Friday, February 26, 2010

Crush of the Month

It was my intention to retire Crush of the Month this year. Mainly because there is a shocking and depressing lack of candidates to choose from. Whenever a possibility would arise (sexual pun not intended), research would reveal she was a world class bitch or a complete imbecile or both. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

However, I had to bring it back for this month simply because I couldn’t ignore this month’s winner. I’ve been watching and crushing on her for the last two weeks and grow (intended this time) more infatuated with her by the day.

Who?: Only one of our most successful women’s alpine skiers in U.S. history. She’s talented, young, beautiful, and….overlooked.

I’m not talking about Linsey Vonn, who seems to wipe out as often as she medals; I’m referring to Julia Mancuso.

Yes, I'm adorable. Suck it, Vonn!


Let’s start with the obvious:

- 2 silver medals in 2010 Olympics.

- Gold medal in 2006 Olympics which she won while barely being able to walk due to an inch long bone spur lodged in her hip socket. YeeOUCH!

- 8 medals (a record, by the way) during her years at the Junior World Championships, including 5 gold medals between 2002 and 2004.

- 3 medals at World Championships.

- 19 top 3 finishes in World Cup races with 4 wins.

Oh, and she likes to model lingerie. Maybe I should have mentioned that first?



I don't even ski and suddenly want those boots


What Else?: While I’m fairly certain the section above should have clinched the deal, I’ll go with it.

Mancuso is one of the few athletes that seems to be enjoying herself. If you witnessed her joy at the bottom of the downhill event you can see she’s a born goofball. She mini jumped around while wearing skis but when that didn’t express her joy to her satisfaction, she fell down flat on her back and pumped her legs in the air. This was for second place and seemed happier than Vonn who won gold.

Go figure.

She also has a great sense of humor about herself. After being dubbed a princess by her ski coaches for her opinionated manner, she picked up a tiara and wears it whenever she medals. If you look closely there is even one painted on her ski helmet.

I want to see her wearing JUST the tiara

That All?: Damn, that’s still not enough?

Well, she does have a ‘party girl’ vibe to her and has no problems having herself get felt up by other women which instantly evokes all sort of fantasies that I won’t get into here.

Sensory overload!!!!

Even better – she’s a beer girl! Man, it’s like we were made for each other!



Bikini + hot tub + beer + Mancuso = BeachBum fantasy

She also surfs (Google that for bikini shots), paints and designs clothing. Still not good enough? How about her plans to expand her hoodie clothing line towards her own lingerie line?

That’s right. Twenty five year old, multi medal winning skier, who is hot and adorable and enjoys life will be designing sexy women’s underwear.

Julia, if you need help with fitting or ideas just ask. I’ll arrange my schedule around yours for that opportunity.

Let’s congratulate Julia Mancuso for the most important win of her month: BeachBum’s Crush of the Month. Sadly, there is no medal for this win. Just bragging rights.


Today’s distraction: 10 reasons to avoid talking on the phone. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lost - Part 4

Was last night’s episode a guide on different styles of parenting? While Real World Jack proves he does have what it takes to be a competent father, Island World Claire proves ax murder solves nothing and she has gone completely off her rocker in her pursuit of Aaron. Mothers gone wild!

Who knew being stranded in a jungle for three years with Smokey (aka Fake Locke) as your only friend would make you go mad?

Should I have saved that for the question section?

One more note before we get started. I paid close attention to the sound effect transfer from Real World to Island World and there is the definite sound of a jet engine during the transfers. Does this mean the Real World is teetering on the edge or is everyone on Oceanic simply getting a glimpse of what their lives would be like if they plane hadn’t crashed only to be yanked back to experience the crash all over again?

That would be cruel.

You know what’s up. Don’t read further if you haven’t watched.

What Happened

Real World: Jack arrives home in his stylin’ Jeep (was I the only one glad to see that jalopy again?), changes quick, notices a scar on his stomach he somehow never noticed before, calls his mother to let her know his father’s coffin could be vacationing in Berlin, realizes he’s late and runs out to drive in his still stylin’ Jeep. He drives to a school and apologizes to his son for being late.

Whoa, what?? Jack has a son!!!??? This new Real World has me reeling!

Well, not only does Jack have a teenage son, this son seems to have already inherited Jack’s father issues. Guess the Shepherd men have streamlined the process nicely over the generations. Jack promised his mother he would help her find Christian’s will (‘why would he make it easy on us now?’), tells his son he’ll be back later for dinner and heads over to plow through stacks of paperwork.

While there Jack and his mother have a heart to heart about Jack being terrified of his father. He explains that is why he didn’t talk much to his father. Jack’s mother asks him if he’s sure his own son isn’t just as terrified of him, which gives Jack something to stew on in his own dewey eyed, Jack manner.

When he gets back home (with pizza no less) he discovers his son is gone. He calls and frets and worries and apologizes on his voice mail and finally heads over to his son’s usual house. There he finds all sorts of music equipment and listens to his answering machine. He learns that his son has an audition at some fancy dancy conservatory and rushes over to see what’s going on.

When he arrives, his son is totally kicking ass on stage; playing piano like a virtuoso. He meets Real World Dogan (I learned his name so I won’t refer to him as HKF any longer) who tells Jack that his son is gifted and that it’s difficult to ‘watch and be unable to help’.

After the audition Jack and his son (who’s name I can’t remember, but let’s be honest, he doesn’t really need a name) have a bonding moment. Jack explains to his son that he was under tremendous pressure from his father who always told him he ‘didn’t have what it takes’. Jack explains that in his eyes, his son could never fail and he would love him no matter what. Weepy weepy. Sob sob. Blah blah. Jack wraps up the chick part of ‘Lost’ with ‘I just want to be a part of your life’ which the son accepts.

Island World: At The Temple Jack and Dogan share the first honest conversation to ever occur on the island: Jack tells Dogan Kate, Jin and Sawyer are probably not coming back to the Temple at all. Dogan tells Jack that if he tries to leave he would have to try to stop him.

After Hurley and PAD finish their 150th game of tic-tac-toe in a draw, Hurley heads off to find some food (‘I could eat’). Only he encounters dead Jacob instead who seems to be more active dead than he ever was alive. Jacob tells him there is someone coming to the island and needs Hurley to bring Jack to the Lighthouse to help this person find it. While Hurley is looking for the secret entrance (or exit), Dogan discovers him and tells him to get back to the courtyard. Jacob appears only to Hurley and informs him to tell Dogan to bugger off.

Dogan buggers off. Only Jacob is not happy with Hurley. ‘You were supposed to bring Jack,’ he says. Hurley explains that convincing Jack to do something he doesn’t want to do isn’t easy, like telling the Olsen Twins to fill up on prime rib. Still Jacob has an idea and sends Hurley to get Jack.

Jack has a brief conversation with Sayid who still seems confused why everyone is looking at him funny despite the fact he just came back from the dead. Jack confesses to Sayid that the Others were trying to convince him to poison Sayid because he’s been infected.

Hurley comes out and tries to act all covert with predictably awkward results. Jack declines his request to leave only to change his mind when Hurley tells him that Jacob said ‘you have what it takes’. Jack gets all huffy and pissy and demands to go see Jacob. Off they go, hiking through the jungle (‘good times!’), nearly get shot during Kate’s cameo, and wind up back at their original cave.

During their hike to the Lighthouse Hurley asks Jack why he came back. Jack confesses that he was broken and foolishly thought the island could heal him. I like this renewed, honest, no BS Jack. If he was around in Season One I’m betting a lot more people would be alive.

When they get to the Lighthouse, Jack breaks in the door and Hurley nearly dies climbing to the top. Jacob told Hurley they need to direct the light towards the 108 heading. While helping Hurley, Jack notices something odd in the mirror. He tells Hurley to go back and sees his own childhood house in the mirror. When he moves it further back he sees a church, then an Asian temple, then a Sesame Street rerun from 1984, then a scrambled HBO signal that Jacob has been complaining to Comcast about for eternity. Jack then looks at the wheel and notices name and numbers written on it. The same names and numbers written in the cave.

Jack is royally pissed now. He demands that Hurley get in touch with Jacob to ask him why he’s been watching Jack. Hurley tries to explain that it doesn’t work that way, but Jack has had enough of Ghost Whispering and smashes the mirrors with a golden telescope. I’m sure that symbolic somehow, but still confused about Jack’s son give it much thought.

Jacob finally appears and explains to Hurley sometimes he can simply talk to someone in a taxi and tell them what to do and other times people need to figure things out for themselves. It was Jacob’s bizarrely dysfunctional way of letting Jack know how important he is.

Plus he had to get Jack and Hurley as far away from the Temple as he could. Someone bad is coming, he tells Hurley. Hurley wants to go back to warn everyone but Jacob tells him it’s already too late. Personally, Jacob warning everyone in the Temple would have been less of a dick move.

Meanwhile, Claire is proving to Jin just how utterly insane she has become by keeping a bone baby with a truly ugly face in her carriage, capturing one of the Others because she’s convinced they have Aaron, fixing up Jin’s leg, then murdering the Other dude with an ax to the stomach.

