Monday, April 30, 2007

Education or Exploitation

NOTE: The images contained in the link below are extremely graphic (not sexual). Please use discretion when viewing.

Yesterday a co-worker and I went

I heard about this traveling exhibition a while back and was anxiously awaiting its arrival to the DC Metro area. For weeks I've been seeing it advertised in the Washington City Paper and had it on my list of things to do. When I learned that my co-worker was also dying to go (no pun intended)...we set a date.

Having always had an interest in pathology (and having watched autopies - on television - and seen various forms of cadavers - courtesy of my friend who snuck me into her biology lab), I had very little reservation about what it was that I was going to experience.

Now, in retrospect, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing.

For the sake of those of you who might be planning to visit, as well as those of you with weak stomachs, I will spare you the details. I will say, however, that some of the presentation choices left me wondering: what is this about...really? In addition, the fact that the "bare bones" ticket (am I on a roll or what?) - meaning purchased onsite without audio - was $27.00 left me to question the validity of the "educational" opportunity that this exhibition states it affords. Now...I do realize that I could be in a city where the majority of the educational/cultural institutions (ie. the Smithsonian) and events are F-R-E-E. But, if your primary intent is to educate, can it not be done at a more nominal cost? And if not, could funds have been allocated or underwritten so as to NOT charge an additional fee for audio that allows you to better understand what was being viewed?

What I didn't know - until I got there and my co-worker explained - was there has been quite a bit of scuttlebutt surrounding this exhibit. First, all of the bodies on display are people that were from China. Second, we are told that they are "unclaimed" bodies or bodies of consenting donors - however, no paper trail (that I know of) has been presented to support these claims. Makes you wonder why China and why no documentation?

Things that make you go hmmmmm...

On one hand I can say, unequivocally, that I did learn quite a bit from this exhibit. On the other hand I wonder to what/whom did I just give my financial support? And does the issue of morality and respect for the dead come into play? My views and thoughts are somewhat mixed.

At the end of the day, it got me to think. It answered some life long questions and sparked conversation between complete strangers over artistically lit human livers, lungs and hearts. But was it worth having to ponder the educational factor versus the sensational factor? I don't know that I have a definitive answer...I guess you'd have to be the judge of that for yourself.

So should it come to a city near you and you decide to visit (or have already) - I'd be curious to know your thoughts...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Month In Review

I realized today that I've only posted twice this month. For that reason, I thought I would do a run down of what has been going on in my life. Partly to bring you all up to speed (for those of you who are actually interested) and partly to figure out why in the heck I've only posted twice this month. I said I wasn't going to fall back into oblivion again, so it's time to do a bit of inventory.

Here goes my "Pieces of April" - have you seen that movie? Pretty good indy flick.

I digress...

Things are back on track at work and that, friends, is a beautiful thing. As you may remember I experienced a little hiccup, but I didn't let it defeat me. I'm back on track and feeling a lot more confident, I might add. Although I don't live/die by them, I do read my horoscope for fun from time to time. A magazine, that will remain nameless due to shame, arrived in the mail this weekend and part of it read: "Your career is moving forward." I truly believe that...not because of the promotion/raise, but because I truly feel that I am now working in an industry that totally suits my personality and professional strengths. I'm excited to see where it will take me!

Words cannot adequately describe just how much I DETEST my cable/internet company. Last Friday I came home from work to find that my cable/internet service had been interrupted. I called customer service - or what they call customer service - to report my problem. I knew it wasn't an issue with my bill, cause it was paid on time and in full. They checked it anyway and found the aforementioned to be true. They checked for an area/system wide outage. No such luck. They finally determined that it was an "isolated incident" that was going to require a tech visit. The first available time slot? Wednesday evening. *dead* You know I was hot, right? So hot that I decided to write a letter. I was on the fence with whether or not I was going to mail it. The visit from the tech, who informed me that when another tech was dispatched on Friday to disconnect service for one of my neighbors they ended up disconnecting my service instead, sealed the envelope! So I went five days without television or internet. Ummmm, yeah...not cute!

I last reported that I was reading a book called "Small Island" by Andrea Levy. It's been a difficult read to stick with, so I decided to put it down for a while. Instead, I picked up the book on deck - "A Hungry Heart" - which is Gordon Parks' last memoir. WOW! All I can say is that I love him even more...found out he was a bit of a playa...but even that can't take away from his brillance! Just an awesome piece of literary work that I highly recommend.

Much to my dismay, my favorite bartender in the world is leaving the restaurant/bar that had become "the spot" for me and a couple of my really good girlfriends. We have been spending one day out of the last couple weekends toasting him and taking final advantage of what has been a very longstanding "hook up." And although the Greek tapas are to die for, the place just won't be the same without him. Alas we must bid our beloved spot "adio." Here's to all of the good times...Opa!

I am in the early stages of "shopaholicism." Even though I am a bargin shopper, I've got to nip this "disease" in the bud. The rising of the weekend sun finds me twitching...eager for my next fix. It's time for an intervention...after I find those shoes, that bag, my couch and some other key items for my place...but soon...I promise.

