A Road Trip Through Texas: Day 6

I decided to go back to Fort Worth for a second day since I’d only spent a short time there the first time.

I began by going to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Two minor, but real issues. The second floor is not currently open for viewing. And they have a photography collection of amazing photos, but only a few are actually on display. I know I’m not very good at photography, but seeing really great photos in person strikes me just the same as seeing any other great piece of art.

This was probably my favorite piece in the museum. Because even though it was done over a hundred years ago, the message I took away from it is something we know is still prevalent today. But I’ll let you decide what you think of it.

Immediately after leaving the Amon Carter I went to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. This absolute beauty awaits you just as you walk into the galleries. It was done by an artist who continuously uses books as subjects in his art.

I said in one of the previous posts that I wanted more modern art. This museum was great for it. All works were done after WWII. Many of them by American artists.

I feel like I’m starting to have something of an artsy eye. I saw this and thought to myself “that looks like a Picasso”, and it is!

What I enjoy about modern art is that it isn’t only one medium. It isn’t only paintings or sculptures or photos, it’s whatever we can come up with.

Like this. From the picture it likely looks like any other oil on canvas painting. But it isn’t. It’s actually a photo. But it also isn’t just any photo. It’s the backyard of one of the Tsarnaev brothers at his Cambridge, MA home. Still more. This was created using a widely circulated photo of his wife leaving the home after the Boston Marathon bombings. The artist removed her from the photo and built a replica himself just for this picture. How incredible is that?

I finished the day at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Something that isn’t clear online (at least for me) is it is 100% for kids. The entire first floor has no real galleries, only interactive exhibits for kids. The second floor includes the Cattle Raisers Museum, which had some cool stuff, but I wasn’t there for that.

I still made my way through it, but in total I spent maybe 45 minutes there before leaving. It was my first three museum day, and ultimately the last day of my trip. I have more to do, but I’m going home. This has been a great weeklong getaway. Now I still have this weekend to prepare for normalcy on Monday.

Harry Potter Art Exhibition

There’s a Harry Potter Art exhibition coming to Houston. It’s 3 days and it’s completely free! The exhibition will also include LOTR, Marvel, and more and happens to be extremely close to where I am.

Not sure of the quality of this thing, but I have to go, right?

Boston: Day 1

Yesterday I encouraged every one of you to travel. So I feel it’s only appropriate to take you with me to Boston for these next eight days.

5:30AM

I will never enjoy having to wake up that early. For anything. But I hated it just a little less yesterday. I was already fully packed. Out the door around 6:15.

8:45AM

LIFTOFF. Guys, my flight was overbooked. But no one was dragged off the flight. There was one mishap. An older man in a wheelchair got separated from his wife. He boarded without her. She was not going to be able to get on. A woman who also was not going to be allowed on volunteered her husband OFF the flight. All was well. I was in the FIRST seat inside the door! Score!

2:45PM

I arrive at my first vacation destination. The Harvard Art Museums. Originally not on the itinerary at all, but I’m against the captivity of any animal. So I scrapped my plan to go to the Franklin Park Zoo and instead turned my attention toward art.

The sun was so bright in my eyes I actually couldn’t see the button to take the picture. Also, caused this odd look on my face.

6:00PM

My first meal in Boston is free because the service I received was terrible and I would not leave without complaining.

6:45PM

I arrive back at my Airbnb for the Night where the walls are a bit thin and the air is chilly.

Tomorrow will be a full day. Three museums on the docket and also the first night of my personal challenge to eat at a different Mexican restaurant each night.

On Portraits of Courage

Portraits of Courage is a book of paintings done by George W. Bush. The paintings are of military veterans who have served since 9/11. The former president has come to know these veterans personally once he left office.

This is one of those times you have to forget about politics. All of his profits as the author will benefit the George W. Bush Military Institute, which means the money is going to veterans.

George W. Bush largely stayed silent during the years of his successor, but his first real foray into the public eye in nearly a decade is for a great cause. I can’t speak on the quality of the paintings in the book because I haven’t seen them, but I can speak on the quality of the stories alongside them. I’ll say it until I’m no longer able to, our military veterans represent the best we have to offer as a country. I fully understand that you may already have organizations you support, but this could be something you get behind.

Are you interested in Portraits of Courage?

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I have a bit of a special relationship with this series. In elementary school my art teacher would play the audiobooks while we worked. I believe it’s also how I was first introduced to Harry Potter.

I’ve never read the books. I definitely don’t remember any of the stories from 13-15 years ago. The one thing that has stuck with me is that I know I enjoyed listening to the stories.

Now Netflix has adapted the first couple of books in season 1 of its new series. It may be time to read the first few books and watch the series. I mean, a trip down memory lane never hurt anyone.

What’s your experience with this series?

Pop Up Books

I can’t recall reading too many pop up books as a youngster. Maybe I wasn’t interested. Maybe I was too busy sleeping all the time. Or maybe there’s no specific explanation at all for my lack of pop up book reading.

But I can tell you that they’ve become great works of art. I’ve seen several extremely detailed pop up books in my time at HPB. I’ve even been asked by one guy specifically for pop up books because he claimed to collect them. I can’t adequately describe the feeling upon opening up one of these books because I’m an adult and I feel my opinion is mostly indifferent at this point. But I have been surprised by their complexity a few times, which leads me to believe that kids would be over the moon.

Do you or a kid in your life have any experience with pop up books?

Writing in School

I’m talking about everything that comes before college. How much are students actually required to write? I remember in second grade having to write some kind of essay or paper in class. I think we were being taught something about the format. Similar assignments were given during the rest of elementary school. The writing was always done in class.

But I’m sitting here thinking about my middle school years and I can’t remember writing anything substantial during that three year span. And then in high school we generally wrote one major paper a year and spent months on it. I wrote about Dracula once, violence in video games, and two topics that I can’t seem to recall at the moment. All of that is to say that I was not forced to write hardly at all until I stepped foot on a college campus. And I think this could be a contributing factor when it comes to people saying writing is a dying art. Imagine if millions of students across the country have similar experiences. And then they enroll in a degree program that is not writing-intensive. Mine was, but my degree plan had a grand total of two math classes. College algebra and Stats. I’d prefer a class that required 15 essays in 15 weeks over stats every day of the week. But I imagine there are MANY programs that are just the opposite and have very little writing.

All I’m saying is that perhaps it isn’t the media or non-writers who are tossing around this myth that writing is a dying art, maybe it’s the entire education system that’s pushing this idea along. I don’t know. How much were you required to write in school?


On this day in 2014 I published Listen to Audiobooks?.