Posts Tagged With: Chris Delyani

Day 1977: Other people’s opinions

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people discussed  and wrote down their thoughts and feelings about other people’s opinions.

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What is your personal experience of other people’s opinions?  What makes other people’s opinions more difficult for you? What helps you deal with other people’s opinions?

In yesterday’s group, I shared a personal experience of other people’s opinions, which I’ve written about previously (here). At the end of a weekend-long retreat, decades ago, I participated in an exercise where everybody got to give and receive opinions about each other.  The people who were running the exercise offered this excellent opinion: When people give you their opinions about you, they are often talking about themselves.  However, if you hear similar opinions from different people, you need to take those opinions seriously.  At that retreat, I was surprised …

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… to hear mostly positive and supportive opinions.

After group yesterday, I swapped opinions with author and friend Chris, who was my student at Boston University decades ago (and who has appeared in other blogs posts, here, herehere, and here).

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That’s Chris taking a photo of the street sign at Fenway Park that was recently changed from Yawkey Way back to its original name — Jersey Street — because of other people’s opinions.

I sang my first original song — “I Don’t Like You” —  for Chris, and his opinion matched other people’s opinions. When I told him I was going to debut that song at an Open Mic tomorrow night and also share that performance on YouTube, his opinion was very supportive.  I have very positive opinions of Chris and I’m sure other people share those opinions.

I’m wondering, here and now, about other people’s opinions of this post, including all my other photos from yesterday …

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… and the music I’m choosing for today’s post.

On YouTube, other people’s opinions of Jake Shimabukuro playing the ukulele are similar to mine.

I look forward to other people’s opinions, below.

My opinion is that you should express gratitude to others whenever you can, like now!

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

Day 514: What I’m reading, these days

What I’m reading these days includes:

  • signs (in different locations)

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  • lots of blog posts (not pictured)
  • people’s behavior

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  • animal behavior

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  • things in Chinese restaurants

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  • words written on my board, at work

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  • things I see on the street

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  • labels in supermarkets

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  • haikus

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  • non-fiction and novels

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That’s Chris Delyani, who was one of my students at Boston University, some decades back. I am very proud of him, and I highly recommend his novel. It’s the main thing I’m reading, these days.

Thanks to Maya Angelou, Jenny Potter (who wrote the haiku), Chris, people who read as best they can, and to you — of course! — for doing guess-what, here, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 28 Comments

Day 462: It’s always some thing!

A few days ago, I wrote a post which included the late Gilda Radner, her character Rosanne Rosannadanna, and Rosanne Rosannadanna’s closing shot, “It’s always something!”

My intent today is to show you some more photos from my weekend trip to NYC with my friend Jeanette, now that I’m back home in Boston.

I think “It’s always some thing!” is an excellent title for today’s post. Why? It lets me include whatever the hell I want to, people!

Shall we begin?

It’s always some thing

(in NYC and elsewhere)

by Ann

On Friday, soon after I realized I had done this ridiculous thing of leaving my walking shoes at work (see yesterday’s post for more about that), I was standing on the platform waiting for the train to take me to NYC. Somebody, who was also waiting for that train,  told me  she was worried about what she was wearing, too. She thought she was going to be too cold, at some parts of the weekend, in the coat she had on. I replied that the advent of spring, while wonderful, makes it difficult to choose and wear the correct items, in order to be comfortable all day.  I also told her about my shoe dilemma. She suggested that her comfortable Skecher shoes

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 were some things I might consider purchasing, after I got to NYC.

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It’s Jeanette, in our hotel room!  Some things I want to point out in that photo:

  • The blue book on the side table is “You Are Here,” written by Chris Delyani, one of my students from Boston University in the ’80s.  I like to brag about this (and have before, here) because I think Chris, as a writer, is something special.
  • Jeanette, because she is brilliant as well as beautiful, was able to upgrade our hotel room, at the last minute, to an incredibly swanky and cool place, on Wall Street, for an amazingly low price.

Some things that demonstrate the swankiness and coolness of that hotel room (I hope):

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I’m including those last two photos because (1) I love showers and (2) historically (see this post, plus a great comment there from annabellefranklinauthor), I have trouble figuring out new ones. Sure enough, it took me a while to decipher the two shower dials and I got a face full of water when I was least expecting it. Nevertheless, that shower was really something else (including the mood lighting in there).

Some more things that caught my eye, during the rest of the weekend:

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Look at the time!  I need to end this post and leave for work, very soon.

It’s always something.

One more image from NYC, before I go. One reason I chose the original name of this blog  — “The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally” —  back in December 2012, was because it reminded of this 1982 movie:

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(I found this image here)

Here’s my last photo today, live from New York (actually taken on Saturday night):

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Thanks to Gilda Radner, Jeanette, Chris (and all my other students, past and present), Annabelle Franklin,  all things and people in NYC, and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

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

Day 397: Everybody loves you

I am going to start this post with a quote from my boyfriend, Michael.  Actually, I am going to start this post by retiring Michael’s title of “boyfriend,” in honor of my feisty friend Sarah, who used to work with me and who gave me a hard time every time I used that term.

