Where Was I on 9/11? (Vlog)

All-new installment of Legends of the Blackcat where I talk about where I was and what I was doing on 9/11.

 

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Where Was I on 9/11?

             This is a story of perhaps one of the most tragic days in my generation: the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center and also crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C, killing nearly three thousand people, many of whom were first responders. There was also another plane crash near Shanksville, Pennsylvania where passengers made the ultimate sacrifice and thwarted another attack that was rumored to be aimed at the White House. That day was the day that more or less changed America and the way people looked at America forever.
            But this story is not really about the 9/11 attacks at all. This is the story of what I was doing on that tragic day.
            I was still living in Tivoli, located near Red Hook, New York at the time. It was a Tuesday and at the time I was off from my job as a cashier at Stop and Shop, a grocery store that was located in Rhinebeck. The weather was nice that day as well. I started out the morning going up to the barn to feed my sister’s horses. It seemed like it was going to be just another normal day to me.
            Sometime later, I got a phone call from my mother who was working at a pet shop in Red Hook that my family owned at the time. She was asking me if I heard anything about a plane crash in New York City and I obviously hadn’t. I turned on the radio but I couldn’t really hear much so I was still pretty much in the dark for a little while longer.
            It wasn’t until I went into town to do my usual routine on my days off from work that I finally found out what was going on. When I went to the post office to get my mail, I found out that I couldn’t because the country had ordered all federal institutions to be closed down, including post offices, banks and schools. So I couldn’t get my mail that day. Nor could I go to the library to use the Internet. At that time I was not fully active on the whole Internet scene because social media did not really exist at that time. I mainly used the Internet to look up new movies that were coming out. However had Facebook, Twitter and YouTube existed at that time, you could guarantee that this would practically be the main topic everyone would be talking about.
            After dropping off a load of laundry at the Laundromat, I stopped off at Broadway Pizza and also at Milagro’s, a health food deli that was located in Tivoli. They had the TV on and it was there where I finally got my first look at the chaos and devastation that occurred in New York City as the image of the burning towers appeared on the TV.
            On one of the news segments they showed an image of a Boeing 747 jet plane smashing into the second tower of the World Trade Center. This all happened on national television and it was then that the reporters announced that it was an official terrorist attack on American soil at a magnitude not seen since Pearl Harbor during World War II, a day that came to be known as “the day of infamy.”
            My initial reaction when I saw the plane smash into the South Tower was “Is this shit for real?” To some, people assumed that the footage of an airliner crashing into the Twin Towers looked like it could have been part of an action movie that was filming. However, the devastation proved to be all too real. People were shocked, devastated but at the same time they were cheering on the first responders (police, paramedics and the fire department officials that arrived on the scene in an attempt to rescue survivors when the towers collapsed and later when rescuers from all around the country converged on the remains of the World Trade Center.
            In the days that followed, I watched the news because that’s what was on 24/7 during the remainder of that week and this was also at a time when I still had cable TV. I bought the newspapers that were out during the week. During that week, I along with the rest of the country learned all about the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden and so on and that the attacks were directed at us because Al Qaeda hated everything America stood for, namely freedom. I watched the speech where then-President George W. Bush declared a “war on terror” against Al Qaeda and all terrorist organizations throughout the world. The first target was the Taliban because Afghanistan was the country harboring Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Shortly after the attacks, Americans felt a wave of patriotism that had not been seen before or since.
            However at the same time, America changed even more in the years after 9/11. More organizations were created for the purpose of security, including the Department of Homeland Security. Bin Laden was eventually tracked down and killed by Navy SEALs in 2011. We have been through a recession, two wars, another very controversial president (Barack Obama) and more social, political and economic problems than you can shake a fist at. Our international standing is not what it used to be and the country is more divided than it used to be. And we are on the verge of another election year where we will have to select a new president and one of the candidates is a woman (Hillary Rodham Clinton) who I definitely will not be voting for because I hate everything she stands for and I will just leave it at that.
            As far as I go, 9/11 didn’t really affect me all that much. I didn’t have any relatives or anyone I know that died on that day, either as a bystander or as part of the rescue teams trying to save others. For me life went on as usual but it was a minor deciding factor for my family moving out of the Red Hook area a year later after all the city people started moving up to the area in the months afterward. However, 9/11 did have a positive significance for me because my youngest nephew was born on that day in 2007.
            Unfortunately, this is going to be a short story about a national tragedy because it did not affect me at all. The reason why I decided to write this was because I felt obligated to get a 9/11 story out there and this probably would not be a memoir if I did not include a story about what I was doing on my generation’s “day of infamy.”

