Archive for October, 2008
Warning: Spoilers alert
“It’s twilight,” Edward murmured, looking at the western horizon, obscured as it was with clouds. His voice was thoughtful, as if his mind were somewhere far away. I stared at him as he gazed unseeingly out the windshield.
I was still staring when his eyes suddenly shifted back to mine.
“It’s the safest time of day for us,” he said, answering the unspoken question in my eyes. “The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way . . . the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don’t you think?” He smiled wistfully.
“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars,” I frowned. “Not that you see them here much.”
He laughed, and the mood abruptly lightened.
~ Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, pages 232 to 233
Yes, I got hooked. And I’ve already read it twice. And the sequel, New Moon, once.
I first heard about the Twilight series in Rhodora’s post when she mentioned how her teenage daughter was obsessing over Stephenie Meyer’s books, but I didn’t pay much attention then. I thought it was just a teenage craze. My 21-year old niece also told me that she has read the books. Then I heard about how Twilight was being made into a film. What really got me interested was finding out that Robert Pattinson (you know him as Cedric Diggory from the Harry Potter movies) is playing Edward Cullen.
Edward is the main male character in the series and is the object of affection of Bella Swan, the 17-year old narrator of Twilight. Bella describes Edward as this beautiful boy who stands like a Greek god. He moves with grace and he looks like Adonis with his perfectly muscled chest. He has bronze-colored hair. He has a perfect face. He has long black lashes and when his eyes are not as dark as black coal, they are deep golden honey color. He has this scorching look that dazzles people and makes Bella hyperventilate. He has a perfect set of white teeth and a perfect crooked smile. His breath has this exquisite scent and he has this smoldering voice that makes Bella try hard to remember to breathe.
But these perfect and beautiful features are not what really make Edward and his family stand out from the rest. You see, everyone in his family is chalky pale and they have dark, purplish, bruise-like shadows under their eyes, as if they all suffer from sleepless nights.
And they do. The Cullens don’t sleep. Because they are vampires. Bella is in love with a vampire. But don’t you worry. The Cullens are a different kind of vampires. They don’t drink human blood. They hunt animals instead. But even so, Bella’s scent is so appealing to Edward and that is the conflict that he has to fight within himself so as not to hurt Bella.
I read in Wikipedia that the apple in the cover represents the forbidden fruit from the book of Genesis. It also represents the forbidden love between the human Bella and the vampire Edward.
I’ve also read that Twilight has been criticised as portraying sexual frustration accompanying adolescence. But isn’t that a good thing in some ways? Let’s say that it is mostly the adolescents and young adults who are reading this book, it’s sending them the message that yes, it is normal to feel the sexual frustration, and yes, it’s also okay to wait. Right?
But I have to admit, I like the way Meyer describes how Edward would brush his icy fingertips on Bella’s cheekbone or how he would brush his lips along her jaw, from her ear to chin, back and forth. I find it titillating. Okay, I’m going to stop there before I censor my own post. 🙂
I was disappointed when I found out that the release date of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was delayed to July 2009. I was looking forward to seeing it this November. But Twilight moved in and is taking over that date. I think that is a very good replacement.
I saw this trailer of Twilight last week. Can’t wait to see it. I wonder if Robert will live up to the description of Edward in the book.
Updated December 2008:
Click here for my Twilight movie review
Friday night finds me watching this week’s episode of Ugly Betty with the kids while we are having supper. During the first 15 minutes, Alexis reveals to Daniel that he isn’t Daniel Jr.’s father. She is. “Oh, he was a boy,” my 14-year old asks. “Yeah,” I reply. Then Daniel punches his sister in the face. Within the next half hour or so, Betty’s sister, Hilda, makes out with Coach Diaz and when he leaves Betty’s apartment, his wife appears from hiding. And then, I realize, maybe it isn’t such a good idea to let the kids watch it with me. They know I love Ugly Betty so much. Will they think it’s because of these topics being portrayed on screen? What values am I trying to impart to them by letting them watch this?
But as the show progresses, I start to remember why I love Ugly Betty.
