Thursday, May 28, 2015

My daughter, the ADULT.

Here's a self-portrait Selina took on her birthday.  She's so sassy and slightly awkward and… kind of amazing.  

Yesterday was my first born child's birthday.  She is TWENTY-ONE.  She's a young lady.  She's a woman of her own.  She's creative and funny and sometimes she's a forgetful spazz but she's always good hearted and kind.

Legally, she's been an adult for three years already.  She's been legally allowed to drink alcohol for two years, although it's just not her thing, and she got through two years of college without anybody talking her into drinking.  She's pretty good at using her stubbornness for good rather than evil.

She gave me a ride to my group therapy class (I mean, that's a good thing for a young person to do, right?  Take mom in for mental health help?) and then she got her passport photos taken, which of course made her look sweaty and tired and slightly ill, even though she wasn't any of those things.  It's like magic.  After she came to get me, we went to the Samsonite outlet and picked out her new suitcase.  Next week I'll have enough money to pay for it.  The saleswoman remembered us from her 19th birthday gift two years ago.  Same routine: stick a label with her name on it and set it aside until we come back.  This is just one more reason why I like that small city.

Then we went to Complacent Joe's for lunch.  It used to Crabby Joe's, but they just did a huge renovation, so it's all slick sports bar with "luxury" finishes that will probably look like crap in five years.  All of the sarcastic signs about good food and bad service are gone.  There are a few snarky notes in the menu but that's it.  Of course we laughed about this.  We ate our lunch while working up bits about how Crabby Joe made enough money that he's just not grumpy anymore.  And then we split a chocolate cake.

I absolutely love this person.  She is someone I choose to spend time with, and how convenient that she's my kid!

I've been needing a lot of help, and she's been a life saver.  She never complains about doing my barn chores if I'm not well.  She helps out with the garden.  I couldn't do it without her and my ol man.  Meanwhile she's been working away on her professional website, getting ready to present her art to the world, and run a business.  Oh, and also working part time at the church camp.  And cleaning the house.  And watching her favourite YouTube people do funny things.  And taking photos and cuddling the dog.

Today, she drove her brother to work and then took the Jetta for an oil change.  They will split the bill because they share the car and they are both, y'know, adults.  A few hours later, she's off to the other city, the bigger one, with all of her passport papers signed and ready to go.

She hugged the pug once more, sprawled on the foot of my bed, then flung her hair over her shoulder and grinned and said something like, "look at me, all ADULTY, driving around getting my stuff together like an ADULT!"

That's my kid.  Wow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Not showing up for work: Johnny Depp is not hanging around my place, honest, I'm not hiding him.

I haven't worked in… six months.  There are times I seriously question whether I ever did really have a job type thing or if I made that all up and believe it because it sounds like fun.  I can't imagine going back to work.  I can get the chores done, but the thought of being upright for two hours, long enough to get the horses and barn ready, and get through a lesson, is exhausting.  I'm working on convincing myself to just sit on a horse.  Not go anywhere, just sit. I might need different drugs.  I'm broke, I'm tired, and I'm indecisive.  But despite all that, I'm actually doing much better than I was half a year ago.

Meanwhile, Johnny Depp bags off work for a week, and it's plastered all over the news.  Yesterday it broke, and there was talk of him holed up somewhere with no electricity that can only be accessed by donkey, or something, hiding from his wife.  Oh the speculation!

Well settle down, world, because he has conveniently arrived where he's supposed to be: back in Australia to resume shooting the 5th Pirates movie.

You know I fall for this stuff.  I get my news off internet entertainment sites.  Right now that's  the only news I care about or can emotionally handle.  There are people in this world who make a career out of making headlines about The Famous.  If Johnny disappears, it's news.  If he shows up the next day, as if all it took was a little disruption in the news ripples, that's even better.


I'd link to something but I seem to have busted my computer, or maybe I broke the internet, I don't know how this crap works.  Feel free to assume that I got my information wrong and don't know what I'm talking about, okay?

So awhile back, on the set of THE FIFTH PIRATES OR THE CARIBBEAN MOVIE, Johnny had some kind of mishap that resulted in a broken hand.

Here's what I took from that: another Pirates movie!  Heck yes!  I don't care if it sucks.  Gimme my Captain Jack.  You know how I am like that.

Accidents happen, and I'm sure there's a whole crew of people tasked with keeping everybody undamaged, but occasionally something happens.  I don't know what it was here.  Maybe it didn't even happen on the actual set.

Here he is getting on a plane to go fly to some hand fixing hospital somewhere.  

I can get behind the duct tape arrangement.  I was raised on a farm; this isn't the first time I've seen someone literally tape their hand back together and head off to the hand fixing doctor.  

And of course that's usually accompanied by the "Awright catchyalater, I'm aright seeyasoon."

About two years ago, he was still his crazy looking normal.  He looked like he got a bag of hand me downs from somebody's uncle, and the day of the Grammys he was like, aw crap, I gotta present a thing at that thing today, what's in the bag here… everything.  I'm just gonna wear it all.  And then snickers to himself as he imagines how all the tabloids are going to rip a strip off him for it, and how many worst dressed lists he'll end up on.  

But then...

He showed up to another thing, looking pale and waxy.  I'm not entirely convinced that's not a wax figure up there.  

