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 alt.tv.twin-peaks 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 alt.tv.twin-peaks 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"