Spring Break

I took a few days off for spring break. Unlike last year, when we went on an epic journey to distant lands, this year we pretty much hung around the house, rested, got caught up on some chores and did a few fun things locally. The weather has been absolutely fantastic, more like June than April. We’ve been barbecuing almost every day. I haven’t seen a lot of the neighborhood kids since last fall, and its surprising how everyone’s grown.

All our flowers have come in beautifully, including the new flower bed by our neighbor’s garage that we planted last fall. We got rid of our little kiddie play structure slide and sandbox now that the kids have outgrown them. We covered in the low spot with dirt and blue stuff. The end of an era. Some other random tasks put us about half done with the spring yard work cycle. Still to go is getting the mulch under the hedges and turning over the garden. Plus getting the roof fixed. At least we got a few estimates and it looks reasonable. Oh yeah, and Lizzy’s gonna need a new bike this year.

We washed, waxed and vacuumed the cars for spring. I like to do that once a year. I also started up the Mustang, and it’s good to know it turned right over. No problems with the batteries or anything major like last year. When you step on the gas, however, there’s a temporary drop in power before it surges back. I noticed this towards the end of last summer, and I suspect it’s the carburetor. So I’ll taking it into the shop as soon as I get the chance.

On Easter Sunday Mary’s came over. It was a really nice visit and another great day. We had everyone sit at the dining room table rather than have a separate kiddie table in the kitchen. The end of another era. Everyone growing up fast.

Yesterday Jeannie and I took the girls on an outing to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and for a walk thru Central Park. It was a fantastic time. The Met has been on my list for about a year now. I haven’t been there in many years and had forgotten that it’s much more than just art. One of the big old classic New York museums, up there with the American Museum of Natural History, which I know pretty well by now, having visited a few times a year for origami the last few years.

In addition to paintings and sculpture, the Met has all kinds of artifacts: medieval armor, musical instruments, furniture, all kinds of metal, wood and glass vases, vessels, instruments and implements, plus ancient ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Inca wings. All of it fascinating stuff. (Well maybe the furniture got to be a bit much after a while…) The armor and musical instrument galleries were probably my favorite. There are two huge wings of paintings, Modern and Classical, but I feel like we didn’t really do them justice. For one thing, the whole place is laid our like a maze rather than designed for flow-thru, and the painting galleries in particular are not well organized. They could do with some signage to tell you about what county and century you’re looking at and what is the story from hall to hall. Also looking at that many paintings is a lot information, so one tends to glaze over after a while. Still the kids seemed to get a lot out of it and so did I.

They really wanted to visit Strawberry Fields in Central Park, but it was on the opposite side. On a related note, Michelle learned how to play the intro to “Strawberry Fields Forever” on the piano.

Today I crossed off another longstanding todo item: I went and got a New York City library card. I have a card for my local library but I hardly ever go cuz I’m mostly at work when they’re open. Still, I have a long list of books I’d like to read and for most books it seems such a waste to buy it and read it once and get rid of it. The main NYC library -– the famous one with the lions on the steps -– is just a few blocks from my office. So the plan is to go there on my lunch break every week or two from now on. I’d never been inside before. It’s a pretty impressive marble edifice with giant halls and stairways, like it was carved by dwarves out a massive mountain of solid stone. There was an exhibit on old maps, which is pretty cool. Only on the third floor will you find books or librarians. Apparently most of the books are in and underground vault or in the branch library across the street. They have some kind of system for checking out books by computer. I plan on going back soon to get some books, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

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