Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Song of the Day: Sara Bareilles - King of Anything

As per usual, the song of the day comes from whatever shuffled on iPod this morning. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vampire Diaries 2.22 "As I Lay Dying"

I don't even know where to begin on this episode, so I think I'll do things the Holly-way, which is step by step, in order, from Scene One.

In Which Damon asks for Forgiveness:  We open in the Gilbert House (I guess the Mystic Falls gang thinks they are now safe from Klaus? I know he got what he wants, but still, dude is nuts. I'd move everyone into Casa Salvatore, just to be safe). Elena looks in on a sleeping Jeremy and sadly into Jenna's empty bed before running into Damon in the hallway. He's there to ask her forgiveness for forcing his blood on her. She tells him she needs time.

I thought this scene was just beautiful and simple. The audience knows that Damon (theoretically since we also know Somerhalder is going nowhere) has no time to wait for her forgiveness, and its very telling of his feelings for Elena that he doesn't tell her about his bite in order to get what he wants from her. I think that shows the growth of his character over time. Damon's demeanor here is also very different than pretty much anything we've seen before. He's so gentle and calm with her, no biting comments at all.

In Which Stefan Sows the Seeds of his own Destruction: Damon heads back to the mansion, where he has his priorities in order: Elena and then a stiff drink. After fixing that drink, he wanders over to the window, opens the curtains to let the sun in and takes off his ring. Of course, Stefan speeds in, tackles him, and manhandles him down to the cellar where he locks him up, promising that he'll find a cure and that he has Bonnie looking for something.

I'm not all together certain that Damon intended to kill himself right that minute. I tend to think he was taking the whole 'burning to death' thing for a test drive before he really had to do it. I would hope he'd have a few more goodbyes to say before he really kicked the bucket. Surely he'd at least tell Stefan goodbye first?

In Which Klaus and Elijah have Incestuous Sexual Tension in the Woods: We cut to Klaus, naked in the forest, awakening after what Elijah tells him was two days. Klaus can change at will and remembers all his kills, which Elijah has been cleaning up. There's some slashfic tension going on as Elijah helps Klaus dress. They reaffirm their bargain of Klaus reuniting Elijah with their family.

At this point, I think Elijah had to be realizing that he might not have made the best decision in letting Klaus live, but he's kind of stuck with it, as Klaus reminds him that he's pretty much unkillable now. I'm curious though, about the plausibility of simply containing Klaus in someway, bricking him up somewhere perhaps.

In Which Alaric feels the pull of The Bromance: Over at the Grill, Alaric is drunkenly getting the bartender to just give him the bottle. His phone rings, and he tells Stefan "I'm sorry, you've reached someone who is currently not operating." He is clearly agitated at being locked up last week, as his response to Stefan's plea for help is met with snark. However, he quickly asks what Stefan needs when he hears that Damon is dying from a wolf bite.

I love that they gave Alaric some bitterness over being kept out of everything while Jenna died. He's got to be tired of being in the background and I hope that this shakeup with Jenna means more action for Alaric. Also, the Alaric/Damon bromance is one of my favorite things ever, so my heart just melted when Alaric totally wanted to step up to help Damon, despite how much helping these people has screwed up his life.

In Which Caroline Is Her Caroline Self: In the town square, girls are dressed as Scarlett as the Falls gears up for a showing of Gone With the Wind. Elena and Jeremy walk up, with Jer bitching about attending the movie, but Elena is having none of it, insisting that they have to just keep living their lives until doing so becomes normal again. Caroline arrives and gives Jeremy a fantastic little speech on how they've made it through the war and will persevere like Scarlett.

I love Candice Accola so much and her portrayal Caroline is just a breath of fresh air on this show. Despite all the bad stuff they just went through, including finding out her mother knows about her fangy problem, she's able to remain positive and hope that the three of them can have a normal day watching a movie. Of course, they don't know what we know, sadly.

In Which Damon's Cure is Predictable: Over at the Witchy Juju House of Burning, Stefan and Bonnie do a seance to ask Emily and the other witches about a cure for Damon's bite. Emily, because she hates Damon, refuses to answer, but Bonnie pulls a name out of the witches whispering: Klaus.

This was predictable but at least I was assured that we weren't done with the Klaus/Elijah part of the storyline for this season. At some point though, we're going to have to lose this witchy resource, though, otherwise its just going to always provide the easy resolution to the gang's problems.

In Which I Really Don't Care about Mama Lockwood: The mayor confronts the Sheriff about her lack of progress in the vampire arena and the Sheriff is noticeably defensive.

I'll be honest, I've no idea what the motivation for this scene was beyond giving the Sheriff motivation for the actions she takes later on. I mean, what "results" is the mayor referring to? Are there dead bodies in the Falls that we've not heard about? Other than the one girl that Damon killed, we've not seen any victims. I had assumed that the Sheriff hadn't told anyone about Damon, Stefan, and Caroline being vamps, so I'm just confused about where the mayor's dissatisfaction is coming from (other than the fact that she's widowed, has no boyfriend and one working arm).

In Which Stefan does the Right, Difficult Thing: Stefan pulls Elena away from the picnic to tell her what's happened with Damon. Her first thought is about how she refused him forgiveness earlier that day. Stefan tells her that he thought she should know what is happening and that she should go see Damon if she wanted. He also tells her Klaus has the cure, and that he owes Damon because its his fault that he became a vampire in the first place.

Oh, if we'd only known that this was our last scene with Lightside Stefan and Elena. It says so much about Stefan's understanding of Elena's feelings for Damon (even if he wishes they weren't there) that he would specifically send her to his brother. It couldn't have been easy for him. And I don't think it was a coincidence that Stefan's last act with Elena present was to send her to his brother. I think that will be an important part of the narrative at the beginning of next season.

In Which Reality Has begun to fade: Damon's delusions have started and he's sucked into a memory of a saucy encounter with Katherine in 1864 where she asked him to help her with her corset strings. Delusion!Elena appears to him, telling him that he could have chosen to walk away from Katherine.

We didn't really learn anything new here, but I liked the interaction between Damon and Katherine. The floozy really does want it all.

