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Chapter Three: Phenomenon

Posted on 2008.01.28 at 19:47
Current Location: Stepping in some plot, its squishy
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: Caramelldan Sen
Tags: , , , , , ,
    What is up with the name of this chapter? I mean, it may be my favorite so far, but come on, phenomenon? What exactly do they think that means. Thank you Dictionary.com for the clarification.

1.a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable: to study the phenomena of nature.
2.something that is impressive or extraordinary.
3.a remarkable or exceptional person; prodigy; wonder.

   Okay, so maybe the last one could apply at a stretch. It's still not the sort of chapter title you would go for. (I'm not saying that Meyers should title it "Edward Saves Bella from a car" But some how I expect something more eerie and less superman-ish when the word phenomenon comes into play.)

    Okay, for the main rant today, I'm going to do running commentary again. This is partially because there's really no big set of topic to discuss. But it's mostly because the chapter is so Gosh dang short. (I don't curse unless necessary, you got a problem with that?)

3...2....1...
Begin!

    (53) Bella wakes up and all the rain from yesterday has frozen on the ground. She's worried about the drive to school.

    Let's see, maybe Ohio is just strange about this, but generally when the roads get iced we close school. I mean, where I live we're pretty wimpy about snow, but ice is equivalent in its school-closing power everywhere, I think.  Maybe no one live far enough away form FHS  that they worry about buses. Maybe the school is run by idiots. Maybe only the driveways are iced over since some one intelligent in town hall decided to spread salt.... while no one else considered the possibility of a freeze.

     I'm going back to my second theory: the school is run by idiots.

    (54) Bella gets up, makes breakfast.  She admits she's eager for school so that she can see Edward.

    That girl is obsessed I tell you. Well, at least she's finally admit it to herself mid page. The First step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. Now we just need to get Bella in rehab.

    And Now she speculates about the nature of the behavior of teenage boys. I've found this a long a fruitless study, good luck to her though.

    (55) Her Dad gave her Snow chains, how thoughtful. I sense a shift in Parental favor.

    Dang, the Plot started, this was getting so fun too. Not a bad description of Adrenaline though. I've only really experienced near-death adrenaline once in my life. It was during Christmas break a few years back when we had a big ice storm. All the trees were coated with an inch or so. You could hear the branches falling like Gunshots in the early morning as their burdens became to much to bear. I live in a very forested area so you heard a loud one every fifteen minutes or so.

    Anyways, being the idiot I occasionally am, I decided I wanted to go check it out. I got twenty yards from my house before seeing a massive tree keel over from the roots. I decided to go back inside. I got half way up my driveway before I heard a crack above my head. Meyers gets it just right. The world doesn't slow down or anything like in the movies, you just start moving or thinking twice as fast.  In my case I  ran like heck up my driveway and didn't  get crushed by a 90 pound branch speeding down at 60 MPH.

In Bella's case she processed all the information in a very complex scene in less than a second and began to react.

    (56) Further proof that the school is Run by idiots. They hold school and they don't ice their parking lot? Are they trying to get sued?

    Good thing the good man Edward does the impossible and saves the day.  And then there's more description of him saving the day. And More.  Look Bella,  I understand that you're in a state where you pick up all sorts of details, but more about the predicament and less about him saving the day, hmm...? I had trouble following some of those things in the last paragraph.

    (57-58) Okay Bella saw Edward half way across the Parking lot, and they both know it, so what does he do? First he tries to convince her he wasn't and then he tells every one else she hit her head hard to discredit her if she does spill. Smart man, Tactically that was brilliant. I approve.   And she doesn't believe a word of it.

    Finally, she's temporarily actually displaying some brains.

    (59) Edwards family is mentioned in the background as Bella gets loaded into an ambulance for her "Concussion," looks like the disapprove. Foreshadowing, much? Oh and Bella's Pride is making her sincerely Pissed at Edward. The zombie has a brain.

    (60) At least Tyler's sorry that he almost hit her with his car. He seems to be worse off than she is anyways. Also, he didn't see Edward next to her either. She has a witness to help her pull the truth out now. But for now she's being a good girl and Lying to save his backside. I would've too. Seems like the most probable way to get an answer out of him.

