Category Archives: Uncategorized

ARMS/Thomson Reuters Award

Very proud of my team this month. We were recognized at this years Australasian Research Management Society (ARMS) meeting for “working smarter”.  In 18 months we trailed 18 new programs, the most successful of which forms the backbone of our current activities. Good job team!

Life changing books

achotaLeaving the Achota Station. A delightfully written, completely believable, fiction about a poet growing into a man in Spain. (The male author did a Fulbright on poetry in Spain) I know a college-bound student who changed his outlook on life after reading this book. Note: we both hated Catcher in the Rye and loved this book.





Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead. Reached a time in your life when you can’t answer the question “why do you care?” I suggest this detective tale that is actually about a fictional detective manual that teaches its students to see the world they live in. It will remind you that life isn’t about having answers, it’s about enjoying the ride.

The Gardiner’s Moneymaker

GardinerIn the wake of researching a new exhibit, I couldn’t help but evaluate the Gardiner Museum’s latest renovations on my latest visit to the Third Thursday event.

Conclusion: “This is a money maker”.


I’ll be able to say “I knew it when”. The small tiny museum always carried itself with the importance of “old money”, but looked like the cute, sweet, little, under appreciated treasure it was. In the last few years, the Gardiner reinvented itself as a posh hotspot with stimulating community spaces, increasing its events and activities, and creating more space for artifacts and staff. This new vision has a price, however, and it will be a long time before purists will forgive the destruction of Gardiner’s (DESIGNED BY?) carriage house. (Gardiner left strict instructions that everything in the museum must remain as she left it, but she also left some legal loopholes.)

Purist or not, what’s done is done and the result is… pleasing. Inside the building it’s the old Gardiner with treasures waiting to be discovered around every corner. In the new addition it’s a destination. You can dine, shop, read a book, see theater, or do an art project.


I was hardly able to enjoy the evening; I was too busy evaluating the impact of the new changes on my visitor experience. Museums are seeking relevance. Did the Gardiner hit the mark? I’d be very interested in studying the data that made this particular design seem like the right thing to do.

Saul Hertz Honored

Dr. Saul Hertz, who discovered radioactive iodine as a tracer/diagnostic tool, as the cure for Graves disease, and its use in the treatment of thyroid cancer, was mentioned in Katie Couric’s interview with Pulitizer Prize winner and physician Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. Dr. Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. 

I consulted on Dr. Hertz’s archives and worked with Dr. Hertz’s daughter, Barbara Hertz, as she worked to develop exhibits and a research focused website. Ms. Hertz is dedicated to to making sure her father’s brilliant work is recognized in the cancer industry. In his own time his work was minimized or ignored because of his Jewish heritage. Dr. Hertz’s recognition by such noted cancer experts as Dr. Mukherjee feels like a very big win and I applaud Barbara for her tireless efforts to raise awareness of her father’s important contributions.

@ 48:42 minutes: As part of Ms. Hertz’s ingenious methods, she attended the Couric interview at the Aspen Institute.

MLK, Jr. 2012

MLK memorial“Martin Luther King JUNIOR, like ME mom!” says my little cousin, Ryan, Jr. It’s nice to see continued impact of the man.


It’s a big year for the MLK memory. The memorial is finally dedicated (“What memorial?” says my sister as I make her watch the dedication posted on Facebook… have I taught you nothing, child?!) King is in the news as more of his papers are digitized – adding to the Boston U/Morehouse digital finding aid project that I worked on and was opened last year… or was it two years ago? Time flies these days, I can’t keep track.


But more than all that is this Tuskegee movie, Red Tails, and the popular spotlight it shines on the men who only recognized for their part in the war in 2007. 2000 and 7! The movie has been 24 years in the making – since 1988 – reportedly stalled because the major studios balked at an “all-black” cast. The majority of funders to the movie industry are from overseas. They decided there wasn’t a market for these types of stories. Although Lucas absorbed all the production costs himself, it’s sure to get a positive response in the market, and hopefully loosen the purse strings for similar projects in the future. For it to be finally released seems like a national victory.