And it got worse.  Last fall he was staggering and stuttering and it may not have been cute or funny.  

It would worry me greatly if he were an actual friend of mine. I'd be wanting to check on him and see if he's okay.  He's not looking okay.  

 The thing is, I see movie stars and celebrities as playing this very strange role in my life where I get to live vicariously through them.  I'm hiding from the world in my room, with my snoring pug, writing my little stories and listening to the vicious spring wind, while my horses roll in the mud and eat hay.  I like to look at pictures of interesting Famouses doing things in their interesting lives.  The problem is that I know just enough about how this whole thing works to totally suck the fun out of it.  Nobody on this planet has nothing but good days, first of all, and also, the career of Being Famous is a full time job.

I could be easily manipulated by those whose job it is to manipulate my feelings.  I like Johnny Depp as an actor, and I'd like to believe that I'd like him as a person.  I want to like his wife.  Depending on what I read, she's either really cool and different and interesting, or she's an opportunistic blank slate.  I can't even rely on photos because it's so easy to manipulate those too, just by inclusion.  Those pics of Johnny above?  I carefully chose one from two years ago where he looked pretty good, then chose ones where he looks slack jawed and pale.  See?  I'm not even making a living on this.

But I'm always making up stories in my head.  You know how your teacher in grade 3 showed the class a picture and we all had to make up a story to go with it?  That's my life.  That is constantly going on in my brain.  I can't shut if off.

 For example: Because I like Johnny, as much as I can like a person I've never met, I want to believe that his new marriage is a happy one and that they are well suited to each other and they're good for each other.  So this is how I see the following picture:

AMBER: You okay, darling?
JOHNNY: Sure, love, just walking down the airplane steps.
AMBER: Let me reach out my hand lovingly so that the wind doesn't grab you by the hair and whip you away from me.
JOHNNY: Thank you, darling, take the uninjured hand which bears your huge honking ring of enduring affection, which I offer to you as I gently brush my fingertips along your delicate beautiful skin.

Only I'd hope it's all a lot more sincere and less cheesy novel style.  

But I fear it may be more like this:

JOHNNY: Where are we, Amber?
AMBER: Australia.
JOHNNY: Movie?
AMBER: Pirates.  Hold my hand, okay?
JOHNNY: I wrapped it in a scarf.
AMBER: It looks great, honey.  Let's just do this okay?
JOHNNY: Did I lock the door of Marilyn Manson's house?
AMBER: You weren't there, you were at a motel in Arizona, remember?
JOHNNY: oh yeaahhhhh.  Netflix.  

AMBER: Hey everybody, we're back, he's back, I found him, take your pictures and we'll go do the thing.
JOHNNY: Okay let's go do the thing.  That I do.  Do you think anybody will say anything about me being a week late for this?
AMBER: Not if I can help it.  We're all good, ready to work!  Happy!  See?  All good!

I mean, at first glance, it's fine, right?  He's got a scarf raggy thing tied around his busted hand, so that's normal.  He looks like he was recently rolling around on the dusty cement floor of a garage, fixing something with wheels, so that's normal.  He's got a bunch of things hanging around his neck and his shirt appears to be half ripped off at the bottom and pinned together with a big safety pin, so that's all normal.  And she… honestly, who can wear pants like that and still look good?  She's just wearing mom jeans and a white T shirt, but she's got glorious thick blonde hair and she's wearing fun shades, and to top it all off, she's carrying a giant hardcover book, which works on me.  Right away, I'm assuming she's alright because she carries big books, which I assume she also reads.  And that's a nifty belt too.  I'm a sucker for a nice leather belt.  I want to like all of this. 


Say what you want about Johnny, love him or hate him, prefer he takes a bath first, either way,  you know he's got a reputation for being all-in when he's working.  He shows up.  He works.  

Maybe it's nothing.  

Maybe people all over the Greater Ol Homestead Area (including downtown Smallburg) aren't whispering about me either.  Maybe they are.  Maybe I'm not getting a lot of calls for lessons because everybody around here knows my horses are just hay burners and emotional therapists these days.  

Maybe Johnny didn't have the advantage of asking his pastor to just say a little note during the Joys And Concerns part of the sermon a few months ago about taking some time off and starting new medication. 

But in any case, I am still mostly hiding in my cozy bedroom, and Johnny Depp has shown up for work, and you don't need to come out here looking for him.  Even if he was hiding in my barn, I'd lovingly pep talk him into giving me Amber's number so she could come and get him.  Or send him to the emergency room, if it's bad enough.  I'd take him, but I let my driver's license expire in December.  Or maybe we'd drink tea and talk about how frickin hard life is sometimes and how loud it gets inside the skull.  We'd talk it out, man, we'd talk it out. 

It's what we do for our loved ones.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

THIS is happening

As much as I still don't enjoy spring like normal people do, some really cool stuff has been going on at the Ol Homestead.  

First of all, these two teenagers got kicked out of mom's pen and had to get their own apartment.


This is the first time new goat kids have been born at our place.  Usually their people have them moved up to the river where they spend summer by the time the babies arrive.  SURPRISE! Mildred looked like she had maybe a little goat or two in there, but she is just very good at her job.  

