Well, almost stolen. Last Thursday evening around Midnight, I went to root around in my purse, dig my phone out and plug it into the charger for bed time. But it was nowhere to be found. After several attempts to call and locate it, I slugged into bed thinking the worst possible scenario. I’d left it at the gym and someone had stolen it.
That was further confirmed early Friday morning when we called around to 24 Hour Fitness AND Fred Meyer with no luck. I even desperately searched the area around the machine where I remember leaving it.
Back at home, crying sad crocodile tears of technology loss amidst a flurry of changing passwords – Dan messaged me on Google Talk to let me know I don’t need to change the password on our credit union account after all. Google Latitude (the creepy stalker App) was showing my G2 resting snuggly within a mile radius of our gym. Lo and behold, it was napping in the vault behind the front desk. I stopped by the desk, filled out some paperwork and my sweet little cell baby was back in my hands within 10 hours of realizing it had gone missing.
It was a happy ending to a crappy morning.
There was a brief two-hour period where I was pretty sure my phone was in the hands of a “bad guy.” And the tragic consequences that could have befallen me? Very tragic. All because I hadn’t the forethought to put any security measures on my device.
Before this experience, and before I had a chance to change my passwords, someone could have had complete access to my Google (Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs), Facebook, WordPress, Netflix, Credit Union and Kindle/Amazon accounts.
How do you make your phone more secure in case you leave it somewhere stupid like an elliptical machine at your local gym?
Mentioned earlier this week that I was going to be busy this weekend prepping for the Lost Series Finale Party hosted at my sister’s place. It went off last night with a few hitches, but overall I think people enjoyed themselves.
Here are some pics to recap all the jolly good times:
THE END OF ALL THINGS *SPOILERS*
I know a lot of people out there are pissed off at the religious/death cop-out…but for me personally the ending felt deeply emotional and quite satisfactory, which reflected some of my favorite parts of the series itself. I’ve never been as rabid for Lost as I have been for something like X-Men. Actually, can’t think of another show that I’ve had viewing parties for. Most of my other TV viewing has been done privately, at home with Dan or my parents. In this regard, Lost was truly a phenomenon for me. And perhaps the start of tradition for shows that my friends and family are excited about.
The other TV shows in my Top 10 (BTVS, Angel, Firefly, BSG, Deadwood, True Blood – to name a few) have all been approached mostly through DVD, so there’s a certain laze one is allowed to effect. I kind of like consuming my obsessions in chunks, rather than doled out limply over an entire year. Plus – no commercials.
“Live” viewing of shows, with other people engaged in them – is a pretty enjoyable past-time. I could definitely see having at least one show at a time that I watch communally and celebrate with friends and family.
OK – BUT DISSECT LOST NOW PLEASE
Not sure if I can. It’s a bit too soon, and this series was never about that for me. Sure, I got pissed off along with a lot of other people and stopped watching for awhile. Or railed against burning questions left un-answered. But in the end – life is best as a mystery. Things quite often happen randomly, with no meaning in the grand scheme of things at all. What I witnessed last night and shared with a room full of people was something more than that. I’m not quite sure what it was…but it felt right. There’s really no other way I can describe it.
It felt like it respected the material and the series arch that it was always aiming for. Though I would have liked it to be about Kate, Claire and Juliet…it was Jack’s journey. We woke up with him on the Island. We watched him, time and time again – deny faith and belief…but ultimately come to accept it. That arch – the religious and heroic arch, was always there. Burning away in the background. It was more present in the first few seasons, which many people claim are the best. So, it felt true to what I initially remember loving about the series – the mystical and mysteriousness…which so often we demand answers to but rarely receive.
The first season of Vampire Diaries has already had several schizophrenic fits and starts. It doesn’t bode well for its renewal when the second half of the season produced only two new episodes, and then another break until last night.
Blame it on the Olympics? Blame it on March Madness? I’m not quite sure what the problem is with the scheduling for Diaries, but it’s helping to lose my already waning interest when they can’t air three new episodes in a row.
What’s great about this show? Damon Salvatore. The evil vampire is the only actor with any captivating screen presence – played with malevolent glee by Ian Somerhalder. Most folks will probably remember him as Boone from “Lost” (before he met his untimely end) or Paul Denton from ” The Rules of Attraction.”
The rest of the plot unfolds something along these lines: 17-year-old Elena Gilbert (played by the dark-haired and smokey voiced Nina Dobrev) is introduced to the audience only four months after the death of both her parents in an auto accident. She and her bumbling, stoner brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) are now living with their frazzled Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning). Their friends and family all encourage them to get over their grief, and even their teachers give them a hard time about it. Huh. Maybe that’s the drawback of living in a small town?
