And the Oscar goes to…

I have been horribly remiss about posting.  Things in my world have been slightly off kilter.  Almost normal, but not.  For one thing, I still don’t know who won the Oscars.  And I am a die-hard Oscar fan.

What I mean to say is that I’m a die-hard movie fan, but the Oscars are probably the most important night of the whole year for me.  And the morning the nominations are announced is probably the most important morning of the whole year for me.

By that time, I’ve more or less seen the films I want to see and the remaining weeks until the ceremony are spent catching up on the handful I missed – as well as seeing the ones I really am not interested in but have to see because they were nominated.  If I’m really busy, as I was this year, it becomes almost like work.  Sometimes I don’t even enjoy it.

About two weeks before ‘the’ event, I found out that I had to be away, far away with no Oscar access.  And apparently Time Warner doesn’t let you set your DVR that far in advance.  Missing the show was all I could think about.  Well that and flying coach, but nothing else.

Then, just like a cheesy movie plot, shortly before I was to leave, someone kind of amazing came into my life.  Someone who seemed as crazy about the Oscars as I.  He seemed, then at least, amazing for lots of reasons.  It was an extremely finite period of amazingness, but that wasn’t apparent till later.  Back then, it was an intoxicating combination of someone who was super interesting, a good kisser and who would DVR the Oscars for me.  Ooooh, that’s a bingo!

The cheesy movie plot continued.  I received an apologetic email the day after the show.  He didn’t tape it.   I mentioned this to a  guy I was with in Faraway Land.  “I don’t know…if I liked you, I would have made sure I taped it.  That’s kind of what you do.”  I tried to ignore that.

What I couldn’t ignore was that I didn’t have the Oscars telecast.  I didn’t want a list of the winners.  I didn’t want to watch a clip of the Best Picture or Best Actor awards.  I wanted every minute, including the songs and the Irving R. Thalberg Tribute.  I even wanted the at-last-week’s-luncheon-we-gave-the-Technical-Awards speech.

I wanted my best night of the year.

I called my friend, Phillip.  He loves the Oscars; he would have taped it.  “Oh, sorry, I only have the Red Carpet.”  I looked online, all over.  I called everyone I knew.  No one had the entire show.  So I waited. I’d have to find it somehow.  I didn’t want the news any other way.

I didn’t use my computer for well  over a week.  I was with only a few people and, they, thankfully, respected my craziness and never spoke of the show or its winners.  I didn’t read any newspapers or turn on the television.

By the time I got home a couple of weeks later, the headlines had moved on.  I told my neighbor to make sure all my magazines were face down when she gave me my mail.  They’re still sitting that way in my living room.

Mr. Amazing was gone.  In his place was Mr. Indifferent.  He wasn’t nearly as fun to spend time with.  Or at least I’m guessing he wouldn’t have been;  I never saw much of him.  The cheesy movie plot never developed, not even in a straight-to-DVD fashion.

42 days later and I still don’t know who won.   Should I just read the list of winners already and give up trying to find the real thing?  It’s kind of ridiculous that I still hold out hope that I’ll find someone who taped the show, still has it saved, and will let me come over and watch it.  In silence of course.  I like my Oscar experience pure.  It’s also kind of ridiculous that I think about that teensy amount of Mr. Amazing time more than the vast amount of Mr. Indifferent time.

I’ve had my Academy acceptance speech written for years.   I’m on stage.  I look at Oscar and then I look to camera.

“Mommy…(pause)….I finally met the man of my dreams.”

Cut.

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Life Coach

At the time of this writing, I’m four hours and thirty-eight minutes into a fifteen hour flight – and then will still have a few more hours to go after that.  I’ve traveled a fair amount, and this isn’t my first “long-haul,” but for some reason I have had a lot of anxiety surrounding this trip.

For one thing, I’m flying coach.  This would be awful on its own, but I haven’t been able to stop mentioning it.  And every time I mention it, it makes me feel worse.  At first my “in coach!” emphasis followed a logical flight-related statement.  Then it mutated into bringing anything and everything back to my flight.

Would you like another bourbon?  Yes, it’s not like I can have that in coach!  I can’t talk now.  I’m on my way to yoga, to practice for the contortions in coach!  It’s freezing out…kinda like the air in coach!

Finally it’s become like that ridiculous “in bed” game that people play with fortune cookies.  I guess it’s a battle scar; I wish I didn’t have it, but I’m not going to let you forget I went to war.

