12 December 2009

If wishes were horses...

Christmas time, and I'm dirt poor. I have a job, which is more than a lot of other folks, but I make a pittance. Not even a livable pittance is it. Christmas presents for the family, or eat? We haven't even turned on the heat yet because nobody wants to pay for it. So what's good?

Well, the lady Toaster is awesome; we've been living together for over a year now, and I couldn't imagine life without her. I love having coffee with her, talking to her, watching her play Xbox, staying up very late so I can wake her up for her obnoxiously early (5:30am!) shifts. Her dog, Eva, came to live with us this past spring, and she's a lovely little beastie. Eva is ten years old, a hair dog not a fur dog, which is good because I'd be sneezing and itching all the time otherwise. She and Prancy, my ten year old cat, have not really learned to get along well, but it's only been a few months and these things take time.

I'm reminded of the Monty Python sketch "Four Yorkshiremen," in which four extremely rich men are sitting around telling stories, each more preposterous than the last , about how poor they were when they were young. "We were happier in those days, though we were poor," the first says. "Because we were poor," says the second.

I am also reminded of something Stephen King wrote, although it may be a bit of pop culture wisdom he picked up somewhere along the way: "You can never be too rich or too thin, and if you don't believe that, you were never really poor or fat." The actual truth of it aside, it speaks to the longing for something more, something better than what you have now, something I can identify with. I don't really want to be rich, I just want to make grown-up money, enough to live on, enough so that I don't have to feel guilty spending 20 bucks on something I really want.

Why does everything have to be so fucking hard?

05 November 2009

I understand now..

I understand now why Dr. Marvin Candle, in the Swan Orientation film, cautioned the button-pushers not to try to use the computer to communicate with the outside world: the Hostiles never knew of the Swan's existence, and he wanted to keep it that way. Possibly he also knew that Dharma would be wiped out, and he wanted to keep the button-pushers inside so that the button would continue to be pushed. The Mule in this scenario is Radzinsky: How did he end up pushing the button, 15 years after the Incident, and why would he be the one to cut out the warning from the orientation film? Given Radzinsky's extreme paranoia, wouldn't it be dangerous, from his point of view, to remove it?

I understand now that John Locke is, and always has been, "amenable to coercion." He was conned by his father, he was conned by Eddie, and he has now been conned by the Nemesis. Who put the idea in Richard's head that Locke would have to die when he left the Island? The Nemesis. Who did Locke hear it from? Christian, the same Christian who inhabited the cabin that we now know belonged to The Nemesis. (Speaking of the cabin, if Locke's vision of Horace is to be believed, Horace himself built the cabin. Maybe Dharma was one of the Nemesis's plans to kill Jacob and destroy his people.) We thought that Locke had been taken advantage of and put upon his whole life, until he came to the Island, but what if he was still being conned? The Nemesis played on Locke's fears and hopes, making him believe he had a destiny, all the while just using Locke to get inside the statue with Ben so he could see Jacob die. The Mule in this scenario is Locke himself: he's done just enough good, just enough to help Jacob and Jacob's people, to maybe thwart or at least delay the the ultimate plan of the Nemesis. Only time will tell.

29 September 2009

Lost timeline reset would be a terrible idea, says local blogger

BOSTON- Oceanic Flight 815 has to stay crashed in the final season of Lost, says F. Toaster, a local man who, owing to the fact that he was able to secure a space on a free, open to the public blog hosting site, has very important opinions.

"It would just gut the show," said Toaster, "for Jughead's explosion to reset the timeline of the show to where the plane never crashed at all. It would just be really stupid. Whatever happened, happened, right? Right?"

21 September 2009

Bubbles and me: My 51 day journey through the streets of Baltimore

Working at the neighborhood video store this summer, I decided to take in a new TV series. I considered Weeds, Dexter, Deadwood, and Rome, but I settled on the Wire, which had, as far as I'd heard, 100% positive feedback, from critics and friends alike. I'd heard that each season took a look from a different angle at the drug trade in Baltimore: one season about the streets, one about the port where the drugs come in, one about City Hall, the schools, and, finally, the newspaper, that famous enabler of a city's neurotic behavior. I'd heard that it was one of the most gritty, realistic, and one of the smartest series out there. I'd heard that I would see a lot of familiar faces, faces I'd seen on Oz, Lost, various cop shows, and even two faces from The Office. (Charles Miner, the new DM, and Michael's girlfriend Holly.)
All that I'd heard was true, and more. While each season has a different focus, most characters stick around the whole time, except those whose story comes to an end, one way or the other. (In Baltimore, that means dead or in prison.)
I'm having a hard time writing about this one, because it's so dense, and there are so many characters, each with their own arc, their own journey from A to B, I don't know where to start. My two favorites, I think, are Bubbles and Omar, each of whom makes it to the final season. (I won't reveal anyone's ultimate fate.)
Bubbles is a dopefiend, a hustler, a C.I. (confidential informant) for the police unit investigating the dealers. We see him steal, lie, try to buy drugs with fake money, and yet Bubbles is arguably the most morally centered character in the entire series, probably because he is not beholden to a bureaucracy like the police department or the school system. Bubbles is his own man, skillfully played by Andre Royo, who conveys the sadness, guilt, hope and hopelessness of a man at the bottom of everything.
Omar is a thief and a killer. He wears a kevlar vest and a trenchcoat; he carries a sawed-off shotgun, and every time he walks down the street, all the men and boys call out, "Omar comin' " and scatter out of the way. He makes a living by robbing drug dealers, and he's got a lot of blood on his hands: not only the people he's killed, but those who were with him, those who could be gotten to while Omar couldn't. For all that, Omar is a total badass, but he doesn't curse, doesn't drink or use drugs, and he would never turn his gun on "anyone who wasn't in The Game." He lives by a code; there is honor among thieves. Also, and totally incidentally, Omar is gay.
Nearly every other character is, in some way, enslaved by a system. The police are hamstrung by the need to report good numbers to City Hall, and we often see justice sacrificed in the name of protecting the department or one of its higher-ups. Officer McNulty, who is a lovable rogue of an Irish cop, gets the ball rolling in season 1 by telling a judge about a drug lord by the name of Avon Barksdale who has taken over the projects on the West side and is responsible for at least a dozen murders in the last year. The judge orders the creation of a detail to investigate and shut down the Barksdale operation, pulling officers from homicide and narcotics off their regular rotations. McNulty's superiors are none too pleased with him for talking out of school, and they miss no opportunity to berate, threaten, and otherwise interfere with the members of the detail, honest cops who are doing what cops are supposed to do, going after the bad guys. McNulty's dogged pursuit of Barksdale and his crew, which by season's end sees most of them dead or in prison, results in his demotion and assignment to the marine unit, the one place he did not want to go.
We see it over and over again: the union boss on the docks, driven by the slow death of business at the port, into bed with traffickers of drugs and sex slaves, the mayor who can't make a move without considering how the ministers and city council will respond politically, the teachers who can't do anything except teach to the test and babysit their charges. A modern American city has all these institutions, built up over the years, which are supposed to function for the people, but instead function for themselves, and the people, the good, honest people who got into public service to do good, end up compromising themselves and their work in order to protect the institution. As much as The Wire is a cop show, it is also a comment on urban America in the 21st century, a testament to how we have let our government and our businesses run rampant and grind everyone under the wheels.
There are so many other good reasons to watch, so many great characters, each with their own arc. Briefly in the first season, we hear about a city councilman named Clay Davis, then we see a bit of him again on season 3, but his story comes full circle in season 5, when he becomes the target of the investigation. The series rewards the attentive viewer; how many times do we hear about Fat Face Rick before we actually see him? The writers and creators are actually from Baltimore, and infuse the show with dialogue straight from the streets, so distinct it's almost a different dialect.
So there you have it: 60 episodes, 51 days, and I loved it, I wanted more. It's entertainment, yes, but I really feel like I learned something; it had the ring of truth, the feeling of reality, and I could think of no higher compliment. If you have seen The Wire, I ask, do you agree? What did you like, or not like? If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for?

