Friday, January 30, 2009

**Fine Art Friday**


Today's Fine Art Friday is dedicated to a very sweet photo project by the prolific and talented Phil Toledano.

Phil came in a few weeks ago to give a presentation of his work. His work is beautiful and quirky but always shows a sense of his personality.

There is one project, however, that is more personal and touching than anything else he's done. Phil is a very funny British man, and his work is usually very funny. But the photo story he has done about his father is not funny at all.

It's about how he is dealing with his aging father and his aging father's dementia.

The photos, and Phil's father, are beautiful. Have a look.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

*Snapshot Wednesdays*

Remember when I told you guys that I love sticking my head in random things and taking a picture?

Well it all started at an early age!

Check me out at Disneyland circa 1984 with the Governor of CA.

Yeah, I'm a barbarian baby!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Trust Me On This One by Deirdre

Sometimes you just gotta have faith. Whenever I'm all "Hey, do this..."or, "Hey, give me a hand with this thing...", or, "Eww, smell this..." there's usually someone around to ask, "Why?" or "What's in it for me?" or "Wait, what did you do to it?"

Not me. If someone tells me to try something new, unless it's like super dangerous, I'm like, "What's the worst that could happen?" That's why I barfed all night once when I ate a bunch of oysters. But it wasn't so bad, I felt great after all the barfing.

Here are a few tried and true methods for getting the party started that are usually met with skepticism. So you have to be really charming when you suggest them, and if that doesn't work, you just have to be a little bossy. Because they are SURE FIRE HITS!! Afterwards, everyone will be thanking you for forcing them into it.



1.
Celebrity: It's like Charades only with more rules. It's good for big groups of people with adequate seating who aren't itching to leave for the bar. IDEAL for ski trips and beach weekends. That's me up there teaching everybody the rules.

-Break your group into teams. (Can be 2 teams, can be more)
-Everyone writes down the names of 10 celebrities on 10 little pieces of paper and puts them in a bowl/bag/hat, whatever. "Celebrity" is broadly determined as someone the majority of the people in the room should know, and it can be a fictional character. Examples: Batman (the superhero), Sir Rudy Guiliani (our favorite former mayor), Mr. Ed (the talking horse), Drew Barrymore (from Steven Spielberg's ET).
-One person from Team A goes, then one person from Team B goes, then the next person from Team A, the next from Team B, etc.

Round 1: You have 30 seconds. Pick a piece of paper from the bowl, say anything you want about the celebrity besides their name, and your own teammates guess. If they get the answer right, you pick another piece of paper. If you accidentally say a word that's in the name, throw it back into the bowl. At the end of 30 seconds, you get a point for each correct answer. Leave the used papers out of the bowl. When all the papers are done and all the celebrities have been guessed, put the papers back in the bowl and move on to Round 2.

Round 2: Charades. You have 30 seconds to act out as many as you can without saying any words. But all your smartie teammates will remember the celebrities from Round 1. When all the papers are used up, put them back in the bowl and move on to Round 3.


Round 3: One Word. You have 30 seconds. Pick a piece of paper from the bowl, and use only one word to make your teammates guess. Again, your smartie teammates will remember the celebrities from Rounds 1 and 2. If at any point in any round, you have one that's too hard or that no one guesses, you can put it back in the bowl and skip it with no penalties.


Sounds tedious and long-winded, right? Not at all! That's why I'm saying you gotta trust me! I have super funny memories of this game, my favorite was in the Canadian Rockies with about 20 people. Check out that beautiful fire!


Ok.

2.
Pick someone up. Not like "Hey, what are you doing later?" Like, actually, pick them up. Pick them up a la Richie Cunningham when he scores the winning basket in Happy Days. Get four people to surround someone, two on each side. Then hoist him/her up sorta like they're sitting on a chair. So two of you are supporting his/her seat and two are supporting the thighs. You can do this to a friend on his birthday, if you want. I prefer doing it to perfect strangers on the dancefloor. Hilarity ensues. Here's us picking up Lauren.


See, everyone's laughing!

