The Universe and Me

Monday, May 30, 2005

Red Green Quotes

Bo mentioned that her son is a Red Green fan. Since my local PBS station stopped carrying the show a few years ago, it's been a while since I've seen it. Steve Smith says this upcoming season, the fifteenth, will be the last. I remember watching Smith & Smith, the sketch comedy show he did with his wife Morag, back in the 1980s. Red Green was just a segment of that, and not one of my favourites. He was usually out fishing alone in the middle of a lake, just talking. The other Possum Lodge characters added a missing dimension and it took off. Here are some funny quotes:
  • Be the best you can be... considering.
  • "Vegetarian" is an old Indian word meaning "I don't hunt so good."
  • If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
  • I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
  • The Red Green Show is kind of like the flu; not everybody gets it.
  • Remember, I'm pulling for ya. We're all in this together!
  • We now come to the part of the show called "If it ain't broke, you're not trying!"
  • When the going gets tough, switch to power tools.
  • Things don't get better as they get older. Look at your truck. Look at your roof. Look in the MIRROR!
  • The handyman's Secret Weapon... Duct Tape!
  • Uh, this is only temporary...unless it works.
  • If it ain't broke, don't lend it.
  • Keep your stick on the ice.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Aviator

Movie: The Aviator. It took me about an hour in to stop being irritated by Hughes’ nasally voice and I found the Hollywood talk and the airplane mechanics talk that filled much of the first hour boring. I like to fly but the only interest I have in airplanes is that they stay in the air when I’m on them and don’t crash and leave me stranded with the weirdo Lostaways. The entrance of Cate Blanchette added a personal factor and the movie took a definite upswing. But, Mrs Fisher from Six Feet Under and Mr Tate from Soap were Katharine Hepburn’s parents? That explains something. As Hughes’ illness progressed, Leonardo’s portrayal of him intensified and I thought he did a marvelous job showing how difficult it was to deal with obsessive compulsive disorder without medication, without much help and trying desperately not to let others (particularly his enemies – hello Alan Alda!) see it. I think this may have lost the Oscar because it seemed to be trying too hard to be a film of epic proportions. At nearly three hours, I was starting to think it would never end. Overall, flawed, but very good.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Lost: The Exodus Part 2 (Hour 2)

The monster’s tentacle or hook or whatever grabs hold of Locke’s ankle and yanks him very quickly across the jungle nearly down a hole it created. Locke’s willing to go, believing he’ll be fine and it’s only a test, but Jack has to be the hero and save him. Still no clue on what the monster is. Seems to be a type of pulley system from the sounds of it. The weird black shadowy clouds suggest it’s coal powered. Charlie falls for the old log in the blankie trick and has to be singed with gunpowder. This was even more cringeworthy that Jack’s hand being slashed over on 24. Fate clearly didn’t want Hurley on that flight. The numbers were popping up all over the place in this hour. Oh, the writers are just playing with us now. 8, 23 and 42 in the car. Gate 23. Buying the scooter for 16 thousand. The kids uniforms. The $23,000 reward for Kate. The annoying airline lady made me laugh with “Am I going to have to weigh you, dear?” And look, there’s Arzt in line. We hardly knew you, but we knew you were annoying. I liked Hurley giving a big bear hug to the airline ticket taker. Locke creeps out Jack with more of his philosophy about the island. If it brought them all there for a reason, what does it want them to do for it? Locke had the most astute line: “Survival is all relative.” One commercial break was so abrupt, I thought for a second Kate Winslet was part of Sawyer’s backstory. They explained why Locke was in a regular seat on the plane. Charlie and Sayid convince Madame Nutso to give back Aaron, the baby formerly known as Turniphead. She said she heard The Others saying they wanted the boy so she was trying to keep him safe. Hurley drops the flashlight and sees the numbers on the hatch and freaks. “The numbers are bad!” he tries to tell them but Locke lights the fuse anyway. The raft boys pick up a signal but fight over what to do about it. I believe Sawyer called Jin “Trudy.” Had they given it some clear thought, they might have realized they’re not very far from the island and they might not want to be rescued just yet. But no. The Others appear to be rejects from Deliverance and take Walt, the “boy” they were truly after, presumably for his special powers. In the process Sawyer is shot and falls or jumps in the ocean. Jin jumps in after him. The Others bomb the raft and all that’s left is a glimpse into Charlie’s bag where he’s stolen the heroin, and then a bittersweet boarding montage. The hatch appears to lead to Jules Verne’s Centre of the Earth. Next: the Lostaways take up ballroom dancing.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Lost: The Exodus Part 2 (Hour 1)