Then three days later, our friend came out to do her chores and there was a tiny wet goat kid in the next pen.  She had to figure out who the baby belonged to, and it wasn't the one she expected.  So first-time mother Lucy got off to a bit of a confused start, but we have them in their own pen now, the baby has figured out where milk comes from and the mother has figured out that the whole process is okay, and everybody is alive.  

Phoenix would now like to remind us all what it's all about.

RELAX.  Seriously.  Why so stressful?  (He is a horse, he has no idea what the word taxes  means and he never has to pay bills with no income - he has no concept of income, so really, why wouldn't he relax, right?)  He's totally IN THE MOMENT.

This is simply a great thing to see in the morning.  These critters know how to enjoy a nice day.  

Here's Parker whinnying to me as I walk in the gate.  

Then I sat on the floor of the shed, half in the sunshine, and watched horses chew hay.  

Friday, April 03, 2015

Good Friday

My mom, being an adult who gets to make her own choices, decided not to go to Good Friday service at church.  It's too depressing.  It's like going to the same funeral every year.  It's horrific, all the torture and anguish and death.

This morning I told my husband, as we were getting ready to go.  He agreed.  "Yeah, every year, Jesus keeps getting killed!"

Every year.

I read the book, I know how it ends.

Well, we can look forward to the part 2 of the ending, when everything is all beams of light, but today… sadness.

To which my response is… "Well I'm already depressed."  What's the worst that can happen, right?

I'm glad I went.  As I've been going through this last bout of depression, I have noticed, with great relief, that I haven't felt alone.  I feel God's presence, which sounds strange considering how bad it was,  but it's true.  And I've felt the care of my church family.

I haven't been to church much since last fall.  There were a lot of Sundays that I needed to be lying down, like I was every other morning.  And there were a lot of Sundays when I couldn't face anybody. It's not that I didn't want to see them, I just couldn't handle it, all the emotions, all the explanations.  I needed quiet, and stuck to a very small circle of people, occasionally letting one more person in at a time depending on how strong I was feeling at the time.  Through all of that, I am absolutely sure that I could feel the prayers.  What an amazing feeling.

Mennonites didn't used to celebrate Lent, I guess because the idea was that we lived a pretty sparse life all the time. What would you give up?  Well, I grew up with cars and a black and white TV and jeans.  Somewhere along the line this thing called Lent crept into our worship services around the end of winter, just like the odd concept of Advent showed up at the beginning of winter.  I haven't really adjusted to it, but I have to say, this year more than ever, I've relished the chance to really meditate on what it means to suffer.

So I went this morning, sat quietly, listened to the readings, read the hymns, and had a good think about how awful life can be, and how it could be worse, and that I'm not alone.

And the story doesn't end.  It never ends.  It never will end.

Friday, March 20, 2015

This is us at the Junos, 2015

Friday evening


Saturday evening

How do ya like the big man's silvery pinstriped cowboy shirt?  And my $25 "vintage" dress?

Here's me being sassy then laughing about it.

Sunday (telecast)

Here we are on the red carpet!  (You can't even tell how tired I was feeling!  Thanks, make up!)

This is me having my picture taken "with" Alanis.  

Yep, that's our height difference, with me in huge heeled boots...

Official photographer picture, which I will eventually pay for and get it for real without the watermark.  

Y'know, I'm pretty sure that scarf was even when I left the hotel.  Can't take me anywhere.  And yes, I was wearing fuzzy mitts.  I had a toque in my bag too, just in case some idiot decided to take the carpet outdoors.  

It was a fun-stressful weekend.  Jethro didn't win the Juno but we are totally okay with that because any one of those 5 guys could have taken it and we'd have been happy.  We got to hang with our kids (Bucky would rather not have his picture up on this site though, so you'll just have to imagine how cool the kids looked.)  I survived!  It's now Friday, a full week later, and I still have not recovered, but I made it through.  And had a good time.  I did not fall over.  I did not fall asleep in my french fries after the concert.    I didn't go to any parties - I sent my daughter instead.  Turns out she's good at schmoozing too.  The future is bright.  

We got home on Monday to a barnyard full of stink and tumbleweeds of horsehair.  Home sweet home!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I'm getting out of bed and I'm packing the nice clothes… Juno Awards 2015!

After spending most of February in my bedroom, wearing my Pook suit, under a comforter, with the door shut and the baseboard heater on and the dog curled up on my feet, it's time to get up and clean up and go party in a large building in close proximity to Rock Stars!

Up here in Ontario, it turns out February was the coldest month in…EVER.

Today, I am packing suitcases.  It's that time of year again… sigh, gotta take a shower and brush our hair and put on our "nice clothes" oh what a pain… I'M KIDDING this will never get boring!!!!

There he is, top 5 in Canada!

This nomination means that we get some free tickets!  And also, it's happening only an hour from the Ol Homestead, so no plane tickets! This will be much less costly, which is good with the crap year we've had, but, we've learned that it's worth it to book The Good Hotel where All The Important People are staying. This is a business trip.  There is partying going on, but it's business.  You have to make opportunities to bump into people in the elevator, and honestly, there are some people we genuinely like, and we only see them once a year at the Junos!

It also means, being nominated, a walk down the red carpet.

Or, for me, this year, a wobble down the red carpet.

