Things You Wouldn’t Know About Me


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Quite the sky in the Bronx last night, but you’d know I went there…

If you read this site fairly regularly, you know that I work in Democratic politics, love baseball, love big cities, am into pop-culture and music, and maybe have an occasional interest markets. Those things are all true. What else do I have an interest in though? What makes me a 3-D person on this site, and what is different about me than you would think? Let me give you a few things you would not have known.

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When I was growing up, I was a comic book reader. It started with the Superman-Doomsday series getting me into the whole Superman series. Then Knightfall came, and Batman joined Superman. Catwoman was drawn by a local artist, and was connected to Batman, and so Catwoman became a regular for me. When Emerald City was destroyed and there was a new Green Lantern, I got into that. When the third Flash “burned out” and went away, I started reading Flash too. I loved me some comic books, specifically from DC Comics.

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One of my favorite towns to vacation in as a kid was Point Pleasant, NJ. Very good family friends of our’s lived there, and their son and I were friends. The arcades on the boardwalk were fun, as was the batting cage. I liked walking around the downtown too, when not on the beach. When I grew older, we went to Ocean City, MD for a few years, then settled in on Wildwood Crest, NJ as the beach of choice for many years. The Crest Tavern is one of my favorite places to visit. I still want the 2008 World Series Champion light out of that window. These days I mostly take day trips up to Sandy Hook Beach, at the Gateway National Park in New Jersey. It’s a shorter ride, it’s quiet, and it’s peaceful.

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I wrestled for eleven years, starting in first grade. I was not very good until I got to 4th grade and got 5th place in the league JV tournament. Then I got 4th in the varsity tournament the next two years in a row before moving up to Easton’s freshman team and starting for two years. When I got to high school though, the fire just wasn’t as much there, and I got a few varsity matches, but mostly spent three years on the JV team and walked away. It still is one of the honors of my life that I got to wrestle varsity for Easton for even one match, and I learned a lot from my time wrestling. I learned a lot about discipline, handling defeat, what hard work and effort are, and how to handle the nerves of going out on a mat, by yourself, and competing alone, with no one else to blame.

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I won seven varsity letters in high school though, and none of them were wrestling. I won four Outdoor Track and Field letters at Easton, two Cross Country letters, and one Indoor Track and Field Letter. I ran in the MVC Cross-Country championships twice and finished 36th and 119th in the two races. I was an alternate to districts twice, and states once. My career best time for a 5k was 17:45, for the mile was 4:52, for the half-mile was 2:10.8, for the 400m dash was 55.6, and for the 200m dash was 24.1.

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I was a horrible undergraduate student. Let me re-phrase that- I was a nightmare undergraduate student, unless I was interested in the class. I spent a lot more time partying than studying, hated the library, and had to work hard my last semester to get my GPA where it needed to be. Now if I had only had to take political science courses, that would not have been the case, as I was pretty good in those. I also wasn’t terrible in history and economics courses. Everything else? Good luck at that time.

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My first concert I ever attended was the Rolling Stones at Giants Stadium. I’ve seen the Stones, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Dropkick Murphys, Bruce Springsteen, Jay Z, Live, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, 50 Cent, Linkin Park, U2, Tom Petty, Counting Crows, Dashboard Confessional, OAR, Alanis Morisette, The Roots, and more (to name a few). I love live shows.

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I was born and raised a Byzantine Catholic. My home parish was Sts. Peter and Paul, on South Main St. in Phillipsburg. I still go there on major holidays and once in a while during the year. I stopped going regularly around college, in part because of schedule at the time, and in part because I just grew apart with religion. I never stopped believing in a God, I just had/have some serious misgivings with it. I’ve grown a lot more fond of Catholicism under the current Pope, but mass is at 8am on Sundays now. Byzantine-ism is just that my Catholicism grew out of the Constantinople tradition, and does a few things differently. Maybe I will get the urge to go back.

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This year I’ve been able to grab two foul balls, one in Philadelphia and one in Lehigh Valley in a AAA game. This breaks about a decade drought where I got no baseballs at games. If you go back to the old Veterans Stadium though, I used to get too many baseballs. I probably got close to 200 baseballs in the old ballpark, seated in section 205. For one, there was a drainage area in front of our seats, and baseballs that went into there were fair game. Second, like now, we sat right along the foul line in the right field corner. Third, players like giving baseballs to children more than adults. Finally, the real key was that in the late 1990s, no one was sitting behind us for 40 rows, making everything a jump ball between my friends and I.

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While I’m hyper-political, I’m not hyper-ideological, nor am I very comfortable in the social aspect of politics. My political goal is to make government work towards the best outcomes for everyone. The biggest factors for why I joined the Democratic Party in 2001 were being angry about the ending of the 2000 Election, feeling like the Bill Clinton Democratic Party was the reasonable, smart party that got things done, and a general realization that I was neither rich enough, nor enough of a zealot about “right wing culture” that could be a Republican.

It’s for this reason that I hated Washington, D.C.- there were a lot of hyper-ideological types, who’s agenda was “changing” the world into what they wanted it to be. I’m not really in that crowd. The world will change on it’s own, society will dictate that change organically. I want to see a government that solves problems and gets things done.

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My list of ballparks- Citizens Bank Park, Veterans Stadium, Old Yankee Stadium, New Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Camden Yards, Bright House Field, Coca-Cola Park, First Energy Stadium, Lackawanna County Stadium, PNC Field, PNC Park, Principal Park, Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium, Miller Park.

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