Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm going to hospital.

I'm heading to Virginia Mason hospital and I'll write when I get back.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

They keep asking me if I want to go to the hospital but it is snowing in Seattle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I probably won't be conscious for very long. But I didn't want to go a day without writing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Too tired to write

I feel a little better than yesterday but I am still sick and I keep falling asleep. The day started with a long email to my former boss at the UW Physics Department, Karie, whick took hours to do because people kept coming in for vital signs and I got a sponge bath, which I needed badly.

I am sure other stuff happened but I forgot most of it. And when I "remember" it it turns out to be a hallucination.

I had physical therapy (in bed) with Arthur, restorative therapy with Lamin, and occupational therapy with Kathy (twice), so I felt that the day was productive. Also I had two visits from friends. The first was with my friend Marriane (from the UW Chemistry Department). She's the one I wrote about earlier, the one who is the Mother Theresa of cats. She keeps trying to find the perfect cat for me to adopt and I had to explain to her that, although I like cats, I am allergc to their urine. Besides I have found a new love now. It was a very unexpected visit and I hoped to catch up with all the office gossip but I was really tired.

I told her I want to hang out more and she agreed. She also gave me a couple of much wanted gift cards, one from Burger King and one from Starbucks. After she left, my friend Todd and his family stopped by and also brought me a Starbucks gift card (for a combined total of $45 of coffee, sweet). His two kids, Autumn (age six) and Aidan (age three) are growing up real fast. And this is the first time, since the 2007 4th of July, that I've seen her. It was shortly after that that I went into the hospital, never to return to normal life (yet). I also got a Christmas card from my friend Rachel (Hi Ray!) today, so I have been feeling pretty cheery all day.

Unless I get a second wind I probably won't write again tonight. Between the drugs and the heat in my room (it's 90°!) I am just too beat to concentrate. I have nodded off five times in the past hour, since I started writing this post, so I gotta go.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Faith Has Been Restored

Now I want one.

One more thing

This snow is all pretty and everything but it has fucked up things for a lot of people. If it's waking up to find your car has had a tree fall on it, or finding it impossible to get gas, or it's finding yourself stranded at the airport, or the train station, with little hope of getting home for Christmas, added on top of losing your job (as did 533,000 workers in November alone) tell me why I should want to live again?

I got out of bed...then, almost immediatly, got back in.

For the second time in two days a nurse has asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, and for the second time I said no (despite a 101.4° temperature and an oxygen level of 84%). "Said" is hardly the right word as I have a wicked case of laryngitis.

It snowed a LOT yesterday, judging from the picture I took when I was up (an impressive hour and a half). I can't tell if the photograph is in focus. The medication I am taking has caused my vision to be blurrier than usual.

I got out of bed around ten and immediately regretted it. I was light headed and everything went white. I imagine I turned white too, but I had an aide who was disinterested in my condition, he was more interested in getting me dressed and into my chair, so he could male my bed and take his break.

Though I wanted to get back into bed, I needed to take care of a couple things first. I put the half pint of Southern Comfort in a box that the staff would unlikely look through, in the event that I will have to go to the hospital. I then went out to the Solarium, the dining room where the folks who can't feed themselves are fed, to take some more pictures (the best of which is below). Then I went and got some coffee and headed back to therapy. I told Arthur that I wasn't up to standing but I would be willing to do stretches later. I told Joyce I wasn't up to lifting weights, but she talked me into playing the Wii. I bowled an impressive 236, but, in golf, I shot a lousy 8 over par, despite one birdie and six even pars in a nine hole game.

It was noon, so I returned to my room to watch The People's Court. All of a sudden I had to have a bowel movement so, since I use a bed pan, I went back to bed. Jonas came in to give me my medication so I just decided to stay in bed, where I have been ever since (it's 5:00 now) writing this post. A couple hours agi Lamin stopped by and we got in fifteen minutes of therapy, but no sign of Arthur.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Feel Ooky All Over

Apparently it snowed last night. Four to five inches in Seattle, as predicted. But I haven't seen it yet. As of 1 p.m. I still haven't got out of bed. I am really sick. I didn't get much sleep last night because of a wicked cough and a sharp pain in my back. Actually the pain was near my left-side kidney, the one that wasn't replaced. I also felt very hot and sweaty. I started to panic. What if I have an infection? I called the nurse. It was Nicole. She checked my vitals. I had a temperature of 101.9°. She asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. While I thought about it for a few minutes, Nicole went to call my doctor to see what he wanted to do and if he had got the results of my x-ray.

If I went to the hospital, and they kept me for more than a day, the nursing home would pack my stuff up until I returned and I would wind up in another room, on another wing (meaning different nurses and aides) and have yet another roommate. I also didn't want them packing my stuff up because I still have half a pint of Southern Comfort in one of my drawers. So I decided not to go to the hospital (it would have taken hours riding in the back of an ambulance anyway.

Nicole came back and gave me some pain killers, an antibiotic, Tylenol, cough syrup, and oxygen and it made me feel better. I rested for a couple of hours until 8:00, when Jonas brought me morning pills, including 10 mg of Dilaudid, then Abrahim came in an hour and a half later to change my bandages. That was around ten and it's almost a quarter to two now. My back is starting to go into spasm again and I feel a cough coming on. Jonas just came in with more medicine.

I think I'll still stay in bed. The snow will be there tomorrow. The Seahawks are playing the Jets in Seattle right now and I see that it's still snowing. Maybe, if I feel better, I'll get up. I'd like to watch it snow in high definition out in the lobby.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Letter to Barack

A Slog commenter provide this link to the Obama web page and suggested that all the people who were upset over his choice of Rick Warren giving the inauguration invocation write in. I wrote the following a few minutes ago:

Dear President-Elect,

I am deeply saddened by your choice of Rick Warren as the person you want to give your inaugural invocation. Over the past few weeks I have defended your cabinet choices because I thought your Domestic Policy Team would be closer to the progressive views of your supporters. But I have been disappointed with your choices of late and now your choice of Warren, as polite but intolerant bigot there is. A man who equates your gay supporters with those who practice pedophilia and bestiality, and whose antisemitism is widely known. This I find hard to forgive. I do not regret voting for you because of the alternative, but I can't keep defending your choices. Millions of people supported you and your election gave me and so many people hope. But now I feel you may be just another politician who says what he has to to get elected. Millions of the people who campaigned for you, and who voted for you, now feel abandoned by you and I can't tell if you care how much we are disappointed in you.

You have a tough job ahead and I will pray for you and our country. I hope you can restore my faith in you.

Larry Davenport

Not particularly well written but it was just the spur of the moment and I didn't want to be too wordy.

Another Snow Day

It wasn't much of a day today. I woke up this morning to both a backache and a pain in my neck and I felt even sicker than yesterday. Coughing has been painful. I still haven't heard anything about my chest x-ray. I hate the doctor that oversees my health care here in the home. In the past 13 months I have spoken with him maybe a total of 15 minutes. It seems like the quality of my healthcare diminished when I went from being covered by health insurance and being covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

No sign of my new roommate yet. Since I had the room to myself no one bothered me all night. I slept until 8:00, when my nurse brought in my painkillers, then I was able to go back to sleep until 9:30, when Abrahim came in to change my bandages. I wound up staying in bed until about 2:30, just in time to work out with Lamin.

It finally started snowing around 4:00 p.m. and the wind picked up about an hour later. They are predicting that winds will except 75 m.p.h. and there will be 4 to 6 inches of snow in Seattle. The national news (NBC) says that it will be the deepest snow since 1974, but I have lived in Seattle for 18 years and I remember twice (Decembers of 1990 and 1996) when the snow reached at least halfway up my calve. Maybe that was just a snow drift. I don't know where they officially measure the depth of the snow. "Seattle" can be a pretty vague description and we have lots of hills.

The news has been dominated by the snow but I can't see it out my window. I rolled out to the windows that face the back but there are no lights outside so all I can see is my own reflection. In the lobby, Ray has the drapes closed and he won't be nice and part them so I can see outside. My chair won't reach. I don't know why he has to be such a dick. If I want to see, I will have to go out the front door. But that requires punching in a code, which I know, and getting outside before the alarm goes off. That isn't a problem. I go out the front door all the time when I go out for coffee. But I never come back through the front. It's easier to come in the back way. The controls for my chair are t the end of my right arm rest. Coming into the building, the left swinging door is always locked, making it difficult for me to get back inside because I have to reach for the right door, across my body, with my left arm to open the door. On a couple occasions I have almost broke my arm. Entering through the back door, I can open the left swinging door with my left hand and scoot right on in.

Unfortunately the Wi-Fi is not working in my room which is why I came out into the lobby to use it here. Ray has just switched the TV to watch Nancy Grace. I find her repugnant, but there isn't really much better on. I have 150 movies and ten video games back in my room so I will end things now. Tomorrow we will see how much snow actually accumulated. Hopefully it will be so much that my new roommates arrival will be delayed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

First Came Optimism, Then Came Dissapointment

The day started off with a really bad back ache. It felt like I got kicked in the ribs on my left side. Whenever I take a breath, it hurts like hell. Between that and the wheezing I have been experiencing since Monday, Jonas, my nurse, was worried that I might have pneumonia, so I got a chest x-ray. Personally, I think the back ache was caused by getting in or out of bed and the wheezing/cold is from sharing a room with a heavy smoker.

