Tag Archives: Life

We Will Never Forget

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, many people will pause to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day, as well as those who have died in subsequent attacks around the world. People will also remember those who have given their lives in the pursuit of justice and peace. And many will offer special prayers for healing and comfort for those who have lost loved ones to terrorism. But perhaps in the midst of all the memorializing, we should also ask if there’s something we can do that will honor all these victims and their loved ones.

—The Word Among Us, 9/11/2006

I can hardly believe that it’s been five years since 9/11. Five years. The children born to fathers who died that day are in kindergarten now, possibly alongside the babies conceived in the wake of the disaster. Now, just as then, I feel the need to do something.

I am participating in 2,996, a project sponsored by D.C. Roe. 2,996 is a blogosphere memorial of each victim of the attacks of 9/11: from the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93. I found out about the project via Happy Catholic and immediately signed up. You can read others’ tributes as linked from this mirror list. (Traffic was so high that the original site overloaded.)

This post is in memory of Martin Giovinazzo, age 34, of New York, NY. He was a maintenance worker at the World Trade Center. He is suvived by his wife, Dorothy, and their children: Theresa, Ashley, and Andrew. [Read a more detailed bio at Newsday.com.]

I didn’t know Martin, but I know that, more than likely, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have a personal mission to be kind to the maintenance workers and housekeeping staff I meet as I travel across campus each day. We’re all ordinary Americans, trying to live and learn and survive as best we can. Martin was just doing his job when he was made a pawn in a terrorist plot against the United States. We will never forget him and all the others who died that dark morning.

I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free,
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend her still today,
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land;
God bless the USA!

—Lee Greenwood, “God Bless the USA”

I still remember where I was that day; we shared our memories in my first class this morning. I was in biology class when my friend Brett was called out of class. His parents had come to pick him up, telling him that there was bombing in Washington, D.C. I was worried, but just wondered what was going on. We moved from class to class as long lists of student names came over the loudspeaker. Parents steadily arrived to pick up their children. Gradually, I heard the real story. We weren’t allowed to turn on the T.V.’s, and the teachers didn’t know any more than we did. Eventually, my name was called, and I fought back fearful tears as I went down to meet my mom. She’d been off from work that day. I sat at home, watching the footage on T.V. until I got the real story. My dad was still in the Air Force then, working on Bolling AFB. Bolling is in D.C. He didn’t get home until late that night, but I know I have never been more happy to see him.

My parents’ generation had JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassinations. Mine has 9/11. We will never forget.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

Switchfoot, and American Education

Yay! On top of finding out that Season 2 of Joan of Arcadia will be out in November, I got an email today that Switchfoot’s new CD will be out on December 26! It’s called Oh! Gravity. The punctuation in the title makes me think of Panic! at the Disco. I’ve only heard “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” and I hate it. I like the style of the music, but I don’t understand how a song with a chorus that gets edited so liberally can be so popular. Forget them: there’s new Switchfoot on the horizon! The email mentions a fall tour, too… any takers?

In other news (pun not intended), I read two WashPo articles today and one yesterday that deserve mentioning. The first was in the Sunday Source, which is my favorite section. It was written by a Yale senior who took a cooking class designed specifically for college students. Genius! Forget lab sciences; I need to take that class. The second addresses one of my biggest complaints about the current state of education in the United States: high school graduates’ vocabulary is pitiful. How do you graduate from high school without knowing what “satire” means? You don’t have to understand it, but you shouldn’t frown at the sound! The author blames this crisis on the lack of pleasure reading. To some extent, I agree. However, in the era of Harry Potter and (unfortunately) The Da Vinci Code, more students are reading. Even back at my high school, I’d see my peers reading what are popularly called “black books.” (Borders keeps them under “African-American Interest.”) So they’re reading, but apparently it’s more about the sex scenes than expanding their vocabulary. Mark my words: I will be the teacher the students complain about because she makes them watch School House Rock.

The third article caught my eye for several reasons. The first, clearly, is good copy editing leading to good headlines. The second is that it’s an issue I’ve pondered myself, also for clear reasons: black American culture.

Where is the civil rights groundswell on behalf of stronger marriages that will allow more children to grow up in two-parent families and have a better chance of staying out of poverty? Where are the marches demanding good schools for those children—and the strong cultural reinforcement for high academic achievement (instead of the charge that minority students who get good grades are “acting white”)? Where are the exhortations for children to reject the self-defeating stereotypes that reduce black people to violent, oversexed “gangstas,” minstrel show comedians and mindless athletes?

The best example of this chasm between the reality and the potential of black American youth may be my sister and me.

Yeah, this is gonna get personal.
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Checking In

The bad part about this awesome new blog is that there’s so much to do behind the scenes that… I forget to post. So let’s rectify that now.

Life has been pretty good lately. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of August, though. In mid-July, I was ready to go back to school solely for the company. Now, I realize that going back means going back to class, which sucks, and so I’m less eager. I’m excited about living in Commons. Maura and I might have some moments where we’re crossing each other in the bathroom, but if we managed to live practically on top of each other for a year, we can manage this.

I am learning to cook! I made a Mexican lasagna for my mom and Courtney a few weeks ago. I found the recipe online, then put the ingredients on the grocery list and gave it a whirl. And it was so yummy! I even took the leftovers to work the next day. On Saturday, I tried another recipe and made a pizza casserole. It was like pizza-style macaroni. I think I should have used chopped pepperoni instead of sliced, though, because it was hard to mix. It had a ton of cheese, and the pizza sauce wasn’t as tangy as I’d hoped, but my mom said it was “really good.” Considering my relationship with my mom, that was a huge compliment.

