Friday, January 23, 2009

Funny cat story

Last night I ran a bath* but I didn't have time to take my bath right away, so I turned the water off when the tub was full, and kept doing other things.

I finished making dinner, and I ate.

I needed a pedicure, so I was painting my nails in the bathroom, and of course the door was open because I don't need privacy to paint my nails (and because I like ventilation). Paley came and found me. She always finds me when I'm home. And I gave her a little bit of attention, but I was painting my nails, so I put her down. She sat by me for a couple minutes and then went over to the tub.

Paley loves water. Sort of. When she eats, she'll play with her water. She puts a paw in her little water dish, and splashes the water. Intentionally. When we were at Jessica's house, Jess and Mitch saw her do it too, so they know.

She perched on the edge of the tub, and started to play with my bath water. I thought that was pretty funny, so I grabbed my phone to snap a picture. Silly cat.

Excceeeeppppt, Paley has a cold. She sneezes. A lot. So every time she sneezed, she'd have to kind of brace herself to keep her balance. I was taking pictures of her dipping into my bath water when she one time sneezed and FELL IN.

POOR KITTY! She swam to the edge, pulled herself out, and ran off. I caught her, and dried her off with a towel, and then put her on the heater to dry. She was all wet except for her tail, her head, and the top of her back.

It reminded me of this one time Jess and I were at the mall and we saw a kid playing on the fountain (like you're not supposed to, but kids do anyway), and he fell in. AWESOME.

*This is one of the things that I've taken from the Apartment Therapy book I'm reading/have been reading. The guy recommends taking baths. It's relaxing. He mentioned some CEO who takes a bath every morning, and reviews his notes in the tub. He often comes to his board meetings with papers that have water spots on them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Gum

If any of you sometimes read the New York Times but not always, and you like gum, read the Times today.  In the A section (A13ish?) there's a big advert for gum.

It says:

Let's stick together.
in the spirit of unity,
Wrigley is giving everyone,
regardless of political or 
flavor preference,
any new Slim Pack tm,

And then there's a coupon for a free pack of gum.  Neat.

Just One Won't Hurt

Saturday night, I went with Jess and Mitch to the Humane Society to get a cat.

Mitch waited patiently in the car (until his PSP battery died; then he waited patiently inside), while Jess and I went from cage to cage trying out all of the cats.

I came to the shelter wanting probably a kitten (but probably not a tiny one), that was probably
 black (since they find fewer homes for black kitties), and probably female (since I'm just not into having my furniture marked).  But I was open to changing my mind.

Jessica reminded me that it is Very Important to have a kitty that already purrs.  Because by the time they're old enough to be adopted, they already know how to purr.  

I wanted a cat that would be cuddly, but that would also play.

We tried out the kitties that were in the entry area, and we liked one of them, a black kitty named Chartreuse.  But we thought we should probably keep going, because they had a lot of cats.  

In the cat room, we found a bunch of fun cats.  Jess liked a cat named Biscuit that mewed a lot and had a funny meow, and Wanted Our Attention.  I liked two cats of the ones in the room.  One was named Abby, even though it was male.  It was a fluffy little black 5 month old kitty.  The other one I liked was named Wit.  He was a Siamese cat, but a nice one.  (My experience
 with Siamese cats has generally been that they are mean.)  When I took Wit out of his cage, he did NOT want to go back in.

They had "Get Acquainted" rooms, with a story on the walls about a man who did
n't want a cat from the pet store, because he was old and he wanted an older cat to match him better.  And they told him to go to the shelter, and he did.  It was a nice story.  

We took Abby into the Get Acquainted
 room, and he was okay.  I liked him.  BUT, he was so so fluffy that he had poop in his tail, and it got ALL over me.  All over my sweater, all over my pants.  And then Jessica was done with that kitty.  She suggested we try Wit.  So we did.

And I didn't care for Wit.  Because he was so needy that he only wanted to sit with me, not
 chase the mouse when I threw it for him.  Plus, he was meowing so much that I didn't want him to bother the neighbors while I'm gone during the day.

So I still liked Abby alright, and was going to get him, except that Jess reminded me of the kitty from the front room, and we decided we'd at least Get Acquainted with her before deciding on the suuuper fluffy boy.  So we got her, and I'd forgotten how much I liked her.