09 September 2009

Nerd alert!!!

I just found out some totally geek-tastic news: Katee Sackhoff, aka Starbuck, will be joining the cast of 24 for its eighth season. There are so many ways this could be awesome: catfights with Chloe, chasing bad guys with Jack, laying the smackdown on dudes trying to kill innocent Americans. I wasn't sure I would enjoy another go-round with 24, but this pretty much guarantees that I'll be there, every Monday night, for the whole season.

20 July 2009

What have I been doing lately??

So I haven't written in a while. Maybe I've been busy, or doing nothing at all. I can't really tell at this point. Either way, I have watched a hell of a lot of movies lately, And I've thought it would be really hard to write a post because it would be hard to narrow down what I want to talk about, but I'll give it a shot.
First, the bad. I had high hopes for In Tranzit. It's the story of Nazi prisoners in a Soviet prison camp run entirely by women. I know, I know, sounds like the setup for some awful Euro-sploitation flick from the 70's, but it starred John Malkovich and Vera Farmiga (more about her later,) and it had great production value: lighting, costumes, acting, location, all superb. It was really trying to be a dark horse Oscar pick, but someone forgot to write the damn thing. It looks like they got through the first draft, which must have been written by ten different writers, and called it a day. Way to waste the Malkovich, guys. Dishonorable mention to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which I swear I've never seen, just for being so awful that that the 3 seconds I spent looking at the cover seemed to go on for 107 minutes. 107 dreadful minutes.
Eden Lake was good horror; a good example of the new horror where it's not supernatural or spooky or guys in masks, just people being awful to each other. Kelly Reilly, from L'auberge espagnole, stars in that one. You want Zombies? Try The Zombie Diaries. Maybe you don't want a Zombie flick, but you want to see some Zombies? You could see a pair of movies called REC and Quarantine. REC is Spanish, made in 2007, and of course, an American came along and made the damn thing again, as Quarantine. The story is simple: A young, pretty reporter and her camera guy are following a fire crew around for a night, and the first call they respond to is from an apartment building with some very ill, very violent people in. Once the camera is inside, all entrances are blocked; the building is quarantined by some unknown government agency, and we get to watch as each person locked inside gets bitten by an infected and becomes infected themselves. Shot for shot, it's almost exactly the same, except for a bit of misogyny added at the beginning for American audiences, and the end, where we discover the origins of the infection, which is far richer and more satisfying in the Spanish version.
Vera Farmiga, what can I say? The Departed, Dummy, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, each movie vastly different from the next, but she was a bright spot in each one. Surely we can, like a math teacher throwing out your lowest grade, just forget about In Tranzit? Also, she was in Nothing But The Truth, which was a fictionalization of the Valerie Plame affair. (You remember: Ambassador tries to discredit Bush's case for war, Cheney retaliates by outing Mrs. Ambassador as an undercover CIA agent. Scandal ensues.) Farmiga played the CIA agent in question, with a great ensemble of actors: Matt Dillon, Angela Bassett, David Schwimmer, Noah Wyle, ALAN FREAKIN' ALDA, and not one, but two police captains from Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Even with all this talent, it's really Kate Beckinsale's ballgame to lose, and she really knocks it out of the park.
Watchmen. There. I said it. Never read the novel, but the movie blew my mind. It had action, effects, cool costumes, great characters, and the kind of epic story you never see in a big-budget multiplex seat-filler. The story definitely bears discussion on so many levels: personal, political, moral, sociological, historical. I am particularly interested in Rorshach, Dr. Manhattan, and the parallel history of how the American Century would have gone if we'd had costumed heroes flying around (Spoiler: We "win" Vietnam, but it doesn't make a bit of difference.)
The Cinema? Star Trek Good, Half Blood Prince not so much. Anxiously awaiting Inglourious Basterds, GI Joe, and especially H2, aka "Rob Zombie's 4th film". (chills down my spine!)
That is all.

10 July 2009


I know, I know. I haven't posted in a long time. I feel terrible about it. I've been watching dozens of movies and am also one episode away from the end of season 1 of The Wire, which has not disappointed. I have a new job; it's not so awesome, but I do get free movies, and I want to write up reviews of them all, if I can remember them.
Hang in there, loyal readers, I'll be back with a vengeance...
Love, the T.

07 June 2009

What have I been doing for the last 5 years?

