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  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.

Posts Tagged ‘celebrities’

New Moon

Posted on November 22nd, 2009 by annakjarzab

Okay, so on Friday night I saw New Moon, and, you guys? It was awesome.

It’s been getting a lot of horrible reviews, but it’s really hard to tell (j/k! it’s not really hard to tell! it’s totally obvious) if the movie is actually bad or if movie reviewers are by nature inclined to pan and hate the Twilight franchise and all it stands for because its target audience is young females and LORD KNOWS they can’t stand to see us making choices that reflect buying power. Keep the ladies in their places! Only men should be able to determine if a movie makes millions and millions of dollars at the box office simply by blowing up everything in a seven mile radius (ahem Transformers)! Because honestly, the over-the-top melodramatic romance of Twilight is the lady version of blowing stuff up.

My only concern about the film was that there was going to be too much Jacob. LOL this movie is all about Jacob, I know that, but I’m staunchly anti-Jacob, or at least I used to be. Okay, I’m still anti-book-Jacob–Jacob in the book is a total whiny brat of a tool who manipulates Bella and attacks her with his mouth. I’m also anti the way that Bella tolerates all of that shizz from him, but let’s not put Baby in a corner just yet or whatever. I have a point!


But here’s where it gets tricky: Taylor Lautner(‘s chest) made me like Jacob a lot. I finally understood why maybe she might pick him, except of course I knew she wouldn’t (SPOILER!) pick him, because if there’s anything Stephenie Meyer does right in that book, it’s make a contract with the reader (I, the undersigned, Stephenie Meyer, do solemnly swear to make sure that Edward and Bella end up together as vampires at the end of this series) and stick with it! I believe in making a contract with the reader and not veering off in crazy directions when it makes no sense and presenting an unbelievable choice as a legitimate “twist”/solution.

So yeah, Team Edward 4 Lyfe or whatever, but also I get the Jacob thing now, although I still hate him in the books and always will. They were right to stick with Lautner, even though I know he went through many months of unhealthy body building to get them to hire him back, and I cringed for the first half of the movie every time he came on screen because of that awful wig they had him in. He was very likeable and believable as Jacob, and I actually believed the words that were coming out of his mouth. He might be the best actor of the three of them? Although you know I heart my RPATTZ so I don’t even know what I’m saying, crazy talk, obviously. By the way, they played the trailer for RPATTZ’s new movie (March 2010 baby!), Remember Me, before New Moon (of course they did) and it looks super great.

My favorite part of the trailer (aside from RPATTZ) is that his character reminds me somewhat of Neily, who I love. Which is funny, because I always thought RPATTZ would be a more appropriate portrayal of another character in the book, but whatever. Since Remember Me is as close to an All Unquiet Things movie as I think we’ll ever get, I’ll take it!

Secret shame: I now have two RPATTZ posters in my office. It’s okay, I work in children’s publishing–it’s allowed if you have it up ironically. Whenever people comment on it (because they do) I always tell them that he’s watching over me while I work because he loves me and he just wants me to be safe. TWILOLZ!! Gets a laff every time (I don’t think it’s ever gotten a laugh, actually).


So anyway, I thought the stuff between Bella and Jacob in New Moon was sexy and funny. The movie was a lot of fun, actually. A lot of people are using the word “joyless” to describe the relationships the series presents, and while that’s in a lot of ways true, I thought there was plenty of fun here. Lots of smiles between Bella and Jacob, he jokes around with her, even Bella says a minorly funny thing at the end of the movie when Edward’s trying to convince his family not to let Bella become a vampire and she gives him a breathy “Shut…UP” which is way more amusing in the delivery than it is on the page.

I did miss Edward. I do heart him–his hang ups about being soulless and damned are very sad to me, and one of the most interesting things about him. I can’t imagine how depressed he is or must have been for those 90 or so years he’s lived as a vampire. To believe, to truly and steadfastly believe, that there is nothing beautiful or special or good about you, must be such a hard burden to bear, a crushing weight. And if Bella lifts that weight for Edward, then good for him. And also, I get why he left her. People laugh at the whole, “I’m dangerous and I can’t protect you” thing, but he’s right–he IS dangerous and he CAN’T protect her, OBVIOUSLY. Jacob, too. They’re both dangerous creatures who could kill her as soon as look at her, and they’re often getting tangled up in a bunch of nasty supernatural business that she has no defense against. They should both leave her the hell alone, if they really want her to be safe. But they can’t because love or whatever, so fine. But at least he had to try, and that’s commendable.

