Wednesday, January 31, 2007


The Road Which Leads to Oscar

Last week the nominees were announced for the 79 Academy Awards. And I have to painstakenly admit I do not take notice as I did before the birth of Scooter. I think there is something about having a kid and only seeing the films in the 'animated feature' category that truly takes the zing out of the Oscars.

The Oscars resonnate a past life when I was part of the adult culutre. I would have seen all the films in all the categories. I would understand all the in jokes about the various films broadcast over the live feed. I would have been part of the Oscar club. I would have my bets on who should win and who would win.I would stay upuntilthe last category was won.

But now, I find, I turn on the television the day of the event. I still watch the parade of glamourous stars wearing their beautiful designer dresses, who have hired sylists to ensure that they do not make a fashion faux pas for the glorious day. There is not a hair clip out of place and all dresses could be swapped for the next there are no mistakes or true mishaps to be had.And their PR people can get them the best seats in the house, as well as the best commentary from Joan Rivers and her daughter. I do not have a vested interest. And I feel as though the event as been orchestrated so perfectly ; the drama and entrensic theatre have been drawn out of the Oscar experience.

So when the nominations were announced, they went unnoticed by myself in my tattered blue jeans and black turtleneck sweater with silver hooped earings.

That is, until my husband called upstairs as I was putting Scooter to bed. He called up with urgency and with a great deal of excitement in his voice... He called up to say our friend had been nominated for an Oscar.

Now, when you hear that your friend has been nominated for this prestigious award you can become giddy. You get all excited. You get to where your heart grows a moment, it swells in your chest, you palpatate with pride and then you go down memory lane ... You go down the road to when you first knew your friend and the incredible voyage which leads to an Academy Award Nomination.

I met my gal pal Oscarina, (how can you tell I make up all my friends names to protect them) through my husband. She worked with him and while WonderBoy and I were dating, we all hung out together. We went to films, we shot pool, we ate at 3am, we worked across the hall from each other so when the deadlines were long we would quickly share take-out in our perspective boardrooms and work to the wee hours of the morning often sharing cabs.

Oscarina was married. And she was putting her husband Chris through Chiropractic college. He 'studied' hard and was never home. He was always working on that degree. That is until Oscarina went looking for her extra wool socks one particularly cold day and found a whole pile of explicit, spine tingling letters to Chris from one of his classmates. As luck would have it Oscarina found these letters two days before Chris' graduation from Chiropractic college. His gift to her was the knowledge that he did not love her anymore and was going to his graduation with the author of the letters she had found.

Now Oscarina is a very noble woman. She is not prone to sentimental claptrap. She is more of the 'jaded European type'. A Garbo in our midst not wearing emotions on her sleeve, not standing on a soapbox announcing how her man did her wrong... Not talking about 'how could this happen?' Would she have changed herself? Could she have changed the course? Would she have changed her faith in herself because of someone elses' deceit? Her head held high she moved on, as what else was there to do?

About a year later, Oscarina developed a love interest with an old friend of hers. They quickly developed into a long distance love affair. But Oscarina was not happy. Oscarina's new love interest, Fred suggested that maybe they should take there relationship to a new level by her moving to his city and starting anew. She agreed and so our young heroine took her architectural degree to another city in hopes of happiness with her new love.

Oscarina was happy in her new city, happy with her new love. But terribly unhappy in her chosen career. She had a degree and felt chained to it. She did not like the work and was terribly, unhappy.

Fred, being a smart man, a learned man, suggested maybe another path. A Path not taken. He suggested that she should think about what would truly make her happy and go for it. She was smart, she was keen and she had not financial restraints. He had a good paying job and could support her. Take her time and find her true path.

And with that, Oscarina dared to put her head out into the skies and dared to dream of what she really wanted to be but was too fearful that it would be ridiculed. But she knew she could not live with regret. So, she dared. She dared to take on something new. To take a chance and not be bound by a past but to see a true future for herself.

Oscarina had a vision, she knew what she wanted to be when she grewup. And with the persistance and willingness to learn she worked towards her new goal. A goal that would sustain her into the future. She went back to school. She went back at an older age. She went back in her late thirties. She went back to start a new career of her choice.

And I could fill in the middle with all the challenges that faced our heroine. And there were many. But none that were not met with a a degree of discouragement as she truly could see her path. The blocks we just obstacles which took her on many various tours to her fate. Her true calling.

And I will not tell you what she is nominated for, as she can be emblematic for all those faceless beings in the theatre. The ones who have made the journey, the voyage of a dream. Where no camera will focus on her arrival, none will be focussed on her expectant face in the theatre but a heart will be pounding just the same. Just as my faceless being will be rivetted to my television set, just to hear my friend's name and I can scream 'YES, for she is happy whether she takes home Oscar or not, as she is still on a journey, a voyage and I am so glad that I have been taken along for a true Oscar ride. The path does not stop there.It continues as does life. But for a moment, a brief moment, we stop and hear our hearts pounding in anticipation for a name being called out in a theatre and celebrate the voyage to getting there.

