Many people I know — through therapy and elsewhere — are uncomfortable with compliments and often don’t believe or even recognize compliments when they receive them.
I hope wonderful blogger Mark Bialczak and his lovely wife Karen consider it a compliment that I always want to spend time with them when they are visiting Cape Cod. Yesterday, I drove many miles and minutes to spend a delightful few hours with them and their adorable, 10-year-old rescue dog Ellie B.
As we spent time together in beautiful Dennis Port, Mark and I gave each other compliments about our blogs — which both are experiencing dwindling readership. Also, Mark — who used to review music for many years at the big daily newspaper in Syracuse — gave me inspiring and almost- hard-for-me to-believe compliments about my original songs which, honestly, meant the world to me.
I hope everybody considers it a compliment that I wanted to capture all these images of a fabulous day and to share them with you, here and now:
If the noble and irresistible Ellie B read my blog, I assume she’d consider it a compliment that I took so many photos of her yesterday.
I wanted to specifically compliment Karen on her “diamond painting” ..
… which Mark called “my wife’s beading.”
Mark also complimented me yesterday on my Twitter interactions, so I feel more confident sharing these with you today:
It’s more difficult being nice when you’re uncomfortable and our central air conditioning is not working, just in time for a heat wave here. I have to compliment my husband, Michael, who still cooked for me last night …
… and who is going to try to fix our air conditioning system today by locating and replacing the air filter, which is probably somewhere here:
I’m sure our air conditioning system …
… doesn’t consider it a compliment that we’ve never replaced the filter in the FOUR years we’ve been here.
Here’s one of my original songs that I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, which Mark complimented me on yesterday:
I’ll consider it a great compliment if you comment on this blog post, below.
I’m grateful for all compliments, for great friendships, and, of course, for YOU!
While I was waiting for my driver yesterday morning to take me to Boston’s Logan Airport, I got these notifications about best strangers from Lyft:
The concept of “best strangers” is no stranger than anything else that is happening during these stranger times. Also, it felt stranger to me to be traveling to Nashville on my own, but so far I have met many best strangers here.
That’s my Lyft driver in Nashville, John, who was a best stranger in so many ways. He thought my song “Everybody’s Somebody’s Asshole,” was great, and he didn’t seem to think that it was stranger of me to sing it for him before my Open Mic last night. He also predicted that I wouldn’t want to leave Nashville on Thursday and, believe me, I’ve heard stranger predictions.
Here are two best strangers at the Graduate Hotel in Nashville — Alyssa and Luke.
Best stranger Luke showed me a photo of best dog Skippy.
At the Open Mic at the Tennessee Brew Works last night, I met best strangers Tio and Laura.
Tio and Laura also performed at the Open Mic and they were the best! Note that they both worked on creating Tio’s best jacket.
Tio and I were best strangers for each other when we recorded each other’s performances. Here’s mine, with lots of background noise from many best strangers.
Gracie, who was the best M.C. of the best Open Mic I’ve ever seen, told me she spent four years in Boston as a student at Berklee, which I didn’t find strange at all.
Do you see other best strangers in my other best photos from yesterday?
It’s crazy how many best strangers there are out here.
Don’t be a stranger; please leave best and/or stranger comments, below.
Gratitude makes any best stranger into a good friend, so thanks to all who read my best AND stranger blog posts, including YOU.
Last week, I asked people in a socially-distanced Coping and Healing group if they wanted to scream. Some said they did want to scream, but nobody screamed in group. When people are angry and frustrated, I sometimes suggest that they scream
I wore the Scream mask yesterday when we shopped at a local Whole Foods Market (which my friend Jenn calls “Whole Paycheck”). The week before, I wanted to scream at our local Stop & Shop because a shopper was walking around with no mask, unchallenged, and several employees (INCLUDING A STORE MANAGER!) had their noses hanging out of their masks. I might scream about that to our local Board of Health.
Do you see anything in these other photos from yesterday that makes you want to scream?
IF YOU WANT TO ENLARGE ANY OF THOSE PHOTOS, PLEASE CLICK ON IT!
Here’s another photo from Whole Foods:
People who party together these days without obeying social distancing make me want to SCREAM!
