March re-cap: PA work

It’s been almost seven months since surgery and my knee has stabilized to a point where I can now run, but still feel pain. I think it has plateaued and I’ll have my last few doctor’s appointments in May.

Work has plateaued as well. In March, I worked about three PA jobs: Funny Or Die’s Billy Crystal Project, a Prilosec commercial, and an epic Hertz commercial. I also worked on two weddings: one in San Francisco and one in Irvine.

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY 2
This was my favorite PA job last month. I think Mr. Crystal is such a pro. We were shooting at a retirement home and lots of old people wanted to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to people! One time he held the elevator for me when I was carrying a trashbag.

Then there was Helen Mirren, who was also such a pro. I was a stand-in for the mermaid character, so I got to wear fins. Ms. Mirren was sitting in the car while I laid in the backseat pretending to be dead. She would make sure I felt comfortable.

HERTZ COMMERCIAL
The Hertz commercial job was the most epic and most brutal in the history of my PA career. We shot in distant locations for seven days: Dumont Dunes (near the Nevada border), Simi Valley, Lancaster/Palmdale, San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Paula, just to name a few. Of the seven days I worked, I fainted twice. I really wanted to drive the trucks, so I was given the opportunity. It turns out that I couldn’t handle driving long distances with only 4-hour turnaround times. One night, after a nine-hour roundtrip drive, I got home at 1am. Then I had gotten up at 3am to get ready for work at 5am. I fainted in the middle of the day while I was on the freeway. Good thing I pulled over!


The last day of shooting was in a mansion somewhere in Beverly Hills. I started work at around 9:30am and the shoot would go until 4am. I passed out sometime around 10pm and production sent me home at midnight because I looked like I was about to die. What a pansy way to end the epic-long shoot!

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What’s Up Update: February 2011

Happy Lunar New Year!
Today is Chinese New Year, the year of the rabbit. I will try to come home to Daly City on the weekend of February 18th. I booked a flight on Southwest. Hopefully, I’ll be able to lion dance!

Physical Therapy Update
Yesterday was my LAST physical therapy session! Woohoo! I can walk pretty well now, but I still can’t run at 100%. I’ve come a long way since I started back in October. During my sessions, I’d do drills that work my quads, hamstrings, calfs, and gluts. I would do jumps, balance exercises, cardio, and stretches that bring back memories of high school. At the end of a PT session, I would feel really good. I would feel like I was sixteen years old again! Memories of ending a track or lion dance workout would flood into my head. Cool!

PA Jobs Update
I’m back working as a production assistant! It’s great to be back to work! Although, my knee still hurts. So I just keep it easy, rather than rush to get something done. I wish I had this attitude back before I had my injury.

ALLSTATE COMMERCIAL (January 20th-22nd): This job was my favorite this year. It was a three-day shoot: two days in Pomona and one day in Harbor City. I got to work with and talk to actress, Patricia Ja Lee, who was one of my favorites. We talked about anime conventions, career, and food! Also, Dennis Haysbert was on the job! In Harbor City, we shot inside a motorcycle shop. In between a take, he asked me for water. So I handed him a bottle of Arrowhead while the whole crew waited. Then he looked at me and said, “What’s your name?” I said, “Russell.” Like a boss, he reached his hand out and shook my hand! When I turned around to leave, I tripped over a motorcycle. Fail, haha. I stumbled in front of the director, producer, and star!

MERCEDEZ-BENZ COMMERCIAL (January 23rd): On this job there were no grip or electric crews. It was a barebones production. They used the Canon 5D to shoot with. Meanwhile, in downtown LA, I stumbled upon WILLOW SMITH’s music video set. I later read that WILL SMITH and JACKIE CHAN were there too. Anyway, I talked to the PA’s and went about my business.

FUNNY OR DIE (February 1st): This job lasted less than 12 hours and the call time was at 10:30am. This was the most chill production I’ve ever worked on. Even though the pay was lower than my usual commercial jobs, I enjoyed it very much.

