Posts Tagged With: Tom Joyce

Day 1706: The best views of Edinburgh

Yesterday, as I took my farewell walking tour of this magnificent city, I saw a sign promising “The best views of Edinburgh.”

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I didn’t climb the Scott Monument, so perhaps my views are not the best views of Edinburgh (even though in my view, they’re pretty great).

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That last photo is another best view of somebody my son Aaron and I view as the best stand-up comic/improviser/PhD of Mathematics in Edinburgh — Dr.  Tom Joyce.  (Tom is best viewed in my previous posts here, here, here, and here).

Over the  years that Aaron and I have gotten great views of Edinburgh, some of our  best views have been thanks to Tom.  Somehow, we always run into Tom and get to view his kind, comic, creative, and often surprising views.  Yesterday, I got a different and surprising best view of Tom when we viewed each other’s medic alert bracelets and found out we both

  • take Warfarin/Coumadin,
  • were born with heart conditions,
  • have cardiac pacemakers,  and
  • got our first pacemakers when we were young (age 10 for me, age 11 for Tom).

The best thing I can say about that is this: even when you think you’ve gotten the best views of somebody, there’s always more to view.

Soon I’ll be getting best views of the friendly skies on my flights home to Boston, so I’ll leave you with these best views of Edinburgh:

In your view, what are the best views of Edinburgh in today’s post?

All my best to those who helped me share the views in today’s post and to all my readers who — in my view — are THE BEST.

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

Day 1328: Welcome, World

I welcome the welcoming spirit of Edinburgh, Scotland, which is known around the world and demonstrated in this worldly welcome I saw yesterday:

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If anybody is thankful that I took and shared that welcoming photo, you’re welcome.

When my son Aaron and I welcomed the new day in Edinburgh, yesterday, it was raining. Because we’ve been to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe three times before, we were ready to welcome the rain.

As we were walking through Edinburgh’s welcoming  Grassmarket section, we were welcomed by a new concept in comedy delivery:

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I welcomed the idea of attending a fifteen-minute comedy show inside a van, especially because it was raining.  Also, I welcome any new concept I think is smart and effective.  Aiden, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the Titter Truck, was very welcoming.

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Aiden — who welcomed the rain with that fashionable animal-skin raincoat —  welcomed my  telling him I welcomed the Titter Truck as a brilliant innovation. He also suggested I give my welcoming thanks and credit to Jed Marshall, who welcomed the Titter Truck to the world:

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Jed welcomed my thanks for his business genius and comic timing, and also welcomed the idea of my son Aaron doing a fifteen-minute version of his own stand-up routine (which has been welcomed in Boston, L.A., and the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014) on a later date in the Titter Truck.  I welcomed that invitation  by negotiating with Jed a deal of 5 pence for Aaron if he performs,  with me, as his manager, getting a welcome 10% of that payment.

I hope Aaron welcomes the effort I put into promoting his comedy career around the world.

It’s time to welcome the other photos I welcomed into my iPhone yesterday  in worldly, welcoming Edinburgh.

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At the end of long day filled with welcomed laughs and titters in Edinburgh, Aaron and I welcomed seeing that poster for the same Louis C.K. show we welcomed seeing in Massachusetts USA earlier this month.  Just as we were welcoming the realization that we were fast approaching our Edinburgh lodgings, we saw another unexpected but very welcome sight:

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Tom Joyce, whom I first welcomed into this blog three years ago as my favorite Edinburgh comic, was spotted by Aaron last night welcoming people into an improv comedy show.  Even though I was tired, I welcomed the opportunity to see Tom perform again.

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I very much welcome the fact that Dr. Tom Joyce — who recently welcomed his doctorate in mathematics and who will have a research job at Edinburgh University next year —  will be welcoming Aaron into the Edinburgh worlds of academics and comedy.

I hope you welcome this question: which of the photos in today’s blog did you welcome the most?  Which photo did you welcome the least? As always, I welcome all comments, no matter what in the world you choose to share.

Thanks to all the welcoming people we met yesterday in welcoming Edinburgh and thanks to you — of course! — for your welcomed visit, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1327: Why did Ann share this picture?

Why did Ann choose today’s title?

I chose that title because of this picture I want to share from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe …

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… and because I sometimes  imagine my readers asking themselves …

Why did Ann share this picture?

I wonder if you’ll ask that question about any of my other photos from yesterday, which I shall now share (in chronological order and with no editing whatsoever).

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Why do you think I shared these pictures?

