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A Birthday Letter December 8, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Thoughts, Twilight.
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Dear Moon, UC, all of the incredible women on and around LTT, LTR, and the rest of the Twilight fandom, and every single person I’ve been able to get to know because of or through it –

Wow. I don’t really know of another way to start this, other than simply saying wow. Wow.

I’m overwhelmed as I try to textualize all of this – the happiness I feel for Moon and UC on LTT/LTR’s Birthiversary, the extreme gratitude I feel towards the amazing people I’ve been privileged to get to know for all that they have (probably unknowingly) done that has served as a light among darkness for me, the sense of awe I still feel for all that has grown out from the book series, the profound sense of privilege (and responsibility, in a sense) I feel out of being part of this community, and, most of all, the deep, unwavering love I feel for all of it. ALL of it. And all of you. Including you. Yes, YOU. If you’re reading this – even if I don’t know you very well, or if we haven’t met in person, or if we haven’t had the chance to talk very much – I want you to know that I am fervently thankful for you, that I am HERE for you in whatever way that I can be, and that I love you.

This is not just LTT/LTR’s birthday – this time (this approximate time, anyway) also serves as my personal Twi-versary. Here’s a bit of minutiae that none of you know about: I still have the receipts for my purchases of each of the books, so I can tell you exactly when it all started for me. November 9th, 2008. That was the date, last year, when I – totally unaware of what I was getting myself into – picked up a paperback copy of Twilight, curious as to what all the hype was about. I ended up reading the first six chapters – up to the Port Angeles trip – in the bookstore that night! I completely lost track of time in the process, and was finally brought back to Earth by my realization that the store would be closing in a few minutes. Stunned by the world that I had stepped into, I decided that it would be pointless to even make the slightest pretense of not being fascinated by all of it, so I bought the book that night (along with John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” on vinyl. Pretty good haul, wouldn’t you say?). I even made sure to buy that same paperback copy of the book – the first one I ever picked up. It’s now something of a prized possession for me. I bought an advance ticket for an opening night showing of the movie and went by myself, since I hardly even knew anyone else who was into it back then. I was initially kind of bummed about going by myself, but, once I got to the theater that night, it didn’t matter. I completely forgot about that, because I was STUNNED by the scene that night, and what I saw. Even though – shock of shocks – myself and the couple of other guys in attendance were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the girls there, I discovered that it didn’t really bother me, and that I actually liked it. I can’t say that I expect this to make much sense, but I also felt my innate sense of protectiveness and nurturing, because I CARED about all of those girls in the theater that night. Nevermind that none of them even knew who I was – those girls MATTERED to me (and continue to matter to me), and I savored every single second of that night’s experience, because I got to see all of them at their most beautiful – thrillingly, wonderfully happy, unapologetically female, and just alive. FULL of life. That was one of the moments that gave me an inkling of what kind of person I want to be, and what kind of existence makes sense to me – I want to contribute as much as possible to those moments, and to helping those girls, and others like them, know that I CARE. 

I’m not even sure of where next to go with this letter, or what else to say (or type, rather). I am sure, however, that I have been extraordinarily blessed by all of you, and by all of this. I consider myself very lucky, and, if I may, I’ll venture into TUCT (Total Unabashed Corniness Territory) for a moment and sign off with this: I love being a unicorn, I wear that label with pride, like a badge of honor, I love that some now know me as “the OG unicorn” or simply as “the unicorn”, and, most of all, I love that some call me “our unicorn”. Yes, I am. I am happy to belong to all of this, and I will be here as long as you all will let me.

Love (and spider monkeys),

Jordan

I want to just be there for those that need someone. October 2, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Thoughts.
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Here’s one of my new discoveries: Mayday Parade’s “Miserable At Best” is just a great, great song. It’s so sweet, and pure, and youthful, and effervescent, and wonderfully evocative. I just love it. It’s what my heart looks like right now, even though the lyrics don’t apply to me. That doesn’t matter. It’s the mood.