What’s Next
I got two wedding video gigs coming up! There’s still one more that I’m editing right now. Other than wedding videos, I got other PA jobs coming soon. Then there’s Anime Expo, or SPJA. I’m no longer the manager of the media department. Now, I’m an on-call editor. This works out for me, yet I’m still not clear on what’s going on in the company. As for Disney, I’m not sure I’m still on payroll? Anyway, I’m open to other kinds of work as well. Acting, producing, directing, and more! At this point, I should just pick something to master. It’s not good to be the “jack of all trades and master of none.”

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Russell’s what’s up update – November

Physical Therapy
It’s been over a month since my knee surgery and I have learned how to walk this week. It was pretty cool to actually walk across the room without my crutch. So far I’ve done four sessions of physical therapy. Hopefully, I can regain the ability to run and ride bikes in a few weeks.

Laura’s wedding
On October 23rd, I went to Carlsbad to document a wedding. It took place at a beach house in this place called Levyland. My assistant did most of the grunt work because I was walking around in crutches, due to my knee surgery. On the drive there, it rained heavily. By the time we arrived at the location, the rain had stopped.

The ceremony took place outdoors. I could see the sun come in and out of the clouds. The display on the camera would ask me to switch filters, which meant there was too much sunlight. When I stopped recording the ceremony, the time code clocked it in at around fourteen minutes. Ha, that was short!

This was the easiest wedding I’ve ever done. The turnout was intimate, which was about fifty people. I picked up the standard toasts, cake-cutting, and bouquet toss. The dances were very minimal, and thus by the end of the night, I only used about two DV tapes.

The Giants vs. Phillies game was going on concurrently. At around 8:30pm, the wedding was over. Some people left and some people stayed to watch the game. I remember that the room cheered when Brian Wilson did the final pitch which go the Giants into the World Series.

San Diego Asian Film Festival
This year, I didn’t watch any films. I did catch the celebrity panel as usual. Daniel Dae Kim, CS Lee, Aaron Yoo, Ellen Wong, and Harry Shum Jr. were at this year’s panel. They said a lot of interesting and inspiring things. It all went by like a blur, so much so that I get the other years mixed up. I’ve been coming here since 2006. For some reason, I wasn’t as into it in 2010. It’s kind of like how I come to Comic-Con every year and just forget what just happened.

On my queue
Micha’s wedding video
Siu-ling and Jen’s wedding video
Laura’s wedding video

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Knee surgery

On Wednesday, September 29th, I finally had my knee surgery. It was a fun morning. My roommate dropped me off at Good Samaritan Hospital at 6am. I didn’t get into the operating room until around 11am.

That morning I got a job call for a PA gig, but I had to turn it down. While I waited to be put down, I sat around observing the hospital setting. The doc came into the resting area to mark my knee. That way they don’t operate on the wrong one! The plan was to do an arthroscopy first, which meant that an incision would be made on my knee to make room for a microscopic camera. They would then see what the ACL damage would look like before they decide how to operate.

Scenario #1: No tear, then they “shrink” the ACL to tighten the loose strands. They do this by applying heat and melding my ACL into place.

Scenario #2: Severe tear, they do ACL reconstruction. Which means they cut off the bad ACL and insert a graft.

I laid in the bed with wheels as the medical assistants pushed me through the hallways and into the OR. This felt like TV! When I arrived in the OR, I could see the lamps above, like the House promotional poster from season one. The surgeons looked down on me, chatted with me briefly, and before I knew it, I was out.

It must’ve been a very short surgery that lasted less than 45 minutes. I woke up feeling so high. It felt good. I was confused because all the sounds were muffled. I faded in to a white, cloudy image of people moving about in the recovery room. It felt like a Harry Potter scene where he kinda wakes up in the infirmary after an injury. Everything’s FUZZY!

Is this real life?

