Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9/11 story

[Written 9/11/09]

When 9/11 happened, I was in 8th grade. It was the beginning of the school year and we had just taken our English diagnostic test. We were going up the stairs and talking about all the questions and which answers we put down, typical nerdiness after a test. We get to the 3rd floor and we see our 6th grade English teacher taking pictures out the window. Why is he taking pictures? He said something along the lines of "Don't tell anyone I told you but two planes just hit the Twin Tower." I remember looking out the window, seeing smoke, and not getting the importance of it. I shrugged it off and went to Math. We sat down in class but the teacher did not teach us anything. She had the radio on low and was running around talking to the other teachers. Pretty soon, they called us all down to the auditorium. Our principal, Mr. [insertItaliannamehere], told us what happened and that they were contacting out parents. I started freaking out. Both my parents were in Manhattan that day.

My aunt came and picked up me and my cousin. We went back to her house and watched the news. People were walking in Manhattan down the highway and across the Brooklyn Bridge. I tried calling my mom and sister but the cell phone lines weren't working because they went down with the towers. Again, minor freak out. My other cousin got home from high school fine so I was waiting for my sister. My sister came an hour or two later and I ran and hugged her. She wasn't in Manhattan but let's just say the smoke and dust clouds were strong enough that they reached the part of Brooklyn where she went to school. My mom came a little while later and we all waited for my dad. During that time, my mom told us her story. She went to work and while she was on the train that was riding on the Manhattan Bridge, she saw scraps of metal flying by her. She got to work and the one other person in the office told her to leave. By then, all the trains were down and the only option was to walk. She was one of those people that we saw on the news walking down the West Side highway and Brooklyn Bridge. She was ok, just a little shaken up, and sore.

So, my dad. Didn't hear from him for one day, two days. Then we get a call home. My dad was fine he was just shuttling doctor's back and forth from local hospitals to Ground Zero. He's a bus driver and they needed all the man and buspower they could get to shuttle people back and forth and get the necessary supplies. My dad, like my mom, was fine and shaken up. He came home the next day but wouldn't talk for a little while. I guess he was pretty traumatized and I still have never asked him what he saw on that day.

Basically, 9/11 shook my world. The Twin Towers weren't there when I looked out the window of my junior high school. On my way to swim practice, I could see a cloud of dust over that part of Manhattan as we crossed the Verrazano Bridge. On my way to swim meets, I no longer stuck my head out the window and craned my neck to see how tall the towers were. Whenever I watch Friends, I get a pang because I know the Twin Towers are no longer there. New movies focus on Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State or Chrysler building when they show NYC. But one thing I realize is that nothing can replace the Twin Towers.

You know, maybe that's why New Yorkers have such New York pride. For that day, month, year, everyone was united. Everyone needed everyone. Everyone respected the police officers and the fire fighters. Everyone paid their respect for those that died in unimaginable ways. Everyone understood that 9/11 is a day that so many of us will never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The BBC 100

I'll get started.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling finished the day after the last one :(
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee school
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell school
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien school
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger school
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald school
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
from another list: 36 A Wrinkle in Time- Madeleine L'Engle
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini leisure :) + A Thousand Splendid Suns - high
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown leisure :)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery [don't remember]
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding started in school, didn't finish...
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel school [and maggie and i agree, it was real!]
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen leisure
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens; school but far too young. reread!
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck school
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett reread! hmm. did i only read abridged version...?
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath school
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White should reread
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery should read in French for bonus points!
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl back in the day :)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

wow, pathetic.  As of 9/10/11, I've read 14/~100.
Recent/upcoming books
Twilight - finished 9/7/11
New Moon
Pride & Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Breaking Dawn

New York Fashion Week

Watched the Vivienne Tam line in the background while I was studying Cardiovascular Physiology.  Then, youtube helped me discover Jessica White talking about this bathing suit.  Maybe I should've worn it to Hawaii.
Jessica White modeling Chloe designed by Stella McCartney

Now, I can't watch too much of NYFW on youtube because a) i need to study and b) those models make me feel so large (and not in charge).

Anyone know how to look up the models?

ANTM All-Stars this Wednesday :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Haiti helping Haiti

Haiti aims to spread people, jobs across country

While I was in Haiti, one of the things that continuously bothered me was the amount of foreign aid workers in the country.  Driving through the capital, I saw numerous UN security vehicles and only one Haitian police car.  I didn't see any in the small town I was in but that was to be expected.  Volunteer teams come to the hospital, foreigners set up different places for Haitians to work and a senior citizen's home.  I kept asking myself when is Haiti going to help Haiti?

