Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas is over..YAY!

If I sound elated to you about Christmas being over, you're right. Normally I'm a huge Christmas pusher...I love the smells, cards, gifts, trees and lights and decorations, pictures, music, cookies and turkeys and hams...I make homemade dog treats and give out, and the dogs and cats wear Christmas bandanas. I buy cute Christmas pajamas and outfits for the kiddies, and the house is full of the wonderful smells of Christmas baking and candles.

Not this year. This year it's been a giant pain in the hiney...the dogs knocked the tree over, the cats knocked the tree over, the legs broke on the artificial tree, the tree started shedding more than a real tree, the dogs broke ornaments, the cats chased ornaments all over the house and wadded up & snagged the tree skirt...and the lights refused to work 50% of the time. By the time Christmas rolled around, we had a lightless, decoration-less tree that leaned to one side.

So I think this is my first ever real venting post for this blog? I won't make a habit of it.

PS..maybe I'll post pictures of the Christmas cards that I made and didn't send out? LOL

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer & Go Team Edward!!

I cannot tell you how LONG I have been patiently waiting to get to my blog and write, obsess, and otherwise share with you my love for the Twilight movie. I picked the first book in the series up this past summer..on the advice of several other women my age who said although it was a young adult book, they found it to be captivating, beautiful, and romantic. I thought it sounded like the perfect pool-side read.

I hate to admit it, but I kind of have a vampire fetish. It started with the Lost Boys movie in the 80's..Keifer Sutherland was a gorgeous vampire. I was always very self conscious about my dark hair and pale skin, because "tan" was definitely in back in the 80's. I spent a lot of time trying fake tans, sun tanning (or burning, such as it was)and hair lightening. It was easy for me to obsess over some hunky guy that not only accepted the dark-haired, pale-skinned girls, but thought they were beautiful. Oh, vampire!! How dangerously romantic are they?! Well move over, Keifer...cause Edward has definitely become my new favorite vampire. (Followed closely by the oh-so-spooky Jasper, and the adorable Alice.) Unfortunately I am never ready to commit to buying a book unless 1.)I've read it previously and want to own it, or 2.)It's a series and I know I'm going to like it and want all the books from the series. This meant I had to borrow it from the local library...normally books have a 2-week checkout, but Twilight was on a "popular book" list and had a short 1-week checkout time. Unfortunately I had to read it fast. It's basically 500 pages long, which for a speed reader such as myself not a HUGE task, but it was baseball season, and this was during the "do I keep the Shasta and buy a new camper, or not?" phase. I didn't get the book finished..and I had to return it because there was a waiting list. Meanwhile everyone kept telling me how I HAD to read it, etc...I managed to borrow it again and do a quick read and fell in love immediately.

Jordan and I anxiously awaited the arrival of the seemed everyone I talked to either knew someone addicted to the books or was a fan themselves. I noticed it was showing up on every GoodReads list belonging to my peers from World Crossing. It sold out at our small theater before the first showing, so we put it out of our minds and decided we would wait until the new wore off.

I'm not usually a big fan of book-inspired movies--they're usually a let down, so it's normally a "given" that I'll be disappointed. Curiosity wins out though and I almost always go see the movie, especially if I loved the book. For those of you who have read Twilight BEFORE you saw the movie (as opposed to reading it after falling in love with the movie) you'll understand what I mean when I say that in MY mind, Bella, Edward, Jasper, Carlisle, Charlie, and Alice (Okay..just about everyone)had a distinct look in my MIND. The descriptive words used to tell us how they move, look, act, etc are so very abundantly clear that I couldn't FATHOM how on EARTH they chose Robert Pattinson (from Harry Potter fame)to cast as our beloved Edward. Seriously. In my MIND, Edward and his siblings are by far the most beautiful people in the world--as he says, everything about them invites you in..their face, their musical voice, their scent. How could a Harry Potter cast member do justice to our gorgeous vampire hero?

That all changed about 10 minutes into the movie after Edward makes his grand entrance into the school. If Bella wasn't already saying it outloud, everyone in the theater (who hadn't read the book and didn't already know that Edward was beautiful) was thinking it: "Who is THAT?!" When the other girl says "THAT is Edward Cullen..totally gorgeous, obviously." Sigh. Edward. EDWARD. Robert Pattinson NAILED the part of Edward. I totally forgot whatever mental image I had conceived of beautiful Edward from that moment on. His mannerisms, his voice, his facial expressions..they were all 100% Edward from the book. Perfect! My reading image of Edward was replaced by this tall, thin, muscular wild-haired beauty with the sing-song voice. What was I saying? Oh, yeah..the movie. *cough*

For those of you unfamiliar with the story or the movie, here is the basic plot. (This summary contains MINOR spoilers but shouldn't take away from your reading pleasure..I've kept all the action and secrets to myself.)Bella's mom remarries a much younger man who plays minor league baseball, so Bella moves from hot, dry Phoenix to the cold, wet town of Forks,Washington where she'll be living with her dad. Her dad, Charlie, is the local chief of police. They eat at the diner regularly..for his favorite steak & cobbler dinner. He works a lot, but buys Bella a neat old truck for her own transportation. During her first day at the new school, she immediately notices a group of kids who keep to themselves and look unlike any other people she's ever seen. They are pale, beautiful kids who dress and walk like supermodels. They seem to have uncanny coordination, and are absolutely stunningly beautiful. She finds out they are the foster kids/adopted kids of Mr & Mrs Cullen, who moved there a few years ago from Alaska. Four of the 5 kids are couples, oddly enough, except for young Edward.