Then the nurses noticed I was awake because I was trying to get up. I couldn’t sit up, so I kept moving my legs very slowly. I wiggled my toes like John Locke. Yes, I can still feel my leg! They pushed me back into the room with the hospital beds and curtains. There, I laid and took my nap.

The doc came in briefly to tell me that there was no tear in my ACL, so he just tightened it. No screws or reconstruction. Awesome. That means my recovery wouldn’t be too bad.

By 2pm, my roommate picked me up. Before I left, I learned to use crutches and read my discharge papers. No driving for 48 hours. No showers for 3 days. No legal decision-making for 48 hours. Keep the leg brace on.

Later, I picked up my medication: aspirin and vicodin!

I feel like House. I walk with pain in my knee and leg. I use a walking aid. I have vicodin. Except I’m not too cranky. At least not all the time.

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Jen and Siu-Ling wedding

This was the first wedding I’ve done that’s ever made me tear up.

On this gig, I had Joe Ho and Richard Phon help me with camera. It was fun to test out my new gear. The wireless microphone gave me static, so the sound was unusable. The $370 Manfrotto tripod was a joy to use. Great investment. No shaky or jerky tripod shots!

The wedding itself…stunningly beautiful. It was very emotional, since this is the only time we get to see a college reunion. People came from long distances to be here.

The morning started out with me accompanying Jen to get her hair & make-up done with her mom and sister. Then I went to her house to capture moments where people were preparing for the ceremony. Meanwhile, Joe Ho got the groom’s side of the prep.

Moments to note: whenever Jen and her sister cried…the trains interrupting…Siu-Ling’s dance battle with a little kid…and so much more.

Thank you, Jen and Siu-Ling for giving me happy moments like these to capture!

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Hands down. Best Experience of the Year.

Now let me say that last night was the ABSOLUTE BEST EXPERIENCE I’ve had this year. Hands down. I attended a very special event with my brother at UCLA. Academy-award-winning composer, Michael Giacchino (UP, Ratatouille, Star Trek, LOST) conducted beautifully-written music for LOST Live: The Final Celebration.

HOW I GOT INTO “LOST”
I remember the first time LOST caught my interest. I was in Hawaii in the summer of 2005. In the hotel room, I was channel surfing and I stopped on a show that was both visually and audibly breathtaking. The scene lasted a few minutes and there was no dialogue. On screen, the cast of characters were celebrating the launch of their newly built raft to leave the island. Even without dialogue, the beautiful musical composition told the story emotionally. I was very curious and impressed by the sound of an orchestra playing against the backdrop of a tropical beach. I’ve never seen or heard anything like this before on television.

While I was in Hawaii, Season 2 of LOST was having a premiere screening on Waikiki Beach. One day I was at the beach and I overheard a conversation a woman had about meeting Matthew Fox. I was genuinely interested in checking out the premiere screening, but my buddy Rod and I had other plans. When I left Hawaii and went back to UCSD to start my senior year, I borrowed the season 1 DVD from my friend, Jennifer. I ate up that show like a bag of Spicy Hawaiian BBQ kettle chips. It was wonderful.

THE ORCHESTRA
Last night, the orchestra paid a tribute to that raft scene that I saw many years ago. It was the same music and visuals that got me hooked on LOST in the first place. It was so nostalgic and I was very pleased to be in the presence of Michael Giacchino. After conducting his set, Michael Giacchino did one final encore performance. He conducted the popular piece from Pixar’s “UP.” That was an emotional performance and I was happy to be there.

CAST MEMBERS, PRODUCERS, and SPECIAL GUESTS
Next, one of the executive producers of LOST read a very special letter from GEORGE LUCAS, congratulating LOST for its achievement. Then Damon and Carlton came to present the actors in attendance that night:

Titus Welliver, Ian Somerhaulder, Sonya Walger, Henry Ian Cusick, Michael Emerson, Josh Holloway, Jorge Garcia, Jeremy Davies, Francois Chau, Daniel Dae Kim, Nestor Carbonell, L. Scott Caldwell, Rebecca Mader, Lance Reddick, Malcolm David Kelly (WALT!), Harold Perrineau, William Mapother (Ethan), Daniel Roebuck (Leslie Artz), Kim Dickens (Cassidy), and many more.

