September 30, 2001 - Stupified
I'm in a state of semi-shock even now, hours after the fact. No, it's not because it turns out the wedding I saw yesterday with Rhett at it was the wedding of a guy I kinda know (former roommate of former-BUCBer Hypho, who, ironically enough, is himself getting married next weekend in an affair I will be attending). I'm not in shock because walking by a deserted, desolate Fenway Park today almost brought legitimate tears to my eyes, nor am I in shock because I went to the store and bought things the likes of organic pasta, curry powder and four pounds of baby carrots.
I am not in shock because I have won three consecutive football bets, something that last happened the Thursday before never. I'm not even shocked that my NFC CHAMPION Giants managed to beat a legitimate Super Bowl contender, allowing me to acutally lord fandom superiority over someone - though I doubt N'Awlins-own Rosie, from BUCB, will ever read this.
I am in shock because the score of the Patriots-Colts game today was 44-13. AND THE PATRIOTS ARE THE ONES WHO SCORED 44.
Non-football and non-shopping things did happen today, though my thinking about them was much blocked due to football and shopping. I talked to my family, something I don't do enough of. I talked to others, who I most certainly don't get to talk to enough.
I wasted most of my weekend, neglecting my classwork, neglecting my internship essay. I did nothing but sit in my amazing apartment, playing games of Madden, Press Your Luck and Bin Laden Liquors, interspersing with pick-up basketball games against myself. I shouldn't have, I know, but you know what? In all too soon a time, I won't have the option to waste away my weekends anymore forever.
And that's what really puts me in shock.
September 29, 2001 - Welcome Back Icedogs!
I made a couple of decisions today:
1) After seeing a wedding taking place at Marsh Plaza, I decided that Rhett, the BU Terrier mascot, will be my best man when I get married. I want him there, hockey jersey and all, clapping his paws and patting kids on the head.
2) Since I've been given a key to the Free Press office, I plan on going in every so often to do nothing more than sit upstairs and watch cable TV. I can also use it as a place to do work for my queer-ass Production and Design class.
3) My Terrier Hockey jersey will hang on my wall until the season reaches a point when all hope is lost. If past precedent means anything, that point could be reached as early as October 13, the regular-season opener against fucking RPI - sorry Mario.
Tonight was Midnight Mania XIII, which contrary to popular belief, is not just an excuse to get another free white T-shirt. This was my last Midnight Mania, a fact not lost on either myself or Jen Smist, who I managed to tag along with this evening. It's a beautiful tradition, the countdown to the start of the hockey season, the factually-incorrect "BC Sucks" chants, the players skating out, Sir Jack Parker thanking us for coming... and the free T-shirt at the end of the night. I wanted to go to a jock school, like a BC, and this is as close as I get to living that dream. Except for when Amit sneaks me into BC football games with an extra ID... but that's another story for another day.
This year, it amazed me how I could pick all the Free Press people out of the crowd. I remember going as a freshman and being completely overwhelmed, not knoing any of the chants, thinking the team would actually finish over .500 under the leadership of one Albie O'Connell. Now, I'm the one explaining what's going on, mingling with all my FreeP and BU friends. Meg, who came with me and was the only one who came with me because Jon Rea had a headache AND PUSSED OUT LIKE A WOMAN, was completely out of her element. She's been to one hockey game the whole time she's been here, and somehow, I don't think that's going to change at all this year.
What's my hope for the Terriers this year? Let's put it this way. I remember sitting in Mark Coen's apartment all afternoon on a weekend in 2000, watching my Terriers battle it out against St. Lawrence, with the winner earning a berth in the Frozen Four. I still remember watching that puck slip between Rick DiPietro's legs... in the 4th overtime... ending the season.
I pray that's not the closest I see the Terriers come to the crown.
September 28, 2001 - One Of Those Days
Today was just one of those days you're glad to get over with, because while nothing hellacious went wrong, nothing much went right either.
Waking up and getting into the shower, I felt that horrific twinge in my throat, the twinge you get when you know a sore throat is just about to set in. You swallow hard time after time, thinking somehow massive amounts of saliva will drown whatever the heck is growing back there, but of course it doesn't. Meg's got the same thing, and I was forewarned I was probably going to get it, but I just blew it off and ate massive amounts of pineapple to up my natural defensive... to no avail. The giant can of pineapple, opened on Tuesday, is now almost gone. It'll be done by next Tuesday I'm pretty sure, meaning in one week I ate almost seven pounds of pineapple. I should be sick just on general principle...
Anyway, work was a bitch today. We had six or seven of these massive copy jobs that kept things humming all day, so I never got to do my traditional "sitting and doing nothing for pay." Plus I'm slowly becoming incompetent, sad when you consider what my job entails. And I'm still trying to figure out how my hourly wage went up and my take-home pay went down from last year...
Coming home, I found myself motivated to do nothing. I called ex-roomie Justin to go see what he was up to, but I missed him. Dinner was thrilling: two turkey burgers with salsa and some Tostitos. Actually, dinner was prettty damn good. I'm becoming quite the chef with my "Orange Pork on Bed of Ramen" and my "Cheese Quesadilla with Salsa From Jug." I'm gonna be giving Mr. Krapf a run for his money in the dinner party department...
(Geoff, a couple of years back, had a formal dinner party in his on-campus apartment at NU. We had roast, rice, non-alcoholic wines, tablecloths, the whole nine yards. His culinary abilities scare me, almost as much as he and his roommate having enough electrical equipment to drain Europe's Power Grid. He actually invited me over tonight, but the whole throat thing led me to pass.)
