Posts Tagged With: The Fenway Park area in Boston

Day 2132: Judgment Day

It’s judgment day here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

Why?  Because I observed references to judgment day within the last two days, near the same spot.




Today is also judgment day because I’ll be singing a new original song at an Open Mic tonight, and someone is sure to be judging that.

Any judgment about these other recent photos?













Today —  as I have for the last two thousand, one hundred, and thirty-one days of blogging — I am going to invite myself and others to let go of judgment and just be in the moment.

Here’s A.J. Croce with “Judgement Day.”

If I’m late to work today, there will be judgment, so I’m going to quickly end this post with gratitude to all, including YOU!





Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 667: Norms

 Yesterday, as I was jazzily driving through my neighborhood on my way to work, I saw a front lawn that was COVERED with white.

No, it wasn’t the first New England snowfall. It looked more like this:


…. which is a photo I snapped (but did not use in this blog) on the morning of the recent lunar eclipse.

As is my norm, I noticed those strips of toilet paper on that lawn and I had lots of thoughts, including:

Yikes!  Why is that place COVERED with toilet paper? Does that mean those people are being harassed, for some reason, by their neighbors?

And since that was the second time I had noticed that kind of morning decoration at that particular residence, I realized I should probably take some sort of action.

Now, it’s NOT my norm to call the police, but I didn’t know what the norm was, in a situation like this.

It IS my norm, when I’m driving to work in the morning, to be

  • tight for time,
  • encountering road traffic, and
  • hesitant to use my phone

… but I was resolute to do something about the multiple toilet-paper-on-lawn sightings.

Here’s another norm for me, lately: Siri (my alleged iPhone personal assistant) and I have a failure to communicate.  So when I told Siri, in all the ways I could imagine, to

Call the local police

… Siri replied:

I can’t do that, Ann

… in different ways. This is not my norm, but I said some very harsh words to Siri, including labeling her and her abilities in extremely unflattering and negative language. Siri, as is her norm (but not mine), took my insults in a very non-defensive and calm way, responding:

After all I’ve done for you?

… multiple times.

As is my norm, when I realize that somebody is NOT going to be of help to me, I figure out a way to get things done, on my own.  This is the phone conversation I had with the local police:

The Local Police:  Sargent So-And-So. (My norm, when I’m encountering somebody for the first time, is to forget their name.)

Me: Hi. My name is Ann Koplow. I was just driving through my neighborhood and I noticed, for the second time, that somebody had covered somebody’s lawn with toilet paper.  I wasn’t sure what to do about that, so I thought I’d let you know.

The Local Police (sounding as calm and as unflappable as Siri, which may be their norm, too, for all I know): Yes, Ma’am.  Does a high school athlete live there?

Me (taken aback and a little annoyed when I am asked a question I think I could NOT possibly know the answer to, which is another norm of mine):  I really wouldn’t know, officer.  Why? (Another norm of mine: to ask open-ended questions.)

The Local Police:  Because that’s what the kids do around here, Ma’am.  When it’s game time, they cover the homes of the local athletes in toilet paper.

Me (laughing, which is a norm of mine, when I’m relieved): Oh! I didn’t  know that.

After that phone conversation, I knew that “Norms” would be the title of today’s post, because I was thinking about how norms are different, from place to place. And I felt lucky that I was living in a neighborhood where the norm for somebody’s home being covered with toilet paper was benign and playful, rather than sinister, scary, and otherwise dangerous. I also thought about how lucky I am that it’s not my norm, since living in this neighborhood, to call the police for anything. (I’ve had to call the police for more serious matters, in previous neighborhoods I’ve lived.)

As is my norm, once I thought of a post title for this blog, I noticed norms everywhere.


Geese by the side of the road are a norm, around here.


Things of various sizes momentarily blocking my car on the way to work are another norm, these days.


Finding lots of cars needing to be parked — a sure sign that the shuttle bus between my parking lot and the hospital where I work has just left without me on it — is another norm.  However, this norm never affects me, since I walk the mile to work.


Blue skies in the morning are one possible norm around here.


Tour buses parked outside of Boston’s Fenway Park are another norm, although now that baseball season is over, I’m not seeing nearly as many as these.


One of my morning, work-week norms is saluting Carl Yastrzemski, as I walk by the statue honoring him, outside of Fenway. I just broke another one of my norms — misspelling names. I remembered, exactly, how to spell Captain Carl’s.

