Saturday, June 5, 2010

Project Pain: Chapter 8

Today was a great day. It was over 100 degrees for the first time, but even that didn't stop the goodness. We went to Target, and I LOVE Target. That alone made it great. I bought a couple of summer shirts to wear to the beach next week (WOO!) and some more ice cream. Then I cooked chicken drumsticks with lemon and herbs, some curry rice and corn on the cob. It was a smashing combination. And now we have Noises Off! from Netflix to watch, and booze to drink.

It's a good day. Even if my computer's power cord decided to freak out and refuse to work unless it's held up at exactly the right angle and I have to use an external keyboard and mouse for the first time in 10 years (oh, woe!) so that I won't move the power cord and cause the whole thing to collapse. It was still a good day.

So, what does my brain decide that I should do? Update my blog. And because I don't have much to say aside from how full of delicious food and happiness I am, there's only one other thing I can post about. Pain and misery.

Let's get to it, then.



Fast n Hard:
Bella and her "friends" take a trip into town to look at dresses. Since Bella isn't going to the dance, she wanders off on her own. And because she's a dumbass, she gets lost and is quickly harassed by some dastardly miscreants. But never fear! Eddie Sparkles is here! she rescues her, then takes her to dinner and they have an awkward pseudo-date. The he drives her home and doesn't even TRY TO KISS HER! WOE!

Also, this is where I decide to start keeping track of how many times Stephenie Meyers ("Poop", if you're paying attention) mentions something about how pretty Edward is. I'll keep count of how many times she references his good looks, and how many synonyms for "pretty, oh so pretty" she managed to find in the thesaurus. Spoiler: I'm on Chapter 12 right now and we're already up to 25. Fun times. I think that, by the time this ends, I will have collected a veritable treasure trove of horrors, and it will be hilarious. I expect that the count will get much higher once I go back to the previous 7 chapters.

Real-Time Notes:

-Wow, Bella's socializing and not making fun of anyone, that's refreshing! She and the girls drive to Port Angeles so that the girls can buy dresses. Bella isn't going to the dance so she'll just come along. And sulk, probably.

-She spends a great deal of time describing the dresses the other girls are trying on. And it just kills me, too, because as I've mentioned before just about every other character in this book reads like a completely unimportant and boring meatpuppet. Bella doesn't care about them, so they don't matter in the least. So it's boring AND forgettable.

-Bella ditches them (see?) and wanders off to the bookstore on her own. She looks through books and describes the bookstore and everyone in it. This woman SERIOUSLY needs to learn to not describe shit that doesn't matter. She leaves the bookstore.

-Because she's so completely engrossed with thoughts of Eddie, she gets lost, and ends up being pursued by some thugs out on the street. I start skipping paragraphs of her describing every single step she takes and every sound she hears so that I can just get to the moment where the cavalry comes in in the shape of Edward Frakkin' Cullen. It's about 4 pages of buildup for a 2 second rescue that we saw coming fifteen pages ago.

- So she gets in his car and they drive off. Here's where I start keeping count.

1. "I studied his flawless features"

-Edward is completely ANGRY at Bella because...she didn't take care of herself and how DARE SHE go off on her own when she knows she's an idiot and a magnet for trouble! And I tear my hair out because WHAT A DREAM, THIS GUY. Bella was just scared out of her mind and almost attacked or worse and she has to TALK YOU DOWN? You fuck!

-Ugh. They go to a restaurant, and Jessica and Whatsherface are just leaving. Bella tells them to go on, because

"I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my perpetual savior."


-He keeps forcing her to do things: drink, eat some food, sit down, etc. And then this happens:

"I dazzle people?"
"You haven't noticed? Do you think everybody gets their way so easily?"
He ignored my questions. "Do I dazzle you?"
"Frequently," I admitted."


I think what she's TRYING to say is that he 'dazes' her, which would make a LOT more sense, but this woman is a complete fucktard and says Edward is dazzling. Like a fucking disco ball or strobe lights. Which, now that I think about it, makes PERFECT sense. Also, isn't there a superhero called Dazzler? And she goes around in roller skates and shoots glitter out of her hands and is completely useless? MAKES PERFECT SENSE. And I also think I had a My Little Pony called Dazzler.\

UPDATE: My friend Nathan pointed out to me that 'dazzle' is actually a very popular cliche in romance novels, which totally makes sense in the context of this novel. He'd also like to point out that reading romance novels from time to time doesn't make him any less of a Manly Man.

2."His face twisted up into that perfect crooked smile."

-GAH. He makes her drink. He tells her off for not having a jacket--and gives her his, of fucking course.

3. "underneath he wore an ivory turtleneck sweater. It fit him snugly, emphasizing how muscular his chest was."

I picture this and crack up, because obviously the Cullens have been keeping J. Crew in business forever, because they're the yuppiest vampires to ever live.

-There is a LOT of awkward banter following this. I...ok, have you ever listened to a couple of teenagers out on their first date? it is the most embarrassing thing in the whole world, and just painful and sad. That's exactly what reading this is like, only worse because Ol' Sparky over there is supposed to be really old.

-""I was wrong about you on one other thing, as well. You're not a magnet for accidents — that's not a broad enough classification. You are a magnet for trouble. If there is anything dangerous within a ten-mile radius, it will invariably find you."

Hey, Bella? Eds? I want to introduce you to my friend Mary Sue. I think Bella in particular will find that they have SO MUCH in common! a delight for the ages?


- Oh, get this. Apparently he always knows where she is because, well, he can read everyone's mind (not hers, of course) and he basically spies on her through them. Lovely. He's mind-stalking the shit out of you and you think it's the most swoonworthy thing a boy has ever said to you. KILL, BELLA! KILL!

-But no, he just decides to drive her home. Snore.

I wonder how you kill these "vampires"? Stain remover? Just some warm water and soap like when you need to get rid of glitter glue? Drop them off a cliff? Oooh! I like that.


Final Impression: The Wooing begins at last, and it's painful. I guess I can see some people thinking it's really sweet; young girls can fantasize about having the perfect first date, too, though they'll be disappointed when they find out that teenage boys can do ANYTHING but read a girl's mind. And the older ladies can think back on their first dates and wish that someone could read THEIR minds and know their every desire. It's just nothing more than simple, cheesy wish fulfillment, and I sort of get it. My problem is just that there's this giant white elephant in the room, Edward's "condition", and it's just plain creepy with its undertones of abusive relationships and such. I guess I can see how some people might say I'm thinking way too hard about this, but I really just find it obvious and not at all easy to miss. But, to each their own I suppose. Won't stop me from enumerating the many, many ways in which this book is a terrible example for women of all ages.


Final Grade: D. Something happens at last, but it's predictable and boring.



I went back to my notes and noticed that I had missed one "Perfect Eddie" tidbit. Here it is:

4) "It smelled amazing. I inhaled,trying to identify the delicious scent. It didn't smell like cologne."

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