So, some pictures not from the Orlando Sentinel:

Cut for large images. )
Ok, for various reasons, this is going to be split into three (possibly four) separate parts.

Part one, The dog! )
So, unless you've been living in a cave, and even then, you have probably heard that Lost is ending tonight. I thoroughly expect the finale to be an utter disappointment, leaving us all with more questions than answers and feeling completely let down and wondering why, precisely, we all spent so many hours watching this show, but I will be watching to have one critical burning question answered about the sole remaining thoroughly likeable, sensible, morally admirable character*:

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DOG?

I realize, of course, that many of you have or will argue that Vincent the Dog was not actually a dog, and was in fact at various times a smoke monster, a ghost, a disguised Egyptian god, or even Something Else Weird and Strange. (For those of you that I have lost with this statement, I can only say that this is not the most coherent of television shows.) I also realize that the dog has not made an appearance for several episodes now, which is PRECISELY WHY I'M WORRIED ABOUT HIM.

So, you know, dog!

With that said, I'm not entirely sure when I will be seeing the actual show, partly because I've already been slightly spoiled for the last episode (although NOT ABOUT THE DOG, which just goes to show that people that post spoilers JUST DON'T CARE about IMPORTANT THINGS), but more because a last ditch attempt to sing and burn incense (not actually incense) in front of the TV still failed to gain the cooperation of ABC, which stubbornly continues to HATE US. (Or, love me during football season by blocking access to things which otherwise would be a loud weekly event in my fall life. Actually, thank you, ABC. While I'm at it, Fox, little convenient failures on Monday night next fall would be awesome. Thanks muchly. But I digress.) Since I'm not feeling physically great today, the tentative idea of heading over to my parents is also out (not to mention that doing that would involve answering the many moments of "huh?" "what" "where's [X character]" "what happened to the polar bear?" "what happened to the dog? I liked the dog" from my father, who has not seen any of the show since the second season and is still questioning why anyone would bother to tattoo a shark, another question I feel certain this show is not going to bother to answer). Since I feel certain I would have an equal hatred of the many, many commercials ABC will be airing during this event, I am surprisingly ok with this.

My initial plan was to watch the show Monday morning when it pops up on ABC's website and Hulu, but this plan ran into a slight snag: Monday is Landscaping Day around here, which, to put it mildly, is going to play havoc with the viewing experience. My main alternative free internet outlet is currently blocked by road construction, and more specifically, by a Giant Hole that the trike and I cannot navigate safely**, and since the road construction crews and the state of Florida aren't getting threatened by evil smoke monsters, I'm thinking the Giant Hole, unlike Lost, or actual answers to the show, will still be there Monday. That snag leads me back to the possibility of watching through less conventional/legal means. Hmm. Which in turn leads me back to my comment about commercials and not feeling particularly great. Hmm hmm.

Which is all to say I'm not sure when I will be posting my usual snark for the show, especially since I may (or may not) be vanishing from the internet tonight to avoid further spoilers, and especially since my usual snarking method is to pause the show whenever something Hits Me, so you all kinda get a running reaction. But yes, to answer the various emails in my box, there eventually will be snark.

I just hope the dog makes it.

* Actually, I would put Helen, a minor character, into this rare category of likeable, sensible and admirable as well, but we know what happened to her so I'm not all worried about her.

** On the bright side, the state of Florida is now acknowledging that we may "have a problem." So, progress!
A few quick production notes, as it were:

1) Erk! Sorry to alarm you all with the lateness of this post; I have been attempting to catch up with Other Things today, and therefore was not able to watch Lost at my usual time. (I had no idea any of you were waiting! I feel flattered.)

2) You may notice a certain…er…viciousness in this post. In defense of Lost, some of the angst is more probably the fault of Hulu, which kept copping out during one of the major scenes – I'm assuming because thousands of Lost fans were trying to rewatch it, which, ok, but did not make me feel particularly kindly towards the characters involved. Specifically, ONE character involved and I am only sorry that I am not on this island to HIT said particular character, although, come to think of it, no, I'm actually completely delighted to not be on this evil island.

Spoilers think you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME, and have also absolutely and positively chosen sides, and not the side you want me to choose, show, either. )
This blog entry has been getting a bit of local attention lately: it details a recent and unauthorized night time trip to Discovery Island, now abandoned for about ten years. Local and as far as I know completely unproven rumor suggests that Disney will be turning it into a Lost attraction just as soon as they and everyone else find out what the hell the show is actually about. That would be, like, AWESOME, Disney, especially if you provided a little smoke monster to go round and round, but I digress. Meanwhile, the island is apparently retreating to its former function as a bird habitat.

