Tag Archives: "Lost"

“Lost” No-Spoiler Zone

Jacob, the spiritual center of the mysterious island—he has beautiful, blue, mesmerizing eyes

This has been an amazing week for our family so far: The #1 son’s birthday was yesterday, and the final season of “Lost” started Tuesday.

The #2 son watches intently.

Watching “Lost” is a wonderful family tradition for us. We really enjoy discussing what’s going on during the commercials (thank goodness there are so many of them, she says sarcastically) and anticipating what to expect next week.

Jack

Last year in this very blog I analyzed every “Lost” episode. It helped me to get my head around what was going on, since all Losties know how complicated the series is. By the way, all that confusion that fills our days contemplating the “Lost” conundrum? We have none other than the show’s creators and writers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, to thank for that.

Kate

“We’ve always felt that one of the compelling elements of ‘Lost’ is the intentional ambiguity,” Cuse says. “The fact is it’s open for interpretation and discussion, and we feel like we would be doing a disservice to the fans and viewers to say, ‘No, you must only look at this in one way.'”

Sawyer

Or it could be that they don’t have a clue about what’s going on either!

Hurley

Now the new season has begun, and I’ve decided not to do any “Lost” analyses until the season finally ends. Why? Mainly because of my friend Karen K. She’s a London transplant right now, and she told me that “Lost” is a week behind in the UK. She would appreciate it if I didn’t spoil “Lost” for her in my blog; otherwise, she won’t be able to read it.

Bogus Locke

Fair enough! I’ve decided to be content with taking photos of my TV with my trusty Nikon D700 and 50mm lens and posting pics that won’t give away any of the plot. Happy, Karen?

I will say that based on parts one and two that aired Tuesday, this season is going to be another edge-of-your-seat roller coaster ride every single week. I loved the new storytelling device and can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you’d like to read great, insightful “Lost” analysis, check out Nikki Stafford’s Nik at Nite (even the comments are eye-openers), Doc Jensen (“Entertainment Weekly”), and Doc Arzt’s “Lost” blog. All three will help you connect the dots and discover nuances and hidden meanings that will enhance your viewing enjoyment.

Oh, and Karen, spoiler alert! Please close the page. I have to note that whiny, obnoxious Neil (aka Frogurt) had a small role in the season opener. I knew it was him the minute I saw him despite the sleep mask that he was wearing. It was fun watching him be whiny and obnoxious yet again.

“Lost” seems to be coming full circle. Let’s hope that really will be true after the season finale on May 23.

My First Month of Photos Every Day

My final photo of the month: The #1 son and Chase at Pei Wei. (January 31)

Whew! Here we are at the second day of the second month of 2010. I finally caught up with posting all my January photos of the day (POTD) last night, and that made me stop to think about this project.

When I decided to try to post a photo every day to be found under the (duh!) Photo of the Day tab, I figured it might be a little taxing. But, really, how hard could it be for someone who snaps hundreds of pix every month?

Black and white trees? (January 18)

Sometimes very hard! At times it was the process of just getting the photo from the camera into the iMac, then into Photoshop and finally the blog. Organization and timeliness aren’t my key strengths, unfortunately. Other times it was deciding which photo to choose. Some POTD aficionados believe that every photo should be a reflection of what’s going on in your life that day. But let’s face it . . . my life is pretty boring. Even though I love it, that doesn’t always make for compelling photography.

Makes you wonder! (January 27; iPhone 3GS)

Not every photo was amazing, but at least I didn’t miss a day. That’s an accomplishment for me!

Mile 11 is a good time for prayer! (January 17; iPhone 3GS)

Even when I ran the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon, I was able to take a POTD. Now that’s dedication (with a touch of insanity)!

As for which one of the 31 photos was my favorite  (drum roll, please!) . . . .

A melting icicle on the side of our pool’s waterfall is frozen in time and space.

It was this one. Capturing a drop in mid-air from a melting icicle on January 9 after the Houston area endured freezing conditions. I hated the cold, but I loved the lucky photo.

For most of the 31 pictures, I used my Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm lens. The Nifty 50 is the glass most often used on my D700. It has great versatility and wonderful bokeh (background blurring). I do love my prime lenses (50, 85, and 105mm)! Yet I’m always glad when I can use my iPhone 3GS. It doesn’t offer the best resolution, but it’s great for those spur-of-the-moment pix.

