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Luckily I was awake enough this morning to see, in the bathroom sink, a spider.

I wasn't surprised by it — well, not too surprised by it — and made sure I didn't drown it: I turned on the water less strongly than normal, so as not to splash it. My hands clean, I opened the bathroom window, gave the spider my fuller attention, helped it get out of the sink, found where it then hid under the counter, got it onto a piece of toilet paper, and let it go out of the window.

Leaving the spider for another of the house residents to find would've been cruel and wrong.

I'm sure the spider was happier, and I certainly was. That was this morning.

Another highlight of the day involved no spiders at all (other than the many spiders who are always close to us, whether we're inside or outside): Mom drove into Portland to visit. We went to coffee (Rain or Shine Coffeehouse at SE 60th and Division), walked on Mt. Tabor — yes, a full-fledged extinct volcano in SE Portland, and that is cool — and the further indulgence of fast food and a cone at the nearby Dairy Queen, before Mom drove me back to where I live. We went on to other things today.

Did the spider go on to find flies to eat? I hope so!
Maybe, Tuesday morning, I should have waited to be around people.

Yesterday I went to breakfast at the nearby coffee shop, and while there I realized I was having trouble tuning out a conversation two guys in the café were having. (That they were on the other side of the café is probably a sign they were being just a little too loud for the café, but oh well.) I then realized: I was crankier than I thought.

I already knew I was cranky. That made me realize I hadn't done enough yet that day to make myself less cranky.

To counter that, I went back to the house and took my time, there by myself. Come early afternoon, I felt ready to be around people again, and walked to the nearby Fred Meyer to shop. By then, I could again handle people, plus I had a goal and a short shopping list. And getting that done helped me feel better. Less cranky.

I took care of other stuff yesterday (not saying more because I feel a little superstitious about it), plus I got out for an evening walk during dusk, on a comfortable and breezy night. Followed by decent sleep.

I'd really prefer not to be cranky, and I'm relieved I was able to get at least less cranky.

In the moment

A calm day outside: sky sheeted by clouds, no rain (for now), some sun breaks, dry air not moving much: no breeze. That's this morning, here in SE Portland. I went outside, recently showered and dressed — I'd gotten a late start getting out of my bedroom — and stood on the porch. I like that the house where I live has a front porch.

One of the neighbor cats came up the steps to visit. He's named Ducky. Not Duckie like in Pretty In Pink, not Dougie like in the revival of Twin Peaks (which I haven't seen any of yet, so no spoilers please), but Ducky. We don't yet really know each other, but he did let me scratch him and pet him. And he purred, which encouraged me.

I don't have enough experience with cats to yet be completely sure when a cat likes me: I told Ducky, as I've told other cats, "Thank you for not minding me." (I did smile as I said that.) I figured "not minding me" is, at least, a good goal, and Ducky and I have met that. And I kept petting and scratching him.

As quiet as my life's been this past year-and-half, where I've mostly not worked, I still — still — have trouble being In The Moment. Not thinking about later, not thinking about what needs doing, just being. Wait: Being. It deserves a capital letter. And
Ducky, this morning, helped me be in the moment. I didn't cut short my petting or scratching, except when he would briefly move or adjust. And once he had paused and seemed comfortable, I'd pet and scratch again.

It was a nice run of several minutes. And then his fellow cat Shelly Pepper — I think they live in the same house — showed up and visited with Ducky, too. Peacefully. I watched them for a minute. Now I'm back inside, deciding, after that little break, what to do next.

I feel better.


"Juneuary." It describes how Portland often is wet and cool in early June. Juneuary is really in progress today.

We've had a lot of days like this in 2017. A lot. Portland broke a record for rain and snow over this past fall and winter. From October 1st, 2016 to April 30th, 2017, nearly 150 of those 212 days had measurable precipitation.

Yeah, it's gotten a little old. Today's not as cold as some days: we got above 60°, barely (it's 62 right now), but drizzle, drizzle, drizzle.

