Posts Tagged With: Tom Prendergast

Day 1098: Apricity

Yesterday, after appreciating the warmth of the sun on a winter’s day, I learned the definition of the word “apricity” at a taping of the National Public Radio show Says You! in Weston, Massachusetts.

Says You!, according to the show’s official website, is …

…a simple game with words played by two teams in front of live, enthusiastic audiences from coast to coast.  For two decades, we’ve offered our listeners the best quips, quotes and questions that public radio has to offer, all scored to the rhythms of our musical guest performers.

One of the segments of Says You! is similar to the game you might know as Dictionary or Balderdash — that is, people try to choose the right definition of a word among phony-baloney, made-up definitions. Yesterday, one of those words was apricity. 

I’m not going to make up phony definitions for apricity in this post, but I am going to ask you to guess its meaning.  I’ll give you a hint: I’ve already included the definition of apricity, above.

I’m also going to use “apricity” in a real-time, real-world paragraph, as follows:

Up until today, the combination of apricity and the malfunction of a heating system (or any other machine) would cause me significant stress and despair. (For more about that, see this previous post.)

Which of these photos, taken yesterday, are good-enough representations of apricity?

Do you think that the following two photos — which I took earlier this morning before I called for help with our heating system — are  visual representations of apricity?

In conclusion, I’d like to express apricity  — ooops!  I mean appreciation to my son Aaron and my ex-sister-in-law (ESIL) Deborah, who both accompanied me to yesterday’s taping of Says You!; to the witty, wise, and wonderful panel members of Says You!; to the late and greatly missed creator and host of Says You!, Richard Sher; to yesterday’s terrific host, Barry Nolan (who used to be a clinical social worker, like me);  to the New England Gilbert and Sullivan Society (who provided the enjoyable musical interludes during the taping of Says You!);  to the awesomely responsive and reliable Tom Prendergast of Prendergast Oil Company; to Oscar the laptop cat; and to you — of course! — for any winter warmth you bring here, no matter how you define this post.

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Day 366: S-words

Note: Some of the links in this post use adult-oriented language.

“S-words.”  Yes, that’s the title for this momentous post — my first post of the New Year and the first one that has a number higher than 365.

How did I arrive at that title?

Who cares, really?  That’s in the past.  Let’s just deal with the present for now, shall we?

Of course, now that I’ve committed to being in the present, I want to go back into the past, just for a moment (because that’s how our minds work, people). In posts past, I have blogged about words that start with a special letter: a P-Word (Procrastination), an A-word (Anger),  and a D-word (Death).

That D-word is usually a conversation stopper (and it’s really buried in that linked post, too), but let’s move on, shall we?

Today, I would like to expound/ramble/write about some S-words.  How many, exactly?

Let’s find out!

1.  Start.

Today feels like a new start, because it’s New Year’s day. It’s also a new start for me, here at this blog.

As with any new start, I’m keeping some old things — to help me feel safe, secure, and competent enough– and introducing some things that are new. I won’t name what the new things are; I’ll let you notice those on your own, if you are so inclined.

There was another, specific change I wanted to make in my blog today, but I haven’t figured out how to do it, yet. The change?  I want to stop using asterisks for footnotes (because those asterisks can sure pile up, people) and start using another S-word:  Superscripts, those little numbers that hover above the line.

I think superscripts might help provide a more convenient and pleasurable experience here — for you AND me.

2.  Support.

Support is something I sometimes have trouble asking for. I often try to solve problems on my own, because of past experiences. But I guess I might need some support, specifically with that change to superscripts.

We shall see.

3.  Steam.

Yes, steam. One of the post titles I was considering, this morning, was “Letting off steam.”  Why? Because:

  1. Our heating system (which I wrote about here) has been continuing to act hookey, flooky, or however else you want to describe a friggin’ system that isn’t working correctly. For one thing, the radiator in the bathroom started sounding (and feeling) like a seriously insane steam bath, the thermostat kept pooping out, AND the boiler in the basement was needing new infusions of water constantly. Because I don’t like to bother people, and it wasn’t an emergency, I sent an email yesterday morning to the Heating Guy on My Team, Tom Prendergast, that explained the situation but which also said, “No rush,” because I assumed this was a busy holiday time for him. Nevertheless, Tom called me back yesterday (just as my son and I were about to go out for lunch*) and he sent over two guys who changed the vent on the radiator, which is definitely helping the situation.
  2. Because situation #1 included two of my “triggers” —  machines (or other systems) not working properly AND hunger — I felt the A-word (anger), yesterday afternoon. At everybody. At the world. My son, who is so smart that when he hears a certain tone in my voice, sometimes says, “You’re hungry,” was even smarter, yesterday. When he heard “that tone” he asked, calmly, “Are we going to have our New Year’s Eve fight?”  which helped, for many reasons. What else helped? I let off some steam with my bf, Michael, about some things that had been bothering me. And, I ate some friggin’ thing.

4. Shame.

There it is. One of the big S-words, for sure.

I wrote about shame several times last year (including here). I assume I’ll write about it again, in 2014.

