September 27, 2001

"Today's top news story--curbside check-in!" That was the big news story this morning as I got ready for work. We had an early meeting this morning so I was up at 5:45 watching regular news instead of the Today show. I saw the story about 3 times during the hour it took me to get out of the house.

Curbside check-in has been authorized to resume at SFO and people seemed pretty darned excited about it. Actually, the interviews with people at the airport were of people saying how disappointed they were that it wasn't happening yet today and how much they missed it. But apparently it's coming back.

Who would have ever imagined a day when curbside check-in at the airport would be the lead news story of the day? I don't know if I should laugh mockingly that this is the best they can do for news today, be grateful that this is the best they can do for news today, or be appalled that suddenly anything related to the terrorist attacks of two weeks ago is big news, no matter how trivial.

Then there's the part of my mind that wonders if they x-ray our checked baggage. I never really thought about it before. It would be easy to put a bomb in a bag set to explode while you're in the air. I suppose they must x-ray it. I find it a little disturbing that this is something I never thought about before and a little disturbing that I have to think about it now.

They also said on the news this morning that if you're flying, make sure you don't bring scissors in your carry-on. I heard somewhere else that you're not even supposed to have tweezers or fingernail clippers. An anti-terrorist person I heard said even pens can be used as a weapon. I imagine us being brought onto a plane, no carry-ons, no books, no purses, they sit us down and tie us up for the duration of the flight. After all, our fists, teeth, fingernails, legs--all are weapons. I suppose they couldn't get away with that--how would we put on our floatation devices in the case of a water landing?

I'm all for more careful control of what gets on a plane; I think I'd be thrown out of the country as un-American if I said otherwise. But there's a point at which it reaches a level of ridiculousness. If someone really wants to get on a plane with a weapon, they'll figure out a weapon and a way of getting it on that will work. I heard they stopped serving meals on planes because they have to give you plastic utensils. I suppose even the trays could be used to hit someone with. We have to figure out to what degree we're going to allow our way of life to be affected.

Curbside check-in, the ability to tweeze at will, the joy of eating a terrible airplane meal--all are basic parts of our life that probably should be let take their natural course. There's no real reason to stop any of them that I can see. I don't know that the announcement that nail clippers will now be allowed on domestic flights needs to be a special news bulletin, but let us have our little pleasures.

Posted by Alyssa at 02:05 PM
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September 26, 2001

It was one of those rare beautiful warm sunny days today, ones that usually only come in September or October in San Francisco. As soon as I left the office, though, around 6, the fog started coming in. As I walked home the fog took over more and more; by the time I hit 26th Avenue it was thick. I kept walking, the cool air feeling good. As I got closer to the ocean, yet another strange weather event happened, something you normally don't see outside of San Francisco. The fog was still overhead and close to the ocean, but above the fog over the ocean, the sun was shining through. It was a strange golden glow coming from the direction of the ocean. It was a little eerie, like the sea was on fire, but too gold, not enough red. It was like molten gold. It was stunning. As I got closer, and my camera battery ran out, the fog started to overtake the sun. I could see the perfect sphere of the sun, then the fog as it washed over the sun in waves, like the ocean it hovered over. The closer I got to it, the more of the sun was eaten. Eventually the fog swallowed it. The fog glowed a pinkish red for awhile then it was all gray.

Posted by Alyssa at 09:35 PM
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September 24, 2001

I went to the Alice 97.3 Now and Zen concert Sunday in Sharon Meadows in Golden Gate Park. I bought the ticket back weeks ago when the Barenaked Ladies were the headliners, before the attacks in NY and D.C. I was very excited to see Barenaked Ladies as I'm a big fan but couldn't afford, or get to, their concert down around San Jose. I was also excited to see Macy Gray, but it was mostly the BNL that I was buying the ticket for. Unfortunately, due to the attacks, BNL decided they didn't want to fly and backed out of the concert. I was pretty sad, but by that time Alice had declared that the concert would be a benefit concert for the Red Cross. Though they offered refunds for people who had wanted to see BNL, it didn't seem right to take money away from the Red Cross.

