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Thank goodness that's over.

The anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone. I can now safely turn on the TV without seeing towers falling, people crying and firefighters vomiting.

Last night on the TV I was watching some of the most graphic stuff I've ever seen - a 2 minute description of what it sounds like to hear a person splatter on the ground after they've jumped out of a building. Then you get to hear the sound as part of some video footage.

It's not necessary, really is it?

But the day has come and gone without incident here in Australia. It's still 9/11 in the USA at the moment, so our news is telling in minute, painstaking detail exactly about what's going on in New York. (Pretty much nothing). Are they waiting for something similar to happen just so they can report it? Are they expecting to tell us that something equally as tragic has happened as night falls on 9/11/02 in the USA?

Our pathetic, snivelling Prime Minister is on the air talking about how much he loves America, and as ususal brown nosing as much as possible. It's sickening.

It's possible to show support and compassion toward the USA without sticking your tongue up GWB's asshole! He's like the cowardly kid at school who tries to be friends with the tough kids. so he doesn't get hurt. Have a fucking spine, man!

It's September 12th. The sun is shining and spring is upon us.

Let's move on.

As you may or may not know there are people who think it is funny when you hurt yourself. What kind of world is it when people laugh at you when you are making garlic bread and listening to a story about railroad hobos a friend is telling you and then you slice a chunk of your thumb off? This happened to me at a dinner party last year. The worst thing was that my friend Anita's eight year old daughter Preston was pointing and laughing. I got mad at Anita and told her she should teach her children better than that. It is wrong to point and laugh at people who are bleeding. I didn't need stitches but I soiled a lot of gauze. Though this was a major setback I continued to prepare a meal of Italian food for my friends and they ate it and drank all my good wine and left without thanking me. Only my friend Dale said "thank you" and he and his wife are welcome back but others won't be.

I remember about this because I cut myself while shaving my back tonight. Since I read an article about how women are turned off by any hairy back I went to see my friend who works at the stables and he taught me how to remove the hair from my back with a lady's schick razor. Confidence levels now get higher and now I need to find more places to take my shirt off in front of women. It would be good to have a girlfriend again. The only woman I have been close to intimate with in the past few months is Dara, a hat check girl from the restaurant my business has lunches and things at who also works at the candy counter at a Boys Club (or so she says because I've never seen pictures). She has a sick mind though because I have never seen anyone who wears shorts that fit so tight and made of lycra or stretchy material and although seeing every bit of her thighs everytime I run into her in the neighborhood is exciting it just doesn't seem moral. I felt guilty for being aroused by it and wish I had medication to stop these thoughts I get when it happens because she's too young for me anyway although she has offered when she was drunk.

I want to be a pitcher in a softball league. That would fill the hole in my life most likely but I have bad memories of the American Legion team I once tried to join and they laughed at me when I hit my head on the bleachers and got a lump thereabouts.

I have never written a daylog before. The first portion of the following was posted on my homenode, composed in the first few hours of my day and not submitted with the express intention of refraining from the creation of further unnecessary memorials, and protecting personal, empirically unsupportable thoughts from voting, positive or negative. I did not feel my experiences or thoughts warranted any degree of permanence. The section is unaltered but for the addition of links.

I hope those to whom I spoke of this will forgive what at first glance must appear a blatant hypocrisy and understand why I have chosen to submit it after all, with the addendum of the second section.

I do not intend to daylog again.


For one day only, I will write something on this subject, this damn subject, that much as I hate to admit it is in my thoughts. Believe me, I would rather it were not.

I was born in Chicago. I lived in the suburbs. I moved to New York. I live there still. I, like thousands of others, watched the towers fall--live. Not on TV. I saw them crack and splinter, watched smoke and debris billow out into Manhattan, hanging in the air. I saw people crying, screaming, clutching their hair, covering their faces, turning away at the last moment suddenly posessed of the right idea that they did not want to watch this happen after all. I did not look away. And it looked exactly as it should, these structures falling down. The scene met my expectations. And then, for a moment, I felt sick.

