Sunday, July 18, 2004


Twin Peaks Marathon 2004 is officially oooooovah. While I didn't manage to sit through the entire thing, I absorbed the vast majority of the "good" parts of Twin Peaks.

I crashed and burned right about 3:30AM, hopped in my car and headed home to get some sleep in a real bed. Didn't manage to last through episode 16, so I didn't even hit my personal goal for the marathon. Man, I'm such a loser!

Basically, shortly after my final post last night, my brain shifted into GO TO SLEEP mode. I spent the entirety of episode 15 thinking of nothing but being home in bed, and how if I just left soon I could actually be in bed by 4:00 (it's like a 20-25 minute drive ot my house from downtown Austin...) and get at least 4-5 hours of sleep, and how nice that would feel, etc. If I had actually thought to bring a pillow to the event I might have been able to tough it out, but there was just no way I could get any sleep there otherwise.

So anyway, I was prepared to call it quits altogether at that point. Woke up at about 9:30, knowing full well that the Marathon was continuing through at least 1:00-2:00 or so. Curious to see how Mike and Bill fared, we rang up Lacey (Bill's long-suffering wife) to discover... he was currently en route back downtown to catch the remainder of the Marathon! Hmmmmmm.... 2 cell phone calls and a bit of hemming and hawing later, I was back in the car and heading South.

Managed to arrive in time for the final 3 episodes. Looked like about 40-50% of the crowd managed to persevere through the night, or at least lived nearby enough to go and grab a nap and then return.

Me, this morning -- 5 hours of sleep and a shower make ALL the difference.

Bill, this AM, looking slightly refreshed by the break.

Surprisingly, Phoebe Augustine lasted the entire night (I noticed that she left her seat and went out to the lobby/bathroom a LOT -- Too much beer? Or was it something less... wholesome? I'll leave you to make your own scurrilous conclusions), although Kimmy Robertson was nowhere to be seen after about midnight or so....

So anyway, I did manage to catch all of the David Lynch directed epsiodes, which was good. I also managed to miss some of the absolute worst parts of the Twin Peaks run, which was also good. If I had to sit through the whole "James' Affair" plot, when he leaves TP and winds up sleeping with some older chick, I would probably have slit my wrists. But I did miss the episode where Josie's face pops up in an end table, so that's a shame.

So, to sum up the experience, here are a few observations:

1. Twin Peaks isn't particularly suited to a marathon. Once you get out of the first 10-12 hours of the series, it becomes wildly uneven in terms of pacing, storyline, and quality. When viewed 1 or 2 episodes at a time, this isn't a big deal. But when you're on hour 13, 14, 15 in a row, the pacing and plotting problems really become difficult to ignore.

2. More than ever I am certain that Twin Peaks was the best 9-10 hour miniseries ever created. It's unfotunate, however, that those 9-10 hours are buried in about 16 hours of footage that aired over season 1 and part of season 2.

3. James is the single most irritating, annoying, pathetic character in the show. He's unbearable, and should have been jettisoned at the first possible opportunity. Remove him, and the entire series gets better.

4. In a parallel universe, Sherilynn Fenn is this millenium's Elizabeth Taylor. She is absoutely stunning and should be far more famous.

5. No one can really "do" Lynch but Lynch. In his hands, the odd events of his stories seem grounded in the real world, but just askew somehow. Like you were wandering through the regular world when, without realizing it, you took an odd left turn and wound up somewhere very LIKE the regular world, but yet... not really. Not the Black Lodge/Dancing Dwarf type stuff -- I mean, that shit is CRAZY. But the day-to-day world in which his characters exist. It feels self-contained and real on its own terms. But when other folks try to do Lynch, the goofy, trippy, weird stuff becomes the whole point, not a characteristic of a world with a deifnite sense of place. And it just don't work.

Well, that was fun. I need to get to bed by a decent hour tonight, though...

Mood: Chilled out, tirrrrrrred
Now Playing: Joss Stone, "The Soul Sessions"

TP Marathon: It Has Happened... Again.

Hey. OK, it's getting pretty fuckin' late. Just finished up with the "Aha! It's Leland!" episode. I'm 2 episodes from my personal goal for the night (making it to Leland's death, because it is SERIOUSLY downhill from there).

Man, it's been a long while since I've watched the death of Madeline Ferguson sequence, and it still astonishes me. It's easily among the most brutal and disturbing sequences I can recall in media at large, let alone TV. Brutal, terrifying, and deeply unsettling stuff.