I guess that’s what I’m excited about this MLK day – the hope for change. And I’m very happy to celebrate a new memorial to one of our most important modern founding fathers.


And I’m going to buy a copy of Red Tails when it comes out. I don’t generally buy movies, but if they need me to vote with my dollar I will. It’s the American way.

A New Look

Philips Island, Victoria

US citizens are familiar with the phrase “separation of church and state” as a literal and fundamentally important separation between political identities. In my personal life, I use this phrase to broadly encompass whatever it is I happen to be referring to at the time. Now it comes to mind as I begin to reorganize my website.

Originally, I planned to reserve as a place to promote my professional self. Not a terrible idea, right? As it is, we generally modify our behavior for the workplace so there was no reason to think an online resume shouldn’t reflect that reality.

Well, it turns out that work life and personal life are not like “church and state” at all. My work is my passion and shapes much of my personal life. To reflect that reality, I’m restructuring my online presence.

For the moment, my old website can be accessed through:

My Australian and current adventures are at

And my Turks and Caicos National Museum adventures are at

(I know, I never should have made a new blog after leaving the TCI. I don’t know why I did that… I should have known better. Part of this new change is an effort to correct that very silly action.)

Pork Chops for Dinner

Food is the way to my heart. There is nothing I like better than an easy to make/ delicious recipe. 

This one, from The Food Section, fooled me into thinking I had cooking skills. The blog doesn’t contain an exact recipe, but even my terrible guess-the-portions skills couldn’t mess this up.

Pan-Roasted Pork Chops cooked in Sage and Garlic Infused Oil with a hint of lemon in the sauce (or in our case, lime. it’s all we had.) I cooked it on lower heat so as to not ruin the oil and it came out tasty, sweet, and infused with flavor. Restaurant dinner at home. Perfect.

Some members of my family are calorie counters, so I totaled them up using WebMD. With brown rice and a green bean, mushrooms and onion saute this meal clocks in around 680. Probably more like 720 if you eat more than a cup of each portion (like I did.) But still not bad considering it’s pan fried!

When life gets you down…

… buy a new pair of shoes.

I’m back at home. No plan. No job. Not exactly the best situation I’ve gotten myself into here.

But still, I’m lucky: I have wonderful friends and family. As my new source on happiness points out “relationships are the key to happiness”. My local gang are doing their part to help me correct my body clock ASAP so I can start dealing with the more pressing matters at hand (it is very difficult to focus when in the middle of whatever you are doing you drift off with a blank gaze in your eye. It is even more difficult for the people trying to follow your side of the conversation).

I decided that my blog will become a tool to keep me active. There are plenty of interesting things to do around the Hudson Valley and I’m sure you are all very interested in learning about them. I loosely call it “investigating”.

For instance, today I “investigated” the Macy’s shoe department at the Danbury mall just over the border in Connecticut. (I’m starting small). I can give you the name of a fabulous sales clerk who, by the end of our 2 hour shopping spree, I wanted to take out to lunch. (No really: go see Ayesha.) Anyone who can deal with my extended family and keep smiling is ok in my book. Though I sense she was holding back her true sense of style when I said, “Show me something you like.” Despite her earlier revealed love of funky shoes, she showed me a several uninspiring styles before I realized I was on my own. It could have been my disheveled appearance that swayed her assumption in my tastes (I swear it was an OK hair style when I left in the morning, but when I got home I realized I’d been walking around all day looking as if I hadn’t combed my hair in ages… this is actually a disappointingly common occurrence… shouldn’t an adult have learned how to tame one’s hair by the age of 30??!!… I have a few months left. Hair product recommendations welcome).

Two new pair of shoes later (gifted to me by my aforementioned wonderful family for last Christmas and birthday while I was out traipsing downtown Geelong and the Great Barrier reef, respectively), I was feeling like a new woman. Life’s downs be damned! I now owned a brilliant pair of oft coveted F-me boots. Nothing could get me down.