Wednesday afternoon — I'm glad I got outside in it — we were about 71, with sun. I soaked up some of it. If I were flying today, I could get above the clouds and maybe soak up more. Except airplane windows are small and let in relatively little light. (Isn't there an airplane design that would have windows in the ceiling? Hmm...) But, as I sometimes do have to tell myself, there will be more sunlight. There will be more warmth. Maybe before July.


Let's not, in fact, play this

Drinking game!: Drink when driven to drink.

The Jerk, C'est Moi

I can, sometimes, be a jerk. At times, I want to be. Very occasionally (only occasionally, I hope), I am. I wanted to be tonight.

Someone posted to Facebook a meme, claiming it was written by John Cleese. The meme makes it seem that Cleese is writing about last weekend's terrorist attack on and near London Bridge, or maybe Cleese was writing about the 2013 Woolwich attack that killed British soldier Lee Rigby; but Cleese didn't write it. The meme's been traced back to the 2005 London transit bombings. I point this out, with a link explaining it. Of course I got some other person, not the original poster who I at least know and trust, and that other person replied "Whoever wrote it, it's funny."

I then wanted to go to that person's own Facebook wall, and start replying to every comment of theirs with, "Wow, what a great point Stephen Colbert made!" and "Wow, what a great point Dave Barry made!" and "Wow, what a great point Trevor Noah made!" and "Wow, what a great point Eddie Izzard made!" Maybe throw in a "Wow, what a great point George Carlin made!," because stuff gets wrongly attributed to Carlin a lot.

Point is, I wanted to see how quickly that person got annoyed with everything they said being credited to someone one.

But I'd be a jerk if I did that.

Thoughts and actions. Different things.
In the early 1980s, composer-orchestrator-conductor Michael Kamen was being interviewed for a possible job, scoring Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Producer and percussionist Ray Cooper was doing the interview. By then, Kamen had had some relatively high-profile movie gigs — David Cronenberg's The Dead Zone, Alan Parker's Pink Floyd The Wall — but he was mostly doing relatively low-budget, lower-profile films like the 1981 horror-thriller Venom. Kamen started to somewhat sheepishly bring up Venom. Cooper said, "Oh yes, George Harrison and I saw that!"

I think at some level, Kamen was thinking George Harrison watches horror films?!

I like that Kamen not only got hired to score Brazil, which is one of my favorite films and favorite scores, but he also became friends with Harrison, Cooper, Gilliam, and even singer-songwriter Kate Bush: Gilliam met her at Abbey Road, and introduced her and Kamen. Kamen and Nush were friends and colleagues for the rest of Kamen's life: he finished orchestrations for her album Aerial a month before he died in 2003.


There's about to be a Cars 3. This means there was a Cars 2 and, before that, Cars. You almost certainly know about them if you have kids: the series is Pixar's best-selling merchandise line by far. The films are also fascinatingly strange, when you scratch at their surfaces and try to explain their world. They're living cars with eyes, mouths, and a need to eat. And all of this in a world that certainly looks like it was built by humans, except there are no humans. How do these cars get oil? Refine it? Do anything that requires hands? There may be logical explanations for all of this, but keep in mind, the original Cars happened because Pixar head John Lasseter likes racing, and Cars 2 — which is a spy comedy. Really — happened because Lasseter likes The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; he and the other people who work on these films want to have fun doing them.

(The detail that makes me most interested in Cars 3, frankly, is that one of its writers is Mike Rich, who wrote Finding Forrester and who also was the uncredited writer of Miracle. Not who I'd have imagined would write for Disney Pixar, but an intriguing choice.)

So in the spirit of having fun, I can picture it: one or two or five films from now, there'll be Cars in space.

We'd meet heroic rocket Glenn Mercury (or maybe Apollo Glenn!). We'd see Lightning McQueen in a somehow-fitting helmet. We'd learn that satellites are both alive and really good at holding their breath. Mater'd get space madness (too many cosmic rays, man). We'd see a car in the moon, well, really, what looks like a car, like how we see a face in the moon. Would the International Space Station be alive? I haven't worked that out yet, but I'm guessing not. (Ooh! It could be the International Race Station! Because racing! Even in space!)