3. Top That. This is another game, but with a more nebulous form. I did not make it up, but I wish I did. It was started by some college friends, and I'm thankful I was around during its inception. The premise is: one person does one thing, another person does another thing, another person does another thing, etc., in no particular order. You can go once or you can go many times, but you cannot go twice in a row (it just wouldn't make sense). So the only rule is that you have to do something that "beats" the thing that came right before it, and when you finish, you have to say "Top That." Eventually someone does something amazing, says "Top That," and the crowd erupts in cheers and laughter because everyone knows that it can't be topped.
Some amazing moves I've seen:

-a gal hang out of a second story window with her elbows on windowsill, and remove
her underwear while she's hanging out there!
-a guy ride a six foot wooden painting down a flight of stairs into the street!

-a guy drink the dog's water out of the dog's water bowl! Eww!


Tom (of the dog's water bowl fame-I think that was his name)

The best case scenario is that you initiate the game yourself,
and start out with something easy, and just sit back and let the rest of the crew entertain you with the gross/dangerous stuff. Oh, and one more tip: it's not against the rules to take your clothes off, but inevitably someone does it and it never quite gets the extreme reception they were hoping for. I can't explain why. It's just doesn't work. Above all, be careful!



Witness John circa 2007, victim of a game of Top That gone too far. He's smiling but he doesn't mean it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

**Fine Art Friday**


The best thing I can come up with to describe Joe Sorren's work is "Creepy Kewpies."


Check out his
work.


It's surrealistic and a bit "trippy," but also dreamy and beautiful.


He's also got a blog where he posts "works in progress" and other random thoughts.

Enjoy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Lovely Post Holiday Surprise!

I want to take this opportunity to do a shout out to a friend of mine who threw a spectacular holiday party POST holidays!
My friend Jaime invited all her close girlfriends over to give them their holiday gifts. But not only did we get gifts, we got a tasty dinner, complete with appetizers, AND she shared the most precious gift of all with us...a bottle of Cristal!

Now that's what I call a great party.


Hostess of the Month award goes to Jaime Fallon!! She opened up her heart, her home and her bubbly.


As far as how the Cristal tasted? "Like feathers and coulds."~~agmac~~

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

*Snapshot Wednesdays*


Apologies for repeating the event (New Year's) but this snapshot is just too fun not to post. Don't we look like we are having just the best time ever??!!??

Well we did!!!

Oh yeah, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAIME!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day!

I realized that I never posted pictures from the night Obama won! Well today seems like the perfect day to do so.

Check out the pix of the greatest night of 2008 in the greatest neighborhood in the world. (For those who aren't aware, that's Fort Greene).

All hail agmacs party!

Monday, January 19, 2009

*Ask Agmac* is back!!


Dear Agmac,

What’s the appropriate protocol for taking back a bottle of booze or alcohol that you have brought to a party? Let’s say that it was never opened, is it OK to take it back with you?

Signed,
Bo
**********

Dear Bo,

The general rule of thumb is if you brought it, you leave it. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:
#1, if you brought it but never took it out of your bag, thus never presenting it to the host, then it's ok to take it back,
#2, if the host has such a surplus that he/she ASKS you to take it back,
#3, if you and the host/hostess get in a major fight and it seems as if you will never speak to them again.

However, if you brought said alcohol as a gift or even just to share at the party, and none of the above rules apply to you, leave it there cheapskate!

Signed,

agmac

Friday, January 16, 2009

**Fine Art Friday**

This photographer was brought to my attention by my friend Elise, who has a great eye. His name is Alec Soth.

His style is different from Eggelston's, but like Eggelston, he photographs people in the south and midwest with no judgment and with beautiful composition.


Elise says, "...his work is particularly relevant right now as he's recently assembled a project called The Last Days of W, photographed over the past eight years.

"During these last days of the administration, what is the point of protest, satire or any other sort of rabble-rousing? In assembling this collection of pictures I've made over the last eight years, I'm not really trying to accomplish much at all. But as President Bush once said, 'One of the great things about books is, sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.'" - Alec Soth

The work will be on exhibit in NY at the Gagosian gallery, beginning Inauguration Day - January 20.