Fortunately Claire has a great support system; a friend who shows up to meet Jin. Only it’s Fake Locke. Welcome to the recruiting process, Jin. Would you like some milk and cookies?

What We Learned

- Someone else is on their way to the island.

- Claire and Fake Locke are BFFs. I’ll be they have their initials carved into a tree and everything.

- Claire needs some heavy duty Dharma conditioner to get that hair straightened out.

- Real World Jack has a son, is apparently divorced and hasn’t spent a ton of time with him.

- Jack’s son isn’t a big fan of pizza or failure but seems to enjoy lipstick.

- Real World Jack had his appendix out when he was seven and has a bad memory of his own body.

- Jack’s mother should look in the obvious places for paperwork before pulling out dozens of boxes.

- Kate is gung ho about finding Claire; something she’ll be very sorry about if she ever does find her. Let’s hope she has her ax proof spanks on.

- The numbers associated with the ‘candidates’ are actually coordinates on the Lighthouse wheel.

- Jacob is a long distance peeping tom.

- PAD and Hurley are intellectual equals when it comes to tic-tac-toe.

- Fake Locke can cover some ground when he needs to.

- Real World Dogan still talks like a fortune cookie.

- Did I mention Jack has a son in the Real World?

- Claire is cuckoo for Coco Puffs. Even Rousseau didn’t go this far over the edge and her baby was legitimately kidnapped.

- Claire can multitask with the best of them. Fix up Jin’s leg AND murder someone in cold blood? You bet!

- Don’t get your leg caught in a bear trap.

- Christian’s coffin loves traveling the world.

- There is no trash pickup on the island. Shannon’s inhaler, Christian’s coffin, bodies everywhere. Dharma should have engineered some raccoons instead of bears.

- Claire is mentioned in Christian’s will.

- Real World Christian was still a dick.

- Jack’s mother has had a terrible face lift.

- Judging from that smile he gave Jack, Dogan may have feelings for him that go beyond mere torturer, cryptic keeper of all Temple secrets, reluctant watcher of the candidates. He may like LIKE Jack.

- Fake Locke has a lot on his plate at the moment.

New Questions

- Who did Jack have a child with? Think it was the same ex-wife from Island World time line? That might be a stretch since she’s has her own clan on ‘Modern Family’ now.

- Why does Claire refer to Fake Locke not as ‘John’ but as ‘my friend’? Has she seen him in other forms?

- How could someone die that quickly from an ax to the stomach? While it can’t be pleasant I’m not even sure an ax could kill you completely unless it was to the head. Surely it would take more than 5 seconds and there would be lots of screaming in pain involved, right?

- Where’s Sawyer? Is he outside the tent? Did Fake Locke leave him behind while he flew to get Claire?

- What did that Other dude do to take that kind of punishment? First he gets nailed by a bunch of boulders courtesy of Kate then he gets shot by Claire and pretends to be dead only Claire figures it out, brings him to the tent and plants her ax in him. He’s had the worst day ever. For this island, that is saying a lot.

- Can I get a blueprint of that Temple? It seems never ending.

- Did Real World Dogan somehow know something was going on? His ‘Your son has a gift’ and general parenting advice seemed to have dual meanings.

- Who is coming to the island? Is it just one person? A group of people with the one important person included? Desmond? Widmore? The IRS demanding back real estate taxes?

- And why does Jacob keep drawing people to the island? Judging by the amount of folks he’s managed to kill off he may want to rethink his strategy.

- Why am I suddenly suspicious of Jacob’s motives?

- Who are the Adam and Eve skeletons by the cave? Will we ever find out?

- If Jacob has all the ‘candidate’ names on the wheel of the lighthouse, why does he also need them in a cave that’s nearly impossible to get to? Is the cave actually where Fake Locke tracks potential candidates? In which case, how does he get those names? Is he potentially missing some?

- Did Hurley ever find anything to eat?

- What has happened to Claire? How did she become infected? Why did she leave Aaron in the jungle? Did the Others torture her like they did Sayid? The brand mark seems to indicate they put her through that same ‘test’. Why does she think Aaron has been kidnapped?

- Would it kill the Others to install a horseshoe pit in the Temple?

- What in holy hell was in Claire’s baby carriage or crib? The thing was a monstrosity.

- Why doesn’t Jack remember his appendix scar? If you remember Juliet removed his appendix on the island when it was threatening to rupture. In Real World he’s already had it removed when he was a child. So why doesn’t he remember it?

- To carry that further, is there some sort of rift going on with the Real World timeline that is disrupting that timeline? So far we’ve had four episodes and in all four the character who originally crash landed with Oceanic 815 has had one of those odd ‘looking in the mirror’ moments in which they seemed to sense something was off. Jack on the plane (with the blood on his neck), Kate after finding the stuffed animal in the bag she stole from Claire, Locke just before calling Jack’s office. Does everyone sense that they shouldn’t be where they are? Do they all feel something missing?

That looks like a good place to stop. Until next week, Lost friends.


Today's distraction: A complete list compiled by worse addicts than I that list every name that was visible on the cave wall or the lighthouse wheel. It's eye opening when you see Rosseau and Kate's name (she's #51). Scroll all the way to the bottom for potential answers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tiger Lilly

By now everyone and their brother’s mother’s aunt has weighed in with their opinions on Tiger Woods’ statement from Friday.

I was trying to avoid writing anything about him and his personal life, but I have a thought I wanted to pass along for feedback. Please keep in mind I don’t know Woods at all. I’ve never met him, I know very little about his personality away from the public eye and I’m in no way a trained psychologist (although I do watch a lot of those television programs that make shit up as they go).

I agree with many who say Tiger came across as insincere and cold. I have a hard time figuring out how most of America seems to think he was sincere when he couldn’t even muster one ounce of true emotion during the entire 15 minute speech. His agent should have yanked a nose hair out his nostril just before he walked to the cameras. The entire event seemed staged and awkward. That included hugging his mother who seemed surprised by the entire moment.

Woods droning on in his usual robotic voice and his inability to even pretend to be upset certainly didn’t help. The few times he paused to take a breath in a terrible attempt to bring forth tears or get his voice choked up was comical. While watching I kept coaching him from my couch: ‘C’mon, Tiger. Squeeze one tear out at least. Make your lip tremble’.

He couldn’t.

Where I’m diverging (in an entirely half assed way) from most others is why he couldn’t. While he is obviously a control freak and most likely suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, I think there is something far more serious going on with him.

Namely he’s a sociopath.

Before you get all up in my face like a muthafucka (I know you were going to!), allow me a few minutes to illustrate my point. Sociopaths are now referred to as having ‘Antisocial Personality Disorder’ a label I’ve been living with for the last 40 years (kidding! as far as you know). The terms sociopath and psychopath are often used interchangeably and fall under the APD umbrella of fucked upness.

What most people don’t realize is sociopaths and psychopaths don’t usually fall into a frenzy of serial killing and cutting tags off mattresses life of crime. Many are working in the office or cubicle right next to you. You probably are looking at one right now. Especially if there is a mirror close by.

Here is the official definition of APD from Psychiatricdisorders.com:

‘Antisocial personality disorder describes a complete disregard for the rights, feelings, or safety of others. The terms sociopath and psychopath are both used to describe someone with antisocial personality disorder.

Sociopaths are often angry and their self-interest makes many of them arrogant. Despite this, some people with antisocial behavior disorder can appear charming or flattering. This charm is not sincere; however, the sociopath simply uses charm as a tool to manipulate people to achieve his or her own ends.’

My belief isn’t that Woods was intentionally insincere with his statement but that he truly doesn’t know what guilt or regret feels like. He will go through the motions of behaving like a human being simply because it provides him with untold millions of dollars and a life of privilege and entitlement.

And, like the human he's trying to impersonate, he is hitting every bullet point from the ‘Disgraced Celebrity’ handbook.

Rehab? Check!

Public apology? Check!

Request for privacy? Check!

Found religion? Check and mate!

I can’t tell you how funny it was when Wifey and I were watching the full replay of his statement on ESPN that night. After his apologies to everyone in the entire free world (except the media) I said out loud ‘Don’t forget to mention God, Tiger. You need to have found religion again!’ Wifey, who is used to my cynicism rolled her eyes, than burst out laughing when he mentioned Buddhism a minute later.

Tiger wasn’t apologizing or coming out in public to atone for any of his sins; he was simply following the blueprint for celebrity recovery. He wants this forgotten (yeah, right) so he can get back to golfing and making millions. That’s all.

If my theory is correct, the reason that Tiger comes off like a robot is because he basically IS one. He doesn’t have the capacity to feel human emotion on a level that the rest of us feel it. He doesn’t feel guilt or shame or embarrassment. The only reason he held this press conference is because he got caught.

I would go further that even if he had been caught by his wife he would have continued with this behavior as long as the general public didn’t find out. For Tiger image is the source of all his revenue. Sure, being one of the best golfers ever helps a lot, but a ruined reputation means millions lost. Something he found out the hard way when a bunch of sponsors dropped him like a bad habit when more and more information came out about his endless list of mistresses.