In Which We Say Goodbye for Now to The Hair: Stefan shows up at Alaric's apartment, hoping Katherine can give him some intel on how to find Klaus. There's no need, as Klaus and Elijah turn up seconds after he arrives. Stefan asks Klaus' help curing Damon's wolf bite. Klaus says his first obligation is to fulfill his bargain with Elijah, which he does by stabbing Elijah in the heart with the ash dagger. Then he turns back to Stefan, verbally wondering, as we are, what he's going to do with him. Klaus then stakes Stefan, but doesn't pierce his heart. Then Stefan says the magic words: I'll do whatever you want, just give me the cure. Klaus drags it out by teasing that Stefan is just shy of useless to him, as he is.

Elijah really should have thought more carefully about how he worded his bargain with Klaus, who technically didn't lie about reuniting Elijah with his family. Now they're *all* corpsified together with no Originals wandering around to corral their psychopath brother. I'm sad to see Elijah go (for now) but I'm certain he'll be back next season.

In Which Alaric Continues to be Awesome: Damon is still stuck in the cellar, and the favor Stefan called in from Alaric was for him to babysit Damon while Stefan pursued the cure. Alaric pushes a glass of booze through the bars in the door. Damon tries to rile Alaric up by bringing up how much Alaric should hate him for Jenna and Isobel, but Alaric doesn't bite. Damon even grabs Alaric by the throat in an attempt to get Alaric to do him in, but it doesn't work. Damon apparently falls back into imagining Elena.

Seriously, "Neither one of us is drunk enough for this conversation" was probably the best line of the night. I love the friendship that has developed between these two, even though, yes, Alaric should hate Damon for the very things Damon mentions. I think its easy to say that their relationship is based on their mutual love of the drink, but I think it sincerely goes beyond them being drinking buddies, though I love that they are that.

In Which The Sheriff Continues to Be a Complete Idiot: Elena is pulling up outside the manse to see Damon when the Sheriff and her deputies arrive on the scene and detain her, obviously gearing up to storm the castle looking for the monster. Inside, Alaric goes to get Damon some blood and the Sheriff makes the mistake of forcing her way into the cellar with Damon, despite Alaric's warning. She gets thrown against the wall for her trouble, and lets the delusional vampire escape from his cage.

I have no opinion on this scene other than that Liz is an idiot.

In Which Jeremy Grows a Pair: Night has fallen and the movie has started in the square. Alaric calls Jeremy to warn him, Care, and Bonnie that Damon is on the loose and that Elena should be watched, since that's probably who Damon will go after. No one knows where Elena is, but Jeremy insists that he's going to find and protect his sister. Bonnie tries to keep him behind like last week, but Jeremy digs in, pointing out that last time he got left out, Jenna still died.

Good for Jeremy for standing up for himself and his remaining family. He's got his ring and Elena is basically all he has left. He is totally right in insisting that he be included in protecting her.

In Which Something I Didn't Expect Occurs: Back at the Apartment Formally Known as Alaric's, Klaus begins waxing poetic about Darkside Stefan from the old days. He tells Stefan that that's the vampire he's willing to make a deal with, that he can use that vampire. Then he demonstrates the cure by biting Katherine, then feeding her his blood to cure the bite.

I have to say, I have been predicting for a few weeks that Stefan would be the Salvatore in most danger at the end of the season, and it seems I was correct. Once Damon got bit, I assumed that somehow, Stefan would wind up sacrificing himself to save him. However, it didn't even occur to me that the sacrifice would be to go back on the people juice hardcore and team up with Klaus. That's so twisted. Show, never stop surprising me, k?

In Which The Scene is so short I have no clever title: Delusional Damon wanders up to the square, still confused between the present day and 1864. Jeremy finds him, and Damon insists he needs to see Elena. Jeremy insists they need to get Damon out of the public and shoulders him off screen.

In Which I want to punch Liz in the Face: Turns out that Liz has Elena in her office, where she berates Elena for associating with the murderers. Elena tries to change her mind, but a deputy comes in and tells Liz that Damon was spotted going into the Grill. Elena insists that Damon is sick and that she should come with Liz, but the sheriff locks her up in her office. Jeremy has just gotten Damon into the Grill when Liz appears, gun drawn. Damon stealths out of the way, and Liz's shot hits Jeremy square in the chest. Bonnie and Caroline arrive on the scene, as Liz is horrified by what she's done. After Bonnie points out that the ring won't work in this scenario, Caroline tries to save Jeremy by giving him her blood, but he won't drink. Alaric comes in to see the women crying over Jeremy's body, but Bonnie seems to know what to do, telling Alaric to get Jeremy and bring him with them. The sheriff tries to stop them, but Caroline orders her to let them go.

I hope that this marks a turning point in Liz's opinions about vampires. Because she wasn't willing to listen to Alaric or Elena or her own daughter, she killed Jeremy Gilbert. I hope that Caroline's actions here also showed her that her daughter is good and powerful and not evil. Caroline didn't hesitate to try to save Jeremy.

In Which Elena is a clever girl: In the sheriff's office, Elena is pacing. She finally escapes by throwing a chair through the window. Girl, sometimes you are my favorite.

In Which Klaus Reveals that he wants Stefan as his BFF:  Here's what Klaus wants: Stefan to become his wingman and go on a decade long bender with him, away from Mystic Falls. He forces Stefan to drink two blood bags then and there, under threat of pouring out the bottle of Klaus' blood that he's prepared to cure Damon. Stefan gets progressively more intense the more he drinks.

I'm so so interested in Darkside Stefan, but I'm dubious of this deal. Basically, Klaus wants Stefan to be his partner in crime in exchange for Damon's cure. I see how he's got Stefan under his thumb until Klaus hands over the cure for Damon, but what then? Does Klaus think Stefan will grow to love and care for him the same way Klaus obviously pines after Stefan? Or does he assume, and perhaps rightly so, that Stefan will continue with the deal simply out of fear of what Klaus will do if Stefan backs out? Maybe, but it seems to me that there's no way out for Stefan ever, not even 10 years down the road, when his "deal" is up unless Klaus is neutralized.
In Which The Witches Come Through Again: Bonnie and Alaric have taken Jeremy to the Witchy Juju House of Burning, where Bonnie begs the witches to help Jeremy. They don't want to, insisting there will be consequences. Alaric: "He's just a kid. Tell them to shut up." Bonnie continues to beg and then the seance is over. It appears for a minute that it wasn't successful but then Jeremy opens his eyes.