Cars 9: Space Race. This could happen. Maybe with an exclamation point in the title.

I'm saving this line.

I saw that a friend had shared on Facebook a black-and-white photo that was captioned "a young Patrick Stewart, with hair!" It isn't. The picture is of the late actor Andy Whitfield, who died of cancer after what I heard was an iconic performance in the TV series Spartacus. I pointed that out, and someone who knows from and appreciates handsome men replied "...still Yowza." I like my reply:

"I like to properly credit the yowza."

A sense of place, a sense of time

In my 17th year (whoa) of living in Portland, I've noticed more and more a reaction of mine:

I wonder what parts of Portland were like in the 1980s. I saw certain, circumscribed parts of the city back then, a decade where I grew more aware of the wider world; I saw the areas my family members lived in or visited. I started to fall in love with the view from the top deck of the Fremont Bridge, heading into downtown; I remember how it looked before the new U.S. Bank building, a.k.a. "Big Pink" (really), was built in 1985 on downtown's north end. (Until then, very few tall buildings were in the north part of downtown. That's changed.) But I have a deeply incomplete image of Portland from then; and relatively few films or shows were being made in town, either, so we have little documentation of the town that way. (Old films are never a complete record of a city anyway, even in a place like New York where so many films and TV shows are shot.)

I have photos, somewhere, of what I saw: Grandpa Irv was a photographer already, I was becoming one, so those show a slice of Portland back then, but, still, just a slice, just a bit.

Memory can change those views, too. I simply don't remember all of the places I walked past or rode in cars past; I wasn't the one navigating or driving so I didn't need to know. Thinking "Okay, we had a picnic in a park" almost certainly won't help me figure out which park. I've likely often gone to or past places Eighties-Me already saw, and didn't know it, in the 17 (again, whoa) years I've been a resident.

So it's a small gift when I can tell, or at least feel, that some area still feels very Eighties. In 2009, I deliberately saw the film Watchmen at the Roseway Theater, since its neighborhood still has what feels like its Eighties look (Watchmen takes place in an alternate version of 1985, so this seemed apt). Each street I've lived on probably hasn't changed much in its look since not just the Eighties, but from even earlier; houses from the Forties, Thirties, and Twenties are along all of those roads, and many have kept their basic outside looks since being built.

Portland is in the midst of what feels like an overwhelming building boom (seemingly almost all expensive apartments argh), so I find some relief in seeing how people remember older Portland. I live near a community center with all sorts of photos of the neighborhood from past decades. That neighborhood had a streetcar line running down Foster Rd. then turning south on SE 72nd, near where I now live, with the curve onto SE Woodstock Blvd. where the track headed farther east. Also, Portland is one of those cities that too often mark places by what used to be there, which is kind of an unhelpful habit. "Yeah, that was once the Sandwich Depot, back four restaurants ago, before Tarboush and before Big-Ass Sandwiches. Now it's Big's Chicken." (We just hit the one-year anniversary of Big-Ass Sandwiches closing. I miss that place.) Seriously, sometimes we come close to saying "Turn left where the laundromat got torn down." (That's Busy Bee Cleaners, which used to be just south of SE Foster and Powell. Fr'ex.)

At some level, I'm sensing that a place obviously has history, but I don't know the details of it. And I'm craving the details. Is it my length of time here? Is it the redevelopment boom? A little of both, I'm guessing. There. It's noted.


The days went on: my weekend

It hit me (ow) that when someone I know asked me today "What did you do this weekend?," I didn't have that much of an answer. It was a weekend that felt like a lot happened, and a lot did, but most of what happened mostly didn't happen to me. So. I decided to list what did happen.