55 comments:

Mary-LUE said...

How exciting for your friend. And for you and your husband to see where her journey has taken her. And what a great reminder of the possibilities life holds out to us.

I have to admit, though, I am D-Y-I-N-G to know who she is. Oh well. I'll just have to imagine as I watch the Oscars who she might be.

JoeBlogs said...

I havent seen half the films up for oscars so its hard to get into it.

Gina said...

How thrilling for your friend! Best of luck to her!

I was the same way as you, pre-child, even down to the shooting pool part! I have so far only seen Borat and The Queen. Oy.

chelle said...

What an amazing story of courage!!! I will be secretly rooting for your nameless friend to win!

strauss said...

I love a good underdog story - truimph in the face of so many challenges, and hearing that one plucked up the courage to sart anew in their late thirties, good on her- there is hope for me yet!
Thanks for sharing a part of your inspirational friend's journey. I hope she gets an oscar, whatever the category.

Kevin Charnas said...

Right on...Brava to her!

BRAVA TO HER FIERCE SPIRIT!!!

Catch said...

Beautifully written Pen, and how lovely for your friend! I hope she wins, whoever she is. And how crappy of that first husband...Id like to beat the crap out of men like that.

I hope she gets the oscar and I hope he is watching tv that night...

Kyla said...

How amazing!!! I hope she wins, even though I'm not sure who I'm rooting for!!

mad muthas said...

fantastic! i hope to goodness she won. quite apart from her professional talents, it sounds like she deserves it for being such a brilliant person! (if only they did oscars for that)
a friend of my husband's won once - a british writer turned screenwriter who's now had a string of fantastic, thoughtful, touching movies. we kind of wanted to get in touch to say how pleased we were, but we didn't want to seem like we were trying to catch hold of his coat tails. so we didn't. that made me a bit sad. of course, we never see him anymore... but we read about him!

Ruth Dynamite said...

I love stories like this - so inspirational! She's already won.

Christina_the_wench said...

DO you KNOW how mean it is not to tell us?!?! haha

Congrats to your friend and all of the struggles and trials she has endured to get where she is today.

Sarah said...

That is a really neat story. How cool that you know someone nominated!

Andrea said...

Oh awesome. I hope Oscarina wins.

Andrea

Oh, The Joys said...

Well I'll be rooting for "Pend's Friend"

Best, OTJ

Jodi said...

OHMYGOSH, further proof you are someone famous! I am so very curious whom your friend is, I am assuming she is a woman so that narrows it down to about 50% of the nominees. :)

I use to LOVE the Oscars. Loved them. But, like you, I don't get to see many of the movies anymore and so it's kinda boring. I will be in San Fran with Candace on Oscar's night, and she hates awards shows so I doubt I'll even get to watch. I am really bummed now.

Please at least let us know if your friend wins, kay??? Please?!?!

Waya said...

Oh man! Not fair! I'm so watching the Oscar this year to make a guess who your friend is. I hope she'll win! I love reading your posts, they just draw me in and I'm wishing there was more to the story.

bananas62 said...

you always know the coolest people.... I used to watch, just to see who's who... only now, I couldn't tell you who's who... oh well....
great story, as always!!!

Marcie said...

How cool! I hope she wins :)

Lisa Fine Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Oh man, this was such a great story. I hope she wins. I wish I knew her name so I could root for her...

Lisa

DebbieDoesLife said...

You are killing me. KILLING ME.

I will watch and hope she is winning for "Best Screenplay" or "Best Cinematography" and not "Best Short Film That No One On This Earth Has Ever Heard Of".

Even if that is her category - she kicks ass! I am jealous would love to be the coat check girl at the Oscars let alone nominated for one!

Mrs. Chicky said...

You have the coolest group of friends. I wish your friend all the luck in the world.

Heather said...

Congratulations to your friend for her Oscar nomination. How cool is that?

I'm with you on the only watching animated movies of late. I finally got to watch Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line just a few months ago. Eh, just a year or so late.

Thanks for stopping by my puny blog and commenting!

Momish said...

Wow! That is really great to have such an event like the Oscar's actually mean something personal to you. Best of luck to your friend, but from the story you just told, it sounds like she is a golden trophy of triumph herself!

Attila The Mom said...

What an inspiring post! I'll keep my fingers crossed for her, whoever she is!

And I hope her old chiropractor is kicking himself. Hard. LOL

Gingers Mom said...

What a great accomplishment and an amazin journey. She should be so proud of herself. What an ASS her husband was. Ick. Thank GOD she got rid of him. I hope she wins!!!!
Oh, and thanks for the advice about the lanolin. I think I will try it.

Mamma said...

Very inspiring. I'm sure I'm not following my true calling, but I'm feeling like it's a little late to start something new. Hope your friend wins!!

Sheila said...

Well I will think about your friend on the night and just try and imagine what all that feels like to sit in that room - looking around - waiting for a seat minder to mind her seat while heading off to the toilets - only to over hear the rustle of skirts and agony cries of women too bound up in their amazing dresses - smelling the perfume and the sweat from the insane anticipation. Yes its all just an awards night - but what a beauty!

