Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Rome Overtaken by Hail


Rome's Pantheon is my favorite building in the world. I love its exterior awkwardness and its sublime grace once you've walked among those Egyptians columns and through those heavy wooden doors. When we were in Rome, we gravitated toward the piazza in which there Pantheon has stood for 2000 years. We'd stop to stare as we rounded the corner of one of the many narrow cobblestone streets leading into the piazza. And then we'd  eat vongole in a cafe with a good view of this ancient edifice.
Two nights ago, Rome was battered with unprecedented rain and hail. Climate change? Whatever, the Pantheon remains monumental amidst hills of ice balls, having weathered a most unusual storm. (Photos from Daily News UK)

Here are links to several posts I've written about my favorite building in the world:
Playing at the Pantheon
Pantheon, Still There After All These Years
Reading All Day Long, Preparing for the Grand Tour


Sally's Garden


My friend Sally is a gardener extraordinaire. She is a passionate, full-time gardener. Twenty-five years ago, Sally bought a property around the corner from my house on Rockbridge. She bought the property, not because she particularly liked the house, but because she loved its garden. In all these years, she's made the garden her own, cultivating what was already there, planting more native species, building stairs and terraces, creating new spaces and openings into what was once, our shared ravine.
I miss being neighbors with Sally. And I miss my old house and garden. (You've read my mold saga? If not, scroll backward.) After I voted yesterday, I visited Sally and took a wander through her garden, remembering the niches I loved, noting the blooming cosmos (which can commandeer a flower bed if unfettered) and photographing that hill just made for rolling down with grandchildren and one of the reasons Sally fell in love with this garden way back in 1993.
Here's to a gardener in love with her place. Garden on!

Early Voting With BETO

I voted in my old neighborhood yesterday. Took myself to HCCS Eastside campus in Houston's East End, so I could see long time acquaintances who work the polls, and because Beto was scheduled to speak at noon at this very spot. Hooray!
Voting at HCCS Eastside campus yesterday.
My voting access code was 3762.  I assume that to be the number of folks casting their ballots by 11:35 a.m. Today's Houston Chronicle writes "Early voting smashes midterm record".  Voters on day one of early voting totaled 63,188. Happy to be among the record breakers and hope this translates into a win for Beto and for Justin Nelson, Lizzy Pannill Fletcher and Todd Litton. And I hope folks remember to vote for Republican County Judge Ed Emmett. Vote for people who can do the job. We need every one of these candidates in office working for us, instead of those who seem to working against our best interests at every turn.
Helicopters flew over my apartment building all day long yesterday, and downtown streets around Toyota Center were closed off. Trump came to Houston to rally his base and give a nod to Ted Cruz. Wretched men, both. I read in today's Chronicle that Trump honed in on immigration and his beloved wall across our southern border. And I suppose this particular Texas crowd loves the wall idea. Or, at least, they love the roar they hear when Trump says anything, anything at all.

Final new voter registration totals in Harris County? More than 55,000 new voters and an increase of 400,000 new voters in Texas. This is the election of a lifetime because if Democrats don't take back the House or the Senate, Trump and Congress will have their way with us. We'll be totally f-----!
Forget clean rivers and lakes, clean air, health care, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, voting rights, women's rights to control their own bodies, public lands leased to mining companies...the list is longer. And do not forget, ever, the little brown children separated from their parents at the border and locked away in that facility on the highway east of El Paso.
Yesterday, I voted for women and men who will do their best to stop this rush to give to the 1% and take from the public domain. And keep in mind, Social Security and Medicare are not 'entitlements' as Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan tell us. Everyone who has held a job in the U.S. paid into these programs with dollars deducted from every single paycheck. We paid in over our lifetimes and it's our $$$$.
Guess who is coming from Seattle this weekend to work at Beto campaign headquarters? Kelan and Dan arrive Friday evening for two full days of block walking for Beto.