Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Collections

I find it sort of, kind of, odd that even though I'm actually busier than I've been for a long while (with volunteering and whatnot) that I can still feel really, really...lonely. Its good to keep busy though. Today was the first official day for working at the Special Collections. Oh Sweet God, if I am very very very very very very very VERY lucky I may get to work there someday. If you like warehouses full of antique books, valuable art and esoteric things than this is the place for you. I may even get an official nametag (that would rock). I got an orientation tour and a general sketch of what I may be doing. Today I got to look at press-printed books/hand-crafted books/made by artist books and choose some that will be on a local art tour next Tuesday. Then I got to set up a display with books that fit into the palm of your hand. In the future I will be cataloguing and helping with photographs and the web-site. So pray for me, that I may be offered an actual money-paying job on campus.
No first day is complete without mishaps, however.
The first was when I stupidly didn't take the hint to use the foam book-rests for very valuable books so while I was holding it in my lap one of the employees said, 'uh-uh, put it in the holder please'. bah, that's what happens when I get around beautiful, rare objects - I forget common sense.
And the second was slapstick stupid. The library where Special Collections is located is the new library on campus and therefore is HUUUUGGEE with HUUUGE staircases that lead up to the second floor (out of five floors). So after I had a lunch break I was making my way back up the stairs when the toe of my shoes caught on the edge of one of the steps and I went FLYING foward and ended up sprawled on the stairs in front of, at least, one hundred people (the local high schools are having college tours today). I'm grateful that nobody laughed at me but I grabbed the things that went flying out of my purse and ran up the rest of the way. I think I strained my arm trying not to brain myself on the marble steps. So glad I didn't know anybody there; I can imagine my 'friends' wouldn't let me hear the end of it (seriously, I'm not usually that clumsy)
Gallery work is super busy. I'm like the only person from the gallery who has bothered to show up to help..hmmm....he needs a nickname, Auto L. Auto L is a local artist who is having his first show (bronze sculpture) with us this summer and has spent the last 15 years making things for this show, so its pretty important to him. The first day almost all the gallery volunteers showed up (not including Ex GM who stopped by the first day to sweetly mention she's going to be too busy to help until the 8th of July which conviently misses all the hard installation work) and it is seriously hard work. This is one huge production with a lot of stands, lighting, computer images, painting, moving ect. ect. and Auto L (rightfully) is very particular about what goes where. So after that first day of nitpicky work (and grumbling behind Auto L's back) the other two have disappeared into the land of excuses.
Auto L said it himself yesterday, 'You're the hardest working volunteer I have AND the only one who's shown up almost everyday'. Which means I have good work ethic and enjoy what I do or I have no life. Possibly a mix of both. Tomorrow the lighting will be finalized (holy crap, the lighting is a job in itself- ancient light tracks from the 1960's that don't always work and occaisonally go off for no reason that we can find) and since it opens Thursday we better be done tomorrow. Have met some interesting characters through Auto L who has found all sorts of people to help out, not just us gallery volunteers (thank God for that).
The one particular guy whom I find amusing (when I probably shouldn't) is the guy that speaks in one word sentences. A conversation between us:
Me "So, you said you just came from a barbecue?"
Tall John "Yeah."
Me "Um, so where was it?"
Tall John "Oh. At work."
Me "sooo...where do you work?"
Tall John "Winco."
Me (seeing how there are two different Winco's in town) "Oh, on which side of town?"
Tall John "The south."
It was after this point that I gave up any attempt at conversation (except when I was prodding him for my own twisted amusement - getting a conversation out of him was like pulling teeth).
Actually he spent the time that wasn't spent moving things (being about six foor six and supposedly strong) sitting in a corner. Literally. Why is it all the men I meet are braindead and lack social skills? Would it kill you to ask me about myself? or expand on your job because, you great nitwit, I'm giving you an opening to talk to a cute girl? At this rate it will literally be a miracle on high if I get a date.

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