Sushi and Lincoln

04/12/12 10:24 PM


With Brett being gone for the week, I have been left to my own devices. Generally when he has to go for a business trip, I run for my favorite comfort food, sushi. I know that doesn’t sound like the typical comfort food, but for me it is. Brett doesn’t really like sushi so I don’t eat it a lot with him. So I guess you can say it’s my chance to have it.


My favorite sushi restaurant is a little place here in Chesapeake called “Kyoto’s Japanese Steak House”. My daughter and I have been eating there for years. She was the first to be so adventurous as to try sushi and in turn got me hooked on it. However, I have to say I am really picky when it comes to which one. I tend to stick to one roll and that is all. It’s called a green spiral roll. The center is made of crab, Japanese mayonnaise, tempura flakes, fish eggs and another sauce for spice. The center is kind of like a crab salad. It is wrapped in a thin layer of raw tuna and cut into individual pieces.

On Saturday, my daughter, who is generally my sushi partner wasn’t available so I invited my father. My parents divorced when I was young, so during the past month, I kind of felt like I was ignoring him during my mother’s illness and death. He understood. He is also my backup partner for sushi. The only difference is he will only do the grill (hibachi). But that is good with me too. When we arrived we were first to be seated at the table. Shortly after, we were joined by another party with three ladies and four gentlemen.

This is one of the things I love about the hibachi grill, the chance to meet new people. If you haven’t figured this out about me, I am not really shy. I love talking to people and this gives me a chance to do so. As soon as the parties had ordered their drinks, I started listening to their conversation. It didn’t take long to hear something that caught my ear. One of them was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps, just as I had been. When I asked where he was stationed, he told me that he was from Camp Lejune, North Carolina, but was here visiting with another of the gentlemen who is from the area. He also told me that he had just returned from Afghanistan. I also have a nephew who just returned from Afghanistan and is also at Camp Lejune. He is a Naval Corpsman, just like my husband was. When I told the Lance Corporal that my nephew was also home, I asked if he might know him. What a surprise, he did! They didn’t know each other very well, but he had met him after a rollover accident and had remembered him. What small world!

BTCS J.D. Gardner from Illinois, LCpl Cory Sackett from Virginia and LCpl Fabrizis Fasano from Florida

BTCS J.D. Gardner from Illinois, LCpl Cory Sackett from Virginia and LCpl Fabrizis Fasano from Florida

One of the other gentlemen seated next to me was also in the military. He is a Senior Chief in the Navy. I had informed the group that I too had been in the military as well as my husband. As we compared duty stations, I found that the Senior Chief and I shared a common experience during the first bombing of Libya. During 1986, I was a radio operator in the Marine Corps. During this operation, I worked the radio shot from the General’s conference room. That morning I had sent a message to a ship stationed in the Atlantic. That ship related the message to England. Of course, I had no idea what the message said as all messages are encrypted. But I knew it had to be something big. When I arrived home later that day, a news alert came on television that we had bombed Libya. I looked at my then fiancé and said, “That is what I did today!”

The Senior Chief then surprised my father and me. He paid for our meals! We tried to explain that it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted. I just couldn’t say no. He outranked me! But the meal was wonderful and we had a great time sharing our military experiences. It really started my evening with a bang!

After the meal, my father and I head to the movies in Virginia Beach. I have wanted to see Lincoln since I saw the first trailer. If you follow our blog, you know what a huge history buff I am. We arrived early so we decided to get some dessert at Ruby Tuesday’s Restaurant there by the theater. Dad has this love of red velvet cake, so he ordered a red velvet cupcake. I had to have one of the pumpkin cheesecakes. They were so good!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

We headed into the movie early so I could get my favorite spot, top section, front row, and center. It has a railing there that I like to place my feet up on so I can give my legs a rest during long movies.  After what seemed like hours getting through the previews, the movie finally came on. I had joked with my father that I knew the movie was about three hours, but what I didn’t know was that the first two and half were previews!

Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln

Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln

We settled back to enjoy the film. I found it just fascinating. To see Daniel Day-Lewis bring life to this iconic figure of Abraham Lincoln was just mind blowing. I have heard criticism of his Southern accent and I do have to say I heard a bit of English accent every now and then, but it didn’t take away from what I would say was a very good midwestern accent. I loved that they showed that Lincoln had a good sense of humor too. But it was his apparent love of his youngest child Tad and oldest Robert that showed him as a real person. As a parent with a son who wants to join the military, I can understand Mary and Abraham’s plea to keep Robert save.

