Showing posts with label Lost. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lost. Show all posts


Something Coming

It was just one of those things.

I never knew about it until almost the end. In hindsight I should have seen it coming. I was told about it, then it happened. Not so close as to wallop me over the head with obviousness, but still a close enough cause and effect I should have been able to together.

My grandmother passed away earlier this month. She lived a long life, but that never makes it easier for those left to live with the loss. She was my mom's tether to her childhood. My grandfather Hugh had passed away when my mom was a little girl and my mom was an only child. In many ways they were each other's connection to the world they once shared. Now my mom has her own family for support, but her sense of history has been thrown off balance. 

It was just old age, really. It wasn't cancer or heart disease or diabetes. She had grown old and her kidneys had completely shut down. When one essential thing goes, the rest of them start to fail. That's it. She was in surprisingly good health until the last week or so. I got to say goodbye when she was still her normal self, still sitting and eating lunch, waving me off because she wanted to get back to her routine. She didn't know, and I didn't want her to know, that I was saying goodbye. I had known her kidneys had failed and what it meant for her not to opt for dialysis, but she hadn't seemed to see the gravity of the situation.

Towards the end, my mom told me something that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. It's the kind of thing I would think about and dismiss as an over active imagination or seeking a pattern in the randomness of life, but here I am writing about it. There was a song that would serve as a harbinger. Not like a curse, but a sign of impending change or bad happenstance. Like an omen that arrives as a musical motif, several times over the course of her life.

I don't recall the specifics but I can't keep pestering my mom about it until more time has passed. Here's the long and short of it: when my grandmother had suffered a fall back in mid to late November, my mom had taken her to the doctor to make sure everything was okay. They had returned to her room at the home, with no bad news but no improvement on her health. As my mom helped her mom get out of the car a snippet of music drifted out of the window of another residents room at the assisted living facility. My mom said that her mom told her whenever she heard that song 'It Was Just One of Those Things' something bad would happen. It was never an immediate reaction, like a spring loaded trap. It had been more of a sign of impending change. She would hear the song in an incidental manner (someone's party, a passing car, an open window) and within a few days or a week something would happen. A serious illness. Losing a job. A bad accident. However she made the connection, she held it in her mind for decades. She recognized the song and off handedly explained it to my mom as though it was this harmless old superstition.

My mom had made note of it, and hoped it wasn't the sign it turned out to be.

I've thought about it constantly since my mom told me about it. The first connection I made was to 'Make Your Own Kind of Music' on LOST - an incidental motif that served as a larger sign of connection, a peppy number that clashes with the unpleasant thing it accompanies. I've been racking my brain to see if anything in my life has happened like that. I've been on a constant vigilance to see if anything happens like it. I know our brains seek to create a pattern out of random occurrences  similar to how we are hard wired to see faces even where there are none. Maybe that's what happened to her. I don't know. 

Almost every night, now, I've been having conversations with my grandmother in my dreams. Maybe it's just me processing things I haven't dealt with yet. Maybe I'm looking for answers I never got to ask about. She's never able to answer hard questions before I wake up, though. If I can, I'll see if I can remember to ask her about this in my dreams. It's just one of those things.


I Land

In the spirit of sharing, I'm taking today's space to impart upon the reader some things I learned whilst I visited the tropical island of Maui. 

Yes, it was my Honeymoon. No, I will not foist my pictures on the world for affirmation, nor will I offer condescending, pseudo-sage advice. Instead I'll just let my brain out for a little while to roam and see what I've retained from my experience in anti-thinking. That was, you see, the essence of the trip - after the stress and meticulous coordination of an insane and astounding wedding, both the better half and I were afforded the opportunity to shut our brains off and relax. So what did they process in the down time? Let's probe the lobe:

1 - No amount of preparation will prepare a WASP. No amount of sunscreen, however strong (SPF Flannel) or copious (freshly laundered shirts still emit odors) the lotion or spray - you will burn something. Thankfully ours were minimized to my gargantuan nose and the top of my better half's right ear. She got lucky.

