Recently Rated Movies #21: The Vacation Vacated My Senses...

The experiment has reversed on me. A couple of weeks back, I posted a work stoppage on the Cinema 4: Cel Bloc, my daily animation-related site, due to a combination of the facts that I would be taking some vacation at some point in the next month, that we had visitors coming to town for a few days, that I had a slightly heavier workload at the office and was in need of some downtime in my head, and finally, because I had a couple of other external projects for which I was gearing up.

So, for the first time in almost a year, I stopped writing or journaling daily and reverted back to my Alaskan self: that of a person who needs to write regularly to stay sane who is simultaneously possessed of an almost absurd fear of the keyboard or pen. I had told myself that I would continue to take notes on numerous cartoons so that I could still work on the Cel Bloc, working up a backlog of essays so that I could ease myself anew into the project in August's second week with several posts at the ready. I had told myself that I would still post here in the Pylon every other day or so to keep things fresh. I had told myself that I could rebound easily from the layoff, and that the still-daily writing exercise would continue, albeit in the guise of a slightly more relaxed regimen.

Lies. All fucking lies. While I have worked on one of my pair of outside writing projects here and then, mainly I have wasted the last two-and-a-half weeks sitting on my couch and watching a nonstop array of movies, good and bad. The pace at which I have been watching films will be reflected in the list at the end of this post and at the close of the post on Monday, July 24th. (There was also a huge variety of summer-season pilots, cooking shows and old-school game shows viewed in this span. As I said, I wasted my time on a level quite supreme. It's surprising that I'm not a stoner...) And I have failed myself on all three points: I have only taken notes for three cartoons, so the backlog of essays most likely will not see the light of anything, day or night; I have only put up two posts here in the Pylon since I announced my vacation, this one being the third post within this time; and every time that I sit down at the computer or in front of a pad of paper, I am gripped with loathing of my own voice and have stared for a cumulative total of several hours at the monitor over the last couple weeks. I have also started this particular post on five different occasions (at three points, this was supposed to be a post about my weird disappointment with the new Pirates of the Caribbean flick, each time focusing on a different annoyance), only to erase each and every word and saving the draft as a completely empty document each time in an almost perversely, self-sadistic fashion.

The bright side is that I have been watching so many movies, and have been working on formulating numerous theories and ideas in this time, that when I get back to posting regularly, I should have recharged batteries, which is the ultimate point of any vacation. However, many vacations end with the vacationers being more wiped out on their return than when they left, and I fear that I have stepped in the literary equivalent of this maxim. I'm afraid that I have damaged the writing muscles that I have worked so hard over the past year to build back up. I have been very careful to slowly work myself into an efficient writing machine, both at work and on a personal level, but I fear that a mere couple weeks of falling out of my routine has hurt me immeasurably.

The odd part is that because I had been writing so freely and comfortably for so long, I had grown increasingly impatient with movies, television and music, to the point where the only thing I wanted to do was to write. This is something I had working hard to do for much of my life: to get myself in a zone where I would no longer hit that blocking wall, where I was free to open discourse on any subject, and could rest assured that no matter the material, I could rely on my skills and natural impulse for rampant discourse to get me through the rough spots. The catch here is that since I was writing about movies and cartoons, I was building up a disconnect between that which I professed to love throughout my life and that which had taken over my existence as an even greater obsession: the need to write. I had achieved what I had been craving for so long, but then I no longer wanted to research the material that I had chosen as my preferred subject of dissertation.

So, the trick now is apparently one of balance. I need to learn to write and view in equal amounts, and I need to get myself back into a comfort zone without overdoing either. No more getting up at six on a Saturday morning and writing until one the next morning. (I have done this on more occasions recently than I care to mention.) It has to be more like, writing until eight, watch a movie or read a book while breakfasting, write a little more, etc.

If I were Bush, I would call myself "The Balancer". Unfortunately for the world, I'm not...

The Ratings:
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) - 6; Slayer (2006, Sci-Fi) - 3; The Forsaken (2001, Sci-Fi) - 4; Gin gwai [The Eye] (2002, IFC) - 7; The Invisible Circus (2001, IFC) - 5; Jaws 2 (1978, Sci-Fi) - 5; Blood Surf [Krocodylus] (2000, Sci-Fi) - 3; Kiss Me Deadly (1955, TCM) - 8; A Kiss Before Dying (1956, TCM) - 6, Kagemusha (1980, DVD) - 8; His Kind of Woman (1951, TCM) - 7; Unfaithfully Yours (1948, TCM) - 8; Bananas (1971, TCM) - 7; Shark Hunter (2001, Sci-Fi) - 5; The Cat and the Canary (1927, TCM) - 7; Laws of Attraction (2004, DVD) - 5; Alfie (2005, DVD) - 5.

Comments

matt fosberg said…
A couple of thoughts...

1. I like your voice just fine. It suits and I think your writing is measurably improving. While I don't write all that much, I feel that you'll do just fine after the break, and you'll be able to flex those muscles again in no time.

2. Bush? Do you mean REGGIE Bush?

Matt

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