Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cruising Through the Keywords

In January, the top ten searches that landed at my blog were:

  1. gap rewards
  2. stella screenwriter blog
  3. well above average
  4. ihop socialism
  5. trail of the screaming forehead dvd
  6. gap rewards points
  7. hollie nell blog
  8. biotherm celluli laser
  9. gap reward points
  10. eddie steeples shirtless
Sorry Mark Cuban and Tom Bergeron--the Crabman kicked your asses! (Actually variations of "Tom Bergeron shirtless" got five hits and "Mark Cuban shirtless" had three...Hi Elisabeth!)

Speaking of which: two hits came from "Eddie Steeples workout." Seriously people, have you seen the Crabman in his tank top? Does that body look like something buffed and toned at a gym?

Then we had questions:

Who is the actress that plays Bradley's wife Maria on Desperate Housewives?

That would be the uniquely named "Ion Overman."

Who was the actress in the convenience store in LOST "The Lie"?

Another unusal name: Chantal Boom'la.

Actress for Ellie in LOST "Jughead"?

Hello? IMBD people! The young Eloise Hawking was played by Alexandra Krosney.

Naked actresses in The Tudors?

That would be pretty much all of them...

What is the song in the iPod commercial that plays at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas?

A brief trip to YouTube confirms that it was "Mi Swing Es Tropical" by Nickodemus & Quantic featuring Tempo.

What happened to the dead cat on Desperate Housewives?

Toby did not die! You shouldn't say things like that--it angries him up...

What can i do if my blood sugar reading is 529?

First, step away from the pasta! Insulin is what keeps blood sugar under control. If you're resistant, reduce or eliminate high carb food (especially white starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes) from your diet and increase activity like walking, yoga or even a good house cleaning session brings my glucose levels down!

Is Daryl Hall an alcoholic?

Don't know.

Is Kevin Rahm straight?

Don't care.

We had people looking for "jack sayid desmond fan fiction," which was positively quaint compared to those looking for:

ballbusting pornos download
nude dudes cleaning
sex ugly grannys
ugly granny sex
slutty dental hygienist
smooth nude naked people
topless hygienist

Not sure what's going on in the northwest, but I got the following searches ending up at my blog:

snooty cliques in butte, mt
trafford facebook butte mt

Someone was looking for "former fatties turned hotties," which is the complete opposite of my post about when hotties turn into fatties--and it got me wondering: other than Ricki Lake, Jerry O'Connell and Seth Rogen, can we think of anyone?

The person searching on "George Bailey is an INFJ" made me smile. I like to think the protagonist of It's a Wonderful Life is a fellow Capricorn--stoic and dutiful. That he might share my Myers-Briggs type would be very cool indeed!

And then the usual weird stuff:

hooked on speedman
moving thyroid crunching
remove your own tattoo sandpaper
strange shit stars mugshots gore house of horror fucked up

Defiance screen average today?

Box Office Mojo, my friend. Approximately $5k per screen on its opening weekend dropping to a mere $854 for last weekend.

The average pay of a soundtrack movie composer?

I'm pretty sure John Williams makes bank, but indie movie composer Will Oldham (Wendy and Lucy) probably not quite so much...

And finally:

length of the average kiss
list of above average movies to rent
list of average stuff
above average + normal track
above average looking men
above average quotes
above average stella
average earth
average gap clothing employee pay
average heroes
average hotties
average nude
average pay for first time screenplay
average price paid for a feature screenplay
average sale price for screenplays
average screenplay sale price

Capped off by the searcher who knows what's what with: "we don't do average."

You said it, baby!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ugly Betty - Things Falls Apart

Well, the episode title wasn't kidding: will there even be a Meade Publishing anymore?

Ignacio falls apart when Elena leaves to go to California for a few days. "Finally I think I understand country music," he mopes.

Hilda is distressed over money issues and Betty is dealing with the fact that Henry has a new girlfriend and is trying to Friend her on Facebook.

But the real disaster comes courtesy of Daniel's best buddy and Meade CFO. Connor managed to siphon dry all the Meade accounts, funneling the money into his own personal account before he jets off to parts unknown. Didn't he look sexy being all paternal with Willie's baby at the beginning of the episode? Hard to believe he turned out to be such a cad.

He tells Willie he has something bad to confess to her. "Does someone need a spanking?" Wilhelmina purrs. When he reveals he's been embezzling from Meade to exact vengeance on Daniel, she is devastated. He wants to take her and the baby away from everything.

Betty notices the accounting irregularities when she's reviewing the budgets for a YETI project. But Connor stalls her from exposing him by transferring $100k into her personal bank account and making it appear that she and Daniel are behind the embezzlement. He even threatens her family.

Betty runs to Daniel, who is holed up in the Amsterdam Hotel nursing a cold, to break the bad news. Meanwhile Willie confides in Marc about whether she should choose the love of her life or her career. While Claire and Daniel examine the extent of the damage, a crestfallen Marc returns to Mode. Betty approaches him and asks him for any info he has on Willie's whereabouts.

Daniel and Claire race to the airport to waylay Willie--but she's already arranged for the police to apprehend Connor. Unfortunately, Connor guessed that Wilhelmina would choose her career over him and took an earlier flight. She tells Betty that they're both career girls sacrificing personal lives for the job.

Of course that inspires Betty to get over her Henry hurting and accept his friend request--and accept the invitation of Matt the MBA with the half Law degree. I agree with Amanda--he is cutish. Of course knowing the fickle Betty, he won't last too long...

If the Meade Empire falling apart weren't bad enough, Daniel's future with Molly is destroyed when she decides to end their relationship due to the fact that she was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer. "I beat it before, but it's back and it's worse," she tells the distraught Daniel.

See what I said about no happy ever after for long on soap operas?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Memos to Morons - part nine

TO: The Idiot Standing by the Stoplight Waiting to Cross the Street

RE: The Walk Button

See the yellow button right above your fat ass as you lean against the stoplight pole while chatting on your cell phone? You need to push that to get the walk signal. Not pushing it means when the light turns green, we'll still have the red hand instead of the white walk man.

As long as you're right THERE next to it, push the damn thing. That's what they're there for!

LOST - The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham we want to lay odds on who the real bad guy is? Widmore says it's Ben, Ben says it's Widmore. Sayid says Ben's a baddie, Hurley claims Matthew Abbadon, one of Widmore's minions, is evil.

I'm pretty sure they're both nasty pieces of work.

Poor Locke, caught in a power struggle between the two!

Looks like the Marshall Ilana and condolence guy Caesar are going to the integral characters in upcoming episodes. Walt told Locke he dreamt about him on the island wearing a suit with people around him. "They wanted to hurt you, John," he warns.

That's exactly how last night's episode opened: Ilana approaches Caesar who is rummaging through a Dharma station. He thrusts something into a bag, but when Ilana asks him about it, he lies. Hmm...wonder who Caesar's aligned with? Ben or Widmore?

Ilana takes him to see Locke. No-one remembers him being on the plane. This is because he was in a coffin in the cargo hold. Ilana asks Locke if he remembers why he is so dressed up--or anything for that matter. "I remember dying," Locke replies.

(Interesting aside about the boats: Ilana tells Locke that Lapidus and some woman took one of them. That would mean that it was Lapidus and that said woman who were shooting at Sawyer, Juliet and (mind-trip!) Locke when they were heading to the Orchid. But who was the woman? The flight attendant? I could understand if it were Ilana the Marshall seeking the missing Sayid...)

Then we get the familiar flashback: Locke turning the donkey wheel, Christian telling him to say hello to his son, Locke waking up flat on his back in the desert.