I'll start with Friday, which was a nice and comfortable day. I bussed downtown, visited Powell's, ran into my friend Mike Russell in Powell's southeast lobby, then found and bought a relatively rare, and very good and fun, Star Trek novel, John M. Ford's 1987 book How Much for Just the Planet? I'd seen the book on the shelf on a previous visit, and I felt lucky that it was still there, when I could buy it. As I had cash on me, I also went to the Alder St. food cart pod and revisited a cart I liked to go to when I worked near there in 2014-15, Huong's. I got fried rice with chicken and some shrimp, some of which I ate downtown (in Director Park) and the rest which I took home.

While I was on my way home, a few miles away from me, the attack happened. The attack that led to Saturday's memorial. And Portland's mood jolted, as people in town and people around the world tried to process that that could have happened.

Saturday, I dressed nicely, like for a weekday at an office job. That afternoon, I headed to the memorial at Hollywood Transit Center. I was part of the mass of people, there as a sign of support for the victims and survivors. I felt I should be as presentable as possible, even in as informal a city as Portland. After I'd attended, I walked for the rest of the night: down Sandy (running into another friend, Andrew Hill, who was headed to the memorial), over to Beulahland at NE 28th and Couch to eat and regroup, then home. Yes, a walk. It's a long walk, but doable: takes an hour-and-a-quarter at highest walking speed and a little longer if, like me on Saturday night, I was walking slower. I slept OK that night.

Sunday, another nice day like Friday and Saturday had been, I hung out for the midday in the coffee shop near where I live, listening to a podcast (on headphones, I'm not a jerk) and having coffee and a muffin. After a library visit, and that evening once I was home, I watched the first of the two film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm pacing myself; I haven't watched Part Two yet. I wasn't surprised that I wibbled a bit during Deathly Hallows Part One; those stories can hit me emotionally.

And then there was Monday, which went differently than I'd planned because when I boarded a bus, my TriMet bus driver converted my ticket (usually a 2 1/2-hour ticket) into an all-day ticket. LET'S USE THAT. As first planned, I headed down to the Belmont Goats and hung out, putting goats and reading, for a bit; but then, instead of heading to the store as I'd first figured, I went up to the Max and rode trains up to PDX. As I've said before, I'm someone who sometimes visits airports just to visit them. I spent a few hours there, watching people come and go, editing photos I'd taken of the goats, and looking out at the planes. Shopping happened at the Gateway Fred Meyer, since I had to get off of the Max there to change lanes anyway. Then home, then night. Then, now.

So. Things did happen. Still, feels like more did.

A memorial

This is not about Memorial Day, even though I'm posting it on Memorial Day and it's about a memorial.

On Friday on Portland's Green Line Max, a man murdered two men because they tried to stop him verbally assaulting two young women. You've heard. I considered digging up a link to coverage of the killings, but I decided I didn't want to.

The verbal assault, the attempt to deescalate the assault, and the murders all happened on Friday, as the Max train where it all took place pulled into Hollywood Transit Center in NE Portland. About 26 hours later — after the deaths, after the arrest of the attacker — people held a memorial at the transit center. I joined.

TriMet and the Portland Police closed the center to buses, which let people off near the center instead, so that as many people could fit in as possible. Hundreds of people. Maybe over a thousand. They stood in the transit center's grassy knoll, on the roads around the grass, on the steps and the ramp up to the bridge to the Max platform. Lots of people. Lots of sad, angry, hurt people, wanting to do something, even if it was simply to be there as a show of support.


Portland is hurting. We're trying to regroup.

I do not want to say much more; I fear that I risk making this somehow about me, when it's not. I'll end with this: it is good I went. It is good so many Portlanders went, and have left memorials to those we've lost, to others who've been hurt.

And I, and we, have a lot to think about.