Thanks Elise!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh...Oh...Oh...KEEMO!


Yo Yo Yo snow buddies,

My awesome activity partner/neighbor/great friend Jaime and I went skiing in Vermont this past weekend.
We had some serious snow and it was fantabulous! We ate some good Polish food, skiied the slopes, hung out with some VT townies and walked through a blizzard.

It was pretty amazing. Oh and check out the awesome drink below--Schnocolate! (Or another good name would be Chocoschnapps).

Snowflakes and bubbles!

agmac

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

*Snapshot Wednesdays*

Happy Birthday Troy!! Hope you don't look so sad tonight at your b-day party!



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tiny Living/Tiny Entertaining by Jessica



Welcome to My Tiny Home!

Can you do a jumping jack in your apartment without hitting anything? Well, lucky you: Your place must be HUGE. For the rest of us, entertaining in our tiny spaces can be a daunting prospect, but it *can* be done successfully. Here are some things to consider.


REALITY CHECK
How many people can you comfortably entertain in your space? Don't overshoot, or you'll end up making either yourself or your guests miserable. You can start by counting your seating options. For a dinner party, make sure there is a reasonable perch for each guest. For a more casual gathering, you can count on a handful of people standing at any given time. Can't bring yourself to cut the list down? Have a back-up plan, such as a nearby bar, where you can all escape on foot once you reach maximum capacity.


SPACE SAVERS

• Designate space! How are your friends supposed to know not to set a drink on your new scanner when it lives on your coffee table?
• Move all clutter out of sight to create the illusion of space. Clear off surfaces and store things in closets, if you have a closet. Or the trunk of a friend's car. Or the roof.
• Decorate with light, not objects. Small lamps, sconces or candles will go further than a vase of flowers and can be placed strategically in empty spaces, illuminating empty space and making your home feel more expansive. Choose small decorative light sources to create a cozy atmosphere.
• Clean up as you go, a few dishes at a time. Just put them in the sink or hide in a box under the sink for later. (What, disposable dishes? No way, planet-killer!)


FURNITURE

• For serving meals, round tables can offer more flexibility than a square or rectangle, particularly if your guests are of varied size. No wasting an entire side of a table on one tiny person!
• Avoid chairs with arms. They take up valuable real estate and are unnecessary.
• For extra seating, convert a bench or plant stand into a chair by padding it with a decorative pillow. Exercise balls are a last resort only and are reserved for the host. Kidding. Sort of.
• Use a butcher block or dresser top for extra serving space. You can easily convert any tall furniture item into a bar on the spur of the moment. Clear it off and cover with a piece of fabric for decoration.


SETTING THE TABLE FOR A DINNER PARTY
Having eight guests around a table meant to seat five? It can be done. Don't fight the space; work with it.

• Forgo traditional settings. Use small plates. Two small plates per person will leave more room for glasses.
• Keep your portion size small enough to fit on the plates and serve seconds and thirds. Eating slowly and spacing it out is better for conversation, anyway. You may clear the small plates after each course, if you wish.
• Create your own look by unifying your table setting with a theme, which can be as simple as a color, or a shape.
• Avoid space-hogs like giant tippy wine glasses and use quirky small ones instead. Isn't sipping out of a thimble charming?
• Use decorative cocktail napkins. They're smaller and will look nice on the table.
• Don't serve everything at once; do it in stages to avoid clutter.
• Serve from the kitchen; don't have serving plates on the table. If you must have serving dishes on the table, select small ones and refill from the kitchen frequently.


MISCELLANY

• Don't forget music - it helps people relax and staves off claustrophobia.
• Lots of booze guarantees nothing, but do it anyway.


SHOPPING SUGGESTIONS

• Ikea for small furniture items, cute cocktail napkins and glasses you don't mind breaking
• Fishes Eddy for quirky and inexpensive glassware and random adorable tiny items you didn't know existed
• Outdoor markets/antiquey junk shops for pretty individual serving utensils
• Tiny Living for "solutions for small spaces" - http://www.tinyliving.com/store/


(Thanks Jessica!!!)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

**Fine Art Friday**


This illustrator, Trystan Bates, sent me a promo via email and I had to click. The best way for me to describe his work is adorably weird or grotesquely cute.