Yup, Tunisia. Location of wayward polar bears, anthropological explorers and lying Linuses. Apparently Tunisia is "the exit." At least that's how Charles Widmore explains it to Locke. Widmore remembers meeting Locke over 50 years ago when he was 17. He's pretty tripped out that the length of time between their meeting has been only 4 days for John.

As most of us suspected, Widmore was the former leader of the Others and Ben exiled him. He tells Locke that he (John) is special and needs to get back to the island. "There's a war coming, John--and if you're not back there when that happens, the wrong side will win."

It was Widmore who created the Jeremy Bentham identity for Locke. Apparently Widmore shares the LOST writers penchant for using philosopher names. He gives Locke files on the Oceanic Six, the name of Eloise Hawking and sets him up with Matthew Abbadon as his driver/escort.

The first stop is Sayid who is working in Santo Domingo for Habitat for Humanity. Was the carpentry work symbolically significant--or just a way to demonstrate Sayid's attempt to atone for the two years he spent working for Ben? Maybe a bit of both...

Sayid's a no-go so Locke moves on. He tells Abbadon to find Helen Norwood for him. But before tracking down more of the O6, he stops off to say hi to Walt. "Boy's gotten big," Abbadon says. Yup, tall "non-ghost" Walt. Funny that Locke lies about Michael when Walt asks about his father. Later Hurley will repeat the same lie when Walt comes to visit him.

Speaking of Hurley, Santa Rosa is the next stop on Locke's list. Hurley is completely unsurprised to see Locke in a wheelchair. Having been visited by Charlie and Mr. Eko (and later, Ana Lucia), Hurley assumes Locke is yet another ghost. Locke tells him that he's not dead and Hurley asks a nurse, "Excuse me, am I talking to a dude in a wheelchair right now?" When she confirms that Locke is indeed real, Hurley freaks out.

He really loses it when he spies Abbadon, who visited him when he first came back to Santa Rosa, waiting by the car. Locke tries to persuade him that Abbadon is okay, but Hurley demands to go back into the hospital. And to be fair, Abbadon IS kind of menacing looking.

Abbadon is more than a little dismayed at Locke's lack of progress in convinving the O6 to return. "You may want to step up your game," he tell John. Locke asks him what exactly is it he does for Mr. Widmore. Abbadon reminds him that he was the orderly in the hospital who convinced him to go on the walkabout which led him to be on Oceanic 815 when it crashed on the island. "I help people get to where they need to get to, John. That's what I do for Mr. Widmore."

Locke has no luck convincing Kate, either. She asks him if he's ever been in love, theorizing that Locke is so obsessed with the island because he didn't love anybody. Locke told her he was in love once. "What happened?" Kate asks. "I was angry. I was obsessed," John replies. "And look how far you've come..." Kate muses ironically.

Locke presses Abbadon to find Helen and Abbadon takes him to a cemetery in Santa Monica. Poor Katey Sagal. Her character died of a brain aneurysm so no more appearances on LOST! (Katey delivered one of my all-time favorite lines on LOST when she told Locke she had a thing for bald guys and a peeved Locke replies that he's not bald. "I can wait," Helen demurely answers.)

As they are leaving the cemetery, someone shoots Abbadon. Locke jumps into the driver's seat and races off, ending up in a major car accident which sends him to the hospital. When he regains consciousness, he finds Jack sitting at his bedside.

"What are you doing here?" Jack asks Locke, the old antagonism between the two rearing its ugly head. Locke babbles about destiny and going back to the island. Reaching his limit, Jack lashes out saying, "Maybe you're just a lonely old man who crashed on an island." "Your father says Hello," Locke responds.

He tells Jack that a man named Christian was the one who told him to move the island and that he needed to bring the O6 back. This completely unhinged Jack who storms out.

This puts Locke at the end of his end--literally. He writes a suicide note and prepares to hang himself. Right before he's about to step off, there's a knock on the door and Ben's voice calling his name. Locke asks how he found him. "I have a man watching Sayid. I'm watching all of them. I'm keeping them safe," Ben explains.

Locke accuses Ben of killing Abbadon and Ben admits, "Yes. Yes, I did." He reminds Locke that he was keeping Widmore away from the island so that John could lead. "John, you have no idea how important you are," he pleads. He tells Locke that what he said to Jack affected him--that he booked a ticket to Sydney. He gets down on his knees and beseeches, "You can't die--you've got too much work to do!" (Which was reminiscent of Tall Ghost Walt's command when Locke lay bleeding in the mass Dharma grave...)

The whole bit with Locke on the table with the rope around his neck and Ben kneeling before him definitely had a heavy-handed crucifixion motif to it. Much more so than the previous motif of John attempting to round up his "followers." But Ben eventually talks Locke down. At the mention of Sun, Locke tells Ben that he promised Jin he wouldn't bring her back. Ben seems surprised to find out that Jin's alive, but soothes Locke telling him "A promise is a promise." He also seems surprised to hear about Eloise Hawking when Locke tells him that she's the one that will help them return to the island.

After hearing this news, Ben strangles Locke. So it wasn't the spider venom after all! Was Ben just waiting to get the info about Eloise from Locke? Or did he need Locke out of the way so he could get Sun back to the island? Or was he killing his rival so he could regain his leadership status? Or was he just following protocol as Richard Alpert instructed that John was going to have to die in order to bring the others (Not to be confused with the "Others"...) back to the island.

He wipes down Locke's place and arranges his body so that it looks like a suicide and takes Jin's ring. As he leaves he says, "I'll miss you, John. I really will."

Back on the island, Caesar tells Locke that he's dealing with a mystery. That several people on the plane just disappeared while the plane was crashing. Locke asks if everyone else is accounted for other than those who disappeared. "Except for the people who got hurt," Caesar responds and takes Locke to where the injured are being housed. Locke stops in front of one of the injured. "You know him?" Caesar asks. "Yeah," Locke responds, "He's the one who killed me."

Ooohhh--I think Ben's gonna have some 'splaining to do when he regains consciousness!

Catch up with the recaps at Lostpedia, screencaps at Dark UFO and Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney's Dueling Analyses at

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


1. An act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.

This word immediately sprang to mind when viewing the following headlines right next to each other under the Health heading on the front page of

Mother Lets Obese Teenager Get Stomach Surgery

Parents Try New Treatment for Anorexic Teen

Wow. That just about sums it up, doesn't it?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heroes - Cold Wars

Last night's episode of Heroes should have been titled "The Man in the Horned-Rimmed Glasses." Like season's one "Company Man," it was all about Noah Bennet.

With the large and diverse cast of characters, Heroes can often be unwieldy. By concentrating mainly on Bennet, the show was able to maintain a more focused point of view.

After drugging his drink, Matt, Mohinder and Peter kidnap Bennet and tie him to a chair while Matt performs his patented "Mind Mojo Thingy" on him.

Matt is able to extract memories from Noah: being "let go" by Angela with severance, pension and a watch, bored doing crossword puzzles at home, visited by Nathan who tells him about his plan to round up people with abilities and "contain them."

Noah takes Nathan to his super secret storage locker which contains files and equipment representing the last twenty years of his life. Nathan's response: "We're the government. We have loads of weapons and...stuff."

After Matt extracts this memory, he sends Peter to the storage unit. But the unit is under surveillance and Danko sends a local goon squad in to capture Peter. Nathan warns Danko he wants Peter unharmed. "Fasers on stun," snarks Danko. Peter flies out evading his would-be captors.

Matt continues to probe Bennet's mind and finds out about Danko, the hunter, whose philosophy differs from Bennet's one of us, one of them. Danko's philosophy is more like "Us vs. Them." Matt also accesses the fact that Bennet contacted Mohinder to warn him about the government program.