You might be wondering how I'm doing.  (Awww, that's so thoughtful of you!)  I'm okay.  I'm doing.  Y'know? I'm okay.  And that's good.  I'm in this weird state where my mental state seems to much better, although I still have to talk myself down and give myself speeches about how okay everything really actually is, reminding myself that I am not dying and the world is not trying to kill me and the worst is not happening.  But I still feel like this medication is dragging on me.  It's helping in the way it's supposed to, but I'm tiiiiiired.  I wear out way too easily.  I've never been a person with loads of inexhaustible energy.  I have limits, I know where they are, and I try not to push beyond them until I absolutely have to.  But normally I can work.  And I do.  Not these days.

The good news is, I'm back up to twice daily barn chores and one slow walk around the yard with the Pug.  The bad news is, I have to go lie down after that.  But hey, more good news, I don't feel like puking all the time!  However, my diet has changed because I don't want any meat that wasn't swimming in its life.  Also, no sweet potatoes.  Weird.  Why that?  I don't know.  And I haven't been eating wheat either, so I'm like a picky 5 year old.  Next, I'll be refusing to eat anything red.  It's probably not a bad way to eat but it is inconvenient, especially when you live with a bunch of meat eating Mennonites -- of which I used to be.  Meat eating, that is.  I'm still Mennonite.  Wheat flour or no, I'm gonna eat that apple pie!  There's no beef in it, right?

The hardest thing to deal with is the unsteadiness.  It's getting better, but for most of the last two months, I aim to walk in a straight line but take a few steps sideways first.  I'm not dizzy.  I just can't get my feet to go where they're supposed to go.  At least now I don't have to get through the house by hanging onto furniture.  I feel solid enough to walk past the horses without wondering if I'll end up under their hooves.  I'm very fortunate to have such gentle horses, I'll say that.  Climbing up on the hay wagon to throw bales down is… rather terrifying.  But I'm doing it because my dad was doing all the chores while Selina was in town house sitting and I don't want to wear him out.

That's kind of ridiculous.  The man is 72 years old and he just keeps going and going.  Besides, he told me one evening as he was digging horse poop out of the snow, "I forgot how much I like going out to the barn."  Jethro reminded me that before we moved back here, he'd been going to the barn every day of his life - specifically, this barn.  So maybe I'm not as worried about the ol man as I am about my sad little wounded pride.

It's getting better.  Slowly, but I'm improving.  I'm learning about patience too.  I'm forced to learn.

So.  Since early February when the nominations were announced, I've been thinking, "How am I going to handle Juno weekend?"

Very early on, I made the decision to not freak the hell out over it.

Just, don't.

Let's count it out:

-I will be with people I love and trust
-who all assure me I can hang onto them if I feel wobbly.
-I don't have to go to the parties.  I can go back to the hotel and hang with my underage son.
-Selina can represent me.  Heck, everybody thinks she's me anyways.  Poor kid.
-How wonderful is it that we can bring the kids again this year?  I mean, honestly, it's been a total crappy year and we can't really afford it, but they are young adults now and we have to take as much time with them as we can!

After much internal debate, I made the decision to pack the big heels.  Mostly because my beat up cowboy boots, while comfy and cute, aren't good with my $25 "vintage" dress.  I know, I know, I'm the girl who wore cowboy boots with my wedding dress.  But this just didn't work.  Besides, I do this dressing-up thing once a year.  If I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna DO IT.

BONUS: the temperature has been above freezing for almost a week and is expected to stay that way all weekend.

I'm looking forward to it, once I get past the anxiety.  This is fun and never gets old.  We've been doing this for…TEN YEARS.  Wow.  It's been a few years since his last nomination though.  I still, after all this time, thinks it's absolutely hilarious and fascinating what happens when you roll out the celebrities and line up the screaming fans.  It's just wall to wall screaming.  Every time a car stops, scream.  Every time someone, anyone, gets out of the car, scream.  If a complete nobody on the red carpet waves, scream.  We go through before the telecast, before the photographers are interested, and in fact, actively avoid us non-famouses!  It's so funny to me!

Oh Hey, if you're still reading, here are some links for you:


WANT TO WATCH THE SATURDAY NIGHT GALA, where most of the awards are handed out and very few people get to attend?  They're live streaming it!  Come watch the speeches made by those who do not have PR people and media training! It's awesome!  (Hint- the Engineering award is part of the Gala!)

I am super stoked for the telecast, because Jacob Hoggard is hosting, and he is so many kinds of awesome!

You know how after the Oscars I said Neil Patrick Harris should host everything?  Well giving the job to Hoggard is even better. 

Also Alanis will be there and I will laugh my head off if somebody with mild face blindness mistakes me for her.  

It's the hair, right?  I'm pretty sure it's the hair.  

If you want to see pictures, go to 

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 HICK CHIC OSCAR REPORT! (Because this is what I can contribute to the world…)

Buckle up and get comfy, this will be a long ride.  But it's okay because you didn't have to sit through almost 4 hours of OSCAR OSCAR OSCAR because I DID.  I used my commercial breaks wisely and got my jammies on and my teeth brushed and got to bed… around midnight. Of course, I didn't get off my ass and leave the farm to spend money and time on watching movies.  I meant to.  I just had kind of a tough year.  But I made up for it. LET'S DO THIS.