Lincoln with his son Tad from the movie Lincoln

Lincoln with his son Tad from the movie Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robert Lincoln

Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln

Sally Fields as Mary Todd Lincoln

Sally Fields was just a wonderful as she is always. And they could not have picked a better likeness for Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War under Lincoln. Bill McGill was a dead ringer for his likeness! Tommy Lee Jones was also wonderful as Thaddeus Stevens.

Bill McGill as Edwin Stanton

Bill McGill as Edwin Stanton

Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens

Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens

Do I think this movie has Oscar written all over it? I am sure that many nominations will come from this movie. But I am not so sure that we will see a clean sweep. Daniel Day-Lewis I think is a shoe in. But the others will be a little harder to get.

Do I love the movie? From a history buff, yes I loved the movie. But I think it will be lost to most that are not. Going into the movie, I expected more of the Civil War and other events of his last months. I felt they were glossed over. This movie was more about the political side of Lincoln and his fight to get the 13th amendment passed. Don’t get me wrong, I think that was a really important part of his time as president. But you missed that he was not only trying to get the amendment passed while so much more was going on in his life.

A couple more points I was also disappointed at were that fact that they brought into the early part of the film that he had prophetic dreams. But at the end, they left out the most important dream he had that was documented. He had reoccurring nightmares of his own death days before he died. The extraordinary details are recorded in “Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847-1885″ (Ward Hill Lamon, 1911):

“About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break?

I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered.

There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers ‘The President’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin!’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream.”

Another point was that they glossed over the assassination. It was as if it were an afterthought. It seemed like they came to a point where they were over time and just dropped it in there. If you didn’t know much about the assassination, you would have missed it all together until it was on you.

While I did love seeing Abraham Lincoln come to life, I didn’t leave the movie with as much excitement as I had when I came in. I plan to take Brett to see it once he comes home so maybe it will have a better result in a second viewing.

Facebook Link

Don’t forget “Like” Us on Facebook!

Please share our Facebook Fan Page with your Friends and

help us spread the word on this wonderful Southern Plantation!

Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Year of the Virginia Historic Homes | 54 Comments »

54 Comments on “Sushi and Lincoln”

  1. terry1954 Says:

    I could barely concentrate on your words, after you showed the scrumptious pie! Oh my gosh, I love that pie!!!! Good blog, I would like to go see it also

  2. The Pumpkin Cheesecake was really good. But I can’t eat too many more of them! Or I’ll never fit into Belle Grove! lol Thank you!

  3. terry1954 Says:

    hehe, I hear you on that one. This is why you never see goodies in my house, I am too weak

  4. Me too!

  5. John Says:

    The movie sounds very interesting, and the dream he had is really spooky. Sushi, no thanks! We always wonder why it doesn’t make folks sick since it’s raw. Isn’t it? Good to see you are feeling well. 🙂

  6. Thank you John. I am getting better day by day. I still have some times that are a little hard, like yesterday. It was my mom’s birthday. Too much too quick with it and the holidays. But we will get through it. Yes, the tuna is raw, but if you eat seared tuna, you are still eating raw tuna with the outside edges cooked. I would recommend finding a place you trust before eating it. We have been going to this place for years and know that they handle it right. But I don’t do all the different kinds like eel.

  7. chr1 Says:

    Thanks for the review. Still haven’t decided if we’re going to see it.

  8. If you are a history buff like me, it was worth the time. I did learn some things I didn’t know about the 13th amendment. But if you are looking for the Civil War or the death of Lincoln, you don’t need to go. It doesn’t really cover it.

  9. chr1 Says:

    Thanks very much!

  10. 🙂

  11. Glad to hear you had a nice weekend – very much needed! I love sushi too!

    On Lincoln – it certainly wasn’t a glossing over of important points, it is just that the movie never intended to cover those things. The movie is based on the book Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and specifically, just a small section of the book. The book specifically addresses Lincoln’s choice of cabinet members and the political rivalries and wrangling that he had to move through in order to get things done. It must have been maddening to try to decide what to cover and what to leave out!

