Monday, February 26, 2007

Bill Takes Swing at Fake Bull Testicles

The story itself is italicized:

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Feb. 22) - Fake bull testicles and other anatomically explicit vehicle decorations would be banned from Maryland roads under a bill pending in the state legislature.

Hmmmm, I wonder if someone felt jealous.

The measure was filed in the General Assembly Monday by Delegate LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washingon, who says children shouldn't be exposed to giant plastic gonads dangling from pickup truck trailer hitches. The bill also would ban depictions of naked human breasts, buttocks or genitals, with offenses punishable by fines of up to $500.

Of course it s proposed by a guy with the name “LeRoy” it means “the king!” He wants to rule with an iron fist! He wants his will to be known! But he’s just doing it for the kids.

"It's time to take a stand," Myers told The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail.

Yes, YES! Yes we must take a stand! On what? Against fake bull testicles? Ah hell sure, why not? I’m for laws. I’m for order, ad I’m for REAL bull testicles hanging of the car, none of this fake stuff. The law should allow only natural, God made testicles to be hung from a car. And you have to get them yourself, no being a pansy and getting someone else to do it.

The American Civil Liberties Union objected to Myers' bill.

Of course….

"The legislation is overly broad, and would probably make it illegal to have a sticker on your car of the Venus de Milo from an art museum," ACLU of Maryland spokeswoman Meredith Curtis wrote in an e-mail.

Yes but no one is going to be aroused by her, she’s got no arms! Do they even sell such things? The only magnets I see are of impressionist paintings, but if you stare at them hard enough and long enough, what do you see, A massive penis! Well at least I do…

Pamela Campbell whose Bullhead City, Ariz., business sells fake bull testicles, suggested that the swinging decorations can prompt healthy discussions about anatomy and reproduction.

She lives in BULL-head and she sells BULL testicles, I refuse to believe that. Like I said, it should be fine as long as they are real and not pale imitations. We shouldn’t mislead the kids. There can only be a healthy discussion if the real thing is used, or your own testicles.

"Do we have to neuter all dogs that walk by us?" she asked. "Where does it stop?"

Well my face isn’t usually stuck looking at a dog’s ass for two hours trying to get to the beach.

Last week, Arizona's legislature rejected a measure that would have banned vehicle splash guards bearing racist terms or silhouettes of naked women.

If the truckers object, then let them look at silhouettes of Gay men haivng sex, not just any kind of sex, but GAY GAY GAY sex.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Well who can really own the news?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Subway Poem 1#

In the Aether

Here it comes,
Here it comes,

A clear wave hits me,
Ripples from the train
Splash the walls of the station,
And wash away
The heat and the steam.

The air moves around the station
And sits.

It takes its time and waits for the next train,
Slowly becoming absorbed
In the conversations abounding
Between rotten fruit and empty bottles,
Armpits and bread crusts,
Grease sizzling and gleaming on the ground,
And the water pooled between the tracks.

It joins them all and wears them all,
One smell on top of one another,
Weighing itself down and growing heavy
In the fluorescent lights,
Waiting to be taken away,

Getting thicker,
Getting thicker,

It is sticking to me,
The scents of the world
Dumped in this cement basin
And mixed with exhaust.

Moments rolled up
In crumpled napkins unfolding,
Rise up and sink once more,
Cycles mirror the days and make
Memories flow like incense
And my breath, I can taste it now,
Becomes dense and solid,
As coffee cups and dirty socks
Come up into the air and dance, oh

It all reeks of people moving too quickly,
Of people getting stuck,
Of people wandering, lost.

What is coming?
What is coming?


The ground is shaking,
Loud noises sputter from speakers,
The gas moves and becomes fluid,
It readies itself for making waves,
And blowing the old scents away.

A new breeze is arriving,
For a light, coming from away
In the dark, is moving near
And shines on the iron rails ahead.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Come Together

It is interesting how in the this past month two tragedies have happened to people I grew up with back home in Arlington and how this has brought everyone together from across the country, at least in theory over the Internet.

My friend John McMahon suffered an aneurysm in January. he is doing much better now, though he still needs to recover. he can recognize faces and can eat and do some walking, which is good considering that originally the doctor's were not sure if too much of his brain had been damaged to save him. I sent John a car a few weeks ago. I knew his parents would read it so i didn't write anything inappropriate or make an inside joke.

