Stephanie Goes to Las Vegas

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Last week, I went to Las Vegas for the first time ever for a fashion tradeshow called MAGIC. Yes, first time to Vegas AND sponsored by work. *insert praise hands emoji* I stayed at the Mirage, which was totally Beatles themed. At first I was overwhelmed by the fact that yeah, there really are slot machines everywhere. From the airport to just about every building you go into on the strip.

I got in early on Monday morning and decided to venture around outside. It was 110 degrees outside, but felt surprisingly pleasant compared to the gross humidity of the Midwest. I walked around and took a million dorky touristy photos until I decided to head to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Now, dummy me assumed you could just walk down the strip to the hotel. But no, two miles in Vegas is very different from two miles in Chicago. It would have taken me an hour to walk one mile because everything is so massive and spread out like crazy. So, I had to cab it just about everywhere. I ran around the trade show on Monday, and then changed for some of the parties I was going to. One was hosted by Belvedere Vodka, so I had quite a lot of delicious (FREE) cocktails and met some random people. The playlist was amazing and I was super disappointed none of my friends were around to jam out. But after a few cocktails, I didn’t mind partying it up with some very fashionable strangers.

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After that party, I went to the Cosmopolitan to another MAGIC party. I had to go through more checkpoints to get to the club in the Marquee than I had to at the airport. I got my extremely tiny $14 cocktail and headed into the club, which was thumping with crazy club music. I was pretty sure I had fallen into an episode of Gossip Girl. It was so fancy with a crazy red, spinning disco ball, screens and strobe lights everywhere. And at one point, the dudes in front of me ordered bottle service that was served with SPARKLERS brought out by some hot ladies. After watching the silliness for a while, I called it a night.

Tuesday was all running around the trade show, having business meetings over delicious food and fighting my exhaustion. I had the most delicious $65 filet mignon at Stripsteak and the best Moscow Mule ever. Maybe it tasted so good because again, I was not paying, ha. But I was so full that I had to bail on the parties. (Plus, I had been up since 6AM and it was like 10PM—or midnight my time.) But once I’d successfully put on some yoga pants, I ran around the Mirage and attempted to gamble a little bit. I played the penny slots for a while, but when no one brought me a free drink for playing, I went to bed. I’M SO WILD, SOMEONE STOP ME.

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Wednesday I decided that I would take the monorail to the Las Vegas Convention Center. This turned out to be the worst idea because I was so hot in my bizcaz clothes and the monorail, which I was told was just “across the street,” took about 20 minutes to get to from my hotel lobby. And then once I got to LVCC, I had to walk another 20 minutes from the exit. I regret my no cab decision there. But I wandered around WWDMAGIC. All I wanted to do was look through the Free People booth, but it was so insanely crowded. Womp womp. Not like I could have bought anything anyway. The crazy thing about MAGIC is that it’s all for retailers who are looking for pieces to put in their store, so there is very little shopping. Probably a good thing since I wouldn’t have had any way to bring it back. But I did enjoy the “JAPAN FUN TIME” booth, which had some Sailor Moon products, so I nerded out a bit.

Otherwise, I was trying to sit as much as humanly possible because my feet were just covered in blisters. SEXY I KNOW.

All in all, it was an interesting, fun trip. It’s strange to go to some place like Vegas by yourself for the first time. I would much prefer to go with friends next time obviously, mainly to sit around the pool for the daytime and then go partying at night. All this walking around made me too exhausted for the partying part! According to my fitness tracker, I clocked in about 22 miles during those 3 days.

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Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 1×04 “Rest in Pain”

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There is a sadness in this world, for we are ignorant of many things. Yes, we are ignorant of many beautiful things – things like the truth. So sadness, in our ignorance, is very real. The tears are real. What is this thing called a tear? There are even tiny ducts – tear ducts – to produce these tears should the sadness occur. Then the day when the sadness comes – then we ask: ‘Will this sadness which makes me cry – will this sadness that makes my heart cry out – will it ever end?’ The answer, of course, is yes. One day the sadness will end.”

This intro is very apt, given that the episode revolves around Laura’s funeral. And we see everyone dealing with it in their own, very unique, sometimes bizarre way. When we last left our hero, he was having a crazy dream, but he seems to be in a fabulous mood as he comes down for his breakfast and coffee. Young Audrey is waiting for him, wearing a fancy red dress and ready to pounce. She joins him for breakfast and discusses some of the case.  “We weren’t friends. But I understood her better than the rest.” She tells Coop that Laura worked at the department store her father owns at the–you guessed it–perfume counter. Coop then has her write her name down to compare it to the note slipped under his door that read “Jack with One Eye”. And, of course, it’s a match!

“Audrey, that slanted handwriting indicates a romantic nature. A heart that yearns.”