For the last 5 years, until a week ago today, I worked for corporate coffee giant Starbucks. You may have noticed in the past that I would mention my job, but not really get too specific about it, other than the fact that I hated it, and it was killing me slowly, causing my hands to swell up until they looked like lobster claws. You see, Starbucks has a team of people whose job is to patrol the internet, checking up on its employees. There was a barista a few years back who got busted selling stolen CDs on Ebay. The cyber patrol saw the CDs for sale, traced the seller's name back to this kid, checked at his store to see whether he had actually purchased them, and fired him after it was determined that he was indeed selling stolen property. Aside from the question of how they found out identity of the seller, most would see this as a diligent company protecting its bottom line. No harm there; a thief is a thief and deserves his punishment. What about the head office checking up on an employee's blog? Google analytics has confirmed for me that someone at Starbucks in Seattle visited my blog, typing the address directly into the address bar. This means that they knew exactly what they were looking for. I'm sure it's no coincidence that I shared the blog address with some coworkers the previous week. I did some checking, and it seems that courts have upheld a company's right to censor the speech of its employees, even in their off-time. Given the expectation when I am on the clock that I never speak ill of the company or its policies, it's only a short leap from there to being fired for talking trash about them on this site. My district manager, that scumbag, assured me that I had nothing to worry about, that they were only checking to see if any proprietary information was revealed, like sales numbers or yet-to-be-released products, but I remained unconvinced. So I kept my silence, waiting for this day, when I would be free from recrimination and able to tell the stories and name names.
And now the day has come, and I have so much anger towards this company, so many things I think the public should know, so many stories you should hear, stories that will illustrate the deep chasm between what Starbucks is and what they promote themselves to be. I have thought of writing a book, the polar opposite of "How Starbucks Saved My Life," a real book which is about to be made into a movie starring Tom Hanks. (No shit. That's for real.)
I have met so many wonderful people on both sides of the counter, including the Lady Toaster, who even now toils 8 hours a day in the Frappuccino mines. I feel bad for her, and the hundreds of other people who believed the lie that Starbucks cares about them, who now find themselves trapped, because of the contracting economy. People are their most valuable resource, they say, but when times get tough, it's just like George Bush's America: the founding principles are the first thing to go out the window. It started last year. You see, the weekly schedule of who works when is made by a computer program, based on input from the store manager. This program forecasts sales, figures in everything that has to get done in a day, like putting away orders, cleaning, etc., and gives a manager X number of hours in any given day to work with. Everything has a value. For example, every frappuccino might take 45 seconds to make, so if the forecast says you're going to sell 100 frappuccinos in a day, you get 75 minutes of labor to work with. Drip coffee is less time consuming, figure 10 seconds times 500 in a day. Grinding coffee, warming those stupid frakkin' sandwiches, going out and cleaning off the condiment bar because some asshole spilled his coffee all over it, all that is factored in, and you get a schedule that, in theory, has just enough people on the floor at any time to handle whatever is thrown their way. They must have seen which way the wind was blowing, because in January 2008 they started cutting the labor allowances slightly. Minus 2 seconds for each espresso drink, a little less time to put the daily order away, you get the idea. Not many people really noticed that everyone was working just a little bit harder each day, until they told us to stop pouring the espresso shots into shot glasses and just pour directly into the cup, reversing an order that had been in place for less than a year. (When they told us to start using the shot glasses, it was presented as a quality issue. When they told us to stop, they said it was a quality issue. Quality?) Ok, no more shot glasses, there's 10 seconds off each drink. Now everyone definitely realizes they are working harder. Fast forward to the fall of 08; the economy is in freefall, sales are down, Obama looks like a lock to win in November. Word comes down the pipe that they are making a massive cut in labor. We lost, in my store, 3-4 hours a day, and my closing shift went from having 3 people all night to having 3 people until 2 hours before close, then closing with 2 people. Ok, now everyone is working like dogs. Then they started in on our benefit time. No more personal days for anyone under the level of store manager. No more vacation time for anyone who's been with the company for less than a year, and anyone who's been with the company for less than 5 has the rate at which they accrue vacation time severely cut. This is no fun, but the worst part is that pulling the rug out from under us was their first resort. There was never any major push to cut down on how much coffee we waste, how much we order. Nobody had the idea to stop carrying products that were not selling, or to stop sending out all those damn posters and new menu board signs to every store every 6 weeks.
Now the kicker. Legendary service is the idea that everyone should come into Starbucks and walk out with the feeling that the people behind the counter are their best friends. We were expected to smile, be perky, chat up every single customer. (No shit, I was actually told that I had to make conversation with every single person in my line.) It's a great idea for a business; when I go into a store, a friendly, helpful employee can make a big difference, but they are not accounting for the diversity of personality on their staff. What about quiet, shy, thoughtful people? Do they have no place in Starbucks? And how am I supposed to make conversation in the middle of a morning rush, when I can see the faces of the people in line who just want to get their coffee and go to work? How the FRAK am I supposed to be cheerful when I am being worked like a dog for less than I was getting a year or 2 ago?
That's just a general overview of the last year or so. There are more stories, and maybe you'll hear them, like the one about the completely inept barista who went on Good Morning America and talked about how awesome Starbucks is, and was rewarded with a promotion, passing over a dozen better qualified candidates, or the one about how Lady Toaster lost her health coverage and was nearly fired because of it. Or how about the tyrannical manager who never worked nights or weekends and enforced the rules in an arbitrary and unfair way, and was rewarded with "Manager of the Quarter" and a wad of bonus cash? I got a million of 'em.
For those of you who were looking for a post on The Incident or the Loophole, have no fear, I am participating in the rewatch, and will be posting my thoughts as appropriate. This will not turn into an anti-Starbucks blog, I promise.
On a personal note, Happy Birthday, Sacramento!!! I hope you can escape like I did.
That is all.

16 May 2009

I have only questions.

Jacob is a real person, but he's also some kind of deity, a God of Light who guides people along their destinies. Jacob has a nemesis with John Locke's face; the nemesis seems to be Jacob's opposite number, a God of Darkness. Question: Did Smokey Dead Alex know that John Locke was not himself, or was Smokey fooled as easily as Richard and Ben? Perhaps the impersonation is so complete that only Locke's body can be proof? Widmore said there is a war coming. Who are the bad guys? It seems like everyone is a good guy. Jacob can count among his allies Bram, Ilana, Richard, the Others, and, probably, Eloise and Widmore. (Widmore now seems to have been a red herring. Not to say he's not important, but he is certainly not the Big Bad Guy.) Ben is probably going to stick with the Nemesis, if he survives after Ilana finds out what he has done. (I wouldn't want to get on her bad side!) Who else? If the 1977 castaways come back to the future, will they all come down on the same side? Remember, Jack was pretty close to Ben this season, while Hurley and Sayid hated him. Sawyer is going to be a mess now that he's lost Juliet, but he may be the only character who has truly redeemed himself and become a better person on the Island. This would put him in league with Jacob, and if Jack is with Ben and the Nemesis, what will Kate do? It would be great to see the ongoing Jack-Kate-Sawyer-triangle-that-used-to-be-a-quadrangle finally have some relevance to the story.
Time travel? No more, please. Let's just take it as given that the Incident was always Jughead blowing up at the Swan Site. There's an idea out there that Ajira 316 was the universe's course correction to put the survivors on the Island after the erasing of 815 from history, but that would suck. If the first 4 seasons never happened, why did we watch it? If Lost has a point, it is this: Everything has consequences. We are the way we are because of the people in our lives and the choices we have made. I'm reminded of a great TNG episode called "Tapestry," in which Jean-Luc Picard is given the chance to relive an incident from his past, only to find out that he needed to make a stupid, near-fatal mistake in order to become the man that he is. "There are many parts of my youth that I'm not proud of... there were loose threads... untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads... it had unraveled the tapestry of my life." Didn't we see Jacob weaving a tapestry in the opening scene of "The Incident"? (The Lost folks are Trekkies; "The Constant" was based, in a very real way, on TNG's series finale, "All Good Things.") If 815 never crashes, it negates the story; it's the equivalent of "...and it had all been a dream."
The showdown at the Swan site was fantastic, epic in scope and import; the shoot-outs and the awesome fight between Jack and Sawyer were exciting, and the final scene, man! Juliet was never my favorite, but that will be one of the most memorable scenes of the show 10, 20, 30 years from now. Right up there with Locke pounding on the Hatch, Shannon screaming amid the 815 wreckage, and Daniel crying at the news of 815's (fake) discovery.
Juliet really got a raw deal. She thought she would have an awesome 6 month job on a tropical island, and ended up on an Island, with a bug-eyed megalomaniac who was obsessed with her. Things were going well for her and Jack, until he left the Island without her and shacked up with Kate. She was happy for a while, until Jack and Kate came back and destroyed the life she and Sawyer had built. It's just haunting, the sight of her, hundreds of feet underground, bloodied, banging on a nuke with a rock. And that fade!!! Is it another flash, sending everyone back to the future? Is Sayid gonna die? I bet Jacob or the Nemesis can heal him.
Rose and Bernard!! Vincent!!!! They're retired! But is Vincent really ready for retirement? Isn't he just waiting for Walt to come back? I'm gonna be really pissed if Walt doesn't come back to the Island next year.

