Minor Obsession

When The Two Towers came out a couple of weeks ago, some friends of mine camped out in front of the theater with a laptop, some mac and cheese, and the extended version DVD. They watched The Fellowship of the Rings (or, as I’ve been calling it, The One Tower. The third movie will be, of course, The Three Towers. Anyway.) and then got their tickets and went on in to watch the second part of the trilogy. I’m guessing that all the other geeks in line were bowing down to them and begging to have their babies.

I haven’t gone that far. I own no official Lord of the Rings merchandise, thanks very much. I have a left ear that’s slightly naturally pointy, but I won’t be wearing any prosthetic ears any time soon. But can I confess something to you? Friday night I watched part of the first movie, and then I fell asleep. Saturday, for jet lag reasons, I woke up super early and watched the rest of the movie before the sun came up and then started on the Appendices. Carl and I saw the second movie in the theater last night (“Oh, hey, it just starts off where the other one leaves off!”) and then, three and a half hours later, came home and started on the second appendix…during which I fell asleep, and just finished right now. Is that weird?

And the worst part is, now I’m going to have to re-read the trilogy, just like I had to both times I saw the movies last year. I can’t help it. I started reading those books about once a year three or four years ago, just because whatever. (I read the Narnia Chronicles every year as well). I read the trilogy last December in preparation for the movie, and then when I saw it in the dollar theater in June I was compelled to read it again. My brain just got itchy and wanted to check a couple of things, I guess. Plus I was unemployed and reading is cheap, right? I might get away with only reading The Two Towers and The Three Towers (oh, I just kill me) this time though. I’m in the middle of about three really good books right now, so I don’t know where I’m going to fit all this in, but you have to do what you have to do, right?

Something I really liked about watching the appendices was the sense that for once, some really smart people in Hollywood won. This freakish New Zealander who really digs these fanstasy epics not only got to make the movie at all, but got to make three movies instead of just one or two, and got to make it with all these incredible detail. I’m sure there were many compromises that were made…well, obviously, they wouldn’t have made the extended version if they hadn’t had to make a lot of cuts…but still, the whole sense I got was that for once, some people who make movies were able be really intelligent and cool.

I don’t consider myself a very obsessive person, on the whole, but I do go through times of being really interested in a certain subject for about two weeks at a time. I went through a Medievalism phase, a vegetarian cooking phase, a Sopranos phase, an international travel phase, an alternative building phase, several feminism phases, a Quaker theology phase, an ultra lightweight hiking phase. These phases don’t often take very active forms…like, I read a lot of books and websites about hiking, but I didn’t, during that phase (or any thereafter), go out every weekend or something, all with my 2 ounce pack and tarp instead of a tent. I just sort of lived in my head, thinking about ideal itineraries for my round-the-world trip, or about the house I want to build one day out of straw bales or rubber tires. It’s nice sometimes to have another train of thought running underneath your everyday default program of “How do I get this to turn back on? When’s lunch? Wait, did I even bring my lunch? Oh, man, the rug is slipping up underneath my chair. Is this going to reboot or what?” It’s helpful to be be able to switch back and forth between that everyday thing and your secondary fanstasy life.

So, yes. I just saw the second movie, and I’ll probably read at least a couple of the books in the next week or so, and I might even do a little more web research. That’s it, though, I think, for this little phase, which makes me ripe for a new one in about three weeks. Any suggestions?

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