Audrey leaves when Harry and Lucy arrive, ready to find out who Laura Palmer’s killer is!

Harry, let me tell you about the dream I had last night…My dream is a code waiting to be broken. Break the code, solve the crime.”

He mentions the names Bob and Mike and Harry instantly jumps to Bobby and Mike–and now I feel stupid because I never made that connection before, ha. But that would be too obvious, right? Coop doesn’t think they have anything to do with it. But he presses them that they need to break the code. They soon get called to the morgue because FBI Agent Albert Douchenozzle is fighting with Doc Hayward about wanting to do an autopsy on Laura, even though her body is due to be buried that day.

Oh yeah, well I’ve had about enough of morons and half wits, dolts, dunces, dullards and dumbbells … and you, you chowder-head yokel, you blithering hayseed. You’ve had enough of me?”

AND THEN HARRY PUNCHES ALBERT AND IT’S THE BEST. This dude can’t get any dreamier.

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Coop lets him run his tests until it’s time to move the body. Albert is not happy, but accepts this compromise.

Albert reports that, according to the toxicology report, Laura was doing cocaine. Her wrists and arms were bound with twine–Coop connects this with what the dream-Laura said: “Sometimes my arms bend back.” She also had claw marks on her neck and shoulders, indicative of a bird perhaps. Albert then grumbles about how he could have found out SO much more if he’d had more time with the body. Womp womp.

He then tries to get Coop to sign an official report about Harry assaulting him. Coop is pretty much like, Lol no. But he tell him, in clearer terms, what the Log Lady was trying to say in the beginning:

Albert, I hope you can hear me. I’ve only been in Twin Peaks a short time, but in that time, I have seen decency, honor, and dignity. Murder is not a faceless event here. It is not a statistic to be tallied up at the end of the day. Laura Palmer’s death has affected each and every man, woman and child because life has meaning here, every life. That’s a way of living I thought had vanished from the Earth, but it hasn’t, Albert, it’s right here in Twin Peaks.”

Leland Palmer gets a visitor in the form of his niece Madeline, Laura’s cousin, who looks EXACTLY like her, only with dark hair and glasses. She’s come in town for the funeral. Spoiler alert: It is the same actress. Guess they didn’t want to squander her by just playing a dead body all the time.

Laura’s funeral happens. Bobby looks bored. James shows up late. Coop watches everyone. Audrey is eye flirting with Coop. Everyone is generally sad. Johnny Horne shouts, AMEN. And then Bobby makes everything awkward and starts shouting and yelling at everyone. He’s actually right, though.

You damn hypocrites make me sick! Everybody knew she was in trouble, but we didn’t do anything. All you good people, you wanna know you killed Laura?! You did! We all did and pretty words aren’t going to bring her back, man, so save your prayers! She would’ve laughed at them anyway!”

James and Bobby then have a slow-mo fight. Leland sobs and dives onto the casket as it’s lowered to the ground. The casket just keeps moving up and down under his weight. Sarah Palmer has had just about enough of this shit.

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After the funeral, Coop sits down at the Double R Diner with Big Ed, Harry, and Hawk. After Norma takes their order, Coop says, “Ed, how long have you been in love with Norma?” So perceptive, that one. Anyway, we then meet the Bookhouse Boys, a secret society that keeps order in Twin Peaks from generation to generation–or at least for the last 20 years. They currently consist of Big Ed, Harry, Hawk, and James (and probably some more guys we haven’t met/never will meet). When they go to their clubhouse, James has Jaques Renault’s brother tied up for interrogation. He came across the border with cocaine, but he doesn’t have much information. However, he did happen to leave Jaques a warning. When Jaques shows up for his shift at the roadhouse, he sees a flashing red light and runs away. A phonecall to Leo confirms the two are working together, at least in the drug trafficking.

Coop is watching Laura’s grave and sees Dr. Jacobi come by with a bouquet. He confesses that he was too afraid to come to the funeral and starts crying about how he hopes Laura will forgive him for everything.

At the post-funeral gathering, Leland is being a  dancing weirdo again. He is begging girls to dance with him as he sobs. Coop and Hawk intervene t0 stop the sheer awkwardness of the situation and take him home.

Other things:

  • “Good morning, Colonel Coop.”
    “Just Agent. Special Agent Cooper.”
  • “Nothing beats the taste sensation when maple syrup collides with ham.”
  • Coop and Harry go to interrogate Leo, who is chopping wood in his overalls. He says he was on the road during the time Laura was murdered.
  • “Diane, it’s 12:27 p.m. I’d like you to look into my pension plan options regarding real estate investment. I may look into purchasing a piece of property at what I assume will be a very reasonable price.”
  • Shelly is entertaining her customers with re-enacting Leland’s dive onto the casket.
  • “This must be where pies go when they die.”
  • Shelly comes home with a special present for herself in the form of a tiny gun.
  • Harry and Josie have a cute little date. Which ends with floor makeouts. Bow chicka wow ow. But she confesses to him that Catherine Martell & Ben Horne want to hurt her, take away the mill. Catherine is eavesdropping, dun dun dun.

Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 1×03 “Zen, Or the Skill to Catch a Killer”

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Sometimes ideas, like men, jump up and say ‘hello’. They introduce themselves, these ideas, with words. Are they words? These ideas speak so strangely. All that we see in this world is based on someone’s ideas. Some ideas are destructive, some are constructive. Some ideas can arrive in the form of a dream. I can say it again: some ideas arrive in the form of a dream.”

We start the episode with an awkward family Horne dinner with complete silence. No music, no words, nothing. Just chewing. Until crazy Uncle Jerry comes back from his trip to Paris with a bunch of baguettes.

Ben Horne tells Jerry that the deal with the Norwegians fell through once everyone found out about Laura Palmer’s death. They packed up and left. But, oh hey, there’s a new girl at One Eyed Jacks. “New girl, freshly scented from the perfume counter,” Ben says. This seems like some crazy metaphor, but is actually literal.

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Why is he eating a baguette starting in the middle!? YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.
This is really bothering me the more I look at it.

The night with Donna and James continues from the previous episode. They’re about to get snuggly on her couch after the parents depart. Her dad is quick to say: “Are you coming to church with us in the morning, Donna? 9 o’clock sharp. You know, after you’ve spent your SINFUL night with James?” I added that last part for him. Once the parents are gone, Donna confesses that she’s always loved James. And now she can get on it because Laura is dead. Gotta find that silver lining!

We get to visit the glorious One Eyed Jacks, a casino and brothel (mainly a brothel, let’s be real), run by a lady named Blackie. It’s clear that Ben is quite close with Blackie, whether from a previous affair or because he’s a frequent customer. Probably both. But all the girls come out in their PlayBoy bunny-esque outfits. They meet the new girl–a blond. Hmm, did they perhaps lose a blond recently? HMM? Jerry wanted first crack at her, but loses the coin toss to Ben. There are not enough ways to explain how gross this whole thing is. Lordie, haha.

Back to my precious Coop who is not gross. He gets a call from Hawk, who reports that Ronette had recently quit her job at the perfume counter (see? perfume counter not a metaphor!) at the local department store. And he tells him about a one-armed man sniffing around the intensive care area. When the call ends, Coop finds a letter at his door. It reads: Jack with One Eye. And then he sniffs it because he’s actually a crime dog.

In the woods, he gets his crack team together: Harry, Hawk, Andy, and Lucy. Coop conducts a sort of test of fate that he apparently developed from a dream about Tibetan monks. (I love that the table is just FILLED with an unnecessary amount of donuts.) He has a blackboard with suspect names that have something to do with the letter “J” since Laura referred to a “J” in her diary. Harry reads the names off one-by-one and Coop throws a rock at a glass bottle that’s a specific distance away. He reads James Hurley, Josie Packard, Dr. Jacoby — this knocks the bottle over, but it does not break –, Johnny Horne, Norma Jennings, Shelly Johnson –this hits Andy in the head for some reason –, Jack with One Eye–this is erased once Coop finds out it’s a casino–, Leo Johnson–this rock shatters the glass finally. DUN DUN DUN!

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Back in town, Audrey comes into the Double R Diner and puts her theme music on, which is conveniently located in the jukebox. Donna, who happens to be having her post-church breakfast with her parents (good, she didn’t stay up too late with Forehead McBroody), has a little chat with her about Laura. “There were things about Laura I didn’t like, but she did help take care of my brother Johnny. Guess I sorta loved her for that.”

Do you like coffee?”

“Sure, with cream and sugar.”

“Agent Cooper loooooves coffee.”

YEAH HE DOES. Is that an innuendo? Maybe. They both giggle, as do I.

Albert Rosenfield, number one douchebag from the FBI arrives. He just can’t deal with this small town charm. And he’s immediately a dick to my sometimes slow, precious Lucy, so I automatically hate him. “Albert’s lacking in some of the social niceties….” Ain’t that the truth, Coop.

Leland is not handling Laura’s death well. He puts on some overly cheerful and jaunty tunes on his record player and dances with her prom photo. While screaming. Sarah comes in to stop him from being such a crazy pants. But he retorts with, “We have to dance for Laura!” He and Sarah struggle over the picture but they accidentally shatter the frame. Sarah is like, EFF THIS. And screams a bunch and runs away. The Palmers are super good at screaming a lot.

