Lost Highway / The Straight Story

Hello again!  I’m back because there are two David Lynch movie scenes I really needed to share somewhere.

Last week we went to a late night showing of Lost Highway at the Alamo Drafthouse (they were screening it as part of their “Weird Wednesdays” series), which in retrospect was a pretty bold move on my part. Before going to the theater, when Alex asked if we should bring earplugs, I scoffed and said no, it was a movie, not a rock show. An hour later, I was white-knuckling the armrests, frantically considering whether to run to the lobby and ask if they sell Hearos, or go to the bathroom and grab a bunch of toilet paper to wad up and stick in my ears. Confession: I was not prepared for David Lynch Sound Effects at movie theater volumes.

Anyway, you’re going to have to trust me that the movie is darker than this (keywords: “psychological mindf*ck”, “murder scene on staticky VHS tape”, “Rammstein”), but I sought out this scene afterward because it was such a welcome/bewildering break from the horror in the rest of the movie, and will forever be the scene I think of when someone’s driving too close behind me:

The other scene I wanted to share comes from The Straight Story, David Lynch’s wholesome Disney movie, which we watched to soften the blow from Lost Highway. People say this movie is such a deviation for Lynch, but I see so much Twin Peaks in it: it’s a slow burn that follows an old man as he drives from Iowa to Wisconsin on a lawnmower, full of long tracking shots and dialogue with slightly offbeat characters. As you might expect, I thought it was excellent.

Here is the most Lynchian scene in The Straight Story:

Bonus: This scene, in which Alvin buys a grabber at the hardware store, is positively perfect in every way.

For those following along, here’s my list of Watched David Lynch Movies so far:

  • Fire Walk With Me
  • Mulholland Drive
  • Inland Empire
  • Blue Velvet
  • The Straight Story
  • Lost Highway

Help us decide: between Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Dune, and Wild At Heart, which should we watch next?

A Twin Peaks Pilgrimage, in photos

Happy one year anniversary of Twin Peaks returning to TV!

I guess it’s appropriate—but also completely coincidental—that last week Alex and I rented a car in Seattle, hopped on I-90 east toward Snoqualmie, and went on a day-long expedition to visit a bunch of Twin Peaks filming locations. (Alex had been in town for a work conference; I was just along for the ride.)

I took an abundance of pictures on my phone, so figured I’d put them here and try to match them up with stills from the show, because that’s what normal people do, right? As a side note: the original series takes place in February-March, so it’s all barren trees and snowy mountains and trench coats…in contrast, we visited on one of the most beautiful days of the year: super blue skies, 75 degree weather, and abundant sunshine. So here for your viewing pleasure is David Lynch’s dark/moody Twin Peaks compared with our bright/sunny Twin Peaks.

First up was the welcome sign (or at least, the site of it—apparently there was a sign, but then it got stolen 😢). This view actually faces away from the town, so you’d actually be driving into the mountains if you kept going.

Right down the road was Ronette’s bridge (the railroad tracks were added by Lynch & Co.). This bridge goes right over the Snoqualmie River and is a surprisingly beautiful place to take a walk, if you’re not Ronette Pulaski.

Another short distance away was the Sheriff’s Department building. In real life it’s a rally racing school called DirtFish. Ran into several other Peakies here (it was pretty easy to tell who was there for racing and who wasn’t).

We also went inside!

They must get this a lot, but the staff was totally cool with us taking photos. I know nothing about rally racing, but there was some pretty neat gear inside the building, and lots of old cars. Someone also decided to cater to the Twin Peaks crowd by parking this decorated Ford Bronco outside:

It’s weird how your mind fills in the landscape around all these fictional places. Case in point: for some reason I always imagined the Packard Sawmill at the edge of a forest bordering some water, when in real life it’s right down the street from the rally racing school parking lot, in the middle of a big field. Its real name is the Weyerhaeuser Mill, and it’s been out of service for 15 years:

By far the most touristy spot (for reasons other than Twin Peaks) was Snoqualmie Falls. It was a pretty impressive sight, but I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time because I was very concerned with finding a bathroom (#girlproblems). The falls are featured in the opening credits of the show and any time you see an exterior shot of the Great Northern Hotel, which is actually Salish Lodge and Spa:

The interior of the Great Northern wasn’t shot at Salish Lodge though; you have to go across the bay (sound?) to Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo to see all the painted wood walls and giant fireplaces. Sadly we didn’t make it to Kiana Lodge but I really want to go there someday and dance in Ben Horne’s office.