I’m probably wrong about all of this and Woods is just one of those guys that keeps things bottled up. Maybe his voice is just monotone at all times. Maybe he truly feels horrible and attempted – in his own awkward way – to begin mending fences. Maybe I don’t buy it because I’m irreversibly cynical and, as Wifey says, a ‘heartless bastard’.

Maybe…

Here is a list of common sociopathic behaviors.

1: They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Solid description not only of Woods’ personal life, but his demeanor on the golf course. We’ve all witnessed his outbursts at fans who take a simple picture while he’s teeing off. Wonder if any mistress will come forward with an unflattering portrayal of his bedroom behavior?

2: Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Quote from Tiger’s statement: ‘I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me.’

In many ways this may be the most honest part of his statement.

3: Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Be interesting to learn how long he had been getting away with the extra marital affairs. The longer they go back the better liar we’ll know Tiger to be.

4: Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Note that this is listed in other areas as ‘Need for Stimulation’.

5: A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Found it interesting that of all the people in the room who were considered ‘family and friends’, most were business associates. Does Tiger have any friends from college? I also wonder what it was like to live under the strict eye of Earl Woods. Did he push Tiger too hard towards golf?

6: Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Quote from Tiger’s statement: ‘My behavior doesn't make it right for the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to school and report the school's location. They staked out my wife and they pursued my mom. Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.’

Is it a coincidence that this was when he showed any sense of emotion? Or that the emotion was outright rage? Certainly seemed to me he was blaming the media for a situation he created. As a father I can understand the urge to protect your children, but he is the one that created this situation. Nobody else. Blame the media all you want, but if you weren’t such a man whore and made a statement earlier people wouldn’t be trying to track you down.

Finally

7: Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

While his reps tried to play it off as if the timing of the statement was to keep up with his rehab program, it sure was interesting he timed things to take considerable attention away from the WGC-Accenture tournament going on. Even more interesting that Accenture was one of the sponsors that quickly dropped Tiger from its payroll after the scandal broke.

Keep in mind that abuser and abused doesn’t necessarily refer to Tiger and Elin. In this case it could mean Tiger and the PGA. Perhaps the timing of his statement was his way of not so subtly giving the PGA and Accenture a big, fat middle finger.

‘I’ll show you who’s more important!’

One last thought. What it Tiger isn't in rehab for sex addiction? What if he has been diagnosed with APD and is being treated for that?

It's plausible, is it not?


Today’s distraction: Interesting side story relating to Tiger. Seems one guy was so upset he replaced some Gatorade labels with pictures of Tiger and his wife with the title ‘Unfaithful’. The punch line is what his actual crime is. Love the U.S. of A.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gold Medal Changes

Been watching the Winter Olympics this past week and have some suggestions to make things more entertaining and balanced and much less gay.

1: Every sport that is ‘decided’ by judging is thrown out. Figure skating? Bye! Snow boarding the half pipe? Gone! Unless they make it some sort of timed race with required jumps incorporated into it. Or even better, how about the height of their jumps combined with how fast they finish the course?

I was watching the downhill skiing moguls with the added jumps and form judgments thrown in and I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. The guy with the best time wound up in sixth place because his knees weren’t close enough together? What?

Enough! Sports are supposed to be athletic competitions with a clear winner and loser. Can you imagine the Super Bowl being decided because Peyton Manning had better form on this spirals than Drew Brees? Exactly. Judges should be there to enforce rules, not use their subjective opinions on who performed a move more artistically.

2: If they insist on keeping figure skating, there needs to be an element of the Biathlon thrown in. I think snipers in the upper balconies from opposing countries can shoot at the skaters. Not fatal, of course, but with some Nerf arrows or soft bullets that knock their balance off. A point system could even be incorporated so hits while a skater is in the air and spinning are worth more than hits while they’re standing still.

Think of it: ‘Fancy Lad is going for the triple cow sow…. AND HE’S DOWN!! What a great shot from the German team!!!’ Oh, yeah. I would watch that.

3: Every female competition ends in a swimsuit competition. Wait. Scratch that. I’ve seen some of those European ‘female athletes’. I don’t need those visions haunting me.

4: Luge sleds can’t use special tracks. They need to use the ski slopes for their races. This increases the potential for highly entertaining and destructive crashes. Sure, some spectators may be sacrificed when a sled careens through that flimsy mesh fence, but it will be much more fun.

5: A 24 hour web feed from the Olympic Village pubs. Since it was recently revealed that the Olympics goes through record breaking condom use (think about it – 20 something athletes running high on competition and in great shape!) we need to witness what is going on behind the scenes. Besides, if an athlete has a race the next morning he or she will be much less likely to cause an international incident by being out boozing until 3 am and risk coming in 23rd place.

6: Checking will be allowed in all skating events. Speed skating, figure skating, ice dancing (what’s the difference?). All of them will allow other contestants to body check them into next week.

7: Curling will now involve beer. Kegs will be placed at the beginning and end of the path. Before and after each toss all players on each team must chug an 8 ounce beer. Face plants on the ice will quadruple and all entrants will need a super human tolerance in order to win gold. In short, I’m rigging this for Canada.

8: All male athletes must wear the same outfit. This will mean months of negotiation between the snowboarders and figure skating men. Plus there will be the very real possibility of every man from one country wearing frilly outfits.

Practical? No. Fantastic? Yes!

9: Biathlon competitors need to shoot sideways; gansta style.

10: Speed skaters are no longer allowed to keep their hands behind their backs. I don’t care if it’s aerodynamic! You’re competing for a gold medal, not strolling through the park. Pump those arms!!

Beautiful day for a walk. Wish my outfit had more frills, though


11: Women’s ice hockey? I don’t think so. It’s dumped (literally and figuratively) for group sledding. In this new team sport, four people on four individual inflatable tubes attempt to stay linked together while screaming down the ski course. The team to make it the furthest while staying together and not dying wins. If two teams manage to make it to the bottom (highly unlikely), the best time wins. I would also be open to cardboard box sledding for individual honors.

Lastly…

12: The bobsled course will now have a loop de loop in the middle.


Mother@#%*er!!


Enjoy the new Winter Olympics!


Today’s distraction: Be your own ski champion. You even get to take massive quantities of drugs. Take enough and the trees start dancing for you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lost - Part 3

Part of the problem following (obsessing over?) a series like ‘Lost’ is getting caught up in details that probably don’t matter in the long run. Things like the ‘whoosh’ sound when transferring from the island to a flashback or flashforward. Last night I noticed the ‘whoosh’ sound stutters and skips when going back to the island or to the real world.

It probably means nothing, but this is a show that relishes the details and I can’t help leaning towards the idea that it really is significant. Perhaps the new time line where Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash is crumbling or that bouncing between time lines is having an adverse affect on both time lines.

Anyway, my point is this stupid focusing on the details has triggered a new chain of thoughts in my tunnel vision, highly impaired brain and I have a new thought for all of you.

First things first. You know the drill.

What Happened

Real World: Here comes Locke cruising his neighborhood in his pimped out Locke-mobile. As he’s getting down on his wheelchair ramp and the thing stalls about a foot off the ground. Locke – being all manly like – decides to just launch his wheelchair to the ground which winds up as you would expect: Locke face down on his lawn. Adding insult to tough laundry stains, the sprinklers on his lawn go off.

Out runs Locke’s fiancé, Peggy Bundy, to help him into the house. While Locke is bathing, Peg is complaining about wedding plans and wants to elope to Vegas. Locke tells her she deserves better than that. They also discuss meeting Jack in the airport lost baggage area and she is excited that he has been offered a free consult by a spinal surgeon. While Locke insists Jack was just being polite (which, as we know, isn’t really in Jack’s wheelhouse), Peggy says to Locke ‘What are the odds of you meeting a spinal surgeon. Maybe it’s destiny!’ Now we know where he gets it.

Returning to work from his ‘conference’ (Locke speak for getting denied a walk about), Locke is confronted by his boss who tells him that he knows he didn’t go to the conference and, oh yeah, you’re fired. Locke returns to his van to find a huge Hummer blocking in his van. He tries to mess it up big time, but the ramp stalls again. So he hits the bumper and sets off the alarm. The owner comes out and we hear the familiar ‘Dude, what did you do?’ from Hurley. He owns the Hummer, Locke’s company, a corny wardrobe and terrible shaving gear. He promises Locke he’ll hook him up with another job, just go to my OTHER business and tell them Hugo sent you.

‘Chin up, dude. Everything’s going to work out’

At the temp agency, Locke can’t think of a single animal he would be and meets up with Rose. She explains to him that it might be time for him to accept his limitations like she has accepted her terminal cancer. As she said ‘I just decided to live my life’. Rose counseling Locke. Just like on the island.

The next morning Locke is getting ready and makes a hesitant call to Jack’s office. When asked ‘Can we help you?’ Locke replies ‘No…no you can’t’ and hangs up. Seems he’s tired of hoping for a miracle. ‘There are no such things as miracles,’ he says to Peggy who replies ‘Oh yes there are, you big doofus,’ (or something like that).

Locke’s temp job is actually as a substitute teacher. He coaches a gym class, gets to teach a human reproduction class and something else happens. What was it again?? Oh right. He runs into Ben Linus who is whining in the teacher’s lounge about coffee filters. He introduces himself as teacher of European History which is totally appropriate for a pompous ass like Ben.