Ultimately they announced that Alannis Morissette was going to take BNL's spot and that Melissa Etheridge was going to perform in the place of one of the openers who also didn't want to make the trip to SF. So I figured, it's not the lineup I wanted, but I like Alannis and probably wouldn't buy a ticket just to see her, so it was a good opportunity. And Melissa Etheridge I figured would put on a good show, even though I'm not a fan.

The day was cold and gray and foggy. I had several layers on and wished I had more. The crowd was weird, a lot more yuppie types than I expected, a lot of people who apparently came only to see Macy Gray and left as soon as she was done. Which was a mistake, because Alannis was great.

I went on my own; I couldn't get any of my friends to come as they're all broke. But in the last year of being single, I've gotten used to doing anything I want to do, even if I have to go alone. And I don't really mind. I brought a book to read in between acts and my blanket the perfect size for one person to sit on the lawn. I watched Slappy, Sarah's band. Sarah is part of Sarah and Vinnie who are the morning talk people on Alice in the morning. I love them and listen to them every morning. I was actually looking forward to seeing them, as I'd heard so much about them over the last weeks. I really enjoyed the band and of course there were all the little things I knew about their performance from listening to the radio, the back up dancers were fellow radio people, the male backup singer was Schutte who is someone else on the morning show, Vinnie was manning a video camera and running all over the stage. It was fun, seeing them in person. It's like when you meet someone you've only been emailing with for a year at work, a strange familiarity without ever seeing the person.

Melissa came next, just her and her guitar, and she was good. She did a Janis Joplin tune which made me happy but ultimately she's not a favorite for me. She was fine, better than Shelby Lynn.

Shelby Lynn came on next, and it's not that she wasn't good. But she threw some kind of a fit after the 2nd or 3rd song and walked off stage. So we sat for more than 45 minutes waiting for the next act.

Next was Macy Gray who was really great. Unfortunately she started with I Try which is a great song but she tried to do all the choruses as a sing along and it was too early in her set, I think, as she didn't get a big response. But she was really great, walking around the stage with a lot of energy, her band jamming a lot, her voice was great, she did some different versions of songs... A very good performance over all. I enjoyed her a lot.

Then Alannis came on and I don't know, it was something about her. She was energetic, sang a lot of stuff off her first album which is what most people know, and was really heartfelt in her feeling for the attacks and for what Alice was doing there, the relief effort. She came through as a headliner with less than a week's notice to replace BNL and you could tell it was because she really wanted to be there. So even though our numbers had dimished, people leaving after Macy, she put her whole self into the performance.

There was one moment during Alannis's performance that was like magic. She had been amazingly energetic, literally bouncing around the stage, her long hair going everywhere. Then, she started spinning, bent at the waist, her hair flying out perpendicular to her body, just spinning and spinning while her band jammed in the middle of a song. Then, on a day where we hadn't had even a peek at the sun, the sun streamed through and everyone started spontaneously applauding. Someone was blowing bubbles and they were flowing between me and the stage. So here she was, spinning, great music behind her, the sun shining through, the bubbles sparkling on the wind... It was a rare perfect moment; I felt so simply happy. I realized I hadn't felt that in a while. So maybe the day was about making money for a tragedy, but for me it became about that moment. The money was great and necessary. But for me, so was this.

Posted by Alyssa at 07:48 AM
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September 22, 2001

I'm watching America: A Tribute To Heroes, admittedly partly due to the fact that there's nothing else on. But I could be listening to music or reading or both. I suppose mostly I'm watching it because I wanted to know what it was going to be like. I heard all these names, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Will Smith, etc., etc. and wondered what these actors could possibly do in a telethon type setting. They're actors. Well, Will could rap I suppose. I even kind of like it when he does. But I just kept picturing Julia Roberts standing in front of the cameras turning and posing, showing off some great dress, looking attractive. I mean, if she doesn't have a script, what else is she supposed to do?

My dad mentioned this show to me this morning and I told him, "It's going to be terrible." I think I meant partly the whole what's-Julia-going-to-do thing. But I think I also meant it was going to be hard watching 2 hours nonstop emotion, sentiment, depression, talk of war. God knows I've already had enough hours nonstop of that.

