Dish Of Salt: Blogging The Oscars Red Carpet

2:05 PM — I have just arrived to the red carpet. It's a strange year as this is the first time since I've covered the Oscars in 11 years that it's raining. There is a clear plastic tent over the red carpet which, to be honest, I kind of like. The last four years it has been freezing cold out here and I'd wish I'd worn a coat and long pants instead of a fancy dress. This year I've broken tradition and thrown on pants and a 'Who cares' attitude. Under this tent it's boiling hot and I wish I were in a sleeveless dress instead of my raincoat and long sleeved shirt and pants. Go figure. Murphy's Law!

Unfortunately, the natural lighting in the tent is pretty harsh, and the mass of TV reporters look like drag queens with their heavy makeup on. The guys aren't fairing much better. Thank goodness this year I'm staying behind the scenes. Last year I was at the back of the line begging for celebrities to stop. This year I'm at the front of the line in observing mode only, which means lots of juicy Oscar red carpet dirt for you. Enjoy!

2:31 PM — Louis Gossett Jr. is the first "celebrity" to arrive. His wife is wearing a very pretty green form-fitting gown.

2:46 PM — Samantha Harris is in a boring black one shoulder dress comes down to pose for the photogs. She's hosting the ABC pre-show with our very own Shaun Robinson.

2:56 PM — Shaun Robinson poses for the photogs in a beautiful green satin gown. She looks stunning. Now that's how you do it. Take that Samantha in your boring black. Shaun gives a polite hello to Antonio Sabato Jr. who has just arrived. Although, why he's here, I don't know.

3:13 PM — Heidi Klum and Seal arrive. She looks incredible in a red John Galliano for Dior dress with an interesting collar. Seal steps aside to let her shine. With minimal makeup she is stunning.

3:16 PM — Wolfgang Puck leaves the comfort of the Governors Ball kitchen to hit the red carpet. Just looking at him in his chef's outfit makes me hungry.

3:21 PM — The first nominee has arrived, Amy Ryan, looking elegant in a one shoulder navy blue gown. Photogs shout instructions to her and she happily obliges.

3:22 PM — I've been staring at Josh Lucas for the last three minutes not realizing it was him. He's part of an interesting threesome that I don't quite get.

3:24 PM — George Clooney and his girlfriend come in almost undetected on the opposite side of the velvet rope. The photogs begin to notice and the screaming starts. His publicist says he will be back. I'm guessing he is being brought to the live show.

3:29 PM — Nominee Tom Wilkinson arrives with a young girl that I hope is his daughter (and not his wife).

3:30 PM — Kristen Chenowith from "Pushing Daisies" arrives and begins to pose for photogs. She is pulled by her publicist and they get pissed. She's singing tonight so I'm sure she is busy.

3:32 PM — Not disappointing, George Clooney and his girlfriend Sarah Larson come back to pose. He jokes around with the photogs as they snap away. Sarah holds on to George's hand tightly and yells out when asked she is wearing Valentino. Up close, I hate her dress, which reminds me of my grandmother's drapes

3:33 PM — Kristen Chenowith returns. She is so short I can barely see her head over top of the photogs. And I'm on the third level riser!
She's a beauty.

3:34 PM — Right behind Kristen is Jason Bateman who is part of the cast of Best Picture nominee "Juno." He's wearing a boring tuxedo.

3:35 PM — Saoirse Ronan, nominee for "Atonement," arrives in a green gown which reminds me of fancy sleepwear. It's pouring rain right now.

3:42 PM — Director of "Juno" Jason Reitman arrives with his director dad Ivan Reitman. Ivan looks like a proud papa today.

3:45 PM — The young girl who played Ellen Page's best friend is causing quite a stir with the photogs. She's pretty but no one seems to know her name.

3:46 PM — Anne Hathaway arrives wearing a one shoulder red gown. She tends to dress little too old for her age. Her older beau stands aside while she poses. She is a very fair skin girl and under these lights she looks even paler.

3:47 PM — Steve Carell looks way too serious as he smiles for the cameras. He seems none too thrilled to be here. He poses with his "Get Smart" co-star. A ha! Must be a Disney film. The ABC connection gets me to realize why they are here.

3:49 PM -- Patrick Dempsey from "Grey's Anatomy" arrives with his wife. For a hairdresser her hair looks awfully messy. Her coral strapless dress is a bit too casual for the Oscars.

3:50 PM — Ruby Dee looks lovely, and age appropriate, in a red dress. She stands behind Patrick Dempsey for a while waiting for reporters to interview her. Rather than talk to a nominee the reporters near the front talk to younger stars. Poor Ruby. She waited a good five minutes and at one point accidentally steps on Patrick's wives train.

3:59 PM — Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson arrives. Recently separated from his wife, he is now single. I would happily fill in as his date. You can actually see his muscles through the tuxedo!

4:03 PM – It's red carpet gridlock right now. John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston pose next to nominee Laura Linney. Miley Cyrus comes in seconds later. She looks very grown up in a red dress. Unfortunately, it's very very wrinkled below the bodice. Major fashion faux paus. As she poses, she sneaks a peek back to see what stars have arrived. How cute! She waits around as Laura Linney is interviewed before her on a live show.

4:09 PM -- Tommy Lee Jones seeming less cranky than usual puts a smile on for the cameras.

4:10 PM -- "Knocked Up" star Seth Rogan and his wife pose with "Superbad's" Jonah Hill, who could seriously be his son — or at least younger twin. Though I guess that's not physically possible. Their dates could be twins too!

