LOST: The Variable

To make sense of last night’s unbelievably convoluted episode of LOST, I think I need to start from the end and then work my way backward.

So, Daniel’s mother really was Ellie, as I have been speculating for a while. And his dad really is Charles Widmore.

Ellie killed Daniel in 1977. Even though this ended Daniel’s life, it doesn’t mean that Ellie couldn’t go on in her own life and give birth to Daniel in the future. And if time travel is working the way I understand it, Ellie would have a memory of killing Daniel, so she knew in the future that when she sent him back to the island, she was indeed sending him to be killed.

I am thinking that after she shot Daniel, Ellie took his journal that was stuffed inside his shirt. This, then, gave her all of the information that she needed to understand time travel and all of the events that were supposed to happen in her future son’s life. That is way she was so adamant that even as a child he needed to put his scientific brain to its best use.

This also would explain why she made the statement that for the first time in her life she didn’t know what was going to happen next. Up until the point that Daniel died, she had all of that information spelled out for her in his journal. But when he died, the journal ended.

So, the big question now is whether the Oceanic 6 really will be able to change the past by stopping the leak in the power source and preventing their own plane from crashing in the future. And if they are able to do this, what will that mean for them?

Will they be able to turn the donkey wheel and travel back through time? Or will Ellie help them time travel? Or will they be stuck in their current place in time?

Also, why do you think Eloise wanted them to return to the island? How did that fit into her grand scheme? Could it be that Eloise is living in a constant time loop, much like the one in which Desmond was caught during that episode way back when, and she needed the Oceanic passengers to return to make her loop stop?

The next big question that I have is whether it was really the leaking of the power source that caused the death of all of the Dharma people? I wonder if Ben really did kill all of those people or if he only made up that story.

We haven’t seen the writers interject any lies up until now in the story line, so it seems improbable that Ben just made up the story about gassing the Dharma people. But at the same time, Daniel said that when the power source was released, it would wipe out the people on the island, so maybe that is what caused all of those deaths.

I’m also getting really anxious to find out what Sun, Locke and Ben are doing back in their time zone. I’m looking forward to another episode with that part of the crew. And I can’t wait to find out how Sun and Jin will be reunited.

Oh, so many questions, but so much great information in this episode.

What did you think? Can’t wait to read your theories!

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don’t blame the stinkin’ pigs

OK. I’ve tried to take a very calm, wait-and-see approach to the Swine Flu story sweeping the world. I mean, yes, it does sound very serious. But I’m not sure we all need to go into complete seclusion just yet.

But a headline today has me so upset I can’t contain myself anymore. “Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs.”

First of all, how many pigs ARE there in Egypt? Maybe like 127?

I’m being sarcastic. I read the story and their are actually 300,000 pigs. But in a nation that is 90 percent Muslim, the pig population is not a major source of food.

I have to say that I was able to spend 12 weeks in Africa way back when and I never saw a single pig. Oh, there were plenty of cows walking beside the road. And people bought their chickens in the market alive and then carried them by the feet all the way home, sometimes even taking them on a bus ride, before slaughtering them for dinner.

I saw hippos, rhinos and elephants, but those were the closest thing I ever witnessed to a pig, a pork product, a hot dog, sausage or piece of ham. Pigs just aren’t real popular in Africa, as far as I could tell.

Oh, but I digress.

So, maybe I missed something, but I haven’t read about a big problem with pigs giving each other the pig flu. I haven’t heard any stories of pigs going on vacation at Mexican resorts and bringing home the flu. I haven’t heard of any pigs traveling on airplanes or crossing the border.

Isn’t the problem that the pigs gave humans the pig flu and now the humans are spreading it to each other?

So, now on a continent that suffers from extreme poverty, the most widespread AIDS epidemic in the world, not to mention killer ants, malaria, dysentery, Hepatitis, and general hardship, but has seen zero cases of the swine flu, does it really make sense to kill all of the pigs?

Doesn’t it make as much sense to kill all of the people since they are the ones spreading the swine flu to each other? And before killing all the pigs, would it be possible to test one of them to see if they even have the flu?

And what happens after all the pigs are dead? Is that the end of pigs in Egypt? Would it ever be safe to raise another pig in that nation or will they be banned forever?

Now, if Mexico wanted to kill its population of infected pigs, THAT would make sense! But to take one of the sources of nutrition in a continent where people are more in danger of dying of starvation than the flu, I’m in disbelief.

That’s my soapbox for today. What do you think about the swine flu? Is it scaring you?

I’m thankful that our three-week bout with strep throat, followed by Fifth’s Disease, accompanied with a few other random fevers has finally passed through our house. Otherwise, I might be on my way to get a supply of surgical masks.

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quotes of the day

7:25 a.m.
Five minutes left until it’s time to leave for school. First Born opens his backpack and realizes he had a homework sheet to be completed over the weekend.

“Observations of a beautiful sunny, spring day:”

“What do you see around you? What do you feel when you’re standing? What do you smell? What do you hear? Any other thoughts?”

First Born looks outside at a cloudy, dreary sky.

“Well, it’s not sunny and beautiful. I don’t have to do it.”

With no time left, I have to agree.

12:15
Middle Child gets home from kindergarten.

“Your play is on Thursday! What kind of costume did your teacher say you should wear?”

“I’m supposed to wear sort-of old, stained clothing. Maybe I could wear my white uniform shirt with the chocolate stain on it. And I could wear my brown uniform pants with the grass stain.”

“Perfect,” I agree. “So, it’s pretty much what you would wear to school anyway!”

3:15
Carpooling home from school. I notice a sheet in the backpack explaining options for summer camps.

“I don’t want to go to any camps, Mom,” First Born interjects.