After the falls we made a quick stop at the Roadhouse, located just north in the town of Fall City:

Then we looped back down to go to Twede’s (a.k.a. the Double R Diner) for lunch, obvi:

My favorite part of lunch was watching a group of people who were clearly fans of the show try to contain their excitement as they walked into the diner, because I’d done the exact same thing. It’s so hard not to squee when you feel like you’re stepping into the Double R!

The place definitely caters to Twin Peaks fans (I feel like an unassuming patron would be confused at why half of the signs inside advertise a diner of a different name). But that aside, it’s just your average small-town diner playing country music from the radio. We were there at 12:30pm and I’m pretty sure the number of employees outnumbered the patrons.

For the record, I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, lemonade, and a slice of cherry pie. Alex ordered a BLT and coffee. I messed up the pie order by getting whipped cream, so it wasn’t very photo-worthy. We’ll just have to go again someday….

I tried to find a scene that takes place at the same table we sat at (the center booth on the left side), but most important conversations seem to take place closer to the back of the diner. Here’s one though!, featuring everyone’s favorite giggling waitress.

Last on our itinerary was the infamous Palmer house. Although all of the above filming locations are within a few minutes from each other, the house is about an hour north, in Everett. That gave us plenty of time to listen to the Twin Peaks soundtrack, which I would highly recommend if you take a similar journey. It sets the mood perfectly, and gets you nice and psyched up for the moment you drive up to this place:

We parked across the street and were surprised to see that the front door was wide open. I’d read that the current owner of the house (who, *SPOILERS*, also made a pretty important cameo in the show) sometimes lets fans come inside, so after much debate, we finally decided we would peek in and see if anyone was home. Turns out the owner was home, but it was her daughter who came to the door, and told us her mom was on the phone and “it wasn’t really a good time.” She was super apologetic and nice, and told us we were welcome to take pictures outside. That was already way more than I was expecting, so we took our photos and went on our way.

From there we drove back to our Seattle Airbnb (which happened to be a haunted saloon and former brothel; a story for another post, maybe) and celebrated our successful day with fine craft beer from Fremont Brewing, an excellent dinner at Damn the Weather, and a few rounds of the Great Seattle Wheel at dusk. Now that I’m thinking back on it, it was a pretty perfect day, Diane.

In short, I’d highly recommend this excursion to anyone who’s a fan of the show. I wasn’t really expecting anything more than a fun photo op, but as it turns out, Dale Cooper’s fascination with this little corner of the Pacific Northwest was totally warranted. I had just as much fun exploring downtown Snoqualmie and all of its history as I did crossing off the pre-determined destinations on our map, which I’ll also include here for anyone interested (and for future reference, since I 100% expect to go back one day): Twin Peaks Filming Locations Map

To me, the world of Twin Peaks is about 90% of what makes the show so special. In the first two seasons, whenever the characters got unbearable or the story took a turn for the worse (I’m looking at you, Annie Blackburn), I could still revel in the magic of that little town in all its mysterious, scenic glory. And in Season 3, even though much of the action took place in other locations, every return to Twin Peaks felt oddly and wonderfully familiar.

I’ll leave you with this fan-made video of Dale Cooper’s first appearance in the show, intercut with some of Twin Peaks’ most iconic settings. A+ editing, one big thumbs up:

What story are we watching?

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? Welp, the finale of Twin Peaks: The Return has managed to pinpoint that feeling and make it last indefinitely.


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.

Continue reading “What story are we watching?”

Confessions about Twin Peaks


(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.

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.

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.