Thursday, February 29, 2024

I Spy A.I. Lies

I continue to be astounded at the developments in the field of artificial intelligence. It's partly amusing & partly horrific to see these insanely powerful tools developing so rapidly that the human race doesn't really know how to handle it.

The most disturbing aspect of A.I. (so far) is the ability to deceive people. We can no longer trust what we see or hear in digital or print media to represent objective reality. As a graphic designer, I've always been able to easily spot "Photoshopped" or digitally-altered images. Now, with more advanced A.I. renderings being so realistic, I don't trust anything I see anymore.

However, I can still often tell when images are produced by A.I. programs. Unfortunately, the general public is not as discerning as I may be. It's easy to see how people could get fooled by the amazing technologies out there, if they are used for deceptive purposes.

One recent example that has already achieved "meme" status is a Willy Wonka-themed event in Scotland that had families so upset that the cops were called. The organizer/promoter used A.I. generated imagery to evoke a magical "Wonka Wonderland" that definitely did not properly represent the lame reality of the actual event.

Parents lured to immersive Willy Wonka experience by AI ads show up to near-empty warehouse with no candy

The most iconic image to come out of the situation is the viscerally real "Sad Oompa Loompa Lady," who looks like she's cookin' up some Wonka Meth:


Another recent eaxmple of using A.I. technology, this time for for audio fakery, is the Joe Biden robo-call that used an A.I. generated simulation of Biden's voice to mislead Democratic primary voters:

Magician says political consultant hired him to create AI Biden robocall ahead of New Hampshire primary

We are in for a very wild ride into the future, as the implications of A.I being used for nefarious purposes becomes clear:

• Is that the actual voice of a politician, using a racial slur? 

• Did that celebrity really get caught in a compromising sexual situation? 

• Have we come into contact with extraterrestrial beings in the real world?

• Are soldiers of a particular nation truly committing war crimes?

We are already at the point where we will not be able to believe anything we see online. If we don't experience it directly with our own biological sensory organs, it could be a very convincing A.I. lie.

This is one of the aspects of artificial intelligence that people are totally not prepared to deal with... It will be interesting to see how we as a global society address these challenges and deceptions that we all will inevitably face.

Friday, January 19, 2024

The Insane Horror of War

Although I'm fortunate to have never been in an active war zone, I've seen many, many horrific images of war. I don't want to shy away from those realities because it is necessary to really understand the many (sometimes disturbing) facets of human nature & our existence.

The video of the screenshot above really hit me hard, because it instantly reminded me of my 3-year old son (one of the 2 reasons I haven't been posting here as often). However, instead of his brown eyes being filled with the joy & playfulness that a child should be experiencing, this poor boy's eyes are filled with traumatic, debilitating fear. It's a sickening & disheartening scene, and reveals the unfathomable insanity & horror of war. 

The YouTube video is labeled as a Palestinian child, who was showing signs of shock, being comforted by a doctor after an Israeli attack in Rafah in southern Gaza. This took place not long after the ruthless Oct. 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas. I have been wanting to write this post for awhile now, with this boy's terrified face haunting my mind.

I've always been generally anti-war particularly when it comes to wars of aggression, but having become a father has taken my disgust for humanity's brutality to new depths. Seeing what happens in wartime to innocent people, and especially children like this, is just gut-wrenching to the point of despair.

What in the hell are we doing to each other, our fellow human beings on this Earth?? ...and for what?!?

As I get older while now being a dad, the more I grow in pure wonder & amazement at this world we inhabit, while simultaneously being completely fed up by the fucking stupidity of people. War is one of those things that makes me realize we're still just idiotic apes bashing in each other's skulls, 2001: A Space Odyssey-style.

The Israeli/Palestinian situation has been fucked up for so long, that it's seems like a conflict with no end and no solution. I'm not going to rehash the recent history of the region, but I will say that it's a cycle of violence that will self-propagate indefinitely... unless some triumph of human spirit and resolve can work toward a better path for all the peoples involved.

It is an unbelievably tough situation- you can't let murderous terrorists invade towns full of innocent people and wreak havoc, but... goddamn, retaliating by bombing out whole civilian population centers & infrastructure is a sure way to continue the hatred & resentment in future generations. Fighting terrorism by terrorizing innocent people is such an obvious hypocrisy, but psychos can still justify it by dehumanizing people they deem as The Other", instead of seeing them as fellow humans and living, feeling, thinking beings.