First, there’s Daniel, Betty’s boss, who’s trying to hide DJ from his grandparents who came to America to pick up their grandson and return to France with him. They explain to Daniel that since they lost their daughter, he is all they have. But Daniel has learned to love DJ and wants to run away with him. And then later Betty asks him, “Are they awful people?” Daniel says, “No, not at all.” Then Betty says, “Two nice people show up to get their grandson and all of a sudden, you want to be an international fugitive.” Betty continues, “Sometimes when we want something really bad, we forget that there are other people involved. We just get stuck in our own little worlds and it doesn’t matter what other people feel… except that it … it does matter.”
That’s when Betty finally realizes why Gio thinks that she lives in Betty Suarez Land. Gio thinks that she broke up with him to make her life better. Betty thinks that she’s making him feel better when she said that they can still be friends. But he is hurt and that’s why he wants to ban her from Gio’s Deli and from his life.
But later on, after spending the day with Betty, after “breathing the same air,” Gio realizes that he can tolerate being with her even though she had hurt her. He admits to Betty, “I guess it was stupid banning you from my life.” “No,” she says, “it’s not stupid. Not if that’s what you feel.” And then he says, “I watch you at work, swimming with those sharks at Mode (magazine), keeping Daniel’s head above water. I don’t blame you for choosing yourself.” Because you see, last season, Betty was torn between Henry, who proposed to her, and Gio, who asked her to come to Rome with him. But she chose neither and she went hiking the Grand Canyon and climbing Mt. Yomesite by herself.
Then there’s Hilda. She’s been seeing Tony Diaz whom she later finds out is still married. But he says that he’s breaking up with the wife. Tony makes Hilda happy and she hangs on to that promise. But the wife shows up at her parlour and tells her that although they have drifted apart, she still loves her husband. All she wants is a second chance in her marriage. Hilda breaks it off with Tony because she once lost that second chance herself. And who’s the first person to hug and comfort her? Her dad, Ignacio, who has been opposed to the relationship all along.
And speaking of familial love, Claire Mead goes through such lengths as giving away her daughter’s share of the magazine to the evil Wilhelmina Slater just so her daughter could get out of jail. And when Willie reminds her that it might make Daniel mad, she says, “Daniel and Alexis have had their differences, but at the end of the day, they’re still brother and sister. And that’s all that really matters.”
It is all that matters, right? Inspite of all our differences with family members, we still stick up with each other. Sometimes, it may seem that we want to tear each other’s eyes out, but we know that in the end, we will find a way to settle our differences, if not, at least accept them.
To sum it all up, let me just end with this quote from Alexis, “Thanks, mom, for always being there, for never judging me.” I think that says it all. Nothing can compare to a parent’s love.
And that’s why I love Ugly Betty and why this is one of my favourite episodes. Not only can I relate to how the characters feel (characters like Hilda, Betty, Claire or even Ignatio. And in my life, I’ve had known a Daniel Meade or a Wilhelmina Slater, or a DJ), but amidst all the chaos and all the mistakes the characters make, they do redeem themselves in some way or another. And I guess that is not such a bad lesson to teach the kids.
This past week’s episode of The Office deals with Work Ethics.
When Holly, the HR at Scranton branch of Dundler Mifflin, holds a seminar on Work Ethics, the employees are encouraged to give examples of bad ethics. The shocker of them all is Meredith’s confession that she sleeps with one of the supplier’s rep so she could get a discount, and also steak coupons. And that she’s been sleeping with him for six years now. Holly thinks this could be a reason for Meredith’s termination. But Michael doesn’t like that. He tries to negotiate with Holly. And in the end, Corporate decides not to fire Meredith since she’s helping the company save money at a tough time. Now, only in a sitcom like The Office does that happen, am I right? 🙂
One of the bad ethics that came up at the seminar is time theft – stealing company time. It’s really funny how Jim has been annoying Dwight, setting up his timer when Dwight lets out a long yawn or listens to his conversation with Andy, just trying to prove to Dwight that he does use company time for personal use. 🙂
Now, aren’t we all guilty of stealing company time? I can be all prude and say that I don’t blog or surf the internet at work. That’s true, but I have to admit that I’m guilty of stealing company time once in a while. Like chatting with my girl friend(s) or family members on the phone during work hours, or going to mentioned girl friend(s)’ desk(s) to chat while the supervisor isn’t looking. 🙂 But in my defense, I don’t do that a lot. And I try to limit the visiting during break times, although sometimes it takes more than the alloted ten minutes. But in fairness also, if I feel that these distractions have affected my productivity for that day, I do stay an extra 10-15 minutes. So please don’t tell on me. 🙂
What about you, are you also guilty of stealing company time? What other bad work ethics are you guilty of?
