Friday, April 30, 2010

Animal Novelties

I want a pony-dog! Or a bunny-dog!

Meet Einstein:

Meet Darius:

How cute are they?! Its nice to see that some birth defects turn out so great. Did that sound insensitive? Meh. At least I'm not posting images of the types that don't turn out so great. Hmmm, just thinking about that makes me want to wear a Superman tee shirt and eat a Baby Ruth. If you get that reference, well, I'm glad we're friends ;)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Betty White on SNL = Happiness

So maybe you have already all heard about this, but I am pleased as punch about it! So everyone's favorite Golden Girl, the hilarious and immortal Betty White, beloved by all, has somehow never hosted Saturday Night Live, in all the years that she has been making us laugh. Don't you think that is a travesty? Well, so do over five hundred thousand other people. People like myself. Connected people. Facebook people. After BW was featured in the hilarious Snickers commercial during the Super Bowl, a campaign was started on Facebook pleading to see BW as the host of the thirty-five year old sketch comedy show.

Well the Powers That Be, aka Lorne Michaels, heard the plea and  it is really happening. Now, BW is going strong, but she IS 88 years old, so they decided to have her host the May 8th episode, which is the night before Mother's Day, and so that she doesn't have to carry the weight of the entire night, it is going to be sort of a Women of Comedy thing, with appearances by six fabulous former SNL cast members, namely: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch.

Yeah. It's gonna be a good one. I am not at all an avid SNL watcher these days, more of an SNL Hulu watcher if I specifically hear about a great skit or to see what the brilliant Kristen Wiig is up to (she is the best part of SNL these days). I will definitely want to be watching this episode, however. I luff BW.

Brother Parker, I will be in Bozeman for your college graduation the weekend this airs. I guess we know how we're going to party afterwards. Some cherry enhanced fountain sodas, some pre-packaged cookie dough, some cozy hotel beds and Betty White on SNL... its like they planned it just for you ;)

Here is a promo. She is fabulous.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Glee' Flash Mob (Helping to Sustain My Hope for the Human Race)

Aaah, the joy and inspiration that Glee brings to the masses. Check out this rad Glee flash mob! Glee songs are perfect for a medley of sporadic street dancing! Love it! (Many thanks to Kirsten for the initial link)

The above video is in Seattle, but click HERE to go to YouTube and see several other Glee flash mobs that have popped up in cities around the world. I love that this is a trendy thing and that Glee is such a global phenomenon!! Who wants to organize one and do it at The Gateway mall or something? Haha!

And for those of you who weren't thrilled by last nights new Glee episode, Home, read this recap. I agree with the writer that it is hard to come off of the big and sparkly Madonna episode and that Home deserves a second look. It caught me off guard because I have gotten used to anticipating constant hilarity and rock ballads, but this one was very sentimental and had very 50s musical style numbers. I dug it. But then, to me, Glee can do no wrong ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Things to Do, Places to See & Events to Attend Before I Die

So, despite the fact that I have recently been devising and confirming my summer plans, which, I am pleased to report, should keep me sufficiently busy, I have still been feeling slightly bored and a bit on the wistful side recently (maybe because I have been reading so much fiction lately- I always read a lot, but the last couple of months I have been reading A LOT). I find I always feel better when I have something to look forward to. For me, that something typically needs to be a trip or a death defying act to suitably subdue me for any decent amount of time. I have therefore concocted the below list of thing that I wish to do, places I wish to see, and events I wish to attend while there is life still in me. (Okay, so perhaps the fact that I just turned 28 may have prompted this. A bit.) After you see this list you may deem me fairly ambitious or possibly even unrealistic, but I say, it never hurt a girl to have a few aspirations. This list isn't of the practical, day-to-day, New Year's Resolution variety (get in shape, own a home, have babies, blah blah blah...), this is my just-for-the-fun-of-it, travel/adventure, obscure goal list.

-Tour the Holy Land (including a visit to Petra and a dip in the Red Sea)
-Take a Greece/Turkey Trip (I may need a full month for this one. So many ruins & islands, so much culture & history, such a lot of all around amazingness to behold)
-Go to Bora Bora, French Polynesia (Honeymoon?)
-Visit Angel Falls in Venezuela ('Paradise Falls' in the movie 'Up' were based off these)
-Visit the fjords in Norway during the Midnight Sun
-Visit Prince Edward Island to fullfill my Anne of Green Gables Childhood Fantasies (perhaps combine this with a Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket trip? While there, scout for a plot of land to retire as a dog lady)
-Travel a section of the Silk Road (The whole thing is ginormous and would take forever, but it would be fun to caravan a section as part of another trip or two)
-Hike to Machu Picchu, Peru

-Hike Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
-Go Kayaking in New Zealand
-Do the Canopy Tour Zip-Line, Costa Rica (I did a pretty great zip-line in South Africa, but this is the big original one and is supposed to be gorgeous- apparently there is now a bigger one in New Zealand, so maybe I will just do that?)
-Drive at Maximum Speed on the Autobahnen, Germany
-Raft/Hike Through the Grand Canyon
-Walk the Great Wall of China
-Participate in an Anthropological Dig (I still secretly want to be an archaeologist, but I want to be the one crawling through tunnels, not doing paperwork. Blast you Indiana Jones and Amelia Peabody! I didn't mean that. I love you.)
-Purchase a Hand-Painted Dish Set in San Gimignano, Italy (in person)
-Gondola Ride in Venice (Been to Venice, didn't want to ride, uncoupled as I was. What a waste of romance THAT would have been)
-Go Down in a Shark Cage
-Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
-Go On a Real Submarine Ride
-Swim with Dolphins (I did at a hotel once, but I mean NOT in captivity)
-Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride (I've been up in one anchored to the ground)
-Get up the Guts and Try Out for a Show (I get queasy just thinking about it)
-Attend an Opera at the Paris Opera House (been in the building but not to a performance)
-Attend an Opera at the Sydney Opera House
-Take Lessons: Fencing, Martial Arts or Ballroom Dancing (I took Karate for like 2 months when I was 8 or 9; Doesn't count. I have no skills. Not even nunchuck skills.)
-Sleep in a Tent On a Branch of a Giant Redwood Tree or Hooked to Ropes Along a Cliff Face (Yes, you read that right- might sound crazy but I have seen both in articles in National Geographic. Both are probably better left to the hard core professionals, but, meh)
-Live on the East Coast for a While (NY, Boston, DC…)
-Stay a Night in the Cinderella Suite in Disneyland 
-Read 1,000 novels (I'm currently in the 350's (when I remember them I add them to my Goodreads list to keep track), though I am sure there are some I am forgetting- and I am not counting books like 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' or 'The Berenstain Bears,' (I'm a Belle, not a Gaston) I mean full-length novels
-Learn Italian (even though I know Spanish would be more practical and I know its a travesty that I don't already have a second language)
-Write/Publish Something Truly Timeless & Beautiful (Article? Novel? Memoir? Obituary?)

