Twilight Thursday: Watching the movie or That’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back

In a moment of pure insanity, Boy & I decided to watch Twilight. Yes, I know. Hear me out first.

We’re both fans of RiffTrax. It’s the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 doing running commentary of assorted films. Watch this before moving forward.

With that in mind, we figured some witty outside banter would make the movie bearable. Thusly we embarked.

I’ve never seen Kristen Stewart in anything else, or if I have, she made no lasting impression. I used to get her confused with Kristen Bell. Too bad, as Kristen Bell actually has talent. I saw Robert Pattinson in his brief role as Cedric Digory in the Harry Potter universe. He was little more than cannon fodder in that. Going in, I had a fairly clean slate upon which to judge their acting. If one can refer to it as acting, of course.

The acting lived down to what I’d heard. Teenagers frequently stare awkwardly at each other, especially when facing their crush. This was way overboard on the awkward stare followed by some mumbling along the lines of “yeah, sure, totally, definitely”. The rest of the cast was no better. There wasn’t any one actor who stood out in the sea of mediocrity. Sometimes a crappy movie can be saved by a decent actor who outshines the rest (pun intended). Speaking of shiny –

What the hell kind of sparkle was that? I was expecting full on blind you make a drag queen look like an overly faded tee shirt level sparkly. Nope, I could barely tell the dude was anything other than needing to put some powder on his oily skin. Go big or go home, goddammit. The piggy back ride up the mountain made it a little better, but only because the Benny Hill theme was being hummed in the background.

If I thought the pacing of the book was slow, the movie more than delivered. Boy & I looked over at one point and realized we were only halfway in. AND THAT WAS WITH WITTY BANTER.

The movie dropped a few hints about the villains fairly early on. I’m seven chapters into the book and not a whisper of an antagonist, other than Bella antagonizing the rest of us. I honestly couldn’t tell what Blackeyed Peas was after. They show up and are like “Hey! Mind if we play some ball with you?” and the Cullens are all “Yeah totally!” and then Blackeyed Peas goes “Wait a sec, you brought a snack!”. They did not, however, bring enough for the whole class. Douche move, Team Cullen. Ponytail is especially disappointed. Why? I have no clue. Absolutely no motive was given. I guess he was just really, really hungry.

That’s another thing, there was no motivation at all. On anyone’s part. Ever. If the protagonist has no motivation (i.e. end goal), then how is the antagonist supposed to antagonize? Toss Bella around a dance studio like the worst ballroom dancing competition ever? I was really, really hoping he’d just toss her through the window and we’d be done with it. Sorry, no, you’ve lost. Next contestant please.

Boy & I frequently have conversations about our various suspensions of disbelief. He yells at the TV or a movie about their crappy security. I frequently yell at the TV or a movie about how they’re killing someone incorrectly. If Bella’s femoral artery really were severed, she would have bled out in approximately 3 minutes. It probably would have been faster considering her pulse was higher from, you know, being tossed around like a rag doll. Of course, to save her, Edward takes even more blood out of her! Apparently vampires are like poisonous snakes in this universe. He tries to suck the venom out like you would with a snake bite. Except for the minor detail where that’s an urban legend, she still lives in spite of losing about half of her blood. Why, gods, why! Why is she still living? For whatever sins humanity has committed, I will repent! We shall repent! *hits knees wailing*

Then there’s the denouement which really shouldn’t be classed as such. Edward takes her to the prom where they bust out the cliche of the gazebo lit with Christmas lights. The gazebo isn’t the only one getting lit by this point. There’s more staring and a voice over that I had something along the lines of “I love Edward! I shall never leave him! We are destined for each other!”. Of course, that’s pretty much the whole movie. I would go throw up, but it’s a waste of my time, much like the movie itself.

After it ended, Boy and I simply stared at each other. There were no words.

Back to the books next week, kiddos!

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 6 or Why the hell is everyone with a vagina jealous of Bella?

We’re, give or take, 20% into the story. I have no further comment than that. Yet.


Now our heroine is sitting in her room reading Macbeth with rain pouring outside. The Shakespearean centric English major in me had to giggle. She might as well be reading Hamlet when it’s foggy outside. For those of you (poor souls) who are unfamiliar with either play, suffice to say that doom, gloom, and rain / airborne precipitation are in short order. Once again, we have to see how well read Bella is. At least this time she doesn’t make the snide comment that she’s reading it for fun.

The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew he wasn’t going to be there, I still hoped. When I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica and Mike, I couldn’t keep from looking at his table, where Rosalie, Alice, and Jasper sat talking, heads close together. And I couldn’t stop the gloom that engulfed me as I realized I didn’t know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.

Try Monday morning. That seems like a good start.

As they’re leaving the lunch room, Minor Character Number Four (or Five? I’ve lost count) questions why Bella isn’t sitting with Team Fangtasia. To which Bella replies:

I really didn’t know her well at all, certainly not well enough for her to dislike me – or so I thought.

Because she’s a set dressing, that’s why you don’t know her. Duh.