When I took her out of her cage, she started purring, loudly.  She cuddled with me in the Get Acquainted room, and then when I threw a mouse for her, she was interested in that, too.  And she had medium length hair instead of long hair, which is preferable (and doesn't get poo in it).  

I picked Chartreuse.  And I filled out the papers and hoped they wouldn't remember me from when I had such an awful experience as a foster person for kittens.  

They remembered.  

"I recognize you," the lady said.  "You're one of our fosters!"

"Yeahhh," I said.  "I had one litter."

"And now you're adopting a cat!"

"Yep.  One.  Not six."

The lady laughed.  She knew that six cats are too many for an apartment.

And I finished doing the adoption papers, and when they called me up they started to give me instructions.  "It's already got these shots, but it will need two more, on this day and this day," the lady said.  "And it looks like he was neutered on--"  

"You mean spayed."

"No, neutered."

"The kitty I'm adopting is a girl."

"Aren't you adopting Toby?"


"OH!  I had you adopting a five year old, male, black and white cat!  This is all wrong."  She looked at the adoption tag I'd brought up, and adjusted things.

When everything was back on track, they got one of their adoption cat carriers, and they went to the cage where my kitty was.  "She's a really nice little cat," the lady said.  "She was in a crate with a bunch of other cats, and she went around and groomed all of them."  (AWWW!)

And I had them make a tag for her, because they do that.  They didn't really have any cat collars, though, so we decided we'd get one later.

I named her "Paley," for William Paley, who wrote Natural Theology, which we studied in my evolution class.  (Basically, I kind of blogged about this before, but Lamarck had started this idea that species can change.  And everyone was SO sure that there had been a special creation, meaning that God made species special for their environments.  And religious people had kind of three reactions to Lamarck's stuff.  Some people were like "Impossible!" and decided that it was all nonsense.  Other people decided that God put fossils on the Earth to test our faith, and that dinosaurs never actually existed.  And some people were like "Evolution?  FANTASTIC!!!!  God make things make themselves!  HE'S EVEN GREATER THAN WE THOUGHT!"  And that was basically Paley.  Love. It.  He was sort of like a C.S. Lewis, I think.  He had this watchmaker analogy that was a Big Deal.  It's fun reading.)  

So anyway, we got in the car and drove to Target for a couple things, and then... to Jessica's house! (Because I was staying for MLK Jr. weekend.)
And Jessica's cats were not really sure what to think of the new little cat.  Annie hissed.  Alley was interested.  Paley just kind of sat there purring, not really caring what they thought of her.  

She spent the weekend there with us, and then she spent Monday afternoon at Mitch's parents' house (while we went sledding), and then she finally really came home Monday evening.

She likes our house just fine.  She has good manners.  And cleans herself a lot.  She loves attention, and purrs a lot.  Loudly.

The pictures kind of look like I adopted a shadow with eyes.  In real life, she is three-dimensional.  At the shelter they told me she is probably part British Shorthair, because she has a little puffy face, instead of a long face like Jessica's cats.  She's cute.  

The End.  (Or, more cheesily, The Beginning.)

Waiting at the gym

Every semester the gym on campus rents out lockers that you can keep for the whole semester.  But there are only 30, and lots of people want them (instead of leaving your stuff in cubbies or paying to rent a locker every time), so they have a set time that people can come get lockers.

The set time is this Wednesday at 10 am.  Last semester it was also on a Wednesday at 10 am.  I arrived at 9:20ish, and I got locker number 23.  If I would have actually arrived at 1o they would have been long gone.

So today, I came at 8ish am.  Because I was going to go get breakfast first, and left my house just later than I thought I should for that.  I am either number 3 or 4 in line, hopefully three since the odd lockers are the top ones.

Three of us have our computers out, one guy is reading, and girl is writing, and the other guy is just sitting.  

This kind of reminds me of living in CA, because they always have Meet-and-Greets with celebrities, but you have to show up way early and wait for hours.  Waiting isn't so bad when you have things to do.

Better to be early and get a locker than to be on time and not get one.

So hopefully, I'll get a couple blog posts written.  Three more guys came in just now, though, so I wonder if they'll start assigning lockers after there are no more places to sit?  Who knows.