And  now we come to one of the most important, amazing moments of the series. Coop has the first “Red Room” dream:

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Flashing lights.  Sarah screaming out for Laura. The One-Armed Man:

Through the darkness of future past
The magician longs to see
One chants out between two worlds
Fire walk with me…

We lived among the people. I think you say, convenience store. We lived above it. I mean it like it is… like it sounds. I, too, have been touched by the devilish one. Tattoo on the left shoulder…Oh, but when I saw the face of God, I was changed. I took the entire arm off. My name is Mike. His name is BOB.”

“Mike? Mike? Can you hear me? Catch you with my death bag. You may think I’ve gone insane! But I promise…I will kill again.”

In the dream, Coop is sitting in a room surrounded by red curtains (David Lynch looooves his overbearing colors. Twin Peaks is all about red), black couches and chevron patterned floor. Coop is a much older man (25 years older, perhaps?) and sees Laura and a little man in the room with him. When they speak, it is in a strange, backwards way. Thankfully, there are subtitles.

Let’s rock! I’ve got good news. That gum you like is going to come back in style. She’s my cousin. But doesn’t she look almost exactly like Laura Palmer?”

“But it is Laura Palmer. Are you Laura Palmer?”

“I feel like I know her, but sometimes my arms bend back.”

“She’s filled with secrets. Where we’re from, the birds sing a pretty song and there’s always music in the air.”

Dance of the Dream Man song begins and he grooves while Laura goes to smooch Coop and whisper something in his ear.

Coop wakes with a start and calls Harry: “I know who killed Laura Palmer.” He insists that it can wait until morning and snaps his fingers to the dream song.

Are we really going to find out who killed Laura Palmer in episode 4? Stay tuned…

Other things:

  • Bobby/Mike are dealin’ drugs for Leo. They owe him $10,000, so that’s good.
  • Leo holds a flashlight under his face to be EXTRA intimidiating. I think it actually works.
  • Those woods are insanely creepy. Especially in Bobby vision as he runs through them.
  • ED STEPPED ON HER DRAPE RUNNERS AND DRIPPED GREASE ON THEM. SHE IS GOING TO HAVE THE WORLD’S FIRST 100 PERCENT QUIET RUNNER. “ED, YOU MAKE ME SICK!” Nadine then demonstrates her freakish bout of strength.
  • Shelly is covered in bruises. :( Bobby vows to kill Leo if he ever hurts Shelly again. HE MEANS IT, DAMMIT.
  • The Norma/Ed theme music is precious. They’re so open about their relationship in public. It’s a wonder they don’t get caught.
  • Coop loves his coffee so much he spits it out. “DAMN GOOD COFFEE! And HOT!”
  • “Where there’s no sense, there’s no feeling, Andy!” – Harry being a cute little shit after Andy gets hit with the rock.
  • “God, I love this music. Isn’t it too dreamy?” -Audrey dances in the diner as everyone watches. Cool, we all want to feel super awkward, so thank you.
  • Thankfully, Ed, YOU BIG LUG, dripping his grease all over the DRAPE RUNNERS actually made them the silent drape runners Nadine always wanted. “We’re gonna be SO RICH!”
  • “I had a problem with my fish. Took a liking to my percolator…” Pete just can’t get over it.

Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 1×02 “Traces to Nowhere”

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“I carry a log, yes. Is it funny to you? It is not to me. Behind all things are reasons. Reasons can even explain the absurd. Do we have the time to learn the reasons behind human beings’ varied behavior? I think not. Some take the time. Are they called detectives? Watch, and see what life teaches.”

We’re back with Dale Cooper, who spent the night at the Great Northern Hotel. And now he’s getting some exercise done…hanging upside. 

“Diane, 6:18 AM, Room 315. Great Northern Hotel here in Twin Peaks. Slept pretty well… A hint of Douglas fir needles in the air…. But the true test of any hotel, as you know, is that morning cup of coffee, which I’ll be getting back to you about within the half-hour.”

He ventures out of his room to enjoy his first Twin Peaks breakfast.

“This is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of coffee.”

(Sorry, there are so many famous/amazing/perfect quotes this episode.) The coffee was clearly a success.

Young Audrey Horne, the daughter of hotel owner Benjamin Horne and who used Laura’s death for a means of attention from some Norwegian businessmen, spots Coop enjoying his coffee and bacon burnt to a crisp (there – I spared you the perfect quote of his breakfast order). She’s got them hearts in her eyes in an instant. Who can blame her? “Sometimes I get so flushed… Do your palms ever itch?”

Coop leaves Audrey hanging and heads to the police station. He first encounters Andy stuffing his face with a donut, then runs into Lucy eating a donut, and finally finds Harry with a mouthful of donut: “Hey, three for three!” Before Harry can even swallow, Coop has unloaded a ton of information on him. That he believes the same perpetrator hurt both Laura and Ronette that night in the train car. So, now they have some sleuthing to do! Ahoy!

