Posts Tagged With: Steely Dan

Day 3072: Strong Encouragement

Today’s post is titled “Strong Encouragement” because (1) we could all use some and (2) I captured these two images at my local supermarket last night:


Do you see strong encouragement in my other images for today?

In college, I needed strong encouragement to read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, which included horrific scenes about how the sausage is made.

Do you need strong encouragement to watch and listen to the twins hearing Steely Dan’s “Do It Again” for the first time?

If so, I strongly encourage you to read this comment:

What does strong encouragement mean to you?

In case you didn’t know, I’m always grateful for the strong encouragement you give me to keep on blogging, every day.

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

Day 2491: Looking forward

“Looking forward” is something people often write and say about the future.  Today, I’m looking forward to

While looking forward to events in the future can help one feel hope, it can also trigger worry and fears about that future, like “Is this too much?”  “Will all these activities next week interfere in my self care?” “Will the absence of the late Walter Becker get in the way of my really enjoying the Steely Dan concert?” “What’s the weather going to be like?” “Am I ready for November?”  and “Where the hell am I going to park?”

The cure for future-oriented fears is refocusing on the present moment. And in this moment, I have several new photos to share with you.
















To make this my day, my way, I’d like to revisit and clarify one difficult-to-read photo above:


History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I’m looking forward to thoughtful and articulate future Presidents of the United States of America.

Finding this on YouTube is helping me look forward, even more, to the Steely Day concert on Friday:

I’m looking forward to knowing what you’re looking forward to. In other words, I’m looking forward to reading any comment you might leave, below.

I wonder if anybody is looking forward to my thanking everybody for all you do for me, every day, here at this blog.





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

Day 1708: Delightful Creatures

“Delightful Creatures” may seem a strange choice for a title on September 4, 2017, but this blogging creature chooses to be full of delight today, because 

  • I’m home,
  • Many I love are alive and well, and
  • I saw many delightful creatures yesterday. 

One delightful and camera-shy creature I live with — my boyfriend Michael — worked on replacing this non-delightful fixture in the sink last night. 

And while I know that Michael struggled removing that old, ineffective, and stubbornly attached  fixture …

… this morning I found this delightful new addition in the kitchen sink. 

Isn’t Michael the most delightful creature?

Today’s delightful musical choice honors somebody who created and played music that delighted this blogging creature  for many decades — the late Walter Becker from Steely Dan. 

If any delightful creatures out there choose to leave a comment, that would be delightful. 

Delightful thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to all my delightful readers. 

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

Day 1476: I haven’t been the same since …

When people get into therapy, they often say, “I haven’t been the same since …” and they name some life-changing event.

Personally, I haven’t been the same since …

  • my first heart surgery at age 10,
  • I got my first cat,
  • I got my first car,
  • I rode a bicycle for the first time,
  • my heart valve replacement surgery last September,
  • my son was born,
  • my son went away to school in Scotland,
  • my son returned home for Christmas,
  • my son went back to school yesterday,
  • I took my first disco dance lesson,
  • I met my husband,
  • my divorce,
  • my cardiac pacemaker was recalled in 1975,
  • my cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator was recalled two weeks after my valve replacement surgery in September,
  • President John F. Kennedy was killed,
  • Bobby Kennedy was killed,
  • Martin Luther King was killed,
  • John Lennon was killed,
  • I went away to college,
  • I was attacked by a rapist outside my apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
  • I first got into therapy,
  • I went to film school,
  • I became a therapist,
  • Barack Obama was elected President of the United States,
  • Donald Trump was elected President of the United States,
  • I met my boyfriend Michael,
  • I first saw Gene Kelly dance,
  • I heard my first pun,
  • I made my first pun,
  • I attended Berklee School of Music for a summer program when I was in high school,
  • I worked on the recruitment tape for Berklee College of Music in the 1990s,
  • I did stand-up comedy at an Open Mic,
  • my son performed stand-up comedy at an Open Mic,
  • I had my first cup of cocoa with marshmallows,
  • my father died,
  • my mother-in-law died,
  • my mother died,
  • my father-in-law died on Friday,
  • I encountered Mexican food for the first time,
  • I had my first black raspberry ice cream cone,
  • I saw my first palm tree,
  • I started blogging,
  • I got my first comment on this blog,
  • I bought my first personal computer during the 1980s,
  • I wrote computer manuals in the 1970s,
  • I slept out under the stars in Monument Valley,
  • I went cross country by bus,
  • I attended the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
  • I heard Pat Metheny play guitar,
  • I sang in front of people,
  • I met every person who is important to me,
  • I saw my first Stephen Sondheim musical,
  • I first heard the band Steely Dan over the sound system at a Cambridge store, playing this song

  • and countless other events.