This causes M&M to come to blows while Noah manages to escape. While they frantically try to track down their missing hostage, Noah jacks a car. But before he can get away, Peter arrives and lands on the hood.

Matt tells Peter about Danko. Peter is surprised that Noah wasn't the one pulling all the strings. "Turns out he's still middle-management." He sends Peter to Danko's place. Which considering how well the visit to the storage unit went is a stellar idea...

When Danko comes home, Peter is there waiting for him. Of course, instead of just shooting him, there has to be a whole discussion between the two which allows Nathan to arrive in time to stop him. "How the hell did you get here so fast?" an astounded Danko asks Nathan.

Hmm--apparently the hunter is clueless about "Flying Man"...

Peter shoots Danko in the arm and flies off to warn Matt and Mohinder that the goon squad is on the way. Back at the hotel room, Matt is about to shoot Bennet, but Bennet stops him with the news Daphne is alive. Mohinder sacrifices himself to the goon squad so that Matt can verify that Bennet is telling the truth.

Okay, Daphne had half a dozen bullets pumped into her chest, but she survived. Sort of like Matt surviving when he was shot in chest at the end of season one--or Sylar surviving being impaled by Hiro. Convenient albeit implausible...

The goon squad storms the hotel room and Matt surrenders, but as he's being escorted into custody Peter swoops in and flies off with him. Meanwhile back at Building 26, Mohinder is tied to a chair and Nathan threatens him and the rest of the heroes with death if they don't cooperate.

The episode ends with Bennet and Danko "bonding." But after Danko leaves, Bennet meets up with Angela again. Angela warns him that he will need to keep up appearances. Bennet replies, "I've always been comfortable with morally gray."

So it appears that Bennet is a double agent, working with Angela against Nathan. Do we think he might be "Rebel" as well?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Best Part of the Oscars

Okay, so I did watch a bit of the show. Thankfully it ended at 8 pm here on the west coast. I pity you east coast diehards that stayed up until the bitter end. How cool that Slumdog won Best Picture? Sean Penn's speech was great--even as it strayed into the political and Kate Winslet was much more comprehensible than she was at the Golden Globes.

A lot of people are raving about Hugh Jackman's opening number. It was cute, but definitely took a page from Billy Crystal's humorous numbers of the past.

My favorite Oscar moment was this advertisement for the Jimmy Kimmel Show. I've always had a soft spot for Jimmy, but how funny is Tom Cruise?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Ho-hum

Everyone is all abuzz about the impending Academy Awards which will happen mere hours from now. The Washington Post has no less than a dozen stories dedicated to the event including from Ann Hornaday on what makes a performance "Oscar-worthy", Monica Hesse musing on Gender's Role in the Best Acting categories, Dan Zak's plea to the victor's to keep acceptance speeches short and sweet and finally Celebritologist Liz Kelly's Oscar Bingo to help make the interminably long show a bit more bearable.

Me, I'm already bored with the whole thing. Except for Brad Pitt's Best Actor nomination, the inclusion of Forrest Gump rip-off The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in the Best Picture category and any other picture other than WALL*E vying for Best Animated Feature, all the nominees are deserving of the honor.

Danny Boyle's already received his award from the DGA, so he's a shoo-in for Best Director. Sean Penn and Heath Ledger already won SAG awards, so it would seem that the Best Actor and Supporting Actor awards are a given. The only toss-up will be Best Actress between Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet who both won the SAG version. This also leaves the Best Supporting Actress field open.

Among other forgone conclusions: some idiot on the red carpet will ask a celebrity a completely inane question, some starlet will wear some hideous haute couture, someone will cry, someone will drone on and on and on and the show will last for 900 hours.

There's an Everybody Loves Raymond re-run on tonight. Maybe I'll watch that...

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The combination of exotic Chinese ingredients and advanced French skincare technology comes together in a great new line called pūr~lisse. The name is a blend of the French words for "pure" and "smooth" while the line blends Blue Lotus and White Tea, two powerful anti-oxidants with anti-aging benefits, into a unique, patent-pending Lotus Lupine complex.

The Blue Lotus and White Tea are joined by three other key ingredients: Lupine Peptides which stimulate cellular activity leaving skin better oxygenated and revitalized, high-quality Soy Protein which offers superior anti-irritant properties, increasing the skin’s ability to produce Collagen and Elastin, and a blend of French marine plants and extracts which protects skin from environmental damage, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and provides skin firmness.

What's NOT in pūr~lisse:

Propylene glycol
Chemical dyes

pūr~lisse is also cruelty-free and comes in smart, functional packaging.

I got a chance to test-drive pur~delicate, the gentle soy milk cleanser and makeup remover and pur~moist, the hydra-balance moisturizer. Both are gentle, soothing and extremely effective. The cleanser completely removes all traces of makeup and leaves my soft and smooth. The moisturizer not only hydrated my skin, but soothed and calmed it as well.

So if you're interested in natural, pure, effective products that PRESERVE youth, PROTECT beauty and PREVENT skin aging, check out pūr~lisse!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ugly Betty - There's No Place Like Mode

It was the annual Fashion Week episode on Ugly Betty last night and against that backdrop, we had the rivalry between Elena and Hilda, Fashion Girl and Sports Guy, Molly makeovers, Willie regaining relevance and the birth of the new Meade heir.

Hilda's joy at the end of Elena's nursing service is short-lived when it becomes apparent that she and Ignacio are continuing their romance and taking it to a new level. When they two lovebirds appear at breakfast with Elena wearing Ignacio's ratty old robe, Hilda throws a hissy-fit and Justin steps in. "You're better than that robe. I'm going to get you one of mine."

The conflict comes to an end when Justin gives Elena his ticket to the Mode fashion show which forces Elena into close contact with her nemesis. The two end up bonding over a shared love of spandex and stirrup pants.

The bonding continues with Betty and her new Y.E.T.I. partner. Although Betty had engineered pairing up with someone from the New York Review, Jodi switches things up and Betty--aka "Fashion Girl"--ends up with Matt, the "Sports Guy."

Betty's attempt to do something more meaningful at Mode lands her the opportunity to write the press release for fashion designer Heinrich. When she queries Amanda about him, Amanda replies, "Never heard of him. He must suck." So she and Matt go to check out his studio where they find Heinrich sprawled on the floor.

Greeting Betty he declares, "We will make love. Not today, but someday." Heinrich's designs are adorned with shards of glass and spikes ala Edward Scissorhands. Betty is at a loss as to what to write for the press release, so she and Christina goof around with phrases such as "Prepare to bleed!" But when the joke press release ends up being reported by Suzuki St. Pierre, Betty is sure she will be fired.

But Daniel is miffed about the length of his cuffs--whether they should be peeking or peering from his sleeves. He loved the press release and so did Heinrich. So he puts Betty in charge of producing Heinrich's show. Overwhelmed by the responsibility, Betty ends up being short with Matt who calls her shallow as he walks out.

Betty rushes after him to apologize and offers to allow him to show her his world. In a locker room with naked basketball players, Matt explains to Betty that he wasn't a natural in the sports world. He found his way in by making it personal.

This inspires Betty to research Heinrich and she finds out he grew up behind the Iron Curtain and that his father died trying to escape from behind the Berlin Wall. She uses the motif of the Berlin in Heinrich's show which so impresses the fashion designer that he gifts her with one of his spiky crowns. Betty realizes that fashion is art and thanks Matt for helping her. She promises that she'll have more time to help him learn about fashion now that the show is over. Matt tells her he wasn't really interested in learning about fashion, he was more interested in learning about her.

Okay, Daniel Eric Gold isn't quite as hot as Freddy Rodriguez, but he makes a much better love interest for Betty than Jesse. (For those who are counting: this will be boyfriend number four in two and a half seasons...)

Other than obsessing over his cuffs, Daniel is dealing with bad reviews. Not for Mode or himself, but panning Molly. So he takes it upon himself to get her a makeover. Personally, I liked the before Molly much more than the over-coiffed and cosmetically enhanced after version. Molly seems happy about the results, but ends up skipping out on the rest of the shows and avoiding Daniel.

Daniel asks Betty for advice. "Did you do something stupid?" she asks him. He tells her no--and tells her about the makeover. "You did something stupid," Betty confirms. Daniel calls Molly to apologize and tells her that he likes her just the way she is and loves her. But Molly's issues may not have anything to do with the makeover or the "roof leak" in her apartment--but may have everything to do with the news she received at the doctor's office.

Didn't I say something last week about soap operas where everyone is happy? Looks like the other shoe is about to drop.

Lastly, Wilhelmina was dealing with the unwanted side effects of having a personal life: falling off the radar in the fashion industry. Connor reassures her she'll claw her way back to the top--or at least the front row.

But when Christina goes into labor (which, incidentally, was overdue as by my calculation Christina has been pregnant for over a year now...) and collapses on the runway, Willie seizes her opportunity to grab the spotlight. With Marc cuing the hydraulic lift and the confetti spewing land mine, Wilhelmina raises her baby boy up just like in The Lion King.

Thankfully, Vanessa Williams did not break into Circle of Life...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

L.A. Confidential on Blu-Ray DVD Giveaway

Okay--here's the deal:

L.A. Confidential is now available on Blu-ray. I possess a brand new copy of the film that starred Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell and won Kim Basinger a Best Supporting actress Oscar. I do not possess a Blu-ray DVD player.

So here's your chance to win my copy. I will send it to you for FREE!

Just three requirements:

1. You can't be related to me (Sorry David and Laurie...)
2. You must own a Blu-ray DVD player (Yes, I will require proof...kidding!)
3. You must post about your favorite scene from the film in the comments section.

That's it! I will randomly select a winner and send out the DVD in the next couple of weeks.

LOST - 316

It turns out that 316 is not only a biblical reference as George pointed out, but also the flight number of Ajira Airlines that Mrs. Hawking calculated would return the Oceanic Six to the island. Or as pilot Frank Lapidus put it, "We're not going to Guam are we?"

No, Frank--we're not. Nice little tie-in with Lapidus reappearing for this episode. He cleans up pretty well without that bushy beard, huh? And thanks to Hurley's multi-millions which gave him the ability to buy 78 seats on the doomed airliner, just a handful of people other than the O6 and Locke and Ben will end up on the island.

Jack asks Ben, "And the other people on this plane--what's gonna happen to them?" "Who cares?" shrugs Ben.

Wrap your mind around this: the Ajira Airline wreckage that the Juliet, Sawyer and company found during one of the flashes was the remains of the Ajira 316. Whoa--trippy! Why the flashes kept happening after the Oceanic Six returned is another question altogether...

No flashbacks between those trapped on the island and the O6 in this episode. It was pretty much a Jack-centric episode beginning with a close-up of an eye opening. Is anyone keeping count of how many times the whole "eye opening" motif has been used on this show? The eye in question belonged to Jack and it was pretty obvious that he was back on the island.

Next we heard Hurley's voice shouting in the distance and Jack rushes to rescue him splashing about in the lagoon. Kate's washed up on some rocks and there's no sign of Sayid, Sun or Ben.

Aaron wasn't along for the ride. Kate told Jack he could never ask about Aaron. My guess is that Kate obeyed ghost Claire's command to not bring him back and gave him to his biological grandmother.

46 hours earlier, Mrs. Hawking takes the group to a chamber underneath the church which is called the Lamp Post station. The Dharma initiative used it to find the island in the first place. "Did you know abou this place?" Jack asks Ben. "No, I didn't," Ben replies. "Is he telling the truth?" Jack asks Eloise. "Probably not," Mrs. Hawking answers.

And that, people, sums Benjamin Linus up in a nutshell. Nothing that comes out of his mouth can be trusted.

Mrs. Hawking explains that in order to find the island they needed to stop looking for where the island was supposed to be and start looking for where the island was going to be as the island is always moving. This is why the Oceanic Six were never rescued--no-one could find it. According to the calculations there's only a brief window of time where one can return to the island. "Yours closes in 36 hours," she informs the group.

She also tells Desmond that the island isn't done with him yet. "Well, I'm done with the island!" Desmond insists as he storms out.

Mrs. Hawking tells Jack that they need to recreate the circumstances that brought them to the island in the first place--otherwise the results could be "unpredictable." She hands him an envelope with his name on it. It's Locke's suicide note. "Why would he kill himself?" Jacks asks her. "He is going to help you get back," Mrs. Hawking tells him.

Apparently Locke is a proxy for Christian Shepherd who Jack was bringing back in a coffin from Sydney when Oceanic 815 crashed. Hawking tells Jack he needs to give Locke something of Christian's. When Jack objects, she tells him that it's a leap of faith.

Aha--so this is what it's about: Jack must become a man of faith instead of a man of science.

This point is reiterated with Ben relating the story of Thomas the Apostle to Jack and how he doubted the resurrection until he saw the wounds. "Was he convinced?" Jack asked. "We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack," Ben replies. This ties in with Locke's "suicide" note which simply says: "Jack, I wish you had believed me. JL" Of course if you watched the previews for next week's show, you know that Locke was indeed resurrected after Ajira 316 crashes on the island.

Ben excuses himself and says he'll meet Jack at the airport in the morning. "I made a promise to an old friend of mine. Just a loose end that needs tying up."

Ouch. That sounds suspiciously like the "promise" Ben made to Widmore--that he would kill his daughter. When a bloodied Ben calls Jack the following morning telling him that he needs to pick Locke up on the way to the airport, it certainly doesn't look good for our favorite LOST couple. But given that Ben had an arm in a sling, we can only hope that Desmond kicked the @#$% out of him and prevented any harm coming to Penny.

At Jill's butcher shop, Jack replaces the black boots Locke is wearing with a pair of Christian's wing tips. "Wherever you are John, you must be laughing your ass off!" Jack tells him. At the airport when the agent asks Jack's relationship to "Jeremy Bentham," Jack replies "Friend" in marked contrast to his answer at the funeral parlor which between friend or relative he said, "Neither."

On the flight when Jack asks him how he can read (James Joyce's Ulysses, which is a retelling of the Homer's The Odyssey about a man's long journey home) and Ben replies, "Because my mother taught me." Hmm...Ben's mother died giving birth to him. Maybe her weird ghost on the island taught him to read. Or it's yet another example of how you can tell he's lying because his lips are moving...

There's a buzzing and humming noise and a flash of light and Jack, Kate and Hurley are back on the island--and none of them can remember crashing. A Dharma van pulls up and a man gets out and points a rifle at the trio.

It's Jin!

Wondering: Will we get more of Charlotte's backstory about when she lived on the island? Is Aaron's absence from the return to the island going to cause "unpredictable results"? Where the heck are Rose, Bernard and Vincent?

For more LOST madness, check out the recap at Lostpedia, the screencaps at Dark UFO and Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly's Dueling Analyses at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

LOST: Another number? Sure! 316

According to George, the biblical themes continue with tonight's episode of LOST:

"Hello LOSTies,

Well goodbye to Charlotte, who died in Daniel's arms, but not before revealing another twist: When she was younger, Daniel told her to never leave the island, which shocked Daniel..but it shouldn't shock you. Remember the first scene of this season?? That's right Daniel was seen as a DHARMA worker along side Pierre.