Now I’m looking ahead to this month and am already wondering what today’s photo will be (I have a sneaking suspicion that it will have something to do with “Lost,” one of our favorite TV shows that starts its final season tonight). One thing that makes me very glad as I ponder February’s photos of the day: There only will be 28 of them!

Random Thoughts About Flowers, Target, and Lying

Roses from our new front landscaping

Roses from our new front landscaping

True confessions time: When Frank of  Frank’s Nursery was recommending plants and flowers for our new front yard landscaping, I must admit I had two main requirements for what we would choose: First, killability (the Mister and I need the hardiest flora possible to withstand our lame gardening abilities). And, second, photographability (I think I’m making up the -ability words today). With my beloved Nikon f/2.8 105mm macro lens, I wanted flowers that I could be up close and personal with. Pretty stuff that would look great in a blog.

More roses from our new landscaping

More roses from our new landscaping

Which is why when Frank suggested pink and red roses, I told him, “Bring ’em on in!” There’s just nothing like beautiful flowers, such as roses, and an f/2.8 lens to bring out great bokeh (that wonderful blurred background) in photos. I’m hoping to enjoy photographing the new flowers (which also include a couple esperanza bushes that haven’t bloomed yet, as well as ixoras) for as long as they survive their stay with us!

target_logo

Cold thoughts while shopping

Was the temperature set on freezing at my local Target (when it was 80 degrees outside) the other day to try to entice those of us in south Texas to buy warm winter clothing? Most of us were wearing shorts, short-sleeve t-shirts, and sandals as we meandered through aisles filled with long pants, long sleeves, and coats. We probably won’t need warmer clothes for another month or so . . . and then we might only wear them for a month or so.

The strategy didn’t work for me—I still bought shorts for the boys, who refuse to wear pants. And then I hustled out of the store to warm up!

invention_of_lying-500x374

Random movie review

The family went to the “cheap” $5 movie yesterday morning to see “The Invention of Lying.” I really liked Ricky Gervais in “Ghost Town,” so I had high hopes that this flick, which also starred Jennifer Garner, would be equally as good.

Total disappointment! Two thumbs down!! But the boys, who appear to have no actual taste in movies, loved it.

Here’s the premise: The movie is set in an alternate reality where no one can lie. But Gervais’ down-on-his-luck character discovers that he can bend the truth. And, as it usually does, lying gets him into trouble.

Yes, there were some funny parts. And it was great seeing Fionnula Flanagan, who is Daniel Faraday’s mum in “Lost,” cast as Gervais’ character’s mother. But some parts (especially the beginning when Gervais’ character meets Garner’s at her apartment for a blind date) are so distasteful and so unnecessary (like the one F-word), plus the movie was just plain boring. It was a waste of an interesting premise.

And that’s the truth!

Two Thumbs Up, Two Thumbs Sideways

Meryl Streep as Julia Child cooks up a storm.

Meryl Streep as Julia Child cooks up a storm.

The Mister and I went a little movie crazy last weekend . . . without the boys. We saw two movies at our local AMC Theatre and rented another that we actually watched well before its due date.

Sidebar: Anyone else have a nasty habit of returning DVDs to the video store just before midnight on the due date? There probably are 12-step programs for people like us who need to stop procrastinating when it comes to watching rented movies on time.

By far, the top movie we saw was “Julie and Julia.” I was anxious to see it, because the same-named Julie Powell book that most of it’s based on is hilarious. And what a great premise: A 30-year-old woman in a dead-end job with a supportive husband decides to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook in one year and then blog about the results. Like me, Powell wasn’t the greatest cook before starting the project; I think that’s why I could relate to her so well.

What I totally disliked about the book and was glad to see wasn’t in the movie was Powell’s incessant foul language, which almost ruined the story for me. I’ve never read so many f-bombs in my life; what a turnoff.

But this is what Powell says about cussing: “I happen to believe that curse words are vital parts of language, and I write accordingly.”

I totally disagree! And I would feel the same way even if I wasn’t an old broad of 56. All cussing means is that you have a poor vocabulary. The only time cursing truly is necessary is when you’re driving without the kids and have to deal with all the idiot drivers surrounding you (it always amazes me how everyone else is such a bad driver when I’m behind the wheel!). Otherwise, as I tell my two sons, the English language is rich with descriptive words that won’t make their mother’s jaw drop in surprise and disgust. Use them!

