We drove to the end of the land, to a land where we don’t belong, yet we are welcomed. To a land where the view is sublime, yet the surroundings sobering. Where the flood robbed him of furniture, but not of spirit.

We entered the home of a genius – no furniture – but consumed in art. Stacks of paintings – boxes, closets, walls…full. Each as wonderful as the first, the last. Each an incredible discovery. Each one a blessing.

And he gave me three paintings…I wanted to pay. I wanted to give him something in return – yet he would accept nothing – saying that at nearly age 90 he had provided for himself, though I am unsure just how. And I worry.

I want to laugh. I want to cry. I want to let the world know that this….this…is why I do what I do.

This is why we all do what we do – and why my colleague Tom is a giant among men, and why we all need to continue…to continue.

And I feel so unworthy. And I feel so desperate to do something.

And I feel so lucky.


So I’ve been in Montreal for the past several days – at a conference for museum techno geeks – and I’m still not sure what to make of the city.

When one is at a conference – particularly a technology conference – it is always hard to get a sense of place, especially since this conference has its rooms and its sessions in the same hotel. The first one I went to, a few years ago, was so completely connected with that city’s underground that I’m not sure I ever saw daylight. Here one has to at least walk out blinking into the sun in order to get to the underground… The second one of these I went to was very different and I came back not only full of ideas for our website, but with newly acquired ink on my arm. This time I’m guessing there will be no new ink in the offing, but no matter – there will be time, there will be time….

Conferences are about the sessions, no doubt. But they are also about the in-between places – the lobby, the hallway, the elevator, the exhibit hall. This one has been wonderful in that I have attended with two of my colleagues who I am privileged to call friends.

The fact that we spent the last hour drinking frosty adult beverages and spelling fellow staff members names out with pretzels only makes it that much better….. 🙂

28. March 2008 · Write a comment · Categories: kitties · Tags: , ,


So I spent the afternoon with Jim and Jeanette Gurney today. I can’t even begin to tell you what a wonderful experience it was – from the moment they walked into the museum to the moment he autographed my Dinotopia book.

He explained his paintings – how he creates them – what he does to get the lighting, the poses, how he gets the costumes just right. He described the inspiration he found in the cracked paint of a Chinese restaurant’s sign. He spoke in detail of the paintings he has loaned us.

And then Jeanette handed me his Moleskine and I was lost in its pages.

I hope I don’t find my way out anytime soon…

On the twelfth day of Christmas, sumi37 sent to me…

Twelve sigur ros drumming
Eleven museums piping
Ten pirates a-leaping
Nine solas dancing
Eight square-riggers a-milking
Seven ironclads a-swimming
Six rats a-sailing
Five ha-a-a-ackensaw boys
Four tres chicas
Three sea chanteys
Two stella artois
…and an absinthe in a civil war history.
Get your own Twelve Days:

So this isn’t exactly the incredibly introspective blog post that I was hoping I would start doing again….but nonetheless….I give you…

A cool survey from Debbie via Kelli…

1. Where do you hang your towel to dry after showering?
on the towel hook thingy

2. What kind of mouse pad do you have?
I have an optical mouse….so I’m with Debbie – mousepad as coaster is good. But mine has a James Bard painting on it – from the Museum collection.

3. Do you brush your hair with a comb or a brush?
there are those who would argue that I do neither. But I really do use a brush. Really.

4. In your opinion, who do you think is the hottest celebrity?
I would still have to say Jim Cantore. Is it hurricane season yet? 🙂

5. You’ve got a project due tomorrow, do you use tape or glue?
Adobo. Oh no wait – that’s the next question. I’ll go with glue as I seem to recall gluing together scale models of the island of Ocracoke for a 4th grade project and a model of Stonehenge for a 9th grade project. I also glued together parts of my latest exhibition. Yeah. Glue.

6. Chicken or pork adobo?
Forget the chicken and pork…..give me the adobo. Actually – we use it in both.

7. By the time you get to school, is the sky still dark?
What is this school you speak of? If by “school” you mean “work” – then my answer would be – sometimes.

8. If you had a choice to see a unicorn or mermaid which would it be?
Considering where I work….I see mermaids everyday. And we have Narwhal horns, too…..so I would have to opt for Nessie or Bigfoot instead. Or possibly Jimmy Hoffa.

9. What color is your underwear?
Ask my friend Homer, who has been guessing the wrong color for 18 years….

10. What time does the sun usually set?
Depends on what century and whether we are in the British Empire or not….

11. What do you think of last before you go to sleep?
I hope I can slee…p….zzzzzzzzz……..

12. AC or fan?
In an ideal world? A fan. But I live in Tidewater, so you do the Math.

13. What are you listening to?
JMU playing Drexel

14. Can you hand stand?

15. If you were the opposite sex, how would you style your hair?
shave it all off. So I could look like Jim Cantore.

16. What level math are you in?
I was told there would be no Math in this survey. Well, except for the Math I requested in question 12. But I’m not doing Math, you are. I’m still trying for that elusive handstand.

