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Picking Apart Twilight: The Novel, Chapter 17

July 25, 2012

I’d bet you guys thought I forgot about this! Well… Okay, I guess I did for a while. Life hasn’t exactly been easy as of late. But it’d love to not leave a project hanging. And while Fifty Shades of Grey is the new sick and twisted thing to be up in arms about, we must not forget that Twilight was its source for inspiration. For that reason, let’s continue ripping this thing apart!

Chapter 17 – THE GAME

It was just beginning to drizzle when Edward turned onto my street. Up until that moment, I’d had no doubt that he’d be staying with me while I spent a few interim hours in the real world.

So, you may or may not last remember, we last witnessed Bella meeting Edward’s “family”. We talked about what could have been interesting back story for Carlisle, but it fell flat. And then Edward’s family invited Bella to watch them all play baseball together. They haven’t yet gone to play the game.

And then I saw the black car, a weathered Ford, parked in Charlie’s driveway – and heard Edward mutter something unintelligible in a low, harsh voice. Leaning away from the rain under the shallow front porch, Jacob Black stood behind his father’s wheelchair. Billy’s face was impassive as stone as Edward parked my truck against the curb. Jacob stared down, his expression mortified.

So, you guys remember this, right? Jacob and his dad, Billy, are part of a tribe of native Americans who happen to also be wolves. They all know that the Cullens are vampires, and they have this pact to not reveal their vampire identities to the world so long as the vampires themselves do not trample all over their territory. We all up to speed? Good. So it’s no wonder that Jacob doesn’t look thrilled to see Edward, nor Edward to see the wolf family. Edward performs his little mind reading technique on the two to find that Billy came to warn Bella’s dad, Charlie, that Bella is dating somebody who’s probably very dangerous. How convenient for our heroine, then, that Charlie isn’t home.

Edward decides it’s best if he leaves.

His eyes flickered back to the porch, and then he leaned in to swiftly kiss me just under the edge of my jaw. My heart lurched frantically, and I, too, glanced toward the porch. Billy’s face was no longer impassive, and his hands clutched at the armrests of his chair.

Oh, yeah. THAT was why I had dreaded this book, again. It thinks it knows what love and arousal is. And it’s gross.

So Billy and Jacob come inside. Billy keeps asking about the whereabouts of Bella’s dad, and she oh-so-sneakily manages to convince him that she doesn’t know where he is. This is when Billy sends Jacob out on an errand at the car that’s sure to take him lots of time, to keep him out of the room while he and Bella discuss some things. At this point, Bella becomes incredibly curt and rude.

”Charlie won’t be back for a long time.” My voice was almost rude.
He nodded in agreement, but said nothing.
“Thanks again for the fish fry,” I hinted.
He continued nodding. I sighed and folded my arms across my chest.

Not exactly the most polite way to approach a long-lasting friend to your dad and to your family. Let’s continue to see where this goes.

”Bella,” he said, and then he hesitated.
I waited.
“Bella,” he said again, “Charlie is one of my best friends.”
“Yes.”
He spoke each word carefully in his rumbling voice. ”I noticed you’ve been spending time with one of the Cullens.”
“Yes,” I repeated curtly.
His eyes narrowed. ”Maybe it’s none of my business, but I don’t think that is such a good idea.”
“You’re right, ” I agreed. ”It is none of your business.”

Wooooooooooooow. This man is just worried about you, your safety. Just trying to be good to you and make sure you’re well, whether he knows anything about what you’ve been through with Edward and his family or not. Can you not at least show a little respect?

And still the rudeness continues.

”You probably don’t know this, but the Cullen family has an unpleasant reputation on the reservation.”
“Actually, I did know that,” I informed him in a hard voice. This surprised him. “But the reputation couldn’t be deserved, could it? Because the Cullens never set foot on the reservation, do they?”…
…”You seem… well informed about the Cullens. More informed than I expected.”
I stared him down. ”Maybe even better informed than you are.” …
…”It’s not my business,” he said. ”But it may be Charlie’s.”
“Though it would be my business, again, whether or not I think that it’s Charlie’s business, right?”

