Friday, October 14

Lost Friday - Volume 2.

Season 2 - Episode 4: Everybody Hates Hugo.

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Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

This was the perfect time for an episode like this. For three straight weeks, we've gone at breakneck speed through a ton of plot points and maniacal secrets that caused nerds like me insomnia for days. With "Everybody Hates Hugo," we still got a ton of answers and questions, but it was at a pace that allowed us to collectively catch our breath.

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Here's the quick synopsis, straight from our friends at Wikipedia. Read it and refresh yourself before we move on:

In a dream, Hurley sees Jin, who is suddenly speaking English, and a man in a chicken suit. When questioned about his newfound mastery of the language, Jin informs him that, actually, Hurley is speaking Korean, to which Hurley responds, "I am?" in Korean, with English subtitles. Jin then warns the dreamer that everything will change.

In flashbacks, the viewer is shown the events immediately following Hurley's discovery of his winning lottery numbers. Opting to keep his ticket to instant wealth a secret, he is lectured by the manager of Mr. Cluck's Chicken Shack for eating food without paying for it. Hurley quits, and his friend Johnny does likewise. The pair visit a record store, where they consider buying Driveshaft's album and Hurley asks an attractive salesgirl for a date. Later still, Johnny and Hurley steal a vanload of garden gnomes and use them to spell out "Cluck You" on the lawn of their former employer. Hurley asks his friend to promise that they will never change, and Johnny does so; immediately after, his friend notices a news crew at a local gas station and pulls in to see what's happened. The reporters have arrived because they know the winning lottery ticket was bought at that location; the clerk recognizes Hurley and points him out. Johnny is stunned, and his expression clearly reveals that, despite his promise, everything has changed.

Hurley struggles with the task of food rationing. Charlie asks Hurley if the hatch contains food, specifically peanut butter, and Hurley stonewalls him. Charlie storms off and Hurley decides to enlist Rose to help him inventory.

Meanwhile, Jack and Sayid attempt to excavate the sealed-off portion of the Swan facility. The concrete walls seem to be impenetrable, and Sayid remarks that a similar technique was used to protect against the effects of the Chernobyl accident.

Sawyer, Michael and Jin learn that their captors are survivors from the tail section of the plane and are taken to a second Dharma site, which they use for sanctuary. Libby says that there were 23 (one of the numbers, again) survivors from the tail section of the plane, but it is clear that many have since died. Bernard, Rose's husband, is one of the survivors still living.

Claire discovers the bottle of messages from the raft lying on the beach. She asks Shannon what to do, and the pair conclude that Sun should be the one to make the decision. Sun opts to conceal this new fact and buries the bottle.

Hurley becomes less certain of his ability to ration the food in a manner that keeps everyone happy. Hurley attempts to quit, but Locke refuses to permit this. Hurley then recovers the unused sticks of dynamite and prepares to blow up the food. When Rose asks him what he's doing, he explains that the food, newfound wealth to the survivors, will change everything and everyone will come to hate him. Rose talks him down from this rash act. Later, Hurley informs Jack that he won't ration the food; he will give it out freely. Jack accepts this, and the survivors appreciate Hurley's generosity, including Charlie, who gives his benefactor a Hurley-like hug of reconciliation.

Well, that's great. Now let's dig a little deeper. Here come the numbers!

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1. Hurley's boss at Mr. Clucks was Randy, who later went on to become Locke's boss at the box company (that Hurley owns, I might add). Randy's stint at Mr. Clucks was before his job at the box company, as Locke had his conversation with him in the break room just weeks before the crash. Hurley won the lottery about a year before the crash.

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2. Don't forget, Mr. Clucks was hit by a meteorite shortly after Hurley won the lottery. Wednesday's flashback didn't get us far back enough into Hurley's story to see how he got himself institutionalized, but we'll get there in good time, and maybe find some more insight into the numbers.

3. In Hurley's dream at the beginning of the episode, Walt's face is shown on the milk carton he's drinking.

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Remember, Hurley doesn't know that Walt is missing. Perhaps he knows more than he realizes? Also, the man in the chicken costume is the gas station attendant that notices Hurley sitting in the van when the news crews show up.

4. The best quote of the night comes to us from Hurley's friend. "Drive Shaft? More like Suck Shaft!"

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5. A lot of people keep asking me, "How did the guy at the gas station know that Hurley had won the lottery?" My only theory is that Hurley was a regular at that gas station, and the attendant remembered entering his numbers. Either that, or Hurley played those numbers all the time, and finally struck it rich when the time was right. It's the best theory I have so far.