To top off the night, Jon Rea comes a-knockin on my window (literally...) round 11:30 wanting to go see Zoolander, which I wanted to see because, honestly, it looks like something I'd come up with if I ever wrote a screenplay. So we go down to the theater to find out it's not only sold out already, but that Rea, Vito and Elmer had already bought tickets online and just forgotten to ask me.
Then I walked to the bank to find I couldn't get into the ATM. Still trying to figure out why that is. But now I have to do work, so I'll just have to save my bitching for later.
Stop reading and go play this.
September 27, 2001 - The Strangeness of Freedom
I didn't read the Metro today, so you'll have to dig for errors yourself.
Every time my 8 o'clock class meets, I seem to be showing up a little bit later. For example, today I got in there about 2-3 minutes before Professor Falla, a name I drop because he's Jack Falla, who used to cover hockey for Sports Illustrated. Anyway, my night and after night up past 12 is starting to catch up with me. I can remember freshman year, where I made it a practice to sleep four hours and try to function the next day. Can't do that anymore. I can't believe I'm already at an age where I can remember the good old days of staying up til three doing nothing.
Speaking of the past, I saw Brecken out of the blue yesterday. Brecken, a name that makes the bile rise a little in my guts, my sophomore year roomie in Rich Hall. He said hi to me as he passed on the sidewalk, and he had this strange look on his face, some sort of mix of "I want to punch you in the face" and "I think you're a loser." I muttered a reply and went on my way, thinking that I hoped he didn't see where I lived because he'd probably firebomb it.
We didn't get along, and I, um, voiced my displeasure to him in perhaps the greatest e-mail I've ever written. I wish I could find a copy of it so you could all use it to, say, e-mail Osama bin Laden. Course the point of it was I'd never see him again...
On the Free Press front, I got my web work there done early and left a few story ideas on the desk for the news staff, and was home by 6:30. In a message I got later that night, my editor all but took the hint I was quitting as an assistant. Now that I finally have his attention, we can proceed with the "Jon gets his life back" plan. When you haven't had a weeknight off since May, you get to forgetting how great it is.
And on the other developing front, the Meg front, things have happened. In no doubt an experiment meant to get in my screwed-up head, she told me she was going on a date Friday night. That gave me that hollow pain in the pit of my stomach, which of course can only mean two things. One, it means I have whatever disease is dancing around this campus. Two, and more likely, it means there really is something more between us than random fighting and verbal abuse.
While nothing I wrote today was funny, or even attempted to be, it's one of those "keeping you updated" posts that will continue to allow you to live vicariously through me, Mom. :)
September 26, 2001 - Metro: News. Well, Not Really.
Anyone who lives in Boston knows about the newest daily on the block, the Boston Metro. It's not really all that new, but since the people standing in front of the boxes shoving them in your face seem to be multiplying, it seems that way.
For those luckily uninitiated to the rag, here's the deal: The paper bills itself as "24 Hours in 20 Minutes," and tries to do just that. The paper crams news in from every corner of the world, by limiting 99% of it's stories to no more than three paragraphs. Gets you in, gets you out. Joe Moron reads the little headline, looks at the pretty picture and doesn't have to do any thinking because the darlings at the BM have chewed all his food for him.
In case you can't read between the lines, the paper is absolute shit. It's barely even worthy to mock, though on a day like today, it bears mentioning. Someone brought a copy into work, and in five minutes of light skimming of all 20 pages, I found three glaring errors:
* HEADLINE: Paramount Sets 2003 For 'Nemisis' Release - This Reuters story got seven lines. A real burden to proofread, especially considering the correct spelling of n-e-m-e-s-i-s is in the second line of the story.
* HEADLINE: Hollywood Telethon Raises $15 Million - Metro staff writers blew this story out... a whopping 17 lines! And what's this, on the third line... oh, it says the telethon raised $150 million dollars. Silly me.
* FACT ERROR: The Metro reports that 1,100 ads for WBCN and the syndicated Opie and Anthony show will be pulled because the MBTA didn't know the "W.O.W." stood for "Wipe Them Out Wednesday." Hmm, think it's a problem that W.O.W. actually stands for "Whip Them Out Wednesday"?!
Should anyone from the Boston Metro stumble across this after your Cheetos run or whatever it is you do while you should be proofreading, take a look at this. I graduate in May.
September 25, 2001 - Eleventeen Rants
All the text of Coast to Coast will be up tomorrow. For real. And I mean it this time, so you'll be able to read it straight through and get a general idea of just how bad a writer I am.
I gave myself a night off tonight, more out of necessity than anything else. I got back here at six o'clock, and just ceased to be able to leave. It was the first time I've had a weeknight off since I got to school essentially. I'm so used to not being home til 10:30 or 11 that six was just way too much time to play with. Oh the things I did: I watched the news, the 7:30 Simpsons, made myself a lovely dinner of orange pork on a bed of dry Ramen, cleaned the whole apartment, cracked open the 6½ pounds of pineapple, realized how sick I'm going to be of pineapple soon, had Meg come over to laugh at the pineapple, got pissy because she called me fat and kept punching me in the arm (though granted, I deserved it), kinda slept, woke up puzzled as to where Meg went, sat down, wrote this.
I also talked to Renee, who told me that her mother has been diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer. I mention this only to ask you, faithless reader, to keep her in your prayers.
