Tag Archives: oscars

I’m going to the Oscars!

By which I mean, I’m going to the bleachers outside the Oscars!!! Sorry to mislead you there. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like such a big deal, think again, my friend.

Winning an Oscar puts you in an exclusive club – so does winning the lottery for a red carpet bleacher seat. There are only about 700 seats…and up to 200,000 applicants, putting your chances at about 1 in 286 (thank you, high school algebra). I would never know any of this, except that my boyfriend is somehow an expert on this shadow world.

Here are the eHow instructions.

In fact, he has applied for seats every year for the past decade, and 2011 is our lucky year! People are super hard core. This year, folks are coming from: Baltimore, Sydney, Buenos Aires and Finland! Not to mention West Hollywood and Camarillo!
For you poor unfortunate souls who are not among the chosen few, I will allow you to live vicariously through me and – don’t worry! – I will live tweet the festivities.
It all started with an email:
“Congratulations! You were chosen from our waiting list to fill a vacancy that has opened up in our Red Carpet bleachers for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. In order to claim your seats, please read carefully the following instructions…”
These instructions involved filling out a background check form with my addressees for the past seven years (no small task for someone like me who has had about seven addresses in that time, including two in Mexico), and getting a passport photo at CVS (In mine, I look like a thug or maybe a mother who just drowned her three children – I hate you fluorescent lights!). Fortunately, we both passed the criminal background check and got our fan packets -yay!

Email #2:
“Hello Bleacher Fans!
We’re only a few weeks away from the Oscars! Attached you will find the following PDF documents:
· Information Packet with Arrival Time
· Parking Map
· Viewing Party Invitation
Please review all materials carefully. If you registered with a guest, he or she should have receive this email, with the same assigned arrival time.
Note: Your RSVP to the Viewing Party is required by February 11, 2011.
If you haven’t already, please join our official Facebook Group at XXXXX, exclusively for this year’s Bleacher Fans! Chat with us, connect with other bleacher fans, and stay up-to-date on all things bleachers.
And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!”

This email brought a few more surprises – namely that winning the lottery not only gets us a bleacher seat within spitting distance of the most beautiful people on the planet, but we also get to go to a viewing party at El Capitan…with free dinner! Awesome! As if that were not enough, there is also a secret Facebook group.


German and I have been participating fairly actively. The general tone of discussion ranges between extremely excited and breathless. Top topics have included other LA tourist activities, questions about logistics (Is this a nursing mom friendly place?) and predictions on who will win. Apparently an innocuous question about what to wear prompted one gentleman to suggest all the ladies should wear some really high heels, which set off a pretty intense exchange that was actually taken down. What happens when you bring together a random group of people from all over the world? Well, perhaps the show “Lost” could be illustrative. Think on it. Here are some voyeuristic screen shots.

Basically, we are pretty psyched to be so close, but yet so far, to the Oscar action this year. More fun updates coming soon…

PS – Is it a bad sign that the first title that popped into my mind for this post was “I’m going to the Oscars, bitches!” Apparently, my vocabulary has been completely co-opted by So Cal slang. “Grip,” “OMG,” and “LOL” have also been popping up with alarming frequency.

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A little local shindig we like to call “The Oscars”

In years past, I usually tuned in for the Academy Awards. Sure, the ceremony often dragged, the host never hit all the punch lines and I hadn’t seen most of the movies that were being hyped, but at least you could look at the pretty dresses. It was like a tiny glimpse into an unknown and wholly rarefied world where everyone is rich and attractive.

For the first time this year, I viewed the Academy Awards as a (nominal) Angeleno. The LA Times had a special section building up to the awards season for months in advance. I went to a forum sponsored by my local public radio station where a ton of top film critics duked it out with their predictions and my boyfriend and I furiously added movies to our  must-see list. The week before the Oscars, we went to a sold-out showing of all of the short film nominees (Apparently, you can see the short films on ITunes – you should, they were all FANTASTIC).

Much like the run up to the Olympics, there were minor scandals. An ingenious businessman covered one of the buildings right by the red carpet with a nearly 3-story advertisement, and the City Attorney not only had it removed, but threw the guy in jail. Super-graphics will not be tolerated in LA!

Apparently, neither will impropriety. Sorry if you just choked on your donut there. However, one of the awards nominees learned first-hand just how hard-nosed the Academy can be. Now, there is plenty of lobbying in the run-up to the Academy Awards and lots of movie advertisements in the newspaper reading “Academy members: For your consideration.” However, the nominees are not allowed to talk smack about their competition.

One of the producers of “Hurt Locker,” Nicolas Chartier, sent out an email to friends urging them to support his movie and “not the $500-million film.” Ouch, way to stick it to Avatar! Scandalous! However, some of those people he emailed were Academy members, thus the punishment was swift. Nicolas did not get to attend the senior prom, I mean the Oscars.

Ouch.

To get the full Oscar experience, my boyfriend and I made an excursion to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood to check out the preparations. A side note: We took the metro. Bet you didn’t even know LA had a metro! Believe it!

Everything was under wraps due to rain in the days leading up to the big event, but the red carpet was indeed rolled out. Click here to see the photos. The red carpet goes up the street and turns into the shopping center just before Mann’s Chinese Theater (which has all the Hollywood stars in front). As you enter, there are lighted pillars on both sides that have the names of the best pictures going back to the first Academy Awards in 1929.

And just as they were when I lived in Sonoma, the Oscars this year were a glimpse into another world – albeit one just on the other side of town.

Here’s some Post-Oscar humor for ya.

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