Shelly is on her way to work and goes to bid Leo farewell. Husband-of -the-Year Leo’s only response is, “Did you finish cleaning my boots!?” And when he discovers she didn’t finish ALL of his laundry, he makes her do it RIGHT NOW. As she begrudgingly throws his dirty crap in the washing machine, she discovers a bloodied denim shirt. Actually using her brain, as most damsels are stereotyped not to do, she hides the shirt.

Meanwhile, Donna, Laura’s SUPPOSED best friend, is having some new, complex feelings. “It’s like I’m having the most beautiful dream and a terrible nightmare all at once.” She wants to keep mackin’ on James (lord knows why), but feels guilty about betraying her best friend. He’s probably still hung up on Laura, anyway, so I don’t see how this is a good idea.

Back at the station, Coop and Harry are interrogating Forehead McGee about his relationship with Laura. He has a flashback to a happier time, where Laura tells him how happy she is because she believes that James really does love her. But he can’t fess up when prompted about the missing locket since he’s the one who gave it to her.

Some more clues arise as Coop and Harry question Josie. She reveals that Laura came to help her with her English twice a week. When she last saw her, however, she seemed troubled. But not being besties, they didn’t discuss it. But that’s all she knows. Special Agent Coop also easily detects the budding romance between Harry and Josie. He is totally, adorably embarrassed by being so easily found out.

His embarrassment is interrupted of the most well-known moments of the series. Coop takes his coffee “black as midnight on a moonless night.” (Jeez, stop being so dreamy.) As soon as they take a sip, however, Pete Martell has some startling news!

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So, who killed Laura Palmer? Here are some more clues throughout the episode:

  • Ed thinks his beer was drugged while a man named Jacques Renault was tending bar. And that’s why he got so beat up.
  • Laura helped Norma deliver meals to invalids. The Meals on Wheels program was her idea.
  • Deputy Hawk follows a mysterious, suspicious acting man towards the hospital morgue. But nothing comes of it as the man seems to disappear.
  • Donna goes to see Sarah Palmer. Sarah is having some cray-cray times due to her grief and first sees Laura in Donna’s face, then sees her bestie BOB.

More fun things of note:

  • “If Nadine caught wind of me and Norma, I’d be playin’ harp for the heavenly all stars.” – Big Ed. This is the greatest way to tell someone you’d be dead.
  • Awkward Norma vs. Nadine scene. ED BOUGHT HER DRAPES, NORMA. THEY INSTALLED THEM TOGETHER, NORMA. THE DRAPE RUNNERS, NORMA.
  • New affair revelation: Benjamin Horne & Catherine Martell. They’re both pretty sleazy, so who is surprised?
  • “For your information, I heard you speaking about Laura Palmer. One day, my log will have something to say about this. My log saw something that night!” -Log Lady
  • Shelly comes home from work with pie for Leo, while he has a bar of soap wrapped in a towel for her. And he’s ready to teach her a lesson about losing her property. HUSBAND OF THE YEAR AWARD.
  • “Pray for the health and safety of James Hurley. Anything happens to him, we’re coming after you.” -Coop, bein’ a BAMF.
  • Audrey doin’ her swanky sway dance.
  • “Laura died two days ago. I lost you years ago.” -Ben Horne with a sick Audrey burn.
  • Awkward family dinners with James & Donna. Nice to see him in a sweater and not his shitty biker jacket.
  • Bobby and Mike see that James is at Donna’s. “Too bad we can only kill him once.” YOU GUYS ARE SO COOL.

The episode ends as Dr. Jacobi, Laura’s psychologist, starts listening to a tape Laura recorded for him. It seems to reveal a LOT of information… So, why won’t he bring it to the police? Oh, and he stole Laura’s locket that James and Donna buried. Another suspect for the list.

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Until next time… Sleep well.

Stephanie Cosplays Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

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Elizabeth – Bioshock Infinite

Cons: Indiana Comic Con 2015

Status: Active

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Since I’ve already cosplayed young Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, I felt like I needed to do another version of her. For some crazy reason.

Costume details:

Corset: I started with a base white corset that I got on eBay. And since the boning was in line with the lines on the corset in her design, I used that as my guide. I sewed strips of black bias tape all around it. Since this was a cheap corset, the boning was not metal, so it was somewhat easy to sew it. SOMEWHAT. Still a bit of a pain overall.

Bolero: I bought royal blue velvet from fabric.com and followed a bolero pattern. I made my own sleeve cuff pattern, which took a few tries to get them the right length folded back. The collar miraculously stays up somehow.

Skirt: I used a simple circle skirt pattern. Okay, actually, Josh patterned this out for me because math. Math and I do not get along, haha. But I put it together and all was well. I ended up not using a zipper since the fabric was quite stretchy, so it’s super comfy.

