Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Quote for the Week

It's the time of year Texans live for--football season is about to start, so here are two football quote for all the fans out there:

"Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football."
     John Heisman (Recognize the name?)

"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall."
     Frank Leahy, Notre Dame

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Books of July

Oh, my goodness!  Here it is, the end of August and I'm just getting to my July summaries. 

 Daniel Silva's books about Gabriel Allon, Israeli spy, assassin, art restorer are my favorite guilty pleasures.  This is his latest.  Just before Allon is about to take over as head of "The Office," a woman in France is killed in an explosion and off he goes to find the culprits.  He is aided by an Israeli doctor who goes undercover.  Great read!

The story of Adele, whose portrait was painted by Klimpt, and of her circle in Vienna and the long battle to get the portrait returned to her family after World War II.  Helen Mirren starred in the movie version.  Very interesting.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Quote for the Week

Here's a new quote I found for the new school year:

"You educate a man, you educate a man.
You educate a woman, you educate a generation."
              Brigham Young

To all girls (and boys, too) have a great school year.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Seeing the World in Polka Dots

Yayoi Kusama, one of Japan's premier artists had an exhibit this summer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.  Standing in a small room surrounded by mirrors, I saw the ever changing colors in an installation titled Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears. (See picture above).  Kusama-- artist, sculptress, novelist, poet, influencer of fasshion design (Louis Vuitton has used her designs on handbags), pop culture icon, feminist--first came to attention in Japan when she organized "happenings" in which the naked participants were painted in brightly colored polka dots.  She moved to the United States in 1957 and became associated with pop culture artists such as Andy Warhol.  Eventually she returned to her native Japan and now lives (by choice) in a psychiatric hospital and is still actively involved in the art scene.  She once said, "If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago."
A second room at the museum contained Aftermath of the Obliteration of Eternity.  A man holding a stop watch stood at the closed door to the installation, allowing only a few people in at a time.  I was alone.  He pointed out a narrow platform with a line behind which I was to stand., reminding me that the  platform was surrounded by water.  Then he shut the door.  I couldn't see the water because, except for the golden lights and mirrors all around, the room was dark. I didn't move.  It was a moment of intense feeling--awe, fear, realization that I was alone in an endless universe.  Then the room went dark--completely black.  Is this was death feels like?  Or transformation?  Slowly the lights flickered back on, the door opened and I stumbled out into the shock the real world.

At the gift shop I bought a plate by Kusama entitled Women Wait for Love but Men Walk Away.
Look up some of Kusama's work on Google.  Even seeing it online is an experience!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Quote for the Week

I've just returned from a visit to my family in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, so this seemed like the perfect quote for this week:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hooray for Houston!-

Hooray for Houston, my home town!

We are BIG!!  Houston is spread over 655 square miles, an area large enough to include the cities of Boston, Minneapolis, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. combined! 
Houston is crisscrossed by bayous.  It's often called the Bayou City.  See bayou map below:
We are one of the most diverse cities in the U.S.  145 different languages are spoken here.
Houstonians love to dine out.  In fact, we're number #1 (what else?) in dining out in the country.  We have 10,000 restaurants, enough to keep us dining out for a long time.  And, oh yes, we also have the largest number of food snobs in the country.
Houston is the home of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with 106,000 employees (My daughter is one of them.)  It covers 50 million square feet and is the 8th largest business district in the U.S. It's home to the country's number 1 cancer center and number 4 children's hospital.  If you need medical care, Houston is the best place to be.
We have more parks per 1000 people than Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and New York
We have 5 professional sports teams--Astros (baseball), Rockets (basketball), Texans (football), Dyanomo (men's soccer) Dash (women's soccer).  We are hosting the 2017 Super Bowl, but alas, neither the Texans nor their predecessors, the Oilers, have ever played in one.
The Houston Astrodome was the first domed stadium ever.  It was known as the 8th wonder of the world.  Now it stands empty, while over the years, people have tried to decide what to do with it.  No one has come up with a solution yet.
Houston hosts one of the largest livestock shows and rodeos every year.  The day before it opens there's a parade and it usually rains, but who cares.  Anyone interested in advertising in the livestock show catalog?  My daughter is selling space.
Houston has some of the most unusual landmarks in the country.  Here's the Beer Can House:
And here's the Orange Show, dedicated to the orange, of course:

Houston is hot and muggy in the summer, cool and muggy in the winter.  It has horrendous traffic.  The bayous flood after heavy rains.  It's ranked high for cities with the most obese people (All that dining out).  We are one of the few (maybe the only) large city without zoning, which makes for strange neighborhoods.

The people are friendly, we have a vibrant cultural scene, it almost never snows and if just a few flakes fall, the city grinds to a halt, and best of all, it's in Texas.  The University of Houston sponsored radio station has been asking if we should have a Hexit (secede from Texas) but most people say NEVER.  
I wouldn't live anywhere else!

What's your favorite city?

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