The Universe and Me

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lost : Lockdown

Lost. 2.17. I thought it was lazy or weird of the writers to have Helen like obituaries. She could have merely been reading the morning paper, as so many people do. Her fascination with obits seemed placed in on purpose. Locke’s father, Anthony Cooper, if that is his real name and I doubt it, must not have been well liked or had any other family since only Locke and Helen (and two suspicious looking Thug Guys) showed up at the gravesite service. Considering how awful he was to Locke, that wasn’t a surprise. His showing up again after he died was. Suddenly I’m watching Days of Lost. Although he doesn’t want to show his face in public, he goes to a bar with Locke and explains his retirement con and need to extract the seven hundred thousand dollars from the bank. If Locke helps, he can have a share. Losing a kidney didn’t teach him anything. He actually helps. For a minute I thought there was going to be a toy airplane in the safety deposit box.

Worse than that, when Thug Guys show up at the house, Locke lies to Helen about his father being alive. She follows him to the Flightline Motel (that was the best name they could think of?) and sees Cooper very much alive so when Locke proposes to her, she turns him down. So that explains their breakup. We still don’t know how Locke went from being a home inspector (everybody wave at Nadia as she buys a house) to working at the box company and being a paraplegic. Back on the island, Locke hears a woman’s voice in the hatch’s speakers. She counts down to the blast doors dropping. Locke is sealed off in the living area with Henry. When they try to pry open the doors, Locke is trapped so Henry has to crawl through the vent to reach the computer button. He somehow remembers the numbers, though he only heard them once. After a black light shows Locke a schematic of the island’s six hatches and their centre hub, the blast doors raise. Henry swears he had nothing to do with it.

As for the rest of the Lostaways, Charlie finds Mrs Gale’s grave under a canopy of a balloon. Sayid’s not willing to take it at face value and discovers Mrs Gale isn’t buried there. Henry Gale is. Jack pits himself against Sawyer in a poker game to recover the meds. We learn Jack was in Thailand, but he doesn’t tell us if that’s where he picked up his tattoos. Jack lies to Kate, telling her there’s a cracked water pipe in the hatch so she won’t go there. They stumble on a parachute that appears to be a food drop by the Dharma Gang and the reason for the Lockdown. Best line: Hurley/Muttonchops’s, “Maybe if I were in the loop, I could be more helpful.” Next: Hurley goes bonkers.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Never trust a pirate

The trailer for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie: Dead Man's Chest due in theatres July 7th.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

24: 9-10 p.m.

24. 5.15. After all protocol she’s broken in one day, surprisingly Chloe isn’t in trouble. Instead Bill asks her to check out Audrey’s story. He detains Audrey for interrogation which Jack wants to handle. For the fun of it or because he thinks Collette is lying? We’ll see. Brit Hostile cleverly acquires himself and his thugs a police car. Chloe digs up a connection between Audrey and Walt Cummings. They cracked open the mini bar last April at the River Hotel. What a bad day Mrs Cummings is having. Some gal named Sherry Rothenberg from Section 5 replaces Edgar. Chloe is not amused. At first Audrey lies to Jack about Walt, but he makes her fess up as only he can. But she still knows nothing about Collette. Jack’s convinced. Karen, not so much. She calls for Burke. Jack’s tasered and can’t protect Audrey.

Miles gives Sherry grief about being on Level 3 of 24’s computer game when she isn’t qualified. But wait. She’s “provisionally qualified.” So there. She informs Chloe she filed a harassment suit against Miles back in their San Francisco office days. Chloe feels so bad for her, she later takes the blame for matrix data being sent unfiltered even though it was Sherry’s boo-boo. Wayne Palmer hasn’t shown up for their date/meeting so Aaron goes looking for him. To prove that Henderson is going after Jack by using Audrey, he needs to find proof Collette is lying so her immunity deal can be negated. Brit Hostile and men arrive at the Wilshire Gas Company and demand access to the control room. Some poor worker named Sam has to cut the pipeline pressure by half in 15 minutes.