Blogging norms for me include balancing my needs with other people’s needs, so I need to take a short break here, to check if my son needs any help from me getting out to school this morning.

My son, Aaron, needed a little — but not much — help from me. Since he’s 16 years old, this is a developing norm.

Where was I?  Oh, yes. Photos from yesterday, when I was noticing norms.

As I walked by Fenway Park, on my way to work, a strange man was suddenly in my face, showing me his camera. Since I was wearing my headphones, listening to some music I included in yesterday’s post, I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I could tell, though, from his non-verbal cues, that he wanted me to take a photo of him and his female companion, standing outside of Fenway:


Of course, that’s not the photo I took with his camera.  I took that photo with my phone, after we exchanged words, including:

Strange man: Here!  You just push these buttons!

Me: (as I try to figure out how to take the photo quickly):  You know, I’m on my way to work!

Strange woman: I know!  He didn’t even ask you!

Strange man: That’s Californians for you!

Me: Or guys! *

Strange woman: Yes!  Guys!

Then I noticed another strange guy, who said, “His photo is in post offices, everywhere!” I said, “Hey!  I use that line, too!”  Then I took a quick photo of these three visitors from a strange land called “Long Beach”


…  before I jazzed off to work.

My norm — in taking photos for this blog — is to let people know I’m doing that. A few minutes later, I encountered this gentleman:


He also gave me permission to take his picture, although — as with the visitors from California — I did not get his name.

Here are a few more local norms I observed, on my way to work, yesterday morning:

IMG_1465 IMG_1468 IMG_1470 IMG_1472 IMG_1474 IMG_1482

Later in the day, I observed a common norm at the hospital where I work, as I took a Starbucks break. I saw some unfamiliar faces there, including Kate:


and some familiar ones, including Alex and Jeannette:

IMG_1485 IMG_1486

Because Kate and I just met yesterday, she spelled my name wrong:


But, despite our unfamiliarity with each other, Kate and I bonded over music, like so:

Me: (thinking Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is singing in the background at Starbucks): Who is that singing, right now?  Is that Ella Fitzgerald?

Kate: I think that is definitely Ella. She has such a great voice.

Regular readers of this blog know I like to include music I love here. While I couldn’t find a YouTube video of the song I heard Ella singing in Starbuck’s yesterday, I did find this:

(Ella Fitzgerald scattin’ some Jazz found here on YouTube)

Before I end this post, I’ll point out another one of my blogging norms: I’ve linked, within this post, to past posts and Wikipedia (and other reference) pages.

What norms do you have (related to blogs and other things)?

One more norm for me to take care of, this morning, before I leave for work.

Oh, wait!  Before I end this post, here are some photos I took yesterday, after work, that I wanted to show you.  Do you notice any norms, here?

IMG_1491 IMG_1492 IMG_1494 IMG_1496 IMG_1497 IMG_1501IMG_1498 IMG_1503 IMG_1505 IMG_1506

Okay!  Here’s my final blogging norm, for today:


* The two guys I live with have pointed out, several times, that sexist comments like that are yet another one of my norms.

For those of my readers who were expecting some sort of visual pun in this post, here you go:

norm 1-norm-cheers

Categories: inspiration, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 584: The Red One

Here’s the cool music that came on, yesterday, as I started my walk to work.

(YouTube video found here)

It’s “The Red One,” written by Pat Metheny and played by two amazing jazz guitarists: Pat and John Scofield.

I learned yesterday why that tune has that title.  Somebody at a Pat Metheny concert once yelled out “THE RED ONE!” requesting that Pat play his special red guitar.

Here’s a live version of “The Red One,” so you can see Pat Metheny and John Scofield, playing away,  plus guitars of different colors (none of which look red, to me):

(YouTube video found here)

Anyway, when that tune came on yesterday, I thought

That, right there, is a very adequate title and topic for tomorrow’s post.  Not only does that give me an excuse to share something else by  my favorite musician and tell people about two of the finest jazz guitarists performing anywhere in the world,  it also provides the perfect balance of structure and freedom for the photographic component of the post, allowing me to seek an aesthetically pleasing and visually cohesive solution that embraces perhaps photos I’ve taken in the past as well as those I can take today.

Actually, my thoughts weren’t really like that. My actual thoughts were more like this:

The Red One! Wow! I love that song!  Hmmmm.  Photos? Ooooh!  I like to take pictures of colors, numbers, and stuff like that! Yay!!

