Captain’s Log 5,772
Back in the saddle here. Anneke and I Skyped this morning. She is back in the Netherlands safe and sound. She is very very VERY tired, but we discussed jet lag when she was here. It’s the price you pay for adventure. If you want adventure badly enough, you will go the distance (no pun intended). Being jet lag tired is not the worst thing in the world. Once you get where you are going, it is soon forgotten. I’ve experienced that enough to know it’s true. The worst experience I ever had was when I flew back from New Zealand. I fell asleep right on the table when I was having dinner with Big Sister Mia the day after I got home. PLUNK.
It’s going to be a busy week for me. I have a $50,000 grant to write before Thursday. Plus we have a new exhibit to launch next week. Plus I have been gone for a week. Did I mention I am leaving again on Friday for the annual Super Bowl party in Las Vegas? God, I am a brat!
And then…..we got more bad press. My staff tried to shield me from it while I was gone, but I saw it this morning. People just cannot seem to leave us alone because we choose to remain independent. Since when is that a crime? I just don’t get it. We are NOT failing! We ended our fiscal year almost $500,000 in the black. Our recent fundraiser brought in almost $70,000. We have zero debt. We signed a 25-year lease with the city. We refinanced our off-site property for 2% less than we had been paying. The staff is stable. Donations are way up. Our membership increased by almost 100 in the last six weeks. Our assets remain stable at 2.4 – 2.6 million dollars a year. I just don’t get it. We are not big or glitzy. But dammit, we are fun and exciting! But people with huge money want our building and our stuff. They want to fire our entire staff and build a glass edifice that will amaze and dazzle people for centuries. Well guess what? You don’t need a glass edifice to be great. No offense to my male friends, but that is such a “man thing.” And guess what? This is all being orchestrated by a bunch of wealthy men. I am not surprised.
Wealthy men are used to getting what they want and they play dirty games to make things happen. It’s been that way for centuries. Wealth is power. As a woman in my position in a VERY male institution, I have to be twice as effective to be considered half as good. Interestingly enough, many of the major car museums in this country are run by……women who are twice as good! What does that say? Maybe we really DO know what we are doing! Perchance? Maybe we women understand the concept of MUSEUM versus some rich guy’s fancy car collection he wants to store in a nice glass edifice for 10 years or so. I saw the writing on the wall from the very beginning.
Fortunately, the Confederacy of Dunces are no longer at the helm. They are the ones making all the noise right now….carrying on in the press about stupid we are, how awful the museum is, how short-sighted we are, yadda yadda yadda. Sore losers all the way around.
Funny thing……I got a butt dial on Saturday from the guy (former Dunce) who wrote the latest vitriolic piece. He did not mean to call me, and when I saw the number on my screen, I called back immediately. I had not yet seen his nasty printed piece. He was amazed that I was friendly and wanted to talk with him. He ASSUMED I was loaded for bear. Not the case. I had not seen the bear and I was not armed with any weapon other than charm.
We will continue to take the high road. There is less traffic there. Naturally, I came up with a great come-back that I know I will never ever use, but do admit I had fun thinking it up. “I just cannot play at your level, sir. I just cannot. You have me. I will admit that I need fresh air when I breathe. I cannot survive under the surface of indecency like you. Hats off. You win.” I know it would be a gem to unload this one…..but I also know it would be disastrous for me to say something like that. So I won’t. I will stay charming and kind…..on the high road.
I really need to find my Zen and stay focused…… for such nonsense that plagues us at the moment serves no purpose but to erode confidence and joy.