As with anything, I always recommend beginning at the beginning. However, in case you don't want to peruse my entries from the beginning (& hey, it's your loss), here's a quickie for you.

I basically like Twilight. I appreciate it for what it is, and recognize it's shortcomings. If you're a crazed Twi-fanatic, consider yourself warned.

Kristen Stewart is on my shortlist of favorite actors, and Robert Pattinson is not only gorgeous, he's talented too.

The cast in general blows my mind. Not for their acting skills (which are super sweet), but the fact that they are all so normal seeming. And they get along. No cat fights, no set drama. I'd love to see a remake of The Breakfast club with this cast, where they act as themselves. someone make that happen k thanks.

Stephenie Meyer, as a stay-at-home mom of multiple kids, wrote a book. She's kinda my hero. I want to do what she's done.

All opinions and thoughts are welcome here, so please feel free to speak your mind. :)

PS-I tend to go off on tangents like no one's business, and occasionally stray from what I really wanted to say. I'm also too impatient to go back and re-read what I've written to make sure it sounds right. I apologize for any ramblings, incoherence, and other minor transgressions I might make.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Selfish Much, Bella?

So I've been thinking....a good habit, yes, I know, haha. But really, after reading my friend Laura's comment on my last entry, I started wondering what exactly it was about Bella that I found a little irritating. Because I knew there was something, but thinking about it right that second, absolutely nothing came to mind; I replied to her comment that perhaps it was Bella's naivety that threw me off, perhaps I was to mature to fully immerse myself in her character.

So I picked up Breaking Dawn during my kids naptime today, to have what I'll call a refresher course in her behavior. After reading a few chapters, up to the wedding, and Jake coming back, I realized what it was that was getting to me.

Bella is selfish.

Yes, I said it. Selfish. "What?", you're thinking, "There's no way! She is, in fact, the most selfless person ever!"

Precisely my point. She is selfish in that she takes everything onto her own narrow shoulders; every bad circumstance, every unhappy reaction, she feels certain is due to some error on her part. Never mind that Edward is a control freak, or that Jake is your typical teenaged hotheaded male. Any time something comes up between them, she takes the blame, rendering both parties guilt-free.

This irritates me.

I think mostly it irritates me because, as I am assuming most women do, I put myself in Bella's place while I'm reading; making myself, in essence, the main character. And while I can be remarkably giving when it comes to declaring who is right and who is wrong, there is no way I would ever take most of those things onto myself. An example:

When Jake shows up at Bella's wedding, they share a few happy minutes in reunion, danincg together, Jake taking pains not to screw it up by being, well, himself. But when he mentions her and Edward not being able to have a "real honeymoon", (ie: have sex), Bella gets embarassed and upset, telling him it's none of his business, but yes they can have a real honeymoon, thankyouverymuch. Jake pulls a Jake, and grabs her in his temper tantrum, causing ever-watchful Edward to swoop in and rescue Bella from the bad werewolf.

Now, firstly, I would upset if someone tried to save me without my permission first. Silly? Probably, but I've got a little bit (maybe more than a little bit) of pride, and I would want to have my say before being whisked away.

And after Edward saves her, she immediately blames herself for rising to Jacob's bait about the honeymoon, certain that she has ruined what would have been an otherwise perfect occasion. It is her fault that her best friend's homecoming ends in his being dragged away by his fellow wolf brothers. (And because I'm thinking about that particular part, let me say that I adore Seth's character, seriously.)

There is no way in any level of heaven, earth, or hell, that I would consider that situation to be anything other than Jake's own fault; for being nosy in the first place, for not just letting her do what makes her happy, and for allowing his jealousy and other unpleasant feelings get the better of him.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Jake for being Jake. He, more so than any of the other characters, has a very realistic set of characteristic, strong emotion being one of them. And I can totally relate to losing your temper and f-ing up a situation, then looking back with horror/regret.

