Well, you have to step back from everything else and take a look at the fact that our country just nominated the first African American to a major party ticket in the race for President. That really is a huge deal, and Obama deserves some recognition for achieving that. I guess we are just ignoring the fact that his mother is white, right?
Last night, in his acceptance speech, Obama "touched on every single issue important to the American people." Isn't it funny how people say that about almost every politician they are supporting? Not to diss Obama, because he's just doing what everyone else does. The thing is, these politicians have analysts that do research and conduct polls and such and their job is to know what Joe Average American is concerned about. Then, they just make a laundry list and say they will save the world by "fixing" all of those things we need fixed. Honestly, anyone with charisma and enough money could stand up there and say, "I will end our country's dependence on oil, I will make sure there is affordable health care for every man woman and child, I will bring our troops home safely and end this war with Iraq with respect and dignity, I will lower taxes." What I would rather know is how the hell are you going to do all that? First of all, Congress has to be on board, because Presidents don't actually hold all of the power. Second of all, doing all that is basically impossible.
Doesn't everyone in politics make those same kind of promises? Isn't McCain also promising those sorts of things? How come they so rarely follow through? Well, because election is all they can think about. Obama's people want us to think that since he's black, he somehow understands the plight of the average American. And vice versa, because McCain is an older white guy, he is rich and out of touch. Wow, I didn't realize Obama was middle class. I wonder how he afforded to run for President. Are they honestly going to try to convince me that Obama is middle class and understands the average American? Let alone the average African American. /sigh. I wish the first black candidate could have been Colin Powell... now there's someone I would vote for. But I refuse to vote for Obama simply because he's black and it's a historical moment in our history. That's just my opinion.
Well, you have to step back from everything else and take a look at the fact that our country just nominated the first African American to a major party ticket in the race for President. That really is a huge deal, and Obama deserves some recognition for achieving that. I guess we are just ignoring the fact that his mother is white, right?
Almost all week, I have been in a sour mood. I have had headache after headache, I haven't slept well at all, and last night I woke up several times with stomach problems. I'm sure I am a terrible drain on G when I get this way, but I can't seem to just make myself snap out of it. It's about time for my period, so I'm sure the health issues and general lugubrious behavior can be attributed to that. (FYI, lugubrious means mournful, dismal, or gloomy... I use it for G's sake because he uses that word all the time but can never remember what it means.)
I hate that I don't have more control over myself this time of month. Granted, I am not really used to having a period and my body is still adjusting to the Metformin and all, but still. I feel like I should be able to just snap out of it and be happy. Isn't that what I'm taking all the other drugs for? At least it is Thursday and a three day weekend lies ahead. Hopefully I can hold on to that knowledge and squeeze out at least two productive days this week. Can I force myself to overcome the hormonal imbalance that is PMS? We shall see.
Well, if I've been in a bad mood this week, I need to just think about this lady and it should make me feel better. Her name is Mayra Rosales and she weighs half a ton. That's 1,000 pounds. I can't even fathom how someone gets to be that big! I mean, thyroid problems, sure... but if you take care of yourself, even someone with gland issues won't weigh anywhere near 1,000 pounds. That's just a crapload of eating and absolutely no exercise.
The woman has made the news recently because her two year old nephew, whom she was babysitting, suffered trauma to his head and died. Now, first of all, who the freak leaves their 2 year old with a half ton babysitter? The woman cannot leave her room because she doesn't fit through the door. How the heck can she be expected to watch a two year old and keep them in line? Apparently, she had some kind of object that she hit him with, or at least that's what the prosecution is saying.
The problem the court is facing in this case is that the woman cannot physically leave her house. To force her to go to the court room would be detrimental to her "health" and she definitely would not fit into any jail. Of course, someone who weighs 1,000 pounds can't really be that concerned about her health. Her defense attorney is saying that she is just physically too big and too immobile to have hit her nephew. The boy's mother claims that she believes her obese sister might have accidentally rolled over onto the toddler, crushing him, and that it was unintentional. I don't know what the truth is or what will end up happening in this case, but there is an obvious lesson to be learned here. NEVER LET A 1,000 POUND WOMAN BABYSIT YOUR KID.
