Friday, September 11, 2009

Those names have faces...

"Throughout the ages, great buildings have been built to celebrate ingenuity and daring imagination. Great architecture influences the lives of those who use them, or live nearby. They stand for dreams and aspirations, they represent an effort to build a civilization, they become an heritage of pride and a witness of the human drama that unfolds in our daily lives.
Therefore, great buildings have always been targets for those who wage wars. By toppling the temples of a nation, they seek not only to conquer, but to destroy the foundations of a living society…”

Eight years ago, my life was forever impacted by what I woke up to see unfolding on my TV. The events of September 11, 2001 evoked a grief and mourning in me that I had never felt before. I never want to forget the magnitude of what happened on that day and in the days and months that followed. I never want my fellow citizens to forget or diminish those events in their minds. I joined  Project 2,996 to remember and pay tribute to one of the victims and his family this year and for years to come. It is important to remind ourselves that 9/11/01 was more than just a day of terrible events with memories that upset us; that on that day, the lives of real people were taken. There are countless websites with lists of the victims’ names, but on those lists, every single one of those names has a story. Those names belong to people with faces and families and friends.  

Mr. Arkady Zaltsman moved to the United States from Moldova with his wife, Zhanna, and his daughter, Laura in 1990 and settled in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He studied architecture, and contributed to the building of the House of Parliament in Chisinau, Moldova, before moving to the U.S. 

Zaltsman loved New York and, according to his wife, “was very proud to live here.” He made sure to take his visiting guests to the Brooklyn Heights Esplanade to show them his favorite view, overlooking Lower Manhattan. He celebrated his 45th birthday with nearly 100 friends, colleagues, and clients.

In 2000, Zaltsman joined the world-famous architectural and engineering firm, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill as a technical coordinator in the interiors department. Coworkers describe him as detailed, a perfectionist, and “an advocate for the client,” ensuring that designs were carried out in the field. He was meeting with a client on the 105th floor of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Twenty days later, Zaltsman was posthumously promoted to Associate at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill.

Those who knew Arkady remember his love of New York City, his dedication to his work, and the way his face would light up and his eyes would shine when speaking about his wife and daughter.

“…Arkady Zaltsman, a gifted architect, devoted his career to design buildings, not to destroy them. He has always struggled to build something to endure, to inspire a community, to celebrate the triumph of kindness and human will over terror, fear, adversity, prejudice and intolerance.”  -Luiz Fisberg and Marilia Sant’Anna de Almeida (family friend from São Paulo, Brazil )


Arkady Zaltsman

1956- September 11, 2001

Rest in peace.


To read more about Arkady Zaltsman-

Never forget.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sorry for the Ice Age between posts. When you work on a computer writing all day, it loses it's appeal in your free time. But I have a lot to say so we'll do a quick recap of the past year. After last year's ridic trip to DC, I: served on a jury, put a terrible criminal in jail, started dating the cop from the courtroom, went to my 10 year high school reunion, stopped dating the cop from the courtroom, saw a few boys, joined a kickball team, enjoyed the hell out of my first kickball season, signed up for kickball again, got down to size 6 pants and a size 4 dress, and have had tons of other weird and delightful things happen in my life.

Compared to this time last year, I am:
  • skinnier
  • healthier
  • just as single
  • but probably more emotionally stable
  • two positions up from where I was in my job
  • wealthier
  • more stressed out at work
  • happier

Not bad, huh?!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Good Dental Hygiene

Guess who was using a push-pin as a toothpick when her supervisor came up to her desk...

I'm classy like that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things I am thankful for:
-Kraft macaroni & cheese
-my dogs
-having a job
-my friends
-my family (most of the time)
-Christian Bale
-my health
-vacation days
-the Arrested Development marathon on G4

Things I am not thankful for:
-the cat's litter box
-my broken tv
-having to go to work
-my neighbors
-extended family drama
-Angelina Jolie
-having too much work and not enough money to actually take a vacation
-Lifetime movie marathons (oh, who am I kidding? I'm thankful for those too)

Enjoy your turkey, everyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I would make an awesome private investigator.

...or stalker.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tales from D.C.

This past weekend, I traveled to Washington, D.C. with my supervisor/good friend for a business meeting. Since the “business” aspect of the trip would be over by early Saturday afternoon, we decided to extend our trip until Sunday night.

I’ve only been to D.C. once and it was for a total of 6 hours three years ago. That trip consisted of us walking along the National Mall and looking at the exteriors of the museums, Capitol Building, & Washington Monument. We did stop into the Aeronautical Museum and eat at a fantastic Mexican Restaurant (that has since closed), but it was a brief and uneventful outing. I was excited to spend some more time checking out the city and nightlife since my previous experience had been somewhat dull (made worse by my companion at the time, I’m sure).

I’ll spare you the touristy details of our sightseeing, and instead share the exciting, funny, and just plain bizarre highlights:

-There was a woman on our flight, 2 rows up, wearing burgundy satin formal gloves up to her elbows. Like the type girls wore with their prom dresses in 1993. Her pants and top were black. Her shoes were fuchsia. And she wore these out-of-place, clashing gloves throughout the entire flight and shuttle ride to the baggage claim.

-While walking next to the National Mall, I heard a noise across the street and saw a full trashcan land on the ground. I looked between the trees and saw a man walking away from the trashcan. I then saw him kick over a road barricade, yell some fighting words to an invisible person, and then kick over another barricade and yell some more fighting words. We walked faster.

-We went to the Sculpture Garden across from the National Archives for some sangria. It was approximately 7 pm and the park was filled with drunken 20- & 30-somethings falling over into the flowerbeds. Then 2 guys waded in the fountain until security kicked them out.