Today. Right now. October afternoon. It feels lovely outside, I have the rest of the night free, and I want to DO something! Listening to “Miserable At Best” makes me want to just go, and meet people, and go to a park, and hug, and cry, and find a lonely girl whose room is covered in Twilight posters and just spend time with her, and hug her, and make her feel special, and order pizza and watch a movie, and just make her feel warm, and make her understand that it does NOT have to work the way that the outside world does, and remind her that there are actually people out there who care and who don’t want to just pass her by. That girl – and I know she, and others like her, are in my city, somewhere – that girl and her feelings, they MATTER. The rest of the world might be content to just roll their eyes, but those girls, and what they’re going through, are IMPORTANT to me! I want to be there for them, because I CARE.

Today’s young people – Generation 2009 – are the most literate, self-aware, intelligent generation that’s ever lived. Paradoxically, even despite the whole Web 2.0 movement and all the ways we now have to stay connected to each other, today’s young people also feel more isolated, more ostracized, more misunderstood, and more alone than any other young people ever have. I want to help them, and I want to help change that second part.

Some search terms that have apparently led people to my blog. April 28, 2009

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I haven’t really seen people end up at my blog through lots of crazy, absurd searches that have nothing whatsoever to do with anything I write about, but I have seen some pretty funny searches in my stats, a few of which I will list below:

what page in midnight sun do edward and bella go to the resterant – Ah! You came to the right place for that – I’ve got you covered! It’s page 180!

alice cullen hot – Uh, DUH. “Hot” is SUCH an inadequate word for this. Step that up to “jaw-droppingly beautiful” or “hotter than the surface of the sun” or “so gorgeous it makes you want to cry” and THEN we’ll talk. Ashley Greene at least deserves that. Actually, she deserves to get anything she wants, but that’s beside the point.

deathcore hip hop – Not exactly sure what the idea was on this one … perhaps homeboy (or homegirl) couldn’t decide if he/she was feeling some Whitechapel or some Wu-Tang Clan? Some Oceano or some Chamillionaire? Some Despised Icon or some Eric B. & Rakim? Just seeing all those artist names in the same sentences is making my head hurt.

does robert pattinson have an age limit – Ok, this could seriously be interpreted, like, a million different ways. I’m guessing it was either a 14-year-old girl who was unsure with regards to how to investigate the legalities of drugging RPattz with a few of her friends and doing naughty, illegal things to him, or a woman in her 50’s who was trying to make sure that Rob hasn’t come out in an interview and definitively stated that he doesn’t go for mature, more experienced woman.

rpattz kstew appreciation thread – Got you covered on this one, too! The awesome ladies at the Letters To Twilight Forum love discussing Rob and Kristen! Go here!

some people like shit deathcore – Are you sure that you weren’t actually looking for Lambgoat? Absolutely positive you weren’t trying to get here? Because, if ultra-critical hyper-insensitive scene commentary is your bag, than those dudes just might be your soulmates.

does esme cullen smoke cigarettes –  No way! She’s married to a DOCTOR! Not that the Cullens smoking would exactly bear lots of long-term health consequences, but still! Also, a brief note to Elizabeth Reaser, if you’re reading this: I have no idea if you smoke or not, but regardless, don’t give people that search for questions like that any more reason to suspect! Stay away, girl!

quotes life goo goo dolls – I love this search. LOVE it. I don’t even have a more thought-out comment on this one – they’re just fantastic, and I can’t wait to hear their new album!

A Letter To Ashley Greene April 25, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Thoughts, Twilight.
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Dear Ashley,

I know it’s been a few hours since we’ve talked (did you go buy that cell phone charger yet so you can call me back?), but in the interim, I decided I’d drop you a few lines this way. Here’s the thing. I was just looking at some pictures of you online, and you, of all the girls in the world, do not need excessive make-up to look good. Make-up, when used in moderation and when used tastefully, is perfectly fine, and I understand why girls do it. When it’s applied right, it can accentuate your natural beauty and help bring out your features that you like or that you’re most comfortable with, and de-emphasize features or angles that you might not like. That’s all fine.

