I have two goals for life, really (beyond and incorporating the chief end of man).
1. To be present with the people I love and to honor each specific relationship to the best of my ability.
2. To always be learning and growing and be a better photographer.
The rest is just not as important.
That whatever you might do elsewhere,
In the time remaining, you might do here
If you can resolve, at last, to pay attention.” —a quote from “Drugstore” by Carl Dennis, from Callings. © Penguin Poets, 2010. (via writersalmanac)
your closest friends
feel the time
has come to tell you
that every Thursday
we have been meeting,
as a group,
to devise ways
to keep you
in perpetual uncertainty
by neither loving you
as much as you want
nor cutting you adrift.
Your analyst is
in on it,
plus your boyfriend
and your ex-husband;
and we have pledged
to disappoint you
as long as you need us.
In announcing our
we realize we have
placed in your hands
a possible antidote
indeed against ourselves.
But since our Thursday nights
have brought us
to a community
rare in itself
with you as
the natural center,
we feel hopeful you
will continue to make unreasonable
demands for affection
if not as a consequence
of your disastrous personality
then for the good of the collective.” —“We Who Are Your Closest Friends” by Phillip Lopate, from At the End of the Day. © Marsh Hawk Press, 2010 (via writersalmanac)
This comes from Ryan Lindsay, MSW LCSW, who I heard speak at a COCAN training two weeks ago. Terrific, common-sense, you-can-do-this kind of a talk… I really needed that! They work for therapists AND plain old human beings as well.
1. Take a nonjudgmental stance. (Seems obvious — takes practice.)
2. Use validation/acceptance strategies (with clients AND self).
3. Lose your agenda. Today is not your only try.
4. Accept the fallibility of the therapist/worker. Recognize and accept mistakes.
5. Repair the relationship. Model mistake-making as a way of life.
6. Take a location perspective: where are you, where is the client, where do you want to be? Link these places.
7. Practice radical genuineness; respond to human misery.
8. Recognize the role of experience. Research suggests clinicians with 6+ years of practice help clients find better outcomes more consistently.
Ernest Greene, a.k.a. Washed Out, opens up to NPR’s Morning Edition about making his first full-length album. Hear the interview.
Shit dude, don’t share the secret!
Really fun interview and really great music. Check it out, folks. I dunno, it’s a terrific thing but also so AMERICAN to think that anybody can wander off to their cottage and make a terrific single and be happy about it. The land of opportunity! Anybody can be great! (Anybody that can afford a cottage.)
(got this in a work email yesterday — deleted the cheesiest ones)
- I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
- The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
- Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
- War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
- The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
- A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
- How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
- I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
- You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
- Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
- Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
- Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
- There’s a fine line between cuddling, and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
- When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
- You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
- To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
- Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
- A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine
The Qanuc-folk of the snow-mantled Trollfells have a proverb. ‘He who is certain he knows the ending of things when he is only beginning them is either extremely wise or extremely foolish; no matter which is true, he is certainly an unhappy man, for he has put a knife in the heart of wonder.’ More bluntly, new visitors to this land should take heed: avoid assumptions.
The Qanuc have another saying: ‘Welcome stranger. The paths are treacherous today.’” —Williams, T. (1998.) The dragonbone chair. New York: DAW.
I have to get this off my chest. Last night, I sat myself and my dinner down in the living room to screen what I thought would be a horrible pick for the next installation of “Breakfast and a Movie” at the agency for which I work. You know how it is when you’re just starting something new? There’s about a 6 month period (although it feels longer) when each time one’s ready to sit down and bask in a job well done, two other jobs that one has forgotten about or that one was never informed of come bouncing up, loudly demanding one’s attention. Then there are the reports, the clinical documentation, and the timesheets. Let’s please not even get into the emails and the voicemails that ask urgently for replies one doesn’t think one is sufficiently qualified/informed to give.
Soon, one begins to assume that each new thing will probably come out half-baked at best. One starts to view one’s own skills and strengths and knowledge — even the ones that can be substantiated as fact long before this six month transition into newfound professionalism began — as if they stood on shaky ground, as somewhat questionable, as though perhaps they might have been chalked up merely to “right-place-right-time,” after all.