River County, which they used as an access point, used to be my favorite of the Disney waterparks. I'd always wondered why it was completely abandoned, especially given that Disney's two remaining waterparks do fill to capacity in the summer (which is way but way too many people) sending people off to rival water parks not on Disney property, which is not exactly the way Disney would prefer to do things. The bacteria explanation is one of the more believable ones. I had heard other explanations: that it never attracted enough people (probable, given that River Country was smaller than the other waterparks and was only accessible via a bus and then a walk through Fort Wilderness) and thus could never meet Disney's profitability standards, and that Disney wanted to focus on waterparks that could remain open year round. I don't know.

I'll just add that, yes, I have seen the occasional alligator on that lake, one of many reasons swimming to Discovery Island is probably not the best idea (that and I am betting Disney security is not going to take kindly to people they catch on little outings like this one). Oh, and that I'm kinda sad I never went back when it was open. Even if I have a chance to see it later in the company of a little smoke monster.
1. Over the weekend, I finally got to enjoy my Christmas present from [profile] anaisis (and thanks!): the chance to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), something that I've been trying to get to for, oh, the last fifteen, twenty years ago, and which just happened to show up at the only theater in range of my trike. Excellent show. I'm assuming they tailor it for all local audiences, or perhaps this group just really liked improv, given the number of local jokes – and the small fact that they spoiled a small part of this season of Lost, something I think we can correctly assume was not in the original script. If you get a chance to see it, do, since everyone needs to have Hamlet completely ruined for them every once in awhile.

2. I may have more to say about this later, but for now, let me just say that I am increasingly convinced that everyone involved with Lost has very, very deep Bunny Issues. Forget the island and the crash survivors for a moment. WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE BUNNIES???? Also, please reassure me that the greater Los Angeles area has more than one hospital. This is becoming a true health concern.

3. I only catch Chuck on a decidedly irregular basis (I've missed most of this season) but the this week's episode touched my happy buttons, even if the main villains seemed oddly incompetent; it's up on Hulu.com if you missed it.
The latest Oz post, about The Giant Horse of Oz, now up. The last of the "meh" books - from here on out, most of the books are either considerably better, considerably more disturbing, just whacked or two of the three.

On an not entirely unrelated note, Tor.com also directed me to Never Seen Lost, a hilarious recapping of Season Six by someone who has never seen the show before, proving that the first five minutes of this season were even more confusing for new viewers than for long term viewers. The blog is chockful of spoilers for every episode of season six so far and charmingly completely lost and confused about seasons one through five. Aren't we all. Aren't we all.

Census

Mar. 3rd, 2010 10:19 am
So after completing various Necessary Things, I was just about to settle into Lost when the doorbell rang. Some mysterious package? A smoke monster? A polar bear?

Alas, it was merely a census worker, come to hand deliver our census forms and deliver a nice lecture about The Importance of Being Counted and how Winter Garden and Orange County and the State of Florida and indeed everybody desperately, but desperately needs this form and how critical it is and how absolutely everything is Entirely but Entirely private and we can trust the government.

The speech made me dizzy, which caused a minor interruption, and filled the Little One with transports of delight, since he could see a Person! Standing Outside! With a free hand clearly meant to scratch the head of small and eager cats! "COUNT ME!" he yowled, launching at her in a matter that many people would find either desperate or impolite, headbutting her in a manner that I can only call insistent.

Alas – and this may shock you – the census woman was not all that fond of cats. In fact she gave him a look. I'm not, however, entirely sure that he noticed, given that his response was to yowl and headbutt her again.

I did eventually manage to retrieve both the forms and the cat, but I have to say, I cannot remember the U.S. Census ever being this insistent before, - and I say this as a former U.S. Census worker who watched the chaos of 1990. The last few times they just mailed the forms, and the actual in person visits were saved for those who forgot to fill out the form. As I recall, not everybody took their civic duty seriously – quite a few people had intriguing responses for the racial question, which we dutifully entered into the computer under "Other" after typing in the specific responses. (One wife had a particularly endearing description of her husband's race, and you would be surprised at how many United States citizens do not think they are actually human and go at some lengths to explain this. You would also be surprised at how many people list their pets and horses under the human information. And yes, the Census has codes for this and those forms and info are later corrected – just not at the data entry point of view.)

But this time, aside from an insane number of commercials, we have received three separate mailings telling us that our Census forms will be arriving, plus this personal visit and the speech. The IRS is less invasive. I'm assuming that this is so that the Census can truthfully say that they've spared no effort here, but I hope this doesn't end up backfiring on them.

Meanwhile, this all made me wonder about what might happen if the Census headed to Lost's Evil Island. (I know; it's probably not under U.S. jurisdiction even if various U.S. soldiers ended up there - and did we ever find out what that was all about? I am lost and confused - but bear with me.) Who, exactly, DO you count in the island population? Smoke monsters? Not exactly dead people? Time trippers? And Kate? Must we count Kate? Does a smoke monster have voting rights?

I guess I need to get back to watching to find out.

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