But a community has sprung together over his being sick and they have been communicating with each other. On Facebook there is a group dedicated to exchanging information and showing support. People have gone back and visited him in the hospital though now I think because he is starting physical therapy they are trying to keep those visits to a minimum. My main conduit for information is my mother, who forwards me updates on his condition.

I haven't talked to John in a while. We both had a rough year last year and the year before that. For different reasons, but still things were difficult. He dropped out of VT and I developed Crohn's disease. Not fun. Only recently have things started to really come together for me, and I haven;t been in touch with John. There have been a few IMs but nothing much else, which is a shame considering we live down the street from one another.

The other event was the recent death of Joseph Buescher , or Joe as he was known. We went to Sunday school together. Along with John McMahon in fact. Joe went to a different high school than me so I did not know him as well, but I remember what he looked like back when we studied together for confirmation. What was interesting about his death (by a car accident) for me at least is that it brought me in touch with Anthony Buenafe, my Filipino friend who I was in elementary, middle and Sunday school with and who I was on good terms with. We were probably the smartest kids in Sunday School. I joked that our class should have done a better job picking confirmation saints, I said that I was lucky because my saint (Gennaro) is the patron saint of bloodbanks.

Anthony thought that was funny.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Who is a Moderate, an Extremist?

Every presidential election cycle we come to seeing these two words flung out and hung out and paraded about. Every candidate strives for the banner of moderation to be placed on themselves, and delights in calling their opponents all extremists. Americans themselves claim to dislike extremism and favor “moderation,” and most Americans describe themselves as moderate. But what do such terms mean?

In terms of means, almost all politicians are moderates. I would think anyone who would rule through constitutional means and established channels, could not be considered an extremist. Someone who wanted to rule through fiat, overturn the constitution, stage a coup etc. could be seen as an extremist in terms of ruling, but they could pursue a “moderate” agenda, just in a brutal or revolutionary manner.

“Independent” should not be confused with “moderate” this is a mistake that pollsters make too often when they say that most Americans are registered politically as independents. This label simply implies that the voter does not identify with a party. They may be revolutionary socialists, or reactionary fascists, or conservatives or liberals who like to think for themselves on political matters. And they may be moderates who don’t take a strong position on any issue, yet this does not mean we should see a third of Americans as being registered independents as a sign that they are all supporters of Moderatism.

The problem with being a moderate ideologically is that 1) there are numerous issues that don’t have a middle ground, and 2) they are committed to positions that seem extreme to people outside their belief system.

Examples of 1) include – Abortion, attempts to try and create a cut-off for when a woman can have one become subjective and open to dispute. In this case it pretty much is (as a question of rights, not implementation or of counseling and services) is it allowed or not. Divorce and marriage are either/or issues. With drugs it is the same, either its legal or illegal, baring some small exceptions for medical use. We either sign the Kyoto protocol or we don’t, we give a group the right to vote or we don’t, we go to war with Iran or we don’t (we can’t just bomb ‘em a little bit).

By 2) I mean that most moderates are small “l” liberals, believing in the major tenants of liberalism. In a system where most people characterize themselves as at least nominally being liberals (including most conservatives) it makes sense to see being a moderate liberal as being moderate overall. But in fact liberals of all stripes are extremists. They are extremists when it comes to property rights (ask the native Americans) and they are (thank God) extremists when it comes to civil liberties (or at least they are supposed to). Does this make liberals bad? No, it just means that they take certain defined political stands and that nothing will budge them out.

There are certainly liberal moderates, but if you examine the whole thing closely you find that they all hold a few extreme positions here and there and if you look at our greatest leaders, they were in fact extremists in a moderate guise.

Follow-Up on First Post

It’s interesting the responses I’ve gotten for what I posted on the Political Wikia. My opinion piece, small and not so detailed, has seven votes for it and four comments, which makes it this morning one of the most popular on the site.

The comments are interesting, one of them is a response I wrote myself to the first one. Somebody was trying to say that they believed the Electoral College both allowed recounts to happen, but that if we had only a direct popular election, then there would be recounts everywhere.

The exact words were:

The Electoral College serves a new function -- it allows for recounts. Imagine the mess we would have had in 2000 -- when Bush had .51% less of the popular vote than Gore. We'd have recounts everywhere, with vote margins gaining and shrinking wildly. The faith in the system would be entirely shattered.