First item of news:


I've had a desktop that I bought off of Craigslist, for like the past year.  I paid $250 for it, used, and the thing I was MOST excited about was the memory card reader that was built into it.  I take lots of pictures, so it was nice to be able to put my camera card directly into the computer. 

Buuuut those readers are actually cheap.  And the girl who sold it neglected to mention that it was a terrible computer.  It's an eMachine, which is like, Walmart's brand of computer.  And the trouble is, if you have any problem with it, you can't just boot from the CDs, or reload part of the system software; the only thing you can do is wipe everything clean.

My computer has had problems starting like four times.  Every time, I lose all of my pictures and all of my music.  The first couple times I was devastated.  Now, I just don't trust the dang thing, so I don't save anything on it.

The other problem is, since it's outdated and has no memory space on it, it won't download programs that I want.  Like iTunes.  It WAS working before the first crash, and ever since then it won't download.  Or it downloads, but tells me that I need something else, and I download that.  Then I go to finish installing iTunes and it tells me that I need the same thing that I just downloaded.  We never get anywhere.  Frustrating!

Plus, I don't have the Internet at my house anymore, so I really can't do anything with it anymore.

So.  It was time.  

I got a new MacBook.  It's pretty.  It's all aluminum, and fast, and it does the cool stacks thing that this OS does.  And!  I can get free Internet all over campus.  And lots of other places.  

It will be so nice to be able to like, write my papers during my breaks between classes.  Or, like take notes in class quickly.

I'm excited about this.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Well, my classes started this week, and things are okay so far.

I'm taking four classes.

1. English 2700: Diversity in American Literature
2. English 5920: Intellectual Movements
3. English 3703: Intro to Lit History 3 (which is the modernism part)
4. English 5880: Children's Lit

I feel like I'm taking the same class four times. And when I talk about my classes, I want to say "in my English class", but then I realize that all of my classes are English classes.

Yesterday I was hating my life, wondering why I'm majoring in English, but today I feel really optimistic about this semester. Here's why: I have excellent professors this semester.

Here are the interesting things about each of the classes, so far:

1. Diversity in American Literature. I'm taking this one because it satisfies the university's diversity requirement AND part of my English major requirement. It's a lower level English class, though. So it feels like high school English. Where the professor defines words like "simile" instead of just words like "post-structuralism".

I'm not wild about the professor for this class (yet, anyway), but everything seems pretty simple, so I think that as long as I do the reading it should be a breeze. And the reading seems pretty simple, too. The professor for this class dresses really artsy. The first day she came in wearing a bright purple coat, a lime green sweater top, a goldenrod scarf, black pants, and red boots. And a beret.

2. Intellectual movements. This is a very-upper-division class, and the idea behind it is that the professor picks something that like, changed literary history and we study it intensely. And to celebrate the 150th anniversary of On The Origin of Species, we're studying Darwin and evolution! Greaaaat. I'm very secure in my religious beliefs, and I don't mind discussing evolution, but I wasn't too thrilled about a whole semester of it. EXCEPT! So far it's my favorite class! The professor is hilarious. She's really sarcastic.

We were talking about evolution (of course), and Lamarck, and how species all just want to progress. She told us that he was all into inheritance of acquired characteristics. Like, the giraffe reached a little bit to get higher leaves, and the next generation, and the next generation, and gradually the neck got longer and longer. She said, "as anyone who has had a nose job and then looked at their children knows, this does not work." She also told us about a guy, August Wiseman? who "hacked off the tails of about 2000 mice and did not produce any tailless mice."

And then later, "The giraffe wants a longer neck, the African people want to become British. There's no question about it. It's obvious." (Like from the perspective of the British, back when people were first starting to talk about evolution.)

Or another time we were talking about the problems with the new idea of evolution, and one problem is that if you're not in the upper class, you may wonder why not, wonder why your ancestors didn't do whatever they were supposed to to evolve. And the prof whined like a kid who wanted candy and her mom wouldn't buy it, "Moooooooom, why aren't you letting me eevvooooolve?"

Or, we were going over the syllabus, and we're reading Heart of Darkness (which we're also reading in one of my other classes), and then we're reading Tarzan of the Apes, "which is Heart of Darkness, but happy!"