2 - No matter how stupid it may be to your instincts, cars are both plentiful and almost essential. "But you're on an island" my subconscious would protest. "Yeah, but I'm not walking to the far side of the island across the Highway" my ego would counter. Yeah, we took the bus sometimes and did a ton of walking whenever possible. Still, it would have been much less relaxing without a car. "But it's an island!" Yes, subconscious, it's a modern American island.
3 - I will most likely never get over LOST. It wasn't even filmed on Maui, yet the whole time it was this little ghost in the back of my mind. Everywhere I went I gave the scenery another curious glance, gaining a whole new appreciation for the show. Not just the plot and setting of a tropical island, but that 99% of it was filmed in Oahu. I saw a commercial for a local school and I realized halfway through that it was the setting for any British University scenes on the show. Yep, huge nerd. Probably incurable.
4 - Further illustrating my incurable nerd-itis: when given a towel, be it on a boat, beach or bar, I wrap it around my neck like a cape. Yeah. Given my build it can either make me look like the Doctor or Tetsuo. Neither of the two really work with shorts, I have to say.
5 - Sushi is much better when it's caught, say, 5 miles away as opposed to having fish in the middle of a landlocked state in a very wide continent. Additionally, something about the ponzu sauce in a particular roll was so satisfying that it caused my better half to remark "What is it in this that tastes like my childhood?" It had a profound affect on both of us. Fish was so fresh that the best poke we found, following tips from locals, was at the local Foodmart. Dig:
6 - A little chili powder on freshly sliced fruit is unusually delightful. You don't have to try it. Just sayin'.

7 - Not heeding the warning my cousin imparted at the wedding, I found the hard way that excessive consumption of citrus makes the mouth raw. To quote Drew "If it feels like your mouth is being tenderized, lay off the pineapple." Turns out it goes double if it's accompanying your Mai Tai, which are too awesome for me to have on a regular basis. But man, for a fortnight I was totally sold on rum.
8 - Rice as a side for breakfast really deserves to catch on here on the mainland. We do potatoes with everything here, why not switch it up for funsies? Plus, goes great with over-easy eggs!

9 - I am a nervous pervis, to the bitter end. In Minnesota I fret about bugs. The problem in Maui? SNAKES. I think that trumps ants and mosquitoes. I did enjoy the helicopter tour of the island, I assure you. But I would remiss not to admit my first thought as we lifted off was my paranoid brain realizing "OH GOD THESE THINGS CAN CRASH" like it had never occurred to me. Still, a beautiful tour and I took lots of pictures. Like this one. Of me. In long pants and shoes. On the beach.
10 - Even in a resort created specifically to cater to tourists I still feel sheepish about being a tourist. It never ends. Thanks to my experiences under the Bush regime I will never stop pretending to be Canadian. I'm still surprised at the altar I didn't say "I do, eh?" I refused to wear a Hawaiian shirt. Why? Too touristy. I'm uptight, I know. 

11 - When the time is right just have dessert and don't feel guilty. Will you die from it? Maybe, if you do it every day and for breakfast. But for a week straight on Honeymoon? Damn straight. 

12 - Never eat chocolate in bed. You drop one little piece and the cleaning staff wants a big tip. Try to plead your case, I dare you. Spoiler: you will be embarrassed. 

Look at that list. You may interpret that as an unhappy take on the whole affair, but really it's quite the opposite. I think if you look past the surface of self deprecation you can dig that I loved it and really relished turning my mind off for a while. No worry about plans or traffic or politics or taking out the trash or even feeding the cat. It was an amazing trip, and a wonderful first step into married life. The two of us travel well together. So here we are now, home and free to live our lives together, one day at a time. I'm glad we had the adventure we did. Now we start an even bigger one together. I'll see you tomorrow for a more traditional post, eh?

13 - Oh, poi? Pretty unpleasant. Not inedible. Just not necessary.




I'm burnt like a match head. 

As in completely devoid of combustive. Spent. Used up. This is not a matter of only getting to this now, but a matter of not having the mental and physical wherewithal to type something of legitimacy and significance that would warrant your attention. 

So I'm going to be honest. 

I'm taking a dive tonight, gang. I'm tucking in and hoping a decent night's rest will bring some restoration of character and will power. I sincerely apologize for the lack of mental sustenance tonight, but I promise you I have something on the horizon. Something unique and novel that I have never attempted on this site before. Something I think you'll be surprised to see, and it's pretty hefty. 

