alexxkay: (Default)
If you were planning on coming to the 21st Century Party via T, be aware that the Red Line is having some construction this (and next) weekend, and the Shawmut station will be closed. You could catch a bus from Fields Corner, but it would probably be easiest for most folks to just walk directly from the Fields Corner stop.

Google Maps walking directions

(Note that, although Google Maps doesn't realize it, you can easily exit out the station heading in the correct direction, without having to go out towards Dorchester Avenue first.)
alexxkay: (Default)
That went well. The folks who showed up were rather different than I had expected, but proved to be a very congenial mix. Only one technical glitch, which I got out of the way before the party started. Also, only one minor error in the massive takeout dinner order!

The films themselves were well received. Though it must be said that some folks were quite taken aback by the tone shift in the middle of "The Ruling Class". [livejournal.com profile] juldea later expressed thanks that both [livejournal.com profile] jducouer and myself had verbally signified this shift at the appropriate point. "And nowww... the *second* half of the film."

I myself had forgotten that TRC sort of turns into a zombie movie just at the end for a few minutes. The ending actually reminded me a bit of another zombie movie, "The Last Man on Earth". Both of them conclude with an infant's voice, symbolic of the ongoing cycle of life -- which in both cases is presented not as redemotive, but as unending horror. I wonder if that trope shows up elsewhere as well?
alexxkay: (Default)
Due to a few people who are (probably) arriving late, and who expressed especial interest in Revenger's Tragedy, I'm swapping the schedule around a bit.

1:00 PM
doors open

2:00 to 3:50-ish
Kind Hearts and Coronets - 1949, 106 minutes

3:50 to 4:10-ish
Break

4:10 to 6:00-ish
Revengers Tragedy - 2003, 109 minutes

6:00 to 7:30
Dinner; order and consume takeout.

7:30 to 10-ish
The Ruling Class - 1972, 154 minutes

If there is enough collective energy left at that point, hang out for a while and chat.
alexxkay: (Default)
Upon the theme "Pitch black comedies about murderously insane British aristocrats".

1:00 PM
doors open

2:00 to 3:50-ish
Revengers Tragedy - 2003, 109 minutes
A Jacobean revenge tragedy, reset in post-apocalyptic Liverpool by mad director Alex Cox. Vindici (Christopher Eccleston) returns to his home town in disguise some years after the Duke (Derek Jacobi) poisoned Vindici's bride for not being seducable by him. Vindici finds his quest for vengeance is made both easier and more complex by the fact that the Duke's various sons and stepsons (one notably played by Eddie Izzard) are all vying for position, some with murderous methods.

3:50 to 4:15
Break

4:15 to 6:00
Kind Hearts and Coronets - 1949, 106 minutes
Louis (Dennis Price) was born to a mother who used to be a member of the noble D'Ascoyne family, but was kicked out because she married for love. When Louis reaches adulthood, he decides to retake the dukedom he feels should be his by good old-fashioned methods -- murdering everyone between him and the title. The bulk of the D'Ascoyne family is played by Alec Guiness, in a variety of costumes and accents. Also notable in the cast is Joan Greenwood, whose sultry-voiced femme fatale Sibella may be Louis' greatest helper, or perhaps his downfall.

6:00 to 7:30
Dinner; order and consume takeout.

7:30 to 10-ish
The Ruling Class - 1972, 154 minutes
Jack Gurney (Peter O'Toole) has recently inherited the title of 14th Earl of Gurney. Sadly, Jack is quite insane, and insists that he is, in fact, Jesus Christ. The other members of the family believe that this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue, and make a variety of attempts to 'cure' him. But the definition of sanity -- and normalcy -- can be dangerous things...

If there is enough collective energy left at that point, hang out for a while and chat.
alexxkay: (Default)
I have a hankering to host a movie day, on the general theme of "Black comedies with insanely murderous British aristocrats". Of which there are more than you might think :) Exact details to follow, but probably starting in the early-mid afternoon, and going on until somewhere in the 11-midnight-1 range, depending on general energy level.

Who's in?
alexxkay: (Default)
That was ok. Fewer people came than I had hoped, but the ones who did were cool, and many good conversations and book recommendations were had. I made sure that some of my very favorite books found new homes, where I hope they will be loved.