However, when used excessively, I think make-up is actually counterproductive. Granted, it would be phenomenally difficult for you to ever look like anything less than a vibrant, nearly-blinding ray of sunshine, but still. If it’s obvious that the cosmetics have just been caked on, it can end up looking too artificial and it can actually obscure natural beauty instead of draw attention to it. That’s not fine.

Especially not for you, because you, Ashley Greene, are an incredible, gorgeous young woman who does not need make-up to look amazing. I know I’m just one guy, and hey, what could I possibly know, but I think pictures like this one are your best.

 

Waiting with the bed made and your breakfast ready,

Jordan

couple of random thoughts April 19, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Politics, Twilight.
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I discovered something pretty amusing earlier. One of BuddyTV’s writers, who is apparently their resident Twilight expert, got three other staff members (two girls and one guy) together who knew almost nothing about Twilight, the books, the movie, or anything related. The four of them watched the movie together and kept track of the the running commentary going on, and there’s some pretty funny stuff. Check here for the article.

Also, on a completely different note, this video is fantastic, especially the first minute. And the point Maher makes in the last twenty seconds of the clip is absolutely spot on. While I’m here, this video is also great. He’s brilliant. 2:00 – 2:17, especially.

The power that music can possess never ceases to amaze me. March 27, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Music, Thoughts, Twilight.
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Random thought before I get to the main idea of this post: Ryan Adams’ version of “Wonderwall” by Oasis is fantastic. I’ve probably listened to it ten times tonight.

I needed to get out of the house for a little while tonight. I just needed to get some fresh air, and be exposed to some stimuli, knowwhatimsayin? So I went to an arcade and played a few video games. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, as I was driving back to my house, I was listening to the Twilight Soundtrack. I pulled into the driveway while listening to Iron And Wine’s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth”, and I’m not entirely sure how to explain what happened next. I couldn’t stop listening to it. I was completely entranced. I must have listened to it five or six times straight before I “woke up” and got out of my car. I’ve sat alone in my car listening to music an innumerable amount of times before, and there have been times when I feel like I might not ever come back to Earth from whatever place the music takes me to, but this was different. It was like contrasting things happening simultaneously – like, my heart sped up quite a bit, because of the intense, simple beauty of that song, and because I couldn’t help but picture how beautiful the prom scene is that that song is used for in the movie. Yet, just as my heart was reacting that way, the longer I listened to the song, I actually felt more and more relaxed, almost like I could just drift right off to sleep. It was such a strange emotional juxtaposition – once I actually got into the house, it took me a few minutes to recover, so that I could process thoughts normally again.

Music is and will forever be the sun to my earth.

the twilight director’s notebook, hoodies, professional wrestling, and a tragic loss. March 19, 2009

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So, after an unsuccessful Wal-Mart run late Monday night to see if they had any copies of the Twilight Director’s Notebook on the shelves, I dropped by again last night and grabbed it.

It’s smaller than I figured it would be – I was thinking it would be comparable to that Movie Companion that was put out last year, but it’s more compact. It’s actually really close to the books, as far as dimensions go, which works too. Also expected softcover – don’t know why, just the vibe I got from reading about it – but it’s hardback. I’ve read some complaints about all the text actually being hand-lettered by Catherine Hardwicke, mostly that it can get a bit difficult to read sometimes, but I totally disagree – her writing gives the pages lots of personality and energy. There are doodles and annotations all over the place, which, going with the idea they probably wanted, makes it feel more like a real journal.

Also, LOVED the picture and description of what Catherine’s copy of Twilight looks like now – creases everywhere, scotch tape on the spine, Post-It notes sticking out. Fantastic. So broken-in and … comfortable. Like opening it up is as if you’re stepping into your favorite pair of shoes, or throwing on your favorite hoodie that’s like a bedroom that you can wear. Mine will, eventually, probably look like that … the next time I read it, which will likely be sooner rather than later, I need to grab some pens and start color-coding certain parts of it and just flowing, almost like you do when you write in a journal. Is it weird to, while reading a book, experience some of the same feelings you get when adding to a journal or diary? Like it’s almost … private? Like, even though the words you’re reading aren’t yours, there’s still that feeling of intimacy that you get when reading a journal entry or reading over a long e-mail before sending it? I don’t know … that might not make sense, but it makes sense to me, and I think the effect those books have on people is amazing.

