Remembering September 11th

Remembering the victims of 9-11...
On December 14th 2007, I posted this (back when interviews on blogs were all the rage)-

When Wesley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 years ago his Endocrinologist told me about
www.childrenwithdiabetes.com , almost immediately I joined an on-line support group that I believe saved Wesley's life and my sanity. And there I met some pretty fascinating people.

The OT email list mean "off topic", I pronounce it "The OT" like "The OC". I perfer this list from the main list because it's not diabetes talk all day, which really could make me crazy, and yet they get it and I can still go to them about diabetes issues. Anyways...

These are my pick for The Most Fascinating People of the OT.

First I will introduce you to Mike.

Mike is a husband, father of two fine young men, and survivor of Sept 11th.

Mike is also like a brother to me. No really. We argue all the time, but he starts it!!

Mike has a voice of a mobster (but maybe that's just cause he's a New Yorker, or maybe it's just me). He loves showing funny pictures with the OT and he loves bad words. :-\ And I try and try to get him to clean it up, and he tries and tries ( I think?) to clean it up.... but... whatcha' gonna do? So here is my interview with him, with a couple of dirty wordies and I am going to blog later about bad words being my pet peeve... but either way... he made me promise not to edit out his words. And he tried (I think)... this is good for him.


So who demands more attention on the OT, you or me?DEFINITELY you! I write and respond there to make people laugh. You write and respond there because you apparently have nothing else to do at home.

No, seriously? You think I was kidding?

Can you list all the famous people you have met? Sheesh, tough one. Franz Beckenbauer (at the time, the World's best soccer player), Gary Hall Jr., Dr. Kevan Herrold (trying to find a cure for Diabetes), Dr. Norma Sue Kenyon (same...), Rik Bonness, Sen Sue Collins, Sen Hillary Clinton, Sen Charles Schumer, Rep Steve Israel, Rep Peter King, Rep Carolyn McCarthy, Rep Tim Bishop, Jeff Hitchcock, Alexi Yashin (once thought to be one of the best hockey players in the world, but he eventually sucked and the Isles let him flea to Russia), Jaime Rivers, Zdeno Chara, Nicole Johnson Baker (Miss America 1999), Tom Karlya, Tony Graffanino (he plays an infield position for the Milwaukee Brewers... we bought his parents' house), Steven Baldwin, Billy Baldwin, Danny Baldwin, Zander Baldwin (we all grew up in Massapequa), Perry Pearn (Asst Coach of the NY Rangers), Gary Melious (owns the largest private residence in America (I think... OHEKA Castle), Al D'Amato, Colin Powell... I think there are more... drawing a blank at this point...

What makes you and your wife so dedicated to one another? She is the perfect woman for me. Gorgeous, inside and out. I adore and worship her, and she me.

Who do your sons awesomeness take after, you or your wife? Gigi, definitely.

Can you play any musical instruments? No, but I can sing (for a couple seconds before people start throwing rotten fruit at me).

Do you really think Mel and I are the same person?? A lot of the time, yes. I think you do that so that everyone (except me) doesn't realize that you are having conversations with yourself while you try to gather as much attention as possible (see 1st question)

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest (of course), how important is a cool escalator when considering a job? It's a "0". But it is cool as heck that the great job I just got, with a great company and great salary/benefits has a cool escalator which curves a little more than 90 degrees as it descends from the 6th to the 5th floor.

Best thing in your life? Gigi The worst? Tie: Nicholas having Diabetes has killed me on the inside. Living through 9/11 while my BIL and some of my friends died... that ALMOST killed me on the outside.

What (or who) gives you strength to get through the tough times? Knowing that I don't want to be without Gigi... (that's why I don't want to die... because if I die, then I won't be with her). I am also afraid of failing.

So if I ever went to a CWD conference that you were at, would we argue like we do on the OT list? No. I am shy in person, but I have very big Internet muscles. If we met there, we would hug, you would tell me that I am not a Fat _________ that Gigi is gorgeous, and then you would ask 1 question: "Gigi, what are you doing with him?"

On a scale of 1-10, how cool is Lorinda? 7.4

Don't you think you would be a good daddy to a daughter? I would be a better Daddy to a daughter than I am to my boys.