Amy Adams celebrates her final Julia Child meal.

Amy Adams as Julie Powell celebrates her final Julia Child meal.

But I digress . . . the movie is a must-see! Two thumbs up!! It’s so funny and so delightful. Meryl Streep, one of my favorite actresses, is amazing as Julia Child.

I’m lucky to be married to a guy who is so secure in his maleness (though he doesn’t prefer pink) that he’ll willingly see chick flicks with me. After the movie, he admitted that he had had reservations about seeing it, but he loved it, too.

I do agree with the reviewers who have said that the Julia part is much more interesting than the Julie one. Julia Child was a fascinating personality, and I’m glad that Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed the movie, also used “My Life in France,” Child’s autobiography, as a basis for the film.

If you haven’t read Powell’s book, I do recommend it. Just be ready to do a lot of cringing!

“The Time Traveler’s Wife”

The time traveler (Eric Bana) and his wife (Rachel McAdams)

The time traveler (Eric Bana) and his wife (Rachel McAdams)

The “two thumbs sideways” is for “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” I haven’t read the book, and I found the movie to be a bit confusing. In the film, Chicago librarian Henry DeTamble (played by Eric Bana) has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel, usually when he’s stressed. Putting up with all of that is a woman he’s known via time traveling since she was a little girl, artist Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams).

It makes for an interesting story, especially to a “Lost” fan like myself. But what bothered me the most was the lack of chemistry between Bana and McAdams. I just didn’t believe the love story. The Mister agreed with me; we were disappointed. Well-acted but not a must see.

“17 Again”

Zac Efron struts his stuff.

Zac Efron struts his stuff.

Okay, no laughing! The Mister and I rented “17 Again” and really liked it. I did roll my eyes a little that Zac Efron, one of the stars of the “High School Musical” franchise, also played basketball in this movie. But I thought he did a great job as the young version of Matthew Perry, who got to be 17 once again with a chance to rewrite his life’s story. Rent it for some light humor.

Oh, and be glad that Julie Powell didn’t write the story . . . no f-bombs, thank goodness!

“The Incident”: “Lost” in Too Many Commercials

 

Is this evil and good embodied?

Is this evil and good embodied?

Holy mackerel! “Lost” literally went out with a bang and a flash of white last night, leaving us to ponder for months the meaning of the richest episode of the season. I loved “The Incident” but hated all the commercials (well, all except for the clever Mac-PC ones). The constant barrage of ads thrown at us at inopportune moments (especially when Sawyer was sobbing over the apparent loss of Juliet) was almost criminal. ABC, you’ve gone too far; this is not the Super Bowl! We may be a captive audience, but we’re not stupid. For next year’s finale, please get a sponsor for the entire two hours who will only have commercials at the beginning and end of the episode. Or we might have to sic the bogus John Locke on you!

Jacob puts his special touch on Hurley.

Jacob puts his special touch on Hurley.

My neighbor Sylvia hates when “Lost” adds new characters to a show, but I think Jacob and an unnamed man (perhaps Esau?), who by the end of the episode could be called the bogus Locke, will add to our understanding of what the heck is going on. The mysterious Jacob visited Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Sun, Jin, and Locke before they came to the island, and Sayid and Hurley after they had returned home, literally touching them at critical times in their lives (probably even bringing Locke back to life after he was pushed out the window by his no-good father). It was no coincidence that these people were meant to be on this island.

Meanwhile, the other guy we see in the opening scenes seems bent on killing good, kind Jacob and must look for a loophole to fulfill his desire. That “loophole” turns out to be Locke, as we discover that Locke really is dead by Ben’s hand off-island, with the evil guy taking over his body. As he might have done with Jack’s dad and Claire. Spooky stuff!

Should we pause for a commercial now?

Robinson Crusoe Bernard and Rose

Robinson Crusoe Bernard and Rose

A couple of loose ends that were neatly tied into a bow were the fates of Vincent the dog and Rose and Bernard. Last time we saw them, they were separated from Sawyer’s group as flaming arrows rained down upon them. We find out all three have been living in a modest hut near the beach, happy as clams. That was a moment of levity in what was otherwise a heavy, action-packed show.

What's in the box?

What's in the box?

We also finally discovered what was in the crate that Ilana and her gang were so protective of: John Locke’s body straight from the coffin. Glad the embalming fluid was still working! Seeing our familiar Locke dead made us realize that the writers had put one over on us—the new Locke isn’t Locke at all! Instead, this was Loophole Locke, who used Ben to kill Jacob.

