In full disclosure: Paris and I didn’t groove together as well as London and I did. My trip to London was a dream, from start to finish. Paris, however, was a struggle. This was partly due to the fact that I had already been traveling for nine days by the time I got to Paris, and I was getting tired....
And here is the view from inside the foyer of the Louvre in Paris, looking up and out through the right-side-up pyramid. As you can see, it had not started raining yet, at the time I took this photo, so it’s a cheerier photo than the one I shared two days ago in my post about the Mona Lisa. Note...
While I was overseas, the architect who designed the Louvre’s crystal pyramid, I.M. Pei, died at the age of 102. I went to the Louvre myself a few days later. It was a Saturday afternoon, and there was a long line angling past the upside-down pyramid within the underground shopping plaza. Visitors to the Louvre must pass through a security...
Hey folks—things change. The lowest of the lows cannot last forever. When you’re at the bottom, there’s only one direction in which you can move . . . and it’s not down. Never in million years did I think I would be sitting on this balcony in Paris, enjoying a glass of wine provided by a charming Airbnb host, along...
While in London, I noticed that the British had no qualms about swearing up a storm. I’m not sure whether the same is true of Parisians or not. They could have been swearing up a full-on hurricane, and I would not have noticed. Instead, it was me who was (inwardly! I tried very hard to be polite) swearing up some...
What should one eat while traveling in London? I’m glad you asked! I have been overwhelmed, actually, by requests from family, friends, blog readers, acquaintances, and strangers who heard that I am traveling in London. “Okay, so you are in Europe,” they say to me. “Okay, so there’s art and culture and fascinating people and bloody weird language permutations and...
Mind the gap! This I will do. Yes, sir; yes, ma’am! It would be a shame to drop a personal item between the platform and the train—or, God forbid, a body part. I am finding that the gaps here in London are more irregular than in Washington, D.C., and truly do require some minding. Sometimes the train is flush with...
Hey, all! Yesterday I walked through the Shoreditch area of London and took in some street art. (Many thanks to K., who recommended it to me.) The best graffiti is beautiful and powerful, evocative and provocative. It’s, you know, art. Graffiti can dispense insight. It can offer alternate ways of looking at reality. Often found in gritty urban settings, it...
Hello, fellow residents of our beautiful planet! I am writing this blog post from a cute Danish cafe in London. Here is a photo I took from my seat in the cafe. If you know me at least a bit, and if you look closely at the photo, you may be able to guess my favorite part of it. However,...
Everything in moderation, including moderation. Heard that before? Now you have, in any case. Feel free to attribute that quote to me. After all, I wrote it. (Look above, if you don’t believe me.) Take it and run with it, Internet! Origin of the Quote Oh, so you require more persuasion before quoting me on that? You wish to know...
Humor me for a moment, and mentally discard all those books that are, in your opinion, page-turners. Any reads that you find to be quick, easy, fun, fascinating, lovely, exciting, or otherwise engrossing are irrelevant to this discussion. Next, add to that discard pile all those books that lack redeeming qualities, as far as you can tell. You’ve read a...
I was stumped by yet another medical mystery. A prescription drug that helps me immensely also makes me tired. I have trouble waking up. I feel fairly alert in the morning, but I ache to nap all afternoon. And forget the evening—I’m ready for bed immediately after dinner. My doctor has been helping me experiment with different remedies for this...
A few weeks ago, a reader of this blog sent me the following message: Hello Liza, I have a longstanding inner dialogue going on about the usefulness of academic humanities like literature, philosophy, and history. I love the humanities and I think they are and will always be extremely important but there are some people who seem to think they...
The following is a true story about if vs whether grammar pitfalls that can happen in business communications. The First Email A few weeks ago, one of the leaders of the company I work for sent all employees an email announcing an upcoming company event and listing possible dates on which it might be held. The leader also wrote this:...
I am interested to know about your dreams. Tell me about your dreams. Did you dream last night? Can you recall a long, harrowing sequence of events? Or just a feeling you retained upon waking? Did you dream of specific people? People you see in your current life? People you knew in childhood? Have you had any particularly powerful dreams...
I would like to discuss with you a modern problem, one that has the potential to strain relationships, upset family members, destroy old friendships, prevent new friendships, and restrict opportunities of all kinds. All this, you say? Yes, the potential for all this, I say. What is this potentially destructive modern problem? you ask. Let me explain through a story,...
Another year’s end has snuck up on us: Happy New Year’s Eve! Let’s take a moment to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. Let’s do it for old times’ sake! We do it every year; why break a good tradition now? . . . especially since it’s such a wise and valuable tradition. New Year’s Resolutions...
I was stumped by yet another medical mystery. I have been plagued by migraine headaches for my whole life. My triggers include too much sunlight or sunlight from certain angles; overheating; too much alcohol; dehydration; not enough sleep; too much jostling while traveling by car, bus, train, plane, boat, roller coaster, horse and buggy, etc.; jostling from too much coughing;...
I was stumped by yet another medical mystery. (This has happened with great frequency in my life, for some reason.) My trouble this time around was a big and nasty plantar wart on the bottom of my right foot. Luckily, it did not bother me as I walked or ran. Unluckily, it was hideous. It was also contagious—this type of...
I recently wrote about the ambiguity of one term having two definitions that are opposites (see my blog post called Peruse This). Here’s another, opposite conundrum of the English language: there are cases where two opposite phrases or clauses have the same meaning. Consider these two sentences: There is a slim chance that I will win the lottery. Me, win...
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