People took away about 40-50 books, which was about 10% of what I had laid out. I foresee many trips to used book stores and libraries over the summer to get rid of the remainder. Of course, people are welcome to come and look at the piles in the interim, but I'm not going to spread them out on the living room floor again :-)
alexxkay: (Default)
That was ok. Fewer people came than I had hoped, but the ones who did were cool, and many good conversations and book recommendations were had. I made sure that some of my very favorite books found new homes, where I hope they will be loved.

People took away about 40-50 books, which was about 10% of what I had laid out. I foresee many trips to used book stores and libraries over the summer to get rid of the remainder. Of course, people are welcome to come and look at the piles in the interim, but I'm not going to spread them out on the living room floor again :-)
alexxkay: (Default)
What: A party to celebrate books, and to give away hundreds of them! (Also, as a sub-theme, to celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday.)

Where: Melville Keep.

When: Saturday, April 19th, starting at 1:00 P.M., lasting until the last housemate standing kicks people out.

* We will provide cheap plastic shopping bags to put books in. If you want more sturdy containers, bring them.
* Consider finding a car or ride for this party. While we are T-accessible, I hope to load you down with lots of books before you leave :-)
* First-come, first-serve.

Q: Why are you giving away so many books?
A: Partially a vaguely Buddhist sense that fewer possessions = more happiness. But mostly, a realization that I am happy to read books on my Palm, and that I can reclaim a lot of shelf-space by going digital.

Q: What a great idea! Can I bring my own books to give away?
A: Yes, but with the following condition: If no one else takes them, you *must* take them back with you. A major purpose of this party is to reduce the number of books I have to get rid of in other fashions, so I don't want to have to deal with yours as well. This means that you will have to keep them well clear of the piles I am putting out, and keep track of them.

Q: What sort of books are you giving away?
A: About 80% are Fiction (mostly SF/Fantasy) which I have found ebook replacements for. About 10% are books that I decided I just don't need any more even if I can't replace them. And about 10% are culls from [livejournal.com profile] kestrell's library. So, as opposed to most 'free book' piles, the vast majority of these books are actually ones that I consider to be worth having!

Q: How do I know which are "the good ones"?
A: Ask. And not just me; I want this party to have wide-ranging bibliophilic discussions :-)

Q: Hey, did you know that this book over here is really valuable?
A: Maybe. But I'm happy to give it to a friend.

Q: Does that mean I can take it and sell it on ebay?
A: I would really rather you didn't. If no one else takes it by the end of the evening, and if you gave me a cut of the take, I would not object.

Q: Should I bring food or anything?
A: If you like, though that follows the same rule as bringing books: if it doesn't get eaten, you get to take it back home with you. (In a communal house of this size, fridge space is always at a premium.) Some munchies will be provided. If lots of people bring food, it becomes a pot-luck; if they don't, we'll probably order pizza when we get hungry.

Q: Should I RSVP?
A: Appreciated, but not required.
alexxkay: (Default)
What: A party to celebrate books, and to give away hundreds of them! (Also, as a sub-theme, to celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday.)

Where: Melville Keep.

When: Saturday, April 19th, starting at 1:00 P.M., lasting until the last housemate standing kicks people out.

* We will provide cheap plastic shopping bags to put books in. If you want more sturdy containers, bring them.
* Consider finding a car or ride for this party. While we are T-accessible, I hope to load you down with lots of books before you leave :-)
* First-come, first-serve.

Q: Why are you giving away so many books?
A: Partially a vaguely Buddhist sense that fewer possessions = more happiness. But mostly, a realization that I am happy to read books on my Palm, and that I can reclaim a lot of shelf-space by going digital.

Q: What a great idea! Can I bring my own books to give away?
A: Yes, but with the following condition: If no one else takes them, you *must* take them back with you. A major purpose of this party is to reduce the number of books I have to get rid of in other fashions, so I don't want to have to deal with yours as well. This means that you will have to keep them well clear of the piles I am putting out, and keep track of them.