Screening of Next Week’s Episode (DON’T WORRY, NO SPOILERS HERE)
Jack Bender, the writers, and producers introduced the next segment: The sneak preview screening of the entire penultimate episode, “WHAT THEY DIED FOR.” It was awesome watching the newest episode 5 days before it airs. It was in HD and on the big screen in a packed auditorium. People cheered and clapped at the end of each act. They laughed at character beats, cheered for the cameo appearances, and gasped at revelations. This was the best experience with an audience. Period. No cell phones were allowed inside the theatre. Therefore, no texting, phones ringing, people checking their bright screens, or anything annoying that comes with cell phone use. There was no food either, so nobody came strolling in late with their giant popcorn, nachos, and diet cokes. No bull. Just LOST.

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
I understand why people get passionate when somebody disses their mom or their loved ones. When people diss the things or people I love and care about, I don’t respond very well either.

This is how I feel about LOST. I feel that nobody has the right to diss me as a person or give me a hard time just because I love this show. Also, when someone disses LOST to me or makes fun of me, knowing that I love this show with a passion, then that person is no longer a person I take seriously. That’s okay, because those kind of people don’t take me seriously anyway. So forget them.

I digress. But this totally relates to how I enjoyed last night’s LOST Live: The Final Celebration at UCLA. You see, I sat there thinking about the people I wished were here to enjoy the experience with me. Those people who love what I love, I wished they were here. But the show sold out quickly. I also thought about people who dissed me the past few days, weeks, and even months. I honestly feel so much contempt for them because they know not what they do or say.

COMING UP
I picked up some souvenirs for those who want them. Message me! Anyway, it’s Friday and I’m going to another concert event. Sun God Festival at UCSD! Michelle Branch, B.O.B., THRICE, Relient K, and Drake will perform! I got alumni passes, so I’m good to go. Then on Saturday night, I am going to a CAPE event with DANIEL DAE KIM in attendance to talk about his career, legacy, and LOST.

The month of May is a happy time for me. I just got off from the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, where I met tons of people. My financial, romantic, and professional lives are coming together nicely. Someone once said to me that I’m living the dream. It’s hard to realize it, but I think that person might be right. I’ve been through quite a lot this past year and I’d like to see how I have changed as a character and human being.

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Russell’s Tears Fall for “The Candidate”

“Oh WTF Lost?!? That’s some bullshit.” – facebook status update from Theresa Strawn.

“I am man enough to say some tears dripped down my face tonight during Lost.” – facebook status update from Joseph Ho.

“LOST… made me cry like a baby.” – facebook status update from Eunice Yuk.

“Wow, tonight’s LOST has got me like Usher. O M G.” – facebook status update from Peter Cid.

“T.T ohhh sooo sadddd!! T.T” – facebook status update from my brother, Randall Fung.

“LOST just broke my heart a little bit.” – facebook status update from Ryan Dumlao.

As I write this review, the tears on my face are drying up. I knew this episode was gonna be good. Because I received a phone call, a post on my fb wall, and several facebook news feed stories from people who usually don’t comment on LOST.

This has got to be the MOST EMOTIONAL episode of LOST of ALL TIME. Forget the flash-sideways story. Let’s talk about what’s on everyone’s minds.

SAYID

“Sayid is a G.” – facebook wall post from my brother, Randall Fung

I received a notification from my brother on my Blackberry and on my new iPad. I didn’t know what the statement meant. Going into the episode, I thought, “Hmm, maybe Sayid does something badass.” Indeed he did. It was nice to see the ENTIRE ORIGINAL REMAINING MAIN CAST MEMBERS work together in this episode. I’m so used to seeing everyone scattered, but when Sayid showed up, I was super stoked. I had high hopes that there was still good left in Sayid. Once he joined the entire castaways, it was like getting old season one Sayid back. He did the fighting, gunslinging, and bomb-defusing for them. Just like old times.

