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OMG, WTF? Twilight Edition.

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I have tried, oh lordy, how I have tried, to not express my feelings about the Twilight series. One, because I try really hard not to express negative thoughts about books, since they are written by authors, and I, being an author, feel a sort of loyalty to other authors, even ones I have never met. But that loyalty does not extend to the movies (or television shows– you’re lucky you redeemed yourself with that season finale, True Blood) made out of those books by those authors. Thus, our story unfolds.

So, Saturday night, my husband and I were looking for a movie to go to. We wanted to see Zack and Miri Make A Porno, but the showing didn’t start until too late, whittling our choices down to Role Models and Twilight.

I have a theory about movies. There are bad movies, and then there are bad vampire movies. Even the worst vampire movie (Vampire In Brooklyn) is not as bad as the worst movie that doesn’t have vampires in it (Across The Universe). Mr. Jen, knowing this, and thinking that Role Models “looks stupid” (isn’t that the point, Mr. Jen? I mean, really?), said, “Fuck it, let’s just go to Twilight.”

We decided to give it a fighting chance. Mr. Jen has never read the books, owing to the fact that he doesn’t read anything that isn’t about guns or Nazis or WWII or some other kind of historical boring stuff that he will later use to ruin a film I enjoy by saying, “That’s not really accurate.” So, he was going in as a blank slate. I, having read the books, had some pretty basic expectations (vampires, sparkling, etc.), but I pledged to have an open mind. Thousands upon thousands of shrieking fourteen-year-olds can’t be wrong, right?

So, you know how when you’re in a really serious situation, and everyone is being totally serious, and something serious happens that isn’t supposed to be funny, but you can’t help but laugh at it and you have to put your hand over your mouth and bite your cheek because you know that you’re not supposed to be laughing? That was Twilight, the movie, in a nutshell. And it started almost from the very beginning. When Bella stands in the desert, holding a potted cactus and a spade, looking introspective and slightly constipated. When the Cullens show up, looking like they just slathered on their white foundation to head off to a mime performance or Cure concert. When, upon seeing Bella for the first time, Edward looks like he’s about to totally barf all over the biology lab.

No, I’m not kidding. He really does look like he’s about to vomit.

The most ridiculous moments come at the expense of poor Edward, who, while slogging through his painfully lonely immortal life, makes pained expressions akin to someone trying to pass a kidney stone, because it is imperative that the viewer realize he is in pain. Beautiful, beautiful pain. Pain that causes him to act in such a way that a teen girl should think he’s a freak, not a lust object. But that’s the role he’s there to fulfill, and Robert Pattinson does an admirable job of it, even as he labors under a gravity-defying pile of hair and perfectly sculpted eyebrows that would make Peter Gallagher weep at their thickness. When he first stepped on screen, at least five teenaged squeals rent the silence of the theatre.

His vampire clan is just as laughably unsubtle. They glower at the humans and slink around with superiority complexes on par with super models prowling the dressing rooms at Lane Bryant. How has no one else in town figured out that they’re vampires? And how come no one calls CPS on these “foster parents” who allow their wards to get all humpy with each other?

But the deepest flaw in the movie is the fact that, despite breathless close-ups and a kissing scene hot enough to titillate the moms of the swooning fourteen-year-olds queuing up for repeat viewings, Bella and Edward never seem to achieve any sort of chemistry. And it isn’t the fault of the actors, but the screenplay. The characters behave like clumsy and beautifully tortured paper dolls, respectively, going through the motions as if they know they’re going to fall in love simply because the story calls for it.

There were good points about Twilight. I’m sure there were. I remember beautiful cinematography (if some of the close-up shots got occasionally dizzy and tilty like a college rock video), and really liking Kristen Stewart’s hair. But the rest of it was an utter disappointment. There were no fangs, unless you count Jacob Black’s bizarrely elongated canines, almost no blood, and no real sense of danger when the villains finally show up. Again, the characters act with no urgency, as if trusting the screenwriter to get them out of their predicament. By the time Bella and Edward were getting all necky on the dance floor at prom, I actually began to wonder if all vampires were this boring, and began making a list of movies I planned to watch when I got home. Movies where vampires have fangs, and drink blood, and have some kind of element of danger to them that is not limited to really fast games of baseball and walking in slow motion to a distortion-laden alternapop song.

Battle Of The Scary Sci-Fi Monsters

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Okay, first of all, who do you have to blow to get to write one of those licensed Doctor Who novels? Seriously?

Anyway, instead of lamenting about my lack of licensed properties I’m allowed to write about and still get paid, rather than just posting it to fanfiction.net and waiting breathlessly for comments, here’s a versus battle for y’all.