While I waited for Nicole to change my bandages, I scanned the Slog and the news and read about Governor Gregoire's budget for 2009. Her plan is not to raise taxes, but includes slash ing health care for children and the disabled, i.e. me. (And also cutting the raise for state workers, so the raise I would have got, if I was still working at the UW, would not happen). She may also eliminate food stamps, something I was hoping to avoid needing, but you never know. I really don't know how much money I am getting from the State. I get disability insurance through work and I get Medicare and Medicaid, but I don't know if I depend on any money from the State. We'll see.

Anyway, I got up at ten this morning and, after getting some coffee from the kitchen, I went to therapy. In O.T. I just sat doing crossword puzzles while I had a heat pack behind my back. Then I had an hour of P.T. with Arthur. I lied face down on the mat while he applied heat and ultrasound to my right leg, followed by a few minutes of deep massage. Then he and Lonnie helped me stand and I was able to actually stand comfortably for two minutes. I needed their help to keep me steady, but I was still not able to get my left heal completely flat on the ground. Still it was a great improvement. I felt optimistic. Unfortunately I won't be getting any therapy this weekend, beyond some stretching with Lamin (assuming he can get here in the snow).

When I returned to my room to grab my computer, I found that they had moved Gerald into another room. I hated that he smoked because I am sure he is the reason why I have been sick all week, and I was sick of having to tell him to close the door every time he used the bathroom, but other than that he was a tolerable roommate. He never watched TV and he never made any demands of me to turn mine off (or the lights) and other than the usual sighs and farts, he made very little noise. He always closed the door and turned his light off when he got up in the morning, and since he ate his meals in the dining room, he was only in our room when he slept. Now his bed is empty and I hoped it would remain that way over the weekend. Since it is supposed to snow heavily tomorrow, I thought I might have the room to myself until Monday, but when I returned later, a new name had appeared above mine on the door. Newman Le. (Le New man?) I hope Mr. Le isn't so feeble that the nurses insist that the door to the hall remain open 24/7 and I hope he isn't crazy, smelly or racist.

I am so sick of all the racist or homophobic patients around here. People say that I should not take it so seriously because these people are old, "They come from a different time," the nurses will say; or because the "old timers" are senile and suffer from dementia, "They don't know what they are saying." I think both arguments are bullshit. If anything, the senility or dementia removes their inhibitions and they say what they really think. And as far as being old, they should have paid attention all these years to see how wrong it is to think that way.

I was talking to a new patient, Rod, after I was done with therapy and I was having a good time. He was an interesting man who has lead an interesting life. He said that he was retired the Navy (both of my parents had been in the Navy) and he had been a Commander with the JAG and Naval Intelligence. We talked about a N.C.I.S., T.V. show we both like. and how we are both writing books, his on his Vietnam experience, mine about my experiences being in a nursing home at such a young age. We talked about how bad the economy is and how much we hope Barack Obama can fix it. We agreed if anyone can, Obama could. The conversation switched to how much we both hate this place. We both agreed about how much we hate the food, how we hate how the nurses and aides come into our rooms at all hours of the night and never close the doors when they leave, and things like that. Then Rod started talking about how all the "foreigners" that work here are "so stupid and incompetent" and how he can never understand a word they were saying, and how they should have never been allowed in the country and should be sent back to Africa or Asia or "wherever they came from."

I was so disappointed. This person who I had spent the last half our talking to, and enjoying it, was a fucking bigot. It made me sick. I felt like the floor fll out from under me. I looked around to see if anyone else heard what I just heard. If they did they ignored it. I wanted to yell at the guy, "You fucking racist! These are good hard working people." But I didn't. I didn't make a scene. I didn't call him on it. "What's the point?" I thought. People would say I shouldn't be so intolerant. (Can you be intolerant of the intolerant? Should you be?)

I don't even know if Rod is aware that he is a bigot. He would say he isn't one because he voted for Barack Obama. But he's still a bigot in my eyes. It is fine to say it is frustrating trying to talk to someone for whom English is not their native tongue, (I've been there) or how someone is incompetent in their job, but what does someone's color have to do with anything?

I just waited a beat and looked at the clock. "I've got to be somewhere." I said. "Nice talking to you." (Iguess I am nothing if not polite). I hear this kind of shit all the time and it bugs me. Until I get out of here I am going to hear more of it.

When I went out into the lobby to watch Judge Judy, I had a few minutes to kill so caught the end of 1600 on MSNB. David Shuster was interviewing John Cloud, a Time Magazine columnist (based in Seattle) who wrote that Barack Obama's choosing of Pastor Rick Warren as the one to give the invocation at his inauguration was proof that the President-Elect was a "bigot." Shuster agreed with everything Cloud said but argued over the semantics of the word "bigot." The columnist posited, what do you call a person who believes in separate but equal, when it comes to gay people, anything but a bigot? I had to think about it.

For the past couple weeks I have defended Obama's cabinet selections. People who have come mainly from the center or even slightly on the right. I kept saying "wait until he picks the Domestic Cabinet. Then you'll see where the change will come from" I thought his domestic picks would finally satisfy those on the far-left and they would finally stop regretting their support of Obama.

But Obama's picks of late have not been that exciting or daring. They have been safe picks. Unlike his picks for his Financial or Defense teams, it is harder to argue that these are the most qualified people for the job, despite their political views. These picks seemed designed to pass confirmation quite quickly without offending the Right. It's as if Obama doesn't want to do anything to offend the people who didn't vote for him. It's as if he doesn't want to pick anyone that Republicans will have a problem with, despite that Democrats have an overwhelming majority in both the Senate and the House.

Now he has picked a man to pray at his inauguration that has equated homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality, not to mention his views on abortion and other progressive ideals. He says that he wants to invite everyone to the table, even though they may disagree on the issues. Obama says he has a long history of supporting gays and lesbians, but there doesn't seem to be lot of evidence he has. The fact that he is against gay marriage proves he isn't their champion. It's like telling a black person, "Why do you care if you can't sit in the front of the bus? We are still letting you ride the bus, and the back of the bus gets there at the same time as the front does." Saying that a gay couple can have all the rights that are equal to marriage, but you can't call it marriage...I'm sorry, but those are the arguments of a bigot.

Knowing what I know now, I would still vote for Obama because the alternative would be John McCain and a continuation of the past disastrous eight years is not how I want to live. And voting for some other leftist candidate would not get that person elected President, but ensure 4-8 years under more Republican rule. But, I am sick of defending Obama. As much as I hate to say it, he is a bigot and I am very dissapointed in him.

"I Thought Wew Were Going To Die"

The Story Here

Photo by

Photo by Ali Simmers

What Would Vice-President Palin Say?

The mother of Levi Johnson, the 18-year old boy who knocked up Sarah Palin's 16 year old daughter, was arrested for selling or manufacturing drugs. There is very little information on what the actual charges are and there is no comment from the Governor's office. (Thanks to the Stranger and The Anchorage Daily News).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Snow Day

Today was so subdued it was easy to forget it wasn't a Saturday. A blanket of snow covered the nursing home and surrounding area and though it seemed like they were fully staffed, I managed to be forgotten about by the therapy department, even though I hung out there playing the Wii and doing crossword puzzles most of the day.

I rolled out into the snow and felt it fall on my face. If I was healthy and younger I would have had fun playing in it. The snow seemed good for Snowmen and Snow Balls. But being stuck in the chair it just felt cold and wet. I took a few pictures and went back inside.

The one interesting thing that happened today was that I was given a phone message (a day late) regarding an opening for housing in Lake City. I called the guy and I can get in to the complex and have a handicapped accessible, one bedroom apartment for $550 plus utilities. The apartment is in a newly renovated building near 125th, between 35th and Lake City Way. It would be a good location if and when I can go back to work at the UW. But I am not going to get my hopes up. I thought I was close to getting a place to live three times in the past year and in every case something fell through.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Evening News*

No snow in Seattle (yet) but it's snowing in Vegas. (Huffington Post)

How lucky can you get?

Almost half the population of the town of Wilmington, Ohio (13,000) were laid off. (USA TODAY)

The 7,500 people laid off were just from one company (DHL). Just wait until all the small businesses (restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.) close too. It will be another rust belt ghost town.

Space Shuttles to be sold to the museums. Buyers pay cost plus shipping. (MSNBC)

It would be cool if we could get one at the Museum of Flight! Does anyone have $42 million?

Woman in car calls 911 seconds before she is hit by a train! (MSNBC)

Another reason old people should not be allowed to drive.

"The foot literally popped out of the brain." (Denver News 7)

My nomination for the "eewww" story of 2008.

*not in anyway affiliated with The Stranger's/SLOG's "Morning News"

A case of the blahs

No snow yet. Watching the local news it seems like it is happening everywhere but in Seattle.

Either I am getting a sinus infection from rooming with a smoker, or I am catching the bug that is going around. On top of being stoned in general from all the pain killers my head feels like it is underwater from the sniffles. It was almost eleven before I had my bandages changed and I got out of bed.

On top of his smoking and his leaving his walker in my way, my new roommate does not close the bathroom door when he goes to the bathroom, nor does he wash his hands. If I don't tell him to do it he forgets. I am too young to babysit someone twice my age. I'm sorry if he's an "old timer" as one of the nurses said, but come on! I implore my friends if I ever get that old please shoot me in the back of the head. Having been here this past year I can move getting old to the top of my list of fears. A list of my "Top 5 Fears" would look like this:
  1. Being homeless
  2. Prison
  3. Getting old
  4. Bees
  5. tie Terrorism/Nuclear War
It was a pretty mellow day in therapy. It was Brigit's last day. She gave me a hug and hopefully we will keep in touch. She and Jonna are going to be working at the same place near South Lake Union. Sounds like a pretty sweet place but I am either too young or too poor to go there.

