Discovering Twin Peaks 20 Years Too Late

I never watched Twin Peaks when I was a kid. I remember hearing about it, mostly because when you hear someone say “Log Lady” you don’t just ignore that, but I was 11 when it came out and I don’t think it was a show my parents would let me watch. I was probably more interested in Cheers and Mr. Belvedere, anyway.

So yeah, now it’s on Netflix Instant and Ian and I have been watching. I fell asleep about halfway through the first episode, which was two hours long, and I was drifting in and out of the second one that we watched last night. Right now we’re watching the third and so far I’m staying awake much better, although I don’t really know what the hell is going on. I suppose I should read up on the first two episodes on Wikipedia.

But honestly, the only thing that keeps going through my mind is “God damn, Lara Flynn Boyle was really, really pretty before she went and fucked up her face with all that plastic surgery.”

Bonnaroo 2011: Sunday

CHARMANDER!!!!!!

After three very full days, Emily and I decided to take it easy on Sunday. We rolled into the festival around 1 p.m. and met up with Ian and Scott to find something to eat. I could have eaten that wood-fired pizza all damn day, but instead opted for a veggie-burger served by a crabby girl in a bandana. It was still hot as balls, though, so I could sympathize.

After we ate, we settled in around Which Stage, where I thought I had read Bruce Hornsby was playing his full-band set. Apparently I had lost my ability to read in the heat of the day before, though, and we realized we were listening to Amos Lee. Not a bad singer, but Bruce Hornsby was one of the main reasons I was excited for Bonnaroo, so we made our way up to That Tent to hear his set. Scott and Ian stayed back in the shade of a large tree, along with about 500 of their closest newly made friends, while Emily and I ventured up closer so I could hear better. I was pretty bummed out that he didn’t sing Mandolin Rain or The Way It Is; maybe he had sung it the day before at his acoustic set that we left early, who knows. I texted Ian as the set almost ended threatening to punch a hippie in the nutsack if I didn’t get to hear one of those songs, but as usual I didn’t make good on my threats.

Ian and I at Robert Plant

Oh, I almost forgot: As we were heading over to hear Bruce, we walked by a tent near Which Stage that had been pissing us off the entire time because it was always full of shitty bands playing music just loud enough to disrupt our audial enjoyment of the Which Stage bands we really wanted to hear. But this time, we heard something good—a band called Neon Trees. Check them out if you’ve never heard them before. They sounded really, really good.

After The Bruce Hornsby Disappointment of 2011, we headed into the Brooer’s Festival tent so I could drink a bunch of beer in the shade while we all relaxed. Ian fell asleep for a while on our tablecloth, and Emily and I just sat around and chilled while people-watching. I left shortly to find a bathroom and ended up getting a bit lost, but made my way back just in time to wake up Ian so we could head up to What Stage for Robert Plant. Scott had disappeared at some point and wasn’t answering texts, so we did the Bonnaroo thing and said “fuck it,” heading on to the next place without him.

Emily, Ian and I spread out the tablecloth on the grass by What Stage and listened to Robert Plant for a while, sharing frozen lemonades and arepas and feeling thankful that we didn’t have to rush off to anymore far-flung stages. As much as we had enjoyed the entire Bonnaroo experience, it had been a long four days and we were dwindling.

We ended up deciding to skip Widespread Panic (I know, hippie party foul!), and got home around 9 p.m. where we promptly began taking turns jumping in the shower and washing as much of the dirt caked on us away as possible. Emily threw some clothes in the wash as we headed out to Toot’s for a quick late-night dinner, meeting up with Scott beforehand to reclaim Ian’s camping gear they’d packed in his car earlier in the day, and when we got home later promptly crashed in the bed to sleep the sleep of 1,000 sleeps. I woke up briefly Monday morning when Emily left to drive home around 9 a.m., but didn’t fully tear myself away from the bed until after 11 a.m. It was glorious. And needed.

We survived!

Also needed: About five more showers. Even with driving out every night and taking two showers a day I still felt a layer of dirt on my body and in my lungs that took another couple of days to full go away.