I'm really glad that Jeremy is alive, but I just feel nothing about his and Bonnie's relationship. I don't hate it, but I have no attachment to it. I much preferred the chemistry he had with Anna or even Vicki to this blandness (heh).

In Which Sweaty Damon Makes a Choice: Elena finds Damon in the square and tries to get him out of there, but he is stuck in a delusion that she is Katherine and he is chasing her through the woods in 1864. In this memory, we see that Damon drank Katherine's blood by choice. In reality, he noms on Elena's neck a little, only coming back to the present day when Elena struggles and tells him that he's hurting her. He realizes what he's done and falls to the ground in despair, but Elena is mostly okay, cradling his head to her chest and soothing him.

Was this the first time Damon has drank from Elena? Maybe its because the book series, but this felt like a very important occurrence to me and, yes, I thought it was pretty sexy. What can I say, I may be a sane Delena shipper, but I still am one. I want to see this pairing happen, even if its not endgame (I'm content with Stefan/Elena being endgame or even any other pairing).

In Which the Sheriff Gets off the Hook too Easily: At the Grill, Caroline lets Liz know that Jeremy is alive. She also tells Liz that she is tired of being afraid of her and that Liz shouldn't be afraid of her either, that's she's still her little girl. She's still Caroline. They hug and cry.

This scene was mildly touching but I feel like there's still a ways to before I personally forgive Liz for her behavior this season. I want her to truly see how much these kids go through, and that not all supernatural creatures are evil.

In Which Alaric Lightens the Mood a Bit: Jeremy apparently feels "different" now that he's back from the dead, or so he tells Bonnie while video chatting with her. He does thank her, though, for bringing him back. She tells him that he can thank her tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Then Alaric comes to Jer's doorway to see if he needs anything before Ric heads out. Jeremy says he's fine, but Alaric changes his mind and decides to crash at Gilbert Gables. Jeremy thanks him for everything. Alaric's response: "You can thank me tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that." Jeremy throws a pillow at him.

This scene felt a little out of place considering all the serious business going on, but it was still a great scene between Jeremy and Alaric. The two Gilbert kids are going to need someone to help look after them and Alaric is really the only one around. It should be interesting next season to see how this plays out.

In Which Elena ends up in Damon's Bed: Elena has somehow gotten Damon back to his bed at the mansion. He tries to get her to leave the room because he could hurt her, but she assures him he won't. She tells him she's staying with him til the end, then climbs into bed to cradle him as his pain increases. He confesses to her that he chose to love Katherine and it was the wrong choice. He wants Elena to tell Stefan he's sorry for blaming him all those years.

In Which Stefan is a Real Messy Drinker: Klaus is enjoying watching Stefan down a copious amount of blood. Stefan refuses to drink more until Klaus gives him the cure. Klaus counters that he needs a deal with Stefan first for Stefan to embrace his darkside and leave town with Klaus. When Klaus holds out another blood bag, Stefan can't refuse. Klaus then gives Kat the cure to take to Damon, finally freeing her from her confinement in Alaric's apartment. Stefan is upset that his consumption will have been for nothing, as Kat probably won't take Damon the cure now that she is free. Klaus is unmoved.

In Which The Kiss finally happens: Elena insists that there is still hope for Damon. He says that he deserves to die for the choices he's made. Elena disagrees, but Damon counters that he wouldn't change his choices, as they led him to meeting her. He apologizes for all that he's done to hurt her and she forgives him. As Damon tells her that he understands that its Stefan she loves, Elena lays next to him with her head on his shoulder. Damon tells her that he loves her, and that he wants her to know it. She assures him that she does. He tells her that she should have met him in 1864, that she would have liked him. Her response is that she likes him now, just the way he is. He conveniently turns his face towards her, and she kisses him softly. He thanks her, and she replies with "your welcome." Then Katherine walks in with the cure. She gives it to Damon, telling him that she owed him one. When Elena asks after Stefan, Katherine tells them that Stefan gave himself over to Klaus in exchange for the cure, that he sacrificed everything including Elena to save Damon. Her parting gift to Elena was "Its okay to love them both. I did."

I loved this scene so much, as a person who thinks there's so much potential in a Damon/Elena relationship. I do think this scene was something of a turning point in their relationship, though not as much of a game changer as the more rabid shippers would like. I think that Elena recognizes that Damon has real feelings for her and she is probably more aware of what her own feelings for him could be. Still, there's a long way to go to them becoming anything like a real couple. Elena still obviously loves Stefan (as well she should) and Damon needs some more time to atone. The kiss was sweet, and there was some real affection there, but ultimately I think that Elena was doing something nice for Damon (and herself) that she wouldn't have done if she knew he was going to live. It wasn't a declaration of her undying love or anything. And Katherine: perfect. Love that bitch.

In Which Stefan becomes Damon: In some sort of warehouse, Klaus is having Elijah boxed up and put with the rest of the family, as they are leaving town tonight. Stefan gets a text that Damon made it, and Klaus reveals that he knew that Kat was on vervain. Stefan counters that Klaus will never see Kat again, but Klaus hints that perhaps his and Stefan's new crime spree may involve hunting her down.  Stefan demands to know what Klaus wants with him, but Klaus deflects and distracts Stefan by offering him a real live girl to snack on as one last test of Stefan's new loyalty to him. Stefan hesitates, but then kills the girl as ordered.

I don't think it was a coincidence at all that Stefan biting into the girl was reminiscent of the times we've seen Damon do the same. I just re-watched the first 7 episodes of season 1 and they even used the same shaky cam effects we saw then when Damon was being so naughty. We're definitely getting Darkside Stefan next season, and I hope it lasts a while. We need something to shake up the nice little Stefan/Elena plot and this is just the thing. I don't think that it will immediately mean Elena defects to Team Damon, but its certainly going to add an interesting dynamic as Damon will, at least temporarily, be the Salvatore she can trust.

In Which I Don't Even Know:  Jeremy is awakened by something and wonders downstairs to find Alaric. Only the viewer can see Vicki as she walks behind him. When he gets downstairs, he turns when Vicki says "Jer." When he sees nothing, he turns to see Anna standing in front him, then back to see Vicki behind him.

