Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Live Free or Twi-Hard: A Guy’s Perspective On Women’s Perspective of the Twilight Series

C.S. Lewis's book looks strangely like "Twilight." Photo courtesy of W.K.

We’re a culture of story-tellers. We’ve been doing it for so long. Homer. Shakespeare. Fitzgerald. And with any good story comes a moral to that story. Stories teach us about ourselves–they teach us about our fears, what we value, lessons we need to learn. And stories, if they are good enough, will pass the test of time. They will be passed on from one generation to the next to teach the next generation where they come from and warn them of what they have the potential to be. Stories reveal our identities.

Like most guys, I find the female world mysterious and complicated. I think Relient K puts it best in their song, “Mood Ring.” They suggest that girls should get mood rings to warn guys of what mood they currently are in: “Mood ring oh mood ring/Oh tell me will you bring/The key to unlock this mystery/Of girls and their emotions/Play it back in slow motion/So I may understand the complex infrastructure known as the female mind.” Now okay, guys are somewhat mysterious too–we don’t like talking about our feelings. However, there are times that we are allowed to show our emotions. The BBC reveals some and Tremendous News reveals a hilarious set. Women often see our true emotion when (and this is some of my own thoughts) 1. Something happens to our genitals. 2. We lost a lot of money. 3. Someone we truly love dies. 4. Our favorite sports team loses. See, guys are simple.

If stories do reveal identities than perhaps those romance novels that women often like to read also reveals their identities. Perhaps it reveals a woman’s fantasy–what he should look like, how he should talk, what she believes a man must do to win her heart.

Books like "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" get kids to read again. Photo Credit: Children Book Blogs

Being a guy and knowing “Guy Land” because I live it and have researched it, I asked myself an age-old question better men than me have asked: what do women want? If stories do reveal identities than perhaps those romance novels that women often like to read also reveals their identities. Perhaps it reveals a woman’s fantasy–what he should look like, how he should talk, what she believes a man must do to win her heart. Enter Stephanie Meyer, author of the “Twilight” Series. Her 4 books have made the New York Bestseller list, and like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series it inspired children and teenagers to stop playing video games or shopping for clothes and go to a bookstore and pick up a book. The “Twilight” series reveals a certain type of heroine in the main character, Isabella “Bella” Swan, but feminists believe she’s a “villain” (more on that in other posts). So why write anything about Meyer’s “Twilight” series? They aren’t important; they aren’t a special work of literary genius? I could care less about the series, but when a book like that spawns a movie (“New Moon”) that the Los Angeles Times reports as breaking two-box office records in one day, as well as create a pre-teen and teen frenzy during its premiere, or how book publishers have started to change the covers of their book to mimic “Twilight”–to say that the books can or doesn’t influence the next generation is to say that the moon doesn’t influence the ocean waves. I can still hear the screaming and crying girls. I shudder thinking about it.

After 2 hours of reading the first book, I’m on page 212. And what I’m learning so far…well, it’s terrifying.

A couple days ago, I wrote about the double standard with Taylor Lautner being “jailbait” I realized that before I could make more judgments, I should really be an informed reader. I’ve never read the books, but I was introduced to the first movie back in June by my friend, Jillian. She loves the movie, and loves the book even more.  To see her and other girls light up when Edward or Jacob walks into the room–it was interesting. So in order for me to understand what the “Twilight” books were revealing and how they could affect the next generation, I needed to know what the fuss was about–I needed to read the books myself. And the bet was made for me to read the books before the New Year. So I picked up the phone, called my friend Victoria, and borrowed her books. Oh, and if you’re reading this Victoria, I was quite secure in my masculinity to be walking around UCLA with the books in hand. Okay, I was a little embarrassed when I walked by the gym. I wanted to approach the book differently. Other reviews and other websites gave a woman’s perspective on the books. I wanted to give a guy’s perspective on the woman’s perspective of the books. Like I said earlier, we can learn a lot from the stories we tell, and the “Twilight” books aren’t an exception. I want to learn what it is that girls and women want in a man–or at least what they think they want in a man. I want to learn what they want a man to do. After 2 hours of reading the first book, I’m on page 212. And what I’m learning so far…well, it’s terrifying. So you’ll have to wait for the next post–I’ve got to continue reading.

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Filed under Books, Life, Masculinity

A West Coast Kid In The East Coast

A house in New Hampshire

A house in New Hampshire

The northern East Coast is another country. It has a culture of its own–its own accents, its own etiquette, and its own pace. I’ve never been to the East Coast until now–there’s a first time for everything. So when I visited Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, I was amazed. It was definitely not California. The people were different–and that’s just an understatement.

