Bob Woodward‘s Fear, a best-seller from the moment of its release last week, is a hard book to read.
It should be easy: the cast of characters is as familiar as family if you follow any form of current events. The problem is that as I read the book, I am reviewing the past couple of years’ history while simultaneously living with the updates. Continue reading On Fear→
Moving house is stressful but not far behind that is the work of having your home painted.
I have spent the last three weeks getting my apartment’s first paint job —and some serious plastering — in over a decade.
The real work for me was packing up each room, then unpacking so the next room could be addressed. The bedroom moved into the living room, the kitchen into the dining area, the dining area into the living room. Entryway decorations lived in my car. It gave me time to think: Continue reading Nine Tips And Reflections on Painting→
What started as the funniest news tidbit of the week has given me the creeps:
Trump said at a rally in Tampa, Florida that you need to show identification to buy groceries. (We have to show proof of age to buy alcoholic beverages.) My reaction was the usual eyeroll, followed by mild horror: Any regime that would confiscate children is not above restricting access to food. Continue reading Will Grocery IDs Become A Thing?→
What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than to escape into a musical? Mamma Mia: Here We Go Againis set in an idealized world of bright colors, music, choreography and kindness. And in this alternate universe young and old play nice, care about each other sing and dance in some over-the-top costumes, where the characters reminisce even as they move forward in their glossy lives.
Challenge accepted: Here is a Long Island Rail Road train heading eastbound to suburbia on a hot summer night in 2016. I hope a nice cool beverage awaited each passenger —and there were surely many — when they arrived home!
We’re expecting a heat wave here in New York this weekend. Nothing unusual; it is, after all, summer.
There are were only two newsy personalities I follow(ed): the late Anthony Bourdain and Rachel Maddow. Maddow breaks down the political news of the day on cable TV’s MSNBC, an unabashedly progressive network.
Back in the day she used to mix cocktails once a week at the end of her show. She is funny and smart and presents the facts, however hard and complicated, in a way that makes them understandable. She connects the dots. Last week she broke down and cried when she tried to read the late-breaking report that the ICE opened prisons for babies and toddlers. That was too much even for Rachel. Continue reading Be The Media. Be There For The Kids→
It’s Father’s Day here in the United States, and I’m pondering two movies I wish I’d seen.
A Wrinkle In Timewas one of my favorite books as an adolescent. Mystical and scary, it follows 13-year-old Meg Murry as she works to rescue her scientist father using a tesseract. It’s all astrophysics and, to be honest, I didn’t understand much of the science behind it. I still don’t, but the story is great. Meg, her brother and their friend are assisted by three angelic women from another dimension. Their brave collaboration and perseverance help make the story. One image that never left my head: they visit a “world” where everyone is the same and everything is done in unison as decreed by some government types. Scared the hell out of me!
I think you can tell the more affluent side of the neighborhood by the prettier architecture: nicer doors and courtyards, domes, arches and non-standard roof lines, “no parking unless you can prove you live here” signs, and gardens.
I learned today that WordPress, who hosts this blog and a bajilion others worldwide, will no longer run their weekly photo challenges and writing prompts. By participating in the photo challenges, I have been privileged to view beautiful photography from around the world and right in my city. Many of us follow each other’s blogs so we don’t miss a post. I am lucky but new and future bloggers won’t have that opportunity.
I should have been grocery shopping but instead, detoured to the park on a beautiful, clear Sunday.
Forest Park, in the middle of New York’s largest borough, is a 500-acre woodland with playgrounds, trails and horses. At the Woodhaven Gate entrance (one of many for this huge park) the only horses were part of the beautiful carousel, the centerpiece of the tiny Amusement Village. This carousel is originally from Massachusetts and dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, replacing the previous one which was destroyed in a fire in 1966. It’s a gentle ride, as are all the amusements in the village. Continue reading Delights Behind The Woodhaven Gate→
March 14 is Pi Day, the day when math and science geeksfans geniuses get to celebrate their intelligence. I’m not one of them but I’m grateful that they’re so much smarter than me that 3.14159 has profound meaning to them. I know that it has to do with the relationship between a circle’s diameter and its circumference. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) Continue reading Have A Chipper Pi Day→
All my warmest socks needed to be ready for the record cold expected for the next few days. Note that I live in a building with laundry rooms, so we don’t have to venture outside.
Cabin fever: Interact with the neighbors who are in the same position. Actually, the best way to meet your fellow residents and get to know a new neighborhood is to find an excuse to be in the laundry room and common areas.
I’m grateful for the building’s heating system but the air is arid. I dry damp items on and near the radiators to bring a little moisture into the air. (Kind of like the old school dish-of-water-on-the radiator trick.)
In the unlikely event of a power failure you at least have clean clothes to wear and clean towels to block any drafts. I don’t know that I’d like a breeze blowing in through stinky towels.
During Hurricane Sandy the wind was so strong that I could hear the elevator bang around in the shaft. Eventually the elevators stopped working during that storm although we, thankfully, retained power. Lesson learned that day: be prepared for high wind.
Of course, the long-term solution is to move somewhere less snowy but then I’d have to learn all new life hacks.
My life changed the day I lost my job last year, but not in the way I anticipated.
Although I miss the cash and that feeling of usefulness and being with my coworker friends, I recall the long days and the dismissive behavior of some management. What should have been exciting work became daily headaches and nausea. There was no time to learn new skills or look for another job.
It was too beautiful a night to go straight home after class, so I walked to the next subway station. What I saw made me audibly say, “What the hell?” The office building I worked in for many years is under renovation; an entire section is open, with no walls or windows. The interior lights glow in the night sky. Continue reading The Glow of City Construction→
Happy National Coffee Day! Coffee has been my blog muse on several occasions; each of these three images is attached to a different post. Coffee made it possible for me to juggle multiple jobs while I was a student, to be a fully functioning wage-earning mother, to utter coherent words each morning.
Coffee Day 2017 is on Friday, September 29. I will be happily caffeinating for the weekend.
I’m astounded that so many people won’t comprehend that they cannot use pictures and illustrations that they just find on the Internet. The thinking is that if they see it, it’s free to use as they see fit.
Each of those pictures was shot by someone for some particular purpose. That they are visible on the interwebs simply means that they exist. One would hope that some politically odious site — or porn site — would not use your pictures, right? Continue reading Photo Plagiarism: On Stealing Images→
In 2012, I ditched my travel buddies to spend an afternoon wandering around the Tate Modern art museum in London. The exhibit I most remember featured a caravan (That’s camper to us Americans.) surrounded by personal belongings. I kept returning to it, finally deducing that we were supposed to think about what we really need in life or something like that. Continue reading Waiting at the Tate→
Today is Labor Day in the United States, the unofficial end of the summer season. Beneath the barbecues, furniture sales and endless traffic home from the long weekend is the meaning of the day: to honor the working people who make stuff happen. Continue reading A Critical View of Labor Day→