Twin Peaks: Life Is Not a Problem to Be Solved, But a Mystery to Be Lived

SPOILER-FREE!

[Editor’s note: I have a guest blogger today, and it’s my husband, Scott Allie, editor of such comics as Hellboy, Fight Club 2, and Umbrella Academy. He loves Twin Peaks and David Lynch with a mad, passionate fervor, and Episode 8 of the revival spurred him to write about art, storytelling, and his old friend the One Armed Man. Enjoy!]

Last night I went to bed with a feeling (and today woke up with that feeling) I’ve had just a handful of times in my life, where I lost track of the line between myself and an experience of art. The first time was when I saw Eraserhead, an experience Mike Mignola has likened to having the flu. I felt it more strongly after I watched the pilot for Twin Peaks in 1990, staring for hours at a bright patch on my dorm room ceiling from a streetlight below. I haven’t only felt this with Lynch’s work. Eyes Wide Shut did it to me. Books by Chuck Palahniuk and Patrick McGrath have done it. I hate to admit that no comic has done it, but it’s the truth, as much as some of them have gotten under my skin. If anything could, it would be Hellboy, if I could experience it more from the outside.

But nothing has affected me as deeply as the first time I saw Lost Highway. The night turned into one of the weirdest in my life, and there are no shortage of weird nights . . . I was disoriented, couldn’t communicate well. The NIN song from the film, “You Are the Perfect Drug,” could’ve referred to the film itself. After freaking out my sister, who I was living with at the time, I went to my neighborhood bar, former Mayor Bud Clark’s Goose Hollow Inn, to find my friends—who immediately shut down any conversation about the movie, which they were going to see in the morning. (I ended up joining them, then seeing it a third time before the next weekend.)

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Me and Al Strobel, Twin Peaks‘s One Armed Man. The moment this picture was taken, I was telling him my grandfather died.

I went to the bar for a pitcher. We all knew everyone in the place in those days, so while I waited for the server, the old guy drinking alone at the bar greeted me. I told him I’d seen Lost Highway and felt unhinged. He said, “Well, David likes to fuck with you,” at which point I remembered this particular barfly was Al Strobel, the One Armed Man from Twin Peaks. Al was there at the Goose most nights in the mid nineties. I’d fanned out about the show a couple years earlier, and had frankly sort of forgotten.

That night Al told me, “David’s a painter.” At the time I didn’t realize that it was more than a metaphor. He said Lynch isn’t necessarily telling a story, but putting something in front of you so you can look at it and experience it, and accept whatever it makes you feel.

A motto I’ve heard lately that I try to live by is that “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” Art definitely isn’t a problem to be solved. In college, my best friend told me “Perfect art should kill the spectator,” and I’ve always thought he was on to something. When last night’s episode of Twin Peaks, Episode 8, was over, I told my 12-year-old son, Sid (that’s right), “You just saw the strangest hour of television there’s ever been.” A dozen smarter critics than me have said that this morning, and I don’t think of it as a debatable point. I would argue that it was also the greatest hour of TV.

In the early 1990s, Twin Peaks inspired some imitation, but the more lasting impact was the permission it gave talented storytellers to open up the television medium. I like to think cable television will go through another bizarre evolution in the next couple years, taking big chances. I hope the auteurs of this so-called Golden Age of Television get the message: “Trust the audience. Go even farther.” Maybe comics, and even the movies, can do it too.

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GeekCraft Expo PDX 2017

Happy Monday! Thor Stuff, Twin Peaks & 10-Item Wardrobe

GeekCraft Expo PDX 2017Happy Monday, folks! Hope you’re having a wonderful start to the summer. I’m using this little lull to catch up on my blogging, woo!

Local Happenings

GeekCraft Expo PDX concluded June 11 and–whew–I was tired afterward. It was a great show. Our exhibitors are so great. Not only are they insanely talented and obsessed with all things geek, but they’re genuinely nice people! You can find all of our Portland exhibitors here. Up next: the GeekCraft Expo Seattle Holiday Market November 25-26!

It seems like as soon as I slow down a little, something else pops up that I cannot resist! I’ve just started working with Pairings, which bills itself as “Portland’s Weirdest Wine Shop and Bar,” and they are amazing. I went to their “Salmon 5 Ways with Rosé All Day” event right before Mother’s Day with my co-parent, Myndi (she discovered the place), and I had such a great time! Pairings focuses on making wine fun and accessible, so they pair wines to adjectives and personality traits–which means they have wines paired to Harry Potter characters, female superheroes, astrological signs, and more! Next they’re pairing eight wines to eight characters from Animal House. June 22-25, $25!