Mom Ma'am Me said...

Congratulations to your friend! I will be rooting for her, but what an honor just to be nominated -- surely a testament to all the hard work she's undertaken to get where she is today.

Rock the Cradle said...

Regardless of whether your awesome gal pal brings home a big gold paperweight, she's already won...earned...the opportunity of a lifetime.

She's following her bliss.

Kim Ayres said...

My list of famous people I know is very short indeed. Single figure. Just a very round one.

I did meet the bass player of Led Zepplin when I was 17 and working as a landscape gardner, but apart from "you can put those grass clippings over there" the exchanges were not meaningful.

Best of luck to your friend :)

kim said...

Thats awesome Penn! It's so nice to see a friends dream come true ... wish her luck for me too *hugs*

ablondeblogger said...

Oh no fair! I read the whole thing, searching for clues as to who "Oscarina" is! You are killing me!!!

carrie said...

That's just it, all the nominees (the well known celebs and the lesser known "behind-the-scenes" people) are someone's friend, mother, brother, father, son, daughter, or neighbor, and someone out there is waiting, in their living room, glued to the tv with bated breath just to hear the name read during the ceremony.

How wonderful that you are one of those people, and best of luck to "Oscarina". I hope she wins.

Carrie

Queen of the Mayhem said...

That is really amazing! It is so nice to hear stories that end up well! I hope your friend wins her Oscar.


As for her ex, you know what they say about karma? It's a B*tch!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Great story! It's truly wonderful when someone is able to rise above such heartbreak as her first husband and put her energy into reinventing herself without bitterness.

She is a great lady who is already a winner, no matter what happens at the Award Ceremony.

IzzyMom said...

What a story!

I'm dying to know what career path your friend took even more than I'm dying to know what she's nominated for. Dying, I tell you!

jen said...

how fun to get to be a part of such a long journey.

oh, and speaking of awards! thank you for the STL nod, sister. wow. thank you.

Andie D. said...

How COOL! So many people would have layed down and given up. Great to see that she came through her obstacles with seemingly fearless grace!

I hope she wins. Looks like she already has.

Becky said...

Oh, my curiosity is so piqued as to whom Oscarina might really be. (I wonder if it's anyone I know? Really...)

Anyway- Good luck to Oscarina. I hope her Oscar night is everything she dreams it to be! (I know, it's just an honor to be nominated, right? *wink*)

Her Bad Mother said...

Very exciting! For her, and for you!

Lisa said...

That is so exciting. I hope she wins! (Oh wait did it already happen? God, how lame am I?)

hautemama said...

You deserve an Oscar for writing!!
You have such a gift...I always feel like I'm experiencing your stories first hand.

How beautiful. LOVE it when thigns work out!!

shoparound said...

Congratulations to Oscarina. To be nominated is something to be proud of. I hope she is able to add Oscar to her collection. Thanks for sharing her story.

urban-urchin said...

I'm always thrilled when someone I know (and like) is up for either a Golden Globe or Oscar. Fingers crossed for Oscarina.

Amber said...

The Oscars would definitely have more meaning if you knew someone who was up for one. I don't really pay too much attention, primarily because I haven't seen most of the movies.

I, too am curious to know who your friend is!

denise said...

okay Im not gonna ask you to reveal her identity but would you at least tell us if she won? thats generic enough to remain anonymous isnt it, throw us a bone here.

* (asterisk) said...

That is so cool that your pal got nominated. She must be thrilled, especially if it's her first time, which it sounds like it is. Does this mean that if she wins, we find out who she is? Thanks for stopping by at mine, BTW.

Mimi said...

I am very happy for your friend. I think the nomination is sometimes better than the award. The right winner is not always choosen. And sometimes winning is damning to a career. How can the right winner always be choosen? I think the nomination is best!

I used to follow that stuff but I lost interest. If I catch it though I will route for your friend, even though I do not know who she is! LOL!

Kristin said...

How fabulous... please let us know if she wins!

I'll probably now actually watch the show just to try and guess who "Oscarina" is...

Pattie said...

What an honor, just to be nominated! Good for her, Pen!
You'll have to let us know if she wins :)

mama_tulip said...

Wow. Another amazing story! How exciting for your friend, and for you, to watch her in all of her Oscar glory.

BV said...

I have my fingers crossed for "Oscarina"!

Catherine said...

That's it. It's OFFICIAL... I'm convinced I need to go on a date with the couch, a bowl of popcorn and the Oscars... to cheer for Pendullum's fearless friend Oscarina!

What an AMAZING story!

kim said...

At least you can say back in the day (which I'm pretty sure no one really says anymore)I was a part of adult culture. I've never had a life. I used to dream of winning an Oscar and who I would thank in my acceptance speech.

Congrats to your friend.

Domestic Chicky said...

What a lovely tribute to your deserving friend...I will be cheering as well!