Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy New Year, Happy New MOHAI!

In one week it will be Grand Opening Weekend at MOHAI. In two weeks I'll be in New Orleans for a history conference. I'm gonna be busy, so chances are the blog will be quiet for a while. But before I send you off into the new year, here are some tidbits to tide you over:

-The Miss Universe pageant happened, which means its annual parade of bizarre national costumes also happened. I would put together a commentary for you, but it would be hard to top the one available on Tom and Lorenzo. You can read the three parts here, here, and here.

-On Thursday we had an all-staff training for grand opening (aka: "Grand Opening" as it is written in all our internal emails, or "GRAND OPENING" when it is spoken). I found out that I am a "lead" in my section and will be issued a headset for which have to memorize a list of rules and information about what channel to be on for different kinds of conversations. I'm kind of stressed about it, so a few of my co-workers have offered to radio me constantly with fake code words and crises to fix.

-During Grand Opening training I found out that one of my volunteers will be the fabulous older model from the New Day Northwest segment. She was the one bringing a little white-haired fierceness next to the poor girl wearing the bow/veil "fascinator."

-For Grand Opening we are supposed to be "dressy" but should also factor in comfy shoes for standing a long time, pants or skirts with pockets, and the fact that we will all be wearing "aprons" which will be holding a kiosk's worth of MOHAI brochures and publications. I fear that is not a clothing brief that my wardrobe supports.

-On Friday we unpacked a large box of textiles, all of which have to be frozen and vacuumed before being put away. As I checked off their accession numbers I turned to one of my co-workers and said "is it weird that I'm kind of excited to vacuum all this stuff?" She said, "For you? No."

-And to conclude 2012, here is my favorite photo of myself from the artifact install process at the new MOHAI. I am in the middle of the Grand Atrium, half way up a ladder, sewing Black Bart into his shirt, and proving that skirts are no hindrance to bizarre manual tasks.

See you in 2013!

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