On Fear

Covers of FEAR by Bob Woodward and THE GIFT OF FEAR by Gavin De BeckerBob 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

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Nine Tips And Reflections on Painting

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

Will Grocery IDs Become A Thing?

ID for GroceriesWhat 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?

Midlife Isn’t Scary If You’re In An Abba Musical

What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than to escape into a musical? Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is 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.

In this sequel, we’re still on the Greek island of Kalokairi. Sophie is grown up, in love (with one guy) and she transformed her home into a high-end hotel. It’s time for the grand opening, with family and media invited. Continue reading Midlife Isn’t Scary If You’re In An Abba Musical

The Bucolic Fire Island Light

Fire Island Lighthouse 7/12/18When a friend suggested a midweek drive to the Fire Island Lighthouse, I gleefully jumped at the opportunity.

Fire Island Lighthouse 7/12/18 DEER ON SANDFire Island is a barrier island off the south shore of Long Island. The south shore of Fire Island faces the Atlantic Ocean, hence,  the 19th century lighthouse. Continue reading The Bucolic Fire Island Light

Weekly Prompt: That Upcoming Heat Wave

E astbound LIRR at dusk in Queens, August 2016. Copyright www.TheLindaLife.com . Must request permission before use.The new challenge site, Weekly Prompts, issued a challenge: depict heat wave.  

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.

Be The Media. Be There For The Kids

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

They Organized A Photo Challenge

Weekly Prompts is a brand new blog site, run by two veteran bloggers, offering word and photo prompts to rally other bloggers. Bloggers are social people; we like to comment, share and “like” each other’s posts. That makes sense: We exist in this form of digital media because we all have something to say, either in words or pictures. (Or both!) Continue reading They Organized A Photo Challenge

Father’s Day Movie Mashup: A Wrinkle In Time & Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

It’s Father’s Day here in the United States, and I’m pondering two movies I wish I’d seen.

A Wrinkle In Time was 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!

So here we have a hit movie directed by a woman, starring three woman and a teenage girl, from a book written by a woman, about saving a good man. Continue reading Father’s Day Movie Mashup: A Wrinkle In Time & Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

CFFC: Arches and Domes On The Other Side of Town

Forest Hills NYC Domed Apartment Building 6-6-18I 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.

So in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, here’s what I found in that area: Continue reading CFFC: Arches and Domes On The Other Side of Town

A Challenge to Bloggers as Community-Building Comes to a Screeching Halt

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.

One last time, here is my contribution to a challenge: Twisted. We were asked to show something that is rounded. This subway station connects the E and M trains with the 6. It was an efficient transfer point while I was commuting for a late-night short-term project. I don’t recall ever using that station much; indeed, I initially forgot about it and took a more time-consuming route. Continue reading A Challenge to Bloggers as Community-Building Comes to a Screeching Halt

Delights Behind The Woodhaven Gate

FOREST PARK, NYC The Woodhaven Express children's train rideI should have been grocery shopping but instead, detoured to the park on a beautiful, clear Sunday.

FOREST PARK, NYC CarouselForest 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

Have A Chipper Pi Day

Pie, Apple Pie, Patriotic PieMarch 14 is Pi Day, the day when math and science geeks fans 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

Grammar for Non-New Yorkers

Dictionary. Thesaurus, Style GuidesOn this National Grammar Day, let’s reflect on how those of us from New York City use language to define our geographical lineage.

Probably the most popular New York-ism is how we queue up: The English-speaking world stands in line, except us. We wait on line. Continue reading Grammar for Non-New Yorkers

Still Not Silent: Scenes from the Second (Annual?) Women’s March

Early reports estimate that 120,000  attended the 2018 Women’s March in New York City, less than a third of last year’s turnout, but the ideals and anger were no less powerful. Continue reading Still Not Silent: Scenes from the Second (Annual?) Women’s March

5 Reasons To Do Laundry In A Snowstorm

  1. Snow from inside the lobby 1-4-18All 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

The Linda Life’s Best of 2017

Christmas and finishing up my coursework kept me from blogging for a while, so imagine my delight when the WordPress Photo Challenge was announced: Favorites of 2017!

Atlas on Fifth Avenue during the Women's March on NY 1-21-17The post that created the most dialogue was about my participation in the Women’s March on the day after the coronation election.  I’m so proud of every participant at every march location. Continue reading The Linda Life’s Best of 2017

The Experimental Construction Door

Door to a construction site 7-13-17 in QueensI examined each corner and surface of the doctor’s office wondering what to furtively photograph for the WordPress photo challenge.

Then it occurred to me: It’s all one big experiment. You’re born, you die, and in between you find things to be amused by. Continue reading The Experimental Construction Door

Ten Tips For Middle-Age Job Hunting

Microsoft Do Great sign in Downtown LA - BlogHer 16My 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.

That changed this year. I changed this year. Here’s what I know: Continue reading Ten Tips For Middle-Age Job Hunting

Rounded at the New York Public Library

Rounded Windows at NYPL Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth AvenueI often find myself in Midtown Manhattan near the iconic main building of the New York Public Library. So, for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge featuring the word “rounded,” here are some shots taken in June, 2017 of the interior. Continue reading Rounded at the New York Public Library

The Glow of City Construction

6 Avenue at West 51 Street outside Brooks Brothers facing west 10-18-17It 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

The Pedestrian at the Walkathon: Weekly Photo Challenge

Bayside Bike Path, Cross Island Parkway, Fort Totten, Bayside Marina, 9-16-17 NYCI recently took part in a little two-mile fundraiser walkathon in Northeast Queens, New York. It was on a beautiful pedestrian and bike path, with Little Neck Bay on one side and a busy highway on the other.  Continue reading The Pedestrian at the Walkathon: Weekly Photo Challenge

In Praise of Caffeine

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.

Photo Plagiarism: On Stealing Images

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

Waiting at the Tate

Waiting area at the Tate Modern, London , August 2012In 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