The people in the class seem good, too. Before the class started, one of the guys was talking to the girl behind me. "Break seemed really short, didn't it?" he asked her, and they talked a bit about it. And he explained, "You see, I don't count the days that were snowing as part of my break. So break was like three days. Weekends don't count towards break either." And I could not agree with that more. And later she was talking talking more about Tarzan, and she said "There are like a million of them! Tarzan Goes to Mars, Tarzan Meets the President, and by the end of the series Tarzan is like a Jack Bauer. We're just going to read the first one, from 1914."

So. That class is really entertaining.

[Also, when I first started this blog post, I went downstairs in the library to clock out, and I ran into this Prof! I said hello, and we talked about the big Darwin displays that they put up in the library yesterday (which I had told her about). She had found one and was going to go check out (ha!) the other one. And as we quit chatting, she said "Emily, right?" Yes!]

3. Intro to Lit History 3. I think I will hate the content of this class the most. Because the prof already said we're doing poetry this week, and the rest of the readings sound gross too. BUT, he has personality, and the structure of the class is: we come in and chat about what we read. Which I can handle.

It was funny, when he first started class he said, "I'm not going to ask you why you're here. My first class here, there were 60 people! Modernism was my first class and I said the University of Utah is the Best Place Ever! All these people are interested in modernism! That's great! So I had them each write a little paragraph about why you're here. All of the answers were 'It's at 10 o'clock. It's required. I made a huge mistake, if I only would have studied math instead, I would have been alright." So he understood that we didn't really care about modernism.

And then he had us go around the class and name our favorite and least favorite works from the 20th century. And people all had favorites like Ulysses. Gross.

Oh, one funny thing that he talked about was using the dictionary.

"Look up words that you don't know, and that you do know." He talked about people using words wrong, and he said that words are our tools. "If you go into a chemistry lab, you don't just pour stuff out of bottles, and say 'I don't know what that was.'"

4. Children's Lit. Um, this is going to be okay. I somehow got the one Children's Lit teacher that thinks kids read adult books and adults read kid books, so we shouldn't limit our study to books for children. Too bad! She is also very interested in the Holocaust. And group projects. (I hate group projects. Because they usually just mean Emily projects. And I want to do my own work, not work for 5 people, thanks.)

Also, I'm a little afraid of this professor, because in her syllabus she tells us that we should use professional language when we e-mail her. She specifically says not to address her with "Hey". And that is definitely something I would do, because I wouldn't write, "Dear Professor," or "Hello Professor". (My coworker said I can just start it with "Professor," and that will work. If I remember!)

But in the end, she said she hates grades. So she wants to give us all good grades, and she will, but we have to give the class our very best. We need to attend classes, do a great job on our presentations, and a great job on our papers, and then we'll be fine. And if we don't then she'll adjust things...but she doesn't want to have to do that. No tests. No midterm. No final. And that's a pretty sweet grading policy.

So things should be okay. I have a few other things to write about, but I'll save them for later.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Old Testament

I went to an Institute class this morning that was fantastic. It's a class on the second half of the Old Testament, which is perfect for me, because I'm to Proverbs and one of my 2009 goals is to finish the Old Testament. The class started at 8:35 am (and like seriously, the Old Testament), so I knew it would be a small class, except that, oh wait, it was actually two classrooms big. There were a bunch of people! And I'm sure some people are ambitious and go to the first class and stop coming partway through the semester, but still!

Turns out, it's basically because the teacher is amazing.

He was telling us, you go to the Old Testament for a first person account of the Atonement. He said that next to the book of Luke, the Old Testament is the best place to go to get to know Christ. Mostly the second half of Isaiah, and the stuff David wrote. I thought this was kind of interesting, because I always just sort of assumed that the Book of Mormon would be the second best. Or like, Matthew would be, or something. But as we were talking about it, I could see what he meant.

We mostly talked about a few Psalms today. Psalms are not just a poetic part of the scriptures; they're basically the hymnbook of their world back then. It was the same as it is for us. When we're going through hard times, sometimes we sing hymns. The LDS pioneers sometimes sang "Come, Come Ye Saints" when things were rough. Just as we draw on hymns in times of trial, Christ quoted Psalm 22; "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me,". But he wasn't just saying that line; he was quoting the first line of this song. And people back then would have known that he was quoting it.