I haven’t been the same since all those things happened and yet I’m still the same person.

I haven’t been the same since I took all these photos:









Give the happiness of a comment and I will end up happy.

I haven’t been the same since I first learned to express gratitude, so many thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being changed and yet the same, every moment.


Categories: heart condition, personal growth, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 583: What a _____ About Me

Here it is, more than a year and a half since I’ve started blogging, and I’ve yet to include a song from one of my favorite bands, Steely Dan.

No shame about that, though.

As I’ve oft written here, shame — the feeling/belief that there is something fundamentally wrong about oneself —  is toxic. Yes, shame gets in the way of growth, healing, and moving on.  So, rather than shame myself for my inaction in the past, I shall now include a Steely Dan song, in today’s post.

Which Steely Dan tune shall I pick, out of all their great songs?   I’m choosing the very one that was playing yesterday, as I walked to work:  What a Shame About Me.

Here’s a version of that, posted on YouTube:

Steely Dan songs are often little stories, narrated by a protagonist who is rather unsavory and unreliable.  In that way, they remind me of the poet Robert Browning‘s dramatic monologues, of all things.

Can you tell, at this point, that I was an English major in college? (I have no shame about that, either.)

My English-major-analysis skills tell me that What a Shame About Me is a tale told by somebody who has not done as well, in life, as some other people in his college class.

What do your analysis skills tell you, about the meaning of that song? To help with that, here are all the lyrics to What a Shame About Me:

I was grinding through my day gig
Stackin’ cutouts at the Strand
When in walks Franny from NYU
We were quite an item back then
We talked about her films and shows and CDs
And I don’t know what else
She said, “Yeah, Hollywood’s been good to me
But tell me – how about yourself”

I’m still working on that novel
But I’m just about to quit
I’m worrying about the future now
Or maybe this is it
It’s not all that I thought it would be
What a shame about me

She said, “Talk to me, do you ever see
Anybody else from our old crew
Bobby Dakine won the Bunsen Prize
Now he’s coming out with something new
Alan owns a chain of Steamer Heavens
And Barry is the software king
And somebody told me in the early 80’s
You were gonna be the Next Big Thing.”

Well now that was just a rumor
But I guess I’m doin’ fine
Three weeks out of the rehab
Living one day at a time
Sneaking up on the new century
What a shame about me

What a shame about me

I’m thinking of a major Jane Street sunrise
And the goddess on the fire escape was you

We both ran out of small talk
The connection seemed to go dead
I was about to say, hey, have a nice life
When she touched my hand and said:
“I just had this great idea
This could be very cool
Why don’t we grab a cab to my hotel
And make believe we’re back at our old school”

I said babe you look delicious
And you’re standing very close
But this is Lower Broadway
And you’re talking to a ghost
Take a good look it’s easy to see
What a shame about me
What a shame about me


Guess what?  I have a college reunion coming up next month. And, because of the fancy-shmancy, hoity-toity college I attended, I could very easily compare myself to my most distinguished, renowned, and admired classmates, and find myself wanting.

But that’s just an automatic, unhelpful cognitive distortion (see Comparisons, in this list).

When I go to my college reunion in September, I resolve  NOT to compare myself to others there. Certainly, I will  NOT say this:

“What a shame about me.”

If I do choose to declare something about myself at my college reunion, what word could I use in place of  “shame” in that sentence? Perhaps I could use a word for the opposite of shame, instead. But, what IS the opposite of shame? Is it pride? Acceptance? Peace? Comfort?

Hmmm. None of those words fit, as an easy replacement. I mean, people don’t say, “What a Pride (or acceptance, peace, or comfort) About Me.”

Maybe I need a different sentence.

In any case, here are some things that HAVE been about me, lately:


IMG_7619 IMG_7641 IMG_7653 IMG_7671 IMG_7675 IMG_7687

IMG_7690 IMG_7693


photofromM1 photo2fromm IMG_7709


What a world about me, don’t you think?

Thanks to my boyfriend Michael (who was responsible for the last three images), to Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, to Robert Browning, to my college classmates, to people who are doing their best to let go of shame (and other unhelpful things), and to you — for whatever words, feelings, thoughts, etc. are about you, today.

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

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