1) November 18, 1988 - Nadine is killed as the monster attacks. Montand's arm is ripped off while the French team try to save him from the monster. The crew, sans Danielle, go into the cerebrus vent at the base of a temple with the hieroglyphics matching those from the room Ben went in to "send out" Smokey.
2) January 1989 - Danielle kills her team due to the "sickness" caused by the guys going into the vent.
3) Unknown - Sawyer finds Jin.
4) Unknown - This was the quick one that lasted 20 seconds.
5) Unknown - Charlotte collapses and starts speaking in different times of her lives.
6) After 1971 - The group arrives at the Orchid.
7) Before 1971 - Locke heads down the well.
8) Way before 1971 - Charlotte confesses to Daniel about her past and dies.

Also, in Flash 8, Christian Shepard appears to Locke after Locke's legs get hurt. Christian is upset Ben moved the island, not John. Now John must correct things, so he starts turning the wheel into the final flash, but not before Christian tells him to say hello to his son. So is Christian really Jacob?

Back in Los Angeles, Kate and Sayid left the marina when Ben's plan is revealed. Ben takes Sun and Jack to the church where they meet up with Desmond. They walk inside and meet up with Eloise (BTW, I loved Desmond's face when he recognized her as Ms. Hawking from his flash). This episode was the first time Ben and Sun AND Ben and Desmond talked directly to each other. Also, the van Ben was driving is called "Canton-Rainier", which is an anagram for "reincarnation."

On to tonight's episode "316"

Umm...what is 316? Let's assume it's JOHN 3:16 from the Bible:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

So does that mean John doesn't die?? LOL! I know what you are all thinking, don't I :)

So the quest begins tonight to head back to the island, starting out at one of the DHARMA stations off the island. A mysterious return could turn Jack's world upside down and the Shepards continue to become more important in the story. You will see Jill the butcher again tonight, I know a few of you liked her. I'm gonna keep this one short as I'm not on the island with its immediate healing properties...but I want you to grab your guitars, strum down a waterfall, and put up your's "316"!"
Hmm...I must have been too busy typing up notes because I did not catch the look on Desmond's face when he met Eloise Hawking, aka "weird psychic engagement ring lady."

Little Citizens Herb Teas from Republic of Tea

Remember being little and having a "tea party"? Stuff animals and baby dolls served as guests and water, milk or juice stood in for tea.

Kids these days can serve actual tea at their tea parties courtesy of Republic of Tea's Little Citizens Herb Tea line.

Naturally caffeine-free, anti-oxidant rich Rooibos is anti-allergenic and supports the immune system. Much better for the little ones than sugary Tang, Kool-Aid or Ovaltine!

It comes in three yummy flavors: Strawberry Vanilla, Tangerine and Apple Cherry which can be served hot or iced.

And Little Citizens Herb Tea doesn't just provide nutritional support for children: for every tin of tea sold, $1 will be donated to Room to Read, a leader in providing educational opportunities to underprivileged children around the world. Established based on the belief that education is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty in the developing world, the organization has supported nearly two million children by catalyzing the construction of more than 700 schools and 7,000 bilingual libraries with 5 million books and supporting the education of over 7,000 girls.

Whether your tea party includes guests of the stuffed variety or just a solo cup of solace, Little Citizens Herb Tea will please both big and little sippers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heroes - Building 26

Building 26 refers to the location of Nathan's hero-hunting operation. He's got Tracy chained to a chair under heat lamps to thwart her cryogenic powers. A sweaty Ali Larter in bondage--a gift to all the male fans out there from Tim Kring...

Nathan's super secret Guantanamo operation is thwarted by Homeland Security operative Abby Collins (Moira Kelly) who wants to shut the whole thing down. Nathan warns her that the people he is hunting are dangerous. "Right, because they're all magic," Collins sneers. But when Tracy breaks free of her bonds, escapes and freezes one of the agents right before Abby's eyes, she gets Nathan's double funding approved pronto.

Tracy thinks Nathan arranged for her escape, but in reality it was Danko who set her up to provide the demonstration for Ms. Collins.

Sylar and Luke are still road-tripping. Luke's trying to bond, but his babbling is annoying our favorite badass. "So you're like a serial killer," says Luke. Sylar disputes this, but Luke points out "Well, you’ve got a pattern, you go after specific victims, you collect mementos..." "Okay, technically I'm a serial killer," Sylar concedes.


Later Sylar tells him, "Luke, you really got to stop trying to be my friend or I'm gonna have to kill you." Luke says of Sylar's father, "He sold you for money you know..." Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that Sylar's mentee is named Luke--he did get a little Obi-Wan there for a moment. But then he went back to being the lost little boy looking for his daddy...

Luke writes down the address of Sylar's father while they stop at a diner. After being surrounded by agents, they attempt to slip out the emergency exit but come under fire by Nathan's goon squad.

So I wonder, why didn't Luke melt the guns?

Sylar takes off and leaves Luke to the goons, but later rescues him and the two continue their buddy road trip. Sylar turns on the radio to tune out Luke. A bit on the nose to have Talking Heads Psycho Killer playing--but humorous nonetheless. Did he rescue Luke because the warm and fuzzy Sylar has resurfaced, or will serial killer Sylar slice Luke's head open and take his powers?

Ando and Hiro go to New Delhi to bring to life the psychic visions Matt drew. Hiro tells Ando, "When destiny calls, you answer the phone!" and goes off to figure out how to stop the wedding. But it's Ando who locates the bride and convinces her to call off her nuptials by giving her a sign with his supercharging power.

This makes Hiro jealous and he sulks as Annapura calls Ando her hero. "You can't stand the fact that now you're my sidekick!" Ando tells him. The angry groom shows up and when Ando tries to intervene, he hits him in the head with a pot and carries him off.

So the wedding's back on again so that Hiro can stop it and punch out the groom. He tells Ando he learned he doesn't need powers to be a hero. Annapura realizes Ando's name was familiar because she had received a message for him and Hiro. The message is from Rebel and it tells them to save Matt Parkman.

Claire's been receiving text messages from the mysterious Rebel as well. (Who do we think Rebel is? Peter? Nathan? Noah?) One tells her to "Save Alex." So she heads to Sam's Comics and locates Alex who works there as a cashier. She tells him he needs to get out of there immediately, but Alex thinks he's being punk'd. Claire slices her hands and demonstrates her regeneration powers in order to convince him--and right then Noah enters the store.

The two manage to escape Bennet and race off in Alex's car. Alex's power is the ability to breathe underwater--which may be one of the lamest powers to date. Later Noah confronts Claire about being in the area where Alex disappeared. "I know you're lying," he tells her. "Well, I learned from the master," she coolly replies.

(Anyone else notice how Hayden Panettiere seems to have taken lessons at the Milo Ventimiglia School of Whisper Acting? Really annoying...)

Unable to continue lying to her Mom, Claire outs Noah which leads to a big blowout between the elder Bennets. Sandra kicks Noah out and following a tearful farewell scene with Claire-bear, he leaves for a hotel. Drowning his sorrows at the hotel bar, he passes out and Peter and Matt appear and carry him off.

Roofies? Really? Couldn't Matt have just used his mind control powers on him?

Next week seems to be all about Noah Bennet: good guy or villain?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Desperate Housewives - In a World Where Kings are Employers

Looks like the writers for Desperate Housewives have upped the the volume of annoying Susan to 11. As if the pettiness of pressuring Mike to pull extra shifts in order to send M.J. to private school wasn't enough, this week it was peanut butter vs. provolone in the battle between Susan and Katherine.

Yo, Susan--don't you know it takes a village? Susan's attempts to make M.J. a pawn in the panini wars took a hit when Katherine informed her that Mike was moving in with her--and therefore M.J. would be spending a lot of time there as well.