Here are some things I have felt shame about (which I’m working on letting go of):

  1. Anger, which is just another human feeling.
  2. Imperfections in my body and mind (also human).


Okay!  There were some other S-words I could have written about today — including  sleep, singular, and snoring, plus the S-word George Carlin said you couldn’t say on TV** — but it’s time for me to start ending this post.

So what am I missing, at this point?

An image! I can’t think of a suitable s-word for that, so let’s go with a p-word: a photograph!

Checking photos I have stored on my iPhone ….

Hmmmm. Here’s something, but it’s an image I’ve already used, twice before (here and here). It definitely is an important S-word, though:


Hmmmm. “Stop” can be a very useful word, but I’m still not satisfied. Let’s see what’s on Google Images, today, for “S-word.”

As usual, I am surprised at the selection (in order of appearance):



29934426_640 (1)*****


After that excellent S-word,”Serendipity”, Google Images then presented LOTS of pictures of …. swords.  Sorry, but those don’t meet my needs, today.

But suddenly, one more “S-word” showed up:

images (27)******


Thanks to my son, Michael, George Carlin, Tom Prendergast, anybody else who contributed to the creation of this post today, and — of course! —  to my special, surprising, and super readers, everywhere.


* We were actually going out for sushi, another S-word, but doesn’t that sound  (fill in your own judgmental word, if any, here)?

** Here‘s a link to that classic Carlin routine — “The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV”.  These days, it depends on the station.

*** That image lives here.

**** That image lives here.

***** That image lives here.

****** That image lives here.

******* That image, supposedly, lives here.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Day 355: Random thoughts about love

Well, it took me 355 days to use the word “love” in the title of a blog post this year.

I was about to say, “Shame on me,” but I stopped, because:

  • Shame doesn’t do me any good, so I would like to stop using that phrase (and let go of shame) as quickly as I can, and
  • I am already suspecting that my first sentence of this post … is incorrect.

That is, I think I MAY have used the word “love” in the title of a blog post before.

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen of the blogosphere, I shall now, with my lovely assistant, WordPress,  search all my previous posts, for a title using the word “Love.”

This may take  me a little while, but the time will pass by quickly, here.




Wow. Some interesting things have happened, here in Ann Time.

I haven’t checked my old posts yet.  Instead, I noticed, after I “paused” this post, that I was feeling unusually cold. And when I checked the digital thermostat, I saw that it was blank. I didn’t take a picture of that, but here’s a close-enough representation of what I saw:



So in the middle of writing a post on love, I was experiencing my old friend, fear.

I assume that nobody wants to feel cold, or to see a non-working thermostat. However, some people may be more afraid of those things, when:

  1. It’s very cold outside.
  2. You are alone, when you encounter the problem.
  3. No help is available, to solve the problem.

There are times, in my life, where the above factors have been true, for me.  But none of them were true, today.   However, I felt fear AS IF those three things were true.

Why? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are reasons why I might feel a more intense fear, initially, when the heat goes off and the thermostat is not working:

  1. Since I was a little kid, I’ve depended upon machines and batteries (specifically, cardiac pacemakers) to keep me alive, so I tend to overreact when machines don’t work, or when things run out of power.
  2. When I was in the hospital as a little kid, the temperature was often too cold, and I had no control over that (as I had no control over many other things).

Hey, guess what?  I just got interrupted, again, in the middle of writing this post.

But before I tell you about THAT interruption, I want to tell you what happened, regarding the thermostat and the cold.

After my first reaction (Eeeeeeek!!!!), this is what happened:

  1. I noticed that reaction of fear.
  2. I used coping skills and techniques I’ve learned throughout my life, to let go of the fear.
  3. I concentrated on the reality of the current situation.
  4. I came up with a theory of why the heat was off and the thermostat was blank.
  5. I called the Heating Guy on my team** —  Tom Prendergast —  and he agreed with my theory. As a matter of fact, he offered me a job on his night crew.
  6. We discussed possible solutions.
  7. I implemented a solution.
  8. The heat came back on and so did the thermostat:IMG_2466

Then, I called back Tom Prendergast, and left him the following message: “We are both very smart, I do not want the night job, and thank you for everything.”

And — to go back to the title of my post today — I had feelings of love, then. Because I felt safe.  I knew that I was not alone.  As a result, I was able to let go of fear, connect with my own wisdom and experience, ask for help, and solve a problem.

Yes, doing all those things, whenever I can, helps me get in touch with my feelings of love.

When I first started writing this post, there were other things I wanted to say about love.  I wanted to allow room for all — random and otherwise —  thoughts about love,  because I (like other people) can have fears about using that word.

However, right now, I have some unfinished business to complete, in this post.

I need to tell you about the second interruption I mentioned above, which occurred as I was writing this post.  That interruption was a phone call, from a dear old friend, who would like to accompany me here:


And that conversation helped me get more in touch with love, too.

One more piece of unfinished business: DID I use the word “love” in the title of a previous post this year?****

You know what?  It doesn’t matter. What matters is this: I’m using it now.

Thus concludes our post for today, dear reader.

Thanks to all my friends (old and new), everybody on my team, and you — of course! — for reading today.

* I found this image here.

** For more about the concept of “My Team,” see here and here.

*** See here, for more about escaping to there.

**** I did, actually, use the word “love” before (here and here), plus I used a variation on the word (“lovable”) here.

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

Blog at