I'm signing off for the night -- almost out of juice, both battery-wise and otherwise. I'll do a wrapup once I've gotten some sleep.

Mood: Getting REALLY Tired
Now Playing: Ummmm. The next episode.... Jeez.

OK, it's looking like the end is near.... 2:45AM. Posted by Hello

Saturday, July 17, 2004

12 Hours In: Some Pix

Almost 12 hours of Twin Peaks. The strain is beginning to show....

Oh, fuck. What have I gotten myself into?

Bill looking Dead Sexy....

Mike is game for HOURS more....

TP Marathon Update: 10+ Hours

3 Items to report:

1: One of my favorite lines just went by: We have 2 ledgers, and 1 smoked cheese pig. Which one are we going to burn? And it ain't gonna be my pig."

2: Something is up with the sound system: Everything sounds like there is a distant, threatening thunderstorm approaching.

3: One down. Elaine has bailed on us, but claims that she will return in the AM if we are still here.

I figure it's almost time to document this moment with pictures. We must be getting pretty scruffy lookin'.

Mood: Getting rough
Now Playing: Episode 10

Peaks Marathon: And Now, Another Intermission

Just wrapped up season 1. Forgot how disappointing the finale was! After a season of inventive, challenging television, the finale falls back on the ultimate TV finale cliche: Who Shot Agent Cooper? Blah.

It is, however, redeemed by Lynch's ultra-brilliant season 2 premiere. Which has already started. The gangly old man/giant alter-ego dude is saying "Thank ya. Thank ya kindly!" right now.

Gotta go!

Mood: Refreshed, beginnings of a buzz!
Now Playing: Episode 9 /Season 2 Premiere

Twin Peaks Marathon: Hours 6-7, Taking a Break

Alright, so I finished out the last episode and decided to bail for an hour, get some air and some light and some dcent food. I mean, the grub at the Drafthouse is good as far as movie theater food goes, but I really had a hankering for some wings, and their wings are itty bitty things that haven't got a lick of heat to 'em.

So, as soon as there was a brief intemission, which was to preceed a Q&A session with Kimmy Robertson and Phoebe Augustine (who we are sitting directly behind -- I'll get a pic of them later), I took a hike. I'm currently sitting in BW3 on Sixth St., nursing my second Bass ale and letting a dozen blazin' hot wings settle into place somwhere in my large intestine.

Man, this free wireless access is awesome.

Also grabbing some juice from a wall socket -- hopefully once things settle down at the Drafthouse later I'll beable to persuade a waiter to let me into an office to juice up. We'll see.

Anyway, more later.

Mood: Satiated, with a gentle burning moving in a southerly direction...
Now Playing: ESPN, blah

Twin Peaks Marathon: 5 Hours

Just wrapped up episode four.

Brief observation: At one point in episode 3, Cooper observes over fresh huckleberry pie, that the Double R Diner must be "where pies go when they die." If this sort of metaphysical cycle is in fact possible, I have to assume that Sherilyn Fenn is where sweaters go when they die. My god, that girl could wear a sweater...

Mood: Getting Hungry
Now Playing: Episode 5

Twin Peaks Marathon: 3.5 Hours In

OK, so we've now passed the three-an-a-half hour mark. Just finished up episode 2 -- ends with Cooper's first dream sequence, notable for the first appearance of the dancing dwarf and the first hi-octane shot of Lynchian weirdness. At the moment, we are finishing up a 5 minute bio-break time, and the Dancing Dwarf Contest is about to begin.

The gang, 3.5 hours in . Mike, Bill, and Elaine. Is Elaine saying "sometimes my arms bend back"? No one can be certain, but it seems likely...

Freakish Dwarf Dancing competitors. They all won plastic owls and copies of "Wrapped in Plastic," the TP fan mag...


TP Marathon: Part Two

About to get started - Phoebe Augustine (Ronette Pulaski) is in the
hizzyhouse. Kimmy Robertson is en route and will arrive
around 5:00-ish. Dancing dwarf contest will occur immediately
folllowing episode 2!

Mood: Excited!
Now Playing: The Pilot

Twin Peaks Marathon: Part One

OK, sitting in the theater now with Mike, Bill and Elaine. Place
is sold out, which is totally cool. Crowd is about what you'd
expect -- mid-thirties folks, lots of black clothes and t-shirts.

First challenge: no power outlets. Should make getting recharged later pretty interesting.