Now I've been watching it for a bit and the what's-Julia-going-to-do part is every bit as terrible as I expected. The actors stand up and flub their lines and they're live so they can't do anything about it and you can see them inwardly cursing themselves for not getting it perfect, as if if it was perfect it would help things seem less sad. The cameras stay on the actors for too long after they stop speaking and you can see how uncomfortable they are. Comedians speaking seriously can be tricky, too. It's hard to watch Ray Romano or Conan O'Brien without cracking a smile, but they don't say anything remotely funny. They put Mohammed Ali up in front of a microphone, shaking badly from the Parkinson's, and we can barely understand him.

But what I can understand Mohammed say is that he's been a muslim for 20 years and muslims are about peace. I also hear him call himself "The Greatest" which brings a smile to my face.

They show the people in the back manning the phones, just as a PBS fundraiser would, but the people manning the phones are Robert De Niro, Whoopie Goldberg, Andy Garcia, Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Brad Pitt...every face is incredibly famous. And they're just sitting in the back answering phones. I imagine thousands of people around the country calling in to donate in hopes of Meg Ryan answering the phone.

There is no audience and no applause which makes it all seem a bit surreal but is appropriately respectful.

The musicians are the best part. The line-up is impressive. I'm unsurprised when the show starts with Bruce Springsteen. Stevie Wonder is also unsurprising. I feel a little excitement when they show U2 in black and white from London, though I'm not a fan, it reminds me of the 80's, when I had a strong social conscience and joined Amnesty International because Bob Geldof said I should and there were benefit concerts like this all the time. When Neil Young comes on and sings Imagine I feel a chill.

Billy Joel playing a baby grand piano with a fireman's helmet sitting on it as he sings I'm In A New York State Of Mind brings a tear to my eye. The fact that he manages to still smile as he sings impresses me and touches me more than anything. I can see New Yorkers thinking how great their city is, no matter what anyone tries to do to it. There is spontaneous applause when he finishes despite no audience.
--10:10 p.m.

I watched the rest of the show and wrote about it. Unfortunately my computer lost it. And I don't have the energy to recreate it. Suffice to say that I don't feel any better now than I did before watching. The world's no less scary. In some ways I feel worse, knowing that no matter how much money and fame and power you may have, it doesn't help, it doesn't make you feel any less helpless. So you can get up in front of a camera and ask for money and talk about how brave the firefighters are. Frankly I was more moved to give when I heard the firefighters talking for themselves.

A newscaster asked one how, on a day when he'd lost so many brothers, he could manage to go on. He said, today more than ever I have to go on. The honesty of that man made me want to give whatever I had.

An actor reading lines, no matter how earnest he or she might be, is still standing there in clean clothes in LA far from the damage. I don't mean they're not affected. I don't mean they didn't lose people they loved. I know many of them live in New York or have done. And I know deep down that it's a good thing that they've done, that they've probably raised a lot of money. But after the images we've seen over the last week and a half, the astonishing, unreal, heartbreaking images we've they really think Julia's tears are going to be what makes me crack? I cracked long ago. I'm unmoved by her.

However, the music was wonderful, and poignant, and worth remembering. Here's the song Sting sang, Fragile, dedicated to a friend he lost in the attack.

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay

Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence
and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star
Like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are
How fragile we are

Posted by Alyssa at 12:02 AM
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September 18, 2001

I'm not someone who cries at the drop of a hat. In fact, that would have to be one hell of a hat to bring a tear to my eye. Maybe a vintage Dior, dropping into a mud puddle...

Anyway, I say this because I've been talking a lot about tears and getting choked up and eyes welling. There's a point at which you've mentioned tears so often, in a story for instance, that they lose their impact, that they become common and the reader starts to glaze over when you use the words. But if you know the context, if you understand the character, when she tells you about her tears, if you know that they're unusual for her, they still have an impact. I don't cry often and I don't cry in front of people if I can help it. I was the only 11 year old in the theater with a dry eye during E.T. while my family sniffled. It's always been my way. So remember that when I tell you that tears welled up again this morning.

I thought all that was over. I thought I'd heard enough stories, seen enough heartache on TV to harden me up sufficiently to be beyond the tears. But no. This morning there was Katie Couric doing an interview with a K-9 unit policeman who was in tower 2 when it was hit, was in the rubble for nearly 5 hours, was eventually dug out with a couple of other guys and a woman he had saved. I watched him trying to speak as matter-of-factly and correctly as possible (he corrected Katie when she said he'd been in the rubble for 5 hours, told her it had been about 4 1/2. As if it made him any less heroic.) and as he talked about calling his wife and telling her he loved her. And I felt the tears building when he talked about all the people who were still missing, including his dog--"I know it sounds silly, but he was my partner." I don't know how Katie steeled herself.