I wrote:

But electing someone without the popular vote didn;t exactly make Americans any more confident in their system

And I believe I am right. Other people posted about healthcare and the war on drugs and while I believe these are important issues, what my posting was about was not which issues were important, but what is missing from the national debate. The war on drugs has slipped a bit under the radar especially since drugs and terrorism are so closely linked, but healthcare is still a top priority.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

First post on Wikia

These are several issues that I would like to see the presidential candidates campaign on, I would like to see what their plans are regarding them and what they are going to do. Even if they are against what I would like to see happen, at least I would know where they stand. Unfortunately 2008 will be about nothing more than Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, maybe a little bit of social security.

Afghanistan - Which has not come up in any political debates recently yet the country is also starting to come apart

Voting Rights for DC - Why do they still not have equal representation in Congress?

Campaign Finance Reform - This is crucial to the survival of the legitimacy of our political institutions

Global Warming - Only Al Gore seems to have a real opinion on this

North Korea - They actually HAVE WMDs

Abolishing the Electoral College - It should have happen in 1877

and lastly, PEAK OIL


This is why I am a vodka man myself:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ulysses S

Ulysses S
Ben Nardolilli

I had a few extra dollars in my pocket that morning and so decided to spend them on a really good breakfast, down at the diner I always passed every day and night as I went to work and came home from it. The dollars came from participating in a psychological experiment in my spare time. They, and I am not really sure who the "they" were, had us, the subjects, sit around computers and click buttons on the screen to collect points. I must have collected a fair number of points, I made fifty-seven dollars and nineteen cents, a pretty good haul for an hour and half of work, just dragging the cursor and clicking. I was paid with one fifty-dollar bill, one five-dollar bill, one-dollar bill, one dollar coin, a dime, a nickel, and four pennies.
The fifty was a new experience for me. I had handled twenties before, plenty of twenties, but never any fifties. Once I handled a hundred dollar bill before depositing it in the bank after my first (and last) Holy Communion, so I had handled bigger bills, but this was the first time I held in my wallet a likeness of President Grant. The other bills were inconsequential to me, I had Washingtons and Lincolns already in my wallet. Too many Washingtons in fact, they were making it difficult to close the leather flap. They have a high rate of reproduction, they breed like rabbits, coming from the dissolution of Jacksons, Hamiltons, and Lincolns as well as the occasional fusion of smaller Washingtons.

So I had some bills in my wallet and they were becoming a burden, they made the wallet heavier and harder to close, but did not make me feel any richer. The one fifty, that thin slice of the pie, was worth more than the stack of country fathers in my pocket. I figured the diner near me would be the ideal place to unload the dollar bills and the fresh Lincoln, for it had a reasonably priced menu, cheap for breakfast, and moderately priced for dinner, which is sensible, considering a steak should cost more than a pancake.

The diner was brown. That is the word I would use to describe it pretty much, brown. It was a down to earth place, so down to earth it looked like it was painted with mud. Of course it’s not the outside of a diner that counts, it’s what on the inside that goes into your inside that counts. One can't eat ambience. The place was clean inside, disorganized, but clean. There were things everywhere, but they were not collecting dust, you could tell that every night they moved them lovingly, brushed them off, and then piled them up again. The diner was old, part of the neighborhood for a few generations, and it sat strategically on a corner so you could sit at one table and observe two street scenes at once. If there were an accident at the intersection you overlooked, you would be able to see both cars and the resulting mess, the entire sequence of events in an omniscient sort of way. Of course you'd be interrogated by everyone to death after the crash, but you'd have a privileged point of view. And for cheap too.

When I went to the diner that morning, I ordered a coffee, sausage, and eggs. The bill came out to fiver dollars and fifteen cents. I fumbled through my wallet, thinking to myself that I needed to get a new one to accommodate the expanding array of dollar bills growing between the leather flaps, to retrieve the five-dollar bill to pay the waitress. I found it and placed it on the table with a thud, forgetting that the table was wobbly and I spilled some water on it. I admired the face of Lincoln staring at me, the familiar, fatherly bearded face looking off into the distance, contemplating American unity and prosperity. The bill held a Washington under it and was supported by some coins stacked in a miniature ziggurat.

I left the diner feeling full, confident, and greasy. I felt as if I had gotten a free meal, for I had pretty much done nothing for the money I used to pay for it. Sitting on a computer and clicking the screen is something I normally do for free anyways. There was a feeling of somehow overcoming the system, of getting back at the times I was overcharged for necessities or luxuries that seemed like necessities at the time. The sun was bright and high in the sky, baking the diner’s walls and giving the windows a smoky complexion, hiding the money I had laid out inside from the view of passing onlookers.