Also, one final thing, because I’ve been thinking about this a lot. People say that Edward is a perv because he’s an old man lusting after a teenaged girl, even though he looks like a teenaged boy. And while that is not an incorrect theory, per se, I don’t find it all that problematic. While I would agree if it was, say, Carlisle who was dating Bella, because he’s an actual mature man, and was when he was turned into a vampire, I think Edward is probably pretty stunted as a result of all his spiritual and emotional hangups and his general antisocial behavior. He leads this lonely, passionless life, experiences nothing, feels nothing, like a depressed Peter Pan.

Strangely, I’ve never heard the “ew pervert” argument about Jesse, the immortal boy from Tuck Everlasting who falls in love with Winnie, even though he’s a hundred years old by that point and she’s like fifteen or something. Because Jesse’s a boy, not a man. He’s just been a boy a lot longer than most boys are. In that book, Mr. Tuck explains to Winnie how, when time ceases to matter, it ceases to exist. Immortal beings (such as they are) are outside of time and not subject to its rules or the things it brings a normal human–maturity, wisdom, knowledge, age. So Jesse and Edward are not, inside, the equivalents of 100 year old men. They are boys who have stepped outside of time. I think that’s different. And also amazingly interesting.

And now for the coda: how great were those Volturi, AMIRITE? Creepy and pitch-perfectly insane, just like in the book. Except Jane, who was just creepy and awesome. Dakota Fanning FTW! She stole the movie.


Grist for the Gossip Girl mill, these outfits

Posted on May 23rd, 2009 by annakjarzab

Ladies, let’s talk.


You look ridiculous.

Even you, Waldorf. You’re still by far my favorite, but what is that you’re wearing? It looks like a Special Agent Dana Scully cast-off from seasons one or two–season two! THAT’S HOW BAD IT IS–but sans pants. I can’t decide whether or not it would be worse if I found out you were wearing *gag* formal shorts underneath it. And those shoes, let’s face it, could kill someone. There is a reason why stilettos take their name from a type of dagger–a stabbing weapon, says Wikipedia. Your hair looks cute, though.

Abrams, let’s not front–you’re orange. And your hair looks like a badly kempt weave. Your dress is sorta cute, and so are your shoes, but your eyes are not focusing properly and we all know what that means! Dipping into Chuck Bass’ stash? You and Lily van der Woodsen Bart soon-to-be-Humphrey *barf* both. Shut it down. Set an example for little Jenny Humphrey.

Oh, wait, too late. Let’s review, Little J. Your hair is absurd, and has been for almost an entire season now. That is a mullet. I don’t care what you think it is, it is a mullet pure and simple–there is some business in the front and some party in the back, but it’s not a fun party.  Also, I did not know they made leather pajama bottoms with footsies. I see you cut the front part off of the footsies so that you could wear some pretty boring shoes. Good call. (Terrible call.) I know you’re going for the partially-dead, aloof look here, but mostly you look like a bitch. Wipe that snarl off your face. I don’t even know where to start with that shirt. Perhaps I’ll mention that it’s see-through? Okay, it’s see-through. And partially unbuttoned. And sort of off-kilter. And your black bra is showing. And a rosary is not jewelry. Have I covered everything? Oh, that shade of lipstick washes you out so much. Please stop wearing it ASAP.

SERENA VAN DER WOODSEN. A jumper? A JUMPER WITH SHORTS? I know you’re fashion-forward and have–how do I say this without being rude?–an eclectic style, but come on! The only thing I endorse about your outfit is the color. I love blue. At first I thought you’d gone barefoot, which would make sense considering you’re channeling your five-year-old self with that JUMPER, but no. Those are shoes the color of your skin. Whoops! Next time, turn the light on in the closet. Also, your hair looks cute, but it looks like you’re about to fall over drunk, and I, being Mother Superior, strongly diaspprove of imbibing before photo ops. Remember the term “drunk face” (college vocab word) and avoid it at all costs.

Things I found that I love

Posted on May 20th, 2009 by annakjarzab

It wasn’t very long ago that I found out Mindy Kaling, writer/star of The Office, has a blog called Things I Bought That I Love. The title is, um, pretty self-explanatory. She doesn’t post very often, but when she does she’s hilarious, which makes sense. I don’t totally understand why the blog is such a huge mess, layout-wise, but who cares! Anyway, you should check it out. Also, her Twitter, for good measure. I liked how she basically guilted Jimmy Fallon on live (not live) television about not following her on Twitter. And then he dropped his iPhone and the screen smashed. Coincidence? No. DO NOT THUMB YOUR NOSE AT THE KELLY, James. You learned your lesson.