Once she’s home, Bella decides to bring up Edward’s little camping trip to her dad:

It’s not a very good place for camping.” He sounded surprised. “Too many bears. Most people go there during hunting season.”

And if you’re a vampire, it’s always hunting season. Just wait for duck season. Or rabbit season.

The day of their little jaunt to the beach, it’s sunny. Go Mother Nature. She arrives at the meeting point and all the girls are whispering and gossiping about here. I really don’t understand why. Unless they all have a raging crush on Edward of which the reader is heretofore unaware, I don’t get it. Bella has beaten us over the head with how klutzy and otherwise undesirable she is. Why on earth would the other girls feel at all threatened? Oh right, because Bella is our self deprecating protagonist and there has to be some lame attempt at conflict.

On the drive to the beach, Meyer treats us to a rather positive review of the landscape. It’s completely incongruous with Bella’s previous bitching and moaning. Apparently, a little Vitamin D does just the thing. They get to the beach and there’s two pages worth of Mike trying to flirt with Bella and Jessica giving Bella the stink eye.

I was completely absorbed, except for one small part of my mind that wondered what Edward was doing now, and trying to imagine what he would be saying if he were here with me.

The answers to your questions are “sleeping” and some snide comment about how he’s dangerous and not cut out to be a BFF. Also, your whole mind is small.

Drumroll please, we have now officially met Jacob.

My positive opinion of his looks was damaged by the first words out of his mouth.

“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?”

In her mind, Bella is God. You are not allowed to speak her name as it is blasphemy. YOU ARE UNWORTHY!!!! Seriously, bitch, get over yourself. Jacob starts chatting her up:

He had a pleasant, husky voice.

I totally see what you did there.

Meyer tries to continue the girl on girl conflict. Minor Character Number Four (or Five) aka Lauren, apparently has a thing for Jacob & tries to pick a fight with Bella. The Plastics have NOTHING on this chick (Incidentally, a viewing of Mean Girls needs to happen in my near future). What’s problematic about Bella’s interpretation of Lauren’s behaviour is just that. It’s an interpretation. There’s no emotional investment on the part of the reader with the interactions between Bella and the other female characters. Meyer didn’t waste her time on fleshing out those relationships in favor of Bella mooning for pages on end. If she had established Lauren or Jessica or Random Minor Female Character Number Three, the antagonism would be more interesting. Instead, it reads as puzzling at best.

The topic changes in the direction of something vaguely resembling interesting.

I stared at the deep-voiced boy, taken aback, but he was looking away toward the dark forest behind us. He’d said that the Cullens don’t come here, but his tone implied something more – that they weren’t allowed; they were prohibited. His manner left a strange impression on me, and I tried to ignore it without success.

Wow, your Spidey Sense is really on point.

In the true spirit of emotional manipulation, Bella decides to extract further information from Jacob:

“Do you want to walk down to the beach with me? I asked, trying to imitate the way Edward had of looking up from underneath his eyelashes.

Yes, channel the creepy vampire face. That sure does bring all the boys to the yard.

More blah, blah, blah I’m a terrible flirt. Blah, blah, blah, he’s totally falling for it. Blah, blah, blah.

“Do you like scary stories?” he asked.

“I love them,” I enthused, making an effort to smolder at him.

Yes, please go ahead and light on fire.

Jacob tells the story of how vampires and werewolves came to a happy agreement to stay off each other’s turf. Of course, the master of the Cullen Clan engineered this 4 generations ago with Jacob’s family. Even better, the Cullens just welcomed two new ones into the family. Mazel tov.

But I really did like Jacob. He was someone I could easily be friends with.

Uh oh, here comes the friendzoning.

Then the puny humans are back off again thanks to the rain. At least we get a short break from Bella bitching about the precipitation. Being a weatherman in this part of the world must be stupid easy. And scene.

I’d like to point out that Jacob was introduced in this chapter & has already had a conversation with Bella. Yet the Cullens / Hales were introduced in the second chapter & none of them have spoken a word. Named characters are supposed to talk! If you don’t want them to talk, don’t bother with a name. If you’re trying to amp up tension until they speak, then save the name for when they decide to open their mouths. It must have just been too difficult to say “All those damn pale kids look the same! Except Edward. He’s totally hot. Err, cold. Whatever.”

We finally (FINALLY) get some kind of exposition. It took all of 4 pages to set up the whole plot. Vampires don’t like werewolves. Edward just so happens to be a vampire and Jacob is conveniently a werewolf. Why the hell did it take so long to get there? In case I haven’t beaten the dead horse enough, the pacing is driving me insane. It’s going like a George Romero style zombie pace rather than a vampiric pace. If vampires can move at the rate of virtual teleportation, then the plot should, too. I’m surprised the book hasn’t been trudging around behind me moaning “braaaaains”. What has taken Meyer over 100 pages to set up easily could have been done in half that time. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a very succinct writer. My biggest problem in college was getting the word count necessary for my papers. I could say in 300 words what the professor wanted in 500 words. That was with references and quotes necessary to support my argument. Excessively wordy prose is not my speed. If I were writing the book, I probably could have set up the whole thing in 30 pages. Am I really asking too much? If I am, please speak up. I appreciate honestly from my loyal readers.