Many thanks to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ada/Ava by Manual Cinema, Marc Mackinnon (last appearing in this blog during the 2015 Festival Fringe), Lucie Pohl, the amazing Neal Portenza (who has appeared previously in this blog here, here, here, here, here, and here), Josh Ladgrove,  Asexual Healing, our favorite Edinburgh-based comedian Dr. Tom Joyce (appearing in Asexual Healing and previous blog posts here, here,  and here), and everybody  who contributed an image to today’s post.  And special thanks to you — of course! — for whatever you choose to share, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1326: Perfection is a matter of time

What do you think of today’s blog title?  Is perfection a matter of time? Is perfection ever possible, no matter how much time we have?  Is it worth our time trying to be perfect?

Because I woke up so late today in Edinburgh, Scotland, I have no time to make this post even close to perfect.

Yesterday, it took time for me to perfect my understanding of this sign:

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It was a matter of time before I perfected how I captured that sign (because of my son’s perfectly timed interruptions):

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Earlier in the day, I thought I had found the perfect title for today’s blog post …

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…  but it was only a matter of time before I changed my mind.

I don’t have time to explain all the other photos I took yesterday. I will, imperfectly, mention some Scottish experiences that matter to me:

  1. My perfect son Aaron and I are attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for our fourth time.
  2. We love taking the time to talk to the perfectly wonderful people here.
  3. My ex-sister-in-law Deborah, her daughter Laura, and Laura’s daughter Victoria arrived yesterday to join us, after spending lots of imperfect time in a New York airport that had no power and waiting hours of time for their rooms in Edinburgh to become available.
  4. We found a perfect Edinburgh labyrinth yesterday.
  5. Whenever Aaron gets hold of my iPhone camera, it’s only a matter of time before he takes extreme closeups.
  6. Aaron and I spend a lot of time discussing which of the Fringe posters comes closest to being perfect.
  7. Last night, we saw Josh Ladgrove a/k/a Neal Portenza in another amazingly inventive and hilarious performance. Every year we see him, Neal Portenza perfectly puts Aaron is his show.
  8. It’s only a matter of hours before we  all see the Neal Portenza show again.
  9. After we see Neal Portenza Neal Portenza Neal Portenza Neal Portenza Neal Portenza Neal Portenza  Neal Portenza Tracey again tonight, we are going to see Tom Joyce, our favorite local comedian.  Every year  Aaron and I have been coming to the Fringe, it’s only a matter of time before we run into Tom on the street at the perfect time or otherwise figure out a way to see him.

It was only a matter of time before I showed you my other photos from yesterday.

 

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It was only a matter of time before I would remind you if you can’t perfectly see any of those imperfect photos, you can click on them to enlarge them.

What’s the perfect music for this post?  Damned if I know, but it was only a matter of time before one of those photos would inspire this:

As imperfect as this post is, it took me much more time than I expected to finish it. So here’s some imperfect thanks to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — for taking the time to visit today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 598: Surprises

Today, my son Aaron and I are leaving Edinburgh, Scotland, flying on a couple of airplanes, and returning to our home near Boston, Massachusetts in the United States.

It’s been a wonderful trip. Which was not surprising, considering the wonderful times I had in Edinburgh, the two times I’ve visited before.

I don’t have a lot of time to blog this morning,  so I thought I would leave you with just a photo or two from yesterday’s adventures at the Fringe Festival in this fair city.

That number of photos may not be surprising, since the commitment I made to my readers was to post one photo a day while on my vacation.

I took a lot of photos yesterday, which was one of the best — and surprising — days my son or I have ever experienced, in our 16 and 61 years on this earth, respectively.

What was so great and surprising about yesterday?

For one thing, in an incredible coincidence, we ran into our favorite local comedian from our visit  last year to the Edinburgh Fringe — Tom Joyce — who just happened to be one of only four other people attending a fabulously funny performance of Cynthia Levin a/k/a Linda Lovin.

One of our quests, this year in Edinburgh, was to find Tom again. After searching for him on the internet and in person, we had decided this was an impossible dream. So, yesterday, when I heard Aaron gasp “Oh my gawd!” during Ms. Lovin’s performance yesterday, I realized whom he had spotted, in the first row.

Also appearing at Ms. Lovin’s performance yesterday was my comedy teacher from the 1980s and current Los Angeles comedy star — Ron Lynch.  THAT was not so surprising, since we met the lovely and hilarious Linda when she performed a couple of night’s ago at Ron’s nightly midnight show, here in Edinburgh.

It was also NOT surprising to see Ron there yesterday, since Aaron and I had planned to have dinner with him on our last night Edinburgh.

So, to review, it was no surprise to see Ron.  But it was a huge surprise to see Tom Joyce on our last full day, after Aaron and I had given up hope of finding Tom again (at least this year).

