Friday, July 10, 2009

A Museum By Any Other Name...

Well, it's been busy, busy, busy here. I've been working madly on the dreaded dissertation. Already 542 words written (there's yer introduction, mate!) and only about 14,458 words to go. *sigh* Does it sound as llloooooooooonnnng to you as it does to me?

And.... there are approximately 58 days, give or take a half-hour, in which to finish the whole blasted thing. Did I mention I tend to procrastinate? Gah.

Really, I make it sound worse than it is. Once I get to writing, it does become more interesting. It's just that the siren lure of Word Twist on Facebook keeps mucking with my resolve.

One sentence at a time. One sentence at a time. Too bad I can't bind my freakin' blog in leatherette and turn that in!

Anywhatsit, I should be inspired, because whilst while in Santa Barbara, I visited one of my University of Leicester friends, Lynn.

She does about 50 different art-related things for a living, but she also finished, finished her dissertation!

So it can be done, people. See how gleeful she looks?

She's given me the confidence.

She also let me touch it.

Just a touch of bald-faced envy from my seat over here.

Interestingly, her topic was "A museum by any other name is still a museum" and the premise looked fascinating. Not to mention that she got very high marks. I was slavering all over it.

I do hope she's polished my drool stains off it by now.

Thinking about her dissertation came in handy when, on the next leg of the trip, we visited another old friend up in Oregon who has his own museum. Because Dan has either "a helluva lotta stuff in his barn that he on occasion shows to his very bestest old friends" or "a pretty durn cool very private museum"... and I'm going with the latter description.

Dan's museum mimics the form of an old-fashioned Wunderkammer. Collections of oddities and strange specimens from far and wide are gathered together, compared and contrasted, to the astonished wonderment of the viewer.

Here's the University of California Santa Barbara's version of a classic Wunderkammer, in the on-campus museum. Just to give you an idea of what the classical model is...

Weird things, beautiful things, amazing things, horrifying things...

are displayed in collector's cabinets for our collective awed gaze.

Dan's museum is similar in many ways. Old things, beautiful things....

Mysterious and unnamed things...

The only thing this museum needs is perhaps a bit more frequent dusting?

But that dust could have been Mt. St. Helen's ash, rather than dust, per se.

Because Dan's got some of that stuff too! So he's probably right to leave it all alone.

There were surprises around every corner at Dan's place. Antique cars, anyone?

An unbelievable flying machine?

A thriving watch repair business?

It's all there, and lots more.

And what else? Wait for it...

a DeLorean!

Back to the Future, anyone?

The reason Aphrodite's laughing so hard is that the sound track from Back to the Future is playing from inside the car. Because it's got to be a complete and total sensory experience at Dan's Homestyle Museum!

I've known Dan for about 30 years now, and he's always been full of surprises. The first surprise was that he actually hired me for one of my first real jobs, a decision he apparently didn't regret. I must have made him laugh often enough to make it worthwhile. You can't tell from any of my pictures, but he has the twinkliest Irish eyes you'll ever be lucky enough to see.

It's nice to know I still have a friend in Oregon.



Anonymous said...

What a cool museum, I want that car! I hope you are off writing now and ignoring the lure of word twist ... I am with you though, except scrabble is the one I can't leave alone!

Anonymous said...

Procrastination is certainly the thief of your time. Go for it...write it out in one fell swoop, then leave it alone for a week then go back and rewrite it.
By the fourth rewrite you'll have it done and dusted.

SkylersDad said...

Dan must have a ton of room to have his very own museum!

Anonymous said...

A DeLorean! A scary skull! And ONLY 14,000 more words to go... Just think - you'll look as gleeful as your friend when you have finished!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like this guy Dan could be your dissertation!
He certainly has some cool and groovy looking stuff.. DeLorean (always my favourite car), flying machines... Or, why not steal a copy of your friend's dissertation and submit that?

expateek said...

Eternally -- okay, no Word Twist at all this week. I must agree, FB is such a black hole!

Moannie -- I'm absolutely taking your suggestion, this week. What a good idea. Just bash it out, and rewrite after. Thanks!

SkylersDad -- he lives on a beautiful little farm in the Willamette Valley and their lives seem idyllic. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live most of one's whole adult life in one place, and his life sounds like a pretty perfect actualization of that dream, to me. Unbelievable. And yeah, you're right, he does have some spare space there!

LadyFi -- Yes, I think I'll have a big cocktail party in some central location (Greenland?) for all my bloggy friends, once I finish it.

Dave -- I know, and I had no idea before I got there! Good idea on the stealing... I already have a long history of stealing hotel bibles in foreign languages, so a dissertation-lift would be a snap!

Anonymous said...

Keep the DeLorean, I want the vintage car.

My favourite time machine fantasie is to be back in the 50s in the USA,


Minnesota Matron said...

You can do it!!! I wrote mine with a three year old and a one year old. Ugh. Anything is possible, word by word.