Last night was not pleasant. It was one of those nights where you have a headache from hell that just won't go away and your body will not let you sleep through it. At about 2 AM, I got up and retrieved an ice pack from the fridge, putting it over my forehead and my right eye. It helped a little bit, but I still was awake at 3 when I looked over at the clock last. I still have a headache this morning, despite the Excedrin last night and the Ibuprofen I took this morning. Rain moved into our area last night, and I think it's the pressure changes working its destruction against my sinuses or something. Either way, it hindered my work yesterday, and I just can't let it do the same today. I will just have to figure out how to ignore it and work through it. But for someone who loves to sleep as much as I do, a night of restlessness is torture.
My second theory about what could be causing the headaches is getting Barack Obama shoved down my throat. People can't stop talking about the Democratic Convention and he's all over TV, not to mention all of my favorite internet sites. Even People.com, my favorite guilty pleasure where I go every morning to read about the lives of the rich and famous, has gotten on board with the Obama train and pasted news of him and his wife all over the place. I actually did click on a story about his wife's speech at the convention yesterday. It was almost enough to make me puke.
Any politician's wife that says, "The Barack Obama I know today is the same man I fell in love with 19 years ago," is completely full of shit. No one stays the same over the course of 19 years. Hell, I'm different now than I was 2 years ago, much less 19. If nothing he's been through or experienced in the past 19 years of his life has made enough of an impact to change him, then he must be a very narrow minded individual. If she is planning to try to convince a nation that Barry Obama... oh excuse me, he's going by Barack since he started his campaign... is the only politician to ever resist the corruption that we see everyday in politics, she is fighting an impossible battle. Power corrupts. Politicians who get to a certain level are all corrupt. You'll have a hard time convincing me otherwise.
Her job at the convention is to represent her husband with style and to prove that he's a good, honest family man that deserves her respect, blah blah blah. It's all completely an act, just like with every other politician. That's the only way to get elected these days. She told some sappy story about how he drove her and their baby daughter home from the hospital 10 years ago "inching along at a snail's pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands..." Oh God, where's the toilet? People reports that during her speech, "Her voice caught with emotion and she sniffed several times." If you think that every bit of that, down to the sniff wasn't choreographed and planned, you are a fool.
At the end of her speech, their two daughters joined her on the stage, accompanied by a recording of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" (yuck), while Obama himself appeared via satellite. When they all said goodnight (in front of the entire convention and cameras and all), the two adorable daughters called out, "I love you, Daddy." How sweet and contrived. I am sure his daughters are sweet, but I'm not going to vote for him just because he has cute sweet daughters who love him.
This weekend, I was rather proud of myself for getting so much done. I got all of the laundry done, cleaned up quite a bit, I wrote a good bit on Friday, and I spent a lot of quality time with G. I can only hope that a productive weekend leads right into a very productive week for me. My goal is to finish this short story I have been working on, and to get at least another 2500 words in my novel. It would definitely be amazing to finally really finish something and get it out there in search of a publishing home.
It's supposed to rain most of the week here, especially after Wednesday, and sometimes that can make me want to just be in bed. I will have to ignore those kind of impulses in favor of writing and working hard, so wish me luck :P. At least I'm not facing what they are facing in Florida. It looks terrible down there, but at least the worst of the storm seemed to go right around my friend T.
Okay, 9:00. Time to get to work. Exercise, then write. I'll let you know how it goes :).
Isn't sleeping in the best thing? I guess there are some weird people who claim they just "can't" sleep in, no matter how hard they try. I am not one of those people. Sometimes I just can't get to sleep at night... but I never have a problem sleeping in when it comes to mornings.
G is home sick today with a terrible sore throat and cold. He rarely ever sleeps in, but today he really needed it. I, of course, slept in as well, even though I am not sick. I am a bad fiancee, because I should have been up making sure he had cough drops and water and anything else he needed. Then again, he was sleeping, so what could he possibly need other than rest? Oh well, I will just have to be an extra good fiancee for the rest of the weekend and make sure that he is taken care of.
