Friday, July 28, 2017

Moving on to Other Things

Tippi Hedren - Publicity Still for The Birds
It's strange. Whenever I do a thing, I always try to make it as easy as possible for people to find out more about me or get to know me better if they're so inclined. However, it never fails to surprise me if people actually decide they want to do that. I was just as surprised (but pleased) to learn this blog has been seeing a modest amount of traffic from the TCM forums and occasionally from Twitter over the past few weeks, especially lately. (I don't actually market my personal writings here or anything, so I don't see many passers-through as a rule.)

I suppose that can only mean people appreciate my thoughts and insights on some of the films I've been studying with my fellow Hitchcock students enough to come see what else I'm about. A couple of folks have even gone out of their way to chat with me or at least say hello. I'm used to being seen as smart, but I don't know that I'm always seen as interesting, so that's been nice. It's also been really refreshing for me to interact with new people that actually think for a change. I've probably shared more original thoughts and insights with others over the past month than I have in the past... I don't know... five years? I hope I'm able to keep some of that optimism and good energy going, because that's something I need to be doing if I'm as serious about my writing as I always tell people I am.

Tonight is going to be the last Hitchcock viewing party and the course on the whole only lasts through next week. I will truly miss the lessons, the instructor, my classmates, and all the daily discussions. This has given me so much to think about, and do, and discuss as far as my free time goes. My mind is happiest when it's busy like that, so I'll have to think about how best I can fill that void and keep going with some of these positive thought patterns. I suppose there are always more classes to look into, not to mention aaaaaaall those personal creative projects I never quite seem to get around to working on, let alone sharing. I thought maybe age and a growing sense of disenchantment with the world and with the rest of humanity had destroyed my passion for thinking and sharing my thoughts, so mostly I'm just really relieved to know that part of me is alive and well.

In other news, Seth and I decided to have our DNA tested through 23andMe last month. I got my results back last weekend and Seth got his back today. Ethnic heritage has never been something that was talked a lot about or considered important in my family. However, I've always been very interested in world culture and world history, so I've always been similarly interested in knowing where and how I fit into the grand scheme of things, especially considering how racially mixed I've always known myself to be. I really feel my thoughts about the whole 23andMe experience deserve their own detailed post though, so I'll simply stick a pin in that topic for now and revisit it over the weekend. Marnie is about to start and I love me some Tippi Hedren.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Stopping at Manderley

Rebecca (1940)
It's always a good thing to realize you're growing as a person, but it's very strange indeed to realize almost no one you're close to has been growing in the same areas you have. Seth and I both have a lot of moments lately where we're going through our social media feeds reading posts from people we once considered ourselves close to and shaking our heads. "Was so-and-so always such a self-pitying crybaby?" "Have Person X and Person Y always been this mind-numbingly boring?"

Normally I simply assume that if I've fallen out of love with a particular friendship, it's because the person changed and isn't as cool as they used to be, but lately I've been realizing that's not the case at all. I am changing and world views that once made a lot of sense to me now seem very silly and unrealistic. I'm also realizing that I know so many people that suffer from victim mentality because I used to be the same way and like attracts like. I guess I need some new friends. People that also like to learn and grow. People that are determined to see themselves as winners, not losers.

........

I'm really very proud of myself for keeping up with my Hitchcock 50 class despite having as much to do for work as ever. At this point, we've successfully completed two weeks of lessons -- one on Hitchcock's early work in silent film and another on the British spy films he made in the 1930's. Seth and I have both taken and passed two tests. We've also made it a point to watch as many of the films as we can on Wednesdays and Friday when TCM shows them, as well as participate in class discussions. A lot of the other students have already fallen behind at this point in the course, so I'm really proud of both of us for sticking with things and making the most of the experience.

This week, we're moving on to the Selznick years, as well as some of the films that made me fall in love with Hitchcock as as young person. I'm saving the bulk of the lesson for after I get some of my Monday obligations out of the way, but I took a quick peek at today's module just to see what was on the agenda and saw it focuses on Rebecca, easily one of my favorite films of his. I can't believe how eager I am to dive in today for that reason. 

I'm also realizing how sad I'm going to be when the course is over. These lessons and all the fun live tweeting with classmates while watching movies a couple of evenings a week have easily been the high point of my summer so far. Makes me realize how starved I am for experiences that are productive, enriching, and semi-social while also being completely voluntary. No one is taking this course because they have to. They don't need it for college credit or anything. Everyone is doing this for the exact same reason I am -- they appreciate film and want a chance to learn more about it with other people that appreciate film. Period.