Turniphead’s got sand in his nappy. Good thing it wasn’t a moonlit night or those skeletons might have stepped out of Pirates of the Caribbean. Hurley’s disc player ran out of batteries weeks ago, but Jack still has a working flashlight? I’m with Arzt’s third wife, I didn’t sign up for him either. As for the “merry little band of adventurers” not treating the 40 other Lostaways like people too, they might want to check with Ricky Gervais to see if they can get on his new Extras show. Tonight’s science lesson teaches us that dynamite sweats. “Nitroglycerin is extremely temperamental” is right. Now Arzt’s in pieces, bits and pieces. Diane noted that he seemed to almost purposely choose the worst stick. I did notice he waved it around carelessly, as if he had a death wish. “That was messed up” indeed. So Jin was followed to the airport. Was he also followed on the plane? We learned that he planned to run away. And that Sawyer likes Marley songs. Shannon has managed in one season to turn herself from the most disliked character into one of the most sympathetic. Had to laugh at Locke’s “bzzzt” joke. Tickled my funny bone. That was a nice baby carrier Charlie made. If they ever get rescued, he can manufacture his own line. He can keep Drive Shaft’s CD’s, though. Thanks anyway. I liked how Sayid stopped him from a second hit like he was a 98 pound weakling. Sayid’s hair has grown a lot since the crash. Claire remembers that she scratched Madame Nutso but she doesn’t remember why. Brush that Arzt off your back, Jack, and that ego while you’re at it. You don’t get to play the hero this time. Sawyer finds new reading material in the bottle messages and wonders “who’s Hugo and how’s he got a hundred and sixty million dollars?” If they ever meet up again, Hurley may just become his new best friend. Yet another week where Sawyer gets to take his shirt off and save the raft. I’m guessing no one told Sayid of Charlie’s past addiction. Sun mentions Fate, a theme that will run throughout the two hour episode. Hurley misses Twinkies. Locke’s speaking in mystical mumbo jumbo again and some mutant vulture signals the monster. What are those, tentacles bursting out of the ground? Kate sees Jack slip off his backpack and figures out he’s going to be the hero no matter what anyone else says. Best line of Hour 1 was Arzt’s dig at Hurley, “Some of us have actually lost weight while we’ve been here.” I’ll blog about Hour 2 tomorrow.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

24: 6 - 7 a.m.

Previously on 24: Mandy has “representatives”? Who might they be and how did CTU so easily get them on the phone? It makes me laugh every time I see Jack and the other agents “running” because they are so obviously jogging and trying to make it look like they’re speeding down the street. Sometimes it even looks like they’re jogging in place. Well, Jack couldn’t find Marwan’s thigh but he did manage to shoot him in the ankle and slow him down enough so that he could grab him mid-flight as he leapt off the Global Center. We all had flashbacks to Chase when the knife came out and ooh, that was really cringeworthy. The special effects of Marwan’s fall looked a little lame. Did they overspend their budget on the nifty helicopter antics? I’d rather not think about Chloe and Edgar “downloading the interface” and “expanding the perimeter” if it’s all the same to the writers. When they found out the missile was headed to LA, I wondered if I was the only one asking the question: is it really worth the trouble of shooting down? I appreciated Audrey’s reaction when Jack asked her if they could talk “maybe tomorrow.” You could see the terror she felt at the prospect of having to go through another one of his days. Re-enter the pesky Chinese. I told Kay a few weeks ago I feared the season would end with Jack being taken to rot in a Chinese prison. Palmer tells him with a straight face, “I’ll make it my life’s mission to bring you back as soon as possible.” Yeah, after I film a few commercials and write my memoirs and go shopping for a spiffy overcoat that makes me look dashing. Don’t worry, I’ll get around to you. Here’s me, saying to Selina, “Jack’s gonna bolt!” But with all the classified information he knows, the government can’t afford to have him fall into enemy hands. Mike turns out to be a good guy after all and steps out of the shadows where he’s been lurking to tell Palmer the assassination plan and what does Palmer do? He goes to Nervous Nixon! Will you tell Jack! I’m saying. Yes, he will. Whew. A fighting chance. Luckily there was some leftover epinephrine from Flatliners. Tony bringing Jack back to life was probably more like Jack bringing Charlie back to life over on Lost than the show had planned. I appreciated Tony and Michelle clueing Chloe in on the ruse. If she couldn’t go with him, it’s a comfort to know that someday when he needs her, Jack can call on her. Best line: Palmer’s “what you believe is irrelevant.” Biggest surprise of the season: Curtis survived it. Next up: Season 5 wherein Jack moves to Iceland, starts dating model/babe/hopefully not terrorist Kristin Haraldsdottir and single-handedly stops the volcanic eruption of Mount Hekla with his bare hands. We’ll be waiting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

24: 5 - 6 a.m.