"She liked you a lot, and she knew it had to end (near the end, anyways), but she didn't want to let you go. I don't know if it was because she was just being possessive and loved knowing that she could control you by acting unstable, or if it was just because she would miss you or if she just needed someone to make her feel wanted."
- Amanda, with inside info on my last days with Ali, making me sad.
September 24, 2001 - Fantasy Sports
Well, I've managed to start another Fantasy Football season 0-2. Considering I've lost two games by a combined total of about 5 points, I'm starting to feel like the 2000 Patriots, who if they had scored 8 more points in all their games, would have gone something like 12-4, instead of 6-10. And we all know what happened to the 2000 Patriots... they became the 2001 Patriots.
Meanwhile, in Fantasy Baseball, something I stopped caring about weeks ago, I'm in the World Series. Go figure.
We had our third College Bowl meeting of the year last night, and amazing as it may seem, I had a great time. We have a huge group so far... that never lasts, but I can hope against hope that it will. How great would that be... to have like 30 people at meetings for more than one week out of the year.
September 23, 2001 - Football's Back, And All's OK
You remember in Coast to Coast where I talk about my new found love for the fans of Kansas City? Did you see today how the Chiefs fans gave my G-Men a standing ovation as they ran onto the field? K.C., I love you.
And I'd like to thank the Patriots for laying down so both New York teams could win this weekend? I mean, it was pretty obvious, because there's no way any NFL team could really be as bad as the Patriots looked today. A decent high school team could have taken them to overtime.
Who say the Phillies highlights from today? They won it on a 10th inning home run to right versus Florida, and excitement is running so high in the Vet, the relief pitchers were throwing lawn chiars in the air as they jumped around like preschoolers. Something about that struck me as so cool. That's what sports needs: more irrational and illogical celebrations. Remember when the Florida Panthers fans threw rats around in 1996? You all loved it, own up.
In other news, I got three calls in 45 minutes from the Free Press today. Did I get any of them? No. Why? Because I'm still home. The current plan is for me to drive back tomorrow morning around 4:30 or 5, just to make work at 9. Why am I still home? I'm lazy, unshowered and unreliable, that's why.
My days at the Free Press could be coming to a rapid and unsurprising end. Something has to give for me this semester, and given that I'd rather my health not be what gives, the least fun extracurricular might be on the block.
And that outbreak of athlete's foot I have is clearing up nicely. Thanks so much for asking.
September 22, 2001 - Dancing Cows and Chamois
Today was the annual trip to The Big E, New England's Great State Fair which, as always, goes live from Agawam's rivals in West Side. I came home for it like always, but was joined by a busload of BUCBers from Boston - hey, the city was supposed to blow up yesterday, they all wanted out too. ;)
This year's theme was a World Tour of sorts, with Mardi Gras beads for sale and a billboard featuring a picture of a dancing cow wearing an Egyptian helmet (there was an exhibit of artifacts somewhere in the fair). Imagine trying to teach your friends this is a legit, non-hick fair when there's a cartoon dancing cow above the road.
For me, it was re-enacting all the traditions of 20 years going to the fair. Going through the state buildings, rushing through Storrowton Village, watching the infomercial products get sold, the Big Slide, refusing to go on most of the shoddily-assembled carnival rides, Farm-A-Rama... The new twist of this year was that in addition to the Agawam crew, there were a handful of people who'd never been to the fair before.
Meg bought a set of super chamois towels, and I fully expect to be getting the call in a week or so after she discovers they don't work. Rea was amazed he couldn't get me to go on the "Drop of Fear." And Vito, well, Vito seemed excited about the Dream/LFO show at the beginning of the day...
I know I said Coast to Coast would be completely posted by last Sunday. Maybe next Sunday... GO GIANTS!
September 21, 2001 - Press Your Luck Baby!
The Secret World of Term Paper Selling has been added to the writing section. Please note, like every story I've ever written for the Free Press, it was made worse by the editing process.
After three weeks of waiting, scheming, hoping and playing a knockoff on my computer, I finally found myself in front of Game Show Network at 9:30 p.m. So finally, for the first time since childhood, I got to watch an episode of Press Your Luck, the greatest game show in the history of civilization. Except maybe for Scrabble or Classic Concentration. But anyway...
Tonight, I've committed nothing short of sporting sacrilege. At least from a Boston perspective.
I've decided that as of this day forward, for the rest of this season, I'm throwing my support behind the New York Mets.
In a way, I've taken Bill Simmons' column to heart. Of course, for me to cheer for the Yankees, at any time, under any circumstances, would be to go back on every thing I've ever been taught or taught others. But the Mets, well, it's a little known fact that when I was eight years old, I bought three baseball caps from one of those $5 cap guys: Red Sox, A's and Mets.
Last year, the Mets let me down in the Subway Series. Now, I can't stop watching that Piazza home run. Still, they'll probably let me down again.
But imagine if they didn't...
September 20, 2001 - "Justice Will Be Done..."
After just watching President George W. Bush give his speech to Congress and the nation, there are many thing I could talk about, and many ways I could go about discussing the current state of things.
My plan for today was to discuss the cheapening of patriotism tonight - to talk about how, two or three months from now, all the people with American flags on their cars and hanging in office windows, will probably revert back to their old ways, leaving those of us who love this country every minute of every day, who bought and hung flags before it was the "in" thing to do, to flap in the wind along again. But, that topic has been usurped.
