Posts Tagged With: Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Day 2442: Everybody’s somebody’s _____

Last night, I sang my latest original song — “Everybody’s Somebody’s A–hole” — at the Jam’n Java Open Mic in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Everybody’s somebody’s

Everybody’s somebody’s …

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teammate,

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proud partner,

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ninja,

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angel,

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feartrigger, time off, safety, news, danger, clickbait, health, illness, stillness, trip, and

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talented local performer.

I’ve asked the coordinators of the Jam’n Java Open Mic if I could be a featured performer some day and they replied, “We usually book people who’ve had a show elsewhere.”

I’m working on it.

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Everybody’s somebody’s observer, so feel free to leave any observations in the comments section, below.

No matter what I am to anybody else, I’m always grateful to be your blogger, every day.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2429: Locations

There are many locations in the news today, including

How are things in your location?

Yesterday, in my location, I was focusing on the location of my upcoming show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as you can see in this email I sent to my “Venue Captain.”

Hi!

I’m working on my flyer so I wanted to know if the venue was handicapped accessible. Also, would you say it’s considered a little out of the way? I’m thinking of saying it’s not too far from St. George Square Gardens and/or the Meadows Tennis Court. Does that seem like a good way to get visitors to find it and not be too discouraged by the distance?

Also, if I put chairs in a circle how many people do you think could fit in the room?

Many thanks,
Ann (of Group “Therapy” with Ann)

By the way, I had one of those locations wrong — the correct name for that Edinburgh landmark  would be “George Square Gardens.” 

I don’t know the current location of my Venue Captain, but he was kind enough to email me back immediately .

Call me if u can. The spot the Venue is not out of the way from anything it’s in a great spot it’s next to summer Hall … I’m not next to my computer but it’s not like New York City where you have a show in Brooklyn and listen everybody’s excited to see shows ..don’t even mention anything you just tell them where it is it’s next to summer Hall . ..use google maps … download the app… so don’t worry about anything …

No matter what the location is, I agree with the Venue Captain, my Captain, that it doesn’t help to worry. Here’s what my captain said about the size of the room:

if you put people in a circle you might get 10 12 15 I’m not sure, it’s not a very big Room …I don’t know if you saw pictures of it

My captain told me not to worry about anything, so I won’t worry about what might happen if more than fifteen people show up at that location on August 19 at 13:00.  Just like the five groups I do every week in the location of a hospital-based Primary Care Practice in Boston, I will do my best not to turn anybody away.

In my current location on the South Shore of Boston, I spent many hours yesterday trying to add a map with the location of my  Edinburgh Fringe Festival  venue to my flyer.  This is the best map I’ve been able to capture so far:

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Now that my son Aaron is in the same location as me (after arriving last night in Boston from his previous location in Jordan), I’m sure he’ll help me  locate a better map locating my venue location on my flyer.

Here’s a video recommending locations to eat in Edinburgh:

I’ve been to a few of those locations (as you can see in locations herehere, here, here, here, and here).  After watching that video, I’m adding several of those locations to my list of new locations to try.

Because my current location is so hot, I have only a few other photos of other locations to share today.

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Before reaching that Logan Airport location last night to await the arrival of my son Aaron,  Michael and I revisited the location of Rincon Limeño, a wonderful Peruvian restaurant in East Boston.  At that location, I took this photo, knowing it would appear in this exact location in today’s blog.

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Thanks to all who helped me create this “locations” post and to YOU, no matter what your location is, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2421: I Need Your Help.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we talked about how difficult it is to ask others for help.  I wrote this up on the white board to remind people about how to ask for help:

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Today, I need your help.  I have to submit a 340-character blurb and a photo about  my Edinburgh Free Fringe show — Group “Therapy” with Ann — tomorrow at the latest, so it can be included in the published version of the Wee Blue Book, listing all the Free Fringe shows. (Here‘s a link to the current listings in that book.)

Here’s what I’ve got, so far, for my blurb:

If you want a taste of group therapy with a trained professional who writes songs like “Everybody’s Somebody’s A**hole,” don’t miss this ONE TIME ONLY show. Find out just enough about yourself and others to feel better. “This could work.” – Scottish comedian Raymond Mearns. “That’s my mother.” – award-winning comedian Aaron Fairbanks.

If you saw that amongst hundreds of other show descriptions, might you attend that show?

The accompanying photo has to be small and square, and I’m considering one of these, taken last year during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by my son Aaron’s friend Camilla:

Photo 1:

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Photo 2:

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Photo 3:

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Photo 4:

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Photo 5:

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I need your help in deciding which of those photos might be best.

