This Is Not A Joke

I don’t really want to write right now, but I’m in such a state of shock that if I don’t do something I’ll curl up into a ball and cry myself into a mental institution. When I started this site I made a promise to myself that I would never give out personal information. I felt that it wasn’t important who I was or where I lived because no one would ever care. I didn’t think my identity would ever be important to my readership because on the Internet, it doesn’t matter where you live or who you are because your words can reach a global audience. It doesn’t matter to me where other web loggers live or who they are and I didn’t think they would really care to know about me. I wasn’t looking for an online relationship, I didn’t need any online stalkers and I didn’t want to be afraid that someone out there might come after me or my family or friends if they ever became offended by what I wrote.

In short, I just wanted to be able to write funny things that would make other people laugh while keeping my anonymity.

But what has happened today changes everything.

The city where I have lived my entire life is in shambles. This city, MY city, has lost two of its most impressive, memorable and significant landmarks by a cowardly act of terrorism. The most photographed skyline in the world will forevermore be bereft of two of its most strikingly familiar buildings. New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice and the apple of my eye, will never be the same again.

For a reason unknown to me, I awoke this morning at 6:45 and was unable to get back to sleep. I decided to get up and turn on the TV so I could watch CNBC’s pre-market show. At 8:45, just as I was beginning to be lulled back to sleep by the banter between Joe, Mark and David, they interrupted the broadcast to report that an airplane had just plowed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Just 18 minutes later, during the live broadcast of the ongoing fire at the tower, another jet airplane slammed into the south tower. Less than two hours after these surreal events transpired, the World Trade Center and famous Twin Towers of the financial capital of the world had crumbled to the earth.

I’ll never be able to bring my future kids to the observation deck and look out over the city with them. My kids might not even believe they ever existed there at all.

As they collapsed, the buildings belched forth smoke, soot and flames like some proud, ancient dragon writhing in the pain of its death throes. Some people who were trapped in the building and faced with a nightmarish choice of horrific proportions, chose to leap to their death rather than burn in the flames that were engulfing the towers. Firefighters, police and emergency workers were forced to look on in hopeless agony as these once proud monoliths of architectural prowess fell to the earth in a slow-motion avalanche of glass, concrete and steel.

I watched in horrified disbelief, as this impossible nightmare became a CNN reality. Looking out my window, I could actually see the dust and soot cloud stretching out in the early morning sky.

I used to work on Wall Street, just two short blocks from where the towers once stood. I find myself wondering now if the building whose elevator I used to curse for being so slow is still there. Although I no longer keep in touch with the people I used to know at that office, and for the life of me I don’t think I could name more than three that I ever actually liked, I’m sure that at least a few of them were there today. I can only hope that everyone made it out before the sky crashed down, but I don’t know if any of them would recognize me if I passed them on the street. I feel relief when I realize that no one in my family or any of my current friend’s work or live near there. I’m thankful that they are all safe and accounted for.

Should I be ashamed that I’m so thankful because I don’t know anyone who works in the financial district anymore? Should I really be so happy that no one I personally know has been killed?

My first thought this morning was to call my girlfriend. She lives less than 40 blocks (about 2 miles) from the Towers and I wanted to make sure she was ok. She was a little scared and wanted to be with me and all I wanted to do was hold her and tell her that it was going to be ok. Thankfully, she’s just fine but I can only offer her comfort through my words over the phone since I can’t get to her today. Due to the nature of this tragedy, there is no transportation right now between Brooklyn and Manhattan so I can’t get into the city to see her and she can’t come to me.

(as an update, the trains are working now so we’ll soon be together again)

Just this weekend, the Sunday Times had a special in the Real Estate section about new apartments going up for sale in the financial district and we were thinking of moving there. Now, I don’t think there’s much of a financial area left to move to. Isn’t that just like a New Yorker? Tragedy strikes and I start thinking about real estate. Pathetic.

I am sickened. I am angry. I am frightened. And right now, nothing seems very funny.

Send your good thoughts to all those who need it. Right now, I’m going out to give some blood that I hope and pray will save somebody’s life.

Goodbye for a while. I’ll be away until I can find humor again. I hope that I find it soon.

Taken 8-12-2001

A Change In Plans

Hello from cloudy, sweltering, humid, sweaty and hot Puerto Rico! Your favorite geek shouldn’t even be here at all, but due to a little thing called Chantal (hurricane, that is) my whole cruise itinerary has changed from West to East. After having researched every excursion that we could possibly go on for the Western Caribbean cruise, my girlfriend was just a tad upset to find out that we were going to completely different ports of call. Everything will probably work out fine, but right, since we already spent a month in PR 4 months ago, we’re not too excited about being here again.

