back in h-town: museum of fine arts, houston

Where’s your happy place? For me, I feel most at home in museums and galleries. There’s something about the quiet contemplation of a piece of artwork and the clean, open gallery spaces that settles my mind. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is located in Houston’s Museum District and just a short walk away from the CAMH, where I worked over the summer. Since I’m here for the holidays, I decided to stop by my old stomping grounds and take a look. And hey, on Thursdays the MFAH is free! Unfortunately that also meant that the museum was more crowded than usual.

I’m actually not a big fan of their collection. I’ve been to so many museums over the years and the MFAH just isn’t up to the level of the Met or Smithsonian, which is to be expected of course, but it meant I made it through that museum in record time (also because I’ve been to the MFAH many times before). I saw the animated film “Eleanor’s Secret” (2009) while I was there since they were doing a free screening of it. It was shown dubbed in English as opposed to the original French, and it was cute but not something I would watch again. It was a nice outing and great to visit the MFAH again … but I think I’ve been spoiled by New York!

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darkest before the dawn

Ugh … almost done! Okay, not really. But one can hope, right? Or is the unrealistic optimism making you gag? I have so much to do in the next few days, it’s crazy. My internal clock is way out of whack. For instance, last night I slept almost 16 hours. Woah. I really could’ve used that chunk of time. But whatever. It’s okay. It will all be okay. Repeat: It will all be okay.

I’m also slightly freaking out because the library sent me a notice that a book I had checked out is overdue … even though I am positive I returned it last week. I did finally quit my job, which is kind of sad, but I’m just not going to have the time for it anymore. And what else? Oh, I’ve lost another few pounds, meaning that I am now approximately 20 pounds under my college weight. Whups. I’ll probably gain it back during the holidays though, so I guess it’s okay.

And hey, New York is pretty in the early morning. You know, in that rare space of time when there are no rats or people.

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starting to feel icky

It’s finals season! Dead days, woot! Well actually, I still have one more class to go (a make-up class due to Sandy), but then I’m done with classes and can focus all my energy on my two papers. But … I feel like utter hell.

I had a major presentation last week, and wow that did me in. I’ve lost three or four pounds in the last two weeks. Also, I apparently pulled something in my neck/shoulder/arm, because it all really hurts, and my stomach is unhappy. So I’m having a hard time sleeping and have no appetite even though I need to be eating. Yeah … I am not in the mood to be writing papers. Darn school!

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fire engine = fur injun

My accent has been variously described as: adorable, no accent at all, hard to locate, Southern, melodic, and hickish. My accent is a mixture of different locations, experiences, and languages, but these days I speak with a fairly standard American accent … most of the time. Everyone has an accent derived from his/her personal history even though our regional differences are subsiding and people are choosing to mask their accents as our society becomes more inundated with mass media and easily comprehended communication is prized.

For me, artifacts of past accents pop up intermittently via regional turns of phrase (bless your heart) or different terminology (coke) or words that are inherent to the dialect (ya’ll, howdy) or downright bad grammar (had broughten). Or I elongate certain vowels (egg, wow) or pronounce silent letters (salmon) or drop the beginning ‘h’ (humble, Houston) or blend letters together (Louisville, New Orleans). And then there’s the twang that comes out strong with the ‘ir’ vowel combination (wire, iron, briar). So yeah … not so standard American, eh? But who wants to be boring and standard?

Moral of the story? If you’re a little kid just learning to read and you point to an unfamiliar word and think I’m saying ‘fur Injun,’ what I’m really saying is ‘fire engine.’ Sigh. Poor kid, he’s never going to learn to read.