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initapplette's

Who wants to see my Johnson?
October 7, 2009 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Boston/Cambridge meetup, Saturday, October 17th. I'm showing off my Johnson!

Samuel Johnson that is. I've just done my first major exhibition as a special collections curator at Houghton Library at Harvard, and I'd like to invite you for a Mefites-only tour of it and the library. It's Samuel Johnson's 300th birthday, and we have the world's best collection of his books and manuscripts. The tour will start at 3:30 in the Houghton lobby, and we can go for beers afterward, probably at John Harvard's Brew House a couple blocks away. Special guest star will be DiscourseMarker, visiting from Memphis on her fall break.

Horace Rumpole's Johnson joke is copyright GenjiandProust, 2004.
posted by Horace Rumpole to MetaFilter Gatherings at 12:59 PM (73 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I have been to see this exhibit with HR and it is worth a guided visit.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:05 PM on October 7, 2009


It's utterly ludicrous that I have yet to see anything in Houghton. I think me and my +1 will try to be there.
posted by kwaller at 1:06 PM on October 7, 2009


Very very cool. I will be there!
posted by nonane at 1:16 PM on October 7, 2009


When jessamyn has seen your Johnson and recommends that others see it too, you have won the internets.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2009 [12 favorites]


Nice! I'll be there.

(Yes, PVD-ians, I'm driving. Yes, you can get a ride. No, you may not bring THAT into my car.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:29 PM on October 7, 2009


Snazzy! Yes, I will be there.
posted by nat at 4:08 PM on October 7, 2009


... this is something I would still have to live in Boston to enjoy. Eeyore!

Congratulations / have fun, though.
posted by grobstein at 4:16 PM on October 7, 2009


Oh goddamnit that is super awesome but totally the date of my gf's 30th birthday extravaganza.

Is there some way to get a raincheck? Maybe private tour for the birthday girl and her beau?
posted by Eideteker at 4:54 PM on October 7, 2009


This sounds spectacularly awesome. I'll have a friend visiting from out of town that weekend, and he the sort who would very likely not appreciate a private tour of a carefully curated exhibit of Samuel Johnson's books and manuscripts. If I can manage to escape him for the afternoon, I'll be there. Let's say I'm 50/50.
posted by Plutor at 4:58 PM on October 7, 2009


HR: The sustain, listen to it.
n_o_d: I don't hear anything.
HR: Well you would though, if it were playing.
posted by not_on_display at 5:29 PM on October 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I can shake the wife and child for the afternoon, I would be very interested in viewing your world-renowned Johnson.
posted by briank at 6:25 PM on October 7, 2009


Oooh. I might be stuck on the Cape during the day, but could likely make the brewhouse if I'm too late for the library tour itself.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:08 PM on October 7, 2009


I have been given a guided tour of Horace Rumpole's Johnson and it is indeed impressive.
posted by Kattullus at 8:45 PM on October 7, 2009


"I have been given a guided tour of Horace Rumpole's Johnson and it is indeed impressive."
posted by Kattullus

Me too. I liked the way it curved to the right.

...the display cases. They go sequentially from left to right, around the room.
posted by not_on_display at 8:53 PM on October 7, 2009


I'm definitely coming to this!
posted by nasreddin at 11:50 PM on October 7, 2009


Eeyore!

I've got to say that I absolutely love using "Eeyore!" as an expression of disappointment. That's just awesome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:47 AM on October 8, 2009


There is a teeny tiny chance that I will be flying home from Europe that day, so if I do and if I'm not too tired I may be able to meet everyone at John Harvard's after the exhibit. The way things are going here, though, it looks like I'll be out of town a bit longer.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:07 AM on October 8, 2009


Sounds great. Unfortunately, though I live about 20 miles from Johnson's birthplace, I would have to cross the Atlantic in order to see this :(
posted by altolinguistic at 5:36 AM on October 8, 2009


I will be there if it is remotely possible. Which at the moment, it looks like. HR has discussed his Johnson with me at great length, and I am eager to see it in all its glory.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:26 AM on October 8, 2009


I'm so envious. I wish I could be there as well.
posted by vacapinta at 8:36 AM on October 8, 2009


This sounds fantastic, and it's in my neighborhood! I would love to attend, possibly with a +1 in tow.
posted by Diagonalize at 3:10 PM on October 8, 2009


Oooh. I'd be interested.