At every turn, Bella is being a complete a-hole to a family friend who is concerned for her safety. Why does Billy not turn around and give her a hard lesson? He might not be her parent, but he is a parent. Why doesn’t he just… stop trying to be so soft? Why doesn’t he say, “Hey, you idiot girl! You’re a teenager, and you don’t know anything about anything! You haven’t lived long enough to get even half of the gravity of the situation! And frankly, if Charlie is Billy’s best friend, yes, he CAN make it Charlie’s business if he wants to. He’d be perfectly allowed! I dare say he makes a terrible friend if he says nothing. Which, apparently, he won’t, because for some reason Bella’s curt tone reach him… somehow. What?

Then the wolf boy and the wolf dad leave. Blah, blah, blah, Bella has some kind of a text dress-up montage or something, then she gets a phone call from her classmate, Jessica. Not like she cares, ’cause while the voice she hears is her school friend, all she can think about is, “Edward, Edward, Edward”.

”Did you hear what I said, Bella?” Jess asked, irritated.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I said, Mike kissed me! Can you believe it?”
“That’s wonderful, Jess,” I said.

How does Bella manage to keep her friends? It’s obvious she doesn’t care about anything going on in their lives, no matter how much they may want to share details with her. This just continues to prove the self-insertion Mary Sue argument. No matter how much of a terrible person she is, she still gets to keep all of her friends. It isn’t cute.

Charlie comes home. And Bella reveals that she’s been to the Cullens place and that she has a date with Edward that very night.

”Wait…” He paused. “Which one is Edwin?”
“Edward is the youngest, the one with the reddish brown hair.” The beautiful one, the godlike one…

First off, ugh. Second off, I thought being a vampire automatically made you, like, gorgeous and junk. How can you say Edward is THE beautiful godlike one?

Then Edward shows up.

I hadn’t realized how hard it was pouring outside. Edward stood in the halo of the porch light, looking like a male model in an advertisement for raincoats.

I’ll have to eventually quit quoting every little obnoxious obsessive Edward thought Bella makes. It’s just so hard, because she won’t ever SHUT UP about it. And anyway, it’s pouring, right? And Bella has just told her dad that they’re going to go play baseball. Doesn’t he find that suspect in the slightest?

Only in Washington would the fact that it was raining buckets have no bearing at all on the playing of outdoor sports.

Frankly, I dunno about that. I’d still be pretty concerned either about my daughter’s chances of catching pneumonia, or that she was lying. Charlie mostly seems okay with Edward and doesn’t freak out terribly hard at this very sudden baseball date in the rain at all. Barely seems concerned about the off-roading Jeep they get into. Insert more seductive lingering at Bella’s neck, and they’re finally on the road.

”You smell so good in the rain,” he explained.
“In a good way, or in a bad way?” I asked cautiously.
He sighed. ”Both, always both.”

Oh, that’s right. I’d almost forgotten about that, too. The whole vampire thing has a secondary meaning, both that he’s tempted to eat her… and that he wants to screw her brains out, but the author didn’t specifically want to use that sort of language. So it’s up to the reader to interpret it and get her panties wet on her own.

They drive out down some dirt road, which is where they then have to travel by foot, which Bella doesn’t want to do, because she neither wants to run, nor does she want to ride on Edward’s back because she doesn’t want to get sick.

”Hmmm…,” he mused as he quickly finished. ”It seems I’m going to have to tamper with your memory.”
Before I could react, he pulled me from the Jeep and set my feet on the ground. It was barely misting now; Alice was going to be right.
“Tamper with my memory?” I asked nervously.
“Something like that.” He was watching me intently, carefully, but there was humor deep in his eyes. He placed his hands against the Jeep on either side of my head and leaned forward, forcing me to press back against the door. He leaned in even closer, his face inches from mine. I had no room to escape.
“Now,” he breathed, and just his smell disturbed my thought process, “what exactly are you worrying about?”

