Tea with my sister: fangirls over fanboys, twilight, and something about a half-assed prince?

So I just spent twenty minutes talking on the phone with my sister. I love having a sister, and having Bri as my sister is especially nice. We can talk about any, any, ANY sort of shit. My mind is very ‘in the moment’ right now, which is to say the closest I come to having ADD – Oh, I just realized the internet radio station is playing “Celluloid Heroes” by the KinksCelluloid Heroes is also the name of a new zine I am half-way through starting, and the Kinks is where I got the name – yeah, see? Random and irrelevant.

Anyway, back to the random narrative at hand: the phone call was premeditated by the fact that I was about to log into facebook to message her some Very Important Information, and she happened to call me. I actually can’t remember why, but it worked out in the end. When we were in Seattle a few weeks ago for Father’s Day (we took our dad to a Mariner’s game), we found this AMAZING TEA at Pike Place Market. Neither of us are what you might refer to tea coinnosseurs, but we are definitely appreciative of tea’s ability to either caffeinate or calm. This tea is unlike anything I have ever consumed. To paraphrase Edward Cullen (more about that later), it’s like my own personal brand of heroin. I am growing desperate as I have realized that I only have one tea bag left and no prospect of a trip to Seattle anytime soon (even though I actually considered it, by looking at my calendar to see when I had a free Saturday).

I feel like Charlie in the first season of Lost when he only has that one small baggie of heroin left. I’ve been increasingly reusing the tea bags, trying to squeeze as many cups as possible out of each one. It doesn’t work. That first strong cup is magical. So magical I actually fear it turning me into some sort of small amphibious creature. So magical that its pet white tiger is about to maul it to within an inch of its life. Oh Market Spice tea, what will I do without you?

So I googled it. Yes, the answer for any 21st Century predicament. I am glad I did. I’m sure this little Pike Place store had complaints from tourists all over the world, raving and scratching at their own skin to get more, that the company now sells it through Amazon. I just ordered package of 50 bags for $12.95 USD, plus $6 shipping. So worth it. Even if more expensive than the street stuff. But you just never know what that’s laced with.

I realize that this post is rather ridiculous, but that’s the beauty of the internet. Blogs are just shit. The ravings of lunatics given the guise of validity. If you’ve had that tea, you would understand. Still not sure if it’s caffeinated, but starting to think “yes.” That magical, magical tea. Just go to Seattle, find the store, and sample the tea. They have free samples, you know! That’s how they getcha. It’s like what my mom said when warning me about drugs in junior high, “The first one’s always free. Then they jack up the price.” I’m sure she speaks from experience.

I was initially worried that this post would become an exercise in randomness through the ADD-mangled, brain patterns that I’m currently experiencing due to the fact that I’ve had three cups of this miracle tea and it’s only one o’clock. It is definitely caffeinated. Despite this previous concerns, it seems that this post has become very, very obsessive. I originally intended it to be a tribute to my sister and the wonderful closeness we occasionally share over the strangest of things, but she somehow hit the cutting room floor.

Bri and I have been hanging out a lot lately, due to several reasons: 1. I’ve moved out and I miss her, like I knew that I would, 2. Our parents are on holiday, so she’s alone in the house and quite bored and lonely, 3. The crazy pace of my life has slowed for a couple of weeks, which is nice, but also boring, and 4. We both just discovered Twilight.

Oh, Twilight. It’s so, so, SO terrible. Utter, utter shite. Really, it is. Bella is probably the worst female role model I could imagine this side of Warren Jeffs’ favourite wife. We both even hated Titanic. So why the hell are we obsessing like 14-year-old fangirls? Ugh. I don’t know. I really can’t explain it. People have dodged murder raps with clearer-headed temporary insanity. Perhaps Robert Pattinson has something to do with it. Or a lot to do with it. We were both in denial for I don’t know how long. Desperate not to admit we each thought him extremely gorgeous, we feared being labelled one of THOSE girls. But, fuck, we are. Stamp it on our foreheads. I feel the years slipping back. It was good while it lasted, these last few years. I realized how much I was growing up. In the good way. I’ve matured a lot. Felt like an ‘old soul.’ Fuck. Now I’m thirteen again. My age has spontaneously halved.

