tv, twin peaks

What story are we watching, Charlie?

HOO BOY.

You know that feeling after waking up from a strange dream…those few seconds of disoriented, uneasy confusion? Having to parse reality from your mind’s own creations? The finale of Twin Peaks: The Return has managed to pinpoint that feeling and make it last indefinitely.

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Man…David Lynch and Mark Frost really made me think we were getting a neatly packaged resolution with Parts 16 and 17, then just shattered everything to pieces with Part 18. I still have no idea what to think, and my new favorite pastime is reading all the speculation in the Twin Peaks subreddit. (I think it’s safe to say that there’s enough material to fuel discussions for at least the next 25 years.)

Since I don’t ever post on Reddit except when one of my favorite people is doing an AMA, I’m going to dump all my thoughts/half-baked theories here instead (it’s about time I got use out of this blog).

BEWARE! Lots of spoilers and rambling ahead.

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tv, twin peaks

Confessions about Twin Peaks

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(Minimal spoilers ahead.)

• Prior to actually watching the show, I thought Twin Peaks was a crime drama that took place in San Francisco. I’d also never seen any of David Lynch’s work. That is to say, my background knowledge was pretty nonexistent.

• It wasn’t a person who convinced me to finally watch the show, it was Netflix.

• I haaaaated the first episode. Maybe it was because I didn’t understand that it was supposed to be a soap opera (a very bizarre one, but a soap nonetheless). Although, I’m pretty sure if I were to watch the pilot again, I’d still think the acting was overdone and the characters completely unbearable.

• I continued to hate pretty much every character throughout Season One. Yet I couldn’t. stop. watching. Kind of like the current presidential election. 😬

• The only character I liked right off the bat was Albert Rosenfield.

• After Leland Palmer “recovered” from his sorrows, I remember thinking, “Oh hey, he’s not so bad now.” I even thought he was suddenly attractive with his new white hair, in a silver fox sort of way.

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I deeply regret those thoughts.

• Certain episodes freaked me out so much that I made Alex sit in the bathroom while I showered at night, so I wouldn’t be alone.

• Characters I initially couldn’t stand but ended up really liking: Audrey, Bobby, Andy, Ben Horne. I was even rooting for Leo at the end, which is a real strange thing to say.

• I think I was supposed to feel bad for Harold Smith but, I didn’t.

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you sir, are a creeper

• The addition of Annie very nearly ruined the show for me.

• I couldn’t wait to finish the last few episodes because I wanted to go on Tumblr and see what the fandom was like. (Also, a Tumblr search for “Dale Cooper,” much to my bewilderment, resulted in a screen full of NSFW pictures because apparently our favorite FBI agent shares a name with a gay porn star.)

• I have shamelessly adopted Special Agent Dale Cooper’s overuse of the thumbs up, both in real life and emoji form. (I mean, Kyle MacLachlan does it, too.)

• I’ve gone to Amoeba probably ten times in the past month in an attempt to find the vinyl reissue of the Twin Peaks soundtrack. Last night I finally gave in and ordered it online.

• Things that Twin Peaks made me afraid of: chess, owls, spindly trees, mirrors, brushing my teeth.

• Things that Twin Peaks made me appreciate: the Pacific Northwest, diners, Civil War re-enactments, creepy synth music, Kyle MacLachlan.

• Sadly, I’ll never truly be able to relate to this fictional town’s love of coffee, but the pie I can definitely get down with.

tv, twin peaks

August was beautiful and so are you

The title of this post came from a dream I had last night. Except in the dream I kept trying to write out the phrase and couldn’t spell for the life of me, so actually more like a nightmare?


Some noteworthy things from last month:

ED RUSCHA AND THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST. We went to see this exhibition at the DeYoung and I could’ve stayed there for hours. It’s like walking through a museum display of True Stories: images of gas stations, parking lots, billboards, and flat western landscapes, accompanied by quirky titles and phrases.