Until next time!

Semicolon count: 8

Number of gummy bears I consumed during the creation of this post: Apocalyptic

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 5 or Are We There Yet?

…And we’re back! Did you miss me? I bet you did! Now that I think (*crosses fingers*), I have the draft / post issue resolved, this should go a bit more smoothly. Unlike the book.


 

Now that Bella is high on V (shit, wrong vampires), she waltzes into class late. But that’s totally cool because it’s English Lit and she already knows everything there is to know about that class. Duh.

Jessica babbled on and on about her dance plan – Lauren and Angela had asked the other boys and they were all going together – completely unaware of my inattention.

You know when your friend gets a new boy/girlfriend and they’re covered in new relationship smell? Bella has already hit that point and they aren’t even dating yet. Instead of making it look like Minor Characters You Really Aren’t Supposed To Care About 1-3 looking like the lovestruck ones, Bella comes across as the New Relationship Smell chick. No one likes *that* person. She keeps being *that* chick until Minor Character #1 (aka Jessica) slightly moves the plot along by observing that Edward is, once again, staring at her. Starting to get a little creepy there, buddy. As if we hadn’t hit a decent number on the Creep-O-Meter, he one ups himself:

Once he’d caught my eye, he raised one hand and motioned with his index finger for me to join him. As I stared in disbelief, he winked.

I have the mental image of him giving the really awkward over exaggerated wink that may or may not be followed by “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”. If only. Vampires are the sex gods of the supernatural world. However, Eddie here skipped seductive entirely and went straight to I’ll need to shower for days level of creepy. Less is more, Steph. Less is more.

“Does he mean you?” Jessica asked with insulting astonishment in her voice.

It’s already been determined that Edward may or may not have a thing for Bella. Bella has all the subtle grace of a shotgun blast in a SmartCar. How, exactly, is Bella inferring that Jessica (who we still aren’t supposed to care about, btw) is surprised to the point of being insulting? Because the world revolves around Bella. You’re welcome, readers, for the clarification.

She goes over to the table, they lack any kind of witty banter or plot advancement for 2 pages or so, then we hit that same tired old note.

“Well, we can try, I suppose. But I’m warning you now that I’m not a good friend for you.” Behind the smile, the warning was real.

“You say that a lot,” I noted…

One point for Bella’s keen observation. Yes, Edward, you’re dangerous. Can we move on please? Like how we’re 90 pages in and still no vampire reveal? Again, if you have to beat the reader over the head with it, you’re doing something wrong. Guess she slept through that class.

I do give points for the third superhero reference during the otherwise dull conversation. Though I’m reasonably certain the Biology teacher’s name wasn’t intentional.

He looked down and then glanced up at me through his long black lashes, his ocher eyes scorching. 

“Please,” he breathed, leaning toward me.

I blinked, my mind going blank. Holy crow, how did he do that?

I’m grateful I wasn’t drinking anything when I read the last line. It would have ended up going out my nose and / or choking me. The 1880s exclamation aside, how did he what? How did he lean? I would assume he leans just like everyone else. It would appear vampires lean differently. Must be all those years of squeezing into a coffin.

Also, boys and girls, “ocher” is the word of the day. Learn it, love it, use it.

It’s not even worth quoting the umpteenth time we’re reminded he’s dangerous. Blah, blah, dangerous, blah, blah, blah, can’t friendzone, blah, blah, what’s that smell?

Finally, things start to get a little interesting. It only took 95 pages. Bella heads to Biology after Edward informs her he’s ditching class again. I suppose one of the perks of being dead is you have this high school shit down pat. What are they doing in Biology, you might ask? Drawing blood! I literally yelled “What the fuck?” at the book. What the hell kind of high school allows students to prick their own fingers and try to blood type themselves? Allegedly, it’s for the upcoming blood drive because it’s super handy to know your blood type going in. Newsflash, the Red Cross does that for you! You don’t need a bunch of 17 year olds stabbing themselves to determine this. I’ll go along with her on the vampires. But I will not suspend my disbelief that any school district that doesn’t want to get sued into the next century would allow this.

Of course, our heroine swoons at the sight of blood. Oh wait, I *totally* get why Edward was ditching class. He knew there would be blood and that would make him a bit peckish. Getting the munchies in class is a bitch. After Bella almost barfs and Minor Character Number Two (aka Mike) half drags her to the nurse’s office, Edward swoops in.

“What’s wrong – is she hurt?” His voice was closer now, and he sounded upset. I wasn’t imagining it. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to die. Or, at the very least, not throw up.

Because vomiting and death are so closely related.

Suddenly, the sidewalk disappeared from beneath me. My eyes flew open in shock. Edward had scooped me up in his arms, as easily as if I weighed ten pounds instead of a hundred and ten.