We’ve done a lot of fun stuff that most people would laugh at if we did it on dry land. We’ve played shuffleboard on the Promenade Deck (really, we did. stop laughing.), bingo bingo bingo, watched Broadway shows get butchered on-stage, danced while a horrible DJ played horrible music, and ate until our lower intestines attempted to cut off the flow of incoming food by reaching up and strangling us.

Then we went to the midnight buffet to beat our digestive system back into submission.

I don’t have internet access on the ship, so no pictures for you. I’ll try and write more when we land on shore at St. Thomas tomorrow.

Happy. Sad. Joyful. Mad.

Ever have one of those weird days where you can’t figure out if you should be pissed off or happy? Yesterday was one of those days for me and I really didn’t know which emotion fit me better.

  • Woke up early to go see Diana Krall perform live at my girlfriends office.
  • Got there late and only got to see and hear one song before she skedaddled.
  • Accosted by the new “You broke my glasses!” scam making its way around the city.
  • Received change for a $20 when I was paying with a $10.
  • Accosted a second time, in Wendy’s no less, by a guy trying to sell fake gold jewelry.
  • Got caught in a sudden thunderstorm without my umbrella.
  • Saw a bum with a sign, “Tell me off for $2.00”
  • On the cold and wet train ride home, helped a young girl who began bleeding from a cut on her temple she got while rollerblading.

To top it all off, a package with my girlfriends birthday present that I’ve been waiting to receive for over two months was finally delivered. Unfortunately, I wasn’t home at the time to get it so they’re gonna try again today. Sigh, what’s a Geek to do?

Flame On!

Here I am, minding my own business watching the big finale of Cannonball Run 2001, when I hear sirens. Hearing sirens in the big city is nothing new, so I didn’t pay much attention to them until I heard them stop at what sounded like my front door. This got me concerned enough to ponder getting up during a commercial break. (I didn’t want to miss what would happen when a girl cheated on her boyfriend with a guy from another team. Oh the suspense!)

When I heard even more sirens approaching, I thought it might be wise to look out the window and see what was going on. You know, just in case I should start packing up the VEHTS (Very Expensive Home Theater System) and carefully move them outside and out of harms way. Do not be alarmed, dear reader, it turns out that I was in no danger but the house a few doors down from me was in desperate need of water because it was currently on fire.

Seeing this as a golden opportunity to test out my brand spankin’ new digital camera (delivered at 4:53pm today by my good friend Mr. FedEx) I quickly watched the last 10 minutes of Cannonball Run, turned off the TV, got up from the couch, opened up a can of soda, put on my ever-ready pair of Danger Flip-Flops, grabbed the camera and headed outside.

I’m quick like a Llama.

Since I haven’t read the owners manual or even attempted to figure out what the silly, cryptic symbols on the camera mean, my picture taking skills are quite low. However, I was able to get a shot of the fire engines in all their glory as they sat there in the street with their lights spinning round and round and round.

Oooo, Fire Engines!

Isn’t that pretty?

So, I’ve had an exciting evening of bad television, watching a neighbor’s house burn and thereby having an excuse to use a new Geek toy and lastly sharing with the world just how pathetic I am by writing about it on my web site. Now if only I had a big sign for my neck that said, “Kick me, I’m a loser.” my life would be complete.

Are They On Crack?

Danger Island

“Danger Island” will be a weekly one hour reality television show. It will not be a low brow descent into schlock television nor will it be a primitive display of good versus evil. Instead, it will be an incredible mythological display of evil competing with evil for the exceedingly rare opportunity to compensate victims for past crimes committed against them.

Someone needs to stop these people.

A GreyMatter Problem

Well, isn’t this a kick in the head? GreyMatter doesn’t let me use the PRE or CODE tags in my posts because GreyMatter parses every bit of HTML that passes through its system. In plain english, I can’t post code fragments through GreyMatter. It’s not the worst thing in the world but it does hamper my ability to use GM as a quick note taking alternitive to a full page dissertation on any coding I might do. In this particular case, it means that you will have to wait a couple of days until I create a new page on this site for my GreyMatter and SSI How-To tutorial.

I know you’re all going to lose a lot of sleep over this.