Then, Aaron and I experienced, in rapid succession, more surprises:

  • Tom remembered us from last year, including (1) my blog post about him and (2) the fact that Aaron had red hair then.
  • Ron offered Tom a spot on The Tomorrow Show this week because, Ron said, “I trust their recommendation.”
  • Ron offered my son Aaron, who has been doing open mic comedy in Boston for the past six months, a spot on last night’s Tomorrow show.

 

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Surprise!

Thanks to Aaron, Ron, Linda, Cynthia, Tom, and everybody else currently enjoying the extremely excellent city of Edinburgh. And — of course! — thanks to you, for any surprises you might bring or experience, today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 559: Go Back

I’ve titled this post “Go Back” for many reasons. “Go Back” is …

  • What I’m doing tomorrow, to work.
  • The fall-back plan, in a favorite movie, The Princess Bride.

(found on YouTube here)

  • What dear reader Mark Bialczak is doing tomorrow, to a 9 to 5 job, for the first time in over a year.
  • What I wish some ants would do, right now, to their home-based nest, wherever the hell that is.
  • The “big moment” of Diane Court’s graduation speech, in another one of my favorite movies, Say Anything.

(Found on YouTube, here, at the beginning of lots of clips from that film)

  • What is difficult for me to do, to sleep, after I’m awakened by light, unless I’m wearing this:

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  • What Oscar likes to do, on our balcony bannister.

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… which, this year, will  include my stand-up-comedy teacher from the 1980s, Ron Lynch.

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(I found this photo of Ron here)

  • Something I and other human beings do, in our minds, into the past.
  • What I did, yesterday, with people I love, to Arlington, Massachusetts, USA.

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I want to go back, for a moment, and say something about that last photo. After boyfriend Michael, son Aaron, and I spent some quality time, yesterday, at the Arlington Alive Summer Arts Block Party, Michael pointed out a personal wish to us:

Buildings under five stories should not, under any circumstances, be called “Towers.”

Here’s my own wish, this morning:

When we go back (no matter how, where, when, or why), we all go without regret, anxiety, or fear.

Thanks to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to Arlington, to everybody who helped make this post possible, and to you — of course! – for going back here, today.


* These are just a few of the photos I took, last year, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, appearing previously in posts herehere, here, here, here, and here.

One more footnote: When I go back to an old post, I sometimes find things I need to change. Here‘s the commencement speech from Say Anything:

 

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 225: Reasons why I should move to Edinburgh, Scotland

Reason #1:  Because humor is really important to me.

After spending just one full day in Edinburgh, I saw lots of evidence that this place would be a good match for my personal sense of humor.

For example, I like a good pun:

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I really appreciate visual humor, too:

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Also, my son and I went to several comedy shows yesterday, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, (and we plan to go to more today).  By far, the funniest person we saw yesterday was Tom Joyce, apparently a non-professional comic and student at Edinburgh University.

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I want to say these things about Tom, after seeing him perform yesterday:

  1. Tom’s humor appeals to many ages. My 15-year-old son and I both started laughing as soon as Tom started his set and we didn’t stop until he did.
  2. Tom was very smart.
  3. I’ve never seen anybody quite like him, and I’ve seen a lot of comedy shows.
  4. Another time I had a thought like #3, above, was after seeing Steven Wright in a local Boston comedy club, when he was starting out in the late 1970s.
  5. People in Edinburgh must be REALLY funny, because Tom tied for 1st place as Edinburgh University Stand Up of The Year, 2013.

Reason #2: People in Edinburgh seem to be very modest.

After the comedy review show where we saw Tom yesterday, which included comics performing on their own during the festival, Tom was very gracious as he told us the disappointing news that he did not have his own show at the Fringe. When we asked Tom his last name, and told him how much we admired his act, he was kind and appreciative, but also wanted us to know, “I’m not really famous.”

And, nobody mentioned Tom’s recent stand-up award; we had to find that out by googling him.

I’ve seen other evidence, in Edinburgh, that the people can be quite humble here. And even though I’ve written, previously, about how bragging can be a good thing to practice (especially if you are working on self-esteem issues), I still value authentic humility and modesty.

Here’s more evidence of that, in Edinburgh, where people recognize the value of the little things:

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Reason #3:  There are so many amazing things to look at.

I wrote about photo opportunities in London, a few days ago. And while London is a truly beautiful city,  in Edinburgh every moment is a photo opportunity.  Here are just a few of the ones I was able to capture yesterday (in reverse chronological order):

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I wanted to end with that last image, above, because of my final reason, this morning:

Reason # 4: If you look more closely at anything in Edinburgh, you’re likely to see something else.

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Thanks to Tom Joyce, to the other wonderful people who live in Edinburgh, and to you, for looking today.

Categories: humor, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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