Friday, February 27, 2009

Lost S5: 7 - Rewind

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham B+
I. Loved. This. Episode. If Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn don't get Emmy nods for this then I am quitting the show forever! Ok, maybe not forever, but I'll be really really pissed. In this episode we really did see Jeremy Bentham come to life via Charles Widmore, and then witnessed his grueling death at the hands of one effed-up Benjamin Linus no less. Once again, I did not see that coming. In my own little spoiler free world I already had settled on the fact that J. Bentham had offed himself in that sad little apartment, sacrificing himself for 'the greater good'. Boy was I wrong.

Here's what we (I) learned:

1. Tunisia is the 'island exit'. Remember, that's where we saw Ben land last season. That's where the remains of the Dharma-tagged polar bear were uncovered. That's where Widmore was ready and waiting for the next island deposit.

2. Flight 316 landed/crashed on the island. Dear writers, please don't try to get us interested in any of the lives of any of the 316-ers. We have not the patience for that. That being said, what are Ilana and Caesar up to?! Both seemed awfully familiar with the Hydra Station. Oh, wait, I don't care what they're up to. PS - The plane landed in one piece, making it look like it came in for somewhat of a smooth landing. Maybe like a runway landing - like the runway that our long-lost 'Others' were working on.

3. 316 did not land/crash on the island. If memory serves, the runway was on the smaller island. On Hydra Island. Not the island of our beloved Losties. Was it Sun who fled by canoe with Pilot Lapidus? She would have been able to recognize the fact that they weren't on the Lostie's island. And hey, look! Canoes! We've seen these before, when they were found by the time tripping gang at the 815-er's dilapidated camp site with 'Ajira' water bottles in them!' Hellloooo Frank and Sun! Had they just missed them?! Aack!

4. They did disappear from the plane!! In the words of Caesar, There was a really bright light, and the big man across the aisle was gone.

5. You can't keep a good man dead. Locke was 'reborn' on the island in a baptismal sort of way - and lookin nice in a suit I might add. His countenance and set smile on the beach reminded us of his calm and contentedness of season one, soon after the first crash. He's exactly where he's supposed to be. All the pain, doubt, ridicule, suffering and sacrifice brought him to this moment. Faith restored, legs in tact. He's special after all.

6. Widmore = Good. No, wait, Widmore = Bad. Ugh! Widmore = Damn Good Actor! Who to believe, who to believe? Widmore finally tells Locke that a) he remembers him from 1954 ya'll! b) he was the leader of 'The Others' for 30 years, protecting the island from 'bad guys' and c) he was tricked by that wascially wabbit Benjamin Linus into leaving the island. And now it's up to Locke to get the himself and the 6 back to the island because there's a 'war coming, and John, you're special'. Hook, line and sinker, Locke is just that easy.

7. Jeremy was on a mission of failed proportions. Not only was Jeremy Bentham wheel-chair bound, but he was sent on what seemed like an impossible mission as well. Sayid was much happier buiding habitats for humanity (no red-shirts allowed), Big Tall Walt was looking tall and well in NYC and sadly thinking that his missing-link father was still alive on some island saving mission. Poor Hurley keeps regressing deeper and deeper into his crazy with all these visits from past ghosts and non-ghosts. Poor guy. Jack pretty much gave him the middle finger, reminding him that Locke/Bentham isn't important. None of them are. By the way, your father says hello Jack. Aw, snap. Jeremy's visit with Kate was something about being in love, blah, blah. Insert Jack/Sawyer insinuations here. Why did I just reinact the life of Bentham for you folks? Well, we watched his birth, that was his 'life', and that life, which seemingly caused him to lose his faith in all things island, paved the way for none other then Benjamin Linus to come in and save the day.

7. He's the man who killed me. Locke could not die faithless or via suicide. Ben knew that when Locke finally died it had to be with his faith in tact and at the hands of someone else in order to resurrect on the island. Thems the rules. Jack's booked a ticket John, great job! You have no idea how important you are, were Ben's 11th hour words to our bald-headed friend. This entire scene had me forgetting to breathe. Literally. You still have a lot of work to do. But just before Ben offs him, Locke divulges why he didn't contact Sun - and oh, here's Jin's wedding ring - and the fact that Eloise Hawking was his final destination. I truly believe that the bit about the ring was the only surprise in that apartment for Ben, and nothing else. The ring was just the icing on the cake.

8. Gonna wash that evidence right outta this room... That whole cleaning scene was something straight out of American Psycho. The man totally came to that apartment equipped with cleaning supplies. He knew exactly what to expect and knew what needed to be done. The right way.

1. Was it Sun that went with Lapidus to the island?
2. Will Ben really miss John?
3. While I'm trying not to care, who are Caesar and Ilana working for? Why does Caesar need a sawed-off shot gun?
4. Who was wearing the bag over their head in the preview for next week? It looked like Claire hair to me.
5. 10 bucks says that Locke's Helen is alive and well, is Abadon?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Whom It May Concern...

