The Universe and Me

Friday, September 30, 2005

Lost: Adrift

Lost 2.2. Originally shot as a Sawyer episode but changed at the last minute to focus on Michael which may have been what made it disjointed and full of backtracking. This hour should have been attached to and part of the premier so things would have run smoother. Oh well. Desmond may be living in the bunker alone after all, but waiting for either a replacement or a roommate or a snowman. Locke’s willing to be anyone, and tries to explain the Lostaways story but according to the tick marks on the wall, Desmond’s been there a lot longer than 44 days and doesn’t have much sympathy. He also can’t figure out why the Lostaways aren’t sick or ill or dead. Kate discovers the dharma logo all over the pantry as well as some candy bars that may have been destined for the Apollo space mission. Ever resourceful, she hoists herself into the air duct and goes in search of an exit. Jack trips the security system which may be what prompts the computer beeping and counting down. When it’s reset, it goes back to the number 108. Desmond must know Danielle since she appears in his mural. I loved his chuckle when Locke mentioned a raft. We learned Locke took off his shoes so they wouldn’t squeak across the floor. And Desmond appears to call all men “brother.”

Now back to Crochet Today. No, that was just a commercial. As for the Rafters, being in the water all that time made Sawyer’s hair shrink. Mike was once hit by a car and required several surgeries which Susan paid for. He also once gave a stuffed polar bear to Walt. No idea how Walt and his mom ended up in Australia when they were moving to Rome. I’m with Sawyer, how about a little gratitude for saving Mike’s life? Instead he blames Sawyer for everything and they bicker for too long. Sawyer’s been winged and manages to extract the bullet on his own and Michael not only doesn’t even have a bandaid, he splashes salt water in the wound. Ouch. Sawyer figures the Walt-nappers boat wasn’t build for the open ocean so they must have been on the island, and are in fact The Others who had been after Walt all along. Way too harsh of Mike to tell Sawyer he had no idea what it’s like to care about somebody else. At least he shot the dharma stamped shark which I doubt was a real shark at all. By morning, the tide brings them back to the island where they run into Jin who’s trying to escape from some makeshift spear wielding crazies. My guess: they found the part of the island with the disease.

Otherwise, nice roll of eyes there Claire. I thought she was making a statement about Jack trying to be the hero again, but she was really annoyed at Charlie for making another joke and being evasive. Charlie thinks the Mary statute may come in handy some day. Perhaps to hit someone over the head with rather than how he’s thinking. The best line went to Sawyer for: “At least Walt is on a boat probably wrapped in a blanket with a cup of cocoa.” It was the southern accent on the word cocoa that made me laugh. Next up: we’re all gonna die!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Take Take Take

I watched the Cowboy Bebop movie over the weekend and noticed the last song which is played over the closing credits seemed not only good to me, but very familiar. After a few days it dawned on me that the music and phrasing of the verses is very similar to The White Stripes song "Take Take Take" from their most recent album. Listen to the sample of that song at Amazon and then listen to Yamane Mai's song "Gotta Knock a Little Harder". Either Jack White is a Cowboy Bebop fan or he's not the musical genius he could be.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A moonbow Posted by Picasa

A fantabulous night

While leafing through July’s copy of Astronomy magazine, I saw an article about lunar rainbows or moonbows, rainbows visible at night. I wasn’t aware they existed. They occur less than ten percent as often as normal rainbows and are coloured the same but their light is too dim to activate colour sensors in our eyes and appear ghostlike white or black. They form when moonlight strikes drops of falling rain in the sky opposite the moon. The raindrops act like a prism and reflect or refract the light. Summer full moons, bright and low in the sky, are best for creating moonbows. Usually they’re obscured by pollution.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sometimes I feel like screaming