And scene. I've no idea what this means about Jeremy, but I won't complain about having Malese Jow back. Vicki wasn't my favorite, really, but I think that she'll bring something interesting back to the show and perhaps give Matt and Tyler something to do.

Overall, this was more of a setup episode for next season, with "The Sun Also Rises" being more of a season finale. We've got a completely new dynamic between the main love triangle, and Bonnie and Jeremy now have a major storyline to tackle. Here's hoping the writers give Matt, Caroline, and Tyler something equally as juicy when hiatus is over. I certainly can't wait til its back in the fall!

Friday, May 6, 2011

In Defense of John Gilbert (RIP)

I'm accustomed to holding unpopular opinions. I'm a liberal Democrat living in Arkansas after all. So it doesn't bother me that I'm the only person I know in my little TVD circle of real life friends and Twitter peeps who cared about John Gilbert at all.

Here's the thing: John Gilbert was us. He's a real life character living in a land of fictional beings. He's the reason that parents are always dead or unavailable in YA paranormals.

Obviously, The Vampire Diaries is a fantasy world. There's vampires and werewolves and witches, oh my. It being a fantasy is the only reason Elena and Stefan's relationship is romantic instead of vaguely pedophiliac. Its the reason that Damon can be a romantic leading man and a psychopath, all at the same time.

But John Gilbert isn't a fantasy. He's not a perfect man, and could be an asshole at times. He is, however, a shining example of how a real life parent could behave, were this fantasy world somehow magically transferred to our reality.

A real parent wants their kid nowhere near a vampire, "good" or not. Of course, we all love Stefan and Damon and think that Elena's got two hot vampires to choose from. But if she were my daughter? Not bloody likely. She'd have been on the first plane to boarding school. John might be bigoted towards vampires, but he's not wrong that they bring danger to everyone. Without Stefan's interference, Elena would still have been the doppelganger, but we've no idea what the story would have been like if she'd stayed away from the vampires. Her life might have been better, it might have been worse, and I'm not so sure that a quick death in the Klaus ritual wouldn't have been preferable to all the stress and worry she's had to deal with over the past 2 seasons, at least from John's perspective.

This obviously isn't as simple as I make it sound. John's interference is made more problematic by the fact that he was so absent from Elena's life, so therefore has less right to tell her what to do. There's also the argument that Elena has her own agency and should be able to make her own choices (we'll call this the Stefan Corollary) but just like any other parent, John sees Elena's continued relationships with vampires to be something like drug addiction: its his job as a parent to protect this 17 year old from herself.

In the end, John gave his life to ensure his daughter got to keep her human existence, and I wouldn't be surprised if Elena isn't all the more aware after the great losses suffered in "The Sun Also Rises" that John wasn't entirely crazy in claiming that her involvement with vampires was dangerous for her and everyone she knows. I hope that the writers introduce another character that serves as the same foil John did for all the romantic vampire ideas.

RIP, John Gilbert. You'll be missed, at least by this viewer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Ten: Heroes and Historicals

Current events have had me torn between reading military romances and historical romances (specifically those set in Britain in the 18th & 19th Centuries), so I wanted to share my favorite books from these two genres!

Historical British Romance:

1. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase - This is pretty well recognized as one of the best ever in this genre. The dialogue is some of the best I've ever read in a romance, bar none, and the hero, Dain, is just the right amount of broken. The heroine, Jessica, is just flat out awesome.

2. Once and Always by Judith McNaught - Another classic of the genre, with another broken hero who I just love.

3. The Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood - This is the first in Garwood's Crown's Spies series, and they are all worth reading.

4. A Loving Scoundrel by Johanna Lindsey - This book is the 7th in a series, but I only read a couple of them, and this one was my favorite, perhaps because we are introduced to the hero, Jeremy, in an earlier book, when he is a young and reckless teenager.

5. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook - I'm kind of cheating by putting this book on this list, because it probably falls more into the steampunk category than in historical romance, but it *is* set in Victorian London, and there are Dukes and Duchesses and Marquesses. There are also zombies and automatons and nanotechnology. Its a thoroughly original book, with such an interesting mythology, that I can't recommend it enough.

Military Romance:

1. Shadow Game by Christine Feehan - This is the only non-Brockmann book on my list, but I really enjoy Feehan's paranormal/military Ghostwalker series about a group of special forces soldiers who go into a program designed to boost their paranormal abilities. I like the later books better than this first one, but the first one is still good and is vital to understanding the plot lines of the later books.

2. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann - Brockmann's Troubleshooter Navy Seals series is pretty much the epitome of military romance, and this is the first book. The author is fantastic at introducing characters in earlier books, giving them character development, and letting that pay off in later books, and it all starts here.

3. Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann - This is book 4 in the Troubleshooters series, and it makes the list because I just adore the hero, Wild Card. He's not only a badass Navy Seal, but also a complete geek underneath the ripped exterior.

4. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockmann - Though I'd rather never choose, if you made me pick my favorite romance novel ever, this would probably be it. Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke are introduced early in the TS series and Brockmann spends 5 books giving them an emotional history together that makes this book payoff in such a satisfying way. Added to the Sam and Alyssa story is one of Brockmann's signatures, a secondary story about a couple who had a great influence on Sam, Walter and Dorothy.

5. Taylor's Temptation by Suzanne Brockmann - This is from a different Brockmann Navy Seals series, one with much less interlocking stories, but I've always loved this one because the heroine, Colleen, is so relatable and Bobby Taylor is such a good guy, not broken like so many of Brockmann's heroines, just a normal guy trying to do the right thing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kindle 3 with Ads

I received my ad-supported Kindle on Friday, and due to the Beale Street Music Fest, I haven't had a ton of time to play with it. Since its just like the regular K3 besides the ads, I won't elaborate on all those features, but I do have some initial thoughts about the ad-support features.

I really don't mind the ads so far. The screensavers are something that I rarely pay attention to, so I'm not at all concerned about those. When the Kindle is awake, you see the ads on the bottom of the home screen (both the main home page and when you are inside a collection). You *don't* see the ads when you are in a book or when you are adding/deleting books from collections. A few pictures:

The ad you see on the home page of the Kindle when you wake it up coordinates with the current screensaver ad, like so:

I've already seen one offer I wanted to take advantage of:

When I woke the Kindle up, I toggled down to the ad at the bottom for the gift card and selected it. It took me to a screen where I had the option to have the offer emailed to me (it goes to the email associated with that Amazon account):

Pretty nifty, I think. If they frequently offer deals like this gift card one, I don't think I'll regret getting the ad-supported version.