Twilight is the most perfect example of cognitive dissonance to which I can relate. Cognitive Dissonance: the uncomfortable – or otherwise brain-splitting – feeling caused by holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. I know that Twilight is bad. I know that there is so much wrong with it. It contains so many things that I just utterly dislike. Yet I like it. I can’t reconcile this dichotomy. How can something this discontinuous exist within my own head? I don’t understand. I think it comes down to a battle between emotion and education; between those forces of A) all the things you were indoctrinated with during your formative years, such as traditional gender roles, acceptance of authority, and so on – housed in the inner layers of your mind and are now referred to interchangeably as “common sense,” “emotional response,” “implicit ideology,” or any number of things; and B) all the things you’ve learned since your malleable childlike brain hardened, things like the mechanics of psychology, the historical context of contemporary society, and critical thinking – the stuff that lingers as explicit knowledge, analytical judgement, an intellectual response rather than emotional, reason and logic, science over faith, questioning over acceptance. Far too complicated a train of thought for something as trivial as Twilight, one reckons. Oh well, it is Bri that has the “I *heart* Boys Who Sparkle” button, not me.

We did rent Fanboys on Saturday, too. We both like Star Wars. I really like Star Wars. Like an endearing roommate that you desperately can’t stand living with, despite the fact that you care about them deeply. I love Star Wars… but I’m not in love with it. And I know far, far too much about it. In fact, I was able to answer a good 75% of the questions the titular fanboys were asked in the film regarding The Trilogy. I have seen the films a lot, but I attribute all of this knowledge to having many, many fanboy friends, dating fanboys, living with a fanboy for almost three years, and thus being subjected to Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, RPGs, and other wookiee-filled discussions. (I even knew that wookiee is spelt with two E’s. Isn’t that ridiculous?) For those three years, my flat was also home to Star Wars cookbooks, trading cards, collectable miniatures, and everything but the Darth Vader voice-changing mask (I shouldn’t even know that exists).

I got so into the Extended Universe through discussion and exposition (and being made to read the Thrawn Trilogy – again, shouldn’t know) that just knowing all this information, and talking about it, was better than actually watching the films. Because let’s face it, it’s the Star Wars Universe that makes them interesting. The films (with exception of The Empire Strikes Back) are really just slightly better-than-average action films. Don’t get me started on George Lucas’s writing/directing skills. Okay, I’ll start a little: Give the job to a fifteen-year-old with some Super 8 skills and she’ll probably do better. At least she would have realized that rolling around in the grass is simply the most unacceptable love story cliché of all time.

So, thus, Fanboys really got me. Especially Kristen Bell’s character. Yes, the token girl. Volumes of issues relating to feminism aside, the only aspect in which she differed from my 19-year-old self was the fact that I have neither broke into the Lucas Ranch nor flashed my boobs in a comic book store (… I think…). Everything else is frighteningly accurate. Yes, the film was flawed. But it was exactly what it intended to be: a love letter to the Star Wars Universe. Bri and I watched it twice, and all the special features. It is now two days overdue from Blockbuster. Our twenty-minute tea conversation ended with an “Oh, crap. I still need to return that. If I see Fanboys for sale, I’m totally buying it. Did you want me to grab you a copy?” Yes please. We can watch it again before we go see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at midnight tonight.

What’s the deal with fandoms? I’ve been toeing the edges of a million all week. I’ve neglected to mention until now that I’ve been rewatching Lost with my roommates. We’ll save that for later. It is something to do with finding instant common ground with other people in a lonely world? Is it relishing in the idea that you’re not alone in this escapist fantasy? I don’t normally participate in fandoms. If anything, they find me. I read up, engage in the odd geek-out, but I’m not a convention-goer, or a fanfic writer, or a fandom webmaster or anything. I draw the line at buying posters, too. The geekiest poster I own is a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy one that I got for free working at a bookstore. Somehow I deem this geeky, but my Casablanca poster is not. My Clash posters are quite extensive, but they’re punk rock, so it’s not geeky, it’s just obsessive (I put them all up in one room and realized exactly how much Joe Strummer that was). I think the feeling of being part of something pulls us towards fandoms. It is the feeling of belonging to something, somewhere, which means a lot in this aforementioned lonely world. I’m still not sure what there is beyond escapism for the solitary geek like me. I hypothesize that it is like any appreciation for art, but with a lot more of that adolescent emotional side and a little less of the intellectual adult. Same source but the balance is slightly skewed. Perhaps I will need either a Phd or pre-school to sort this all out.

I have no idea how I will cope tomorrow morning at work with no sleep and with no Market Spice tea.

Aw, fuck.

Caffeine Update – 1.46pm. Our weekend also included a longer-than-sane discussion of Lord of the Rings. That wins the argument for being “The Trilogy” in our family. Ten bucks if you can guess how many times Bri and I saw Fellowship in theatre.

Caffeine Update – 2.15pm. Have realized that I am indeed highly, highly, HIGHLY caffeinated.

Caffeine Update – 3.04pm. Caffeine levels approaching normal. Have reviewed the post with level of near-sobriety. Revised with reasonable commentary. Also took out the phrase “tea bag” a few times. Six times was too much to mention “tea bag” without being a porn site.

Caffeine Update – 3.50pm. Crashing… burning… losing will to….

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