Twilight, Travel, and Treats

Reflections of a Twihard on all things twilight, travel, and treats.

I was surfing YouTube today for a piano tutorial for Turning Page by Sleeping at Last (by the way, didn't find one). Found this very nice cover though but I doubt he will provide sheets. Pity.

I came across the official Breaking Dawn Behind the Scenes footage. There is a good 10 minutes here. Maybe you've all seen it but I hadn't yet so I was super excited. A nice way to get my movie fix until I see it for the third time.

It's a gentle reminder too that IT'S NOT REAL!! Yes this is silly since of course I know it's fiction but it bears repeating. Sometimes my brain becomes so ensconced in fanfic and Edward that it's a good jolt back to reality.


Yes that's director Bill Condon with our favourite couple
Is it cynical of me that I didn't expect to like Breaking Dawn Part 1? I didn't really confess that to people considering I'm supposed to be this huge Edward and Bella nut. But the thought of watching her grow gaunt and have Edward brooding in the corner while Jacob comforted her didn't seem like much fun. I guess I am a pessimist at heart and it even invades my love of Twilight. Enough that I forgot there would be this amazing wedding and supposed headboard breaking to look forward to.

Well, I was proven wrong. I absolutely LOVED most of BD Part 1. You can guess since I'm so pro-Edward that the parts I didn't like were mostly Jacob and Wolf pack related. Like the scene where they all convene and Jacob eventually breaks off. I don't know why but I just start laughing and rolling my eyes even though it's supposed to be so tense.

I'm not a huge music person. Although I love playing the piano and singing, I don't go running out to buy soundtracks before the movie comes out nor do I usually know any of the artists beforehand. But I have fallen hard for a few songs on this one.

My favourite from the Breaking Dawn soundtrack?

This was at Breaking Dawn Tent City - were some of you there for that?? Must have been amazing.

Every time I hear this song I start to cry. I'm sure commuters driving past me must think I'm crazy. This song is so incredibly sweet and moving that I can't stop listening to it. The piano sheet music isn't anywhere to be found and I can't wait for months for Hal Leonard to release it so I'm praying someone has time on their hands to transpose it.

So the surprises that I loved?

I didn't expect them to play 'Flightless Bird, American Mouth' during the vows. Absolutely floored and it made the scene perfect. Even Rob Pattinson admits that his favourite scene in the series is the Twilight dance scene.

The speeches were a great touch. It was wonderful to see Edward get up there and tell the world how much he loves Bella. So relieving just to see him so happy!

As much as I've made fun of Taylor Lautner in the past I was impressed with his performance. The scenes he had trying to convince pregnant Bella to have an abortion were good - really, he didn't totally suck ;)

Things I wish were different?

Catherine Hardwicke had it right when she incorporated Bella's narrative voice into Twilight. Stephenie Meyer wrote everything in first person and most of us Twihards still think of the series in that way. There were definitely scenes where it would have been more complete to have Bella's thoughts accompanying the scene.

For example, don't you all remember that the transformation was supposed to be awful? There was all of 2 seconds of that in the transformation sequence when her heart restarts. Major pitfall not having that included.

Another part of the transformation that I wish was different? For some reason I always thought that Edward would be holding her hand or by her side that whole time rather than standing by the window waiting. I suppose it made it easier to do all the CG work without Rob's hair in the way but it doesn't seem very Edward like to leave her alone to suffer (even if they did think the morphine was sedating her).

Well, I've only seen it twice in the theatres so far. I'm sure I'll watch it a couple more times still since it was just that good. Another year seems too long to wait for Part 2!!

Well I'm off to work on the Fandom Gives Back compilation. I think FGB was close to reaching the $250,000 goal to help fight childhood cancer but every $5 donation counts so please go donate :) There are also auctions for autographed books - like my favourite Master of the Universe which has now been published by E.L. James as Fifty Shades of Grey.

This was my second TwiTour or as I like to call it TwiCon. My first was in Vancouver last year where I had brunch with Peter Facinelli (see post here).

My favourite Breaking Dawn photos from the convention. I'm finding a way to make these my iPad wallpapers :)

1. You don't have to sleep in the street for days to see Robert or Kristen up close.

They announced a few weeks before the convention that Robert and Kristen (oh and Taylor too) were going to be in Los Angeles. HonoluluGirl and I had said if there was any way we could pay to have good seats to see the Twi-fecta rather than sleeping on the street for 3 days (like our dedicated friends do for Comic-Con) that we would totally do it. Suzie - I missed you! You must come out next time :)

2. I need a better zoom lens for next year (yes I'm going next year!)

Instead of shelling out 300 bucks for seats in the back for the whole weekend I banked on buying the Saturday reserved seats for 60 bucks. Managed to catch it pretty early after it was released. For reference I got seat D28.

