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Duh moments, reduhx, and other things

This is what I get for checking Technorati. I find a quote that says something about someone having a tattoo of me on their ass, do a major doubletake, and simply have to find out what on earth that reference means. So I go here, and find out the price of not going back to a comment thread that mentions me.

Robert, now that's dedication. Darksyde, now that's worth a link. I don't mind saying, I thought it was going to be much worse. Phew.

To admit or not to admit: I think I shall admit.

Spathic put up a post of links to some folks, and I sorta didn't get it, and didn't put my cursor over the link to see who she was talking about, which means, er, I didn't know that I was the Kosher Killa, or that, well, I'm Kosh. I was kinda wondering what she was talking about. That'll teach me to blog drunk.

I am going through Instalink withdrawal. I haven't sent Glenn a letter in a while, and the ones I sent last month just went into the black hole of "Thanks, but no thanks" links. So the month of August gave me the first pure look at what my visits are like without an Instalanche. They're pretty steady, and if only I could find the piece of paper on which I wrote my totals and averages, I could pass that information along to my readers. But it seems to have disappeared, and, well, it's a pain to do it again. Suffice to say that there are still a whole lot of you that didn't contribute to Magen David Adom for the Blogathon, and could, and if you did, we'd have our ambulance.

And by the way, a new Lemony Snicket book comes out in less than two weeks, and yes, it's on my wishlist. When last we left our intrepid orphans, two of them were hurtling down the mountain in a runaway train, while the third was in the wicked hands of Count Olaf. Good Lord, can they survive!? (Talk about your cliffhanger endings....)

LT Smash and Mrs. Smash arrive in Richmond on Monday. We're meeting for dinner that night, breakfast the following morning (they chose IHOP over Waffle House, go figure), and I'll show them around town Tuesday a bit. I'm going to try to find the dry stone pyramid in Hollywood Cemetery, I think. It really is so bizarre as to be surreal. I mean, a pyramid as a monument to the Civil War dead? Sure, that's exactly what I think of when I think American war memorial. Not.

Rutgers Hatefest is cancelled, anti-Semites whine and seethe

Via Charles, the "Third National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement" that was supposed to be held at Rutgers has been canceled. (Yay Rutgers.)

TRENTON, N.J. -- Rutgers University canceled a student group's reservation to use campus facilities for a pro-Palestinian forum next month, university officials said Friday.

The university said the student group, New Jersey Solidarity, failed to complete plans, provide basic information and schedule meetings with Rutgers administrators _ requirements for any large-scale event on campus.

The junior Jew-haters are really, really mad, and they're going to stamp their feet and hold their breath until they turn blue, or something.

This is an Urgent Call to Action! Your immediate solidarity is needed!

Today, Rutgers University officials have CANCELLED the Third National Student Conference on the Palestine Solidarity Movement, scheduled for October 10-12, 2003 at Rutgers University.

Yet, the students at Rutgers University are determined to hold the conference as planned.

In canceling this widely supported conference throughout North America, the university administration has trampled on constitutional rights, muted free speech, and has betrayed its pledge to fairness and education.

This is an attack on peace and justice activists everywhere. It is an attack on our society as a whole and on our right to free expression and assembly.

Excuse me while I guffaw here. Feel free to join in. Ah, there is nothing so dramatic as a teenager who thinks s/he's not being listened to. Really, folks, our entire society has been attacked because Rutgers canceled this conference. Who knew?

But the university administration has gone much farther, and has taken a shameful overt political stand in favor of Israeli Apartheid. As the university cancels the Palestine conference, it is simultaneously supporting an overarching pro-Israel program called "Israel Inspires", organized by the likes of AIPAC and Hillel International along with others, which will be held at Rutgers to "neutralize the Palestinian movement".

Oh, the horrors! The shame! A pro-Israel program is going to be held at Rutgers. But I guess that's not free speech or the right to free expression and assembly, because NJ Solidarity doesn't agree with it.

