Friday, September 30, 2011


Well, tomorrow is the first day of the greatest month invented...OCTOBER! Have always been jealous of people with October birthdays. I mean, you can't really get away with a Halloween themed birthday party in just doesn't and shouldn't happen. Been seriously thinking about doing a real celebration of my half birthday. Gotta throw one more in before the big 3-0 arrives.

What is happening with Elizabeth?

I am still doing voice classes. Working on 'Defying Gravity' for the upcoming recital. Had a private lesson on Belt/Mix today. Fun! Far more difficult to figure out than I thought it would be. Gotta work that tongue FLAT!! No curve, flat flat flat!

Still working at both places.

Still single.

Still 6' tall. I think.

Doing tutoring with my baby cousin Janelle...she's not a baby, but she's the youngest of all my 1st cousins. She's going for music as well.

Oh! Got onto Pottermore FINALLY this week. Was sorted into......wait for it......Gryffindor!! Was somewhat excited about that as well as relieved! It's really interested how evenly the houses are split up...Yeah, it's fun, you should join once the invite goes all public and stuff.

Going home the weekend after Conference. Yay Balloon Fiesta!

Last weekend, General Relief Society Conference, was amazing. President Uchtdorf's talk was just perfect. The Spirit was incredibly thick in the room when he went over #5. So good.

K, updated.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I can't help it. For some reason, this year it is hitting me like a ton of bricks. As far as I know, I didn't know anyone who was killed. And yet I have been the biggest baby this week.

And I've been a bit obsessed. Reading articles, watching videos, listening to 911 tapes, etc. It's awful and horrifying. But it's reminding me of the feelings I felt that day, and the weeks and months afterwards. And I am learning plenty from this obsessiveness that I didn't know before. And however dismal, I am sharing some interesting tidbits I have learned in all this focusing.

On Flight 11, the first to take off, get hijacked and to crash, the hijackers thought they had informed the passengers in the back that the plane had been hijacked and to not attack. The wrong button had been pushed however, and they were talking directly to Air Traffic Control. There is a good chance many of the passengers didn't know until they were flying over New York that there was something wrong. Apparently some thought a medical emergency had happened up wrong. The flight attendant in the back of the plane had been on the phone with American Airlines personal for quite a long time, knowing some of what was going on. At the end, she kept saying 'we are much too low'.

On all the planes, either a flight attendant or two or a passenger had been stabbed. It was really easy to enter the cockpit and to take it over.

The South Tower, the second hit and first to fall, was the only tower where first-responders made it to the damaged floors (as far as I could tell). The plane made a direct hit to the 78th floor, which was a lobby where many were standing, looking at the North Tower and being told to go back to their upper level offices. Few on that floor survived.

In the North Tower, as fire-fighters were rising up into the stairwells, they heard and felt a terrible noise...over their radios they heard 'tower down, tower down' and responded 'what tower?' although they knew...they just couldn't believe it. They thought it was their own tower. At that point, they realized the same fate would meet the North Tower. They sent out an all out evacuation order. They did a quick search of every floor. Some made it to the 7th floor when that same sound came again and the tower came down on them. A small pocket of them survived and walked out on their own feet.

Phones in some cases were still working above the crash sites along with electricity. Some people were on the phone with 911 dispatchers up to the point of the towers falling.

One reason why so many in the North Tower died while less died in the South Tower was because when the first plane hit all the stairwells above it became impassible. In fact, the fireball streamed down at least one of the stairwells and made it down to the bottom of the building, more than 80 floors below, and plumed out on certain other lower floors. In the South Tower, only a few of the stairwells were impassible. And by that time many had started exiting the building anyways.

The Air Force had scrambled a few fighter planes to escort and possibly take down the planes...the problem was that either their transponders had been turned off or they were flying so low they could not be seen on radar.

The passengers on Flight 93 are the most amazing heroes and Americans this country has seen in years! And I can't wait until I can go to the memorial in Pennsylvania to pay my respects.

The morning after, when some returned to Ground Zero, there were hundreds of tiny alarms going off. They were locators for firemen. Firemen who were under the rubble and by that time were all dead. What a terrible, awful sound it is to listen to.

When President Bush arrived in New York and visited Ground Zero, he did an impromptu speech. He started to speak when one in the back said 'We can't hear you'...which at that point President Bush said 'I can hear you!'. I never realized it was a response to one of the workers.

