Thursday, July 28, 2005

My Obsessions

There are a lot of things I'm interested in, but those interests tend to come and go with time. For instance, right now my interest in politics is waning, though that's largely due to the coarseness of the public debate. But there are a few things in which my interest has only intensified over the years.

  1. Minesweeper. Yup, the Windows game. I've been known to play for hours at a stretch, and I can tell you all about strategies, what kind of mouse is best, etc. I can play Minesweeper while talking on the phone and retain full concentration on both the game and the conversation. I've probably done that very thing with several of the readers here. It's much less frequent that I'll beat a high score, but I keep striving, every day.
  2. Movies. Can't get enough of 'em. I love going to the theater, even if there's nothing that I particularly want to see. I saw The Island this weekend, just because my buddies were going and it was something to see. I didn't particularly want to see it, but I did. Now that Blockbuster has started its MoviePass deal, and we've got On Demand cable, I've got more movies to watch than ever. Sometimes I'll put one on even when I know I'm going to fall asleep. Sometimes I'll put on a movie that I've already seen a thousand times, and I'll enjoy it as much as the first time (for example, High Fidelity, The Big Lebowski, The Princess Bride, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fight Club, The Shawshank Redemption, etc.). The more movies I've seen, the more movies I want to see. I've seen about three quarters of AFI's 100 Greatest Films list, and I believe that anyone who claims to be a fan of American cinema would do well to use that list as a starting point.
  3. Stephen King. I think the first King book I read was probably sometime in 1991, though I don't remember specifically. I do remember borrowing It from the library while I was in middle school (and needing to renew it twice to finish it), and I remember starting to read the Dark Tower series with the paperback publication of The Waste Lands in 1992. King's books have always been exciting and engaging for me, no matter how many times I've read them. I must have read the first three books of the Dark Tower series about 5 times, if not more, between 1992 and 1997, when the fourth book came out. And I must have read the first four books of the Dark Tower series about 6 or 7 times between 1997 and 2003, when the fifth book came out. And still, over all of those readings, all that familiarity, my ability to recall the most trivial details of the books from memory, they never got old. They're still arresting and urgent and a pleasure to read. I'm sure I'll keep on reading them into old age.
Those are the big ones, the ones that I feel belong at the top of this list. Most of my other interests have faded in and out, some more quickly than others, but these ones have stayed, and will likely continue to do so.