Doing it Dern at the Oscars - We're talking Bruce

Doing it Dern at the Oscars

Last Sunday, I laid down the red carpet and threw my annual Oscars® party. My guests and I analyzed the actors, the movies, red carpet fashion, latest plastic surgery fixes and every word uttered out of the host's mouth. A snippet from our banter went like this: "Oh my God, what the hell did Goldie Hawn do to her face?" "Did Kim Novak overdo her cheeks or did she have a stroke?" "So wait, seriously, what happens after Meryl dies? Is there anyone who will fill her shoes?" "Oh, can someone refill my cocktail glass please? I don't feel like rolling 2 feet to get a refill."

Advice: when planning an Oscars party, consider the quality of the food and libations. Be creative so that the spread appears to have taken more than 5 minutes to prepare. Mine took exactly 6.5 minutes. Last year my theme was High-Brow-Meets-Low-Brow. I purchased bags of pork rinds at a local gas station and topped them off with caviar on a fancy cake platter. This year, my friends and I made pizzas on a pizza stone, topped them off with caramelized onions, mushrooms, sautéed broccoli rabe, goat and mozzarella cheese, rosemary and sun dried tomatoes. We wrapped bacon around dates topped with fresh parmesan cheese slivers and baked them in a 20 year old cast iron skillet scored at a garage sale.

pizza cooked on a pizza stone Look, I am just like any other A-hole who has to post pictures of what they eat. You are smacking your lips, right?

bacon, dates and cheese served in a cast iron skillet I realize these don't look like dates and more like burned cocktail weinies or some kind of animal turd. At least bacon is involved.

ELLEN DEGENERES! Did you take your cue to order in pizza 'cause I was serving pizza? You, ELLEN, had the pizzas delivered during the show to feed the lean and mean A-listers. They in turn snapped and posted selfles which went viral.

Cocktails, chez moi, consisted of gin, agave, lime, greek yogurt, cucumbers and fresh dill with ice. My new Montel Williams blender, purchased on a shopping network, did its job. I've never been a gin fan since it conjures up surly old men with belted high waisted slacks, sitting in musty bars crooning to Frank Sinatra. Also, when I was 17, during a friend's sleepover, I drank so much cheap gin, I found my vital organs lying next to me on a bathroom floor the morning after. However, this Oscar party cocktail was delicious. I will be more open to the virtues of gin since it was a refreshing change for a festive winter night.

Oscar nominated actresses from 2014

Best Actress nominees. Photo credit:

Now to brass tacks: I love to get dressed for any occasion, but for this party, I wanted to dress up as one of the nominees for Best-Actress.

Here are the female options:

1. Meryl Streep in "Osage: August County" as a mentally ill woman in the throes of cancer with as many crevices, dents and addictions in her face as Keith Richards.

2. Amy Adams in "American Hustle" as a con artist living in the 1970s. I loved the costume design, but wasn't completely in a 1970s state of mind.

3. Judy Dench in "Philomena" as an elderly women who searches for the son she gave up for adoption years ago.

4. Sandra Bullock in "Gravity" as a medical engineer stranded in outer space.

5. Cate Blanchett in "Blue Jasmine", a formerly wealthy woman, now impoverished, who moves in with her sister after the government seizes her fraudster husband's fortune ala Bernie Madoff.

None of the images of those characters registered, until I scrolled through the male nominees. I saw this image of Best-Actor nominated (and subsequent winner) Bruce Dern, who portrays an elderly alcoholic living in Montana in the movie "Nebraska." At first I chuckled. But then was gripped by the gravitas of an image that beckoned to be translated by a female counterpart. The image reminds me of the reality of an American aging population forced to adapt to a new tech world with medical advances sustaining life into their 90s. The elderly mourn the death of their friends, family members visit less frequently, all the while clinging delusionally to the elusive dream that their scratch-off ticket winning will be deposited into their Social Security savings account.

Bruce Dern in "Nebraska" movie Bruce Dern in "Nebraska." Photo credit:

Magdalena of Pretty Cripple as Bruce Dern How do you "do-Dern?" First I bought this "old man tramps wig", borrowed a friend's reading glasses, taped Johnson & Johnson's surgical sterile gauze to my forehead, wore plaid flannel by Ralph Lauren with a Genuine Filson jacket, which is perfect when ambling along railroad tracks, waiting to be hit by a freight train carrying natural gas from fracking. It also quite fashionable when worn during deer and pheasant season.


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