So I worked with Arthur again on stretching and standing. Arthur is very talkative, friendly and "out and proud." The time flew by as we talked about living on Capitol Hill and Seattle in general. We also talked about our relationships with our families. He is four years older than me so other than sexual orientation we have a lot in common. He told me how his father, his whole family maybe, disowned him when he came out, but now that his parents are in their 70s they are reaching out. Though I'm not gay, I had a similar story. I told him how, through disinterest on my father's part, I had not seen him since 1985. The last time I spoke to him was 1991, and it didn't go well. Recently I found out that my father died in 1999. No one ever told me. I don't know if anyone ever tried. I think he is buried in Olympia in a joint plot with some woman I never heard of. So my advice to Arthur, or anyone, is if the door is open, you better go in because someday it will really be closed forever.

Anyway. I stood in the parallel bars once for about two minutes. My legs were fine but my shoulders gave out. The left leg felt really stable, but I still can't get my left heal down. I stood in the standing frame for a little over seven minutes. We worked for a total of 50 minutes. I wish we could just work off the clock until we've exhausted everything I can do, but they are very short handed and even though it was 4:00 p.m., Arthur still had a few patients to see.

Right now I am watching Judge Judy and contemplating nuking some left over Chinese. More later, maybe.

Cute Things That Fall Asleep

Thanks to The Slog this morning I was turned on to Cute Things That Fall Asleep. It's a nice way to kill some time and if you are in a bad mood it might help.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sometimes all you need is a good vent.

Today was a somewhat subdued day, though from all the noise outside my room at 6:30 this morning, I expected something different. It was both bright and sunny and bitter cold when I finally got up around ten.

I didn't get my morning pain killers on time this morning because the nurse on duty, Gloria (I think) was running around like a headless chicken. She always seems like she's overwhelmed by everything. I think if someone asked "How are you doing?" it would throw her into a panic, as if she was being pressured to answer.

So the usual early morning Tuesday rounds with all the head nurses did not happen, which is probably best for Tumani, because when I woke up this morning I was still upset about our fight. Had I vented in front of them, instead of a different nurse, Tumani could have easily been fired. These ladies have that power.

But instead I vented to Nicole, the wound care nurse who changes my bandages everyday. She was appalled at what Tumani had done, or not done, and she encouraged me to go complain to thr Nurse Manager. She was in a meeting, I ws told, but she should be back any minute. I waited about five minutes before I gave up nd decided to leave and come back.

Later I ran into Dames and Tijon, who new what had happened. Tijon told me he had talked to Tumani to set him right. He told me Tumani was apologetic, that he did not understand what I was trying to tell him.

I thought about it and decided that was fair. I had been in a panic last night and I might not have been making sense. Being hopped up on pain killers all day can make it difficult to be understood in an emergency. So I dropped it and I'll move on. I know what he did. He knws what he did, and three of his peers know what he did. That's enough.

I had lunch with Todd at the Black Pearl. He bought me a big bag of Chinese food that I can eat for a few days. We talked about what I wanted to do on my birthday and I thnk we will try to get everyone to go to Pazzo's on January 31 (Saturday).

After lunch I had an hour of occupational therapy with Joyce. I played the Wii for a half hour. I bowled three games, all over 200 points. I played nine holes of golf, shooting a four under par (one less than my record). Then I lifted weights and did some isometric stretching for the other half hour. I had a quick session with Lamin and we compared the most corrupt American politicians versus the most corrupt politicians in Africa. As bad as our politicians are, none of them, as far as we know, had anyone killed, and except for Boss Tweed (if you adjust for inflation) no American politician has robbed the country of billions of dollars. Say what yo will about America, but we never produced people like Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, who stole as much as five billion dollars, coincidently the amount of Zaire's national debt.

Next was an hour of physical therapy. Brigit's last day is tomorrow and I hope that there won't be so much snow she can't make it to work to say goodbye. I will miss her, but I sent her an email with my blog address so maybe she will keep in touch. I will keep working with Z and Tobey after she leaves. There is a new physical therapist, Arthur, who seems nice and capable. I have been observing his work with both Danny and Earl, my roommate for two weeks prior to my heart attack. Arthur seems to be someone I can work with and we talked for about ten minutes before I called it a day. (I might have over did it on the stationary bike because my legs ached when I was in the standing frame and I was only able to stand for about five minutes.)

I turned down the opportunity to move in to another room, though I may regret it. I know the guy I would have roomed with and it would probably have been O.K., but I figured, "Why should I have to move?" I have been in this nursing home for over a year, the last eight weeks in this bed. Why not move my the new guy? Just because I am not demented annd won;t throw a fit doesn't mean I have to give in on everything. But he smells of stale cigarrettes and my sinuses are killing me whenever he is in the room, and he leaves the door open when he goes to the bathroom, which is fine if you live alone. And if the guy is old enough to smoke he should be old enough to know you shut the fucking bathroom door, especially when you are taking a dump. I'll stick it out for a little while longer unless it becomes unbearable, but maybe this will help motivate me to get the hell out of here.

It's 7:30 and I am pretty beat. I might work on a crossword puzzle while NCIS or House play in the background and then I'll call it a night. The news say we might get as little as a trace but as much as half a foot of snow before I wake up tomorrow. If it does I will take a picture.

Shoes for the homeless. Shoes for the President.

In response to this story on The Slog:

Over at the Slog someone suggested that people mail their shoes to President Bush to show solidarity with the reporter who threw his shoes at the President, earlier this week in Iraq. I am of two minds about the shoe throwing, on the one hand I agree with Rachel Maddow. As much as you disagree with the President, or even hate the President, you don't throw shoes at the President, and you certainly don't throw shoes at our President. We are lucky it was only a shoe. What if it had been a knife? What if it had been acid or a vile of plague? What if the shoe hit the President, and like so much dumb luck, he fell and hit his head on something and he died? How would we retaliate? Do we bomb Iraq some more? What would life be like if Dick Cheney were President, even for just the next 35 days? Would Cheney even give up the White House?

But I also understand the "symbolism" of the shoe and I do agree with it. This President, though he may not be the worst in history (I am not a scholar), he is the worst in my lifetime. He makes me miss Nixon.

So someone suggested mailing shoes to the President, and surprisingly there were many people against it. Not because it's in poor taste or un-American, but because it's a waste of shoes. There are ten thousand (give or take) homeless people in Seattle alone. There must be a million nationwide. The homeless need shoes, especially this time of year when it is supposed to be the coldest winter in twenty years.

So here is my solution:

1) Look in your closet for shoes that are in decent shape, but ones you do not wear anymore (or go to Payless or K-Mart and buy cheap but decent pairs of shoes and trade them to the nearest homeless person for their grubby useless shoes.

2) On January 13, the Saturday before the inauguration, meet outside the White House. At 1:20 p.m. ("1:20 in honor of January 20, when G.W. is no longer President) everyone throws their ratty shoes over the fence onto the White House lawn.

If enough people do it, they couldn't arrest everybody (they can come to Seattle and arrest me for suggesting it, if they want). Also a lot of homeless people will have new shoes for the winter.

Everyone wins. People can show a relatively nonviolent show of solidarity with Muntadar al-Zeid, the world's most famous shoe thrower, and hopefully many homeless people will have new shoes for the winter. And someone please hold up a sign that says "Dear President Bush, Don't let these shoes kick your ass on the way out."

The state of news in Seattle

(The Stranger often comments on the sorry state of our local news here in Seattle, whether it is one of our local TV news personalities, a particular campus newspaper, or, mostly, the mess that is the Seattle Times versus the Seattle P-I and how soon one or both will go out of business. I was originally going to post a short comment on this story in the Slog, but I became so long winded I decided to post a blog entry instead).

I don't understand how people can be so blasé about the fact that Seattle may soon become a "one paper town." With the potential loss of one of our daily papers it means we will have one less side of any story. We will lose either the Seattle Times, which has been drastically downsizing of late, or the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (the P.I.), which drew the short-end of the stick when the papers formed a "joint operation agreement" many years ago, merging their Sunday Papers and their classified ads. To me, losing one of our two daily papers means, like losing the Seattle Sonics, that Seattle is ceasing to be a "World Class City."

Seattle will still have its two weekly papers, The Stranger and the Seattle Weekly, but they will only remain in business as long as advertisers can afford to run ads in them. The economy, such as it is, holds no guarantees. Of the two weeklies, I believe The Stranger will outlast the Weekly. The Stranger is the far more entertaining and respected of the two and since, for the past 11 years, the Weekly has been owned by two different New York-based corporations, the majority of their articles come from syndicated sources. All of the Weekly's former local staff, except for a couple who remained on to blog, were either fired or quit to form their own internet company. Now the Seattle Weekly no longer seems relevant as a "Seattle" paper. (Except for the restaurant reviews and food blog, I never read it).