BSMF Video: Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons

I got some very shaky video during the amazing Mumford & Sons set at the Beale Street Music Fest. If you haven't heard these guys, rectify that immediately!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Trailer

So much epic, I can't even describe it. Molly & Bellatrix! Tonks & Lupin! Ron & Hermione! The only thing I'm not sure about is Voldemort and Harry falling from the tower, which isn't canon, but I'll wait and see how it plays out on screen.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

#Vilonia + Song of the Day

You can't have missed it if you follow me on Twitter, but storms and tornadoes have devastated my state this week, with more on the way. Right here in Faulkner County, 4 people are dead at last count, in the town of Vilonia, just down the road, after a tornado swept through last night. If you'd like to help, consider a donation to the Arkansas Red Cross. The folks at Rock City Outfitters are donating all proceeds from their fantastic Arkansas themed tees to the AR Red Cross, so check them out.

I'm dedicating the Song of the Day to all those affected by the storms: "I Shall Not Walk Alone" by Ben Harper & The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vampire Diaries 2.19 "Klaus"


Here's where I make a few confessions. I don't care for flashback episodes of TVD. In general, I giggle at the clothes instead of enjoying them. I giggle at the accents. And the hair. Oh, the hair. I also don't tend to enjoy overly-talkie episodes. Like this one, where everyone talks endlessly about Klaus, his past, and how to kill him.

So really, what I'm saying is that I didn't enjoy this episode the way that a lot of people seemed to. But those people like flashbacks and mythology moments. I found it to be pretty meh, but obviously, it sets up some great action to come for the rest of the season.

Things I did like:
  • The Salvatore Brother showdown over Damon's feeling for Elena and their differing approaches to saving Elena.
  • I like that Jenna knows about vampires now. Curious to see how that plays out.
  • I like that Elena was so adamant about having a plan to save herself and that Stefan recognized her right to call the shots, even if he wanted to do it differently. 
  • I like that we saw Damon unravel a little bit. I don't always like Damon, but I'm nearly always fascinated by him.
This is a short entry, because I really just have such ambivalent feelings about the episode. For the most part, I shrugged off the major revelations. The fact that Klaus and Elijah are brothers didn't surprise me, but I didn't really expect the whole Klaus-is-a-werevamp thing. I just happen to have no strong feelings on the new mythology for the moment. Here's hoping I regain my enthusiasm next week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Song of the Day

This came up yesterday on my iPod while I was shuffling through my library, and I hadn't heard it in a long time. One of my favorite JM tunes:

Vampire Diaries 2.18 "The Last Dance"


Holly's Alternate title: DAMN, DAMON DANCES. Hey, Ian Somerhalder, will you marry me? Or at least go out dancing with me? I could settle for that.

Quick and Dirty Recap: Klaus is in Alaric's body, going to school and trying to teach class while taunting Team Salvatore with hints of his presence. Everyone goes to the 60s Dance, Alaric's possession is revealed after he discovers the plan for Bonnie to kill him, and Damon and Bonnie team up to make Klaus think Bonnie is dead and no longer a threat. Also, Damon makes many good arguments and Elena takes action at the end, pulling the dagger out of Elijah, in her desperation to find a different way to kill Klaus.


I didn't love this episode as much as last week's, but I think that upon further viewing that may change. Last week's was such a twisty ride and this week's had some great action, but also some more subtle moments that you really have to absorb to realize their import.

As far as Klaus possessed Alaric, I really enjoyed getting to see Matt Davis flex his acting muscles and bring a new character to life. His scene where Klaus tries to teach Alaric's class was hilarious, as was his dancing at the 60s Dance. They're making Klaus very creepy (the kiss to Katherine's forehead) and terrifying (making Kat stab herself was unsettling, to say the least). However, I think they're also displaying how arrogant he is. I theorized while watching the episode that his ego might be his downfall, as he seemed to lose his temper a bit when people didn't recognize how powerful he is. It's possible that could be used against him in the in. Also, could be why so many people want to kill him.

Here's where I make a confession: Bonnie and Jeremy together isn't my cup of tea. In fact, I recoil every time I see them together. I just DO NOT see any chemistry there. I'd love to see them introduce a kickass non-Luka witch boyfriend for Bonnie and bring back Anna for Jeremy instead. It just feels like they put them together because they were both there and not related, and so every scene where Jeremy is angsty over what will happen to Bonnie falls flat for me.

Another confession: I didn't get upset at all when Bonnie "died." I was mostly convinced that it was a ruse anyway, after Damon's asking her if she was willing to do whatever it took. Also, as I said above, I just plain don't love the Bonnie character and if I had to pick someone to vote off the island, it'd be her. Hell, I'd rather keep Uncle Daddy. I'm okay with being in the minority on this, and its not a knock on Katerina Graham, who I think does an excellent job with what she's given. Every fan just isn't going to love every character. I will say that the final fight between Kalaric and Bonnie with the sparks flying was pretty badass, though, even if I figured Bonnie would make it out alive.

The best parts of the episode for me were the scenes where the show explored the contrast between Stefan & Damon and their approach to saving Elena. At the dance, we see clearly that Damon will sacrifice Bonnie if need be, while Stefan leans towards trying to save everyone. This leads to a confrontation on the stairs between the Brothers Salvatore over their differing strategies. Damon lays it out for Stefan with no remorse: Damon is the one who will do whatever it takes to save Elena and won't be deterred by collateral damage, and in the end, this means he'll be the one to save her life. Stefan obviously didn't enjoy having this pointed out and I'm certain that this will cause some brother angst as we head into the season finale.