When I have lots of choices and am under a deadline, sometimes I feel like this:

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Here‘s an appropriate song for today:

Many thanks to all those who help others, here, there and everywhere, including YOU!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 1694: Enjoy

Here are my latest photos from Edinburgh, which I hope you enjoy.

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For two weeks,  my son Aaron and I will stay in the happy place of Edinburgh. Then, Aaron will stay here to enjoy his second year at University and I’ll fly home to enjoy my new happy place by the sea with my boyfriend Michael.  By the way,  today is Michael’s birthday.  Enjoy!

I enjoy thanking all who help me create this daily blog and all who enjoy reading it.  Enjoy this enjoyable day, wherever you are.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 598: Surprises

Today, my son Aaron and I are leaving Edinburgh, Scotland, flying on a couple of airplanes, and returning to our home near Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.

It’s been a wonderful trip. Which was not surprising, considering the wonderful times I had in Edinburgh, the two times I’ve visited before.

I don’t have a lot of time to blog this morning,  so I thought I would leave you with just a photo or two from yesterday’s adventures at the Fringe Festival in this fair city.

That number of photos may not be surprising, since the commitment I made to my readers was to post one photo a day while on my vacation.

I took a lot of photos yesterday, which was one of the best — and surprising — days my son or I have ever experienced, in our 16 and 61 years on this earth, respectively.

What was so great and surprising about yesterday?

For one thing, in an incredible coincidence, we ran into our favorite local comedian from our visit  last year to the Edinburgh Fringe — Tom Joyce — who just happened to be one of only four other people attending a fabulously funny performance of Cynthia Levin a/k/a Linda Lovin.

One of our quests, this year in Edinburgh, was to find Tom again. After searching for him on the internet and in person, we had decided this was an impossible dream. So, yesterday, when I heard Aaron gasp “Oh my gawd!” during Ms. Lovin’s performance yesterday, I realized whom he had spotted, in the first row.

Also appearing at Ms. Lovin’s performance yesterday was my comedy teacher from the 1980s and current Los Angeles comedy star — Ron Lynch.  THAT was not so surprising, since we met the lovely and hilarious Linda when she performed a couple of night’s ago at Ron’s nightly midnight show, here in Edinburgh.

It was also NOT surprising to see Ron there yesterday, since Aaron and I had planned to have dinner with him on our last night Edinburgh.

So, to review, it was no surprise to see Ron.  But it was a huge surprise to see Tom Joyce on our last full day, after Aaron and I had given up hope of finding Tom again (at least this year).

Then, Aaron and I experienced, in rapid succession, more surprises:

  • Tom remembered us from last year, including (1) my blog post about him and (2) the fact that Aaron had red hair then.
  • Ron offered Tom a spot on The Tomorrow Show this week because, Ron said, “I trust their recommendation.”
  • Ron offered my son Aaron, who has been doing open mic comedy in Boston for the past six months, a spot on last night’s Tomorrow show.

 

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Surprise!

Thanks to Aaron, Ron, Linda, Cynthia, Tom, and everybody else currently enjoying the extremely excellent city of Edinburgh. And — of course! — thanks to you, for any surprises you might bring or experience, today.

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

Day 597: Brilliant

“Brilliant” is a word I’m hearing a lot, during my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. People use it somewhat differently than what I’m used to, when I’m home in the United States.

Here are two recent examples:

Me: “I can pay for those tickets with this credit card.”

He: “Brilliant.”

 

Me: “We’re done eating.”

She: “Brilliant.”

 

More reasons I should move to Edinburgh!  I love

  1. feeling like I’m brilliant and
  2. being told I am.

Before I’d make any decision to move here, though, I need to remember this: there’s no way of knowing whether all these people telling me I’m brilliant actually live in Edinburgh.  There’s a good chance they do NOT, according to somebody who was talking to me and my son yesterday. This person (who, I seem to remember, also called me “brilliant”) told us that the population of Edinburgh DOUBLES during the Fringe Festival every August, because of all the visitors.

Brilliant.

Now, I believe, is a brilliant time to show you some photos I took yesterday.

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There’s a lot of brilliance to be found, here in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Many thanks to brilliant people everywhere, to those who express appreciation of brilliance, and to you — of course! — for brilliantly being here, today.

 

 

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 596: Peak moments

As I mentioned  in yesterday’s post, my son, Aaron, and I have been seeing lots of great comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

One of the many stand-up comedians we saw, yesterday, posed the rhetorical question, “Why did you have to build Edinburgh on ALL THE HILLS?”