 

Humanity Ends in 10 Years!

Here is the latest Q & A vlog featuring yet more questions from my Formspring account and my Myyearbook.com. Anyway, let’s get started.

Q: What’s the story behind your Formspring username, which is as always, Blackcatloner?

A: It’s the same name I have used on all my Internet accounts since I created my email address in 2005. “Blackcatloner” is defined as “One lone cat against a big bad world,” but it’s basically the definition of my life to date.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: A cashier at Grand Union in Rhinebeck, NY. I worked there from September 1997 until March 2001 when it became Stop and Shop (same building as GU) where I worked from March 2001 until I moved to Central New York in September 2002.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

A: All my accomplishments online (blogging, YouTube, etc.)

Q: What’s the worst show on TV?

A: Teen Mom.

Q: Would you rather be the best player on a losing team or the worst player on a winning team?

A: Worst player on a winning team.

Q: What three things do you think will become obsolete in the next ten years?

A: Marriage, television, and not sure what else, although a co-worker I added on Facebook suggested that humanity as we know it will become extinct in ten years. I can see where that’s going.

Q: Would you rather swim in a pool or the ocean?

A: The ocean.

Q: Cats or dogs?

A: Cats.

Q: What historical time period would you most like to visit?

A: The future.

Q: If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

A: Now that you mention it, I have been considering legally changing my name to Blackcatloner.

Q: Where’s your favorite place to buy clothes?

A: Yard sales and rummage sales at churches, which is actually the only time anyone should go to church.

Q: Would you rather be really hot or really cold?

A: Really hot because as I always say: “Hot weather brings out hot chicks.”

Q: What do you think about formspring.me so far?

A: I think it’s really awesome, especially since it gives me material for my Q & A videos on YouTube.

Q: What movie can you watch again and again and never get sick of it?

A: Taxi Driver. I could watch that DVD over and over and over and over again. It’s a really good movie and it only gets a bad rap because of that Hinckley douchebag who tried to kill then-President Reagan so he could score with Jodie Foster.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?

A: Seeing Empire Strikes Back (the original version) when I was 2 years old.

Q: What TV show do you wish would go off the air for good?

A: Barney. Apparently they still haven’t killed that purple dinosaur yet.

Q: Who and when was your first kiss?

A: No comment.

Q: Who’s the funniest person you know?

A: My friend JJ aka jjthefunnyguy.

Q: Do you believe in fate?

A: Sometimes.

Q: What celebrity would play you in a movie about your life?

A: Noone plays Blackcatloner but me, got it?

Q: What’s the best way to relax after a long day?

A: Hang out online.

And now on to the Myyearbook questions:

Q: What’s the best place to pick up someone?

A: The Internet.

Q: Are you glad Bin Laden is dead?

A: Hell, yeah!

Q: Whopper or Big Mac?

A: I like both of them. I haven’t really had a Whopper in eons because they’ve gotten pretty expensive, but Big Macs are pretty good, especially without cheese. I am not a fan of American or cheddar cheese. I am more of a fan of Italian cheeses instead.

Q: Are you on Facebook?

A: Is water wet? lol. facebook.com/blackcatloner

Q: Should you believe a chronic liar if he admits that he is a chronic liar?

A: Well, if he/she admits it, then yeah.

Q: Is New York boring to you?

A: It can be. After all, I’ve lived in New York State all my life. And it doesn’t look like I’m leaving anytime soon.

Rot In Hell, Mr. Bin Laden

Well, I’m sure by now everyone has heard the good news. Last night, President Obama held a late-night news conference saying that Osama Bin Laden, mastermind behind 9/11 and one of the most evil men in the history of the free world, has been killed by US forces during an invasion of his compound in Pakistan. I was originally planning to do a video of this on YouTube but then since I was tired from work last night, I decided that a written blog would be better.

There is a hint of irony as far as the date May 1, when Osama was officially confirmed dead. Also on that date in 1945, another evil man was officially declared dead and of course I am talking about Adolf Hitler, whose body was found by Allied forces a day after he committed suicide rather than face justice for crimes against humanity. As far as Bin Laden goes, justice has officially been done. And the fact that this news comes four months before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 makes this major victory much better.

So I just want to take this time to thank all the troops who have risked everything and continue to put their lives on the line to keep people like you and me safe. And now, I like to take the time for everyone to join me in a moment of silence for Osama Bin Laden so we can give him the respect he deserves: “Good riddance, you evil bastard! May you rot in hell!” Thank you.