So to know better how Christ was feeling, we can read the rest of the psalm. Instead of us looking up at the cross, like we are in the accounts in the gospels, reading this takes us right up onto the cross with him, because it's in first person.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn : they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

(Shoot out the lip = stick out their tongues. They're mocking him. Which, we knew.)

He told us the most poignant account of the crucifixion is Psalm 22. It's Messianic literature.

With Messianic literature, there are two ways of looking at it:

1. The writer saw Christ and was writing about it. (This is more true of Isaiah.)

2. David had experiences, and he had a deep heart and could express some of the deepest feelings of our hearts. (He compared this to Shakespeare, who can write from the perspective of Juliet, who is a teenager in love, and also from the perspective of King Lear, who is like, a bitter old man. And he writes the depth of emotions that all different kinds of people experience so well that his stuff stays around. Not very many people can express deep emotions so well, but Shakespeare was one who could, and so was David.) And David's writing is Messianic because Christ drew upon his words and said that's exactly how he felt.

So with Messianic literature it's partially people writing about Christ, and partially people expressing deep emotions so well that Christ quotes it later.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

These things are literal, and then verse 19:

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

They can do all these things to me, but I can handle all that; but Lord, don't you leave me. These verses give us perspective into how Christ was feeling during the Atonement.

He said a bunch of other stuff, and gave other examples, but it's late and I'm tired, so I'll just share a couple more things from my notes.

Psalm 69.

9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Again, we're on the cross with Him, looking down, instead of being with the apostles, looking up.

He said we sometimes talk about "the cup of trembling" or the "bitter cup" when we're talking about the Atonement, and he said that the two go together. When we drink vinegar, we don't just say "ew", and he made a face as though he'd tasted something bitter, and when people taste bitter things, their faces pucker and crinkle up--bitterness causes trembling. (He told us, "You go home tonight and drink a cup of vinegar and you'll understand the image very well.")

And then just one last thing he talked about; Psalm 107. He said sometimes Christ deliberately did things to fulfil prophecy. He would specifically duplicate the miracles of other prophets.

That was the way they did things back then. I wish I remember all of the examples he gave, but basically, like Moses parts the Sea, so other prophets parted other things. And that repetition happened a lot. It was part of assuming the mantle of a prophet. Or something like that.

And back in the day, because they did that, you couldn't say "Oh, I believe Abraham was a prophet, and Moses was, and I believe in Elijah, but I don't know about this Elisha..." because that would be gross hypocracy.

In Psalm 107, he showed us this:

23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
24 These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.

(He told us that the phrase "at their wits' end" came from that verse of the scriptures.)

I asked him if the apostles would have recognized that from the psalm when he calmed the storm. He told me they would have. He said they knew the Psalms really well, just like we would recognize stories from the Book of Mormon if we heard them.

Anyhow, it was a really good class. I'm looking forward to the rest of the semester. I was telling my coworkers about it today, and my boss asked who was teaching it. I looked it up, and I told her. It's S. Michael Wilcox. I thought the name had sounded kinda familiar, but she knew who he was. Apparently he's also an author. He's written a bunch of books I've heard of. Deseret Book has like 15 of his books listed. Hm. Neat.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Body World 3, part 2

At the end of the Body Worlds exhibit, there was a big room that was more interactive that the rest of the exhibit (which is not interactive at all.)

It had real plastinate stuff that you could touch, and real cross sections that you could pick up.

And then there were two parts where people could write stuff. The first part was "What's the most important part of your body? Why?" and people could write their favorite part on little wooden tiles painted blue, green, or grey. A lot of the tiles had things that had nothing to do with bodies.

Or, my favorite of the body parts: "The water in it. Most people Like water, so that means they already like 60% of my Body!" Awesome.

And then there was a Body Secrets section. My coworker had told me about this. He said there were body secrets, and people could write whatever they wanted. He said it's like PostSecret, and it's mostly interesting except for a few inappropriate ones. When I first came out of the exhibit, there were guest books. And some people had written good, normal stuff, and other people had written inappropriate stuff, so I kind of raised an eyebrow and was like "...this isn't like PostSecret. It's a guestbook." I thought it was kind of funny that the generation younger than me doesn't know what guestbooks are anymore; they just know PostSecret. And then when I kept walking, I saw that there actually was an official section called Body Secrets.