I sat upstairs at the Free Press with all my fellow staffers there at the office, watching our President stir a nation. Watching him speak forcefully and rationally, strongly and smartly. Bracing us all for what is going to be a very long, very difficul fight ahead. When it was over, when the clapping had stopped, I sat back downstairs and began to think, back to the waning months of 2000 and what went on in the nation then. Close your eyes, and do me a favor.
Picture Al Gore making that speech tonight.
That's what I thought.
September 19, 2001 - New Levels of Idiocy
Saudi Arabian BU Student Stabbed has been added to the writing section. Please note it is not the lyric prose I have promised you all. That comes on Friday.
Bill Simmons, formerly known as the Boston Sports Guy, is typically one of the finest columnists on ESPN.com's Page 2. Not only because his stories are typically full of Boston sports references (I love it when he starts going on about Mike Greenwell, one of the finest Red Sox in recent memory), but he writes funny stuff that people can actually relate to. Such as his prediction that the Pats will go 9-7, when he damn well knows that Pats will go nowhere near 9-7. But today, I have to call bullshit on him.
Go ahead, click the link above or just go here. What's on the top of Page 2 today? A picture of Pedro, with a fucking Yankees hat on. It's enough to give a dead member of Red Sox Nation the shivers.
Anyway, he writes about random observations he's had over the past week, some of which are, as always, dead on:
"The world might be mourning, our society might have changed irrevocably, New York might be in pieces, our country might be going to war ... but hey, at least Carl Everett is still completely insane."
However, his final point is that the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is essentially dead. He quotes e-mails from readers crying while looking at their well-worn "Yankees Suck!" T-shirts, that the Red Sox should wear Yankee caps for a game as a show of solidarity, that we should cheer for New York because they've become America's team, etc., etc. Bill, bless his heart, agrees with them.
Give me a fucking break.
The only good that can come out of Red Sox fans openly cheering the Yankees is that the baseball gods will then force them to lose in the most painful way possible, because that's what happens to teams blessed by Boston. I understand the devastation on the city and country by these attacks, but if you're going to tell me that now I can't hate the N.Y. Yankees anymore, baseball can go cram it.
And another thing. My Newspaper Production and Design class will from now on be known as "A Class for Queers." I don't mean to offend anybody, but when I'm getting criticized for "making my letters too large to be playful," I have to say something.
September 18, 2001 - FreePin All Over
No stupidity to report, other than my own. But that's always the case, so get used to it.
My first appearance in the Free Press will be tomorrow instead of Friday, sort of. In the office tonight, I dug around for some information on the stabbing of a Saudi Arabian BU student outside a Back Bay nightclub Monday morning, so I suspect I'll at least have my name on the story when it runs tomorrow. I just hate it when we get scooped by the Herald on a BU story, but considering no one ever tells the DFP anything, it's not shocking.
My true return will still be Friday, however, in the 'In Business' feature that just won't quit. I was told to write between 800 and 1,000 words when I got the assignement.
I hope the fact that I wrote over 2,400 won't be held against me. And it's not one of those "I wrote a lot of words but none of them say anything" stories. Trust me, I've written those, I know them. This one is me at my finest, feature writing, putting a spin on things, crafting something that (I hope) people will actually want to read.
It's rare I ever actually allow myself to think I'm a good writer, but when good writers say something like:
"I just told my roommate you're the best writer on the whole damn staff. Period. This just proves it."
to me, I let myself buy into it just for a little while.
Thanks Bill. Good luck with your lunch "date" tomorrow, I wish you all the best. For those who don't know, Bill's trying to get a girl who, at least in theory, shouldn't even be letting him look at her. But I don't care. For once on the female front, I'm happy.
And a confused gasp goes up from the crowd... :)
September 17, 2001 - Don't You People Listen?!
Thanks to Jen Niedziela for today's piece of fucking ludicrosity: You can read it here, but if you're lazy, I'll synopsize. Clear Channel, the country's largest radio network, in doing their part to defend America's national security, has created a list of over 150 songs now deemed inappropriate for radio play due to the terrorist attacks.
Among these songs are Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky," Elton John's "Rocket Man," John Lennon's "Imagine," Sugar Ray's "Fly," Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York," U2's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," Edwin Starr's "War," The Beatles' "Ticket to Ride," Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World," the list goes on and on. Do I even need to tell you how fucking crazy this is?
Because a single day of terrorism, no song can ever again be played that featues the words fly, sky, boom, New York, or God knows what other criteria Retard University came up with. This could possibly be stupider than the plastic fork issue. No, this is stupider than the plastic fork issue.
It's stupider than me buying over six pounds of pineapple, stupider than my waiting for my foot to crack open and bleed before buying any spray to cure it, stupider than putting your hand in a meat slicer, stupider than the idiots in charge of Logan Airport... nevermind, I'm not getting anywhere. All I know, or hope I should say, is that somewhere there's a program director who's going to call bullshit on this list, and stop this censorship for what it is.
On a positive note, I will make my grand return to the printed medium on Friday, with my first DFP "In Business" featue on... stay tuned. Let the suspence build.
September 16, 2001 - Tread With Care
The Ryder Cup, the very pinnacle of international golf competition, has been postponed until September 2002. In an already crushing series of events since Tuesday, this does nothing to help me adjust.
No American golf fan will forget what happened just a few miles over in Brookline in 1999. I was at the field day for my father's golf league, which that year I played in. All day long, you got the sense that things were falling into place for the American team to make the comback Ben Crenshaw had promised. And as it came down to the wire, you just knew something was going to happen to push it one way or the other. Justin Leonard holing that 45-foot putt on the 17th hole, a hole I had walked on just the Tuesday before duing a practice round, is the single greatest sporting moment I have ever watched. Better than the Giants two Super Bowls, than Pedro and Troy O'Leary in the 1999 AL Division Series, better than Ray Bourque and the Avs winning the Cup.
