Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a seasonal haiku

Autumn arrives when

The first fallen leaf becomes


Photo by Rosie O'Donnell

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

shiny object

I just think this graphic is pretty. If I were so rich that I could be truly fanciful, I'd buy a white car with broad doors and have this fabulous set of swirls magnified and painted on each side. If I were even remotely interested in body art, I could have it tattooed -- perhaps around my ankle or the back of my neck. Or I could dedicate myself to becoming a better letter-writer and have it printed onto elegant embossed stationery, with my monogram in gold next to it.

Or I can just blog about it. Play with it on the computer and pretend.

Here's my new 2009 Scion xB in Super White with a custom decal. Not bad, huh? All it took was the Scion website, the copy- and- paste function, the little Paint application in Windows, and some wrap points and overlaying in Microsoft Publisher.

And away I go! Beep! Beep!

Friday, September 12, 2008

wizzzzzzzz... there goes time

September already.  At what point did I become the old lady who constantly notes the ever-increasing pace of the passage of time? Oh well. No time for thoughtful and well-crafted reflection on the issues important to me tonight.  Instead, a bulleted list of things I just happened to think of this midnight.  

But before beginning the list, look at this fun picture.  Unless you are keen enough to notice Ted hiding in the photo, you might not realize that this chair is about 10 feet tall.  It sits in front of a recreation center in Kittery, Maine.  Cool, huh?  Anyway, I thought I'd include a fun picture.  Plus it takes up space before my list, that will allow the bullets to show correctly.  Weak attempt at addressing a Blogger issue.  That said, on first pass, it still doesn't appear to work.  So, forgive my bad list.  I'll try to fix it some other day.  Onward.
  • I love my new job. I love my new job. I love my new job.
  • Dinner tonight included two products from work, an incredible (and huge) tomato given to Ted by one of his customers, and delicious rosemary bread I got free for just as the farmers' market was closing for the day.
  • Over the course of 36 hours in the past two days, Ted opened our store and ran it for a few hours, went to a trade show, came back home, opened the store again and ran it for about 9 hours, did store-related shopping, washed/dried/folded our laundry, and brought it and a box of Christmas gifts upstairs.  What did I do to deserve him?
  • Nearly everyone in my immediate family is on Facebook now.
  • While watching a TiVo'd episode of Oprah, I stumbled across a virtual fatosphere celebrity.  Kate Harding appeared via Skype on a show about child abduction.  Totally caught me off-guard.
  • Last Sunday, My Mom and I went to service at the church I grew up in.  After I cried for about the first 20 minutes, it was like I'd never left.
  • A friend from my old online poetry days has returned to my life and wants to write more poetry.  I'm game, but I haven't figured out how to make it a priority.  Bug me, Doug!  I did write one haiku the other day.  It needs work.  Can I tweak it to acceptable and crank out 24 more to submit before December 1st?
  • Pedestrians who saunter diagonally where no crosswalk exists should be ticketed... or drawn and quartered.  I understand jaywalking, I do.  Sometimes it makes sense.  But have some appreciation for right-of-way when you know damned well that you're breaking the law.
  • I can't stop watching the movie, "Ratatouille."  I've lost count.  Does this mean I do actually have time to blog and write poetry, and I'm squandering it by repeatedly viewing the same show?
  • My current "think on it" advice comes from a character in "Ratatouille."
  • Tomorrow, I suspect, I will purchase the "Ratatouille" soundrack on iTunes.  I'm a bit surprised I haven't already procured it.  I already have the "WALL-E" soundtrack.
  • Blogs with dark backgrounds and light text should have a button that allows the reader to switch them to light background with dark text.  I know the black background looks cool, but it gives me an insane case of flashbulb syndrome reading it.  I've stopped reading some blogs all together because of it.
  • Some of life's big hairy complexities are getting, um, brushed.
  • The challenges I don't discuss publicly are still vexing.
  • I'm glad that September 11th doesn't hurt as much now as it did before.  Though the memory of that day is so entrenched, it's unshakeable.  Pearl Harbor, JFK's assisination, September 11th.
  • Sadie has mastered the art of perpetually banging her tail across the keyboard and my hands while I'm typing: she's quite effective at opening windows I don't need and entering characters that don't work. 
  • The practice of beginning a blog entry at midnight must stop.  I have a schedule now.
  • This boy has a voice and eyes that are clear and piercing. Wow.

An excerpt from my September 11, 2001 journal entry:


I should have written more. I’m completely immersed in the coverage of this day’s events. It started at the office. I got up early and ate breakfast at home with Ted, so I was at work before 7:30am and well under way with my day when I heard that an airplane crashed into the World Trade Center. It was about 9:00am, and the report said it had happened at 8:30am, although it was later clarified to have happened at 8:49am.

