Dear Oscar, I’ve got the perfect little place for you…

I’ll never forget that day.  The joy, the pride, the accolade. The day my dear friend Erin, Photoshop dominatrix, digitally replaced the glass of wine in my hand with a shiny golden Oscar and sent me the image via email with the message ‘Don’t give up!’  I printed it out and tacked it up on my vision board.

My vision board is a mess for the most part, but half the mess is images of the desired statuette.  I know a lot about Oscar. I know it was designed by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, and the first was crafted for $500 by out-of-work sculptor George Stanley in 1927. It comes in a box just a bit bigger than a shoebox.  It’s 13 and a half inches tall.  It weighs 8 and a half pounds – that’s twice as heavy as those little dogs starlets carry in their Prada handbags!  And I want one.  Not the little dog, not the Prada handbag.  I want an Oscar.

Yet, as I drove Academy Award-winning producer Ed Saxon (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) to a seminar held by Seattle’s screenwriting program TheFilmSchool the other day, he talked of the importance of the journey on the way to Oscar, and the road back.  ”Yeah, it was a memorable night, to say the least,” he said of his 1991 victory,  ”But when I got home, I still had to feed the cat.  And I still had to look at myself in the mirror and wonder if I would ever be able to achieve that level of success again.”

In short, he said, the hunger and drive doesn’t go away.  Which is a good thing.

The Oscars hold special cache’ for me this year, as my all-time favorite actor has finally been nominated for a long-deserved Academy Award: Gary Oldman, nominated for Best Actor for the breathtaking (in my humble opinion) TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY.  This role was a superb balancing act of subtlety, reserve, anger, resentment, and even charm, all smoldering beneath the stoic face of Oldman’s George Smiley.  I would like to give the virtual finger to the author of this nay-saying piece from CliqueClack that claims the Academy was trying to “play catch-up” by nominating Oldman this year in what the author wrongly and laughably calls Oldman’s “least challenging role.”  I take it the author missed Oldman as Dr. Smith in LOST IN SPACE, a role Oldman reportedly took in order to finance his amazing and under-celebrated masterpiece NIL BY MOUTH, which he both wrote and directed. Kudos to Gary, as ridiculous as LOST IN SPACE was, he transformed Dr. Smith, a role he could perform in his sleep, using the same signature all-or-nothing Oldman touch he has given time and time again to characters such as Sid Vicious and Ludwig Van Beethoven.

More upsetting, the aforementioned Ed Saxon declared to me, as I returned him to SeaTac to catch his flight back to LA, that my man Gary has “No chance in Hell.”

We shall see.

As for my chances, a crumpled roster of nominees from 2004′s Oscar line-up is also tacked to my vision board, on which all attendees of a last-minute Oscar party I threw that year signed their agreement that I would, one day, be at the Really Big Ceremony as a nominee for Best Original Screenplay. I haven’t made it there so far, but I figure that’s because I haven’t yet figured out what I’m going to wear.  Once I make that decision, all the puzzle pieces will undoubtedly fall into place.

I’ve got a spot on my shelf all cleared out and ready for you, Oscar.


10 Things…

10 seems to be the magic number. In my case, if you’re counting toes, then…yes.

I’m a sucker for ReadyMade, Elle Decor, the now defunct DOMINO magazine, Sunset (with its respectably old school font on its cover, God Bless it)…and it seems like my favorite page is the “10 Things that make me Happy” or “10 Things I can’t Live Without,” inevitably authored by some designer of whom I’ve never heard, but who looks great in a headshot.  A designer who has an actual office and not just a corner in a very excellent but notably tiny post-modern home in Tacoma, WA.

I’m going to tell you right now, I feel like I should be in a magazine, in a column about something material that makes me happy…because nothing has brought me so much joy recently as my new Minnetonka House Moccasins.

These are described by many in the internet world as ‘cute,’ ‘comfortable’ and ‘affordable’.

I’m going to tell you right now.  They aren’t ‘cute.’  I feel like I’ve given up when I put these on.  Given up in a Zen way. A nature mother kind of way, like I should be eating bananas for dinner and carob for dessert. This is the type of footwear that demands sweatpants. Sweatpants made with organic cotton.  I’m okay with that.  More than okay.

‘Comfortable’…yes.  If I weren’t disgusted by the “O” word, I might try to find some way to sneak it in here. This is why I bought them.  My house, in its post-modern glory, has floor to ceiling windows…and the ceilings are over 15-feet high.  It gets chilly round these parts…and my boots that I used to wear around the house looked so cute I started wearing them outside…rendering them unsuitable for cuddling up on the couch.  Enter moccasins.

‘Affordable.’  Okay, I kind of lied when I said ‘comfortable’ was the reason I bought my new suede feet masters…the main reason I went into the shoe store in the first place was that Valentine’s Day is coming up…and I know my son is going to need a shoebox for his Valentine’s mailbox project at school.  Pathetic.  With that said, they were affordable, especially when you consider that they throw in the shoebox for free.  And I NEVER buy new shoes.  It’s been at least 4 years since I had something on my feet that hasn’t been worn previously on hundreds of occasions.  These sweet babies were on sale at DSW which was conveniently located next to Trader Joe’s where, despite my reluctance to spend money on, really, ANYthing, I drop cash like candy wrappers…for a mere $21-something, they were in the trunk of my car next to my Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausages, dark-chocolate covered ginger and my Vinho Rose.

And I’m wearing them now.  And I couldn’t be happier.  I should go to bed…but the moccasins just feel so good.