Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fête de la Awesome

Today Alex and I have been married for ten years.  We celebrated this morning with an overpriced coffee after dropping Lucien at school, right before Al got on a plane to fly to Spain for work.  Now I'm celebrating ten years of marriage by myself, writing a blog and doing laundry. 

We will celebrate this weekend (and take a trip WITHOUT THOSE MEDDLIN' KIDS in September) because ten years is a really, really long time.  I wouldn't change a thing; life with Alex has not been dull.  Plus, he's adorable.

Tuesday night was Fête de la Musique. Some people think la Fête de la Musique is a helluva party; others gripe and moan about the racket and spend the evening cozied up to their earplugs. I am in the "helluva party" camp, and since it's our last opportunity to experience the all-night music orgy, I was out the door as soon as Alex was in the door.

I went out alone, as I did last year.  It's the kind of event I like to do alone -- it allows me to better observe my fellow humans, and dance like a fool without being observed by someone who can remind me of it later.

I watched these guys do classic rock.  The street wasn't closed but people kept stopping in the middle of it to listen.  There were lots of exciting close calls with fast cars.  Someone should tell those people it's not worth it to risk their lives for a so-so rendition of "Brown Sugar."

I watched these people play drums and what appeared to be a rolled up bamboo blind.  I should have called bullshit on that one.

Mostly I saw a lot of this at la Fête de la Musique:
I am not the tallest of people.

Musicians tend to passionately love what they're doing, and it moves me to see such passion and love thrown into an instrument, even if the person playing it has no talent whatsoever.

Like these guys --
I stopped because I'm incapable of passing a trombone; they are the most delightfully ridiculous of instruments.  Unfortunately, the trombone player was playing something that sounded like "a Sousa funeral dirge."  (Quote by Theresa, whom you're about to meet....)

As I watched trombone man, I heard someone say over my shoulder, "Are you MJ?"  I turned to face two women I've never seen before -- it was Lynn from Texas, who reads this here blog, and Theresa from Missouri, who doesn't read it but hopefully does now?  Hello ladies!  Life is random and strange.

We walked together to see the act playing Place de Furstemberg.  Total snoozefest.  As Theresa from Missouri put it, it's never a good sign when your audience starts sitting down --

There were musical acts every ten meters (I'm metric now).  The later it got, the more crowded it got until I could barely walk anywhere.  I had to kind of shimmy up peoples' torsos and swing from one to the next like a monkey.  It was a zoo, but a super fun zoo.

Then I saw more of this:

What the hell is everybody looking at?  I'll never know.

The best act, by far, was this group, a drum and percussion circle --

It's tough to see the group in this picture -- there are about seven or eight of them there in the middle rocking the sh*t out of their instruments -- and I didn't quite capture the movement of the crowd, so you'll have to trust me when I say the crowd was whipped into a dancing, hooting, drum circle frenzy.  There was an elderly gentleman standing next to me, just quietly watching at first, but soon his feet started moving a little bit and then he was shaking his ass like a twenty-something in a perfectly tailored, spotless suit and tie.

They were infectious and fantastic and the crowd was giddy with joy and drunk on rhythm (and beer...there was lots and lots of beer...)  The whole scene made me happy to be alive, and happy to be in Paris.

Next June 21st may find me sobbing on my front porch with a bongo and a six-pack.

Great night. Imagine my delight when I returned home afterward and it got even better.  While I was out, New York Mom emailed me a link to the following video.  I've since watched it 5,742 times and it still hasn't gotten old.  Thanks, New York Mom; you are still cracking me up from afar.

(And by the way, don't play this video unless it's OK to say "shit" and drop a few "f" bombs wherever you are.)

Happy Anniversary, my dear Alexandre.
Honey Badger doesn't give a shit,


Jennyphoria said...

I loved this post. Your experience of the Fete de la Musique was a lot like mine... but what I really want to say is this: thank you for sharing that video. I have tears streaming down my face.

Oh, and happy anniversary!

Duchesse said...

Happy anniversary, Mindy!:) Have you decided on your destination for that second honeymoon in September?:)

I played the trombone all through high school! Ahhhhhhh the memories!;)

I'm leaving San Sebastian for Barcelona tomorrow (or rather today). Is that where Al is?

It's Just Me! said...

I will NOT let you cry on your porch (wherever it may be) next June 21st. I'm putting it in the calendar now - "Out with the Yummy Mummies". We're anxiously awaiting your return. But alas - can your next life be as fun to share from afar?