My view from seat D28

As zoomed as I could get without worsening the blur.

I didn't get great photos though. Why? I love my Canon S90 and decided to take it and gave Mr. TC the SLR for his photo tour. It still wasn't good enough. However, I did sneak some video footage for myself - teehee! I know you can see the whole panel online right now but it's much better when you took it yourself!

Twired Jen has MUCH nicer photos and was sitting just a few feet behind me.

Check her blog and others who had nicer seats (and nicer cameras) for all the great pictures.

3. Hyatt Regency, although pretty, was lacking some amenities for a picky girl.

The Hyatt Regency Century City where the convention was held was nice. Great convention rate of $189 down from $299 rack rate. Easy check-in and even better with a Hyatt Gold Passport that Mr. TC has from years of business travel. Nice good Beverly Hills feel. Downsides if you're a picky princess like myself? Missing bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer in room, and a showercap.

4. There are crazy fans out there willing to pay $2000 for an autographed 8X10 of Rob and Kristen.

The auction started after noon. Most notable was a bedroom BD photo autographed by Rob and Kristen went for $2000! And I thought I was crazy.

4. I could have flown in and out of LA on the same day and still seen the Cullens and Twi-fecta.

The schedule packed most of the good stuff into a few hours. After the auction at noon there was some secret footage and behind the scenes interviews. Not great but a nice taster.
The Cullens and Twi-fecta with Director were on after them and everything was finished by 5:30pm.

5. I am now a real fan of Jackson Rathbone. Oh, and I don't hate Melissa Rosenberg.

Now while I'm watching the Twilight movies I often bitch about some of the poor writing, etc. But to be frank I still think she has done a good job and the feminist in me is just happy to see more women in important positions. It was actually good to hear her perspective and also a bit more about her writing process.

About Jackson, that man is such a character. It's such a 180 to see him as Jasper now because he's quirky, funny, sweet, and humble.

6. All Edward merchandise is sold out on the Friday already.

I was on a mission to come home with a Breaking Dawn fleece blanket. Imagine my dismay when I showed up Saturday am and all the Edward merchandise was gone. Apparently the diehard Cullen Crest gold passport people are mostly Edward fans (of course I wasn't surprised, just disappointed).

Next best thing?

Head over to the nearest Hot Topic store. We don't have these in Canada so I was ecstatic there was one 5 minutes from the hotel. And of course they had a ton of Edward merchandise with no lines.

Yes I picked up one of these too.
My hubby was trying to convince me this pillowcase is too precious to use. I'm not falling for it.

7. The vendor room was worth it for the movie props.

I'm not sure how many of these are real. Frankly I don't care but happy to just delude myself.

Note the wedding invite is there too.

The only interesting display for the vendors was the Barbie Collectors. They had the whole display on sale. I wanted to buy the Jane doll but alas it wasn't for sale. They were just there to announce that in Feb 2012 there will be Bella & Edward Wedding Barbie dolls.

They gave out Wisteria seeds as well - same as the Breaking Dawn wedding arch flowers. But alas no seeds can cross through customs so I had to leave them behind :(

By the way I am oddly a huge fan of projected light displays. The convention entrance area was pretty to say the least. I wanted to take one of these things home.

9. You can tell a lot about someone by their shoes.

Of course this is an old adage but I definitely think it holds true in this case.

Rob - with his short socks, totally beaten up shoes. Awkward, would have been the shy kid at school. Adorkable.
Kristen - stylish yet comfortable. Cares but doesn't care about what you think, know what I mean?
Ashley - trendy, daring to the point of perilous. Appearance is important.
Elizabeth - stylish, sexy with confidence.
Didn't realize how deep my shoe obsession runs until just now...

10. For some reason watching Kristen Stewart put her hair in a ponytail in mesmerizing.

I have no idea why I was so intrigued by this mundane action. Maybe it's because I've been waiting for years to see her in person. Or just that I've always liked her high ponytail looks. Regardless I was captivated. So weird!

You can see the entire Rob/Kristen/Taylor panel (including the ponytailing) in its entirety here.

It was nice to hug some of my Twihard friends from out of town. I'm glad we had a chance to see each other even though it was brief.

Well, I survived my first Rob and Kristen live viewing. I've realized that unless I get a new lens for next year I'll be spending lots of time taking pictures of the screen again :)

Next I'll do a small LA Shopping and Food Bites post...