13 May 2009

No more time travel, please: pre-finale predictions post


First things first: let me plug a couple of my fellow bloggers. Jorge Garcia, aka Hurley, keeps a blog; it's called Dispatches From The Island, and it's good fun. Jorge seems like a regular guy, despite his international fame. Next up is Linda's Lost Blog, which is exactly what it sounds like. Linda is like me: she just wants to write down her ideas and hopes to start people thinking. Last, but not least, is themisfitishere. This guy, in his own words, is the world's greatest living or dead Lostigator and spoilergator. It's pretty indescribable, and pretty awesome; here's a sample: "J.A.C.O.B. = Just Another Chair Of Bens!!"

Anyway, enough of the time travel. It hurts my head. There are two ways a time travel story can happen: 1) Time travelers change something in the past and everything is different in the future or 2) Time travelers change nothing, because their actions are already part of history, despite their not having done it yet, relative to their own perceptions. The first, I feel, is pretty nihilistic; Donnie Darko, Yesterday's Enterprise, and The Butterfly Effect come to mind. These stories are characterized by chaos, and the time travelers don't usually fare well in the end. The second is far more interesting; we see the time travelers fulfilling their roles in history, exercising their free will all the way to the preordained outcome. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban comes to mind. At its best, this kind of time travel story comes together in the end like a jigsaw puzzle coming together piece by piece, which brings us to Jack Shepherd. Jack's got the wrong idea. He's like Locke in the season 2 finale: he's convinced it's his fate to change the future by changing the past, but he doesn't understand that fate never meant anything on the Island other than "what has already happened," and he can't change that anymore than Locke could deny that the Button must be pushed. I love that the Swan will be the focal point of the end of this season. I once had a theory that the Swan's implosion, when Desmond turned the key, was a singularity that sent ripples in time in both directions. I don't think it's that simple, but I think it's a safe bet that tomorrow night we'll see our characters, the ones who don't die, (Juliet, I'm looking at you,) sent forward in time to the point in 2008 where we've seen Locke, Sun, Ben, Frank, and those creepy shadow of the statue people. It will probably be some combination of the electromagnetic energy at the Swan and the radiation from Jughead. Will Jughead explode, or will it be buried under all that concrete? If it gets buried, does it blow up when Desmond turns the key? If it gets buried, you have the survivors of Flight 815 causing their plane to crash 30 years before it happens. Maybe one or two of them stay in 1977. Maybe they spend the next 30 years steering all the right people to Flight 815. I figure Jughead is about twice as likely to explode as not. The most likely death, given the state of the love quadrangle, is Juliet. Runner-up is Sayid, who's going to have a very hard time, in life or death, atoning for all the murders he committed for Ben Linus, the liar who lies.

What's up with those shadow of the statue people, anyway? What's in their crate? When is Frank gonna have something to do other than fly and get hit on the head with a wrench? And what about Jacob? Locke says he wants to kill Jacob. Will we see Jacob's face? Is he a man, or a spirit, or what? If he's a man, is he Horace Goodspeed, Walt, Christian, a 30 years older Jack?

Richard. Don't forget about Richard. He knows more than any other character, even Ben or Widmore, and he's always known. He's gotta know about 815 when it crashes, and he's gotta recognize Juliet when he recruits her to the Island via Mittelos. (Mittelos is an anagram for lost time.) Why would Richard leave the Island just to recruit a fertility specialist? I believe the only other time he was off the Island was when he was visiting John Locke.

Random predictions:

1. Marvin Candle will lose his arm.

2. Kate will kiss Sawyer first, probably right after Juliet dies, than Jack will get all pouty 'cause he still wants her.

3. Radzinsky will die and be replaced by an impostor, or else the Others and Dharma form some pact to keep the Swan running, the pact including telling Radzinsky there's a sickness and he can't leave.

Ok that's enough. I gotta go to bed.

05 May 2009


Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

Apparently this new film contains some time-travel device which sort of resets the clock at the early years of the Enterprise, enabling JJ Abrams to make a whole slew of new films without having to adhere to established canon. There are a lot of fans upset about this one, as if the whole Trek universe will come crashing down on Friday. I disagree. I remember when TNG was announced. It was spring, 1987, and I had fallen in love with Trek the Christmas before after seeing the 4th film, "The Voyage Home," which enjoyed probably the most crossover success of any of the films, and is known to non-Trekkies as "The One With The Whales." I watched as many episodes as I could of TOS, I read books, fan magazines, and comics. I covered my walls with pictures of the USS Enterprise, and started the long process of accumulating an encyclopedic knowledge of every trivial detail of the show: episode names, character histories, timelines, alien races and cultures, etc. There were rumors of a new series being announced, set to take place nearly 100 years after the adventures of Kirk and Spock. It was to feature a boy genius, an android, a Klingon, and a blind pilot. I was so upset, I actually cried. No joke. That summer, I went to a convention and saw Majel Barrett Roddenberry give a presentation on the new show, complete with cast photos and images of the new ship. It looked pretty cool, but I wasn't really convinced. Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for anything, because it was still Trek, and I wanted to give it a chance. It premiered on 4 October 1987, 2 days after my 12th birthday. "Encounter At Farpoint" was cheesy, the costumes were terrible and the situations improbable, but the characters were fascinating, the ship looked awesome, and the story hit right to the heart of the hope and optimism that has been at the heart of Trek for over 40 years now. In a very real way, those TNG characters were my best childhood friends, and made me realize that the Universe is big enough to tell a lot of stories, and it's the stories and the people in them that matter, not the details. Trek is, at its core, about discovery, about the journey. When we turn away from what is new because it's different and might not fit into our understanding of the world, that's the opposite of discovery, the opposite of what the Great Bird Of The Galaxy intended when he gave us this gift all those years ago.

I'm ready for this new film, can't wait to see what Trek and Bad Robot can do...

P.S. I won a contest! The Grand Prize! I get a Trek t-shirt, a COMMUNICATOR!!, the graphic novel of the movie, and tickets to the sneak preview on Thursday night, so I'll see it a day before you. Don't worry, I won't post anything with plot details until Friday night, at which point it is fair game for discussion according to my strict Coletta Factor/spoiler guidelines.

26 April 2009

Makes a lot more sense now...