*The Below 3 Could be Done Simultaneously:
-Stay in the Ice Hotel in Sweden (December-April)
-See the Aurora Borealis, (If via Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, November-April)
-Ride on a Dog Sled

-Attend a Formal Ball/Gala (Political?)
-Attend The Oscars and/or the Cannes Film Festival Once My Brother Parker is a Big, Famous Writer/Director (Alright, so this one requires more effort from him, but I am sure I will still have to put some work in (pleading, groveling, guilt-tripping, blackmailing...) to be his date ;)

-Attend Summer Olympic Festivities
-Be in Boston (or Chicago. Or Ireland, for that matter) for St. Patrick's Day
-Visit DC (and/or East Asia) while the Cherry Blossoms are in Bloom
-Attend a Major Sporting Event (Super Bowl, Wimbledon, a Soccer World Cup...)
-Attend the Kentucky Derby & Wear a Big Hat (May)
-Attend Comic-Con in San Diego, California (July)
-Attend Bonneville Salt Flat Races, near Salt Lake City, Utah (September)
-Attend Marti Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana (February-March)

-Attend the International Kite Festival in Adelaide, Australia (March)
-Attend Carnival in Venice, Italy (February)
-Attend a Palio Race in Siena, Italy (July & August)
- Attend the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
-Find a Way to Survive After LOST Has Ended (I'm not kidding)
-Join the Mile High Club (Haha! I AM kidding! (PS, Mom, I'll explain it to you later))

The following list is items that I have already had the pleasure of doing, but would have been on the To-Do list otherwise. Basically my checked-off section of the list. I hope I don't sound braggy, believe me, I know perfectly well how lucky and blessed I am to have been able to do all of these things by the age of, ahem, 28, and I don't have any idea how they all came to pass or how I will fund all of the above items. I basically wrote this section to make myself feel better about the long way I have to go to accomplish the above section. If anything, you should pity me for having no personal life and compensating by aiming for outrageous things like these.

-Live Abroad: Zimbabwe
-Get Scuba Certified
-Go Bungee Jumping: Victoria Falls (over the Zambezi River, the border between Zimbabwe & Zambia)
-Raft the Zambezi River (saw a dead floating hippo and a couple of live crocodiles. Just little ones ;)
-Ride an Elephant: Zimbabwe
-Go on an African Safari: Kenya
-Go Sky Diving: Oahu, Hawaii
-Go Parasailing: On an Eastern Caribbean Cruise
-Tour Italy, from Lake Como down to Sicily
-See 'The Last Supper' in Milan, Italy
-See 'The David,' in Florence, Italy
-Go to Monte Carlo, Monaco and See Grace Kelly's Tomb
-Go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia
-Rock Climb in Krabi, Thailand
-Visit Stonehenge
-Visit Egypt: Rode a Camel, Saw Old Cairo, Giza, Philae & Karnak, Bought Lotus Flower Perfume and a Papyrus Painting, Sailed the Nile (it was a brief and beautiful week, and there is so much more I would love to go back and see)
-Join a Cause: Tsunami Relief in Thailand
-Go Deep Sea Fishing: Caught a 30 lb Halibut Off the Coast of British Columbia
-Take a True Sailing Trip (where you live on the boat): Belize
-Ride in a Helicopter: Hawaii, Big Island
-Sleep in a Bunk on an Overnight Train ((between Mombasa & Nairobi, Kenya)
-See the Penguins in Cape Town, South Africa
-Visit a Renaissance Fair: Boise, Idaho
-Hike Goblin Valley, Arches, Canyonlands & Zions National/State Parks, Southern Utah
-Attend the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (seeing movies, not just strolling)
-Attend Winter Olympics Festivities, Salt Lake City 2002 (By accident because I happened to be at College there at the time, but I'm counting it)
-Attend a Wedding in Las Vegas, Nevada (Thanks Tawns!)
-Bike the Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii (The Sunrise Tour)
-Become a Season Ticket Holder of Something (This year for the first time, Hale Center Theatre)
-Go to Disney Land and Disney World
-Cut Down Our Own Christmas Tree
-Drive Across the United States (Okay, so we didn't go ALL the way, but from Raleigh, North Carolina to Boise, Idaho is pretty good, so I'm counting it since I have been the rest of the way on separate occasions ;)
-Become a Pirate (Okay, it may just be my Halloween default, but in my head its real. I would have been an awesome pirate. I have the Captain Jack Sparrow hat to prove it.)