Battle Of The Sci-Fi Monsters, Round One: Daleks vs. Borg

What They Are
Daleks Tentacled creatures resembling octopodes who motor around in heavily armored salt-and-pepper shakers whilst seeking to remove anything not Dalek from the universe.
Borg A cyborg race on a massive, intergalactic scavenger hunt to collect as many species as possible and “assimilate” them into their hive.
Advantage: Borg

Home Planet
Daleks Skaro, a planet devastated by nuclear war and inhabited by failed mutation experiments. Also, they have like a hundred Starbucks.
Borg Anywhere they feel like it; someplace in the Delta quadrant.
Advantage: Dalek

School Motto
Daleks “EXTERMINATE!”
Borg “Resistance is futile.”
Advantage: Borg

Multipurpose attachments and tools
Daleks An egg beater that can kill basically anything; plunger.
Borg Laser goggle that will never heal if you don’t stop picking at it; bionic arm.
Advantage: Daleks

Cool Club Name (No Girls Allowed)
Daleks Cult of Skaro, which sounds mysterious and cool.
Borg The Collective, which sounds like an art school project.
Advantage: Daleks

Arch enemy
Daleks The Doctor.
Borg The whole effing Federation.
Advantage: Borg

Double Dare Physical Challenge they would soooo fail
Daleks Stairs, but they totally fixed that problem.
Borg Running, because they’re in no particular hurry.
Advantage: Daleks

Holiday
Daleks International Talk Like A Dalek Day, November 24.
Borg None.
Advantage: Daleks

Round One goes to: Daleks

The Borg put up a good fight, but let’s be honest… it’s not like they’re ever going to get you… they’re in the future, in space, and you can easily outrun them if you’re in modest shape. The Daleks, on the other hand, have come to Earth, can vaporize you with their egg beaters, and are basically unstoppable, now that they’ve overcome that pesky stairs situation.

On the other hand, the Borg are communists, so I suppose they’re enemies to our freedom or some similar empty rhetoric.

Tune in later for Round Two, Daleks vs. The Gentlemen (Buffy The Vampire Slayer).

Think About This As You Go To The Polls…

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Because of my mania over the election, and also probably because of weird pregnancy hormones, I’ve been having dreams about Barack Obama nigh on nightly. No, not those kinds of dreams, you perv. But really, really strange dreams. Bronwyn Green has ordered me to make a blog post about them, probably because my sporadic blogging makes it appear as though I have run out of things to talk about. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.

Anyway, please do not take these as a pushy political statement. Accept them in the spirit of non-partisan WTFitude that they are intended.

The most notable one, I think, is the dream I had wherein Barry and I were going to buy a used car. Not together, the car was for him, he just wanted my advice on it. He wanted a family car that wasn’t too flashy, and opted for a Dodge Caravan. But the lot only had white ones with red interiors, and he wanted white with a gray interior. We argued back and forth for a while about the car– I thought maybe he could use it as a sticking point to haggle a lower price, but he was adamant about the gray– and then were interrupted by the sudden appearance of two elderly gentlemen in tattered Victorian dress. Coats, hats, you name it. They were actually pretty creepy, but they handed Barack a treasure map indicating that just over the hill from the car dealership, there was buried treasure.

Well, Barry and I, we got right on it. We headed up the hill, to find two palm trees at the top, crossed in the shape of an X, like in that movie “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World,” although I think that was a W and not an X. I don’t know, it’s been a long time and I’m not about to sit through that movie again to find out.

Anyhoo, under the arch there is a bank, like a big, Wall Street, modern glass and steel type bank, and the two little Victorian men, riding around on tricycles. When they see us, they yell, “Congratulations, you found the missing government surplus!”

And then I woke up really confused.

Just a few nights ago, I had another dream in which Barry and I got to pal around. This time, under much more serious circumstances. You see, during a campaign speech, Obama made some inflammatory comments about the planet Saturn. This deeply offended a large portion of the voting public (somehow), and the campaign called me in for damage control. See, somewhere some signals got mixed, and the campaign advisers mistook me for a brilliant space scientist instead of an author of genre fiction. They wanted me to write a report about Saturn, the power of which would somehow turn public favor back towards Obama. I tried to explain that they’d made a mistake, but they wouldn’t listen, and they locked me on my Grandma’s porch with a whole bunch of paper and astronomy tools and said they’d be in later to check up on me.

In a panic, I start working on my Saturn report. But I know nothing about Saturn! I start going through all the drawers and the toy box and the bookshelves on the porch, but come up with nothing about space at all, let alone Saturn specifically. I’m doomed, I’m going to lose the whole campaign for him.

