Monday, December 01, 2008


Phases are interesting things, especially if you’re like me. My phases--just ask my family--are intense. Bordering-on-but-not-quite-neurotic intense. Consequently, I consider myself quite the little expert on phases. In fact, I know all the types. Please, avail yourself of my vast, but pointless, knowledge of the subject...

Fleeting Phases:

These are the sorts of phases that seem promising at first, then simply don’t prove that interesting. You know, like that hobby that you buy a lot of tools to support, only to lose interest before those tools are barely dirty. Mine was homebrewing. I made two batches of beer, then decided this was what liquor stores and the descendants of Herrs Pabst, Miller and Busch were for.

On a topic more relevant to this blog, I’d say Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. I loved him in the first "Lord of the Rings" movie, but then I saw David Wenham as Faramir in the second film and the Viggo thing was o-vah. (And whatever happened to Joshua Jackson? Talk about flash in the pan.)

Intense, Quick Burn Out Phases:

These are those fascinations which start out super hot but inexplicably don’t last. There may not even be a clear reason why they are unsustainable, and it really surprises you considering their original promise. A year or so ago I nursed a craving for months to take up the Native American flute. I finally bought one. I was so excited! I sewed a Native American themed bag for it, I practiced almost every day, I really liked it and then, foomp.

Erotically speaking, my example would be Criss Angel. I watched him a bit on TV and my mind was just blown. I collected some photos, used him as wallpaper, blogged about him, had some nice Criss fantasies, and then, abruptly, nothing. I know plenty of women have been hot on this guy for years. I can’t explain why I petered out!

Recurring Theme Phases:

These are variations on a theme, and we all have our own individual themes, sometimes called “fetishes,” those sorts of things we have been consistently attracted to all our lives. I grew up loving to collect rocks. I can’t resist combing a beach, any beach. (I’ve even been known to comb gravel beds at shopping malls.) I got into making jewelry largely because I love rocks. And now I use polymer clay to make rocks!

Meanwhile, my erotic obsessions have included variations on a couple of good physical themes. Blond beards, for example. A big part of my afore-mentioned Faramir thing, and also traceable to personal heartthrobs Kerry Wood, the Kohls guy, and Jason Danieley (although with him it’s really the voice of course). I’m also historically crazy about guys with tousled mops of dark curls. This accounts for why Elijah Wood’s Frodo came in second on my list of favorite LOTR characters. And it may have been one of my husband’s cues when he found the picture of this author named Neil Gaiman and showed it to me as “a guy who is really your type.” So, point is, specific men may come and go, but the blond beard and the dark curls live on (not on one person at once though, ugh).

Take Your Soul in an Iron Grip Phases:

Well, there are a few of these in my life, obsessions I picked up in childhood that never go away. First for me is, of course, writing. Others would be Broadway musicals, science fiction (I should mention that obviously I went through a very passionate “Rocky Horror Show” phase), cats, and crafts.

I’ve had some men-phases like this too, guys who come into my life and make such a big impression that even after the “romantic” feelings eventually dissipate, I never lose the impact that was made upon me. The first example of this is Michael Rennie’s portrayal of the alien Klaatu in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” I was just a tot when I first saw this film, and the character shaped ever after both my ideal of the fictional hero and my standards for male valor. I rewatched the movie this week and Klaatu still works as much magic on me today as ever. (Good luck, Keanu Reeves!)

I would be remiss not to mention here Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau, whose tribute website I maintain (now over 300 pages). He was a huge inspiration (or, okay, I’ll also answer to “obsession”...I mean c’mon, 300 pages?) to me for a good three years, and that’s a long time for this girl. To this day he remains a personal hero and an example of real manhood that few can match.

Impact Your Life Phases:

Some phases may not last for years, but they still make an impression that lingers for a lifetime. In the 80s I was so obsessed with pipe organs that I actually wrote a three minute piece for pipe organ. Well, it was performed publically once, okay? Yeah, yeah, only once. Nevertheless, I still love organ music and appreciate composing in a much deeper way from that experience.

My devotion to “Survivorman” Les Stroud is definitely in this category. I still adore Les but I’m a bit past the swooning stage now. However, he truly affected my understanding of my own love of nature, and taught me much about survival, even of the emotional kind. These lessons will stay with me. And then there’s Neil Gaiman. It’s only been ninth months (and I’m still in the swooning stage as you well know)...but reading the lion’s share of his works has rekindled in me my Jungian outlook on writing and my love of speculative fiction/fantasy. And best of all, if you’re me: I know reading him has made me a better writer. God, I love that man.

Bonus Type--Motivate You to Write a Fan Letter Phases:

I consider a phase as having special standing if it motivates me to write a fan letter. Even in the days of the internet, when doing that is much easier and much more likely to get some sort of reply, I still only write when a phase strikes me as significant. Here’s a list of people who have merited fan letters from me over the years (and whether or not I heard back): Leonard Nimoy as Spock (no), the cast of the movie “Godspell,” (yes, Joann Jonas), Sting (no), Kenneth Branagh (no), Richard O’Brien, author of “Rocky Horror” (yes), Guy Carbonneau (yes), comic book author Terry Moore (no), Les Stroud (yes), Jason Danieley (yes). Wow, that’s a pretty good track record...I must be forgetting a lot of the people who ignored me! LOL

Cripes, this is my longest blog post EVER. Good night.


Miss Organizized said...

Ahh, I personally rather enjoyed tooling down your memory lane there! Although I'm sad there wasn't more mention of your Police/Sting/Bee Girls/Jungian phase!! That was pretty huge! Although maybe bigger in my eyes as that's when it was just "us girls" and I was an impressionable pre-teen :) OH and I think CS Lewis should've been mentioned too. Perhaps both of these in the Impact Your Life portion.

Meanwhile, what about those of us who don't really go through phases?? I had grunge and U2/All Things Irish and then my passion for obsessions sorta stopped! But I'm sure yours and Mandsi's obsessions are enough for the fam ;)

Diana Laurence said...

Sting was a hugie all right. Well, that will all come out when I release "Looking on Darkness" next year! Anyhoo, there is indeed the issue of people who are not really "phase-y." Being so far removed from that sort of psyche, I really don't know what to tell you! Except I'm sure at times it's an EASIER way to be, LOL.