NEIL PATRICK HARRIS.  As is totally predictable, there's a pile of grumbling about how boring he was as a host, to which I call BS.  Of course he didn't go for nasty acidic jokes.  He's NPH!  That's not his style.  He's a song and dance, smirk and smile, pull a coin out of your ear kind of entertainer.  Geez people, we already did the nasty host routine and everybody bitched about it.  You hire Seth MacFarlane, you get what you hired, so you choose NPH and you get grown-up Doogie Howser!


He is cheesy and charming! He's adorable!

Besides, his first joke was about Hollywood's Whitest  Brightest, which was perfectly justified because geez, you'd think only white people were in movies in 2014.

I thought he was fantastic and I want him to host everything in my life.  Here is a list of events I want Neil to host:

- The Juno Awards.  Whyyyyyy can't NPH be Canadian, whyyyyyy!??

- The New Hamburg Fall Fair

- The Mennonite Relief Sale Pie Auction (c'mon it'd be epic.)

- My next descent down the stairs

- when I get back to work, every riding lesson.

- If I ever get to another horse show, he needs to host that too.  Every time someone goes into the ring.
"She's known as the Hick, he's the most popular horse on Facebook.  Heidi and Phoenix!"  Sure we won't get our trailers out of the show grounds until dusk but it'll be so worth it!

Anyways.  His opening number was all about how much we love Moving Pictures, which I thought was kinda old timey in a sweet way.  It also involved Anna Kendrick, which was okay, and THEN oh my gosh, JACK BLACK interrupted the whole thing with the snarky side of the business: an interlude of cynical backlash about how nobody cares about movies and everybody just watches crap on their gadget-phones.  And it was done in pure Jack Black hyperbole.  But then all is well and we love Moving Pictures after all, and on with the show.

Lupita came out to present the first award.  Can we pause for a moment to sigh contentedly?

She's just so so so lovely.  

Her dress is basically made of pearls, and she is luminous, and I honestly think she comes off as a very positive and decent person.  I want to believe that Lupita is the real deal and sticks around - without showbiz destroying her!!!

JK Simmons won Best Supporting for Whiplash.  Apparently this is a movie about a scary music instructor.  Hmmm.  He seems like a nice fella who plays scary very well.  Here he is with his lovely wife.

His speech was the first of many personal messages, in his case, that if you're lucky enough to have living parents, call them, don't text them or email, talk to them.  (And a couple hours later my mom yelled up the stairs to tell me that my dog asked her to let him out for a wiz.  I did not text her back, I actually answered with my voice.  My dog keeps emailing her, lazy critter.  Haha)

Then Maroon 5 did a song, and it was okay.  I kept thinking that without the tattoos all over his arms, Adam Levine could look like he's in 1915.  Maybe it's the Dapper Dan hairdo.  

J Lo was there.  She presented an award.  Is she getting tired of this yet?  Remember years and years ago when she showed up at the Grammys wearing that green dress-thing with the boobs and the belly button and we were all scandalized?  Now we're like, "Oh hey, Jennifer Lopez brought her boobs.  Cool."

This was appropriately sparkly and mostly nekkid to make her recognizable.  

At this point in the show, The Grand Budapest Hotel started picking up some hardware for costumes and makeup and production design *** by the way, if you want to know exactly who won what, I suggest you go elsewhere because my notes are kinda sketchy, worse than my memory.  Here's a place to get the list if you want.  ***  

I really must see The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Looks fun.  

Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor presented an award, NPH joked that they were so good at acting that they would be playing each other, and he mangled Chiwetel's name.  Well yes, that's a hard name. That's what rehearsal is for, pssst.  At least he didn't call him Adele Dazeem.  

Let's have a look at Nicole.

I mean… it's okaaaay… she could have gone full on gold and it would have been better.

Let's take a minute to talk about Red Carpet Things.

- Keith Urban had to stand off to the side so the cameras could snap Nicole on her own, providing all of us unpaid critics a chance to get a good look at what she's wearing.  

- People have to be trained how to stand and pose.  I haven't.  I don't have a stylist either.  My dog has terrible ideas on formal wear.  

- Somebody is going to hate everything.

- this year, most women wore really bland stuff.  It was a very beige red carpet.  

However.  Here we must digress and see Lady Gaga.  If you squint hard it's almost the same as Nicole's!

Ohhhh Stefanie.  I have completely changed my mind about you.  I used to think you were annoying but ever since the green armpit hair stunt, I am delighted by your weirdness.  Thank you for matching your lips and hair scrunchie to your wacky gloves, and for reminding me of my favourite character on Futurama.

My notes are a little vague here, but I think what happened was this: A Polish film, "Ida" won Best Foreign Language film. (People in Poland must be like, "That ain't foreign, whaaa???") The man who accepted the award remarked on how a movie about silence and contemplation ended up here in the epicentre of Hollyweird.  It was a great speech, and he kept going through the Wrap It Up music and went on to mention his dearly departed wife and parents and yeah, orchestra, let the man thank his loved ones who are no longer with us, good call!

Also there was a bit with NPH talking to the audience.  The first two were seat fillers.  One was wearing a red dress and had my name.  And she was blonde, because I must be the only non-blonde Heidi in the world!