Frankly, I'm tired of so much news in my news. I want to turn on the Today show and notice Katie's bad girl boots and new dye job, I want to laugh at how smarmy Matt can be, I want to listen to Al talking about the weather and pointing out cute babies in the crowd outside the studio. But I don't think there is a crowd anymore, I don't think people gather for their moments of fame on the TV screen to say hi to Mom. People know that if you're on TV these days it means you're begging for word of your missing son or wiping the sweat and dust off your brow and talking about your fallen brothers then returning to dig through the rubble or telling someone that you're giving blood because you feel helpless and need to do something. I keep hoping for a frivolous story on my news, a piece on Angelina Jolie's new movie or the new book by The Rules girls. Anything but this horror that has become our everyday viewing.

I watched three straight hours of Law and Order last night because at least there the murders and violence were made up. It was a relief to know that the bloody-faced man on the ground got up after his shot was over and went to eat a donut at the catering table. I wonder if this is how people watching TV during the Vietnam War felt, seeing the real violence and blood on TV during dinner, when normally there would be The Mary Tyler Moore Show or The Partridge Family. Suddenly the world seemed a whole lot darker. As it does now.

Read this (thanks to eleganthack). And be afraid.

Click here if you want to donate to the Red Cross through

Posted by Alyssa at 10:25 PM
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September 16, 2001

Pregnancy Watch 2001

Well, in the midst of the world falling apart, people losing their lives, and the shattering of our sense of safety...a little good came into the world. A little girl. Kaitlynn Rose, 6 lbs 4 oz, born Wednesday morning, the 12th. During all the horror, I forgot about her, forgot about this little girl I called Lucrecia for at least 6 months (mostly to torment Lynn), this little girl I watched expand my co-worker's belly. Toward the end of this past week everyone started asking me if I'd heard from Lynn, wanting to know how she was doing. Brief curiosity would flit through my mind as I told them I hadn't heard. My mind was too occupied by the immediacy of other events to really register anything else. Then Lynn showed up on my computer tonight and I instant messengered with her, found out that Lucrecia had entered the world, of course under an assumed name, and I felt so overwhelmingly happy for her. She has this new joy in her life, this gorgeous little creature to care for, and never once did either of us mention New York or terrorists or anything beyond the world of her little family. She has something precious to think about and doesn't need any of the rest of the world to intrude. I hope Kaitlynn never has to know what the world was like when she arrived.

Click here if you want to donate to the Red Cross through

Posted by Alyssa at 11:29 PM
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Click here if you want to donate to the Red Cross through They've raised more than $5,500,000.

I've never been a U2 fan. But every now and then there's a song of theirs that I like. I found the words to their latest song, Stuck In A Moment stuck, no pun intended, in my head all day long.

"You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment
And now you can't get out of it"

I spent the day shopping with my friend Angie, patriots, my sister called us, for spending money on shoes and CDs. We pretended like nothing in the world has changed since last weekend.

I was shocked to hear these words come out of my mouth when I got home tonight and turned the TV on to NBC--"Woo hoo, a commercial!" Then Saturday Night Live came on. The world seems a little less scary today.

Posted by Alyssa at 12:14 AM
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September 14, 2001

Click here if you want to donate to the Red Cross through They've raised more than $5,000,000.

I left work late today, at 6. I knew we were supposed to light candles at 7 and I wanted to be home, to be a part of that, in time to do it. But I had so much work to do, I couldn't leave until 6. It takes me an hour to walk home. I thought I might still make it by seven if I didn't stop. As I walked home, I started to notice all the flags. I'd noticed some appearing here and there over the last few days, but hadn't realized just how many there were. I was touched by it and started taking pictures of flags. I was taking pictures a couple of times a block. I started walking up and down the side streets as I saw more and more flags, meandering my way home.