Take a look for yourself at his site.

I've omitted the more phallic pieces ;-)


He works in Buenos Aires and New York, which probably means he lives in Argentina and comes here ocassionally. But anything important can be done over the Internet anyway ;-).


xoxo agmac

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thirsty Thursdays by Lo


In light of the decent price on grapefruits I found over the weekend, I'm bringing back the summery drink for this week's post. Just as Agatha prefers a wheat beer over a lager even in winter, I like my mojitos year round. So, I present you with two Lo Flo specialties today, if you're dreaming of sunnier times.

Grapefruit Margarita

Ingredients:
1 pink grapefruit
bar sugar
triple sec
tequila (PatrĂ³n is worth the $$$)
lime (optional)

Fill the contents of your cocktail shaker with 2 oz. tequila, 1 oz. triple sec and plenty of ice. Depending on the quality of your juicer, you can get about 3 oz. juice out of half a grapefruit, which should be enough for this recipe. But if you're hand squeezing or using a crummy glass juicer like I did, you might need to use the whole fruit. Add the juice and shake shake shake, then shake once more. Meanwhile, rim a cocktail glass with sugar. I like organic sugar from Trader Joe's, but there are plenty of creepy flavored/colored cocktail rimmers out there (Stirrings is a big one). A good trick for rimming: Rub a lime slice around the rim, then dip onto a dish of sugar. Fill your glass, add another lime slice and you're good to go!

Coco Flojito

Ingredients:
8-10 mint leaves
club soda
Coco Lopez, canned coconut milk
Light rum
Lime
1 tsp sugar or simple syrup

I consider myself something of a master when it comes to the mojito. I think it's weird when people use Sprite to mix their mojito (which a lot of low-end places do) and cheap when they add tons of sugar and club soda and not enough rum. The main ingredient of a mojito is rum! The second is lime. But to keep things fun, here's my variation on a coconut mojito: Drop freshly rinsed mint leaves into the bottom of a tall glass, add an ounce of club soda, 1 tsp. sugar and the juice of one fresh-squeezed lime. Pummel the leaves into the sugar and liquid with a cocktail pestle. FILL the glass with ice, then cover about 3/4 of the ice with rum. Add 2 tsp. Coco Lopez and shake shake shake. When done, top off with club soda and stir. Wow, I can't believe I just gave away all my secrets. Guess I can retire.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

*Snapshot Wednesdays*


This photo, courtesy of Dana Grayson, was taken in New Hampshire at my friend Julia's wedding in 2002.

Among the highlights of the wedding was almost getting arrested for setting off fireworks on the dock, but talking the policemen out of it.

Wow, times have changed!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

*Peace*And*Loaf*2009*


My bff has an annual meatloaf party where she serves a perfect loaf! It's a super secret recipe, but from what I understand it's a culmination of a lot of hard work.

This year, there were some rival loafs! But the spirit and essence of a great party were all there: great decor, an AMAZING spread of food, a wide surplus of booze, and a great playlist.

Lo and Al, I salute you!!Here were the names of all the loafs:
  • Neatloaf (A delish soy loaf by Jaime)
  • PeaceLoaf (By the hosts)
  • MeatJoef (by Danielle and Joe--I think that's the right name?)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ask Agmac is in need of questions


OK people, if you don't write me, there will no wisdom to divulge on Monday's.

So hint, hint!!

Aks me questions and I tell you no lies!

ex's and oh's

agmac

(Image: by Troy Farmer/ Agmac frosting angel food cupcakes on NYE)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fine Art Friday

I found out about Alex Prager from another cool blog and the images look like Eggelston prints or Hitchcock stills, they are so fantastic. And she’s a woman, which rocks. Her images are funky, weird and beautifully composed.

She’s been compared to Cindy Sherman (ala the film stills component) but as far as I can tell she doesn’t make cameos in all of her imagery.

The Polyester collection was made into a book.