Which Role Do You Play in Your Family?

As I a guy who doesn’t know anything about cars or building stuff, or even computers, or how to really fix anything, or sports (golf included), or politics, or business (investments and stock market crap), there aren’t seemingly many important roles left for me as a man in a family. 

Sure, I can tell you which actors from Saved by the Bell are Jewish and which songs were hits in 1983 and how tall Albert Einstein was and I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than five minutes every time, but how does that fill any kind of necessary void in family dynamics?

I am a walking Wikipedia with an unforgettable memory of life events, sometimes nearing borderline Asperger’s.  So by default, what is my role in my family of six?  And to see the full picture, what are the roles of each member of my family? (My parents, my sister, her husband, and my wife.)

Me: The storyteller, the writer, the historian, and the event planner.  What drives me are memories.  Good memories take place because of events.  So I enjoy planning the family’s activities. 

I tend to be the one in the family that decides what we will do with our time when we’re all together.  And if I didn’t have an agenda for everyone to follow, it’s possible we would all just sit around and do nothing.  It’s possible we wouldn’t know where to go to eat, and end up settling for something mediocre like Outback or Chili’s. 

But I take the responsibility on myself for the six of us to decide where those memories (including potential funny stories and inside jokes) will take place.  And because “life happens” around food and entertainment and going to new places, my niche is being the one to set the backdrop for those events.

My role doesn’t fall into any of the typical manly stereotypes; I am the Montgomery Moose, the Desmond Hume, the John Cusack, the Pat Sajak.  The host, the MC of the evening, the narrator, the journalist of past, present, and future.  I just can’t fix anything.

My wife: The organized one, the teacher, the nurturer, the listener.

My dad: The mechanic, the electrician, the carpenter.

My mom: The financial expert, the chef, the encourager, the conversationalist.

My sister: The interior decorator, the helper, the initiator.

Her husband: The computer whiz, the tech expert, the sports enthusiast. 

Not that anyone can limit the talents and capabilities of their own family members down to just a few roles.  Because family members are not just stereotypes or TV characters.  They’re family.

What brought all this to mind is by watching the wonderfully crafted sitcom/drama Parenthood.  I love the dynamics of the family and how they all interact.  It hit me that the members of my family all have specific roles like the characters on that show.  And also, it seems the entertainment world is oversaturated with superheroes. 

I just wanted to know what my “superpowers” are.  Now I know. 

(And in case you’re still curious, Screech and Jessie were played Jewish actors, on the show Saved by the Bell.)

Would you, the random or regular reader, be willing to share with me your role and your family members’ roles in your family by leaving a comment below?  This isn’t a clever marketing ploy to boost my numbers or make this post seem more interesting.  I am just truly interested in this topic and want to know what other random family roles are out there. 

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The Ethnic Backgrounds of the Cast of LOST

Italians?  Check.  French?  Check.  Koreans?  Check.  Jews?  Oddly, not so much.

When the creators of LOST were in the casting process, they knew they wanted an “international cast”.  Well done.  Who wants to see another show with a bunch of white people and one African-American thrown in for good measure?

The ethnic diversity on the show adds so much to the characterization and even their storylines.  I have gone through the painstaking process (for most, but for me was a lot of fun!) of searching and studying the ethnicity of the entire cast of LOST.  While I won’t bombard my fellow Losties with every single cast member ever, I will feature most of them.  The phrase in (parenthesis) tells where the actor was raised.

Matthew Fox as “Jack Shephard”: Italian-English (America)

Evangeline Lilly as “Kate Austen”: English (Canada)

Josh Holloway as “James ‘Sawyer’ Ford”: Scottish (America); rare in that he is one of the few Southerners on the show- from Georgia in real life, on the show he was born in Jasper, Alabama

Jorge Garcia as “Hugo ‘Hurley” Reyes”: Chilean-Cuban (America)

Naveen Andrews as “Sayid Jarrah”: Indian (England)

Daniel Dae Kim as “Jin-Soo Kwon”: Korean (America)

Yunjin Kim as “Sun-Hwa Kwon”: Korean (America)

Terry O’Quinn as “John Locke”: Irish (America)

Dominic Monaghan as “Charlie Pace”: English-Irish (Germany); he speaks both  English and German

Michael Emerson as “Benjamin Linus”: English (America)

Emilie de Ravin as “Claire Litteton”: French (Australia)