4:11 PM -- Scary Gary Busey is here. He talks to a group of nominees who I'm not sure what they are nominated for. Maybe Best Song. He says to them, "Everybody comes home a winner."

4:14 PM — Daniel Day-Lewis and his wife certainly get the award for most interesting outfits. His wife's dress is velvet, lace, has ribbons and a huge dangling gawdy jewel piece. Oy!

4:15 PM – Following closely behind is Jennifer Garner, the complete opposite of those two, looking absolutely amazing in a black strapless dress. Perfect hair, perfect bling, perfect everything.

4:16 PM — Last year's Best Actress winner, Helen Mirren, has a blast posing for the photographers and jokingly dances around one of the tent poles on the carpet. She is wearing a red dress with full-jeweled sleeves. If they are real that's gotta be one expensive dress.

4:22 PM -- Keri Russell and her husband share a sweet moment together. She looks extremely skinny. Too skinny. You would never know she recently had a baby.

4:24 PM -- Cameron Diaz on the opposite side of the velvet ropes says , "Hello" to Jessica Alba's fiance Cash Warren.

4:25 PM — A very pregnant Jessica Alba looks lovely in magenta and upswept hair with braids. She continually billows out her train as she poses. She and her fiancé laugh together as they pose.

4:26 PM — Javier Bardem arrives sans girlfriend Penelope Cruz. He's in an unusual blue suit and when I say "unusual," I mean I don't like it.

4:27 PM — ABC uses the opportunity to cross promote and sends "Dancing With the Stars" new season stars Marlee Matlin and Steve Guttenberg down the red carpet. At first, I don't realize it's Guttenberg as he is now a blonde, and let's face it, no one has seen him in ages.

4:28 PM -- Best Actress nominee Marion Cotillard looks absolutely incredible in an off white gown that looks sort of like mermaid fish scales. Dennis Hopper stares at her, mesmerized at how beautiful she is. He fails to remember his wife is standing right next to him. I scream out and ask what she is wearing. She mouths, "Jean Paul Gaultier."

4:33 PM -- Cameron Diaz picks yet another bad 80's prom looking dress. While not as bad as last year's white number, it's still pretty yucky. The pale pink color washes her out and she looks like she has no makeup on her face. Sweetly, she turns to say, "Hi" to fans behind her that are going crazy for her. I will say she has amazingly toned arms though. Must be all that surfing she does.

4:34 PM -- Tilda Swinton — scary scary scary – is in a one shoulder black dress that can only be described as a tent. Actress Francis McDormand stands next to her and looks to be in awe of her. I'm sure it's of her talent and not her dress!

4:35 PM -- Jennifer Hudson in a white dress is by far most improved over last year. Her white draped dress has a fun rhinestone looking snakeskin halter.

4:37 PM — Though not as interesting as in past years Hilary Swank looks pretty in a black tulle gown. Former "SNL" star Maya Rudolph rudely walks in front of her as she poses.

4:38 PM — Colin Farrell and his mom meet Sissy Spacek and her husband. As he poses he drapes his arm across his mom's shoulder. A classic Farrell pose seen on whomever he brings. Remember when he brought Britney Spears to the "SWAT" premiere?!

4:39 PM — Viggo Mortensen arrives sporting a massive beard. His long tuxedo jacket reminds me of something they would wear in the Old West. He fixes his date's long hair. Assuming daughter?

4:40pm PM — Julie Christie wears a knee length maroon dress. Even though it's short, it could have been a do. Her pink gloves make it a disaster.

4:42 PM -- Spike Lee and Barney the Dinosaur arrive. Oh wait, I'm sorry, that's Wesley Snipes in a purple tuxedo. Casey Affleck waits for Wesley to get the heck out of the way so a nominee can get his picture taken. Casey does say, "Hello" to Spike.

4:44 PM -- In the corner outside of camera shot Forest Whitaker talks to Harrison Ford. Whitaker's wife is in a stunning dress.

4:45 PM — Harrison poses with his girlfriend Calista Flockhart who is clearly suffering from humidity hair. The frizz is on. She locks arms with Harrison and then he admires her as she poses alone.

4:47 PM — Katherine Heigl, out of camera shot, stands waiting her turn with the photographers. She takes deep breaths as if she is nervous. This being her first trip down the Oscar red carpet I could see why she would be nervous. She, as usual, is a red carpet revelation. Her matching red lips to her Escada gown were spectacular!

4:50 PM — Johnny Depp always looks unkempt and this year is no different. I will say that his girlfriend Vanessa Paradis has finally picked a dress perfectly suited for her personality. Her past outfits have been fashion disasters.

4:53 PM — A very, very, very pregnant Cate Blanchett poses in an interesting halter gown. It can't be fun being that pregnant and having to find a dress.

4:56 PM — Renee Zellweger's silver sequined Carolina Herrera gown is pretty but did she even brush her hair before hitting the red carpet. It's all over the place. She does have great arms though.

5:00 PM — Diane Lane & Josh Brolin are seemingly the last to arrive. Josh plants a sweet kiss on Diane's temple.

5:05 PM — As crews begin to break down and the red carpet action is over, Nicole Kidman's publicist tells us that she is stuck in traffic.

5:15 PM -- Nicole Kidman finally arrives with her husband Keith Urban. This is the first time she has brought him to the Oscars since they have been together. She looks lovely in black satin. Her baby bump is very slight but noticeable for sure. She waves to the fans that are screaming for her. As they pose she whispers sweetly in Keith's in ear. She towers over him by several inches.

5:20 PM — My 11th Oscars are officially over!

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