Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 8: 3:00-4:00 pm: The Last Hour of 24....EVER

Don't worry - this won't be nearly as long as my LOST review. 24 just isn't as complex as LOST, no matter how you slice it.

And speaking of slicing...remember when Jack cut that guy's stomach open so he could get to the SIM card the guy had just swallowed? Ugh. How did he even know how to do that?

Anyway, see what I mean? It's just a tad less...um...intellectual? Is that what I'm trying to say?

Whatever it is, it's great. And it's been great for 8 seasons. And now it's over. *Sigh*

So here's what I thought:
  • I did NOT like that Renee was dead. Sure, that happened a few episodes ago, but that was basically the catalyst for the rest of Jack's actions for the remainder of the season, so it was still important. Looking at it from that perspective, I guess it had to happen. BUT looking at it from the perspective that there should be happiness and love for everyone in the world...well, it doesn't really work. Or it just makes me sad.
  • I did kind of like that Jack went a little crazy. I mean, he's gone a little crazy in past seasons, of course, but I think this was a different kind of crazy. Renee's death just totally pushed him as far as he's ever gone. Which is understandable, seeing as how he's never been able to love on a woman without her getting shot. Or driven crazy by the Chinese. I mean, the guy couldn't catch a break.
  • And really, it's not like I expected him to. I mean, how was the series supposed to end? They couldn't have him die, because...he's Jack Bauer. He doesn't die. They also couldn't have him just go to California and live a normal life or whatever, because...he's Jack Bauer. He'd get involved in something, somehow. And then we'd have to watch it. And then the show wouldn't actually be over. So...obviously.
  • Oh, President Taylor. I was soooo disappointed. She was supposed to stand up for everything good and right and honest and whatever. And then she goes and listens to CHARLES LOGAN?! Good thing she realized the error of her ways in the end. That redeems her a bit. But now she's got to face the consequences...and who the heck knows who's going to take over for her? And now Jack's gone! So who's going to help when this new president screws everything up? Good luck with that one.
All in all, I was disappointed with this season. I thought the first part was good, but the last part was a little on the dull side. The last several hours were all about trying to find out who was responsible, covering up who was responsible, etc. Not as exciting as some of the other things that have happened over the years. Just sayin.

But I thought it was a generally good end to a fantastic show. And I guess it needed to end. There are only so many disasters that can happen (or not happen) before the intensity wears off.

Oh man, I think I'm moving out of the "denial" stage of grief. It's really over! A quick Google search tells me that the next stage is "anger." Uh, oh. Watch out. I'm angry. And then I'll "bargain." I wonder what I could give FOX that would make them bring Jack back. I do have an unopened package of Double Stuf Oreos in the pantry.

But then, what would I have for lunch?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The End - My Take on the LOST Forever Finale

LOST ended on Sunday. Boo.

Then 24 ended on Monday. Double boo.

While I'm mostly sure that these big time TV people have better things to do than throw a huge wrench in my life, part of me thinks that they did this just to annoy me. 2 of my favorite shows - poof - gone.

Anyway, since I'm currently an emotional mess because of this new gaping hole in my life, I thought I'd blog about these finales to hopefully provide me with some sort of therapeutic something-or-other.

Let's start with LOST.

**Side note: I'm going to talk about this straight up, so if you don't want to know what happened for whatever reason...don't read this. (AKA spoiler alert!) Also, if you don't care, don't read this. Here - here's a link to my Facebook photo album full of adorable pictures of Madelyn: Facebook photo album full of adorable pictures of Madelyn. Do that instead. You're welcome. Side note over. **

Katie's Thoughts About the Forever Finale of LOST

I'm glad that Smokey aka the Man in Black aka John Locke's Possessor was actually bad. My brother-in-law hypothesized that they were going to switch that around on us and present him as "misunderstood." Meh. They kind of did that in the whole Jacob & Smokey focused episode, but not enough to redeem him. He was evil, and he needed to die.