How does it feel to be one of only two dudes on the OT list? I like how EVERY woman on the OT list wants me.

Do you have any messages for my readers (aka, my mother and sisters)? I'd like to ask them how THEY dealt with your schizophrenia and non-stop attention grabbing antics.

See what I mean... the brother/sister thing we have going here?
(To read the other fascinating interviews I did- go here.)

Today Mike shared with us (the OT list) the day that changed his life.... he said I could share, so I will give some snippets of what he wrote (and attempted to post to the minute of when his day began, but was off by 1 minute).
He starts with showing the day was like an ordinary day... then...

"I continue with my day as Fixed Income Operations Manager and at 8:46am, we hear a very loud explosion, and the lights in 2 WTC flicker.....
..."Get out.... RUN". I thought to myself that it wasn't OUR building that was on fire... why should we split?
..As I watch everyone zooming down the steps, I realize that no one is panicking, and I easily merge into traffic and begin my decent, with my phone securely in my leather briefcase and my briefcase hanging easily off my right shoulder....
...We continue to descend relatively easily until we get to the 46th floor, which is where we came to an abrupt halt..Then a voice came over the PA system and said "Tower 1 was hit by an airplane. Emergency units are responding. Tower 2 is secure. You may continue down to the lobby, to the 44th floor cafeteria, or back to you office". I thought "Cool! Let me get back up to 80 so that I can see what's going on with Tower 1". I wonder if my brother in law, a 16 year vet of the FDNY and Godfather to Mikey, will be fighting this fire.
So the congestion then clears and I bound rather lightly to the 44th floor and walk to the "shuttle" elevator that shuttles people from the 44th floor to the 78th floor (and back). I just missed one elevator, but it was so full that I probably wouldn't have been able to squeeze on. So I wait for it to return about 4 minutes later, and am the first one on. The elevators in the Trade Center are so big that when you walk in, you have to keep walking to the other side because the doors will open on that side at your destination. Actually, not sure what that has to do with size, however, I get to the other side and press "78" and turn to keep my back to the wall to save space for the other 30+ people who got on right behind me. The elevator fills, and the doors start to close... but then they open up again because something is blocking them. So we wait a few more seconds, they start to close again and then they open again. I am starting to get angry. That (closing and opening) happens another 2 or 3 times, so I say quietly to myself "If it happens one more time, I am going to yell at the kid with the backpack". When it happens again, I lean forward slowly, while preparing my tirade, so I can try to make eye contact.... And then I heard the most incredibly loud explosion and felt the elevator shaking violently......
...We are walking with our arms stretched out in front of us and our eyes open. Then I close my eyes and realize that it doesn't matter whether they are open or closed, I cannot see anything either way....
...Around the 10th floor, things are slowing down and then I quickly realize that the slowdown is being caused by us having to move into a single line. That of course means that the FDNY are coming up, and as I catch my first glimpse, I immediately start looking for my brother in law. Around the 6th floor now and I see pretty big cracks in the wall (inside the stairwell) and I think to myself "Is that from the bomb upstairs or is that from crappy construction?".
..... so I know that the closest exit is another 150 feet from here.... a few more emergency people are directing us the other way, and I am confused....
...I walk through the doors and immediately am shocked by hundreds of sirens, hundreds of voices yelling at us to "RUN! DON'T LOOK UP! RUN!!!", and then I was off....
... I see 2 incredible towers burning and a disgustingly thick cloud of smoke from both of them heading southeast toward Brooklyn. ....My fear is that they'll next hit the Empire State Building and The Chrysler Building. But then I look left (east) to the Brooklyn Bridge and I see that already packed with people running across and I fear that a plane will crash into my favorite bridge and kill another 10,000 of us....

..... I realize that I am about to make call that I never thought I'd have to.... to tell Gigi that I am alive. I wash my hands and then my clean face, and I leave the bathroom and see that a line is free. I dial our number and then hang up, "Wait, do I have to dial 9 first?". "No" says Wai, and I dial again. Gigi answers.... and I start to cry. "Michael? MICHAEL?". "Hi. Yes, it's me, I'm ok, I'm out.".............."

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