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Edward Cullen

Yes…I am going there.

Twilight is a series of four vampire themed fantasy, romance novels by author Stephenie Meyer. The story charts the life of Isabella “Bella” Swan who moves to Forks, Washington and falls in love with Edward Cullen, a 104 year old vampire. The Twilight series is predominately told from Bella’s perspective with the epilogue from Eclipse and Part II of Breaking Dawn told in Jacob Black’s perspective.

Since the release of the first novel in 2005, the books have gained immense popularity and success. As of 2010, the books have sold over 116 million copies and translated into at least 38 different languages. The books have also been made into the Twilight Saga series of motion pictures by Summit Entertainment. The first three movies were released in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The fourth book is being made into a two part series.

I know a lot of people do not like Twilight. There is no real plot development or character development. I am aware of this. However, the Twilight Series is a big guilty pleasure of mine. I have read the books multiple times and have seen the movies…multiple times as well. Do you ever read a book and dread reading it? I can admit I do at times. To take a break from dreadful, required reading books that do not necessarily hold my interest, I like to read Twilight. To be honest, it does not require a lot of thought for me and I can complete a book within a couple days.

When you think of characters from Twilight, what is the first character that comes to mind? For me it is Edward Cullen. “So ready for this to be the end, for this to be the twilight of your life, though your life has barely started. You’re ready to give up everything.” Oh Twilight. How much more sappiness and unnecessary coddling can you put in your text? No matter how sappy and “tweenie” the romance is, I still eat it up.

Everyone has a guilty pleasure they indulge in. My guilty pleasure is Twilight and I am proud to admit it.

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Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States and a military commander during the Civil War. Grant commanded the the Union Army and helped defeat the Confederate State of America. Confederate commander, Robert E. Lee, denounced Grant as a ruthless butcher who won the war by brute force. However, most historians hailed Grant as a military genius.

After leaving office, Grant went on a two year world tour. In 1880, he made an unsuccessful third bid for presidency. Some historians, until recently, have deemed Grant’s presidency the worst rankings. His reputation however improved because of greater appreciation for his African American voting enforcement and citizenship rights during Reconstruction.

Now that the history lesson is done, I’ll tell a quick fact about myself. I absolutely love the Civil War. Ever since high school history class I have been infatuated with the Civil War. Besides the exception of World War II, I absolutely hate learning about wars. I find discussing wars boring and they frankly put me to sleep. But for some reason, I could discuss the Civil War with someone for hours. The issues, the battles, the people all make me very excited and eager to learn.

One of the main people I think of when I think of the Civil War is Ulysses S. Grant (being in the North, someone in the Union came to mind faster than the confederacy). I once read this quote from Grant in one of my history books, “The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.”

Like I said previously, I am usually not that interested in war. I am not very intelligent when it comes to military strategy, military technique or examining the technicalities of war. This is why I am fond of this quote. Grant’s quote describes war very simply. War is a complex and it is difficult to grasp the different aspects of what goes into a war. However, Grant describes war in the precise manner any average person would see it. Sometimes, it is difficult to put into words how much destruction, violence, and complexity a war causes. But Grant very simply and nicely put into words the reality of war.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Hepburn remains one of the world’s most famous actresses. In particular, she is remembered in film and as a fashion icon of the twentieth century. Most notably, Hepburn appeared in films such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. Hepburn is also one of the only people to have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award. Although she appeared in less films as she aged, she devoted the rest of her life to UNICEF. In 1993, Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland. Although almost two decades have passed since her death, Hepburn remains an icon to many.

When I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I was instantly drawn to Hepburn’s grace and poise. She seemed to exude what being a women was in that time period yet still separated herself from the crowd with her independence.

I once read Audrey Hepburn said, “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” I found this quote quite funny in a way. When a person thinks of Audrey Hepburn, they think of a humanitarian or a sweet and beautiful actress. I just found it contradictory that an actress characterized as so would feel this way in some sense.

But at the same time, how true is this quote for everyone at some point. The happiest person just wants to be left alone sometimes and not bothered sometimes. I simply got a chuckle out of the quote. I could have picked one of Audrey’s more “girlier” or “feminine” quote to discuss. However, these quote are seen all too often on Facebook, Myspace, or…well…other blog websites.

Overall, I find Audrey Hepburn very inspiring. Her grace and selflessness are very admirable. But the fact of the matter is, well, I guess we all want to be left alone now and again.

John Kennedy


As I stated in my movie quote post, I am a fan of the 40-60’s time era. I am not sure why, but the past has always had an allure to me. In particular, the 60’s is one of my favorite time eras to discuss. What political figure comes to mind when you think of the 60’s? John F. Kennedy (well in my opinion it should be). The Kennedys are one of the most established families in the country. They exude grace, Americana, and yet are the perfect portrayal of tragedy.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, more commonly known as JFK, was the 35th president of the United States serving until he was assassinated. Before his death in 1963, Kennedy served in the South Pacific during World War II and then later represented the Massachusetts’s 11th congressional district in the House of Representatives from 47-53. After serving in the senate from 53-60, he ran in the presidential election against Nixon and was the youngest president elected to office.

Kennedy’s presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, and the African American Civil Rights Movement. Kennedy was assassinated in Dall, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was charged with the crime but was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby. Till this date, Kennedy continues to rank highly in public opinion ratings of former United States presidents.

As I just mentioned, John Kennedy is a major public figure, even in the year 2011. First of all, his charisma is undeniable. I have seen news videos of his speeches on youtube and have become utterly enthralled at his excellence in public speaking. He speaks with a certainty, wisdom, assurance, and grace. The manner of Kennedy’s death gave him a saintly reputation and the rumors of affairs with Marilyn Monroe gave him a notoriously glamorous life.