He goes on like this for quite some time, seducing Bella into shutting up. Isn’t that some messed up kind of control? Using his mystical vampire… uh… breath? That’s cheating, right? But Bella loves it. Or she’s convinced she loves it because being a vampire magically does that to people, I guess.

Then he took my face in his hands almost roughly, and kissed me in earnest, his unyielding lips moving against mine.
There really was no excuse for my behavior. Obviously I knew better by now. And yet I couldn’t seem to stop from reacting exactly as I had the first time. Instead of keeping safely motionless, my arms reached up to twine tightly around his neck, and I was suddenly welded to his stone figure. I sighed, and my lips parted.
He staggered back, breaking my grip effortlessly.
“Damn it, Bella!” he broke off, gasping. ”You’ll be the death of me, I swear you will.”
I leaned over, bracing my hands against my knees for support.
“You’re indestructible,” I mumbled, trying to catch my breath.”
“I might have believed that before I met you. Now let’s get out of here before I do something really stupid,” he growled.

It’s getting to a point where I’m having a hard time telling whether he’s in full bloodlust or just plain-old lust, because the author has so blurred the lines. Some people would say that’s good writing. I think it’s poor to not give your audience that clear distinction. And I mean, come on. All that, from a kiss? Seriously, Edward is how old, again? And he’s only just now having this internal struggle? As much as this is fantasy fiction, this is still really friggin’ unbelievable.

They run up the mountain, Bella riding on Edward’s back. And when they get there Bella tries to storm off because she’s mad… at, uh… the fact that Edward got mad…?

He put his hands carefully on both sides of my face. ”I infuriate myself,” he said gently. ”The way I can’t seem to keep from putting you in danger. My very existence puts you at risk. Sometimes I truly hate myself. I should be stronger, I should be able to-”
I placed my hand over his mouth. ”Don’t.”
He took my hand, moving it from his lips, but holding it to his face.
“I love you, ” he said. ”It’s a poor excuse for what I’m doing, but it’s still true.”
It was the first time he’d said he loved me – in so many words. He might not realize it, but I certainly did.

Wait, what’s he so upset about now? I guess he’s maybe upset that he so very constantly wants to kill her, I guess…? But the whole, “I love you, it’s a poor excuse for what I’m doing” thing… what? What does that mean? You’re doing what, now? Putting her at risk constantly? Hey, jackass. If you really loved her you wouldn’t BE constantly putting her at risk. You’d either know how to calm your bloodlust, or you’d separate yourself from her because it’s the best thing for her. You must not really be in love, then.

They’re finally at the specific spot on the mountain. All the Cullen family is there already. Time to watch some vampire baseball. There’s lots of pages for this. The game is so fast you can barely see it, and the crack of the ball against the bat doesn’t shatter either of them, but it DOES make an amazingly loud noise, hence the need to play during a thunderstorm. Still, even a metal bat and a baseball have their limits. If the vampires are hitting this sucker as hard as the author would have you believe they are, one of the two objects, if not both, should have been demolished.

Suddenly out of nowhere, Alice’s magical vampire powers kick in. That’s right, ’cause every vampire has a different magical, mystical power, remember? Alice’s happens to be that she can see the future, though because of how things can change that may constantly be in flux. That might be cool… if the author didn’t write it stupid.

”I didn’t see – I couldn’t tell,” she whispered.
All the others were gathered by this time.
“What is it, Alice?” Carlisle asked with the calm voice of authority.
“They were traveling much quicker than I thought. I can see I had the perspective wrong before,” she murmured.
Jasper leaned over her, his posture protective. ”What changed?” he asked.
“They heard us playing, and it changed their path,” she said, contrite, as if she felt responsible for whatever had frightened her.
Seven pairs of quick eyes flashed to my face and away.
“How soon?” Carlisle said, turning toward Edward.
A look of intense concentration crossed his face.
“Less than five minutes. They’re running – they want to play.”

Okay, okay, wait, just how does her power work, again? We’re to understand that there’s some vampires, three of them to be precise, headed this way now. And Alice figured that out because… she read the future…? That’s not what it seems like. It seems in this instance more like she has Vampire Radar and she caught three blips nearby who started heading their way because they heard the ever-fun sound of baseball. That doesn’t sound like reading the future to me. That’s reading the present. And the present is several miles away running to where they can play baseball.

