Fortunately my brother is ok, but the shooting today down at Virginia Tech has made this a rather nerve-wracking day. Thanks to the many who've expressed concern.
My reaction to this is still pretty scattered, especially since the information coming out keeps changing. More than anything is this dazed feeling--Adam is an engineering student, and would have been in the building next to the one where the shootings happened if he had had class this morning. I'm newly thankful for his hatred of early classes.
While writing this, I just heard that my brother's old roommate was among those wounded. He's in stable condition and will be fine, my thoughts are with him and everyone else down there.
This is not supposed to happen. I'll probably have something more substantive to say later, but this is really all too close for comfort.
In an odd confluence of events, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was critically injured in a car crash last night while en route to a meeting he was to moderate between Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. Not only does the crotchety old racist cause mental harm with his slurs, he actually causes physical injuries. Bastard.
Tangentially, CNN forgets the old rule that one should think like a 14 year old boy when rooting out unintended double entendres:
Corzine was the third straight New Jersey governor to break a
leg while in office. McGreevey broke his left leg in 2002 during a
nighttime walk on the beach, and Christie Whitman broke her right leg
while skiing in the Swiss Alps in 1999.
Update: And, of course, the DCeiver was on this last night.
We are all nekulturny swine, says the Post, too bleary-eyed and caught up in the daily bureaucratic grind to appreciate beauty when it unexpectedly pops up. Alright, fair enough--after all, just one person out of a thousand identified Joshua Bell as he played incognito for 45 minutes in a station of the Metro here in DC, and only a handful more even stopped to listen for a few minutes.
But for the risk of sounding too much like the creepy neighbor kid from American Beauty, my vanity would have me announce that, of course, I would have stopped to take in such a rare and magnificent spectacle. For am I not a man of culture and taste? Ordinarily, this would be a purely hypothetical and unfalsifiable assertion, as the subway buskers I tend to run into in Washington are more likely to be playing out-of-tune guitar riffs with a cheesy recorded synthesizer backbeat than, like, Bach.
However, on this day of days, I was surprised to encounter a lone violinist tucked off in a corner in the Woodley Park Metro station, at the top of the escalator, while heading home after work. He was quite good, playing a familiar piece that I nonetheless couldn't quite name, and seemingly oblivious to all those passing by. Whether his presence was due to the appearance of the Post article, I cannot say, but the crowd still blew by with their lamented haste.
Now, being so refined, I naturally stopped to listen for a brief while. But (and this brings me to the point of the story), it was really awkward. There's no natural place to stand, and dozens of people are pushing past in their attempt to reach the surface. It is quite uncomfortable, wondering if you should make eye contact, or say something, or put money in his case (and at what point in the process this should happen), and so on. And I actually liked the music!
Eventually I went on my way, after putting a few dollars in the man's violin case, convinced both that his presence had made my evening commute more pleasant, and that the best way to experience music in such a setting is to simply pass by, perhaps slowing your step slightly if you are particularly captivated. It is but a momentary pleasure. To ask more of it seems greedy.
Easter was celebrated in a nostalgic fashion yesterday, with brunch and the decorating of eggs. Two of the traditional Christian symbols that came about are pictured here. The pig is mine. The intergalactic overlord is Sommer's brainchild, which I can only assume is a manifestation of her mad desire for boundless power. David Bowie also made an appearance.
The Jews in attendance, having never participated in this activity, were at first wary. However, they quickly got the hang of things, and Spencer, Ezra, and Yglesias all produced some fine-looking cre"egg"tions.
Stop the presses! The solution to DC's transportation woes has finally been found:
"I am not an engineer, an architect or a transportation expert. But in
reading the extensive articles about the extension of the Metro system
from West Falls Church to Dulles International Airport, I wonder
whether anyone has ever given thought to the monorail...Would not the Washington area benefit from a modern, attractive mass-transit system that would reflect 21st-century thinking?"
Despite the fact that whoever edits the Post's "Letters to the Editor" section was obviously drunk on the job yesterday, this letter raises a good point. For far too long, we have failed to properly implement mid-20th century visions of 21st century thinking. Once we come to our senses and embrace the monorail, reliable and affordable jet packs and hovercars can't be far behind. The future is going to be awesome.