Posts Tagged With: Watertown MA

Day 546: A place in the world

Yesterday, after I created an important post (for me), I went for a walk by the Charles River, in Watertown, Massachusetts, USA.

A tune I love, by Pat Metheny, called “A Place in the World” was playing on my iPhone.

This was my place in the world, as I saw it:

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Then, my iPhone died.  And I heard and saw many more wonderful things, in that place in the world. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Then, last night, I returned to Central Square in Cambridge — a place in the world originally featured here, on Day 511: All-request Weekend.

This time, I was there with my son, for a comedy show with one of our heroes.

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(I found that image — plus an interview — here.)

That’s Jonathan Katz. (His official website is here.) On the left, he’s in his animated role of “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist.” That Comedy Central Show, airing from 1995 to 2002, is one of my favorite TV shows ever — probably not surprisingly, since it combines two of my passions: stand-up comedy and psychotherapy.  I loved each episode, all over again, when I watched them with my son, Aaron, who is also a student of stand-up comedy.

The comedians appearing on Dr. Katz’s couch ranged (alphabetically) from

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Tom Agna to

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Steven Wright, and included so many other amazing comedians, like

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Louis C.K.,

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Kevin Meany,

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Emo Philips,

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Ray Romano,

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Garry Shandling, Jon Stewart (whose animated image I can’t find, right now), and dozens more.

Also appearing on that great TV Show, with Dr. Katz, was one of my favorite Boston-based (and now Los Angeles-based) comedians …

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Ron Lynch, whose stand-up comedy class I took in the 1980’s.

Last night, at Improv Boston,   Jonathan Katz was wonderful, and not just because he included me, briefly, in his act. Aaron and I literally laughed out loud, many times.

Then, after the show, for the first time on any stage, Jonathan Katz and my son appeared together:

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I’m so glad there’s a place in the world for such things.

Many thanks to Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, and all the other amazing musicans playing “A Place in the World,” to Corporal Joseph U. Thompson, to Jonathan Katz, to Improv Boston, to Ron Lynch, to every comedian who’s ever inspired me or Aaron, to professional (and other types of) therapists, and to you — of course! — for visiting this particular place in the world, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 234: Curiosity, in the moment

At the beginnings of the therapy group sessions I do, I often state what I’m curious about — as a way to invite people to “check-in.”

This is something I often say:

Right now, I’m curious about what’s going on for you in the moment. I’m also curious about anything that might be contributing to how you are feeling and thinking, in the moment.

This morning, after I got up, I “checked-in” with myself that way. That is, I asked myself how I was doing in the moment and what might be contributing to that.

This is what I discovered:

I continue to feel some “uneasiness” when I wake up in the morning. (I wrote about that, early this year.)

It helps to sit in a quiet place and focus, as much a possible, on the present moment — letting all thoughts, feelings, etc. flow through me.

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Yes!  I gave myself “the chair” this morning, sitting mindfully for a short time.

This is what came up for me, when I asked myself what was contributing to how I was feeling in the moment:

  1. Yesterday, for the first time, I met with a lawyer to talk about my will (and other necessary plans regarding my inevitable death).
  2. Geesh, people!  Isn’t that enough?

Of course, there were all sorts of other things contributing to how I was doing in the moment.  Even if I can’t identify all those things (and who can?), it helps to be as aware, in the moment, as much as possible.

Right now, I’m aware that I’d like to end with a photo.

But which one?

How about the last photo I’ve taken, with my trusty-enough iPhone?

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Here are the points I want to make about this photo:

  1. It was taken at Strip-T’s last night, a great — if interestingly named — restaurant in Watertown, MA.
  2. I haven’t been to Strip-T’s since before April (when the outside of the restaurant was another backdrop on CNN news reports, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings).
  3. I wanted to take a photo of these three things at the restaurant, because I loved them all.
  4. To me, the pig on the right looks like it’s saying something to the pig on the left.

Of course, I’m curious about what that might be.

Thanks to Strip-T’s, ceramic pigs, curious creatures everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 227: Pros and Cons of Returning Home (from Edinburgh)

Last night, my son and I arrived at Logan Airport in Boston, one hour later than expected, after flights from Edinburgh and London. Speaking for myself (which is always a good idea, I think), I was exhausted, done with flying (at least for the day), and relieved to be home safely.

In the grand tradition that I’ve established whilst blogging on vacation, I will try to write a short post before venturing out to enjoy what looks like a beautiful day in these local parts.

The structure for today’s post?  It’s a list of Pros and Cons (which many people find to be a helpful technique for decision-making and moving forward).

Returning Home to Boston from London and Edinburgh

(An Exceedingly Brief List of Pros and Cons)

Con (for returning home):  People in the Boston area, in comparison to people we’ve seen during the last week, seem a tad more conventional and a little less colorful.

I will illustrate this with some photos I took yesterday in Edinburgh, shortly before we left for the airport:

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However, as with any kind of judgmental comparison, my assumption here might be unhelpful and erroneous.