Chloe finds Collette called Henderson eight times, something she didn’t tell them. That’s enough for Jack to rescind her deal. He threatens to kill her so she says Henderson told her to use Audrey’s name if she got in trouble. She doesn’t know the exact target. Just that it’s one of the natural gas companies. The Hostiles plan to pipe the gas into homes. As luck would have it, Sherry was a chemistry major and knows the company’s PSI would have to be lowered. Chloe finds the right place and is weirded out when Sherry complains about Bill’s hand brushing across her shoulder. I could just see her thinking, “And people say I have problems!” In the woods somewhere, Aaron and Wayne meet up, are involved in a shootout and escape. Looked like Wayne was injured, though. The CTU guys chopper to Wilshire but Brit Hostile releases the canisters. There’s not enough time to power down. Jack has to ignite the gas. The tanks start exploding but Jack goes back for Brit. They fight. Jack stuffs him in the police car as a tank near them explodes. Next: no sign of Jack.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

March Madness

As defined by Becky: The emotion felt when you discover all your shows are pre-empted by basketball for several weeks.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

It's a library thing

As someone who works in a library, I should have been aware of the Library Thing site as soon as it started, which was on August 29, 2005. It now has over 28,000 users and I have signed up myself. Users can "pull book data from libraries around the world and online bookstores to create a catalog of their own personal collection." A free account enables you to list 200 books but you can list an unlimited number for ten dollars a year or twenty five dollars for a lifetime account. You can also search for users with the same books you own and see what else they have that you might want to read. It's also interesting to check out the list of 25 most owned books and the 75 top authors. No big surprise who tops those. If the site continues adding books at the rate they are (over 10,000 per day), they estimate they'll overtake OCLC's billion book holding database (which adds over 8,000 books per day) in 3815. Something to look forward to.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Should be preceded by: Hopeless Posted by Picasa
The Romantic Princess

You are absolutely in love with love! Charming, romantic, and feminine are all words that describe you. You are a huge flirt and know how to use your feminine wiles to get your way. You are always on the lookout for the guy who will sweep you off your feet.

Role Models: Isolde, Juliet

You are most likely to: Free a cursed prince from a terrible spell with a single kiss.

28501 other people got this result! This quiz has been taken 82991 times. 34% of people had this result.

What Kind of Princess are You?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lost : The Whole Truth

Lost. 2.16. We thought Jin had learned to show his wife respect, but no, he’s still a hothead, ripping up her plants. Later Bernard and Rose, as they’re arguing/beachcombing, discover Sun lightheaded. I found it interesting that Bernard’s character seems rather fatalistic while Rose is always optimistic. How they’ve made their opposites attract relationship work all these years is another mystery since, according to John Cleese, the only thing opposites attract is divorce. We learn back in the past, Sun was meeting her former almost boyfriend to learn English from him, although she continued to see him after she became fluent. She even confides to him that the fertility doctor told her she couldn’t have children. The doctor’s one of the first who at first doesn’t tell the whole truth. His conscience leads him to tell Sun it’s Jin who can’t father children while she is fine. He was afraid of what Jin would do to him.

Are you there Sawyer? It’s Sun needing some medical supplies. He’s not running a drugstore so she has to blurt out she needs a pregnancy test. Why she thinks anyone would bring one on an airplane is curious, unless she’s the one who brought it. The test is from a Widmore Labs, mentioned or seen in a flashback in England. And it’s positive. Kate mentions to Sun she had to take one before, but does not tell us its results. Meanwhile Jin’s realized a lot of his frustration is coming from not being able to talk with anyone due to the language barrier. He doesn’t want to fight with Sun anymore and puts her garden back together. She tells him she’s pregnant. Daddy-o is thrilled. But it’s either an island miracle (not so farfetched considering Locke’s miraculous recovery) or Sun’s lying her head off and Jin’s not the Daddy-o. I’m betting on the latter.