6. Is it possible that the DeGroots were the people on the boat who took Walt? Have a look-see, and remember that the DeGroots were the husband and wife founders of the Dharma Initiative.

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7. We're starting to find out that the "others" have killed a large amount of the tail section survivors. We'll find out more about that in a few weeks, when their own episode will air.

8. A major character will die before the holidays, and it will be a woman. Mark my words.

9. Okay, we're starting to get some answers about this island finally. The tail section survivors are staying in another hatch, this particular station being the Arrow. We see this in one of the last shots of the episode.

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Here's a closer look.

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This proves the theory that all 6 stations are on this island, which would account for a lot of the strange crap happening over the last 50 days. It explains the sharks and polar bears (I'm positive that the polar bears will have the Dharma mark on them if they find any more), but it still doesn't explain a whole slew of weird business.

But, consider the following.

The Swan and the Arrow are 2 of the 6 stations revealed so far. The Swan and the Arrow also happen to be 2 of the 6 constellations of Apollo. They are as follows:

1.) Cygnus - Swan
2.) Sagitta - Arrow
3.) Corvus - Crow
4.) Crater - Goblet
5.) Ophiuchus - Serpent Handler
6.) Orion - The Hunter

If this follows suit, the remaining 4 stations will correspond with these remaining 4 constellations. Which stations are doing what experiments are yet to be fully determined, although the Arrow looks to be completely abandoned for some time. My opinion is that the "others" are former members of the Dharma Initiative, like the DeGroots, Ethan Rom and Kelvin.

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(After finding the bottle washed onto the shore, Claire went directly to Sun with the news. Presumably thinking that the guys on the boat- including her husband- are dead, Sun opts to bury the bottle, as to not tell the rest of the island and cause an uproar. Interesting.)

Let us not forget the Apollo candy bars that we saw in the hatch. There's a reason that nobody has ever seen these bars before. Instead of using the "numbers" to look for clues on the ground, perhaps the hatchlings should use the numbers to look to the sky, instead. Speaking of which...

10. If that mixture of theory and fact wasn't far-out enough for you, this one's going to blow your mind. It certainly threw me for a loop, and became a pretty interesting observation, as far as I'm concerned. Keep in mind that I don't come up with some of this stuff. A lot of it comes from fans that are even more obsessed than I am. So, without further babble, I present to you...

The Satellite Theory.

The following tidbit of information was taken from a site that uses satellites to bounce signals from transmitters:

N.O.A.A. satellites orbit every 108 minutes or about 14 times a day. The satellite scans a 5,000 kilometer wide area as it passes. The satellite is within transmitter range for about 10 minutes. If the transmitter is sending then the satellite will receive multiple messages from the transmitter.

Think about this for a minute. Every 108 minutes, a satellite sends its beam to the earth, retrieving whatever information it was launched to collect, then shoots it off to whomever is in charge of said satellite, weather it be the Government, NASA or what have you.

Could it be that pressing the button approximately every 108 minutes masks the island from a satellite spotting it, so it can't be discovered? Perhaps the catastrophe that happens if the button is not pushed is that the satellite can discover the island, ending the experiment. Maybe the "Swan" is using the magnetic anomaly to somehow create the effect. The "incident" would then be the launching of a satellite that could discover the island. It would be very ironic if by pressing the button they turn out to be preventing their own rescue.

Remember in season 1, when Charlie makes a comment about satellites being able to see anything? Sayid then says that satellites have to know where to point in order to retrieve information. That's one hell of a plot point.

This theory also links well with the comment made by Michael during Exodus II. They are surprised at how large the island is when they are sailing away on the raft. Michael says "How does a place this big never get discovered?" We may now have our answer. Look to the skies!

Considering the Hanso Foundation's involvement with WWII, we may also have to bring our old friends the Nazis into the fray. Not right now, though. We already have enough to chew on.

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Next week is a Jin episode, entitled "...And Found." Sound off in the comments section, and let the discussion begin.

Thursday, October 13

"It's My Costume."

Here's a quick Halloween story to get you in the spirit.

When I was in Kindergarten in 1986 or 1987, it was the school's policy to have everyone in the building parade around each other for the afternoon. Every year, all the kids would dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes, and show them off for the remainder of Winneconne Elementary to view.