Elena has the misfortune of looking like the dead lover/vampire whom the brothers quarreled over a century before. Pretty twisted, and already piled with loads of plot and side characters (her best friend, Bonnie, is a witch). It’s based on a Young Adult book series of the same name written in the early 90s, which has been slightly modified and revamped (hah!) to fit with the current decade. Also the books are being republished. Check the wiki here.
What kills me with this show is the pacing, the often-times pointless drama and the weak characterizations. While it does quite often ride head and shoulders above “Twilight” in terms of having…ya know…an actual PLOT, it’s populated with a male and female lead that are sinfully boring. Not the actors mind you, they are giving their full skill to creating people with personalities, but when the characters are such Puritans…it’s hard to generate much appeal.
Stefan and Elena rarely make tough moral decisions, and are mostly around to clean up in the wake of the evil vampires which are constantly streaming through the town. Poor Stefan has to play the role of the serious, brooding vamp with his out-of-control eyebrows, and he does so pitch perfectly. But that archetype has been done to death in pop culture.
And no one makes broody eyebrows better than Angel.
Which leads to my earlier statement – how deliciously sinful the presence of Damon becomes. He reminds me more than a little bit of Spike (another Buffy alum). Without him, there would be no forward progression of plot (again – Spike’s scheming tacked on at least three seasons to Buffy’s shelf life). But the writers can’t seem to decide if they want audience sympathy or complete revulsion, and Damon’s character often seems like a split personality – wavering between completely evil in one scene, to something resembling compassion and reason in the next. Consistency is sorely needed.
It doesn’t help that so much of the show is without humor. BTVS worked because of it’s light-hearted nature and comedic timing, whereas Vampire Diaries is a touch too clunky and angsty.
Now that we’re all up to speed…
*Yes, Thar Be Spoilers Here*
I watched Remember Me last Friday with my mom, and was all prepared to write a review, which I started to type up. Then I deleted it, and was like – screw it. Let people come to this movie on their own.
And now…after reading this article bashing it as nasty Twilight garbage, I’m going to HAVE to defend it. Mostly because it has nothing to do with Twilight, aside from having RPattz as one it’s leads. And because the author of the article and several commenters didn’t bother to watch the film before making up their minds.
I, like many others, was quite prepared for this movie to suck, knowing that Pattinson has been such a weak actor in Twilight.
So – I had zero expectations when I entered the theatre, aside from a morbid curiosity to watch Edward Cullen woo Claire from Lost.You know – the same expectations that millions of other women had when purchasing a ticket to this flick – as this was the main marketing drive behind the trailers, TV spots, etc.
But it was more than that – I didn’t expect to be engaged by the characters, moved by their relationships with one another…and mostly I didn’t expect it to be genuine or feel as real as the script and acting allowed it. For example – the way Allie (Claire, Emilie de Ravin, whatever) enters her townhouse and always drops the keys on the table. That’s the signal to her over-protective father that she’s arrived home safely. The film doesn’t have to cut to a close-up of the keys. It’s just done so perfunctorily and naturally…the small slice of life details in this film are what caught my attention. It doesn’t have to aim for a deep and profound message – it actually resembles something akin to real life. And manages to make that captivating.
The film was notably plot-lite and heavy on the romance, but the love story played very little into the other dynamics happening – the commentary on family and dealing with loss, as well as how we take time with our loved ones for granted.
But even with the romance added – it felt relatable…and never overly cheesy. There was no boom-box moment. In fact, the characters spend most of the movie with bruises and bloody lips, getting physically assaulted by their fathers and one scene features Allie vomiting while Tyler/Robert Patts holds her hair back. So romantic!
There was a bit of buzz generated by my friends who actually got to watch the show around the fact that it was Sayid-centric. We get to see his sideways reality. Turns out he is a bad-ass no matter what time-line he’s in. But there definitely some serious beefs with this episode, which relate to the show in general.
For a recap, see this blog here. What follows is going to be my bitching and/or lamenting.
But Claire Littleton? There is still no good reason that she walked away from her child an entire season ago and joined Christian in that weird cabin (except for the fact that Emilie de Ravin landed a couple of plush film roles). And now she’s back in the fold – 100% evil and totally bat-shit crazy for Aaron, the baby she abandoned in the jungle.
I’m not really buying this plot-line and the writers don’t seem in too great a hurry to flesh it out, if ever. They seem content with basically ignoring character motive here. *sigh*
Also annoying – why is Kate the only one who gives a crap about her? This is in keeping with some other parts of the show which have gone South, mainly any sense of bonding that the survivors felt with one another. Their connection is totally…lost. It makes me care less about what happens to them when they don’t really care about each other. That’s what you get for screwing around with time travel in your plot. It takes the audience out of the intimate world that the Island had created and implants instead a bunch of strangers.