Then the moment came. In that submarine, Sayid’s story/character arc came to a close. Like Charlie and Michael before him, he sacrifices himself (badass Sayid style!) to save the other castaways’ lives. Even though he killed Dogen, Lennon, and helped Smokey kill countless others, I think I will have to give redemption points to him. That was a quick and awesome move. I thought he was going to close the door, but there wasn’t enough time. Sayid’s death was going to stick on my mind for the rest of the episode. Mind you that I was watching this at 2am and I screamed hella loud, going, “WHAT THE….OH MY…WHAT THE FU…OH MY GOD….DID THEY (the writers) REALLY JUST DO THAT?!!! OH MY GOD! WHAT THE F***!” I hope I didn’t wake up my roommates.

JIN & SUN

“Why did they kill off all the asians? Haha!” – facebook status thread from my buddy, Alex Lee*

“i can’t believe sun and jin died…tear :-(” – facebook status update from my cousin, Angela Lowe.

“Jin and Sun…”sigh”” – facebook status update from Andrew Hambre.

I thought that Sayid was going to be the only casualty in this episode. I mean, why would any writer kill off multiple ORIGINAL MAIN CHARACTERS in one episode? J.K. Rowling didn’t do that with the last Harry Potter book. She didn’t kill multiple main characters in one chapter. She spread it out a little. We want each person’s death to leave an impact.

Well, it seems that the writers want to raise the stakes to the max. Nobody is safe! I really thought Jin was going to save Sun and get to the surface with the rest of our Losties. Then the realization sunk in (no pun intended) once Michael Giacchino’s Life and Death theme started to play. Their death scene was beautifully shot. They have their declaration of love and Jin’s reassurance that he’d never leave Sun again. They kiss. Then cut to the sinking of the submarine in slow motion while Giacchino’s score continues to tug at my heartstrings. Cut back to a shot of Sun’s hand letting go of Jin’s. OMG. BREATH. TAKING.

*At least Miles is still around somewhere. Phew! He’s the only one left representing Asians on LOST. For now…

LAPIDUS
I didn’t notice, but I think Lapidus kicked the bucket as well. It’s too bad he didn’t get an obvious death scene. Like Ilana, he just kinda died without a backstory. I think he was on the show for one-liners. I don’t think the audience will miss him much because we haven’t gotten too attached. He was always kind of distant to me. Miles has got to be the next dude to go, since he’s just there to provide snarky lines and read dead bodies.

JACK

“Because it’s going to be you, Jack.” – facebook status update from Ryan Devisser quoting Sayid’s last words to Jack.

Matthew Fox does it again. I loved Jack’s conviction that everything was going to be okay. In this plea to Sawyer, he provides more insight to “the rules.” The scene brought back parallel moments like in season 2 when he refused to push the button based on faith alone. “NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN!” This time, he’s coming from a different place when he says that.

In the sideways universe, he says, “I WISH YOU BELIEVED ME” to Locke. I was totally moved. It echoes back to Locke’s letter in season 5. There was a moment when Locke stops and processes what Jack just said. I hoped that he’d say yes to the surgery. But he kept moving on.

KATE
Kate got shot and I had a little hope that she would kick the bucket in that episode. I knew it would be too good to be true (sorry, I’m not a fan of Kate) and that she’d survive a while longer.

SAWYER
Nothing much to say about Sawyer, except that he effed up really bad. Because he had no patience and no faith, he caused the bomb to go off. He was stubborn to risk his life on Jack’s words, which I understand. I would like to see how his scenes with Jack play out in the remaining episodes.

HURLEY
He was the one who broke my tears. Good job, Jorge Garcia. When he wept on the beach in the aftermath of the sinking submarine, I just cried.

