Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Buzz, buzz

Been a busy bee...
1. Working on the photography business a lot, which feels good.  Please follow the blog--I've actually been updating it lately.
2. My child has suddenly reverted back to acting like a baby--, tantrums, saying "uppy, snacky, huggy" and ...not using the toilet.  Her doctor says we are locked in a "power struggle".  I say, it sucks.
3. I hate summer.  Anyone with me?  Bugs (I got bit by radio-active mosquitoes, which gave me red/purple baseball-sized lumps all over my legs), heat (yuck), sweating (nasty), grass that needs to be mowed (not my job, but still a bummer). 
4. I do like having frequent play dates with our neighbors.  Since I'm home and Renee is home for the summer, we've been seeing a lot of each other lately, which is very cool.  I LOVE that the girls are friends and so excited to see each other.  Anna keeps asking when she'll get to play with Sophia again.  And, we are having our second play date tonight with her friend Lydia, who lives not too far away.  It cracks me up that these are play dates for the adults as well as the girls, because we really like the parents of these kids, so that's cool.
5. I said I was done with vampires, but of course, I'm not.  I'm really enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse series and "True Blood", so....there.
6. I haven't actually finished a craft project in 4 years, so I'm very proud that I have one nearly done and will share pics next time.
7. We are shooting a wedding this weekend, which I'm excited about.
8. Paramore concert is one week away!!  Totally stoked!!!

And with that in mind, I give you the lyrics to my favorite Paramore song...

We Are Broken

Album: RIOT! (CD/Digital)

I am outside and I've been waiting for the sun 
With my wide eyes i've seen worlds that don't belong 
my mouth is dry... with words i cannot verbalize 
tell me why we live like this. 

and keep me safe inside 
your arms like towers 
tower over me. 

Cause we are broken 
what must we do to restore 
our innocence and all the promise we adored? 
give us life again 
we just wanna be whole. 

Lock the doors, I'd like to capture this voice 
That came to me tonight 
so everyone will have a choice 
and under red lights, i'll show myself it wasn't forged 
we're at war... we live like this. 

keep me safe inside 
your arms like towers 
tower over me 

Cause we are broken 
what must we do to restore 
our innocence and all the promise we adored? 
give us life again 
we just wanna be whole. 

tower over me 
tower over me 

Cause we are broken 
what must we do to restore 
our innocence and all the promise we adored? 
give us life again 
we just wanna be whole.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Retraction and revelation

I hereby apologize to anyone that ran out and bought The Vampire Diaries series after reading my last post.  Sorry Trisha!!  That will show me not to blog about something before I finish it.  

The first two books (published in 1991) dealt with Elena falling in love with Stefan, but being attracted to his brother, Damon.  The vampire brothers struggled against each other to see who would win her.  This plot line worked for me.  It wasn't too dark or gory, but had some elements of mystery and suspense.  And any similarities to Twilight ended after the first book.

The third book got creepier, and frankly, a little unbelievable.   (I know--I'm reading a vampire novel, not historical fiction, but she had a vampire possessing the town's dogs to attack their owners.)  There was a lot going on and some of it was just too fantastic to be credible.  And sometimes, she left things unexplained.  (If a vampire can only change into one animal, how was Katherine able to be an owl, a kitten and a tiger?)  

According to this interview, Smith originally only wrote the series as a trilogy, but bowed to reader pressure to write the fourth book in 1992.  She shouldn't have.  The fourth book was straight up scary.  And that seemed to be it's main purpose.  To scare, not to entertain.  It raised several questions that were never answered.  (How could Klaus be alive if Katherine said she killed him?  Was Tyler killed?)  Smith seemed to forget some of the things mentioned in the previous book, as there were several story line gaffes.  

Then, there is the fifth book.  Ugh.  Published earlier this year, 18 years after the first book, the story picks up only days after the end of the last book.  From the very first line, I was lost.  It seemed like she was writing the story haphazardly, without bothering to explain what was going on.  Some questions were answered later, many were not.  (What was the point of Bonnie's midnight-backward-strange language-cell phone prediction?!)  I found myself flipping back several pages to reread something that she referenced differently later.  Again, many story line gaffes (Damon didn't have to ask Caroline to invite him into her house, as he had been invited in by her parents in the 2nd book), as well as typos (Dr. Alpert becomes Dr. Albert for an entire page, at one point.)  And the most unbelievable plot lines possible.  A guy that chewed off his fingers after being possessed, tree-men that tried to pull a girl's limbs off, tree vines that strangle victims, fox spirits that put people in "snow globes" and magic keys that give you anything you want.  Yeah.

 There was a lot of focus on sexual solicitation in this book, which didn't fit in with the themes in the other books, was very uncomfortable and didn't serve a purpose.  Basically, it seemed like this book was written to capitalize on the recent vampire craze.  Fortunately for Smith, the CW bought the plans to make the books into a TV series days before this last book was released.  Unfortunately, she is planning to write two more books in this series.  Don't waste your time reading these books!  Or, just read the first two and I'll fill you in on what happens from there.  (Someone dies, becomes a vampire, dies again, becomes a powerful spirit, then becomes a human with angelic powers.  You follow all of that?)  I'm sure the TV show will end up being better than the books, because, well, it can't go anywhere but up.

Also, we've been watching the first season of "True Blood".  It is frickin' scary.  I like the story line between Sookie and Bill and Sam, but the rest of it sucks, IMO.  I prefer my vampires vegetarians, like the Cullens.  I think I'm just going to give up trying to find something like Twilight, because it is suddenly obvious to me that it's popularity is due to the fact that it was new and special and there isn't anything else like it out there.  The real draw to it was the impossible relationship between Edward and Bella.  I also liked the fact that it didn't scare the piss out of me.  I don't need the blood and gore--that isn't sexy.  Edward...perfect, beautiful, Edward...is.  Stephenie Meyer---write more Twilight!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Obsession!!!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me!!  Ok, it isn't really my birthday, but it feels like I just got a great present!!  

