Saturday, February 25, 2012

Winter and The Oscars

Montreal has been lucky this winter - again. Very little snow, and very mild temperatures, relatively speaking. Wilderton Willie, who is the Canadian groundhog counterpart to the US' Punxsutawney Phil, said we'd all have an early spring. (Phil pooh-poohed the idea.) And, so, many Montrealers put their boots away, and began to dream about sipping Starbucks on a terrasse with plenty of UV protection.

Mother Nature had other ideas. As I write this, we are in the midst of a major snow storm, expecting well over a foot of the fluffy stuff and some gusty winds just to kick things up a notch. And when this little show of bravura is done, and we're still shovelling out, another storm looms on the Wednesday and Thursday horizon.

People, thus far, aren't complaining.

As for me, I turn into my mother at times like this. I go into bunker mode, lay in enough supplies for a nuclear winter, and plan to cozy up around the fireplace. You'd think I live in a remote part of town, but I'm downtown, steps away from whatever I need. Heh. What's bred in the bone, right?

So, this weekend is looking very good. Lots of warmth, plenty of good comfort food -- beef stew and dumplings, and, if my craving continues, a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies. All homemade, of course.

And what could be better than writing for a few hours in this quiet world? Nothing.

Except the Oscars on Sunday. 

I watched my very first Oscars the year Elizabeth Taylor won for Butterfield 8. Her tracheotomy scar was evident that night; she was breathless in her thank you, fragile looking, stunning, and still very much Mrs. Eddie Fisher, who escorted her to the stage. Shirley MacLaine, who lost, and who really should have won for her role as Fran Kubelik in The Apartment, went on to scoff decades later that she lost it to that damn tracheotomy. Which is probably true -- if you've ever seen Butterfield 8, you'd know that.
(See, Liz was very, very ill in London, with acute pneumonia, and doctors had to perform emergency surgery and cut into her windpipe to help her breathe. Liz was always battling one respiratory illness after another.)

I fell in love with the Oscars and never missed a show from that year on. Only once did I have to skip -- I was working the late shift at a television station in Toronto. It was a Monday night. The Oscars were always on Monday night, and in late March, early April. I can't tell you how upset missing the show made me feel. It was not right, not right at all.

Bob Hope was the emcee I grew up with, and then, Johnny Carson. In those days, when the studio system was still in place, stars really were stars with the kind of mystique they don't have today. One rarely saw them outside the movies; one had to buy movie magazines and read Hedda Hopper or Sheila Graham's newspaper columns, or Dorothy Kilgallen's.

I remember how serious they all were, way before streakers and hippies and politics invaded the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.

I remember how dashing Yul Brynner looked wearing tails. And, I remember an incident with Tony Curtis and his then-wife, Janet Leigh. She came out with an upswept hairdo that decided at the crucial moment it didn't want to behave. A few locks fell forward over her eyes, and her degree of mortification was matched only by the degree of perfection she thought she had to present in addition to saying, "And the winner is..."
Yes, at one time, before political correctness bit Oscar's backside, people said "and the winner is..." and now they have to say, and the "Oscar goes to..." or words to that effect. can win an Oscar, but no one can say you've won the Oscar while you're winning it. Jack Nicholson just might punch you out. If he isn't too high. Double heh.

This year, I am not particularly overwhelmed. I think The Artist is going to win for Best Picture. I still haven't seen it, but can't wait. It looks Oscar worthy.
So, I'll be enjoying the show if only to see Colin Firth again. And Billy Crystal.
I really hope Billy has a great time. 

It's glitz and glam night. It's all good.

A few years ago my niece went to the Oscars and then on to Spago's for the Governor's Ball hosted by Wolfgang Puck. By now, those edible, gold-dusted mini chocolate statuettes are world famous. Lovely niece that I have, she brought me back my very own. No, I didn't save it. I ate it.

End of story -- enjoy your Oscar weekend, rain, snow, sleet, hail, or sunny day!


  1. Well, of course you ate it, Carol! Who could have resisted? ; ) Your memories of Oscars past are lovely.

    BTW, Gen Beauregard Lee, Georgia's own prognosticator called for early spring and we're getting it! Daffodils, cherry trees, hyacinths all in bloom.

    1. Dear Zan Marie,

      How lovely to see such beautiful springtime flowers!
      I think the perfume of hyacinths is particularly bewitching.
      Yes, I ate the little Oscar. Had to -- I saved it for a while and then gave in.

  2. I hope you enjoy Oscar night, Carol!

    1. Dear Deniz,

      I enjoyed the Oscars this year -- Billy Crystal is always a treat. I loved the fashions, and the Cirque de Soleil presentation, and my prediction for Best Picture was bang on. (s)