Palestine solidarity students and activists should not be silenced by anyone. The Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities should not be marginalized and positioned as conspirators.

Well, yeah, they should actually. They're strident, tiresome, wrongheaded, and stupid. But they won't be silenced, because this is America. We have a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to make idiots of ourselves. (NJ Solidarity has become expert at showing us that.)

I'm guessing that former shit-for-brains scientologist, Charlotte "Hates" Kates, the leader of NJ Solidarity, is not a happy woman this weekend.


One more qualification for marriage

Upon sober reflection, this isn't enough.

My husband will also have to clean up dead birds on the patio and, in fact, prevent my cats from ever bringing them in the apartment in the first place.

No exceptions.



Tig Mighty Robin Hunter

It isn't bad enough Tig caught and killed a sparrow last month. Today, he came home with a robin. And of course, it was alive.

It's pouring out. I let him out figuring he'd come right back in. Somehow, he found a really stupid robin, grabbed it, and brought it in the apartment to show me. Dripping blood. And still alive.

Can you say, "Ew"? I knew you could. I grabbed him and tried to escort them both out of the house without having him drop the bird, because all I could see was a bird flying around and dripping blood all over my apartment. We made it to the patio door without his letting go of it, and then I grabbed a plastic bag and pushed it outside, as I didn't want to see it expire, either. Poor thing died in a matter of minutes, of course.

I think Tig is going to stay indoors now, period. You'd think he'd at least go after the pest birds, like the starlings out front that keep trying to build their nest in the rain gutters, or the woodpecker that woke me up all those mornings. But no, he picks a harmless couple of breeds like sparrows and robins.

I have so lost my appetite for dinner tonight. I was going to have chicken.

The Law of Threes

You all know that one. "Everything comes in threes," people say. (You know, I amost typed that "threee," and when you think about it, three should have three e's.)

John Ritter died unexpectedly today. Johnny Cash died today. The Law of Threes requires that an entertainer named John dies by midnight tonight.

I'm willing to bet two thousand dollars, for real, that this will not happen. Hell, I'd bet five thousand dollars.

Any takers? Or are all my readers smarter than that?

(If only we could rename Arafat John, and give him a TV show today.)

Shiny happy palis

Police storm Temple Mount to disperse stone-throwers
Angry Palestinian demonstrators clashed with police after traditional midday Friday prayers at Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Dozens of Muslims threw stones at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall.

How do they keep finding stones up there? Do they effing stockpile them or something?

Around 30,000 Palestinian worshippers participated in Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, among them youth who had prepared stockpiles of stones to throw at Jews praying at the Western Wall.

So howcome after all these weeks they're suddenly dropping rocks on Jews again?

Four policemen were lightly injured in the disturbances. The commander of the Jerusalem police district, Mickey Levy, said that he was convinced that Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat was behind the disturbances in Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank.

Wow, what a shock to hear that. In the meantime, let's check into other reaction to the Israeli Cabinet's (rather stupid) decision to expel Arafat:

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, warned on Friday that it would "strike everywhere" if Israel makes good on a decision in principle to banish the veteran leader.

How is it their noses don't fall off from all the lies? Like they don't strike everywhere already?

Why do I think the decision is stupid? You can see why already. They voted to expel, but won't do it. So Arafat gets to play the martyr and get the world's attention on him again. And frankly, he needs to be killed. Drop a bomb on the muqata, get Arafat and all 200 terrorists hiding out with him. That would take care of the terrorist infrastructure quite nicely.

Carolyn Glick is right. Israel needs to take major steps against the PA terrorists, who are killing Jews with relative impunity. War was declared three years ago. It's time for Israel to take off the gloves. Unless, of course, they're waiting for the fence to be completed first. Because that's the only explanation I can come up with as to why they're not targeting Fatah, Tanzim, and Al-Aqsa as well as Hamas. They're all murderers.

