Monday, February 25, 2013

Birds and Oscars

It was a gorgeous day, and I hadn't gotten outside at all the previous day, so I invited Josh out for a walk/run in the park first thing. We ended up in my favorite spot to see birds, and got to hang out with lots of red winged blackbirds, a pair of hooded mergansers, a kingfisher up close, and a downy woodpecker—among many other less flashy common birds. Later, when we were on the way to C-Town to buy ingredients for our Oscars food sculptures, we saw this cardinal on the sidewalk. I was surprised I'd never seen it before. Maybe it was just passing through.

There's something about this sighting that brought me as much joy, if not more, than the mergansers. Maybe it's because it required me to see it? I mean, I needed to be able to see the ducks as well—as evidenced by the woman blasting past them, with her dog on a leash while she talked on her cell, and never once looked at the water. So maybe it's more that it required me to invent it, not just see it.

We left it there on the sidewalk and went in to get ingredients I'd never otherwise buy if I wasn't working on a project: marshmallows and confectioners sugar and food coloring and a slab of turkey ham, and we came home to sculpt. Josh was hot this year. We had both had great ideas for sculptures, but his execution was just beyond the pale, especially with this Life of Pi tiger made from farmers cheese, orange peels (some died black), olives (eyes) and daikon (whiskers.)

When we had seen Flight, I knew right away that the central image was Denzel's hand on a little bottle of vodka, and we started talking back then how to execute it. We knew that sausages were key for fingers, but had a hard time figuring out what the the hand should be made of. Josh convinced me it should be another meat product, and this was the result:

I made fondant for the first time in my life, and with the help of some Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls, made a bunch of moderately successful Lincoln's hats.

I also made a batch of Hush Puppies for consumption (photographed here after many had already been consumed) in honor of my favorite film of the year: Beasts of the Southern Wild.

And then it was time to get dressed in costume for the evening, as it turned out, in sharp contrast to my costume of the night before. Did you see The Sessions? Another gem this year? I dressed as Helen Hunt's character Cheryl, a sex surrogate who spent half the time in a mom sweater and half the time naked, and spoke the whole time in a horrible Boston accent.

 And then the guests started to arrive. Five Broken Cameras:

Hushpuppy, Pat from Silver Linings Playbook, and Whip Whitaker from Flight:

And they brought sculptures too! Emily made this Lincoln Log cabin.

And Nina made this Life of Pi pie, with Life cereal crust, Indian spices in the banana cream, and the blue water on top. (Sorry I didn't get a photo before it was cut!)

I'm running late to work, so I can't take the time to draw out reflections about joy and the day, but let's just say that community and creativity trump racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, ageist, trite, un-funny Oscars hosting, every time.

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