The fun part happened when Tegan & Sara with Lonely Island performed Everything is Awesome, and  bright yellow Lego Oscars were handed out.

Later on, Emma Stone was still cuddling hers.  

Here's Emma.

There's been some pissin &  moanin today about this chartreuse green.  Y'know, I'm giving it to her.  Yeah it's an obscure colour but it's an actual colour as opposed to variations of beige.  (Lupita is the exception because … just gorgeous.)  Emma's dress is covered in Oscar-appropriate sequins, it has long sleeves which is different, and it just works on her.  

Next up, Tim McGraw sang a song by Glen Campbell about being robbed by Alzheimer's of his memories and all that makes him who he is, and damn.  

So that was sad.

Then Neil apparently lost his clothes.

Having not seen Birdman, I didn't get the reference.  I just thought it was a joke about your worst nightmares in Grade 4 about showing up to school with no clothes on.  


Can we agree on how cool it is that Sound Mixing and Editing get televised?  YES.  That's what I love about the Oscars.  People complain about being bored, but dude, these people are just as important to the movie as the actors.  They deserve this chance to publicly thank people who matter, or even thank their dog, Larry.  (That was cute.)

So American Sniper was nominated for approximately one whole truck load of awards, and I'm pretty sure it only won Editing.  This is interesting because it has been a huge financial success.  According to NPH, out of the 600 million taken in by the Best Picture nominees, 300 of that was from American Sniper.  As he illustrated, that's like everybody in the building is all the other movies, and American Sniper is Oprah.

 Oprah's like, "Whaaaaa?"

And Neil whispers, "Because you're rich."

She didn't seem to think it was funny.  Oprah doesn't have to find anything funny.  Because she's Oprah.

And you are not.

The next presenter of an award was… JESUS LETO!  He has not broken our hearts and ditched his Euro-Jesus look.  In fact, he was wearing shoes so white they could only have been made my angels, and his silvery blue tux, probably made of a fabric spun by unicorn hair, matched his pretty eyes. 

Did I mention it was raining in LA?  I take a ridiculous amount of delight from this.  The SHOW MUST GO ON, PEOPLE.  WHERE ARE THE UMBRELLA WRANGLERS?  I'm from a country where we hold a big awards show in spring, which in most places here is still winter, and yes I have seen a few red carpets sprinkled with snow.  If they're smart, they cover that thing with a big ol tent.  Umbrellas have no power in Canadian winter.  

But our umbrellas are missing out on Jesus Leto.  Maybe that's the problem.

So Patricia Aquette won Best Supporting, and the best thing happened.  Jared Leto handed her the little gold guy, and in her flustered moment she whispered… Jesus.

 Of course she did.  

I actually don't like the name used as a swear.  But I couldn't help but giggle.  

Boyhood is another movie that I need to see.  Patricia Arquette was fantastic in that clip.  I tend to find her to be kind of mumbly and monotone.  Wasn't she on a TV show called Mumblium?  No, Medium.  Anyways.  She wasn't like that in the clip.  She was a woman at the end of her rope and not sure how to keep hanging on.  She was great! 

 In her speech, she talked about wage equity for women, to which I say, much like Meryl, YES…

(wait, J Lo gets to sit beside Meryl!!??!!)

…but also, seriously, WTH, it's 2015  for crying out loud, why are we even having to talk about this?  Women should be making the same pay as men!  Duh!  We shouldn't have to talk about it because it shouldn't be a problem anymore!  But it is, so Patricia put it out there.  

There was a lot of putting it out there.  We'll get to it.  We're not even halfway through.  Feel free to go take a wiz break and brush your teeth and put your jammies on.  

Anyways, speaking of taking a break, in the very next commercial break there was an ad for a new TV Show, called CSI CYBER or something similar that made Bucky the Nerd guffaw, starring ACADEMY AWARD WINNER PATRICIA ARQUETTE!  Just ready to go.  Boom.  

The next musical number was sung by Rita Ora.  I'm only aware of this person because I read Go Fug Yourself.  

She's pretty and she sang well.

Chloe Grace Moretz presented an award and I wanted so much to take her hands out of her pockets.

Bucky saw more movies than I did this year.  He was 3 out of the 5 Visual Effects nominees.  I gotta leave the farm more often.  Bucky really liked how the Big Hero 6 crew were all way back at the far end of the theatre, hooting and cheering for their friends on the stage.  I couldn't believe Bucky was still there at this point.  (He was busy teaching himself how to type properly.  He wasn't really watching this.)

Did you know that the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a black woman?  Cheryl Boon Isaacs.  Now you know.  

The Cinematography award went to the same fella from last year, and I really need to see Birdman.  

Meryl came up to introduce the In Memoriam.  She looked like she was going to a very classy Christmas party for work.  She must look through he closet every January and think, geez, what the heck am I gonna wear to the Oscars THIS year.

Meryl Streep never looks ridiculous.

The Memoriams were nicely done.  But I didn't even think of it until later that some were left out.  I don't understand how that happens - don't they keep track of these things?  

J Hud sang a song, and she was, of course, lovely.  She sang like she was at the freakin' Oscars. 

Her red carpet dress was nicer than her performance dress.

