May 4th, 2017

Twin Peaks Season 3: What I Hope To See

Update: I’m here now.

As both a Twin Peaks fan and an indie filmmaker I’ve spent about a billion hours of my life being inspired by Peaks, in general and in my own work, and wondering deeply what a continuation of the series could/should be.

Peaks was an extremely layered and faceted program. There’s different levels, qualities, and characters that turned all sorts of people into all sorts of fans who’d crave different things for the series’ incredible return. But these are the three things I loved most about peak-quality Peaks and what I hope the new episodes dish up.

High-School Heartthrobs: Structurally, Twin Peaks was a classic soap opera, and that medium mandates beautiful people plummeting into ugly trouble with other beautiful people.

The original series discovered a bounty of stunning and brilliantly unique young stars, and watching them dreamily whisper and weep on Thursday (and then Saturday) nights when I was in jr. high while they skipped their senior high classes to solve murders then sing songs in demon-infested living rooms was definitely my favorite aspect of the show. It was teenager catnip.

Most, but not all, of those cover girl/boy hotties are returning for season 3, and I certainly want to know what’s up with their characters now in middle-age.

But Peaks was a multi-generational show, so I hope Lynch and his genius casting director Johanna Ray retain that aspect and have re-populated Peaks with a new generation of young, unknown, future stars who can sulk and slither through the Double R Diner and then end up on the cover of Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair magazine wearing flannels over Fendi come September 2017. Surely Audrey Horne could have a fascinating high-school aged son with killer eyebrows or Bobby Briggs would’ve, by now, fathered a head-turning daughter as hot-headed as her old man.

I don’t think the writers developed many (if any) winning new characters after the first 10 or so episodes of the original series (Lana, and Lucy’s knocked-up sister – I’m looking at you, and everyone else like you), but if Lynch and Mark Frost and Johanna Ray lovingly do what they’re easily capable of, I’m hoping Peaks season 3 spotlights some fresh new actors at least half as striking and talented as young Madchen Amick and James Marshall and Lara Flynn Boyle were.

Heartache: Structurally, Peaks might’ve been a soap-opera, but internally it played as a coming-of-age indie. All the characters, the young heartthrobs and their elders alike, were grappling with who they were and who they thought they should be in a tiny town that they now realized was blacker and bleaker than they ever would’ve believed.

I like quirk and I’m all for experimental esotericism, but none of that weird weirdness matters or moves us if it isn’t tethered to pain and people we know well and can see shadows of ourselves in.

I don’t want, for instance, twenty more “quirky” long scenes of 90-year-old men who can hardly hear or barely walk toward bank vaults taking up precious screen time.

I want to spend time with James Hurley and find out why he’s back in Twin Peaks and how that feels for him (cause everything always feels so dang intense for the guy). I want to spend time with Norma Jennings so I can find out whether she and Big Ed truly got their happy ending, and how she feels about the reality of that, since she usually keeps her feelings frosted behind her warm, waitress-y grin. I want to know how Cooper and Sarah and Benjamin and Shelly feel about the people and innocence they’ve lost and the new people and problems they’re now faced with.

Any absurdity needs to flow directly from the core characters and concerns, rather than get wedged in via fourth-tier characters whose only purpose is to be zany. Thusly, I most certainly don’t need Michael Cera or Eddie Vedder (two new confirmed cast members) showing up, probably briefly, just because they’re fans of the show so David Lynch can shellac some quirky quip or physical/social impairment over them and flex his comedic brainstorming muscles. It’s superfluous, stooge-y, guest-star-laden stuff like that where, I’m hoping, Mark Frost will crack his writerly whip and keep things tight and on track.

Horror: The final scene of the season 2 premiere where we get a flickering glimpse into that abandoned train car to witness Laura Palmer’s last moments alive – I wasn’t ready for that, all alone in my 9th grade basement bedroom. I’m still not ready for stuff like that, which is part of Peaks‘ power.

Once BOB was shown to be more than just a static head hiding behind a bed, but a vital, vicious, howling man/beast/demon/dirtbag that might show up in even the safest, warmest place you can think of, like atop your well-lit living room sofa, there was no guarantee for safety in Twin Peaks. Not the town, not the show.