I’ve also been nervous about the ability for this plane to get to its destination intact.  I should stress that I’m not usually a nervous flyer.  And of course I’m wearing my lucky necklace, which has never yet let me down.  But even before I ticketed, this flight seemed troubled.  And it hasn’t helped that Seat-Mate has the same feeling.  Our paranoia is feeding off of each other.  We even discussed that maybe our sense of foreboding has nothing to do with the flight itself, but is because the world may end while we’re in the air.  It would be a shame to have flown this far in coach only to step out to a barren land.   It’d be more horrific though if the the world did end but somehow and we could  fly around forever, in coach,  fueling up from sky-buoys.

I don’t want to die right now nor do I ever want to die in coach. I want to live to make the coach flight back.  This bit of traveling came at the wrong time.  So often when I’m home, I’d like to be away, but right now all I can think of is being home.  And I haven’t even arrived yet!  I’m not sure if there is a difference between missing and longing, or if it even matters, but I’m feeling a really strong pull back to my Tree of Souls.

I heard a story the other day about an Air India flight and how it was a complete free-for-all.  A woman decided to sleep in the galley because her seat was uncomfortable.  The flight attendants preferred poker to attending to the flight.  At one point, they put a tea cart out and made an announcement that people should just  help themselves if they wanted anything, and then returned to their cards.  In order to get the tea,  however, one would have to step over the sleeping body on the floor.

I loved this story.  Finally, I had one thing that made me feel that things could be worse.  I had just finished telling Traveling Companion that story and within five minutes of my doing so, our flight attendant made this PA announcement:  “Welcome on board.  Smoking is not permitted and there is no sleeping on the floor.”  For real.

It’s kind of funny, but I really don’t think that I’d have fully appreciated that moment if I hadn’t been in coach.

And in case you were wondering how this got posted, the lucky necklace prevailed.  And brought me this:

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“How were your first bites, y’all?”

It’s been one week and five pounds since my last post.  I’m more ashamed about the first part.

The second part was due to a trip to New Orleans.  It was a lot of fun but I still feel sick from all the excess.  I’ve been there a couple of times before and I used to associate The Big Easy with music, voodoo and above ground burial plots but this trip was pretty much only about food.  Well,  food and football, but I since I have a bye week, I’m not writing about football now.

The woman in the row in front of us on the plane trip down astutely observed that  “New Orleans is smaller than New York,”  but she clearly was not referring to portion sizes.  For five days, every single huge meal was fried something-or-other.  Usually fried something-or-other with cream sauce.

<—  Here’s a typical lunch.

That fried soft shell crab sandwich is actually being served on deep fried bread with a side of french fries and toast.  A side of toast with a sandwich!   Even hummus came with a vat of fried pita chips.

And, forget about vegetables.  I learned it wouldn’t be a vegetable dish in New Orleans if it didn’t have meat.  I was so desperate for something green that I actually ordered the trimmings from a Po’ Boy sandwich as a meal.  What I got was a cup of mayonnaise and a bit of shredded  lettuce.

Our brief intervals between meals were largely spent trespassing, although I prefer to think of it as going off the beaten path.  We broke into an abandoned home which was devastated by Katrina,  a television station’s seemingly abandoned satellite dish yard and a huge gravel quarry which surrounds the Domino’s Sugar Refinery in one of the outlying towns.

That quarry and its mountains of gravel was my favorite place in all of New Orleans – and not just because my absolute favorite picture of me ever was taken atop one.

I'm King of the World!

The awesome photographer behind the most awesome photograph of me ever taken was also responsible for one of the most awesome conversations ever had.  He was photographing in a supermarket parking lot at night and a security guard came out to tell him to stop.   This is the actual verbatim exchange:

Guard:     You can’t shoot here.
Awesome Photographer:   I’m entirely within my rights.
Guard:     No you can’t shoot here.
Awesome Photographer:   Why?
Guard:      Because of 9/11.
Awesome Photographer:    What happened on 9/11?
Guard:      Terrorists attacked.
Awesome Photographer:     Your supermarket?
Guard:       No.  (pause) Okay, then.  You can continue.  Next time, ask first.

Frankly, I was hoping that Awesome Photographer would have responded with a simple “get off my sac.”   That would have made my 2010 perfect so far.

I guess I’m just not meant to be happy.

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