Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Oscar night 2015

It was a tough week with all the preparation for the Oscars.

There were the interviews, the hair and makeup, sessions with the stylists, the fashion designers, the pre-parties; and don’t even mention the selection of jewels and shoes.  I’m exhausted.  I may sleep for a week.

I watched it all and on Oscar Night, I sat in suspense breathlessly waiting for the winners to be announced.  Would it be Michael Keaton, or that freckle-faced kid, Eddie Redmayne?

I hadn’t seen a single one of the films nominated but I was there, supporting them all, every word, watching all the clips and pleading for those most deserving.

I wasn’t there alone. Joe and Al and my sister-in-law were there sweating it out with me.  We couldn’t believe it when Neil Patrick Harris showed up in his briefs. It was the biggest wardrobe malfunction since the historic Jackson/Timberlake event in 2004 and it was right in our living room, in high definition and surround sound.

It was a perfect night.  Well, almost perfect.

Things started to change for me when they got around to Tim McGraw. 

The lights came up as Tim sat alone on the stage.  The music started, and before I could take cover, he began to sing.  There was no escaping. It was too late, and I had to listen.  I knew what was coming. 

I’d heard it before. “I’m Not Going to Miss You”, the haunting lyrics of the last song recorded by Glen Campbell (diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011).  

Not to take anything away from McGraw, but the words of that song stand alone, sung or spoken.  Just like the first time I heard them, they burned through me like fire, scorched my heart, and I cried. 

That song is much more to me than a love song or a country boy sad song.  It overwhelms me; the idea that someone you love and has been with you for most of your life, may someday simply not remember you.  How could that be?  What an absolutely and totally cruel joke to play on life. (Long pause.)

Okay, that’s enough.  We must move on because the night wasn’t over and it was time for dessert (chocolate Oscar cake). 

I’m always impressed with the lack of preparation on the part of most Oscar winners.  Wouldn’t you think that they would have a completely rehearsed acceptance?  Many started with, “I don’t know what to say.”  Really?

For me, the night was capped when Julianne Moore won the Oscar for her leading role in the film, “Still Alice”.  Of course, that’s because our family is one of the 5 million in the US dealing with “Al”, the Uninvited Guest.

This morning I logged on to my Twitter account and checked in with the Alzheimer’s community.  The website was abuzz with energy surrounding Moore’s win. 

The general consensus today was that Alzheimer’s awareness may have just gotten a very much needed shot in the arm.  You couldn’t ask for better publicity than a Golden Globe and an Oscar win. 

I read recently that Alzheimer’s kills more Americans than prostate and breast cancer combined.  By the time a woman is in her 60’s, her estimated lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6.  For breast cancer it is 1 in 11.

Any way you measure it, Alzheimer’s stinks.

Once again the Baby Boom generation (my generation) will make their mark on the nation.  By 2045 the number of people age 65 and older with Al may triple, from 5 million to 16 million.  That’s roughly the population of one of the largest cites in the world, Shanghai, China. 

Of course that assumes no breakthroughs to prevent or stop this beast.  For all of our sake let’s hope there is a breakthrough.

A little kiss for Joe

It looks like Joe and Al and I will be staying home over the next several weeks.  We have a rather large queue of movies to get through.  After all, one must stay current. (I’m still trying to get through the 2014 winners.)  Does anybody have “The Grand Budapest Hotel” on Blu-ray?