Every episode and half the scenes had the potential for BOB to pop up or pop out, and whether he was just laughing, crawling or full-on face-bashing someone, it was always absolutely horrifying. His profane grin always let you know he might flick or fuck or finish you at any minute, or do all three in no particular order – and I can’t think of another grin on earth or in hell that could work in that exact same way.

BOB’s portrayer, Frank Silva, died in the 90s – so the exact BOB we knew and loved (to fear) can simply not return for season 3, sadly. But since smashing unspeakable horror into small town serenity was the very heart of Twin Peaks’ main mysteries, and since BOB was seemingly just a spirit who inhabited human hosts, surely BOB will be back in some way, shape, or form/s.


If BOB is still inside Agent Cooper, or has hopped into someone else we know and love, his presence in one of these actors could deliver us all the BOB that the story would technically require.

But even if Kyle MacLachlan acts sinister and possessed at times a la white-haired Leland Palmer that’s not enough horror for me. Because Kyle is no Frank Silva. I think I still need some sort of snarling, long-haired, denim-clad boogey-man lurking behind every corner and underneath every scene to provide Peaks its full freaky power.

So I hope they re-cast BOB with someone able to channel Frank Silva’s sinister glee, or they re-shape BOB into a new male or even female form, one as wild and wicked and wrong as the original BOB.

Any other character could leave the show forever and it could survive narratively. Maybe including Agent Cooper. But you can’t make a sequel to JAWS without a shark, and you can’t return to Twin Peaks without the eternal, un-killable BOB.

So – I’m fully ready for Lynch and Frost to take me to fresh, new places and give me experiences and content I would’ve never imagined I had wanted, but I need them to do so while giving me recurring servings of new high school heartthrobs, tons of small town heartache centering on old characters we know and love, and the threat of a few BOB-y face bashings.

My next post will investigate the clues hiding inside the giant cast-list for season 3. First and foremost who’s missing from it, and what might that mean for Peaks?

May 2nd, 2017

Peaks Season: It Is Happening Again!

After 26 years, Donna Hayward’s hometown is now but days away from flickering across our TV screens again to set us back under its dark and dwarf-y spell. Which, honestly AND literally, is probably the single most (potentially) treasurable treasure that could ever be created, in my humble opinion!

So my dormant blog about the very best things in the world is basically court-mandated to now reboot and resurrect itself as well in sync with the miraculous return of Twin Peaks.

I’m gonna be reviewing every season 3 episode of Peaks right here. I am singularly qualified to do this for a myriad of reasons.

Reasons One and Two: I’m connected to the internet and I want to.

Reason Three: In 1991 I was in a school play called The Impossible Kiss, and we got to name our own characters, and I named myself James Hurley. (Such credentials!)

Reason Four: Three entire bulletin boards in my teenage bedroom were devoted to magazine tear outs of Sherilyn Fenn, James Marshall, Madchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, and Lara Flynn Boyle. (Cast hotties only.) Screencaps of un-recently un-earthed posterized footage proves this.

Reason Five: In triple-threat fashion I wrote/directed/starred in a Twin Peaks movie homage when I was 14. And then repeated the magnificent feat when I was 15. It obviously takes true fandom and vision to saddle your little sister under an unkempt Audrey Horne wig and make her brood badly to Badalementi.

Reason Sixty Six: 26 plus years later, in this “New Golden Age of Television”, as much as I’m fascinated by them, nothing the characters of Frank Underwood or Lady Mary or Olivia Pope have done quite titilates or terrorizes me the same way that Audrey Horne’s itchy palms or Leland Palmer’s living room mirror-play ever did.

I still can’t walk to the dark bathroom in the middle of the night without seeing Killer Bob’s greasy grin in every shadow of my imagination. I came of age in the original Twin Peaks era and, to some degree, everything I ever saw on TV was downhill from there (at least for my inner child). That’s how youth and the loss of it works, I think. We’re all trapped in the amber of our 14 year old infatuations, be they The Beatles or Boba Fett, Bieber or Beverly Hills 90210.

Reason A Million And Seven: I’m a boy fan but I refuse to be a fan boy, and I’m going into season 3 of Twin Peaks with a scorned adult’s expectations and eye. I’m not worried that the lustrous legacy of the original show might be forever tarnished by a new slew of small screen stories because I think the series tarnished itself almost instantly when 1990’s season 2 wandered on (and on) to plot lines and characters it was difficult to care about. And then the follow-up 1992 prequel movie Fire Walk With Me further fanned the flames of Peaks’ penchant for zany-coated lameness.