Also, what the hell? Just how far away can Edward mind-read? After all, as you could just see, Edward was the one to answer how quickly they were coming. The vampires are nowhere in sight, and won’t be for another five minutes. And they’re even RUNNING. What the heck is the RANGE on this ability? That’s ludicrous! Like, it’s already bad enough that he can barely shut off the ability to read minds when he’s in a super populated place. But then to hear thoughts for, what, five miles? Ten miles? Twenty? That’s just absurd!

Might I just add, for the sake of amusement, that of all things, the movie actually played up to this segment better than the book did. The whole time throughout the course of the movie, we see imagery of these three vampires wreaking havoc across Washington, killing humans for fun, sport, and food. It’s a far better build-up to the stupid climax. But this book did a God-awful job of telling the same thing. Only now, almost 4/5ths of the way through the book, do we FINALLY get to the actual CONFLICT ARC of the story. Because the conflict arc isn’t really about how much Edward wants to eat/screw Bella (as much as the book for the last 372 pages [of which there are 498] would have liked for you to believe) but rather it’s about bad vampires who want to eat people, including Bella, and Edward and his band of merry good-pires must save the day. The story at this very moment just whip lashed itself so violently that I can only barely believe that anyone was still hanging on for the ride after this.

So they try and disguise Bella by having her pull her hair down around her neck, hoping to even slightly mask the scent of human, which is apparently a moot point, and they all keep in front of her.

”I’m sorry, Bella,” he muttered fiercely. ”It was stupid, irresponsible, to expose you like this. I’m so sorry.”
I heard his breath stop, and his eyes zeroed in on right field. He took a half step, angling himself between me and what was coming.
Carlisle, Emmett, and the others turned in the same direction, hearing sounds of passage much too faint for my ears.

And that’s where chapter 17 ends. So, to reiterate, Bella is selfish and rude, yet she somehow manages to get away with whatever she wants and gets to keep her friends, Billy the hardcore native American wolf is a pushover, Edward has a boner for Bella’s blood, Charlie is a terrible father, and vampire powers that are supposed to be specific are apparently limitless in what they can do.

It’s time to start clearing out the rest of this stupid novel. Next up, it’s Chapter 18!

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Where Are The Real Super Heroes?

July 20, 2012

Today I logged into Facebook to see many, many well-wishes for an old high school theater classmate of mine, Brent Lowak.  I was shocked.  Brent?  This guy that I fondly remember as being part of so many productions, who I can see myself sitting next to in several photos in my old yearbooks?  I last talked to him at some convention… Something happened to him?  What was it?  Colorado?  What was he doing there?  

He was visiting a special person in Colorado.  A girl who also went to my high school, just a couple years younger than myself.  They were only trying to watch a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, in a movie theater in Aurora.  It was an event that everyone had been excited for for so very long.  I myself had wished to see the movie at midnight, too, from my own city of San Antonio, Texas.

But then something terribly tragic happened as the movie began.  A man enters from one of the exit doors near the screen.  He throws a gas canister in and then proceeds to light the theater ablaze with gunfire.  From what I understand, Brent and his dear friend Jessica Ghawi attempted to duck under the shots.  But Jessica had been hit in the leg.  And as Brent attempted to stop the bleeding, he himself was shot in the hindquarters, shrapnel traveling up to his shoulder.  And next was a shot that very sadly ended Jessica’s life.  All Brent could do was escape, which he very luckily did, though from my understanding bleeding was hard to stop for a while.  Of course he’s been through surgery… he’s incredibly fortunate to be alive.  

But what do you live with after something like that?  Of course you will have scars, and they’ll take a while to heal.  You’ll likely have to go through quite a bit of physical therapy.  But what about the incredible emotional scars?  Jessica was an ex-girlfriend, but a friend still nonetheless, and apparently important enough to travel out of state to visit and see the midnight premiere of an exciting movie with.  What do you do with yourself, having been right there to witness the loss of someone so precious to you?

