MetaLikeTheBackofMyHand April 12, 2019 8:09 AM   Subscribe

End of another week, let's talk about something else that is not related to politics. I want to hear about some "thing" that you've experienced over and over and over again. Maybe it's a book you keep re-reading, or a movie you've seen 100+ times, or a video game you play constantly, or an album or song you have on repeat. What piece of media are you constantly re-enaging with? Some thing that feels like the back of your hand, that you are familiar and comfortable with, that you know all the way through. Some thing you keep on coming back to because you just love it so much. As always, be kind to yourself and others. Cheers.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 8:09 AM (132 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I probably listened to Dessa's Chime once a day when it came out last year. Now I'll realize that it's been maybe a week since I've listened to it and go back and give it a listen, and then sometimes need to watch the lyric videos instead.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:15 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I usually cannot watch/read/listen to/consume something more than once. There are rare exceptions that are usually part of some sort of ritual. Like seasonal films. The only one that comes to mind is About a Boy, which we watch every 24 December and still enjoy.
posted by terrapin at 8:18 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I've watched Big every year on my birthday for at least 25 years. I've put the Sparklehouse song, Piano Fire, on nearly every playlist/mix that I've made for the last 15 years.
posted by anoirmarie at 8:27 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Funny enough, I was thinking about this while two movies were on in my channel guide that I know I've watched over and over.

A Few Good Men and Blues Brothers were both on last night. I skipped BB and went to AFGM after I saw that AFGM was near the end, and the courtroom scenes were always some of my favorites. Also, I still do the monologue that Jessup does that starts with "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH" every time I watch it.
posted by deezil at 8:28 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I am a rereader and replayer, I've got a bunch of these. Mostly, book-wise, it's unchallenging feel-good stuff like cozy mysteries or SF I read when I was a teenager - early David Eddings in particular. Yes, a lot of his stuff is problematic in obvious and less-obvious ways - I can deliver that lecture on command - but it's still comfort food for me, and it's been really interested as I have gotten older and more sophisticated as a reader noticing all the places where his biases show through. (Late David Eddings is really, really not worth the dead trees, imo. Once you get through the Tamuli, it's all thematic retreads and reused dialog.)

Game-wise, I replay Serpent Isle (Ultima 7 pt 2 ) every year or two, sometimes all the way through, sometimes just to whatever part starts to feel annoying. It's the best of the Ultima RPGs as far as I'm concerned, even though it was obviously shipped too soon and incomplete. I also reread this Let's Play (and all the other ones by this guy) to scratch the itch without having to actually spend the time playing. (The Black Gate is also fun and I sometimes come back to it, too, but I tend to find the midgame a little sprawly and tedious - the Let's Play is good enough for that one, most of the time.) And of course I still periodically dip back in to Ultima Online.

I've also found, oddly, that my video game playing tends to be seasonal. I play Civ and Diablo 3 (and similar) in the spring, MMOs in the fall (my go-tos are WoW and Lord of the Rings Online), simple web-based games or CCG-style games in the winter. I play video games less in summer in general. I'm currently back in Darkest Dungeon, which is holding up very well to a replay, especially after getting a better grip on the strategy. I may actually beat it before the sequel comes out!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:32 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I was born in 1969, the year Sesame Street started. Growing up, I had the first two, literally, Sesame Street records, which were just called "Sesame Street" and "Sesame Street 2." Soon after that I got the "Muppets Alphabet Album," which is AWESOME too.

Just recently, I decided to repurchase them on eBay and put them on the computer, and listen to them in the car during the morning commute.

I had barely heard some of these songs in 48 years, and knew them all instantly. I LOOK AT YOU AND SING A SONG ABOUT UP AND DOWN! (Man, most/all of the Sesame Street lyrics are very profound...)

Additionally, I discovered that these records have given me some catch phrases.

For instance: for the letter "R" on the Muppet album, Bert has invented a machine that dings every time you say a word that begins with the letter R. Ernie then proceeds to tell a story full of R words, and speaks so fast that the machine breaks. After it blows up, Bert says in exasperation, "Now, look what you did!"

For my entire life, every time I do something stupid, like drop something or screw something up at work, I say to myself, "Now, look what you did!" with Bert's exact inflection and tone.

Until I listened to the record a few weeks ago, I had forgotten that Bert's R machine was where it came from.

Anyway, I've been playing these constantly lately, although I don't really need to since they are part of my DNA.
posted by Melismata at 8:33 AM on April 12 [37 favorites]


Being in a mostly-cover band, I have learned multiple versions of a lot of songs now. When we look at adding a song, we listen to the original, look at Youtube for interesting covers, and then develop our own version. It's so much fun. It makes for DEEP familiarity with the song after a while. The one I think I know inside out and upside down the best now? Probably Nothing Compares 2 U. The first time we tried it out, all of us were basically in tears. Now we are delighted by it. It's a little Sinead, a little Prince, a whole lot us.

[I have comfort movies and comfort books, too, but there's nothing like singing a thing to take it into your whole self.]
posted by wellred at 8:33 AM on April 12 [8 favorites]


I usually cannot watch/read/listen to/consume something more than once.

This is me as well, especially for books and movies. For books the big exceptions are The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series and the Dirk Gently novels, as read by Douglas Adams. That's the best version in my opinion, better than the movies, radio play, or TV series.
posted by jedicus at 8:37 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I am a compulsive rereader. When I’m stressed out I’m pretty much incapable of reading anything new. My go-to books/series are: the Anne of Green Gables books, most of Neal Stephenson but especially Anathem, all the Jeeves and Wooster stories, Jane Austen except not Mansfield Park, anything by Diana Wynne Jones. And I will happily play Stardew Valley to decompress and never get tired of it, no matter how many farms I start.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:45 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


For years, I fell asleep listening to the absolutely superlative Bert Coules adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I'd usually be asleep within the first ten minutes of "A Study in Scarlet," but I also really loved "The Red-Headed League."

These days, I listen mostly to the same Discworld novels a lot -- it's usually "Guards, Guards" or "The Truth" or one of the Moist Von Lipwig ones. Right now, I'm on the Post Office one. In the past, I've also listened to the opening chapter of Master and Commander.

And I use Wolf Hall sorta like how Gabriel Betteredge uses Robinson Crusoe. I can always open it up and find something good for my soul in it.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:47 AM on April 12 [7 favorites]


One of the first big papers I ever wrote in college was an analysis of The Last Waltz for a music and culture class. While I was writing the paper, I played it on repeat for hours. Maybe because it was the first time I had to structure my own writing process for a lengthy piece, this sort of implanted this routine in my mind. To this day, to settle myself down for writing for a long stretch, I cue up the album. Da da daa daaaa.... I’ve listened to it probably hundreds of times.

(No matter how many years I work professionally in an office on a “typical” worker bee schedule, I still miss that college/grad school feeling of settling myself down for an all-nighter: picking out comfortable clothes, some good tea and snacks, feeling like the rest of the world is quiet and asleep while I’m up and thinking (and singling along with Rick Danko).)
posted by sallybrown at 8:49 AM on April 12 [11 favorites]


Astolat's fanfic. I have read most of her stories so many times as comfort fanfic. And there's a whole bunch of saved stories I have that I go back to again and again. I have almost all of Pratchetts and Austens I've read so often I just flip them open wherever and start. They just hit the comfort-excellence button for me.

I think I've seen Hannibal about five times all the way through. It's the perfect show for A Particular Mood: murder mood.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:50 AM on April 12 [10 favorites]


I've re-read all of Terry Prachett's Discworld books at least 4x, and some of the books more than that. I'm a compulsive reader as well, and I find that his books re-read so beautifully and are a balm when you're tired and angry and frustrated with the world. So well written, and so broadly optimistic about humanity.

TV/Movies we generally don't re-watch, but we've made exceptions for Rome, Hannibal, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones several times.
posted by larthegreat at 8:50 AM on April 12 [8 favorites]


I do so less now, but I've been known to fixate on a song and play it over and over and over and over and over on repeat. It could be any song as the mood strikes me - most recently it was "Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)" from the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack, before that it was Sufjan Stevens' "Mystery Of Love", before that it was a Stevie Nicks double header ("Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and "Leather and Lace" if memory serves). "Fisherman's Blues" gets this a lot in general; both the song and the whole album. The Astral Weeks album too.

Been like this since high school; me and my friends as well. My bestie once annoyed the snot out of her neighbors one afternoon by programming her stereo to play the song "Solsbury Hill" 63 times in a row.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:50 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


I love over the top action movies and have seen Gladiator many times, but even more often I watch this one scene for a little pick me up. COMMANDER OF THE ARMIES OF THE NORTH!
posted by something something at 8:52 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I used to have a few books and movies I would re-engage with consistently. But as I've gotten older, I've found that I return to them less and less. I recently re-read one of my "comfort" books and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't the same experience anymore. I guess my perspectives have changed enough now, and I haven't found the replacement yet. Or maybe just my needs and expectations have changed with these forms of media; on the book front I am deliberately seeking out more women and POC authors in my SF reading so that might be part of it as well; I'm enjoying encountering different perspectives.

In terms of music, I'm kind of reconnecting with it - I listen to so many podcasts and audio books now that I haven't been listening much to music, but last weekend I put on a "pop rock" station while I cleaned my office and I was amazed at how much it helped me get things done and feel good. My music tastes haven't evolved much - I still like the stuff I liked growing up - but maybe I can change that if I make some more time to listen to music generally.