The world myopically credits David Lynch and Lynch alone with Twin Peaks’ original greatness, but he was but one of two creators, and its other, the more straight-laced Mark Frost, had nothing to do with the creation of Fire Walk With Me, and that film’s lack of both narrative clarity and cohesion with the TV series’ Frost-fostered heyday is glaringly apparent.

Unlike The Sound of Music or Rosemary’s Baby or Mad Men or some other revered “classic”, Twin Peaks was brilliant, yes – but not just brilliant. It was also, increasingly, tainted by the hollowly-quirky and it was frequently obtuse to the point of being boring. So as a die-hard fan who’ll only drink cups of Lynch’s not-poisoned Kool-Aid, I’ve no idea whether I’ll adore or abhor the new season. I’m looking to engage with it openly and warmly but then evaluate it for what it is – whatever and however stellar (or not) it is now.

Using all the prior Twin Peaks productions as their canon and coursework, there’s so much material and magic for Lynch and the back-on-board Frost to resurrect and return to wisely. And plenty for them to excise and evade eternally. I will gush or guffaw, accordingly and responsibly, at how they’ve chosen to revive their long-dead drama.

My next post/s, prior to the May 21 premiere, will explore my personal expectations and wish-list-y hopes for season 3, my disappointments related to the published and extensive cast list, and further details regarding my concerns about Lynch’s overly Lynch-y tendencies.

“It Is Happening Again” warned the giant one horrible night, but it made for the most wonderful episode of television I ever saw, and so I’m so, so stoked for just that kind of “Again”-ness. Aren’t you?

July 8th, 2016

Copper Beech

Although I’ve only visited interior designer Thomas O’Brien’s New York City shop AERO but once, I’ve had probably at least a dozen dreams since then that I’m there again, fawning all fanboy-style over the vintage/modern treasures Thomas is personally pointing out to me.

After 25 years of AERO, O’Brien is launching a brand new store inside a beloved old building.


What was once Wallen’s Market in the Long Island town of Bellwort Village, has been thoughtfully transformed by O’Brien and his partner Dan Fink into Copper Beech.


Stocked with AERO-like antique accessories and furniture, Copper Beech sets most of its attention to the kitchen with an earthy assortment of utensils, vessels, and baskets, as well as pantry-packing canned, jarred, and dried goods.



It’s small town living at its flax-y ‘n foxiest. There’s three weekends left this summer to suss out Beech’s chic seeds and antiques before the shop is fully functional next summer.



I probably won’t be able to pop in to check it out ’til 2017, but odds are I’ll dream I’m cruising through Copper Beech basically any night now.

July 5th, 2016

The Little Things

Interior designer Dan Fink creates serenely handsome homes made of (of course) room-sized rooms. But a smaller scale is celebrated in Fink’s introductory web presence, with his website’s landing page presenting a series of sublime little still-life studies.



Miniaturized models of iconic furniture designs rest amongst the other essential elements of an elegantly orchestrated space.


Mood boards transposed into table-scales, these images illustrate boldly how the perfect room is the sum of diverse, pretty-darn-perfect parts.


While Hurly and I anxiously and endlessly wait to discover our next (more perfect) home, our frustration with our current, imperfect home festers and intensifies.


These Dan Fink tableaux are a welcome reminder that while an entire home, or, perhaps, a certain room might feel flawed or unfinished to a homemaker, in narrowing in on one perfect vignette or a single sublimely designed shelf-scape, we can give to the eye, mind, and soul nearly everything we’re wishing our future or fully-finished homes will someday hopefully exude!

May 31st, 2016

Point Break

It’s basically summer, which basically is the season that bores me most. I end up needing especially exotic and chic internet inspiration I’m able to priority ship to myself so the season passes less languidly.

A hot minute ago I impulsively ordered some man babouche shoes. They’re twice as androgynous as might be wise, and I’m probably gonna need some new pajama-y pants to pair with ’em to pull off the Brideshead Revisited world-traveler look I’m leaping into.


But what the heck else would I do with myself all summer?

I couldn’t decide if I should get black or indigo. Indigo seemed a little less harshly Helmut Lang, so indigo it was. They’re arriving from London next week and If I end up ballsy enough to wear ’em in real life I’ll upload the evidence to Instagram.