Is this something that would be okay to bring the Baby Zizzle along to? (I ask so I know if I need to try to find a baby sitter or if I find a baby sitter and get a cancellation last minute if I could still plan on going. Most likely he'd be in the backpack and not in a stroller if that makes a difference.)

Is a definite confirmation needed?
posted by zizzle at 6:48 PM on October 8, 2009


Is this something that would be okay to bring the Baby Zizzle along to?

Shouldn't be a problem. We're not going into the reading room, where we do have an 18+ policy. We will be going up and down the main staircase once, so the backpack is probably easier than the stroller.

Speaking of which, I should mention that we'll be going into a non-public area, so everybody should travel light if possible, or bring a quarter for the key deposit on the lockers.

Is a definite confirmation needed?

I'll call John Harvard's with a rough headcount, but not beyond that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:07 PM on October 8, 2009


Horace Rumpole: "Shouldn't be a problem. We're not going into the reading room, where we do have an 18+ policy."

I don't think anyone was expecting Horace Rumpole's Johnson to be an all-ages event.
posted by Plutor at 8:10 AM on October 9, 2009


Very cool!!

I will most likely definitely be there --- and probably with the Baby Zizzle, who is a fan of books, pubs and beer bottles (he's always reaching for his dad's)

Dr.Enormous may come too, if I can talk him to it. I'm sure he'd like it, but new job = crazylotofwork. He may want the afternoon to grade or something.
posted by zizzle at 8:25 AM on October 9, 2009


I don't think anyone was expecting Horace Rumpole's Johnson to be an all-ages event.

"Horace Rumpole's Johnson is right! We'll wire the Governor!"
posted by bondcliff at 11:29 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


sorry i didn't make it over there. i always like to see a good johnson. even better when it's with my girlfriend.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:35 PM on October 10, 2009


It's this coming Saturday, rmd1023. You haven't missed the Johnson.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:52 AM on October 11, 2009


Metroid Baby and I are interested in learning about Johnsons. He sounds like he'd have a pretty cranky blog, were he alive today. We'll likely be there!
posted by ignignokt at 7:06 AM on October 11, 2009


It's true, I want to see the Johnson. Particularly the infant Johnson.
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:28 AM on October 11, 2009


nev and I plan to be there. Thanks for doing this!
posted by dfan at 6:11 PM on October 11, 2009


for once i'm glad i'm a space cadet, in that case. i'll see if i can make it over, then, for JOHNSON OBSERVATION AND INSPECTION.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:10 PM on October 11, 2009


Things are a little nuts here. May be there. May have a plus one. Will update when I know more.
posted by Ryvar at 8:57 AM on October 12, 2009


lol, "things are a little nuts" comment on a johnson thread oki'llshutupnow.
posted by not_on_display at 12:06 PM on October 12, 2009


There's a pretty good chance I'll be there, unless something frisbee related comes up.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 6:36 AM on October 13, 2009


So I actually am flying home on Saturday, but I think I'm just going to give it a miss so I can sleep instead.

I'll get you next time, Gadget Johnson!
posted by backseatpilot at 12:06 PM on October 13, 2009


not_on_display got it :)
posted by Ryvar at 6:17 PM on October 13, 2009


I will try!
posted by lunit at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2009


Oh man. Maybe!
posted by danb at 4:58 PM on October 14, 2009


Toss me in for a maybe. I've had a crazy few days, and I suspect your Johnson may help to alleviate some of my tension.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:51 PM on October 14, 2009


I'm out. I've had an Epic Fever this week and tomorrow's weather does not look something I want to spend any time at all dealing with, much less driving in. Enjoy the Johnson!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:28 AM on October 16, 2009


So I dropped by John Harvard today, and talked to the manager, Ken, who is extremely nice, and said he would really love to make a reservation for us if it weren't the Head of the Charles Regatta tomorrow. D'oh!