But when I do that, I know I'm to blame. Conversely, in Bella's shoes, I would know Jake was to blame, and I would not huddle in Edward's arms being depressed and wondering what was wrong with me. I would be huddled in Edward's arms (c'mon, would you not touch him every chance you got?), quivering with anger and frustration that my best friend couldn't keep his shiz together long enough to not ruin my wedding day/favorite mechanic's homecoming.

After reading back over this, I realize I sound kind of bitter towards Bella. I'm not! I adore her, and possible it's just envy of her selflessness and everlasting goodness that makes me annoyed by it. Like when you automatically want to dislike a really pretty girl you've just met and found out she's also smart/funny/and pretty much all around brilliant. You can't stand that she's so perfect, but you can't help but like her, because she's so perfect.

Of course, if I were to honestly put myself into a character from the Twilight series, I'd probably end up being Rosalie. Not because people consider me beautiful, (quite the opposite really; I was recently told that if I were a car model, I'd be a Honda Accord. Gee, thanks.), but because I can be a bitch, and I don't usually see a problem with that. And because I do usually eventually come around to the right side of people. But only if I think they're worth it. :)

Till next time then!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dazzled Again...by Stephenie Meyer

I just read a great new Stephenie Meyer interview from Vogue.com , and I am, once again, completely dazzled by her. It seems like I always get to a point where I can no longer trust my own hype of her...I mean, how great can someone really be? But then I read a new interview, and I'm just sucked right back in to her supreme awesomeness.

And her awesomeness is of a totally natural nature, which just makes it more, well, awesome, to me at least. She isn't super polished, she doesn't lead a life full of big happenings and cool goings ons, and she doesn't have that certain something that makes it hard to look away from some of today's rising stars.

Her awesomeness stems from her complete relate-ability. I feel like she could be a friend, or a neighbor, perhaps someone you run into at the grocery store and talk to on the toilet paper/baby food aisle. She seems to exude the kind of naturally open personality that draws people in and makes them feel comfortable. She seems at ease with herself while still seeming human about it, not like those people who are so freakishly comfortable within their own skin that nothing phases them. She screws up, she gets emotional, she deals with it and moves on. Just like the rest of us non-Twilight-penning people who share the earth with her. She is an exceptionally normal, some would say boring, person. She is the every-woman who just happens to be on top of the biggest craze since (yes, I'm saying it) Harry Potter. She is also the mom who teaches Sunday school, watches Law & Order religiously, and obsesses over her favorite band. I love her!

I think that quality of relate-ability, that ease of "connecting" with her, is exactly what comes through in her writing. Her characters seem to possess that same feeling of intimacy, like they could be people you know or grew up with, people you would run into at the post office and catch up on your respective current situations.

That openness, that friendliness, makes Bella the ultimate heroine for the masses of young girls whose minds and bodies are drowning in hormonal mood swings, who feel, as a general rule, alienated from most of society. Even their friends are occasionally suspect, and the way drama swirls through the halls of most middle and high schools, they're right to wonder if they've made the best choice in confidants.

But in Bella there is no judgment, and no feeling of superiority. She is as flawed as they are, and most will find some quality in her that they dislike, something that will make them feel superior to her in some way. While that may sound cruel, it's true (to me at least), and only makes Bella a better friend for it. It's an even playing field, a give and take of talents and loser-y qualities between them and her, creating the perfect friendship.

For those in my own personal niche of mid-twenties adoration, that feeling still remains somewhat, but other qualities are added in, making it a more complex feeling of relation. We remember clearly what it felt like to be awkward in school, having something embarrassing happening at the worst time, and the joys and heartbreaks of that first real love.