I have a note here that the movie Selma looks amazing.   I mean, other than I'm sure it's a well done movie with a hell of a message.  It looks vintage.  It looks faded, and like it was shot in a very bright hot place.  Put that on the list of must-see.

Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo presented together.  Was that arranged because both of them did not get the nominations that so many people thought they deserved?  Well I must say, they both looked great.  

He's wearing red!  Two different reds!  

And Jennifer wore…

are you ready for this…

seriously sit down….



Specifically, beige sparkly strapless.  zzzzzzz.

She looks beautiful, of course, because she just always does.  But this isn't even as great a dress as she often chooses.  I guess she goes with what she knows is good.  But.  Oh well.  

The next song performance was Glory by John Legend and Common.  Y'know, I just saw this a couple weeks ago at the Grammys and it seemed even more powerful this time around.  If I wasn't on medication I'd have been crying.  

Is Common always this awesome?  

The funny thing is, Glory won for the best song, and I didn't get it at first why there were two guys names listed as writers and the two performers got up and talked about how they wrote the song… duh.  Those are their real names.  I was getting very tired at this point.  

This was one of the most heartfelt speeches, including the statistic that there are more black men in jail than there were enslaved in 1850.  I'm sure the bigger population has to do with that, but still, proportionally, that is tragic.  

NPH then started off a bit about the guy with the best name in showbiz, Benedict Cumberbatch.  That's the sound of John Travolta trying to say Ben Affleck.  Bwahahaha!  

But before I follow through on that…

Here is Benedatch Cumberditch with his new wife, Sophie Hunter, or as they are titled in this photo, "cumberbs."  Oh how I wish I'd made that up.

If they hyphenated their names, they'd be the HunterCumberBatches.  Or the Cumberbatch-Hunters, which sounds like either an illegal poaching expedition or the name of an insufferable bearded indie band.  

AAAAnyways.  The John Travolta reference was followed by, ladies and gentlemen, Idina Menzel!  Who then introduced her co-presenter, Gorn Grazolla, or something.

My reaction: whooo! Being a good sport about an embarrassing incident!

(Her: Not that it'll follow me the rest of my life…  Him: Tell me about it…)

Buuuut then things got weird, but not happy-fun-weird, sad-weird...

…as he stroked her face and called her his brilliant wonderful Idina Menzel.  My reaction: keep grinning and get outta there as soon as you can.  

John Travolta is making me sad.  I don't like this.  Remember when he was Vinnie Barbarino and he was both cute and charmingly dense?  He was funny.  He was handsome.  Now he's just really fake looking.  Even the grey streaks in his fake hair are fake.  He's wearing so much make up and I suspect his face is all stiff and rubbery and it makes me actually quite angry.  There are pics of him with his naturally receding hairline, and he looks way better!  There are so many men younger than him who are letting their hair go grey, and are aging like god intended them to.  

An example for you.

Ethan Hawke.  "Yeah, I'm in my 40s now.  yep, these are facial wrinkles.  You like?"

Yeah, I like!  

What made me feel better after that, believe it or not, was an appearance by Lady Gaga.  Or as we like to call her, Sssssstefanie!  I don't know why, but I always imagine saying that through clenched teeth while shaking a fist.  I don't even hate her!  

After this, I love her.

She sang in honour of the 50th anniversary of The Sound Of Music.  Have I ever told you how much I love that movie?  I love it all.  The songs, the epic helicopter shots of the alps, the apron dresses, the curtain clothes, the baroness, the captain, the incorrigible kid, all of it.  I love the way the creeping edge of darkness infiltrates the movie and then is thwarted.  I love the nuns who know how to rip out a distributor cap and disable the bad guy's car.  

So why bring out Gaga to do this gig?  Well, Julie Andrews, tragically, cannot.  And Sssstefanie can sing.  She is proving that she can do anything.  She didn't do this like Gaga.  She took it pretty seriously.  I'd have wept, except I have pills now that stop that.  Maybe I wept internally.  

As she advised us to climb every mountain until we find our dreams, she grabbed that shiny skirt and flapped it emphatically.  

And then Julie Andrews herself joined her, and I can't believe how well these drugs work because normally I'd be cryyyyying.  

I love Julie Andrews.  What a beautiful classy woman.  


Oprah then told us that writers are important.  If Oprah says it, it is truth.  

The winner of Best Adapted Screenplay, Graham Moore, continued with the honest and meaningful speeches.  

He confessed that at age 16, he wanted to kill himself.  He always felt like he didn't belong.  Oh my gosh.  Look at this sweet little fella.  He sent it out to all the misfits out there - stay weird.  Stay different.  When you're up here, then you can pass this message along.  These drugs really work, because by now I would have dehydrated myself with the crying. This hit me hard.  I feel so grateful for this guy and I've never even met him.  

Are you tired?  Hang on.  Almost there.

Alejandro Innaritu won Best Director for Birdman, which had Michael Keaton sitting there grinning and chomping away at his gum.  At one point he appeared to stick another chunk of gum in there.  If this show went on any longer he wouldn't be able to get his jaws around it anymore.  