Henry Ian Cusick as “Desmond Hume”: Scottish-Peruvian (both Scotland and Peru)

Sonya Walger as “Penny Widmore”: Argentinean-English (England)

*oddly, married couple “Desmond and Penny” are both in real life half British, half South American

Alan Dale as “Charles Widmore”: New Zealander (New Zealand)

Ken Leung as “Miles Straume”: Chinese (America)

Francois Chau as “Dr. Pierre Chang”: Cambodian-American-Chinese-Vietnamese (America); random fact- he played “Shredder” in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze

Andewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as “Mr. Eko”: Nigerian (England)

Nestor Carbonell as “Richard Alpert”: Cuban-Spanish (America)

Elizabeth Mitchell as “Dr. Juliet Burke”: English (America); another rare Southerner (from Dallas, TX)

Jeff Fahey as “Frank Lapidus”: Irish (America); though his character his Greek-American

Cynthia Watros as “Libby Smith”: Greek or Czech (America)

Michelle Rodriguez as “Ana Lucia Cortez”: Puerto Rican-Dominican Republican (America)

Tania Raymonde (Katz) as “Alex”: Jewish (America)

Mira Fulan as “Danielle Rousseau”: Jewish (Croatia)

Katy Sagal as “Helen Norwood”: Jewish (America); played Locke’s love interest, also known as “Peg” on Married with Children

Titus Welliver as “Man in Black (Esau): Irish  (America);  though he looks like Billy Joel, who is Jewish

Mark Pellegrino as “Jacob”: Italian (America)

Since Jews only make up 1.7% of the American population, the three confirmed Jewish actors on LOST accurately and proportionately represent themselves in the large number of actors on the show.  And that’s rare.

Of course, as usual, in the strange case there are no Jews or hardly any Jews on a show or movie (like Family Matters or Family Ties), the producers and/or writers are Jewish.  So it goes without saying, that in fact, LOST creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof are both Jewish.  Along with Jeffrey Lieber (who most likely is based on his name and physical appearance).  Same thing with LOST writer Adam Horowitz.

It’s safe to say that LOST truly has the most international, most diverse cast of any show in American history.  We as Losties have invested years of our lives in these characters.  They’ve become like real people to us.  I’m so glad this show is made up of such a randomly planned cast of characters and actors.

Read more about the astonishing number of Jewish actors in American film: The Funny Thing about Jews

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on this, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one

 

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 16- “What They Died For”

 

I can’t always be right- Ben is definitely ultimately a bad guy, at least in reality.  Ben is doing his best to keep his promise to Widmore that he will kill Penny. 

So I was wrong about Ben, but I still think the finale will end in modern day 2010, which so far has never been seen on LOST, only up to 2009.

Desmond in alt-reality is starting to make a lot more sense now.  He ran over Locke to jog his memory of reality and his gathering everyone he can for a reunion which somehow will serve a purpose of changing reality, despite living in alt-reality.

Two minor questions were answered.  Why does Faux Locke walk when he can fly?  He likes the feeling of having his feet on the ground as it reminds him of being human.  Why was Kate’s name crossed off the list on the cave wall?  She became a mom to Aaron, that’s the only reason.  But by her coming back to the island, she technically put her name back on the list, as Jacob offered to change it back.

Though I already knew it in the back of my mind, Jacob confirmed why he chose the candidates: They are all flawed, alone, and looking for something- just like Jacob.  As is the newly orphaned Ji Yeon who will replace Jack as the island’s protector.

Well, I’m pretty excited about the LOST party I will be attending Sunday night.  Now I understand how the rest of America feels when the Super Bowl is on.  As far as my expectations, I have a feeling the finale will evoke the same feel and emotion as the episode “The Candidate”, where Jin and Sun died.

It will be sad, yet it will be the only way for the thing to end properly. And all of our questions will not be answered.  Just the main ones.  The unanswered ones will help keep LOST alive by all our theories that will continue to be born, keep LOST alive in our hearts.

I wonder if at the end of the finale on Sunday, if the screen will say “FOUND” instead of “LOST”.  Probably not.  Too predictable.

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 11- “Happily Ever After”

Everybody loves Desmond.  And Desmond loves Penny.  Even when he’s in a flash-sideways and has never met Penny before, the Scottish fellow still has memories of her and is in love with her.  If that ain’t love then I don’t what love is.

