Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fantastic or Fanatic?

So, I've realized something about myself. I love stuff. No, not I love stuff. I love stuff. The stress here is on the loooove. I love things. I love lots of things. I love the moment right before the previews start in a movie theater (minus the obnoxious ads that I tune out with my ipod). I love [almost] all things Halloween. [In fact, it's August, and it's not an exaggeration to say I'm currently spending a minimum of 8% of my waking brainpower thinking ahead to our costumes, how I'll be decorating the house for our party, where to put the coffin this year, is it too early to start using my Halloween purse?] I love Firefly. I love listening to live music. I love my mix 'n' match crystal earrings that allow me to coordinate my jewelry with what I'm wearing. I love taking a road trip and having the perfect music for the drive.

See what I mean? I love to love things. I mean, why just like something if you can loooove it? Now this is not to say that I'm not discerning. I'm actually quite particular. Call it high standards, type A, picky, whatever. I'll admit to probably being all of those. The thing is, there's so much out there that is fantastic, why waste time on the generic. Now, I know what you are thinking. I have an excessive personality. Maybe, but I'm usually happy so in the end, I'd say that's a win!

So, back to the love part. My point is, it makes me happy to love these things. I get excited talking about them. My sister, Janie, calls this Fanatic Fandom. I think it's probably self-explanatory: We're not just fans, we're fanatic fans. We're the ones who dress in costume for the movie premiere [Check.] , have parties to celebrate geeky events [Check.], and obsess over the tiny details of things that most normal people don't even noice. [Check.] We celebrate things like Talk-Like-A-Pirate-Day. [Check.] We're also the people who dress in full costume at the Renaissance Faires even though we don't work there (and secretly, a small part of us wishes we did, for at least a season. Just for the experience.) [Check, Check.]

My latest fanatic fancifulness is thanks to said sister, Janie. She's into all this themed specialty perfume made by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. She's mentioned it in the past and I've managed to avoid getting sucked in (knowing I would, if I looked into it!) but just this week she emailed me with their latest update advertising this year's Halloween line, which includes a series all inspired by classic literary vampires. [Hook.] And the sad part is, I haven't even smelled one yet-- She lives across the country from me --and I'm already sucked in. I love the names: Eclipse, Belle Epoque, Dorian, Eden, Bloody Kiss. I love the descriptions: Amber and honey with a touch of vanilla; bitter almond, vanilla, frankincense and heliotrope, with a drop of cinnamon. I love that instead of calling the small sample sizes samples, they're called Imps. I love the art work on the website and the themed collections: Carnaval Diabolique, Illyria. (So far the only thing I don't love is the meandering way the website is set up and the fact that you pretty much have to join the BPAL bulletin board to figure out what's what. Serious Time Suck. On the upside, you get learn about things like decant circles.)

I love to connect everything in my life. Before leaving for my West Coast Trail hiking trip, to stay in the mood, I tried to watch only hiking or outdoor-themed movies, which was pretty difficult, actually, even with my wide selection. I came up with these: Romancing the Stone (they do spend most of the movie hiking through the rain forest after all) , 6 Days, 7 Nights (takes place on an island, more hiking through rain forest.), Cast Away (this might explain some of my zombie-survivor training obsession), and An Unfinished Life (admittedly this isn't about hiking but the movie feels like it's about being connected to nature to me. Also, there's the potential bear attack. There goes my overactive imagination again.) I'm not saying this is the best list. It's just the best from my at-home collection. In fact, I pined for my old VHS copy of Shoot to Kill with Tom Berenger and Kirstie Alley. (And now that I think about it, I'm shocked that I didn't immediately put it at the top of my Netflix queue. I'll be right back...)

Oh, and how 'bout music? Don't you adore iTunes? I mean, what iTunes can do for you. I used to make mixed tapes of favorite songs, themed sets. Like "Days of the Week" (Blue Monday, Friday I'm in Love, Gloomy Sunday, Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night). That kind of thing was a labor of love before iTunes. Now any schmoe with a Nano can do it. [I'm not sure how I feel about that.] You've seen High Fidelity with John Cusack? Oh, I totally get that guy. I wasn't quite that extreme (at least not before iTunes). iTunes completely enables the fantatic fandomness in me. I have playlists I've made for roadtrips, movie premieres, moods, dates, activities, as well as those inspired by eras, books, movies, Halloween, Guitar Hero, etc. (I'm telling you, the individuals who first designed iTunes are all Fanatic Fans like me.)

When I read a book or watch a film I really like, if it ties in with other books or old movies, I then feel the need to read/watch those. The only reason I've read Tom Robbin's Still Life with Woodpecker is because it's the book she's reading in 50 First Dates. When I was wrapped up writing about Shogun, I couldn't even read other books as I was completely consumed with only that. And when I watch a movie that's part of a series, it's practically impossible to watch only one. I mean, if I watch Raiders of the Lost Ark, it's like a compulsion: I have to watch the other 3. (but Temple of Doom only if it's been a really long time since I saw it last and I've forgotten how bad it truly is. Otherwise, I skip it. See, there are my standards again.) Now, take something I love from TV: Firefly, to use my earlier example. Love it. Love everything about it. Out of Gas is my favorite episode. I've watched them all with commentaries more than once as well. I still pine for the story to continue. And after I watch all 14 episodes, I watch Serenity, the movie. Still, that's not so bad, right? 12 1/2 hours. I mean, if I'm watching them while doing dishes and stamping, and stuff, maybe a week, week and a half. That's doable. But what happens when I'm itching for a little Spike? Buffy the Vampire Slayer was seven seasons. That's 108 hours total. I know, I know, skip the first couple seasons for the better story arcs and less cheese, right? But buried in the cheese are some great character moments. Back story to the parts I really love later. So, it takes me weeks, maybe months to watch. And I have a husband and 3 kids to tend to. I can't just obsess! But, remember about the all-consuming part? I have to finish it. Because I need closure before I can move on. Which is really what this blog is all about.

Closure. So I can get back to finishing my WCT story and not fixate on Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab until...oh, maybe my Imps arrive in the mail!

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