Hoop Skirt: I knew that the velvet might make my skirt feel a little limp, despite it being a flowy circle skirt. So, I decided to get a hoop skirt to really accentuate the design. I got mine from Amazon.

Choker: Etsy purchase.

Wig: eBay find

Shoes: I used the same shoes as in my young Elizabeth costume. I found them on Ebay and love the old timey look to them.

Skyhook: This was an awesome Christmas gift. I believe my dad got it from ThinkGeek. Anyhoo, I need to mount this sucker on my wall soon because it’s so cool and detailed.

Onto the photos, taken by Cosplay4UsAll. Booker is my lovely friend Nora. She also did the photo edit in the first photo. We are probably the shortest Booker/Liz duo ever.

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Stephanie Watches Twin Peaks: 1×01 “Pilot” or “Northwest Passage”

Kyle MacLachlan In 'Twin Peaks'

“Welcome to Twin Peaks. My name is Margaret Lanterman. I live in Twin Peaks. I am known as the Log Lady. There is a story behind that. There are many stories in Twin Peaks. Some of them are sad, some funny. Some of them are stories of madness, of violence. Some are ordinary. Yet they all have about them a sense of mystery – the mystery of life. Sometimes, the mystery of death. The mystery of the woods. The woods surrounding Twin Peaks. To introduce this story, let me just say it encompasses the all– it is beyond the “fire,” though few would know that meaning. It is a story of many, but begins with one – and I knew her. The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one.”

Thank you, Log Lady. Welcome to my #ThrowbackThursday review of the Twin Peaks series! I will hopefully be doing this every Thursday from now until I’m done with the series, so follow along, skip ahead, whatever you want. Also, I’m reviewing this as though watching it for the first time. There will be no spoilers for future episodes. So, if this is your first time, please join in on the fun…and fire walk with me~

We begin our journey to the Pacific Northwest as Pete Martell makes a terrible discovery: “She’s dead. Wrapped in plastic.”

As the police roll in – super foxy Sherriff Harry S. Truman and bumbling, yet adorable Andy – we discover that the dead body belongs to Laura Palmer, a well-known high schooler in the small town of Twin Peaks. Alongside this discovery, we are forced to endure Laura’s mother, Sarah, calling everyone who might know why her daughter wasn’t in her bed this morning. When she finally calls her husband, Leland, who is working alongside Benjamin Horne at the Great Northern Hotel, it’s just as Sherriff Truman is arriving to tell him the grim news. Cue brutal screams and cries from both parents.

The news gradually reaches everyone in town: from Laura’s family to her best friend (Donna) to her boyfriend (Bobby) to her secret boyfriend (James) and to people who really don’t care either way (Audrey).

And then, drumroll…. Special Agent Dale Cooper is called to the scene, because this murder is similar to one he dealt with a year earlier when a woman named Theresa Banks was found murdered with the letter “T” on a piece of paper under her fingernail.

“Diane, 11:30 AM, February 24. Entering the town of Twin Peaks… I’ve never seen so many trees in my life.”

The investigation begins as they find Laura’s diary and a videotape of her and Donna having a picnic. The video shows the reflection of a motorcycle. So, they begin questioning everyone close to her, mainly Bobby and James. Both of them are clearly too stupid or too doofy to have anything to do with the murders, but they remain suspects all the same.

Bobby is way too busy having an affair with cutie Double R Diner waitress Shelly to have any reason for killing Laura. But, of course, he can’t discuss this because Shelly is actually married and her hubby Leo is one of the worst human’s ever (with THE WORST hair ever), who would more than likely kill Shelly instead of Bobby over the affair. So, aw, he’s protecting her. Kind of.

James is clearly in love with Laura, but couldn’t talk about it because Bobby is her boyfriend. But Bobby doesn’t really care, James. Side note: Doesn’t James have the most intense forehead of any human ever? I hope you enjoy looking at that brooding thing because you’re going to keep seeing it. This is his main expression.

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And what’s worse is that James suddenly becomes all conflicted as he and Donna mourn over Laura together. And then they just start MAKING OUT in the woods together! Jeez, guys, wait until she’s in the ground or until her body is COLD even. But now they have a secret necklace to hide and make out some more.

Meanwhile, my boo Coop is finding some more clues. Another girl named Ronnette Pulaski comes into play, who they think may have been present at the time of Laura’s murder. But she is way too effed up from whatever happened to her to be any help. He looks under her fingernails for the familiar clue, but finds nothing. On Laura’s body, however, he finds a small slip of paper with the letter “R.”

Thanks to this clue, Coop decides to stick around and begin his official FBI investigation.

“Diane, it’s 12:28 am, looks like I’ll be staying locally at the Great Northern hotel.”

