Lost Book Club: House of the Rising Sun

September 15th, 2014 — 9:24pm

(Lost Season 1, Episode 6)

I think Sun and Jin’s “character reveals” are two of the most surprising on the show. Do a little mental comparison of the following:

  1. who you think they are when you first meet them
  2. who they were when their love was young
  3. who you think they were right before the plane crash
  4. who they really were right before the plane crash
  5. who they become after the plane crash

…Simply put, they are extremely dynamic characters. The writers do a great job letting out such a tiny trickle of information that you constantly have to go back and revise your assumptions about both of them. I know they do this about most (all?) of the characters, but Sun and Jin’s story somehow seems most striking to me.

This episode has been hard for me to write about. It’s really interesting to get a look into such enigmatic characters—to get that first glimpse of the slow back-story trickle—but their story is so depressing. How different would things have been if they had just eloped to America like Sun wanted to in the very beginning? When Jin explains to Sun that he will work for her father in order to earn the money to get married, Jin remarks, “It’s the right thing to do,” and offers a conciliatory, “I have to. It’s temporary.” But it’s far from temporary. It’s painfully permanent. In an effort to do things the right way, everything goes horribly wrong. Jin inadvertently destroys their love, their relationship, not to mention his integrity. The island gives them the unique chance to clear the slate and rebuild a relationship. But I still wish they had just eloped to America in the very beginning.

Moral(s) of the episode: it’s not worth the diamond, don’t go into business with family, and beehives don’t always live up in trees (poor Charlie).

3 comments » | what i watch

The Lost Book Club: Pilot (Part 2)

July 13th, 2014 — 10:54pm

~ This post is the second of an ongoing series in which we blather on about our weekly re-viewing of Lost. You can find the first post here, at Russ’s blog, and the next post after mine here, at Bryant’s. ~

Yay for Lost! Can I first say, I’m excited to be doing this! When we sat down in front of the TV a couple weeks ago and heard that eerily familiar dissonant chord gradually fill the room, I could hardly contain my excitement.

So. My task is to write something about the second episode: part two of the pilot. I’m not worrying too much about making this eloquent (as you can tell), so here comes the word avalanche—I’m just letting the thoughts all spill out.  (And I make no apologies for plot spoilers! If you haven’t watched Lost yet, well then… honestly I don’t know what to do with you.)

If I had to rename this episode, I’d call it “Culture Clash” or something more clever that gives the same idea. As I watched it this time around, I noticed tons of instances where the writers pitted one character’s “normal” against another’s. And now that I think about it, part of what makes this show so wonderful isn’t just the crazy plot. It’s the characters. And even then, it’s not just that the characters are interesting (which they are); it’s that they’re so different. The writers have crammed lots of interesting people from diabolically opposed worlds onto one little island in the middle of nowhere, where no one’s “normal” is actually still the norm. And it’s fascinating.

Here’s a list of some culture juxtaposition from this episode:

  • Jin tells Sun to button up her cardigan while Michael asks in a panic if they’ve seen his son. It’s not just the language barrier that makes things awkward here. It’s the dramatically different focus of each of the men (though to be fair, it’s because of the language barrier that Jin doesn’t know there’s a more pressing issue than Sun’s neckline).
  • Shannon and Claire sit on the beach next to each other. Shannon: rude, curt, wealthy, skinny, working on improving her tan. Claire: kind, chatty, poor, VERY pregnant, worrying about how she hasn’t felt the baby kick.
  • “Dumb redneck” Sawyer fighting it out with “terrorist” Sayid with “lardo” Hurley caught in the crossfire. It’s kind of a disaster in the heat of the moment.
  • The awkwardness Hurley feels as he tries to bridge the culture gap between Sayid and himself. While seeking for common ground, he realizes his “buddy who fought over there” in the Gulf War was actually fighting against Sayid, not with him.
  • A scene cuts to Kate bathing on the beach, out in the open, looking nearly naked in a skin-colored bra. Then the scene cuts directly to Sun, standing on the edge of the beach hesitantly, still in her buttoned-to-the-top cardigan sweater—not at all immodest by our standards but scolded for being so earlier in the episode.
  • Jin’s sea urchin meal is comically rejected by Hurley. “What, that?  What, eat that? Dude. Dude, I’m starving… but I’m nowhere near that hungry. No. No. No thank you! No way. No.”
  • Claire grabs Jin’s hand to feel her baby kick (miraculously, after eating the food Hurley rejected). Clearly, this is not comfortable for Jin, but the joy of the situation helps ease the awkwardness. Both Claire and Jin stepped across their cultural comfort zone here: Claire when she ate Jin’s food, Jin as he felt the baby kick.
  • Walt and Locke playing backgammon. Old white man. Young black boy. How do they become such friends? (And as a side note, when you first watch this scene, you think the emphasis Locke puts on the light and dark playing pieces might be an allusion to their different races, but it turns out it’s a foreshadowing of Locke’s complex relationship with the island. He’s one crazy complex dude.)