There's one in every crowd

Last night, my synagogue hosted Moshe Fox from the Israeli Ministry of Information. He talked for about half an hour, then took questions. There were two people there not like the others: Two young men who wore expressions of disdain and no kippa. (The talk was held in our sanctuary, and men, even non-Jews, wear kippot as a gesture of respect.) One of them listened the whole time with crossed arms and a bored expression. The other wore a black Che Guevera beret, and raised his hand to ask a question. "Five bucks he has a pro-palestinian question," I told the congregant sitting next to me.

"You talk about destroying the terrorist infrastructure," Che Jr. said. "How can you destroy the infrastructure when the people are the infrastructure? When they've been raised to be martyrs at their mothers' breasts?"

Mr. Fox told him that weapons needed to be confiscated and terrorists arrested. Che Jr. wasn't satisfied. He asked the question again. He seemed particularly taken with the mother's breast/martyr thing. (Calling Dr. Freud...) Mr. Fox repeated his answer. Che Jr. asked again. The crowd was getting restless. "Stopping incitement," I called out, "is in the road map."

"That's really vague," he said.

I withheld what I wanted to say, as the rabbi and many of the board members of the synagogue were there. Mr. Fox repeated his statement on being able to arrest and disarm the perpetrators of terror, and Che Jr. gave up.

Alas, he left before I could engage him personally. Guess he was fine with trying to trap an Israeli spokesman into saying that the only answer was to roll over three million palis, but couldn't break bread with the enemy. Even if there were Ukrops' brownies involved.

I just had one question I wanted to ask him: "Read Chomsky much?"




Stay tuned. Updating links throughout the day.

VOICES: Stories from 9/11 and beyond

Lileks. And Lileks again. And again.

Via Charles:

The Falling Man.

The Black Day.

An audio montage by KDWB in Minneapolis.

The palestinians celebrated on 9/11.

Pictures of the evacuation.

Charles, September 2001.

A phone call from a flight attendant on Flight 11.

Judith Weiss has a ton of links

What Lesley wrote two years ago. What she wrote last night .

Lots of links on Vodkapundit.



British hospitality

Now this is hilarious. (Via Oxblog)

LONDON, England -- During a week suspended high in a glass box in London, illusionist David Blaine has been taunted by passersby, pelted by flying objects and kept awake by a banging drum.

David Blaine is an idiot. I think he has absolutely nothing on Houdini, as Houdini's stunts involved some level of actual skill, and all Blaine's seem to involve is becoming a modern-day one-man freak show ("Come see the man who lives in a block of ice! Watch the man who doesn't eat! See him cut off his own ear!"). To say that I can't stand the man is deepest understatement. Apparently, I am not alone in my sentiments.

But the American -- attempting to go 44 days without food and nothing but water to sustain him -- may be shaken but he has not stirred from his perch over the River Thames.

Since the showman began his stunt Friday, people have attempted to dislodge him by throwing eggs at his transparent box -- measuring 7ft deep, 7ft long and 3ft wide.

In typical British fashion, what happened to the egg-thrower?

Police were called in to deal with the egg thrower Tuesday. "The man was given a stern talking to. But he was not arrested,'' a police spokesman told Reuters.

Neither, I presume, was this guy:

Blaine, a self-styled modern-day Houdini, has also been taunted by the smell of fish and chips, and woken up by a man banging a drum.

A "self-styled modern-day Houdini:" That's because no one who has actually read about Houdini would sink to smearing the man's reputation with such a low comparison. Then again, I really like the drummer's explanation.

"We were watching him at home on TV and it was really dull so we thought we would come down and liven things up. I wanted to wake him up,'' the impromptu drummer Shiraz Azam, 21, told London's Evening Standard.

Who says Brits are rude? (Well, a lot of people, actually.)

Blaine is being permitted to take diapers, a journal, some pens, lip balm, a pillow and a pad to lie on into the box. And his girlfriend has been allowed to go up the crane to clean the outside of the plastic box.

