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Oscars Hangover

So I’m sitting in the Virgin Atlantic Airways lounge waiting for my plane home, fighting a fierce headache and trying to make sense of the last few days.  It was a whirlwind, bucket list experience but BFD is ready to go home and dry out.  Here’s a rundown of what it was like to live like a celebrity for a few days:

 

Accommodations:

We stayed at the Loews Santa Monica Beach, right next to the Santa Monica Pier.  It’s an ocean front, beautiful structure equipped with a heated pool outside, ample gym, and very able lobby bar.  We basically spent the first few hours chilling in the lobby listening to live music and sipping bubbly whilst waiting for the rest of our entourage to arrive.  It proved to be an amazing base camp for the weekend’s festivities.  Walking off the prior night’s debaucher on the beach, jumping into the pacific, trying not to puke at the gym, jumping in the pool, shower and then right back on that horse…

 

Dining:

For meals we hit Gjelina, the Chateau Marmont for brunch, and Catch.  The Chateau lived up to its history.  Sitting in the parlor room sipping a proper cocktail listening to Hotel California on vinyl watching famous people in shades go by.  We were seated outside in front of Usher, who looked bored at a meeting with his management team while he shoveled granola in his mouth and smiled at admirers who were jones-ing for a picture.  I proceeded to remind my group of his unfortunate legal situation from last year involving allegations of spreading STDs to his fan base…looks like while Hollywood is going through its gender equity reset it also needs a public service announcement about the merits of safe sex and how to act responsibly…

Later on, my entire weekend is made.  His holiness, Christopher Walken himself, saunters onto the garden patio and my fork drops…I’m frozen like a Justin Bieber fan.  There’s only one open table and its right next to us.  My mind flashes to an hour later where he’s sitting at our table clanking glasses and reciting his notable lines from Wedding Crashers as Treasury Secretary Cleary: “Todd, would it kill you to play some competitive sports?!?...”  However, I’m quickly snapped out of my dream weaver moment to realize he’s decided he’s too cold and goes inside.  I’m devastated…for a moment.  I let 5 minutes, which feels like hours, go by.  Then I put my plan into action.  I can’t let my group see me act like a child, so I excuse myself for the men’s room, whereupon I’m on high alert.  My instincts are correct and I spot him sitting by himself, clearly waiting for someone, in the parlor seated in a small comfy chair with adjoining table.  I emerge from the lavatory with my plan ready to be executed.  I do a lap through the parlor discreetly and in the most unassuming fashion possible until I’m about to pass his chair.  At that moment I pause and quietly whisper above his head: “Pardon me, Mr (Bruce) Dickinson, I’m suffering from a fever…and I strongly believe the remedy is more cowbell…”  Now at this point I’m thinking I’ve just gotten myself kicked at of the hotel.  However, after a brief pause Walken looks up to me, points his index finger at me and with a wry smile softly responds with a wink: “Son, ALWAYS, more cowbell…” – I gave him a reverent bow with 2 thumbs up and went on my way giddy like a kid at Christmas…in a word…AWESOME…

 

Drinking:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that Saturday night found me wandering around West Hollywood with members of my group sauntering into and out of several of Lisa Vanderpump’s noted venues Sur and Pump.  We were disappointed that none of her not-so-famous misfits that work there when filming her Bravo shows were present.  Instead, I observed the worst bartenders I’ve ever seen slowly providing drinks to the masses…no Jax Taylor, sigh, no Jax Taylor.  Maybe next time.

 

Oscars Sunday:

 

Red Carpet –

Ok, so this was kinda trippy.  You get out of your black SUV at the entrance and strangers are screaming and snapping photos everywhere as if you’re famous.  Next, you’re walking through this makeshift tunnel whereupon folks are divided into: Hollywood elite (you go thru the main gate) and losers like me (you take the parallel walkway to the right).  So no, I don’t get to ask Seacrest to tie my shoes or tell anyone who I’m wearing (Hall Madden btw), or anything else I wanted to say.

 

Moreover, amidst the whole #time’sup #metoo circus, apparently a man can’t take of his shoes on the red carpet.  So Oscars 2018 was a massive victory for the ladies, but for team barefoot the struggle is real.

 

My date and I are then continuously screamed at by security to keep moving.  I begrudgingly oblige until I notice the actor who played the amphibian in ‘The Shape of Water’ being interviewed, which caused me to pause and giggle thinking about what a f@#$%$d up weird movie that was.  In the meantime, various folk I recognize including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Garner, Laura Dern and Helen Mirren (no, there are simply no dudes coming to the Oscars besides the nominees)…

 

Then the carpet makes a slight turn and both walkways must merge in order for everyone to enter the Dolby Theater via an ornate sequence of steps, after which everyone (including the humble masses) is sort of sprinkled together entering the theater and making their way to their seats via the various levels.  At this point our group is trying to strategically make our way to the bar to catch anyone noteworthy pounding a cocktail before grabbing their front row seat.  During this process someone steps on my foot trying to push their way forward to grab the attention of Bradley Whitford (yes! an actual dude, but also a nominee) – that “someone” was Steven Spielberg, whose wife turned and politely apologized while her husband ran ahead…”Bradley!...Bradley…I just wanted to say mazel tov on your nomination…let’s have lunch?...”  Quintessential hollywood moment.  This sh*t really does happen exactly like you imagine it…”

 

Mezzanine level…25 min to the show…a waiter suavely notices I’m parched while waiting for my date to get out of the ladies room and suddenly I’ve got my mitts on a cocktail.  Place is buzzing.  Everyone’s staring madly trying to figure out who everyone is.  It actually make me oddly weirded out, like someone just shouted that someone in the group has SARS and is highly contagious and everyone is playing detective…

 