This big reveal of this episode is that the flash-sideways really are connected to what actually happened.  Daniel, Eloise, and Desmond all end up becoming aware that their flash-sideways life is not the way it was supposed to happen.  The island should not have blown up.  Therefore, the plane was meant to crash on the island.  Which of course comes down to the philosophical challenge between Jacob and Esau (“The Man in Black”).

It was fun for us to see Charlie and Desmond relive that fateful Season 2 episode as a drowning Charlie placed his hand up against the window.  Even when he’s a heroine obsessed jerk, it’s hard not to like ole Charlie.

Hard-core Losties took special notice of the balance scale in Widmore’s office along with a model ship which caught Desmond’s eye.

Widmore told Desmond that Penny and his son will be gone forever if Desmond doesn’t help Widmore and his minions.  I’m seeing Widmore the way I used to see Ben Linus: A man determined to do whatever it takes for his higher purpose, even if it means innocent people die in the process.  But not necessarily an evil man.

Desmond is special, of course.  So he escaped Widmore’s torture chamber unharmed and actually motivated to help Widmore even further.

Ironically, the half-Scottish, half-Peruvian actor who plays Desmond, Henry Ian Cusick, played the part of Jesus in a 2002 movie called The Gospel of John.  So this isn’t the first time he has played a compassionate man who becomes a savior for the greater good of mankind.

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 10- “The Package”

My sister Dana, the one who got me started on LOST three years ago, often teaches me good theories about the show.  She picks up on details I miss.  Today for my recap, I am copying and pasting her e-mails as a way for her to co-write this with me, despite her living in Alabama and me in Tennessee.  I’ll let her take start us off.

Dana:

Some things are just meant to be, so Mikhail would have lost an eye no matter what.  Are the 2 timelines intertwined, like The Butterfly Effect somehow?

Sun was pregnant and got shot. At the end of season 2 (or maybe it was 3 and shot an Other (who was pregnant) who came onto their boat. But maybe she wasn’t pregnant. Sun shot someone, and Sun got shot.  Balance.

Also, once someone becomes evil (Claire and Sayid) they stop feeling emotions. But Claire seems to have gotten hers back in the last episodes. She showed rage toward Kate and then later felt sorry and hugged her.

Any thoughts on why capturing Desmond would be so important to Jin? Not sure why Widmore wanted to show him to see Desmond ‘The Package’ Hume.

Do you get the feeling that Widmore is somehow one of the good guys?

Widmore warned that “a war” was coming. And now that we know he and Smokey are on different sides, he appears good. Widmore said that if Fake Locke were to escape the Island, everyone they cared about would cease to exist. (Sound familiar?) That’s what I thought he said.

There’s got to be so much more to Desmond than we’ve been told. Eloise Hawking appeared to him several times trying to get him not to marry Penny. Then he crashed on the Island, worked for Dharma, got rescued by Penny. I wonder if Widmore knows that Desmond is somehow a bad guy (connected to the smoke monster somehow?) and he’s trying to protect Penny.

We saw “room 23” again finally, where Alex’s boyfriend Carl was being brainwashed with subliminal messages about God and Jacob.

Nick:

Well done.  My take on Sun is that she doesn’t die.  After us waiting two seasons for her and Jin to reunite, I just think that would be cruel of the writers.

I agree Widmore is ultimately good, just like Ben.

I stand by my prediction that the Kwan Kid is the chosen Kwan, not Sun or Jin.

I remind you yet again that at no point so far in the series has it showed what happens in the year 2010.  It’s only showed up to early 2009 so far.  A major twist in episodes to come will involve the year 2010: present day.

So far we’ve only seen the past (though at the time it sometimes was the future, but not the timeline never ventured into life after 2009).  The LOST writers are keeping us in the dark about the immediate present day as far as where the characters are and the island itself.

In closing, I think it’s interesting to see the names of the upcoming episodes, with my predictions in parenthesis:

Episode 10: Happily Ever After (Jin and Sun reunite?)

Episode 11: Everybody Loves Hugo (Hugo and Libby get a second chance at love, in a flash-sideways?)

Episode 12: The Last Recruit (Desmond?)

Episode 13: The Candidate (The Kwan Kid?)

Episode 14: Across the Sea (We get to learn more about Widmore’s life off the island?)

Episode 15: What They Died For (Not necessarily implying that more main characters die, but instead an explanation on why favorite characters had to die, like Charlie and Libby.)

Episode 16: The End (The timeline finally reaches the year 2010.)

"The Package", brothah!