Well, that gloating will be short-lived. Dave, feeling the pressure of Dr. Heller's disappearance, arranges a camping trip with Mike and Katherine. I loved Edie's response: "Camping? Have you met me?" You and me both, Edie. I'd much rather do the room service and spa weekend. Edie's philosophy is "Life is brief--grab all the gusto you can while you're on this side of the dirt." If Dave succeeds with his evil scheme, looks like Katherine is going to be on the wrong side of the dirt shortly.

Hmm...wonder if Susan will be a suspect in Katherine's murder?

Gaby's back to her materialistic self. But her plan to buy herself some bling is thwarted when Carlos' boss Brad announces that no-one will be receiving bonuses. "For god's sake, don't do this to my jeweler!" she pleads. When she spots Brad kissing a blonde who is most definitely not his wife, she races home to share the news with Carlos. Brad, however, has beaten her to it--and offers Carlos the bonus. During a negotiation between Brad and Gaby that completely goes over Carlos' head, his bonus increases from $20k to $30k.

"I'm getting a bonus no-one else is getting based on blackmail?" Carlos exclaims. "You're welcome!" Gaby replies.

But she feels guilty and the bonus and the bracelet when Brad's wife announces that she's pregnant and that she and Brad want Carlos and Gaby to be the godparents.

Bree and Orson butt heads over Andrew's pay raise. Confronted with evidence of Andrew's recent extravagance, Orson is obsessed with finding out just how much money his stepson makes. He calls the bank, but can't get any information without the password for the account--which is the name of Bree's childhood pet.

Orson attempts to extract that information from Bree by pretending to play the "porn name" game. Taking the name of the first pet and the name of the street you grew up on, Orson's porn name is "Thunder McFadden." Bree reluctantly plays along, but can't decide if her name would be "Coco Saugatuck," "Munchy Cedarhurst" or "Taffy Swallow." (Okay, the last two definitely sound like porn names!) Orson presses her about which was her favorite pet, "If Coco, Munchy or Taffy were in a burning building, who would you save?"

Once he has "Munchy" as the password, Orson finds out that Andrew makes TWICE what he does. "I'm your husband!" he protests. "Yes, Orson--we're all aware of how you got the job..." is Bree's rejoinder.


"You're saying I'm worthless!" says Orson. "No, I'm saying you're worth...less," answers Bree. Orson realizes that Andrew is very valuable to the business--but it doesn't stop him from stealing his Mont Blanc pen.

The bickering between Tom and Lynette grows even more intense as their financial difficulties increase. Lynette wants Tom to sell the restaurant, but Tom is reluctant to give up his dream. He fires the waitstaff and recruits his kids to work at Scavos. "We'll love working together!" he cajoles. "Why? We don't even like living together!" replies one of the twins.

But the idea turns out not to be the bonding experience Tom hoped for: Penny loses a band-aid while preparing the salads, Parker is shorting the customers and Porter and Preston argue who gets to wait on the hot girl customer. When a bunch of high school students enter the restaurant, the twins bug out--too embarrassed to be seen by their schoolmates. Tom loses it and has to be restrained by Lynette.

Later, he feels guilty and Lynette sees him going over the accounts. He tells her he's trying to figure out how much the restaurant is worth if they're going to sell it.

So let's review: Susan's possessive, Gaby's greedy, Lynette's naggy, Bree's bossy and Edie--well, Edie's Edie. Apparently she's due to be killed off in an upcoming episode.

I'm gonna miss her.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

Perhaps on par with winning an Oscar or Emmy or Golden Globe, one of the surest symbols of "making it" is being photographed by Annie Leibovitz. As the famous song by Dr. Hook attests:

But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture

On the cover of the Rolling Stone...

The achievements of Annie Leibovitz include many covers for Rolling Stone--and Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her career has spanned 40 years and her photos of John Lennon and Yoko Ono (taken hours before his murder), a very pregnant Demi Moore, Patti Smith and Whoopi Goldberg (to name just a few...) have transcended the celebrity status of the subjects themselves to become iconic images.

Who better to document Leibovitz's life and career than her sister Barbara? Interspersing archival footage with that of present day clips of Leibovitz in action--as well as numerous interviews with colleagues and photo subjects (including Tina Brown, Anna Wintour, Hillary Clinton, Yoko Ono, Demi Moore and Arnold Schwarzenegger), the film explores the process and passion of one of the world's most celebrated and well-known photographers.

The DVD contains additional interviews discussing the stories behind some of those famous photos, Annie's process and work ethic, and her work in the areas of commercial, fashion and celebrity photography. If you've ever leafed through her self-titled book of photos (I own it!), the documentary is like the book come to life.

In answer to her sister's query of "What is a photographer's life?," Leibovitz responds, "It's just a life...looking through a lens." Check out the DVD to get a peek through the lens of Leibovitz's life and work.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Forget the Chocolate--curl up with a RomCom on V-Day!

Confession time: I am not into chick flicks. Steel Magnolias makes me gag. Terms of Endearment I can't even be bothered to see. And I think Sleepless in Seattle is by far the worst romantic comedy of them all.

But there are some rom-coms that hit the right notes for me. Instead of bemoaning your solitary state on Valentine's Day or spending too much on a fancy dinner out, head over to Blockbuster and curl up with a sweet (but not TOO sweet) movie:

1. The Wedding Singer - This is the sweeter side of Adam Sandler and how can you not love a soundtrack that features originals and covers of David Bowie, Dead or Alive, Culture Club and a cameo by Billy Idol?

2. 50 First Dates - Another Sandler flick again teaming him with the terminally cute Drew Barrymore. This came out at the same time as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and (I know I'll ruffle some feathers here) I think it does a better job of exploring the connection between love and memory.

3. Ever After - Speaking of Drew Barrymore, she played a kick-ass and fiercely independent Cinderella in this unique retelling of the fairy tale classic.

4. Pretty Woman - I have at least two female friends who LOATHE this movie. And I totally get where they're coming from: sugar-coating prostitution into a Pygmalion-styled Cinderella story is a bit of a stretch. But it works for me for one reason: Julia Roberts. She is charisma, she is magic. That smile, that laugh, those big brown eyes.

And seriously--who wouldn't relish the opportunity to have someone who looks like Richard Gere as a sugar daddy? Sure it's formula--but the formula works.

5. The Truth About Cats and Dogs - Janeane Garofalo was so utterly adorable in this flick. I guess I have a thing for underdogs. And actual dogs...

6. 10 Things I Hate About You - This was the late Heath Ledger's break-through film and it also featured a young(er) Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon Levitt. The scene where Ledger serenades Stiles with "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" on the football field is a gem.

7. About a Boy - The real love story in this film is between Hugh Grant's self-absorbed manchild and Nicholas Hoult's geeky young Marcus. No, it's not anything pedophilic--but a belated coming of age story about a man jolted out of his narcissistic existence by a child wise beyond his years:

Christine: Oh,'s just I thought you had hidden depths.
Will: No, no, you've always had that wrong about me. I really am this shallow.
This one also features a mortifying song performance. It's brilliant.

8. He Said, She Said - Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth Perkins are great in this battle of the sexes story which ironically was directed by Ken Kwapis who is currently riding high on the success of He's Just Not That Into You. It's one story told twice, from each of the main character's perspective.

9. Roxanne - Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah in a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. It's pretty predictable, but still enjoyable.

10. Some Kind of Wonderful - Eric Stolz, Mary Stuart Masterson and Lea Thompson in a John Hughes-penned love triangle where the geek girl gets the guy! This almost makes up for the fact that bland Blaine triumphed over devoted Duckie in Pretty in Pink.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Hollie Goes Green

This post comes courtesy of the gorgeous and talented Hollie, who I sent to check out the latest happening at Vert.