But most of us have grown from those experiences, and can look back on them with the wry smile that accompanies such memories, memories that have begun to gain the smoothing patina of age, making us more likely to smile than cringe. Some of us have moved from first love to final love with marriage, and possibly chilren. We're much more aware of the harsh realities involved in real-life love, and the fairytale qualites of Bella and Edward's love. While some people feel overwhelmed by the fairytale aspect, most of us enjoy it for what it is, and welcome it into our lives which have become to full of reality to leave much room for fantasy. It becomes an escape, a chance to relieve those earlier years without the pain and embarrassment of doing it ourselves. Instead, we can do it vicariously through Bella, and shake our heads knowingly when she mistakenly believes Edwards lines of crap about not loving her anymore, which she takes without a fight. Perhaps we look back and remember a time when we kept our mouths closed instead of fighting back, and the consequences of our actions. We smile at her inability to move on from him, maybe thinking about our own lovelorn days of love lost and all the drama that ensued; the days when every detail was carefully noted down to be completely disected at home alone in our rooms.

There is something comforting about reading about a girl, and realizing in ourselves a growth, a maturing that allows us to feel a sense of accomplishment, like maybe we did actually grow up a little bit, even though we most of the time still feel like the same girl we were then.

We also are better able to appreciate Edward for what he is: a ridiculously perfect fantasy man, the likes of who never has and never will walk this earth. Do we love him less for that? No, if anything we love him more, for we do not suffer the guaranteed heartbreak awaiting every teen girl who will undoubtably compare every boyfriend she has to him, and he will come up lacking every time. Our love for him is completely devoid of strings, or expectation. We love him for his impossbile perfection, and wholy enjoy the hours we spend with him, on the couch with a blanket, and maybe a cup of tea or bowl of icecream.

On that same vein, we know the difference between love and lust, having mostly sorted out our hormones into their own rivers to follow the right path to our brains. We can appreciate them on totally different levels, completely disconnected from each other. This opens up all sorts of excited avenues, all of which I will leave to each of your own imaginations.

As a mother, I also took something completely different away from the story than any of the teenagers who still their youth as never-ending, having children as a "one day" and not as an every day responsibility. While they may feel like they are sharing Bella's joy in having a child with the man she adores, they are completely unable to fathom the true, pure, utter beauty in feeling a life gow inside of themselves, of knowing that it was formed in love. I know none of them felt the same momentary flicker of irritation and jealously over the lines, "We're the only parents in the world who don't need sleep, and our baby already sleeps through the night." (I paraphrased there, from memory, so don't shoot me for it being incorrect.)

As parents, we also look at Charlie in a totally different light. Not as the bad guy, which light parents usually are seen in by their teenaged chilren, but as the man who is struggling to know his daughter, unable to express his feelings more completely, but feeling them just as deeply regaurdless. I get tears in my eyes (no joke, and no laughing) every time I read Twilight and Bella says all her terrible things to him when she is getting ready to run from James to Phoenix. I hurt for Charlie's sake, for the poor, bewildered look I see so clearly on his face, and for the day when my children will purposely hurt me...although hopefully not to escape from a vampire tracker.

And while this is completely gratuitous, I have to take this moment to say that whoever cast Billy Burke as Chief Swan in the movie was a genius. He is perfect, flawless, and completely underrated in his role. He brought Bella's father to life on-screen in a way that went above and beyond any expectation I would have had, if I had expected anything at all from the role. Is there a Team Charlie? I'll be the captain. ;)

But I digress, as usual....

I can only guess what the draw is in women in the upper age brackets of Twilight fandom (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), having not yet reached that stage, but I suspect it is a combination of all of the above, looked back at fondly as a memory of younger, perhaps happier, probably less complicated, and certainly more naiive times. As parents who, unlike my younger generation, have children who have already reached that age of adolescence, I imagine they relate perhaps even more to the other side of the story, that they feel a certain protectivenss along with companionship to Bella, or any of the children in the story. Instead of "that could be me", maybe it's "that could be my little girl/boy".

I have, of course, written this fully of my own perspective, and I always love to hear other people's opinions and views! So please let me know what you think, if you agree or disagree, and what your take is!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fake Can Be Pretty Too!

So after seeing a few gorgeous manips made by some seriously dedicated fans, I had to share a few of my favorite.

What do you guys think?

