Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oscar Pool 2009 P.S.

As requested, here's a post-script to the Oscar pool results.

People who guessed all eight of the "major" award winners correctly:
Melanie
B.

(By major awards, I mean Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay.)

Others who did a bang-up job:
Sandi-7
Kari-6
Hollie-6

14 people got five right
10 people got four right
5 people got three right
2 people got two right
1 person got one right

Most people were tripped up on Best Actor, which was widely predicted to go to Mickey Rourke, but we were all spared his chihuahua speech thanks (ostensibly) to Prop 8 protest votes and great acting by Sean Penn. (Personally, after seeing Frost/Nixon, I think Frank Langella should have gone home with the Oscar.) Best Director was apparently a tough prediction as well, although that might have been skewed by a Portland-heavy pool of entrants who have been rooting for Gus VanSant for all these years. Meryl Streep was the spoiler in Best Actress voting, especially from people who had low scores overall - I'm guessing that those of you who didn't see many of the movies hedged your bets and (wisely, based on the odds) voted for her because she is, well, The Best Actor Ever. Best Supporting Actress was a tough call for many of you as well, probably because there was no real front-runner.

Thanks again for playing!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ruminations on Shoe Shopping

-DSW apparently believes large-footed women do not deserve cute shoes.
-Proof of Jessica Simpson's height-impairedness: heel height of her shoe designs
-Is there something wrong with me if I buy a pair of Dr. Scholls shoes? Like, medically wrong?
-Salesperson, please do not take a shopper's query about shoe comfort as the opportunity to create a one-woman show about your European vacation for all the store to hear. Those Europeans, they walk EVERYWHERE. We get it.
-What's ickier: Carrying my own sweaty trouser sock around in my purse for unexpected shoe shopping emergencies, or using those disposable nude nylon footies that inevitably pop off while I'm in mid-stride on the way to the mirror?
-New shoes are the gateway drug to new jeans (need the right length for heel height), followed by Anthropologie sweaters (on sale!), followed by trench coats (must look pulled-together now that pretty shoes and jeans have been acquired).

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sleep Numbers

We used to tiptoe into Theo's room after he fell asleep so we could watch him. Slumbering children are so beautiful and sweet that it was worth risking that his batlike sense of hearing would detect the turn of the doorknob as we stole into the room. If he stirred, Jeff would crouch below crib level and I hid behind the door before he saw us. If we were lucky, he would snorfle and turn his head away and close his eyes and we would scurry silently out of the room.

If he saw us, however, he immediately began to squeak and howl, begging to be picked up and cuddled and rocked. He pushed up onto his arms and bleated pathetically, and we would scurry from the room, listening for a few seconds until (hopefully) he forgot about us and fell back to sleep. Or else we had to go back in and pat his back and say soothing things and stroke his cheek with his stuffed giraffe and beg him to put his head back down. Which worked most of the time. But he obviously wasn't happy that we were awake and available and watching American Idol and he was missing out on the fun.

But times are changing. When we go in his room now to listen to him breathe and see his peaceful face, he still wakes up sometimes. But he just squints at us and rolls over, as if to say, "Um, did you need something? Because I'm trying to get some sleep over here."

It's just another milestone that makes my brain scurry forward ten years to the day my pre-teenage son just wants to be LEFT ALONE with his iPod (or with the computer chip that has been injected into his inner ear that picks up radio signals or whatever we will be using to listen to music in 2019). I'm pretty sure he's going to be the sort of person who sleeps until noon on Saturday mornings. But I like to think he might keep his special stuffed giraffe under his pillow even then.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oscar Pool 2009: The Results Show

You know that feeling when you've promised someone a favor? It's someone you really like, and the favor is something you enjoy doing, but you just never seem to get time among all your other responsibilities to get it done. And you find yourself avoiding the person because when you talk with them you spend all your time apologizing about the favor, when they've probably either forgotten all about it or else just did it themselves because holy cow it wasn't a big deal and it was taking you forever.

Yeah, I've kind of been avoiding blogging because the Oscar pool results were hanging over my head. You'd think I was being asked to do my own taxes or something. (My accountants and the German and American tax authorities are all thankful that's not the case.)

So about the Oscars. I had a great time watching the big show with Katie. (Well, besides the part where I tried to demonstrate the wonders of modern technology and somehow used our DVR to skip over about 20 minutes of the telecast.) It was Slumdog Millionaire's night, as you know, and while I am not convinced it will stand the test of time as the Best Picture, I couldn't help but be touched and thrilled by the fresh-faced enthusiasm of the cast and crew as they accepted award after award. Highlights for me included Penelope Cruz winning Best Supporting Actress, the Milk screenwriter's speech, and Kate Winslet receiving long-deserved recognition. I'm glad I didn't have to see Mickey Rourke talk about his chihuahua and I like Sean Penn just fine but I wish Frank Langella had won. Also, I made some killer guacamole, which was delicious.

And now, the pool results. My sincere apologies for taking a year and a day (well, just a couple of weeks, actually) to get the results tabulated. Thanks to all 37 entrants. Repeat players will note that our big winner, Melanie, has been in either the first or second spot all four years we've played this game. If she doesn't watch out we might have to name the award after her. Notably, she picked only three of the 24 awards incorrectly. Next year, let's all take her to Vegas. Second place goes to my blog pal B. who has had kind of a rough year so far and deserves some good news. Neat prizes will be headed their way soon.

Oscar Pool 2009 Results, by name and number of correct predictions:

Melanie: 21
B.: 19
Anna B.: 15
Sandi: 15
Tom: 15
Courtenay: 14
Scott: 14
Aubrey: 13
Kari: 13
Kylee: 13
Chad: 12
Charles: 12
Erica: 12
Katie: 12
Kristen: 12
Hollie: 11
Martha: 11
Britten: 10
Christina: 10
Daniela: 10
Dina: 10
Kerri W: 10
Yvonne: 10
Belgian Waffle: 9
Darren: 9
Gerry: 9
Ingrida: 9
Jennifer: 9
Kerri B: 9
Emily: 8
Janice: 8
Kassie: 8
Amy: 7
Julia: 7
Julia D: 7
Kendra: 7
Mike: 7

(Special shout-out to those of you who voted for Hellboy II in the Best Makeup Category. Because that made me smile.)