I wasn’t directly related to any of the issues out of Aurora aside from having been classmates with people who were there.  But I felt such pain for those involved with such senseless violence.  I sent a tweet, asking for prayers for my old classmate.

This is when someone sent a tweet back at me in return.  “We’re trying to find my cousin. Was your friend’s friend named Matt?”

No… someone was lost… but what could I do?  I offered to send out tweets to get retweeted to find the individual.

“His name is Matt McQuinn. He is unaccounted for. Either lost in the shuffle or one of the 10in the theater. If you hear anything let me know please. Victims sevices had no news for his mom” 

And so I tweeted.  I hoped that somebody out there had the answers this person was looking for.  Quickly, the retweets started piling up.  But sadly, it didn’t come up with the results we were looking for.

The irony was, I’d already made my own plans to see The Dark Knight Rises tonight.  I couldn’t stay by Twitter to keep my finger on the pulse, to see if Matt had been found.  So, for three hours, I went without knowing.  Until I got out of the theater and checked Twitter on my phone.

“You can call off the search. Matt didn’t make it. Thanks for trying.”

I stood outside the theater for a moment, staring down at my phone in the palm of my hand.  I felt so helpless.  I was so far away, and there was nothing I could do.  My stupid tweets didn’t mean anything.  I was powerless against the monster that appeared in that theater just the other night.

And then I cried.

I just stood outside the doors of the theater and I cried.

“I wasn’t even directly involved.  What’s wrong with me?”

You know what’s crazy?  The Dark Knight Rises was an excellent movie.  So deserving of its hype and all the money it made just in its midnight showings alone.  And everyone who went to that Colorado theater last night just wanted to share in the excitement of this experience.  They all wanted to see their hero on the big screen, the last movie in this particular chain.  They were all so excited that they couldn’t possibly wait for another showing.  It was first or nothing.

And one crazed mid-twenties man ruined it.  For everyone.

And he ruined it in such a number of ways.  In all the selfish ways one can think of… he ruined the possibility of fun excitement for passionate fans, the ones you so often see at science fiction, fantasy, or hero movies, the ones who go in costume because they’re that passionate about a franchise.  You can forget that for a while.  Ruined it for people who choose to exercise their right to bear arms.  You can look forward to ridiculous debates on gun control for a while now, too. “Everyone should have guns!”  “No one should have guns!”  At bare minimum, he ruined what was going to be a good night for a theater packed to the brim with people.

And at worst, he ruined and stole lives.

And for what?  We’ll learn motivation as the days pass, that is to be certain.  But no matter what the motivation was, there will never be a REAL reason.  There’s NEVER a good enough reason for what happened.  The people in that theater were there for an innocent pastime and were undeserving of the terror that so very casually walked in through that front exit door.  You can label it with a very simple, clear answer: Insanity.  However, does that in the slightest justify the action?  In personal belief, no, it doesn’t.  In my opinion, “insanity” is different from “intelligence”.  James Holmes very clearly and deliberately planned this attack out in advance.  It was clearly premeditated.  At the very least, he was “smart” enough to go to different locations over the last couple of months to purchase his weapons and ammunition, cover his apartment in a ridiculous amount of booby traps.  He even seemed to want to do all of this looking like, and calling himself, “The Joker”.

It sounds like he likely did exactly what he wanted to accomplish.  He became a super villain.

Perhaps by me labeling him as such, I’ve given him exactly what he was looking for.  He’s gotten his name in history.  I can’t think of any other “logical” reason behind any of it, other than it’s just want he wanted to do for himself.  After all, he didn’t even kill himself or let himself get shot by the police after the event.  How many mass shootings have you heard of where the shooter doesn’t off himself afterwards?  He let himself be taken in peacefully.  He wanted to see it unfold just as much as any of us do.

Disgusting.  Crazy, painful, and disgusting.

And it just begs the question.  Where are the real super heroes?  

Where is the real Batman?