I love it. The jangle of different cultures and the common ground they find. I’m excited to watch for more as the show goes on.

Continuity question:

Kate took off her cuffs on the plane while she reached for the oxygen mask, right? But Star pointed out that she was rubbing her wrists as she walked out of the jungle, as if she had just removed them. Is that weird? Doesn’t it make it seem like she got them off in the jungle? No? Maybe her wrists were just still sore? Did she not get them all the way removed in the air?

Ratings:

Importance to story: 5
Importance to character development: 5? 4.5?
Overall enjoyability: 4

3 comments » | what i watch

found and Lost

July 13th, 2014 — 2:10pm

No one else really notices the dates of posts (or let’s be honest, no one really notices these posts period), so it’s really only me that feels awkward about a 2+ year gap in writing.  I could just dive in and start writing again, and my little blog would churn back to life just as quietly as it stalled out.  But it’s too shocking for me to jump back in cannonball-style, without dipping my toe in first.  So this is my toe-dip, for my benefit only.

It has been a life-changing, joyous, tragic, triumphant, busy, and even sometimes boring two years.  That’s where I’ll leave my summary for now.

I’m not sure how much personal blogging I’ll get back into, but at the very least, I’m going to be blogging for a new project of sorts.

Star, Russ, Bryant, and I have started a “Lost Book Club.”  Russ described the concept beautifully: “It essentially replaces ‘reading’ with ‘watching TV.’ I’m not sure why this hasn’t caught on sooner.”

We’ve all seen Lost, and we all love it enough to watch it again.  Each week we’ll watch an episode, and each week one of us is commissioned with the job of writing something about it.  Russ kicked off the party with this awesome inaugural post.  Now, nearly two weeks late, I’m about to write something for the second episode.  Stay tuned.

Comment » | bloggish, what i watch

a word on making food delicious

January 17th, 2012 — 5:35pm

If you can feasibly wrap it up in a tortilla, you definitely should. Everything is better when eaten like a burrito.

1 comment » | for my amusement, if i ruled the world, junk food

hummingbirds in winter

January 15th, 2012 — 5:07pm

When I’m old, I’m going to sit in an orange floral armchair in my room at the nursing home, staring out my window at my hummingbird feeding all day long. It’s practically what I do now anyway, minus the orange floral armchair. I’ve become mildly obsessed.

Something I like about Washington is having hummingbirds come to my feeder year round. I took these today while it was snowing.

In the meantime, my hummingbird obsession has rubbed off onto Bryant in a weird way: he’s been sitting here googling the world’s smallest creatures for the past 30 minutes and reporting all his findings to me. It started with the world’s smallest hummingbird, and has since escalated to the smallest bat, the smallest mammal (which happens to be the same bat), the smallest vertebrate (which is a frog), the smallest primate (a lemur), the smallest crocodile (4 feet), the smallest snake (3.8 inches), etc etc. Now he’s reading to me all about honey bees. Maybe we should’ve been zoologists.