By City:
New York: Go to an Original Broadway Cast Production, New York City (I have done this on more than one occasion as it is a bit of an obsession of mine); Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum, American History Museum, Walk the Entirety of Central Park, Eat in China Town, Eat in Little Italy, Dance on the Giant Floor Keyboard at FAO Schwartz, View the Rockafeller Center Christmas Tree and the Windows on Fifth Avenue at Christmas, Watch the Ball Drop in Times Square, Hail a Cab, Eat at Serendipity
London: Go to a Show in The West End (London's equivalent of Broadway); British Museum, Tower of London; Ride a Double Decker Bus; Make a Call in a Red Phone Booth (er, took a pic pretending to make a call, but whatev); Buckingham Palace; Globe Theatre; Tate Museum; Millenium Bridge
Paris: Ride Up the Eiffel Tower; Climp up Notre Dame Cathedral; Go Down Into the Catacombs; See the 'Mona Lisa' at the Louvre; Devour Crepes Galore
Rome: Tour the Vatican; See the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain; Stick My Hand in the Mouth of Truth; Stand on the Spanish Steps; See the Colosseum and the Roman Forum; Devour Gelato Galore

I am sure that I am leaving some things out, possibly in both sections of the list, and I'm also quite certain that I will be coming back and adding things periodically. Can anyone think of other things that I have mentioned or that I am forgetting? Any suggestions for knocking some of these off the list? Anyone want to tag along?

Friday, April 23, 2010

LOST in a Flash: Top 10 from 'The Last Recruit'

Whitney Matheson who writes the Pop Candy column on the USA Today has a LOST discussion thread after each new episode and each Friday she posts the ten most intriguing comments. I seriously cannot believe some of the little Easter Eggs people catch. Here are the ones for the 4/20/10 episode, The Last Recruit. (Click the title to link to the article.) There are some really good ones this week:

1. okgirl_ok: What I love in this episode?
Jack's mirror moment reveals not self-reflection but ... LOCKE!
What a beautiful juxtaposition.

2. Sister Carrie: It looks like the same ancient story was played out in two different ways tonight.
The first is when Locke is in the ambulance and says, "My name is John." I knew this sounded familiar. It reminded me of the story of the birth of JOHN the Baptist. His father Zachariah didn't believe the angel Gabriel when he told Zachariah that his barren wife Elizabeth, a daughter of AARON (and also the name of Libby's sailboat!), would conceive in old age. Because of his UNBELIEF he was struck mute. It wasn't until after the baby was born and relatives were arguing over what his name should be that his father wrote on a TABLET: "His name is John" (the name the angel gave him). At that moment his BELIEF restored him, caused his physical restoration and he was able to speak. I had a feeling tonight that Locke's pronouncement of the words "my name is John" was significant in some way, some declaration of belief that would also lead to his physical RESTORATION (which of course will be at the hands of Jack, who also showed evidence of his BELIEF on the Island tonight).
This same scene was played out in a different way with Sun. She also used a TABLET to communicate because she could no longer speak English. But once she was reunited with Jin, she was able to say "I love you." And Frank rightly said, "Looks like someone got their voice back." Two different kinds of restoration, playing off the same ancient story.

3. jwildstarIt was revealed that Ilana's last name is Verdansky. Is that a play on the name Vernadsky as in Vladimir Vernadsdky, a Russian mineralogist and geochemist who is considered one of the founders of radiogeology?
Interesting that Sideways Ilana has no accent. And on the door to the law office: Sweetzer & Verdansky. That's the second shout out to Sweetzer this season. Penny and Desmond are having coffee at the corner of Sweetzer and Melrose.

guyf wrote: 
Just an observation that what we're being told from some of the characters is inconsistent. If Flocke was appearing as Jack's dad, how did Jack see him in LA in the lobby of the hospital after he got off the island?
Also, Michael said the whispers were heard when dead people appear or are around. We heard whispers before Goodwin's wife told Juliet to stop Faraday and Charlotte from doing their work at the Tempest, and we also heard whispers when Walt would appear. Neither of them were dead. Like always, I wonder if there's more to the story...
I agree completely with you...I was really disappointed when Flocke told Jack that he was pretending to be Christian. It doesn't make any sense at all. Christians body was missing from the coffin, unlike Locke's body who was still in his coffin. This has already been discussed but MIB doesn't take over someone's actual body, he takes over their likeness. So where is Christian's body??? I always thought that Christian had been brought back to life due to the island's healing powers (or Jacob's touch). Remember at the beginning of season 5 when Sun and Lapidus went to the dharma camp looking for Jin. It was Christian who they found in the dharma camp waiting for them. He told Sun that if she wanted to see Jin again, that she would have to be "patient"; the same thing that Richard told Ben when he was a child (when Ben asked to join the others). This seemed like a very Jacob-y thing to say. Also, at the same time Sun and Lapidus were talking to Christian at the dharma camp, Flocke was already walking around back at the beach with Richard/Illana...remember??? Flocke and Christian can't BOTH be MIB. Flocke is lying to Jack and Claire. He is manipulating them so that they trust him. I don't think we've seen the last of Christian.
And your point about Jack seeing Christian in the hospital off the island...we NEVER see MIB off the island but Jacob on the other hand..he's been seen quite frequently.

5. Ashleysailvt: To piggyback on my whole Flocke is lying about being Christian thing...When Jack asked if he was pretending to be Christian and FLocke said yes, Jack asked why. FLocke's reason: "You were looking for water". Jack JUST told Hurley this story a few episodes back while they were in the caves on their way to the lighthouse. He said when he was out looking for water, he saw his father in the jungle. He said he chased his father until that pursuit led him right to the water he was seeking. MIB could've totally overheard that story...or Hurley could've repeated it to him?

6. kraz: Looking like Desmond going through the magnetism box has somehow put Jacob into his body. He has all the knowledge that Jacob does and is performing all the same tasks in the alt timeline.

7. KerryAnn: When Jack dives from the bomb and Locke carries him away, he tells him, "Now you're with me" (pardon it is not exact). This makes me think JACK JUST DIED.

8. wolv256: And I know the big theory is gonna be "Is Jack dead?" But remember the dynamite couldn't kill him earlier. I don't think he's dead.

