Monday, December 17, 2007

Twilight Phenomenon

What it is about these books that make them so popular? That is the question I have been wrestling with for the past little while. No, nothing more enlightening. Sorry dad.

Vampire books aren’t scarce, but they haven’t ever transcended all walks of life like this series has. In fact, one of my students (back in the day) was an avid reader of vampire books, and quite frankly, it was highly alarming when he would recount the stories to me. Also, I can still vividly see in my mind a CSI episode that dealt with people who were trying to be vampires. Nothing has scared me quite as much as that teeny tiny episode. But here you have it, all sleekly packaged in three books (each a mere 500 or so pages): a dangerous love story between a vampire and a human. And it is wildly popular. (I don’t think it is even near the vampire genre that my student read…don’t worry.)

I am completely baffled as to why it is so popular. If you’ve read it, tell me why you love it. I am assuming you love it because I have only one or two people who are kind of indifferent to the whole affair. From teenagers to moms, newlyweds to old ladies…everyone seems to be reading it (although I have yet talked to a guy who has read it). Let me know what you think; I'm really trying to understand the phenomenon of it all.

Here’s what I think. It is entertaining. Maybe not the best written book I’ve read lately, but entertaining and interesting. And it doesn’t hurt that Edward is gorgeous. This is where a lot of the popularity comes in. He is beautiful, albeit in a very statuesque, cold, marble way. Everyone is in love with Edward. (Personally, I like Jacob…werewolf or not he seems more real and alive. I get dirty looks when I say that. Sorry. Granted I haven’t read the third book, so I guess my opinion could change). Next, it is the whole idea of this dangerous, fateful love. It is so out of the realm of real life that it captures people’s imagination. Bella (who I think is annoying at best) is willing to give up everything—her soul—for Edward because she doesn’t seem to have any control over the love she has for him. I guess that seems terribly romantic on one hand. (On the other—more realistic—hand it just seems so weak and wrong.) But real life gets kind of hum drum; so I guess that is why we read something that in real life would be completely crazy. I do it all of the time. We all escape in one way or another—and this is just one more way. So it will continue.

I will read the third book. For me, it’s like a train wreck…I don’t want to look, but I just have to see what is going on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An * For Them All

Was anyone really surprised at the widespread use of steroids in baseball as outlined in a new report out today? I would bet good money no one was. Every athlete/coach/organization in sports is going to have an asterisk by their names by the end of it all. The record books will be littered with the little things. Baseball and steroid use is the focus of this particular report, but let’s just consider the other criminal activity of athletes across the board. Well, it doesn’t affect my life directly, but chalk it up as one more thing that is gone horribly askew in the world of what’s important. I think they should create new teams and leagues for each sport. We can have the all-steroid-league [baseball], all criminal league [the football team could feature OJ as the coach and Michael Vick at quarterback], all-cheating-team [Patriots—okay, so I just don’t like them]…you get the idea. It’s amazing we haven’t just all stopped supporting this madness. I still watch football and have a favorite team; but if no one paid them and no one watched them or rooted for them, well, this whole thing would be a moot point. Here's the thing, though, I’m not going to stop rooting for the Steelers, or the Aggies**, or….you get the point; so I guess I will put up with the asterisks.

**I am by no means implying that the Aggies have a widespread problem with drugs, steroids, or criminal activity. We will always have competitive sports, so we will always have this problem it seems.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bright Season

These are 5 small things that have made this season bright for me:

1. Josh Groban’s Christmas album, Noel— Josh’s voice penetrates to the deepest part of my soul, bringing peace and joy to Christmas music again. A classic Christmas album I will forever treasure. And in a strange twist, his only non-traditional Christmas song on the album, Thankful, is the song that has brought me the most peace this season.

2. Belgian Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa (Stephen’s Gourmet, of course)—This is the most divine liquid ever. It warms the soul on any chilly Cache Valley winter’s eve. Couple this delightful confection with Candy Cane Hersey Kisses and you have a truly divine experience.

3. Gilmore Girls—I forget how much I especially loved the first few seasons of this show. The anticipation of Luke and Lorelai's interactions, Jess and Dean vying for Rory, Paris and crazy Chilton kids…the perfect remedy when you want to escape this insane world. Oh, and observing the transformation of Milo Ventimiglia from the characters of Jess Mariano to the current Peter Petrelli is amazing!

4. My Christmas Tree—I veered away from the Charlie Brown Christmas tree look this year and got a beautiful, bushy, perfect tree. I love it. It truly just warms my heart to have it around.

5. The Dark is Rising Series—This series of books was introduced to me when I was in Elementary school** (but it was written in the 70’s I believe). Classic Dark vs. Light, a search for the Holy Grail, a young hero to rise against the Dark…what more could you ask for? Re-reading it is bringing me a lot of entertainment this season.

**One of my 5 favorite books (series) when I was in Elementary School. The other 4 include Black Beauty, The Black Stallion (series), Gone With The Wind (no, I am not kidding), and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

Let’s Try This Again

I will give this blog thing another go. Unfortunately, I do things on a whim sometimes and don’t think them completely through, like deleting my previous blog, for example. I miss writing my thoughts down for any random person to read. So, we’ll give it a second shot. I’ll try to be more brief in my writings. I will try not to be negative. This is actually why I deleted my previous blog; I was afraid I would begin to use it as a venting forum for the unfortunate nature of our world. SO, if I ever start down the road of rants, someone call me out on it. I love to write, but I don’t want to put my worst self forward into the world of blogs. But I love to write. Cacoethes scribendi.