Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A long week indeed...

This past week, we watched our god-daughters Hailey and Natalie while their parents celebrated their 10th anniversary in Key West. I'm exhausted. I had no idea how long it took 2 girls to get ready for bed. By the time I got them bathed, dried, in the bed and read stories, it was around 11:30..even when I started at 8:30 or 9.The first night Natalie insisted she could take a shower on her own and ended up crying for an hour because she got soap in her eyes. I should stop and mention that she whines constantly. And I do meant constantly...even when she doesn't want something. She whined because a moth was on the ceiling. She whined because her hair wasn't curly like mine. She whined because her cup wasn't blue like mine. She whined because I accused her of whining. It gets old fast.

We cooked dinner 3 nights and ate out for 2 since we went to the zoo and the Renaissance Faire. We had lunch out 3 days since we were already out and about. It was a very expensive week. Between buying them outfits for the faire and having to buy Hailey a new outfit because of an accident at the store and then buying them stuff at the zoo gift shop and the faire and then all the food and snacks..I'm broke. I was going to buy Jeff a nice birthday present, but I don't think I can now.

It was fun though, despite the whining and sisterly bickering. For the most part, they were really good. I did have to take the karaoke game away from them because Hailey was apparently "making" Natalie mess up her songs. They fought over who was going to get my lip gloss when I never said they could have it to begin with. They soaked my bathroom during bath time and went through all my stuff and moved it to other areas of the house. They chased my cats and dogs and were obsessed with feeding my turtles and fish. I read them a ton of Dr. Seuss books and watched them inhale my cooking. They had a blast at the faire and participated in a lot of the acts and dancing there. They even slept on the trip home.

Sunday, we drove them to Charlotte to meet up with Ronnie and Misty and hung out at the mall until it was time to meet for lunch. Then it was off to Bass Pro Shop and the mall for a few hours before heading home. We got home and crashed, but the house was very quiet. Elvis resurfaced after hiding for 5 days and I was glad to see he was still alive. I took Monday off to recoup from my long week and got my laundry done. My house is still messy, but it'll just have to be that way.

Then there was the whole VT "Massacre" that happened. It sickens me. I consider VT part of home. I grew up going to football games and walking around campus. I'd go visit my uncle there when he was in the dorms. I'd visit cousins too. Then I visited my sister when she went there. I still go visit since she only lives 5 minutes from campus. My brother-in-law still goes to school there. I know people who teach there and have a cousin who got her engineering degree from there. It just shocked me that something like that could happen in a place like Tech. It's totally different from any other campus I've been on. Here at UNC, most people are kind of off in their own little world.... self-absorbed rich kids who think they're too important to bother saying hello to strangers. At Tech, it's like one big family. Everyone's friendly and goes out of their way to help others. That's how it felt anyway. You can even tell the difference going to football games.

At UNC games, they boo the visiting team and are generally rude and very fair weathered. If UNC starts losing, the crowd leaves. At VT, even when they're losing, the fans are still cheering them on and stay until the very end....and you'll never hear them booing the other team.

It also upsets me that VT is getting so much criticism on their response time. Since I work for a campus police department, I can tell's no easy task to shut down a university of Tech's size..or UNC's for that matter. There's too many roads and trails into the campus and not enough people to staff every entrance/exit..not in that short amount of time anyway. Trying to notify thousands of people without creating a panic is next to'd risk others being injured by trying to get them all off campus at the same time.

How were they supposed to know the 1st shooting was just a prelude? No university will shut down the whole campus just because of a single shooting incident that appeared to be domestic. They'd shut down that area and clear the one building, then send out a warning when they had time..just like VT police did. When we get a robbery or rape or shooting on campus, we secure the area, put a lookout for the person over a 50 mile radius if he/she hasn't been caught, then put out a media alert for them and warn the students not to walk anywhere alone and be aware of their surroundings, blah blah..and life goes on. We don't shut down the entire campus for a single act of violence.

After the 2nd shooting, they responded very quickly and shut everything down as quick as they I think they did a phenomenal job in handling the situation. After any type of tragedy, people are always finding ways to pull it apart and sit far away from the situation and tell others how it should have been handled..when in truth, if they'd been there..they wouldn't have known what to do. They did the same on 9/11, Columbine, Hurricane Katrina..the list goes on and on. I mourn for the loss of so much life and I'm angry that the shooter took the cowards way out. No one these days is willing to take responsibility for their actions..but he'll pay for it while he spends eternity burning in hell while being mercilessly tortured and spat upon.

Every time I hear the words VT Massacre, it feels like a punch in the gut. Life will go on, Tech will recover and become more united than ever. I pray for the families of the victims lost in Cho Seung-Hui's senseless and irrational rampage. I pray for the entire Blacksburg community and for all those who feel a strong connection to Virginia Tech. No words can bring them solace, but they're not alone and that in and of itself is a comfort.

Yes, a long week indeed. Now I'm back at work and able to focus on other stuff instead of reflecting over events of the past week. I'm so tired though. I need a long recharge my batteries and reconnect with Jeff. We get so lost in everyday life that sometimes we feel like strangers to each other. So..I'm going for now to research a vacation destination for us. Somewhere warm and far away from reality....