Finally I noticed it was 7 and I still had about 10 blocks left to go before I was home. I started looking for candles. At first I didn't see any, no one seemed to be putting them outside. But it's a windy night and foggy, so I could understand since the candles probably wouldn't stay lit. Then I saw a small family with candles standing in front of their house. Then another. Then a group of women. I looked up and saw candles in windows. I walked down the streets, snapping pictures, tears welling up, feeling choked up with emotion I was again surprised was so strong.

I have found myself welling up, choking up, several times a day as I hear some new story of someone talking about a loved one, holding the picture of a loved one up to a camera in hopes that someone has seen them, accepting the loss of a loved one. I cried along with a CEO on TV talking about how he lost most of his workers, over 700, who were on the 101st floor and above. He was only alive because he'd taken his son to his first day of kindergarten that morning and was running late for work. I cringed as he talked about running up to the tower and shaking every person who came out, asking them what floor they were on. His words kept ringing in my ears, "I got up to 91, I got up to 91."

Now I'm getting choked up by the moving tributes, the level of devotion and patriotism and love that's being shown by seemingly everyone in our country and in many others. I was instant messengering with my dad this afternon and he told me about the memorial service he'd gone to in the courtyard at the Federal Building in SF. He told me about a long moment of silence in the packed courtyard, then a woman's voice rising up acapella singing "America". Then they played Ray Charles' blues version of "America" as they filed out. It was so SF. I nearly cried just reading his story. Such a beautiful image for such a horrible reason.

I arrived home at 7:45, feeling moved and sad. I found the only candle I knew wasn't packed away, one I'd gotten in New Orleans. It struck me as appropriate. I'd bought it in a Voodoo temple. It's a candle for Eleggua, the Spirit of the Crossroads, Messenger of the Gods. "He is in charge of opening and closing all doors." "He is often called upon to remove evil and misfortune." I'm not a voodoo girl, I don't subscribe to any religion, but I figured lighting up for Eleggua couldn't hurt.

I find myself watching the news coverage yet again. I don't want to, especially now that things are looking bleak, but I'm still glued. I tear up at coverage of the prayer ceremonies, the memorials, the singing, the people in tears. I feel like I need to just cry, just sob, and get it out of my system. But I didn't lose anyone I love, I haven't visited New York since I was 18, and my life hasn't really changed at all so I don't feel like I have the right to express the same remorse as those I see on TV. Still, I did lose something. I lost something I didn't even really realize I could lose, something inside me that worried about all the little things in my life and felt they were hugely important. Now any time I think about my problems with money, work, the future, the past--they all seem dwarfed; I can't contemplate them in the face of the overwhelming grief so many others are feeling. And I miss being able to crawl under the covers because I'm unhappy with something relatively minor in my life. I miss all my little problems feeling big because they were my own. Now all the problems in my life are those of others, and those of the country, and I can only look at that big picture, that 110 story picture.

Go here: he who is without sin

Posted by Alyssa at 10:50 PM
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September 13, 2001

Well, I can hardly bear to think about all this anymore, never the less write or talk about it. Still, each time I open my mouth to talk to anyone I hear the words coming out of my mouth: tragedy, towers, terrorists... Everyone I know seems to be the same. Our thoughts are so consumed, there's nothing else to talk about.

Click here if you want to donate to the Red Cross.

I have found the ocean to be a great comfort to me the last few days. Everyday as I walk to work and home again I see the ocean. It's something steady, stable, alive but not malevolent, blissfully unaware of the evil that exists in the world. Sometimes it's blue, sometimes gray. White tops of waves catching light. A natural force in the world. Much larger than 110 stories but can never be blown away. I need some beauty in my life right now and I suspect you do too.

Posted by Alyssa at 10:08 PM
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September 11, 2001

Addition--9-12-01 12:30 p.m. is taking donations for the Red Cross disaster relief. Please go and give, it's easy to do. As of now they've already collected $823,595.00. Also, please give blood. I've never done it before but I'm going up there after work. It's a beautiful thing, the way the people in this country are stepping up to the plate in whatever way they can. In New York they actually had to make an announcement to tell people not to come and volunteer. It makes me feel a little weepy all over again. And if you get a chance, give a firefighter a hug.

Well, it's been more than 12 hours now since terrorists flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon and another headed for San Francisco crashed outside of Pittsburgh. There have been many things that have struck me today.

