I'm not rushing to screenings. I'm not stocking my Netflix queue with new releases. I gloss over blogs that are posting about the Oscar race. I don't care, because I will be out of the country Jan. 15 to March 5 — effectively missing my first Oscar season in 13 years. You have no idea how liberating this feels. We Oscarphiles drag ourselves through ecstatic highs and depressive lows every year, and for what? A little golden man and some rich, misguided people? It's nice to be apart from the slog.
Yes, I must sacrifice certain pleasures by missing this season. The 10th anniversary year of my Oscar pool (which has become a global institution, thank you) will have to happen in 2009. I might've had the chance to liveblog the ceremony for the greatest newspaper in the country (not to mention take over for a movie critic for three months while he's away on book leave; oops). But such is real life, which is infinitely more varied and unusual than what passes for living during an Oscar season.
To end the workweek, a little First Wives Club. This is for Oscar: