Friday, May 17, 2019

The Big Bang

Well, the Big Bang Theory is not something I have talked a lot about. But. Throughout this blog it has played an important part. In the Turks and Caicos we did not have TV, only DVDs. And watching sitcoms over and over became a past time. The Big Bang Theory became an easy favorite. But what I discovered is that the Big Bang theory is an easy television show to watch in the background. We watched it over and over and over.

It never raised its voice. It laughed. But not too loud. It argued. But never yelled. It was consistent. With a volume level that allowed one to fall asleep to its consistent idiosyncratic banter. All the while it continued to play throughout the night.

Every Christmas season I have waited for the Black Friday sales of the Big Bang Theory DVDs at Target in order to collect the next and next and next season. After amassing each season, I have watched each season after season after season.

During the four months I was in Alaska in 2016, I watched the Big Bang Theory every night. I would put a DVD in my computer and watch four episodes until I drifted off. I watched 10 seasons. Three times. Then I watched every episode of every season in reverse order. Season 3, where both Bernadette and Amy are introduced is clearly the best season, so I watched it again, and then again. 

During the final season, which ended tonight, I moved to Hawaii and lived in an apartment for a year without television. I have not seen a single episode of the final season. Season 12. Maybe this is for the best. I can leave this part of my past behind. 12 years from leaving Ohio. 12 years of Big Bang Theory.

Or maybe it is part of a larger plan, where I binge watch the Big Bang Theory until the final season is released and then...I watch that over and over and over again...

until I fall asleep.

Only to wake up in the new reality of a new sitcom. 

“Jane, stop this crazy thing...called life.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Out and About

It has been a long time since I have been to gate B in the Charlotte airport. 

I am waiting to board a flight to Washington DC but they are also boarding to Montego Bay, Cayman Islands, and Barbados. Wouldn’t that be nice!

I have been at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum over the weekend. Sorted our Cali Wrangler that is currently in Chicago, hiked Tumco, had a beer at the a Great Escape, and escaped. 

This week I will be in Washington; next week in Boston. We are preparing for probably the biggest thing I have done in my museum career...a band tour!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Christmas and New Years

Christmas 2018 was spent in Hawaii.

The lead up to Christmas in Hawaii was full of events and celebrations. At the Hawaiian Mission Houses the season begins with Honolulu's oldest craft fair, which we host the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The first reference to the craft fair was in 1844 as a "Fancy Fair" offering local made crafts to whalers. The annual City Lights Parade party was next, which we hosted on December 1. The Honolulu Marathon was the next weekend. Then we had a large Candle Light Tour at the Mission Houses, followed by the Parade of Lights in Kaneohe Bay, followed by a staff Christmas party at Kualoa Ranch, followed by Christmas hiking, followed by Christmas.

All three boys plus their wives or girlfriends were here the week after Christmas through the New Year. With just the one Jeep and eight of us in the apartment, a lot of our time was spent at the Ala Moana beach or other places we could walk. It is weird, but I do not have a single picture in my phone from that week. Maybe, a defense mechanism. What I wish I had was a picture of all the shoes at the door. Maybe then you could empathize. 

We spent New Years Eve in a destination where 75,000 people come to spend New Years Eve. But, we can see that from our apartment. So it is both good and bad, because...we were so close to this huge, monster party in Waikiki that it didn't make any sense to go. The boys went down, Deneen and I partied at home on our lanai.

And that, as they say, is how we started our second year in Hawaii.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Huakaiʻi is the annual fundraiser for the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. It is done in a dinner, program, and live auction format, and was hosted at the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki.

At the Imperial Valley Desert Museum we created an annual fundraiser, as a wine tasting, and watched it grow over a three year period. Huakaʻi is in its seventh year. The first five years the fundraiser was done on site at the Mission Houses. Last year, the event was moved to a new, much more glamorous location, and saw large growth. This year, our goal was to grow the event even more. The program was to honor the work of Tahitian Missionaries who came to Hawaii to help with the translation of the Bible. We had two historical characters developed through our History Theater and a Tahitian band, Mana Tahiti, who were amazing.

