difficult post?

That’s Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, well known as perhaps the most difficult piano piece ever written. I assume it might be difficult for you to take the time to listen to the whole difficult thing.

So, what did YOU find most difficult about this post?

Easy and difficult thanks to all those who contributed to my creating today’s difficult post. Also,  special thanks to you, for experiencing whatever personal difficulties you did, to read it.


* In case understanding that giant list is difficult, I want to be clear about this: Those difficult things were said directly to my face by many different people, over the course of my life. Honestly, I don’t think any one person I’ve met could actually be THAT difficult.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Day 741: Patterns

There are certain patterns I follow when I start writing a blog post every day, including searching through my old posts for my working title.

Just now, when I searched previous posts for “Patterns,” I found these:

Day 725: Fractal

Day 663: Hard Eights

Day 658: Missing and Coming Back

Day 652: Magical Thinking

Day 525: Judgment and love

Day 423: Teaching an old dog new tricks

Day 325:  The Anniversary Connection

Day 192: Random thoughts at 4:17 AM, July 11, 2013

Day 94: What sticks, what doesn’t, and putting things in perspective

About

If I had to write a ten-page paper today about the patterns I see in those posts above, I would probably include the following points:

  1. The percentage of posts I’ve written with the word “pattern” in them  increased precipitously between days 652 and 725.
  2. At some point between days 423 and 525, I started using more initial capital letters in my titles.
  3. Day 325 shows an exception to that Initial Capitalization Trend, but that very well might be The Exception That Proves the Rule.
  4. Another observable pattern in my posts, over time, is increasingly shortening titles.
  5. I continue to be amazed that I haven’t used important and obvious words (like “Patterns” or “Pattern”) in the titles of my 740 posts.

Thank goodness, I do NOT have to write a 10-page paper about this or anything else today. Why?  Because I’m not in school any more!

Here’s another personal pattern of mine: When I’m happy about something, I smile (which you can’t see right now) and I often say, “Yay!”

Yay! I just broke a pattern there. I’ve never tried to use an animated gif before on WordPress.

Another pattern of mine:

  1. I decide to try something new.
  2. I research it, somewhat quickly.
  3. I get impatient with the research.
  4. I give the new thing a try.
  5. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do.

Where was I?  Oh, yes! I was celebrating — with Kermit the Frog — how I’m not in school any more and I don’t have to write papers.

However, I do need to write a blog post today, about Patterns.

Here goes!

As human beings, we tend to see and follow patterns.

As a human being, I see and follow patterns, too. In my blog posts, these patterns include:

  •  lots of lists.
  •  numbered lists (only if I don’t plan to interrupt that list, since numbered lists here will start re-numbering from 1).
  • bulleted lists (like this list) when I plan to interrupt the list with something like, say,  a photo that reflects the title and subject of the post.

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  • Links to previous posts, especially the latest one.
  • Digressions.
  • A balance of old and new.
  • Images of animals, especially our two cats (that’s Oscar, above).
  • Photos I’ve taken recently (usually the day before).

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  • Images I find whimsical and interesting.
  • A stand-in for myself like Penny the Pen (a New Year pattern).
  • Images and words that form some sort of pattern.
  • Different sizes of pictures, to indicate importance or just because I like the way they look on the page.
  • An emphasis on people, especially ones who seem kind and helpful, like Gianni, who appeared previously in this here post.

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Aren’t there some interesting patterns in that picture?

Another pattern of my posts: music!

But what possible piece of music uses “Patterns”? All music uses patterns, I suppose. So I can choose anything I want!

Yay!

Another personal pattern: I have trouble making decisions, especially about routine matters and when I have a lot of choices.

I know! I’ll see what musical piece the music app on my phone chooses randomly now. (I’ve used that decision-making pattern before, here.) (Hmmm. Do two occurrences of anything create a pattern?)

(Donald Fagen performing “Weather in My Head” found here on YouTube.)

