Tuesday, September 11, 2001  [!]

Why do we call up people we know on a day like today? We call because our lives have changed . . . how much, we don't know yet. But we call and talk to witness the change, to acknowledge the beginnings of this momentous thing we cannot begin to comprehend.

This evening, I talked with my brother; asked him about my niece and nephew. What were they talking about in response to this? My brother told me, "we told them, 'this is evil. The people who did this do not care for human life.'" Tears ran down my face . . . today they lost their innocence.

An account of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

Bertie of superhyperdemonchild.com: Eyewitness blog account

Alisa Solomon, Village Voice: The Bastards! She got off the subway at the WTC just after the first crash. [via WannaWrite]

Some people were crying, a few women crossed themselves, but mostly people were exchanging stories in that almost affable New York-in-a-crisis way, collecting the tales that they would later tell their friends and maybe someday their grandchildren.

Until the second blast. As soon as we heard the muffled boom and saw flames kick along the walls of the tower, we knew in our bellies that America was changed forever.'

As it happens, my plans for today were to go to the Huntington Library and Gardens with some friends. The Huntington was open, so we went ahead with our plans. Being among plants, waterfalls, ponds, and seeing ducks and turtles and fish was very soothing.

Surreal: Local NPR Station has a program called "Talk of the City" and the host, Kitte Felde, said, in lieu of a New York correspondent, we sent out my husband who's there attempting to attend a conference. "We go now to New York to speak with Firstname Lastname" "Hi, honey, how are you?" "I'm fine sweetie. So tell us what you are seeing right now...." It's not just blogging that gives you a personal slant on things, folks!

No, no no... tell me that this is just a bad dream and that ILM somehow took over CNN.

Say I'm okay: Check in here if you're alive in New York City or an affected city.

From local public radio station: U.S. Border to Mexico is closed.

And an interview with someone from the Muslim Public Affairs office in Los Angeles— stating it's a tragedy; American Muslims are not terrorists and that they're as shocked and saddened as anyone. Gawd, hearing that, I realized the potential for vigilante retaliation! No, no.. this is not the time to see someone on the street dressed differently and respond with a shoot now, ask questions later response. This is the time for sane heads to prevail. No... we have far more in common than the differences that presumably divide us.

Al says to give blood. Red Cross? Local hospitals?

I heard that local chapters of the American Red Cross are having an emergency blood drive. Contact the local office (their main site is unreachable)

The local Red Cross centers are inundated with walk-ins. I may go to a local hospital, or donate tomorrow.

Disneyland is closed. Knotts Berry Farm is closed.

A blogged eyewitness account of the second WTC crash.

talking with my friend on the fone, she talked to someone she knows who's a radio news reporter in Pittsburg; the plane that went down there went in such a way that leads her to believe it's a pilot's heroics, i.e., saying no-- I won't fly into whatever it is you're asking me to.

She (having worked in law enforcement for a while) also said that she figured five flights... the original targets being the heart of United States capitalism, government and military:

The local radio is broadcasting phone numbers for people who were picking up passengers at LAX, for American and United Airlines passengers on the inbound flights that crashed. LAX is closed, there's a problem getting into the airports to pick people up (stranded on outbound flights, already landed before airport closed, etc.) Domestic traffic to LAX is diverted to another local airport; Int'l incoming traffic to LAX are being diverted to Canada.

The phone rings. It's early, very early. Turns out it's the voice of a friend who lives here in town. "We're under attack," she says. And tells me of the world trade center and pentagon attacks. And invites me to go over to watch it on TV.

The first racing thoughts —indeed these are my first waking thoughts; I was asleep before the fone rang—are: am I safe? Can I go anywhere?

I turn on NPR, start hearing the reports.

...more thoughts... of where people are, my family, my friends. Safety, safety, I enclose them with wordless prayer-embraces.

Hearing eyewitness accounts, and the shift of news broadcast into full crisis coverage, what Dave at Time's Shadow refers to as 'instant analysis.'

I'm of two minds... do I want to be tethered to that kinda moment-by-moment news? After all, the main story will be repeated many times here on the west coast as people wake up.

I want some normalcy in my day. Something, anything that's normal. Because today's a very un-normal day.

Showering... getting dressed... waking up my computer....eating, drinking hot beverages...breathing...tying up the phone lines talking to people.... praying... these are the ways we cope.

Oh, and surfing weblogs (which aren't jammed like the news sites).