"Private confessions. Untold stories. Embarrassing habits. Personal thoughts. Post your anonymous body secret." And you know, it seemed a little weird, but in a society where PostSecret is cool, if that's a way to reach out to that generation and get them all excited about bodies and anatomy, on their level and on their own terms, then I guess that's good.

By the time I got to this part, I'd had my fun and was running less early than I wanted to be for work, so I just took pictures of a few that seemed kind of interesting.

A lot of the secrets had comments written on them, also PostSecret style. I thought that was kind of interesting, because what is the likelihood that someone will come back to check out their secret again, at a museum exhibit. I think not very likely. But I decided that it still could be worthwhile because maybe someone else with the same secret would read the encouragement intended for the original author, and the other person would feel encouraged as well. Other times people wrote rude things, which usually got scribbled out.

It seemed like there were sections where someone would "confess" that they thought they were fat and suddenly everyone else confessed the same thing. Like half of all the angsty 16 year old girls. This was one that I kind of liked. I guess to me, being obsessed with thinking you're fat or whatever is kind of selfish, but doing something about it and encouraging others can be a secret or not, and is not selfish, so I thought it was more worthy of photography.

Kinda interesting.

The End.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Body Worlds 3, part 1

Yesterday I went to see Body Worlds 3 at The Leonardo, next to the Salt Lake City Library. I'd been wanting to see Body Worlds since my mom showed me an article about it in the Smithsonian magazine, a long time ago. It's been in Salt Lake since...November, maybe? and the exhibit is ending this weekend, so I finally went.

It's kind of a spendy exhibit; for me to see it (as a student) with an audio guide it cost me $26. I had a $2 coupon, which I was going to use online until I found out that there's a $2.50 service charge if you purchase tickets online. So I would be paying an extra .50 to use the coupon. I decided I would just take the coupon and buy my ticket in person. When I tried to do that, they told me that the coupons are valid online. Not at the ticket office. AND, not only that, there is a $1 service charge to buy tickets in person.

Whaaaat...? So I paid full price plus my extra dollar to buy a ticket at the actual thing. I think that's stupid. You're not supposed to have to pay a box office fee to buy museum tickets. AND! Furthermore! You could say that they have to pay to employ people at the box office, or something, except that they are volunteers. The people at the box office and the people throughout the exhibit are all volunteers.

I think the exhibit was worth $12 for students, $15 for regular admission. And no box office fees in person or online.

Still, I'm glad I went.

One of my coworkers volunteers there, and I asked him if photography was allowed. He said it absolutely was not. He said that if anyone caught me taking pictures, they would take my phone away and make some volunteer delete all of the pictures from my camera. It felt like a challenge to me. I got about 70 pictures. No flash, of course. And my phone doesn't click when it takes pictures. (My coworker was impressed.)

I won't post all 70, because that would be a really long blog post, and you'd probably feel like I did at the end of the exhibit--like I'd seen the same thing 70 times. But it was still kinda neat.

This is the nervous system:

Okay, so what they would do is, inject veins and capillaries with their plastic stuff, which would harden, and then use enzymes to eat away the real stuff. So this picture below is the blood flow of a brain, like, molded from the inside of veins. Using the plastic stuff this way makes it so that you can see better what's actually going on, and smaller stuff is more visible. Or something.

This is one of the ones like they're famous for. It's an archer.
One of the big themes of the exhibit is STOP SMOKING. These are normal lungs and smoker lungs. (Also in the lungs section, they have an I QUIT box where you can throw away your cigarettes and make a commitment to stop smoking then and there.)

Another one of the famous ones...

They had a whole section full of babies. They had fetuses from all different stages, and that section was really interesting.
After the room of babies, they have a case full of placentas. The funny thing about this was, there was a family next to me where the mom was holding her daughter, and the girl was young enough that you would probably still count how many words she knows how to say. She pointed at this one and said excitedly, "A pizza!". Her mom was amused, and so was I.

This one was of a woman pedaling, but they cut her in slices the long way. Very interesting.

