Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Mary) one thirty seven

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept at the memory of Zion.

On the poplars there we had hung up our harps.

For there our jailers had asked us to sing them a song, our captors to make merry, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion."

How could we sing a song of Yahweh on alien soil?

If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither!

May my tongue remain stuck to my palate if I do not keep you in mind, if I do not count Jerusalem the greatest of my joys.

Remember, Yahweh, to the Edomites' cost, the day of Jerusalem, how they said, 'Down with it! Rase it to the ground!'

Daughter of Babel, doomed to destruction, a blessing on anyone who treats you as you treated us, a blessing on anyone who seizes your babies and shatters them against a rock!

Monday, June 28, 2010

(Amanda) just call me "Shredder"

Today I made friends with a diamond cut, quiet running, electric shredder.

I must say I feel pretty badass, I think I need a biker vest or something.
Removing staples can be a dance with death, and the rusty ones are a dance with tetanus... and the documents I'm disposing are pretty dangerous.... like "Comparative Earnings For 1981" or "List of the Board of Governors for 1966" or even "Incident Report"* and documents from the '70s have a creepy way of jumping out of the pile and giving me papercuts...

So yeah, buy me a vest and call me Shredder
(if you are found in the archives, and cannot be trusted to a landfill intact, I will end you)

*some of these are actually kind of funny...

(Mary) thoughts

Yesterday I decided what I want to do with my life. I'm ready to pack up and get started. Problem is you can't really jump into middle age.

Betsy says she's not a pop culture junkie, but she feels like one around me. Understandable. We got the first season of 30ROCK at the library and I'm actually enjoying the show. The Ru..Ju..?

I found Hamlet at a garage sale for 50c and also bought his complete works for $1. I had to stop reading Lord of the Rings because [spoiler] and that hasn't really sunk in yet. I started reading Hamlet and some Flannery O'Conner short stories.

My poor basil plant might make it. We've only got a north window so none of our plants are getting much sunlight, and the basil plant has been losing leaves like a maple tree in late October, except it's a basil plant in late June. But it's got some new leaves at the top, which is a hopeful sign.

Cinnamon and nutmeg make vanilla ice cream a lot better.

Surprisingly, I haven't had any major existential crises yet this summer. I think it's in part because I always have people I need to respond to and I'm never really by myself, and in part because I just ignore the questions when they come up. I usually clear my head by writing, and most days I just can't handle using words anymore -- words is all I've been doing all day -- so I just forget the crisis and draw or something.

I want to paint.

I've been trying to figure out what to do with panhandlers and people who ask for money. It's absolutely wrong to brush by and ignore them (cf. Mt. 25:31 ff), but handing over $5 probably means enabling an addiction or bad habit, and that's also wrong. Some people say "take them out to lunch" but most times I honestly don't have time for that. (Plus it can't really help that much.) Some people tell me "you're in college and you don't really have extra money" but cf. Mark 12:41 ff.

Here's the thing, though. My time isn't really "my" time -- I've already pledged it to my employer. Maybe feeding the hungry is objectively more important than the particular task I've been assigned, but I owe to my employer that I obey him and that I give him the time I promised to give him. If he sends me on an assignment, I have to do that assignment (unless it's specifically immoral). So no, I really, actually don't have time to take someone out to lunch because the time isn't mine anymore.

Same with money. I owe it to my parents to finish college, and I actually do need to buy my textbooks. Maybe feeding the hungry is more important than memorizing declension patterns, but that isn't my decision to make. It isn't "my" time that I spend studying, and it isn't "my" money I'm spending on books. I owe it to my parents to buy my books, and therefore the money isn't mine to give away.

I think the best thing to do is to know where these people can get help, and smile and point it out to them. "Sorry, ma'am, I can't actually give you any money, but if you go to [street] and [street], the people there can help you" or "Sir, I can't give you any money, but here's the phone number of [whatever mission]. Give them a call; they should be able to help you."

