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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let's get LOST! (Episode 5 - The Constant)

For those of you who don't watch LOST, this post is not for you. For those of you who are trying to get caught up with the show, watching the previous seasons of LOST on DVD, or if you are planning on watching it at some point, or haven’t seen this week’s episode yet…

BEWARE! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk LOST!

First of all, I have to thank everyone that chimed in on last Thursday's post. It kept my brain spinning with ideas and helped keep me sated until the next dose of the show. I've said it before and I'll say it again, they need to develop a 12-step program for this show, because I'm hopelessly addicted!

Tonight's show was a rollercoaster ride of revelations! I don't even know where to begin. Now we know why no one was allowed to talk to Minkowski. We learned alot more about Daniel Faraday, the physicist. And we got a Desmond-centric episode; Desmond episodes are the best!

I thought the most shocking line/revelation of the night was:

How can you pick just one? Every single time Desmond jumped in time - it made me physically jump in shock. I think I held my breath through the whole show, especially when it was revealed he needed to get "anchored" in time or his brain was going to short circuit. I was on the edge of my seat.

I thought this was the most heartbreaking line of the night:

Desmond: "Penny...you're my constant."

Okay, as I said before, I'm not normally one that enjoys or gets easily sucked into romantic plot lines, but from the minute they introduced Desmond and Penny's plot line, I've been hooked. This is one of the most awesome, touching, beautiful, tragic love stories I've ever read/seen in a while. Desmond's phone conversation with Penny on Christmas Eve made me cry.

And finally, here was the "funny" line of the night:

Sayid: "After your call, someone is going to have to tell me precisely what is going on."

Another great episode! Let's continue the conversation over in the comments section...

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Booklover's Questionaire

Here's a little survey that I thought would be fun to post here. I tag ALL my blogging friends, to either post their own answers in the comments section or on their own blogs. Enjoy!

1. Name one book that changed your life:

Other than the Bible? Probably Cries of the Heart by Ravi Zacharias. I definitely had a life-altering, light-bulb moment when reading that book.

2. Name one book that you’ve read more than once:

Other than the Bible? I've read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens too many times to count. It's one of my all time favorite books. I've also read Dracula by Bram Stoker countless times. I also have The Dark Angel by Meredith Ann Pierce virtually memorized.

3. Name one book you’d want on a desert island:

Other than the Bible? (I see a trend developing here.) Maybe a big collection of short stories, or my complete collection of Edgar Allen Poe, or my complete works of Shakespeare.

4. Name one book that made you laugh:

I've never laughed so hard while reading a book than when I was reading If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a B-Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell. Not only was it hilarious, but it was a great, touching story about friendship and the ups and downs that come with being dedicated to your art.

5. Name one book that made you cry:

Hmm. This is a tough one. As a kid, I know I cried when reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and when I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Several Stephen King books have made me cry: Lisey's Story, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, The Stand, and The Dark Tower: Wizard and Glass - all of them beautiful stories.

6. Name one book that you wish you had written:

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King

7. Name one book that you wish had never been written:

I know it's considered a classic, but reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck was pure torture. Another classic that I also passionately disliked was Lord of the Flies by William Golding. However, wishing they'd never been written is a pretty strong statement. If there is one book that fits that description, it would probably be either Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler or the Satanic Bible by Anton Szandor Lavey.

8. Name one book you’re currently reading:

I'm currently reading Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (a fairy tale) and 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill.

9. Name one book you’ve been meaning to read:

Oh, there are so many books and so little time! I've been meaning to read all the books that have been loaned to me by friends. (Chad and Raven - let me know if you have any suggestions of what I should read next.) I want to read more works by C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and Ravi Zacharias. And I can't believe I still haven't finished the rest of the Dark Tower series.

Okay - now it's your turn to answer the questions! ;-)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let's get LOST! (Episode 4 - Eggtown)

For those of you who don't watch LOST, this post is not for you. For those of you who are trying to get caught up with the show, watching the previous seasons of LOST on DVD, or if you are planning on watching it at some point, or haven’t seen this week’s episode yet…

BEWARE! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!
Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk LOST!

Are you like me on Thursday nights? Does your mind go crazy, and it’s impossible for you to calm down and go to sleep, even an hour or two after the show? That’s how I am. This show is crazy. I can’t remember a TV show ever having this kind of effect on me.

I’ve decided to start doing this Thursday night post, so that all my Lostie friends can talk about the show all in one place, so we can see what each other is saying, instead of trying to follow e-mail threads. So leave your reactions, theories and favorite moments in the comments section and we’ll discuss. In the meantime, I’ll get us started with a few quick thoughts.


I thought this was the most shocking line of the night:


Kate - “No, you will not put my son on the stand!"


Say what?!?! Was that a goosebump inducing, jaw-dropping moment or what? But then came this line…


Little Boy – “Hi Mommy!”


Kate – “Hi Aaron.”