    (62) Ah, Bella annoyed by the Hypocrisy of Edward getting to walk around while she's stuck in bed.

    (63) Come on, go for it. Demand that explanation. Get him alone and go for it.

    (64) I have to admire his ability to completely weasel out of telling her anything after promising to to keep her quiet. I was worried for a second there he was actually going to spill. *Shrugs* I play both sides.

    (65) So Mr. Perfect himself doesn't know why he saved her either. Internal conflict? Could develop interestingly.  I'm happy to see Edward developing into more of the Intellectual-given-strength than the athlete-given-intelligence. I think there's hope for him.

    (66-67) Another Bid for Bella to go to Rehab. She's dreaming about him now. Ick.

I suppose that's near death experience for ya. Mine made me bond with the Snow and my garage. We go out to the movies whenever possible.

Chapter Two: Open Book

Posted on 2008.01.27 at 14:06
Current Location: With a firm foothold in exposition
Current Mood: energeticenergetic
Current Music: August Rush soundtrack
Tags: , , , , , , ,
    I'm really going to need to start writing these entries closer to the time I read the chapters, I had to look up the title of Chapter 2.

     Anyways, I'm going to do a more focused commentary this time, okay? The last entry was really fun to write, but it took a really long time.  So Today we're only having three topics, Bella, Edward and the Science Lab. Specific points will still be given page numbers.

But, before all that, I made something special. Of course, this was also a product of a type of boredom.

Ta-da~!



You can hardly tell it's photoshopped, huh? Just looks like its supposed to be there.

Anyways, on with the show, eh?
Bella

    What can I say about Bella in this chapter? She managed to loose most of my respect in a few short pages. If you read last rant, then you know that Bella's character was a dilemma for me, on one hand she had an interesting and subtle sense of humor which I appreciated, on the other she was showing signs of being a bit shallow and appearance-oriented.  I dislike people who are too appearance-oriented.  This may be because I'm one of those people who isn't pretty because I make no effort to be, not because I couldn't be.  This means that people give me a hard time about how I dress and wear my hair, etc. For similar reasons, I don't get many dates. What can I say? It's high school.

    In any case, this chapter starts to show less of Bella's pure humor as she begins to get, I don't know what else to call it, obsessive about Edward. Sure, at the beginning of the chapter her apprehension at his arrival to school is understandable, she's scared by him and at the same time she feels guilty that she might have done something to cause his absence. (30) She also wants to know what the heck his problem is, again, understandable.

    But then you begin to see how she treats the other people who she's gotten to know. Bella has by this chapter already made labels for the people who have actually been nice to her while being obsessive about some one who was a jerk, an attractive jerk, but a jerk none-the-less. I mean "Chess Club Eric." How does she even know the school has a chess club? (My school used to have a chess club, turns out that no chess was ever actually played. It got shut down.) And then Mike goes from "Cool Guy" to "Loyal dog-friend" in less than twenty pages. I assume that this is meant to diminish his importance, I hope not; he seemed pretty cool. (29)

    She also makes a few more observations about the Cullens(which I will come back to later), you can already see that she wants to know more about their group from how she thinks about them. I don't think she's obsessed with joining them yet, but the way this is going it's only a matter of time. (32)

    Also, she stares. She stares at Edward. To his face. I spent some time every few paragraphs trying to use sheer force of will to stop her from staring. Is there anything that shows you're focused on appearance better than staring at some one you think is cute, while they're talking to you? (43-44)

    She also doesn't like snow. Even before she'd ever experienced it before. It's not like she decided she hated snow after being smacked by a snowball, no she hadn't even seen it before and she already hated it. Judgmental much?(39)

    BUT.  Despite all of the problems that have  emerged in our viewpoint character. The Chapter wasn't a total loss. We also found out that she can cook, she likes books, she knows how to allay her mother's worries and that she's competitive.

     Think about it, during the science lab, she wanted  Edward to be wrong. (45) Or at least to make a mistake once or twice. Not that any one would have a reason to. Actually, speaking of which:

The Science Lab

    I'm taking Biology, so I know that what they did in the story was a pretty standard type of lab. We did one similar to it, actually that was on the same day I read this chapter.