I guess it's happening and that article makes me very excited.  I know it's not easy to move away from the capital, the place that you call home, especially when it has everything you need.  Multiple times, we had to send patients to specialists in the hospital.  On the drive to and from the hospital, the drivers often had to run errands to get supplies that could only be found in larger cities.  But at least encouraging people to move out might gives more people a chance to find jobs, actually attend school, and decrowd Port-au-Prince.  It was sad seeing the capital in the state that it was, the tent cities seemed to go for miles and miles.  I wasn't sure how they were planning on rebuilding if there were so many people staying put.  Also, from the medical side, the spread of infections just seems to simple in a place that was that crowded.

taken by me/Herman

I didn't know that "Papa Doc" tried to destroy the countryside by destroying the roads.  The roads in Haiti were another story, but I just attributed that to the earthquake.  On my way back to PAP to go to the airport, I saw that they were doing construction on the roads in PAP which made me glad.  Progress :)

I really can't wait to go back, I just hope I get the chance.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ghent Challenger Cup

I only tuned in in time for BB finals although it's proving to be interesting.

Tatiana Solovyova of Russia did a free aerial to scale, a nice modification on the "Nastia" move.

Mariya Livchikova of Ukraine had some really nice moves. She did a free aerial directly to a front tuck. Right before her arabian, she did a split in handstand. I thought she connected more things but I guess not.

Komova was alright. She lands her front tuck so nicely but sadly she fell on her acrobatic series. Her arabian also seems a lot less labored, like she floats into it the same way she does every other move. She stuck her landing but she's not very happy.

Some very interesting choreo right before the dismount for the Greek, Stefani Bismpikou. Reminds me a little of Alicia mixed with Mustafina - I got sass, watch out!

Jeez, as much as I love bars, mens high bars is proving to be very scary to watch...

Valeria Maksiuta of Ukraine was off so quickly on a split leap :( Maybe the beam is slippery, I'm sure. And those were some open legs on her double pike dismount.

Luisa Galiulina has nice quality wolf turns.


Mariya Livchikova - Her music is very pretty and her choreo is going along well with it. Are you allowed to roll out of your turns the way she rolled out of her Memmel turn? I love when people "ending with the music" is get into position and then flick hands on cue haha.

Not gonna lie, I hope JYY has a new routine. Oh, that was horrendous - incomplete triple twist, low on double pike dismount and takes a huge step and finishes after music. JYY what happened? :( ooh they killed her - 12.025/5.1

[I didn't know you could just throw yourself off of pommel horse like that...]

DDS - springs in her legs! Let's see. I think that was an attempt at a leap after landing. Girlfriend needs to lay off the caffeine... Her routine made me smile, girlfriend still has springs in her legs!

Gaelle Mys - I need to watch again but it seemed like it had a spark :)

Aderteg reminded me of Nastia/Polina S. Maybe it's the pink and the blonde hair. Nastia, however, would never be caught dead with that kind of choreography.

Maria Paseka - on the Russian Worlds team - fell out of her Memmel turn. I like the portion of the music she chooses to dance to. Otherise, it's not doing it for me.

And now they're playing Michael Jackson.

Darya Elizarova - Incomplete twists have now officially terrified me. She just smirked and I couldn't tell if it was an actual smil or if she messed up. A few steps off her double pike. Hmm, what's she gonna finish with? Split series to end, interesting. I like that it was different

Adrian Gomes
1. 1.5TY - plum in middle, pretty damn good, huge smile from gymnast and huge hug from coach.
2. FHS on pike half off, step

ugh, I hate still rings. I also worry the gymnasts are gonna strangle themselves or break something if they get caught in the rings when they dismount.

Maria Paseka
1. DTY - she has really long strides on her run, low chest on landing and side step outside white line. Russian legs though...
2. bad at naming vaults, ro 1/2 on, pike 1/2 off? no idea haha.

Alexa Madina Moreno
1. how strong are you? too strong! FHS 1 1/2. land sideways and takes large step(s) off mat. (6.3)
2. tsuk full another big step. (5.2)

Jade Barbosa
1. DTY - stepped back diagonally. i don't like her makeup... and i think she should put her hair in a bun not just a pony tail.
2. YYL and JYY fake their smiles better than that - ro 1/2 on, layout 1/2 off - big step back but otherwise looked good

Alina Fomenko
1. 1.5TY - low landing, then twisted the side and put hands down. (5.3/7.5)
2. handspring front pike - steps forward but otherwise good (4.8/8.55) Did someone say she looked like Payson Keeler?

OK girl, enough spit already... runs to side, that seems way easier to do NOT on a podium. she reminds me of macko
1. 1.5TY - i think it was worth it for her to balk. 2 small steps forward but good form in air and lands in middle. (5.3/8.775 - 13.075)
2. FHS 1/2 - really nice. a little off center but good form in air (5.8/8.825 - 13.825)

cool - a guy from Jordan, but I still can't handle still rings.

Valeriia Maksiuta (14.025)
1. DTY low landing/deep squad - steps to side, off mat (5.8/8.375/-.3 = 13.875)
2. FSH full? nice! large step forward and bent knees in flight but apparently she fell in prelims. upgade! (5.5/8.675=14.175)

Angel Wong (7th - 13.688)
1. tsuk full? slight pike (5.2/8.550 = 13.750)
2. FHS 1/2 pike off - nice! almost stuck landing, small hop back. (5.0/8.625 = 13.625)