Bella & Edward are forced to sit together in Biology, and she immediately notices his extreme discomfort while being around her. At this point she has no way of knowing that he is a vampire and her scent is driving him mad. He wants her...not in a romantic way, but in a "I'm kinda thirsty for your blood" way. The Cullens are all vampires, but have learned to control their thirst and consider themselves "vegetarians." They only kill animals, not humans. This allows them to set up a permanent residence in rainy, overcast towns such as Forks. Dr Cullens works at the hospital, and the 5 foster/adopted kids attend the local school. Edward's interest in Bella causes him to rescue her from a skidding out-of-control van in the parking lot, thus exposing his extreme strength & speed. This threatens his family's secret, and makes Bella determined to figure out "what" he is.

Eventually Edward & Bella develop a dangerous romance..but he is worried that he won't be able to control his thirst, and she is equally worried about losing him and is convinced that she cannot live without him. She is keenly aware that with every passing minute she becomes older, while he remains 17 forever. Hanging out with a family of vampires is a little scary, even if they are "vegetarians." There are 3 books after Twilight, so I'll comment on them as I finish them.

I've read a lot of reviews about the movie, and after seeing it 4 times the ONLY thing that REALLY disturbs me is 1.)There is a lot of info missing from the movie. I realize 2 hours is a relatively short time to cram in 500 pages of information, but really...viewers who haven't read the book want to know why Carlisle would make ANYONE a vampire in the first place, 2.)why no one questions why Dr & Mrs Cullen's adopted and foster kids all share the same beautiful outward appearances..pale skin, bruised eyes, black, piercing eyes that turn golden some days, etc.

Some things were conveyed as quickly as possible and quite understand quickly that Edward can read minds..although at first you won't understand why he's smiling when he's "listening" to minds (cause you don't know he IS reading minds to begin with), why he's almost gagging when Bella walks into Biology class, or that Rosalie & Jasper are supposedly actually real brother & sister. (Rosalie & Jasper are "foster children," whereas Alice, Emmett and Edward are already adopted by the Cullens. Of course this is just the "understanding" of the townsfolk..Rosalie and Jasper are certainly NOT brother & sister..)Certain things become more clear as the movie goes on.

Fans of the book will be relieved to know that some of the BEST lines of the movie are not left out....My personal favorite, of course, is "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb." "What a stupid lamb.." "What a sick, masochistic lion."

Oh, sick, masochistic lion. Of course Bella is going to tell you that one of the best things about Charlie is that he doesn't hover, that she is irrevocably in love with Edward, and you'll get to hear her tell Edward, "I know what you are." You'll also get to hear her ask Edward "How old are you?" Edward then replies "17." Bella shoots back "How long have you BEEN 17?" Edward doesn't disappoint us with a slight pause and then he comes back with "A while."

Bella is beautiful, although I was thinking while she was simplistically pretty, she also was plain enough to convey the "beautiful Cullens" difference. I realize that there are millions of other women & girls lusting after Edward as well..they created the PERFECT character for women to fall in love with. He is the epitome of the perfect man--he IS what every girl dreams of, and as it turns out, every 35-year-old woman. He is beautiful, intelligent, charasmatic, and a hero. He is protective of Bella, always making sure she is safe and free from harm...he is witty, intelligent, and chivalry is not lost with our vampire hero. Edward always makes sure Bella has eaten, he opens the car door for her, helps her into the car, into the house, helps remove her coat. During the final fight scene when he is there to avenge his beloved Bella, you can plainly see how distraught he is..he is ready to kill the evil james for harming her. He is the man we all wish we grew up and married. He's every woman's dream man, except for that blood-sucking thing.

I can't really pinpoint a favorite part of the movie, or the book, but I do have to say the baseball scene is a lot of fun to watch. I love how the Cullens immediately welcome Bella into their "family," so to speak..knowing she knows their secret. (Except for Rosalie, who if you'll recall from the book was brought home by Carlisle to be "for" Edward...but Edward wasn't interested.)The Cullens are all so tremendously relieved that Edward has finally found his soul mate that they're willing to open their home, lives, and dangerous secret with a human.

Some friends of Jordan's haven't seen the movie due to the PG-13 rating, but I felt confident that she'd read the book and we'd talked about things, so she would be able to handle it. I was VERY pleased that there was absolutely NO language at ALL in this had less language than your typical PG Disney movie, so that was a nice surprise. There is no sex, either..although there is a scene on the bed with kissing. The ONLY thing that I can see that deems this movie worthy of the pg-13 rating is the tiny bit of violence at the end when Edward comes to save Bella from the big-bad James. The violence is minimal, and there are no close-ups of anything too dramatic. Most of it is implied.

Please stay tuned for my comments about New Moon, the 2nd in the series. I've already read the 12 chapters of Midnight Sun from Stephenie Meyer's website..which is essentially the Twilight story but told from Edward's point of view. It closes a lot of unanswered questions that you're left with after reading Twilight. I cannot wait to read the ending of it, and I hope it is as long or longer than the other 4 books.

If you didn't see the movie before it left your local theater, or you haven't read the book and I've piqued your interest, here is a clip of the official movie trailer:


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