Have a good weekend all, and be sure to sleep in at least once this weekend if you get the chance. It's good for you :).
If you have been keeping up with this blog, you know that I have been struggling with my weight for quite some time now. Which is to say, I have been struggling with self-control. My doctor also believes that I was having a hard time losing weight because of how my body processes sugars due to PCOS. I have been taking Metformin, which is technically a drug that treats diabetes, and it has made me somewhat sick, but the results have been worth it. I am also taking Prozac and Wellbutrin for depression, which have both worked together to help me focus more on the positive rather than the past.
Anyway, I started at 200 pounds, which is embarrassing to even admit, but that is the largest I have ever been. (And I was there for too long) After weight watchers and a lot of money, I was only able to lose and keep off about 5 pounds. So, I hovered around 195 for months. And months. When I started the new medications, things started to get easier. I added Jazzercise several times a week, which is amazing exercise, and so much fun. (And dropped Weight Watchers which just wasn't working for me.) Also, as you also know, I got engaged (!), and the idea of being fat at my wedding is enough to motivate me for sure. With that extra inspiration, I have actually started to see a difference in my figure. This morning, I weighed in at only 185 pounds! It feels really good to be losing some weight after struggling for so long. So, 15 pounds gone, 40 more to lose. Combined with exercise to keep me fit and healthy, I should be on track to have the perfect beach bod in time for my Caribbean wedding!
I am almost in shock, I think. I can't believe that he is gone. Dave Matthews Band's amazing Saxophone player died yesterday. LeRoi Moore was a founding member of the band and played more than just the Saxophone. He also played the flute, the clarinet,, and all range of saxophones from bass, baritone, tenor, alto and soprano sax. LeRoi was also a big contributor to the arrangement of many of DMB's songs such as "Stay." He was one of the great musicians of our time, and I am sad to see him go.
In a concert in LA last night, Dave told the crowd, "We all some bad news today. Our good friend LeRoi moore passed on and gave his ghost up today and we will miss him forever." Later in the concert he also said, "It's easier to leave than to be left." I honestly don't know how Dave had the strength to keep performing after losing such a great friend. I guess for him, music is the easiest way to let out his emotions. Dave and LeRoi had been together since 1991 when Dave convinced LeRoi to give up his weekly jazz performances to play with him. Dave at the time was just a bartender at the club where LeRoi played. I always thought it was funny to read about how LeRoi was not that impressed with Dave's musical skills at first, but ultimately decided to take a risk and join him. It was definitely the right choice.
LeRoi Moore made woodwinds a part of a rock band, which is something most bands just don't have. His saxophone rifts and flute melodies are vital to DMB's songs, putting the woodwinds at the forefront of the song in so many cases. He could play almost any style from jazz to funk to classical, and his ability to change styles quickly and effortlessly was one of his greatest talents. He was one of the more private and quiet members of the band, prefering, it seemed, to play rather than speak.
I had the pleasure of going to see DMB in early July, but I missed getting to see LeRoi play. The concert was just days after LeRoi was hurt in an ATV accident. Jeff Coffin, who plays with Bela Fleck, was in place to substitute for Moore. Our whole crowd was shouting "LeRoi, LeRoi, LeRoi" and Dave said that he would pass on the good wishes to his dear friend. I had no idea that his accident was so serious. Apparently, he was released from the hospital to begin intensive physical therapy at home, but then was readmitted due to "complications." He was only 46 years old.
One of my favorite songs by DMB is "Say Goodbye" and the versions I love the best are where LeRoi adds his beautiful, graceful flute. Sure, the Tim Reynolds versions are good, but nothing compares to that flute part. LeRoi Moore had a gift. And like it says in the song "Stay" that he co-wrote with Dave, "I shall miss these things, When it all rolls by." LeRoi, you will be missed.
