Category Archives: naps

Turner Classic Movies Is My New Best Friend

As a child I used to love to read movie monster magazines, especially Famous Monsters of Filmland. I used to look at the pictures of all the old horror movies and think how much I’d love to see them. Every Saturday night Chiller theater would play two or three old horror movies, and while I was always hoping for a classic, it seemed more often than not I got The Monolith Monsters.

One of the movies I really wanted to see was a black and white film called The Island of Lost Souls. It was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. In 1977 Dr. Moreau was remade with Burt Lancaster and Michael York. I got to see that one when it hit HBO and even got to read the Marvel comics adaptation, but The Island of Lost Souls was still just a dream for me. It was even at one point considered a lost film due to the censorship it had faced back when the Hayes Code was in effect for movies.

Another string of films I really wanted to see, but that continuously avoided my viewing pleasure, were the silent film classics of Lon Chaney Sr. I got lucky enough to catch The Phantom of the Opera on PBS one time back in the days of their Matinee At The Bijou program, but never any of the other films that earned him the name “man of a thousand faces”.

About two years ago I started doing a podcast, Cinema Toast Crunch, ( http://www.cinematoastcrunch.libsyn.com )where I would get together with family and friends to watch a movie and immediately review it. It was a lot of fun even if our number of listeners never climbed all that high. After a bit I decided that I would like to try and do a second podcast on movies. This one would concentrate on the Oscar nominated best pictures from each year. As luck would have it, Turner Classic Movies was playing a lot of Oscar nominees and I was able to catch rarities like The Racket and The Crowd that had been nominated at the first Oscars. I also wanted to catch some of the films from this time period that had not gotten nominations just to see what the competition had been like. This required constantly checking the listings for TCM to see if any of these gems were playing.

One night as I was scanning through the upcoming films, a title jumped out and grabbed me. Turner was playing The Island of Lost Souls. The “lost” film from my childhood was going to be playing on my TV after a nearly 50 year wait. I sat my DVR with sweet anticipation and then also found that The Most Dangerous Game was also playing. It joined the list as well.

When I finally had the chance to sit back and watch the movies I was captivated by them. They were everything I had hoped for even if The Most Dangerous Game had never been as huge of a draw for my attention. I was so happy to have finally caught The Island of Lost Souls and scratched it off my movie bucket list. Then Turner decided to help me knock off a few more films by playing a Lon Chaney marathon. Here was my chance to finally see The Penalty, The Unholy Three, Laugh Clown Laugh, and several others.

As much as I love DVDs, and trust me, I love them a lot, Turner Classic Movies has become my new best friend. Many of the films they have offered are not available on DVD, and even many of the ones that are aren’t readily and easily available. The only problem is I don’t have as much time to watch movies now as I did in my youth, and sadly I have a harder time staying up and watching them without falling asleep. If only TCM and DVRs had been around when I truly had free weekends and a 3 months long break every summer. I might never have left my house at all.

Time And Related Distractions In Sleep

When I was a teenager I could stay up all night playing D&D and still be awake and alert the next morning. In my twenties if work called or the kids got sick in the middle of the night, I was wide awake and ready to go. In my thirties I could still stay out late, wake up quick, and function like nothing out of the ordinary. But now that I am in my forties and rapidly closing in on the big five oh, my body seems to have decided to give me a big F.U.

I began to notice that I couldn’t stay up like I used to unless I was actively involved in something like work. Watching tv or reading would cause the body to shut down quicker than an anesthetic. And getting up? Forget that. My legs take five good minutes just to decide to support my fat ass and allow it to wander down the hall to the bathroom. And if I fail to get my full 8 hours of sleep? Well, good luck getting a coherent functional human being for the rest of the day. As Adam Sandler once asked on one of his CDs, What the hell happened to me?

What switch got thrown in my body that caused it to go from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds to “let me hook up these jumper cables and try not to flood the engine”? More importantly, how do I switch it back? I have very little free time any more and I would really love to be able to read some comics or watch a movie or two. The other day I laid down to read the first 6 issues of All New X-Men and halfway through the fourth issue, I dropped like a stone. The night before I had only gotten six hours of sleep and my body was like a loan shark. It wanted those other two hours back and some interest on top of it.

Tonight I was sitting watching Tosh.0 on Blu-ray. I was in the middle of the bonus features watching the extended web redemption for the double rainbow guy. The next thing I know my brain has completely shut down. I am not hearing or processing anything that is being said. My eyes close and for a few seconds I am gone. I probably would have stayed just like that if the wife hadn’t yelled in to tell me that she was going to bed. That woke me up enough that I managed to realize the segment was ending and I sat there and stared at the menu for several minutes before deciding to try and move on.

Now I’m sitting here typing this and knowing that I have to stay up another twenty or so minutes so that I don’t throw off my body too bad when I go to work tomorrow. My mind is clicking off activities to keep me cognizant. Write this post. Write a post reviewing the Blu-ray I just finished. Check out the new shirts at RiptApparel and The Yetee in ten minutes. My twenty year old self would be sitting in the living room watching another DVD. My teen age body would be laying in the floor with his DM’s guide and PH book and Monster Manual and some graph paper designing a cool new dungeon for the weekend. But I’m no longer a teenager, a twenty-something, or even a thirty-something. I’m a forty-eight year old that wants his nap. Dear God, I’m not getting older, I’m becoming a toddler again.