Earlier this week, I got the best news since Honors hired me: CBS is releasing the second season of Joan of Arcadia in November! I still wish they hadn’t canceled it. At least I’ll get to relive my intro into Joan. The first episode I saw was “Independence Day,” which immediately drew me in. I mean, when Will.I.Am (yes, the guy from the Black Eyed Peas) is playing God, you know it’s gonna be a good show. I finally got around to watching the first season finale recently, which was unbelievable. I cried. I don’t cry very often when watching TV or movies. If my birthday party plans continue, I think we’ll be watching Joan. Or maybe the live-action Alice in Wonderland.

What entry would be complete without a random link? I found a video by OK Go via Happy Catholic. It’s mesmerizing. I can only wonder how many rehearsals it took to perform a song while “dancing” on eight treadmills.

Not much has been going on lately; I suppose I haven’t posted about my life because I don’t have much to post about. I finally bought myself a thesaurus (Oxford) this weekend when I went with Mom and Courtney to The Blvd at the Cap Center. (For non-locals, it’s an outdoor mall constructed where the hockey arena used to be.) I also ran into Paul, who I knew from high school. We had the standard “I’ve just run into a casual acquaintance I haven’t seen since high school” moment.

Also, I entered the second half of my 54-day Rosary novena on Saturday. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but now I’m convinced it works, because of my vocation breakthrough and Lacy’s resignation as CDA regent. (We have to elect a new vice-regent now, since the bylaws say Cathy’s automatically regent.) It’s always nice when I actually catch the answers to my prayers.

Four Years

Today marks the occasion of my four-year blogging anniversary (or, as I have called it before, my “blogiversary.”) That makes me a dinosaur as far as most blogs go, besides the “big names” like Megnut and Kotte. It’s been a fun ride, though. I’ve had eight layouts, five of which I designed from the ground up. I actually had two Blogger subdomains, but when I realized how bad “musings_blog” was, I moved. I feel like doing a whole retrospective. On the other hand, I also want to get this entry up before I have to backdate it. Maybe another day.

Last year, I didn’t make note of my three-year milestone, though I did comment on Planned Parenthood’s horrible video, “A Crusader for Choice.” I mentioned the anniversary a few days before that, back when I was tiring of Blogger (again), but thinking about moving to LJ.

(By the way, Dawn Eden has written a chastity book due out in December. I love chastity, and I love converts. It’s the perfect match.)

Two years ago, I remembered my anniversary four days late. Three years ago, I forgot again, but I only posted one day late.

Then, of course, there is my first blog post. Oh, man. I sound so bright and bubbly. Then again, I was fifteen. My gosh, has it really been FOUR YEARS since I started blogging? Importing my entries might not have been such a good idea. Is there an online equivalent to burning?

“Mom” Is a Job, Too

I’m finally caught up on Boundless and ShoreLines! Woo-hoo! It’s a good feeling to be able to pay attention to the number of unread emails in my inbox again; I’ve been largely ignoring it for months. (I was, for example, only able to notice the spam email dated 1980 (before I was born!) because it was the only unread message there.)

So one of this week’s articles (and really this week, not just the ones I read this week) addressed the issue of stay-at-home moms. A similar issue came up for one of the CDA sisters during Shrine and Dine. Roberto Rivera y Carlos writes the article “Get to Work or Else?” to discuss Linda Hirshman’s essay-turned-book on why the “best educated females” are staying home with their babies, and why that’s unacceptable. To her, I say, “Why?”
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I’m Two

Again, thank you all for being supportive and reassuring. I tend to whine a lot, but you never call me on it. You just remind me that things will be okay. Sometimes, that’s really all I need to hear.

Yesterday sucked. I usually would have taken the opportunity to blog about that here, though I’d have given you the short version. Instead that “woe is me” rant was banished to the world of private LJ entries. Unfortunate things just kept happening, one of which was going to the dentist. Now, my dad’s a dentist. I understand that it’s necessary and good. That doesn’t mean I like it. Yes, dentists are used to hearing people answer questions while their mouths are hanging open, possibly with the little pick and mirror poking around in there at the same time. I still don’t like doing it. I like to be understood when I speak. I like having clean, smooth teeth, but I don’t like the strange feeling. Does that make sense? It seems more normal when they’re not perfectly clean.

Other things were unfortunate about yesterday. But like I said, that led to a massive rant that none of you want to hear. I will note randomly, though, that knowing how to unclog a toilet with a plunger is a valuable skill.

I missed my second blogiversary. On August 13, 2004, I had been blogging for exactly two years, right here at Musings from Calliope. My second year of blogging was much more stressful than my first. I went from blogging almost every day to only once a week, if that. My weekend-only posts were long, devoid of many of the random things that make everyday blogging fun. I was more stressed out that I had ever been before, which drove me to random emotional breakdowns and physical pain. It was generally not a good year. I hope my next year of blogging will have much more pleasant posts, for your sake and mine.

Another random comment: Did you know that, outside the US, “one, two and three” is grammatically correct? In the US, it’s also correct in newspapers. (There should generally be a comma after “two”.) I just think that’s weird, grammarphobe that I am. Of course, being a grammarphobe is weird in itself. I should just stop now.

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