amatyultare: (don't ask)
My last day at Microdyne was uneventful, almost (gasp!) enjoyable. My manager called in sick, which amused me, so I spent all day working on our gigantic pile of emails. I jumped off the phones entirely, in fact, and spent the day writing responses while listening to my iPod--particularly the excellent mix made for me by [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver. By the time I left, there were only about a dozen unread emails left, more than manageable if they choose my replacement quickly.

Haven’t done much on the job-search end this weekend because Mom’s been online a lot doing schoolwork. Instead, I’ve been reading a lot. Among others, I picked up and read New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series (from the library this time). I’m still asking myself why I care so much about the books, and I really don’t know. But there you go; my thoughts are below. For those who haven’t read the book and plan to, there are spoilers.




1. The writing didn’t bug me as much as Twilight’s did, mostly because Edward is gone for most of the book and therefore SMeyer doesn’t have a reason to abuse the thesaurus for new combinations of words that mean ‘stunningly gorgeous’ and ‘dazzling’ and also ‘sparkly’.

2. I had read a recap of the book that summarized Bella’s post-Italy conversation with Edward as "Shh, hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here." (Give her a moment, Edward, she doesn't have a lot of these.) "Oh! Okay! You love me!" And I thought it was meant facetiously. Silly me. That’s almost a direct quote from the book. As the same reviewer said, Twilight means never having to say you’re kidding.”

3. I agree with many reviewers that Jacob and Alice are probably the best and most engaging characters in the whole series (which makes me kind of dread Eclipse). Once I got past the nonsense of Alice’s walk being described as ‘dance-like’ (seriously, what does that ACTUALLY MEAN? Does she go around doing a little ballet waltz-step all the time? Answer: it is SMeyer’s lazy attempt to describe extremely graceful movement.) I really enjoyed her as a character, not least because she is one of the few people in the books you’d actually like to know in real life. Actually, that applies to Jacob as well.

4. One of the few characteristics that Bella showed in Twilight besides her adoraklutzability was being a bookworm. And you know, I can relate to that. So all through New Moon, I was waiting for her to drown her sorrows in reading. And it never happened. Finally, this is ‘explained’ by Charlie telling Alice that Bella stopped reading along with listening to music because it ‘reminded her of Edward’.

I’m sorry, WHAT?

As a bookworm myself, I can assure you that one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to mentally ‘escape’ is to read. I will grant that perhaps her usual fare of romantic 19th century novels and Shakespeare plays would be too painful to read. But geez, that still leaves a pretty wide field. Fantasy and sci-fi. Biographies, history, economics, sociology and psychology. Science books written for non-scientists. Epic poetry. Even self-help books, for goodness sake (I suddenly want to see a story in which Bella reads It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken). I do not find it credible that the simple process of looking at and comprehending words and sentences somehow inescapably reminded Bella of Edward. It comes off, again, as a lazy way to keep the heroine in a perpetual state of suffering that nothing! nothing! (besides illicit motorcycles, cliff-diving, and werewolves) can alleviate--contrary to the heroine’s previous characterization.

5. I have a Big Theory regarding New Moon (okay, not that big, but bear with me):

SMeyers makes it quite clear that New Moon is supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet; she practically hits us over the head with it, in fact. But I don’t really buy it.

All of a sudden, I realized that New Moon is an adolescent girl’s version of Peter Pan. The Cullens become Bella’s version of Neverland, and Jacob is (in an interesting gender reversal) Wendy, doing his best to help Bella grow up. He also falls in love with her, something she realizes but cannot deal with. She does mature somewhat after spending time around him--one huge indication is that she realizes how immature and selfish she has been--but in the end, she returns to the Cullens and her fantasy world, and Jacob cannot stay with her.

(Does this make Alice Tinker Bell?)

6. One last thing. Even more so than in Twilight, Bella shows her incredible self-absorption in New Moon. The entirety of her concern for any negative possibility, up to and including Jacob dying, occurs to her in terms of how it will affect HER. How does anyone read this series without wanting to slap her?



Next up on my self-flagellating reading spree: Eldest, the sequel to Eragon. Just out of pure sadistic curiosity. Wish me luck? On the bright side, the thing is so huge that if it gets too painful, I can use the book to clonk myself over the head; it’s easily heavy enough to knock me out.
amatyultare: (don't ask)
My last day at Microdyne was uneventful, almost (gasp!) enjoyable. My manager called in sick, which amused me, so I spent all day working on our gigantic pile of emails. I jumped off the phones entirely, in fact, and spent the day writing responses while listening to my iPod--particularly the excellent mix made for me by [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver. By the time I left, there were only about a dozen unread emails left, more than manageable if they choose my replacement quickly.

