Apr. 10th, 2006

entelein: (operator)
Even just a little bit of Texas sun will brush pink along my cheeks and the bridge of my nose. Not quite sunburn, but still a little alarming when the most exposure I've had has been walking from car to building, or building to building. And, you really do have to watch out for the overcast days. Those can fool you into thinking you're safe.

Saturday saw us over to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see the Body Worlds exhibit, after a tasty lunch at Niko Niko's, where the feta cheese flows like crumbly ... delicious ... feta cheese. Hm. The exhibit was recently in Chicago at MSI, but I missed it. So, it was cool to head over with my brother and his wife into the city. We were sorely tempted by the butterfly sanctuary, but it was already early afternoon when we arrived, and we had to squeeze in a fairly quick visit to Brandy's sister who was over at the medical center after just having given birth to a baby girl. So, we did an IMAX movie, took the rail over to the hospital, and cooed over little Taylor before traveling back in brilliant sunshine in order to look at plastinated body parts posed in all sorts of wacky ways.

It was really amazing, and some of the pieces were definitely toeing that line between being scientifically educational and modern art. These were human bodies, processed and posed, stripped away and sometimes given bright, staring glass eyes ... towards the end of the exhibit I was feeling slightly nauseated, as much as I thought the whole thing was way cool. Towards the end there was a hilarious set of 3 bodies posed around a poker table, and I realized how overwhelmed I was when I started walking around the table trying to figure out who was going to win that hand. I peered at a terrible hand, saw the Ace on the table, and remarked to Tyler, "could do a straight, I suppose," and then realized what I was saying. We went over the pendulum nearby, and watched for a while as we waited for Brandy to come through. This pendulum, unlike the one in Chicago, was set up to knock over small carved wooden pieces set on their edges, in a large circle. It was a strange sort of sundial, and Ty and I were soon calculating what we thought the pieces were supposed to represent in increments of time. Despite thinking we'd get to see one fall over in the time we sat there, we never did.

We grabbed some rock candy from the museum gift shop (with me grabbing astronaut ice cream sandwich and then some GLOW IN THE DARK STRING I so win), and the ride homewards was full of bright sunlight and 75 degree temps. Truly lovely weather.

I got to see Ubercado again - he brought over his 360, and Ty and I oo'ed and aaah'ed over Call of Duty 2, as well as how the emulator handled Halo 2. Very very pretty, especially on Tyler's awesome HD TV. We also got Ty set up on XBoxLive, so if you're a beekeeper and you'd like to welcome my little brother to the fold, add Mr 1780s Guy to your friends list stat.

Today was pretty relaxed - went and did a bit of shopping, played some more video games, and had freshly-grilled corn on the cob for dinner. Good times. And now it's terribly late, and I must get ready for an early flight tomorrow.
entelein: (operator)
The return flight was on a jet so small that we had to take most of our carry-on and have it dumped into the cargo hold anyway. Rather annoying. But, the flight was uneventful, and I slept for most of it.

Brilliant sunshine in Chicago to welcome me home, with an edge of chill to remind me.

There were two LDS women on the bus, carrying boxes full of pamphlets and things. One aggressively pursued a conversation with the woman sitting on the seat next to hers, and in the few minutes it took me to get from the train to my stop, she'd managed to get the girl's first and last name, as well as her address and phone number. She was narrowing down the girl's schedule as I rang for my stop and lugged my carry-on towards the back exit door.

A little earlier, there was a crazy man outside my living room window, and since Jinxie had called, he could hear the guy clearly. His voice was rough and shredded sounding, as if he'd been yelling for several hours straight. He was screaming profanities and having a running dialogues with himself - stuff about hillbillies and anal sex and 25,000 dollars and one million dollars ... When I caught a glimpse of him through my kitchen window, he was facing out to the street, talking to no one. He had a pen behind his ear, dark, curling sweaty hair clinging to his scalp, and that deep red tinge to his skin that indicates some serious drug use or alcoholism. Almost as if he were sunburned. He gestured wildly with his right hand, like he was arguing a very important point as he flung water droplets out the ends of his fingers. Frenetic, disturbing, and a little scary. He went away, finally, and the resulting calm was shocking.

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