The Stranger (as much as I love it and participate on its blog everyday), seems incapable of just reporting the news without the writer interjecting their political or social beliefs into each story, as if the writer's opinion carries as much weight as the stories facts. It is often too snarky to be a "real" newspaper, in the traditional sense. When I think of what a newspaper should be, I think of papers like the New York Times or the Washington Post, in that, 90% of the news should be unbiased factual reporting. (Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?) Another 5% can be opinion, limited to the "Opinion" section of the newspaper, and another 5% for "sundries" such as comics and light-hearted stories about cat's in trees or quintuplets or quintuplets in trees. Then you sell enough ad space to pay for producing the paper, including salaries, then you do it again tomorrow.

I used to count on The Stranger, and to a lesser extent, the Weekly, to do in-depth stories that neither the Times nor the P-I deemed news-worthy. But I can't remember the last time I read any actual news in the paper itself, none that I hadn't already read online anyway, which is part of the problem. By the time Thursday rolls around and the print edition of the Stranger hits the streets, the news has been parsed and picked over daily by the writers and readers of the Slog (the Stranger's blog). By the time it's in print, it's old news. The Stranger writers are so busy posting on the Slog, it seems like they don't have time to go out and do any actual reporting. They spend most of their time commenting on stories other reporters covered for other news organizations. I am not suggesting The Stranger is plagiarizing the other news organizations because they credit where they got the story and provide a link to the source (the same thing I and most every other blogger does) but the Stranger is a news paper and they used to do more than blog. I hope the editors free up some of their writers and tell them, "we don't want you to Slog again until you write 15,000 words on something important going on, whether it's about transit or the homeless, or police brutality." Real papers get nominated for Pulitzer's damn it!

Despite all that, the dailies can learn a lot from the Stranger. The Stranger does not need to publish a newspaper everyday because they can blog everyday, or if they chose to, turn the online version of the Stranger itself into a daily paper, though that might require hiring more staff to go out in the field.

The Times and the P-I can follow the lead of the Detroit Free Press, and others, and get rid of their print version altogether, just offer the news for free online and rely on online advertising to cover their costs. Since there wouldn't be a print edition, there would be a lot less overhead because there wouldn't be a need for typesetters, printers, delivery people, or other people who are vital to creating an actual newspaper. It's a shame that people will lose jobs, but that is progress. Creating a newspaper, like building a car, doesn't have to be as complicated as it is, just to keep people in a job. As the technology is created to make jobs more efficient, therefore cheaper, therefore affordable, you let people retire and don't replace them, and the ones who haven's been doing the job so long they've become "institutionalized" you retrain them for a job that a machine can't do, like reporting. (The only thing I think I will miss about having an actual newspaper is doing the New York Times Crossword Puzzle because I am more comfortable doing it with a pencil at my own pace rather than stuck at a keyboard typing while a time counts the seconds, minutes, and on Saturdays, hours it takes me to finish. However I can always wait and buy one of the many compilations published each year).

The Stranger should pray that both the Times and P-I survives, otherwise the Stranger will have one less source for its local news.


I want to acknowledge that Jonah Spangenthal-Lee consistently turns in interesting, well written articles with very little bias.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"I'm on my break."

My hands are still shaking. I am so upset. To get away from my new roommate and his tar and nicotine drenched clothing, I adjourned to the lobby to eat my leftover Chimichanga from Memo's and watch Countdown and Rachel Maddow. I thought about hanging out to watch Heroes. I've never seen Heroes on hi-def and tonight's episode is the last new one of the year.

I was sitting in the lobby with this guy, Ray, who I think I've mentioned before. He never takes his coat off, even if it's hot outside. He is a disagreeable old prick who, when asked a simple question, is dismissive and defensive. One time someone casually asked what ray was watching and he spat "I'm watching this!" This being the NWCN, which repeats every 30 minutes, and which Ray had been watching for two hours. Ray likes to beat anyone to the TV Sunday mornings so he can turn on anything that isn't something everyone wants to watch, like the Seahawks game. Sometimes I stake out the lobby and wait until he has to go pee or get lunch, and then I'll turm the TV on to People's Court and watch a three hour People's Court/Judge Alex/People's Court sandwhich, just for spite. (Have I mentined how there is nothing to do here)?

So I was watching TV with Ray when an old lady pushed her senile, wheelchair bound husband into the lobby. I had seen the old pair around for almost as long as I've been here. Their daughter was very close to Danny so I had talked to her before. The father has been in the home for quite some time. The mother, who isn't doing to well herself, may eventually join him here. The daughter is a very nice and caring person, maybe a few years older than me, is often off visiting with one of the other patients while the mother pushes "Dad" around. I always worry about the old lady because pushing a man, especially an honery senile old man is not an easy thing to do.

She pushed him slowly into the lobby and asked him if he wanted to sit with us and watch TV. I kind of ignored them, as I often do, and kept half my attention on the TV and half on the crossword puzzle I was doing (Six-letter word. "Where Easy Street is." First letter 'F', fourth letter 'C.') The old man didn't want to watch TV, so she tried pushing him back towards the dining room. But his chair wouldn't budge. She kept pushing it to no avail.

She kept telling him he needed to put his feet up and he tried, but was weak; out of the corner of my eye I could see his right foot slip off the footrest and in front of the wheel. She kept pushing the chair and it wouldn't move. She would walk around the chair and bend over to put his feet back on the footrests. This went on and on and everytime she would bend over, she was slower getting up. She had to stop and sit on the couch several times to catch her breath, but before she could, this old man tried getting up out of his chair, despite the fact he couldn't stand. She would have to jump up, as much as an old lady in that condition can, to prevent him from getting out of the chair. Then the old lady started huffing and puffing and he was crying and I thought either she was going to have a heart attack, or worse, a stroke, and he was going to get up and do face plant right in front of me. I kept looking around to see if anyone was going to help, but Ray was just ignoring everything happening, and then this demented old lady in her wheelchair, who I also don't like and who thinks I'm her Dad, slowly came rolling in, almost completely blocking my exit. I had to use the power of my chair to push furniture out my way so I could hunt down someone who could help.

It's frustrating enough not being able to stand up and help myself, or being able to stand up and help someone else, but it is really fucking frustrating when you percieve an emergency and no one is around to help. I looked down two hallways and there were no aides or nurses, so I sped off to the closest nurse's station to see if I could find help. There were two nurses at the desk, one of whom was Tumani, a very tall Ethiopian named, whom I've mentioned before. I rolled up to them and in a panic I said "There's an old lady about to have a heart attack and her husband is trying to get up out of his chair, and there is no one around, and I need you to come help." And I sped away and when I turned back, there was Tumani, way back at the nurse's station. He hadn;t moved. I went back and said, "C'mon. They need help!" And without looking at me he said. "I am on my break." I felt punched in the gut. I took a second (felt like a minute) to process this and yelled "You are fucking useless!"

I drove around looking for a nurse but found an aide, Dames, instead. Dames was able to get the guy settled in his chair and rolled him back to the dining room and the woman thanked me and gave me a hug, which was nice, but was still upset. I went looking for Tumani. When I found him I told him, in front of two paramedics and some patients, that had one of the two old folks died or been injured, I would have called the cops. Tumani got in my face, like he was going to hit me and started yelling at me "You don't talk to me that way." Talking to hi was useless. He doesn't care. He doesn't care if I complain to his boss. He doesn't care about me. He doesn't care about the old couple, and he doesnt care about any of the other patients. I bet if it wasn't for the patients he would like being a nurse a whole lot better.

Last summer, when I met and had a conversation with Tumani, he brgged that, back in Ethiopia, he has a large house and that he was here in the United States because he wanted to "help sick people." It didn't sound right to me at the time. Why come to the U.S. to help sick people? I am sure I saw sick Africans, even Ethiopians, on T.V.. So why come all the way over here? This conversation was roughly the same time I started working with Lamin, and we were talking about Islam and how the Muslims believe in something akin to karma. and how it is traditional in their religion to take time off to help others. Later I found out that whereas Lamin is a devout Muslim, Tumani is a "Evangelical Christian." "Maybe it's an African thing," I thought. At the time, I was left with the idea that some Africans, like some Americans, go to other countries to do what they can to help people. Coincidently, one of the O.T. assistants, Tyler, is heading off to Africa this Spring as part of the Peace Corps. Lord knows there are people hurting in this country who need all the help they can get and so why not come to America to get some Karma points (and make 100 times more money than you can make on your own continent)?

But after today's run in with Tumani, I have come to the conclusion that his reasons for working here are not entirely altrustic. Maybe he took this job because he feels power over people who are weaker than him. If true he's like about twenty percent of the workers here, look down on patients as week, as almost subhuman. Not worth sympathy or empathy, only scorn. The fact that the only time he looked at my face was when he was yelling at me, like I better not close my eyes tonight, was not lost on me.

The 20% of the workers, like Tumani, who treat the patients like shit, or worse, furniture, make life here in the home pretty inbearable. These are the ones you here making fun of their patients behind their backs, but in front of them at the same time. It must make it hard on the 20% of workers who are not only good at their jobs, but actaually care about the well-being of their patients, nurses and aides like Jonas, Lamin, and Dames. Sometimes they walk in after another staff member has emotionally wrecked a patient and they are left cleaning up the mess.

The final 60% of the people working here are just here because it is a job. They are, for the most part, underpayed and overworked in a place that is understaffed. Eight weeks ago I was having a heart attack, unable to yell, and it took a half an hour for someone to answer my call light. When I got back I complined, but nothing has changed. Today I couldn't find anyone to help when I thought an old lady and her husband were in danger. The one aid in my wing, Dames, was busy helping another patient, but luckily he could drop what he was doing to come help. But what if there were two emergencies? My nurse, Jonas, was across the street getting coffee, on a much needed break after juggling three problem patients while trying to hand out tonight's medication. And Tumani, he couldn't be bothered because he was on his break.