Then there was the Damon & Elena scene that surely caused all the Delena shippers to implode. I'm not even a hardcore shipper and I was touched by Damon passionately telling Elena that he would let Bonnie die if he had to, because he "will always choose" Elena. Now, I don't necessarily think that Damon is truly in love with Elena, not yet anyway, but I think that he cares about her in a way that is different from the past women in his life, and I'm beyond excited to see where they are taking the Damon/Elena dynamic in the future. I don't have a preference for who Elena ends up with at the end of the show, if anyone, but I am in favor of the writers exploring the potential for love between these two when the time is right. I think Elena has a lot of reticence, for good reason, when it comes to Damon, but I also think that the kind of single-minded focus Damon displays when it comes to her can be alluring, as well as frightening. Its hard to ignore that kind of passion and not be somewhat drawn to it.

Stray Observations:
  •  I forgot the notebook that I made notes on after the episode, so if I forgot anything important, I'll post a follow up later today.
  • Elena picked a fine time to care about going to school.
  • I'm a little confused about the possession thing and which vampire powers Klaus' got to keep. He could compel vampires and people but didn't need an invitation to get in anywhere. Seemed too convenient.
  • I didn't touch on the Matt/Caroline stuff, because honestly, there was little movement there and it only served as a distraction from the other scenes. Still, they rocked those outfits and we did find out that Matt and the Sheriff know about Stefan and Damon being vampires, Tyler being a werewolf, and that the Gilberts are in the loop on it all.
  • Damon's dancing was my favorite thing, maybe ever. In my whole life. He had outrageous chemistry with both Elena and Bonnie and the random girls he was dancing with. I especially loved when Stefan smoothly twirled Elena towards Damon. Maybe I do have an OTP and its really a polyamorous Salvatore-Elena sandwich. 
  • Not. Now. Dana.
  • Elena glanced between Damon & Damon's bed before she left his room. Yes, honey, that's where the magic happens. Glad to see you're not immune. 
  • "I will always choose you." *swoon*

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Song of the Day

Is All American Rejects one of those bands I'm supposed to be ashamed of liking? I don't know, but they put on a great show at the Beale Street Music Fest in 2009. The lead singer is so obviously cracked out, but he's magnetic anyway.  This is one of my favorite songs they performed at that show.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Song of the Day: Electric Feel - MGMT

Love this song, perfect for the nice weather this afternoon.

The Vampire Diaries 2.17 "Know Thy Enemy"


Alternate title for this episode - the one where everyone double crosses Team Salvatore. Except Uncle Daddy John. *mind boggles*

Recap, Quick and Dirty: Isobel blows back into town, gets Jenna pissed at Alaric & Elena, double crosses everyone, turns Katherine, the moonstone & Alaric over to Klaus' warlock. She also makes sure Klaus knows where Elena is, before committing suicide by sunshine in front of her horrified daughter. Presumably, she was under compulsion for the majority of these acts. Bonnie, Damon, and Jeremy go to the site of the witches fiery demise so that Bonnie can harness her power. Its revealed that the power it will take for her to kill Klaus will likely kill her. Caroline searches everywhere for Matt, and when she finally tells him the truth about what's been happening, he demands she compel him to forget everything. Only then do we find out he's working with Sheriff!Mom and told her everything Caroline told him. The final twist was that Alaric was kidnapped by Isobel & the (white!) warlock in order to be possessed by Klaus. We leave off with Klaus-in-Alaric having custody of the moonstone and Kat.

Best Quotes:
Damon: Don't mistake the fact that we haven't set you on fire in your sleep for trust.

Damon: I'll be super pissed if you lock me out.

Observations, Theories, and Questions:
Why was there a house built on top of where the witches were burned? Surely the house wasn't there when they burned them.

The soap dish, Damon, really? That was either really smart or really freaking dumb, I'm not sure.

How much did Caroline tell Matt? Just about her vampire experience or about Damon, Stefan, etc? If the sheriff does know about Stefan and Damon, will the council now come after them or will they manage to get Liz & Matt on Team Salvatore?

I think a lot of people probably liked Angry Matt but I was just really frustrated with his betrayal of Caroline. Intellectually, I can understand his motivation, but my love for Caroline colors my view of his and the sheriff's alliance.

Will killing Klaus kill Bonnie? Obviously in her mind, the havoc that would be wreaked by Klaus & other vamps being able to walk in the day is worth giving her life.

Isobel's death was kind of heartbreaking, even though she wasn't a good guy. We may never know if she would have betrayed Elena and Katherine on her own or if she was a victim of Klaus more than her own evil.

I don't want to like Uncle John but David Anders forces me to some times. His telling Elena why he wanted to believe in Isobel and volunteering to do whatever Elena wanted was such a genuine moment for him. I'm guessing they'll make us like him just in time for him to sacrifice himself for his daughter.

I didn't see the whole Alaric possession thing coming AT ALL. However, it makes sense if Klaus is looking to get close to Team Salvatore and figure out how to get Elena. From the preview for next week though, the possession doesn't remain a secret for long. I'm terribly afraid that getting Klaus out of Alaric will kill him, and I'd hate to lose Matt Davis, but all signs point to Alaric checking out by end of season.

Weird theory: we know that an actor was cast for Klaus and we've seen an episode still of him, in period garb, obviously a flashback, so now I wonder if the actor will ever play Klaus in the modern time or if its possible that will be the flashback Klaus only and Alaric/Klaus will be around for a while. Also, is the possession of Alaric a recent idea from Team Klaus or does Alaric have a past with them that we (and perhaps he) doesn't know about?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Morning Links

A little vampires, a little politics:

AV Club's review of last night's all new Vampire Diaries "Know Thy Enemy"

Cindy's Weecap of TVD over at Television Without Pity

NYT Editorial on the government shutdown: "It's Not Really About Spending"

It's got nothing to do with vampires or politics, but the latest John Green vlogbrothers video made me laugh a lot:

Stay tuned, my TVD review will be up later today.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Shippers Lose Their Shit

So this article with Vampire Diaries writer Julie Plec was posted today on the LA Times site.

And then Plec's Twitter timeline exploded with hatred.

Anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can read that article and realize that Plec was specifically commenting on Stefan's state of mind when she referred to Damon as an obstacle. Stefan wants to be with Elena, Damon wants to be with Elena, this means that Damon is in Stefan's way to an extent (see the definition of obstacle). Plec didn't say she hated Damon/Elena or that it wouldn't happen, just that it would obviously not be in Stefan's game plan. However, shippers don't really do the whole 'take things in context' thing.