I thought, “what a terrible accident!” While trying to get details from the radio, I heard that a second plane had crashed. From the sounds of it, the planes had crashed into each other. Details were jumbled, but clarified slowly as time progressed.

People in the office immediately started talking about terrorism. I couldn’t get anything from CNN.com or MSNBC.com because Internet traffic was too heavy. I changed to 880AM – the same station on every other radio in the office. With the volumes turned up, the entire building hummed with the late breaking report of the unspeakable.

When the eyewitness reports detailed people jumping from the building, my resolve weakened quickly: I sat silently at my desk with my left hand covering my mouth and my right hand on the mouse unmoved. When the Pentagon was hit shortly thereafter, it began to dissolve. And when the South tower of the World Trade Center crumbled, I broke down and cried.

I envisioned the top part of the building lopped off by the crash and falling sideways to the ground – and onto the people – below. Kathy, who doesn’t have a radio at her desk and was frequenting mine for updates, came up behind me to get an update. I told her, with a flutter in my voice and tears racing down my face, that the tower had fell.  She consoled me as best she could, considering her own emotions had caused her whole body to be covered with goose bumps.

I cancelled the 10:00am online trainingsession that I was supposed to conduct, explaining to the participants that the Internet traffic would probably have an adverse effect on the meeting. I didn’t explain that I was emotionally distraught and couldn’t even think about spending an hour pretending to be thinking only of the WebEx Meeting Center tool.

The radio station repeatedly interrupted its own coverage with a canned “late breaking news here and now on CBS News 880” message. Several other events were reported, although they later proved to be false. One such erroneous report was that a car bomb had exploded in front of the State Department. Another said a plane had crashed into the Camp David presidential retreat.

A fourth plane did crash, but it was in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania – 80 miles outside Pittsburgh. The significance of that crash wasn’t evident until a computer tracking of its flight path showed that it had taken off to the West from Washington, DC, made a huge U-turn, and was headed straight back to D.C.. For what purpose, nobody knows – yet.

The details of this day will no doubt fill volumes and be remembered for decades to come. I’m not certain why I felt the need to put them into my personal journal when they’ll be so largely accessible henceforward. I guess it’s my way of putting a personal spin on the day.  The truth is that I’ve been irreversibly wounded by this whole thing.

My eyes ache from the dryness remaining after a day of intermittent crying. I’ve felt so exhausted by the emotional energy required to follow the news that I fell asleep twice in the middle of the day – once around 3:00pm and again around 6:00pm. Never for too long, and always with this subconscious ear toward the ongoing newscasts.

I got home a little after noon, and Ted followed shortly thereafter. (My company's) president had issued a statement that anyone who felt the need to go, should go. I did. In fact, I’d asked (my boss) probably a full hour before (the president's) email if I could go. She asked me to wait and see if there was any official notice. I stayed a few minutes after there was one, but not much more. I’ve checked my email and voice a couple times this afternoon and evening, and hardly anything was there: everyone else stopped working, too.

The State of Connecticut closed its offices for non-essential personnel, and Ted was home by 12:30pm or so. I’d arrived home just moments earlier, changed my clothes, and left a message for Ted that I’d gotten out of work. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and was eating it along with some cottage cheese and raw carrots while sitting on the edge of the bed, watching the news when Ted arrived.

Until that point, I hadn’t seen any visuals except a single picture that I stumbled across in one lucky attempt to access MSNBC.com. That picture was of a fireball at the top of a WTC tower. It wasn’t until I was home and watching TV that I realized that news coverage of the first crash had allowed cameras from every angle imaginable to capture the second crash live.

Everything about this is horrible. I can’t imagine that our country, our world, will ever be the same. I believe that we will recover. We’ll be stronger. And we will do everything in our power to investigate the source of this terror and hunt it down. But I worry for possible restrictions on the overall civil liberties of all Americans, and mourn the loss of security I’d been lulled into in the decade since the Gulf War.

I crossed paths with a few people. Pam called from her cell phone early in the process. They were supposed to fly back from Florida this morning. They are fine and obviously staying another night. They were contemplating using the rental car to just drive home because she’s just not keen to get on a plane. I wouldn’t be, either.

Mom and Dad are fine. Mom recalled emotions of Pearl Harbor – an incident that she remembers vividly, even though she was a small child at the time – and compared this day as having the same emotional effect. They are otherwise fine.

I emailed my siblings, and Debbi is the only one to respond so far. They are fine, and incredulous as most. I called (college friend) Kim – who lives in Brooklyn with her husband – and left a message on her answering machine to let her know I was thinking about her, hoping everything was OK, and understanding that she is likely too occupied to return my call.

It’s 10:38pm now, and I’m going to bed. I don’t know how I’ll sleep. I don’t know how I’ll go to work tomorrow and what the conversations there will be like.