Saturday, May 29, 2010

You know what's neat? - Volume 1

I usually use my blog to complain about things or to gush about tv shows or books or movies. But what about the simple things? Nightly news programs are full of so-called "fluff" stories about water-skiing squirrels or bears caught in a tree or incredibly stupid bank robbers who accidentally leave their wallets behind. As much as I complain about these stories, how they take away from actual reporting and turn the news into essentially "Web Soup" or "Tosh.0," you have to admit that people do like reading about random junk. Go on Yahoo on the average day and the top stories are invariably something actually news-y, a bit of celebrity gossip, and something incredibly hilarious or random that people have the need to share with others. Of course, in my mind the facebook is the place to find the most random of random stories on the internet, and I will proudly admit that probably 60% of my facebook posts are of the "OMG look at this thing!" variety. So, I thought, why not bring that sense of whimsy to my blog, the place where I can wax poetically on whatever I like.

With that being said, on to our newest segment on Tales from the Gloop: "You know what's neat"

You know what's neat? Babies. Babies are neat. Some people think babies are loud and smelly and annoying, and I know that I'm probably putting my foot in my mouth when I say this, but I think I kind of have a higher tolerance for that than most people. I think people who complain about babies, or children in general really, probably don't spend as much time with them as I do. Even parents probably spend less time with unrelated children than I do on a given day. I wouldn't be a children's librarian if I didn't like kids. Mostly what I love about really small children is the fact they they have no idea what anything is or how stuff works. As someone who similarly struggles figuring out how things work, I can definitely relate.

Mostly though, I just think that it is so amazing that these little people enter the world not even knowing what a tree is or that there could be fruit in it and that fruit is something you can eat and some fruit you can eat right off the tree and some you have to take off a peel. Think about that for a minute. Imagine you are on an alien planet and you don't speak the language and the environment is completely unfamiliar. When you arrive, maybe there's one or two people that you meet at first who try to teach you the language, maybe by pointing or making shapes in the sand. Except it isn't sand, its called "grjker" and at night it releases toxic fumes, which you didn't know when you first arrived which is why you spent several weeks confined to a hospital tent. Eventually you learn some rudiments to this society, but you are still at a loss as to the more complexities of their culture or geography of the landscape because, lets say, we aren't on a round planet at all, but instead some kind of lumpy asteroid that is connected to a cluster of other asteroids through some kind of invisible light bridge or something. But of course you don't know all that, you just sometimes see people inexplicably disappear and have absolutely no idea where they went.

That's kind of what its like to be a baby. And honestly, I think that's kinda awesome. You can watch all your retro music video shows on VH1 classic or reruns on TV Land, but you will never get to relive the experience of your youth. And sure, we all have memories that will remain with us: 9/11 or the 2008 election or our graduation from high school or our wedding. But there is something really really primal in kids that they know absolutely nothing... and then somehow they do. You can take a seed and plant it in soil and water it, and something will grow. Can you imagine not taking for granted how really cool that is? That's kind of why my job as children's librarian is easy. A lot of kids are pretty easy to impress. That's why kids love magic, and babies are completely mystified by peek-a-boo. That's also why I am so excited that I am going to be a mom. Because it is IMPOSSIBLE not to take for granted everything we know, or think we know, in the world. But for a child who knows nothing, EVERYTHING is new. Nothing is taken for granted because there is no basis for comparison. I'm not saying that I want to relive life through my child, but it certainly will be something to see them experience things for the very first time.

And that's why babies are neat.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lost: Of Science and Magic