-As we were concluding our business meeting at Barnes & Noble, 5 kids started a step/hip-hop dance performance in between some shelves. There was clapping, stomping, and something about “positivity”, but I was preoccupied with taking a picture with my camera phone at the absurdity of the dance-outbreak to pay attention.

-At the White House, I waved wildly to the sniper on top of the roof. After 10 seconds, he waved back. He’s probably not supposed to do that.

-At the Smithsonian, I took a bunch of pictures of stuff that I barely care about. Thank God for digital cameras.

-The Hope Diamond looks an awful lot like the Titanic necklace.*

-Also at the Smithsonian, we went into the Butterfly Tunnel. Before entering, the guide went over the rules with a group of about 10 of us. She stared directly at me when she said “Do not touch the butterflies. We are all adults here and should be able to follow this rule.” I think she can read minds because that was the first item on my agenda for when I entered the tunnel.

-Butterflies in flight are impossible to take photos of with a $130 digital camera. This did not stop me from trying. Eighty five times.**


-I consulted with the most D.C.-familiar person I know for fun stuff to do on Saturday night. After researching her suggestions and reading this story, there was no question that Adams Morgan was our destination.

-At The Reef, we scored a prime seat right next to the window looking down on 18th St. Immediately below us, I saw a guy with what appeared to be underwear on his head struggling to sit up straight. His friend had white cloth tied around his head and his white shirt had a big red circle in the center like the flag of Japan. Karate Kid #1 kept falling backwards and Karate Kid #2 had to keep pulling him back into a sitting position. We had been watching this for about 10 minutes when a guy in a kilt (complete with loafers and knee socks) walks over to them with the biggest slices of pizza I’ve ever seen. Now with a full belly, KK1 tried to stand up only to slump into one of the parked cars. KK2 grabbed KK1 around the waist and stood on the curb for another good 20 minutes. A VW Beetle pulled up, already with a loaded backseat, and KK2 sits in the front passenger seat, crams KK1 onto his lap, and leans KK1’s head out the window and they drive off.

-Also at The Reef, 2 nice young men came over to see what we were giggling about. The Johns Hopkins eye-disease research student and his friend who works for the government in some confusing capacity I still haven’t been able to discern told us about their jobs. Johns Hopkins and I quickly bonded over our shared nerdy love of Jeopardy. I told him that if they ever do a team version of Jeopardy, he could be my teammate.*** They then took us over to a neighboring bar where we all had JELLO SHOTS! Due to my status of no-longer-a-college-student-but-not-yet-an-adult, I haven’t had a Jello shot in at least 4 years. But Jello is zero points so I was not going to argue.

-At some point during the night, we met Tim from Fresno. Johns Hopkins and I convinced him that we had been married for 8 years. Johns Hopkins told him that since I hated baseball, he was considering leaving me. Tim from Fresno said that was not a good reason for divorce. Thanks, Tim from Fresno. I don’t think my make-believe husband who I have known for an hour should divorce me either.

-The four of us decided we wanted pizza and when Johns Hopkins saw the line of 40 kajillion people, he marched right past them up to the counter and got our pizza. In that moment, he was the HOTTEST MAN EVER. Even though I ended up not eating any of the pizza.

-The bars were closing and we weren’t ready to call it a night, yadda yadda yadda, we saw a deer and I don’t think it was really his apartment.

-The bus drivers in D.C. are crazy with a capital “9”

-Lunch in Georgetown is not as cheap as McDonalds. I could have bought 9 Happy Meals instead, but McDonalds doesn’t serve Chardonnay.

-It doesn’t matter if Orlando has a Gap, J.Crew, Ann Taylor Loft, or Banana Republic; if it came from Georgetown, it is automatically 16 times as fabulous.

-I bought something from a store called “Annie Creamcheese.” I have gone up 3 cool points in my own head.

-I think our cab driver was making up stories about his wealth on the drive back to our hotel.

-We missed our first Metro train back to the airport shuttle because we were too busy talking to a girl about WAKA kickball leagues and got distracted. I think we might join one.

-The United guy scolded us for entering in the “Exit” side of the check-in-ropes-maze even though there were no other customers in line and we couldn’t find the entrance.

-I don’t think my seatmates appreciated my giant quesadilla and its noisy bag and container. I don’t think my diet was too pleased either.

This was one of my best trips ever. I saw Washington, D.C. in a new light and if I had a fortune, I would totally live there.

*I want something from the Hooker jewelry collection.
**Leave a comment if you would like me to send you blurry shots of butterflies in flight.
***This mostly benefits me because he’s way smarter. But I do kick ass at the wordplay categories.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Shannon: injuring your babies since yesterday

I came to my sister's rescue yesterday morning when she was short a volunteer in the church nursery. It's been a while, but having spent over 10 years of my life caring for other people's children, I thought I was fairly comfortable handling infants.

Apparently, I've lost some of my knowledge about babies. Like, what they can do at certain ages.

So there I was. I was holding a (3-4 mo. old) baby who looked more like a mini- Jabba-the-Hut with his sextuple chin (seriously, half the kid's body weight was distributed in his face). Another baby requested my attention so I figured: "I'll put this little marshmallow man in this Exersaucer contraption while I tend to this little grublet." As soon as I put Stay-Puff in the seat, BAM- his head lobbed forward.

One- I don't blame you for not being able to hold up your own giant head, baby.

Two- Boy, am I rusty on this whole childcare thing.

Thank God my reflexes were quick because otherwise, he would be sporting the imprint of a barnyard animal on his mega-sized forehead today.

On a related note, does anyone need a babysitter for evenings or weekends? It appears as though I need the practice.