Island World: Cruising through the island is Smokey and his trademark ‘clack clack’ sound. He stops by the Dharma camp to rock out a bit then heads into the jungle to pick up a machete. Only he’s Fake Locke now. He cuts down a burlap sack that contains a frightened and beaten Richard. They are having a heart to heart when Fake Locke sees a boy in the distance. He freaks a bit and takes off. ‘See you later, Richard. Sooner than you think.’ He’s just sore because Richard refused his invitation to join him. Big baby.

Off Fake Locke goes to check in on a drunk, mourning Sawyer who recognizes almost immediately that Locke ain’t Locke. ‘The Locke I know was scared. You ain’t scared at all.’ Did you hear Sawyer’s voice while reading that? It sounds much cooler that way. Fake Locke convinces Sawyer to put some pants on and join him on a trek through the jungle by telling him ‘I can answer why you are on this island’.

On the way they run into the same boy Fake Locke saw with Richard. When Sawyer asks who the kid is, Fake Locke seems surprised that he could also see him. Fake Locke chases the boy and trips. The boy tells Locke ‘You know the rules. You can’t kill him.’

Fake Locke gets all pissy and emotional and starts yelling ‘Don’t tell me what I can’t do!’ which is just like Real World Locke! Awesome! At the same time Richard pops out of the jungle and tries to convince Sawyer to go back to the Temple with him. He tells Sawyer ‘He wants to kill everyone you care about’, which doesn’t impress Sawyer at all.

After Richard runs away whimpering like a wounded dog, Sawyer and Fake Locke head off again. Sawyer takes a break by threatening to shoot Fake Locke in the head. Fake Locke tells him to go ahead since he can’t be sure what will happen (Hint: Smokey death for Sawyer). Sawyer decides to see what’s what and follows Fake Locke down a series of ancient ladders, into a cave and the real reason Sawyer and everyone else is here:

On the cave walls and ceiling are the names of Sayid, Jack, Hurley, Sawyer (Ford), etc with corresponding numbers. Oh, yeah, you know the numbers I’m talking about. Fake Locke tells Sawyer they are all candidates to replace Jacob in ‘protecting the island’ and that Sawyer has three choices.

1: Do nothing and see how things unfold.
2: Accept the new responsibility.
3: Nail Kate in a bear cage….oh wait, he’s done that one.
3: Leave the island.

Sawyer selects option 3. Uh…the leave the island option. Although I’ll bet nailing Kate again would be high on his list, as well.

Meanwhile…

Ben, Ilana, Sun and Captain Frank are having some bonding moments with Dead Locke. Ben tells Ilana that Smoky killed her friends and Jacob (LIAR!!). Ilana scoops up some of the ash from the pit where Jacob’s body burned way too easily and tells Ben that Richard was brought into the jungle by Fake Locke because ‘He’s recruiting’.

Sun insists that Dead Locke needs to be buried and leads the crew to the old beach to be buried alongside all the other unfortunates that have died since this show started. Nice touch by the ‘Lost’ people in reminding us how many people have died over the course of the series. This hasn’t been an easy ride.

Ilana tells Ben that she brought Dead Locke to the statue so she could show everyone ‘the face they’re up against’. I’m thinking Ilana could use a camera on her cell phone. While burying Locke, Ben actually confesses to murdering him.


What We Learned

- The numbers relate to the Oceanic people. Here’s what I got from the cave:
4 – Locke
8 – Hurley
15 – Sawyer
16 - Sayid
23 – Jack
42 – Sun or Jin or both

- All the people listed in that cave are considered ‘candidates’ to replace Jacob. At least, according to Fake Locke who is a highly questionable source.

- Fake Locke – for some reason – is now stuck looking like Locke. According to Ilana he can no longer change to look like anyone else.

- Sawyer has the tolerance of a god. Drinking whiskey straight, then hiking through a super hot, humid jungle with a deadly, ancient, pseudo human and he doesn’t puke once. Not even a dry heave. He’s my hero.

- Richard is absolutely terrified of Fake Locke.

- Real World Hurley is an impressive business man and can still throw down a perfectly appropriate ‘douche’ when needed.

- Locke and Peggy Bundy are reconciled in the real world but should never be witnessed kissing in High Definition.

- Locke was lying to Boone when he told him he was allowed on the walkabout in Australia.

- Real World Ben is alive, annoying and teaching highly impressionable school children. Not exactly comforting.

- Real World Locke is not the believer he was on the island. See what happens when you can miraculously walk after surviving an airline disaster?

- Fake Locke has the best mode of transportation on the island.

- Rose still has terminal cancer but is handling it very well.

- Richard didn’t know that ‘candidates’ were on the island.

- Sun still has a kick ass body. Whoops, was that out loud?

- Fake Locke has ‘been trapped for so long I forget what it feels like to be free’ which could mean he’s married.

- For living on such a beautiful island, Jacob spent a lot of time in dark, dismal rooms.

- Fake Locke offers Richard respect and full disclosure if he joins him. An offer Richard refuses.

- Fake Locke wants off the island in the worst way.

- Ilana is carrying around Jacob’s ashes in her island purse for some reason.

- Real World Locke needs to change the timing off his sprinkler system. Mid afternoon isn’t the best time to water a lawn regardless of whether you are face down on it or not.

- Fake Locke took Locke’s body because it gave him access to Jacob.

- Real World Hurley isn’t concerned about global warming or gas prices. In his defense it’s still 2004 and Al Gore hasn’t made his movie, yet.

- Real World Locke needs a new van.

- Locke’s burial is the ‘weirdest damn funeral’ Captain Frank has ever been to.

- It certainly seems as if all the island people will be meeting in the Real World time line. Sawyer has met Kate and Hurley. Hurley has met Locke, Rose, Sawyer, Arnst. Jack has met Charlie, Desmond, Sayid and Locke. Locke has met Jack, Rose, Hurley, and now Ben. Kate has met Sawyer, Jack, Claire, and Ethan. Around and around we go!

New Questions

- Are the Oceanic people really ‘candidates’ or something more than that?

- Why wasn’t Kate’s name in the cave? All the numbers are accounted for and she wasn’t on the list. Although it was on Jacob’s list sent to the Temple. We assume.

- Is it Sun or Jin that Jacob meant to bring to the island? Or do they both need to be there? Since Jin was the one sent back in time, we’re led to believe it’s him, but there is no way to know if that’s true.

- Who was the boy in the jungle? Was that young Jacob?

- Am I the only one not buying Fake Locke’s explanation about the numbers? It can’t just be that Jacob has a thing for numbers.

- What did the boy mean by ‘you can’t kill him’? Did he mean Jacob can’t be killed? Was he referring to Sawyer? And what are these stupid rules? Who created them and why can’t Fake Locke simply cheat his way out of whatever game is being played?

- How does Ilana know so much about what’s going on? And why did she take Jacob’s ashes?

- Are we sure Fake Locke is the bad guy in all this? Let’s not forget that Richard helped Ben kill hundreds of Dharma people. That’s not something good guys normally plan out.

- Why does Fake Locke need to recruit? Can he not leave the island by himself? Does he need someone to take him off?

- Did detonating the bomb on the island somehow erase everyone’s history relating to it? Little Ben was already on the island when the bomb went off, but now he’s a history teacher with a coffee filter phobia. Ethan was born on the island, but now is a kind, caring doctor. Are we to believe that nearly everyone is better off without the island?

- Is Sawyer really going to try to get off the island with Fake Locke? He seemed to calculate how things would play out before answering. Let’s not forget drunk Sawyer caught on that it wasn’t the real Locke in about five minute.

- What is the last book Fake Locke has read? Never read ‘Of Mice and Men’? It’s not like he hasn’t had a ton of time on his hands.

- Why is Fake Locke trapped?

- Is the island really ‘just an island’? Yeah, I don’t think so either. Regular islands don’t go skipping through time and disappear at the turn of a wheel. They also don’t have dead people regularly reappear. Nice try, Fake Locke, but we aren’t buying. Could the island actually be a prison for Fake Locke? Perhaps the candidates aren’t meant to protect the island, but keep Fake Locke trapped on it?

- What happens if Fake Locke gets off the island? Will the world come to an end or will he simply hit the first strip club he passes and get distracted by naked women? (Or men - He could go either way and I don’t judge)

- Does Sun subconsciously not want to reunite with Jin? She’s come so far, abandoned her baby, crash landed for the second time on the island and when she finally knows where Jin is she detours to bury Locke on the other side of the island. She crazy!!

- Did Real World Locke still get paralyzed by his father? Or did something else happen? Remember he and Peggy Bundy broke up because of his fixation with his father. Them still together could mean something else has happened.

Let’s get to my bizarre thought process before this gets too long (I know, too late!). Seeing both Ben and Ethan off island and non threatening (although still creepy) triggered an idea that has to do with our old friend Desmond.

Remember him popping up briefly next to Jack on the plane before vanishing again? Well, since Desmond never lands on the island and probably married Penny (this time with Widmore’s blessing?) perhaps he goes to work for Widmore.

