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The Oscars® Drinking Game and Other Ways to Watch the Winners

There are many ways to enjoy Oscar Night - celebrations in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties, parties big and small, and a HuffPo drinking game you'd be better off avoiding.

After the Super Bowl, Election Night and the latest Jersey Shore, the Academy Awards ceremony is among the most popular television events in America. Since most of us aren't invited to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 24, we're stuck with watching it at home on ABC.

But there are options. In San Rafael, at the celebrated if long-winded Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, they're once again hosting "The Oscar ® Experience," a party-live telecast of the ceremony, hosted by KQED's Michael Krasny. It claims to be the only Bay Area viewing sanctioned by the Academy, starts at 3:30 p.m., and tickets at $50 and up are available here.

In Larkspur, the Lark Theater is also holding a viewing party with the dress code of "glamour and glitz." There will be a Hollywood costume contest, live and silent auctions, appetizers, gourmet box dinners, desserts and wine. It is hosted by the Lark Theater Board of Directors.

In Novato, an Academy Awards watching party will help raise funds to renovate the downtown Novato Theater, which has been shuttered since 1991. The event starts at 6 p.m. at Trek Winery, a block away from the long-closed movie house. A $50 ticket includes gourmet appetizers and desserts from favorite Novato restaurants and award-winning Trek wines. The $100 dinner tickets are sold out.

For West Sonoma County residents, the Rialto Cinema in Sebastopol will host the 2013 Oscar ® Night in Sonoma County, "an evening of stargazing, suspense, prizes and lots of local color!" They suggest you come in your best red carpet garb or dressed as your favorite character from an Oscar ® nominated film. I wonder who's going to show up as Richard Parker? Start time is 4:30, tickets are $20, and it benefits Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS food bank.

In the Sonoma Valley, the Sonoma International Film Festival holds their Academy Awards Viewing Party at the Hanna Boys Center this year. Now this one's not cheap - $150 for a "unique premium lounge experience" with food, wine and a 25' by 20' screen. You read that right, that's 25 feet wide. There will be a quiet room, though, if you're actually interested in the witty repartee and acceptance speeches.

In Napa, you can join the Napa Valley Academy Awards® Telecast Viewing Party at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville.  The $99 event raises funds to benefit the HIV/AIDS and cancer programs of the CARE Network at Queen of the Valley Medical Center, and includes tasty treats from area restaurants paired with current release and library wines from the Winery,  silent auction items, balloon prizes, along with the glamor of the awards. 

These are probably not the only local public options. In Healdsburg, for instance, Barndiva is throwing their annual Big Screen Oscar® Party, from 5:30 on at the trendy restaurant on Center St. It's free - on the assumption you buy an exotic cocktail or tasty dish - and you're encouraged to fill out the in-house Oscar ballot. If you get the most winners right at the end of the night, you win a $50 gift certificate. There may be similar events in other Patch towns.

If you do choose to stay home, whether through lassitude or poverty, consider the Oscar® Drinking Game, as suggested by Huffington Post. It's divided into two sections, On the Red Carpet and During the Ceremony, with a wide choice of triggers you can choose from to take a shot of your favorite inebriant.  

For instance, on the Red Carpet, you could take a drink every time a celebrity evades a question, or says they are "so excited to be here," or wears a hideous dress, among other choices.

During the ceremony, you might take a drink every time someone acknowledges Meryl Streep (who is not even nominated this year), or when someone cries, the band tries to cut off someone's speech, or when a joke by host Seth MacFarlane falls flat. (Another suggestion: take a drink every time someone says ®. You'll need it.)

It is recommended, however, you limit yourself on the triggers, since any number of them are likely to lead to a dangerous state of intoxication. Even Huffpo says, "The Huffington Post does not condone binge drinking. Please drink responsibly."

Tina McMillan February 23, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Associating drinking games with celebrations indirectly promotes underage drinking. Ask any teenager in Marin, how many of them have experimented with alcohol by the time they get into High School and you will be surprised by the answer. Marin is one of the poster cities for alcohol use and abuse. Patch articles on this subject are numerous. I understand that the comments in this article are suppose to be a joke, at least I think they are. The reality of young people and adults focusing on alcohol use in order to have fun is all too prevalent. If that is what is modeled then it normalizes social behavior where every celebration involves getting loaded. The emphasis on needing alcohol to have fun becomes even more obvious when teens in recovery try to socialize with peers but everywhere they go alcohol is a central part of their experience including at home. It is not so much peer pressure as it is cultural pressure. Some young people in Novato are asking adults to make a pledge to support sobriety. If adults want to create a meaningful conversation about underage drinking then they can't make alcohol use the central focus of every social activity. The Huffington Post piece is off putting. The lead tag line is, "We hope you have a fully stocked bar because it's going to be a long show." There has got to be a better way to celebrate the Oscars than getting loaded. Certainly there are better ways to write about it.
Christian Kallen February 24, 2013 at 02:26 AM
I completely agree, drinking games are irresponsible and dangerous. It's not a joke, really, but just because the last paragraph is in the same tone as rest does not mean it's to be taken lightly.
Christian Kallen February 24, 2013 at 02:32 AM
You are urged, in fact, to leave a comment on the Huffington Post article. There is at present exactly one comment, and it's complaining about the nominations. Go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/20/oscars-drinking-game-2013_n_2726528.html
Tina McMillan February 24, 2013 at 02:39 AM
Thanks Christian!
new one to novato February 24, 2013 at 04:26 PM
How irresponsible! And these people are going to drive home when the show is over? No wonder Marin County has the highest rates of adult binge drinking in all of California. No mention of drinking responsibly or having a designated driver. Great role models for our kids.
Gilda Harger February 24, 2013 at 05:27 PM
A poor journalistic choice: I absolutely agree with the comments above. There are more creative ways to enjoy the oscars. Emphasizing "drinking to excessiveness" is not the best choice. Think about your choice of words for a better headline.
Christina February 24, 2013 at 09:54 PM
I also agree as well as cannot believe they post basically that staying home means you live in poverty. Kind of racists. A lot of people choose to be responsible and drink at home rather than drive. I know they wrote" lassitude or poverty", but we all know what they are leaning to.
Tina McMillan February 25, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Christian Does the Huffington Post decide Patch content? I notice Arianna Huffington is still the editor even though it was sold to AOL. Is that why we picked up this article? If you read the comments from the original article they are nothing short of disgusting. I think what each community wants from Patch is different. On the website for the Huff Post drinking article they could care less about the impact of drinking games on teen alcohol use. It is a totally different audience from Novato or even Marin.

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