Oh, gosh. Once again I've let months go by without posting anything here. My own personal life has been reasonably quiet, marred mainly by the rather horrible death of my dog Missy. I won't go into the details but she did not go gently into that good night. I'm glad I was home when it happened, but I also never want to go through that again with a pet.
Two of my best friends, who happen to be roommates, were both diagnosed with cancer one month apart from each other. Both had surgery, and both are now recovering and getting on with their lives. One will have to undergo quarterly followup exams for the next five years. Life. What can you say? Some times it sucks, but it beats the alternative.
For the last few months, I have been utterly obsessed with 'Twin Peaks: the Return,' on Showtime. I had a love/hate relationship with the original series, which I watched with equally fervent obsession each week back in 1990-91. My friends and I were the kind of original series fans you hear about now: holding weekly viewing parties replete with coffee, donuts, and pie, dressing up like the characters (I wrapped myself in plastic wrap one week and made up my face with Laura Palmer's dead white skin and bluish lips, and naturally was also the Log Lady one week,too), and then spending the week chatting about all the weird clues while we waited for the next episode to air. I LOVED the first season of the show. My love for the show crashed and burned halfway through season two. After the network forced the producers to solve the Laura Palmer murder, the show went to complete and utter hell IMO, and only returned to its previous bizarre glory when David Lynch stepped back in for the last couple of episodes. Then I was like, Glory Days! The show is back! But no, the show was cancelled and it ended on the worst of all possible cliffhangers. I was so furious that I couldn't think clearly about the show at all, no kidding. Normally, I don't mind cliffhangers because most tv writing is so predictable that I almost know what's going to happen next. Not so with a David Lynch cliffhanger. Ugh. 25+ years later, David Lynch picked up the story where it left off and delivered an 18 hour S3 sequel that was so gloriously good that just thinking about it makes me want to skip around the room. I give it a 99/100 (taking off 1 point for the Audrey Horne scenes with annoyed the living bejesus out of me). Don't know if there will ever be a Season 4 but that's okay because the godawful cliffhanger ending of Season 2 was finally resolved.
Right now, all out of the blue I find myself quite enthusiastic about Harry Potter fandom again and it's all because I finally saw the movie, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'. I missed the theatrical release because it hit theaters at a point when my life was just too upside down for me to go out and see movies. I really loved the original Harry Potter books (and to a lesser degree the films), but always, always was more interested in the adult characters than the kids - which is awkward when dealing with a story series about kids. This movie series (I understand there will be five) not only features adult characters, it is set in one of my favorite historical eras, the 1920s-1940s. So, a parallel magical world, cool creatures, the ramp up to WWII, and a much more interesting villain (Grindelwald is vastly more complex and interesting to me than Voldemort ever was, IMO), and it all adds up to great fun. I'm looking forward to the sequel next year.
Speaking of grown-up versions of kids' stories, I enthusiastically recommend Ysabeau Wilce's short story collection, "Prophecies Libels & Dreams: Stories of Califa." The writing is electric, lush, and sparklingly witty. Califa is a sort of steampunk, magical AU version of California where Western magic and native American and Aztec-inspired magic coexist with history and technology that is similar to the real world. I'd heard great things about Wilce's YA series set in the same world (the Flora Segunda series), but for the longest time, the Harry Potter series (of all things) burned me out on reading YA stories for years. "Prophecies Libels & Dreams" was such a delight to read that I plan to get the Flora series now and read them too.