MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3 This week began in the exact same manner as last week: with an armed toddler seriously wounding a family member. Details come from the Associated Press, which tracks the scene to the town of Lorain, Ohio, where yesterday two children—a 4-year-old boy and his 3-year-old sister—were reportedly playing alone in a bedroom. According to police, the boy found a loaded .40-caliber handgun in a dresser, and soon after shot his sister in the head. “A police report says the father of the 3-year-old girl was holding her in his arms when officers arrived,” writes the AP. “The report says the 4-year-old boy was crying and that he repeatedly told an officer he was sorry.” The tragic case will now be taken up by the Lorain County prosecutor’s office, which will determine if criminal charges are warranted.
>>Meanwhile in New Jersey, a man was gravely wounded in a manner even stupider than being shot by a toddler. The setting: Jersey City, where this morning the aforementioned man was delivering sheet rock to a construction site. Simultaneously, 50 feet above him, a tape measure broke free of a worker’s belt and gravity took over. “Carly Baldwin, a spokeswoman for the city’s public safety department, says the 1-pound tape measure…struck construction equipment about 10 to 15 feet from the ground,” reports the AP. “It then ricocheted and struck the man, who wasn’t wearing a hard hat. The man was taken to a hospital, where he died.” Condolences to all.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 Speaking of terrible news, the week continued with 2014 midterm elections, in which Republicans won big all over, gaining control of the Senate for the first time in eight years, securing its biggest majority of the House since World War II, and sweeping even the fringiest GOP candidates into office. (Scariest examples: Gary Glenn, who won a seat in the Michigan state legislature after holding forth on his belief that homosexuality should be recriminalized as “a proven threat to public health and safety,” and Gordon Klingenschmitt, who won a seat in the Colorado state legislature despite expressing his belief that only those going to Heaven deserve equal protection under the law and declaring that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should never have been repealed since gay soldiers are constantly “taking breaks on the combat field to change diapers all because their treacherous sin causes them to lose control of their bowels.”) In better news, voters in Washington, DC, Alaska, and Oregon legalized recreational use of marijuana; voters in Colorado and North Dakota rejected “personhood” measures aiming at expanding rights for the unborn by restricting rights of grown women; voters in Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota approved raising the minimum wage; and voters in Washington State approved a measure mandating background checks on gun sales and gun shows while voting down a measure preventing the expansion of such background checks. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that Republicans now control both houses of congress and all decent citizens should brace themselves for some seriously upsetting legislative battles.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Speaking of seriously upsetting, the week continued with a distinctly 21st-century horror story set right here in the Pacific Northwest, where a man stands accused of murdering his girlfriend then posting photos of her corpse on the online forum 4chan. Details come from NBC News, which identifies the victim as Amber Lynn Coplin, the 30-year-old woman who was yesterday found dead in the Port Orchard apartment she shared with 33-year-old David Michael Kalac. “But even before the first 911 call, a person claiming to be the killer posted photos of a woman’s naked body with red marks around her neck to the online forum 4chan,” reports NBC, identifying the website as “the same forum where hundreds of nude photos of celebrities were posted in August.” Upon arriving at the apartment, Kitsap sheriff’s deputies found a crime scene that matched the online photos, and the hunt for David Kalac was on. “Kalac is believed to have driven off in the car belonging to his alleged victim after he strangled her late Monday or Tuesday,” reports NBC. “Portland police first spotted the car shortly after midnight Wednesday, but the driver eluded them by swerving into oncoming traffic.” Which brings us to tonight, when Kalac surrendered to authorities in the town of Wilsonville, to be booked on charges of second-degree murder involving domestic violence.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6 In better news, the week continues with Tig Notaro, the American comic whom Last Days came to appreciate in her role as the chill lesbian cop on The Sarah Silverman Program before she reached a new level of stardom with an internet-exploding comedy set about her diagnosis with breast cancer. Tonight, Notaro landed at New York City’s Town Hall with her “Boyish Girl Interrupted” tour, where she delivered another set people will be talking about forever. Details come from The New Yorker, which reports Notaro had just finished a story about her double mastectomy when she unbuttoned her blazer—a move that inspired an audience member to shout out a cat-callish “Whoo!” “Did you not hear the story I was just telling?” Notaro asked, adding, “I’m about one more ‘Whooo’ away from going topless.” “It was a joke, obviously,” writes Andrew Marantz at The New Yorker. “But, predictably, several whoops emerged from the crowd. Notaro made an instant calculation. Then she ripped her shirt open, Superman-like, and she was topless….her ribs visible, her lack of breasts visible, her surgery scars visible.” Notaro stayed that way for the rest of her set. “Notaro, not for the first time, found within her joke-telling a moment of transcendence,” writes Marantz. “The image was almost too easy to read as allegory: a comic literally willing to bare it all, her flesh literally scarred, the shape of her body a living rebuke to gender norms.” Seattle: Experience the fearless comedy of Tig Notaro for yourself this Thursday, November 13, at the Neptune.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7 In worse news, the week continued with a heartbreaking update on the Marysville Pilchuk High School shooting, as tonight a fourth victim—15-year-old Andrew Fryberg—died from injuries sustained in the shooting. As Seattlepi.com reports, Fryberg was a cousin of the murderous-then-suicidal shooter Jaylen Fryberg, and joins 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14-year-old Zoe Galasso, and 14-year-old Gia Soriano on the list of lives lost to this tragedy. Small ray of hope: a fifth shooting victim—14-year-old Nate Hatch—is recovering well enough to be released yesterday from Harborview Medical Center. For a closing statement, we turn to the Tulalip Tribes, who tonight issued a statement that they and the town of Marysville “will be forever changed as a result of the senseless and tragic incident that took place on the morning of Oct. 24 and know that healing will not happen overnight. We remain committed to taking this journey together, step by step, holding up the families most impacted and helping our communities heal.”
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 8 In better news, the week continues with the safe return of two Americans—46-year-old Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, and 25-year-old Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, California—who'd spent many months detained in North Korea. Bae had been jailed in North Korea since late 2012, Miller since May of this year, and tonight both arrived safely at Washington State's Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9 In worse news, the week ends with a tragically stupid story out of Connecticut, where today a 21-year-old man apparently attempted to "surf" a Metro-North train headed toward Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal when he was electrocuted, caught on fire, and died from his injuries.
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