A Weekend in the Waning Year

It’s strange, lately, to look back over our weekends. They are wonderful times of respite in the midst of very busy weeks – times when we wish we could just turn off our phones and ignore the world to make it complete. Still, I come to Monday and can barely remember what we did.

On Saturday, we both woke up rather early after a poor night’s sleep (for no particular reason). I went for a long walk (the only form of exercise I can get these days that I find enjoyable and that doesn’t destroy my knees, which is essential, given the amount of walking we do in the course of a normal day in the city). I went to the farmer’s market to pick up some sundries – kale, big heads of garlic, berry pies the size of muffins – and then came home to shower. We ate chicken quesadillas and drank Mexican hot chocolate, bought a birthday present for a little boy, then spent the afternoon playing Metroid (him) and reading Portrait of a Lady (me). In the evening, we went to BAM for Mortal Engine (stunning). A good day, and one without any transportation besides our own.

We typically spend Sundays at church, then brunch, then head back home for the rest of the day. This Sunday, we drove through the rain to church, then to Jersey City, where we celebrated the aforementioned little boy’s birthday with a beer tasting (one-year-old children don’t notice so much if it’s really a party for the grown-ups). We stayed for a long while, then drove back to Brooklyn and spent the rest of the evening reading and watching bad movies, as is our wont.

I woke up inexplicably exhausted (I think it’s the short days, with late morning sun, that does it). Knowing it would be a lost day if I didn’t get out right away, I headed into the day for a five-mile walk through the various brownstone neighborhoods. Lately I’ve been trekking out to the Brooklyn Promenade to see the East River and watch Manhattan get ready for its week, then down into one of the shopping districts to look at the people rushing around me, and then walk home admiring the architecture. I don’t get tired of this; it’s so much more interesting to me than simply trees. Here I get the trees, and the historic homes, and glimpses of people’s bookshelves and Christmas trees as I walk by. The history, the humanity: it’s fascinating.

I spent the rest of the day tying up some loose ends and writing a review of Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon, a disturbing film that is nonetheless very good. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year. It’s a tricky movie to pin down, and so I had to wrangle the review a bit, but it’s also the kind of movie that becomes more interesting as you write about it. I have three more reviews to write this week, and only one of them is not a wrangly sort of review.

But then: Christmas!

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