In terms of video games, I have my new (to me) stuff (Darkest Dungeon; Slay the Spire) but I still go back to Civ for comfort. Minecraft will probably also see a resurgence in my house, with a new patch coming, and if the kids & my wife are playing, I get the itch too.
posted by nubs at 8:53 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I don’t often reread books but there are songs I have listened to a million times, including Dusty Springfield Son of a Preacher Man that I first heard over 20 years ago! All saved in a playlist called Happy 😊. I’ve also watched Clueless, Beaches, and Empire Records the most of all films I’ve seen.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:54 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Used to be Buffy, but no more. Now I re-watch Star Trek (my fav is Voyager, but I've also developed an appreciation of Enterprise in subsequent watching). I went through a really stressed/depressed period where all I could read were the Harry Potter books and I read through the series multiple times. They don't really stand up to that kind of close reading for me, but during that time they were just the ticket.

I when I was younger, I read through the Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers mysteries multiple times.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:54 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I've basically memorized Before Sunrise. I've watched it over and over, partially because I just love it, but also because I sometimes show it in class when I teach interpersonal communication.

For music, the album I've probably listened to the most is Simon and Garfunkel's Concert in Central Park, but I've also obsessed over Les Miz and Hamilton to the point that I could sing every line of each of them. Rich Mullin's Jesus Demos has been on steady rotation, too.

As an adult, I don't often revisit books. I just don't have time. (Well, except for the Bible. I'm always re-engaging with it.) As a kid, I read Bridge to Terabithia again and again, as well the The Great Green Apple War. Oh, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I've probably read most Bradbury short stories at least three times. Outside of the Bible, the only thing I've read repeatedly as an adult is Richard Bausch's short story Letter to the Lady of the House. I read it at least once a year. It's just perfect, for what it is, and presses all my sentimentality buttons. My introduction to it was hearing the author read it on This American Life in 2008, so I guess it's been with me 11 years now. The recording is here. The text is here.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:54 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Surprising no one on this community, my thing is related to video games. I have something like 200 hours in Binding of Isaac right now. What's insane about that is that I'm on the smaller side of obsession when it comes to playing this game because the streamers I watch have put in 4x or 5x as much time in that game. I've recently started to do this with Enter the Gungeon. These two games I have a feeling are going to consume me for years and I'm not upset about it in the least. There's something kind of warm and safe about being so familiar with a game that I can just step right into it and my mind enters this Zen like state where I'm just "flowing" through the game and learning it's Meta.
posted by Fizz at 8:57 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I kind of judge really good art by whether I can come back to it and find something new each time. They're not necessarily things I have on repeat listening, because some of them are extremely intense experiences, but I have to do them at least once a year.

Something that never gets tired for me is B52s "Private Idaho" which is one of those songs where all the elements are individually flawed and it should whirl itself apart like an unbalanced centrifuge, but it somehow doesn't.

I'm kind of obsessing over Patti Smith right now. She's a poetic alchemist who can take big dumb songs about masculinity and heterosexuality and somehow manage to add just the right nuance to make them more and shine a light on the hidden spiritual dimension. Another example of songs that work better for the second artist to approach them is, "I Drove All Night." Cyndi had just the right performance to evoke the long-distance hookups and hopes fueled by truck stop coffee and the scent of cheez-it crumbs in the car's carpeting.

Tom Waits has the uncanny ability to put me into the heads of fucked up characters and building empathy with them. There's a profound affection for others in that. Neko Case consistently astounds me with brilliant choices between figurative and literal language. I consider "Hold On, Hold On" a perfect song, with no note or syllable in the wrong place. If I die tomorrow, I want "Widows Toast" for my funeral. "You raise your glass and may exclaim/ I'll put my hands, on the truth, by god/ but it's faster love than you and me/ faster than the speed of gravity/ that's how it catches you from falling/ and how it always always always slips away."

I like Beethoven's 7th. It's not as bombastic as the 5th, or overwhelming as the 9th. It has elegant structure.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 9:16 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I tend to listen to music over and over and over and over for weeks or months and then move on. Most music that I like enough to obsess over stays in regular rotation but drops out of the "I must hear it again RIGHT NOW" list.

Right now I probably listen to the Clientele's E.M.P.T.Y most days. I cannot get over Alasdair Macclean's engagement with surrealism in general, and "When I'm riding home at night, I get in so tired/To the saws and bows that spell out E-M-P-T-Y" has seemed super resonant because I do ride home at night and get in very tired and just emotionally beat for various material and philosophical reasons lately. (I have also learned from the Clientele that in the UK you don't say "Pley-a-dees" for Pleiades but rather "Pley-ads". This is a great help I assume when writing them into songs and will also save me from embarrassing myself if I ever go to the UK and go stargazing.

Long term, I have been listening to the Mekons literally since I was fifteen or sixteen and their albums still hold up. I'd say that on a "how much joy" scale, the Mekons have probably brought me the most happiness of any band. I will never Kondo their songs.

Other music that has stayed with me and become sort of deep reference, to the point where I can recognize even the smallest scrap of sound: Gang of Four, the Clash, Husker Du, Don Cherry's I Walk, Janelle Monae's "Tightrope", the Raincoats, Owen Pallett's In Conflict, the first couple of Pogues albums. Strangely almost nothing that I've actually heard live - the only person I've ever heard live who is really on the "incised in the unconscious" list is Cui Jian. Although I've heard some of the Mekons perform individually.

I'd say that poetry - often just scraps, though, and nothing unusual - is what's had the greatest lifelong staying power. My favorite constant-reread books have mostly changed as I've aged, with the exception of China Mieville's The Scar (too bad CM is apparently kind of a creep), Bleak House and Sarah Schulman's eighties and nineties novels. And Joanna Russ, I've read All The Russ a lot of times. Wait, and Samuel Delany, I've read a lot of the Delaney a lot of times.

The poetry is all rhythmic stuff, almost all pre-about-1970: some Auden; "Remembering the Thirties"; "Sad Steps"; some Eliot and Yeats even though I don't actually like Yeats. It's not even profound poetry in which I discover new depths, just words I like to hear.

TBH, I would probably be somewhat anxious about a person with preferences like mine, because they're all sort of dude-y and left-melancholy and sort of worryingly American-Anglophile. But it's too late now and it doesn't hurt anyone, I think.
posted by Frowner at 9:20 AM on April 12 [6 favorites]


FTL is my go-to PC game and Threes is my go-to phone game. I am much less likely to re-read a book or re-watch a movie than I am to replay a game.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:22 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Spelunky, every day and every night.
posted by farlukar at 9:25 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I usually cannot watch/read/listen to/consume something more than once.

This is me for most things. There are so many books and I can only read so farst, a re-read seems like it would be taking up a slot for a new book!

But, I am also a happily routine-bound person. So I wake up and meditate to the exact same thing every day. And have, at this point, for years. And yesterday a weird thing happened. My same old meditation expanded from six minutes to eight. I was wondering if I had set the play-speed wrong but then I listened to it. The guy who read it had recorded a new version! And uploaded it into the same slot! And it was a little different! Which... suffice to say I was a little put out. And then I got over it. The old version had erratic room tone (i.e. it was clearly three pieces stuck together) and the new one is super pro. But some of the words are different. And I trip over them like a crack in the sidewalk.

For music I have a playlist called Best and when I want to get something done I often put it on. It cheers me. It's got a mix of songs on it, some of which come from MeFi Music. When I hear one of those, I sometimes head over to MeFiMu and mention I'm still enjoying it. Most days I'm listening to a few internet radio stations including a few from SomaFm and one just called "party vibe radio" they have an ambient station that is good morning music. iTunes says I've listened to it 742 times. O_O
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:39 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Carbon Leaf's song The Sea never fails to take me someplace.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:48 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I'll also re-read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Margaret Atwood's "Cat's Eye" pretty frequently.
posted by ersatzkat at 9:50 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


People who don't re-read: Do you have really good memories? (I have a terrible memory.) Unless I really think through (and often write something about) a novel, I forget a lot of details unless I re-read it a couple of times. I feel like I have to re-read or I don't get much out of the book. And of course, I remember only broad outlines and a few highlights from non-fiction unless I re-read or use it in some way.

How much and what do you tend to remember after one read-through?
posted by Frowner at 10:05 AM on April 12 [6 favorites]


I watched Spinal Tap for the I don’t know how manyth time last weekend because my husband had never seen it. I did that really annoying thing of laughing at the start of bits - “Omg this bit is so funny!” - and saying lines just in advance of their delivery. I’m pretty sure I ruined it for him.
posted by billiebee at 10:18 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I re-read books when I’m very stressed. When I’m in that state I can’t concentrate on or retain anything new, but the act of reading is calming.
I also have watched all the episodes of Mad Men multiple times and know a lot of the dialogue by heart.
posted by bookmammal at 10:52 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I am currently rereading Middlemarch for the nth time.
posted by JanetLand at 11:04 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I seldom rewatch movies and never, ever rewatch TV; life is too short and there's too much content out there. If I do rewatch a movie, it's usually after twenty or thirty years have passed to see if it's held up. Occasionally if I didn't like a movie on the first viewing but other people did, I might give it a second chance. I didn't like Fury Road at first but everyone here loved it so much that I re-watched it once in color and again in B&W and ended up loving it.

