Sunday, April 17, 2011


We've been so serious lately, maybe something funny is in order. This week we've been under the weather (an odd phrase) and we've been watching Twin Peaks, the classic David Lynch TV series that aired over twenty years ago. The show is still very strange and humorous, with Special Agent Cooper and Company collecting clues and solving mysteries in a topsy-turvy, neo- noirish Pacific Northwest world not unlike the woods outside my door. The show was filmed not far from here, actually, in the mountains around North Bend where the cafe still serves damn fine coffee and pie and Snoqualmie Falls still spills mistily into the drink--just like it does the opening credits. Yes, there is something weird in those woods--but locals have known that for years. The fog rolls in and the Douglas firs reach through it toward overcast skies and anything can happen. The rain doesn't let up, and people lock themselves in for a season. The weather is relentless and highly conducive to mystery and mildew. Things get spooky. And that's just normal around here. We locals are a tough breed, and we develop indoor hobbies and take our Vitamin D. This isn't Phoenix, after all, and I mean that in ways beyond the weather. We read and write and make music and art--and some of us backpack and kayak and explore the lakes and mountains and deep, dark woods. Contrary to TV shows made in LA, Northwesterners don't really obsess about coffee and we don't cover ourselves head-to-toe in designer Gore-Tex and expensive raingear: those folks are tourists. For us, flannel and boots are good enough. After all, it's just rain. But Twin Peaks somehow gets it right. Lynch is an LA cat himself, but he was born in Montana and maybe he internalized the NW quirkiness. Or maybe he was just sensitive to the beauty and strangeness of the misty woods. Either way, for more Northwest weirdness, check out Twin Peaks. And remember: the owls are not what they seem.

Good news: Twin Peaks is on Netflix Instant-Streaming, so if you've got Netflix (and you're a fool if you don't) you can watch it for free on your computer, or better yet through a Roku box in high resolution on your TV. This isn't a plug, but it's money well spent--and not much at all. The Roku is a one-time purchase and minimal Netflix is down to $7.99 a month. It makes good sense.

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