When you marry a career politician, I guess you come to expect certain things. Like lies, for one. I would venture to say that a large majority of politicians lie to get where they want to be, and I think most of America would agree with that statement. However, it's also possible that the women who marry these men in politics are suckers for the lies, just like the public that vote for him. (Yes, I know there are female politicians too, but for today's purposes, I'm just talking about male politicians.)
John Edwards is definitely a career politician. He was a lawyer, then served a term as a Senator here in North Carolina. In 2004, he "retired" from the Senate and was named the Vice President running mate of John Kerry. He also was in the early race for the big seat in 2008 until the primaries, where he switched to supporting Obama (probably hoping for another VP appointment). Needless to say, Edwards is a politician with high goals.
Up until recently, he was also a highly respected politician. He's young and good looking, and he seems honest and forthright. I'm sure his wife believed all of those things as well. In October of 2007, certain tabloids started accusing him of having an affair with one of his campaign workers, which he denied, of course. I wonder how he handled that situations with Elizabeth. I can imagine him telling her, "Don't worry, my love. Those magazines will say anything to sell a few extra copies. I love you, I would never do anything to hurt you." Blah Blah Blah. In July 2008, he came forward in the press to deny the allegations, which some were saying seriously hurt his campaign and hopes for the VP nod.
Edwards and his lies could only last so long, however, and earlier this month, he came forward in a TV interview to admit his affair. The woman, Rielle Hunter, had indeed worked on his campaign and had since had a baby girl, which many were saying was Edwards' child. In his admission to the affair, he made sure to say that he was NOT the father of the child and was willing to take a paternity test. Ms. Hunter, however, adamantly refused to allow a test (how convenient for him) "now or in the future". Also, another campaign worker, Andrew Young, admitted to being the child's father. Wow, it's amazing how things just fall into place when influential people need them to.
Now, on the cover of several magazines, Elizabeth Edwards is the strong martyr. She's the woman who has stood by her man and will do anything to keep her family together. She is a poster child for forgiveness and we are all told to look up to her and hail her as the ideal family woman. I say bullshit. Sure, I feel sorry for her, just as I feel sympathy for any woman whose husband has cheated on them. However, I refuse to champion her decision to stay with him and fight to keep them together. She should be leaving his ass, and teaching every woman in this country who has a lying cheating husband that they don't have to live like that.
I imagine most politician's wives learn to expect scandal and lies, and they probably had to make up their minds about whether to stay or leave a long time ago. Hilary Clinton was not about to leave Bill for his indiscretions. She was getting too much out of the marriage (and I don't mean sexually). Maybe Elizabeth Edwards enjoys being in the limelight. Maybe she loves being a politician's wife. Or perhaps she's just scared of starting over when she's got cancer. I just wish, for once, that a spurned politician's wife would come out in People magazine and say, "Fuck him. I gave him all the love and support he needed and he betrayed me. He will betray you too, if you ever vote for him." Now that, I would champion.
Congratulations to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi who got married Saturday night in a very intimate ceremony in LA. Earlier this year, California's Supreme Court ruled that the ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. Several gay and lesbian celebrity couples announced that they were getting married after that ruling, but one of the most public was Ellen's announcement that she would marry her partner of 4 years, Portia. And let me tell you, she certainly put some money into the gorgeous 3-carat diamond ring that she gave to Portia. The ceremony, however, was not put on public display. The opted, instead, for a private crowd of friends and family (both of their mothers were there to support them) at their home.
This is the kind of news that I see and think, "Good for them." I am engaged too, and I know what it means to be in love. I just don't understand why some people look at this and are disgusted or angry that our social values are going out the window and our morals are corrupt. Sure, I am a woman engaged to a man. What difference does it really make when there is love? And how does a wedding between two women in California hurt anyone? Some people say that it affects the whole country. How? By showing people that they can be themselves and not be afraid of who they are? I don't see anything wrong with that.