My name is Nicole and I am a letter writer. I write them on paper and send them in the mail old-school style. I write them on the computer, see below. And when all else fails I write them in my head so WATCH OUT! I'm always taking notes. The short letters below have been bouncing around my noggin all week and I'm starting to get a headache so I turn them over to you...

Dear Parents,

Please treat others the way you would like to be treated, especially in front of your children. Children are like sponges and are the ultimate observers of human behavior.

Dear Children,
Respect your elders, even if they are not your parents.

Dear CNN,
Quit insulting my morning intelligence. I don't care what Lindsey Lohan's eating habits are or what Oprah's best friend wore to the Oscars. I stopped watching the Today Show for those very reasons, don't make me quit you too.

Dear A-Rod -
Where do I begin? How about you suck. You sucked before the whole steroids thing surfaced - wow, what a shock - and you suck still. No amount of apologizing will make up for the fact that you are indeed doing your part to destroy the image of one of the great American past-times. Well done. So glad you're getting paid 25 million per annum to let performance enhancing drugs do the job for you.

Dear Texas Rangers Baseball -
What the hell guys? I very well could be one of your last fans and you sure aren't making it easy. I have defended you for years when no one else would, and wore your stinking jerseys and hats when no one else dared. This latest scandal, with it's roots tracing back to you dear Rangers, brings me one step closer to trading in my 'T' hat for my Cubbies red and blues on a more permanent basis. Clean up your act and have some pride dammit!

Dear Taxi Driver Guy,
You were absolutely right to reprimand me the other morning for pulling out from the alley without coming to a full stop. I'm sorry if I seemed to blow you off at the time but you definitely made me think so thank you.

Dear Parents,
Thank you for being such awesome role models. When I see the way you act with your children on so many levels as you take a genuine interest in their well-being, it makes me proud to work where I do and makes me feel like everything we lay out for you is so worth it.

Dear Congress,
Can't you hold the applause and the standing and sitting til the end of the speech? In the last 5 minutes there was more standing and applauding then there was speaking. No joke.

Dear Punxsutawney Phil,
Damn you. Let it be spring already!

There's more of course, but my pensieve runneth over.

Cau for now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost S5:6 - Rewind

316 - (strong)B

This episode was what I like to call 'slap-you-in-the-face good'. It wasn't the roller coaster ride that started off our season but it didn't need to be. I'll tell ya, spoiler free is the way to be boys and girls. I did not anticipate many of the reveals that Team Darlton slapped us with last night. I. was. not. prepared. The opening scene that took us straight back to the SERIES PREMIER had me saying 'Nuh-UH!' out loud, with no one but my dog to look at me weird.

But I digress. Let's see if we can't sort some of this stuff out.

Here's what we (I) learned:

Slap #1: RIP Jeremy Bentham. So John Locke hung himself after all and his last words were an 'I told you so' letter to Jack. Ha! And to add insult to injury, Jack has once again been charged with toting his body back to the island in a Christian Shepherd way. I loved it when Jack voiced it for us all with 'This is ridiculous.' Anyone else notice that Locke's bald head has remained especially shiny between all the funeral home - freezer - airport shuffling?

Slap #2: White tennis shoe mystery SOLVED! And I loved it. So simple. Jack didn't think his dad deserved the 'nice' shoes and hey, no one's gonna see him from the waste down anyway, right?

Slap #3: The island moves. Which we kinda knew, but not really. But then Old Lady Hawking says it just like that - only minus the 'ya'll'. I love the 'Lamppost Station' - CS Lewis Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe - wha? Anyone? Anyone? The lamppost was how they always knew how to get home again! I heart the writers.

Slap #4: Okay, maybe not a slap, but more of a moment of irony. Ben's a man of faith after all. Or is it just his way of calling in the big guns at the 11th hour. The scene with him in church lighting the candles had me grinning wide.

Slap #5: The gang's back together again and they're all going back to the island! Woah. Again, I was so not prepared for this. I'd imagined the whole journey back to the island was going to be drug out for at least a few more episodes but before I knew it, there they all were. Ben's obviously got an in with the man upstairs - whoda thunk? Complete with Charlie's guitar case and Spanish comic book (God love Hurley for thinking of that), a fugitive (but what did he DO!?) with a Anna Lucia looking officer, and a dead body. Awesome. Was it all coincidence that they were there? Hurley definitely looked surprised, as did Sayid. And what's up Lapidus! That man cleans up well. Remember, he was supposed to be the original pilot of 815. Yes, my mind does indeed have an endless capacity for useless information.