And who else worked for Widmore? Why Dr Faraday. That’s who. What if Desmond still meets up and works with Faraday while Faraday is working out his time travel theory? Only this time things work out well, Faraday recognizes Desmond’s natural ability to manage time travel and they have figured out how to successfully move around time?

Desmond showing up in the plane was one of his ‘trips’. Which is also why he’s gone by the time the plane lands. If you recall Faraday mentions to someone that Desmond is different than everyone else when they are all skipping through time. Faraday even passes along a message to Desmond during his time punching in the numbers at the Swan Station.

This may be irrelevant to the entire season, but…

BUT…

What if Desmond is somehow instrumental in merging the two time lines? If he has the ability to time travel maybe he goes back and tells Jack not to detonate the bomb. Or tells them they all have to go back to the island. Or make millions gambling on race horses. I don’t know I’m just bringing it up as a thought.

You can all dwell on that for a week.


Today's distraction: A Lost timeline that tracks (in a very confusing manner) everything that's happened on the show. Just skimming it is over whelming.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Daddy Day Care

A big part of a successful marriage is being able to compromise. For clarity’s sake, I define ‘successful marriage’ as one that doesn’t end in bloodshed, murder charges or the term ‘fugitive from justice’.

The definition of ‘compromise’ can be a bit cloudier. For example, a woman may consider an occasional guy’s nights out as a compromise. Justified in her mind as ‘Please get the fuck away from me for one night’. Or her compromise may be not purchasing her 150th pair of shoes figuring 149 should suffice until spring.

A man, on the other hand, will consider ‘compromise’ as keeping his mouth shut when his wife decides to willingly jump in to the deep end of the loony pool with both feet. A man’s logical arguments against such behavior will simply anger wife while she does what she wants regardless.

Case in point (C’mon, you knew this was going somewhere):

My brother’s wife is expecting any minute. She was in the hospital last Wednesday with contractions but they stopped and she was sent home to try again. They have a two year old who happens to be my god daughter even though I’m slightly less religious than a starved Rottweiler with a sex and crystal meth addiction.

The designation did lead Wifey and I to offer taking their two year old for a couple of nights if his wife happens to go into labor this week. It is February vacation and everyone in my house (with the glaring example of me) has the week off. Must be nice. My sister in law’s sister was originally going to watch their daughter, but they went to Disney World for the week which left them in need for a backup.

They stopped by on Saturday to make sure she would get along with our boys and get a feel for the house. No issues there. The kids were playing marvelously together for the entire stay. She even enjoyed our insane dog jumping up and down at the gate to the back hall. At least someone appreciates that.

With the day a success we wished them well and will keep our fingers crossed that she doesn’t give birth for at least another week. Nothing against my god daughter, but she’s still in diapers and I have considered myself retired from diaper duty for the past two years. I have no desire to be pressed back into service ala Schwarzenegger in 'Commando'. Only with poop. I would be a poop commando.

Later that night Wifey got a call from her brother (the one that lives in Connecticut). She hangs up and tells the boys ‘Your cousins want to come visit this week’ and they both cheer. Her brother has three daughters who love our boys and vice versa. I foolishly assumed he would drive them up, they would party for a day, then head home.

What Wifey didn’t tell me until last night was that they are coming to spend the night without either of the parents. She's actually driving halfway down to pick them up tomorrow.

When I gave Wifey the double take and ‘WHAAAAA???’ response, she tells me to calm down. ‘They get along great and you won’t have to do anything!’

I may not need to do anything, I reply, but I’m the one that needs to get up early and get ready for work. One thing I know for sure is that when they stay overnight none of the children go to sleep before eleven. You remember what sleepovers were like as a kid: laughing, playing, little sleep, trying to get the youngest to set himself on fire.

Let’s do some quick math. 3 girls + 1 girl + 2 boys = 6 kids and 1 very unhappy father who still needs to get his ass out of bed at 6 am to get to work.

Wait, not done. It came to my attention that my wife has also volunteered our services to watch my sister’s dog. Her fucking dog! Let’s keep in mind that I already have one dog I hate, why would she think it would be fine to have two and those two particular dogs would be fine sharing the back hall every night.

While I considered that my sister’s dog may actually maul to death my dog in the middle of the night, I wasn’t counting on such good luck. This means that besides having at least five children in our house (with the very real possibility of a diaper wearing sixth) there would also be two crazy dogs! I need to remind everyone it’s February in Boston which severely limits outdoor activities.

Enter compromise.

I shot down the dog idea and sighed ‘Fine!’ to the kid idea. Mainly because the kids will entertain themselves and I can probably find a place to sleep away from their rambunctiousness.

Like somewhere in California.


Today’s distraction: I’m leaving this to your own opinions as to whether this is real or not, but here is a trailer for a movie called ‘Megashark vs Giant Octopus’. That Debbie Gibson is one of the stars makes me highly skeptical. Still, it does include this over the top scene of Megashark attacking a plane (turn down volume if at work as a ‘Shit’ appropriately makes an appearance). If you would like more info on how this is possible (it’s not!) check out this highly scientific graph.

Look at that! Three distractions in one. Who loves you?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lost - Part 2

Paging Doctor Creepy. Doctor Creepy please report to Maternity Ward 3.

How messed up was that?

I know, getting ahead of myself. Still, Lost continues to throw me for a loop. I’ve watched every episode from every season, dissected dialogue and backgrounds, analyzed character behavior with such obsession that wifey is ready to watch the show by herself and I still get thrown into turmoil with random cameos from characters we never expect to see again.

Plus it now opens up a new set of questions.

One other note before we get started. Both Josh Holloway and Terry O’Quinn are knocking it out of the park this season. Honestly, I didn’t think Sawyer had it in him. He’s a wreck. O’Quinn is using the Real Locke folksy charm to mask a truly menacing creature. Frankly, he frightens me. If neither of them are nominated for Emmy’s this year, the award means nothing.

Alright, let’s do this. You know the drill.

What Happened

Imagine my pleasure when we quickly realize this is a Kate episode. Let’s run it down like last week. Real World vs Lost World.

Real World: When we last saw Kate she was hijacking Claire’s taxi in (yet another) attempt to escape. This week picks up right at that point, having the cabbie nearly run down Arnst while he’s crossing the sidewalk. There’s also an odd moment where she sees Jack checking his cell phone and Kate appears to have a moment of confusion. Déjà vu, perhaps? Just like Jack had on the plane with Desmond?

Anyway, Cabbie Courageous bails on a pregnant Claire when Kate is distracted, prompting Kate to dump Claire on the side of the road and take off to the most convict tolerant auto shop in L.A.. Scruffy (Sawyer’s nicknames are rubbing off on me) helps Kate out of her hand cuffs and let’s her get changed in his disgusting bathroom.

Kate begins to undress (Oh, BOY!) when she’s distracted by baby paraphernalia. Way to throw cold water on a guy, Lost. Set the scene for Kate getting naked only to have motherhood get in the way. Why not have her pull out a breast pump out of the bag while you were at it. Bastards.

Kate, having a heart of gold despite the multiple felonies, goes back, finds Claire, gives her bag back, then gives her a lift to the supposedly adopting parents. Claire finds – much to her shock and chagrin – that the couple has split and no longer want Claire’s baby. Thanks for the phone call, jerks. Not like Claire didn’t come halfway across the world for you or anything.

Quick sidenote: Can we all agree that we need to use the word ‘chagrin’ more in our daily lives? Let’s get on that.

As things tend to happen in life, Claire promptly goes into labor. Kate and her heart of gold rush her to the hospital where she taps Doctor Ethan on the shoulder in order for him to help Claire. Yeah, that’s right. The Other that made life hell for the 815 survivors and tried to kidnap Claire and her baby is now a OB/GYN. While he was helpful and comforting, he still gave off the creepy, ‘I’d just as soon kill you as help you’ vibe.

Once things settle down, a detective shows up in Claire’s room looking for Kate. Claire claims she hasn’t seen her even though Kate’s hiding in the next room. The L.A. do their usual bang up job, not bothering to open the one other door in the room and leave. Claire then offers Kate her credit card ‘even though there’s not much on it’ and thanks her for all her help.

Oh, and during all of this, Claire names her baby Aaron even though she hadn’t given it much thought before that. ‘It’s like I knew it or something’. Duh, Claire. You already named him three seasons ago. At this point Kate tells Claire she thinks she should keep the baby and heads out to continue her sexy life of crime.

Lost World: Now that Sayid is back from the dead all hell is breaking loose in Otherland. Hong Kong Fooey (he says his real name in this episode but I didn’t catch it. Was it Denin?) and Lennon really really want to ‘talk’ to Sayid alone. Jack protests to the point that guns are drawn.

HKF’s conversational techniques need some work since they include electrocution and hot pokers to the rib cage. Still, they apologize to Sayid for torturing him (it happens) but say he’s passed their test. Only they’re lying as usual. Does any truth come out of their mouths?