Previously on 24: There’s a “female hostile” in a building with 600 apartments. Oh Jack, chances are you’re gonna find a lot more than one. Copy that? It’s not that I minded a shirtless and sweaty Tony, not at all, not even with the beer gut he could have sucked in, but it was early morning and I find it hard to believe there’s much of Los Angeles that isn’t air conditioned. And then it rained. I expected Jack to say, “Rain? We don’t have time for that!” But do the writers think I tuned in just yesterday? I knew perfectly well Terror Babe Mandy didn’t blow up herself and Tony but that she used her hapless neighbours instead. CTU decides they might as well try for disaster management but Jack’s seen this show before. He knows Mandy was “a professional, not a fanatic” and he isn’t about to give up maintaining the perimeter. Here’s me at home, saying to the television: Listen to the recording you dweebs! There’s gotta be some sound of the outdoors that’s supposed to be on it that isn’t. The rain, traffic, a dog barking. Yup. Nothing gets by Jack after all. But why is it that the CTU Powers That Be never listen to him? The “smile and wave” penguins have more sense. Jack’s judgement has never been wrong. Looks like Tony listened during kindergarten storyhour. The Brothers Grimm were grim enough to appreciate Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of blood. I thought I saw Michelle’s face move, slightly, just once. When she was sitting in the car and the phone rang, I feared she wouldn’t answer it or she’d changed her name to Juliet. Good on Curtis for being the season’s unsung hero and clocking Mandy a good one. I thought about suggesting she talk with Terror Boy, wherever he’s gone, about the validity of presidential immunity deals. But Neurotic Nixon understood she wasn’t some high school kid they could swindle. Just when things started to look up, the annoying Chinese subplot showed up again. Agent Bern spills his guts based on the mere threat of Siberia? What a wimp. Even loafer wearing Liberal Son withstood a few hours of torture. Thus ends the penultimate hour. I’ll post about the final hour tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Sea Inside

Movie: The Sea Inside. 2004 winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. I found myself wondering if it won only because of its subject matter, a hot news topic, or if I wasn’t understanding what it was trying to convey or if it wasn’t properly conveying what it was trying to convey. I could have understood someone who was in intense pain and suffering for thirty years wanting to have an end to it, but this guy wasn’t in any physical pain that he mentioned and seemed to be quite a cheery fellow. Very pleasant, intelligent, kind to his family and friends, able to publish books. Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside, perhaps. I just didn’t see the severe emotional suffering that must have been there. He merely seemed tired of or bored with his situation. And it didn’t make sense to me why he refused to go anywhere or use a wheelchair. I wouldn’t have voted for this film.

Monday, May 23, 2005


There aren’t many things that I’m proud of but one is and will remain that I have never seen an episode of American Idol. Since Icelandic Idol (literally "Star search") is on television only in Iceland, I haven’t seen any of that either, but I have seen some of their Idol Extra show which contains behind the scenes footage and interviews with contestants and judges on popptíví over the Internet. Icelandic Idol appears to share the same popularity there as American Idol does here. During the first competition last year, 150,000 votes were cast on the final night. The population of Iceland is somewhere around 294,000. Half the votes that night went to singer/winner Kalli Bjarni. His first cd, released last fall, was mostly pop filler, though “Gleðitímar” is particularly nice and some of the cd’s lyrics were written by Stefán Hilmarson and Andrea Gylfadóttir. Strangely, Kalli does not appear to have a webpage anywhere. Maybe he's too busy playing soccer. This year’s Icelandic Idol winner is some chick named Hildur Vala. Although I’m not sure I recommend it, you can view performances of her (and the girl who was runner up) at Stjörnuleit's keppender page.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Final Cut

Movie: The Final Cut. Robin Williams takes on another serious, dark nearly funereal role but without much emotion. His somberness seemed to spill over to the other characters, none of whom I cared about. Which was a shame since the story was interesting and did make me think about how our memories are perceived. As in, we don’t always remember events with exact precision and time changes us, thereby changing our perceptions of our memories. And someone else who’s experiencing the same moment with us will not view it in the same way as us. Another theme was only briefly mentioned. How does knowing other people will someday watch all your actions affect those actions? To condense and manipulate a deceased’s life into a pleasant two hour movie that friends and relatives can remember him or her by seems a little shallow. Personally, I find it hard to imagine anyone could get two watchable hours out of my immensely dull and uneventful life. Five minutes, maybe. I just hope no one gives this idea to the Fisher brothers in Six Feet Under. They have enough to deal with.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Jack White is a musical genius!