I am no patriot. I am no great fan of this country's practice and procedure, its politics or populace. We are riddled with the huge problems of a huge nation. Comparisons to the declining Roman Empire are apt. Protests against our greed are apt. Screams against our constant pressing of advantage are utterly, thoroughly apt.

However. I will not say the attacks were or are justifiable. Nor will I say otherwise. Some will say this sort of act is never justifiable. Others will say, have said, the country got what it deserved. About time America learned a lesson. About time Americans knew what it was like. Still more say countless other things. No one fucking knows anything at the end of the day. No one. I do not know what it is like to be Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Israeli, Afghani, Palestinian, European, disenfranchised, unemployed, starving, poor, rich, idle, powerful, important, desperate, tall, fat, skinny, black, brown, yellow, olive, blonde, dark, brilliant.

I know what it is like to be short, American, Jewish, with some money, some food, no authority, no power, some desire, some potential, red hair, and enough brilliance to know that my perspective is one point of light in a sky choked with stars. SO IS YOURS. SO IS EVERYONE'S. Do not pretend to greater understanding than you can have. Do not presume to know. You have no secrets, you are not privy to all motives, all reasonings, all experiences. Your belief is your own. You are welcome to it. You are welcome to express it. You are welcome to express it vehemently. You are not welcome, not by me, to say you know anything. Not about this. Not about much.

I will not discuss questions of right and wrong here. That is arrogance. I don't know enough. I will not go into a lengthy discourse about America's evils, the horrible things this country, EVERY COUNTRY, has certainly done. I am no patriot. But there are things in this matter that do enrage me. I am enraged by European and Eastern nations that have the luxury of taking the high road, and sneer back at the U.S. and its dirty work. I am enraged by U.S. corporate greed; I am enraged by the world not mentioning what portion of its interests are held by people overseas. I am enraged by the American media's disgusting coverage and reporting, outraged by the utter lack of any kind of integrity, its saccharine sweetness; I am enraged by the implication that every nation but this one tells its people the whole truth. I am enraged by U.S. self-intereseted involvement in the affairs of the world, I am enraged by those outside the U.S. who benefit from it and say nothing, or worse, speak against it.

I would very much like to see the U.S. withdraw from every position it holds over the planet. Every position, whether we are welcome there or not. Let every nation tend, entirely, to its own affairs. Take no sides, in any matter. Declare total neutrality. Make no war. Flex no muscle. Give no aid. Good fences make good neighbors. We tried that once. Perhaps we gave in to easily--we have worn the mantle of "responsibility" ever since, and have been corrupted by it. The States perhaps should cast it off.

But that too is not that simple. It's a question of degree, the world might say. Simply restrain yourselves, boorish Americans, start doing the right thing. But who's to say what that is? Who is on the side of right? I do not know enough, can never know enough.

Palestine v. Israel, East v. West, America v. the world. That simple, is it? That easy? This is not a fucking game of tennis. No one's paying attention to the lines. Everyone cheats.

I am no patriot. There are changes I would make, things I would not have my country do. Things I would not have your country do. September 11th, September 11th, September 11th. I don't know. I'm tired, so tired, of hearing about it, memorializing it, seeing the footage again and again and again, seeing stamps and stickers, decals on cars, faded flags in windows, We Will Never Forget, Never Ever Never Never Never. But I was lucky. I was very lucky. I didn't lose anyone in the attacks. I don't have to live with the pain of an innocent love one lost. I don't know what that's like either. It's easy for me to sit back, then, and speculate, theorize, pontificate. Maybe it's easy for you too. Maybe not.

I don't know.


By 8:00pm, I had seen enough. All the networks, flipping channels, one to the next, the same footage. Live from St. Peter's. Live from Pennsylvania. Live from Ground Zero. Presidential hand-shaking, head kissing, bugles playing Taps. Everyone a hero in an America on the mend, the Dawn of a New Day, they called it.

My apartment is directly beneath the flight path to LaGuardia. And I admit, I swear, the sound from the planes passing over was louder.

So I closed my window.

A few more minutes' worth of rolling eyes, frustration at the coverage, surely something is going in the world outside the states that I should know about, and I turned the TV off.