A man holding his hat out is still a man and we ought to treat him as such. But we should also recognize (with humility) that we are human and limited in what we can do. I can't solve all the world's problems; I can't solve all this man's problems. But I can point him to people who can help.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

(Maddie) The Dog Lover and the Cat: A Story of Confusion

Those who know me well have either heard or deduced that I am in fact a dog lover. I grew up with a Yorkshire Terrier, who for all intents and purposes was my pseudo-sibling (I'm an only makes sense in my head.). Needless to say, I AM NOT CAT PERSON. Alas, the amazing sublet I obtained came with one string attached--a female cat named Stella. I knew I could live with this feline annoyance for the good part of a summer. Stella is an unusual cat. Most cats that I have met have an attitude that can only be described as a middle age malaise/resentment/crankiness. Stella is the friendliest cat I have ever met and she has a few quirks that make her somewhat endearing:
  • Stella fetches. Yes, you read that right. She fetches. But, there are only two things she will fetch - a mutilated red fishy toy and a bendy stick that at one point had a feathery boa thing at the end of it. She loves to play in a very energetic fashion and it is enjoyable to join in.
  • She has crazy moments. Her eyes will get big, as if she is looking as something supernatural. She will tense up into a lump of fur on end, twitch violently, and then run somewhere far away so the paranormal object of her attention will not attack her.
  • This cat is WHINY. She yowls and meows A LOT, particularly when she wants you to pay attention to her or she wants you to do something for her. For me, that means getting out of the room at the appropriate time in the morning.
  • I do not let Stella sleep with me for a very good reason: she will not sleep on top of the bed covers. She climbs up the side of the covers like a mountain climber on Mt. Everest and plants base camp at your feet. If you happen to be the unfortunate sleeper who moves around a lot, this means a night of biting and scratching. So not happening. Good night Stella....hope you like the carpet outside my door.
  • She thinks that I am her new master and sticks to me like glue, regardless of how many anti-cat vibes I radiate. She loves me despite my liberal use of a spray bottle. I am trying to establish a comfortable boundary between me and the cat. But, I have a theory: cats know what you want them to do, but they could give a damn. You exist to serve at their pleasure and are lucky to be graced by their presence. Now I understand where "hearding cats" is an impossible task.
  • She LOVES strawberries and blueberries. She will beg like a dog.
  • She likes to randomly flop on her back, splay her back legs out, grab her tail with her front paws, bring her tail between her back legs, hold it to her chest and chew on it. I have an awesome picture of this feat of flexibility:)
  • The most interesting characteristic of this quirky cat is the fact that she will hang out at the window and chirp like a bird. She actually sounds like a deranged/disturbed morning dove. Stella truly has a knack for mimicry. I think she is trying to lure in a prey that she will never obtain...indulging in some ancient instinct that has not yet been bred out of her domesticated genetic code. How poetic....and funny to watch. If only I had a video camera.

In the end of the day, Stella is one exception to my anti-cat policy. Her quirky, friendly characteristics balance out the fact that she is of a species spawned by Satan.

Friday, June 25, 2010

(Amanda) Culinary Laws

It's true: hummus really does make everything better

including eggplant and onion spicy barbecue tacos...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

(Maddie) Toy Story 3Ds: Disney Drags in the Dough, by Hook or by Crook

So, my review for Toy Story 3 will not nearly be as harsh as the rebuke I gave for Robin Hood 2010. Comparatively speaking, TS3 was a cinematic oasis in the midst of a creatively-parched Hollywood desert...but overall I was not as impressed with this movie as I was with A Toy Story and Toy Story 2. CAUTION: There be spoilers!


  • Spanish Buzz - Me gusta Buzz Lightyear en espanol. At some point in the film, they accidently activate Buzz's Spanish mode, which produces a rather funny attempt at a sexy Antonio Banderes voice. His mannerisms also undergo a transformation - he develops a machismo attitude and amazing latin dance skills.
  • Barbie and Ken - nothing like Barbie watching Ken do a 60s-90s fashion show. Very funny.
  • The 3D technology shuts the kids up - always a plus in my book. I hate having my movies interrupted by whining, crying, loud, ill-disciplined, oboxious brats. For example, when I went to see Red Eye, some parents decided that it would be a good idea to save money on a babysitter by taking their 5 year old child to a PG-13 movie with VIOLENCE, BLOOD, and Cillian Murphy being STABBED IN THE THROAT with a cartoon pen. Guess who turn around and told them to shut their kid up?
  • I sympathized with Andy in the movie. When I was getting older, I found it hard to part with some of my childhood toys. I have to admit, I started tearing up a little.