Jack, being all manly, barges into HKF’s room (by asking the guards to move aside) and asks for about the millionth time in this series ‘What’s going on?’ Jack’s told that Sayid is infected and if he isn’t treated soon with this bright green, all natural herbal extract pill the infection will spread. Since Sayid won’t take anything given to him by the Others after that entire torture misunderstanding, they want Jack to give it to him.

Interestingly, HKF plays on Jack’s need to redeem himself as a ploy to get him to do what they want. ‘This is your chance at redemption,’ he’s told. Very Ben like of him, don’t you think? Jack, finally showing some thought processing ability, tells Sayid everything then decides not to give him the pill. Instead he heads back to head quarters and pops the pill himself. ‘How’s this for trust’.

Trust gets him a karate chop to the throat, stomach and an impromptu Heimlich Maneuver. Turns out the pill is poison designed to kill Sayid. The Others now think Sayid has been ‘claimed’ and that ‘there is a darkness growing inside him’. Not sure how his not saying anything while being tortured helped them prove this, but everyone has their quirks. When Jack asks how they’re sure about this, he is told ‘it is the same thing that happened to your sister’.

While all this is going on, Sawyer has escaped from the Temple and gone back to the Dharma barracks. Kate insists on following him (which is exactly and explicitly what he told her NOT to do and makes her just like every other woman) and takes Jin and two Gestapo Others with her simply so she can knock them out with her good looks and very large rocks. Once she catches up to Sawyer she witnesses him prying up some floor boards. Turns out Sawyer was ready to propose to Juliet. While they’re having a heart to heart on the dock, Sawyer tosses the engagement ring into the ocean.

Turns out poor Sawyer doesn’t blame Jack or anyone else for Juliet’s death. He blames himself. ‘Sat right here and asked her to stay on the island because I didn’t want to be alone’. Kate also confesses that she came ‘back to the island’ (more on that in a bit) to find Claire to bring her back to Aaron. Sawyer, though, wants none of it, stomps off and ignores Kate the rest of the time.

Meanwhile, Jin is out in the jungle attempting to track down where the Ajira flight crashed and reunite with Sun. While stopping for water (always a fatal mistake on Lost), a gun is put to his head. It’s the two Other bodyguards Kate knocked out and they’re pissed. One (the super grumpy one) is getting ready to shoot Jin when two large bullet holes appear in his chest. The second guard is knocked down by a shot and Jin turns to find…

…Claire. Holding a rifle and looking as bad ass as a five foot one, hundred pound, blonde girl possibly can.


What We Learned

- Claire is still on the island and channeling the spirit of Rousseau. She also has a darkness growing inside of her which could just be bad gas caused by the Dharma food she’s been living on.

- Real World Claire is still pregnant and was going to give Aaron up for adoption.

- Real World Kate seems to have had moments of recognition just like Real World Jack did with Desmond.

- Everyone from the island seems destined to interact in some way in the Real World. Ethan being the doctor has pretty much made that clear.

- Also, it seems at least some of the characters are destined to follow similar paths in the Real World as they did after the crash of 815. Kate, if you recall, helped deliver Aaron on the island and later ‘adopted’ Aaron as her own. Adoption here is used very loosely.

- The Others have a strict no shoe policy in the Temple.

- Don’t ever swallow green pills from The Others.

- Everyone who runs into Kate will in some way help her escape. Can’t really blame them.

- Judging by the size of the diamond on Sawyer’s engagement ring, being Head of Dharma Security doesn’t pay very well.

- The Others are keeping Kate, Jack, etc in The Temple to protect them from Smokey. ‘That smoke thing that goes ticka ticka ticka.’

- PAD already has the best line of the season with ‘We’ll be in the Food Court’. That will not be topped.

- Sayid is not a zombie.

- HKF got to the island the same way Jack did. ‘I was brought here’. That’s got Jacob written all over it.

- Kate came back to the island to bring Claire back while kicking Other ass. Or maybe kicking ass is just a perk of the job.

- The Temple water has healed Sayid’s gunshot wound despite the pollution and the growing evil inside him.

- Sawyer is guilty and bitter. ‘He’s an Iraqi torturer,’ he says upon seeing Sayid resurrected, ‘of course he gets another go ‘round.’

- Sawyer is also linked into Kate in a way Jack could never be. It was telling when he looked directly at her upon escaping and told her ‘Don’t come after me’. Knowing she would, anyway, of course. Kate is stubborn.

- Kate can also be very persuasive when she wants to be.

- Some of the Others are still nursing grudges about being given concussions by Kate and others. What do they expect people they’re holding prisoner to do? Just sit by and wait for death? The Others aren’t coming off as extremely bright or rational.

- Sayid sure seems like Sayid. The last thing he remembers is being shot in the Dharma compound. I have a question related to this, as well.

- HKF uses a translator to hide from the people following him. He uses a different term, but he’s basically hiding behind a language barrier. Let’s be honest for once, Other Man.


New Questions

- Is there some residual memory lingering with the Real World characters? First Jack seems to sense something is off (the long examination of himself in the mirror), recognizes Desmond from somewhere and last night Kate had a similar moment while looking at Jack from a distance. Does she somehow sense that she’s meant to be helping Claire, as well?

- Why name him Lennon? I get that he looks just like John Lennon, but wouldn’t have naming him Ringo been more creative?

- Are specific roles supposed to be filled in order for fate to take its proper course? I know I’m not the only one who thought Claire looked just like Rousseau did for the first few seasons. Does their need to be a leader (‘As you can see, Hurley has assumed the role of leader’), a skeptic, a believer, a rouge wandering the jungle with a rifle, a rebel, a comic relief, and some sort of psychic for events to unfold as they should?

As you recall last season, Ben told Jack that they had to replicate the Ajira flight as closely as possible to the Oceanic flight. That included a dead body in storage and as many of the original passengers as possible.

- Do Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley still have memories of 815 crashing? Kate’s confession to Sawyer on the dock included the phrase ‘You asked me why I came back to the island’ which would make us assume she still remembers crashing, leaving then coming back. Still, the door is slightly ajar that something else is going on. Nobody has openly referenced Oceanic 815 crashing on the island. I find this interesting and am hoping that the Real World story lines merge with the Lost World by the time everything winds up.

- If they do remember, why did Lost need to have Kate be the one to destroy my pet theory? Why, Lost, why????!!!!!!

- Going way back to Season One, does anyone else remember Rousseau telling Sayid that she had murdered the rest of her crew because they were ‘infected’ and that he should keep an eye on the rest of the survivors. You may also recall that Rousseau performed the same electrocution greeting on Sayid when she first caught him. Then released him after she determined he was not a threat. I don’t have a question other than ‘What’s that all about?’

- What did they think Sayid would do upon being tortured? I don’t see how screaming in agony proves anything other than he’s human. In fact, it’s probably the most normal thing that happened the entire day. Yet somehow that proves he’s been claimed?

- Do these claims come with paperwork? And is the interest adjustable or fixed? I’d hate to see that darkness in Sayid get evicted because he suddenly can’t afford the drastic mortgage increases.

- What is so important about these seven: Hurley, Sayid, Jack, Kate, PAD, Sawyer, and Jin, that HKF would risk coming out as an English speaker to keep Sawyer from leaving. ‘Please, you need to stay here’. What did that note say?

- Has Ben been claimed? Remember last season when Sayid shot Little Ben and they gave him to Richard Alpert? Alpert told them that he could save Ben but he wouldn’t remember anything and would never be the same. Was Ben submerged in that same Temple fountain and infected with the darkness? Or, at the very least, malaria? Ben is kind of an asshole, so it fits.

- Where the hell did Sawyer find a diamond ring on the island? Is there a catalog he can order from? Was there a General Store we never saw? Does Dharma give them out as bonuses? Seriously, what the hell?

- If the Real World is actually a parallel time line (and not a substitution or replacement like I think), will the Real World characters eventually run into Ben? I can’t wait for that moment.

- While we’re here, did detonating the bomb reset The Others fates, as well? Ethan being a well mannered, seemingly successful doctor makes us think they were never brought to the island to menace and kill the Oceanic people. Or is there something else going on we aren’t aware of, yet? Can’t help being suspicious. Chalk that up to experience.

- How do the Others expect Jack to trust them when all they do is lie to his face at every opportunity? Again, they don’t seem to have a great game plan in place.

Step 1: Shoot everyone that comes into their camp.
Step 2: If they have note from Jacob, skip Step 1.
Step 3: Did you shoot them before finding the note? Bury the bodies and tell Jacob they never showed up.
Step 4: If they’re still living, lie to them all the time.
Step 5: If you don’t want to lie, give vague half answers that mean nothing.
Step 6: Get them to kill each other if you suspect anything is off about them.
Step 7: Finally tell the truth because one of them nearly killed himself.

Considering how well things are going at the moment, it might be time to mix things up. Just a suggestion.

- What do the Temple people do for fun? There’s no television, no computers, no games of any kind that I can see. It doesn’t even look like they have much room to move around. Do they even get to play on the beach? They’re on a beautiful (if deadly) island and can’t leave the house.

- Meant to ask this last week, but I noticed we heard the whispers just before the Others kidnapped everyone from the ruined temple. What was that about? How do the Others make that sound? Does it have something to do with them leaving the protection of the internal Temple?