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Maybe it was because I spent 5 years in LA (where Ruscha has lived most of his life) and grew up taking roadtrips through the Southwest that this exhibition was especially fascinating to me. In any case, I highly recommend checking out Ruscha’s works if your aesthetic is anything close to mine.

WRONG WAY UP. Been slowly delving into Eno’s discography through his collaborations with other people, and this one—made with John Cale in 1990—is absolutely wonderful. Listen here.

STRANGER THINGS. Man, supernatural 80s throwbacks featuring kids on bikes are so hot right now (see: Super 8, Paper Girls). But seriously, what a fantastic show. Also, the original soundtrack is really, really cool.

TWIN PEAKS. Previously, I’d never really been interested in watching Twin Peaks (too creepy? too weird? too dark?), but apparently it’s a natural progression after Stranger Things, or at least Netflix thought so. At this point we’re halfway through, and I find myself weirdly captivated despite totally hating it at first. We just finished the first episode of Season Two and it’s some of the best television I’ve ever watched. I love the bizarre, surreal scenes (and hate the melodramatic soap opera stuff, as self-aware as it may be). I hear Season Two is pretty hit or miss, so we’ll see what happens from here.

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In other news, it’s finally starting to get warm(er) in San Francisco and we are going to the Roots Picnic in less than a month! LILYAIG.

beatles, books, misc, personal, tv

How else I spent November

Hello darkness my old friend December. I’m back and happy to report that I finished NaNoWriMo for the second year in a row! And this time around, I wasn’t sick of my story by the end of the month, yay! So I’m actually going to keep working on it, which is a good feeling.

Besides novel-writing, I did do a couple of other things in November, which I’ve deemed appropriate enough for this blog:

Obsessing over Mad Men. Disclaimer: I’m very reluctant to commit to TV shows…In fact I’m pretty sure the only shows I’ve ever watched in their entirety are Arrested Development, Star Trek TOS, Seinfeld, and the Monkees. All these “Golden Age of Television” shows that people keep talking about? No interest. Even with multiple people telling me how much I’d love Mad Men, I still resisted, until a few months ago when I was bored and watched the first episode on a whim. And, as expected, I immediately became obsessed with the period details (the 60s are my spirit decade, after all) and the strange, fascinating, hot mess that is Don Draper.

The cast and writers of this show are great. I appreciate the fact that one episode can be simultaneously delightful and devastating (S04E07 and S05E12, I’m looking at you), and that I still can’t decide whether to love or hate Don. Yes, I understand the hype now. With about one and a half seasons left, I’ll probably be bingeing extra hard.

mm9

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Watching The Beatles 1+ Deluxe DVD/Blu-ray. The day this came out, I called every record+DVD store in SF asking if it was in stock (it wasn’t). I spent an entire weekend trying to find it, until finally the Barnes & Noble in San Bruno saved the day. I’m usually not a fan of compilation albums, but 1 has a special place in my heart, because it was the CD that introduced me to the Beatles’ music. (And to be fair, it’s actually a really worthwhile collection of Beatles hits, many of which don’t appear on any of their albums.) This new reissue of 1 is especially exciting to me because it includes videos for all of the songs (plus a bonus DVD!) in really freaking high def. For example,

Among the silliness of the Beatles trying to maneuver their horses through an alleyway and randomly flipping a table, I think the shots of John walking down the street are beautifully poignant. It seems like they were well aware that their music and image had changed pretty dramatically after they stopped touring, and this was their way of presenting the “new” Beatles to the world. This article captures it perfectly.

Bonus: the Beatles sitting on the ground eating sandwiches, which is the real kind of footage I’m interested in.

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Reading Season of the Witch. Oh wow, this is an incredible book about San Francisco. I originally checked it out from the library because I was interested in learning more about the city during the time that my parents lived there (it focuses on the late 60s, 70s, and early 80s). But it turned into a sort of holy bible for my NaNoWriMo story, which basically takes place within one block of San Francisco over the course of 100 years.seasonofthewitch

For being so gritty and dark (see: the Zebra murders, the Zodiac, the Peoples Temple, the SLA, Dan White), Season of the Witch was weirdly enlightening. I love learning the history of places, and in this case, learning about the people who helped shape San Francisco in the past half a century. Although the city has physically changed over the years and will continue to change, I think the heart and soul of San Francisco has stayed intact. It’s a place of ambition, eccentricity, and unrest. If there’s one thing I learned from reading this book, it’s that there will always be things worth fighting for in this city, and that’s what I love about living here.

