9/11: Wake me up when September ends

I’ve never looked forward to September. I love the summer, so it’s always meant the end of warm – OK, frequently hot – days. And for 17 years it also meant the beginning of another long school year, and that was never a good thing.

But in 2001, September took on a whole new meaning.

Words fail me.

To say September 11, 2001, was a defining moment in my life is an understatement. It brought horror, disbelief, and an unrelenting sadness home on a magnitude of nothing else I had experienced until then. (Since, I’ve endured the death of my father, the loss of a longtime job, the death of my eldest cat, and my mother’s cancer diagnosis – grief-filled to the last.)

Its scope was ceaseless, too. If you lived anywhere in the Tri-State area, the signs of 9/11 were unavoidable no matter where you went. It was nigh impossible for me, because at the time I was working for a daily newspaper in Central New Jersey.

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Movie theater etiquette: Rude people please stay home

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Inspiration strikes me at the strangest times.

Welcome! Come in, have a seat. Please keep your mouth shut and your cell phone off.

Take this particular post, for example. I was in bed last night, ready to power down my cell when I stumbled across a tweet relating to a post about movie theater etiquette. It’s sheer brilliance on the part of the author, Matt Singer, a film writer for IFC. He had me at his post’s subhed: “Help us take back movie theaters from the a-holes of the world.” Matt has also started a petition – which I signed and hope you do, too – in which people promise to be on their best behavior in movie theaters.

I’ve witnessed and been subjected to enough thoughtless, annoying people that this subject couldn’t come at a better time. I’ve been to a couple of movies in the past two weeks, and I think we could all use a refresher course in public courtesy. During a weekday matinée of  “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” a friend and I witnessed a mother and father (who sat down in front of us) who couldn’t keep their young son quiet (he yapped through the entire movie), another father who had the exact same problem with his young daughter, and an adult male who kept flailing his fists against his chest (like a Jerseyfied King Kong, if you will), causing our entire row of seats to shake violently.

Clearly DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were right: Parents just don’t understand. To quote the Pet Shop Boys, what have I done to deserve this? If you know your child has a hard time keeping quiet, why don’t you sit in a section of the theater where you won’t be a nuisance and a distraction to anyone other than, you know, yourself?

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