Give me a break.

A new roommate

It didn't take long but this afternoon I found a new roommate laying in Danny's old bed. His name is Gerald and he has been in the home for a long time. The skinny is he doesn't talk much. He spends most of his time outside smoking (hopefully he won't reek or I will complain.) He spends a lot of time outside of the room and eats in the dining room so I might get some piece. He is a transfer from "Wing 5" the dementia wing. Wing 5 is where must of the people in vegetative states are stored, but they can't be in that wing if they are in a chair or use a walker because they could hurt themselves, or each other with them. This worries me. It's too soon to feel one way or the other about him. We'll soon see. It's just another reason to buckle down and get better and get out of this place.

I had a session of restorative therapy with Lamin. We talked a little about the weather. It is fucking cold! It's supposed to snow on Wednesday!! it's supposed to be the coldest winter Seattle (and the rest of the Pacific Northwest) has seen in twenty years. I remember that winter (1998). I remember going to The Evergreen State College. It would be a few weeks before I officially moved into the dorms with my friends, so I was sleeping on the couch. Olympia got about four feet of snow and when it finally started to melt, I went out to dig out my car and go get provisions from the grocery store. Sometime between parking my car but before it started to snow, someone had broken the window and stole my stereo. The car was completely full of snow.

I wondered aloud to Lamin if we will have that kind of winter or that kind of snow storm on Wednesday. I wish I wasn't broke. I am going to have to eat the food here indefinitely.

I worked with the new occupational therapist, Kathy, today. I don't remember if I mentioned her before, but she had been working with Danny the past couple weeks and I was afraid I made a bad impression with her. I explained why, when the first time she came in to work with Danny, at 6:30 in the morning, why I said "Jesus Fucking Christ! It's six-thirty in the morning!" I explained to her how I am woken up at four a.m. every morning by Crazy Alice (who is yelling help as I write this...and Gerald just came back and he reeks of cigarette smoke).

Nancy was understanding and I think we will work together pretty well.

I had physical therapy with Z and spent the first 15 minutes working with the leg bike. It was surprisingly easy and I am asking them to look into Medicaid buying me one to use all the time. (They do that sometime.) Then I used the standing frame for about twenty minutes then finished the session off with some leg stretches.

That brings us to now, 5:00 p.m. I need to go microwave the rest of my Mexican Food and get out of this room (the smell of cigarettes is making me sick. I don't think this loving arrangement is going to work out).

Thank God for Walmart

My friend Rachel turned me onto a webpage dedicated to badly decorated cakes. In today's post, there's the story of how a little boy could not get the evil ShopRite corporation, or any other local bakeries, to write his name on the cake. Thank God for the good people at Walmart! Now, 3-year old Adolph Hitler Campbell, can have his cake and eat it to.

The best quote of this story is from Adolph's 35-year old father, Heath (who doesn't believe the Holocaust happened and has swastikas all over his house).

They're just names, you know, Campbell said. Yeah, they (Nazis) were bad people back then. But my kids are little. They're not going to grow up like that.

I don't know who is the more perfect candidate for retroactive abortion, the father, or the commenter, who compares ShopRite's refusal to make the birthday cake to a pharmacist refusing to dispense birth control pills.

Everyone wants a seat at the table

I said awhile ago if the lefties would just hold off until Obama picked his domestic cabinet, they would be a lot happier. He is slowly announcing said team, beginning with his choice for Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.), a highly regarded architect who oversaw the building of New York City's largest affordable housing development in history. Shaun Donovan's appointment will be a nice change from G. W.'s two H.U.D. secretaries. The first was accused of only granting contracts to companies who were "friendly" to the administration. The second was an investment banker with no apparent experience in running anything. There should be more official announcements for cabinet posts this week, possibly this afternoon, but MSNBC says the rumors, if true should appease many of the left. (I will wait to hear what Rachel Maddow says tonight),

But whomever he picks, it seems like President-Elect Obama can't win for losing. There are only so many cabinet positions available and every interest group is demanding some sort of affirmative action. There has to be a member of the LGBT community on it (Hillary doesn't count). There has to be a Hispanic (the fact that Bill Richardson was picked Commerce Secretary and not Secretary of State is being viewed as a token appointment..isn't what they are asking for?) He also recieved support from Catholics, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Native Americans, Pagans, and African Americans (some of who don't believe Obama is "black enough to count"). If confirmed, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder will cover that base.

Now, the most oppressed minority group on the planet, the Southern White Christian Male demand to have a seat at the table. Jesus. Where's my seat?

A new way of doing things.

I am taking Paul's advice and instead of a single long, meandering post per day I will try to write more short and to the point posts during the day. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A very quiet day

I think the light dusting of snow has made this place subdued, if not comatose. Nothing is going on here. I've hardly heard any screaming today, and if I did, it didn't rise to the level of annoyance. Lamin was not able to do my restorative therapy today, but I managed to go back and lift some weights and play the Wii.

I have had the room to myself since Danny left on Friday. My guess is that changes tomorrow. I'm also going to try to buckle down tomorrow and work harder in physical therapy. Brigit leaves Wednesday at lunch at that will just leave four out of the ten therapists that were here when I got here 13 months ago. I don't know what to expect from these new people or what they expect of me. It seems like this place is hiring lower paid, less experienced people in the therapy department. Only someone who has been here as long as me, or other staff members, would notice the difference.

In the news: George Bush dropped in unannounced in Baghdad today, for the last time as President, and an Iraqi reporter through his shoes at him, almost hitting G.W. in the head.

The Seahawks actually won a game today in the closing seconds. In Fantasy Football, I am still playing. It looks like the bottom four got dropped. Why I'm still playing, I don't know, but maybe I can move up to third place. I won't know for sure until Tuesday.

Is it snowing yet?

It hasn't snowed in Seattle since last April. It was just a few days after we had a 90° day that we wound up getting a couple inches of snow that stuck around for a day or two.

It was cold enough to snow today. The very definition of freezing. I got up around ten and while I was getting dressed Paul sent me an email to call him back. I called and he said he needed the address to Memo’s Mexican Kitchen, where he was taking me for lunch. I looked at their web page and red him the address. It was odd because the address on their web page did not go with the picture in my head as to where I thought I saw it.

After exchanging stuff at the library I caught the bus to the University District. As I suspected, Memo’s is located about four blocks North of the address on their page. I figured the only way that Paul and I would hook up is if I went to the address I told Paul and wait. I would sit there for a half an hour if I had to. This was one of those times I wish I still had my cell phone.

About six months ago I had asked the finance manager if I could pay for a cell phone out of my disability check before I paid the home my “participation fee.” The participation fee is basically all of your monthly income minus $57.50 “mad money.” Medicaid pays the rest of my room and board ($6,000 a month. Seriously!) The finance manager said "No, cell phones are a luxury. None of the other patients need one." I countered that it wasn't that much money and that the other patients don't go out as much as I do. What if someone needs to get ahold of me when I'm out or if I have an accident. "Why do you need to go?' she said. "Everything you need is right here." (Ever since I have dreaded talking to her about anything. She is probably a nice person, when she isn't trying to get money out of somebody. I know it's her job. She does her job very well. So well there are times I want to die).

Anyway, since I would rather eat outside food for a few days than pay for a phone I rarely need, therefore, I have no cell phone. I am just saying I could have used one today. I should have at least taken Paul's cell phone number and change for the phone with me. Oh, well.

This was my first trip to the "Ave" in over a year and a half. It hadn’t changed. Some new places have replaced the old. The Herfy's that replaced a Taco Bell, that replaced a Pizza Hut was now a place with the exotic name, Barbecue Chicken. A sandwich shop, that used to be a coin shop, now specializes in “build your own kabobs.” But despite a few new facades, the Ave hasn’t changed a bit. It is still the dirtiest street in Seattle, filled with black-clad little “Ave rats” (Sid & Nancy wannabees), with their dogs crapping on the sidewalk, dodging traffic with their scratched up skateboards. They crowd the sidewalk sharing smokes and drinking stuff out of paper sacks. Some are selling drugs and some are buying drugs. I wish I knew which one was selling weed for future reference, since I didn't have any money.

In my wheelchair I felt conspicuous only in that I felt I fit in too well. There is usually a lot of police presence on the Ave, though, now that I think of it, they show up closer to sundown in their giant mobile command post. In case the UW students get to rowdy around closing time. Frat Row is just two, maybe three, blocks East of the Ave. A guy sitting in a wheelchair near known drug dealers can expect to get hassled by the Seattle Police.

It’s hard to look like your not a beggar when you are in a chair wearing sweat pants and sneakers and three long sleeve shirts. The Bartell’s sign showed it was 12:30 p.m. and was 30°. Luckily I only had to wait a couple minutes before Paul showed up and we headed up the two blocks to Memo’s (correct address: 4743 University Way NE).

I had read several great reviews, both professional critics and ordinary eaters, and all were universal in their praise. I asked Paul if he liked his Chicken Torta (sandwich) which looked to be the size of a cigar box. He told me it was good. For Paul that is saying a lot. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard him tell me something is great before, except when describing some foreign language book or movie I’ve never heard of. Comparing the Paul scale to the more traditional scale of one to five stars, “O.K. would be four stars, and “Good” would be a perfect score of five. If he ever says “Great” I’ll have to rewrite the scale.