BUT why exactly was he evil? This brings me to an important point that has to do with the entire finale. While I certainly was not expecting this episode to answer every question the series presented, I was at least expecting some more meaningful explanation of the important concepts this season has focused on. I can roll with the idea of "that's just how it is" about some things, but these are things that, to me, needed to be answered to give the series some real meaning.
  • The Light. What - exactly - is it? Apparently, it's something that exists inside everyone, keeps the island above water, turned the Man in Black into Smokey (but didn't turn Jack into anything), keeps Smokey from leaving the island, and keeps all the joy and happiness and love and people in the world alive. Is it a religious thing?
  • Smokey. Is he supposed to be, like, the Devil? If he is, wouldn't that make Jacob Jesus? That makes zero sense, since Jacob created Smokey, killed his brother, etc. And what exactly would happen if Smokey left? Would he kill everyone and everything in the world? That seems to be what the protectors of the Light think.
  • The Rules. Smokey couldn't kill Jacob...but anyone else could? Smokey couldn't kill candidates, but didn't kill anyone else once Jack had taken the job, hence eliminating the idea of "candidates." So...???
  • Protecting the Light. I'm pretty sure Jacob said that the Light needed to be protected from Smokey. So...once Smokey's dead...who is the Light being protected from? Anyone that might stumble upon it? Even though we're pretty sure you can't find the place where the Light is unless a Protector shows you where it is?
Anyway, my point is - as the story stands, there is a Light at the heart of the island that needs to be protected at all times, even though it can't be found. There is this one bad guy that really wants to find it, because if he turns it off, he can leave. Also, if he turns it off and leaves, it means terrible, terrible things for the entire world.

Seriously. It's just a little too much for me to just "accept." Something - some kind of explanation, or allegory, or something - was really needed. Knowing why it would have been soooo bad if the island was destroyed and Smokey had left would have gone a loooong way in justifying the entire series.

My other major beef with that finale is that little surprise twist at the ending. I think I was even more disappointed with this than with the unanswered questions thing. So, at the end, Jack's dad reveals that all these Flash Sideways things we have been seeing have actually been scenes of some kind of (unofficial) Purgatory - everyone's dead, no one really realizes it until they are touched by something that was especially meaningful to them during their life, and everyone needs to let go and move on.

First of all, the whole idea of the Flash Sideways was that it was supposed to be showing what would have happened if the plane had never crashed. This was supposed to have been caused by the detonation of the bomb at the end of the last season. So...if the bomb didn't create this alternate reality...what did it do? I guess it just transported the survivors from the 1970s (when the bomb went off) to the present. OK. Weird, but OK.

And then...we haven't been watching an alternate reality this whole season. We've been watching a place in between life and afterlife that the survivors created for themselves to let go of their issues and regroup after they die. But, honestly...who actually cares? We've only been watching this storyline for one season, and so the "big shocker" is just turning that one season upside-down. What is the point of showing us what the Losties do after they die - especially when there are so many other things that the time could have been spent on?

I do like that the ending placed a lot of focus on the characters. It sent the message: what really matters is that they met each other, learned from each other, helped each other, and loved each other. That's not a bad message to send. But I really think this message could have been conveyed in a way that was more supportive of the entire series. This seemed like more of a cop out the writers decided on when they realized they had created something so complex that even they couldn't understand it.

So yes, even though I do think that it was deep and meaningful in it's own way, I don't think it was a fitting ending for the series. Thumbs down.