The show starts and Jimmy Kimmel (I’ve nothing against the guy, find him funny when he’s not lecturing me on politics, but find it odd that the #metoo crowd didn’t find a safer choice for host?...) is lecturing all of us about bad behavior towards women and how we have to change.  Now wait a second, didn’t you used to host a show called ‘The Man Show’ that featured brainless models in string bikinis bouncing around the whole show on everything from chairs to donkeys and was once referred to as ‘the most misogynistic show on TV?...again, I’ve nothing against the dude but it was pretty clear what the show’s agenda was and I’m pretty sure its choice of host instantly made the whole night kinda hypocritical.  Why not have Sara Silverman do it?  Or ANY OTHER WOMAN?  Or at least a dude that either (1) didn’t have allegations against him or (2) had previously made his name in the business with a comedy central show that routinely objectified women…but what do I know…

 

At this point I’m still waiting for Harvey Weinstein to show up…I’m thinking what does he have to lose?...and what would the Oscars be without someone on stage thanking Harvey and bloviating about how awesome he is and how they couldn’t have gotten where they were without him (wait, isn’t that 90% of Oscar winners for the past 20 years??? – so does that make everyone hypocrites???)…so I guess that’s why George and Matt and Ben and everyone else (including the women) in my mind are simply full of sh*t…the hypocrisy at this event is so palatable it’s almost worse than listening to politicians pontificating and lying to your face…

 

So the first hour goes as I expect…best supporting actor and actress go to the folks I’d figured would win (Sam Rockwell & Allison Janney).  It’s hot as hell in the theater and my jacket’s off and for the next 2 hours other than the musical performances the show is kinda bland – best sound editing?  best costume design?  best animated short?  best political grandstanding? (wait, that one isn’t a real category)…at this point I’ve dropped anchor at the bar, where the cocktails and passed food items are doing the job.  After a while I notice Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam is about to perform a Tom Petty song as part of the tribute to all the Hollywood people that passed away in 2017, so I gather myself and find my seat for the stretch run…

 

Kobe wins an Oscar…boy is he gonna rub it in Shaq’s face…part of me feels that this is pretty cool until I shut that part up when he makes his dribbling comment and I realized – of course u won, you made a cartoon about your life in a category no one gives a sh*t about…maybe ill throw my hat in the ring next year…

 

Best Director – that Del Toro guy from ‘The Shape of Water’ – now I realize that it’s going to win best picture…

 

Best Actor – Gary Oldman – was brilliant in ‘Darkest Hour’ (I told you that in Part I) – but it occurs to me that many moons ago he supposedly beat the crap outta his ex wife with a telephone so I’m assuming the hypocrisy police will have a swat team going on social media (again, I’m proven correct)

 

Best Actress – ok...this is where I duck and hide…Frances gets up there and she’s ready to chop every penis in the auditorium off (I’m hoping she can’t see me).  Everyone without a vagina in the audience is cringing.  You can cut the tension with a knife (sorry for the awkward castration visual reference)…when she tells every female member of Hollywood to stand up, every tuxedo (including mine) bolts for the door to the bar…

 

At this point I am 4 for 4 betting on the big awards but laid the wood on ‘3 Billboards’ and have a feeling that’s a loser so I double up on ‘Shape of Water’ to hedge against my 4 wins…I can already taste that BFD is a big winner too…

 

Best Picture – yup, the top prized of the evening goes to mute amphibian porn…no wonder Stormy Daniels is suing Trump…I feel badly for the ‘3 Billboards People’ – they deserved it…

 

After the Oscars –

So we are all piling back out onto the red carpet headed towards the entrance and the swarm of black cars…I see the procession of winners and losers sauntering by.  Despite my earlier criticism, I give Kobe credit b/c he’s standing out front beaming and taking photos w/anyone that wants to.  I thought that was a cool gesture.  I’m standing on line next to Armie Hammer waiting for an espresso drink.  He’s by himself, having gotten separated from his wife.  I turned and congratulated him on his nomination and told him I enjoyed his movie (genuine sentiment and true statement).  To his credit, he was gracious and said thank you and asked what I thought about the evening.  I said it was like a parallel universe from the world I live in and he smiled and said “I know what you mean…”

 

Kimmel After Party –

Colleague with huge connections gets us into the Kimmel After Party.  Place is jumping and food and drink is awesome.  Ketel One station, Brick oven pizza, burgers, fried chicken, steaks, eggplant & pasta – delish.  We move inside and music is pumping and people are starting to pile in.  15 minutes in I’m refreshing my cocktail and Jon Favreau is 3 feet from me.  Steven Stills is on a couch with a manager type having an animated conversation.  Adam Scott is filtering around.  We are milling about by the stage when Snoop Dogg emerges and plays 2 live songs (the snoop theme and gin & juice)…people are fired up.  I take my date to the bathroom outside and while I’m waiting Mr & Mrs Matt Damon walk in…2 min later a big grey van pulls up, door slides open, giant cloud of smoke emerges and out pops Miley Cyrus and her entourage…Ben Stein is milling about…Kimmel finally shows inside…jumps on stage and sings happy birthday to his wife…

 

Minutes later Steven Stills is performing 2 of his most memorable tunes (‘For what it’s worth’ & ‘Love the one you’re with’)…place is rocking…drinks are flowing…second wind is well in hand…after several laps around the party and more people watching we bid adieu and head out

 

Morning After –

I’m tired, dehydrated and insanely hung over.  The Hollywood life is certainly dangerous to the untrained lay person.  An interesting social experiment that’s quite the contrast from my life on the east coast.  BFD gives it a B+

 

Maybe if they let me go shoeless on the red carpet I’d have rated it higher……………………….

 

Santa Monica, CA

March 5th



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