I rarely smoke, not more than a pack every two or three weeks. I don't even buy cigarettes anymore. But there was a pack left on my desk, a Brazillian brand from a friend, a novelty. So I took one and lit it with a butane lighter that has a picture of Chairman Mao on it, plays China's national anthem, and burns a green flame. A gift from my boss, another novelty, a two dollar souvenir from her last trip. A hot item in America, she said. The little stand she got it from was always running out.

Blustering winds outside. I'd heard about the winds on the news, they were interfering with broadcasts. I contemplated, snidely, with what meaning I could endow the phenomenon, uncommonly strong winds on this day. They were burning my cigarette down; it was nearly ash to the filter by the time I reached 7th Avenue. Headed for the subway, I passed the neighborhood regulars, mainly young people, loitering outside restaurants, smoking outside a local coffeehouse. No irregularities.

One irregularity. At the doorstep of a single building, shaded from the streetlamps by the awning of the deli next door, a little girl. I am no good with guessing ages--she was not more than twelve.

She sat alone on the step in the dark, taping a small American flag to the glass door, trying to light a low candle in a glass jar in the wind.

I watched for a moment from a few steps off. Four long pieces of Scotch tape sealed down the corners; the little wooden pole attached bent at an awkward angle where the glass pane fit into the door. She struggled with the candle. Bic lighters don't stand up well to a stiff breeze.

I could have helped. I had the lighter in my pocket, a jet-flame, windproof. But I didn't. She didn't want me to, or I didn't think she did. This was her memorial. Between her and whomever she'd lost, if she lost someone. Mother, father, brother, sister, I don't know. Maybe no one. But she was remembering something. She was crying. I could make out the streaks. They reflected in the headlights of passing cars, on and off, in flashes. And there was no crowd around her. There were no cameras, no reporters, no music, no sympathetic commentary. Just her. Sitting alone on a dark step in Brooklyn, remembering.

Then, because I could do nothing else, I got on the subway and carried on with my evening.


She knows something. Something I don't know. Earlier this day, I spoke big words about the world. I expressed big ideas, got angry, frustrated. In the catbox, I scorned memorials, was surprised at the Cool User Picks, felt wholly untouched and above the teeming masses of whimpering, sentimental mourners of September 11th, likewise the whimpering, sentimental mourners of those on the other side of it.

That was easy for me. That was really fucking easy. For me.

There were probably countless other vigils like the one I witnessed. Private, personal. Real. They deserve my respect. My big important ideas have not changed. My small important ones have.


I posted this under September 12, 2002 because it isn't really about September 11th. And by the time it happened, I rather felt that day had sort of already ended.

The days get colder and shorter. The nights get lonlier as he wishes for somebody to warm his body.

Pets are like masturbation; cheap and unsatisfying substitutes for actual human companionship. He has a cat.

In all of human interaction and society, there is one question which my mind sticks on: If there are so many people who all want the same thing, and they are the only ones who can grant it, why does no one ever do so?

Dungeons and Dragons tonight. My fellow gamers must pay for mocking my previous adventures. Decide a Mindflayer Lich should do it. Add a level of monk for good luck.

Get to physics in time to see that I'm the only one with the optical assignment I thought was due in today. It isn't. Great. Last night was wasted. Why does this happen to me?

Get to chemistry to learn about an experiment I don't understand. I those around me about it, and learn I am not alone. Ego boosted, grades lowered.

Finally get to start Dungeons and Dragons. Mindflayer Lich (Alhoon) defeated. Spell resistance does not work against natural twenties. Damn.

I'm still trying to figure out, exactly, why I've taken a fond liking to cold, iced coffee (with cream and sugar, of course). I've always sort of gone along with the notion that coffee should be hot, but this stuff make Frapuccino seem like horse sludge. Go fig.

Yesterday I did not even bother trying to watch a TV. I work at a movie theater and get all the mind-numbing stuff I can handle there, in the projection booth. I don't need Ted Koppel to tell me that bad things happened a year ago, with extra footage to boot. Mankind has seen enough of one Holocaust without having to root through the ashes of yet another one, just to remind us all of how surreal it feels to bear witness to the utter banality of human suffering. But enough about that. Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. I will say, however, that I feel like I've somehow spared myself a good measure of mental, emotional and spiritual anguish by being too broke to even afford a TV set. Who would have thought that poverty has its perks?

