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Author Topic: On This Day: Your History  (Read 71042 times)
Alex
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« Reply #105 on: January 18, 2023, 02:13:55 AM »

18th Jan 2022.

After a few weeks in Fort William, which is a nice place, but very, very wet I was back in Inverness and the hated Mercure hotel. This time my hotel room overlooked the river Ness though. It was also much quieter than my previous room on the other side of the hotel.


18th Jan 2021.

We had a long walk through the town, enjoying the peace and quiet that the pandemic had imposed on the country. Ash got to play in pretty much every park in the village, especially the one at Station Park.

18th Jan 2013.

Finally got around to seeing the new Dredd movie. It was sold out in most of the shops. I enjoyed it and thought it was much better than the Stallone effort. Sadly it would not get a sequel having the misfortune to come out just after The Raid. Talk of a TV series based on the film went on for a few years afterwards, but has so far came to nought. :(
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #106 on: January 18, 2023, 02:08:02 PM »

January 18, 1999 First a long overnight flight, then a 250-mile pre-dawn ride with Jackie, my roommate, who was worried she was too sleepy to drive and so kept the window down the whole distance up I-95, blaring jarring music in the cold air, and I was finally back in college after being away for a long time. It felt like much had changed since I left, yet everything in my bedroom was also just where I left it, as if it’d only been hours and not several months. When we got back an electrical storm hit, and the news said it was only the tenth time a January thunderstorm had been recorded the state since 1820. Since I’d already missed part of the semester, I had to walk straight into class within hours on no sleep, and the egotistical professor had a chip on his shoulder about me “skipping” the beginning two weeks of his course, even though I had the dean’s permission to enter late, and I made up all the work. No matter what I did all term he only gave me a B, the sole B I ever got in biology in college, and I think it was from spite. I remember the first night back I went tiredly to bed, knowing I had a check-in in Boston before the week was out, another long trip down and back, and was struck by the oddity of the life I lived, going from this detail-oriented, high-pressure short-term assignment I’d worked in late 1998 in the United Kingdom---“remember, you’re a predator”---to going home to Ohio filled with relief, only to get dumped there by someone I still absolutely loved, to landing back in school again where some pouting professor could get away with treating me like he had a right to hammer on me at his discretion to soothe his own hubris. I was essentially being spun around from an adult life full of responsibilities, to a kid’s life under a teacher’s thumb, just like that. My existence has rarely been normal.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #107 on: January 19, 2023, 08:30:32 AM »

January 19, 1996 I was a good kid who’d become disillusioned with high school. I still kept up a respectable GPA and would eventually graduate in the upper five-percent of my class----too low according to the program heads---but the day before, Thursday the 18th, I’d skipped going to my least favorite course and had gone down to talk to Jeff, my advisor in the gifted program, which was my school’s claim to fame the way championship football teams were elsewhere, and told him I was 50-50 on walking out of school altogether, which definitely got his attention. His eyes got big and he told me to relax a minute, then he went and got us soft drinks and told me to just keep “playing the game” and get through. I asked him why I should do that, and he stumbled at that question like it was self-obvious, but the truth was I don’t think he’d ever had to answer it since it was assumed everyone in the program had their hearts set on getting into the best universities and excelling there: a goal toward which I was increasingly apathetic.

I liked Jeff but I knew the truth was his job was to keep those of us in the program well-groomed and on-track like we were prized horses. (Or cattle. Or sheep.) He’d asked me to write down what I hated about the school, and I said there was no point to it. Then he asked why after so many years was I feeling this way now so strongly, and I said I guess I’d had enough of the bulls**t.
 
The word hung in the air, I don’t think I entirely meant to say it, but I realized I was going to get away with using it in a school that had zero tolerance for cussing and so much else, and that made me wonder (to my eventual detriment) how far I could push things.

That morning, Friday the 19th, when I came in after all that going on the day before, Jeff called me back to his office and seemed concerned but I didn’t know whether it was genuinely for me or because one of the school’s standouts bailing in the middle of junior year would’ve been bad for its reputation and Jeff’s job. I believe it was both, because we’d known each other for several years at that point and he honestly did care about me, I think.
 
In any case I said no, I didn’t want to talk about the day before, thank you, and yes, I was going to class, so rejoice, Jeff, rejoice. (I talked to the poor man terribly sometimes and he never ratted me out for it.)