But it was all worth it. And I can’t wait until next year.

Bonnaroo 2011: Saturday

Wood-fired flatbread pizza
I woke up sore and a bit disoriented again Saturday morning, but about 10 to 15 minutes of stretching and yoga got me feeling back to human again, luckily. Emily and I knew that we had a long day ahead of us, so we stayed in bed a bit longer and got back into Bonnaroo around 2 p.m. We brought more ice and beer in for Ian and Scott, and again Ian met us on the path to his tent to help carry the load.

As soon as we got into Centeroo we headed for Sonic Stage to hear Bruce Hornsby’s acoustic set, but the sun was hot and there was nowhere to sit in the shade (plus, he was a bit boring, as much as I hate to say that), so we bolted. We walked over to Which Stage and heard a bit of Alison Krauss, and then grabbed some more pizzas from the woodfired pizza place we had become so fond of. After we ate, Emily, Scott and I headed up as close as we could get for the Mumford & Sons set, but the crowd was thickening and I got a bit claustrophobic so I headed back to our spot near the drum tent to sit with Ian for a while.

Ian and I eventually wandered up front to That Tent to hear Loretta Lynn, and sat down at a picnic table with a really nice couple from Nashville and a friend of the woman’s daughter. They swapped camping war-stories with Ian, laughed and congratulated me on my decision to day park, and we ended up hanging out with them for pretty much the entire show. By then Emily had wandered over to us, so we decided to hit the port-a-potties (since we were near “the good ones”) and then head up to What Stage for The Black Keys show. We lay down the tablecloth again, made friends with the people around us, and eventually Scott showed up and joined us as well.

Having heard The Black Keys at the Ryman when they were last in Nashville, we were a bit shocked and disappointed at how quiet they were on What Stage. They blew the freaking roof off of the Ryman, but we could hardly hear them sitting out on the lawn in front of the stage. Emily and I bailed about halfway through to make a trip back to the car to grab our hoodies, glowsticks and my buffalo hat in preparation for Scissor Sisters and Girl Talk later that night. It was thundering and lightning so on the way back into Centeroo we put on our disposable ponchos, and were protected from the mere minutes of light rain that came down as we walked back over to Which Stage to meet up with Ian and Scott again.

Rocking the buffalo hat at Buffalo Springfield

Back at our drum tent, the four of us sat on the ground and listened to Buffalo Springfield (I was wearing my buffalo hat for it, of course). A man came up to Emily and I with several large tubes filled with glow bracelets, and asked Emily if we’d like to help him make a chain. She agreed, and he walked away and came back shortly with a small stool and packs of glowstick connectors. He handed us various colors of glow bracelets and connectors, and when I asked how he wanted the colors put together he said that I was the creative director of the project. I decided on purple to blue to green.

Soon, a number of kids approached the man asking to buy some glow bracelets, and he began selling them at three for $5. He instructed us to hand out the glowsticks as he took the cash, and then asked us to watch the operation while he walked around a bit. A couple of guys came up and asked if they could “just have a few,” and we told them no, they weren’t ours to give away, but they could buy three for $5 when the man returned. They looked around, agitated, and asked again if they couldn’t just grab them. I replied no again, and they sighed and took off.

The man returned, took a look at our chain, and decided it was time to connect ours to his. After he did this, he wrapped the chain around his neck, and then broke off about 20 bracelets and two necklaces and handed them to Emily and I, thanking us for our help. He mumbled something about meeting back there again Sunday night, and took off.

After Neil Young finished out the Buffalo Springfield set with Rockin’ in the Free World, we got up and walked to the What Stage to see about the Eminem show. The crowd was packed in pretty tightly, and people near the back were fist-pumping and jumping and getting kind of rowdy. I noticed that Eminem was using a backing track, and wondered if that was something standard for rappers to do when performing live.

Ian and Scott were tired, and so we walked them back to their tent, Emily and I debating on whether we could make it almost three more hours before Girl Talk even came on. On one hand we had our glow necklaces and bracelets that we were excited about, but on the other hand we were tired and dirty and kind of ready to just head home. We chatted at the tent for a while, and then headed back to our car to call it a night. Unfortunately, Optimus Prime was just about deflated, so we thanked him for his days of dutiful service and tied him to the fence in a sort of balloon burial.