And, immediately, I snapped this photo, in service of “The Red One” theme.


That certainly fits the premise, I thought.  I mean, there IS a red one, in that picture. However, that’s a little too advertising-y, for my tastes.

What do you think?

There MUST be other photos I can find for this piece, that are less commercial, I thought, yesterday morning.  I’m sure I can find images, today, that include …

  • the color red,
  • the number one
  • red letters,
  • other red things, standing out amidst obviously non-red things, and
  • other riffs on the theme “The Red One.”

Hey (I thought) !!! What if I find and show things that are a close-to-perfect realization of tomorrow’s post theme and then –BIG FINISH! — hit my readers with an ACTUAL RED ONE.

I was very pleased with myself, about these ideas.

And, immediately, I saw and snapped these:

IMG_7711      IMG_7712IMG_7713 IMG_7714 IMG_7715 IMG_7716

At this point, I was thinking …

Ooooh!  Maybe I can make the point that when we choose a theme or a way to look at things, THAT is what we’re going to see.

I also thought

I hope I don’t take TOO MANY photos today.  I have sooooo many things to do and take care of. I don’t want to spend too much time photographing and I don’t want to get overwhelmed, later, trying to decide among too many pictures.

And then, I noticed this:


Okay, then!  I reached my goal, for the day.  I found The Red One!  Now, I can relax.  My preparation, for tomorrow’s post, is done, I thought.

But, somehow, I couldn’t help myself. I took many, many more photos, throughout my day, that I believed could fit my theme.

Now, as I’m creating this post, I have two other goals: I don’t want to overwhelm (1) me or (2) you.

Let’s see how this goes, shall we?

First of all, before I show you any more photos,  I want to tell you that I took (hold on, I’m going to count) ….

ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-ONE photos yesterday.

Wow.  I’ve really got my work cut out for me, today.  So many choices!  I usually take WAY FEWER shots, with my iPhone. As a matter of fact, often I show you most (or even all) of the photos I’ve recently taken.

Granted, some of those photos are ones that my iPhone snapped on its own, accidentally, with no intent of mine —  but that number is  (hold on, I’m going to count) …

12 of all the photos I took yesterday are obvious throw-aways.

Eeeek!  How am I going to show you photos that meet my theme AND capture my day yesterday, as I:

  1. Walked to work, from the parking lot where I leave my car,
  2. Interacted with many people, in the morning,
  3. Left work and walked back to my car,
  4. Went to Pacemaker Clinic to get my pacemaker checked, at a different hospital from where I work,
  5. Ran into one of my cardiologists, Dr. Salem,
  6. Drove home,
  7. Interacted with my son Aaron and my boyfriend Michael,
  8. Welcomed a veterinarian who makes house calls, so she could (1) give our two cats their yearly exams and shots and (2) meet our newer cat, Harley,
  9. Said goodbye to Aaron as he left for (1) the final dress rehearsal for his play and (2) his Wednesday night stay with his father,
  10. Spent quality time  with Michael, at our usual Wednesday evening haunts of (1) Panera Bread, for dinner, (2) PetSmart, to get cat supplies and to hang out with the animals there, and (3) Whole Foods, to hang out and buy one or two items that strike our fancy….

…. without getting overwhelmed?!?!?

I shall do my best.

Wait!  Here are some things I know will help me not get overwhelmed, from past experience. I need to make this task do-able, by setting limits. For example, I am now telling myself that:

  1. I don’t need to show you all the photos I took yesterday.
  2. The photos I choose will be good enough, for the purposes of this post.
  3. The post is already good enough (AND I can make it better).
  4. I can’t think of a fourth thing, right now, but that’s a good enough list, already.
  5. If I think of something else I want to tell you, I can add it later.

Oh!  I remembered one more thing I want to tell you: I didn’t take pictures of EVERYTHING yesterday.

Okay! I shall now present you with some photos I took, yesterday, inspired by “The Red One” (in order of appearance):

IMG_7718 IMG_7719 IMG_7733 IMG_7734 IMG_7735 IMG_7737 IMG_7741

IMG_7742 IMG_7744 IMG_7747 IMG_7750 IMG_7752 IMG_7754IMG_7756 IMG_7758 IMG_7763 IMG_7769 IMG_7773 IMG_7774 img_7777 IMG_7779 IMG_7787  IMG_7790 IMG_7794 IMG_7795 IMG_7798IMG_7799 IMG_7800 IMG_7802 IMG_7803 IMG_7805 IMG_7808 IMG_7809 IMG_7812 IMG_7817 IMG_7819 IMG_7821 IMG_7822 IMG_7823 IMG_7825 IMG_7831 IMG_7834 img_7839 IMG_7841 IMG_7849 IMG_7857 IMG_7858 IMG_7859 IMG_7861

Phew! That wasn’t so bad.

