Thursday, May 31, 2007


Also, I started reading the book in my sidebar yesterday. It's quite good so far.

Have any of you read it? Thoughts?

I boxed up all of the books in my apartment last week, so I've got only the three that I left out for the plane ride and the summer (Garp, The Poisonwood Bible and Joyce's Dubliners).

It's all happening, again.

Today is my last real day of class, before my hellish week of finals next week. It's been increasingly difficult to stay focused these past few weeks, with my trip to North Carolina and l'Italia shortly following everything academic. I've managed to do fairly well, though. Today is also my last day of work at The Lantern for the summer, though I plan on contributing while I'm in Lecce. The next few weeks don't appear to be any less hectic, save for the week and half i'll be spending here:

A good friend of mine lives in a condo in Surf City, North Carolina, and for the past few years my best friends and I have made the trek after finals week to the East Coast. I'm looking forward to it almost as much as Italy, just to be able to spend some time doing absolutely nothing with some great guys.

Then, only a week after I return, F and I leave for Dublin, and then to Rome, and then to Lecce.

Oh, how close it all is! Finals are the last thing on my mind right now, which certainly is a bad thing.

le sigh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Night time.

I ventured out from my cave-of-an-apartment tonight to snap some photos, and play with my relatively new, and still relatively unused monopod. It works wonders at night and in low-light situations, or anytime a slower shutter speed is involved. The nice tripod I once owned has recently come up missing, otherwise some of these proceeding photos would be a tad bit sharper.

A few of them I really like.

Here's the Neil Avenue bridge that spans the fabled Olentangy river.

There's a bike path that runs along the river that i've cleverly titled il lungolentangeo. The path has an inlet immediately in front of my front door, which is terribly convenient when I want to go for a run or a bike ride.

Here's my Colosseum, so to speak.

And, finally, here's the other side of the 'shoe that faces two residence halls on campus, Lincoln and Morrill Towers.

In other news, I've emasculated myself to an even greater degree this week by relenting to the powers at be (Frankie). I started going to a tanning bed (hear me out), but only to try and "condition" my skin before I spend the next three months on a beach this summer. I've got that type of pasty, Irish complexion that burns to no end, and then quietly transitions back to white. So, I've sucked it up and i'm frying my insides slowly, or at least until I burn myself badly enough that first time.

Some things I always said I'd never do just keep popping up. No one let me near Grey's Anatomy or Lost.

Those will remain on the list.

Monday, May 21, 2007


So. Many. Things. To do.

Once again, a quarter has passed by seemingly unnoticed. And, now it's crunch time.

Whatever that means.

A few more weeks and I'll be sending dispatches from abroad. That is, if I can manage to find a connection somewhere. God forbid I develop connectile dysfunction.

I've been reading a lot more lately, despite my constant state of hurriedness. It makes for a nice balance of rush and repose.

I've been especially fond of Stanley Donwood, whose book of short stories I pulled from aback my book shelf.

If you can stomach a semi-lude but amazing short story, do check out condiment. Just finish it once you start reading it. You'll thank me.

a presto.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Monday, May 07, 2007

Moment of Zen.

Sometimes when I'm without words, pictures work just as well.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I've been a vegetarian for the last 6 years. I can't really explain why I started, except to say I had an epiphany of sorts when I was 14 or so. I had a few older friends who were vegan at the time, and they let me read some vegetarian/vegan literature that completely turned me off the idea of eating meat. I guess at the time it was something to do, something with which to identify. I don't remember if I thought it would last, but it has.

Each time I meet someone new, or each time someone I know semi-well finds out that I'm vegetarian, they always ask why. And for the longest of times I had difficulty telling people why I didn't eat meat. When I was about 16 or so, I started to identify moreso with the idea of not eating meat out of protest of factory farming, unsanitary and unhealthy production, and overall shady and underhanded conditions for animals. I started explaining how I wasn't against the eating of the meat, but rather how it's produced, manufactured, harvested. The healthiest of diets, I would read, were those that were meat free, with emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, et cetera. This is really what I've been basing my ideological diet and eating lifestyle on for the last few years of my vegetarianism.

