My story isn't groundbreaking or heartbreaking. It's not admirable or heroic. It might not even be that interesting. Aside from a canceled senior trip to Europe, I wasn't affected. But on a day when I was asked to stop for a moment of reflection in the produce section of the grocery store and The Sounds of Silence feels like it's on repeat, no other story seems worth telling.

I was a senior in high school and overjoyed when my world history teacher left class to fetch copies of Hammurabi's code. The best part? He was gone for over thirty minutes. When he finally returned, he told us that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

At this point, I was sure it was just a terrible accident. The World Trade Center meant nothing to me other than a few more giant buildings in a sea of skyscrapers that impressed me in movie after movie. I don't think I knew anything about terrorists, and I certainly didn't know that the WTC had a history of terrorism.

We may have gotten out of school early, I can't remember - the rest of the day is a blur. But I'll always remember one moment that afternoon, sitting in front of my best friend's TV, and finally realizing the severity of what had happened: TRL wasn't on. Even MTV - the place I went to drown out my problems with boy bands and pop stars - had cancelled their programming. 

Stuck in traffic on the interstate back to my house, I listened to the radio rehash the events of the day and looked around at the other cars. I had an overwhelming feeling that we were all listening to the same thing. It was surreal but at the same time a precursor to the sense of solidarity that now, ten years later, it seems like people miss.

My heart goes out to anyone whose story is heartbreaking or heroic. 

Two blog posts I loved today:

*I was taking photography my senior year, and our teacher suggested we capture patriotic images. Comforting to see my choice of subject hasn't changed.

more nostalgia

Forgive me for this incredibly random post.

When I was writing my last post, I started thinking about all of the things I've ripped out of magazines. I wondered if I could remember, in my long history as a magazine consumer, the very first thing that screamed at me to be placed on my wall.

I remembered immediately.

I think this may be the exact poster I tore out of Bop magazine in the 90's.

I've started to realize that when my friends were kids, they were catching up on classics like Dirty Dancing or The Breakfast Club. Not me - I was a fan of the juvenile sports movies. Little Big League, Angels in the Outfield, Little Giants, and the best one of all: Rookie of the Year. With my long, easily fumbled last name, I felt a special connection to Henry Rowengartner. Thomas Ian Nicholas lived (in poster form) to the right of my canopy bed for a long time circa 1990-something. (FYI, said canopy bed 's bedding was covered in rows and rows of primary colored hearts. I possibly was too old for my bedding.)

Eventually, Thomas Ian Nicholas was replaced by a few of my other true loves:

Does the phrase "Can I keep you?" make anyone else giddy? I can't possibly be the only girl-child of the 90s to wear out my VHS copy of Casper by rewinding to the part where he turns into a boy.

How unoriginal, right? What girl didn't stay up all night wishing she would win a pair of JTT's autographed shoes from Bop magazine? What? That's just me?

Do tell: whose Bop (or Big Bopper, if that was your drug of choice) centerfold was on your wall?

All photos in this post are from ztams.com. Bosses of anyone who came of age in the 80s and 90s, I apologize for making my readers/your employees aware of this site because they could probably spend hours there. The best part is that whoever labeled the pictures was clearly very excited and went out of their way to make the visitor feel very creepy. For instance, that Thomas Ian Nicholas poster was labeled "YOUNG BOY!!!!!!"

my new year's eve was adequately sparkly

I've finally realized that New Year's Eve will never be what it once was for me: hundreds of friends that I haven't seen in months meeting up on Bourbon Street for two unforgettable nights. No more trading compliments with transvestites in bar bathrooms; no more walks through the French Quarter that take 5 minutes but feel like hours; no more champagne toasts with brass bands playing Auld Lang Syne in the background (I remember it sounding like this); no more 2 am breakfasts of beignets and hot chocolate; no more sleeping on the floor of New Orleans mansions.

I think I'm starting to be okay with this.

But one more New Orleans New Year's Eve couldn't hurt, right? Next year in New Orleans?

Happy 2011, everyone!

P.S. Ike wore a hat and tie to our party and gave me death stares the entire night.

{photos from our small but fun New Year's Eve party}

this post is not funny.

The weather this morning was dreary and gross, which immediately made me think of Ireland. I know you're jealous -- not many people can say dreary and gross remind them of their honeymoon.

I'm still looking for the perfect souvenir from Ireland - I pretty much gave up while we were there. I wasn't in the market for any leprechaun or sheep paraphernalia, the shamrock stuff was overdone and cheap, and I don't like Guiness.

Funnily enough, you don't actually have to go anywhere to find cool stuff to remind you of foreign lands. Due to my recent blog addiction, I've been coming across some really cool art celebrating different cities and countries. Annnd... I want it all.

can make these "I heart ___" necklaces for any city, state, or country. I'm going to need Ireland, Oregon, and Louisiana, to start.

JHill Design not only has these "A Toast To ___" prints as seen above (I think my favorite is England), they also have this modern world map that I would love to use as a "here's where we've been" board, I just don't think I could bear to stick pins in it.

JHill design also has city prints like the one above for over 40 cities. I love
Austin, Rome, Portland, and Pittsburgh. I can't wait to see what they come up with for New Orleans.

Ireland isn't represented here (yet).. and I have no idea if these are even for sale, but I love these Google Street View sketches.

Ork Posters has a select few neighborhood prints, which I like, but they also have the heart and the brain for Yoni's Weird Science Prints collection.

And finally, I just learned about David Klein, the artist who did the TWA ads from the 50's and 60s'. Some of these, like Israel, are available as posters from art.com.

And since I feel like I owe my 12 followers (8 of whom are Yoni's alter egos) a funny story, I'll leave you with this recycled post from our travel blog.