I went upstairs to class and ironically this senior boy in a special academic program with me had just gotten his letter of acceptance from Brown, which around there was like what winning a state athletic championship would be for most schools, the Ivy League was a huge deal, the only thing that mattered, really. So we all told that boy congratulations and the principal came in and some Archdiocesan reps showed up to take his picture, which all fed into me thinking the school and especially the gifted program were warped, and once again I wanted to walk away, drive away, leave, never come back to that twisted pressure-cooker that had all-but abused me for years.
 
I made it to the end of the day and drove over to Brian’s house and grabbed him like I was a beast with a thousand arms and I had all this angry energy that came out in a way I am surprised didn’t leave one of us injured but which did make me feel better.

I took a shower there afterward and did something you’re never supposed to do and put my hair into a tail while wet, so it was ridiculous looking the rest of the day. But anyway, after all that I told Brian about my complete burnout with school and not wanting to finish my year there, and he said, “Stick it out, it’s not much longer and next year you’ll be done and you won’t have to spend the rest of your life listening to people saying you quit because you couldn’t take it.”

Couldn’t take it. Right.

He’d gone to a Jesuit academy that had a reputation for being almost like a military school in its rigorous discipline, that’s how I met him when he was a senior and I was a seventh grader already in love with him, and he’d excelled there, so I knew he was telling me this from a place of some degree of understanding, and yes, quitting school would not have made sense.

But my God I hated every minute I had left, and stopped trying to hide it from anyone.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #108 on: January 20, 2023, 08:59:41 AM »

January 20, 1996 The day that marked exactly one year til the end of President Clinton’s first term in office, and one-hundred years since George Burns was born, was also the afternoon we celebrated my Aunt Christie’s forty-sixth birthday a few days late. My boyfriend, who had bonded so well with her that she would actually be more in touch him at the time of his death than I got to be, came with me when a lot of the family met at my grandpa’s house for the event, and in a true miracle my aunt’s selfish son, Adam, showed up with a present for her, shocking me that he even remembered. Adam spent much of the evening glaring at my boyfriend and being his normal s**tty cokehead self, and he told me I had no business bringing someone who wasn’t family, and I said his mom had issued the invitation, which to my amusement made Adam even madder, since while he neglected his mom, he couldn’t stand the idea of her being close with some other male of about his age. While all this was happening the worst flooding in seventeen years had closed low-lying streets, and we had to take “the high road” back. In a year there’d be even worse flooding, the highest river level since 1937, the third highest flood in area history, but not knowing that was coming, we were amazed at how easily the sprawling, earth-colored rivers dispelled any illusions of human control, their rushing roar audible a mile away.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2023, 04:10:31 PM by ER » Logged

What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #109 on: January 21, 2023, 11:40:59 AM »

January 21, 2008 Landon and I were still on our trip, we’d left the UK and entered France, and that day we toured Utah Beach, which interested me but barely moved his needle at all. The guide we’d hired showed us Brecourt Manor from a distance, then some other Band of Brothers sites, including where the infamous German 88’s had been located. One of the more interesting unplanned stops was when we pulled over to see a ruined German fortification that was simply sitting there, unmarked and unadorned, with steel rods sticking dangerously above pitted concrete walls, all slightly submerged in the swallowing earth, with weeds taking root in the cracked concrete itself.  There were also bombardment craters to be seen here and there, never filled in, either because of their meaning or simply because of carelessness, I don’t know which, and walls to houses throughout the Channel-side towns of Normandy were punctuated by bullet markings; I ran my fingers across them and thought about the life or death struggle that had occurred there. We’d missed the edge of a terrible storm that had wrought destruction farther east in Poland and it was all over the news. Back home such a storm would have earned brief mention, sure, but I don’t think Europe was used to devastating weather like we were, and it got coverage usually reserved for something like terrorism.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #110 on: January 22, 2023, 10:58:22 AM »

January 22, 2008 We heard that Heath Ledger died; a shock since he was young and on top of the world. It was another long day spent visiting military sites, and Landon was more than overloaded on them but was being cool about it, though he kept telling me I was the only girl he knew who was interested in such things.

On that day we went south and the tour guide who took us along the Somme battlefields was curt and venal and didn’t seem to like Americans. We saw the massive mine crater at Lochnagar, saw where the German and British front lines were, saw No Man’s Land, found heaps of plowed up combat-junk, and visited the war cemeteries, terrible solemn places, and if you knew what went on amid that same now-tranquil ground in the summer of 1916, there was probably nothing that could’ve prepared you for the overload that arose with thinking of the literally tens of thousands of men who perished in the flat, quiet fields we could safely walk across in our time.