Poem: "Unused Sky"

Unused Sky: The week after 9/11
by Christopher Walsh, 5/20/2017-5/27/2017

It took me some time to learn to look up.
My youth was full of plane-noise, mostly ignored
— I do not recall if Rancho Bernardo
Was overflown much. Did Miramar flights
Boom past that part of San Diego?
I couldn't tell you. Camarillo next,
Where planes from Point Mugu did roar over us,
But I did not watch. Planes were backgrounded.
It took until the mid-1980s
In Northern Virginia, in a new home,
For me to start to watch more planes above
As they approached the airport near to me.
This added to the flavor of my days:
What would I spot? Any of the big planes,
Maybe military, maybe Concordes?
(Smaller than you'd think, but loud, of course.)
To-and-from, in-and-out of Dulles
And National and Andrews: once I saw
A B-52 overfly my high school,
And I was quick enough to snap a photo
As it contrailed past, bound to an air show.
Likely that every plane that flies, at some
Point, is seen by someone below who looked
Up. It's the habit of enough of us.

One Tuesday, four of those planes became weapons.
Three hit targets. One didn't. And with that,
A continent-wide swath of air was cleared.

Emergency landings. Cancellations.
And for two days, almost nothing but clouds
Were above. No traffic. National Guard
Jets boomed across skies. Medical transports
Flew where needed. Otherwise, none above.
Airspace had not been that clear for decades,
Maybe not since the 1930s, or,
Perhaps, even earlier. It was a
View our 19th-century ancestors
Were used to, accepted: a given. But
A glaring, disconcerting, strange-to-see
Disruption for us. Until then, we had
Used the sky. We were not used to seeing
It be unused. On our roads, on the ground,
The usual noise went on: more car trips
And train trips, in fact, as we made up for
The missing flights that week. Places to reach:
So many of us still had those needed
Journeys. We tried to meet obligations.
We did so with a silence over us.
The air above New York and Arlington
Held pulverized landmark-remains: one breathed
What had been lost, if one were close enough.
If you were there, you saw a skyline, punched
Through, empty for the first time in decades,
A space which marked a grave where none should be.
The impacts, twice in New York, once in D.C.,
And once in Shanksville, where planes left the sky
Then crashed with noise like Earth upending, pierced
Our equilibrium. We all were jarred.
A threat we'd not expected, not really,
Implied by those skies: pain had come from there
And could, perhaps, again.
—————————————The sky is just
The sky: just there, just air, clean or unclean
To different degrees, clear or storming or
With infinite varieties of clouds,
So many possible colors that we
Are lucky enough to sometimes see, just
From looking up. But our relationship
With skies had changed: What else may come from them?
What else may then go wrong? What might we see
Up there that could cause hurt once more? What else?

It took me some time to relearn to look:
To see the sky as, once more, simply sky.
I readjusted, once past the shocks of
The week, a tough while-stunned perspective shift.
The sky, of course, had not been altered. It
Had not turned wrong in some impossible
Way: nothing intrinsic had changed at all.
The alterations for so many were
Inside, in hearts, in minds, all wounded. Then
We breathed. We healed, where possible. It was
Not easy, since life had scarred, had been hurt.
The sky gave what it would. It did its job,
Still, letting us breathe, giving sun and rain,
And making room for planes to fly as before.
I never did forget the unused skies
As we were waiting, in uncertainty,
For history, or more history, to,
Perhaps, occur. A pause, one punctuated
By days of unexpected emptiness
Of all above that we could see, as we
Adjusted to what might, what might, come next.



So the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an ad touting how important it is to buckle up anybody who rides in vehicles, and to illustrate this the ad shows people buckling up things you wouldn't expect to be buckled up like toys, but then the ad SHOWS THIS:


*twitch* *twitch* *twitch* See? I said it made me twitch.


"Star Wars." No one's still barred "Wars."

Today, Star Wars is 40. Cool. Forty years ago today, fewer than 40 theaters in the U.S. and Canada showed it, and that first day broke records. People left theaters and got right back in line to buy tickets for later shows. Creator-writer-director George Lucas was getting calls from Alan Ladd, Jr., his biggest ally at 20th Century Fox, updating the day's unreal box office returns; Lucas was careful not to get effusive ("the film has been out for five hours; I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch"), but he had right to be excited. Star Wars was special. It would dominate the year, still be in theaters a year later (this was more likely in the Seventies), and become a huge pop cultural thing.