Maine and New Hampshire are quiet and peaceful states. They are covered with lush green trees. It is quite rural in appearance and has a small-town America feel to it. Unlike Los Angeles, you can actually see the bright stars in the sky. But it was definitely not for me. It was too peaceful, too quiet, too secluded.

New Jersey. Well, it’s New Jersey. It reminded me a bit of the Berkeley area–has an old-town feel to it. But I didn’t spend enough time to judge.

New York, on the other hand, was loud and full of life. The island of Manhattan is unlike any city I’ve ever been to. And the subway system is a well organized labyrinth. I love the fact that it is reliable to the minute. And the fact that you can just pay $8.50 for an all day pass on the subway or on the bus is beautiful, especially since I can imagine that’s how most New Yorkers get from place to place.

And on the matter of rudeness, specifically all those stereotypes of how rude New Yorkers are, I can only say that it’s not rudeness–it’s just part of the culture. New Yorkers seem to be straight-forward–they tell you what they’re feeling right there and there. They’re about efficiency, where as Southern Californians are about “chilliciency” (I made up the word to express how laid back Southern Californians tend to be). To disrupt the efficiency, is to disrupt the way of life for New Yorkers. So that’s why people from other states see New Yorkers as rude. But in New York, it’s acceptable–that’s what you’re supposed to do.

I also quickly learned some street etiquette in New York. For example, when you are driving, it is perfectly acceptable to honk when you are in the island of Manhattan. But to honk anywhere else is to be considered rude and annoying. That sort of thing reminds me of Los Angeles, but when you get too rude or annoying in LA, you may get a visit from someone with road rage. Then there’s the escalator. Now, I think this makes perfect logical sense and I have to applaud New Yorkers for this: When you are on an escalator, the right side is reserved for people who just want to wait on the escalator, while the left side is reserved for people who want to walk up the escalator. Genius! And when you are on the sidewalk, it is not good to just stand around or to stand around with your cell phone. When you do that, you will be pushed and shoved. The reason, in my opinion, is efficiency. People use the sidewalk to walk. To just stand there is to cause traffic. And traffic annoys people. Every LA driver knows that. But on LA sidewalks, people are just chill, laid back, and are talking on their cell phones looking like they’re important. I am one to talk–I do it all the time in LA.

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A Not-So Taylor Swift Fire; I Can’t “Breathe”

It’s hot. Dreadfully hot. A little hotter than usual in sunny Southern California. You could fry an egg on a sidewalk if you want. I don’t suggest it, but you could. At least I don’t live in Phoenix, Arizona where it’s hot pretty much every day and where the air conditioning business and pool services are thriving. No, I’ll settle for Los Angeles. However, LA isn’t really the place to be right now. If you didn’t know it yet, Los Angeles is burning!

Sure, it’s scorching hot, and in some places it’s just plain dry. But when I say burning, I’m talking about all those wild fires that have been destroying wild life, people’s homes, and my lungs. I live many miles away (several cities away) from the closest fire, yet when I step right outside, I smell ash. Portions of the sky is black, as if LA had some massive volcano explode Pompeii style. The air quality sucks. My lungs are probably black right now. (Sigh) I rather stay inside, enjoy the air conditioning, and watch TV because I can’t breathe!

Photo Credit: Flickr

Photo Credit: Flickr

But I can’t help it. I’m kind of an outdoors-man when I want to be. I want to go outside and pull a Julie Andrews, running on a hill with my arms wide open and singing, “The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music.” But alas, all I will be singing is that the hills are alive with fire. So God, if you want to step in right now, you could let it rain. I’m sure it’ll help all those fire fighters return back to their families early. Two firefighters apparently died today.

Darn, I wish I was in the East Coast right about now, hanging out with some of my friends in New York and New Hampshire. But as I stayed inside my home, listening to my iPod, I came across one of Taylor Swift’s songs. She’s so young and beautiful, and quite a talented musician/singer/songwriter. But I think one of her songs is quite fitting for such a time as this. Because us Angelenos need to “Breathe.”

Now, I may look like I’m a fighter, but really, I’m a lover. And I’m quite comfortable with my masculinity to say that I actually belt out for “Romeo [to] take me somewhere we can be alone” and that “he’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar.” I don’t know. Call me a romantic at heart. Call me sensitive. Whatever. But Taylor Swift is worth it. And she’s been on the news a lot this summer. I just don’t see her taking the Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan route. She’s a classy girl, and she’s got enough of style and talent to host the Grammy’s. She’s even got a sense of humor, rapping with T-Pain as the notorious T-Swizzle with “Thug Story.”

Photo Credit: Ask Men UK

Photo Credit: Ask Men UK

Oh Taylor! Now, if you ladies were looking for a different Taylor, wellyou can go here and leave me alone.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Photo Credit: Askmen UK

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Filed under Entertainment, Issues/Causes, Masculinity, Music