Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Signing Up For Eternity

I just added 59 movies to my netflix queue.  Every academy awards best picture winner.  I've only seen 19 so far.

When I was looking for a bookmark to use for a book I was starting today, I came across one that I had picked up at powell's this summer.  It's a list of all the pulitzer prize winners in the fiction category since the award was first given in 1918.  I decided that I'm going to read all of them.  I've only read 4 so far.

Of course, after I finish these two lengthy lists, there are many other lists.  There are the golden globe winners, the sundance winners, AFI's 100 best movies, the Criterion collection, etc.  There are the National Book Award winners, the New York Times bestsellers, Oprah's book club selections, and on and on.  And apart from these notable lists, there are personal goals I would like to accomplish in the form of lists, such as reading every Steinbeck, or Vonnegut, or Hemingway, or watching every Hitchcock, or Allen, or Altman.

And right now, even though I am excited to get started, it worries me that I might not ever finish.  That I don't have enough time!  Even deeper than that, I'm getting worried that I won't enjoy the lists eventually, that my strict adherence to the lists will decrease the amount of spontaneity and increase the predictability in my life.  Whether or not these concerns are superficial, they are closely related to the amount of uncertainty in my life (if I have enough time to accomplish lists that really matter, i.e., things I need to do to start a career, places I would like to visit and/or live, or in other words contained in this one list; what to do before I die).

I would much rather worry about movies and books.

Either way though, it reminds me of a line from a Five Iron Frenzy song:

"It's a little disconcerting, signing up for eternity."