Posts Tagged With: the New York Times

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 2816: Minor adjustments

Yesterday, after making minor adjustments so we could connect beautifully on a ZOOM call, my friend Barbara and I talked about her brilliant realization that major issues like the current pandemic can become much more bearable if you make minor adjustments.

During the call, we made minor adjustments so we could see and hear each other better and we discussed minor adjustments to important relationships, interpersonal strategies, our health, nature walks near us, our living spaces, our diet, our weight, Zen-like attitudes, and high school connections. Here are the photos I took of Barbara while we were talking about minor adjustments:

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That’s Barbara showing me a sunset outside her window and also a view within her apartment which reminds her of a Thomas McKnight painting.  Later in the day she sent me a better photo of that view which I should be able to find and share once I make some minor adjustments.  Hold on ….

Those minor adjustments included saving the draft of this post, shutting down my laptop, using my iPhone to find and include that photo, saving the post again, and restarting my laptop to continue creating this post, but I’ve adjusted to the minor adjustments required to bring you these blog posts, every day.

Do you see minor adjustments in any of the other adjusted images I’ve captured recently?

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Yes, I sometimes need to make minor adjustments to my self esteem and reading helpful feedback like Maddie’s helps in a very major way. The minor adjustment I would make to that text exchange is the fact that I am no longer President of my local group therapy organization.  I am having no trouble adjusting to that.

Also, I’m making minor adjustments to the original song I’m planning on singing at my Zoom-based 50th high school reunion in September.  I’ve adjusted this verse …

Now it’s 2020 and we’re all here
To connect over food and beer
To embrace the living and to miss our dead
As we gather here in Marblehead.

… to this …

Now it’s 2020 and we’re all here
To connect and give each other cheer,
To appreciate the living and to miss our dead
As we gather here on Zoom instead …. of Marblehead.

Knowing me, I’ll keep making minor adjustments to that song until I sing it on September 12.

Here‘s “Minor Adjustments” by Zaccai Curtis:

I just made the minor adjustment of following Zaccai Curtis on YouTube.

Please feel free to express minor or major thoughts about minor adjustments in the comments section, below.

Gratitude is another minor adjustment with major effects,  so thanks to Barbara, Maddie, Zaccai Curtis, Thomas McKnight, my family, my high school friends, adjusting cats, and everybody else who helps me create and adjust these daily blog posts, including YOU!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2814: A Day of Ordinary Miracles

Yesterday was a day of ordinary miracles, especially because miraculous blogger Beth sent us this extraordinary hand-made condolence card for the loss of our ordinary miracle of a cat, Oscar.

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That reminds me of the day of ordinary miracles when I tried to see Oscar in the stars.

It’s a day of ordinary miracles when a miraculously wonderful person like Beth gets me in such a profound way.  Yesterday was also a day of ordinary miracles because somebody in my Coping and Healing groups said, “It’s great to have a group like this where other people get you.”  These days, it’s an ordinary miracle when people get each other.

Yesterday was also a day of ordinary miracles because my 22-year-old son Aaron agreed to take a walk with his mother. Let’s see if you can see ordinary miracles in my other photos from yesterday:

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It would be an ordinary miracle if you could find Aaron in one of those photos.

Today looks to be another day of ordinary miracles because I found this very helpful article with “Five-Minute Coronavirus Stress Resets, which include music medicine, cooling off, paced breathing, and anchoring. Here‘s the music medicine cited by Dr. Jenny Taitz that was found to be almost as effective as taking a benzodiazepine for pre-operative patients.

 

Here’s what The Daily Bitch Calendar has to say about another day of ordinary miracles:

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I am woman, hear me

  • sigh,
  • cry,
  • try,
  • laugh,
  • speak up,
  • lead,
  • follow, and
  • blog*.

Gratitude always creates a day of ordinary miracles, so many thanks to Beth, my son Aaron, Dr. Jenny Taitz, Marconi Union, and the other ordinarily miraculous ones who sustain me in this blogging journey, including YOU.

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* For other days of ordinary miracles, see the rest of the thousands of posts for this daily blog.**

** Because it’s been so long, it’s an ordinary miracle that I remember how to insert asterisks here and now.

 

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2738: Who counts?

In yesterday’s blog post, I asked the question “Who’s counting?” twice.

Today, as I am looking at others counting the horrific numbers of dead in the United States and around the world,  I’m asking, “Who counts?”

I don’t know how people in power would answer that question, but I do know how the people I love, respect, and count on would answer it.

Everybody counts.

Who counts in the phots I took yesterday?

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Who counts on love?  I do.

When I search YouTube for “Who Counts”,  I find this:

I count on you to watch that video and I count on you to vote.

Thanks to everybody who counts, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2718: Where all the monsters are

Looking back at yesterday’s Daily Bitch Calendar, I see where all the monsters are.

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I don’t know if I agree with the Daily Bitch Calendar that all the monsters are in back of me, since I see monsters elsewhere.

When we look back at my other images from yesterday, are there monsters there?

 

Therapists EVERYWHERE must deal with the monsters within their patients and themselves.

Here‘s “Calling All the Monsters” with China Anne McClain from A.N.T. Farm:

 

Where do you think all the monsters are?

Looking back again, I thought the coronavirus monster might be at CVS when I snapped this photo yesterday:

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2689: Signs of the Times

In the Times, yesterday, I saw an article about emotional store signs of a closed New York.

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During the rest of the day, there were other signs of these strange times, including these:

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I appreciate that particular sign of the times: let us be compassionate and kind to remove the sadness of the world.

Here is  “A Sign of the Times” by Petula Clark (from a long time ago):

It’s a sign of the times that I was concerned about the health of Petula Clark, who is eighty-seven years old.

