Monday, January 09, 2006

Let me through! I am an archivist!!!

Can I just tell you how gratifying it was to say that to the security guard at the library on Saturday night, after I'd gotten the call that the Saarinen collection was wet and I needed to come to work and get it out of the steam room known formerly as B-69A? Man, I'm never gonna get to say that again. It was awesome, even though the circumstances were not ideal. But when else, other than in a Preservation Emergency, would I be able to get away with saying that with a straight face?

You read the link below, you know what happened. Basically a steam pipe burst and filled the library with steam for THREE HOURS before they finally found it and were able to turn it off. By that point the basement of the library was like a Turkish bath -- one in which we were wearing all of our sweaters and jeans -- and the sprinklers had gone off and the steam was condensing on cold pipes and falling onto the Saarinen drawings as muddy, moldy, filthy rain. The good news -- you can stop holding your breath -- is that everything is going to be okay. No drawings were lost, nothing is ruined, nothing is even dirty, thanks to our heavy-duty folders. Another gratifying thing about the evening: even the University Librarian was there in her t-shirt and jeans helping to schlep wet and dry drawings out to the conservation triage carts.

Andy was such a sport and also schlepped wet drawings in the hot hot heat, and helped break down boxes of supplies and move them to drier land, and got a nasty bruise on his shoulder somehow, very mysteriously. Taking one for Team Finland!

And since this is a food blog, I will end by mentioning that before the Preservation Emergency, we were just about to head over to Molly's house for a housewarming party in her incredible new apartment (it has WINGS! There are WINGS to her apartment! And a giant black cat named Bird-Dog!). I was on quite an adrenaline high and needed a beer or four to calm down, but one of the best parts of the evening was sampling her homemade Sri Lankan cheese. Evidently she boiled milk for two minutes, added some lemon juice, let it curdle, and then strained it. It was like ricotta, but a little sweeter and so fresh. We ate it with chutney and RyKrisp and it was totally the highlight of the evening. That, and finding out that Xanthe's secret Santa package of Tim Tams had actually arrived at Michele and Burke's house just after Christmas! Rejoice! But more on those Tim Tams tomorrow.


At 3:01 AM, Anonymous madame x said...

I'm glad the timtams came through alright - did the lifesavers also make it?

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Mrs. Delicious said...

Tim Tams, strange fizzy lifesavers, and Vegemite all made it through! Evidently they do love Vegemite and so does their cat, so it is much appreciated.

At 10:11 AM, Anonymous sonya said...

They should give you archivists badges. It would save valuable time in archive-related emergencies. I mean, how many drawings could have been ruined in the time it took to say, "I'm an archivist, let me through!" Probably all of them. Insist on a badge, for the sake of valuable collections everywhere. Also maybe a cape. And red tights. Or blue.

At 7:52 PM, Blogger m said...

Xanthe? Is this the same Xanthe I knew in college? There can only be so many... (61 on Friendster, so maybe this is not the same Xanthe...)

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Mrs. Delicious said...

Nope, not that Xanthe -- this Xanthe has lived in Australia her whole life.


Post a Comment

<< Home