Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shamelessly Stolen Post Topic.

To paraphrase my man Barney Stinson: "Haaaaaaaaaave you met Manders?"

Her ever-entertaining Thursday 13 topic this week is movie quotes. You know me; I can't resist. So I'll try not to copy her answers. I'm pretty sure I've done this one before, but what the heck.

Thirteen of my Favorite Movie Quotes:

1) "...I have to tell Corey I love her by 1:37." "That's an excellent time." --AJ and Lucas, "Empire Records"

(Another: "Who glued these quarters down?" "I did." "What the hell for, man?" "I don't feel that I need to explain my art to you, Warren." --Warren and AJ)

2) " 'Sweet?' Where do you get off? Where do you get 'sweet'? I am dark and mysterious, and I am PISSED OFF! I could be very dangerous to all of you! And you should know that about me... I am THE ENEMY!" --William Miller, "Almost Famous"

3) "If only I could meet someone new. I guess my chances of that happening are somewhat diminished, seeing that I'm incapable of making eye contact with a woman I don't know." --Joel Barrish, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

4) "Why Johnny Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave." --Doc Holliday, "Tombstone" [so many to choose from there.]

5) "Hey, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I've read books like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Love in the Time of Cholera", and I think I've understood them. They're about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash." --Rob Gordon, "High Fidelity" [SO many possibilities there]

6) "As you know, l'm quite keen on comic books. Especially the ones about superheroes. I find the whole mythology surrounding superheroes fascinating. Take my favorite superhero, Superman. Not a great comic book. Not particularly well-drawn. But the mythology... The mythology is not only great, it's unique. Now, a staple of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit - that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent. He's weak... he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race. Sorta like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plimpton." --Bill, "Kill Bill v. 2"

7) "That woman deserves her revenge... and we deserve to die. [laughs] But then again, so does she. So... I guess, we'll just see." --Budd, "Kill Bill v. 2"

8) "Wow, Trumpy, you do stupid things!" --Joel Hodgson, "MST3K: Pod People"

[It warms my heart that there's a whole thread on the page for the real movie, that is nothing but fans quoting the MST dialogue. Beauty.]

9) "Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And poof. Just like that, he's gone." --Verbal Kint, "The Usual Suspects"

10) *sung* "When Cameron was in Egypt-land..." "Let my Cameron go!"--Cameron Frye, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

11) "I'm German-Irish, actually." --Tom Hagen, "The Godfather"

12) "I want you to get into the deep beautiful melancholy of everything that's happened." --Claire, "Elizabethtown"

13) "It doesn't matter whether you're selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or 'How to Make Money in Real Estate With No Money Down.' That doesn't make you a human being; it makes you a marketing rep. If you want to talk to somebody honestly, as a human being, ask him about his kids. Find out what his dreams are - just to find out, for no other reason. Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it's not a conversation anymore; it's a pitch. And you're not a human being; you're a marketing rep." --Phil, "The Big Kahuna"

Confession Time: Music Edition

I loved the band No Doubt. Still do. Still listen to their stuff. But Gwen's first solo album, "Love Angel Music Baby," kinda freaked me out. I wasn't down with the crazy Japanese-influenced, heavily-R&B style she picked up. I was hoping for more of "Ska" Gwen, who is clearly in the deep past now. So yeah, I kinda hated the first album.

Well, her follow-up album, "The Sweet Escape," is on AOL right now, and I have to admit, something about it draws me in. I'm almost afraid to admit it, but--I kinda like it. Even despite the random yodelling on the first track. I can't figure out why I'm intrigued by the record. And that kind of freaks me out, too.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Eponymous Quotation

Re-reading a novel you loved is like revisiting a city where you loved: you do it in the company of your younger self. You may not get on with your younger self, or else the absence of what is missing colours your judgment. Despite my reservations, however, I wouldn't want a word of "If on a winter's night a traveller" to be different, and if [Italo] Calvino's ghost seeks me out after this, I'll still get down on my knees and pay homage... My conclusions, for what they are worth, are: some books are best loved when young; the older me has more time for Calvino the fabulist (Our Ancestors), Calvino the short-story writer (Adam, One Afternoon) or Calvino the essayist (Six Memos for the Next Millennium) than for Calvino the Escher; and that however breathtakingly inventive a book is, it is only breathtakingly inventive once. But once is better than never.

