|(images culled from various internet sources)|
i went with julie this morning to the museum of fine arts to watch a antonio gaudi documentary. i could probably identify his architectural work, but i knew almost nothing about who he was. the documentary we saw didn't do much in terms of teaching me the history, but after seeing the film, i've become a gaudi fan and would love to visit barcelona one of these days to see some of his buildings. the movie, made by a japanese director, is just a serious of montage showcasing gaudi's body of work. there is almost no narrration, just the occasional name of the building and the year would flash briefly on the screen. it's a unique approach for a documentary (can it even be considered as one?), but almost through cinematic osmosis the audience slowly comes to absorb gaudi's sensibility and learns to identify his style. and what is his style? gaudi employs a lavish organic influence throughout all of his work. it reminded me of geiger paintings, of fantasy gingerbread houses, yoda's hut, the sets from barbarella, the sets from krull. mushrooms, turtleshells, scales, spines, skeletons, honeycombs, seaweed, spirals, horns, teeth, wings. it's amazing that people actually gave him money to construct his designs, and it's also amazing that his buildings weren't destroyed during the spanish civil war (most of gaudi's works were built in the early 1900's). his work seems to be feng shui nightmares, curves and tilts and seemingly things that don't belong until after it's finished. nevertheless, his designs are functional (though they may look weird at first), and have a way of growing on you (much like his organic models), until you're celebrating their uniqueness.
after the movie, julie and i browsed the gift store one more time. without a doubt, the MFA gift store is one of the best places in boston to find a great gift, although i personally believe most of their merchandises are slightly marked up. i found a few books i might be interested in buying and wrote down their names so i could order them online (looks like it's only a matter of time before i put them out of business, just like i did with wordsworth).
julie wanted to try the new penguin pizza place but we didn't know where it was, so we took a gamble and started walking to where we thought it'd be. many blocks later we found ourselves in copley square, far away from our original destination. julie, determined to have pizza nevertheless, could not be swayed into lunching at burger king (or wendy's) despite the fact that i had a coupon that could've gotten us a free meal. "i don't eat at places that use coupons," the food snob told me. we walked down to the park, cutting across boston common, arriving at beacon hill. there we ate at uppercrust, ordered a large "statesman" which is just a pizza loaded with all sorts of meat. in hindsight maybe a small would've sufficed, but we were both so hungry, we let our stomaches do the talking. maybe because i was starving, but hot pizza never tasted so good. we ate so fast, both julie and i burned the roof of our mouths. we made pretty good progress, eventually getting down to just 3 slices, which we took away in a large pizza box.
we decided to walk home instead of taking the subway. over the longfellow bridge, we saw interesting cloud patterns. on the river, duck boats crawled beneath the bridge, while sailboats lined up for a race. walking by the garment district we witnessed a steady stream of young hipsters leaving the building with bags of clothes (i guess saturdays are a big clothes shopping day for said demographics). as we walked, we commented on the various houses. i had gaudi fever saw gaudi in practically everything i came across, spouting "that's so gaudi" on many occasions. we went by a church that had pumpkins all over its lawn, with notices to take as many free pumpkins as you wanted. i was tempted, but who wants a pumpkin after halloween anyway? eventually we got to the sackler art museum. there was a "garage" sale nearby and bought two votive candle holders for 50 cents each. tired, and more importantly the fact that i had to go to the bathroom, i said good bye to julie as she went into harvard square to get another fix at tealuxe.
renata came over in the evening. too cold to go outside (imaginary or otherwise), we blew off another opportunity to go see a movie. instead, the first thing renata had me do when she came into the house was to feel her back, where she had a painful bump on her spine. lacking the proper mister miyagi hands, there was nothing i could do to heal her of her back problem, other than to suggest seeing a doctor. renata made me show her the chowder i made for her a few days ago. despite incessant warning as to the overall lack of deliciousness, renata was determined to have some soup, so we reheated it. we also made some tea, renata settling for a strong ginseng elixir while i had some china-imported babao from a thermos mug. "tony, it's still cold in here," from renata was answered by a 4 degrees increase in temperature as i worked the thermostat like the heat manager that i am. once the soup was ready we each had a bowl. renata seemed to like the chowder even though i felt she was being too polite and kind regarding my clammy disaster. we spent the rest of the evening watching animal planet and experimenting with candy in the forms of wax lips and pop rocks. "tony, i don't want you to do it," renata warned me, grabbing my arm, as i mixed pop rocks with root beer in a feeble display of irresponsible machismo. renata, expressing her own fears of pop rocks, caved in to my bad influence and tried some herself (minus the carbonated beverage), squealing over the phantom pain as the pop rocks crackled on the tip of her tongue. malt balls were also consumed amidst the confectionary confusion.
still slightly fatigued, the engine that could called renata finally gave out around 9pm. i requested a wax lips photo with the condition that it can't be published online. as renata gathered up her things, she apologized profusely, asking me not to take it personally (her early exit), as she stumbled yet again into the night. from the doorway i watched with arms folded and autumn breath condensing, as her car disappeared with one last wave.