  • Sequel Fever - apparently Hollywood is so scared of taking a creative risk during a recession that it feels compelled to continue to puke out the same, unoriginal garbage. There are too many other sequels/remakes scheduled. Star Trek 2009 was awesome - that needed and could handle an update. I have to admit that I am a tad bit excited about Tron: Legacy this Christmas. And, we'll see about Shamalamadingdong's film version of Avatar: The Last Airbender. But, SciFi and Fantasy tend to make better remakes/updates by virtue of their genre. Toy Story 3 felt like a stretch. Only Mouschwitz (I mean, Disney) would be willin' for the shillin' enough to cash in on such a wonderful Pixar creation.
  • Disney acquired Pixar a couple of years ago. The deal called for sequals on Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and The Incredibles. Just stop - stop cashing in on and destroying Pixar's original creative genius. You make enough money, Disney. Miley Cyrus won't be fully depleted until she hits the "skank" period of her sad, short-lived starlet life...she's not quite there yet. Eventually, she will be replaced with another Disney test tube baby. Please see the Onion videos "Enterntainment Scientists Warn Miley Cyrus Will Be Depleted by 2013" and "Disney Lab Unveils Its Latest Line of Genetically Engineered Child Star" for more information. Check out, search for the videos and see what I mean. Walt is rolling is his grave right now...more like spinning, methinks.
  • Bigger is not always better, just as 3 dimensions are not always better than 2! I felt like the 3D gimic is being used on every new film that comes out so that Hollywood has an excuse to charge more for tickets. A movie about toys - with no explosions, magic, lasers, etc. - does not belong in 3D. I feel like 3D is being used by Hollywood to cover up the fact that it is not producing anything orginal. Cameron's Avatar was just Pocahontas / Dances With Wolves with giant Smurfs. Cameron needed the 3D in order to force you to focus on the amazing graphics, thus diverting your attention away from the boring, unispired story with horrible dialogue and cliche Cameron characters. If it isn't compelling in 2D, it isn't a good story. THREE-DIMENSIONAL FAIL.
Overall rating: 2 out of 4 stars (the standard ratings system for movies). 2 is average. Good family film, but not nearly as good or original as TS1 and TS2. I was entertained, but not enough for a $11.75 ticket (originally $15 before coupon). It was worth $6-7.

P.S. I still love you Pixar, even though my stock in you was converted to Disney stock when they bought you out. Continue to shine through the Disney darkness.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(Amanda) vermin wars

Today we chased a chipmunk out of the archives/library/collections storage area. This was a wild chipmunk, a chipmunk without manners or tact. This episode led me to think:
"I don't like chipmunks. They're coarse and rough and irritating and they get everywhere."

(this post is dedicated to Maddie :o)

(Maddie) Highway to/from HELL!!!

Over the past weekend, I had to go to a bunch of networking events that were located 45 minutes to an hour away from my area of L.A. None of the other interns lived close enough pick me up and then drive there. So, I had to go through the annoying process of renting a car. Apparently, no one turns their cars in on time and I had to wait an hour after my scheduled pick up time to get a Ford Focus. I got a good deal - $30 per day. Woot. After they get me the car, they made me buy car rental insurance for $15 a day. Bugger. Then, they warned me to fill up the tank before I turned the car in, else they would charge $4.50 per gallon. Jerks. With that, I was on my way, clicking through radio channels until I settled on 91.5 KUSC SoCal Classical Channel:) Score!

When I got back home, I had to sit down and memorize the map. I would have rented a GPS if it didn't cost $25 a day to rent it. Snazzlefracken. Memorizing the map wasn't that bad. In fact, it helped me to get more familiar with the L.A. area and gave me the chance to soak in some scenery. (SIDENOTE: I think people rely too much on the GPS technology. Maps are great. It serves you better to be familiar with a paper map then to rely on a stupid computer that the government can hack into. I, Robot anyone? Thanks for allowing me a moment of paranoia.)

By the way, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous: rolling hills, small mountains, desert landscape, sprawling ranches....typical Southern California. Even though it was just 70F, the sun was beating down and airconditioning became a necessity.