I've been waiting in silent anticipation of this year for a long, long time. Why? It's the ten-year anniversary of my high school graduation. The pressure's off now; the reunion was held over this preceding weekend. And I didn't go.

Why not? Was it because I was too nervous about having nothing to show for a decade's worth of experience? Nope.

I'd logged into my old high school's website months ago, even contributed to the online guestbook there a few times and exchanged emails with old classmates. At the beginning of the year the date was still a bit murky- all we knew about the reunion was that it would happen sometime in the Fall of 2002. I kept checking in on the website, looking for a confirmation date, and even submitted my name to the registration list, to make sure that I would stay fully informed. I made arrangements with a friend to drive all the way from Nashville to Dallas in the event that my car would not be fixed in time.

The reason I didn't go to the reunion had absolutely nothing to do with all my preparations except that some inept person who ran my school's website never bothered to post the date there, nor did they bother to follow up on the mailing list/registration forms. The only people who showed up at the reunion were the people who are still living in Dallas.

So... I must wait another ten years. Perhaps, then, I shall be more prepared.

I am increasingly of the opinion that my supervisor has not the slightest idea of what she is doing. Perhaps I should qualify that. She knows clearly what she is doing, which is totally avoiding what she should be doing.

I admit I don't know what her job is. What should she be doing during the day? What would not get done if she wasn't there? I don't think I've ever seen her do any work, nor understand anything much of what the rest of us do.

She has a desk covered in papers, and she has a little spiral-bound notebook in which she enters memoranda on the tasks she's assigned me. She reads and sends e-mails, she attends meetings, and every few days she comes over to me and checks my progress.

A vast amount of time chatting, gossiping, on e-mail and phone to long-lost friends, looking up personal things on the Internet, making cups of coffee, powdering her nose, and just plain disappearing. Say about half her work day is visibly not doing work. The other half is sympathetic magic, a cargo cult shadow-play designed to convince others and perhaps herself that this busy activity and this passing of text is a form of work.

The more closely I look at it, the less I can see anything in it which is, in fact, functional work.

She has perfected the art of nodding seriously in agreement, and repeating random snatches of what you just said quickly after you, as if she was just about to finish your sentence (i.e. was thinking it herself). Actually sometimes she does add something before I've finished, and it's more or less random. I say "we need to.." and carefully slow down, and she vigorously agrees, "to, to..." as if that's a good point and I've confirmed what she'd just been deciding was best; then because I find this painful I usually continue and say something like "to look at the..." and she proffers "field" or "client" or "employee" or "data", something sufficiently high-level that it will at a pinch cover the true answer.

Intersperse this with dead air words, fillers not of the merely hesitant unassertive female variety, but to an obsessive-compulsive extent, "I wonder could we, kind of, actually, you know...", larded through every sentence until she grinds to a halt because this time I'm refusing to cooperate and guess at the details.

She consults her little notebook. Her notes are useless even for herself. All she can get from them is "You know we had, kind of like, that problem...?"

"With...?"

She names the client and I trawl my memory. Possibly I can remember but sometimes I want her to try to articulate it, so I play possum until she's forced to add details. But she didn't note the details, and can't remember, and wouldn't understand them anyway. Didn't understand them then, wouldn't understand if I explained again. "That problem with employee records... not, kind of... ohh," and then she screws up her brow and gazes at the ceiling because just this once her steel trap grasp of facts has let her down. Tip of her tongue, it'll come flooding back in a moment... Especially if I get in first, that'd definitely make it easier.

The e-mails to me are just points other people have made: testers, managers, anyone who knows what they're doing. She sends me these as if she's the one who's been reviewing it. So I e-mail her back with answers to some and questions on others, and she has to consult someone else. The client. Or go into a meeting with someone who'll know.