Well, this week marked the first time in six years I knowingly and willingly ate meat (there were some accidental slip-ups along the way). As any of you (who read this thing semi-often, granted) will know, I'm spending a few months overseas this summer, in a country where food and the production of said food is perhaps the most culturaly identifying trait about the country. I've wrestled with the idea of staying vegetarian when I'm in Italy, and for a while the thought of eating meat while abroad never so much as crossed my mind. But, I rationed, eating in Italy and eating in the United States are so vastly different, as concepts, that I couldn't really attach my Americanized rationale to something un-American, like Italian fare. I felt like I would be missing out on a big part of local culture if I filtered what I would and would not eat.

When you eat prosciutto in Italy, you can safely bet that either Mr. Macellaio fed and raised that pig, or someone he knows did. When you eat fresh parmigiano, you can count on one hand what's in your cheese. (Try doing that with any food in the states.)

Oh, so why did I start early? Well, just like any regularity, if you don't put meat in your body for so long, it will learn to process foods differently. So i've been taking it slow, for now, with small amounts of pollo and occasionally turkey, to get my body accustomed to it again.

It's still very, very strange. But, eventually, I'll be conditioned well enough. And then, look out Mr. Macellaio, and prepare the salumi.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Guerilla Update.

After some brief googling, I came across something that made me go, "Huh?" Apparently, The Lantern covered this already, and I didn't even notice it. Here is the article, which addresses the question of, who is V? Apparently he/she is an artist named Vinchen, who only responds to people via e-mail. Here's an excerpt from an e-mail he sent to one of our writers:

"You should question the validity of everything you are told rather than tacitly accepting the facts presented to you by entities whose interest are probably not the same as yours."

Makes sense I suppose. Read the article, though. It talks about some of his other works, which sound equally funny/thought provoking.

I was looking forward to doing some more investigation into who V was myself. But, it's still neat I suppose.

Che misterioso.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thoughtful graffiti?

I've read a lot lately about graffiti in Europe, particularly in Italy, and how a lot of it seems to be politically or socially motivated, rather than arbitrary like most of the graffiti in the U.S. In the past couple of months, however, I've started to notice a rise in the amount of political graffiti showing up in Columbus. I'm not sure if it's because of the current state of our government, or a spike in the number of people turning to creative endeavors to voice their discontent, but one thing is certain: these sort of guerrilla graffiti artists, as i've dubbed them, have some creative and thought provoking ideas. Take, for instance, the first piece I noticed, while driving to work a few months ago:

At first I didn't really understand the point, and then I noted the placement of the painting next to the phone. After asking some people in the Short North, where this is found, I found out that it was painted sometime after the Patriot Act was signed and solidified, which makes complete sense.

Next, this one was pointed out to me by a colleague at work, who had driven past it countless times before he even realized it was there:

Apparently, it showed up sometime after Hurricane Katrina hit. Again, the message is subtle but biting. When I went looking for it the first time, I drove by it three or four times before finally seeing it. I think that's what appeals to me about it; how you don't even realize it's there until you look. In fact, just one street down is an identical sign with the actual, city mandated message "No parking during snow emergencies."

This next one isn't as creative as the previous two, but it's still clearly politically motivated:

Again, not as creative as some of the ones i've been seeing, but lightyears ahead of most of the trash that gets sprayed on walls around here. Is there anything comparable to this in your town? I'd love to see what others around the U.S., or world for that matter, are noticing.

Update: Well, after I initially published this post, I was looking through the other pictures I took today. I noticed this one, which is the Uncle Sam piece, but from a different angle:

Now scroll back up to the street sign picture. Notice anything similar between the two? I guess after looking at both of them, I had sort of an investigative epiphany:

Looks like we have a serial, politico graffiti artist on our hands. I need to do some more investigation into this one.