I was sickened, am sickened, by the sound of the possible death toll. Thousands, they say. Two hundred and sixty six people on the planes. They're speculating 100-800 killed in the Pentagon. They're saying maybe 300 firefighters and 30 policemen missing, no one knows how many were in the towers when they were hit...

I still can't believe my eyes when I see the view of New York City without those towers. It's like a computer altered picture. Surely they're still there, someone just Photoshopped them out...

I'm amazed and angry that the entire country managed to be stopped in its tracks by terrorists. In addition to causing the understandable mayhem in NYC and D.C., every airport in this country and Canada was closed, no planes took off, very few landed. Most of if not every public school in the country was closed. All federal buildings were closed. City buildings were closed. Our city hall was closed. UCSF had the physical therapy office I work in cancel all of our patients. There were traffic jams caused by all the people trying to leave SF this morning. Malls were closed. Disneyland was closed. The Emmys were cancelled. Madonna cancelled a concert. From large to small events, the terrorists managed to stop them all.

I was disgusted by the rejoicing in some other countries when they heard about the attack. That people could be dancing in the streets, tooting their horns, handing out potluck treats as if it was a church picnic, when so many innocents have died, is just unthinkable to me. I'm pleased, however, by so many countries' outpouring of emotion over this event. I was especially struck by Tony Blair's statement: "This is not a battle between the United States of America and terrorism, but between the free and democratic world and terrorism." For god's sake, even Muammar Gaddafi called them "horrific attacks."

I'm impressed by the level of sympathy, outrage, and positive actions from everyone in the country. People flooded blood banks all over the country, people are packing churches for vigils for the victims and their families, a man talking about throwing a woman under a truck in NYC as a tower began to collapse to protect her, the Secretary of Defense who was in the Pentagon when it was hit and who must be nearly 70 pulling people out of the rubble of the Pentagon in the minutes after the attack. All things that prick those patriotic hairs on the back of my neck.

I was stunned by the level of shock and emotion I felt during the events of the day. I was in tears this morning thinking of all the deaths and the families of the victims of this attack. I was glued to the TV and the radio and the computer all day long, probably only a total of an hour all day spent without any connection to this news story. During much of the day at work I had an earphone in one ear and the telephone on the other. I guess I was surprised by myself because I'm so used to scenes of violence in movies and TV, not to mention how many times I've seen New York blow up in movies the last few years (Independence Day, Godzilla). But to see that plane fly into a tower, to see those towers crumble, to see New York engulfed in dust and smoke, to see and hear New Yorkers in tears and screaming, to hear the reported words of plane passengers crying that they'd been hijacked, to hear the sobbing reports of onlookers who saw people jumping out of the towers as they was all just too terrible and too real to be cynical or blasť about it.

And I was awestruck by the pictures. Here are a few that I thought were especially striking. Most from Reuters.

Another blogger's friend took this time lapse picture of the towers. It's pretty amazing. Towers

Everyone I know knows someone who knows someone... I thank my lucky stars that no one I love was killed or hurt by this. I hope everyone out there like me is thanking stars, god, fate, or whatever they choose to thank, as well. It's a different world as I say goodnight tonight than it was yesterday. Goodnight.

Posted by Alyssa at 09:22 PM
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I find myself sitting in front of the television, unable to move away to shower and get ready for work. I fell asleep watching TV as I often do and when I woke up this morning it was to clouds of smoke over the Pentagon. As my fuzzy brain started to focus I began to learn the magnitude of what had happened.

3 planes flew into each of the twin towers of the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon. The first plane hit the right tower of the WTC at 8:42 EST, just 15 minutes before the normal work day. And I know most people don't work a normal work day so the speculation is that there could have been thousands of people in each of these buildings. One of the planes was certainly hijacked on a flight from Boston to LA. They don't seem to know about the other two planes.

I just watched, about 15 minutes ago, the left tower of the WTC collapsed, as if it had been demolished, just crumbling down onto itself. New York is engulfed in smoke, like San Francisco during some serious fog. They keep talking on the news about the people trying to run down 100 flights of stairs in the WTC to get out and then the building collapsing, possibly on the emergency workers on the ground trying to evacuate survivors. The death toll must be just stunning.