Thing the second, this New Moon poster:


Now, AS I THINK WE ALL KNOW, I am not a huge fan of Jacob Black, but I do have to say that Taylor Lautner, despite being 17, maybe 16, I don’t know, my math skills aren’t great (b. Feb 11th, 1992, you figure it out), and thus jailbait for me, is looking pretty fine. Although I suspect he still doesn’t clear 6’7″ and I DEMAND VERSIMILITUDE from my hastily-made low-budget teen vampire/werewolf romance films. Also, much as I love RPATTZ, I think Jacob wins this poster with his good haircut!

Thing the third, Tap & Gown, the latest book in Diana Peterfreund‘s Secret Society Girl series, which I read without pausing from 7:00 last night until 11:30 when I closed the book and sighed and *slight spoiler alert* swooned over Poe. Yeah, that’s right, I SWOONED. And as you may or may not know, I don’t swoon.


Okay, being the savvy, in-the-know book person that I am, I’m aware that sometimes books get put on store shelves before their release date, because the bookstore employees just kind of clear out the back room all at once and, unless there’s some crazy Harry Potter-type do-it-and-we’ll-kill-you ban on letting anyone get even a little peek before midnight on release day, you might be able to get it a little ahead of time. I’m super impatient, so this weekend I went to three bookstores over three days to look for Tap & Gown. Last year, this method worked for me–I got Rites of Spring (Break) two days early and scarfed it down in one night. This year, not so much. ALTHOUGH, as I would find out, it might be because I am blind.

Yesterday, Tap & Gown‘s official release date, I went to the Borders near my work and looked for it on the Fiction shelf. Diana’s books are pretty easy to spot, being candy-colored, and I found a copy of Under the Rose and a copy of Secret Society Girl. Frustrated, I went over to the customer service desk and asked a guy for help. He said they should have copies in the store, looked through all the paperback tables for me, did a little rain dance to see if he could conjure it up from the sky, and then was like, “Well, let’s check the Fiction section again, just to see if it’s been misshelved.”

So I follow him over to the Fiction section, under P, and on the shelf RIGHT BELOW the one where I’d found copies of UtR and SSG were, like, eight copies of T&G and about three of RoS(B). RIGHT BELOW the shelf I’d been looking at. Now, okay, in my defense, I expect all books by a single author to be shelved together alphabetically, so this was technically someone else’s bad, but seriously, Anna? You can’t check the other shelves? It’s not like you’ve never been in a bookstore before. Anyway, I bought my copy and got out of there before people could laugh at me for not using the eyes God gave me.

Now I’m wondering if those copies were there all weekend, and I am a dumbass. The answer on that one is probably YES.

Anyway, Tap & Gown was the best book of the series, hands down. It took me a while to get into the Secret Society Girl series, but Under the Rose hooked me (not coincidentally, there’s a lot of Poe in that book). You know, I read about Amy and the Diggers and I look at all the nonsense they put each other through, or are put through by the patriarchs, and I think, “Why do they put up with this? Why stick around?” And then I remember every other day in my sorority, all the bullshit we had to deal with from each other and nationals and the alumnae. I actually have to work to recall that stuff, because what remains of my fraternal experience is the fun and the love, so I get it. I know, as Diana points out in UtR, Greek life and society life aren’t the same, but there’s enough similarities to make me miss my Theta days.

So back to Poe. Poe is pretty much the Chuck Bass of this series, and you know how much I love Chuck Bass. And by “is the Chuck Bass of this series” I mean that he’s the dark horse romantic interest, the person you never saw coming but the chemistry was too strong to ignore. Not that he’s a rich playboy who can’t engage emotionally, because none of that is true of Poe. I can’t really get enough of him, so I’m glad he was plenty around in this, the final book of the series. I’m going to miss those two crazy kids and their exploits (and I wish there was more than one love scene, but, you know, it was special this way). Now the plan is to spread the love.

At least she’s got that dead-eyed stare down

Posted on January 23rd, 2009 by annakjarzab

My blog stats are taking a nose dive, and you know what that means! Time to start talking about Twilight again. What? It’s not like I didn’t warn you that that’s my strategy. Haters to the left.

344802103_1edeec9687When I first heard rumblings that they were going to cast Dakota Fanning in New Moon, I was all, “What is this noise? Who would she even play? It’s not like there are any preternaturally intelligent creepmaster flash children in this series.” At least not until Breaking Dawn. ZING! I’ll be here forever. Try the stuffed chicken breasts. (Okay, you’re right, that was not a zing.)