So I'm asking you to be patient. 

I appreciate that you're even reading my groveling. Trust me, it will be worth it in the end, I just need to charge the batteries desperately. In lieu of the written word, here's something to bide the time - some artwork based on my favorite television series ever, LOST. I can take no credit for any of the work, but it still blows me away. Enjoy, and hopefully I'll see you tomorrow.

Still here? Cool.

Quick sidenote about the Mellon Collie breakdown - a comment from an insightful reader completely broke it down for me in succint fashion. Rather than force you to find it in the back logs, I'll just quote the comment in it's entirety  here:

 "Corgan was writing from a prospective as a teenager here, not as a "rock star". He set out to write a concept album ("The Wall" of his generation he perhaps foolishly boasted early in the writing process), and didn't exactly end up with one, but the voice of the album is still a teenager, perhaps Billy himself (10 years ago at the time), perhaps not. That's why you get such bizarre swings of emotion...from "God is empty" to "deep in thought I forgive everyone".

See? Dude totally broke it down for me in a digestible, instantly understandable way. I was close, but pretty much off target. Funny to see why it made so much more sense as a teenager than when I'm closer to 30. 


Un, Deux, Trois

Nerd alert!

Even the most prolific of us get a case of the brain slugs. Mine is particularly bad today. See?


That bad.

So what I'll do today is simply point you in the direction of something I find to be, as John the Baptist put it, "wicked cool". 

As anyone who has known me in the last six years can attest, I loved the TV phenomenon that was Lost. There was literally no other thing that compared to it. It was its' own fundamental thing, a creation of unique zeitgeist in our modern culture. The common comparisons, although not exactly on target, were to The Stand and Twin Peaks, both of which I have loved. The show is simply one of my favorite things ever and the hole it has left in my pop-culture heart has yet to be filled. No joke, no hyperbole, I genuinely miss the eager, giddy nature of the nights it was on and the mass-theorizing that followed in the morning. I plan on doing more of an in-depth analysis in the future but for now I wanted to highlight a peripheral, or perhaps tangential aspect to the show.
An integral aspect of the hour long drama was the nature of time and its structure as a means of telling the larger story. This was initially done by splitting each episode into the current narrative and a demonstrative or character-revealing flashback to before the island story. As time went on the show (MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR A SHOW THAT NO LONGER IS ON THE AIR) switched to flash forwards and side cuts that intersected with the main story. While ostensibly just a cool way to tell a massive and sprawling tale that was akin the a novel for TV, it created a phenomenon known as 'viewer lock-out' which kept the average viewer from wanting to jump in and pick up the action in without seeing the backlog of episodes, which by season 6 was a whole hell of a lot. 

I was (still am) obsessed with this show and simply cannot say enough good things about it. I honestly feel if you have any appreciation for fictional art in any sense you should give it a chance, if for no other reason than to see one of the most amazing, beautiful (and not coincidentally expensive) TV pilots in history. If you've watched the show in its entirety, and if you're reading this that is a distinct possibility, then I want to fill you in on a very cool secret. 


Someone possessing more skill and patience than myself took every single episode and edited them into one long, chronological take on the entire series. Instead of having to check the mind-bogglingly comprehensive Lostpedia for who did what and when, everything is presented as it happened in sequential order. The entire series is cast into a new light as a result. Everything from the beginning to The End takes on a whole new significance as a result. Characters are shown in a new light, actions have more relevance and life-long struggles are made clearer as a result. The effect is uncanny.
Obviously this website and the content hosted there is of....dubious legal standing. The show was a massive hit and made millions for ABC, but what is to be done with its legacy is still up for debate. I absolutely adore this idea. Some fans wondered if this style of consumption would be an option when the entire show was released in a single volume for Blu Ray but it has yet to be done by official sources. I still hold out hope for an official version of this, but fan edits like this are a fascinating source of intrigue for me. If you have any interest I would highly recommend giving a look, even for specific points in the show, to see how they look in new light. A deconstruction like this a shuffling of the deck and a fresh take on what is, in my mind, one of the best works of fiction in existence.

Not to be too hyperbolic.