Sunday, June 2, 2013

South Bay Goth Meetup: Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum Tour

My idea of a good time is frequently a little different from other peoples'.  For example, I love museums, but not art or science museums; I usually find those boring.  My favorite museums are those that feature ancient Egyptian artifacts, especially mummies... in other words, dead people.  REALLY OLD dead people.

When I was getting my Master's degree, I did an internship with the interim curator at the  Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (REM) in San Jose, CA.  For 300 hours over a four-month period I worked at the museum doing various things such as painting props for the artifacts, dismantling and assembling temporary exhibits, cleaning nose prints and fingerprints off the display cases, researching the best type of vacuum cleaner to clean said cases, testing the acquired vacuum cleaner on said cases, directing visitors, answering questions, moving pillars from one gallery to another, and moving individual artifact files from the old computer system to the new one.  And I got to spend a fair amount of time with the mummies.  It was the best job I've ever had in my life, which is why I've been trying to get a job in a museum since I graduated.  But I digress...

Today was my second time hosting a tour of the REM for the South Bay Goth Meetup group.  Last year, we had about eight people sign up, but only three actually showed up, including me.  So it was a rather small, intimate tour, to say the least.

This year, eleven people RSVPed that they were coming, and with the guests that they said they were bringing it came to a total of 20 people on the list.  If everyone showed up, I knew I would feel sorry for the other museum guests, as we would be taking up quite a bit of room in the smaller galleries.  Well, I reasoned, at least I knew we'd be quieter than the classes of school children that are usually there!

Well, turns out everyone did NOT show up. On Saturday night, two cancelled.  By the time I left for the museum on Sunday morning, we were down to 13 people.  When Wendy showed up with her cell phone, we found cancellations from five more, and two ended up being no-shows, so the final head count turned out to be only six.  Whew...

I'm happy to report that we had an absolute blast!  Apparently I'm a reasonably good tour guide, because they kept asking me to continue, even when I was finished with what I'd planned to say in each gallery.  When we finally got to the end, we'd been there for about 3.5 hours!!!  We'd missed lunch long before, and  my feet were absolutely dying, but other than that, it was awesome.  :-)  And we spent quite a bit of time afterwards discussing ideas for more events, including a tour of the fantastic Winchester Mystery House!  But that will be another post.

For those of you who would like to 'visit' the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum and see some of their artifacts via the web, here is their website:  http://www.egyptianmuseum.org/ 

15 comments:

  1. I'm glad you had such a good time giving the tour. I don't know what it is, but people always seem to commit to something and then back out. The thing is, if folks want interesting things to do then they need to participate. Otherwise, they have nothing to complain about when life gets boring.

    Museums are amazing places. When I was in high school we used to go to the Rhode Island School of Design art museum often on the walk downtown. Among the artifacts was a mummy. We would never fail to look at it whenever we visited. I don't know if the mummy is still there as I've live far from there for quite a while now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it's weird! And I've been guilty of it myself more than once. Thinking about why, the only reason I can give is fear... fear of meeting new people, of being rejected because I didn't meet some invisible standard that I assumed they would have. That's never happened when I HAVE gone to events, but for some reason I usually end up having to fight it. At least all of them but one did let us know in a timely manner that they weren't coming, which was considerate. The last time most didn't bother.

      I just Googled the RISD, and 'your' mummy IS still there! :-) At least, I assume it's the same one. In fact, they are currently having a special Egyptian exhibit now through 12/31, and it's one of the featured artifacts. They have a pic, too, so now I've seen it as well. Beautiful coffin, very well preserved!! Too bad the pic wasn't bigger, I'd have liked to get a closer look. And it's funny, the mummy's name (Nesmin) is almost identical to one at the REM (Nesimin).

      Delete
    2. I often back out of things myself, and for some of the same reasons that you do. For the most part, I no longer make commitments. Instead, I usually tell people straight up that I might show up and then again, might not. That leaves me some wiggle room. Fortunately, I've somehow worked up the determination to follow through on the newly happening Goth events in my area. And I'm glad that I have.

      So, you got to see my mummy eh? I think it's the same one. If I were up there right now I'd definitely go to see the exhibit.

      Delete
    3. I don't have a problem with 'tentative' RSVPs, because they're being honest and warning you they might not show up. I've done that also, and it works better for me that promising to be there and then canceling.

      Then, of course, there are the people who don't RSVP at all, but show up anyway. It's okay in certain circumstances, but definitely NOT in others.

      People... can't live with them, can't legally kill them... ::SIGH:: ;-)

      Delete
  2. Why is it so impossible to find reliable people these days? I've so rarely cancelled last minute on anything I just fail to understand!

    I'm glad you had a great time with the people that did show up! I hope your next meetup is soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, as I told Nightwind in my reply to him, for me the problem is FEAR, which is why I sometimes cancel things I actually do want to do. But I rarely do so at the last minute, and I NEVER just don't show up. I don't understand THAT part, either.

      And in all fairness, a few DID have good reasons, such as a sick child, and one of the last-minute people admitted that she was doing housework and forgot to watch the time! But all's well that ends well, and this DID end very well. :-)

      Delete
  3. We had (well, I think Gin still has it) a goth meetup group on Facebook with at least 35 members and the only time someone who RSVP'd showed up, they were over an hour late (for a cemetery picnic). I was thoroughly disgusted and left with a scant Hello/Goodbye. We were attempting to reach out to fellow adult goths, like us, who work office Mon-Fri day jobs and can't stay up late, and younger goths who can't, or don't want to go to clubs.Our "goth" club nights are mostly industrial/EBM nights, which is okay, but not everyone's cup o' blood. The goths in our city DO complain that there's no scene, but are too timid or busy to come out and get involved. Soooo, you are lucky you got anyone to show up :)!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that's so sad!! I'm sorry you had such a rotten experience. That seems to be more and more common nowadays. :-(

      There are 93 members in this group, but less than 20 actually ever attend anything. I almost left once due to lack of any events, and it's almost been disbanded twice due to lack of an orgnizer, but we seem to have attracted some really neat people recently. The last time we were threatened with closure due to our organizer leaving, I convinced two others to help me start a Google goup which several people joined, and this gave us access to each others' e-mail addresses. Now that some of us have actually MET, we are going to keep in touch regardless of what the group does; hopefully that will be of some help. We're still kind of spread out, but most of us drive so we can work it if we need to.

      Delete
  4. Ahhhhhhh, I've always wanted to see the Winchester Mystery House! I hope you're going to see that one soon!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been there a couple of times, but it's been several years. It gets pretty hot in San Jose in the summer, so I hope they schedule it for cooler weather, but I'll definitely post about it when we go! :-)

      Delete
  5. So super awesome! I am definitely going to check this museum out some time when things are less busy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really should, it's wonderful! Just don't go during a weekday unless you don't mind sharing it with classes of school children. It's better for adults on weekends, especially since that's when they also offer mini-classes and workshops that are included in the admission price.

      Delete
  6. Wow, sounds wonderful :3 I love museums ^^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love them, too, and not just the Egyptian ones! ;-) We're very blessed to have so many in this area.

      Delete
  7. BlueHost is ultimately one of the best website hosting company with plans for any hosting requirements.

    ReplyDelete