    For those who aren't following along, the basic idea is simple. The students are given a set of slides of cells in stages of Mitosis and they have to figure out which they are and put them in the right order.  For non science-oriented students who didn't understand the textbook well, I suppose that might be hard if they didn't have a reference. But any one who actually studied the material should be able to tell them apart with ease.   I mean look at them!
 

The bottom one is the actual cell, so that's what the students would be looking at.

    It's not a hard Lab. In fact, in the Lab I did in my biology class we were given a slide full of tiny cells and we had to identify all of them and make a count of how many there were in each phase. So  instead of identifying one interphase, I counted 148. Same with the 34 Prophase and so on. Oh yeah, and if you bumped the slide you had to start over.

    So no one should have trouble just getting one of each if they know the order of mitosis and vaguely what happens in each section, right? I mean maybe you'd  mix up  prophase and Metaphase, but you'd find your mistake fast enough. But the Biology class of Forks had great difficulty with it. Mike even called it awful. 

    But it wasn't hard, at all. So the people in the class haven't been studying it for long obviously, or they all don't get it. Except Edward and Bella.

    What is the purpose of this scene anyways? I think it was to highlight that Edward is smart as well as to make them interact together as a pair. Did it show he was smart? No, because all it did was make the rest of the class seem like Morons. I have a feeling that this impression was, deep down, a product of the fact that Stephanie Meyers was probably not science oriented, and so most of her stock characters aren't  either.  That's mostly speculation though.

    Another thing, after the lab, the teacher asked Edward if he'd let Bella use the microscope at all, a legitimate question since only his handwriting was on the sheet and he's obviously known as a bit of a smarty. But after finding out that she had helped and that she did get it, he remarked it was good he paired them together.

What. The. Heck?

   
I am probably pretty biased about this, but since when do teachers like to pair two smart people together? They don't. If some one gets it, then they usually get paired with some one who doesn't get it. Therefore, the teachers reason, the person who doesn't get it will learn from the person who does.  This teacher, Mr. Banner I think, was happy that Edward got a partner he wouldn't have to explain stuff to? Is this how partnering works in Forks?

If so, When can I move?


Edward

    Edward Cullen is by far the most infamous part of this book. Those who like him usually are Edward fangirls, they may even go as far as to say that guys don't like the series because they're jealous of Edward and that any guy worth his spit should try to be like him. People who don't like this book go as far as to label him a Gary-Stu. After all, he's attractive, smart, strong, and mysterious with a sense of humor to boot, doesn't that make him an automatic Stu?

    The Answer, of course, is yes and no. (When is there ever a controversy where the answer isn't yes and no?) Gary-stus do generally have those characteristics, but, on the other hand, so do real people.

    Bella's internal comment about the Cullens comes back into play here.(32) She only mentioned that it seemed unfair to have Looks and money, though I'm going to generalize for the whole shebang.  Life does occasionally spit up an anomaly, some one who is smart, plays sports well, it genuinely nice and funny, and who's parents are reasonably wealthy.  In fact, if you don't require them to be exceptional in all these categories, then it happens more often than you'd think. So, this begs the question, is Edward a Stu, or is he simply a character who is supposed to be one of these people? Moreover, how do you tell?

    I cannot answer the first question so far, as I really haven't read the book far enough in, we'll probably come back to it periodically. However, from the new light he is portrayed in in this chapter, I am not sure I entirely agree with either view of him. He certainly appears to be the sort of person I'd like to hang out with.  Unlike most people I'd probably be content to just hang out with him, he seems like a nice guy. On the other hand, as a character he has yet to show flaws.

     However, as with most people, either flaws or abilities usually show themselves first and then as you get to know a character better, you see the other emerge from where it was hidden. If Edward is a good character, then his flaws will grow out of his strengths as we get to know him. If he truly is an idealized stu, than not only will they not, but the story itself will seem slightly flat because of it.