I think people really do need heroes of some variety.  Someone they can look up to.  Someone they can believe in.  We can say that we have real heroes of a variety.  Our military forces, police officers, fire fighters, EMS, etc.  And they do amazing services and put their lives at risk every day.  They do jobs that are deserving of our utmost respect.

And yet hundreds of emergency phone calls to the police didn’t save over 70 people last night.  James did exactly as much shooting as he had planned on doing.  He shot, and he just kept shooting until he was done.  And once he was done he just casually walked right back out the same door he came in through.  He walked right into the arms of police, sure.  But where were they?  They couldn’t be there fast enough to save the lives of 12 of those people, or stop the injuries of dozens and dozens more.  And that’s not entirely their fault.  They’re only human.  They can only get there so fast.

But horrendous events like these make you wish for a hero.  A REAL hero.  Someone to swoop in and save the day.  Stop the bad guys.  And then dash away without expecting a word of thanks.

It’s an unrealistic desire.  I know.  But it doesn’t mean we don’t dream of it.  A hero, just like the Batman we’ve seen appear on the big screen this weekend.  Someone who isn’t afraid to risk his own life to save the lives of countless others in a city he loves, despite the fact that that very same city has shown no love for him.

Or at the very least, I wish I could say I had more power.  The power to do something about it all myself.  I will never see a super hero.  I will never be a super hero.  But I wish for something greater than what we have so dearly.

My prayers… my prayers for the friends, the families, the fallen.  I’m praying terribly hard for everyone even remotely involved with these tragic events tonight.  Godspeed, and please take care of yourselves.  Take care of yourselves, while we continue to search for our heroes.

Oh, of course, …

June 18, 2012

Oh, of course, the day I alert the Internet to my missing hardware problem is the day I find it’s arrived. Thank you, Marco and anon!

Were you the kind person who purchased computer things off my Amazon Wish List?

June 18, 2012

I REALLY need to find out who purchased two things off my Wish List – a graphics card and a disc drive. The graphics card was purchased weeks ago, I am assuming, and I guess this disc drive purchase was more recent. They were very kind, expensive purchases. But I have not seen EITHER of those products arrive at my apartment. If you purchased either of those for me, thank you, but I don’t want your money to have been wasted! I am trying to contact Amazon, but if you have any tracking information, please check it! I wish I knew who you were so I could be more direct with you personally. E-mail me if it was you! marzgurl@marzgurlproductions.com

What I Need to Build a New PC

April 28, 2012

I guess this was a long time coming.  My current PC appears to basically be on its last legs.  Even if my friends are capable of helping me repair the current PC, the parts are all so old that, quite frankly, I may as well just buy all new parts.  The fact is, I need to either get the old computer up and running ASAP or purchase something entirely new right away, or else my job doing video reviews is totally blown.

Now, quite frankly, I’m lazy, and not a genius when it comes to building PCs.  I don’t want to work too hard.  So, I’ve come up with a couple of options here.  For starters, I could just buy a pre-built PC.  I know, that sounds awful.  I’m not thrilled with the idea, either.  But everyone who once helped me build PCs and once lived nearby sorta isn’t that nearby anymore.  That’s my lazy option.  I’ve thrown a PC that I’m okay with onto my Amazon Wish List.

My second option is to follow a guide and try and get something pretty great out for fairly cheap.  This seems like a likely option.  I’ve settled on following this specific guide.  If you don’t like it, sorry, this is what I’m sticking to because it’s clear and simple to follow.  I’m not going to start mixing and matching other things on a whim.

I’ve searched for the items on this list and have listed them on my Amazon.com Wish List.  Now, frankly, I may not even need every single piece.  Some pieces from my old PC may still be salvageable, such as my hard drives and my disc drive.  So, here’s the order of importance on each of these items:

Processor
Motherboard
Graphics card
Memory
Power supply
Case
Optical Drive
Storage
*Monitor (Maybe, if it was the cause of some of my problems with my current PC, which I’m not certain of) 

So, let’s say I get all of these things. Without the cost of a monitor, everything in that list, new directly from Amazon/Newegg, is $980.89.  If we cut out, say, the optical drive and the storage, we can get rid of about $138.94.  The rest I’m pretty sure I’d want new.  I know for a fact that my mouse and keyboard are fine, so I’m not concerned about them.  I’ll worry about the monitor last of all.  Despite some issues happening before my PC puttered out, I still believe it was actually functioning.

