the one with frowning

August 26, 2014

Friday nights can be interesting at a museum. No, not because something like Night at the Museum happens.

(I wish I had 50 bucks for every time I was asked that.)
(I get asked it a lot!)

It’s fun to play spot the awkward first date night. Friday nights the people to have more of an energy than other nights. This lends itself to a little more snark than usual as well. I don’t mind this too much as long as it’s good-natured. I can give it as good as I take it. Last Friday:


A woman is in the gallery looking up at one of our Alexander Calder pieces. Alexander Calder was a sculptor best known for the mobile. /End Art Lesson. We have two mobiles out. The two are about 2 rooms apart. She stood under the second one. I walk in.

her: I blew on the first one and got it to move. let’s see if I can do it to this one.
me: actually that is rather frowned upon.
her: just frowned?
me: you wouldn’t like me when I’m frowning.


Next thing I remember is waking up wearing torn purple pants on.

the one with appreciation?

July 21, 2014

Today is the first Monday back after a week in Martha’s Vineyard and P Town. Now for most people that sucks. I’m off on Mondays so joke’s on you. What’s that I’m off on Mondays but have to work on Sundays so my first day back was yesterday?

Oh. Nevermind then.

This won’t be about the Vineyard or P Town. I’ll probably do a post about it soon but I’ll say this: It was “bear” week in P Town. I’ll give you a taste
(of our vacation not the bears)


photo (20)

That’s me sneaking a kiss with a mermaid at Bad Martha’s Brewery.

AnyBearsLoveMe I went back to work yesterday. We got back Friday night so I had an entire day to get ready. It didn’t help. Saturday night the Late Shift movie was Army of Darkness. It was a midnight showing and I skipped it to be totally refreshed for work the next day.

It didn’t help.

The morning was rough. I did have homemade granola I made the night before. It was tasty. I couldn’t get myself going and only managed to have a cup and a half of coffee. I had to answer the same vacation question 63 times, which made me wish I was still drinking Guatemalan rum on Martha’s Vineyard.

To make matters worse I was assigned a gallery that would mean I would be mostly by myself. I love the gallery and the show in it (Conservation in Focus: Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew) It’s a good show and you should check it out. It of course doesn’t allow for much interaction. One good thing is it has a counter and I like to pretend it’s a thermal detonator I continually show Jabba the Hutt.

As the day wore on I got sleepier and sleepier. The last hour of the day a group of visitors came in. They enjoyed the show and watched the videos. Soon one of them looked over at me and stopped. She began walking over to me with a real purpose. Her eyes were right on mine. She slow walked toward me not saying anything. Her eyes were severe and then she stopped a few steps from me and looked at me with a hard gaze.

My mind raced. Did I use to work with her? Was her husband one of the bears in P Town? Did I once tell her something wrong about Vermeer? What was it?

I was on the verge of blurting out “I didn’t do it” And running.

She took a sharp breath and said “I wanted to let you know I appreciate your tie.” Everyone loves my Spider-Man tie. Some just show it differently.

the one where I read people

May 5, 2014

We all try to get a read on people. We make guesses (and probably assumptions) on hints and information we are given. What I find more interesting than trying to read people is assessing how people “read” me. It’s funny how sometimes people you think really know you get thinks so wrong. Then the person who you wouldn’t guess would have the foggiest clue actually hits home with something.

Along those lines one question I get a ton is “You watch sports?” It appears that as a poet you can’t watch sports. The other day I fired back “Hey Hems loved boxing and bull fighting!”

They didn’t know who “Hems” was.

Anymanlyman I’m getting off topic. Recently I’ve been getting a lot of “YOU do yoga?” I keep thinking to myself “Yeah short fat dudes can do yoga too! I’m working on it!”

So there is this coworker who is…well we’ll say kooky. This is not an insult. I’m kooky. I’m kookier than most. She is probably the nicest person around; she’s certainly a better person than I’ll probably ever be. The funny thing is she seems to think I’m the most uplifting person around.

I’ll pause while you laugh.


So that’s how she reads me. She always comments on how I uplift her spirits and that I’m such a positive influence.

Stop laughing.

She comes to me (though MANY others too) for advice or reassurance. The problem is I joke a lot. It just happens. I don’t think I can even control it anymore. Jokes just come out. These jokes don’t often register as jokes with her. She seems to be on a different plane of existence. I recognize this but still some can’t stop the making jokes.

One day she asked (in seriousness) why our manager has us all meet as a group just to say “have a goodnight everybody”

(she may have some paranoia issues)

So I jokingly say “He just wants a hug and is too shy to ask for one. He’s hoping we’ll hug him”

And she stopped. Looked at me and went “Thank you James. You are always so helpful. He isn’t doing it for bad reasons. I wouldn’t have seen that. You really know how to read people.” As I told this story to the wifebot she stops me here to say “No you don’t or you would know not to joke with her”

That wife of mine really knows how to read people.

Conversations with Jimi: Volume 20

April 21, 2014

I say things.

Many things.

A lot.