Dharma is back!! Remember the "Dharma Wants You" ARG game that suddenly lost its funding last summer? This is the video shown at the Comic-Con in San Diego. You may consider it a spoiler, so watch at your own risk. I include it only because it has already been released to the general public by TPTB, so I do not consider it a spoiler, but it definitely gives you an idea of what we may see in the next couple of weeks. Here it is:

17 April 2009

wait, there's more...

What about the real Henry Gale?

If Dharma was wiped out, why is Dharma food arriving on the PRD in 2004, at least 12 years later?

When the Others wiped out Dharma, did they have agents in Ann Arbor, killing all the off-island Dharma people?

Can we trust Locke's dream-hologram vision of Horace when he says that he's been dead for 12 years?

What lies in the shadow of the statue? If you look at the bottom center photo of the collage, there's a statue that casts a very tall shadow on the building. Who is in that building? His picture is bottom right; his name is Alvar Hanso, the money-man behind the Dharma Initiative. Alvar's great-grandfather was Magnus Hanso, the captain of the Black Rock, the slave ship that shipwrecked on the Island over 100 years ago. Possible the statue was still standing, and the Black Rock ended up directly in its shadow?

16 April 2009

Other Than The Obvious Star Wars Reference?


It's been a while since I wrote about the happenings on that mysterious Island. This season seems not to lend itself to much speculation. With all the jumping around in time, theorizing seems so pointless; better to just enjoy the ride. Until now, that is. Now that our people, the few who are still alive, are stuck in 1977, they have joined the Dharma Initiative. We've heard 2 different explanations for why you can't change the future. Mrs. Hawking told Desmond way back in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" that he could not change the future he saw, that despite his foreknowledge of Charlie's death, and no matter how many times he would try to save Charlie, Charlie would die. Desmond saw the future and was unable to change it, so we know that the timeline is mostly fixed in terms of what will happen; everyone will fulfill their destiny regardless of their attempts or those of others to change it.

The past is a different story, right? If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, you would, wouldn't you, and so doing save the world a lot of unnecessary grief and pain? Problem is, what if you go back in time and kill your grandfather? Then he can't have kids, and you will cease to exist, in which case you will not go back in time and kill him, in which case he will exist and you will be born and go back in time and kill him, in which case you will never be born, and so on to infinity. This is called the Grandfather Paradox, and it makes a basic assumption: that when one travels backwards in time, they somehow step out of the natural flow of time and show up somewhen they have no right to be, where it is possible to alter the past and have an effect on the future to which one will eventually return. Enter Daniel Faraday. I told you last year that you had to listen to Daniel, and I hope you took my advice, because he was right when he said that you cannot change the past. It is not like Desmond, who kept saving Charlie, only to see his life in danger again. When you are in the past, you are not some interloper who has to be careful not to step on a bug lest you doom the entire earth; you are a person who is playing the role you have always played. Sayid always shot little Ben; if the 815 survivors had seen the 1977 Dharma photo on their first day on the Island, they would have recognized themselves, and still would have ended up there, doing exactly what we are seeing them do now. It's hard to conceptualize, but so much easier than dealing with all the paradoxes we've seen on multiple episodes of Star Trek. Our people are in the past; to an outsider, Sayid shot little Ben 30 years before he crashed on the Island, but for Sayid, in the linear timeline of his life and perceptions, he shot little Ben after spending 108 days on the Island, then 3 years off it as one of the Oceanic 6. Get it? They cannot change the past, because their involvement in the Island's history was written before they even arrived. Those are the rules.

However, rules were made to be broken. Desmond, who spent 3 years sitting on top of an electromagnetic anomaly, and was at ground zero when it imploded, seems to be an exception to the rule. Daniel, realizing that Desmond was special, knocked on the Hatch door during one of the time flashes; the date was sometime between 2001 and 2004. He told Desmond to seek out his, Daniel's, mother at Oxford University. The rules as I have outlined them above say that Desmond should have recognized Daniel when Daniel came to the Island on the freighter, but that's not what happened. Desmond woke up sometime in 2007 or 2008 and remembered the conversation outside the Hatch door. I'm not certain, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Desmond never travelled physically through time; his consciousness jumped back and forth throughout different periods in his life. Physical time travel keeps one anchored to the unchanging timeline, unable to effect any changes, but when your consciousness moves and inhabits your body from 5 or 10 years ago, you float above or outside of the timeline. This is all very confusing, and I hope it will be explained more thoroughly.

The important thing for us to remember, though, is that our people who are back in 1977 are witnessing the building of the Swan, the Orchid, and some of the events that will lead Ben Linus to Purge the Island of the Dharma interlopers. We know, or we've been told, that the Swan was built to study the unique electromagnetic properties of that sector of the Island, but at some point, there was an "incident." After the incident, a protocol was put in place whereby 2 men would stay in the Swan for 540 days at a time, entering the code and pushing the button every 108 minutes. Knowing that there are a new group of people on the Island now, people who seems to be unaffiliated with Ben, Widmore, or the "Others," knowing that both Widmore and Ben wanted Locke and the Oceanic 6 to get back to the Island, presumably because a war is coming, we can assume that our people will somehow travel forward in time, go back to the future. I am pretty sure that the Incident is nothing less than the event which will send our people back to where they will belong. How exactly this will happen I will not pretend to know, but I have some questions:

1: Whither Radzinsky? We know now that he designed the Swan, and that he was down there pushing the button as late as 1991, when Kelvin joined him after the 1st gulf war. We know that Radzinsky killed himself sometime after that. Was he locked down in the Swan when the Purge happened? Did he kill himself when he found out about the Purge? Why did he edit the Orientation film? Why the fiction of a disease and the shots every 9 days, when it didn't keep Kelvin, Desmond, or even Radzinsky, inside? ( I keep thinking that one of our people will end up taking Radzinsky's identity somehow and ending up as that brownish-red spot on the ceiling)

2: What about the Others? We know nothing about them. Why did they kidnap all those 815 survivors? Why were they interested in Walt? We've seen them as hillbillies, we've seen them using the Dharma medical station, the Hydra Station, the US Army camp, we know they operate a company called Mittelos Bioscience off-island. Now we are getting hints that they are related somehow to Ancient Egypt: the statue, the hieroglyphics, the appearance of the monster with the God Anubis on the walls of Smoky's lair under the Temple. I have the feeling that the Egyptian thing is just the latest layer of costume hiding the true nature and origins of the Others.

3: Did Ben Linus know about 815 before it crashed?

4: Was the runway on Hydra Island constructed with foreknowledge of the arrival of Ajira flight 316?

5: Have the core values of the Valenzetti equation been changed? This, supposedly was the core mission of the Dharma Initiative. Hurley's lottery numbers have been overtaken this year by 3s, 6s ,and 9s in prominence as background details to the action.

6: Where the frak are Rose and Bernard? Are they Adam and Eve?

7: The love quadrangle. Will there be any end to it, why should we care, and why did the producers see fit to make an already overcomplicated, not very interesting plotline, more complicated by putting Juliet and Sawyer together? (But I totally called it. Right here. )

8: What lies in the shadow of the statue? Who are these people, asking this question? We have seen 1 code question used before, by the Dharma Initiative. "What did one snowman say to the other?"(Smells like carrots!)