Until 3pm when I felt like curling up on Cheesecake Factory’s floor, which we also investigated thoroughly – the factory, not the floor. For those of you not in the “know”, it is expected that you take dessert (always cheesecake) to go. I have a piece of seasonal pumpkin pecan – pecan pie with a layer of pumpkin cheesecake – hiding in the back the fridge, safe from my sister’s prying eyes. Treats stand a Buckley’s chance if she gets a whiff of them. She wouldn’t even save me a bite, the little devil. But anyway…

What to investigate next? I just so happen to have plans with a friend who (like many) is so glad I’m back. She’s taking me out to dinner to celebrate. Perfect time to wear my new awesome boots!

We went to Billy Joe’s Ribworks on the Newburg waterfront, where I enjoyed my 3rd Sam Adams since my return… not Seasonal Sam, true, beautiful, wonderfully American Sam Adams Lager. Her’s is a pina colada, for those interested.

Catching up got in the way so we didn’t do much actual investigating. But on first glance I can say the Ribworks is not an unwelcome change from Front Street Bar and Grille to which drinkers of all quantities frequented since before-I-can-remember. Although, the new clientele, at least the dinner set, seem rather less diverse. We left just as the party was getting started, but still, we toasted to being out on a Saturday night. A disappointingly uncommon occurrence.

I should mention that our friend – also our waitress – neatly dropped that she’d already picked up the check leaving us both stunned as she flitted off to take an order. No one saw that one coming. But thanks!

And on that bombshell, it’s time to say good night.

Hm… that might be copyrighted… all credits to the funny guys on Top Gear (UK, not the American one… they aren’t even close).

I had a good feeling today…

I’m not quite sure what to do with myself at this point. Today was pretty crazy. There were two cruise ships in today and one of our staff members went home early – she’s slightly 4 months pregnant. Did I mention I had to get 150 photos digitized (and only 2 fit on the scanner at a time) before tomorrow morning? Always a fun Friday night if you are hanging out with me! Poor Rory also made the mistake of sitting upstairs while the museum’s after hours event went on and I was busy digitizing away when suddenly the noise downstairs stopped. The party had moved on without us.

Un-discouraged and with plenty on my plate, I’ve been SUPER productive. I took care of a few office things to get Neal out the door tomorrow and over to Provo. I got the images digitized and onto a DVD-R. I should mention at this point that most of the digitizing work was done by our amazing Tech person, while I was out front covering tours. Go Team!

The party was all cleaned up, I sent out a thank you note for the event, and now am wondering if I have the energy to finish this blog let alone attempt another task.

. . . . .

I’m saved, no more work. I just got a hold of Neal who realized that we got left at the museum without transportation. I’m going to post this and shut down for the night.

Not a bad day. I even acquired a autographed copy of Talking Taino for my collection. Sweet.

Anti-Valentine’s Day

Usually I’m pretty apathetic about V-day. I’m happy to celebrate it when I have reason and equally happy to ignore it when I don’t.

This year I’m bitter. This year I hate Valentine’s Day. I keep telling Neal we have to do lots of anti-valentine’s day activities so we can blog about it. I was imaging a big scheming plot, but it seems that we are just going to revenge upon V-day by living it as every other day. But just below the surface there is something lurking. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it has to do with the effort we are going to to ignore V-day – it makes it obvious that we are trying and it’s giving the day extra weight. Or maybe it’s just me. I should speak for myself. I’m feeling the weight of the day.

Anyway, we only made the mistake of watching the end of one sappy love movie. We were doing really well before that. Neal and Rory were playing video games, saving Europe during WWII or something when I woke up at noon. I was talking to Simon till all hours last night. Since work has been busy lately, we haven’t had a proper chat all week. I would have stayed on the phone all night and into the morning if he didn’t have to go. It was the middle of Sunday for him and time to get moving. 3am on Saturday for me.

It looks like the rest of the day will be spent watching Band of Brothers until our visitors the archeologists arrive at 5. Next week starts the excavation of a Lucayan site that will be turned into a development in a few months. Law states there has to be a survey of the site before construction can begin. Actually it’s more like we have X amount of time to do a survey before they start bulldozing.

Then more Olympics. Men’s moguls and short program figure skating is on tonight. At least it’s not couple’s skating. Happy Valentine’s day everyone.