Now, we will have to wait another year.
I feel it necessary now to quote newest posse member Jon Rea from his LiveJournal:
"Quoting Ernest Hemmingway, "in all my years I have learned one thing about life, It goes on." Life must go on it has to and as ful-hearty as this might sound we must act with the same carefree attitude we have had, all be it with more caution, but if we et this event radically change our lives then they whoever did this has won."
Ignore the spelling, punctuation and whatever else is wrong with the above. The idea could not have been said better. The terrorists who committed this act hate this country. They sought to change our lives, to violate the sanctity we all live in everyday, the safety we feel as citizens and residents of the world's greatest nation. Yes, this was a horrible act. Yes, we must pause to remember those we have lost. Yes, we must tread with more care in the future. But to react with a kneejerk, to do things like outlaw plastic knives in U.S. airports and all carry-on luggage on flights is just the kind of reaction an Osama bin Laden sought.
It is one thing to still grieve for a loved one who is yet unfound, to grieve for the loss of a brother, a mother, a friend. It is another to cower, to swear off flying, to close high rise observatories, to allow our way of life to be compromised.
Choose our future wisely.
September 15, 2001 - Tragedy and Food, Both in Bulk
I slept til 12:30 in the afternoon today, after the FreeP party put me in bed at four in the morning. You want to know the last time I slept til 12:30? It was the second Tuesday after NEVER. I don't think I slept that much after crossing the oceans, for crying out loud. Anyway, I woke up to Meg planning a trip out to Costco in Waltham, to solve my food-buying needs for the next 17 years. Always up for an adventure, I went, as did Vito. Who would have guessed it'd take us an hour to get out to the damn place...
Note to those trekking through suburbia: Both Watertown and Waltham have Main, Lexington and Church streets that connect, making directions a difficult and maddening task.
Imagine my joy when we got there and found the place was about 500 feet from I-95... let's just leave it at I was not pleased with things... The success of the trip, and my travel companions telling me to get a grip, calmed me down. Anyway, what can $85 at Costco buy a person, you ask?
|36 Count Box of Skittles - $11
||12 Giant Blueberry Muffins - $5.50
|6 Pack, Chunky Chicken Soups - $9
||2 Lbs. Sargento Shredded Cheese - $5
|68 oz. Old El Paso Salsa - $4
||2 Lbs. Butterball Smoked Turkey - $5
|Dozen Turkey Burgers - $7.50
||6½ Lbs. Dole Pineapple Chunks - $4
|12 Pack of V8 Splash - $9
||7 Rolls Bounty Paper Towels - $5.50
|4½ Lbs. Pork Chops - $13
||Dozen Pears - $6
Shut up, I like pineapple.
Round eight, the whole College Bowl posse, plus Geoff, who hopes to become an honorary member of BUCB, trucked out to Katie and Robin apartment in East Boston. They have a third floor deck, and the view of the Boston skyline they have is breathtaking. I swear, I would live on their deck 24/7. It's enough to amke you forget the neighborhood they're in. On the plus side, they do live just up the street from the children's center the Real World kids worked at when they filmed the Boston one.
However, it was not a day without sadness. Thrice, we saw the Honda commercial where CART driver Michael Andretti locks Alex Zanardi in a portable toilet. Zanardi is the same driver who, at the American Memorial 500 in Germany today, was coming out of the pits when his car started to slide. He was hit by another driver going nearly 200 miles per hour.
The accident cost Zanardi, one of the finest drivers in CART history, both of his legs. Any other week, this would have been front page news around the world.
This week, it's just more of the same.
September 14, 2001 - Two Down
First things first, I have to congratulate my dear old Dad, who got hired to organize telecommuncations-type stuff at Holyoke Gas and Electric in Holyoke, the birthplace of volleyball and the seat of drunken Irishmen in Western Massachusetts. Welcome back to the workforce, Big Cooch.
Speaking of work, I finally got paid today. 60 odd hours in the mailroom the past two weeks, and I;m just getting paid now. Sure, $150 isn't exactly what I was hoping for a 20-hour work week, and it isn't what I made in Nashua, but it's good money when Mommy, Daddy and the Financial Aid office pay your room and board. Now, on to the wasting on the gambling and the hookers.
Somebody from ENG approached me on the street after work today, and just started chatting with me about how I seem to always be working there. I think it was one of the girls from the graduate department, but the whole time I was thinking, "Please let me figure who this girl is and why she knows me..." As she walked away, it suddenly occurred to me that the one way you know you're working too much is when complete strangers from within the college come up to you on the street and tell you you work too much. In her defense, she did seem very nice, which you would have to be if you're gonna try to talk to a person who's idea of conversation is to make fun of your accent and whip you with a Twizzler.
Wasn't able to update the Free Press site today, as they locked the office on me. However, I did add some to Coast to Coast, which should make all my little bitches happy. Yeah, you're my little bitches. I mean that in the nicest way though.
The previous two lines are an example of how dearest Bill usually talks to women. Let's just say his nickname is "Put it in me," and leave it at that. Yet, tonight at the FreeP party - yeah I went, no I won't hear your crap about it - Bill had the ladies hanging off of him. Granted, I'm not jealous, because I know they're all playing him like a cheap fiddle, but still. It amazes me. Women of the world, have you no pride?