I was rather nervous to drive on the L.A. highway system - people are crazy drivers around here. But, they are not nearly as bad a Massahussetters. Those people are nuckin' futs! Anywho, here are my Los Angeles traffic pet peeves:

  • Curves - The highways and back roads are very curvy. Many go through canyons, hills, and moutains...hence the curviness. Instead of slowing down, SoCal drivers like to speed up and weave in and out of their lanes as a part of their mountain-worship ritual.

  • Dust - We're in the desert. There is sand. There is also dust. Wind kicks up the dust. Dust lands on car. Someone writes "wash me" on the car.

  • Traffic - I knew that the infamous L.A. traffic would be bad. But, I did not realize how horrid it really was. People react to it differently. Some get angry and honk their horns, looking as if they are nuclear reactor about to explode. Others fall asleep, causing the angry people to honk more. Others seem to have had too much coffee beforehand: they lurch the car forward at every opportunity to move up an inch. Still others get on their cell phones and refuse to get off them when traffic moves...which brings me to....

  • Fake blondes - You know exactly who I'm talking about. Even if you haven't met one, you've at least seen one on TV. They usually have fake blonde hair, dark roots, big sunglasses, ugg boots, booty shorts, low-cut tank tops, and orange spray-on tan skin. They butcher the English language with the overuse of the word "like," a linguistic bastardization that can be traced back to the Valley. They tend to drive their BMWs while drinking Starbucks coffee and texting, often all at the same time. It is a wonder they have not succumed to natural selection. You have that image in your head now? They do in fact exist and are some of the worst CA drivers that I have encountered thus far. Stereotype win!

  • Car signals - Apparently, turn signals are optional equipment in SoCal, just as speed limits and lane lines are mere suggestions.

3-day car rental = $100
3-day rental insurance = $45
Full tank of gas = $22
Passing a texting blonde driver on a mountain curve (and thus avoiding death by idiot driver) whilst listening to a crescendo in Aaron Copland's Rodeo. = PRICELESS.

Monday, June 21, 2010

(Mary) descent into the underworld

We saw Waiting for Godot on Saturday. Weird, weird play. The only thing I knew about it was that apparently Godot is God and the point of the play is that God(ot) never comes. Wikipedia before the play told me that's one of several interpretations, not the only one (so thank you, anonymous friend).

Turns out Samuel Beckett (the playwright) wouldn't tell anyone what it meant, either.

My brain hurt during the play, trying to figure things out. What do the hats mean? What the heck is going on when Lucky starts talking? (It remains to be seen, but time will tell.) What does it mean when Pozzo is blind? Actually, what the heck does anything mean? What's the point of the tree? Who is Godot? Is Pozzo Godot? Why a shorter rope the second time? What's up with "nothing" in the boot and in the hats?

I love live theater. It asks you to think.

For the most part, though, I felt like any discussion of the play would ultimately prove fruitless. I felt like the play was a really complex version of "The Lady or the Tiger" -- you can argue as much as you like, but in the end it's going to be totally pointless because it doesn't matter.

It was good, though; I'm glad I saw it.

In other news, Betsy and I got into an almost-heated argument today over pinto beans. We laughed about it later and realized we were both being kind of stupid, but I think our argument over pinto beans -- pinto beans -- demonstrates the lack of known 18-to-25-year-olds in the Toledo area.

And, I am almost out of stamps.

(Amanda) confusion and flashing blue lights

So, I was tailgated and harassed by a police car (containing one cop) on MassPike yesterday. I still have no idea why. Perhaps he has something against people from MI, or people who refuse to go more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit on the freeway. He finally forced me onto the (left) shoulder, after that he sped (lights on) past at least eight or nine cars before turning his lights off and driving normally...or what passes for normal in this insane place.


Friday, June 18, 2010

(Amanda) dunks

Today we went on a field trip. Ed and Curatorial journeyed several hours away to visit another museum (the name of which I am going to withhold because I am going to be slightly critical of them and I don't want to cause trouble, they are well intentioned and were gracious hosts). We began early-ish in the morning, though the blow of this was softened by a trip through a Dunkin Donuts drive through. I am getting the impression that New Englanders are more than a little obsessed with this particular chain of coffee/pastry shop. They are everywhere. In the housing letter the other intern girls were sent it was noted that their house stood next to a Dunkin Donuts, also a florist...