17. What are you doing this weekend?
Going to an oyster roast/baby shower for my brother-in-law- and sister-in-law on Saturday, and then maybe going to the premiere of the latest Civil War documentary thingy that I forgot I was in.

18. Which subject is worse, English or Math?
Hmmm…let’s see….I majored in English. And considering my reaction to question 16…well, you do the Math.

19. What’s one thing you really want to do this very moment?
Find out that I have the day off tomorrow. But since that isn’t going to happen, then I would have to say I would really like to do no more Math.

20. After buying something, do you automatically throw it?
If by “something” you mean “Anne Coulter Book” – then my answer would be no – because I wouldn’t buy anything I am guaranteed to throw that quickly.

21. CD player or iPOD?
iPod iPod iPod!!!!!!!!

22. Would you rather spin upside down going 30 miles per hour or drop 400 ft. into water?
Again with the Math…..

23. Whats your favorite shape?

24. What kind of cell phone do you have?
It’s blue. And it’s smarter than me.

25. Have you ever gone ice skating?
I used to go every Friday after school. And I have my own hockey skates – which is pretty funny since I’ve never actually *played* hockey (though I have watched it on occasion and kind of understand some of it)

26. If you were put in a room with nothing except for a pencil and a notepad what would you do?
craft an elaborate sculpture of the Velvet Underground. oh wait….where’s the clay?

27. Is it always easy finding your remote every time you want to watch TV?
When you have 3 cats, everything is a toy. You do the Math. Because I’m not doing any more Math for this survey.

28. How was your day?
It started with a bagel, it ended with Math. There were oysters in there somewhere, so ultimately, it was pretty good.

29. Do you grow your nails, bite or cut them?
what nails?

30. Describe your handwriting:
Depends. My handwriting is – at times – incredibly precise. But I pride myself on a signature that absolutely no one can fake. Or read. But that’s beside the point.

31. Do you consider yourself a stalker?
Ultimately – you can find anyone if you need to. However – I excel at stalking dead historical figures.

32. Do you bruise easily?
Only if I’m moving furniture.

33. There’s nothing on TV except Barney and Japanese news what do you do?
Watch the Japanese news – but only if they are reporting on the recent Barney homicide.

34. Do you know more then 3 myspace codes?
The eagle flies at night.

35. You got a essay due, you either can type or write in pen, which do you choose?
type. unless I can glue it together. Then glue, definitely.

36. Do you wear jeans to relax at home?
Oh yes.

37. Describe yourself using one word?
Hypomyxolydian on some days – but mostly Dorian.

39. Do you like ice in your drink?
Does this involve Math?


I always liked Garfield…but I think that life minus Garfield might even be…better?

Thanks to Miss Violet for this one….


Robert Earl Keen

Originally uploaded by sumi37

OK – so actually this is a test….but who wouldn’t want to see Robert Earl Keen….hmmmm?


So we just saw Be Kind, Rewind yesterday, and now I want to swede everything I see. I think I shall start with…Be Kind, Rewind. Eh?


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A fierce wind and 550 acres of trees has left me without power at Ye Olde Boat Museum today – and hence I am a curator in exile, forced to eke out a historical existence at Panera.

Things could definitely be worse.

It struck me the other day that I have lost all sense of time. Well – I should amend that. I have lost all sense of time unless said item appears on my Outlook calendar. Which apparently means I need to schedule updates to this and other online haunts along with my laundry and other important things. Luckily Jim and the kitties are all good at reminding me that they – and I – need to eat, though I must say that Scylla has them all beat for volume.

My new job started at the first of the year. Same Olde Boat Museum, but new office and more staff. The office is interesting in that it was cobbled into existence many years ago out of a hallway and a loading dock. It appears that my desk is situated exactly where the gentle slope into the loading dock began. The first few days I thought maybe I had labryinthitis or had accidentally imbibed some fermented diet Coke because I kept listing to port. To compound the issue, My chair would slowly – imperceptibly – roll back from the desk and I found myself attempting to rappel back to my computer. And don’t get me started on what happens if I lift my feet off the ground…..

Let’s just say that it is very difficult to maintain an air of authority when one’s chair is slowly spinning of its own accord. Of course – my decor could not be less dignified, with solar powered Hello Kittys, pirate paraphernalia, and Aleister Crowley quotations littered about.

So it’s been a bit busy then, it seems, and I’ve been playing with so many different web applications and 2.0 goodies for work that my own little corner of the blogosphere has gone to radio silence. I’m not happy about that, so perhaps though the world will little note, nor remember what I write here, I’ll pledge on this – the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday – to do better.