That's not enough for some people.

The original film was revised, then really revised, because a) Lucas hadn't been able to do much of what he'd hoped to do visually in 1977 and b) Lucas had the rights and the money to do whatever he wanted to revise the film. It got retitled Episode IV: A New Hope (with those words added to the opening crawl) in 1981; it was re-released in spring 1997 as the really revised Special Edition; and each DVD release since has tweaked it further. Same with 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi.

For years there've been campaigners asking Lucasfilm and, more recently, Disney to re-release the un-revised versions of the original three films. They claim that the films must be preserved as people saw them back then and if they can't have official releases, they'll just torrent them.

Lucasfilm did re-release them. The 2006 DVD releases of the original trilogy had bonus discs of the original releases, using the laserdisc transfers with at most slight tweaks (to clean up some special effects). I bought those DVDs. Most people didn't; those DVDs didn't sell well. Would a new undoctored DVD of each film do much better now? Not really worth Lucasfilm's or Disney's time and money to find out. And my hunch: the market for an unchanged Star Wars is smaller than the campaigners want to think.

I wonder if the people who made that statement feel crusade-y about anything else, any other causes, or if this is their big issue. If the former, I can respect that; if the latter, I think they're funny. Especially since (again) THEY COULD HAVE BOUGHT THE DESPECIALIZED VERSIONS ON DVD IN 2006, and mostly didn't. They aren't championing the rediscovery of some little-seen film like my beloved The Adventures of Baron Munchausen or trying to complete Orson Welles' unfinished Don Quixote, they want a 1977 version of the biggest film of 1977. That's, um, focused.

The unique circumstances of the original Star Wars, a film that no one expected to be so big, that is soaked in the weirdness that George Lucas brought to it and which still found a blockbuster audience, that Lucas felt was incomplete at the time so he's used his rights to change it — and it's not like he literally destroyed what he cut out, the way Stanley Kubrick did with the 17 minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey he cut after the premiere — make this, I think, a strange crusade. Also, the changes, even in the original film, which was revised the most, aren't that big, especially not to the general non-geek audience. There are weird additions Lucas made (Greedo shooting first, which Lucas later changed to Greedo and Han firing simultaneously), but no Poochie, to put it one way; nothing that drastically changes the story. But people still think they're missing something. I'm amused.

Again, Lucasfilm and Disney most likely wouldn't earn enough from a despecialized re-release to make a re-release financially viable. And the torrented existence of the despecialized versions don't lose them enough money to lead them to go after torrent sites, which they could do to prove a point (I know they wouldn't be able to shut all of them down, but they could make a dent. They don't).

I like that I bought those 2006 DVDs so I can watch whichever version best fits my mood. I looked up the original ending of Return of the Jedi online today, for reference ("Yub nub!"), and I can pop in either version to watch right now. I could be a jackass and pretend Gungans are on Tatooine, but I won't.


Dream-Me knows me

A lot of my dreams are set on coasts. Almost always a western coast, like in Oregon or California: I get different coasts enough that I seem to notice when it is facing a different way. (I recall a dream where I specifically thought to myself This is a south-facing coast, like the Gulf Coast or East Africa.) It's often, seemingly, the same stretch of coast, changed by who is there and perhaps which ships are sailing by.

I revisited a particular stretch of coast in dreams last night. How did I know it was the same?

I found a stash of recycled newspaper clippings that I'd saved.

Dream-Me even recycles.



Someone I follow online is in Florida and said they had a choice to make: room service dinner or taking an Uber to a Waffle House. They did decide to go out, but I also gave my two cents:

"My logic: you can get room service anywhere, you can't get Waffle House everywhere. (I want to try Waffle House.)"

Next time I get to the American South, I can take care of that.

Clean, dammit!