Yesterday the new White Stripes album Get Behind Me Satan was leaked to Joe Public so Jack White may very well be furiously, drunkenly head butting a few patrons at a bar in downtown Detroit as I type. As much as I want to hear this record NOW and not in a few weeks, I’m not going to dl it onto my computer because I’ve been planning to buy it since years before it was ever dreamed of. Because Jack White is a musical genius! I say that all the time somewhat jokingly, but I actually believe it. This is an artist who has not only recorded five (giving benefit of doubt on the new one) astounding albums, but each one is progressively more astounding that the one before. I can’t think of any other bands since the mid 80s who have been able to do this. The Police did it up to Synchronicity and then decided they couldn’t top that and quit. U2 did it up to The Joshua Tree and then fizzled into the lame, cookie cutter blahness that has overtaken most music since. Even the most talented musician of the 90s, Jeff Buckley, was so overwhelmed by his own musical genius and fan expectation that he couldn’t manage to release a second album. Not so Jack. I hope this new one becomes the CD of the Year. So far I’ve only heard the single "Blue Orchid" which was legitimately released a few weeks ago. With Jack’s voice being a distorted high pitch in this song, it sounds a lot like what the Scissor Sisters might if they had any testosterone. Fabulous! Get behind it, indeed!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Lost: The Exodus Part 1

Madame Nutso drops by to warn the Lostaways that The Others, who she’s never seen even though they’ve shared an island for 16 years, are coming. Their arrival will be preceded by a pillar of black smoke which may mean they’re looking for a new pope and Turniphead is their favoured candidate. The bigger question: did Jack rip the sleeves off his shirt on purpose so he could show off his tattoos? Hurley seemed worried that 43 people wouldn’t fit in the hatch and, seeing as how he’s the largest, he’d be left out. I expected Locke to announce that it was built like a Tardis, bigger on the inside due to its being dimensionally transcendental. Because of her accent, I also kept expecting Madame Nutso to spew out Michelle from the Resistance’s line from “'Allo 'Allo.” As in, “listen carefully, I shall say this only once.” Wahnce. In the varied backstories we learned that Jack is no longer married. He was in seat 23b. His new friend was in seat 42f, in the back of the plane. Both are in The Numbers, if anyone’s counting. Sawyer’s real name might be James Ford. Like many on the flight, someone else gave him the ticket. The Marshall chased Kate for three years. She ended up calling to try discuss “mitigating circumstances” and he ended up telling her the toy plane was in the safety deposit box. The teacher’s last name is spelled Arzt and for some incomprehensible reason he prefers that to Leslie. He had the best line of the show, being: “If you want to keep a secret, don’t tell the fat guy.” Most astute line was Sawyer’s “Kids are like dogs. Knock ‘em around enough and they’ll think they did something to deserve it.” Sawyer spilled his secret and told Jack about the conversation with his father which made us all go “awww.” As did Jin and Sun’s reunion and Walt giving Vincent to Shannon. But poor Boone, replaced by a dog. So the Black Rock is a pirate ship. Can we expect to see Captain Jack Sparrow prance out on deck? For a minute I thought spring fever had hit Locke but he was just noticing Danielle has the same scratches as Ethan. Arzt’s wimpiness seemed to aggravate Lostzilla into action but Locke isn’t scared of no monsters and stayed his ground despite Hurley’s “Dude, we gotta book!” Kate asked what this security system is protecting, but didn’t think to ask the next question: what on the island is worth protecting? Strange that no one has noticed that Rose seems to have gone missing. It’s taken an entire month for Charlie to think of the old message in a bottle trick? And I know I’m not the only one who couldn’t believe that he, a musician, wasn’t at least humming the old Police song as he was collecting notes. Next up: Danielle steals Turniphead, someone or something drags Locke off into the jungle and a two hour finale probably doesn’t answer any of our questions.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Elitist Quiz

You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every
book ever published. You are a fountain of
endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and
never fail to impress at a party.What people love: You can answer almost any
question people ask, and have thus been
nicknamed Jeeves.What people hate: You constantly correct their
grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

24: 4 - 5 a.m.

Previously on 24: Jack asks the question the entire free world has been wondering: “What do you want to change?” and Marwan answers that his only goal is destruction. Yeah, that’ll help him and “his people” lots. Though wounded, Marwan’s one slick and slippery dude and manages to escape sleepy CTU’s clutches. But at least Curtis survives another shootout. Call me surprised. Chloe checks Marwan’s cell phone records and voila! Liberal Son called him last week. Jack’s salivating at the prospect of another chance to torture someone, anyone, but dear old Department of Defense Dad brings in the tough love and manages to make son confess he was in the closet with a couple who he let use his phone. With father issues like this, Liberal Son may find himself stranded on the Island of “Lost” yet. Who else besides me expected the words “with Allstate” to follow “he’s in good hands” when presidential advisor dude was speaking about Palmer helping Logan? So Audrey would have been happy to skip today? I would have been happy if she had too. Apparently Jack never told her the extent of his past work. Oh Tony, you really should have switched the channel from Telemundo soccer to “Days of our Lives” because then you’d know that anytime a character makes up with an estranged partner and they decide to leave and start anew, it is the kiss of death for one of them. In the words of Terrorist Babe Mandy (just back from previous seasons for more fun and games, and shooting), “It’s gonna be you.” Now we have a hostage situation and Michelle has to hold her breath for an entire week. Thanks a lot. Next up: Jack and I go out for pizza. Or a two hour special finishes up Season 4.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Les Choristes

Movie: Les Choristes or The Chorus in English. Following the likes of “Music of the Heart” or “Mr Holland’s Opus” but in French. Failed musician Mathieu takes a job teaching at a strictly administered boys boarding school in 1949. Through compassion, humour and music, he gains the trust of his students and positively affects (most of) their lives. For not being actors, the boys did a reasonable job. Little Pepinot is one of the most adorable children I’ve ever seen. The paper glider scene could have been schmaltzy, but I thought it was sweet. And I liked the scene where Mathieu tells off the iron fisted headmaster. And the ending being on a Saturday.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The long and winding Beatles list

In the back of the most recent biography of Douglas Adams titled Wish You Were Here by Nick Webb, there is a list of what Adams considered the top 20 Beatles songs. If memory serves right, #1 was “The Long and Winding Road.” I don’t know if I could make a list of what I considered the best of their songs, but I will here make a list of their songs that I like the most. These are probably in order of release date, not by preference.

  • Tell me why
  • She's a woman (for the D7 chord)
  • Help (interestingly, this and the 4 after are all from the Help album)
  • The night before
  • You've got to hide your love away
  • Another girl
  • I need you (by George Harrison)
  • Paperback writer
  • I am the walrus (for mentioning King Lear, as does the one above this, and for being clever)
  • Revolution (the fast version that they released as a single where Paul is ripping out his vocal chords on the opening scream)
  • Back in the USSR
  • Birthday
  • Hey bulldog (“if you’re lonely you can talk to me!”)
  • Don’t let me down
  • The Ballad of John & Yoko
  • Come together (for that sound just after the chopped off word “shot” which sounds like a rotary phone being dialed – that sound amazed me as a child when the song was released)
  • Something (also by George Harrison)
  • Polythene Pam
  • Her majesty (so short but so sweet)
  • Two of us

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Icelandic Golf

One of the libraries this week ordered at DK book titled Golf. While I don’t play golf and don’t care to, I was interested to see that, although the book featured pictorial sections on golf courses in places like Scotland and Sweden, they didn’t mention any in Iceland. There are golf courses in Iceland, right? Sure there are. At last count there were 56. The most famous is the Akureyri Golf Club, known for several things. One being that it’s the world’s most northern 18-hole golf course. The other is the four day Arctic Open held there annually beginning on the summer solstice in June. Due to the unsetting midnight sun, you can golf all night. Icelandic golf presents a few difficulties not found in other countries. The terrifically high winds, the moss and, reportedly, nesting birds that don’t appreciate being disturbed and will swoop down and peck at any available head. Iceland also has several miniature golf courses, including one in Reykjavík’s Kringlan shopping mall. No mini versions of Þingvellir and Dettifoss there, though.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Lost DVD

Diane was wondering what the upcoming DVD “Lost: the Complete 1st Season” (due to be released 6 September and costing somewhere in the vicinity of $60) would have on it. Other than all the episodes, that is. It appears the episodes will cover 6 discs. The 7th disc will have special features rumoured to include:
  • The original pilot (not the pilot the monster ate!)
  • Tales from The Island - new behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Lost Revealed - expert panel dissects the Series
  • Backstage with Drive Shaft - behind the music featurette
  • The Art of Matthew Fox - on-set photography
  • Before They Were Lost - original casting tapes
  • Blooper reel
  • Rare deleted scenes
  • Audio commentaries
  • Mini movie revealing why the plane crashed
  • Roundtable discussions with the cast & crew

