Final: UCLA 35 Illinois 17

vs. Illinois. The Bruins lost to Okie State last week in a game they could have won had they held onto the ball. Well, maybe they would have won. It’s impossible to know what would have happened, but they did have two crucial turnovers in the red-zone–that’s the area within the 20-yard line… Illinois is not as good as OSU but they have an experienced offensive line and if last weeks game is any indicaiton, the Bruins will again have their butts handed to them. This is what happens when you recruit poorly and end up having the entire starting defensive line graduate at the same time.

But today, more importantly, is the third anniversary of the day that changed our lives. Virtually everything we do today is affected by the events of 9/11. It takes longer to get on a plane now. There are fewer public trash cans. We are more suspicious of strange packages and different people. And it is sad…

Anyway, there is little I can add to the conversation. Almost everything worth saying has already been said by better people than me. So allow me to play a re-run. Below is a slightly editted version of an entry from last year…

Remembering

T

hree years ago on this day, many people died at the hands of a group of desperate people–people who shared similar traits to the suicide kamikaze of WWII. I don’t mean to “revise” the image of kamikaze as a group of people desperately battling the cultural encroachment by and hegemony of the West; nor do I intend to equate the attacks of kamikaze pilots on military targets with terrorists on non-military ones. But I do believe that desperate people resort to extreme measures to accomplish their goals. It is frightening and more than a little sad…

On a lighter note on this solemn day, I would like to tell you that there seems to be an affinity between disasters and me sitting on the can. As I mentioned earlier this week (last year), I was sitting down, doing my business when the ’89 SF earthquake hit, and fearing my body would be discovered under undignified circumstances. Well, two years ago on 9/11, I was again reading the newspaper in my favorite place when Musubi-chan pounded on the door to hand me the telephone receiver–damn, these cordless phones! It was my sister and she was screaming at me.

“Oh my God. It’s horrible!”

“Huh? Calm down, what’s up?” I said, half jokingly.

“Haven’t you heard? You’re ALWAYS on the toilet. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center.”

I was frozen in horror because my sister worked right across the street from the WTC. But I immediately calmed down as I remembered that she just happend to be in LA taking care of our ill mother.

“God, Onigiriman.” (No, she doesn’t really call me this.) “There was a crash at the Pentagon, too. Didn’t you hear? Isn’t your school near the Pentagon? Do you LIVE in the bathroom?!?”

“………..”

I don’t mean to make light of today’s significance. But this is pretty much how it unfolded for me that day. It is now a standing joke in our house that I spend far too much time in my special room, and whenever I’m there, there’s always the possibility of a disaster. M yaps about my time there, and my sister always tells me she’s glad we have extra bathrooms. Whenever they start talking like this, I grab the most recent issue of SI or Newsweek and head to the… uh, you-know-where.

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