Retrovirus vs. the Oscars

If there is one thing you probably don’t know about me it’s that I love award season, particularly The Academy Awards. Every since I was a child growing up in Hollywood Staten Island, I’ve been obsessed with the Oscars. I even have my own acceptance speech prepared. I’ve rehearsed it numerous times over the years while staring at myself in the bathroom mirror. The scope of my obsession knows no boundaries. I’ve read many books about the Academy Awards, memorized trivia such as, which two actress tied for Best Actress?

Answer: Katherine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand

I know who’s won the most Oscars, which star has been nominated the most times and which unsuspecting actor was interrupted as he presented an award by a nude man racing across the stage.

Every year I host my own Oscar party. It is an event that is more important to me than my own birthday. Because in many ways it is a celebration of my life or rather the life I should have had. I intended to go to film school but instead chose pre-med.

This week the Oscar nominations came out. I was thrilled to see Annette Bening was nominated again. She deservs to win Best Actress for The Kids Are Alright. I’m sorry Natalie Portman fans. Natalie was amazing in the Black Swan, but most of her dancing was digitally enhanced. Her face was superimposed onto another dancer. She wasn’t even there! But I digress. Annette has lost three times and twice to Hilary Swank. It’s Annette’s year!

As fate may have it, I have been selected to attend the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). CROI is a scientifically focused meeting of the world’s leading researchers working to understand, prevent, and treat HIV/AIDS and its complications. The goal of CROI is to provide a forum for translating laboratory and clinical research into progress against the AIDS epidemic. Over 4,000 leading researchers and clinicians from around the world will convene in Boston, Massachusetts from February 27 through March 2, 2011.

So you see for the first time in many, many years I will not be able to enjoy the Oscars live because it coincides with the Opening Plenaries, which begins promptly at 5pm and not from the Kodak Auditorium. Instead I will be listening to Bryan Cullen from Duke University and Anthony Harries from the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in France at the illustrious Hynes Convention Center located at 900 Boylston Street Boston, MA.

This year there will be no Red Carpet Show for me. I’ll be in my hotel room preparing to brave the harsh elements to congratulate CROI award and scholarship recipients. And after the real Oscar show ends and all the stars gather over to the Vanity Fair Party, I’ll enjoy a cheap glass of Chardonnay at the Welcome Reception.

Unfortunately, there will be no Oscar party at Chad and Frank’s this year. I apologize. You’re on your own.

Perhaps I can catch a glimpse of Annette accepting her Oscar while I order my second Chardonnay at the hotel bar. Do you think they’ll be watching the Oscar telecast at the bar in the Copley Westin?

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 31, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    You must see the Foreign nominee “Dogtooth” if you haven’t seen it yet. It is hilarious!


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