What’s goin’ on?–thank you, Marvin Gaye

I was chatting with a buddy of mine about the events unfolding before our eyes on television. I have to kind of sheepishly admit that, as much as I detest television, I am glad to be back in America to see the nightly news and keep abreast of what’s happening in the world. I read seven newspapers a day online, but nothing can really replace live reporting.

Having said that, I do get sick of the talking heads shouting over each other to get their views across while an ersatz “journalist” tries to ask intelligent questions. There’s give and take on everything, I guess. Continue reading


It’s curious

It’s curious.

I’ve been watching along with millions worldwide the terror attacks in Paris. One of the terrorists apparently entered the European Union through Greece on an invalid Syrian passport. Everyone is on edge. After the recent onboard bombing of a Russian jet over the Sinai, ISIS has elevated itself to a higher level of danger than we’ve ever experienced. Continue reading

Italy idiosyncracies

It’s curious how ordinary things can be inspirational. As I attempt to make note of every detail of my experience in Europe prior to my departure, I find myself inspired by travertine.

This marble is prevalent throughout Italy. It’s everywhere. Last night I took a late walk to the seashore. The sidewalks were all travertine. In America, sidewalks are usually concrete. But here, travertine is the rage. The whole country is pretty much either marble or rich topsoil so travertine is apparently as cheap as cement. Continue reading

Names, Darling! Names!

Names, Darling! Names! Why do I feel like I’m in “Absolutely Fabulous”? The designer names in this town are astounding. On a per capita basis, I would say it is greater than Rome. But then, as a center for philosophical thought, a city that prides itself on a certain je ne said quois, this is to be expected.

So, you can understand my frustration last night after the arrival of a busload of high schoolers from Las Vegas descended upon (infected?) our quiet little Valhalla. I suppose I should have expected disruption when Barry and I returned from our ten mile hike into the hills across the Arno River. Exhausted but exhilarated, we walked down the Via Nazionale where our hotel is located. Continue reading