Friday, January 29, 2010

Consumer frenzy - Art Nouveau at the Musée d'Orsay - Volunteering

New TV
We've been debating several purchases for a very long time. It takes us forever to finally decide to take the plunge and buy. But we're getting there. In December we visited a furniture showroom to see the sofas, but the salesguy was so insistent we left in a hurry. I want to get rid of stuff before buying replacements because I want less and I want it distributed in the living room differently. So I think it'll be some time before we act on that.
Another discussion was fixing the path from the house to the front gate. It got to the point we couldn't really open the gate anymore. That's been taken care of. 
Then, there's been the TV discussion. Time to get a flat-screen TV that could be hung on the wall or put on a shallower table and not take up so much room so that we could free the space between the living room and dining room and once again walk through. It's been time for a few years already. Well, it's done and in the frenzy we got a second TV so I could watch a little TV in bed. All these years resisting a second TV and here we are, at last. After seeing that TVs are going the way of computers (once you buy it, it's already outdated) we finally got LED TVs, the really thin ones, and decided not to wait for 3D, Skype integrated into the TV, or whatever comes next.
Little by little we're also framing or re-framing the artwork and we seem to have expensive taste in frames, but they do so much to the pictures that once you see a good frame it's hard to choose a lesser one. Anyway, that's why we're going so slowly on that. It's hard to choose.
There's still plenty on the list: redoing my closet space, a new kitchen (after 25 years, it's time!), making Louis' old room into another guest room, and other odds and ends.
A Visit to the Musée d'Orsay
Yesterday evening we went to the Musée d'Orsay for the first time in a really long time. It's still a beautiful place. There are loads of people but you don't have that crowded sensation you get at the Grand Palais exhibits or at the Louvre. Sara, a Swedish friend here in Paris that I associate with STC, but that's because she's a close friend of Jen's from her Brussels days, set up the visit and Paul and I were glad to go. It was to see the Art Nouveau Revival exhibit that's ending next week on the 4th. We had gotten hooked on the first part of the title, Art Nouveau, and were surprised to see the later stuff from the 30s, 60s, and 70s. Of course there were posters and furniture from all these periods and it was interesting to see how strong the Art Nouveau influence was. In fact, it could have been a bigger exhibit and still not bored me.
Since it was a small exhibit, we went through it fairly fast and decided to take in the James Ensor exhibit, which is also ending on the 4th. The poster for that exhibit is one of his surrealist paintings of masked figures. I  don't particularly like those, or the ones of skeletons -- not the kind of thing I could look at for long before getting very gloomy thoughts. But, I discovered his early paintings, which seemed, to me, at least, to be heavy-handed impressionist -- bold colors, thick paint, but wonderful light coming from the depth of the painting. Also, he did fantastic drawings. Still, I wouldn't really want any of it at home. I am glad we saw it, however. 
American Library
I've become a volunteer at the American Library -- one afternoon a week (Tuesday) at the circulation desk. I've done it twice and am enjoying it. It gets me into Paris at least once a week, although it's a real challenge to get there in less than an hour and coming home during rush hour is horrible and a reminder of why I'm so glad I don't have to do that every day. Once a month I'll stay on for the "night at the movies" event at the library and come home later, well after rush hour, when you have to wait about 15 minutes for the next RER to come along. 

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