Friday, July 21, 2006

Brief Life Update No. 5: Slacker

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - It's fitting that the beginning of my "work" week---Monday---began with a viewing---my first---of Richard Linklater's Slacker (good film), because, frankly, I was a slacker this week.

Yeah, it's been a pretty dull week. I haven't worked at Megamovies since Saturday, and this week I guess I didn't really feel like writing any new film piece for publication. (Maybe I'll make up for my laziness this week by writing two next week.) My younger brother Masao had planned on going to see the Mariners---and his favorite player, Ichiro Suzuki---face the Yankees this past Wednesday, but alas he couldn't find any consecutive seats for me, him, and a friend. And the tickets would probably have cost too much for my ever-frugal mother to allow us to go anyway. (I suspect that she wouldn't have given us her blessing even if the tickets were reasonably priced, though: she's always been suspicious of going to the Bronx. Must be those "dangerous black people"---that's what she thinks, not me.)

The weather, of course---hot as hell on Monday and Tuesday, especially---kept me mostly inside, and a strange lack of interest in picking up a book kept me bored in front of my computer. I don't know what's gotten into me this summer. Usually, in previous summers, I can't wait to catch up on great literature; this summer, I have trouble bringing myself to do so. Has my predilection for film crowded out my interest in reading? Gee, I hope not!

In short, it's been a pretty boring week. Perhaps it's fitting that the only valuable things I accomplished this week had to do with movies. In addition to Slacker, I caught up another slacker movie, Kevin Smith's 1994 debut Clerks (probably not nearly on the same level as Slacker, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit). I also caught up with the rest of M. Night Shyamalan's oeuvre that I hadn't yet seen: Unbreakable (so-so) and The Village (I guess conceptually interesting, but awfully stilted and occasionally boring in execution). I suppose in the near future I'll maybe check out his new film Lady in the Water---although, with the exception of The Sixth Sense, I'm pretty much an atheist in the Church of Shyamalan. He's talented, no doubt, and knows how to create moods and sustain tension; but I can't even begin to take him seriously as the intelligent thinker he seems to think he is. (Lady in the Water hasn't been getting great reviews anyway...but who reads critics anyway, hehehe?)

It's weird with me, as far as slacking off goes: I enjoy the feeling of not being stressed out, and yet I feel guilty about not feeling busy, as if I'm wasting my time. Blaise Pascal once pointed out that little paradox in his Pensées: how even when we try to relax after we've worked hard, many of us will still feel guilty about not being busier. What's wrong with us humans???

Jeez, I haven't even seriously started reading up on stuff for my senior thesis project. Lazy indeed.

Well, maybe this weekend will be more fruitful. Certainly I will be back at work tomorrow evening---my first weekend evening shift at the much busier West Box---and perhaps I'll catch a movie beforehand. And Sunday I might be visiting a friend in Princeton and helping him with a movie project he's been thinking of doing. Fun.

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