Geekery

Did you know that I am now nerd famous? It is TRUE. Well. Kinda. Anyway, the latest episode of my podcast with Miles Stokes, Thor: The Lightning and the Storm, is up! We’re going through Walter Simonson’s epic 1980s run on The Mighty Thor, and we’ve finally reached one of the most hard-hitting, metal moments in all of comics: the Executioner’s Last Stand!

I’m also recording a guest spot on Titan up the Defense, another local podcast I enjoy immensely. Brothers Hub and Cory alternate reading (and discussing) New Teen Titans and Defenders. I have a ginormous soft spot for New Teen Titans (thanks to my cousin Bryan’s collection), so I’m psyched to join in. Plus! They allow drinking during podcasting! Miles would never. Ha!

Finally, I’ve been invited to guest on Comic Book Cover Story, a podcast that features my good friend (and former TFAW co-worker) Sean Wynn and Kurt Loyd!

Fashion

With summer right around the corner, I need to spruce up my Spring/Summer 10-Item Wardrobe, so I’m going through my current clothes and shopping with my mom later this week. Get ready for a post next week, and maybe a prep post this week!

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is in a category by itself, because really . . . where would you put it? I just have to say episode 7 was intense. I admit I was kind of wavering about where it was going. I actually love “Dougie Jones,” but it’s super frustrating how no one will take him to a doctor! I mean, a man supposedly shows up one day with new hair and wardrobe, 20 pounds lighter, and can barely string one word together? Come on. But I love it. I love every moment (almost). I sit with my eyes as wide as possible, in silence, absorbing every second.

Confused? You really should have been prepared for that. But Laura Hudson’s wonderfully written Twin Peaks recaps may help.

That’s it for now! Man, I’m just glad I got to blog today. Do you have any Twin Peaks theories? Wardrobe hints? Other podcasts to check out? Put them in the comments!

Happy Wednesday! Thor Podcasts, Sexy Party Fashion & GeekCraft Expo

Thor350covercrop.jpgHappy Wednesday! I hope you’re all enjoying your spring–the hot weather finally arrived in Portland this week, and . . . we put up all the AC units in our bedrooms. I was not cut out for 90-degree weather.

I’ve been super busy with geeky projects and the kids–here’s what I’ve been up to!

Geekery

As I mentioned the last time I wrote, I’ve started up a new Thor podcast, THOR: The Lightning and the Storm, with my friend Miles Stokes from Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men! We’re doing 13 episodes exploring Walter Simonson’s epic 1980s run on The Mighty Thor, and it’s been a lot of fun–and a lot of work! We’re covering three or four comics each episode, and our outlines are about 10 pages long. Plus we drive to Beaverton to record. This is serious stuff!

If you’re geeky–or you want to brush up on your classic Thor history before Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters, subscribe! We also have a special “zero issue” episode available for everyone who donates $5 or more to our IndieGogo campaign!

GeekCraft Expo PDX Nerd Wood

Wooden art by Nerd Wood Designs!

In other geeky news, GeekCraft Expo PDX returns to the DoubleTree Portland June 10 and 11 and ohmygosh that’s soon. We’re also throwing an epic kickoff party June 9 at Bridge City Comics with free beer (for those 21+) from Hop Valley Brewing, and prizes from Bridge City, Centerplate, Guardian Games, Ground Kontrol, Espionage Cosmetics, SCRAP PDX, and our exhibitors!

Fashion

I’m still going through my spring/summer wardrobe and need to pick up a few things for this season’s 10-Item Wardrobe, but in the meantime . . . I needed a party outfit. And I realized I was having kind of an identity crisis, now that I am post-40 and post-baby.

In my 20s and 30s, my party style was tight. Literally. And short. Let’s say there were a lot of American Apparel dresses and not a lot of underwear.

But! American Apparel is no more, and I’ve shifted into classic, preppy wardrobe mode in recent years. And while this works really well for my everyday life, it made me feel like I was dressed for church when I went out for karaoke. If I have a babysitter and I’m out having fun and drinking adult beverages, I want to be sexy, dammit! But maybe not in a miniskirt.