Juliet tries to fight the electromagnetic pull.

Juliet tries to fight the electromagnetic pull.

Meanwhile, the battered and bloodied Juliet, who was dragged into the Swan’s drill hole by the electromagnetic pull on a heavy metal chain that had become wrapped around her, is at the bottom of the hole, face to face with the hydrogen bomb’s plutonium core, which had failed to detonate. Good thing there was a rock right by her! She picks it up and bashes at the core. The scene turns to white, and that’s all she wrote for 2009.

"Lost" ends until next year.

"Lost" ends until next year.

And that fade to white ending? Perfect . . . and chilling! We’ll be counting down the months, and then the weeks, and then the days, and finally the minutes until the final season begins in 2010.

Why I’m a “Lost” fan

“Lost” definitely makes us think—it’s not for the casual viewer. Nothing seems to be just laid out for us in black and white; it’s all the shades of gray that baffle us and have caused better minds than mine to try to decipher every nuance in every episode. We’re confused, but darn it, we’re intrigued! We’ve bought into the time travel, wormholes, back-and-forth timelines (what year is it now?)—we’ve invested in the entire package. Our hope is that at the end of next season, the show’s last, we’ll bask in a satisfying conclusion that ties up all the loose ends and makes sense out of the whole shebang.

Hopefully!

Mother’s Day at the Movies . . . Chicken!

star_trek_03_1024

Hope y’all had a great Mother’s Day! Mine was interesting, as always. First, the boys showed me my Mother’s Day gift, which was a PowerPoint slideshow they had thrown together carefully crafted the night before. It was very cute and much appreciated. I had challenged the boys to try to describe me in three words (as inspired by the In Three Words website). Here’s what they came up with:

#2 son: If I could describe you in three words, it would be . . . sweet, cool, and funny.

M = Marvelous mom!

O = OMG you are awesome!

M = Mother of the year!!!

#1 son: Can three words do justice? If so, perhaps they would be awesome, important, and resourceful.

M = Magnanimous

O = Outstanding

M = Musical

Another cute touch: They signed that it was from my “#1 and #2 sons!”

Ahh, I feel appreciated, short-lived as I’m sure it’ll be. 

Then the family boldly went where no one has gone before . . . well, actually, lots of people had gone there: Our local AMC Theatres to see the new “Star Trek” movie. When I told the boys that’s what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day, all I heard were moans and groans. But when I said it was either “Star Trek” or the “Hannah Montana” movie, they wisely opted for space travel over the teenybop star. We attended the 10:10 a.m. ($5) show, and it was packed! Lots of cheap families taking Mom to the movies, just like mine.

The short Mom review: I really liked it (as did the guys)! Because it’s co-produced by “Lost” co-creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, there were several touches from our favorite TV show involving time travel and altering the timeline. We’re not Trekkies, but I think we’ll definitely want to see the planned sequels.

"Chicken" boys

"Chicken" boys

Those chicken boys

As a preamble to yesterday’s Mother’s Day activities, the boys decided to play chicken off our pool’s spa the day before. I balanced my feeling of foreboding that one or both of them would slip, fall, and crack their heads open with the desire to capture action photos of them with my Nikon D300 and Nikon 17-55mm lens. Surprise, surprise . . . the photo impulse won out! I grabbed my camera and documented the new BWF (Backyard Wrestling Federation).

Shall we chicken dance?

Shall we chicken dance?

I’d rate the choreography an 8, I think. The intense focus, the dripping clothes, the flashy ribcage . . . it all works well together.

In ya go!

In ya go!

The #1 son gets the upper hand!

It's the #1 son's turn to take a dip.

It's the #1 son's turn to take a dip.

When the #1 son pushes his younger brother into the pool, he’s cool, calm, and collected. He prefers to turn his back on the big splash, just like the Power Rangers used to do when they vanquished a foe. Not Little Bro, though. He’s all about showing off for the momarazzo.

#9389-(#2-primps)

#9390-(#2-primps)

"Pump me up!"

"Pump me up!"

Shy guy? I don’t think so! In fact, he reminds me a lot of James T. Kirk, another “enterprising” young man!

Is the pool perhaps the final frontier for him, too?!?