Am I really done, for this post?

Well, I think I need to explain at least ONE of those photos.  I mean this one, where there is NOTHING red to be seen, anywhere:


That, ladies and gentlemen, is my 16-year-old son, Aaron, who has made two previous photographic appearances in this blog (here and here).  If you’ve seen Aaron before, you would know that his hair is, naturally, red. However, it’s dyed brown now, for his play.

Any questions?

Thanks to all the red ones in my life and to you — of course — because you READ this, today!

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

Day 576: No Absolute Time

I think, write, feel, and dream — a lot — about time.

I have been doing that, for a very long time. That is the absolute truth.

I believe I am not alone, focusing on time. Here are some thoughts about time that have helped me (and others), many times:

Your time on earth is not unlimited.

Every moment is precious.

The past is the past.

We cannot know the future.

The only thing we have, for sure, is the present.

There is no time like the present.

You have all the time you need.

That last line might seem like a contradiction, at times.  However, that thought is absolutely necessary, for me, to let go of anxiety about time.

At work, I feel I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.

My third-year work anniversary is August 2. That is, absolutely, three days from the time I am writing this.

If I am to remain healthy in mind, soul, and body, I must find ways to deal with time-based anxiety.

I am inspired, by problems, to seek solutions. I am doing the best I can, with the time I have.

I had absolute time, yesterday, for all these images:




IMG_7520 IMG_7521 IMG_7523IMG_7525

IMG_7527 IMG_7528 IMG_7531

IMG_7533 IMG_7536 IMG_7548

I have the time and space for one more photo, this morning:


I always have time for comments and questions.

Do you have time, today?

Thanks to Jean Luc Ponty, to the lovely woman at the front desk where I work, to all who are dealing with time in any way, and to you — absolutely! — for taking the time to be here, now.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 537: Barriers and Obstacles

Yesterday, barriers and obstacles  were very much on my mind.

What are the barriers to our getting what we want or need?  What obstacles get in the way of our moving forward, and why?  How do we judge ourselves and others, when we encounter these?  And are there other, more helpful ways to view these situations?

As usual, when something is on my mind, I see evidence and examples, everywhere I look.

Barriers sometimes get in the way of seeing clearly, figuring out what’s ahead:



Sometimes, we just can’t figure out what’s there, no matter how we look at it:



No matter what’s in front of you, there’s no shame in asking for more information, or other types of help.

Some obstacles can appear suddenly, leaving no room to proceed as planned:


With other unexpected obstacles, sometimes we can see a way to stay our course, by slightly altering our steps.



Obstacles can seem different, depending upon our perspective:



For example, stairs are more tiring for me these days, so I see them differently. However, the stairs are the same as they ever were.  I just need to go more slowly, negotiating them.


Something might stop us, temporarily:


But if we wait patiently, and proceed with care, we can keep moving forward.



Sometimes, people might seem to be blocking our way.


However, we might be over-rating a person’s importance and permanence, in our lives.


If we give somebody too much power, we might lose track of what surrounds us.




Speaking for myself, I tend to focus on problematic people — their thoughts, their actions, the harm they might possibly do.

It helps to let go of worry about that (and other things):


It also helps to focus on supportive people around you:


… even if you can’t come up with many names, initially.  Chances are, there’s a team nearby


… even if they’re difficult to recognize, at first.

Sometimes, obstacles can block our ability to see the most obvious things around,


but going a short distance can help us see more of what’s there.


And while there might be lots of things telling us not to proceed,




… sometimes we just have to cross a line, and keep on going.IMG_6061

Thanks to all those who deal with barriers and obstacles as best they can, to supportive people everywhere (named Mark or otherwise),  to the guys at my parking garage (who have told me that bird poop on my car is lucky), to creatures that poop, to anybody who needs help interpreting anything I ever write or say (because of inevitable barriers to communication), and to you — especially! — for overcoming any obstacles to get here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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