Fortunately, inspiration arrived for me at the library, when Ines de la Fressange’s new book, Parisian Chic Look Book, finally came in. This was a fun one–first, the cover is metallic gold, and it’s filled with fun, classic looks with names like, “Date Night,” “Meeting Your Boyfriend’s Parents,” “Going to Court for Your Divorce,” etc. The “My Ex Has Invited Me to Dinner” look was exactly what I was looking for: a pencil skirt, a camisole, and a cozy jacket. Cute, sexy, comfy–I was sold.

My budget isn’t immense, however, so I promptly took myself to H&M. This is what I found: a sequined mesh camisole top, a black jersey pencil skirt, and a burgundy sweatshirt. Paired with some sandals, fancy makeup, and my garnet necklace, I felt I looked glamorous but not like I was trying too hard–or trying to look 25!

Twin Peaks

Finally: Twin Peaks is back! This created a lot of excitement in my house, especially for my husband (he loves David Lynch more than anyone I’ve ever known). We binged the first four episodes Sunday night, and I’m . . . intrigued. And frustrated. And wondering when we’ll see Audrey. But I knew from the beginning that this wouldn’t be a “reunion show”–this isn’t a Northern Exposure revival (although really, I would enjoy that as well).

Twin Peaks The Return

Here’s an article about the parallels between Twin Peaks and Gilmore Girls.

We did a Twin Peaks brunch (it happened again)! I’ll do a post later, but in the meantime, here’s a link to our Twin Peaks dinner party, in case you want themed eats and drinks when Episode 5 arrives June 4.

That’s it for now! I’m looking forward to blogging more after GeekCraft Expo is over–I still need to watch the new Netflix Anne of Green Gables show, and I am certain I will have many things to say. Plus, updates on my darling children (sorry Sid) and my Spring/Summer 10-Item Wardrobe. See you soon!

Enchanted Forest

Happy Monday! April 25th Is the Perfect Date

Enchanted Forest

This witch straight-up terrified me as a child. The Enchanted Forest! Photo from PDXFamilyAdventures.com.

Happy Monday! Sarah took an early nap and I’m caught up/between freelance tasks, so I can actually blog today. I know, it’s so exciting! It’s frustrating, because I have so many things I’d like to be writing about, but my free time is shrinking more and more. But enough whining. Did you know that April 25th is the perfect date?

Links!

Prince

Prince gets his own section, because Prince. The legendary musician died last Thursday at age 57, and the world lost a truly talented, amazing individual. Again. There are a lot of lovely tributes online, but I prefer to post the video of Prince kicking Kim Kardashian off the stage. Not because I have anything in particular against her, but come on–if Prince asks you to dance? You dance.

But seriously–check out the video of Prince covering Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella eight years ago for a good ugly cry. It’s beautiful. Also, I went to karaoke with friends at the Ambassador this weekend and the songs were 85% Prince, and we have some very enthusiastic–and talented–local singers.

Whoa. Did you click the Ambassador link above? I had no idea their website was so . . . something. Wow.

Comics, Entertainment, General Nerdery

The official full cast list of the new Twin Peaks is here! Quick thoughts: I’m intrigued by Alicia Witt returning (as Donna Hayward’s little sister, a bit part in the original), and thrilled that David Duchovny’s Denise will appear! Also . . . Eddie Vedder? Uh, okay.

Also, the shortlist for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics is up on The Beat.

In local Portland nerdery, now’s your chance to suggest a panel for the 2016 Rose City Comic ConYou have the power!

Also, my crafty geeks: make sure turn in your application for GeekCraft Expo PDX by 4/30: this Saturday! Dooooo it.

In “How did I not already know this?” news, J. Rachel Edidin opened my eyes to the fact that Oregon’s weird/cool/creepy/amazeballs theme park, the Enchanted Forest, is open on weekends this month. I will be writing more on this subject soon!

While speaking of J. Rachel Edidin, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the latest episode of Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men is live, and it covers the debut of Inferno and the X-Terminators, and I must listen right now.

But first, one more video! If I had enough hair, I would try this braided chignon tutorial by Jennifer L. Scott:

So I bid you a fond farewell–for now! How did you honor Prince this past weekend, dear readers? Do you have any comics to recommend? Post below!

Top 5 (Okay 6) Posts for 2015

2015FebSLiving

My top-clicked image of 2015! Okay, weird.

