Prufrocked Again

Whaddaya know, I finally started that project where I would actually watch good, well-regarded movies. I watched the first one, and really enjoyed it. Still thinking about it, almost two weeks later. The Law of Unintended Consequences being what it is, however, it also means that every time I’ve started another movie since. I’ve turned it off after a few minutes because it just didn’t measure up. Look at what I’ve generally been writing about in the last 1-20 years and you’ll see what a WTF moment this is. I have been infected by quality.

I am sure this will pass.

I had a dream, based on past years, of resurrecting a Letterboxd game called March Movie Madness, which was for those of us who couldn’t care less about any iteration of sportsball. It was an A-Z review challenge, one review a night, to run opposite whatever the hell March Madness entails. I like the A-Z challenges (the fact that I do Hubrisween year after year should prove that); they have a sort of scavenger hunt/game vibe that I appreciate. I did a couple of these review marathons, even in the years they didn’t return on Letterboxd. That was also back when I was limited to part-time hours at my job. I’m full-time now (sigh of relief), but that means a lot less time to watch movies, and especially to write about them. I still intend to do this Quality Thing, but it won’t be concentrated in a month (or 26 linear days). It’ll be spread out. I need to come up with a banner to make them distinct, as if the “LETTER: MOVIE TITLE BEGINNING WITH THAT LETTER” weren’t enough.

Looking back over the master list, I should probably also mention that you shouldn’t expect a train of masterpieces, either. It’s also intended make me finally see movies I have should have watched ages ago but just haven’t, for some reason or another. So The Magnificent Ambersons is on the list, but so is Rasputin the Mad Monk.

I’ve read over my older stuff here, and it seems that February is always a time for introspection and grumbling, and if I’m going to start blaming 40 hours a week for diminished writing, I should also start beating on the elephant in the room, which is my age.

Yep, the movies lied to me AGAIN.

Yeah, I’ve always complained about being older than the average bear. I was 40 years old when I wrote my first online review for The Bad Movie Report on a Fortune Cities free website. I got to bitch about my age because I found myself hanging around with people easily ten years younger, if not more, people much more savvy about the Internet than myself, sitting in my room and futzing about with Adobe Page Mill. The aftereffects of a major car wreck years previous (and some foolishly Lon Chaney-esque escapades on the stage) had me still hobbling about on a cane, sometimes wondering if I was going to wind up with a walker. Exercise has weaned me off the cane (unless I overdo it, as sometimes one must), but there is no denying that I hit the 60 year mark a couple of years ago, and I started finding out everything actual old people kept saying was true.

Next time, buy a one-story house. Fool.

I used to like to game. My reflexes have slowed to the point that I say pfui to these twitchy things that require me to do fifteen things at once, and find solace in solitaire games, and JRPGs with turn-based combat. I definitely get winded faster, and as was proven when we tried to move a futon to my son’s upstairs bedroom lst December, I ain’t as strong as I used to be. (a side query involves who the fuck makes futon frames with wrought iron? Hah?) There are times I wonder what the hell I was thinking, buying a two-story house seventeen years ago. (The answer is it was the only one we could afford that also allowed me a room for my office. My tiny, tiny office now crammed full of books and movies)(Also, I loved the neighborhood and still do)

All of this, really was expected. Everything eventually breaks down, even your body. You shrug, you carry on. But the bad thing, the really Bad Thing, is the Senior Moment.

I’ve had them. The time I sat in the car, frozen, because I forgot, for a moment, how to open a car door. The time I was driving home from the store and cursed because I had forgotten to pick something essential up, and realized two minutes later that I actually had. The time I was leaving the weekly show, dropped my suit bag in a panic because I was suddenly sure I had left the suit bag in The Room. Yes, the suit bag I just dropped. And the one my companion kept pointing to and saying “Isn’t this it?” as I tried to get back into the locked Room.

The worst part is when I can’t get the steam pressure up.

My wife – a lifelong blonde, who claims to do this all the time, all her life – will say “How funny.” It’s not funny, it’s terrifying. I’m not rich, I’m not handsome, all I’ve ever had is my mind, and if I lose my slippery grip on that, I got nothing. Add to that the fact that the thing that keeps killing men in my family is strokes, and I’ve seen the effects of that horror visited upon them – I’m definitely in the midst of an existential crisis.

Probably the best I can do is employ the methods my ancestors have used to deal with existential crises, which involve booze, loud music, and something smothered with cheese, the one concession to the 21st century being the music is Trance and I’m still watching a kaleidoscope app to put myself in an alpha state. My major fear is that I will drop dead before I get to see Avengers: Endgame, and that is at the same time pathetic and extremely hilarious. I should put it on a T-shirt.

Hope to see you next week when the Polar Vortex is back in place and the only horrors in this space are born of whatever movie I plug in tonight. If I can make it through it.