I found my eyes welling up with tears, something I'm normally immune to when it comes to watching the news. But the pictures are just amazing and the thought of the people in the plane seeing this building coming toward them as their flight gets rammed into it, the thought of office workers just like me going into the Pentagon as if nothing unusual might happen only to have the floor buckle under them then the roof collapse on them, the thought of terrified workers running down stairs to get out of a burning building only to find it crumble around stomach churns and my throat chokes up. The pictures of New York suddenly without twin towers is almost unbelievable.

Reports just came in that there's another report of another hijacked plane in the air heading toward Washington D.C. Good lord, I can't imagine. If I was anywhere in the city of New York or Washington D.C. I would be running, driving, swimming anywhere far far away. All the airports have been closed in the entire country. All international flights are being diverted to Canada. It's amazing that a few people, or a terrorist group, can bring our country to a standstill, and in a couple of cities, to its knees. Now there are unconfirmed reports of a car bomb outside the state department. It's really shocking.

Oh my god, the other tower of the WTC just collapsed. Wow. Wow. Wow. It's 7:29 here PST, we're hearing news people yelling where is so and so, sounding terrified. Well, I can't keep watching, I have to go to work, there are no explosions in San Francisco, thank god, at least not for now. I just can't believe this. The face of New York has been changed. The casualties are hard to fathom. A plane just crashed near Pittsburg. I don't think I can hear anymore. I have to go to work. It's a sad, scary day.

Now they're saying there were probably approximately 10,000 people in each tower. An FAA person says there are several planes unaccounted for in the air. It just goes on and on. It's 8:15. I'm leaving now for work. I'll be very late.

Posted by Alyssa at 07:45 AM
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September 10, 2001

Well, I had sort of a weird weekend. I didn't really have any plans except I wanted to go to the Friends of the Public Library book sale down at Fort Mason. Naturally, that's the thing I didn't do.
Saturday I got up and shortly after my friend Kelly called me to tell me that he had borrowed his friend's truck and would take me to Ikea. Considering I hadn't heard from him all week, I assumed it wasn't going to happen. You see, I've had my eye on a great couch at Ikea. But considering I don't even have a car, never the less a truck, it would be difficult to pick it up. Luckily Kelly came through for me and we hopped off to Ikea. Here's a picture of my new couch: I'm pretty happy with it. Now if I can just figure out what to do with the pole in the middle of the living room... I'm still dealing with that decorating challenge.
Today, Sunday, I got up and my brunch plans got cancelled. So I puttered around my apartment for awhile, watched What Lies Beneath, and sat on my couch. Finally I decided to go out into the world. I was feeling a little bit in a funk again, something that's becoming not uncommon on Sundays for me. I think I'm starting to fall into that school days thing where I dreaded Sundays simply because it meant I had to go back to school on Monday--that and there was nothing to watch on TV but bowling. I'm trying to shake that considering otherwise I spend half my weekend in a funk. So I took a walk out to the beach and walked up to the Cliff House. It was a gorgeous day. I went and played at the Musee Mechanique. It's part of the Cliff House, downstairs, where there are all these old fortune telling machines and games and little fun machines to play movies and such. I haven't been there in years; it might have been before I moved here when I was last there. I had a bag full of loose change and $5 in singles (nearly all the money I have until pay day on Wednesday) and I decided to just play. I had my fortune read as many times as possible:

I played a lot of fun little shadow box type things with moving dolls and such. My favorite was the opium den. I also played games and won a few things, bubblegum, a whistle, and a shell on a cord necklace.

And I did some romance tests, where you squeeze a hand or press a button and they tell you what kind of lover you are or how likely you are to find love. Interestingly, I was an "icebox," "modest," "no pep," and "blah" among other lovely words. Instead of making me depressed, I just laughed. I'm not exactly looking for love these days so it isn't much of an issue even if all the machines were right.

I had a great time at the Musee. I scampered, I cavorted, I didn't think about mortality and money and friends gone far afield. Though all the above issues began to come back to me on my walk back to my apartment, my heart and mind were still a little lighter from the playing. I highly recommend an afternoon of silliness anytime you start feeling down. And a little beauty doesn't hurt either.

