Friday, August 29, 2008

Revisitting the West Wing

I'm not working at the dry cleaners anymore. There was.. Well there was a thing and then a small grade fight and then a shortish conversation. Anyway, I'm not working there now. I'm starting a part time job at Kohl's now. There's really no reason why you should care that these things are true, except that the lack of time spent idly at the dry cleaner's is the reason why updates in this space have been and will most likely continue to be, less frequent. I like calling it "this space." It makes it feel like I'm writing for something that matters. Like it's space that needs to be filled otherwise it would just be barren wasteland. It's not, of course... But it's nice to pretend.

I went back and read one of my early blogs about phrases people (mis)use. I liked that entry a lot. It was entertaining and had nothing to do really with updating you poor suckers who bother to read this drivel on the current nowhereness of my life. Don't get me wrong... Periodic updates are somewhat important to me. The main reason I started writing here was to keep in touch in a very laxidasical way with Mike, so I like it when time to time he has a real life update. But other than that, I think it's just boring to be recording the things that are going on in my life here. Of course, I don't really talk about them very much outside of this space (I did it again) so I suppose there's something to be said for letting people who care know these things in some fashion. But, well, I'd like it if I had more actual things to rant about in an entertaining way. I wonder if any of my old livejournal blogs are still around... And I wonder if any of them were entertaining at all. I remember I wrote one about the passion of the christ that I turned in as an essay to a teacher I liked at the time and he liked it. I wonder if I can figure out how to find that again. Probably not.

The main point of writing this entry tonight, really, is because I haven't written one in a while. .That's about it. I haven't had anything much to say, so I haven't said it. I've wanted to write a substantive and fun entry, but haven't had a topic. There have been little things... I remember wanting to write something about politics, but not Mike's kind, and something about how much bigger and at the same time smaller everything gets as you get older. But those wouldn't have been enough of a topic to have really filled enough space for me to bother writing about them. And they wouldn't really have been that much FUN.

Both of those topics, though, arose from watching the West Wing again. I didn't have anything that I really was excited about watching, and so I'm making my way once more through the best television series aired to date, a position I will hear no arguments on. Watching the West Wing is kind of a big thing for me. It's a Stacy thing, and only mildly interesting and not very entertaining, so I will be keeping this somewhat short.

The West Wing was a big part of mine and Stacy's relationship. At around that time I had fallen in love with Sports Night. It's funny... I had never really thought about the writer of a movie or TV series before that. I had wanted to write, and was aware that shows were written by someone, but it just hadn't occurred to me to follow the writer of something I liked from one project to the next. Actors, and even directors, I had been paying attention to. But somehow the writer, who I now consider to be one of if not the most important facet of the medium, had somehow escaped my scrutiny. Aaron Sorkin and the West Wing changed that.

On a side note, there was another entry I had thought about writing about how until I got into Friends pretty heavily I had never thought about television shows in terms of seasons and beginnings and endings. There's not too much meat on that topic either... Just something I had thought about for a minute or two the other day.

Back to the issue at hand. So, I had fallen in love with Sports Night, and then there was a Winter Break or something that put me and Lior both in Springs at the same time. We were hanging out at Stacy's place because he was dating her at the time and that's what we did, and there was an episode of the West Wing on television that we watched. It was Celestial Navigation. That was the episode. I didn't really' understand the underlying themes of the episode. I didn't understand that they were trying to put Mendoza on the bench of the Supreme court, or any of the other plot lines running through the episode. But I enjoyed it. All of the things I loved about Sports Night were present, plus a much richer story that I , at the time, didn't follow. So I started downloading and watching the series furiously.

It was one of the first things Stacy and I sort of bonded over. Another was the fact that we were both up late nights and talked during roughly the time the sun was coming up regularly. But, seeing as I was downloading the series anyway, and she liked it too, my first excuse to see her, though at the time was a platonic excuse, was to drop off the dvds of the series that I made for her as I accumulated them.

When we started dating, watching the West Wing together was sort of our thing. It was more important to me than it was to her... But I suppose that could be said about the entire relationship. We never got through the whole series, but the time I looked forward to the most back then was laying with her on her couch or her bed and watching The West Wing with her.

When she broke up with me, I finished off watching the series proper, because it was still running at the time, but it wasn't as good. The reason it wasn't as good had more to do with the fact that Aaron Sorkin had left the project than it did with the fact that it was our thing and now there was no more us. But after the series ended, I never went back and watched it again. I was afraid it would hurt to watch.

But recently I decided that I now, finally, have enough distance and have left her behind enough that I can go back and enjoy it. And I have been. It's really a fantastic show, and I can't imagine that I won't find myself watching through the whole thing again sometime once I've finished with this viewing. Every once in a while a character will say something and I'll think "Hey! I say that all the time! So that's where I got it from.

I could continue to talk about the reasons why I love the show, and specific scenes or just specific emotions that scenes evoke for a long time. But this is already longer than I executed it to be, and I don't really feel like writing more. And if I did feel like writing more, it would be to explain the topics that I said I had contemplated writing earlier. But, no. This entry ends here. The point I was trying to make is that watching the show again is a big step for me, and I'm very glad that I'm finally able to make it. Not just because it's a further sign that I've left her behind me, but because the absence of the show from my life for son long has really been a shame.

When I finish it, I'm going to revisit Sports Night also, which I have been avoiding for just as long and for much the same reason, and that is almost as much of a shame.

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