Friday, September 13, 2002

Pajamas On Parade This sounds like fun.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Apparently President Bush wants to call September 11th "Patriot Day". This is wrong on so many levels. Let me count the ways:

  • Massachusetts and Maine already have a perfectly serviceable Patriot's Day. It's April 19th, the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Nowadays best remembered for the Boston Marathon.
  • We didn't call Pearl Harbor or Gettysburg or Armistice Day Patriot's Day. We remembered them by the names that were specific to the occasion. "September 11th" has power; "Patriot Day" is generic. September 11th is the day I spent huddled on my living-room floor clutching my husband. Patriot Day is when the linens go on sale.
  • Many of the dead weren't Americans. They were illegal immigrants working at Windows On The World, or foreign businessmen with appointments at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon, or vacationers visiting America. If they were patriots, it wasn't America that made their hearts beat faster.
  • The people who died didn't die for their countries. They were ordinary people, going about the business of their ordinary lives. Making phone calls, cleaning offices, flying to visit family. They were murdered; they didn't volunteer.
  • Most significant to me: September 11, 2001 punched us all in the gut. What we did with the punch was individual. Some of us grieved for the dead. Some of us raged at the murderers. Some of us waved the flag. A friend of mine, a New Yorker, refers to it as "Happy Fucking Birthday"; instead of celebrating a personal event, she lived through universal horror. September 11th fills me with grief and anger, but not patriotism. Patriotism, for me, celebrates something we do right, not the wrong we were done by somebody else.

As always, your September 11th may vary.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Rob Morse: Top 10 better things to do today

My favorite: "Make love. That's what every soldier in a combat zone wishes he could do -- and al Qaeda has made America a combat zone. Live and love while you can. "

They're selling "I <heart> New York" cookies in the company cafeteria. I'll be reachin' for the bottle, Lord, before this day is done.

A4 Paper Size God's Will. Who knew?

I'm not much for symbolism. I don't wear red ribbons, pink ribbons, red-white-and-blue ribbons. I don't fly decorative flags for Easter, Valentine's Day. I don't fly the American flag on the Fourth, although I sometimes think I should. Dar Williams wrote, "Way back where we come from, we never like to bother, we don't like to make our passions other people's concern." Which sums it up for me.

My 9-year-old came home from school guilty Monday. "All those people, millions of them, were dying, and I was just playing." After we'd corrected his orders of magnitude, we said "You're a kid. You're SUPPOSED to be playing." Then Tuesday he came home from school and wouldn't show us his homework until we nagged. "It's something you don't want to think about." His homework for September 11th was to wear red, white and blue.

If I wore anything for September 11th, it would be black. This isn't a patriotic moment for me. It's a tragic moment.

Your September 11th is different from mine.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Turning over a new leaf, I walked my 9-year-old son to school this morning. It is, no lie, uphill all the way. Today, that translated into half an hour of walking uphill. You have to pay back for that spectacular view out over the valley.

It was actually pretty neat. We talked, and he let me know about all the things he preferred about North Carolina. Except that he kept saying that he wanted to keep our California house, and California weather, and his horse camp. In short, there's lots of stuff he likes here.

I can tell you one thing, though. If I keep walking my son to school, the demi-Goth black shirt and jeans are Right Out.

The world is even weirder than I thought.A site devoted to airline meals past and present. Check out the ones from the '80s.