Until I get the parts I need, I’m going to be doing some very rudimentary video reviews.  Like, these things are going to be bad.  Like, real bad.  Of course, I’ll make sure that’s widely known.  Maybe it’ll even become a running joke.  But I’d rather not be doing that for terribly long.  I’ll be working hard on some side projects, like daily vlogs and extra reviews (as crappy as they’re going to come out), and my MarzGurl Hates Hats wall calendar is still available (those who’ve received theirs seem very pleased with it!).  That having been said, if you are able to help me get this functioning PC up and running again, I admit I will not turn down the help.  My Amazon Wish List with the things I need to build this PC is right here (and listed off to the side of this blog page) and my PayPal is open for donations, both here and on the side bar with the Amazon Wish List as well.  Any help you can give is greatly appreciated, and I’ll happily be personally E-mailing you if it turns out you can help.  

Hoping to be back in shape fairly soon!  I’ll keep you guys posted on how I’m functioning.  Until then, look forward to a vlog tomorrow and a new (crappy) review on Monday.

Introducing the MarzGurl Hates Hats Wall Calendar, On Sale Now!

April 20, 2012

I talked about potentially releasing this calendar over on my Twitter feed, and it got a surprisingly good reaction.  So, I’ve gone ahead and done it!  Introducing the MarzGurl Hates Hats wall calendar!

Image

I initially wanted to sell an 18-month calendar since we’re already somewhat into the middle of the year, but it looked like I didn’t have the option to sell that at mass scale.  But don’t worry!  I have plans to make a 2013 calendar as well as soon as the option becomes available.  For now, I hope you will enjoy my uncomfortable misery and travel through the year with me as I wear embarrassing headgear.  Head on over to CafePress and pick up your MarzGurl Hates Hats wall calendar today!

Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 16

February 27, 2012

Chapter 16 – CARLISLE

As I sit here in the JFK International Airport with a layover to Buffalo on my way up to Ontario, Canada for Con-G, I realize that I’ve actually not written about a Twilight chapter in two months. Now seems like as good a time as any, considering I won’t exactly be going anywhere any time soon. Ugh… I rather wish I was in Canada already instead, though.

When last we saw our… ugh… “heroes”, they were on their way to visit with Carlisle, so that Bella could start learning a bit of vampire history. This is actually an intriguing idea to me. Carlisle continues to prove time and again that this story should REALLY be about him, and not about the young man who has fallen in love with his food.

But Carlisle can’t stick around to tell his story. Oh. So much for THAT idea. Instead, he leaves the story-telling in Edward’s hands, since he apparently knows the story just as well as Carlisle does. Frankly, I’d have far preferred it if we had heard the history straight from Carlisle’s first-hand experience, but I guess at this point I’ll just have to take whatever I can get.

So Edward shows Bella a wall covered in photos and paintings from ages long past. London in the 1650’s. And frankly, the story is not nearly as deep as I was hoping (wait, what am I saying? Was I HOPING for something deep out of Twilight?). What I mean by that, though, is that Edward mostly repeats a fair hunk of information we already heard. Carlisle got turned into a vampire, and he hated it, so he became a doctor. I guess it’s somewhat interesting that in all of this we find out that Carlisle tried to kill himself a numerous abundance of times. Then he decided to eat deer. Oh. We’re back to this again. I already know this.

What’s “interesting” is the part where Carlisle decides to swim to France.

“He began to make better use of his time. He’d always been intelligent, eager to learn. Now he had unlimited time before him. He studied by night, planned by day. He swam to France and-”
“He swam to France?”
“People swim the Channel all the time, Bella,” he reminded me patiently.

Oh, yeah Edward, you say that like normal people DON’T have to undergo intense swimming training for an extended amount of time to be able to swim the 21 hours it takes to get from one side of the English Channel to the other. Oh, yes, it’s just a common occurrence. That’s why it’s considered an extremely challenging sport, right? Right.