Haven’t done much on the job-search end this weekend because Mom’s been online a lot doing schoolwork. Instead, I’ve been reading a lot. Among others, I picked up and read New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series (from the library this time). I’m still asking myself why I care so much about the books, and I really don’t know. But there you go; my thoughts are below. For those who haven’t read the book and plan to, there are spoilers.




1. The writing didn’t bug me as much as Twilight’s did, mostly because Edward is gone for most of the book and therefore SMeyer doesn’t have a reason to abuse the thesaurus for new combinations of words that mean ‘stunningly gorgeous’ and ‘dazzling’ and also ‘sparkly’.

2. I had read a recap of the book that summarized Bella’s post-Italy conversation with Edward as "Shh, hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here." (Give her a moment, Edward, she doesn't have a lot of these.) "Oh! Okay! You love me!" And I thought it was meant facetiously. Silly me. That’s almost a direct quote from the book. As the same reviewer said, Twilight means never having to say you’re kidding.”

3. I agree with many reviewers that Jacob and Alice are probably the best and most engaging characters in the whole series (which makes me kind of dread Eclipse). Once I got past the nonsense of Alice’s walk being described as ‘dance-like’ (seriously, what does that ACTUALLY MEAN? Does she go around doing a little ballet waltz-step all the time? Answer: it is SMeyer’s lazy attempt to describe extremely graceful movement.) I really enjoyed her as a character, not least because she is one of the few people in the books you’d actually like to know in real life. Actually, that applies to Jacob as well.

4. One of the few characteristics that Bella showed in Twilight besides her adoraklutzability was being a bookworm. And you know, I can relate to that. So all through New Moon, I was waiting for her to drown her sorrows in reading. And it never happened. Finally, this is ‘explained’ by Charlie telling Alice that Bella stopped reading along with listening to music because it ‘reminded her of Edward’.

I’m sorry, WHAT?

As a bookworm myself, I can assure you that one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to mentally ‘escape’ is to read. I will grant that perhaps her usual fare of romantic 19th century novels and Shakespeare plays would be too painful to read. But geez, that still leaves a pretty wide field. Fantasy and sci-fi. Biographies, history, economics, sociology and psychology. Science books written for non-scientists. Epic poetry. Even self-help books, for goodness sake (I suddenly want to see a story in which Bella reads It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken). I do not find it credible that the simple process of looking at and comprehending words and sentences somehow inescapably reminded Bella of Edward. It comes off, again, as a lazy way to keep the heroine in a perpetual state of suffering that nothing! nothing! (besides illicit motorcycles, cliff-diving, and werewolves) can alleviate--contrary to the heroine’s previous characterization.

5. I have a Big Theory regarding New Moon (okay, not that big, but bear with me):

SMeyers makes it quite clear that New Moon is supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet; she practically hits us over the head with it, in fact. But I don’t really buy it.

All of a sudden, I realized that New Moon is an adolescent girl’s version of Peter Pan. The Cullens become Bella’s version of Neverland, and Jacob is (in an interesting gender reversal) Wendy, doing his best to help Bella grow up. He also falls in love with her, something she realizes but cannot deal with. She does mature somewhat after spending time around him--one huge indication is that she realizes how immature and selfish she has been--but in the end, she returns to the Cullens and her fantasy world, and Jacob cannot stay with her.

(Does this make Alice Tinker Bell?)

6. One last thing. Even more so than in Twilight, Bella shows her incredible self-absorption in New Moon. The entirety of her concern for any negative possibility, up to and including Jacob dying, occurs to her in terms of how it will affect HER. How does anyone read this series without wanting to slap her?



Next up on my self-flagellating reading spree: Eldest, the sequel to Eragon. Just out of pure sadistic curiosity. Wish me luck? On the bright side, the thing is so huge that if it gets too painful, I can use the book to clonk myself over the head; it’s easily heavy enough to knock me out.
amatyultare: (does not compute)
I'm in a writing mood--if only I knew what I was going to say for my second Peace Corps essay. Gah. Anyway, instead of that, I babbled on about the following....

Fashion and feminism in academia. Warning: tangents ahead. )
amatyultare: (Default)
I'm in a writing mood--if only I knew what I was going to say for my second Peace Corps essay. Gah. Anyway, instead of that, I babbled on about the following....

Fashion and feminism in academia. Warning: tangents ahead. )
amatyultare: (fill you with regret)
This is just a bit of musing that I've had in my head for a while, and figured I'd post. (This post may have some 'Little Miss Sunshine' spoilers for those who haven't seen the movie)

My friend [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver posted about the movie 'Juno', which she's just seen. In her post, she mentions that 'Juno' is "somewhat less dysfunctional than Little Miss Sunshine, but that's not really a difficult distinction to achieve."

