Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Thursday, August 10, 2006

Welcome To The Couch...Sit on Down and get comfy...
A late post today due to a number of appointments. I am home again, as my freelance assignment has ended.

That said, the posts should be more timely during the day until that changes.

Our world is in an uproar again today with the arrests in England, halting what is being called the next 9/11 terror plot.

Was this planned to coincide with the release this week of Oliver Stone's new movie?

Waking this morning to hear the threat level had been posted as Red on all flights to and from Britain (and Orange for all other flights) was a scary feeling. This is the first time a Red Alert had been put into effect since the new threat assessments have been put into place.

Living in the New York area and having been in New York City on 9/11, you immediately feel fear at this situation. Of course, you don't have to live in NY to feel this fear - but it certainly does effect us and those in Washington differently then the rest of the country.

Side note, the license plate on my car is eerie in that it is
RF-911T (I now think of it as Remember Forever - 9/11 Terrorism, though I have had it since 1997)

This new movie. I have read reviews that call it well done. I am sorry, but I am not ready to watch any fictional or historical or even documentary accounts of that day. If any images of the towers come on the TV, I still turn my head. I saw it live...once was enough.

From 1992 - 2000 or so, I traveled often for business; up to 125,000 miles a year at points. Getting through airports was difficult only as far as dealing with those leisure travelers who were clueless as to airport etiquette.

Any time I needed to travel around a holiday, I knew I would be delayed because mom and dad and the kids would be causing situations.

I remember being in Kansas City, waiting to board a flight home. I believe it was around the Easter holiday, so families were making their way to relatives homes to celebrate.
They began to board the flight. Of course, no one listens to the announcement to board by rows and everyone pushes toward the gate. I had arrived a bit late, so I missed the first-class boarding call - when you fly that often, you are always upgraded for free - so I just moved toward the line and begin to wait. Up ahead a woman has 2 kids in tow. More carry-on then they should have. As she approaches the gate agent, I hear her say "See that man back there (behind me she points), my husband has the boarding passes." I turn quickly and see "hubby" with another two kids and more carry-ons. The gate attendant asks her to move aside, but, of course, instead "mom" waves to hubby.."Dear..come on up I need the boarding passes." He proceeds to push his way forward with the kids and bags, no regard for anyone else...ARG!

This was the extent of "horrible travel" back then and now, I look back and feel silly for thinking it was an inconvenience.

I have traveled some since 9/11 and, as anyone who has been on a plane knows, the rules changed. Security lines are twice as long. You need to take your shoes off. You need to take laptops out. I begin to ready myself as I get on line. Keys into my briefcase, followed by cellphone and moneyclip. Belt comes off and is wrapped around my neck until I get one of those ubiquitous grey bins and it is then deposited there. I try and wear a loafer-type shoe so they slip on and off easily. Jacket comes off (I have always worn a jacket while traveling - even for pleasure...just the way I am), and then I am prepared to move through the detection device.

Then, cigarette lighters were banned. You pass the bins with hundreds of them tossed in. Did Bic Lighter Company lobby for this new rule?

All in all, I have always felt these were minor inconveniences that helped guarantee my safety and the safety of others flying. Big deal..get to the airport 1/2 hour earlier, and just let it roll off your back. Then there are those who still don't have a clue and bitch and moan at every delay.

Today, the airline industry has changed again. This new plot to reign terror down on our world has added an entirely new list of banned items. All liquids were banned on flights today. That bottle of water you were drinking and were planning on carrying aboard...chug it down. The bottles of rum you bought in Aruba...pack it or lose it. Traveling with just a more taking all those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner from your hotel room. Ladies...if you don't have bags to check, you will be buying perfume when you get to your destination.

They say the only items they allowed are baby formula and medicines and how long before those are banned also?

What does this all mean... truly...most people will no longer be traveling with carry-ons...and in the end, is that such a bad thing?

The last flight I took, with a seat in the forward part of coach (or the cattle-car, as I call it)...well there was no room for my carry-on by the time I boarded. People in row 30 had left theirs in my overhead in row 7...nice to travel with ya pal!

I am shaking my head as I read quotes from an online article from The Associated Press...Folks...I mean - are you freakin' serious:

Kathy McMahon, 49, of Mill Valley, CA, was frantically helping her daughter stuff sunscreen, makeup, contact lens solution and other liquids into every corner of her half-dozen suitcases to be checked as she headed off to college. "I think it's ridiculous," McMahon said. "But we'll do it anyway. What are you going to do?" Well, you can drive Kathy....sheesh.

In Atlanta, Brenda Lee was annoyed with the airport lines and having to remove items from her luggage. The 52-year-old real estate appraiser from Snellville, GA, had to throw away her shampoo, but she said she was keeping her contact lens solution. "I'm not sure it does what they want it to do," she said. "It's all for security, but some things go beyond security." Exactly what goes beyond security Brenda? EXACTLY WHAT?

