up with the Oscars
Laurel Canyon music, vibe moves to Grammy MuseumTucson band wins Ellington jazz competitionEurovision winning drag queen returns in triumphRep. Rogers hopes for ‘smart debate’ on radio showAustrian drag queen wins Eurovision song contest uggs Summer movies highlight 20s to 30s shiftLed Zeppelin’s Pa uggs ge honored at Berklee graduationDynamic duo: The success of Jimmy Iovine, Dr. DreThanks to a friend’s incredible luck, I got to spend Oscar weekend in the heart of Hollywood, which was dressed in its finest and sparkliest for the Academy Awards.On Valentine’s Day, Tami, the mom of one of my 8 year old daughter’s classmates, flagged me down as we dropped our kids off at school. She had been chosen as one of 10 finalists for an all expenses paid trip to California and wanted to know if I’d like to go with her uggs if she won.She called the following Wednesday and told me to pack my bags she’d won, and we’d be heading to Hollywood in 10 days.Tami’s prize, which she won through ABC by entering a code word on KOMO TV’s website, included ai uggs rfare, a two night stay and VIP passes to the special after Oscars taping of “Live with Kelly and Michael.” She also received a $250 prepaid Visa card and goodie bags stuffed with Disney movies and “Kelly and Michael” mementos hats, mugs, water bottles, etc.We landed in the drizzly Los Angeles airport on Saturday. Our driver whisked us to the Loews Hollywood Hotel, which is in the same complex as the Hollywood Highland shopping center and the Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars.With the Academy Awards just a day away, the area was a military fortress. Police lined the barricaded streets as Washington like rain pelted the region. (California does not cope well with rain, by the way, especially when it’s getting glammed up for its Biggest Night of the Year.)We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe (check that one off my bucket list) then got ready for that night’s meet and greet with the rest of ABC’s 10 winners from across the nation.On Sunday, the hotel and the streets surrounding it were on full lockdown. Seven foot tall fences and concrete barriers kept the riff raff out (those streets had to be clear for the A listers’ limos). Snipers surveyed the area from atop nearby buildings, and helicopters whirled above.Academy staffers with Oscar credentials dangling from their necks filled the lobby and bar. Tami and I decided to camp out in the lobby with hopes of spotting stars, since many people use the Loews hotel to access the Dolby Theatre.With Bloody Marys in hand, we weren’t disappointed. He’s supremely handsome, though he appeared shorter than his listed height of 5 foot 9. to take in the sights. The happy hour sign at Tinhorn Flats Saloon Grill across the street drew us in, and we settled in to watch the awards on Tinhorn’s 13 flat screen TVs. Tami and I enjoyed fried pickles, jalapeno margaritas and the crowd’s cheering as “Frozen” and other favorites won.After the show, we entered the maze of fences and security checkpoints to get back to our hotel. Outside, “Queer Eye” guy Kressley agreed to a photo as he got ready to light up a cigarette.Inside, the lobby was a sea of sequins, glitter, up do’s and tuxes as seat fillers (people who slide into the stars’ seats when they get up to leave) and Oscar staffers kicked off their heels and loosened their ties.A short while later, “Gravity” sound mixing Oscar winners Niv Adiri and Christopher Benstead walked in with their 8.5 pound golden guys. “Can I touch it?” I asked Benstead. Handing it to me, he chuckled and said, “The phrase ‘Can I touch it?’ has been said a lot tonight!” I took a selfie with his cohort, Adiri. In another example of my stellar photo skills, the result was a zoomed in snapshot of our eyes and noses as well as Oscar’s head.Shortly after midnight, Tami and I hopped in an elevator with sleep deprived Oscar orchestra conductor Bill “It’s William in the credits” Ross, who said he, too, was ready to call it a night.