Honestly, it almost feels weird, or insufficient, to use the word “read” to describe the act of reading them, because you’re doing more than that. You’re stepping into something. To use another clothing analogy – and this might not resonate with those of you who aren’t as awestruck as I am by the incredibly high Awesomeness Quotient of hoodies – it’s like the difference between wearing a hoodie with the hood off and wearing one with the hood on. Again, I’m sort of a hoodie fanboy, so bear with me (as my Analogy Rollercoaster threatens to run completely off the tracks), but it’s a COMPLETELY different experience, I assure you. 

Wearing one with the hood off is still ok, because you know the hood is there if you need it. It’s like a safety net – like the “Kill” and “Reset” buttons Tommy Lee has tattooed on his arm. It’s available, should your situation change.

But wearing one with the hood on? Dude. That’s REAL. For anyone that used to watch WWE (back when it was still the WWF), it’s like when Vince McMahon would be in the ring talking about whatever, and then, all of a sudden, the glass would break, Steve Austin’s music would come on, he’d saunter out with a steel chair in tow, the crowd would be going completely berserk, and Jim Ross would be absolutely beside himself, like “OHMIGAWD, IT’S STONE COLD! HE’S HERE! BUSINESS IS FOR DAMN SURE GONNA PICK UP, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!” Yeah. That’s what going from “sans hood” to “hood power: activated” is like. It’s taking things up a notch.

That’s what reading The Twilight Saga is. That’s the difference. Going allll the way back to my original point (I promise, I do have one), saying that you “read” them is just not enough. That’s such a cold, sanitized way of describing it – as if the interaction you have with the books is nothing more than simply reading the words. There are, I would suspect, thousands (if not millions) of other Twilighters out there who would join me in profound disagreement with that. We know how much more there is to it than that, and how strong the connection is.

Another thought: I absolutely can not wait for The Official Guide, whenever they actually figure out the release date for it. I’m really interested to see what ends up being included, and, of course, completely geeking out over it with the girls at Letters To Twilight.

Last thing: I heard earlier tonight about Natasha Richardson’s tragic passing. That’s awful. Awful. I love watching her in the remake of The Parent Trap, and watching that movie now (and seeing how she just brightens up every scene that she’s in) will be quite sad. Also, I feel terrible for Liam Neeson and their sons. Love Actually is one of my favorite movies ever (I watch it, at a minimum, a couple of times a year), and seeing him in that movie now will be heartbreaking, considering that his character has just lost his wife.

I stayed up most of last night reading Midnight Sun. Also, I wish extreme discomfort upon whoever leaked it. March 9, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Twilight.
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Why did the evil, moronic, despicable person who saw fit to leak Stephenie Meyer’s half-finished draft of Midnight Sun onto the internet have to be evil, moronic, and despicable enough to leak Stephenie Meyer’s half-finished draft of Midnight Sun onto the internet??

WHY?

I’m sure that I part company with approximately zero fellow Twilighters on this point, so it’s not like I’m expounding upon a revolutionary point of view or anything, BUT STILL. ARGH.

I really sat down with it last night, and it was, unsurprisingly, completely engrossing. I ended up staying up for a good amount of the night reading most of it and will probably finish it later tonight. It was jarring and refreshing to hear Edward’s inner monologue, instead of Bella’s. I also loved how amazed he is when he considers how he could have possibly overlooked her beauty when they first saw each other. Of course, he ultimately does understand what initially caused him to not see her in that way – the overwhelming force of her scent – but, even despite that, he’s still completely unable to view her any differently once he really sees her, and he’s amazed that her scent could be powerful enough to distract him, even for a moment, from looking at her with eyes filled with nothing but fervent love.

