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Mr. & Mrs. Penfire Start Out Early, Arrive Late

May 31, 2018

If there is one iconic structure that symbolizes Rome—and Italy—more than any other, it’s the Coliseum. Along with the Vatican and Saint Peter’s Basilica, it was at the very top of our “things to see in Rome” list. My guidebook recommended purchasing a tickets* or Roma Passes** in advance to avoid long lines. Another suggestion…

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Mr. & Mrs. Penfire Go to Italy

May 18, 2018

We trudged off the plane in Rome after a 12-hour flight, a bit disheveled and jet lagged, shuffled dutifully through zigzag lines to get our passports stamped, emerged into the terminal on a walkway lined by faces—drivers holding signs that named the travelers they were there to meet. We searched in vain for our names,…

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What would Susan B. Anthony Think?

March 6, 2018

How and why did an organization dedicated to limiting a woman’s right to control her own reproductive system—her own body—take the name of a woman whose lifelong commitment to women’s rights is legendary? I didn’t know the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) existed until I happened upon Mike Pence’s remarks at the luncheon last…

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I love a parade!

February 9, 2018

“Back in the olden days”…when I was a little girl… my hometown staged a parade on Memorial Day. I don’t remember who exactly was marching, but surely there were military units with their wonderful bands; troops of scouts, always a bit out of step; cars, usually convertibles holding waving town officials, a few pristine antique…

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Never Again: Syrians are crying for help. Who is listening?

November 21, 2017

What do the words “Never Again” mean to you? Last night I attended a screening of “Cries from Syria” at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Helen Mirren, and afterwards there was a conversation with the Director, Evgeny Afineevsky. This powerful documentary traces the disintegration of the country that…

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Writing with a Purpose

September 5, 2017

Pry open the skull of anyone who has spent a lifetime writing for hire, as I have, and inside you’ll find an infinite jumble of half-written creative pieces that would look like “magnetic poetry” on steroids if they could be attached somehow to a gigantic cosmic refrigerator. A journal is one way to capture, contain,…

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