Road Trip II Day 6

Friday was I think perhaps the first day we really really slept in. Not as much as I would have liked, though. I really think I have a gift of being able to sleep. I just about never have trouble sleeping at night and can sleep indefinitely. When I go home, I regularly sleep until midafternoon or evening. I’m telling you, sleeping that long takes discipline. It’s not easy.

But anyway, we slept in then headed out to the waterfront area for lunch. Forgot the name of the place but everything was deep fried. Fried clams, fried oysters, fried salmon, etc. This area of Seattle was also really cool. I dunno, I liked Seattle a whole lot, just about every part of it. Great city.

Also went back to Pike Place market. So we could get original Starbucks while it was open. Also to check out the market which was supposedly cool. It was. Lots of vendors, lots of different types of food, good free samples, that kind of place. I liked it. It was very alive.

We then took the monorail back to where the Space Needle is. Right next to that is the Experience Music Project, this big music museum type place that Paul Allen made.

Side note. Both days we were at the Space Needle area we saw these three kids who were trying to collect money to make a CD. One was playing keyboard, one guitar, and one tambourine. The thing was, they were absolutely horrible. Dave was pretty angry about it, not sure why. But they were really really bad. What do you do? Support them? Or is the kinder thing to do just help them realize they have no future? I don’t know.

The first day we also saw a magician who was doing tricks with rings for a bunch of kids. We watched and Dave started telling me how he was doing it, right there in front of the kids, and the guy got huffy and asked us to leave if we were going to talk.

Anyway the museum was pretty dope, I thought. The others didn’t like it as much, I think. But I really enjoyed it. It’s pretty high-tech. They give you these gizmos to wear and as you see exhibits you can download (I think) stuff to listen to that’s relevant to that exhibit, and save the sound files for downloading to your home computer later. It’s pretty cool.

Anyway, we totally misused our time there. We were being like we were at the Space Needle – trying to hear and see every single thing, so we spent an inordinate amount of time on the Jimi Hendrix exhibit. Allen’s apparently a huge Hendrix fan. I thought that was kind of odd. That this overweight, balding, nerdy white guy would idolize this black guy who started out poor and eventually drowned in his own vomit. But anyway.

Yeah, we spent way too much time there. Random fact – in the middle of the exhibit, Henry received a phone call from Chris Min. He passed the phone to Dave, who talked to her, my cousin Marshall, and I think Scott Kim, and then I talked to Scott Kim and I think Marshall. Utterly random.

When we finally left the exhibit, we had to blaze through to see everything else. There was an exhibit on guitars I found fascinating but no one else really cared about and we didn’t really have time for. Other stuff we skipped. We spent some good time at this one area where they teach you about a bunch of different things, like how to play various instruments, how to mix, how to sing, other stuff.

The cool thing is, these things are hands on. So, you get like so many minutes to do whatever exhibit. I spent some good time on the guitar effects exhibit. Also spent time in the keyboard room with Henry, where we jammed a bit. It’s hard to solo on keyboard. But you know, it was a tutorial so they lit up relevant keys in the scale (mostly blues scales), stuff like that.

We also jammed in one of the jam rooms, with drums, bass and guitar. I don’t know, jamming with gear is just fun, at least for me. I liked it a lot. Also spent time in the mixing room, where they taught you some basics and then let you mix a sample song (Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams). That was cool. Having the raw tracks there that you can mix. I dunno, I liked it a lot.

So yeah, I really liked the museum and could easily have spent a few more hours there. I don’t think the others liked it quite as much though. But whatever. We didn’t really have too much time anyway because we were late for the Mariners game.

Getting to Safeco Field required us to run to the Monorail, take it, then take a taxi to the stadium. We were pretty late – missed the first inning, so we missed Ichiro’s first at bat. Pretty much the only reason we were there was to see Ichiro.

Dunno how it happened but I’ve become a huge Ichiro fan. The Mariners box scores are the only ones I look at daily (I skim over the Reds) and I’m pretty faithful about it. I’m pulling hard for him to break the modern single season hits record (257, by George Sisler in 1920). He’s got 204 with 28 games left, which means he has to get about 2 hits a game here on out. Looks unlikely, but he’s been on a tear the past month, so it may be possible. The rookie record is 223 by Lloyd Wagner in 1927, which is much more in reach. I just think it’s incredible that these super old records might be broken. That’s cool.

Anyway, yeah, I’ve been following him pretty closely recently, as has Dave I think, so we went to the game. I bought the tickets online a few weeks previous. It’s pretty cool – you can print out the tickets yourself now.

Anyway, yeah, I got the best tickets we could, not super pricy but reasonable. The bleachers were sold out, unbelievably. In fact, the whole place was sold out. I’m not talking about a Pac-Bell Park sellout, where the tickets are gone but there are a lot of empty seats. I’m talking the real deal – you could hardly find an empty seat anywhere. The place was packed.

We ended up getting nosebleed seats – as far up as you can possibly go. I felt bad, since I had gotten the tickets, but really, there wasn’t much I could do – these were about the only ones left. Anyway, it was kind of good because we brought big poster boards to get on Japanese TV.

Dunno why, but it was really important to Dave that we get on Japanese TV via our posters. Why is this so important? No clue. But, we brought the stuff. Dave had a friend show him how to write these phrases in Japanese. “Go Ichiro!” and Ichiro — Iron Chef Baseball”. People asked us what they said and we had to explain the whole Iron Chef thing. I have no idea if they saw us way up there, but whatever, it was fun to do.

I really liked Safeco Field. Maybe more than Pac Bell. Is that heretical? Maybe. I think part of it was the weather was a lot better – it was cold at Pac Bell when I went. At Safeco it was a perfect night for baseball. Seattle was on the tail end of a heat wave so it was warm but not unbearably hot. Just a pleasant night for a game. There’s something cool about being at a sporting event with lots of people on a nice night, eating hot dogs, just enjoying yourself. A great time.

It must also be great when your team is incredible like the Mariners this year. I’m also pulling hard for the Mariners to beat the single season wins record. It’s 116 games by the 1906 Chicago Cubs (the Cubs???). I think the ’98 Yankees have the AL record at 114 games. The Mariners have 96 wins with 28 games to go, which means winning 20 of their last 28 games. Not easy, but possible.

But yeah, it was a great night for baseball, good company, and a great park. One of the best baseball experiences I’ve had. It would have been perfect had Sasaki not completely blown a save in the 9th to lose the game. That was a terrible performance.

Did we go to Denny’s that night? I can’t remember. Maybe the night before. But yeah, we did go. We went to Denny’s the year previous also. In some strange way, it’s comforting to know that Denny’s is the same wherever you go – mediocre food, worse service. Ah Denny’s.

And that was the day.

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