That’s when some more information comes up.

“Swimming is easy for us-”
“Everything is easy for you,” I griped.
He waited, his expression amused.
“I won’t interrupt again, I promise.”
He chuckled darkly, and finished his sentence. “Because, technically, we don’t need to breathe.”

“You don’t have to breathe?” I demanded.
“No, it’s not necessary. Just a habit.” He shrugged.
“How long can you go… without breathing?”
“Indefinitely, I suppose; I don’t know. It gets a bit uncomfortable – being without a sense of smell.”

So, no breathing, not a big deal, just mildly uncomfortable. But aside from Bella’s temporary amazement, learning this still does not terribly shock or frighten her. Edward questions this, as well he should. He keeps revealing all kinds of crazy ridiculous stuff to her, and she isn’t even in the least bit phased. It’s stupid, really honestly stupid. Doesn’t Edward realize he’s dating an idiot? Maybe he does. Maybe he thinks she’s an easy lay, I don’t know. Oh, wait, nevermind, he’s celibate. Alright, she’s an easy food catch. That must be it.

So, back to the story of Carlisle, he apparently chilled out in Italy for a bit while he practiced getting kickass at human medical practice and shit. It also just so happens that he hung out with a real chill dude by the name of Francesco Solimena. You know, just this incredibly prolific Italian painter during the Baroque era.

Francesco Solimena

The dude apparently liked to paint not only Carlisle, but three other Italian vampire buddies of his. Aro, Marcus, and Caius. And you don’t know it yet, but these chaps are all members of the Volturi, the super secret special awesome band of vampires who hang out in Italy and run the way vampires work across the world. But that’s jumping ahead a book, so just pretend I didn’t say that. You guys totally don’t know that yet, and you have no further reason to care about any of these names. In fact, Carlisle can’t make them eat deer, and they can’t make him eat people, so the bros split up. Oh boy, any exciting information about any of the far cooler vampires won’t be anything we get to hear about any time soon.

Until finally Carlisle comes to America. And then Edward happens. Really, that story wasn’t all that great. Edward DOES, however, reveal some freaky information about this one time when he became a rebellious vampire teenager and wanted to eat people.

“…I wasn’t sold on his life of abstinence, and I resented him for curbing my appetite. So I went off on my own for a time.
“Really?” I was intrigued, rather than frightened, as I perhaps should have been.
…”That doesn’t repulse you?”
“No.”
“Why not?
“I guess… it sounds reasonable.”
…”…If I followed a murderer down a dark alley where he stalked a young girl – if I saved her, then surely I wasn’t so terrible.”

And Bella isn’t scared. She isn’t upset and angry that she’s dating a man who has killed numerous people in his lifetime. Screw the fact that he has to eat, unlike his “dad”, he has indeed KILLED PEOPLE. And Bella is a PEOPLE. At least, she thinks she’s people. Why are you too stupid to be afraid?

We’d come to a stop in front of the last door in the hall.
“My room,” he informed me, opening it and pulling me through.

AND NOW YOU’RE LETTING THE MURDERER EASILY WHISK YOU AWAY TO HIS ROOM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU SILLY STUPID FOOL!?

So, there they chill and listen to smooth jazz and giggle and snuggle, when Jasper and Alice walk in and invite them to go play baseball because the weather is just right – thunder-stormy. They apparently can only play the great American past-time when there’s thunder out. I already know the reason why that is, but we don’t get to find out until the following chapter. And so you will wait for me to get there!

This chapter… ALMOST dipped into some interesting information. But, once again, it managed to pass it right on by. And Edward reveals his history as a murderer of human flesh to Bella, and she doesn’t bat an eyelash like the dumb, vapid fool she is. This is just getting repetative and angering. You know, like it wasn’t at all angering before this chapter.

Coming up next is Chapter 17, The Game!

(No, I don’t play “The Game”. Nobody lost. You’re probably actually playing The Game completely wrong. Get over it.)