October 9th, 2015


Woolpower’s been spinning out its cold weather layering garments since 1972. I never heard of the brand, and then in one week I suddenly started seeing it on multiple webshops/sites.


Each Woolpower garment is produced in the company’s Ostersund, Sweden factory where they know plenty about dressing for frigid conditions. As must Minnesotan me. Obviously not as warm as a long sleeve crew or their zip-up turtleneck, I opted to induct myself into the Woolpower world through their Base Layer Tee 200 since the length of its demi-sleeves seemed the most 1960s and Scandinavian.

Woven with polyester, polyamide, and elastane these base layer woolens feel almost like a thin, open-weaved terry; and so softer than they are scratchy.


Every Woolpower piece is sewn by a single seamstress who stitches a tag bearing her name into the finished piece.

Woolpower NavyTee

My nifty little navy number was fully sewn by Eleonor Lubell and knowing that makes me feel like I’m wearing a wink or a friendly handshake whenever I have it on.


October 1st, 2015

Pleasure Print-siple

While waiting for our server to bring us our food at restaurants, sometimes Hurly and I play this game where we pretend GQ is demanding we each provide our own 10 Essentials list. The products/items/edibles we think are incredible and couldn’t live without.

A slowly realized update to my 10 Essentials list would be the coincidentally named Essential T-Shirts from The Gap (always/only) in Heather Grey. They’re not too thick or thin, or short or long, or tight or baggy. They just read as classic, university athletics department-issued tops, and they look good ‘n guy-ish with whatever. Like the You Don’t Even Care At All type of whatever.

The Gap isn’t exactly anyone’s chic little secret – but I’ve tried a lot of T’s in my years of me-ing along through my materialistic life, and these Gap shirts are the ones I ain’t got no complaints with.

I order them with pockets, and I like them without (although, I’m panicking that as I go to post this they don’t have the seemingly permanent pocket-less version online in Heather Grey. Uh ohhhhh….)


Last weekend I had Hurly help me punch up a few fresh Essential T’s with some screen-printed text that might look military or macho to most, but subversively has a dance-diva source of inspiration. (what about me doesn’t?)

“We turned right and I said wrong which brings us to a stop” is the final clue before I usher you elsewhere to confirm my shirt’s music video muse.

September 25th, 2015

CAA Hotel: The Rest & The Restaurants

The night we checked into the CAA Hotel, we spent but two minutes in our suite before sprinting back down to the lobby level to make our 9:30 dinner reservation at The Cherry Circle Room.


There was squid-ink-tinted pasta and fish that felt like chicken. (Which was a definitive treat for pescetarians like us.)


And mood lighting radiating from every direction.


The antique heradlry banners added to the secret lair flare of the establishment – the symbols and motifs recurring in the embossing of the menu covers and stitching on the table napkins.


Scanning the shelves around the S-shaped bar was basically like window-shopping a perfectly curated antique store.


The built-in clock from the Association’s original restaurant was still ticking, if not a bit tarnished. Someone be a sport and buy me a book about built-in clocks in last-century public spaces, or at least start a Tumblr about ’em. They’re everything!


Since we were in Chicago to celebrate the ultra-successful launch of Hurly’s new computer coding school, and reward ourselves for the ceaseless weekends we’d all spent Allen-wrenching the campus into existence the past year, we asked for the Cherry Circle Room dessert menu up front. (And then, shocker – rushed down for malts at Shack Shack instead.)


For breakfast, both days (cause Hurly and Kaya were so hooked) we took the elevator all the way up to Cindy’s Rooftop Bar and ordered family-size portions of pancakes and bagels with lox. In the club’s original days Cindy’s was…notably…um, nothing. Just a roof. But who needs history and decorative relics when you have a swath of skylights as your ceiling, and the maple syrup comes spiked with rum?


Face-stuffing aside, the beds up in our suite had Faribault Mills blankets folded atop them and pommel horses stationed beneath them.


The hallway art was often of fleets and always on fleek.


Without a doubt, it was a truly winning visit to the windy city.


I don’t or won’t leave a space/place I love without taking its energy home with me as ongoing inspiration. Since we returned home I’ve already picked up a set of old Indian clubs that look like they were sculpted from the planks at the fancy Shake Shack, and this weekend I’m coaching Hurly on how to recreate my favorite of the abstract paintings from the hotel’s drawing room.