--David Mitchell (author of Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas) in a Guardian piece on rereading Calvino's famous novel.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

PBB Recommends

"Love," The Beatles
This isn't a canonical album, but it should be. It was produced by George and Giles Martin as the soundtrack for a Cirque Du Soleil production of the same name. The best way to describe the project is, if you listened to the entire Beatles catalogue and then had a really trippy fever dream, this would be the soundtrack. The album mixes and mashes and blends so many tracks into a seamless, psychadelic tapestry. Like "Abbey Road," almost every song blends into the next one. Elements of diverse songs are layered on top of each other, so that one can recognize three or four songs being referenced at the same time. For the Beatles fan, this could either be a blasphemy or a stroke of brilliance. I vote for the latter.

"Our Sacred Honor," edited by William Bennett
Bennett, most famously known for his "Book of Virtues" and his unfortunate gambling problem, here compiles the letters, speeches, and personal writings of the Founders, and organizes them based on a handful of important themes: patriotism, love and courtship, friendship and civility, education of head and heart, industry and frugality, justice, and piety. In reading this book, I'm struck by how prescient these historical figures were regarding the importance of these virtues in a just and thriving society, and how the lack of them would destroy the country they pledged their lives, lands, and sacred honor to create. As I read the words of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams (both John and Abigail), Franklin, and others, I'm inspired and emboldened to strive for the ideal, not only for what America could be, but what we as individual people could be. They believed that we don't have to settle for a society that caters to the basest parts of human nature. They constantly looked to God for the strength and direction to make this country a place of good men living good lives.

It's the greatest show on TV. This may be a shock to some of you to hear me say this. But I officially am renouncing my insistence of "Smallville" as my favorite TV program. Smallville has really let me down this year, while "Heroes" is fantastic, interesting, emotionally engaging, and suspenseful. This is how TV should be made. At times gruesome, the show constantly plays on the themes of destiny and responsibility, and while it works from a somewhat humanistic worldview (with its emphasis on the randomness of evolution), it still promotes the ideas of responsibility to family and humanity, the valor of altruism, and the victory of good over evil. You can't really ask for more than that on primetime.

"Brick" is an unusual film. It's a detective thriller in a high-school setting, and it is styled and follows 1940's film noir conventions (think: "Maltese Falcon"). It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (the kid from "3rd Rock" and "Ten Things I Hate About You"), who channels a sort of teenaged Humphrey Bogart. The dialogue uses noir slang like "the brass" (police) and "the pin" (kingpin). The film follows the conventions of the genre, including character archtypes and characteristic lighting and camera work. If you are a fan of film noir, or simply of films that try to cross genres, this one is worth your time. Great film, great plot, good acting (especially since most of the cast is under 30).

"Guitar Hero II" on PS2
For a while, I decided that I was pretty much satisfied with the video games I currently own, since I so rarely get to play them. Then I tried "GH2" at Best Buy, and was hooked. It's pretty much the guitar-rock version of DDR, but instead of all that nasty physical exertion, you have to play perfectly timed notes and chords on a guitar-shaped controller. So yeah, as much as I am trying to "put away childish things," there is once again a somewhat-pricy video game on my Christmas List.

Turkey Hash
I can't really give an official recipe like Trav would. I'm not that good. Really, I'm only fumbling around the kitchen these days. But it involves a good amount of leftover T-day turkey (light and dark meat), copious chopped yellow/red onions, and several good-sized potatoes. Bake the potatoes in the microwave first, so that they're already cooked. Chop the onions and the potatoes, and toss in the skillet with the turkey and some light olive oil. Season with your favorite spices and seasonings. Fry up in the skillet, plate, and serve. I may be a culinary philistine, but that's darn good eatin', especially in the cold months of winter. YMMV.