I'm old enough to remember the days of Ariel Sharon while Dubya was President & the atrocities of that time. I cynically knew that this horrible event would be used as a pretext to eliminate the Palestinian presence altogether. As I've watched the catastrophic aftermath unfold with the rest of the world over the past several months, it has turned out to be true:

Netanyahu’s apparent rejection of a post-war Palestinian state
adds to tensions with Biden administration

Of course, there are elements on all sides who want the conflicts throughout the world to continue, for various perverse reasons- war profiteering, consolidation of power, & what seems to be a driving force for so much of the bullshit... nationalistic / religious ideology.

People are so childish when it comes to nationality and religion, everyone thinking that their thinking is the only way to think... but they're really not thinking at all. That's the most depressing thing about the Middle Eastern conflict- Jews and Muslims hate each other because they believe a bunch of old stories & laws that are kinda the same, but different enough to get all tribal about it. Everyone believes that their religious ideas are correct. It's all mental constructs that people have mistaken for external reality. Then, you also have certain Christians basing their loyalties in this battle on their own beliefs about Jesus magically re-appearing. It's all so ridiculous, but countless people are murdering other people over it.

This, of course, is not a new phenomenon, nor is it only a feature of the Abrahamic religions. People have been murdering and brutalizing each other en masse all over the world, forever. This is something I always emphasize to those who lament at the current state of affairs. I've been listening to the awesome podcast, "Fall of Civilizations" during my commute to work, and it's a stark reminder about how fucking violent humans, & the societies they create, have always been.

There's so much fighting and hatred over imaginary lines in the desert sand, & whose self-righteous ideas about the world and the Infinite God are the best... it's all just insane, horrible shit. There is no foreseeable end to all the war & fighting in the world. That is the unfortunate, but inescapable fact. So, we just have to try to be a light in the realm of influence we have, to try to make the world a slightly better place.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Gnome in My Home

 Everybody talks about the Elf on a Shelf...

but what about the "GNOME IN MY HOME"????



Saturday, December 23, 2023

Artificial Christmas Spirit

 One of the most significant developments this year was the explosion of A.I. technology. We can't even imagine the possibilities that will be presenting themselves in the coming years.

It's the holiday season, and my son is 3 plus it's my baby daughter's first Christmas, so it's a lot of fun (& very exhausting). 

To celebrate this holiday of the human spirit, here are some Christmas creations, by a machine!...

-Images: Stable Diffusion AI Software
-Prompts & Curating: Paul Micarelli

"amanita mushroom dressed as santa claus"


"elf skank"

"robot dressed as santa claus in a futuristic space sleigh"


*Check out A LOT more A.I. madness on my social media pages:




Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Trump's MAGA Insane Asylum

This level of devotion to ANY politician (or celebrity, or person in general) is stupid & totally insane... but to show this amount of adoration to a criminal, doofy asshole like Donald Trump is just really fucking weird.

Trump aka. "Inmate no. P01135809" tried to overthrow the Presidential election & has committed crimes that would put other people behind bars immediately. He has pushed the limits of corruption in both business & government to extreme limits that were previously unimaginable. His toxicity to politics and culture have inflicted immeasurable damage to the collective consciousness of our country & the world. 

However, there are still people so detached from reality that they're still listening his endless stream of bullshit nonsense & somehow NOT thinking "Wow, what a goddamn ignorant jerk this guy is!!!" There are also people who simply hate Democ-Rats & Creepy Joe Biden so much that they support Trump just to "own the Libs". It sucks that American politics is such a 2-team sport that these are the only choices. Republicans will slavishly support a human being as immoral & odious as Trump, because he represents their "team". 

Some especially gullible people believe that Trump actually cares about this country & its citizens. You have to be a complete sucker to fall for his nationalistic rhetoric, because there's only ONE entity that Donald J. Trump gives any shits about - and that is Donald J. Trump. Everything else exists to serve his endless narcissism & out of control ego.


As an former senior official close to Trump has reportedly said

“He lacks any shred of human decency, humility or caring. 

He is morally bankrupt, breathtakingly dishonest, lethally incompetent, and stunningly ignorant of virtually anything related to governing, history, geography, human events or world affairs. 

He is a traitor and a malignancy in our nation and represents a clear and present danger to our democracy and the rule of law.”


If you don't think this describes Donald Trump accurately, then holy crap, you are a piss-poor judge of character... & may very well be an inmate at the MAGA Insane Asylum!


