I was speaking with my wonderful, old, high school friend Mary today, (Mary who has been having chemo, and has lost all of her hair, but who has the time and energy to create an entire wedding from scratch for a friend on a moment's notice, who continues to work, and study, and go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras and walk eight miles, and is going to be throwing her annual Oscar party tomorrow), and she suggested I just go ahead and write something any way, so here I am, thanks to Mary, and well, a little Live Journal nudge from another old high school friend, Maria : )
I have so much to tell you. There was Christmas, New Year's, and Valentine's Day. I took Beau to San Francisco to stay with our dear friends from Burning Man because he desperately wanted to see Josephine, my little friend, and the darling, yes, darling, young woman he has fallen in love with. I've been dealing with my usual health challenges. Ana, my housekeeper, flipped out, had a serious paranoid episode where she accused me of videotaping her having sex, (WTF?), and quit without giving us any notice, but not before demanding seven hundred dollars. And my back went out.
I've finally finished my holiday collages, (this is just so embarrassing), and will be taking them to Kinko's to copy and send out to all of you who have sent cards to me next week. I remember when I decided I might as well make a couple of Valentine's to add to the group, and Esther thought it would be funny if I ended up having to include Easter bunnies, we laughed so hard, but if I don't get these out soon -- Christmas cards in March -- she won't have been wrong to have suggested this, sigh.
Scott and I are going to go to Mary and Steve's Oscar party tomorrow. They invited me last year but I'm so weird about the Oscars that I chose not to go. I am so slavishly devoted to the whole damned thing that I couldn't loosen up on the control enough to be willing to go to someone else's party. I was always the one who threw the annual Oscar party, people counted on us to do it for them, and there was my famous guacamole, and the fact that I won the Oscar betting pool so often that it was embarrassing enough that we had to change the prize from a cash deal to a gift for the winner, anyone but me, but after Robby and I split I stopped doing it.
In all these years, since I was ten or eleven, I think, I haven't missed a single Oscar show, and I've never watched it anywhere other than in my own home, or wait, that's not true, one year I watched the last part of it with a super famous producer friend at his house, what a trip that was, with everyone trying to outdo each other with their encyclopedic knowledge of film, "No, you're wrong, that was Kurosawa." "Oh please you couldn't be more confused, we're talking Shanghai Cinema here, fifth generation, Tian Zhuangzhuang. Scorsese loves him." "Yeah, maybe, but Kurosawa did it first in Drunken Angel." So it'll be interesting, semi-challenging, and interesting to watch it with my friend and her friends. Plus, Mary says they all have a blast being snarky and shouting at the TV. I'm looking forward to it, I really want to see Mary, I love being with people, and I isolate too much. It'll be good to laugh along with people with whom I have so much in common. I'm just hoping my back'll hold up for me to be able to go, I wasn't doing so well tonight, bla, bla, boring health stuff, bla.
One of the funny things that Mary is known for -- actually there was an article or two in The Times about this -- is the theme food factor. It's pot luck and you have to bring a dish that is either suggested by the title of a nominated film, or that was eaten in one of these films. I'm bringing Humus, and Baba Ganoush, for Syriana, and Munich, and guacamole and chips for Brokeback Mountain, which is a stretch, but they did go to Mexico, and there was a Mexican guy who brought the food to them, but it wouldn't be Oscar Night for me without guacamole. I'm betting there'll be more baked beans there than avocados.
Beau suggested I bring an ass shaped cake with a cowboy hat on it from the X rated cake bakery, but this didn't seem like a particularly sensitive suggestion considering the important groundbreaking nature of the film. When I told him this he said, "Just because someone's gay doesn't mean they don't have a sense of humour about it, Mom." Yeah, but I don't want to be the girl who showed up with the ass cake.
Every year around this time I get obsessed with having to see EVERY SINGLE NOMINATED FILM. Sometimes I manage to pull this off, and sometimes I don't. If I could find a way to see even the shortest of nominated shorts, and all of the obscure technical awards, I would. It's just this weird personal challenge I've set for myself. This, as you probably already know, has been a weird year for Oscar. I'm actually thrilled about this -- that there are so many well-meaning, less commercial, indie films nominated, but this also means that a lot of people, myself included, haven't seen many of them. It's been kind of a mad movie rush for me here, trying to catch up.
