I’m not going to gripe about the state of my throat, but I will say it is NOT BETTER. I’m going to go to yoga this morning (8 am on a Sunday, who’da thunk it?) and see if that helps. I don’t know if I’ll have the energy to do most of it, but the idea of a hot and really humid room sounds appealing. Plus, every time the class is doing those farking forehead-to-knee poses, the instructors all say how great it is for stimulating the immune system. Mine needs to be stimulated. (Bad joke here removed. You are welcome.)
So, I don’t know how well publicized the shooting at NASA last week was. I heard about it as I was driving in the car: not on the radio, but from my brother, who called to tell me. Our dad works at Johnson Space Center, and his lab is in the building where the shooter was (at the time) hiding. My brother, J, had called our step-mom when he saw the headline, but she hadn’t even heard about it yet. She was able to call my dad on his cell phone and find out that he was safely locked down in his office, which is in a different building. Interestingly, the information we got from her (one shooter, two hostages, NASA campus on lockdown) was far more accurate than anything reported in the early stages. My dad knew all the specifics, because he spoke with a woman who’d seen things first-hand, and then rushed over from that building to where my dad was, leaving her purse behind and running, literally, for her life.
I was so glad my brother called and started the conversation with, "Dad is okay, but. . . " I was expecting to hear that he was in the hospital or had been in a wreck. The real story baffled me, because security there is super-tight. From the time my dad started working there in the 80’s until the air attacks in 2001, my brother and I went to work with him many times. We got to see the lab where he works. At the time, he was working on a laser/hologram uh, thing, with some other folks, and my dad had the smart idea to put the table top on a bed of air to keep the very precise set up from wobbling when people walked around the table. Basically, the table base and table top were separated, and air from the base floated the tabletop. "Like air hockey," was how my dad put it. After September 11th, though, we weren’t allowed to hang out there. I don’t think they even do the tours that they used to anymore. One of the biggest surprises I have ever had is seeing how shrimpy the real mission control room is. It’s always shot with a wide angle lens, and I think most movies must use sets. In reality it is just a little, bitty, rectanglish-shaped room. The computers all look vintage, but that is just for show; underneath are slick, sophisticated machines.
I checked the headlines all that afternoon. We don’t have cable, so I just interneted it. I was so sad to hear the outcome of that day: the shooter killed his supervisor, a man who I’m guessing was close to retirement since he’d been married for 41 years, and then himself. I know people who do that kind of thing aren’t sane and reasonable, but I still can’t help but want to smack them all uspide the head and point out to them that getting fired does indeed suck, but there is a big chance you’ll land on your feet if you hang in there and try. Walking into the office with a gun, however, doesn’t ever end happily. I suppose we all know that, even the shooters, but I guess if someone is broken a certain way, it just doesn’t matter. I do wonder, though, if he was partly convinced to go through with what he did because of the Virginia Tech shootings.
Well, I need to squeeze myself into my workout stuff and find my mat. I hope the banana I had for breakfast gives me enough energy to not lay in a panting heap on the floor.
**Everybody is talking about gun control. Got to control the guns. Fuck,
that, I like guns. If you’ve got a gun, you don’t need to work out!
Cause, I ain’t working out. I ain’t jogging. No, I think we need some
bullet control. I think every bullet should cost five thousand dollars.
Five thousand dollars for a bullet. Know why? Cos if a bullet cost five
thousand dollars, there’d be no more innocent by-standers. That’d be
it. Some guy’d be shot you’d be all ‘Damn, he must’ve done something,
he’s got fifty thousand dollars worth of bullets in his ass!’ And
people’d think before they shot someone ‘Man I will blow your fucking
head off, if I could afford it. I’m gonna get me a second job, start
saving up, and you a dead man. You’d better hope I don’t get no bullets
on lay-away!’ And even if you get shot you wouldn’t need to go to the
emergency room. Whoever shot you’d take their bullet back. ‘I believe
you got my property?’ — Chris Rock