    The jury is still out on Edward, but I was pleasantly surprised to not find a Stu-poisoned individual right off the bat. It's refreshing.



Chapter One: First Sight

Posted on 2008.01.24 at 17:52
Current Location: A few pages in
Current Mood: deviousdevious
Current Music: The Playlist of Now
Tags: , , , ,
The beginning of a book, incredibly important; but humor me for a minute before we get here.

The Quote Page

    It seems to be a tradition to put a quote at the beginning of a book. Or at least a Fad. Anyways, this baby has a jewel, no mistake:

"But of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that tough eatest thereof
thou shalt surely die."

    Biblical reference and everything. Hm... fruit of the tree of knowledge? Could it be the...*Gasp* Lemon Apple? That's going to be symbolism eh? No problem in and of itself, I love a good bout of symbolic mish-mash. But there's one thing that bugs me.

     I always assumed the Tree of Knowledge was, you know, a Fig tree. I'm pretty sure there's a mention of making clothes out of fig leaves after the whole "Eating the forbidden fruit" deal. And anyways, Apples don't grow near the sort of traditional holy land, (Maybe Eden was just really cold?) They weren't even traded near there as far as I can tell. Eh, I'm probably over analyzing. Onward.

Preface

    That short passage was so corny that I have no comment on it. Who ponders philosophy while about to die?  Philosophers don't count, they just went down working.

ON WITH IT!

    All right non-existent readers! Now I'll give you a chance to follow along in your own copy of Twilight!  When I reach a a new mini-rant I'll put a page number in parenthesis to let you look up the passage yourself and read it with commentary Annotation! Won't this be Fun?

   (3) So, Phoenix, Arizona.  Nice place, never'd want to live there myself. (I don't deal well with temperatures over 95 degrees, I always feel better when It 's below 80, and I'm not referring to Celsius here.) So our Heroine is from Phoenix? A nice sunny place. Goes to a rainy place. Boo-hoo, get over it. I like the rain personally. I'm one of those stupid people who loves to go walking in thunderstorms.

    What is forcing this sunflower to move up north willingly but reluctantly? Divorced parents. Ah.

    I know people with divorced Parents, though I'm personally lucky to have a very stable parentship I suppose. Ah well, it doesn't seem like our eyes suffers from too much exaggerated teen trama. Bella, I suppose.  I don't see why she didn't  cannibalize Isabella more attractively. (I've always preferred Iz, myself.) Let's see what this shows about her character, hm? 

    (5) She calls one Charlie and the other Mom. I sense no parent favoritism at all here. None.
    Last name Swan. Isabella Swan. Hm, some how I start giggling whenever I think of  "Police Chief Swan" Sounds like something out of Aesop.  (Would you believe that nothing came up when I googled Police officer Swan? nothing Bird related anyways.)

    (6) Ah the Car, the most basic of all parental bribes.  Bella's so thoughtful isn't she? No need to make every one else suffer because she decided to give up her own  happiness. After all, that would just be silly; almost as silly as... oh.

    (8) I live in one of those places where green in the background color wherever you go. I don't see why Bella thinks it's so alien and annoying.  I mean, just look how hard people work in Phoenix work to get lawns that only look vaguely green. She should be thankful that it's not still all old growth forest.  (It might be if they watered as much as the do in Phoenix.)
Also, is it just me or does Bella seem to like power?  At least in her cars, anyway. I mean, Who really wants a car which can decimate its competition in an accident unless they plan on getting in one? I foresee this car saving her but later on. Just a hunch, really.

    (9) What's wrong with a high school of only a few hundred students? I mean, I come on, it's not like size is proportional to how nice the people are. in fact, judging by my experience, it's usually inversely proportional. Stop whining. If your going to pretend to be a witty, sarcastic teen, don't try to pull of depressed too, kay? It doesn't suit you.

    (10)Speaking of something completely different, She's from Phoenix, right? How does she maintain her really-pale-ness anyways? It's not like Tanning is a purely genetic issue. I mean, some people darken quickly or less because of genetics, but usually you either tan slightly or you freckle.

    "Darkening of the skin is caused by an increased release of the pigment melanin into the skin's cells after exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes and protects the body from absorbing an excess of solar radiation, which can be harmful."