Take Miles for instance…what is he still doing around? He’s the only freighter dude still left, and his presence stinks to high heaven of red shirt. None of the survivors seems especially attached to him – he just sort of follows them around because he has no other group to cling to now.
My special irritation is with Jack. He now knows that Claire is his half-sister, and yet has done virtually nothing to care for his Nephew or locate her. This guy is supposed to be our hero? Pffft.
2. Sayid Jarrah
Apparently, after being redeemed several times throughout the shows run and proving over and over again that he feels remorse for all the pain he’s inflicted, it all boils down to this one episode where the writers finally admit that yes – Sayid is an evil Iraqi.
Predictable. He’s the only guy with dark skin left. And yet somehow Ben Linus who freaking killed Jacob is going to come out on the side of the Angels.
“Sundown” tries to sell the assumption that he is a murderer in the Island and Sideways realities and he will never get the girl. Therefore, what’s the point of living and doing good deeds?
It just doesn’t jive with the last five seasons of the show. And doesn’t bode well for the final episodes that sudden character switches are happening without any real motivation established.
On the other hand – Sayid was pretty sexay, beating ass and mooning over his ill-fated love with Nadia.
Hmph. Not liking this direction at all. But what’s done is done. Claire and Sayid are apparently evil, as stupid as that may be.
That’s really all I have to vent about. The rest of the episode was doing it’s work to move the plot forward. According to the following trailers for next week – Linus is going to get his. Good.
And a sneak peek as well.
Well, I was going to write up a recap about last night’s episode of Lost, but my buddy Erin beat me to it, and as she is the greater Lost-o-phile of the two of us, I will instead direct you to her blog.
A few things I need to muse over here:
The Lighthouse. How in the hell do these random-ass buildings keep popping up? I get that the nuclear bomb Juliet set off created all sorts of newness to the two separate timelines we have going now, but for seriously – in the last five seasons our heroes have traipsed all over the island and not ONCE noticed this friggin giant statue foot, lighthouse or temple? It’s OK for them to miss stuff like the Swan Hatch, cause that sh*t is buried in the jungle. But these buildings are a bit unreal.
And even Jack going so far as to comment on the fact that he’d never seen the lighthouse, is the writer’s way of winking at the audience. They understand that we are asking them, WTF? And they are shrugging as if to say, why not? Pfftt. Kinda lame in my opinion. But such are the mysterious mysteries of the Island.
Jack’s kid, David Shepard. Another ridiculous unveiling last night was that Jack has a kid in the Los Angeles/sideways timeline. At first his kid is kind of an annoying d-bag who listens to music all the time and doesn’t give a crap that his dad is struggling with his father’s death.
But wait – Jack has a freaking kid? And there’s a mystery mother (of course) and…he has a kid. Which opens up the concept that the sideways timeline doesn’t at all reflect reality as it was before the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. If the blast had only brought them back to the time immediately before the crash…Jack would not have a freaking kid. Because there was never ANY reference to David up until last night’s episode.
Which means all sorts of crap could be different with any number of characters. Or was that what the episode with John Locke was supposed to illustrate? Perhaps my frustration should be with the Helen/Locke situation rather than with random David Shepard. Who knows? Either way leads to madness.
The Numbers. So far the biggest reveal of Season 6 (The Last Season!) has been the meaning of the numbers – their relation to the characters. And even that mystery isn’t entirely solved, as we do not know which Kwon (Sun or Jin) will either leave, die or choose to replace Jacob as the Island’s protector.
Frankly – they’ve had five episodes thus far to resolve just one or two of the hundreds of questions Lost fans have compiled, and don’t seem to be accomplishing that task with speed or resolve.
I felt Hurley’s frustrations last night when he realized Jacob had led him on a wild goose chase so Jack could smash some mirrors and stare out at the sea. My only thought – does that mean that someone is coming or not? My guess is that we will find out. Sooner or later. Probably later.
This one goes out to all the ladies.
I just read a New York Times article, on the advice from another comic obsessed woman blogger, about the lack of good roles for women in Hollywood movies and Hollywood comic movies. I immediately got on board with the idea presented in the article. It’s something that I only really started to notice mid-way through my HS career.
It happened while reading Siddhartha during my senior year of HS. I was trucking along with the material, and then stumbled upon the passage where the male protagonist up and leaves his wife and children to go off and attain enlightenment.
Why? Because he could.
There was no other reason for it. His wife was left alone to tend to the children and the household while he went off on some completely selfish religious journey. Then, it occurred to me that up until that moment, all the folks I was idolizing (writers, artists, philosophers, religious figures) were men.
So what did that mean for me?
That was the final straw. After spending so much of my time in HS learning about the deeds and exploits of men, and reading their collected works – I was done.
That’s when I realized there were a different set of rules for men to operate with in the world. And as a woman – I would have to try harder to find what would be relevant and resonant for me.
