2/27/2011

Statistical data on my complete and utter disconnect with the Oscars

A Citizen 2,840,201,999 investigation into my movie-viewing history has revealed an astonishing fact:

I have not seen a movie that has won the Academy Award for Best Picture since 2003.

Of the 75 films nominated for the industry's highest award since 1998, I have only seen 23.33% of them.

This isn't about snobbery. It's about recording my absent-mindedness, and trying to figure out if this means anything about my life.

I spent the last half an hour trying to write up a spreadsheet to calculate that information. I had to check my memory against the data, so I used my reporting skills to tally something up about myself.

I have seen none of the movies nominated for Best Picture in the last five years, and I'm not sure why.

The last one I saw was Little Miss Sunshine in 2006. I managed to catch Good Night and Good Luck on video from 2005, Sideways in 2004.

The geologist might question why I saw two nominated movies in 2003, two in 2002.

And they might wonder why I managed to see 4 films from 2001, 3 from 2000, 2.5 from 1999 and back to 1 in 1998. Surely, there must be a reason.

The writer in me has suggestions which might explain why this has happened, but I won't say anything publicly until I've had a chance to make sure my report is accurate and can balance all sides in the hopes of finding some sort of universal truth. Rest assured we're on the case.

Some days I'd love nothing more than to sit with my magnifying glass and inspect the patterns of my life. I've increasingly whatever temporal treasure I can find to invest in writing, or invest in attempts at singing or making music.

I have very little free time, and going out to the movies is something my schedule just doesn't seem to permit. My free time is often spent cleaning or hanging out with friends, but there isn't that much free time.

Yet, it doesn't feel that I'm too busy. Both of my jobs are incredibly interesting, even if they have me playing the role of observer for a lot of the time. I'd guess I worked about 70 hours this week.

But, I feel like I'm swimming in narrative. All around me are stories waiting to be written, songs waiting to be sung. So, when I do have free time, I'd much rather be filling it with my attempts to add a little something to the record that doesn't involve local government or Court Square Tavern's bank account.

Which means I don't see movies. Another weird item is that I've never seen a single screening at the Virginia Film Festival. When would I go? I work pretty much every evening, but that's not a complaint at all. I feel very fortunate and I come in contact with so many interesting people each and every day. I feel fully invested in my community and thankful I've been handed so many opportunities.

So, I'm not bothered at all that I'm not up on movies. It's just not something I do, and I really don't think I've missed too much. I've not seen a movie in the theater for two years now.

And, looking ahead at the constraints of my two-job lifestyle, I'm not sure my Oscar statistics are going to go up any time soon. But, I'm sure I'm going to keep looking back to back up my theories about why Oscar and I have had our falling out.

In the meantime, I'm going to try to see some of these films, but I have this terrible tendency to fall asleep if I'm not doing something or experiencing something.

I am willing to accept that this is just a call for help for my friends with DVD players. I am willing to have an intervention.

2/12/2011

Thoughts from an empty bar

The dishwasher spins its magic and cleans glasses that contained beverages that took people into different versions of themselves. It's the last batch of the night, and comes from the last remaining people from this fairly busy night at Court Square Tavern.

I'm beat. It's been another long day, and I didn't do myself any favors by going to Fellini's the evening before. My friend Nick dragged me up to sing a version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and I believe there's a picture floating around of that. I had hoped to sing "Cinnamon Girl" by Neil Young, but my friend wanted to leave before that, so it didn't happen.

Two years on, this is my life. Soon it will be three years on and I won't remember what it was like before. At this point, I don't remember what it was like before.

I think, though, that I've dug myself into a hole of sorts. I tend to be the kind of person who expects the worse all of the time as a defense mechanism. And so I tend to put myself in situations where the worse is going to happen because it's what I expect.

I did not expect that my life at 37 would be quite like this, but you know? That's not the important question anymore. My life is much more interesting and complex and layered and delicious than I ever imagined it would ever would be.

I'm sitting here drinking a Spaten in my favorite place on Earth listening to music I recorded two months ago trying to figure out if any of it is any good. It's blasting over the tavern's stereo system, and then I'm going to go home and play more. All of my friends are out tonight, and I'm not with them, and that's okay, because tomorrow night is the big night of dancing, or so I'm told.

Yet, underneath all of this, is a deep sadness due to things I simply can't control, and certainly can't talk about publicly.

So, tonight I'm alone in my tavern, listening and thinking and writing and existing and remembering that I am alive and I am in charge of my destiny. I want my children to be proud of me, even if I'm not in their daily lives at the moment.

We're all alive. It's all happening. Now. This is it. Pay attention. Now. Do it and be it.