A week later I returned to the diner hoping to get a meal that would be more substantial, a meal worthy of my fifty-dollar bill. I wanted to get something really special for the occasion, to justify parting ways with my president Grant. I put on a jacket even though the night was warm, because I wanted to mark this event as the kind that is worthy of making you uncomfortable, like how one wears a tux and tight shoes at prom. The outfit is stuffy and makes you pay attention to what is going on all around because you have to think about something other than how your neck feels tight, or your ankles feel pinched. I would wear the jacket to the diner and feel warm, so that I could focus on my meal and how I was spending fifty dollars in one sitting. Like a real gentleman type.

I entered the diner and already I could sense the occasion was going to be special. The waitresses smiled at me and the manager personally escorted me to my table. My jacket was fairly nice, but I wasn’t wearing a bow tie or had any gold trim around my sports coat. I had worn a brown jacket to blend in. As soon as I took my seat, the waitresses began to fight over me. They came to me in a succession, each one introducing themselves, and claiming to be my real server for the night. They brought me glass after glass of water and they stood over me, each one waiting to refill one of my seven glasses of water, which I alternated drinking from every time I got thirsty. They were arranged in a circle around me, like the hands of a clock I extended my neck and arm out and took a sip of each glass, which was filled once again by the time I came around to it, having drunken from the other glasses laid before me.
The waitresses all seemed to want something from me. I know they expected me to give them an order, and then a tip, but I got the feeling they were mistaking me for someone else.
"I'll have the steak, but to start off I'll have something rich, oh what is the soup of the day, hmmm, I'll have that yes, oh can I have a coke, or Pepsi, no it doesn't matter, I'm actually looking forward to that steak, make it a rare medium rare."

Then they left me, the group keeping vigil over my water. Pretty soon the glasses were all empty and feeling lonely and thirsty, I dropped my fork. The clank was a call to them to come back. And they did. One brought me bread, another filled up my glass, another buttered the bread, another brought me the salad that came with the steak, another cleaned my knife with my napkin so I wouldn't get butter on my steak, another asked me how everything was going and yet another brought me my soup. They surrounded me with smiles and filled me up on appetizers. The water was beginning to trickle down into my bladder and I could not hold myself back. I excused myself from the lovely waitresses and made my way to the restroom.
When I was finished and emerged from behind the door labeled MALE, my meal was ready for me at my table, with the waitresses standing around it, leaving my chair open in front, the wooden back all waxed and polished, a throne waiting for me to sit in it.

I sat down and began to devour the repast, the waitresses kept asking me how everything was and I said that it was good, everything was good. The mashed potatoes were fluffy and creamy, the broccoli was not too steamed. The steak itself was magnificent. So tender and juicy, I let it melt in my mouth, swishing it around with the coke. It did not feel right however, and so I ordered a glass of wine to accompany the meal, thinking myself an idiot for not having ordered one sooner. Finally I was able to swish pieces of the meat between my teeth with a proper drink for the occasion. When I was done I ordered the cheesecake, which I assumed would be New York style, and it was brought to me on a small plate held by three waitresses.

As I sliced up my dessert with my fork I thought about the fifty dollar bill in my pocket, and the likeness upon it. I thought of president Ulysses S. Grant, nee Hiram Grant, and his face being covered and smothered by other bills. I imagined him trying to breathe, choking under the pressure and being afraid of the darkness. He was a resourceful man and probably would get out of the situation by lighting one of his trademark cigars and burning away his boss Lincoln and his presidential forbearer Washington. He would be able to deal with the darkness too. Such a great man, I thought. He won us the Civil War. Without him the Union army would have been continually slaughtered by the Confederate forces and the nation would remain divided today. I looked at one of my waitresses, who was black and wondered if she would be here today if it wasn’t for the man in my pocket. Grant was gruff, he was mean, and he was willing to let scores of young men die to achieve victory, but he won in the end and kept this country together. A real hero. He kept everything unified and he was helping to pay for my dinner. A great man indeed.

When I had finished the cheesecake, I lay my fork down on the plate and asked for the check. One waitress beat the others to it and snatched it from the register. She fought the others and laid it down before me on the table. I thanked her and she smiled, waiting to get some reward. She had won the competition and the tip would be all hers, her name appeared at the top of the receipt. I reached for my bulging wallet and pulled it out of my pocket. When she saw how it was ready to burst open, her eyes lit up. I could suspected that there was some payment she was desperately trying to make and my tip would help bring her closer to it. The bill for the evening was forty-four dollars and nineteen cents. I would pay with the fifty and put another five down on top, telling her to keep the change in a smooth film noir detective sort of way.