My own sister is a lesbian living with her partner of almost 10 years, and they are raising their beautiful three year old daughter together. They can't legally get married in Georgia, and I hate that for them. Plus, as the stay at home Mom, my sister is put in a dangerous position were they to ever break up. Without the same legal rights as a spouse, she would end up with nothing to show for their years together. I just don't understand why so many people are so opposed to the idea of gay/lesbian marriage. They are living together and loving each other anyway. Why not allow that community (which makes up a considerable part of our country) the same chance to express their love? Can you honestly tell me that it disrupts the "sacredness" of the marriage contract, or whatever bullshit people start spouting about reasons to ban gay marriage? It's not as though half the people getting married these days take it as seriously as it should be taken anyway. Gay or Straight. Even me, the first time.
I was married to a man for four years, and when we got divorced, we both had rights to an equal distribution of our marital property. Shouldn't my sister have those same rights when she's been in an everything but official marriage with her partner for 10 years? I hope that all states eventually agree with California's ruling and allow gay marriage. Not because I am gay and want to get married, but simply because, if two people love each other and are willing to enter into that committment, they should be allowed to! So, grats to Ellen and Portia, may your marriage be filled with happiness and love.
Wow!! It was definitely worth staying up late last night to watch the finals in the women's all-around gymnastics at the Olympics! Before the competition began, NBC was all about Shawn Johnson, almost making it seem like Nastia Liukin was an afterthought, which I thought was not quite fair. After seeing the team competition on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning there), I could see that both girls had amazing talent. Shawn has power and precision wrapped up in a very athletic and cute package. Nastia, however, just has that grace and beauty that you expect from an artistic gymnast.
I always get so nervous for the Americans in the gymnastics competition. (Also the Ice Skating in the winter Olympics!) I think it has to do with the fact that instead of competing side by side like you do with the swimming or racing, you are performing all by yourself with a billion eyes on you. It's totally nervewracking, and I honestly don't know how these young women handle the pressure.
Watching them last night, you could tell that Nastia and Shawn were determined to do their best. Shawn had a very solid performance, only taking some steps on her dismounts, earning her a silver medal just above the Chinese gymnast, Yang Yilin. But it was Nastia that truly shined! Her first round was on the vault, and I still can't see where in the world the judges found any deductions. She got great height, looked amazing in the air with her feet together, and stuck the landing without a wobble. I thought it looked like a perfect 10 or damn near close to it, but I think the judges scored here at 9.5 or something. Her uneven bars were graceful and beautiful as well. She had a tiny bobble and I think she took a step on the landing, but her score was pretty good. She did not do as great as she had done on the team night, but it was still very nice! Her balance beam routine was just about perfect as well. Everything was executed with precision and grace. And in the end, it all came down to her floor exercise. I was so nervous that she was going to go out of bounds like so many of them had done in the team competition! Watching her, I had my hands pressed together in nervousness, praying for her to do a great job, and boy did she deliver! That was one of the most perfect and beautiful floor routines I've ever seen at the Olympics!
Oh, and how cute was Bella Carolli (or however you spell it) in the studio with Bob Costas? When they showed him watching Nastia's performance, I just thought he was the sweetest and cutest ever. Of course, you can barely understand him half of the time, but you can tell how excited he is and how much he is truly rooting for those girls!
When she received her very high scores on floor routine, putting her above Yang Yilin with only Shawn left to perform, she and her father exchanged a very knowing and hopeful look. It seemed to say, "Wow, I think I just won!" Shawn's floor routine was almost flawless as well, and she received a score good enough to move her above Yilin as well, but not above Nastia. For the first time in history, American women won Gold and Silver in the Olympic women's all-around competition. It was a beautiful sight to see. Congratulations to both girls who have worked so hard for so many years, and made so many sacrifices in order to be the best! I can't wait to see the indivudual competitions. I wouldn't be surprised to see Nastia win another gold or two!!
I had a wonderful weekend with my girl friends last weekend! I haven't seen them since B's wedding last October, and it was so good to spend a few days talking nonstop about what we have been up to since then. Of course, we email each other regularly, but that is not the same as actually sitting down together and sharing stories and talking face to face.
