Friday, January 16, 2009

You'll be sleeping with the television on...

(Billy Joel, Glass Houses)

There are some nights where I cannot make it off the single bed in the back room where I watch TV to the single bed in the front room where I sleep from September to May. (I sleep in the back room from May to August because otherwise the sunlight would wake me at 6 am.) Last night was one of those nights. Fortunately, I did take my bedtime meds at some point, while I was watching ER. (ER is having a fabulous last season, btw. I stopped watching it ages ago, because all my favorite characters from the beginning were gone. Alyssa twittered about it last week and so I thought, ah, I'll see what it is. Now I'm hooked, and happily only until the end of the season which is the end of the series.)

Let's see if I can write that with out all the parentheticals. There are some nights I can't make it off the bed that is in the back room, where the TV is set up, to the bed in the front room, where I sleep most nights. Last night was one of them. I took my bedtime meds at some point while watching ER, and watched the news, watched Leno, sort of, as I was curling into fetal position amidst all the debris that is still on that bed even now as I sit here, morning.

I don't generally watch ER. Alyssa twittered about it last week, and I got hooked, and last night I fretted that sweeping the walk and salting it might make me late to watch it, but I made it upstairs just in time for the closing credits for 30 Rock. I don't generally watch the news. But last night I made sure I was back in the back room in time to watch the (I can't spit out the words) news about the US Air flight that is now being called "The miracle on the Hudson." And I watched all of the news, and then Leno. And I didn't turn off the TV, or make plans to get into my nightgown. I guess I didn't brush my teeth. I curled into fetal position, with the TV on, and fell asleep. So my dreams were peopled with people telling me that I should make sure my car battery was in good health, that I had a blanket and a first aid kit in my car, salt, all those things you should have when you might get stranded because of cold or snow. Which we have, in abundance. No, we are not at -53 degrees F like Schmutzie, or at 7.5 inches of snow like Jim Bonewald, but for Pittsburgh, we have enough. About three inches on the grass and the temp is -7 degrees. Our high, which will come at about 4:00, will be 7 degrees. Right now in my mind I'm going through whether I will attempt to refill my wiper fluid at that time or if I will run by the guys at the quick oil change on my lunch hour.

The TV is off now, after being on all night, and I instinctively want to turn around. The sound is just off, my monkey mind says. No, I didn't mute it, I did turn it off. I don't want to hear about the American in Italy who is about to start a murder trial for killing her roommate. I don't want to hear any more about how cold it is outside. I don't need to see all the places that are closed running on the bottom of the screen. You know it's a lot because yesterday, they stopped in between commercials. The news would go off, the commercial would come on, full screen. Then the news would come back on, framed in blue by the temperature (COLD) on the left and the scrolling schools and day cares scrolling on the bottom. This morning, every school district is closed. As much as I am a proponent for winter, today I will not be foolish and take my morning walk.

I had dreams about going to the Superbowl. It was in Pittsburgh, and it was cold. A friend of mine was waitressing, and she was wearing a uniform with a special red and white long sleeved t-shirt. Was the Superbowl in Pittsburgh the other times we played, my dream mind wondered.

And then I woke up to people talking about Sully, and getting out alive, and I opened my eyes, and sat up and watched. I watched and watched until they stopped talking about it and moved on to what they had probably scheduled at least earlier in the week, the American in Italy. I wonder what features were scheduled for today. People that got calls yesterday or last night--don't come in for your 7 am make-up, we're spending the majority of the show talking to the survivors of Flight 1549. And what a relief--that they were ALL survivors, there weren't any non-survivors, except for the plane, may it rest in peace. Well, pieces, now, and it will have to be brought up, they'll have to get it out of the Hudson to examine it, to retrieve the black box, to study what went wrong and what went right.

Last night I finished listening to Malcolm Gladwell's latest book, Outliers. In it, Gladwell spends an entire chapter on pilots and crashes. He talked about the culture of the pilots and how that affected the way the pilot and the crew interacted. How changing the language that Korean pilots used in the cockpit to English allowed them to retain their culture outside of the cockpit, but that interacting in English made them safer. Blech, this paragraph stinks. But I know that there is a difference of 10,000 hours. Sully, the pilot of the US Air plane, had more than that 10,000 hours of flight. Yes, it was a miracle. But there was more to it than chance. Chance did not make this flight the only successful water landing, I think, EVER. Sully is described as a man who even when he travels in coach with his family, when they do the safety review, pulls the card out of seat pocket in front of him and follows along.

I wonder how many books will be born. I wonder if we will come up with a Dewey number to use for those books, just as we have Dewey numbers we use for books about 9/11. I wonder if there is a number for the Hudson river. Or will it go in aviation? Some of the books will go in Biography...I'm getting tired. I've been tired. It's time to check my email, my Twitter, maybe Facebook, and get a move on. I have to be at work in a little over an hour, and if I want a shower, I should do that now.

I'm hitting publish. There are other links to add, I know, but I need to decide if I want to get wet before going out into the cold. How grateful am I that I swept and salted last night.



Karen Lynn Haver said...

I am currently reading outliers as`well. I was thinking that the Hudson crash people truly were saved by the intelligence and experience of the pilot. Not really a miracle, but good old fashioned know-how. I guess the fact that he was the pilot when this happened and not a "new guy" was miraculous.

Caro said...

I like parenthesis. I just can't spell the word correctly.

cuileann said...

I have parenthetical issues as well.

That book sounds quite interesting...