Now that I have a lot more spare time on my hands than I’d like, I have had to find ways of occupying my attention. For someone who claims to be an avid reader, of late I have had very little motivation to open a book. Technically, I have two books on the go at the moment, one being the complete fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, and one on the history of the Celts. For some reason, I just don’t have the patience to sit down in a quiet room and read. I suppose I should get back into the habit while I still own some books, but who knows if I ever will.
I have been spending more time than is good for me playing video games, though. Even this attraction is beginning to pall, however. As you can imagine, new games are not in my budget, so I have been replaying those I already own. I have been a big “Call Of Duty” fan ever since I had the opportunity to play the “United Offensive” expansion pack nearly 13 years ago. Much as I love blowing stuff up, sniping and shooting fascists in the back as they run away, the games all blur into each other after a while, as there are a limited number of situations available, and one mad dash through a city or the countryside in an armed vehicle with a bunch of enemies in hot pursuit is very much like any other, be it in 1944 Normandy, modern day Russia or some post – collapse nearish future.
This leaves television and films, and this is where I have to expend some actual effort. I don’t miss having television service, not for a minute, as the vacuity of most television makes even the biggest of super-massive black holes seem small and insignificant. when I do find something worth watching I tend to burn through it in very short order: A case in point would be season two of “The Expanse”. I watched the first season on disc borrowed from the library, but as season two isn’t out yet, I looked online for a streamed version. I burned through the entire season in three days. I know this is not much to those of you for whom binge watching is a fact of life, but in all probability you follow many shows, perhaps even on a one episode per week basis and have enough in your queue to keep you occupied. I don’t and now have to wait 12 months for the next season. Presuming of course, that I have a roof over my head and a screen on which to watch it.
Netflix has never appealed to me, as even $8 a month isn’t worth it to me, especially as there are plenty of free options. My sweetie subscribes, but she doesn’t watch all that much, and she tends to request films that don’t interest me at all. Of course, streaming has it’s drawbacks, and this manifested itself recently. My daughter is a big sci fi / horror fan ( the subject of a future post), and as she has inquired about my H.P. Lovecraft interest, I suggested we watch “The Whisperer In Darkness”, a film produced by the HPL Historical Society and made in the style of a 1930’s movie. I spent quite a while trying to find a feed that didn’t require me to subscribe and didn’t try and get me to download malware under some spurious context, but eventually one was found and we sat down to watch. Alas, it was not that simple. The feed was so slow that we watched the first 20 minutes in 10 second bursts with five second pauses in between. Even pausing the feed did no good, so I searched again and eventually found a feed that didn’t pause. Yay.
DVDs are my other, if somewhat limited choice. The county’s last DVD rental store shut down a couple of months ago, although I never used it, so make of that what you will. The library has a good selection, but it’s difficult to get the timing right. My sweetie and I watched all five seasons of “The Wire” on discs borrowed from the library, but the wait time for various seasons meant interruptions to our viewing, although it’s so great a show it was worth it. My own collection is also something of a problem, in that 90% of the films I burnt onto disc from the DVR in my married days were ones I’d already seen, so I have little new content. I own quite a few movies and series, and recently re-watched “Band Of Brothers” over the course of a week, so it will be a couple of years before I watch it again.
I dug out “The Prisoner”and am only three episodes away from the end, but I’m having difficulty in motivating myself to finish the set. The show hasn’t aged well, despite its’ cult status. I hate to write that last sentence, but it’s true. I haven’t watched the show since my ex bought me the complete box set for Christmas before my son was born, and it may well be another 16 years before I watch it again, if at all. To be honest, the show hasn’t stood the test of time. At times it borders on high camp and pastiche, the production values don’t hold up despite it’s high budget for the time, and the final episode is so pointless and full of dross as to define explanation.
The English football season is still two months off, so I don’t even have that to look forward to on Saturday mornings. I realise that all of the above can be categorised under “First world problems”, but once I’ve finished my work, my job searches and any chores I am motivated to undertake I still find myself with too much time on my hands. Does anyone have the complete run of The Simpsons on DVD they could lend me? It’s going to be a long summer.