But when I opened my wallet, I couldn’t find the fifty. I checked the back first, my bills are arranged in ascending order, but found nothing, it should have been there, the last bill because it was the highest. But it wasn’t. The waitress decided it was rude of her to stand over me while I paid the bill and though about the tip and walked away. I quickly went to the opposite side of the wallet, thinking I may have tucked the fifty in there by mistake. But it wasn’t there. Frustrated I went through the entire wallet, flipping through everything that resembled a bill, there were ones and fives and a ten. But no fifty. I emptied out the leather flap and searched the pile in vain, thinking that maybe Ulysses had been crammed into the bottom, getting all folded up and crumpled.

It wasn’t there, and I didn’t have enough to cover the bill. Had I been robbed? Everything else was in order, only the fifty was missing. Perhaps some enterprising young thief with a penchant for understanding psychology had taken the fifty by pick pocketing me but left everything else in my wallet when he slid it back into my pants pocket so that I would not notice that it was lighter and suspect a theft.

Then I realized what must have happened. I had accidentally paid with the fifty after my last breakfast there. I had confused Grant with Lincoln and being a student of history I was ashamed at myself. Two white guys with beard, ah they must be the same, hell they even fought on the same side during the Civil War, so they were practically twins! I was disgusted with my mistake, and I realized that I had left more than a hundred percent tip for the waitress then, so of course they were all flocking to me now, expecting me to drop five hundred or so dollars in the tip for this dinner in the diner. I felt so terrible to let the waitresses down, she was expecting half her rent to come from this one meal with me. I would have to tell them everything and hope that they would understand in the spirit of reconciliation that Grant embodied.

The kitchen of the diner is a lot like the rest of the establishment, though there is a preponderance of metal and porcelain everywhere, when you’re washing the dishes, everything is brown. The food all mixes and mashes together until it is the same color as the earth from which it came from, and then you scrub it from the plates and turn the water in the sink a soapy brown and it goes down the drain and disappears. Then you get another pile of dirty plates and wash the residue of another meal off and shine the plate until it sparkles and is ready for someone else, who has correct change, to eat on.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Back at NYU Hospital Again

Today I went to NYU Hospital, for my monthly injection of Remicade. Remicade is for us sufferers of Crohn’s Disease a real miracle drug. It helps us by turning down our immune system so that it no longer keeps attacking our bodies. There are risks involved in its application, including the added chance of developing certain cancers, but for people who do not respond to anti-inflammatory drugs or to steroids, it is necessary to keep flare ups of the disease in check.

I have been to the hospital before, so it was nothing new to me. I know where everything is by now on the 14th floor. They had no free sandwiches today though, although my girlfriend Natalie came by and gave me an everything bagel she bought. I don’t know why, but delis seem to think that Americans can never get enough cream cheese into their diets. We had to wipe gobs of the stuff off our bagels so we would be able to taste them.

The nurses were worried that because I was sick on Valentine’s day (exhausted from a lack of sleep and over exertion) that the Remicade might allow some virus or bacteria to spread throughout my body because my immune response would be reduced. Somehow I managed to convince them that this would not be the case and they allowed me the treatment.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007



You should always have
One conservative friend,
A political cardiologist
Who will stop the bleeding.

If you have a conservative friend,
You’ll need a liberal one too,
Because someone will
Have to get you beating again.

And if you have both,
You need a friend who doesn’t care,
So you can figure out
Why you do.

Remember though,
You should always have
One radical friend,
In case the revolution comes…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Belief-O-Matic

Today I went on and took their religion quiz. I marked off boxes saying that I do not believe in any sort of God, that there is a supreme force beyond the universe, but still there is no afterlife, people should be kind to one another, divorce should be restricted, rituals are useless, and we should revere nature.

These were the results:

Unitarian Universalism (100%)
Secular Humanism (95%)
Liberal Quakers (91%)
Theravada Buddhism (81%)
Neo-Pagan (76%)
Mahayana Buddhism (75%)
Taoism (73%)
Nontheist (69%)
Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (67%)
New Age (65%)
Hinduism (57%)
Orthodox Quaker (54%)
Jainism (54%)
Bahá'í Faith (52%)
Scientology (51%)
Reform Judaism (49%)
New Thought (48%)
Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (39%)
Sikhism (38%)
Seventh Day Adventist (36%)
Eastern Orthodox (27%)
Islam (27%)
Orthodox Judaism (27%)
Roman Catholic (27%)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (24%)
Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (23%)
Jehovah's Witness (13%)

Notice the religion I was raised in is in the bottom five. It makes sense, I rejected an incarnation of God, God itself, the value of penance, I said abortion and homosexuality were okay. It is easy to see how Roman Catholicism ended up there.