It’s a sign of the times that Anna Jaworski —  who does the podcast “Heart to Heart to Anna”— asked me to appear on her show again, this time talking about the coronavirus and people with high risk heart conditions like me. Here‘s a link to my appearance on her show last year, and I’ll share the link for the new show when I get it.

It’s a sign of the times that I’m especially grateful for every day, here and now, with YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2638: Read Carefully

Who has time to read carefully these days, with all the information pouring in?

Nevertheless, I am going to read carefully before voting in the Massachusetts primary election by absentee ballot. If you read carefully, over the next few moments, you will discover that I need an absentee ballot because I’ll be attending a week-long group therapy conference in New York City the first week of March.

Read carefully when you look at my other photos from yesterday.

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If you read this daily blog carefully, you know I’ve been mourning the death of jazz keyboardist Lyle Mays all this week. Last night, when I was reading my recorded Stephen Colbert shows carefully, I noticed that keyboardist and band leader Jon Batiste was also carefully paying homage to Lyle by interjecting a musical phrase by Lyle during Stephen’s monologue:

If you read that video carefully, you’ll find the sounds of Lyle at 2:44, 4:14, 7:26, and 9:46.

Here’s “Close to Home,” the Lyle Mays composition that Jon Batiste was carefully reading and sharing.

If I read carefully, I always realize that I am not alone.

If you leave a comment, of course I will read carefully and respond.

Read carefully and you’ll see that I’m grateful for all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

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

Day 2594: I just called

I just called this post, in its first draft, “Just Another Ordinary Day,” which is a lyric from “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” by Stevie Wonder:

But when I heard that Stevie Wonder song in my earmuff/headphones yesterday, it was NOT just another ordinary day. It was New Year’s Day, which I just called extraordinary as I was reviewing the 2020 visions I captured yesterday:

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I just called a few of those photos extraordinary (including the ones with Oscar and the vacuum cleaner) and I’m wondering which photos you’d call out in a comment, below.

Also, I just called today another extraordinary day, because I get to

  • facilitate a Coping and Healing group at work,
  • start using the 2020 Daily Bitch Calendar,
  • see people and other creatures I love, and
  • have more of Michael’s incredible eggplant parmigiana (which he spent much of the day yesterday preparing, without sugar).

 

What would YOU just call today, even though it’s

  • no New Year’s Day to celebrate,
  • no chocolate candy hearts to give away,
  • no first of spring,
  • no April rain,
  • no wedding Saturday within the month of June,
  • no summer’s high,
  • no warm July,
  • no harvest moon to light one tender August night,
  • no autumn breeze,
  • no falling leaves,
  • not even time for birds to fly to Southern skies,
  • no Libra sun,
  • no Halloween, and
  • no giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring?

I just called it another day of gratitude  — for all who helped me create today’s blog post and (of course!) for you.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2513: Looks can be deceiving.

Let’s look at the meaning of today’s title: “Looks can be deceiving.”

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—used to say that something can be very different from how it seems or appears to be
The restaurant doesn’t look very appealing, but looks can be deceiving/deceptive.

I think many things and people can be deceiving, especially these days.  I wish that those who are commenting on the deceiving people would focus less on their looks and more on their deeds. For example, I’m tired of hearing how

  • Rudy Giuliani looks like a ghoul or a vampire (even if these observations are appropriate to the season) and
  • Donald Trump looks like a cheeto or something else orange.

After all, looks can be deceiving.  I’m sure there are people out there looking like ghouls, vampires,  cheetos, or other odd-looking things who are honest, kind, and effective leaders.  Likewise, there are people out there who look great and are deceiving, manipulative, and scary.

So why do we focus so much on looks?

I looked online and found this 2009  New York Times article Yes, Looks Do Matter, which includes these words:

… many social scientists and others who study the science of stereotyping say there are reasons we quickly size people up based on how they look. Snap judgments about people are crucial to the way we function, they say — even when those judgments are very wrong.

On a very basic level, judging people by appearance means putting them quickly into impersonal categories, much like deciding whether an animal is a dog or a cat. “Stereotypes are seen as a necessary mechanism for making sense of information,” said David Amodio, an assistant professor of psychology at New York University. “If we look at a chair, we can categorize it quickly even though there are many different kinds of chairs out there.”

Eons ago, this capability was of life-and-death importance, and humans developed the ability to gauge other people within seconds.

Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton, said that traditionally, most stereotypes break down into two broad dimensions: whether a person appears to have malignant or benign intent and whether a person appears dangerous. “In ancestral times, it was important to stay away from people who looked angry and dominant,” she said.

Women are also subdivided into “traditionally attractive” women, who “don’t look dominant, have baby-faced features,” Professor Fiske said. “They’re not threatening.”

Indeed, attractiveness is one thing that can make stereotypes self-fulfilling and reinforcing. Attractive people are “credited with being socially skilled,” Professor Fiske said, and maybe they are, because “if you’re beautiful or handsome, people laugh at your jokes and interact with you in such a way that it’s easy to be socially skilled.”

“If you’re unattractive, it’s harder to get all that stuff because people don’t seek you out,” she said.

AGE plays a role in forging stereotypes, too, with older people traditionally seen as “harmless and useless,” Professor Fiske said. In fact, she said, research has shown that racial and ethnic stereotypes are easier to change over time than gender and age stereotypes, which are “particularly sticky.”

Since I’m an older woman, I have to work extra hard to prove that I am neither useless nor any other “particularly sticky” stereotype. I’m sure I’m not alone in needing to show that looks can be deceiving.

Let’s see if looks can be deceiving in any of my photos from yesterday.

Did you know that “Looks Can Be Deceiving” is on YouTube?

I’m not deceiving when I express my thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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