9. HowwillitendThe paramedic taking Locke to the hospital said that Locke's wheelchair was totally destroyed. That's not true! I saw the screencap showing Desmond driving away after hitting Locke, and the wheelchair is just fine!!
This is one of many odd occurances happening in the sideways world. The date being off on Claires sonogram, The flight arrivals that Desmond is looking at shows Oceanic 815, arrived, the next frame, it say it hasnt arrived yet.Desmond being on the plane, then seeming to vanish!
Could this mean that there are Two sideway worlds, or are things just out of sync with that world because it's not supposed to happen that way?

10. Sister CarrieNow Original Ben and Sideways Locke have a shared experience: lying facedown on an operating table waiting for Jack to save their lives.
Should Juliet find her way into the OR, their experience will be complete.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LOST S6: E13- The Last Recruit

The doctors take the bodily evidence as the disease. . . . disease is itself an impudent opinion. He throws off the feelings of the sick and imparts to them his own which are perfect health, and his explanation destroys their feelings or disease. . . . He is like a captain who knows his business and feels confident in a storm, and his confidence sustains the crew and ship when both would be LOST if the captain should give way to his fears.
-Phineas Parkhurst Quimby

Wow, so everyone is finally starting to come together in the Flash-Sideways world and also in the Island world, sort of. Also, we got the clarification that it HAS been Smokey/The LockeNess Monster showing up as Christian Shephard, and probably everyone else's loved ones, and messing with everyone all this time. So the only dead spirits I trust are the ones that Hurley sees and Miles hears.

Sayid: Is there still hope for you?! It seems to me that if we didn't see it then it didn't happen, and therefore Sayid did NOT kill Desmond. Loved that conversation at the well. Unlike LockeNess who plays on peoples fears and insecurities and selfishness, Desmond is acting like Jacob and helping Sayid to make an honest and logical choice. The man surely knows how to play the love card. "What will you say when she asks you what you did to be with her again?" Poignant. Even if Sayid is turning a new leaf, I still, sadly, think he won't make it through the end of the season. Maybe he can at least die as a martyr though.

Sun & Jin: Yay! They are finally together on the island! Its been like two seasons that they have been apart! She even got her English back when she saw him. Sigh, gotta love a good Constant. Also yay, in the Sideways their baby is a-okay! Interesting that Sun recognized and was afraid of Locke when she saw him in the hospital. I bet she doesn't even really understand why, and it all ties into the theory that those dead or close too it or badly injured have a closer connection to their parallel selves. when Island Sun was knocked out and made a connection to Sideways Sun and lost her English, Sideways Sun mist have also felt something and had some kind of vision or memory of Locke (Well, Smokey as Locke).

Sawyer: Oh buddy, bitter much? I think Jack is right and he knows that there is still something you need to do on the island, but I can understand him not feeling like he owes the island anything when it has sent him through the ringer- its one thing for Jack who decided to come back, but Sawyer has never even gotten to leave at all since he jumped out of the helicopter for them, got tossed into the 70s and then loved and lost Juliet. He'll come through in the end though. He always does. In the sideways, I liked his comment to Kate about someone trying to bring them together- Oh James, always so surprisingly insightful. I do love always love the sassy back-and-forthing between Kate and Sawyer, and we will probably see a little somethin' somethin' between them in the next couple episodes, but I am still holding out that we will see Juliet before the end, that she will be Jack's baby mama and that she and Sawyer will meet and it will be instant connection.

Claire: Still don't know what to think about her. I think she was sincerely hurt and felt abandoned by everyone and she was definitely shooting laser darts of death out of her eyes as she watched everyone leaving her again. Yet I also think she was sincerely touched by Kate's little speech. I always love the Kate and Claire scenes. I like Kate in the sort of big sister role. When Claire decided to go with them though, I definitely got bug eyes and chills when she said, 'If he finds out we're gone... he's gonna be mad.' In the Sideways, I admit that if I were Claire I would have been a little creeped by Desmond's insistence. Awfully convenient that Ilana (now with an American accent) and her law firm were in the same building and even the same floor and the adoption agency that Claire was headed to. There's kismet for you. Sorry Jack was a tad abrupt with you Claire, sweetie. He's just in a bit of shock. Ummmm, her preggo belly looked super phony.

Jack: "Doesn't feel right leaving the island... last time it felt like a part of me was missing... we're supposed to do something... maybe he's afraid of what we do if we stay..." Sawyer: "Get off my boat." Jack: "I'm sorry if I got Juliet killed." Hmmmm. Well, it is still holding that Jack seems the likeliest Candidate, but again, maybe its to throw us off and surprise us in the end. Then the Widmore bombing. I guess those electromagnetic maps that Jin helped them out with are doing the trick. Good thing it was only extras (who are dressed like they are ready to follow Moses through the Red Sea) that got killed. What body part was it that fell next to Jack's head? Gross. (But it still made me chuckle. I'm so morbid). LockeNess may have hauled you away Jack, because he needs you, but don't you trust him! What exactly did it mean when Claire said that he was with LockeNess? 'You decided the moment you let him talk to you, just like the rest of us.' Jack, make sure Sayid's allegiance is with you, and get Desmond (Is Des out of the well now and stalking LockeNess?) In the Sideways, it was almost too sappy with Jack and his son, which reminded me of a couple of weeks ago with the Desmond episode and how things are supposed to feel perfect here and that it might all be a facade or a Matrix. Except that now, the people from their real lives are crashing into them and its coming back. Will we get a Locke-walking miracle from Dr. Shephard? I liked his confidence going into the surgery.

Lines of the night:

Harshest- "John Locke was not a believer. He was a sucker."

Hurleyism- "What's going on?" "People trying to kill us again."