Recently I have taken this test and I kept getting a high value for liberal Protestantism (e.g. Episcopalians I assume) which made no sense. I rejected any notion of Christ's divinity, which I think is a pretty big part of Protestantism, no matter how liberal a Christian you are, I think that is one major prerequisite. If you don't accept Jesus as the son of God, then why not take up Islam or Judaism instead? Same God, interesting rituals, see the East.

I put down that I think scientific medicine is better than spiritual varieties. I think that knocked my Christian Science and Jehovah's Witness scores down. The ritualistic religions all suffered similarly, Eastern Orthodox and Orthodox Judaism.

Since I did not put down very many defining characteristics of my beliefs, I of course was given a perfect rating for UU. I suppose maybe one day I will become a member, but I am afraid the whole church might be a little wishy-washy for me. Buddhism sounds good, but I don;t know what the American variety is like, if one would be dealing with a lot of aging hippies whose understanding of the Buddha is based on mistranslated texts and acid trips in their youth, or if it would be a purer system of belief that emphasizes renunciation and compassion. Liberal Quakerism sounds interesting. I bet if I join I can get all the oats I want, and maybe of them big ol' floppy hats.

Monday, February 12, 2007

the hipster

The Hipster

When he comes to your door,
Wearing a shirt saying “Princess”
Ignore it and let him in,
He is only being ironic,
And you can see how he’s starving

His glasses may take you back
To malt shops and memories
You never really had of drive-ins
And milkshakes made from milk,
The real kind you get from cows.

But his pants, they will take you
To the origins of punk, to
Days of rage, inflation and stagnation,
Rotting tenement houses burning down
Homeless heroin bums spouting off poetry,
A graffiti of words with their mouths.

If you have anything old,
He will love it, unless it is you,
Because he cannot wear you,
Play you, show you off to everyone,
He can only deal with fossils,
Not with relics that move.

Who is this Benjamin Nardolilli?

Well time to deconstruct the author, who is in fact very much alive despite what a few Frenchmen in tweed jackets might think.

I am currently 21 years old. I live in New York City and study at NYU. I am majoring in History with minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing.

I am originally from Arlington, Virginia. Technically southern, but culturally I am a Yankee. My mother hails from Kansas City, my father from Jersey City. I suppose then I should move to Virginia City to make everything work out right.

I have a brother, Jon, and a sister, Anne. I am the oldest. Anne plays sports and marches in the high school band, Jon is interested in engineering and next year hopefully will be attending CMU in Pittsburgh. My father works for a land trust and my mother works for the federal reserve board. Both are Lawyers.

I was raised Catholic but not consider myself a Spiritual Humanist. At a later date I will discuss this. Essentially I am a Hegelian existential Buddhist. Politically I am quite isolated, being in economic terms somewhat of a left libertarian, but espousing a slightly social conservatism. I take pride in my Italian and Jewish heritage as you can see. I generally dislike most technology except the computer and the toaster and distrust most politicians.

And there is of course the love of my life, the beautiful Natalie H. Short. I don't know what I can say about us other than we have been together so far for almost five wonderful months.

I consider myself a writer and a philosopher. I am not published. Yet. I write poetry, short stories, plays, philosophical notes, and so far three novels. In total I have written roughly 900,000 words, which I feel qualifies me to make the statement. of course that does not entail that any of these words are good, but I think there are a few sentences out in the mess that are worth something.

Buona Sera!

Hello, this is the inaugural post for my new blog. The title is Italian and it translates to the mirror and the sponge. I suppose it reflects (no pun intended) what will be going on here. I intend to post things I have observed and thoughts I am having. Maybe there will be a few juicy details and a line of gossip here and there, but otherwise for now I think it will be pretty vanilla.

Like a sponge, I hope to share what I have taken in through one way or another. If I have learned an interesting fact, felt strongly a particular way, or eaten something worth noting, then I will let out the information to all of you faithful readers, for which there is now only one.

But hopefully that means we can only go up from here.