I don't think that I've re-read any fiction other than Lord of the Rings which I read a second time before the movies came out.
posted by octothorpe at 11:05 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


The Mass Effect games are my comfort thing. I re-play them at least once a year. (You would think I would change things up -- make different choices! Play the story differently! But nope, I always play the same way, and always enjoy the heck out of it.)
posted by sarcasticah at 11:15 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


So, my PS4 is basically only used for Star Wars Battlefront II starfighter mulitplayer games, which I can easily burn and hour or more on going through the various realms/matches. The flight physics are crazy and it's like WWII dogfighting with lasers, but it's good fun and I will destroy you over and over in it.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:29 AM on April 12


For movies:
Hunt for Red October
A Few Good Men
Clue

For books:
Any of the Clancy books when I want a mindless rad
HHGTTG
LOTR
Anything by Russo but especially Straight Man
posted by bowmaniac at 11:29 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I also tend not to rewatch things unless it's a holiday or ritual: Headless Horseman at Halloween, Love Actually at Christmas, You've Got Mail when I'm home sick. I used to reread Little Women (Team Amy) often, but I feel like I got everything out of it that I could.

People who don't re-read: Do you have really good memories?

I'll remember major plot points and if I enjoyed the book or not. I don't have to write a report or take an exam so I don't feel compelled to remember every detail.
posted by kimberussell at 11:30 AM on April 12


I go back to Tears for Fears greatest hits over and over again. It’s my comfort music.
posted by greermahoney at 11:32 AM on April 12


There's a few things. I've probably seen Alien more times than I've seen any other movie. It's one of my all-time favorites. I got the DVD in middle school, and it was one of the few I owned, which meant I often returned to it time and again. I was actually just thinking about this last night; it's been years since I saw it, and I'd like to watch it again.

Like billiebee, I also know all of Spinal Tap by heart. When I was in middle school, a friend and I were obsessed with it, and we used to quote it back and forth with each other, endlessly. One year (it might have actually been after I dropped out of high school), that same friend filled an entire page of my yearbook with Spinal Tap quotes and a drawing of a drum set.

I do the snickering-before-the-joke thing with the Simpsons. When I was growing up, DC-area TV used to play an hour of Simpsons reruns every night. I basically know every episode from the first eight seasons... well, like the back of my hand. I was working at a video store when the Simpsons DVDs first came out, and I used to put them on all the time because I didn't even need to be watching to laugh at the jokes, including the visual gags.

With music, it's basically any song I hear and really love. I will play it obsessively, probably hundreds of times, until I've burned through my enthusiasm. I have a pretty good musical memory, so I can basically reconstruct some of my favorite songs in their entirety, even if I haven't heard them for years. But because I'm constantly finding new obsessions, there's no one thing I can point to over others.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:41 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


and we used to quote it back and forth with each other

Can we be friends? Because apart from my brother I’ve never known anyone to get a Tap reference in the wild. In all the years since first seeing it I’ve never been able to hear someone say anything along the lines of “It puts it in perspective” without replying “Too much facking perspective” and every single time I cry inside when there’s no recognition whatsoever.
posted by billiebee at 11:51 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]




Something else I know really well through re-reads:

The Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe, which I've probably read ten or twelve times. I think it took me like three times just to understand the plot, though, which initially appeared to me as a bunch of brightly colored and totally disconnected incidents. It holds up, even though its politics are very Not My Thing. At least Wolfe is just sort of a GK Chesterton conservative instead of a racist Nazi.

I think I'm actually very bad at understanding plots - again and again I've noticed that I need a second read just to understand what actually happens in the book, and sometimes fairly simple connections between plot elements escape me. This is probably actually the difference between re-readers and me, not memory - I don't feel like I've "read" the book the first time through because I have only a vague sense of what actually happened.

Anything with a confusing/weird/experimental plot requires either notes or a reread. (I think this is one of the reasons I like Samuel Delany's more experimental novels - the confusingness of the plot is sort of supposed to be there, so the fact that it took like three reads of Stars In My Pocket to really have a grip on events feels normal instead of like a reading fail.)
posted by Frowner at 12:00 PM on April 12 [5 favorites]


Looking at 2019, I've re-read The Charioteer, The Bloody Chamber, The Code of the Woosters, and the first volume of Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy (the other 2 volumes were new to me). With the exception of Manning, these are books I've read more than five times, more than ten, if I'm being honest.

Around ten years ago, I looked back at my reading list and saw that I'd reread 98 books and only read 10 new books, and ever since then I've tried to keep the re-reads and the new-to-me books more in balance.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:05 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


The first thing that comes to mind is The Legend of Zelda (original, NES). I've played that game a fuckton (metric, not standard). I'm pretty sure I could draw the overworld map from memory with very few errors.

It's been a while, but I used to read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything about once a year. I should pick it up again.

When I was a massage therapist, I had an album (Om Sweet Om by Lisbeth Scott) I'd always use for 60-minute sessions. Thing is, I don't actually like the music all that much, but it was great for getting in the groove of the bodywork. I listened to that album hundreds of times.

As a dad, there are a lot of things I reread constantly, or sing constantly, to my toddler. Right now Shel Silverstein's "Peanut Butter Sandwich" is in heavy rotation and I've nearly memorized it. I've sung That's Amore and Rainbow Connection more times than I can count.
posted by duffell at 12:30 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Blue Rodeo's album "Five Days in July" is my go-to when I am stressed or anxious. It's like putting on a pair of warm comfy pjs.

I have listened to the soundtrack to Hamilton more times than I can count.

I have found that my taste in books has changed a lot in the past 10 years so books that I loved and reread a lot before that have become less important to me and/or have not held up on a reread. I have reread (and relistened) to Tana French's Murder Squad books a lot in the past couple of years, and Guy Gavriel Kay and Susan Howatch's books still grab me and pull me in.
posted by twilightlost at 12:36 PM on April 12


Law & Order: SVU. I work from home, and while I like podcasts, I can't listen to them while I work -- I either don't pay enough attention to the podcast to be able to follow along with what they're talking about, or I don't get enough work done because I'm trying to pay attention to a podcast. And listening to music makes me want to get up and move. So, when I need background noise, I put on SVU in another room and just let it run until Hulu asks for proof of life. At this point I've probably gone through seasons 1-19 at least ten times -- usually when I notice that I'm getting closer to current seasons I'll backtrack to the early days. It's been interesting to watch the first few seasons in comparison to the current season (the 20th, and they're signed on for a record-breaking 21st season, good god)... at times, current episodes feel more conservative and thin blue line-y than ever, and then there's the sudden pro-life language coming out of Sergeant Benson's mouth and not a small amount of shaming and victim-blaming from the female detective with the blind spot for men in power.

If I were going on to grad school after finishing up my undergrad next spring, I'd consider doing some research and writing on the influence of police procedurals on pro-cop sentiment and the Blue Lives Matter movement, so that at least all this watching and rewatching would be going to good use, but... grad school is expensive and sounds hard, and I am a tired woman with more than enough debt.

(Also, I really wish they'd put L&O: Original Recipe and L&O: Vincent D'Onofrio Eats All The Scenery up on streaming... maybe when NBC launches their service.)
posted by palomar at 12:40 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I almost would have said A Tree Grows in Brooklyn except, now that I think about it, when I try to go back to it I find I can't actually read the book because I've assimilated the entire novel so completely that it's almost literally part of my brain.

The Granada TV Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett is basically my Xanax, though. I can gauge my mental state based on how often I'm watching episodes on YouTube. I also re watch HBO's Rome every single spring for reasons I have yet to uncover. Thank God for streaming media, I guess.

(Although I do wonder about the emotional and psychological effect of YouTube et al giving us access, for the rest of time, to every single piece of visual media from our childhood and adolescence. Is the impact any different from having favorite books? /sauvignonfilter)
posted by peakes at 12:41 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I’m a practical and visual effects fan girl: this is a summary of the evolving high rotation list. Some are here because story + work; others for work alone. Most kept me inspired during graduate school.

* Empire Strikes Back
* Two Towers
* City of Lost Children
* Blade Runner
* Alien + Aliens
* T2
* Gravity: opening sequence. great work by Framestore
* Blade
* Fifth Element
* The Matrix
* Game of Thrones: we’re on our third round
* Life of Pi
* Pirates of the Caribbean
* Ex Machina
* A.I.
* The Abyss
* 2001
* Twister
* Backdraft
* Batman Begins
* Prisoner of Azkaban
* 2001
* Raiders of The Lost Ark
posted by lemon_icing at 12:59 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Although I do wonder about the emotional and psychological effect of YouTube et al giving us access, for the rest of time, to every single piece of visual media from our childhood and adolescence. Is the impact any different from having favorite books?

I was wondering about this when I started thinking about why I don't watch certain films anymore, and it might be because I can just get the scenes I want on demand from YT rather than having to watch it all.
posted by nubs at 1:06 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


A few years ago, my computer, kindle, and cell phone all died within a few days of each other and I still had 5 weeks left in my field season. Most of the books that were at the research station were in German and/or moldy - except for The Hobbit and the entire Twilight series.

SO I've read those all at least 3 times.

Given my druthers and access to my Kindle, I love rereading the Tiffany Aching books. They're my comfort books. When I get homesick, this is what I need to read:
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
posted by ChuraChura at 1:15 PM on April 12 [7 favorites]


Paul Simon's Graceland
The Songza playlist "Harvest Moon", which I listen to nonstop at work and on flights, and have moved from Songza to google music to iTunes
When I finished Wolf Hall I turned it over, stared at the wall for an hour, and read it again. I've read it many times since then.
posted by some chick at 1:19 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I've basically memorized Before Sunrise.

