Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Different Kind of Week for Me

(Warning: possibly disturbing pictures from the OUR BODIES: THE UNIVERSE WITHIN exhibit - taken from the web - are contained in this post.)

It's been an unusually social week for me.

Monday: Stayed late at work to help answer phones when we did our "soft test". This is where we split our signal and those people who see the analog only signal get a two minute message that says, "If you're seeing this, call this number. You are NOT ready for the digital shut-off." I fielded two calls - one from a cable customer in a neighboring town. Apparently her cable company hasn't switched to all digital signal yet. I reassured her that they would have to on February 17th because there wouldn't be anything on the analog signal anymore. My other call was from a woman who had sent in for her government coupon at the end of December and was wondering when she would get it. Since it's taking at least 6 weeks for them to go out, she might get it in time for the shut-off. However, because she waited so late, she might be on the waiting list. You see, they ran out. And the funding for them ran out. So there is the possibility that the February 17th shut-off will be postponed so that EVERYONE can get their coupons. (This is a bad thing for me... you have no idea how much work is involved in "educating" the public about this.)

Tuesday: Took Mom and her friend Duffy to lunch. It was a LONG lunch - I never actually went to work that day, except to pick up something from Fed Ex and deliver it because it was supposed to air that night. It was a lovely lunch and a great visit!

Wednesday: Lunch with my cousin Liane. Once upon a time, we had a standing lunch date once a week, but between thin wallets and busy schedules, we're lucky if we manage this every three weeks or so. There's a lot of catching up to do by then and we spend most of the "lunch" talking.

Thursday: Went and had lunch with ZBoy at school and got to visit with Krysta, one of the kids I chaparoned on the St. Augustine trip. She's the one who was sick for most of the day and I wound up holding her all day.

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After work, Jenn and I went to see the "Our Bodies: The Universe Within" exhibit at the Mary Brogan Museum. Educators and employees of FSU got in free (this is two days before the show opened to the public on Saturday). First we went to Harry's and had a weak drink and a little something to eat. The doors opened at 4pm and we were among the first ones in. After showing our IDs and paystubs (proof of employment), they strapped an orange band on us tightly and gave us the rap: No talking No cell phones No cameras No food No drink. We want to preserve a feeling of reverence for the people viewing the exhibit.

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There was a feeling of church in there. It was dark with dramatic lighting - a hushed quality to the entire thing. I actually wish the lighting was better because there were several exhibits that were difficult to see, being only toplit.

Body Checkerboard Man

It was an amazing thing to see. The bodies were just plastic-enough to not creep you out, and you could really look and see what was going on without being distracted by the fact that it was an actual person's body that you were looking at. The process must be amazing because the cuts were so clean! A whole head, sliced into sections like they used a giant egg-slicer. The first slice had the face on it, then the next slice had what's just behind the face and so one until you got to the back of the head. And even more amazing - they did a whole body the same way!

Bodies sliced man

Several things amazed me. I am not much taller than a Chinese man (China is where the bodies came from), and yet the organs seemed so small. The kidneys, no bigger than my fist with ureters the size of coffee stirrer straws. Believe me, when I really have to pee, those lines between my plumbing feel like a garden hose. And the lungs! Much smaller than I thought. Same for the stomach... everything. All those bits have such presence in my body, they feel like they should be so much larger. It was truely awesome.

Bodies flayed man

The other thing I noticed was the rather irreverent thoughts I had. It was almost like there was a comedy routine running through my head as I examined these bits and pieces. Noticing how hairless these bodies were - eyelashes and a few wisps of pubic hair and nothing else. Did they shave these people? Or use dipilatory on them? Why were all the babies on display female and all the other displays (except for the one partial torso of a woman and her reproductive system) men? Why, when rounding a corner and spotting a full skeleton who looked like he was ice-blading wearing only his blood vessels, did I think "What a great Halloween costume!" I don't want to give you the wrong impression - I was awed by what I saw and properly appreciative of all that went into the exhibit, but that darned comedian in my head just wouldn't shut up.

Bodies skull arteries

Jenn and I were quiet when we left the floor and rode down on the elevator. To the left of the exits was an area set up for complimentary chair massages, which we definitely took advantage of. I'm not much for having strange people (or even familiar people) touching me, so I gritted my teeth a little as the massusse laid her hands on me. And I realized that my whole back is a mass of knots. Some of them felt like she was poking me with a hot stick. But she got a lot of them out and when she stepped back and asked me what I thought, I told her I thought I needed to do this much more often.

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More decompression was needed before we returned to "normal" lives, so we wandered over to a coffee shop and ordered naughty coffee, sat outside in the cool and talked about massages, kids, the people in the bar across the way - anything but what we'd just seen. Finally, Jenn had to go pick up her son and I needed to get home anyway, so we went our separate ways.

Friday: Turkey Chili and crackers at my desk. Time to get some work done!!!

Saturday: Home improvement continues! I got one of those "ProSeal" gizmos off the tv, thinking what a wonderful thing for caulking jobs. I was wrong. Yes, it made a lovely smooth line of caulk, but a huge mess everywhere else. I wound up having to pull out all the caulk I'd done, re-clean the tiles and start over using the old fashioned method: masking tape and a finger. It looked great when I was done.

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I also gave the blue walls another coat of paint. I had noticed a few places where the primer was showing through a little, so the second coat covered it all and gave me a nice solid color.

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Darling Man installed the toilet on Monday. Tomorrow, I shall paint the other two walls green and we will be ready to install the new vanity/sink unit, the medicine chest and the new light on Monday - and this bathroom will be DONE!!!!

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6 comments:

karisma said...

Sounds like a pretty productive week all round! Keeping busy is the way to go! Life would be boring otherwise!

nikki said...

Dude, you've been busy. Wanna caulk my shower for me?

SwampAngel65 said...

I took my oldest son to see the Bodies exhibit a couple years ago when it was down here. It was fascinating. I wondered about all the missing hair, too. Maybe as part of the preservation process, it all comes off? I dunno.... but I agree that it wasn't creepy. Not what I expected. I recommend that people should see it if it comes to their town.

Pamela said...

I've wondered where from do these bodies come?

I think there has been some controversy about that.

But, if I had the opportunity I would probably go .

HoosierGirl5 said...

Wow, you HAVE been busy. If I come for a visit, will you show me how to caulk my tub? (laugh)

J.

Kaytabug said...

I went and saw that same exhibit. I too had a comedian in my head, but it was a naughty comedian. The girlfriend I went with was almost shocked at some of my thoughts, that I probably should have kept to myself. I was in awe of the whole exhibit...really amazing to see.