Here are some other random thoughts I have concerning the finale:
  • I'm pretty sure I could have created better looking earthquakes than they did. Seriously. You could totally tell the camera was shaking, and not the ground. From a show that is usually visually stunning, this was totally weird.
  • SO glad Jack and Kate ended up together. I was pissed when Sawyer entered that equation. And he and Juliet were cute in their own way.
  • Baby Aaron basically jumped out of Claire. It's not like I wanted to watch her labor for hours or anything...I'm just saying. Also, with all the blood and gore that has been on this show before, you'd think they could put some red goop on the kid. Because trust me, there is red goop on kids when they are born.
  • Ben was bad, Ben was good, Ben was bad, Ben was good...seriously, wasn't it just last episode that he was totally on Smokey's side? Killing Whidmore and all? And then he becomes Hurley's number 2. I mean really - I know the guy was supposed to be a conundrum and all, but it got a little ridiculous.
  • Desmond is very cool.
  • The Target commercials during the show were funny.
  • I'm so glad Claire left with Kate. That made me happy. She gets to go be a mommy!
  • I'm glad that Jack wasn't actually left alive as the protector of the Island. As Smokey said, he was the predictable choice.
  • Loved that they ended with Jack's eye closing in the same place it opened in the pilot. Very Circle of Life-esque. I had predicted it would start with Jack's eye opening. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.
So anyway, there are my thoughts. I thought it was a disappointing ending to a really great show.

What did you think?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Backyard

When we first visited the house that is now our own, the backyard was a scary, scary place.

Totally overgrown with weeds. The pool was a toxic swamp. There was a ginormous mound of dirt up against the wall that was probably covering some sort of horror. Anyways, it was uuuuuugly.When we moved in, we made the pool blue, cleared out all the weeds, leveled out the grave, and left it at that. No time (read: no money) for pretty-ifying.

A few weeks ago, since we thought we had money, since we got our tax refund, and since our entire air conditioning system hadn't blown yet (which is another story for another time), we decided it was time to do a little Extreme Makeover: Backyard Edition.

Here are some pictures of our journey:

Dallin put in a whole new sprinkler system, because he's awesome and (somehow) knows how to do things like that. He dug all the trenches and laid all the pipes and set all the heads and everything. Tell me that's not hot.


Then all the holes got filled in, and he dug a trench for our little brick thing that would separate the rocks from the grass.


Then that brick (wall? path? divider?) was laid, and the ground was cleared of weeds and leveled as much as possible to get ready to put the rock and grass in.


Dallin's mom leveled out this part. Thanks, Dixie!


And then...rocks!



And then...grass!


BAM!


Still to come...a pool fence. Right now our only defense against unwanted swimmers is a "high up" doorknob on our back door. And an immobile baby. But the gate will soooo be in by the time she starts moving on her own.

HUGE thanks to everyone that helped. You know who you are!

And since a backyard is no good unless you enjoy it...



This little girl in a swimsuit is just about as cute as can be.

So..who's ready for a BBQ?

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Love Love

Today is our 2nd anniversary.

I can only say that for 7 more minutes so I'm going to make this short and sweet.

Dallin is the best.
Marriage is the best.
Being married to Dallin is the best.
Amen.

Seriously, two years has flown by so fast. I can't believe how much I love Dallin, and I really can't believe how much he loves me!

But I have a feeling it's going to keep getting better.

Happy anniversary to us!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

She

Several weeks ago, my ward had a dinner to celebrate the "birthday" of the Relief Society (our church's organization for women). After eating yummy food and listening to some inspiring thoughts, they played a slide show they had made just for the event. The slide show was comprised of pictures taken of the women in the ward doing something with their hands - cooking, gardening, holding a baby, etc.

The pictures were beautiful, but what really got me was the music. I'll admit, it might have had something to do with the fact that I've been pretty "out" of the spiritual music scene for a while. These songs could have been the biggest sensation ever to hit the shelves and I wouldn't have known it. So you've probably heard them...but whatever. The two songs that played seriously touched me, and I was forcing back tears. Good tears. These songs so perfectly described my feelings about motherhood and womanhood - about the kind of woman I want to be, and about the kind of woman my own mother is my eyes.

So, for Mother's Day, I decided to let my mom know that this is how I see her. I made a slide show of my own, and have shared it with you here. You don't have to watch it, of course...but I would highly recommend at least listening to it and thinking of your own mom.

video


My mom continues to amaze me all the time. I think part of the reason I love being a mom so much is that it gives me the chance to be THE influence in someone's life - just like my mom has been the influence in mine.

So yeah. Go hug a mom. Or make your kids give you a hug. Or give yourself a hug. Whatever you do today, make sure hugging is involved at some point. Happy Mother's Day!