May Day Weekend

This May Day (Labour Day) weekend,

  • I saw Dianne Reeves at the Tonhalle. If I had to sum her up in one word, it would be “energy”. A wide range of styles, from skat through gospel through standards. She sings her band introductions, she recounts (with great fondness) being directed by George Clooney in “Good Night and Good Luck” and recounts some of the odd things she’s seen in Zurich. The band was excellent, too, especially their opening number.
  • I enjoyed the “holiday”, which unfortunately fell on a Saturday this year; Switzerland is unique among civilised countries in not bumping holidays falling on a weekend onto the following Monday. 2010 is the worst year this decade as 2nd January, May Day, 1st August (Switzerland’s National Day), Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day are all lost to the weekend. 2011 won’t be much better.
  • Mostly stayed in because of the miserable weather. This meant I avoided the riots on Helvetiaplatz, which I was really curious to see. This subject sparked a few conversations at work; a co-worker mistook our chattering for concern and thought it funny that “a couple of Irish guys are afraid of a Zurich riot”. Maybe next year I’ll be more energetic but I can’t help feeling the most dangerous activity will be little more than somebody crossing the road at a red light.
  • Attended a friend’s housewarming party. This was very enjoyable. I was more than a little impressed by his interior decoration skills and vowed to (finally) hang up my pictures.
  • Installed Ubuntu 10. It’s black and purple but at this stage I’ve basically completely stopped following what’s changing beneath the desktop so I’m just happy that it installed without incident in 15 minutes flat and every piece of hardware works fine; beyond that, I don’t know what else to say.
  • I still did not cut the grass…because of the rain. It leapt about 50cm while I was away from Zurich and is now threatening to rise over the hedge, alerting the housing company to this rogue tenant. Perhaps it will continue to rain all summer and I won’t have to bother.
  • Against all expectations (that’s another story), I really enjoyed the “The Time of Angels” Doctor Who double episode. I like the new doctor and really like the new assistant but still thought the first few episodes were pretty dull; these two episodes, however, were excellent. I chanced upon this blog post from The Guardian which makes me want to chase down a couple of other episodes from the same writer.
  • Watched the remainder of the snooker world championships.
  • Visited the Mexican exhibition at the Rietberg Museum, along with some of the permanent exhibition. I felt the exhibits were very good but there was very little in the way of explanation, so I had a ton of questions. I really hate when audio guides cost extra (especially when you’ve already paid a 16 CHF entry fee) because I err on the side of caution and avoid, as I don’t like carrying them around and almost always lose interest with them anyway. I especially liked the Mexican fire god, a grumpy hapless character squatted with a coal bucket perched on his head, the Chinese ink drawings and some of the African statues and masks. I didn’t even see half of the permanent collection or the (fantastic looking) grounds, so will have to return.
  • Finally updated this blog.

Before I wrote this is it felt like just a long and uneventful weekend (which was fine, considering it’s been a few weeks since I was in Zurich) but I guess it wasn’t so bad.