I laughed out loud at that, out of recognition. As I’ve also mentioned in previous posts, I can get very tired negotiating hills, steps, and other elevations (because of my unusual heart).

But that’s okay.  When I get tired, I just rest for a few moments, and then I’m set to keep going.

I experienced that yesterday, while Aaron and I were climbing The Scotsman Steps.

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I have another association with today’s post title. At various points along my various career paths (tech writer, marketing writer, film student and teacher, advertising entrepreneur, social worker, psychotherapist, group therapist, and “change agent”), I’ve been involved in the very helpful exercise of identifying “peak moments.” In those exercises, you identify times when you’ve felt the most happy, engaged, and fulfilled, and then think about

  •  what contributed to those experiences and
  • how you can bring more of those into your life, now.

If you want, you can read more about Peak Moments here, here, and here (sites I just found, with a quick Google search). Actually, according to that Google search, the more popular term is “Peak Experiences.”

Whatever we call them, I had one of those Peak Moments/Experiences yesterday, when a comedian I respect and admire very much, said to me, several times, in front of my 16-year old aspiring-comic son:

You are funny.

I have two photos of the speaker of those words, from his show, “Tomorrow” with Ron Lynch. Direct from the hills of Edinburgh, ladies and gentlemen, it’s ….

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Ron Lynch!

Aaron and I were laughing, almost every moment Ron was up there on stage. We both agreed, after his performance, that he was the funniest person we’ve seen here.

Yes, we’re having lots of peak experiences, here at the Festival Fringe.

Thanks to Aaron, Ron, all the funny people we saw performing yesterday (in sketch comedy, stand-up routines, and improvs), and to you — of course! — for sharing these moments with me, today.

Categories: friendship, humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 595: Punchlines

 

My 16-year-old son, Aaron, and I are really enjoying the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where there are always many performances of comedians, comic actors, and other funny people available, in any particular moment.

 

It’s funny, how I’m not taking a lot of “good” photos during this trip, so far. Here’s the punchline about that: I am focusing on the current moment, rather than focusing my shots.

 

Here’s what’s happening in the current moment, as I am composing today’s post: I am waiting for 10 photos I took yesterday to load into WordPress, so I can show you — with very imperfect images — some of the funny people Aaron and I saw yesterday.

 

In the meantime, I’ll share some random thoughts, inspired by the title of today’s post.

 

Punchline is a movie about stand-up comics, starring Tom Hanks.

I sometimes have trouble remembering the punchline of jokes, especially if I’m anxious about impressing somebody with my sense of humor.

Despite my imperfections, many people I respect have told me they think I’m funny.

 

Hey!  It seems like WordPress has actually loaded all the photos, although I can’t see them.

I am now going to attempt to insert 9 photos into this post (in order of appearance). Drum roll, please ….

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Phew! That seemed to work.  The punchline, there, is that the very low data-transfer limit at our hotel did NOT seem to get in the way.

Here’s my next punchline: I want to finish up this post soon, so I can start another day enjoying the festival with my son.

I would like to write a little more, though, before I wake up my son.

I am not going to try to remember punchlines, right now, from all the great comics we saw yesterday.  And I’m not going to tell you the names of all the comedians pictured above.

I will tell you this. Yesterday, my son and I saw Ron Lynch, my stand-up comedy teacher from the 1980’s (previously appearing on this WordPress stage, here, and shown above in the next-to-last photo),  in his midnight show, called “Tomorrow.”  And we saw a special edition  of “Tomorrow,”  where the comedians not only did their routines, but also shared their personal, non-routine memories of Robin Williams.

All of those memories about Robin Williams shared a common punchline: Robin Williams was a genius AND he was truly nice, humble, big-hearted guy.

Okay!  Time for me to end this post. I’ve got to get my son and myself out into the Edinburgh air, so we can spend another funny day together (which will most likely include shows with many hilarious people, like Eddie Pepitone, shown in the last photo, above). Also, we’re planning on having dinner with Ron.

One more punchline, before I publish this.

After we finalized plans, yesterday, to have dinner with Ron, I said to my son (who started doing stand-up comedy six months ago), “Well, Aaron!  Having me as your mother has finally paid off.”

Aaron’s reply, “It’s already paid off.”

Thanks to Aaron, Ron, Eddie, Robin, and other funny people, who have enriched my life in many ways. And for my last-but-not-least punchline … many thanks to you, for your appearance here on my WordPress stage, today.

Categories: friendship, in memoriam, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 594: Figuring it out

I cannot figure this out. How, in the world, have I NOT written a blog post yet with a title like “Figuring it out”?