1 comment » | for my amusement, pictures, the great outdoors, we live here now

December 18th, 2011 — 5:01pm


(This song has been playing on repeat in my house. I’ll upload it to the sidebar so you can listen, but you’ll have to wait until Bryant gets home because I’m having technical difficulty right now.)

Comment » | quotes, what's inside

i’d like courage

September 5th, 2011 — 11:06pm

One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. - Maya Angelou

1 comment » | quotes

covering their intergalactic bases

September 4th, 2011 — 8:11pm

I know I never talk much about my religion here, and I’m not really sure I want to change that yet, but I did want to share this funny little tidbit from today…

I was just getting online to create a mormon.org profile for myself (which, to be honest, I’m not completely on board with yet, but I’ve decided to do it anyway because, hey, it can’t hurt).

So I got online, was clicking through, and I skimmed across an interesting line in the Content Submission Agreement. I did a double take.

Additionally, you hereby grant to Intellectual Reserve, Inc. a royalty-free, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable license to use your Submission throughout the universe in perpetuity

Wow, really? Who knew you could find comedy in a user agreement? Maybe it was because I was reading it with religion on the mind, but I felt… I don’t know… flattered (?) that the Church might want to use my submission in other worlds and worlds to come, throughout all perpetuity, forever and ever amen. I mean wow, right? ;)

But then I did a quick Google search of the phrase “throughout the universe in perpetuity” and found that it’s a phrase being used with increasing frequency in modern media contracts. A Wall Street Journal article calls it “lawyerese going galactic,” and if you want more of a laugh along these lines, check out this blogger‘s proposed phrase that would cover lawyers’ contractual butts even more. …You know, just in case there’s some parallel universe somewhere with a media outlet just waiting to be tapped…

In any and all media, now known or hereafter devised, throughout this and any other universes, whether known, unknown, parallel, intersecting, obtuse or otherwise, throughout space, time and all other dimensions, whether now known or hitherto discovered, in perpetuity, or longer, as the case may be.

Amen.

Alright, back to making my mormon.org profile. Wish me luck gettin’ famous in this world and the next.

1 comment » | for my amusement

blogging mood swings

August 21st, 2011 — 8:08pm

Sometimes I miss blogging. Sometimes I can’t begin to imagine what it would feel like to ever want to blog again.

Sometimes I feel I have a lot to say. Sometimes I feel I have nothing to say. And sometimes the things I have to say don’t feel like things I’d want to say outloud. Or on a blog. And then again, sometimes they do.

Sometimes I click back through old posts and get all nostalgic, and I wish I was still writing. Sometimes I click back through old posts and feel so flushed with embarrassment that I wish I had never written anything at all.

Sometimes I have all these ideas flowing out of my ears, and I want to write about them all, but I’m too busy (or too lazy or too distracted) to actually get them down in writing. Sometimes I’m sitting in front of the computer, eager to write about anything, and n o t h i n g comes.

And so. Sometimes I post. Sometimes I don’t. For months and months and months and months. What can I say? I majored in economics: I have a lot of “on the other hand”s to go around.

3 comments » | bloggish

big sister knows best

April 13th, 2011 — 10:21pm

I’m pretty sure I’ve loved everything that my big sister has ever recommended to me. Music, books, food, movies. You name it. She knows what’s up.

Her latest good advice: Downton Abbey.

via

Holy smoke I’m addicted to that show. Even Bryant—who normally only watches shows like this when he’s trying to get something from me—admitted that he liked it. He walked in halfway through the third episode and then stuck around for the whole fourth.

I’ve just finished watching the first season, and I’m close to mortified that there’s not a second season yet. I don’t mean to wish away the summer when it is just barely making its entrance, but gosh, I’m looking forward to the fall now, too.

Stream this sucker on Netflix. You will thank me… and Fara.

via
PS. No idea who all but two of these maids are. They must’ve just scrounged up some extras to fill out the picture.

3 comments » | good things, what i watch

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