I saw Hustle and Flow, and Junebug last night. I loved Hustle and Flow, am in love with Taraji P. Henson, and think she was robbed of a nomination for her amazing fine work in this film. I just want to grab her sweet cheeks and kiss her. As far as Junebug is concerned, I wonder if anyone I know, or anyone who knows anyone I know, has seen it. With the exception of the poor actors, especially Celia Weston, and the AMAZING art of Ann Wood, I'm not a big fan. I love small character-driven films, really, really, really I do, and this has so many good actors in it, and good, weird art as well, but as Scott says, "This is the kind of movie that gives small character driven films a bad name."
We caught Mrs. Henderson Presents in Santa Monica tonight and loved it. What's not to love about a movie that cares about an older woman's perspective, with the added bonus of being British, about theatre, and including nudity, both male and female? An all around win win prospect as far as I'm concerned.
We were going to try to pick up Beau and rush over to the Westside Pavilion in time to see Good Night and Good Luck afterwards, but my back said, "Excuse me, but no one consulted me about this, I would prefer to go home, NOW!" and so we did. Then of course I had go ahead and make the mistake of calling my Mother, my very Republican, almost ninety-year-old Mother, and we got into a heated but ultimately pointless debate about McCarthy. How can she defend this man who ruined so many lives, who was censured by the senate and died of alcoholism at a young forty-seven years old. Unfortunately my Mom was a real nineteen-forties/fifties kind of gal. She really bought the whole, "Commies are trying to destroy us from within," party line. She said, "They had infiltrated the entire movie business and they were very subtle and devious about it." Oh Mom, oh Mom, oh Mom, oh Mom...
I always seem to be watching television when I'm writing in my journal. Probably because I write in bed on my laptop, and I usually have the TV on when I'm in my room in bed. I'm watching a repeat of The Project Runway Reunion Special. I'm enjoying getting to watch some of the more surreal moments again; Andre weeping and EXPRESSSSING, flinging his overly dramatic gangly limbs about in that odd prancy way, Guadalupe tripping on some kind of wicked drug, trying to answer a simple question by going off on this bizarre rant, and wrapping this up with a telltale druggie snap of her fingers and a click of her tongue.
I'm mad for this show. I'm also really loving the brand spanking new Project Jay. Jay is the fashion designer who won the first Project Runway competition. I can't get enough of this show. Who knew that after a lifetime of rejecting the one thing I should have done, the one thing I had everything I needed to succeed at, in terms of family knowledge, connections, and support, that I would end up loving this art form so much. Sad really. Missed opportunities. Acting, feh, a lifetime of missed opportunities in pursuit of this one elusive goal. All the things I could have done, if only I could have given this up, if only I still could, nope, not likely, not in this lifetime, oh well. Maxie anyone?
Speaking of fashion I picked up a copy of USA Today, tonight, because there was a whole section devoted to the Oscars, (You know I'm crazy about the Oscars, right, and have been my entire life?), and I wanted to see if they had a better pull out ballot guide than the one I already have. Then I saw a picture of Beau's new friend Charlotte and her Mother, Colleen Atwood -- Colleen Atwood, the six time nominated, one time Oscar winning costume designer. She designed Memoirs of a Geisha and I'm thinking she's pretty much a lock for the Oscar this year. Anyway, she's taking her daughter with her to this year's ceremonies and she has this little blog diary thing going on USA today and I thought Beau might be impressed when I showed it to him.
I came upstairs laid it out on the bed for him to see, called him into my room and said, "Hey Beau, see anyone you recognize?" Without waiting a beat he reached over to my telephone stand, grabbed a pen, and drew a unibrow, mustache, and beard on Charlotte, and a goatee on her Mother. Then he said, "There, I think they look much better now," laughed, and left the room. Isn't it great how totally unfazed kids are by fame? I think I've been living in LA for far too long because I'm way too impressed by these kinds of things.
I'll check back in, in the morning, with my Oscar picks. I used to be really good at this.
Big missed you hugs,
PS: Whitey, my once wild rescue kitty, says, "Hello." Well, actually it sounds more like, "Mrowr," but I'm pretty sure that's cat for hello. And, next time we take in a female cat, the next one who makes her way to our little sanctuary here, I'm going to call her Hello, for Hello Kitty. Don't know why I never thought of that one before.