Daily Archives: 09/11/2002

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Just finished watching The Red Violin. Excellent. That score – I’d seen it before, but the DVD and stereo through the TV really brings out the music. I’ll be humming it for days now.

I find films that follow an object around very interesting. Twenty Bucks is another example of this genre, and a fine little film too. E. Annie Proulx’s novel, Accordion Crimes, is probably a closer match to The Red Violin though. Both follow musical instruments through sorrow and loss, through decades of use in the hands of a succession of people. Proulx’s book ultimately dissapointed me though, it felt strangely lacking in passion. The movie however, is all over the top emotion and music. It is a more visceral experience than the novel.

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Good lord. The rain returned with a vengeance at noon today. The sky opened up and a downpour commenced. I went home for lunch and it took me nearly an hour to return to work. Lots of flooding and slow traffic.

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Feeling smug. Just wrote a routine in Visual Basic to parse cells in Excel. Much quicker to do than the tedious manual process I was doing earlier this morning.

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One year ago today I was in the air, winging my way back to Guam.

It was the evening of September 11. I was at Narita, waiting for my evening flight to Guam. All the Northwest flights leave from a single circular concourse and the room was crowded with passengers. I just wanted to get home, I was tired and grumpy.

As we overflew Saipan, I was concerned to see the airport was dark on that island. “Must be shutdown for the night,” was my first thought. As we approached Guam, I saw that Andersen AFB was dark as well, and that our destination, the Guam International Airport was also a black hole in the night. “What the hell is going on?” I thought. We were high, far too high for a normal approach. At the last instant, the big 747 literally nose-dived down to the runway and landed.

As I left the plane, I was surprised to see a contingent of Marines standing at the end of the jetway in combat fatigues and bristling with weapons. “What the hell happened?” I asked a fellow passenger. He didn’t know either. We were the first off the plane, so we headed to immigration. That was were we heard the news. As I spoke to the immigration officer, a voice carried the news; the second tower had collapsed. Rumors were rampant; the Capitol was destroyed, the White House was hit, car bombs were exploding at embassies around the world. In the space of three hours the world had gone insane.

My ride was waiting for me, and we drove to my home. Once inside, I immediately turned on the the television and watched the horrible images. I think the television was on for about 24 hours straight that day. It was the middle of the night on Guam, but I still called some local friends, woke them up, and told them to turn on the television. Called my parents, called my sister, tried to call my friend in New York. But mostly I sat looking at the television.

There, that’s my 9/11 story – though most of it really takes place on 9/12. It’s been a year and the world is still a troubled and violent place. I don’t think anything’s changed at all.

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My friend Nieves almost got shot yesterday. She was wandering around the Aga�a Swamp, looking for donne’ peppers and kang kong to harvest. She walked into a clearing and found herself looking at the business end of a shotgun. One of her neighbors was camped out in the swamp, waiting for the thieves that killed three of his cows in the last week. These poachers killed his cows, took the loins, and left the rest of the animal to rot.

After she got done telling me this story, she asked me how my day was. Uh, not bad; certainly didn’t compare to her little adventure.

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Wow. I went to bed at 8:30 last night. My head was pounding, my eyes hurt. I slept until 6:30 this morning. I guess I needed the sleep.