Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bang, bang! You're dead before you had a chance to live.

Two year old Coco Cole was died today, shot in the head while securely strapped in her car seat on Chicago's South Side.

Coco, her father and two sisters -- one 8 months old, the other 4 years old -- were waiting in the car while their mother went to a friend's home for cigarettes and a hooded assailant fired through the rear window. Authorities speculate the intended target was Coco's father, in retaliation for a gang-related incident. A suspect is in custody. If you can stand to read more, click here.

Under the circumstances, I guess it's fortunate that only one innocent life was taken. Though it certainly doesn't feel that way now.

This is the third fatal shooting on the South Side this week. And it's only April. It's going to be a long, hot, tragic summer.

"This is very cool."

Yes it is.

I'm talking about the 4-word email I received from my best friend first thing this morning, in response to a news story I forwarded to him because I knew it would be of interest to his daughters. Yesterday morning I was greeted to a quick email discussing poor Cameron Douglas. The day before that, he sent me a line or two about the sudden death of the Colorado Rockies' owner.

While the messages aren't especially upbeat, I love finding him in my inbox first thing in the morning. The content really doesn't matter. It's just important to know that he's still out there, thinking of me.

We used to talk for hours, in person when we worked together and then, after he moved, over the phone. For myriad reasons, not the least of which is that his wife has deemed our relationship "inappropriate," we have been learning how to conduct our friendship via email.

This is easy for me. I write for a living. Dashing off a line or two about anything that pops into my head is as natural for me as falling off a log -- and if you knew what a klutz I am, you would know how apt that old saying is.

He finds writing intimidating. So he tries to come up with something to say that is "worthy" of the time it takes to compose and read. Consequently days go by and I don't hear from him. And then I start to spin out -- Is he OK? What's up? Is something wrong? And, truth to tell, I start to feel isolated, because no one means to me exactly what my best friend does. I just need to feel connected.

I have tried, more than once, to explain this to him. All I need is an email that lets me know he's OK and hopes I am, too. It only needs take a moment. But up until this week, my message never got through. Somehow, when I told him how much happier my days are when I find him in my mailbox in the morning, he got it.

And yes, it is very cool.

Shut Up and Go Away

Yes, that about covers it.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN)
-- Lawyers for Rod Blagojevich filed a motion Thursday seeking to subpoena President Obama to testify in the corruption case against the former Illinois governor.

The 10-page motion contends that Obama must have information in the case because the charges against Blagojevich involve alleged deal-making to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama when he became president.

"The defense understands that the President of the United States of America is not a routine witness and would not request his appearance if it did not think he was critical to the liberty of Rod Blagojevich," the motion says.

According to the motion, Obama's public assertion that he had no involvement in talks about filling his Senate seat contradicts information from another witness in the case.