Screaming Masterpiece is an Icelandic film released this year over there so I haven’t seen it, but I sure would like to even though reviews from Icelanders don’t make it sound like the next Rokk í Reykjavík. It’s an 87 minute documentary/overview of contemporary Icelandic music, composed mostly of interviews with the musicians talking about their craft and influences. The mistake the film seems to make is its focus on the, however extraordinary, still occasionally dissonant and pretentious avant-garde and underground metal scenes while ignoring pop, jazz and folk artists. Says The Grapevine: “While all of these musicians can be appreciated on their own, together, on one disk, they became intolerable. So much cutey cute, so much sugar, and you begin to hate the whole lot of them.” Still seems worthwhile for the “hyper-dramatic, semi-Wagnerian performance from Sigur Rós and Steindór Anderssen combined with the strong recurrent image of a raven flying in slow motion” and seeing a lingering close-up shot of folk-rocker Mugison’s woolen socks as he’s rehearsing in a church in the remote West Fjords. The band Múm, who planned to work in a chocolate factory, is interviewed at the seashore with another raven flying around. There also appears to be lots of stock footage of glaciers, snowy mountains and black sand beaches mixed in the music video and live footage of concerts and the Airwaves music festival. If the documentary ever makes its way over here, I’ll give my real impressions.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lost: Man of Science, Man of Faith

Lost 2.1: We could have done without the pregame show Destination Lost, although it did bring a few things to mind. Is Rose’s husband still in the bathroom? Walt has had quite the growth spurt. Will they explain that by his special powers? Did Sawyer draw his gun first? The quotes: “everything happened for a reason” and something like “Locke will save us all” stood out. As for the season premier, well now, who is Desmond when he’s at home? He appears to follow the same daily or nightly routine in his underground lair or biodome. His technology is stuck in the 80s and his supply of antibiotics or antibodies or whatever serum he was injecting has the serial numbers of The Numbers. His mural included 108, all the numbers added up, and 42. His bottle of Febreeze was either a continuity error or he gets out more than it seems. As he told Jack in a flashback, he was almost a doctor and was training to run around the world. His proximity has miraculously cured two paraplegics. His accent is a mix of Scottish and possibly South African. All I know about this guy for sure is he didn’t appreciate Locke dropping in, although Locke graciously took off his boots. The biodome appears to be the same as the one in Hurley’s comic book. Is it quarantined to keep the germs out or in? Is this biodome running the island’s security system? Does it have multiple hatches? Are the barrels full of toxins? Does it contain a magnetic field that caused the plane crash? Who is the second bunk for? Desmond’s clone? His backgammon opponent?

As for the rest of the Lostaways, Kate is making time with Locke, perhaps because Jack’s bedside manner sucks. Jack seemed annoyed at having to explain to Sarah her condition. Good on his father for correcting him. So Sarah’s miraculous recovery is what drew her and Jack together into marriage. The man she hit, Adam Rutherford, may have been Shannon’s father. He died at 8:15. Was Jack the only doctor there and chose to work on Sarah and let Adam die? Way to go. Is Dom’s hair sun bleached or dyed? Shannon has lost the dog and her hairbrush. Hurley lost a lot of weight in two minutes. He also seems to have lost 42 million dollars since last season. Kate got the shaft. The best quote once again goes to Hurley for “The Others are coming to like eat us and all and once in a while someone blows up all over you” although Dom was a close second with “The French woman is missing a bloody wingnut.” Enjoyed the Mama Cass song. Next up: whatever happened to the Rafters.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Lost for a lifetime

Sung to the tune of The Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime"

And you may find yourself in an exploding plane wreck
And you may find yourself with that guy from Party of Five
And you may find yourself with people who don’t even speak friggin' English
And you may find yourself at a mysterious hatch with a sealed tight latch
And you may ask yourself, well, how do I get in there?

And the days go by, Hurley isn’t losing weight
And we don’t know why. Wonder what’s the deal with Kate.
There are the numbers again and Arzt exploded.
Lost for a lifetime with some weird monster underground.

And you may ask yourself wasn’t that guy in Lord of the Rings?
And you may ask yourself where the hell did that polar bear come from?
And you may tell yourself I’ve got this show figured out
And then it dawns on you, you have no idea what’s going on.

