we had another party this weekend! pretty soon parties are going to be breaking out at our apartment all the time, and not just the kind at which joe and i make a casserole dish of seven-layer dip and eat it for dinner (though who am i kidding, those parties are amazing). we were more like the host venue for this one, as it was our friend stewart's birthday, and putting together birthday events in new york when one is boston-based (as stewart is) calls for teammates. so i carried in great chunks of ice like an arctic ant, hung a little orange paper lantern from our rhinoceros head made of pants, and waited for clever and dashing people to show up, meet all of our neighbors in the elevator,* and play sexy music for us. technically it was a round of sonic proselytization, defined as
basically, everyone sits around in a comfortable, mood-lit room with a good stereo and takes turns playing songs at each other. people generally tend to go for their more obscure titles in order to show off, but you don't necessarily have to be married to that concept; i played a frickin' REM song one time. whatever you feel like sharing.
or, earlier, as
bring your favorite music and force it on others. all fashions, styles, genres welcome.


system: go around room. each plays one song. everyone listens.
joe played songs from 1979, i went off on a tangent about walter johnson (at which point stewart pulled out a bunch of walter johnson postcards he and eva had found on the street in williamsburg; brooklyn is helpful like that), greg from the internet made an adapter for 7" records out of cardboard apartment detritus. the mysterious-liqueur inventory got more significant as the evening wore on. steve hassled people who ventured into apartment tent.

sonic proselytization (1 of 3)

sonic proselytization (2 of 3)

sonic proselytization (3 of 3)

{above: the sonic proselytization track log}

i'm not convinced that certain periods of our adult lives are superior to others, but i do think that, as a general proposition, parties have gotten better as we've gotten older. have we set aside childish things? is it that the gimmick tracks have spun out of our circle of friends over the years, leaving us with greatest hits? in this case i think it's that stewart is made of magic.

*one of whom announced to them that she's promised her daughter she'll shave her hair into a mohawk? i, in turn, only know three of the people on our floor by name - two if olya's husband isn't called jeff.

02.14.12: oscarizer {once more into the breach}


to be amended as i cram a few last nominee-viewings into the next two weeks. pluses (+) indicate films i've already seen; brackets are predictions.

best actor

demián bichir - a better life
george clooney - the descendants +
jean dujardin - the artist +
gary oldman - tinker tailor soldier spy +
{brad pitt - moneyball} +

from where i'm sitting,
brad pitt as tyler durden
should've been oscared.

dujardin's a peach
as a silent film star, but
his shot's with best pic.

clooney's role was flat,
oldman's too understated
for hollywood's taste.

brad's perfectly cast,
and finally grew into
his face.* the nod's his.

best actress

glenn close - albert nobbs
viola davis - the help
rooney mara - the girl with the dragon tattoo +
meryl streep - the iron lady
{michelle williams - my week with marilyn} +

i didn't adore
michelle williams as MM,
but she transfixed me.

hollywood loves her,
and she's got the golden globe;
this one's in the bag.

best supporting actor

kenneth branagh - my week with marilyn +
jonah hill - moneyball +
nick nolte - warrior
{christopher plummer - beginners}
max von sydow - extremely loud & incredibly close

i brake for branagh's
shakespearean characters.
olivier? meh.

moneyball's oscar,
if an actor scoops one up,
is "papa" brad pitt's.

as for the others?
i like christopher plummer.
gravitas, bitches.

best supporting actress

bérénice bejo - the artist +
jessica chastain - the help
melissa mccarthy - bridesmaids
janet mcteer - albert nobbs
{octavia spencer - the help}

bookies say spencer -
but then, they okay visors
without irony.

clooney's film daughter,
shailene woodley, should be here;
sans her, i concur.

best director

michel hazanavicius - the artist +
alexander payne - the descendants +
martin scorsese - hugo +
woody allen - midnight in paris
{terrence malick - the tree of life} +

hugo: sweet, spotty.
the descendants was a mess.
zzz, woody allen.

was the tree of life's
distribution wide enough?
it had dinosaurs.

splits the film-nostalgia vote.

best picture

{the artist} +
the descendants +
extremely loud & incredibly close
the help
hugo +
midnight in paris
moneyball +
the tree of life +
war horse

it's sweet, it's french, it's -
i adore the dog, okay?
the artist takes it.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 how many of the best picture nominees have you seen? which would get your vote?

02 do i have to see the help?

03 is matthew lillard plausible romantic competition for george clooney?

04 when it's time to discard 3D glasses, do you hide them on your person?

05 do you find rooney mara as lisbeth salander attractive?

06 d'you think it made sense for her to pierce her nipple for the role?

07 will you watch the academy awards this year?

*as sars put it.

02.10.12: mystery train {name that tune edition}

let's be honest: most subway performers are nuisances. i want to read and/or spy on people when i'm on the train, and it's ever so much more difficult when feet are flying about my head and/or i'm trying to ignore a loud, off-key song about the jesus (breakdancing crackhead barbershop quartets, i'm looking at you). buskers on the platform, now - those folks make my day. solemn midtown saxophonist taking mancini's "pink panther theme" like a slinky on a long flight of stairs? go on. erhu player treating chinatown to the opening notes of "raspberry beret"? we have yet to meet, but the idea of you lights up my life. here's a variation on the game in which i ask you to match readers with their books: can you pick out the song this fellow's playing? (i'm not at all sure that it's difficult, but joe claimed otherwise.)