Souvenirs in spirit only are souvenirs even so.

September 21st, 2015

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel: Game On

If slumping around, staring at chesterfield sofas isn’t enough action for you, there’s peppier fun to be had in the CAA Hotel’s Game Room.


With pool and foosball and shuffleboard tables to take on…


And an indoor bocce court that always seemed already occupied.


I quite enjoyed the opportunity for some friendly competition, but still spent most of my time gawking at the green leathers, high-glossed tables, and built-in trophy cases the space had been spruced up with.


Friday night the Game Room roared with the flirting of Tindr-trained hipsters and yuppies, but during the day there was plenty of peace and elbow-room to be found.


The bar menu offered Cream Soda Floats and Raspberry Beignets(!) that our daily Shake Shack-snacking sadly prevented us from ever ordering.


Just outside the Game Room is the Milk Room – which was given its name during Prohibition when whisky and rum weren’t wetting anyone’s whistles.


Today, The Milk Room serves coffee and tea and donuts and such. I only ever got around to the tea, but I’ve learned from my mistake, and will go harder next time.

September 17th, 2015

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

It was a men’s athletic/social club built in 1893, now newly resurrected as a grand hotel, with interior design courtesy of the team behind the ACE New York. I mean, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t drag Hurly to The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel for an investigative getaway.


The first floor of the building is somewhat of a gateway to the true hotel above, but retains the club’s original Euro-style tile and impressive marble stairways.


Also at ground level, for public over-indulgence, is the most glorious and glossiest Shake Shack in America.


Shakes and/or super malty malts were ordered all of our three days in Chicago. On the handout for the self-guided architour I later gave myself I learned that “What is now Shake Shack used to house the club’s Turkish bathes.” Definitely the best and most swoon-worthy sentence I’ve read in quite some time.


To rise above the black + white shakes and get to the hotel proper guests take one of four elevators paneled with original court flooring featuring the old Fencers Club insignia. How’m I supposed to truly live now, knowing that old club is dead?



Then the elevator doors open and you walk into a tartan and turkish-rugged wonderland.


Lots of leaf-colored leathers, and electric Edison bulbs. The hotel’s a working time machine with just enough mid-century and modern tweaks to lead the eye back toward present day.


I spent a lot of time just purring at all the swanky grandeur while Hurly and my sixteen year old niece traded amused glances at my decor-oriented rapture.



But when a space’s fireplace is huge enough to incorporate two conversation seats within it…


…and features wooden relief sculptures of century-old footballing brutes, how can you not freak for the majestic chic of it all?


The morning after we arrived my niece’s allergies hit like bricks, so she and Hurly lazed up in our suite all afternoon. I didn’t mind having to entertain myself though. I hunkered down in the library-like room one step up from the hotel lobby and studied my favorite of the club’s decorative arrangements: large leather daybed, kilim pillow piles, and odd-coupled oil paintings arranged gallery wall style.

Whole hours of my life passed, exactly like that.

There’s lots more club to show, and I’m a gonna show it all!


September 10th, 2015

Fiele For Fall

The bottles come tied up in earthy little satchels.


And the labels are made of linen-y fabric, lending your dresser top tray an extra dose of luxe.


I usually pick out a new fragrance for fall and this year I went with Fiele’s Pogostemon. It looks so rich, and with its Indonesian patchouli base it smolders with a spiced, camp-fiery scent perfectly mood-enhancing for the season ahead.

Fiele offers four other wildcrafted and organic scents including Cedrus (cedar) and Myrrha (myrrh), but Pogostemon definitely had my name spritzed all over it.

September 3rd, 2015

I Shouldn’t Have

I almost didn’t buy it. It was a last-season, last-minute, add-on purchase that my wardrobe definitely didn’t need, and therefore I felt gun-shy and guilty about going for it.


But in person, on this person, it looks brag-ily cool and actually will probably get much more wear this fall than the initial item in my Uniqlo cart that I’d ordered with way greater gumption. The v-necked cardigan shape of it is neatly Japanese-y while everything else about the jacket is Maine-y and military and familiar. It’s lean and light and layer-able, to boot – lending it tons of versatility.

So, phew!

More and more I make fashion purchases with such a strategic, slow stringency. It’s a rush to remind myself that careless impulse buys can occasionally pay off as well.