San Jose Museum of Art

After brunch on Saturday, January 8, 2011, I drove down to San Jose to see the San Jose Museum of Art. I figured if I explore museums in other cities, I should explore them when I'm in the bay area as well.

I took some pictures on this excursion.

I first visited the special exhibit on Leo Villareal. He builds luminous animated light sculptures. Some look like softly changing abstract paintings, others like the vision test for blind spots, and still others evolve like Conway's Game of Life. Some of his pieces are mesmerizing.

The museum also had a regular exhibit on photography and an exhibit of photographs connecting the viewer with people/things one doesn't ordinarily see. There was also an exhibit of modern art exploring life and breathing. I enjoyed more, however, the exhibit on art with a retro look. It included things from pedal-powered juicers to a video of a man in Turkey using bagpipes to inflate a flat tire. For this exhibit's highlights, see the text in the pictures.

Also, there was a tiny, neat exhibit in the museum's cafe about stroboscopes, high-speed cameras that can capture events such as bullets through apples.

Overall, I found the museum disappointingly small for such a large city. It effectively has only five large galleries. I spent a bit over an hour in it. I saw some neat stuff though (and quite of a bit of non-neat stuff).

Because my visit was faster than I expected, I trotted over to The Tech Museum, kitty-corner across a park. I wandered around the outside, looked at the brochures for its advertised exhibits, examined a map, and browsed the gift shop, but decided not to pay the entry fee to see the displays. I headed home.

Maine late-December 2010

After leaving Chicago on Tuesday, December 28, 2010, I stayed with my parents in Maine until January 2011, when I could move into my new apartment in California. I flew to California on Sunday, January 2, 2011.

Nothing much happened during my time in Maine. I didn't take any pictures. I mostly spent the days at the mall taking advantage of post-Christmas sales to restock my wardrobe. The most exciting part of this visit was Sunday, the day I attempted to return to the bay area.

The flight I booked was supposed to take me from Boston to Chicago (with a brief stop there but no transfer) to Los Angeles to San Jose. But not everything went as planned. My Boston flight left late because someone who checked a bag didn't get on the plane. It took the baggage clerks half an hour to remove the baggage, find and remove the person's item, and reload the baggage. Then, because we landed late in Chicago, Southwest re-arranged the plane assignments so I had to transfer for my continuation flight to Los Angeles, which was now ninety minutes delayed. After I boarded that flight, it was then further delayed by another thirty minutes while we waited for baggage to load. The baggage carriers must have been short-handed in Chicago; there was only one loading baggage onto our flight instead of the usual two. Meantime, the captain entertained us by running a name-that-song contest over the announcement system. :) He'd play stuff from his ipod and the first person to identify the band would either get a fresh McDonald's cookie or a free alcoholic drink.

Eventually, we landed in Los Angeles under heavy rain. Obviously I missed the flight I was supposed to be on (which was scheduled to leave more than an hour earlier). I got myself rebooked on the next flight to San Jose, a flight on which I had to sit next to a sick baby. Luckily, after coughing a while, the baby slept most of the flight.

Finally in San Jose, I picked up my baggage and took a shuttle to my new apartment to meet my new landlords. They and the apartment are nice. The apartment in particular surpasses the expectations I formed from looking at the pictures.

This trip may sound like a horrible day, but things could've gone much worse: I might've not been able to check my bags originally (the self-help check-in line at Boston was so long that I thought there was a chance I'd miss the bag cut-off time; obviously I didn't), my bags might've been misplaced during the complicated journey, or I could've been stranded in Los Angeles. (When I talked to a gate agent in Chicago after I realized I'd be missing my flight from L.A. to San Jose, she said all the later flights to San Jose were fully booked. Being stranded in L.A. was a distinct possibility in my mind.)

Earlier Week
After eating relatively large, heavy meals in restaurants with my grandma, upon our return to Maine my parents and I wanted lighter meals. Hence we mostly ate at home.

On Wednesday for lunch I had leftover red chili chicken rice. For dinner we ate scallops (that tasted metallic) in a butter sauce with onions, tomatoes, and garlic, and served over pasta.

On Thursday, I made myself a turkey and avocado sandwich for lunch. For dinner we ate pork chops with an apple-onion gravy, roasted brussels sprouts, roasted mushrooms, and leftover pumpkin pie (which apparently freezes well!).

On Friday, New Year's Eve, I had a turkey and bacon sandwich for lunch. Our large dinner spread included brisket, kugel, potato pancakes, peas, carrots, and, for dessert, brownies.

Saturday lunch was leftovers from previous meals. Dinner was a roasted chicken from Market Basket, plus an Ethiopian cabbage, potatoes, and carrots dish that I made. As for dessert, my mom had made three different types of brownies. We had a brownie tasting! :)