This is the time of year that I typically start listening to melancholy music, spend many hours in movie theaters and think deep thoughts about my life and how it’s gone wrong.

Not this year.

Well, let me go back a step. Keep the melancholy music part. Subtract the thoughts about failure. Keep the deep part. There, improvement achieved.

My life is looking exactly how I’ve always pictured it. I’m moving to New York in a couple of weeks, one of my life goals. And I’m doing it with a woman I love. I’ve shaken off the remnants of a bad marriage and found all that I’d been missing. And myself.

So this fall, I’ve done without endless hours of Elliott Smith cradling my ear. Or The Smiths. Bon Iver’s close, but MGMT, the new Eno/Byrne and TV on the Radio are finding themselves in heavy rotation as well, a new phenomenon from a guy who usually inhabits a singular musical shell through the fall and winter months.

The other major difference is that I haven’t exactly spent a whole lot of time in theaters this fall. And it bugs me. And yet, it also doesn’t.

There certainly haven’t been a shortage of films. Quite the opposite, as it seems each weekend has brought an onslaught of offerings I’d normally flock to. But something is off this year. Films such as Blindness, Religulous, Choke, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People have come and gone without my love. Well, not gone yet. Certainly going though. Especially the latter. But my not having seen them opening weekend is a big change.

It could be because I’ve been spending a whole lot of time working on my resume, driving back to New Mexico and planning the big move to New York City.

Or my proclivity to spend that ticket money on Guinesses in dives with my girl.

Or spending many, many hours obsessively watching the debates and following all things related to the elections on the internet, in papers, magazines and any other medium I can get my hands on.

The ache to spend time in dark theaters remains present. The act of doing so is all that’s changed.

The last film I saw in a theater was Burn After Reading. Which was excellent. Beyond excellent, in fact. And a treat since we just got a Coen Brothers’ film last year that was also beyond excellent.

And now that I think of it, that’s a lie. I saw Ghost Town. And loved it. Way more than I thought I would.

So there, that’s two in a month. But keeping in mind that I usually see four a month, minimum, there is something odd going about. I chalk it up to the move. And the resumes. And the debates. Which are enthralling. And the fact that keeping track of politics is much more fun than spending time in a theater.

So then what’s the problem? We’re talking about a Mierrelles film here (one with poor reviews and
even worse word of mouth), a film openly attacking religion and
starring one of the more progressive and important comedians working
(though it’s a bit of preaching to the choir given my proud standing as
an avowed atheist), two films on popular books that appealed to a
certain audience of people my age (both books I disliked) and the new
film with Michael Cera, a kid I’d follow anywhere after his career
choices thus far.

I guess that puts it into perspective a bit. Maybe I
shouldn’t be feeling so guilty, especially given my plans to see Nick
and Norah
this afternoon, before I indulge in my other favorite fall
love, watching the debates and drinking Guinness (tonight, the drinking
cues are Maverick, Main Street and Crisis, I should be shitfaced by the

As far as melancholy music goes, try Nilsson Sings Newman. It’s been on the record player for a few days now and I can’t seem to shake it. Until next time, enjoy your fall.