The Geek Gets A Day To Herself


My family has a tradition. The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, my hubby takes my kids fishing on a remote lake deep in Maine’s ‘unorganized territory ‘. I can’t be any more specific than that, because he has sworn me to secrecy. The place is tourist-free at the moment, and he’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible. Besides, where they choose to drown a few dozen worms every year isn’t the point of this story. The point is this: I had an entire Saturday all to myself.

What would most women have done with this valuable time? To be perfectly honest, I really don’t care, because that isn’t the point of this story, either. This is what I did:

Having bumped three of Kel’s Must Watch DVDs (aka, movies nobody else in my family cares about watching) to the top of our Netflix queue, I spent all of Saturday watching them.

First up, Todd Haynes’ “I’m Not There.” If you’re a Dylan fan, and you haven’t seen it already, get on it. Next up was Kenneth Branaugh’s Hamlet. All four hours of it. Then I watched it again with the director’s commentary. That’s right…eight hours of Hamlet. Finally, disc 3 of season 2 of “24.” Blame my buddy Elle . She recently got me hooked on Jack Bauer’s frequently questionable exploits.

All total, I spent just over 14 hours sitting on my ass in front of the televsion. I should be ashamed of myself, but I’m not. After all, I did manage to weed my garden and worked a little bit on a new screenplay in between the onscreen action. Maybe someday a woman with some time to kill will spend it watching a movie I’ve written. That would be cool.

In the meantime, something else I’ve written is available online right now. That’s right, Chapter 3 of Waiting for Spring is up at Readers and Writers Blog, along with an amazing poem–Oh Mathilda–by Ian Spitzig, the latest installment of Gerard Jones’ Ginny Good, and the final chapter of The Unearthing. Check ’em out.

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About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

6 responses to “The Geek Gets A Day To Herself

  • Elleann

    Eight hours of Hamlet? Woweee … But the rest sounds awesome. I once spent a mere thirteen hours doing a marathon watch of the LOTR extended version … From 12 midday to 3 am the next morning … wonderful way to waste time!! Go you!

  • Ing

    What exactly is Unorganized Territory? Not a term I’ve heard before. Over here in Washington we keep our territory organized. πŸ™‚

  • Sid Leavitt

    I saw Branagh’s “Hamlet” and loved it. Certainly better than either of the two local stage productions I’ve seen and, in fact, even better than the classic Olivier movie from the 1940s. Now I’m going to have to get that director’s commentary you mentioned.

    But you know, the best movie adaptation of Shakespeare I’ve ever seen — and nobody in my family agrees (my wife has gone to sleep during it twice) — is “Julius Caesar” from 1953. Jesus, what a cast — Brando, Gielgud, James Mason, Deborah Kerr, Greer Garson, Louis Calhern, even Michael Ansara in one of his non-Indian roles. And they kept fairly close to the text.

    The text, of course, is fairly easy for modern English speakers to follow, which is why it’s a common high school English offering. At least it used to be in the 1950s when I was in high school — and first saw the film.

    So I see you are using your time wisely.

  • R.J. Keller

    Elle…ah, yes. Eight hours. The last time I felt this geeky was when I organized a weekend Star Wars marathon with my friends, including the animated Clone Wars series. Actually, I’m pretty sure that was the pinacle of geekiness.

    Ing…Unorganized territory = land so deep in the boonies it’s not worth governing. Maine is very unorganized. πŸ™‚

    Sid…Branaugh’s version of Hamlet is my favorite. But then, at the risk of inviting lightning bolts of cinematic disapproval, I think Olivier is overrated. I’ve never seen Brando’s version of Julius Caesar. I’ll have put it on my Netflix queue. JC was my second foray into Shakespeare (yep, back in high school), Romeo & Juliet being the first. I’m also a big fan of Branaugh’s Much Ado About Nothing.

  • spyscribbler

    So cool. I’m home alone today, too, and I’m still in bed, playing on the internet. A movie or five would be wonderful. I deserve a day off, no? Well, I did just have a mini-vacation. But everyone knows you need a vacation to rest up after the vacation …

  • Ing

    I thought unorganized territory would be something like that. Lots of that in Utah, where I’m originally from…some here in WA too…only nobody *calls* it unorganized. Maybe Maine is just more honest about it. πŸ™‚

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