And the days go by, the Black Rock really was a ship
And we don’t know why, French chick needs to get a grip.
Walt is gone at sea after the Others come.
Lost for a lifetime with some weird monster underground
And nobody’s coming for us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What do I know?

You scored as Bedshaped. Your Keane song is Bedshaped. You must have someone in your life that wants to move on, but you only want them to come back. Keep trying!



Somewhere Only We Know


We Might As Well be Strangers


Walnut Tree


On A Day Like Today


Snowed Under


Something In Me Was Dying


Nothing In Your Way


Everybody's Changing


Can't Stop Now


Which Keane song fits you best?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Exposition Falls

Movie: Empire Falls. With such an all-star, talented cast, what was there not to like? And the answer is: plenty! The continual voiceover narration was as dull as watching paint dry or watching the characters actually painting. The dialogue was stilted and awkward and as bogged down by exposition as the voiceovers. Helen Hunt shouldn’t have bothered trying to affect a Maine accent. It sounded like she was from Brooklyn instead. Asking me to believe Ed Harris is anything like ineffectual is impossible. The book and screenplay’s author, Richard Russo, must truly hate cats. While I’ve known some psychotic felines in my time (and presently live with one), none of them behaved like rabid monkeys. Talk about unfair portrayals. The big shocking ending was too quick and seemed misplaced, like it belonged in a different movie. Three and ½ hours was at least two hours too long. Severe editing may have helped the lethargic monotony. Having read the book might have helped me care about the characters, but the movie sure didn’t make me ever want to read the book. Philip Seymour Hoffman may have been engaging in his small role here, but it’s more worth noting he’s already creating an Oscar buzz with his performance in the upcoming Truman Capote biopic. I expect that film is much more entertaining.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The shaper's lies

Since I started this blog, I’ve been meaning to write about the upcoming movie Beowulf and Grendel. There are many pictures around the net, but still no trailer or US release date although it did make its world premier this past Wednesday at the Toronto Film Festival. Filmed along the south coast of Iceland near Vík í Mýrdal, it holds the distinction of being the most expensive movie shot entirely in Iceland. Starring the wonderfully Scottish and hunky Gerard Butler as Beowulf and Canadian Sarah Polley (not as Grendel), it promises to be a harrowing, often gory fantasy adventure with spectacular scenery. Butler plays the hero who is Beowulf, unlike in the late John Gardner’s nihilistic book Grendel or the epic Marillion song of the same name where the monster is the hero.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Working on the sequel

Right now I’m reading The Nobodies juvie book, but before that I read two thriller mysteries from Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, a former journalist and film critic at Morgunbladið. Both books, Tainted Blood and Silence of the Grave (inexplicably published in English again under the title Jar City), featured the same team of detectives headed by an Inspector Erlendur. I found myself wishing he had a different name because my mind automatically translated it to Foreigner every time it was printed and that was disconcerting. Written with attention to the backgrounds of the victims, Erlendur works to piece together clues and hidden secrets to determine what happened and who was responsible. Faced paced and haunting, the books show the less than savoury side of Reykjavík and surrounding area, unlike Zane Radcliffe’s mystery The Killer’s Guide to Iceland which too often sounded like a travel brochure. I especially enjoyed the mention of Halldór Laxness’s short story Lilly, one of my fav’s.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why does it always have to be me?

You scored as Athos. You are Athos, Le Comte de la Fere, the brooding, angry member of the Musketeer Company. You harbor deep secrets and hidden pain, but you are unquestionably loyal to your friends. You tend to by unlucky in love but respected by many.













Edmund Dantes




Which Dumas character are you?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Mind the Icelandic band

I’m also waiting the hopeful fall CD release from an Icelandic rock band called Touch. They began in Spring 2001 when drummer Kópur was asked by his brother to play at a hotel dance. He didn’t have a band but called up friends singer/guitarist Böddi and bassist Einsi to join him. They enjoyed the gig so much, they decided to keep going. In July 2002 guitarist/high school friend Danni joined and they began working on original music which is described as soaring melodic rock tunes with driving beats. From what I’ve read, these guys need to be experienced in concert. Böddi, in addition to being a powerful singer and the band’s lyricist, is a tall, muscled blond with gelled hair and a penchant for Hawaiian shirts. On stage, he has a tendency to go crazy with unrestrained enthusiasm which includes back flips and contortion acts. “Böddi, often jumps from tables and croons to anyone who will come near him,” said the Grapevine. An excitable boy, he’s thrilled to have been hired as an extra in Clint Eastwood’s next movie Flags of Our Fathers that is being filmed in Iceland, although from the following quote he needs to check with Ricky Gervais as to the definition of “extra.”

“It has become clear that I am becoming a movie star… The part is called ‘an extra.’ I’m not quite sure what that means but I’m pretty positive it means I’m getting the leading role!! I better get out to a real estate agency and buy my self a house with a pool and a tennis court.”

Friday, September 09, 2005

About me survey

Birthday:11 July eons ago
Birthplace:WCA Hospital
Current Location:Work - don't tell, slow day!
Eye Color:green
Hair Color:brown
Right Handed or Left Handed:right
Your Heritage:Swedish-Scottish/English mix
The Shoes You Wore Today:black sneakers
Your Weakness:hats and Scottish accents
Your Fears:too many to fit in this box
Your Perfect Pizza:pepperoni, mushrooms, lots of cheese, thick crust
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year:survival
Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger:eek? or gads? or ee-gads?
Thoughts First Waking Up:&*^#$ oh no not again
Your Best Physical Feature:green eyes
Your Bedtime:too early
Your Most Missed Memory:hanging out w/ best friend Jill back in late 60s/early 70s or something unprintable
Pepsi or Coke:neither but Coke if necessary
MacDonalds or Burger King:Mac
Single or Group Dates:single
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea:Lipton
Chocolate or Vanilla:Vanilla
Cappuccino or Coffee:no caffeine please! I'll be hanging from the ceiling and not in a good way
Do you Smoke:no but I love the smell of cigarettes
Do you Swear:see above question: thoughts first waking up
Do you Sing:of course
Do you Shower Daily:who doesn't?
Have you Been in Love:too much
Do you want to go to College:did
Do you want to get Married:dunno, probably not - sorry Mr Vee
Do you belive in yourself:gads no
Do you get Motion Sickness:no (or only in the back seat of a mini zipping around Scotland's insane roads)
Do you think you are Attractive:no
Are you a Health Freak:no
Do you get along with your Parents:usually, unless I'm cranky
Do you like Thunderstorms:yes
Do you play an Instrument:piano
In the past month have you Drank Alcohol:no
In the past month have you Smoked:no
In the past month have you been on Drugs:only prescription
In the past month have you gone on a Date:no
In the past month have you gone to a Mall:yes, and on no tax day!
In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos:no, a box of shortbread cookies
In the past month have you eaten Sushi:no, I avoid all seafood
In the past month have you been on Stage:no
In the past month have you been Dumped:no
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping:nobody needs to be looking at that!
In the past month have you Stolen Anything:no
Ever been Drunk:um... taking the 5th (literally)
Ever been called a Tease:of course
Ever been Beaten up:no
Ever Shoplifted:no
How do you want to Die:quickly
What do you want to be when you Grow Up:a writer
What country would you most like to Visit:Iceland!!!!
In a Boy/Girl..
Favourite Eye Color:blue or green
Favourite Hair Color:blond
Short or Long Hair:medium?
Height:5'6" to 6'
Best Clothing Style:classy
Number of Drugs I have taken:ha ha
Number of CDs I own:lots!
Number of Piercings:none
Number of Tattoos:none and I never would get one, but a small star or ring of stars would be nice
Number of things in my Past I Regret:all of it?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Someone not Damo Somewhere like Iceland