What are you two,  fifteen years old?

Sarah would say.  And since I am about to turn sixty-one years young1 tomorrow, maybe it’s time to heed Sarah’s advice, and stop using the term “boyfriend.”

But how else should I refer to Michael?  Here are some possibilities:

Partner

Old man

Main squeeze

Significant other

None of those sound great to me, for various reasons. I’m not sure why “boyfriend” has always seemed like the best choice, so far. Perhaps, the terms we hear when we are young are difficult to shake.

A logical replacement for “boyfriend” would be …. “manfriend.” But nobody says that. If I did use that term, that would be too distracting.  That would derail people from any story I wanted to tell about Michael.

Like now.

One more thing, before I get back on track. I supposed I could just refer to Michael by name, with no identifying title.  That always seems self-centered and unhelpful, though. Why should I expect anybody to remember the name of my boyfriend/partner/old man/main squeeze/significant other/manfriend … without a helpful hint? Or remember my name, for that matter?

Maybe people should remember, though!  Maybe we’re important enough to be remembered, without any identifying information, dammit!

Anyway, let me start this post over.

This post is about a phrase that Michael says to me, quite often. It’s kind of a joke, a running gag, between us.

Picture this, if you will. I come home from work, walk up the stairs, and enter through the back door, into the kitchen.  I am often pretty tired, and I immediately sit down at the same table where I write this blog.

Let me set the scene, with a photo of that table:

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That’s not a great photo, actually, to give you an accurate picture, since there are other distracting elements in that shot. I’ll check my photo stash and see if I can do a better job …

…. Nope.  Can’t find a better photo, right now.

I suppose I could take a new photo of the table, but the light isn’t correct (it’s the wrong time of day). Also, I’d have to find my friggin’ phone to take it.

Maybe, just maybe, setting the scene accurately isn’t quite as important as I sometimes think. In any case, back to the story.

So, after I return home from work, I sit down at the table where I write this blog. Michael is usually in the kitchen, making dinner. If not, he comes into the kitchen. He greets me:

How was your day, babe?

or words to that effect.   I then tell him what’s foremost on my mind from my day at work (of course, leaving out any details as dictated by confidentiality). When I’m finished talking, Michael will usually respond, with our running gag, like so:

Everybody loves you, Ann.

And I smile. Or laugh. It never gets old.

Why?

Well, even though Michael has said this many, many times, there’s always some element of surprise.

I am rarely — if ever — feeling universally lovable, as I’m telling my work-a-day stories.   I’m sharing what has lingered from the day and — as I’ve often written about here — the negative sticks. So, my stories are often tinged with regret, worry, concern, or at least a wish to learn from mistakes I’ve made.

So Michael’s response, no matter how often I’ve heard it, surprises me, on some level. And, as many Humor Experts 2 have opined:  When we laugh, it’s an expression of the unexpected.

Sometimes, when I return home after work, I’m feeling great —  very much in touch with pride in my work and with my gratitude for doing work I value and enjoy.  In those cases, when Michael says

Everybody loves, you, Ann

my laugh expresses joy (or celebration, which I wrote about recently).

And, no matter how I’m feeling after work, I can always appreciate the absurd in Michael’s response. No matter how worthy and lovable we are, no matter how much I may yearn for Michael’s statement to be true … not everybody is going to love us.  It’s impossible.

And that’s okay.  We can still survive, thrive, and keep on going.

Okay! I’ve got to end this post, because I’ve got an appointment with Mia 3, very soon.

Thanks to Sarah, Michael, Mia, my old4 student Chris Delyani (whose book is in the photo above), everybody I love, people who love me, and everybody who has ever loved or been loved by anybody.  And, more thanks to you, for visiting and reading today.


  1. I hear Mel Brooks‘s voice in my head as I say this, thanks to his 2000 Year Old Man albums. Thanks, Mel!

  2. Despite any expectations on your part, there are no helpful details about humor experts in this footnote.  (This gag never gets old for me, either.)

  3. Mia is the woman who cuts my hair.  Just as I have trouble finding a good title for Michael, I never know what to call Mia, either. My hairdresser?  No, that’s my mother’s term.  My stylist?  Too pretentious and not accurate, since I don’t experience myself as being “styled” in any way.  Also, I feel uncomfortable using the possessive term “my” about people in my life.  Feel free to make suggestions about what I might call Mia (or Michael, too, I suppose).

  4. I never know what word to use in this situation, either, since “old” has such negative connotations. Chris isn’t old; I just met him a long time ago, when I was teaching a class at Boston University. Feel free to make suggestions about what word to use here, also.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 65 Comments

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