September 11th, 2001

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"In Light of What's Going On . . ."

So I went to work at 8:00 a.m. this morning and at 9:30 a.m. one of the vice presidents came around and said, "[Insert owner of company's name here] called and said we're going to go ahead and go home now . . . in light of what's going on . . ."

This was a very mysterious thing to say. What the hell is going on? Is there a third serial killer loose in Sacramento already, and on a rampage in our very own office park, or what?

But when people tell me to go home early, I'm in no mood to ask questions. So I made not the slightest inquiry. I'm outta here!

Now I think I'll actually get something done today! I still owe CrazyRedhead888 a response from like two weeks ago that I haven't been able to find time to finish yet. I think I can finish it today.
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::reading my friends page::

Hmm . . . SOMETHING is going on, obviously . . . and apparently it's not in Sacramento . . .

No doubt I could find out much quicker by going to a news site but it sounds scary so I think I'd better absorb it slowly through my friends page first.
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::starts counting important government buildings near my residence::

Let's see . . . there's Mather Air Force Base, that's the closest . . . and the state capitol, but I'm pretty far away from that . . .

I sent an email to Frank Aqueno inquiring about what was going on, and received this response:

"Well, its just that life as we knew it is now over."


That was before I'd even summoned the courage to start checking out the news.

Suddenly I think California isn't such a bad place to live after all. The biggest emergencies we have over hear are rolling blackouts and the occasional serial killers who only kill six people.
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Um

So the news anchor on the only TV station that my cable-deprived TV is capable of (intermittently, with lots of static) receiving is talking about "a mood of quiet rage" in the federal government and how "revenge is best served cold" and then he says, ". . . a mood probably very much like the mood when Pearl Harbor was bombed . . ."

HELLO!!!!!!

I don't want to start a nuclear war over this. Aren't the people who've already died enough?
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Grr

They keep saying it again. More and more of them. Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor.

STOP SAYING THAT!!!!!!

How am I supposed to get anything done on my unexpected time off when crazy redneck maniacs are all over my TV plotting to turn this into World War III before we even know who did it?

P.S. Tony Blair is the cutest, most adorable (um, physically, I mean . . . no world leader can ever be terribly adorable mentally) world leader I've ever seen. And he didn't say the words "Pearl Harbor" either.
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My Mother Is Even Slower to Get the News Than Me

I just received this email from my mother a moment ago:
"Did you hear about the mass murders lately. Nicolay Soltys killed 7 family members a few weeks ago, 4 of whom were in Rancho Cordova [where I work]. Yesterday a 20 year old man who killed 5 people spent most of the day holed up with his last victim less than a mile from you. He was gunning for coworkers so you were fairly safe."
Remember when the deaths of 5 or 12 people used to be news?
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Knives and Cardboard Cutters

The TV just reported on a cell phone call from a woman on board one of the planes - she'd been booked for a flight yesterday but it was her husband's birthday so she postponed her flight in order to eat breakfast with him (lovely birthday gift) and then took this one. She called him several times from her cell phone tell him her plane had been hijacked, and she said the weapons used were "knives and cardboard cutters."

KNIVES AND CARDBOARD CUTTERS??????

The World Trade Center Towers were hacked down today by terrorists armed with nothing but knives and cardboard cutters??????
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Further Thoughts on You Know What

I had no idea that the famous Mimi Nguyen, who owns the fabulous Worse Than Queer website and has been a sort of idol of mine for a couple of years now, was on LiveJournal - but I've just discovered she is, and she's posted some interesting thoughts on today's events.

In other news, Liz pointed out that the official Taleban website has been hacked. I wish the hackers could have made more interesting use of it, though. I mean, as Liz also has already said, how many years have the Taleban been committing atrocities on Afghanistan's citizens (particularly the female ones)? - but all the hackers or the president or pretty much anyone else outside of Afghanistan seems to have taken any notice of is when people on our turf start getting hurt.

Whenever human rights abuses take place anywhere in the world, regardless of whether it's in a foreign country or in American prisons or in an abusive suburban family or anyplace at all, no matter how small, those abuses cultivate a culture in which the people there become accustomed to violence as a way of life and they may become ever more ready or more driven to resorting to greater violence in the future.

I think what irritates me most about the media response right now, though, is all the perpetual displays of Christianity. Bush quoted the Bible, the people in Washington D.C. sang "God Bless America" on national television, the California governor went and prayed at a Christian cathedral in downtown Sacramento, and the families of the plane passengers killed were met at the Los Angles airport by so-called "grief counselors" who all, as far as I saw on the news reports, just happened to be Salvation Army officers - members of a Christian (and homophobic) organization whose presence I personally would find extremely uncomforting in a time of grief. The whole false notion that the only people on those planes or in those buildings or grieving over those who were in there were all Christian people or that publicizing solely Christian expressions of grief on television is anything other than a slap in the face to those among the victims who were not Christian.

I bet you anything there were some people of Islamic faith in those buildings or on those planes, too. Let's hear some of their stories on television. Better yet - let's hear the president of the United States quoting some of their scriptures to comfort them. Let's have him cross his own cultural boundaries and make an effort to speak equally to all.

Yeah, right.
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13 Hours.

That's how long it took me from the time I heard until the time I finally processed it enough to be able to cry.

I think everybody on my entire friends list beat me to it.

Call me slow, I guess. My first reaction was a 12-hour-long panicked adrenaline rush of the kind that would have been great help if I were one of those scrambling to escape, but which didn't do me much good safely holed up in Sacramento.

But I've known for a long time I had overactive adrenaline glands. Even as weak a stimulant as a can of caffeinated soda is sufficient to make me feel horribly uncomfortably near to going into convulsions (which is why I learned quickly to only ever drink decaf); and the adrenaline included in a standard shot of novocaine is sufficient that it does send me into convulsions for half an hour, making it impossible to operate on me.

Convulsions are not pleasant. And ever since I heard the news, all day long, even though I haven't had a single drop of anything caffeinated, I feel wired and nervous and jumpy and shaky and tied in knots beyond any amount of caffeine that I've ever been stupid enough to drink.

P.S. Read this.
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