I thought the food was great. I ordered the Chicken Chimichanga with beans and rice and a medium Coke (>$10). See pictures, below, of what we ordered. Note the plates are 14" in diameter! The servings are that big!

My chimichanga was perfect (and thanks to the medication I switched to recently my taste buds were fine). The tortilla was crisp and flaky. The chicken inside was large, tender, juicy chunks of white meat. The refried beans, if I am not mistaken, tasted home made. The rice was very flavorful. Moist but not mushy.

My only complaint, besides the faulty information from their web page, is that the décor is lacking something. Let me rephrase that. It is lacking a décor. It is nonexistent (think of junior high school cafeteria). And there were only two seating options. Tall tables and stools, which, while in my chair, came up to my forehead. It would have made using a knife and fork impossible. They also have booths that I couldn’t quite fit my legs under while sitting in my chair).

But still the food was great! (When I got home I emailed the owners of Memo’s to tell them about the address on their web site being wrong and the seating problems, but also to compliment their food. Within a half hour the owner emailed me from his I-Phone and thanked me and told me all that the website and the seating would be fixed. Another reason to go).

At lunch Paul and I talked about the usual stuff: what our friends are up to, what I want to do for my birthday (Pazzo’s, Lunchbox Laboratory, or something else), my health and progress in getting better, and he gave me a lot of good advice about my blog to make it more readable in the future, advice of which I will be soon. We parted company as I saw my bus rolled by, so I decided to head south on the Ave to check things out, and also to catch the bus at a better stop, several stops before where I knew the bulk of the borders would be getting on (good thing too or I would have waited longer because I passed two people in wheelchairs and when I got on the bus there was only one handicap spot left). I did a little window shopping, debated whether I wanted to roll into the University Bookstore (I didn’t) or Bulldog News (I did). I got to the bus stop with a couple minutes to spare. The bus ride between the Ave and the nursing home is roughly 30 minutes (officially it’s shorter). I noticed the bus passed a lot of familiar landmarks, including a bar very close to my friend Erik’s house. I wish I had known that last summer I might have been able to hook up with people. Now it’s the holidays and freaking cold. Someone a little while ago said it was snowing but I can’t see out my window.

Back at the ranch.

I finally watched the remake of 3:10 to Yuma with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. Christian Bale I such an excellent actor and he is particularly good here. Much better than the lack luster performance of Van Heflin who originated the role. I have always loved the original version of 3:10 to Yuma but have never been a fan of Van Heflin’s acting. He’s a one note actor and that note is flat. It’s a shame because he is in a lot of classic movie’s, most notably Shane. The reason I liked the original is because I have always been a big Glenn Ford fan. Russell Crowe does an excellent job in Ford’s role because they are very similar actors. It’s a shame that Ford wasn’t allowed to show the depth that Crowe has been allowed to show in his career.

I love both movies now (thanks Toby for lending me the remake) and I have to say this is a rare example of a remake being much better than the original (top f my head, John Carpenter’s The Thing and Man On Fire, with Denzel Washington the only two examples that comes to mind). However, it is easy to watch both because both films are different in tone and each have a different ending (I would watch the 1957 version first). The first one has a lot of talking and most of it takes place in a single room with the two man characters. The second one, has a lot more action.

I got back to the home at 2:30 p.m. and now it is midnight. Besides some R.T. with Lamin it’s been very quiet tonight. No insanity from Crazy Alice tonight. Or anyone else for that matter. There isn’t anything even n the news worth talking about, except now The Slog says it is snowing outside but I can’t see it. If it’s worth seeing, it will be there tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

In the dark

As I type this I am laying in bed in the dark. It is only 4:00 p.m. I still haven’t slept since my all-nighter yesterday. I was just about to settle back to watch some Judge Judy when all of a sudden the power went out. It sounds pretty wet and windy outside my window. The noise outside my door is a different matter. People are freaking out because of the darkness. They want to know when the lights will come back on. I guess there is no back up generator. I wonder what happens to people on oxygen. One of the old guys next door, Clayton, is sitting on the toilet yelling at who ever turned out the lights. I yell back that the power is out. He mutters “Damned kids.” The staff are popping their heads in people’s rooms to see if they are O.K. No one checks on me. I don’t even know if they know I am in here. I almost went to the library before I decided I was just too tired and it looked to darned wet. The library is holding Miles DavisBlack Beauty and the new Roy Orbison box set for me. I can pick them up tomorrow before I meet Paul for lunch. I was worried about snow but the news said that the storm was passing much farther north than originally expected.

So I am sitting alone in the dark and I don’t have access to Wi-Fi or my external hard drive that has all my music. All my DVDs and my I-Pod are on the other side of the room and the electric bed control doesn’t work, so I can’t get into my wheelchair. I can’t even use the call light to summon assistance.

And Danny left today, so for the time being I don’t have a roommate. I dread the next one. I hope it works out. Danny was my roommate for just three weeks, but he was perhaps the best. A very sweet guy. Pretty quiet and not demanding in the least. I had hoped to see him off, but I guess we sort of said goodbye. I talked to Jonas, my nurse and friend about Danny. I said that I thought Danny was really not in any condition to leave but there was nothing keeping him here. Certainly not hope. Jonas predicted Danny would be back. He has been in and out before. Jonas elaborated and it turns out Danny has been here most of the time that I have been here, he was eve here way before I got here. That he checks in and out all the time. Funny that I never noticed him before, but it is easy to overlook the quiet people when there are so many honest to God nuts here. As soon as I can I want to tell the admissions director, Rosemary, that if Danny comes back I would like to room with him.

4:30 and still no power. It’s quiet and it’s darker. Too dark to read. To dark to do a Crossword puzzle. (Note to self: add “Itty-bitty book light to Amazon wish list). The bed is stuck in a position neither conducive to sleeping or typing. I have, roughly an hour before the batter goes dead on my laptop, then it really will be dark.

4:45 and the power is back on. Pam, one of the recreation aids, yells out a “Yeah.” Just in time to start serving dinner. I am using the opportunity to get my bed in a better position, just in case the power goes out again.

7:00 The power has stayed on. Dinner was served. I think it was supposed to be turkey, stuffing and peas. The only thing I recognized was the peas the rest of the food looked like vomit. I drank the milk and ate some stale pistachio nuts.

I was looking over today’s Slog and other news sources and only a couple of things interested me.

In Drug News: It turns out the number one question people want to ask Barack Obama, through his website, is if marijuana will be legalized, for the recreational use of adults, by his administration. (My guess is no.) This is the same internet that got a bridge in the Budapest named after Stephen Colbert. My guess is that the website got so hammered by a group of people whose intent was to make it the number one question that it leapfrogged over questions about the economy, gay rights, and the money pit of two wars. I find it hard to believe that legalizing pot is the number one priority of the American people, though it ranks pretty high for me.

It’s not going to happen. I wish it would, but it’s not going to happen.

In sports: NBA commissioner David Stern has "hinted at remorse" that he let the Sonics moved from Seattle, where they had been for 40 years, down to Oklahoma City where they have been renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder, and have only won twice in their first 23 games. Stern still continues to espouse the lie that the new owners “tried their hardest” to keep the team in Seattle, despite the overwhelming, but ultimately inadmissible evidence to the contrary. Recently Stern said that if Seattle refurbishes the Key Arena, then Seattle could get a new Sonics team. The main reasons the OKC group cited for leaving was that the taxpayer’s refused to fund another stadium that most people couldn’t afford tickets to go to.

I voted to build Safeco Field, so the Mariners would stay in Seattle, but the ballot measure failed, and the state built it anyway. Since then I have been to Safeco about 50 times since it opened in 1999 (30 games in 2001 alone when they won 116 games) because I could afford it (at least I used to). It is a great place to see baseball.

When it came to the Sonics wanting a new stadium I decided to vote against it. I figured the city would eventually do what they wanted anyway, so what does it matter. Though there were a few politicians willing to bend over backwards for the Sonics, this time there were fewer sympathetic politicians willing to spend 150 million dollars of taxpayer funds to build a building so the wealthy could watch the rich make money for the richer. (At least the symphony and the Mariners have cheap seats or special deals). I’ve never been to Qwest Field too see the Seahawks play because the cheapest seat costs $55 for the very last row in the very highest level. (As far as wheelchair seating, I don’t know how much it costs. To get seats you have to fill out a form and take it down to Qwest Field and they’ll tell you how much it costs, which could be well over $100 for one seat). I saw a Husky football game there once, it is a great stadium too, but the $70 ticket price and the quality of football the Huskies played that made it hardly worth it.

Prior to the Sonics leaving Seattle there was already a plan in place that included all necessary financing to upgrade the Key Arena including, if the OKC group wanted, a group of investors who were willing to buy the team back from them for a profit. The team moved anyway. In some ways Oklahoma City might have saved Seattle from a huge headache since, now that the economy has tanked, Seattle is off the hook in having to refurbish a 47-year old building.