A couple other notable relationships that pop up along the way: Big Ed Hurley of BIG ED’S GAS FARM (I love this name) is having an affair with Double R Diner owner Norma Jennings. She’s married to a guy named Hank, who is currently serving time in prison for manslaughter. Big Ed is married to Nadine Hurley, who’s a little cooky, but means well. She’s obsessed with DRAPE RUNNERS.

Sherriff Truman is seeing Josie Packard, owner of the Packard Sawmill. Her hubby Andrew Packard died in a boating accident, so she inherited the mill, much to the chagrin of Catherine Martell. Anyhoo, she’s dating Sherriff Truman, who is the sweetest dude in Twin Peaks pretty much. (I have a super crush on him tbh.)

We end with Sarah Palmer having a horrible vision. Tune in next week for episode 2!

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Random observations as I watched:

  • That goddamn ceiling fan…
  • First overbearing redness: Bobby’s family kitchen when Sarah Palmer calls. Also, the red stripes throughout the school hallways.
  • Audrey’s saddle shoes FTW.
  • Random chick screaming and running through the school grounds after presumably hearing about Laura. Why do you care about Laura so much?
  • Waitress Heidi appearance!
  • “Norma, I’ll see you in my dreams.”
    “Not if I see you first.”
  • THE DRAPE RUNNERS, ED!!! ED!!!!
  • Why is the morgue lighting so shitty? Spring for some non-flashy bulbs, ya’ll.
  • “Diane, I’m holding in my hand a small box of chocolate bunnies.”
  • The beginning of the Lucy/Andy OTP. Andy seems like the kind of guy that would take her last name if they got married. They’re just adorable.
  • Sup Donna’s sister, Harriet, who I don’t think we ever see again.
  • ~Performance by Julee Cruise at the biker bar~ I flippin’ love this song.
  • Ed is pretty foxy tbh. I wouldn’t be mad if he got in a fight for me…even if he got knocked out immediately. Oops.
  • Dale Cooper & Sherriff Truman for True Detective Season 3.
  • James/Donna be making out before Laura Palmer’s body is even cold.
  • The amount of donuts on the table at the police station is awe inspiring.
  • Ominous red swinging traffic light.
  • Extra scene from the international version: Lucy in a shiny dress playing with a paddle board and Andy in a brown suit playing trumpet in their apartment. So random.

Stephanie Reads Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

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Having recently joined the dating world, I was curious about Aziz’s new book Modern Romance. And since he is hilarious in the written form, at least on social media, and also on one of my favorite shows of all time called Parks & Recreation, I figured the book would be entertaining. And that’s exactly what it was, as well as extremely informative and full of intense research and accounts from real people in the dating world—in the past and today. He traveled all over the world, ate some delicious food (damn, the dude really loves his burritos and ramen), and interviewed people that exist all in completely diverse dating worlds.

What I found most interesting is that people from our grandparents’ era were more likely to find their future spouse in someone that lived down the street or even in the same building. And the main use of apps like Tinder are to find people in your vicinity. You can set the parameters based on mileage—and I have mine set at 5 miles because who wants to travel too far for a date? Or end up dating someone who actually live 20 miles away. That may seem harsh, but hey, when you live in a city that relies heavily on public transportation (and when you don’t have a driver’s license, like me), close proximity is an important factor. If you live in a more suburban or rural environment, your range will likely be a lot wider. But I’m speaking specifically from a Chicago perspective.

Either way, not much has changed from then to now, except the prevalence of technology being our go-to way to find a date. We won’t walk down the street in hopes of finding a dude (well, maybe some of us will and hats off to you, brave soul). No, it’s much easier to lie on your couch watching How I Met Your Mother for the millionth time swiping through the available lads of Chicago.

The other big factor Aziz touched on in his book is the culture of texting. He relates this to an exchange he had with a woman that he texted about a date, but never heard back (even though he saw the ‘typing’ dots come up and disappear with no response. THE DOTS WERE THERE. SHE READ THE TEXT, MAN!). His hilarious recount of all the emotions he went through from excitement to anxiety to anger to denial to acceptance seem utterly ridiculous, until you are waiting to hear back from someone you like. Someone that you’ve put yourself out there for and bravely suggested hanging out again. Every time your phone buzzes, your heart races and then instantly drops when you realize it’s just your dumb best friend making a Portlandia reference. Eventually, over the course of several days, the anxiety subsides and you just accept the fact and disappointment that the person might not be that into you. Until they explain themselves a couple weeks later and all is forgiven and now you’re feeling a new emotion: embarrassment for getting worked up over nothing.

