Wednesday, March 14, 2007

ETC: Five Thousand Words

Most people, when confronted with a killer head cold, have the good sense to hunker down with a steaming mug of something-or-other and wait for Death's icy hand to pass them by.

Me? I like to mix things up. So when I woke up this morning feeling as if some nefarious member of the Barbapapa clan had crawled into my sinus cavities, blown itself up like a pufferfish, and then transmogrified into solid cement...


Wait. That last sentence got away from me. Do over.

So I went to my previously scheduled dentist appointment. I don't know if I'd forgotten that I was getting three old fillings replaced, as well as a new one installed. I don't know if I'd forgotten what getting fillings feels like. I just know that if I'd had any idea of what was in store for me, I would have planned my day differently. I wouldn't, say, have planned that I'd just duck out from work for an hour, then tra-la-la! skip back to work for the rest of the afternoon.

I actually LOST COUNT of how many injections my dentist gave me to freeze my face. I can tell you this: I didn't fully recover sensation for more than FIVE HOURS. Can someone do the dentist math on that?

Between my impacted sinuses, my wretched headache, my hacking cough, my badly aching jaw, and my horribly disfigured, swollen visage, it took me several hours just to differentiate the various sources of pain and discomfort located above my neck. I spent these hours at home, where I had lurched straight from my dentist's office, frightening small children and causing birds to fall dead as stones from the trees.

I was too uncomfortable to sleep. My head ached too much to read. Daytime television... it is best not to speak of that. So I whiled away the afternoon looking at pretty pictures on the internet.

This amazing shot is of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, also known as the Bobst (or so Wikipedia tells me). It's the main library at New York University. I find it cool and slightly creepy, in a Borg ship kind of way. (Shout out to meera for busting me on my Star Trek reference earlier this week.)
[See the original photo here.]

I've heard of these people who organize their books by colour, but I'd never seen an example before. Pretty. (That was my last thought before my head exploded.)
[See the original here.]

This is a bookstore called El Ateneo in Buenos Aires. I don't believe in an afterlife, but if I did, it would look a lot like this. Plus unicorns.
[Original photo here.]

Oh, sure. Some manga has a reputation for being violent and exploitive. But look at how well organized it is!
[See the original here.]

Yikes! How did that picture of my basement get in here? (Cue wah-wah-wah-wah horn of jokery.) But seriously. This is a photo of the Detroit Public School Book Depository. I don't believe in an afterlife, but if I did, this is where naughty book-lovers, if there can be said to be such people, would end up. Nary a unicorn in sight, either.
[Original pic here.]

14 comments:

restlessly said...

Oh, wow. Thanks for sharing these photos.

My heaven well look like El Ateneo & that manga bookshop. All the manga I can read... mmmm...

nickd said...

Nice photos.

One dental thingy I had recently involved so much face freezing that I couldn't blink my left eye. That can't be good, can it?

Catie said...

I always thought that heaven would look like the library in Beauty and the Beast. You know, a ladder that you can swing around on through a room filled with every book imaginable. When I was a kid, that's what I wanted most in the world.

kim said...

Whee, Bobst! (I went to NYU.) I did so love it when I was there.

One thing that photo doesn't show is that it's actually hollow in the center -- rather than nine solid floors, there's a big sort of "courtyard" in the center, with the very center of each floor open, so the courtyard has a nine-story ceiling and each floor has all the stacks along the walls and then there's a landing along the inside, surrounding the open "courtyard" space.

The first floor is covered with a checkerboard black and white tile, and if you are standing on the landing on a higher floor and looking down, it's a little alarmingly hypnotic and people have reported a strange compulsion to jump....

...Hmmm, maybe there's more creepy to it than I thought. Uh, the collection is good, though.

Diablevert said...

Ah, Bobst. The interior may be Borg-like, but I always thought the exteriror looked like something a Blockhead from Gumby would leave in a litter box.

There were a number of macbre rumors about that place. For instance, that the floor tiles in the lobby were deliberatly chosen to induce vertigo. And that there were secret monkey torture labs on the top floor. (Not true; the monkey torture labs were two blocks west.) There was also a rumor that a student had committed suicide there --- the inteiror atrium is 12 stories tall, and ringed by balconies --- and that the university had hushed it up. That one wasn't true when I heard it first --- but it became true later, and was all over the news. NYU installed plexiglass barriers after the second death.

Carrie said...

Like the rest, I wanted to thank you for the photos.

At least novocaine works for you. For me, not so much...

meredithkb said...

My first thought was: I'm going to go home and put all my books in rainbow order because, pretty! My next thuoght was: Wait, how will I ever find anything? I guess you need to either think of your books as merely decoration (horrors!) or else you need to create a card catalog which will tell you what color American Pastoral is. I guess I'll be leaving my books in genre/ alphabetical order after all.

Amanda A. said...

hi! I nominated you for a thinking blogger award...

http://blogjar.blogspot.com

Tabloidman said...

The Barbapapas!

MAN that takes me back.... There was an episode I remember where the black spikey one ran away, but to throw off his parents he made his feet backwards so when they tried to follow his tracks they went the wrong direction.

Honestly, one of my earliest childhood memories....

Jenna said...

Delurking to say that I was so confused to read about MY day on your blog! I had an equally awful dentist appointment, right down to the prolonged numbness, coupled with a nasty cold. Taking a break from writing a very stubborn essay to make the blog rounds, I was delighted to see the pictures you posted. Wish I'd seen them earlier with the numb face so I could blame my drooling on them.

BabelBabe said...

As a librarian who has catalogued her personal library in LOC, I am positively entranced by the idea of rearranging ym books by color and cross-referencing the catalog I have already created. Because I don't have anything else to do....?

The Detroit Public Schools apparently don't look much better, so I suppose the state of the depository makes sense.

and that first pic looks like the library in that Wim Wenders' flick - the one they remade, sacrilegiously, with Meg ryan and Nic Cage.

and I could skip the unicorn.

BabelBabe said...

no, sorry - the third pic looks like the Wim Wenders library. The first does indeed resemble the Borg ship, and I am ok with that. Clearly, I have been assimilated.

Steph said...

I went to NYU too, pre-plexi-glass. And I could not bring myself to walk on the balcony part. I got vertigo even when I pressed myself against the wall.

I found it very cool looking when I could separate myself from the fear.

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