For the second time this year I'm working with Nina from Fandom Gives Back. The last time was for Autism Speaks where FGB raised over $3600.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Fandom Gives Back it is an initiative created to unite Twilight fans to raise money for charity, mainly Alex's Lemonade Stand (ALSF). ALSF is a children's cancer research foundation, borne from the vision of Alex Scott (1996-2004).

So far they've raised almost $250,000 towards fighting childhood cancer through past events.

This year the goal is to raise just $15k. There will be a fanfic compilation available for a flat donation. So far there are over 60 authors but the more authors we have the more donations we will get.

Authors: I know some of you dabble in writing fanfic (you know who you are!), please consider submitting a story - more info here. For those just starting out it's a great way to get your name out there and for those who are well known it helps get donations to fight cancer!

Readers: If you are a fanfic reader (like myself) please consider donating - flat donation gets you the fanfic compilation. Here's the list of authors so far but there's still another few weeks to the deadline so there will definitely be more coming.

My role in this? I'm the compiler eg. the down and dirty of putting all the stories together in a nice book. The best part? I get to read everything first :) Love it when there's a great outtake I've been waiting for or a new author I hadn't heard of that is fabulous.

Before I fell in love with Twilight I was a Pride & Prejudice fan. I've come out of blogging hiatus to tell you about the latest iPad app I like.

Want a good way to introduce Shakespeare or Austen to your little one?

Enter new BabyLit books - available in board book and iPad/iPhone enhanced versions.

I bought the board books first at my local Indigo store and thought it was super cute. It prompted my 8 year old son to spend half an hour asking me about Pride & Prejudice. You know when your child is enraptured by your explanation of why Lizzie won't marry Mr. Collins that this new book has done its job.

The iPad enhanced version is even better. This is a counting book so it's like any other baby iPad book that counts objects except this time they are marriage proposals and ballgowns. Bonuses - you can dress Lizzie in different ballgowns and that the whole first chapter of P&P is narrated at the end for you.

My son has yet to listen to the narrated first chapter of P&P that is on the iPad but it's nice that one day he may stumble upon it.

More titles coming up? Romeo & Juliet is already available but it looks like Jane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland are coming soon.

I received an interesting email a while back from Money.co.uk. Apparently they did a comparison of two of my favourite things - Twilight and Harry Potter. I'd normally avoid a financial site of any sort but this caught my attention. It was lovely of Sophie from Money.co.uk to let me know about this since I love facts!

It's a very interesting article and an easy read. Do you know how much Rob Pattinson is worth? What about Emma Watson? How about how much money the Twilight movies have earned versus Harry Potters?
There's no point in me summarizing for you - just go check it out here!

By the way I find the wealth figures they mention there absolutely staggering. For example, J.K. Rowling is the first billionaire author. The total cost of making all the Harry Potter films is over $1.28 billion dollars USD.

It comes as no surprise that Harry Potter brings in more money than Twilight. All the Rob crazed female fans in the world can't make up for the young male population who are in love with the World of Harry Potter. Since Twilight appeals to only one gender it really isn't a fair fight. But still fun to think about :)

By the way, my hubby and I are heading to London in a few days. I am thrilled to try and see some Harry Potter filming sites. This is one trip that won't be Twilight related - unless there is an unexpected Pattinson family sighting!

I love photography iPhone apps. I've discovered a new one - and it's got a Twilight filter too!

FX Photostudio for iPhone and iPad

Cost $2.99 plus in-app purchase 99 cents for the Hollywood pack (twilight filter)

The basic photo editing tools are only crop, rotate, and gamma (exposure or brightness). If you want blemish or red-eye removal and other editing tools you should also get Perfect Photo. I'll review it next post but it's surprisingly powerful.

There are 187 filters to choose from but they categorize them so it's not overwhelming. Plus you can mark favourites and hide ones you don't use.

The smartest thing is that you if you figure out a filter combo that's brilliant you can save it for use again later or even share it.

You can vary the amount of change each filter creates as well. There is a lot of control built in.

I just did some screencaps of my favourite filters below.

Original (photo from robsessed)

With filters - the filter title at top of each pic

And lastly the Twilight filter

It does really look like Catherine Hardwicke helped with that shot.

In case you wanted a Kristen Stewart version I've included some too


With filters

Note the iPad version is HD is a separate purchase from the iPhone version and has a few more filters.

There is also a version for Mac as well but no PC one.

More iPhone and iPad app reviews to come.