dad from day one: Jack is Now Six Months Old, Officially Has Blue Eyes and Weighs 19.2 Pounds

Week 26 (6 months).

Despite the cliche, “they grow up so fast,” I will admit that these past six months have been the quickest six months of my life.  And yes, Jack has definitely sprouted up very quickly.  Six months ago my wife and I held a baby in our arms, with zero personal experience.  Now, we have no longer have a newborn, but instead an infant.  An infant who can eat ground up fruits, veggies, and grains- not just formula.  Who is attempting to crawl.  Who is outgrowing his original car seat.

And I’ve been waiting until Jack turned six months old to officially say what has been pretty obvious for a while now: Jack has blue eyes.  I know there was a possibility that his eyes could get darker up until this point.  I never thought that it was even possible for my wife and I to have a blue eyed child.  It’s pretty funny, actually.

Not only has Jack changed in so many big ways since November 16th, 2011.  But I have as well.  You can’t be a parent and not become a different person in the process.  Even in just six month’s time.  Especially in the first six month’s time.

Am I writing this morning about Jack or myself?  Equally both, at best.  At age 29, when we found out we were going to have a baby, I had reached a point in my life where I evidently stopped growing and maturing as a person.  And since he was born, I’ve made up for any lost time as far as personal development.

I’ve undergone so many changes in the last six months that the best and perfect comparison would be to Desmond on Lost, who traveled in and out of time, disoriented of where and “when” he was.  I do feel spaced out, in the most literal way that the phrase “spaced out” can be used.  I’m trying to remember what it means to “be myself,” when becoming a father obviously changes that version of “myself” who I completely understood and had figured out.

Of course, these “who am I?” sort of thoughts aren’t red flags for some kind of personal crisis.  Instead, this is just me pointing out that I (and I assume other first time parents, too) undergo so many changes in their life at once that they have to take time to deliberately and specifically figure out who this new person is that they’ve become.  Not a bad version of who they are; just the different version that is required of them in becoming a parent.

By no means does a person stop growing up just because they turn 30.  Instead, some of the greatest maturity is happening at that age, for me.  And at six months old, I think it’s safe to say that Jack is experiencing some of the same thoughts in his own little baby brain.  The question is whether or not he’s more spaced out than I am.

LOST- Answering Questions that Were Left Unanswered When It Ended

LOST lives on!

The writers of LOST are getting exactly what the want- for their fans to continue discussion about what really happened in the finale and to give each other reasonable explanations for all the show’s mysteries.  Here’s my attempt at answering a bundle of popular questions.

“So did everyone who crashed on the plane died in 2004, and that’s why they were all in purgatory (“the holy lobby”) together at the same time?”  No.  Each character died at whatever point they died in real life.  Charlie drowned in 2004.  Jack was stabbed to death in 2007.  At some point later, as the island’s protectors, Hurley and Ben eventually died- whether they were murdered or died of old age, in who knows what year. 

Everybody at some point died, (like we all eventually will) but not because of the plane crash in the first episode.  Because the afterlife is not restricted by time, they all met up at the same time in purgatory (the waiting time before they go to Heaven) before entering Heaven together.  So all people arrive in the afterlife at the same time, essentially, since time doesn’t exist in the afterlife.  For more explanations of the finale, read this: LOST Recap: Finale- “The End”.

“Did Ben not go to Heaven?”  He did go to Heaven.  Eventually, maybe even ten minutes after everyone else.  But he wasn’t ready to enter when the rest of them were.  He didn’t feel worthy because of all the bad things he did in his life- he had trouble accepting the fact he was worthy.  But ultimately he redeemed himself by protecting the island post 2007 when he became the #2 to Hurley.

“How was Jacob able to leave the Island?”  Jacob was never really confined by the limitations of the past. 

“What did it mean to be “special”?”  This is referring to seasons 1 and 2, regarding the children.  They were special because they were children.  Since it was impossible for babies to be born after the bomb exploded in 1977, the Others (Ben, Juliet, etc.) wanted to raise them as their own, hoping they would eventually forget the ways of the world they were born into.