8 years later – and I’m still looking.
So a few questions I have: Where are all the women? Where/How are the people who look like me represented in history books, politics and the cinema?
And some more answers as well – straight from the mouths of the women who are playing second (or third or fourth) fiddle to the Male Heroes in this summer’s biggest blockbusters.
And while men get the heroic pose covers – these talented, intelligent and engaging women are pictured as meek and playful as kittens.
Here’s something to chew on: I was REALLY excited to see “Baby Mama” because it hosts not one, but TWO well known female comedic leads – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The trailers are hilarious, and guaranteed to get a laugh from me every time. Successful women comedians are rare, and films that brilliantly show-case their talents are just as rare. So, yay right? It seemed like there was nothing that could go wrong…
But then it did. Dan was the first one to notice it as we sat in the darkened theatre, munching on popcorn and red vines. He leaned over and whispered, “there’s something wrong with the projector bulb.” I squinted and then shook my head. “No, there’s not.”
Dan: “Yeah, there is – see how there’s like a soft glow on the screen, and everyone is kinda fuzzy.”
Me: “No – that’s the glow of romantic comedy. There’s nothing wrong with the bulb, that’s the movie.”
And I realized, much to my hearty dismay, that indeed – there was the soft glow of romantic comedy all over Baby Mama. It stank of “rom-com” softness.
Worse than that? The two women sniping at one another over economic and social class differences. This film would have 98% of my Gender, Class and Culture course from last term shrieking obscenities at the screen. *sigh*
I had such high hopes. Can there be a movie tailored to women that does not involve weddings, romance, soft lighting, and jokes about menstruation?
Can there be a film/movie where the woman isn’t seen as the mother, daughter, sister, lover, girlfriend, secretary (uhm, don’t we call them administrative assistants now?), or help-mate of the male lead character. Not this summer, and most likely not this year.
On a different note: I thought it was brave of “Baby Mama” to briefly recognize it’s own stereotypical attitudes towards “white trash,” but it hardly excuses the rest of the insults hurled by the preceeding 3/4’s of the film. I thought Poehler did a lot to really humanize the character she was playing, but all in all – I was turned off by the use of the word white trash, the upper-class-liberal attitude towards children and the lower class, and the deliberate placement of romantic comedy elements in what could have/should have been a film about a woman and her baby mama.
Come on – that concept in and of itself is intriguing.
I’m going to assume that Hollywood “ized” the film towards it’s assumptions of what women would want to see. Whoever cut the trailers was smart enough to leave most of that romantic comedy bullshit on the floor, but it was certainly a kick in the teeth to get to the theatre and realize it was a lot of the same old.
Many men really don’t understand the beef women have with hollywood, comics, and history books.
I can respect that, because they don’t get to see a world (or at least a Hollywood Blockbuster season) that relegates them to less-than-sidekick roles. They’ve never had to preen the history books for the one or two token persons of their gender who’ve possibly invented something clever, led an army, or ruled a kingdom.
It’s easy to brush these supplications off as mere “feminist bullshit.” But I’m tired of having to identify with leading men (yes, even if a token male minority is thrown in for diversity).
I want more WOMEN on film, in film, and making films. And the same goes for the comic industry. I’m tired of having the female body used to sell, sell, sell without any homage being paid to the reality of who women are. We have high pain tolerance, amazing organizational and leadership qualities. We can fly airplanes, hold presidential offices, serve and protect, pump your gas, balance your checkbook, repair your HVAC system, own property, perform your spinal surgery…
But we can’t star in your movies. Not really. Not yet.
And if we do…men won’t come to see us. Unless we’re half naked. Why? Because men don’t like to see strong woman doing the things that men do. Am I wrong? Someone please tell me that I’m wrong about that! Because I would love to be wrong (just this once though, not all the time).
If I didn’t love comic books (and thusly, comic book movies) so much, I would seriously consider boycotting this summer blockbuster season. I really and truly would.
Hollywood really needs to pull it’s act together and get back to what I enjoy most about comic books – team dynamics. There are great books out there (Avengers, X-Factor) and television shows (Lost, Heroes) that show-case strong female characters, without having to subvert the lime-light to men ALL THE TIME.
Well, I mean – for awhile anyway, LOST had that quality going for it. Lately it’s been very male character centric, and decidedly less appealing to me personally.
One of the other film franchises I felt was at least moderately giving women a fair shake, X-Men totally killed off it’s strongest female character (X-Men: The Last Stand) and de-powered the other. Leaving only Storm – whom Halle Berry had already mangled thoroughly.
There’s not much else to say. The status of women in films is especially pitiable at the moment. It seems to fluctuate, with some years being kinder to my gender than others.
I wouldn’t say this is Hollywood’s women-friendliest year, by far.
Much Love, Mindy C