Friday, May 13, 2005

Lost: Born to Run

From out of nowhere it’s Dr Artz, the science teacher, with the rhetorical statement “monsoon season is bad.” Don’t worry, we weren’t thinking island life was going to get better. Kate’s trunk o’ plates all had numbers, but I only caught the first three letters of the one, those being OPN. As in open? As in open the hatch? Since she doesn’t have blonde roots after being stranded for over a month, it appears Kate was only briefly blonde and for reasons known only to her and probably illegal. The island dudes really need to steer clear of her, considering she’s leaving a trail of dead men behind her. Seeing as her presence frightened her mother and she implied on the tape (recorded in 1989 on August 15, that’s 8/15 as in Flight 815) that there was something bad going on at home, I suspect Kate has already dealt with her father issues. I can’t figure out how Mackenzie Astin’s toy airplane went from the car’s backseat to the safety deposit box. Or why, when she was already on the run and the police were shooting at them, he decided to stay in the car. Call her puddin’, freckles or sweet cheeks, but don’t trust her. Maybe Shannon’s weird glare in her direction wasn’t as misplaced as it seemed. The backstory set in Iowa made me say to the television, “lookout for Marwan’s missile!” Kate said she spent two summers around boats. Surely not in Iowa. Was there supposed to be symbolism in digging up the time capsule versus digging up the hatch? Creepy Boy Walt’s special powers reappeared as he’s freaked out by Locke or whatever Locke’s involved with and now he has no problem with leaving the island. The other Lostaways continue their reckless accusation hurling. It’s interesting that the guilty who confess (Walt and Sun in this episode) are forgiven but the innocent remain under suspicion. Jack and Locke are competing for the title of Who Can Keep the Most Secrets. Hurley summed up viewer frustration well with, “How am I supposed to keep straight who know what around here?” Funniest quote goes to Charlie’s track 2: “Monster Eats the Pilot” which probably followed track 1: “My Baby’s a Turniphead.” Next week it’s the return of French diva Danielle: run, hide or die!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Book of Bible Quiz

You are Psalms
You are Psalms.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

24: 3 - 4 a.m.

Previously on 24: Chloe makes her move. Reminiscent of a Seinfeld plot, Chloe tells Jack she’s “here for you.” Now if Jack would realize how many times an hour he turns to her for little things like a triangulated satellite, an assembled team, a helicopter, then we’d have something. But how dare those terrorists try jam Chloe’s satellite server. And how dare Buchanan say “we don’t have time for your personality disorder.” Her personality disorder is holding CTU together, pal. Acting President Palmer didn’t learn much during his time at Call it “making up a scenario of possible deniability.” It’s still lying to us. Mike gets bonus points for pronouncing the phrase “extremely incendiary situation.” Logan started out as nervous, then moved to hissy fit and is now taking a break at paranoid, believing Mike and Palmer have formed an alliance against him and are going to kick him off the show. That nifty earpiece attached to a microphone phone thingie of Michelle’s may yet make cell phones obsolete. Was it Tony who asked why Audrey was still there? We’ve been wondering that since hour 2. Did I hear Chloe mention a “microwave uplink?” Does that have a popcorn setting? Oh Edgar, we don’t know whether to like you more or less because you can’t lie. Nice suit there Jack and way to make the save by calling your own cell. Not sure what the weird hand signal was as he and Assembled Team were about to storm the factory in another top of the hour shootout. As he and Marwan came face to face, I thought he was going to say, “I’ve been waiting for you Obi-Marwan.” But Jack, we’ve got a problem and it’s not locating three metropolitan areas in Iowa, surprisingly. Nothing can stop the missile launch unless you leap on midflight and harness the thing. Next up: Pit-bull Heller (who’s apparently been hanging out at Division all this time) and long lost Liberal Son have some ‘splaning to do.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Just a Minute

When I was a kid, I’m sometimes listen to a CBC radio re-broadcast of a BBC radio game show called “Just a Minute.” Always entertaining and funny, the game’s objective was for a contestant to talk for one minute about a random subject without hesitation, repetition or deviation. It’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when there are three other contestants ready to challenge your every word. Correct challengers get a point and have to pick up the subject where the first speaker left off and try for their own minute. The show began in 1967 and continues to this day, although there are only ten or eleven shows per season now. Old episodes are available on cassette and cd and you can read transcripts online to get an idea of what it’s all about. Some well known British personalities have taken part, including Graham Norton, Clement (grandson of Sigmund) Freud, Stephen Fry and Peter (voice of the Hitchhiker’s book) Jones.