I thought I'd share a few of my favorites from the Twitter explosion for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy New Book Day!

Two new books out today that I've been eagerly anticipating: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare and Red Glove by Holly Black.

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in Clare's massively popular The Mortal Instruments Series. I devoured the first three books in the series late last year, along with the first book in Clare's companion series (The Infernal Devices), Clockwork Angel. I love, love Clare's sarcastic hero, Jace, and her dialogue. Basic premise of the series: Shadowhunters are part angel, part human warriors who protect the world from demons. They exist along side vampires, werewolves and warlocks. The series centers on teen Clarissa "Clary" Fray as she discovers the world of Shadowhunters and her place within it.

Red Glove is the sequel to Black's White Cat, both part of her Curse Worker's series. White Cat was by far the most original and riveting book I read this year so far. Its dark and twisty and its hero, Cassel, is basically what I imagine Rusty from Ocean's 11 was like as a teen. Basic premise: Hero (or anti-hero, which might be more fitting) Cassel comes from a family of curse workers, people who can influence your emotions, your luck, your body by touching you. His family and their friends are all basically in the mafia, and he's a con artist.

If you're interested in either of these series, pick up City of Bones by Clare and White Cat by Black, the first books in these series.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Song of the Day: Break the Chain - Lupe Fiasco

Today is the NCAA Men's National Championship Game, where No. 3 UConn will battle it out against No. 8 Butler. I'll be rooting for Butler, just as I did last year when they so very nearly beat Duke. I got Lupe Fiasco's album, Lasers, last week and immediately recognized the song "Break the Chain" from being played on Sportscenter. Its a perfect song for March Madness highlights and a great song of the day for the National Championship. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Single from NKOTBSB: Don't Turn Out the Lights

Let's get this out of the way: I'm in no way capable of being objective about NKOTBSB. Its pretty much my teenage dream come true, minus Justin Timberlake. I've already bought tickets to see them in Detroit and have pre-ordered their May album. This is HAPPENING.

That said, I won't pretend that this is deep, meaningful music. However, its great 90s throwback pop! It makes me feel a little old that there is such a concept as 90s throwback pop, though it's possible I made it up just now. Enjoy!

Bad Movie Rant: Legion

If you follow me on Twitter or know me in 3D, you know that I *love* bad movies. And I don't have very high standards for movies I consider good. I unironically own both Transformers movies and The Covenant. I like pretty boys, explosions, and fights, especially if they involve superheroes or robots. I generally have the same movie taste as a 17 year old boy. If I can't genuinely like a movie, then I can usually have a good time making fun of it.

Its a rare movie that falls in between enjoyable and so bad its good for me. Past offenders: Miss Congeniality 2, Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Battle: Los Angeles, most recently. We can add Legion to that list. It takes itself way to seriously to be so bad its good, but its not even anywhere close to good.

Legion is kind of an action/horror movie, but its not really scary enough to be true horror and the action isn't all that exciting either. As has become a sad trend in movies, you see all the cool parts in the trailer above. Seeing those scenes in context takes away from whatever cool factor they had in the trailer.

The story is spare and trite. Its the end of the world! And this baby will save us! Somehow, he will. We're not sure how. But we believe Paul Bettany when he says it. The acting is hamstrung by horrible dialogue and the idiotic plot, which is sad, considering that I have enjoyed almost everyone in this movie in other roles. I mean, Dennis Quaid is Remy McSwain, for God's sake. I worship at the altar of Adrianne Palicki on Friday Night Lights and Supernatural. Tyrese, though one dimensional, is serviceable in the Transformers films. I adore Paul Bettany in A Knight's Tale. Not a single one of them is good in this movie. Shameful.

And then there's Lucas Black. Look, I know that people loved Sling Blade. I didn't see it, but I know that it was a well-received movie. It's time to move on, people. Lucas Black is just not a good actor. I watched F &F: Tokyo Drift (shut up, I like cars). I don't understand at all why he was cast in this movie, and the movie suffers for his presence. When I can look at both of the movies I've seen you star in and think how much better they'd be with Channing Tatum in your role, then you have a problem. I hate to be so harsh on poor Lucas, but I've seen no evidence that he's earned these parts on the screen.

I was at least hoping that Legion would be fodder for bad movie nights. Instead, its just bad and unfunny. The director of Legion, Scott Stewart, is attached to direct the adaptation of the first Mortal Instruments book by Cassandra Clare, City of Bones. I'm a little less excited to see that movie today than I was yesterday. Hoping that his movie, Priest, out this summer gets better reviews.

Grade: D-

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Song of the Day

Mostly I'm posting to see if the feedburner link I set up to push my posts to Twitter is working. But! I did buy Number Ones by Sir Elton John today and have been listening to it this afternoon, so Sir Elton and George Michael get to be the Song of the Day. BTW, I bought the album from Amazon for $3.99 and if you haven't looked into their new Cloud Music Player then you really should. It stores your music purchases for you to listen to anywhere you have a web browser. It also offers affordable storage space for documents and files you want to be able to access anywhere. You get 5 gb storage for free, plus 20 gb when you buy your first mp3 album!

Road Trip Wednesday: The Books of My Childhood

The folks over at YA Highway ask a reading/writing question every Wednesday and invite people to blog their responses. Today's question is: What books were you obsessed with as a kid?

Here's the list I came up with off the top of my head, though I'm certain that I'm leaving out something important. I refrained from including the romances that I started reading at the age of 12 and included only those non-romance books that I read up to early teen years. The late teen years were basically exclusively dedicated to Harlequin.

Baby Sitters Club Series by Ann M. Martin - Pretty much the series that made me love reading. When I was in elementary school, my mom worked for the local Wal-mart, one that didn't open until 9 am (gasp!), stocking shelves in the early mornings before the doors opened. Since she was a single mom and I was too young to stay alone, she often woke me up at the crack of dawn to go to work with her. Small town, Arkansas FTW. An empty Wal-mart is pretty much a 7 year olds dream, or nightmare, depending on how many lights were turned on on a given day. I did like to wander around the toys, but inevitably, I would wind up in the book aisle, sitting on the floor, reading the BSC books that I loved but couldn't afford to buy. Then they'd go back on the shelf. As an adult, I can only hope that I didn't damage them too much.