9: What about all the peripheral characters who seem too important not to explain? People like Libby, Claire's and Eko's psychic, Sun's father, Walt, Ji Yeon, Christian, Magnus Hanso... we need to know how they fit in.

Pretty soon, the story will reach the point where they need to stop laying out mysteries and start answering questions. 21 episodes remain in the whole of the series; that is really not many, considering how much story we've been promised by all these little details. Until next time...

08 April 2009

Badasses don't die.

Can I just tell you how excited I am that Zachary Quinto is playing Spock in the new Trek movie? The answer is very frakkin excited. The Toaster is psyched for this one! First he was Adam, the selfish, bratty foil for rookie agent Kim Bauer in the excellent 3rd season of 24; now he plays Gabriel Gray, aka Sylar, in NBC's (mostly) disappointing "Heroes."

In fact, Sylar is the only reason I have not given up on Heroes altogether. The rest of the show is crap, mostly. Sylar's story has always been the story of a bad man getting badder by the minute, except for the brief time this season when he found out that he didn't have to kill to take someone's powers. He usually just sliced off the top of his victim's head, fiddled around inside the brain, and presto: he had taken someone's superpower. This year he found out he could take someone's power by finding empathy somewhere in his dark heart for one whose power he covets. That lasted long enough for him to find true love, until the Hunger found him again and he killed her. More recently he took an apprentice and hit the road in search of his real father; he first found a diner. It was boarded up, abandoned. Sylar had a flashback to his childhood: His father had brought him to the diner in order to sell him for a little extra cash. Once the transaction concluded, his father got up and left. The little boy obviously didn't understand; he went running after his father. He got to the parking lot just in time to see his father kill his mother in the car and push the body out the passenger side door. The juke box was playing "The Chain," by Fleetwood Mac. It was a brilliant, chilling scene, alone worth the price of admission to an hour of my Monday night. I could go on, but I don't want to ruin it for you. Check Sylar out.

And the man who makes it happen is Zach Quinto; it's so easy to picture him as our favorite Vulcan. The studied, quiet intensity Nimoy brought to the character of Spock, the calm center, is the same thing that makes Quinto's Sylar so scary. And the eyebrows! They won't need to do much makeup for that one, I tell you. (Also, have you heard Heather Nova's cover of "We Can Work It Out?" It's wonderful.)

Anyway. Star Trek opens soon, with SHAUN OF THE DEAD as SCOTTY! JJ Abrams directs; you know him, the guy who created Lost, and Alias, who gave us Cloverfield, the best shaky-cam monster-destroys-New-York movie ever. Run, don't frakkin walk, to your internets and lock down a ticket for this flick, I tell you, it's gonna be the runaway hit of the summer. This one has the potential to be as widely popular as The Voyage Home was at Christmastime in '86. That is all.

24 March 2009


Walter is not his real name, Walter is the name we use for him. It started when Lady Toaster wanted to tell her friend on the phone about him. The walls are very thin in the house, any conversation can be overheard. When you are telling your friend how disappointed you were to find out that your new roommate is a raging, unapologetic alcoholic, you generally don't want said roommate to know you are talking about him. But you can't talk to him; he avoids us like the plague. He spends a lot of time out of the house, and we generally only see him between 2am and 9am. I'm up when he comes home drunk at 2 or 3, I hear him banging around in the kitchen, where I don't know how he hasn't sliced his hand open for a vegetable. The really special nights are when he puts water for noodles on the burner and passes out. I don't remember how many times I went to the kitchen for some Pop-Tarts and found the stove on, burning an empty pot, and Walter passed out on the couch, the kitchen chair, or, on the extra-special nights, on the toilet.

One night he left a disgusting mess, didn't clean it up until the next morning. He didn't wash the pots he used, just got rid of all the noodles and veggies and pizza he left out. That night, I stacked up the pots and pans on the stove and did the rest of the dishes, mine and hers. He came home, left a nasty note about how many of our dishes he washes and how amazing it is that we couldn't help him out, and stormed out. When I got him on the phone, I confronted him about his drinking, told him that the unsafe behavior was not acceptable and that he needed to be more considerate of us. He apologized and agreed, then he got drunk. Then he came home, put water on to boil, and went to bed. Lucky I fancy a late-night snack every now and again; I turned it off before it could burn down the house. Next day, I get him on the phone again, and I yell. Talking didn't work, so I rubbed his nose in it. He muttered something about not cooking after 11. (Alcoholics make rules for themselves; it's a way to maintain an illusion of control.) He promised it wouldn't happen again.

Next day I get a text from him: Call me, I have important news. I called him, he told me he got laid off and has to move out. Curious coincidence, no? The only conversation we've had since then is about what he needs to do to get his deposit back, when he's going to pay the house bills, you know, business. He continues to drink and act inconsiderately. A few days ago, he was passed out in the sitting room when Lady Toaster got up to have breakfast and watch the morning news. He got up, went to the bathroom, which, if you haven't seen my house, is right next to the TV room, and just started whizzing without even closing the door.

I know he is in distress, that he needs help, that he has a disease, but: he has a lot of friends, he has a mom and dad who bring him food every week, and we are just the roommates he won't even show the most basic respect. If he had ever shown the faintest glimmer of understanding that that we exist, if he hadn't acted like a dick from Day 1, maybe I would be a little more sympathetic.

But here's the thing: he continues to get up and leave at 10 to 9 every day, and every time I've asked him for the money he owes, it's always Wednesday when the check will clear. I am 95% sure that he lied about getting laid off, and concocted the story as a way to get out of a tough situation without taking any responsibility for his actions, or god forbid, changing his behavior. And now the week until he moves out seems like a very long week indeed. I have no idea how unstable he is, or if he is waiting until the last day to give me a piece of his mind, or if he will turn his self-loathing into anger at Lady Toaster or Toaster-Cat. I am taking the 31st and 1st off from work so I can be there when he is moving out, and he can put his key directly into my hand. I'm also thinking about asking the landlord to change the locks.

But here's the thing: the 1st is a Wednesday, and that's his payday, his band practice-open mic night, and the night, historically, when he gets the most twisted. I wonder if he will forget, on the Wednesday night, that he doesn't live here anymore. I'll make sure I stay up pretty late that night, and I'm not above punching him in the face, thereby knocking him out, and dragging his drunk ass outside and calling the cops. I hope that doesn't happen, but I will definitely rise to the challenge if it does.

New roommate is a good guy; he is also a musician, but he is a BSG fan, and he works for Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. (I've already asked about the Beatles game; he's not telling.) His girlfriend works with me, and she is also a delight. Can't wait 'til April 1...

Addendum: I just went to the kitchen, it's nearly 3am, and found him asleep in the kitchen, stove on, burning an empty pot. Grrrrrr.....