And now it becomes clear why the Forks school district was bordering on negligent. It was so Edward could literally sweep Bella off her feet. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! Since she’s such a klutz, how is it that she even made it this far without slicing a body part? Nope, that’s conveniently ignored in favor of sweeping her off her goddamn feet. Now it’s my turn to vomit. Or die. Or both.

Edward arrives on his white steed to the nurse’s office carrying the fainting maiden. Bella explains that the smell of blood bothers her. Edward insists that people can’t smell blood. Yes, humans can, dickhead. Anyone who has ever popped an aggressive zit will attest to that one.

Mike comes back in with another fainter and they go back and forth about the beach trip. Edward smirks about how Mike hates him. Everyone hates you, Edward. Everyone. Bella suddenly remembers she has Gym after this more groaning ensues.

Fainting spells always exhausted me.

I find them strangely invigorating. Who knew?

Edward gets her out of Gym so they can have another asinine conversation while he drives her home. The only thing worth mentioning:

I began to realize we were driving very fast; the car moved so steadily, so evenly, though I didn’t feel the speed. Only the town flashing by gave it away.

Shiny Volvo go fast! Vroom! Vroom!

Then Meyer *has* to loop back around to the child raising the parent trope. Apparently, Bella’s mom is her best friend. Bella has to approve of her stepfather AND has to be the adult in the house. I refer back to Chapter 1 and my suggestion for the use of Forks.

“Do you think I could be scary?” He raised one eyebrow and the faint trace of a smile lightened his face.

I defer to this:

Okay, mostly just the “Ladies” part. You’re welcome.

Finally we hit the home stretch.

“Won’t I see you tomorrow?”

“No. Emmett and I are starting the weekend early.”

“What are you going to do?” A friend could ask that, right? I hoped the disappointment wasn’t too apparent in my voice.

“We’re going to be hiking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, just south of Ranier.”

I remembered Charlie saying that the Cullens went camping frequently.

Eh, camping, getting takeout, same diff.

Final semicolon count: 9

Number of times I screamed at the book and terrified either Boy or the cat: 3 each

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 4 or Bella likes her men like her Saturday nights. Dead.

So who got my Game of Thrones reference last week? Extra points for you! However, unlike Game of Thrones, we can’t hold out hope that Bella or Edward will be cut down in the middle of a paragraph / scene. This makes me sad. Keep your eyes peeled (not squished) for another GoT reference this time around. 😀


I had over 2000 words of content in this post and right as I hit “update”, all but a paragraph disappeared. This will be a much shorter, dirtier, and probably snarkier version of the original. Hang on…

Tyler keeps trying to apologize. Bella is having none of it. Mike & Eric keep posturing, especially now that there’s a Bachelor Number Three to add to their One and Two status. That means our mousey, clumsy heroine has 3, count ’em, 3 suitors. None of them meet her standards, of course. There can only be one…

No one else was aware of Edward as I always was. No one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.

Thanks to Meyer’s BFF of linguistic ambiguity, it would appear Bella is pitying Edward because no one pays attention to him. It’s already been established that the Fanged Five keep to themselves. If the intention is for Bella to be self referencing, then it didn’t work. Yes, Bella, you are pitiful for being one step away from Fatal Attraction. Let’s hope the Cullen / Hale clan don’t own any rabbits.

Thanks to minor character number 1 who the reader isn’t supposed to care about (aka Jessica), it is revealed that the Sadie Hawkins dance is coming up. The girls ask the boys rather than the antiquated notion that only boys can ask girls to dances. Bachelors One, Two, and Three seemed to have missed that memo. While Bella tells off Number Two for breaking the convention, that doesn’t stop Meyer from running with it. Yes, we get it. The hicks think she’s hot. For being a nondescript klutz, she sure has a lot of potential action. When Bella confronts Edward about not letting the car end all this misery early on we get:

You think I regret saving your life?”

“I know you do,”

“You don’t know anything,” Jon Snow. Bella Swan.

The Volvo once again makes its appearance. It’s established that Edward is driving, but the seating arrangements for the other 4 are not detailed. This is deeply disappointing. I wonder if Volvo paid Meyer to plug their brand. If they didn’t, they should have. I’m curious how many sad sacks went out and bought Volvos after reading this book.

When I got home, I decided to make chicken enchiladas for dinner. It was a long process and it would keep me busy.

Here’s where my suspension of disbelief kicks in. If Bella can’t keep her feet under her for more than 30 seconds, how the hell does she manage to cook? I’m surprised she hasn’t slipped in the kitchen & broken her nose on the counter or something of the like. However, she has all the talent of an experienced line cook without so much as a wobble. Sorry, not buying what you’re selling.

It also appears that most of the West Coast does not have Mexican restaurants. If Forks is really *that* bad, there should at least be a Taco Bell. The residents need something to soak up all the booze that makes their lives just a little bit easier in this bucolic locale. I suspect her father is hesitant to try the food because he’s afraid there’s a finger in it, not because he’s never encountered a green chile. Also, cops are brave and therefore will try any food put in front of them.