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Russell’s thoughts on “The Last Recruit”

“It’s nice to have everyone back together again.” – Locke

I could imagine viewing the callsheet for that episode’s shoot and being excited about seeing a majority of the ensemble cast working together. I did not expect the sideways story to progress that fast. It had its moments. The island storyline on the other hand, had several moments that hit me pretty hard emotionally. When I saw Matthew Fox and Terry O’Quinn together, I was hanging on to every word of dialogue. There were three moments in particular that I absolutely loved in this episode.

Jack Jumps Ship

“Get off my damn boat.” – Sawyer

In this scene, I could feel so much internal conflict coming from Jack. This is a testament to Matthew Fox as an actor and to the overall character arc written for him. I loved how his character has developed from a man driven to get his people off the island, to a man who believes that he and his people have to stay. He has submitted himself to the will of the island and has conceded the leadership role to Hurley and Sawyer.

The act of jumping ship is a parallel to Sawyer’s act of jumping helicopter back in season 4. Here, we have a majority of the castaways ready to leave the island. Only, it still doesn’t feel right the second time. Jack is in control of his own actions and I’m glad he went with his gut. He has assumed the role of John Locke, who believes that he was brought to the island for a reason. His reason for jumping is different from Sawyer’s the first time. I doubt that he was trying to score points with Kate, but it didn’t hurt his hero factor either.

I still think he has this need to fix things, although his approach is more calm and faithful. The fact that he lets go of control is a huge step for this character. He has one last mission and it’s not yet revealed what that is. Whatever his purpose is, I know that Jack has utilized his free will to take that on.

Jin and Sun Reunite

“We’ll never be apart again. I promise you.” Jin to Sun

Finally, after three years, Jin and Sun reunite. I did not expect the same level of emotions from when Desmond and Penny reunited. Because of all the chess pieces moving about this board in this episode, Sun and Jin’s moment was a bit upstaged. At the same time it wasn’t completely drowned out by the earlier scenes. I watched for Daniel Dae Kim and Yujin Kim’s performance. It was as raw and as beautiful as I had hoped for. I won’t lie, I teared up when they finally reunited. Michael Giacchino’s score did not disappoint. Although, I was wondering what was the point of her speech limitations in the first place. Why was that written in? I didn’t see the purpose in writing that in. It was a nice touch though. Frank Lapidus and his smile added flavor to the sentimental moment as well.

Desmond is not dead

“This woman. When she asks you what you did to be with her again…what would you tell her?” – Desmond to Sayid

I did not notice it the first time, but when Desmond talks to Sayid, I could hear Giacchino’s LaFleur theme. It was an interesting choice in music. This scene belongs to my list of top 3 moments of the episode because of its simplicity in dialogue. There’s nothing smart, complicated, or intense about this scene. It was an emotional character moment for Sayid. Even though he has “turned to the dark side”, I think there’s still saving him as suggested by Hurley. Haha, he made an “Anakin” reference. Anyway, I don’t believe that Sayid killed Desmond. He didn’t die onscreen, so therefore, he is not dead until proven dead.

Flashsideways moments:

Detective Straume?
I have questions about whether Miles has found his dad in the sideways timeline. I’m guessing he hasn’t because his name is not “Detective Chang.” His father, Dr. Pierre Chang, made an appearance in last week’s episode and I wonder if he realizes that Hugo Reyes is the time-traveling guy who doesn’t know who’s the U.S. President in 1977. Also, Dr. Chang was AT the incident! Didn’t he die from the nuclear explosion? How did he leave the island? Does Miles still have his supernatural abilities?

Desmond is not a stalker
I noticed that Henry Ian Cusick smiled a lot when he did his scene with Emile de Ravin. I would figure that he was trying not to make Desmond look like a stalker. But he pretty much was stalking Claire, right? Just not for sick reasons. He is well connected and has excellent timing. Didn’t he just run Locke over and then head straight to Claire?

