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My Hockey Alternative

This flick isn't on the list, but it should be.  Unintentional oversight, I'm sure.
This flick isn't on the list, but it should be. Unintentional oversight, I'm sure.

Everybody needs a "thing" - an interest or a hobby that can take your mind off the stress created by work/school/life and allow you an escape. I'm going to venture to say, based on the amount of time that most of us spend on this board, that our "thing" is hockey. However, I have another interest that predates even my love of this sport, another obsession so deep it rivals the way I feel about the Avs.

My first true love is movies.

I have no idea when the obsession began, but I do know that it really came into it's own during my high school years. I just loved getting caught up in the story. Watching movies is one of the very few activities that allows me to lose all track of time and push aside my problems for a while. It's like a drug - a good flick will put me under so deeply that I actually feel more refreshed and relaxed at the end than if I had chosen to take a nap instead. As my classes got harder, my love of movies got deeper, and I soon began researching the industry that was making the stories I had become so smitten with. By my Junior and Senior years, I was going to a movie a week in the theaters during the summer and averaging close to 30 boxoffice trips a year. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) was the most visited site on my computer and I could rattle off synopsis and the acting/directing/writing/cinemeatography/music score personnel for just about any recent movie you could think of. During my freshman year in college, I took a class called "Movies in America" and was introduced to many of the old classics like Citizen Kane, Easy Rider, and Gold Rush (one of Charlie Chaplin's best) along with others, but even before the course began, I had a better grasp of motion picture history than most of my film major classmates. Movies were just my "thing", and if the bulk of the motion picture industry wasn't based in southern California, I probably wouldn't be studying architecture right now.

My movie viewing time has dropped a bit since then - I started watching this team of guys from Denver skate around in burgundy and blue about 2-3 times a week instead - but my love of motion pictures has always been in the background. And now, since it looks like I'll have a little free time this semester (and possibly next semester too), it's time for me to go back to it.

I've proposed a little challenge for myself. Last year, I found myself in Portland and picked up this book called "501 Must-See Movies - Revised and Updated" from Powell's Bookstore (which is an awesome place, by the way). These films (full list here) range in dates from the 1920's clear up until 2009, and so far, I've seen 144. My goal is to get as many of the 501 knocked out as I can before the end of the school year using the time that I would normally dedicate to hockey.

I love this team and I love this sport, but finding myself without them isn't going to be the end of the world. I'll still go to local games (Go MSU Hellcats and Bozeman Icedogs!), and I've already found my replacement "thing" in movies. Would I rather be watching the Avs? Yes. There's no doubt about that, but unfortunately, I don't have any say in the matter. So, until the time that watching the Avs becomes an option again, I'll be investing my time in another entertainment industry.

Part of the reason why this site has grown into such an amazing community is the fact that we all have so many different interests. So, MHH, what is your "thing" outside of hockey? What will you be up to if when the NHL decides to lock us out?