The Lost finale is this Sunday and I, like the rest of the viewers of this show, want answers. I think, however, that the answers I am looking for aren't necessarily the ones that are being discussed on the entertainment sites. I don't need to know what the island is. It just IS. I don't need to know the Smoke monster's real name. What I need to know is how you make science and magic exist in the same reality. More specifically: how will the writers resolve the role of Desmond in both bringing the Losties to the island in the first place (he forgot to push the button, remember) and traveling through time and multiple dimensions (OMG Desmond is Scott Bakula!) with the role of Jacob. Fundamentally it comes down to this: how much of this show has been scifi and how much has been fantasy/ religion. Because I gotta tell you. I LOVE the scifi stuff. "The Constant" was seriously the best episode ever (ok, maybe "Some Like It Hoth") and I really dug the bits traveling through time and Daniel Faraday and his creepy mom (who also travels through time?) and the Dharma people and the teleporting bunnies and the electromagnetism stuff. What I'm not so digging is Jacob. In fact. I freaking hate Jacob. Because basically, he crashed a plane, killed a bunch of people, and destroyed the lives of a ton of others so that he could get a replacement. And sure, yeah, Jack and Kate and Sawyer were kinda having a crappy time of it back home, but what about all those folks that just died on that plane for no reason? If Jacob is so high and mighty, couldn't he have manipulated it so they all got on a private plane with only the people who actually mattered and let everybody else go on their merry way? Nope. He's just a dick like that. At least Desmond was SORRY for crashing Oceanic 815, I mean he couldn't have actually known what the button did. But anyway... But my dislike of Jacob aside, I wouldn't care so much about him if we didn't get all mixed up with this magical religion nonsense.

Before this season, I always saw Jacob/ the Island as sort of like one of those omnipotent floaty aliens on Star Trek that don't allow the Enterprise crew to mess with things or cut the the ships power to keep them out of their space or suck on its warp core cuz it thinks its a boob. I totally envisioned that all the "ghosts" that were appearing were just like when Riker goes down to that planet and the kid makes him think he's his son and all that cuz he's lonely or something. And yes, I knew that they weren't going to go with aliens. And that's cool. Adding weird mythological elements are ok, but only if they jive with the essential structure of the show. Tell me that the island is unstuck in time and I'm all over it, tell me that there is some wacky stuff going on with electromagnetism that makes people age backwards and that's why women can't have babies. But if you are going to tell me that all that is because a djinn or demon or whatever has been released and some asshole needs to put it back in its bottle or magical glowy cave or whatever then try... TRY to make that not completely lame. Seriously as soon as they brought up the whole glowy cave and the smoke monster coming out, all I could think of was "Ali Baba Bunny" where Bugs finds the cave of jewels and Daffy tries to steal the jewel and the guy is like Hassan chop up in there and then Daffy gets all shrunk by the genie and stuff. Looks like Jack Shepard took a wrong turn at Albuquerque on his way to Pismo Beach.

So here's my final thoughts on Lost. I don't need you to explain everything. I don't mind if what is going on is some sort of power play between two ancient deities or something, though.. yeah.. I kinda do mind. But, like in the book I read a few months ago "The Gates" there is a way to effectively combine technology and science with the supernatural. But you have to try.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

What the "F" Lost, What the "F"?!

Ok, so this isn't going to be a comprehensive review of last night's episode of Lost or anything. Rather it is going to be a very specific complaint about something that happened in that episode.





Ok... have I put enough spaces to that people won't see the spoilery stuff in the preview? I'm really really mad that the Kwons died. I wouldn't be mad if one died, I wouldn't have even been mad if they both died in a different way, but I am VERY mad that they died the way they did. Here's why. THEY HAVE A FREAKING KID!!! Now, maybe you think "hey, maybe they just forgot they have a kid back home to take care of" but they were JUST talking about how Jin found the camera that had pictures of their little baby girl. So you know they had it on their mind. And THEN after all that, Jin decides to just go ahead and die with his wife because he can't live without her. Guess who else can't live without you? Your KID! Or are you perfectly happy having her raised by.. by who exactly? Sun's mom? My husband called me after seeing the episode (and before I did) and said that he would do the same thing (meaning he would stay by his wife). Really, because I would much rather have you try to get back to take care of my baby thank you very much. Somebody has to. How selfish to just choose to die and not think about this little infant that is living alone. Both poor little Ji Yeon and Aaron have the worst parents on the planet.

Oh... and not only did they have to die, but they had to do the lame ass Titanic-y way of almost holding hands then then floating away. Where was the Celine Dion?

Otherwise good ep, and I'm not saying that they needed to live. Just the whole "I can't live without you" think is SOO Twilight. These aren't things that adults would do. Adults would think about responsibilities. If Jin and Sun were teenagers then maybe I could forgive their immaturity. But come on, get real.

End of rant