Cue the Netflix description of Morning Glory, a 2010 film about which no one I know has ever heard anything. ”Whiz-kid producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) finds her abilities put to the test when she’s charged with bringing a network morning show back from ratings purgatory. Her first job: getting the show’s feuding, acid-tongued co-hosts (Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton) under control. Jeff Goldblum co-stars as Fuller’s network-exec boss and Patrick Wilson is Becky’s put-upon boyfriend in this comedy from the writer of the Devil Wears Prada.”
Harrison Ford is in this? Oh great.
But the opening scenes of the movie suggested the main character (Becky) might actually be believable. So far so good. Becky comes off as distracted but well-intentioned and capable. She leaves an awkward blind date for an early bedtime and an impossibly early day at the studio of a morning news show, where after a blistering round of brilliantly managed last-minute details, she loses her job. Her life, morphed to fit a taxing schedule full of mind-boggling tasks, rattles around pointlessly on the brink of existential crisis. At one point, her mother leans across a kitchen table and says, “You had a dream, you know? Great. At eight, it was adorable. When you were eighteen, it was inspirational. But at twenty-eight, it’s officially embarrassing. And I just want you to stop before we get to heartbreaking.”
I munched on my kale and orzo, poking my mostly-cod fishcake around on my plate. I was seeing the importance of what was happening on screen, but wondering whether this film was going to just make me feel worse about my student loans. But I was listening.
That’s when the film took off. Aline Brosh McKenna’s precise writing and a really, really great editing job by Daniel Farrell, Nick Moore, and Steven Weisberg carried me along, gathering all the ingredients of greatness with deft timing and a sense of wry humor: seasoned supporting actors, New York City, a Harrison Ford who could act, a Diane Keaton who wasn’t type-cast, a romantic twist that didn’t steal the show or make me roll my eyes, and every corner full of props and gestures that spoke perfectly of pressure and urgency. I could feel something familiar creep up my neck each time an on-air gaffe happened, or a story pushed right up against a deadline, or a conflict threatened to explode into full-fledged disaster. It was like panic but more hopeful, the kind of adrenaline-laced terror that comes when things are spiraling but just might turn out all right.
I felt myself really rooting for these people — not the actors, the characters. All of them.
Somehow, amidst the mad dash of the television business and the dismal attempts of each person to manage his or her personal agendas, this film managed to capture some pretty basic human feelings. At times, it could almost be categorized as a critique of what we watch and why, or as a predictably inspiring story of an against-all-odds female leader’s triumph, or as a life-loving beamer about the little television show that could. Any of these stories would have had me yawning and cutting the show short, saving the second half for a night when I would have more time to sleep.
I think what kept me hooked until the end was the fact that the heart of this film was a team of actors and show-people exploring what it is that we really need from each other and what it takes to get that from the people around us. We need to know that we matter. We need to be able to ask for help fearlessly and to take criticism as a sign that someone else believes in us. We need to know that we’re good at something. We need to know that we’re part of something.
So when the film made some corny moves, I went with it. Corn is believable in small doses. When a gorgeous man took an interest in McAdam’s character despite a serious height difference, it was ok. Sometimes great things happen to bumbling, clumsy folks like our heroine. And when someone decided to play an over-the-top montage of Becky running in heels across Manhattan to backdrops of fluttering pigeons, it didn’t matter. I was already on the edge of my seat, cheering. Because this film reminded me that overworked, almost-failing, insecure people can still be great. And I still know how to pick a d*mn fine movie.
…written in sharpie on paper towels:
“Dear Andy, May I have this tea bottle so that I can fill it with coffee and beer and baseball? Please be frank. Sincerely, Kyle.”
“Dear Kyle, You may in fact ahve this bottle. However: be careful never to fill it with the poison of water, for if you disrespect the bottle, the bottle will surely disrespect you. Sincerely, Andy. P.S. As pleasant a fellow as he may be, I simply cannot be Frank.”
aside from the food, the tan, the games, and the incredible breakfast conversation, my sister’s hospitality this past weekend included the gift of some really great music. and all of it is therapeutic. like a really great bon iver/iron and wine/ben folds sandwich when you’ve been living on itunes free singles of the week. (for weeks and weeks.) tempted to put the current playlist on repeat and not sleep tonight…