He did say that I could call tomorrow afternoon and see how busy they in fact were, and if it isn't as jam-packed as they're expecting, he might be able to give us a reservation at that time. So we'll see how that goes. But the tour is unaffected, and still awesome.

Sorry you're not feeling well, gfm.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:00 AM on October 16, 2009


Yeah, there's almost no way I can make it. I foolishly agreed to take a friend's place in judging a high school debate tournament and it turns out this will mean I'm stuck in Providence until at least 2 pm (it starts at 9... when he said 9 I thought he meant evening). If everything goes well I could maybe catch the 3 o'clock train to Boston and be in Harvard Square by half past 4, but somehow I think that an event for high school students run by college kids will end on time.
posted by Kattullus at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2009


Double apologies as it turns out that there was at least one PVD-ian who was hoping for a ride up in the lunar module. D'OH. Sorry! You can actually thank me, in a way, since I'm giving you the gift of NOT catching my flu-like-symptoms.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2009


"if it weren't the Head of the Charles Regatta"

Explains why we had so much trouble finding a hotel room for my grandmother this weekend.
posted by Eideteker at 1:21 PM on October 16, 2009


... and now it looks like i'll be on the cape again tomorrow, so no Johnson for me.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:59 PM on October 16, 2009


I say we take those Regatta punks and give 'em the what for! Who's with me??
posted by DiscourseMarker at 2:54 PM on October 16, 2009


I'm definitely in! May be bringing mr. init along also.
posted by initapplette at 8:08 AM on October 17, 2009


I have to withdraw the maybe; today's not turning out the way I had expected. I hope everyone that makes it enjoys it, though!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:30 AM on October 17, 2009


My +1 and I are heading to the Square, god help us. We'll see y'all in Houghton; I'm the one wearing the kitty hat.

Johnson ahoy!
posted by kwaller at 11:12 AM on October 17, 2009


We remembered too late, started to drive down there, then realized there was no way we were going to make the start of the tour. I hope the Johnson gave you all plenty of pleasure!
posted by ignignokt at 3:31 PM on October 17, 2009


Thank you, Horace Rumpole, for sharing your fantastic Johnson. The +1 and I had a wonderful time at the exhibit and at JH's afterwards.
posted by kwaller at 4:34 PM on October 17, 2009


Yeah, it was super-interesting and it was great of Horace Rumpole to take the time to give us the personalized tour. I got way more out of it than I would have on my own. Thanks!
posted by dfan at 5:35 PM on October 17, 2009


That was great! Pics linked above; please feel free to help me out with names.
posted by initapplette at 6:01 PM on October 17, 2009


Thank you for the tour and all the great stories, Horace Rumpole!
posted by nonane at 6:24 PM on October 17, 2009


Great meetup everybody! Thanks so much for coming.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:31 PM on October 17, 2009


That was fun!

GenjiandProust and I made it safely back to Providenc, on the right train and everything.

Also, I think we showed how well trained MeFites are in group self-organizing with our very effective ordering at John Harvard's.
posted by Kattullus at 7:58 PM on October 17, 2009


I had a great time, and a very big thanks to Horace Rumpole for organizing and conducting the event! Let me just say that it was quite an impressive Johnson. Even as a baby, the Johnson was a sight to behold.
posted by Diagonalize at 8:17 PM on October 17, 2009


how well trained MeFites are in group self-organizing with our very effective ordering at John Harvard's.

I completely agree. Even when we had just sat down, I was really impressed with the way everyone immediately prioritized the menu revuew in order to minimize delay over the ordering process, so we could get to the talk with a minimum of fuss.

Thanks for the tour, Horace Rumpole. I really didn't know much about Johnson beforehand, so this was a great way to be introduced. Wonderful tour and congratulations on a terrific and rich exhibit.

