This is a crazy, mad, insane, wrist-slittingly unawesome week, culminating in tears and Japanese food. (Reminder: make reservation. Daughter’s graduation ceremony is Thursday night, and we are having relations over to stay in all available rooms. This means cleaning. This means cleaning on wifely terms, which is more rigorous than preparing for the people from the adoption agency who come to see if yours is a fit home. I have done a few things that are my specialties, like cleaning the fridge. Managed to cut myself on the finger taking out one of the stupid trays on the stupid broken piece of junk Electrolux - honest to fargin’ God, I don’t know what possesses the designers of this stuff.
“Okay, the baskets need to roll out and roll back in on a daily basis. Presuming five openings per day, how long should it take for one of the bolts holding the rollers to fail?”
“I think we’re good with three years. And you’re right about it being a bolt, since once that breaks there’s no repairing it. We could go with a plastic bracket, though, and charge $40 for a replacement.”
“Perhaps the next model. Now. How are the baskets attached to the rollers? People will want to remove them for cleaning.”
“Ah, glad you asked. They’re held in place by complex plastic hooks that snap into the brackets so tight you have to exert a lot of force to dislodge them. While this keeps the baskets from coming loose in an earthquake, there’s the problem of using a lot of force on pieces of cold plastic.”
“What’s the problem?”
“Cold plastic is more likely to snap.”
“I said, what’s the problem? The replacement brackets are $18 apiece, and if the sides of the baskets break that’s an $85 charge to replace the whole thing.”
I loved this fridge when I first got it, and now over the years I have come to hate it for little design decisions like this one. People who make these things have to know that the small irritations like this poison people on the brand, but it’s possible they just didn’t realize how the product would work in the real world.
There, I managed to take my mind off the epochal changes for a moment.
I suspect what David Bowie said was a throwaway line intended to throw off the audience: who? Why?
Let me back up a bit.
I took a fortnight break from Netflix. There were many shows I wanted to watch, but each seemed like a commitment, and I wasn’t ready. I thought: hey, there’s last year’s Twin Peaks on the DVR. Yes, it’s HD, but is it HD ENOUGH. I ordered the Blu-Ray.
Always meant to do that, just to juice sales and hope there’s more. Knowing how it all goes, how it ends, what resolutions you don’t get, what subplots wander off into the woods - well, there’s relief in not worrying if Coop will be Dougie forever, and pleasure in seeing how the Dougie arc works.
Annnnnd I still could have done without the Dougie arc. But then it would have been Standard Peak, with stalwart Coop fighting Bob back in the old place, and . . .
And that would have been okay.
But I’m glad it pushed me out of being okay with okay.
I was besotted with this thing from the start, and while it has disappointed from time to time, there is nothing like it. What I loved about the original wasn’t so much the jokey damn-good-coffee - loved that, since Coop’s cheer and seriousness, his confidence and competence, his damned uprightness, is a marvelous thing.
But the moment it went into the Red Room I was just gone for this. That’s either where you shrug and say “this is weird” or you sit holding your breath. All the Lodge stuff in TP: Returns is fantastic. It’s the heart of the whole story, and it gave me the same emotions, and because the series made a point of addressing the passage of time, the resurgence of those emotions -
Well, you check: am I feeling this because boxes are being ticked? Oh look it’s that guy and he’s in the show again.
I’d say no. Because each of the old characters got a moment that relied on the weight of the backstory but fulfilled your hopes. James, getting to be deemed cool. Bobby, starting to crack when he sees the Donut Conference room with Laura Palmer evidence. Dr. Jacoby, meeting Nadine. (She is a tossaway, as ever, really.) Big Ed. Gawd, Big Ed. It’s the old men who give the show weight - Ed and Hawk, Sherrif Truman, Harry Dean Stanton's wonderful old kind Carl.
I’ve come around to the theory that the story ended in triumph, and don’t get me started on the details because it’s deep in the weeds. The unsatisfying thing about TP:R is the lack of pat answers; the satisfying thing is the myriad of interpretations that leaves you with the sense that anything was possible. As for the Bowie line: "we're not going to talk about Judy," he said in the movie. I don't think that was supposed to do anything but add to the unsettling nature of the scene.
But man, did they get something out of that. Scatter strange unexplained things everywhere, and there's no shortage of loose ends you can tug or weave into something else. The episode # in which Cooper jolts himself out of Dougiehood was in front of our eyes all the time. It’s right there in season 1. From 25 years ago. Did they plan it? No. But the effect of the connection makes it all into something else; you can look back at something you saw 25 years ago, and it has a different meaning now.
Anyway, the details. Man. Sara Palmer in the pilot, waking from sleep while the Ominous Fan Blades whirl and the Badalamenti score chugs up the stairs with grim intent:
Let’s go 25 years into the future, where Sara Palmer is in the same room, getting hammered on Smirnoff while watching gruesome nature documentaries.
The mirrors on the wall are the same. Hell, the crocheted blanket is the same. And, of course, the ashtray.
Smokers always have a favorite ashtray.
No season 4, probably, but it’s possible. Restart it. Coop, in full Coop mode, goes to TP in 2020, and it’s all new, since he’s never been there before. But everyone feels as if everything has happened before. Because it did.
It’s 1964. All Newspaper ads today, a preview of the low-res monochrome wonders you'll be seeing in this space next year.
The bounty of Dairy, pouring out in a non-liquid fashion. Audrey Meyers, Clark Grove MN.
This page about growing up in the area looks at a page of schoolchildren, and says “Row one, desk four: I think she's a Meyers. If so, her father was electrocuted the next year in an accident at the grain elevator.”
Yikes. From the comments:
One person I don't see in the photo is Audrey Meyers; she lived W. of town on a hardscrabble farm with a big family and hard-working parents. Maybe they moved to CG after the photo, or maybe she was out that day. We were good friends in elementary, I think because we both felt like outsiders. I remember she took a lot of teasing, probably even bullying, from classmates because of her family's rundown farm and everything that went with it. It's hard to judge from this distance of years whether the cruelty was intentional or not.
I know she died young.
I also seem to remember that she was chosen Princess Kay at the state fair in the early '60s, when I was off in college ... anybody confirm that?
She was, in 1963, a year before this ad.
Whoa: sign up for a bank account and get a free ballpoint pen?
The bank is gone. The building is gone. Happy people are still available, as are pens.
Annnd this is long, long gone:
Odd they include the Guest House location, since it didn’t look like an Embers at all. It was this:
The background looked nothing like that, but I don't think anyone complained to the front desk. It's not East German enough!
On the spot today:
There’s a lot of cheap mid-50s / mid 60s clip art in the tiny ads of the newspapers. I have a slight aversion to it.
The exhibit is of California mountain lodge styling, set in a plush landscaped area, with a stream running throughout. Canopied shelters and colorful benches dot the park-like area. A 15-minute pictorial tour through an indoor "Enchanted Forest" tells the story of paper from woodland to home.
A separate building has special rest facilities, including a lounge and a diaper-changing room.