We have arrived in Des Moines (Iowa) from Austin (Texas) for our Annual Oscar Predicting Contest with our oldest and dearest friends.

The planes out of Austin to Des Moines were few and far between.  There were two and neither flight was direct.

We flew through St. Louis and I was able to put my winter coat in the overhead bin and remain comfortable on the way to St. Louis. It was on the way from St. Louis to Des Moines, when I also put my winter coat in the overhead bin, that I became cold. The last thirty minutes of the 43 minute-flight were cold.

When we arrived in Des Moines, a famous CNN talking head had just landed, also. (Don’t ask me which one; I was claiming my luggage.)

I was wearing a pair of boots purchased in Austin for wear in the frigid Midwestern winter. I wore them for roughly 20 minutes while walking from the Des Moines Airport Terminal to the car in the parking lot. They are now officially dirty, covered with mud and “christened” in the fashion of Iowa winters.

I was struck by the number of Good ‘Ol Boys draped about on airport chairs when we arrived at 10 p.m. They all were wearing baseball caps and were heavily bundled in winter coats, sometimes with “Iowa” insignia that proclaimed Number One Fan.

It is truly cold and miserable here in the capital city of the state of Iowa. After turning in at 2:30 a.m. I got up about 4-ish and noted that it was sleeting icily outdoors. Today (Saturday), the day before the Academy Awards, it is gray, grim, cold and unpleasant-looking outside. We checked the temperature in Austin: 75 degrees.

I am now watching “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and enjoying, once again, the choices of music used in the background to set the mood. Both Melissa McCarthy and her co-star, Richard E. Grant, are nominated in tomorrow night’s ceremony, and I truly loved this film. Do the two principals stand a chance. Sadly, I think not yet I enjoyed their performances a great deal. After sitting through “Boy Erased” (shut out) and “Ben Is Back” (shut out) and “Beautiful Boy” (shut out) I definitely needed something that wasn’t all gloom and doom and focused on the youth of America either succumbing to an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or sex.

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is a true gem. See if, if you can.