Let’s back up for a moment to Bella’s internal monologue while doing her Martha Stewart impression:

Of course he wasn’t interested in me, I thought angrily, my eyes stinging – a delayed reaction to the onions. I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting…and brilliant…and mysterious…and perfect…and beautiful…and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand.

And sparkly. You forgot sparkly. And all those ellipses are from the original text. I’m not trying to skip over uninteresting parts. If I were doing that, these recaps would be 5 sentences long. And don’t try to blame your burning eyes on the onions. We all know who you’re getting weepy over. Nice try.

Her dad is the one who calls her out on her flimsy excuse. He asks if she’ll be back in time for the dance. Her response?

Grrr.

I shit you not. After 14 pages of getting asked out then mentally bitch slapping the guy who asked her out, we finally come to something resembling a point.

“Do you want a ride to Seattle?”

“With who?” I asked, mystified.

“Myself, obviously,” he enunciated every syllable as if he were talking to someone mentally handicapped.

Indeed he is. Indeed he is.

“But can your truck make it there on one tank of gas?” He matched my pace again.

“I don’t see how that’s any of your business,” Stupid shiny Volvo owner.

Damn those Germans and their penchant for making mid-sized sedans with excellent paint jobs!

“I said it would be better if we weren’t friends, not that I didn’t want to be.”

“Oh thanks, now that’s all cleared up.” Heavy sarcasm.

Thank you for pointing out the sarcasm. I never would have seen it otherwise. Deadpan.

His eyes were gloriously intense as he uttered that last sentence, his voice smoldering. I couldn’t remember how to breathe.

And let’s keep it that way.

“You really should stay away from me,” he warned.

Dramatic tension fail.

Eighty five pages in and almost nothing has happened. All that has really been accomplished is Bella establishing herself as a whiny unsympathetic protagonist. For being fully named characters, the rest of the Cullens and Hales haven’t spoken a word. All they do is get in and out of a car and not eat anything at lunch. Edward has been unsuccessfully painted as a romantic hero. If you have to beat the reader over the head with how beautiful and mysterious a character is, you’re doing something wrong. As far as we’re concerned by this point in the book, he has no other redeeming traits. He’s as annoying as Bella is whiny. They’re perfect for each other.

I’d also like to point out the Biology teacher is named Mr. Banner. I really hope he’ll turn into a giant green rage monster and end it all now. TEACHER SMASH!!!!

I happened to glance at the acknowledgements in the back of the book. Meyer thanks her editor for “making Twilight better than it started out”. There is only one conclusion as to how Twilight started out.

50 Shades of Grey.

Final Semicolon Count: 11

Final “Jump the Shark” Count: 4

Until next week (where hopefully my original post will remain intact)

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 3 or If you say “I’m Fine” one more time, you won’t be

I apologize for the late hour of posting this chapter. These commentaries are actually a beast to write because I go through each chapter 2-3 times taking various notes. I also want to make sure I don’t miss anything that might make excellent cannon fodder. All that said…


 

Welcome to Chapter 3, also known as the Chapter Where Bella Begins To Suspect Something Ain’t Right With Edward.

Once again, we open with a commentary on the weather. But wait! This time it’s not raining. It’s snowed! Whoopie! Except for the wild contradiction:

That wasn’t the worst part. All the rain from yesterday had frozen solid – coating the needles on the trees in fantastic, glorious patterns…I had enough trouble not falling down when the ground was dry…

So you’re giving the ice compliments, but you still call it the worst. That’s like saying “You’re really pretty…” on a date and then the awkward silence hits. She also has to remind us that she’s a klutz. Oh if only you would fall down, suffer a traumatic brain injury, and wake up as a completely different and vastly less annoying character. But that would be too easy.

I threw down a quick bowl of cereal and orange juice from the carton.

I have this mental image of Bella standing the kitchen, throwing the food on the floor, then yelling “BAM!” Emeril Lagasse style. Alternately, she could be staring down the cereal and orange juice sumo style. If Ms. Meyer is looking to convey speed while consuming morning nourishment, might I suggest “grabbed” or “downed” as the verb? If there’s a throw down involved, there better be spandex & folding chairs involved.

Here’s the part that really got my goat. She managed to hit 3, count ’em, 3 tropes in 2 pages.

Exhibit A: The Mousey Girl Can’t Possibly Get The Totally Hot Dude:

I was well aware that his league and my league were spheres that did not touch. So I shouldn’t be at all anxious to see him today.

Of the three, this is the trope I hate the least. It’s just so overdone. I’m so ugly! There’s no way he’ll like me! Because men are disgustingly shallow and my only worth is my looks! Riiight. Good thing this isn’t a zombie book because the poor zombie would starve to death.

Exhibit B: The Damsel In Distress:

Perhaps my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress

Only this time someone needs to leave your ass in the tower while you wave your white hanky out the window. If only it were literally crippling. Of course, then we’d be right back to the traumatic brain injury improvement. I’m okay with that.

Exhibit C: The Child Raising The Parent(s)

I wasn’t used to being taken care of, and Charlie’s unspoken concern caught me by surprise

I’ve railed on this one before and unlike Ms. Meyer, I won’t beat the dead horse. He put snow chains on your car because he knows it snows and you can’t walk across a room without killing yourself, much less drive on ice.

