...Don't take Highland the day of the Oscars; Cahuenga's the better choice. Highland, one of the most major of arteries connecting Valleyites with Other-Side-of-the-Hillians, can be trafficky on any day, depending on construction (we're crazy about how the whole Melrose corridor is coming along, that said). But Oscar day? Don't do it. In fact, unless you're actually attending the Oscars, stay clear of Hollywood all together on the big night. If you are supposed to go to a party on the other side of the hill, hire someone to chopper you in. Or send your regrets.
...Own drummer. Beat. Follow. Exhibit A: Tilda Swinton. Lady always looks dra-ma-tic at every awards show. She gets talked about. She gets written about. And you get the sense that she's calling the shots when it comes to her look. The dresses/outfits/pant suits never wear her. And a beauty to boot. Everyone should take a lesson in Tilda-izing their wardrobes/posture/outlook in the new year.
...If you're in the audience, smile, smile, smile. Like, for four hours straight. Because the moment you're gnawing at a fingernail, or making a fake gagging motion over someone's overly maudlin speech, or openly napping, the camera will be five inches away from your head in a nanosecond. Those producers have like an army of roaming camera people on the floor at all times looking for memorable shots. Read The Big Show for more juicy behind-the-scenes stuff.
...People are in a mood to reminisce and look at old movie clips when they are fresher. Like at the top of the show (kudos the producers of the '09 Oscars; seemed to us the front of the show held the most clips -- correct?). Toward the end, the audience wants to know the Best Picture, so they can start loading the dishwasher and answering emails. The lesson here for all of us? Tell anecdotes/stories *earlier* in the evening at your next outing. By the end, people want dessert, followed immediately by sleep. Just human nature.
...Does it tickle you to see Hollywood Boulevard done up? Just goes to show you. A little red carpet, some fancy curtains, and you're good as gold. Lesson? Even though we all may feel as run-over as the asphalt in front of the Kodak most days, we can gussy up real nice if we put some effort into it.