The 13 people who make up the Portland Monthly editorial team—writing, design, and digital, mind you—must maintain a delicate balance. We critique each other, a lot. From story pitches rejected to drafts slashed, to asking Art for a whole new font because this one just doesn’t feel right, it can get rough. But when we’re not subtly shifting each other’s commas to and fro, we also form a unified front. Most of our little team has been together for more than six years. As a ragtag, quasi-familial unit, we’ve shared weddings, babies, breakups, and some epic karaoke sessions. (You haven’t really experienced Portland Monthly until you’ve seen editor in chief Zach Dundas channel his punk-rock youth on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.”)
During a particularly harried month of deadlines last year, associate editor Marty Patail (who dives into the drama of Adidas vs. Skechers this month) and I invented the idea of Rogue Happy Hour. In short, it’s off-the-clock drinks, on our own dime, where we let deadlines and red lines go and remember that, you know, we really kind of like each other. Over a smooth sake during May’s monthly installment, art director Mike Novak and I were dreaming of concepts for our biannual fashion feature. The sake, or maybe an owl flying overhead, dropped “Twin Peaks” out of nowhere. The rest of the table cheered. We knew it was right.
Perhaps because I’m a native Oregonian, the David Lynch psychodrama from the early ’90s, set to be reborn on Showtime next year, is in my Northwest blood. I was 9 when the spooky mystery of a woods-bound Washington town first aired—too young to watch it in real time, but my older brother, Eli, convinced our parents to give him a later bedtime and fell hard for the world of kindly sheriffs and supernatural forces. He even had a weathered copy of The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer on the shelf of our Salem home. When my own time came to enter the population of Twin Peaks, it was creepy love at first sight.
Getting to use my Lynch muse to show off our city’s fall style may be one of the most fun times I’ve had getting ready for a photo shoot. Rewatching a show I love fanatically; hunting for the perfect Agent Cooper tie; scouring piles and piles of wood for the perfect Log Lady log—all part of my job. And, of course, my colleagues and collaborators here helped make it all happen. It might just be the best endorsement of coworker happy hours yet.