HOME IN TIME FOR OSCAR
1 March 2005
I'm trying a new masthead. What do you think of it? Particularly appropriate for today's entry, I think!
I also decided to make the month of March reflect my Irish heritage by choosing a Celtic design for the background.
So the latest Oscar broadcast is now history and there I was, soaking in every minute of it. One of my guilty pleasures throughout the year.
We had a delayed "Dad's Birthday" celebration. Walt turned 65 on Saturday (and is having a difficult time adjusting to the fact that he has an appointment to sign up for Medicare this week!). Saturday was a quiet day. I gave him his gift(s) in the morning, both of which require a return trip to the stores where I got them, and then other than fixing him a nice roast beef-with-artichoke dinner for him, that was about the extent of the partying.
(You don't have Farkle parties, or big surprise parties any more when you're old enough to sign up for Medicare!)
Everybody checked in with phone calls sending greetings and felicitations, and in the case of his two siblings, a few barbs about old age.
But we put off anything more until Sunday, when Ned and Marta could join us. Ned works here in town on Sunday, opening up the theatre so that a local church group can use it, and he suggested that we do lunch and a movie after he got off work.
The original plan was to take in The Aviator, but I looked at the run time of the movie and it would get us home after the start of the Oscar telecast and I couldn't have that. Besides, I figured Walt would enjoy Sideways even more, being a wine afficionado and all.
We chose my favorite salad bar for lunch (they have the best croutons in town, which makes me happy, and a big vat of beets, which makes Walt happy). We had a nice lunch, then walked over to the theatre just in time for the movie.
What a fun afternoon! If you haven't seen Sideways, I highly recommend it. I can see that, up against the other blockbusters that were in the running this year, it really didn't have a chance of carrying home any awards (except writing, which it richly deserved!). But great fun, and if you like wine tasting--or know some wine snobs--you'll really enjoy the humor of this, though wine tasting is not the "meat" of this film. But it's the branch on which to hang the real plot. It was also the only film I've ever seen set in Solvang, California, where our daughter-in-law is from.
Best of all, we were home in time to listen to "Says You" on the radio and when that ended, the red carpet interviews were in full swing. Now I call that perfect timing, for one who has been hooked on the Oscars ever since age 10.
I remember the very first Academy Award telecast I ever watched. I was probably 1953, because I was 10 when we got our first television. The broadcast was in black and white (of course). Bob Hope was the M.C., of course, and the only real thing I remember about it was that at the start of the show, there was this thing that was like a tiered cake and sitting around on it were a bunch of stars who had won Oscars in the past. The only one I really remember was Loretta Young, who was a crush of mine that year (I had probably just seen her in "Paula," a shlocky tear-jerker that still makes me cry). I can remember the following year when I was eager to see the show again, thinking that I'd see the "cake" again, but of course it was a different opening. But I still remember that very first one.
The Academy Awards, like so many other things, have gotten to regimented or something. I always enjoy it. I love seeing everyone dressed to the 9s, but it seems that now that the red carpet is really an advertisement for fashion designers and jewelers, a lot of the fun has gone out of it. Where is Bjork with the swan draped around her neck? Where is Cher with whatever outlandish costume she's going to wear. Where are the truly ugly, tacky looks of bygone years?
The thing I miss most of all, though, are the heartfelt speeches that go on and on and on. Some guy receiving an award for something you've never heard of, standing there with tears in his eyes thanking his kindergarten teacher and the guy who sold groceries on the corner and every sister, cousin and aunt in his family, while the clock ticks on and on and on. This business of cutting off the thank-you's before those guys who are getting their one chance to stand in the limelight is just really too abrupt and has taken a little of the fun out of Oscar night.
This year we had actually seen three of the nominated films: Finding Neverland, Million Dollar Baby and Sideways. I was very happy to see all the awards going to Million Dollar Baby, a movie I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd enjoy so much. I thought Hillary Swank gave such a classy acceptance speech. I have had such growing admiration for her, as I've watched all the interviews she's given for this film.
But it was one of those years where I wished there had been a tie for best director. Martin Scorsese is overdue for some recognition.
The one thing about the "regementation" of the show, however, was that it was over before midnight (actually only 7:45 here), whereas in the past it has gone on and on and on. So there was time to see The L Word when it finished.
We weren't on a schedule per se for the day, but it seems to have worked out that I got to do everything I wanted to do in the day without feeling rushed. I hope that, along the way, Walt had a nice birthday celebration!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I love this photo of the horses on the farm that Peggy just sent.
here for the Lawsuit Song of the Day