Maybe it’s spillover from my workaday mindset as a white-collar drone, but lately it seems like I cannot get away from the concept of projects in all the other non-office areas of my life. I don’t have to-do lists comprised of various small and discrete tasks; I have a collection of (arguably) ambitious and (absolutely) time-consuming undertakings that I need to figure out how to fit into my life schedule on a recurring basis. And it’s a bit of unearned victim-playing to say that I can’t get away from it, because truthfully I am doing this to myself, completely by choice.
There is, of course, the ongoing Get The New House In Order Project, which is perilously close to being inaptly named because the house is not so much new to us anymore. (Surely we lose all rights to that label around six months after the move, which would be June 19 as it happens.) The garage still needs to be emptied and the den still needs to be painted and furniture needs to be acquired and so on, all of which swells up to project-nebula size because of all the cascading dependencies involved: I seem to have mislaid the key to the shed, which is where I wanted to move the firewood that’s stacked in the garage; and the furniture is going to be purchased out of our federal tax refund, which has not yet been routed to the bank account; and the walls can’t be painted until they’re primed, and can’t be primed until the floor moldings and ceiling corners are taped, and can’t be taped &c. (I’m actually not sure where that last &c. goes. Maybe that’s the entrance point I need to focus on.) For a while the GTNHIO Project was going full swing, but it inevitably tapered off and became more of a “well, when I have a free moment” thing and now it seems free moments are so rare that a more aggressive approach is called for. Which, you know, fair enough.
But still, all work and no play and all that. The really rueful aspect is the extent to which I’ve begun organizing my leisuretime activities into capital-P Projects of varying scopes. Allow me to overshare:
Thursday is the big tv night in my house, as I’ve detailed on more than one occasion. However, the tv season for those shows officially ends on May 20, and since my wife and I have been such devoted followers this year we really have no reason to sit through the summer re-runs. But we have a plan! Oddly enough, it mainly involves … um … watching re-runs? Kind of, sort of, in the sense that we will be watching episodes of two tv shows that have all aired before and are now preserved forever on DVD. Also, we’ve seen every episode of one of the shows before.
When my wife and I started dating we watched every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in order on DVD; she had seen most of them before on tv, whereas I had never jumped on the broadcast incarnation of the show, but she thought they were worth re-watching and she knew I would love the show (and she was right). So now we’ve both seen the whole seven-season epic but I am as interested in re-watching every episode as my wife was five years ago, especially since I remember how much she enjoyed picking up the recurring motifs and foreshadowing and whatnot on her secondary viewings. Additionally, when we watched BTVS the first time we made a half-hearted effort to also watch the Angel spin-off, but quickly faltered. By the time the completist uber-geek in me was regretting not having full crossover knowledge of the Angelverse as it impacted the BTVS series finale, it was of course too late to rectify. Until now! Hence the Buffy/Angel Project. Starting on May 27, Thursday nights will be Thurs-slay nights! Amirite? Guys? Ahem. Given that an average episode is about 44 minutes long, we should be able to get in two or three per week between the little guy’s bedtime and our own. So for starters that will mean back-to-back-to-back Buffy, but once we hit season 4 we will alternate episodes of Buffy and Angel to watch them more or less concurrently like the network showrunners intended. The only flaw in this plan is that even if we cram in three episodes every single Thursday, we will be nowhere near done with the project by the new fall tv season. I’m not quite sure what we will do at that point, whether the Buffy/Angel Project will go on hiatus, or move to a different night of the week, or what, but that is the kind of far-off logistical challenge that does absolutely nothing to diminish my faintly ridiculous excitement for the Project itself.
And that really gets at the heart of the whole thing, I suppose. Part of my brain thinks that it’s weird to have a regimented structure for recreational DVD-viewing that involves working through a massive pile of hundreds of episodes of tv in very specific order. But most of my brain thinks it’s AWESOME. This is not something I’m doing because I feel guilty about not having done it already or because I’m tired of being left out when other people talk about it (though I can of course think of many Projects past and future which probably would be well described in those terms), it’s something I want to do, period (except to add: so much so that I’m willing to put in the mental effort of planning around it and implementing said plan and not just letting it rot in the bin of “oh, one of these days that would be cool …” Also so much so that I bought the mega box set of every BTVS episode ever, but in my defense I bought it at Costco where it was approximately 67% off the usual retail price.)
But I believe I mentioned that the Buffy/Angel project was only one of many which currently loom large over my mental landscape? Perhaps I will detail the others later on this week. I’m pretty sure by Friday I can have everyone wondering how I even manage a passable imitation of normal functioning human being.