Sayid can't feel anything. Sun's forgotten how to speak English. Claire is still crazy (although she's pretending she's not). Jin's been kindnapped by Charles Widmore's crew. Richard Alpert has his mojo back. War is coming to the island. That was this week's LOST in a nutshell.
Lost cast

And if you watch LOST on a regular basis you already know the basics:

* The island is a magical place which can be moved in space and time.

* People are drawn there by mysterious forces.

* A black smoke monster lives there.

* But pregnant women die.

* Benjamin Linus, leader of 'the others', is angry and controlling (and murderous)…until he isn't.

* Jack has what it takes.

* Kate loves Jack.

* Then she loves Sawyer.

* Then Sawyer loves Juliette until she dies.

* Locke is also dead.

* Hurley and Miles talk to dead people, but not to Locke.

Obviously LOST is one crazy show—crazy like a magic mushroom trip or a Lewis Carroll story. And yet somehow the writers persuade us to buy into their surreal vision week after week. Polar bears in a tropical jungle, smoke monsters inhabiting dead bodies, talking ghosts with hidden agendas and time travel back to 1973? Sure, we think. Why not? But on a lesser show all this trippy stuff would never fly. A lesser show would've run out of steam back when the tailies were eliminated or collapsed under the weight of its countless questions. So why does LOST work no matter how far out the storylines get?

I think that, like The X-Files' Fox Mulder, we want to believe. We want to believe because we genuinely like the Oceanic Survivors, whose weaknesses are as interesting as their strengths and who we can see struggling (and sometimes failing) to be better people. The characters have bonded in an entirely convincing way during their time on the island and we've bonded with them. One of LOST's biggest strengths is how tightly bound the characters' fates are to each other's. Charlie Pace didn't drown in the Looking Glass station trying to escape the island because of a burning personal desire to return home. He risked his life for Claire and for his friends. This show isn't about any one person being a hero or a villain. It's about surviving, together. “Live together, die alone.”

Not Penny's Boat

Three dimensional characters + adversity. That's no formula, just fantastic writing and distinguished acting. Man, I'm going to miss LOST.
I snapped these last week, during our bout of spring weather. The below facility used to be a nursing home but was used as a SARS centre in 2003. I hadn't set eyes on the building in years. It had already been boarded up the last time I'd seen it but now has been severely vandalized. Numerous windows have been entirely smashed out and furniture and office equipment from inside thrown out the windows. It's a creepy as hell scene, even in bright sunlight.

What a shame that the building and grounds were allowed to reach this post-apocalptyic looking state.

I watched Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade live online on RTE yesterday (and of course that only made my pining for Ireland worse but it was a fantastic parade). It's still up if you want to have a look. The program runs for an hour.

I took some screen grabs for Paddy (since he couldn't watch the parade live) and thought I might as well drop a few of them in here:

Glad they had a nice bright day for the annual parade! It was a completely gorgeous day in southern Ontario too, only slightly marred by the fact that I couldn't obtain a Shamrock Shake. In fact, there were no Shamrock Shakes to be had anywhere across Canada this year as McDonald's suspended the promotion up here two years ago. Yes, shakeless! It's an outrage. While our neighbours to the south enjoy minty goodness all we could do here was endulge in Shamrock Shake nostalgia.

Apparently they can be a bit tough to find in the States too (although at least there you have a fighting chance!) so if you're a shake fan you might want to bookmark this Shamrock Shake page for next year. People report which McDonald's locations they've been able to find the shakes in. Me, I had to settle for mint ice cream and well, it just wasn't the same.
Wicklow Gap

A very Happy Paddy's Day to you!

There's no way around the fact that today I feel like I'm in the wrong place. My heart is in Dublin but physically I'm miles and miles away. {sob}

For those of you who'd like to watch Ireland's biggest St. Patrick's Day parade, RTE will be showing the Dublin parade live online at 12:25 GMT (8:25 EDT). And don't forget the shamrock shakes! I'll be venturing out to buy one this afternoon and I suppose I shouldn't complain about not being in Ireland too bitterly because it's going to be a gloriously sunny 17 degrees here in Toronto today. Be gone winter coats, mittens and warm boots, we have no need of you here! Now where did I leave my sunglasses?

Trawling YouTube in search of OLP footage from the March 12th and 13th Massey Hall concerts I noticed that one of the clips was loaded with the message, "OLP sounds exactly like they do on the album." You most likely won't be able to tell that from these clips but it's absolutely true. The quality of the sound blew me away.

I've mentioned previously (* All You Did Was Save My LifeAll You Did Was Save My Life Part 2 * Our Lady Peace Canadian Tour) that because I share an appreciation of Our Lady Peace with one of my characters, the band often makes me think of Finn from One Lonely Degree. For most of the concert I was too much in the moment to really think about anything but during Innocent and Clumsy, two songs I strongly associate with her, I definitely felt like I should be scanning the crowd for Finn which added another level of cool to an already amazing concert.

I admit to being acutely jealous of all the folks out there who live in towns OLP haven't hit on their current tour yet. If I had a pile of money lying around I'd be making plans to jet off to someplace like Regina for an encore concert!

Is Anybody Home, Massey Hall, March 13

Are You Sad, Massey Hall, March 13

Raine Maida climbing up to the balcony during
All You Did Was Save My Life, Massey Hall, March 13

The Story of 100 Aisles & Big Dumb Rocket, Massey Hall, March 12

Life, Massey Hall, March 12

I have to ask myself what the hell I was thinking when I decided to buy tickets for just one of the Our Lady Peace nights at Massey Hall. The Clumsy night was absolute brilliance—the energy level in Massey Hall last night was through the roof, both on OLP's part and the part of the fans. You could sense, from the moment the lights, went down that it was going to be a very special night.

And you know what's wrong with nights like that? They go by all too quickly! As soon as it was over I began lamenting that I hadn't picked up tickets for tonight's Spiritual Machines gig!

Anyway, here are my photos from last night's show:

Massey Hall, March 12, 2010

The view from my seat in the left balcony:

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

A full house, Massey Hall crowd on its feet:

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Raine Maida, having climbed up to the right balcony from the stage:

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

Our Lady Peace,  March 12, Massey Hall, Toronto

And here's the setlist:

First Set (entire Clumsy album)

1. Superman's Dead
2. Automatic Flowers
3. Carnival
4. Big Dumb Rocket
5. 4am
6. Shaking
7. Clumsy
8. Hello Oskar
9. Let You Down
10. The Story of 100 Aisles
11. Car Crash

Second Set

12. Monkey Brains
13. Innocent
14. Life
15. Is Anybody Home?
16. One Man Army
17. Paper Moon
18. The End Is Where We Begin
19. Somewhere Out There
20. Naveed / Kids (MGMT cover)
21. Are You Sad?
22. All You Did Was Save My Life


23. In Repair
24. Starseed

Will add YouTube clips soon if I spot any from last night's show! In the meantime, here's a bit from One Man Army from one of the Montreal shows a couple of days ago:

And a clip from 4 AM, also from Montreal:

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