P.S. Even snow chains won’t help ice.

While she’s waxing nostalgic over metal on tires, we get the chance to end it all. Then Edward’s ass has to go and stop a car from crushing her. Why, Edward? Why? Oh right, because you know nothing! Shit, sorry, wrong series.

For anyone who has seen Mean Girls, I had to giggle at the gym teacher’s name. Coach Clapp. Moving on…

Only then does she start to realize, wait a sec, there’s more to this guy than weird eyes and an inability to speak in a normal tone. But what could it possibly be? His unfathomably poor life choices, obvs. Meyer dangles us around for a bit hoping there *might* be some kind of head injury involved, but we leave disappointed. Like one leaves disappointed from the grocery store when they’re out of your favorite kind of cream cheese and you have to get the generic.

More inane exposition about the hospital and how fine she is. Once Bella’s whining finally gets her what she wants, she pokes and prods Edward for an explanation. Sorry, love muffin, that comes in a later chapter. The real shock of the chapter was I *agreed* with Edward:

“Can’t you just thank me and get over it?”

Yes! My inner goddess is prostrated on the floor begging for assent! Nice try. Bitch doesn’t know when to just drop it. A successful relationship in the making. This book could have easily been 100 pages shorter if she cut out all the mind numbing arguing. Though if all the mind numbing parts had been cut out, it would be a short story.

Final semicolon count for Chapter 3: 6

Final “I’m Fine” count for Chapter 3: 7 (16 if iterations are included)

Final “Emily Resists Throwing the Book Across the Room” count for Chapter 3: A 1 with a lot of zeroes after it.

Until next week!

XOXO!

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 2 or Vampires Do Not Go Up to 11

I have to admit, this chapter was less painful than the first one. Kind of like how the second strip of a bikini wax hurts less than the first one because your brain has already shut down. My brain has probably gone into survival mode already. Positive signs. Anyway…


When we last left our heroes, Bella was driving and crying over how much she hates her life, the rain, and whatever else might make the poor life choice of coming within 10 feet of her. She opens Chapter 2 with this:

The next day was better…and worse.

Do tell, Ms. Swan, do tell. She regales sitting with a large group at lunch, some of whom, she’s deigned to remember their names. Okay, that’s a positive. Then that positive came to a screeching halt. She got called on in class, whacked some kid with a volleyball, and worst of all? Edward cuts school.

But when I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica – trying to keep my eyes from sweeping the place for him, and failing entirely – I saw that his four siblings of sorts were sitting together at the same table, and he was not with them.

Hold on, hold on, let’s back up a minute. She started out sitting with a big group at lunch. Now she’s back in the cafeteria? Or do they have two lunches? If that’s the case, hobbits must run the joint. Ms. Meyer’s prose is as clumsy as her heroine’s extremities. Flashbacks only work if they’re obvious. It wouldn’t have been a huge challenge to start at the beginning of the day. I’m not sure what she was trying to accomplish by establishing Edward and the hair were out gallivanting around town before Bella actually realizes it. And that’s just the content of the sentence.

The sentence construction makes me want to start a utensil fight. Or just stab Bella in the eye. It’s one thing to know the rules and then break them for the sake of character building or narration. This does not qualify. At least it wasn’t in passive voice. Then I really would have to get out the cutlery. Now that we have returned from our unnecessary flashback, it’s time for Biology!

I held my breath at the door, but Edward Cullen wasn’t there, either.

He wasn’t at the door? What is he, the Biology class butler? Though having him hide behind the door and scare the shit out of her would have been hysterical. Oh, wait, she meant he wasn’t in class. Maybe he did get that schedule change after all. The hair was pissed.

After more whining about how a boy may, gasp!, like her, she offers this nugget of exposition:

I had never been enormously tactful; I had no practice dealing with overly friendly boys.

Yeah, duh. You can put the stick down, Stephanie. We get it. She only has eyes for tall, dark, and dead over there. I can’t argue with the lack of tact. Girlfriend has all kinds of issues up in there. We *finally* make it to the end of the school day and Ms. Swan is off to the grocery store because her father can only cook “fried bacon and eggs”. It looks like we’ll make it out of the parking lot safely, right? Oh, no, no my children. Safety is merely an illusion.

I saw the two Cullens and the Hale twins getting into their car. It was the shiny new Volvo. Of course. I hadn’t noticed their clothes before – I’d been too mesmerized by their faces. Now that I looked, it was obvious that they dressed exceptionally well; simply, but in clothes that subtly hinted at designer origins…It seemed excessive for them to have both looks and money. But as far as I could tell, life worked that way most of the time.

Apparently, money buys you a shiny Volvo. Really? Couldn’t it at least be a Lexus? Maybe we could even spring for a Mercedes? Also, it’s implied that it’s a sedan. There are 5 of them. Who cares what they’re wearing. I want to know how they determine who gets shotgun and who gets the bitch (middle in the back) seat. That would be so much more entertaining.