Happily, most of those interviewed understood the need for the tightened security and just went along for the ride - excuse the pun.

Our world changed 5 years ago...and the change keeps evolving every day...The airlines are impacted horribly and that is not a good thing. How many have gone through re-organizations and bankruptcies in the last five years. How many will not be able to survive another downswing in ridership?

Finding Osama bin Laden will not stop these threats. There is another satanic-soul waiting in the wings. I truly don't think our world will ever be free of individuals who feel their cause is just enough to harm innocent civilians to gain their goals.

One thing you can say about past wars...they were fought by soldiers, and the civilians - for the most part - were not brought into the conflicts. Today, each and every one of us is a soldier in this fight for life.

Moving on...

A friend wrote to me the other day and told me that she enjoyed reading my posts when they "came from the heart" much more then when I "wrote for the masses."
I actually want to get back to those light-hearted posts that give you a smile and a laugh.

This world of ours has more then enough darkness in it.

Next...thank you all (including the aforementioned friend-who refuses to comment and "stay in the shadows") for the response to my dedication posts to Thurman, Uncle Wade and Jerry. you can see, I have "redecorated" THE COUCH again...rewriting the intro at the top and adding a pictorial history of yours truly.

To answer a question asked...the tuxedo was senior prom and - though it appears to be yellow (pictures do fade after a century or two!) in color it was actually white with black accents. The shirt was sky-blue with more ruffles then a debutantes gown and I looked "absolutely mahvelous" in it! LOL

OH...and to illustrate that hot band I was in... well..take a gander!

Wayne on the drums, Al on the keyboards. If memory serves that is Tommy singing, but I am calling on my "in the shadows" friend to confirm that. See, I told you I would draw you out. She was one of our biggest groupies! Oh, and in case you wondered...The band was called

"PEACE OF MYND" was the late 60's, early 70's ya know!

Thanks for sitting on the Couch, hope you enjoyed your stay.

Remember .. Nets For Malaria - - find the big SI's Nothing But Net logo ... Or call 202.887.9040. Every cent goes to buying nets to place over the beds of children in Africa to stomp out Malaria. PLEASE HELP.

Keep that spark of insanity kids...It helps keep you an individual.

9 Of Your Sparks

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. I remember getting ready for work as I normally would--the Today show on as I put on makeup and figured out what I would wear. Matt Lauer was interviewing some author--I have a velcro memory normally but I cannot remember his name--when they broke away to start the coverage of that tragic day. I watched the whole thing unfold--I screamed in outrage--I watched in abject horror-I cried as I drove to my office because I had scheduled appointments.
    But when I got there all we could do was watch the television--no one ever showed that day. By mid afternoon I decided I could not take anymore and left my office--taking refuge in a local bookstore where I knew I could simply escape it all--my mind and heart and soul totally overwhelmed by all I had seen and heard.

    I have family in New York and I spent frantic moments trying to reach them and make sure they were okay. For me--I cannot watch it yet. Don't want to revisit it anymore than I do anytime I see an image of the towers.

    OK-moving on--Love the band pics- and the new banner --cool beans! And Vince the name of the band LMOO!! But then again I sang with a band called The Quack.

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Around here, we call it "The Time the Skies were Silent". After an influx of about 140 planes (astronomical for an airport that saw maybe a dozen arrivals a day) there was nothing. You never hear them until they're gone, you know?

    I live in Atlantic Canada. People who think we weren't deeply affected are mistaken. I was teaching my second period music class when Matthew A., a grade 9 student at the time, came to my door and informed me in a very quiet, serious voice (totally out of character for this young man) that I should turn on the classroom monitor. It scared the shit out of me, because the monitors are intended for severe security measures only. A few minutes later, twenty-three grade 10 students and I watched in disbelief and horror as the first Trade Tower, then the second, collapsed onscreen. At that point, no one knew the exact magnitude of the tragedy, but I remember the tears we all shed that day. I remember feeling inadequate to give the comfort my students needed when I was battling tears and horror myself.

    We did what we could. Human decency required that we get involved somehow. So we made sandwiches and pots of soup and we delivered them, along with our camping gear and spare bedding to the Coliseum and the YMCA. And when the call came out, we took displaced travellers into our homes because there was literally no place else - the hotels and motels were full, as were the university residences. Even the temporary shelters at the Y and the Coliseum were at capacity. These people were in a state of shock and panic. They could not contact their loved ones and they could not get home. For the first time in history, the border between our countries was closed. The people who stayed with us were stranded for 4 days. It wasn't until late in the second day that they were able to get word to their families. We did what we could to make their stay as comfortable as possible, but nothing could alleviate the anxiety they lived with day after day.