I think the big thing in the mid-80's was the California Raisins, so there were a lot of kids in purple-face, wearing garbage bags stuffed with newspaper. This was not only sad and lazy on the part of the parents, but also a tad racist. I never quite jived with the thought of 4 overweight prunes donning sunglasses and singing soul tunes. Maybe I'm just sensitive; after all, it was the most successful marketing campaign in fruit and vegetable history.

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Anyways, my Mom was much too cool to send me to school wearing a garbage bag. Man, I was set. Today, I was Sylvester the cat, complete with full costume and a giant head. I looked like the mascot for a football team, that's how rad this costume was. Screw the plastic masks with the rubber band and the staple, I was going for broke this year. If this didn't score me some more friends, I didn't know what would.

On the day of the parade, I brought my amazing costume, neatly folded and packed in a paper bag, and placed directly under my hanging jacket in our cubby section along the wall. There it would sit, unassuming and quiet, waiting patiently for the afternoon to arrive to spring itself free from the bag and blow the minds of about a thousand educated minds. I felt like a suicide bomber before the big moment. Before you could say "Allah," the moment had arrived.

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Frantically, the entire Kindergarten class darted over to the cubby, tearing their meager raisin costumes and cheap masks out of their horrible paper bags. I sauntered over slowly, as to not draw too much attention to myself. The time for that would be soon enough. As the dust began to settle, I strolled in and started looking for my costume.

But...I couldn't find it.

The bag that I thought it was in was empty, and all the other bags seemingly belonged to other kids. After a thorough check of all the bags again (thorough for a 5 year old, mind you), I realized that my awesome Sylvester costume was no more. It was either stolen or had simply disappeared.

Again, being a cool Mom, my Mother was actually there as a chaperone for the proceedings. She asked and re-asked me if I was absolutely positive that my costume wasn't over by the cubby. I gave her my word that it had dropped off the face of the earth. Suddenly I went from almost being the coolest kid in Kindergarten to the loser without a costume. Something needed to be done, and my Mother was getting a bit frantic.

Mrs. Broderick, my Kindergarten teacher, had a plan. "We have some spare costumes in the closet," she said, doing her best to make the most of a bad situation. She was an amazing teacher, and away she went, digging around to find something for me, just minutes before the big parade.

"Here we go," she said. "Try this on."

"This" happened to be the saddest looking dog costume I've ever seen. Yes, a dog costume. Why someone would neglect a costume like this, leaving it for dead in a Kindergarten closet for 80 years was beyond me. Oh, wait, it was because the costume sucked a boatload of ass.

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Imagine the cheapest Halloween costume you can think of. Good, now pretend that it's of a dog. Okay, good. Now cross-breed that dog costume with a clown costume, make it horribly ill-fit and make it orange and yellow striped, and you're getting into the ballpark of what this costume looked like. It certainly didn't look like something a dog would wear, but the mask assured me that it was indeed a canine outfit. Perhaps this particular dog worked at a circus or something, but I was really in no position to ask questions. While my Mom literally held back tears of embarrassment and anger, I slipped into a skin-tight circus dog uniform.


I want to use this break in the story to tell you a quick joke I was just reminded of.

A dog walks into a hardware store and says, "I'm looking for a job."

The clerk says, "I'm sorry, we don't hire dogs. Why don't you work for the circus?"

The dog looks at him and says, "What would the circus want with a plumber?"


Okay, back to the story.

So, furious, sad, heartbroken and humiliated beyond my wildest dreams, I was forced to get in line with my friends and respected quad-partners, and parade this obscene costume in front of every single person in the school, grades K through 8.

Peering at the other kids through the tiny plastic slits in the mask, I didn't know if they were making fun of me, or just didn't recognize who I was. It doesn't really matter if any of the kids remember this moment, because I will remember this humbling experience for the rest of my life. For a fleeting moment, I was on top of the world. I had everything I needed for a successful afternoon, and in less than a minute, everything came crashing around me. Instead of going out with a bang, I was wishing to God that I would turn into a California Raisin.

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It didn't happen.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, at the tenderest of ages. Life is hard. Nothing should be taken for granted. If you think that everything's going to go well, that's going to be your first of many mistakes. Billie Jo Armstrong says, "Don't pat yourself on the back, you might break your spine." Well, on Halloween 1987, I gave myself a Christopher Reeve-style thrashing.

It was one of the worst days of my entire life.

So, after the parade, everyone was changing out of their costumes and getting ready to go home. I was peeling the circus dog outfit off of me, dripping with sweat and failure, when my Mom asked me a question that I'll never forget.