Aside from just the stress of setting up dates with someone you like, there’s the whole nature of texting itself and just attempting to conduct natural conversations. Aziz laments that dudes really suck at texting. (I swear, if one more dude asks for boob photos without ever having met me….) And the important thing is to distinguish yourself from all the other dudes that suck at texting. He explains that the generic “hey, what’s up?” text isn’t going to get anyone’s attention because that same girl you’re texting probably has five other guys saying the exact same thing. In my experience, this is definitely true, but even worse than the “hey, what’s up?” is just a “Hi” or “Hey.” Why bother texting if you have nothing to actually say? Us ladies would rather just not be bothered. Because then we feel pressured to respond, but also have nothing to say or we would have texted you in the first place!

Aziz recommends skipping the small talk and getting straight to meeting in person. So, a good initial text is to just suggest a date. I would agree with this because you really don’t want to waste weeks of getting to know someone through text only to find out you don’t really click in real life. Maybe getting to know someone is never a waste, but when there’s a long line of suitors all wanting to get to know you, it’s exhausting. That sounds super arrogant, like oh I have sooooo many guys that like me, I’m soooooo special. But being female and on a dating site looking for a dude — there are always more. (That doesn’t mean more is better, of course. But at least there are a zillion options.)

Once you’ve done the initial date, Aziz suggests giving people more than one chance, even though there are always more. This is a good idea in theory because not everyone makes the greatest first impression, but man…sometimes first dates just suck.

The amount of options we have in our current dating world with Tinder, OKCupid, Match, etc. really is overwhelming. I am astounded that I can swipe on Tinder for ten minutes straight and not run out of guys. This gives me hope that no matter how many bad dates I go on, there will always be someone else out there, but it’s also hard to not think about all the options that could be out there while on any of those dates. For people who always think the grass could be greener, it’s hard to disregard that and settle down.

The book takes you through all of these parts of dating from meeting to texting to settling down into a relationship and relates it to his life and to the lives of the interesting people he met along the way of writing this book. It’s a quick read and I was laughing out loud a few times, especially when Aziz would go on a food tangent, but it’s also super explanatory and full of interesting introspection about our current dating culture. Give it a read!

Stephanie Cosplays Agent Peggy Carter

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Peggy Carter — Captain America: The First Avenger

Cons: Indiana Comic Con 2015; C2E2 2015

Status: Active

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Peggy is the best, duh. After watching a ton of Agent Carter, I had a strong desire to cosplay Peggy. And I knew I wanted to do the SSR uniform because who doesn’t love a lady in uniform? And gives me an excuse to seek out cute Captain Americas (although there was a surprising lack of CA’s at both cons! Womp womp). Plus, I was on a time crunch and didn’t have time to sew anything. So, all the pieces came together just in time for Indiana Comic Con. Wooo!

Costume Details:

Wig: Dark brown wig from Epic Cosplay. I tried using foam rollers for styling, but that didn’t hold. So, I ended up styling each curl by hand, using Aussie Instant Freeze hairspray.

Jacket: Authentic Military Jacket from What Price Glory

Shirt: I bought a white button-down shirt from Target.

Tie: Matching Tie from What Price Glory

Skirt: I found an olive pencil skirt on eBay.

SSR pins: If you google/eBay search “SSR pins,” you’ll find some!

Shoes: I borrowed my friend’s nude pumps, but after five minutes of wearing, I immediately switched to nude flats. I am terrible at heels.

Lipstick: Besame 1946 Red Velvet

Nail: Revlon Red

Photos:

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Dottie: Missy
Howard Stark: Nora

Stephanie Wants: Apartment Wishlist

I’m moving July 1st! So, updates might be a little scarce while I pack, move, get Internet, unpack, and get settled in. It’s gonna be a crazy next couple of weeks. In the meantime, if anyone needs some ideas for housewarming presents, here you go. Anything cat or dinosaur themed is clearly the way to go. I need that T-Rex head more than I realized. I could totally hang scarves on him! See? Multi-purpose!

Apartment Wants

Stephanie Cosplays Skye from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season 2)

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Skye — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Season 2 Version

Cons: C2E2 2015

Status: Active

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I got to wear this costume with my BFFs Nick as Ward and Missy as Simmons. We had an amazing experience running around C2E2 and being super silly. Nick shouted “Hail Hydra” at everyone, including Ming-Na, who could have kicked his ass. And Ming-Na told me, “Oh wow, you have Chloe’s whole outfit!” So that was exciting. And Hayley Atwell told us we were amazing and glared at Nick’s “Hail Hydra.” Also, we ran into Ann Foley, Agents of SHIELD costume designer, who gave us the OFFICIAL seal of approval!

Costume Details:

Most of these items were regular clothes I already had or bought. I also got the SHIELD lanyard from March’s Lootcrate. And my lovely lady friend Dawn made me the cowl hood because she is magical.

Now on to the silly photos we took:

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