This picture shows the basic layout of the exhibit. Veins on top. Cases down the middle. Posters on the sides, with nice quotes about the heart, or excerpts from writing about the heart, or QUIT SMOKING stuff, etc, and occasional big boxes on the sides with the bodies doing interesting things that these exhibits are famous for.

This one I really liked. It was a guy balancing on three balls, and then one arm reached up above him and he was balancing all of his internal organs. I have other pictures of this, but I felt like I already was putting a lot on here.

The veins, etc, of a rooster. (In the background you can see the same thing of a baby lamb.)
There was other interesting stuff too, but downstairs I think this was the coolest one. It's a couple, and out of the guy's back is his brain and all of his organs, and out of the girls back is her brain with all of her blood stuff (kind of like the rooster, except a person.)

The other stuff I want to post from the exhibit is not part of the exhibit at all; it's stuff from the end of the exhibit. It includes examples from the "What is your favorite body part?" wall of tiles, and also from the "Body Secrets" wall, where people were invited to post secrets about their bodies. Interesting.

Anyway, there were a lot of other things that I didn't post, and I highly recommend visiting the exhibit this weekend if you haven't been yet. I think they're doing an open-24-hours thing to finish stuff up, so you can make time for it at like 3 in the am hours, when you were just planning on sleeping. It was pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I like doing laundry about as much as I like riding buses, and I like both even less when there's snow outside. Last night I loaded up my duffel bags and backpack, and I caught a train to go to my laundry place. My laundry place is not fancy. It's old and run down. But at least this one is only one train stop away, instead of being on the other side of the city like my last one. Anyway, I went.

And I did my laundry. And as I was starting to fold some of my stuff, a robust black guy came in to the laundromat. He was wearing a red "Runnin' Utes"t-shirt, and black sweatpants. I don't know what his name was, but I'll call him Bubba, because that's the kind of guy that he was. He walked through the place, and started sweeping. When he got to the back room, there was a drunk guy in there. Bubba asked, "Do you have any laundry in here?" The guy didn't. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave; we're getting ready to close up here." The guy left pretty politely. (He passed by me, because the dryers face the door.)

"WOOOO-WEE!" Bubba exclaimed. "He had more alcohol in him than a bar! I could smell it all over him!" Bubba grabbed his broom again and started sweeping, "He's probably homeless...That's why they drink a lot. It keeps them warm."

"Huh," I said. "I didn't know that." I took one ear bud out, because I'd been listening to music on my phone, but listening to music when someone is talking to you is rude.

"Yeaaaahp. You know, when you're partying, you've had some drinks, you're having a good're not thinking about whether you're cold."

I nodded at Bubba, knowingly, even though I didn't actually know. Bubba went back to the other part of the place to sweep, and a girl came to the [locked] door. "Hey," I called to Bubba. "Uh, there's a girl at the door."

The girl looked at me like she wondered what was happening (the signs say OPEN UNTIL MIDNIGHT (no wash after 11)), and I pointed to the side. Bub came to the front door. The girl told him through the [still locked] glass door, "I just need to dry something." And Bubba said, "What do you need to try?" and she said "I just need to dry something." And Bubba said a little louder, "What do you need to try?" She repeated, "I need to DRY something."

Bubba opened the door, grinning, "OH, I misunderstood you! I thought you said you need to try something. I said, okay, I don't know what you want to try, but you go right ahead..." he trailed off. He let her in, locked the door again, and then went back up to the other room to keep sweeping.

The girl put her laundry in a dryer. "You wouldn't happen to have an extra dryer sheet, would you?" "Actually, I do!" I opened the pocket of my duffel bag to find it for her. Bubba called out to her, "I got some back here if you need one!" I handed her the dryer sheet and she held it up for Bubba, "It's alright. She gave me one."

The rest of my laundry finished and I poured it onto the table to keep folding. The other girl started reading a book she'd brought with her.

Bubba came up and started adjusting things on another table, in front of my table. He picked up a Barbie doll, who was wearing a floofy pink dress and had pink slippers pained on. Her arms and legs were all over the place, and he straightened her out. "This yours?" Bubba asked, looking at me. "No." I shook my head. He looked at the other girl, and held Barbie up. "Is it yours?" It wasn't. She asked him. "Is it yours?" Bubba laughed a big gut laugh. "Now I'm not admitting it's mine, I won't say that." He kept laughing. And we joked with him for another minute about Barbie belonging to him.