Same! And Before Sunset. But not Before Midnight, because the marital fighting is upsetting and generally the opposite of whatever I find comforting.

I return again and again to Joni Mitchell (For the Roses, Hejira, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, Wild Things Run Fast) and also to Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints.

And lately I've been in a Tom Scharpling groove. For probably the last two months, I haven't driven anywhere by myself and not had one of his pods going. It started with Meet My Friends the Friends and then I got all caught up, so I finally checked out Best Show, and...my god. This guy. What a pal.
posted by witchen at 1:23 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I'm not much of a media repeater, as I'm not much of a media consumer.

However, I knit socks almost endlessly. Always the same cast on, always the same number of rows to the heel flap, the same heel flap (I keep meaning to try a variation but, I know this one) make a gusset with decreases back to the cast on total, carry on with the foot long enough for the wearer (usually me) and then decrease for the toe. Never do the actual algebra to determine when actually the toe should be started. Just wing it.

It's soothing, making this little ball of string into something very three dimensional which is comforting in its own right. I like watching the thing grow, comparing it to its mate or taking the notes and naming the sock. I'm working now on a fluorescent orange and blue pair that I've named electric boogaloo. I don't so much love weaving in the ends, but I do it because I especially don't like getting my toes tangled up in the innards of a sock.

I was just thinking a few hours ago that I could be knitting more complicated things at home (shawls, a sweater that's been in progress for a ... while) and maybe I will. But socks are just so easy.
posted by bilabial at 1:24 PM on April 12 [9 favorites]


Inspired by the Fuckbois of Literature podcast (FPP here), I just re-read The Great Gatsby, an amazingly beautiful book, although it’s true that all the major characters are some flavor of fuckboi. Maybe not Jordan? Maybe we need a fbol reading club for FanFare....
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:37 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I think I'm actually very bad at understanding plots - again and again I've noticed that I need a second read just to understand what actually happens in the book, and sometimes fairly simple connections between plot elements escape me. This is probably actually the difference between re-readers and me, not memory - I don't feel like I've "read" the book the first time through because I have only a vague sense of what actually happened.

Hard same, Frowner! In my case I feel like the root cause is that I read too fast the first time through, eagerly anticipating the ending, and so I miss a lot of the details. This strategy really backfires in cases where the quality of prose is the point of the story. Anyway, it's very common for me to finish a book and immediately start rereading it with no break. Instantly rereading to completion is less common, though.

On the other hand, I also don't do great at assimilating movie plots the first time around -- and it's not like I'm watching those on 2x speed or something. So maybe it really is memory in my case.

I revisit old favorites a lot, and I have ever since I was a kid treating the video store like the only movies it contained were The Neverending Story, The Last Unicorn, Flight of the Navigator, and Watership Down. Like EmpressCallipygos I have also been known to listen to single songs on repeat, e.g. Leslie Odom Jr. singing Seriously (cw: uspol), and Andrew Bird's Measuring Cups.

A category I don't think I've seen much of here is essays. I have linked to this piece on grace before but I will again because I read it a few times a year, whenever I need courage or a values-check. The Alameda-Weehawken burrito tunnel is one I pull out if I'm sad and don't want to be. (Properly speaking, maybe that isn't an essay, but I have no idea what to call that genre, and even Borges' Wikipedia page is no help.) And this by Ta-Nehisi Coates... I don't even know how to describe that piece, but it moves me every damn time.
posted by eirias at 1:40 PM on April 12 [6 favorites]


I was one of those raised-by-the-TV kids of lore, so whenever I need comfort or homeyness or even guidance, off to the TV I go! The number of shows and movies I've obsessed over is too long to list. I have even been obsessed with some channel or another from time to time.

Probably the oddest fixation, though, is Happy Days, which I used to watch on Nick at Nite as a third grader and COULD NOT get enough of. I annoyed the hell out of all my friends by literally parroting back entire episodes to them, line by line. My admiration for Mr. Cunningham in general, but symbolized especially by his ascendance to the role of Grand Poobah of the Leopard Lodge (I mean, Grand Poobah, guys! need I say more?!), knew no bounds -- I thought he was the height of respectability and of course dreamed of being a bigshot just like him one day. It is more than twenty years later and the thought still comes to me sometimes that I should try and join the Masons because they wear similar silly hats. Well, anyway, it's an odd experience watching Henry Winkler in the roles he's had since, let me tell you.
posted by rue72 at 1:58 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Whoops, I think that TNC essay I linked maybe should have also had a (cw: uspol) on it, now I think of it. Mods feel free to delete my earlier comment if it's not in the spirit.
posted by eirias at 2:00 PM on April 12


Maybe not Jordan?

She cheats at golf.
posted by betweenthebars at 2:01 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Can't believe I forgot to mention HHGTTG — I'm a light sleeper and wake up several times at night, so I have the radio play version on standby to listen to. Because I've heard it a gazillion times, I don 't really have to pay attention, but it's just enough distraction to stop my mind from thinking about stuff in my waking moments.
Some people use white noise or breaking waves, I uses H2G2.
posted by farlukar at 2:02 PM on April 12


Rereading: Kristin Lavransdatter, once a year. This year, it's mostly been the enormous audiobook version, which has taken me months of intermittent listening. Lord of the Rings, of course. The Once and Future King. Lark Rise to Candleford.

It's been a long time since I read a new book that I have taken to rereading out of sheer fondness, except for Pratchett's later works (because we won't get more). As a kid, there were dozens of books I treated like old friends.

Rewatching: Beetlejuice. Yellow Submarine. The Nightmare Before Christmas. Any number of MST3K and Rifftrax movies, which can serve as audio wallpaper when I am stressed.

I will also reread twitter threads for a smile, such as the shoe roast or one with Blair Braverman's dogs (a fine one recently).
posted by Countess Elena at 2:11 PM on April 12


I am a compulsive rereader (of a relatively limited set of books), so there are quite a few books that meet this criteria, but I'd say my old SFF touchstones: Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight and Dragonquest, Diane Duane's So You Want to Be A Wizard, the first four volumes of Wendy Pini's Elfquest (no further, ever). Musically, my dad's jazz piano recordings.
posted by huimangm at 2:17 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Super Mario Brothers 3. I've been playing it since release and it never seems to get stale. Pretty much the greatest game of all time, you can get lost in it for years.

I own it on half-a-dozen consoles and I play through it every year or two without taking advantage of any warp zones. Right now I'm playing it in tabletop mode on Switch which totally rules.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:48 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


For years I fell asleep to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or Wish You Were Here. And too many favorite books read numerous times to recall, but now that I think about it, I probably read John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany most often, maybe once a year. Oh and how could I forget Goodfellas and, um, Gilligan's Island (sorry, not sorry)?
posted by carmicha at 2:55 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Fiona Apple's When the Pawn (her best album. Fight me)

REMs Automatic for the People

We ❤ Katamari
posted by fluttering hellfire at 2:59 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Once a year, toward the spring, I read Eliot's "Four Quartets" aloud to myself. Aloud, otherwise I tune out in places. I always hear something new, or appreciate some vivid imagery more. I laugh and cry through this, and learn how I have changed. Ritual eh? I used to read Castaneda constantly, and have reread all of his work several times over, with "Tales of Power," and "Journey to Ixtlan," being my favorites. I have a lot of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, memorized. Joni Mitchell's early work is ingrained as well as early Jefferson Airplane, Steve Winwood, First Aid Kit, lots of music really. It has ben a long time since I read Dune, or LOTR , Dune again, soon. As far as Castaneda and veracity goes, I have a deep believer streak that is satisfied by this, but I know it is that, the same thing that made me try to fly all night the first time I saw Mary Martin play Peter Pan. I read all of Hemingway one summer. The idealism of Star Trek Next Gen, is also a part of me, lucky me I think.
posted by Oyéah at 3:14 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


It's just not Christmas if I don't watch Elf. (stop looking at me like that)
posted by dbmcd at 3:15 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


She cheats at golf.

She was accused of cheating at golf, and that’s being a poor sport, not a fuckboi.

Extra asshole points to Tom Buchanan for his frothing racism, though.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:28 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


In video games, it's Borderlands. I'm replaying #1 right now with my old Borderlands buddy. I've never met him in real life but we have gone through every bit of Pandora together multiple times and the game wouldn't be the same without him.

In books, I re-read King Solomon's Ring (Lorenz), Labyrinths of Reason (Poundstone), Lost Japan (Kerr), Three Men on a Boat (Jerome), and A Collection of Essays (Orwell) every few years.
posted by zompist at 3:39 PM on April 12


Every December I try to re-read The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Every June, I start re-reading the Dune series (never actually completed everything, especially the posthumously released sequels). But, other than that - nothing "compulsively". (And - for re-enjoyment of music, I love covers of popular songs - so my library has many many many renditions of the same song)
posted by jkaczor at 3:45 PM on April 12


As an adult, I don't often revisit books. ... As a kid, I read Bridge to Terabithia again and again

Me too, on both counts. I very rarely reread anything these days, though once in a while I will revisit a classic that I haven't read in a decade or two. (I'm about to reread a Raymond Chandler novel, for example.) Partly it is that my tastes have shifted over the years, so things that I used to love don't seem as compelling sometimes. But a lot of it is that there just isn't a lot of pleasure in more frequent rereading for me. I read fairly fast and have a decent memory for text, so I tend to feel like I'm retreading water rather than getting new experiences out of it.