We special ordered a rainbow to be placed over Diamond Head. Right at sunset. It worked perfectly as a selfie station. It will take a week or more to do all the bookkeeping for the event, and because there is so much work leading up to Huakaʻi several staff people have taken vacation days this week. But, it was a great event to be a part of. See you there next year. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Furniture from Trash: Part 2

I struggle whether to think of myself as having a skill at making furniture from trash, or just being cheap. After I got married, I made a bed frame for a water bed that I bought for 1 cent. Deneen and I slept in that bed for nearly 20 years.

In the desert, I made a headboard out of an 8-foot pallet that had been used to ship part of the "Land of Extremes" exhibit. This bed was made from two twin beds put together. It was huge, and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.

On September 20, 2016, I wrote a blog about getting a pick up load of trash to make furniture for my unfurnished apartment in Alaska. The score was two signs that had been up at the Unalaska United Methodist Church. These made a fantastic Unalaska coffee table, and a pretty cool bar table. Out of pallets, I made a side table/bar and couches.

The couches were not comfortable. But at least they made the apartment feel like it wasn't empty. Cause you know, it was empty.

I never posted pictures of what the furniture looked like. Alaska was a hard four months. But looking at the furniture makes me a little nostalgic. Richard Barnes, who lived with me in this apartment, is now in Hawaii. He told me that when museum staff moved out of this apartment they sold all the furniture to other people.

I hope they didn't sell the couch. It was not very nice. But I am happy that the tables survived. I really thought they were cool.

One man's trash is another man's furniture!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Hurricane Lane

It is different being back somewhere where you watch Hurricane Central instead of the heat index.

A couple weeks ago we were watching Hurricane Hector as it developed into a cat 5 storm. Though it looked absolutely massive in the satellite image, it did not affect anything here. It just went south.

Tonight, I am waiting on Hurricane Lane. It was a cat 4 storm yesterday, but is now a cat 3. It is south, but not enough south. We initiated our emergency plan at the Hawaiian Mission Houses. In the 1821 House we moved artifacts into the center of rooms and covered them with plastic.

I thought the rain would start at 8pm, but so far it has been a beautiful day. I decided to stay overnight at the museum, but it has been pretty anticlimactic.

I was looking through this blog this evening. I remember being in many storms in the Turks and Caicos, but I hardly wrote about any of them. I went back through the Atlantic Hurricane Seasons to see what I would have experienced.

Tropical Storm Ingrid was in September 2007, mentioned in my second blog post. Hurricane Noel, came through the TCI on October 29, I had just left for Columbus to get Deneen and the boys. On December 11, we ate dinner outside during Tropical Storm Olga, the last storm of the 2007 season. I remember it as one of the best dinner experiences I have ever had. Deneen remembers it as the day we left our kids at home alone during the hurricane.  2008 was one of the biggest hurricane seasons on record. On August 15th, I was in the house on GT during Tropical Storm Fay. I wrote a blog being thankful for the water. Dave Horn came to visit Grand Turk on August 16th. He stayed for a week.  On August 28, I left Grand Turk to get Deneen and the boys who were off island for the summer. In the next ten days, Grand Turks was hit by Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Hannah, and then Hurricane Ike tore the island apart on September 7th. So, I went through three storms with very little comment. And the other three storms changed the rest of our lives. 

Update: Lane stayed at sea, moving at about 2mph, and was continually downgraded all day. Friday evening it was just a tropical storm and that did not even make landfall in Honolulu. Everyone is glad we prepared for an emergency that never came.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Kerplunk House on Designboom

Last year at the Hello Wood Art and Architecture Festival in Hungary, Lucas and I had a long conversation about "typology."

By definition: a classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences. 

This past year we have seen several projects built or conceived that, when I put them together, look very similar, like a typology. Though each was a unique project with its own complex issues to solve. Including Cathedral Village, which was submitted for Hello Wood: Cabin Fever

Kerplunk House, at the Imperial Valley Desert Museum.
Photo: Breyden Anderson

Ghost House, at the Space Saloon art and architecture camp in Morango Valley.
Photo: @-danielshwartz