Q: What sort of books are you giving away?
A: About 80% are Fiction (mostly SF/Fantasy) which I have found ebook replacements for. About 10% are books that I decided I just don't need any more even if I can't replace them. And about 10% are culls from [livejournal.com profile] kestrell's library. So, as opposed to most 'free book' piles, the vast majority of these books are actually ones that I consider to be worth having!

Q: How do I know which are "the good ones"?
A: Ask. And not just me; I want this party to have wide-ranging bibliophilic discussions :-)

Q: Hey, did you know that this book over here is really valuable?
A: Maybe. But I'm happy to give it to a friend.

Q: Does that mean I can take it and sell it on ebay?
A: I would really rather you didn't. If no one else takes it by the end of the evening, and if you gave me a cut of the take, I would not object.

Q: Should I bring food or anything?
A: If you like, though that follows the same rule as bringing books: if it doesn't get eaten, you get to take it back home with you. (In a communal house of this size, fridge space is always at a premium.) Some munchies will be provided. If lots of people bring food, it becomes a pot-luck; if they don't, we'll probably order pizza when we get hungry.

Q: Should I RSVP?
A: Appreciated, but not required.
alexxkay: (Default)
Having heard no substantive suggestions other than "near Shakespeare's Birthday", I am having my Book Party /PotLatch on Saturday, April 19th. More details to follow, nearer the date.
alexxkay: (Default)
Having heard no substantive suggestions other than "near Shakespeare's Birthday", I am having my Book Party /PotLatch on Saturday, April 19th. More details to follow, nearer the date.
alexxkay: (Default)
Partially prompted by discussion on [livejournal.com profile] patrissimo's LJ, partially by the prospect of a potential move, I have decided that e-readers are now good enough for me to prefer them to paper for most prose. (Comic book reading applications are *not* good enough yet, though I hope they may be in a few years.) I am now in the process of converting most of my prose fiction from paper to electrons. (Non-fiction is a bit harder to find in e-form, though I may make small inroads there as well.) Hence, I have a large-and-growing pile of books to get rid of.

This sounds like a good excuse for a party! Come to my house and take away books. I've already gone through several 'purge' passes over the last few years, so the overall quality of the remaining material is (in my opinion of course) quite high. Maybe bring some discards of your own to give away (but you have to take them home if no one else takes them!).

I'm thinking some weekend day in March or April. When is good for people?
alexxkay: (Default)
Partially prompted by discussion on [livejournal.com profile] patrissimo's LJ, partially by the prospect of a potential move, I have decided that e-readers are now good enough for me to prefer them to paper for most prose. (Comic book reading applications are *not* good enough yet, though I hope they may be in a few years.) I am now in the process of converting most of my prose fiction from paper to electrons. (Non-fiction is a bit harder to find in e-form, though I may make small inroads there as well.) Hence, I have a large-and-growing pile of books to get rid of.

This sounds like a good excuse for a party! Come to my house and take away books. I've already gone through several 'purge' passes over the last few years, so the overall quality of the remaining material is (in my opinion of course) quite high. Maybe bring some discards of your own to give away (but you have to take them home if no one else takes them!).

I'm thinking some weekend day in March or April. When is good for people?
alexxkay: (Default)
So, I've created enough relevant savegames on my home machine that I could easily give a 4-5 tour of all the high points of BioShock, for those who are interested but unlikely to play it themselves for whatever reason. Any suggestions for when would be a good time to do this? Known constraints: Not this weekend, as I will be out of town. [livejournal.com profile] kestrell is hosting a Halloween party on 10/27. The weekends in between are currently unclaimed, though I'm sure that won't last.
alexxkay: (Default)
So, I've created enough relevant savegames on my home machine that I could easily give a 4-5 tour of all the high points of BioShock, for those who are interested but unlikely to play it themselves for whatever reason. Any suggestions for when would be a good time to do this? Known constraints: Not this weekend, as I will be out of town. [livejournal.com profile] kestrell is hosting a Halloween party on 10/27. The weekends in between are currently unclaimed, though I'm sure that won't last.
alexxkay: (Default)
At the recent BioShock launch party, as I previously mentioned, the "background" music was so loud as to seriously impair conversation, and completely preclude it in many areas. It occurs to me that at *every* event I have ever been to that had a professional DJ, this has been a problem. At the last wedding I was at, the bride and groom kept asking the DJ to turn down the music, and they would -- but then gradually turned it back up again as soon as they had gone away. It's as if the DJs think that conversation is not important -- or at least, not as important as the music is -- even when their *employers* tell them otherwise.