He went back to the other room, and came back with one of those weird, like, travel coffee mugs, except that the top was weird. He showed us, and we talked about how he must find some interesting stuff. The girl said, "so it's yours? Do you get to keep the stuff?"

"I'm nice," Bubba said. "I put it back there [he pointed to the other room] for a couple weeks so people can come back for it. And then if it's not gone in a few weeks, then I'll keep it." He picked up a down coat that was on the same table, or maybe from behind the table. "See," he said. "That's a pretty nice coat," the other girl said, and I nodded. "Someone left cold."

"The homeless sometimes will take it," Bubba said. "Like that guy earlier. Or maybe he'll give it to his girl."

[LOVE IT. Rich guys give their girls diamonds. Normal guys, flowers. Cheap guys, carnations, or I don't know, maybe poems. Things that cost less but still show thought. Homeless guys? "I saw this coat at the laundromat; it looked about your size..." or would the presentation be different? She shivers, and he reaches in his shopping cart and tosses the coat to her nonchalantly. "Take this," he says, like it's no big deal that he's carrying a girl's coat in his cart...]

"What else do people leave?" I asked Bubba.

"OHhhhhh, laundry. They leave laundry." That wasn't the answer that I wanted. I wanted to hear about ipods, and mannequin arms, and random stuff that you wonder why people even have. I asked him about it anyway, though.

"Do people ever leave full loads?"

"Yeaaaahp. Leave 'em in the washers, and dryers, and just never come back for it. And if they don't come back, I donate them to the homeless shelter."

"Oh, that's nice," the other girl said.

"Yeah, it is." I agreed.

[Okay, here's what I don't understand--when would you ever leave a full load of laundry? Here are the things I can think of:

- You forget which laundromat you went to, and can never figure it out.
- You're on vacation and plan to do laundry before you go home. You start the wash and suddenly realize your flight time is different than you thought it was. Obviously you can't take your soaked laundry with you, so you decide to leave it so that you don't miss your flight.
- You have so much money that you only wear things once. (Problem: why bother starting to wash it? Why not just throw it away or donate it?)
- You leave after you start the wash, and get distracted with something else.

But, isn't that the kind of thing where you lay down for bed and you're falling asleep, and just before you do, you JOLT awake and shout, "THE LAUNDRY!!!" and you start to get up to go get it, and realize the place would definitely be closed. But then, wouldn't you go back the next day?

Wouldn't you miss, like, half of your socks? Or half of your little kid's clothes? Or your favorite pair of jeans? Could you really make a whole load of laundry that you wouldn't notice if it were all missing?]

By that point, I was about done with folding my laundry. The door was locked, and Bubba was back in the other room (mopping?), so when he came back into our room, I said, "Alright. It's been fun, but I'm ready to go home." "I'll bet you are," he told me. And he unlocked the door, and held it open for me. "Be careful out there," he said. "I will. Thanks." And I left.

It was just kind of funny, though, because for 20 minutes it was like we were all good friends. And I bet if Laundry Man kept a blog of all of the stuff he found, it would be pretty interesting.

The end.

[Photo is from here. And it's an actual picture of the actual laundromat I was at. Except the chairs are different now.]

Monday, January 05, 2009

Something funny from work

Want to see something fun?

I just filled a request for a patron with an interesting name. And people have to use their real names when they request things, so we never get Jane Does or John Smiths or fake names at all.

Plus, this guy's email address is an official school one.

Awesome. I want to email him and ask if we can be friends, just because he has such an amazing name, but that wouldn't be very professional, so I won't.

In other random news, did you hear about the two German kids (6 and 7 years old) who eloped to Africa? One of my friends told me about it. The story is here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Photo from my bus ride.

I went to Provo for a New Year's Party. I took two trains and a bus to get there. It took a long time. And at night, the bus from Sandy to Provo doesn't come often at all. And I was really feeling annoyed with UTA going NOWHERE, until my bus came.

And then, the bus driver started doing flips in the front of the bus, and waiting in the stupid snow for an hour and a half was totally worth it.