Emily gets Evil Twin ready for his rave Saturday night

When we got back to Murfreesboro the skies opened up and the rain washed a good amount of the dirt and grime from my car, but unfortunately Manchester didn’t receive the same gift. We were in for another dusty day on Sunday.

Bonnaroo 2011: Friday

Meatwad early in the morning on Friday
On Friday morning, I woke up and had two thoughts. The first thought was “Did I get run over by a tank last night?” and the second thought was “I wonder if Ian is alive.” He texted me as I was reaching for my phone to tell me that he’d discovered a giant Meatwad on the premises, so at least that question was answered.

I peeled myself out of the bed, grimaced at the huge blisters that had formed under my toes (right where the toes meet the ball of the foot), and then cursed my formerly beloved Columbia flip flops. Oh, sure, you were so padded and comfy for the past four years that I’ve worn you, but I decide to dance around on gravel and dirt for 12 hours and all of a sudden I might as well have been barefoot. Actually, I bet going barefoot would have yielded fewer blisters.

So I did about 10 minutes of stretching and random yoga poses and, believe it or not, I began to feel better. I totally had party voice, though, something that wouldn’t go away completely until mid Sunday.

Ian had asked Emily and I to bring a few things back in with us to his campsite Friday when we came in, so we ran over to Walgreens, Food Lion and the liquor store to gather up everything we needed for ourselves (mostly more sunscreen–SPF 110 this time, as Emily was dealing with a pretty bad sunburn from her time at the beach the week before) and for Ian and Scott. Then we re-packed our Camelbaks for the day and headed out. Two notes: 1. Camelbaks are the most amazing idea ever, and 2. While we saw several guys having to dump their Camelbaks full of water at the checkin gate, Emily and I were never asked to. Either the checkers were partial to womenfolk or we were really good at creating a diversion as soon as they got near the bladder in the back of the bags. My tactic was to point out my phone and camera in my pants pockets, causing them to stop looking in the bag and focus on what I had in my pants instead.

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.

We got to Bonnaroo a little after noon, and realized we had a shit-ton of stuff to carry over to Ian. Well, it wasn’t really that much, but it was heavy. Twenty pounds of ice, a 12-pack of beer, a fifth of vodka, a jug of spicy V-8 and a large bottle of cranberry juice. We made it about halfway in and I texted Ian to come up and meet us, because it was already a bullshit 100 degrees outside and I felt like a handicapped burro trying to lug all that shit.

Matt & Kim

Once we got all that crap toted to Ian and Scott’s campsite, we headed into Centeroo to catch the end of Matt & Kim’s set, and then I think we wandered around some more. Honestly, we did a lot of wandering around the entire time we were there. I can’t remember everything we did; various scenes from the weekend pop in and out of my brain in random, non-linear memory modules. I wanted to see the Freelance Whales acoustic set on the Sonic Stage, and I’m pretty sure the only reason Ian and Scott stayed there with us was because we found shade under a tree and I spread out the disposable vinyl tablecloth Lesley and Crystal insisted I bring with. Another lifesaving piece of advice from those gals, as I preferred not to have my ass covered in dust and dirt any more than necessary.

After Freelance Whales we wandered over to the woodfired flatbread pizza place and ate some really amazing pizza. We found a little spot in between the pizza place and a drum vendor’s tent that we ended up coming back to repeatedly. It was back away from the line of traffic but still close enough to Which Stage that we could hear the acts that played there (as long as a nearby small tent didn’t have someone screaming and playing their guitar like they were mad at it), and the later it got in the afternoon the more shade it provided. It eventually became our go-to place throughout the festival, and there were several “Meet me at the drum tent” texts sent back and forth during the remainder of the weekend.

Emily and I went to see Florence + The Machine after that, which was a GREAT show despite not being able to see anything. We’re both a little wary of trying to make it to the front of a crowd that looks like it will squeeze and swallow you whole, so we weren’t going to try to elbow anyone to get up near the front.