23 March 2009

Man On Wire

Wow. This is a great telling of a great story. French dude Phillipe spent 45 minutes on a wire strung up between the World Trade Center. (Yes, THAT World Trade Center.) The film is a story told by its principals: the Man himself, his girlfriend at the time, the 4 or 5 guys who helped him pull it off. It's easy to see that people would over-dramatize events from their pasts, but it's pretty hard to over-dramatize walking on a wire 110 stories above the Big Apple; I get dizzy just thinking about it. Must have been pretty amazing to just be there, see him cross the wire, taunting the cops on the other side.

The best thing about Man On Wire is what is left out: there is no mention of anything that may have happened at the World Trade Center after 1974. I imagine that if I were old enough to have been there in '74 and remember it fondly, it may be bittersweet, but I'm just hearing of it now, and there are no towers where they were, so it just feels like a triumphant moment, an instance of joy, nostalgia for a safer time I never knew.

07 March 2009

This is not the awesome post...

August 8, 1974: Nixon resigns
September 22, 2004: Oceanic Flight 815 disappears enroute to Los Angeles
November 22, 1963: JFk is killed in Dallas
June 11, 2001: Timothy McVeigh is executed
December 25, 1983: little Frakkin Toaster gets an Ewok coloring book for Xmas
July 2, 1937: Amelia Earhart disappears
July 2, 1979: Charlotte Staples Lewis is born. (This is significant for 2 reasons. The first is the obvious tip of the hat to Earhart, but it also means that the little redhead girl Daniel saw was not in fact Charlotte.
October 28, 1984: suspected shutdown date
Decmber 19, 1992: The Purge
September 23, 2004: Monster eats the pilot
Here endeth the lesson.

16 February 2009

all of this has happened before...

Thinking about changing the name of the blog. Second Exodus is a good name, meaningful to me. Humanity freed itself from its oppressors and got Back On The Road. This is my second blog. The first was not so good. Don't use Blogstream. It's still there, but I won't link you to it 'cause anything good over there has been reprinted here. I probably would not have started this blog if it weren't for a certain pixie. Not the second time I've been in love, but the second time someone's been in love with me. Words cannot explain how awesome the last year with her has been, despite growing anxiety about my work situation and my education situation.

Anyway, a new name for the blog. Right. I have some ideas. I want to put it to a vote. I want you to vote. If I put up a poll, would you vote for a new title? It would be a shame if you really liked "I love M&Ms" as the new title, then "I love M&Ms" lost by one vote. Because you didn't vote. Just like Bush in '04. Suggestions:

I Love M&Ms
Baltar Is My Homeboy
Allergic to Formalydehyde
Frakkin' Muggles!!
New Otherton
Cliff Clavin Is My Homie
Nighthawks at the Diner
Greedo Shoots First
Frak Gravity!
Bite My Shiny Metal A$$
Manny Being Manny

These are just rough ideas. I may post a poll soon. Watch for it. Keep your feet on the ground, but keep reachin' for the stars.

15 February 2009

..and all of this will happen again

Coletta Factor: BSG-CURRENT

We started with Earth, a huge disappointment for all. No home was to be found there, just some old Cylon bones, a long-dead doppelganger of Kara Thrace, and the stirring of a few trace memories for Tory, Anders, Tyrol, and Tigh. Actually, one of those memories was pretty huge, for us, anyway. The 5th cylon was revealed to be none other than Ellen Tigh, whom Saul had poisoned on that rock New Caprica, her punishment for passing intelligence on the resistance to the Cylon occupiers. The rich irony of a Human resistance led by Cylons unaware of their true nature does not go unnoticed by this writer, and now we find out that there is a reason Saul lost his eye, but was not killed, a reason Anders and his band of Pyramid players were not slaughtered on that burned-out rock Caprica. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After Earth, a great unease settled over the fleet. The people lost faith in the Old Man and the Schoolteacher, who had rolled the hard 6 over and over to lead the people to an abandoned shell of a nuked-out world, who had allied themselves with a splinter faction of the very enemy who had destroyed their homes and pursued them across the skies relentlessly. Felix Gaeta, a company man if there ever was, joined forces with Tom Zarek, the "freedom fighter" who always seemed to be on the wrong side, to stage a coup d'etat. They took over quite bloodlessly, and may have had a legitimate case to make to the fleet, but Zarek slaughtered the Quorum of 12, the representatives of the people, when they began to show some discomfort with the new power structure. This one act was the nail in the coffin for Felix and Zarek. Of course the Old Man, with some help from Lee and Kara, regained control of Galactica. Gaius Baltar, in a Christ-like act, ministered to the would-be revolutionary: "I know who you are, Felix. I know who you are." Cut to Felix and Zarek in front of a firing squad. Here endeth the lesson.

Now we find that Ellen resurrected 18 months ago and has been held captive by Brother Cavil, who was the 1st of the "skin jobs" created by the 5 after they fled the holocaust on Earth. Sam Anders, who took a bullet in the brain during the coup attempt, remembers everything. It's not all clear at the moment, but as near as I can figure it, the backstory goes something like this: The first Humans lived on Kobol, as 12 tribes. They created the Cylons, who may or may not have been "skin jobs." There was a war, and the Cylons took off for Earth, possibly following clues left by yet an earlier generation of Humans or Cylons. (Remember, all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again. We've yet to really see the full implications of the cyclical nature of the story.) The Humans on Kobol founded the 12 colonies we saw destroyed at the beginning, but not before they found and destroyed the Cylon colony Earth. The Final 5 saw it coming, and made plans to escape. They knew that Humanity had been creating artificial life again, and wanted to warn them of the disastrous consequences. By the time they reached the colonies, the Humans were already at war with the Centurions. The 5 convinced the Centurions to abandon their war. In exchange, they would help the Centurions to create humanoid Cylons, as the Centurions had been trying to do. Well, it worked. It worked so well that even the Cylon ships became at least partly organic after a while. They created 8 "skin jobs," a surprising number, because that means there is another, yet to be revealed. Kara fears it is herself. At least one of the skin jobs resented their creators. Cavil, whom we learned was given the name John, hated the 5 for giving him such a limited body. "I DON'T WANT TO BE HUMAN! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to--I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to--I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! " John hated his creators so much that he implanted them with false memories, sent them to live among Humans, then ordered the slaughter of all of Humanity. The 5 survived, and when the 1st exodus began, he took great delight in inflicting bodily pain on them.

Now that all 5 are revealed, and the Cylons' resurrection abilities have been destroyed, John wants nothing more than to extract from his creators the secret of eternal life, then to snuff out their lives, and all of Humanity with them. Where do we go from here? All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. Will we see another holocaust? Will the Cylon homeworld be destroyed? The Old Man seems to have given up his lifelong enmity for his lifelong enemies, but will he be forced to act when the threat becomes imminent? The Schoolteacher will not wait for the smoking gun that may come in the form of a mushroom cloud. Is Kara the 8th model? If not, why not, and what is she? Where is the line between Human and Cylon? If it is indistiguishable from Human life, must we not treat it as Human life?