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About the Brain

(click to enlarge)

These simple, easy-to-follow charts are fun, comprehensive visual guides to the complex physical, biological structure of the brain, as well as the resulting emergent phenomena that we internally experience as sensory input and mental activity.

The functioning & processes of the brain are utterly fascinating to my brain.

I saw these infographics on r/197, but upon downloading the hi-res images & looking closely among the dense layers of information (conveyed through increasingly smaller text sizes), I was able to find the source:

So, the website is very passionate about the details & facts of science, but scientific understanding is used as a means to prove the divine engineering of God, whatever that is. 

I personally feel that deeply understanding scientific ideas and discoveries should absolutely lead to a revelatory insight into the mystical nature of this endlessly intricate reality. However, I feel like biblical justifications and personifications of the deity "God the Architect/Engineer" miss the fundamental nature of existence completely. 

It's interesting that levels of genius that can create such insanely detailed displays of scientific & technical information can still look at a spiritual work such as the Bible as something that scientific endeavors exist to somehow qualify. To be fair, I have read through the site and think there's a lot of valid moral & spiritual wisdom to go along with the scientific details. I just think that the personification of God in any aspect doesn't jive with the reality of the situation- which is that Source, The-All-In-One, The Universe, Infinite Energies of Creation, Quantum Field, God, Unity just IS- there is NO motivation, purpose, nor plan behind the Universe in any sense as we humans know it... and that is the breathtaking truth that can be truly terrifying to most people. 

 There is clearly a wholly incomprehensible hierarchical pattern of fractal & holographic organization that underlies our world. My issue is with giving this Infinity attributes of our human psyche.

 "Nature is not human-hearted."

Speaking of incomprehensible, the first chart was just a warm-up... here is the second graphic showing the mind-bogglingly numerous pathways and processes in the brain. My brain apologizes to your brain in advance, for exposing it to this visual labyrinth of information about itself:

(click to enlarge)

Friday, October 06, 2023

3D Recreation of Tenochtitlan

I love the use of 3D modeling programs to re-create ancient cities & environments. It is an immersive way to virtually travel through time and experience the glory of past civilizations. Playing the Assassins Creed games always impressed me with the way you got a sense of the historical time period, such as Renaissance Rome or Ptolemaic Egypt.

It is exciting to come across projects where artists and historians accurately replicate the appearance of an ancient site. I found this website by Thomas Kole that is devoted to the rendering of Tenochtitlan, capital of the mighty (& brutal) Aztec empire, in the location that is now Mexico City:

Portrait of Tenochtitlan

The renderings shown on the website are stunning. The Aztec city built in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains left the Spanish conquistadors awestruck when they first saw it. (Of course, the awe was only temporary & didn't' prevent them from subjugating and eventually destroying the magnificent city.)

It was an absolute marvel of engineering & city planning, and 3D computer renderings like this are now the only way to experience the majestic nature of this lost metropolis. I would highly encourage visiting the website above & spending some time soaking in the beauty of Tenochtitlan.

I've long been fascinated by ancient Mesoamerican cultures. I've studied the art, astronomy, engineering, and societies of the Aztec and Maya people extensively. There is so much to learn from them, but unfortunately so much has been lost to conquest and time.

That is why it is so amazing to be able to use this technology to visualize the details of the time period, especially when it is done is such a meticulous and historically accurate way. Eventually, we will be able to use these digital reconstructions and virtual or augmented reality devices to "time travel" and visit such sites in an even more immersive context.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

A.I. Architecture - Futuristic Green Cities

I have been dabbling in simple A.I image generation. I created pages on Facebook & Instagram under @ac_artificial_creativity.

I've been using the online program Stable Diffusion. I actually don't like the newest version, so I found the older Stable Diffusion v1.5. It's actually faster, & generates 4 images at a time. The newer version only generates one image (which is more "polished" looking), and is much slower. The one thing I like about the older version is the glitchy & weird images it could produce.

The explosion of A.I. generated art is still blowing my mind. There is now endless novel artwork being created, & I don't think we've full grasped the implications of this technology on human creative efforts. I look through my social media feeds of all this amazing imagery, thinking it's just overwhelming.

 I've also begun to use generative tools in my professional life, which is just as amazing. I couldn't find the right photo of a chocolate bar online to use for a food label, so I used A.I. to make one that I could plug into the design. On another project, I had to use a photo of a cheesecake with the end cropped off, so I used Photoshop's new "generative fill" tool & it completed the crumble crust end of the cheesecake perfectly. I just thought, "Holy shit, this is insane."