Monday, May 09, 2005

In Good Company

Movie: In Good Company. On the surface it’s a message about ageism, with the old timers teaching the young whippersnappers that their way is what works in the long run. But looking deeper than that, there’s also a powerful commentary on how corporate culture is destroying society. The Topher Grace character and his young cohorts are portrayed as superficial, heartless, annoying leeches who can’t speak much beyond oft repeated catchwords like “cool” and “awesome.” They only care about acquiring successes; a better car, better job, better deal. All at the expense of developing their personalities. They are phony, icky, inhuman people. I saw an interview with the writer of “Angels in America” where he was saying how wrong it is that the good of society carries no importance anymore. If something affects me and my kids, then it’s important, but anyone else, even friends you’ve worked with every day for decades, no longer matters, evidenced by the quote from this movie, “I’m gonna go forget you ever existed.” Focusing only on what the individual can acquire will cause society to collapse. And that will leave the individual with nothing. And Scarlett Johansson was seriously miscast here.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Great Lake Swimmers

Three of the four cd’s I ordered came last week (no Skandinavia, but I expected that.) One was the eponymously titled "Great Lake Swimmers." It very rarely happens that samples cause me to say “I gotta have that cd!” but it happened with this band. Lead swimmer, Tony Dekker is originally from London, Ontario, now living in Toronto. His music brings to mind early Neil Young: haunting, rural, atmospheric melodies; ambient, pastoral alt-folk; minimalist sadsack “drifting late summer melancholy.” If that’s not for me, I dunno what is. This cd was recorded in an abandoned silo, hence the echoey nature of the vocals and backing vocals by some crickets. Their next cd “Bodies and Minds” will be released in America later this summer. That one was recorded in Lakeside Church possibly in Guelph so perhaps we can expect to hear some clinking of coins as the collection plates are being passed around.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


Movie: waydowntown. All as one word. Smart and sardonic like the box promised. The music over the opening credits was so cacophonously hideous, I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw a hammer through my TV, much less make it to the start of the movie. Once beyond that, this becomes a funny story of four twenty somethings who work in downtown Calgary. They make a bet to see who can go the longest without going outside. With Calgary’s buildings all intricately connected (offices, apartments, food courts, malls) by skywalks, it’s surprisingly easy to stay indoors. But by day 24 (just a coincidence, I’m sure), the kids are definitely not alright. Turtlenecks on men are so 70s Soviet chess player and the special effects were laughably poor, but nevermind. Give it a go.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lost: The Greater Good

It may be because I know the actor playing Sayid is British and/or because I’ve been watching “Red Dwarf” but I thought I heard him say he attended “Curry University.” Probably some other name. Here goes my sympathy for Jack and his massive ego. Boone fell from a plane on a cliff. His injuries were too extensive for anyone to save him, but Jack thinks he’s all that & a coconut so he has to find someone else to blame for his being just a human. Re-enter Locke who really should have changed his shirt before the Boone Funeral (the “Booneral.”) Later he washed out the shirt but that doesn't seem like it would help much. Surely there must be another shirt he could wear somewhere in the lost luggage. The Greater Good appears to be Boone’s decision to try to help them, even if it meant giving his life. And perhaps Locke’s knocking out Sayid in a previous episode since the transmission would have accomplished nothing positive for the Lostaways. So we know the CIA gave Sayid the ticket to this particular plane flight. Did they know about or cause the plane crash? The friend’s coffin was also on the plane. Was that the empty coffin we saw six months ago? Where’d he go? The friend said the line “you used me to find a woman” with a weird emphasis on woman. Like women are squids or something. Creeped me out. Nadia is alive and living in Irvine, which is near Tustin, home of Locke’s box company, also connected to Hurley. But if the love of his life is alive, what is Sayid doing with Shannon? Filling time? Sun’s line to Claire about how in a hospital they would take care of the baby so you could sleep made my head spin. Maybe in a Korean hospital. In America, you’re out the door quick as you can say “It’s a placenta!” The three men and a baby were cute. Charlie “can’t get the bloody thing to stop crying.” Welcome to fatherhood! So Hurley tries the James Brown School of Parenting but it’s Sawyer who has the knack. Wonderfully funny his trying to scoot away from Charlie & turniphead. Sawyer can read to me anytime. I remain confused about previous previews which showed Locke getting shot on the beach, right? Is this still to come? Best line: Hurley’s asking if there were any “deposits, diaper wise.” Next week: no one listens to creepy boy Walt and I get the feeling they should.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

My Delusions

Welcome to another edition of Name That Icelandic Tune. As I mentioned, Radio 2 has been playing this song that’s grabbed my attention for a few weeks, but I couldn’t figure out who the band was. I wrote down some of the lyrics: “My mind is playing tricks on me…I might be wrong but I feel that I have much to prove” (or that I’m mush too dude, I can’t quite tell what he’s singing there) but nothing Googled. Back to Radio 2’s most played songs playlist. Can’t be Trabant, they’re closer to heavy metal. Can’t be Ampop, they’re electronica. Soft textured sounds, ethereal reverbed guitars. Wait, their song is called "My Delusions". Isn't one of the lines “I’m all alone with my delusions?” Yes it is. Ah ha moment. What is this electronica band doing with a pop single besides driving me crazy? It appears their next cd, their third, will have more of an organic pop sound. Ampop (pronounced closer to Ahmpop or Awmpop or somewhere between the two) was started by musicians Biggi Hilmarsson and Kjartan Ólafsson. The band has either multiplied or been cloned because now there might be four members. I saw one picture with five. Biggi (no relation to the Biggi from Maus) is also working on the soundtrack to the Icelandic crime film “Every Colour of the Sea is Cold” ("Allir litir hafsins eru kaldir") with Björk’s former husband Þór Eldon. Ampop will be playing some concerts this summer in North America and England, gearing up for the next Iceland Airwaves festival. “My Delusions” is also featured in a Visa ad on Icelandic television and frequently in my brain.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