 “Why did Ben and Widmore hate each other and want to kill each other’s daughters?”  They got in each other’s way since they were both strong-willed men who were very focused on what they wanted out of the island.  Ben wanted to please Jacob.  Widmore wanted to make money of the island’s electromagnetic properties.  So when Widmore indirectly killed Alex, Ben wanted revenge by killing Penny.

“What was the Smoke Monster, and why no name?”  The Smoke Monster was a manifesto of the evil that was held inside the island by that plug.  I’ve heard that in the season six DVD’s, we will learn that the Man in Black’s name was Samuel.  But ultimately, the fact that he didn’t have a name just made us more intrigued by the mystery of it all. 

“Who was on the island before “Mother” and the twins?”  Other random people just like them.  They weren’t important since they were before Jacob and The Man in Black and had not contact with Jack Shephard, whose human life the show was based around.

“Is it really an island or a “cork” to guard the door between Heaven and hell?”  Not between Heaven and hell.  But between hell and Earth.

“What was the deal with the numbers? Just Hurley’s curse or did they have some importance overall?”  It was just Hurley’s curse- just a very interesting part of his life.  Some people’s lives are filled with peculiar coincidences.  Even the flight gates were these numbers, Jacob couldn’t have planned all the number coincidences.

“Was Jacob’s cabin built to contain the Smoke Monster? The ring of ash around it?”  Absolutely.  It was an attempted trap to contain him.  The holy ashes prevented him from crossing- we’ll never know why.

“Why did people “see” Walt after he left the Island?”  The Smoke Monster scanned the memories of people and would use those images as library of people to appear as.

“Where did Michael the Russian come from? And how did he know Korean? “  He seemed to have military experience, which would explain his ability to speak multiple languages, especially because of Russia’s proximity to Korea.  The Others hired him at some point based on his useful credentials.

“Who was Henry Gale that parachuted onto the Island?”  A random, unlucky guy who for some reason ended up there like the rest of them.

“In Jacob’s cabin, who said “Help Me” to Locke? And Ben couldn’t hear it.”  That was Jacob trying to recruit Locke as a candidate, but Jacob didn’t want to recruit Ben.

“Who was Dharma and were they important? Were their experiments important? ” They were a group of scientist who came to the island to explore the capabilities of the island and its mysterious electromagnetism, which obviously healed people of cancer and caused the crippled to walk.

 “Who built the 4-toed statue?”  An ancient people group a long time ago, possibly the first to inhabit the island- one of which may have become the very first protector of the island.  Maybe centuries before Jacob was born circa 10 A.D.

“Libby used to be crazy and was in the institution with Hurley. Then she was fine and sold Desmond her boat?”  She was unstable- she was absolutely crazy at times, then at others, seemed perfectly normal.  The craziness was taking over her normal life.

Got more LOST questions?  I’m ready to tackle them.  Just leave them in the form of a comment.  Thanks.

LOST Recap: Finale- “The End”

I loved it.  Absolutely.  And I believe it was the best, and really, only way, to end the show.  But it just took me 24 hours after watching to understand why.

The entire show was just about Jack Shephard.  Everything else, including the island and its ability to heal people and time travel, the Smoke Monster, the Dharma Initiative, the Others, Jack’s friends, Jack’s enemies, the light in the cave… All of it were the parts of Jack’s life that ultimately mattered to his existence.

In the likeness of the movie Vanilla Sky, when you’re dead, it’s all over- so why focus on the character’s earthly life after they die?  But the writers of LOST took that concept to a new level by acknowledging that all the mysteries, actions, heartaches, and triumphs all boil down to one thing- the people that were involved in your life.

Even Vincent the dog’s best purpose on the island was to comfort Jack as he died.

I definitely plan to write much more in the near future answering the remaining questions about LOST: Why was The Man in Black never given a name?  Who was the first protector of the island?  Did it really matter that Desmond and/or Locke typed the code every 108 minutes?  What was really accomplished by Juliet sacrificing her life by detonating the bomb in 1977?