LOVE the post - and the shots of peoples' backs. As someone more vertically challenged than you I like to say I recognize belt buckles. Buckles and shoes. Pretty much all I see.

Cheers from here!

(PS: you are the only blogger on earth that can make me laugh outloud today; I'm recovering from ACL surgery, have pink eye AND a sinus infection. Booya.

Mrs. Howard said...

Happy Anniversay!
I celebrated my 1 year wedding anniversary by myself too, as Mister Howard is deployed oversees. But even from afar, he shells out mulah to get me a seriously awesome anniversary gift. For him, I...let him buy himself two new video games. Yeah, I'm a keeper.

MJ said...

Hi Jennyphoria! You are welcome. I hope the Honey Badger brings you as much joy as he's brought me.

Thanks, Duchesse! We are still kind of debating the location. We'll see. You played trombone? That is awesome -- bet you were better than that guy on the street.

Al's in Madrid this time. He's in either Barcelona or Madrid once a week for work meetings, rarely there for more than 24 hours. He's tired.

My girl C, man you sound miserably sick with all sorts of ailments. I hope the Honey Badger cheered you up? Thanks for having my back next year. Can we just sit around and have a drum circle? We can make that happen, right?

Feel better!!!

Mrs Howard, oh man, that's tough to have the husband overseas. Makes me feel like I should stop bitching about Al being next door in Spain. Video games? You are definitely a better wife than I.

Bye, ladies. Have nice days.

debbie in toronto said...

sadly my damn work computer won't let me play the video..have to wait till I get home for that

sounds like good times in the streets for sure...

and of course Alex is adorable and never dull...."canadian...duh!"

have a good weekend eh!

Jenn said...

Happy Anniversary!

The honey badger gave me much joy here at work on a gorgeous sunny morning hating the world because I'm inside at. work.

Can I ask if you've ever been to the Fete des Vendanges in Montmartre? I'm arriving just in time to be stupendously jetlagged this year and am wondering if it's a good idea. What could possibly go wrong with wine, hangovers, jetlag, disorientation and terrible French skills??

MJ said...

Debbie, the Canadians are truly an adorable people.

Jenn, never been to the F des V. I considered it mightily, but in the end Montmartre always felt too far for my energy level. I say go, and tell me about it, and have fun.

Anonymous said...

New York Mom should get an award for that one. The Honey Badger is officially my new favorite animal!

Happy Anniversary! It just gets better and better doesn't it. He he he.

We've arrived in Paris...just in time for this lovely weather. Um...thanks?

Take care, and start counting the days until your "real" anniversary in September!


Jill said...

I just found your blog and I love it!! You lucky girl living in Paris!! I lived in Paris in my 20's and it was fabulous!! I lived in the 9th. My hubby also lived in Paris back in college so we try to go back to the city of lights every chance we get which is usually about every other year. We have 3 kiddos so trips without them take a lot of planning!!

Anyway fete de la musique is one of my favorite times in Paris. I love walking down the street and hearing the music and seeing the people


AM said...

Love your wedding picture almost as much as I love the honey badger...:)

Anne said...

Happy anniversary! And can you believe that I've spent all this time in Paris and not once was I around for the music fest in June. Guess I'll have to come back.

PS Sobbing is for suckers. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Steve said...

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about la Fête de la Musique. It can be a fantastic time, but I have to say that these last years, June 21st have been quite cold if not rainy in Paris. I lived for several years in Bastille district, and the most vivid memories I have is feeling uncomfortable with smelly drunken homeless guys frantically dancing with beer cans in one hand, and a cigarette in the other to the beat of some reggae/dancehall music.
But to be fair, it is a nice time to spend, wandering through the city, stopping by when music sounds fine. It's relaxed, it's free, and it's popular.

Tina said...

Okay I just got back from Europe a few weeks ago, on the 23rd. I was in Paris during this festival! I was there the 19th-22rd. I loved Paris so much searching the web on how to live there and found your blog ;) I even saw the same lady you blogged about last year singing Zombie!! LOL! I have been enjoying your blog and had to comment once I saw you love the HoneyBadger!! That sh*t is so random and freakin funny! "Oh look he runs backwards!" Oh how I wish I was a Badass like him! I would just pick up and move to Paris! :)

Mathew said...

Holy crap I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much. My co-workers must think I'm either crazy or choking on a paperclip because all week there have been snickers and snorts emanating from my cubicle. When my boss said hi to me this morning I almost burst out laughing in his face because all I could think was honey badger doesn't give a shit

This is the best goddamn blog on the internet.


Related Posts with Thumbnails