Wha…ha…hat? Wow! Well, it has to be Claire’s baby – because of his age, there is no way that he could be Kate’s son. The time frames just aren’t right. So is Aaron part of the Oceanic 6? If so, that means there’s only one person left to discover. It’s obvious why Claire would want him to get off the island at all costs. There’s no hope for him there. No friends, no life, no future. But why was she unable to go with him? They must have had to concoct a story about Claire dying in childbirth or something , to explain her absence from the survivors, and explain Aaron’s survival. Also, once this all was revealed, it made me appreciate the foreshadowing and irony of the moment between Kate and Claire towards the beginning of this episode, when she asks Kate to pick up Aaron and she said she’s never been good with kids.


Speaking of the Oceanic 6 – did you notice that during the trial they mentioned there were 8 survivors. Does that mean that 2 survivors died – according to their fabricated tale? Or were there really 8 survivors and the count includes non-Oceanic people like Ben and Juliet or Desmond? Or does it reference Michael and Walt? Speaking of which, I wonder when they are going to show up again?


I thought this was the most heartbreaking line of the night:


Lawyer – “Are you in love with Miss Austin?”


Jack – “No… not anymore.”


Well…I thought it was heartbreaking, until the scene later where he said he was lying. I don’t normally enjoy stories that involve love triangles, but I must admit the Jack-Kate-Sawyer thing has me hooked. I’ll be very interested to see if either one of them end up with her at the end of all of this.


And finally, here's my favorite line of the night:


Hurley – “You just totally Scooby-Doo-ed me didn’t you?”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book Bites

Well, I’ve finished reading a couple more books, so it’s time for another Book Bite. Fragile Things is Neil Gaiman's newest book of short stories and I think it quite possibly may be twice as good as his Smoke and Mirrors collection. Smoke and Mirrors, even though I loved it, it had a couple racy stories that I didn’t care for, as well as a couple that didn’t go anywhere or just didn’t seem to work. The short stories in Fragile Things all seemed to work well on their own, and were more consistent, except for one that was just ugly and antagonistic in a blatant and pointless way. There is also a short novella at the end of the collection, that I felt like I could have enjoyed or appreciated more if I’d read the book, American Gods, which it referenced or was meant to be a part of. Regardless, these stories and poems were so much fun to read and consisted of the same themes I enjoy, which Gaiman has such an interesting take on: horror, fantasy and sci-fi. One of my favorite stories was a humorous twist on an Edgar Allan Poe type Gothic story called, "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" and I couldn't stop smiling as I read it. I mean, just take a look at that title. What fun! I also enjoyed the story, "October in the Chair" (which celebrates storytelling around a campfire in a unique way), the poem "The Hidden Chamber" (a dark take on Bluebeard), "Bitter Grounds" (a man wanders through a voodoo filled New Orleans and slowly discovers himself), "Locks" (a punny and poetic take on the fairy tale of Goldilocks) and "Sunbird" (a club of gourmands quest for the most unusual meal). It's been a long time since I have enjoyed reading this much; I could hardly contain myself.

The other book I've read recently, Abarat by Clive Barker, was also pure reading joy.
This book is technically Young Adult fiction, but you'd never know it. A combination of Alice in Wonderland crossed with Narnia's wardrobe, this story starts with a little girl named Candy Quackenbush (officially one of the worst character names in literature, in my humble opinion). She hates her boring life in Minnesota and longs for something more. When she runs away from school, she finds an old lighthouse in the middle of a field and lights it. In response, a magical ocean rises up from the forest and she travels on that ocean to a surreal dream world filled with strange people who look like fish or have many heads, bizarre monsters and evil magicians. In the world of the Abarat, there are 25 islands, and each one is named for the hour of the day, including the mysterious 25th hour. Candy journeys through this world, making friends and enemies, and learning more about her destiny in this strange universe. Barker's imagination is boundless and a pure joy to dive into as a reader. His make-believe world is filled up to every crack and crevice with the most amazingly creative creatures and settings and details. He also conjures some of the spookiest and most nightmarish bad guys. Even though this is the first book of a four book series, my only complaint is that it doesn't really stand on its own. There wasn't a real build up to a climax with a satisfying denouement; it was just Candy journeying, and right in the middle of making a new friend and new revelation, the book abruptly ends. I don't mind a series (and I'm already hooked on this one) but it's more fulfilling when each book is satisfying on its own, so you can be sated until the next installment.

As an aside, I've read a couple of Clive Barker's adult horror novels, which are scary and good within their genre, but I think his real gift is in Young Adult fiction. And I can't write a review about one of his books without mentioning one of my all-time favorite stories by Barker - The Thief of Always. I whole-heartedly recommend it.

One more quick book bite...The Umbrella Academy will conclude with its sixth and final installment this month. Once I've received the final book in the mail and devour it, I will write a full review.


Until then, let's chat books! What have you read lately? Have you ever read any Clive Barker or Neil Gaiman? What's your favorite Young Adult fiction book? Drop me a comment and let me know.