Then, Barack shows up. And he’s in a really good mood, and he brought me popcorn. I try to explain the mix up to him– I am not a space scientist!– but he won’t listen. He gives me a bowl of popcorn, pats me on the back, and says, “Whatever you come up with will be just fine.”

MOTHER FU–

I woke up and, to my husband’s confusion, cried out, “Joe, tell me everything about Saturn! I have to help Barack!”

And my husband, God bless him, said, “Wait, are you having the used car dream again?”

The Day That Facebook Ate My Soul

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As you might have been able to tell from the list of links just over there —->, I have a Facebook account. I’ll be honest, I have never really used it all that much. I think I have thirteen friends or something. But I could never really understand the interface, I always felt like I was doing something wrong, and it seemed like this huge hassle because every time I got on my account, I got bitten by zombies or spanked by vampires or someone wanted me to plant something in my little green patch (and I’m pretty sure that’s not a euphemism, right?) Basically, the whole thing just seemed like a really good way to waste the day on the internet and get nothing accomplished IRL.

Well, Sir, I have a blog for that, thank you very much.

But two days ago, I received a curious email, stating that my Aunt Mary had sent me a friend request. Now, my Aunt Mary is a hip kind of person. She’s not like, a knitting auntie, or a cookie baking auntie. She’s young, as are all of my aunts and uncles. But I’ll be perfectly honest, I always viewed the internet as the refuge of MY generation, not theirs. So, imagine my surprise when I find that A TON of my family members, the ones who are at least fifteen years older than me, are chatting it up and sharing photos and biting each other with zombies on Facebook.

I was deeply shamed, and sought to correct the error of my technophobic ways immediately.

So, it is with deep pleasure and personal pride that I announce: “I, Jennifer Armintrout, have figured out how to use Facebook!”

Also, Jill Monroe sent me a friend request, and it made me feel famous.

In other news (and you may have seen this on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, but I don’t care, because when I saw this over the weekend on the PlayStation Network I totally flipped out and thought it must be shared on my blog), David Hasselhoff, the Hoff, El Hoff, Hoffski, is now downloadable content for the game “Pain” on the PS3.

What does this mean, dear readers? It means that when he is released as a playable character in November, players of “Pain” can purchase a Hoffski of their own, and launch him from a giant slingshot.

You see, the entire point of the game is to launch a character from a giant slingshot, aiming their body for things that will cause the most satisfying collision and destruction. Propane tanks, for example, or an old lady waiting for a bus. Sometimes, there are mimes that you can hit. Points are awarded based on how much damage you cause the person you just launched into free fall, and how much damage they cause the city scene.

Sounds like something I just made up, doesn’t it? I wish I had, for, if I had helmed this grandiose project, the Hoff would have been included from the very beginning.

Check out this video to see what I mean, and pay particular attention to the not one, but THREE different outfits available for your Hoff enjoyment.

Literal Videos

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A very long time ago, my husband and I had a conversation about Billy Joel’s song “Piano Man” and how it’s super funny if you take the lyrics literally.

This isn’t exactly the same concept, but it’s close, and it is hilarious:

Because of these, the phrase, “This guy’s going to get an ass full of pipe wrench,” has become disturbingly common in our home.

Do they get that I can still, like, vote, even if they take my yard sign?

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I wasn’t going to post anything political in my blog. I just wasn’t going to, because I don’t like arguing about my political choices with people, or trying to tell people why their choices are wrong, because no one ever changes their way of thinking in those conversations, and, let’s be honest, I don’t want anyone to not buy my books because I didn’t support their candidate. So, don’t think of this as a political post. Think of this as a JEN IS MAD AS HELL AND SHE IS NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE post.

On Monday, I put out my brand spankin’ new Obama/Biden yard sign. Today is Thursday. Today, my sign was stolen.

Mine was not the first sign to be stolen in town. Another house has put out replacement signs that say, “Obama was stolen from this spot,” whenever their signs are lifted, and then they replace them with another, official sign.

Someone else in town had an unsavory word scrawled across their Obama sign. I’m sure that you can guess what the word is, based on the candidate’s race and the fact that there are an alarming number of Confederate flags in this town despite being located in one of the northern-most states in the country.

I loathe, and I mean, loathe, the fact that my neighbors have had McCain/Palin signs, two of them, proudly displayed in their lawn for the last month and those signs have gone completely unmolested. I don’t WANT their signs to get stolen, I just want to know why their political yard signs are a-okay and mine are totes steal worthy.

So, with rage and spray paint, I concocted my own solution to this problem:

This is the part I do not understand, dear readers: what do political sign thieves think they’re going to accomplish? Was the goal to make me go out to get the mail, see the missing sign and say, “Damn, my sign is gone. Guess I have to vote for McCain.” BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS.