Tuesday, May 31, 2005
We had a great Memorial Day weekend. We were pretty busy, but we still had plenty of time to relax. The festivities started Thursday evening when my youngest sister Katy had her pinning ceremony at Biola for her nursing program. It was fun to watch this more intimate ceremony with 27 girls as opposed to the larger graduation on Saturday with 575 graduates. Thankfully, the weather was nice for the commencement ceremony on Saturday morning. The speaker was great this year. Lloyd Ogilve, the former chaplain for the US Senate spoke. He was an awesome orator with a voice you could listen to forever. Afterwards, we had a small gathering back at my parent's house. Because Katy and Eddie are getting married in 6 weeks, they decided not to have a graduation party. We had a BBQ with family and a few of their close friends. On Sunday, Alissa and I went to see Revenge of the Sith again. She hadn't seen it yet, so I was happy to watch it again with her. She enjoyed it as much as I did. Yesterday we went to the pool for a little while and ended up at her parent's for a BBQ in the evening.
Posted by Mark at 8:45 AM
Well, I finally got to see the finale of Lost on Saturday. After a whole season of watching it religiously on the day it aired, I was forced to wait several days due to a busy schedule. The 2 hour finale sure felt like it was 2 hours. It answered a lot of questions and left us with a ton of new ones, but it was very slow moving. In this episode, we saw Dr. Arzt get blown up by dynamite. Hurley saw the numbers on the hatch and freaked out. Locke blew the hatch with dynamite to reveal a ladder down into a deep abyss. Locke was also attacked by the monster, but we still didn't see it. Danielle kidnapped Claire's baby, who was finally named Aaron. She wanted to trade Aaron to the others for her child, but they were nowhere to be found. It appears as if the others have a boat and they went out to sea to kidnap Walt. Sawyer was shot in the process. The best flashback scene was watching Hurley make his way to the plane. It was great comic relief. I am looking forward to watching the first season straight through this summer in reruns starting tomorrow.
Posted by Mark at 8:29 AM
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
So tonight we will find out if Bo or Carrie is the latest American Idol. While this has been one of the strongest seasons to date, I have become bored. Some of the better contestants were voted out early, leaving us with Scott and Anthony for way too long. As a result, I started to lose interest. Last night, in the final performance for Bo and Carrie, Carrie shined and Bo had an off night. I have been rooting for Bo for most of the finals, but if I based my vote on last night alone, Carrie wins hands down. I really like Carrie, but I wouldn't buy her album because she is country. We'll find out who America likes tonight. No matter who wins, they will both sell a lot of records.
Posted by Mark at 9:31 AM
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
We had our latest ultrasound last Wednesday. Our baby actually looks like a human now. We decided early on that we didn't want to find out the baby's sex until it was born. This has been a hard thing to wait for. Everyone is trying to get us to find out because they don't want to wait. Even the ultrasound technician was trying to get us to find out. Well, even if we wanted to cave in, the baby wasn't cooperating. Everytime they tried to check, it put its feet over the region. We are more than half way there now, so hopefully we can wait.
Posted by Mark at 9:25 AM
Monday, May 23, 2005
Tonight is the beginning of a 3 day $2 million tournament between Ken Jennings and 2 others who competed in the Ultimate Tournament of Champions. At the end of this three-day, total-point match, the third place finisher will get $250,000, second place will be awarded $500,000, and the winner will earn $2,000,000 and the title of JEOPARDY! Ultimate Tournament Champion. It was a great opportunity for Jeopardy to get Ken Jennings back on the program. It was also a way to give past undefeated champions an opportunity to see if they were better than Ken. It will be fun to see Ken go up against the cream of the crop. I expect the questions to be super tough as well.
Posted by Mark at 11:21 AM
I have been invited to see an advanced screening of Cinderella Man next Thursday by Grace Hill Media. I am really looking forward to seeing this film. Boxing films have always interested me, but now I am even more interested than ever. Million Dollar Baby and The Contender have made me a boxing fan again. Beyond the boxing aspect, Ron Howard films are typically excellent. I cannot remember a single Ron Howard film that I have not liked. Russell Crowe is also a great actor. I will post my review of the film next Friday June 3rd, the day the film is released. I expect it to be this year's Seabiscuit.
Posted by Mark at 9:42 AM
Friday, May 20, 2005
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was by far the best of the three prequels. I enjoyed myself through most of the movie. I just wish that George Lucas would have hired someone to tweak his horrible dialogue. It ranks as limburger on the cheesy scale. The only other complaint that I had was that the space battles were overdone. Every inch of the screen was popping with space craft and flying robots. It was cool, but overboard. The space battles in the original trilogy were perfect and they didn't need thousands of spacecraft. Lucas did a good job of tieing the two trilogies together. I think all of our questions were answered. I was pleasantly surprised with Anakin's journey to the dark side. When he got burnt up it was crazy. I can totally see why Lucas doesn't recommend this for young children. I wish Vader would have been in it more. Overall, I would give it an A- or B+. Without the cheese factor, it would have easily been an A.
Posted by Mark at 8:04 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Part 1 of the much anticipated season finale of Lost aired last night. There were quite a few flashbacks to the day of the flight, as well as a few within the last week before leaving. At the beginning, the French Lady Danielle showed up at the beach camp. She came to warn everyone that the others were coming. She told of how they kidnapped her newborn baby 16 years ago. The black smoke indicated that they were coming. She told them they had three choices: Run, Hide, Or Die. The runners worked hard to finish launching the raft and finally launched it with Michael, Walt, Jin, and Sawyer aboard. The hiders took a field trip to the hatch to find a way in. Jack, Hurley, Kate, and Arzt decided to go with Danielle to find some dynamite. As they went into the jungle, you could hear the monster approaching. We find out that it is the "Island's Security System". We also find out that the black rock is actually a ship that somehow got into the middle of the jungle. We will have to wait until next week to find out who dies. Or they may make that part of the cliffhanger. Before launching the raft, Jin and Sun made up. Jack and Sawyer made peace as well. Walt gave his dog to Shannon to comfort her during the loss of Boone like he comforted Walt when his mom died. The flashbacks were informative as well. We find out that Jack is no longer married. We see Shannon tell security that Sayid (An Arab guy) left his bag unattended after he asked her to watch them. We also saw Michael and Walt struggling through the new father son relationship at the hotel before leaving. It turns out that Sawyer was in the police station because he assaulted a high ranking government official in a bar. He was on the flight because he was being deported. Finally, we find out that Kate got the toy plane back by robbing a safe deposit box in the bank where it was hidden by the Marshall. Overall, it was a very informative episode leading up to a tense 2 hour finale next week.
Posted by Mark at 8:32 AM
Monday, May 16, 2005
In the finale of Survivor Palau last night, Tom the NY firefighter won it all. In a season in which one team won every immunity challenge, it was fitting that the man who won 5 of the 7 individual immunity challenged won it all. The final immunity challenge was insane. It lasted more than 11 hours and then Ian just gave up and let Katy go. What was Ian thinking? He would have still been friends with both Katy and Tom, but would have has at least $100,000 as well. At least he got that sweet Corvette. This was one of my favorite seasons. It's just below Survivor Outback, Survivor Borneo, and Survivor Panama. The whole cast was great and the location was phenomenal. I cannot wait to see Survivor Guatemala come September.
Posted by Mark at 8:02 AM
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Lost was finally new again last night and it was great to have it back. It's been so hard to wait for several weeks to find out what happens next. It's going to be so much worse having to wait 4 months for a new episode. Last night, we had one of the mysteries revealed. Locke told Sayid that he was the one who knocked him out and thwarted the mission to get a signal. Locke also took Sayid to the plane to get parts for his radio. In all of the previews leading up to tonight's episode, it looked like Sayid was going to shoot Locke in the chest. It turned out to be Shannon who stole the gun because she wanted payback for Boone's death. She asked Sayid to do it, but he couldn't take another man's life. Thankfully, the bullet just grazed Locke. Hopefully no one else will die this season. This week featured Sayid in the flashbacks. We learn that he was in Australia helping the CIA stop his friend from detonating a bomb. We also learn that his girlfriend is alive and well, working in Irvine, California. It's pretty sweet that they have her working in my hometown. He was on his way back from Australia to see her when the plane crashed. In the final two episodes of the season, we will get some more mysteries solved. I can't wait to see what is in the hatch. I also hope that the raft doesn't work. I cannot imagine they would allow several main characters to leave the show. I can't wait until next week's all new episode.
Posted by Mark at 9:26 AM
Monday, May 02, 2005
I know I have mentioned this before, but I love audio books. Audible.com gives me 2 audio books a month for $20. I have gone through a couple authors entire set of works so far, so I have been forced to try out new authors. I really like Legal Thrillers (John Grisham) and Murder Mysteries (James Patterson). As a result, I checked out The Narrows By Michael Connelly. I was sucked in big time. We started it on our Vegas roadtrip last weekend and I finished it last week. I think he is a local author because he mentioned Tustin Ave in Orange. What was really cool was that this story took place in Vegas and Zyzzx Road. It was quite appropriate to be listening to this as we drove that path. The story is about a former LAPD detective named Harry Bosch. A friend's widow asked him to look into his death because she thought he had been killed. As a result, he discovers that a former FBI agent was involved, who happens to be a serial killer. After listening to this book, I have downloaded 2 more Harry Bosch novels and have 2 more queued up for next month. Now I am just waiting for Audible to release James Patterson's latest book, The 4th Of July.
Posted by Mark at 9:13 AM