9/11, 10 Years of Remembering

I am fully aware that there are blogs everywhere posting something in remembrance of September 11th, however I think after 10 years the memories tend to fade and we should all take a moment. I do not have family in New York City, nor did I know anyone personally who died that day, but the moment the towers fell is the most significant historical moment that has occurred to-date in my life. I am simply going to talk about where I was that day and express gratitude to all those who have given selflessly not just that day, or week or month. But over the last 10 years.

—–

Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Denton, Texas.

I was in college that the University of North Texas. I was 21 and shared an apartment with my boyfriend at the time. We had classes that day and  I was not scheduled to work so we slept in. The phone rang. Which was unusual for the morning as we were students. I had a cell phone but this was before we were really plugged into the world, with texting and social media. So the phone with a cord that plugged into the wall in the apartment rang too early. My boyfriend’s parents were on the line. I half-listened to one side of the short conversation, and he took off for the living room to turn on the tv. Concerned over the unusual behavior, I rolled out of bed and followed.

There are no words to really describe what I saw.

I stood in the living room of our 2 bedroom apartment, nearly 1600 miles away and yet instantly we were there. Tears started down my face. The people on the tv showed an airplane flying into one of the World Trade Center towers in an infinite loop of video. Confused. Afraid. My mind was going a mile a minute. Both towers were still standing and the first responders were trying to evacuate both buildings. As we sat there and watched as the second plane went into tower two. Oh, Lord. Someone is doing this on purpose!

I rushed to the phone and called my father. He just happened to be home sick that day and I woke him with the same phone call we had received minutes before. “Turn on the tv, someone is flying airplanes into the World Trade Center”.

Back to the tv in our living room, with phone in hand.

Somewhere in the next few minutes the towers fell. Everything seemed to play out in slow motion. These events play out in my memory in what seems like an hour… but it must have been only minutes. My heart sank, there could not be many survivors. Reports that the Pentagon and White House were also targeted started to flood the tv along with images of smoke and rubble. People running everywhere. We were glued to the tv. Amidst all of the emotions, my thoughts drifted to the only reasonable response. War.

The rest of the day is a blur. Classes were cancelled. I know I contacted my mother at some point, as my stepfather was military we were all thinking the same thing. My father medicated himself and drove 45 minutes to Denton that afternoon. We were all in shock and just wanted to be close to each other.  There was concern and speculation that the Dallas WTC might be a target. We live in the city that might be the number two financial hub in the US. There was certainly reason for speculation.

Over the course of the next several days/weeks/months we knew that there was little we could do. There were very few survivors and blood donations were through the roof. We donated money where we could. Many joined the military. And we watched and waited from afar. We too were scared, angry and grieving for those innocent lives lost as well as the loss of our safe, secure nation.

—–

In December 2004. I had the opportunity to visit New York City for the first time. Ground Zero was still a small pile of rubble in an empty hole where the towers once stood. Tourists milled about taking pictures. Vendors sold memorabilia  brochures and little american flags. It was surreal. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures. I didn’t want to see myself with my family standing in front of this hole in the ground. All I could think of was the images of that Tuesday morning and how the atmosphere on this day did not reflect the devastation that took place there a little over 3 years before. Maybe it was just that day. Maybe it was the holiday season. Maybe its just our capitalistic mindset, and completely within our rights. But it just wasn’t right for me.

The memorial in that place is now complete, and one day I hope to go back and see it. Maybe now, I can take a picture. Now that more time has passed and there is some closure with the death of Bin Laden. Now that it’s not so raw. Then again, maybe not as the wound is deep and the scar still hurts.

There have been too many over the last 10 years who have lost their lives in response to that day. I am grateful for all those people who work everyday to protect the people in this country. Thank you to our firefighters, police officers, soldiers and reservists, doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers who dedicate your lives to others as well as their families for giving their loved ones to the rest of us. 

On the 10th anniversary I will remember the horror that will remind me of the evil that human beings can do, but also take heart in the saints and angels that quietly walk this earth in human form everyday.