Sawyerism- "That pilot that looks like he stepped off the set of a Burt Reynolds movie." Also, his reference to Claire drinking LockNess' Kool-Aid. Ha!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'Embrace Life'

So I wouldn't typically post something that as mundane as a seat belt commercial (unless it was a spoof, of course), but this particular commercial was just so cleverly and artfully done and is not condescending or scolding at all, like most public safety type ads tend to be. It's really quite beautiful and I seriously almost teared up. Yeah, for a cynic, I'm quite the sap. (Thanks to my sister-in-law Sara for sending me this video).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Roller Derby 101

(*Click the post title to go to the website*)

So this weekend my friend Jen and I went to a Girls Roller Derby match in Ogden.Why? Because there was a Girls Roller Derby match in Ogden. How could we pass up on a chance to say we'd been to one of those?

The two teams were The 25th Street Brawlers (in pink) and Wasatch Roller Derby (in blue). Right off the bat we were rooting for the Brawlers. My brother-in-law would tell me that my reasons for this are girly, as are most of my reasons for favoring certain sports teams, but I am, after all, a girl. Our reasons were as follows: 1- Their name was cooler, 2- They were wearing pink which just seemed right for a Girls Roller Derby team, and 3- they had more individual personality with bright tutus and tights than the other team that were all more demure in their choices and just felt like a whole instead of being able to single out specific girls to root for, 4- the sister of the guy who was sitting next to me was on that team. For not having been to a RD match before and having no connection to either team, I feel that these were all valid reasons.

Had to love the signs on the floor where we were sitting.

Friendly ENT's waiting on the sidelines in case someone gets severely pummeled. Disappointingly, nothing too serious happened. I wonder if these guys enjoy getting assigned to a show or if the whole time they were thinking, 'we could be out helping people who are getting hurt by accident.'

Difficult to capture such swiftly moving persons

The girl in the font in the pink tutu who is mostly in focus is Skull Candi, captain of the Brawlers.

You can go HERE to read more specific rules and get a history of the sport, which it fairly interesting, but here is what we picked up as we watched (because we had no idea before hand.) The Derby was split into two halves, each about forty minutes long, and there are several heats. In each heat one girl sticks a cover over her helmet with a star on it and to get points that girl has to get through everyone and make one full lap around. They keep trying for as many laps as they can within each heat and they swap out who has the star (and the other positions) each heat.

Unexpected Highlights (is 'highlights' the right word?):

1- There were two commentators throughout (they must have been local radio hosts or something) and I couldn't really say if they were more amusing or irritating. Example: at one point one of the Brawlers, code name, Carnage Kitten, had a pretty bad hit and the stopped everything so the ENT's could have a look at her to be safe. After a few minutes when is was clear it was nothing serious, one of the commentators said something along the lines of, "What a trooper. All Carnage is suffering from is too much awesome." Jen and I exchanged a silent eye roll and moved on.

2- There were some pretty exciting falls and shoves, but we were slightly disappointed that there was no blood and that no scuffles broke out. We did almost get rammed into by a roller girl who got knocked out of the rink. She slid into the lady sitting next to us.

3- Four little scouts came out at the beginning with an American Flag and one of them was on the microphone trying to give them orders the whole time, 'about face!' and stuff like that, and they had no idea what they were doing. It was hilarious and I wish I had gotten video of it, but I was busy with, you know, my hand over my heart like the true patriot that I am ;)

4- The fact that they patted down the girls right before the match started to make sure no one was packing any kind of shiv. The announcers played it of lightheartedly, but I'm pretty sure they were serious.

5- The creeper fourteen or so year old kid and his Grandma sitting near us. The kid had a crush on the captain of the Brawlers, 'Skull Candi', was not in the least embarrassed when Grandma told us this little fact, kept pestering his Grandma to take pictures of her for him, and at one point, in his weaselly voice, excitedly told me how Candi was dating one of the Refs, though the kid obviously didn't know her personally. Grandma told me that she came for lack of something better to do, and saw that her ex-stepdaughter (yeah, sounds complicated) was on the team, though she certainly wasn't there rooting for her. It's a toss up who wins the creeper award of these two.

Turns out we were rooting for the underdog and didn't know it. We were kind of surprised when part way through the second half we realized, ummm, where was I? Oh yes, we were surprised to discover that the Brawlers were being quite badly beaten. Because we were gradually figuring out how rules and points went as we watched, and because we were so distracted and captivated by the feisty flurry of pink, we didn't notice how often Wasatch was scoring. It ended up 142 to 67, Wasatch. apparently they have a shot at going to Nationals. Yup. Roller Derby has Nationals.

Not sure how clear it is with all the cheering, but I loved hearing them announce all their funky names. Examples: Daisy Dukes Em' Out, Tsunami Bombshell, Pandora the Explora, Mauly Mormon, Sadistic Stiletto, Skatey GaGa, Chica Dolor, Miss Bizness Das...

And here they are in action:

The verdict, creepers aside: Was it quite as exciting as I hoped it would be? Sadly no, though I bet going to Nationals or a Derby competition that was more professional and hard core, would be extremely fun. Am I glad I went, was I entertained and would I go to one again? Yes, yes and yes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

LOST in a Flash: Top 10 from 'Everybody Loves Hugo'

Whitney Matheson who writes the Pop Candy column on the USA Today has a LOST discussion thread after each new episode and each Friday she posts the ten most intriguing comments. I seriously cannot believe some of the little Easter Eggs people catch. Here are the ones for the 4/13/10 episode, Everybody Loves Hugo. (Click the title to link to the article.) Also, I would like it to be acknowledged that I already mentioned a couple of these in my own posts ;)

1. layfieldster: "Why arent you afraid?"
The line that Locke spoke to Desmond before he pushed him down the well. This wasn't just a question but it appears that it was a concern of MIB. And looking back it does seem that everyone he motivates and influences is guided by fear. MIBs main weapon is prying on people's fear in order to get them to do what he wants. Thus, it appears that MIB relies on fear and Jacob always relies on choice. This is the significant difference that separates the battle lines.

