Remembering 9/11, and The Woman Who Wasn’t There

Where were you on 9/11?

I was a junior in high school in Westchester, New York, working on a project for physics in the hallway. I remember what I was wearing: a black Gap favorite T and hot pink capri pants. “Did you know two planes just hit the world trade center?” said a senior walking by. “What?” we said, almost dismissing him. “It’s true,” he said. “They are like, crying, in the front office right now.”

Throughout the day we got more and more updates, each more unsettling than the last, especially because so many peoples’ parents work in the city, and no one’s cell phone was working. Were they dead, or were they safe?

At home, the TV didn’t work either. Just fuzz. I went for an emergency session with my therapist along with my mom and brother. It helped, but for weeks afterward, I felt shaky. Unsafe.

Of course, bad things happen all the time, but always to someone else. Never this close to home. That was what was so scary.

A few weeks ago, I watched this documentary about Tania Head, The Woman Who Wasn’t There. It’s really fascinating how she was able to infiltrate the 9/11 survivors network, even take charge of it, before anyone figured out the truth.

I wasn’t there, but I was close enough.

My Too-Old-for-This-Shit List


There’s an interesting thread over on Reddit: What’s on your “I’m too old for this shit” list? The phrase, I’ve read, is originally from Danny Glover’s character in Lethal Weapon.

Highlights include:

Staying up late, roommates, midnight showings of a new movie, and “Any drinking establishment that requires patrons to wait in line to enter.”

Agreed on all counts.

I’m turning 29 this week, and I’ve put together some things I’m too old for, or, more accurately, not willing to put up with anymore. There are some things in life you’re never too old for, like Degrassi. You’re never too old for Degrassi.

Teen clothing stores.
It has been many moons since I wore anything from Abercrombie, Hollister and the like, but once in a while I’ll get a shirt or something from American Eagle. Sometimes, when my best friend and I are at the mall, we stop in AE because she likes their jeans and button-down shirts. The last time we were there, they had all of these “spring break” style clothes. (First old person thought: most high schoolers do not go on spring break). Teeny-tiny shorts. Sheer tshirts. (How do you wear a bra with that?) Crop tops. (WHY ARE CROP TOPS A THING? Who would wear this?! This is so inappropriate.) I asked my friend if we could go back to adulthood. OK but I really do like this flamingo tshirt though. I will buy ONLINE and ONLINE ALONE!

Having 900+ Facebook friends. 
Some people might disagree with me on this, but a Facebook friend cleanse can be a wonderful thing. I deleted almost everyone I hadn’t spoken to in 2+ years. I was tired of feeling guilty for not keeping in better touch with people from high school or college. A friend cleanse means accepting that you won’t stay close with every friend or acquaintance that you’ve ever had, and that’s OK.

And (perhaps deserving of its own item on the list), I wanted to stop having Facebook friend comparathons with people whose accomplishments and/or bragging made me feel like complete crap. For example: When I was 15, I went to sleepaway camp with two glamorous girls. They were my opposites (rich, popular) and their lives were a source of endless fascination to me. Even though we never became good friends, years later, I still found myself scrolling through their Facebook photos (mostly for the great clothes). Yeah, it must be nice to be rich and have some things handed to you (I say this because I once saw a wall post offering one of them a job in publishing) but what was I doing? I’m too old for this shit, so I deleted them.

Fighting via email or text message.
I have been in many text and email fights, and it’s fair to say that I have won a decent amount of them. It’s satisfying, but not enough to justify being stressed out 24-7, wondering when the next message will hit. I find it more satisfying to just ignore. It’s also a good way to avoid being a Gawker punchline.

Plastic dishes. I bought my first set of ~real~ drinking glasses last summer. Mind=blown.

Shoes or clothes that don’t fit right even if you REALLY like them. Just… no.


What’s on your too-old-for-this-shit list?  


How to Make Time for Reading

Book Snake
Book Snake (Photo credit: cogdogblog)


Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but during my first few years living in New York City, I found that I was hardly reading at all, except for when a new book came out in a series I was already following. I’m always hearing about new (and old) good books to check out, so a few years ago I resolved to spend more time reading. First, I cleaned up my Amazon wishlist and checked out the recommendations. Then, I put some books on hold at the library, so when they came in I would have to go to pick them up and have read them by their due date. It doesn’t always work, but it sometimes does.

Even though I still feel overwhelmed by how much I would like to read vs. how much I actually do read, I’ve noticed a few things that have helped me to read more:

Get in bed before your bedtime. Sometimes you’ll end up falling asleep, sometimes you’ll end up reading.

Use an e-reader. For some reason, I find I have been reading faster since I’ve been downloading books vs. reading paper books. It’s a personal preference, but an e-reader is lighter to carry.

Read on your lunch hour. Find a comfy spot!

Read during your commute. It seems obvious, but a lot of people just play on their phones or send texts. I have a solid half hour to read twice a day, and it adds up. Audiobooks also work well, especially on road trips.

Join Goodreads. There’s something really satisfying about being able to update my reading progress on a book, even if no one sees it, and no matter how small. Goodreads is the MapMyRun of reading. (Find me here).

Sometimes I get annoyed when I’m gushing about a book to a person who says that they just don’t have time to read. -side eye- And although even I often wonder how book reviewers and bloggers manage to read so much, I came across an blogger who gets exactly how I feel. April’s post at Good Books and Good Wine has several useful tips for reading as well. So do the comments. Dude, You TOTALLY Have Time To Read


What are your tips for making time to read?


Link Roundup: A Makeup Experiment, An Amazing Catfish Moment, White Plains’ Unique Personality

Nev Schulman and Kidd Cole cell phone

Fun fact: Bestselling author Sloane Crosley and I are both from White Plains, New York! In this essay, she talks about the city’s “unique personality”: “The pizza on Mamaroneck Avenue, the castle-like middle school, the Irish pubs, the strange mix of housing projects and massive private homes, the multiple malls, the golf courses we used to sneak onto, the student parking lots we used to sneak out of…it was all specific to us.” Second fun fact: no one I met at college thought it was normal for a high school to have security guards. [Westchester Magazine]

College student Brinton Parker did an experiment with makeup by recording how people responded to her while barefaced, wearing natural makeup, and wearing heavy makeup while going about her daily routine. The results weren’t surprising, but I’m glad someone has finally un-scientifically documented this and proved that my perceptions of being treated differently with more makeup on are not just in my head. [Bustle]

On last week’s Catfish, Nev and Max track down a scam artist named Kidd Cole, and he blows them off by pretending to text on his phone. In the most amazing moment of reality TV ever, Nev takes the phone and tosses it over the bridge and into the water, and audiences everywhere, if they’re anything like me, picked our jaws up off the floor and applauded. How is this guy even paying for a cell phone plan? [Tumblr]


This little girl asked for donations to the animal shelter instead of birthday gifts! So sweet. [New Rochelle Humane Society Facebook Page]