St. Charles Borromeo, Patron of Learning and the Arts

In our house, getting the right sleep temperature is a challenge.  We have baseboard heating, and the master bedroom is warmer than the rest of the house.  Adjusting for comfortable sleep requires at least an associate’s degree:  If sleeping alone, slide under sheet, down comforter, and quilted spread.  If toasty-warm husband is in room, turn down quilted spread.  If company is in the house and door is closed, turn down quilted spread and down comforter, sleep under top sheet only, and turn on ce … [Read more...]

Michelangelo’s David—and the World’s Worst Toilet

Some days one idea catapults into another, with the result that the sublime slams headlong into the ridiculous, producing a flaming nonsequitur of a blog post.  Today is one of those days.I read that on September 13, 1501, Michelangelo began carving what is perhaps his pièce de résistance, the 17-foot marble sculpture of David, the Renaissance ideal of perfect humanity.   And I remembered the day we saw [well, ALMOST saw] The Statue, and the day I saw The Toilet.We, eight of us, were on a loo … [Read more...]

WAIT, I WASN'T DONE! Orvieto Sights and Shops

Yesterday, I told you a little about Orvieto, the quaint Umbrian city that overlooks the Italian vineyards, like a diamond solitaire atop a precious ring.  But I wasn't done being effusive!  Orvieto is, in a way, a caricature of central Italy, a Disney-esque impression of an Italian city that's more... well, more Italian than the pope. Here are some of the things I neglected to share yesterday:  the city's narrow, cobblestoned streets, the open air shopping.  The dank tunnels in the Orvieto Und … [Read more...]


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