Posted by Alyssa at 12:20 AM
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September 07, 2001

This is the first time I've tried to put one of these up. My cool new Canon S110 digital camera also does short movies wtih sound, which I think is pretty damned amazing considering how tiny it is. This was one of the first movies I took. I was out at the movies with my sister and her friend Kim and Travis, who has moved to Austin now. This is a replay of something that actually happened but we made them do it again so I could get it on "film". Once this gets archived for a couple of days I'm going to have to take it off the server as it's taking up a lot of space. But until then, enjoy...


Posted by Alyssa at 09:30 PM
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September 06, 2001

This is just down the street from my apartment. I love where I live.

Unnecessary beautiful picture for today:

Posted by Alyssa at 10:30 PM
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September 05, 2001

I haven't done a pregnancy watch in a while so I'm going to devote this whole musings to it. Lynn will probably be horrified but on the upside, she could be in labor right now and not know anything about this. She's due on the 15th of September so she's pretty close now. Unfortunately she went on maternity leave on the 22nd of August so that's the most recent picture I have. Probably the next pic I'll have is of her and little Lucrecia. (I think they're actually naming her Caitlyn but I still vote for Lucrecia.)

Pregnancy Watch 2001

August 2

August 22

Posted by Alyssa at 10:05 PM
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September 02, 2001

It took me 6 hours to go see a movie today. And it was not a long movie.
Normally I don't like to complain about Muni for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, I generally don't have much trouble with it, usually I get buses in a reasonable amount of time, I manage to get a seat fairly often, and I appreciate that we have a pretty good transit system, much better than most cities. Mostly I don't complain about it because it seems so common--everybody does it. But I have to say that today I was not thrilled with Muni. I left the house at 3:30 planning to catch a 4:50 movie at the Metreon. I figured I could kill a little time at Virgin or Ross or in the Metreon itself if I got there early. I thought I'd have plenty of time.
Problem number one with Muni is that they're working on the tracks for the N train out by my place. Therefore I have to take a shuttle bus to 19th Avenue where I have to get off and get on a train. This is annoying because the bus is slower than the train, smaller than the train and therefore more crowded and it's harder to get a seat, and the getting off the bus then waiting to get on the train ends up adding several more minutes to the trip. By the time we were on the train, getting ready to go into the tunnel for the fast part of the ride, I was already worrying that I might not be early enough for the movie to get a drink and find a seat. Then problem number two with Muni popped up. The train didn't go into the tunnel. There was some kind of jam and the train wasn't going any further. So we had to get off. I was forced to figure out how I was going to get to the Metreon as fast as possible when I was already worried about time without using the train. I followed the herd of sheep across to Market St. where the F car was pulling up to the bus stop. Apparently the F train was frightened of the crowd, however, and didn't pull all the way up to the bus stop but rather paused back about 100 feet short. Everyone looked expectantly at it as it just sat there, unmoving. Eventually I gave up and trekked over to Mission Street, figuring I could catch one of the buses there or BART. Of course, I was walking down 15th St. which is where one of the few remaining projects in the city exist. Grateful it was still light out, I hurried along, grasping my purse, and made the rest of trip to the Metreon successfully. Still, I was about 15 minutes late for my movie. However, determined to see a movie after the trek I'd just made, I found a movie that started 5 minutes later, American Pie 2. I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed the first one but I probably would have waited until video to see the sequel. But it was that or see Rush Hour 2 again or wait for another hour for a movie. So I made it to the movie, it was fairly moronic, but I laughed and felt better when I left. Unfortunately, Muni decided to be difficult some more. I waited for 45 minutes for an N train to show up. By the time I arrived home it was 9:30. So for me to see a movie I didn't intend to see that lasted less than 2 hours it took 6 hours.
But I'm home now and I've watched a couple of movies on the VCR and I feel better. I watched Gossip, which I bought for the price of a rental, which I thought was a pretty decent little movie, surprisingly. Despite an ending that could have used a little more explaining, it was pretty satisfying. And really, that's all I look for in a movie. Entertaining, a reasonable plot, and decent acting. It was also an early appearance by Kate Hudson. Now I'm going to bed. Tomorrow is another day. I just hope I waste less time during this one. Good night.

Posted by Alyssa at 01:57 AM
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