"Hey, what's in that bag over there?"

I don't think I have to tell you what I found in it.

Lost Friday is tomorrow. We have much to discuss.

Monday, October 10

Rinse And Spit.

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Last 5 Albums Purchased By The CDP:
(Total Album Count For 2005 - 65)

Matt Pond PA - Emblems
(Purchased by the Missus. Didn't sound that great, but you'd have to axe her.)

Nada Surf - The Weight Is A Gift
(Not as good as their last two albums, but still another mature step forward. Feel-good, sing-along tunes for a bleak October. Pick up Let Go if you haven't already.)

The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
(Woah. Imagine the following: A hip-hop radio station, a soul radio station, an indie rock radio station and a 70's TV show theme song radio station on the same dial. Now imagine spinning the dial from station to station for 55 minutes. This album is worth listening to.)

Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
(The new Franz Ferdinand is here, and it doesn't disappoint. Delivering what you'd expect, they hit you with single after catchy single, never hitting anything too slow or too deep to stop the party. If you like their first album, their sophomore release will keep you satisfied.)

Public Enemy - Power To The People And The Beats (Greatest Hits)
(Chuck D is probably the greatest MC of all time, and this retrospective touches on just a few of the politically-charged tracks that made Public Enemy the world's most dangerous rap outfit. I've been Flava-Flav'ing out in my car like an idiot.)

Okay, the Red Sox got swept, the Badgers blew a huge game against Northwestern, the Yankees are still alive as of this post and the Packers are 1-4. Clearly, October isn't quite turning out the way I wanted it to in the sports department. Normally, I'd have the beautiful weather to fall back on, but we went from 85 to 34 over the course of an evening here in Wisconsin. We skipped right over "light jacket" weather and went straight for the scarves and mitten clips.

Autumn was kind of a crappy week this year.

So, what to do? Well, Halloween's coming up, but I can't really participate in it. I can't hand out candy in a secure apartment and I refuse to throw a party this year. I had big plans to throw a huge shindig here at CDP headquarters, I really did. I'm talking decorations, costumes, slasher films and "Monster Mash" on a constant loop. I then came to the realization that I probably couldn't afford the necessary supplies, and besides, nobody would appreciate them unless I had a fridge full of booze. I was also too lazy to call everyone. I'll blame myself because it's easier.

I left work early today because I had an appointment at the Dentist's office. It was time for my bi-annual cleaning, and I couldn't be happier. At work, we were in the process of moving over to a brand new area, and the mass-exodus was giving me a panic attack. I welcomed the afternoon off, even if it consisted of having my gums torn open by that damn sharp hook they always use.

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Now, I'm not a baby when it comes to the Dentist. I wore braces for 29 years, so I know a thing or two about mouth pain at the hands of a rich asian man. Surely a cleaning would be a walk in the park.

This was the single most painful cleaning ever. The hygienist was flat-out awful and inconsiderate, insisting that the pain was 100% my fault for not keeping up on my flossing. She even asked me if I was a smoker, apparently because my teeth were just that disgusting.

Because of the braces, I've been left with a couple of decalcification spots, which are almost nonexistent if you're not looking for them. I won't be on any toothpaste commercials anytime soon, but my smile isn't that hideous. In fact, she only started insulting my mouth once I started to complain of her unsteady hand. Instead of admitting that she sucked as a dental assistant, she took it upon herself to belittle me and scrape the enamel off my molars.

Listen to this. At one point, she was scraping my teeth so hard that her hand was shaking. Something that takes that much effort to extract from someone's mouth is probably something that should be left in. I was spraying blood like a geyser, she kept running out of water in that little squirter they use, and at one point she took it out of my mouth and accidentally sprayed it all over my new shirt. Seriously, she did a piss-poor job, and it had nothing to do with my teeth. They're still sore, six hours after the cleaning. Again, this was a cleaning. It hurt that much.

At the age of 14 or 15, I had braces put on. For two weeks, I couldn't chew anything because my teeth hurt so much. Even then, I don't remember anything being so uncomfortable as this cleaning. So, to Patricia at Midwest Dental in Madison; you suck at your job. Find something better to do that doesn't result in your clients gargling warm salt water all night. Learn to operate with a steadier hand, or start taking Parkinson's medication. I hate you.

I'm making this quick, because I have business to tend to. I'll be back before you know it with Halloween lamenting, the triumphant return of Mutton Chop and Lost Friday. Cheers.