Word of the Day

From the as-of-yet-unpublished PBB Lexicon:

riff-punked (rif'-punkt) v. : To be fooled, after the first few bars of a song, into believing that Song "A" is in fact Song "B." This may be accompanied by singing the beginning of the lyrics to the wrongly-guessed song before shamefully realizing the mistake.

[Example: "Man, I totally thought the song on the radio was "Stan" by Eminem, but it turned out to be stupid Dido's original song. I was totally riff-punked."]

Because the wind is high, it blows my mind.

Happy post-Thanksgiving, gentle readers.

I beg your indulgence for a few days more. Due to the holiday and the preceding conference, my workload is teetering on my virtual desk. I must give attention to the most important things.

In the meantime, I'll post a few fun little bits and pieces. D.C. recap and pictures will be posted hopefully at week's end.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

PBB Recommends

Okay, admit it: you're not working any more than I am. So, since we're both slacking off, I thought I'd share what I'm being entertained by online.

--CBS's streaming last night's full episode of "How I Met Your Mother." The best episode of the series so far, and I'd highly recommend it. Click on the "Innertube" box to the right, and check it out. The title is alternately "Slap Bet" and "Robin Sparkles," depending on who you talk to, so I'm not sure. (Note: Fair warning--the jokes can be of a somewhat-risque, "Friends"-like quality, so if you find that offensive, please refrain.)

--AOL is streaming a remastered Beatles album, "Love." Trippy and awesome, this album takes many already-familiar classics and puts them through a psychadelic blender. Totally worth your 78 minutes. Follow the link, and click the crazy yellowish album cover.

--Speaking of streaming awesome, MTV is streaming the soundtrack to "Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny." I won't link it, though. If you want it, go find it. But consider it marked with the highest PBB content warning.

--I'll probably see this movie on opening weekend, because i'm a big geek. Trev, you up for it?

--And finally, the result of a fabled Jack Chick / Stan Lee collaboration. [h-t: alarm-squared]

So check 'em out, and then get back to work, you slackers!

Holiday Frivolity

That's right! It's the return of everyone's FAVORITE party game and PBB-running-gag:

"Re-Captioning Harry Potter Photos"!!!

(previous installment here and here)

Photo #1:

Gary Oldman hasn't looked this bad since the end of "Dracula."

Photo #2:

"Pshaw! Combs are for Muggles!"

Photo #3:

Director (outside of frame) : "Sorry, Mike, we need to do that take again. Daniel showed up behind you in the frame."
Michael Gambon (foreground) : *dramatic sigh* "D*** IT, DANIEL! DO YOU REALIZE HOW FREAKING HEAVY THIS ROBE IS?!?"
Daniel Ratcliffe: "I could take you, old man. I'm Harry Potter."
Michael Gambon (under his breath): "I really hate you."

Photo #4:

Cue Expendable Dark Arts Teacher #5.

Photo #5:

Entering the Hogwarts dorms, Lord Voldemort realizes where the Hufflepuff house got their name, and why they never seem to factor into any competitions or actions of any kind.

Photo #6:

See, Harry? Girls like boys with short hair now.

Photo #7:

In this "very special episode" of "Hogwarts 90210," Ron and Hermione confront Harry's disruptive habit of sneaking off to the "Potion Room."

Harry: "I don't need your help! I have it under control!"

Photo #8:

"I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so...SCARED, Ron, I'm scared!"

[the caption almost writes itself sometimes.]

Photo #9:

Explosive news bulletin in 3... 2...

Photo #10:

Don't be fooled--it's "V for Voldemort," punks!!!


[H-t: Yahoo! Movies. As always, please don't sue]

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"Yeah, I left with nothin', nothin' but the thought of you."

...I went wandering.


I'm getting ready to fly out tomorrow morning.

I have so many stories, but I don't know if I can really tell them all well.

I'll be sharing bits and pieces over the next few weeks.

It was a good trip, mostly. And the good parts were really good.

The best part of all of this is that I'm really ready to write now. Really ready. It may be too late for NaNo, but not too late to begin.


