X Files – my first fandom

So, apparently today is the 20th Anniversary of the premiere of X-Files. Which means I have many feels. And apart from feeling old, I’m feeling nostalgic because this show was really my first fandom.

Technically, I shouldn’t really celebrate MY anniversary of the show until April 22 of 2014 because the first episode I ever saw was “Tooms“. I remember it well. I was home with my little brother, babysitting while my parents were out running errands or some such. We were both enjoying The Adventure of Brisco County Jr and we knew that the show after it was supposed to be really scary. Vincent was sitting next to me as the credits rolled for Brisco and we both made an unspoken agreement to see what the scary show was like. I remember sitting on the couch, both of us sorta bracing ourselves. The show appeared to be starting…the little FOX logo had popped up in the corner. It was really dark…I pressed the volume button up a few notches but didn’t really hear anything…it appeared to be some kind of hallway, maybe a prison…volume up a little more…then SCARY EYES!!!!!!!!!! And, BLARING OUT OF THE SPEAKERS CAME:

I screamed, pressed the volume button down as quickly as I could…but it was too late. I was hooked.

I spent the rest of the summer, tuning in every Friday night. I learned how to program the VHS player to record episodes when I wasn’t home and soon mastered the art of recording on SLP mode, editing out commercials, getting 7 episdoes on a 6 hour VHS. I even transferred the Pilot and E.B.E. to cassette and listened to them on my walkman while sitting in the backyard and with my walkman on the school bus in the morning and they were soon committed to memory.

Yeah, I was hardcore.

Soon, I was on the Prodigy message boards, reading tame fanfic (like reworkings of the Cinderella story with Scully as the heroine) and finding early filk lyrics. I had a poster of David Duchovny on the wall and I printed out DDEB (David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade) cards to carry in my tween wallet. I even wrote a script, my own fanfic, which I passed around to my 8th grade class, getting feedback. Everyone knew it was my show, they knew trying to contact me on a Friday after 9pm was hopeless. I signed up for an unofficial fan club when the show was truly just a cult show, getting a photocopied ‘zine sent to my house every few months (whenever the person in charge had time to get it all together).

I wrote fan mail to the actors and got my first autograph + photo back. Not sure if pen ever actually met paper, but it was a big step for me. Later on I wrote a letter to the composer, Mark Snow, asking him about how one would play the song on a flute (my high school instrument) and he actually sent me back some sheet music, which he autographed for me. My fangirl heart new the rush of getting that personalized autograph – life would never be the same!

X Files fan mail Autographed X-Files sheet music

And should I even mention the story where I managed to track down the copy of Playgirl that had the interview with David Duchovny? I’m sure the person I was talking with on the online forum didn’t realize how young I was, but I needed that magazine. When it arrived for me (thank god my Mom didn’t go through my mail, not sure what would have happened then!) I was SO EMBARRASSED, I closed my eyes, ripped out the pages I needed and GLUED THEM TO CONSTRUCTION PAPER! I didn’t want to see the random naked men, I just wanted to read about Dreamy David.

LOL'd when I found this

Like all good fandoms, it helped me make new friend, particularly bittertwee. She was already a family friend, but the show made the two of us become life long pals and to this day we still bitch about the show and then wax nostalgic about the characters and plots. And, yes, we even went to see the second movie, which was laughably bad but at least we were together.

Yes, eventually X-Files let me down. Carter never seemed to have a plan for where it was all going and the explanation of the conspiracy never came. He promised that all the questions would be answered in the movie but instead decided to drag the show out until Duchovny left and even dared to continue after Anderson was done with her role. MISTAKE!

I had left long before that, the episode with the “Butt Genie” pushed me over the edge and soon I found myself in the comforting arms of Joss Whedon and that long term relationship. But X-Files will always be my first. I look back on it with mixed emotions. I’m always surprised when I see younger users on tumblr reblogging posts, but I guess Mulder/Scully was the original ‘ship (even though I NEVER shipped them. never EVER). I’m still a little bitter about it all – when you devote that much time to a fandom, it’s hard not to feel hurt when it ends poorly. But it was one of the first. It was the first show to really deal with The Internet and probably the most involved I have ever been with a single fandom.

Happy Anniversary X-Files.

I want to believe.

Trust No One.

Believe the Lie.

This is all your fault.

coming soon – books!

So there was a quiet night on the desk a few weeks ago and I started browsing my GoodReads to-read list and I had this “cunning plan”:

1. There are a lot of books on my list.
2. I read graphic novels faster than I read regular books
3. If I order all the graphic novels and read them, my to-read list number will drop a lot!

This lead to me placing holds on a LOT of items. And last week this happened:

This is why I should not browse my Goodreads list on quiet nights at work #books #bookshelfie #library @aacpl

Bad part is that I still need to finish Book of Blood and Shadow for Books for the Beast next month. I was doing so well, I’ve read everything else on my list, but this book has been a wall for me. Just isn’t pulling me in. I tried the audiobook last week and the reader’s voice did not do it for me plus she was reading too slowly. I’ve hit skimming mode with this book now, which seems unfair to it but it’s either that or nothing.

Comic books/graphic novels are like the cookies of the reading world…some of them are just Chips Ahoy, others are gourmet, over-sized cookies you get at a local bakery, but either way I’m usually snacking on them and ignoring my “novel” meals.

Or something…that metaphor worked a lot better before I started typing it out.

Maybe I should stop blogging and go read SOMETHING!

movie thoughts: Mud (2013)

mud poster

In a recent post, I talked about how there are movies that we love from our childhood that were probably not meant for children. Yet somehow we saw them, and some part of that film clicked with us, and we ended up watching it again and again. I’m thinking of films like Stand By Me or Say Anything – stories that managed to touch upon some part of us that made an impression and now, as adults, we go back to them and appreciate them on a whole different level.

That is the kind of movie “Mud” is going to be.

Yes, the posters show a scruffy Matthew McConaugheym as the titular character Mud, looking dirty, reaching for the pistol in his back pocket. But this is pretty misleading because Mud is not who this movie is about. It is about a 14-year old boy named Ellis and his coming-of-age story. It is at once a very simple film and a very complex movie. At it’s very core, it is a movie about love – from the love of a parent to your best childhood friend; from the first love of a teenager to the unrequited love of adults. It’s about knowing when to hold on and when to let go.

Ellis lives in Arkansas on a house that is more of a mobile home, except for the part where it’s floating on the river. His best friend, “Neckbone” and him like to go off and explore the river. They discover what they think is an abandoned island with a forgotten boat stuck up in a tree. But instead of finding an awesome treehouse, they find the mysterious Mud.

I don’t want to say anymore. I loved watching this movie, not knowing exactly what it was. But it is worth it.

I know not many people saw the movie in the theater. It was a hard film to advertise. But I feel like there is a group of 14 year old out there right now, stumbling upon this movie in Redbox, and they are going to have that moment where they identify so much with Ellis and his growing pains, even though they don’t quite get it yet. Even if the adult relationships in the movie don’t quite make sense.

And if you’re an adult getting ready to watch this movie, you will not be disappointed. But be ready for the emotions as you begin to remember that time in your youth, when you thought love was so simple and easily defined…and then the day when you understood that love and life were far too complex to ever be understood.