I took some bullet casings, British ones, that were lying on the surface, and a part of some rusty barbed wire, but it also almost felt like a violation to do that, even if there was no restriction against it. (There were even gumball machines that rolled out samples of ninety-year-old shrapnel for a Euro.)

The landlady of the place where we stayed that night was elderly and had lived all her life near the battlefields, and had a grandfather who had fought in the trenches til recurring fevers got him discharged from the French army in 1915. She had incredible stories passed down to her, like her account of the British soldiers who stayed nearby, friendly fellows who were customers at her grandparents’ laundry, and who came and told her grandparents they’d see them soon, then went off in late June 1916 and literally to a man died that summer.

She said when the war ended the multitudes of rats that had lived in the trenches migrated into town and were everywhere for the next year, crawling across people in their beds and eating anything they could get hold of, even crawling up people’s legs at dinner tables trying to get to the food, starving in the absence of corpses in No Man’s Land. She said for decades 1919 was remembered as l'annee des gros chats: the year of fat cats.

She also said there was a German plane that was shot down and fell onto the town, and the German pilot who was dead at the controls had his face caved in by the crash, and his hands were so still tightly gripping the throttle it was hard to pry them off. She had many stories told to her growing up nearby, and it wasn’t like getting these accounts from a history book, it all took place right there, amid people she personally knew, in her own neighborhood just west of the trenches.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #111 on: January 22, 2023, 03:27:06 PM »

January 22, 2008 We heard that Heath Ledger died; a shock since he was young and on top of the world. It was another long day spent visiting military sites, and Landon was more than overloaded on them but was being cool about it, though he kept telling me I was the only girl he knew who was interested in such things.

On that day we went south and the tour guide who took us along the Somme battlefields was curt and venal and didn’t seem to like Americans. We saw the massive mine crater at Lochnagar, saw where the German and British front lines were, saw No Man’s Land, found heaps of plowed up combat-junk, and visited the war cemeteries, terrible solemn places, and if you knew what went on amid that same now-tranquil ground in the summer of 1916, there was probably nothing that could’ve prepared you for the overload that arose with thinking of the literally tens of thousands of men who perished in the flat, quiet fields we could safely walk across in our time.

I took some bullet casings, British ones, that were lying on the surface, and a part of some rusty barbed wire, but it also almost felt like a violation to do that, even if there was no restriction against it. (There were even gumball machines that rolled out samples of ninety-year-old shrapnel for a Euro.)

The landlady of the place where we stayed that night was elderly and had lived all her life near the battlefields, and had a grandfather who had fought in the trenches til recurring fevers got him discharged from the French army in 1915. She had incredible stories passed down to her, like her account of the British soldiers who stayed nearby, friendly fellows who were customers at her grandparents’ laundry, and who came and told her grandparents they’d see them soon, then went off in late June 1916 and literally to a man died that summer.

She said when the war ended the multitudes of rats that had lived in the trenches migrated into town and were everywhere for the next year, crawling across people in their beds and eating anything they could get hold of, even crawling up people’s legs at dinner tables trying to get to the food, starving in the absence of corpses in No Man’s Land. She said for decades 1919 was remembered as l'annee des gros chats: the year of fat cats.

She also said there was a German plane that was shot down and fell onto the town, and the German pilot who was dead at the controls had his face caved in by the crash, and his hands were so still tightly gripping the throttle it was hard to pry them off. She had many stories told to her growing up nearby, and it wasn’t like getting these accounts from a history book, it all took place right there, amid people she personally knew, in her own neighborhood just west of the trenches.


That is a fascinating memory!  I really envy you that experience.
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Alex
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« Reply #112 on: January 22, 2023, 03:39:23 PM »

22nd January 2019.

Ash got his first tooth.
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ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #113 on: January 22, 2023, 04:12:51 PM »

Thanks, indy, but when it comes to going interesting places and finding cool things, you set the standard.  Thumbup
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #114 on: January 23, 2023, 09:30:19 AM »

January 23, 2017 My college roommate, Jackie, who had been married and divorced once, engaged three times, and never had a biological child, was in the process of adopting a little girl named Sophia, who, as a picture showed me but Jackie never mentioned, was bi-racial, and very cute.  Sophia had gotten to come stay with her for a week for the first time, a sort of trial, I think, and I was happy for them both. But in grim news Jackie told me our friend from back in the day, Amy, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer months before, had been moved to a hospice, where as it turned out, she would within days enter a coma and die. Life’s like that, beginnings and endings, often hand in hand.
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Alex
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« Reply #115 on: January 23, 2023, 01:00:34 PM »

23rd January 2016.