After the show I think we walked around a bit more, and then eventually met up with Ian and Scott for the Primus show over at Which Stage around 9 p.m.. This turned out to be the perfect Bonnaroo storm—cooler temps, a chill vibe in the crowd, paragliders showering blue glitter down on everyone below—and I lay on the vinyl tablecloth I’d spread out for all of us to share, alternating between looking up at the sky feeling peaceful and glancing around at the various hula-hooping girls feeling the beat of the music.

Me at Bonnaroo in a hammock

When Primus finished we all got up and walked around a bit more, and then headed over to Arcade Fire at What Stage. It was packed, but they had large screens up so we could mostly see what was going on. After they finished, Emily and I walked Ian and Scott back to their tent and then we headed back to the car, once again guided by our Optimus Prime helium balloon floating around in the faint yet much appreciated breeze.

As we approached the car (which was parked right by the road out that night), a parking attendant walked up to us and asked if we had any beer in the car. I apologetically told him we did not, but offered him one of our unopened Gatorade bottles from the cooler in the trunk. He thanked us profusely, and then asked me if I wanted to hit his pipe one time. I thanked him but declined, smiling to myself about what a perfectly Bonnaroo-esque day we had had.

Some deer inside the inflatable Meatwad



Some kids sitting on folding chairs inside of the inflatable Meatwad told me the deer were Meatwad’s brain. I told them they obviously have never seen an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They asked what that was. I shook my head and walked out.

As I was leaving, I heard them say, “That was weird.”

Yeah, I’m the weird one. You assholes are sitting inside a giant inflatable meatball and don’t have any idea what it means.

Bonnaroo 2011: Thursday

After we got Ian’s tent set up and all the stuff stowed away inside, we applied a shit-ton of sunscreen and headed into Centeroo. The tent-only camping area is closer than most of the car-camping areas, but it was still about a five to 10 minute walk, depending on how thick foot traffic was.

We got inside and were immediately greeted by what looked like a street fair on crack. People we everywhere, going every direction. There were food vendors in rows of these shack-like structures everywhere, and just as many beer shacks. There were other vendors selling everything. I mean, everything. Clothes, jewelry, purses, blown glass, woodworks, paintings, shoes, etc. A ton of art, which was really cool to look at.

Making tshirts

We kind of wandered around to get our bearings, figuring out what the food situation was like (verdict: Plentiful, lots of variety, great for vegetarians—hey, it’s basically a festival of hippies, right?). We wanted to see the Freelance Whales at 5:30 at That Tent, so Ian and I grabbed corn dogs (mine was a veggie corn dog, his was a jalepeño cheese corn dog) and Emily got a piece of pizza. We sat down at some picnic tables near That Tent and ate, and then listened to the Freelance Whales set. They were great, and I would have liked to have seen them up close but I was still adjusting to the heat (I swear to god it was in the mid to high 90s every freaking day there with NO rain) and didn’t have the energy to try to snake my way up through all those people.

After that we ran into these two guys from New York who were headed to the sports bar to watch the NBA game, so Ian headed off with them while Emily and I walked around some more. After I had to wait 45 minutes in line to pee, we decided it was probably time to call it a day, especially since there wasn’t really anyone else we wanted to see that night.

There was a ridiculous amount of food at Bonnaroo. A huge variety. And so many vegetarian options.

Scott was supposed to text around 8 or 9 when he got into the festival, except nobody had heard from him and he wasn’t answering his phone. Emily and I met up with Ian outside the sports bar and walked back to the tent with him, and finally decided we couldn’t wait any longer.

So Emily and I headed back out to day parking, which was about a 20 to 30 minute walk, despite being parked on the very front row that day. It was FAR. Still way better than camping in the direct sun for four days, though, don’t get me wrong.

We got home a little before midnight, and immediately jumped in the showers (another time I have been thankful for having two full bathrooms) to wash as much of the grime off as we could. I had worn my comfiest pair of Columbia flip-flops that day, but damn had they failed me. I have two huge blisters on my feet where my toes meet the ball of my feet.