When I was done reading the Twilight series, I wanted to read more, of course.  I started several books, but nothing held my interest like Stephenie Meyer's tales.  Borders, like everyone else, was trying to cash in on the sudden interest in vampires, so they had huge displays set up showcasing other related young adult books.  I took note of the following series: 

I hadn't thought much about them for several months.  I looked for a few of them at the local library, but they had waiting lists.  On Tuesday night, we were in Half Price Books and I spotted the first two books in The Vampire Diaries, so I bought them...and read the first one that night.

I finished the second book last night and I'm hooked!  They aren't as good as Twilight, but they are a nice time-waster until Meyer gives in and writes some more.  There are some STRIKING similiarities to Twilight, but I suppose there is only so much one can imagine about vampires.

The characters aren't as developed as Meyer's, probably because these books are shorter.  Meyer is very fond of building the back story and giving you everyone's history.  It slows the books down in some places, but I was always grateful to have that extra information that gave the characters more depth.  

Smith's books are darker and focus more on the supernatural aspect and a little less on the love story.  The love story is, of course, the reason we loved Twilight. Smith's books are very sexy, though!  Hot vampire brothers fighting over the same girl!!  HE-llo!!!   The "bad" vampire in these books does actually kill people and occassionally the "good" vampire does, too, though he prefers to be a "vegetarian" like the Cullens.  While there hasn't been any SEX yet, there are a lot of innuendos and near nudity and you know the characters are totally thinking about it, whereas Meyer's books purposely shied away from that.

A lot of the vampiric lore is different from Twilight, but I will now point out that Smith's first book in this series was published in 1991.  Only after the success of Twilight were they rereleased under the Harper Teen label.  The series was on the New York Times Bestseller List, but I don't know if that was with the first printing or the most recent.  And now I present to you, a passage that sounds an awful lot like the "meadow scene" from Twilight (chapter 13: Confessions).  

The Vampire Diaries, "The Awakening", chapter 14:

"That's why you've been so distant with me, isn't it?" she said, holding out her hands to him.  "Because you're afraid of what you might do.  But there's no need for that any longer."

"Isn't there?"  ... You think there's no reason to be afraid?... You don't know what I've thought about you."

Elena kept her voice level.  "You don't want to hurt me, " she said positively.

"No?  There have been times, watching you in public, when I could scarcely bear not to touch you.  When I was so tempted by your white throat... Times when I thought I would grab you and force you right there in the school."

"There's no need to force me," said Elena.  "I've made my decision, Stefan," she said softly, holding his eyes.  "I want to."

He swallowed thickly.  "You don't know what you're asking for."  ... He was standing rigid, his face furious, his eyes anguished.  "If I once let go, what's to keep me from changing you, or killing you?  The passion is stronger than you can imagine.  Don't you understand yet what I am, what I can do?"

She stood there and looked at him quietly, her chin raised slightly.  It seemed to enrage him.

"Haven't you seen enough yet?  Or do I have to show you more?  Can't you picture what I might do to you?"  He strode over to the cold fireplace and snatched out a long piece of wood, thicker than both Elena's wrists together.  With one motion, he snapped it in two like a match stick.  "Your fragile bones," he said.

Across the room was a pillow from the bed; he caught it up and with a slash of his nails left the silk cover in ribbons.  "Your soft skin."

Huh, huh?  :)  ANYway, still good stuff.  If you've read all of the series listed above, here is another list.  It sounds like several of the series will be turned into television shows or movies, so that everyone can get their share of the vampire pie (not that I'm complaining.)  I am going to check out the first season of "True Blood" and then the new season starts June 14 on HBO.  And then, I will be counting the days until "The Vampire Diaries" comes to the CW this fall!  I can tell there are already some changes made from the books, but it still looks pretty hot!!  Check out the preview below and then tell me you aren't going to watch that.  I predict that my sister will be over at my house at least once a week to partake in this joyous-ness.  Now, if only I can get my mother interested....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Countdown Begins...

Ok, so I have been reading tweets about "New Moon" for months, but it would seriously be a full-time job to follow each and every link or check every fansite.  I told myself that I didn't care and I didn't need to see any of the set photos.  I told myself that I could wait for the movie and I didn't need any photos to spoil it beforehand.  Turns out, I lied...to myself. 

I wasn't expecting much from the trailer, but it was great.  So, now I want to see it all.  Right now.  Because November is just too far away.  I remember when I was so excited for "Twilight" and I watched the trailer a dozen times a day.   Giggity!!!!!

I nearly cried when I saw this montage from the Italy set.  If you've read the book, you know why this particular scene is so important.  OME!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Moon Trailer from MTV Movie Awards

No doubt you've all seen this by now, but by embedding it in my blog, it is now easily bookmarked for me.  I've watched it half a dozen times already and read the frame by frame analysis.  

I'm impressed.  I'll be honest, I wasn't sure a trailer this early would be any good, but it wasn't bad.  I'm especially pleased with the wolf.  We all knew that element would be crucial and I think it looks pretty good.  What we've seen so far appears to be very close to the book, so that is fabulous.  Taylor looked hot.  Rob's hair looks better.  Not too shabby.  Hooray for Chris Whats-His-Name!  

BTW...Catherine Hardwicke really thinks she is the bomb.  I would disagree, but whatever.  Glad to see Kristen drop her award...what was she wearing?!  She and Rob couldn't look more disdainful.  I suppose it could be insecurity and shyness that comes off looking like disdain, but they are actors.  They could act a little more humble.  ANYway...off to Bedfordshire.