Postscript: More Baltar, please! I know he is an integral part of this puzzle, but he seems to have been sidetracked. Also, a request for my colleague Dr. Pliskin: tell me a bit about the Christ-like aspect of Gaius, please. That one's right up your alley.

05 February 2009

For the last time, people...

Coletta Factor: Lost-current

Not everyone needs a frakkin' constant. Those of you that sit there and wonder who or what is each character's constant, and try to imagine the story in which each person is seeking the same thing, over and over, you are missing the point. Never mind the nuances in the various forms of time travel we've seen, or the difference in types of afflictions we've seen, it just wouldn't work dramatically. If you want simplicity and a direct, one-to-one correlation between past and future, go watch ER or CSI.

Also, stop talking about whether Kate should be with Jack or Sawyer. Is that the most interesting aspect of Lost for you? If that's all you're worried about, why don't you watch Flavor of Love or Desperate Housewives? Besides, it's obvious that she belongs with Sawyer.

Ok, enough ranting. Widmore is an Other, so is Ms. Hawking. It is unconfirmed, but suspected by this blogger, that Daniel Faraday and Penny Widmore are brother and sister, a la Luke and Leia. There was an H-Bomb on the island 50 years ago, and I believe it ended up buried under one of the Dharma Hatches. The Others have a lawyer. Claire's mother is still in the dark, but she got a fat settlement from Oceanic. We finally saw Ajira Airlines, or at least one of their water bottles. Ajira has been a viral website now for several weeks. My guess is that the O6 will return to the Island via an Ajira flight. Maybe it crashed (will crash?) in the water, and they rowed back? Who was shooting at our people on the outrigger, and is it my imagination, or are Sawyer and Juliet getting hot for each other? This is the 2nd time Jin has turned up alive when we thought him dead, but the real irony is that Sun will probably still try to avenge her husband's death upon Ben, or more likely Jack.

Anyway, there's more, always more, but, well, I'm sleepy 'cause I played too much Xbox...

20 January 2009

Earth, January 2009, or Coletta Factor: new BSG, or why didn't anyone throw shoes 5 years ago when it mattered?

On Earth, in this month of January 2009, Dualla found the end of her journey; she found a last perfect night with Apollo, then Felix Gaeta found her brains on the wall. Kara Thrace found her long-dead doppelganger, the burning of which upon a funeral pyre did precious little to mitigate the existential maelstrom into which she was thrown. The Chief found a shadow, the Pyramid star found a fragment of his guitar, Saul found a memory of Ellen, and Gaius Baltar found seeming proof that we, here and now, are Cylons, destined to die and be found in the distant future by the 12 lost tribes of Humanity. The Old Man and the Schoolteacher, each on their own, looked backwards at their journeys and found nothing but emptiness.

On Earth, on this 20th day of January 2009, the washed-up cowboy rode off into the sunset. Everyone was happy to see him go, no tears were shed except those of happiness for the closing of the darkest chapter of history in most of our lifetimes, and the beginning of a new era of wisdom, forethought, integrity, and true compassion. You could not see the crowd on the mall in the shot of Bush's helicopter leaving Washington, but I like to think that if we could have seen it, we would have seen 2 million people throwing shoes at the deposed decider. Thanks for Katrina, Iraq, 9/11, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, warrantless wiretapping, the Patriot Act, Dick frakkin' Cheney, "freedom fries," the global gag rule, the new Depression, the legions of fanatical enemies of America that you created by meeting the ravings of a megalomaniacal murderer with more of the same.

19 January 2009

I had the strangest dream...

In my dream, there were these guys, 3 or 4 of them, not really identical, but they all fit the same general description: thin, bearded, baseball caps, bad acne, like really bad acne, you know, the kind of acne where you wonder whether it's actually the Bubonic plague. It was Christmastime, I had left my house carrying 5 or 6 Star Trek action figures still in the packaging, (yes, I collect them.) My friend Nate was there, and me, and these 3 or 4 guys. They all had that withdrawn, awkward look that people get when they get dragged along to a dealer's house. You know, they don't really want to be there, but they want to get some greens, so they go along anyway. There were no greens in the dream. In fact, there are currently no greens in my house in real life. Damn recession!! Anyway, in my dream, in the room we were in, someone had turned on a police scanner. I got really nervous because these guys were just sitting there all awkward and picking at their acne. I realized I didn't really have to be there, so I decided to go. I looked for a bag to put my toys into, and Nate said that there was one right on my lap, and so there was. I wondered why I had taken the toys with me, wondered in fact why I had left the house in the first place. I packed up my toys and left.

Next part of the dream, I was in my house. This is my dream house, the one I dream about all the time. It looks nothing like where I actually live. There are 3 floors in my dream house: the sunny attic, the maze-like, many-roomed living space, and the empty, solitary rooms in the basement. I was on the middle floor, and this time, I lived there with my mother and my girlfriend, both of whom were my actual mother and girlfriend, respectively. I was in the room I shared with my girlfriend, and decided to take a walk around the house, maybe hit up the kitchen. As I got there, I realized that I never use it because it is all cluttered with junk. 2 kitchen tables stacked on top of each other, with a giant bag of saltines perched on top of those; I grabbed a handful and continued to wander. I suddenly became aware of a group of girls in my house, 3 or 4 of them, about college age. I think they were my mother's friends. I saw one of them turn a corner into another room and thought it was my girlfriend; same style of dress, hair, etc. I called to her, and when she turned around, I saw she was a stranger. The group of girls continued on and I went a different way. I ran into my girlfriend and we walked around all the rooms, most of them filled with unused furniture, dusty, hardly lived in. I started to think of all the ways we could make the whole house habitable, instead of just the room or 2 we use now.

Then I woke up. What the frak??

07 January 2009

What's been happening??

So I've been working tonight on a video I shot yesterday at the corner of Kilmarnock and Peterborough, formerly home to Thornton's Fenway Grille, which burned down early Tuesday morning, taking 6 other restaurants with it. Thornton's was a hangout for me and my friends when I lived at 109 Peterborough back in '94 and '95. The highlight of the video is a short interview with Joe Life, a permananently coke-and-booze-addled neighborhood resident who used to come by our place and trade his artwork for some greens. I wish I still had some of that art. The only place I know where you could find it is in the liner notes of a CD by (formerly local) heavy metal band Poets n Madmen. The video is giving me headaches because I shot it in a hurry and can't seemto find the right way to edit it together. Maybe I'll just post the Joe Life interview now and work on the whole thing later.

Also, my hands are acting up again, but this time I have an appointment with a dermatologist and I fully intend to get some documentation squarely placing the blame for my condition on the toxic chemical used in my place of employment as "sanitizer." I wonder how much of my job I can do once it is determined officially that I can absolutely not touch the stuff; we use it all the time for everything. Will they have to provide me with an alternative, limit my duties, or just pay me not to come in? We'll see.

Ok, the schedule. 24 starts Sunday, BSG Friday, Bush's last day the following Tuesday, then Lost returns, 2 weeks from tonight. Watch this space...