Monday, August 29, 2011

He scores!!

Classes started today--thousands of eager young students wandering around aimlessly, eyes glued to their cellphones.  They are often oblivous to their surroundings--bumping into each other, or into buildings, or street signs as they text away.

Bob was trying to drive across campus, going slowly because a student was walking down the middle of the street texting.  Something interesting must have come up on the small screen, because she stopped walking.  Bob drove up to a few inches behind her, waited a few moments . . .

And hit the horn.

She didn't drop the phone--we suspect that the student have them surgically attached to their hands to avoid this possibility--but she did suddenly look aghast and grab her crotch.

It's extra points if you get them to widdle on themselves.

What will the rest of the term bring?

Another Mini-Cation

Can't believe that Bob and I took our third trip out of town since May!  We're getting into the mini-vacations--meaning one night away.  The occasion for this was our 38th anniversary (!). For the last couple of weeks Bob has been asking what I wanted to do for our anniversary.  At the time I was arse-deep in summer camp and didn't have two brain cells to rub together, so my usual response was "oh, we can just go have dinner somewhere."  He said that we should do something--and he would plan it and take care of everything.

So what resulted was a plan to go to Pensacola for an overnighter--go to Ft. Pickens, the Naval Air Museum, and a couple of hobby shops that carry scale models.  Did I see a Bob-slant to this trip?  That's what I get for not participating in the process.

It's about a three hour drive there, and we spent a couple of hours at Ft. Pickens.  It would be easy to spend more--it really is an interesting place, some part of it 200 years old, and a lot of outlying batteries to explore.  But it's still running 100 degrees and it was bloody hot.  Maybe we'll go back for Bob's birthday--in January.

 The bricks in the older section were mortared with a limestone mixture.  Over the decades water has leached out the lime and created little stalactites.  Of course, this means that there's no longer anything holding the bricks together except for the arch construction that has them leaning on each other.  Walk softly.

So, hot and sweaty, we found a place to have ice cream, and then decided that getting to our hotel for a shower seemed like a good idea.  That's when I discovered the Ann-side to this trip.

Bob had booked a room at a beachside Hilton--with a double size jacuzzi tub in the room (that's right--not in the bathroom but in the bedroom).  We had a quick shower, went for a swim and then a walk on the beach, and out for a very nice seafood dinner.  Later that evening we toasted our anniversary with champagne and wonderful little wafer cookies that Amanda had sent us from Belgium--while sitting in the jacuzzi and watching "Project Runway."  The next morning we went out to the beach to watch the sunrise, and--what the heck--had room service deliver French toast for breakfast.

That Bob--he's a keeper.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why My New Job Scares Me

Well, I'm starting my new job this term--curator of the historic clothing collection in my department. 

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

The collection was started in 1952 (the year of my birth--I hope I'm not in this big of a mess).  The focus of the collection apparently was "everything we can get our hands on" and that has remained the focus for almost 60 years.  I don't know if there has ever been a person whose primary assignment was to curate the collection (I know there hasn't been for at least 10 years).
 See those boxes in the second picture?  those are on top of stacks of drawers (which I can't get into because the racks are in the way, and there's no place to push the racks--all of which are crammed with stuff.  There are more cases under the boxes on the back wall, and to the left of the racks on the top picture.

In the bottom picture (the "office" area) every drawer and cabinet is crammed with stuff.  There is also stuff on shelves behind the curtains on the right (much of which I can't get to unless I move the desk).  Clothes, jewelry, and textiles are just lying around.

A rough estimate is that there are about 3000 garments, plus several hundred pairs of shoes and hats, a large number of quilts, a thousand textile samples, and who knows how much oddments (jewelry, vintage textile equipment, old tools, crochet hooks).  Tons of old pictures, magazines, and sewing patterns.  Newspaper clippings.  Boxes of stuff labeled "from anthropology department."

Each piece was suposed to have its own inventory form--and I keep finding those here and there, scattered around.  Many of the pieces are unlabeled and unidentified.

This is going to be interesting.  Isn't there a Chinese curse that goes "may you live in interesting times"?

Monday, August 22, 2011


Every year I swear that I'm not going to do summer camps at the museum.  And then, every year, I fold.  Just for the last two weeks.  Until then, the museum is usually able to hire elementary and middle school teachers.  But they all have to go back for teacher training before the school year starts--and that's before camp is over.  And then I'm faced with the "Ann, is there any way . . . .?"   I could, in theory, say no.  But I'm aware that Jennifer (my boss) would then be working the camps--and then doing her other work afterwards. 

Of course, considering camp to be a bit of an ordeal, I never think to bring a camera, so this will be a mostly photo-free blog.  Mostly I'm a spare driver at the camps--we take the kids to places like Alligator Point or the Marine lab, and then to Wakulla Spring to swim.  One day we took them to Gainesville to the teaching zoo and then to a bat conservancy--both fascinating places but a total of about 350 miles of driving.  The Goddess of Summer Camps was with me--there were three vans for the 14 campers.  10 of them should have been drowned at birth, and 4 of them were pretty good kids.  I got all four of the good ones . . .

There were some highlights--going canoeing and having manatees be inches away from the boats.  Going to the pet store to see wee baby snakes coming out of their eggs.  On very disturbing incident--we were swimming in the springs in Marianna, and a boy (not one of ours) tried to swim under the dock and nearly drowned.  Our kids were right there when the body was pulled out--already blue.  By the grace of God, one of the people who spotted him was a former medical corpsman, and knew what to do--but it wasn't pretty. 

But Goddess of Summer Camps or no, spending all day with kids, and much of it outside (heat index usually over 100) had me dragging my arse home at the end of the day.

When I wasn't at camp, I was at Chris's (Florida Wild Mammal Association) trying to help out with a deer.  Poor guy got hit by a car and hurt his back (and was left at the side of the road for three days).  Chris never gives up on an animal, and he's doing better.  She wanted a way to be able to hold him up, so Bob built a stantion and I made a sling.  First sling he jumped right out.  So I spent another full day there fitting him with a jacket (I took my sewing room with me in the car).  Almost got it right.  My third day there I finally made one that he can't get out of, and that can be buckled onto him while he's laying down.  And did I think to take the camera that third day???  Must go down there again.

And so that this post is not entirely bereft of pictures, here's Pookha being the Wild Jungle Cat of the loom (her new favorite perch).   And while I understand that it's been freakin' hot outside, I really wish Timmy the Squirrel wouldn't sleep like this (fuzzy picture--had to take it through the window).