Tag Archives: university of alabama

Life goes on

It wasn’t a very exciting weekend around the Poolman house, but it was busy all the same. Mrs. Poolman has been in a death-struggle with a head and chest cold. I’ve just been trying to stay out of her way. Even in marriage, some things just aren’t worth sharing.

I started off Saturday by attending a program out our church on the upcoming change in the “Roman Missal. “ Starting the first Sunday in Advent (late November), the Catholic Church in the US will begin using a new translation of the original Latin Mass. Apparently, the general consensus is that the Church didn’t do a very good job in translating the Mass from Latin to English back in the mid 1960s. This move is an effort to correct it.

It will mean some slight changes to some of the responses and to the prayers most of us can recite without even thinking about it. No longer. I like some of the changes, but not all of them. Of course, the Pope didn’t ask my opinion. In any case, since I both read at Mass and teach 5th grade CCD, I figured I’d better make an effort to get up to speed.

Writer Princess and Son-in-Law were moving out of their one-bedroom condo and into a three-bedroom house. They are still staying close to us. They are roughly a five minute drive away, and right around the corner from WP’s best friend. Mrs. Poolman went over to help them move on Saturday morning. I check in after leaving the church session early and was dispatched to Home Depot for some blinds and to Popeye’s to pick up lunch. We spent several hours helping them move their kitchen stuff.  Mrs. P donated our collection of laundry baskets and beach towels to the cause, which was fine until Sunday afternoon when I needed to do three loads of laundry. Sigh.

I took a rare Saturday afternoon nap-on-the-couch, while half-watching the Alabama-Arkansas game. The Gators came on at seven and went to 4-0, beating Kentucky for something like the 255th straight time.

On Sunday, I was back at 9 o’clock Mass. I had received a call on Friday afternoon asking me to read at that Mass. The Knights of Columbus (of which I am a sometime member) were receiving an international award, and the Knight officers wanted as much of a showing as they could muster.

The rest of the day consisted of errands, laundry and a little yard work. Our pool temperature has dropped into the low 80s, much lower than Mrs. P likes for her soaking. We put our solar blanket back on in the hopes of pulling a few more degrees of heat into the water and maybe getting one or two weeks of pool time out of the season. Much will depend on the weather. It has been cloudy and rainy for much of September. If we get some good sun this week, I might be able to get the pool back up to around 90. Mrs. P would be most happy.

A day at the Louvre

After a fairly late start, we decided to put off touring the Cathedral of Notre Dame until tomorrow, and concentrated our touring day on the Louvre. It was a good choice.

We started off with a quick breakfast at a sandwich shop around the corner from the hotel. The hot ham and cheese on a baguette was very good.

Our friend Cindy came into town from their hotel near the airport and met us in front of the museum.

The Louvre is every bit as impressive as it is said to be.

A view from an upstairs window, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

I was a little concerned I would push Birdie and Ron a little too far, but that was not the case. We arrived at noon and didn’t walk out until 6:30 pm. They were as interested at the end as they were at the beginning.

We started with the ancient Greeks

Hall of greek sculpture

Aphrodite???

Cindy (on the left) assuming a classic pose.

and then moved to the Italian Renaissance section. Before we were done, we managed to hit many, many of the highlights.

A special exhibit hall

Birdie -- posing for a Peter-Paul Rubens portrait. Sorry, Birdie, you may have a Rubenesque figure, but it's not going to work.

Way back in high school, I took a two-semester course as a senior on Humanities. It covered art, music and architecture. The music part is still pretty-much lost on me, but some of the other material stuck. More than 40 years later, it paid off. Thanks, Mrs. Bailey!

Birdie has been a never-ending source of material for these postings. Today, as usual, he was wearing his University of Alabama ball cap. Some other guy, apparently an Auburn fan came up to him and got face to face. The exchange went like this.

Other guy: “War Eagle!”

Birdie: “Excuse me?”

Other guy: “You red elephants are all the same.”

Birdie: “Pardon me, sir, but you really need to take your comments to someone else.”

You go all the way to the Louvre in Paris, and you can’t escape!

As we were wandering through the section with the Dutch and Flemish masters, Birdie asked me if we could find the original painting of the poker playing dogs. I told him I believe that was located — along with all the portraits of Elvis Presley painted on black velvet — in the “Red Neck Museum of Tacky Modern Art” in Talladega, Ala.

Both Ron and Birdie has special interest in any of the art that related to hunting or already-dead animals. This bronze of a hunter slaying a stag was their favorite.

Ron & Birdie with the stag hunter

We took the crowded Metro back to our hotel.

The rush hour Metro

I let myself get distracted by a very cute little girl of about 9 months of age. She was very interested in making faces at the strange guy standing next to her mother. (Mrs. Poolman will tell you that is an occupational hazard of traveling with me.) We got off at the right stop, but in my distraction, I forgot that wasn’t our final destination. We were outside the ticket gates before we realized we had to get back on another train to reach our hotel. Of course, neither of the other guys picked up on it either, so I didn’t feel too bad. It amounted to just one wasted Metro ticket, so no serious harm done.

When we got back to the hotel, Birdie and Ron started wondering about the strange towel in their bathroom. It is a towel-heater. They turned it on just to see how it would work. Apparently it heated up just fine, because Birdie commented, “Damn, Ron, you could cook a chicken on this thing.”

On the issue of hotels, ours is quite nice. It is a small city hotel. The rooms are not all that large, but they are very nice.

My hotel room.

The view out my window.

The two young ladies who have run the front desk this week have been super helpful.  (I do think they are amused by our efforts to communicate in French. They both speak English quite well. ) I’d come back to the Holiday Inn Paris Elysees in a heartbeat.

We had a nice dinner at a café right down the street.

Tomorrow, we will head out to the airport hotel early to drop off our bags for the next night and pick up my bother, Dan. If the weather holds, we will tour Notre Dame and the Musee d’ Orsay (Impressionist art).

It’s been two good days so far. We’re looking forward to hooking up with the tour group and the rest of the trip.