- If Sayid is indeed ‘claimed’, how do they know he hasn’t been claimed by Jacob? This is the first time Jacob has been dead in centuries (perhaps ever) so there is an entirely new set of rules to be played by. Again…Others…you’re not really thinking things through.

- If Claire is a Rambo-ess living in the jungle (for years, no less), then what was with her showing up in the cabin with Christian? The more we learn, the more it seems there are two or more forces at work on the island. Not just Jacob and Fake Locke.

- One last question to leave you with: What if – like Fake Locke – it really isn’t Claire but just some spirit assuming her form. Like say a dead Rousseau? I’ll bet it’s even her rifle.

That’s all I’ve got this week. I must admit this has been a fantastic season, so far. Let’s hope it keeps at it.

Today's distraction: Since I'm over due for a public service, I give you a formal apology form to fill out when the need arises. I feel like I know most of you and can tell you'll need this often. Just print several copies out file them away for easy access.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Thoughts

Officially, this should be the title of all my entries. Because I'm super and all my thoughts...ah forget it.


Here are some random thoughts from Super Bowl Sunday. I'll admit the Super Bowl is always bitter sweet. It's been a great game the last few years, I usually look forward to it, but it also marks the official end of the season. No NFL until August. That's no good.


Anyway


- For two weeks all media heads were crowing about was how great Peyton Manning is and how he's one of the best of all time and how he simply picks apart defenses at will. By the time the game was over it was Brees who had picked apart the Colt's defense. 32 of 39 (one of which was a spike to stop the clock and another a drop off the face of Colston), 288 yards, 2 touchdowns, 8 different receivers, 1 MVP, 1 Super Bowl, 1 trip to Disney World and incalculable amounts of endorsements. How you like him now?


- Anyone know how Brees got that scar on his face? I hope it's some cool story about him rescuing kids off a school bus that stalled on train tracks. He gets everyone off, then goes back to save a stray dog just before a train takes out the bus. I'll bet it's something entirely less great than that.


- What's Peyton Manning's legacy now? He certainly should still be considered one of the best ever, but his playoff meltdowns seem to outnumber his playoff successes. Hold on, need to check something...


Ok, his playoff record is now 9 - 9. At the very least his failures match his successes. Not that he's entirely to blame for last night's loss, but it must say something that he puts up staggering numbers in the regular season only to become mortal against the better teams.


I just don't know what.


- I made my specialty yesterday afternoon: Sausage bread. I made one super spicy and another mild. The boys plowed through the mild like they were refugees. I had four slices of the spicy myself. Good times!

- Can we please cease with the 'Finally, New Orleans is a winner' story? The city has been in a perpetual celebration since 1901. It took a three week break after Katrina swept through, but let's not portray it as a city in need of something to feel good about. Let's not forget they also get to watch Chris Paul play 41 times a year.


- If anything, shouldn't we feel bad for Colt fans? (Actual answer: NO!) They live in a city where the only reason to get out of bed is sports. Currently it's cold, snowy, windy, and depressing. Let's be honest, if you're living in Indiana there is very few reasons to feel good about anything.

- Let's keep in perspective one crucial point to last night's game. If that onside kick to start off the second half had failed (and it nearly did), Sean Payton certainly wouldn't be viewed as a coach with balls of solid brass. Let's flash back a few months to the Patriot - Colt game and that fourth and two. Belichick is currently looked upon as a fool for trying such a stunt. Yet, that onside kick was an even bigger gamble since they rarely work and - if the Colts had recovered - could have set the stage for a full fledged blow out.

Yes, it worked. Yes, it was a ballsy call and it certainly seemed to take the steam out of the Colts and put them on their heels. But keep in mind that one random bounce the other way would have spelled doom for the Saints.


- The Who certainly looked their respective ages last night. I'm fairly certain Daltrey was wearing a wig and Townsend's stomach was hanging out throughout the performance. They looked less like rock royalty than your father's drunken brothers playing Guitar Hero. I felt sad. Not the emotion Super Bowl organizers were hoping for I'll bet.


Since it seems that the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson debacle has halftime organizers gun shy, here are my suggestions for the next five Super Bowls. I'm assuming the standards are they be past their primes and in no way offensive or scary to anyone above the age of 70.


Rolling Stones
Hootie and the Blowfish
Barry Manilow
Cast of 'Glee': A Tribute to the Osmonds
Kidz Bop 22 Live

- While there is no doubt Brees deserved the MVP, I sure hope New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley received some consideration. Three long field goals that kept the Saints hopes alive when the game was still in doubt.


- Wifey and I were debating whether Queen Latifah was lip syncing when she gave us a definitive answer: She screwed up the lyrics. Shouldn't every singer do this? Or slightly change the lyrics during their performance just to prove they're singing live? Gotta love the age of music we live in.

Or not.

Carrie Underwood gave us a similarly definite answer by souring that last note of the national anthem.


- Now for the important part of the program. The commercials. Once again things were below average for this year's crop. The golden age of Super Bowl Ads has come and gone, my friends.


Enjoyed


Betty White 'Snickers': simply for how realistic it looked when she was tackled. Abe Vigoda as the punchline was great, too.


The E-Trade baby: Both the 'Milk-aholic' and the airplane one.

Megan Fox: Not even sure what it was for, but it was sexy and hilarious.

CareerBuilder Casual Fridays: Horrifying and funny.


Doritos: Was it me or did they spend a fortune on ads this year? They even sponsored the half time report. Sadly, the only one that was amusing was the one where the little kid tells his mother's date 'Hands off my momma...hands off my Doritos'. (Note: what's it say about how far we've come when an advertisement is based around a single mother's dating prospects? Ten years ago this would have caused rioting outside Catholic Churches around the globe. Although it is still early).


Bud Light Can House: 'Enviro-what?'


Bud Light Auto Tune ad: Hilarious while poking fun at the most annoying invention in music since Tiny Tim.


Hated (or was confused by)

Doritos dog collar ad: Maybe I missed the setup, but I wasn't sure what was going on until the guy started getting shocked. Then I just considered what an asshole he was for doing that to a dog and that dogs shouldn't be eating Doritos regardless and I totally lost what I was watching. Also, add the one at the gym was just stupid.

McDonald's Lebron vs Dwight: A poor replication of the classic Bird vs Jordan 'Horse' ad. That we've gone from outside shooting to dunks and the punchline is neither of the players know who Larry Bird is depressed me.

Tim Tebow and his mother: Is Tebow intentionally trying to make himself look like a tool? If so, it's working.

The Simpsons Coke Ad: Animation was fantastic, but I didn't laugh once during this entire commercial. The Simpsons is still a comedy, right?

Monster.com Beaver Ad: So a beaver wants to be a fiddler instead of building dams. Wait...what?

Chevy Chase/Beverly D'Angelo as the Griswalds: Not even sure what this commercial was for, but I kept thinking 'Has this really what it's come to?'

So that's it, friends. Another NFL season come and gone. Would like to thank Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Andre Johnson, Marion Barber, Jonathan Stewart, Vincent Jackson, and other role players for helping me win my fantasy league (and a cool $700).

Congrats again to the Saints. Now New Orleans people will finally have a reason to party. Like they need one.

Today's distractions: It's USA Today's Ad Meter. Vote for your favorites after trying to figure out how to shut that guy up. Note to USA Today's web programmers: if you want people to vote, don't have someone blabber on for 2 minutes. I'm betting more people simply close out your page than wait through it.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost - Part 1

Well, then…

Leave it to ‘Lost’ to answer questions we’ve had for five years only to raise an entirely new set of perplexing situations.

Namely…

Oh, right. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Cut me some slack, it’s been nearly a year since I’ve done this. I’m going to switch things up today since there’s no way in hell I’ll be able to run down everything that happened. I’ll skim over the highlights then get to the questions and my new theory (which, like my last one, will be totally off base).

Read no further if you haven’t seen the two hour premiere last night.

What Happened

That should really be the main question after the entire bomb thing. We see Juliet (I’ve been spelling her name wrong this entire time!) banging on the bomb then get transferred to Jack flying on Oceanic 815. There is some turbulence like last time (will it crash this time?) he speaks to Rose, and…..

Nothing.

Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash. Jack did it! Yay, Jack! Way to blow yourself back to reality and no chance with Kate. You idiot!

Or did he?

Cut to Kate hanging off the most overt sexual symbol in television history (or maybe that’s just me), her ears ringing, still in the jungle, still on the island, but – judging by the exploded Swan Station – back in the present. She runs into PAD, Jack and Sawyer who gives Jack the kick in the stomach we all wanted to give him last season. Better late than never. Jin, Hurley and a still dying Sayid are close by, as well.

So what’s going on? Did it work or not? Thoughts on that below, but for now let’s just break it down based on Real World and Lost World.

Real World: Jack flies merrily along, bumping into Rose and Bernard, Desmond, saving Charlie (great to see him again!) from choking to death on a bag of heroin, getting close enough to Kate so she could steal his pen. Sayid helps Jack save Charlie by kicking in the bathroom door, and he gives polite nod to Locke – still wheelchair bound. Sawyer and Hurley and even Arnst (non exploded version) have a merry interaction.