I do rewatch some movies/series; I've rewatched the Carlos series a few times, and I just rewatched the first season of True Detective. But just like with books, mostly I get bored with trying to revisit things where I know what is happening next, and prefer to watch something new.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:10 PM on April 12


Books/movies/TV shows: Stuff that reliably makes me laugh. Most notably the Hitchhiker's Guide series, either the books or the original BBC radio series on CD, depending on my mood; Monty Python movies and TV series; Pratchett's Discworld series; and in the past few years a few British panel shows that are mostly excuses to let the comedian panelists to riff and make each other laugh. In and amongst other varied reading and viewing material, I end up revisiting those every few years.

Music: Many favorite artists and albums that always bring joy to my heart and peace to my mind. I've got LP albums I bought in my late teens that I've just about worn out from listening to them over and over (now digitized in all their scratchy glory), plus of course lots of CDs and mp3s as I've extended my library over the years. It's never hard to find something that fits my current mood to a T.

Camping: My camping outings had been very hit-or-miss over most of my life, but - thanks in no small part to local and regional MeFi IRL events - in recent years I've gotten out in the woods and savored the sight and smell of a campfire at least once per year, occasionally twice. Wherever I end up camping, it's a very welcome and nourishing break from routine.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:46 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Hey camping! I went up Kern Canyon wondering if there was superbloom up there. Oh my heck! Mountaisides of poppies, areas of baby blue eyes, chest high lupines. I spent last Saturday night upstairs in my VW van, while below a mouse came in and shredded six square feet of toilet paper. It is so beautiful in that canyon, every single square meter hosts serenity and beauty. I had some pictures in the Bakersfield paper.
posted by Oyéah at 5:02 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Three things I’ve seen tens of dozens of times and know every single word by heart:

* Jesus Christ Superstar
* Every episode of Frasier
* Every episode of The Golden Girls

Six years on and I still have to think for a minute to come up with the date of my anniversary.
posted by _Mona_ at 5:42 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


I've read a ton of books, but I've re-read Wally Lamb books more than once. I Know This Much is True is one I've read more than once.

Ivan Doig, The Whistling Season.

For comfort, Maeve Binchy, Tara Road, Quentins, just about anything by her.

I generally don't like watching movies twice, but went through a period where I watched Love Actually over and over, and another where I watched Kill Bill (the first one) over and over. I also watched Dirty Dancing and Labyrinth a lot, due to my daughter liking them, and saw Titanic more times than I could count, because my daughter begged me for it and my son ended up loving it and had to watch it multiple times. I can also quote many Disney cartoon movies, like Pocahontas and Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, etc.

I went through a time where I was stuck in 80's music, Sting, etc., maybe because that was when MTV actually had music videos all day long, and Robert Palmer, Peter Gabriel, all those groups had music videos and it was cool stuff back then. Money for Nothing was one of the coolest, and Max Headroom, etc. That was cutting edge.

I really like Katy Perry, Roar, and I'll often go back to that on YouTube, I like the uplifting songs like that.

One of my all time favorites is Seo Linn, Óró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile, which is sort of a rebel song, here is the Wikipedia link about it, I only know that I like it a lot.

I've watched Mad Men a second time, not sure if I'll go back to it again or not, the implications of it's a man's world makes me uncomfortable. I'd just as soon watch Uma Thurman cutting the heads off of people before I'd do that again, but I'm sort of over my sword-chopping heads and limbs stage.

I follow a FB page called Maine Birds, and it's just people posting pictures of birds, and I have a new camera and well, my Dad loved birds, and he taught me to observe nature, and I think that's a path I want to explore right now, observing nature around me, maybe photographing it, but just experiencing the joy and happiness of seeing a little bird, and looking it up in a book, sharing it with other like-minded individuals, or as my Dad used to say, I know there's something bigger than us, because I've seen it in Nature. Meaning, we are part of a bigger picture, but we are only a small part of it. It helps me get in touch with the seasons, and forget about everything else for a while.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:46 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I don’t really do this too much right now.

But I realized something a while ago - you know how older people tend to get repetitive in the stories they tell? And how little kids love stories repeated over and over and over again?

I think it’s really sweet the universe made it that way.
posted by The Toad at 5:56 PM on April 12 [9 favorites]


My Dad used to tell stories over and over, and now I find myself doing it a lot, but then my son sort of rolls his eyes (he's 26), "yeah, Ma, you've told me that before." And I never did that to my Dad, I just figured it was some ancient teaching tool to repeat things so that it got ingrained into the younger generations' heads.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:11 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


For me its music I play on the guitar. A warm place by NIN. The intro to Is There Anybody Out There? by Pink Floyd. Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi. I've played them thousands of times over the past 35 years or so. They're starting to sound decent.
posted by signal at 6:30 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I generally find reading novels so arduous and draining that there's no way that I want to go through it again. I mean once I've unlocked that achievement, I don't see the point of going through it again. Even something as light as a Pratchit novel takes me a couple of months to slog through.
posted by octothorpe at 7:25 PM on April 12


I've read Anne of Green Gables easily more than 100 times. (The rest of the Anne series many many times, but not as many as book 1.) Little Women at least yearly. Tamora Pierce is my go-to for something quicker when I'm feeling grumpy or sad.

I picked up James Herriot's books when I was breastfeeding, since each chapter was a fairly self-contained story that made for a good 20-minute read for middle-of-the-night sessions. I had read them as a child (although possibly an expurgated version since I feel like the cow uteri would have made a bigger impression), but not since, and they're among my favorite insomnia reads now, because I can pick up and read a chapter or two and put it down. If I start with a novel, I'll get sucked in and never go to sleep, but I can read two chapters of Herriot and stop at a good stopping point.

I have a little shelf of DVDs of movies that I watch when I'm grumpy (although I "watch" TV and movies while doing other things, I don't think I'd have the patience to sit through a movie giving it 100% of my attention twice, I barely have the patience to do it once with most movies) -- they're all teen rom-coms from the late 90s, costume dramas, or space movies. Those are apparently my comfort-viewing categories. :D
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:35 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I don't get fascinated by stuff nearly as much as I used to. But I will still periodically get obsessed with a single song and listen to it over and over and over.

I've read all of the Culture books several times each.

Just this past winter with time on my hands I did a sort of reading project of all of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books in order. Partly because it's been years since I read them, and I wanted to see how they held up.

I've gone through Wolfe's Book of the New Sun at least four or five times.

I'm another "can quote huge swaths of Spinal Tap from memory", despite not actually having watched it in at least a decade.

Because apart from my brother I’ve never known anyone to get a Tap reference in the wild.

Then clearly you really need to hang out with more musicians & music tech folks, because ZOMG we will start spitting Tap phrases at each other at the drop of a hat. Although, frankly, all you bands can really really really just stop saying "Hello Cleveland!" when you play Cleveland . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 7:54 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Well what should they say then? "Hello Peoria"? I doubt that would go over very well either.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:03 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I really like the band Ladytron. They released a new album a month or so ago, first in a while, and I only twigged to it a few days ago- I've been listening to it on repeat since. They've gotten darker but brighter? IDK how to describe it but I can't stop. It helped having something to listen to, since dad's been in the hospital since Monday and he just came home. He's ok- I'll probably say more about it tomorrow during the talktail I just want to sleep now. And listen to more Ladytron.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:22 PM on April 12


John Sladek's The Reproductive System is a constant re-reader for me. I still think it's structured as the perfect low-budget end of the world sci-fi movie. I still aspire to be the huckster/savant Dr Elwood Trivian
posted by scruss at 8:55 PM on April 12


You probably read the Reader's Digest Condensed Books version of Herriot, Eyebrows; I did and dismissed it as pap, and didn't come back to Herriot until my mid 20s — which made for an enduring lesson in not judging books by their popularity with people I considered unsophisticated, and I hope a deeper lesson about the inadvisability of judging people as unsophisticated in the first place.
posted by jamjam at 9:00 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, so many things. It would be a Great Wall of Text if I tried to list them all in one comment, so I'll probably pop back in and out as they occur to me. As Robert Frost said, "Say something to us we can learn by heart and, when alone, repeat." I don't think it's just for comfort that I keep going back to the same wells; maybe I just have poor observational skills, because I so often find something new.

I used to re-read the complete Sherlock Holmes every year. I don't do it anymore since my eyesight and migraines have gotten worse. I do listen to a bunch of the audiobook versions every year, but not the complete opus. It's probably not quite as satisfying just because I got used to doing it the other way.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:20 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I've listened to The Jags so many times, I know "Back Of My Hand" like the back of my hand.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:35 PM on April 12


Although, frankly, all you bands can really really really just stop saying "Hello Cleveland!" when you play Cleveland . . .

Well what should they say then? "Hello Peoria"? I doubt that would go over very well either.


Hiya, Clevie baby?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:35 PM on April 12 [5 favorites]


Movies: Original Star Wars, Mallrats
Books: Mutiny on the Bounty, Moby Dick, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Music: Islands, Mister Heavenly, George Straight
posted by gryphonlover at 10:10 PM on April 12


Beck's Mutations is my all-time most listened to album. Just puts me in a more comfortable state of being every time I play it.