2. Sister Carrie: Not to sound like a broken record, but Michael again brought up the idea tonight of being "stuck" on the Island "because of what I did." He confirmed that The Whispers were others who were also stuck, unable to move on.
Maybe this was another example of the creators introducing a theory to dismiss it, but when reviewing Libby's backstory I came upon her encounter with Eko and Charlotte Malkin in the airport. Charlotte tells Eko that she saw Eko's brother Yemi when she was DEAD and "BETWEEN PLACES."
So again we have this idea of the Island as an "in-between place," somewhere people are "stuck." This could be another reference to the Island as "underworld," "abode of the dead," "Sheol." All are in-between places where people await final judgment. BUT Michael seems to intimate tonight that there is the possibility for REDEMPTION even for those in this holding cell. He tells Hurley that if he ever sees Libby again to tell her he's "very sorry."
So perhaps there is a way to be "unstuck" and that is through REDEMPTION or FORGIVENESS. I so wanted Hurley to say, after the big kiss with Libby on the beach: "Michael says he's sorry." And then Michael would be free!

3. EileenBurmeister: On a more serious note, I couldn't remember where I had heard Spanish Johnny, the restaurant Hurley was to meet Rosalita at. "Spanish Johnny" is from Bruce Springsteen's "Incident on 57th Street." Spanish Johnny is described as "dressed just like dynamite." He meets "Puerto Rican Jane" who wants to take him "to the other part of town where paradise ain't so crowded." The new couple find their "soul flame" while "out on the street tonight." The song that comes after this one on the album? "Rosalita." I'm just saying...

4. Superdudex: Maybe at this point Desmond knows more than we've seen him remember. He is not trying to create near death experiences for the other passengers, but he is trying to recreate significant moments that will trigger their recollection.
Desmond's moment of recollection came not when he came in contact with his constant, but when he lived a nearly identical moment to his other self (Charlie's hand underwater).
Charlie's must have been as he was dying by lack of oxygen.
Faraday's when he saw Charlotte.
And now he is trying recreate moments for others:
Hugo's is when he kisses Libby (happened in season 2, and Desmond makes no attempt to create near death, just watches and makes sure it happens)
And at the end of the ep we saw Locke's recollection, as he was lying on his back after an accident, just like when he was pushed out the window.
How Desmond knows how to trigger their recollections i don't know. But it seems more recollection knowledge comes with more similar experiences (Desmonds other flashes when he was in the electromagnetic machine, when he shook hands with Penny, and Libby's on being in the institution and sitting on the beach with Hugo). Maybe he's made a significant recovery of other-life memories by meeting with Penny for coffee and following around other Oceanic people.

Exurban Mom (0 friends, send message) wrote: 5h 18m ago
I think, in lieu of a mirror moment, we get Hurley looking at himself on a poster for Mr. Chicken. It's very close to a mirror moment, anyway, and the camera does pause and look at the poster for a second before Hurley is seen entering the Mr. Chicken franchise for his family bucket.
Why couldn't the "mirror" moment be at the beginning with the film showing him from a baby through his life's work? It was a way for Hurley to reflect on his life and where he's at now like everyone else did with their instant mirror reflections.

6. dd42: When Richard said to ask Jacob was the Island was, I think he was referring to the 'cork' for the wine bottle, not something we haven't heard before. It was something that Jacob told Richard a long time ago.
Also, it seems like only people that originally died on the island (charlie, libby, faraday) have knowledge that the sideways world is not the "right" world. Except for Desmond because the rules don't apply to him. But only after they touch those who are still alive in the island world, do they realize this to be true as well in the sideways timeline.

7. Bubble of Sanity: The dynamite from Black Rock is all gone now; the atomic bomb has been detonated. I've got to find some explosives somewhere, because if they kill Desmond, I will blow up this show and look for an alternate timeline...
The "previews" of next week were the most revealing I've seen on "Lost" in quite some time. It appears that both Desmond and Locke survived their "encounters" with each other. Now, we will have to see what becomes of that. I'm with those who say that Desmond was sending Locke to a meeting with Jack. Not only will they both connect with the island, Jack will fix Locke's back.
As I noted in another post, in Genesis, Joseph the son of Jacob is thrown into a well. I have since noticed that there are references to Jacob's well, even in the New Testament. Is it possible that Desmond will be a "son" of Jacob, rescued from the well, and used to deliver everyone else, as happened in the biblical story?
To those of you who have already read what I said earlier, I'm just connecting a little more.
Oh, and to the one who mentioned compiling a list of the ten funniest moments, I'm grotesque enough that I nominate the following:
#1 - Arzt and the dynamite, with Hurley's follow-up comment. I remember that when it went off, everyone was shocked, but maybe a little relieved that Arzt had finally shut up...hilarious.
#2 - Juliet's husband and the bus. I did not think it was funny when it happened to Nadia, but Juliet's spouse was abusive and controlling, up to his comical last moment.
#3 - Ilana and the dynamite. If it's funny once, why isn't it funny twice? Maybe not...

8. CA Steeler: Desmond will do anything to make sure everyone meets up with their constant...even if it takes running over John Locke so he can see his constant, Jack Shepard.

9. eyolar: Okay, when Locke is on the ground after getting run over, I totally flashed on wow, that reminds me of when Locke is on the ground after the plane crashed originally. Also, it totally reminded me of his panicked, painful breathing after getting thrown out of the window. Now, bear with me, but that is when Jacob showed up and touched Locke, to comfort him as he lay there, very much in the same way that Ben was comforting Locke as he was laying on the ground after Des ran him over. Hmm, that makes 3 near-death experiences for Locke now doesn't it? That's got to be significant in some way.

10. Kathryn -- DC: At the very beginning of the episode, when Hurley is talking with his mother outside of the hotel, I think he made a reference to "The Human Fund." That is a fictional foundation from Seinfeld.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

LOST S6: E12- 'Everybody Loves Hugo'

I couldn't tell fact from fiction,
Or if the dream was true
My only sure prediction
In this world was you.
I'd touch your features inchly.
Beard love and dared the cost,
The sented spiel reeled me unreal
And I found my senses

-Maya Angelou

Wow, so, Ilana got blown right up there. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Provocative musings by Ben, wondering what the island would do when it was done with all of them.

