Thursday, January 11, 2018

When everyone's away, the mouse will cram

I’ve said in a couple posts that I expect to fall well short of my record total of movies ranked last year, when I watched 151 films in time to rank them by the morning the Oscar nominations are announced. With this year’s version of that day only 12 days away, I’m currently 26 behind that at 125.

However, thanks to my current circumstances, I do have a chance to make a run at it.

Not a realistic run, but I’ll get closer than I have any right to.

That’s because not only is the cat away this weekend, but so are the two kittens.

This is a cheeky reference to the two “film festivals” I curated for myself last July/August and September, when my wife was away on two trips to North America. I called those festivals “Cat’s Away” and made a running joke about how I (the mouse) would “play” while she was away. I mean, it wasn’t a joke as I did “play” – i.e., watched movies in almost all my spare time. But she doesn’t really prevent me from doing that on a regular basis, so the whole premise was a bit silly.

Anyway, this time around, she’s gone for five nights and she is taking both my children with her. They are visiting their grandmother in Tasmania.

So I will have literally no responsibilities when I’m not working. I mean, except for not burning down the house, I guess.

Last night was the first night, and I only watched one movie, All the Money in the World (post coming tomorrow), because I had other things I needed to do, like go shopping to buy all the gross food I don’t want my family to know I’m going to eat while they’re gone.

One big difference between this and the previous “Cat’s Away” scenarios – other than the biggest, that I’m not looking after my kids – is that I can see movies in the theater this time as well. Hence the All the Money in the World viewing last night. I should be able to make a very respectable stab at getting in most of the films that qualify as “Christmastime prestige releases that I might ordinarily not mind missing,” of which All the Money in the World is a prime example (though it didn’t release until January 4th here). I have a theatrical double feature planned for tonight, as well as possibly one more single screening on Sunday.

On Friday night, Saturday and Sunday during the day, it’ll be a marathon of collecting up a variety of titles from earlier in the year that are now available for rental. That’ll make up for the two international flights I took last year, which enabled me to add about eight more titles in a confined period of time. I’ll do a big sweep of all the dangling leftovers. Do leftovers dangle? In this case they do.

I will also hope to undertake at least one major cleaning project of some sort. I don’t want them coming home to a messy house. But more than that, I want them coming home to a house that is cleaner than they left it – profoundly cleaner, if possible. I’d also like to do some other project around the house, though I don’t know what that will be. I’ll make that assessment over the next few days.

For now it’s just really funny to be the only person in my house for a lengthy period of time. I’ve only ever had that before for maybe 24 hours, and I’ve never only had to deal with myself when waking up on a workday. I didn’t even know what to do with myself this morning.

My cramming will likely get me over 140 for the year – in fact, if it doesn’t I will have done something wrong. One fifty is out of reach, but that’s just as well. I certainly don’t have to prove anything to you. To myself, I need to prove that I don’t need to set a record, since trying to set a new record every year is unsustainable.  

I won’t update you on these viewings as I did during the other Cat’s Away series, in part because I’m not really calling this a Cat’s Away film festival. And in part because I’m about to reveal what I feel about all these films, in list form, and don’t want to ruin the surprise before then.

A part of me does wish that I could use this period of time for one of my more traditional viewing marathons, in which I pick movies based entirely on whim and what I think would be good to watch at the moment. But including Cat’s Away and my two nights at a hotel for my birthday, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do that lately, and have made the most of them.

Now excuse me while I go make the most of this one. 

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