Monday, April 14, 2008

Busy, Busy Busy!

After an exhausting week at work, Gordon and I went to see to Emily in Denton on Friday. Its a long drive - 420 miles round trip but it was great to see her, even if she did seem somewhat stressed out. In fact she was so stressed out by the end of the semester, she burst in to tears whilst we were eating dinner. Much as we tried to reassure her and to say, as long as she is passing the classes, that we aren't expecting straight A's, she will no doubt have spend her weekend stressing. Her college seems much more competitive than either of the other 2's schools or maybe they just hide it better. I thought I would check out the UNT bloggers and yep! they were stressing out big time as well. So I will need to make sure I am calling more frequently in the next few weeks to try and calm her down. Not easy over a phone!

The one good thing is that she knows from next semester, she will only have to do 15 credit hours and a total of 30 each year to complete her degree leading to 120 in total. Originally it was something like 145 which would have entailed 16-17 hours each semester plus summer school if she wanted to complete in 4 yrs. Now she can be assured she will graduate in 4 yrs rather than 5, assuming she doesn't fail any classes, which they all do at one point. But at least now, she would be able to redo them in the summer sessions. Wish they would institute retakes for tests like the UK system as well, as all these extra classes cost so much money!

Anyway, we had a great day with Emily, visiting the Dallas Museum of Art to see the Turner exhibition which was out of this world. I had forgotten how extraordinary his work was but living a 15 min work from the original Tate gallery, he was my earliest idol in the art world but having been 'brought up' with him, I had probably gotten blasé about his work. I don't think there is a modern artist even today who could beat him with his quality of light and abstractness. His work is just amazing, nearly 200 yrs later.

I supsect we will not be visiting the Dallas Museum of Art too often though as driving through Dallas is a nightmare! After neogiating the one way streets, parking was hideously expensive. We spend 2 hours going around the exhibit and were going to have a coffee before looking at some other work, only to discover it closed at 5.00(!!!), which was 10 mins later. We thought the Arts district, must have some interesting places to see or somewhere to eat. No such luck, just a sea of high raised building making the place seem very claustrophobic.

Now I am on my high horse, what is it about modern art buildings, ( American ones at least) that seem to think, high, white wall with nothing on them will induce someone to love art. Yet again on entering the Dallas Art Museum, we were faced by cold, stark white walls which seem to stretch for miles. It has to be one of the most unwelcoming foyers going! Then once you get your ticket, you have walk down a long corridor with nothing on its walls. I have been hospitals that were more welcoming.

Thankfully Turner's art more than made up for the coldness and unfriendliness of the gallery but as I said it would have to an extraordinary artist to get us back again.

I had to work on Saturday but yesterday I had the day off and had an excellent afternoon at the Austin Art Fair. This was the first big event we attended in our first year here, 8 yrs ago. We thought it was big then but its huge now. Most of the art is pretty standard, some of it hideous but quite a few more than interesting. Will definitely going next year, especially if the weather is as good as it was yesterday. A nice cool breeze and only in the mid 70's, just right for walking around looking at art and drinking a couple of beers.

Just thought I would share this photo though. Motor bikes like Europeans ride (not the Harley Davidson fake ones) are becoming increasingly popular around here with the younger generation. Unlike the Harley Davidsons crowd they seem to value their heads and actually wear helmets. However, unfortunately for girls with low rise jeans, clingly on leads to this. My husband could barely keeps his eyes on the road with this immediately in his eyesight!

Anyway after an enjoyable weekend, its back to work, 47 hrs this week!


Middle Child said...

You have to laugh at that photo. Poor husband!!! Helmets have been compulsory here for years and also seatbelts...the Bandidos etc seem to get away without wearing them sometimes, but even they see the commonsense in not splitting your head open when you run into a telegraph pole.

My girls are 33 and 30 and I spend ages on the phone with them and have done talking them through emotional crisises and new its coming back to me because they are also there for me as they get older. Sometimes mothering is harder when they are older and away as you can't physically how they are. Take care