Today I visited history up close. I saw pieces of parchment that changed the world, and a gleaming dome that still stands for a city on a hill. It was a good day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Okay, maybe not.

Okay, the live-blogging the trip thing isn't working out. I'm just too worn out at the end of the day to recount everything. So, I'll try to recap as best as I can when I get back.

Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Greetings from our nation's capitol!

I'm here, safe on the ground. I'll have access to the internets all week, so expect some fun trip-blogging.

That's it. Gotta go.

P.S. The hotel's pretty sweet.

Monday, November 13, 2006

As if there were any doubt.

Your Movie Buff Quotient: 94%
You are a movie buff of the most obsessive variety. If a movie exists, chances are that you've seen it.You're an expert on movie facts and trivia. It's hard to stump you with a question about film.

[h-t: Wells]

Friday, November 10, 2006

Notes from the Underwhelmed.

  • Tomorrow* is Veteran's Day. Make sure to go out of your way to thank the folks in the military, both past and present. They have done and continue to do a difficult and necessary job, so that we can do other things. No matter what your political stripe, that's worthy of some respect and gratitude.
  • The new Spiderman 3 trailer is out. I maintain that it will be the greatest comic-book movie of all time. Yes. Of. All. Time.
  • Sufjan + Christmas = Love. [h-t: Manders, probably.]
  • This carefully toes the line between hilarious and just plain wrong. But still, we now have the answer to the question: what if the Apostle Paul were a mid-level executive for the Burger King Corporation? [h-t: Myles]
  • Thanks to Barry, my keen little iPod, I was just reminded of how utterly amazing is the song "You Always Say Goodnight" by The Juliana Theory. If you own this song somewhere, I'd encourage you to find it tonight, and listen to it as loud as you possibly can, for further proof that emotion is, in fact, not dead. The part when the music swells there just past the middle. Holy cow. And there's even this moment, with about a minute left, where the song suddenly swoops up into Mr. Bungle territory. So choice. For those of you unfortunate enough to never have heard it, here's a Real Rhapsody link to the song. Use your headphones, and turn it up loud. Gooood stuff.
  • "Go deep." [h-t: BHT]

*corrected thanks to Mr. T.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Just in case, I will leave my things packed."

I'd love to post more this week, but I've got so much to do before next week's trip out east.

So, apologies for the dearth of postage between now and then. I still want to do the John Goodman / "Studio 60" cultural-religious rumination, but it'll have to wait.

In the meantime, for those of you who pray, I could use some support for the next... well, rest of my life, really. But the next five days, especially.

The good news is that I'll have computer access in D.C., so I can blog the trip in quasi-real-time (WITH pictures!).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Brief political statement.

Okay, Democrats, your turn: now do better.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get back, JoJo.

Unrelated note: Have you ever tried to blow your nose on a Shipley's Donuts napkin? It's a process in which you use extreme care and still end up making a disgusting mess of things anyway, needing more napkins.

This is not unlike political discussions on blogs, which is why I have refrained throughout the campaign (emphasis on "pain") season.

[That was not simply a theoretical example to use as a transition. I really just tried to blow my nose on a Shipley's Donuts napkin. Wouldn't recommend it.]


So this morning, I was exercising my right to vote as an American citizen. As I approached the hotel where the voting station was located and walked up to the door, a man standing nearby asked, "Are you here to vote?" I assented, and he stuck a handbill in my palm and said, "Third floor."

I looked down at the glossy cardstock half-sheet, and saw that it listed "your [specific political party] candidates."**

I then noticed that he crossed in front of the sign describing the rules for the officially-mandated "point-of-no-more-propaganda" zone in order to hand me the sheet. According to the rules, he shouldn't have been within 100 feet of the door or inside the building. Which is to say, he broke the rules. According to the sign, it's a misdemeanor.

After voting, I returned to find him the requisite distance from the door. I don't know if it was a surge of conscience or if he got called on it.

I'm inclined toward reporting it to the authorities, so that someone can be posted at the site to make sure he doesn't do it again.

But instead, I'll leave it up to you, the readers. Consider this an informal straw poll.