Here is her report:

"Organic make-up and skin care is something Stella has been raving about. As an avid reader of her blog, I always thought it sounded good but maybe a bit new age-y for my needs.

I’m a drugstore kinda gal.

But after attending Vert’s Kiss and Make-up event, I’m a convert. Created by Renata Helfman, Vert is the place to go for all natural eco-friendly make-up and skin care products. As we sipped on champagne and snacked on tasty macrobiotic snacks, Renata, a former celebrity make-up artist, offered a step-by-step make-up lesson.

I’ve always found watching people apply make-up a bit like watching a chef prepare a great meal. It’s interesting but not something I could do. But Renata offered so many great tips as she went along I kept thinking, "I can do that!"

One thing I learned was how important it is to prep your skin before you put on any make-up. Before she even got started with the make-over, Renata moisturized her model’s face, using Ren, Vert’s latest offering for skincare. Ren is the latest in bioactive skincare and has no synthetic ingredients. It’s packaging is clean and simple and the products are scientifically tested.

As someone who’s starting to notice fine lines sneak in, finding the best anti-aging creams have become a hobby. While everything in the line looked good, my budget forced me to focus on what’s most important. I’ve been in the market for a new eye cream so I splurged for the lipovector peptide anti-wrinkle eye cream, which contains peptides and natural vitamin A.

I’m planning to replace my current eye cream Clinique Repairwear which, according to Cosmetic Database (another discovery that I can’t believe I didn’t know about), ranks at a 7. Ren was kind enough include a sample of there products including the Multi-mineral Detoxifying Facial Mask, the Rosa Centifola Facial Wash and the Active 7 Radiant Eye Maintenance Gel.

My skin is already thanking me.

Besides praising Ren skincare, Renata stressed that Vert provides a variety of products so that the eco-conscious consumer can mix and match. One item that really stood out and I’ve already added to my wish list is Josie Maran’s Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30. It’s the perfect substitute for someone like me (lazy) who doesn’t wear foundation every day but wants to look like I do.

Helping out with make over tips was Layla, a make-up artist from Jane Iredale cosmetics. I don’t know how I’ve never heard of this cosmetic line but the products are incredible. I haven’t tried it yet but in my goody bag, is their lengthening mascara and one of their 24-karat bronzer. (Is there anything better than a bronzer with gold flecks in it?)

What stands out about Jane Iredale is that this was one of the first companies to make mineral make-up and it continues to be recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Those are people I can trust. The other must have item from Jane Iredale is the In Touch Cream blush. It contains real cocoa extract and smells incredible. Normally, I’m not a big fan of scented cosmetics but this was just the right blend.

New cosmetics and skin care is exciting but the best part about the evening was the education I received. The tips from both Renata and Layla were invaluable. I had no idea that the mascara I was using from the drugstore contained such toxic chemicals as well as the damage that my “long lasting” lip color may cause. I had posted on my own blog that I hoped to be more eco-friendly by recycling and driving less, but I realized that I’ve been putting potentially harmful products on my face and body.

Definitely not the place where one should scrimp!

Of course, mineral make-up and “green” skincare is slightly more expensive than drugstore brands but paying that extra bit is worth it if I’m not only looking better but I’m not poisoning using toxic products.

You can check out Vert online to discover all the products I mentioned and so many more.

Thanks again to Stella for letting me discover the wonderful world of Vert. My make-up and skincare routine will never be the same!"

Hollie is a screenwriter, actress, blogger and twin whose pristine porcelain skin is in no need of cosmetics. But if one more person is converted to avoiding toxic chemicals and using healthier and more eco-friendly products, then I have done my job!

Ugly Betty and The Office - The Courtship of Betty's Father and Lecture Circuit pt.2

I have to say, I think last night's episode of Ugly Betty was one of my all-time favorites! What with Willie telling Connor that she loves him, Molly and Daniel and their terminal cuteness, Ignacio hooking up with Elena and the sweetest couple of them all: Daniel and his mom, Claire.

I've been a fan of Judith Light since her time on One Life to Live as Karen Wolek--doctor's wife by day, prostitute by night. Or was it the other way around? Anyway, Light has the most expressive eyes which can well up with tears in the blink of an eye. And when her eyes welled up, so did mine.

I'm such a mush.

With the episode title being The Courtship of Betty's Father, it wasn't hard to see the connection between him and Elena coming. Of course, when Betty catches them making out (nothing more than some passionate kissing thank goodness 'cuz THAT wouldn't have been too cute...), it freaks both her and Hilda out.

Even cuter was Willie getting coaching from Marc on her relationship with Connor. She ends up bird-sitting Connor's parrot while he's on a business trip to London. Unfortunately, Olivia Newton Bird has a nasty habit of squawking "Pretty Molly" over and over. Marc asks Willie why she didn't just offer to water the plants and she replies, "I guess people in love do stupid things." Marc gloats over the admission, but Willie cautions him that "no-one will know that I love Connor outside this office."

Except now Oliva Newton Bird has a new catch-phrase to squawk: "I love Connor." Wilhelmina tries frantically to teach the bird another phrase so that Connor won't know about her feelings. When that doesn't work, she orders Marc to throw the parrot out the window. "But that would be BIRD-er!" Marc gasps. He tells Willie that "Waiting for someone to say I love you first doesn't mean you're more powerful, it just means you're afraid."

I'm really loving Marc this season. Michael Urie is doing a fabulous job!

When Connor returns home, Willie blurts out that she loves him before the bird can. What a great passionate kiss that Connor planted on her!

Daniel is feeling insecure about his relationship with Molly--especially after hearing her reminisce with Connor about their many years and many adventures together. He tries taking her to an exotic Tibetan restaurant in order to forge some memories of their own, but he gets queasy after drinking fermented yak butter tea and rushes to the bathroom. Later, he confesses to Molly that he lacks experience in the relationship longevity department and he's afraid he's going to screw things up. "I won't let you!" Molly tells him and says, "Last night might not have been perfect, but it was memorable."

But the most touching story was Claire's. When Claire is detained for shoplifting at a drugstore, Betty bails her out but expresses her concern to Daniel about his mother. They decide that Claire's erratic behavior is due to her impending 60th birthday and that the remedy is to throw her a surprise party complete with tribute video.

Since Daniel's home movies of his mom consist of her mainly being drunk, Betty decides to interview Claire's friends. But their reminiscences are less than flattering. "She's a fun drunk," says Liz Smith and Claire's other friends. "How's the Claire Witch Project going?" snarks Amanda. In desperation for material, Betty turns her video camera on Claire who shoplifts while they're out. When Betty attempts to stop her, she's the one left holding the bag.

But Claire comes back to explain she was the one who stole the thong. She tells Betty that she's been feeling invisible lately. The store manager releases Betty, but holds Claire. But it's not the police who show up to pick her up, it's Daniel. She starts to apologize for her behavior, but Daniel apologizes to her for not being a good son. And instead of the big surprise party for Claire, Daniel arranges a private little dinner for just the two of them.

Sniffle. Such a sweet moment!

I wonder though: With everyone so happily ever after right now, what kind of soap opera is this anyway?

Part two of Lecture Circuit started with Angela proudly showing off the newest member of her family: a $7k cat. Seems she sold Andy's engagement on E-bay to afford Princess Lady. She shows her office mates her beloved via a nanny-cam. But when one of her lesser cats starts humping her precious feline, she races home to intervene.