I couldn’t help but smile when reading about just how excited Alice was at the notion of being friends with Bella. “Can I talk to Bella now??” made me laugh out loud, and I enjoyed seeing that she, of course, wants Edward to be happy, but that she also simply looks forward to hanging out with Bella and having her as a girlfriend. It was also heart-warming to see Esme’s ecstatic happiness that her son, the one who always seemed to end up alone, might have actually found someone to share his life with. Perhaps understandably, Edward falling for Bella isn’t exactly viewed as great news by most of the Cullens – Jasper is cautious, Rosalie is horrified, Emmett is probably more amused than anything else, Carlisle is happy for Edward but also intensely aware of the dangers posed, and even Alice is a bit worried despite her excitement over the idea – but Esme? She’s thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. She couldn’t be happier.

So, even considering how enjoyable it was to read, and how much I look forward to getting back to it, I remain extremely annoyed that Stephenie’s artistic integrity was attacked, and that her work was shown to the rest of the world in a state much earlier than she wanted the public to see it in. For the record, I don’t generally involve myself in piracy, and I justified reading it only because Stephenie decided to make it available on her website. If she had not, or if she were still working on it, I would stay away. I can’t say that I blame her for suspending the project out of frustration, either, but I do hope that, perhaps in the next couple of years, after she’s gotten a bit of distance and spent some more time with her family, she can continue and finish at least that one book through Edward’s eyes. I like that the idea didn’t start as any sort of a business decision, but merely as one example of how her love for her characters manifests itself – it was simply Stephenie wanting to see how Edward would tell the story and where it would go.

Twilosophy in defense of S.M. March 8, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Thoughts, Twilight.
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I’ve recently come across a few blog posts from people seeking to defend Stephenie Meyer’s writing from those who seek to discredit it, and that got me thinking. I was also exchanging Twilosophy thoughts with a friend over e-mail the other day, and she asked me what I thought the “lure”, so to speak, of the series is, and why so many people (mainly girls) find it nearly impossible to stop reading the books once they start. She thought, perhaps unsurprisingly, that a lot of it had to do with Edward, and I’m sure that’s certainly part of it. There’s a lot more going on than just him, though, as far as the initial attraction to the series is concerned. I think that the Edward fascination is a byproduct of other, more basic things that draw people (mainly girls) into the story, like the dynamics between he and Bella and all the different motifs in play there. The story is sort of a cocktail of several different elements that young girls – well, any young people, not just girls – can relate to.

It’s first love and forbidden love mixed together, and I think that combination is what excites so many girls and draws them in.

For Bella, all the feelings and emotions she experiences after she meets Edward are completely and totally alien to her – she knows that she’s falling for a cute boy, so it’s not like she’s not an idiot, but her mind and her body have no idea what to do with any of that, or how to process it. It’s a huge tidal wave of hormones and emotions mixed together, and at first, it’s a sensory overload, like towards the beginning of Twilight when she’s not even sure why she can’t stop thinking about him. It doesn’t make any sense to her, because, despite all that she’s probably heard from other girls and all the movies she’s seen, she herself has never had anything like that happen to her. All of that, of course, is instantly understandable by any girl with a pulse, and Twilight being written from Bella’s perspective, from that of a girl, also has a lot to do with it. They understand exactly what Bella’s going through and why every single word, or gesture, or expression, is weird and unfamiliar and scary and sexy and exciting.

Also, from Edward’s perspective, she is his first love as well! Of course, when they first meet, it’s a bit more complicated for Edward, since he, unlike Bella, knows why she is drawn to him and why he, at least initially, wants her (and her blood) so badly. That’s where the forbidden love idea comes into play. There’s an amazing amount of chemistry and electricity between the two of them, and yet the one guy Bella is falling head over heels for is also the one guy who has to caution her about getting too close to him. It’s likely that no other guy at Forks High School would do that, but Edward has to, because of how dangerous it is for the both of them. That element of forbidden love, of course, is like a superconductor for the electricity and the sexual tension between them, and that’s why some girls can’t help but start screaming incoherently whenever they’re asked about Twilight, because they’re the exact same as Bella! They, in some cases, have no idea what to do with those feelings yet either, and they relish reading about even the most minute interaction between Edward and Bella, especially in the first book, because, to them, there’s no such thing as a minute interaction!