The last sentence is where she really gets me. They’re so pretty! And rich! It’s all too much! I’m going to make wild assumptions about pretty people who dress simply and drive a shiny, moderately priced car! [insert eyeroll here]

When I got home, I unloaded all the groceries, stuffing them wherever I could find open space.

So, if there really isn’t any food in the house other than bacon & eggs, what’s taking up all the space? Dare I ask what’s in the cabinets? No, no, it’s all better if I don’t know. She gets dinner started, goes upstairs to check her email, and has no fewer than 3 messages from her mother. Of course, Mom is freaking out about everything from forgetting a top to Bella not replying to aforementioned emails.

In the spirit of full disclosure, the whole “child raising the parents” trope drives me insane. Mom makes scatterbrained look like a compliment. Dad can’t cook. Bella is responsible for remembering when to pick up dry cleaning from 3 states away and also whipping up a good steak & potatoes. It’s a cheap way to give the teenage protagonist some kind of autonomy. How about this instead? The parents function like actual adults who have raised their child in a where s/he has developed the agency on his/her own. Family dynamics are difficult to navigate when the main character is a child or teenager. Hell, family dynamics are difficult to navigate in real life. I’m much more willing to accept the parent(s) as minor characters. If you *have* to cut the parent(s) out of the picture, kill them in a car accident. If it ain’t broke…

Then, for funsies, she whips out Wuthering Heights as a little light reading. Again, the child makes so much more sense now. Nice to see you again, AnaBella. Over her perfectly cooked meal, her dad makes his positive thoughts known about the band of sexy vampire children. Her response? “They’re all very attractive”. Because that somehow will make the situation better? It’s not like he was ranting at you. Oy. She makes the point that she has to wash the dishes by hand. Perhaps scrubbing the floors or polishing the silver is on the docket for tomorrow night. I think a mouse or two might be looking for some work, too. At least we get a break from every inane detail for the rest of the school week. For the moment, I can put the fork down.

CinderBella spends her weekend cleaning, homework-ing, and talking shit about the local library. The first practical thing she concerns herself with is the gas mileage on the truck. I suppose practically had to butt in sooner or later. And then…

He’s baaaaaack!

I kept my head down and glanced up under my lashes.

As opposed to where? Your spleen?

Finally, he speaks:

“Hello,” said a quiet, musical voice…”My name is Edward Cullen”.

I imagine Edward sounding something like this:

With that in mind, he laughs soft enchanting laughs and we FINALLY get a reason why Bella’s whiny ass (and the rest of her) moved to Forks in the first place. Her mom got remarried. Really? That’s it? I was really hoping my mental institution theory was going to pan out. Bummer. However, the mental institution has an excellent curriculum because she’s “already done this lab” and her teacher infers she was in “advanced placement”. Only if it’s the kind that involves padded walls. A girl can dream.

Through the entire conversation, Edward never simply speaks. He murmurs and mutters through most of it. Of course, fangs can make enunciation a bit of a challenge. They’re also, apparently, a hindrance to speaking at a normal volume. There is also, clearly, no other way to communicate dark and sexy but by mumbling. If I can’t understand you, maybe I missed the fact you just used a really terrible pick up line.

Instead of drinking every time Bella flushes, blushes, or turns some other shade of red, we drink when a semi-colon appears. If you’re reading the source material along with me, I apologize to your liver in advance.


 

Hope everyone enjoyed this week’s commentary and maybe even had a good laugh. I live to serve, faithful readers. Have to start prepping myself for next week. Breathe in, breathe out…

XOXO!

 

Twilight Thursday: Twilight Chapter 1 or Forks are for sticking in eyes

Alright readers, here’s a little something fun for you. I am attempting a feat so great, so masochistic, I must share it with the Internet. I was hilariously entertained and inspired by this series of blog posts. She had me laughing so hard I was crying at certain points. I thought “why not try that myself?”. Amazon hooked me up with all 4 books in the Twilight Saga (and a saga it will be) for about $10. Every Thursday, I’ll be posting my commentary on a chapter. And we’re off…


The book opens with a quote from Genesis. Considering my first thought upon opening the book was “Dear God help me through this”, it’s appropriate.

We begin with this little gem from the first page of the first chapter:

It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old.

Why hello there, passive voice. As someone who purports to have a degree in English Lit, Meyer should know that passive voice is reserved for work based emails where you’re trying to call someone an idiot without calling them an idiot. It is from this I infer Ms. Meyer has never held a job which requires passive aggressive emails.

Bella then declares that she’s moving to Forks (in active voice), a town she just said she hates, of her own accord. Alright, I’ll go along with motivation TBD. After a paragraph long description of how one gets to Forks, she mentions again how much she hates the joint. This is less than a page after the first mention of moving. Heard you the first time, Stephanie. Right before Bella almost faceplants getting off the plane, passive voice strikes again.

Charlie was waiting for me with the cruiser. This I was expecting, too.