Everyone else - great to meet you/see you again! Hope we can get down to more Boston events.
posted by Miko at 8:29 PM on October 17, 2009


Oooh! w/r/t Mountain: Google books yielded up a mention in The Guinness Drinking Companion, which says:
Malaga, yet another wine known by a place name - in this case a port on the southeast coast of Spain - also has associations with the Royal Navy...Malaga is once again a fortified dessert wine. In the 17th century it was closely bracketed with sherry, so that it was also known as sack. A medium sweet variety was also known in England, under the name of Mountain.
A glossary of wine terms says
Mountain: Old English name for Malaga wine, a fortified sweet wine from Malaga, Spain. This term is also used in California to designate wines from upland or hillside vineyards.
Also, from that list I found this note, which makes me wonder if that hard-to-decipher type of wine could have been "Lisbon":
Lisbon: A term used by the British wine trade to designate the sweet fortified and table wines produced near Lisbon.
posted by Miko at 8:43 PM on October 17, 2009


Great time tonight you lot.

I originally tried to look away when HR started telling us about his Johnson, but then there it was, in case after case after case. It was like watching a car wreck. I couldn't look away.

Stuff I now know:

Nasreddin and Kattullus are very, very, very much younger than I first believed.

I am in love with MBTA and its many colors and tunnels.

The John Harvard Pub has some of the best damn beer in New England.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:59 PM on October 17, 2009


Lipstick Thespian: Nasreddin and Kattullus are very, very, very much younger than I first believed.

Amusingly, the bartender at The Plough & Stars who asked me for ID exclaimed after examining it: "Holy fuck! You're older than me!"
posted by Kattullus at 9:26 PM on October 17, 2009


dfan, we missed you and nev at John Harvard's. Maybe next time?
posted by initapplette at 9:28 PM on October 17, 2009


I missed meeting Miko?! DAMN THIS FUCKING MYSTERY FEVER AND ITS MYSTERIOUS FEVERISH WAYS.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:13 AM on October 18, 2009


Nthing everyone's praise of the event and Horace Rumpole. Years and years of hearing about the wonders on his Johnson, and now I have finally attained the promised Land and beheld it's glory for myself. Even with some 18 MeFites in attendance, I do not think we could have circumscribed its impressive breadth and depth. We did however, toast its true magnificence.

Horace Rumpole is an excellent host and a fine speaker.

Boston MeFites are very friendly and welcoming.

My only regret is that now I must put away the Johnson jokes and behave in a more decorous manner. C'est la vie.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:17 AM on October 18, 2009


Kattullus - at first blush, only from the internets, I thought both you and Nasreddin were easily in the 50's, with Nasreddin being the older of the two.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 10:58 AM on October 18, 2009


Looks like you all had a great time! I guess you could say you all stuck out rather than hung out!

ha!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:46 AM on October 18, 2009


Thanks for the majestic Johnson, Horace Rumpole! All in all, a great introduction to the Boston crew.
posted by nasreddin at 12:05 PM on October 18, 2009


Sorry I didn't make it in the end!

Sir Baby did not take his nap until 2 pm, and by 3, I was napping, too. And then last night I fell asleep at 8...so..yeah. Sorry to have missed your Johnson! I really wanted to be there! But apparently I also needed sleep....
posted by zizzle at 5:19 PM on October 18, 2009


I had forgotten that the published edition of the Book of Company at Auchinleck has an appendix on the various types of alcohol mentioned. Miko has it for mountain and Lisbon, and there's also a column for "Sitgis" which refers to a strong dessert wine from Sitges, Spain.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:00 AM on October 19, 2009


There sure are a lot of liquors named after places in Spain and Portugal. Sitgis, sherry, port, madeira and... uh... we came up with more while at John Harvard's, but I can't remember the others.
posted by Kattullus at 9:06 AM on October 19, 2009




Sitgis must not be any good, though, because if I recall, there weren't any numbers in that column. Boswell's friends sure could put away the port, however.

'Twas fun everybody. And hey, it didn't even snow (until Sunday)!

posted by DiscourseMarker at 3:32 PM on October 19, 2009


SHAKING MY FIST AT READING THIS AGAIN THE WEEK AFTER IT HAPPENS. arrrrrrrrrrrrgh.
posted by bensherman at 12:53 PM on October 23, 2009


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