In my previous life at TFAW, I was a sucker for analytics. I could get sucked down the rabbit hole of Google Analytics and make all kinds of pretty charts! So when I realized I’ve been blogging long enough to see a whole year of data, I thought I’d dig into my top five posts for 2015.

But Elisabeth, you say, there are six posts here! That’s because one of my top posts was an anomaly (you’ll see why), so I’m kind of not counting it. But it was interesting to see what people actually read and found on my blog–and I was surprised by what popped up!

#6: Fire Walk With Us: Twin Peaks Dinner Party

This was a fun one–and it reminds me, I never wrote a post for our follow-up, our Twin Peaks Brunch! Putting it on the editorial calendar now, especially with the new Showtime series coming up in 2017.

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My second-most clicked image of 2015! Classic X-Men #33, page by Ann Nocenti and John Bolton.

#5: Why Jessica Jones Is the Hero We Need

This post was really close to my heart–I love the Alias comics, and I was really excited to watch Jessica Jones (I’ve seen it all now!). I really wanted to articulate something I needed to hear when I was younger–that it’s okay to fail–and I’m glad it resonated with a lot of you as well.

Real Lilly Pulitzer

My third-most clicked image of 2015! Image from Lilly Pulitzer.

#4: The Myth of the Desperate Woman: Go Get What You Want, Ladies

Another soul-searching, gut-wrenching post! Thanks for not leaving me hanging, guys. It was triggered by my favorite ex-boyfriend getting married. I was super happy for him and his wife, but I admit, it brought me back to the end of our relationship, when we split up . . . in part because he didn’t want to get married.

#3: Thanksgiving Pre-Prep: Your Secret Weapon to Less-Stressful Entertaining

Ha ha ha ha! Listen. This is a really good post–if you’re into entertaining. But the reason so many people read this article is because Gerard Way, a friend who’s a musician and comic book writer, retweeted this on Twitter and he has many, many thousands of followers who probably thought he was doing his grandmother a solid.

#2: Make Your Own Lilly Pulitzer Dress

I wrote this post on a lark after the Lilly Pulitzer for Target collection sold out so quickly. I became obsessed with the idea of finding a sewing pattern and fabric so I could (hypothetically) make my own. This post gets a lot of organic traffic, so there must be a lot of would-be sewers out there. I think this is just the excuse I needed to make one this spring–I’ll document it here, dear readers.

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My fourth-most clicked image of 2015. Page from Classic X-Men #33 (aka Uncanny X-Men #127) by Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Terry Austin, and Glynis Oliver.

Target Lilly Pulitzer

My fifth-most clicked image of 2015. Image by Target. You all like dresses!

#1: 10 Days, 10-Item Wardrobe: The First Five Days

Wow! So my top two posts this year were . . . fashion? This got a lot of play because it was featured on Jennifer L. Scott’s Daily Connoisseur blog. I got the 10-item wardrobe concept from her books, so I’ll take the plug! This reminds me that I need to write a winter 10-item wardrobe post–I’ve been waiting until after Christmas and my birthday (next week) to collect a few final pieces. Most of my clothes hit the two-to-three-year mark this winter and needed to be replaced, but I’m almost there. Maybe next week?

So enough about me . . . what do you think about me? Heh. Seriously, if there’s more types of things you’d like to read about, give me a holler!

Twin Peaks Dinner Party

Happy Monday*! Clown Motels, Donut Bread Pudding, #SCOIP & More

Donut Bread Pudding with chocolate sauce. Serve it warm topped with vanilla ice cream and life your best life. Oprah approves.

Happy Monday*! I’m writing this post now because I had a rough night with Sarah. She’s been sleeping through the night for the past four-plus months (yes, I’m spoiled), but with her top two teeth coming in, she’s been waking up in the middle of the night crying–she didn’t get back to sleep for two hours last night, so she slept in, and so she missed her morning nap (Mommy Writing Time), and so here we are. Wow, that was a fascinating story. Next: would you like to see the 5,000 pictures of my kids that I took in the past two days?

*This was then bumped to Tuesday after I got sidetracked by sewing questions and started researching ribbed trim. I am a laugh a minute!