I think the only reason my wife and I even have Netflix is so we can watch and rewatch Frasier. And personally I've watched Seinfeld so many times I can tell what episode is playing within about 3 seconds of the intro.

The Princess Bride may be the movie I've seen the most often, or at least the one I inadvertently memorized the most lines to through all the rewatchings. It's a Wonderful Life, Star Wars IV, and Labryinth are all probably tied for second. Thinking of Christmas, I have to see the animated How the Grinch Stole Xmas every year, at least once. And thinking of animation, when we were kids my sister and I had this VHS tape of Chip and Dale cartoons we watched so often that even the background music and the ads at the end of the tape have been burned into my brain.

I don't replay games that often anymore, because with my limited time it takes me a good year or more to get through one in the first place - but I do have a very soft spot for Baldurs Gate I & II, Morrowind, and old Sierra games (Kings Quest and Quest for Glory games in particular) - if I were to replay anything it'd be one or more of them.

I've probably reread Pratchett novels more often than anything else - they're like potato chips to me; once I start rereading one I can't stop until I've gone back through a large swath of my collection. Weirdly there are still a few I haven't read at all and since Pratchett passed I've been reluctant to do so; maybe I will at some point when I'm more okay with no longer having any more new ones to look forward to.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:31 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Aristocats.
Came out when I was ten. I think I've seen it a million times--it just happened that way. I can quote important lines in German, Swedish and English.
Also, the Edgar-versus-the-dogs scenes are just so good.

The other thing, obvious for someone my generation, is Asterix comics. My in-family resonating plate for pull quotes (my dad) has sadly passed away, so I feared for a while I was left alone in the world with that particular back-of-my-hand knowledge, but one of my cousins has turned out to be an adequate substitute.
posted by Namlit at 2:06 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]


I am definitely a re-watcher/listener/player/reader. It’s interesting how there are a lot of comments along the lines of “life’s too short to experience the same thing twice” because, for me, life’s too short to experience things I end up hating. I have a tendency to get angry when I sink hours into a book and it turns out shitty.

Right now, I’m re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. In addition to its familiarity (I used to watch it with my family when I was a kid), I think it hits the sweet spot of smart and well-done yet accessible and not overly serious. So much entertainment is either heavy and overwrought or total junk food, and I love stuff that’s easy to digest but still intelligent.

It also helps that the characters on the show are generally mature and competent adults and there’s very little in the way of ongoing interpersonal conflict or ill-considered relationships. It’s kind of like watching a show full of trustworthy parents - like, not necessarily parents you wish you had, but ones you’d have a very nice and healthy relationship with.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:44 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]


I never tire of Rock and Roll High School with the Ramones.
posted by biggreenplant at 5:24 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]



I have a little shelf of DVDs of movies that I watch when I'm grumpy (although I "watch" TV and movies while doing other things...


Ditto and ditto. I watch a lot of surfing movies, especially in the winter.

I've read a lot of Ruth Rendell's novels upwards of three times. Like a couple of people mentioned above, I tend to miss stuff the first time. And I try not to solve mysteries too early; more fun to be surprised. Once you know, it's a different reading experience. Rendell said that she tended to write mysteries with one solution and then change it-- "If I can fool myself, I can fool the reader"-- so on subsequent readings I try to think what the first solution was. But a lot of it is just that I enjoy her writing from page to page.
posted by BibiRose at 6:15 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I have watched Friends far more times than I care to admit to. It's the ideal show to fall asleep to - no gory murders, no gunshots or invasions, no deep ideas or dramatic tension to keep me awake. It's pleasant and familiar and I haven't found a better replacement so far. But that's just for sleeping. Frasier is for having in the background while working.

I struggle between my drive to experience new things and my need to dive more deeply into the things I'm already impressed with or that speak to me for reasons I don't fully understand. The best books, movies etc don't give up all their goods on the first watch or read. Ideally I'd have a short list that I re-encountered again and again - Charlotte Bronte, bell hooks, Pema Chodrun, Edith Wharton, John Steinbeck, LeGuin. But ...

Between ADD and internet addition I'm more likely re-watch than re-read. Here are some of the things I've gone back to over and over.
* Chronicles of Narnia - as a kid it was the magic, now it's fun to read it more critically
* Buffy (please come back to Neflix)
* Star Trek
* Strangers in Paradise - it's been a while, might be time to go back to it
* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
* Terry Pratchett, especially discworld
posted by bunderful at 6:22 AM on April 13


I lived kind of a cloistered childhood, but about third grade I discovered that our microscopic public library had a complete set of the "Oz" books, starting with the Wizard and continuing through 37 other titles. I think it was sold to libraries and private homes as a subscription in the 1940s. I pretty much read and reread those for three years, and I think that would qualify as "fanboy" these days. The fact that I was stuck living in a small town in Kansas was not lost on me. This background was a natural lead in to Astounding Stories and then all fantasy and science fiction.

My dad made a reel-to-reel mixtape of my cool uncle's popular music LPs in about 1963, and it had everything from Johnny Mathis to the Rat Pack to Perry Como to Eydie Gorme and Mel Torme on it. It was probably twelve hours long per side, and you could literally turn it on and go about your day with the soundtrack of velvet fog going. We still had and played that tape in 1976, and it was still in the house in 1985. So, all of those early sixties greats ride around in my head all of the time, sort of like being trapped in your grandmother's beauty shop's elevator.

My touchstone album will always be "A Wizard/A True Star" by Todd Rundgren. It came to me as a gift in 1973, and if there was ever a soundtrack for a 15 year old boy in Alabama in the seventies, that's it. Questioning? NOT_ANY_MORE. I estimate I have probably listened to it at least 50,000 times, and I have owned it in every recorded format (except reel-to-reel).

A book I enjoy coming back to periodically is "Winter's Tale," by Mark Helprin. I usually read very quickly, but that book requires focus and concentration because the pictures it creates in your mind are so complex and vividly described you have to really deep read, and that's good brain exercise. It's great for when you're snowed in, or if the power is off for three days due to wind issues. It's also a good magic-reality history of New York city and environs.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:24 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


Definitely a re-watcher, re-consumer of things!

It's been quite some time but I probably read James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small and All Things Bright and Beautiful - the charming tales of an English country vet - more than a dozen times. (Also the other two books in the series, but not nearly as much.)

I went through a Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion phase where I read those repeatedly (though not as much of The Hobbit). (Very minor party trick: Why yes I do know the name of that character's horse.)

More recently, have watched Agatha Christie's Poirot episodes SO MANY times. Except the last one. It says in the summary that he dies so I have not watched it. Maybe I will and maybe I won't.
Also many re-watches of Miss Marple, but sadly she has fewer episodes.

Movies: Moonstruck, My Favorite Year, Nightmare Before Christmas. SO MANY TIMES.

Games: Planetbase. <3
posted by Glinn at 6:43 AM on April 13


Pratchett. I re-read when I'm stressed or sad or angry. So pretty much all the time now. Currently I'm working my way though each main character's books in chronological order. But I'm also reading new stuff in-between.

Psych, the TV series. It was the first grown-up thing my daughter and I watched together and we're working our way through it together-but-apart right now; me here at home and her in Chicago at university. I think it's my third time through and maybe her fourth or fifth? I miss her so damned much. This takes the sting away a little.

I'll watch pretty much any movie on TV that I've seen in the theater. Especially the Ocean's movies, the Bourne movies, Star Wars. If I'm flipping through the channels and one of those comes on, I'm stuck.

I used to do a re-read of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy once every couple of years but Pratchett has pretty much taken over that part of my brain now.

And for the last week, solitaire on my laptop. I've had bronchitis and have been sat in front of the TV trying to breathe and when I can't concentrate on a book or my cross-stitch anymore, I play solitaire. It's comforting.
posted by cooker girl at 7:53 AM on April 13


SAY NO MORE, MON AMOUR! This past week included Rex Manning Day! That's cause for one of my thrice-yearly re-watches of Empire Records. My love for this movie has only grown, as I check in on how the kids are growing up (and sometimes shaking my head), and put the soundtrack back in heavy rotation, and thoroughly enjoy how the internets continue to explore this movie that was so rich in detail and so resonant that people always find new things to write about, and be inspired by. DAMN THE MAN - SAVE THE EMPIRE!
posted by peagood at 8:17 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]


My Travis McGee collection
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass CD
"The West Wing"
posted by sundrop at 8:30 AM on April 13


Regret to say that for me it's Ben Folds's "Army," which I have listened to and had stuck in my head for the last...20 years? Don't know why that's the song that chose to take up the most persistent residence in my head.
posted by ferret branca at 8:38 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


People who don't re-read: Do you have really good memories? (I have a terrible memory.) Unless I really think through (and often write something about) a novel, I forget a lot of details unless I re-read it a couple of times.

I don't re-read because I enjoy the thrill of new experiences, and there's so much out there to experience. I appreciate that FanFare has added books, because now my ever-growing reading list is more diverse. But music, oh music, that's what makes my brain go buzzy, or get calm. And there's so much music to hear! I get itchy listening to the same thing.

But in the Before Times, before YouTube and streaming, back in 1997 or so, I have a very clear memory of writing a college application on a DOS program (!! really - it was for Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and recalling this I want to contact the university to confirm my memory, or dig through my piles old files, though it's probably on a Zip drive, but I digress) and listening to Prodigy's "Breathe" on repeat, because after waiting for what felt like forever, I had finally downloaded that MP3 from a Prodigy fansite that had posted a bunch of MP3s, back when that was a thing that people did. And then I couldn't listen to it for a long time. And around this time, I listened to Bjork's Post to the point that the cassette warped. I also wore out DJ Ellis Dee's Acidfest mix. More than a decade later, when I found the mix on his website, I was THRILLED.