Spring, seemingly, has sprung and pheromones are being released at an all time high. I was approached by a gentleman on Friday afternoon and I must say he really peaked my interest (which hasn't been peaked in quite some time). The manner in which he approached me was most flattering, however follow through is key. Then, while having an early dinner - solo - during one of my shopping binges, my presence was requested at the bar. I had just watched "Something New" that morning so I was all about "let go and let flow." I entertained the invitation. It led to 1 1/2 hours of a very pleasant conversation with an extremely interesting YOUNG fellow. And when I say young, I mean 25 years young! Ah well...practice makes perfect.

My heart has been heavy since the tragedy at Virginia Tech. What more is there to say? I pray for peace and strength for everyone, but most importantly for those who were directly affected.

I'm not really a doctor/medicine type person, but I know that there comes a time when we all need to make a visit. In the past month I have had two doctor's appointments and I'm happy to report that all is well. Two down, two more to go - a general physical and the dentist. *Sigh* I loathe the dentist!

That's about it...aside from being reunited with a long lost college friend and sending a drunk text (ya know, like "drunk dial") to my highschool sweetheart - I'm so embarrassed that I still haven't been able to bring myself to call him to explain/apologize.

So, I'm relatively satisfied with my reasons for being MIA. The five days without internet, alone, was cause enough...damn them!

Speaking of which, I have to mail that letter...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Just Plain Ol' Tired

It's official...I need a vacation. Although part of me thinks I don't deserve one since I was semi-unemployed for 13 months...but that just might be all the more reason to take one.

Today our office closed at 1pm to give us a jump start on the holiday weekend. Nice, right? I guess...if your NOT me. Why was I the last one in the office and didn't leave until 6:30pm? So not cool. top it all issue from my work week from hell (see two posts ago) resurfaced which made matters that much worse. I'm hoping that I defused it enough that it's not going to be a huge issue on Monday.

"Somebody saaaaaaave me...I don't care how you do it, just saaaaaaaave me!"

I know this is a test of some just has to be. I just wish is wasn't a "pop quiz" and I sure as hell hope I pass!

Today is GOOD Friday, right? *humph*

It would be nice if I had something fun planned for the weekend...maybe cocktails with the girls or a day of shopping and a movie...but nope, I'll be organizing and cleaning ALL weekend because this is the very first weekend (since I've moved) that I have absolutely nothing that HAS to be done and nowhere I HAVE to be. And as the huge pile of clothes, magazines, books, etc. isn't going to magically remove itself from my floor - it looks like I'm going to have to be the one to do it. That's the one bad thing about living by yourself...things can take a bit longer to return back to their rightful place.

"Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it's Cinderelly..."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Moving Right Along

Week From Hell (exit stage left).


I'm so over last week's drama that I won't even dignify it with a play-by-play. I'll just say that I initiated a "make nice" with my manager late last week. Now all is well and back to normal...."can't knock the hustle" (have I ever told you how much "I heart" Jay-Z???)

So today my thoughts are all over the place. No real rhyme or reason...just thoughts.

Share? I thought you'd never ask...

~John Legend and Corinne Bailey Rae are going to be in concert at the end of this month. The show is in Columbia, MD. It's times like these (which don't happen very often I'm happy to report) that I miss having my car. On the flip side, however, John Mayer will be in concert at the Verizon Center (conveniently accessible by Metro) at the end of July. In addition to that, Eric Roberson will be appearing once again at the 9:30 club (also Metro accessible). My girl
Butta introduced me to Eric Roberson. If you too would like an introduction, read this post. The brotha's got talent! Thanks for the intro Butta...think I might have to put that concert on my To Do list.

~ Why is it that when you don't need/want something, that "thing" is everywhere you turn? But when you need/want it? Nowhere to be found! I'm trying to find a loveseat for the spot...something basic...not too bulky, yet comfortable - and preferably in the brown family...chocolate brown to be exact, but I'm flexible. There was a time when I saw them EVERYWHERE, now...not so much. If you happen to come across a cute one, send the info my way!

~ My highschool sweetheart is soooooooo my soul mate. Maybe not my life mate...but most DEFINITELY my soul mate. He gets me...and I like that. He loved me the most...and I love him for that. Maybe next lifetime...

~ The past couple days of the most beautiful spring weather has been an absolute tease! It'll be sweater weather for the balance of the week. For real, I'm no longer (but not really).

~ I'm currently reading "Small Island" by Andrea Levy with "A Hungry Heart" by Gordon Parks on deck. Fictionally speaking, though, my most favorite book of all time is "Seasons of Beento Blackbird" by Akosua Busia. A must read!

~ Within the last decade, companies and corporations have been hitting the nail on the head with the song choices for their commercials. I just saw the Diet Coke commercial that uses the song "What'll I Do." Love it!

~ And speaking of music and song, does Melinda Doolittle have you in awe each week like she does me? Just amazing! Hey you guys get American Idol in Italy? Just another random thought that popped into my head. Wait...American Idol...Italy...American Idol...Italy - was that a dumb question?

~ I miss my Mom...she needs to come visit pronto! Her birthday is very soon. I'm so blessed that God continues to share her with me! She is my everything.

~ I just paid $35.00 for a prescription...and that was AFTER insurance. God bless the uninsured...seriously...something is really, really wrong.

~ Someone on my floor is cooking with curry...smells delicious...I haven't eaten dinner yet. Clearly I should go do that cause I'm contemplating knocking on a stranger's door and asking for a plate!

Guess it's 'bout time for an intermission...