TMI! TMI! Diapers? Ew. I mean, ew! But hey, everyone is enjoying the stunt, right?

The stunt has resulted in traffic problems as motorists driving across the city's Tower Bridge slow down to take a look. Up to 4,000 people turned out to see Blaine begin his gruelling challenge.

Uh-huh. But there's a reason for all this fuss, right?

Despite much publicity, Blaine's feat will not be recognized by the Guinness Book of Records.

Compilers of the book said they would not actively endorse fasting records -- and that the size of his temporary home is not as small as current record holders.

Guinness also dismissed Blaine's earlier feats -- being buried alive and living in an ice block -- as not measuring up.

So what they're saying is that Blaine's basically wasting his—and Londoners'—time. Schmuck.

A 9/11 tribute from the stockbrokers

There's a box on the TD Waterhouse main page that doesn't concern stock prices. In it are these words:

On Thursday, September 11th

In commemoration of all those who were lost on September 11th, 2001, TD Waterhouse will join the New York Stock Exchange in observing four separate moments of silence. These moments of silence will be held at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:59 a.m., and 10:29 a.m. ET, to mark the times that each of the towers was struck and then fell. During the 9:59 a.m. and 10:29 a.m. observances — which occur during market hours — all trading on the New York Stock Exchange will cease.

Due to TD Waterhouse employee participation in the observances, you may experience a brief telephone holding period during these times.

Michele isn't the only one remembering.

This observance seems right and fitting to me.

Arafat: Hip-deep in terror attacks

This isn't the first time I've read something like this, but Arafat and some 200 terrorists that stay in the Muqata in Ramallah under his "protection" are responsible for much of the bloodshed we've seen.

The main Tanzim operative in Nablus is Naif Abu-Shreikh, who heads Fatah's military wing in the city. Abu-Shreikh has been involved in many previous suicide bombings and receives orders and funding from two sources: members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard stationed in Lebanon and Fatah members based in the Muqata. Even before the Tzrifin bombing, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at a conference in Herzliya, said that Israel would have to weigh its policy on Arafat in light of the fact that terror attacks are still being funded and commissioned from the Muqata.

Don't confuse the issue with facts, please. The Mossad could give the EU and U.S. State Department a video of Arafat kissing the suicide bomber goodbye, and Reuters would still report that he has no control over the terrorists. I mean, activists.

The pretzel logic of terrorists

There are no Israeli civilians, according to most terrorists, because Israel has mandatory conscription. This is how they justify blowing up buses.

Today, Israel dropped a bomb on a Hamas leader's house, killing his son and bodyguard, and alas, only slightlly wounding the mass-murderer who lived there in peace and contentment with his "civilian" family. Or perhaps it is the house that is supposed to be the civilian.

"The targeting of civilian houses is a violation of all red lines. Therefore the Zionist enemy will have to shoulder responsibility for the targeting by us of houses and Zionist buildings everywhere in occupied Palestine," the Izz el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, said in a statement.

As opposed to targeting buses, restaurants, cafes, pizza parlors, and shopping centers. Because those are all proper, military targets, of course—since they are targeted by Hamas and the other terrorists.

Once again, my regret here is that the bastard survived the attack. Drop bigger bombs next time.

Finish the fence, Arik. Faster, please.



You know what?

I can't talk about it either.

Bomb report: 80 percent chance of explosions today

From Gil, last night:

According to Israeli media there are very serious warnings that a suicide bomber/s infiltrated to Israel in the Sharon area.

I just came back home from Tel Aviv, while driving back or highway no.5 towards east I saw a bright light shining over Kfar Qasem area near the seam line with the West Bank. It was much brighter than any star and it was gliding down to earth slowly. It was an illuminating bomb fired to help ground forces looking for the suicide bomber.

Hope I won’t wake up for some bad news in the morning.

