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Don't let the picture fool you...
... I don't look anything like Eddie Poe. Nor do I write like him. I have no illusions, Cherished Reader, that my own poor pages are even worthy to blot the sweat off of Ed's enormous forehead. The avatar, the screen name, call it an homage.

I am actually a big fat hairy guy; in nature I'm known as a "silverback". Apart from the weight (over 300 pounds, no joke) I am perfectly healthy. Cholesterol, blood pressure, and tectonic activity are all within acceptable norms. Why am I fat? I suppose I could claim genetic disposition or glandular hijinks or psychological need, but the truth is I am fat because I eat like a Biblical plague. There are small ex-Soviet republics that don't eat as much as I do. I eat a lot, I eat irregularly, and I eat way too fast (I once got lectured by a Chinese waiter for clearing a table of dim sum in under 4 minutes) (true story).

Why? Well, simple -- I love food. Sorry, Pink Freud wannabes -- there is no deeper reason than that. It's not a substitute for love, it's not an obsession, it's not a drug. It just tastes really good. My one vice. I was raised in a household of extraordinary cooks in the Italian-American tradition, and abundance was as much a part of the menu as variety. I am also a plate-cleaner, having had it drummed into my psyche that there are starving people in the world, and so food is precious and therefore not to be wasted.

I am on a diet, although recent events have dropped me off the wagon. I've lost almost 15 lbs so far, but as my brother told me: "Frankie, fifteen pounds off of you is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic."

I will, at irregular intervals, plot my weight and loss (or gains); I trust that you, Cherished Reader, will keep me honest at least. My goal is to lose 100lbs.

Now, who do I write like? Well, the best I can hope for, Cherished Reader, is that I write like, well, me.