Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life, As Usual, Imitates Art

Yesterday we were showing an out-of-town friend the Stata Center on the MIT campus (designed by Gehry). She was very excited as we circled the building, moving from one interesting view to another. Then apropos of the mention of a redevelopment of part of the Brooklyn waterfront, she said that some people hate change and they are probably the most sensible ones.

In Festival Madness, I have a scene between the main character and an MIT professor emeritis, walking around the Gehry building and he is talking about change and how even information technology people may hate change.

One of those really weird moments.

Some other weird moments this week. In Borders, looking for a birthday present for said friend. She is an historian of sorts, European History, and the new book about the conference in Vienna (1816?) looked like fun. S.O. were looking at the book, trying to make a decision, when a very old gentlemen approached with what I took to be his verging on elderly son. Old man stared at the title, "Vienna, " and announced, "I was born there." I made some inane but friendly remark about only having been there once, and he said, "they killed everyone," and walked away. I assumed "they" were, of course, the Nazis, and his memories were sad to say the least. We bought the book.

Big checkout line, and in the line was a mother, a son (maybe three years old) in a stroller, and an older daughter, perhaps nine or ten. Kid in stroller was screaming at the top of his lungs, "I want that game, I want that game." Over and over ad nauseum. Obviously, he wasn't going to get "that game," and he wasn't going to shut up. A sensible woman would have told the little girl to take him outside and walk the stroller back and forth until she had checked out, thereby sparing the customers the assault on ears and sensibilities.

My friend remarked, "she should have slapped him on the head," but I said, "my god, they would arrest you for that nowadays. " Finally another clerk appeared and led the back of the line to another register where the screaming was less intrusive. The clerk appeared to think a slap on the side of the head might be a good thing, too. By then, pretty much everyone did.

Kid was still yelling and now kicking when taken out of the stroller and put in the car seat. He didn't get "that game." My god, the racket. Made a good case for birth control. Honestly. So it went at Borders.

Yesterday, a stroll through two museums, Harvard Square and a fitting end of the day dinner at Legal Seafood.

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