So here are a few of the betters ones recently.


coworker annoyed (thinks they’re snobby) with a group of visitors.

coworker: is it true what they say about the French?
me: the kissing thing? yeah.
coworker: what are you talking about?



As we start the work day.

me: instead of going to my assigned gallery I’m just going to stand in the atrium and read poetry
manager: like to yourself?
me: no at visitors.
manager: to visitors?
me: no AT them.


And a special one to show why you too wish you were married to me.

Me: (in bed awoken from sleep.) What are you doing?
Wifebot: uhm…getting in bed.
Me: you’re like ruining the balance of the world right now.

The one where I’m oblivious

May 1, 2013

Apparently I’m oblivious.

Let’s set the scene. It’s a slow Wednesday night at the museum. About an hour into the night a woman came over needing some directions. I helped her in my usual charming way. Her friend looked bored as we chatted about my awesome Captain Kirk tie. They went on their merry way and I tried to keep myself from falling into a coma. On their way out of the galleries they stopped again to ask if I knew where a certain piece was.

No it wasn’t Patty Picasso’s masterpiece.

I told them where and how to go and they once again went on their merry way. I went back to stopping German Art Thieves with my buddy John McClane. Later I tried to finish the elusive man in the marble column poem and (let’s be honest here) probably thought about the wife’s boobs.

Flash forward (finally) to about an hour to go. Here come our intrepid museum explores. They’re on their way to exit the South Door. She stops to compliment me on my tie again and we start talking about nerd stuff. After a few minutes her friend walks back over and arrives just as this happens:

Her:  It must suck being on your feet this whole time.
Me: Sometimes it really does.
Her: You poor thing. They don’t let you sit down?
Me: Nope.
Her: Jerks. You’ve been here all day?
Me: Just since 5.
Her:  Good.

(More comic book talk that I don’t remember) Then:

Her: When are you off?

That’s a weird way to ask when the museum closes.

Me: The museum closes at 9.
Her: And when do YOU get off?
Me: ….
Her: 9?
Me: Uhm 9:30—

Her friend: He has a ring you whore.
Her: OH.
Her friend: Whore.
Me: …..
Her: See you around.

They then made like Snagglepuss.


TMI Thursday or the one with a pee cookie

April 25, 2013

 In the TMI blog post system, cookie-based TMI’s are considered especially heinous. In The Cheap Seats, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad called the Special TMI Unit. These are their stories. 

It’s a sad day when I must relay a TMI that involves a cookie. It was a Tuesday—of course it was Tuesdays are the new Mondays—and I was starving when I arrived to work. If it’s Tuesday you can be sure I’m running late. This one really was no different. I skipped breakfast. I missed the first bus. I was ready to go home. It was 9:20AM.

I have to be in roll call at 9:30.

There was nothing quick to eat at home, so I decided to brave the break room vending machine. When I got there the choices didn’t exactly overwhelm me. There was some gum, a pack of Doritos, beef jerky and a chocolate chip cookie.

Spoiler alert: I went with the cookie.

I ripped open the cookie and ate half of it in one big ole bite. It probably looked like a snuff film watching me try to eat that cookie. As I went cookie monster on it I remembered I still needed to get ready.

Ready = tuck my shirt on and put my tie on.

I relocated to the locker room so I could put my bag and coat away. Half eaten cookie in hand I fixed everything. Okay wrap cookie and put it away, then bathroom. Look at watch.

9:25. Shit.

Time to pee and get to roll call. I put my bag away and go into the stall. Hurriedly pull Ensign Jimi out and prepare to fire on the Borg. The bay doors begin to close and I make sure they open all the way. Pee is ricocheting everywhere!

What the hell?

Then I realize the cookie is still in my hand—or you know wetly crumbling into toilet. You know in Ghostbusters when they have to cross the streams? It was just like that—if it took place in a bathroom stall and one of the streams was a cookie and the other urine.

Just like that.

Conversations with Jimi: Volume 18

April 23, 2013


And now for your reading pleasure I present to you another edition of Conversations with Jimi.



visitor: what is the quickest way to Pompeii?
me: Plane.
visitor: ….


visitor (looks into the Rothko room): I’m sorry is this still part of the Pompeii exhibit? I think I’m lost.
me: That’s okay we’re all a little lost in some way.
visitor: ….


(visitor sets off the sensors and stands there as it beeps.)
me: can you please step back.
visitor: oh was that me? I thought that was part of the art.
me: you thought a table from the 1700’s was making a loud beeping sound?
visitor: I’m not…I don’t know much about art.


Student: How does one go about getting this job?
me: First you get an English degree with a concentration in Creative writing. Then you realize that is worthless. Next you get laid off and desperately apply at the museum.
Student: Oh.


(Visitor asks a question about something.)
Me: well the legend goes–
visitor: you’re nothing but trouble. I can tell.


And then this exchanged happened:

Me (to wifebot): says the woman who lives in crabbyville.
Her: Yeah well you vacation there all the time.
Me: You know that being that you are the mayor of neighboring crabtopia
Her: You should run for President of the United States of Poopy Face.

Be Jealous.



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