A gloomy Monday [ 2003/02/03, 2:27 p.m. ]

Thanks to those of you who sent me notes about Roscoeís death. The incident had literally just happened when I wrote that entry. My only experience with a pet death has always been a tearful goodbye at the vetís office. Iíve never had a pet die like that at home.

I worked in a hospital for 7 years. Countless people died in my presence but you distance yourself from any emotion. It was not uncommon to take a body to the morgue and then eat lunch with the blood of the dead still on your clothes.

Then the whole Columbia thing. I am a little concerned about my lack of emotion about that as well. I was at home and watched the Challenger explode live on television. At the time, it was devastating. As I sat and watched the footage of Columbia, minutes after it happened, I was concerned about my lack of emotion.

Sure, Iím unhappy that this happened. But being an astronaut has certain risks, and certainly death is one of those risks. I guess I am still grieving the young mother who rode the Staten Island ferry to work one morning and never came home. What risks did she believe she was taking by going to work that September morning?

Then I realized the media would use this opportunity to exploit and sensationalize the tragedy. And what I saw of the news, the process began before their corpses made it back to earth. Maybe the 24 hour news channel should start running another banner at the top of the screen. The bottom crawler can deal with Iraq and the top could run any shuttle news.

Fucking bottom feeders.

The cat made me cry. The shuttle made me wince for what was yet to come.

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