Last week I heard this song on Radio 2 that could be my current most favourite song, if I could hear it more than once more. It sounds uncannily like Damien Rice, both vocally and musically. At first I thought a miracle had happened and Damo had finally released a new song or (dare I say lest it bring on the apocalypse?) album. So I scrounged around Damo’s websites to see if there truly was something new. Of course not. For days I looked over Radio 2’s playlist, but nothing matched this song (the only words I remembered were “someone somewhere” and what may be “maybe they’re there”) until Tuesday when I saw it listed. It is indeed called “Someone Somewhere” and is by an Icelandic band named Dikta which looks like a dyslexic form of a Bears coach. My handy Icelandic dictionary tells me the word diktur means fiction. No idea if that’s what this band was going for.

The band has been together since 1999. In 2002 they released their first CD titled Andartak, which may mean Just a Moment. I’d heard them, but dismissed them as wanna be alt grungers whose music was far superior to their lead singer’s voice. Either he’s improved or they’ve switched singers or they’ve spent the past three years studying Damien Rice or this song is an anomaly akin to Wilco’s “Hummingbird.” Whichever, the song is great. While waiting for a second CD which they’re hoping to release this fall, I’ve given their first another try and, despite the gravelly vocal shortcomings, it has a lot of merit. Described in the press as: diverse, dynamic and “an interesting hybrid of well arranged emo-spiced new wave rock.” There are some mp3s hanging around, including another new song titled Chloe which we can only hope is about 24’s Miss O’Brien.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Working for no one but me

Movie: Off the Map. An obscure character portrayal where New Mexico takes the part of one of the main characters. Out in the middle of nowhere, eleven year old Bo does what little a child in her circumstances can to rebel against her neo hippy/more bohemian parents. Her mother tries to hold herself and the household together while her father fights an annoying depression which a television set might have helped. Into this oppressive desert wasteland stumbles a taxman. An allergic reaction to a bee sting puts him in a delirious fever which serves as a catalyst for change in all their lives. Slow and lengthy, but worthwhile.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A good catch

Movie: Fever Pitch. We here living in Western New York understand all too well what it’s like to back the proverbial loser teams. Mention the words “wide right” or “no goal” to one of us and you may be in for a two hour tirade. So when the Boston Red Sox finally won the World Series last year, I was happy for them but happier for their longsuffering fans. The Standells song over the opening credits sets us up for a fun and funny chick flick with a little baseball thrown in so the guys aren’t sweetened to death by the sap. Based slightly on Nick Hornby’s book of the same name about a British man obsessed with a soccer team which was already made into a movie in England, but we all know how short of ideas Hollywood is. Drew Barrymore is looking very svelte these days. This movie was supposed to be have a different ending, but during its making, the Red Sox did the unimaginable and won, so some rewriting and scrambling was done. While I know little about baseball and tend to reside on Jupiter, I laughed every time they mentioned “Bucky Friggin’ Dent.” Otherwise: “It was Florida, it was hot.” “Was it spongy?”

Friday, September 02, 2005


If you happen to be wandering in New York City at the corner of Madison Avenue and 41st Street, check out, or check into, the Library Hotel. Rooms in the hotel are themed according to the Dewey Decimal System. They are also numbered somewhat according to Dewey. As a cataloger, I cringe at their errors, but as a person (a far separate entity from a cataloger!), I admire their creativity. The 3rd floor stands for social sciences. The 4th floor for languages. On the 5th floor, corresponding to Dewey’s math and science classification, you can stay in rooms based on astronomy, botany or law. On the 7th floor (the arts), archaeology, photography or music. Personally, you’d find me in room 839.6, if it existed. There I’d be reading some Icelandic saga or other. The hotel was actually sued a few years ago for copyright infringement by OCLC, the online computer library center, or as I like to call it, the Mothership. I don’t think anyone ever dreamed the Dewey Decimal System was copyrighted. The hotel settled the case by making a donation to a non-profit organization that promotes reading by children. Room service.