Anyway, we got to our destination with a minimum of fuss, and after standing around for a needlessly long time we were shuttled in to watch the orientation video. The exhibit area is arranged in a semi-circle (consistently referred to as a circle...which it was not) and divided loosely by region. Here the problems start. In a, misguided, effort to create a more immersive experience this museum has chosen to keep title cards and other identifying information to a minimum. They provide a narrative brochure and a once daily guided tour, but honestly this is not enough. It is possible to label artifacts in an unobtrusive manner. This brings us to the all important matter of context. Without knowing what these things are, what their function was, when they were made, or who precisely made them the visitor is left out in the cold. The artifacts in each section were rather poorly sorted, with no distinctions made between items made for use, for sale to a white market, or for ritual purposes - distinctions that are absolutely critical for the proper interpretation of the objects. The maps that detailed what part of the country each section of the exhibit represented were far too small, and often placed in odd corners. There were very few photographs, a dearth of personal context that became rather jarring as the exhibit progressed. This was basketry and beadwork and woodwork without makers. The objects themselves were really beautiful, this museum houses some great examples of Native craftsmanship and culture, but they have a lot of work to do to place this stunning content in an appropriate context.

Ultimately, though I know it is difficult for a small museum short on manpower and funds, they need to design a comprehensive labeling system - one that ties the artifacts together while more clearly delineating the regional and functional differences.

I find myself increasingly convinced that I belong in exhibit design, if only because awkward or unfortunate display and interpretation decisions make me so very itchy and uncomfortable.

On the way home we were stuck in some pretty terrible traffic, slowly cooking in the little metal box of my boss' car. After a (pretty dang amazing) late lunch we finally made it back to the Plantation and from there back home. After all that sweating at the museum and in the car, my roommate and I took full advantage of the pool here at our house. A (slightly too) cold dip was the perfect end to an interesting, cramped, overheated day.

Tomorrow is a work day at the Plantation theater, so perhaps I will have stories of mischief and mayhem...or perhaps just painting and sewing... we shall see.

There is also a book and rummage sale at the library...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

(Mary) maybe

I secretly want to search blogspot and find some blogs that have one or two followers, and follow them, and leave comments. "Wow, this is great! ur such a good writer!!! u shoudl publish a book!!!!"

(Mary) craziness

ok, sorry for not posting lately. things have been crazy. I went home for my little sister's graduation, and when I got back found out that a tornado swept through and killed 5 people (now 6), and a high school was completely destroyed, and we were going to be in the office / in the field pretty late.

some cool stuff happened, though. I spoke with a couple married 79 years -- both are 100 years old. I interviewed a harp builder for 45 minutes.

There's a new intern in our office, started Monday, and he seems pretty cool.

Past two weekends I was gone (graduation, then open house/party) and most weeknights we spend working, cooking, chilling, etc. I went for a walk this evening, stayed out for about an hour, found some black raspberries. A few are ripe; the rest will be ready within the week, I think.

Right now my big project is figuring out how to get pencil marks off a piece of unfinished wood. I bought a 5x7 oval at Michael's and I'm drawing on it, but I made some mistakes. It feels good on my brain to do something other than words.

We made tomato sauce the other day; it was really super good.

Monday, June 14, 2010

(Maddie) Robin Hood 2010: A Harsh Rebuke...I Mean, Review...

One of the places that I intern with assigned some homework over the weekend--watch the new Robin Hood film for a conference call discussion later on. I decided to get it the hell out of the way because I have no time this week. *(Note: I quote a particularly good review of the film from National Review, aka NR, in this blog).

OPENING REMARKS: Why, Hollywood? In your infinite wisdom, you failed to notice that people actually don't want to watch cheap, poorly-filmed, star-studded "re-tellings" of the orginal, impecable film/story. It was not worth the 2 hours of my life and the exorbitant Californian movie theater admission price of $11.75 to see this clap trap. I want at least $10.50 back, damn it. If I want to see the Robin Hood, I will watch The Adventures of Robin Hood made in 1938 with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland - they got it right. Let it be.