For example, some of the people in the photos above might actually BE from the Boston area.

Also, that last photo? That’s a troupe of people performing Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Assassins.”  As I told one of the troupe members yesterday, while I regretted that we had to miss their performance, we had just seen — within the last month — a wonderful production of that same musical.

Where?  In Watertown, MA.

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Pro (for returning home):  There are creatures here at home, who seem really glad that I’ve returned.

Here’s an example of just one of those creatures, right now:

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While this “Pro” might involve some mind reading on my part, I will end this post by speaking for myself, once more.

I’m really glad to see them, too.

Thanks to all the lovely and interesting creatures in Edinburgh and in the greater Boston area, to Stephen Sondheim, to my favorite kind of egg (whether it’s called “sunny-side up” or “fried”), and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 171: I Look

Yesterday, I picked up some new glasses at Eye Look, in Lexington, MA.  I first went to Eye Look about six years ago, when a co-worker at my previous job — who had the coolest glasses, ever — recommended them.

This is Nora.  She is an eyeglass frame artiste, of the first order:

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While I didn’t get Nora in perfect focus with that photo, maybe I can do a better job in words.

I love working with Nora, because she looks at your face, goes away, comes back with amazing frames, tries them on you, looks at you again, goes away, comes back with more amazing frames, and so on, until you are wearing the most flattering frames ever, that fit you in every way.

When I went through that process with Nora before, this was the result:

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Obviously, you’re not getting the full effect of what an incredible match these glasses are for me. Nevertheless,  I hope you can see how great the frames are.  I get compliments on them all the time. I often feel like I actually look BETTER with these glasses on, than without them.  And that’s a pretty reparative experience for me, especially considering that when I first got glasses — in 4th grade — Nora wasn’t in my life, and those first frames put a sudden halt to the developing interest (even some marriage proposals) I’d started getting from the boys in my class.

I was considering searching for pictures of those 4th grade frames — or similar ones — to illustrate my point, but … no.  Instead, I’ll show you my second pair of Nora-facilitated frames, which I picked up yesterday:

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Again, the model isn’t ideal, but I hope you can see how special those frames are, too.  I love them, with a love that is true.

Nora is a genius.

Paul is the other genius at Eye Look:

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After Nora helps you choose the frames you will love with all your heart for all time, Paul does everything necessary to make sure that those frames fit perfectly — for good looks and for optimal vision.

Even better: both Paul and Nora make the whole process fun, comfortable, and interesting.

I’ve written about how much I appreciate working with people who are kind and who are good at what they do. (See here, here, and here for other posts about “members of my team.”) As I’m writing about Paul and Nora, this morning, I’m also thinking about another characteristic I value in others: a passion for the work, whatever it is.

Thanks, Nora and Paul.

Now, I’d like to take this opportunity to show you some of the images I’ve been seeing lately, as I’ve looked at the world through Nora-and-Paul frames:

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This is Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, one of my favorite places to walk and visit. (Mount Auburn Cemetery has made a previous appearance in this blog, here.) I took the above picture a couple of weekends ago, when I went there with my son.

More shots from that day at Mount Auburn Cemetery:

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Later that day, my son and I walked around Watertown, MA, a place that was in the news a lot two months ago. (Here‘s one of several posts about this.)

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There’s always a lot to see out there.

Thanks for taking a look here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 159: Random Acts of Kindness (Location: Watertown)

A week ago today, I  parked my car in the lot behind the public library in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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I put money in the meter, and noted the time.

I became engrossed in the conversation I was having, in the library cafe. Suddenly, I realized that my meter had run out. I grabbed my wallet and headed back to the parking lot.

As I stepped outside, I saw The Meter Guy, a few yards away from my car. I sprinted to the meter and said laughingly to him, on the way, “I made it!”

He  said to me, “You know, on Saturdays, you can park for free for two hours in those spaces over there,” and he waved towards another section of the lot.

However, I had just grabbed my wallet on my way — leaving my car keys back in the cafe. So I said, “Nah. That’s okay.  I don’t mind giving a little more money to the town of Watertown today.”

Before I could put the change in the meter, he said, “Wait!” And he pushed a button on his hand-held Meter Guy Instrument.

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(I LOVE that Google Images has pictures of EVERYTHING.)

As the instrument  (very much like the one pictured above) printed something out, I thought, “Huh?”  The Meter Guy took the printed, blank ticket and put it on my windshield.  “There!” he said. “Now, if somebody else comes by, they’ll know I gave you a break.”

I said, “Hey, thanks!  That’s so nice!”

Then, I went back in to finish my conversation, feeling great.

My boyfriend said about this story, “Wow!  A meter guy! That’s hard to believe. You don’t expect THAT kind of behavior from them.”

But I have the proof:

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Thanks, Watertown Meter Guy, for that unexpected act. And thanks, to you, for reading today.

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