I make a big show of explaining everything. I explain the internal format of the fields, and the reasoning that means the fault is in such-and-such a module or process. I haven't yet tried saying that the springs on the rate table have been weakened by overuse so we need to import booleans into all the string fields, but I'm tempted to watch her agreeing.

Now that the bandwagon patriots have put away their American flags, we can get on with life.

I can understand those who lost a loved one in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 when they say that their lives have changed due to the terrorist attack... the loss of someone close to you always changes your life. But, I think I speak for the rest of us when I say that for Americans as a whole, life hasn't changed at all.

As typical Americans, we can now get back to our daily routine of waking up, going to work/school, complain about how everything sucks, come home, complain some more, and go to sleep. September 11th hasn't broken this daily cycle.

For those who think that September 11th will become a national holiday, oy vey! The Japanese attack on Peal Harbor wasn't made into a national holiday. Before 2001, it was the bloodiest attack on American people.

December 7th is a day of mourning for those who lost someone, a day of rememberance for those who actually remember, and a day of irregularity for everyone else.

Why should September 11th be any different?

This is a bit of a moral/ethical conceit. If I had any more time I would put it into an actual node and think about it a little more, but anyhow...

A) My sister is a journalist. She went to a very prestigious University and paid over 30,000 dollars a year to enrich her life and neurons. Now, she's a reporter for a newspaper in Washington DC, getting paid less than she should, working more hours than most would ever think about. Getting back on track -- I talked to her today, and she's got a murder she's going to go cover. A murder folks. The day of this great celebration, the day that will life in infamy (well, the second one anyway), and someone is thinking about themselves -- so they plug a guy with a .45. Isn't there something wrong with this picture? I'm no patriot, or a flag hugger, but Jesus. What does it take to impress these people to just quit thinking about themselves for one second and focus on real life-long goals -- oh yeah, I remember, it took a few nutzoids reaming two tall buildings with 747's to get people to notice. The world is fucked up.

B) Yesterday was a normal day. Get up, get raped, take notes, and ask questions. I am a college student, and an engineering major to boot. While there were millions remembering our fallen comrades, I just went about my own business. Not so much because I didn't want to be considerate of those who lost their lives a year ago, but simply because life is relentless, and it's not going to wait up for me. Perhaps there's something wrong with a society that forgets so easily, or maybe that's just part of the healing process. Feh, oh well.

Merry Christmas. they killed a tiny piece of all of us

Ok I've never written in a daylog before, but everybody keeps telling me my stuff should be here, so here goes!

So I'm sitting down at the computer, typing some e-mails. I see a poof of grey tail and look down, it's the house cat! ...Staring at me. Now, we just got this cat, so I don't know how to tell what he wants. i'm thinkin' he wants up on my lap, so I'm all patting my legs, saying "c'mon! ...c'mon!" or trying the whole "here, boy!" thing, but nope! He's just standin' there looking at me, tail slowly wagging.

Ok, so since we just got this cat, he doesn't really have a name yet. Grey Cat seems to be winning so far, but that's closely followed by Kitty, Dank, Seeyaytee (c-a-t), and...Maynard. Apparently Maynard is the last name of my roomate's favorite band, Tool, and no matter what I think of their music, look at that name! He'll get picked on by all the other cats in the hood! Thank the girlfriend for that one.

So anyway, I'm sitting here with this cat staring at me, it's been like minutes now. I'm going through all of it's names, trying to get it to jump on my damn lap! So I stop, I look at it. It looks at me. I look at it some more. Then, it says all casual-like:

*Meow.*

I pause.

"Uh...Meow?"

*Leap!*

Huh?

I don't remember anything about this day. I do, however, remember writing this:

9.12.2002

Come.
Help me mend a broken universe
I want you to help in this
so that you will see...
Come.
Take my hand.
I'll show you everything...
It's hard to believe
how anger feeds anger
in a place like this...
Come.
Let me show you what you've become
if only I could cure your blindness
and this disease that plagues you...
Come.
If I could give you one thing,
I would uncover every hidden truth
and expound your every lie
I would open your eyes to the past..

...so you'll remember that you were alive once...


Happy Birthday, Charles.

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