    But I think you hit it right on – people who aren’t history or Lincoln buffs may not appreciate the movie as much. Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. I agree with you on the point of sushi ad what the movie covered. What I was getting at was that the trailor was a little misleading. It shows the Civil War and Lincoln being apart of it. So as my husband stated to me afterwards, he was expecting to see the Civil War covered. I get the political piece and I do think it is important. But it was almost billed as a epic film, but I just didn’t feel like it delivered that epic.

  13. True – very good point. I had read quite a bit about the making of the film before seeing it, so I knew going in that those scenes were not a big part of the film.

  14. I guess it would have helped if I had read too. But like most of the general public, I based my ideas of the film on the trailor.

  15. What a great dinner you had with your military tablemates! I enjoy some sushi and, like you, always visit the same restaurant. We saw Lincoln for date night. We both really enjoyed it. I understood it to be as wineandhistory stated in the comments, so I wasn’t expecting more. I thought all the actors were amazing.

  16. Dinner was really good. I don’t get a lot of chances to talk to those who have been where I have been during my military career. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie. It was great for a history buff like me. But if someone that doesn’t read about it would have been a little disappointed.

  17. LOL I was over reading your blog and the same time you were over reading mine. My b-i-l is retired Marine — if you can say that about a Marine. My in-laws were both Marines. The uncles were Navy. The hubby — Air Force, so I really enjoyed your post!

  18. So cool! Got to love our brothers in arms!

  19. ManicDdaily Says:

    Very interesting. Glad to see the GIs back home safe and enjoying themselves. k.

  20. It was really good to have them with us! We are so glad that they made it home safe too!

  21. Isn’t it fun to meet new people when you go out? My kids love sushi and that’s what they want to go out for about 50 percent of the time. Lots of variety here in California.

    I was surprised, too, that they didn’t mention Lincoln’s premonition about his death. But I guess even a long movie can’t cover everything. Glad you saw it!

  22. I do just love meeting people! I bet they have some really good sushi in California! You know that Brett is there at Camp Pendleton right now.

    The movie was really good. And I could understand the need to keep a time limit. But still would have like to see the dream added to it. It was like the introduced dreams and then forgot it. I had known about it before so when the talked about dreams early in the movie, I was waiting for it and it never came.

  23. Mrs. P Says:

    Wow, thanks for the movie review. Based on your comments, I probably would have been disappointed, too. I am a fan of Ken Burns and he covers quite a bit about Lincoln in his series about The Civil War which is outstanding! Last time I went to DC I did stop in at the Ford’s Theater and although it was definitely weathered, it felt neat to be at the place in which such an historic event occurred.

  24. We have stopped at Ford’s Theater, but they were in the middle of a show so all we could do was go into the basement museum. I want to see the inside! I think a trip and post is due sometime soon! Thank you for stopping by!

  25. MaryNell Says:

    I am not a history buff, so I did find the movie interesting. I especially found the political side interesting, and how Stevens (apparently) had to compromise some of his beliefs to get the amendment passed. I also spent a good bit of time thinking about the “right” and “wrong” side of history and the roles people play during those times.

  26. You know I found that all interesting too. It means you wonder how much of this goes on back closed doors in Washington now.

  27. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Your experiences with sushi follow mine as I can’t get my husband to join me. My daughter-in-law is adventurous and so we indulge whenever we can. My son is in the National Guard and will be deployed to Kuwait by this time next year. We’re doing our best to enjoy all the time we can with him.

    I too am a history buff and love learning all I can about the civil war. It’s really hard to comprehend that we could allow our nation to come to such a horrid point. But it did and in my opinion, we all need to be reminded of our country’s saddest times as well as our accomplishments. Great job with the review. I plan on seeing this one, too.

  28. Thank you so much! I am glad to hear I am not the only one that suffers from husbands who don’t like sushi. I will keep your family and son in our prayers as he prepares to go. I know its a hard time for you and your family. We have been there so many times with Brett going out to sea.

    Thank you and I agree about learning about history. Lest we forget, we will repeat the mistakes of those before us.