Point 1: Russell Crowe, to this you have sunk. After Master and Commander, Gladiator, and 3:10 to Yuma, I thought he could do know wrong, or at least very little wrong...and then he let Ridley Scott talk him into this. Although more stylized and flamboyant, Errol Flynn's Robin Hood seems more masculine and likable, EVEN IN TIGHTS. Crowe looks like he is trying to immitate every other gritty, realistic character that he has done. LAME. ERROL FLYNN FOR THE WIN! (That rhymed!)

Point 2: Ridley Scott - I liked Blade Runner, Alien, and Gladiator. Again, why did he have to ruin his image by trying to "update" a classic. Not all classics are meant to be updated. Some of them are done so well, they can't be touched. The author of the NR article had a particularly good rebuke: "Apparently, Ridley Scott thought that he could do better than the bards and legend-makers. Instead--and I can't believe I'm saying this--he's produced a Robin Hood that makes Kevin Costner's Prince of Thieves look like a classic by comparison." OH SNAP! KEVIN COSTNER FOR THE WIN.

Point 3: I took High & Late Middle Ages as a history class. I at least have a basic undestanding of Medieval mindsets, society, and religion. This "new" Robin sounded more like a modern democratic git than a medieval marauder. Crowe's Robin is painted as a freedom fighter who does more than "steal from the rich and give to the poor." Ross Douthat stated "It turns out that our Robin isn't just a common archer at all: He's really the son of some democratic reformer from way back in the day...So next thing you know, "Magna Carta!" (NR 50). I applaud your research skills, Scott. Bravo. There are more historical and mythological mistakes, but they are so readily apparent that they are not worth mentioning. RESEARCH FAIL.

Point 4: Cate Blanchett's Maid Marion is a frickin' feminist. She even rides into battle at the end in full armor on horseback wielding a sword and leading a group of boys. Needless to say, she is still absolutely useless. Olivia de Havilland, you are still the best. FEMINIST FAIL.

Point 5: The Battle Scenes. Apparently, we are still in this horrid cinematic era in which the shaky camera is used in battle scenes to depict fighting "realistically." Well, I can't tell if it is realistic or not BECAUSE THE DAMN FRAME MOVES AROUND TOO FRICKIN MUCH! Can you tell that I loathe this style? If you put the effort into choreographing it, why not portray it well so we can see the fancy fighting? The ending sequence reminded me of a bad rendition of The Patriot and From Here to Eternity, with overly-dramatic slowmo fighting and Crowe-Blanchett cuddling. SHAKY CAMERA FAIL.

Point 6: Too many "Meanwhiles." I was sick of subtitles telling me the next location. Sherwood -France -London -random forest...blah blah blah. Too confusing. Is this about Robin or the ten bajillion other minor characters? And, how did everyone in England not notice the hundreds of French troops raiding the North? I give the plot an "F"...FOR FAIL!

P.S. I laughed at historical inaccuracies and bad dialogue through most of the film and got dirty looks from the other members of the audience the whole time. MADDIE WIN!

(Amanda) shifting

So today (just a minute ago actually) (don't worry, I'm on break) It was determined that I should let go of most of my, eventual, responsibilities with the Ed. Dept. So, now I can focus more closely on my work with Curatorial (and Graphics), but I can still sit in on the program development meetings. I think this was a very good decision. Not earth shattering, but at least I don't feel pulled in quite so many directions.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

(Amanda) "I am not an archivist, but I play one on TV"

Today I got to play with maps. I have adopted the project of cataloging the map files, which were put in rough order last spring, but have no detailed list attached to them. I get to flip through the (very large) folders of maps - relating mainly to England, Holland, and New England (duh) - taking note of the pertinent information for each one. Later I get to make a finding aid/database.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

(Maddie) Crooked Portrait = Earthquake Evidence

I got an official welcome to L.A. and did not even notice. Apparently, we had a sizable earthquake sometime around 2:00 AM on Monday. [SIDE NOTE: I did not notice because I was deep in REM cycle at that moment in time. If it had woken me up, I would have sat bolt upright and completely awake because 1. I noticed the earthquake and 2. I would have been woken up in the middle of REM. Thank goodness I was not woken up because I would have been really cranky that Monday, having not finished a complete sleep cycle.] Anywho, people were talking about it and I felt completely left out of a key Californian communal experience. It was big enough to scare little children, but not big enough to wake me up. Bummer. Or not.