The last time I attended a Sonics game was, probably 1993. My friend Geoff’s dad, a surgeon at Virginia Mason (and former drummer for Ann Margaret’s band), had seats right behind the Sonics bench. It was very exciting! The only thing better was sitting in the time I was a at a Mariner’s game, sitting in the Diamond Club at Safeco Field (another story for another time). But, in general, basketball bores me. Besides the couple times I went with Geoff, the only other fond memory I have watching basketball was in 1984 (I was 20). I was in Livingston, Montana visiting my father, who I hadn’t seen in several years. It was the NBA Finals. The Celtics beat the Lakers in seven games (the Lakers pulled within three points, scoring 14 unanswered points but blowing it in the last minute). That was an exciting game and one of the few good times I remember having with my father (the next to last time I would ever see him). I’ve also seen some really good NCAA Championship games that have come down to the final seconds, but that was mostly by accident (being in a bar or restaurant that had a game on). Out of “hometown pride” I will root for the UW, Gonzaga, and WSU, I that order if any of them make the NCAA playoffs. My alma mater, The Evergreen State College, did not have basketball when I graduated (1990) but got a men’s and women’s team in 2001, don’t play the big three Washington schools, but they play Seattle University in Seattle once a year and I keep meaning to try to go. I missed this years. Maybe next year.

When I think real hard about why I don’t care about basketball, I think of my asshole of a junior high school P.E. teacher who would keep yelling at me “Davenport! You’re double-dribbling. How many times do I have to tell you not too double-dribble?” Maybe if he told me what double-dribbling was without yelling at me I would have known what he meant. (I didn’t find out what it meant until college).

As much as I didn’t want to pay for the Sonics to stay, I was sorry to see the team go. I feel it diminishes the city a little in the eyes of the rest of the world when we lose something as big as an NBA team. The city lost the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee in 1970 and we had to sue in federal court to get the Mariners seven years later.

One of the reasons I moved to Seattle is that it is a city, albeit, a comparatively small one. There are things that a city has that that a small town hasn’t. I don’t have the money to attend such things, right now, but I am proud to live in a world famous city that has a symphony, an opera, a ballet, a museum of art, an NFL team, a Major League Baseball team, now a major league soccer team. We have a WNBA team that recently won a championship, the first one since the Sonics won the 1978 NBA Finals. And, once upon a time, we had a hockey team that won the Stanley Cup (in 1917).

Seattle was once the home of Ernestine Anderson, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Nirvana, and too many more bands to mention. Seattle is the birthplace of Boeing, UPS, Microsoft, Starbucks, and more. For a brief, five year period near the end of the 20th century, Seattle was the center of the universe and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.

It’s still a great city, but it is just too bad we couldn’t keep the Sonics.


Fuck! Crazy Alice is next door flipping out and it sounds like she actually called the “po-leece.” She’s yelling “Hep! Thez two men in my room or near my room. I can’t see them but I nose they theh!” (Sorry about the faux-ebonics but you have to hear it to believe it. If someone wants to put together a collection and gift me with one of these I’ll start posting mp3s).

I’m done for the night it’s 10:30 and I won’t get anything more written with all this racket.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Have Felt Stoned All Day (my longest post ever)!

There was a time when being stoned all day would have been a good thing. Back when I had a life (or if not a life, something like it) I would wake and bake (on my days off.) On a typical Saturday, I might get up and smoke a bowl or two before flopping down on the couch to watch TV for a couple hours. Even on the weekends I rarely slept past eight in the morning.

Around 11, if I had the money, I would catch the bus up to Wedgewood and either get a White Chocolate Mocha, with a shot of vanilla ice cream in it, at Tully's, or if I had more money, get a Belgian waffle and ham, or steak and hash browns, at The Rusty Pelican. Or, if I had even more money, I would get a hamburger and shoestring potatoes at Ebb & Flow (or whatever they were calling themselves that month). Afterward I would stop off at QFC and pick up dinner and snacks before hopping on the bus to go back home.

I would smoke some more weed and play video games on my GameCube or XBOX360 while listening to music, later I might make a CD compilation for a friend for an hour or two before taking a nap.

When I woke up later I could function well enough to cook dinner. If it was just after payday, I would cook a 2 inch thick New York Strip, medium rare, with dinner fries, sautéed mushrooms and garlic, and spinach. On any other Saturday night I would make Spaghetti and Meat Sauce with Garlic Bread, or Macaroni and Cheese with Pork Chops or some other one-dish meal. depending on my budget. Prior to eating I would take the biggest hit of the day before slowly savoring my meal. No matter what I made the weed made the food taste ten times better, like I was having an orgasm in my mouth.

(I wish I had some weed now. Or Macaroni and cheese and pork chops.)

What is making me feel stoned now is not weed, but 10 milligrams of a drug called Dilaudid (hydromorphone). I take it to cope with the chronic pain caused by calciphylaxis. Without it I would scream if anyone touched my legs.

The first time I ever heard of Dilaudid was in the movie Drugstore Cowboy with Matt Dillon, William Burroughs, and a very young Heather Graham. The film takes place in and around 1971 Portland, Oregon. Dillon plays Bob, the leader of a gang who breaks into pharmacies to steal prescription drugs. Towards the end of the film, Bob is trying to go straight and dry out. His ex-wife, and partner in crime, Diane (Kelly Lynch) shows up at his flea bag hotel to tempt him back into the life and as she leaves she gives him a little vile of Dilaudid as a goodbye present, which Bob does not want, but takes it anyway and gives it to his friend, a very old man named "Tom the Priest" (played by William Burroughs). I remember that Tom laid down some wise and heavy dialogue about life, and Dilaudid, but I don't remember what he said, just that it was heavy and wise. Then more stuff happens; I don't want to give away the ending. It's a great movie. I've been meaning to get it on DVD.

Anyway, I now associate Dilaudid, indirectly, to William Burroughs, who wrote The Naked Lunch, and the semi-autobiographical Junkie. Junkie recounts Burroughs period as a heavy heroin user, so, therefore, I associate Dilaudid with Burroughs and heroin. As it turns out, Dilaudid is a closer relative to morphine, than it is to heroin, but they all basically have the same effects. They diminish pain but also cause confusion, dry mouth constipation, etcetera, etcetera.

I do not understand how anyone can be addicted to heroin, or any of its cousins, at least on a recreational level. I understand, like all pain killers, it is chemically and psychologically addictive. I accept that which is why I don't to take it for long. As soon as my latest wounds heal I will stop taking it until the next wound occurs. Hopefully not for a long time.

But I don't understand why people take Dilaudud, and by extension, morphine or heroin, as a recreational drug. It's true, I am taking pills rather than shooting Dilaudid directly in my veins; and perhaps the dose I am taking is far less than what a junkie takes, but this is the most boring drug I have ever had. It works for the pain, and that's all I really should expect or hope for but all I know is that it makes me feel tired all the time. By four in the afternoon I am ready to go to sleep. That's nine hours after my morning dose. I feel dizzy and everything seems far away. I feel like I am going too fast in my chair, which is saying a lot for me, the nursing home "Speed Demon." It reminds me of the time I drove home from Tacoma after a Grateful Dead and Santana concert while on mushrooms (I had taken them much earlier) and I thought I was flying on I-5 south, headed for Lacey, when I looked down to discover I was only going 14 miles an hour. Once again I am lucky to be alive).

Dilaudid also makes me real fidgety, like a squirrel trying to open a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I get confused as to what I was about to say or do. I am afraid I am going to turn into one of the many demented people here.

I want the pain to stop so I don't have to keep taking this damned drug. Or I wish it to be a lot easier to get "medical marijuana" because that is the only other remedy that makes my pain bearable, and I find it a lot easier to deal with people and situations on weed than I do on Dilaudid. As long as I am on the drug I will be "disabled" because I don't think I would be fit to work in an office. My attention span is for shit and I am easily distracted. This post itself is a laborious process that is taking way too long to write and, though, I will do my best to edit it, I fear it will be filled with typographical, grammatical errors, and wandering thoughts.

It is possible, that if I was left completely alone in my room, and there was no danger of a nurse or someone else bursting in, and if I didn't have a semi-suicidal roommate laying no more than six feet of me, I could lay back and enjoy some music (I just bought the deluxe, 10th Anniversary, two-disc version of Pavement's Brighten The Corners and am dying to listen to it) before settling down to watch new episodes of The Office and 30 Rock.


Where was I? Man, I feel stoned. I don't like it. It's taking much too long. And, as I have said over and over again, I don't like this place. It's too loud. It smells bad. It's full of too many cranky old people who yell about everything all the time. It is impossible to relax. As Michael Scott on The Office would say, they are "harshing my mellow."


No big news stories today, just continuations of older stories; the governor of Illinois is still a sleaze bag, they might have found a body of a little girl who has been missing, like forever, (I think Nancy Grace had devoted every episode of her repugnant show on this poor little girl's disappearance; on her totally unsympathetic mother and the girl's deluded grandparents. And perhaps the biggest story is that the Auto company bail out has collapsed because the UAW (United Auto Workers union) could not accept the contract because the fucking Republicans tried to use the situation to bust the union. (As I commented in the Slog, "There is something fishy going on when rich desk jockeys keep their jobs and salaries while Wall Street gets bailed out; meanwhile, the working man, whose companies are asking for a fraction of the money the financial companies got, were kicked in the ass and shown the door by Republican Senators, unless the workers all but disband the UAW.")

The other thing worth noting in today's Slog were a couple of unrelated stories about book banning. First, a high school in upstate New York had assigned Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen to read, and some (one) parent objected to a paragraph in the book that mentioned or depicted girl-on-boy oral sex. The school district had all the copies confiscated and then ripped out the "offending" pages before returning the books to the students. Apparently the school district thought this was a way they could get around accusations of censorship since they didn't actually ban the book, just a couple pages. A few hours later, I read on Slog that famed Pacific Northwest and Native American writer Sherman Alexie's semi-autobiographical book, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was banned in Bend, Oregon because a parent thought it "trashy." and "not fit for a fifty-year old to read." Apparently there is a reference to masturbation and the man didn't want his son or any other teenager in the school to know of masturbation's existence.