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For December, I’m predicting: lots of Mad Men feels, rain, novel-revising, and a new hair-do??!

star trek, tv

TOS: End of Series Reflections

So, after a post-Thanksgiving mini-marathon (and 6 months of prior watching), we’ve finally reached the end of The Original Series. It was a great stretch too: the last few episodes include Spock playing the piano, Spock playing the lute with a bunch of space hippies, Abraham Lincoln beaming aboard, and a villain that looks like a pile of lasagna. Classic TOS.

While part of me is super pumped for the 70s/80s movies (KHAAAAAAAN!) and The Next Generation, the other part is sad that I’ll never again be able to watch a TOS episode for the first time and marvel at its campiness or wonder if Kirk will make out with yet another girl (it’s pretty much guaranteed). Despite the silliness, there are certain episodes that really stuck with me, and thanks to Netflix I can pretty much watch them anytime I want, so I guess I can’t be too upset.

Some overall favorite episodes from Seasons 2-3:
Amok Time. Involves a pretty epic Kirk/Spock fight scene on the Planet Vulcan, enough said.
Elaan of Troyius. Klingons, dilithium crystals, knife-throwing, makeout sessions, and SO MUCH SASS (yes, I just retweeted myself in a blog post).
Assignment: Earth. They introduced some cool new characters in this one, but it’s unfortunately the only time we ever see them.
I, Mudd. The crew members of the Enterprise are surprisingly good at acting, at least when it comes to outsmarting androids.
The Trouble With Tribbles. I mean, come on.
For the World Is Hollow, and I Have Touched the Sky. Just so much Bones love in this episode.

Speaking of Bones love, I had the video below saved in my YouTube playlist, and after watching it again recently, realized how much more subtle (and awesome) the writing was in the first season. I feel like by the 2nd and 3rd seasons, the characters had all become a little exaggerated, especially Bones (i.e. The Grumpy Doctor Who Will Argue With Spock At Any Chance). But in the first season, the writers seem to have been more interested in character development/background, which is totes obvi in these little interactions between Kirk and McCoy. Ahhh I love it.

(Shirtless Kirk and random spinning cube are just added bonuses:)

To end with, a few more additions to the TOS Drinking Game…

One drink:
-Someone is wearing something that could be a winter drumline uniform
-The crew beams down to a planet that is supposedly uninhabited (but is inhabited by several life forms which happen to be villains)
-Bones is extremely grumpy
-There is a countdown (“how much time do we have before collision?” “precisely 8 minutes 37 seconds”)
-Kirk wears the green v-neck
-Something hits the Enterprise and everyone on the bridge falls over
-Bones & Spock argue
-Kirk is amused by Bones & Spock arguing
-“He’s dead, Jim”

Two drinks:
-Scotty saves the ship
-Spock falls in love
-Kirk punches/kicks/chops someone without warning

Chug:
-The series ends :(

Stay tuned for the movie marathoning. It’s going to be awesome.

monkees, star trek, tv

The odds are astronomical

Tonight we watched an exceptionally silly episode of Star Trek, in which Kirk and the crew have to outwit a planet full of humanoids who model their entire society off of the Chicago mobs of 1920s Earth (right?).

I especially liked the “Fizbin” scene below, not just because the Kirk/Spock interactions are hilarious and Bones karate chops a guy…


but because it reminded me of when the Monkees trick a guard by playing Creebage” in The Frodis Caper (trippiest Monkees episode ever, btw. Watch at your own discretion). 

Oh man. 60s TV is the greatest. Mark this one down as another “Nikki finds a way to relate two completely different things to each other” post and let’s call it a night.