From Gil, today:

The location of the bombing came as a surprise, security forces had warnings of suicide bombers in the Sharon area and in Jerusalem. It is likely that the warning are correct and the suicide bomber who blew himself in Tzrifin was not one of the two suicide bombers searched after. High alert remains, and there is a real chance of another suicide bombing anytime now.

Next time, drop the one-ton bomb. They don't care. We shouldn't, either.


I did not know that frequent Instapundit correpondent Nelson Ascher was posting on Europundits. Actually, I don't believe I'd ever read them before today. Excellent blog; excellent insights.

Nelson says about those who say that anti-Semitism is at its worst level since the 1930s:

Allow me to disagree.

I think the high watermark for danger, in the case of the threats against Israel and the Jews, was the Durban (“Down with racism and death to the Jews”) anti-Semitic, I mean, anti-racist conference immediately before 911.

To those of us who see 911 as a turning point it is sometimes hard to imagine what things would have looked like had it never happened, or to evaluate tendencies that have been sharply changed by it. But that’s the case with the growing though covert anti-Semitic campaign that had been in preparation throughout the 90s and the first success of which would have exactly been the Durban conference.

According to a saying, the Devil’s most dangerous stratagem consists in making us believe he doesn’t exist. Well, for once, in the case not only of anti-Semitism but of the delegitimization of Israel and the exterminationist Arab/Muslim politics towards all Jews, that stratagem was working so well that even most Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora were beginning to believe the devil had gone away, that there was no more danger for them in this wide world, that Europe had actually changed its ways and that, maybe, Zionism and Israel were not really essential for the very survival of the Jews anymore.

Now we know that the Arab world had been working on its rejectionist project during the whole of the “Oslo process”. Now we know that NGOs and much of the Western left and the UN were collaborating with such goals. Now we can see that many who should have known better (and I count myself among them) were being deceived, while those who had their suspicions were labelled paranoids. Who was really paying attention to rabid anti-Semitic Arab propaganda in the 90s except as a marginal phenomenon? Who, then, would have been taken seriously had he/she accused many NGOs of being a kind of fifth-column helping to prepare a new Holocaust?

You might have seen that on Silent Running, but we have different readerships, and it's worth quoting here. There's also an interesting essay on the hatred of and by Islamic fundamentalists:

Now, bombing a bus full of kids in Jerusalem or destroying an office-building in Manhattan are not exactly effective ways of winning any kind of war. They are manifestations of pure, irrational hatred, that goes almost without saying. But they are also ways of making sure that the perpetrators and whoever else is or could be associated with them will be hated. The consequence of the deliberate and indiscriminate massacre of innocent civilians is that , with or without the creation of a Palestinian state, with or without real peace, the Palestinians will be hated by the Israeli Jews for at least one whole generation and, if Muslim fundamentalist terror succeeds in striking once more the US in such a scale, the same can be expected from the Americans in relation to the Arab world. What’s in both these cases different from the Algerian war is that the Arab Muslim hatred is not a consequence of any Israeli or American “overreaction”, because it already existed. There’s something even stranger: while any kind of “overreaction” would have anyway been (and was) counter-productive in Algeria, there’s nothing to prove that, on the contrary, it wouldn’t be highly productive for both Israelis and Americans to “overreact”. Actually, Hamas and Islamic Jihad count on Israel being forced by the US, the EU and the UN to “underreact” and, as far as is known, Bin Laden and the Taleban were expecting at most a token reaction from the US. Arafat probably wanted to provoke an Israeli overreaction in order to internationalise the conflict, but if this didn’t happen during or immediately after “Jeningrad”, then it becomes each day less likely. And surely that’s not the way Hamas or Islamic Jihad think: they don’t seem eager to welcome foreign, Christian, even American troops, in Gaza.

Why yes, Nelson, I do think you're heading into conspiracy theory territory, but it's the best entry I've ever seen in that particular area.



Let's hear it for the girls

I've been meaning to mention Kate's newest meme, The Letter of the Day. It's not just a collection of links. She also creates a description using the same letter. Ya think she may still have some Sesame Street issues?

