The road to Hollywood starts right here

I think I was 11 years old when my parents bought their first television.
When it came to my childhood neck of the woods, it smacked of possibilities and I was drawn to it like Carol Anne was in “Poltergeist.”
Thankfully, I didn’t end up inside the tube waiting for my mother to rescue me, but I definitely dreamed big dreams of being in the movies.
From then on I wanted to be actress and live in Hollywood.
So it goes without saying that the annual Oscar awards always has been a television favourite with me. That Sunday night extravaganza each year is as important to me as the Olympic Games.
I pull out all the stops, eat chips and dip, and ignore the telephone if it rings.
This very minute, as I write this column, I have exactly one hour and 22 minutes left before the curtain goes up for “The Oscars 2010.” The chip dip is marinating and the ink is dried on my official ballot where I have marked out my favourite nominees.
And while I have long since come to grips with the reality that I will not make it in Hollywood, I remain a big dreamer in my own starring role with a cast right here in my lovely little life, with many moments worth a golden boy statue in hand.
•Actress in a Leading Role
My two-year-old granddaughter who, by her contortioned gestures, writhing, and sorrowful tears, would like me to believe the world will end if she is not allowed to have that second cookie.
•Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role
The canine capers of “Dot” and “Cash” poised wagging as they, too, make a play for a second cookie—having just eaten the first one dropped on the floor by the one-year old granddaughter in the high chair.
•Documentary Short
The one written by Mr. Fantastic that argues men do not see dust. Ever.
•Documentary Feature
The long-winded comeback by Mrs. Fantastic, who thought that was the stupidest thing she’d ever heard.
•Visual Effects
From the 1990 archives—the drop jaw expression on my face in the bathroom mirror as I was busy applying lipstick when my five-year-old, fresh home from the school grounds, proudly said to me, “Mommy, I learned a new ‘F’ word at school today,” to which I hurriedly asked, “Oh good, and what was that?”
Best Director
“Mommy, did Beth say you could clean the oven?” (serious yet oh-so-comical question recently posed by a three-year-old to her mother, at their house where I am the housekeeper).
Original Score
The real reason Peter married me—because I won the bet that I could beat him at a game of pool. Border Bar. Summer, 1997.
•Short Film Live Action
When my grandson turned the corner in aisle three at the local grocery store last summer and saw a white-bearded man pondering over his list and shouted, “SANTA!” to which the jolly man turned to face the small believer and replied, “Ho, Ho, Ho!”
Priceless.
•Animated Feature
Me at the crack of dawn on a recent and very cold Friday morning when I took the “Expedition” to the big city to rescue Daughter #3.
I’d pulled over to check that all the truck doors would open easily for the inspecting officers at the U.S. Customs border crossing after intuition told me the green beast likely was iced up after going through the car wash the previous night.
The passenger’s side back door was frozen shut and refused me entry from the outside. I came back around to the driver’s side passenger door, got in, and heaved on the frozen door from the inside.
That didn’t work, either. And as luck would have it, I then found myself trapped in the back seat because the child security devices had locked me in.
There was no option but to climb back into the driver’s seat over the middle console, at which point I lost my footing between the two front seats and fell head over heels into the floor of the front passenger side, smashing the bag of peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches I’d made for the long day ahead.
•Foreign Language Film
What I muttered under my breath in 1991, composed while biting my tongue, five months’ postpartum when a woman looked at me and asked when the baby was due.
•Costume Design
Hands down my idea. My brother, age seven, in 1971, in a red velvet dress walking down the road to my grandparents’ house.
•Makeup
The ante that Mr. Fantastic can draw from for the next 12 months after saying to me: “I hate to just call you ‘my wife.’ It is such a generic word for someone so splendid.”
•Original Screenplay
Wilbur, the wonderful story of the little pot-bellied piglet I envisioned buying and bringing home next week (so cute and cuddly all wrapped up in a little pig blanket).
•Adapted Screenplay $%#@!
The flash forward nightmare when the 150-pound pet pig helps itself to the contents of the refrigerator and then roots into the leather cushions of my new couch.
•Best Picture
Status quo—two dogs, one cat, a 19-year old live-in, and no pig.

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