Eat My Shorts is a bi-weekly column devoted to the showcase and discussion of short films.

Nobody likes to fill out an Oscar ballot and have to struggle with the short film categories. In the past, this section of the Academy Awards ceremony left viewers either feeling indifferent or, if they participated in a betting pool and had to force-guess their picks for the short winners, annoyed. Maybe a cartoon shown before an animated feature would be nominated and you'd at least have one recognizable title (like this year's 'Toy Story 3' forerunner 'Day and Night'), but for the most part you likely felt in the dark.

Fortunately, these days nominees for the live-action, animated and documentary shorts are available to you all, whether on the big screen at places like NYC's IFC Center or on the computer screen via iTunes. A few are even available for free on the web (we'll embed these where available down below). So you no longer have excuses for, umm, coming up short.

I recommend watching these relatively undervalued works (you've got time -- they're short!) and also checking out my rankings and predictions for each category. For the doc shorts, check out last week's Doc Talk column, For the live action and animated nominees, keep reading...