During the month of August, people usually scream with laughter at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but not this year (which is screamingly apparent in this video by Laurie Black):
Here’s how Laurie Black introduces that video on YouTube:
This is Laurie Black, reporting from Edinburgh. Scenes on the ground here are unheard of – the streets are empty, shutters down, the silent discos are actually silent, and pipers are wearing facemasks… For the first time in 73 years, Edinburgh will *not* be welcoming performers and audiences from around the world, for 25 days in 300+ venues. That doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy and support the arts – get involved at https://crowdfund.edfringe.com/fringe… and make an effort to look up some of your favourite Fringe artists and venues; follow them on social media; buy their merch; donate to their crowdfunder pages; and tune into their live-streamed performances. The show isn’t over, it’s just a dark day. See you in 2021!
Here‘s a video from my Edinburgh Fringe show last year:
Feel free to scream about anything you choose in the comments section, below.
Thanks for following and supporting one of your favourite Fringe artists here.
Do you agree that the coronavirus makes oddballs of us all?
Earlier in my oddball day, somebody in a Coping and Healing group said they felt like an oddball until they expressed their feelings and realized they were not alone. Oddly enough, I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times over my 20-odd years as a group therapist.
Later in my oddball day, several Oddballs in another remote Coping and Healing group did a scavenger hunt in our oddball homes, finding and sharing oddball things that were important to us. One of the oddball, important, and favorite items shared was this:
Oddly enough, this oddball item was not shared by me during the scavenger hunt but by a different Oddball.
Are you ready for some other recent oddball images captured by this Oddball during these oddball times?
That last oddball photo shows an oddball item I retrieved and showed in yesterday’s oddball scavenger hunt. Does anybody have an oddball guess of what that entertaining item was?
This Oddball has oddly been having trouble writing oddball songs lately, but I did write these recent oddball lyrics:
Now more than ever
We need to be together,
But now is the time we need to stay apart.
Because people are contagious
New behaviors seem outrageous
And each of us is holding lots of worry in our heart.
Here and here are two oddball original songs I performed in August 2019 for lots of oddballs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of the biggest yearly gatherings of oddballs in the world (which has been cancelled during this oddball year):
This Oddball had planned to perform that second oddball song at a gathering of other social worker oddballs at the hospital where we work, but that annual party was also cancelled during this oddball year.
During oddball times like these, we have to remember to grieve our losses and to realize that we are not alone.
I’m looking forward to lots of oddball comments, below, and here’s some oddball thanks from one oddball to another!
Everyday I look around, wondering if something terrible is about to happen.
Here’s what today’s Daily Bitch Calendar has to say about that:
Something terrible might include floods …
or technology disasters.
How do we enjoy the good times if something terrible is probably about to happen? Is it possible that knowing that something terrible (like injustice, pain, sickness, and death) is probably about to happen might HELP us enjoy the good times?
In both of my Coping and Healing groups yesterday, people talked about good times AND somethings terrible, which I wrote up on The Board of Importance.
Somebody who had been away from the group for a long time shared that listening to this song on YouTube had helped them get through something terrible:
Feel free to share good times, something terrible, or anything else in the comments section, below.
Yesterday, in a Coping and Healing group, non-difficult people talked about difficult people.
If it’s difficult to see “difficult people’ in that list of topics, it’s on the third line, third topic from the right. Some solutions to dealing with difficult people are also on that third line: “self care” and “letting it go.”
Coincidentally, I was researching difficult people the day before that group. Here‘s a link to a Psychology Today article by Kimberley Key — “How to Handle a Crazymaker: 4 keys to keep from losing it when they start playing games.” Kimberley Key’s 4 keys to dealing with difficult people are:
Take an observer’s point of view.
Maintain a healthy sense of self worth.
Keep a healthy distance.
Cultivate internal validation.
I need to deal with a difficult person at work today. Blogging about that, here and now, is reducing the difficulty for me — I’m actually looking forward to the opportunity to practice these helpful skills.
Is that difficult to believe?
Let’s see if there are difficult people in my other photos from yesterday:
Harley deals with difficult people by hiding under the bed.
Even difficult people can inspire good things. It was because of a difficult person that I wrote my first original song, 16 months ago:
And a difficult person inspired my latest song, which I performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last month:
How do you deal with difficult people?
Here’s another way I deal with difficult people: I get in touch with the gratitude I have for all the non-difficult people in my life, including YOU.