Hurley & Libby: Aaaah, so once again its a loooove connection that brings it all back. Libby and Hurley are then new Demi and Ashton. Nice how their conversation paralleled their island conversation on the cliff just before she was killed. I chuckled a little after she kissed him and he was like, "I think I'm remembering stuff." I was waiting for him to say, "Maybe if you kiss me some more..." Yeah, yeah, nice line buddy ;) (Also, this knocks Libby out of the runnings for potential Mother of Jack's son, so I'm thinking its Juliet).

Hurley & the Spirits: So the whispers are officially souls that are stuck on the island and can't move on. Is it like poltergeists or like purgatory? I should probably stop speculating into too much detail because I am guessing we won't get this answer, and the details probably don't really matter to the plot, but I can't help wondering what is the criteria for a soul getting trapped? Because they didn't get closure about something in life? Because they can't forgive themselves for their actions? Because someone alive is still holding on to them? Again, its probably unimportant and I can't be nit-picky, but it did leave me curious. Interesting to have Michael, the murderer of Libby, playing Hurley's Spirit Guide this week. Nice of him to apologize, I suppose. I do really think it IS Michael, too. Smokey used to be able morph into different people, but Ilana said early in the season that he had made his choice and I really do believe that at this point, other than still being able to be Smokey, he is stuck as Locke. Therefore, I do believe that every time Hurley speaks with a spirit it really is that person. Does that mean he should always listen to them though? Not necessarily. I mean, now all of the original Oceanic 815 people (who are still alive) are with LockeNess. (Except for Jin, of course- can't poor Sun and Jin catch a break?!)

Theories I Am Clinging To: 1- Jack seeming like the obvious choice for Candidate. I have talked about this before, but it came into play again this week with his conversation with Hurley. Jack is learning that he can't be in control all of the time and learning to let others lead sometimes: "this is me trusting you." 2- Last week with Charlie I talked about how it seemed that perhaps those who were no longer living in the island timeline were closer to their memories. I think that held this week with Libby.

The LockeNess Monster: He told Kate, "You were only able to get on this island because you did it together; if we're going to get off it has to happen the same way." I wonder how true that statement is, and if true, what all 'the same way' entails. The return of the phantom child who keeps haunting/taunting LockeNess. It still seems the most likely that it is somehow a young Jacob, but we await an explanation. He seems to really freak ol' Smokey out (he way Sayid keeps freaking me out with his dead, shark eyes). Another thing that seems to freak him out is Desmond's lack of fear. "What is the point of being afraid?" If Smokey IS a stereotypical mythological villain, then fear is probably his greatest weapon because he can control people that way. You can't manipulate someone who has no fear at all. Unless you create something to make them afraid, I suppose. I didn't even flinch when he toppled Desmond into the well. It was all too obviously coming, and I refuse to believe that Desmond is going out that way, so I'm not bothered by it. Ilana was one thing, because we didn't really know her, but Desmond is too important.

The Conversation at the Well: So the well is really old, and its not the only one, and it was dug by people who wanted to find answers (about the island, the meaning of life, the universe...?) According to Smokey, Widmore is not one of these people and only wants power, not answers. From what we know of Widmore's past and the way he has acted thus far on the island (collecting Jin for his knowledge of the Dharma maps and being, for all we can tell, ignorant of the Candidates situation), I think this is probably true. Does it have to be one way or the other though? If he craves power, can't he also crave answers? He DOES seem to know that Smokey is evil and not to be released from the island. I don't trust him any more than I trust Smokey though.

Flash-Sideways Desmond: I enjoy seeing him play the sweet little guardian angel, pushing people in the right direction. He is so confident and I wish I knew what he knows. I'm torn about his reasons for hit-and-running John: 1- He knows that the way to connect John with his island memories is to get him to Jack and give him a walking miracle, 2- he truly did want to kill him in the hopes or knowledge that it would weaken him as the host/vessel of Smokey.

Favorite Hurley Lines: 'Give me a bucket. Family size' ... 'He's one of the people who come back and yell at me after they die' ... 'Clearly she's good enough for like, a fajita field trip.' Also, him teasing Libby about this 'bizarro universe' she is remembering- gotta love it when the characters call it like it is. I can appreciate writers who can make light of themselves.

Anyone notice how in the preview for next week they were playing the eerie, crazy song from tunnel scene in the 1971 Willy Wonka movie? Creepers.

Also, check out this sweet promo I found, haha!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Amelia Peabody Mysteries

The Amelia Peabody Mysteries, by Elizabeth Peters, is my very favorite book series of all time. I know that is quite a statement to make, particularly when there are such rivals out there like Harry Potter, but I just love them. I, along with the majority of my family, have been reading them and following the series and the author for years. I probably started reading them when I was fourteen or so and at that point there were probably eight books in the series and Ms. Peters was very good for a while at getting a new book out every Spring adding up to a total of eighteen books in the series. Until today. It has been four years and I had been very afraid that the eighteenth book would be the last as Ms. Peters isn't exactly a spring chicken these days, she has other series that she is working on as well, and the last one wasn't any kind of cliff-hanger and very well could have been left as the conclusion.

If you aren't familiar with the series, they are about British Archaeologists working in Egypt around the turn of the century. Might sound boring and historical described like that, but every Season they go out they get caught up in some exciting mystery. These books have a little of everything in them. They are murder and intrigue, romance and adventure, lovingly sculpted characters and they are hilarious to boot. Also, Ms. Peters has a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, so with all of the historical information about the locations at the time and the dates of certain discoveries, she knows what she is talking about. I was a History major, so maybe that part of it appeals to me particularly, but they really are wonderful all around.