I hate it when books are banned, or worse, burned or destroyed in some way. I don't care if it's the Bible, Mein Kampf, or the "White Album" you don't destroy ideas no matter how much you disagree with them. It only makes those things more attractive to curious minds. I hadn't planned to, but now I am tempted to buy Alexi's and Kaysen's books (though Kaysen's would probably sit on the shelf). It bothers me how one parent can get a book banned from a library. Assuming this was an average high school class size, there were probably 40 kids in the class, times, maybe, four classes a day that were to read Girl Interrupted. That's 240 parents times 1,5 (allowing for divorce). That means 359 parents did not have a problem with the book their kid s were assigned to read. Unfortunately these parents were also too lazy to go to the PTA or School Board meetings to prevent the book from being banned.

I started reading fairly advanced reading at an early age. When I was in kindergarten , I was tested and had the reading aptitude of someone in the ninth grade. They wanted to skip me all the way to the third grade, but my father wouldn't have it. "I don't want a kid smarter than me" he told my mother. I don't think much danger in that. In fact, I believe that after a week of third grade, I would have been sent back (maybe not back to kindergarten but at least as far back as first grade) because I couldn't keep up with the math and science. I just liked to read and write stories. There are no 9-year old "Doogie Howsers" studying english at Harvard. I might have had a ninth grade reading level back then but could barely do much more than basic math (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) and I was pretty incurious about science, though I thought Astronomy and Oceanography "pretty." It's 34 years later I now have the reading level of a 45-year old and the math skill level of, and I'll be generous, and eighth grader. With the exception of some experience with fractions, percentages, and decimals, I never progressed with math much farter than eighth grade (I dropped out of school in the ninth). I know next to nothing about geometry or algebra, and forget about trigonometry or calculus.

I have a bit of a phobia for numbers. Not any numbers in particular. I don't have problems with numbers, such as, 13, 23, or 666, I just don't lmuch use for them other than counting, like how to figure out how much something costs including tax or what to tip? Don't ask me to do a Sudoku puzzle. I am very good at crosswords and do several New York Times Crossword Puzzles every day, but when I look at a Sudoku puzzle I just freeze up. My trepidation with numbers has prevented me from going int0 careers that interest me, like architecture, engineering, or computer programming. Likewise, the fact that I can't draw a decent circle prevents me from being an illustrator or graphic designer.

As far as reading is concerned, next to listening to music, it was my favorite activity as a kid. I have early memories, when I was four- or five-years old, reading Dr. Seuss and Peanuts. Shortly after, when I was laid up in the hospital for what seemed like a year, between issues of Archie and Richie Rich, I read books about how things work, or, when I was visiting my father's parents house, I read Popular Science and National Geographic (they had every issue going back to the 1920s). Before I entered the first grade I had read every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery that were out there.

I also have fond memories of getting my first library card and being part of one of those "How many books can you read this summer" programs where you had to read at least one book every week and write a report and get a quarter for every legitimate report you handed in. I made enough money that summer to buy Magical Mystery Tour on vinyl and some Radio Shack truck-driving songs collection on 8-Track (about eight bucks).

In fourth grade, I was 10 at the time, we had this year-long project where, for every book report written, a circular piece of purple or pink paper with the reader's name and the name of the book they read would be pasted on the wall to form the segments of a caterpillar. The goal was that at the end of nine months, or the end of the school year, the caterpillar would circle the entire room. I can't remember if we actually managed to do that, I think we did; I just remember reading a lot of books that year, at least 30.

Everyday kids who turned in a report that day were asked what book they read, and sometimes the teacher would ask them to read their book report to the class. The first time I read a report was for a book (a biography for "young teens") I found in the school library about Shirley Muldowney, the first woman drag racer. I got an "A." Next I read books from the same series about the Flying Tigers, Roy Campanella, and the real Tazmanian Devil. I got A's on all of the reports. Then I read so many books based on TV Shows (Get Smart, Star Trek, Partridge Family) and was turning in a book report almost every day. My teacher thought these books were beneath my level, but still gave me A's. Bt she wanted me to read even more challenging work. No more books based on TV shows.

The next book I read, and the only report I was allowed to read out loud was for The Call of the Wild by Jack London, (which I would be assigned to read again in the eighth grade.) I had such stage fright standing up in front of the class that I almost passed out. To the kids I came off as dumb, so I had to endure being called stupid for a little while (longer by the few assholes in the class).

My teacher said that since I wouldn't be required to read in front of the class again, she encouraged me to read whatever I wanted, as long as it was a book and was "challenging." I didn't exactly know what she meant. I hoped she didn't want me to try and read something as "thick "as War & Peace or Moby Dick, two books I still have in storage, spines uncracked.

I don't remember all the books I read, but I do remember reading books with interesting covers, like M*A*S*H* by Richard Hooker (and all it's literary sequels), Joseph Heller's Catch 22 for the first time (still my all time favorite book); The Chosen and The Promise by Chaim Potok, and a lot of mysteries, mainly the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain, the Fletch books by Gregory MacDonald, and several mysteries by Agatha Christie. I got an A for the entire class (perhaps the last one I would get until college).

The two books I remember reading that I didn't report on that year were The Harrad Experiment and Fear of Flying, which I bought, because of the covers, at Goodwill (where I bought most of my books and records back then).

I read a lot, mostly because I liked it, but also because my mother read a lot. She read a lot! Mostly romance novels and some mysteries. A lot of the pictures depicted long-haired women running away from spook mansions or spooky castles. Besides reading authors like Barbara Cartland, Daphne Du Maurier, and Dorothy L. Sayers, she subscribed to the Harlequin romance novels and all their imprints and she read them all (about 12 books a week).

As I do with some rock bands, when it came to her favorite authors, she was a completist. She even bought a book that was essentially a check list of every book Harlequin ever published and she collected then all. Towards the end of her life I turned her on to Stephen King, and a Star Trek novel (Ishmael by Barbara Hambly) which was a romance story between Spock and a character from the TV series Here Comes The Brides, which took place in Seattle during the late 19th century. She then proceeded to read all the Star Trek books and even planned on trying her hand at writing one herself before she got sick. She had planned on attending her first Star Trek convention, along with several of her Trekkie workmates when she passed away in January 1990.

When she passed away I was able to get a ton of credit at a bookstore for all her sci-fi and horror and, my grandfather's westerns, but the 5,000 (!) romance novels she had were worthless. Goodwill didn't even want them. I agreed to give away most of my mother's furniture in exchange for the hauler to take the books away. I suspect they wound up in a landfill, where they are still rotting away. Had I known EBay would have existed 15 years later I would have still thrown them away because I didn't want to haul that shit.

I kind of stopped reading after that. I have bought a lot of books since she died, I've started many of them and finished a few, but my interest in books sort of faded away. This was about the point in my life when I started smoking weed every day.

Speaking of which, I am not that stoned anymore and it's a quarter to nine. One of the nuts in the hall is trying to escape and the alarm on his chair is beeping incessantly. The Office, followed by 30 Rock starts in fifteen.

I haven't received my presents from Paul yet. Amazon says it was delivered. but I don't have it and Amazon won't tell either of us what address it was delivered. If I have to I will buy the books myself so, in theory, Paul's money won't have been wasted. Because of the way the Amazon's Wish List works I already know what I he bought me so they will be easy to replace. I am looking forward to reading again.

Well, now it is almost 11:30 p.m. and The Daily Show is almost over. (I took time out to watch The Office and 30 Rock and it was one of the funniest episodes of The Office ever!)

I will try to get some sleep after the Colbert Report, but right now I am wide awake, and so is Danny. He says his brother will be taking him home tomorrow around lunch time. Despite the fact that he cries in pain whenever he goes to the bathroom and can barely put his clothes on, he is determined to go home tomorrow. I can understand his position. Whether the cancer gets him a month or year from now or he starves himself to death in a week or two, this place is no place to die. A staff member's mother had a heart attack two states away today and everyone freaked out (understandably). But a body being wheeled out to a waiting hearse barely gets a "tut-tut." It's seems like a daily event. I don't want to think about it.

I wish I were stoned.


As I was turning off the computer I discovered that Bettie Page, perhaps the most famous pin-up of the 1950s passed away at the age of 85. She was a study of contrasts a devout Christian and Playboys January 1955 Playmate of the month (see below).

If you want to see an excellent movie based on her life, rent The Notorious Bettie Page starring Gretchen Moll. When the movie came out, Bettie came out of seclusion to grant interviews and dispel rumors, the latest of these I could find was this Los Angeles Times interview from 2006 when she was 82.

Another Update

It is three a.m. and I have been writing, editing, adding links (please check them out when you have a day to kill). I'll probably go through yesterday's Slog one more time before I go to sleep. That might take an hour. (Oh, shit! Crazy Alice just turned her TV on next door so I am not going to get any sleep.)

Final FINAL Update (I promise)

It's 4:20 in the morning. Everything is so blurry I can hardly see. I just finished writing a final comment on The Slog when I noticed what time it is. Click 4:20 for those of you not in the know and you'll get why I say "I feel so stoned right now" (due to being up all night).