I wonder if there is some deep reason for this. Could it be Type-related (paging [livejournal.com profile] siderea)? Is a particular sort of person drawn to being a DJ, and does that sort of person inherently have a different set of values than those of me and my peers?
alexxkay: (Default)
At the recent BioShock launch party, as I previously mentioned, the "background" music was so loud as to seriously impair conversation, and completely preclude it in many areas. It occurs to me that at *every* event I have ever been to that had a professional DJ, this has been a problem. At the last wedding I was at, the bride and groom kept asking the DJ to turn down the music, and they would -- but then gradually turned it back up again as soon as they had gone away. It's as if the DJs think that conversation is not important -- or at least, not as important as the music is -- even when their *employers* tell them otherwise.

I wonder if there is some deep reason for this. Could it be Type-related (paging [livejournal.com profile] siderea)? Is a particular sort of person drawn to being a DJ, and does that sort of person inherently have a different set of values than those of me and my peers?
alexxkay: (Default)
Well, the GameSpot review is finally in, with a mere 9/10, dragging our average down to a "mere" 97%.

On the plus side, one of my favorite game writers, Tom Chick, did the Yahoo review and gave us 5/5. His concluding words:
Games like BioShock are what we need. They are what we deserve. This is one of the best examples of where we should go. It's silly to argue whether games are art, which doesn't matter one whit, when you can simply point to BioShock and say: "Games are this."

The launch party last night was pretty cool. They really went overboard on the themed decor. Neon signs saying "Welcome to Rapture". Security Bot (cardboard cutouts) hanging from the ceiling. A life-sized Big Daddy statue. What I first took to be mannikins dressed up like Splicers, but turned out to be human actors standing very still (creepy!). Waitresses dressed as Little Sisters (torn, bloodstained frocks), distributing "Adam" drinks by squirting them out of syringes. Big video monitors displaying the trailer for the game. A dozen or so stations set up where people could actually play. Even commemorative swizzle sticks and coasters. A few pictures can be found here.

The biggest down side was the noise. Downstairs, they were playing music at a decibel level that reduced communication to shouting within 3 inches of someone else's ear. Upstairs wasn't quite as bad, but was still loud enogh to make it difficult to have a conversation between more than 3 people at once.

I got lots of egoboo, which is a rare treat in the industry. Got to say hi to some folks from Harmonix who I haven't seen in ages. Kes saw a few folks that she knew from MIT circles, and got to bask in my reflected glory :-)
alexxkay: (Default)
Well, the GameSpot review is finally in, with a mere 9/10, dragging our average down to a "mere" 97%.

On the plus side, one of my favorite game writers, Tom Chick, did the Yahoo review and gave us 5/5. His concluding words:
Games like BioShock are what we need. They are what we deserve. This is one of the best examples of where we should go. It's silly to argue whether games are art, which doesn't matter one whit, when you can simply point to BioShock and say: "Games are this."

The launch party last night was pretty cool. They really went overboard on the themed decor. Neon signs saying "Welcome to Rapture". Security Bot (cardboard cutouts) hanging from the ceiling. A life-sized Big Daddy statue. What I first took to be mannikins dressed up like Splicers, but turned out to be human actors standing very still (creepy!). Waitresses dressed as Little Sisters (torn, bloodstained frocks), distributing "Adam" drinks by squirting them out of syringes. Big video monitors displaying the trailer for the game. A dozen or so stations set up where people could actually play. Even commemorative swizzle sticks and coasters. A few pictures can be found here.

The biggest down side was the noise. Downstairs, they were playing music at a decibel level that reduced communication to shouting within 3 inches of someone else's ear. Upstairs wasn't quite as bad, but was still loud enogh to make it difficult to have a conversation between more than 3 people at once.

I got lots of egoboo, which is a rare treat in the industry. Got to say hi to some folks from Harmonix who I haven't seen in ages. Kes saw a few folks that she knew from MIT circles, and got to bask in my reflected glory :-)

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Alexx Kay

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