A dilemma: the Oscars, or the Manse?

Will Argo be the surprise – or, at this stage, not-so-surprising – best-picture winner at the Oscars? Well, given that Ben Affleck and Raymond are both Massachusetts lads, you can guess who we're cheering for…

Will Argo be the surprise – or, at this stage, not-so-surprising – best-picture winner at the Oscars? Well, given that Ben Affleck and Raymond are both Massachusetts lads, you can guess whom we’re cheering for…

Something has just dawned on Raymond and me: our plan for a quiet and much-needed stay in Queensborough at the Manse this coming weekend conflicts with our mutual love of watching the Academy Awards.

We are both eager to know whether early(ish) Oscar best-picture favourite Lincoln can manage to stave off surging feel-good contender Argo (which we saw and thoroughly enjoyed in a remote area of Maine a while back, an experience that I wrote about here). And also how Sally Field, should she happen to win best supporting actress (I know the category isn’t called that anymore, but I’m dashing this off in a hurry) for her role as Mary Todd Lincoln, will attempt to make good for that crazy “You like me!Norma Rae speech of a long time ago (my golden teenage years).

And of course who will win in the best animated short category. Or, actually, not so much on that one.

And I, at least, am desperate to see the red-carpet stuff, the gowns, the glamour… man, I’ve loved the Oscars since I used to watch them on our old black-and-white TV at the Manse when I was a kid growing up there.

But the difference between then and now is that then, the Manse’s big old TV antenna brought in whatever channel it was that broadcast the Oscars, and now, that sucker isn’t connected to anything and I don’t suppose would bring in anything even if it were, this no longer being an analog world. The most recent (before us) residents of the Manse have relied on a satellite dish for their TV viewing, but we haven’t yet got that organized and maybe never will, given how annoying dishes can be when it rains or a fog comes in or, basically, any kind of weather seems to happen. Bad technology, if you ask me.

I’m kind of hoping the internet will save us on the TV front – in the long term. In the short term, we have a perfectly fine TV set up at the Manse with an inexpensive DVD player that allows us to watch movies whenever we want. So we’re not lacking for entertainment possibilities by any means; we are just lacking the Oscars this coming Sunday night.

What to do? What to do? Cut our weekend short and return to Montreal earlier than planned, so as to revel in the horrible gown choices and the hosting jokes that fall flat? Or stay in Queensborough, TV-less and enjoying the peace and quiet, and just read all about the Oscars in the morning?

Reader: what would you do?

11 thoughts on “A dilemma: the Oscars, or the Manse?

  1. Go for a ‘rabbit ears’ antenna or whatever the modern equivalent is. Some underpaid kid in some clearance electronics shop somewhere will sell you something cheap that will surely pull in Global and CBC. I’m not convinced that monstrosity of a tv tower at the manse was ever hooked up properly back in the day anyway.

  2. When you reach the point of spending enough time in Queensborough, you can consider Satellite TV (Bell gives us good coverage) and Xplornet satellite internet – very fast and subsidised by the government through EORN, Eastern Ontario Regional Network, based on recognition of the need to bring more small businesses to rural Eastern Ontario.

  3. No, the dilemma of how to be in two places at the same time hasn’t quite been eliminated in this super-connected, around-the-clock,digital global village that we of a certain vintage find ourselves in. My solution probably wouldn’t work for you, Katherine, but I would record the Academy Awards and spend the weekend in Queensborough. In fact, given that the Academy Awards show always falls on the same evening that my cross-country ski club has its annual big dinner in Saint-Sauveur, I never see the Oscars in real time. But then, I’ve turned recording awards shows and sports events into an art form. (I can watch an entire hockey game in one hour flat.) By recording a show – or a game – I’m able to watch it at a more convenient time and speed through all the commercials and blah-blah-blah boring bits (“I’d like to thank my hairstylist …” etc.). Also, because I’m slightly hard of hearing, by recording a show I’m able to replay segments when I don’t quite catch what was said. (This has proved invaluable when trying to fully appreciate Maggie Smith’s zingers on Downton Abbey.) The downside of recording the big events, though, is that you have to go to extraordinary lengths to not hear who won what before you actually get around to watching the show. And, being that you work in an open-concept newsroom, I’d say your chances of pulling that off are zilch.

    • Jim, I am happy to say that your solution works perfectly for me! It will be a pleasure to fast-forward through the show on Monday night, when we’re back in Montreal. Sure, we’ll already know who the winners are, but that’s okay; we can skip all the parts where winners are, as you say, thanking their hairstylist, and all the nominated songs aside from Adele’s, and certainly the ads, and quite possibly the lame jokes by the host and the minor awards. (Best makeup, anyone?) And we’ll know which speeches (and dresses) the world is talking about, so can linger over them. And all the while we’ll have had a quiet evening in Queensborough, dinner and some quality reading time. What could be better? Thank you for your good advice.

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