What a weekend
Friday night we watched the opening of the London 2012 Olympics. I don’t care what the critics say, it was smashing, bloody awesome and truly brilliant!
We were entertained, moved and laughed out loud so many times. It was such an engaging production on so many levels. The music was so evocative, the scenes drew my imagination into the eras of British history they depicted and the humor was sophisticated, smart and British.
And The Queen! God save The Queen! I know this is her country but I never expected her to actually participate. Here in the US many of us think of her as this remote old lady who barely smiles and may have a sense of humor.
She was brilliant! She was the straight man to James Bond. I’ve loved James Bond since I was a kid. Unfortunately the current James Bond looks more like a Russian spy or Vladimir Putin, but that’s for another blog. Just loved it when the shoots opened and the Union Jack was on full display in all of its glory.
I really loved the opening video where they followed the Thames from its source down to London. I’ve watched that bit twice now and it’s still on my DVR. I had to retrieve the opening night from an inadvertent deletion. I watched most of the Men’s cycling on Saturday. I’m not a cycling fan but the competition was compelling and the scenery was out of this world! It was a 6 hour commercial for England. How could anyone watch that race, see those pastoral back drops and not have a burning desire to go to the UK?
On Saturday I pulled myself away from the Olympics and went to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. We bought an annual family pass in February, but here it is late July and we just went for the first time Saturday. We’ve been to the MFA before, but always for events. When they have an event they usually limit access to one wing or section. With a regular ticket you can wander to your heart’s delight. Saturday, we saw maybe 20% of the exhibits. To me that’s fine. I have an annual pass. If I saw everything in one day I’d be disappointed.
The MFA has an extensive Egyptian display. I did not realize that the MFA and Harvard University have been doing expeditions together to Egypt for years. Going to back to the era of Indiana Jones. I know some people love this stuff, to me it was just okay. As our first time going through we did spend a few hours looking, reading and appreciating what we saw there.
We then went to the Art of the Americas Wing. Lot’s of furniture, Paul Revere handy work etc. Then we got to the galleries and saw the great American painters. I was absolutely mesmerized by John Singleton Copley’s work. Some of his work is so perfect you would think it was a color photo. The technique is brilliant. His use of light is genius. Just unbelievable.
Being able to get so close to paintings that I have seen in books and on TV was almost a religious experience. I was as close as the painter was when he did his work. I could see each brush stroke. Then I could step back and experience the entire work and let my imagination and emotions go. I had a tear in my eye more than once. Just an awesome, moving experience.
My love is the Impressionists. We did see some work of the American Impressionists, and it was fantastic. But I am a Monet guy. I love everything I have seen by him. After we had some lunch we headed for the European wing and looked for Gallery 255, where The Impressionists are. We were not disappointed: Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir etc.
I just drank it in. When you stand as close to the work as the artist did, sometimes it is difficult to know what you are looking at. Seeing each brush stroke from twelve inches away is awesome. Then to step back and see the work in its entirety. I think I could have sat there and looked at some of these paintings for an hour. The more you look, the more there is to see.
We had an awesome experience at the MFA and we plan on going back again soon.
Sunday I went for the Sunday Long Run with my running club. The distance on the agenda was 10.7 miles. Thursday morning I went in for my second physical therapy session and asked about running longer distances. My PT was not thrilled about me running any more than 8 miles at a time. She finally relented and said 10 would be okay, depending on how I felt at 8 miles. I averaged a 9:34 pace and hit 10.77 miles. I felt okay after the run, had some coffee with my friends and went home. I took a hot shower, did my prescribed stretching and feel fine today.
This week I plan on running twenty miles and staying at that level for the next two weeks. I may up my speed a little bit but I’m not going to move to 25 or 30 miles for another couple of weeks.
Overall, a complete package for the weekend: culture, sports and entertainment and quality time with my wife and daughter. Now that’s living!