They have an awkward conversation about the origins of the truck Charlie has procured for Bella. Charlie mentions the previous owner, Billy Black, whom Bella doesn’t remember.

“He used to go fishing with us during the summer,” Charlie prompted.  That would explain why I didn’t remember him. I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory.

Da fuck? Really? Granted, I’m not one to enjoy hanging out in a boat skewing a water dweller for sport, but I wouldn’t class it as “painful” or “unnecessary” on the memory scale. Unless “fishing” is a euphemism for ol’ Billy whipping out his trouser trout for all to view, Bella can calm the hell down. She gets in the house without falling up the stairs and settles in.

It was nice to be alone, not to have to smile and look pleased; a relief to stare dejectedly out the window at the sheeting rain and let just  few tears escape. I wasn’t in the mood to go on a real crying jag. I would save that for bedtime, when I had to think about the coming morning.

We’ve now hit Page 9. Meyer has once again whacked us over the head with the fact Bella doesn’t want to be there. Then why the hell did you go in the first place? There better be an epic reveal by the end of this chapter. And no, because without it there would be no plot otherwise doesn’t count.

You know in situations where you meet the parents and all of a sudden the kids make more sense? I finally saw where Ana (50 Shades) gets her penchant for self deprecation even though she’s the definition of attractive in North America. Here’s how Bella so eloquently describes herself:

Instead, I was ivory skinned, without the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft somehow, obviously not an athlete…My skin could be pretty – it was very clear, almost translucent – looking – but it all depended on color. I had no color here.

So you’re skinny with alabaster clear skin and somehow that’s an issue? Bitch please. Of course, none of this would be complete without:

Good luck tended to avoid me.

*facepalm*

Meyer then goes on to contradict herself in fewer than 3 sentences:

Finding the school wasn’t difficult, though I’d never been there before. The school was like most other things, just off the highway. It was not obvious that it was a school; only the sign which declared it to be Forks High School made me stop.

So if it wasn’t hard to find, how was it “not obvious” that it was a school? The term not hard to find typically implies something is easy to identify based on location. Yet the sign made her stop. Whatever you say, hon. Bella did follow it up with this comment:

Where was the feel of the institution? I wondered nostalgically. Where were the chain link fences, the metal detectors?

I wasn’t aware high schools in Phoenix also doubled as mental institutions. Unless, of course, Bella did actually escape from a mental institution. That would make so much more sense.  Bella meanders her way into the office and remarks that a woman wearing a purple tee shirt makes her feel overdressed. It begs the question what exactly is the dress code at this school / not mental institution? I guess she left the orange jumpsuit in Arizona.

Bella goes off to class and observes there are, in fact, other white chicks at this school. Go her. Then, once again, the child mimics the parent.

I flushed tomato red.

At least she hasn’t hit crimson or garnet. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. She has, of course, read every book in her English curriculum. Because, you know, Phoenix standards are far, far superior. For those keeping score at home, it’s page 17 and I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why she moved there in the first place. In the next class, after a snarky comment or two about other classmates trying to help her, she trips over herself again.

At lunch, we have the Cullen clan with a side of snark. Oh joy! People whiter than she is. *slow clap* The quintet are introduced as Emmett, Jasper, Edward, Alice, and Rosalie.

Strange, unpopular names, I thought.

I’ll concede that Emmett and Jasper are less common names. I fail to understand how Edward, Alice, and Rosalie are “strange”. I don’t think hicks name their kids after 18th century children’s book characters or British royals. I get that Meyer is trying to set up the fact their names were mainstream, or close to it, at the time. If she really wanted to hit “strange”, she should’ve read a few more baby name books first. Imogen and Asher, I’m looking at you. Bella meets Edward’s eyes and here we go again:

I bit my lip to hide my smile.

I know when a dude looks at me like he’s going to rip my head off and snack on it,  it always gets my no-no bits tingly. Enough of that, time for the next class!

Next to the center aisle, I recognized Edward Cullen by his unusual hair, sitting next to that single open seat.

It’s awfully polite of Edward to give his hair its own seat. Not sure where the rest of him ended up, but wherever that was, it provoked the AnaBella hat trick:

I looked away quickly, shocked, going red again. I stumbled over a book in the walkway and had to catch myself on the edge of a table.

The hair offered no comment.

Once again, the class is something she already studied. Way to go Phoenix public schools! Though apparently they don’t like their students to stay in shape as they only require 2 years of P.E. vs. 4 in Forks’ main center of secondary learning. On page 26 out of 28:

Forks was literally my own personal hell on Earth.

I’m going to ignore the misuse of the word “literally”. I will, instead, direct Ms. Meyer to this video. You’re welcome. Enter my mantra: Why the hell did Bella willingly move to Forks in the first place? We’re a page and a half from the end of the chapter. I’m sure the reveal has been totally worth the previous 27 pages.

My wait proved to be in vain. Bella catches Edward trying to escape from the biology class. The hair, however, was perfectly happy with the schedule. The chapter ends and we have Chekhov’s interstate move. I have, by the grace of God, survived the first chapter.

Only 113 more to go…

XOXO!