Ilana!
Yay! I’m happy that she made an appearance. At least I don’t feel bad for the actress anymore.

David and his mom
It’s nice to know that the writers love to remind me that I DON’T KNOW the identity of David’s mother. That phone call was a tease to the audience. I knew it was too early to reveal who she is. I’m guessing Sarah or Juliet. Julie Bowen could come back to LOST because her show “Modern Family” is on the same network. Elizabeth Mitchell is on “V.” We shall see!

Jack and Claire (both timelines)
Their reunion wasn’t emotionally intense, but I liked its simplicity. Matthew Fox and Emilie de Ravin worked very well together in their scenes. I liked that the story didn’t waste any time tackling their issues and connections in the island timeline. A nice parallel was also shown in the flash sideways timeline. I thought it was excellent juxtaposition.

Jack and Locke (both timelines)
Finally, Jack and Locke reunite. A lot of reuniting in this episode, huh? In the island timeline, we finally get to see Jack confront Locke since that time in the hospital in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.” Only, it’s not Locke. This imposter reveals that he did pose as Christian. He also reveals that Locke was a “sucker.” What a strong choice of words. Good thing Jack doesn’t buy into that. As for the sideways timeline, I was super stoked that Jack came in for Locke’s spinal surgery. HA! Destiny can’t keep them apart! I am so excited to see if Jack heals Locke’s spine. That would be epic!

I’m guessing “The Last Recruit” refers to Jack. At the end, he’s in Locke’s camp whereas everyone else is taken captive by Widmore’s camp. There are only three episodes left until the series finale!

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Everything’s amazing but I don’t feel it!

When I find something that amazes me, I try to hold on to it as long as possible. Because at my age, there aren’t that many things that give me a sense of wonder anymore.

Where has all the wonder gone?

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Trippy Thoughts When I Can’t Sleep

SPIRITUALITY AS OF NOW
I’m a big believer in God, but I’m not saved. You see, I haven’t been producing fruits of my spirituality. It means that there hasn’t been a radical change from the life I’m living now to a God-centered, God-fearing, God-obedient life. I don’t pray a lot. I don’t read the Bible a lot. Because it doesn’t matter how hard or little I try. My heart isn’t transformed so that I’m praying and reading the Bible out of my love for Him.

FUTILITY and BEING “GOOD”
I can pray and I can read the Bible, but it feels futile. I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m trying. It should be easy for me. It should be passionate and obsessive. If my heart is as deceptive as I think it is, then I’m not being honest with myself when I say I’m a good person. But I try to be.

I believe that God moves in mysterious ways, but does not directly interfere with my life. Free will allows me to make my own choices. Some right and some wrong. But what if it’s pointless for me to keep being polite, respectful, and “good”? What’s stopping me from doing selfish things if God won’t step in and punish me?

I used to believe in Karma or that anything bad that’s happening to me is because God is punishing me and I deserve it. Now, I think that the universe has its ways of “course-correcting.” Let me explain.

TIME TRAVEL?
What if space-time isn’t linear? What if the life I’m living isn’t real? That I’ve made some bad choices in my life and the universe has gifted me the opportunity to travel back in time to make the right ones. The catch is that every time I move backwards in time, I lose my memories. So I would never know what happens next, but I’d feel like I’ve lived through the next moments before. Deja vu.

BEFORE I WAS BORN
The most trippy thought I’ve had since childhood was, “Where was my consciousness, my very being, my existence before July 1st, 1984?” Seriously. Where? All I can see is whiteness. Pre-birth is white. Post-death is blackness. Was I inhabiting another body? Who knows.

CLOSING THOUGHTS BEFORE I CAN SLEEP
These are feelings and thoughts I’ve had many times in my life. It’s funny that my roommate says I’m going through an existential crisis. I don’t know what to say about that, but it usually passes after a few moments. Then I go back to working, socializing, and sleeping.

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