When I was Late on September 11th

me with twin towers

Me at the Statue of Liberty trying to point at the plane flying over the WTC

The train had rocked most of us on this New Brunswick to Penn Station train to sleep but not me; My MP3 CD with 100+ songs burned from Napster had not yet lost its novelty. I was listening to the Cure as a good teen Catholic high school pseudo-goth when a man sitting by the window blurted out, “there’s a fire!”

We were about to go under the tunnel, still on the New Jersey side. When the buildings cleared again before we descended under the river the few people that had gathered peered out but the angle had changed, or the wind picked up. We didn’t see anything. “I saw smoke” said the man. “I really did.” We were unconvinced, and returned to our seats. I focused on the task at hand: filling out a yellow slip and forging the signature of my school’s lobby receptionist.

I was late, really late, and when you were late at my school, you had to check in at the front desk to collect a slip, which you then gave to your teacher. Once you collected three, you got detention. I was late a lot — my parents had moved out to New Brunswick for the birth of my step-brother and I was having trouble catching the 6:20 train every day to get to school on time– which is where the stolen packet of late slips came in. On September 11th, I was on the 8am so I was “missed first period” late.

Riding the 6 train and running the couple of blocks to my school felt odd but I attributed it to rush hour being over. A classmate let me in the side door and I bounded up the stairs, my teacher waving my late slip away not even bothering to sign it. Class was not in session, everyone was talking about the Twin Towers. That man on the train was telling the truth!!! My chemistry teacher burst into the room and ordered everyone into the basement. We were under attack. The Pentagon had just been hit. Read the rest of this entry »


real talk on mental illness following the biking accident, from the bath

I can’t believe I made two of my previous posts private the other day. Part of me was ashamed– the mental health issues, mostly — and I felt like they were unfinished bits, which was why I took them down.  But that was me doubting myself. Diary-like entrees don’t have to be perfect personal essays. I can always use the material again for a healthcare or mental health post, and the republishing of some bits shouldn’t be a problem if I do sell a piece anywhere.  Now I am ashamed I hid them, to think that I faltered like that. I am ashamed I was ashamed.

I am still focused on fixing myself, which is still taking precedence over writing for money, so that has remained consistent at least since March. A therapist is still in order now that my crotch pain has subsided and I feel like I can walk like a normal person. Some people would put mental over physical health, but I am lucky to have a patient mate.

When I’ve talked about my mental illness before to friends and family, I always talk about me “waking up” because I describe it as if I am no longer sleeping, I know who I am again. But then, something happens to shake up my worldview and I realize I had fallen back asleep and didn’t even realize. Going to NYC (and seeing friends and family) always wakes me up, and this time I hope, pray and wish I stay awake longer than I have previously. (I was in NYC recently to write about GF2045 for VICE’s Motherboard.) Another way to describe it is I have lost myself, or personality, somehow so to fill the personality void I absorb the ones of those around me. Or I could get really emo and link to Tor Amos’ “Silent All These Years” but my situation isn’t really like that.  I’ll go with the obscure Von Iva’s “Same Sad Song,” which doesn’t really fit either, but… maybe if they were combined.

I am telling you all this, dear Internet, because while looking at the VICE suicide fashion photoshoot I was overcome with thoughts of Emma Bernstein, and in examining my behavior while remembering her it became apparent I have now completely processed her death. Her influence was what made me want to be a writer, and in thinking of her, I looked at my writing career with a new perspective.

There were many times when I was flakey, promised things I couldn’t deliver, and let people treat me like a doormat. I had issues meeting deadlines and  failed to negotiate properly for what I wanted or needed and misunderstand what people were trying to teach me. My ability to produce good work is what saved me during my post-accident mania, I think. (My accident roughly 5 years ago also relit my writing desire, so I guess that is the one positive outcome out of all of that, even though right before the accident I was serious about modeling and improv. Why I am still doing journalism despite preferring creative writing and performance art — and even going to school for it– is something I will need to transition to, and soon. )

Another pattern emerged during last night’s porch-in-the-moonlight reflection: I’ve had relatively manageable depression since high school and was also “moody as fuck” (my troubled parents failed to notice this but my therapist freshman year of college was not the neglecting sort), but following my accident — specifically the concussion– I became what one therapist described as manic and maybe ADHD. My moods would fluctuate from uncaring, cold and full of hatred to overly enthusiastic exuberance of emotion and energy. I engaged in reckless, selfish and intentionally hurtful or self-sabotaging behavior. I have many apologies to give now… and many mistakes to correct. Here’s hoping that come tomorrow I still give these same fucks.


New Yorkers (and the world) need to chill out over the Great Bronx Zoo Cobra Escape

Lilith (1892) by John Collier in Southport Atk...

There's this rumor going around saying Lilith slept with snakes...

So, I am not a “snake expert”, and the post below is based off my limited experiences with snakes at friends houses and from my observations at the zoo. Oh, and, the fact that snakes are cold-blooded, meaning snakes are the temperature of their surroundings.

Psst, New Yorkers! The cobra is a cold-blooded reptile, and it’s 40 degrees outside! Why would the escaped cobra even leave the Reptile building?

