Beyond words

I am honestly at a loss for what to say about the events that unfolded on the Virginia Tech campus this morning. I was walking across the Drillfield towards GBJ when firing broke out in Norris hall. I had heard nothing about the previous shootings in West AJ. While I recognize that the decision to go on with classes was an informed one, I still feel that it was the University’s responsibility to inform the students of potential danger.

I consider myself extremely fortunate that neither I nor anyone I know was involved. I spent the morning trying to touch base with as many people as possible until the phone network here became absolutely saturated. I hope that I was at least able to set up a cascade so that people wouldn’t have to be worried about my safety. That being said, it’s extremely difficult to place my reaction. Obviously I am not as heavily affected as those whose loved ones have been injured or killed. At the same time though, this is very jarring for everyone involved. I don’t think I’ll really know how I feel for a while yet. They don’t tell you how to react to this sort of thing.

UPDATE 17 Apr 2007 11:21p: I have been mostly disgusted by the media coverage of this event. I think that larger and more distant news outlets get things the most wrong, and locals do the best job. CNN’s article is as sensationalizing as the rest, but if you scroll down towards the bottom, Gov. Tim Kaine’s remarks perfectly echo my sentiment. “People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride, I’ve got nothing but loathing for them.” I don’t deny that there are questions that need to be asked, but there are more important things to deal with right now.

On the other side of the coin, I am deeply touched by the outpouring of support from universities and individual students across the country and abroad. There has been a huge “We are all Hokies” movement, with students wearing maroon and orange to show support. That is probably the best response that I’ve heard about. I’m glad that the younger generation have a grip on what’s important. We’re going to need it going forward.

I like Phil Collins.

(00:25:26) Me: So Phil is basically the man.
(00:25:30) Dani: Phil?
(00:25:34) Me: Phil Collins.
(00:25:38) Dani: ok whys that
(00:25:56) Me: Because Genesis would’ve pretty much sucked if they had Axl Rose.

Ok, this is the second post in a row that doesn’t say terribly much. I think it’s fun. I’m even adding a category for it!

It’s a beautiful rainy windy cloudy day

Today is absolutely beautiful. It’s overcast, breezy, and rainy. I suppose you’d have to live in upstate New York to appreciate it, but this is absolutely gorgeous weather for this time of year. When I walked out the door on my way home from work, it smelled like rain. I love the smell of rain. There were even people outside playing hackey sack. I do believe spring has sprung.

How did Amby spend her day? Like this:

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Drag Show

Until Thursday night, I had never been to a drag show or a gay bar. Now I have!

My friend Katie lives about an hour from me, near Rochester. She went on and on to me about this club she liked there called Muther’s when we were at school. She told me about drag shows that she’s been to there. I told her that I’d go at some point, but I was in no rush. I knew Steve didn’t really like clubs, so I wasn’t going to press the matter with him.

About 3 weeks ago I got a call from Amber. She asked me if I wanted to go to a drag show with her. Now I had never been to one, but I had been meaning to for some time. I told Steve, and while he wasn’t thrilled, he agreed. I had glee. Next, Amber tells me that it’s at Muther’s, the club that Katie kept harassing me about. I asked if we’d see Katie there. As it turned out, Katie was making her drag debut!

We arrived early, so there was nobody there. I got the marker hand, along with one of Amber’s friends, while Amber and Steve got the alcoholic wristbands. Amber’s not of age, but she looks remarkably like her older sister when she smiles, so she got by. Around 11, the first performers came out. The first couple acts were drag kings (it’s like drag queens, only reversed) and I was pretty much unimpressed. No offense ladies (or gentlemen, if you prefer) but I’ve seen manlier women around campus. The queens were much better performers – pun intended – but I was mostly not into the music. Then Katie came out. She was actually one of the best acts out there, no lie. I don’t like her well enough to lie about something like that. I was surprised. Of course, I’m still not a fan of the music, but she did it well, and with her friend Eric, it was perfect.

The second act was much better for kings and queens alike. I think the crowd was a lot more responsive, or at least a lot more drunk. The music didn’t improve by much, but there were a couple classics thrown in, including Cake’s cover or the classic “I Will Survive”. Amber was drinking slowly but steadily, and by the end of the night we had one rather spirited dance before we called it a night. I drove home.

I think fun was had by all, even though Steve was getting a little tired by the second show. On the way back, Amber and I decided that we should occasionally go back. Hell, neither of us have Friday classes next semester.