Slap #6: 'We're on the same Plane Jack. That doesn't make us together'. Oh, ouch. That can be read so many different ways. 'us together' as in group solidarity or 'us together' as in she doesn't heart him anymore. There's a dead look in her eyes now that she's sans Aaron and I fear that only a shirtless Sawyer can restore that light. Sigh.

Soft Slap #7: Now we know where the 'Ajira Air' water bottles on the beach came from. I did not see that coming. I thought it was someone's wreckage, but certainly not from the plane of the 6! And that being said...

Buh-BAM! Slap #8: They're baaaaaaack... on. the. island. Poof. Just like that.

1. Where are the rest of the folks from the plane? Why is there wreckage on the beach? Did the plane really crash of did the white light just kind of disappear them from the plane? Huh.
2. Where's Aaron? With his rightful grandma perhaps?
3. How is Desmond going to come back into the picture because the island clearly 'is not finished' with him.
4. A gun toting Jin in a Dharma uniform - can't wait for this.
5. Um... What the hell happened to Ben?
6. Did the 6 dress to be in a crash? Like, did they where comfortable shoes? bring more layers of clothing? Bottled water and food? Just a thought.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy V-Day Ya'll! Let Your Freak-Flag Fly!

I had sweet dance moves way back then and I wasn't afraid to show it.
And yes JT, those kickin pants are corduroys.

My gift to you on this day of all things romantic, is unabridged access to 'Nix Luv Mix 1989'. I have been a fan of soundtracks since the days of Foot Loose, Xanadu, and Flash Dance and I have the albums - as in records - to prove it. I spent years dancing in my room (and still do sometimes) with the music turned up, morphing into one artist after another. In the comfort of my own room I sported Grammy worthy vocal stylings and choreography. For my 11th birthday I received a white jam box radio with pink and gray buttons. It changed my life. I quickly swapped my albums and Fisher Price record player for blank tapes, thus beginning my mix tape love affair.

I had mix tapes for every occasion, much like I do now. And as there are certain things that I refuse to get rid of no matter how obsolete they become, I still possess those sacred tapes. But really, not so obsolete as I can still jam to them in the confines of The Green Machine. At any rate, one mix that I remain especially proud of is 'Nix Luv Mix 1989', so without further ado:

Track 1: The Promise, When in Rome
Track 2: With or Without You, U2
Track 3: Eternal Flame, The Bangles
Track 4: When I'm With You, Sheriff
Track 5: Lost in Your Eyes, Debbie Gibson
Track 6: Faithfully, Journey
Track 7: When I See You Smile, Bad English
Track 8: Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
Track 9: I Just Called to Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
Track 10: If you Leave, OMD (I was clearly a tortured soul.)

This week I learned....

What a busy week this has been. By the time I crawled out of the museum last night, I had clocked over 60 hours for the week and every part of my body felt it. Pam didn't have to twist my arm very hard to convince me that our 2 year anniversary martinis were indeed a must. With all the hours of programs, prepping, castles, science fairs, Lincoln B-days and digestive tracts, I realized that I had in fact come away with some life-long learning for the week that will serve me well for many years to come. Here's what I learned:

1. Corn-husk dolls. I can make 'em in a matter of seconds. I cannot wait for sweet corn season to roll around, I'm sure to be the hit of the backyard cook outs this summer.
2. Lincoln used his stove pipe hat to store important documents. This I learned from one of my favorite five year-olds.
3. You can make learning the digestive tract so much fun that kids will jump out of their chairs to volunteer to be the rectum and shoot poop through a basket. Trust me on this.
4. I'm now a master cotton ball catapult engineer. I dare you to come up with one better.
5. Sadly, I can be too tired for wine, Lost, and Yoga even.

6. Altho I doubt this last one will serve me in any capacity beyond the end of this post, I just have to get this off my chest...
When I first heard about a woman giving birth to 8 babies, it scared the hell out of me, and quite frankly it still does. It's disturbing really. It's way beyond all laws of nature, let alone my comprehension, and this time science has gone too effing far. Do those pictures look natural to you!? Hell. No. Humans were not built for that and none of her 14 children deserve it! I just don't get it. And then society goes and facilitates this behavior by exploiting the hell out of it. By paying for the story and the pictures. I don't judge this woman for keeping all the embryos, I don't. But I do judge her for going for a seventh round of fertility treatment and knowingly having 6 embryos implanted. I judge her for not thinking about the welfare and future of her already 6 young children at home, 3 of which already receive disability from the state. She is young, single and jobless, and is now posting pictures of her hospitalized octuplets on the web in an attempt to receive donations from the public. Was that her plan all along? Oh, it's okay. I'll be fine. 6 babies isn't enough to garner sympathy from the general public. But maybe if I have 8 more... It garnered sympathy yes, not for her, but for those poor little babies. I look at those pictures and I want to cry and punch her in the face all at the same time. So yes, I pray for the lives of all 14 of those children who have been thrust unwillingly into the lime light. For their futures and their health. I pray that they will somehow manage to find peace in their lives. And although I have searched for compassion in my heart, I find blame. I blame her. And I blame society.
How do these images make you feel?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday Night Lights