24: 2 - 3 a.m.

Previously on 24: Jack’s concern for Chloe’s well being was sweet. Maybe he’ll figure out she’s truly the one for him yet. Palmer takes over from Nervous Nixon who couldn’t find the answers by looking at the ceiling. Buchanan throws a hissy fit at being left out of the loop. Tony’s Barfly Girlfriend calls and Michelle answers. Oops. And Tony thinks rationalising Barfly by saying he’s “living with her but doesn’t love her" makes him sound like some sort of hero? Hmm. The Chinese Consulate is harbouring a freelance terrorist (probably nothing like a freelance writer) and can’t seat CTU in the restaurant for 2-3 hours. That isn’t good enough for Jack who suits up and ticks off the entire country of China. The chef forgot the sweet and sour sauce and the not so friendly waiters open fire. Freelance Lee is hit and wants a presidential guarantee of immunity and safe transport. Must we repeat for these first episoders, talk to Dinah, pal? I’m pretty sure I heard the interpreter say “cowabungi” which I’d guess is the plural of cowabunga. Go! Go! Go! To CTU and bounce Mr Bean, who’s having yet another go around, out of surgery. Just as Audrey figured out she had to get him away from Jack before he suffered the same fate as all others in Bauer Proximity. So close. Wait, epinephrine and the paddles might shock him back to life. Worked for some dude named Kiefer Sutherland in “Flatliners,” right? Nope. This is 24. Sorry, Mr Bean. And sorry Jack, Audrey hates you now. Best line from Chloe: “I hope I’m not some kind of psychopath.” Honey, that’s the best we can hope for. Next up: Hootie and the Blowfish turn out to be responsible for a whole lot more wrong in the world than we ever thought.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Life Aquatic

Movie: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Everytime I try to say this title, it comes out Steve Isuzu. That would be a totally different movie. Having been raised many moons ago, I remember watching endless Jacques Cousteau documentaries and I found this tribute rather charming, with its off-beat, kooky characters (especially Angelica Houston still channeling Morticia Addams and Willam Dafoe pouting like he was chosen last in gym class.) Bill Murray retains his “Lost in Translation” melancholic resignation, delivering his character with wonderful deadpan irony, although he is a little scary in a speedo. CGI effects create splendidly vivid sea creatures. And Bowie in Portuguese! (I didn’t hear “Young Americans” though.) So funny. Also, the red knit hats, the old and faulty equipment, the yellow submarine, The Belafonte. Which reminds me that my grandmother once had a friend who insisted she was having a fling with Harry Belafonte. While they had never met, she could tell Belafonte was singing especially to her and sending her messages with her songs. While I don’t think any musician has ever sent me a message, I did appreciate the use of Sigur Rós’s song Starálfur during the climactic and lovely shark scene. The lyrics are very poetic, in both Icelandic and English, so I’ll copy them here:

Blá nótt yfir himininn
Blá nótt yfir mér
Horf-inn ut um gluggann
Minn með hendur
Faldar undir kinn
Hugsum daginn minn
Í dag og í gær
Blá náttfötin klæða mig í
Beint upp í rúm
Breiði mjúku sængina
Loka augunum
Ég fel hausinn minn undir sæng
Starir á mig lítill álfur
Hleypur að mér en hreyfist ekki
Úr stað – sjálfur
Opna augun
Stírurnar ur
Teygi mig og tel (hvort ég sé ekki)
Kominn aftur og alltalltílæ
Samt vantar eitthvað
Eins og alla vegginna

Staring Elf
Blue night over the sky
Blue night over me
Dis-appeared out of the window
Me with hands
Hidden under my cheek
I think about my day
Today and yesterday
I put on my blue nighties
Go straight to bed
I pull the soft covers over
Close my eyes
I hide my head under the covers
A little elf stares at me
Runs towards me but doesn’t move
From place - Himself
A staring elf
I open my eyes
Take the crusts out
Stretch myself and check (if I haven’t)
Returned again and everything is okay
Still there is something missing
Like all the walls