Posts Tagged With: Talking Heads

Day 2835: Heads

Yesterday, my beloved long-time friend Barbara headed over to our place for our first in-person meeting since the pandemic.  After she parked her car and saw me waiting for her outside, the realities of the coronavirus momentarily went right out of her head and she instinctively hugged me — I turned my head away during the hug. Then,  we headed out for a walk and a delicious lunch outside, wearing masks on our heads.

Our conversational topics were headed up by:

  • the current head of the United States,
  • systemic racism,
  • other things that are worrying our heads (like voting and bureaucracies),
  • photography, and
  • how Barbara helps her partner, Jim,  get his  head out of the sand and how Jim helps Barbara get out of her head.

I have it in my head, here and now, that there will be many heads in my recently captured images.

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I usually have it in my head that the Daily Bitch calendar will somehow relate to my daily blog post and sure enough, the name of this adorable neighborhood dog with the amazing head …

… is Donut.

 Here‘s a favorite song fromTalking Heads:

In my head, it DOES feel like life during wartime.

If you have thoughts in your head about this “Heads” post, feel free to express them in a comment, below.

Gratitude is always in my head, so thanks to all who help me create this blog, including YOU!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 869: Jerks

At my appointment yesterday morning, with Dr. Estes at the Cardiac Arrhythmia Center of Boston’s Tufts Medical Center,  it became obvious that today’s post should be called “Jerks.”

That’s NOT because I think Dr. Estes is a jerk — quite the contrary. Dr. Estes is the opposite of a jerk. (Am I a jerk for not knowing the right word for opposite-of-jerk? Would you be a jerk if you knew that word and didn’t share it here with the rest of us?)

No, I realized that today’s  post should be titled “Jerks” because:

  1. I could have felt like a jerk for jerking a little with anxiety over the weekend about how swollen my new pacemaker/ defibrillator was, after my implantation surgery two weeks ago.
  2.  Dr. Estes reassured me that my knee-jerk, worst-case fear — that the implantation site was infected — was not true.
  3. I wasn’t being a complete jerk asking to be seen by him yesterday, since the site really was quite swollen.
  4. The swelling is due to the increased jerking of my arm (as I am returning to normal movements), combined with my need to be on anticoagulants because the upper part of my heart is constantly jerking with atrial fibrillation.
  5. I can feel like a jerk if (a) I bother a doctor for no reason AND (b) I don’t bother a doctor when I need to, which doesn’t leave me a lot of room to feel non-jerky.
  6. When Dr. Estes asked me to assess my return to work  (full-time, starting just one week after the surgery), I replied, “Work is great, except for the jerks.”
  7. Dr. Estes jerked a little with suppressed laughter as he gave me this medical advice in response:  “Maybe when the jerks are giving you a hard time, you can …” and he mimed grabbing the shoulder location of an implanted device and jerking with cardiac distress.
  8. When I told Dr. Estes that — ever since the May 4th surgery — my heart beating can cause  a strong jerk in my rib cage, depending upon my position, he said, “Avoid those positions.”
  9. Dr. Estes didn’t jerk with surprise or treat me like a jerk  when I  reminded him about this old joke:

Patient: Doctor, it hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Then don’t do that. 

The whole time that Dr. Estes and I  were taking about jerks, I was thinking about this Gary Larson cartoon, which I told my friend Maxine about, two days ago: 

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Do you see any jerks (who make life interesting, according to that Gary Larson cartoon) in the photos I jerkily took yesterday, after my morning appointment with Dr. Estes?

              

Actually, I am the one being the jerk in that last photo, calling out, “Hey, Jerks!” to the supremely non-jerky Jan and Arvetta at Starbucks, just to get a good “Jerk” photo for today’s post.

Any evidence of jerks in these photos, also from yesterday?

        

I have a question about those last two photos. Do you think my boyfriend Michael was a jerk for leaving me a yummy meal of bluefish to microwave for supper, because he was working last night helping his brother John?

The final three “Jerk” photos from yesterday show my son Aaron rehearsing his dramatic monologue for a play audition tonight:


  

Aaron (right) is playing Biff Loman to Oscar’s Willy Loman, and his reading got better after he used the method of saying out loud  to himself before the monologue, “Oscar’s a jerk!”

Speaking of Aaron’s audition, he’ll be performing a punk classic about a famous jerk:

“Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads is a great try-out song for Green Day’s musical, American Idiot, don’t you think?

I’d obviously be a jerk at this point if I didn’t thank Dr. Estes, Gary Larson, Maxine,  Jan, Arvetta, Aaron, Oscar, Michael, Arthur Miller (for the play Death of a Salesman), Talking Heads, and everybody else who helped me create this jerky post, today.*


* What a jerk! I forgot to thank YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Day 613: I don’t know what I look like

When I was driving into work yesterday, the traffic was awful.  It was okay, though, because I knew my first patient had cancelled. I don’t know what I looked like, behind the steering wheel of my car, but I assume I didn’t look scared about being late.

As I dealt with what looked like the last of a long series of multiple detours and cars battling it out for survival of the fastest, the Talking Heads tune  “Life During Wartime” came on the radio.

Here’s the version I heard yesterday:

(YouTube video found here)

I don’t know what Talking Heads looked like while they were singing the studio version of that song, but here’s a live performance version* of that song:

(YouTube video found here)

Yesterday, when I heard the line “I’ve changed my hairstyle so many times, I don’t know what I look like,” I wondered … could that be my next blog post title?

I haven’t changed my hairstyle that much lately (although I’ve been considering it), so only the second part of that line made the title, today.

Why did I choose that title — instead of another one that looked different — today?

Because I don’t know what I look like (and I hope I am not the only one who feels that way).

I think it’s difficult to tell what we look like. We are on the inside looking out, as everybody else is on the outside looking at those parts of us we can’t ever really see.

As Robert Burns said, in his poem “To a Louse

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!

(Or, in the current vernacular:

And would some Power the small gift give us
To see ourselves as others see us!)

(as quoted in Wikipedia)

While we can’t know what the louse in Robert Burns’s poem looked like, I will tell you that I’ve been quoting Mr. Burns elsewhere (sometimes, it looks like, erroneously):

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Och.  I’m glad Robbie Burns — the Bard of Scotland — cannot see how I mangled part of his famous poem “To a Mouse.”

I don’t know what it looks like I’m doing in this post, but I better get back to the topic, fast.

So … can we see ourselves as others see us? Do we want to?

As I had many thoughts about perception, yesterday morning, I wondered what people were seeing as I passed by them.

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I suppose I could ask the wonderful people in those last two photographs (Julia, Alex, Kevin, Erin, and others at the Starbucks I frequent at work) what they saw. Yes, I could use the antidote of Reality Testing, a very effective cure for the cognitive distortion of Mind Reading.

I wonder what Julia, Alex, Kevin, Erin, or the baristas whose names I do not know would say, if I DID ask them? I’ll let you know, if I get up the courage to ask the question.

Finally, as a fan and a student of stand-up comedy, I shall allow the late Joan Rivers to have some last words:

“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”

Thanks to Talking Heads, to Joan Rivers, to all the talking and non-talking heads I looked at yesterday, and to you — of course! — for looking at this, today.


* I don’t know if you want to look at a third version of “Life During Wartime,” but here’s the Stop Making Sense performance I looked at, with wonder, during the 1980’s:

(look at the YouTube video here)

Does anybody have any questions?

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

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