Ana Lucia finds Locke outside her tent. He thinks she’s the most qualified to talk with the unmotivated Henry in his hatch. His hatch? Since when does the hatch belong to Locke? Guess he goes by the law of Finders Keepers. Ana convinces Henry to draw her a map. Rather than tell the Bickering Brothers about it, she takes it to Sayid. Charlie, bored with making a dining room table (??), invites himself along on their quest to find the balloon. Jack asks Henry to join him and Locke for a Dharma cereal breakfast. In yet another emotionally manipulative move, Henry ever so casually mentions the map he drew for Ana. And makes them wonder if he’s leading her into a trap. Best lines: “The steam opens my pores.” “Humour’s not his strong suit – and I’m saying this to you!” “You looking at my bum?” Next: the smiley face balloon shows up.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

24: 8-9 p.m.

24. 5.14. Henderson might be an android. Although he’s been tortured, he feels well enough to skip out of the building before anyone but the security cameras see him. Take that, Marwan. Chloe decrypts a file from Henderson’s computer and finds information on Collette. Curtis readies a team to bring her in and you just know Jack’s going with. The President sets up a curfew for LA, to be enforced by the military. There’s a question as to whether this is legal or not. The VP claims his lawyers are on it. Let’s all laugh. Meryl Streep’s older sister Karen from Homeland Security usurps Bill’s control. Chloe doesn’t appreciate having to give her key card to minion Miles. Wayne Palmer calls Aaron to arrange a date. Or to give him something from his brother. Collette arranges to meet Desmond at the Van Nuys airport in 45 minutes. By the time the op team reaches the hotel room, no one’s there. ESP tells them to check the roof where Desmond tackles Curtis and takes his gun.

He’s not Desmond from Lost after all. He’s Teo from German Federal Intelligence. Giving up Collette will ruin everything he’s been working on. Jack promises to give him something more valuable: the WET List. To get it, Chloe needs her key card so she spills coffee on Miles. He asks her what’s wrong with her, as if there’s time for that lengthy list. After she uploads the WET List to Jack, he promises to give the memory card to Desmond/Teo once Collette is in custody. Meanwhile Brit Hostile is transferring a whopperload of money to Collette. Bill and Meryl’s Sis catch Chloe’s hack into NSA. She admits what she did and they get all huffy with Jack but there’s no time to wait for presidential authorization. Collette’s in the airport’s parking garage.

Desmond/Teo gives up the gal but the memory chip Jack gives him was programmed to self-destruct. And Desmond/Teo sums up Jack’s character with: “I had your word. Now I know what it’s worth.” We suspect Collette’s been chatting with Mandy because she’s not about to blab without full immunity. Besides, she doesn’t know where Brit Hostile is. She’s just an “independent contractor.” The source of the digitally encrypted schematic? That’s Audrey. Everybody say Huh? Since it’s unlikely Audrey would have done such a thing for money, any guesses as to her motivation? The van following Wayne shoots out his tire and his car crashes. He survives and races the heck out of there before he can be captured. Run Wayne! Get out of 24’s Killing Machine while you’re still breathing! Next: without stopping to think Audrey may be a patsy, Jack goes ballistic.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Some punk with a shotgun

Movie: Capote. Count me in on those not old enough to know what he was like in his prime. If I heard this correctly, following the book In Cold Blood (which was indeed ground-breaking and did change literary styles), Capote never finished a major work for the rest of his life. About twenty years. That tells us an enormous amount about how involved and emotionally torn apart he was with the case. He couldn’t forgive himself for putting his work over his friendship, but I seriously wonder if there was anything more he could have done and the fact remains his help gave those two undeserving murderers several more years than they would have had without him. What struck me as more surprising and horrific was his blatant lying to Smith. Something Capote seemed to do with ease. I was not expecting such heartless manipulation. Especially from a man who valued honesty and individuality. Guess the book’s title, as he said, referred to more than the crime after all. As for the movie: spectacularly filmed and an amazing performance by Hoffman. At times I caught myself wondering if they’d inserted preserved stock footage of the real Capote. Catherine Keener was also wonderful as Harper Lee. (Always wondered why Lee never wrote a second novel. The answer might be here.) And Clifton Collins Jr, who several times frightened me with just a look or expression. The only things that I thought should have been included from the book were: the killers emphasizing before they reached the house that they would leave no witnesses (the movie makes it sound unpremeditated) and that among Smith’s last comments, he said he thought he should be allowed to live because he might have something beneficial to offer society. Which is exactly why any murder is wrong.

