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I said something to Wally about Devin's shiny silver jacket. Wally laughed and said, "He was actually named the San Diego Filmmaker of the Year last year."

Another cute film was called Superman Safety Crossing. A guy in a Superman outfit helped people walk across the street in Hillcrest as the theme music from Superman played. The people looked at him as if he were crazy, as he directed traffic (which wasn't necessary, with the street lights). It reminded me of a Letterman bit.

I was invited to the group's Oscar party the next day, which was at the UltraStar Theaters in Del Mar. The thought of watching the Oscars in an actual movie theater, with popcorn, sounded cool. Ken told me, "UltraStar does that at four different theaters here. They give away tons of swag during the commercials. It's the only fully digital chain, so they can run live television on the screens."

There was a short Asian woman taking photos, and she had the cutest laugh. I had seen her setting up food earlier. She told me she had volunteered for the event. When she asked why I was writing, I told her I was doing a story for the Reader. She told me her friend knew Barbarella. I said, "Sometimes she writes about parties she goes to. I was thinking about telling her we should both go to the same party and see how different the articles on the same party turn out. Her talking about cats and what boa she was wearing and my talking about the food and cute chicks." And, in one of the weirdest coincidences imaginable, I looked up and saw a black-and-red boa. I said, "Barbarella, this party is already spoken for. I'm writing about it, so you can't." She laughed and we had a good conversation. I'm not sure if she'll write about the event, though.

As I was leaving, I asked Wally if he had anything he wanted to add. He said jokingly, "Make sure you mention the film festival. And you can say I was intelligent, extremely handsome, single, and fun to talk to."

He was all those things. He was also, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, "a close talker." There were times we'd be talking about some old movie, and he was only inches from my face! I guess I'd rather have that than someone who gave me my space but didn't have anything to say.

The next day I went to an Oscar party at Leslie's house in Point Loma, near Sunset Cliffs. The view of the ocean from her living room was spectacular. But I noticed a huge house being built right in front of hers. She said, "I know. I hate that. I should've taken a picture before it was built and put that over the window."

Every time another person entered the house they would say, "I can't believe you are losing this view. Aren't you mad?" I counted five people commenting on this. But one of her childhood friends told me, "She didn't tell you that when she lived in O.B. she built a place that blocked a bunch of people's views." Leslie laughed.

Since my friend Patrick and I were the first ones at the party, Leslie was changing her clothes and told us to let anyone in. As I did let a few people in, I would ask, "And what are you wearing?" To me, it's the stupidest part of the Oscars, to have everyone at the red carpet asking the stars this. One, I don't care what they are wearing. Two, isn't this just a commercial plug for these designers?

One lady entering, when I asked about her outfit, said, "Levi jeans and a shirt from the Gap." Another woman spun all the way around to show her outfit and said, "It's Robinsons-May." One woman told me, "I'm wearing my work clothes here." Her husband said, "I got my clothes at Amvets."

I didn't think Chris Rock was that funny as the host. A few jokes worked, but others were old. Patrick said to me, "They wanted hip and edgy, and they got a rerun."

I didn't see how talking about President Bush was relevant to anything. If Rock wanted to make fun of the other actors (as he did) that was great. But why Bush? Don't get me wrong, I love when Letterman does it. Or anyone. But at the Oscars? Do we really need actors and comedians telling us how they think politically? I think Sean Penn is the most amazing actor, but he doesn't have a clue about politics -- and when he got mad at Chris Rock for making a joke about Jude Law, he showed he had no sense of humor, either.

A French woman at the party commented, when Beyoncé sang one of the nominated songs in French, that "...her accent is so thick, I can't even understand what she's singing." None of us could figure out why she sang three different songs and why Antonio Banderas sang one (and when Jorge Drexler won for his song from The Motorcycle Diaries, "Al Otro Lado Del Río," he got up there and sang, which really confused me; he sounded a lot better than Banderas did).

When Prince was on screen, I commented on him having more makeup than Beyoncé. One woman said, "He looks a lot like Robby Benson."

During commercials, we'd go grab food off the counter. Lots of people brought different things, but the hit was a ten-pound Ghirardelli chocolate bar. We spent half an hour trying to figure out how to break pieces off of it.

When the movie Ray won for sound editing, someone yelled, "He should thank Ray Charles for being blind and not deaf."

The French woman and her boyfriend wanted Ray to win everything. They loved the movie, but it turned out, they hadn't seen any of the other nominees. I thought Ray was great but had problems with them not dealing with all aspects of his life (his first wife and his nine illegitimate kids, among other things).

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