Scan to below the ocean just after the flight experiences some turbulence and there is the Lost island; submerged, shark infested (sans Dharma logo), and sad looking. Although the foot is still there, if a bit waterlogged. So I guess the bomb not only blew Jack back to 2004, but sank the island and made Jacob hold his breath a really long time.

But not all is all rosy as Oceanic Airlines lost Christian’s body and Locke’s knife set (both integral to the island’s mythology), Kate escapes (with Sawyer’s help no less) by hijacking the cab being taken by Claire. Everyone is together again!!

Quick note here: I found it interesting how everyone seamlessly fell into their old relationships even though they barely knew each other. Jack and Locke having a spiritual conversation which ends with Jack offering to help Locke walk again, Kate and Sawyer teaming up to escape a tight situation, Sawyer playing big brother to Hurley, Sayid becoming Jack’s muscle, Locke mentoring Boone about survival tactics. It was off putting to see Sun and Jin back in their old, stuffy relationship, however.

Meanwhile…

Lost World: After Jack and Sawyer exchange pleasantries, Kate hears Juliette calling from the bottom of the station. She’s alive!! Which, considering she detonated an atom bomb four inches from her face after falling 200 feet is pretty impressive. Alas, it doesn’t last and she dies just after Sawyer reaches her. Typical woman.

Supposedly she has something very important to say to Sawyer (sorry, not used to James, yet) but doesn’t get it out in time. PAD later discovers it to be ‘It worked’, which makes no sense at all since they’re all still on the island and she’s still dead. Sawyer blames Jack for all of this, by the way. Even vows to kill him.

Sayid is still in rough shape and even Magic Man Jack can’t help him. Hurley has an idea planted by the recently deceased (‘Sorry, dude’) Jacob – bring Sayid to The Temple. Brilliant! Only they have to drag him down a hole, over the river, through the woods, wind up getting kidnapped by Crouching Tiger and his sidekick, Harry Potter, who wind up accidentally drowning Sayid in a polluted fountain of healing. If this is who Jacob entrusted with running his Temple, it’s no wonder he’s dead.

Hurley fills in Hong Kong Fooey (my Sawyer nickname suggestion for the leader of The Temple) about Jacob being dead and he institutes a lock down and sets off fireworks that are apparently loud enough to wake the dead. No, really. It wakes up Sayid who sluggishly asks ‘What happened?’

Back at the foot, Jacob is indeed dead. His body guards come charging in way too late and get their heads handed to them by the smoke monster, who, it turns out is actually Locke, who is actually Fake Locke. It’s complicated.

Fake Locke is playing Ben for a sap, something Ben isn’t too comfortable with. Anyone else find the irony in Ben whining ‘You used me!’ when he’s done nothing but manipulate and use everyone he comes in contact with for decades? Fake Locke confronts Richard with ‘Nice to see you out of your chains’ before knocking him senseless. He also tells all the other people ‘I’m very disappointed in all of you’, but not really sure what that means. Disappointed in that they stood around and did nothing? Or disappointed that they’re all getting paid to hang out on a beach in Hawaii?

Captain Frank and Sun are still standing around in confusion. More things change…

What We Learned

- Locke is not Locke, but Smokey in Locke form. We’re assuming he’s also the man in black, but that has yet to be verified.

- Richard was once in chains which could mean he and Fake Locke were S&M lovers or Richard was someone’s slave. Frankly, that’s a toss up.

- The children and missing survivors are all hanging out in The Temple. Wonder if they have a Wii?

- Don’t make Fake Locke angry. You wouldn’t like Fake Locke when he’s angry.

- Charlie needs a refresher on how to do drugs. You take it out of the bag, man!

- The English language has a funny taste.

- Juliet managed to set off the bomb.

- Sun looks sexier with longer hair.

- Sawyer needs a hug and doesn’t want to be called ‘boss’ any longer.

- Nobody cleans up the dead bodies Smokey kills. Must be fun playing hide and seek on that island.

- An ankh was in the guitar case Hurley was carrying around. Also, LAX security should be sanctioned since nobody ever opened the stupid thing.

- Kate’s strong enough to kick out a bathroom stall door and knock out a highly trained U.S. Marshall while handcuffed. Wait…really?

- The actors playing Sun and Frank may have the easiest gigs ever. Stand on a Hawaiian beach and look stupid. Here’s a few hundred thousand for your troubles.

- Jin has this time travel thing down. Headache? Check. Ringing ears? Check. Day turned into night in a second? Check. He should write a guide.

- The Temple needs to upgrade their pool cleaning service.

- Drowning a gunshot victim isn’t the best medicinal practice. Wait, maybe it is.

- Jacob’s body guards are terrible. I blame Ilana for slowing them down by making them carry Locke’s actual dead body.

- Juliet setting off the bomb has somehow triggered a different reality for the Oceanic flight people. Desmond no longer crashes on the island nor spends years of his life punching in numbers. The Dharma Initiative is extinct. Presumably Libby is roaming around Los Angeles looking for work and Ana Lucia is off beating some suspect with a phone book. Hey, maybe Ekko is still around, as well!

- For supposedly peace loving hippies, The Temple folks sure seem trigger happy. How many other people have they killed that just happened to wander into The Temple?

- Sayid is immortal! And badass! He’s a badass immortal!


New Questions

Man, where do we start?

- Are we now witnessing two realities? Parallel universes, so to speak? One where Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash and one where it does?

- Or (NEW THEORY) are we going to witness ‘Course Correction’ on a grand scale? Bear with me for a minute here. Juliet sets off the bomb, sinks the island and Jack, Kate, et al on 815 make it to L.A. without a hitch (other than a missing body). But this is happening in 2004. Perhaps we’re going to see how fate gets them to return to the island on the Ajira flight in 2007.

This makes sense with Juliet (or her corpse, to be specific) telling PAD that ‘it worked’. That Oceanic didn’t crash, but they still wind up on the island anyway. This doesn’t really jibe with the island being a sunken wreck, but I’m sort of winging it here. Perhaps the island resurfaces somehow?

It also jibes with the flight attendant and now Temple vixen saying ‘They were on the first flight with me’ as opposed to saying ‘They crashed with 815’. Considering how many people were put on the island during the 815 crash, you would think if that had still happened she would have said ‘They were part of 815’ and that would have explained it all.

I’m just asking the questions, people. For the record, this is my most half assed theory, yet. It’s my first quarter assed theory.

- With the island sinking does this mean Jacob, Richard, Ben, The Others, are all drowned and dead? Or just living in an underwater wonderland!

- Is Sayid really Sayid? Or is he Jacob coming back to put his Fake Sayid boot in Fake Locke’s ass? Has some other spirit taken over his body? Maybe it’s Patch looking for a comeback!

- Who are The Temple people? Are they an extension of The Others or are they separate? Think they celebrate the Fourth of July with those homemade fireworks?

- Anyone remember what the watch signified? The one Jin was carrying with him?

- Also, was all that cash actually Jin’s or was that what Sun was going to use to start her new life?

- What are the ashes people surround themselves with to protect themselves from Smokey?

- Even better, do you think there are two smoke monsters? We witnessed Ben releasing it from the sewer last season, but it really doesn’t seem like he has any control over it at all. Anyone else hear that same mechanical sound when it was approaching last night?

- While we’re here, did the people on the beach not see Smokey enter and exit the foot when it kicked ass? It certainly looked like it came in from outside and left the same way.

- What is Ilana’s story? She related to Jacob somehow? How did she know where to go?

- Are Ana Lucia and Ekko on the Real World 815, as well?

- Did Real World Locke really get to go on a walk about in his wheel chair (a roll about?) or is he blowing smoke up Boone’s…well…you know.

- Now that Charlie gets to L.A. will DriveShaft make a comeback?

- Is Jack experiencing some sort of displacement when 815 didn’t crash on the island? Did anyone else notice a look of disappointment when the plane made it to the gate in L.A.? Sawyer especially seemed dismayed that something special didn’t occur.

- Have other events been changed by the bomb? Hurley saying ‘I’m the luckiest man in the world’, Boone being unable to talk his sister out of her damaging relationship with her boyfriend, Arnst not blowing into tiny bits, Sun and Jin perhaps not staying together, Rose dying of cancer.

Has everything changed?

- Why didn’t Jacob fight back?

- Where were Michael and Walt on 815? Did he not have to take guardianship of Walt since the island is submerged?

- Does this mean that Juliet is still alive? Since the island never recruited her can we assume she’s still a doctor somewhere?

- What was the significance of wiping the knife on the piece of cloth? Anyone else notice it was Locke’s knife that was used to kill Jacob? That same knife that goes missing from 815 in the Real World.

- Was there any hidden meaning in Jack’s claim to Locke in the Real World that ‘Nothing is irreversible’?

- Who is Fake Locke? And why is everyone so terrified that he’s walking around?

- Also, if all Fake Locke wants to do is go home, then let him go home. What’s the big deal?

- And where is his home?

I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. We better!!

Until next week.

Today's distraction: It's The Fuselage, a Lost centric site developed by the actual show's creators. I'm guessing that makes it a bit more 'in the know'.