Follow the “Lost” Leader

 

Pity poor Ben Linus!

Pity poor Ben Linus!

Ben Linus, the former leader of the Others, isn’t the only one feeling sad these days—last night’s “Lost” episode was the penultimate one of the season! Next week is the two-hour season finale that no doubt will feature a cliffhanger the meaning of which will torment and exasperate us for the next eight months!

Last night’s show entitled “Follow the Leader” did a great job of setting up the finale, in which Dr. Jack Shephard will try to carry out possibly dead physicist Daniel Faraday’s plan to avert the catastrophe that eventually caused Oceanic flight 815 to crash. Meanwhile, other people on the island will try to stop Jack. Totally crazy, riveting, addictive stuff!

The leader dynamics on the show always have been intriguing. Jack reluctantly led the Oceanic crash victims as they tried to survive on a wacky, tropical island in the middle of nowhere. Ben was at the helm of the Others, who didn’t want the Oceanics to share the same turf with them. But then Ben fell out of favor with the ageless, advising Richard Alpert, who thought John Locke needed to lead the Others. While the Oceanic 6 were back home in 2007, Sawyer became head of security for the 1974-77 Dharma Initiative and then provided leadership when Hurley, Jack, and Kate returned to the island in 1977 (the island, which had been skipping through time after Ben moved it to avert detection by Charles Widmore, finally settled on 1974 when Locke unstuck the donkey wheel).

Sidebar: Confused about the timeline? The #2 son has watched the show with us all season, and the constant 30-year jumps back and forth last night drove him crazy! The fact that this was a Richard-centric show (without any true character flashbacks) and that the eyeliner guy looked exactly the same in 1977 as he did in 2007 can make one’s head spin.

Kate Austen: Talk to the hand, Jack.

Kate Austen: Talk to the hand, Jack.

Back to the recap: When Jack came back to the island, he seemed meek and passive as he waited to discover his purpose for returning. Once he figured it out (to put into motion Faraday’s plan and complete his destiny), he was the old Jack again! Not that Kate enjoyed hearing Jack say that stopping the potential 815 crash would end all the misery they had endured—that “misery” included their relationship! If the plane doesn’t crash, Jack and Kate don’t meet. On the plane, Kate was in the custody of a federal marshal and was headed for jail.

When Kate tried to walk out on Jack, she was shot at by one of the dastardly Others . . . who was promptly killed by none other than Sayid! Sayid was back and almost gloating about killing young Ben Linus, which would have put an end to some of the Oceanic survivors’ island misery. He was mighty perturbed when Kate told him that she and Sawyer took young Ben to Richard to be saved. Awkward!

Meanwhile back at the Dharma Initiative, mad man Radzinsky, who has taken over leadership from the kinder, gentler Horace, is pummeling poor Sawyer, trying to get him to say where Kate and the hostiles are. When the bloody Sawyer won’t talk, Phil, trying to get back at Sawyer for locking him in a cabinet, slugs Juliet. That enraged Sawyer, but he did agree to tell them what he knew in exchange for a ride off the island on the Dharma sub.

A priceless scene: Sawyer and Juliet are on the sub waiting for it to submerge (and did that look fake or what?). Who’s thrown into the mix with them? None other than Kate, Juliet’s worse nightmare! Sawyer and Kate stare at each other followed by Juliet’s if-looks-could-kill glare. Awkward times 50!

In 2007, Locke, Richard, Sun, Ben, and the Others go for a stroll.

In 2007, Locke, Richard, Sun, Ben, and the Others go for a stroll.

Now the 1977 DI are following a new leader, Radzinsky. Locke has returned in 2007 to Richard and the Others as a confident commander. At Locke’s insistence, Richard is taking Locke, Sun, Ben, and the Others to see the mysterious Jacob (cue the marching music). Hopefully, we’ll finally find out who the heck this guy is in the finale.

Tattletale Ben tells leader Locke that Richard is worried about his motives in this pilgrimage to see Jacob. Locke relates to Ben what his true reason is for the visit:

“So I can kill (Jacob).”

And that would serve what purpose, John?

Confusing as ever, we see Kate, Juliet, and Sawyer back on the island in the preview for the finale. How did they get off the sub? Should Kate watch her back in case Juliet wants to stab a knife into it? Will Jack fulfill his destiny?

Will we once again be left with more questions than answers to ponder during the long break until the final season starts next January?

Without a doubt!