For those of you reading this site for the first time today, here's all you have to know about me. I played basketball in my room for almost four hours today, and it was the happiest I've been since the terrorist attacks. I miss sports.
September 13, 2001 - A New Anger
My anger over the terrorism has quelled, leaving room for other subjects again. The Free Press wins for tonight.
Tonight was the annual September Open House, when all the freshmen come, sign up to write for every staff like they did with their high school paper (which they were ediotr-in-chief of, of course) and leave with an assignment slip. Three months from now they'll be like me, ignoring their phone around the time when the FreeP assignment editors call, but that's beside the point. What I saw got me thinking.
During the meeting, I sat quietly in the back, with hoarded pizza and the paper I was using to help me update the website. Cutting and pasting stories and pictures into a template, which created the page. Nothing more, just cutting and pasting. Everyone cam back to the newsroom, milled about excited, talked with editors, all while I sat in the back, cutting and pasting. Cutting and pasting.
Last April, I was outright snubbed, skipped over, call it what you will, for the position of News Editor, relegated to the bullshit title of "Online Services Director" because somebody on the Board decided I didn't have what it takes. I was essentially told all the hard work I had put in as an assistant editor, all the hours I had logged, the stories I had written, were not enough. I was not good enough, not able to make the jump. Not able to make the jump in a paper that, despite excellent coverage of the past two days events, has run headlines with the words "Patriotss" and "Orgami" in them this year alone.
I have no qualms about saying I am one of the top writers the Free Press has. For me to be given a token web job and be allowed to continue as a news assistant is something I may have acted comfortable with, but when you get down to it, burns to the core. I'm glad I haven't had to give up the activities that I love, my job, BUCB, etc., which I would have needed to do as an editor. That said, to be passed over and then stay on in a worthless position hurts all the more.
I walked out of the office tonight at near 11 p.m. with stories left unassigned, assignment slips left on the desk, things I'd never think to do last year. I blew up at Bill, even though none of this is his fault at all. That I regret, but nothing else.
I can not see how working there, in a place with no hope of advancement, will serve me at all. I plan on continuing as the cut/paste guy til January, at which point I will get my column back and go out of this university the same way I came in.
Making fun of shit.
September 12, 2001 - The Morning After
It was 1:15 a.m. when I finally pulled the shades, turned out the lights and turned off the TV. I put my head on the pillow, my glasses on the 'nightstand,' and was filled with a single overwhelming feeling.
When I woke up this morning, who's to say the Prudential Center wouldn't be lying on the ground? The Hancock Tower. All of Boston. Who's to say I would even wake up? Who's to say any of us will?
The Pentagon, the home of America's military and defense, currently is also the home of possibly 800 dead bodies. People who woke up Tuesday morning with the belief that they worked in one of the most protected, secure buildings in this country. And now, they're dead. Dead because a passenger plane, making an uneventful transcontinental flight, was hijacked by men with box cutters and used as a petroleum bomb and battering ram. Not just one planes. Four planes.
226 people, just flying across the country like I did nearly one month ago, are dead. 20,000, just going to work in the financial and defense centers of America, are dead. Firefighters, police officers, tourists, cab drivers, parents, children.
I heartily agree we can't let fear dominate our lives, and I'm not trying to say I've been unable to move since the WTC was shaken to its core.
But tell me you're the same you were two days ago.
September 11, 2001
Today is not a day for humor.
I woke up this morning at 6:30 a.m. Hit snooze a couple of times, got into the shower, was out on the streets by 7:30. I ran to Staples, bought an X-Acto knife and metal ruler, and made my way to my 8 o'clock class.
Somewhere else, in this city that I love, at least two people got up. They made their way to Logan Airport, boarded two flights departing for Los Angeles, hijacked them and crashed them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
Thousands of people who rolled out of bed this morning, like they've done so many other mornings, are now dead.
The World Trade Center's dual 110-story towers, standing as beacons to human achievement and America's dominance, are gone. When they fell, they fell on firefighters. Police officers. Parents. Everyday people.
I watch this amateur video of the second attack, watching a 767 disappear into the glass of the departed tower before exploding into flame, and it doesn't seem real. I've stood atop the World Trade Center towers. Looked out at the view. Now it's gone.
I wish I could find the words to say what I'm feeling, to say what I see and feel right now. Earlier today while I was making the deliveries at work, I went to the windows atop the Photonics Center, nine floors up. Walking home from the Free Press tonight, I just stopped to look out at the Prudential Center. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore and ever again. It's easy to say these things now, I'll be the first to admit that. But this is a day that can not be forgotten. This is my generation's Pearl Harbor.
Palestinians are dancing in the streets, celebrating this attack on the United States. Somewhere in the world, the perpetrators are smiling, seeing the havoc they have caused and the shutdown they have levied. I have gone through the gamut of emotions today, as much as one can who has no one in those areas of the country. It may sound hollow coming from a 21-year old misfit, but I'm saying it nonetheless.
We will find you.
To those of you who I've ever held dear, I love you.
September 10, 2001 - As I Feared
Well, they hung in for three quarters, but the Giants defense just gave out in the end. Eh, they gave it a run. And it looks like the Nashua Rally Monkeys will also fall just short in Week One, as they stand behind by 0.4 pts in Coen's Fantasy League at press time. 0.4. Cuts deep.
Tonight was also the first meeting of BUCB for the new year, and we had more new people in attendance than I can ever remember in my time there... eight at least. A good mix of people you'd like to hang out with and hired guns for winning, just what you like to see. Things were extremely disorganized though. That's something I didn't miss.