    Sorry about the length of this comment, Vince. Today's events brought it all back in such vivid detail ... I could've written 5 times as much. Don't feel you need to post this - it's too damned long, and I doubt anybody would be interested in my personal reflections on this anyway.

    hugs, Coco

  5. Anonymous Says:
  6. Do you remember that unfortunate time when everyone had a fridge and stove in either goldenrod, or avocado? That was what your tux immediately reminded me of. Glad to hear it was an unoffensive white ... I will never again complain about the current fashions that our teens wear ...

    Love the pics of your band. So young, so earnest ... where'd the name come from, do you remember?

    hugs, Coco (couldn't put this with the other comment - would have seemed disrespectful)

  7. Unknown Says:
  8. I'm gonna try to leave a comment again...

    I remember 9/11 too. I remember wanting to get home to my daughter and just watch TV and cry. It's funny how feelings fade over it doesn't feel the same.

    Anyhoo, hugs to my Bond!

  9. Angell Says:
  10. I'm not a resident of the U.S., but I remember 9/11 very vividly. Especially since some of our radio stations were reporting that the CN Tower was next. That terrified me, as I was working a stone's throw from it at the time. I remember sitting in my boss' office watching it on the news. I couldn't take my eyes from the horror on the screen. And then my boss told me, in a very quiet voice, to close up shop and go home. The ride on the subway was the worst because I couldn't get any updates. No signal meant no cell phone, and no radio. And it was eerily silent.

    It still terrifies me, because my uncle was in the city that day, and was on his way to a meeting in one of the offices next to the towers. He was late - God bless whomever it was that kept him on the phone that long. And I had friends who were rehearsing for their Broadway debut in Mamma Mia close by. Tina was actually covered in the dust and debris that came raining down on the city after the planes hit.

    I'm with you Vince - I can't even watch it on tv. I won't be seeing the movie anytime soon. To me, it's like when they made the Karla Homolka movie - some things are just better left in the vaults.


    PS - Coco, what a wonderful comment. HUGS from your favourite Torontonian.

  11. Anonymous Says:
  12. OMgosh. Coco, I am in tears. It, to me, could've just happened hours ago....not 5 years ago.

    Bond, the same, buddy. This could've happened earlier today, the images to me are still so vivid. And, like you, I cannot bear to watch Nick do his thing in Oliver's new movie. My heart cannot take it.

    Does anyone remember the DeNiro special CBS ran, I think, a year after 9/11/01? That was the last documentary I've been able to handle. I woke the girls up from their sleep that night, hugging them so tight they were complaining, after that show was over a mere year later.

    Airports. It was a zoo getting out of Orlando in May. But it's in other countries as well. We took a cruise out of San Juan last Spring when I was 6 mos. pregnant with Channy-Chan. THOSE security procedures were outrageously tedious. No matter how many times I remind my husband NOT to put his pocketknife in his pocket.....doggone if he doesn't lose one every time we fly!!! It's an appendage to him that I never quite fathom.

  13. Anonymous Says:
  14. I love your timeline pix!!! We should all do that. Wouldn't that be fun?

  15. Turn: Thank you for your memories

    Coco 1: How could I not post those personal thoughts. I did not mean to imply 9/11 did not afect others, just that those in NYC and Washington, DC lived it live. I did forget that many planes ended up in New Brunswick, your home, and that the citizens there opened their homes and hearts to those stranded travelers. What wonderful neighbors we have up north.

    Coco 2: Yes, I rmemebr the avocado and golden rod appliances... eeeew
    The band name... was just something silly we played with and decided upon.. not sure it ever meant anything other then to be "cool and hippie" LOL

    Dana: I am glad for some the memory fades.. for some it never will

    Angell: Thanks for your memories...

    All: I was going to post my memories of that day being in NYC, but I think i will wait until next month to do so.

  16. I remember that day oh so well. I had gotten up, called my Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday, did my normal routine and left for work. I have a hour commute one way and just as I was almost to work, I heard the DJ on the radion say that it appeared that a plane just flew into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. I immediately thought, oh my lord. When I got to work, they had several televisions on and was showing the plane hitting the tower and the next thing I know I see this plane, from out of no where slamming into the other tower. I could not believe what I had just witnessed. Never in my life had I seen anything like this and I hope and pray that nothing like this ever happens again.

    Oh Vince, I remember seeing my older brother in a Tux exactly like the one you have on. *wink* Sure hope they don't come back in style.

    Oh, as soon as I get caught up from what work I missed yesterday, I will post a recap of last nights show in Nashville. Lets just say that my talking is limited today. :-) Taylor was AWESOME!


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