This morning's frustrating dream aside, I think today for me is overall good. Feels like I finally, finally, got over the cold I've had. A sign I was better: laundry. Two loads. Including every towel I've used lately, and — probably for the first time in years — my robe.

Maybe I could've been thoroughly thorough and also washed my bedsheets, but it's too late tonight to do that.

Meanwhile, good. I no longer feel like I should be quoting my favorite line of Mina Harker's in Dracula, "Unclean! Unclean!"

I dreamed this dream so you don't have to

Oy. Involved dream last night, in fact I think a dream that I woke up from, thought about, then started dreaming again as I fell back to sleep: I was moving into a large house that had been awkwardly converted into dorms, with a very mismatched group of people of all ages moving in, too. The central hall to get to bedrooms was open to the sky, which in the coastal Pacific Northwest (where this was) is, heh, unlikely; everywhere I went in the house was a mess, with the implication that the mess was my fault, even though I HAD JUST GOTTEN THERE; I kept thinking "I need to do something about [x]" but then getting pulled away to deal with something else, so unfulfilled obligation piled up on top of unfulfilled obligation. All interrupted by a sudden house field trip to a bar, in the middle of the night, on a coast with waves reaching much higher onto the beach than expected. So I'm soaked, awkward, and uncomfortable.

Whatever my mind was trying to tell me with this dream, if anything, it was trying to tell me loudly.



There's an aspect of the phenomenon of Twin Peaks that I like to point out, and it's probably as true now, the day the revival debuts, as it was in 1990:

A lot of people who didn't "get" Twin Peaks got angry at not getting it.

It really bothered many people that, from the pilot on, the show was often off-putting and difficult. And they focused on that, finding creative decisions which they found inexplicable. "Wait, there's a barroom brawl and the band keeps playing? This ethereal music just goes on as all these people fight?!" (Actual criticism, paraphrased, from a piece the Washington Post ran.) "How can this town have a population a quarter of the size of Spokane and feel so small?" (Which happened because creators David Lynch and Mark Frost wanted the town to have about 5,000 residents, but ABC insisted on a larger town, so the show runners literally just added a number to the population in the pilot script.) And this was before the show started giving us dream sequences with dancing little people who speak intentionally awkwardly.

Me, I feel very lucky that I "got" Twin Peaks immediately. It debuted when I was a Northern Virginia high school sophomore, good at being moody and curious about the Pacific Northwest; I didn't live there, but I visited family there a lot. I had yet to see Lynch's Blue Velvet, but I had seen, and been fond of, The Elephant Man and Dune; yes, I accepted the baroque weirdness, and the willingness to be baroque and weird, of that gigantic flop. I was excited for Twin Peaks. I didn't know what to expect.

None of us did. And this Season 3, improbably happening 9,477 days after the end of Season 2, about to happen, the story we will get in this new season is so locked down that once again, we know almost nothing of what to expect. Some people will react badly to that. And thanks to the Internet, the reactions, good and bad, will be much quicker than they were in 1990-91.

This has been explained much better by Matt Zoller Seitz, who wrote "Twin Peaks is not the show we've convinced ourselves it was." He talks about why that's a good thing, and touches on the original show's unflinching, earnest look at grief. Grief is very tough to watch. I've learned that. I've grown up, had grief of my own, seen the grief of others. And grief was a part of the invented life of this small town, in the town's DNA. The entertainment of Twin Peaks is unapologetically tied to what's also tough in Twin Peaks. This, to some, will feel like Lynch and Frost messing with us. Occasionally, it might be. Lynch, especially, is willing to mess with us, to be difficult. His infamous prequel film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (made without co-creator Frost's input), is difficult and messes with us...but, under all that, lets Sheryl Lee perform ferociously as the still-alive, still-vital Laura Palmer. The film gives us the tragic figure the TV show, beginning in the aftermath of her murder, could only hint at.

What will Twin Peaks Season 3 show us, make us feel, hint at? I don't know. I'll see how I feel about the journey. Because it will be a journey. Not a journey for everyone. But I hope it is a journey I will be glad I made.