Friday, March 17, 2006

That joke isn't funny anymore

You Should Be a Joke Writer
You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.

What type of writer should you be?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

24: 7-8 p.m.

24. 5.13. Two requests. First, for the love of all that is good and holy, can they stop using the phrase “with all due respect”? Second, can they please stop killing off beloved main characters? Why should I care if a bunch of unknown actors on television are gassed? As for the hour, a Chemical Response Team possibly from Homeland Security is on its way but they’ve taken the scenic route and won’t reach CTU before some corrosive agent in the gas breaks down the seals in the safe zones. The gas masks are in a contaminated area. Way to go. Jack needs schematics but Chloe’s in shock and Kim’s Creepy Boyfriend’s psychobabble about breathing isn’t helping her. It may not have been deliberate on Jack’s part, but his confrontation with Creepy Boyfriend snapped Chloe out of it. Confrontation makes her uncomfortable. They need to flush the gas out of the building with the air conditioning but the controls are blocked by some program on a computer in the contaminated area. Jack is sure he can hold his breath long enough to reach it. I’ve been waiting half the day for his hood to come in handy for something.

Clearly Kiefer spent some of his childhood watching Red Green, for he knows the value of duct tape. But there’s a grate in his way, part of a security upgrade that someone didn’t file properly. Starting to think the CTU staff is a bunch of incompetent morons here. Lucky for the gang, Sam can reach the computer from where he is. And he has the guilty conscience to sacrifice his life. Pity he has to take some other CTU loser with him. Kim apologizes to Chloe who admits she sent Jack information about her life. That’s the final straw for Kim. Her father knew what bad shape she was in and didn’t help her. Worse, Henderson’s still not talking and appears to have slipped into a coma. Tony’s about to jab him with something lethal. Jack races there but not before Henderson wakes and jabs Tony instead. Since Michelle’s gone, Tony hasn’t the will to try live. Bummer.

Meanwhile, if anyone still cares, the Vice President is using Logan to promote his own agenda. Some hot babe named Collette (who really should have been Mandy) is providing Brit Hostile with plans for a new target, while she’s not furthering her own agenda with Desmond from Lost. Beware the Numbers! And Mrs Homeland Security inexplicably wants to take Buchanan’s place. All the best lines came from Chloe. Kim’s proximity seemed to bring out the snarkiness of her. “What’s with you and the breathing? Is that your solution to everything?” “It could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing. That’s what I don’t know means.” And something like: “I don’t judge information, I just pass it on.” Next: Lookout Curtis! You could be the next one caught in 24’s Killing Machine!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The bees behind my eyes

The things you learn while reading Discover magazine. One was that an experiment done by Adrian Dyer from the University of Cambridge in England determined that honeybees can recognize human faces. I had an image of a police line-up and the bee tapping on the two-way mirror glass to point out the criminal. But the experiment used head shots of various people. One photograph would have a drop of a sugary liquid next to it while the others had bitter liquids. Two days later, with eighty percent accuracy, the bees could identify the photograph that originally had the sugar reward. I’ve never had much problem so far in my life with bees, other than once being stung by a wasp and once stepping on a bee but my oldest sister always seemed to draw their attentions. She was convinced they had it out for her. She may have been right.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