Funnily enough... )

All of the above is NOT meant to be an attack on [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver or her views, nor am I upset in the slightest. It's just something I thought about when I first read reviews that called the 'Little Miss Sunshine' family 'dysfunctional', and her comment brought it up in my mind again.
amatyultare: (Default)
This is just a bit of musing that I've had in my head for a while, and figured I'd post. (This post may have some 'Little Miss Sunshine' spoilers for those who haven't seen the movie)

My friend [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver posted about the movie 'Juno', which she's just seen. In her post, she mentions that 'Juno' is "somewhat less dysfunctional than Little Miss Sunshine, but that's not really a difficult distinction to achieve."

Funnily enough... )

All of the above is NOT meant to be an attack on [livejournal.com profile] deliriumdriver or her views, nor am I upset in the slightest. It's just something I thought about when I first read reviews that called the 'Little Miss Sunshine' family 'dysfunctional', and her comment brought it up in my mind again.
amatyultare: (Default)
It's 3 AM. I'm leaving for NH (to pick up [livejournal.com profile] lacontessa11) and then Portland (for PortConMaine!) in four hours. And I'm awake, haven't slept, and in fact haven't yet PACKED. Why do I do this to myself?

Well, in this particular case, I found out tonight that a blogger I used to love back in the day, who quit blogging years ago, has returned! Even though she's staying away from political stuff and mostly talking about stupid people and her dogs, she is so hilarious that I found myself reading through all of her archives from the current incarnation of her blog.

Then, her latest post posed a question to her readers about whether the federal government should fund embryonic stem cell research. I know, tons of ethical issues involved with creating embryos that are theoretically people even though they are only a few cells and debating ESC research vs. adult stem cell research and blah blah blah...and really I am not a scientist so I am not qualified to comment on that. However, far too many commenters were going on about how the government should NEVER fund scientific research EVER, and how this was all a plot by the EVIL LEFT (to do what? It remained unexplained). And geez, I'm an evil conservative AND a libertarian but it got me so mad I started writing a very long and semi-heated comment about the difference between basic and applied research and scientific knowledge as a public good with overtones of 'if the left wants to link ESC and abortion then why are they the ones who keep screaming about how ESC don't come from aborted fetuses, huh?' But then I stopped because I realized 1) my writing was becoming scattered, if not somewhat incoherent (somewhat like this lj entry. See why I don't keep a political blog?) and 2) my comment was half done and already twice the length of the original blog post. So I gave it up. But now I still have to pack and all...meh.

Anyway. Off to PCM for the weekend, w00t! Barring any terrible car mishaps like last year *touch wood*, I'll be back late Sunday night. Be good while I'm gone--later, all!

P.S. New icon! Tied for 'best text', week 49 at [livejournal.com profile] pretear_awards. First actual icon award I've ever won. Isn't Shin the cutest thing ever?
amatyultare: (Default)
First, yay for getting money from the BAC! For buying anime! I'm a bit proud of myself for having it go all successfully, although to be honest it wasn't a tough sell. We're buying it and then donating it to the library. We are so community-oriented it's awesome. It was actually funny because at the last minute I was freaking out that they would be asking if I knew the procedure for donating to the library or random things like that, but basically the only questions were about Anime Society's attendance. I said it was not huge, but we would be focusing more on advertising next year (I definitely dropped the ball on that one this semester--this is a lesson to me to AVOID THEATER if I want to get ANYTHING ELSE DONE. Not that this lesson has sunk in. Did I mention I'm now the activities director for Student Musical Theatre? Moving on....)

Random note: library now open 24/7. People are psyched. All of the empty bookshelves are still depressing, but it honestly doesn't feel that different from the old library--which is a good thing in my mind. But after watching this video, I do miss the old Case. But yeah, that video? Priceless.

Now, a small rant. Because you're just all dying to know my opinion on random matters )

Um. That ended up REALLY long. And probably really boring. And did I really just spend an hour and a half writing that, which I could have used to work on my paper? Gah. So, um, yeah, that's it. Must do work (at least my Chinese is done.) Later, all!
amatyultare: (Default)
I just had a conversation with my mother about some of the assumptions people can and do make about each other. More specifically, I mentioned to her an assumption that some people have made about me. When she realized that I had not disabused said people had made about me, she told me that I was hiding. Which is true, of course. I am a total wimp; I have a strong inclination towards avoiding conflict, except online with people that I don't know.

Nonetheless, I suppose that the time has come to set some people straight about me. On the other hand, I'm still I wimp. So I'll do it behind a LJ cut and encourage people not to read it, because it may make things pretty awkward. So, I'd prefer it if none of my friends actually read this (yes, I'm being irrational, but it's my LJ, so I'm allowed;)

Except for Regan. She already knows everything I'm about to write--can't keep anything from your roomie, after all...

Read at your own risk )

Like I said, no one needs to read that.

In other news--going to OOB tomorrow (Monday)! I've never been; it should be really fun.

Don't have much else to write about, and in any case I'm too nervous to write more. Later, all!

P.S. Since this is technically Monday...26 DAYS!!!

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