Oh well, it's okay to ignore basic human biology, right? It's only fiction. An eye roll would be appropriate here, but There's no smilie alive that can do it like I want to right now.

    Back to the "Won't fit in" Talk, eh Bella? I personally think she's obviously not trying if she doesn't think she can find a niche in 380 people. She new, exotic, people will want to get to know her and chances are, she'll get along okay with at least a few of them. Hey it worked for me when I went to Fifth Grade in California for a year. I was even, Le Gasp, Popular. I'm sure that not all of the People of Forks are sticks in mud.

    I'm tired of Mini-rants, lets just get on with it shall we?

     Bella is an interesting dilemma for me so far.  She's depressed, that's not great for me, I'm too cheery to really like reading about depressed people. On the other hand, she doesn't act depressed, just cynical and antisocial. Sort of like me sometimes.

    That's another thing, Bella and I share a similar inner sense of humor. I appreciate her comments on things and I think she'd like mine. But on the other end, she's obsessed with physical appearance and frequently classifies everything. Something which I don't do. On the other hand, that just makes her judgmental, not necessarily  annoying. The Jury is out. It's only the first chapter.

    Now for more pressing matters, What the Heck is a Volvo? Let's see.. this book was released 2005, right?


My, that's a nice car.

    Okay, Volvo is a company so that's just a guestimate, but since I already know who's it is and there's five of them I'm assuming it's a car with lots of leg room.  Heh, I always imagined it silver though.

    (16) And then Bella went to her Morning classes, met some people, and not much happened.

    (19) And on this page, something strange happened. I got a Clear mental picture of Edward. And don't give me the "He's well described" crap. I never form mental pictures of even the most detailed characters. Or, sometimes I get decidedly wrong ones.  (I pictured Snape as a Girl for three years........ I was seven, okay?)

So why now? Why Edward? Maybe I've seen some one who looks like the description?  Hm... Lanky with Untidy, bronze-colored hair. And there's of course the glare from later on.  Maybe I crossed over, I mean I tend to connect things in unpredictable ways.  Who could he remind me of?

And then it hit me.

My three recent story obsessions, (Or at least ones on the top layer of consciousness) are Phoenix Wright, Twilight of Course and.. Death...Note....

Edward Cullen Reminds me of Light. How could he not? I mean just look at him:



He's young, slim built and attractive with bronze hair. Edward incarnate. He even has the Glare down:



I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that for too long. It might bear a hole in my skull.

And to preempt the response from my non-existent fangirl readers, I don't really compute the "inhumanly beautiful" part of the description. It's just a piece of bad foreshadowing I'm sure. (Look, I didn't pick up the book completely in the dark as to the subject matter, okay?) Although I again find irony with the Reference to an "angel's" features. Good old Death Note, great for god references.

It's actually pretty creepy how easy it is for me to insert Light into all the "scenes" with Edward. Heck I can even imagine him demanding to be put in a different Biology Period. And Light never really demands anything. (He sort of "Compels" people to do stuff, lies and threats as a baseline, simply Charisma for others, he's a Damn good lier though)

Anyways, Edward is avoiding her. Bella walks in on that class change and, like her, I get the hunch it's her fault. I don't see why it's eating her. He's given her no reason to like him. It's the appearance thing coming up again isn't it?

(End chapter) You know, this whole beginning seems familiar to me, I'm not sure why. Let's break is down and see if it rings bells, okay?

Girl moves from warm climate to colder one, complains.
Girl goes to new school and meets a few friendly locals.
She meets Mysterious outsider whom she finds physically attractive.
Locals explain why Outsider is an outsider over lunch.
Additional encounter with Outsider leads to backwards step away from friendship.
Chapter ends with Outsider acting even more strangely

    Holy Shiznit! That's, like, the first chapter of my story.  (Well, I'm pretty sure Eli isn't a vampire so no danger of converging there.) But it's weird how Hannah reflects Bella's personality so well. Actually, Hannah is a bit more dramatic than Bella, though I hope her complaining is a bit more endearing than annoying. Hm... I have a feeling that their characters will diverge. Maybe.... maybe not.