Anyway, when I first started generating A.I. images, one of the series I made that made me sit back and just feel totally awe-struck was of architectural illustrations. The prompt I used was "a futuristic organically inspired city with greenery and sleek rounded architecture". The results were so impressive & beautiful, I couldn't believe they were generated by a computer program. 

I think artificial intelligence software could help advance mankind in unimaginable ways, if it's not used to make a dystopian inescapable control system first. Even before the current proliferation of these programs, I've long thought we should get rid of human politicians whose self-interest & corruption fucks us all over, and feed policy problems into A.I. for the optimal solutions that benefit the greatest number of people. 

Here are some more more images depicting the potential green urban utopia that A.I. could help us to implement. I think they're absolutely fantastic:


Monday, September 04, 2023

Summer of Bugs

 This summer, I was able to take a lot of nature photography, especially macro close-ups of insects & spiders. Being able to zoom into the intricate details of these creatures gives you a deeper appreciation of their amazing complexity.

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli

This post is a roundup of photos I've taken of interesting creatures in my backyard. (I try to use my finger for scale whenever possible.)

First up is this little jumping spider that was staring at me as I snapped his pic:

Here are some alien-like macro shots of a kaytdid. Thankfully, I'm part of a local Facebook nature photography group, so they are a big help in identifying some of this wildlife. Otherwise, I would've thought this was just some kind of grasshopper:

Have you ever seen a katydid breathing? Now you have:

The next photos are actually post-mortem of what I was later informed was a cicada killer wasp. I was in the yard with my 3-year old son & it started buzzing around our heads. So, I took Paulie up to the porch, tracked it down, & sprayed it. I'd already been stung by multiple bees & wasps this summer, and this one looked it could definitely hurt one of us. I watched it fly across the yard & drop. I went over to the dead wasp & decided that it was pretty insane-looking, so I might as well get some photography of its physical features. 

Well, I caught a lot of shit from people in the nature photography group, because I had killed it. It actually cause a bit of a debate among the members who were defending me vs. the wasp defenders. Lol. I found out that cicada killer males put on a false show of aggression & actually are not super-dangerous. Although I don't want to kill any kind of life if I can help it, I truly felt that this wasp was a threat. I don't feel bad about taking out a wasp to prevent my son from possibly getting injured. Despite it's potential threat level, it's details were definitely fascinating:

Here's another really tiny spider, that was in a web on the leaves of a hibiscus plant. It was so small, I couldn't even pick up fine details with my macro lens:

This little green fella turned out to be a juniper stink bug. I knew it was shaped like a stink bug, but thought it was a small beetle or something. I'm used to the ugly brown stinkbugs.

Finally, this alien-like praying mantis was waiting for my family on our back door, as we came home from a Labor Day party yesterday. It was about 4-6 inches long. My wife refused to open the door until I got it the hell away from there.

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Mugshot

After 4 federal & state indictments, for almost 100 criminal charges (so far), Donald J. Trump has finally taken his greatest publicity photo yet - his booking mugshot at Fulton Co. jail in Georgia. This arrest was for the charges that he's facing there as Inmate #P01135809 - of racketeering & conspiracy to overthrow the election.

This will obviously go down in history as the most infamous mugshot ever (& maybe photo, in general). Like everything Trump does, it is the Biggest & Best Ever, but for all the wrong reasons

It's such a surreal situation- the former President of the United States being booked on charges to basically thwart the fundamental democratic process of free elections. He is a straight-up criminal thug whose activity is inexcusable when looked at objectively (an impossible feat for a true MAGA devotee).

This ridiculous mugshot is typical Trump, trying to control the media narrative for his benefit. You can tell he's trying to do the "tough & intimidating" look, but to any sane person it just comes off as silly & fake like everything else he does. One comment I saw online likened it to an Angry Bird that has morphed into an old man. 

Predictably, Trump supporters immediately embraced the normally-humiliating mugshot as a perverse badge of honor. In MAGA Bizarro-World, it's become a symbol of über-patriot Trump being unjustly persecuted by the corrupt system. In reality, it's the symbol of the justice system finally holding a corrupt, self-centered asshole in power accountable for his actions. 