“Why not?” asks carpool friend.

“My mom makes summer way more fun than any camp could be!”

Aww. Highlight of my day.

7 p.m.

Youngest Child laying on the floor.

“Someone folded up all of my edges!”

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my life is like the laundry

I’m sure you all know the feeling. You had a great get-away weekend. The family played hard, stayed up later than usual and had a great time.

Then Monday morning comes and you are facing five suitcases full of dirty laundry. Plus five more laundry baskets of clean laundry that you never folded last Friday in the rush to leave town.

Somehow, more piles of laundry have planted themselves and started multiplying in bedrooms while you were away.

My whole life has been feeling like the laundry lately.

When I look at the piles, the task seems too big to bear. Where should I even begin? Perhaps if I just ignore the baskets of dirty they will go away. And worse yet, I can’t even look at those baskets of clean that have to be folded, carried and stuffed into drawers that are already bursting with clothes.

But then I decide to take it one step at a time. Give it an hour. Focus. Don’t answer the phone. Keep moving ahead.

At the end of the hour, all five baskets of clean are folded. I’ve even managed to go through the boys’ drawers and sort out all of the too small clothes. I actually have room to put the clean clothes away!

I’m starting to be able to breathe better now. Stay focused. I have a system to make this easier, but I have to use it. Dirty clothes go in the brown baskets. Clean clothes are thrown in the white baskets. Otherwise, my husband will find the basket of clean clothes in a brown basket and wash them all over again.

I make rules for myself. I’m not allowed to put another load in the washer until I have folded and put away at least one of the white baskets.

I’m really making progress. I even bought fabric softener for the first time in more than a year and my house is starting to smell good!

Oh, but let’s face it. This won’t last long. As soon as all of the laundry is done, the dirty will be piling up in the baskets once again. There’s always more to do. I’ve just finished and already I’m starting to feel overwhelmed.

At least my life isn’t like laundry in every way. I prefer to do the laundry myself. In 11 years of marriage, I have fired my husband from the job at least 37 times. I just don’t like it when my favorite shirt shrinks or my PJs are hanging in the closet. I like to do it my way.

Thankfully, I don’t have to go it alone when facing those dirty piles in real life. God has been guiding me through some challenging situations lately. And he seems to send just the right person across my path at the most unexpected moments.

And while he’s not the best at folding and putting away clothes, my husband couldn’t be better at sorting through the laundry of life together.

**

Come back tomorrow and find out how my life is like cleaning the toilet. (Oh… you know I’m only kidding!)

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me and my tambourine

Now that I’m 40, I’m thinking it’s time for me to fulfill one of my deepest desires. You know, to become a rock star.

Well, I’ve been giving it some serious thought. I asked some of the really talented singer-type friends in my life if they think it’s possible for a very average kitchen singer like me to learn how to sing. Believe it or not, they said it is.

I’ve heard this several times before. Experts say that anyone can be taught how to sing. Of course, it takes 83 years and by that time, your voice is kind of wobbly and you can’t really do any dramatic moves on stage, so it’s kind of pointless.

So, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can take my talentless lip syncing show on the road. And I do think I have a pretty good idea. I stink at the piano, I have no clue about the guitar, my singing is pretty weak, and I don’t have any experience on the drums.

But what about the tambourine? I can shake a tambourine like nobody’s business. And you should see me with the maracas. And the cow bell? Well, just get out of the way because I can “clock, clock, clock, clock… clock, clock, clock” out some rhythm on that thing.

So, here’s my plan. I go to a really contemporary church and the people on the worship team are pretty much like rock stars in my mind. I’m thinking I could start there. Maybe I could get a spot in the worship band, playing the tambourine.

I really got serious about this idea a few weeks ago when one of the ladies on the worship team let it slip that no one is really THAT crazy about playing the tambourine! So, they NEED me, huh?!? Here’s my chance!

But as I’ve been going through this in my mind, I know I have a few obstacles I would still need to overcome:

1. Whatever I try in life, I have a tendency to take my job a little too seriously. I know that during each song, I would be stressing over how exactly I should play the tambourine. It’s not as straightforward as it looks. Should I shake it up high with one hand? Or should I hit it against my leg? Or should I just do the tambourine hand clap?

I can see it now. In the middle of rehearsal, I would be going up to the leader, saying, “Excuse me. Do you think I’m doing OK here with the tambourine?” And he would be like, “HELLLOOO?!? The rest of us are trying to play ACTUAL instruments here! The tambourine isn’t exactly the focal point. Would you mind to just kind of scoot back there by the piano and be a little bit quieter?”

2. So, then, I have a feeling that I might get a little bored just shaking my tambourine, and I would try to get the female vocalists to join me in some choreographed dance moves. “Come on, girls. Just step, step, step, turn, clap! It’s easy.” And they would be like, “Yeah. No. We don’t really do a dance step on worship team.”

3. I can see it now, no dance steps, no tambourine jamming… I would probably get it in my head that I could be helpful to the lead singer. You know how during a concert, the lead singer will run up to the other band members and hold up his microphone so they can sing together?

So, I would decide to try it. I would run up to the guitar player and start jingling my tambourine. He would get totally off track and be like, “Um. Would you mind to stop playing the tambourine in my ear? You’re kind of piercing my ear drum.”

4. Finally, I would take my place, standing still behind everyone else with my tambourine. I would look out at the crowd and realize, “Oh my. All of those people are looking at us.” A blank stare would fall across my face, I would drop my tambourine in terror and run off the stage.

I’m really thinking I’m not ready to take my tambourine act in public. And I don’t think the public is ready for my tambourine.

But if you want to stop by my kitchen, I have a mean song and dance act ready to go. And, yes. It includes a tambourine.

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