Weekend in Review: Books, Paintings, and Sushi

Spent last weekend with a whirlwind trip to San Francisco that mostly involved a lot of traveling as this time I took some public transportation and drove up with 2 friends and a cat (not my own) instead of flying.

I attempted to make sushi for the first time with my friends with the help of a sushi mold (ie a plastic tray where you place the seaweed/rice/filling and it helps you keep it all nice and tidy when you cut it) and although it wasn’t very professional looking, all that matters is the taste, right?  And you definitely can’t go wrong with fresh fish, rice, and veggies.  The purple in some of the rice is from furikake we added.  Behold!

SushiI also stopped by the de Young Museum and saw a painting that I’ve wanted to see for years: Vermeer’s “Girl With A Pearl Earring.”  I first saw the painting on the cover of a YA novel was curious about the beautifully mysterious girl.  I read about the equally mysterious painter Vermeer and read the novel of the same name by Tracey Chevalier (which imagines who this model was and her relationship with the painter) and then subsequently watched the movie based on the novel starring a young Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.  I love the movie.  Not because I think that it’s the greatest film of all time, but I absolutely love the way it was made.  Every scene in the movie is shot like a Vermeer painting- the posing, the colors, the lighting.  If you watch the movie and pause it at random spots, the probability of it showing a scene that Vermeer would have painted is high.

So I’ve been dying to see the real thing for years, but resigned myself for a long wait since I have no plans to visit The Hague anytime soon.  Imagine my happy surprise when I heard it was visiting SF!  When I saw the painting in person I wanted to just stand there for hours (like a creeper) and soak it all in- it was smaller than I imagined (most famous paintings usually are) but it was so perfect.  The restoration really made it seem brand new.  The invisible brushstrokes, the lighting, the flawlessness of her skin and the pearl earring- it was beautiful.  I highly recommend the exhibit for anyone in the Bay Area.

In other literary news, I just finished the fantasy novel The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card.  I rate it a “meh.”  Mostly because the magic in it required me to consider physics, and out of all the science classes I took in school, I bombed physics the hardest.  I spent a good deal of the book trying to wrap my head around the magical concepts, giving up (because my brain is no longer wired to attempt advanced scientific possibilities anymore) and then moving on without fully getting what was going on.  And the protagonist is a smart ass 13-year old.  If I was a teen, I’d probably be more sympathetic to his character and find him funny.  As an adult, I just find it annoying.  That’s not Card’s fault, I will admit that I was just as bratty and exasperating at that age as well.  But that doesn’t mean I want to read about it.

I also realized I ate out five days this week.  Wow.  New record for me (and not in a good way.)

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