It annoys me when guys (or whoever, really) direct ill will towards the books, and Twilight specifically, for being too descriptive and lingering too much on the seemingly insignificant details of Bella and Edward getting to know each other. They like to point out that the book, for almost the first 400 pages, is nothing but the two of them talking. THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT! That’s exactly why so many girls love it! Those people that speak against it for those reasons, apparently, have never been teenagers, or in love for the first time, because when you’re in that situation, NO detail is insignificant! Every single thing, no matter how small, feels important on an earth-shattering level! That’s one of the things I loved about the movie – in interviews, RPattz and KStew talked about how they didn’t want to play their roles like they were kids from the Disney channel. They really wanted to get into them, for real, and they spent hours on set talking about vampires and what it would be like to be in love with one. They took it extremely seriously, which, in my opinion, was absolutely the right way to go. And you can see it come across like that in the movie. They got that right, because, to their target audience (young girls), there’s nothing in the world more serious than being in love! Also, while I’m rambling, I also think it’s stupid and insensitive that some people roll their eyes at the “Twilight Moms” and just dismiss them – I think it’s awesome that they can get into the story too. They like it for precisely the same reasons as the teenagers do, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Love, and the ability to be fascinated by the dynamics behind it, has no age limit!
 
As far as I’m concerned, like what the “lure” is, I like it for some of those same reasons that I just mentioned. I oftentimes can relate to girls’ emotions just as well as I can with guys, if not better, and I find it fascinating reading about why the story has touched so many different girls in nearly every conceivable situation. I love that so many have been captivated by the story and by Edward and Bella’s relationship. Also, I don’t think it’s at all crazy that some women speak of raising their real-life standards for relationships because of a fictional one. It’s a beautiful story, and people need reassurance that it’s okay to let yourself sometimes get a bit wrapped up in the idea of what you want love to be for you. The world around us is entirely too cynical about that, and life is entirely too short to settle for anyone less than someone who gives your heart wings and makes you feel like you can fly. That’s what those books are ultimately about, in my opinion. Stephenie Meyer likes to describe them as “vampire books for people who don’t like vampire books”, and that’s not a bad way to put it. However, for me, the glue that keeps everything together – the thread that sews it all up – is the purity, love, fascination, devotion, care, and mutual appreciation shown in Edward and Bella’s relationship.

Twi-Stuff Update! February 25, 2009

Posted by Jordan in Twilight.
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Got the Alice long sleeve shirt a couple of days ago!

Front Of Shirt

Back Of Shirt

So yeah – super stoked about that! Also, I finally got around to pre-ordering the DVD at the Hot Topic in our mall!

Preorder Stuff

That midnight release party will be CRAZY. Of course, I’m completely excited about it and think it will be awesome. One of my best friends works at our Hot Topic, and he and I laughed about it a lot the other day, because I was saying that I’m gonna stick out like a sore thumb (I’m 6’4″ and about 225) next to everyone else (read: teenage girls) there. Whatever. I don’t even care. I’m also going to wear the Alice shirt, which my friend said I might end up getting beat down for. My mom even made a comment about it – the other day, when we were on the phone, I was telling her about how I needed to go pre-order the DVD, and about the release party Hot Topic is organizing, and she was like “Yeah, you definitely need to – you know you want to be there.” Then I told her that, to my knowledge, they had gotten about 100 pre-orders for it so far, and she said “oh, okay – so when you go reserve yours, it’ll be 100 to 1, girls to guys! Or, I guess I should say girls to guy!” I loved that she was lauging about it too! I can’t wait!