-B

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Update: Karaoke Virgin No More

So the week after my extreme chicken out to grace the stage with karaoke greatness, I did it. I wasn’t drunk, but I signed up and sang a fun easy song that should (and did) engage the crowd. I started the song too early… and about half way into my performance, I started listening to myself and got really nervous. My voice started to shake and my whole body looked like a thermometer in the Texas heat, face to toes I was bright red. But I made it through, and I have to say, it was fun.

Thank you Joan Jett, I do love Rock and roll.

I’m still looking for more suggestions or just some input as to your favorite karaoke song.

-B

Great Big Chicken, Still a Karaoke Virgin

Monday night I was invited to go to Karaoke night at Sherlocks Pub in Arlington. The hubby was home and had some work to do so I decided, “What the hell, sounds like fun”. Now, I am a Karaoke virgin. I have never been before. I figured a couple of drinks and I’ll sing something. I know, I am a bit late jumping on this bandwagon. Karaoke has been popular for several years and there are places all over town that do this on a regular basis. I have just never been. Okay, so I’m gonna go… I love Rock Band and sing all the time, to a nearly ridiculous level, so this shouldn’t be a big thing right?

WRONG. I learned that when it comes to singing alone in front of a crowd of strangers, am the biggest chicken, pansy, yellow-bellied… whatever, you get the hint. Any cojones I had (or thought I had) quickly exited from the building as soon as I actually thought, I might, do this. Why? I’m not actually sure. I have no problem chiming in at the top of my lungs as long as others are singing. This is proven recently at my home, about 15 people belting out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to the point where all three of my dogs joined in with their howling interpretation of the group’s performance. We Rocked!! or at least it felt like we did at 2AM with a bit of  “enhancement” to our skills.

So, anyway. Monday night I attended karaoke and did not sing (boo hiss, yes, I know). However there were several in the group that, in my opinion, picked up that mic and… like they say up north, were WICKED HOT. Shout out to Patrice and her rendition of Erica Badu’s “Tyrone“, Brad with some Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life”, Carter doing “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt and an especially rockin’ ensemble performance of Grease Lightening lead “Danny Zuko“. Time’s like this make me curse the crappy video camera on my iPhone.

So after my personal failure to even try karaoke, I went out on YouTube to see what I could find. Here are a few (of many) karaoke videos out there, that I think are noteworthy (mostly because they are hilarious).

Simply the Best…. drunk woman doing Tina Turner I’ve ever seen

Stand By Your Man, sung by a big dude (comedian Richard Bain)

Even 6 year olds karaoke to Hanna Montana

Elvis lives singing Heartbreak Hotel on the internet

For those interested there are also instructional videos on how to create your own karaoke tracks (without the vocals) from your own music collection.

So… that’s it, next time, I, apparently one of the few remaining karaoke virgins left on the planet, will with the help of a little liquid inspiration… sing!

Now to pick a song 😮

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated (and maybe a kick in the pants). Please…

1980’s – 10 things from my childhood.

So, today I’m feeling a little nostalgic. I decided to put together a list of some of my favorite things from the 1980’s.

  • Micheal J. Fox movies
  • Guns N Roses, and a good number of other well known hair bands
  • T-Tops: I remember my mother’s Nissan z series (280Z, i think) with T-tops. I also remember not having the tops, at least once, coming home from the beach and having to hold towels up to cover the holes in the top of the car to keep the rain out.
  • Bill Cosby as the jello spokesman as well as the Cosby Show
  • Barbie with big hair: I gave my daughter the last remaining one from the hundreds of Barbies I owned as a girl. There is a definite difference in the Barbie circa 1985-7, to the ones they make today. Not only was the hair bigger… but the other major assets were as well.
  • Letters (not email) from my Dad
  • Sesame Street when Elmo was a minor character, He-man/She-ra, and Thundercats: I currently live in a world where Netflix has 86 current episodes of Sesame Street available to stream. All include a whole episode of Elmo’s World. Sometime I just wish for the days when “La, La, La La – Elmo’s World” didn’t run through my head all day
  • Super Mario Brothers on the classic Nintendo: I don’t think I ever beat the game but I do remember playing for hours, and making my younger brother wait forever for his turn. Sorry Blake 😉 (Now that I think about it we may not have gotten this until 1990 or so but I’m still going to include it on the list)
  • Thinking Texas beaches were awesome! and  it was cool that my mom worked for an oil company.
  • Frogger on my Dad’s first Mac, pc.

