Last summer weekend

Well, not officially. Officially that’s the weekend of 9/26, but Labor Day always feels a close to summer.

After a lazy afternoon, we saw
Trouble the Water, a documentary about Hurrican Katrina. It was really good. The main part were these “home movies” taken by a woman who was trying to break into the music business but in the meantime lived with her husband in a very poor part of New Orleans.

She decided to film the storm coming, and what started as her talking to neighbors – most didn’t have cars and couldn’t afford to pay for a train or a plain, and so without free transportation were literally stuck – quickly escalted into her and her husband climbing up to their attic, and not a full attic mind you, but basically slats, as the water rose higher and higher, eventually filling their house, and getting their neighbors without attics up there as well, including a couple of elderly ladies who had trouble walking. Eventually a random guy in the neighborhood helped bring every single person over, a few he carried on his back, to a house that was on higher ground.

Later the narrator’s husband led about 100 people over to the naval base, which was in the process of being shut down and so there were about 200 empty rooms. But the naval officers wouldn’t let the people in. In fact they drew their weapons.

Interspersed with the home movies were news clips like the FEMA guy saying they were working as fast as the could, and Bush making excuses for why he wouldn’t let the Louisiana National Guard come home to help. Those juxtaposed with all of those people stuck in the city, calling 911 and being told that they were basically SOL (the police had long skeedaddled), prisoners stuck in their jail cells without food or water, was really disturbing.

The only downside was that the jerky home movies totally gave me motion sickness. The woman who took that footage was there to answer questions afterwards, but I felt so queasy I needed to leave.

That morning was my monthly photo expediation with YP. This month’s theme, Chinatown, which involved just sort of wandering around the area taking random pictures. I did get some good ones though, I think.

I was a little movied out that day so instead MB and I got massages at this Chinese place. (We had wanted to do it last weekend but I wasn’t feeling well.) I was a little nervous because tui-na massage is nothing like the ones you get in hoity toity spas. The most comparable is a deep tissue massage. I had one that was pretty painful at the time, but totally worth it afterwards. But I told the receptionist it was my first time, and so she asked my masseuse to go a little gentler on me.

She did at first, but as I got more used to it, she put more strength into the massage, and there were definitely times I had to do some deep breathing to work through the pain. What was cool was she could tell which were my problem areas (neck, upper back, arms, from mousing and carrying a too heavy bag on one shoulder) and concentrated on those. Also apparently my calves were tight (I had no idea) so she worked on those, as well as did this heel banging thing which was startling but actually felt really good.

MB enjoyed his session as well. He can take the pain, but I did hear some deep breathing from his side of the curtain too.

Afterwards my upper back and arms were quite sore, but in a good way, as though I had exercised hard. The next day I was still a little achy, but by Monday I was pretty much all better. This is something we might do once a month or so.

I wanted a museum fix sometime over the weekend, and so Sunday we got up early to hit the Met before it got too crowded. Afterwards we thought we could hang out in Central Park so MB brought his ukulele. But get this: no musical instruments of any kind are allowed at the Met. Hunh? Why? Before we even got inside this guard stopped us. He was apologetic about it, but I still don’t get it. If MB had put the uke in a non-uke shaped bag, he probably would have been able to bring it in.

Our choices were to schelp all the way back home or just go to the Park. We chose the latter since the next day we needed to come back uptown anyway and the museum would be open then too.

Hanging out the Park turned out to be just lovely. We walked around a bit, then found a peaceful out of the way bench. MB played his uke and some people looked but most just kept going. It was funny: little kids would always stop and stare. MB thought it was because the uke is kid-sized. The area we were in was so nice, but then this huge bee started attacking us and we had to leave.

MB also played as we walked around, like a wandering troubador, before we sat at Bethesda Fountain for a bit, roasting in the sun, and then finally finding another quiet space in the band shell. We were left mostly in peace except for this nutty guy sitting near us. At first he was just writing, but then he said to MB, “I heard gord in those strings.”

“Sorry?” MB said.

“I hear gord in those strings.”

“Gord? Who’s gord?”

He held up his hands. “Our lord above” – something something – “Hare Krishna.”


Otherwise it was fun sitting there relaxing and people watching while MB played. A few people were roller blading, and there was one woman who was really good, like a figure skater. Also she totally looked like a guy. MB thought so too.

That night we were back in movie mode and finally watched Tropic Thunder. It was really hilarious, much funnier than I expected.

We met up with SB, her husband, and little Ellie for lunch. Sunday was Ellie’s birthday so I wanted to drop off a gift (kid-sized backpack and two T-shirts). It was fun since we haven’t seen each other in a while and Ellie is always a blast.

Afterwards we all went over to the Met, Ellie and family for her art class, and MB and I to check on the superheroes exhibit. It was fun but just okay. Costumes from movies, and avant garde interpretations. I’m glad it was free with general admission (which for me with my company ID was free anyway). After that we just wandered around, trying to find the less crowded parts.

Then it was relaxing evening in. We picked up groceries (along with all the returning-from-Labor-Day-weekend Manhattanites) and MB cooked.

Needless to say I am unmotivated this morning. And not looking forward to school tonight. Ah well. I’ll get used to it soon enough.


  1. That movie sounds really good. Your weekends always sound so mellow and relaxing.

  2. “Brownie, you’re doing one hell of a job!”. That movie does sound interesting but like you, I would have gotten motion sickness as well. I get like that with first person shooter video games.

  3. i thought tropic thunder was brilliant, and tom cruise’s turn in it was stellar.

    i agree with sitcom girl. you always sound like you have these amazing chillaxed weekends.

  4. I have to see that film. It sounds fascinating.