But as for today, I think it’s more important to focus exactly what happened in the finale.  The most begging question is what’s up with the flash-sideways?

The first time we saw the characters of LOST in the finale season, they were on the plane.  Note there were never flash-forwards or flash-backs during the flash-sideways, indicating no past or future in that timeline.  They weren’t reincarnated, having to live their lives all over again, in this version with the island being sunk.  The alt-reality was simply an “acknowledge your dead and that your life mattered” precursor to the afterlife, often referred to as “purgatory” or “the waiting room”; it started with the plane ride.

Keeping in mind that life on the island (and “the real world”) continued after Jack died, that Hurley and Ben served as the island’s protectors for the rest of their lives, that Claire, Kate, Sawyer, Richard, Miles, and Frank all left the island and lived normal lives back in the United States or wherever they chose to re-establish their lives… they all still died at some point.  Most of them of old age, living to be in their 70’s.

And once they died, before going to Heaven, they were reunited, having the blessing remembering how they mattered to each other.  And since time, in essence, doesn’t exist in the afterlife, they all met at the same time, since it didn’t matter that Jack died 40 years before most of them did.

But because Jack was the main character of the show, the show stopped with his earthly death.  The rest of the living characters lived their rest of their lives and eventually died, the show just didn’t continue to follow their earthly lives.

So when Jack died in 2007 (three years after originally crashing on the island), and (say, for example) that Kate died in 2051, they met at the same time in “the waiting room”.  (Because time doesn’t exist after earthly life ends.)  Then they went on to Heaven with the rest in the church.  (And Ben went once he was ready.)

The writers were clever to utilize a nearly universal belief that there is some sort of life after death.  The episode was quite saturated in Christianity (which was a smart idea since most of America identifies with some version of it), yet didn’t write off other popular international religious beliefs, thanks to the “major six religions of the world” stained glass window in the church.  The point wasn’t to depict any religion’s specific teaching on the afterlife as specifically accurate, but to instead play and expound on our perceived general ideas on life after death and the importance of the people in our lifetime after we die.

I don’t see how LOST could have ended any other way.  Yes, technically “all our questions” were not answered.  But it involves using our imaginations and clues from the show to fill in the blanks, as we as Losties have been doing the whole time.  It will bring me much joy to take matters into my own hands by filling in these blanks with many more LOST posts to come.

Comments welcome.

(They will most likely be spun off into a new post if they are interesting, insightful, or raise a good question; or instantly deleted if they are full of nerd spite: “NO!  You’re wrong!  What really happened was…  Looks like you never thought of that while trying to make your weak point, did you?…”).

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37320802/ns/today-entertainment/

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 12- “Everybody Loves Hugo”

I’m getting a little nervous.  After last night’s episode, I can’t help but think that there are so many questions that will not be answered in the next few weeks.  It raised more questions than answers.  Here’s what I did learn from “Everybody Loves Hugo”.

1)     The “whispers” on the island are from the people who died there but can’t “move on” because of the wrong doing they committed while they were still alive on the island.  Despite the writers of the show promising that the island is not really purgatory or hell, it’s hard not to see it that way.

2)     Desmond has the ability to interact between both reality and alt-reality.  He ran over the real Locke in alt-reality after Faux Locke threw him down the well in reality.  Unless alt-Desmond was simply carrying out some shady dirty-work orders of his boss, Mr. Widmore and that ultimately Desmond’s attempted murder of Locke was to show the balance between the two realities, being that Locke had a near-death experience when he was thrown out of the window.  Of course Jacob saved his life in reality.  Will someone save Locke’s life in alt-reality?

Desmond, Charlie, and the Widmore’s aren’t the only ones aware of alt-reality.  We can now add Hurley and Libby to that list.

I don’t know why, but Ilana always annoyed me.  Ben Linus’s response: “The island was done with her.”  It’s funny how dynamite typically gets rid of annoying characters on the show.

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!