Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lost and found

The other day, the Fourth of July in fact, I decided to watch one of my old DVDs. I own about 20 videos and DVDs, but I don't watch them very often unless I'm with other people. Once acquiring one of my favorites, I tend to watch it rather less than in the old days when I had to go to the video store (anachronism!) to rent a copy. I wonder if others are the same? I only buy two kinds of movies: ones I've never seen or ones I'm sure I want to see more than once.

I recently realized that if I have a rerun or favorite movie on in the background, it helps me work. I tend to watch the tv if it's on and my more typical background noise is the radio. But the news (especially these days) is hard to ignore. What I can ignore is a rerun or the umpteenth viewing of The Philadelphia Story. I need that friendly noise to get writing done. I ignore it mostly but glance up to see my favorite bits.

That day, I decided that I would watch Spellbound. It's another old favorite and I haven't seen it for a while. Its surreal overtones fit my mood. I pulled out the case only to find it empty. Empty? It’s not like me to misplace DVDs, CDs or books. I put things back in their cases. Another DVD was missing (another Hitchcock film) and the last time I saw that was with Owen (you remember, my most recent ex). I sent him an email asking if he had the discs, assuming they were both in the same place. I also called Pele to see if I'd left them in her car. No dice. Owen responded the next night--he didn't have them either. I figured they'd turn up eventually--probably as soon as I bought new copies.

To that end, I checked, place of the original purchase. I searched for Spellbound and found it on offer for the amazing price of $49.97--used! The highest priced new copy was going for $333! Of course, there was a reissue for $10.49, but the Chinese writing on the box made me question its potential quality. I didn't understand--I got Spellbound as part of a boxed set with four other Hitchcock movies in 2004 and the whole thing cost me $106 (including shipping). What has happened?

Well, according to one comment, Criterion, the folks who produced my box set, lost their rights to issue these films and they went out of print--and became collectors' items.

As I browsed the comments, I got a little wistful for my missing copy of Spellbound. I'd watched most of the special features…very good ones…and I've seen the movie probably four or five times, but still, I wanted the opportunity to see it again.

On Saturday night, I still hadn't found it. I'd given up looking. Pele had a party that evening. I biked to her place in Arlington--it should have been seven miles but I added some amount to that due to many wrong turns. Good exercise, or something.

The evening was pleasant. I got more talking time with "the boyfriend," which was pretty much the highlight--I think there was not a single unattached man there! Oh well. I also enjoyed seeing C-money and DrJ. Lamenting my shoulder woes to DrJ, who is a fervent soccer player, I asked, "Is there a soccer league for people who don't know how to play soccer and are bad at it and slow?" Surprisingly, the answer was "Yes!" So, I may have new sport eventually. (Right, I haven't written about that for a while--I'm taking a rowing break because the shoulder isn't recovering. I'm doing the PT, 3 times a week, but I'm off the meds. So far, still hurts, but I'm hardly disabled.)

I did not bike all the way home--I let the metro carry me from Clarendon to Eastern Market and biked from there. On the way home, it occurred to me that the DVDs might be in my suitcase--the one I don't use very often.

I checked when I got home, but they weren't there. I took all the DVDs out of their storage spot again and looked behind the CD cases. Still nothing.

Finally, I checked one last place--a backpack I use rarely but sometimes take for longer trips. And there they were! In a little sleeve I use when I try to save space. They must have been in there since…New Years. I bet I brought them with me to the west coast and never watched them.

I was so relieved. I almost popped Spellbound into the DVD player, but I resisted. It was after 1:00am and time to sleep. I placed both discs carefully in their cases and breathed a sigh of relief. I also thought, I have too many damn bags. And, I need to do a better job of completely emptying them after EVERY trip.

I'm also incredibly lucky that this was my biggest problem this week.

Grateful for: Hitchcock.

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