If you think I should let it be and trust he will do the right thing, tell me.

If you think I should call the polling authorities to report illegal campaigning, tell me.

I'll tally the votes by lunchtime (if there are any) and let you know.


**Withheld the offending party for the purpose of impartial polling.

LATER TODAY: A post on religous issues on TV and why I applauded John Goodman yesterday.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Because my gosh-darned inimitable Americanism compels me to comment on the goings-on of tomorrow.

Go vote.

Pick the candidates that best support what you believe. If you don't know which ones do, take this evening and educate yourself.

Then go tomorrow and participate in this crazy, beautiful thing we call the democratic republic. Because, as much as we gripe and moan about it, it's a gift.

Don't let cynicism or boredom steal your voice. Otherwise, I don't want to hear WORD ONE from you if the people you support don't get elected (or if the people you HATE do).

Seriously. If anyone complains about politics, my first question is going to be, "Did you vote?" If the answer is "no," I'm gonna stop listening. Just so you know.

Friday, November 03, 2006

For the None-of-the-Aboves: Linky-Dinky!

Things to read on your Friday:
  • Sometimes the first step is to admit you have a problem.
  • In case you haven't seen her, Hayden Couri really is the cutest baby in the world.
  • Theological Ninjas hold "real ultimate truth." And I'm really hoping this is satire, and not another "Slice"-like sincere hysterical.
  • Interesting article on the meaning of Dylan's album "Blonde on Blonde" and what it may say about his spiritual journey.
  • Peter Suderman (writer of the really interesting culture blog, Alarm-Alarm) addresses the latest batch of "adultescent" movies, including Zach Braff's "The Last Kiss." Interesting look at these types of films. Even as a fan of "Garden State," I can appreciate his analysis.
  • More Suderman: this time, a review of The Prestige, which I hope to see sometime in the next week or two.
  • One of the links in the above article is to a wiki article about "steampunk." I've been familiar with the concept, but never knew the term. Very interesting.
  • Self-promotion flashback: Remember when I used to do Thursday Brown-bag Poetry?
  • A really great post from Frank over at Pyromaniacs about the whole Mark Driscoll issue. I appreciate Frank's approach. Good stuff here.
  • Oklahoma City is becoming just a little cooler, as a street in downtown is being renamed to honor The Flaming Lips.
  • 3-D Vertigo? Heck yes! Heck yes I will!
  • And the PBB "Lamewad of the Month" award goes to the Planet Fitness gym in Wappinger Falls, NY, and its ludicrous "no grunting" policy. Discrimination against "muscleheads" is NEVER okay. SHAME ON YOU!!!
Happy Friday, all.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For the Ben Fans: "You were not the same after that."

I was sitting in Balcony section C, nearly in the center of the row. There were only a half-dozen rows of seats behind me. The piano and instruments and music stands on stage looked like small toys scattered on a playroom floor. Then the musicians entered and took their seats. Then the first violin. Then the conductor, who took his place and then spun and bowed with the flourish of a vaudevillean. Then Ben steps into the lights of the stage, dressed in a tee-shirt and khakis. The crowd went nuts.

The orchestra started playing for a few bars, and then Ben joined in, with piano: "Sara spelled without an H was getting bored..."

The crowd was both rivetted and rowdy. Some sang along. Some clapped. Some shouted out the appropriate background cues. There were few if any in the packed concert hall that were not fans of Ben's music.

I really want to give you a blow-by-blow account, but I can't. I knew, even as I watched and experienced the show, that it was blogworthy but that I couldn't do it justice. (I know I'll run the risk of overstatement throughout this post, when describing what it felt like, what it meant to me; so I'll state now that it wasn't a life-changing experience. But it was certainly affecting.) The thing that weighed on me, for as long as I allowed it to, was that it was an experience I really wished I could share with someone. I was alone. While I certainly appreciated the footroom, I would gladly have traded it for a friend.

I always knew Ben Folds wrote great music, but I never realized just how truly beautiful the songs were, until I heard them backed by an 80-piece orchestra. Wow. Just amazing.