My homework for Newspaper Design class is in disarray, with half of it refusing to print andthe other half remaining untrimmed. I swear, this FreeP thing has got to go. I have no will no do it anymore, nor do I have the skill to balance it all. I've taken my first story assignment for the year, and who knows when I'm gonna write it.
Besides, you're my real audience now anyway. You're quiet, you eat up my copy and I don't have to deal with any police officers to write. That makes no sense, does it. Can't say as I care.
September 9, 2001 - Break Up The Bolts!
"Wow. I can't believe I have made it this far. I would like to thank my gazillion sandals for making me special enough to be on the webpage in the first place, but to make it to the front page, wow. I am just speechless -- not really, but shh. Anywho, thanks to my roommate for going home and making me bored enough to sing to people's IMs, and special thanks to the kindegarten teacher who taught me that song when I was a wee youngin. And thanks to my parents, for without them I wouldnt be at Zoomass."
- Anna, on her mention in yesterday's update.The first football Sunday of the year is over, and I have to say I'm left wanting more. The Patriots picked up right where they left off, as losers. Picking the over on the Seahawks-Browns game was borderline retarded, so I must thank the knobs at ESPN.com who swayed me.
And gee, all the Giants need to win in the first game in Denver's new stadium, is a miracle. I don't hold my hopes high.
Congrats to Bill for making the posse page. You want in? Send a picture.
September 8, 2001 - New Favorite? Newcastle Brown.
Football starts tomorrow!!!
"Albuquerque is a turkey, and he's feathered and he's fine. And he wobbles and he gobbles and he's absolutely mine. He's the best pet that you can get, better than a dog or cat. He's my Albuquerque turkey and I'm awfully proud of that."
- as sung to my away message by Anna. I don't get it either.Two parties in one weekend at the Mountfort estate, which adds up to, essentially, two parties more than I've ever thrown in my time at BU. It began with a trip down to the Hatch Shell with the BUCB crew plus Bill to see SR-71 play a free show. It was about worthy of a free show, as there was a lot of standing there waiting for them to play "Right Now." Hell, they were playing for five minutes before I figured out who I was looking at.
After that, it was back here to clean me out of all alcoholic beverages, which isn't all bad I suppose. Meg got herself good and fucked up, but she was really the only major casualty. The room is beginning to get decorated, and once it is, the webcam will triumphantly return.
Til next time, I leave you with a quote from SR-71's lead singer. Damned if I know what his name is.
"If you're gonna throw something [at the stage], throw beer."
September 7, 2001 - Funyuns and Beer. I Missed BU.
We are currently in the midst of the first party being held at the 98 Mountfort estate, and I must say things are going amazing. Amit, Amanda, Meg and I have blown through several rounds of a "Quarters" variation, and I really have cleaned house, if I do say so myself. I'm the only person in this room who can still cohesively spell their name. Well, maybe not that bad, but let's just say I won a lot.
Today was otherwise uneventful. Worked 9 to 5, went to the FreeP for two hours ( to make up for the time I, uh, missed last night...), then came back here and hung the rope lights.
I also made my first trips to Star Market and THE PACKIE. The apartment is now full of food, and full of Newcastle Brown, Mike's and shitty vodka.
Tomorrow night, I'm thinking another party, since I won't be disturbing Brendan... he's home for his sister's wedding, and I hope is doing well. I leave you with the quote of the night, coming from Margaret Kociemba:
"It'd be so much easier to get his pants off if he wasn't wearing any pants."
September 6, 2001 - Drink Fresca. Someone Has To.
There's something great about it being 11 a.m. on a Thursday morning and knowing you don't have class again until Tuesday morning.
Living on South Campus is the finest decision I ever made, just because it really changes your perspective on things. It doesn't feel like college when you don't have to scan your stupid ID card to get into your room or go to the dining hall to eat. It just makes things so much better, least I think so. Course I got blessed in the housing lottery... I have no idea how I got such a nice apartment and roommate. Considering what a jerk I am and the good things that happened all summer, I'm not due for any good things to happen to me for at least a couple more years.
My broken tennis racket, smashed against the ground in one of my weaker moments, remains undefeated, as Rea and I took out Vito and Meg, who really should be a lot better than us. We played on the ghetto courts of Boston, which really are pretty nice if you forget what neighborhood you're in. As I was the only one of the four of us not to own a cell phone, I got a kick out of the neighborhood people giving the other three crap for talking as they walked.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back really was not as bad as I feared it was going to be, though it tried hard. Granted, I've only seen Mallrats out of the Kevin Smith collection, so I'm probably not the best person to be commenting. Still, I got a good majority of the references, and some of the movie was were very funny. Still, how many times can you laugh at dick and fart jokes?
Will Ferrell is in it though, and he's hilarious. Go see it, despite my mixed review, it's worth the money. Look at that, me giving information people can actually use. I must not be getting enough sleep.
September 5, 2001 - Return to Normalcy
Out of the apartment at quarter to nine, back home at quarter past ten. Now THIS is the BU life I remember!
The university has removed my meal plan from under me, something I only know because I had to call and ask them. My move into an on-campus apartment triggered the move automatically, but still it would have been nice to know. The two times I went into the Warren dining hall, I was charged $7.50 a pop in Convenience Points, made all the more aggravating because one of those visits I ran in, grabbed a bagel and left. $7.50 for a bagel. A stale, crusty bagel. God save BU.
