Monday, 09 July 2012
The Saturday to-do list was longer than usual. Not that I ever finish even short ones; there are always plenty of items to carry over to the next day. And the next.
At the same time, the weather here (sorry to break this to you who live in the midwest, east and south) was glorious: high 50s Farenheit in the early morning - with blue, cloudless skies and the occasional riffling breeze - rising to 75F or 80F or so by evening when it drops down again to the 50s overnight.
Early, 6AM, I threw open all the windows for several hours to clear out the inside dead air, stayed overtime at the farmers' market to enjoy the cool, bright morning and then, back home, attended to the to-do list I'd planned for the day.
It was mostly the deeply boring stuff – dusting, polishing, floor washing, tub and sink cleaning, vacuuming, laundry and some cupboard reorganizing - the stuff I really dislike so much that I always put it off for too long until it's a full day's work, maybe two.
By late afternoon I was pooped. I figured I would read a few pages of one of the books I'm in the middle of, maybe watch a movie and have an early lights out. But I had not counted on Damages.
Among the stuff sitting in my Netflix queue for many months is that TV series starring Glenn Close. Obviously, since it premiered in 2007, I'm several years behind but isn't that what Netflix is for? We don't have to tie ourselves down to weekly television anymore.
Over time, I had read a lot of good reviews of the series so with nothing else queued that I was eager to see, I gave the first episode of the first season of Damages a try. I was tired and it if didn't grab me in the first 10 minutes or so, I'd turn it off in favor of sleep.
Dear god was I wrong. I don't have any memory of the last time a program, characters, writing, plot, production etc. so sucked me in and refused to let go. I'm not here to review the show and anyway, because it's been ongoing since 2007, many of you are probably familiar with it. The show is stunningly good. I watched four – count them, four episodes before forcing myself to stop and turn off the tube.
Sunday arrived with more on the to-do list plus the need to write a post for today, Monday. I read the morning papers, checked a few more things off the to-do list, thought about a TGB story but my heart wasn't in any of it.
So I did something I've never in my life done before. Ever. Beginning at about 10:30AM, I watched episodes of Damages. One after another after another after another.
People call this kind of activity - or lack thereof - vegging out. Not so in this case. The series engages the mind on so many levels almost any other drama on television will be a disappointment now. I was in pig heaven.
Oh, I got up to fix a bit of lunch at one point. A couple of hours later enough guilt at my sloth descended that I went outside and walked around for 30 or 40 minutes but I was thinking about the show the whole time and had to force myself to keep walking.
Late in the afternoon, I remembered I had a TGB story due and maybe I should think about dinner too – not that I'd done anything to work up an appetite. But since there are about 30 more Damages episodes on Netflix and they are all calling me back to the television, this is what you get today - space filler that takes no more effort than a diary entry.
But while writing it, I've begun to wonder if this isn't a feature of this stage of life. After 35, 40 or 45 years of squeezing one's every interest, pleasure, amusement, hobby, pastime and silly fun, too, into evenings and weekends with hardly any time for sloth, it's finally all right to gratify a minor obsession, as mine with Damages, that will be over soon anyway.
Am I alone in this kind of indulgence? What has so engaged you that everything else stopped until you'd had enough or it ended?
No promises that you'll see much of me on these pages until I've finished episode number 39. (Uh-oh, I just read that season 4 will be available on DVD later this month.)
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Dani Ferguson Phillips: D.O.G.