Kel couldn't hang out with us as much as I had hoped because she has a two year old that is difficult to put to sleep sometimes. Plus, she's pregnant and needs her sleep as well. B had her own room, but Kat and I slept in the same bed, which means that we stayed up talking into the wee hours of the morning. It was so nice to have girlfriends to share my life with and to listen to. The second night, B stayed up with us and we talked until about 3 am. It was wonderful!
Kel's husband cooked for us a few times and it was amazing! They were both super sweet to us, paying for meals and cooking and sharing their house. It was really above and beyond what I expected, and it really touched my heart that they were such amazing hosts. The last night we were there, he made strawberry shortcake using angel food cake as the base, with whipped cream and fresh strawberries on top. It was delicious!
Kat and Kel had to head to sleep early the very last night, due to early morning responsibilities. B and I stayed up pretty late, but got up early with Kat to take her to the airport. I, of course, went back to sleep for a bit when we got home, and when I got up, it was only me and B left. We went to lunch and talked just like no time had ever passed when we were apart. I really miss my college friends. We were all so different back then, and yet we really understand and love each other for who we were and who we have become. I miss them so much already.
Yes, I stayed up too late again last night watching the Olympics. I would hate to miss any of the gymnastics! It has always been my favorite summer Olympic sport. The new scoring system is taking some time to get used to, but I guess I understand why they have changed. Instead of scoring on a 1 to 10 basis like before, now they have two scores that they add together. The first score is the "difficulty" of the routine. It seemed like most of the routines ranged from 5.8 to 7.7'ish. So, gymnasts have to decide whether to play it safe with a less difficult routine, hoping to score really high on their execution, or to take a risk with a higher difficulty and hope they nail it for a super high score. The execution score is the second score, and that is the normal 1 to 10 score that we are used to from previous years.
Last night, primetime really only showed the teams from China and the United States. I wish they had shown more of the other teams, but they only showed a glimpse of Russia and Romania. The battle for gold seemed like a battle until the third event.. the balance beam. Sure, a chinese girl fell off, but so did one of our girls. We were a full point behind when the floor exercise started. It was the final event of the team competition and the Americans pretty much fell apart. Everyone stepped out of bounds, Alicia Sacramoni fell... again. They were definitely still good enough for a silver medal, but gold was just too hard against such an amazing team from China.
So, after both men and women have competed, China wins everything so far in gymnastics. The commentators were telling us that the gymnasts are chosen from daycares and nurseries when they are about 3 years old, and are taken from their families to train and live with other gymnasts. The girls only get to see their parents once a year, if that. One of the Chinese girls (Cheng Fei? maybe, but I can't be sure) actually wrote home years ago telling her parents that she wanted to come home. She did not want to be a gymnast. Her parents told her no, that she needed to "stick with the program." I can't imagine what it would be like to have no choice in the matter. Those athletes have an entirely different kind of pressure put upon them than American athletes. For the Chinese girls' sake, I am glad they won.
I love to watch the Olympics. When I was little, I used to get dressed up in my gymnastics leotard or my bathing suit and pretend that I was one of them. Of course, I never actually learned any of the strokes, and I was politely told I would never be a gymnast when I reached a certain height. I still love to watch, though, and cheer for the athletes that work so hard for so many years.
The United States seems to be dominating the swimming races this year. Well, I guess we are usually really good in the swimming competitions, but this year seems to be even crazier than normal. Michael Phelps is already 3 for 3 in his gold medal search, putting him at 9 total gold medals and 11 medals overall in his career. I am definitely cheering for him and hoping to see a truly talented young man break the record for the most gold medals in one Olympic games.
I like to watch the diving, too, but it seems that so far, the Chinese are unstoppable. I haven't seen any of the track and field yet, so I am assuming that it hasn't started. My favorite sport to watch, however, has always been gymnastics. (And that is honestly even second to my favorite winter sport, Ice Skating) Last night, I stayed up way past my body's desire to sleep in order to watch the USA men's gymnastic team win the bronze medal. It is simply amazing how much strength and agility those men have. The Chinese team was the best this year with almost perfect routines, and I know it must have been a very important day for their country to watch them win the gold in Beijing. Japan moved ahead of the USA in the last event to win the silver, but I was still excited for the US men. They were definitely the underdogs this year after losing two of their best athletes to injuries before the games. No one thought they had even a chance to medal, but they really gave it their all and came out winners.