I was lying awake in bed, in the early hours of the morning when Kristi suddenly out of nowhere asked me to dance a jig. Being an obliging sort I got out of bed and started dancing and humming a merry tune. Evidently, Kristi had only been semi-awake and my speaking to her woke her up fully. She asked me what the hell I was doing.

Women huh? Just can't get them to be happy.
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But do you understand That none of this will matter Nothing can take your pain away
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #116 on: January 24, 2023, 09:44:11 AM »

January 24, 2004 Came back from working out of town, and the city was in a frantic whirl over a major winter storm coming in mere hours with all the wild energy of a colt let loose in its first meadow. Ice and eight inches of snow were forecast, then more ice on top, a perfect recipe for shutting things down, so per tradition I went to the store to grab snowed-in goodies, then drove to Landon’s house to wait it out with him. Ultimately the storm did roll over us every bit as powerfully as they predicted if not moreso, and we didn’t go anywhere except to walk out onto the Purple People Bridge that spanned the river, and listen to the snow sizzle as it fell into the water---the world was that shut down and quiet---and as night descended we watched the lights on tall buildings in the city blur to Impressionistic smears in the swirling whiteout that made us feel encased inside an overarching snow globe.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #117 on: January 25, 2023, 09:47:14 AM »

January 25, 2020 I was home after unexpectedly being away for two months working, mostly in Turkey, and my family had a makeup Christmas and birthday for me. There is no feeling like coming back after being away, especially if you were worried you might never see your loved ones again. It was a special day, and the best Christmas of my entire life, makeup or not.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #118 on: January 26, 2023, 08:25:52 AM »

January 26, 1996 A week after my 11th grade complaint-fest with my advisor, Jeff, I had another particularly rough day at school, the only school I ever heard of where the better you did, the harder they made it on you. The mood induced by this may have factored into the course of things that evening, when my fella and I went to hear music up by the university, where the garage bands all seemed to think they could best demonstrate their talents by shattering the ear drums of audience members with their loudness.

Brian had two beers in as many hours, and I didn’t have any at all, technically being four years away from legal drinking age, so neither of us was drunk, but on the sidewalk this beat cop called us over and asked us questions and shone a flashlight in our faces and I thought he was going to make us walk straight lines, but after a little more pointless harassment, he let us proceed. Walking off though I said loudly enough for him to hear, “What a dickhead.” Brian cringed but I got away with it, though cops up by the university were notorious bullies.

I think an integral part of being a teenager is sometimes you give people you care about a tough time for no reason, because after the cop encounter I made a big show of wanting to drive us back, knowing Brian didn’t like anyone else driving his car, so I grabbed his keys and slid behind the wheel and stayed there, teasing him at first, then as sometimes happens, it got more serious and I grew determined I would for once drive his precious car, and when he finally said I was on a “Girl Power Power Trip,” I was tempted to not ride with him at all, my mood going from happy to total jerk in the course of about two minutes, though I finally did climb over to the passenger seat and give up.
 
Halfway back I told him I was sorry, and he said not to worry about it, it was funny, and of course him thinking I had been “funny” made me mad all over again, though thankfully I had enough sense to keep that to myself.

Navigating the mercurial moods of a teenage girl is never a pastime for wimps.
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What does not kill me makes me stranger.
ER
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The sleep of reasoner breeds monsters. (sic)


« Reply #119 on: January 27, 2023, 09:51:30 AM »

January 27, 2012 I went out to see The Grey with Sharon, a girl I used to tutor, who went on to become my friend. I was six months pregnant with my youngest and I think that played a role in the movie making me so motion sick I had to get up and walk outside in the cold air. Sharon came with me and I said I was sorry for causing her to miss the film, but she said it was all right. We walked down to a Target nearby and she asked what I thought about Joe Biden’s latest gaff, him imitating the accent of an Indian call center worker, and I said Biden was an ass but I actually didn’t see why it was so bad, and said it’d blow over. (Remember the incident? Me either.) At home my college friend Amy (she who would later die of breast cancer, yes) had emailed me swearing she would come down and shave my head if I did not watch her college’s hockey team play a nationally-televised game the next night. I never cared one way or the other for the sport, but fearing the loss of my ever-problematical hair, I promised her I would.
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