She also wrote a phenomenal post on the oppression of women in Muslim nations, as well as a follow-up post on honor killings.

Kelley's on my links page now. And while I was typing Suburban Blight into the code, it suddenly struck me.... Ohhhhh, that's what the title means. A Duh Moment for me. Won't be the last.

Spathic had a hard drive crash and needs sympathy. You have mine. Hm. Maybe I should buy another 128 mb flash card from Costco and put my HD backups on it.

Anna is just effing hilarious all the time. Do not click that link if you have a beverage and intend to drink it. Here's her nod to Kelley's Cul-de-sac in a title to one of Anna's link posts:

Just like Suburban Blight's "Cul-de-Sac" but different and smaller and lazier and not as good and with not as many links

See, Kate has a news aggregator. Kelley actuall reads all that stuff. Good Lord.

Did I say "girls"? I think I meant "Gils," too. Because Gil Shtertzer has moved off Blogsplat. He was supposed to be on another break, but he's posting. So hurry up and read before he leaves the country again.

The new palestinian prime minister

My friend Drew, with whom I used to work when I typeset Billboard magazine, has this to say on Arafish's new appointee:

Just a quick note about Ahmed Qureia, the prospective new Palestinian PM. Many regional observers think he's going to be more progressive than his predecessor -- he's already attained quite a following as the star of the biggest hit reality show on Arabic-language TV -- Qureia For The Straight Guy.

I knew there was something we could do with that name.

Rediscovering Angie

So of course, she's off on some trip somewhere now, so there won't be much updating going on for the next few days, but there are plenty of great pieces to read until she gets back. She has lots of fun with the writers at the Guardian.

I was having a bit of trouble finding things to be outraged about, but fortunately Silent Running comes to the rescue with this juicy tidbit by Janet Dubé in the Guardian.

The gist of the article is "Ung, Bush religious. Religion bad! Religion scary! Ook! Ook! Go away scary Bush! Eeeee! Eeeee! Eeeee!"

This one is even funnier:

Following in the slime trail left by Guardian writer Matthew Engel, the Observer's "award-winning" US correspondent, Ed Vulliamy, is leaving the US, and to mark the occasion he writes this long, rambling, tedious article.

The gist of it is that when he came to the US, it was "cool", but now it's a different place, not cool at all. It was very difficult for me to slog through this article without tearing out some hair. Allow me to summarize so you will not suffer the same fate.

[...] Bill Clinton was cool. He might have made America cool, at least as far as my trendy EuroFriends are concerned. I am such a pathetic Clinton fanboy that I got a major thrill listening to the Allman Brothers with George Stephanopoulos, who ate takeout pizza with Clinton. Cool.

Clinton only intervened in other countries when all the people of those countries---and everyone all over the world!---wanted him to. Everyone in Haiti, for example, wanted the Americans there.

The only terrorists then were right-wing Americans who regarded Clinton as a usurper and despised the Federal government. This was uncool of them.

James Byrd was "lynched" in a racially vicious area, but because Clinton was in office there was moral outrage.

Some people are poor in America. This is racist.

Something about Juarez and black suns and deserts and mass abductions which are all America's fault. Tequila is really cool.

And then there are the Atlantean Slave Girls, and her review of a recent film on the Sci-Fi Channel, which happens to have been written by a fellow blogger.

Damn, Angie. I'm never drinking a thing while reading your blog, ever again.



The flood recedes

So Maintenance Guy (a different one, as I said) comes fairly quickly after my emergency page (a different one, as I said), and tells me that it's the main water pipe from my house backing up, and that the culprits are the pine needles that drop from the trees in front of my building. And behind my building. And all around my building. I don't exactly understand how pine needles from the trees get into my water pipe, but I did see a load of them covered with I-don't-want-to-know as Maintenance Guy showed me a sample. This was after, oh, an hour of snaking the pipe.

