Archive for September, 2001

foiled

Thursday, September 27th, 2001

I tried to get hold of the new Ben Folds CD yesterday, going to the local indie record store. However, the guy just in front of me got the last one, so I’ll have to wait till Friday. He’s also coming here to Minneapolis in October, so I should get tickets – I’ve seen him live with his Five a few times, here and in Scotland, and it’s always a fantastic show.

In the meantime, please click here for a good, if surreal, time.

the movies

Wednesday, September 26th, 2001

Emma got hold of some tickets for a pre-release screening of Ben Stiller’s new movie Zoolander last night. So off to the good old Mall of America we went. Lots of fun and silliness, just what’s needed nowadays I think. Although it was strange, lots of shots of the New York skyline which I’m guessing they had to edit a bit in the last couple of weeks – there was a bit of a hush when they showed them.

more heroes

Thursday, September 20th, 2001

here is a heartwarming story. Hope you like it.

By the way, sorry for not having posted for a couple of days. The Nimda virus was on the loose, and our internet access was shut off at work for a day and a half. It may in fact have boosted productivity in some areas (or for some people) but in fact it was a right hassle as I need to use some internet-based services as part of my day-to-day.

kinda stressful

Thursday, September 20th, 2001

I wasn’t sure if all “the events” (as they’re being called) of last week were in fact taking a toll on me, or if it is/was the oncoming of the incredibly sore throat I’ve had this week, but it looks like many other people have also been tired out by the news and the news coverage.

Incidentally, I’m off to the doctor’s later this afternoon. I hardly ever go, but this bug has been going on for a couple of weeks now, and it’s time for it to stop. I hope the doc will be able to do something useful.

some light relief

Friday, September 14th, 2001

I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but if you want a laugh I highly recommend this site. It uses automatic translation technology through several iterations (English – French – English – German – etc – English) … with hilarious consequences.

For example the lines from “A Little Help With My Friends”:

what would you do if i sang out of tune?

would you stand up and walk out on me?

Lend me your ear and I’ll sing you a song

and I’ll try not to sing out of key.

I get by with a little help from my friends.

I get high with a little help from my friends.

becomes:

that thing that you would give form, if you that you sang of the air?

you would magnify he to me the outside and izia he? He lends to his

ear and song you a song and attempt not to sing of the key. I exceed

with little the sustenation of my friends. I raised I turn myself

with little of the sustenation of my friends.

OK, so maybe it isn’t that funny. But watching the English versions mutate as they go is fun – honest.

still strange

Friday, September 14th, 2001

The atmosphere is still strange – America sometimes feels like a big and small place at the same time. I think that working in a downtown environment (although downtown Minneapolis is way smaller than New York) makes the attack feel closer to home, and although New York is a long way away, everyone seems to know someone who lives or works there.

The TV and news coverage is still incessant, although it seems like most networks are getting back to normal – showing commercials and regular programs again. Slate.com has continued to impress me with the depth and thoughtfulness of their coverage, but a lot of the best information is first-hand through weblogs. This one was linked to from the front page of Blogger and has amazing pictures and moving words.

Work is going on pretty much as usual – it surprises me that they had three minutes of silence in many businesses in Europe today, but not here. I have the feeling that the morning service at St Mark’s is going to be hard going, although on Wednesday night we were rehearsing music which wasn’t too morose. Not wanting our spirit to be dampened I guess. All the flags I’ve seen are at half staff, and a lot of office buildings and homes have put flags out. There are still hardly any commercial flights going over, and it’s strange how you notice the absence of sound. On Tuesday night we heard what we thought was thunder, but it was F-16 jets patrolling, and they’re still around. I’m trying to work out if this is comforting.

yesterday

Wednesday, September 12th, 2001

I’m sure thousand or millions of people have posted things on the internet about the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington yesterday, but I just wanted to try to say a couple of things. The whole day was horribly surreal, from seeing the news reports at breakfast time, listening to the radio on the way to work, and then trying to keep things going at work. We were all sent home at around 9:45 – the office is in the middle of downtown Minneapolis next to the IDS tower, which is the tallest building in the state, and was evacuated just in case. It was bizarre walking along Nicollet Mall as many people were gathered around a TV in the window of the WCCO TV station, and everyone else was either on cell phones or looking at the IDS tower, no doubt trying to imagine …

Being at home was also very strange as we watched the coverage on TV most of the time. We went out for a bit of a walk and a coffee in the afternoon, and put the TV off around dinner time as it was just getting to be too much. I was worried that I wouldn’t sleep well but I was exhausted. I know it happened a long way away but it also feels close to home – partly because of working downtown here, and also because Em and I were there only a couple of months ago and have a picture of Em right outside the World Trade Towers.

My friend Tim lives in TriBeCa near Wall Street – fortunately he’s in London at the moment, but said that he’s been trying to contact friends in New York, mostly successfully.

And of course the worry now is of the backlash – it sounds like the US government are being fairly measured about things. I hope they’re wise enough not to overreact.

hurrah for the internet

Monday, September 10th, 2001

Hopefully I’ll never need to rely on my weblog to this extent, but should anything bad ever happen, as in this story hopefully it’ll be a help.

In other news, it’s now cool enough outside to warrant us returning our lovely feather comforter to the bed – when it was really hot over summer we just used the duvet cover. It was wonderful last night to be all snuggly and cushioned, and made it even harder than usual to get up today.

donner und blitzen

Friday, September 7th, 2001

If ever a Friday was a good one for staying in bed, it’s this one. Lots of storms and heavy rain, and it’s just dark and damp. For some reason I couldn’t get to sleep last night till after 1am, so it was hard to get going this morning. Not helped by the fact that I wimped out of walking to work and took the car, so haven’t really got the blood moving in my body, although tea is keeping me on form at work. I’ll definitely go to the gym after work tonight, that should help.

But the weather’s going to be a big factor in weekend plans – tomorrow afternoon we’re going out to Maple Grove, a suburb about 20 miles out of town, where some friends are throwing a party for my friend Mark. He’s from South Africa and his parents are over for a couple of weeks, so we said we would be his friend for the day. I think there are going to be some yummy South African foods there. Then on Sunday it’s the company picnic. Kind of late in the year perhaps, but you don’t want to be dying of heat. The forecast is for about 60F, so it may be a bit autumnally chilly.