Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tape: Don't Even Think About It

I spent the entirety of last week, at work, dealing with this thing that had tape all over it. Being that I work where I do, the thing was a work of art on paper. An important 125+ year-old family document belonging to a private client. And, at sometime in the past, some genius decided to do a little self-lamination project and cover the main area of design with multiple layers of tape. Recto and verso. With like four layers in some places! I can't even imagine somebody taping this thing back together, all crooked and whatnot, and then stepping back to admire and saying, "Damn... I did a good job on that!" It blows my mind.

Ugh! The worst part is that the design liked the adhesive of the tape so so so much better than in liked the paper. What a nightmare. I generally have a 0.1% (at the most) acceptable loss policy, but I had to opt for a 10% loss on this sucker. And I have what I like to think of as mad skillz and infinite patience. (I'm pretty sure that one time I told somebody that I have a masters degree in getting tape off of things.) But - no choice. The tape had to come off. This is what they don't really get into in conservation grad school: the degree of acceptable loss.

Stuff with tape comes in all the time. And all kinds of tape, even the kinds you wouldn't expect. Like duct tape. I think my least favorite is gaffers tape: its so hard to get off of things. Ugh - and then the stains and the sticky residue all those tapes leave behind.

So, the moral of the story is as follows. If you're thinking of putting tape on something that may be of value to your descendants, be prepared for a paper/photo conservator to charge like $5,000 to deal with it. And don't whine about the cost: it was your own fault.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Liang and Michael Visit! Part Two!

The Friday night burgers got us started on our campaign of eating like the champs that we aspired to become. Plans were in the works to consume foods from the following categories: bakery, Chinatown, Reading Terminal Market, Korean, French-place-near-work-whose-name-we-are-all-uncertain-of-pronouncing, and the best cupcakes in Philadelphia. Here's Liang's take.

(Liang's blog is way better than mine about the weekend adventures, so I'm just going to post my lame-o photos and link to her stuff).

What has Liang so focused, in the middle of the Reading Terminal Market?

Selecting which ice cream flavors to get. Naturally.

In Chinatown, at a rendezvous with Lena. (There was an exchange of high quality chocolate between Liang and Lena. Fyi, if you ever need some, Liang requires payment for chocolate-trafficking in cash.) I attempt to photograph Michael making some sort of peculiar facial expression, but am too slow.

Free Library! Main branch, looking across Logan Circle, I think? Anyway, we went to scope out the cookbook section, and to marvel at the marble interior.

Looking down the Ben Franklin Parkway (he invented the stove, you know).

At the top of the Art Museum steps. Michael was not impressed by Rocky, and refused stand next to the Rocky statue at the bottom of the steps. We didn't go in the museum, which I was glad about: I've been over-exposed to its collection.

Living in Fishtown and coming into Center City for work, I passed the Mutter Museum every day. And I didn't go in, knowing that it would be so much better to go with Liang. The Mutter is one of the most famous collections of medical oddities in the world.

Disturbingly Informative sums the contents up quite nicely. I kept saying variations of, "Oh my god! So gross! What is that?!?" I'm not usually comfortable with the idea of internal organs (so messy), but with Liang's med school knowledge it was a creepily fun visit. I had no idea that syphilis could affect so many organs.

The Mutter Museum has a lovely and informative Medicinal Herb Garden as well as extensive collections of human skulls and conjoined twins in formaldehyde.

There were little signs next to the plants which listed the common name, the scientific name, and the uses. I find it intriguing that spiderwort is good for as a laxative and for treating bites. It must be that the mode of application differs.

Lavender - good for restlessness and anxiety - would have been handy during grad school. Just make the WUDPAC students eat handfulls of it on a regular basis.

Poor Liang and Michael - I also pushed them to watch 1776. Philadelphia! Ben Franklin! Michael starting the paperwork to become naturalized! (I told him to pay attention, he'd need to know this stuff for the citizenship exam or whatever it they make you do...)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Liang and Michael Visit!

I'm so tardy about these things lately. Operation Fitness has been taking up time, and I've been staying at work late because of this absolute nightmare project. Also, Cordie Cat has a very demanding assisted-grooming schedule.

Liang and Michael came to visit!

They made the journey from Pittsburgh to Philly in order to spend a weekend eating their way through central Philadelphia. I was more than happy to assist! Beginning with burgers at my neighborhood dive bar...

Cordelia Says...


Cordelia Cat also says to check out Liang's blog, because she's super cute on it. (Wonderful Cordie photo by Liang!)