The Giver by Lois Lowry - I think I found this in the middle school library, and its the first book that I can remember which made me really think about the message it was putting forth. I was a really type A kid, and part of me was really attracted to the way that Lowry's dystopian society was so organized and regimented. It was an interesting exercise to get to the end and have to evaluate Jonah's actions and what they meant about my own attraction to the system he was escaping.

The Graduation by Christopher Pike - This was the 3rd book in a series, and I'm not really sure if I ever read the other two books that precede it. I include it because it's the first book that I was truly crazy about because I had a crush on a character, Michael Olson, and I wanted him to get the girl in the end. It was also probably the first book I read that included reference to teens having sex, though it was fade-to-black. There was even discussion of condoms! Heady discussion for a pre-teen. Can you tell my mother didn't screen what I read at all?

Others I loved:
  • The Hardy Boys (I loved the ones set in the 80s)
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (school assigned book that I loved)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (the main characters were Jewish girls in NYC in the early 1900s, and I was fascinated by the culture differences)
  • Sweet Valley High Series by Francine Pascal (Duh.)
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (Also duh.)
  • Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene (I loved the 50s set ones best)
  • Bad News Ballet Series by Jahnna M. Malcolm (Thanks to The Mighty Ducks, I loved these books because one of the characters was a hockey player)
  • Palm Beach Prep Series by Elle Wolfe (Again, blame a movie, but I got into this series because one of the characters was a soccer player and I had just seen The Big Green)
If you're curious about other answers to YA Highway's question, check out the comments on Road Trip Wednesday.

New Layout, Another Pledge to Actually Blog

I've been thinking for a while that the old layout/theme was a hindrance to me posting more often. For some reason, short posts looked awful with that layout, so I was reluctant to just dash off a post about whatever is interesting to me that day. I felt like I needed multiple paragraphs and pictures or videos for it to look aesthetically pleasing. I think this new layout will fix that issue.

So here's to blog re-launch 1535. May it go better than the last 1534 relaunches.*

*Does this thing have a sarcasm font?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On Love Triangles

Oh love I love and loathe you all. I've been thinking about love triangles today thanks to author Rachel K Vincent's blog post on what constitutes a love triangle and why she thinks her characters aren't in one (caution, mildly spoilery for those not caught up to the current book in her Soul Screamers series).

Vincent lays out a few ground rules for what she thinks constitutes a simple love triangle:

  1. The person in the center of the love triangle has to be aware of the feelings of both of the other sides. 
  2. The person in the center must be asked to choose between the two sides.
  3. The person in the center must love both of the two choices to the point where choosing between them is difficult.
I agree with these points, at least as far as a generic love triangle can be defined. Of course, they're always more complicated than this, but this is the general gist of a true love triangle.

Now, maybe I'm not reading the right books or the right genres, but based on these rules, I'd argue that there are very few true love triangles in any of the series that I've been reading the past couple years. Most of the time, the person, usually a girl, knows exactly who she wants to be with, but circumstances might point her towards someone else for a while, because all books need conflict.

Case in point, Twilight. The Team Edward vs. Team Jacob "conflict" sold a lot of t-shirts and generated a lot of page views as people debated. However, I'd argue that this was not a true love triangle. Rules 1 and 2 were certainly met, but rule 3, not so much. Bella is clear with Jacob that it was always going to be Edward, as long as circumstances allowed them to be together. She genuinely cared about Jacob, but he was never going to be her first choice.

But obviously, there were plenty of people out there, those Team Jacob people, who would disagree with me. And why is that? Its because people project their own feelings onto the characters. I just did it in the paragraph above. Only Stephenie Meyer could tell you if she intended for Jacob to be a genuine contender for Bella's love (and I think she's made it clear that she had a different plan for him all along, as evidenced by the events of Breaking Dawn). Because I preferred Edward over Jacob, I never viewed Jacob as a legitimate threat or believed that Bella would choose him in the end.

This sort of reader projection results in a lot of "love triangle" debates when there might not even be a triangle in the first place. I think that its in rule 3 that the reader's feelings are brought most strongly into play. Rules 1 and 2 are pretty cut and dry, but the reader's feelings about whichever side of the triangle they prefer certainly color their interpretation of the center person's difficulty in choosing.

Another good example, and one that's caused lots of drama within the fandom, is the Stefan/Elena/Damon "triangle" on The Vampire Diaries, the tv show. Let's look at our rules again. For rule 1, I don't think that we can comfortably say that Elena is "aware" of how Damon feels about her. She must know that Damon cares about her, but I wouldn't go so far as to say she knows he's in love with her. In fact, he's tried to make sure she doesn't know by compelling her to forget he confessed his love (and thoroughly breaking my heart in the process). As for rule 2, I don't think Elena has to choose between the two Salvatores if we accept the idea that she doesn't know that she's in a love triangle. Rule 3 is irrelevant if the center is both unaware of one of the sides' feelings and isn't being forced to make a choice. However, its the rule that creates the best drama when both rules 1 and 2 have been fulfilled.

There are, of course, Damon/Elena shippers who would argue with me on every point, and that's their right to do so. However, as a person who is immensely interested in seeing a Damon/Elena relationship at some point on the show, I don't think that I'm projecting some sort of Stefan/Elena agenda onto my argument. I just think that some shippers are incapable of being objective when they have a passion to see a certain thing happen. And then they rant about it on Twitter.

The last example I'll cite is the Jace/Clary/Simon "triangle" from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series (spoilery):
  1. The first rule here would be met, Clary is aware that both Jace and Simon care about her in a romantic way.
  2. Yes, Clary had to make a choice between the two, though it was complicated by the uncertainty of her and Jace's familial status.
  3. Here's where the projection of the reader comes into play. In my interpretation of the book, Clary only thinks to pursue any sort of romantic relationship with Simon when she thinks that a relationship with Jace can't happen. And she realizes that its not fair to keep stringing Simon along when its really Jace she wants. So, in my opinion, Rule 3 is not satisfied.

So what's my point, here? Even I'm not entirely sure, but I think its that love triangles aren't as common as we think and some of the most famous ones right now aren't really love triangles. However, with the degree that readers' feelings play into Rule 3, then perhaps love triangles exist wherever the reader believes they exist. At least fandom discussions won't be boring!