Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The GOP Orlando Debates

Is it too early to start thinking about politics and the next presidential elections? I don't think so, nor do I think do the Republicans since they are already debating each other to find who will be the nominee in a race that finds the President becoming more and more vulnerable to defeat next year.

So yesterday I watched the Orlando GOP debates on Youtube, or at least the Foxnews highlight clips of it. There was one clip where former senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum was responding to a question from a gay soldier serving somewhere in Iraq. I tried to find the original footage from Fox but for some reason it was taken down. I wonder why?

I actually don't care what the answer was or would be from Santorum because it's pretty much predictable, but really, someone in the audience is booing a member of the armed forces who risking is life and limb for his country and no one says anything?

I think I've said it before but I'll say it again, these TEA Party people scare me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The End of Summer

I've never been a lover of Autumn leaves. To me it just means more shit to sweep up and get rid of from your yard, and then watch and curse as the unswept leaves from the neighbor's yard are blown into yours.

Well the Fall hasn't come yet and Summer is still officially here so I don't have to worry about that stuff right now. But it feels like Summer has gone and I...miss it already.

What now?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 2001

There are some people alive still who can say what it was they were doing or thinking or how they felt when they heard about President Kennedy being shot or the attack on Pearl Harbor or Roosevelt dying, Franklin that is not Teddy. Even though if you are one of the ones who can remember when Teddy Roosevelt died then God bless you and I hope you have many more years. I however, will be one of those who will always remember 911, although perhaps not with the same intensity that I thought I would have. 

I remember that Tuesday being one of those ordinary days where the sky was clear and blue with small puffy white clouds. The  air was clean and the temperature pleasant. It was the kind of day that you wish you always had but take for granted when you do by just going about your business. I had dropped off the Ex at the bus station in Mount laurel to catch the 7 o’clock to New York. He was working a show in New York and had to get back to do that week’s performances.  I went on to Philadelphia and work and what was to be a missed afternoon dental appointment and perhaps not such an ordinary day.

It was shortly after 9am when my sister called me from my parent’s home in Tampa and told me that one of the towers at the World Trade Center had been struck by a jet plane.” Tragic” I thought and I was sure that a lot of people would have been hurt but I had work to do and why was she calling me? She called me again about 15 minutes later and told me that the second tower had been hit. “Terrorism” I thought to myself. Yeah there’s a stroke of genius, but I didn’t say anything to her other than to thank her and then hang up.

Getting up from my desk, I walked over to windows by my supervisor’s desk to see if she was listening to her radio. From the 15th floor if you look towards Jersey you can see the Federal court buildings as they sit on Independence Mall. If you look south, you can see Philadelphia International Airport about 4 or 5 miles away and see the planes take off and land. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary except for my supervisor who was running about with a frazzled look with hands waving in the air asking, “Is this End of Days?”  I hoped it wasn’t since knowing that she was a Christian there would probably be a special place in Hell reserved for her and with my luck I’d be sitting right beside her.
I went back to my desk and there was a voicemail from the Ex. He said that something was going on and that he might need my help. I called his cell phone back, several times, but the lines were busy or down or something. I couldn’t reach him. “How do I fix this?” I thought.
Minutes passed and my sister called me again and said that the one of the towers had collapsed. “You’re insane!” I almost screamed. It was getting to me. Everyone knew that the World Trade Center and many other buildings were built to withstand plane crashes. My God, I knew the World Trade Center; I had worked for Spear Leeds across the street from it. Each tower was almost as wide as a city block. But she said that she had seen it on the TV. How could I really argue with her? She could either believe me or her lying eyes. I really didn’t have anything to stand on.
I got up again and walked over to the windows and stared out. Everything still looked clear and beautiful, but people started to talk about the Pentagon being hit behind me. The pentagon? Don’t they have tanks or anti-aircraft artillery defending that place? My brain was being torn apart. I went back to my desk. There was another voicemail from the Ex. His bus had been turned around prevented from entering Manhattan and he needed me to pick him up. Pick him up from where Hoboken, Mount Laurel or was he coming into Philly? Why couldn’t he call me on my cell? Why couldn’t he leave a message that was worth a damn?  I called him again, but I still couldn’t get through. I called mutual friends of ours in Philly but no one had heard from him. I knew he was safe, just as I knew I was safe and would continue to be so. But I was starting to worry.
My sister called again and said that the second tower had fallen and that was all the news she could give me since she was getting ready to catch her flight to Philly. “I don’t know where you think you’re flying to but it won’t be Philadelphia. The airport has been shut down. ” I said. She said she would call the airlines and see what was up. After the nationwide shutdown of all aviation she was able to get a flight booked on the upcoming Saturday which of course was cancelled due Hurricane Gabrielle landing in Florida. I don’t think she was able to get back north until the following Wednesday.
At about 11:00, 11:30, the directors and the assistant vice-presidents started to run around our floor. The buzz now was that some place in the middle of Pennsylvania that no one had ever heard of before had been attacked and the question was when were they going to strike Philadelphia and which buildings? “What were they going to do?” someone asked, maybe it was me maybe it wasn’t. “Hem,” and then a little bit of, “Haw,” was the answer. Just then someone from security came up and said that the Mayor’s Office had declared that the city was being closed and that the building management had decided to evacuate the all 31 floors of the building. I didn’t have to hear that twice or listen for confirmation from the bosses. I think I was down on the street in less than 3 minutes. “Where to now?” I thought.
I crossed the street turned the block and went to the Greyhound station to see if the Ex was there, but all I saw was a crowded mass of faceless people acting frustrated and scared. He wasn’t there. Maybe he was at the store of a friend of ours over on Sansome Street I thought and started to walk over in that direction. “This is silly…think clearly!” I thought after getting half way there. I turned around walked to the train station through streets that seemed to be eerily void of traffic for that time of day.
At the station no one slid their tickets through the turnstiles as police ushered everyone freely through the gates in an orderly manner. And once I found a seat on the train I noticed a man pointing out from the news paper that it was World Peace Day or something. Funny, in a kind of a French existentialist way.
Suffice it to say, I got back to Jersey and drove to Mount Laurel and picked up the Ex. He had been waiting there about an hour he said. We didn’t hug or kiss or thank God because… that’s just not my way. Like the old Sure commercial says, “Never let them see you sweat,” has always been motto. Instead we just drove to my house watched the news together for a bit and then I went to sleep by myself. I always go to sleep when something troubles me. I suppose my body must assume that when I wake up everything will be alright.
It’s strange how I don’t really remember how I spent my birthday less than 2 weeks ago, but I do remember almost every detail of that day in September 10 years ago, except for the fear and the confusion and the uncertainty that I kept to myself that I thought that I would never lose. However, I did lose them, just like I lost the Ex and the other people in my life and the other things that I came to know.
I guess Forrest's momma was right, “Life is like a box of chocolates...”

*For more accounts of this day and its consequences, please visit The Neon Lounge for a list of bloggers who have dedicated their time and efforts in recounting their stories.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Philly Naked Bike Ride 2011

Waiting for the Philly Naked Bike Ride
This thing is getting bigger and bigger.

I swear, I swear, next year I'm going to ride...But that would mean I would have to buy a bike and that would seem a little silly to pay whatever they cost, just ride one day out of the year and maybe even chicken out at the last minute. That's what the guy in the picture did, well he obviously didn't chicken out but then again he has some balls on him... I don't. That is to say in the emotional, spiritual way I don't have those kind of balls and not the physical way. Although if we had to measure up, I might not have the; but I'm beginning to digress.

The point is, next year watch out Philly the old man is coming through.

Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride 2011


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