9/11/2002: One nation, under Arbitron

"I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."
—Harry Truman

Even at two weeks out from the actual anniversary, the headlines gathering like storm clouds on news shows and websites still make me cringe and simmer with anger. "The day that changed the world." "The Unthinkable." "Day of Terror."

On the eleventh day of September, 2001, I sat at my computer, stunned beyond measure, and wrote:

Remember this. You'll see it again.

This is my birthday present to myself.

I spent the night playing with friends and laughing and pouring the occasional drink or two. We played cards and sent everyone except John (who is staying with us) home. We talked, he and I, until five a.m.—about Kenya, parents, siblings, past dates, love, life, and everything in between.

It is 5:20 on the day of my birthday. A year ago today, right about now, I was with Andy and Jen in New Jersey, preparing to take a train into New York. For my first taste of Manhattan.Through a typo while posting last year's NYC pictures, I marked a set of pictures as being from the Empire State Building when they were, in fact, from the top of World Trade Center 1. I made a comment to a netfriend about a picture of him at the same place; he said, "No, Amy, that's not ESB."

Don't start anything!

I miss my little, friendly, Huntsville airport. It was, once, my favorite place to fly out of, but after September 11, I think it is safe to say that the airport I once knew is gone. Perhaps forever.

Yesterday afternoon I drove to the airport to pick up John; my first visit to an airport in several months. I'd nurtured some vain and tiny hope that perhaps reasonability would have prevailed in Huntsville, and that airport security would not have shut down the metered parking.As I pulled around to the front of the airport, I realized two things: one, that metered parking was closed off by a large volume of orange cones, and two, that I'd have to circle around the airport because there was no place to turn off.

The swath of orange cones was disturbing in its own right, but even more so were the three camouflage-colored Humvees guarding them. No one sat in the vehicles, but there were numerous men dressed in camouflage and carrying weapons.

Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The Fourth Amendment is not so often quoted as the fighting words of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

but it is, in its own way, as strong as the First.

Undertow: strategies for life

The answers are: nowhere interesting, nothing much, thanks. How about you?

I've spent a couple of days buried pretty deeply into the greymatter hacks/mods portion of this site. Seems like every time I do that, I come out two days later with no desire to touch any kind of HTML for a while. If nothing else, it's subsumed the urge to create new designs for at least a few days.Since Tuesday, I haven't touched any kind of design. I think that's the strongest evidence of how much the events in New York have shaken me—they've stopped my creative process for the time being.

Taking inspiration from the living

After another night of delayed sleep, I made a thoroughly wavering, uncertain decision today to limit how much information I took in about the destruction in New York.

We bandy about the phrase "too much information," but in this case, it can be all too true. For each person it's different—but we each know when it happens—the moment when we know too much, and it's more than we can handle, emotionally or intellectually.I reached my moment about twenty-four hours ago over a specific, painful piece of information. For me, it was learning about a particular incident that the networks all have on videotape but refuse (rightly) to show. Even knowing of its existence was more than I could take. Jeff knows what that particular image was, but I will not repeat it here, for repetition is salt for the wound, not solace.

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