Now I sort of thought Keaton would win.  Maybe I'm just blinded by his badassery.  (I think he's gotten better with age!) However, I figured Eddie Redmayne would get it, mostly because Oscar seems to love it when an actor portrays either someone with a disability or a living person, and he's got both.  And from what I've seen, his portrayal of Stephen Hawking is endearing.  (Yep The Theory Of Everything is on the list.)  

So Eddie won, and he was giddy about it.

I say, bonkers chuffed. 

Do you think if you look up "English" you get a picture of him?

He mentioned the struggle of those who have ALS.  I am sure this is the most caring Oscars ever.  

Furthered by Julianne Moore, who won hers for Still Alice, about a woman with early onset Alzheimer's.

Oh my gosh, so many suffering people in this world, and most were represented on this night.  In a way I feel like it's kind of sad that we need this to bring out attention where it's needed, but in another way, I'm glad we have this.  Besides, you might think all these speeches about the plights of other people would be a total drag but it wasn't.  It was positive.  It was caring.  I guess if I had a truly evil heart I might have been bored.  (And now I pre-emptively apologize to those who thought this show was boring yet do not have a truly evil heart.)

As for how she looks?  Well, she's gorgeous, so whatever.  I don't hate this dress but I don't love it either.  I think I'm spoiled because she wore two others that I thought were way better.  One was silver, one was emerald green.  I hoped so much she'd wear green.  But hey, she'll be sparkly in all her pix of "This is me with my Oscar" so that's okay.

Still with me?

Best Picture.  

I'm not sure why Sean Penn was presenting this, but all I could think was, "Man, Spicoli is lookin' really rough these days."

It was a little worrying when he ripped open the envelope and muttered, "who gave this son of a bitch his green card," then called out Birdman… which was directed by Alejandro Inarritu, who is Mexican. Geez.  Well, they greeted each other with big grins and bear hugs, so clearly it was one of those buddy-insults, but still.  Coming from a guy with a reputation for being nasty at times?  I'll give him this though - his hair isn't dyed fake black.  Look how I'm always searching for that sliver of hope in everybody.  

Alejandro spoke about Mexicans and how America is a great nation of immigrants.  I really would love for everybody to get some respect.  

Okay, so.  We've covered parents, veterans, suicide prevention, pay equity for women, rights for black people, Mexican immigrants, people with ALS, people with Alzheimer's.  Wow.  I stand by my previous statement that a lot of crappy things happened in 2014, because just look at this.  I feel okay that these discussions are being sparked, but wouldn't it be wonderful if we didn't have to talk about these things, because they'd been solved?  Well, I live in a strange little world where I hope things like that are possible.  

And really, what does this have to do with people dressing up and giving each other awards?

Movies reflect us.  

And this is how those who work in this industry keep each other excited about the project.  It generates work.  

I'm tired.  I've been working on this all day.  

But wait, there's more!

 I stole too many pictures.  Here you go…

Anna Kendrick.  Cute dress.  

Cate Blanchett.  Pawed through her closet that morning, decided, oh hell I'm not nominated this year, slapped a huge necklace on it and owned the place.

Chiwetel Ejiofor.  If I Travoltized it, Chilltowel Edgefortoo.  I am so lazy I haven't looked up how to spell his name, and by now all this word typing I could have looked it up, but instead I'm just going to say You Know Who I Mean Right?  That British Fella. The one who isn't Idris Elba or David Oyelowo.  Now scratch your head and think, really, really Hollywood makes movies about white people all the time?  Really????  Also he looks nice in his classic tux.

Speakin' of nice.

Chris Evans, everybody's favourite imaginary boyfriend. 


Felicity Jones, wearing something that is either silver or lavender, and might be either very pretty or chokingly uncomfortable.  I feel very unsure of this.  

Jeff Goldblum and Adrien Brody.  They are both very tall and wearing black and white.  Who decided on black and white this year?

Marion Cotillard's dress had two black sashes across the back, which I won't show you because it's saggy and dumb and I want you to just remember this, even if it's a couple circles away from blending in with all the other white and neutral dresses. 

David Burtka and NPH.  Such a nice couple.  It's okay that they're not dressed all flashy.  Neil would show up later in his undies, so right now he's just happy to have clothes.  

Naomi Watts, NOT wearing beige.  

Anna Faris wearing something that might be beige or silver, but doesn't anger me because she's endearing and her husband is super adorable and they look happy together.  

Reese Witherspoon in… black and white.  It looks fantastic on her.

Can we get something different?

Rosamund Pike didn't win an Oscar, but she knocked it out in the looks department.  This is the best she's looked all awards season.  

Dakota Johnson.  Wearing red.  Please don't say anything about grey, please don't say grey, please don't say grey…

And Scarlett Johansson, in something gorgeously green with a giant sparkly collar.  A lot of complaints about the huge necklace, but it is actually part of the dress.  It would still be good without the neckpiece, and although it looks like it might be thinking about squeezing her, I think it's a knockout.  

She doesn't look thrilled, but I found out that John Tervolter came up and planted an unasked-for starched kiss on her cheek, and I won't show you pix because I'd rather not feel angry.  

Instead, let's revisit Ssssstefanie singing about her favourite things while some guys pretend to play violin.

Wow, I just realized that out of all the movies featured, the one I'm most familiar with won all the stuff FIFTY YEARS AGO.  

And then I turned off the idiot box and went to bed.