However, I did notice today that the daffodil painting in the hallway is off kilter by about a half-inch. I specifically remember straightening it that weekend. Ha! Mwahaha! You did not just quietly quake in the night under my radar, earth! I have caught you red-handed:P Ha!

P.S. Earth, I am not trying to provoke you to quake at a higher magnitude. Please remain rather quiet during my time in SoCal. Thanks.

(Amanda) D.C.F. and avocados

Today I took a field trip with the other Education dept. interns to see an offsite presentation, at an elementary school just North of Boston. On the way back we stopped in Concord for lunch and wandered around. We spent some time in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where I was pleased to find "Mourning Victory," a monument designed by Daniel Chester French, and Mr. French's gravestone (simple and sedate). I left a penny there like many before me. Just beyond his grave is "author's ridge" where lie the graves of Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and Louisa May and Bronson Alcott, alongside the nearly 10,000 others in the cemetery. It was a truly lovely place...with some very steep walkways.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

(Maddie) First Few Days on the Job

Well, I have been at my film production internship for 3 work days [I'm on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule] and have enjoyed it so far. One of the major duties of film production interns throughout the entire film industry is writing coverages. "Coverages" are the industry standard for reviewing movie scripts. You provide basic information, a log line, a short summary, and a 2-page synopsis as well as an analyzation of the characters, plot structure, concept, etc. Finally, you recommend either to "pass" or "consider" the script for production. Right now, it takes me 2-3 three hours to read a standard 120-page script [2 hour movie] and another 2-4 hours to write a 5-page coverage. My speed and quality will improve with time. I'm not allowed to divulge the plots of the scripts - big surprise. So far, most of the scripts I have read have been passes. Hopefully I will run into a winner soon:)

Other internship duties include the usual: bringing people coffee, keeping the office clean, running errands on the fly, etc. I've been learning a lot about film production and enjoying it thoroughly. The office atmosphere is great and the people are wonderful. There is a little area where all of the interns gather in the back and frantically attempt to finish coverages while running missions for various higher-ups. I'm still meeting new interns because each of them is on a different schedule. Although I have no official number, it seems like # interns > # fulltimers.

I love independent film studios:)

Monday, June 7, 2010

(Mary) weekend away

On a normal workday, Betsy and I wake up in the same room (about 45 minutes apart), eat breakfast mostly together, drive to work together, make phone calls from desks separated by a small filing cabinet, eat lunch together, make more phone calls from desks separated by a small filing cabinet, drive back to the apartment together, cook dinner together, eat dinner together, do dishes together, and by that time it's dark and we've locked our door for the night.

So far, we haven't had any major fights. In fact, we haven't really had any minor fights. We had something like this once:

Betsy: Do you like guacamole?
Betsy: Have you tried guacamole?
Mary: Um...
Betsy: You haven't even tried guacamole! How can you say you don't like it?
Mary: Um...maybe I have tried it. Is it green? Do people put it on crackers? I think I did, and I think I remember not liking it.
[next day, Betsy orders guacamole at a restaurant.]
Betsy: Mary, try this.
Mary: (dips tortilla chip in guacamole and eats) I guess it tastes okay, but it feels really slimy.
Betsy: Well, you have to not think about snot while you're eating it.

And another one like this:

Betsy: Do you like hummus?
Mary: No.
Betsy: (gives Mary a knowing look) Have you tried hummus?
Mary: Yes.
Betsy: And you're sure you don't like it?
Mary: Yes.

But overall, we're getting along really well, especially considering we're rarely more than 20 feet away from each other. So when I found out I was going home for a family event this weekend, I automatically asked Betsy if she'd like to come along. It hadn't really occurred to me that we could be in separate places.

Betsy suggested that a friend pick her up and take her to Hillsdale for the weekend, and that's what she ended up doing. So I drove home alone.

It was up to my sister and me to make dinner Saturday night. Armed with the confidence I'd gained spending three weeks cooking with Betsy, I scanned the shelves of the refrigerator, looking for food I knew how to cook.

My confidence went kerplunk when I realized we had no broccoli. And we were out of carrots. And basically nothing to make a main course out of except meat, and I didn't learn anything from Betsy about cooking meat.

