Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes, It's Not You

My friend Nirvi sent me this article and I really appreciated it...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jamaica Plain

I got to explore Jamaica Plain recently and they've run the slideshow. not all of these images are mine, but most. It was a fun assignment!

Watch this video on YouTube

Saturday, September 17, 2011


For a couple days now Oliver has been very thirsty. He's been peeing lots too.
This morning I got a cup and followed him out into the yard first thing. Yup, I got a sample of my dog's pee. Off to the vet we went. In the waiting room he was unusually clingy. He climbed up on to the bench next to me, and then once we got into the exam room, he did the same thing. He is under-weight, the vet concluded, and he is likely experiencing renal failure, or diabetes. Obviously, I'm voting for the diabetes. I have some experience there.

When the vet tried to coax him out of the room for blood work he wouldn't go. This was another unusual thing for him. The vet lifted him to the floor and he quickly turned and hopped up on to the bench to sit next to me again. Eventually, he conceded and they drew blood and apparently he was a very good patient (they took him to a back room).

So, I will know more next week when the results come back and in the meantime, I am letting him out every hour, I'd say and every time, he is grateful for it.

I also went to my house today. I brought Oliver with me and as we approached the house, walking along the sidewalk, he turned and went straight up the stairs. He explored the yard like he was looking for lizards in FL. His tail went like crazy!  In the house, he wandered around and laid on the floor next to me while I cleaned the house.

This evening we watched some TV in the dark. Here his is, purring away in my lap...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Amazing Footage

Poeple are awesome...

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I just learned some things from the 9/11 documentary which had footage from inside the trade towers during the attacks;
1. When the fire fighters went in many thought they were simply going to go in to fight a fire. 2. Because of the nature of the building, they lost all radio contact with each other while in the buildings. As a result, few of them knew that a second plane hit and also many didn't even know the first tower even came down when it did.
3. Although they were told that the air was safe, the fire fighters who stayed to help dig through the wreckage breathed in mercury from the lights, asbestos, and other fine particles made from the pulverized computers and more. Most suffer from pulmonary issues now. Many have died of cancer from the shit they breathed in during the months that followed the attacks.

I never thought about that before - that the terrorists' actions that day would continue to take lives ten years later.
The documentary, using footage taken by two french brothers who were doing a documentary on a new firefighter, was very eye opening. The confusion inside the building was immense. The firefighters went in knowing very little about what was actually going on. Much like the people in the place, those at home with TVs had a better sense of what was happening than the guys inside the buildings.

Also in the footage was Fire Department Chaplain Father Mychal Judge. The narrrator, a firefighter said, "Mychal always had a calm way about him, but he looked worried, so I knew things were not good" Father Mychal Judge was the first body taken out of the towers. His death certificate was #00001.

In looking up the relatively famous photo of the firefighters bringing out Father Judge's body formt he wreckage, I was reminded that it was taken by a OU classmate of mine, Shannon Stapleton.

The footage was taken of a specific firehouse which, miraculously, managed to retain all it's men. After they all retreated form the buildings, they slowly, one by one, began to return to the firehouse unharmed.

Ten Years

Today is September 11, 2011.

For years after the attacks, I couldn't handle watching coverage. Today, I was assigned to cover memorials on the BU campus. There's a strange thing that happens when I cover emotional events with my caerma. There's something that separates me from what's happening. The memorials at BU were not very emotional. Many of the people there were students who, on average, were about ten when the towers fell. Not old enough to really get it completely.  Part way through the first observance, I saw two students leave the plaza and as they did so, I heard one say quietly to the other "It's so hot!" 
Try standing trapped in a burning building, kid.

After filing my images, some of students crying after their presentations (which left me a bit torn; being a child at the time, do you really know what you're crying about? Or is it simply a great excuse to be dramatic and cry?), I left Boston and headed to Lowes to buy something for my house. I felt strange. Doing something so normal. NPR was covering the anniversary, playing audio of flight attendants calling to report that terrorists were on their plane, slitting throats and using mace. Another man who works on the top floor of one of the towers, at the rstaurant, spoke of his friend who died because he took his shift at the restaurant. I wondered about this man. When you have an experience like that, and I remember there were many - the man who wasn't in the tower because he was late getting his daughter to daycare for example - do you live every day with guilt if you don't do something major with every minute? Can you have a day of doing nothing and not feel guilty at the end of it?  I don't know. I feel guilty for lazy days and I have never experienced such a trauma.

Now I am home and on the TV there is no shortage of coverage and story-telling. I am not emotional about tributes, the monuments, the dedications, but rather, the stories from that day ten years ago and the weeks and months that followed. A story about the responders who survived and how they suffer from endless medical issues as a result of breathing in all that dust and ash and asbestos. The PTSD they suffer from hearing and seeing the bodies fall from the buildings. The medical examiner with her lip quivering while she tells the story of a fire captain talking into the on-site morgue with his hands full of bones, and saying "this is my son".

And now, with that, it catches up with me and I remember.

That Which Manifests is Before You

This morning I finally finished a lovely book called The Art of Racing in the Rain. I have been working on it for a little while, despite it's being a simple read. It's a beautiful story; Enzo is an aging dog, and on the eve of his death, he tells the story of his life. He is a faithful companion to Denny, and stands by him through thick and thin. I am not doing the story justice, as Enzo's thoughts are philosophical and hopeful.

I bought the book for my Dad for Christmas and worried that maybe it would be a bit of a My Dog Marley knock off, but fortunately I was wrong. I mean, I love that story but this one was different. This one, The Art of Racing In The Rain, is quotable. It's one where you would want mugs with phrases from the book on it.

My uncle Billy, it turns out, has also read the book, and throughout the summer, he would reference it in little ways that made me smile; perhaps Oliver knows about this or that because he saw it on TV?!  (Enzo watched lots of TV and lectures the reader about the things he's learned).

It is funny and thoughtful, and sweet, and heartfelt.

I think I will go write a book report and make a diorama about it now.