If you’ve observed any patterns remarkable or important to you in this post, please comment below (even if that’s not your usual pattern).

Thanks to Gianni (who works at a great store in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA whose name I can’t remember right now) (another pattern, for me); to Kermit, Oscar, Penny, Donald Fagen and all others who helped me create this patterned post;  and to everybody everywhere who sees or creates patterns (including you, of course!).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 713: Follow Me

Yesterday, I took the TIME to follow some new WordPress blogs. And some new people decided to Follow Me. Indeed,  I saw the following message:

You are following this blog, along with 1,947 other amazing people (manage).

If I’m following that message correctly,

  1. lots of people throughout the world are doing me the huge of honor of valuing this blog enough to follow it.
  2. WordPress is inviting me to manage something here, which I’m finding increasingly difficult these days (but I’m figuring it out, as I go along).
  3. WordPress agrees with me that my readers are amazing.

Yesterday, I also followed

  • my son Aaron to his keyboard lesson and to the play he’s appearing in and
  • my heart, intuition, and wishes as I walked around Arlington, Massachusetts, USA, listening to the Pat Metheny Group play (in my headphone/earmuffs).

If you need to, you can follow me to “Follow Me” by the Pat Metheny Group on YouTube.

Follow me now, amazing readers, to the images I followed yesterday in Arlington and then Watertown, Massachusetts, USA:

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To help you follow me through those pictures, I’ll give you a clue:  Aaron and I went to the Deluxe Town Diner (a favorite location previously appearing in posts here, here, here, and here) for lunch after his piano lesson, and that’s Kelly in the last shot (who has been following, with her kind regard, both me and son Aaron through the years). Previously, as you were following me through my walk through Arlington, you also encountered a music store and my son’s keyboard teacher, Tim Maurice.

I wonder if any readers who follow me can translate any of the difficult-to-follow signs above?

Follow me now, for a few more photos:

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That’s my sister, Ellen in the last shot, showing me the beautiful time piece she was wearing, as we watched my son Aaron acting on stage, last night.

That reminds me that it’s time for me to finish this post, so I can follow my son to today’s performance.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might know that I seek within to see if anything seems left unwritten, before I end a post.

This is what follows that, here and now.

Fear sometimes follows me around, as I follow my way through this world.  I hope you follow me in this: please do your best to let go of fear. Marvelous things may follow.

Thanks to the Pat Metheny Group, Aaron, Tim, Kelly, Ellen, people who follow or are followed, and to all those who follow their own path (including you, if you follow).

Categories: blogging, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 607: The Other Side

Two mornings ago, my GPS system, Waze, brought me to work in a different way.

For the first time in three years, I drove to work on the other side of the Charles River, so I saw this:

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When I took that photo, the title for today’s post suddenly appeared, from another side of my mind.  From then on, I’ve been noticing the theme of “The Other Side,” everywhere I go.

Something else, in a different side of my mind: on the other side of this weekend is September, which contains the beginning of autumn. On the other side of autumn?  Winter.

While I can fear the lowered temperatures of winter, I dread something else even more,  in New England — the lessening of color, all around.

However, I’m working on embracing all sides.

Here are some other sides I’ve been seeing:

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I’ve taken a lot of photos, since that one from the other side of the Charles River. I could have shown you any — or all — of them, since everything has an other side.

Okay, you’ve gotten my side. Now it’s time for yours. What associations do you have with “The Other Side”?

I also want to invite another side to make an appearance. What images would Google choose, for “the other side”?

Here’s one:

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(image found here)

And one other side:

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(image found here)

What’s missing for me, right now?  Music, which is playing in my head.  Here’s a Stephen Sondheim song from “Into The Woods” (which made a previous appearance, in Day 247: No one is alone, in another version).

(YouTube video found here)

This post started with an other side. What’s the other side of the start?  The end.

Thanks to Stephen Sondheim, Rosie O’Donnell (for the video), savage chickens (and other creatures), to those who are open to other sides, and to you — of course — for visiting this side, today.

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

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