Tonight it gets even better with the women's gymnastics all-around competition. Unlike the men, the women are expected to compete for gold. Injuries have also caused some trouble for the women's team after two different girls were injured while practicing in Beijing. Hopefully everyone else will stay safe and be on top of their game tonight. I will definitely be there watching and cheering them on!
This will be my last post for the week, because tomorrow I will head to Charlotte to see my three best friends from college. I haven't seen them since last October, and I cannot wait! Two of them are pregnant, and I bet they look so beautiful! We aren't planning to do a whole lot, as far as I know, and I am most looking forward to just catching up and hearing all about their plans and what is on their minds.
I feel like I have so much to do today! I have to pack, make sure my camera is charged, clean up as much as possible so I leave G with a clean kitchen and everything, write at least 1000 words in my novel, and then head out to get my nails and toes done (have to show off that new ring of course :). I plan to also stop by the jewelry store where G bought my beautiful diamond ring and get it cleaned and polished. You wouldn't believe how much it sparkles!!
I better get to work. I leave pretty early in the morning, so I have to get a good night's sleep tonight! If I do, it will be my first this week. Hopefully I can get to bed early and will be able to calm down enough to fall asleep! I'll be back to post on Tuesday, so have a great weekend!
I finally finished "Breaking Dawn". Well, I say finally, but I guess the book hasn't even been out for more than five days, so I guess I finished it pretty quickly for an almost 800 page book. Let me just say that it was fantastic! The author definitely took the story in a direction that I never would have imagined. At first, it honestly freaked me out. I still think it is awfully adult themed throughout the book, but I guess it's not like I've studied teen and young adult novels in depth lately, so maybe that is the norm.
I think that Stephanie Meyer is an amazing author with a very vivid imagination and a talent for making you love the characters in her books. I hope that I can write a book with as much impact as the Twilight books someday. Hmm. Now that I've finished that series, what in the world should I read next? I'll have to give that some thought....
Last night I thought I would read a bit of my new book before bed, but like the first three books in the series, it gripped me and would not let go. Breaking Dawn is so unlike the other three books that it left me wide-eyed and amazed even until 4 am. That's when I finally had to put it down and go to sleep because my brain was telling me I had to get at least a little bit before it was time to get up again.
I don't want to ruin the plot or anything, but let me just say... WTF? I was definitely not expecting this. I guess that is a good thing, but for a novel series that is marketed towards teens and young adults, this final book took on substantially more adult themes. The imagery went from mainly sweet and fun and interesting to completely disgusting and bizarre.
The writing is excellent, but I question the direction she took the plot. I am, at this point, still only halfway through the book. There are three main parts and I had to stop right at the end of the second part. I can't judge the entirety of the book until I have read it all, but so far, I am just not sure what I think. In an online interview before the book came out, Stephanie Meyer, the author of the saga, said that she hoped she had given it the ending that her readers were hoping for. Like I said, I hate to judge it before it's over, but I would say that a lot of her readers are going to be shocked. I am interested to read the reviews and feedback on it once I am finished. For now, though, I don't want anyone to spoil the third part of the book for me. I am currently on page 369 of 754. Almost halfway through.
Let me just say this before I log off... if parents were raising hell about Harry Potter's magic themes and such, then I'm sure there will be some backlash against this book. I personally hope the next half of the book is a little less bizarre and a bit more satisfying. I'll let you know.
As I had written about earlier, Stephanie Meyer's last book in the Twilight Saga was released this weekend. August 2nd was the release date, and like they did with Harry Potter, Barnes and Noble had a midnight release "party". Now, I didn't actuallly go to the Harry Potter midnight party, because I knew it was going to be long lines and completely mayhem. I thought that Breaking Dawn might be a little bit different.