But the nanny-cam is still broadcasting and Oscar and Kevin watch in horror as Angela starts cleaning Princess Lady with her tongue. She realizes the nanny-cam was still on when she returns to the office. "I was looking at pictures of food on my computer," Kevin lies. Oscar is traumatized by the sight. "And I'm pretty sure she coughed up a hairball," he says.

Jim and Dwight continue to bumble through planning Kelly's party. When Jim returns to the office, he finds Dwight interrogating Kelly about her stint in juvie. To lighten the mood, he attempts to distract Kelly with the news that he got her cake. When he shows it to her, her response is "I hate it." She asks Jim and Dwight, "What's the theme?" Baffled, they mumble "Birthday...frosting?" "There's always a theme!" insists Kelly as she storms out. "There's always a theme," agrees Phyllis staring at the two disapprovingly.

Dwight and Jim start to bicker and Jim tells Dwight, "Next time I'll let YOU get the cake and I'll get to scream at the birthday girl!" They brainstorm themes for the party and come up with things like beer, fights to the death, cupcakes, charades and horse hunting. Dwight has never had a birthday party, but Jim reminisces about his favorite birthday. His father took him to New York to the Museum of Natural History and afterward bought him a small plastic triceratop.

"You know what's even cooler than a triceratops? Every dinosaur that ever existed." Dwight sneers.

Kelly's birthday consists of gray and brown balloons and a birthday cake with her name misspelled. "What's the Chicklet for?" Jim tells her she can choose an hour of television or an hour-long nap. Kelly is stoked and chooses the nap. Crawling under the conference room table with a blanket and pillow, Kelly giggles, "I'm too excited to sleep!" After an hour, Dwight wakes her up by clanging two garbage lids together.

Michael and Pam arrive in Nashua to get closure, but when they arrive they find Holly is away on an HR retreat. (Damn, I was looking forward to seeing Amy Ryan!) They also find out that she has a boyfriend in the office named A.J.

Poor Michael!

Pam gives him a pep talk so that he will do the presentation. She tells him that everyone will tell Holly how awesome he was. "And she'll move back to Scranton. And her boyfriend will die..." Michael muses hopefully.

But Michael loses it during the seminar and ends up crawling out of the conference. Pam gamely (or lamely) attempts to finish the presentation--but Pam doing Michael is so much worse than Michael doing Michael. "I have a chainsaw!" Pam says brightly.

Michael forlornly walks into Holly's cubicle and snips the arm of the sweater she left hanging on her chair. He sees a file titled "Dear Michael" on her desktop and loads it onto a flashdrive. He tells Pam about it and she tells him that he can't read it because it would be a violation of Holly's privacy. "I could read it," she offers. So Michael scurries out to the car to retrieve his laptop. Pam reads the letter and tells Michael that it's not over--Holly still has feelings for him.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LOST - This Place is Death

Can I call it or what? Charlotte did indeed bite the dust in last night's episode of LOST, right after speaking the line that provided the episode's title. After speaking in Korean to Jin, she warns him "Don't you let them bring her back. This place is death!"

It was mostly an island-centric episode. Although it began with Sun about to blow Ben's head off until Ben told her Jin was still alive. Whoosh! We're on the island with Jin and the shipwrecked Frenchies. He finds out from Danielle that the year is 1988--which understandably freaks him out a bit. The Frenchies are still receiving the numbers transmission and get Jin to lead them to the radio tower.

On the way, Nadine goes missing. I'm thinking to myself, could it be the smoke monster? And then there's a rumbling growl. The Frenchies ask Jin what it is. "Monster," is Jin's reply. Was that the "familiar friend" of which George spoke? Or perhaps was he referring to Christian Shephard? I thought it would be Jacob, but if he was referring to Christian I was still close: Christian is after all an agent for Jacob.

But back to the smoke monster: it regurgitates Nadine. Apparently not a fan of French food. Although it heads for Montand next. Was anyone surprised by that? He was being such a prick, I knew the smoke monster would snatch him next even if he wasn't wearing a red shirt. Even the human chain formed by Jin and the other Frenchies isn't enough to retrieve Montand from the clutches of Smoky and all that's left of him is an arm.

Robert and the others follow Montand into Smoky's lair, but Jin stops Rousseau from following. Then there's a flash and Jin is left alone with a slightly dessicated arm of Montand (that's "bras de Montand" in French...). Jin follows a plume of smoke back to the beach where flies are buzzing around the bodies of Lacombe and Brennan. Rousseau is holding a gun on Robert, accusing him of not being Robert but of being infected by the monster. While Jin watches she shoots him and then turns her gun on Jin.

As Jin runs into the forest to escape Danielle, there's another flash and when it stops he hears a gun cock behind him. But it's not the crazy French woman, but Sawyer! There's a brief and sweet reunion, but immediately Jin asks "Where is Sun?" Sawyer tries to explain the concept of time travel to Jin who gets frustrated due to his limited English. He demands that Miles translate. Looking at Sawyer Miles says, "He's Korean. I'm from Encino." But Charlotte, as we learned last season, speaks Korean and is able to translate for Jin.

As the group continues on to the Orchid, Daniel asks Charlotte if she speaks any other languages. "Just Klingon," she jokes. Then there's a flash, and another flash--and Charlotte collapses. Both Sawyer and Juliet's noses start bleeding. Locke wants to leave Charlotte saying she'll only hold them up, but Daniel refuses to abandon her. (Pretty heartless of Locke given that they're both Geronimo Jackson fans...) Sawyer asks Locke what if the Orchid isn't there when they get there and Charlotte tells them to look for the well.

While the others continue on, Daniel stays with Charlotte. She tells him, "I've been here before." She left the island when she was a little girl and her mother always told her it wasn't real, but that's why she became an anthropologist--to find her way back. When she was little a crazy man scared her by telling her if she ever came back to the island, she would die. "Daniel, I think that man was you!" Daniel tells her he contacted Desmond and told him to find his mother. "She can help us!"

But it's too late for Charlotte.

The others reach the Orchid, but right then another flash occurs and when it's over the Orchid is gone. Locke finds the well and starts to go down into it. Jin tells him not to bring Sun back. He gives Locke his ring to give to Sun and tells him to tell her that he's dead. Locke promises and starts to descend the rope into the well. "Sure you don't want us to lower you down?" Sawyer asks. "Where would be the fun in that?" Locke responds.

Locke's lowering into the well was reminiscent of his entrance into the hatch. Of course another flash comes and John falls to the bottom of the well. When the flash stops, the well is gone for Sawyer, Juliet, Miles and Jin.

But in whatever time frame Locke ended up in, he's injured at the bottom of the well. This is where Christian appears. He tells Locke that HE was supposed to move the island, not Ben. did Ben accidentally dislodge the wheel when he moved the island? Christian tells Locke the wheel slipped off its axis and needs a little push. (It needed more than a "little" push when Ben turned it!) As Locke turns it, Christian calls out "Say hello to my son!"

Of course, Locke has no idea that Christian is Jack's father.

Off the island, Sun agrees to allow Ben to prove that Jin is alive. They drive to the church where Eloise Hawking is doing her calculations (the same Eloise Hawking that Christin told Locke would help them return to the island and apparently Daniel Faraday's mommy), but before they enter Ben pulls out Jin's ring and hands it to Sun. He tells her she has to decide right now if she's going back with them.

Sun say yes.

At that point, Desmond arrives and asks "You're looking for Faraday's mother, too?" They enter the church where Eloise Hawking is not pleased that only 1/3 of the Oceanic Six are there. Ben tells her that this was the best he could do on short notice. (Wondering why Desmond didn't appear to recognize the weird woman who sold him the engagement ring...)

"Let's get started," says Eloise.

For more immersion in LOST, check out the recap at Lostpedia, the screencaps at Dark UFO and Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney's Dueling Analyses on