Our sandwiches that night (lunch meat, sliced cheese and raw tomato) were a testament to Betsy's cooking skillz.

(Amanda) Dagmar in a Club Car

Well, to begin with I forgot my name tag. While this was hardly the end of the world, it was a bit embarrassing. After dodging a faulty alarm system and meeting some/most of the other interns, we (my roommate K, our fellow Curatorial intern B, and myself) followed our boss around on a tour of the collections building (too small) and the visitor's center/offices (in layout much like the Sage center, but with a courtyard and a tower where the theater is). We later joined the Education interns (my other group of co-workers.... though I won't work with them for a month and a half or so) for a short walk through the Wampanoag Homesite and the 1627 English Village (sooooo many kinds of amazing). We had time to explore before lunch, a treat from our boss, then she took us on a driving tour of the immediate area. After that jaunt we retreated to the back room of the collections building to process some new books. And that was that.

Things I learned today:

- Writing book spine labels in sharpie (legibly) can be difficult

- I am a passable golf cart driver, even with patrons on board - it is the patrons in the road that are the trouble

- When not wearing a name tag, I apparently look as though my name should be Dagmar (I was so dubbed by the director of Wampanoag research [not his actual title]) The name is derived from "day" and "maid" in Old Norse - a fitting title for an intern.

Also, there is an (entirely male) group of interns working on developing an authentic 17th C. Shakespeare experience, in a theater they are creating themselves in an old exhibit space. I think this is just about the coolest thing ever. I have to figure out how to hang out with them without seeming too fangirly...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

(Maddie) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum...or Bus Stop

I just wanted to let you all know that I saw the strangest thing on the way from the beach to the bus stop today. While sitting at the bus stop bench, I noticed an Asian man wearing a kilt and playing a didgeridoo whilst skateboarding down the walkway...I KID YOU NOT! I wish I had a picture to show you all, but the wandering imagination, spurred on by words, does a much better [even if exaggerated] job:)

By the way, he was heading toward the Cultural Center. I would have to say that he covered a lot of cultures ... only in L.A. ...

I'm sure I will see stranger things. I will keep you aprised.

Friday, June 4, 2010

(Amanda) "there is no food in Canada"

Greetings from Batavia, NY! I have seen about 200 yards of it, so my impression of this city has been formed entirely by a toll booth and several hotel driveways, but here we are. Mum and I hit the road this afternoon, and should make it to CT tomorrow afternoon. Things have been uneventful, except for a rather annoying lack of easy-access, fast friendly food in Canada. It took us 15 minutes to find a Subway in a rather grody corner of Wayne Gretzky's home town, the sandwich was good though, for hunger truly is the best sauce.

Well, we have an early morning tomorrow, so I shall bid you a travel-weary farewell-for-now

The adventure begins!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

(Mary) decisions, decisions

Betsy and I were in a pickle of a sort we'd never dealt with before. We'd discovered someone in the 18-to-25-year-old range and we wanted to have said 18-to-25-year-old over for dinner. But we were booked for two weekends in a row, and every day during the week was booked, too -- except for Wednesday. So we invited the 18-to-25-year-old over for Wednesday dinner. But then we discovered that our refrigerator (of which we've become increasingly proud) was completely empty of tomatoes and carrots, and the Farmers Market was open on Wednesdays. Major dilemma.

"Friendship?" asked Betsy, "or produce?"

I polled some friends from school. Dakota said produce. Kennedy said friendship. They were no help at all.

Fortunately, Betsy's father rescued us by taking Betsy to the grocery store Monday night. She came back with tomatoes and carrots. Things were going to be fine.

But on Wednesday afternoon, I discovered that we could get free tickets to see Karate Kid II. I politely declined. "Sorry, we've already got plans for tonight," I said, then blinked and scrunched up my eyebrows a little bit. I couldn't believe I'd said that. We'd just spent Saturday afternoon bumming around downtown and Saturday night bumming around the apartment. We had plans? Weird.

So the 18-to-25-year-old came over, and we all ate dinner, brownies, and sprouts. Now I can't focus on my work because my cheeks hurt from laughing so much.

I guess I didn't realize those muscles were out of shape.