The memes, merchandise, & fundraising began the micro-second the photo was shared online. Trump raised millions of dollars in the first day from absolute idiots willing to donate money to a "billionaire" for his criminal defense. Trump's own account posted this totally shitty graphic:



- From a guy who has already SURRENDERED 4 TIMES to law enforcement.

The stupidity truly has no limit. The hypocrisy in this graphic alone should be enough to make your head spin, but there are actually people out there who are eating all his bullshit up. It's just baffling to me.

New York Magazine:
All the Mug Shots of Donald Trump and His Alleged Co-Conspirators

The really wild thing about this indictment is the 19 other co-defendants who are also being charged. It's a who's-who of MAGA scumbags- "America's {Disgraced} Mayor" Rudy Giuliani, Batshit Conspiracy Lawyers John Eastman & Sydney Powell, Trump's own Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and so many people who willingly tried to break the law to subvert the election process... all for a con-man who has now hung them out to dry. It's sad & shameful that these people are now facing jail time for the likes of Donald Trump, but they deserve the consequences of their actions.

They all are entitled to their day in court & to maintain their innocence, but the evidence already is pretty damning. You just cannot put so much faith into 1 party, or 1 man, that you are willing to completely overturn the election process & the votes of American citizens. It's authoritarian bullshit that has no place in a democratic society. 

Of course, there are people who sincerely believe that Trump won the election, but that's just pure ignorance. Trump is not THAT popular, AT ALL. Trump supporters can't wrap their heads around the fact that the majority of the people preferred Biden. "...but, but there were NO Biden flags anywhere before the election!!!" Guess what? Normal people don't fly a flag outside their house with an old politician's head on Rocky Balboa's muscular body, like Trump supporters do.

Anyway, the one good thing to come out of this fucking mess is the endless memes. So, far the best one regarding all the co-conspirators shows them as the rogues gallery of Batman villains. My brother sent it to me before Trump got his mugshot. I said, "send them all to Arkham Asylum! Looks like they're waiting for Trump to be the Joker." Sure enough, the wonderful genius (@iamhappytoast) who created these images made Trump the Clown Prince of Crime. 

So, damn, what else is there to say? Shit's so crazy. All you can do is watch and wonder what comes next. I do think all right-minded people have the responsibility to speak out, & not accept the possibility of another administration that is as unrepentantly criminally-minded as Trump's. Extreme right-wing conservatives think that they have some kind of moral mandate over the rest of us, when the actual policies that their values reflect are usually downright horrible for the people and the country.

The MAGA mindset is really a cult-like phenomenon that has coalesced around the incarnate golden calf, Donald Trump. Anyone can see it, except for the people who have been propagandized into that mindset. It's scary how detached from reality certain people in that mindset can be, and it has proven to be a serious danger to the smooth functioning of our democracy. I am all for conservatism playing their part in politics, as well as skepticism of systems of control & the government. However, we can't just let a random band of crazy fuckers screw everything up because they want their guy to win.

Trump is a toxic influence that has infected politics in a way that is amazing and disgusting at the same time. His malignant narcissistic personality disorder has gone beyond him, & has led to a type of cultural mental illness that is demonstrably harmful to society, in all aspects. The only way for us as individuals to counteract this influence is to ridicule it, & call it out on it's own nonsense until it's marginalized. The way for society, as a whole, to counteract it is to do what is happening here; prosecute those who are acting on de-stabilizing our institutions and norms in a way that will cause harm to the country & it's democratic processes. Our relative freedom & rights as citizens depends on us not succumbing to authoritarian and fascist tendencies, like MAGA & Trump-worship.  

The very idea that Donald Trump can try to run for President after being indicted in several different jurisdictions is absolutely bonkers & totally unacceptable. It does not surprise me that the boot-licking sycophants of the Republican party would still back him as their candidate, but it's still pathetic.

It's a surreal & a scary time, when American democracy is being threatened by True Believers who cannot accept that maybe, just maybe, they are wrong or have been misinformed about many, many things. Hopefully, enough people can look past their own biases and media influences, to bring some normalcy to political discourse and policy. Trump & his fans ultimately need to be seen for what they are - an anomaly, & not the norm. This begins by society holding Trump accountable for his continual stream of misdeeds. This mugshot is symbolic of the idea that no one should be above the law, especially someone as destructive to society as Donald Trump.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

LOCK HIM UP! Indictment Part 4: The Devil Came Down to Georgia

****LOCK HIM UP!***
by The Monkey Buddha

 *YAAAWN* Just another day, another (totally unfair) Deep State Conspiracy Witch Hunt™ for poor, innocent Donald. This time, his 4th criminal indictment is coming from Fulton Co., Geoergia, with a MAGA who's-who of fellow conspirators. It sucks that American politics allows an objectively shitty person like this to gain any sort of power, but it is at least reassuring that karma is finally coming around to finding Trump accountable for his crimes. 