First of all, fun fact: after being ten-going-on-eighty-seven for the past, oh, century, apparently Dakota Fanning is almost fifteen now. Speaking of vampires, I always kind of thought of her as a real-life Claudia from Interview With the Vampire. Now that theory is ruined, although we’d really have to test her DNA to be sure.

Second of all, funner fact: people are saying that they’re going to cast her as Jane in New Moon. Personally, I think this casting choice, if indeed it is true, which, shouldn’t this all be settled right now? Don’t they have to start shooting this movie two weeks ago if it’s supposed to come out before the end of the year? Or are we in for yet another faithful but soulless adaptation, complete with clumsy editing and a terrible soundtrack, because nobody seems even remotely capable of planning ahead and the whole thing gets rushed? At least they’ve got more money this time around, so maybe the Volturi temple of doom set will be kick ass.

What was I saying? Oh, this casting choice is dead on. I barely remember Jane, but what I do remember was that she was small and creepy and had truly terrifying mind powers–I think maybe she was able to make people feel excruciating pain they weren’t really experiencing? That’s bananas. Which leads me to a question: Aro is, like, totally power hungry and yet he and his posse of ancient bloodsucking lunatics have absolutely no desire to maybe take over the world? Why don’t vampires rule the universe, if indeed they’re so impossible to outwit or defeat? Why are they afraid of being revealed to the world by mad hoards of newborn vamps or Edward stepping into a crowded Italian piazza and *~*SPARKLING*~*?

I think about this way too much. Time to get a life.

Gwenyth Paltrow wants you to know that she reads

Posted on January 22nd, 2009 by annakjarzab

Does anyone else subscribe to GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly email newsletter that is supposed to “nourish the inner aspect”, whatever that gibberish is supposed to mean? You should. It’s HILARIOUS. It’s supposed to be for the common (wo)man, I think, except it’s possible that Gwyneth Paltrow’s idea of the “common (wo)man” is vastly different from, like, my own experience and reality in general. It appears that she thinks what separates herself from the rest of us rubes is that we’re too lazy to eat organic and hire a personal trainer or whatever. Also that paparazzi don’t follow us around all the time, because of course we’re not interesting enough, for that or to have our own weekly lifestyle newsletter. Oh, I’ve been WONDERING what to do with my Christian Laboutin booties! Pair them with $75 tights? To die!

Obvs, this is a true gem of the internets. I subscribed several of my friends without their knowledge. Anyway, today’s GOOP is particularly relevant to this blog because Gwyneth tackles the subject of “amazing, transportive novels.” She’s asked her friends for suggestions, because she prefers forensic pathology documentaries…naturally! (What?) Just kidding, she adds her own favorite books as well–Gwyneth reads, people! She wants you to know that!

It’s pretty much what you’d expect. You’ve got some Tolstoy, some Marquez, some Faulkner, some Hemingway, some Dostoevsky, some Bronte. Fine. Boring, but fine. I’m sure these women really treasure these novels, and what makes me sure of this is that the whole world treasures these novels. They’re classics, DUH. I don’t really need Gwyneth Paltrow to tell me to read Pride and Prejudice, I got that memo in the fourth grade. But the list does have some little secret surprises. Like, did you know that Christy Turlington is pursuing her master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia? I didn’t!

Madonna’s list is probably the most interesting, because she lists The Time Traveler’s Wife (one of my personal favorites), The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa, and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I’ve never even heard of the last two, hard as that is to admit. What’s funny about that section is that while every other person who submitted a list (without exception, all of these women are not only great readers but also “amazing mothers”) included an explanation of why they loved the novels they chose, Madonna didn’t. Just a terse three-book list. Ha! Oh Madonna, so mysterious. If that woman ever says anything that wasn’t previously vetted by a publicist, I’ll die of shock. Also, Stella McCartney’s (I guess, she only refers to her as “Stella”, but they’re friends right?) aunt Louise loves Alice Munro, and so I love Aunt Louise.

I should start my own similar newsletter, although I suspect this is how it would go:

You guys would read that, wouldn’t you? I hereby swear: unlike Gwyneth, I won’t say anything underminey that basically translates to “You are fat.”

Elsewhere in the celebrity lifestyle bloguverse, The Office‘s Mindy Kaling’s blog is beyond awesome. Check out things i bought that i love when you have a moment.