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.

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