In more recent times, I've found myself coming back to Jorge Ben Jor - "Take It Easy My Brother Charles" (there's also a Brazilian drum'n'bass remix that I also fancied, but I can't recall who did the remix, so clearly it hasn't been on repeat ;)). I've played Hermit Kingdom Remixes (Blockhead, Yppah, Arms and Sleepers), and somehow Blockhead's remix of Hangar 18 "Baking Soda" came to mind, so I've come back to that a few times as of late.


dbmcd: It's just not Christmas if I don't watch Elf. (stop looking at me like that)

Just don't turn it into a drinking game. In July. When you're not working or going to school, but your SO is. And she comes home to find you and your friend drunk, watching Elf, in the middle of the day. (Luckily, she forgave me, and even married me, and now this is something of a running joke about Elf, so I guess it wasn't the worst thing.)

My wife is a voracious reader, and also a re-reader. Her favorites are the Little House books, and she has her order of favoriteness, but she's read them all to the point of falling apart a number of times now. She actually has a new, sealed boxset on the shelf, for the day when her current set falls apart so much that she can't tape them back together again. She also has them on her Kindle, but I think the physical books are preferred.

I realize the one book that I had re-read the most was Eye of the World from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, because I re-read the series when the new books came out (I started when there were 4 or 6 books, out of the final THIRTEEN titles). I realize I was reading it too fast, because I missed a notable piece in the beginning of the first book.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


My wife and I started a Christmas tradition of our own when we got married - every Christmas there are two movies that we both sit down to watch: White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life. It just doesn't seem like the same holiday season without those two.
posted by Roger Pittman at 9:14 AM on April 13


Eyebrows, Tamora Pierce is also my quick pick-me-up! I save the Protector of the Small quartet for when I really need a boost, and cycle thru the other Tortall books as needed.

I always watch The West Wing when I'm sick, starting with the first 2 episodes of Season 2 and then picking random episodes thereafter.

I've been listening to Lake of Silver Bells (a song on Carbon Leaf's album Nothing Rhymes With Woman) every morning when I drive into work.
posted by coppermoss at 9:19 AM on April 13


I reread Anne of Green Gables (although I tend to skip from house of dreams to Rilla), the What Katy Did books (particularly Clover or High Valley) and Pratchetts when I want comfort/just want to dip into something.

I rewatch Road to El Dorado, Little Women and Down with Love a lot. It’s not Christmas without White Christmas and Muppets’ Christmas Carol.
posted by halcyonday at 9:46 AM on April 13


For movies, I could watch All About Eve, Auntie Mame, Now, Voyager and Mildred Pierce anytime they are on. Also, Moana, Lilo and Stitch, and Brave from Disney.

Books: I'm with Chura Chura. I can read the Tiffany Aching books forever. I will reread almost anything though. My memory is terrible, so it's a little like visiting a dream every time I reread something.

Music: Anything by Oingo Boingo except Little Girls, and almost anything that was considered New Wave, punk or post punk from about 1978 to 1988. I'm a creature of habit.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:22 AM on April 13


Anything by Oingo Boingo except Little Girls

Man, I loved them back in the '90s, but what was with Danny's sex offender-y numbers like that and "Nasty Habits"? More specifically, what was with me, thinking it was cool and edgy to like them as a teen girl? I do not miss those times.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:27 AM on April 13 [3 favorites]


More specifically, what was with me, thinking it was cool and edgy to like them as a teen girl? I do not miss those times.

Looking back at my teen years, it was not at all obvious to me that my age made me vulnerable. Songs like “My Sharona” didn’t read as predatory because I didn’t understand myself as prey.

Case in point — I am just a couple years younger than Monica Lewinsky. That whole episode reads very differently to me now that I’m on the other side of a couple decades of work experience.
posted by eirias at 11:39 AM on April 13 [7 favorites]


Age of Empires The Conquerors, without the CD in the drive, running the little bit it leaves on the laptop's hard drive. The basic games like king of the hill or death match last about an hour or so and are perfect after a long day at work.
posted by hugbucket at 12:27 PM on April 13


On Easy setting because at the end of the long day you're just chopping wood and mining gold, not out to conquer the world, you know?
posted by hugbucket at 12:32 PM on April 13


I work from home and need just the right amount of distraction / not-distraction in the background to cover up outside noises and such. Any of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Wild Wild West, The Big Valley, Bonanza, etc. I've seen so many times that I can leave them on for 12 hours and be mildly distracted enough to be bored enough to sit and work for hours and hours. Seen them all so many times.

Music is just to hard to consider (and goes in the mixtape so spoilers).
posted by zengargoyle at 1:03 PM on April 13


Andrew Bird has titled his newest record My Best Work Yet and he ain't wrong. Still plenty of violin and whistling, but there's some grit and soul to this record that sets it apart from his earlier stuff. Songs like Bloodless would sound fantastic being sung by the likes of Erykah Badu, and some of the instrumental parts could hold their own against Wu Tang verses. He still has a tendency to write rock lyrics like that guy who would bring up Camus at a keg party, but he's laser-focused and very in tune with our cultural moment.
When the best lack all conviction
And the worst keep sharpening their claws
They're peddling their dark fictions
While what's left of us, well... we just hem and we haw
I've listened to this record maybe 20x and this song probably a hundred.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:15 PM on April 13 [3 favorites]


He still has a tendency to write rock lyrics like that guy who would bring up Camus at a keg party

oh man this is exactly why I love this guy. Thanks for the rec, DirtyOldTown, that's going on my list now.
posted by eirias at 2:26 PM on April 13


The West Wing, so not really getting away from politics... Just an idealized world where people are genuinely good and are trying to do good. I've rewatched the series more times than I can count. For most of 2017, it was the only thing I could stand watching on TV at all.
posted by Weeping_angel at 2:53 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I worked in this bookstore for over a decade and I developed a creepy intimacy with alphabetical order. I didn't have to think when shelving. The hand knew. I can still find books on a shelf pretty quickly. I'm not even feeling myself reading the spines. You also learn about how certain letters and letter combinations have a density in surnames. There are patterns that become innate. So I suppose I know alphabet order like the back of my hand, though it was the front of my hand that usually pulled or shelved.

People who don't re-read: Do you have really good memories?

I’m one of these people and for me, I think what I’m striving for is that empathetic experience and I’ve found that I get the most out of that on the first reading. I don’t really care about the plot or characters really, I’m after the wisdom that comes from experiencing it with the characters. The few times I have reread I did not find additional things I could empathize with. So I generally don't. Did find new details and more of the art was revealed, but not enough to make doing that a habit. I also have to read a lot of books professionally, so I can't waste my time with the done pile. The not read pile just keeps growing and there are treasures in there that I need to find.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:49 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


My mom would take me to estate sales and bid on boxes of handwritten letters nobody wanted and we'd go home and put together the concerns of someone who died a long time ago. Opened me up.

Tried doing that with the kids in this house until somebody decided that I was about to find treasure and started outbidding me every time and now they are really confused.

Thing is, if you have a box of diaries and scraps and photos saved by somebody you never knew and you start to see how spartan and common and eternal our actual needs are, you can slough the rest of it off.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:31 PM on April 13 [11 favorites]


Songs like “My Sharona” didn’t read as predatory because I didn’t understand myself as prey.

Exactly. Also they were completely ubiquitous (I can think of maybe five off the top of my head). For the ones that weren't leering and gross, I sort of always thought of "guys in bands" as like... just a little bit older, like maybe 19, not entire generations older though in many cases they were.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:42 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


I can’t believe I am going to admit this and I hope I am not the only one one...

I’ve played in several bands and have written my own songs which I’ve performed on stage. Sometimes, when I’m going for a long run or a work out, I cue up a play list that in my dreams I would have liked to perform. While I’m exercising I’m imagining my friends, my ex-girlfriends especially, being blown away by my performance on stage of Joe Strummer’s last album or the Boomtown Rats’ Greatest Hits. The pinnacle of this fantasy world in my head while I’m lifting or on the treadmill is Love and Rockets, Yin and Yang and the Flowerpot Men, which is just a magical piece that sounds like a rolling train — when the conductor calls “alcohol is your yoga baybeeeee”— it’s just sublime.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:19 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


You know what, I only knew the hook from "My Sharona." I went back to listen to it, now that you mentioned it, and damn, that's nasty. At least that song gave Weird Al his first hit, so it wasn't a complete waste of space.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:29 PM on April 13


I'm not much of a rereader/rewatcher, usually it takes me years to revisit something.

However, if I'm really feeling a song, I seek out as many covers and mashups as I can find and listen to them!
posted by divabat at 8:35 PM on April 13


The eponymous Sharona is a now a real estate agent in Los Angeles. She was the agent on a house in my neighborhood a few years ago and of course I went to the open house to see if she'd be there (she was).
posted by mogget at 10:13 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


...the What Katy Did books (particularly Clover or High Valley)

OMG so cool to know somebody who loves the Katy books like I do! I had a family of Sims once named Katy, Clover, Elsie, Dorry, Phil, and Cecy. And one time I tried to write a fanfiction for The Big Valley in the style of Clover and In the High Valley. Whenever I get a glass of really weak lemonade, I think of the time Katie and Rose-Red couldn't go to the party at school, and Clover told them they didn't miss much because the lemonade was only "cream of tartar water."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:56 PM on April 13


Because apart from my brother I’ve never known anyone to get a Tap reference in the wild.

