i downloaded some tunes at work today. jay-z's "h to the izzo" and snoop doggy dogg's "gin and juice." my musical taste has changed. i was humming "h to the izzo, v to the izza" in the shower. now if only somebody can help me decipher what that song means!

i met one of my neighbor's today. funny, i live someplace for 17 years, yet only now am i meeting one of my neighbors. actually, it's this old guy that i see all the time. tall, skinny, glasses, wears a baseball cap, wanders around the neighborhood a lot. i thought maybe he was the friend of one of the many senior citizens who lives around me since occasionally i see him mowing that neighbor's lawn (turns out, he actually lives there, go figure). i see him in the morning, and he never talks, but pantomines what he's thinking. he'll give me the thumbs up, or pretends to be typing to signify that i'm going to work. coming home early, i bumped into him, and he spoke to me for a change, a rarity. "how're you doing?" he said. "swell!" i responded. "what's your name?" he said. "tony. what's yours?" i said. "bob," he replied. he told me he had two computers, a hewlett-packard and a generic pc. he told me he's online, e-mailing, doing the internet. he then tells me he gets pictures, and says, "you should see some of these pictures! wooh!" and what did i say? "nice!" was i sharing a moment with this elderly gentleman? the internet brings people together, and likewise photos of nekkid ladies.

occasionally i can hear a fighter jet flying overhead. how do i know it's a fighter jet? well, there's no commercial traffic until tomorrow afternoon, and fighter jet's made a louder roaring noise unlike a regular plane. it sounds like the howling of a harsh winterstorm, that's what it sounds like to me.




my thoughts are so complex about the current situation, i don't know if i can commit them to words, that i can do a good job expressing myself entirely and honestly.

terrorists attacked america today on multiple fronts. two passenger planes fly into the world trade center, bringing down both twin towers, leaving lower manhattan covered in a cloud of dust. another plane lands on the pentagon. yet another goes down somewhere in the pennsylvanian woods. just one plane hijacking would be bad enough. to have four on the same day almost simultaneously, and then to have those planes be used as guided missiles to attack further targets, that's something completely new and completely scary.

the most shocking thing is the destruction of the world trade center. plane hijackings, we've all seen before in the past. a side of the pentagon getting blown up, that's almost like a military target being hit, not that shocking. but the world trade center. 50,000 people work there? to see that whole tower disappear from the nyc skyline, the number of people, the lives, just taken away like that, that's nothing we've ever seen. they still don't have an exact death toll for the world trade center, but i'm thinking at least 10,000 dead.

i was at the dentist today, i didn't realize what was happening. while i was getting my teeth cleaned in boston, all this was going. i left the dentist office feeling pretty good, i even bought a bouquet of sunflowers. when i entered the office, i saw people crowded around somewhere, and i hear the radio on, broadcasting some news. my immediate thought was, did something happen? but i never thought it would be of this magnitude. i went to my work area, put down my flowers, and dan came up to me and said, "did you see the photo?" i thought maybe he was talking about another one of his controversial photoshopped images, so i went around the desk with a smile to take a look. on his computer was a browser opened to a page with a photo of some buildings with an explosion. "a plane hit the world trade center. minutes later, another plane hit the second tower," he said. initially i thought he was joking, but then it all made sense, how there seems to be a quietness in the office while everyone was listening to the radio. i leaned against the wall and shook my head, total disbelief.

so everyone was just monitoring websites and listening to the radio. one world trade tower collapses. then the other. all commercial flights suspended. sarah let people into her apartment across the street so they can watch the coverage on television. todd came by around noon and said we could leave if we wanted to, since there was a rumor that the mbta would be shut down. i stayed until 2pm and then i went home. walking to the bus stop, i heard a rumble and saw an f-15 fighter jet fly across the sky. the sight of the military plane made me feel both secure (the power of the us military) and scared (what's going to happen to america?). the mbta was still running, and actually on an increased capacity. by the time i went home though, most of the people who were given the rest of the day off had already gone home, so it was pretty empty. i sat on the train, kind of somber, wrapped up in my own thoughts. i looked at the few people who were also on the train with me. i felt a solidarity with them. despite our differences, in the end, we are all americans.