As a result, I'll be on and off Instant Messenger periodically, instead
of being online constantly. More entries as events unfold.

Mood: Kind of annoyed by the lack of power.
Now Playing: An old Superman cartoon!

Friday, July 16, 2004

DAMN Good Coffee, and HOT

Sometimes, when you've had a really bad week-going-on-several-weeks-to-a-month, the best thing to do is engage in something entirely out of the ordinary. A truly non-typical activity. Something to take you outside yourself for a time, to permit some distance, perspective, and chance to disengage completely.

No, not acid. Well, you maybe, but not me. Too much, too long, with no brakes.

Actually, I'm talking about the Twin Peaks Marathon, here in Austin, at the inimitable Alamo Drafthouse. Somewhere in the vicinity of 26 hours of Twin Peaks. Every single episode, including the 2-hour pilot, back to back, in a darkened theater. With a bunch of folks that are oddly obsessed with this brilliant but offbeat show. Plus freakish dancing dwarf contets, and a cherry stem tying contest as well. And coffee, of course.

LOTS of coffee, I imagine.

Should be... interesting.

Twin Peaks paralleled a pretty significant period of my life. Not significant "good," really -- it was on-the-air during the period when I flaming out in college, succumbing to tons of early-twenties angst and general emotional exhaustion. I was a VERY intense late-teen/early twenty type, and it really took its toll over time. I wound up bailing on college with about 8 credits left to my degree and landing, luckily, at a decent job in NYC. Finished the degree a couple of years later, once I got some working time under my feet, a wedding band on my ring finger, and the stablizing presence of my gorgeous wife in my life.

But anyway, Twin Peaks was one of the very specific and memorable high points in an otherwise exhausting and confusing period of my life. In the midst of a lot of mess, it was something which challenged me like little else had to that point. Funny. Occasionally terrifying. Disturbing. Chock full o' gorgeous, gorgeous girls. And above all, WEIRD. But weird in a way that made me feel like maybe I wasn't the only weird one around.

God, I loved this show.

Anyway, back in the early-mid-nineties I was active in the forum on USENET (gosh, remember that?). Curious, I took a bit of time and dug up some of my old posts, revisiting myself 10+ years gone. Newly married, childless, living in South Florida, working my first real serious paying job (IBM, contracting, at Boca). Snarky, smug, mid-twenties know-it-all. But clever.

This was around the same period when I was obsessed with Northern Exposure (where I first met some folks who would later become online friends of the upper order, including, I believe, Lee) and Mad About You (I was one of those people who were convinced the stories were somehow lifted from their young, married, self-absorbed lives. I'm even in the FAQ that's out there, somewhere...), and predates my later obsession with alt.showbiz.gossip, where I met some of my finest online friends, and where I also learned a bit more than I care to know about how wonderful and yet utterly dysfunctional online life could become. Ask anyone who was active in alt.showbiz.gossip during to mid-to-late-90's and they'll understand. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows, in online relationship terms. It was worth it, but god, what a mess.

It's a bit unsettling to see your earlier self so clearly. Google (and DejaNews before it) is weird that way. It's this odd window to your past, extraordinarily SPECIFIC, online self. Your words, often forgotten, sometimes embarassing, occasionally so different from the you of today, immediately accessible for anyone to see. I mean, there's nothing I'm terribly ashamed of out there (though I went through something of a Net Vigilante stage during the mid-nineties AOL invasions. Not very nice, but someone had to learn those bastards. Still, not something I would engage in now...), but still, it's odd to spend a few minutes with a part of yourself that is so distant, so of-a-time.

If you're curious about my formative online years, Google "Bo Duke"
(I bore a striking resemblance to John Schneider throughout my early twenties, so it seemed appropriate) in the groups and see what you think. Prior to that I was mostly wandering around in the comics forums, chatting about Sandman and god knows what else under a variety of pseudonyms that I can't recall right now. Not always nice, and not always someone you'd want to invite to drinks, but it sure sounds like me-or-someone-like-me.

Anyhow, the Alamo Drafthouse features wireless access in their theaters, so I'm planning on bringing the laptop and documenting the Twin Peaks Marathon Experience here in my journal. I'll also have Trillian going the whole time (AIM ID: GreggPTX) so if you'd like to say hey and see how I'm holding up, please don't be a stranger. It'll be a weird, Twin Peaks-ian happenin' man.

Mood: Buzzed, beat.
Now Playing: Kate Bush, "Hounds of Love"