Then clearly you really need to hang out with more musicians & music tech folks, because ZOMG we will start spitting Tap phrases at each other at the drop of a hat. Although, frankly, all you bands can really really really just stop saying "Hello Cleveland!" when you play Cleveland . . .


Yeah, I was confused by that statement because quoting Spinal Tap among musicians makes you sort of like the guy who wouldn't quit quoting Monty Python in the 90's. It's still funny, but everyone's heard it a million times.
posted by bongo_x at 2:38 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I feel like I don't re-read, re-watch, but of course I remember exceptions.

We watch several versions of A Christmas Carol every December, and usually get It's a Wonderful Life in there.

There are a few movies I've watched over in the last couple of decades, but nothing like when I was younger. My friends and I watched Evil Dead 2 dozens of times, Hollywood Shuffle not much less, Night Shift likewise.

Now there's something you don't run into in the wild much. There have been a couple of moments in my life where someone picked up on a quote from on of those, especially the last 2, and it was instant bonding.

I re-read Sherlock Holmes. Doing that got me into more late 1800's-early 1900's mysteries which eventually morphed into eerie/horror tales from that period. Now that's all I've read for a quite a while because the world is too depressing lately and I can't seem to pay attention to much else or care about it. Since I've been reading a lot of public domain collections I end up reading some of the same stories, but it's OK because I have a terrible memory.

The funny thing was when B&N started saying "since you like mysteries..." and was thinking "I don't like mysteries, where the hell did they get that?"
posted by bongo_x at 2:55 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


In addition to re-reading books and re-watching movies like many others, I also re-read paragraphs of text that I find particularly beautiful, or wise, or funny, or interesting, or that make me cry or - something. For most of my life I would dog-ear the page that had the passage on it and when bored pull out books and flip through for the dog-ears. A few years ago I bought a little notebook and now I copy out the passage into it (much better for the books, and if it's a long passage I find it meditative). Passages include: description of Gawain's hand-writing in Once and Future King; the "lost, and by the wind grieved" passages from Look Homeward, Angel; a description of a courtyard and orchard in the Odyssey (R.Fagle's translation); a comparison of Eleanor Roosevelt and FDR in No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearnes Goodwin. I've unintentionally memorized many lines and snippets, and, like someone said above, they've become part of me.
posted by frobozz at 6:51 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Dhalgren and Motorman. Over and over and over again.
posted by hototogisu at 7:39 AM on April 14


I've seen the original Star Wars trilogy more times than I can count, and often discuss it with a friend as our mutual first love.

There are a bunch of albums I play over and over, music for different moods. Through high school and to about age 30, primarily Pixies. Sometime in my late 20s, David Bowie went into heavy rotation and is still there. Then I added Janelle Monáe once she appeared on the scene. Recently I've been going back to Jesus and Mary Chain and Nine Inch Nails (yes, I was a teen in the 90s, how did you guess?) These are often still my go-tos for various moods and time crunches - I've never been a "favorite album" kind of person so much as different albums for different moods, like David Bowie's Diamond Dogs is for when I have to sit down and power through a bunch of dry reading, JAMC's Honey's Dead is for higher energy getting a lot of short tasks done or for relaxing late at night with substances, Janelle Monáe's Archandroid is for getting into the groove of a long day when I need something a little stimulating and to block out the sounds of other people in my office, NIN is for handling depression and continuing to focus, and Pretty Hate Machine has been my xmas album since it came out.

Current obsession other than my musical habits is Umbrella Academy, which I just keep putting on in the evenings, often while working on art stuff. I'm a giant comics nerd and really like deconstructions of X-Men style teams (I also like X-Men quite a bit) and this rolls a lot of the things I love with that into one, the dysfunction, the ways that the powers ruin their lives because they never became well-rounded adults, the inability to move past familial squabbling and everyone's low opinions of everyone else's capacities, dealing with the death of an abuser, and then the whole narrative with Five and how much I relate to having your whole life change in an instant because of something stupid that shouldn't ever have been a big deal.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:13 AM on April 14


I do tend to return to my favourite books and music a lot, so much so that I've had to make little rules/set quotas in order to get myself to reading and listen to new stuff. I do find it's better for me mentally to consume new material; I do less obsessing about negative memories and the like if I'm routinely feeding my brain with new concepts and facts to keep it otherwise occupied. And I have gone somewhat off some of my old favourites lately. Either I've finally outgrown them or they just got too stale. Sometimes when I get the hankering to reread them, it's enough to just revisit a particular favourite passage from them. Lately I've been trying to read the 10% or so of the books on my overcrowded shelves that I've never read, with the idea that I can then weed out the ones that I don't like enough to keep, which will hopefully relieve the overcrowding. With music I have a rule that I must listen to three new songs per day. Sometimes I discover an artist/band I really like and keep going, and sometimes it's "Meh. Back to Pearl Jam now." I often wish YouTube would help me by showing me new things I haven't seen rather than just my old favourites.

Movies and TV I'm better about because usually one viewing is enough for me, but even so I have a rule: I must watch one new thing every evening, after which I can watch whatever I like. There's a particular actor I've got a longstanding crush on and I re-watch his work pretty often and for some years I've had a tradition of watching a certain movie of his twice a year, on my birthday and Valentine's Day, which are exactly six months apart. Lately I've been considering cutting that back to just once a year though.
posted by orange swan at 3:26 PM on April 14


In the past I reread a lot of books because I didn’t have the money to buy new ones and I was wary to venture too far in the library (town or school) from the flavors I enjoyed. And my parents’ mystery and spy novels didn’t offer whatever magic I was seeking at the time.
I had a similar relationship with movies, but I probably ranged wider in subject matter there. Anyway once I was buying videotapes, I didn’t know when I bought one if I’d buy another one that year, so it had to be something good.

I reread less these days because honestly I read less, and I don’t rewatch much, either. Not that I don’t love a rewatch, but there’s so much new stuff I get choice paralysis sometimes.

But

Lately, my rewatch fodder is Detectorists because the episodes are short and the mood is light.
When I get home from work and I don’t want to commit to a story, I rewatch an episode or two of Citation Needed on youtube, because the “friends riffing in a game show format” format is very comforting and low-impact.

For video games, it’s mostly Breath of the Wild I put on because there’s no pressure to do much other than explore, and I can listen to podcasts while I do it.
My go-to games of the past were mostly
“Star Control” on the Genesis and “Blaster Master” on the NES.
In adulthood, “Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance” 1 and 2, or “Champions of Norrath” and whatever its sequel was. I skipped over a whole console generation after the PS2. Maybe if/when there’s a Playstation 5, if it doesn’t require an always-on connection and has decent solo titles, I might look at one. For now the Switch is fine. I should probably go look at my farm again in Stardew Valley.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:33 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Cat Power's albums: The Greatest and Jukebox,
Kate Bush's song Wuthering Heights and Maxwell's cover of it
certain Arcade fire songs. I think from the Suburbs album I listened to it over and over.
I listen to new music, but I'm mostly stuck in a certain time period when I was listening to a bunch of music all the time on repeat. The songs above managed to still be resonant with me today years later.
posted by jj's.mama at 10:24 PM on April 14


I absolutely LOVE the album "The '59 Sound", by The Gaslight Anthem, and it's one of the few recordings I've purchased on both CD and vinyl. It's very rootsy, three and four chord rock'n' roll with a great storytelling approach to the lyrics. If Bruce Springsteen had made a record with The Clash as his backing band, it wouldn't sound too different from this. The title track is the most uplifting, anthemic tribute to a departed friend that I've ever heard.

I also happen to love what some would call "Diva House" - feel-good, hands-in-the-air dance tracks fronted almost exclusively by Black women with huge voices. Songs like these are almost like comfort food for me.
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:21 PM on April 16


During a recent cable/internet-free period, I found myself rewatching my recorded versions of Star Wars eps. IV-VIII a number of times without getting sick of them.

I've lost count of rewatches of Blackadder, Are You Being Served?, Star Trek: TOS and TNG, many MST3K episodes, Dark Shadows (1966 and 1991), Robin of Sherwood, Maverick, and (probably many) more I'm forgetting.

I was going to start listing old movies I'll always watch if they're on, but I can sum up the first few by just saying I never pass up anything with Vincent Price or the Marx Brothers.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:28 PM on April 16


Meant to add: I remember after one eye surgery, I only owned one large-print book and didn't have reliable access to the library to get others. So, I found myself re-reading Dickens's Hard Times more often than I would have.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:46 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Though i wouldn't say it was my absolute favourite movie i have seen Aliens way more times than any other film. Often it's not been my choice but I do choose it when I want a solid action film. I have seen it on VHS (rental and pirate with Egyptian subtitles), on DVD (including once with Norwegian subtitles when it was raining in Alesund and it was the only film everyone in the youth hostel could agree on) and was still disappointed when it sold out at my local cinema recently before I had the chance to get tickets.
posted by biffa at 12:48 AM on April 17


When Star Wars first came out, I went to it seven times in the theater. I wanted to see through the special effects. I never fell out of love with it, though. I consider it the best matinee film ever, a gift to the kid in all of us.
posted by Oyéah at 8:43 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


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