Because there is obviously nothing to fear, I have to assume this is all because New York,  New York was feeling jealous over all the national (and international) media attention Chicago’s been getting because of our newly elected Mayor Rahm Emanuel. As proof of how awesome our new mayor is, his fake twitter account is being made into a book.  Does Mayor Bloomberg even have a fake twitter (a good one)? And are the tweets of the fake Bronx Zoo Cobra  going to be made into a book? I scoff at myself for even posing the question. Well, maybe if the cobra actually kills someone.

You can probably tell, I don’t find the fake Bronx Zoo Cobra twitter account funny mainly because I refuse to forget that snakes are cold-blooded… (just like how squirrels can’t pickpocket people because they don’t have hands – I’m looking at you, Justin Kaufmann-)

As to why journalists (and their readers/viewers) have eaten this silly story up, my  guess is the escaped  Bronx Zoo cobra story lightens an otherwise somber international community worried about Japan, Libya, and budget deficits.

UPDATE: Before I hit the Publish button I  google-newsed “bronx zoo cobra”, and do you know what was at the top of my search? The Egyptian cobra was found inside the Reptile building. I am soooo good.

Like me, the director of the Bronx Zoo Jim Breheny also doesn’t understand all the hub-bub over the snake, as evident by his behavior in the above press conference video.


Crysis 2 has broken my heart

Crysis 2

poor poor NYC…  Image via Wikipedia

I never download anything the day it becomes available, as it requires discussion (I currently share a video gaming machine with my boyfriend). Nevertheless, the Crysis 2 demo was downloaded and I didn’t even have to pitch it.

I had a great time with Crysis, and it was the demo that originally sold me on the game. I especially became adept at firing on enemy targets with the assault weapon attached to a boat. My whole strategy for attacking this encampment by the water involved this boat (think to the tune of this song).   I have good memories of the first demo, so saying I was excited is an understatement.

Then we went away to Florida for 6 days.  The demo was not played.

Upon returning from vacation on the 25th, what is found? The Crysis 2 demo is multiplayer, and only available to play from March 15th to March 22nd. If you try to play the demo after March 22nd, there are no servers available for you to play on. What kind of marketing madness is this??? Sure, this limited demo-play generates buzz, and Crysis 2 demo players get another reason to feel all superior, but what about me? I am left heartbroken and the high interest of  paying $60 has dissipated.

The void was filled by Neverwinter Nights 2 and all the expansion packs….


Beautiful architecture soothes my post-9/11 soul

I told my mate that when the World Trade Center Transportation Hub was complete, it is time for me to move back to New York City.  I don’t care as much about the other buildings in the WTC place- they don’t symbolize the rebirth of NYC quite like the Transportation Hub. And check out the WTC memorial – you know drunk fools  are going to fall in those pools at some point.

My mate naturally objected, he complained of the NYC prices and the cramped living spaces – but ultimately agreed on the superiority of Santiago Calatrava’s design.

I want to live in a city with the  most beautiful subway station in the world…

Hey New York City – If you never build this structure I will never forgive you.

Also, Port Authority, if you do a crappy job at continuous maintenance, this hub with become Pigeon Central.

Additional readings

NYTimes – Trade Center Transit Hub’s Cost Now Over $3.4 Billion

The New York Observer – How an over budget PATH Station Helps Explain a Missing Church

Time – What’s Behind the Ground Zero Stalemate

NYTimes Blog – A Twisted Path for a Curve-filled Terminal

Gothamist – Inflation Worries Hit World Trade Center Hub (photo gallery)


September 11th has come and gone….

Should  I have written about September 11th yesterday, considering I was there on 2001, stuck in midtown when the city went into lockdown?

I didn’t want my voice to be part of the media circle-jerk, or the mosque protest/Quran burning madness.

Maybe I will write about it for the 10 year anniversary.

Wait… Did I just write “10 year”? Has it been 9 years already?

And no memorial has been built on that site yet (the lights don’t count, sorry)….?
Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

Peace

The Mothership Arrives


Another public project the lost Olympic bid screwed over?

The most recent update on the Bloomingdale Trail, a project much like New York City’s High Line:

“I would expect to see at least a part of this open within 4 years,” said Andrew Vesselinovitch, the Chicago Parks Program director for the Trust for Public Land. “But I think that is even a little optimistic.”

via The dream of the Bloomingdale Trail still far from reality .

The Medill article goes on to mention:

Officials originally aimed for 2016 as a completion date, so that the trail would be up and running during the Olympic games. But with Chicago losing the bid, that aim is no longer necessary.

Much of the article mulls over how long this project is taking, but with funds being cut left and right (for more important things like youth and after school programs), grumbling about the lack of development over this trail is almost insensitive.  Yes, it’s true, this would be a nice addition to Chicago and would help in our attempts at dethroning New York City as King City.  I just hope they don’t make the Bloomingdale Trail as modern looking and soulless as New York City’s High Line. So far, it looks good. The Friends of Bloomingdale Trail website say they plan on building community murals and you would be able to bike on the Bloomingdale Trail, something you cannot do on the High Line.


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