When I reserved my book over a month ago, the cashier told me that I could pick up my book at midnight on Friday night. The little party invitation she gave me said that you could "wear your prom dress" and that the festivities started at 10. I personally had no desire to participate in the festivities, especially since the series is mainly geared towards teenagers. Instead, G and I headed over to Barnes and Noble just before midnight hoping to pick up the book and head home. As we drove up, however, we realized that it would not be quite that simple.
I am not sure exactly what I expected, but I never thought there would be that many people there. We're talking hundreds of people, mostly girls still in middle and high school, some wearing prom dresses, others wearing outfits relating to the books in some other way. I even saw one couple that had painted vampire bites onto their necks. The truth is, I was lucky to even get in to see these people. As we approached the door, a heavy middle aged employee said "Sorry, we're not letting anyone else in." Shit! He said they were afraid if they kept letting people in they would be there until five in the morning. I was seriously pissed at first. It's stupid for a bookstore to say that you can pick up your copy of the book at midnight... and then turn you away when you arrive at midnight to pick up your book. In the end, of course, he did let me in, but only because I had a book already reserved.
A lady inside gave me a red armband that said number 188 on it, and a sticker sheet that said things like "My heart belongs to Edward." Being a bit PMS'y, I was mostly irritated by the whole thing, but looking back on it now, it was actual amazing. All over the country, teenagers and adults got dressed up and went to book stores just because they couldn't wait another day to get their copy of the new book. There was so much excitement in the room! They called people to the checkouts based on the color and number of their armbands, and whenever they would call another group, cheers would erupt as people stampeded towards the checkout line.
I wonder if Stephanie Meyer herself was at one of the bookstores at midnight to talk about the series? If so, I wonder how it must have felt to be the author of a book that so many people were so excited to get their hands on? I'm sure she had no idea how big these books would be when she first sat down to write that first one, and yet here she is four books later, probably a very wealthy woman with a world full of people that love and identify with the characters she created. That must be an amazing feeling.
Around 12:35, G and I emerged from the bookstore, copy in hand, and headed home. I have started the book, but I haven't gotten too deep into it yet. I know that once I really start reading, I won't be able to put it down for hours.
It seems to be a hobby in our country to spend time and money on research and polls that state the obvious. At least once a week, you can find something in the news about "study at such and such university shows that people who eat 4000 calories or more a day are generally overweight." Why is this something that was studied in the first place? Was there ever really any possibility of a different outcome? And furthermore, how the hell did it make the news? "A Recent study revealed absolutely nothing we didn't know before." Wow, thanks for that nugget of completely useless information.
Today on CNN's website, I read this jewel of a story: Poll indicates that the country's mood is low. Oh really? Could that have anything to do with the fact that gas prices are so out of control that people can barely afford to get to work? Do you actually think people are having doubts about the health of our country when inflation is rising at alarming rates and instead of most people making more money, a lot of people are losing their jobs? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when a record number of people are losing their homes to foreclosure and losing their jobs to downsizing that the country's general attitude is going to reflect it.
I guess the reason for this being a news story is just how low those numbers are. 24% of Americans have a positive outlook for the country, and 76% say we are on the wrong track. Just a little over a year ago, it was more like 50/50. Everyone, of course, is quick to point a finger at President Bush, but it goes so much deeper than that. There are decisions that Bill Clinton made that have only been really felt in recent years. (That's why there's almost no textile factories in our country anymore.) I personally think that there are a few very powerful and very rich corporations that are more in control of our daily lives as Americans than any President ever will be. Hell, CNN itself has more control over our attitudes and lives than almost anyone.
The big news from here until the election is going to be all about Obama vs. McCain. It's an interesting decision. Obama and his supporters are declaring him to be the voice of change that our country needs. I'm not so sure about that, but it sure does seem that Obama gets a lot more support in the media than McCain. The President will never again be as powerful as the media in America.
Okay, so I got off on a tangent there, but hopefully you see my point. It's not news that Americans are in a generally bad mood about our current state as a country. Unless you are super rich or too poor to know any better, your life has probably been affected by the rising gas prices which have led to rising everything. (except salaries, of course) It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a CNN poll to figure that out.