What are some things you remember from the 80’s?

-B

Chihuahua vs Rat Terrier, Paco with the TKO

Okay, so on CNN this video erupted:

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2011/07/19/exp.pn.chihuahua.chases.robbers.hln

First… Wow this 10 lb dog chases down two grown men with guns trying to rob its owner. Paco, this hero of a Chihuahua, attacks these two men with the vigor I have seen only a few times with my 120 lb Great Pyrenees (though to his credit he hasn’t had much reason).

I have never been fond of the Chihuahua breed in the past. We own a 8-year-old rat terrier and have always considered this 13 lbs of grumpy, clingy, smelly, diaper-wearing dog a step up to a Chihuahua. Sebastian was evil from the moment we purchased him at 6 weeks old off the back of the truck in the Wal-Mart parking lot. We had him “snipped” as soon as humanly possible in hopes that the all night yelping from the crate and overly aggressive play biting of our sweet Border Collie mix, Cassie, would dissipate. To no avail, he was still the same devil spawn puppy now robbed of whatever man-hood he should have had. Eventually we were able to house train him and live somewhat harmoniously with his idiosyncrasies. In 2009 we purchased Liam, a 6 week old Great Pyrenees puppy for my husband. This dog was bigger than Sebastian when we brought him home and when Liam was about 6 months old; apparently Sebastian lost all ability to contain his urine. We went back and forth and finally determined that it was a behavioral issue brought on by his loss of status in the household, boiling it down to a case of small dog syndrome. Now Liam is the one to get the “snip”. But I guess peeing everywhere is just too hard to resist once initiated and the perpetual claiming of territory continued. After a year of trying everything we could think of, we have resorted to putting the dog in a diaper in an effort to save our sanity and carpet/furniture.

The worst dog ever
Rat Terrier bested by Paco the Chihuahua

So now this video surfaces of the heroic Paco, who can run off two fully grown men with guns. And for those of you who have not watched the video… the reaction of the robbers as this crazed Chihuahua attacks is classic. I’m sure the scars on the backs of their heels will always remind them of the day they made the CNN best of video reel with Paco saving the day. In light of this new evidence… It is official; we own the worst dog breed on the planet. The Chihuahua has trumped the Rat Terrier thanks to Paco with a TKO.

Muy bien, Paco. A job well done.

-B

Introductory Mind Dump

Here is the introduction into my mind, which most outsiders would consider surprisingly stable.

I was born and have lived in Texas all my life, though surprisingly I have no real discernible accent (though it was recently pointed out I pronounce the word “out” like a Canadian, which I think is hilarious and am not sure where I picked it up). I do not live on a ranch, ride a horse, or wear western garb. I am a wife to a wonderful man and mother to a lovely daughter, who the readers of this blog will probably get to know well as they are the single best accomplishments of my life. I have a degree in Technology and have worked in the industry going on 11 years. I live in a typical Texas suburb where all the houses look the same, yes very “Weeds” without the pot. Nothing extraordinary but nice. We have 3 dogs, who constantly challenge my temper, but love them all the same. In a nutshell that is my life. Summarized this way is seems kind of boring… maybe I should ride a horse and wear cowboy boots. I’ll have to think on that.

To those who know me, you may ask why write a blog?

Hum… the answer is complicated in detail, but the answer I gave myself was “Why not?”

My goal for this endeavor is to connect. Connect with those who are both similar and different to me. Other methods of social media are nice, but provide only a snippet. Given a chance I want to find what might be next for my life, so here goes nothing.

Welcome everyone, lets see where the mind will take us.

-B