The best I can give you, in terms of my account, are observations/anecdotes. These, I'll provide. First, the other tracks Ben performed (in no particular order): One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces, Philosophy, Steven's Last Night in Town, Brick, Smoke (one of my favorite performances!), Cigarette/Fred Jones Part Two (back to back), Narcolepsy, Lullabye, The Ascent of Stan, Not the Same, Jesusland, Landed, Gracie, All U Can Eat, and The Luckiest (his encore).

A few Ben-ecdotes:
  • His kids are actually twins, but Gracie came out a few hours (?) later. After midnight, actually. Which was after Ben's deadline for songs for the "Rockin' the Suburbs" album, so that's why the song for his son is on there, but "Gracie" came later on "Songs for Silverman." This split birth also means that his twins have different birthdays AND different zodiac signs.
  • Before "All U Can Eat," he said he had a "political speech" written out. When he finally launched into it, I was amused (and a bit relieved) to hear that it was a speech against the evils of the buffet--that scourge "with the French name" that maraudes our diners. He talked about the challenge issued by "all you can eat" and how we've beaten it into a submissive "all you care to eat." I thought that was funny.
  • He taught the audience the three-part harmony for "Not the Same." During the song, he didn't sit at the piano, but rather stood in front of a microphone and "conducted" the audience. In the end, he started "conducting" us wildly, much like Bugs Bunny in the famous cartoon.
  • One of the tenors from the Houston Grand Opera joined him on stage for "Narcolepsy" and sang Italian (?) operatic versions of some of the song lyrics, over the top of Ben's singing. The tenor's mike needed to be turned up, though.
  • The words for "Cigarette" (Fred Jones Part One) were, according to Ben, taken word-for-word from a newspaper account of a man who married a woman with a mental condition that caused her temperament to change wildly (even from a non-smoker to a smoker), and then wanted a divorce. Makes the whole thing that much sadder, that it was based in reality.
  • Someone behind me screamed out, "GO SLEDGE!" when the line about Robert Sledge's party came up in "Not the Same."
  • He compared the symphony musicians with rock stars, saying that the symphony "makes something really difficult look easy," while rock stars, by comparison, make something easy look difficult. He then demonstrated the 80's rock-video piano-playing technique (one hand on the keys, while the player stands like a duelist, waving the other hand behind him).
  • At the "end" when everyone clapped and cheered wildly, he came back out for the encore, and made a joke about how it was such a huge surprise to us that he came back. Then he sat down and played, "The Luckiest."
  • He talked about "Philosophy" as his theatrical piece, and how when he wrote the music, the "gay Broadway gene" came out.
  • Fun crowd interaction, especially when people kept screaming, "Rock this *****!" while he was trying to talk.
  • He didn't seem to be in the best "voice" last night, but he still was able to hit all the notes he needed to. The weather may be getting to him, though.
  • That was probably the most profanity ever used on the stage of Jones Hall.
Overall, it was a great experience. I can now check him off of my list of "favorite musicians I'm dying to see perform live." And I went home happy, concert teeshirt in hand.

Check out his tour dates. He's in Austin tomorrow, and Tulsa on Saturday.

For the "Losties": (Un)Holy Smoke!

I have to say, I'm digging this season. Lots of crunchy discussion topics.