Scott ended up calling me right as I was going to bed, so I tried my best to describe where Ian’s tent was and then suggested he get Ian to meet him somewhere.

I fell asleep exhausted but excited for Friday. If anything because we wouldn’t have to lug all of that stuff into the camping area again.

Bonnaroo 2011: Getting there

More graffiti

My sister Emily drove down from Chicago to attend Bonnaroo with Ian & I, and we were going to day-park so we could drive out every night and back in each day. I love camping, but I do not love camping with no tree coverage in 90-degree heat with a bunch of smelly hippies and no showers for four days. Ian, however, planned on camping with our friend Scott, who was going to meet us up there later on Thursday night.

The plan was we’d get to day parking and then haul all of Ian’s camping gear up to the camping-only area at Bonnaroo, which is much closer to Centeroo than the car camping.

We left the house about noon on Thursday to head down to Manchester, which is about 30 miles down I-24 E from our house in South Murfreesboro. It took about 25 minutes to get to exit 111, which is the exit Bonnaroo’s website indicated day-parkers had to use.

Except when we got there, it was closed. A state trooper waved us on, offering no explanation. Um, ok.

Luckily my friend Crystal knows how to get anywhere from anywhere, and had emailed me backroad directions the night before. So we drove up to exit 114, the exit everyone else was supposed to take, and followed her directions from there. (It was interesting that there were no police or signs directing people from there. Wonder how many people got lost.)

When we got close, a Coffee County sheriff was directing traffic in two directions. I asked him which way to day parking, and he waved me left. I had a bad feeling he wasn’t sure and was just waving me wherever, and eventually that feeling proved validated. He had routed us around to the back gate, and to get through to day parking we had to drive almost 30 minutes through the festival grounds — through throngs of mindless, slow-walking assholes who didn’t care that a car was behind them. One guy didn’t notice me and stepped left right into my car. All I heard was a loud thud and OH FUCK I’M SORRY!! A few minutes later my side mirror scraped a bathing-suit clad girl’s ass. I made it through without killing or honking at anyone, but I should probably check to see if that one guy left a dent.

After we found day parking, we lathered up with sunscreen (SPF 55, topped with an SPF 30 spray), tied our Optimus Prime helium balloon to the car for easy locating later (thank you Lesley for that amazing tip!), gathered up Ian’s stuff and our day packs… And promptly realized the stoners at the entrance never gave us the map we were supposed to get. And nobody knew where camping only was.

But my Twitter friend Paige (@apboze) and I had chatted the day before, and her friends in camping only were trying to save Ian a spot, so I texted her to find out where we needed to head. She routed us in the right direction, and we were on our way.

And holy shit, it was a hike. Ian had his backpacking pack on that weighed about 50 pounds, but the most difficult item was the cooler. It was wheeled, but it was heavy and awkward. Jesus Christ I thought the three of us were going to kill each other as we drug ourselves and all our crap up the hill and finally over to camping only. Paige’s friends had tried to save us space but some other campers had horned in on it, but luckily we found some room not too far down. Some nice folks lent Ian a mallet to hammer in the tent stakes, and then again came through with a battery-operated air mattress inflator. We repaid them in beer, and I promised to bring the girl in their group some vodka the next day.

After we got all Ian’s stuff inside the tent and locked it up (hippies are nice but luggage locks are nicer), we headed out for Centeroo to officially begin our Bonnaroo experience.

Maybe The Universe is trying to ready me for Bonnaroo

When I got into work today, I was greeted in the hallway by what I first thought was some kind of evil spider from hell on steroids. Turns out it was something called a Cave Cricket, and a co-worker kindly deposited it outside as I tried not to squeal and make myself more of a feminine stereotype.

Then, while waiting in line for lunch at The Grilled Cheeserie, a cicada flew into my hair. I pulled it out and threw it on the ground, noticing that only about half of it was intact. I have no idea where the rest of it went, and my co-worker who was waiting in line with me searched my hair for any remains but came up empty.

Strange day with the bugs around here.