Poppin’ Straws and Takin’ Names

There’s something to be said for growing up in small towns. Where else can you spend 45 minutes popping straws in a Tim Horton’s/Wendy’s parking lot and claim it was the most interesting thing there was to do?

I’ve been hanging out with Tracy (who incidentally hasn’t touched her site in ages) quite a bit lately. We spend much time contemplating how little there is to do in the Finger Lakes for people who are Broke As Hellâ„¢. These are some of the few times that I regret being unemployed. The other times are when I am on my computer and want it to be faster, or when I want to buy something, or when I’m low on gas, or when I’m hungry, or in other situations where it would do well to have money. In retrospect, there are more than a few times that I regret being unemployed. I do not regret it, however, between the hours of 6 and 11 in the morning, when I am sleeping.

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Going Home

Sometime tomorrow morning I will leave Cobleskill, and end the first chapter of my (hopefully long) college career. When I think about it rationally, I know that I’ve done reasonably well and that I should be proud of myself. That is what I know. What I believe, however, is that as this chapter inexorably draws to a close, there is something left that I have missed.

I tend to have this sort of feeling whenever something ends. I suppose a psychiatrist could use that to tell me something about myself. Personally, I’m content to accept it as part of me. I don’t let it hold me down. As my first year of college is winding down, I’ve gotten very reflective and introspective about the year. I’ve made some of the closest friends I’ll ever have. I’ve had some really great (and some really bad) professors, who have taught me a number of valuable lessons. I’ve learned that the most important thing you learn from a class may not be the material. I’ve found that the most important part of my experience here this year hasn’t been what I’ve taken away, but what I’ve given.

I have a little twinge of sadness that this year is over, but now it’s time to move on. I can’t move forward if I keep looking back.

There’s only us; only tonight.
We must let go to know what’s right.
No other course, no other way.
No day but todayRent – “Another Day”

ER

Don’t ever have an emergency in Cobleskill. Just don’t do it. Seriously.

On Friday last I had the misfortune to suffer a sponatneous muscle strain in my upper right thigh. By spontaneous, I mean it came right the fuck out of nowhere. I was walking to Prentice with Bubbey and Amby when my leg started feeling stiff. I figured I’d just walk it off, no big deal. Well, when I tried to walk it off there was a little bit of pain. Then there was a lot of pain. Next was me hopping on one foot trying to get to my damn food. No luck, as before I ever reached the stairs I gave up, and decided to go to the Wellness Center. I sent Amber ahead to get me some crutches. That was a mistake.

Amber came back in about 5 minutes with the news that they sent SMRT. Yes, the fact that they misspelled smart is a bad sign. It was decided that I needed to ride in an ambulance to the emergency room. Brilliant. Lights, sirens, oxygen, stretcher, the works. When I got there they wheeled me in, the whole “1, 2, 3, lift” thing you see when they move people from stretcher to bed, and then not too much for a while. I tried to explain what happened to a number of nurses, but none of them had anything useful to offer.

Probably the most useful part of my visit was that I got a couple x-rays done on my hip to make sure there wasn’t bone or joint damage. It was probably one of the more painful parts of the visit too, because I had to bend my hip to angles that are barely comfortable when I’m healthy. Better to have them done than not though.

After my x-rays were done, Bubbey and Amber came in to see me. Apparently they had been waiting there since I arrived. Had I known, I would have had them brought in earlier! We sat around for an hour and made jokes about stiff legs, and fun was had by all. Eventually they had to leave, because apparently someone had to go get Steve, and it wasn’t going to be me.

After some hours of lying in the ER, a doctor finally decides to grace me with his presence. He sat around for half of an explaination, and ran off again. 45 minutes later he returns, tells me that he has no idea why this would happen, and proceeds to tell me to do exactly what I had intended to do initially: use crutches, don’t put weight on the leg, and take ibuprofen regularly. If they had just given Amber a pair of crutches to bring to me, I would’ve saved everyone a lot of trouble.

All weekend long Steve was a total dear to me. I was definitely not as nice to him as I should’ve been. I can say that I was grouchy because of my injury, but that doesn’t fully account for it. He was nothing but helpful to me. I love my Steve so much, he’s so brave and strong. He stood up to face a terribly fire-breathing me and survived. My Steve is the greatest.

Oh, and puppies.

Lizz rocks my socks

I’m in NYC right now, on a mac that belongs to Steve’s lesbian friend Lizz. We just got done having an awesome picnic in Central Park, and now my fingers are really cold. Steve’s peeved at me just now, because I should be doing something useful. Oh well. I felt compelled to post from a mac.