I was all set to do minor cleanup today, and major cleanup tomorrow, then Wind Rider gets me all nervous by telling me to be sure to use lots of bleach after I tell him that it seems only the washing machine water backed up, and it was on the spin cycle, anyway. So now I'm paranoid and thinking "Staph infection. I'm doomed." Thanks so much, Wind Rider.

Anyway, there was much use of Pine Sol and bleach, though not together. And for the life of me, I can't find where the dirty water smell is coming from, but I suspect a bunch of plastic bags. Think I'll just go dump them all and start the collection all over again. I have to go shopping tomorrow, anyway.

Of course, it could be my imagination. When I took out the trash and came back, the only thing I smelled in here were cleasers. But I expect I'll be airing out the apartment tomorrow morning.

Twelve miles west

This one's for Michele.

My how-I-heard-it story is of no matter. It's not very interesting. I left work early, stopped and pick up some extra groceries, talked with neighbors until after dark. What I found far more visceral was the first time I realized what exactly was a strange odor that sometimes permeated Montclair, where I lived at the time.

A few days after the eleventh, maybe the thirteenth or the fourteenth, I was driving across town for lunch. It was another beautiful September day. My car windows were open, and I thought to myself, "Someone has used far too much fertilizer on their lawn."

But it wasn't fertilizer. The wind was coming from the east, and it brought the smell of the remains of the twin towers burning. And though that was the first time, it was far from the last.

My birthday is November 15th. On November 15th, 2001, I went to dinner with friends. We had dinner at a favorite place of mine, Charlie Brown's, in Upper Montclair. As we left the restaurant, Brenda sniffed the air and asked, "What's that awful smell?"

It was the World Trade Center fires, still burning, two months later. Montclair is twelve miles west of New York City. Every time the wind was in the east during the months following September 11th, you could smell the towers burning.

This is what I wrote that night:

We may be getting closer to normal, but we will never forget. We will never be the same. Twelve miles west of Manhattan, and I can smell the Towers burning. Ten o'clock at night, and I can step outside onto my patio and smell Ground Zero.

Twelve miles west. There's a theater troupe in Montclair named Twelve Miles West. I can no longer think of them, or that phrase, without thinking of the wind coming from the east, bearing the odor of death.

Water, water, everywhere

Well, the floor needed washing, anyway.

Got home from my first day teaching religious school, put in a load of laundry, went online, and somewhere during the rinse cycle heard this strange burbling noise. This is not the noise you want to hear when you have a washing machine running. Sure enough, the water was leaking from somewhere into my kitchen floor, via (sigh) the closet that holds the hot water heater, oh, and my kitchen pantry. And this is about 24 hours after I was looking for something in the pantry and saying, "Y'know, you should clean this thing up. Look at all that junk on the floor. Recycle those paper bags. Get rid of all those plastic bags!"

Well, there's nothing on the floor of the closet at the moment, and luckily, the bag of cat food was near its end, and I got it out before the water soaked through anyway. Didn't really lose much other than things that needed to be tossed, although I'm currently drying several towels and sheets (that was my next load), as well as the box I keep my baking things in.

You know what the worst thing is? I can't use the water anywhere in the apartment. I used the downstairs toilet, and more water came out of the closet. I think this is a major pipe thing. This may really suck.

I hope it's just some kind of drain backup.

Well, Maintenance Guy is due to arrive (not the one who took care of Woody Effing Woodpecker; this guy has to work on the plumbing, and that guy was roof only). I'll find out the damage soon enough.


Last week's blogs are archived. Looking for the Buffy Blogburst Index? Here's Israel vs. the world. Here's the Blogathon. The Superhero Dating Ratings are here. If you're looking for something funny, try the Hulk's solution to the Middle East conflict, or Yasser Arafat Secret Phone Transcripts. Iseema bin Laden's diary and The Fudd Doctrine are also good bets if you've never been here before.