  29. Jane Sadek Says:

    Loved your Japanese restaurant experience. At a similar restaurant while we were dating, Bill decided he’d be funny and tell everyone he was a doctor. Well, everyone was fascinated and he was having a grand old time. They asked what kind of doctor and when he said plastic surgeon one girl tried to have a table-side consultation. She was a beautiful girl and had no need for any enhancements, but she was desperate for breast augmentation. Bill was about to pull the plug out of the joke when the girl went into an extended soliloquy about her desperation and pushed Bill for an appointment. The fun of the gag disappeared and Bill knew it was too late to say, “just joshing.” Bill hasn’t pulled any similar stunts, but I’m haunted by the beautiful girl who couldn’t see in the mirror what was obvious to everyone else.

  30. Wow! I don’t think I would do that ever again! Whew…. lol

  31. We have yet to see the movie, maybe over the holidays, but we usually save movie going for the most part for 3-D, and watch everything else at home. We visited Ford’s Theater last year.
    For Lincoln’s 200th birthday, we replicated Lincoln’s birthplace cabin at Carter Caves State Park. I have pictures on my blog. We were the only one in the nation to do this project. The goal was to educate young people for the most part, so tried to get as many volunteers in the project as possible.

  32. Wow that was a big task to undertake! How cool! We have seen Ford’s Theater, but haven’t gone in yet. They were in the middle of a show at the time so we could only go into the basement museum. Maybe soon you will see pictures and a post of it!

  33. Great story! I was a dispatcher in law enforcement before I went on to become an officer. I loved that job in communications. I never sent encrypted messages like the one you sent though – lol…

  34. I could have gone on to be a dispatch for law enforcement, but I wanted to do other things once I left the military. But it was a lot of fun! Nothing like sitting around in the General’s Conference Room having other soldiers bring you lunch and stuff. Thank you!

  35. What a day! That was very kind and generous of the ranking officer to treat you to a meal 🙂 I imagine that after Afghanistan, food takes on a very different dimension.

    Thanks as well for the great review about Lincoln. I didn’t know he had prophetic dreams! Son interesting and kind of eerie!

  36. It was a great meal and lots of good memories were shared as well as food. Yes, after MRE (meals ready to eat) any real food tastes good.

    Yes, it was kind of scary how he knew it was coming.

  37. I’m sure! I’m kind of secretly fascinated by MREs and those little baby bottles of tabasco packed in each one.

  38. I have to tell you I hated them! I brought other things to eat when we did our field exercises! Fruit Loops and cans of Ravioli.

  39. I’m sure they were untasty! I’m not sure what it is that fascinates me. The self-heating mechanism? The unreal shelf life?

    I just want to try one to see what they are like. Not eat a whole thing because aren’t they a million, gagillion calories for active, moving soldiers? But I just want to open two different meals up and see if they really taste the same even if one says enchiladas and the other says spaghetti and meatballs.

    I know. I’m super weird! 🙂

  40. Tell you what, if you will email me at with your mailing address I will send you one. Be close to the military here, I know I can find one or two for you!

  41. Amy Says:

    I watched the movie the weekend of Thanksgiving. You did a great review. I also expected the movie to tell more about Lincoln than just the political process, but it was well filmed and direct. Great post!

  42. Amy Says:

    Oooop, ..directed instead…

  43. 🙂

  44. Thank you! I think people are thinking I didn’t like it. I really did. It just seemed like it was missing something though.

  45. jmmcdowell Says:

    The criticism of Lincoln’s accent surprises me. He spent his first few years in Kentucky, then moved to southern Indiana and ultimately Springfield, Illinois. As a native Illinoisan, I have to say the lower half of the state has an accent that is more southern than Midwestern!

  46. I have to go on what I know of the areas. I lived for three years in Ashland, Kentucky and found their accent and how they pronounced some words strange compared to what I knew of South Carolina and Alabama. Then I spent four years in Ohio with my husband before moving here to Virginia. The criticism of the accent I had heard was about how Daniel Day-Lewis recreated that accent.

  47. gardeniahung Says:

    Kyoto Sushi is among my favorites to go with President Abraham Lincoln’s new biopic. Good for you”

  48. Thank you!

  49. I made red velvet cupcakes to take for my workplace morning tea last week. They were very well received!

  50. Oooo! I want some! Of course I would have to fight my father for them 😉

  51. jlee5879 Says:

    What a great story!

  52. Thank you! It was fun seeing the movie and spending time with everyone.

  53. My Homepage Says:

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 14120 more Infos: […]…

  54. Thank you so much for sharing our blog with your readers! It really does mean a lot to us!