Wednesday, October 16, 2019

24 hrs in Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, is the farthest north we are going. And it was quick. we drove 4 hours up from Connecticut, following the Language Symposium at the Piquot Museum.

We had an early performance at the Maine Historical Society, checked into a fantastic Airbnb that was downtown, and then set out to find Lobster Rolls.

Someone at the performance gave us a heads up about a place called the Highroller Lobster Co. A Lobster Roll is basically lobster shoved in a bun and covered with butter. After getting a Lobster Roll we checked out and I Yelped the best Lobster Bisque in Portland.

It was at the same place.

We ate twice.  

Portland is a compact town with lots going on. We saw a band, walked the wharf, had Blueberry Cider.

The next day we got up and had Lobster again. This time on the dock at the Portland Lobster Co.

I was hoping to get Lobster when we were in Maine. Check and Check.

With that done, we headed 4 hours back down to Connecticut.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Second Week: Mass Humanities

In partnership with the American Antiquarian Society and with support from Mass Humanities, Hawaiian Mission Houses presented a weeklong program entitled "Encountering History using Innovative and Disruptive Narratives."

It was a humanities discussion panel series that was held in four locations: Phillips Academy Andover; Williams College; the American Antiquarian Society; and the Congregational Library at 14 Beacon Street.

The discussion panels explored new texts and current research in response to the bicentennial of the Congregationalist mission to the Sandwich Islands.

The discussion panels of recognized humanities scholars, including Dr. Noelani arista who traveled with us all week, were organized around the presentation of "My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia," which set the tone into a narrative of Hawaiian agency.

The best panel was at the American Anitquarian Society, in Worcester, MA, where the brilliance of the questions was only second to the brilliance of the answers.

It was here that Dr. Arista stated that the near exclusive use of English sources in the writing of Hawaiian history and the lack of use of Hawaiian language sources, a source base that is the largest archive of indiginous language in the world, has resulted in a historiography that would be like if "the history of the American Revolution was only written from French sources."

The best thing about the week of panels were the scholar dinners. These had been written into the grant, but only happened at Williams College and the Congregational Library.

Before the panel at Williams we went to dinner at the Williams Inn. Food and discussion was great, a little combative, and the bill was $314.00.

I only thought this dinner cost a lot until we went to Dolce Vita in Boston. Someone on the panel knew the owner. Great Italian food just kept coming out of the kitchen. I picked up a tab of $585.00.

This was a great week, with great discussions, and great places.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

First Week: Connecticut

First week of New England Tour of "My Name is ʻŌpūkahaʻia" was spent crisscrossing Connecticut. The tour started in Goshen, on September 29, 200 years to the day that Hiram Bingham and Asa Thurston were ordained as ministers to go to Hawaiʻi.

This performance was a Sunday morning service. Everyone came to church in Aloha shirts, which was pretty cool.

Peter Young, the President of the Hawiian Mission Houses and a Hiram Bingham decendant gave a very emotional "testimony" of the fact that without Goshen Congregational Church he would not "be" (Hiram and Sybil were introduced at Gashen, 10 days later were married, got on a ship to Hawaiʻi, and concieved his ancestor on the 165 day voyage).

Three days at Yale followed, including an amazing lunch at Edwin Dwight College, a first for me! and two days of Pizza, evidently New Haven is known for its pizza.

A stop at Sturbridge Village, an amazing third person interpretive village in Massachusetts, but on the border of Connecticut.

And then Cornwall Congregational Church, where ʻŌpūkahaʻia died and was buried.

"There was only one week in Connecticut?" is how Poʻai just characterized it.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Traveling Exhibit just Popped Up

One of the key elements shipped to Columbus was a traveling exhibit providing information on Hawaiian Mission Houses as a National Historic Landmark; our signature program History Theatre; a brief history of ʻŌpūkahʻia.

I have a process of exhibit development that attempts to be inclusive, transparent, and that tries to draw on the strengths of a team-based approach to visitor engagement. But to me, it is just fun. 

A small exhibit with limited text is very challenging. Expressing key ideas in the fewest amount of words is a lot about iteration and editing. In this case, we posted the size and scale of the proposed exhibit panels in the hallway of the offices at Hawaiian Mission Houses. We established themes for each panel and then for several days, everyone on staff had an opportunity to post images, propose text, and propose edits. This was accomplished by physically writing on, or taping things to, the mock ups. Occasionally, a hallway meeting would be held, consensus would be achieved, and we would go through another iteration of the panels. Then, the process of editing would begin again.  

The three panels, a tryptic if you will, were produced as pop-up banners; easy to travel; easy to set up.    

You can see above the process; the banners when they arrived in Columbus; the banners at the New Haven Museum; the banners at Phillips Academy Andover.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Columbus: A Music Town

I never realized how much Columbus is a music town until I moved to San Diego. I assumed that Southern California would have a new and dynamic music scene. But, in fact that describes Columbus. Growing up there you take it for granted. When I return, however, I take advantage of how unusual it is.

Though here for a short time, I caught Jazz Night at Brother Drakes and Hoodoo Soul night at Rumba Café. Also, I guess, Last Big Town met after 15 years and played for about 5 hours Monday night. I have not picked up a guitar in a couple years. This was one of the highlights of my visit.

Jazz in Columbus is amazing to me. With signature programs at Capital University and Ohio State, I think the town churns out excellence by the year. Every time I am in town I feel like I hear the best jazz I have ever heard. Always new. Always fresh. Always super cool.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Columbus, Ohio

One week after Huakaʻi, I have arrived in Columbus to prep for the New England Tour.

The New England Tour?

Oh, Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives is touring a Hawaiian Cultural program throughout New England from September 29 - October 23. I have been shipping things to Columbus for several weeks and I am borrowing a sound system from Jared. I have not been home to see family for more than two years. I was able to see Jamey do a five minute standup set, hear Jared play, and meet the Chipotle lunch crew. Who, I guess even after 20 years, can be counted on to be at Chipotle in German Village on Wednesday!

Columbus has changed every time I return. So many micro breweries. Maybe cause its so cold!

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.”