I guess there is one more thing that I should sheepishly mention... they are the product of my biggest book crush ever. And I read a lot of books. Ramses is the name and it has really almost become a joke in my family now, "I wish you would find your Ramses"... "Have you met Ramses yet?"... What's taking Ramses so long?"... "Ramses has ruined you for real men..." Alright, so maybe nobody in my family has actually said that last one to me, but I know they are thinking it. (And it's only somewhat true- Westley from The Princess Bride is partly to blame ;) As Ramses is described in the book at one point:

He pretends to despise the gentleman's code of his class, but he is everything they claim to be and seldom are- gentle and strong and brave and honorable.

I'm not much of a swooner, but if anyone could get me to it's Ramses.

The new book, Amelia Peabody Mystery No. Nineteen, is called- A River in the Sky. It is a prequel- not of the whole series, but it comes sort of in the middle, and it is classic Amelia and I smiled through every moment of it. In my thinking, nineteen is an awfully awkward number and she might as well round out the series into a nice even twenty at this point, right? Here's hoping.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LOST S6: E11- 'Happily Ever After'

Now, little boy LOST, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He's sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall
How can I explain?
Oh, it's so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn.

-Bob Dylan

Desmond loves Penny...
Charlie loves Claire...
Daniel loves Charlotte...

Love makes them remember... love conquers all! Be still my beating heart during the cat scan Penny flashes! Also Penny's giddy laugh and Desmond's joyful strut as they parted ways at the stands. Does this whole show boil down to soul mates?! I can dig it.

I had fun with the opening island scenes of this episode. It felt all Island of Doctor Moreau-ish. At first it seemed like the Jurassic Park compound and I was sure we would hear raptor screeching, then when they turned on the generator too soon and the dude was still touching it, I wanted it to morph him and give him a crab hand or make him like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly or something, but sadly they played it safe with the old 'fried to death' bit.

Des has always been the wild card and could travel back and forth to the different times in his mind. Widmore knows this about him. Is Widmore aware of the alternate timeline and knows that Desmond is the only one who can connect the two realities? Was electromagnetism the only way to connect him to the other world? In the end Des seemed to understand his purpose, or at least felt good about knowing he had a purpose, but Widmore referred to it as a great sacrifice. What does it entail?

The first few Flash-Sideways sequences we saw seemed to be really positive alternatives and giving people closure. Then we had a couple that were sort of ambiguous and made me question that, like Sayid's and Sun/Jin's. This week is the first time I really viewed the Sideways scenario to be sort of trickery or a facade. Is an ominous Someone trying to keep them happy in this fake world and trying to give them what they want to keep them form their higher callings? It made me think of the scene in Labyrinth when Sarah is sort of drugged to forget her purpose so that her time to succeed will run out, but then she sees some familiar things and remembers. Desmond taking Penny's hand was sort of his, "you have no power over me" moment where he knew who he was and what was needed of him. Apparently in both realities. Not sure why he was so cool going with Sayid in the end, but maybe we is just so zen in his purpose and in the euphoria of Penny that he knows he will be able to accomplish his mission no matter what? He wants the flight manifest because he needs to 'show them something.' What is the plan, Des?

The title of this episode was Happily Ever After, which could just be a sweet reference to the love story that is Desmond and Penny, but I think it is meant to be taken a little more, ironically or sarcastically. The Flash-Sideways seems to represent this facade of happily ever after, but it can't last because there is no such thing as that. Not in a cynical way, just in a realistic way. No 'happily ever after' doesn't mean no happy in your life, it just means there are responsibilities and sacrifices to think of. Also, however much you (whoever the you or what is in this situation) try to give people new memories to keep them... distracted, so to speak, you apparently can't actually rid them of their strong emotions. Reality is their true Happily Ever After and they need to get back to it.

The Flash-Sideways is our Losties Matrix Eloise Hawking Widmore, what do you know, woman? "What happened, happened," - nice touch. She was always a bit of a Seer- does she understand the discrepancies in the Flash reality but prefers to stay in it because she gets to keep her son in this version of her life, like the betrayer in the first Matrix who wanted to forget? What is interesting though, is that with this new perspective of the Flashes I am thinking back on what has been taken from these people to make them start seeing the truth. For Des, Charlie and Dan its their ladies, for Sun/Jin it is their child who they may have lost when Sun was shot... but for others they were given something- A son for Jack, a shot at raising Aaron for Claire... they might be harder to convince. Desmond is the new Jack, trying to get everyone 'back to the island' in a way. Though this episode was the most blatant, Des and Charlie and Daniel aren't the only ones remembering, so maybe it won't be hard to convince the others of the truth, it just might be hard to get them to make the right decision in choosing their real life. There were scenes/moments with some of the others, most specifically Jack, where they seemed to have deja vu or were trying to makes sense of a memory.

Charlie was also, of course, the perfect person to help guide Desmond because of their friendship in the other reality which manifested it in the 'Not Penny's Boat' scene. Charlie looked outside of himself- did he remember the island and Desmond when he almost died before and did the hand thing to jog Desmond's memory? Maybe Charlie is just sort of a talisman since he is dead in the other reality. Maybe its because he is dead in the other reality that he is so much closer to his memories than the others. The way Juliet slipped into it just before she died and the way Sun was affected when she passed out.

Nice touches & parallels with the Flash-Sideways: Running into Claire and predicting a boy, Having the scene in Widmore's office where they drink together and Widmore tells him nothing is too good for him when in a previous situation in his office he won't offer him a drink because he isn't good enough, having George be the driver in this episode since he was in the pivotal Constant episode, the nutty guy who died on the freighter, I believe of a brain aneurysm for his lack of a Constant.

Great lines of the night:

Daniel- "What if this wasn't supposed to be our life?" ... "I don't want to set off a nuclear bomb... I think I already did."

Charlie- "Spectacular, consciousness-altering love," nice description, and "then why are you accosting a man in a dressing gown."

Penny- "I shook your hand and then you fainted; I must have quite an affect on you," and the classic, "have we met before...?"