Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nothing like some controversy on a Tuesday

So, as part of The Park Record newspaper, I get to lay out the pages for the Scene section of the paper. The lead story was about the Body World exhibit that's being put on in Salt Lake. Basically, the idea is that people donate their bodies to science and the scientists preserve the bodies by injecting them with plastic to preserve them, so they can kind of peel away the different parts of skin or muscle to reveal the bone structure or nerve interconnections or whatnot.

Everything was going along fine and dandy until I printed out pages for the copy editor to look at and she saw that the genitals of the male skier were intact. She then asked us to crop it out of the picture.

This is said offensive picture. (Should I not be posting this?)

Although I'm not one to normally support keeping possibly offensive pictures in the newspaper, I kind of felt somehow that this was a little different. The editor's point was that if they didn't want to see the exhibit and would be offended by the complete realness bodies, we shouldn't force them to do so through the pictures. But, really, I think what she was trying to say was if they didn't want to see that certain part of the exhibit we shouldn't force them - we were already kind of "forcing" them to see the exhibit through putting in any pictures of it at all.

Also, what qualifies as art? I mean, yes, it is a real human, but it's not at the same time. The process to preserve them kind of makes them a statue or model more than anything else. The David is kind of the same idea - I wonder if we would put a picture of that in the paper...

Another controversial point about the exhibit is that it's taking bodies, which we know are sacred, and kind of manipulating them, but it IS educating people about how the body works...

I just don't think these are things that are cut and dried - but do you?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Car #2 - Let's try to keep this one a little longer, eh?

Well, after a long and arduous search, and much pain and whining, I finally have my second car in a little under three months.

My dad was definitely one of the proponents for my finding a car, which I didn't really blame him for since it's harder to juggle cars when I don't have one, but sometimes I just got tired of looking for cars, especially when things happened like I would go to test drive a car and it would be bought while I was out giving it a test drive. It all just felt so fruitless and frustrating, but my dad convinced me to keep on keepin' on.

So I guess it was only appropriate that he was the one to find my car, eh?

He was on ksl.com, which he had been for basically that whole weekend nonstop, early Saturday morning and woke me with, "I just found a great car. Here's the phone number. Call them and set up a test drive in the next 20 minutes." I sleepily accepted the outstretched phone and did just that.

It was for a black 1994 Camry LXE - which means it was a luxury edition with leather seats, sunroof and CD player. It had 177,000 miles - which was a lot, but since it was a Camry, we decided it would last for at least another 100,000 miles - and for the price of $1,300, which it was listed under, it pretty much couldn't be beat.

We headed to Sandy, got there and met the dad of the owner of the car.

"It's my son's car - he was our youngest son and he just left for college, so he needs the money more than the car."

And with that, he gave us the keys, telling us that the sunroof wasn't completely sealed and the passenger's side door handle was broken. Besides that, he said, it was pretty good for 177,000 miles and 15 years old. We agreed - the exterior especially looked really good for how old it was.

Pulling out of the driveway, we went to the freeway and decided to test it out at high speeds. It smoothly transitioned from gear to gear, and I was quickly falling in love with it.

"Let's have Roger look at it," my dad suggested. Roger is his/our mechanic.

I agreed, but it was like a 20 minute drive from the car owner's house to Roger's house.

"I don't want him to think we stole it," I protested.

"He won't. We left the Prizm, remember?" my dad insisted.

Ah, yes. The Prizm. I then realized how awesome of a scam it would be to drive a piece of crap car to test drive a nicer car, and never come back. Heck, let them have that piece of 3-cylinder...love. :) Not that I didn't enjoy having a car to get to work - I did. It was just incredibly frustrating to putt up Parley's every day at 30 mph.

I finally convinced him that we needed to call them and tell them of our plan, and so we did so. It went to the machine and I basically told them we weren't stealing the car, and we actually wanted to buy it. Roger wasn't home, but we decided to go through with it anyway. I drove to the credit union, took out the money and went back to the house.

We chatted, accepted the price, listened while he explained that his price was way below anything you could get decently, patiently agreed, and listened to him ramble a little more about what had been done to the car in the last year or so. We wrote on a bill of sale all the necessary information, and I proceeded three times to count out the money while he was paying attention. He pretty much never paid attention and said he trusted me - so I gave up and my dad gave up telling me to count it while he paid attention.

He said he had a plate that was from another car, with registration that didn't expire until November. Only problem was, it wouldn't match up with the car if someone ran a check, so we took it off.

When I brought it home and told Becca of my happy news, she almost sobbed with joy she was so happy. Actually, a lot of my friends found out from Becca that I got a new car, before I was able to tell them, but that was fine. I understand her excitement. When you have to drive to school and work every day, it sucks to drive the van or get dropped off and picked up.

I asked her to christen and name my new car, since that's what she did for the old one.

"Do we have a bottle of wine around here?" she asked.

And, of course, we didn't. We didn't even have any sparkling cider. Darn.

But she took a gander at it and I told her it was pretty posh - leather seats, sunroof, CD player and all. She wanted to name it Posh, but my mom said it looked sleek and stealthy, too, and could we think of a name that incorporated all three aspects into it? I think then she suggested James, as in James Bond. He's posh, stealthy AND sleek. It stuck.

He's basically my love right now - I'm infatuated, I'll admit it. Pictures to come, to make you all jealous. ;)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Nickelcade=fun...and exercise?

One of the more ignored things on our Bucket List this summer was going to Nickelcade - mostly because Lisa wasn't that excited about going, so we waited until she went back up to school to head to this semi-shady hangout for middle schoolers, high schoolers and a few post-graduates of college.

My hazy memories of Nickelcade involve Skeeball, basketball games, tons of luck games, semi-dirty carpet and lots of younger kids, so I was interested to see if it had changed at all. Mostly it hadn't - even from what I remember.

Although there were a lot more "knock the nickel off the edge of the precipice to get tickets" games than I remember from before. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll try to explain: you put your nickel in the slot (usually at the top of the machine) and it usually went through a series of pegs and such, until it dropped at the bottom, where various machines were going back and forth (but not over the entire ledge), pushing nickels off of the surface your nickel just dropped onto. But sometimes yours wouldn't push other nickels off - just get stuck on top of the pile that was right on the edge of where the machines were pushing. Also, you couldn't shake the machine or jostle it in any way, or your tickets were forfeited.

(This is the best picture I could find to represent the game- except instead of giving you your money back, it gave you tickets.)

I was the best at the soccer one - you could knock nickels off or shoot them into a hole for extra tickets - or both. I got the grand prize of 80 tickets for shooting it past the goalie into the barely-nickel-size hole. And I was proud.

Caryn was pretty good at the driving/flying/shooting games, and Becca was amazing at the game where you hit a button right when a moving light was in a certain place - she won the jackpot three times at that game. She was also really good at air hockey - she beat Caryn and me for the title of champion. Also, through her dedication she won a Harley Davidson-shirt-sporting stuffed eagle from a crane game - which she doesn't know what to do with now. But she won it all the same. ;)

Something else Caryn was good at was something I'd never tried: DDR. I was worried that I was so bad that I couldn't have anyone watch me do it for the first time, much less keep up with Caryn and play with her. But I did both - I bit the bullet and attempted to dance to six songs. It was a lot of fun - and a pretty good workout, too. My only sad thing is that they have nothing between novice and easy - and it's quite a leap in skill.

I've been trying to figure out what I'm going to do for exercise, and I think I might try DDR...I've found some TV-hookup ones that don't require a PS or XBOX - but are they any good?