TV Quotes of the Week:
(I apologize to the ladies, but I just can’t pass this one up.)
“Women are often variable. Only madmen believe them.”
~ King of France to King Henry VIII, on his wife and sister changing their minds on meeting Henry’s mistress, Lady Anne. THE TUDORS.
Betty: Is it really naive to want to believe in people?
Dad Ignacio: That’s not being naive, mija. That’s faith.
UGLY BETTY. This is when Betty’s having second thoughts on boss Daniel’s innocence in pushing her pregnant friend, Christina on the stairs.
And the ending of that episode was also a shocker. Daniel’s not the father of Daniel Jr. It’s his sister, Alexis. She fathered the boy when she was still a man. But don’t you admire Daniel more now? He’s stepping up as a dad and fighting to keep DJ even if he’s not the real father. Aww!
“Women only have five seconds to be young and beautiful and then it’s gone. And then before you know it, we’re old and fat, married and wondering where our beauty went.”
~ Former model Gabby to husband Carlos Solis, on facing their daughter’s weight problem.
“Well, maybe I don’t deserve to be happy.”
~ Susan to new lover, Jackson, on why she didn’t want to be in a relationship.
(OMG, I sometimes say that line to myself. But hearing it from Susan, it sounds pathetic. Of course, each one of us deserves to be happy.)
“Nobody can slide the knife between the ribs quite like the people who love us.”
~ Robert McCallister to Sarah Walker, on apologizing to her sister Kitty.
Sir Thomas More: If the lion knows his own strength, no man could control him.
(He was referring to King Henry VIII.)
Anne Boleyn: It’s so hard when we’re to be married but she is still here. You can’t have three people in a marriage. Why can’t you see that?
King Henry VIII: And why can’t you understand that I have more things to think about than shirts.
(This is when Anne finds out that Queen Catherine is still making Henry’s shirts. Henry promised Anne that he and the queen aren’t intimate anymore since he wanted to annul his marriage to Catherine so he could marry Anne. Doesn’t this remind you of another famous Royal triangle? 🙂 )
Queen Catherine of Aragon: Henry, not for our daugther, nor for anyone, would I dream of leaving you. You know my rightful place is by your side.
(Now, doesn’t that sound more pathetic than Susan?)
King Henry VIII: A happy marriage is devoutly something to be wished for.
(Then he turns to Charles Brandon to talk to Queen Catherine about leaving the palace. When Charles came back … )
Charles Brandon: She said that she’ll obey Your Majesty in everything save for her obedience to two higher powers.
King Henry VIII: Which two higher powers – the Pope and the Emperor?
Charles Brandon: No, God and her conscience.
(Now, that’s what I’m talking about Catherine. 🙂 )
“Somebody always loving somebody they shouldn’t be loving.”
~ Private Detective Emerson Cod, on workplace romance.
“Oh, whoa, hold that pregnant pause. I’m not with child, unless it’s immaculate conception, or I wore a strange man’s underwear.”
~ Olive Snook to Mother Superior when she thought that Olive was pregnant that’s why she’s hiding in the nunnery.
“Sometimes bad things just happen.”
~ Betty Bee to Chuck, aka Kitty Pimms, on how all her bees supposedly died.
“And so the piemaker had come to understand. Home did not mean four walls and a door you never walk out of. Home was a feeling of where you belong.
~Narrator at the end of the episode, on Ned (the piemaker) finally letting go of Chuck and accepting her desire to move out.
“Daniel, anything you truly want, has to be worth fighting for.”
~ Betty to boss Daniel Meade, on convincing him to go back to work at Mode Magazine.
(Okay, this is from the second episode. But that’s one reason I like Betty. She’s loyal to Daniel and she’s just so beautiful inside. Okay, that’s two reasons. 🙂 )