Chillin’ with Chilla.

One reason I needed to take a powder back in June was the opportunity to do some promo work with Chiller.

If you don’t know, Chiller is an all-horror channel, and I’d already fallen in love with it – mainly because it was the only place to see Tales from the Darkside on television. I had my heart set on spending the summer as an extremely unsuccessful webmaster, but I couldn’t pass up this chance.

It was a blast. The Chiller team was great, and I got to work with a bunch of movies that I became a fast fan of. (If I had to pick two, I especially liked The House of the Devil and Fragile.) Better still, I got to work with some of my old favorites, like Sleepaway Camp 2.

But let’s get back to Tales for a second. I grab every episode of it on my DVR, and watch them regularly. There are plenty of great ones, but even the worst of them are bizarre in a way that’s worth watching.

I’ve mentioned this series plenty of times before. It seems weird to say considering what the show is about, but nothing turns me into a tween again quite like Tales from the Darkside. As a lonely kid looking for any way to make those late night Saturdays more exciting, there it was, on the crappy old TV in my bedroom, ready to make me afraid of the dark, the windows, and the even the faintest foreign sound.  At least for the sheltered, this was sheer exhilaration.

If I recall correctly, Tales would lead straight into Star Trek: The Next Generation – a much needed respite from whatever terror I’d just endured. So long as it wasn’t the episode where Tasha Yar got eaten by black sludge.

During the more recent Tales recordings on my DVR, I was thrilled to see some of the promos I worked on.  It was a quiet, silly, come-full-circle moment for me. Like, I pictured going back in time with a fake mustache. I’d tell the kid version of me that in twenty years, I’ll have some extremely loose connection to that weird show I was always watching. The kid version of me would scream and run away, because strangers with mustaches were never not evil. But I still like the daydream.

The promo badly photographed above was for Chiller’s Summer Camp Week, a movie marathon leading up to last night’s double-shot of Troll 2 and Best Worst Movie, which I also had the chance to do some stuff for.

Most of the Troll 2 cast was Tweeting like mad, and I was so proud when George Hardy – the dad – Tweeted in response to one of the spots I contributed to.

This might seem like a humblebrag or worse, but I’m so thankful for little moments like this, tied to my “real” job. If you’ve been reading me for a long time, you’ve surely heard me joke about going from a big deal on the Internet to a virtual unknown. Many years ago, there was a fork in the road, and I picked the direction that any sane person would. I’ve never regretted it, because if I spent my entire adult life being nothing other than a guy who makes weird websites, I’d be even crazier than I am.

Still, when I’m here, as I am now, I can’t help but wonder what might’ve happened if I’d just stayed the course and saw it all through, back when I still had momentum and youth on my side. Seeing my “real” work on reruns of Tales from the Darkside, and having the dad from Troll 2 “lol” at something I wrote, replaces some of those doubts with gratefulness. I’ve been lucky.

This isn’t a post that will get a lot of comments or “reach,” nor is it designed to be one. In fact, as soon as I publish this, I’m going to work on another entry, which will bury this one in record time. I guess the point of this was to remind myself that even if they’re oddball reasons, I’m glad I have something to tell me that the choices I made were the right ones.

Some of them, anyway.