So I'm a very laid back person in many ways. I'm very slow to get angry (beyond seeing violence committed against others, or animals, then watch out) and I'm fine with sudden changes in plan. I'm too lazy to panic over much (besides fire...) even when things look bad. I obsessively love my writing, but I'm pretty flexible about it and I have hobbies I love, but I can drop them to meet with friends or family if need be.
About the only thing I will REALLY lock down on and freeze up over is a great book... or... a great anime series... It's like I'm possessed and cannot function until I've turned the last page/seen the last episode. With a great book, I'll even carry it on the tractor at the farm. And with anime, I'll leave my computer out and if we go in for a water break, I'll hit play, even if I only get a few minutes of watching. Why do I get so obsessed? What is it that locks me in? When I say 'great anime' I don't mean that I'm a connoisseur. I know many folks love Akira, and I hated it. I can't tell you all that much about the history of anime or anything. My cousin, code name Bike Warrior, could tell you more in his sleep than I can. What really nabs me when I flip a new anime on is the characters. Within a few minutes of the first episode, I'll know if I'm going to switch it off, or obsessively watch every single one. I just finished GunxSword. It's one of the only animes I've found where I loved all the main characters, as well as all of the bad guys. Van is SO the sort of guy I adore, and strive to create in my writing. The genuinely-not-perfect-sometimes-down-right-asshole-but-you-love-him-for-himself guy. It's such a hard thing to capture in someone. And Van isn't the only character with flaws. Everyone has a great depth, and I found myself loving and hating them in turn.
Which is also what's so vital in books. And maybe that's why I just can't put a great book down or turn a great anime off. Because they take me somewhere, let me reconnect with that part of myself which think of the characters as real, in their own way. That kid part of me that still takes the escapist routes, if even just once in a while. That part of me that will never grow up, never give in, never abandon those larger than life ideals of honor and bravery and the good guy doing the right thing. When we're a kid it's okay to believe in these things, to read books and watch cartoons that exemplify them in all their melodrama. But when we get older, they're put on the 'how cheesy is that' rack and viewed as a silly, guilty pleasure. Somehow, we're expected to look back and see that the 'real world' doesn't work that way. Which is why I will never grow up.
What about you? Do you have any 'guilty' pleasures? Do you still watch cartoons/read books and find yourself thinking of the characters as people you just met?