I have figured this out. There are way more than 594 interesting things in this world to write about, here.

I cannot figure this out. Why, in the world, would our hotel in Edinburgh have a toilet seat of this particular shape?

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My boyfriend Michael, via Skype last night, tried to figure this out, like so: Speculations about the anatomy of the locals.

I have figured this out.  There are a lot of truly interesting shapes to see, in this world of ours (even if square-assed Scots* are not one of them).

I cannot figure this out. Why has our hotel in Edinburgh set such a low data-transfer limit for internet users?

I have figured this out. If you clearly and politely state your needs to somebody who can help you, you will most likely reach a solution. Even though there are inconveniences to using my laptop here — including (1) very slow photo loading, (2) interruptions in Skype and other applications, and (3) needing to use a new username/password every time I exceed the data-transfer limit — I do have unlimited access to the internet here. In other words, the hotel staff will give me as many accounts as I need, every time I ask for them. Therefore, if I practice (1) patience and (2) letting go of expectations, I can show you as many photos as I like AND I can Skype with Michael in Boston every day (even if there are delays along the way). 

I cannot figure this out.  What would possess a human being to spend so much time, energy, and creativity to become this convincing a statue?

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I have figured this out. It must pay, well enough, because there are a lot of them here, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I cannot figure this out.  Why is it that whenever I encounter a new situation, one thought is, “I’m afraid I will NOT figure this out!”?

I have figured this out (even if I have trouble holding on to it): I will.

Thanks to the staff at our lovely hotel in Edinburgh,  to people everywhere who use toilets (no matter what the shape of their behinds), to humans who move in all sorts of mysterious ways, and to you — of course! — for figuring things out well enough to join me here, today.


* See Reader Rod’s great comment, below, regarding my lack of logic here.

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

Day 587: It’s Been Real

(opening music video found here, on YouTube)

“It’s Been Real” is a way people say “Goodbye.”

Is that a particularly American way people say “Goodbye”?  Is it a sarcastic way?  Is it a cool way? Is it a way to — even unconsciously — acknowledge that being real with each other, during any encounter, seems important?

Sometimes I wonder whether my personal interpretations and experiences match other people’s.  Therefore, I just googled “It’s Been Real” and found this:

it’s been real 
A farewell greeting, but with a negative connotation. The speaker is usually disappointed or annoyed at the person to whom (s)he is speaking.
It’s been real. Have a nice life.

Aha!  Urban Dictionary thinks that it’s a particularly negative way to say “Goodbye.” However, I’m not sure if I want Urban Dictionary to be the final authority. After all, Urban Dictionary also says that “It’s been real” is “a farewell greeting,” which seems like an oxymoron, to me.

Let’s see what Yahoo Answers has to say about “It’s been real.”

What does “It’s Been Real” mean?   When you hang out with someone and they say this to you as you’re saying goodbye, what does this mean? Positive/negative connotation?

While that reminds me of All-or-Nothing thinking (judging something as either all positive OR all negative, with no shadings in between) … I still think it’s a good question.

And here is the “best answer”:

It’s positive. It means the time you spent together was genuine, without pretentiousness or egoism.

Wow. That’s confusing.  The first two definitions I find, through Google, are completely contradictory.

I’ll try a third  definition, as a tie-breaker.

Hmmmm. I don’t know if Slang Dictionary — which is the third and final entry coming up for me in Google —  is really going to help much. That says:

It’s been fun, nice

… with no other explanation or connotation, except for this mysterious line:

See also: I don’t know who is fucking skinning this cat, but I’m getting scratched.

Okay. Now my mind is totally blown, and I’m not sure HOW I’m going to finish this post.

There ARE some things I want to tell you, this morning:

  1. Today is the last day of my son Aaron’s appearances as John Wilkes Booth in the Sondheim musical Assassins. (For more about that, see yesterday’s post.)
  2. In less than a week, Aaron and I are boarding a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland, for wee-bit-less-than-a-complete-week of fun at the Fringe Festival.
  3. I love a good pun as much as anybody, and I remember seeing a great pun in Edinburgh, when my son and I were at the Fringe Festival last August.

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So what’s the connection? What’s my point, if I do have one?

Just this.  I see a lot of farewell greetings coming up, in the near future.

Thanks to Michael Brecker (for “Itsbynne Reel“), to Edinburgh Scotland, to anyone I’ve ever greeted or farewelled, to those who do their best to define terms, to people who make a real effort to say hello or goodbye, and — of course!  — to you, for reeling by here today.  It’s been real.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 46 Comments

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