Had my research class today - we spent three hours surfing the Internet using different search engines. Since this was actually the point of the class, it didn't strike me as bad, unlike yesterday's "how does this letter make you feel?" crap in Design. On the whole, my quarter is nice. Nothing else witty to say about that.
Today I had cookies for breakfast, sushi for lunch and miso soup for dinner. No wonder I look like such a physical specimen. Mom, please put down the care package. I'll go shopping this weekend, I promise.
(Please pardon how shitty this update was; I'm on Roach Watch and hoping I don't see the carpet moving. Plus I'm talking on AIM, which as all collegians know, is the pinnacle of existence. For amusement, read the now completed Page 4 of "Coast to Coast." And tip your waitresses.)
September 4, 2001 - Classes Start, FreeP Freedom Ends
I'm starting to become the kid you love to hate, because this is my schedule:
Sports Journalism - Tues. & Thur. - 8 to 9:30 a.m.
American Military Experience - Tues. & Thur. - 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Newspaper Production & Design - Tuesday - 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Journalism Research - Wednesday - 6 to 9 p.m.
Not only do I have no books, I have a four-day weekend. Please put down your guns now.
Sports is gonna be amazing, no real surprise there. Military should be too, as the professor seems like a sharp guy who's all about giving people crap. My kind of teacher. The design class, well, we won't talk about the design class. Something about spending three hours assigning adjectives to how letters, like as in l-e-t-t-e-r-s, make us feel didn't sit well with me.
Today was Meg's birthday - her roomie bought her a cake, making the rest of us look like total asses - so we went on a crash tour of everyone's new homes. Mine, spectcular. Meg's, brightly colored. Jon Rea's, closet. I'm sorry buddy. I'm glad you like it though.
Bed now, work in a few hours, back to the FreeP soon enough. They keep roping me in... it's like a bad dream you think you've woken up from, then you realize you're still dreaming. And there's fat people. Scary fat people. Not at the paper, I'm just saying to make the dream scarier.
September 3, 2001 - Lay Bored Day
Classes start tomorrow, so I spent my day doing what I've always done: Working a full day in an essentially deserted Copy-Mail Room. From 9 to 5, a grand total of five people came into the office, one of whom was Meg, who was nice/insane enough to bring me lunch when I asked. That was cool.
My computer is alos now fixed thanks to her, much as it kills me to admit that. :) Something about the refresh rate got screwy, so that's all better now. Damn, you travel across the country with someone and suddenly you start spending time with them every single day.
We had our first "mandatory floor meeting" tonight, and since I go to one every year, I made this the one. Apparently, Brendan and I are one of the only male rooms in this whole complex, as everyone who was there was the typical BU upperclassman: tall, gorgeous and entirely unattainable. This is why I'm glad I have the calm restraint that so many others lack... people like you, Mr. Yelenak. There, you got your mention.
And what does tomorrow hold for Mr. Cooch? A return to 8 a.m. classes, the land of Assistant News Editor-dom and probably a foray into the dining hall. Strap in, kids. It's starting again.
September 2, 2001 - Move-In Day!
As promised, the show is now in Boston, yet things just aren't as perfect as they could be. For example, I'm having to do this update from work because my computer won't allow ANY monitor to run in ANYTHING higher than 16 colors. Things were fine while the system was at the house, but now, running in 256 colors or more causes the screen to vibrate and generally make me think the monitor will explode on my BU-issue desk. At some point, I'm gonna start screwing around with it, but I have a feeling a call to the fine folks at Dell is going to be in order.
Never fails that this shit happens when you least can afford it to.
The sad thing is, it spoiled such a wonderful day. Getting down to Boston, I finally got to meet Brendan and his girlfriend, who seem like incredibly nice people. Then, after deciding to split the apartment into two single bedrooms, I got the front room, the larger one with the better view. I've never had the problem of having too much space, but I think I'll deal OK. My family was amazing -- Dad came down with a bucket of spackle and fixed all the wall holes, while Mom cleaned... well, pretty much everything.
Four classes. Grand total of two books. Grand total of $49. As I told Meg last night as we looked at pictures and she seethed in her jealousy of Cooch, this is my new credo.
"Everything sucks for people who aren't me."
That said, if you know how to fix my computer, please e-mail me so I don't start blubbering like an infant.
September 1, 2001 - The End
The 2001 edition of the Boston Red Sox are dead. Barring an unforseen miracle or an announcement of Earth-shaking importance, the team shall receive no further mention until April 2002. Mr. Kerrigan, with all due respect, stick to coaching the pitchers, you fucking knob.
Who else smiled a little smile when they found out the Baby Bronx Bombers were dirty cheaters? Only people from the Bronx would cheat at Little League. Well, they and the Philippines. The part that got me was the ranting press conference put on by Ricardo whats-his-name with his posse behind him. Why is it that people of that, um, ethnic origin, always feel the need to explain how innocent they are when it's clear they've been trying to fleece the system? This isn't the first time this guy has been found to lie about players ages... no way he could possibly have done it again.
It's a very strange feeling for me right now. This is the last night I'll live in the Feeding Hills homestead for a good long time, as tomorrow the party moves to 98 Mountfort for my senior year at BU. Senior year! I still remember that first night in August of '98, lying in my bed and staring at my ceiling in Rich Hall with Karen's picture on my mantle. How the times have changed.
Boxes to pack, new roommates to meet, websites to finish. Cooch's World from Boston starts tomorrow.
2001:  -  -  -