 In this case, it is the very provable and obvious criminal act of trying to tamper with & overturn the Presidential election results, specifically through illegal efforts in Georgia. He's publicly on tape doing it, & now there is tons of other hard evidence that shows he tried to completely fuck-over the American election process itself to stay in power- it's not some kind of fabricated storyline. Thank God Trump, Giuliani, Sidney Powell are goddamn idiots/lunatics, or else they may have gotten away with subverting the election process. I believe there's been plenty of election fuckery going on since the beginning of voting, but rarely have officials been this totally fucking stupid & blatant about it.

Under Georgia law, Trump & the MAGA crew's actions are subject to RICO statutes that cover organized crime activity. It was a conspiracy of power-hungry people who were explicitly breaking the law, through a coordinated effort. "Teflon Don" Trump wants to act like a tough-guy crime boss? Welp, it looks like he's about to get criminally prosecuted like one!

Fulton County Superior Court: Case No. 23SC188947


It seems like the Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis is especially competent in these types of criminal proceedings. I hope that she and the justice system uphold the law & protect the basic democratic institutions of this country. Already, Trump is using inflammatory rhetoric toward the prosecutors and judge, & his followers are propagating the personal information of the grand jury members. It's just a scumbag mob mentality, and he wallows in the social upheaval like a pig in mud.

I will continue to express my disbelief that, especially by now, anyone would put any kind of faith or trust into such an all-around horrible man. It's so crazy... Republicans & conservatives should be ashamed that they thrust such a tremendous asshole upon this nation. Conservatives love that he's an asshole, though- it's easier than deeply thinking about the issues & debating them in good faith. Even if someone thinks Joe Biden is doing a good job, most people are not going to defend him tooth-and-nail. It's a Trump cult of personality, & a shit personality, at that.

I would love to rant about this fucking loser-ass criminal for hours, but I've got to get to sleep. I can sleep with a clear conscious. Trump will be spending the rest of his life in court or jail, but his ego will not let his mind self-reflect on the bad choices that led him to this situation. It is just constant whining about the "Witch Hunts", "the Biden Crime Family", "the Deep State"... blah blah fucking blah. "Shut the fuck up, Donny."

Friday, August 11, 2023

Ants in a Hibiscus Flower


I saw these ants getting the nectar from deep within a hibiscus flower.

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli


Thursday, August 10, 2023

Black Racer Snake


I was taking my son Paulie over to a big tree in our yard to catch some insects for his bug collecting kit, & we saw this guy chilling on the tree trunk. It wasn't really moving at all, so I got some closeups.

Nature Photography
by Paul Micarelli 


Thursday, August 03, 2023

Neonna Loretta Micarelli - Born 8-3-23!

Photo Album:
Neonna Loretta Micarelli - Born 8-3-23!

My wife & I are deeply grateful to welcome our daughter Neonna into the world! 💜 After a very difficult pregnancy, Loretta was induced since her water broke at 4am on Wed., & the baby had to be delivered within 24hrs. Having contractions all last night & finally giving it her all during 2-hours of labor, Loretta gave birth to this precious little angel at 11:07 this morning @ 7lbs 9oz.

Neonna is already alert and strong like her brother was, staring at us and making faces as we talk & sing to her. She is going to be a strong, smart, & beautiful woman like her Mommy, and is very lucky to have many wonderful women in her family to serve as role models in her life.

It was a rough pregnancy & intense delivery, but we are so relieved and happy that Neonna is here! I hope that she has a long life, full of blessings and happiness.

When my son Paulie finally got to meet his little sister, whom we've been telling him so much about. Being the rough little wildman that he is, we didn't know how he was going to react, but it was absolutely precious- he was so gentle & loving with her. He's going to be a great big brother! 

Being a parent is truly the most difficult, yet rewarding experiences a human being can have. After experiencing the trauma with Paulie's emergency C-section, and the craziness of Neonna's induced delivery, I can say that childbirth is a miraculous & totally mind-shattering event that exposes the deep mystery of life itself. It is definitely not for everyone, but I am personally grateful to have been able to be a part of it.