Moving right along:

Clown Motel

This gets its own subheading because it is one of the coolest projects I have ever seen. Let me explain: No, there is too much. Let me sum up–my friend and comic book writer Christopher Sebela (We(lcome Back, High Crimes) created a Kickstarter to live at a Clown Motel for a month. It was funded in four hours. Here’s the video:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1196365711/i-live-in-a-clown-motel-a-journey-into-the-heart-o/widget/video.html

Tonopah, NV is an incredibly long drive from Portland (12 and a half hours), and the hotel is weirdly amazing. It’s adjacent to a pioneer cemetery full of miners, there are dozens of feral cats, and actual clowns showed up the other night. Sebela’s updates are priceless–there’s a week left for you to follow him on Twitter and experience living in a Clown Motel for yourself.

#SCOIP

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast–and not just because I got to guest host once! This is an excellent, fast-moving, action-packed podcast that effortlessly takes all the ins and outs of the X-Men (and related superhero entities) and makes them accessible–and entertaining–for both diehard fans and newbies alike. Trust me, you’ll feel both geekier and smarter after you listen.

So I was incredibly excited when they announced SECRET CONVERGENCE ON INFINITE PODCASTS, a nine-episode crossover event combining more than 15 hosts from Fan Bros Show; Into It; SILENCE!; Less than Live; Journey into Misery; Wait, What?; House to Astonish, War Rocket Ajax, and Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men, airing October 29-November 29.

While I’ve been aware of War Rocket Ajax, I haven’t listened to any of the other podcasts–I might go through and select an episode from each before #SCOIP begins. I’ll let you know!

Twin Peaks: Fun Donut Times

After the fun and excitement of our Twin Peaks dinner party, we threw a Twin Peaks brunch this past weekend! I’ll have a separate post on that later, but in the meantime, I found a recipe to use up leftover donuts when your husband buys way too many donuts for a brunch: this Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding was amazing. I just used plain glazed donuts from the grocery store.

That’s all I have for now–as usual, I have a million posts running through my head (Star Wars!) and I can only hope to catch them and type them up.

Lobster Rolls

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Lobster Rolls

Lobster rolls! Photo from Bon Appetit.

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Mine felt like it raced by incredibly quickly. We spent time with Sid’s mother’s father’s side of the family, hosted couple of play dates with Sid’s friends, and finally finished clearing out our community garden plot and planted it up with tomatoes, zucchini, delicata squash, kale, and lettuce. I’ve got big plans for beets, carrots, green beans, and perhaps artichokes, but I think that will come next week. If you’re interested in gardening but don’t have the space, you can find a community garden here!

Links!

Our first bit of exciting news last weekend: the Twin Peaks revival is a go! With David Lynch directing the entire thing! And it will be more than nine episodes! Needless to say, our household was overjoyed–although we did have to caution Sid that he may not be able to watch the new series, since it’s on Showtime and might be scarier/more adult (sexier) than is appropriate for a 10-year old.

Feel like celebrating? I have some Twin Peaks party ideas, as well as recipes for Twin Peaks Cherry Pie and the Laura Palmer Cocktail. You can also check out this excellent piece of Twin Peaks art by Gabriel Hardman!

Next: I caught the (spoilers via the link) Mad Men series finale early this morning on iTunes, and I was really moved and really, really satisfied. Without giving away any spoilers, I was really happy about the endings for many of the characters, but especially Joan. As with any long-running series with a passionate following, a lot of people were not pleased with how things ended up–what did you think?

One site I just recently discovered–and wish I’d been reading all along–is Tom & Lorenzo, which has been doing amazing analyses of Mad Men by interpreting the colors and styles of their costumes. Janie Bryant is an amazing costume designer, and Matthew Weiner is famously obsessed with getting every little detail of the ’60s and ’70s right–which means if you’re paying attention, the clothes inform the story on a whole other level. It’s genius!

We’re headed off this Friday on our annual Memorial Day Weekend trip to lovely Dayville, Oregon to celebrate Scott’s birthday! What’s in Dayville? Not much–and that’s part of the fun. We discovered the–ahem–rustic but gorgeously landscaped Fish House Inn & RV Park four years ago. Over the years more and more friends have joined us to relax, break into haunted houses, grill delicious meats, and go to the nearby Spray Rodeo.

As part of our yearly tradition, I pick up some live lobsters and transform them into delectable lobster salad to bring with us for lobster rolls for Friday night’s dinner. As lobster rolls are traditionally made with top-sliced buns (which you can’t find on the West Coast), I usually make my own. My favorite recipe is the Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Rolls recipe. I shape the dough into 3 oz logs (yes, I weigh all the dough) and make my own hot dog buns! I’ll post my lobster roll recipe later this week.

That’s all for now!