Bulleted, because I haven't used it lately:
  • Sic transit Eko. So sad to see Eko go, because he was a very interesting character. I loved watching the story of his "redemption" unfold. In this episode's flashback, I think he realized that no matter what he tried to do, he would never be a "good" man. The best he could do is make up for his past sins, and protect the innocent from harm. That's how I read him this time: he's the shepherd. *Insert reference to Sam Jackson's Pulp Fiction speech.*
  • Totally didn't expect him to refuse to confess, though. This episode seemed to show a drastic turn in his "piety."
  • Yay for the smoke monster! I know, it's goofy, but I love that this show is, at its core, about the conflict between faith and reason, between rationalism and mysticism. Even with all of the strange but almost understandable/explainable Dharma stuff, we still get smoke monsters. There's still something mysterious and untamed going on in that island. Interesting.
  • So the question is: Why? I can't figure it. Did the smoke get angry because Eko would not repent? Or was it a preordained end for the man who lived by the sword for so much of his life? Funny, it seems like, as much as the writers deny it, there's still a lot of evidence for the "island as purgatory" theory. Eko was finally and brutally purged of his violent sins.
  • Double-meaning, part one: Island-Yemi saying, "You speak to me as if I were your brother." So is it: 1) Yemi is no longer Eko's brother, because of what he did; or 2) Island-Yemi was never Eko's brother, and was always a manifestation of the Smoke? Crazy.
  • Double-meaning, part deux: Locke telling Desmond, "Don't mistake coincidence for fate." At first, I thought he got that backwards. That he was telling Des not to write off fated events as coincidental. But the actual line implies that Des shouldn't attach the label of "fate" to coincidental things? The first meaning seems more like traditional Locke, but the second fits more of Locke's approach lately. So the question is, does Locke still believe in fate?
  • Eko's last words: You're next. One Internet theorist said that it could be that the Island is punishing Eko, Locke, and Desmond for destroying the Hatch. I'm not sure if that's true, but it sounds interesting.
  • Loved the Locke line, "Well, I'm not Jack." They may be setting up the power-struggle angle again, which is kinda lame, but because I love Locke's character so much, I'll buy it.
  • Sad we didn't see much of Charlie or Hurley in this ep, but I loved their line about trail-finding. Perfectly written.
  • Meanwhile, on "Alcatraz":
  • I don't trust Juliet. I want to, cuz she's attractive. But that's the idea, isn't it? The whole video thing, I think it's a ruse. Either she and BenryGale are still in cahoots, and they're testing Jack, or she's actually more brutal and crazy than Benry, and she's using Jack to kill Ben so she can take control as the supreme Other.
  • Either way, I think they're both still trying to play Jack. Henry, with the desperate-patient, "Okay-I'll-be-honest-now" routine; and Juliet, with the "sympathetic, attractive girl who cooks burgers and needs a hero to help her escape" routine.
  • Sidenote: "To Kill a Mockingbird"? Interesting. Remember the line--"It's a sin to kill a mockingbird, when all they want to do is sing"? Is Ben the mockingbird? Is Jack supposed to be Atticus, "defending" the indefensible Benry? Or maybe the Others are like Boo Radley, misunderstood, feared, and shunned?
  • Finally, I HATE the winter hiatus. Hopefully, the "fall finale" next week will whet our appetites for more.
Okay. That's all I've got. Comment away.

Ben Folds post upcoming.

With your cards to your chest, walking on your toes.

I kinda want to post about last night's episode of "Lost," but knowing how averse several of you are to TV blogging, I'll refrain. All I'll say is, sic transit Eko.


So what I'd really like to post about today is the amazing experience that was the Ben Folds concert with the Houston Symphony last night. But right now, I just don't have the words.

I'll try to fumble through a post of reactions and observations later. Suffice to say right now: wow. Amazing and beautiful.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

No stories yet.

I don't have a whole lot of ABQ stories, because there wasn't that much going on. However, I'll spin whatever tales I can in the next day or two.

But I wanted to toss some things out there for you guys to talk about.

1) I've been reading a handful of books recently that are about spiritual growth, leadership, and other such topics. And I get the feeling that I'm rushing through them, that I'm not giving them enough thought, even though I'm not particularly speed-reading through them.

One idea I had was to start journaling my thoughts and responses to this type of instructional reading, as a way of digesting and remembering the ideas I'm taking in. This would be a paper-only, strictly offline diary. I may occasionally blog about what I'm reading, but the unedited response writing would be for me alone.

Have any of you done something like that before? Does it help you process these ideas better, or help you to make changes in your life and thinking based on these ideas?

2) In that same vein, have any of you ever tried keeping some sort of spiritual journal before, where you write down what's going on in your daily walk? Is it helpful to your growth, or do you find it to be an exercise of self-centeredness?

Your input on either/both of these ideas is much appreciated.