He's Johnny Cash

Movie: Walk the Line. Why this film was snubbed as a nominee for Oscar’s Best Picture is a mystery to me. Ditto for The Constant Gardener. But that’s another story. I was glad to see Reese Witherspoon win the award for Best Actress. And I think in a year without Capote, Phoenix would have won Best Actor. While this biopic sheds light on Cash’s life, it perhaps does an even better job of showing us June Carter’s personality. She seemed remarkably intuitive and intelligent, possessing a quick wit and a generous, caring spirit. And, having been in the music business her entire life, she understood more about a musician’s temperament and need to express; something Cash’ first wife was clueless about. I liked the DVD’s appearance of a vinyl record, but the extra features were practically nonexistent. I guess there is a collector’s edition that is bound to have more. Best line, the brother’s “You can’t help anybody if you can’t tell them the right story.” But I also found June’s “Got a hitch in your giddy-up?” line extremely amusing, even if I’m not sure of it’s exact meaning.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Death by Jello

Movie: The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. I’m not sure how anyone can retain such cheerfulness and optimism with an alcoholic, emotionally abusive husband and ten children to take care of on next to no money and without Prozac. I wasn’t alive in the 1950s and only remember a few years in the late 1960s, but housewives also didn’t have the conveniences of microwaves, disposable diapers, dishwashers. Either the fact that this was based on a memoir written by one of the children remembering things better than they were (the house is spotless, the meals are on time, the children are perfectly behaved) or Evelyn Ryan truly was a saint. It’s interesting to note how male opinion of women in the work force has changed. The husband in this film was horribly threatened by his wife’s entering silly contests. Today, men seem to expect women to contribute half, and in some cases all, the family earnings. And, of course, nowadays women don’t have to stay in a bad relationship if they don’t want to. I also found it interesting how the women in the jingle writing club were supportive of each other, emotionally and professionally. From Defiance to Mean Girls in several short decades.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

24: 6-7 p.m.

24. 5.12. The opening credits included an actor named James Morrison. I half expected whoever this was to burst into “Hello, I Love You” whenever he appeared. The Hostile with Sam’s key card magically changes the photo id. How he knew this technology would be needed today is more mysterious that Jim Morrison’s death. Apparently while Jack was “dead” Kim met with the Hendersons because Chase left her. Now she’s continuing with her horrible taste in men trend and taken up with some clinical psychologist named Barry who’s a lot more hostile to Jack than some of the Hostiles we’ve met thus far. Despite his insisting he was protecting her, Kim’s not into forgiving Jack just yet. In fact, she tries to wound him to the core with the line, “There’s something wrong with people like you.” Ouch. Later Chloe suggests Kim stop the flack and cut Jack some slack.

I think it was the Vice President who suggests Logan dispense with the time wasting Congressional formalities and instill Marshall Law, under the guise of some more innocuous term. Mike knows they’ll have to inform the public and panic will set in. Besides, the Law wasn’t set up as a preemptive measure. They don’t listen so he convinces Martha to talk some sense into her weenie hubby. Henderson isn’t responding to CTU’s torture methods, probably because he truly thinks he’s doing the best thing for the country. Carrie notices a problem with the ventilation system. Since Edgar doesn’t have time to check it out, she does. She sees a Canister of Doom but is stabbed to death before she can notify anyone. Bill informs Sam about his sister’s demise so he has to mention his missing key card. Chloe checks the gate logs and discovers CTU has yet again been compromised and must be evacuated. Jack kills the Hostile in Sublevel B but the nerve gas is seeping in. The main cast seals themselves off in the conference room but Edgar’s put on a little too much weight and is too slow. His last word before expiring, a heart-rending “Chloe?” RIP, big guy. Best line: “You don’t wanna know what I know.” Next week: the gang sends Tony for Chinese take-out .

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

24: 5-6 p.m.