The New York Philharmonic was stuck in Germany. They were on one of the first flights back into the city once the air was reopened for travel in the US. They changed much of what was played that season. That first concert, they play Brahm's Requiem. Today, they are playing Mahler's Resurrection Symphony. Truly fitting.

I associate that baseball season with that terrible day. I didn't realize it until today when I watched some of the videos MLB has put out as a memorial to those attacks. Games were stopped until the 17th, partially due to the fact that the teams couldn't fly anywhere, like the rest of the world. Mike Piazza getting that first home run and the crowd at Shea Stadium going nuts. It wasn't even a Diamondbacks game.

President Bush throwing the first pitch at Game 3 of the World Series from the mound and NOT bouncing it. Couldn't BELIEVE he stayed for the entire game! The Yankees winning those 3 games. I was mad and so glad they did at the same time. Mad because our closer stunk it up in ALL THREE GAMES. Glad...because New York City needed that series to be partially in New York at least. Needed something good to rally around. And in the end, Arizona one in such an amazing bottom of the 9th inning...

We had an American astronaut at the International Space Center at that time. He called down later that morning to do a routine medical check-up. That was when he heard that we were not having a good day on Earth. In the next minutes they were over New England and were able to focus in on NYC and watched the North Tower collapse, although he couldn't really tell from where he was. He saw the Pentagon and it's awful scar.

There are some truly incredible, wonderful, amazing, brave heroes who died that day trying to save others and in a lot of cases being successful.

Where Was I?

I was driving to Arizona State on the 101 Northbound from Chandler. There was still construction going on that I thought would never stop. I was thinking about an assignment that was due that day that I was worried about. I was excited for the Diamondbacks, they were doing so well and had a shot at the World Series. I had the classical station on and the music stopped. NPR came on and announced a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

What did I think? Oh my, a small commuter single engine plane must have had some major problems...I thought how terrible, maybe 20 people had been killed.

I got to the Institute building, was lucky enough to get a parking fact, there were quite a few spots left, which was odd. I walked in...and the TV in the lounge was on. That TV was NEVER on. In fact, there were many times where I wondered why a TV was there in the first place.

I saw the World Trade Center. I could tell from the gaping hole and massive amounts of smoke rising from it that it wasn't some small plane. Minutes later I watched the second plane hit the South Tower. Live. At that moment, the world knew that the United States was under attack.

I tried to get other students in the lunch room/play room/multi-purpose room that were studying for tests that weren't going to happen that day to come watch the TV. 

And then the South Tower fell. And then the Pentagon was shown on TV. The North Tower. A field in Pennsylvania. I watched as thousands of people died that day.

ASU allowed classes to go on, but no one was required to attend classes or was marked down for missing class that day. One of my classmates, who never returned, knew someone who had been killed. I never knew where, how they were related...

As soon as I had access to my email, I emailed my high school friends who were living in NYC asking them to let me know that they hadn't gone on some crazy whim to the WTC that morning. They were both fine and far away.

ASU is just a few miles from Phoenix's major airport, Sky Harbor, so planes coming in low over A Mountain was a normal everyday thing for us, although it unnerved me often enough to see them flying so low. After a few hours, there were no planes in the air. It was eerily quiet on campus the rest of that week. I remember seeing the first plane fly in and watching it with big eyes and a big heart.

Traffic getting home that day was the lightest I had ever seen it at rush hour on that massive construction zone known as the 101 Loop.

I was living with my Grandpa at the time. He and my step-Grandmother were in Canada that day and were supposed to fly home that day or the day after. They ended up finally getting back 2 weeks later, since International flights were at that point, for obvious reasons, under far more scrutiny and under far more restrictions. And because the flights that were reopening had already been booked by other passengers.

I was home alone that night. I cried myself to sleep.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

America's Got Talent

Well, all 4 of my favorite acts got through to the finals, thank GOODNESS...

Landau...I would love it if you won...I would go to Vegas to see your show...I love me an amazing crooner!

Poplyfe...well, their show in the semi-finals in my opinion was better...I just wasn't feeling the Jackson medley like everyone in the audience seemed to be, BUT they are an amazing group and should be in the finals.

Silhouettes...just...amazing...the show last night was incredible. MUCH better than the week before.

And then there's Team iLuminate...just...spectacular...can't imagine how they could do that for 1 1/2 hours in a Vegas act, but other people have in the past, so...

And there's my two bits...just needed to get that out there.

(if you haven't been yourselves a favor and watch next week! Probably the best acts America's Got Talent has ever had...AMAZING!!)