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Illness has kept me from dishing out my Academy Award predictions and, lest the curse soon be lifted, will probably quash my desire to go live-blog-wild during the telecast.

But I can’t be completely silent! So, before the inevitable song-and-dance-and-cheese opening, I offer this:

I remember a sweet time back in early December when I thought that the most egregious thing the Academy could do is hand out a Best Picture statuette to the solid-but-safe Up in the Air.

Two months later, and Avatar was nominated for the top prize, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen got a nod for sound mixing. Cue vomit in mouth.

I’ve since sorta-accepted these insults to all cinematic taste and talent. (OK, yeah, Avatar is a game-changer — a technological game-changer. As a film, it blows.) And now I give to you a quick and unsurprising rundown of my picks — which, I’d like to note, were chosen by my head and not my heart (i.e. what I think the Academy will go for vs. what I think will win).

We all know the categories. So here it is: Christoph Waltz. Gabourey Sidibe. Jeff Bridges. Mo’Nique. Kathryn Bigelow (director). Inglourious Basterds (original screenplay). Up in the Air (adapted screenplay). Up (animated, though I’d pull for Best Picture). “The Weary Kind” (original song).

And — I have this horrible, horrible feeling — Avatar for the King of 2009, though The Hurt Locker has gained some nice and deserved momentum in the zillion awards races leading up to tonight.

Let the games begin.

—Man, what’s up George Clooney’s ass?

—That’s a bingo.

—Is that Moses sitting behind Quentin? Or God?

—Woo Pete Docter! I had the great honor to interview him! (And now no one has to feel obligated to watch The Secret of Kells.)

Tina Fey: <3 her inner Liz Lemon. Robert Downey Jr.: Goofy tux/glasses, still yummy. (Even after that “sickly little mole people” crack, because, let’s face it, it’s true.)

The Hurt Locker screenplay win better not be a consolation prize. Really wish Basterds or Up nabbed this one, but it’s worthy. (And hmm…Mark Boal kinda looks like Jason Reitman, no?)

(Second hmm: Paused my DVR while writing the above, and just noticed James Cameron behind Bigelow looking thoroughly pissed off. How do you say “asshole” in Nav’i?)

—Man, Matthew Broderick hasn’t aged a whit. And whatever happened to Ally Sheedy?

—Oh, there she is.

—Oh my God, I’m crying at even the clip version of Up.

—(I would have picked Logorama, but I forgot. For live action, I’ll go with The New Tenants. Haven’t seen the docs.)

—Oh yeah, two more categories I forgot to prognosticate: Foreign Language, haven’t seen any of them except White Ribbon — please, anything but White Ribbon. And feature doc? Food, Inc. .

—Turning off the mike now along with the shut-the-hell-up music. Classy.

—Makeup. Snooze. Though at least Star Trek got something.

—Damn. It’s looking like Up in the Air won’t get any love tonight. A touching speech by Geoffrey Fletcher, though. But did they really have to cut to all the black people in the audience afterward?

—I didn’t know Lauren Bacall was still alive.

—Finally, a testicles joke.

—Nice opening line, Mo’Nique. Burn to all you glad-handing campaigners!

Avatar. Here we go.

—Why does Charlize Theron have big swirlies on her boobs?

—Thank God Kristen Stewart didn’t come out with her Joan Jett hair.

—A Twilight clip in the horror tribute? Really?

—Sweet, two more for Hurt Locker. Now let Transformers and Michael Bay never be included in the Oscars again!

[Stand by while I take a meds-are-wearing-off break. You all may be disgusted/surprised by Best Picture before I am.]

—Uh, hello? Farrah?

—Does J. Lo. have a stowaway under her dress?

—Is it just me, or does dance — interpretive or otherwise — and The Hurt Locker not exactly go together? And is that guy actually doing the Robot?

—And when did they change “And the Oscar goes to…” back to “And the winner is…?”

—How can I stop saying “Jackass!” every time they cut to Cameron? Is there some kind of pill for that?

—”Cozy up to” Clooney: The G-rated version of what Vera meant.

—Damn, Forest Whitaker got skinny.

—UPSET! Bullock. Not sure how I feel about that. Funny speech, though.

—BIG-E-LOW! BIG-E-LOW! W000000T!!!!!! (tears) (OK, until the “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar” Muzak. Back to laughing.)

—Fuckin’ A…the right film won. I’m slightly shocked and completely elated — and wish they would have cut to to Cameron at the announcement. I don’t have to jump off a bridge after all!

Good show, old boys, good show!