I'll be interested to see if this goes some where new....


....Also That was insanely long. I may have to cut down a bit next time. 

Cover: Before Opening

Posted on 2008.01.23 at 19:56
Tags: ,
    Well, this journal entry is technically cheating, as I've already read the first chapter. But I'll do my best anyways.

    Okay, here's my friends copy of the book. It's not in too bad shape either, no reading to death I'm happy to say. Maybe I'm the first Lendee? That'd be flattering.

    Okay, let's look at the cover then. Pretty simple, mostly black.

Cover

    So then why is it that whenever I look at it, I think of lemons? It's an Apple. Why do apples make me think of lemons? I mean, I just look at the cover and think: "When life gives you Lemons..."

    I may never know why I associate lemons with this book, but I do sort of see why I associate them with apples. I'm allergic to citrus, so I've been eating apples instead is suppose. Hehe...

"When life gives you Lemons... Break down and cry because you're allergic."
    


Preface: What am I doing?

Posted on 2008.01.23 at 19:14
Current Location: The Start
Current Mood: pensivepensive
Current Music: The Prince of Egypt
Tags: , , ,
    It is very hard for me to ever be truly bored.

    Sure I may look bored, sit and stare off into space, but I'm not really bored.  It only takes a few minutes before my brain turns onto the channel where stories (Some my own, others that I've seen or read recently, and still others from the past lurking at the edge on my consciousness.) swirl and connect and are analyzed, created, or judged. I can keep up this channel for anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, the quieter and more boring it is, the easier to keep the channel open.

But quite frankly, it's preventing me from sleeping.

    I'm one of those rare teens you hear about that actually attempts to get enough sleep, Nine is my bedtime, lights out by nine thirty. But then what? I listen to a book on CD, just one that I've heard before so I don't stay up too late listening to the story progress.  It's just background noise.

    And then My mind starts to Buzz. The Channel opens up and I start thinking. Sure, it's when I do my best thinking, but in all reality I think I'd prefer to get that hour of sleep I miss.

    So, last night I put my thoughts into something constructive: How to stop the thinking. I came up with several possible solutions:

  1.   I Think about both my own creative processes and those I've recently read when going to sleep, therefore try to cut down on those activities. (Not in a million years, bub)
  2.  I tend to go this more when I've over used a CD, therefore switch out CD's more often. (Hm... But those first few nights with the CD are killer, can you think of something more immediate?)
  3. This happens more often when you do not organize your thoughts after watching/reading/writing new story or idea, therefore record your thoughts before bed and that should at least help. (DING-DING-DING We have a winner!)

    So, as you much of guessed, this journal is hopefully my step towards more sleep. But it also solves another problem I have, this time one involving my strange book habits.

    I do not read books that people recommend me unless I was already interested in them. I don't know why, it's just part of my nature. If you recommend me a book (Especially if you use the phrase "Must read." It's a big turn off for me that word Must) then I'm likely to intentionally put it off. I think this is because if I start reading it right away I really can't stand my friend asking me what IO think of it so far 24/7.

    So, This on journal I will post my chapter-by-chapter opinions on the most recent of these books, Twilight. Odd tangents I get off on while reading and jokes will also be included. So if you're looking for a straight review of the book, look elsewhere.

    Why Twilight you ask? (It's one of those Polarized books, so I'm not sure If You love it or hate it, but bear with me.) Well, I've never had an active interest in reading the book in its own right, I picked it up in  the books store once read the flap and giggled incessantly until I put it back. No, I'm reading it as one of those people who simply wants to see what all the fuss is about. I know, sad really. 

    I was confiding in a friend about how I wasn't going to buy it, but I was curious about it, so she lent me a copy.  I really dislike being lent  books, because it makes me feel like I'm somehow obligated to, you know, give my opinion when I return them. And I feel pressured to share the person's view of the book. But this way I don't have to give my thoughts in person, and I can organize them before I speak. It's a Win-win. But I'm sure you're bored with this by now.

Without Further Ado: On with the story,
~ Calyptos


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