These two, from angieswenson at livejournal, give me warm fuzzies. Ok, so Rob doesn't like kids. Who cares? I'm a mom, and these are ADORABLE!

tinderbox210 had so many amazing ones it was hard to choose! I liked this one, it's a little feisty, precisely the reason I like Kristen Stewart.

and this one is just pretty :)

although Rob's head isn't quite right, it's still pretty sweet to me! A little Isle Esme anyone? (yes please!)

I'm still trying to get settled in my new house, so I'll get back with some actual writing sometime soon, I hope.

I Need a Human Moment ;)

Ok, this blog is on hold, along with my others, until I get unpacked in my new place. Check it out here ;)

I'll leave you with this MOUTHWATERINGLY delicious fan manip. that brings to mind what Twilight might have been like if written for adults, not teens.....yum!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Anti-Feminist? Please!

I'm in the process of a big move to a different state, which is super time consuming since my hubby is out of town and I've got two small kids and a house to deal with at the same time. So needless to say, free time is a rare thing most days.

As usual, with my free time, when I'm not blogging of course, is spent reading. But I don't want to get into a book right now because I can't dedicate my full attention to it. So, I'm doing what I always do in this situation. I'm re-reading something quick, easy, and enjoyable. This time, it's Twilight.

After reading the first few chapters, where Bella starts the ritual of cooking and cleaning up deaning, I was reminded of the anti-feminism rants I read. This is my take on it, and you'll notice it's not very long. I don't really see any need to dedicate a lot of my precious free time to such a ridiculous subject.

I think there comes a point where a line is crossed, in many of the stands that people take. For example, with racism, something I abhor, people go so far that they don't realize they've circled all the way back around to what they dispise, on the opposite side. Let me see if I can put this into clearer words.

They say that all people are created equal. Check. That is, in my opinion, the do-all and be-all in the situation. But then groups go above and beyond to do special things for different minority groups, apparently oblivious to the fact that they hated it when the white people did those same special things for their race. I think it's ridiculous.

The same thing applies to Twilight and feminism in my mind. I do not think that a woman's place is in the kitchen, or cleaning up after a man. Unless that's where she wants to be. If a man wanted to cook dinner for his mother every night, and clean up the dishes besides, people would think he was awesome, so considerate. But because women fought to get out of the kitchen, they should never go back again? Because women were forced to cook and clean for their men for years, they can never do so again willingly. There is no such thing as willingly?

Now, correct me please if I'm not understanding the issue at hand, I would love to hear it. Because it seems ridiculous to me that a woman won't let a man hold the door open for her just because he's a man and she's a woman.

And on a broader scope, the whole "helpless female is rescued by strong male" thing? Why is that so bad? I'm a very strong woman, with a mile-wide independent streak, and I have no problems with daydreaming about a gorgeous, perfect, dangerous, incredible man who can do literally ANYTHING waltzing into my life. And Bella is clearly not helpless, despite how Edward's awesomeness may make her appear. She is after all the one who saves them all.

How's that for girl power?

I think it's sad that women feel the need to be "ultra-feminist", like we don't need men for any more than procreation. While I may echo this sentiment from time to time about my husband, it is in jest, or at the worst spite, and has no truth to it. Men and women are the same. Period. Men are genetically built to be stronger, therefore taking over in situations that require machoness. Women are smarter (everyone knows that ;) ) and therefore take over the problem solving areas. The two are uniquely cut out to fit the other, working in harmony, one filling in the other's spaces. I know some strong women, and I know some smart men; saying that doing what they are good at makes them anti-feminist is ridiculous.

I think by the number of times I've used the word "ridiculous" you can tell how I feel about the whole situation. ;)

Kristen agrees; put all that energy towards something worthwhile, not bashing Stephenie Meyer's books!

People should just enjoy a fairytale for what it is and stop looking for deeper meaning in it. I mean, we're not talking about War & Peace here people. Why are you getting so worked up about ethics and rights in a story about vampires?

Next it'll be some Peta-type group saying that vampires rights are being infringed on...sheesh!