Well, it’s been nearly 3 months since I last posted…amazing how time just sneaks away when you’re not looking. The weeks and months since Christmas have been an adjustment around our house, for the better in some ways and worse in others.
Severus and I flew to Oregon on Christmas Day to enjoy some oceanic therapy. It really is amazing what being oceanfront can do for the soul! It’s also amazing what falling into the ocean can do to an iPhone 6—not good amazing. Fortunately, we still had an upgrade on our contract so my waterlogged, 3-month-old phone has been replaced and I’m back up and running. Here’s a little peek at what that dip in the Pacific looked like.
Unfortunately, we’ve not yet been able to recover the photos/videos that hadn’t yet loaded to the cloud. That in itself wouldn’t be a big deal except that it was our last Christmas with Vampire Kitty. We got frequent reports from my mom (who was housesitting) that Storm wasn’t eating. We had hoped it was a simple matter of her being a cat and protesting our absence. When we returned home on New Years Day we found that wasn’t the case. After several days of syringe-feedings, we took her back to the vet’s office and learned she was losing weight at an alarming rate. On Friday, January 9, a bitey little soul left our lives; melodramatic though it is, I haven’t been quite the same since.
Storm and I were almost like halves of a whole. She was both a BFF and nemesis. She slept right beside me at night, joined me as I prepared for work each morning and greeted me at the door when I arrived home. In spite of all that togetherness—or perhaps because of it—she also lashed out and bit me with regularity. Given all of the wounds she inflicted over the years, I feel secure in saying that we shared a bond forged in blood.
Those first few weeks found me nearly inconsolable. Translation: there was a whole lot of ugly crying! For heaven’s sake, I’ve got misty eyes again now just thinking about it. That’s why it’s taken me so long to get back in the swing of blogging; I dreaded having to write this post but couldn’t pretend like it didn’t happen or have a tremendous impact on my world.
She was just a cat, and she was kind of a jerk of one at that, but she was my little jerk. Things have steadily improved and we’ve welcomed a new little family member that I’ll introduce soon. Still, the Storm-shaped void aches with fluctuating intensity and, like any grief, finds the most obscure ways to resurface.
I’ve battled a chemical imbalance for years, and I consider myself an “informed patient.” What I mean by that is I tend to be aware of instances when I’m being illogically moody. I typically don’t know what triggered it or precisely how to deal with/overcome it in that moment, but I’m increasingly cognizant. On the one hand, I’m glad I have progressed enough in treatment to realize when the grouchiness manifests; on the other hand, I think it would be easier sometimes to be oblivious to it. Don’t know where I’m headed with this? Well, read on, friends.
I consider myself an “informed patient” with regards to my enjoyment of Twilight as well. I realize it’s dumb and, with few exceptions, I can appreciate the arguments for how horrible the franchise is. Because let’s be honest, it is pretty horrible.
Stephenie Meyer and Muse make a good case for vampires liking baseball, so let’s go with that terminology for a minute while describing some of the worst aspects. Edward, eternally age 17, is a vampire who’s been around the block for nearly a century longer than Bella (strike 1). Movie Bella can hardly make it through a scene without her mouth agape (strike 2). They have a hybrid vampire-human baby that they *choose* to name Renesmee (strike 3)…who is essentially betrothed to a shapeshifter/werewolf who used to be in love with Bella (yer out!).
So, yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous; I won’t deny it. I will, however, continue enjoying it in spite of itself. The initial love and danger and angst and whatnot all make my inner 15-year-old giddy. Plus, there are an awful lot of great things that have resulted from my exposure to Twilight.
My first encounter with Twilight was as a major skeptic library clerk in 2007. I was relatively certain it was a skeevy premise for YA fiction, and I couldn’t fathom why so many people were checking it out. First teen girls (even a few boys) kept it in constant circulation, then their moms started getting in on the act, too. Seeing it cross my desk over and over and over again piqued my curiosity, but I had my pride.
I had my pride until I started seeing tv spots for the movie, that is—Edward’s “I feel very protective of you” got to me and I was forced to admit that I wanted to see it in spite of my shame. So I did what any other self-respecting person would do:
As a distinguished member of the library community it was my
job civic responsibility to actually read this book. And I needed to do it before darkening the doors of the local cineplex. After all, I’m nothing if not a model employee.
Within two days, I was done reading the first novel, irrationally ravenous to get my hands on the second in the series. With a little hacking on the library’s system, I put myself next in line for the title. Such shame I feel in admitting this unethical behavior to you fine people. Remember what I said before about being a model employee? It was true except for this isolated instance. Rest assured I’m a different person now. Or maybe I’m not, but I no longer have access to the circulation computer, so you’re all free of my ordering manipulation. 🙂
The librarian and I went to see the film adaptation of Twilight in November 2008. It was then that a stupid vampire story began to change my life.
From the books I discovered the movie. From the movie I discovered the soundtrack. From it and subsequent soundtracks, I discovered a love of Paramore, Muse, Florence + the Machine, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, St. Vincent and many other artists I might not have heard otherwise. The Twilight station on Pandora is fantastic, by the way.
My style owes a teeny bit to Twilight as well. All of those cool kids motivated me to up my game (ever so slightly) in the fashion department. I still dress more like early Bella than any of the couture Cullens, but it’s something of an improvement over the frumpiness rut I’d fallen into during the mid 2000s. Moreover, Ashley Greene and Nikki Reed provide real-life fashion and hair inspiration. Call it lame if you want, but my hair has never looked better.
Additionally, each new Twilight film provided a fun social opportunity. One of my dearest library friends and I took off time to go see each release on opening day. We had little movie marathons at home in preparation, we brimmed with excitement while waiting in line and we gushed with feedback over lunch. Those were fantastic days!
Perhaps most importantly, though, the franchise helped introduce me to the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Most of the first movie was shot in Oregon, and it looked divine. At one point, Bella and Edward are standing in the top boughs of a towering evergreen when Bella says awestruck, “This isn’t real. This kind of stuff just doesn’t exist.” Edward replies, “It does in my world.”
He’s right, that kind of stuff absolutely does exist in the Pac NW. Apart from actual vampires and standing in the treetops, anyway; I can’t personally vouch for those.
I’d wanted to visit the Seattle area since high school but had never done it. When the opportunity arose for cheap airfare a couple of years ago, we decided to venture toward the coast to check out Forks and La Push. Even in the dank gray of February, it was some of the most beautiful scenery nature has to offer. I committed then to visit the filming locations in Oregon. It may have been dumb initial motivation to travel somewhere, but I will be forever grateful that we did. I feel energized and in my element when I’m out there, especially along the Oregon coast. I intend one day to call it my home.
So while my intellect affirms its awfulness, I have to admit that Stephenie Meyer’s vampire love story has enriched my life beyond just a series of mediocre books and movies. And it can enrich your life, too, even if it’s nothing more to you than an annoyance. For you, I offer its virtue as fodder for snarky videos. After all, you can never have too many snarky videos.