Last night Kevin impressed me yet again with a Friday night date idea - the Lawrence North-v-Carmel basketball game. I'm that easy. That's right, me and Mr. Schoville sported our LN red and chowed on gymnasium nachos as the Wildcats beat the Greyhounds in a 69-58 victory. The energy inside the gym was palpable as the game opened to 'Sandstorm' by Darude and the LN students amassed in a crowd of about 200 red-clad bodies in the stands. They seemed to all move and chant in tandem, it was almost tribal. They were also well choreographed, unyielding, and rendered the cheerleaders practically useless.

I'm bummed I didn't have my camera but photos wouldn't have done the experience any justice. The players looked more like NBA and it was hard to believe they were only teenagers. Kevin was amused by my awe but really, my high school just didn't roll that way.

So to all you doubters out there, the mid-west takes their basketball way seriously.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lost S5:4 - Rewind

The Little Prince - C

EERRRRRRKKK! Thunk. Oh, that sound? That was the sound of all the awesome momentum of Season 5 coming to a screeching halt and then my head hitting the wind shield. But hey, it wasn't all bad. Only the first 45 minutes, like 75%, thus – the C. I gotta be honest, folks, this wasn’t a great episode for me. I only watched it once. My hopes were raised a little too high by the title: ‘The Little Prince’, eluding to one of my favorite books
. You know, the asteroid-hopping prince who fell to earth, encountered a fellow displaced soul and then realized he never was supposed to leave his B612 planet or his beloved rose (constant, wha?) to begin with? But I continue to give props to Team Darlton for their continued literary references. Those, I love.

What we (I) learned:

1. Life is like a box of chocolates. With a super secret pistol underneath. Clearly Sun has not let bygones be bygones and she’s prepared to make Jack and Ben pay by way of bullet for the ‘death’ of Jin. She has turned out to be quite the bad-ass and I kinda like it.

2. We were right. No, we were wrong. Ah, we were right. It was kind of like being on the kiddie roller coaster at the fair. In the season opener we (yay Kev for that light bulb) guessed it was Ben who was pulling Kate’s puppet strings to get her back to the island with ‘The Little Prince’. But in this episode for about a minute, we were led to believe that we had indeed been duped by the writers with the reveal that it was Claire’s mom who was harassing Kate. But then Dr. Jack saved the day and put Kate’s worries to rest by going straight to the source – and almost blowing it at the same time. Did you follow that?

3. What is the island trying to tell us? Is it significant that our Losties tripped back to the weeks just after the crash to see the hatch light illuminate the sky and witness the birth of Aaron? Back in season 1 the hatch represented a sort of existential kiddie-coaster for John as well. That beacon of light was a huge turning point, when he believed there really was a purpose to what he was doing. The hatch was his destiny. For an instant he felt justified in the death of Boone – that being the sacrifice that the island demanded. Alas, it was fleeting as he soon discovered the source of the light and the true purpose of his destined hatch.

4. You can look but not touch. Our poor tortured Sawyer was made to witness the birth of Aaron and see Kate at her strongest. The slow-mo for me was a little much and his sulkiness after was irritating. I tried to be moved by that scene but I just couldn’t muster up the sensitivity. In retrospect I may have been in a bad mood going into the episode. Hmmm.

5. Miles has been on the island before. What a shock. Little hints along the way have led us to believe that this is true and then last night Dr. Faraday did well to reinforce it. Ten bucks says Miles’s last name is either a) Chang, b) Halliwax, c) Candle, or d) Wickmund. For all of you who are like ‘who, who, who, and who??’… Pierre Chang is the reoccurring star in all of the Dharma Initiative films and the b, c, and d were his commonly used pseudonyms. And no, I have no life apparently. Remember in the opener we saw that Chang was an on-island baby daddy. I’m just sayin.

6. Kate thinks that Jack is insane for trusting Ben again and so do I. Sayid said it himself, ‘The only side Ben is on is his own.’ Hurley would rather be in lock-up than be around Ben, and Sun came packing heat. So what up with Jack and his sudden hero-worship?

7. Anagram alert! “Rainier-Canton” on the side of Ben’s van = “reincarnation”. Or “rain container”. Ha. Make of it what you will.

8. Jin is alive and kickin and island trippin - via water!

9. We got to see a young Daniel Rousseau and her infamous team of French scientists land on the island. Wow. Not even a blip on the excitement meter. But will the island let us see the infamous slaying of her team? That would be blip enough to bump a letter grade at least.

PS – Where the hell is Ji Yeon and why does Mama Sun think that ‘candy in the mini bar and over 100 channels on TV’ is the TLC that Baby Aaron needs?