Friday, April 3, 2020

Pic of the Day



TGIF



My creative juices are just not flowing today. It’s a rainy and dreary day. I have work to do today, so at least I’ll be busy. At least I hope I’ll be busy. Having to document everything I do is driving me a bit crazy. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could just make it up, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I need to be able to show that I did produce work. Eventually, the world will go back to some kind of normalcy.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pic of the Day



Isabella



Isabella seems happy to have me home. I’ve talked about her “work ethic” during the day while I’m home. She mostly sleeps, but she prefers to do so close by me. She loves to lay on the radiators while they are warming up. When the get too hot she gets down. She’s never liked being cold.



Sometimes she can be a bit silly. I have no idea why she hides behind the shower curtain. She’s not hiding from me, and since I’m the only one here, she’s not hiding from anyone else either. Sometimes she just likes to hide. Don’t we all?



She likes to block the TV if she thinks I should be paying more attention to her instead of the TV. She makes sure my attention turns to her. She’s a funny and persistent little girl. Except when she’s sleeping, she is usually within six feet of me at all times. She does not understand this new age of social distancing.



While most of the time she loves me, at night she begs to be petted and gets grouchy when I don’t. She does this by lightly touching my arm with her paw and occasionally with her cold nose. Once I’ve petted her to her heart’s content (she doesn’t allow me stop until she’s ready), she usually lets me know by giving me the look above. That is her “I’m done with you for the night” look. Usually after I get the look, I turn out the lights, and we go to bed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Pic of the Day



What Are You Watching?



It seems like in the quarantined days, we get to either stare out the window, watch TV or movies at home, or work at our computers. I don’t really want to write about work today. I also don’t want to write about the coronavirus or our idiot president. Although, it’s funny that when I typed “idiot” my predictive text suggested “president” as the next word. Apparently, “idiot president” is a common phrase with Apple users. Anyway, with all of those topics out of the question, there isn’t much left to talk about. 

I guess I could discuss Star Trek: Picard, but I realize not everyone has seen it, and I don’t want to be the one who spoils it for anyone. I will say that I enjoyed it. In other TV news, RuPaul’s Drag Race has been interesting, especially since Sherry Pie was disqualified after the season had been taped and will not be in the finale. If you don’t know, Sherry Pie, whose legal name is Joey Gugliemelli, is accused by former classmates at SUNY Cortland and actors he worked with at a theater company in Nebraska of posing as a casting director to get the young men to send him videos of them saying and doing degrading things on camera in various states of undress. VH1 has done what they can to minimized some of her screen time. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the rest of the season. 

The other show that I’ve watched recently is Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker staring Octavia Spencer. It chronicles the life of Madam C. J. Walker who was America’s first female millionaire, who happened to also be African American. It’s a remarkable story. I’ve watched half the series and look forward to finishing it. I have watched a few documentaries while stuck at home. The first was Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary about the making of the movie Galaxy Quest, which was a fun and uplifting approach to spoofing Star Trek. I really enjoyed it, and I always enjoyed the original movie. The other one I watched was Life is a Banquet a documentary on the life and work of one of my favorite actresses Rosalind Russell.  Auntie Mame ranks as one of my all time favorite movies, and quite honestly, I’ve never seen a Rosalind Russell movie I didn’t like. 

So what are y’all watching in this time of quarantine? 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Pic of the Day



Alone



Alone
by Maya Angelou

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.


With so many people these days under a stay at home order, it can feel awfully lonely to some. Some of us live alone and are a bit introverted, but lets not forget those extraverts out there who need socialization. If you can reach out to someone who you know needs that extra socialization, reach out to them and let them know they are not alone.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Pic of the Day



Week Two at Home



Some of my coworkers are not doing too well working from home. They are going stir crazy, especially one in particular who is ready to go back to work today.  Extroverts are having a hard time with working from home. I’m just happy I’m still one of the employed because millions of Americans are currently unemployed because of this pandemic. The numbers just keep growing of people with both the virus and the unemployed. Working from home is not too bad for me. I am an introvert, so being at a distance from everyone is not a problem. I do occasionally miss my coworkers. I also don’t like having to document my work. Since I began at the museum, I have been self sufficient and pretty much done things at my own pace and when I wanted to do them. Because of having to document what I do, and knowing it could be used against me if this pandemic lasts a long time, I am often scrambling for things to do, or at least document. While I can say I’m working on this and that (I’m more specific in my documentation), I have to produce stuff too, which can sometimes be difficult in my job. I can write lesson plans and lectures for classes, but unless somebody wants to use them, then it’s pointless. Also, it’s hard to schedule new programs when no one really knows how long this will last.

I also want to say, that I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the government bailout including places like museums. While we are doing our best to continue to operate virtually, at the heart of what we do are people. What’s the point in having over 16,000 objects and artifacts if we can’t share them with people? We are a people business but unlike restaurants, we can’t do take out. Our best work is done in person. So please understand and remember that museums and universities need help as well as any other business.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Pic of the Day



The Wayfaring Stranger



I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world below
There is no sickness, no toil, nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I'm going there to see my Father
And all my loved ones who've gone on
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home
I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is hard and steep
But beauteous fields arise before me
Where God's redeemed, their vigils keep
I'm going there to see my Mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
So, I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home
I'm just going over Jordan
I'm just going over home

Yesterday, I watched the movie 1917. It was phenomenal but also very sad. I think it’s almost impossible to have a happy World War I movie. If you did, it would be inaccurate. World War I was such an awful war. The set really bring that to life in this movie. In my opinion, the sets were very accurate. As a historian, I’d be remiss to say that there were no inaccuracies. There are a few, but I’m not here to talk about that. One of the most moving moments of the movie is when Jos Slovik sings “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.”

The song itself is an old American folk hymn about a plaintive soul on the journey through life.  “I Am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger” speaks of man’s journeying on this earth. Yet, from what and to what does man go? 

From the moment Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, man’s journey has him wanting to return. Yet, this return requires passing through the looming, dark portal of death. We journeyed through life into death.

The song’s line “I’m just going over Jordan” evokes this death. In one respect, the line refers to Joshua, that successor of Moses who led the Israelites across the dry bed of the river into the long-desired promised land. Yet, in a deeper sense, the line refers to baptism of  Jesus in the River Jordan. Our crossing is a watery plunge, a sign of dying and rising, a baptism.We journey through death into eternal life.

As we walk toward that dark portal of death, the baptized walk with Christ. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). In Baptism, we are changed at the deepest center of our being, we continue to walk in newness and with hope. We are on the way as wayfarers. 

The song continues saying, “I’m just going over home.” This is a clear allusion to heaven. As pilgrims, we journey not just to death, but we pass on to more. “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come” (Hebrew 13:14). The deepest and truest sense of our journeying is not about designation of place. Our journeying is about fulfillment, perfection, life, and the all-consuming vision of the beloved, face of God. 

Upon rising from the waters of baptism, we follow Christ, who is “the way” (John 14:6). This following requires renewal and sacrifice. St. Paul exhorts us to put off the old man and put on the new man, even calling for our minds to be renewed in Christ (Ephesians 4:22–24). To put off the old man is a command to leave behind the sin and the corruption which came from Adam and Eve. To put on the new man is to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14). To be renewed in the spirit of the mind is to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Therefore, we are poor because we need all from Christ. We are wayfarers because we are journeying from death to life in Christ. We are strangers because we have died to this world and seek those things above. “For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). When our journey—that is, our perfection in the Son—is complete, we will see our Father. “No one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).