Not dead. Or trapped under something heavy.

Just busy...and woefully inattentive to my blog. Which probably disappoints all three of my readers. Sigh. It's been a whirlwind week of going hither and yon, it seems and that'll probably continue for the rest of the month. I jetted off to St. Louis this weekend for a 48-hour shot-in-the-arm of the people I love and an unsuccessful attempt to get a renter for our house there. I really had an outstanding time, being made a fuss over by wonderful folk and catching up with friends. I love Ann Arbor, but you St. Louis people are my backbone.

I traveled back to Ann Arbor yesterday, which just happened to be September 11. That meant I was standing in the "B" boarding group line at the Southwest terminal in St. Louis when we were bid, by a pre-recorded message from the department of Homeland Security, to observe a moment of silence at 9:46 (8:46 St. Louis time) - the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center. It was a strange thing indeed to hear a terminal fall silent or, actually, almost silent as some people don't seem to be able to stop talking for an entire minute for any reason. But did it feel meaningful or important? Hard to say. I certainly didn't feel any spirit of camaraderie with my fellow boarding passengers.

What did strike me, however, was how I felt boarding the plane yesterday morning - normal and insignificant. And I think about how those people simply had no idea, how normal their lives must have been, the places their minds were wandering before everything changed in a matter of minutes.

Unlike those people, I got off the plane when it landed in Detroit and just went on with my life. You know, otherwise the terrorists win. Speaking of which, I can't express how annoyed I am at this whole ridiculous level of extra "security" created by insisting we all pack our toothpaste and lip gloss.

I'm stunned at the level to which this government is willing to stoop to manufacture fear, completely ignoring the fact that this last round of "liquid bombers" had nothing more than an idea in place when found. They had no solid method, no materials. Does the TSA think that while these guys couldn't work out how to disguise shampoo as an explosive *I* have? I appreciate the credit but a quick chat with my high school Chemistry teacher would clear that up right away.

Regardless, I made it home safe and sound, just in time to spend the rest of the day obsession over my screenplay before starting Advanced Screenwriting last night. It's essentially a rewrite class, where we'll be taking the feature-length script we wrote previously and, in all likelihood, tearing it apart and reconstructing it. I had to swallow hard at the amount of work and reading it's going to entail, especially while I'm planning to teach two workshops this fall at 826 Michigan and get my application together for the MFA program.

Still, the odd thing is that, upon revisiting it after a summer away from it, it turns out I actually like my screenplay. And I don't often feel truly confident about much of the writing I produce. But considering this was the most challenging, most different type of writing I'd ever done, I like the idea of pushing myself further, just to see what I can deliver. Unlike most of my young (so young!) and eager classmates, I don't harbor fantasies of jetting off to LA and seeing my name on the big screen. I'm just curious about what I'm capable of in this vein.

Anyway, speaking of homework, I'm off to pick up the text books and scripts that are required reading for the course and get as much reading done before we leave town again on Thursday for my brother's wedding in Louisville. And, yes, I'll check my shampoo then, too. Just to keep America safe.