when i came home there was nothing but terrorism coverage on television. i ate lunch (i bought some linguini with meatballs when i got off the bus), watched the news in bed, and then fell asleep with the afternoon sun coming into my bedroom. it was weird, i sensed the irony. there were all these horrible things happening, but here i was, totally at peace, calm, falling asleep.

i see these attacks as almost natural disasters. true, there's nothing natural about it, man-made through and through, but the number of people dead, the randomness of the event, it's like an earthquake or a tornado. it happens, we deal with it, life goes on. thing is, we can't prevent earthquakes or tornados, but there might be a way to prevent terrorism. perhaps the cost of prevention might be a hard price to pay (for example, loss of some civil liberties, or maybe having to go to war with an as yet unknown terrorist entity responsible for these attacks), but it is possible. so that's the difference.

the two planes that hit the world trade center, they left out of boston. that's kind of frightening, to think that there were or still are terrorist agents walking the streets of boston! not to sound paranoid, but i could've walked by a terrorist and not even know it!

another thing i thought about immediately was my trip to turkey in less than 2 weeks. would this trip get cancelled? will there be travel restrictions? i will have to contact ayse, see what's going on. i feel sort of guilty though, here was this great tragedy happening, and all i could think about was myself.

i'm going to still live my life the same way i've been living. i think that's what the terrorists want, to have americans be afraid, to shut down our country. but i'm not going to let it affect me. i'm definitely concerned about the current situation, but i am not going to barricade myself and hide just because of this.

i woke up early for an 8:30am dentist appointment in boston. anytime i commute differently from my normal time is an interesting experience. i recognized no one on the bus -- i usually recognize a few faces when i run at my usual time.

i got to the dentist office and went right in, sat down on the familiar reclining dental chair. old friend, we meet again! it's been a while since my last dental visit, about a year and a half ago. doctor huang and i engage in some pre-cleaning chitchat in chinese, talking to him about how the last time i was here i was stilling work at my old company, telling him about my new job now and what i do there.

doctor huang loves the x-ray. something about that high-energy photon with the 0.01 to 10 namometer wavelength just drives him crazy. since 1993, when i first starting coming to him, my head has probably been exposed to more x-ray than i care for. certainly not wanting to break away from tradition, doctor huang took two x-rays of my jaw, right and left, had me chomp down on squares of unexposed film.

with that taken care of, it was time for the cleaning. doctor huang clipped on my bib and with the elbowed vacuum in my gaping mouth, he proceded to work my teeth with the watery dental pick and a mirror. he moved quadrant to quadrant, lower jaw than upper jaw. occasionally it was painful, but it was a strange kind of pain, nerve pain, a kind of tickling sensation that is both unpleasant and slightly pleasureable if that makes any sense. i kept on thinking about the scene in the little shop of horror remake at the dentist office between steve martin's sadistic dentist and bill murray's masochist patient. i stared at the ceiling as doctor huang worked, counting the squiggles and dots on the white corkboard panels. in my mouth i could taste blood. i imagined myself splattered in blood, imagined what doctor huang was seeing. towards the end of the cleaning, when tears were starting to form in my eyes, i imagined myself praying at the temple of dentistry, making a solemn vow to stay away from the sins of sweetness if only i can be spared from future dental pains. i can probably give up candy, i thought to myself. i should grow up, no more binge candy eating anymore.

when the cleaning was over, he showed me my x-rays, and gave me a little dental brush to clean the gaps between my back molars. i left without paying, my dental insurance covering the bill.

i took the elevator downstairs and licked my clean teeth, feeling pretty good. i took the train back to work and bought a bouquet of sunflowers in kendall square. completely on whim, just thought i wanted something to brighten up my already awful nice day.