In high school, I would listen to some of Kennedy’s speeches inspired by his ability to speak so elegantly. In one of his speeches, he said, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.” I found this quote particularly beautiful. I never considered ideas to have this kind of immortality, but what Kennedy said is true. Ideas can surpass a person’s life. A person ideas and thoughts can live on forever in other people’s memories  or society. A person can live on through their ideas-they can be immortal in this aspect. I believe this quote perfectly reflects John F. Kennedy.

Response to what is masculinity

I decided I would take another break from discussing a quote this week. Instead, my Professor I am writing this blog for raised a question about an earlier blog post. In my “It’s a sin to kill a mocking bird” post, I discuss the theme of masculinity. The exact quote (referring to the book To Kill a Mockingbird) is this, “before reading To Kill a Mockingbird, I always viewed courage as some idealized, masculine entity.” My professor posed the question of why I viewed it as a masculine trait. With this question asked, I will explain myself.

I am an avid Ernest Hemingway fan. For those of you who are literary minded, this should explain a lot. For those of you who have not read Hemingway, you might be confused. Ernest Hemingway was an author and journalist. He fought in numerous wars, was a proclaimed hunter, and an overall masculine figure of his time. Dissertations have been done solely focusing on the theme of masculinity in his books. His views on sex, war, and sport all refer back to a hyper masculine view when reading his various books and articles. Reading these books throughout my entire high school/collegiate career has instilled a masculine view for me when considering what is courage.

A picture from one of Ernest Hemingway’s hunting trips

Now don’t get me wrong. I completely see all aspects/sides/view points when it comes to other people’s’ perception of courage. I am not saying what I believe is right or the only opinion out there. I am simply stating what I have been conditioned to believe though my life experiences, what I’ve read, or seen in television/film.

Some of you may believe what I think about courage is a stereotype. “Courage is a masculine trait? That’s so stereotypical of you to think.” But I am a firm believer in the fact that stereotypes come from some stem of truth. Again, I am not saying that stereotypes are right or that they are 100% accurate. I am stating that stereotypes have some root of truth in them (and it can be a small ounce of truth at that). Aristotle once said, “men find it easier to be courageous than women, and women find it easier to be moderate than men.” Can we think of some instances where this can be true? I am sure everyone can think of many. However, I will in no way denounce the ability of females to be courageous. There are many strong, courage women in the world.

I suppose I am just getting myself into a big gender battle here. I am making this sound like we’re in the 60’s again. I guess I will clarify myself a little better. When I think of courage, I think of performing a task that exceeds one’s physical limits in some way. For some reason in my mind, I tend to disregard the mental or emotional aspect of courage. Physical courage just tends to be the first thing I associate with when I think of what courage is. Therefore I associate masculinity with physicality in regards to courage.

I understand I have a backwards way of thinking in regards to this topic. Additionally, to reiterate again, I am not saying females and males are not equal or that females can not display courage. I am just stating what first comes to my mind when I think of courage.

I suppose I should read less Hemingway and more Kate Chopin.

 

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder”

Usually my blog posts refer to one particular topic/quote/person/book. However, I thought I would switch it up a bit this time. Quotes can come derive from a wide aspect of mediums. Quotes come from books, speeches, television shows, interviews, etc. However, some of my favorite quotes come directly from movies. I am a huge movie buff. In my spare time, you will find me watching a movie. I am also one of those annoying people that watch movies over and over again and repeat the lines from the movie as they happen. So instead of annoying people, I decided I will  put some of my favorite movies and quotes from the movie in a post today. Here are a couple of my favorites:

The Dead Poet’s Society

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

Dirty Dancing

“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”

Mean Girls

“Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling somebody else stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.”

The Wizard of Oz

“Someplace where there isn’t any trouble…do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or train. It’s far, far away… behind the moon… beyond the rain.”

Casablanca

“And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Here’s looking at you, kid.”

I saved my favorite movie for last. Casablanca is one of my all time favorite movies. Old fashioned movies have always been a love of mine and they provide some of the best quotes out there. As a side note, I will probably expand on some of these quotes in the future!

Steve Jobs

It has been over a month since Steve Jobs passed away. Jobs was a business man and a highly recognized visionary in the field of technology. Most notably, Jobs was best known for being a co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Incorporated. I have heard many different opinions on Steve Jobs. Some say he was a greedy jerk while others praise him as a technological, innovative god of sorts. What is my opinion? I feel as though I do not know enough about him to praise or denounce him.

There is one thing that irks me significantly about his death however. I, in no way, disrespect Steve Jobs or intend anything I say to be disrespectful. However, being an information technology major, I find it very disheartening that other men of his magnitude were not recognized as much as Jobs was. Dennis Ritchie, founder of Unix and the inventor of C, died three days after Jobs. Ritchie made just as much, if not more, progress in the field of information technology as Steve Jobs did. Ritchie did not get as much recognition or attention as Jobs did even though he made large steps in the field of computers and technology. This upsets me. However, the determining aspect that must not go unnoticed is Jobs’ dedicated drive, will, and vision of the future that makes him a significant public figure.

The one thing that is undeniable is Jobs’ passion and charisma. The name ‘Steve Jobs’ is known world wide. When you think of a leading force behind the Apple brand you think of this man. Although I do not know much about him as a person or businessman, it is evident that Jobs was a innovative mastermind that pushed the limits of technology and society. I believe this aspect of an individual is admirable.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

As a public figure, Steve Jobs inspires me to push myself to be the best possible person I can be. Jobs dropped out of college and made something of yourself. You don’t have to have a masters degree or doctorate to push yourself and be innovative, creative, or create something all your own. Jobs inspires people to have the same passion and drive that drove him. When you lose the passion and the drive, that is when you are a failure. When you lose the hunger, the dots will not connect.