24. 5.11. First of a two hour night. Tony’s awake and asking about Michelle’s condition. When he can’t get a straight answer, he sneaks out of his hospital bed, checks the computer and sees she’s deceased. Martha blabs to Aaron that Logan not only knew about the motorcade threat and didn’t warn them, he gave the terrorists the route. Later Mike sees Martha and Aaron holding hands. Chloe hacks into Henderson’s work computer but he erased the hard drive. Only Chloe would notice an open socket exchanging data with an offsite link which turns out to be Henderson’s home. One of the terrorists who failed to blow up the motorcade carelessly carried a schematic of a ventilation system that matches Tyler Memorial Hospital which must be evacuated, except for seven newborns who can’t be moved. Bill allows Sam to call his sister and beg for some lembas bread, or his key card. No dice. At Henderson’s house, only his wife Miriam is home. Jack sees Henderson’s been downloading music and should inform the RIAA. They’d be there ready to lynch him in seconds. Chloe finds a shadow drive on the computer but can’t crack the password. Henderson returns home with a briefcase full of cash. He dares Jack to shoot him in the thigh, but Jack surprises us all by blasting Miriam. Henderson doesn’t mind. He still won’t talk. Jack brings him to CTU where they’ve discovered the Brit currently in control is named Vladimir Bierko and probably not from Manchester. They also spy a confirmed hostile, Viktor, dressed as an orderly on the hospital security cameras. Curtis offs him but the canister is beeping. In a move that made me laugh, Curtis hustles the canister to a containment unit before it spews the gas. Some Hostile ties up Jenny and her boyfriend, shoots them and takes the key card.

Monday, March 06, 2006

One's not half two

Movie: Love, Ludlow. I wanted to be sure to mention this because, although a very small movie, I found it charming. Based on the play Finger Painting in a Murphy Bed. The abrasive Jersey-gal Myra has been taking care of her bipolar/artistic brother Ludlow since their mother died. When Reggie from work takes an interest in her, Ludlow tries to destroy the relationship. All three actors made you feel sympathetic towards their rather socially inept characters. Nicely done, especially by Alicia Goranson whose Myra could easily have been annoying but was quirky and ultimately endearing. And there’s a hope-filled ending.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lost: Maternity Leave

2.15. Aaron has a fever and Danielle once again appears from out of nowhere to spook Claire into thinking he’s infected with the sickness her team had, if they had it at all and Danielle didn’t just imagine it in her insanity. Deciding she must unblock her missing memories, Claire has Libby hypnotize her. She remembers being in a hospital room where a doctor injected medicine into her unborn baby. Turns out the doctor was Ethan. Down the hall, a baby room was set up, complete with a mobile that played “Catch a Falling Star,” a song that should have been familiar to Claire, had she not been loopy on meds. Ethan was interrupted by a cleaned up Zeke who said something cryptic about needing to make a list before bringing Claire in and how their superior isn’t going to be happy. Despite having a cabinet of medicine, Ethan says there isn’t enough vaccine for Claire and the baby. Once she delivers, she can return to the camp. She believed him, but another girl there knew she’d be killed and helped her escape.

Thelma and Louise (Kate and Danielle) help Claire find this medical 3rd hatch, which by now has also been abandoned. Looking inside some lockers, Kate finds costumes the Others have been wearing. But will she tell anyone? There’s no vaccine, so the gals leave. On the way home, Claire remembers Danielle found her after her escape. So she wouldn’t return to Ethan, Danielle knocked her out and carried her back to the Lostaways. Claire figures the Other girl who helped her was the long lost Alex.

Meanwhile, in hopes of sharing some literary analysis, Locke gives Henry a Dostoyevsky novel to pass the time though Henry would prefer a less dense Stephen King. Somehow Locke knows Hemingway was jealous of Dostoyevsky and Henry knows Locke is jealous of Jack. Eko takes a break from chopping down trees to spill his guts to Henry about the two Others he killed, making us believe he believes Henry is an Other, though so far no one has any proof. Sawyer’s found some new glasses. Ethan insisted the Others are good people but we’ve only seen evidence to the contrary. Next: the Lostaways go in search of the balloon and Sun might be in the Pudding Club.