September 11th, 2008


Writer's Block: 9/11

What were you doing on September 11th, 2001? How do the events of that day hold meaning for you now?

I was at my desk at Georgia Tech Research Institute (part of Georgia), working, when word began to circulate. I remember going to the Dallas Morning News web site b/c I knew NYT, W. Post, and other major national news sites would be overwhelmed with traffic. I remember getting digital video of one or the other of the towers falling and calling over all these people in my department to watch it. A while afterward, a bunch of us found our way to the office of one of our senior mgt., who had a TV, and just stared.

Within and hour or two, the campus was evacuated, everybody let off work. I was worried about using MARTA (terrorism threat and/or terrorism drill) so I walked home, which at that point I had never done. That walk the 2 mi. home was surreal. I remember a gas station or car dealership around Spring St. had one of those giant, giant American flags waving and it looks so iconic. I also remember how every time I heard any sound, esp. airplanes, helicopters or sirens, I'd freak out and start checking the skyline.

I finally got home and found many of my neighbors had been let out as well. Nobody was talking; it was all just stunned silence and staring at news reports. Back in my condo, I started watching CNN and other 24-hr. news channels and did this for hours. Caleb and Daniel came over and we sat on my spare mattress, since at that point I had no couch. We were all in a horrified trance that day and for days after. Meanwhile my whole neighborhood was in lockdown, owing to all the skyscrapers as well as gov't buildings, esp. the huge federal building a few blocks away. There were military helicopters circling, lots of sirens, and it was super scary.

That night some interesting things happened in terms of my relationship to the Internet: 1) It was the night I first starting IM, as catscradle and others wanted to chat and 2) I started on the prototype for Inception magazine. I felt like it was important to create something on that day of destruction. That the magazine's logo is a naked man in a fetal position is probably NOT coincidence.

As far as what 9/11 means to me, to me it not so much about the actual event and the lives lost and/or changed that day, although of course that deserves respect and acknowledgment. For me 9/11 represents the end of the Good Times and the coming of Bad Times, for our country and beyond our country as well. Maybe everything was just as bad before 9/11 but it really threw everything out of whack, 'til now it's really Hell in a handbasket.

Kitten Advice

I'm going to check with various pet advice sites, but also, just like to put it out there:


How do you deal with kittens (or puppies or other pets) who get into a habit of waking you up several times every night?

The reason I ask is, well, Ajax has been doing this every night since he's had access to my bedroom at night. That is, the past two weeks. Every night he either wakes me up or I guess I wake up and he jumps in bed to give me attention.

He doesn't just come up and find a spot on the bed. He wants a spot *on* me (neck, face, chest, back) or someplace like under my chin, in my armpit, between my calves, etc. Or he wants to do stuff to/with me, like give me a tongue-bath, meow mournfully, play with ties on my nightie, etc. I bet he also wants more food. (I feed him 2x a day.)

Ajax does this between 1-3 times a night. I used to be the soundest sleeper, not waking for anything, but now my sleep is all interrupted. Luckie never did this sort of thing, but always has just slipped quietly into bed beside me, way away from my body.

Is this a kitten thing? Or something I need to nip in the bud now, before he becomes a 20-lb. adult? How would I do so? I've thought about keeping him out of the bedroom over night, at least after the first "wake up call," but I can't really keep that door shut b/c Luckie needs to get to the litterbox they share. I could keep *both* of them out of the bedroom, but Luckie isn't a problem.

BTW, Ajax's big saving grace on the wake-up thing: He's so damn cute. And I am really forgiving.


I also haven't figured out how to train the cats to eat their own food, on cue. My vet told me to just set out their food at the same time, on opposite sides of the room, and to put away both bowls once one of them goes for the other cat's food. But that hasn't work well.

Ajax eats whatever he can reach with his mouth. His food, Luckie's food, my food, crumbs on the floor, even guinea pig food. Think: Dog. Meanwhile Luckie has never been a huge eater and is used to "grazing" and won't eat food I put down, even if she hasn't eaten in a day. She has no sense of "urgency."

What I've done for now is hide her food on the kitchen counter, which is (for now) way too high for the kitten to reach.

View from Caleb's

Taken as I was leaving Caleb's last night. This is the iconic (or what passes for such in Atl) Equitable Building. I often give people an idea where I live by saying I live next door to it, since you can see the glowing letters from far and wide.


The building was heavily damaged by the March tornado but it looks like it finally has almost all its windows back. The scaffolding at the sidewalk level still remains, though.